Month: July 2006

  •  It's Monday.  Ickers.

    So here's a blonde joke I found on another blog. 

    A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead are on the run from the law when they find an old barn to hide out in. The police are close on their tails, so when the women find three sacks, they immediately jump into them. About a minute later, a policeman comes into the barn and sees the suspicious-looking sacks. He kicks the first one.

    “Meow,” says the redhead.

    “It must be a cat,” thinks the policeman. He kicks the second sack.

    “Woof,” says the brunette.

    “Must be a dog,” thinks the policeman. He kicks the third sack.

    “Potatoes,” says the blonde.


  • I'm trying to arrange for a whole-family (less three, unfortunately)
    photo on the Sunday Alex and Charles are in town, and lemme tell you,
    it's not easy.  Between sitting fees, location fees, and mostly
    just the cost of the "portraits" (sounds so much more up-scale and
    pricey than "photographs", doesn't it?), I'm in sticker shock.

    One thing that has me puzzled, and which is a feature of most photo
    packages everywhere, whether Sears or a primo portrait photographer, is
    the presence of wallets. 

    Does anyone actually want wallet size pictures?  I mean, really
    What slays me is the number of 'em that'll be included in a
    package....normally at least 24, and often twice that number. 
    Wouldn't most people prefer to have a couple more 5 x 7's and give the
    wallets the go-bye?

  • This evening we had a rare treat, which was visiting with Gina, a
    cousin on my father's side of the family.  She was in the area
    seeing a friend so made her way over to west Fort Worth to see us, and
    Dad generously treated us to dinner.  Here's Mom, Dad, and Gina:


    Dad and Gina at the table:


    And here's one taken by Don, of me (yeah, I'm wearing the palm tree
    dress again...I like it, alright?), Dad, Mom, Gina, Louis, and Jeanne:


    It was terrific being able to see her!  She lives in the Fort
    Lauderdale area, so doesn't get up to Fort Worth often. 

  • Mercy Maud, what a blast from the past!  Mom had found one of the photos taken of my roommate at Gulf Park, Marcia, who was my best friend through our teen years, and one of our suitemates, Lila.  I'm on the left in yellow (though it's possible y'all could figure it out all by yourselves), and Marcia's on the right:


    We used to have to "dress" for dinner, meaning dresses and stockings.  To leave campus (save for crossing the street to the beach which we could do, though not enter the water due to the stuff in it left by Camille) one was to be dressed properly, though the year I went they permitted pants suits, which had come into style four or five years before.  For ages students had to be decked out complete with hats and gloves when going out in public; I forget when the dress code was loosened, though.

    Turns out the year I was there the board of directors was facing up to the fact the school would have to close, being unable to survive both the dwindling number of applicants (the "Gulf Parks" of the country were closing like clams at the time, being part of a bygone era) and the financial charge because of the hurricane.  It's a pity it couldn't have remained open one more year, so it had run a full fifty years, opening in 1922 and closing in 1972.

    Closing in 1971 completely destroyed the symmetry. 

    It was a lot of fun, though, and a great experience.  Wouldn't have missed it for the world!  Thanks, Mom and Dad. 

  • I'm back!  On Thursday morning Mom and I left (rather more hastily than had been planned, due to my having overslept  ) for the Mississippi Gulf coast and the annual reunion of Gulf Park College, which was once a two-years' girls' college in Long Beach, Mississippi.  Mom kindly treated me to the trip, and we had a super time indeed.  Except, of course, for the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.    The year I attended Gulf Park was the year Camille ravaged the area, delaying the start of the school year and necessitating Saturday classes and loong classes, but the destruction was nowhere near as bad as what Katrina managed to accomplish.

    Here is Mom with one of her suitemates, class of '46, in the hospitality room at the hotel, looking through yearbooks and photos:

    Gulf Park 002

    Thursday evening we went out on a sailboat and had supper (well, except I didn't eat as the water was rather rough and I tend toward seasickness); here are Mom and Peg again:

    Gulf Park 022

    The next day the two of them headed into Ocean Springs to do some shopping, while a friend of mine from Ocean Springs drove over to Gulfport to fetch me and drive me around so I could see the area and we could visit for a few hours.  Here's John and me at his church, First Presbyterian of Biloxi (PCA):


    That afternoon we Gulf Park almunae got to go on campus (the college is now part of the University of Southern Mississippi system); here is Mom in front of a memorabilia board in the room where the GPC stuff is kept until the Heritage Room is ready for occupancy again:

    Gulf Park 047

    This is Lloyd Hall, my dorm.....if memory serves, my room was the third largish window from the left, directly left of the tree:


    One cannot go into it, naturally.  It's structurally unsound.  The storm surge rushed through the first floor of it, Hardy Hall, and the Admin building.  Most likely they'll have to be torn down, more's the pity.  A famous feature of Gulf Park is Friendship Oak, which was a sapling back when Columbus first landed in the New World:

    Gulf Park 051

    You can't tell it from this picture, but there's a large platform in the tree.  It came through the hurricane quite well, blessedly!  Isn't that something?  The buildings are trashed but many of the old oaks survived.

    Speaking of Hurricane Camille, here's a shot of a boat that had been washed up on shore, in front of a gift shop owned by a Gulf Park alumnae, Lucille Moody.  Someone (perhaps her?) painted "SS Hurricane Camille" on it.  Sadly, what Camille couldn't do, Katrina did, and the gift shop was destroyed.  I heard the boat is about to be hauled away after these 37 years:

    Gulf Park 060

    It was a terrific trip, and there was even someone who'd been at the school the same year I was, though she'd been in Elizabeth Hall, so our paths hadn't crossed.  Still, we had fun reminiscing. 

  • This morning the internet cable service went down.  Most annoying.

    When I called into Charter - after restarting the computer a couple of times, along with rebooting the cable modem, router, and wireless router - and managed to thread my way through chirpy recorded sales pitches and myiard options as to which button to push to get where I wanted to go, I arrived at the "If your internet cable connection isn't working properly, push 3" choice.

    To hear "Due to an unusually high volume of calls, we are experiencing delays in answering..."

    Now lookie here.  Every single, solitary time I call Charter it seems I get the "Due to an unusually high volume of calls" message.  If it happens ALL THE TIME, it no longer qualifies as "unusual", now does it?

    No, it doesn't.

    Hire some more people, Charter, and answer the stupid phone. 

  • Dmitry and I are presently waiting for the arrival of the social worker
    from Gladney (and one or two interns) who will conduct the LAST
    so-how's-he-doing? report for Russia! 

    Not that he's going to lose interest in Russia, seeing as how Sveta's
    over there, but's nice to think Russia'll pretty much lose
    interest in him, and if we move we won't have to apprise them of his
    address, etc.

    If I can just get the Texas adoption finally done (I'm a hound, I
    know), that'll be IT.  Nothing left to do regarding his

  • A pair of travel items this week.....first, my daughter, Kirstin, is on
    her way to Honduras for a mission trip, returning next weekend. 
    May the LORD keep her and the rest of the team safe, and most
    important, may their trip be productive.

    Second, Mom and I will be heading down to the Mississippi coast on
    Thursday for a reunion of some of the other attendees of our
    now-defunct girls' college, Gulf Park.  Mom went there in the 40's
    (I hadn't thought about it before, but I suppose it must have been
    during WWII), and I was there my freshman year, 1969-1970, with a
    delayed start due to Hurricane Camille smashing the coast up right
    before school was scheduled to start.  We'll only be gone a couple
    of nights, returning Saturday evening.  Apparently we might not
    get to actually visit the campus itself, which had become part of the
    University of Mississippi system (I think that's right), as it was
    damaged by Katrina last year.

    It's been sixteen years since I even drove through the Mississippi gulf
    coast area, and that was prior to the casinos, so I daresay I literally
    won't recognize the area.  Along with the reunion, I'm
    anticipating meeting up with a friend of mine who moved to that area
    last year.  Looks to be a busy few days!

  • By golly, I'm really frosted.  

    The library's apparently been selling off some of the books I like to occasionally read!

    Edward Streeter is mostly known as the author of the original "Father of the Bride," and to a lesser extent "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation", but those aren't the only books he wrote.  There's also "Merry Christmas, Mr. Baxter" and "Chairman of the Bored," for instance.  I had to buy the latter book, the library not owning it, but could get the rest of them downtown.

    Ha!  Now there is ONE copy of "Father of the Bride" and it's at the SW Regional.  No "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation." No "Merry Christmas, Mr. Baxter."

    They're gone, per the catalogue.  I've noticed over the past year or two that many older novels like that seem to be disappearing at the same rate as old-growth forest, and this just confirms it.  'Twould appear I should have been attending the library's annual book sale, seeing as how they've been selling off some of my favorites. 

    If the shelves were full to overflowing, with books crammed in cheek-by-jowl, there might be some cause for it, but that's not the case.  There's heaps of space for more books.  Come to that, the revolving paperback stands in several of the libraries are emptying out, yet there will be signs up advising people they're not taking donations.  What's the sense in that, eh? 

  • Yesterday was the last day of the St. Andrew's Episcopal Vacation Bible School, which had a medieval theme. Mercy Maud, but the organizers and volunteers worked hard! Not only was there a spiffy castle - complete with knights in armor in turrets - but the classroom area downstairs was all decorated, too. It was a stroke of sheer genius, using bamboo torches outside of each room, the sort similar to this:


    They weren't lit, naturally, but still made a wonderful effect.

    There was a ceremony of sorts, where I tried to snag a decent photo of Meredith, but simply couldn't. Either I couldn't see her or she'd duck her head, the rapscallion. Here's the best one....she's right there between the two women, facing the camera:


    Is that a cool castle or what? Here's the pastor of St. Andrew's, along with a pair of his stalwart helpers:


    I'd fetched Margaret from the nursery so she could see the ceremony, too. It lasted longer'n I'd anticipated, and she's a wiggly two year old, so she spent most of the time in the aisle, next to me:


    She's so cute! When there was applause she vacillated between clapping wildly or making graceful curtseys. While the singing was going on, she'd spin and twirl: