Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weekend Trip to Tennessee

We planned to leave at 7 a.m. but were anxious to leave so we managed to get out by 6:30.  We actually had our suitcase packed for a week.  

It seemed like we packed the van with almost as much stuff as we would if we took the motorhome.  Two dog carriers, two dog car seats, two regular leashes, two extension leashes, dog food and treats, dog pen, water and bowl for dogs, people snacks, pop, two cameras, video camera, mp3 player, jackets, suitcase, gifts for Tommy and Grig, GPS and laptop.  Good thing we have a van now.  We never did pack light.

The van sure beats traveling in the car.  It is so comfy.  Both boys sat in their car seats for the entire trip.  They were tethered in so when we opened the door we didn't need to worry about them bolting.  We hook the leashes then unhook the tether--always secure.  [if you watch the video, turn the volume down]

The trip down was easy and pretty unremarkable.  There was extensive ice storm damage from southern Illinois all through Kentucky.  I inquired if damage was just in the I-24 area and was told that the entire state of Kentucky had damage.  Many trees were uprooted from the weight of the ice but almost all of the trees still standing were broken at the top and the branches were either hanging from the tree or on the ground.  

We arrived about 5 p.m.  Tommy had taken the day off work so he was already home. Evan, Avery and Grig arrived shortly after we did.  Now off to Long John Silvers for supper.  The remainder of the evening was spent catching up.

From southern Illinois (about Mt. Vernon) on the red buds and Bradford pears were in various stages of bloom.  A sign of spring for sure. Right?

We brought Tennessee clothes with us, expecting warm temperatures and it was warmer than home.  But we were not prepared for Sunday's frigid temps.  The temp was in the low 40s with a brisk wind.  

Why does this really matter you might ask.  Two words--barn chores.  The guys have three horses which are boarded several miles from their home.   I enjoy going to the barn.  Ever since I can remember I have loved horses.  Never had one of my own but I can live vicariously through others.  

Leveaux, Claire and the new arrival Dolly are all quarter horses.  The guys have had Dolly only a couple of weeks and won't be riding her for a while as she is green broke. She is huge.  Grigsby hopes to barrel race with her eventually.  Tommy plans to show Leveaux.  I forgot the term for the type of showing.  

There is a lot of "barn drama."  Keeping up with the other tenants and so on.  I have asked to be updated on any tidbits of info about the people or horses we have met.   

We did a lot of eating and hanging out.  Two things we do well.  

Our visit was much too short.  But now we know the "boys" (Quark and Harley) behave at someone elses home, we don't need to bring the whole "house" with us for a quick weekend trip.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Digital Photos

We have photos--boxes of photos. Almost none are labeled. Few are in albums. Enter digital photography. A wonderful solution, take gazillions of pictures and print only the keepers. Yeah right. We now have probably 20 CDs full of photos not to mention those stored elsewhere.

The next step of course was to purchase an external hard drive (XHD) and save all important files such as photos and genealogy on the hard drive. Good plan. Here is the rub, we have several thumb drives, 3 pcs and 3 digital cameras.

Two cameras are Olympus and use the same numbering system which incorporates the date the photo was taken. As all the photos had to be merged to the XHD there was the potential problem of duplicate names and the possibility of overwriting some photos. So we came up with a naming system. It took days to organize then move everything while checking for and deleting duplicates. This sounded good at the time but has become a hassle as we don't have the self-discipline to follow through.

So what has digital photography changed for us? Not a whole lot, besides instant gratification. We have even more photos to store--you know we are taking gazillions of photos.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pretty, Pretty Princess or What Grandparents Will Do for Their Grandchildren

Ever hear of the game Pretty, Pretty Princess? Neither did we. Papa is good at card games both on the computer and against real opponents, but his competitive nature showed itself when Em asked us to play Pretty, Pretty Princess.
The object is to collect all the jewelry pieces in your selected color. Players navigate a game board by spinning for the number of spaces to move their playing piece. The space you land on tells you what piece to collect or put back. The black ring is bad and the crown is good.

Did you guess who won?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Girl Scout Spaghetti Dinner

Papa and Nana braved blinding downpours for 2 hours to support our little girls.

Audrey is a Brownie and Emily is a Daisy and this was a major fundraiser for the local Girl Scout council.

We got to the house just as Amy and the girls were leaving. A few minutes later Amy called Tim for dry clothes for the girls. They got caught in another downpour on their way into the school. So off we went and of course when we arrived the heavens let loose again. We dropped Tim off with the clothes and circled the parking lot until a parking space close to the entrance opened up. Then we made a run for it.

This was quite the production in the gymacafatorium of the local middle school. The girls all had assignments. The older girls had more responsibility, the younger girls bussed tables. There was a bake sale and a silent auction with wonderful gift baskets put together by each troop.

This is a picture of their troop. I messed up. You can just barely see Audrey's elbow on the far right. Emily is 3 1/2 from the right and Amy is on the far left in the light blue.