Monday, June 25, 2007

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

I love summer! At least I love the summer that lives in my memories....the one that included endless days of climbing trees, looking for four-leaf clovers, and eating cold watermelon.

Do kids even do those things anymore? Not being a parent, I'm not really sure. A couple weeks ago we were in Chattanooga and I was running around Tim's sister's backyard chasing fireflies (we don't have those in Mobile and I just couldn't help myself).

It made me wonder if all the things that made summer "summer" to me are obsolete today. (and laugh at myself for acting like a little kid)

I admit that I'm a bit of a weirdo. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. I love the heat, the fireworks, the patriotic songs and parades. Picnics, water skiing, camping, and fishing are my favorite things.

So here's to a great summer, filled with cold watermelon, fireflies, and four-leaf clovers!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Royal Watcher

So I remember watching the wedding of Diana and Charles. I was only 5. I think I either stayed up late or got up early to watch it. But even then I was enthralled by the festivities and the idea that Diana was a real princess.

She was so beautiful and the dress, the carriage, the sheer royalty of it all was such a fairy tale, especially to me, a little girl in Arkansas who would've worn a tiara every day if my Mom would've let me!

And while through the years, it became obvious that the fairy tale marriage was just a myth, I was still enchanted by Princess Di and her boys.

I remember hearing of her death in 1997. I had just come back from Europe and was camping with some friends for Labor Day. We had been water skiing and just having a great time. Josh's parents were with us and they had their big camper with a TV and all. Most of us were staying in a tent. Someone came in the tent that Saturday night and said that Princess Diana was dead. I remember thinking at first that it was some kind of joke--maybe a Saturday Night Live skit that they'd seen, and not really the truth.

The next morning, we all watched the news on TV and saw that it was indeed the truth. Of course, during this very sad time, a funny story occurred. The TV announcer kept saying that "Diana was killed by Paparazzi" and Josh turned to his dad and said "Was Paparazzi her ex-boyfriend?" and his dad said "No Son, that's just a fancy name for photographer."

To this day, that was one of the funniest conversations I've ever heard!

After Diana's death, I watched the funeral and remember worrying about her boys. They looked so alone as they walked behind her casket. So I've always kind of been interested in them and what they were up to.

I was very happy to see the interview this week that they did with Matt Lauer. I have to say that they are both cuties! (maybe I should book a flight to England...)

During the interview, you could see that they are very close to one another and seem pretty well adjusted. Like normal guys. Funny, warm, and maybe a little irreverent. The thing that struck me the most is how involved they both are in humanitarian efforts. It seemed very sincere too, not something they do for photo ops.

Their Mom would be proud.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trying to Catch Up!

Well, I'm finally back in Mobile. After many miles on the road, me and the dogs made it back safely. (in a very fun rented red Jeep Liberty, which I hated to turn in yesterday)

The dogs did well--they are such good travelers! When I'm by myself traveling with them, my rule is that we don't stop. It takes too much time to get one out of the crate and hold on to the other one so no one jumps out or anything. They both slept most of the time we were in the car and I made excellent time.

The Civil War tour went very well. I realize, as I do every year when I go back and lead it, that being a Park Ranger at a battlefield truly was my dream job.

My fascination with the Civil War began when I was a little girl. From the time I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, I was getting a Civil War calendar every year for Christmas. I did research projects on the war when I was in junior high and high school. I read tons of books about it and always wanted to know more.

When I found out that Shiloh was hiring before my senior year of college, I was elated. I applied and interviewed, and thankfully was offered the job. I went back after graduation and worked for a few years. In fact, I didn't turn my badge in until I had moved to Mobile 3 years ago.

This year's tour went well. My group had fun and so did I. (One of the ladies on my tour, Echo McGuire, was Buddy Holley's girlfriend for 5 years--she had some neat stories)

Despite my nervousness, I remembered all the facts and didn't draw a blank while I was up speaking to the group. However, there was ONE time where I mis-spoke...

I was leading a tour of the National Cemetery, and had just gotten to the most dramatic portion of the program where I have them turn and look at the sheer number of tombstones across the cemetery. At that point, I was supposed to say, "Over two-thirds of the men lying here are unknown." But what I actually said was "Over two-thirds of the men lying here are dead."

As you can imagine, I pretty much lost control of the group at that point. They made jokes about my faux pas for the rest of the day.

Here are some pictures of me as a ranger and also dressed as a Civil War soldier. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On the Road Again

Well, I find myself neglecting the blog again as I'm traveling. I took off from work this week and have driven many a mile.

Went to Chattanooga over the weekend, then drove to Arkansas to see the family. I'm now back in Tennessee gearing up to lead a two day tour of Shiloh National Military Park, where I used to work as a Park Ranger. (I have photos of this that I may post when I get back to Mobile, if I'm feeling brave!)

I'm playing tour guide for the next two days for a tour group from Freed-Hardeman University's Golden Year Reunion. (the reunion attendees have the option of coming to campus two days prior to the actual reunion to take part in my tour)

I admit that I'm a little nervous. Although, every year I'm nervous beforehand and then when our group actually gets back to the park, it all comes back to me. It's just the idea of being "in charge" and up in front of a group for two days and not knowing exactly what to say that scares me.

This is the 4th or 5th year I've lead the tour for the university, and it always turns out to be fun. Plus it's nice to catch up with old friends who still live in Henderson.

It's wonderful to have friends who you only see once a year, but who once you see, it's like you've never been apart. I'm fortunate to have many of those.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Trouble with Red Popsicles

The heat here is stifling. And I'm not just saying that!

My three story office building has been without air conditioning since late last week. Each day has been hotter than the day before, so we've taken to having Popsicle parties in the afternoons.

Everyone has a fan blowing on them and I don't think there's a woman in the building who isn't going sleeveless today.

Let me preface the next part of my story by saying that because of the sticky heat, I've been wearing summery dresses all week because they're cooler than any of my other work clothing options. And today, I was especially excited to put on my new dress. I splurged on it when I got my last raise. As in, I fell in love with the dress when I saw it online, and knew I had to have it, only to discover that it comes from a company in London!

Despite this, I ordered it anyway, and have the cutest pair of green wedge heels to wear with it. I've been waiting for the perfect day to wear the dress, and decided this was the day. Not only is it hotter than a furnace in here, but I have a little party to go to after work. So I've been happily wearing my new dress all day. Until...

I was sitting here, trying to get some work done, eating a cherry Popsicle as my fan blew warm air on me. I looked down and noticed that my red Popsicle was melting and spilling all over my dress. They weren't little spots either, they were big! I just wanted to cry.

A little dramatic, I know, but you see, I never have luck getting stains out. I'm one of those people who is notorious for spilling stuff (usually on a new item of clothing) and then having to throw out the clothes because the stain won't come out.

Thankfully, our receptionist had a Tide to Go pen in her purse. I'm happy to say that all the red Popsicle stains are now history! And after seeing that pen in action, I highly recommend everyone should go get one to keep on hand!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Edit, Erase, Delete, Redo

Hmmm. I seem to have bloggers block! Seriously. These past 2 days I have deleted and erased my thoughts about a wide variety of subjects. Not sure why exactly.

My "don't think, write" mantra seems to have flown out the window.

So maybe I should write about writing. I'm re-working A Walk in the Park and taking into consideration the judges comments from the Genesis contest. It seems that I need a little more conflict and my main character needs more purpose. As one judge said "What does the main character really want out of life?"

So I've been brainstorming about the conflicts and the character. It's actually pretty fun. But it can make me very unproductive at my real job because I'll be in the middle of working, and a scene will hit me and I'll have to stop to write it down.

I learned that lesson the hard way. The other day, I came up with this great ending to the book and didn't write it down. And now, of course, I can't for the life of me think of what exactly it was. But at the time I knew it was perfect! What in the world! Hopefully it will hit me again and I'll actually write it down this time!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Arnie!

Tomorrow is my dog's birthday! Arnie will be 8 years old tomorrow! Check him out--isn't he handsome?! (incidentally, the Mobile SPCA uses a photo of Arnie in their ads!! He's a star!)

Not sure exactly how we will celebrate, but let's just say, there will be toys (he likes stuffed bunnies) and treats (bones and greenies are his favorite). Perhaps even a long walk or his very favorite, a car ride.

And while some people think I'm crazy for treating my doggie like a king, I don't care. Arnie and I have been together for 7 years (he was fully grown when I got him).

So anyway, Happy Birthday to Arnie, the best dog I know!


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