Thursday, September 25, 2008

Preston's Scrimmage Game & Michael's Birthday

George and I went to Michael & Crystal's house in Thackerville, OK the other night. Michael's birthday was the 13th and we have never been able to get together to celebrate due to Michael & Crystal's work schedules, Preston's football practices, and George's work schedule.

The plan was to have a late mini birthday celebration for Michael and then go to Preston's scrimmage game.
George is on days this week so we drove up after he got home from work. Fortunately, he got off early and we were there by 4:30. I made Michael a birthday cake and his favorite broccoli roll-ups which we took with us. We ate the roll-ups, sang happy birthday, ate cake, and then went to Preston's scrimmage game.
As we were leaving,
Crystal's Dad, Allen, drove up.
He was going to the game too.
I have been trying to figure out how to put text on pictures in Photoshop. I messed with it a little, and as you can see in the picture above, I succeeded. Next, I wanted to figure out how to put arrows on the pictures.

Here's Michael, the birthday guy!

As you can see I figured
out how to add arrows!

This text and these arrows are fun!
Another arrow! Yahoo!

I'm starting to get good at this text and arrow thing!
Check it out below--two arrows!

I didn't think arrows were necessary on the 
picture below in light of the picture above. 
It was hard to hold off on the 
text and arrows for long though.
Okay, this is way too much fun!
Truth is, I was possessed by John Madden!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kemah Boardwalk, Hurricane Ike and Tammy

My friend Tammy lives in Kemah, Texas, a nice little coastal town with a great boardwalk. The boardwalk is located on Galveston Bay. Many of you folks that read this blog know Tammy.

Kemah was hit hard by Hurricane Ike.
Below is the boardwalk area before Ike.

This next one is the marina.
At the top of the marina is the boardwalk.
I believe the big building is a parking garage.

The pictures below were taken in May, 2007 during one of my visits. It was cold and overcast that day. The closed umbrellas are outdoor seating at a restaurant. The name of it escapes me but I remember the food was delicious!

The cute train that runs around part of the boardwalk.
I wonder what happened to the train above and the engine below.
They're probably goners.
Here we are ~ Tammy on the right and me

The entire crew (left - right) me, Bart, Tammy and Jesse. Jesse is Tammy's son, and a great guy! And, as for Bart, man can he cook! YUM. Nice guy too.
I talked to Tammy on Friday and she told me they decided to stay put through the hurricane. They armed themselves with two generators, coolers, food, water, and other disaster-necessary items. They felt they were high enough and far enough away that they'd be safe. She lives probably 3 miles from the boardwalk so I was very concerned! She promised to shoot me an email or stay in touch somehow to let me know she was doing okay.
10:53 pm, Friday night ~ email from Tammy
"We are getting wind gusts from 60-90 mph and rain, but at this time, we don't have standing water. Good thing it hasn't rained lately."
I didn't see this email until later the next day because I am having issues with some of my emails not being visible but that's another story. In any event, if I would have seen it, I would have emailed back immediately, especially since she still had power! After this time, Tammy's sister Vicki was emailing me to keep me abreast of the situation.
12:38 (just after midnight) ~ email from Vicki
"I just talked to Tammy. Her phone isn't working for some reason, so she is using Bart's phone now. He is taking a nap at this time and she is reading a book. They are getting rain, and wind and lots of transformers are blowing out. They do have some tree limbs down but no damage. All are ok."
2:12 pm Saturday afternoon ~ email from Vicki
"Tammy and Bart are without electricity and water. They have the generator going for the refrigerator and freezer and are high and dry. They lost a couple of trees, missed the house, one broken window and a little bit of the door to the wellhouse and a small part of the greenhouse that attaches to the house. She has even rescued a red headed woodpecker from the dogs mouth and is letting it recoup in the back of the pickup. They washed clothes, dishes and cleaned the house yesterday in case of the loss of water and elec., even showered. So, they're ok. When she calls again, I will let you know. Jesse is also ok in Austin."
12:02 pm Sunday afternoon ~ email from Vicki
"Tammy just sent me a text to land line message. What I could understand of it said they are all right. I had tried to call them earlier and got no answer, so this may be the only way for them to reply right now. Will pass on anymore messages."
7:24 pm Sunday ~ email from Vicki
"Tammy called and they are good. Plenty of gas for the generators and plenty of water and food. They are going outside and picking up limbs, etc. and then resting because they get hot and only have a fan to cool off with so they have to be careful. The animals are fine too. They still have one bag of ice and when they unplug the freezer for a while and plug in the refrigerator they fill the icemaker and then bag it and put it in the freezer. They grilled bratwurst Saturday night for supper and used the propane to cook the other food, then ate it for sandwiches today. She said they were both a little dehydrated last night and they are trying to stay hydrated, but it's hard with the heat and humidity. She asked me to call Jesse and tell him to stay in Austin for safety sake and because he would use food and water that they may need later. He laughed at that when I told him. They also have their meds, especially Tammy. Bart's parents went to Kileen to stay with another son. They live in the northwest part of Houston in a double wide and knew it wouldn't be safe to stay in. I don't know if they have come back. The ditches in front of their home have all drained. Will let you know more as I hear it."
Needless to say (but I will) that I'm really happy that Tammy, Bart, the dogs, and all their things are doing okay!
That's the last I have heard but I expect to hear something again soon. Here is a link to a video from a Houston TV station flying over the Kemah Boardwalk. I think it was the day after Ike. The devastation is heartbreaking but many times good comes out of bad. Hopefully, they'll fix 'er up bigger and better!

Also, they house they live in is a rent house. It's a really cool house with a beautiful and huge (maybe one acre) yard. They are in the process of buying a house in Crosby, Texas (north of Houston) and if all goes well, they'll be moving the beginning of October. I will miss their house and yard! I LOVE it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Weekend at Pickwick Lake

For Labor Day weekend, we met Jack & Middy at their boat on Pickwick Lake which is located on the Tennessee/Mississippi border.

We drove from Krugerville, Texas to Iuka, Mississippi and arrived about 5:30 or so. We spent the night on the docked boat.

Middy's doing something in the 
kitchen while Boo & Mitzi sniff around.

It's time to take the boat out. The plan is to go to a cove named Big Bear to anchor and spend the night. There's two bedrooms and two baths on the boat so we're set.

See the girls watching me photograph the back of the boat? There's probably special boat terminology for "back of the boat" but I only know Donna terminology. Hope you can understand it.

Using Donna terminology again, 
here's the "front of the boat!"

The girls--Mitzi Mae, Sally and Boo.

First on the agenda is cleaning up the boat before we leave the dock. The word "dock" is official boating terminology.
Middy, Jack, and George scrub-a-dub-dubbing. 
"Scrub-a-dub-dubbing" is official 
Three-Men-in-a-Tubbing terminology. 
The girls are ready to go but 
we're still cleaning up the boat!

Jack is loading the raft into the little 
boat which will be pulled behind the big boat.

Sally's wondering when we're leaving.

George is really happy that he can get in on the act. Oh, and Middy is saying something about how much she really loves my picture taking.

The boat is clean and now we need gas. We're waiting for this boat to move. Middy is talking to the cute little doggy on the edge-- it's a Mitzi Mae!
At last, we're gassed up, and hooking the little boat on to tow behind us. Then, we're off to Big Bear (very large animal terminology). It's a two-hour cruise that we'll make at eight mph.
Here we are anchored (official boating word) at Big Bear! I took a dip and crawled up on the raft to kick back with Middy and the girls. I'm thinking about wearing my hair that way permanently. Becoming, isn't it?
Gee, ya think?
George is... well... no one is sure what George is.

Jack is... well... no one is sure about him either.
After all, they are brothers!
Look at this sunset! 
About now, Middy and I played Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down," five times in a row, maybe more. It's so appropriate! Actually, any time of the day or night is appropriate for us because we love that song. Of course, we danced and sang!

We decided to move closer to the dock.

George is using his Miata driving skills 
to steer the boat which is a scary thought!
It's another pretty day!
We anchored in another cove, packed some sandwiches, and went off in the little boat so Middy could pull Jack & George on the raft. I think the cove was called "Indian" which has nothing to do with boating terminology.

Jack in his sun-blocking safari hat, ready to ride the raft. "Safari hat" is jungle head covering terminology.

George is ready to go and Jack is in the water.
Leopatra on his raft!
At last, they're both on the raft!
Here we go!
To the right...

To the left...
Needing a rest after being 
pulled for about five minutes. 
To them, it was an hour! 
The water was really choppy to begin with and they were flying all over. I was rolling laughing too. It was hilarious watching them hanging on! 

Here we go again.
It was another round of hilarity for me!

We're back at the big boat and Jack is playing DJ
Middy's dancing. It's mandatory that Middy and I dance and sing when we get together! 
We played Rocky Top many times too because Tennessee's first game is tomorrow night!
Oh yeah, I am singing!
See how happy it makes George when I sing?
Even Jack is happy!
Still dancing!

We went back to the dock to spend the night. Once there, Jack cooked pork tenderloin and we ate a delicious meal.

Middy and I decided to clean up the boat a bit since we were leaving early in the morning to go to their house. In the middle of it all, I looked down into the cabin and this was the scene!

Pitiful, isn't it?

We went to Adam & Mandy's to see Mallory.  Of course, we wanted to see Adam and Mandy too but we've never seen sweet Mallory.

She just woke up.
Isn't she cute?!!

She'll be a year old the end of September.
And here's sweet Mandy!
Like mother, like daughter!
And this is a really good picture of Adam if the light would have been in front. Adam and Mandy are both wearing their Vols shirts because they're having a party in a few hours to kick off Tennessee's season.
Mallory is reaching for the camera.
Perhaps she'll be a great photographer one day?
And laughing.
Soooo cute!

Mallory not me!
And she even crawls cute!
Makes me go "Ahhhhh!"
Or perhaps she'll be a cheerleader.
Maybe a cheerleading photographer?

We visited for an hour or so and 
then went back to Jack & Middy's.

We hung out on their pretty deck.
 Oh how I love pretty Tennessee! 


We drove home, and about halfway between Memphis and Little Rock, we ran into the Gustav rain. It continued until not too far before we exited I-30 in Greenville, Texas.
As soon as it started raining, Sally got on the floor in the back seat to hide. She only recently became scared of rain when it's falling hard. That developed after being scared of thunder for years. It wasn't thundering though.
She wasn't scared of thunder until a few years ago when fireworks were being shot off in our neighborhood during the 4th of July. I just tried to make her feel comfortable and sheltered.

We left Centerville, TN at 7:00 a.m. 
and got home at 6:00 pm. 
Thank you Jack & Middy for a fabulous time!