If ya'll missed the hot-air balloons in Tuscaloosa this weekend, you missed a treat. We went out Saturday afternoon about 3:30pm to sit and take it all in.
Our plans got changed just a little once we got to the airport. You see, Hershey was with us since it was such a pretty day, but dogs were not allowed in the main areas. So we went to the park on the other side of the airport to watch everything with the other dog owners. I think we actually ended up a whole lot better off over there. We were in the shade, the temperature was great, and we could see everything that was going on.
About 5:30, our local TV personality, Kip Tyner started announcing that things were beginning to get rolling. Deonte Wilder then made an appearance; Walt Maddox, our mayor, said a few words, followed by Northport's mayor, Bobby Herndon; and then the balloon-meister took over. About 6pm, the first balloon began rising.
Then the others began following the lead balloon. It was very impressive!
Did you see the airport control tower in front of that Energizer Bunny? That was one big rabbit!
Looks like this may be an annual event now. So if ya'll missed it this year, be sure to watch for it next year.
I've been thinking about ordering new glasses for over a year now. In fact, at last year's eye exam I noticed that my glasses were pretty outdated. But I could never make up my mind on a frame, and eventually I forgot about it.
Until 3 weeks ago....
You see, I am blind as a bat. I either have to have contacts in my eyes or glasses on my face in order for me to even walk across the floor. It is bad!
I was getting kinda low on contacts, and Dr. Moore's office informed me that it was time for another exam, so I made the appointment. And the thoughts of new glasses came wandering back into my mind.
So I'm not going to bore you with the eye exam details. It was normal. But then it came time to pick out frames. Dr. Moore has the nicest lady named Bea that works for him. She helped Heather pick out her glasses this last time, and she has helped with the last 3 or 4 pairs of mine. She's got great taste and doesn't hold back on giving her honest opinion. That goes a long way with me.
So Bea and I narrowed it down to about 4 or 5 pair, and she boxed those up and sent me home with them to show Heather and finish my decision. Now it just so happened that Chris and Jessica were coming over that night. So when Heather got home, I gave them all a glasses fashion show.
They oohed and aahed over how good looking I am.... just kidding. But they did give their opinions and I finally made a decision.
Last week Bea called and said that the glasses didn't pass inspection at the lab, and that they were starting over and that I should have them this week. And I do. Here they are.
Feel free to print those so you can use them to keep the crows out of your garden. :)
About 30 hot air balloons will float over Tuscaloosa and Northport this weekend in an effort to raise money for people with disabilities. For the past 25 years, the annual Sunrise Community Hot Air Balloon Race has been held in Miami, but because of south Florida's urban sprawl, the event's planners decided to move it elsewhere this year. They chose Tuscaloosa.
How cool is that? Alabama football, Blue Angels, and now balloons!
The hot air balloon race will be Saturday and Sunday, and is free to the public. About 30 corporate and privately owned hot air balloons have signed up for the event, from across the Southeast. The world's largest hot air balloon, a 116-foot-tall pink Energizer bunny, will also participate in the race.
All proceeds from the race will benefit local people with developmental disabilities.
Balloons will be inflated between 5:30 and 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, and will follow a specific path where teams of aeronauts must drop beanbags on marked spots along the race route. The races should take between 30 minutes and an hour.
Now I know what you're thinking... 5:30a.m? Well, there will also be a race on Saturday between 5:30 and 6 p.m. That's when we'll be there.
This has been a great weekend. After being down at the beach the past two weekends, and then back and forth, in and out of town during the weeks, this has been a much needed rest for me. Heather had to work, so it's just been me and my girl, Hershey. We've watched movies and all sorts of TV, watched it rain, taken naps, and on top of all that, we've eaten some pretty good grub.
I got my new phone in the mail Friday. Somehow, I am unable to copy all my contacts to my SIM card so they all have had to be entered individually. That took up part of Saturday. I think I'm to the M's.
I went out to the Booth Saturday night to hear the Chinese Dentists, and they were awesome. Our friend, Rusty Kyzer, is the drummer, so I met his wife, Kim and we hung out and watched the show. There was a big screen behind them, and they played the "Muppets in Space" movie throughout the whole show. It was cool.
Sunday was a nothing day. And I do mean nothing. I cooked some ribs and watched the rain. I set the ferns out because I think the rain is better for them than the water out of the faucet.
And then here we are. Memorial Day. Thanks so much to all of our troops, past and present, who give so much so unselfishly.
Today I ran a couple of errands, had lunch with a friend, and then came home where I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a Land of the Lost marathon on! I used to watch this all the time when I was little. Somehow though, the acting was a whole lot better years ago.
Anyway, today is day 5 with the fertility shots. So far so good. Nobody has passed out, and Heather says they aren't hurting. So today and tomorrow, and we should be done with this round.
Again, Happy Memorial Day, ya'll. I just wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow.
Well we should have our first round of fertility shots today. I ordered them yesterday. Heather had to go this morning for an ultrasound and the results from our bloodwork. As my grandmother used to say, she has sugar. Her insulin levels were raised so they have put her on a sugar pill. Side effects are diarrhea and weight loss. HA! She's gonna love me telling that. I told her to get a double prescription and we’d both take them…
I lost my new phone. How bout that? I had it when I left the office yesterday. I went from work to Moody Music Building and when I got out at Moody I realized I didn’t have it. So I came back to the office and looked for it. I have turned my office and the car upside down half a dozen times, and it is gone. I think it may have fallen out of my pocket when I got in the car. I asked around to see if anybody saw it and maybe picked it up, but no luck. I am sick over it. So I called AT&T & reported it lost or stolen. They have mailed me a replacement. Of course I will have to pay the deductible on the insurance, but that will be much better than having to buy another one. In the meantime, they turned my old phone back on so at least I don’t have to do without.
I don’t really know much else. I think I have decided to plant very little in pots at this point. I have done nothing so far. Very unlike me. The pansies are still sitting there dying. So I may try to get a couple of things for pots this weekend and just go lightly this year. I really don’t have the energy or desire (or extra cash) to fill 20 pots. 3 or 4 should be just fine.
I’m about to starve and evidently Chuck’s Fish is giving away free shrimp and grits this morning. I’m staying strong though. I am not going to cheat. H slipped up and told me she had shrimp alfredo for lunch yesterday. That is definitely not on our list of ok dishes to eat! I told her to try to do better today, and I would cook tonight.
I don’t know anything else. Looking forward to a calm, do-nothing, possibly watching the rain, long weekend.
We want a baby. Sounds easy enough. Babies are born every day. But it is proving to be more than just a little complicated for Heather and me. I don't know why I am surprised. That's par for the course with us. So Monday we spent the day in Birmingham at the ART fertility clinic and then with an adoption attorney.
We kinda felt like the clinic visit was one of those meant to be things. Week before last, Heather was getting a pedicure and while her toes were under the dryer, she saw a business card from the clinic. We had already phoned for an appointment, so Heather said that the card was a sign. Now I don't really know what kind of sign it was, but it was a sign regardless.
To put it mildly, we are overwhelmed as crap. Everyone has thrown so much information at us that there is no way we will ever remember what all they said. We saw Dr. Virginia Houserman, and we immediately liked her. She's probably in her late 50's or so. Very cut and dry. Very to the point. And you could tell that she knew her stuff. and she was very nice.
Dr. Houserman had several suggestions. I'm not really going to go into all of that on here though, because it would take forever. We spent over 4 hours at the ART clinic. Heather will start taking shots at some point this week. I'm not really sure when. At some point I have to give her one, and quite frankly, that's freaking me out just a little bit.
So we have several options and they all have one thing in common.
Money money money. Lots of it. Piles of it. Mounds of it. And we are not made of it.
We were told to exercise more and lose weight. Then she said no more than 1 drink a day or 7ish a week. Moderation, of course. So quit eating,and quit drinking. Joy. Life as I know it is gone.
So we went to Sumo and filled up on sushi as a last hurrah before going back to strictly low carb. It was sooooooooooooooooooooo good!
Heather finally found her a maxi dress after shopping all over Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Spanish Fort and Tuscaloosa. Thank the Lord.
Then we saw the attorney, Drew Whitmire. What a nice guy! Very southern lawyerish. He told us that we need to make a book on ourselves. Like a scrapbook. The mother will look at a pile of them and decide who gets her baby. So we have to make ourselves look good. Then we need to decide domestic or foreign. Then we need to pick an agency. He named a few here in Alabama. One is in Helena. Then we need a home study. So much information! My brain couldn't take it all in.
He also told us that the easiest and cheapest way is to put the word out that we are looking. That way, if somebody knows somebody who knows somebody who's friend is 19 and single and pregnant and wanting to give it up, we might be able to just get it directly. He said networking is a great tool for trying to adopt. So that's what we are doing. And ya'll spread the word too. Far and wide. Who knows who might hear of a baby out there somewhere. And it could be ours.
We filled out and signed all of our legal paperwork to adopt. So the papers are ready. They just need a baby name and date.
And that was our day. We were and still are exhausted. And stressed out.
There's a plan for us. I don't know what it is yet. But following it is about to wear me out.
Thanks to Katie from Serenade Handmade Soaps for helping me to put a face with a name. I think this is the guy from Dell Technical Support who had me and my computer so screwed up! He's employee of the month!
I tried to post some pictures from my phone while we were in Orange Beach, but I obviously done quite have the hang of this mobile blogging.
Of course, we had another crazy weekend. I mean, why should the fact that we are at the beach mean that wacked-out stuff won't happen to us? It started out as a textbook example of Murphy's Law. But it got better. We just had to get it all out of our systems.
Thursday was a long day at work for me. We had decided the night before to just up and get out of town. So I knew I still had to go home and pack and get on the road, & 5 o'clock took it's sweet time getting here.
But finally we were on the road, and got down to the beach around 11:15pm. That's when the fun started.
I pulled up and shined the lights on the hiding place where the spare key is kept (we didn't bring the main key.) I found it with no trouble, and was untaping it. Just as the last piece of tape was unwound, I dropped the key. At the same time, Heather turned off the car lights. I hollered for her to turn them back on, but I lost sight of the key, which was in the midst of a whole pile of water oak leaves. We searched and searched for it. As of right now, we still haven't found it.
Guess what a locksmith in Orange Beach, Alabama charges to come out at midnight and let you in your front door? I know the answer, and it's a helluva lot!
The mosquitos were the size of my palm. And our cell phones won't work inside or under the porch. So I had to stand outside and talk on the phone, while swatting those blood-suckers every 3 seconds. It was quite the experience. But this guy from Aaron's Locksmith came and did his thing, and we were inside at last.
Let me pause here for a minute, and tell you about our neighborhood pet. He's a fox. There's a fox-crossing sign when you come into the neighborhood and we usually see him at night when we are down there. I guess he likes the water. Well, while I was on the phone with the locksmith, Heather said he came right up beside me and sat down. She said I could have petted him if I'd wanted to. Then a little later, he was back in the yard looking all around. It was very cool.
So anyway, I got up Friday morning determined to find that key. There's a table out back next to the shed that we use for cleaning fish, and I noticed that the faucet out there was leaking. So I looked at it and tried to tightened it where the faucet screws into the PVC. Mistake. I cracked the pipe. That made water start spraying out in all directions. So I had to make a trip to the hardware store and get stuff to go back and fix the water pipe.
And on that note, does anybody know if Orange Beach Hardware on Canal Road has closed for good? Looks like there is merchandise inside, but there is a For Sale sign on the door and we can never find them open.
Back to my story. While the glue dried on the PVC, we walked down the road to the neighborhood pavilion and watched the boats for a bit.
After all that, I went ahead and go the grass cut, and Heather did some weeding and pruning. All kinds of pretty things were blooming in the yard.
I don't know what this is...
Some Prickly Pear thing... I hate it because it always hits me in the leg when I'm mowing and then I spent the next several weeks with a big nasty scar on my leg...
Friday afternoon we headed out to the beach. It was great weather, and Heather caught me up to date on what is going on in the world. Did you know that Sarah Palin was raised by wolves til age 6? And that Holy Water has been found on Mars? Well enquiring minds need to know things like that.
The seagulls were out in force. And some of them were camera hogs.
When we came in from the beach, we could hear a humming noise. We have one of those new TV converter boxes down there, and I thought that was making the noise. Nope. Upon closer investigations, we realized the TV was dead. And I mean as a door nail dead. So guess what? We went to Gulf Shores Wal-Mart, Target, Foley Wal-mart, Office Depot (I was grasping at straws) and back to GS Wal-Mart and bought a new TV. Dang TV's aren't cheap anymore folks! But it works great, and we are back in business.
After I got the TV's changed out, Heather came in the living room fresh from a shower and dressed in her sleep-shirt for bed. I was hungry. She said she thought that we'd just snack for dinner, but I was hungrier than snacks. So I went over to the Keg and got cheeseburgers and onion rings for us. Boy did they hit the spot!
Saturday was a fishing day. Not a whole lot of luck was had by either of us, but Heather did end up snagging an entire reel and rod. It worked too. I changed out the hook and used it. So at least we caught something. But it was HOT! So around lunch-time, we decided to try something cooler. And cooler meant lunch!
We ran back and freshened up just a little bit, and then went to Fat Back's for lunch. It's a new place at Sportsman's Marina and has only been open about 3 or 4 weeks. Heather is a huge fan of tuna, and she had an Ahi Sandwich. It was a thick filet of mouth-watering tuna and thick crusty bread and had some sort of dark asian flavored sauce on the side. Fantastic!!! I had a shrimp po-boy. I do love a shrimp po-boy! (I had already had the same thing for lunch Friday at Doc's.) It was on a thick crust loaf of bread and had cole slaw on the side. The slaw was very similar to West Indies salad, and was sooo good! We have definately found a new favorite place.
Of course, during our lunch, somehow Heather and our waitress realized that they are both from Demopolis and that Heather's mom taught our waitress in 2nd grade. So they had to catch up and compare stories. I just watched the boats.
After a short recovery nap, we hit the beach again. I think it was at this point that I became pretty sunburned. It's brown today, but I was really red for a bit there.
Saturday night we ate at Shuckers over by the Wharf. Hmmmm.... I'll give it a 7 out of 10. The food was good and there was plenty of it, but our waitress didn't exactly speak fluent English and it was fairly pricey. Still, we enjoyed ourselves. It's an outdoor setting and they were playing great music. So we had a good time.
After that, we tried the Flora-Bama, but things just weren't happenin there. So we called it a night.
Sunday we headed home. Foley was having Art in the Park, so we spent a couple of hours there and then headed back to Mobile and stopped at Felix's on the causeway for lunch. Of course, it was awesome as always.
We stopped and saw my folks for a bit and then headed home.
I think we are going to have to have a repeat this coming weekend.
I love this time of year because it's just right for sitting on the deck in the evenings. Unless it's raining, you can usually find us outside, and yesterday was perfect.
Hershey was out looking for lizards on the deck, when all of a sudden, she started going crazy over in one corner. There's this big iron candle holder thing over there and she was trying to get at something that was under the base of it. So I went over and moved it and thought that a lizard ran out from under it.
The whole time I was out there, Hershey was hunting that lizard. She sniffed and looked but neither of us saw another lizard.
That's because I don't think it was a lizard.
It was a damned snake!
If you know me, then you know how I feel about a snake. I can't watch them on TV or visit the reptile exhibit at the zoo or really just even think about snakes in general. They freak me out big time! That Snakes on a Plane movie just about did me in.
So imagine my response when Heather said "There's a snake" and pointed to the area of the deck in front of the den door! Thank goodness I had been too lazy to put up the shovel the last time I used it. It was leaning up against the deck, so I grabbed it and began to chop that snake into as many pieces as possible. Heather said I was ruining the deck, but at that moment, I could have cared less about that deck. The snake had to die!!!
I don't know what kind of snake it was. It was young though. Probably about 6 inches long or so. And you know what that means. There are more babies somewhere and a mama snake to go with them.
I don't know what I'm going to do about this, but I can't have snakes everywhere.
Congratulations to our very dear friends, Adam, Katie, and Aidan Benefield! They have a new baby boy, Ethan _____ Benefield. (They haven't decided on a middle name yet, although Aidan has suggested "Ethan John Deere Benefield.") He was born at 3:54am, is 21 inches long, and weighs 8 pounds and 7 ounces.
I just spent the last hour and a half holding him at the hospital. Normally, I don't think babies are cute at this point, but I think I'm gonna have to make an exception in this case. He is definately a cutie!
I'm sure Katie will have pictures posted on her blog, Serenade Handmade Soap, as soon as she is able. Ya'll be sure to check them out!
Congrats my dear friends! We can't wait to start spoiling him!