Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Family Reunion 2008 ~ Part Two

Okay... so this is some more of the story... got up about 8am Saturday morning. Kinda tired, cause I didn't sleep very well the night before, but that isn't anything new. Showered, had coffee, sweated my nice clean feeling away sitting on the porch with Tina & Pete & Donald. It was so miserable hot down there. So humid, so Gawd-awful, wretchedly HOT. It was so hot and humid... I swear, if I ever complain about the heat and humidity up here again... I hope someone slaps me. 40 to 60 percent humidity is NOTHING, compared to over 75%! I promise you it ain't.

Anyway... had the shower, coffee, a bite to eat so I could take my meds. Packed the coolers and such stuff as I was taking and we hit the road, me, Pete and Thomas. This place was waaayyy out in BFE. Waaayyyy out in the woods. It was a nice drive, but jeez... how did Tina even find this place? And what in the hell was she doing so far out in the country??? I'm talking this was way out where the Rainbow People live. Who would have thunk you could find such nice facilities out there in that God-Forsaken place? Large wooden meeting hall, running water, refrigerators, freezers, commercial ice machine (which I sincerely considered climbing into and shutting the lid a time or two), two large microwaves; electric (obviously) clean restrooms, spring fed lake with sandy beach, large old oaks cleaned out beneath for playing and sitting... It was an alright place. Really pretty in a "rustic" sort of way.

When we got there some fellas whom I didn't really know (I think they were related to Robert's wife Wendy) helped me unload the trunk and then Monica and Joan helped me set up the salad bar. They didn't do it exactly the way I wanted it done, but hey! They were helping and I needed the help, so I'm not complaining.

Let's see... what happened then... I apologize for my brain still being a bit fuzzy. So much happened down there. Plus the heat nearly killed me. I think my brain is a tad "well-done", if you know what I mean? Then me and my aunt Debbie Jo talked a while. She liked my hats. Picked one out and wore it pretty much all day. Oh! I have to explain about Debbie Jo: She is my cousin Joey's mother. She was my uncle Allen's first wife. She always comes to the family things that Joey shows up to, and others usually, but always the ones Joey is at. For family reunion her sisters usually tag along too. Can't stand those girls. I love Debbie Jo, her sisters.... I would have to think twice before spitting on them if I saw them on fire in the street. Be a waste of good spit, honestly. Anyway... I always loved Debbie Jo and I always will. Some folks might think that it was weird for both of Allen's wives to attend a family function, but Joey is married and has three kids now and those three kids have a close relationship with both their grandmas. Okay, all three of their grandmas, since Joanna's mom is still living, too. Those kids have an abundance of Grandparents. And that's a good thing, as far as I can see. For some reason Joanna's parents didn't attend this time, and they were missed. Allen's second, and current wife is Bridget, who gets along with Debbie Jo as well as anyone can expect. She hasn't ever been anything but civil to her, but then, Bridget wouldn't be unless she was provoked in some way.

This is pretty much what we did before dinner:

Anyway... after we set up the rest of the food we all visited awhile and talked and watched the kids play then about 1 o'clock the guys carried in the meat and did the carving. There was pork, chicken, and deer sausage. There were all sorts of things like pasta salads, pea salad, deviled eggs (which I made) mac and cheese, greens, baked beans, a dozen or more desserts. There didn't seem to be as much food as there usually is. But then, there seemed to be an awful lot of folks that I didn't know, friends of friends and such that just showed up and ate and didn't exactly visit and join in with the rest of us. Somethings got to be done about that before the next one. Putting on one of these things costs way too much money for people who aren't much more than acquaintances to show up and partake without making any contribution whatsoever. Hate to be that way, but it does seem like bad taste to show up at a family reunion and eat what others bring and not even hang out with the rest of the peeps. Just eat and run... that ain't right, in my book.

Then, Jackie Petry said the Blessing and we all got in line. He always does the Blessing. He always does the funerals in our family, too. It's just like that. Known all of us all our lives, who better to bless us and bury us? I stood in line behind Debbie Harvell, whom I hadn't seen in just ages. She wasn't at the last few reunions. Then again, they were not in Florida, which is where she lives. I had a crush on her brother Billy all my life. I always thought he was the handsomest man going. Never mind that he was my Mom's age. Dark hair and eyes, tanned skin, tall, well built. He still is pretty danged fine, if you ask me. :)

This is what that all looked like:

Lord, there were so many people there and so few who brought dishes that if it hadn't been for my little salad bar there wouldn't have been anything to go with the meat for those of us at the end of the line. But it was hot and raw fruits and veggies was about all I could stand anyway. Thomas had a Ceaser salad with some of the smoked chicken meat on it. I had some chicken, some port and some salad and mostly fruits. I really chowed down on that fruit. It was so cool and refreshing. The kids all liked it too. I was glad I did it. Otherwise there wouldn't have been much that the kiddies liked. They ate all the bananas and grapes right away, and then did a good bit of damage to the baby carrots and broccoli and cauliflower. Everyone was snacking on that stuff before it was time to eat actually, so I was glad I brought plenty.

No one thought to bring any bread or rolls or anything like that. Tina was moaning on and on about how she knew she should have made that Mexican cornbread. But she was so busy cooking all that gumbo and doing so much else. Tending kids, playing hostess to every one who showed up at her door needing a bed... when did she have time? I could have made biscuits, should have, probably, but I didn't have the time either. Well, there was plenty of food, anyway. The desserts where marvelous and I had a bite of almost all of them. There were two nanner puddin's, a strawberry trifle, 4 or 5 different types of chocolate cake (of which I only had a couple of bites of the chocolate/chocolate one ~ that's chocolate cake with chocolate frosting), Tonya made a Hummingbird cake, which I did not have any of, they are much too sweet and rich for me. Monica's friend made a huge New York Style Cheesecake which I had a bite of, and which Thomas stoutly declared was "all right" but "not nearly as good as yours, Mom". Don't you just love him? He's his Mamma's boy, all right. There were a couple of buttermilk pies and some apple pies and some other things but you know what? Most of the desserts did not get eaten. I think it was just too hot. Plus everyone filled up on the BBQ. I think several people took some home for later. The nanner puddin' was good, tho. I did have a taste of that. Aunt Mutt (Aunt Martha whom my politically incorrect Grandpa called "Mutt the Diego") put me in charge of cutting and slicing the desserts, so... I sort of got to taste them all first. Or at least the ones I wanted to. She's so bad, knowing I ain't supposed to eat that stuff. But then, neither is she. I guess she did right. I didn't really want much more than a tiny taste of anything. I'm kinda off the sweets anymore.

Then... we all sat and ate and nibbled and talked and laughed and ate some more, and nibbled and so on and so on...

I will post the after dinner and Karaoke pictures tomorrow. I'm whupped for now.

Family Reunion 2008 ~ Part One

We took Highway 301 down to Florida. It's a lovely drive thru the woods. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of that part of the trip. It wasn't very nice anyway... my darling hubby had to be an ass, as he ALWAYS is when we go somewhere that I'm really excited and happy to be going. I had hopes that it wouldn't happen this time, given that he's been all lovey-dovey these past couple of weeks. Guess I was right not to trust. That's neither here nor there, however. After all the crying was over, I enjoyed myself and pretty much ignored him.

Anyway.... we got there (to Tina's house) Thursday afternoon, Pete and I had a great big argument and such, and then my sister, Martie, and two of her girls (Emmy & Raina) came over. We had a good time visiting with them. It was so great to see her and the girls again. We made plans to go shopping the next day to pick up the stuff for the salad bar. She said she would be over before noon so we could go.

The next day I got up early and got ready to go shopping and then waited and waited and waited. I called Martie around 10:30am and John said she was still asleep. I gave her another hour and then another one... you get the point, right? Finally... around 1:30pm, she showed up. Me, Pete, Martie, Emmy & Raina piled into our car and hit the market. Stopped at the Freshco, which is a Hispanic/ethnic sort of a grocery store. I enjoyed shopping there. They had lots of fruits and veggies that we can't get up here. But they didn't have everything I wanted so we had to also stop at the Winn-Dixie on our way back home. Got home and then had to wash and chop and slice and dice all the stuff.

The guys were cooking the BBQ for THE DAY over at Robert's house. So Tina was cooking Gumbo and rice for over there. See... we always have a party the night before the official party. That's just the way it is. Everyone gets together when they cook the meat and gets all drunk and stuff. That's because we used to have a rule that no one could drink alcohol the day of the reunion. Cause Charles and Allen used to make asses of themselves. (as someone put it this year when asked about the no drinking rule, "we used to have that rule back when Charles and Allen drank. Now they don't so we don't need that rule anymore.") Anyway... These are the pics of the Friday night pre-reunion party. This was the first time my sister had seen any of these people in over a decade. Except me, Pete, Thomas, Tina and her kids. It was a very emotional time for her. Don't laugh or think that she looks old or anything. See, she was in the process of getting her teeth pulled and getting dentures and she lost her medicaid. So... now she doesn't have any teeth, but she's working to save the money and I'm trying to convince her to let us help her out. It's a long story and her man is worthless, but anyway... it was still a fun time and I think she's beautiful anyway. So don't tell me no different cause I won't believe you. :)

And that's the story of the first part of the family reunion. Sorry, but it's the short version. The next part will be of THE DAY. I'm going to take a break from this machine right now. I have loads of stuff to get done. Still not totally unpacked yet. Plus I have laundry to do, cleaning... so, will go take care of some of that and then do the rest of the pics sometime later.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Me In My Hats

Someone asked me today if I would be posting any pics of me wearing my hats. So... here are some pics of me in my hats. Plus the last three I made:

This one has blue roses and two peacock feathers. I like it.



Other Side

Some strange chick taking a picture of herself wearing my hat.

This next one is the "Pimp" hat that I made for my Sister. I hope she likes it. I was running out of supplies by the time she said she wanted one. If she doesn't want to wear pink I will let her wear my beautiful white and red "Pimp" hat and I will wear this one. Unless, of course, someone else wants to wear it. We'll see how it falls out when I get them down there. If I can. Don't know if I can pack everything I want to take into our car. I'm used to having a van to load up with most anything I want. The trunk of this Azera is large, but its not a van, that's for sure.



Other side

Some woman with a big, goofy grin is wearing my Sister's hat!

This next hat is my Sunflower hat. It's fairly simple, but I like it. Then again, sunflowers are my favorite flower. I wore this hat when I went out and about today. To the Gamestop and the dentist and the pharmacy. It was nice to not have the sun in my face. But the brim is too wide to wear it while I am driving. It kept hitting against the headrest so I took it off in the car.

What a beautiful hat.

A girl could wear this hat anywhere

Especially someplace where she's likely to smile lots ands lots.

A few gratuitous grins, just for my friends:

Monday, July 21, 2008

This is the last day on Earth for me

Or rather, for this me. Tomorrow at 3:30pm EST I will go to Dr. Loo's office and get my brand new partial. Then I can smile anytime I want to. Big, toothsome, crocodile smiles, ALL THE FRICKIN' TIME, if I want to. I'm so happy. I'm either gonna cry or wet my pants or both. I just can't stand it. I have to find something to do to keep me occupied until THE TIME.

So... now I'll have no reason to hide, no reason to stay fat and ugly. No reason to hope that no one looks at me too closely. I'll be beautiful. I mean it. No matter what I really look like I will be beautiful because I will be smiling, and everyone looks beautiful when they smile.

Keep On Smilin' ~ Wet Willie

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Walking Music for Today

Okay... I walked the entire 2 miles today!!! Hooray for Holly! Ain't I special? This is some of what I was listening to to keep my lazy butt moving:

Deee-lite ~ Groove is in the Heart

Elvis ~ One Night With You
One of my all time favorite Elvis songs.

Eric Clapton ~ She's Waiting
This song has a great walking tempo ~ for me anyway

The Romantics ~ What I Like About You
A very invigorating song

The Troggs ~ Louie Louie
I like this version better than the Kingsmen version.

Marvin Gaye ~ Let's Get It On
for when I had to take a little breather and slow it down a bit.

George Benson ~ On Broadway
Man, this song really gets you going. The lyrics are so determined. It helps.

Etta James ~ I Just Want To Make Love To You
I love Etta James. She is soooo bad she's good.

Willie Nelson ~ Whiskey River

Gary Wright ~ Our Love Is Alive
This song has a great groove.

There was, of course, a bunch more, but I won't bore you with ALL the details. Suffice to say it was a good walk, a good time, a good thing all the way around. I enjoyed the music, the exercise, the memories some of this music evokes.

Talked to my sister today. She's so FABU, and I can't wait to see her in person. I'm so excited to be going to see all my family. Uncle Donnie called today, too, to wish me a happy belated birthday and to talk about the reunion. This always happens. Tina called me the other day to discuss plans. The closer it gets to time the more phone calls everyone makes and plans are discussed, discarded, re-tooled, re-discussed, ad nauseum... it's so great. I hope no one shows their ass. But if they do... I hope I'm there in time to see it, this time. Ahhahahaha. I always miss those type things and then just get old moldy gossip about it afterwards. If Charles and Allen have a fistfight, again, I want to see it. And if Donald gets drunk and nearly kills himself, which he probably will, I want to be there to take pictures. Does that sound cruel? Well, you'd just have to know my family. I don't think any of them grasps the concept of having a good time without involving alcohol, or drugs or both. But it does lead to some very funny moments and no one, in my lifetime anyway, has ever gotten seriously hurt (except the time that Donald nearly cut his foot in half lengthwise when he stepped on a broken bottle while canoeing down Rock Springs Run. Good thing they were nearly to the end of it and could get him to a car and take him to the hospital quickly. As it was... it got infected and was a horrible mess and Tina thought he would loose his foot. But he didn't and it got better and he didn't learn anything from the experience... You guys should see the huge smile on my face right now. If you knew Donald, you would understand my grin better. I don't think he's been sober in the 10+ years I've known him. I can't think what Tina sees in him, but then... she probably can't see what I see in my man. Then again, sometimes I can't either. :)

Think I will hit the hay now. Enjoy the music everyone. G'nite.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I forgot these two...

Emmy's Hat

This next hat reminds me of something Audrey Hepburn would wear


Not really fair is it? Since I just did hats on my last two. And guess what? I'm gonna do hats again on this one. Then, after I show off my hats, I'll blog about something else. Maybe a strange dream I had, perhaps a song I heard. I don't know yet. Right now, I got three hats to show you. And just three more left to do. Then my career as a Mad Hatter is over. Not that it hasn't been fun... but... I think I want to move on to something different now. I'm running out of ideas and also out of stuff to work with, so... and I AM NOT going to purchase any more stuff. I still have feathers, tulle and a few flowers. Lots of feathers, actually. Maybe I can find the patience to make a feather spray (fan) for one of the last three. Maybe...

Anyway, here's the three I did so far today.

Hat Number 6




Hat Number 7



Other side


Hat Number 8Front



So anyway... there they are. My man just don't get it. I was feeling so good and happy and silly and groovy and stuff and he made fun of my hats and just took all the fun out of it for a bit. Sort of like having ice water thrown in your face. But then, the poor man has no sense of humor anyway. How can I expect him to "get it"? His sense of humor is mummified. If he tried to limber up some and get silly, he would disintegrate and turn to dust.

That's not what I want to talk about tho. I don't want to think about it. I'm happy, happy, happy. I'm in my own little world where nothing bothers me and I'm not letting him in here with me to ruin my "special place". I am happy, truly I am.

I had the strangest dream last night. I don't know why. I mean, I wasn't even thinking about racing or anything like that yesterday or the day before. I been working on my hats and stuff. But last night I had a dream that I had a tryst with David Reutimann. Now don't get me wrong. He's one of my favorite drivers. He seems like a nice person, and he's got loads of talent. Plus... he's a good ol' Florida cracker head boy, so he's got that going for him. HA! And he is kind of cute,

but still... I so rarely remember my dreams and to think that I would remember one with him in it, when I've never actually entertained any deep thoughts about him. Strange.

I'm trying to watch the Nationwide Series race at Gateway tonight, which he is racing in, but they are having trouble keeping their lights on. It's an old, old raceway. But still... you'd think that they'd be better prepared for a live TV event. Oh well, that's racing. Anything can happen and usually does. Reutimann is running up front right now. Sweet. Perhaps I'll have to pay more attention to him. Wonder what that dream meant? It wasn't like I knew him or anything, not even in the dream. But we were sure making out. Very strange.

Anywho... I think I mentioned that I found my thumbscrews. Yep, I did. Anyway, one of the songs I listened to today was this one:

Brand New Key ~ Melanie

I remember this song from my childhood. I loved it when I was a very little girl, like before I started school or just after. Not sure when it came out, but I was very young. I know we were still living at my Granny's house and Virginia from across the street used to babysit us. She made a blue cake one day. It looked so weird, but it was tasty. She was a real "flower child", or would have liked to be, but her Dad was pretty strict and wouldn't let her indulge her "creative" side. She was a nice girl tho. I love her to pieces. Still keep in touch even tho she's been living in Canada for the past 30 years or so.

So.. that's my blog for today. Not very special I know, for post number one hundred, but there it is. I'm only partially here. I am, after all, watching the race.

See you all later. If I don't blog again before I go to FL, I will surely blog about that when I get back. Ta-ta for now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Two More Hats

My favorite, so far, I think.

Left side


Right side

I like this one too, I'm pretty sure. But what's with all the pink?




Hats Glorious Hats

Here's my hats, so far...

Hat number two

Hat number one

And that's all the hats I have finished for now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why Does Myspace Always Jack Up My Computer?

I can't stand that place! I swear, I wish my nieces and sister and other family members would just quit contacting me thru that thing. But they all love it. Me... got no use for it except as a cheap way to stay connected to my dearly beloved, far-flung family. Every time I try to go on there my computer slows waaaayyyy down or freezes up entirely. Anyway.... enough about that...

I walked a whole mile and a half today! That was just righteous! It felt so good. I don't know why or how or anything, but I've been feeling so good lately. I feel boisterous, bouncy, silly, giddy as a kitty drunk on catnip. I'm likin' this feeling. I hope it never goes away. I don't care why or how, I just like it. Right now the world is full of beauty, love, happiness, good things. After feeling so low for so long, this feeling is 'over the moon' fantastic!

So.. what have I been doing? Besides turning 42? Not much. Walking, exercising with Gilad, whom I adore. He's freekin' great! Does stuff that even out of shape me can do. And it's fun. And he doesn't bully or talk down to you. When I get back from FL next week I'm going to purchase some of his cd's. I found an eBay store that sells them fairly cheap. I just don't want to get them now and then the mailman leave them on my porch the whole time I'm in FL. The heat surely wouldn't be good for them.

And I'm all excited about that too. Family reunion in FL, that is. My aunt/sister Tina found a place out in the woods, it's a historical landmark. Got a pavilion and a dining hall with kitchen and showers/restrooms and a private campground on a small lake. Gonna have karaoke (sp) dancing, perhaps a live band, don't know about that yet. Lots of good food, friends... and the best part is my sister Martie and her girls are going to come! I'm so excited I can hardly breathe when I think about it. She hasn't been to a family reunion since about the mid-90's. So, so long... Can't wait for everyone to see them. So far, only Tina and Donald and their boys are the only family members who have seen them, besides me, since the year 2000 when Mom passed away. And that was only her and John cause they didn't bring the girls to the funeral. If I could do handstands and back flips and all that stuff, I would be doing them. This is gonna be such a fun time. A fine time. I'm happy to be alive, actually. This is going to be good.

I got a dozen big floppy brimmed straw hats that I am decorating for me and some of the other "ladies" and I got a couple dozen Chinese folding fans for the heat that I plan to share out. Won't be enough to go around, but... first come first served, as the sign says. HA! My sister and I are going to go in together and put up a salad/fruit bar for our food contribution. I'm excited to be working with her on a project again, even if it is only shopping for and then assembling food. That's lots of fun too. We've been emailing back and forth, bouncing ideas back and forth. That's fun.

I think I mentioned that I walked a mile and a half today. And I felt good afterwards! I still had energy to cook supper. And now I'm ready to get to work on my hats. It was great tho. I finally found my thumbscrews so I had some good music to listen to again. You know... those little external memory things? Thumb drives. That's the phrase I was looking for. I jokingly started calling them "thumbscrews" with my son and now I usually can't remember the "proper" term for them. I thought I had lost them, and I was a sad, sad girl. But they turned up the other day, upstairs with the other computer. Whew! Like I said, I was gonna be a sad, wretched little girl if I had actually lost all that music.

Speaking of music: here's one song that I found particularly bouncy during my walk today:

Technotronic ~ Move This

By the way... Something has changed in my life, I like the color pink, now. Weird. I feel all "girly" and silly and stuff. It's good tho, I've never been a "girly-girl" before. I feel kinda silly and self-conscious about it, but... there it is. It feels good to put on makeup and paint my nails and buy a new outfit and shoes and stuff.

I feel good!