Wednesday, October 22, 2008


In less than a month I'm losing Betsy. She is invaluable and she's moving to Georgia. She hasn't told administration yet because she hadn't gotten her first paycheck till last week. I run through the possible replacements at the school and there aren't many I would want. I'm afraid the the person I might get is just awful. Not a good fit.
It's depressing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 19th-Home Again...Jiggity Jog

Drove from Macon, Ga to home. Gas prices range from $4.19 to $3.86.
We picked up Dixie from the Vet and came on home. There was a huge shovel poking out from behind our canal hedge! Oh My!

It is huge and they are dredging the canal.

Two guys work it. One to scoop and dump the sand/sludge on the banks. The other guy sits on a chair and when the barge needs to be moved, the bucket lifts up the big anchor poles high enough that the chair guys puts a pin through it.

Then the operator uses the bucket to pull the barge along, then reset the anchor poles and start scooping in another patch.

Everyone's sprinkler stuff in the canal is broken. We saved the end filter thing. The canal water is really muddy.

June 18th-Up and Over

We decided to go over the Mountain to Cherokee through the park. We hadn't done this for years. They are paving the road to Gatlinburg and so the left lane was blocked. It took 45 min just to get from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg. Finally started up the park. Speed maybe 35 mph because of the grade and turns. I was happy to go slow, but Blaine doesn't like to follow anyone.

Motor cycles everywhere. There must have been a rally or conference somewhere. I guess we must have seen over 200 and they travel in swarms of at least 6. We went past Clingman's Dome. In past years we might have climbed to the top, but with my bum knee, no.

Beautiful views.

Beautiful wildflowers.

Once over to Cherokee we set to go to Blairsville, Ga where my clerk has built a house. Several of our Winston Park people have bought land/build there. Teachers and police retire there.

She lives on Mountain Top road and it reminded me of the road last year to the cabin S&R rented. Narrow and up. We never did find the house and Blaine was afraid to travel on the road. We plugged in how to get to I-75 at Atlanta. We went from a 2-lane 35 mph road to a 12 lane 70mph road.

We discovered that we are not mountain people, but hill folks. Can't imagine why/how anyone could drive on those roads and if there were the slightest bit of ice, we would slide off.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17th, Tuesday

We came to Gatlinburg today. Weather is beautiful and not that busy. The 'season' doesn't start till the 4th of July.

Christmas Place is wonderful for all of the ideas and colors. Since we have a room at the Hampton, I can wander to my hearts content as Blaine has a place to rest and I can walk home.

This evening we went in to Gatlinburg. This year they have street musicians. Old Timey bands, cloggers, dulcimer players. It's a nice addition. It was a test of my walking. Up/down and uneven surfaces. Nothing tempting me to buy...except the taffy, the fudge, and the funnel cakes. I got past them all.

My pictures won't load with the motel computer connection. :-(
I was able to upload some photos to Flickr.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 16th Monday

Travel day. Did the laundry and then left town. The goal was Gatlinberg, but I had such a headache that we stopped in Berea, Ky. It was another 2 hours to go otherwise.

I wish someone would post pictures of their painting or their new house or at least TALK about it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 14-15

Arrived Saturday afternoon. We went out and visited Mom. They had just put her to bed so she was alert, but it was bedtime. We then went to visit Dad. he was in bed too, but his eyes were closed and not communicative so we left. Went and visited with Aunt Lillian. She told stories about her brother Ernest who seemed to be quite the rounder.

Sunday AM we popped out to see Mom again. She was dressed nicely and parked in the dining room for the church service being held by a man with a huge beard who quoted scripture about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. Kinda past their rod-wielding days. Spouted on with how the father needed to choose their children's friends and who they dated because it was the men who would be the leaders. ARGH!!

Next we went back out to visit Dad. He was dressed and in the formerly know as the game room. It was time to eat. He was looking at the newspaper and had a Popular Science Magazine.

He doesn't sit at the tables with the others, but has a single table tray they scoot over for him. He's a loner.

One of the men was singing 'Ain't going to rain no more' and the little lady next to him said even she knew that song. She wasn't THAT old. She was in her 80's. She was shamelessly flirting.

The meal came, ham, green beans w/ onions, mashed potatoes and gravy, coffee, milk, iced tea, and ice cream. The ham and beans were pureed. He tried one taste of the ham, drank his milk, then ate the ice cream. End of the meal. Everyone knows he has a sweet tooth.

This afternoon Steve and Thi-Thi came for a visit. We went out to see Dad again. He was in bed again and Very grumpy. He would not be sociable and yelled at Thi-Thi to go away. We left to go see Mom again. She was up in the front hallway watching. We talked at/to her and left to drive with S&T to go by the Riverside house and the Lake Clare home (It's a real dump. Just awful)

We're in a sever storm watch on a Sunday evening with not much to do but watch Tiger struggle with his bum knee. I know the feeling.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday the 13th

We decided to head to the Grand Ole Opry and see if we could see a show this year since last year didn't work.

Parking was easy. You park at the Opry Mills, a shopping mall. We got our tickets and enjoyed the outside entertainments. Celebrity look-a-likes, live music, the souvenir store. I didn't get anything. Resisted getting Carrie Underwood's CD.

The seating was unusual in that it was like a padded church pew bench style. Everyone could fit. Very casual.

The 2 hour program was broken into 4 half-hour segments and was live on 640 WSH am radio and for satellite radio and probably recorded for TV with commercials for that segment's sponsors.

The MC's were the really older stars. Jeannie Seely, Little Jimmy Dickens (who must have been 4 foot tall and was 87 years old) Jean Shepard, and the Riders in the Sky who were hilarious.

Everyone one was friendly and seemed genuine.
Songs were tuneful and not a rude or suggestive tone anywhere.

I got my picture take with 'Minnie Pearl' and saw 'Hank Williams' and
someone in a fancy cactus decorated suit that someone who knows country would probably know who it was supposed to be. I had to ask about Hank Williams I'm so not country. We loved the whole experience.

Now. On to Huntington.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Vacation Sat thru Thurs

Arrived in BH.
Mac's Recital with Leader of the Pack and Thank Heaven for Little Girls.
Rah-Rah Camp- Hey little cutie in your blue and gold suitie!

Many deaths in WOW.
CJ went over to the Dark Side.
Blaine's round trip 10 hour drive back to CS to check on camper. Gas
water heater was left on.
Walk through the house

S & R's Signing of the 100 papers then the happy dance at Briton.

'Shot' in the knee went well.
Cleaned outside fridge/cupboards and Kids swim in DEEP pool.

Took down the dreadful curtains so R could make a dress like Scarlett did
in Gone with the Wind.

Arrival of Tonya and another trip to Britain.
Helped Steve chainsaw tree limbs.
Still...what colors?
Cut off from WOW...withdrawal. Crystal is dead right now.
Left Thurs AM for the North.
Stuck in a 30 accident back up. Appears to be just a motorcycle.
Blaine in the doghouse because all of my cute little water bottles for the trip were consumed in BH! :-(
Ended up in Macon Hampton/Cracker Barrel.
A Shopping area surpassing The Loop a half mile from the motel.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Here are our WOW characters. I haven't gotten to play
CrystalBlue for awhile.


This is Penguin's Pizzacake.
He has a 'ride' now, so
we need more picts.

Here is the grandest of all...Swuteimsayin. He
is an awesome Mage. He also has a steed.
We need updated photos there too.

Missing are Ludicris Speed, Kreecher, and Pony Princess.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coming Soon

Talk at school...across from the new WalMart on Hillsboro near State Road 7/441 will be a..KOHL'S!!!!

Woo Hoo.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What Happened Here?

The cable company has been installing. We used to have a post with a box attached near the fence. They are upgrading and replaced the post with a concrete pad and a huge unit that it big as an air-conditioner.

This week when I came home there were spray-painted lines on the ground indicating where the electric, phone, and cable lines were. We plowed through the bushes and looked what they had been doing this time. Interestingly we found a pair of brown-streaked men's underwear?!? How? How can someone remove the underwear without being stark naked! Someone was walking around 'commando' with questionable cleanliness issues. YUCK!!

What an Opportunity!!

I received an email and a mailing from BTU ( the teacher's union) saying I meet the eligibility requirements to take advantage of the Retirement Assistance Program or RAP.

The program offers employees who retire under its provision Board-paid health insurance
until they reach eligibility for Medicare coverage at age 65. They would also receive $10,000
term life insurance for the same period. These benefits are currently valued at several
thousand dollars a year and will increase in value as premiums rise.

In addition, a $10,000 increase over your normal salary of 2008-09 provides an immediate economic benefit as well as an opportunity to boost the average salary that
determines all your future retirement benefits. These are one-time advantages for deciding now to retire at the end of the 2008-09 school year only.

Oh WOW! Now that I'm finally at the top of the pay-schedule they want me to quit with an irrevocable deal with ONE year of an extra $10,000 and medical insurance. The insurance is only on me by the way. Hubby would have to find something else.

I wonder how many others who are eligible will be gullible enough to take them up on this. Implementation is assured when a target of 150 participants is reached.

I hope you are as excited about participating in this special program as BTU is to offer it
to career teachers under these difficult financial circumstances.


What an Opportunity!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New Product

There's a new "brain drink" product touted to improve your surfing skills
by reading your DNA as you drink and formulating your search results to
maximize your personal cognitive characteristics. It was discovered in the
Bolivian rain forest and it speeds up the molecular process of the
neurotransmitters in your brain!

The product is called 'Google Gulp'

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I'm totally hooked on Zuma. I am personally saving Luxor by shooting marbles and killing all the other marbles. I could spend all day with XBox 360. I didn't even use the Guitar Hero I was so into Uno, Hexic, and Zuma. Oh, Mark. You've created a monster.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I found a bag of VSH tapes that Dad had taped and tonight we watched a couple.
Oh My! One was of a gathering of my Bingham cousins. I haven't seen Danny for many many years and wouldn't have recognized him. Gordon and Bernard look like old farmers with white grizzly beards. Gordon's boys are HUGE.

The other tape we enjoyed was 1989 Christmas. Mom & Dad came to our house and there we were on Christmas morning. Mark got really upset because Blaine ate the head off of his best Santa cookie.

Fluffy headed Scott has his 14th birthday. His voice is mid-change and we could compare it with his 15th birthday too.

It's just great to see Mom and Dad spry and lucid. They both joke and interact.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I've Been Simpsonized

This website is where you can Simpsonize yourself.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Dixie Update

It even looks like she's snoring!

I'm afraid Dixie must be relation to Ashley. I see tendencies that are not attractive.
-She seems huge. Gypsy was always slim and svelte and would sit with her two front feet daintily together with one foot ahead of the other. Not Dixie. She has a wide sit stance (like Fat Ashley)

-Gypsy would sleep in a round curled shape. Not Dixie. She sprawls on her back with not a care in the world. I guess she feels safe.

-Dixie is very active and seeks us out to play with her and brings her toys to us. She can leap3 feet off the ground in play and will 'whine' talk to tell us we need to play with her.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


The tech conferences are always fun and besides talking to vendors and learning about new technologies is collecting conference swag.

Most of my swag this year is a collection of pens and t-shirts. Each vendor wanted participants to wear their shirt with the enticement that you might be chosen by a secret shopper to win a set of clickers, ipod, smart board, Promethian board, etc IF you wore only their shirt.

I have about 13 different shirts. The TI shirt is really cool, but I had to sit through a high school math presentation to get one. Oh, the joys of changing just one exponent and seeing where it might be replotted on a graph!

Penguin had just taken one, but I was toooooo slow and had to suffer.

Finished Furniture

I went to Orlando for the FETC conference and it was a good time to check out that area's furniture stores. We went to Orlando's new IKEA. What a change from So Fla's. Parked right up front and there were PLENTY of parking spots. The store was not crowded and we went right through.

Next day we trudged through 7 different stores. The same problem of really dark finishes. I took pictures of any that might be acceptable. After awhile they all look alike.

Rooms To Go outlet had a nice unit, but no base. It would be very hard to match the finish color with something else. Blaine had missed the party atmosphere and drove up. We decided on a Broyhill unit we both like and sometime in the middle of February we will update from the 'Blaine Built' unite crafted from leftover lumber from construction sites of 30 years ago to a real piece of furniture.

Now this is going to make something else look bad.

Monday, January 21, 2008


OK it's been years since we've shopped for furniture other than the 2 La-Z-Boy chairs several years ago, but we were totally unprepared for the current style of furniture available now.

Huge heavy furniture. People must have massive sized rooms as the furniture has massive tree-trunk sized legs and so much ornamentation that it would take a castle atmosphere to handle it.

In addition to being huge, it's dark. So dark it seems to suck the light out of a room. I find it depressing in oppressive. Where are the light woods and airy, spacious feeling? I don't mean that furniture should look and feel spindly, but it could be sturdy and uplifting.

Another annoyance. If the furniture is 'modern' it means it must be only 2 feet from the floor uncomfortable. I don't think people live with their furniture, but just use it for display only.

Entertainment centers available are only for their 'furniture' appeal. It's to display artifacts and match the other ornate pieces in a room. They are not to have DVD players, sound systems, etc cluttering up the view.

IKEA Madness

Today on MLK holiday, we went out looking for entertainment centers. The IKEA store was new before Thanksgiving, so we thought we'd browse for shelving.

Still the craziness continues. Rent-a-cops controlling traffic. The IKEA parking garage full. The only parking was several miles away at Bank American arena where you wait and take a trolley back to IKEA.

When we drove by the arena, we could see throngs of people waiting to ride the trolley. It reminded me of waiting for the trolley at the remote parking lots at Sea World.

Again we will wait. This frenzy has to die down sometime. Doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

To Do List

Christmas is put away, but......don't go into the spare bedroom. All of my silk flowers are in piles. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Christmas, roses and plastic tubs. They all won't go back into the boxes now.

Garden Ridge had nice stuff.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I FINALLY got all of the Christmas things
together in one place. Things had been
stashed in 3 different closets. It's now all
together and will be easier to find next
year. It is secure and Krystal is guarding.

The weather has been damp and chilly.
The only bright spot is the poinsettias on
the stoop.
The rain hasn't stopped the ugly Muscovy
ducks from raiding the bird feeder.

Dixie has filled out. With her winter coat
and fine dining she is very comfortable
on my computer chair.