Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feels like spring

The Big Man's parents are in town for a few days so we got up early this a.m. and went to breakfast with them before taking MK to school. There was a fire in the fireplace at the restaurant and it was wonderful. The kids were in pants and sweatshirts. After we came home, I took T. Willy outside to play. Off came the sweats and I put him in his new overall shorts. I took off his shoes and socks for a little while and he did not like the feeling of the dry grass on his feet. Hopefully he'll be over that by summer. I snapped a few shots of him enjoying the springlike weather. I also included one of our cat, Sugar, enjoying the breeze coming through an open window. Hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pictures of New Orleans

We went to New Orleans this weekend. This was the first time I'd been back since Katrina hit. My father in law took us on a tour of the area. There are not words to describe it. So, I hope these pictures do what my words can't.

The first picture is where the breach occurred at the 17th Street canal.

Picture #2 is a house that looks kind of old - not sure it could have withstood much.

But these houses in #3 are new...Look at the damage to them. The first 3 pictures are all from Lakeview, a middle class to upper middle class suburb. Also, note the water line in the middle of the house.

The fourth picture is from the Lower 9th Ward. Note that it is a through street and the house that floated into the middle of it.

More from the Lower 9th Ward. This was not an upscale neighborhood but it was not the projects either. The homes were owner occupied and it is just devastated for blocks and blocks and blocks. The Big Man said it is what he imagines a war zone to look like after a bomb hit. In the suburbs where the family live, there are Fema trailers all over the place. It looks like they all own RV's except that you can see the sewer lines hooked up in the front yard. There are no Fema trailers in the Lower 9th Ward. There are no kids running around. The only cars that we saw running were doing what we were doing...just taking it all in. There is no life there at all.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Heard today

The Big Man called and told me this story:

One of his co-workers was on his way home from work and noticed cars swerving on the highway to avoid a dog standing in the middle of the highway. Being the loving person that this co-worker is, he pulled over and stood in the highway trying to coax the dog into his truck. Another driver pulled up next to him, rolled down the window and yelled, "It's a coyote, you idiot!" 'Nuff said.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Strange days indeed

I am not romantic...affectionate, fine, loving, sure...just not romantic. So Valentine's Day really holds no special meaning for me. In fact, I have been known to use the word "boycott" in reference to it. So the Big Man and I had a date night on the 13th instead. We actually got a babysitter and went to the movies! I love to go to the movies. I love the big screen, I love the seats, I love the drugstore nearby where we go and buy candy first because I don't love overpriced movie candy. We saw "Walk the Line" and had a great time. (Have I mentioned that I went to school with Reese Witherspoon's husband?) We really needed the night out. On the way home, we bought MK some earrings because we did want her to celebrate it. On the 14th we made homemade pizzas. MK and the Big Man made the crust and we got to make our own. The Big Man made a deep dish Chicago style. MK made cheese only and I made a mushroom pie. I really like mushrooms but am the only one in the family who does so it worked for all of us. T. Willy got to pick at different ones. It was a lot of fun and a nice family night. Here is a picture of MK with her pizza.

The Big Man and T. Willy have been fighting the creeping crud that is going around. They have both been to the doctor and hopefully will be themselves soon. I wasn't sure whether to take T. Willy or not but when his nose ran green today, I called. He was great at the dr.'s office. He is not one to be kept still and they were quite nice about letting him open and close doors and knock on the walls. Fortunately there was only one other patient in there at the time and she was playing with him. The Business Manager even came out to play with him. She asked him for a hug and he RAN in the opposite direction, but then she asked for a high five and he turned, gave her a high five and ran away.

Tonight was a school night. We rode an hour to Pensacola, made it to class, talked about the project due next week and then heard, "Is she all right?" A couple of people said it at the same time and very calmly the professor said, "Yes, I think she just fell asleep." I then turned and saw one of my classmates apparently sleeping on her desk. But the professor was trying to wake her and she wouldn't wake up. The girl has mentioned some health issues and I noticed last week that she wears a medic-alert bracelet. After a couple of minutes it was obvious that she wasn't waking up so they called 911 and the professor dismissed class. She was starting to wake a bit when we left and was very upset, but we stayed out of the way because there was nothing we could do for her. It was a bit scary. I've never really seen anyone pass out but one of my roommates in college passed out in the bathroom once. I didn't see it happen but was there when she was brought back to the room. (Hi, M!) And that was scary enough. So, if you can, please pray for K. tonight. Thanks.

So, that's what we've been up to lately. We're probably going to head to New Orleans on Saturday. It will be my first trip back since Katrina hit, so I'm sure it is going to be different. The Big Man starts vacation after work tomorrow, so we hope to get some projects accomplished and for him to get lots of rest and time with the family. Have a great day!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Have I mentioned that I like the color red???

Here are some before and after pictures of a wall in my kitchen. Since we've lived here the kitchen has been white then yellow then a really pale taupe (that lasted about 7 hours and I realized it looked more pink than taupe so it became...) a darker but still boring taupe and now white again. But red is my favorite and I did not want to paint the entire kitchen red, so I just did this wall. I love it!!!! I snapped the "after" picture right after I finished so it's still taped up and not cleaned up yet.

It's gotten cooler here but nothing like the blizzard they're calling for on the East Coast. I've been watching live-cams of it on deldot.net and wishing I could see it snow. But I won't complain because we did get to play in it when we were home for Christmas. All of you enjoying it...please send pictures!!!!

Good night.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

There IS joy in Mudville

The Big Man and his family are originally from the Pittsburgh area. They are huge Steelers fans and are very excited about the outcome of the Super Bowl. Here are some pictures of MK and T. Willy enjoying the festivities. T. Willy went to bed around half-time, but I'm sure he'll be thrilled when he hears the news tomorrow. He probably can't even sleep right now for all the excitement. Some neighbors were shooting fireworks so MK and I went outside and lit some sparklers that we had left from July 4th. Now she is in bed and the Big Man is talking to his dad or brother. I have a very messy kitchen to clean and then will head to bed. Good night!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Not quite what we expected

With my parents here, we had made plans to go to New Orleans to visit the Big Man's family for the day and survey the Katrina damage. The Big Man and MK went over for a day a few weeks ago, but I haven't been yet. Unfortunately, my mom became quite ill and they decided to leave today instead. She was running a fever and just feeling really horrible. We were sorry to see them go but totally understood. When you're sick, the only thing you want is to be home.

Since we were going to take MK out of school for the day, she was doubly disappointed. So we checked her out at lunchtime and took her out to eat. We went to the Olive Garden because it holds special memories for us. When I was pregnant with T. Willy, we had to drive about an hour to the OB, so I would make my appointments at the end of the day and we'd check MK out of school and make a night of it. (After she had been an only child for 8+ years, we were really concerned about keeping her involved in every step.) These afternoons always ended up at Olive Garden where MK learned to love the breadsticks. We had a nice lunch together and a great afternoon of family time.

In reference to yesterday's post about reading. I arranged to start volunteering at MK's school with their Reading Specialist. She called and we talked a bit and I'm going to meet with her on Friday morning. When I picked MK up from school today I ran into a girl I had worked with a few years ago. She said that the Reading Specialist talked to her about having someone to help with her readers and gave her my last name. She asked if it was me and I was so happy that it was. She and I really got along well and I will feel more comfortable asking her questions and all. She teaches 1st grade which I taught for 2 years. So this has turned out to be a really exciting opportunity.

That's it for now. Get better soon, Mom!