Tuesday, April 25, 2006
108 Days!
Hi everybody, I am sorry I haven't blogged for a while. I have been pretty busy with all my irons in the fire at once. I have 108 days left before retirement! That's something to look forward to for sure.

We are still doing some packing at our house since we still haven't gotten any information from insurance about when they are going to start working on our home to make the repairs. That is getting very frustrating. My housekeeper said she feels like Cinderella vacuuming and mopping concrete floors! LOL

In other areas of my life, my daughter and I had to ask my son to vacate the trailer he was leasing/purchasing from her. He had gotten behind on the payments and was not interested in catching up, so we had to evict him. That was very emotional for me, because on the one hand, I wanted to help him, but on the other hand, I had to back her up or pay the rent myself. I can't do the latter for sure, so he had to go.

On the upside, Heather has already had a good offer for the purchase of the trailer from the park owner so it is sold as of yesterday. We have about 10 days to get everything out of it and clean it up a little. The park owner will do all the repairs that need to be done, so Heather has to do very little. That was such a relief to her and to me. I was worried about the costs involved because I knew I would have to help her because I had promised to back her up when my son moved in there. But, God worked it all out and WOW he did an awesome job too!

That's all I have for now; I'll write more later if I have time.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Stinging Caterpillars and Love Bugs
First of all, I want to thank Daisy for helping me with my new look on my blog. She has done a great job and I really appreciate the time she spent. She is a super lady and a great blog friend.

These are large leaf feeding caterpillars with numerous spines over the body. Those spines are vicious! If you happen to brush up against them or step on one, you usually have a serious reaction to the poison those spines inject into you. My poor dogs cry with their little paws when they step on them in the yard. It is very painful to be stung by one of the creatures.......And what are their purpose? Who knows? But what they turn into is almost as terrifying to is a huge moth and here is it's picture.
They just give me the heeby-geebies when I see them. They are supposed to be a silk moth. Does that mean they make silk? I thought worms did that. Hmmmmm........thinking.....

Anyway, these caterpillars that sting the crap out of you, come twice a year. Once in the spring and again in the fall. They tend to be in the oak trees in clusters. The sometimes fall out of the trees and land on you, or brush you as they fall, and of course, you get stung. I think it is totally unintentional on their part, but damn, it hurts. Tom and I go around our trees and knock them down and kill as many of them as we can. I just heard the other day that Dawn dishwashing liquid and water mixed together will kill them if you can reach them to spray them.

The other critter we have a lot of trouble with is what we call the love bug. We call them that, because they swarm twice a year while mating and are attached to each other as in this picture making 'love'. There are so many of them, that they end up covering the front end of your vehicle and windshield. Apparently, they are very acidic because if the dead ones are left on your car too long, they will actually eat the paint off. And they turn to sometime similar to can't get them off your car without a LOT of work. Birds don't eat them, nothing eats them. They are just too bitter. I haven't tried them or anything, I just figured that is why nothing will use them for nourishment. They are just a pain in the butt.

They don't hurt you or bite you or anything like that, but they coat everything. And they have a special like for white things...White cars, white houses, white shirts, white cups. Anything white attracts them. When you drive down the roads, it sounds like rain hitting the windshield and pretty soon you can't see out the window to drive.

Well, I am ready for tomorrow afternoon to get here, because then that will mean I don't have to work for 3 days. Yahooooo. And as of tomorrow, I only have 3 months and 29 days left before I retire.....Yahooooo again!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
IRS Sucks!!!!
I would think that people that work at IRS are just like any other people in the world and could show some common courtesy to those that call in for information. Well that's what I get for THINKING!

I just learned this morning, that those of us who live in the parishes(counties) hit by Hurricane Katrina, can have an automatic extension of filing deadline and automatic extension without penalty of monies owed to IRS, both until August 28, 2006. (Of course, they wait until the last minute to TELL people this) The document I was reading, stated that we have to call an 800 number to identify ourselves as living in those parishes affected and then write HURRICANE KATRINA in red at the top of our returns when they are finally filed.

I just spent approximately 30 minutes sitting on hold waiting for 'the next available representative'. She finally came on the line and was laughing like she had just told herself a joke she had never heard before. I laughed and said "now, you are having entirely too much fun this morning". I was trying to be jovial and pleasant to her. She apologized and I told her it was no problem. I was glad she was enjoying her job.

Then we go into the reason for my call. Now I have always heard that IRS people talk in circles and never give you a straight answer and now I believe it. I could have gotten more information from a trained monkey! After talking with this person for 10 minutes and going back and forth with what I had read and what she wanted me to say to her, I got so confused and frustrated, I told her to just FORGET IT!!!!!!!! And she pleasantly said, Ok, thank you for calling the I..........I hung up before she finished.

ARGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! This is one of those times that if I could have reached through the phone, I would have shaken her till her head flopped.

Why can't life just be easy? Why can't we just go along in life and not have to fight these incessant battles? I get tired of the 'fighting life syndrome'. I have to fight with the power company because they make my power blink every day and I have to reset everything everyday when I get home. I have to fight with the Waste Management people that FORGET to pick up our garbage about half the time. We PAY for this 'service'! I find a product I like and use it for years, then the maker discontinues it. WHY WHY WHY WHY?????????? What is up with this world? Is everybody out to piss everybody else off? WTF????
Monday, April 10, 2006
Rorrock and Fatpaw
If I had read my post yesterday and seen that I called my grandparents Rorrock and Fatpaw, I would be very curious about how that came about. Well, here is the answer.

When I was a little girl just starting to talk (my mother told me this, of course, since I wouldn't be able to remember it all by myself), my Mother always referred to my paternal grandmother as Mother Rock. Thus, as I started talking, I called her Rorrock and the name stuck. Now there are 4 other grandchildren, but they all call her Grandmaw or Maw Maw, but to this day, I call her Rorrock.

Now, when my mother was pregnant with me, my paternal grandfather called my mother Fat Pat. (her name is Pat) And in returned jest, she called him FatPaw! Thus I called him Fatpaw too and always did. All the others called him PawPaw. Now, there you have the rest of the story of the nicknames Rorrock and Fatpaw.

I spent a LOT of time at Rorrock and Fatpaw's house when I was young. At least every other weekend and a LOT of time during the summer and holidays was spent with them. I was the only grandchild for about 5 years, so of course, I was very, very spoiled. I got to do things and go places that most kids my age didn't get to do.

My grandparents owned property in Alabama north of Mobile, and on that property was a 5,or so, acre lake. It was hilly land and the lake was at the bottom of those hills like a crater of sorts. It looked very similar to this one. My most fond memories of childhood are of the many hours Rorrock, Fatpaw and I spent at that lake fishing. I grew up fishing and still love to fish today.

Fatpaw built a small two-story cabin next to that lake and in the concrete that was poured, all of our hand prints were laid. The upper floor had a kitchenette and a bathroom and a small room for a bedroom/livingroom and a large screened porch all the way across the front facing the lake.

He had a part of the screened porch that opened out over the lake like a window so that we could drop bread and scraps to the fish and watch them swim around from up there. Of course, I had to stand in a chair to be able to reach that opening and I spent many an hour standing there throwing bread out to the fish. The ducks would also come and enjoy the bread.

My Fatpaw and I would walk all around the lake, up the hills, and down the other sides and see all sort of wildlife, lots of snakes and birds. The ducks that lived on the lake (to which I got to feed cracked corn) would sometimes follow us around the lake, waddling and quacking as if to say, "Hey wait for us!" Sometimes we found nests with duck eggs in them. I always had fun there and especially spending time with Fatpaw.

One special memory is the cat that lived at the cabin. When Fatpaw and I would go out in the boat to fish, that cat would actually jump in the water, swim out to the boat and swim round and round it until Fatpaw would pick him up (fearing he would finally tire out and drown) and put him in the boat with us. There he would ride until we finished our fishing for the day.

We mostly (I mostly) fished with old cane poles for brim and bass. My Fatpaw taught me to bait my line (which I had to do by myself if I was going to fish) and how to make the cork the right depth for the fish I wanted. One of his techniques though, was to bait several cane poles and drop them in different areas of the lake (they float) and then go back and check them.

One day we were out there and he had droped about 7 or 8 cane poles in the water to float fish. As we were riding around with me fishing from the boat, suddenly we saw one of the cane poles take off across the lake at a rather rapid speed. We chased it down and caught up with it and when Fatpaw pulled it out of the water, he had a very large bass on the other end. What a CATCH! WOW! He was so excited! He could fit his whole fist into its mouth.

So many sweet memories. It makes me smile now to think about it all. There are so many more stories if The Fish Pond (as we called it) but I don't have time right now to write them and I am sure you are getting tired of reading this blog so have a wonderful day.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Reporting in
Hi everyone. I am back home and back at work! :( I am sure that I SHOULD be grateful for the fact that I have a job, but I am not.) I don't like getting up early in the morning in the first place, and now with the time change, I feel like my husband is waking me up before the chickens are moving. It's still dark when I get up and still dark when I leave for work. The only saving grace is the beautiful sunrises I get to see on my way to work....that is....if my eyes are open while I am driving in every morning. Some times, I sleep all the way to work and then wake up when I get here wondering how did I drive 35 miles and really have no memory of it! LOL Could I be one of those drivers you really don't want to be on the road at the same time you are?

I really did enjoy visiting with my sister and my grandmother last weekend. My grandmother (I call her Rorrock.....long story) is not doing very this week. She was good over the weekend while I was there, but she started having little mini strokes again on Monday. My sister panics when Rorrock has a little stroke and tries to awaken her when she goes out instead of letting nature run its course. The hospice nurse has now instructed her NOT to try to wake her up. She said this may be Rorrock's way of passing easily and quietly. It is increasingly difficult for her to eat any food and to pass urine, etc. The nurse said her 91 year old body is just shutting down now.

I know Rorrock wants to go be with my grandfather (I call him Fatpaw.....another long story) and has wanted to for 21 years. He passed away in 1985. Rorrock has been very loyal to their vows. She has waited another 21 years to be with him again. No man could have ever measured up to her Charlie, so she waits.

For the last few days, when she is awake, she stares off into the distance sort of like in a trance. I told my sister that maybe she sees what is out there for her and is making the decision to let go of all of us and this earth and to go on home. I know Fatpaw is waiting for her. They were married for about 55 years when he passed 21 years ago. So in her mind, Rorrock has been married to Fatpaw for 76 years. That's a long time in anyone's book. I can only imagine being so completely dedicated to one person for 76 years. I hope I have that kind of stamina where my own marriage is concerned.

Well, I have to go now. It is time for me to go home from work. I will check in again later.

Sunday, April 02, 2006
Visit to Loxley
Well, I am sitting here in my sister's kitchen, in Loxley, Alabama, blogging. I have eaten like a pig this weekend. She feeds me well when I am here.

My grandmother seems to be doing well, but she sleeps a lot. That's ok, I guess. If I was 91 years old, I would want to sleep all the time too. Of course, I want to sleep all the time NOW and I am nowhere near 91 yet.

Susan and I have had a nice visit and my niece, Misty is here right now. I will have to go take a picture of them before I go and tomorrow I will post their picture here.

Just wanted to touch base. Heather and I will be leaving in just a few minutes to head back to Louisiana. It will take us about 3 hours to get home if we only make one stop and there are no traffic problems. I have to remember to fill up my tank before I get on the road.

See you all tomorrow.