Thursday, March 29, 2007


I have not been able to stop coughing for the past three days.
The problem is not an infection or cold. The problem is the extreme concentration of pollen in the air. It coats everything. Every car has a yellow tinge to it. The sidewalk and benches are dusted in yellow. Put on some yellow-lens sunglasses and you will see the world as I see it. That is just fine, it doesn't really bother me.

What does bother me is inhaling this powder into my body! My lungs do not need a fine yellow coating!

It was supposed to rain today. That would have knocked out much of the yellow in the air.

It got really cloudy and cold.

No rain.

My world is still a yellow haze.

I tried to take a few pictures while coughing and choking tonight. Here's one of the trees that is guilty of creating this mess.It's a crab apple tree. It's making me crabby.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Two events

Two events to tell you about.

The first thing happened earlier this month. Randy turned 8. Eight year olds, according to Randy's standards, have all kinds of privledges that seven year olds don't have. He is now learning that being eight isn't really much different than being seven.

The second thing is that Meredith lost her first tooth a few days ago. It has been loose for a while. One bite into an apple is all it took to free it. The tooth fairy brought her a dollar. She still hasn't stopped carrying that dollar around. I took several shots of her the day after it happened. I think she is ready to lose more teeth. That doesn't mean she has more loose teeth, it means she wants more dollars.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Help Wanted

The eight year old boy needs some help. So, he made a sign.

Looks like he is starting up his own mail service.

Friday, March 23, 2007

building progress

The wall has been built, electrical run as needed, doors cut into place, drywall up, and two layers of mud dried to the drywall. All since Tuesday. I'm not doing so bad, am I?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What did she just say?

We were watching American Idol last night. We watch it on Tivo so we can fast forward everyone we don't like. Then this guy got up to sing...

Phil. Cari said, "That guy gives me the heebie jeebies!", and then she pressed the fast forward button.

I almost choked on my jelly beans when she said that. Through the sound of me choking was my laughter. I started to fall over. I knew what she meant, but who says that?

"What did you say?"
Now she started feeling a bit defensive. At first she wouldn't repeat what was said.

"How old are you?", I asked her. "Who says heebie jeebies?"

Still no answer.

I sat up and composed myself. "You saying, heebie jeebies, gives me the heebie jeebies!" I said.

Then I picked up a pen and made a note on my palm. Cari instantly wanted to know what I wrote. I clenched my fist and wouldn't show her for about a minute. I had written, "heebiejeebie". After trying to wrestle my arm free unsuccessfully, I opened my hand.

She asked why I wrote that. I answered, "This is going on the blog!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Wall

We will begin construction of a wall on Tuesday.

I was thinking about this yesterday. When I was growing up, dad would always tackle things like this himself. Friends like Rick, constantly take on projects like this. Even my neighbor across the street built a closet in an extra room of his house.

When Cari and I were in the planning stages of this wall we discussed how easy it would be to build a wall with a door in it. This project is not above me.

Last night we were talking about the work that would begin on Tuesday. We talked about how each one of us had jobs to be done. Cari was talking about paint for all three of the bedrooms. She will probably take on most all of the painting. Then she looked at me, waiting to hear the huge amounts of labor I was about to put into this project.

"Well, I think I got the wall pretty well handled."

She reminded me quickly that I had only hired someone to build a wall for us. Don't I still get credit for that? I just delegated.

So I hired a guy to build this wall. Is it being lazy to not do it myself? Nope. It's smart. Building a wall, framing in several doors, moving electrical fixtures and adding some outlets is probably within my realm of ability. It just depends on how well you want it done.

I know that Cari has high standards, so I decided to hire it out. That should give me a couple more hours on the hammock while I build the wall.

I'll try and get some pictures and updates to you through the week.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

fun with the flash!

Playing around again with the camera tonight resulted in this shot:Here's how I did it. It makes me laugh when I see it.

Taped a t-shirt up and used lots of electrical tape. Handheld the flash and used a remote to hit the shutter. There is a blue LED light taped to the back of the flowers and pointed into the blue vase to light it up.It's all on flickr, so this might be repetitve for those that look at my pictures there. I also used Adobe Lightroom in the final shot to adjust contrast. I touched up the color a bit as well.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Room

Cari and I have always discussed if we had an extra bedroom / office that it would be my room. I could paint the walls any color, put the furniture how I wanted, and decorate as I saw fit. Maybe when she made that deal, she didn't believe it would ever happen.

A few nights ago we were discussing final plans on remodeling the upstairs. We are going to create another bedroom in the house. That means I will have my own room to put the computer in!

Cari started asking me what color I was going to paint the room but as I answered, she had a horrified expression. "That's going to look stupid." She told me. I continued telling her my decor ideas. "You can't do that. It's going to look stupid."

"OH! It doesn't really matter how stupid it looks.", I reminded her. "This is my room to decorate." As I was speaking, I saw a tear forming in her eye.

Was she upset because I was going to make the room look stupid? Or was she upset because she was going to be giving all control to me? It doesn't really matter, because it is my room.

I joked about putting locks on my new room. I joked about putting a refrigerator in my new room. She literally put her hands to her face in horror.

Am I so happy because I will have my own space now? Or am I so happy because Cari had to give me complete control?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

coming soon

I had intended on writing this morning. But work just called and now I have to go.

Don't worry. I'll have an update real soon and it is all about Cari.

You know she is looking forward to that!!!!! She doesn't know what I'm going to write about either. This will keep her guessing today.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Staying Dry

An Irish festival in Greenville on Sunday gave us a good reason to make the drive over and spend some time in the park. Randy and Meredith wanted to climb on the rocks for a while.

"Ok, just don't get your shoes wet."

Now, I knew he would probably slip at least once, causing his shoes to get wet.

But I didn't expect him to swim. . .
He was having a great time. Meredith fell once and started crying. She didn't like it as much. I was perched up on a rock taking pictures, leaving Cari to fetch our daughter out of the river.
There is a few more pictures of this day on my flickr account.

When we got back to the car, both kids were still soaked from the waist down. We decided that they should take their jeans off and we'll put a blanket in their lap while on the car ride home. It wasn't that warm out and we were trying to get the wet clothes off of them. Meredith didn't have a problem with this. Randy was a different story. He was not going to sit in the car wearing his underwear. He started crying and having a fit. He eventually calmed down. Until we were almost home and we stopped at the grocery store.

"We're all going to run in and get a few things for dinner.", I announced.
Both kids claimed my insanity. Randy was first to remind me he wasn't wearing pants. Cari tried to tell him nobody would notice, but he wasn't going for it. Cari ran in while I sat with the kids.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Concert

We went to the Peace Center in Greenville last night. The inside of this theatre is really an awesome sight. The walls were lined with stone. The seats were covered in a soft, felt like, material, and beautiful wood trim made the fronts of the balcony areas as well as lining the sides of the stage. Lamps hanging on the walls remind you of how an elegant theatre in the 1800's might have looked.

I took this picture with my cell phone. The reason the best picture I have came from my cell phone is that we were told cameras were not allowed. My camera is a bit bulky and I knew I would not be able to sneak it in, so I didn't even try. Plenty of others snuck their small cameras in, and nobody cared.

When I found out this concert was going to be in Greenville for only one night, I checked my schedule at work. I was scheduled to work that night. I told Cari last week that I knew about the concert, but didn't think we would be able to go. I wished I could take her since it was the man she loves singing. Early this week I worked out a way to change my schedule, and we purchased tickets. We got tickets in the orchestra pit. That meant we were in the third row from the stage. The wall in the bottom of my photo is the back of the orchestra area.

The concert we saw last night was KENNY ROGERS. Let me tell you, sitting in the third row was completely worth it. Sitting so close to Kenny, you could see every expression, hear every little thing, and see Kenny's freckles. Even better than that, was the time I thought Cari completely melted, when Kenny looked right at her. This was our second time seeing Kenny Rogers. Last time we saw him, we lived in Florida. Having seen him from multiple states now, Cari said, makes us groupies. It was a great show last night.

Afterward we walked down a few blocks to Reedy Falls in downtown. We have never been down to the falls at night. They have lights shining down on the water that makes a better scene than viewing it during the day. The weather was great and walking through Falls Park was awesome.

One last thing I have to tell you about, is the people we saw in the theatre. Cari and I laughed about this for a while. There was some sort of fund raiser linked to the concert last night. Major donors were headed to a dinner before or after the concert and were dressed for the black tie event. There is some old south society still thriving in Greenville. These people look completely over done and fake. Lots of kissing on the cheek and cute smiles at each other. Lots of poofy dresses by the women. Cari pointed out you could tell they were trying to maintain a certain image with each other. Even Kenny said, "this is the best dressed group I have sang for."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Duh...I fell

"Did you read the blog this morning?"
Cari laughed a bit before answering my question with a nod.

I simply can't remember what happened on Sunday. I even read my blog from Sunday to try and jog my memory. There was certainly more to tell then my trip to the mall. Wasn't there? Why would I write that I was too tired to write, just from a trip to town?

I was going through my day again out loud as Cari listened. She remembered what we did. I don't think she ever forgot. Finally, she heard enough of my rambling. "We went roller skating."

OH YEAH!!! How could I have forgotten that?

After getting home from the mall, we got ready and met some friends at the skating rink. Putting it in words certainly won't be as amusing as the pictures would have been. I didn't take my camera. It's been a very long time since I have tried skating. I shook the dust off my roller blades before we left.

On the slippery floor, Randy, Meredith, and Cari all skated around. I stood, with one arm on the wall for a few minutes. Cari came back around skating backwards. She encouraged me to go around with her.

After a few laps, I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable. After holding my arms out like a tight rope walker for fifteen minutes, I was starting to relax.

Two more laps with no problems.
Randy was doing good in skates. He came up behind me with his hands stretched toward me. I kept rolling. I felt a tug on the back of my shirt. He had caught up to me.

He pulled a bit harder. Then he fell behind me. He was still holding my shirt and my feet went out in front of me as I fell on top of Randy.

"What were you thinking?" I asked him. That was my first fall of the night.
As I scooted up on my knees, I looked at Randy. He was laughing. "I'm going to do that again!" He said.

The rest of the night, I had to watch my back. Randy would come flying up behind me and I would hug the wall or jump off the rink. I was scared. Scared of a seven year old. He wasn't the only one thinking this was a fun game. Cari thought this was funny. Our friends from next door thought it was funny, and he wasn't even skating. I wasn't sure enough on my feet to fight back, so I went and sat down for some pizza.

How I forgot being assaulted on Sunday, I don't remember. Maybe it is like someone that has been through a serious trauma and they are able to block it out of their head.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Sunday seems like it was SO long ago. I should have written this then, but I didn't really have time.

This past Sunday I did something that I have not done for over a year. After church, we drove into Greenville and went to the mall. I'm not a big fan of driving in Greenville. I'm even less of a fan of going to the mall.

The main reason for going to the mall was to look at shoes for Randy. Not just any shoes, but HEELYS. We found some that he liked, which wasn't difficult.
Ever since we got home, he has been rolling around the house. Today was the first day I really saw him getting pretty comfortable on those things.

There was something else, even more interesting then me venturing to the mall to tell you.
I can't remember. When Cari wakes up in the morning, I'll ask her what I did that was interesting. Then I'll edit this post. I got to get some sleep.

crazy begining

This week has started out pretty busy. Be patient. I'll have details about Sunday up later tonight if all goes as planned.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

This Weekend Events

With the weekend off from work, and some beautiful weather, we decided to make the most of it.

Saturday we left the house late in the morning and headed for Brevard, NC. It's only about an hour North. I had done some research and found two waterfalls I wanted to visit. Neither one required much of a hike, so taking the kids was no problem.

The first falls can be seen from the road. Looking Glass falls was very impressive. I walked down the steps and got a view from creek level. As I was setting up my camera I almost crashed into another photographer. I thought I was down there alone, as I spun around, he was just coming down the steps. I took his picture a few times after I climbed back up. He was a nice guy and we chatted a few minutes about taking pictures. About a mile farther up the road, we stopped to see our second waterfall of the day. Moore Cove falls required about a .7 mile hike. The setting for this hike was really awesome. Several small bridges kept you wandering near the creek. Of course, after five minutes the kids complained how tired their legs were.

Once we made it to the falls, there was a huge area to climb around in behind the falls.You can see Cari and the kids walking near the bottom of the falls in this shot.

Amazingly, the kids recovered from the hike, Climbing was not a problem. As we set out, back toward the car, the fatigue returned.

Back in downtown Brevard we found a spot for a late lunch. Main Street Grill.
Don't EVER eat there. They are horrible. Their food sucks. Their wait staff sucks. Oh, and they have a run down building they tried to pretty up. $40 for the four of us to eat their $*#@ was not worth it.

The rest of Brevard was beautiful. I took a different route home, through the hick town of Rosman. I've never seen so many broke down semi trucks. There must be a town law requiring at least one in every yard. If I ever need one, I'm checking there first.
I'm still recovering from what happened tonight. I'll fill you in on it soon.