Friday, April 28, 2006

First Friday

It is 'late by my standards' for a Friday morning, and yet all of the rest of my family is still in bed. So I get to blog in peace, and wonder how people can stay in bed so long when the weather is gorgous!

I tried to call my son twice yesterday to see if he was driving down. I had my phone off in the evening when he returned the call. He has an old Honda, so I am concerned about his making the trip. I got a garbled message from him when I checked my voice mail before bedtime. He said something about being on his way and probably spending the night in a motel. This is so like him, getting a late start and then wasting what little money he has in a motel! So, now it looks like we will see him sometime this morning, but I don't know when. Waiting for another call so I can give the gate guard his license number to let him into the HT (Hoity-Toity) compound.

My son-in-law is flying out of here today to go to a business meeting in Denver, so the condo will not be anymore crowded. My daughter and Xman are flying out on Monday and we are staying through until next Friday. I don't know how long my son is staying during this week.

We spent Tuesday morning on a bike ride to Pinkney Island which is a bird preserve. It is a large island and really only accessible by bike, although the very first time we were here my husband and I spent an entire day trying to walk it and were able to cover only part. There are a number of man-made lakes and other bird habitat, so you are able to get closer to all of those exotic water birds. I took a ton of pictures that last time I was here, but with an older camera. I still need a telephoto to get the best shots.

It was Xman's first real bike trip and other than falling asleep on the way in and the way out and getting shaken like a milkshake on the rocky roads, he seemed to enjoy himself. On the way back to the car he was getting tired of riding and started to cry. Because of the bouncing his voice was wavering and he couldn't decide whether he wanted to cry or just making his voice do funny sounds.

He is genetically predisposed to hate the out-of-doors. The expression on his face when we first introduced him to grass at Easter for an egg hunt was priceless. He actually shuddered! Then when we introduced him to sand and finally ocean waves on this trip, he again had strong misgivings. But, as of yesterday, all of this is now behind him and he actually walks into the gentle waves, even though the water is a little cold still.

If I forgot to mention he is walking and almost running. He is into everyting and as a result my husband has had to scale down his great outdoors adventures. I think he is looking forward to Xman's departure just a little so that he can do the canoeing and fishing he wants with his son or I. I am looking forward to less 'catch me if you can' and 'oopsie, don't cry' times.

Well, hubby is up and others should finally be dragging themselves out of bed. Off to my second cup of coffee and to reading all of your blogs.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nursery Rhymes and Sand

Well, I have Internet access as long as my daughter's laptop is here---until Monday. The condo has wireless. What luxury! My laptop is totally USB and there is no such thing here. (They actually have two PCs in a room at the workout area for those folks who absolutely must check out the stock market in between workouts and massages, or in between a sauna and a pedicure.) I don't really fit here, because I am a little too Puritanical with my money and a little too close to a fixed income.

We are at Hilton Head which is hoitey toitey, yes, but also relaxing and fun. Almost everyone vacationing here is a set of grandparents with children and pre-schoolers of the children. The scenes are disgustingly like the postcards and condo ads.

We have been spending much of our time at the beach and at the pool teaching Xman about sand-walking, seagull chasing, and blowing bubbles in the kiddie pool. I have been taking lots of family pictures just like every boring grandparent that you meet.

We drove to Savannah for my daughter's birthday dinner last night and spent a LOT of money, but I was trying to reward her for being such a good mother. It took almost an hour to get there and she seemed to have had a wonderful time. We did a little walking around the waterfront and the town squares with the big trees and historic statues. It is very Southern and slow and gentile. Think "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" with fewer exotic characters.

Hubby and daughter and son-in-law have headed for the driving range this morning before an afternoon storm and I am baby-sitting watching my Xman learn about sliding doors, reading a book to himself and playing a music machine. He is very good at entertaining himself when his tummy is full.

We are going shopping this afternoon, which is definitely not a hubby thing, but definitely a daughter/husband thing. Thus far it has been a good and not too stressful vacation...not like those where everyone is trying to please everyone else and in general having a miserable time!

It is hard for me to believe that sometime in the future I will have free time like this for as far out as the eye can see. I have lots of things that I want to do, but it still a little intimidating. It is almost as if I MUST enjoy myself in retirement and that is a big order. I think subconsciously I may thing I will fail---if one can fail at retirement?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Packing in the Rain

I don't know why it is, but when we go somewhere by car, I go crazy with the packing. I will even have a washer dryer at the place, but still packed too many clothes. The trouble is partially due to the fact that I need beach wear, general resort wear, canoe clothes, and evening a city dress or two--and all the shoes for each activity including shoes for muddy canoing.

Then it is my daughters birthday while we are down there, so I am packing some stuff to celebrate that. We also plan on biking and are trying to take 4 bikes, and my husband and son-in-law need to pack tennis and golf gear and my husband has his canoe and fishing gear!!

We must also have food and drinks in the car as we will be driving almost the whole day.

Later this morning the others get to add the baby gear which is an apartment of stuff in itself.

We packed board games and rain gear and...oh well crammin' the stuff in.

All I can say it we better darn well have fun! (And all I really wanted to do was sleep and read.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Saturday in the Jungle

Virgninia Bluebells Egg

Saturday morning early in the city
Is a jungle concert of bird song,
Demanding and rhythmic
High and energetic and persistent.

The sun takes its place
at the edge of the world.
Birdsongs begin to dwindle
Replaced by the regular roar
of the lion buses
and the hissing of the hyena cars
in the street below.

Finally the footsteps of man with dog,
The muddy voices below,
A tea kettle whistle from an open window.
I'm up, alright, already!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

  1. Colleen has a little thing going called "13 Thursday." I am such an independent cuss that I cannot be confined to such a strict format. Besides, I don't think my brain holds 13 things at one time, nor would I be willing to do this every Thursday! But today I have a bunch of random thoughts and thought that they would make a good Thursday post.
  2. I changed to a spring purse today and realize everytime I do this, I am carrying more stuff than I need...maybe. It is 'old lady' stuff and would never fit into a model's pencil slim purse. I need a compact magnifying tool for reading menus under candle light, a small container of Aleve (which I have yet to use) just in case I get pain during the movie or whatever after sitting for so long, a compact umbrella, four sets of keys (my car(s), my apartment, my daughters apartment, my office,) plus a key ring with all those stupid barcode cards that you scan when you shop at a particular store. Then all the other stuff like wallet, checkbook, just enough make-up, brush, tissue, a container for all credit cards, business cards, train cards, breath mints. OK ENOUGH about the contents of a lady's purse.
  3. I got these in the mail yesterday and didn't have time to look at them until tonight. Hedwig has her bird books and I have my house books. I will start on them when I am finished with this blog and I am so excited I may not pour a glass of wine first. (Who do I think I am kidding?)

  4. Ronnie received a lot of birthday wishes and one contained a funny video (staged or real--hard to tell) about a little old lady with a cane trying to cross at an intersection while a sportscar driver at the stopsign keeps honking to get her to move faster. Finally in anger and frustation, she hits the front fender of the car with her large bag and she continues to slowly cross; the drivers air bag goes off sending white powder into the air with a surprised driver watching her continue to cross the street at her pace. (Some of you have probably seen this humorous video.) BUT have you heard this news which I saw on our network news last night?! This is no longer funny for those of us who know that aging bodies DO belie what we think we can do! To say nothing of the importance of SLOWING DOWN WORLD.
  5. Why does the builder's brother always call my husband before he calls me? A little intimidated by an intelligent woman with a mind of her own, perhaps? Or is my husband more easygoing and willing to cave when difficult decisions have to be made?
  6. My son seems to have gotten back together with his old and primary girlfriend. This is a big deal to his parents if not much significance to bloggers everywhere. She came to Xman's birthday and I tried to be as casual as I could when talking to her.
  7. Looking forward to our vacation at the beach the end of April and first week of May. This is a vacation with our kids who will overlap somewhat but not be there at the same time. This is the first time we have done something like this...hope it works.
  8. I wonder how many folks were "taken aback" by the reptile photos in the previous post? Peruby let me know she had misgivings. While I do not love snakes I am fascinated by them, as I am by all living things.
SEE I made it to eight...more than half way there. Does this mean I have half the brain of the 13 Thursday bloggers?

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Showing Off or Sharing With

    My sister's visit was all too brief. She stayed with friends in Virginia (near 'Scooter' L's house) so you know it was in a nicer neighborhood than our apartment could provide. But, she did spend two whole days with us and we had fun catching up and gossiping. We drove down to the house and saw the finished retaining walls. I think they look a little scary and I am totally amazed that the county does not require a fence on that last wall. I am planning on planting a lot of ornamental grass for soft landings everywhere. I also think a gate might be needed.

    Of course, we had to look at the baby oysters and determine how they were doing. This is our second crop and should be harvestable this winter. Wind was blowing like crazy and pretty cold.

    We then took her on a two mile hike into a nearby beach. Wind wasn't blowing behind the dunes and the weather was a perfect spring day for this long walk. We interrupted reptiles trying to thaw in the sun and actually they totally ignored us.

    I should save the photo of the swamp below for another blog post as it certainly lends itself to some type of comment on life, but I wanted to share it now. It kind of makes me dizzy just looking at it.

    Sunday, April 09, 2006

    Blowin' and wearin' and eatin'

    First we blow out the candles and then we wear the cake! This is fun!

    Saturday, April 08, 2006

    Someone(s) Else's Birthday

    There were lots of birthdays last week it seems including Peruby's daughter. My grandson ALSO turned one on the fifth of April! I am going to a party for him this afternoon. There will be three other little ones there along with parents and grandparents. I can't remember if I commented on this. (I HATE this forgetfulness that took the place of wherever I lost those hormones.) Anyway, my daughter is decorating, bought four little baseball costumes, is making baseball cupcakes...the whole nine yards. I am certain she spent well over $200 for this event. But I also went a little crazy with the gifts when I got into the baby store, so I cannot point the finger. I keep telling myself I am going to be a responsible grandmother, and then I see this cute outfit or that mind-expanding toy and end up with an armful of stuff.

    Hubby is flying in from Korea at 1:00 and should be in unusual form for the event. I just have to keep him awake until I get him back here at the apartment after the cake and frosting distribution. My baby sister (my last remaining sister) flew in yesterday to see some friends and we are getting together tomorrow for a trip to the new house site and some bonding time and then we are going to an art museum on Monday. I am really enjoying this type of weekend!! Weather is supposed to be amenable to the whole thing.

    I apologize because I was going to write some thoughtful stuff about any number of subjects and not just my diary of events for the next few days, but I need more coffee now and maybe the next blog more insightful stuff, or may not, maybe just more drivel...

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Wine and Digital Photography--Who Knew?

    I apologize as I realize at least some part of the million blogging folks cannot contain their digital addiction leading to total digital abandon and posting of lots of spring pictures. The Blogdom will be flooded this spring. But these images are for those of you who for one reason or another cannot get out into the parks and forests at this time of year. Click on the photos for a larger view---they are beware!

    More Art photography:

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Mulling the Milestone

    Highlights of the retirement party:
    60 people and dozens of others on travel or elsewhere that came by earlier in the day to say they were sorry they couldn't attend.
    Reasonably good food considering it was a government party and catered by a friend of the staff.
    Lots of speeches including about 12 spontaneous ones--1 1/2 hours worth.
    Demographics of the people giving the spontaneous accolades -- Secretaries, Contract personnel, Executive Service types, Industry, Latinos, Blacks, Asians and Whites.
    A poem from a former boss.
    A letter from a U.S. Senator.
    All resulting in a standing ovation, one proud son and a Husband who for the first time in his entire life was speechless. He could only say about 30 words!
    I didn't realize I was married to such a great guy. I mean I knew he was lovable and all....
    Now he is retired and this evening on a plane to Korea for a week to do some work with the government there. So much for retirement.