Tuesday, January 18, 2005

running waters

The weather here in Northwest Tennessee has gotten colder again. The temperatures are only reaching about 30. The sun is shining, but it's very misleading because the weather is not warming up much at all. I'm definitely putting the ear muffs I got for Christmas to work. The wind is blowing slightly, which means that the wind chill puts the temperature about six degrees or so lower than what is being reported.

At my house, you have to take extra precautions when the temperatures drop. The water in the sink has to run at a trickle so that the pipes don't freeze. Also, since the laundry room is located on the north end of the house, I have to wash clothes more frequently to keep the water running there. The pipes freeze with no warning, stranding you with a big pile of laundry and hours spent at the laundromat washing clothes. When the pipes freeze in the laundry room, it takes a long time for them to thaw, even when you run a heater near the pipes to warm things up.

I'm also dressing in layers to try and stay warm when I do have to venture outside. I have several wool sweaters that I wear with various shirts and turtlenecks on underneath. Since work and other places I have to go are usually about a thirty minute drive, I try to make sure I'm bundled up "just in case" my vehicle has a break down and I have to wait on help.

The cold weather is good for us though, because it kills off the insects that would otherwise run rampant during the summer. They manage to show up, but not nearly as big a population if we didn't have the colder weather.

Another thing that happens during this weather is the presence of rodent life-forms, usually unseen. I keep an ample supply of rat & mice poison in the laundry room and other areas where I've noticed a little activity. I have "the best party in town". I'm legendary in the rodent community. When they come to one of my "parties", some don't make it back home alive. I have to use poison because they laugh at traps and other devices I've tried over the years. It's "survival of the fittest" and so far I've been the most fit.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

to tell the tooth!

This year has started out with me being very "toothfully challenged." I feel like I've been to the dentist more already this year than I did the entire last year combined. I was eating some peanut brittle last weekend and broke my crown. I understand that crowns are almost impossible to break, but of course not if you're ME! I went Thursday for impressions, and the dentist put in a temporary crown until my crown arrives in February. The temporary crown feels funny in a way, because it feels rough and not very toothlike at all. I was told not to chew gum or eat taffy or caramel while the temporary is in. Of course, I don't eat much taffy or caramel, but since I can't have them, I'm craving some! Such is life... So, for those out there who can eat taffy or caramel, please eat some and think about me and my temporary crown!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everybody! I hope that the start of your year is going well. I brought the new year in at a 40-Frame Game bowling party. It was fun, adults-only, BYOB. Marvin is the designated driver and I'm the designated drinker. I drank Fuzzy Navels all night long and didn't have a hangover afterwards either. The next evening we had a 50th birthday dinner for Marvin at our house. We had nine people over: my mother-in-law, and my two stepsons and their families. I made minute steaks with gravy (his request was "like Mama used to make!"), broccoli-cauliflour salad, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, green peas, and German Chocolate cake. I spent all afternoon cooking and was very tired afterwards. The most stressful part was making the minute steak with gravy "like Mama used to make." I called her and told her what I was doing, and she gladly gave me her recipe. I passed the test though, and got her approval when she arrived at the house.

After dinner, most everyone left except for the son and his wife from Nashville who were spending the night with us. He gave his dad a Texas Hold 'em poker set, so we all spent a couple of hours playing poker. I was the first one to lose all my chips, so I don't think you'll see me playing on TV anytime soon! Our other son gave him a movie coupon book and some gift certificates to a local restaurant. My gift was tickets to "Little Shop of Horrors" , an off-Broadway production that will be playing in Nashville at the end of this month.

The first day of the new year was great, and we got to see a lot of family too. The next step is getting my Christmas decorations down, and back up in the attic. Our attic is the type where you climb up this ladder, and then things have to be handed up to you. It's an aerobic workout just getting up and down! More fun to be had by all...

Sunday, January 02, 2005


The end of this year brought the dreaded tsunamis on December 26th that devastated countries from Malaysia to East Africa (Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Maldives, and Somalia. As of today, the death toll was at 115,000. The aftershocks continue...

The earthquake was at a 9.0 magnitude, the strongest on the planet since 1964. It changed the lives of people from many nations almost immediately, because there was very little time to react. It was run for your life or die. The people who tried to bring personal possessions with them were the ones who wound up dying. The tsunamis did not affect just the Asian side of the world. They affected the entire world, because citizens from other countries were also among the casualties and missing: Australia, Austria, Belguim, Britain, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugul, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States.

This also affected me personally because I have some Thai college friends that I was concerned about. My roommate for one semester and a friend who lived next door to us in the dorm both are now college professors in Bangkok. I also have a friend who is a college professor in Alabama, and he was like a big brother to me. I have been trying to call him ever since I heard about the tsunamis, and got no answer at any of the numbers I have for him. I finally resorted to leaving a voice mail on his cellphone, asking him to call me and let me know how he was doing. I've been praying for the safety of my friends. In church this morning, I also said a little prayer for them. Today my prayer was answered. Sonny called me this afternoon and let me know that he was okay. He was one of the lucky ones. He was at one of the beaches that was hit hardest in Thailand only four days before the tsunamis. He said that the water there is normally very clear, but the week he was there it was very muddy, indicating that something was happening below the ocean. He almost stayed another week, but then decided to return back to Bangkok. His immediate family is fine, but he is sure that some relatives of his were killed.

The thought that some of my good friends could have been killed has been very upsetting to me. It really makes you think about how much you should appreciate the people in your life who have meant so much to you, and have helped contribute to who you are and are a part of you.

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