Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - July 30, 2008 on Thursday

I just took these a few minutes ago so they are all SOOC. I just happened to spy this remnant of a slinky, slimy snake on the pile of bricks in my back yard. Looks like he was a pretty good sized fellow from the skin he left behind. It actually curls up into the crevice in the bricks. I used flash on the last shot so that you could see inside the opening a little better.




There's never an end to the critters in this area. I'm just glad this is the only part of this big boy that I saw! I'll try to get around to everyone's blog later today to comment.

SSSSSSSee ya later!


posted by Marsha at 4 Comments


Emphasis on the last paragraph is mine!

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504 AM CDT THU JUL 31 2008





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Wordless Wednesday Will Have to Wait and Stuff

I wanted to post Wordless Wednesday yesterday but never got the chance. If I can squeeze it in to my schedule, I will try to make it happen today, even if it is late.

I actually got the camera out yesterday to take some pictures of three squirrels eating the bird feed I had scattered on the ground for my feathered friends. As luck would have it, as soon as the camera was out and I was setting up my first shot, a loud noise frightened away two of the furry little creatures. I did manage to take a few shots of the lone fellow rooting seed off the ground but they're really not all that interesting. I tried to get video of him scurrying up and down the tree trunk towards the corn holder I hung specifically for the squirrels, which they ignore in preference to the easy pickings on the ground, but every time I would start the video, he would just hang there on the side of the tree. Of course as soon as I stopped the video capture, he would take off again. Film of him clinging to the side of the tree didn't seem too interesting either so I gave up on that set completely.

I spent most of yesterday morning working in the yard, trying to get some needed work done before it got too hot. We actually had a brief respite, about 12 hours (overnight basically), from the heat advisory and it wasn't too bad mowing (only about half the yard as the other half is totally fried now) and clearing away debris. By the time I was finished, the heat advisory was back in place and evidenced by my appearance. I spent the rest of the morning in the shower!

I decided to do some computer maintenance in the afternoon. Windows kept sending through updates and something was causing a problem forcing me to restart the monster every now and then and it took a while to get all of that taken care of. It is running much better, at least for now.

This afternoon, I have to get my hair trimmed. I've been trying to decide whether to go back to highlighting it or leave it natural. The gray has really overtaken most of the blond and yes I was a natural blond all of my life until I added highlights later in life. I just don't know if I want to start that process all over again or not. Besides, I kind of like the silvery gray color that is coming in. I've also toyed with the idea of going short again. Decisions, decisions.... what to do. So it looks like the usual trim will happen until I'm ready to make a change.

John will be coming home on Saturday for a few days. I'm trying to decide what food to have on hand for those times when he's around here. Dee is working this weekend so I don't know if he will get to see her and the girls or not. He has enough vacation time that he will be able to get back here several times before the end of the year and of course he will have the holidays so I'm sure they'll manage to connect on one of those trips. The rest of my time today, other than when I sneak some time online, will be spent on laundry, which I dislike doing and cleaning the house, which I also dislike! I love the house being clean and go through spells where I keep up with it most of the time but I'm human and the computer is much more fun than the routine of house care. It shouldn't be this hard with only me, the cat and a dog and it wouldn't be except for the fact that - Marsha, thy name is procrastination!

Well, I'm off to get started on the laundry and to pull the vacuum out (that's the first step, actually using it is a different story). I hope your day is filled with something more fun and interesting than the routine stuff I'm facing today!

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posted by Marsha at 3 Comments

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tired - and hot!

This is the fourth day in a row that we've been under heat advisories and it looks as if it will continue. If you watch the Weather Channel on television, I am part of the big red blob near the bottom of the U.S. map that incorporates a small bit of Texas and most of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Of course I had several errands to take care of today and by the time I got home, I was sure I had melted off at least 10 pounds. At least it felt that way but I'm sure I won't see that evidenced on my scale!

I had to go to the bank, where I got in the first lane behind a vehicle that looked as if it was getting ready to pull away... NOT! So I finally decided since the other lanes are open, I would move to the next one. Fine, I'm first in line in this lane yet still I sat there waiting for someone, anyone to help me and relieve the one poor lady handling the entire drive-thru by herself. I had Ginger with me and as much as she loves being in the car, even she was getting crabby... not really, Ginger never gets crabby... jealous and manipulative maybe but she's never crabby. But I'm pretty sure she was as miserable as I was sitting there, even in the shade, for 15 minutes.

From there, I took Ginger on to Petco, where I dropped her off to get groomed. They will give her a full bath, trim everything, including her nails and the hair around her bottom, which is all we ever do with her. She will get brushed as long as the girls there want to brush her and she will smell beautiful and look beautiful and may even have bows in her hair when I pick her up. They do a great job with her. Never mind that she stopped to pee on their sidewalk before she went in. Which is still better than the last time we were there when she dropped a present by the checkout stand.

Having left Ginger off for her spa treatment, I headed on to T`arget, the south's most loved French department store and spent a bit of time looking around as well as spending a good bit of money. How can a person who lives alone spend so much? Huh? I ask ya... how? Geesh! And I've still got places to go!

Lowe's is next on my list and here's where the heat really kicked in because everything I want is in the outside section. I bought some bags of top soil to do some lawn repair and corn for the squirrels and realized that even feeding the squirrels in my backyard is no longer cheap! But the worst of it was having to admit that I could not face taking out that cart full of stuff and lifting those bags of dirt again. Just a year ago I don't think know I wouldn't didn't ask for help with that kind of thing, even if I wanted to. So on top of everything else, now I'm giving into age! I've lost my pride! Of course some might say I found good sense! I almost lost that though when I had to stand out in the heat waiting for the two young men who came to help me. Let's say when it seemed to take both of them to get the stuff to my car, my pride returned a bit. Okay, I know that task didn't really require both of them but both of them did it so I'm reclaiming my pride! Until I looked in the mirror that is and saw how I looked!

Sam's Club is right across the road from Lowe's so that was next and I spent a bit of time meandering through there, not caring about my appearance at all. I mean after all we all know what I was doing there... free food samples... which equates to free lunch! Unfortunately only one stand was open but she had some killer wings with ranch dressing. Drat! now I'll have to stop somewhere and buy lunch! One good thing there was realizing that a good bit of what I just purchased at T`arget was cheaper where I bought it and I had for once done the right thing, at least cost wise. But Woody K. Nibs' food is still cheaper at Sams so that went in the buggy along with the wine that I like which was on sale and some great looking grapes. Of course I hit the wrong lane checking out here as well. Do not ever follow me to a check out line because you will be making a big mistake! I finally moved over to the next aisle and still got out before the poor woman that had been standing in front of me in the first line. Anyway, we're out the door and headed down the parking lot to the gas pumps because this is the cheapest place in all of this area for me to buy gas. As the last drop entered the tank, it hit me that when I first started driving, I could have driven for almost half a year on what it took to fill up today.

And that was the end of my pride once and for all, at least for today... hair is wet, shoulders sagging, back of my shirt is damp, I feel stinky and sweaty and know that I am for real turning into Maxine more and more each day.

Ya know, there's a kind of freedom in acceptance!

So with that, I was off to Sonic and the best onion rings in town!

And I'm home and cool and just waiting to get the call to pick up Ginger so I can start this process all over again. I can hardly wait!

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posted by Marsha at 3 Comments

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anna - Worry and Gratitude

Monday morning update - Anna did get to go home late yesterday afternoon. She will remain on antibiotics to finish out that course of treatment and should be able to return to her normal routine in a few days.

We're a thankful family this morning. We had a scare with my granddaughter Anna yesterday but all seems to be better now. She ended up being transported to a hospital in the Tampa area. She had been listless and non-responsive all day according to her nurse who called both Anna's mom and emergency services. I won't go into specifics, but it appears she received too much of a new medication from the nurse on duty the night before. Anna vomited and then aspirated requiring further treatment for aspiration pneumonia. Once my daughter Jamie got home, thankfully just before they had Anna loaded up to leave, she managed to secure Kayla with a friend, then she and Anna headed out to the hospital together via medical transport.


Anna, taken about a year and half ago. It gets harder and harder to get good photographs of her. I just wish I could photograph her amazing spirit as well.

After a night in a hospital, she seems to be recovering and may possibly come home today. There are so many daily concerns with Anna that I sometimes forget what a high risk child she is. What I never forget is the miracle of her being.

I am just very grateful this morning that she is okay and that for Anna, it is all just another day.

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posted by Marsha at 4 Comments

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - July 23, 2008

ginger_awesome_antique tone_bw

Meet Ginger

To learn more about Wordless Wednesday, and find the blogroll of all participants, Wordless Wednesday, click here.

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posted by Marsha at 14 Comments

Monday, July 21, 2008

Misery -- make that record misery!

It's HOT!!!

at 10:30 this morning

*** edit at 7:00pm ***
We set a record high today at 102°
the adjusted temperature was 112°
felt like hell!


posted by Marsha at 4 Comments

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Charlie Brown Approach to Life

    "This is my depressed stance. When you're depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand... The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you'll start to feel better... If you're going to get any joy out of being depressed, you've got to stand like this." ~Charlie Brown
"Never let mistakes or wrong directions, of which every man falls into many, discourage you. There is precious instruction to be got by finding where we were wrong." ~Thomas Carlyle

Somehow, I think both quotes are telling us the same thing just from different directions.


posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lunch With Friends

Kayla's Kitchen used to be the Southern Ladies Tea Room. The menu was unique and the fare was excellent for the most part with a mix of sophisticated dishes and good 'ol southern cooking. I knew it had been sold at one point to either friends or family members of the original owner but apparently it has sold again, hence the name change... and the change in food.


The menu is now a more common fare, not bad but closer to a hot lunch plate than what the tea room offered. Eating with good friends David and Diane, made it more enjoyable today than it might have been had they not been there. I used to work with Dave who was also a traveling buddy of mine and Margaret's. Dave and I have a common friend in Diane, who also happens to be a neighbor. Diane is recently widowed. Her late husband and my ex-husband both transferred here with GM back in the 70's so I've known her as long as I have lived here. Almost 34 years now. That's hard to believe.

The restaurant is located in the old part of downtown West Monroe, near the river, just a block removed from Antique Alley. It's high dollar real estate down there for buildings in many cases that are falling apart but the atmosphere is neat. Sort of.


This is a picture of what used to be one of our favorite places to eat when our engineering group worked in this area before the corporate headquarters building was completed. I wonder if anyone will ever try to revive this location again. It looked this bad or worse before that restaurant was put in. My poor old brain has not been able to come up with the name of the restaurant and it is driving me nuts. There are just some things about getting older that I hate and the memory thing is one of them. I'll probably remember when I wake up in the middle of the night to go pee. That's one of the other things I hate about aging!

It's worth noting that I actually managed to get out of the house in time to get my car inspected and have the oil changed before meeting my friends for lunch. I also made a Wally World run after I stuck around the old downtown area to take a few photographs. I was tired and drenched in sweat after I got home from getting in and out of the vehicle. It was one of those days where you just pray not to get stuck at a traffic light because the temperature inside the vehicles rises considerably as you sit and wait. We are nearing the dog days of summer down here and it ain't gonna get no better!

Fiddle de dee!!! Scarlett will think about that tomorrow!

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posted by Marsha at 3 Comments

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - July 16, 2008

Ouachita River Bridge(click on image for larger view)

I decided to return to Wordless Wednesday, at least for this week, after a long break. It's taken a while to get back to normalcy around here as 'life seems to keep happening while I'm busy making other plans'. (John Lennon)

This photo is of the railroad bridge seen in the background of the picture I posted for Wordless Wednesday a couple of months ago of a local restaurant here in Monroe. The restaurant, Warehouse No 1, sits on the Ouachita River and you can see all of the local traffic bridges, as well as this railroad bridge from the deck overlooking the river. I took both photos the same day with my old Olympus film camera sometime during the 80s.

To learn more about Wordless Wednesday, and find the blogroll of others who are participating in Wordless Wednesday, click here.

Happy Wordless Wednesday to all!


posted by Marsha at 18 Comments

Monday, July 14, 2008

Photography Tips

I am an email freak. Since the day I first found the great big WWW, I have been a hard-core email user. From that point and to this day I joined multiple groups covering such varied interests as computer technology, crime (yes, I said crime), digital graphics, genealogy, humor, faith and inspiration, writing and of course photography. My involvement led me to sign up for multiple newsletters that I receive via email. Each and every day of my life, I handle on an average better than 200 emails a day from those various sources as well as the personal email from friends and family. When I started this blog, my email increased based on the activity level of the site.

Today, one of my photography newsletters contained some helpful hints. I loved them. They were written by plain ol' people like me who shoot for fun who were willing to share their best thoughts on taking good photos.

Here are a few of my favorite tips:
    Take the lens cap off!
    Take your camera with you!
    Shoot only in raw format!
    Master shooting in jpg format and NEVER shoot in raw!
    It's the archer not the arrow!
    Think before you press the shutter!
    Do you really want a picture of this?
    It's not the camera!
    Never stop learning!
There were many more tips, far more technical than the ones I've listed, but I think I will keep working to master these first! especially the one about taking the lens cap off!!!

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posted by Marsha at 4 Comments

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Be sure to scroll down for new posts ** one added Friday, July 11th.

Note-- I'm making this a sticky post for the next few days which means all new posts will be published below this one until after July 13th. I think I will do this with all of the future Interview posts as well, set them up to be at the top of the blog for a week before they move.

I decided a while back that it might be fun to do some interviews with members of my family and/or friends for my blog. Like most of you, family and friends are the most important things my life (along with Ginger and Mr. Woody K. Nibs of course). Besides, I think we learn something about ourselves when we concentrate on others and at sixty-one it might be time I get to know myself a little better.

I also wanted this process to be fun. I realized in the middle of this first personal interview experience that I will have to hone my skills as I tend to be stiff and impersonal and look for facts too much instead of digging out those little nuggets of interesting and fun bits of information (all the good secrets) about the people I love. I think that probably comes from conducting too many job interviews while I was working and being restricted from getting too personal.

I chose to start this series of interviews / posts with my granddaughter Sarah. All of my granddaughters are sweet, fun and interesting in their own right but Sarah and I have an easy connection that just made it seem natural to start with her. She is my daughter Dee's youngest child and my next to youngest grandchild. She is smart and funny and very talented. She loves to play games as does our entire family.

I started by sending her a list of questions and told her to answer the ones she wanted and if there was anything else she wanted to say to add it on to the list. She answered most of them but as a typical tween / teen she didn't volunteer too much information. We finished up this past Friday morning with a photo session in a small park across from the middle school that Sarah attends. It was hot and miserable and I have a lot to learn about photography and setting up shots as well, particularly when the sun is scorching down on us.

With all that said, here is my interview with Sarah complete with pictures:

What's your name? Sarah Grace

At the park entrance

Do you like your name? Its ok, I like Madison though.

What's your best quality? Hmm that's tough, I think my best quality is that I'm a good listener.

Sarah chose this setting!

Do you have a boyfriend? Yes, his name is Jordan D. He is tall with dark brown hair.

Are you a good student? I would consider it that. But yes, this year I was in all non-honor classes and next year I'm going to be in English honors and Advanced math!!

I liked this one a lot!

What grade are you going to be in? I will be in 7th grade.

Do you play any instrument? I play the saxophone, out of the entire beginners I made 3rd chair saxophone.

Do you like being the youngest in your family? Its ok at times, but sometimes when we went to theme parks I would be too short to ride some rides since I was younger.
And of course the requisite jump photos

What's your favorite sport? Well, I like playing basketball, but I'm not that great at it. :)

Do you know what you want to study in college? I might want to study business and own my own pet store.
Two of them!

You do know that you can't be serious about a boy until you're 32 don't you? 32!!!! You must be crazy woman lol.

Surfin' on a child's teeter totter and you're calling me crazy?

Tell me something about yourself that I don't know. hmmmm... let the record show that Sarah chose not to answer this question!

Now, tell me something about yourself that your mother doesn't know! hmmmm... guess what... she didn't answer this one either! smart girl!

I liked it so much I am posting it twice!

I want to thank Sarah for her patience with me and for putting up with the intolerable summer heat during our little photo session. It was really hard to narrow down the choices of what to post as there are many good ones that are not displayed here. I'm sorry that I didn't think to get a picture of Jordan. Perhaps I will get to meet him again before he moves with his family to Colorado and will take one of him then.

I love you Goose!

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posted by Marsha at 9 Comments

Friday, July 11, 2008

On His Way

John loaded up the last couple of days and headed out permanently for his new home just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. He was here the last couple of weeks visiting, shopping, packing and getting whupped by his momma in Trivial Pursuit (although he did make mincemeat of me a couple of times). We both drove over to Bossier City last week, John to hit the boats and visit with Dee and her girls while I went to visit and finish my interview / photo session with Sarah.

Dee and the girls, along with Emily's friend Dustin, drove over here late Monday and stayed until Wednesday afternoon in order to spend more time with John before he got gone. We took a few photos in front of the trailer John rented to move the items he decided to take with him to Missouri. He still has his house here and left a good bit behind as he hopes to be able to transfer back to the area at some point. If that doesn't happen according to his plans he will deal with how to handle the rest of his stuff and sell his home later. Thankfully, he put himself in a good position to have some options as this is a bad time to try to sell a home in this area, like much of the country right now.

So Ginger, Woody K. and I are on our own again and the house just always seems so quiet after everyone has come and gone.

Here's a couple of pictures from Wednesday right before Dee and her brood headed back to Bossier. One is of Dee and her girls and John holding Erin's dog Bijou and the other is of the girls and uncle (which is how John is known in our family, not Uncle John, but simply uncle) along with Dustin, who turned out to be a big help for John in getting some of the heavier items out and into the trailer. Not great photos but certainly a record of memories for our family.



We miss you already John!

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posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Saturday, July 05, 2008

In The Meantime

Sorry for the delay in posting Sarah's interview but I have been fighting a horrible headache all day long. It's after 4pm and I am just now getting on the computer for the first time today which is unheard of at my house. I'm sure it's allergy related, most of my headaches are. Every once in a while one of them will get out of control and zap me for a day or so. Hopefully, this one will not last that long as it finally seems to be ebbing a bit.

Unfortunately, today is also John's birthday and I just don't feel like doing much for him. We did have a cake for him at Dee's on Wednesday night but I still wanted to do something nice for him today. Perhaps I can do something tomorrow.

Here is a picture I took of Sarah yesterday morning after we got back from our photo session in the park where we turned into a couple of sweaty and miserably hot gals very quickly. She's happy in this photo because she is resting in the comfort of air conditioning. I was also smiling behind the lens as well, thankful to be out of the heat even though I was still dripping wet... there's nothing like the deep south in the summer months. It's unbearable sometimes even for those who love the heat.

sarah_cool and rested

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posted by Marsha at 0 Comments

Friday, July 04, 2008

Be On The Lookout

for my interview with Sarah Grace. I finally got over to Dee's and spent a day or so with her and the girls and John. Did I mention that John is home! He got in last Saturday night and will be pulling out early next Thursday with a trailer behind him, moving furniture and clothing and all things necessary to make a home in Missouri.

We tried to get our entire little family together, including Jamie and her girls from Florida but life is just not cooperating so we will do a get together some other time. It's pretty hectic when one is trying to move and visit all at the same time so it is probably for the best that we put off the mini-reunion. We will have to be content with our brief visit to Dee's and seeing my oh so grown up Bossier City granddaughters.

I was able to get some really nice shots of Sarah this morning at a small park near their house, shortly after we had breakfast. I'll be posting her interview with some of those shots as soon as I can get it organized and together the way I want it.

In the meantime, y'all have a great 4th of July. I hope your celebration is filled with family, friends, great food and lots of fireworks and fun.

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posted by Marsha at 0 Comments