Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FL/AL in review

Most of these pics either T or I took. A couple of them my dad took and a few of them my SIL took. We had so many pics and they were all mixed up so I tried to put them in chronological order but it was really hard. Like I said before, the trip was great, the weather was great, the company was great. J had a whole bunch of "lost in translation" moments. I can only think of a few of them, of course. Oh, E had a couple too. Our favorite is when we were crossing a long series of bridges before we got to Mobile and she said, "Wait. I don't get it. Are we crossing a river the long way?" Cracked us all up. But on to J's. He kept referring to the river as the lake. He told us of some people two sites down from us who were making a ramp and that all they had left to do was "de handle bars". He meant the handrails. We always stop at Cracker Barrel and get a book on CD to listen to while we travel. He was asking if we were going to stop at "de wheel barrow." It took me a while to figure out what he meant. He also kept calling the seagulls, eagles. He had a couple of firsts when we met T's cousin for dinner at Olive Garden. He had calamari (which he liked-I still haven't found a meat he wouldn't eat) and a virgin strawberry daiquiri. Even though we were with a cousin, we decided that J could call him uncle. But he could never remember his name so he always called him "uncle...what's his name?" Here is J with uncle what's his name.
We started off in Mobile, AL with T's sister. We were able to park and set up our camper right at their place. It was so good to see them and visit with them. Her boys are great and the youngest was especially good with J. We went to the battleship park with them. This submarine was used in "Down Periscope" which is one of our favorite movies.

The USS Alabama. Apparently this ship was used in a movie too. A Steven Seagal movie "Under Siege."

Look at those guns. I was pretending to cover my ears.

T and I, J, E, A and N on the deck of the ship.

Has she spotted an enemy or is it "Land ho!"?

If it's enemies, J will take them out. That is, once he learns how to use the guns.

T's sister and nephew, D, from up on the upper platform.

N trying to sight in the guns.

D found something else picture worthy. Oh, random side bit. We were walking down the gangway and A and E came up on someone snapping a pic. They started to step away so the strangers could get their pic and they asked A and E to join their pic. Had their arms around the girls' shoulders just like they knew them. When they finished the pic I said with a smile to one of the guys, "Get your hand off my daughter." He turned around and smiled at me. It was one of those times where you say something jokingly but mean every word.

These two awesome pics were snapped by T's sister, M. I love them.

The cousins (and a friend) waiting for seagulls (or is it eagles?) to swoop down and snatch food out of their hands.

In the afternoon we went back and got M's hubby and went to a gator farm. Apparently the gators are just coming out of a dormant stage where they don't eat. A few of them were eating. And they were eating marshmallows. Who knew gators like marshmallows? J was the best at lobbing them over the fence to the gators.

This one is 55 years old. I had no idea their tails were so wide and long.

Nutty folks that we are, we discovered our shadows on the water and just had to pose and take pics.

And the kids who wanted to got to hold baby gators. A was first. The guide had just done something and made the baby gator turn it's head and surprised A. Oh, notice her sunburn. Dweeb.

Then it was D's turn.

And E's. The guide would tap the gator on it's nose and it would open it's mouth.

Then N's turn. J didn't want to hold it but he did touch it.

This is a 150yo gator snapping turtle. I wouldn't want to meet this thing in the water.

They had a couple of pet nutrias. Basically swamp rats. They gave me the creeps but I snapped this pic of one that I think is hysterical. Look at that face. Look at those teeth. The splayed toes and wild hair-do just cracks me up.

Monday was spent travelling to FL. Tuesday we went to the beach and had a nice time. I don't have any pics of that though. That was also the day we saw uncle what's his name. On Wed. we went to the river and paddled/pulled up river a ways to a spot where we dug for fossils. We found fossilized bones, wood and shark teeth. For some reason the girls had a mud fight. J thought about joining in but decided he wasn't up for the challenge. They plastered each other with mud and then complained about the smell.

I think J decided it was much safer just cheering them on.

Thursday we did a little shopping, went out for lunch and hung out at the pool. On Friday we went to the Lipizzan training barn. What a beautiful breed of horses. Do a google search on them.

They have very deep jawbones.

They did a "practice show" which is open to the public during training season. They tour in the summer.

They do a lot of dressage type moves and it's beautiful to watch.

They are most well known for their "airs above the ground" moves where they stand on their hind legs and jump or they kick out with their hind legs before the front hit the ground again. It's really quite awesome.

After that, T's uncle took us to "One of the top 5 weirdest restaurants in America".

We sat on the porch overlooking the water.

J ordered "al-lee-ga-tow and fwench fwies". Again, still haven't found a meat he wouldn't eat. And A ordered a burger. It was a big, fluffy burger. Everyone watched to see if she was going to get her mouth around it. No prob.

And this is part of what made it weird. There were stuffed animals all over. When E walked in and saw it she thought she might lose her appetite.

On Saturday we headed for Mrs. H's house and had a nice little visit with her. Got to see her daughter and two of her grand kids too. And Sunday we headed home. It was rainy but I had to snap this pic of the redbud trees. So pretty.

And then home where our animals were very glad to see us. Judging by the Misty fur in this chair, I'm guessing that's where she spent most of her time.

It's good to go but it's good to get back home.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home again, home again. Jiggety jog.

We are home again. Safely! Big Daddy worked just fine hauling the camper and us. I'm sure every gas station along our route was very happy when we stopped. And we stopped a lot! Dexter is home and doing well. He wanted to go outside not long after he got home. Good sign. He wanted a "sink drink" (drink of water from the bathroom sink) this morning and he actually purred. Another good sign. Misty's love tank was empty and she has been very vocal and very lovey. I am full of cat hair. Dogs, horses and house were all fine. I think everyone is glad we are home. I promise I'll post pics when I can. I did a mountain of laundry yesterday, plus putting things away. Today I work and tomorrow I have an MRI in Nashville. I need to get all the pics together too. In my spare time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


So far we are having a great time on our trip. Dexter is being well cared for by JT's mom. She says he's doing well she just wishes he'd eat more.

Had a nice visit with T's sister in AL. We toured the battleship and went to a gator farm.

We are in FL at a retirement resort (my parents and T's aunt and uncle are here). J is being catered to by all the people and is loving it. They let him climb the trees and pick oranges and someone gave him brownies yesterday.

All of us are sunburned somewhere, except for J. He's trying to figure out the whole sunburned thing. He says we all "roasted like chickens." I have an interesting sunburn line on my left hand. From the wrist brace.

I think the girls are having a nice time. We've gotten to add a few things to our life experience lists. The girls held baby alligators and we fed marshmallows to big ones. Toured a battleship and a submarine. Hunted for fossils in a river. J had his first virgin strawberry daiquiri.

I'll post pics when I can.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Dexter seems to doing a little better today. He's eating and wanting to get down and run around at the vet's office. Since the lab failed to pick up his bloodwork we still don't know for sure what's going on with him but based on his behavior the vet feels like it's the flea-borne disease. If I knew the name I'd type it but I don't know it. Hemobartinello something or other. I have no idea how to spell it. The plan is for him to be on antibiotics (doxycycline-it did me wonders-check my fibromyalgia labeled posts) for 4 weeks. He will stay with JT's mom while we are gone. That's the change, subject to plan.

J has a cold but it doesn't seem too bad thankfully. T either has a cold or allergy sinus drainage. Fun ways to start our trip but nothing we can't handle. I'm just praying this is a very good relaxing and bonding time for all of us and that there are no issues with the vehicles, camper or health. Au revior!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rough day

It's been a rough day. Heck, it's been a rough week. Dexter is back in the vet hospital. He either has a flea borne illness that's affecting his liver or he has end stage liver disease. He's 13 1/2 years old but was otherwise healthy. We should know something in the morning. We are supposed to leave on Sat. for our trip. Sigh...

I did get an MRI and a follow-up visit scheduled for my wrist. Yay!

A got the job she interviewed for the other day. She starts after our trip. Yay!

My neck/shoulder is really tight and sore. Stress?!? But the chiro said he'd re-check it in the morning free of charge if it's not better. How-way-you-ya!

Please pray for our Dexter. I can deal with it if it's the end for him but I don't want him to suffer. If it's the flea borne illness we are praying for a quick recovery. JT's mom has offered to keep him for us while we're gone. But it comes at an already stressful time of getting ready for a trip. We've never pulled the camper with this vehicle before and are praying for the best. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hmmm. Bullet points

~Four of us have been to the doctor in the last week. T is holding out and hoping for the best.

~I had my wrist cyst steroid injection one week ago today. It got worse instead of better. I have called the doc back and left a message.

~A went to the dermatologist on Wed. Not much improvement and another little issue besides.

~J went on Friday for a little check-up and another concern. All's well with him as far as we know.

~Dexter went to the vet this morning. He is old, is running a fever and his bilirubin levels were elevated. He is being switched to senior diet and got an antibiotic injection that lasts for 10 days. How-way-you-ya! We don't have to give him pills for the next ten days.

~A hasn't heard from her job interview yet. They said they would call yesterday and never did. She is calling them today.

~I am doing a mountain of laundry today and getting things ready for our trip.

~Mice invaded the camper while it was winterized and wreaked all kinds of havoc in it. They even chewed the microwave cord. Thankfully T can fix all that stuff. And once he removed the mouse condo from the dishes cabinet, I got everything cleaned and disinfected. I hate mice. Rodents of any kind, really.

~Must get back to work.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I saw a shadow! It's been so long since the sun's been out here that I couldn't figure out what it was when I saw it.

The other day when J got in the car he saw my Lindor truffles and said, "Oooh. Meatballs!" He is always thinking about meat. I told him to leave my chocolate alone if he'd rather have meatballs.

A got a little freaked about money the other day. She's 18, a senior in high school, drives her parent's car and uses a cell phone that her parents pay for and she's worried about money? We helped her make a game plan for applying for jobs and helped her put together a resume. She had a job interview yesterday afternoon. She felt good about it. We shall see.

Praying for the people of Japan and those in the path of the tsunami.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lost in translation

I haven't done a lost in translation post in a while. J is full of things that are lost in translation, I just can't always remember them. The other night T was listening to ring tones for his i-phone and J heard one and said, "Ew. Dat would get some one's nerve on." I said, "I think you mean it would get on some one's nerves."

He was sitting on my lap the other evening and I showed him some chewed up chocolate cookie in my mouth, because I'm mature like that, and he said, "Eww! Mommy!! You are supposed to tell us not to do dat ting!" Oops, my bad.

He cracked me up yesterday evening trying to study for a social study quiz. It was about Attila the Hun and Eastern Goths and Gothic literature. J wouldn't say that the Great Wall of China was to keep out the Huns, he kept referring to them as "de attackers." He never used the words "attack and plunder". He kept saying that, "Dey beat dem up and take deir stuff." He couldn't say Attila but kept referring to him as "Alleluia de Hun." Eventually he started calling him "Atilda". The Eastern Goths became the "Easter Guts." (most of that was pronunciation). Gothic literature is known, according to J, as being "dark and glowing". It was supposed to be "gloomy." Gloomy-glowing. So close. But one thing he knows for sure is that "Alleluia" or "Atilda" the Hun died of a nosebleed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Volar ganglion cyst

That's what I have. I volar ganglion cyst on my left wrist. I currently hate it. I got a steroid injection in it this morning which has a 50% chance of shrinking it. If it doesn't help or the help doesn't last then its an mri to see how deep it is and surgery to remove it. My guess is that we're delaying the inevitable but maybe it will get me through spring break. We shall see.

J had his science fair experiment project today with his moldy cheese. Should be interesting to see how he does. He was excited and a little nervous.

R and JT joined the Bible study A goes to on Monday nights via skype last night. How cool is that? And everyone got to see the ferrets. I guess that's a big deal. Who cares about R and JT, they all got to see the ferrets. Ha!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's raining again

Sigh...we have had a lot of rain lately. Thankfully it held off long enough last night for J to get his first baseball practice in. He did well and I liked the coach. J was the second fastest runner, rounding the bases in 15.8 seconds. The fastest kid did it in 15.4 or 15.6, we can't remember which. J has super long strides.

A is filling out college scholarship stuff this afternoon. Fun times. She has poison ivy on her arm. A and T are very allergic to it. R and I have never had a reaction. I don't know if J has ever had a reaction or not. Time will tell. Where we live, it's inevitable.

For some reason I'm really tired today. Maybe it's the rain.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Read this

Take a moment today to read Tara's post titled "Sundays" on the Livesays' blog. I've been there, done that. It's real and it helps put things into perspective. or click on the link under "other blogs I read".

Thursday, March 3, 2011


581. That's the number of this post. I couldn't think of anything else to call it.

The NCS/EMG went fine. Left me a little sore but there doesn't seem to be any carpal tunnel issues. He checked something further up in my arm but didn't comment on that. I go back on Tuesday and maybe I can get this cyst removed. We shall see.

The doc who did the test has a daughter from China. How cool is that?

Must go make red beans and rice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I am scheduled for a nerve conduction test on my wrist in the morning. I've had some on my leg but never my wrist. Happy, happy. Joy, joy.

We watched American Idol tonight. J "mrowed" like a cat at one contestant (T does this to me so he comes by it honestly) and "ooh la la'ed" at another one. Yes, the girls were singing tonight and he is a 13yo boy. Sigh...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CO pix

We had an awesome time in CO. I'll just go back through day by day and give the highlights. Let's see. Before we even left our flight got cancelled and we were re-routed through Chicago. I was trying to avoid Chicago but that's where we ended up. It wasn't too bad though. It was snowing when we got there. We were afraid we might get kicked off the plane, or at least separated, because we were laughing so much through the safety spiel. "If you come to an exit sign, you have come to an exit."

R picked us up and we went to her house for lunch and met the cats and ferrets. I'll have to get some pix or vids of the ferrets uploaded. Then we went to the riding stable that she volunteers at for special needs kids. She is a "side-walker" or horse leader, depending on what they need. JT volunteers occasionally too.

Thursday we went to the base and had some "name tapes" made for ourselves/our children. I got J a real army hat and his own name tape made for it. He loves it. G got one for one of her boys and K doesn't have kids so she got her own name to go on some army stuff that someone gave her. I think she got a hat too.

On our way there we were quite taken with the prairie dogs that live on the side of the road. I was snapping pics like crazy and had no idea what I might get. R doesn't slow down for anything! Can you see them? The little mounds are their homes. They are close to the fence. They are so cute when they poke their heads up and look around.

That afternoon we went to Garden of the Gods. It was a place where native americans came to worship, thus the name. The rock formations are awesome, like God just squeezed stuff up between His hands.
Yup, R was with us.

"The Ladies," though R didn't think we were always ladylike. Ha!

It was starting to get cloudy.

This pic reminds me of our own Smoky Mountains but the Smokies are less than half as tall as Pikes Peak.

Pics don't show the magnitude of the formations. This is leaning back and looking up. Birds live in the holes. If you look closely you can see the evidence of that.

This formation is called "Kissing Camels".

Closer up to the camels.

More formations at Garden of the Gods.

I love how the clouds are settled into the mountains here. You can see the mountains just above and behind the clouds.

Friday morning we headed to Manitou Springs to take the Cog Railway up Pikes Peak. We could only go 6 of the 9 miles because of the snow, which is what we did last year. It was snowing and the town looked like a Swiss Alps town. The trees were flocked with snow and it was beautiful.

It was on every detail.

We eventually got above the clouds and it was bright and sunny. The push pin looking thing is on the window of the train. It's not part of the scenery.

We got above the tree line, too. (That's someone's hat in the bottom of the pic. These were all taken from the train, through glass.)

We did stop and get out part of the way back down.

Same spot, looking up the tracks.

After the train we walked around and shopped in Manitou. R and I made the other two try the spring water. I was a good sport and drank some with them. I think they both gagged on it but you just can't go there and not try it. It's bizarre.
On Saturday we went into Denver to meet my nephew and his wife for lunch. They had been skiing and wanted to see R and JT before they flew home. JT was on call so he couldn't come but we met them and went to lunch. Then we did some shopping at Old Colorado City. A lot of the shops were closing so next time (ha!) we want to spend more time there.
We flew home on Sunday after being thoroughly checked in security. My jelly was confiscated along with K's hair spray. G got through just fine. We must have been quite entertaining to those on the planes with us. People kept sneaking looks and smiling and laughing. Maybe they thought we were famous or something. I'm sure it had nothing to do with our laughter and comments. K got extra cookies and a nickname of "Miss Pink" from one of the flight attendants. Ladies, king me!!! Discharge!!! And the rest of what happened in CO, stays in CO.
It was cold when we left CO and warm in TN. Yesterday we had some severe storms, tornado warnings and LOTS of rain. This is behind the store where I work. That's the river on the rise.

We have ducks and geese back there and they were happy as could be. They had their heads under water most of the time.

And that's all for now.