Saturday, October 25, 2008

ardeo, ardere, adarsi, adarsus

Ardeo: Latin, to burn, conjugated. Three years of Latin, it's all I remember.

The other day I was having a conversation with my husband on the cell (which more often than not is how we have any conversation at all nowadays).

I forget exactly what we were discussing initially, but my husband made a comment that someone needed to "be whupped, and good", and I got to thinking, how exactly would you conjugate "to whup" within the Southern vernacular?

So, we started trying to conjugate "to whup", while I was driving.

You can "whup" someone, you can "whup up on" someone, the present tense is "whuppin'" and of course, the past tense would be "whupped". You can also "open a can of whoop-ass", but we quickly agreed that "whoop" is a noun and "whup" is a verb.

So, this is what we came up with:

To whup: to beat soundly, preferably with a switch, or some other object

I whup
You whup
We whups up on
Y'all whup up on
They whups up on

Used in a sentence:

"I was workin' on my truck, when my wife comes out all sudden-like and starts whuppin' me good because I done left the toilet seat up again."


"They matched you purty good in the first half, but by the second, y'all were whuppin' up on 'em."


"C'mere, boy. You sass your momma like that agin and I'm gonna whup you."

Or something like that.

And for those of you wondering where I've been, I'm back doing a regular shift again, weekdays 6 p.m. to midnight. You can listen online, live! They've even taken a much nicer picture of me for the website. Sorry for my absence.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hanna, Ike and Josephine...oh, MY!

The last time I wrote, we were watching Tropical Storm Fay. Now I'm nervously watching Tropical Storm Hanna. They keep changing the forecast track for the storm. Originally it was going to make a direct hit on Savannah, then it shifted south, now it's shifted north to somewhere between Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Normally, I wouldn't fret too much, but it's supposed to become Hurricane Hanna before it lands, and I'd rather not be stuck at the house alone with two kids and two cats in the middle of a hurricane. Right now I'm just waiting to see if I flee up I-75 to my in-laws or if I chance it and park my butt here, with the possibility that I'll be eating canned food for the next few days. And then, of course, there are those two other storms hanging out there in the Atlantic.

So, in order to take my mind off of impending tropical weather (Hanna, Ike and Josephine??), I now present gratuitous baby and kid pictures...

I have more I need to get off my camera, but that should do for now. If Willowtree can post pictures of his pets incessantly, I can post pictures of my kids, right? Right??

UPDATE: The new track shows Hanna bound for South Carolina, and then skipping up the coast to Newfoundland and Labrador. I bought those extra D cell batteries for nothing. Ah, well. There's always Ike.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky...

...Stormy Weather. Sung by seemingly everyone, but my favourites are Lena Horne, Billie Holiday and Etta James.

For the last few days we've been watching Tropical Storm Fay as it creeps closer and closer to our coast. Chatham County (the county right next door to us, and home to Savannah proper) is now under a Tropical Storm watch. Am I nervous? Maybe a little, although we are not under any watches in our county.

Truthfully, a tropical storm doesn't scare me as much as the idea of a hurricane. I've often told Ray that, while I know he has to stay and cover the storm for his listeners, the first evacuation order that comes will find me, the kids and the cats making a beeline up I-75 and to his parents house.

I actually did a live broadcast once as a tropical storm came ashore in Charleston a few years ago. The storm was quickly downgraded to a tropical depression, but it didn't make it any easier to stand outside of an oil change place and try to convince listeners they really needed to come on down and see me to win tickets to the Moody Blues. We did get some people to come by, but it may have been that they felt sorry for me. I was almost five months pregnant with TFYO at the time.

"Come on down folks! When was the last time you had your oil changed? Schools are closed and half the businesses in town have shut down, so now's your chance to be first in line to get an oil change for $19.95, and have a chance to win tickets to see the Moody Blues!"

There I was, just starting to show, holding an expensive piece of electrical equipment, while the rain just poured down all around us, and the wind tried to uproot the palm trees. At one point, I was underneath the awning that was over the front door. I walked inside, and moments later the thing collapsed from the amount of water that had pooled in it.

Thinking back on it, I suppose I should be nervous, but we're prepared. We've got all the batteries for our lanterns and radios and flashlights. We have our water supply (bottles, stored in the garage), plenty of canned foods, plus extra ice in the chest freezer. I've even taken in the patio furniture and moved the grill. The grill will be important, because if power goes out, I can use the side burners to cook things.

So blow, wind, blow!

Monday, August 18, 2008

When I was at home I was merry and frisky...

for those not in the know, that's the opening line to The Irish Washerwoman.

I just have to say... I F-ING ROCK!!!

Our Kenmore brand washing machine broke over the weekend, with a load of denim still in it, and believe me, the air was as blue as the fabric refusing to spin in that drum.

After much plugging, unplugging, pulling the timer thingy, pushing the timer thingy, and kicking the cabinet, I figured out that the lid latch was broken. It wasn't just broken, it had disintegrated, and if the lid doesn't latch, the washer won't drain or spin. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's the little plastic and metal thingy that the lid presses in to make the washer go. We have to have these apparently because people are too stupid to not know that they shouldn't put their hands (and other things) into a washer that's going through the spin cycle.

Ray and I thought about calling in a repairman from Sears, and then remembered the hell we went through trying to get our five year-old dryer repaired when it's door latch broke. Long story short, we ended up buying a new dryer because it was cheaper than paying some dude to fix the door. However, we are in no position to buy a new washing machine right now (much as I would like one!).

Half an hour and some serious Googling later ( do yourselves a favour, don't buy Kenmore appliances), I had myself convinced that I could fix this myself. All we needed to do was buy a new lid latch and plug it in. How hard could it be?

We called the local Sears appliance store and they said they had the part. Ray grabbed the girls and headed over, only to be told that they only had the part at the Savannah store, which closed at five p.m. As it was already four p.m., and they weren't open on Sunday, we decided we'd just have to make do until today.

Ray picked up the part and brought it home. It looked simple enough, even though it didn't come with instructions. All I had to due was unscrew the the bracket from the old latch, and put the new one in.

Not quite.

I also had to wrestle the front of the machine apart, which, funnily enough, has to be done from the back of the machine. The makers of said machine felt it necessary to point out my folly by placing this right behind the front panel.

Here are some more pictures for illustration.

Once I'd gotten the front panel wrestled apart, and the old lid latch unplugged, I noticed that the unit wasn't coming out, even though I'd unscrewed the bracket. The ground wire was bolted to the underside of the top of the machine, but I couldn't figure out how to unbolt the top of the machine, since it appeared to have been done from the underside, just like the ground wire. It took my husband (who is brilliant, but not great with tools) to figure out we had to remove the entire cabinet surrounding the wash drum.

I'd like to say that I managed to do all of this, and keep the washer in it's place in our laundry closet in our very narrow back hallway. I had to do it this way, since there wasn't room in the hallway for me and the washer at the same time.

After about an hour of wrangling, and tugging (and some cussing), I fixed our washing machine. I. Fixed. My. Washing. Machine.

This makes me almost as proud as when I made my first lattice top pie from scratch.

My washing machine is now humming merrily, spinning in contentment, as I type.

All of this has convinced me of two things:

1. I would have made a lousy pioneer.

2. I'm more mechanically inclined than maybe my Dad thought I was.

And that I f-ing rock!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Up in the morning and out to school...

from the song School Day by Chuck Berry.

I'm sorry that it's been a week since my last post. TFYO started kindergarten last week, and I was filling in on the night shift, to boot.

TFYO was very excited about getting to ride "the big girl bus". I was terrified. I'm sure I seemed like a helicopter parent, shouting instructions while she was getting on the bus, but I promised myself I'd let her go, and I would not meet her at the school.

As she was getting on the bus, I caught a glimpse of her clear backpack.* I realized she was missing something, something rather important, actually. She was missing her three-ring notebook which we were told at the school open house must absolutely, positively come with her every day. That binder holds her lunch money, her behaviour chart, notes from her teacher and any homework she's supposed to do or has already done.

In a panic, I fled back down our street from the bus stop, pushing the stroller at full speed. Baby J was less than impressed, and let me know by filling her diaper and spitting up all over herself. I must have literally scared the crap out of the poor kid.

So, even though I didn't want to, I ended up joining the horde of parents at the elementary school the first day. I had hoped to beat the bus, and make it to the classroom before TFYO. As I was speeding down the twisty two-lane highway, I noticed blue lights in my mirror. I began to pull to the side, convinced that I'd never make it to the school on time now, but he sped past me and pulled over the mom in the minivan filled with kids in front of me instead.

Now, normally I'm not the kind of person who rejoices in others misfortune. Not much, anyway. But I couldn't help smirking a little as I sped past her arguing with the deputy over how late her kids were going to be thanks to him. Hallelujah!

My joy was short-lived when I actually made it to the school, though. Traffic was already backing up at the entrance, and I could tell the parking lot was full. Wending my way through the throngs of tiny people carrying oversized backpacks, I managed to find a small strip of grass at the far end of the ball field that was not occupied by a pick-up truck, an SUV or a minivan.

Gathering up Baby J (who was howling with anger at being strapped in to the car seat), I huffed and puffed my way across the grounds until I could get in a door, where I was immediately told I had to go in the front and sign in.

Back out, and half way around the school, I pushed my way into the front entrance with seemingly every other parent in the county.

I was met with cries of "Sign in! We can't let you in unless you sign the sheet!" I scribbled something down on a line which may or may not have actually been my name. It was difficult to tell. Under reason for being there, I scrawled "forgetfulness", which was true.

Finally, notebook tucked under one arm, ten pound baby carrier containing thirteen pounds of baby straining the muscles of the other arm, I made it to TFYO's classroom. Her teacher looked puzzled until I displayed the notebook, unable to summon enough breath to speak. She smiled at me and asked if I wanted to say hi to my child before leaving. I nodded.

Was I met with a smile? Did I receive a delighted hug? No. All I got was...

"Tsk! Mooooo-ooom! What are you doing here?" And she rolled her eyes. My darling, sweet child, happy FYO...rolled her eyes at me.

Now that I'd managed to catch my breath, my answer was a bit tart.

"Well, I'm not here for my health. I'm bringing you the notebook that you forgot this morning."

"But Mommy, I'm too busy talking to Frankie to talk to you. Go home!"

"Who the heck is Frankie?"

"I'm Frankie!" said a little voice. It belonged to a cherub- faced boy with a mop of curls on his head. "I've got a loose tooth, see?"

Yeah, I could see. I could see that a loose tooth was much more important than mommy. TFYO gave me another look that plainly said "Beat it, ma. You're ruining me rep, here."

So, I slunk back to the car, trying not to sniffle over my first born baby, who no longer needed me. It was then that Baby J laughed out loud...and filled another diaper.

At least I know I'm still needed!

*County school rules state that all backpacks must be made of mesh or clear plastic. Same goes for pencil cases. Purses and makeup cases are subject to search.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A letter to my blog...

My Dearest Blog,

So sorry I've been out of touch. I know you feel neglected. Every time I sit in front of the computer to check my mail, pay bills or catch up on the news I think of you. I think of things I should be writing on you. But then...the baby cries, work calls, the in-laws show up, or it's dinner time, and I get called away; thinking of you, but never really connecting.

Alas, poor blog, so lonely in your corner of cyberspace. I can imagine you, sitting by yourself, whimpering in the dark, wondering why I don't come by more often. I bet you miss all of our little bloggy friends. Although, they've all gotten great makeovers, and you're still the plain little mousy thing you started off as last summer. I'm sure they don't hold it against you. I'm sure they still love you, they're just wondering why you don't say more.

Perhaps a little counseling is in order, to help us deal with this burgeoning case of blog agoraphobia. A little make-up might help us boost your confidence, and then maybe we can work on what you want to say when you meet other blogs.

I promise to work on my html skills a bit, and track down a copy of Photoshop so I can make you a pretty header. Perhaps we'll get lucky and a kind friend will help us make a template.

In the meantime, here are some roses to make up for my absence. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder...dearest, lonely little blog, I can only hope that's true.

Love always,

Friday, July 18, 2008

She Loves You, yeah, yeah, yeah...

So TFYO comes running into the living room this morning yelling,

"Mommy, MOMMY! I saw a rat outside my window! It was looking at me!"

I, of course didn't panic.

All right, I panicked a little and went tearing back to her room, screaming "A rat? WHERE??"

I peered out her window looking across the freshly seeded yard for any hint of a rodent: digging, droppings, anything. All I saw was a bunch of damp grass seed.

The TFYO says, "Well, wait. It might actually have been a beetle".

No, not that kind of beetle...

This kind.

Well, that's a load off my mind.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If you're looking for a moral to this song, 50 million monkeys can't be wrong

Lyric from a song made very popular by Dean Martin, The Peanut Vendor. Although it's been around longer than that.

Peanuts are a big deal in the south. Of course, you know, they're not a nut, they are a legume that was imported from Africa (even though they are originally from South America), along with okra, black-eyed peas and watermelons. Peanuts were one of the staples in the diets of enslaved Africans living in the Americas, so it's no surprise peanuts are everywhere down here.

Hell, one of our Presidents used his image as a Georgia peanut farmer to sell himself to the American people. Of course, Jimmy Carter also did graduate work in nuclear physics at Union College, New York, but that image did resonate quite as much as peanut farming.

Peanuts are important down here.

However, unlike up north, most folks don't prefer their peanuts roasted 'round these parts, they like 'em boiled.

It really is a southern thing. Every summer, hand made signs start popping up all along the road offering boiled peanuts in various vernaculars. I've seen everything from "Boiled P-nuts" to "Boiled Pee-nuts" offered for sale on the side of the road. Just remember, when you say boiled down here, you better say it "bawled", or they'll know you're a Yankee.

In the deep south, you can even find them canned in grocery stores like tomatoes or other veggies.

And I despise them.

I consider myself pretty well acclimated to the American South. I love grits and greens, I eat hoppin' john and pork every New Year's Day, and I even sound more like my neighbours here, than I do my northern family.

But there are two things I can't stand: sweet tea and boiled peanuts.

My husband loves both, and while he understands my dislike of sweet tea, he never tires of urging me to eat boiled peanuts.

Basically, a boiled peanut is a peanut that's been, well...boiled. You have to use fresh, green (as in just harvested, not in colour) peanuts. Then they're boiled, usually outdoors, in a big pot of salty water until the shells/skins get soggy. According to What's Cooking, they take on a "fresh legume flavor". According to me, they taste like soggy, slimy, wet and salty cardboard.

Just the idea of squishing one of those things into my mouth makes me shudder.

When Ray interviewed someone from the Effingham County Fair this past fall, he asked the man "How can I get my wife to try boiled peanuts?" The man's answer: "Well, hell, son, just shove a couple in her mouth. She'll get the idea."

And I may be coming around to that idea.

There's a gentleman who sells his boiled peanuts just outside the door of our local grocery. His sign proclaims "Best Boiled Peanuts in Georgia", and he gets extra points from me for spelling "peanut" correctly. He's a joy to talk to. He has one of those warm, southern voices that sounds like it's either going to break into a spiritual any minute, or possibly a sermon. TFYO always has to stop and chat with him whenever we go to the store, and it's always worth it to watch her listen to his stories.

She pays attention to that man, she hangs on his every word.

But I've never bought his peanuts.

I think, this week, I just might. At the very least, Ray will eat them.

This is Judy Garland singing The Peanut Vendor Song, not the best version I could find, but most of the other versions were in Spanish.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Take this job and...

I'm a little in love with Johnny Paycheck.

I quit my job yesterday. Well, I say I quit, but I'm still doing the occasional air shift on the weekends, but no more work during the week. No more production work. No more responsibility beyond my air shift.

And I feel so much better.

I let the one year anniversary (blogiversary?) of my little corner of the world pass without much fanfare. Sorry about that.

I also owe y'all a post about peanuts. I promise you will have it by Monday, and since I don't have to work Monday (or Tuesday, or Wednesday...) I get to come visit you all, too!

Oh, and if any of you know someone who's looking for a pretty good voice talent, send them my way. I can do accents, children's voices and character voices, too.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Where does the time go?

Sorry I haven't been around much, folks. I've been working, not sleeping, feeding a baby...that kind of thing.

We did make it out to a baseball game a couple of weeks ago, Baby J's first, and it was an exciting one for TFYO. She got to run the bases against Gnate the Gnat, the Sand Gnats mascot. Of course she won. Here are some pics for y'all.

The bottom pic shows TFYO crossing home plate. Ray knows some folks with the Sand Gnats, and as we were all chatting one of the promotions people asked if TFYO wanted to run the bases against Gnate after the fourth inning. Her response? To run for the open gate leading to the field, yelling "Woo-hoo! Let's go now!" The game, of course, was in the second inning. It was amazing to watch a huge crowd of adults all yell "Not yet!" and lunge for my child at the same time.

Like an idiot, I forgot to bring my camera, but we happened to run in to a co-worker (Hi, Amy!) who remembered hers. Amy is such a diligent photographer that she ran down the third base line and almost mowed Gnate down in order to get the shot of TFYO crossing home plate. TFYO promptly grabbed the live mic and hollered "Helloooooo, Savannah!" She then took a bow.

Here she is making nice with the insect she was running against:

I have been working more than I should, but money is money, and it makes the world go around. It also pays for incredibly expensive gas, food, cable internet, and a roof over our heads.

Baby J is fine, and is actually sleeping in three hour stretches at night now, just not in her bassinet or crib. She prefers the bouncy seat. I, frankly, don't care where she sleeps, as long it's safe and allows me to sleep with some comfort, too. She has developed a case of infant acne that would make your average teenager cringe, but it seems to be clearing up.

If you watch your stat counters, you may have noticed that I've been by. I don't comment a whole lot, as it's difficult to type while nursing, or holding a baby with one arm. I'm getting better at it, but if I don't leave a comment, don't be hurt.

For those wanting a post with more Southern flavour, I've been working on one about boiled peanuts, the delicacy of the south. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Torn between two lovers...

I swear this is not going to turn into "the baby blog", just bear with me for a bit. It is a good excuse to post baby pics, though.

I'm actually not torn between two lovers (my husband will be relieved to know!), but I'm torn between two paths.

You see, my employer called this week, pretty much begging me to come back, at least part time. I really wanted to turn her down. Baby J isn't even a month old yet, and I worry about having to be away from her.

But we could really use the cash.

Aye, there's the rub.

I stayed home with TFYO for the most part. I didn't work a single shift until she was four months old, and even then I realized I wasn't really ready to go back. I didn't start working regularly until she was almost eight months old, and even then, Ray and I worked opposite shifts so that one of us would always be with her. But here I am now, looking at an ever diminishing bank balance, and the urge to "pull my weight" financially is tugging pretty hard.

I feel like I should be at home. Truth be told, if I was wealthy, I'd never go back to work. Ever. I'd stay home with my kids and make stupid crafts out of paper plates and macaroni, and take them to the playground, and help them plant a veggie garden.

But my checkbook is sitting on the desk as a glaring reminder that I don't have that luxury.

How do other women manage? The idea of putting my infant into care is abhorrent to me, yet millions of single mothers do it every day. I'm barely getting enough sleep to make it through a twenty-four hour period, how am I going to manage to stay awake at work? I can't even manage to get more than one load of laundry and dishes done right now.

And don't even get me started on pumping breast milk.

So, I'm going in to work for a few hours today, and Ray will have the baby, and a couple of bottles of expressed milk. I'm only hoping we don't both collapse under the weight of our own guilt.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Greetings from the Land of the Midnight Dairy

That's not a song title, but it damn well should be...

Who was I to think I'd have more time to blog after the arrival of Baby J? Some of my fears have been realized with the fact that she is a night owl, just as she was in the womb. Since Ray gets up at 3 a.m. for work, I can't really ask him to pull an all nighter with the baby. That, and he's lacking some of the necessary equipment required to care for Baby J at this point as well.

What this means, is that I've been watching a lot of late night television, something I haven't done since TFYO was an infant, who also liked to stay up all night and nurse for hours on end. It's been putting questions in my head.

Like, when did Conan O'Brien's hair get so big? Is he purposely brushing it higher to compliment that huge forehead?

When did Craig Ferguson become funnier than anyone else on late night TV?

And when did they start a series called "The History of Sex" on the History Channel?

Is Billy Mays really a person, or an animatronic doll?

And that guy that does the Sham-Wow commercials, why is he so damn angry?

Why would anyone need to have a Matlock marathon at 3 a.m., especially when the target demographic for the show is in bed by 8 p.m.?

And who thought an infomercial on colon cleansing was a good idea? Especially with detailed pictures?

I know it seems like these are frivolous questions, but when you've been subsisting on three hours of broken sleep per day, they take on an ominous tone. By the time Baby J settles down at 5:30 in the morning, I can't help but wonder if I have enough cleaning power in my vacuum, if my teeth are white enough, and if an onion chopper has a place in my kitchen.

But wait, there's more!

Actually, there's not. I've always just wanted to say that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome to the World...

I meant to post sooner, but I just got home from the hospital yesterday. Sorry about that...

Baby J arrived into the world, Saturday, April 19th at 9:52 p.m. EDT via emergency c-section.

There's actually nothing wrong with her, except, perhaps for a flawed sense of direction and a love of tap dancing.
I arrived at the hospital late Saturday afternoon, having fairly strong and regular contractions, but they were going to send me home. That is, until they did an internal examination.

Nurse: "Um, that doesn't feel like a head. No, that's definitely not a head. Maybe it's a hand. "

She then calls in another nurse and invites her to take a grab.

Nurse 2: "No, that's not a head, and it's not a hand, either. That's a foot. Ma'am, did you know your baby is breech?"

Aw, hell.

It was at that moment that Baby J decided to start setting off alarms by letting her heart rate plummet, disappear, and then reappear with gusto not thirty seconds later.

Nurse 1: "Um, you are most definitely NOT going home. "

Initially, they were just going to keep me for observation overnight, keep an eye on the baby, and make sure she didn't try to kick her way out. I sent Ray and TFYO home. Five minutes later, the Amazing Baby J did her disappearing heart beat trick again, and I was informed that I'd be having a c-section within the hour. Ray, TFYO and our very dear friend Debbie all made it back just in time for me to be wheeled into the OR.

I have to say a huge thank you to all the staff at St. Joseph/Candler-Mary Telfair Hospital. The doctor who performed my surgery was quick, the nurses were all warm, funny, caring and professional, and even though I was terrified, everyone worked hard to make me comfortable. I panicked about being cut open, but everyone was just wonderful, including the nurse who did a pratfall just for my benefit. Shame I didn't actually see her do it.

I was given a spinal block at 9:35, Ray walked into the OR in his scrubs (see picture), and Baby J was born at 9:52. By 10:05, I was cleaned up, stapled up, and sent off to my room.

They're cute, aren't they?

It turns out, Baby J's heart is just fine. However, she had the cord wrapped around her foot, and she was stomping on it. It was like her own personal hoedown. Just for good measure, she was kicking the placenta around, and kicked at everyone on her way out, too.

I look like hell in this picture, but I don't really care. After all, I'd just given birth. For the record, Baby J appears to have dark hair and dark eyes. Otherwise, she looks almost identical to her big sister when TFYO was that age.

I'm tired, and I'm sore, but we're home now, embarking on our latest adventure. Stay tuned for more exciting episodes!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So tired, tired of waiting...

...taking the advice of Willowtree and Dumdad. I do love the Kinks, and Ray Davies's writing is so under-appreciated.

I had another doctor's appointment today, and since I'm writing, I'm pretty sure you can guess what happened.

Not a damned thing.

I'm now at 2.5 centimetres. Whoopee. My doctor's advice? Don't sweat it, and try walking.

Easy for him to say. It's not like he's trying to walk with a bowling ball hanging down to his knees. Not as far as I know, anyway.

I have been in a bit of a cleaning fit, lately. I've been vacuuming lamp shades and drapes, reorganizing books and DVDs. I halfway thought about baking a pie, but I can't decide what kind I want. Right now, it's a toss up between canned cherries and fresh blackberries, which are just coming into the stores. I don't think I can afford the blackberries, though. I'm hoping all this nesting activity means that labour will come soon. Of course, it could just mean I'm bored sitting around the house.

So in the meantime, we continue to wait, and ponder pie...

Friday, April 11, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part...

...with thanks to Tom Petty. I'm going to have to start researching songs that have to do with waiting, I think.

I'm still exactly where I was last week, at two centimetres. While I'm glad we haven't had pre-term labour yet, I'm getting kinda antsy.

I am having contractions. The little box they have at the doctor's that goes "ping" showed me that. There just not apparently strong enough to be doing anything right now. After being hooked up with various pads and bands, etc, I lay in a chair listening to my child's heartbeat. Unfortunately for everyone, Baby J doesn't like being touched all that much, and efforts to get her to stay in one place to continue monitoring her heart rate were pretty futile. Every time they got her pinned down for a few minutes, she'd turn over to the other side, which of course also made it difficult to monitor my contractions. With every move, she was snapping the velcro off the monitoring pads.

Eventually she calmed down, and the doctor looked at the readout and said incredulously, "Are you feeling those?"

"Well, some of them. But they don't really hurt at all".

So, I'm having regular contractions (apparently every fifteen minutes or so), they're just doing much to move me along. I've got another doctor's appointment Tuesday, so we'll see if we make it.

And the beat goes on...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Don't stop believin'...

Would you believe I still haven't gone into actual labour yet?

I am, however, now officially on maternity leave with strict instructions from my coworkers not to do anything. Which means I now want to do laundry and clean the house.

I do have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and with any luck I'll still be at two centimetres and I can wait another week to have the baby. I'd rather not have her just now, since she'd be a bit early. I decided to go on maternity leave after feeling like crap on Wednesday, and taking Thursday off. Friday was my last day.

I am also overwhelmed at the generosity of my coworkers, who managed to organize a baby shower in just one day. We had registered at Target a few weeks ago, and one of the girls I work with said it seemed like most of the building was there on Thursday night. And now that the furniture for the nursery has finally arrived, we may actually have everything in place just in time!

So, in the meantime, still waiting...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Does the Jeopardy Theme have a title?

Two centimetres dilated, 25% effaced, and holding.

And still working. And hoping I at least make it to the end of the week.

I would have posted this yesterday when I found this out at the doctor's, but I didn't want anyone to think it was an April Fool's joke.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't get around much anymore...

...which is a great song.

Just a quick post to let you know I'm still alive and still gestating.

Although, my OBGYN says it could be anytime between now and my due date, May 3. Actually, I probably won't even make it to my due date. I was told to start seeing the doctor weekly, beginning next week, and that it might be a good idea to bring a packed bag with me, just in case. If I show any signs of imminent labour, they're just going to admit me to the hospital and be done with it.

I've developed a serious case of pregnant woman waddle, and I get to enjoy the smirks of my coworkers as I attempt to navigate the hallways of our building, trying to remember that I can't suck in my gut as I squeeze by.

I have to keep reminding myself not to climb things, reach up for things, reach down for things, or turn around suddenly, the last almost causing me to fall over due to my new center of gravity.

Heartburn has reared its ugly head, and I keep a jar of Tums with me at all times. My feet and hands have begun to swell just slightly.

It's as though my body has suddenly decided to throw all of pregnancy's symptoms at me in these last few weeks, a final assault leading up to D-Day, as it were.

But, I feel surprisingly fine. Yeah, I'm tired, and I'm working too many hours, but it's not as bad as I imagined it would be.

I've popped in to see a few of you, commenting when I can, and I miss you all. My maternity leave starts April 18th, and I'll make sure to come visit you all then.

Assuming, of course, I haven't already given birth.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

When Irish Eyes are Smiling...

Well, Saint Patrick's Day weekend in Savannah is almost over, and what fabulous party wouldn't be complete without tornadoes and a four county blackout?

I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how well behaved everyone's been this weekend. The arrest rate, overall, was down. Although some of the more memorable included the standard drunk-woman-swimming-in-a-fountain story, and the guy caught with his hands down another guy's pants, who then insisted that a graphic description of what he was accused of doing be read aloud to the night court. The woman in the fountain was sobbing when she went before the judge, and still just a little dripping wet. The judge asked her if she'd had her clothes on while she was in the fountain, and the woman said yes. "Well, at least that's something," replied the judge.

Last night, we did have some very severe weather. Severe enough that me and TFYO spent some time hanging out in my walk-in closet with a battery powered lantern and some books. A tornado passed very close to the house. It missed us, and took out the main distribution power substation instead, plunging four counties into complete darkness, including the city of Savannah, where around a hundred thousand people were whooping it up between City Market and River Street.

Again, I am glad that I live in an area where emergency services know exactly what to do when disaster strikes, and I'm glad that, generally, I live in a city where people are well behaved. The police used their car lights, and generators, to get enough power and light going to move people to shuttles and get them out of the downtown area in an orderly fashion. There were no reports of arson, or looting, and everyone pretty much did as they were told, and got the hell out before the storms hit the city itself. There was no wide-scale pandemonium from what I could tell, and that was very reassuring. If a hurricane ever does hit here, I feel confident that we'll either all make it out in time, or we'll be well assisted one way or another.

Ray ended up driving in to work to help cover the evacuation, although by the time he got there, the power was back on at our house.

Big kudos to Georgia Power, too. It took a little while to get power back to all areas, but it happened more quickly than I would have thought possible. Our power was only off for a couple of hours, and by the time Ray headed home, they were slowly getting power back in to parts of Chatham County. Of all the places I've lived, Georgia Power by far has the quickest response time. Makes me happy knowing all that stuff in the freezer stayed frozen.

It was another forty-five hour week for me, and I did work about an hour yesterday afternoon, plus I managed an air shift, too! I console myself with the fact that I do get paid overtime, and it will come in handy when I go on maternity leave, just five more weeks.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thank you!

Just a quick post to thank all of you for your well wishes. I worked forty-five hours, thirty-seven minutes this week, and crammed it into five days. It's not too bad, but it's not the easy transition into my maternity leave that I had initially hoped for!

This is also a post to say thank you to reader Saphyre Rose, who sent me a lovely present for Baby J. The generosity of people I've met on the internet never ceases to amaze me. Just when I start losing hope for humanity (at least those that seem to inhabit my everyday world), someone goes and does something like this, for someone the only know online.

This is Rose's gift to Baby J:

She crocheted it herself, and the pictures just don't do it justice. She's a marvelously talented, and feisty woman. I do like reading her point of view. Thank you Saphyre Rose!

For those wondering, I am managing at my new temporary promotion better than I had hoped. There've been no major crises, and no one has seen fit to show me the door, yet. And I do get an office to myself until they hire someone else to do the job. The office has a door which is nice to close while I work through lunch. I've popped in to see a few of you, and I imagine once I finally go on leave I'll have a bit more time to read you all and maybe actually write a bit myself!

St. Patrick's Day is coming up, and it's a big time in Savannah. It's so big, there's even a news crew from TG4 in Ireland doing a documentary on how a group of immigrant Irish Catholics seemed to flourish so well in an area dominated by Baptists. I've always wondered that myself. The greened the fountains yesterday, after having to delay it from Friday (we had storms). We are not going to the parade this year. In truth, the whole festival has slowly turned from a celebration of Irish families into an excuse to get drunk in the streets on green beer. The crowds are usually huge and rowdy, and I'm just not up to dealing with it. Maybe next year, when I'm not in need of a bathroom quite so often.

I'll try to post again next Sunday!
Oh, and I Rotten Correspondent, my due date is 56 days away, May 3rd. Although, TFYO was a week early. Judging by my size and how much Baby J has dropped down in the last couple of weeks, she may be early, too.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do...

Oh, ain't it the truth, Neil.

On Thursday, our production director, my immediate supervisor, decided to give two weeks notice. Our general manager, as is her right, decided the two weeks weren't necessary.

What does that mean?

It means I'm now the interim production director, half trained, half aware, and half way out the door.

Which wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't almost eight months pregnant.

For those who don't know what a production director does, let me explain. The production director is responsible for producing and dubbing all the commercials that air on our stations. In this case, the production director is also responsible for a nasty little thing referred to as "continuity", and I hate it.

I can make commercials all day long. I love sitting in the studio in front of the board and my audio editing software. I love fiddling with little bits of audio, and making them fit in the right places. I love picking out music, tweaking scripts, doing voice overs and character voices. I've gotten to the point where I can read the visual representation of a wav file the way other people read heart beats on a monitor. I can tell where someone has taken a breath, where the percussion solo is in the music, and where I've spliced in the sound effects, just by looking at the wav form.

What I don't like is sitting in the office in front of my computer trying to figure out which spot is supposed to run at what time of day, how many times, and which sales order it's supposed to be associated with so that the billing is correct. That's continuity. Continuity is sorting through what we call "traffic", which is a piece of paper (or many pieces of paper) that describes which spot runs, when it runs, how many times it runs, as well as any times it is prohibited to run. And I get to keep track of it all on a piece of software that is ungainly and maddening, and not very user friendly. Add in our new internet streaming system, and I spend a lot of time in front of a very angry and petulant computer.

The worst thing about being the production director is that I don't seem to get to do much production! I was at work from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. last night, but I did take a one and a half hour break for dinner with my family. They came to rescue me. The funny thing is, I spent most of the day doing paper work, and trotting from one end of the building to another hunting down salespeople for production orders that hadn't been turned in, or were incomplete, or catching up with orders that had been placed, but didn't have traffic or instruction. I didn't actually start doing production (i.e. dubbing or audio mixing) until 2 p.m. Then we had a ton of orders that all came in at 5 p.m., just as we thought we were done putting stuff in to run for the day. We had at least four clients who had to be added to the broadcast logs at the last minute. Fridays are always bad since we're planning commercials schedules for the whole weekend, but this was probably one of the worst Fridays I've ever worked.

And this leads me to my next bombshell.

Because the hours of a production director are so long, my blogging will be severely curtailed. I may try to pop in now and again before my maternity leave, but you might want to just save yourselves the trouble of checking in here for the next seven weeks. The irony is, now that I've been promoted (at least temporarily), I'll probably have a hell of a lot more to write about!

So thanks to all who read and comment here regularly. I'll try to come see you as much as I can. For those who use Bloglines or Technorati or some such thing, you'll know when I post. I would encourage anyone who hasn't to read some of my older posts. They are much better than the drivel I've been spewing out recently.

But if I have to choose between seeing my kid before she falls asleep and talking to y'all...well, I'm sure you'll agree TFYO is cuter than you. Well, Willowtree might not agree, but I think he's delusional. He thinks dishwasher detergent talks.

I'll leave you with my favourite picture of me at work. Thanks y'all.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Keep on rollin'...

For those dying to know the follow-up to "Give our Georgia Friends a Drink" Day, I have it for you here.

Mayor Ron Littlefield's assistant drove the truck full of water down to Atlanta, dressed as Davy Crockett. No seriously, there's a picture in the article.

And he was promptly "arrested". Okay, well, not actually. But they were met at the capitol steps with people bearing handcuffs.

I'll post more later, but we have a work crisis going on. Like I said, I'll fill y'all in later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cool, clear water!

In a follow-up to a previous post about the emerging water war between the states of Tennessee and Georgia, I bring you this story of politics at it's best.

You may remember that the Georgia Senate had drafted a resolution encouraging the resurveying of the current state line between Georgia and Tennessee. If our state lawmakers have their way, we'd end up getting a piece of the Tennessee River, and a chunk of Chattanooga with it.

Well, Chattanooga's mayor, Ron Littlefield, issued a proclamation yesterday in response. Here is the story from The Chattanoogan, but I'll put the proclamation here for your reading pleasure as well. It's masterfully written.


WHEREAS, it has come to pass that the heavens are shut up and a drought of Biblical proportions has been visited upon the Southern United States, and

WHEREAS, the parched and dry conditions have weighed heavily upon the State of Georgia and sorely afflicted those who inhabit the Great City of Atlanta, and

WHEREAS, the leaders of Georgia have assembled like the Children of Israel in the desert, grumbled among themselves and have begun to cast longing eyes toward the north, coveting their neighbor’s assets, and

WHEREAS, the lack of water has led some misguided souls to seek more potent refreshment or for other reasons has resulted in irrational and outrageous actions seeking to move a long established and peaceful boundary, and

WHEREAS, it is deemed better to light a candle than curse the darkness, and better to offer a cool, wet kiss of friendship rather than face a hot and angry legislator gone mad from thirst, and

Whereas, it is feared that if today they come for our river, tomorrow they might come for our Jack Daniels or George Dickel,

NOW THEREFORE, In the interest of brotherly love, peace, friendship, mutual prosperity, citywide self promotion, political grandstanding and all that

I, Ron Littlefield, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee,

Do hereby Proclaim that Wednesday, February 27, 2008 shall be known as

“Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day”

I think it's the best answer anyone has come up with. I only hope the mayor doesn't mind taking all those bottles back for recycling.

I've been working an awful lot this week, y'all, so the post on St. Patrick's Day may have to wait, and the Friday Five may not be in until evening!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Five

Yea! I posted a Friday Five!

It's pouring down rain here today, which of course makes me think of springtime. I apologize to my northern readers for today's list. I'm really not trying to rub in your faces that it's still snowing up there, and so balmy down here. Really. Don't hate me. And don't send your cold, chilly weather down here, either.

I moved to the South primarily because I fell in love with springtime. My first time to the south was in early March of 1996. I went on a road trip with a boyfriend that took us through Alabama on our way to New Orleans. As we drove through Tuscaloosa, all the cherry trees, dogwoods and azaleas were just bursting forth with colour. It was a stark contrast to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where there were two feet of snow on the ground, and we'd just left a howling winter storm. I was instantly smitten. I moved a few months later and never looked back.

Even though it's only February, spring has already sprung in many places across the south, including Savannah. The daffodils have already begun to bloom, and some of the azaleas have too. So, today's Friday Five...

Five Reasons I Love Springtime in Savannah

1. Azaleas

They are everywhere, and I mean everywhere, down here. I even have a couple of scraggly looking little plants outside my house, although I doubt they're going to bloom. As I was driving to work yesterday, I notices that some of the older plants have already started putting forth those gorgeous pink, red and white blossoms. It's marvelous to think that while there's four feet of snow on the ground in parts of Ontario, the high today is going to be 67, and the azaleas are already blooming. If you ever visit Savannah, try to do it in the spring. The mounds of azaleas on every corner downtown will blow you away. By the way, if you come in January or February, you can see the camellias. They actually bloom in late winter. The picture is of Our Lady of Confidence Monastery here in Savannah. It shows how lovely the azaleas look against the Spanish Moss hanging from the oak trees.

2. Rain

It usually rains a lot here, and I do love it. I love the sound of it hitting the roof, I love the way everything turns green and lush after a rainfall, even in the winter. It also means I don't have to water my lawn all that much, and it still looks decent. Springtime is often the rainy season here, and it helps us grow all these great plants. That, and rainy afternoons encourage me to curl up with a cup of tea and a book on the sofa with the cats and TFYO. Any excuse, as far as I'm concerned. Here is a very short video of this morning's rain, taken from my back door. Excuse the construction debris, they're still building behind us. And yes, I know, I have no grass in my backyard.

3. Crickets

You can tell it's spring here, because we're seeing more animals and insects out and about, especially the crickets. I got to hear crickets for the first time in months a couple of nights ago. I was so excited. I wasn't so excited to find one in the kitchen, and even less excited when the cats couldn't be bothered to kill it for me. But I do like listening to them at night. It reminds me that those mild evenings spent on the porch are right around the corner. And it's a much nicer sound than ATVs through my backyard.

4. Green

Winter is short here, and relatively mild. There's actually quite a few deciduous plants that stay green here right the way through, like the live oak. But when spring comes, huge carpets of green seem to pop up overnight in farmers' fields, along roadsides, pretty much anywhere you look. It's almost as if all that green is waiting just below the surface for a good rain to wash away the dirt and let it emerge.

5. No jackets required

I bought a winter coat this past November, and I'm not really sure why. Oh, I got to use it a few times, mostly around Christmas. But now, I rarely need more than a sweatshirt and a rain coat. Usually, I'm just wearing a t-shirt. Several people I work with are from Michigan (small world, y'know?), and half of them wear short sleeves right the way through the winter. One guy wears shorts and a t-shirt everyday. Granted, the natives look at us without coats and think we're nuts, but who cares? It's mild, the breeze is soft, the flowers are blooming. Who wants to bundle up at a time like this?

Well, that's my five. For those who don't live in the South, give me five reasons you love spring where you live. Or if you hate spring, tell me why, you curmudgeons!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Old black water, keep on rollin'

There's been a lot of talk about water here in Georgia lately. If you're stateside and pay attention to the news, you know how bad the drought is in this part of the country. Now the good folks at our state legislature have hit on a plan to bring more water into the state.

They want to annex part of Tennessee.

Not much of it, just a little slice of the Tennessee River and most of Chattanooga with it.

According to the sponsors of a bill that would redraw the state line, the state line was never drawn correctly in the first place. Apparently, back in 1818, a surveyor mis-marked where the line should be because he was using nautical equipment to do the survey. Supporters of the "redraw" plan also have said there were forest fires, and he was being harassed by Native Americans while trying to figure out where the state line was.

The bill has now cleared the state senate unanimously, and the state house is lookng at a similar bill that would encourage a resurveying of the line.

Of course, Congress has to approve any moving of the state line, and I'm pretty sure Tennessee isn't going to go along with this.

I do find it amusing, though, since that whole area is where my in-laws live. Folks up there have been joking about a new "civil war". If I was living in Chattanooga, my biggest gripe in moving to Georgia would be about having to pay state income taxes, since Tennessee doesn't have them.

I honestly can't wait to see what happens with this. Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have been duking it out for a while over water sharing, since all three states are suffering from the drought. But there's no doubt that Atlanta, with it's huge population, is definitely in dire straits, if they had any water to make a strait. I can't help but imagining little "water militias" popping up all along the state lines. Alabama already has a group that calls itself the Alabama Minutemen, although they're primarily concerned with illegal immigrants right now. I'm sure they'd be up for defending a river, though.

Lawmakers in Tennessee are questioning the sudden desire to correct a two-hundred year old mistake, but Georgia lawmakers claim they've been protesting this for years and nothing has been done about it. I think they may have to protest for another two hundred years before that thing gets changed.

By the way, the picture is a Thomas Nast Harpers Weekly illustration of the Battle of Lookout Mountain, which is in Chattanooga. I got it from this site: It's a great site that has many Civil War era images, and despite the name, has some Union stuff, too. If you like history, please check it out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just a' good ol' boys...

Oh, and I'm feeling much better now. Biscuits consumed, porch rockers rocked, and much sleep was had. I recommend a rainy afternoon on a screened-in porch with a mountain view to anyone who is stressed. And thanks again for all your concern. ~J

Waylon didn't write that song, but he did sing it.

We had a minor scandal here in Effingham County not too long ago, involving some of our county's finest. Or maybe not so fine.

Seems a couple of our sheriff's deputies were bored with the graveyard shift one night back in January, and decided to liven things up by playing a prank on the Rincon Police Department. Too bad it cost them their jobs.

Deputy Brian Davis and Corporal Stacy Strickland are accused of making prank 911 calls from various pay phones around town, and then leaving the phones off the hook, resulting in Rincon cops driving all over the place to check out the calls. Not only that, but Cpl. Strickland is also accused of playing his cell phone ring tone through his cruiser loudspeakers while driving down Weisenbaker Road around 4 a.m. I have no idea what the ring tone was, but it might as well have been the Dukes of Hazzard theme song. There's more on the story here, from our local paper. So far, no charges have been filed, but each call could cost them about a thousand dollars.

I have to say, it's kind of reassuring that there's so little going on out here that law enforcement has the time to play like this. You know, no child abuse, no drug busts, no car wrecks , or anything. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. But then again, if the boys are bored, maybe they need something to keep them occupied on those long drives around the county. Kind of like me giving TFYO paper and crayons to keep her busy on long car trips. So here's a list of things those bored deputies can do.

  1. Count pine trees. Effingham County still has a thriving lumber trade, and I'd say about half the county still has pine plantations. Each night, the guys can count the trees in their patrol area, log them, and do it again the next night to see if any have fallen.

  2. Pull over any speeding ATV's. My neighbours seem to think it's okay to go cruisng through my unfenced back yard after nightfall, and I'm sure they're out driving on the streets as well. I don't know if there's a speed limit for ATV's (aka four-wheelers), but I'm sure we could work something out.

  3. Log the number of blue vehicles they see each night. Then switch it to red the next week, and green the week after that. Have them sort the vehicles by make, model and year. Cross reference how many are pickup trucks.

  4. Count the number of cars up on blocks in people's yards. Then compare it to the number of bass boats, also in people's front yards.

  5. Clean pay phones in Rincon, and make sure each one of them are on the hook.

These are just for starters, of course, I'm sure y'all could come up with a few. Maybe we could send them on to Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie, just in case he needs help keeping his deputies occupied.

Friday, February 15, 2008


...not so fun day. Well, I take that back. Today will be fun, because I have nothing to do besides drive up to my in-laws, which means I'll finally be getting some rest.

To say this has been a bad week might be an understatement. No Friday Five today, because my brain is mush, and the fact that I'm even putting coherent sentences together is an achievement in my book (they are coherent, aren't they?).

Yes, I've worked double shifts with the cold from hell. Yes, I baked cupcakes for TFYO's Valentine's Day party. Yes, I had an OBGYN appointment. Yes, I had a parent-teacher conference this week (my kid is teacher's pet, by the way).

And we're all fine. Tired, but fine.

I also found out this week that one of my grandmothers has been put in a nursing home, following a rather swift decline. On the one hand, I'm surprised, because I just talked to her at Christmas, and she seemed okay. On the other, when we got up north to see her a year ago last summer, she was already showing signs of confusion.

Gran has suffered from seizures for a long time, and she had a big one a few weeks ago. While the hospital says there was nothing wrong with her (which, despite the seizures and MRIs and CATscans they still say), she began to descend pretty quickly, and I'm convinced she's had a stroke. I got a phone call from my aunt letting me know what was going on. Gran can't walk (a month ago, she had a walker and was mobile), she's sometimes unaware of her surroundings, and she's having trouble feeding and bathing herself.

I suppose it's a little selfish of me that all I can think about right now is getting away to my in-laws where I know TFYO will be petted and fussed over, and I can just sit on the porch and eat a biscuit (that's not a cookie for you British types, but a Southern biscuit) and not think. There are people in the world much worse off than me: The families of ten people killed in the sugar refinery explosion, the families in the mid-South and mid-west who lost everything in tornadoes, the families of students killed in Illinois yesterday.

But I think I need a little selfishness right now. Just a little, just for a little while.

PS: I'm trying to get around to visit all of you, if just to read. If your stat counters show I've been there, but I haven't left a comment, please don't be offended. Sometimes, I just don't have enough time to comment before someone drags me away to do something else.

And is it just me, or are any of you who use Blogger having a tough time getting the spell-check button to work?

Monday, February 11, 2008


Which is the title of a movie, not a song.

I do have quite a bit of housekeeping to do around here, though (to say nothing of my own house!), because I'm swimming in awards again.

I'm still not sure how that's quite possible since I haven't been blogging all that much, but I appreciate it, nonetheless.

First up, from my favourite ex-pat journalist, Dumdad comes this lovely award:

It also arrived from Kaycie, at Lost in the Bible Belt. I've always enjoyed reading Dumdad's musings from The Other Side of Paris, and have for quite a while. Kaycie is a fairly new friend, whom I met over at Confessions of a Rotten correspondent. I'm supposed to bestow this rather sharp looking award on ten people. If I've gotten it from two people, does it mean I need to find twenty blogs to give it to? Hmmm.

Next up, is this award that first came from Mya, and then came from RC.

It's a platonic love, kissy, appreciation kind of thing. Description:

It’s a big kiss, of the chaste, platonic kind, from me to you with the underlying ‘thanks’ message implied. I really do appreciate your support and your friendship, and yes, your comments.’

I do need to quote Mya, from Missing You Already, here, because her little description of me made me all weepy:

Jen at A Snowballs Chance in Hell – because she’s a great blogger finding it a bit of a struggle to keep up the pace as her pregnancy advances. This award will look very pretty against your black blog, my dear. Do hope you can get some sleep soon.

And that's not to diminish the marvelous Rotten Correspondent in her flinging of "mwah's", either. RC has been one of my biggest supporters in this blogging endeavour since I met her. She comes here faithfully, and reads whatever drivel I happen to spit out, and even has the niceness to comment on it. She certainly deserves that award.

Please forgive me if I don't fling any "mwah's" at folks right now, as I have a cold, so lovingly bestowed on me by a stupid coworker, whom I now get to fill-in for today. I'd hate for you to "suddenly be coughing up blood" while your boss is away, too.

Last, and certainly not least, this award come from Jo Beaufoix:

As RC noted, Jo was very brave in bestowing this award on our favourite crochety old man, Willowtree. (He's not really all that old, I just like to yank his chain sometimes. If you're the same age as the old man from Oz, don't take offense.) I love Jo, and I love Babs, her ostrich. Every time I drive by this farm out on Ga. Hwy 17, I think of Jo, because the guy raises emus and ostriches. The ironic thing about this award, is that I'm not spreading all that much love right now, since I haven't been here!

Once I stop working double shifts, preparing for parent-techer conferences this week, making something to bring for the TFYO's Valentine's Day party, and covering for hypochondriacal workers who claim to be coughing up blood while the boss is on vacation, I will be back to send out these awards to all the people that likely already have them. If you don't have one of these awards yet, leave a comment, and I'll put you on the list to thank, and you can take one for your blog! Kind of like the Piggly Wiggly for awards! Yeah!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I meant to do a fabulous post thanking a bunch of people for awards that have been bestowed on me recently (despite the fact that I've done very little actual blogging, what's wrong with you people?), but an incident last night has pre-empted my orginally scheduled post. So, Mya, Dumdad and Jo, I promise, you will get your due in a couple of days, but there's something much more important I need to cover this morning.

Last night, there was an explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery, a few miles down the highway from where I live, in Port Wentworth, Georgia. It used to be the Dixie Crystals refinery, before Imperial bought them out, and it's been part of the Savannah landscape for generations. Whole families have worked there, one generation after another, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters.

It appears sugar dust in a silo next to the bagging facility may have combusted, according to a company CEO who just happened to be in town this week, and as we all know, sugar is very flammable. No official cause has been given as I write this. Most of the injuries appear to be burn related, with around ten people airlifted to the burn center in Augusta, which is north of here. Several people are in critical condition. Part of the Savannah River is still closed to boat traffic, so tankers and container ships are still backed up out into the sea waiting to port and unload.

There appears to be a total of 41 injured, with six people still unaccounted for. Firefighters had the blaze under control, but there are still some hot spots in the building that are keeping them from searching for the missing.

The most amazing thing to me about the whole incident, is how quickly emergency teams responded with ambulances and fire crews coming from miles and miles away, from many different counties. A church across the street was being used for triage (it's now being used as a family information center), and the local elementary school is still being used as a staging area for emergency personnel and media. The Coast Guard patrolled the river, and the local Air National Guard unit contributed large scale firefighting equipment.

We have wonderful neighbours living in this community, people who care, and for that, I'm thankful.

Please keep all of the workers and their families in your thoughts, or your prayers, if you're so inclined.

For more info on this story, you can check out some our local TV coverage here, and here.

PS: One other thing... I used to live in Memphis, and I'm very familiar with the area that was destroyed by the tornadoes this week. I'm very lucky that no one I know was injured, but I'm one of the lucky ones. Keep those folks in your thoughts, too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


...Tuesday. Why not? So far I've heard Tsunami Tuesday, Super Duper Tuesday and Stupendous Tuesday in place of "Super Tuesday" to describe this primary day. Why not take it to it's illogical conclusion?

There's not a whole lot happening in the state of Georgia for our primary day, if you believe the polls. Senator Obama will likely win the primary here for the Democrats, while Senator John McCain is leading, albeit very slightly, on the Republican side according to Sunday's Rasmussen Poll. My poor husband will be working late, covering the returns as they come in. I'm hoping he makes it home before eleven o'clock tonight.

The biggest deal for us here in Effingham County, though, is whether or not our restaurants get to serve liquor by the drink. Beer and wine are sold at our local restaurants in the towns of Springfield and Rincon, but not out in unicorporated parts of the county, and you can't buy hard liquor at all anywhere here.

It's been quite a little battle, and it's not the first time the initiative has shown up on the ballot. One side says allowing liquor by the drink will encourage large chain restaurants (i.e. Outback, Chili's, etc.) to build here, which would be good, because right now we have to drive into Savannah if we want to eat there. It would also mean that we could boost tax revenues in the county instead of having it all flow into Chatam County, which is happening now. The other side, lead mostly by church groups, claims that allowing liquor to be sold will merely encourage bars (something not mentioned on the ballot), drunk driving, and the destruction of the "family way of life" which we've all worked so hard to preserve. To be fair, they do make the point that large chain restaurants look mostly at population base before they decide on location, but it seems their driving force is they don't want "demon liquor" destroying our families.

My take is this:

I'm a grown woman, and I should be able to decide for myself whether or not I want a Jack and Coke before, during, or after my meal. I've read the ballot (Shall the governing authority . . . be authorized to issue licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink, such sales to be for consumption only on the premises?) , and it doesn't specifically mention bars at all. It simply asks the folks in Effingham County, Springfield and Rincon to decide if they want to allow liquor to be sold, by the drink, in restaurants. The county and city councils can easily outlaw bars if they choose. As it is, the state has outlawed beer and wine sales in stores on Sunday, anyway, so it's not like there isn't a precedence for restricting alcohol sales here, both on a state and local level. I think we're all adult enough to decide the drinking issue for ourselves, without anyone else telling us we're all going to hell if we don't listen to them. For those that already have a problem with alcohol, they're going to drive to the liquor store (down here they call them package stores, y'all) that's located just across the county line and bring back their fifth of whatever and leave their tax dollars in Chatham County. The tax dollars we could use to help treat their addiction aren't being spent here.

Obviously, I can't vote, but if there's a primary going on in your state (and twenty-four states are holding primaries and ballot referendums today), go vote. I'm of the mind that you can't bitch unless you vote.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Five

Last week's Friday Five was gobbled up by temporal rift. No, really. It swallowed me, too. Fortunately, we here in Georgia managed to seal the rift and rescue the Friday Five for your reading pleasure.

Five Things I've Learned from Science Fiction

1. Your twin in an alternate universe is infinitely cooler than you.

They dress better than you, they get more time with the opposite sex, and they very rarely ever had breakouts as a teenager. They're also likely to sport a short, pointy beard.

2. Men who write sci-fi are obsessed with triple breasted women.

I'm not really sure why this is. You'd think that extra one would just get in the way. And why three, guys? Why not an even number? Or maybe that would just make us look more like cows. For more proof on my theory about men and triple-breasted women, please see Eccentrica Gallumbits, the Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six from Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. And after doing a GIS for this, I decided not to post any of the pictures I came across. You can do your OWN image search if a picture is that important to you.

3. Dead doesn't always mean dead.

Especially if you're a popular character. See Spock in Star Trek II (he came back to life in number III), Dr. Elizabeth Weir in Stargate Atlantis, and a host of other folks. You might get blown to pieces, destroyed with an exploding planet, shipped to a different universe or lost in a transporter beam, but somehow, someway, some enterprising scientist will figure out a way to put you back together.

4. Food doesn't sound as good in the future.

I'm sure they have gourmet chefs. But every show I've seen and every book I've read has people eating food made from machines, either with replicated DNA or dried up bits reconstituted into some kind of edible material. Shoot, in Firefly they were lucky to get dried up space rations half the time. In one of Douglas Adams's books, The Restaurant at the End of The Universe, there was a cow that would commit suicide for you so you could have a steak. In the movie Demolition Man, the only restaurant left was Taco Bell. I fear for my food in the future. The picture is from this article on futuristic food, photo courtesy of Stephen Orlick and Homaro Cantu. If you're wondering what it is, it's a maki roll, printed with edible flavoured ink on an ink-jet printer. It's an edible picture of sushi. Yeah, that's what I said.

5. The future is either really great, or it really sucks.

This depends on who you read. With Orwell, Phillip K. Dick, and the show Firefly, the future doesn't neccessarily look so good. We've wiped ourselves out with wars, we've become desensitized to our surroundings, we've lost our freedoms, we've widened the gap between wealthy and poor. But, if you watch Star Trek or read some Arthur C. Clarke, it doesn't look too bad. Sure, there's conflict, but everyone is fed and housed, and great scientific leaps are being made. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Well, that's this week's Friday Five, have a good weekend y'all. Since I don't have to work tomorrow, I think I'll be working on sleep instead!