Saturday, April 29, 2006

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. (Douglas Adams)

Mom and I were on our way to St. Augustine, but about halfway there we got distracted. One of the great things about growing up under the influence of Madame Two Wheels is that if we see something interesting along the way, we're not afraid to throw the map out the window (assuming that we had one, which of course we didn't) and take the sudden turn into left field.

As a result, we spent a wonderful day exploring craft shops in Historic Cocoa. The architecture was early Floridian with wonderful, unexpected courtyards and pastel adobe topped with rolled tile roofs. Mom and I got to explore store after store filled with crafts and gifts, teddy bears and collectibles, ship models and hot sauce, and all sorts of things. (I even found a hurricane kit, something we've been talking about doing at school.) It was nice, being able to wander about and look at everything without anyone to complain that they were tired or bored.

Now we're sitting in a hotel on Merritt Island, sharing a bottle of wine out of plastic juice glasses and making plans to go to the beach before we drive home in the morning. That is, unless we see something better along the way...
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Friday, April 28, 2006

To persevere is always a reflection of the state of one's inner life, one's philosophy and one's perspective, (David Guterson)

Brookston Photo Scavenger Hunt
1 bonus point if you are in the reflection

I really love my digital camera. This week was a wonderful example of one of the many reasons why. I've been taking pictures of every shiny, reflective surface I could find in an attempt to get the "perfect shot" for the photo hunt. Just trying to get the correct angle of the mirrors for this picture, I took over 40 shots. I would never have been able to play around this way with my Pentax. Developing the film is just too expensive to waste on experimental shots.

I also feel very vindicated. My daughter, the one who always laughed at me for carrying around the camera everywhere and complained about my taking so pictures, has admitted to have taken over 600 pictures in just four months. Apparently she really likes the digital camera I gave her for Christmas.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. (Harry Vaughan)

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The fire alarm went off again this afternoon, but as usual we just ignored it. The alarms in the condos are extremely sensitive, and it's a common occurance to have the bells ringing throughout the complex. A couple of heads will pop out the doors along the corridor, checking to see if anyone is going to bother the guard downstairs for details. But mostly we just go about our normal life, doing whatever we were before the bells started.

Today, however, we actually had someone come around and tell us to evacuate. This time the fire was for real! Suddenly, I was faced with the decision of what needed to be saved in the precious minutes I had left in my home. Naturally the children were the first to be shoved out the door, with only moments allowed them to find their shoes. Next, my hair and teeth were brushed. (Okay, I discovered that I really am that vain. At least I resisted the temptation to change my clothes from the ratty house-work outfit I had on. Probably only because everything I like was in the wash.) I tried to grab the photo albums, but there were too many. And there wasn't time to pick just one or two. So I just grabbed the file with the birth certificates and immunizations, picked up Daisy (well, you didn't really think I'd leave my laptop behind, did you?) and ran downstairs to join the others.

The fire turned out to be confined to just one unit in the other building. A kitchen fire started when the tenants (yes, they were renters -- just further proof to the homeowner association that they need to rid themselves of the infestation of tenants) were cooking pigs knuckles. The fire was immediately put out, but just to be on the safe side the firefighters had to hack through the walls of that unit after they arrived on the scene to ensure everything was safe before they would allow us to return to our own apartments. Later the Red Cross came out to help the tenants relocate, since their unit was hacked apart and unlivable.

While I feel bad for the tenants involved, I'm also grateful that the excitement was limited to the one unit. But it's given me a lot to think about in terms of what's important. It's also taught us that just because someone keeps crying wolf, it doesn't mean that the wolf will never come.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Do what you can with what you have, where you are. (Theodore Roosevelt)

Brookston Photo Scavenger Hunt
"A Body of Water"
1 bonus point if the shore is visible

In South Florida, water-front property is the most expensive. It seems everyone wants to be able to brag that they live on the water. But even though Florida has a long shoreline and a great number of natural lakes, not everyone can live on the shore. So developers have worked around that -- lakes are created in almost every development. Since Florida also has a high water table (which means that the ground is quickly saturated during a rainstorm), these lakes also serve as retention ponds to help keep flooding to a minimum in the during the rainy season.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away. (Robert Orben)

I feel miserable. All stuffy, achey, whiney and just plain horrible. I want tea and sympathy, not necessarily in that order. It's one of the few occasions that I feel sick enough to go to the doctor, if I wasn't too sick to take myself there.

But don't worry. Really. I was good and spent the whole day sleeping. And I'm on my way back to bed now. By tomorrow, I figure I'll be as good as new. Or at least good enough to make it back to work where there'll be people around to listen to me whine.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

It was a nice day. Quiet. I missed Cari and mom (Cari is still away at school for another month, and mom is finishing up tax season). The day didn't seem quite right without them.

Becky insisted on going all out with the "fancy dishes" for dinner, and I'm glad she did. Actually, Becky made dinner for us today and it was wonderful. I got to be lazy and just enjoy the feast.
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

What do you do with a lifetime of work? Face it in the morning. (Iggy Pop)

Saturday's Pixite meme was "desk" so I thought I'd share a picture of my little corner. Although this has become my second home, I'd still rather be back in my classroom!

After school, Becky and I went shopping for the family egg hunt tomorrow. After only four hours of shopping, we finally have the everything we need. Putting the theme baskets together was fun! I've finally finished hard-boiling the eggs (all seven dozen!), but I still have the baking to do. I think I'm going to go to bed and just get up early tomorrow to make the cookies.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. (Fran Lebowitz)

I spent a quiet day sleeping, recovering from one of my mega-headaches. I wouldn't mind losing the day if only I had done something interesting (i.e. a night out partying) to earn it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Teach children to be polite and courteous in the home, and, when he grows up, he will never be able to edge his car onto a freeway. (Unknown)

The photo this evening is for Inspiration Challenge, which was "Sunset & Soul." There is a story behind the photo, but it's a very personal one and even though I doubt very many people read this blog, I think I'll keep it to myself.

The kids and I drove up to mom's yesterday after work -- Gramma and Aunt Robin are here visiting and we joined them for dinner -- and the trip reminded me of why I really hate driving on I-95. We were about two exits from mom's when the truck in front of me suddenly stopped. Since we were going 70 mph, I was on top of him before I realized it. Luckily I was able to swerve onto the shoulder. Then I had to swerve off the shoulder and down the grassy bank in order the avoid the minivan that had caused the truck to stop when they suddenly turned onto the shoulder. The whole event took seconds, but felt like one of those slow-motion cartoons.

After a couple of minutes of shaking, I was able to drive back onto the interstate and continue the trip.

The rest of the evening was wonderful. Four generations of women (and one lone male), each trying to outdo the other, made for a very lively dinner.
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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Food is an important part of a balanced diet. (Fran Lebowitz)

It's a new Photo Hunt, and the first item is PIZZA, with a bonus point for toppings. I've been wanting a slice of pizza for a couple of days, so I love having an excuse to indulge -- especially since I almost never get the toppings I want (the kids prefer either just cheese or pepperoni/sausage). Now if only the next item in the search could be a hot fudge sundae with extra whipcream...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o'clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone. (Emily Bronte)

Happy April's Fool Day!

The only fool of the day has been me, and I don't want to talk about it.

Actually, it's been a semi-productive day. I picked up the new cell phones today. I now have five (yes, five!) phones on my family plan. What's amazing is that I consider having the five separate phones a necessity. Thirty years ago I was an active teenager, and yet my mom managed to keep track of me without a cell phone. I remember how exciting it was fifteen years ago when PKK got a mobile phone in his car (one of the first in town!) back when we were still living in Kentucky. Most of the time there wasn't any service because of the hills, but having the mobile phone proved he had arrived professionally. Even just seven years ago, when I got my first cell phone so that the daycare could reach me in case of an emergency, I thought it was an overly indulgent expense. When PKK gave PJ and Becky each a cell phone last year, I couldn't understand why the children needed one. And yet just one week after PKK took the phones away from the kids, I found myself rushing out to the store to replace them. It just made me too nervous to be without that lifeline to each of my babies.