Trip Update

Spring beauty from Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.
Spring beauty from Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

My road trip is going well.

I had a wonderful weekend visiting my daughter and her boyfriend – I even learned a new board game called Dominion.  My daughter beat me and her super smart sweetie.  I think she would have enjoyed beating us more if she’d realized she was doing so well.  He knew she’d won, but she had to count it out before she believed it.  She’s a good player of board games, but the game has some complexities and she was so focused on playing the cards in the right order that she didn’t see how many points she was accumulating.

Saturday night we went to the Shakespeare Tavern in downtown Atlanta to see Hamlet. It was a long evening, but seeing Hamlet made it much more alive than reading it in a book ever did. For a synopsis of the story, click here.

Stage before the play began.
Stage before the play began.

It was opening night and the energy was high.  I don’t know how the actors will do this night after night with the same passion, but I sure enjoyed it.  We haven’t done this before and it was nice getting out to do something different.  The actor playing Hamlet had so much emotion – although they all did.  I wasn’t too impressed with the actress who played Ophelia until Ophelia went insane.  The actress was superb – wow!  What a switch from a sweet young thing to a woman out of her mind with grief.

Copy of the playbill
Copy of the playbill

Sorry about the pictures.  I used my cell phone and don’t have any photo processing software on my work laptop.  But I love sharing my days with everyone and even though it’s not up to my usual quality, the purpose here is to share fun and laughter.

I had good meetings at our manufacturing facility today.  There was wonderful hospitality from the catered lunch (Southern fried chicken) to the tour and the bottle of water on the way out.  I learned a lot and I also gave out information about what I did and how I did it.

So Tuesday brings meetings with legislators and the lieutenant governor, Wednesday is a seminar and meetings with attorneys.  It’s been a lot of driving (pretty and very uneventful).  So I hope you understand if I haven’t been leaving comments on your blogs.  I’m reading them as I have time, but there hasn’t been much of it.

Have a good week!


Hanging Onto Joy Is Hard Sometimes

Last week’s six word Friday used the word, “over”.  For me lately, it’s:

Joy is overshadowed by sloppy workmanship.

My favorite boy toy and myself have been getting things done the last few months that are needing to be done.  Each step of the way, it’s been a fight.  Things that should be really nice have to be done and redone.  We have to watch carefully the work, inspect the end results, call to complain, and call to get the follow-up / correction completed.

For example:

  • We replaced all the windows and a door in our house.  It’s great – we’re much tighter against the elements and noise.  But one window is scratched, several were installed incorrectly, and we’ve had to be hyper-vigilant to pick up pieces of metal that can cut dog paws.
  • I finally could afford to upgrade my Honda Civic for a Honda CRV.  I’m so happy to be back in a bigger car, although I remain thankful to God that when I had to replace my ten-year-old car several years ago, I could afford to buy a new Civic and not something used.  But the new CRV had to replace it’s front windshield the first week due to damage.  It’s leaking something underneath it that the service guy can’t find, and the windshield wiper blades had to be replaced due to damage from the windshield.
  • My brand new computer glasses had a flaw and are now being redone.  It looked like a smear right in the middle of the lens.
  • I came home from a quick run to Target, only to discover that the kid who checked me out failed to give me everything I paid for.  When I called, the manager found it at the register, but I still had to make a trip back to get it.

It’s been discouraging.  We have spent hours working on these things and they just don’t get done.  There’s so much we want and need to get done, but we can’t while we’re still trying to finish off what is already in progress.  I’m glad my boy toy is here during the day – I’d be spending a lot of my vacation time to do all of this.  I also doubt I would have caught a lot of what my husband did, simply because I wouldn’t have known better.

So, sorry for the rant.  I’m sure all of you have similar stories.  I think a lot of it is a sign of the times, although it seems much worse this year than it did several years ago.

Here’s some more photos from Charleston, South Carolina last fall.  They don’t have fall colors much – it was quite green still (being further south).  Enjoy!

January Colors (A Walk in January 2013)

If you were able to sit inside my brain this morning, you’d have heard a conversation that went something like this:

Oh wow, it’s supposed to be 50 degrees today!  Let’s take a walk at the botanical gardens and get some pictures!

Nah, I don’t wanna go.

What do you mean you don’t want to go?  The sun is out, the sky is a pretty color, and it’s going to be warm!

Nah.  I’d rather stay home and put the piles away.

Okay, you worked all day yesterday on piles and getting the laundry done.  How about some fresh air today.

I don’t feel like it.  Don’t care.

You’re going.  Get some fresh air.  You don’t have to take pictures but AT LEAST TAKE A WALK.  Now go!

A bribe of pancakes at Cracker Barrel helped.  And it did get warm – I was at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for only about 30 minutes when I traded my winter coat for a lighter coat.

Our weather has been all over lately.  Friday was so cold out that I skipped my lunch walk and worked out in the gym instead.  Several brave co-workers went out anyhow, two of whom came back in with major asthma attacks due to the cold.  Today though, was warm.  Even the breeze was warm and it just felt good to get out (once of course, I actually got there and started walking).

There were reds.

And yellows.

Pinks and purples, complete with bees.

Lots of greenery.

And of course, blues.

As I walked, I could hear the dry leaves rustling.  The birds were out, bathing in the dirt and pecking for food.  The squirrels were out too, moving quickly as they leapt from tree to tree, flicking their tails as they rushed to get to the back side where I couldn’t see them.

At one point, I stopped to look around and see what else my camera wanted to do.  The breeze started up again, tinkling the windchimes that were directly over my head.  It was soft and melodious and I found it soothing.  It was a perfect accompaniment to the water I could hear running over the rocks in the nearby stream.

I took a deep breathe, closed my eyes and simply enjoyed being there.  The sun was warm on my back and it was easy to for get that it was early January.  The cold and snow will come soon enough, but for today it was simply a nice day to be outside, relaxing, and having  good time.

After coming home, I channeled my inner beagle and took a long nap.  He loves doing that after an extended period outside and you know, it sure is a fun way to finish off the afternoon.

* * *

Over at A Daily Life is a new post on various prompts to help jump start your blog and / or come up with ideas on those days when the muse has left the building.

While The Women Shopped

The four of us went out the day after Christmas to return a few things and use some gift certificates.  My daughter stopped at an Ulta Salon to look for a perfume.  Do ya’ think her Dad and boyfriend were bored out of their minds?

I don’t know if they were laughing at us or laughing at each other for spraying the strips and trying out the men’s cologne.  I think they found it a bit. . . shall we say, girly.

20121226i-1 Blog

Over at A Daily Life is a new post about some ideas for reviewing your year to encourage yourself for the New Year.  I’ve been doing this for quite a few years and found it a satisfying way to identify my accomplishments, see my growth, and set goals for the next year.

Fall Spider Webs

My favorite boy toy found this for me in our front yard.  It was huge!

What was interesting was that the bottom point of the web was held down by a piece of mulch from underneath it that just dangled from the silk.

The spider in it was huge too.  I didn’t get a picture of it all spread out – it moved fast!  Its eyesight was better than the dogs.  This is from early the next morning where I think it got too cold and couldn’t get back up into the tree where it was living.

Thanks goes to Chris at The Dragonfly Woman who helped me identify this as a Neoscona.  Here’s a link if you want to see examples of how it looks stretched out.  The spider in my photograph stretched out to about 3″ from tip to tip.  The body was probably the size of a quarter.

I didn’t see it again after this.  There has been a nest of mockingbirds in that tree and I suspect one of the birds got it.

Here’s another spider web, taken last year in the front yard.  I never saw the spider that made it, but it sure was pristine when I lightly sprayed it with some water.

I love ’em!

I Spy With My Eye – Crepe Myrtles in Bloom

Remember playing that game during the endless driving of family vacations?

As I drove down to Atlanta to see my daughter, I eagerly looked for the summer flowers along the side of the road, similar to what I noted a year ago last July.  Surprisingly, all I saw were some small clumps of blue chicory.

But there were crepe myrtles in bloom everywhere, from North Carolina to South Carolina to Georgia.  Rows of them were along the roadsides, in the rest areas where I pulled off, and of course, by my daughter’s house.

Here’s a row of them from last year.  It was the closest I could come in showing you what I saw as I drove.  And yes, it felt like an endless drive.  I got hung up waiting for an accident to clear and my drive time increased nearly 2 hours.  She waited for me for supper, but we went to bed shortly after.

Today was spent juicing apples from her two trees.  We’ve juiced a wagon full of apples so far – a child’s small red wagon with sides on it – and there’s more to do.  It was nice visiting with her as we worked and then going out for supper afterwards.

Enjoy your weekend!

Taken in the park where I walk when I visit my daughter. This is from last August. By the time we got done juicing today, I was not going for a walk!

Happy Thursday!

Are you ready your Thursday smile?  Here’s what happens when a little girl gets bored and decides to find her own fun in the yard over twenty years ago.

Ready? Set?
Go! Go! Go!

Made ya’ smile!  And you thought it would be another dog picture, didn’t you?  Now go on your way, laughing loudly.

Interested in some software designed for writers?  Check this review over at A Daily Life.  In another recent post I wrote about why I like using prompts with some cautions about using them as a help and not a hindrance.

Moderating My Comments

Wondering why you’re having to approve my comments?  I changed my E-mail address today.  As a result, my comments are going into moderation even though I’ve left them (and been approved) previously on your blogs.  Thankfully they only have to be approved once unless your settings require you to approve every comment.

Remember to check your spam folders.  As far as I know, nothing has gone in there, but it does sometimes happen.

If you’re unsure how to adjust your settings for comments, I wrote about that over at A Daily Life.