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ARCHIVES: July 22-31, 2003


July 31, 2003 - Thursday

26 Things - My Entry

I finished my page for 26 Things - The International Photographic Scavenger Hunt. Whew! Several ideas that I originally came up with changed. In fact, I changed my mind a LOT with what I wanted to do.


The page links go up tomorrow on their site, but here's my completed page. I hope it does not take too long to load all of the thumbnails. I considered breaking up the thumbnails into 3 pages -- may still do that if friends say this takes too long to load. I may have to move it if my bandwidth goes down, too. I did not want to reduce the quality of these images. They will take a little longer to load than other images on this site.


BamaBlog 26 Things



July 30, 2003 - Wednesday

Photo Blog Story Segments

While I am having a great time photoblogging, I realize my life is fairly predictable. I walk and take pictures of the sunrise, I attempt to cook, I play with cats, I eat out. Same old. Same old. Once in a while something is different and maybe halfway interesting (or maybe not - ha!). I am putting links to those segments separately. Here's the first two:


PREVIOUS PHOTO BLOG STORIES:   Cat Show | Dental Appointment



Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

We have a million tomatoes and needed to do something with them. We've given many away and are tired of foisting them off on our friends. My sister has a great salsa recipe that I got last year and lost. I hinted around to my other sister to try and get the recipe. She told me how to can salsa and what to add to the recipe, but I never got a copy of the original recipe. I am too embarrassed to ask for it again from either sister. I guess I could find another salsa recipe or search harder for the original one, but then Anella gave me a good spaghetti sauce recipe she had made with tomatoes we had begged her to take earlier.


It sounded like a great idea, never mind that the only one around here who eats spaghetti with tomato sauce is my daughter. I made the sauce using home-grown garlic and tomatoes. We also used fresh basil, sage, onions, salt, olive oil and a touch of cloves. When I began making this, I realized I had forgotten the tomato paste. My very cooperative husband ran over to the store to get the 4 cans of tomato paste we needed. (He did a lot of the chopping, too. Put a sharp knife in his hands and he is happy.)


Since I was in the middle of making this, I was more than ready to add the paste as soon as he brought it home. After I added it all, realization hit -- I had added LARGE cans of paste when I should have added SMALL cans! Darn -- now the mess had double the required amount. It tasted a bit bland. I added more sage, cloves, salt, etc.


After 4 hours of simmering, it looked like the right consistency. I felt obligated to eat spaghetti for breakfast. It was okay, if a bit bland. I should add more spices. H-m-m-m, maybe sprinkle some McCormick's Italian Seasoning over it all. I did add a lot of cheese on my breakfast version: Parmesan and grated whatever else was on hand.


I froze the rest of the sauce in 2-cup packets. We can give it away to family members eventually. I figure bland is better than too strong. Anyone can add seasonings to it and it has a fresh taste with all the tomatoes in it. (I'm glad I didn't plan a career as a chef, though.)


The really scary thing about this is that today, my husband wants me to boil a ham hock with purple hull peas he just harvested from our garden. He is very brave.



July 29, 2003 - Tuesday

Dental Appointment Photoblogged

The folks at Dr. Knight's dentist office are good sports, not to mention that Dr. Knight is a very good dentist. He let me blog my appointment. If you want to follow it, start at the link below and click Prev Image for the next photo. There are nine photos. The end is when it says "Thanks, Doc!" Remember, click Prev Image, not Next Image.


He got a chuckle when I told him that the photos were on the Internet before I had even left the office.


A Trip to the Dentist's Office



Homeless on the Greenway

For the past several days, a homeless man has moved onto the Greenway. He sleeps in a cemented lecture area within the greenway and keeps his stuff there. During the day he wanders around the Publix grocery store and probably makes use of the public bathroom at the park. I guess this was inevitable when we got a grocery store in the neighborhood, however I wonder about all those folks who don't have walking partners. Are they safe walking past his sleeping place? Technically the park is closed after sundown so he should not be sleeping there.



Extending the Greenway or Not?

This is an ongoing issue in our neighborhood. I was curious and promised folks that I would track down the truth last year. I called several people in Huntsville until I found someone who seemed to know for sure. She assured me that no greenway extension was planned. At one time, they wanted to extend the greenway from Mountain Gap to Weatherly, but there was too much local objection so they no longer planned an extension, she explained.


But then, every time we read articles in the newspaper, the city is always talking about its overall greenway plan, connecting to other greenways throughout the town. I was never sure how that was going to happen if they could not connect Mountain Gap with Weatherly. I figured it was just hype.


Now, an article was written in the Huntsville Times about the city wanting to grab land belonging to homeowners on the west side of Aldridge Creek between Mountain Gap and Weatherly to increase the clearance in order to widen the creek and possibly extend the greenway, after all. I am all for widening the creek (even though it has already been built up with a berm and better drainage in the same spot) and I have no objection to a greenway extension even though it would come near my own home, but it looks like the city might be stealing property from those homeowners to sneak in their greenway anyway. It doesn't seem fair to the people living there -- especially after being told no extension was planned. They have small backyards on that side. It would take a big chunk of them.



July 28, 2003 - Monday

Weblogs by Average Daily Traffic

Sonia over at MedicMom mentioned SiteMeter so I signed up for it. Now my site can rank lower than hers on their list of Weblogs by Average Daily Traffic. LOL!




Saw this on TechTV. This site will display a different copyable blog format every time the screen is refreshed. If anyone is looking to change their blog format, the simple offerings from this site might help. While I was not interested in changing formats, I found myself refreshing the screen just to see what comes up.





July 27, 2003 - Sunday

Depressing News of the Day

Just read this news article about how hopes have faded in finding a cancer cure. It seems impossible. Scientists say that they are now looking at ways to manage cancer, like managing diabetes, so life and comfort can be extended, instead of hoping for a cure.


A close friend of mine died of leukemia many years ago. People kept telling her that a cure was just around the corner and who knows what may happen to her. I supposed they just wanted to give her hope, but obviously we were nowhere near a cure then and we aren't now.


I guess this makes an even bigger case for preventive living where possible. (I say this as I eat a donut....)



July 26, 2003 - Saturday

Annual Cat Show

I like to go to the cat show every year. This is the first year I brought my camera. I was a little worried about whether folks would let me photograph their cats or not. Everyone I asked was very cooperative. I was so surprised and happy. Here are a few of the photos. My Webcam Photo Blog has more (by this time, the cat show photos may be on the next page or two). A couple of the photos were good enough to include in my 26 Things Scavenger Hunt. I had a great time. Cat people are nice (so are dog people).



Schmidt- More

After 3 days of feeding her, Schmidt and I are getting better acquainted because now, I understand her rules. As long as I do not pet her, I am a friend. She meowed at me today when I came over and even sniffed and licked my hand affectionately. As soon as I tried to touch her, I got warned off. She meowed several times while I washed out her bowl and opened a new can of food, then she followed me around a bit, then we played with a string.


It was good to come back to three affectionate cats, though I love Schmidt's house. I found myself petting my own cat a little extra when I got home.



July 25, 2003 - Friday

Lara Croft Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life Movie

We saw this movie today. I had seen the first one and liked it. This one stayed in character, had plenty of stunts, special effects, bad guys, monsters, etc. It was never boring, but I got a little tired of Lara. She has no emotions. She's like a robot. Her one expression is looking tough all the time - no crying. She laughed once.


Okay, that aside, the beginning was full of exciting action - don't count on much personality development but the plot and special effects move it along. Charlie's Angels characters had more personality. Lara had only one trait -- toughness.


I was a little disappointed with the ending, being very curious about a box in the movie but never finding out exactly what was in it. I also wanted romance. There was none to speak of. I want all of my favorite characters to live happily ever after with their soulmates. Ha! Ha!



She's Licensed - Yay!

We've been walking on pins and needles since last week when my daughter took her R.N. licensing test. She went through quite a process. She was fingerprinted 3 times, had to have 2 forms of I.D., had to lock her stuff up in a locker, was escorted to her terminal and could take a test that would range from 1 to 5 hours long. She went through about 2 & 1/2 hours of testing.


After all that, we had to wait a week to get the results. It was a tense week wondering if she could continue in her career or be forced to find a different job.


But she passed! When she came home from work last  night, my husband and I gave her a standing ovation as she walked in the door! Yay, double yay!! (and a big WHEW!!!!)



July 24, 2003 - Thursday

Schmidt the Cat

I have the honor of feeding Schmidt the Cat for the next few days and enjoy the opportunity to share a little of Schmidt's life. She is a pretty calico housecat with beautiful expressive green eyes. She does not like strangers too well and makes a good guard cat. When I opened the door, she was right there, growling and hissing. Schmidt followed me all the way to the kitchen but did not hiss when I set her breakfast down - so there are ways to win her over.


She also likes chasing a string as long as your hand does not get closer than 12 inches. I held her brush up and showed it to her, alas, it did not change her mind about my hand.


Her photos are on the Webcam site. She is a smart cat, setting herself up with 5 bird feeders to keep the view always interesting.



Alabama Facts

Now that I mentioned Utah, I got curious about my own state. Here's a fact sheet on Alabama. I found another page with "official" Alabama things. I didn't know that Alabama had an "official" state sea shell, soil, fish, horse, reptile, quilt, state rock (marble), state gem (star blue quartz) and even an official state nut (although I know of several folks who would fit that description) --> Official Alabama Things.



Utah Myths and Facts

Today is a state holiday in Utah. Stores are closed, city services are down and parades are going on there. While I have ancestors who settled in Alabama a LONG time ago, I have other ancestors that settled in Utah and Idaho.


My parents moved to Alabama when I was 3 and I have lived my entire life here except for 5 years in Utah. I am glad for my 5 years in Utah, getting to know relatives and going to college, but Alabama is home and will always be home and I don't want to live anywhere else. (That doesn't mean I would not like to travel - Atlanta, Orlando, Idaho, and Hawaii are places I like to visit -- just so I can come home to Alabama.)


This is an interesting article from their local newspaper with facts and myths about Utah. A few things surprised me. For instance, Salt Lake City has the highest computer geek ratio, Utah spends the least on school students than any other state, has the highest birthrate in the country, is the highest altitude state (even higher than Alaska) and yes, consumes more Jell-O than any other state -- and more.


Utah Myths and Facts

July 23, 2003 - Wednesday

Spy Among Us

A friend sent this cute picture.





Someone placed a live-looking rubber snake in the grass along the Aldridge Creek Greenway a few days ago. The problem is with my powers of observation. I never noticed it until someone else pointed the thing out. Actually, I'd like to get a photo of a real snake. I saw several garter snakes last year - but not one live snake this year. (Of course, I am just SO observant that I can't even notice a plain unmoving rubber snake that has been in one place for days).


K. told me about a 6 foot gray snake they photographed last year under the bridge at the edge of the water. He said he'd bring the photo and I could take a photo of the photo -ha ha. We really don't see snakes very often while out walking. I am sure there are some water snakes. Folks living nearby have seen copperheads in their yards. I saw a black racer out there years ago. He was staring at me while I was staring at him ... wished I'd had a camera handy.


It's getting to the point where I need a backpack instead of a purse so I will always be ready for those Kodak moments no matter where I go. I don't think I will ever be one of those folks who "packs light" for trips.


As for snakes, I have a healthy respect and no intention of getting my fingers bit off. I would use a camera with a BIG telephoto lens and stand a long distance away. I am not particulary afraid of snakes, though, having grown up with friends who kept them for pets. That and my husband watching a lot of "Steve Erwin, Crocodile Hunter."



July 22, 2003 - Tuesday

Dark and Rainy Day

"It was a dark and stormy morning." It still looks like night around here and it's just after 10:00 a.m. My site is down due to bandwidth problems. My cat is walking up and down the hall crying (when he is usually asleep at this time). The lights are flickering (so why am I not offline?). There's the usual river forming in our backyard when it rains this hard. I cancelled a trip across town.


The neighbor's basketball stand has tipped over into the street, but the way this lightning is going, it does not seem a good idea to go outside to fix it right now ("Hey folks, let's pick up this big metal rod!"). On the other hand, I'd hate for anyone to hit that stand. I wish I had that neighbor's phone number. Is this a worthwhile call to 911? I doubt it since they have much worse cases to handle. I've heard sirens from the neighboring street.


Oops -- since I started typing, I went out to look and it appears that someone else has pushed it to the side -- at least enough to drive by.



Bandwidth Problems - More

My site was down again this morning due to bandwidth problems. I hesitate to buy more bandwidth because I think this surge is just temporary. I took off one large avi file I had placed on another page. Running it a few times would eat the bandwidth, if that was the problem. I keep my graphics in a fairly condensed JPG format, usually.


I may put my 26 photo items on another site so it will stay up if this one goes down next month. <sigh>


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