Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Pearlington update

**Cross posted at Felton to Pearlington**

I heard from Mr. Ben today.  The conversation went something like this:

Cell phone vibrates.  I look at Caller ID and answer with, "I've been waiting. What's the news?"

The answer on the other end was "I really didn't want to call you with this but I told you I would check in."

"What's going on Ben?"

"I really don't want to tell you this but I'm just going to tell you like it is."

"Ok, Ben.  What's the news?"

"Well, I really don't want to tell you..."

The news finally came out.  This time it's Mr. Ben's house.  The laminate floor in the small bedroom needs to go.  That's not so bad.  All the sheet rock in the downstairs of the house needs to be torn out from about the 2 foot mark on.  Dang.  The siding on the outside of the house needs to be replaced from about the 3 foot mark on down.  Double dang.

Then the news on the pretty house (aka yellow house). While the water has receded from Mr. Ben's house, the yellow house now has a lake.  Underneath the house and surrounding it.  Lovely.  The sheet rock needs to come out from about the 2 ft. mark here as well.  The sheet rock that we put up two years ago.  DANG IT!

While a part of me wants to just get on a plane and go right now, the logical, practical side of me is sitting and praying for a moment.  Do we go or do we send the money we would have spent on the plane ticket to help with repairs?  That will be tomorrows conversation with Mr. Ben...which will start off something like this..."so what is it that you need the most?"

By the way, he really didn't want to tell me because it was his family in need.  That made me love Mr. Ben even more.

--As a side note, I've heard comments, already, from some who say "why would you live there?  This is just going to keep happening."  They are right.  It will keep happening.  But why do I choose to live on  a hill that could give way with one good rain storm (Ala 1982-83 rainstorms and floods), that could be wiped out in an earthquake (um 1989?) or burn down in a fire (just a few summers ago there was a close one!)?  We choose to live where we choose to live and deal with things as they come to us.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another hurricane

"Battened down the hatches" was the post from Mr. Ben in Mississippi today.  7 years after Hurricane Katrina tore apart the Gulf Coast they are staring down another storm, this one named Isaac.  Hunkering down and waiting for the winds, the rains and the predicted storm surges.  Of course, it doesn't look to be as bad, a Category 1 as opposed to Katrina's Category 5 but's eerie.

Praying for those on the Gulf Coast.  For Mr. Ben, Ms. Sue, Tom, Captain John, Joel, Bordie and all those we know waiting for the storm to blow on by.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Songs running through my head

The other morning a song popped into my head.  Or rather a hymn, because clearly there is a difference between hymns and songs thus the "worship wars" and, yeah, tangent.

Anyway, I started humming "He giveth more grace when the burdens are greater" and then the next line that came into my head was "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold"...wait, what?  That's not the same song!  I kept running through those lines in my head but they kept mish-mashing up until I finally went in the other room and tried to get help from Yo Momma and G.G.  They humored me but weren't much help.  I drove all the way home from Tahoe with those two songs, sorry, hymns in my head.

I didn't remember to look them up until today.  A quick jaunt over to YouTube and guess what?!  They may not be the exact same tune but they are pretty darn close!  Which got me a'thinkin' about all the other hymns that use the same tune but change the lyrics.  Which made my mind trail off on a tangent about how hard it must be to come up with new tunes all the time.

Anyway, you can YouTube them yourself (sorry, I'm not going to attach the videos here) and decide for yourself.  Am I crazy or do "He Giveth More Grace" and "I'd Rather Have Jesus" sound pretty darn similar?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday evening dots of randomness

  • Little Miss P turned three this past weekend.  Of course Auntie B had to make cupcakes and cake pops.  She had the best look on her face as people were singing "Happy Birthday" to her.  She had a good day and ate three fishy cupcakes.  Hard to believe it's been three years since she was born!
  • I am very, very grateful for Papa Bear.  Last night when I arrived home after the drive from Tahoe, I wished Papa Bear was home as the rat trap had been activated.  This evening as I dealt with the dead rodent, I was really grateful that Papa Bear usually deals with this stuff.  The rat trap will go un-baited until he gets home.
  • There are certain things that get me riled up.  Men denying the validity of rape turns out to be one issue.  I have spent the whole day stewing and being pissed off about the whole "legitimacy of rape" comment by a certain Missouri Representative.  I hope the women of Missouri wake up and refuse to vote this man into office.
  • Monday night TV really stinks.  I refuse to watch Bachelor Pad, The Closer went off the air and NCIS re-runs don't run on Monday nights because of WWE.  Maybe I should just go to bed.
  • One of the office coordinators in my office building came into my office last week and asked for change.  Her car was running on fumes, she had no more money in the bank and was just trying to get home from work (there's so much more to this story).  I gave her $5 and I thought she was going to cry.  Later, talking with Papa Bear, it occurred to me that when you have nothing, you don't need much to be grateful or happy.  I think that's a lesson that those in political power need to learn.
  • This morning as I was waiting for the bus, there was a college student doing a practice run before school starts on Wednesday.  I made sure to tell him not to get on the wrong bus and how to know which one was the right bus.  I will NOT be one of those bus people who don't help out newbies!
  • And that ends the dots of randomness this Monday evening.  Have a good week!
  • I thought I was done...Tonight I declare war on ants.  The swarm that made it's presence known in the kitchen in less than an hour has been eliminated.  The dishes are washed, there is no food on the counter and honest to goodness I will kill every single ant that I see.  That is all

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adventure Boy

Adventure Boy needed a ride from preschool this evening.  I happened to be arriving back from work about the time he needed to be picked up, so I stopped by and got him.  He quickly came over and we left preschool with the Bat cave and jet fighter in tow.  Love him.

Jumping into the Race Car he quickly spotted the bear that Aunt C had given me at Christmas.  It had taken up residence in the back seat and Adventure Boy picked it up.  He decided that the bear needed to fly in the wind (the top was down on the Race Car) and we discussed how the bear needed to fly within the boundaries of the car because "I would be sad if the bear flew away."

He talked all the way to his parents office and then as we walked to the front door he asked "when am I going to see you again?"

"I don't know," I replied.

"I think we need a play date at your house," he said.  I know his little mind.  I knew what he was thinking.  I waited and then...

"Because, you know, I can't play video games now, but I can watch Creative Guy play them!"  Um hmmm.

Adventure Boy was distracted by someone coming out the office door and we tromped down the back stairs to the play room that has been set up for Creative Guy and Adventure Boy.  Creative Guy was there trying to get a movie to work on Netflix and getting frustrated.  I sat down to help fix things.  Creative Guy and Adventure Boy tussled in the background and Adventure Boy was trying to get as much attention as possible.  Creative Guy escaped up the stairs for the moment and I made Adventure Boy stay with me.  He tried to get my attention by being, well, gross and it didn't work but I did pull him up onto my lap.  The next thing I knew he was just sitting there, perfectly willing to be held and hugged and loved.  Heart.melting.moment.

Creative Guy returned, Adventure Boy went back into his attention getting mode.  I got the movie working and went to leave but not before Adventure Boy asked, one last time, "When I am going to see you again?"  "For sure in 10 days" was my reply.  I left them grateful to be reminded that underneath the layers of exuberance and attention getting behavior is a little boy who just needs to be loved.  For one moment today he knew that he was loved, unconditionally loved and it was good.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A day at the zoo

There is a reason why I have nicknamed these two young men Creative Guy and Adventure Boy.

Yesterday we went to the zoo.  It was so fun and a good reminder of how awesome it is to see the world through kids size glasses.  The world is HUGE!

Adventure Boy lived up to his name.  He was literally running circles around us at any moment in time.  I nick named him the great peacock hunter, as he tried to get close enough to touch the peacock...until it went into the off-limits area of the zoo.  I gave him the camera as we rode the train around a portion of the zoo.  Turns out he likes to photograph people. 

Adventure Boy asked a million questions, had a million statements to make and I knew when we got back into the car to go home he would crash...HARD.  Which he did.  He woke up and immediately joined the conversation going on in the car, to which Creative Guy said "wait, you're awake?"  The prompt indignant response from Adventure Boy was "I wasn't asleep!"  Riiiiiiight...

Creative Guy kept saying "I bet this would make a great movie" as we moved from exhibit to exhibit.  He was just as animated as his brother at times (I think R-girl and I both have sore stomachs and arms from the multiple head-butts and head bumps throughout the day from both boys!) but all of a sudden he would get very serious as if he was viewing the zoo through a movie camera lens.  At one point I was reminded that he is growing up as he looked at me and said "You're embarrassing me."  Ooofff.  When did I become my Mom?

We did get a group photo, though neither of them try too hard to smile when a camera is brought out.  I did, however, catch a couple of great candid photo's of them.  It was fun to spend the day with them and R-girl.  I would classify the day as a success as they both said as we were leaving, "Next time we need to..."

It was a good day at the zoo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympics--a new sport?

I think there should be a new Olympic sport.  It could be called light rail riding.  The goal would be to try to maneuver your way onto an already full light rail train, jockey for position standing and then be judged on how little one moves when the light rail train suddenly stops, accelerates or goes over other tracks or around a corner.

A perfect score* would be for the person who can do all of the above in the middle of the train without holding on or leaning into anything...or touching anyone else if it's a REALLY full train.

That would be the kind of Olympic sport I could compete in.  I have a lot of training to do.  Lucky for me the light rail has been extra full lately and standing time has been in abundance.

*Speaking of perfect scores, does anyone else miss the old judging system for gymnastics?  A score of 15.70 doesn't mean anything to me.  Where are the 9's and 10's?  Why does everything have to change?!   Oops, sorry started channeling church people for a moment**.

(**Yes, I did take my extra snarky pills today, thanks for asking.)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Olympics--Dear NBC

Dear NBC,

I understand, really I do.  In order to get as many people watching as possible you need to go for those "prime-time" hours.  Yes, I keep falling asleep in the middle of the event I really wanted to see but whose fault is that for having a job requiring me to be up and leaving the house soon after 7am?  Fault mine.  I do secretly wish programming would start at 7pm but I'll just keep that a secret for now.

What I don't understand is the coverage last night of gymnastics.  Not coverage of the CURRENT Olympic games but the at least 20 minute recap of years gone by.  What?!  I changed the channel and went to "Say Yes to the Dress".  I kept flipping back and forth and yet still there was the story of years gone by.  I was getting frustrated by then.  I know there had to be other sports that had contests yesterday in the 2012 Olympics but no, you chose to focus on years gone by.  I will admit, I didn't watch so maybe you tied it all together nicely.  I hope you did.  I just refused to watch.

I'm just one person, sitting at home in California, wanting to cheer on the Olympiads.  Your monopoly on the Olympic games meant that I couldn't do that...because by the time we got back to the recap of the days events, well, I was tired and I had disconnected from the Olympics.  Sure I tried.  I watched diving, I watched swimming, I think somewhere in there was coverage of shot put and maybe some volleyball, maybe running?  The drive, the enthusiasm, the WANT to really stay awake and watch the coverage by then had died.

NBC, I know you've paid all of the commentators a lot of money to be at the Olympics.  You've spent a lot of money on the newscasters and want to give them their time.  I get it.  I just won't watch the human interest stories from years gone by.  I'll change the channel and maybe hop back.  Or maybe I'll just search the internet and find YouTube videos or recaps of the events there.  It's not the same as taped, edited coverage with announcers who seem out to build up our expectations of one athlete in each event and then be completely surprised by the performance of another, but it's something.

Now, I've got to go see if I can find that runner from Cameroon that I saw for 10 seconds of actual coverage yesterday and see when she's running again.  I need to cheer her on for my Office building mate.  I'm hoping the World Wide Web will have some coverage of that race because NBC, I've lost trust in you.

A want-to-be 2012 Olympic Viewer