Wednesday, October 31, 2007

quick update

Thank you all so much for your calls and emails asking about Charlotte. She is doing well. She is going to be staying with us until Friday when she will drive her new CR-V home to Ft. Lauderdale. We went over to Space Coast Honda today to see my friend Justin Bishop who gave her a great deal on an 05' CR-V. It is actually the same car as mine but in blue. Charlotte has been overwhelmed by this whole incident so I've been trying to pick up the slack for her. Took care of all the calls to the insurance company regarding the accident and then again today to add the new car. Also making arrangements for the disposal of her Saturn ~ tomorrow we will retrieve the license plate to put on her new car. She was so exhausted by everything and then being at the dealership for hours today getting the new vehicle that we actually left it at the dealership cause she was in no way able to drive back to my house (although she did test drive it). She and Richard just went to pick it up tonight and I am expecting them home anytime now.
Also tonight was Halloween. After a VERY rocky start to the evening it was a successful night. Nathaniel was a skeleton who had "blood" pulsing thru the bones in his chest and Julianne was some sort of vampire/sorcerer or something. She initially had a black and purple wig and I was going to do her make up but up until 5 minutes AFTER Nathaniel, Richard and the rest of the neighborhood left to go trick or treating she was NOT going. I finally gave in after she apologized for her behavior and took care of her chores. But needless to say, she threw on the dress and was out the door. It was very strange, but I guess in a good way, the whole group of neighborhood kids went out together. So basically we had like 40 kids at once and then almost nothing the rest of the night. Go figure.
Well it is late and I am exhausted ~ so, how was your day?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

But she saved the wine!

For the last couple of days, I've really not had much to write about and was hoping for something to share with you... this, however was NOT it. Richard's mom Charlotte was on her way up here for a visit from Ft. Lauderdale. We were gonna get together and I was going to help her make a couple of purses for the gals at her doctor's office for Christmas. About noon today I got a call from a very nice gentleman telling me that my mother in law had been in an accident on I95 but that she seemed to be okay. She was about 15/20 minutes south of us and that was all I knew. I told him to tell her I was on my way and called Rich as I was getting in the car. His office is a bit further south than the house and I figured we'd get there about the same time. As I was driving down to her I realized that I had forgotten to ask which side of the northbound lane she was in ~ but then I figured I would pass on the southbound side and exit 95 and come around to the northbound. Imagine my surprise and horror when I saw the pieces of Charlotte's car all the way across the southbound lanes of I95. Miraculously she really is okay. Shes got some nasty bruises on her arms (from the stering wheel), her sternum (from the seat belt) and her hip (I'm guessing from the console in the middle of the car). I also think something hit the back of her head as that is sore as well tonight.
Basically what happened was it was raining pretty hard and all the traffic in front of her came to a sudden stop. She lost control and spun (we think that she may have been tapped from behind to spin her ~ although if so, they kept going) ~ went across the median and then all the way across the oncoming lanes of traffic. She was hit 3 different times from what we can tell. What did save her life was her seat belt and the airbags and a guardian angel. At one point the drivers door flew open but she stayed put ~ thank God. She is a bit shaken up and sore but much to the surpise of everyone on the scene she walked away from her car in tact. She really kept it together the entire time but has told me that she really thought this was the end for her. I know that her healing both physically and mentally will take some time and I'm glad that she will be here with us at least for the next few days ~ but as one of the cops on the scene said "She is one tough lady!"
It has upset us all thinking of what could have been and I, for one, will be saying a prayer of thanks to God tonight that she is still with us and doing so well.
Just so you know I am not exaggerating the situation below are a few pictures of what is left of her car.
Needless to say the car was totalled ~ she has been talking about getting a new car for a couple of months ~ I guess now is the time. Like I said, she really is doing well and on the way home after the accident she said "Hey, I managed to save the bottle of wine I was bringing up for us to share." I think tomorrow night we will open that wine and drink a toast to a very happy ending!
So, How was your day?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

I've caught up to myself!

So it's Friday and I'm actually posting about Friday ~ YAHOO! I've finally caught up to my own life.
Today was a monumental day for me ~ I am done with physical therapy ~ officially released. I had two amazing physical therapists. BJ and Jean Marie at Beachside Physical Therapy. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all their hard work and effort to get me better (notice I didn't say back to normal!). The whole staff there are really great and they actually CARE ~ such a rarity these days. They always cheered me on when I was conquering a new skill (like drinking without a straw) and were compassionate when I was having a bad day. So here we are today and thanks to them I am smiling again ~ still a bit crooked but smiling!
Now here's the photo I haven't shown you (or anyone) before now. This was taken just after my diagnosis of Bell's Palsy but before I had any movement at all. Believe it or not, I was actually trying to smile in this photo. Now you see why I scared small children! I do want to thank all of you who have called or emailed to check up on me and wish me well through all of this. I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me that you care. I know that was a big part in helping me heal.

I did finally manage to finish the baby quilt I was making for Alex's sister's baby Cameron. I was really afraid that by the time I got around to finishing it he'd be old enough to drive down here and get it. This little guy had a bit of a rough start in life and had to have surgery while still just days old but he was a trooper and is doing really well now.
Also want to wish a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my cousin Jimmy tomorrow! Love ya Cuz!
All in all it's been a great day for me ~ So, how was your day?

Becki comes to Melbourne

Again ~ still trying to catch up with my life so I am now on Tuesday of this week. The space shuttle did go up after several hours of "it's not going" "it is going" etc. I didn't go down to the beach this time but watched it from right outside the house. I was able to snap a couple of pics but mostly you just see the smoke trail and the bright green light (not sure why it's green though). So here's the view from the street in front of my house.
After the shuttle launch I went to meet my friend Becki who lives just outside of Orlando. She and I "met" on an on-line quilting group. That particular group grew to over 100 and we broke off and formed a smaller closer knit group of about 25. We all kept in touch for a few years and even had 2 retreats compliments of Becki and her home when she lived in Maryland. She and I have stayed in touch pretty regularly for which I am very grateful ~ she's an amazing person. Anyway she came over to visit a scrapbooking store that happens to be just down the street with me so we met there and then had some lunch at Crispers.
Now that we live so close we are gonna try to get together more often to sew or scrapbook or just hang out. We are both avid roller coaster junkies so that's something we'll probably do too. When she lived in Maryland and I lived in North Carolina we met at an amusement park in Virginia and roller coastered all day!
Barb and Becky
Richard left for Houston on Monday afternoon so the kids and I were on our own until late Thursday night. After having him in Virginia for 6 months you'd think 4 days would be a breeze but I really did miss him ~ guess I've gotten used to having him around again and "honey" is very happy to be home with us!
Nathaniel has had a bit more trouble at school. He "threatened" to punch someone without really meaning it but in this day and age that constitues a "threat of violence". I'm not excusing what he did but the kid was laughing at him for having to go to the back of the line and Nathaniel said (very quietly) "someday somebody is gonna punch you in the face for that." Again, yes he and the kid that taunted him have a bad history and again, it was an inappropriate thing to say but the child told the teacher that he felt threatened so the teacher HAD to report it to the office even though she knew Nathaniel was just talking so he ended up spending the entire day in the office including lunch and recess. We had a very good talk when he got home and I think it's finally sinking in that he needs to filter what he thinks BEFORE it comes out of his mouth. He really is a good boy and at home has been amazing ~ go figure. Well that was most of my week ~ how was your day?

Home from Alabama

Gosh ~ has it really been several days since I posted about Alabama. Time just gets away from me these days. Sorry guys.. I'm really trying to keep up with my life. Ever feel that way? Anyhow....
Sunday morning I was up and ready to go earlier than I had planned but once I was up, as much as I was gonna miss J, J & the pups I was eager to get on the road and get home. I did give the puppies the collar covers I had made for them (I made Sadie one too). I did this with the Christmas pictures that didn't get taken in mind. Oscar was cool with his but little Nacho didn't know what to make of it. He kept rolling over and over until he hit the wall then the two dogs grabbed each others collars and dragged each other around for a while. They are too much fun to watch and such well behaved little boys.
The drive home was long ~ 11 hours long and it rained the last 5! We got into stop and go traffic three times and the kids had to stop for potty breaks every half hour it seemed. I have to tell you I was never so glad to be off the road in my life. But we are home, safe and sound and I am really missing my big little girl and her hubby and the puppies. I have to thank Jeremy for the most wonderful gift. He gave me an eye mask that you put in the freezer. It doesn't have ice in it so it doesn't get too cold but it has these little plastic pellets and get just cold enough. I have used it every night (and some days) since he gave it to me and it makes my eye feel great ~ so thanks darlin'. Jen says it has been getting much colder the last week which I'm extremely jealous of but I won't be quite so jealous when it gets really really cold. That was our trip ~ so how was your day?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sweet Home Alabama ~ Day two

Saturday was an equally wonderful day. Jen, Jeremy and the kids slept in. I spent the "quiet time" sitting out on their patio taking in the view and finishing up the hand binding on a quilt.
Nathaniel was the first one up and came out to sit with me. Here he is still in his pj's and talking to his Ginky on the phone. DSC01776
Jen made us all sausage biscuits and eggs and then we were off to Mt Cheaha which is the highest point in Alabama DSC01778
From here we took a trail down to Bald Rock. Jeremy and I took the easy boardwalk trail while Jen, the dogs, and the kids took the natural trail down.
Here is the destination and the spectacular view
From here we wend to Oxford Lake Park. The kids played for a bit and then we sat down by the lake and enjoyed the pumpkin bread I made and brought to Alabama with me.
We went out to dinner at the "19th Hole" ~ a golf course and country club as I'm sure you could tell by the name. The food was good and I found a couple of new drinks. I don't remember the name of the first one but it was vodka with cinnamon schnapps and was good but then the waitress brought me a shot glass of a "Roll Tide" which was cranberry juice and I don't remember what else but it was really really good and smooth.
We ended the night at the local bowling alley and despite Julianne's meltdown (surprised?) we had a really good time. Nathaniel whipped everyone's butt despite the way he looked in this photo... DSC01817
but the bang of the evening happened between the back of Nathaniel's head and Jennifer's cheek bone as she tackled him on the alley. I actually managed to snap a photo just before they made contact.
Here's Jeremy and the pup's hanging out later that night...
Julianne, Jeremy & I crashed while Jen & Nathaniel played video games and that was day 2. So how was your day?

Sweet Home Alabama ~ Day One

Sorry it's taken me so long to post about our trip to see Jen, Jeremy and the puppers. We got home late but safe and sound on Sunday night and I really needed a day to recover. We had a great time. Jen & Jeremy look great and are doing really well. The puppies are just adorable and so much fun. Julianne was in puppy heaven and Nathaniel got lots of outdoor time and didn't ask for his game boy once. To me, that's a successful trip. I think I took over 140 pictures and I won't bore you with all of them, though if you want to browse through them you can see them here.
We made great time getting there. We ended up leaving here (after a few "just let me's") about 4:00 once we packed up, gassed up and got on the road. It's a relatively strait forward drive and while I was nervous about driving through Atlanta (I've never been and have heard horror stories) it was not a problem at all. Nathaniel and Julz enjoyed seeing the city lights at night. My eye started getting sore and blurry but not so bad that I couldn't see and we arrived just fine about midnight their time.
Friday Jen and Jeremy had a quick class in the morning and about 11:00 we headed out. Our first stop was their favorite Mexican restaurant which was delicious. Our next stop, White Oak Winery, was just as delicious. Jen and I tasted some wonderful wines (so good I had to take a couple of bottles home with me) and Nathaniel sampled their grape juice. Here is the gang "listening" to the wine. 
Our next stop was the lookout at Longleaf National Wildlife Preserve. The trip up to the lookout was a very rocky dirt road but thanks to my son in laws wonderful driving we made it up in one piece. The kids loved wandering around ~ Julz picking up the fall leaves of red, orange and gold ~ Nathaniel picking up the largest sticks he could find and declaring himself "king of the hill" 
Of course the view from the lookout was spectacular 
Our next stop was the Anniston Museum of Natural History where we met "A T. Rex Named Sue"  They had a great wild life display and this one in particular made me feel right at home 
On the way home Jeremy found us a little mom and pop restaurant where we all ordered dessert. Jeremy and I got blackberry cheesecake which was good but too many seeds. Our favorite by far was Jen's Peanut Butter Pie. Now to get the true effect of this it must be said in a very deep southern accent and said as a question "Peanut Butta Pie?"
The balance of the day was spent in Jen & Jeremy's amazing "back yard" playing foot ball and Frisbee with the dogs. We were out there for hours because the dogs are just too funny. DSC01703
The day ended with Jen making us some wonderful lasagna spinach rolls. All in all we had a great day and the kids were asleep within seconds of their heads hitting the pillows. I will post day two soon but in the meantime, How was your day?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Best laid plans...

Well today we leave for Anniston, Alabama to see Jen, Jeremy and the puppers... unfortunately we leave Richard behind. The company that he works for is trying to meet a deadline (translation, is in crisis mode) and asked that all vacations be cancelled. They even went so far as to call back the people already on vacation. This may sound harsh and I know I'd be pissed, but it's a good company trying to make a profit which they do share with their employees. Of course the employees were reminded of this by way of mentioning year end bonus's as they were asked to cancel vacations. We were hoping to get our Christmas picture done since we would all be there together but now that Richard's not going to be there that plan started to crumble. We were gonna photo shop him in but the person that Jen had lined up to take the picture had to back out as did her second choice so.... We have decided this year they will do their picture and cards and for the first year ever we will have a Jenless Christmas photo. It really makes me sad but I realize this is a perfectly normal thing and that I've done my job (and quite well if I do say so). Jen has become independent, with a family of her own. I am so very proud of who she is and everything that she stands for. She makes very brave but very good choices (including choices in a spouse). So the kids and I will be gone for a few days but I will post with lots of pictures on Monday when I am back.
In the meantime.. Here are a few for you... Nathaniel has started "Strings" which is basically an all strings orchestra. He is playing the viola and they had their first "concert" the other night. It was just a short program to go over the information with the parents and show us what they have learned so far.
Then here he is at home with Daddy. Pretty soon we'll have our own band. I guess I get lead vocals (YIKES). 
Sadie went to the groomer this week ~ she really needed it and here she is all dressed up with no where to go. Doncha just love the little bows. Of course they lasted all of 10 minutes. 
And last but not least... here is Julianne. She was told to get her stuff out of the family room and back in her room. The child DOES NOT travel light. Reminds me of another female child I had!  By the way.. she is feeling much better and is back in school ~ YEAH!!!
And in a final note, in case you were wondering... My dance with Bell's Palsy is very quickly coming to it's conclusion. I have almost full movement in my face. There is almost no more pain. I can still tell but I doubt most others could. My eye still gets dry but I always carry artificial tears with me. My arm is still not great but we're still working on it.
Well that's all I've got for now... keep those comments coming cause I'd love to know... How was your day???

Monday, October 15, 2007

And again

Once again Julianne is home with me because she has strep throat. The doctor is not sure if she "still" has it or has managed to get it once again. I'm thinking she's been reinfected as one of her classmates is home with Scarlett fever which is actually a severe form of strep. Should have known something was amiss when she fell asleep last night in a dining room chair. Richard did manage to snap a cute shot of her though.

Don't you wish you were still small enough to fit your whole body curled up into a dining room chair, or at least believe you were?
I have two "Happy Birthdays" today. One is Melissa (Mayla to me) who pretty much lived with us when we were in Raleigh 
And the other is my friend Meli in Tampa. She's one creative gal.
Happy birthday to both of you!
Well off to take care of the "sick" one! So, how was your day?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Quiet is Good

Life here in the Albury household has been fairly quiet lately ~ but for now I think quiet is good. Doesn't leave me much to write about but I'll try to (not bore you) fill you in on the last couple of days...

One of the cool things going on in our neighborhood is the "Spirit of the Phantom". The other night our doorbell rang (picture Sadie barking like a rabid dog and the kids running and screaming like lunatics ~ geez has no one here ever heard a doorbell?). When we got to the door no one was there but there was a little pumpkin basket sitting at the door filled with all kinds of Halloween goodies and a note that read "The phantom taunts you happily from now till halloween and was delivered by a friend who (hopefully) was not seen. The Spirit of the neighborhood has come to wish you well. Someone somewhere selected you to receive this happy spell. You must display this phantom on your door so all can spy that you have already been haunted by this happy little guy. Then fix a sack with goodies like the one given to you. Ring someone's bell and leave a bag and make them happy too."
How cool is that! We did find out who dropped off our bag (remember the little fellow who's parents I met under less than desirable circumstances?) and the following night we left a bag of goodies for someone else. I must say the kids and I had a blast putting it together and we let Nathaniel do the ding and dash as he is the fastest of us all. I really think we got lucky (again) in finding this neighborhood in our move.

DSC01647I did a bit more sewing this weekend as Julianne insisted that I make a present for her friend Amanda who's birthday party was today ~ rather than buying something, so with her "guidance" Amanda received a Sassy bag and Wonder wallet made out of the new line of Paris Cat fabrics I recently got. I also put a little Target gift card in the wallet and the whole thing was well received. One of her other friends who was at the party insisted she "needed" one of those bags as well (at least a dozen times). Flattered, I guess but just a bit too "I have to have everything everyone else has" for me so I hope she's not holding her breath!

Richard's mom Charlotte came up on Saturday evening and stayed until this evening and we had a nice visit. I ended up making a couple of wonder wallets for her as well. I just love those things. They are small but hold a ton of stuff ~ I was able to get rid of a big ol bulky wallet as was Charlotte.

I was a bad girl on Friday and skipped out on physical therapy ~ mostly because my eye was burning really badly (pretty much the only thing on my face that hurts now) and it affects my eye site and I wasn't comfortable about driving. The other reason was I was still feeling the effects of the "message" the therapist gave my arm on Wed. I know it's supposed to help but it feels like he punched me in the arm ~ over and over and over and well, you get the idea. I'm sure I'll pay for skipping out tomorrow when I go back.

School pictures came in for the kids. They turned out pretty well. I'll try to get them in the mail to some of you this week. This week looks to be pretty busy. I'm almost finished putting the binding on one quilt that needs to be mailed this week and then I've got pillow cases and such to do for Jen and Jeremy before we go see them this weekend... along with physical therapy 3x in 4 days and Sadie is going for a haircut on Tues and we finally get to hear Nathaniel play the viola in a (hopefully) short concert on Tues night.

I do have one Happy Birthday to send out to my nephew Chad. Now, normally I would post a picture of him here but SINCE MY SISTER TERRY HASN'T SEEN FIT TO SEND ME A PICTURE OF THE BOY IN PROBABLY 10 YEARS I don't have one to post. Think she'll get the message? Anyway... happy birthday Chad.

Well that's all from my little corner of the world..... so, how was your day?