Monday, July 31, 2006

Don't go chasin' waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to. (TLC)

We took a hike up to Mingo Falls. It was as beautiful as I remembered. Naturally I took lots of pictures. I’ll be putting them up on my photo gallery. The kids went all the way up to the top with my Uncle Herb. Mom was going to do the hike with them, but chickened out. (I knew that there was no way I could do it – I have a true phobia of heights.) Afterwards, mom was upset that she had missed out on the trip. The kids took her up about halfway, and she came back down with a huge grin, just as proud of herself as she could be. I was so jealous! They’re planning to go back up to the top of the falls later this week when more of the family are here. I wonder if I can get my courage up by then to go with them?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have. (Anonymous)

We made it to the campground, and the cabin is wonderful! Our front porch looks out onto the river, and there’s a swing we can sit and read (or type on the blog…). The kids have already found a way down into the water. My Aunt Gail and Uncle Herb are already here. So is my cousin Herbie and his family. I have a feeling that we’ll be up late, talking all night!

I cannot live without books. (Thomas Jefferson)

Five people, ten days, nineteen books…do you think my family likes to read?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Careful. We don't want to learn from this. (Bill Watterson)

Picture three kids and two adults captive in an over-loaded van for twelve hours…

Actually, it wasn’t a bad trip. Mom did most of the driving, since I’m not feeling well. The kids were great. They watched their DVDs, listened to their music, and slept. I think I was the only bratty one the entire trip (but I really wanted ice cream and mom wouldn’t let me stop to get any!).

We made it almost to Atlanta, and decided to stop for the night. Mom and I are going to get some sleep and finish the drive tomorrow morning. The kids will probably watch TV and play with the computers all night, since they get to sleep in the van.

Just as an update: We did get to talk with Uncle Herb and Aunt Gail. Gramma was kept in the hospital, but they decided to make the trip to North Carolina without her. They should get to the campground about the same time as we do.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I am a little concerned about the trip. I don't want to whine, but I can't seem to help it. I'm feeling miserable, having caught the flu that was going around work all week. My throat hurts, my ears are ringing, my nose is so stuffy I can only breathe through my mouth, and my body aches. I just don't know how I'm going to manage to drive for hours on end tomorrow.

As if that's not enough bad news, I found out this evening that my grandmother is back in the hospital and will probably not be able to make the trip. We're just hoping that it's nothing serious. But it has already put a damper on the trip. Obviously, we can't postpone the reunion (my grandmother's suggestion). But I know that we're all going to be worrying about her and Robin (my aunt, who had to have a hip replacement this past Monday).

I'm sure that once we're at the campground, we're going to have a great time. Meanwhile....


He who would travel happily must travel light. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

The van is packed, and we're ready to leave early in the morning for North Carolina. I can't believe how much stuff we're taking with us. I kept saying that we were going to be smart, and just take the minimum of stuff -- you know, only the things that we really, really need. After all, we're camping.

But I have to have my laptop and mini-photo printer. They're as much a necessity as my cameras. And Cari needs her laptop. And we have to have the coffee maker for mom (the campfire coffee pot is also packed, but I'm not sure mom will want to wait that long for her first cup of coffee in the morning). We also packed the crockpot. And the kids have their portable DVD players. (Okay, that's another one of my necessities. I'm not traveling a day and a half in the car with three teenagers unless they have DVD and CD players to keep them amused.)

When you add the actual camping equipment for five people, plus food, plus the reunion items (i.e. box of t-shirts that were ordered)... well, there's a lot of stuff in the minivan.

But we'll survive the trip, and it will all be worth it once we're settled into the cabin and looking out over the river. I promise to take lots of pictures, which will be posted as soon as I have internet access. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

A brother is a friend provided by nature. (Legouve Pere)

This is a rare shot of brotherly love in action... I was taking "after" pictures of Becky's new haircut, and PJ decided to sneak up to tickle his sister to make her laugh. I love the expression on both of their faces. Becky has always been our little actress (don't ever believe it when she cries; she's very good) and you can see her love of playing to the audience. PJ, however, is a little over-dramatic in his appearance as the villian in this picture. The fun part is that his role was entirely unstaged. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Saturday I took Becky to have her haircut. She's been growing her hair long for almost three years. A few months ago she asked if she could have it cut for Locks of Love. After waiting a bit to make sure that this is what she really wanted, she finally got it cut short. I think the new cut looks great!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm not happy, I'm cheerful. There's a difference. A happy woman has no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to deal with them

Submitted to Tuesdays Photos: "Bubbles"
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Today's title is a quote from Beverly Sills.

I had a non-res session this afternoon, and didn't get home until after 7 pm. Becky surprised me by having dinner ready when I walked in the door. I hadn't asked her to cook anything, so it was a wonderful surprise. She's a good kid!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Life is not what one lived, but rather what one remembers, and how it is remembered to tell the tale. (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Becky and I were on our way out to get something for dinner, and as I opened the door something jumped out at me. Naturally I screamed, frightening poor Becky, who immediately slammed the door -- leaving me on the outside with the monster who attacked me.

Once I calmed down, I realized that the "monster" was only a tiny lizard, less than 2 inches long, that had been climbing on the door. When the door opened, he jumped onto me trying to find somewhere safe to hide. The poor thing must have been even more scared than I was!

I've been working on the computer all afternoon, still trying to finish up the album for gramma. I think I spent six hours scanning photos, and I still have two boxes left that I haven't gone through. I can't believe how many photographs I have of the family. Apparently the shutterbug-gene goes back several generations, which explains why I have the need to carry my camera with me everywhere I go.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes. (Doctor Who)

It's been a nice day. It didn't start out that way. In fact, I tried real hard to spend it hiding under the covers in my room. But the kids convinced me that we had to get out of the house and drive down to visit my sister and her family. So I took some Tylenol and away we went.

And we had a great time. My sister treated us all to Chinese for dinner (two nights in a row -- I'm in heaven!), and we were all giggling over the various fortunes received. Tonight, I'm "fortunate in everything [I] do." I took this picture of my sister's fortune. You can see for yourself how accurate it was!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Your artistic talents win the approval and applause of others. (fortune cookie)

My daughter took me out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I'm not sure if it was because she wanted my company, or if she just wanted sushi. But I'm not going to question her motives, since I had a wonderful time. She's been so busy this summer between work and her friends that I haven't been able to see as much of her as I would like, so it was especially nice getting to spend the evening together.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

If women understood and exercised their power they could remake the world. (Emily Taft Douglas)

It's amazing to me that I actually look forward to leaving my house at 7 am in order to exercise before going in to work. It's because of the great bunch of ladies that gather at Curves. (I certainly don't exercise for the joy of sweating!) We sing, dance, and laugh together as we work our way around the circle of equipment -- all of us way too cheerful for early mornings. Today we all showed up in our pajamas, too eager to stop and dress before rushing in to Curves.

Okay, we were actually having a "pajama party." But it says a lot that we all showed up in our pajamas.

Of course, this isn't the first time that I've done something this zany. And of course, my "slipper-buddy" was in on it this time, too.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done. (Andy Rooney)

The children had their own plans for today, opting to go out with their friends to celebrate the Fourth of July. For me, this was a chance to stay home and accomplish some of the many items on my To Do list. So naturally I spent the day playing around. I read a trashy novel. I made changes to both my blogsites (this one and Our Family Gathering). I've surfed the web, and even played a couple of games. Then I did some knitting while watching TV.

Someday I'll actually do what I'm supposed to do. Just not today.

Monday, July 03, 2006

We're not lost. We're locationally challenged. (John M. Ford)

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I took JB and Becky to the Bush Wildlife Sanctuary this afternoon. It took us a while to get there. I went left when I should have turned right, and we ended up on a little expedition before we finally arrived at the sanctuary. Once there JB and Becky each decided that they were in charge of which direction we wandered, and it was fun trying to keep them both headed the same way. We did a lot of compromising.

Becky and I faced off for more compromising in the evening. I wanted to go to bed early; and she wanted to stay up late and do something fun. So she ended up making ice cream while I supervised from a prone position on the couch.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. (Herbert Hoover)

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It's my fudge -- all mine! I made sure of it by adding pecans. My kids hate nuts (a fact that I have carefully cultivated since they were little in order to ensure that I have fudge & chocolate chip cookies when I want them).

The day started out pretty good. Becky and I went to church, then out to brunch afterwards. During brunch we brainstormed some fun ideas for the family gathering later this month, so we went on a little shopping expedition for the supplies. It was a lot of fun.

In fact, it was such a nice day that I decided to tackle the bills. Which should explain the need for fudge. (If it doesn't, just go ask your wife/girlfriend/mom and she'll explain it to you.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. (Gene McSweeney)

Mom brought me down more photos, and we spent a couple of hours this afternoon going through them and scanning the ones we wanted for the reunion album. It's amazing how many photos my family has taken over the years! I think we went through six big albums/boxes today. The hardest part was to just select the pictures we wanted for the project, without stopping to talk about the memories behind each photo.

This was one of the pictures we found, and although it probably won't make it into the reunion album, I couldn't resist scanning a copy. I remember having the picture was taken, even though it was in the fall of 1970 and I was only 7 years old. We had gone to Pennsylvania to one of the civil war parks with my Gramma and her father (Great-Grampa Williams). The other girls on the outing were my sister Cathy; her best friend and our next-door neighbor Lisa; and my cousins Renee and Rhonda. Gramma lined us up on the wall by the tower. Even back then I was afraid of heights, so I wasn't too thrilled with the idea. I would have preferred to sit next to Grampa Williams, and I think he would have preferred to have been standing on the wall. (He always did try to get into trouble.) Before the picture was taken, we had been running around the tower and teasing Grampa Williams that he couldn't catch us.

This picture, by the way, is typical of the pictures taken at that time. Apparently the family photographers back then (and it wasn't just Gramma) had difficulty centering the viewfinder. Almost all of the pictures have the people either off to the side, or show just decapitated heads down at the very bottom of the photo. I'm grateful for my digital camera, which allows me to keep trying until I get it right!