Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Today marks our second Thanksgiving holiday in Texas. It wasn't much different than the one we had last year. Moving to new places calls for new activities and traditions.

Not wanting to be strapped at home on Thanksgiving day cooking dinner for just the three of us (I do that all the time) we decided to do what we did last year....walk Town Lake. There are about 20 miles of hike and bike trail around the lake. Each time we go we try to walk a different end of the loop so we don't keep walking the same path over and over again.

Once again this year's weather was perfect. Here are some of the sights along our stroll...

Hmmmmm.........I'm sure there is a story behind this.

The fall colors were absolutely beautiful. By the end of our stroll we had walked close to 4 miles. We had a great day and plenty to be thankful for....a great city to live in, family

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Empty Bowl

Today we attended the Empty Bowl Project at the Mexican American Cultural Center. Last year Summer had seen this charity project advertised on T.V. and expressed a great interest in participating.

We made a plan to attend last year. Unfortunately, the night before the event she came down with a stomach virus. She was very upset that I wouldn't just take her anyway. I had already had experiences of her vomiting in public places - even though she did seem like she felt much better the next morning, I was not about to chance another public display of kid puke.

So, this year when she saw it advertised again we made our second year plan to attend.

Luckily this year everyone woke up feeling healthy.

Although I never expected, I should have known that this would be a big event. Austin has the reputation of being one of the most generous and giving cities in the you can tell by the panhandler and homeless population located here.

Parking was no easy task. I was a little worried we may have to park many blocks from the event. I don't mind walking at all, but we had all bypassed our morning breakfast so we would fully enjoy our soup bowl. Walking many blocks on an empty stomach did not sound like fun.

It's a good thing I drive a very small car. We managed to weasel into a spot very nearby the Center.

The line was HUGE. I was a little worried that we would be in that line for hours and die of starvation in the meantime. Here is only a portion of the line we were in...and we were at the end of it..

This guy was set up along the line. He made pottery look very easy...

As long as the line was it moved pretty quickly. We only stood in it about 30 minutes.

Once we got inside we got to pick our bowl. There were rows and rows of all sort of different bowls. I really get overwhelmed with large selections. This was not the place to be. There were sooooo many cool looking bowls. Summer ended up making my selections for me and I chose between the ones she selected.

Decisions, decisions....

The germiphobe in me worried about eating out of a bowl thousands of folks had been handling. I was glad to see there were bowl washing stations set up for you to have your bowl washed before you ate out of it.

We ate our soup out of our bowl outside in the bright warm sunshine against the Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake) Hike and Bike Trail.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Been Thinkin'.......

In the past couple of months I have seriously been thinking about ditching my blog. It really serves no purpose for me anymore. Most of the time I have to steal time to work on it. Usually the stolen time is taking away from more important daily tasks that need to be accomplished.

As of late, I really don't enjoy it much anymore. I almost dread it now. I feel compelled to write something interesting and daily life is definitely not as interesting or captivating as I would like it to be. Certainly not a bad life, but definitely not interesting enough to write a book about.

The initial purpose of my blog was to keep my family and friends informed of my daily life while living a few states away.

To be quite honest, I'm not really sure my dad reads my blog...I would guess not. I KNOW for a fact my son does not nor does my youngest brother. I KNOW that some of my favorite family members on hubby's side do not. Maybe a few distant and estranged family members may "check in" every once in a while.

I DO KNOW that a couple of good friends keep track. I DO KNOW that hubby reads it even though I don't know why.....he knows everything that is happening before it is written. I DO KNOW that my oldest brother reads it periodically.

I do enjoy writing for myself, but most the time when I feel compelled to blog for myself it's to vent, bitch, or criticize. Most the stuff I would say in a personal journal would not be blog worthy material and would probably not make my little light shine.

I have given myself to the end of the year to publicly blog. I will then reassess the situation and see how I mood seems to change from day to day lately.

I don't feel moody today, but I know I sure sound as though I am.

By the way, nothing noteworthy happened today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday November 19, 2009

Even though the weather has been beautiful here, I did not have the urge to do outdoor activities this week...I know, check for fever.

I woke up this morning determined to go-a-explorin' as to not waste any good weather. As determined as I was I never did muster up a trek.

We were all having such a good time just hanging out at the house. Summer and I decided to spend some time outside. Although I don't mind staying home every once in a while, staying indoors for too long can be torture for me.

We all ended up staying outside a couple of hours. Summer was totally immersed in some activity at the flower bed while Toby and I pulled weeds in the yard. I bitch about the weeds in the yard, but in all honesty I find it very relaxing to pull weeds.

Eventually mine and Toby's back began to give out and Summer was getting hungry. We decided to go to the Good Luck Grill and use Toby's gift certificate he won for the pumpkin decorating contest on Halloween.

After we got our stomach's full of good cookin' we planned to go to Home Depot to get the supplies we would need to build the rabbit cage for Summer's 4-H project.

After we drove up into the driveway we decided that we would rather stay home and save the chore for next week. Nothing is worth venturing out into Austin traffic at peak traffic's bad enough without it being rush hour.

The rest of the evening Toby spent on the couch watching T.V. while Summer and I played outside. I ended up having to chat with Crazy K my neighbor. The woman with all her craziness is sometimes a source of amusement for long as she is outside and not inside my house where I can retreat from her if necessary.

A nice relaxing day I must say. :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November ?????? 2009

I have not been in the mood to blog....not at all. It's especially hard to blog when my mind feels like a big blank.

We did go out today and there were a few notable highlights:

While at the red light near downtown, I discovered I needed to be in the other lane to get where I needed to turn. Since there was no one behind me, I backed up and pulled behind the car in the lane I was suppose to be in. For whatever reason, this guy I pulled in behind decided he was going to back up.

I tried to avoid him by backing up myself....why I didn't think about just blowing my horn to alert him that he was about to back over me I don't know.

Anyway, there are advantages to driving older model cars that already have years worth of dents and bangs. The damage was very minor. A little scratch and my headlight was pushed in slightly.

Instead of holding up Austin's already horrid traffic and waiting on the police to get there to fill out a report, we waved the guy on. He had a big truck so he certainly didn't have any damage. So now Betsy has one more ding to add to her collection of other dings and bangs.

Believe it or not all this happened in the amount of time it took the light to change. We didn't even have to hold traffic up.

The next notable event happened in Sears. Toby and Summer got into trouble playing on the escalator stairs. It was so funny to watch them being scolded. Summer looked a little worried but Toby didn't bat an eye....I could tell that he was obviously used to getting in trouble a time or two in his life.

I only wish I could be as calm, cool, and collective as he is. My face would have been beet red and I would have been looking for a place to hide. I have never once seen my husband get embarassed....and there have been many times that he should have.

He also spent some time at the jewelry counter helping an old lady set a watch she had bought. After he set her watch for her she asked him if he needed her to pray for him about anything. He told her no, that he was all good. :-)

After Sears we did our grocery shopping in the HEB next door. It was not my usual HEB and it was very crowded. We did manage to get a 10lb turkey for $4.

Last notable thing was that one of the neighbor kids from down the street threw up in my driveway. Whatever happened to kids staying home in the bed when they are sick??????????

Well, that's about it. Interesting stuff, huh???

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th. The day was nothing out of the bad happenings.

We had play date today enjoying the great weather before the "winter" moves in.

As I was chatting with Angela about our week, I spotted a guy riding a bike on the trails. The sight triggered my memory about something we saw yesterday at Pease Park.

I can't believe I didn't even remember to post about it yesterday. I guess I have been here long enough that strange and weird oddities don't remain in my mind for too long.

As we were walking down the trail a naked biker rides right past us. Toby being in the tattoo business has made both Summer and I both immune to most sights out of the ordinary, but when we saw this one Toby's eyes even bulged out.

I had heard tales of the naked biker but never fathomed that I would ever see him personally. A very interesting sight I must say. Why are my camera batteries always dead when I see the really cool stuff??????

On the way home from the park I got the oil changed in my car. The rest of the evening consisted of laundry, doing some pre-cooking for tomorrow, and vacuuming.

I am starting to feel a little sad. This would be the week I would be looking forward to my son coming in for a week......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Day in the Park

We got up and out of the house at a decent hour this morning. While the weather is still cooperative we decided to check out a new park - Pease Park. The park is very close to downtown, but as with most parks near downtown you would never know it.

The park had a wonderful walking/biking trail we walked for miles and miles it seemed like. Hubby was on a mission in search of a tree he read about in one our Central Texas Hiking Guides. There was suppose to have been some sort of historical massacre underneath this particular tree some odd years ago. I really don't know why he was so determined to find this tree...I guess it's a man thing.

Summer and I didn't mind anyway, we are always up for a good long walk with new and exciting scenery.


On some of our trails there are signs that warn of falling rocks. I always cringe as I walk underneath some of these boulders...

Summer loves to climb the big trees we come upon. She seems to climb them with ease but always screams for help to get down them...

Here is the tree we walked miles in search of. Only problem was there was 3 trees....which tree was it we wondered????

Just because I thought they were cool pics:

We had a great walk, but I really need to invest in some sort of flip flop made for walking....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Play Day

We had a pretty productive day today. We finally dug up some Boxwood shrubs out of the front flowerbed. We really didn't understand the landscaping mentality of putting two different sets of shrubs in the same space right against each other, but that's how it was done when we bought our house.

I don't like Boxwoods...I don't like anything that needs to be trimmed or groomed into a certain shape. I did my best to find a place to relocate them, but couldn't find anywhere in the back yard they could go. Toby ended up taking them down to the builders in the new section of the neighborhood in hopes they would put them to good use.

Later in the day, Toby and Summer went and had some dad and daughter time at Austin's Park while I had mom time at the Goodwill. Although I enjoyed the time to myself, I don't seem to get the same enjoyment out of Goodwill and Thrift stores that I used to.

In Austin, the clothes seem to cost as much as brand new ones at Walmart and Target and you have to dig deeper to find what you like and your size. It has become more of a hassle to Thrift store shop now. Too many other activities here to waste my time in the Goodwill. :-)

After about an hour in the Goodwill I had had enough fun. I headed back to Austin's Park to hang out with Toby and Summer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maybe You Didn't Hear Me....Or Maybe You Just Don't Care!

I haven't quite figured out people yet....I'm sure I never will. Do people not really listen????

I have expressed my views on religion many times to various family members/friends to no avail. Mind you, my religious - or should I say non-religious - views are never brought up unless I need to stop someone who is about to try and "convert" me to their thoughts and beliefs.

As far as I'm concerned there is no need for me to discuss my views, send dramatized e-mails about my views, or post my views on FB for everyone to have to endure.

They are my views and I prefer to keep them that way unless someone who has like-minded views wants to discuss them for conversation purposes only.

I believe most of my dilemma comes from the fact that I was raised in a religious home and attended Christian schools all of my school years. Throw in the mix that I lived in the Bible Belt all my life and I homeschooled in the Bible Belt for the first few years of my homeschool journey.

My political beliefs are also quite the opposite of my "social circle".

Just in case you haven't guessed by now, 98% of my acquaintances and family members are Christians and conservatives.

I certainly don't care about anyone's religious views and do have some very good friends that practice spirituality through religion. That is their choice. still, there are a select few that try to inflict their belief upon me. As far as I know they may not even realize they are being annoying. I'm sure in their mind they are just trying to "bring others to Christ" as they call it.

What irks me is those that persist on sending me their religious propaganda via e-mails. I get enough junk mail.

I think I am going to start pulling out all of my Agnostic literature and just start sending out mass e-mails on my beliefs about God, Jesus, and what my opinion is on the way you should get to "heaven".

I am then going to post every agnostic quote I can get my hands on and post it to my status on FB each and every day. I'm sure I would make tons of friends in this way.

I guess some people are so insecure with their beliefs that they feel if they constantly put them on display they will become real to them.

Hopefully I have been LOUD AND CLEAR this time.

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -- that is all that agnosticism means. - Clarence Darrow

Tuesday November 10, 2009

I can't believe I actually waste my time blogging on days like these. I'd like to say that today was a total flop, but when you look at the big picture it was good day......nobody was sick, the car cranked, and we aren't broke.

After being "trapped" in the house a few days I get really antsy. Summer and I were both ready to get out and do something today.

Although I knew a grocery store trip way overdue, I was prepared to shirk my responsibilities...I figured I would pay the consequences later and venture to a new park near downtown I have had my eye on. The weather has been too cooperative to sentence myself to indoor activities.

As it worked out, I didn't get my wish. When Toby got up he told me an artist had gotten fired and someone needed to cover his shift. It wasn't mandatory on his part but I figured since he was so blessed to work at such a successful shop then he should repay the favor and work when there was a crisis. This time of year it also doesn't hurt to try and make a little extra cash.

He didn't have to go in until 6:00p.m so I ended up having to do the dreaded grocery store trip after all. I guess it all worked out for the best...I got the dirty chore out of the way and I picked up a couple of clothing items off the clearance rack at Target. We also spent some time in Hobby Lobby and ended our outing with a treat from Froots.

Maybe tomorrow I will have something more interesting to post.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Goodbye Granny

I got word this morning that my grandmother died last night. I can't really say I know how old she her late 80's early 90's maybe???? Like a lot of old people she spent the last couple of years of her life in assisted care/nursing homes.

Our family is not a large one and most of us that are left were not able or patient enough to care for my mentally and physically ailing grandmother. My father did his best to care for her in his home for awhile. Although my dad is very spry he is getting on up in age also. Dad caring for my grandmother was almost like the blind leading the blind.

This past Summer when we went home I didn't even visit my grandmother. I mentally debated on it a good bit before I made the decision to not see her. Daddy said she didn't even know who he was anymore and that she was prone to mean and vulgar behavior.

The last time I saw my grandmother she thought I was her niece. The time before that Toby and I had went to get her to have Thanksgiving dinner with us. She had no idea who we even were. She ate her meal in polite conversation asking every so often who we were and what our names were.

I can only hope that one of my family members has the balls to euthanize me before I get to the point my grandmother was before her death....

Here is pic of my grandmother and Summer together a couple of years ago:

Rest in Peace Granny.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Missing "Home"

The past few days I have seen a few comments on FB of people missing "home". These folks have been transplanted to another state for whatever reason and are missing their roots.

It must be the time of year. The holidays are always the hardest for people away from their family and long time friends. I suffer the same affliction during the holidays myself, only mine is not for "home" but for my very few family members left behind.

It's been almost 2 years since I have been living in Texas now. I can't say that I really miss my hometown in Alabama at all. The hometown I knew and loved growing up is not the same one it is now. Cities change and as a city grows so do the inhabitants. My hometown was gone way before I left.

When I think about missing the city I spent over 40 years of my life I think about the fact that in Austin I will never:

Run into someone that I went to second grade with or my sixth grade teacher.

Know the back roads to get to a destination.

Know about that cool place that teens used to hang out that is now torn
down and replaced with a mall.

Know what people are talking about when they say you remember when this and
that happened here??

Watched the city grow and change into what it is today.

Drive everyday by the hospitals where I gave birth to my children.

Know that certain areas are just not the "cool" areas of town.

Know that even though a body of water looks inviting it's not swimable.

No, I will probably never experience these things. Maybe after 40 years of living here I will....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Raising Hackles

When I was married to my first husband, he used to have this friend that loved to get a rise out of people. He would do and say anything to piss people off. It was a big thrill to him. Watching this guy made me realize how easy it is to offend or make someone mad.

He loved to play a game with Frank and I. Every time he would see us he would say.."I bet I can get you two in a fight before I leave." Getting Frank and I in a fight really wasn't that hard to do anyway but just for the sake of playing along we would do our best not to get mad at one another to prove him wrong.

It never failed. No matter how hard we would try, this guy would end up getting us in a squabble. He just had an evil way about him. He really didn't care if people liked him or not and delighted in watching other people get mad.

Anyway, that brings me to my point. I find that I have the tendency to do the same thing to a certain extent.

Human ego is a very sensitive thing and very amusing to watch. I have taken notice that the majority of people don't mind giving you their opinions, thoughts, or beliefs on any particular issue, but the minute you have a different opinion, thought, or belief they get offended or upset.

I wonder why we think it's o.k to give our thoughts on an issue, but if someone else has a different thought they are wrong??? Zealous religious people are the worst.

I have made many of my religious "friends" mad to the point that they won't even speak or respond to me anymore because I had a different opinion than theirs on GOD. Conversations about GOD are always one sided anyway. Some people have not realized that no matter how much they believe in something it doesn't necessarily mean the same thing for someone else.

I sometimes find when I get to feeling a little bored with life I tend to try and raise hackles. It's amazing how easy people fall into the trap and get caught up in the drama of a situation.

This pastime of mine is probably one of the reasons I don't have a whole catalog of friends.....

A Walk Around The Block

Although the day was a little on the warm side, I have been very anxious about checking out the neighborhood trail. There is just something alluring about an unexplored trail. You never know what pot of gold you may find along the way.

Toby didn't have to go into work until later in the afternoon. It was the perfect opportunity to check out the trail with our "bodyguard" along.

We had about 1/2 mile or more of walking through this...

Along the way there was a nice little surprise of a nice little fishing pond...

Once you got past the pond it started to get really boggy and wet. I debated on making the trek but got outvoted. On such a warm day, I was seeing visions of moccasins and rattlers.

I was glad I agreed to move on. We could hear water running nearby so we went in search..

We have been trying to find a small nearby swimming hole since we have been living here. Somehow this swimming hole looks a bit uninviting. I'm not real crazy about water that's not transparent...

This creek reminds me alot of the creek that used to run behind our house when I was a kid....

Look at the thorns on this Mesquite tree. There are tons of these trees in the greenbelt. Flip flops are not safe for these woods...

A beautiful evening sky...

We ended up walking a couple of miles. I don't know if it was the heat or we walked more than I thought, but I was wore out when we got home. Summer doesn't miss a beat. The minute we got home she went to jump on the trampoline...crazy girl.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday November 6, 2009

We had our weekly play date this morning. Yes, I know it was a typical school day but there is no way I was going to ditch a perfectly beautiful day with great friends for math and Angela pointed out, there will plenty of time for school work when the weather turns dreary and cold.

We had our playdate on the side of town where my favorite thrift store was so I decided to drag Summer in there with promises of a "treat".

It figures that the day I manage to sneak in a trip to the thrift store they seemed to be bare. The book selections was slim and I didn't find any clothes in there for me. On a positive note I did find Summer one shirt and a pair of jeans.

After the thrift store we went into the Target next door and passed some time.

It was nice to get home and relax after running the roads for a couple of days. After we rested for a bit, we took a bike ride.

Although my plan was to wait on Toby to check out the trail, Summer and I decided to try and venture down it again. This time we got a little further than we did the last time, but guess who got paranoid again and decided to turn back???

After we got back from our bike ride, Summer's neighborhood friends were out and about. I took the free time to blog and give my youngest brother a birthday call. We chatted awhile and talked about what we always talk about in our once a year conversation......religion, or should I say anti-religion.

I am hoping to have a more sedentary day tomorrow....we will see what happens.

San Antonio Zoo

That's where our field trip was today..the San Antonio Zoo. I was really unsure and wishy-washy about the trip. As bad as I wanted a road trip, I wasn't sure if I wanted to take one in a car without a/c. It's still very warm here during the day and when the sun is out it can get pretty toasty inside the car.

I finally decided to suck it up and proceed with the trip. Nobody else seemed to be worried about having no a/c in the car. After all, it was either miss out on a whole day of fun and endure the heat for the hour drive, or stay at home folding laundry and cooking.

I'm glad I decided to take the trip because we had a blast. We never did have any issues with the heat because we left early enough that it was still cool and returned home late enough that the sun was setting.

Here are some pics of our day:

Summer and this bird were really connecting. The bird sat there and "talked" to her for a while.

I love it when I can see that Summer is still a kid at heart....

Here is Summer feeding the Lori's nectar - this was probably the highlight of the zoo:

The Lori's really liked Toby. I told him it was because they thought his arm with all it's color was a tree:

Yes, a great day indeed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday November 4, 2009

Today is one of those days that did not go as planned. I had bought some discount coupons for Austin's Park through Groupon a couple of weeks ago. The plan was that Toby and Summer would go to Austin's Park for a little dad and daughter time while I did a little Christmas shopping and got little time to myself.

I guess I was so excited about getting some "me" time that I didn't think about the fact that Austin's Park hours were conforming to the school system's schedule and would not open until 3:00p.m.

I don't know who was more disappointed, Summer or me. Both of us bounced back pretty quick and tried to make the most of the situation.

It was lunchtime so we grabbed some lunch in Round Rock at Fazoli's. Since we were in Round Rock we tried to brainstorm something we could do in the area. We finally decided we would go to the outlet. We had never been there that I have been there I won't be going back. There was nothing at all notable there for us....

After the outlet we went to Target, Best Buy, and HEB.

I had it in my mind that when we got home I wanted to check out that trail I mentioned yesterday. Unfortunately, by the time I had done my chores that needed to be done it had gotten dark.

We did get to work in a family game of Monopoly....very long game, but fun.

I'm also a little bummed tonight. I was expecting and looking forward to my son's visit in a couple of weeks for the Thanksgiving holidays.

Too make a long story short, he has some very important tests that he will be taking before he graduates in December. Although, he was insisting on driving an 11 hour drive for Thanksgiving day, I convinced him that it was best to stay there and focus on his exit exams. I would rather know that he was safe at home than driving on the highway by himself on Thanksgiving eve only to turn around and drive back the day after Thanksgiving with exit exams on his mind.

Anyway, I am hoping that after he graduates in early December he will be able to come and stay for awhile...

All in all, even though our day did not go as planned, it went well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday November 3, 2009

Nothing noteworthy for the day. Today was actually suppose to be our weekend but Toby ended up taking a co-workers shift at my insistence. I had to stick around the house waiting on the a/c guys to come and make their last adjustments to our a/c so I figured if I was going to be bound to the house anyway Toby should at least try and make a little money....which of course he didn't.

I wouldn't call it a totally wasted day. Even though today was not a scheduled school day we used it as one. I figured I could use today as a makeup day.

Summer and I spent the morning outside enjoying the glorious weather...and running from the swarms of bees. It seems all creatures great and small seem to think it's Spring. My spring flowers are blooming and the insects have come out of hiding. With our drought this past year we didn't really have a spring per say so now that we have had some rain and spring-like weather nature is taking it's course.

Well, I have to go so I can brainstorm our activity for the week.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday November 2, 2009

Today "school" went a little better....probably because I pepped it up a little bit, which of course makes my end of it much harder than it already is but I guess that's what I signed up for.

The past couple of days have been absolutely beautiful. Temps have been in the 70's and the sky blue as blue can be.

Summer and I decided to take an evening bike ride to the back of the neighborhood and check out the new housing section being added to our already enormous subdivision. I have to admit I am a bit jealous. The new section's houses are bit fancier and uppity looking than ours are. Either way, I am not moving anytime in the near future...

On our bike ride about a mile away we discovered a trail that led into the greenbelt. We started off riding our bikes through the trail, but eventually ended up having to walk our bikes. The further we got down the trail the more nervous I got. We had already seen what looked like mountain lion and coyote prints and I was not equipped to fend off wild animals if need be.

My usually very fearful daughter was not in the least bit nervous. She kept urging us to go deeper down the trail. It was starting to get dusk and it was very quite. With every bush rustle I was in a constant search for something to jump out and attack us.

Thankfully for my sake, Summer got a very long thorn in her bike tire. I urged her to let us turn around. When we got back out of the trail I pulled the thorn from her bike tire. Her tire immediately lost all of it's air....guess who got to walk her bike all the way back home while she rode mine????

Anyway, I am curious enough to know where that trail leads that I will be back....with Toby, my camera, and some boots.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1, 2009

I can't say my day went quite as well as yesterday did. I was a little off kilter all day long because of the time change.

Confusion started early this morning when Toby got out of the bed. I heard him get out of bed at 7:30, my clock's time. This never happens. Needless to say, it was nice to have coffee already brewed when I got up.

When I asked him why he was up so early he informed me that it was 8:30....hmmmmm, I could have sworn the clock said 7:30...

When I checked off the date on the calendar, I figured out where the time discrepancy was. I won't lie, I am relieved to see it getting dark a bit earlier. Maybe now I can get my family settled down a little earlier at night.

Anyway, today was a school day. Lately, school days are torture for everyone involved. I won't go into any boring details, but if anyone is learning anything around here it's how to hate each other. Homeschoolers and homeschooling books LIE, or either I am missing some pertinent or secret ingredient along the way.

My son will be here for the Thanksgiving holidays. I can't wait. We need some diversion and a ray of sunshine around here.

Halloween 2009

I would have to mark this year's Halloween as one of my funnest and most memorable.

At noon we had to be at the Good Luck Grill with 4-H for an event called a Washer Tournament. Don't ask me, I have no idea what that is other than folks drinking beer and standing around throwing washers into the dirt. In my two years of living here, I have noticed people in this area like horseshoes and the washer "game". I have yet to research the washer "game" because it does not look like much fun to me...just as horseshoes is not.

Other than the tournament there were other activities for kids. Our 4-H group had a fishing booth and horse back riding. There was also a band, a pumpkin decorating contest, and food.

Toby won first place in the pumpkin decorating contest for adults and Summer won second in the kids group.

After our long day at the Grill we were wore out after we got home, but we had a couple of hours to recoup before we had to set out trick or treating.

Here are some highlights of the day at the Grill:

This pic will give you an idea of what washer toss is:

I guess I was too tired to snap pics of Summer in her costume or trick or treating. I just realized I have none.

We did make a few blocks of the neighborhood. I think Summer could have kept going but once we got into the "valley" of Golden Valley the temps dropped considerably and she got cold in her flimsy little vampire outfit.

We find as much enjoyment in handing out candy as we do in the trick or treating, so we headed back to the house to catch the late comers.

We then topped the night off by ordering us a yummy pizza delivered and watched a scary movie. :-)