31 December 2009

Reflections from 2009

It is hard to believe that this is it. Today is the last day of the year. Where does the time go? (To quote John Donne from "Song": Tell me where all past years are.)

Overall, it has been a very good year. Much less drama that 2008, and for that, I am grateful. ;) John and I spent as much time as possible at the lake. We still don't have our mansion (hahaha) but we love our little trailer. We may never have the cabin we want up there, but we'll take what we have. I would like to have something so that we can actually go and spend time during the winter months, though. The trailer just isn't equipped to be comfortable when it's 32 degrees outside. (We do have heat and indoor plumbing. hahaha)

Phillip, Katy, and Sam are still in Birmingham. Sam has gone from a baby to a little boy! He is running everywhere, and he is such a little ham. He sure knows how to work that charm. Phillip's team lost only two games in the regular season, and they went pretty far in the playoffs. He was excited for them, but both he and Katy were glad when the season was over so he could be a husband and daddy again. Being a coach can be tough on families. Katy is a wonderful mommy, but from August to whenever the season ends, she gets to do it all on her own, and that can be hard! They still have their sweet pups, Sadie and Lola. Lola just had surgery to remove stones from her bladder, but the patient is doing well. :)

Jessi and Lance are living in LaFayette, but they are looking for something in Auburn. The drive from LaFayette to Montgomery is getting to her, so they'd like something that would cut her drive in half. :) They added Chipper to their family. He is a white lab, and he is SO sweet! I knew they were getting him from somebody in Alex City, so I asked who. Come to find out, John and I work together. :) I keep him updated on Chipper. He's hoping to breed Chip with another of this labs. That would make me a great-grandmother! LOL They lost sweet Lulu this year. She got out and was hit by a car. The idiot didn't even bother to stop, either. And it wasn't like you couldn't tell that Lulu wasn't somebody's baby. Not long after Lulu crossed Rainbow Bridge, they added Sophie, a Jack Russell terrier. TOO CUTE! She and Ali are very close in size (right now) so they are good playmates. And Scruffy Pup is still the sweet little man. He and Bama have the same personality when it comes to the younger pups: LEAVE ME ALONE.

My dad gave us a scare a couple of months ago. This is the man who has basically never been SICK, but in the last year and a half, he has had several hospital stays. Hopefully, they've gotten everything straightened out and he's good to go for another 25 or 30 years. Or more.

Mom is still busy as ever--Ladies' Bible Study, hospital volunteer, this committee, that committee. Whew! I get tired just thinking about all she does! I never know when to call her or whether I should call the home number or her cell number. I'm glad she and Dad stayed busy after retirement, though. That helps to keep them young.

John's mom's Alzheimer's is steadily progressing. She has started becoming belligerent and argumentative. When we were there for the family Christmas, she got started on something and no matter what Connie or I said, she would not change the topic. And of course, Connie and I were W.R.O.N.G. This is bad to say, I know, but I have started dreading the weekends that we are in Hartselle because they are SO stressful. Honestly, I don't know how Connie, Danny, and Tim handle it being right there. She will call them repeatedly --as many as 25 or 30 times--with the same questions. They don't answer every time, but to have your phone ring ten times in five minutes gets old in a hurry. She only does that to us if she knows we are on our way to Hartselle, or if she and Aunt Kat have talked and we need to get something from Aunt Kat. (Two of my friends [sisters] from work have BOTH parents suffering from Alzheimer's. The home health nurse told them to pray they died from cancer instead of getting Alzheimer's. A cancer patient may feel differently, but if I were given a choice, I think I'd take cancer any day over Alzheimer's.)

Hmmm...let's see what else. Oh, football! HOW could I forget my beloved Crimson Tide??? For the second year in a row since the 70s, the Tide has gone undefeated in the regular season. They were again the SEC West representatives for the SEC Championship Game, and this year, we beat Florida. And it was GREAT to be at the Dome and see Mr. Tebow's crying face on the screen. (I am NOT a Tebow hater, but over the last four years, I have gotten VERY tired of hearing of nothing from the talking heads in the world of sports talk of nothing but how wonderful and great he is. There are many, many other players out there how have done wonderful things, but they just aren't as high profile or maybe they don't come from such a financially well-off family.) So anyway, next Thursday, the Crimson Tide and the Texas Longhorns will meet at the Rose Bowl for the Citi BCS National Championship Game. (Aren't the names of the bowl games ridiculous now???) The Tide and 'Horns have played eight times before, with the 'Horns winning seven and the teams playing to a tie in one. I think this might be the year that the Tide proves successful. :) This season has gone right from the beginning. Sure, there were some scares along the way (Tennessee) but they played as a TEAM and they figured out how to win as a TEAM. Because of that, there have been several individual awards, six First Team All-Americans (the highest number previously was five from Oklahoma two times), and Bama's first Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram. This team has what it takes to win on January 7th.

I know I'm probably leaving something vitally important out, but if I realize that I did, I'll post about it later. If I didn't have so much to do, I'll just sit here until I thought of it, but dishes and laundry need to be done, and there are research papers that won't grade themselves (much to my dismay.) And I think we might be going to Hartselle, but I'm not sure. John won't give me a straight answer. When he first mentioned going, I said he needed to let Danny and Linda know since this is their weekend to stay with Billie. He said we'd probably stay at Ron and Cindy's, but when I said something yesterday about going, he asked me what I thought. I told him it really didn't matter, but I'd like to know so I'd know how to plan the next few days. Still no answer. MEN! LOL

I hope that you have a wonderful New Year's Eve, a restful New Year's Day, and a perfect 2010!

30 December 2009

Two movies in just over a month???

I LOVE going to the movies, but John isn't a big fan of it. He would rather wait until they come out on video, or better yet, he'd rather catch them on HBO. His reasoning is because he can pause the movie if he needs to get something from the kitchen or go to the bathroom. And while that is true, there is just something about actually GOING to the movies that I prefer.

We used to make it part of our anniversary date. We'd go to a late lunch and then to a movie, or we'd go to an early movie and then to dinner. We did that almost every year until about three or four years ago. I'm not really sure why we stopped. There was probably something going on that we couldn't get out of. Who knows. I'd like to get back into that "habit" though.

Thanksgiving weekend, Linda suggested that she, Danny, John, and I take Zac and Will to see The Blindside on that Saturday afternoon. I had been wanting to see it, and since we had been at Billie's since Wednesday night, we needed a short break from the questions/complaints/etc. So we went. When we got to the theater, Danny and Linda wanted to run grab a quick bite to eat, so we got Will and the four of us went on in and got our tickets. When Danny and Linda got there about 15 minutes later, tickets were sold out for the movie! We never really even thought about going ahead and getting their tickets, too. We took the boys, got our popcorn, drinks, and candy, and went to find seats. There weren't four seats together in the theater, so I sat with Zac and Will and left Uncle Johnny to fend for himself. :) He was only three or four rows behind us on the end, so when I had my fill of the large popcorn and Coke, I took it back to him.

I absolutely loved The Blindside. I am a sports fanatic, anyway, and especially a college football fanatic, so I knew I'd enjoy it. Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses, and Tim McGraw...well, I could look at him ALL day long! Quinton Aaron, who played the role of Michael Oher, did a FABULOUS job. As a teacher, I was so touched because I have SEEN that lost student walking the halls of our school. He (or she) has sat in my classroom. And I have to be honest when I say that I know I didn't always do my best for him or her. And that makes me sad, and it makes me angry at myself.

Yesterday, Dolly and I went to see It's Complicated. It was SO funny!! I laughed so hard, especially when Jane and Adam are at the party "poking smot." There were some scenes that tugged at my heart, but overall, it was much more of a comedy. And I love the way it ended. Not gonna give anything away, though. You need to watch it for yourself.

There are several movies out or coming out that I would love to see. Dolly and I talked about trying to get together about once a month with some of the other girls to see a movie. And if I can get John to go maybe every six months, I wouldn't be SO far behind on the blockbusters. hahaha

That's it for today. I've got to get myself in gear and finish grading these research papers. UGH. YUCK. BOO!!!

Hope you have a GREAT Wednesday!

27 December 2009

Christmas 2009

Just a few pictures from our 2009 Christmas. Hope you enjoy!

HARTSELLE 2009

John's mom, Billie. The reason we're all together. :)


Danny & Linda

John, the reason I get to be a part of this wonderful family. :)

Tisha (talking to Jay by Skype) and Tim

Connie was missing Blain. He was stuck in a snowstorm in NC. :(

Amy is the oldest of the grandkids. She's giving somebody a very serious look. :)


Allen belongs to Amy. (They are Will and Maggie's parents.) He is very intent on something.

These two beautiful girls belong to John and me. Katy is the third of the grandkids, and Jessi is the fifth. (No one is really sure where the second one is. NC, we think...) The handsome guy is Lance, Jessi's wonderful boyfriend.

And John and I claim this handsome guy, too. This is Katy's hubby Phillip. They are Sam's mommy and daddy.

Libby Ann is the grandkid between Katy and Jessi. She was missing her hubby (Jay who was in Iraq at the time, but he is now home for three weeks.)
***SOMEHOW I MISSED GETTING A PIC OF LUKE. THIS IS WHERE HIS PICTURE WOULD BE IF I HAD GOTTEN IT. SORRY, LUKE!!!***

Zac, the oldest of the great grandkids. He and Will had been playing hard, but they stopped long enough to eat (very little) and to open presents.

Will is the next in line. He is one funny kid! He loves to ham it up for the camera.


Next we have Landon. And yes his hair really IS that white. Every time he opened a gift, he would exclaim "It's perfect!" or "I can't believe it!" His daddy is Jay.



The next munchkin is Sam. It was SO bloomin' hard to get this kid still for pictures. He was all about getting in with the big kids and playing ball. He'll be in the midst of them for sure next year.

And the last of the great grandkids (for now...) is sweet Maggie. She is our only girl, but she's just as happy with a ball as a baby. Will is her big brother (in case you can't tell by looking at their pictures.)


This is someone who just wandered up and decided to join us. LOL Seriously, it is Keith, a cousin. He is the entertainment at most family gatherings. LOL

My handsome dad

and my beautiful mom...they have celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Vests for many years.

June is Blain's mom. I'm hoping she'll be joining us for holidays for many years. :)

The sad thing about family gatherings is that we are missing so many loved ones, but we are making so many wonderful memories with the new ones. I think one thing that is just as hard as missing those who are no longer with us is the fact that only a couple of hours after these pictures were made, Billie didn't remember who was or was not there. Several times later that night she said that she would love to see Mom and Dad because it had been so long since she'd seen them, or she would ask questions about how big Sam is getting. Alzheimer's is the most horrible disease there is. Both parents of a friend of mine have it. Their home health nurse told Jan and Beth to pray they died from cancer instead of getting Alzheimer's.

Dadeville 2009


Aunt Jessi playing with Sam

I LOVE this picture of Katy and her daddy. This man could not love his daughters any more than he does!

My mom and dad

Phillip, Katy, Lance, and Jess opening gifts

Aunt Jess and Sam again

Katy was playing with her...I mean Sam's...Little People Farm. lol Actually, I think we ALL played with it. Sam seemed to love it.

Isn't he a gorgeous kid?? Looks JUST like his daddy! YUMMY!! Poppa John fixed breakfast for him.

Just LOOK at those eyes!!!

22 December 2009

Christmas Memories

As I decorated the house today and wrapped gifts, I listened to Christmas music and reflected on some of my favorite Christmas memories. Of course, there are those from my childhood...waking up at 1 AM to see what Santa brought (Dad will never let me forget that one), snooping for gifts (found a bike under Mom and Dad's bed, clothes, house shoes...), and making sure that Misty and I drew each other's names. As a teen, I was still pretty much into "what am I going to get" but I don't bring those things to mind when I bring up Christmas memories.

No, my teenage memories revolve around our youth group getting together to practice Christmas carols after church, make fruit baskets, and then to go caroling to the elderly members of the congregation on the Sunday night before Christmas. There was Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Lizzie, Mamie, and Grannie, just to name a few. Then we would go back to Wheeler and Judi's (our minister/youth minister) for chili, sloppy joes, and more singing. It didn't matter how cold it was, we had so much fun. I miss those days.

One of my favorite Christmas memories was waking up Christmas morning of 1992 as a new bride. John and I had been married only five days, and it was our first Christmas ever since we had not been dating the Christmas before. Because we had our wedding on the Sunday before Christmas, which is the weekend the Vest Christmas usually is, we did the Vest Christmas on either Christmas Eve day or Christmas Day. Don't quite remember that specific detail, but I do remember that it was at Danny and Linda's house on Thunderbird Lane.

That was the only year, besides 2002, when we weren't at our house on Christmas morning. Even though Katy and Jessi always spent Christmas Eve at their house and came to our house Christmas Day, I was insistent that Christmas morning was spent at HOME instead of traveling. By the time John and I married, they didn't believe in Santa, so it wasn't like we had to be home to see what Santa brought. I just wanted to be home. I still feel that way.

Now, the memories that are being made revolve around the grandkids/great nephews/great niece. (Libby and/or Jessi, y'all need to work on getting Maggie a girl cousin! Believe me, it's not a ton of fun having ALL boy cousins! I prayed so hard for a girl cousin, so I was THRILLED when Misty was born!!) Anyway, being able to watch the excitement and anticipation in their little faces makes me smile and warms my heart. It won't be long before they aren't little any more. In just four short years, Zac will be a teenager, and the magic begins to disappear. Will and Landon have a few more years left to be kids. Fortunately, our "babies" Sam and Maggie have a LONG time before the magic begins to disappear. Who knows, we may even have a new baby by next Christmas (hint, hint Libby and Jay!!) And Jessi and Lance could add to the mix in a couple of years or so (I'd like to be a grandmother again before I'm 50!! LOL)

I hope you and your family make some wonderful memories this Christmas.

21 December 2009

Reunited and it feels so good!

Remember this from Peaches and Herb way back in '79? The year I was a junior in high school, my "true love" broke up with me, and I swore this would be "our" song when we got back together. (I thank God for NOT answering that prayer. LOL) So what does that have to do with this blog post? Let me just tell you. I am sitting here writing this post from my computer AT HOME. I have FINALLY been reunited with the cyberworld from my home. WOO HOO!!!! And yes it does feel good. hahahaha

As it turns out, there was NOTHING wrong with the motherboard. (And the HP service center was going to charge us over $600 to replace it!) John took the computer to the IT guru at the hospital, and he figured out that the problem was with Kaspersky, the virus protection. Apparently, the settings had gotten out of whack on it (and I could very easily be responsible...) and the firewall was letting nothing through. (And the techs at Best Buy and the HP service center couldn't figure that out???) So Ray reset everything, and sent the computer home. John and I were going to hook everything up one night last week, but (why is there always a but?) the modem we bought after the lightning strike fried the other one was fried, too. (Not sure when, why, or how.) Once again, Ray came to the rescue. He had a router/modem he had gotten as a replacement for someone else, but it wouldn't work for him. He sent it home with John to see if it would work here. It did, so when I have time, I'm going to get the laptop set up so I'll have wireless internet again, too.

To catch up...We went to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game and had a BLAST!!! It would have been fun even if Bama had lost, but winning and shutting up all those doubters sure did make it better! We had awesome seats...right on the 40 yard line in the lower section. Susan and I had our picture made with Archie Manning; we saw Verne Lundquist in the hotel lobby; and the morning we were leaving, John and I had a short chat with Tony "the Goose" Sirgusa. He was there for the Falcons game. We had sat at a table next to him for our coffee and pastry, and he began making small talk. Seemed very nice, and it I had had my camera, I would have asked for a picture. Oh well. I'll post some pictures later.

I would LOVE to say that we are going to Pasadena for the BCS National Championship game, but unless that rich relative I don't know exists sends me my inheritance, I guess we'll be watching from the comforts of home. Susan's niece Kayla is going, so I'll live vicariously through her. :) This should be a very good game, and it is one that I expect will be close. Although I did think that about the Bama-Florida game, and well, we all know that BAMA KICKED BUTT. (Sorry, my obnoxious side showed for just a minute.)

We had our family Christmas in Hartselle this past weekend. It was really nice to be able to spend the time together. It would have been much nicer if Jay had been able to be home from Iraq in time to share the day with us, but he was there via Skype and got to see Landon open his presents. Blain (Connie's man) was snowed in in North Carolina, so we missed him too. This year, Sam and Maggie were running around everywhere, so that made it a lot more fun, too. Sam was in HEAVEN because there were balls. Everywhere. He didn't care about much of anything else as long as he had a ball.

Yesterday John and I celebrated our 17th anniversary. It's hard to believe that seventeen years have gone by already. We've been very fortunate because the good by far outweighs the bad. I know you can't compare one couples marriage to another, but when I think about some of my friends' marriages, I know that John and I have about as close to a perfect one as possible. We don't always agree, but we have always been able to agree to disagree. When I said "I do, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health", I meant it. I still do. John is my best friend, my confidante, my support, my everything. I cannot imagine life without him!

He is taking me out tonight for my birthday (43...when did THAT happen???). (Yeah, anniversary, birthday, and Christmas in less than a week. Doesn't bother me one bit.) And then we're going to finish shopping. I don't have much left...just Katy, Phillip, Jessi, Lance, Mom, Dad, and Eddy. Sam's is all done. His was the easiest of all. And nope, there isn't a ball in any of it! LOL

So, that's a quick wrap up of what has been going on. Now that I'm reunited, I'll be back to posting more regularly. I can't wait to catch up on what all of my bloggy friends have been up to. It make take me a while, but I'll get around to everyone. Promise.

Have a GREAT day!

03 December 2009

We're headin' to Atlanta, my friend!

This time tomorrow Susan, Tim, John, & I will be soaking up the excitement of the SEC champpionship game. Well, tomorrow night will still be all of the pre-game excitment' but I'm sure the air will be E. LEC. TRIC. I get chills just thinking about it.

The four of us went to the game together way back in 1999. That was one of the most fun weekends ever. We're all hoping for a repeat. :)

Our hotel reservations are at the Ritz-Carlton. I think I'm as excited about that as I am the game. Oh, who am I fooling? Not much of anything could excite me more than the game. There ARE a few things, but not a hotel. Besides, we've stayed at some nice hotels. Not Ritz-Carlton nice, but nice.

The pups will be taking a vacay at Southern Star for the weekend. I won't be picking them up until Monday. It will be a LONG time to be apart from them. Maybe they won't hate is too badly. After getting baths tonight and being left all weekend may be enough to make them turn completely. Nah...Ali Bug will have more kisses then we can handle, and Bama will do his "where have you been? I've MISSED you" bark.

Gotta run. Have a GREAT Friday!

ROLL TIDE! It's time to be a Gator Hater!

27 November 2009

HEY AUBURN!

So, okay...Bama did NOT beat the hell outta auburn, but ya know what? I don't care. Bama won, Bama is still undefeated, and that is ALL that matters. The aubies once again were unable to ruin the TIDE'S perfect season.

Ahhhh. Victory sure is sweet, whether it's by one or by fifty.

ROLL TIDE!!

26 November 2009

Iron Bowl Eve

Tomorrow is the Alabama-Auburn game, better known as the Iron Bowl. For many years, this game was played in Birmingham with the ticket allotment split evenly. Because of Birmingham's reputation as a steel mill city (often referred to in tha past as the Pittsburgh of the South), the game became known as the Iron Bowl.

In 1989, the game was moved to Auburn for the first time. (I don't think it had been played in Auburn before, but I could be wrong.) In 2000, the game was played for the first time in about 100 years in Tuscloosa. The University had a contract with the city of Birmingham, so we continued to play our home games there after Auburn began playing at Jordan-Hare. (For those of you not from the South and the Southeastern Conference, this Jordan is pronounced Jurdan for some reason.) Since the game is no longer played in Birmingham, I really don't consider it the Iron Bowl any longer.

This will be the first year since 1992 that the game hasn't been played on a Saturday. 1992 was Bama's last national championship title. Everyone from the Bama Nation is hoping that this will be a repeat of that year. :)

Even though Bama is undefeated and Auburn has a 7-5 record, I am SO nervous. I know that there is nothing that the auburn players and fans would like more than to hand is our only defeat of the regular season. I THINK Bama will win, but one can never be sure.

We're going to watch the game with Danny & Linda and I'm not sure who else. Hopefully, they won't send me outside to watch it through the windows. LOL. Since they sit beside us at every home game, they KNOW how serious I take me football.

Guess that's about it. Gotta go finish watching the Longhorns and the Aggies. (GO AGGIES!!). I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and

ROLL TIDE! Give 'em hell Alabama!

25 November 2009

Thanksgiving!

Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It isn't that I don't love Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, or the 4th of July, but Thanksgiving is really about the only holiday that isn't so overly commercialized. Thanksgiving isn't about getting or giving gifts; it's about being thankful for all of the blessings in our lives. It is about getting together with family & friends and simply enjoying their company.

I love Easter and Christmas because of their significance in my life as a Christian, but be honest...in today's society, so much of those holidays revolves around the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and "what am I going to get." Even among Christians.

We'll be spending tomorrow with family, and I know that as I look around the room, I will be filled with so much love and thankfulness because God allowed me to share my life with them.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Look around you and notice those little things that we so often take for granted.

God bless you, and I love you!

17 November 2009

Heeeelllllooooo!!!!!

Yes, I am still alive and kicking, but wow...we have been on the go, and when we haven't been, I've been dog tired. Plus, we are STILL have computer issues. ARGH!!!

We ended up taking the desktop back to the Geek Squad because the internet just randomly stopped working one day when I was online. Nothing I could do would get it back, and I really didn't feel like spending two hours on the phone with AT&T for them to tell me that there wasn't anything they could do. I had already been that route a couple of times since the power surge in July.

The Geek Squad said they were going to have to send the computer to the service center. Sure, no problem. Just find out what the problem is so we can fix it. A couple of weeks later, they called back to give us the news...the motherboard was messed up, and it was going to be $637 to replace it. Nope, ain't happenin'. When I went to pick it up, I asked why it was going to be so much. I may not know a ton about computers, but I do know that a motherboard is NOT that expensive. Apparently, they will only use HP products, and since the service center doesn't keep items in stock, we would have to pay the shipping for the new one, as well as the labor for the installation. So...we just picked it up, and John took it to the computer guy at the hospital. He hasn't done anything with it yet, so we're computerless. I was taking the laptop home, but John decided to disconnect all of the lines until the desktop is repaired. I hate to tell him that he is about to have to reconnect everything because research papers are due Friday, and I'll need internet access to check for plagiarism.

Yeah...the DRP (Dreaded Research Paper) has been on the agenda for the last five weeks. Friday is it, though. All of those wonderful papers will be turned in. I told my students yesterday that I will be available every afternoon this week (except Friday, of course) until 4:30 for one-on-one help. One student signed up to see me yesterday, and I'm waiting on the one who signed up for today. TWO STUDENTS OUT OF 60!!! I think there are two signed up for tomorrow. Naturally, all of the slots for Thursday filled up immediately. WHY do they wait until the last minute?????? How many times have I given them the "you never know what might happen unexpectedly if you wait" spiel??? Dozens. And how many times have I had a student come in to say, "Um...Mrs. Vest, you know how you told us not to wait until the last minute because something might go wrong? Well, last night my __________." (Fill in the blank: computer crashed, printer ran out of ink and Wal-Mart didn't have any more, etc.) Sadly, at least one student per class each semester. The English department policy is that we will take the papers late, but there is a 50 point PER DAY (or fraction of a day) deduction. That is a full letter grade, and those are usually the ones who cannot afford to lose half a letter grade, much less a full letter grade. Even though the senior papers are due Friday, I'm not finished with research. My juniors spent class in the library today. Yeaaaa.....

Other than that, Bama football is still rocking along. Still undefeated and headed back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game against Florida. John and I are going to the game with Tim and Susan. When Bama played Florida for the SEC Championship in 1999, we all went and we DOMINATED the Gators. We're hoping for a repeat this year. Same people a decade later. I really think that Bama can will. Will they? That remains to be seen, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Bama in Pasadena for the NC game. (At least I'm hoping!!!!)

John is at the lake this week, so it's just the pups and me. We got Ron's old walkway and swim deck, but we had to replace the stryofoam with encapsulated floats and the walkway needs sanding and painting. John and Ron got the floats under it yesterday. That was the biggest project, but John is hoping to get a few other projects done. I hope he gets to have a couple of days to just relax. He works SO hard, so he deserves it. :) I do miss him TERRIBLY though!

I know there has been a lot happen since I posted last, but I think I've said enough today, and it's about time for Samantha to be here. Actually, she is about five minutes late. Looks like she will be a no show. The senior counselor and the assistant admin for the seniors KNOW that I have made this opportunity available, so none of them have an excuse for not getting help.

Have a GREAT week, and maybe I'll be connected at home again soon! (I'm really NOT supposed to be on at work. Maybe I won't get in trouble. It isn't like I'm taking away from the education of my students.)

24 October 2009

Wow!

That's all I can say. Wow. Bama remains undefeated-barely-because of a blocked field goal with only 4 seconds to go. Terrence Cody, the big man at around 350 pounds, got up for the block. He did that twice in the game. TC, you ARE da man. :)

I seriously doubt I'll have much of a voice tomorrow.

Wow!

Time to take on the urnge!

Today is the "third Saturday in October." No, I'm not confused. I know that this is REALLY the fourth Saturday in October, but for years, the Bama-Tennessee game was ALWAYS the third Saturday in October. Anytime anyone would mention "the third Saturday in October" it was understood that he/she was talking about the UA-UT game. Even though it is now on the fourth Saturday more often than not, it is still referred to as the third Saturday quite a bit.

We'll be heading to T-town in just a bit, and I know I'll see more orange (or urnge, as I prefer to pronounce it) than I can stand. Orange never has been one of my favorite colors, and before anyone thinks I'm that way just because of Auburn, let me correct you. Before I ever even realized or cared about football, I've never cared for the color orange. So there! LOL Of course, it doesn't hurt that three of my least favorite teams in all of college football use orange as one of their colors, and in UT's case, it is their primary color.

I'm hoping for a really good game. I want Bama to come out fast and hard and ready to play. I want Tennessee to wonder what in the world has hit them. I don't want a close game. I want a score of 70-0, Crimson over urnge. I don't want to hear Rocky Top being played the first time. (Unfortunately for us, the visiting team's band sits just 3 or 4 sections away from us.) I WANT THE TIDE TO DOMINATE!!!

So, now that you know what I want, I need to go finish up. Have a GREAT football Saturday, and...

ROLL TIDE!!!

18 October 2009

Talk about LAZY

John and I have been positively worthless today. Of course, we didn't get home until just before 3 AM this morning. I looked at the clock as I crawled into bed, and it was 3:01. We're just WAY too old for those late nights. Or early mornings. Or whatever you want to call it. :)

Once we found out the game yesterday was a night game, we tried to find a place to stay in Tuscaloosa, but none were to be found. John kept looking, though, and when he came in on Friday, he said he'd found a room at the Super 8 for Friday night and Saturday night. The rate was $170 with another $40 or so in the lodging taxes and all. That was over $200 A NIGHT. Yes, you read correctly. Over $200 a night for the SUPER 8. Nope, not in this lifetime, unless there is some kind of extreme emergency. So, we drove up yesterday and back home last night. Or this morning. Or whatever you want to call it.

Jessi and Lance stopped by on their way to Wetumpka yesterday. They were headed over to Montgomery for the wedding of one of Jessi's oldest and dearest friends. Lance wasn't very excited about having to miss the Auburn-Kentucky game for a wedding, but he's so head over heels in love with Jess, he'd do just about anything for her. After the outcome of the game, he may be glad he didn't sit out in the freezing cold all day and half the night.

They had Chipper, Scruffy Pup, and our newest grandpup, Sophie. Sophie is an 8-week old JRT, and she is SO DARN CUTE!!! She is white with a light brown spot over her right eye and one smaller light brown spot on her left ear. I could have eaten her up.

After Jess and Lance left, we headed to T-town. We had planned on eating at Dreamland, but when we turned onto Jug Factory Road, the cars were lined up on both sides and the parking lot was full. There was a line, but I have seen longer ones. We were hungry, so we decided to go to Hooters for wings and buffalo shrimp.

Once we got to campus, we just hung around on the quad people-watching for a while. We were right by University Blvd., so we saw the team buses as they went by, and then we saw the car and police escort for Mrs. Terry. (That is Coach Saban's wife for those who may not follow Bama football.) I've seen several interviews that she has done. She seems so down-to-earth and likable. I would love to meet her. I get the feeling that she's the kind of person who wouldn't mind if you sat on her sofa with your feet tucked up under your legs while you enjoyed a cup of coffee.

We finally headed over to the stadium about an hour before game time. After we got to our seats, I decided to get a cup of coffee. John wanted hot chocolate, so I headed to the concession stand. And stood. Forever. Or so it seemed. When I got back to our seats, John said he'd seen Janie and Mike, and pointed them out to me. Without saying anything, I jumped and ran down to where they now sit. If you have season tickets to any kind of event...football, basketball, baseball, the opera...you know that you really get to know some of the people around you and you develop friendships. True, wonderful friendships. You may not see each other any time else, but you look forward to seeing them at the games. That's how it is with Janie and Mike. When we sat in the south endzone, they sat behind us, and over the years, we got to know each other. Once we were re-located, my first thought was "I wonder where Janie and Mike are sitting?" I have her business card, but to be able to find it on this messy desk would be a feat. Anyway, we hugged and laughed like we hadn't seen each other in forever. OK...so we haven't seen each other since November of last year (when Bama SOUNDLY beat the other team in the state...) So it's been almost a year. We picked up right where we left off in November. :)

To be honest, I am really surprised that Bama is still undefeated. If you look at the score (Bama 20; South Carolina 6), you'd think that we tore SC up. If you look at some of the other stats, you'd think the same, but until the 4th qtr. when Mark Ingram scored the only offensive TD, I was worried. We had a hard time getting the offense going, just like last week. Fortunately, we do have a very good defense who was able to keep SC from getting anything except a couple of field goals. On both of the series where they got the field goals, our D was able to stop them within the red zone. I know that Tennessee will bring their A game to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, but I also know that Coach Saban and his staff have stressed the need to take everything one game at a time. From what I've seen of Tennessee, I think we can win, but most anything can happen. Just ask some of the teams who were upset, or almost upset, yesterday.

Bama has played well enough to jump Florida in the AP poll. We're now number 1 there, and we moved to number 2 in the ESPN/Coaches' poll. The first BCS poll was released today, and we're number 2 there as well. This is playing out just like it did last year, except that we reached number 1 a week earlier this year. I'm REALLY hoping for a repeat trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. IF Bama does go, this gal WILL be there! I don't care if I have to sell my plasma to pay for the trip. LOL

John has a HUGE pot of his delicious soup on. Unfortunately, we didn't get off our rumps early enough to get it on sooner, so we won't be having it for supper tonight, but it sure will be good tomorrow night. We are having delicious hot dogs for supper. Think I'll make some Rotel dip to go with them.

I'm seeing an early night tonight, probably with the help of Simply Sleep. Even though I am SO tired from our late night/early morning, tomorrow is the first day of a new term, and I never sleep well before a new term.

Hope y'all have a GREAT week!


ROLL TIDE!!

16 October 2009

End of fall break...BOO!

So today is the last "official" day of fall break, and I've spent it doing stuff around the house...the never-ending laundry, dishes, vacuuming, capturing a leeeezard under a box.

Yep, a lizard. A live one. IN MY HOUSE! At least it wasn't a mouse. THAT would have REALLY freaked me out, and I probably would have called John to tell him he had to get home SOON. I wasn't so happy to see a lizard...a live one...in my house, but I can live with a live lizard captured under a box (with a fan sitting on top of the box) until my Superman husband gets home. :) He is SO wonderful. But I do wonder how he's gonna get the lizard out from under the box (with the fan sitting on top) without the lizard running off...

The amazing thing is that I didn't step on it. Not five minutes before I found him, I had been hanging clothes in my closet, and he was RIGHT THERE in front of the closet door. I'm not really sure who was scared the most, me or Leon (as I named him.) When I first saw him, neither of us moved, and then Ali came in the bedroom. She saw him and went to sniff. He (or maybe she???) ran. I had no idea where, but there wasn't a whole lot I could do because I sure wasn't going to try to catch him. I mean, his TAIL might have fallen off and I would have had a major case of the heeby jeebies.

I decided the only thing I could do was to keep cleaning house. I got the vacuum out and started in the bedroom. (I really wanted to finish up in there so I didn't have to go back.) I moved the quilt rack, and there was Leon. He fell on the floor, and I made an attempt (after screaming) to suck him up in the vacuum. (How humane is that???) Since he is captured under a box (with a fan sitting on top...), I obviously didn't suck him up with the vacuum cleaner. There was a boot box in the den that I was going to take to the outside garbage, so I got it and managed to get it over Leon (or Leonetta) before he (or she) ran again. Then I decided that there needed to be something on top of the box, just for extra precaution. Hence, the fan. He is still resting (I hope) quietly under the box with the fan on top in my bedroom. I hope he doesn't poop or pee on my floor. I've never had to clean lizard poop or pee. Is it nasty??? Don't answer...all poop and pee is nasty.

OK...so, the end of fall break. With the exception of nasty, rainy weather ALL WEEK LONG, it has been a great break for me. Like I said in my last post, it has really been all about me. I've rested and done the things I wanted to do. I did toss in those things that I needed to do (like the never-ending laundry, dishes, clothes...) But I do feel rested and ready to get the next ten weeks started. (Our next term is actually 10 weeks long because of the days out for Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving.) The next term will be super busy because it's when we do research. This is when I typically get WAY behind on grading. Thankfully, Ashlee is an awesome assistant, and I know I can depend on her to check some things for me.

Tomorrow is HOMECOMING at the Capstone. I really wish we were able to go tonight and stay for the weekend. I love homecoming! There is so much excitement in the air, and tomorrow should be a perfect football day as far as the weather goes. I'm trying to decide what to wear because it's supposed to be quite chilly tomorrow night, and it is a night game.

It's the first nighttime homecoming game in Bama's history. For as long as I can remember, our homecoming game has ALWAYS been at 2:00, BUT we have usually played a lesser school. However, there have been the years of playing Penn State and LSU for homecoming. Even those were 2:00 or 2:30 games. This year, it's the Gamecocks of South Carolina and Steve Spurrier, and ESPN has picked it up. ESPN is the reason for the 6:45 kickoff.

South Carolina has a 5-1 record, and we're at 6-0, so I honestly expect it to be a good game. I just hope that the side of the scoreboard reading ALABAMA has the most points when the clock shows triple zeroes. The stadium should be rocking and LOUD. I hope so anyway.

Guess I need to run. I haven't made my picks for the football contest yet this week, so I need to do that and get them sent to Andy. This has been a HORRIBLE year for me! I usually don't do any worse than about 17-8, but I don't even think I've gotten 17 correct picks once this year. I blame it on the excess rain. LOL

Hope you have a GREAT weekend, and

ROLL TIDE!!

14 October 2009

I looooove fall break!

Ahhh...I really hate to say this, but my fall break has been all about ME, ME, ME!!!! I will be the first to admit that I do have some selfish tendencies (and if you are honest with yourself, you'll admit the same thing) but I really try so hard to put others first. This week, though, everything I have done has revolved around me.

The trip to the beach...ME and rekindling MY friendships (went very well, thank you!)

Trip to Opelika yesterday...had to get the computer, but I got a pedicure out of it, AND I checked on my cell contract and learned that it runs out at the end of the month. (I see a new phone in my very near future...)

Today, I indulged in an HOUR-LONG MASSAGE, just because I wanted one! Then I got my hair colored...because it REALLY needed it, and I REFUSE to let my gray get out of hand. (So, yeah, that's about me, too.)

Tomorrow, I am going to Birmingham to see my beautiful daughter Katy and my gorgeous grandson Sam. Yep, all about what I want there, too. LOL (Actually, I did check with Katy first to make sure that they weren't already busy, so I did put her needs first there.)

Friday, life starts going back to normal. I'll clean house because we'll be in Tuscaloosa for the game Saturday, and since it is a 6:45 PM game and we haven't been able to find ANYWHERE to stay, we'll be driving back late. That means Sunday will be a L.A.Z.Y. day, and then Monday, it's back to the "real" world. A new countdown will start for the next break in December. Luckily, we do have several days off during the next term (Veteran's Day and three days for Thanksgiving.) It will fly by, and then it will be Christmas!

Gotta go fold clothes. YUCK! Have a GREAT afternoon!!!

13 October 2009

Friendship

Remember way back when to your elementary school best friend. Remember making those promises under the oak tree on the play ground...those promises that you'd be friends forever? Jump ahead just a few years to junior high school. By this time, you'd discovered that boys really WEREN'T so yucky. You and your best friend would sit up half the night giggling and dreaming about your future. Maybe you promised that when you grew up and got married, you would live next to each other and your kids would be best friends. Finally, it was high school. Teachers and parents warned you that the next few years would bring many changes to your life. You would all go different ways and the friendships that you made would fade to the background. You and your best friend laughed and said that they didn't know what they were talking about. After all, you'd made promises years ago that you'd be friends forever, and again, you promised one another that nothing could ever change that.

The summer following graduation was magical. You hung out with your best friend as much as possible, because you knew that once August rolled around, you'd be leaving to go to school and you wouldn't see each other every day. But once again, you promised. You made plans for her to come spend the weekends with you, and every time you were home, you'd be inseparable. For the first couple of months, that's what happened, but then life happened.

You both started dating people and making new friends. Suddenly, you didn't have time. No, you didn't MAKE time. Months went by with just the occasional phone call because you were always busy. Then you realized that you hadn't seen your BFF in several months, so you try to make plans. Nothing works out because when you are free, she isn't and vice versa. But you agree to keep trying.

Now, it has been four or five years, and you've lost touch. You aren't even sure where she is now. When you're home, you ask about her, but that's about all. You think back to everything your teachers and parents told you about losing connections, and you laugh...sadly...because you'd promised it wouldn't happen and now it has.

Fast forward about 20 years. There is the new thing called "facebook" that many of the younger generation is talking about. You learn that it is a social networking site that they use to keep up with friends. A few more years pass, and a co-worker sends you an invitation to join. You decide to check it out, thinking the whole time "I know this isn't for me."

Gradually, your friends list fills. First with co-workers and current friends, but one day you receive a friend request from a high school friend. Feeling a little hesitant, you accept it. I mean, it's been over 20 years. What in the world do we have in common now??? Before long, you have reconnected with several high school friends, and you realize that you have really and truly missed them.

A few months later, some of you decide to meet for lunch. You can't wait, but there is a feeling of nervousness. Just that "what if..." Of course, you have an "out" planned in case everything goes downhill. Fortunately, you don't need the out, and after sitting in the restaurant for several hours, you began to feel that the employees really wish you'd leave. :)

This is my story. This is what happened to me. But that lunch wasn't the end of it.

This past weekend, Anita, Brian, Cindy, Donna, and I met up in Gulf Shores for the a long weekend. Anita, Cindy, Donna, and I had met for lunch in July. We said we were going to do a beach trip this fall, but honestly, I wasn't 100% sure it would happen, but it did, and I am SO glad! The entire weekend was spent laughing, talking, crying...just like we'd never lost touch. It is amazing to me that after so many years we were able to pick up just where we left off. It was such a wonderful time.

Another one of our friends, who was my best friend in school, was Debbie. Everyone asked me about Debbie-where she was, what she was doing-but I had no clue. I did know she was in Florida, but that was all. Over the weekend, I got a facebook friend request from her! It was awesome. I immediately accepted and told her that her ears must have been burning because the others had been asking about her. Maybe on the next trip, she can join us.

Before we left yesterday, we agreed that this will be an annual get-together, and we're planning on having birthday gatherings as well.

This weekend was, without a doubt, one of the best ones I have had in a long time. It was filled with so much happiness. We did all of the "remember when..." but we also filled each other in on the years since high school. We talked about how the people we were then are so far removed from the people we are now. I truly think having those years apart was good because I know that I appreciate the renewed friendships much more than I think I ever did the high school friendships. I don't take them for granted any longer.

So, after you read this, pick up the phone, do a facebook search, jot a quick email to the people you loved in high school but have lost touch with. I promise you won't regret it.

Oh yeah...how 'bout that TIDE?? Cindy and I watched the game while Anita, Brian, and Donna did some shopping. It was really nice that EVERY ONE OF US are HUGE Bama fans, and we really don't care much about the other major college team in the state. LOL

ROLL TIDE!!

07 October 2009

Hell Week

When I was in college, the week prior to exams was called Hell Week because we all were cramming our butts off studying. Even though I'm not in college anymore, I honestly think this week beats any Hell Week I ever had.

It started with Jessi getting sick in Knoxville and our being worried about her. I left Lance a voice mail Monday morning to check on her. He sent me a text a little later and said she still wasn't any better and that he was going to take her to the doctor. So I was on alert in case there was something that they needed. Fortunately, it turns out that it was "just" an ulcer. Now, don't get me wrong...I've had ulcers, so I know how horrible they can be, and I do know that they can be severe. I say "just" because I know that with correct treatment, they can be taken care of. I checked on her again Tuesday, and she said she was still not at 100% but that it was getting better. (After taking the WRONG medications for 2 1/2 days, I'm sure her ulcer was more irritated than ever.)

On Tuesday afternoon (was that only yesterday? It feels like it's been a year ago), I had just sat down at my computer to enter some grades when I felt my phone vibrate. There was a missed call and then a text from Mom: "Call me ASAP." Mom never uses ASAP, so I knew it was urgent. I immediately called her back. She was on her way to Birmingham from a conference in Montgomery. Dad had been to the doctor to have some tests run because he had been having some facial numbness and headaches (which Mom knew nothing about until yesterday because he didn't tell her.) The tests results showed that there were a couple of blood clots on his brain, so they were sending him by ambulance to Princeton Hospital. I freaked out. Blood clot, brain, facial numbness, trip by ambulance...I could only think the worst.

I flew down to the office to tell Debbie I had to leave. Everything is a complete blur. I remember sitting there while Mr. Reyes called John and made arrangements for me to get home. I couldn't think. I couldn't talk. I've never hyperventilated, but I think I was pretty close.

After getting home, I managed to toss a change of clothes into a bag, and as soon as John got here, we left. On the way to Birmingham, Mom called and said she had talked to their primary physician again, and she assured me that everything was going to be okay, but I still could imagine only the worst.

When we got to the hospital, Mom was able to give me more information. They had done a second CT scan on Dad at Princeton, and the neurologist saw only one clot, and it wasn't large enough to make him think immediate surgery was necessary. He took Dad off his coumadin (which Dad refers to as rat poison) and was going to rescan this morning. They did the scan again, and everything was looking good. They gave him a vitamin K tablet to reverse the effects of the coumadin, and he was getting plasma when John and I left the hospital. They will rescan again on Friday, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, he'll be able to come home.

I don't know if the original scan showed something more than what the second one showed or if the radiologist just thought there was something more there or if it was a "God thing" as my sweet, sweet surrogate daughter Kristen said, but whatever the case, I am so thankful that everything is okay. No matter what was really there or not there, prayers WERE answered.

Now, I'm going to go into hiding so that if anyone else gets sick over the next six months, I won't know about it until he/she is healthy. :)

There are only two more days until fall break is here. I think I need it.

Have a GREAT evening!

04 October 2009

A really quick trip

Sometimes you wonder why things turn out the way they do. This weekend was a good example. John and I had planned on asking Jessi and Lance if they would keep Ali and Bama for us while we were in Gatlinburg for the weekend. Turns out that Jessi and Lance had planned on asking us the same thing because they were going to the Auburn-Tennessee game in Knoxville. We ended up boarding Ali and Bama at Southern Star (and they loved it!) and Lance's parents took care of Chipper and Pup for them. All of us being in the same general area was a good thing.

John and I left Thursday morning. After we dropped the pups off, we decided to come back home and take the Miata because it was SO gorgeous. We managed to get everything packed into the micro-trunk (I can pack light.) We took the back roads as much as we could, but we did end up taking interstate the last part of the way. We got checked in, rested for a bit, and then headed to Smoky Mountain Brewery for dinner. Not too bad, although I wasn't 100% crazy about the beers we sampled.

We got up Friday and started getting ready. Jess called to wish her daddy a happy birthday before we left for the day. She sounded just fine and she didn't say anything about feeling bad. More on that in a bit. We went to Apple Barn for breakfast. YUMMY! The apple fritters and apple julep were delish, and the fried apples I had for "dessert" were SOOOO good. (I told John that fried apples make me happy. LOL) After breakfast, we looked around at Orvis for a bit, and then we headed to the Bluegreen Resort presentation.

If we were a young couple who had years and years ahead for vacation travel, or if we were a retired couple who planned to do nothing with our retirement years except travel, this would be a really great deal, but we aren't either. We're right in the middle, and as much as some people don't "get" it, we love taking our vacations at our little place on the lake. So, no, we didn't buy in. Of course, the sales rep tried every way possible to convince us that we NEEDED to buy in. haha

After the presentation, we decided to cruise through the Smoky Mountain Arts Community. We were in and out of cell phone reception areas, but once when we were in an area, I got a message to call Jess. I did, and Lance answered her phone. She had gotten sick and was at the emergency room. Of course, our first question was "do we need to head to Knoxville???" Lance assured us that everything was okay for the time being and we made sure he knew that ALL he had to do was call and we'd be there. They did blood work and a stomach x-ray, and all was fine. The doc felt like it was a lower intestinal virus. He gave her some meds and sent her home. I sent Lance a text later to check in, and he said she was sleeping off and on.

Our plans for Saturday were to drive over the mountains and into Cherokee, NC, and then just ease south. We were going to just stop whenever we got tired Saturday evening and then head home today. About 7:45 yesterday morning, I got a text from Lance saying that Jess still wasn't feeling good, and she wanted to ride home with us if we didn't care. We kicked it into high gear and got ready. Of course, we made a goof on the interstate and ended up taking longer than it should have to get to the hotel they were in. I drove Jess's car and she slept most of the way. Once we got home, she did eat some soup and drink some Gatorade, and she managed to keep it down. This morning, she had a biscuit and some more Gatorade, so hopefully, she's on the mend.

I was so glad that we were there and able to bring her home. I know that Lance would have forgotten all about the ballgame and would have either stayed at the hotel with her or would have brought her on home, but with us being there, he was able to go on to the game. I know he worried about her, though. :)

We had a pretty lazy day today. Jess slept until about 10 or so, and then we all napped during the race. (Isn't that what race days are for?) Lance's parents brought him over once he got home so he could get Jessi.

Guess that's about it for now. I've taken Benadryl today, so I'm in that foggy state. I think bedtime will be here fairly early tonight.

Oh yeah...Bama is 5-0 and headed to a big game in Oxford, MS this weekend. :)

Have a GREAT Monday, and

ROLL TIDE!!

30 September 2009

Vacay for John's b'day

John and I are heading out in the morning for a weekend trip to Gatlinburg. His birthday is Friday, so it will be a nice little trip. I have really huge butterflies, though. You'll probably laugh when I tell you why. It's because we're boarding Ali and Bama, and we have NEVER left them for this long! We're dropping them off in the morning, and I won't be able to pick them up until Monday afternoon. At first I thought we'd be able to pick them up Sunday afternoon, but Ashlee told me that they quit having Sunday pickups because so many people weren't showing up to get their pets. Can you believe that? I'd be there waiting to get my pups. These animals are my babies. They depend on John and me, and they love us. I couldn't just forget them!

We took them to the vet yesterday for their annual checkups. Bama has real fear of the vet's office. I know that he has never been mistreated or intentionally hurt, but he certainly remembers that it is NOT a place he likes. From the minute we walk in until we walk out, he shakes. Because of that, he got his visit over first so John could take him outside. When they went into the exam room and the door was shut, Ali was all ears. She stared at the door with her ears on full alert the whole time. Ali is not a vocal dog, except when she's playing with Bama, but when her big brother was taken into that room, she began to whine. They both did very well with their shots and drops. Bama, my big boy, weighed in at 15.6 lbs, and Ali was 6 lbs....exactly what they were last year.

OK...gotta go load the car. Y'all have a GREAT weekend, and I'll post when we get back.

Oh yeah, we'll be in Tennessee when Auburn is up there playing the Vols. There will be WAY too much urnge.

ROLL TIDE!!

27 September 2009

Lookin' at a BUSY week!

Before getting into the week ahead, I have to make my weekly comments about the football weekend. John and I went to Tuscaloosa, but we ended up not going to the game. Yeah, shocker of ALL shockers...I willingly did not go to the game! Somebody better call a doctor. Fast. 'Cause that ain't normal behavior for this football lovin' gal! hahaha

There is a very good reason, though. And as much as I would have LOVED to have sung along with the crowd to Rammer Jammer, we had so much fun doing what we did. So, what DID we do, you ask? Susan had called and said they were considering staying at the condo to watch the game since the weather forecast was for tons of rain. They asked us to come over and hang out before the game, so we did. And it rained. About 1:45, I said something to John about us heading to campus. He said he'd just as soon stay at the condo and watch the game instead of sitting in the rain. "Sounds fine to me," I replied. Tim looked at me and asked if I was okay. LOL So we stayed there and watched the game with some of the best friends in the entire world. Of course, the rain ended about the time the game began.

Susan and Tim are more than friends...they are family, but they are the family we chose, not the ones we were born in to. It never matters what we do when we get together. We always have a good time. We have spent 10 days together chaperoning 20+ kids in Europe; we have spent two hours sitting on the porch at the lake talking. And it has all been great. They are such special people, and we thank God for bringing our lives together. :)

Susan and I walked over to Alumni Hall during halftime of the LSU-Miss St game. I got a new T-shirt for John and one for me (like we NEED more T-shirts) and I got a cute gray zip-front sweater with a script A for myself. Now, I need a 3/4 sleeve white top to go under it. After our game, we walked over to Iguana Grill for dinner (yummy!) and then we stopped in Kinnucan's. Susan and I both got a pair of HOUNDSTOOTH flip flops! Too cute!!

It was another GREAT day to be a Bama fan, with the exception of the injury to Don'ta Hightower. I am truly hoping that his knee is merely sprained or bruised, but from the look on his face as he was being carted off the field, I'm not so sure. There haven't been any "official" reports that I have seen, and I'm not going to believe anything I read on message boards or hear on TV until I can see that it is from Coach Saban.

Our awesome DEFENSE stopped the much-vaunted Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas offense. It was a slow start, but after our guys got their motors warmed up, they didn't stop. Our OFFENSE really shined, too! Greg McElroy is doing a fabulous job of being the field commander, and it seems as if the entire team has really and truly gelled. It is so different from just a few years ago. I know that the season is still new and that there is still LOTS of ball to be played, but it seems like our team has what it takes.

OK...so on to the busy week ahead...

Tomorrow is our Open House at school. Yeah, this is the 8th week of school. Why we are having it SO late is beyond me, but I just do what I'm told. Each year, we all dread Open House because it makes for SUCH a long day. I'll leave home around 6 AM, and I won't get home until after 8 PM. I could come home between the end of school and the beginning of Open House, but that would be 40 minutes of driving. I'd just a soon stay in town. Right after school, I'll get my classroom ready for the parents, and then some of us will go grab a bite for dinner.

When I taught special ed, there would be nights when we (the spe. ed. teachers) would have NO parents whatsoever. That was always so discouraging. Especially when so many of the parents never even came for their child's IEP meeting. It is sad when kids don't have anyone who can or will take an active roll in their lives. True, some parents couldn't come due to jobs, illnesses, etc., but in the 13 years I taught special ed, I can honestly say that there were some parents whom I never met. Sad.

On Tuesday, the pups have to go to the vet for their yearly checkup. Not a fun time for them. Or me. Luckily, their appointment is at 5, so John should be home and can ride with us. Last year, the minute I pulled into the parking lot, Bama groaned. YES, GROANED! He jumped into the back seat, so I had to open the back door to get him out. Then Ali ran to the other side of the car. I was trying to keep Bama from jumping back in and trying to get Ali out...I'm sure it looked like chaos. It was. After I got them out of the car and into the office, someone else came in. Bama managed to slip out of his collar and almost made it out the door. If he had, I know that he'd have been waiting on the steps by the time I got home.

On Wednesday, we'll need to pack because we're going to Gatlinburg for the weekend. Well, until Saturday. Woo hoo!! We've had this planned for MONTHS, and I am SO excited!

Since we're going to be gone from Thursday until Saturday, that meant we had to find something to do with Ali and Bama. At first, we were going to offer to pay Jess and Lance to keep them for us. When I sent her a message to ask, she said that they had planned on asking us to keep Scruffy Pup and Chipper that same weekend because THEY are going to Tennessee for the AU-UT game. (Had I realized that game was being played in Tennessee that weekend, I would have scheduled our trip for another weekend in an effort to avoid a huge crowd. Oh well!)

We debated our options, but we finally decided to board them at Southern Star Farms. Ashlee, who is a teacher assistant for me, works there, and she has assured me that they will be very well taken care of. I don't worry about Ali quite so much because she seems to adjust to change better than Bama, but Bama...well, he mopes when we have to leave to go to work. I talked to the owner, Amber, and she said they'd spend a lot of time playing with him so that he would forget he was supposed to be sad. :) I'm sure I'll call to check on them. They ARE my babies!! LOL

Southern Star Farms in an alpaca farm. After I first talked to Ashlee, I went to the website to look around. In addition to farming alpacas and grooming/boarding animals, they have a store with products made from alpaca wool. One of the first things I saw on the website was a houndstooth scarf, and I fell in love! I ended up going out there Friday and buying two of them..one for me, and one for Susan. (It was her birthday present...for her birthday this past JANUARY! Yeah, a tiny bit late, but I had to find the perfect gift. LOL) I can't wait until it is cool enough to wear it.

I guess that's about it for today. I'm considering making a quick trip to Talbot's at the mall in Auburn to see if they have the perfect shirt to go under my new gray sweater. :)

I'm quite sure I won't be around this week, so have a GREAT one, and

ROLL TIDE!!

Hey, HOGS...We just beat the hell outta you!
Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer! Give 'em HELL, Alabama!

20 September 2009

I'm scared. I'm really, really scared! ;)

OK, so no, I'm not really, really scared, but I am really, really surprised. See, I am seeing SUNSHINE for the first time in, oh, eight months. Oh, shut up! It SEEMS like it's been eight months! Besides, this IS my blog, and I can lie or exaggerate if I want to. hahaha

It looked like we were in for another day of torrential rains, but so far it has been dry here. That doesn't mean that it won't start pouring down in the next five minutes. I've quit checking the weather forecasts. I just make sure I have an umbrella in my car every morning before I leave for work. After the severe drought we had for the last couple of years, I'm not going to complain. I would like it if it rained only at night, though. I hate having to get out in rain.

Bama had a great game yesterday! Yeah, I know that North Texas wasn't a challenge to us, but it is nice to finally beat a team by 46 points when we should beat them by a huge amount. Over the last few years, Bama has been famous for letting those kinds of teams hang around, and sad to say, some of them have beat us. Being able to play that well allowed the coaching staff to play some of the younger guys. Star Jackson did a great job playing QB. He made some mistakes, but this is the first time he's played an extensive amount of time. He had a few plays at the end of the first half, and except for a couple of series, he played the entire second half. The future for Crimson Tide football is looking bright!

After watching the Tennessee-Florida game, I think Florida can be beat. They certainly didn't dominate the way I thought they would. I didn't watch much of the Arkansas-Georgia game because that's when the Auburn-West Virginia game was on, but dang, Arky and UGA put up some points! I'm glad Georgia won, but that just means that Arkansas will be hungry when we play them Saturday. The Auburn-West Virginia game...sorry, friends and family who are Auburn fans...you must admit that y'all were dang lucky. Six turnovers is about the only reason you won. And the fact that WV went away from running Noel Devine (WHY???) Now, before you blast me or call me obnoxious, I know that every team--Bama included--gets those lucky games. That's the way it goes sometimes.

John should be home soon. I'll be glad! It's been awfully quiet around here this weekend. (SHUT UP! I know everybody and his brother heard me yelling during the games!) I MEANT that I haven't had anyone to talk to. Ali and Bama just aren't great conversationalists. LOL

That's about it for today. Hope you have a GREAT week! Take care, and

ROLL TIDE!!!

18 September 2009

Just time for a quick HI!

I'm about to have to head out, but since I haven't posted all week, I thought I'd just make a quick one to say hi! We're having our homecoming game tonight at Ben Russell, and I have to work the main gate. Selling tickets. At $6 a pop. That means I have to DO MATH. I went into English instead of math for a reason. I am very good at English (not to brag, but I am) and I stink at math. I have no proof, but I'm quite sure that Mr. Kilgore passed me in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 just so I could get my two math credits and he'd never have to see me in his class again. (Yeah, this was in the dark ages...no middle ages...when students only need two math credits for a college prep diploma. [I'm not old enough to be from the dark ages. Yet.]) Anyway, it shouldn't be too bad. I did learn my 6s in multiplication. And I will have my trusty phone which does have a trusty calculator.

We only had a half day today. After the kids were dismissed, Kristen, Melissa, Julie, and her intern (cannot remember her first name!!!) went to eat and then I came in a took a two-hour nap. I was so hoping that when I woke up, this darned sinus headache would be gone. Alas, it isn't. Yesterday it was so much better. I was hoping I was about to see the last of it, but this morning, it was back in full force. It's just that time of year. :(

The pups and I are going to have a fairly quite weekend here at home alone. This is our weekend to stay with John's mom, but since I'm having to work the game, he's got it on his own. Once the Bama game is over tomorrow, I plan on cleaning the house before watching the Auburn game. I hope I can get everything done between the two games because on Sunday I need to do a little birthday shopping for some special people. :)

OK...gotta run (much to Bama's dismay.) Have a GREAT weekend, and

ROLL TIDE!!!

13 September 2009

Love me some football!

Ah! Opening day of football at BDS. Nothing can be better than being surrounded by 92,000 people wearing crimson and/or white! As I've said before, I am not the "typical" female because I don't particularly care for all of the fussiness of being all girly. Never have been...never will. Now, if you are a girly-girl, that's fine. We can be friends, but I'll get really aggravated at you if you are still primping when it is time to go. :)




John and I drove up to Tuscaloosa yesterday. We left early enough to stop at THE original Dreamland Ribs for lunch. Oh yum!! There are Dreamland franchises around now, but none of them even come close to the original. There is no way to duplicate the taste of the ribs because none of the franchises have grills that are anywhere close to being "seasoned." After a slab and some tea, we headed to campus.



When we got to the campus, we walked over to our old tailgate spot in front of Foster Auditorium. That is where Gov. George Wallace made his famous (infamous??) "stand in the school house door" during the time of integration. No one is tailgating there this year because they are doing renovations to Foster. There had been some talk of tearing the old gym down, but I'm glad they decided to renovate. While I don't agree with Gov. Wallace's stand, there is still historical significance. I cannot tell you the number of people, both black and white, who, over the years, have stopped there and taken pictures. We did talk to Butch, whose group tailgates across the street from our old spot.

I tell ya what...even though tailgating had gotten to be a headache (because about 95% of the work was done by about 50% of the people) I miss it. I miss hanging out with friends, watching the other games on TV, snacking...all of it! Susan and I have decided that we're doing something for a couple of the games this year!



After our visit with Butch, we walked back across the quad and over to Ferguson Center (now called The Ferg by the younger "kids".) We hung out there watching Tennessee until it was time to walk to the stadium.



Since they are doing the renovations to the stadium (Bryant-Denney will hold around 101,000 when completed), our seats got moved to the north endzone. I REALLY like them! I hope they don't decide to move us around after the renovations are complete.



I took my camera yesterday to see if I could get any halfway decent pictures. I got some that were actually pretty good. My dream is to someday have a GOOD camera and to take some classes so that I can do an even better job at this little hobby. I've added some of the pictures below.


The coach working with James Carpenter is Willie Carl Martin. Coach Martin was one of our former teachers/coaches at Ben Russell. Our only state championship in football was won during his tenure as head coach. I always look for him. One of these days, I'm going to go down to field level and try to say HI!



The Million Dollar Band doing the pregame show. The band is so named because during one of Bama's early years when the team didn't do so well, a reporter made a comment to a manager about Bama not having a very good did and he asked what they did have at Alabama. The manager replied, "A million dollar band." The name stuck, and I am proud to say that I was a member of the color guard during my freshman year at Bama.


The team prepares to take the field. This is one of the most exciting points of every game to me. The PA is blaring, the cheerleaders and Big Al are standing ready, and then on the screen, we see Coach Saban and the team walking down the tunnel. They gather at the opening of the tunnel until Saban gives them the go ahead. The cheerleaders lead them onto the field, the band is playing "Yea Alabama" and 92,000+ are singing along. Chills run all over me!

Greg McElroy getting ready for a play in the 1st quarter. He has done a very good job so far this year. He set a school record yesterday of 14 consecutive passes. After Julio went out with a bruised knee, the Double Mac Attack--McElroy to Mike McCoy--worked beautifully!

Javier Arenas prepares to take a punt in the 3rd quarter. He is such an exciting player to watch. He hasn't broken a punt or a kick off return. Yet. The Bama faithful believe that he will before the season is over. Go Javey!

My wonderful hubby and me just before the end of the game. I had a really hard time breaking him out of the "nervous hospital" but there was no trouble getting him back in following the game. I did have to feed him a mustard biscuit and some "big uns" though. Carl was really glad his roomie made it back safe and sound. Well, safe, anyway. LOL (If you have never seen Slingblade, that will make no sense to you.)

My favorite way to see the clock: triple zeroes and the most points on the side of the guys in Crimson!
We won't be going next weekend. John will be going to stay with his mom, and the pups and I will be hanging out here. I have to work the Ben Russell game on Friday night. But I can promise you that the TVs will be tuned to football all day long. :)
Hope you had a GREAT weekend and that you will have a GREAT week!
ROLL TIDE!!!







11 September 2009

TGIF

What a LONG week! But it is over, and I'm ready for the weekend. Not sure what time we'll be leaving for T-town tomorrow, but it won't be soon enough for me. If I had to move somewhere and it couldn't be the lake, it would be Tuscaloosa. I love that town. Not too big; not too small; just right. Plus, there is LOTS of crimson and houndstooth to be found. LOL

Today was another pep rally day at school. Boy, the kids were wired. I don't know what it is that makes them think that pep rally days are supposed to be "do nothing" days. None of our teachers ever give them that impression. I know that students didn't act that way 25 years ago. The only time that we had an "off" day was on homecoming, and that was only a half day.

Speaking of homecoming...ours is next week. We're going back to the traditional get-out-of-school-half-day-for-the-parade method, and I'm really glad. For the last 4 or 5 years, we've had our parade on Thursday night, and then Friday was just a normal school day, with the exception of a pep rally.

I don't know about you, but some of my most fun high school memories are from our school's homecoming. We worked on floats for the entire week, and then Friday was the parade. I remember a couple of years that we would have a movie in the auditorium before getting out for the parade. The pep rally always took place downtown under the red light. (Yeah, Oakman was...and is...very small. We had only one red light.) The whole town turned out for it. Lots of fun memories!

Of course, today there is so much stuff that has to be done and accounted for that it is really hard to have fun at school. Oh, sure, I know that the purpose of school isn't to have fun, but I truly don't see how one or two days a year can hurt. I never gripe when the seniors take their unofficial senior skip day. If they aren't in danger of failing, one day won't hurt.

OK...so that's enough for now. I'm gonna try to convince John that we need to go to La Posada. I'm feeling the need for some salsa. :)

Have a GREAT weekend, and

ROLL TIDE!!

I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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