Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Yesterday's Post

Or, rather what would have been posted yesterday had it not been for the news of my cousin's untimely death.

Man, I should have stuck it out and finished the game! Dallas vs. Carolina, that is. It was 21-14 Dallas with 5 minutes left to play when I went to bed. A few minutes later, I hear Cody tapping at my door. "Mom, Dallas won 35-14." They scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes of the game, one of them on a pass interception. And I missed it!

Cody got kind of mad at me this morning. I always tell him when he gets in the shower, "get in, wash, and get out," but he never does. He stays in there until I yell at him to get out. I told him one day last week that I was going to just leave him in there and see how long it took him to get out. I might even leave for work with him in the the shower. Today, I did just that. He got himself out just before I left for work. He was fussing at me for not telling him it was time to get out, using the excuse, "I don't have a clock in the bathroom!" I told him he didn't need a clock. If he just got in, washed, and got out, it wouldn't take that long.

The washing machine repairman didn't show up again today. I'm going to have to call them back and see what's up.

That was about all I had planned to post. Just for the record, Cody got out of the shower much quicker this morning.

Now on to today's news. It is Halloween, but we don't do much for Halloween around here. Cody is adamant that we not celebrate it. He says, "It is a holiday born of pagan devil worship." Well, we don't do things that glorify death, like ghouls, zombies, and morbid things like that, but I still like having pumpkins, kitties, and things like that around. We didn't carve a pumpkin this year, but I still put out my fake, light up pumpkin:

And we watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. One is never too old for those great holiday classics.

In Cody's social studies class, they were discussing the origins of Halloween, and they began discussing some more modern customs and such, and things that are good and bad. The teacher said that a kid knocks on the door and you give him candy, that is good. But if you spray him in the face with shaving cream, that's not good. Then he told them that Colgate shaving cream is best for that because it shoots farther. The students protested, saying, "You just told us that was wrong."

Mr. Mat replied, "Well, if I'm going to teach you, I'm going to teach you how to do it right!"

No wonder the kids all love him.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm In Shock

B just called me and told me that my oldest first cousin, Tommy Gene Tomkins died this morning.

He'd been having trouble with his liver, and was in the hospital for tests. His sister Marsha stayed with him last night, and about 3:00AM she called their other sister Kathy and told her he was really going downhill fast. They got my aunt, then called in the rest of the family. He was awake and alert and lucid up until the end. About 9 something this morning all his systems suddenly shut down and he died.

It happened so fast, we are all still in shock. I called my older brother and we both were going umm, err, and oh my goodness. It's one of those things we just don't want to believe. I hadn't seen him in years, but I'll still miss him. I hadn't seen him in years, but I knew he was out there somewhere. I'll miss him tremendously because I'll know he's not there any more.

He was several years older than me, but he was still my generation. He was the first.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's One of Those Days

when I just can't think of anything to blog about. Cody says I should blog about the game, so ok:

We are watching Dallas vs. Carolina. The score is 14-10 Carolina in the 4th quarter. I doubt I make it to the end of the game. I'm ready for bed now. I haven't watched football in a long time, but this year, I'm getting back into it. I don't really know why. Even if I'm not sitting and watching the game, I like hearing the sounds in the background. It really makes it seem like fall around here now.

He said to blog about the new house. Ok, so we moved the sofa and two end tables into the new house this afternoon. Cody is glad that he doesn't have to sit on the floor. I eventually want to get the sofa reupholstered, but right now I can't afford it.

My brand new washing machine no longer works. I put in for a service call, since it is still very much under warranty. The guy was supposed to come out Saturday and fix it, but never showed up. My guess is he'll show up tomorrow and be upset when no one is here. I'm not going to take a whole day off work--and miss a whole day's pay--when I'm not even sure if he's coming. I offered to let Cody stay home from school, but he doesn't want to ruin his perfect attendance. So I left a house key with B and a note on the door telling the guy, if he shows up, to go next door to be let in.

Cody also said to blog about the dog. I don't know what to tell you about her. Except that she has this habit of sleeping with one paw over her eyes. She's done that since she was a puppy. It really is quite cute.

Five of my seven snakes are sheddy, only Onyx shed today. That makes four that are still due to shed soon.

Dallas just scored, and now leads Carolina 21-14 with 9 something left in the 4th quarter. Still, it's not the Cowboys of Roger Staubach and Tom Landry...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Teeth and Sky

Ok, I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, "If that tooth is bothering her so much, why doesn't she just get it fixed?" Well, I intend to. Unfortunately, the earliest my dentist can get me in without me having to take time off work is November 8. I am counting down the days, I can assure you of that. In the meantime, I'm trying whatever I can to make this bearable until then.

I finished another Lonesome Skein project. It's the hat on the left. The other one I'd posted before, but since I added pom-poms to both, I thought I'd take a picture of both. I'm still working on the lacy scarf, but sometimes I just need something mindless to knit.

I've heard through the grapevine that the people who were looking at my old house have decided not to get it after all. Nice of them to let me know, don't ya think?

And finally,


Friday, October 27, 2006

Three Things I Learned Today

1. I think I might be mildly allergic to aspirin. I took some this morning for my toothache pain and experienced the same symptoms I have when I eat eggs or get stung by red wasps. They weren't as intense, but enough to keep me from taking aspirin again.

2. The reason the Orajel hadn't been working on my toothache is because the break which exposes the nerve is below my gum line. If I put some Orajel on my toothbrush and scrub it down in there really well, it does work--as well as Orajel can work, that is.

3. I may be allergic to, of all things, dental wax. You know, I'd heard that you can be allergic to anything, but there are some things you just don't think about having allergies to. I'd read on a website that you can put dental wax on the sharp edge of a broken tooth to keep it from rubbing your tongue raw. I decided to try it. About the third time I put it on my tooth, within oh, say 30 minutes, my tongue, gums, and cheek next to my broken tooth were absolutely on fire. Not to mention I just felt sick, weak, and I was wondering how I was going to last through the day. I pulled the dental wax off my tooth, and immediately began feeling better. It took a while for the soreness in my cheek and tongue to go away, but the weakness and wooziness passed almost immediately. Of all things...

Well, that brings my list of strongly suspected allergies to:

  1. eggs
  2. oranges
  3. red wasps
  4. honeybees
  5. aspirin
  6. dental wax

Fortunately, I'm not (so far) anaphylactic to any of them. But with allergies, you never know.

I'm going to take a Benadryl tonight before going to bed to try to clean any residual effects out of my system. And I'm going to throw the dental wax in the garbage.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meet Tom

Tom is currently the oldest member of our dojo. He started training about 2 years ago at the age of 53. It was his son Nathan's idea, really. Nathan was 25, and wanted to do karate. He talked Tom into starting as well, as a father-son bonding sort of thing. After the first two months, Nate's attendance became sporadic, only showing up about once a month. Tom eventually quit paying for Nathan, telling sensei "I'll just pay if he shows up." Nathan finally moved out of town and quit for good. He never made it past yellow belt.

I figured Tom would quit when Nathan quit coming, but he didn't. He still shows up faithfully and is now a purple belt--yon kyu. Tom is not the most co-ordinated student, nor the most flexible, but he works very hard at what he does. He has really improved over the last two years.

Tom is a professional musician who plays the saxophone. One day he brought his sax to class, and played a bit for us--at my request. I was learning Chinto at the time, and got a good workout to his music. Tom also rides a motorcycle. Not a Harley, but he looks like a bad daddy driving up on it anyway. Tom is very laid back in everything he does. He has the most unique accent. He talks real slow, even for here in the South, with an inflection that is absolutely impossible to describe. I'd never heard anyone else that talks quite like Tom.

He came to my black belt test, and brought his wife with him. He introduced me to her, and when she opened her mouth and spoke to me, I nearly fell on the floor. She talks just like Tom. No wonder they got married. They were made for each other.

Tom is cool.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Band Night

This is the 6th grade beginner band doing their scale patterns. Cody said it's not fair because they got a whole month to practice before band night. When he was in 6th grade, they only got 9 days. That is the high school drum line helping them out.

Again, I apologize for the shakiness. It was rather chilly out there that night.

Lesson for the day: When you have a broken molar, never spend the entire day with your jaw clenched no matter how mad you are at your son for making 4 C's on his report card.

One more thing before I go: As my old Dad would say, only 2 more months until Christmas.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Band Night

Last night was band night at the school. All the bands performed, from the 6th grade beginner band, through the high school band. I've uploaded a video of Cody's 7th grade band performing a song called Wully Bully. Sorry about the quality. I didn't realize that with that particular camera, you can't zoom after you've started recording.

Cody plays a souzaphone.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wierd Dreams

All this snake talk I guess.

I had a really weird dream the other night. I dreamed about Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter.

Actually, the dream started out with Terri, Bindi, and Bob and I in what was supposed to be my house. It wasn't, but you know how dreams are. Terri was holding Bob, and I was fixing Bindi's hair. I was making her "glamorous like a movie star." Which is really weird because I haven't the faintest idea how to fix hair. I don't even hardly do mine. In the dream, she had just gotten a puppy, and the puppy had died. I was trying to make her feel better by doing girl stuff with her. Which is really weird as well, because anyone who knows me knows I am not a girly girl. I'm about as tomboy as they come. Bindi doesn't strike me as being really girly either. Thus in the dream, I pretty much made her hair look like a rat's nest. But since she has straight hair, it just fell out.

I remember thinking, "poor kid, to lose her dog and her daddy so close together."

About the time I finished my thought, in walked Steve-o, alive and well, and larger than life. Ok, probably life sized but he seemed pretty big to me. He wanted to see my snakes, and he took my hand (and Terri let me live) and led me out onto my screened in porch (which I only wish I had) where my snakes were kept. He wanted to see Onyx, only Onnie was a hatchling again and was in the same tank with Monty, who was also a hatchling--a definite no-no. Terri, with Bob in her lap and Bindi beside her, sat in my rocking chair and listened to Steve and I talking about the snakes.

I woke up then, and when I went back to sleep, I dreamed that Cody and I were going to a football game. We got into the gate and Cody had a cooler of ice on a dolly that he was pulling along. I don't know why because it was freezing out there. When we got inside the stadium, he decided to take the cooler back out to the car because it would be too hard to get the dolly up and down the steps of the stadium, so I sat down beside Clint Kinard (a neighbor) to wait for him. He came back in a few minutes with the empty dolly. We sat down with the empty dolly beside us and our cups of icy cold Dr. Pepper and waited for the game to start. About that time, I woke up for good.

I haven't had anything to drink.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Snake Keeping 101

In response to Perpetual Beginner's request, I am providing some basic information on keeping snakes. This is directed toward the novice snake keeper in general, not specifically to you Cindy, so when I talk about being responsible, don't take it personally.

In recent years, keeping exotic animals, such as snakes, as pets has become more and more common. What was once considered an oddity is now becoming mainstream. Unfortunately for the snake, however, many people buy them on impulse and don't have a clue as to how to take care of one. Taking on a snake as a pet is no different from taking a dog, cat, or horse for a pet. It is a responsibility that will last the life of the snake. They are not "throwaway" pets that you can just flush or release when you get tired of them. They are living creatures with needs, and deserve the best care you can give them. Remember, if you are a parent of a young child who wants a snake as a pet, you will be ultimately responsible for the care of that animal.

The first thing I would suggest anyone considering a snake as a pet do is to research your state and local laws to find out what kinds of snakes, if any, are legal to keep as pets. This includes determining if the snake you are considering is a protected species. There is nothing quite so heart wrenching than to find out your chosen species is illegal to keep in your area. Unless, of course, it is having Animal Control show up at your door and fine you thousands of dollars and confiscate your pet. Your state Fish and Wildlife department or the reference desk at your local library should be able to help you determine the laws applicable to snake keeping in your area.

The next step is to begin researching which species of snake are available in the pet trade. There are hundreds of them, some more suitable as pets than others. There are two types of snakes available for purchase that are not suitable for the novice herper (slang for snake keeper) under any circumstances, no way, no how, never never never. These are venomous snakes, for obvious reasons, and the large constrictor types--reticulated pythons, Burmese pythons and the like--for reasons that are equally obvious. They can kill you. They will kill you if given half a chance. Once you get a bit of experience, there are some mid range boids (pythons and boas) that are very beautiful and fairly easy to keep, such as the Red Tail Boa and the Brazilian Rainbow Boa.

There are others that are unsuitable for beginners for other reasons. Some are difficult to keep in captivity. Some have very particular husbandry requirements. Some don't eat. Some are aggressive. Some are very aggressive. Still others are so shy that you will never see them, and you certainly can't hold them.

On the other hand, there are many snakes available that are suitable for beginners. Research the different species available and determine which is right for you. Some questions you need to ask your self are:

  • 1. How big does this snake get?
  • 2. Will it be a danger to my family in any way, including the other pets we have?
  • 3. What is the general personality of this snake? Is it calm, and will it tolerate handling?
  • 4. What size enclosure does it need, and can I provide a secure enclosure of that size?
  • 5. What are it's heating requirements, and how will I provide for those needs?
  • 6. What are it's humidity requirements, and can I provide that level of humidity?
  • 7. What does it eat? How often does it need to eat? Do I have a reliable source of food?

How does one find the answers to these questions? Researching on the Internet is a good option, however one does need to be careful when doing this. Anyone, literally anyone, can post a care sheet or web page with snake care information on it, whether he knows what he is talking about or not. As a novice, you won't know what information is accurate and what is not. How does one determine which information is correct? A lot of times this can be done simply by using common sense. If something sounds wrong, or feels wrong, chances are it is wrong. Secondly, buy a good pet care book about your chosen species. These books are usually written by well known and experienced snake breeders and are more likely to be accurate than something found on the Internet. Finally, join an online herp community. I recommend Cornsnakes.com. Even if your chosen species is not a corn snake, they have a General Chit Chat forum in which you can post questions about other species of snake. Another recommended site is FaunaClassifieds.com. I don't usually visit this one, but it has been recommended, and has forums for all species.

A couple of forum etiquette tips:

Do some research first. Don't post things similar to this: "I'm thinking about buying a corn snake. Tell me everything I need to know." This does not set well with established snake keepers. They will assume that if you can't put any effort into researching the proper care of your snake, you are not likely to actually perform the proper care of your snake. It is OK, and even encouraged to post something like this: "I'm thinking of buying a corn snake. I've researched and found out A, B, and C. Please verify if this is correct." This will show them that proper snake husbandry is important to you, and you will be respected on the site.

Do search the forums and read old posts prior to posting your question. It may be a common one that has been asked many times before. If you search, and still don't find the answers you seek, don't hesitate to post.

Do use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This will make you appear more intelligent and less arrogant. It will also make your questions more comprehensible and therefore more likely to receive an intelligent answer.

Try to post your questions in the correct sub forum. Posting a long list of questions in the introduction forums , or posting a question about feeding your snake in the feeders sub-forum may not get you any answers.

Once you've determined which species of snake you want to purchase, the next step is to do a more thorough researching of its husbandry requirements and begin purchasing the supplies needed to properly care for it. You will need to get your setup up and running for a few days before buying your snake. That way you can iron out any bugs you come across before placing the snake in that environment.

Each species may have its own particular husbandry requirements, but all snakes need a few basic things:

1. An appropriately sized herpetarium, usually called a "viv" for short. Right now, you are probably wondering how I got viv out of herpetarium. It is actually short for vivarium, a commonly used term meaning "snake tank". Many things can be used to house snakes. Old aquariums work well, and screen tops and clips can be bought an most local pet stores. Vivs can be homemade from wood and Plexiglas. Or specially made tanks can be purchased. Some people even keep snakes in large Rubbermaid boxes. The only drawback to that is that as most of them tend to be opaque, and you can't see the snake as well. My preferred snake tank is a Critter Cage, made by All-Glass Aquariums. They have a sliding screen top with a place for a lock built in. A lock is a must where small children are involved. I've heard many a horror story about a small child getting into a snake tank without permission and allowing the snake to escape into the house. How big a tank do you need? The recommended size is one that is no less than 2/3 the length of an adult snake of that species.

2. Substrate--that is, something to put on the bottom of the tank. There are many types available out there, some better than others. Substrate can be a simple as newspaper or paper towels, or as fancy as specially made astroturf or cage carpet. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the latter two. They are difficult to keep clean and must be disinfected thoroughly each time the snake relieves itself, so a minimum of two pieces are necessary. Some substrates hold humidity better than others, so if you have a snake with a high humidity requirement, you will want to chose one of these, such as Eco-Earth. For most snakes, shredded aspen is the preferred substrate. It is safe, relatively inexpensive, and easy to spot clean. Substrates that should never be used include cedar shavings (toxic), pine shavings (possible respiratory irritant), and sand (unless you have specifically chosen a desert dwelling species adapted to live on sand).

3. A heat source--Snakes are cold blooded, which means they do not regulate their own body temperature. Therefore they need an external source of heating. Proper heating is essential for a snake to digest its food. Either too cool or too hot and the snake will be unable to digest and will regurgitate its food. This is a bad thing. On the flip side, the snake also needs a place to cool off. The recommended heat source is an under tank heater placed under one end of the tank. The size you get depends on how big your tank is. The heater should cover approximately 1/3 of the tank. Heat lamps can be made to work, but are not recommended. They tend to dry out the air, causing shedding problems, and aren't very efficient. Most pet stores will try to sell you an UV light, but snakes do not UV supplementation. Snakes don't need any sort of specialized lighting at all, and will do fine in the ambient room light. A fluorescent aquarium lamp may be used to see the snake better, but is not necessary. Another thing to be avoided are heat rocks and heat caves and the like. More snakes get burned by these than anything else. Which brings me to my next point:

4. An accurate thermometer and a regulatory device for your heating element are absolutely essential. Even the heating products made specifically for reptiles will get too hot if left unregulated. A plug in lamp dimmer works well for controlling the heat output. But to know how much you need to control it, you will need an accurate thermometer. Don't use the kind that stick to the side of your tank. They do not give an accurate reading of the temps where you need it. It is not necessary to know the temperature of the air half way up the side of the tank. You need to know the temperature of the glass directly above the UTH. This is the hottest spot your snake will come into contact with, and is what needs to be controlled. I recommend a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with a probe. Place the probe directly on the glass above the UTH and under the substrate. Don't stick it down. Sure the snake will move it, but just move it back. Both the lamp dimmer and thermometer can be found at most Wal-mart or general hardware type stores.

5. Food: Most snakes eat mice or rats. However, you will need to find out what your specific species does eat, and if it isn't mice, can you find a steady supply of this type of food? Mice are easily obtained at most pet stores, though they are very expensive there. Frozen mice can be bought online at several places. I recommend either The Mouse Factory or Big Cheese Rodents. Yes, you will pay shipping charges, but even with those added in, it will still be cheaper than what you can buy at the local pet store. Since the mice are vacuum sealed, you can buy up to a years worth at once and make your shipping costs stretch. But what size do you need? The general rule is that the food item should be between 1 and 1.5 times the width of the widest part of the snake. Baby snakes eat baby mice, and as the snakes grow, so does the size of the mice it eats. And how often do you feed? Baby snakes should be fed one mouse every 5-6 days, and older snakes can be fed one mouse every 7-10 days. Snakes will also need a sturdy water dish that they cannot tip over, filled with fresh water.

6. Hides and Decorations: Finally, you will need a couple of hiding spots for your snake to be safe and secure. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. From empty toilet tissue roll, perfect for hatchlings, to fancy resin cave like structures, the possibilities are endless. They will need a minimum of two, one on the warm side and one on the cool side, but especially for hatchlings, more is better. Fake vines and plants also give the snake more places to hide and provide as aesthetically pleasing effect for the snake owner. You will need at least one ornament with sort of a rough texture to aid your snake in shedding. Young snakes will shed about once a month, and older snakes about 3-4 times a year. It will need a hard, slightly rough item to get its shed started.

Now that you've got your snake's home all set up and ready, it is time to begin looking for that special snake. Search on the Internet and you will find literally hundreds of snake breeders out there who are willing to sell you a snake. Unfortunately, not all of them are honest. There are those who would take your money and not send you a snake, or send you a sickly or dead animal. But how do you know who to trust, then? Check the Board of Inquiry. You must be a registered member of that forum to post, but you can read messages without having to register. Read old messages, or do a search, to find out what people have to say about the breeder you have selected. Also check out the Good Guy Certification forum.

Another choice is to visit a herp show or reptile expo if there is one in your area. Find out if there is a local herp society in your area and begin attending the meetings. Many of them will sell you a hatchling, or will direct you to a reputable breeder.

While there are many options available to the person wishing to purchase a snake as a pet, however, one I do not recommend for the novice herper is buying from your local chain type pet store. Pet store employees are usually not as knowledgeable as they may seem. They are notorious for giving out bad pet care information. Even those who have experience and knowledge about snake-keeping are required to give out whatever information the corporate office tells them to. Remember, a pet store's main purpose is to make money. They don't usually care about you or the welfare of the pet you have just purchased from them. Often the animals they sell are unhealthy and kept in unsuitable conditions. Now, there are some good pet stores out there, with knowledgeable employees and healthy animals, but as a beginner, you will not know what is good information and what is bad. Nor will you be able to determine if an animal is healthy. Since snakes don't usually have symptoms until a disease is well advanced, you may not be able to spot the sickly ones.

Whatever you do, do not buy a sickly snake thinking you can nurse it back to health. You don't have the experience with snakes to do this, for one, and you will simply be supporting the bad husbandry practices of whoever you bought the snake from.

Finally, a couple of important things to remember. When you first bring your snake home, it is going to be scared and uncertain. Leave it completely alone for about a week to get used to its new environment. Then you can begin holding it for about 10 minutes a day. Yes, it will try to get away from you and may even rattle its tail and strike at you, but this is normal. It doesn't know that you aren't going to hurt it. With patient and consistent handling, most snakes will tame down very quickly.

After feeding the snake, it is important not to play with it for at least 48 hours. Handling it too soon can cause the snake to regurgitate its meal. This is a bad thing and we don't want it. If you use something other than paper towel, newspaper, or cage carpet, it is recommended that you feed the snake in a separate small container to prevent it from swallowing substrate with its meal. Once the snake has eaten, gently pick it up and return it to its home. Then leave it alone for two days to digest. They will likely go into hiding and not move very much during this time. This is also normal.

When the snake is getting ready to shed, it will often hide itself away. Its skin will turn milky, and its eyes will go a cloudy blue. This is normal. After a few days, the milkiness will clear up, then a few days after that, the snake will shed. The shed should come off all in one piece. If it doesn't, next time you notice your snake getting ready to shed, increase the humidity by misting the viv with water a couple of times a day. Also, some snakes will sneeze, click, pop, or whistle when getting ready to shed. This is normal, and nothing to worry about unless the noise continues after the snake has shed.

And last, while there are many species of snake available as pets, the one most often recommended for beginners is the corn snake. They are available in a wide variety of colors, and are very forgiving of a beginning keeper's mistakes. They are also relatively inexpensive, and easily obtainable within the hobby.

Good luck and happy herping!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Sky

And my first Lonesome Skein KAL project. I've started another one just like it with the remaining yarn. I'm still working on the scarf I started, but I wanted to have something to post to the group before the project ends.

I had a rather productive day today. I managed to box up 4 boxes of yard sale stuff, and also move some more stuff to the new house. I've got nearly everything I want to keep moved over, but I've begun to just stuff it into corners and odd places until I can get more cabinets and stuff. I said I wasn't going to do that, but I'm ready to be done with it.

Those people came back to look at the house again. They let me know when they got there, but left without saying anything. I don't know what they thought or what. Still, I got the master bedroom and bathroom cleaned out--but not cleaned up. I'll have to tote some soap and water over and clean really well. I'll also need to string some extension cords over to vacuum.

Thursday night after class, sensei called one of the students over and said, "I need to apologize to you." The student asked what he needed to apologize for, and sensei responded, "For that drubbing Ole Miss is going to get this weekend!" And sure enough, Arkansas ran over them 38-3. Then we watched Notre Dame pull out a squeaker against UCLA. Cody asked me why I was watching so much football, and I replied that it was just a football kind of day. I'd forgotten how much I missed watching it.

Finally, in case you didn't know:


Friday, October 20, 2006

Cody's Room

We are almost finished with Cody's room. Well, except for decorating and stuff. I'm not very good at that, and right now it isn't a priority anyway. But for the most part, it's done.
Here are a few pictures:

His bed, with the headboard he put together himself. He's quite proud of that. Note the small white cabinet beside it. It is actually a toy stove that my grandfather made for me when I was about 3 or 4.

His computer and bookcase. Most of the books in here are actually mine. Until I can get myself some bookcases, this is where they'll reside. That is his snake tank on top. We are going to move Monty into the snake room for the winter months so I can better keep him warm. I got a small oil filled heater to put in there so the temps don't drop too much at night.

Cody's reading spot. He came up with this idea himself. I want to put a small pedestal table or side table beside the chair, and find a better place to store the bow. Notice all the karate trophies on the bookshelf. And note that about two of those shelves of books are mine as well. I really need some bookshelves!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm a bit irked at my dentist right now. Last week, as you may remember, I went for my semi annual cleaning and checkup. He found two cavities, and wants to fill them before doing anything about my wisdom tooth. I'm sure he has his reasons--he's the one who went to dental school after all--but it's the wisdom tooth that hurts! Those teensy little cavities don't hurt a bit. The wisdom tooth is moving again. It feels like it has gotten kind of under the molar next to is and is slowly pushing the molar out of my gum. It has already sheared off one side of the tooth, and it feels like some more is breaking off.

Saturday when we went to the zoo, we got some Dippin Dots ice cream. One little dot got onto the broken section of my tooth, and let me tell you, I came off that bench I was sitting on. Yeah, my dentist is not exactly my favorite person right now.

When that happened, we were watching the elephant trainers show off some of the elephant's tricks. As the trainer explained, the elephants are not forced to do any of these tricks. They can walk away at any time and the trainers let them. The things they teach the elephants to do are mainly so they can check them and monitor their health. It was still interesting to watch.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Got A Bite

on my old house. B called me out of the blue this afternoon and asked me how much I was wanting for my old house. She said her friend C knew some people who might want it. I told her, and said they were welcome to come look it at, just excuse the mess. I was thinking I would have a couple of days to get things a little more straightened up, but B said, "Let me call C back." Then I left to take Cody to his hair cutting appointment, and B called me at the beauty shop (don't tell Cody I take him to a beauty shop; he thinks it's a hair center) and said, "They want to come look at it now." Totally freaked me out because it is still a mess.

We drove home and I threw a bunch of stuff in to the back of my truck and moved it over to the new house, but it was still a mess when they got here. I apologized to them for that, and told them they'd caught me off guard, but they didn't seem to mind the mess. The young lady who will be living in the house seemed really excited about it, even seeing all the work that will need to be done to it. The mom seemed less sure. She perked up a bit when I dropped the price a few hundred dollars. But my initial asking price was inflated by those few hundred dollars...

They are going to bring the dad/husband out tomorrow to look at it. I hope they take it, even though that means I'll be scrambling to get my old junk out of it.

I actually enjoyed karate class last night. After we bowed in, I went to the back of the dojo and started working out with the class. Well, doing what they were doing. First we did basics, then slow motion kata up through Wansu. After that, we did some sparring drills. James and I were working together, when he punched me right in the chest. He wouldn't do anything else after that, so I did the rest of my empty hand kata in slow motion. I guess he felt pretty bad about hitting me. It was a pretty good thump. He kept saying he didn't even hit me hard. I was trying to explain that that is the beauty of a correctly executed Isshinryu punch. You don't have to "hit hard" for it to be effective.

I did talk to sensei about the way James was acting Thursday night. He didn't say anything at the time, just did that little, "hmmm" thing he does, but he'll probably talk to him in private about it. That's sensei's way.

Funny thing is, sensei had us come in and teach so he could watch his son play in his last football game of the season. The son scored in the first quarter, then still in the first quarter, got into a fight and got kicked out for the rest of the game!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Light Blogging Again

Here's a couple of pictures from the zoo trip.

Harbor Seal fascinated by the blue tag on his back flipper.

Tot fascinated by the Red Tail Boa.

Cody fascinated by the polar bears.

P.S. Cindy, I haven't forgotten your request for snake keeping info. I'll get to it soon. I promise.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pictures of Cody's Birthday

Band Shoes

Camouflage Sweatshirt

Texas Longhorns Cap


Sky High on DVD

A Series of Unfortunate Events Book the Thirteenth, The End

Camouflage Cake

Cody with the cake. I always forget to buy candles...

For my first Lonesome Skein project, I've decided to do this scarf. I don't have any lace weight yarn, so I'm doing it out of fingering weight and using larger needles. It isn't quite a lonesome skein, because it had a half skein companion. There is no yardage on the label, but it is about 1.5 oz of yarn. It's my first attempt at knitting lace, and I'm anxious to see how it turns out.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Confess

I lied to you yesterday when I said I had to wait until I got out of the hospital to take pictures of Cody. I found these three today:

This is his first picture, as he lay in the nursery with all those monitors and things hooked up to him. The cast looking thing on his hand was where they had the IV hooked up. This picture was taken October 17th.

And here he is later on, awake and fussing. They had taken the monitors and stuff off so I could feed him. I still wasn't able to have him in my room with me, so I had to go down to the nursery to feed and visit him.

Finally, they took him off all that stuff and moved him to the regular nursery. He had pulled his IV out by this time, and they were unable to re-insert it, so he had to have shots every three or so hours. Poor baby...

But the good news is that I could finally take him down to my room with me.

I finally took the plunge and joined my first knit-a-long. It is the Lonesome Skein KAL. The object is to use up some of the single skeins of yarn we all have in our stashes. It is only 3 months long, but I hope they extend it. As slow as I knit, I likely won't get anything completed. The only rule is that the pattern has to call for 250 yards or less of yarn. I found one I really like in a magazine, but it calls for 253 yards of yarn. I figure if I leave off the fringe, it will fall within the requirements. The first thing I did was to dig out all my yarn and separate the single skeins or partial skeins.

As you can see, I've got quite a few, including one already crocheted into a partial baby afghan. I bought that one off e-bay because I only needed about 10 yards of that yarn to finish a baby afghan of my own. The seller offered to frog it and rewind it into balls for me, but I told her it wasn't necessary. About half of these were sent to me by my mother when she cleaned out her stash. Some of this yarn belonged to my grandmother, who died when I was 14.

I'd better get started if I want to get anything finished in the three months time.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Shortly After Midnight

at 12:33 AM on October 14, 1993, Cody Matthew Anglea came into this world. He weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz, and was 21 inches long.

His birth was not without incident, either. The first thing I thought when I saw him was, "That big thing came out of me????" The second thing was, "He's blue!" And he was. Bright blue. Though they never told me so, I believe he had begun to go into distress. It took the doctor a long time to get him to breathing, and when the doctor is saying, "Come on little guy" with an edge of urgency in his voice, it doesn't comfort a new mother's heart.

They finally got him to breathing well, but he had an elevated temperature. Remember that I had been running a 102+ fever the whole time I was in labor. Though Cody's temperature dropped to a steady 98.6 within a couple of hours, mine stayed high for several days. Initial blood tests revealed that my white count was high, and based on that, the pediatrician decided to run a full course of antibiotics on Cody just to be on the safe side. Because of this, we battled yeast infections for the next 6 months.

Hint for new moms: don't ever stay in the nursery while the doctor is trying to put an IV into your child's head. You won't like it.

Finally, after a week in the hospital, the doctor decided Cody was ready to come home. It was at this time that I finally was able to take pictures of him. Unfortunately, I haven't moved my photo albums from the old house, so I can't show you a baby pic. But this is what he looks like today:

Before my ex left, I told him to call me as soon as he got back to the States, and leave me a phone number where I could contact him when the baby was born. He left on Wednesday, and I knew he wouldn't be back to work until the following Monday. He didn't call. I thought he was waiting until Monday so he could call from the office he worked in and wouldn't have to pay for the call. By Tuesday evening, he still hadn't called, so I called his work number and was informed that he hadn't worked there in several weeks. I asked the Sargent who had answered the phone to give him a message, and began telling her all about Cody. She interrupted me, saying, "Excuse me, but he already had that information." I said, "How could he have that information? He left before the baby was born." She replied, "I don't know, but he came in yesterday bragging that it was a boy and his name was Cody."

When he finally did call me, the next night--Wednesday, a full week after he'd left--he denied saying that. He said that what he said is that "We think it's going to be a boy and his name will be Cody." By this time, he'd lied so much to me that I didn't even argue. I found out later that he'd spent the rest of his leave time moving in with Angie.

Well, I could go on, but I won't bore you with the tawdry details of my life. My ex is no longer a part of our lives whatsoever. He has never seen Cody, and I doubt he ever will. Since our divorce was final, I have not heard from him at all.

I think we are better off without him.

One more thing before I head for bed. I haven't forgotten that this is Saturday, and that means it is time for:

We went to the Memphis Zoo today, and I took my sky picture there. More about that trip tomorrow...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thirteen Years Ago

today a lot happened in my life. I was stationed in Naples, Italy in the Navy there. I was married and pregnant.

At 6:00 AM, or thereabouts, my husband walked out of the door of the barracks where I was living and boarded a bus that would take him to the airport in Rome. I never saw him again.

I thought he had come over to be with me for the birth of our son, but in reality he had come to tell me he'd decided he didn't like married life and wanted a divorce. I asked him how did he know. You see, we had never lived together as man and wife.

Six weeks before we were to be married, he was transferred back Stateside. I wanted to postpone the wedding until we could be stationed together, but he told me that this was only TAD (Temporary Added Duty). He would be back in 8 to 12 weeks, then we would be together forever. I decided that if that was all he was going to be gone, there was no need to postpone our wedding. So we proceeded with our plans.

We were married on March 6, 1993 in my hometown. Two weeks later, I returned to Italy with the expectation that he would follow in about a month. I kept asking him when he was going to return to Naples, and he kept putting me off.

"It'll be a few more weeks." This came up, or that came up, and there were delays in getting his orders, etc, etc. Sometime in July, his tune changed. He became abrupt with me. Even angry sounding.

"That was a permanent transfer. You knew that. I told you that when I first got the orders!" Then he began urging me to get a hardship transfer, so that I could return to the States. I guess he thought I could get one simply because I was pregnant.

About two weeks after he had transferred that January, I started suspecting that I was pregnant. A home test, followed by a doctor visit, confirmed it. But no, the Navy doesn't give hardship transfers simply because you are expecting a baby. Or they didn't back then. Things may have changed since I was in.

Ironically enough, he was the one who wanted to hurry up and get me pregnant. It was all he talked about for the longest time. He even went and bought a home pregnancy test and wanted me to take it. When I finally did end up pregnant, the first words out of his mouth were,

"Oh no"

He said that we didn't really need a baby in our lives right then. Things were too complicated and a baby...well, we just didn't really need a baby right then. I said, "There's nothing we can do about it now" to which he replied, "yes there is." Though he didn't use the word, I knew what he wanted me to do. I refused.

"I'm having this baby, and if you don't want any part of it, I'll have it without you."

For a while, he seemed to accept that, and even appeared to be excited about the baby. He was still in the States, and we were making plans for him to come to Italy when the baby was born. I told him to fly over on October 13. My due date was actually the 23rd, but I had a feeling the baby would come early. By this time, we knew it was a boy. When I told him that I was having a boy, he stated that he'd "really, really wanted a girl." I answered that there was nothing we could do to change that now. He said, "well, yes there is..." And I refused yet again.

We knew the baby was a boy, but we hadn't decided on a name. I wanted to name him Luke, and he wanted to name the baby Dalton. We finally ditched both of those names and agreed on Cody Matthew.

I had told him to fly over on the 13th, but he insisted on coming on the 6th. I knew right away something was wrong. Now, we all know what men are like, and when my husband, whom I hadn't seen in 7 months, didn't want to sleep in the same bed--even the same room--with me, I knew something was wrong. The next morning, I went down to his room, and he asked me--his wife--to leave the room so he could get dressed.

He hemmed and hawed around for a couple of days, acting like he just didn't even want to be around me. Indeed, I hardly saw him while he was there. Finally, I confronted him, and that's when he admitted he just didn't' like married life. He didn't know it would be like that. He wasn't ready. He was too young. He was never going to get married. It just wasn't for him.

What I strongly suspected, though he would never admit to it, was that he had met another woman. He had met Angie just a month before. Only a month. That's all it took for him to decide to divorce me and marry her. Oh, yes, he asked her to marry him the day he got back to the States. He even tried to give her my engagement ring. He didn't buy it. It had been his mother's, and that's the only reason I gave it back to him. I felt it should stay in his family. I don't know what happened to it, because Angie refused to take it.

October 12, 1992. At about 7:00 PM, I went into labor, though I didn't realize it at the time. I asked him, "If I went into labor tonight, would you stay just one more day?" He refused. The next morning, he walked out of the barracks to board the bus that would take him to the airport in Rome. He didn't wave goodbye. He didn't even look back.

I spent that day getting my family housing set up. At that time, because I was living in the barracks, I couldn't move into family housing until the day I got out of the hospital. But I had to get my apartment before I went into the hospital, because once I had the baby, I couldn't go back to the barracks. Now, anyone who has moved, and anyone who has had a baby, knows you don't want to both at once. But that's how it was.

I still didn't realize I was in labor. I'd had the Braxton-Hicks contractions all throughout my pregnancy, so I thought the cramps I was feeling was just more of those. I wasn't. When I finally went to the hospital, I still didn't know I was in labor. I went to get checked out because I couldn't remember when I'd last felt the baby move. They hooked me up to the monitor and said, "Are you having contractions?" When I responded negatively, the nurse said, "According to my paper, you're in labor." She called the doctor, who told me to go home and come back in two hours. That's what I did, and when he checked me again, he said, "You're going to deliver tonight."

It is a very difficult thing to go through labor and delivery alone. There was one point at which I opened my eyes and there was no one in the room with me. No one. I was completely and utterly alone. The nurses were great, and stayed with me most of the time, even coaching me through the contractions, but it's not like having someone there who loves you and supports you. To make matters worse, I had begun running a high fever, with a temp of 102+. Though they never told me so, I believe that's the reason they wouldn't give me any pain medication. Not even so much as a Tylenol to take the edge off. Yep, I delivered my 8 1/2 pound son completely natural.

Around 9:00 PM, I went into hard labor, which lasted for about 3 hours, and...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Don't Know

how sensei does it. I had to go in and teach the kid's classes tonight because sensei wasn't going to be there. Let me tell you, teaching is not my gift. I am exhausted! I don't see how sensei teaches four classes, and after working all night at his regular job, too. When Mr. Tedder came in to teach the adult classes, James and I left. He was teaching the adult class and said we didn't need to hang around. I was going to go over kata after class, but I was too tired so I just came home.

And the hardest part about teaching with James is making James behave. I spent more time calling him down than all of the kids put together. I'm going to have to have a talk with sensei about him. I'd sooner teach by myself than to have to deal with a 16 year old jr. black belt who acts like a 6 year old white belt.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wedding Dress

March 6, 1993:

My sister and I

Getting ready, with the help of my sister, and cousins Judy (behind me) and Beverly

My train--this is the same train B wore on her wedding dress. It is kind of hard to see in this picture, bu tthe little designs are all made up of tiny pearls hand sewn by my grandmother.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I work in a no-brainer job, so I have a lot of time to think of stuff. Some of the stuff I think of can be pretty far out there, too. Of course, since I'm working with an acetylene torch, I do have to pay some attention to my work, or disastrous things may occur. But I digress...

Today, of all things, I was thinking about weddings. Actually, I started thinking about musicals, which made me remember a wedding between a former pastor's son and his bride. I didn't go, but B did and brought me back a program. Both the bride and the groom were music majors, and there were 11 songs in their wedding. Eleven! Songs! Let's see, the bride sang a song to the groom, the groom sang a song to the bride, the happy couple sang a song together, the best man sang a song to the happy couple, the maid of honor sang a song to the happy couple, the best man and maid of honor sang a song to the happy couple together... When you consider the average song is 3 1/2 minutes long, you're looking at 45 minutes just of music. That's not a wedding. That's a stage show.

Maybe that's why they had programs. I have never been to a wedding that had programs. I didn't have programs at my wedding. Since I paid for the entire thing myself (note I said "myself"--not "my husband and I"--I even had to buy my own ring, or I wouldn't have gotten one) I went with the bare basics. Dr. Phil says the average cost of a wedding these days is $25,000. Mine didn't cost nearly that much. I overheard a co-worker several years ago saying that her parents spent $1500 just on flowers. That's about what I paid for my entire wedding. Including my dress.

My cousin Judy made my dress, so I only had to pay for materials--about $300 worth. But it was a beautiful dress. My album is still in the old house, but maybe tomorrow I'll go dig it out and post a picture.

Anyway, I decided if I ever get married again, it'll be even cheaper. It will be me and the groom and the preacher in his office, and the secretary can come in and witness. The preacher will turn to the groom and say, "Do ya?"

To which the groom will reply, "I do."

Then the preacher will turn to me and say, "Do ya?"

To which I'll reply, "I do."

Then the preacher will say, "It's done", and it'll be done.

OK, I'm done!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bad News

But first, some good news. Squeaky is back! When I got home from work this afternoon, there she was, peeking out the front window of the old house. I was going to move her over to the new house today, but she is still too skittish from her ordeal. I'll give her another day or two, then move her.

Now, for the bad news. We had dental appointments and I have two cavities, one almost cavity, and a broken tooth. It just doesn't seem fair because I brush my teeth faithfully. Cody doesn't brush his unless I threaten his very life, and he doesn't have a cavity in his head.

Anyway, yes, my wisdom tooth did break the tooth next to it as I had suspected. I will have it out, but the dentist wants to fill the two cavities first thing.

And as usual, my cleaning took three times longer than it should because the hygienist and I chatted so much.

We did run by Unclaimed Furniture. They had a sofa and love seat pair that I liked, but I didn't really need the love seat. I don't have a place to put it, since I got my recliner. I'm going to check around a few more places before committing to anything. I'm beginning to lean toward getting my old sofa reupholstered. It is sturdy and comfortable--just stained and clawed up by the cat.

They didn't have a hutch or a side table that we liked. The one hutch they had was waaaay too big for my kitchen. I suppose we'll have to keep looking for one of those, too.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Productive Sunday

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but to a single mom, there is no such thing!

We got up and went to church this morning. While we were waiting for the service to start, this little bitty boy came up to me. I was talking to B at the time, and he kept hovering around like he wanted to say something. Finally, during a lull in the conversation, I turned to him and he said, "Do you do Isshinryu karate?" When I replied that I did, he said he did too and had seen my picture on the bulliten board in the dojo. We chatted a bit more, and he went back to sit with his mom. All throughout the service, anytime I happened to glance his way, I noticed he was looking at me. When he saw me looking, he would smile at me.

After church, I went over to the old house to get some things I needed to fix lunch. I noticed that Cody had left the back door open. I didn't think too much of it, but when I got inside, it looked like a tornado had gone through my living room. There was an unfamiliar dog collar in my living room floor, and no Squeaky. I went all over the house, calling and calling, and she never came. I walked all over the yard calling and calling, and still no Squeaky. She still has not turned up. I hope she comes home.

I got my cabinets all cleaned out this afternoon. The stuff isn't packed up and ready to move, but at least it is out of the cabinets. When J got off work, he came over and helped me move my two dressers and file cabinet. Now I can start getting stuff where it belongs. I need to create some more cabinet space in my kitchen, though. I want something like this:

Or this:
Cody and I have dental appointments tomorrow afternoon, so we may stop by Unclaimed Furniture on the way home and see what they have. Cody wants a side table to go in his reading area in his room. Once we get that, his room will be finished. I'll just need to get him to clean it up so I can take pictures of it. We also need a sofa for the living room. Cody is getting mighty tired of sitting on the floor.

Right now, I need to fold the several loads of laundry that I did today and are now piled on my bed so I can get into my bed.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Couple of Things

Ok, more than a couple...

First off, if you haven't seen this, you need to.

Secondly, it's Saturday, and that means:

Today's sky, a beautiful cloudless blue.

Next, I'm sure some of you have been wondering and I'll get you up to date. Here is what my burns look like after 6 weeks:

I expect that little bit of redness will completely fade after a while.

This one will leave a pair of scars, but they won't be too noticeable, and will most likely fade right into my copious stretch marks.

Finally, a couple of completed knitting projects. I decided I wanted some fancy washcloths for my new bathroom, so I whipped these two out in a hurry.

Yeah, I know. They would look better blocked, but who blocks washcloths anyway?

That's about it for today.

Friday, October 06, 2006

More Quotes

Supergroup7 posted several quotes on her blog yesterday. I love quotes. I'm a quotes kind of gal. I think this quote is appropriate at this point in my karate training:

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." Harry Truman

Most people on the outside--that is, those who've never trained in a martial art--think that once you get a black belt, you know everything. I've even had people ask me why I was still taking classes since I've gotten my black belt already. After all, what is there left to learn?

They are soooo wrong. Black belt--shodan--is only the beginning. Getting your black belt means you have learned the alphabet and are ready to learn how to read. It doesn't mean you've got your foot in the door, but have learned how to find the doorknob.

With that in mind, I thought I'd start a series sharing some of my favorite quotes. These first ones pertain to the martial arts:

The ultimate aim of the martial arts lies not in victory or defeat. Instead it lies in the perfection of those who participate. —Gichin Funakoshi

To have Confidence, we must be Cocky, but not arrogant. It all starts with the knowledge that practice makes perfect. Yet we all know that nothing is perfect which is the reason we never stop practicing our basics. —A.J. Advincula

But just as Bruce Lee said, "Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick."

Some say "we should get back to basics" but I say, "Never leave the basics" for they are what sets the standard. They are the foundation. —A.J. Advincula

My explanation to women for why you do a kiai: "If you can't kill him outright, at least you can scare him to death" --Sandi Lee

With the right attitude, we practice our basics. The more we practice our basics, the more proficient we become. The more proficient we become, the more confidence we have. The more confidence we have, the more disciplined we are. The more disciplined we are, the more we practice. The more we practice, the better our attitude for basics. With the right attitude, we practice our basics. --A. J. Advincula

More to follow...

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Karah still didn't have her obi on tonight. I told her she needed to find it and wear it because coming without a complete gi is very disrespectful to the sensei and the dojo. She kind of rolled her eyes and walked away. Later on, she smarted off to me during class, and I made her do pushups. I don't think she'll last unless she has a major change in attitude. She really is good at karate, she just needs to get her attitude right.

This is homecoming week at the high school, so class was kind of small tonight. Just four students were there, but we had a good workout anyway.

Sensei is kind of aggravated. There is an empty place right next door to the dojo. It used to be a video rental store, but they closed down nearly 2 years ago. We've told sensei ever since then, "If you get that place, then we can have a really big dojo." Here lately, he's actually been considering it. In fact, he went and talked to the landlady and told her he wanted to lease it. He told her that it would have to be at the end of this month, though, so he could collect his dues for October and be able to make the double payment to get the lease. She said that was ok. Sounds to me like they had an agreement, right?

She rented the place out from under him to someone who is opening a dress shop. Sensei thinks it actually may have been her husband that leased the building to the dress shop because she was out of town. He probably didn't know about their agreement, but there's nothing they can do about it now. Still, it kind of bites.

Tuesday night after class, I was going through all my kata, and sensei came over and asked what I was working on. I leaped at the chance for some instruction and asked him to go over sunsu with me. That is my newest kata, and there are a few spots I'm not too sure about. We went over those, and about halfway through, he started doing the kata with me. It was so good to be doing kata with sensei again. We used to do this all the time.

Back in the old dojo, when there were two senseis--well, sensei and Mr. Tedder, the assistant sensei--and two students--James and me--we used to do kata together every class. We'd do basics, then all our kata. Every class. Now all we do are sparring drills. Not kumite, but tournament style sparring. I'm more into kata and self defense stuff.

I talked to James and told him I wanted him to participate next time. I told him that we could work on stuff ourselves, and that I needed someone to work out with. He hemmed and hawed a bit, but said he would. He said it's just not the same, and it isn't. But life doesn't stay the same. Everything changes.

You adapt or die.

P.S. They caught the guy who hit B's new car and he is in jail now. They are getting the car fixed, but it will take approximately two weeks before they can get it back again. They have a rental car that she is driving until then.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's Supposed to be Fall!

Yet it was in the mid 90s today.

After being so hot for so long, I am ready to move to Alaska.

We got a few more things moved today, but we are running out of room in the new house. The old house had much more cabinet space in the kitchen than the new house, so I'm finding it hard to find storage space for everything, despite the fact that I am getting rid of so much stuff. My bedroom and bathroom are completely moved, except for my dresser and file cabinet, and I'll need help with those. The kitchen is about 75% moved, and the living room is about halfway done. There is still quite a bit left in Cody's room to be sorted through, mostly my craft stuff I had stored in his closet. He claims he's gotten everything he wants out of his room, but there is still a lot in there that will need to be packed up, donated, yard saled, or thrown away. I'm just tired of moving...

In snakey news, I measured Blaze today and he is growing like a bad weed. He grew 2 1/2 inches since his last shed, and now measures 28 1/2 inches. Sunset is getting ready to shed again. Slider is becoming more comfortable in his environment, and is getting out and cruising his viv more. Onyx is still off his feed. He'll grab and constrict the mouse, but won't eat it. He is still plenty active though, and doesn't appear to be losing too much weight. After urffing her previous feed, Scarlett has kept this one down for 5 days now, and has given me a hallacious poop. And finally, Snow appears to be slimming down some. I'd put her on a diet a few months ago because she suddenly bulked up. It was around breeding season, and though I didn't breed her, I think maybe their natural tendency is to put on weight during this time in preparation for being gravid. She's looking a lot better, but still chunkier than I'd like her to be.

James is talking about quitting karate. He still comes to class, but doesn't even gi up and participate any more. He says it's no fun being a black belt. He, like me, is disgusted by the behavior of some of the students in the class. We have a few students that seem to think the dojo is a teeny-bopper dating club, rather than a karate dojo. Then there are others who just aren't serious and spend most of the time playing. We have one young female white belt who refuses to wear her obi. Now, I know we all misplace our obis from time to time, or forget our gi tops, or don't get them washed, but this girl never wears hers. Ever. I've mentioned it to her several times, but she always shows up without it. I think she wore it the day she tested for her two stripes, but other than that, I don't ever remember seeing her with it on. I guess if she shows up without it Thursday, I'll have to talk to her grandparents.

I've mostly been teaching a new white belt named Brandon. I think he must be very shy. He never looks at me. When he does, it's those quick little glances like he hopes I don't catch him looking. Karate wise, he's doing ok, though.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Car

Not mine, though. B and J went up to Batesville to buy B a new car this afternoon. I didn't know this until about 5:30 when she called me and asked me to go over and let her dogs out of her house. I could tell from the sound of her voice she was upset about something. She said that they hadn't even gotten out of Batesville when an uninsured driver rear ended her in her brand new car, then left the scene of the accident. I haven't talked to them since. They've been home because the garage door is down, but no lights were on in the house. I'll find out tomorrow what happened.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Hurricane Isaac has come and gone, and I missed most of it. He wasn't expected to be much of a threat to anyone, since he foolishly moved into the colder, dryer areas of the North Atlantic. This has been a fairly slow year as far as tropical storms/hurricanes go. Last year, we were already up to Stan. By this time last year, I'd personally encountered three hurricanes--Dennis, Katrina, and Rita.

Some of you sharp eyed readers may notice that I got rid of my ticker at the top of my blog. It was too much of a pain having to go back to the ticker factory website day after day to update the thing. Until I find a more efficient way of tracking my BBM Challenge goals, you'll just have to trust that I'm doing them.

Roots Eye View

of an oak tree that sits in my front yard. Speculation is that this giant is some 200 years old. These pictures don't provide enough perspective for you to see that it would take three of me to link arms around the trunk of it. Local legend has it that this tree was planted by Native Americans as part of a line of trees delineating one nation's territory. I have no way of authenticating that, though.

The broken limb visible in the second photo was dropped on my front porch (of the old house) about 2 1/2 years ago. I was sitting on my couch when it happened, but I didn't stay there. It sounded like someone shot a cannon off in my front yard, it was so loud. The limb was as big around as most trees around here are. We got some good firewood from it for a cub scout camp out.

What is it with people who bring babies into church then spend the entire hour going,


Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against babies in church. I don't even mind the noise they make. They're babies, after all. It's what they do. But if the parents or grandparents are so upset by their noise that they are going to shush them the entire hour, why don't they just take them to the nursery? Don't they realize that their shushing is more distracting than the baby?

Otherwise, it's been a pretty quiet day...


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