Month: August 2005


    Just watched a live report from Fort Walton, Fl, where the reporter was
    talking with the manager of a Holiday Inn which has remained open so as
    to provide shelter for vacationers who were unable to leave the

    Doggone if while they were talking - on a pier - some idiot couple trucked out onto the pier with their children, obviously so they could get on national TV, based upon their grinning and waving from behind the manager and reporter. 

    A levee has been breached in New Orleans, not far from the French Quarter.

    Thank heavens Jordan got out of there in time. 

    BTW, kudos to that Holiday Inn manager, as far from price gouging, he lowered his rates. 

  • Poor Long Beach, Gulfport, and Biloxi, Mississippi. 

    Those are my ol' stomping grounds from my freshman year at college,
    when I attended a small girls' college, Gulf Park, in Long Beach. 
    I arrived shortly after Camille, which delayed the start of the school

    If you've never seen first-hand the damage done by a Category Five hurricane, trust's impressive.    Highway 90 was broken in places, houses cut in half, trees uprooted, buildings smashed.....

    Winds at Pascagoula, Mississippi have already gusted to 113 mph.  Highway 90 completely submerged in the Gulfport area.

    And again there are dingalings too dumb to come in out of the hurricane, notably TV reporters! 

  • This afternoon we trooped to Elaine's house to celebrate a few
    birthdays, and the family members in attendance were pleasantly surprised to find
    some unexpected visitors....Beth and Hannah!

    They rode back into town with Beth's father (who'd been visiting them)
    on Wednesday, since Alex was going to Atlanta then for the Navy band,
    but kept a low profile so as to surprise people at the
    party.   Can you tell our Hannah had her first haircut

    Max was clearly overwhelmed and uneasy at first, but a few servings of
    ice cream helped him feel at ease, then Marebear's roller coaster toy
    completed the process:

    He adored it, and went over and over again, though he was a very good
    boy and willingly got off to let Meredith and Margaret have a turn if
    they wanted (they civilly declined).  After the party it was time
    to get Max all packed up and ready to leave.

    It was nearly as we were walking out the door, but I finally got a photo of Max and me in his little album to take home:

    Finally his bags were packed and it was time to go.  We didn't
    intend to be, but wound up being the first to arrive at the hotel,
    beating even the Gladney people.   The hotel wasn't as far
    away as we thought it was....we weren't desperate to get rid of him!

    Max in a brief moment of tranquility in the lobby.  Most of the
    time he was crawling onto and under the glass topped tables (),
    running, jumping, and generally being rowdy.  Yet he'd been pretty
    quiet at home!  In a few minutes other families and Gladney
    personnel began to arrive and after a bit it was time for the first
    group of kids to head upstairs to their rooms.  Dmitry was pressed
    into service as an escort, seeing as how he can speak Russian. 

    Max loved the little orange suitcase we bought him, insisting upon
    taking it up himself.  I tried to catch another photo of him as he
    disappeared, but he was too fast, and the suitcase was the last we saw
    of him:

    Dasvidanya, dear Max.  We loved having you with us, and pray the LORD sends you a forever family soon! 

  • Did I ever mention my nephew Jordan is a HOUND?  

    Turns out he's been in Shreveport since yesterday, but didn't bother to let anyone know. 

  • Well, isn't that ducky?  Katrina exploded overnight into a Category Five hurricane, and it's headed straight for New Orleans.

    My nephew, Jordan, is in New Orleans. 

  • Today I'm going to assemble a small (insofar as suitcase space is
    concerned) gift for Vitaly, the only Bright Futures child in the
    previous three camps to remain unadopted.  Do y'all recall him
    from last summer?

    Vika says he's very sad about still being in Russia, and that he loves
    the presents I send him periodically, as it reassures him he hasn't
    been forgotten.  It's difficult writing to him, as I can hardly
    wax eloquent about the keen times Dmitry and the other boys are having,
    can I?  

  • There is sure a difference between Emperor Maximus when he feels at
    home and comfortable, and when he's in a strange place with people he
    doesn't know.  This evening we ran out to Kirstin's house for a
    short visit, whereupon Mad Max disappeared, to be replaced by The
    Shadow.  He refused to speak, clinging to Don for a good portion
    of the time, though he finally consented to stand in one spot, not
    making eye contact with anyone. 

    Max at first was reluctant to even exit the car.....Don's theory is he
    was afraid he'd be handed over to someone else again. 

    While at Kirstin's Dmitry encouraged Bryson to show off his newly acquired walking skills:

    At first Bryson wasn't especially interested, serenely ignoring his uncle's earnest pleas. ("Walk, Bryson!  Walk!")

    However, Dmitry can be persuasive, so Bryson got up and headed unsteadily off.  ;^)

    And he finally got a haircut, as he's not going to Disney World.

    Tomorrow's going to be a heck of a day, between getting everything
    ready for Max's return to Russia, the family party, and taking him to
    the hotel.

  • Presenting Vovik, the Biker Dog:

    Max is quite attached to him.  ;^)

    Yesterday evening we introduced Max to the joys of a Slip-n-Slide:

    Mad Max, the Russian Rocket in action. 

    The Evil Monkey Malchik (one of my pet names for Dmitry, BTW...."malchik" is "boy") did his level best to get me, but I was just out of range.

    He really got a kick out the Slip-n-Slide, and we'll have to do it
    again today.  Tell you what, this is one smart kid.  He
    quickly grasped that by standing on the side bit from whence the water
    squirts out he can effect the speed and height of it (there's another
    word that better expresses what I want to say, but I can't remember it
    right now), so amused himself singing a song and jumping from side to
    side, creating a fountain that kept time with the song.  If you
    can grasp what I'm talking about.

    Whoever adopts him needs to swiftly arrange for guitar lessons for him
    - he loves to play Dmitry's and sing for me - as well as get him into
    gymnastic classes.  The way he jumps and lands, and stands on top
    of things with his arms stretched up or out makes me think he's been
    taking them in Russia.  Either that or he's a natural
    gymnast.  He has the physique for it, and is quite strong.

    And this amuses me.....Miss Pattycake has made another conquest! 
    Yep, Max loves the "Miss Pattycake Wiggly Giggly Singalong Songs"
    DVD.  I think we'll see if we can find a CD version for him to
    take on the airplane home with a CD player.

  • Wow!  Max slept in this morning, not waking until about 9:30 a.m. 

    This morning we went to Ridgmar mall, where he had a grand time at the children's play area:

    Max'd make a wonderful gymnast; in fact, I've wondered if he isn't taking lessons in Russia already.

    Then we went to the Build-a-Bear store, where he latched onto a dog:

    He loved working the controls to stuff his pooch.

    His favorite part was the grooming station.  He'd still be there
    if he could!  He chose black denim shorts and a black "leather"
    biker jacket for Vovik, which is what he named it.  According to
    the people at the store, he was the third or fourth BFC kid to come in
    to create a special toy. 

  • When it comes to Highly Addictive Substances, t'would appear nicotine,
    heroine and meth have nothing on Friskies canned cat food. 

    What with one thing and another I'd committed a sin of omission, i.e.
    ran out of cat food.  Boots and Zeus eat dry food (and are quite
    picky about which one, too) so when the bowl was empty yesterday
    morning, I remembered a couple of cans of Friskies that had come from
    Charles' room when he moved to Tech (presumably due to the cat and
    kittens he'd brought back from Anson), opened one and dumped it into
    their food dish.

    A while later I noticed it was empty, and yesterday afternoon I bought a bag of dry food at Wal-Mart.

    This morning Boots woke me at 5 a.m.  This is not unusual, so I
    stumbled blearily into the kitchen, expecting to see an empty
    bowl.  Nope.  There was
    food still in it, but still Boots meowed plaintively.  Couldn't
    imagine what her problem was, but went ahead and topped it up, snarled
    at her, and trudged back to try and get in a little more sleep before
    the day's official start time.

    Twice more Boots complained to me, refusing to eat the food she has
    been enjoying for months.  Only thing I can figure is she has
    tasted feline ambrosia in the form of Friskies canned cat food and
    somehow knowing there's one more can sitting on the counter, has begun
    a kitty hunger strike until I relent and provide the Good Stuff.

    Dream on, Boots....dream on.  Addictions are ugly things, and I'll not be your dealer.