Saturday, August 30, 2008

We're not leaving (Hurricane Gustav coming!)

We live five miles from Mobile Bay, and 45-50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and our house is on a high elevation. We are not evacuating. Right now, it looks like they are predicting that it will hit west of New Orleans Monday afternoon. My heart goes out to those in its path. I am praying for you! All we can do is pray and prepare.

To prepare, hubby contracted for two limbs from the big live oak tree in our back yard to be removed. One shaded the house and the deck, but it was on the roof, so it had to go before does any damage. The other was low in the back yard, and he has hit his head on it more than once.

The tree service people came yesterday, and had them off quickly. Hubby decided we would clean it up ourselves, and that is what we did this morning. The tree people said it had actually started to damage our roof. Hubby has been wanting to get a metal roof. They are supposed to be more storm-resistant than the shingles, so we'll do that soon, I expect.

Here is how our back yard and deck looked before:

A view of the deck

Under the shade of the oak tree

Here is how it looks now:

100_4204

100_4176

Monday, August 25, 2008

After the storm

Pond overflowing banks
Monday morning

Tropical Storm Fay lightly brushed us, here in south Alabama. Saturday was mostly cloudy, and Sunday was partly cloudy, partly sunny, and partly rainy.

Pond awaiting storm
Saturday

Pecan tree awaiting the storm
Saturday

The heavy rains started shortly after 10:00pm Sunday, and must have lasted through the night (we slept). This morning, our rain gauge showed 4 1/2 inches!

Four and a half inches!
Monday

The next two pictures show the ditch alongside our yard, full of water. They were higher than this early, but it was still raining, and I didn't go outside.

Water in ditch

Water in ditch, other side of driveway

The wind is still blowing, too

Wind rippling puddles
Wind-rippled water in puddles

Blowin' in the wind
Wind blowing pecan tree

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those whose homes flooded, and all the families of those who lost their lives.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trucking mystery

We've been making some progress toward solving the mystery Jus' Keep on Truckin'! of the dump trucks going past our house. Hubby was behind one going east. (I'm not sure if he was following it on purpose, or just happened to be going the same way.) It went down a country road and then onto a paved county road, then turned onto a muddy dirt road, and he couldn't see where it went. He refrained from going down the dirt road, as he was in my car, a white Honda. Someday, we'll follow the trail in his old, black SUV. Some sunny, dry day when we won't get stuck in the mud!

Today, I left for an appointment early, and followed one going the other way. We turned left onto Hwy 90, then right onto Hwy 98, but the truck turned onto the causeway going to Mobile, and I didn't have time to follow it there. So, our mystery remains unsolved for now. We know that they're not digging very near us, nor dumping at the local shopping center, but that's all we know.

Following dump truck in rain
Following it in the rain

Weather cleared, still following
Clearer weather, still following

Bearing right onto Hwy 98
Turning right onto 98

End of trail, for now
In left turn lane, headed for Mobile. I had made a U-turn, and am now facing it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our 40th anniversary was Sunday!

(This icon was created with the help of an avatar maker site, maybe Otaku, but I don't remember.)

Forty years, imagine that! Sometimes it seems like forever, and sometimes it seems like only last year we were that young couple who didn't know anything, but thought we knew everything. Sometimes, I feel like I don't know anything now, LOL!

We had about 300 (+ or -) guests at our wedding in the church I attended, and the reception in the church's parish house. It was cake, bride's cake only - groom's cake was not a custom then - and little sandwiches, nuts, mints, and punch. I wore a white wedding dress and my three attendants wore pale green dresses. Hubby and his attendants and our fathers wore black trousers with white coats. My mother and hubby's mother both wore pink; they planned it that way.

We spent our wedding night at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama - about 50 miles or so from our homes, and the next day drove to Birmingham, Alabama, where we lived for the next 35 years. Hubby had to go back to work Monday. He had just started the job two months before, and didn't have any vacation time. When people asked us where we were going for our honeymoon, we said, "Birmingham!" So we had a l-o-n-g honeymoon!

I had two weeks at home, getting the apartment in order and learning the city a little, before I began work as a social worker. We lived on the 10th floor of one of the few high-rise apartment buildings in town for most of the first year. We called it our "honeymoon hotel!" It was convenient to grocery stores, laundromat (the building had two washers and two dryers, but they were in a dingy, dark, dirty basement. I only used it once!), restaurants, and my work. We were not allowed to have any pets except birds or fish. Our next door neighbors were an elderly couple who had lived there a long time. They had a pet parakeet that liked to ride up and down the elevator with the wife, perched on top of her white head! I was really surprised the first time I saw that!

Tommy overlooking Red Mountain Expressway, 1968
Hubby on street in front of our apt. building, overlooking future site of Red Mountain Expressway, now a major thoroughfare

First apartment living room
Our first living room, the apartment was furnished, but we bought our own furniture six months later.

Me in living room, 1968
Me in our living room. Hubby took this picture, of course. The little hall and the bathroom are through the doorways. See the high-fi beside the sofa? I had that since junior high school!

Jus' keep on truckin'!

Dump truck at corner

Trucks going up and down our road all day long. Big, heavy dump trucks. Some coming south down the highway, turning left onto the road, others going west on the road and turning right onto the highway. Truck after truck after truck all day long. Coming in empty, going out full of dirt. We don't know where they're going or where they've been. This morning I went down the road the same way, and saw one turn left about a mile and a half southeast of us to wherever they fill up. I don't know what kind of project is going on down there.

Trucks hauling dirt

Today while eating lunch, I took note of two leaving. One was a white one from the McDaniel company, and one was black from Stampede. They returned forty-five minutes later. I don't know if they took that long or if they stopped for lunch. There are some big shopping centers under construction north of us, and that may be where they go. I saw one turn left onto Highway 90 the other day when we were out.

Don't you love mysteries? Stay tuned, and we'll get to the bottom of this!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bass Pro Shop


Bass Pro Shops are popping up like Starbucks! We finally got one in our area, and hubby and I went to see it yesterday afternoon. We had seen one before, near Montgomery, Alabama, but this one is "ours!" (In the sense that it is located near us.)

They are quite impressive, even if you're not into hunting and fishing. Amazing, actually! The attention to detail is unmatched. The entry looks like a great lodge. It looks like a log cabin, and is framed by antlers. There is a pond with a small waterfall beside the door. Inside is a great fireplace and hearth (with a fire burning, in August!) with comfortable chairs around it. Then you enter the store itself through a turnstile. To the right are home decor items and a mini store-within-the-store where they sell jams, jellies, candles, sauces, relishes,cookbooks, and fudge. Ladies' clothing is next to that. Off to the left is fishing equipment, with rows and rows of fishing rods. In the back is a great waterfall going into a large fish tank, where many different species of live fish native to Alabama are swimming. This was a big crowd draw. A staircase winds around the waterfall, offering viewpoints along the way. There are also elevators. All around the waterfall area and the large atrium in the center of the building are taxidermied creatures: deer, bears, oppossums, and boars. They are arranged to look like they are living in their natural environment. On the other hand, schools of fish hang from the ceiling, and above the waterfall, birds are "flying" overhead (with the help of nylon fishing line).

Here are some more pictures:
The entry
The entrance

The pond by the entrance
Pond near the entrance

Attention to detail: Alligator door handles!
Alligator door handles

Fireplace in foyer
Fireplace screen

Indoor pond with "fishermen." In the background, you can see people on the glass-front elevator. (I have to ride facing the door. It makes me dizzy to look out the window on an elevator.)
Men fishing in pond (mannequins)

"Man tying rope to tree"
Mannequin

The waterfall and fish tank
The waterfall and fish tank

Deer
Deer

View of first floor from second floor crosswalk
The first floor

Shooting range on the second floor. It seemed to be a sort of arcade game.
Shooting range

Fish "swimming" above fishing rods. I've heard of "fly fishing" but this is crazy!
Fish "swimming" near ceiling

If you want to see any of the photos larger, click on one (except the one at the top of this post) and it will take you to my Flickr site.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Song meme

www.partyguideonline.com
I found this picture with Google image search. It's from www.partyguideonline.com

Alex My Quill and Pen tagged me.

Here are the rules:

The rules:
1. Post the link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 songs you are embarrassed to admit to others that you like and tell why.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post.


1. "How Come My Dog Don't Bark When You Come Around?" by Dr. John, a New Orleans blues singer wikepedia article

I've only heard it once or twice, on the radio, and I thought it was so funny! The guy suspects someone else coming around to see his "old lady" because his dog doesn't bark when he comes around. It just tickles my funnybone!

2. "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt

Another one that tickles my funnybone. It's just so over the top, sexy and materialistic!

3. A country song that goes something like "Where am I going to live when I go home?" about a good ol' boy who stays out too late. His "old lady" threatened to put him out if he did it again, and she kept her promise. I get a kick out of that one, too. Our dance club dances a barn dance to it sometimes.

4. and 5. Two Christmas songs on the singing group Alabama's Christmas album from about twenty years ago, I guess, "Thistlebear the Christmas Bear", which is a children's song, and "Christmas in Dixie". I play that tape every year when I decorate the tree. It opens the Christmas season for me!

You see, I don't usually choose to listen to country or blues, but when I do happen to hear it, I often find myself liking it! Wierd, huh?

I tag

Debbie Wistera and Roses
Connie Casa Maria
Judy Brocante and Etc.
Paula Six for Paula
Diane Pibbles at Large
Roberta Havefaith1
Cielo The House in the Roses

(You don't have to do it if you don't want to.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Blues

Joe the fisherman

Blue is my favorite color, has been for a long time. Even before I realized that, I was drawn to blue - blue and white stripes, blue flowers on a white background on linens and china patterns, and blue clothes - shirts, slacks, suits, etc. Blue is a restful color; it calms me. It is also a cheerful color; who doesn't like a bright blue sky as the background for everything outdoors?

Inspired by my friend Debbie's blog entry, Wisteria and Roses I've decided to make my own "blue" post. If anyone else wants to join me in this "Blue Monday", please do, and point me to your post. It probably won't be a weekly thing; even I don't have that much blue!

The fellow greeting you at the top is "Joe" the fisherman. He is supposed to have a fishing pole in his hand. We've thought about putting a Welcome sign in it. He was made for us by a friend.

Early Spring Pecan

Parasail

This is the blue sky I spoke of. The first photo is of our pecan tree in our front yard, with spring leaves just popping out, and the second is a parasail at the beach.

Delphiniums

Blue Salvia

Blue flowers! The top ones are delphiniums at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama, and the second ones are blue salvia in our garden.

Underwater Spiraling (Fish)

I love the colors of water, above and below.

Easy chair

Coming inside, here is where I like to rest, watch TV, read, or embroider. My husband has an identical chair right beside it.

Grandmother's quilt

This is a quilt my grandmother made many, many years ago, maybe in the 1940s, or before. I think she was born in the 1880s.

Easter table

My blue table setting. This was Easter; you can see the little red Easter egg.

tablecloth pattern

My son bought me this tablecloth in Belgium. I put the light blue cloth underneath.

Bathroom after redecorating

I even had our bathroom redecorated in shades of blue!

Painted tile

We bought this tile in Mexico on a cruise, and my husband framed it in a shadowbox. I added the shells and fake seaweed. It's hanging in our bathroom.

Souvenir from the Netherlands

This Delft windmill is a souvenir of our trip to Holland, Belgium, and England in July, 2001. I would love to go back!

Blue Magic

I even like blue so much that I made a mosaic on Flickr, called "Blue Magic" with the help of FD's FlickrToys. I hope you like it, too!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Header

You probably noticed that I changed the picture for the header. I'll do that from time to time, maybe not every month, but at least seasonally. This one is the pond with a little pumphouse across the road from our house.