Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

The girls wanted to carve pumpkins for the Fall festival tonight (praying the rain stops by then). Here are their results.

El wanted hers to have the stem as a nose since it was a great stem. I'd never done one that way. Looks pretty cool.

Em saw pictures that left some of the meat of the pumpkin after taking the skin off. That produces different lighting effects. Hers has pupils in its eyes and teeth in its mouth. (She wouldn't let me touch it because she knows I would take over.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Been Happening

It's been a busy month here. I've been wondering where all my time went:

Several band competitions: These 2 pictures are from the one at Perk.

The following 3 pictures are from the competition at Theodore High. (That's Em in the black leather jacket and yellow bow!_

This is Em and her buddy getting ready for the Costume party at the band hall.

While Em was at the party, El was across campus at their last middle school game. She's playing the clarinet. Our middle school band went to every game: home and away. Way to GO (literally)
In case you were wondering how Keldon is doing, you have to look quickly to see him. He's the mascot for the Middle school, running up and down the track dressed up like a Seminole.
And, they are pouring concrete for our new building's foundation at ABC. (alas, it was being watched the whole time, so no opportunity to make handprints or scratch the date.)

It will take a few days to get the whole thing poured. It's Huge!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ozarks Trip 2

Yes, I know.

It's been a week and still no follow up on our trip.

Not to worry. Here it is.

On our way up to Harrison, we stopped off in Hot Springs (the childhood home of Bill Clinton)

The springs really are hot coming out of the ground. Mr. H read an exhibit that explained that the source of heat isn't volcanic but natural radiation. You can see the steam coming off the water in the picture above.

I have no idea why this giant grenade is outside the Ozark Bath House. But it's ... interesting.

There is a whole row of old bath houses along one street in Hot Springs. The Fordyce House is open for tours.
This looks more like a torture chamber than a place for a relaxing experience.

These are the controls for the above shower enclosure. Frightening!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ozark Trip 1

Monday morning we realized that the bike trip wasn't happening.

It started raining on us Monday in Jackson about noon and we didn't see the sun again until a few hours ago (Friday).

Our plan was to visit some friends in Camden, AR, (which we did and had a great time!) and then to continue up Scenic Hwy 7 to Harrison, AR.

After a detour Tuesday morning to get to an unflooded part of Hwy 7, this was the scenery:

This is the wake sent up by the car as we drove over roads that were VERY wet.

The sign below shows you what we went on the trip for: twisty roads and changing colors.
For the first part of the trip it was just rain: sometimes light, sometimes heavy.

When the rain stopped, this is what we were driving in:
Actually, I've discovered that the camera sees through fog better than eyes do. We couldn't actually see that far down the road. We saw a sign that said we were passing by the Grand Canyon of the Ozarks, but we could barely see the sign and have no idea what the view was like.

On Wednesday, we took a trip to some of the local sights. Early on, we were driving in the clouds again, but eventually we were able to see the road. At one point we were almost run off the road by a large black bull running toward us in our lane. That made me glad that we were in the car and not on the bike! No pictures of the bovine - he was there and gone too quickly.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Odd Evening!

Yesterday evening was not the usual Friday night.

When Mr. H pulled into the yard yesterday evening, there was someone on another bike behind him. I thought maybe one of his friends had seen him ride by and followed him. Nope! Some guy out just riding around looking for fun roads (you have to be a biker to really get this) saw him turn down our road and followed. Bikers are a gregarious bunch, so he just followed into the yard. When I went out onto the porch they were talking bikes. What kinds have you owned, how long have you had this one, what will your next bike be......? Bikers are just like that!

Right here is where you can tell that I'm not a real biker, because I would tell you exactly what he was riding: all I know is Yamaha sport bike of some sort, with a chain and not shaft drive. They discussed where they had been. Certain roads are famous among bikers. He and Mr. H both have dragon decals.

Turns out that this gentleman lives in Semmes, just across the Alabama line from us. He goes to North Mobile Baptist Church (which I know has an awesome choir!!) He is a cabinet maker (when he's not out riding). He had recently redone a kitchen in Lucedale and wondered if we knew the family. We didn't. We asked him if he knew the guy that did our cabinets. He didn't. But when we invited him in, he was very impressed with our kitchen cabinets, which go up to the 10-foot ceiling.

He gave us his business card and we gave him our phone number. He and some of his friends do a Thursday morning bible study somewhere in Saraland. Mr. H is invited.

After he left, I came in to see about supper. A few minutes later, El announced that M & M, some friends of ours from church, were here. They were on their way back from Mobile and decided to stop by. Turns out they had 2 spare tickets to Praise in the Park.

About 7:15 last night, the power went out due to the storm. It's not unusual for it to flicker, but we were out for about 2 hours. I discovered in the process that the phone number for Singing River Electric is not in the new phone book! El found it in the older one that's still in the kitchen. Since our kitchen phone is cordless, I used my cell phone. I started out calling the phone company to report the power outage, realized my mistake and hung up. A few minutes later I found that the phones were out, too. I called AT&T back. They told me it would be fixed by the 20th. I remember when phone problems were promised to be fixed by the next day and within a few hours they were resolved. I was concerned by the 20th, because last time they said it would be fixed by some day 10 days out, it was 12 days before it was fixed! But it was fixed about the time the electricity came on. I suspect a limb went across some utility lines.

We played "go fish" and taught El how to play gin by lamp light. (Those camping lanterns we got this summer came in handy!)

We'll see what today holds.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Band Contest and FROG

This weekend, I went to Oak Grove High School to see Em's first band competition. Jackson Academy was the first band after the supper break. I had never seen this done before. There were only 10 horns on the field along with the color guard and the pit on wheels in the back. The sound those 10 horns put out was very impressive.

One of our directors told me that they do an "inside show." That mat is the size of a gym floor. Pretty cool.
And now I must confess that I was so caught up in watching the bands on the field, that I forgot I had the camera in my hand. I never took a picture of George County's band! I'm such a bad mom...

I make it up next weekend at State contest in Gulfport.

Now, this next picture is specifically for a certain friend of mine and she will know exactly who she is.

I saw this guy as soon as I got out of my car at the church this morning. I have NEVER seen a tree frog this big. I'm surprised that his clinging abilities can overcome gravity! And everyone that came in that door this morning had the same question: "Did you see that FROG out there!?" He stayed in that spot for over 2 hours.

Isn't he gorgeous? Look at the underneath markings. Beautiful.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Like Christmas

I'm learning something new.

A few years ago for Christmas, Mr. H gave me a turntable that will digitize all those vinyl albums we have. (That's the same year I gave him a set of Emeril cookware!) We both got exactly what we asked for!

And as expected, he learned how to use the turntable, and I threw out the old cookware we had and started using Emeril's.


Today I am learning how to digitize albums. I've done one side of George Winston's "Autumn" (the September side) and at this moment the October side is recording. It's really nice, because I get to listen to it as it records. There really is no other way. I suppose I could turn the speakers off, but I'd forget what I was doing and the side would finish and just sit there.

After I get several albums recorded (Side 1 and Side 2), he's going to show me how to divide the long recording into individual tracks and then label them with the actual song name ("Stars" as opposed to Side 2 Track 3).

I'm so excited about learning how to do this. It's like Christmas all over again. This time I get to play with what was in the box instead of just open the box.