Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pictures From Our Trip

We are terrible at taking pictures. We don't go places very often, and now when we do there are very few pics to document it! Here is one of us and two of the riverfront. We didn't even get the camera out at the beach! Pathetic.

In the city market area - about 6 blocks from the
riverfront where we stayed.

Taken from our hotel window, right on the Savannah River. The right shows the cotton warehouses which were used to store cotton before it was loaded on to huge ships to be taken to Europe and other places in the 1800s - before the cotton economy was shattered. Now it is used for little shops and restaurants, and you can also see the plaza on the riverfront. The tugboats in the background come and go from guiding big ships.
And here is a huge container ship going right by our hotel. Notice the name of the country on the side of the ship. Many of the container ships that went past us were either going to China or to Malaysia. We also saw an oil tanker come into port. While we were at Tybee we noticed that some ships were not moving - they were just sitting offshore. Mike said he's heard that sometimes they're directed not to come in and offload until the price of oil is
where the brokers want it.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Mike and I got back at 1 a.m. this morning from two nights/three days in Savannah. It's been years since we took off somewhere like that, and we both had a lovely time. We spent one night at Tybee Island and got an oceanfront room after Mike talked the desk clerk down $40! It's easy to do that these days.

Tybee is different than SC islands - not much, but a little. We walked the south side, where one of the rivers runs into the ocean, and saw some clusters of shorebirds we hadn't seen in a long time. The dunes are much wider on Tybee, which means that not many of the houses or hotels have true ocean views. But it's a low-key island, good for middle aged people like we are - not a lot of teenage bustle like Myrtle Beach. The most interesting thing to us was seeing the ships coming from the Savannah River and going out to sea. It was beautiful to look out of the glass doors in the middle of the night and see the ship lights twinkling as they start off to ports probably halfway around the world.

The second day we went back in to Savannah - a fascinating city. It's well worth the price of a tour bus ticket to get all the history of the city as you ride around. Sherman did not burn Savannah because the Confederate soldiers had retreated before he got there - so he told Lincoln he was giving him the city of Savannah as a Christmas present. A little bittersweet story there. We saw the building where Sherman had headquartered during his time in the city. But hundreds and hundreds of 1700s and 1800s buildings are still standing and being used. They're full of ironworks decorations, interesting roofs, and historical stories. The city is laid out around a system of squares which make it very orderly and beautiful. There are live-oak trees and Spanish moss everywhere.

The riverfront is really interesting also. There are many shops and restaurants open in the old cotton warehouse buildings that front the Savannah River. You can walk up and down, sit in the plaza facing the river, and watch the huge cargo ships go past on their way to the port of Savannah. There is just no end to the interesting things to look at.

We priced several hotels by phone - then walked into the Hyatt and asked their price, not expecting much - and then found out it was cheaper than the others which were located further back! And we got a room with an outstanding view of the riverfront and the river. We were very thankful to have gotten two great rooms for just two nights in the area.

Yesterday we drove to Mike's old college roommate's house about an hour inland; then left there at about 9:30 last night. Part of the trip was through a terrific storm. It was good to see our house early this morning.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I never was much on pets, particularly cats. Mike got one to "keep me company" while he was at work, our first year of marriage, but it was a Siamese with a complete Siamese personality and reputation, and I was not upset when we moved and had to get rid of it.

That all changed about ten years later, when a little girl begged for a cat for her seventh birthday. Her daddy, who always has been "wrapped around her little finger," finally gave in and told me to go to the animal shelter and pick one out. After one trip I thought I'd chosen the right one - a gray cat with a pearly appearance to her fur. I told the people at the shelter that I'd be back later that day to decide for sure. At that second trip, I was very grateful for my hesitance at deciding earlier in the day - the pearly gray cat had shredded everything in sight, and gave every indication of having a ragged personality along with a ragged cage.

Then I saw a small gray tabby, sitting calmly alone, not demanding attention like the rest of the caged cats in the room. She just looked at me, as if to say "I'd be a good one, but I'm not putting pressure on you." I decided on the spot, then left her to be spayed while we took a brief trip to the Smokies.

The afternoon of the seven-year-old girl's birthday, Andrew and I went back to the shelter to pick up the cat. When we got home, her dad told her to go look inside the box her brother was holding in the car. She looked in, pulled out her little cat, and we observed what love at first sight really does look like.

Kitty, whose official name was Pearl, was never really known by anything but Kitty. She always had a sweet and endearing personality. She was never any more demanding than she was at the animal shelter, and she reveled in anyone's attention, particularly that of her owner. They had a long and sweet friendship. Even as a teenager, her owner could talk to her cat when she couldn't talk to anyone else.

Kitty used up several of her nine lives very quickly. She was only about a year old when she climbed under the hood of Mike's truck and he started it soon thereafter. That's how she lost the sight in her left eye. We think she might have lost at least some of her sense of smell also, because there were times when she couldn't find her food unless we pointed her in the right direction. About a year after that, she got her head caught in the back of a dresser drawer. We had to wake Mike up out of night shift sleep for that one - because if he hadn't forced her head back through, she would have strangled. For weeks she avoided Mike, knowing only that he had caused her pain, and not realizing that he had saved her life.

There were probably other times she used up some of her lives that we didn't even know about, because occasionally she would disappear for a day or two. Who knows what she was into during those times. And we knew she finished even more of her lives during this last illness. Last week, when she was so sick while ML was on her senior trip, she used up what must have been her eighth.

Sometime late Friday or early Saturday, Kitty finished her ninth life. We knew she'd been missing, so after Sunday dinner I went looking for her, and after walking the perimeter of the yard, discovered her behind the pool house. This afternoon Mike and I buried her, wrapped in a soft shirt, on the edge of our property. The week after next will mark eleven years since that seven year old got the gift of her childhood dreams for her birthday. It's almost like the cat waited until after ML got back from her senior trip and got through graduation - as usual, Kitty didn't demand attention, but just quietly went on after all the hoopla was over. It's also ironic that her passing marks the end of an era - right at the same time that graduation also marks the end of the same era of her owner's childhood.

Kitty worked her way into all of our hearts. She will be greatly missed - even by the one who formerly didn't care for cats, the one who picked her out and brought her home eleven years ago, and who carried her to her final resting place today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Few More Pictures from Thursday night

This was a new thing that our new administrator started at this year's ceremony. Each graduate, along with one parent, went around the front of the auditorium. The parents' candles were lit by a couple of staff members; then, during a reading and song, the parents lit their children's candles, to represent "passing the torch" to their children. It was very sweet. Mike went up with ML to participate in the ceremony.

With one of her all-time favorite teachers (and good
friend) and her son.

With two of her good friends.

A display of pictures we had on the wall as
people entered our home.

Okay, I'm done posting graduation pictures. :-) However, there is a nice newspaper photo gallery at the Anderson Independent Mail

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Graduate!

Entering for the ceremony

"We're graduates!"

A proud young lady and her family

Just part of the table full of food for a big party.

What an exciting night!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graduation Week

We are having an open house Thursday night after the ceremony and yesterday I made these little things. The recipe is from this Taste of Home online recipe, but I modified it a little. I used Ghiaradelli chocolates on top of miniature Reese cups (both upside down). The tassel is blue fruit roll-up held in place with a blue M&M (Andrew got the job of slicing the fruit roll-up into thin strips). (I guess they might need to be trimmed a little so they lay flatter.) The "glue" is chocolate frosting, the homemade kind that gets a little hard as it sets up. I think I'll use them for decorations, but have a feeling that they will disappear as the evening goes on . . .

So today I bake a cake and continue getting ready. Fortunately, other than going to evening programs (kindergarten graduation, baccalaureate, and then graduation on Thursday) I don't have to be at school until the senior luncheon on Thursday. It is wonderful to have some preparation time over the next couple of days.

It is an exciting time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ups and Downs

**UP: The cat's remarkable recuperation this week. I wonder if maybe her problem was not due to her lymphoma - if maybe the decadron really is working, but maybe she had a blockage or something that caused her not to be able to eat. Because now she is eating like crazy - wants two cans a day - and is rapidly regaining her strength.

**UP: My daughter's safe return from her senior trip.

**DOWN: Mike has to work and will not be able to hear Andrew's quartet sing tomorrow night in church.

**UP: I am on top of the end of the year activities at school.

**UP: I just had a strawberry-banana-yogurt-orange juice smoothie. Delicious!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday and DONE

It is Friday at 1:30. ALL exams are written, given, graded, and recorded. ALL report card work is completed. That's for five subjects!

I still have work next week - meetings, year end things - but the schoolwork part of it is DONE.

Oh, yes, one other detail - We do have a graduate next week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nine Lives and More

I really thought that cat was on her way out. For two nights Andrew and I thought we'd get up the next morning and find her. . . .

Well, as described in the last post, she rallied slightly yesterday.

Then this morning she ate about half a can of cat food AND the better part of a chipmunk she killed. I know that because the remains are deposited by the back door.

It would appear that she is on the mend - again.

Call me a believer in the nine lives of cats theory!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kitty Is Still With Us

Kitty is rapidly using up her nine lives. She'd already used at least three of them that we knew of, long before this episode. But at least twice this week, we thought she'd gone off for good, and were wondering how we'd break the news to ML on her senior trip.

Kitty is skin and bones; she's had two shots which have helped her do well since the end of December. But the third shot didn't work nearly as well. The vet said that that would be the case at some point; he said cats with lymphoma sometimes last up to a year with shots about every two months. The shots only cost about $10 apiece, so I'm happy to get them for her to keep her with ML a little longer.

Anyway, she's not eating, and is barely drinking. She staggers when she walks and when she's lying down usually keeps her head on the ground. I thought last night was probably it. And then this morning, when I went out to check, she was back from one of her trips to the woods - was actually walking better, and she was interested in at least the broth from a can of cat food. And when I looked toward the door, she was on the step watching me in the kitchen - which is what she used to do.

I still don't think she's going to last long, but hope she holds off long enough for ML to get home.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Revolving Door

Daughter left at 8:00 Saturday morning for senior trip.
Son came in about 2:00 Saturday afternoon from college.
Just got a phone call from son: Is it OK if some of us come hang out at the house for awhile?
Life continues. . . .

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Play

It can't be Wednesday already.

I hardly have time to think these days, and when I do, the thinking is fuzzy.

Monday night I took 42 students to Greenville to watch Love's Labour's Lost. Andrew had a small part in the play. We left early enough to get a behind-the-scenes tour at 4:00, which was a real treat. Then we went to eat, then back for the play.

Students who went early got to see a 20-minute
preparatory video about the production of the play. Andrew is in that too.

Lately these students have gotten more and more interested in attending plays. It's a big undertaking to get them all there, but in a day of video games and other electronics that consume their lives, I'm glad to get them to something that opens their eyes to something different and worthwhile.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

One More Historical Picture

This is a picture of Mike's grandfather's store back in the early part of the last century. We have a framed copy that may be going to the county museum for a display on the downtown area in that time period.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Random thoughts on a Saturday:

**This time of the year about does me in. Today I have to go to the piano recital. That's about the hardest thing for me to attend, when none of my kids are in it. But all teachers must attend one of the recitals. So, even though I'm already there six days a week, I'll go on the seventh day as well - today - to do what I'm supposed to do.

**My daughter is officially finished with me as a teacher. She exempted my exam. I feel like a certain kind of weight has been lifted. She does too!

**I am glad, very glad, that my husband has a job. But they are going to kill him. That's a literal statement. He just can't work this hard any more, on night shift to boot. He was off last night, and slept all night. Now he's slept all morning. But that's a good thing - he has to work 12 hours all night tonight, and for the following five nights as well.