Saturday, May 22, 2010

I hereby return my super Blogger award!

Courtney left this afternoon. *Sigh*

She was here almost two weeks, but we were gone part of that time. Still... a week with my first-born is a very rare treat!!

We did stuff, didn't do stuff, took naps, picked endless strawberries, ate, and hung out. And I never had my camera with me. Ever.

I only took one stinkin' picture of her! And it isn't even a good picture! Too dark, no composition, no cooperation either. Brace yourself!

Impressive... no? National Geographic just called and wants me to travel the world taking similarly stunning photos for them. Gotta go pack!

*Double Sigh*

So, the house seems a bit empty and life will return to its normal crazy self. Summer school for yours truly begins June 1. I have 1 class each of the two sessions, each lasting 5 weeks.

5 weeks?!? It takes me longer than that to get a really good point on my pencil! I am in deep scholarly trouble.

Class 1... Pharmacology. We have already received our first assignment, due the first day of class. Ten chapters with study guide pages, each filled with really hard drug names and complicated spellings. 10 chapters. TEN. Oh boy! But now that I think of it, there are 56 chapters and only 5 weeks, so I'm getting off easy by 1 chapter! Whoo hoo!

Thankfully,Courtney made chocolate chip/chunk cookies last night. I will survive. And then there are always pounds and pounds of strawberries if the cookies aren't enough!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Whoo Hoo!

She did it. Little Lizzy graduated from college on Saturday. And YOU were there. Okay, you weren't there but we were!

This was the first time that Studly and I were in Reno at the same time. Together. It was novel. Stud Muffin got to meet Ray, "the boyfriend" for the first time. It went well. Hands were shook, conversations were had, and no shots were fired. Pretty good for a father meeting his baby's beau.

Aren't they cute together??

This is Liz's best friend Tiffany who came up from Vegas to help celebrate. Liz and Tif were roommates in the dorm and had their first apartment together. Tif's now a first grade teacher in Vegas.

When joined at the hip, they are a formidable two-headed monster of shopping and giggles.

We took everyone out to dinner the night before graduation and ate ourselves silly. In fact, we ate ourselves silly at most meals. I gained weight :(

Before they let you graduate, you have to figure out how to put on the hat! Without messing up the hair. It is serious business.

During the opening ceremony, the University President explained that the class of 2010 was the largest graduating class in the school's history, the most accomplished (by virtue of the number of "laudes" and distinctions bestowed) and had the highest graduation rate of any class.

There weren't nearly enough chairs for all the spectators, what with over 1500 graduates! We tried standing in the shrubs, on rocks and finally settled for sitting within earshot and racing back when the degrees were handed out.

The view from our initial spot.

The canopy is where the dignitaries sat and the speeches were made. The black spot is the President making his comments. Waaaaaay over there!

We wandered around while the degrees for the other colleges within the university were conferred. This a view of Liz's dorm from freshman year. She was on the top floor, in a corner room over to the left. Love the pond!

And then her turn came. I tried to get a picture of her walking, but my camera didn't like being zoomed in that much and wouldn't fire when I wanted! But this is how she looked after it was all over.

The BFFs:

And the parental units:

And then it was time to go home. Visiting is nice, but there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed. Courtney did a great job taking care of the dogs and the property. She has been picking strawberries like crazy and they are still coming! I froze a bunch this morning.

Courtney hadn't harvested any lettuce, so I cut some this morning, along with the first of the broccoli!

So that's it! All children graduated from college and ready to support me in the style to which I would like to become accustomed. Now they have to prepare to come to MY graduation in 1 1/2 years!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pick your breakfast

Barefoot Gardener avert your eyes. I can't be held responsible for any more head injuries that you sustain!

I ran out this morning, in my bathrobe, in the rain (yes, again) to harvest the first of the strawberries.

I washed them, sliced them into a bowl, and topped them with yogurt.


Yes, Courtney, there are plenty left for your breakfast!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I got a Harley!!

Image by 4.bp.blogspot,com

Now before you get all excited, this is not it. Never was much of a Soft Tail girl anyway. I had a 1200 Sportster years back which I kinda liked. But this is not the Harley that has come into my life. This is:

Notice the weed mat that he has shredded before I got the mulch down?

This is my neighbor's dog, Harley. He is less than a year old and sweet as can be. The grandson who really owns him should have called him Tiger, because that's exactly what he looks like. Orangey-brown down the back with black stripes all over. And yes, MIL, he is a pit bull.

Harley came through the bars of the gate one day when Studly and I were walking on the drive with Nick and Sassy. Nick was skittish but intrigued, whereas Sassy got her hackles up. Harley is very submissive and rolled over for my two to check him out. Eventually, he and Nick started playing, while Sassy put on her bib and got out a knife and fork.

Ever since, Harley has been spending his day at our house. Nick enjoys him, but Sassy barely tolerates him and runs him to ground frequently. He is quite happy trying to get them (or us) to play, but he is a rambuncious puppy and chews on everything! I've had to bring my gardening slippers in because he kept taking them to sleep with. He has dragged my weeding bucket all over the yard and chewed the bottom off of the water bowl.

Last night, Harley didn't go home when the sun set. He just sat outside on the lawn, barking at phantom things. That, of course, got Nick and Sassy growling and barking. Stud Muffin and I tried to take him home, but nobody was there. I tried both back gates, but they were locked up tight. There were two food bowls out for him. Uh oh. Sometimes the neighbor goes out of town for weekends to preach at small churches, and this was only Friday night. It could be a long weekend! Back Harley came as we drove the buggy home.

Harley spent the night on and off the porch, barking at things, then stomping back onto the porch right outside my bedroom window. When he'd return, Nick and Sassy would start up growling again. I had visions of Harley eating the wicker furniture and shredding the cushions before daybreak. Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well. Eventually everyone settled down for the night, but I kept listening for porch furniture in the throes of death.

Thankfully, Harley's parents came home this morning and I could return him. They have a kennel for him out behind their fenced yard. Wish I'd known that last night. Shame on me for not snooping around back more. They were very sorry that he'd been causing trouble. They are caring for him because he ate the front pillars off of the grandson's house and he needed a break from puppy rearing. Everyone is hoping Harley outgrows this period, but I'm no dog trainer, so who really knows.

Note to self: Do not be nice to neighbor's dog (or any other) who come on your property. Don't pay them any attention, no matter how sweet and cute. Run them off by whatever means necessary... yelling, water hose, or bazooka. Otherwise, they will never leave!

I went out to take pictures of the garden. According to a not-very-happy Barefoot Gardener, there is snow falling in Minnesota. I thought she would like to throw snowballs at me to see the strawberries that are ripening.

Courtney is going to have fresh strawberries when she gets here next week!

And here is some baby broccoli!

Let's see how the lettuce is doing. Oh, no!!

Looks like Harley thought this was a good place to lie down. Right on top of the shade cover over the lettuce bed.

Does that look like a puppy butt-print to you?? I haven't decided what to do with this flatten lettuce. I will be watering tomorrow and see if it perks back up. On the other hand, do I really want to eat lettuce that tastes like a$$?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Revenge of the Beavers!

Click on any picture to get the real view!

Dang and Drat! I went out to see the bridge and beaver dam Thursday before the great TN flood of 2010. It wasn't lookin good. Squished my way over there today to check again. Even worse.

Yeah, the bridge is listing even worse that this appears. It is also sitting about 18 off of the water level.

If you look closely in the center of the photo above, you can barely make out the edge of the ground on the other side... about a 24 inch drop to the bridge.

The over-grown rodents stole all of the mud and dirt supporting the bridge and used it to line their swimming pool!

I think the only way to deal with this is with dynamite and some beer. Will have to consult with Rick, the resident dam blower-upper.

Studly and I had to run errands this morning and ended up going past the area where some of those photos in the paper where taken. There is water everywhere water normally isn't!

Since we were whizzing by in the car, the pictures are very blurry, but here they are!

This is a dental office that had emptied it's office into the parking lot. They were hosing out mud!

The Sonic had lost all of its concrete parking lot. Just raw dirt (mud) was left.

The Country Auto lot was completely underwater, with cars floating in the lot. Even a yellow corvette didn't escape!

Need a carport?? It's for sale.

We drove past the Clayton lot where Studly used to work. It sits at the edge of a very large pond, except now you can't tell where the pond ends and the lot begins. According to the boss, there are at least 3 homes completely destroyed, as many as 10 damaged, and he was out there filling sand bags trying to keep the water out of the office. No way to tell when the water will recede.

The fairgrounds are completely underwater and many roads we drove past are closed. There are bridges out that leave residents pretty well stranded. I don't know how long it will take for the area to recover,

I know I may gripe, but really things are pretty good here. One of my fellow students has been flooded out of her house. She escaped with the clothes on her back and a pair of flip-flops. We are trying to organize some kind of collection to get her family some supplies and locate furniture.

Hope your days are dry and sunny!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I've had enough!

This pretty much says it all. We have suffered with thunderstorms and tornado warnings since Friday night. And I mean ALL DAY AND NIGHT LONG.

This shows how the water ripped away the road bed, leaving gas pipelines hanging.
All pictures from the Jackson Sun newspaper.

This is from right by the hospital where I did my clinical rotation. The hospital is just past the red cones at the top of the photo. Some students had a makeup day yesterday. One girl tried about 4 different approaches to the hospital and couldn't get through any of them. She posted a picture taken with her phone that showed this truck when the hole was about 1/2 the depth of the vehicle and not much bigger around. Now look!

They had to rescue people from businesses in South Jackson with a city dump truck!

And these people? Well, they are just screwed.

We finally made it out on to our own property just now. To the right, one stream is swirling around trying to make it through the drain pipe to the other side of the road.

This is the exit from the pipe.

At some point, the pipe must not have been able to keep up with the flow and the water ran over the roadway. It took a bunch of reinforcement rock with it.

We have a tree stuck in the gazillion dollar pipe we had to put in at the other creek two years ago when the creek took the road .

The exit to that pipe.

See all that whitish rock? It's supposed to be covering the road not the grass!

Let's just say I won't be mowing any time soon.

Psychosis will be setting in soon, since I can't get more than a nap without the weather radio blasting me out of bed. I have yet to recover from studying for my nursing final. The test itself was okay, but they won't tell us the scores or our final grades until tomorrow. Maybe.

There was a bit of confusion right before the test when the only guy in my clinical group hadn't shown up for the test. Definitely NOT like him. Turned out, he rolled his truck on the way to school. He has been transported to the trauma hospital in Memphis and is in the ICU with a broken hip and leg, skull fractures and swelling and bleeding in his brain. I hope this all works out soon and that he will be okay.

The only good news in all of this is that I harvested the first of the lettuce the day before the storms started.

They were yummy in a salad. I hope there will be more, but I'm afraid to go look at the vegetable garden. From the window, I can see that the garlic is blowing up some water wings, so maybe there will still be something left to grow for later!