Saturday, May 26, 2007

Silver Springs

Today we visited Silver Springs Park. We really had a lot of fun. We rode three different glass bottom boats on three different types of tours. We have a slide show of pictures over to the left. We saw all kinds of wildlife: fish, turtle, tortoises, monkeys, apes, giraffes, bears, panthers, birds, and we even saw squirrels and a cat.

Scott fed the giraffes. They are really funny when they go to take the food: they stick out their long black tongues and take it from your hand.

We saw squirrels eating all kinds of park food: we got a picture of one eating an icecream cone, another one had stolen a carrot from a tortoise, and another one was sitting in a big bowl of food for some other animals.

We saw a tabby cat sleeping on a stump in a cage with an animal that looked like an overgrown guinea pig (I think someone told us it was a type of sheep) and some black swans.

We also fed some cardinals popcorn.

We learned all about rhesus monkeys, which Colonel Tooey (who ran the glass bottom boat tour at the time) imported from India to attract more visitors to the park in the 1930s, and he marooned them on one particular island not knowing they could swim. There are now rhesus monkeys as far south as Tampa. They started as about 40, and now there are probably over 1200 in the area, and they are a lot meaner than the original ones and they carry disease. This one had two babies with her.

There were lots of exotic birds in cages that had signs that read "We Bite". Most of them did look like they would bite, but this one bird in particular would walk around his cage and as you got close to the cage, he would put his back up against the cage for you to scratch his back. It was pretty funny.

Overall we had a lot of fun and it was everything we expected, probably more. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. We are leaving tomorrow morning for Coral Springs, close to Miami. We are so excited about our cruise!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Vacation Starts Now!

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for our vacation. We are very excited. It has been an interesting week. I only worked Mon-Wed. My sister called me Tuesday night and told me that one of Meme's friends called her and said that Meme was not doing well at all. Of course, this upsets both of us and freaks us both out since I am about to leave for vacation. I got up super early this morning and drove to Dallas and went to see her. She is sick, but she doesn't look as bad as her friend had said. She was up and around and today was her last day of antibiotics for her pneumonia. Hopefully now her stomach will be better and the pneumonia will clear up. I took her some stuff that she can hopefully eat to make her stomach feel better and then she can build up to real food. Anyway, I felt a lot better after seeing her for myself. Scott took half a day off today so that he could help me get things done around the house since I was going to spend most of my day at the nursing home. We had a big list of things to do, but they are basically all done. Scott is burning some of my CDs to MP3s. He burned all of my Tim McGraw CDs to one disc together, and the same for Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, and then we put our Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall CDs all together on one. Isn't he so technologically advanced? That way, we have enough room in my CD case for all my CDs. Other than that we have spent our week getting ready for the trip. I did so much ironing on Sunday night, it was crazy. I know Shana is just cringing thinking about that much ironing! But, all that ironing and starching has made everything fit great into my's so flat! Here are some pictures from this week (if you click on the picture, you can look at it full size and see everything better, then just hit your back arrow to come back to this page):

I have been raising the blinds every evening for the cats and us to watch the birds. The other day when I was emptying the dishwasher, we had so many birds and I was able to get some really good pictures of them. This one is of one of our male cardinals. They usually fly away when I get close to the window with the camera, but I was able to be covert and stick the camera through the blinds and he didn't fly away.

Here is the cardinal in flight - when I pushed down the button, he was on the hanging basket and when the picture took, he had taken off. Isn't that awesome?! I am glad that I got a good picture of my hanging basket - just in case it dies while we are gone. I don't think it will because our neighbor is going to come take care of the cats and she said she would water the hanging basket as well. I got the idea for this basket from Southern Living. I think that it looks a lot like the one in the magazine.

I think that this bird is a Carolina Chickadee. He likes sunflower seeds a lot. I think that most of our birds like sunflower seeds the best. We refill it three times as much as the thistle or the "wild bird mix". So, if you have a bird feeder and have to make a choice, choose sunflower seeds.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm So Glad It's Friday!

So, today Meme went back to the nursing home. She informed my sister that she was glad to be back, she was tired, and she wasn't keeping anything down (again). So, I am going to call her tomorrow and find out how she is. If she's still sick to her stomach, I am going to have to tell on her. She will hide being sick because she does NOT like that hospital. It made me feel really good when she told me last night that she was ready to go home and she was referring to the nursing home. I think that she does enjoy it over there. I am glad because we really struggled with guilt when she had to go in there. Other than that, we are busy, busy preparing for our trip. I am doing laundry and testing out our new memory cards for the camera that Scott got for us. Scott is cutting the grass. I got some really good pictures of him cutting the grass. (hehe) It seems like next Wed. will never be here. That is my last day at work. Then, we're leaving on Friday. Scott is really watching the fire situation so that we can plot our course as efficiently as possible. Above are some pictures I took in order to "test out" our new memory cards. I am excited that my hydrangea is coming back this year. I actually have two but one of them isn't coming back. I think it does not like the damp conditions in our garden. Our gardenias are blooming. They smell SO good! Of course, I just wanted to show off my De Oro lilies again because they are just thriving and I am so glad because they require no maintenance!

Here is Scott cutting the grass. I am grateful that he cuts the grass because that means I don't have to. I do things like weeding the gardens, fertilizing the gardens, putting out Preen to fight the weeds, watering the hanging basket, and refilling our bird feeder (which appears to be very popular with the neighborhood birds).

Here he started coming towards me and I tried to capture the look of concentration on his face. Then, he spotted me with the camera and gave me a look of annoyance. (I don't know why?!)

Here is a picture of the boys I took today. I like it because Maxwell has a really sweet look in his eyes. Because he is such a sleek cat, he usually looks kind of mean, but I thought that this one reflected his cuteness. Plus, it's so funny that all you can see feature-wise, are his eyes. Sampson of course looks cute and fluffy, but, he is always cute and fluffy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Birthday Celebration

Last night Lauren, Maggie, and Shana surprised me with a birthday girls' night out! (Yes, it was a little late, but we've all been busy). They took me to get a pedicure so that my toes will be all cute for my cruise and then we went to Moe's. After that we all went shopping. We each found a little something to get for ourselves, which is always nice. I was really surprised and I felt so special that they would do that for me! We all had a really good time. The picture above is a picture of my toes. Aren't they cute? I think they look very cruise-y.

Here is a picture of the 4 of us at the Christ Church of Metro Atlanta Grand Opening. I love this picture!


Meme went back into the hospital yesterday afternoon. She has pneumonia. She has lots of breathing issues. She smoked for forever until this past time she had breathing issues - I think right around Christmas. They are giving her antibiotics by IV and they want to give her 3 IVs of antibiotics and then they will start giving her antibiotics orally and she will be able to go back to the nursing home. My prayer is that she recovers quickly and can go back to the nursing home. She is better off mentally over there. She definitely has some sort of mental issues, be it borderline personality disorder or dementia, and she just goes nuts. So, it's hard on us and the nurses. Maybe she'll be released before the weekend. That is what I am praying for. For her, she is miserable in the hospital and I am sure she is tired of being sick. For my sister, Wendy, and I, there is the worry about her physical well being as well as her being able to stay in the same nursing home, as well as all the guilt associated with being responsible for her. There seems to be this expectation that because we are responsible, we should drive to Dallas every weekend and sit with her all weekend and then when she is sick in the hospital, we need to drive to Dallas every day and sit with her all day. Nothing we do is ever enough. I am constantly in prayer on that point. Am I doing what God wants me to do? I don't think I have received a clear answer on that one.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Meme Update!

Meme was released back to the nursing home today! The doctor had called my sister and said that they were going to put her on a semi-solid diet today and if she kept it down, they would release her. At about 3:30, my sister called back up there and they had released her and she scooted down the hall in her wheelchair! She was ready to be back at the nursing home and not in the hospital. I hope that she continues to heal and that she wasn't hiding the fact that she still can't handle solid foods from them. She is a smart cookie and she knows that looking like she is better is her ticket to her own room. We shall see. I tried calling her just now and I got no she must be at dinner. I'll try later and see if I can get her scoop on the situation. God has really been in charge of this situation and been watching over her and us. Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray for continued healing.

I talked to Meme just now. She says that she is feeling better. She was very talkative, but sounded tired. I think that she is going to really watch what she eats for a while.


I just wanted to write and say how excited I am that in less than two weeks, we will be leaving to go on our cruise. We are both excited! We have been planning this vacation since last summer! Scott and I have never been on a big vacation together before. We've saved up for this one. I hope that I don't have trouble concentrating at work for the next 7.5 days that I will be working. I am only working half a day this coming Thursday because I am having my eyes evaluated for Lasik. I am having Lasik done at the end of June. I am so ready. I am deathly afraid of any medical procedures and normally would not voluntarily do anything like this, but I hate my contacts and glasses are just so hard to do anything in...swimming, working in the yard, driving if you don't have prescription sunglasses, working out...they really limit you. Scott is taking me to the evaluation. Isn't he caring? Anyway, we are both excited about the cruise...did I already say that? I need a vacation...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Week In Review

Well, it has been a crazy week for me and I am sure crazier for others. My grandmother is still in the hospital, but they have slightly cleared the blockage in her stomach (which was caused by scar tissue from ruptured ulcers) and are weaning her back onto solid foods a little at a time. Tuesday will be day 7 and she will possibly lose her bed in the nursing home. We are just praying that she is healed enough to go back to the nursing home, even if for a couple of days, by then. Please continue to pray for her. Last night we had Scott's parents and grandma over to the house for dinner. It was really good and they seemed to like it. Scott's grandma had never seen our house before. She recently moved here from California to live with Scott's parents. She took her first trip to the Varsity on Friday night and had onion rings and a frosted orange. Scott's mom is going to send us some pictures of her with a Varsity hat on. We'll post one of them when we get it. They were super cute! We enjoyed having them over. The cats showed off for them and did all their best tricks. Then, one of my close friends from high school, Meredith, got married today and I forgot my camera! Meredith was so beautiful and she was so happy. She told me that her face hurt from smiling! I said "Good! That's the way it should be!" I am really happy for her. She thought that she would be done with her doctorate at Purdue University in Indiana by now, but she is not, so she is going back to Purdue on May 29 and her new husband, Ryan, will be staying here. I know that that will be hard for them. I also got to spend time with my friend Robyn from high school and her husband Michael. That was great. I was so glad to see them there! We always enjoy talking with them. I wish we lived closer together. Friday night Scott and I went to the funeral home for Zach and his family as they had visitation for Zach's dad. We all need to remember to continue to pray for them as grieving can be a long and lonely process sometimes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Update on Meme

I went to see my grandmother Meme today at the hospital. She is very aware of what is going on which is a lot better than she was at any point when she had this happen last year. She has a tube going from her nose into her stomach. This is making her miserable. She can only have ice chips to eat or drink. They keep having issues with her IVs and so they keep having to stick her because her veins keep collapsing. Hopefully they can do another scope and clear the blockage tomorrow or Friday. All the nurses are very nice to her. Please continue to pray for her.

The Watson's

Please also be praying for Zach and Lauren Watson and their families. Zach's dad passed away unexpectedly this morning. I know they will need a lot of prayer and strength to get through this time of grieving.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray for my grandmother, Meme. She lives in the nursing home in Paulding and has been admitted to the hospital (which is attached to the nursing home). She has always had a lot of stomach problems and now has a blockage in her stomach. They are not sure what has caused it but are pumping her stomach and will do a scope later this week to see if it has cleared or if they can clear it. If they are not able to clear it that way, they may have to do surgery. This is the second time this has happened. That last time it happened was when she went into the nursing home. She has macular degeneration in both eyes and is going blind. She cannot see to take care of herself. We assumed that she had eaten bad food or something. I just spoke with her doctor who said sometimes those things just happen. My prayer is that she is healed and can go back to the nursing home where she currently is. If she stays in the hospital for longer than 7 days, they will fill her bed in the nursing home and then when she is released from the hospital, they can put her anywhere there is space (Powder Springs, Mableton, anywhere). If this is not Paulding, she will not get visits from her friends like she does now because all of her friends live in the area. Plus, Paulding Nursing Home is really one of the best. Those nurses and social workers take very good care of my grandmother and she has developed relationships with them and the other patients there. I appreciate your prayers for Meme (Kate).

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Fun Times

Our party turned out really well. We were all sad that Josh wasn't feeling well and couldn't come with Amy and Quinn, but I think that everyone had a good time. Callie brought me flowers, which was very sweet. The food turned out pretty good. My wonderful husband is the grill master and cooked the meat perfectly! Quinn and Andrew seemed to have a great time together. Our cats were pretty traumatized by the whole experience and hovered under the bed most of the night. They looked like animals from the wild when they emerged, but seem to really appreciate us and the quiet house today. They have been very affectionate today! Scott and I learned a new card game called "scum" and Lauren got to be King and I was the Queen. That was fun. Anyway, it was a great blessing to have all of our friends over at our house. The more time we spend together the closer we become and we feel so blessed to have such great, Christian friends.

Here is a really cute picture of Quinn and Andrew (left) while they were watching Veggie-Tales Sing-A-Long videos. They are such good friends. They really play well together.

Here they are over to the right being silly.

This is a picture of our cats getting in a cat nap before the party. They had no idea what was coming. I should have taken some pictures of them hiding under the bed, but that might have just been mean. They seem to have recovered from the experience.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Exciting Happenings Coming

I am taking a vacation day tomorrow (Friday) in order to finalize my cruise wardrobe. I am also going to be preparing our house for our party on Saturday. We are having some friends from church over to have a Cinco de Mayo party. We really don't celebrate that holiday, but it just seemed like a good chance to have everyone over for fajitas and frozen limeaid. We don't get a lot of visitors out here in Loganville. I hope our cats behave. They are really good, so I am sure they will. Everyone will love their sweet, furry attitudes! I love gardening and you can't tell it from looking at our garden. I think I may make a trip to the store for some pretty annuals. I love flowers! Our De Oro lilies look great already. I will put a picture of them below. These lilies line our little walkway from the driveway to the front door. According to my favorite gardening book by Felder Rushing, these lilies are very hardy in the South. He's right!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Our Cats

It would not be right if I didn't have a post just for our cats. They really are cute. It is hard to get a good picture of them together.

This is a picture of Maxwell after he has just finished drinking water from the tub. You can see the little drops of water on his face. He is the classic cat: sleek, shiny, and all about himself. But he is very sweet and does want attention...when it is convenient for him.

This is a picture of Sampson looking out the window at the birds eating from the feeder. They LOVE the bird feeder. Luckily for the birds in the neighborhood, they are inside cats. Sampson is a very sweet cat. Each night, we sit on the couch to eat dinner and he sits right in between us. Isn't that sweet?

This is what happens every chance they get...they come running into the bathroom and look at us until we turn on the faucet. Maxwell stands on the edge of the tub and swishes his tail and drinks straight from the faucet and Sampson gets down into the tub and drinks from the drain as the water trickles down. Aren't they funny? I don't think Maxwell ever drinks out of his bowl...he will cry at our bedroom door if he gets thirsty.


Scott and I are entering the world of blogging! We want to share the things that we do and pictures of our family, friends, and cats (of course). So far this year has been very hectic for us. I have been busy with my "busy season" at work and Scott has been taking classes at Gwinnett Tech and picking up my slack around the house (I have a very sweet husband). However, busy season is over, so we have started being more social. I have been working in the garden and we have a new bird feeder. Below is a picture of our bird feeder and some of our feathered visitors and a picture of part of my garden. The hostas were given to me by my friend Teri at work. We went over to her house last Fall and dug up her yard to get them. Thanks Teri.