Friday, May 29, 2009

Come on In - Murphy

Wouldn't you know it! The reservations are made - the tickets are bought... the plans are in action for a fun vacation... and HERE COMES MURPHY!

Last night - we heard a "hissing" "water running" sound in the hall closet (where the hot water heater is). First thing this a.m. - I called our longtime friend and plumber Rodney McAlpin (Rod's Plumbing). If you ever need a plumber - he's your guy.

Anyway...after hearing about the problem on the telephone - he said it could be one of two things. One was not so bad. The other was pretty bad. Well... of course... it was the "pretty bad" one.

Then - while he was working on replacing the hot water heater - he discovered a problem with the central air conditioner. We had been patching this particular problem for a few years. Unfortunately - the time for patching is past - and we had to have our air conditioner guy come out and put in a new evaporator coil and pan. If you ever need air conditioner work - call Bill Clegg. He's prompt and good.

SO... when I woke up this morning... I had a little extra in my billfold. When I go to bed tonight... I'm going to be close to $2000.00 poorer.

Oh well.. life goes on. At least we are looking forward to a fun time with the grands and Matt and Joan in New Orleans - AND we don't have to worry about the hot water heater OR the air conditioner going out while we are gone (not that we would have anyway!).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Rose - Every Other Wednesday

I love every other Wednesday. That's the day that "Rose" comes to help me clean house. I guess I may be exaggerating a bit when I say she comes to "help" me clean. I've gotten into a habit of pretty much leaving it with her - and it's way worth it. I love leaving ..and coming home to a spotless - good smelling house. There's just something WONDERFUL about sparkling bathrooms - clean, crisp sheets, vacuum patterns in the carpet - an empty dishwasher - and ALL the laundry being washed, dried, folded and put away. It's just like magic!!!

Just like most other folks - Larry and I looked at our budget - and cut back on some expenses. It just makes sense in these "sparse" economic times. However... he says "Rose" is one place where we are NOT going to cut back. According to Larry - there are some expenditures that are NOT up for discussion!

SO..... for right now - every other Wednesday will continue being my favorite day - and "Rose" is my favorite flower!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We are Officially "Those People"

Last night - we had what COULD have been a terrible experience. The A/C was not acting "exactly" right - and Larry was in the backyard for quite a while working on it. We knew Peanut (the dog) had gone outside with him. What we DIDN'T realize was - when Larry came in - Peanut didn't come in with him. I was sitting in my chair by the window - and kept hearing a dog barking - but... it seemed from a good distance away - so it didn't cross my mind it might have been Peanut. And... since she doesn't stay right with us in the house - we didn't miss her until time to go to bed. Usually - around 9:30 or 10:00 - she lets us know she is ready to go to bed - but.. last night she didn't. So... Larry started looking for her - and she was no where to be found. We looked under the beds - in the closets - under the desk - she wasn't to be found. SO... we got dressed - grabbed a flashlight - and off we went. Yesterday - when we took our morning walk - we (Larry - Fran - and Peanut) walked over to Highland Village to buy some envelopes - so.. I was panicking - that she might have gotten out and decided to go shopping again. I could only imagine what it would have been like - after dark - with her trying to cross the busy street. So..Larry drove - ever so slowly - and I walked the sidewalks with the flashlight - calling her name - and hoping not to disturb anyone who might be already "in the sack." We had NO luck - and were alternating between praying for her safe return, hollering for her - and holding back the tears! We did have a little laugh - thinking that anyone passing us on the street probably thought we were a fussing couple - that I wouldn't get in the car with my husband!
We came on home - and went back out into the backyard to check the fence. I just happened to shine the flashlight over toward the storage building - and saw two shiny little eyes. Yep... it was Peanut - and she did NOT come running to us with joy! We had to go coax her out from behind the shed. I guess she was pouting. She was fine - ... Larry figures she just got tired of barking - and had made her a little comfy place to spend the night.

We were SO relieved that she was okay - and I had to smile this a.m. when I heard Larry say, "Peanut -I'm so glad we found you last night. It would have been bad (for us) - if you had slept the night in the yard - and we had stayed up all night crying for you."

Yep... we have officially turned into "Pet People." I NEVER thought that would happen!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Party Time

What a wild and busy week it has been! From Thursday - March 12 through Wednesday - March 18, we went to three social gatherings. Then ... this weekend - our good friends were in town with their new baby boy - and I got lots and lots of good baby sugar from him. He is 3 months old - and just laughed and talked to his Nana Fran. After playing with little Myles, I went and saw a friends new great-grandson, Andrew. He is about 3 weeks old and so sweet and tiny.

But... back to the "events." Our first get-together was at our friends, the Ekbaums's, house. Their daughter, Laura, was in town to visit with her new grandson - so her mom, Gretel, took that as an opportunity for several of us to get together for a wonderful Mexican supper. Friends Wyatt and Vicki, Laura, and Larry and I all gathered at Tom and Gretel's for a great evening. One thing is for sure - when this group gets together - there is never a lull in the conversation! Wyatt and Vicki had just returned from a trip to Eureka Springs - and we all enjoyed hearing about that. Vicki said she was looking forward to getting in the springs, but, unfortunately, they are just about dried up. I think Wyatt said they need to rename the town "Eureka Leaks." Below are a few pictures from that night.

Then - on Monday - it was Wyatt's birthday. Several of the folks from Olde Towne gathered at the new restaurant on the brick streets "Petra Cafe" for his birthday lunch. It was good to celebrate with our friends. We all laughed and enjoyed the wonderful Mediterranean cuisine. At the end of our meal - someone asked about our ticket - and Vicki said "Tommy paid for everyone's lunch today." All the folks at lunch knew exactly what she meant - since our friend, Tommy, was such an important part of Olde Towne in 2006 and 2007. Even though we miss him - we still feel his presence - especially when he buys our lunch! Here are a few photos from that day.

And... finally - we went to a "first" (for us) on Wednesday night. Our sweet friends, Carlin and Adam are expecting their first baby in mid-August. On Wednesday - they were scheduled to find out if they were expecting "Morgan Marie" - or "Samuel Edward." They planned a hamburger cookout for that night. They called it "The Big Reveal!" What a great idea! As soon as they found out the gender, their good friend drew the appropriate "boy" or "girl" picture - which they put in a frame with the sonogram. They wrapped those - and presented them to the grandparents at the party. The "Big Reveal" came when they opened them! They also had a cake decorated with the appropriate name - along with M&Ms with the baby's name on them! It was so much fun! They are already enjoying this baby - even months before the birth! Look at the pictures below to see who will be here in August!

Yes.... I've been behind on my "blogging" - but it seems I go at full speed all day. We've been so busy at "When Pigs Fly" - getting ready for the summer and the "busy-ness" of the Saturday markets. They were really good for business last year - and we expect the same this year. Larry and Glynn have been on two shopping trips to Canton, Texas - and are preparing to go to the 450 mile garage sale in May. They will start with a visit with our friends, Tommy and Diane Crawford, in Gatlinburg - and then work their way back to Meridian, where the sale ends. I'm eternally grateful to Glynn! He loves these sales as much as Larry does - and they have a great time! As most of you know.. I do NOT have the shopping gene! I have such a good time every evening (and several times during each day) talking to them on the phone - and hearing about what a good time they are having. So... I stay home and run the store. It works out perfectly for everyone! Here is a picture of them a couple of weeks ago when they returned from a buying trip to Canton, Texas.

Thanks for reading my blog. I'll be more timely in the future!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


As most of you know - three years ago - we opened a shop in Olde Towne Clinton called "When Pigs Fly." In this little shop - Larry says we have everything from "peaches to parasols" - which is partially true. We really do have a couple of parasols - just no peaches. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of such an enterprise - is an overflow of "stuff" at our house. It seems that things find their way here to be cleaned, researched, and/or priced.

Shortly after we bought this house - we bought Larry a dandy shed for the backyard. Our friend Tommy and I finished the inside with insulation, electrical outlets, lights, and pegboard walls. The shed became the dropping off place for the above mentioned "stuff."

Today was a beautiful day - so I took the opportunity to do a bit of "spring cleaning" in the shed. I went at it with a vengeance - and in just a short time had emptied out a couple dozen hammer handles, a dozen large tent stakes, 2 dozen industrial mop heads, a couple hundred ear plugs, about 2,000 paper water cups, a dozen urinal screens (yes.. .you read that correctly), a large display shelf, a small trunk, 2 paper towel dispensers, 12 industrial rolls of paper towels, an end table, and a partridge in a pear tree (not really - I'm just checking to see if you are paying attention).

Believe it or not - this is only a small part of what is in the shed. BUT.. just getting these items out made a huge difference in the way I felt today. I had a feeling of actually getting something done - and it made me feel really, really good.

I thought about that a lot this evening - and also thought about all the different kinds of "clutter" in my life. Not just what is in the shed or in my house - but also what is always flying around in my head. I end up with clutter from the television, the newspaper, the radio, - not to mention just keeping up with life from day to day.

One of my favorite people in my writing group, The Southern Writer's Group, Ben Douglas, has made the point on several occassions that he finds time and energy to write - by leaving out some of the "junk" that is around us all the time. It obviously works well for him - he is an accomplished writer - and an all around "neat" person.

SO... I plan to have "less" in my "space" - which will give me "more" peace and tranquility..... ie. . - LESS television, LESS idle conversation, LESS stressing over that which I cannot control, and MORE quiet, MORE rest, and MORE order in my life.

So.. after saying all that - I guess I better practice what I preach. Since it is almost 2:00 a.m. - I am not getting off to the best start!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Tie" and "Tanium"

Oh my - when I start thinking "blog" - my mind goes in a million different directions! So many things happen - that I think are "blog-worthy." They usually aren't "world-shaking" - but they are important to me and mine.

I mentioned a couple of blogs ago that 2008 was a year of mixed blessings. I gave a hint when I talked about "choosing" pain. In the fall of 2007, Larry made the decision to have both his knees replaced. He had no cartilage in either knee - and when he walked - it was "bone on bone" which resulted in almost constant pain. By the end of each day, the swelling was terrible! So... with his mind made up - we went about the business of finding the best surgeon for the job. Since we live in a neighborhood with several physicians and other health care professionals, I conducted an informal survey over several days on my morning walk. I didn't have anyone else to talk with since walking was out of the question for Larry! Anyway - each person was asked "Based on your observations, which orthopedic surgeon has the best outcomes for total knee replacement?" Each person asked gave me the name of at least two surgeons, and without fail, one of the names given was always Dr. Brian Johnson at Mississippi Sports Medicine. So - our minds were made up. Dr. Brian Johnson it was. An appointment for an initial consultation was scheduled, and the wheels were in motion. The first replacement was April 9th, 2008 and the second was June 23rd, 2008.

I am delighted to report the surgeries could not have been any more successful. Larry spent 3 nights in the hospital each time and now has two brand new titanium knees! In fact - he has named his knees 'Tie" - and "Tanium." He recently flew for the first time since getting them - and said the scanners went crazy as they passed over his knees! Thank goodness he has cards to keep in his billfold to verify he has a good reason for setting the alarms off.

Below is a picture of Larry and Trent "running" backwards. When we were in Memphis last weekend - we took Trent for a walk - and Larry showed him how to run backwards - not having a clue how much Trent would like it. It was just a silly something to do with him. We had a good laugh - because many times on Sunday and Monday - Trent would say "Look at this" - and "run" backwards. Isn't it funny - we just never know what will amuse a child!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do I have "Dear Abby" Written Across My Forehead?

One thing I have noticed is people (sometimes complete strangers) "spill their guts" to me. I'm not complaining, in fact - I am somewhat flattered, and also somewhat confounded!

Case in point: one day I went in a self-serve shoe store (ie. Payless). When I opened my purse at the checkout - there was a roll of lifesavers Larry had dropped in my purse just for a small surprise. I blurted out "look what my sweet husband did!" and then offered the check-out girl a lifesaver. Well - that just opened the floodgates! She proceeded to tell me her husband had NEVER given her any kind of surprise - big or small - and it just went downhill from there. By the time I got back in the car I knew all about their courtship, their wedding, their children, and everything in between.
The event that began this train of thought tonight happened at the "When Pigs Fly" store today.

Larry was home working on the always messy carport - (see photo above) and Glynn and I were "running the store." Actually, most of the afternoon was spent on the "Tommy bench" outside

(see photos above) - just pontificating about this and that, as well as "people watching." Anyway - one of our regular customers came in the store. He usually pops in and out pretty quickly - but for some reason today he lingered for a really long time. By the time he left, I knew quite a bit about (a) his father (who I assume is deceased), (b) his teenage years, (c) what he and his grandmother and uncles used to do for fun when he was a little boy, (d) his previous line of work, (e) an experience he had that made him re-examine his life and where it was heading, and (f) a new career path he had chosen. All of this is special to him - and I think he enjoyed talking about it (why else would he have done so!).

Later - at supper, Glynn, Larry and I were talking about our day. I mentioned to Larry that this customer was in and seemed to be in a particularly chatty mood - which I found to be out of the norm. I observed that I didn't know why. It was then that Glynn said "I think people just open up to you because you have a way of getting them to talk about themselves." I let that sink in for a few seconds - when it occurred to me WHY I do that- I love hearing what other folks have to say. If we just listen - it is amazing what others "bring to the table."

Is this blog about what a good listener I am? Absolutely not. It is a blog about what each of US can add to someone else's life. I know mine was made richer today by listening to this customer and learning a little bit of what makes him tick.