Month: July 2009

  • Brianna's at Camp Carter, and this is such a neat feature.

    A relative  -  such as myself  -  can buy credits for "bunk notes", which are emails printed out and delivered to the camper at lunch the next day.  Photos can be attached, too! 

    Plus there's a photo gallery where, if one is willing to sift through a few hundred photos, one may be fortunate enough to located pix of one's camper.  I was willing, and here they are:

    That's Brianna on the left. 

    I've gotten a letter from her, the poppet, but not a bunk note reply. 

    I told her about the phone call I got from her Uncle Charles last night, telling me about his apartment building being hit by lightning during the thunderstorm that passed through!  He lost his water for a while, then it came back on, then went off again. 

    This afternoon Kenny noticed that my right rear passenger tire was almost flat due to a nail in it, so off I went to Discount Tires.  While waiting there was a woman who held an extended conversation on her cell phone that concerned some friends of hers.  It got really irritating listening to her.  Short, pithy, to-the-point cell phone calls in waiting areas are fine, but mercy Maud, I do dislike being forced to listen to long conversations.

    There was an amusement factor provided, though, when the woman piously noted to whoever it was she'd been talking to that when it came to the affairs of the couple she'd been talking about, that was no one's business but their own.

    Apart from everyone in the waiting room of Discount Tires, of course. 

  • I'm at Discount Tire being

    I'm at Discount Tire being forced to listen to some woman's cell phone conversation. I hate that.

  • A sad post....

    My father, Lawton Gambill, died at 1:35 a.m. this morning, with my mother on one side and me on the other.  He'd been very ill for a longish time, and there's no doubt the only reason he lived this long is due to Mom's dogged, determined, devoted care of and for him. 

    I loved him dearly - well, still do, of course, as I still love my dearest Donald! - and love my mother. 

  • Two posts in one day.

    Dmitry received an unexpected but very welcome email from Svetlana....a photo of his Russian mother, Galina!

    Wasn't she gorgeous in her younger days?  That HAIR!  And Dmitry bears a remarkable resemblance to her, don't you think?   He was sweet enough to say he thought I look like her, too.  ;^)

    Kenny's primary job today was to install a new light fixture in the kitchen.  We saw it at Lowe's a few days ago and both of us stopped dead and stared.  It was perfect!  I'm crazy about it, and tomorrow he's going to put a dimmer on it for me (or Friday; I have to get the dimmer first).

    The animals around here continue to amuse me considerably.  The white kitten has had its name changed, BTW.  "Eisenhower" didn't suit him at all, so the little ear-and-neck-sucker has been renamed "Dracula."  For a small kitten he's always hungry, and this afternoon he clearly decided he wasn't going to risk missing a meal:

    Dracula napped for a good while there, nestled amongst the plates and bowls.  This evening I took Max out for a walk and as he usually does, when we returned he wanted a snack of dry cat food...he loves the stuff:

    This evening Dmitry and Zhenya have gone to the latter's Wednesday night youth group meeting, and I'm sitting on the back porch, surfing the net and watching "Mary Poppins" on the portable DVD. 

    Max is out here, too, whining like a two year old.  Darn dog. 

  • Drat. It's been a week again! Where does the time go?

    Let me see. The kittens continue to lose their significant advantage of being kittens and growing. Most annoying of them. If I wanted grown cats I'd have gotten 'em.

    They play and play and play, though admittedly a fair chunk of time is given over to napping.

    Dan and Sarah have come by:

    On Sunday Alex, Beth and the girls came to the 11 o'clock service at CCBC, then here to help prepare for the party at 4 p.m. That was the most discombobulated party I've ever given. Hadn't even begun stuffing the eggs when guests began arriving. Not a lot of family could come, what with one thing or another, but that's a good thing about having such a large family...doesn't take many to make a decent crowd! ;^)

    Those are just a couple of pix I liked of the Ivy girls, and here's one of Alex being a goof with Magellan:

    It surprised everyone how much Bridgette and Faith look alike!

    I didn't do anything terribly fancy for food. There were the aforementioned stuffed eggs, plus a veggies platter with a really wonderful Archer Farms cream cheese dip or whatever, plus a couple of pork tenderloins (Apple Bourbon and a Pomegranate-Basil) sliced and served with those Hawaiian rolls, potato salad, and a red velvet cake (also from Target) plus most of a from-the-freezer-case chocolate silk pie.

    Tell you what, I was shown up as a bad, bad Gran. I'd asked all the adults their preference as to dessert and served them when I glanced down and saw Faith standing stock still, staring up at me with the most singularly plaintive expression I've ever seen on anyone's face. "What about ME?" was written all over her, causing an outcry from most everyone. ("Poor little thing!" "Can't Faith have some dessert?")

    I scooped her up and asked which she wanted, cake or pie. Without hesitation and with a great deal of enthusiasm she pointed to her choice. "Pie!"

    She got her pie, and dug right in, the poppet.

    Kenny has been working and working, bless him. The age of stuff around here is tripping him up, as lots of projects are taking more time than expected. Case in point was a bat (as in the critter) ceiling fan pull I'd gotten off eBay. The chain had come off years ago from the fan in the living room and Don had tied a string to something inside the casing. Not elegant, but worked.

    How hard could it be for a licensed apprentice electrician to replace the string with a chain, right?

    It morphed into a 2-3 hour ordeal for him....including his being shocked by a "neutral" wire that turned out to be on an entirely separate the 30 year old innards repeatedly broke as soon as he touched them. At one point he had managed to get it all put together only the fan wouldn't turn on. He eventually located the problem and fixed it (it works fine, and I love the bat), but it wound up chewing up the best part of the afternoon on Friday.

    This is how it's been for him time and time again around here. If it's not the age of the wiring or wallpaper or whatever, it's Don's, um, creative electrical work. Him not being here to explain how he did something or other, Kenny's had to gingerly try to figure it out the hard way. (I can readily imagine Don pointing out to whoever's around him now that hey, it may have been unorthodox but it worked, didn't it? Don was very results-oriented...if it worked, it was fine. The plumbers and electricians who have come along behind him over the years haven't seemed to feel exactly the same way about his unique way of accomplishing stuff. Picky, picky. )

    Anyway, it's been rather embarrassing how seemingly minor tasks I've asked Kenny to do have given him fits. He's always very nice about it, along with adamant about getting them done. So far he's managed to overcome every obstacle this house has thrown at him.

    It's going to be highly amusing to have Don and Kenny meet in glory someday. Hope I get to be there!

    On another topic, Eisenhower (the white kitten) has turned out to be very badly named. A far more appropriate name would be Dracula, the wretched little ear-sucker. He's actually drawn blood on both my ear lobes! The actual sucking isn't so bad, it's those blasted needle-sharp claws he refuses to sheath. He does the kneading thing on my ear, face and neck and those claws hurt. If he can't reach my ears ("NO EARS! Leave my ears ALONE!"), he'll settle for sucking on my neck.

    Kitty hickies. Lovely.  

  • They're all back at last!

    Can you imagine?  Six children and they all live in the DFW area. 

    Scenes from the airport this evening:

    Jessica and her youngest daughters arrived right before us:

    Doesn't darling Bridgette look delicious?

    The plane arrived early and within a couple of minutes, here he came.....Uncle Alex!

    After Brianna, it was Gran/Mama's turn:

    It was an incredibly bittersweet occasion since Alex's father wasn't here to greet him as usual. 

    After a tearful start, we settled down, looked around, and realized Beth, Charles, etc. had been waiting at the other end of the baggage claim all this time.

    It's a shame more family members couldn't have been there but most gambled he'd come in tomorrow night, and made plans for tonight.  Oh well!  They'll see him Sunday (unless, of course, you're the family heading up to the cool of Aspen, you hounds).

    Ronnie, Beth's father, went ahead and took Hannah home to Mesquite, then the boys and the Ivys and me headed to Mom and Dad's house for a few minutes, then adjourned to LaMadeleine for dinner, Alex's treat.  We had a lovely time, though precious Faith was occasionally a trifle obstreperous; she's still a cutie-patootie, however! 

    Thanks be to God that Alex and his family made it through their Japanese Adventure safely, and are home in Texas.

    (Today Hannah felt the first blast of real Texas heat and plaintively asked when they were going back to Japan.)

  • I have been hideously dilatory, and do apologize!

    It's not as if nothing's happened, since Beth and the girls arrived Saturday evening, while Alex flew to Memphis to finish processing out.  There were several of us waiting when the elevator doors opened and there they were!

    Sweet Hannah ran like the wind to her Nana, Paw-paw and us. 

    Natalee, one of Beth's best friends and a professional photographer, took one of my cameras and snapped much better photos than I ever would, plus it meant I'm in some of 'em:

    Ah, Dmitry and Charles add sparkle to every occasion, don't they?

    I've no idea what caused these facial expressions!

    Realized I'd best get these posted ASAP seeing as how Alex is coming in TONIGHT!  Most of us expected him tomorrow, so not everyone will be able to be at the airport, more's the pity.  Oh well!

    The boys (Dmitry, Joe and Zhenya) started in on the garage today:

    There's still a lot left to do:

    I swear Don never threw anything away!  And not only did Kenny find a bag of coins somewhere in the garage while searching for a tool or the like (I told him to keep it), when I was cleaning some stuff out of the Public Storage place, I couldn't imagine what was making a small box Don had stored so heavy

    You guessed it.  A Zip-lock bag of coins.  Gave that one to Dmitry.  The coins are overwhelmingly pennies, but's been surreal, finding bags of change in unexpected places.   Shades of Mrs. Pigglewiggle!

    I decided I didn't want the paint I'd chosen for the bedroom, so picked another one (a pale yellow called "Crisp Ginger Ale"), and then chose "Olivewood" for the living room.  Yeah, I decided to paint the living room.  Well, to be strictly accurate Kenny is painting the living room.

    There's to be a "welcome home" party here on Sunday afternoon, and the dining room is still a disaster.  Odds are the stuff will dumped in the garage. 

    And so the tradition continues. 

  • Yesterday Kenny finished putting a lovely ivy/grapes window privacy film on the sidelight next to the front door.  Wasn't he fortunate to have such helpers?  

    This morning the Joy Fellowship, aka: the widows' group at Christ Chapel, boarded a bus and headed for Babe's in Roanoke, which has truly magnificent fried chicken and chicken fried steak.  The decor is certainly distinctive:

    Notice the boar's head with the sign under it reading "Yes....I'm the 'other' white meat!"  Food is served on platters and in bowls (some may remember the restaurant Celebration, which did that).  Here came the server with a heaping platter of fried chicken (and this was for one table, mind!):

    There were biscuits and honey, wonderful salad, mashed potatoes, bowls of cream gravy, and creamed corn. 

    I had chicken fried steak, which was darn near perfect....not too much breading, and nearly fork tender.  Plus I still got to eat some chicken.  Hehehe!  

    It's a ways away, being up in Roanoke, but well worth the drive, IMO.  Here's an odd thing:  no desserts.  Just as well, undoubtedly.  Oh, and plastic bags are provided so customers can take the leftover chicken and biscuits home!  

    This impressive-looking plaque was outside the front door:

    Read it carefully! 

    After lunch we reboarded the bus and headed to Sam Moon's.  I regret to report I spent every cent I'd taken with me on earrings, scarves, a watch, and a couple of other things.  The boldest purchase had to be one by my friend (and one of the organizers of the Joy Fellowship), Jo Helen, who bought a's not a full wig, just part of one:

    I tried on a hat but as usual looked perfectly awful;  I love hats but look ghastly in them (unlike my granddaughter, Bethany, who is adorable in both pork pie hats and berets):

    It got put back.  

    Tell you what, one forgets how far away Keller and such places are;  the Fort Worth skyline is barely visible from the parking lot of Sam Moon's:

    It's the blue bits sticking up on the horizon between the "n" and "F".  When Dad and Mom took us for the annual vacation to Kansas and we'd return by 35W, when we were at that point we could just make out the CNB building, and would still have a good 40 minutes before getting home.  Now people live out there and work in downtown!  Amazing.

    This is simply a cute photo of Eisenhower sitting in a cardboard thingummy that came from a box; he was sitting on his tail...I'm not sure how to describe it.  He wasn't on his haunches, as cats usually sit, but with his rear paws sticking up:

    He'd moved a bit by the time I snapped the photo, but it was awfully cute.  Never seen a cat sit like that before.

    He's beginning to bite now, just as Magellan is getting over that.  Sheesh.

  • It was a nice Fourth.

    Who knew Zeus was a catnip freak?  I bought one of those catnip-scratcher things that one sprinkles catnip over and rubs in.  Zeus was all over it, eating it before it could be rubbed in, then rubbing herself all over it:

    Mind, all the cats love it!  Last night (I'm jumping ahead a couple of days) it was accidentally tumped over, and after all three cats fell to, this was the sight:

    Dan came over a couple of times, once with Sarah and once without;  here he is with Max:

    Magellan and Eisenhower have taken nicely to each other, and there's no doubt but that they enjoy playing together:

    I have a new camera.....a 14.7 megapixel Canon!....and on Friday night I tried it out on the fireworks display:

    And also tried out the night shot feature (along with photo editing afterward, naturally):

    Dan and Sarah came over last night before going with Joe to watch the fireworks at LaGrave Field after the Cats' game (which went into the 11th inning and the Cats lost):


    Now I'm watching the Next Food Network Star, and wondering how often the word "little" can be used in a minute;  many, many times, apparently.

    This week has a couple of events I'm looking forward to quite a bit, the first being a bus trip on Tuesday with the widows' group at CCBC....we're going to Babe's in Roanoke, which has killer fried chicken from what I hear, and then Sam Moon's, a shopping mecca.  On Wednesday is the July Women's salad luncheon, which is always fun.  Then on Thursday is choir, which I've missed for the past couple of weeks. 

    Of course, the BIG news is that next Saturday Alex, Beth and the girls return to the States from Japan!  They'll fly into Seattle then Alex flies to Millington, TN so he can process out, and that evening Beth, Hannah and Faith arrive at DFW.

    I can't wait.