Monday, February 19, 2007

The eye story:

One night last week, I woke up and had a brown haze over my right eye. I got up and it didn't get better, I panicked, went back to bed and worried myself sick. I finally went back to sleep though.

When I woke up, I showered, got dressed, gave the cats their morning treats and left for work. I opened the garage door, ran around to the drivers side and got in. Pulled out of the garage, shut the door and headed down the alley. Then I saw some white spots. I worried but went on down the alley and headed up the street. Then more white spots, not many, but kept shaking my head and rubbing my eyes. It seemed to die down and then back up again. I panicked this time and decided to turn around and go home and call the emergency room. Just as I was putting the car in reverse, I heard the radio say something about snow flurries in the area! I checked again and sure enough, it was snow flurries!

What a scare.

After more scare at work - well, people were talking cataracts - and one co-worker said she had cataract surgery at a very early age, and talking about cataract surgery - I went out at lunch (missed our lunch and learn though) and got some allergy eye drops and some dry eye drops. That has helped a lot. I'm sure keeping the house so warm and drying my hair in the mornings in the car (yep, all vents toward my head but blasting my right eye dry) doesn't help any. I will be soooo glad when spring comes.

I hate missing the lunch and learns. They get someone from the business to talk about the business since we are so far removed from it. It is really interesting and it helps to know what we do does make a difference. I'm in IT, just in case you can't tell. It actually makes me want to do something that is closer to the business that what I do today. But let's not talk about my role today as I'm tired of hating my new job. I like the people (ok, well, most of the people - especially the brits and the aussies) and don't want to cause them any trouble by leaving but if I have a heart attack, that will impact my family more. Especially, the cats.

Sam the male cat got out again today. I was unlocking the back door and he got his little paw and opened the back door, took me by surprise and escaped! He wears me out trying to catch him. And poor Millie, she saw the escape and was crying out so loud that I could hear her outside!
Another Smith retirement home story. I've been trying to go with my brother and sister-in-law a few times each month. Mostly for exercise but some to put names on twigs, limbs and anything else I can cut, break or burn - and that would be names from work. Anyway, we had so much brush all piled up that needed to be burned so there would be room for more stacks of brush. They tried the weekend before but it was too wet. My nephew went with us, that was really nice because I don't see much of him and he's such a nice young man (yes I am prejudiced about my neice and both nephews!)

We got 1 pile finally started, and it was so nice and warm! I was so bundled up (I hate cold weather) and had to start removing coats and sweaters etc. I stayed close the fire and watched for flying embers while they went and dragged more stuff to throw on the fire. When the smallest and the next smallest piles were finished (well, they were still smoking but pretty much out), my sister-in-laws parents had come out so we went to lunch leaving my brother and nephew to watch things. Of course, when we got back, the next pile was done - they must have used most of the gasoline. They knew my sister-in-law wasn't there to supervise and you know boys/men! We were only gone 1 hour which is about 1/4 the time it took to burn the previous pile. I still think we should have brought marshmellows and hot dogs!

The last time I went, it was below freezing. The ground was hard (it had been muddy for the prior few weekends) so we took the trailer down to the someday-it-will-be-a-pond-and-already-dug-some-out area (aka burn area). About .5 way through, I started sinking and had huge mud packs around my shoes. So when we went to take the trailer back for more - yep - you guessed it - it had thawed enough from the sun that we got stuck. So we just unhooked the trailer, and oops, the truck got stuck. I've not seen a truck swing from side to side like that before - good thing I moved too. So we tried and tried and tried some more. Eventually, we took some brush, and put it in front & in back of the tires (sounds pretty easy doesn't it), and let the truck move back to put brush where the tires had been. Made a little brush road! And it finally worked! So the trailer stayed put and we cleared brush elsewhere and just piled it up by the road.

I really enjoy spending the time with my brother and sister-in-law that weekend. My nephew didn't go with us that time. I'm surprised at how much I can actually do for a desk-jockey and how I can manage to breathe in the cold. Usually, when it gets below 70, I have trouble breathing because it is too cold and my asthma sets in if I'm not really careful.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I can't believe I haven't written about the Smith Retirement Farm LOL. My brother and sister-in-law bought some acreage in East Texas. It's deep in the middle of dairy cow country. They took me out to see it right before they bought it. So when they told me that they were going on Friday to sign the final papers, I had to act quick, go flamingo hunting and prepare. I had to really hunt to find any flamingos too. So I leave the house around 5:30 as I wanted to be at the property at day break because I knew they'd want to get out really early for a first day at their property. Also, I have a big red XUV and didn't want them to see me. I had my escape route all picked out.

It was a nice drive and the sun came up about 10 minutes away from where I needed to be. It was beautiful and so calm. I forgot how a sunrise can be such a beautiful thing. It was also much colder out there. And no, I didn't think about that so I didn't think to bring a coat. This is October in Texas too so it can be freezing one minute and burning hot the next .... oh wait, that is all fall/winter/spring.

I get to their street and have to drive really really slow. It was paved many many many years ago and I didn't want any rock dings on my XUV. I finally reach my goal - there's the gate..... only there are 3 hugh (yes even by my Texas everything is larger here standards), and I mean huge dogs, wolves, or cayotes (all are in the area). So I sit in the XUV until they finally get bored and go away. So I can finally collect all the flamingos and other stuff. I struggle to crawl under the gate without losing any of the flamingo legs and was fairly successful. As I walk down the dirt road and hear some strange noices (to be truthful, any noise at this point to a city kid is frightning) it suddenly occurs to me, that I'm out in the middle of nowhere, by myself, the cellphone won't work, and this is East Texas where they shoot first and ask questions later. I start running further into the property... well I made it this far and might as well finish... and get to the cross roads. Now bear in mind that the term road is made loosely here. So I'm putting up the flamingos (there were 6), a wind chime (you try putting up a wind chime when you are short, the trees are tall and the dirt road isn't packed), and a woodpecker. I took pictures but didn't think about there being so many trees that it would be hard to get a good picture. I looked at the time and ran out of there. I really did not want to get caught. So giggling away, I hop in the XUV and take off. Again, the road is so rough the speedy trip was about 10 miles an hour. And of course, I run into 2 women walkers - but at least they just smile and wave - and I was thankful they didn't have a gun or rifle. So when I finally make it to a real road, man, do I take off. It's getting late and I am so afraid they will see me. I finally get past where they will see the XUV and slow down and giggle some more. I get on the highway - I was so glad to get back to civilization too. I stopped in the nearby city at my favorite store Wal*Mart, picked up some cd's and went on my merry way back home.

Well by then, Lowe's and Home Depot were open so I made some garden stops. And I'm so disappointed because I'm not getting any cell calls from my brother and sister-in-law. I finally make my way back home. When I go out later that day for dinner, I had a hard time getting the car to start. So I decided to go to a drive-through and when I came back home, I backed into the garage - just in case. My belief is that when you are prepared, nothing happens...right? Wrong. So the next morning I get up and mess around and finally decide to go get some breakfast..... only the car won't start. So I called up my brother and left a message. I should've known they were back out in the country. So he calls me back around 2pm as they are getting to Greenville to see what's going on. I asked him to come get me so we can go to Sam's and get a new battery. He never says a word about the flamingos. I really don't think he believed me until they got here and saw the car backed in the garage. So of course, he has to hassle me about what would've have happened if this had happened out in the country where CELL PHONES DON'T WORK (I forgot about that but would've used OnStar or waited until they got there). Anyway, they were impressed that I remembered how to get there. That was so much fun! and I have a new battery too.
Feb 3 2003 Can't believe it has been so long since I've written. Christmas was lots of fun though. My niece from Atlanta and her boyfriend were here for a few days. My niece and nephews always get together (usually on boxing day) and eat and go to a movie. It is nice that I can get a few moments with them by myself. They are all so grown up now. Yes, I know I am biased but they are all nice, polite, fun, and happy. My niece is getting her doctorate this spring, her brother is working installing big screen tvs and the youngest nephew is finishing up his junior year.

This year we had to get together on Christmas Eve. So we went to the movie (A Night at the Museum) and found a place to eat. Then all but the middle nephew and his girlfriend, came over and we finished getting ready for Christmas dinner. I think we kept my niece up after her bedtime though. One of my cats, Sam, had a wonderful time. My niece's boyfriend was dragging around some twine and Sam wore himself out chasing it. It was so funny.

We had dinner at my house and that was fun as usual. We don't dress up, but gather for food and a good time.