1/29/2014

Frozen Wednesday Hodgepodge



1. It's  been said that one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Do you think that's true? Do you find that an easy exercise most mornings? What's something positive you told yourself today? If you missed that boat, what's something positive you could tell yourself tomorrow?
I would like to think that it could change the whole day, but I'm a little skeptical about that.  I guess it's all about "attitude is everything". 

2. There will be karaoke at the next party you attend...are you in? Or will you be faking a sore throat?
That would depend on how much I've had to drink.  *wink*

3. January 29th is National Puzzle Day...what's something you've found puzzling recently?
The weather.

4.  Jigsaw, crossword, acrostic, logic, sudoku, word search...what's your favorite kind of puzzle, and when did you last work one?
I love word searches.  I have no idea when the last one I did was.

5. Recently a writer by the name of Amy Glass ruffled feathers with a post she wrote saying she looks down on young women with husbands and kids and she's not sorry. Among other things, she says women will be equal with men when we stop saying house work and real work are equally important. You can read the whole piece by clicking here.

What say you? Do you think men and women are equal in the 21st century? Why or why not?
I don't think men and women will ever be equal, and they shouldn't be.  We're not the same.  We're made differently, and I believe for a good reason.  That being said, I do think women should have equal pay!

6. What's a product you've noticed in the grocery store that you'd like to try, but haven't yet?
I forgot to answer this when I wrote the post last night, so I'll do it now:  I have no idea.

7. The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was born this week in 1832 (January 27th).  Which character from his celebrated novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, would you most like to meet, and why? Here's a linkto a character list if you need help on this one. 
I don't think I've ever seen it, so I don't know the characters.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
We had quite the excitement yesterday at school.  When we went to bed Monday night, there was no mention of snow.  Tuesday morning, we had a 60% chance of it.  And we got it.  From my window at school, I could see it coming.  
Dismissal was set at 10:00, but there was a little problem:  the school is on a fairly steep, long hill, and the buses couldn't make it.  Even after salt was supposedly put on the road, it was a "no go".  Parents were parking at the bottom of the hill and walking up to get their kids; that is, those who couldn't make it up the hill in their vehicle.  I ended up leaving school at 12:25.  There were still a few kids left at school.
My usual 20 minute drive took me 45 minutes, which really isn't that bad.  My little car did great on the road:  I didn't slide once.  YS' classes were canceled, so he got home not long after I did.  Things were a huge mess down this way.  You may have seen this picture on the national news:
bus wreck
(for credit, click on the picture)
This was a bus from a school system just north of us, but it could have been us.  With temps expected  to be 11 this morning, there's no school...apparently anywhere in the area:
We have yet to be at school a full week since before Christmas.  Next week may be the full week!

1/25/2014

Friday Fragments...A Day Late

Half-Past Kissin' Time

~I'm a little late to the party this week.  Friday snuck up on me since we were out of school on Mon. for MLK Jr. Day, and then again on Wed. due to snow in the mountains.

~  Here's proof that there are still good people out there:
A waitress in a restaurant in the big city missed work to go to Ohio to take care of her mom after a heart attack.  She had a notice on her door from the utility company:  her power was scheduled to be turned off the next day.  One of her customers left her a tip for $1075 on a $29 bill.  As it turns out, the couple had just moved here and hadn't found a church; the tip was the amount that they would have tithed.  The best thing about it:  the couple who left the tip refuses to be identified.  You can read the whole story here.  The story didn't mention that the waitress bakes for and feeds the homeless on her own time.

~  OS is going west.  To Utah.  And I couldn't be more excited for him.  This has been a dream of his, and now he is in a position to go for it.  I'm afraid he'll never come home, though.  We're just praying for good weather on his drive out there.
(Picture courtesy of OS)
 ~  After a tough meeting last week (or rather, a lot of build-up to a meeting), I'm actually excited about work again.  I have to learn not to let things get the best of me.  I guess if I haven't learned by now, I never will!

Hope everybody is staying warm!

1/22/2014

The Wednesday Hodgepodge Freeze


1. It was decided on Sunday the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in this year's  Superbowl. So when was the last time you bowled? Not where you thought this question was going is it?  Do you like to bowl? Are you any good? 
I like to bowl.  The last time I bowled was years ago; we went as a family.

2.   Should sports stars be role models? 
I believe they can be as long as they have a good work ethic, stay away from "the juice", remain humble, and remember where they came from.  Like these 2 guys:
(for credit, click on the pictures)
         
3. January is National Oatmeal month...are you a fan? How do you like your oats?
I eat oatmeal quite a bit in winter mornings.  My favorite:  raisin, date, and walnut.

4. What is one book on your reading list for 2014?
"Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett.  I've had it on my nightstand for over a year but haven't started reading it.

5. What would you like your future self to say to your present self?
Relax and have fun.  Life is too short to not have fun.

6. When scrolling through the TV guide, what is one movie title that makes you want to stop, grab the popcorn, and watch for a while?
There are a few movies that I just have to stop and watch when they're on tv, even though we have them on dvd:  Major Payne, The Holiday (of course!), PS I Love You, and The Family Stone.

7. What are two style trends you hope never come back into fashion?
Bell bottom pants.
Update:  I just realized I only wrote 1 trend.  I think that's enough!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm finishing this post up at 7:15 a.m., in my pjs.  No school today; I'm not sure if it's because of the temperature, or because the area just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park got about 1.5 inches, which means the area around my mountain school got some snow.  Looks like a good day to snuggle with my furbabies, finish catching up on "Suits", do some reading, and cleaning!

1/13/2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

Another weekend has flown by.  Saturday was a lazy day for me:  I finished up watching the last 2 seasons of "Dexter".  I have to say:  It really ended in a weird way.
Some laundry was done, too.
I was all motivated on Sunday to clean the house, but first I wanted to clean out the camper, and get my utility tent (that I use as a bathroom when we camp) sprayed off.  I set up the tent, sprayed it off with water, then sprayed it down with cleaner.  I opened up the camper, got the bed broken down (and put the benches up against the wall) so I could clean the floor, and took everything out of the camper.  We have a small propane tank that we use for the grill, stove, and my little red campfire. I grabbed it, picked it up, and turned.  And there went my back.  I immediately stretched and went upstairs to put ice on it, followed by more stretching.  
So, the house didn't get clean, and YS had to bring my laundry up from downstairs.  He also cleaned the floor in the camper, and CH got everything put back in, and brought the utility tent into the basement to finish drying.
Luckily, it doesn't seem to be as bad as last time, which was a couple of years ago.  At least I can stand up straight; last time I couldn't even stand straight.  
That pretty much sums up my weekend.  Hope yours was just as relaxing!

1/09/2014

Side Trip!

As promised, here's my post about our side trip.  When we left for The Keys, we were planning on leaving for home on 2 Jan, which meant we would be home on the 3rd.  But, since YS & his girlfriend didn't come with us, we didn't need to be home on the 3rd.  So, we decided to go somewhere I'd never been, but have wanted to go:  St. Augustine.  The history, the palm trees, the Fountain of Youth.  Need I say more?  Yes, I thought I did.
We stayed at a campground that was recommended to us by a family that we met last year in The Keys.  They said each site was wooded and private, and they were spot on.  In fact, it was almost too private.  It may have just been where we were, but it was really quiet.  Our site actually backed up to a road that leads to a restaurant, but there was also a neighborhood across the street.  An "iffy" neighborhood, to be exact.  If I had realized there was a state park nearby, we would have tried to get a place in there.
When we got there on Thursday, we just laid low in the campground.  We walked to a nearby restaurant called "Aunt Kate's".  If you're in the area, it's definitely a place to eat.  Great service, delicious food, and a nice view if you walk onto the pier:

We opted to not eat on the deck since it was pretty cold.  This restaurant has quite the history.  It all started in 1900 when Henry Flagler (of the railroad fame) stopped and asked a couple for a meal.  You can read the rest of the history here.  The bar is made from the man's boat:
The top of the bar is the actual decking of the boat.  Very cool.
The next day, we bundled up and went into St. Augustine.  Thank goodness I had gloves & a scarf in the camper.  I had a sweatshirt that's so thick that I can only wear it when I'm outside, and then I wore my rainjacket over that to help with the wind.  
We visited the Old Jail and the Museum before getting on the trolley.  The first thing we did was find some lunch (and someplace warm!) with the Castillo de San Marcos nearby.
After lunch, we walked up to the site (which is a National Park), but we didn't go in.  We actually saw enough of it just walking around.
There was an awful lot to see; it would've been much more enjoyable if it had been warmer.  We strolled down St. George:
Ducked into St. Photios, which is a Greek Orthodox Shrine.  There were 2 ladies who looked into the courtyard but didn't go all the way in.  They have no idea what they missed.
We walked by The Oldest House, which dates back to the 1600's and has Spanish influence.  The top floor indicates English influence, since it was added in the 1700's.
Next to The Oldest House is the Tovar House (cannonball house).  It's said to be haunted.  It also has a couple of cannonballs embedded in the wall.  I wasn't aware of that, so we didn't see it.
The Casa Monica was beautiful.  
 It was built across the street from the Ponce de Leon Hotel (owned by Flagler), which is now Flagler College.
They were built at the same time; however, the owner of The Casa Monica went bankrupt since the hotel didn't open when expected due to the furniture not arriving on time.  The furniture was to arrive by train...which Flagler owned.  
We also went into the Basilica, which was so much more beautiful than I was expecting.
There was the gate to the city:
 Bed & Breakfasts decorated for the holidays:


St. Francis Barracks (which now hosts the Florida National Guard):
The Catholic Cemetery:
Avila Street:
Constitution Plaza:
The site where the 1st Mass was held on American soil:
The White Lion Bridge which is a drawbridge:


We ended the day visiting The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park:
 There were peacocks:
 The Coquina Cross which was unearthed in the early 1900's and is believed to be lain by Ponce de Leon:
 Of course we had to drink from The Fountain of Youth.  That was something I've wanted to do since elementary school. (Although now there are questions about the authenticity.)

 Weapons demonstrations:

While the demonstrations were going on, I happened to look over at the White Lion Bridge and see that the drawbridge was up:
 By that time, we were nearly frozen, so we headed back to try to find someplace to eat dinner.  We ended up in Vilano Beach, which was on the way from St. Augustine to our campsite.  We enjoyed dinner as we watched our last Florida sunset:
The next morning, CH got out of the camper and asked where our cooler was.  I told him that it was next to the door, but it was gone.  We suspect that some local teenagers grabbed it, since we had just a few beers and Angry Orchards in it.  The joke is on them, though:  we didn't refill it with ice, so the drinks were probably warm.  We also had a couple of other things of some value sitting out that were untouched, which points to teenagers.  We really liked our cooler, though, but we can get another one.    As we were leaving, we talked with a couple who had stayed in the campground and was staying there for 2 months.  They mentioned that if there was anything you didn't want stolen, you needed to make sure to lock it up.  Especially on weekend nights. 
Our trip home was pretty uneventful, unless you want to count an almost hit in Atlanta and another one in Chattanooga by people not knowing the meaning of merging.  The view in Jacksonville was pretty, though:

I'm sure there were things we missed seeing.  I would have loved to have walked along the harbor, but it was just way too cold.  This is the closest I got:




 You can see in this picture how badly the wind was blowing:
I don't know if I'll ever get back to St. Augustine, but I can now say that I've been there!
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