Turtle's Progress

Monday, July 26, 2010

Five Things I'm Thinking About, Monday

1. Missed a call from Charlotte this morning. She left me a sweet message. "Hi, how you doing? How's Cali? Yeah, we're going to work. I love you, bye." She went to work with her mommy this morning and I did call her back and talk some but I think I'll save this message -- sweet little four year old voice!

2. Saturday Tom and I ventured down to Nashville to check out the table I found on Craigslist. It was perfect and I'm working at it right now. Here are some pictures. The original Craigslist pics showed it as being blond so I was really excited to see this nice dark stain that goes so well with the rest of my stuff in this corner of the house!

3. Here's a picture of the crappy old folding table we used to have here.

4. Saturday afternoon we went to a pool party about a mile from our house. It was nice to be able to get in and out of the pool over the course of that HOT afternoon! The pool was about the size of the one we had at our house in Anniston. Some times it was, indeed, nice to have a pool in the back yard (this summer would probably count for that!) but for the most part it was a pain in the a$$! We were glad to enjoy the cool (well, tepid) water and not have to worry about caring for the pool!

5. I've started watching the reruns this summer of "The Good Wife". It has a good storyline about corrupt (is there any other kind) politician who goes to jail and how is wife and family carry-on during that time. Wife (Julianna Margulies) gets a job and works on keeping her teen-age kids grounded. Her cases as a lawyer at large law firm are the main stories each week, with her private life being the back story.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eight Things I'm Thinking About, Thursday

1. Had a good day at the thrifts yesterday. Went to one that is independent and supports a local agency. I rarely go to this particular one because it is not on my normal run of errands but it does have some bargains. Yesterday I found a nice lamp shade which was just the size I needed and this one quart ice cream maker. It caught my eye because it was red but when I saw that all the parts seemed to be there I decided to get it. This store doesn't price items -- they tell you the cost when you get to the check out. I can't believe she wanted only one dollar for the shade and ice cream maker! Needless to say, I left a donation in addition to that!

2. When I got home I was able to download and print an instruction manual and read reviews on-line. Everyone who has one of these seems to love it! Can't wait to try it out.

3. Earlier this week I also found a cute item at the Goodwill. This little bud vase that holds four individual stems goes perfect with my decor! I do have quite a few things with black iron holders like this so it fits right in! I just love it!

4. I talked with my mom and dad on the phone yesterday. I don't call them often enough. Sorry for that! I will do better!

5. Tomorrow is my sister's birthday. I remember the day she was born. I was only ten years old and already had two brothers. I thought another brother would be just the thing -- then I could keep my room in our new home all to myself! Thank God I had to share that room with my sister for the next ten years. My life would truly not be the same without her. I know not all sisters get along or have a close relationship but I'm one of the very lucky who does and I wouldn't trade that for anything! Happy Birthday, my dear sweet funny loving sister! Here she is with her boys when she came for a visit last year.

6. I may have found a table for our computer/office area. The Craigslist person just emailed me and said they are still available. Hope to check them out in the next day or so.

7. Here's a picture of my friend Cheryl and her hubby Ron. This was taken at dinner on our way to the Mary Chapin Carpenter concert last Friday. They are cute couple!

8. And here's another cute couple on their way to the concert! What a great time that was!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MCC Things I'm Thinking About, Sunday

1. I have loved Mary Chapin Carpenter since about 1996 when my first marriage was in its final days. She wrote lyrics about love and loss and loneliness that spoke to my heart in a way that no other music or musician ever had. During that time I was watching alot of CMT -- back then they showed mostly music videos. One in particular caught my eye. Shut Up and Kiss Me was filmed like a studio recording and the young woman singing was having a ball with her band and her music! I began my search for the album this song was on and before I knew it I had acquired all six of the albums she had put out up to then.

2. That was when so many of the lyrics in her songs of pain and loss began to speak to me. Songs like:

Never Had It So Good (No one's got to tell me it's over, I can see it from miles away, No ones got to tell me what I don't already know today),

Quittin' Time (We were so connected you were a part of me, now I feel an emptiness right to the heart of me),

The More Things Change (But I'm the same sweet girl you couldn't get enough of way back when you pledged your love),

What You Didn't Say (So why do I feel confused, why do I feel so used, like a worn out thought you threw away),

Rhythm of the Blues (I don't want to hear another word spoken, I don't want to see another tear shed, I can't seem to fix what's broken),

Outside Looking In (Now I only hear the noise of what I am without, I see them walking hand in hand and my eyes just want to linger on those golden wedding bands wrapped around their fingers),

I Can See It Now (I can hear it now, a breaking all apart, a strange familiar sound that's coming from my heart).

3. But in the midst of those songs of heartbreak and loss were also great ballads, hopeful songs of future love and upbeat dance songs. Gradually those also began to become part of my life.

Keeping the Faith, I Want to Be Your Girlfriend, This Is Love, Passionate Kisses, Shut Up and Kiss Me, and Sudden Gift of Fate all told a story of hope for the future. Sudden Gift of Fate especially meant alot -- "You can celebrate, gifts are never late, you just learn to wait for sudden gifts of fate."

And then the ballads... this woman can definitely tell a story in verse and music! This Shirt, Halley Came to Jackson, I Am a Town, Stones in the Road, and my favorite, Family Hands. This tune holds a special place for me because those beautiful lyrics could easily have been written for my best friend's husband. Anytime I hear this song I think of Bill.

"Raised by the women who are stronger than you know
A patchwork quilt of memory only women could have sewn
The threads were stitched by family hands, protected from the moth
By your mother...and her mother, the weavers of your cloth"

4. After listening, memorizing, and listening some more to all of these wonderful albums, I was yearning for more. I was always on the look-out for the next one... "Party Doll" came out in 1999 shortly before I met my husband, Tom. It was a remake of many of her old songs but there were a couple of new ones. One in particular could have been written for my Tommy. Wherever You Are starts out with this hopeful verse:

"I’m looking for a strong and steady heart
For a love in a world that won’t fall apart
At the first sign of trouble, near or far
I’m looking through eyes that have shed some tears
And I’m looking for that one who’s gonna face my fears
Without thinking he must erase each scar
I’m gonna find you baby, wherever you are."

5. By this time Erin and Meghan were both attending Auburn University. I made the trek down there fairly often -- always with the sunroof wide open, listening and singing along to Mary Chapin. Erin had also become a fan and we loved the soundtrack of those drives back and forth. At the start of each song, one of us would inevitably say, "I really love THIS one!"

6. In July of 1999 I went to my first concert. I took my nephew, Jared, who was also a fan, with me. We made the drive over to Atlanta's Chastain Park, and enjoyed the wonderful sounds of Mary as dusk settled over the park.

7. Since that first concert I have seen her twice more at Chastain, once on the south lawns of North Carolina's beautiful Biltmore Estate, and just this past Friday here in Nashville. It was a wonderful concert, her voice is a strong as ever, her stage presence and audience interaction is natural and fun, her band supports her lovely voice in every way, and her lyrics continue to speak to my heart.

8. In 2008 she put out a CD of holiday music. It's called "Come Darkness, Come Light" and it will warm your heart this December if you grab a copy!

9. Those old cassette tapes from which I first heard this amazing singer-songwriter are long gone -- worn completely out! But I still have the music on CD and have loaded it all onto my MP3 player. When Tom and I take long trips, and he's ready for a nap, I pull out my player, put in my ear buds, and go straight to my folder of MCC. There is nothing else I want to hear when I'm driving on a long trip!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nine Things I'm Thinking About, Monday

1. Last night I stayed up until midnight. I do this at least once during any time Tom is out of town. I don't know why. I get started doing things in the evening and just keep on until done...

2. I was cleaning out some of my kitchen stuff. Not alot but some. I do this every once in awhile when I start feeling overwhelmed! I have had to start limiting my "focus" (I can hear my daughters saying, "what focus?") to certain things lest my entire house be decorated with a kitchen motif!

3. Cheryl and I went out to a new second hand consignment store last week and she found a set of three framed nature photographs -- 11 x 14 and professionally matted and framed -- they were perfect for our masterbath. I haven't done any decorating in that room so with that purchase I now have a theme to go with in there! Now I'm looking for about a four foot long wooden shelf to go above the towels to hold nature-themed items.

4. Craig wanted to bring his new "friend" up to meet us on his birthday weekend but we are leaving town that Sunday... I can't wait to meet this girl who is making him so happy!

5. Book group tomorrow is discussing Home to Harmony by Phillip Gulley. I borrowed it from Erin and Brent's library and had read it years ago when they lived in Colorado. It is just as good the second time around. We collect quotes from the books we have read and this one is full of great little tidbits like...

6. "Sometimes what we think we need isn't what we need at all, and what gets thrown in for good measure is that which fills our hearts."

7. "There's danger in thinking joy is a matter of location. If we can't find joy where we are, we probably won't find it anywhere."

8. "In the end, that is what we all must do. Stand where we feel led. Stand straight, stand tall, and try hard to remember that other folks might be led to stand elsewhere."

9. And finally, "Sometimes I feel like I'm sitting at God's table and I've just finished one piece of blessing, and God smiles and says, "Here, Sam, have another."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Three Things I'm Thinking About, Sunday

1. Had a great time this weekend with Brody and Lynn (his other grandmother). They came up Friday evening for a couple of nights and I'm so glad they did. Tom left Friday morning and will be gone until Thursday so it was nice to have some company.

2. Saturday we went to a local park that has a wonderful wading pool. Here's a shot of him cooling off in the water and a couple of him playing in the wooden tractor that he has enjoyed since we first moved up to Nashville. The first one was taken when he was 23 months old, the second one this weekend when he is just a couple months shy of 5 years old! He sure has grown!

3. We had a great time and I'm glad they came up for a visit!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Six Things I'm Thinking About, Tuesday

1. Glad to be home from a fun long weekend in Michigan. The fam up there showed us a great time and we can't wait to get together again. Cookout with everyone on Friday night, great fireworks at CampDearborn Saturday night, and a Detroit Tigers game on Sunday afternoon. Despite the Tigers' loss and sweltering weather, we had a really good time!

2. We stopped at a great Goodwill in Troy, Ohio on our way home Monday. It was right on the interstate and we found good bargains and goodies -- $34 worth! One of the best buys -- a full sheet of 40 1993 Elvis Presley 29 cent stamps in an 8x10 frame. Face value of stamps is $11.40 (according to ebay they aren't worth any more than that), the Goodwill price was $1.99.

3. I've decided to start sending postcards to each of the grandkiddos from any travels we go on. They seem to love to get mail. Postcard postage is 28 cents. See item above to see how I'm going to pay for the postage!

4. Bummer -- just heard that postal rates are going up. Postcard will be 30 cents! Guess I'll be buying some one cent-ers!

5. My girls and their dad are on a three day road trip to LA (lower Alabama) to celebrate Erin's 30th birthday. Meghan surprised her sister by showing up to tag along on their trip. So far she is the only one who can actually pull off a surprise on her sister! You can read Erin's report on their fun here.

6. Got the car fixed from the little mishap down in Huntsville last week. I called the gentleman who hit me and he was very gracious. Said he would leave the money with Erin. It's nice to know there are actually people who will leave their name and phone number and not just take off.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Seven Things I'm Thinking About, Thursday

1. Just came back from the neighbors' for birthday cake and ice cream. Marv turned 75 today and all three of their kids from Michigan drove down to surprise him for the weekend. They are a fun family that obviously love each other and their parents. It was nice to spend some time with them before we make the trek up to Michigan tomorrow to the same county they just came from! They must have brought some cool weather with them -- it only hit 85 today!

2. Today has felt like Saturday all day long. Tom got back yesterday and is off today so it seems like Saturday. But it's not and now we have a long long weekend ahead of us -- yeah!

3. Charlotte called this morning after opening her package from us. When I asked her what she got for her birthday that was special (thinking she would tell me about her new kitty from her mom and dad) she said, "Flip flops!" They were in with the package of goodies we sent -- guess they were a hit! I hate missing my grandkiddos birthdays....

4. We are taking "Big Betty" to Michigan tomorrow. I told Tom that instead of figuring miles per gallon with this truck, I'm using the miles per dollar figure -- we get six miles to the dollar and it's a 600 mile trip, and gas is more expensive the further north we go... Oh well, I'm still looking forward to it!

5. Zaxby's now has fried dill pickles on their menu.

6. One of Tom's counterparts from the agency in California gave him a gift for all the help Tom has give him over the past few years. It's a $75 bottle of Merlot. I can't wrap my mind around a $75 bottle of wine but I'm looking forward to having some.

7. Persons Unknown is a summer replacement show on NBC. It is very strange so far and a bit intriguing. More importantly when it comes to TV this summer is The Closer is starting new episodes on July 12th! That is one of my favorites!