Thursday, July 27, 2006

My niece Sonja, her husband Fred, and her two daughters Adrienne and Calista came and stayed a week.

I had never had anyone stay so long so I was a little worried but I will tell you now that it works out just fine as long as it is Sonja's family.

Or maybe the reason was not Sonja but me. I was a lousy hostess. I did not cook big meals for them three times a day as a good southern hostess should. I acted as I usually do and spent most of my time in my bedroom, very anti-social.

No matter what I had a good time. It was nice to have some life around this old house.

Calista will be eight in a couple of days. We had an early birthday cake for her. She is a sweet little girl, very smart. She and I cooked cookies and made fruit pies. The pies were delicious.

Adrienne will be a senior at Vanderbilt this fall. Maybe because of the difference in their ages, Adrienne and Calista adore each other. It is a sweet thing to see.

While here, Fred read three books of mine, The History of Pi, Istant Physics, and Right Turns by Michael Medved.

Fred is interested in motorcycles. He has a new Italian made one. My family has gone motorcycle crazy. Janice and Keith just got a Gold Wing and John has a Harley-Davidson. I have not had any desire to ride a motorcycle since Rayburn scared me to death when I rode behind him back in 1973.

Or maybe the week went so well because they and Julia brought their own food and I got to help eat it. The more I think about it the more I realize I would not want to visit someone under these same conditions.

Sonja, Fred, and Calista went to Friendship Church. Everyone was very glad to see them and made a fuss over them. Fred said he had never felt so welcome in a church.

On Monday the four of them went off to Shiloh. I have a CD of the battle route that I loaned to them. The three older ones enjoyed the day but Calista was bored.

On Tuesday they left for Nashville. I enjoyed about five minutes of relief before I wished they were back.

They met Anne , Ken, and children at Opry Mills. Calista had wanted to see "the cousins" as she calls them. Everyone seems to have had a very good time.

Now they are back in California, so far away but I still feel close to them.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday was an exciting day for the Ruckers. Daddy was picking up a new car.

His company requires him to get a new company car when the old one has 55,000 miles on it as his old one does. They were also trading in Anne's old car and buying the old company car for Anne.

They had previously picked out an Odyssey. I don't remember what brand that is, maybe a Honda. It has a lot of new features from the old one. Adam had quizzed the car salesman about the TV system and made sure that yes, he could plug his Play Station in and use it in the car. Unfortunately for Adam, that Play Station exists only in his dreams.

Anne, Beth, and I were going shopping, and Ken and the kids were going to pick up the car. They called from the dealership to say that Anne needed to sign some papers so we went over there. We found the kids in the new parked car, with the air conditioner on, watching a Finding Nemo on the TV. They showed us the numerous new cup holders.

Beth and I looked at some of the cars on the lot. She pointed out the ones that were good for carrying surf boards on top just in case I felt sometime that I needed to buy her a new car.

We shopped at Joanne's and I ordered some fabric for my kitchen curtains. Also we went to Target.

Later that afternoon I took a nap. When I woke up I heard the kids downstairs and then doors closing. I thought everyone was probably going outside to watch them bike ride. I went outside only to find that the car was gone.

I figured they had gone to eat supper so I went back inside and watched TV. At 8 o'clock I decided they had gone to the movies. I was hungry so I left and went to Publix supermarket to get something to eat. Also to pick up some recipes that Anne had raved about.

Actually they had gone to the pool which closes at 8, so I had barely missed them on both ends of their excursion.

Friday night we put on a fireworks display.

Ken waited until after the fourth to buy the fireworks so he got quite a lot for his $8.

We lined up our folding chairs on the driveway near the road and Ken shot the fireworks off in the street. Yes, it is legal to shoot fireworks inside the city limits of Nolensville.

The neighbors across the street sat on their steps and watched, too.

He had a good assortment of roman candles, bottle rockets, and more sophisticated fireworks. The kids loved the little crackle things. The little balls that you merely throw on the concrete and it pops. We all had a little audience participation in that.

I think one of the charms of fireworks is that it doesn't always work. The fuse goes out or the thing just fizzles or maybe absolutely nothing happens. So I sit there in anticipation, wondering what will happen next. It may be something spectacular or it may be total failure.

Back inside I read to the children as usual from their favorite Where the Sidewalk Ends. Emma always requests the one called The Thumbsucker's Thumb. She quit sucking her thumb a long time ago but remembers how good it was.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Last weekend I went up to Anne's on Thursday for a family weekend. Beth was coming and we were planning a lot of being together time.

Anne was going to get a pedicure with a fellow teacher so I babysat for her. Of course, for me that is being thrown in the briar patch.

We went down to Sonic for supper. The children played for maybe forty-five minutes on the playground there. They were the only children there and they had a good time.

Adam got a regular burger and George and Emma each got the child's burger dinner.

George was opening a package of catchup when it spurted out in a long line on the table. He looked it up and down, looked up, and said "That was unexpected."

George's delivery is what makes his sayings funny.

Since there were three nights each got to sleep with me one night. When Beth got there, she slept in Emma's bed. The others usually just sleep on the floor by my bed.

We always read some from one of the Silverstein books, like Where the Sidewalk Ends, before they go to sleep.

Adam was having problems with going to sleep because he had had a bad nightmare. Seems the Abominable Snowman got him, took him to the top of a mountain, and was eating his body when he woke up. That would scare anyone.

Ken was out of town. He had gone to Lexington, Kentucky, to settle a case. He came back Friday afternoon.

Friday morning we got up early and picked Beth up at the airport before 8 o'clock. It was good to see her. We had not been together since Christmas. However, that doesn't seem so bad now since long distance phone calls and emails exist and are free. when I was a young adult, I would get to talk to my parents at most once a month because we couldn't afford long distance calls.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I have owned four different grass trimmers this summer. I mean the Weed Eater type. Despite that I have still not trimmed around the trees and the house once. When I looked at my yard, it seemed to be a big sign, read by me and everyone that passed by, saying MARY IS A LOSER.

I started out with my weed eater from last year. However I could not find a critical part. I kept searching, believing that it would eventually show up. It never did.

One day I was in WalMart and I saw, attractively displayed, a Weed Eater that said World's Lightest Gas Powered Trimmer. As they intended, I stopped, read the box, and bought. I always have a hard time with that long electrical cord. Since I need such a long one, it is the heavy weight kind which makes it even more unwieldy. The gas powered with no cord seemed to be my answer.

I got it home, got it assembled, even put in the gas and oil mixture, but...I was unable to start it. It has one of those cord pull things. I called John and he came over. He started it easily. Tears came to my eyes at my own weakness and incompetence. He assured me that I could do it and I did. But it was night so I didn't use it. The next day and many days afterward I was unable to start it.

Again I was in WalMart and I see a cordless electric Weed Eater. That seemed my new answer. I bought it and charged it overnight. I cut some in the front yard and it worked. Great. Then after only about 10 minutes, it quit. I charged it overnight again and the same thing happened the next day. It would not keep a charge.

I took it back to WalMart.

I was no closer to getting my yard trimmed.

Then again at WalMart I considered my options. The cordless had automatic feed. I didn't have to bump the end to get new cord to come out. I had been surprised at how much difference that made in the ease of cutting.

The premium grade Weed Eater electric had that, too. But next to it was a Big Mama. A Black and Decker with a wide area cutting radius and self feed. I couldn't make another mistake so I bought the B & D.

At home I hooked it up and started to work around the house. The cord is still a problem but the trimmer works like a dream. I cut all the way around the house easily in probably less than half the time it usually takes me. I really like this machine.

Is this a clue that sheds light on other purchases? Is the most expensive really the best buy?

My stand mixer has given up the ghost. It is the only stand mixer I have ever had. Should I go with the most expensive mixer as a replacement. I am thinking about it.

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