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ARCHIVES: May 25-31, 2003


May 31, 2003 - Saturday

Contest Winners Printed in the Paper - All Except Me

There were 3 place winners and 3 honorable mentions from the Huntsville Botanical Garden contest. All of the photos were printed in today's Huntsville Times except mine - not even my name was listed. I am not sure why I was left out when the other two honorable mention pictures were printed. Perhaps it was because I could not attend the reception they held for the winners. My uncle just died and I hit my head very hard and was suffering from headaches. I just couldn't go to the reception although I had planned on it.


Oh well -- it's nothing new. When I was a kid in 5th grade, I won an encyclopedia set for the "Ask Andy" column printed in the paper. My family and I went down to the newspaper office to have our photos taken. When the paper came out, they printed a picture of Richard Nixon's daughter and her pet dog instead of mine.


That's one good thing about this blog. I can whine, complain and feel sorry for myself, then get over it. Besides, my uncle died of brain cancer and I merely had a headache. He was my dad's only sibling. I can't imagine what my aunt and cousins are going through right now.


Films Showing the Year You were Born

J.C. sent this one. Do you know what film was in the theater when you were born? Click on a year below to find out. (Around the World in 80 Days and The Ten Commandments here. I remember seeing both of those as a kid.)



Pumpkin Blossom and Garden Bugs

This morning, Richard pointed out a large orange pumpkin blossom. It was our first pumpkin blossom this season, so I grabbed the camera and ran outside right after breakfast. After that, I stepped over to the potato patch. Some potatoes were blooming white and some light purple. Richard said the white blossoms are Kennebec and the purple blossoms are red potatoes (Lasota). Here are the photos. Click to enlarge.



Green Rock or Not

I saw a smooth solid green rock along the greenway. C.L. took a close look at it and I said, "That's just a rock." He picked up the rock. It had legs! This looked nothing like the box turtle we found earlier. I would not let him toss this turtle. (What if he had hit a rock?) He was nice enough to walk carefully over to the creek and set the turtle down. Unlike the box turtle we found before, I think this is the kind of turtle that prefers to be in water - maybe a snapping turtle? The shell was oval, not round, and solid green.


Sugar Rose

R.L. makes beautiful cakes - so beautiful that it is almost a crime to eat them. Recently, she was was hired to make a cake with 100 roses to celebrate a 100th birthday. She brought a rose over to me. She works very hard to make the sugar roses realistic by studying flowers. I wanted to photograph it and she thought it would look good if she stuck it in our soil. Take a look. What do you think? (Click to enlarge photo.)


May 30, 2003 - Friday

Finding Nemo - Movie

My husband and I saw this movie today. We were the opposite of when we were watching Anger Management. I laughed a lot and he tolerated it this time. I confess - I like corny humor such as in Frank and Ernest (in the newspaper) and this movie had a bunch of it. The movie is getting good ratings, although it was not as cute as Monsters, Inc. Link: Finding Nemo


Only one scene bothered me. It opens on a very sad note (think Bambi). There is no constant bad guy in the movie - just concern about one. Every human in the movie was basically "the enemy." The fish played by Ellen DeGeneres was hilarious (the blue fish in this picture). The animators caught her facial expressions very well.


That was my favorite character, but the movie had many funny characters. The seagulls cracked me up - and it would be giving away a  surprise to tell you about the sharks!


The cartoon at the beginning of the movie was about a frustrated little snowman who never did find happiness - no "happily-ever-after" ending there (darn it).


SlimBrowser (Free)

My husband tried this and loved it and I have switched over to it, too. It's a program that sits on top of Internet Explorer to browse websites. It keeps nice tabs on top to mark places you've been to in that session, has a good, well-behaved popup blocker (it allows the right kind of popups), has a Google (or other sites) search box built-in and even has a slicker, better appearance with better icons.


FlashPeak SlimBrowser


Pokeweed Party & Vitamins in a Diet

It wasn't exactly a party, but we came upon 3 people holding armfuls of pokeweed and picking even more this morning. A fourth person was nodding approvingly (I had seen him collecting it last week). I guess the interest in this has grown. K. told me that it seemed like a good thing to eat since it was from nature. I didn't have the heart to tell her that a lot of things from nature are poisonous and have bad side effects. It amuses me that someone would think a "natural" medicine or herb could be better than an "artificial one." I think a lot of "natural cures" actually do more harm.


I know the value of eating a balanced diet and not relying just on vitamins, etc. There could be trace minerals in foods that our body needs which might not be supplied correctly in vitamins. Science is always discovering new doses and minerals of importance in health, but we manage to keep our pets alive with vitamin-fortified food so I think we have this science down pretty well.


It reminds me of a time a salesman came to our door selling "natural" vitamins. He said the "artificial" ones being sold on the market worked "backwards" in our bodies and explained that we should only take "natural" vitamins to make it work correctly .....  sorry .....  I am laughing too hard to continue with this ....


May 29, 2003 - Thursday


The local medical laboratory sent us a bill for routine tests that were done last week. They did not even bother to file with our health insurance company. I was surprised and when I called to ask them about it, they said, "Oh, the doctor did not forward that information to us." Instead of asking the doctor who ordered the tests, they just send us a bill. Sheesh.


Mowing the Greenway

The city mowed the greenway yesterday. They usually mow a 2-foot edge around it every week. This time they mowed a larger section. It looked very nice to me. The reaction out here is mixed. Some folks grumble about the wild flowers (those you can see mixed in with the weeds) being mowed down while others like the neat appearance and being able to see the creek better.


I found a box turtle with a scraped shell. C.K. picked him up and moved him across the trail away from the bikers. It looked like a lawn mower had passed over him, although no serious damage was done. Actually, C.L. picked him up and THREW him into the brush! I was mad that he had thrown the poor little guy, but it looked like he had a soft landing. I said, "From now on, I move the turtles, not you!" (He threw him towards the creek. I got a chuckle from that since all species of turtles do not prefer to be in the water.)


May 28, 2003 - Wednesday

Muddy & The Milk Ring

Muddy loves a milk ring -- but only if it is fresh and still smells like milk. I had forgotton how much he enjoys the rings as I opened a new carton of milk this morning. I threw the ring in the trash.


Muddy ran into the kitchen and looked at me as if waiting for something. I realized what he wanted -- he heard the sound of the milk ring being removed and was expecting me to toss it to him - so I fished it out of the trash and gave it to him


He carried it around in his mouth and batted it across the slick kitchen floor. I was eating my bowl of cereal when he brought the ring to me. (This involves climbing the back of a padded chair, jumping onto the table and sitting down in front of my bowl - impossible to ignore.) I took the ring and threw it on the floor - exactly what he wanted me to do. Muddy leaped off the table, landing on the floor in such a way to keep his momentum and glided across to the milk ring. He picked up the ring, climbed our chairs back up to the table and brought it back for me to toss again. He did this seveal times - such a cutie! I love him. We all do.


Aldridge Creek Greenway-Busy Today

It was 50 degrees when I woke up - perfect for walking. The greenway was mentioned in the Huntsville Times last night with a picture of the mayor walking there. All of that combined to bring out more people today. This is a very popular place.


The city talked about their overall goal in creating connecting greenways throughout the city. I don't think they will get a completely connected system, but I like the idea of more walking paths. Rumors fly that our own greenway may be extended from Mountain Gap Road to Weatherly Road. Last year, I contacted the city to ask about it. They said it was unlikely due to residential protests. Also, if you take a good look, there is no space. We have a new berm and buildings almost border the creek near the Weatherly end -- there's just no room for a paved trail on the eastern side, at least.


Who cares? There's plenty of walking space on the completed side. It runs from Mountain Gap Road down through Ditto Landing along the Tennessee River. It's a beautiful trail - even if Aldridge Creek is also a drainage ditch.


The creek harbors all kinds of  wildlife - beaver, muskrats, heron of several varieties, geese, ducks, kingfishers, hawks, bank swallows and many other birds. In the creek, you can see fish, turtles, a harmless snake now and then, and listen to the bullfrogs. Rabbits are always crossing the trail as well as skunks and opossums.


Wildflowers flourish, too. I see primroses, wild pink roses, deep purple thistle, sweet-smelling honeysuckle, blackberries, violets, clover, daisies, Queen Anne's lace (which is abundant right now) and more.


Much of the greenway is shaded and benches are posted throughout. There's a covered area and playground where visitors can park on the Mountain Gap side as well as in Ditto Landing or at Challenger School or McGucken park (all points to enter the greenway). The people out here are very friendly. We are even more friendly if you keep your dog on a leash and bring a bag to clean up any droppings made along the way.


If I live a very long life, I will credit it to my daily walks here. Once in a while, I bring my camera (recent Greenway Photos) or (Aldridge Creek Greenway). It's much more than just a drainage ditch.


May 27, 2003 - Tuesday

Changed the Mouse Pointers

This is fun! I am using the "bubblegum" theme. These free cursors work with Windows 2000 and XP. I didn't like the cursors in the Plus pack, but I like these:


Cursor XP 1.3 (From c|net)


Movie: Anger Management

My husband wanted to see this movie yesterday and I wanted an excuse to eat hot buttered popcorn so we saw Anger Management with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. My husband laughed a lot. Jack Nicholson was perfect for the role, he said.


I felt bad for Adam Sandler's character. He suffered too much. The ending did not justify all that misery. I ended up hating his girfriend - and there was not one good-looking man in the whole movie. In fact, most of the men were gaggingly repulsive. Jack Nicholson is so ugly that he's hard to watch on the big screen. I did like the previews, popcorn and the company, though.


May 26, 2003 - Monday

Memorial Day

All but two of my six siblings, my parents and various children and grandchildren met for Sunday dinner yesterday. One sister and her husband had driven in from 6 hours away in southeast Georgia. As I was walking up to my sister's door, a tree started talking to me. "Hello Aunt Terry! I am just hanging around in this tree" it said. I looked closely and saw the tree shake a little girl out of its branches and onto the ground. Trees are funny like that.


Mom made a fruit salad consisting of mostly watermelon balls with some honeydew melon and cantalope. She went outside and picked fresh mint leaves to put in it along with Splenda to sweeten and then poured a little Hawaiian Punch over it all. (Mom is always coming up with unusual food concoctions. We never know what to expect.)


I made a devil's food chocolate cake with a very soft chocolate cream cheese frosting per my husband's request. It's a classic dessert in our family.


After dinner, we compared PDAs, talked about computers, our jobs, life in general and, well, pretty much solved all of the world's problems while watching the cousins play. Life is good.


Muddy's New Toy

Last night my cat, Muddy, ran by our bed, batting a tiny little ball. When Muddy stopped for a second, the ball sprouted legs and tried to crawl off. Muddy would give the pill bug a whack and back into a ball it went. He eventually rolled it out of the room and down the hall. I love watching a cat amuse himself -- I did not feel sorry for the bug. He looked unhurt -- but I do wonder what happened to him. I've been walking around carefully this morning.


Battling the Potato Bugs

This morning, my husband is continuing his crusade against potato bugs. He half-filled a large cup with some kind of ammonia solution and went out to the potato patch in our backyard to personally pick off each potato bug or larvae to drown in the stuff. (He's out there right now. He's the one with a satisified grin on his face.) He says he tried using a bleach solution but it did not kill the bugs as quickly as ammonia did -- that's my chemical engineer for you. He likes the ladybugs and doesn't want to hurt them or other "good" bugs with pesticide unless it becomes absolutely necessary, so he's now making it a serious, "kill-each-bad-bug-personally" kind of war. I think he's winning. The potato patch looks mighty fine. Here's a picture that I took a few minutes ago of a potato blossom and a sugar snap pea pod. These are so sweet -- and the whole pod can be eaten.


Click to enlarge.



May 25, 2003 - Sunday

My Bulletin Board

If Seadoc was brave enough to show off his computer collection yesterday, I can at least show you my bulletin board. (I have not yet gathered the courage to photograph the entire desk much less put up a webcam.)


And, as always, "click to enlarge" (and to see explanations/excuses).



AOL 8 Plus--Feature or Just Silly?

I just noticed -- the default background for AOL 8 Plus is a scene with clouds, mountains and birds which I knew, but the scene changes with the time of day. The birds move along and the sky changes colors according to when you log online. Evenings are very pretty. Noon is kind of bright and bland. I turned off my PowerTools background just to see the changes. I wonder what midnight looks like. Heck, now I know I am going to get up in the middle of the night just to log on and see.


Cherokee, Virginia or Carolina Roses?

Wild pink roses are blooming along the greenway. When I first saw them years ago, I researched online and decided they must be Virginia Roses. Then R. T. said they were Cherokee Roses. Now, A. L. says they are Carolina Roses. This morning, she even brought a photocopy of the picture from her wildflower book. She must be right -- they look just like her picture. Here's a photo I took of them. Everything is so green that any colorful plant stands out.


Click to enlarge.



A. J. said some of the roses found growing in the wild were leftover from old homesteads. The roses flourish long after the homestead is gone.


Digging Up Old Outhouses and Marking Graves

That reminds me of a recent chat I had with C.B. He says friends used to find old outhouse locations and dig for treasures there. (Kind of makes you wonder what his definition of "treasure" might be.)


He said after 20+ years, everything decomposes and none of the "bad" stuff remains. People used to throw any kind of trash in the outhouse - bottles, belt clips, etc. Things fell out of pockets, too, I imagine - coins, jewelry, etc, and nobody wanted to even try to retrieve some of that stuff.


He also said they find old graveyards. No, they weren't digging up anyone - just trying to mark the graves in an old family cemetery. They employ the same method as used to find out outhouses - poke a long pole into the ground and see if it hits anything. If it hits a box, you can ascertain if its a coffin. If it hits an empty space, then you know it is a decomposed body buried without a coffin (or an outhouse if looking elsewhere). At least, you could make note of it and mark it as a grave so you would not accidentally bury anyone else there (which was the plan). Of course, if you had money, you could hire someone with sonar and have it all done easily, but who has money?


Parenthood is Never Over

I found out that parenthood is never over. My new graduate who has only a little credit to her record needed me to cosign a loan. I am glad to help her, but my eyes have been opened. We are legally bound together again. Parenthood is endless. Maybe that's a good thing.

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