Saturday, June 25, 2011


Soooo, who says you need a week to pack? I got my bikini and the booze...what else do you need, I ask ya??

Ready to head off for a week of no, I mean, a week at the beach.

FYI, this is *one* reason why I like cruises better than most any other vacation. For about the same amount, maybe even a little cheaper, as two rooms at this hotel, we could book two cabins on a cruise ship.
However, all the food and entertainment is free on the cruise ship, AND you get a ride to visit exotic, foreign ports.

At a hotel at the beach, you get the room. That's it.
Okay, and the beach, but compared to a Caribbean beach...jeez, there is no comparing.

Anyway, since we have to buy all our food all week, and drive around to whatever tourist traps we might visit, we can only afford one room. So that means sharing with the boys.

Ah well.

I'm still trying to figure what's going to happen this week. Or, not happen.
If you read my Post at my Travel Blog, then you know we hadn't originally planned a trip to SC, but to Florida.
For some reason or other, we were led to SC instead.

Question is, were we led to SC for a reason? Or were we simply led away from Florida?
Is something going to happen in SC? Or would something have happened if we'd gone to Florida?

The thing I'm thinking about is that we were led there by that race car driving experience scam thing.
If it didn't have anything to do with the reason we needed to be in SC - or not in Florida - then why was it cancelled? Would it have made a difference if we went ahead and did it, if we were just weren't supposed to be in Florida?  And even if we were supposed to be in SC, still what does it matter if we did the driving experience?

The only thing I can figure is that we needed to be in Charleston/Folly Beach on Sunday or earlier on Monday. With the race car driving thing, we wouldn't have arrived in Folly Beach until Monday evening sometime.
As it is we're not arriving until Sunday evening, so whatever big cosmic event that might be happening will happen Sunday evening or Monday morning/afternoon, I guess.

I hope it's nothing bad. I hate when bad stuff happens.
But what else would it be?  The race car driving experience thing and the rest of the trip would have been a good thing in of itself, no help needed.
Besides, not much good things happen to/for us.  It's always a good thing when nothing bad happens. And we're happy with that.

It could end up one of those things where we, or one of us, is simply supposed to be in a certain spot at a certain time to cause something to happen in a future event, or even someone else's event altogether.
The latter would be a pain because then I might never know the ending of the story.
I really don't feel like we would have been sent so far off our path for one instant of time needed to change someone else's fate unless we, or one of us, would play more into it, and would eventually know the end of the story.

Oh well. Here's to Life's Adventures.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Slow Week

Slow week...lazy week...I spent most of the week reading instead of working because hey, I can.
If there's one thing I've learned in all my many years, it's that housework will wait for you. If I don't clean out that storage room until next year, it will still be there next year.

Any JR Ward fans visiting?

Dark Lover. J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood 1)
I just discovered the Black Dagger Brotherhood series this year. And pretty glad for it, since I had like 9 or 10 books waiting for me, instead of having to wait six months or more between.
When I started out I was getting paperbacks from the UBS or PBS - hadn't discovered 4S yet - and I did get kind of stalled in the middle somewhere while waiting on another book to become available.

In the meantime, I had gotten a copy of Covet, the first in her new Fallen Angels series, so I went ahead and read it.  Although I knew the book took place in the same city as the BDB, I completely missed some BDB references because I hadn't read Phury or Rehv's stories yet.

So anyway, finished the BDB books, and eventually got ahold of Crave, the second book in the Fallen Angels series.  I wasn't all as excited to read it because I hadn't enjoyed the first book anywhere near as much as I had the BDB books, but I finally decided to go ahead and read it this week.
And, boy, was I lost.  I was like, what? who? I don't remember that - Huh?

So I had to pretty much go back and re-read Covet to even know what I was reading in Crave.

Covet (Fallen Angels, Book 1) Crave (Fallen Angels, Book 2)

That's one thing that really sucks about having such a bad short term memory. Usually it's a perk because I can just re-read books and they be like new stories again!  But in series books, not so much.

Oh well, I could talk about reading all day.

In other news, my Mom called to tell us my Dad had Melanoma on his neck. They caught it early, and cut it out the next day. He was cut nearly from ear to ear (no pics, yet) and has like 55 stitches.  Said he should be fine.
Since I had one of these spots cut out of my back, like, 22 years ago, I know that's probably true and there's nothing to worry about.

Otherwise I've kinda been getting ready for vacation.
I'm usually the kind of person that likes to have the room booked and activities planned out before I ever even leave home.
I did get the room(s) booked, but when I went to look at the activities, my eyes went out of focus and I zoned out.  Seems to be the same old things as alot of other places we've visited: Civil War Museums, Battlefields, old Plantations, aquarium.
Maaan, all I really care about is the Beach. I told J I wasn't going to pack anything but my bikini; I didn't need anything else.

But the boys like to go and do and see, so hopefully we'll find some brochures and suggestions for stuff to do when we get there.

I posted about the trip at my Travel blog:
The Travelin' Croakers

So, a few weeks ago I had to change the dates/track of the Driving Experience R was going to do, which was how we ended up going to SC instead of FL.
I had emailed them again to ask a question about the forms, and never got an answer back. The other day I went to the website to...I don't know...just look. Make sure, I dunno, that they were still there I guess.

There was a message on the site that the offices would be closed through the rest of the week for Staff training.
Yep, I had a bad feeling.

So today I get an email that says sorry, they are going to have to cancel due to legal issues. I can request a refund, or wait to reschedule.
I go online and search and sure enough, on the Groupon message boards, there are all of a sudden alot of complaints; people's reservations have been cancelled, and some people showed up at the track to find no one there!

Can't say I was surprised; sometimes being psycho and knowing things ahead of time is helpful. I mean, yeah, I was disappointed, I know R was looking forward to it. But at least it didn't come as a shock; the rug yanked out from under my feet. I *really* hate that worse than anything.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My own life bored me this week, so I figured it would be a major snooze fest for any visitor's I may (or may not) have.

I did a couple of shops last week, nothing really exciting, which I posted at my Shopper Blog.

All work on our outside shop building has come to a screeching halt - again.
J came in from work Wednesday morning pretty much right off an early morning call, so he went to bed for a couple of hours. I don't recall what went on after he got up, but he ended up driving me shopping that evening.

He worked Thursday and Friday, so when he came in today I had planned for them to work on that roof. He has today and tomorrow off, which should have been enough time to get it finished so we can move on to something else.
But then he mentioned seeing a sale paper at work that the salvage store in Carrollton had gotten in some items from a hardware and sporting goods store that had gotten minor water damage, and also there was a big sale going on at the Sporting goods store next door to the salvage store.
Because I didn't want to hear, "I bet I could have found a good deal on that at that sale" for the next forty-eleven months, and because it's Father's Day weekend, I said "Let's go check it out!".

Fire boots

Fishing poles

Big boxes of red fire extinguishers.

We didn't buy a darned thing. Ate at Waffle House and came home.

At home we worked in the garden a little bit, until it started lightning.
We've been getting some storms and rain for the past couple of days. The garden has absolutely loved the rain and has grown, grown!  Every tomato plant has tomatoes on it.  I started gathering my jars and canning supplies together yesterday because when all those 'maters turn, it's going to be all at once and I won't have time to mess around.

The cukes perked back up and are growing and producing:

My cabbage is finally getting a Head, but looks like something is eating it:

Croaker garden decor:

*Artistic* shot:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Visited The Firehouse

R wanted his Dad to tell him about pumping a fire engine, so we made a visit to the firehouse today and I took the opportunity to take some pictures. 

I had been wanting to take some new pics, but just didn't make the effort. They wished I hadn't made the effort today, since it was 90*+ today and I made them bundle up in their bunker gear.
You never heard such complaining!

What kinda FIREmen can't take a little heat, I ask ya? lol

Here's J explaining some engine pumping stuff to R and C: (R's scratching his head like, What? lol)

J in his BRT:

J in his gear:

J and R; dad and son:

Me and J:

The Station's Garden: (Should say, "B" Shift's garden.)
The tomato plants:


Squash, Okra, watermelon, peppers:

R Made the Local Paper Today

But not in this picture, although they got his name right for a change, lol.

He's the one on the left in this picture:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Dishwasher!

Sears delivered my new dishwasher yesterday, so today we spent installing it!
          They don't include any kind of connectors or fittings or tubing with them anymore, but we had most of what we needed from the old dishwasher. The only thing we couldn't make work was the old copper waterline, so we had to go buy a new flexi-line dishwasher connector thing.

Uninstalling the (approx) 34 year old Kitchen Aid.

Installing the new Bosch. Hope it lasts 30+ years!

Still have some trimwork to do, but it looks great!

My stove and fridge are still white appliances, but I didn't care, I was *not* getting a white dishwasher. White looks nice and crisp and clean, but it stains so easy and after several years just starts looking dingy and blah. 
Whoever lives here next can get a stainless fridge and stove if they want it.

Tomorrow - Monday again. Haven't been running/riding in three days...going to die, again.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's the Weekend? Really?

Whew, got busy alla sudden.

J was off on Thursday, so after me & K got back from running practice we worked some more around the house, on the outside building. He had plans to work in the garden, but we got some rain in the evening, so that was nice. We sure needed it.

Friday I got up early and went shopping.
I had been taking a break from shopping for awhile, but then we started running out of stuff: bread, milk, eggs, grits.
It was also my Every-Other-Friday-Mark-Down-Meat shopping time.

One of the grocery stores I shop marks down meat that's about to expire on Friday mornings. It's not gone bad yet, and putting it in the freezer stops time for a couple weeks or so, so I get a good deal on perfectly good meat.
I've been going every other Friday and buying about $20.00 worth of meat. It averages out to less than $10.00 a week because I still have meat from the prior week(s).

This week I got (4) packages of skinless/boneless chicken breasts, a package of boneless pork chops, a beef roast, and 3.19lb of ground chuck for $20.17; a savings of $17.93 off the regular price.

Publix had some cheap stock-up items and a gift card deal, so I added Sweet Dill Cubes, Pickle Spears and Hamburger chips to my stockpile for .09 a jar. They paid me to take home (9) jars of peanut butter, (15) cans Chef-Boy-R-Dee canned pastas, and a bottle of Ketchup.
Needed milk, and worked out a good deal to get it for $2.08 a jug, and boxes of brownie mix and a can of frosting for free, basically.

Walmart has a big clothing clearance...I'm too impatient to shop for clothes, but did find some FotL hooded t-shirts in my oldest son and his fiancee's size marked $1.00!  Super great deal!

Anyway, the shops are detailed at my Shopping Blog, but basically I got everything pictured for $53.35.
I don't know how much it all was valued at, but according to my receipts I Saved $451.49.

I tried to get up and take K running this morning, but just couldn't make it. Apparently I got out of shopping shape, too, skipping a couple of weeks; yesterday whooped my @$$.
Plus Aunt Flo showed up, and I give myself a break on those days if I can, so I laid in bed and turned on the tv.  I almost never watch tv, so it's something like a treat, even though it's not really a treat because I could watch tv all I wanted to, if I wanted to.

Anyway, I watched a couple of movies: Blue Crush, about a girl that works as a maid in a hotel in Hawaii, trying to get ready for a surfing competition, and falls for an NFL football player. The other one I can't remember the name of, but it had Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones; an Arkansas redneck finds out his mother was black and he has a brother in Chicago, so he went to meet him. It was a pretty good movie.
I also watched the movie Grown Ups, with Adam Sandler Twice. It was funny both times.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is on now, but I saw it last November when we were on our cruise.

I did eventually get up and loaded the dishwasher and worked on my shopping blog and filled out some rebates and surveys.
I still need to pay some bills, and see if I can catch up on email, Facebook and some message board posts, but you know what they say - "Why do today, what you can put off 'til tomorrow" - so maybe I'll just go read a book, like I've been dying to do all day anyway :-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Congratulations Ryan!

This morning we got the news that R had passed his Written exam, and is now officially a Georgia State Certified NPQ FF-1 (or NPQ-1 FF...I always mess that up). YaY! Great job, Baby!

Right about the same time I looked out the backdoor and saw a cardboard envelope laying on a cooler sitting in the carport, and it was R's College Certificates certifying him as an Aviation Maintenance Technician/Airframe/Powerframe.  Yay! Great job, Baby!

He's still attending college for a couple more semesters for his Associates Degree in Aviation Technology, but that's just Core classes like math, english. physcology, etc. that doesn't really have anything to do with the job but are required for the degree.

After that I think he's going for his EMT and/or Paramedic certificates.

After that I think he's going for something in IT Computer Technology.

Dollars to donuts he ends up in career having nothing to do with any of the above.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Remember this Statement?

Remember this statement I made yesterday re: riding my bike?

" I hope it doesn't take too long to build my endurance back up...or I don't die first. "

Yeah well, the die-ing part is looking more likely today. 

Monday, June 06, 2011

Running Practice

Our youngest son, K, always loved to run. He never walked when he could run, and he ran fast. His Little League knick-name was "Johnny Rocket". 

So when he was headed into high school three years ago, and heard an announcement about joining the Cross-Country Running team, that seemed right up his alley.

Well, turned out he probably should have run Track instead of XC - he's fast, but not so much enduring - but Track season is the same time as Soccer, and he prefers Soccer overall, so, he stuck with XC running anyway. It's good excersize and keeps his legs strong for Soccer.

XC practice started this week. We get up and go to the park at 8am every morning except Sunday, and they are expected to run 39 miles a week. Whew!

Stretching out before running.

I think he was speeding! :-)

Water break

The bicycle in the background is mine. Ohhh maaaaan. I haven't ridden since last summer, and I felt every bit of it today. My legs were screaming "WTF R U DOING??"  I hope it doesn't take too long to build my endurance back up...or I don't die first.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

What I Love About Sunday

Today was one of those Sundays I just love. A nice, summer, sunny, lazy Sunday, with no where to have to be and nothing to have to do.

Usually Sunday would be one of my big Qpon shopping days, but since I'm taking a break from that for the moment, it seemed a huge load off my shoulders.
J had to work at the firehouse today, so after I kicked him out of the bed and shut off the alarm clock, I turned over went back to sleep for another couple of hours.

Sooooooo niiiiicce!

Since my "job" is my home and family, I'm always at work, but for today I decided I was *mostly* going to take a break.
Number One I wasn't going to worry about anything. Anything that needed worrying about could wait to be worried about on Monday.

I cooked the boys breakfast because I wanted to and enjoyed it: scrambled eggs and waffles for K, oatmeal and cinnamon rolls for R.
I enjoyed cleaning up the dishes in the bright, sunshiny kitchen.
I washed a load of laundry because, well that's pretty much not even work, it washes itself, but also I like hanging it out on the back-porch line.

That may sound weird to most people, but it brings back memories of summers spent with my grandparents and great-grandparents on their farms. Playing around as the Grannies hung up laundry on a sunny, summer day.

I spent most of the day reading. I read everyday, but usually I read while I'm taking a break between tasks or whatever.  Today I did tasks while taking breaks in reading.

The only thing I did I really had to make myself do was clean the bathroom. I *hate* that job and put it off *forever*.  But I got it done, so I felt like I accomplished something big, and that made my good day even better.

J asked me to take some pics of the garden and send to him so he could show his partner the progress it was making, so I'll share them here, too:
In front are our (wilting; need rain!) cucumbers; behind that are my first-try cabbages. I've never grown cabbage before, so not sure how these are going to turn out. They don't look like what I thought cabbage plants looked like.  Behind those are corn, with some stray tomato plants mixed in. (J refused to pluck them when they started growing there, from the compost soil he added to the garden area, he thinks.)
Behind the corn is Cherry tomatoes, Iglesius our Farmer, and Sweet Banana peppers. Then behind that is four rows of tomatoes.

We have six Black Russian tomato plants J's partner started earlier at the station, than the ones I started here. The Black Russians are starting produce.

My Cabbage plants. Where's the cabbage head? Doesn't look like my neighbors cabbage, but theirs are older than mine, so maybe mine will eventually grow whatever it's supposed to.

The Cukes are so wilty, and in bad need of weeding. I bought J a soaker hose I think he needs to use on these. I don't know why he won't. Last year we lost our whole crop of cukes due to heat and/or dryness.

The tomatoes are doing well, growing good. I hope I can keep up with them come canning time. I didn't mean to have 4 rows of them. That's twice, or maybe more, tomato plants than we ever had before.

We ended up with three Cherry tomato plants that grew on their own from some of the compost soil. My oldest son, D will be happy, he eats these things like candy.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Dixie Hwy. Yard Sale: Day 2

Got up early and headed out to shop the Dixie Hwy. Yard Sales with J and R today.

It was pretty bad, for miles and miles and miles, there would be yard sales on the sides of the road with a sign at the end of the driveway, whatever.
Then at one place, starting wayyyy before you got there, they had gone out and put up poster-sized-signs saying like "Slow Down - Yard Sale Ahead", and advertising like cold drinks, antiques, furniture, and so on. There were about a dozen big, white, poster-board signs along the side of the road; you couldn't miss that there was a yard sale ahead.
But guess where the wreck happened?

Don't know what happened, but from the look of it, someone was driving through there too fast. There was too much damage for a 35 mph fender-bender, and they flew one out in the helicopter.

We sat in traffic for a good while, then me and R left J with the car and walked on up to the yard sale. J joined us when traffic got moving again.

R and J checking out Guy Junk

Me, checking out Old Junk

Fishing pole jackpot!

At one yard sale I found this Written Test for the position of Fireman for the City of New York, dated May 26, 1956.
Since R took his test yesterday, he wanted it so he could read it and see how different the tests were  in 1956 from his.  I got it for $1.00.

Our finds today:
For me, I was excited to find a retractable clothesline. I used to have one, but put it somewhere and haven't seen it since. I like hanging clothes out on my backporch sometimes, and the old phone-line-wire I have strung up out there now just ain't that pretty.
I also found an aluminum canning funnel and a jar grabber to grab jars out of the boiling water when I'm doing canning.

Got the Fire Dept test for R, and he also found an old metal ice cream scoop and a camping mess kit. 

J found himself some sheets for his bed at the station, a hanging shop light, a tool belt, and a retracable water hose.

Friday, June 03, 2011

First of all, a BIG congratulations to R for doing a FANTASTIC job passing his NPQ Practicals today!!
He's pretty sure he passed the Written exam, too, but we won't know for a few days.

Of the six guys that went to take the tests, only R and one other boy passed the Practicals part of it. If they passed the written exam, they'll be NPQ-1 Firefighters.

They did the testing along with the current Rookie class of J's dept, so R did his dad real proud today.

What I did with my day, my Aunt and her friend came up about 7:30 this morning, and we headed out to shop the Dixie Highway 90 mile Yard Sale.

There were alot of yard sales. We probably only actually made 10 of the 90 miles, but it felt like alot longer.  It got *hot* fast; up in the 90's by lunchtime.

There was alot of stuff for sale; mostly baby stuff, home decor doo-dads, and over-priced *collectibles* and antiques. Since I have been working lately to cleaning all that same kind of crap out of my house, I wasn't buying anymore of it.

Aunt and K checking out little girl clothes.

I had mentioned earlier that I had meant to stop at the Dollar Tree the other day to buy a shower curtain liner but forgot, so at one place K pointed out there was a shower curtain, with a good liner, better than the cheap POS at the Dollar store, and even the hangers.  I thought I had some hangers/hooks at home already, but couldn't remember if I still had them or had already gotten rid of them.

I said, "I wonder how much they want, because I don't wanna pay more than $5.00".
So we asked and the lady said $2.00, and I was all over that. Great deal!

At another place I found R a pair of Hollister cargo shorts for .25 cents. YaY!

But then at another one I paid $1.00 for a Chicken candy dish. I bought it for my Mom, but afterwards I thought, "she needs more junk to sit around and collect dust about as much as I do". Which is to say, not at all. Oh well.
Hollister shorts, Chicken candy dish, Shower Curtain/liner/hangers

Since J and R couldn't go with us this morning, we're going again tomorrow morning.