9/27/08

My Paul Newman Tribute




Saddened by the news that actor Paul Newman passed away, I decided to replay a video I've already posted. Forgive me, but I think this scene perfectly demonstrates the essence of the actor's character, plus, like him, it was hard to resist. I think many of you will agree, that we were blessed to have an actor like Paul Newman. He will be sorely missed...

9/26/08

A Belated Wedding Invitation

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I received a copy of this belated wedding invitation in my e-mail. Golly, I'm sorry I missed it~

9/23/08

What Type Of Animal Best Suits Your Personality And/ Or Appearance? - Tuesdays Question-



Hello, and welcome to A Nice Place In The Sun's Tuesday's Question. This Tuesday's Question asks What Type Of Animal Best Suits Your Personality and/or Appearance? If you are not sure what type of animal you most resemble, ask your friends, spouse, family, or pet and I'm sure they will be happy to help. My family would have helped me, but I wouldn't let them near my hammock. However, I'm sure if you are nice to your family, friends, and pets they will be more than happy to oblige.


All participates answers will be published today in this post along with a link to their site, however, you don't have to own a blog to participate. All you have to do is write your answer in comments and I will publish your comment along with your name. Just leave everything to me~

In addition, every participate is welcome to a Tuesday's Question Brag Badge posted with a code in my sidebar. The Brag Badge gives you the opportunity to bring your visitors to Tuesday's Question's archives, so you can show off the ingenuity of your past comments to your readers, as well as read the answers left by your blogging buddies.

Answers will be posted as quickly as possible throughout the day with a link to the participating blogger's blogs, therefore, don't forget to stop by and pay them a visit. Chances are, if you liked a blogger's answer, you will also enjoy reading their blog.

Have Fun, and remember Tuesday's Question is a weekly post of original questions, link love, and friendship, so jump in and let us know your answer.

Also, next week I will begin giving out monthly awards to the blogger who answers the most questions throughout the month of October. In addition, I will give out awards to our most loyal participates from the beginning of Tuesday's Question.

Well, that's it, until I see you again, except, don't forget to laugh, smile, and sing often...

Just click "Read More" for blogger's hilarious comments...




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My first comment today is from my dear hilarious friend Maunie, at MaunieJames3

I have been thinking and thinking about this one Annie...

A dog...nope...they are much too needy.

A kitten...nope they sleep too much

So...I think it would be a monkey.
A mischievous monkey...cute, not a baboon with the purple and orange butt.

A monkey that would tease other monkeys ie: pulling tails, pinching and wrestling...yup that's it an adorable monkey.

Can't you just see me Annie? Jumping from tree to tree and eating bananas ahh that's the life.

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Next comment is from Sandee at Comedy Plus. Read this...I laughed...

An animal? Yikes, I don't want to be an animal period, but if I have to chose I'll be our dog.

She is pampered, sleeps anywhere she wants, goes to the beauty parlor (groom) every three weeks, eats expensive dog food and treats.

She is the first consideration in everything. She is treated better than I treated my own kid. Yep, I'll be our dog Little Bit.

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My next comment is from Dawn at Twisted Sister who did a marvelous job of answering...she is a lion...

I am a Lion.
I am extremely protective. Independent.
A Loner.
Watchful.
A thinker.
And I can roar when necessary :D

Have a great day Annie!

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My next comment is from Broadway Matron It's another good one...

A Siamese cat - they're smart, mysterious, and most of all they are loyal - and they talk a lot :)

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Next, I received some advice for Dawn from Bud at WTIT Tape Radio Blog I'm not sure if he is right or not, and I told him to just behave and answer the question, but he didn't. Therefore, in order to pass him some link love and leave you a link to his blog I'm going to publish his comment.

Ann-
You better break it to Dawn. Lions aren't loners. She did manage to pick the only cat that is social..



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By the way, here is my answer back to Bud,

Bud, Are you kidding? Well...they seem like loners to me, and she is like a lion in every other respect.

Anyway, you're supposed to be answering the question. I bet you were a cut up in class, weren't you? Hmmmm...that could be my next question.

But this one is,

What animal best suits your personality?

laughing...now, just behave and answer the question...

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My next commenter Ferd from Crazy Medical Cases and The Best Parts followed my advice and asked his wife Princess Gail...


I didn't want to answer this question, so I asked Princess Gail for her opinion. She said right away that I am a dog. I said, "WHAT!?" I was just about to say, "YOU"RE a dog!" when she went on to say that it is because I am loyal, cuddly, lovable, love her unconditionally, and love to snuggle.

She also said I'm not a cat because I'm not self centered, I don't ignore her, and I listen.

She also said I am not a wild animal that would attack her, or kill her, or eat her.

I tried to type as fast as I could as she was telling me her answers. Wish I had it on tape. But I at least have it written down now, so I can show her her own words when she accuses me of barking and shedding!

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Then, my dear friend Dawn from Twisted Sister changed her mind about her answer, although I think the first one was the best, this one made me laugh....

This is Dawn's response to lion expert, Bud at WTIT Tape Radio (The Blog) who corrected Dawn's comment earlier about lions.

Dawn's comment

Never argue with the man who watches nature shows on Discovery Channel!

Bud... you are factually correct. I was thinking symbolically and humans have mistakenly used lions as symbols of loners for reasons unknown to me :)
I'm changing my answer:
I am a cougar :)))

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My next comment is from "SpeedcaT, THE gOLFINg bEaR" !!! at Speedcat Hollydale Page


I am a bear. No not the one that attacks you in the forest ... I am the one at the petting zoo that drinks orange pop from the bottle and does tricks for the kids.
I like to roll around in the sun, and be outdoors. I hear that there ARE trained golfing bears - of course that would be my forte` and tag line.

"SpeedcaT, THE gOLFINg bEaR" !!!

Now, if I saw another bear or human harming my cubs .... I would maul them. (like a bear)
Mostly I am nice though, and will be a loyal friend to those who are friends to me. (In the Forest or Petting Zoo)

Got's any orange pops???

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Then, my hilarious friend Ettarose at ettarose-edgeofsanity.com, gave a perfect answer, as far as her personality traits are concerned, although she doesn't match the physical description.

I think that I am an armadillo. I have a very hard shell on the outside, but inside I am really a softy.

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My next comment is from my friend Sue at Farvel Cargo who recalled a scary memory when answering, but she played along anyway. Now, that is a pal...thanks Sue...here's her comment~



OMG! This makes me remember when I was in 8th grade at Catholic Religion class we had to pick a name out of a hat, go around the table and tell everyone what animal the person we drew out reminded us of. I got stuck with the meanest girl in the class. The only thing that went through my mind was, "I'm going to get my butt kicked in religion class." I can't even remember what anyone thought I was, I was too busy looking to the nearest exit!


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Great job, ya'll~ :))

Thanks for the laughs and support~ This was a fun question. Huge hug~

9/21/08

"Gotcha Last"


“Gotcha last” is a game my cat Simon plays with everyone who knocks on my door. The minute he hears a car drive in my “condo driveway,” he dashes over me like a linebacker, and waits for the door to open. After I push him out of the way and open the door, he squeezes past me, gently taps my visitor on their ankle, and runs outside, as if to say, “Gotcha last” now catch me.


What he wants my guest to do is play a game we’ve come to call, “Gotcha last” which means chase Simon around outside until he gets tired and let’s you catch him. The cat loves this game, and actually it would be a lot of fun, if we all could act like that whenever it was convenient, but it’s aggravating when your cat plays it all of the time, especially if you’re in a hurry to go somewhere or having people over to visit. I should have never let my son teach Simon the game because he is a cat and doesn’t understand that it’s not appropriate to play all of the time.


Although, I will admit that I sometimes have the urge to play with a few visitors myself…just open the door, tap them and say “Gotcha last” and run to my car…maybe they wouldn’t return and maybe I could get rid of the tiny ashtrays I bought so that some guests would leave quickly.


Anyway, when Simon gets to the door first, people think they let my cat out, especially if it’s the bug man or someone unfamiliar with his tactics. Then, I end up chasing Simon and whoever was at the door around in circles outside.

My son started playing this game with Simon in the house, where I will not play with him for fear of breaking something in my living room or a bone, so when Taylor (my son) isn’t home to play Simon whines all day. Therefore, I felt sorry for him the other day, and I tried to play, but the mailman knocked on the door while we were playing.


Without thinking, I came out of my hiding place and opened the door. I couldn’t believe I did it without putting Simon in his pet taxi, but I did, so out the door the cat went…

He tapped the mailman on the foot, and flew past him as if he was running for his life. The mailman said what everyone says when Simon pulls this, “’Oh let him go…he’ll come back…” and believe me I have shut the door on him more than a few times.


However, when he returns home he’s so frightened he spends the rest of the day moaning and lying around the house as if he’s hurt, while I check for wounds, and imagine a lengthy vet bill.

Then, I have to deal with this attitude he adopts because he thinks I locked him out after the game and he’s afraid to stay outside alone for long.

Simon's one of those confused male felines who was neutered the second he opened his eyes. Well…maybe I bought his litter box first, although I’m not sure because he was at the vet when I was buying the box. Anyway, I neutered our family’s new addition as soon as possible.

That way he couldn’t impregnate the neighborhood- I feel sorry for stray animals and no cat of mine was going to be the daddy of a teenage cats kittens. Besides, I want Simon to have choices in life, you know about what games he is going to play, and so forth…


Anyway, when Simon returned from “tapping the mailman last,” I checked him for wounds. I thought food and attention would mellow him, but he decided to wear his dejection armor for the rest of the afternoon, so I left him alone.


I had to leave him alone because I’ve had a slow leak in one of my tires since Hurricane Gustav rudely crashed into our town. Therefore, until I find a good price on a tire, I have to add air to the flattened tire every other day, and to top it off, it’s a Ford Explorer with gigantic tires. I wish I could adopt Simon’s “Gotcha last” mind set for just one day, meaning I could act like a child.


For example, my boyfriend drove my car last, so it would be nice to tap him on the shoulder and say, “You drove it last, so you have to fix it, so there, gotcha last.”

But, I can’t do that because I broke up with my boyfriend, which is something I do every time life gets hectic. Then, I’m left alone to deal with the "man problems" he's good for, but I’m not calling him. Because if I ask him to help me, he will smile a “I knew you would need me” smile, and that will make my blood pressure go haywire, in addition to giving him the last word, and if he has the last word then he will be able to put it on his list of “Gotcha lasts.”


I haven’t the slightest idea why I set myself up like this, but I do…and it seems like everything that goes wrong is a problem a man is better at fixing. I mean, I'm an independent woman, but let's face it men are just better at some things.


Anyway, after I shook the idea of calling for him for help …I heard what sounded like a band of buffalo barreling toward my front door.

It was the loudest quaking and squawking I’ve ever heard in my life. Moreover, something told me Simon had something to do with this visitor’s presence. Because he was still playing his dejected cat act in his cat taxi, and when I looked at him closer I noticed his fur was slightly wet~


I could hear my neighbor's voice behind the quaking and squalling, and when I looked through my peep hole, he was rounding up his duck’s to bring to his pond next door. Evidently, Simon was playing “Gotcha last” with his ducks, and I didn't know what I was going to do when I opened the door.


Although, to my surprise, my neighbor didn’t knock, he just got his ducks and their ducklings and went back to the more well to do neighborhood where he lived next door. You see, the hurricane knocked down the wooden fence that separates our apartments from his pond. We are sandwiched between 450,000-dollar homes on the right and blue-collar worker apartments on the left.


Therefore, maybe the duck, pond, and homeowner just wanted to get his ducks and be on his way, thank goodness. Because if he didn't, I was considering tapping him on the shoulder and running to my car shouting, “gotcha last,” behind me, and hoping my childish behavior would confuse him enough to gracefully walk away. In any event, I didn’t have to know what happened with Simon and the ducks, and I could hope it was nothing, maybe the ducks just came to my door because it was a potential "man" problem.


And speaking of man problems, I knew my problem with my tire wasn't going to go away, therefore, rather than be the victim of a “Gotcha Last” I braced myself to deal with it. When I walked to my car, I was astonished to find my tire pressed flat on the cement, but I got in and rambled down the road to the nearest gas station. Then, as luck would have it, I saw the man with the ducks pointing and shaking his finger at me on the way out of my driveway. It was somewhat scary, but I thought to myself, I wonder why he’s mad? People point at me and shake their fingers all the time and I never know why, so this occasion wasn't any different.


I made it to the gas station and filled my tire with air, or at least I thought I did, because I couldn’t read the stupid air gauge. I didn’t have my reading glasses with me. For some reason, I have a mental block when it comes to my reading glasses, if I am going to need them, I will not have them, and I’m the same way about pens. I’m a writer who relies heavily on both of these items, but I lose them constantly. Therefore, I have hundreds of pens and glasses, just not when I need them. Anyway, I couldn’t see, but I could hear air going in the tire, so I decided I handled this man problem on my own and I headed home smiling to myself. Now, I could say "Did it myself" to the duck man, my boy friend, and all men...


I pulled into my gated “community,” where you cannot get in unless you have an electrical card to lay on a keypad. And guess who ran out of the house in a hurry because she was worried about the duck man and left her gate key? Yep, that would be me.


Nevertheless, a nice neighbor let me through with her card, but she looked at me with a concerned look that was irritating. I thought, gee whiz, why the concern, I just locked myself out…then I saw the duck man again.

I tried to get away quickly but he kept following me and pointing at my tire. I thought oh no, I just put air in my tire, is he going to lecture me about tires now? Then I thought he must have guessed that it was my cat who chased his ducks out of the pond, so I started to stop, but the more I drove, the more I didn't want to stop, so I kept driving around in circles.


I waved at him and shook my head back, as if to say, yes, I know about the tire, I just put air in it, but he kept pointing and smiling at me. Remember he saw me leave, so I assumed he knew I went to get air in my tire, therefore he must have realized what happened with the ducks, because why would he still be following me?


Nevertheless, I finally stopped my car and he stopped behind me. I could hear and feel the beating of my heart as I watched him approach my car from my rear view mirror. Then, little droplets of sweat began to form on my forehead when he stood by my side door, and asked, “Ma'am, do you know you have a flat tire?”


“Well…yes, I know I did, but I just put air in it at the gas station.” I said proudly.


“Well, it must have a pretty fast leak because now it is flatter than a pancake all over again,” he said, wearing the smile of a man who knows you need his help but will not admit it.

“I have a compressor and would be glad to put some air in it for you if you like.”

“Yes, I said, that would be great. Thank–you”

After which I half expected him to say, “Gotcha last,” but he didn’t, he grinned instead.


9/20/08

Happy Birthday Dawn!


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Today is my dear friend Dawn from Twisted Sister's birthday. Although, I met Dawn through blogging, the minute I read one of her posts I knew we would be fast friends one day, which just goes to show that my woman's intuition is still in tact, because we did turn out to be pals.

I think it's amazing how well one person can get to know another simply by writing back and forth, even if they're just reading each others posts. Because, although Dawn and I are pen pals now, we haven't always e-mailed each other. Meaning, we were friends just through reading each others posts for at least a year before we e-mailed each other.



We have rediscovered through e-mail and computers the ancient and rare gift of communicating solely through the written word. It amazes me how much more you learn about a person you're writing as well as yourself, when you write letters or e-mail. I would have never dreamed I would develop the friendships I have through blogging.

Especially, since although I'm outgoing, I'm an intensely private person whose closest friend is my cat, besides a few old friends from high school. And now I cannot imagine life without my blogging friends. In fact, if it hadn't been for Dawn and the rest of you who know who you are, I'm not sure I would have made it through many rough spots.

Anyway, I feel as if I know Dawn and many of you as well as I do many close friends I see everyday. But it is a different kind of friendship, for instance, people who have known each other for years can finish each others sentences, guess what they may be thinking, and read each others expressions. It's because they've been around each other so much they're in tune to one another, well I think the same is true if you write someone frequently.

For instance, if you write each other often enough you develop a six sense for what your friend is feeling or going through, in much the same way you would pick up on whatever they were experiencing if you were used to seeing them in person.

It's just two different ways of communicating, although I didn't expect to find friendships from writing a blog or web site. I usually wrote people I already know, which was different, and in many ways not as rewarding- maybe because I was used to communicating with them on another level.

In any event, it's great to have a pen pal and a friend like Dawn, who I would have never known without the benefit of the written word. And because of the internet, I met someone I will always consider a close friend, however, I do have a confession to make. I just found out yesterday, that today was Dawn's birthday, because she slipped and told me in an e-mail when referring to something else. Therefore, be sure to stop by her blog, Twisted Sister and tell her Happy Birthday.

She'll wonder how in the world you knew...unless in the meantime she reads this post or another friends post who is wise to her birthday. However, I do hope she reads this post soon, because I want her to see this fantastic picture.

"When I saw this graphic Dawn, I wished for you, the gift of a free-spirited ride down a highway headed anywhere; just you, and a back seat full of presents driving on an open road; with your hair flying in the wind, and your hand tapping along to a song on the radio ..."

Happy Birthday, my friend ~ We all luvs ya~

9/16/08

Tuesday's Question: When was the last time you impulsively did something foolish?



Hello, and welcome to the 42nd Tuesday's Question! Tuesday's Question is A Nice Place In The Sun's way of sharing weekly link love, getting to know my readers and introducing bloggers to other bloggers. I think it is a personal way of learning about other bloggers, much like writing a blog review but with the blogger participating on a more personal level. Because you learn more about the person behind a blog by asking questions that connect people to each other. All participates answers/comments are posted within the Tuesday's Question post on the same day, along with a link to their site, however, you don't have to own a blog to participate. All you have to do is write your answer in comments and I will publish them as well along with your name~

In addition, every participate is welcome to a Tuesday's Question Brag Badge posted with a code in my sidebar. The Brag Badge in your sidebar gives your visitors the opportunity to read the archived Tuesday's Questions posts with your past comments. In any event, whether you are participating or reading I thank you for stopping by to visit. Answers will be posted as quickly as possible throughout the day with a link to the bloggers who commented, therefore, don't forget to visit the participating blogger's blogs. Chances are if you like their comments you will like their blogs. Have Fun, and remember Tuesday's Question is a weekly post with weekly link love, reader participation, and original questions. Special thanks to my regular Tuesday's Question participates and friends who breath life into Tuesday's Question each week- Thank you~ (you know who you are.)

Now, for this Tuesday's Question, When was the last time you impulsively did something foolish?

Before he pecked me
And after...poor thing...





When was the last time you impulsively did something foolish?

An example would be sticking your finger inside a penguins cage at the zoo. When my son was small, I took him to the zoo, and the first birds we saw were penguins. I was surprised when we saw them because I never knew how adorable they were in person. I mean, this was the first time I saw penguins up close, so without thinking, I put my finger through the bars of the cage to pet one. Which sadly, ended in disappointment for both me and the penguin, the penguin because I didn't taste like a cookie or cracker, and me because I had a puncture wound on my finger. I have a before and after picture of the penguin taking a bite of my finger above.

Nevertheless, did you know that penguins have razor sharp teeth?


Anyway, this is just one of my many impulsive acts, so do not feel shy about answering this question. I know most of us usually grow out of acting impulsively by the time we reach adulthood, but I'm still learning...


Therefore, please feel free to comment- When was the last time you impulsively did something foolish?





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My first comment is from one of my dearest friends, Sandee at Comedy Plus, who is also one of the blogger's I wrote about who breaths air into Tuesday's Question, She deserves a metal for her friendship to me, and her loyalty to Tuesday's Question, not to mention her spectacular comments. If you haven't visited her blog yet, and you want to be sure and laugh everyday click on the link to Comedy Plus. Sandee is a blogger who does not let her readers down. Thanks again Buddy for another terrific comment.

I don't need to write anymore, Sandee's comment will speak for itself:


In my younger years I could have written a book on the impulsive and foolish things I did, but I'll stick with my older years.

In the early 90s I took a trip to Mexico with a girlfriend for a week of fun in the sun. Well, little did I know that I was going to be approached to hear the sales pitch for buying a timeshare.

Yep, they got me and I decided to buy a timeshare and that way I could have all this fun every single year. It turned into a nightmare.

I never got a bill, but they certainly took my down payment. There wasn't anyone to talk to because they were in Mexico and I was here in California. It was almost a year before I connected with someone in Omaha, Nebraska that could help me.

Keep in mind that I hadn't paid the monthly payment on this timeshare because no one ever sent me a bill. Then they started threatening me because I hadn't paid all year. Hello you morons...I never got a bill.

It took what seemed like forever and I finally got a portion of my money back. The peso was very depressed from the time of purchase to the time they refunded me my down payment. I lost about 500.00 on the deal and never saw the timeshare at all.

Foolish? Very and when anyone says anything about a timeshare, I run the other way. Especially if it's in another country. Pain in rear to say the least.

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I received another comment from another best buddy and loyal Tuesday's Question commenter, Dawn from Twisted Sister
Here's another blogger whose blog who must read if you haven't already. Dawn's comment is priceless...

Would you like the long list or the short one? LOL Just kidding :)

I once posted a very angry rant. It was stupid but it was an impulse. I regretted it deeply. I didn't name any names but a lot of bloggers thought it was directed at them when in fact it was someone in my personal life.

I now live by the rule: Post in haste - Repent at leisure.

Have a great day Annie :)

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I don't know what I would do without my buddies who always stop to answer Tuesday's Question. Here's an hilarious comment from another pal, Maunie at Maunie's World Maunie's World is Maunie's new blog and it's well written, pretty, and fun, so be sure and pay her a visit. Here's Maunie's comment~


I can't tell you when I have not acted impulsively..one thing does
stand out, when my younger son was
ten he had behaved so well in school for a week I told him I would take he and a friend to the circus...he envited six friends...not wanting to disappoint any of the boys I took them all. The headache that ensued
was bad enough...never mine the money...now I say disappoint...they will get over it...you may not make it.

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My next comment is from the Queen of Bloggingham Palace, and the author of Peace Globes, Mimi at Mimi Writes

While I love adventure, I am not typically an impulsive person and while I really like this ,I respectfully reserve the right as the Queen to refrain from answering the question. Ahem....

I did want to thank you for displaying the BlogBlast countdown. Very nice of you. I have found several who've already done so and will post a public thanks this evening.
Again, thank you.
I am thrilled to see these everywhere.

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The next comment is from my dear friend Eric from The Speedcat Hollydale Page
His comment is so funny, I laughed out loud... If you haven't visited Eric/Speedy's blog, do yourself a favor and follow this link.

Ann, I think almost everything I do is impulsive! Sometimes this gets me into trouble, but I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants type of person. Never was one for regiment and agenda.

This probably will not be as funny as it was "live", but it is the first thing that popped into my head .......

"The whole family was out to dinner at one of those all you can eat buffets. It was not very busy, and the servers sometimes would disappear for a moment or two.
My dad said he wanted to get some of the roast, but the carver was not there. I told him that they told me to just help yourself, and cut off what you wanted.
Off he went, and I instructed everyone at the table to watch what happened next.
He grabbed the knife, and started to whittle away at the meat ... shortly after the manager came running out and told him the he should not be doing this. His eyes looked back to me immediately! Of course, we all had a huge smile and then the table broke out in laughter. I think he was mad at me (at first) but returned to slap me on the shoulder and say, I should have known.

I have this best friend type of relationship with dad. My day of retribution will be soon at hand. Ha haaa!!!

P.S ... Not sure how to spell "retribution" Is that right ?? Please fix that if you post this :-)

My song today is "Fly me to the Moon". Just watched it at my blog again after seeing you on the chatbox.

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Then, Speedy is such a good friend, he came back and gave me a tip about the Queen...Shhhh

I saw Mimi let a few people out of the meme dungeon on a whim once. She did not know I was looking.

They just do not make too many friends like Speedy anymore. Although, I suspect that The Queen of Bloggingham Palace has much compassion. Its just a hunch.


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My next comment made me wet my pants~ I'm not kidding...It's from Ettarose at ettarose-edge of sanity

Annie, I don't always participate but when I do I enjoy myself.The worst thing I ever did was once at a seminar, I spoke out loud that men were so lucky (that was our question, why men were so lucky) because they had a penis. Now I know what I meant, I mean this is a business world folks. Little did I know I had to repeat this whole speech in front of the company President. I did get a caricature done of me chasing a man with fist raised.

9/12/08

"I'm Singing in the rain", Gene Kelly



My friend Eric from The Speedcat Hollydale Page left the link to one of my favorite songs and videos in a comment, and it cheered me up so much, I decided to share it with you. Thank you Eric, my buddy, you never cease to make me smile.

I think my friends in the Blogging community are some of the best people ever, ever, ever... I appreciate all of your comments to my posts during this difficult time for my family, city and state. E-hugs to you all~

O.K. I'll stop with the mush. Please, enjoy "Singing in the Rain" compliments of my dear friend, fantastic blogger, and brilliant scientist, Eric from The Speedcat Hollydale Page.

I hope you enjoy watching this man dance as much as I did...golly, Gene Kelly could glide. I love his heavy tap splashes in the puddles of rain...

9/11/08

Hurricane Gustav's Visit Or King Kong's Temper Tantrum



It was so silent the morning hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana you could hear a pin drop. Although, it’s funny I remember silence, because the howling from entangled treetops when they violently sway from side to side, is anything but silent. It sounds like the howl of an animal in distress or a freight train trying to push a reluctant wind down the track. Terrified, I listened to what could have been an impending doom, a whisper of truth, a blessed warning, but in fact was the march of a determined hurricane moving toward my town.

It could have been the morning darkness, or the onset of acute emotional distress, but I felt drained.
It was nine o’clock in the morning and hurricane Gustav had already hit the coast of Louisiana. Therefore, it would be two to three more hours before it hit the city of Baton Rouge, which is 50 miles north of New Orleans. Moreover, what is bizarre is that most New Orleans residents (including my father) evacuated to Baton Rouge, due to the risk of flooding. New Orleans is below sea level and I’m sure you remember when the levee broke three short years ago from hurricane Katrina. Although, hurricane Katrina was not the first time New Orleans had endured catastrophe damage due to flooding, therefore we live in fear that each storm will be the city's last.

That being the case, we focused on New Orleans, when in fact Gustav decided to repeat the track of hurricane Betsy, another fierce hurricane that hit Baton Rouge in 1965. Betsy sliced through the city of Baton Rouge in 1965, and from the looks of things outside my bedroom window last Monday morning, Gustav was going to do the same thing in 2008.

My son, my friend James, and I sat in our living room, listened to the radio, and stared at each other. We heard popping, cracking, and other eerily distant noises we were not accustomed to hearing, followed by a dead silence that went on for stretches at a time. I felt I was being whisked around in a cake pan; here for a purpose or assigned to carry out a particular task, but beyond that, nothing was within my control or any of my business. The wind was going to howl, and it was going to rain sideways from now on regardless of what I had to say about it... The wind blew the rain sideways forming what appeared to be large sheets flapping in a breeze; they were reminiscent of magical carpets, but instead I imagined they were magical sheets of raindrops floating across the dark morning sky.

Hurricane Gustav was here and so were we…

Monday blended into Tuesday, and when the storm passed we went outside, but it was sad. The big oak and pine trees planted to provide shade during our long southern summers fell over with their roots sticking out of the ground. It looked as if King Kong walked through our town pulling every tree up by the roots during an angry temper tantrum. We have a tree behind our house hanging onto its life with half of its trunk out of the ground. At first all communication was off, no cell phones, laptops, gasoline, stores open, etc...we lived in a ghost town.



The first few nights without power we were lucky enough to spend with friends who own a generator. They invited us to eat and cool off by the fan until it was time to return home due to a curfew. By Wednesday, things began to get a little better with some stores opening and residents getting power, and we began to adjust. But, I suppose adjust is a long way from being all right. However, this experience reminded me of a phrase I wrote in a paper and I have on my blog. The phrase was in a paper about hardship... I wrote,

“Most of the worlds' great things were born of adversity and hardship; because these roadblocks encourage us to dream, imagine, and believe.”

I thought of that phrase because during this recent adversity my family and friends had some happy and fun moments. By Thursday of last week, we were sitting in the dark playing the guitar, singing, talking, laughing and imagining the distant and not so distant future. I was thrilled to have our utilities back, because of the air conditioner, but I loved the moments I spent with the people I love without having to battle todays distractions.

Today is Thursday and we still have a curfew, only a few stores open, and our city is in shambles, but I bet there are families who are closer in spite of it all. Because often what appears to be a roadblock in our lives, may not be a block in the road at all, it may be there to get our attention.


ABOUT THE IMAGE:


That is me in the picture; I'm helping the heroic men and woman called utility linesmen, reconnect the electricity on our street and clean up the debris left by the falling trees. Because of all they do, I felt compelled to utilize my electrical talents to help as well.

Have you ever read about a theory that we fall in love with those who help us when we are vulnerable? Well...when I saw the utility trucks drive down our street, I fell in love with them. I was exhausted, hungry, tired, scared, in love, and drenched in gratitude.

Anyway, I hope that explains why I look like what my grandmother would call “a wash woman.” (Get a load of my hat.) Nevertheless, I have an official Electricity worker hat on and a yellow hard hat for the important stuff. My utility company’s name is Entergy and we have another one called Demco, but Electricians from all over the country are here sprinkling some light in what was an ever-increasing darkness over our land.

The men and woman who take time out of their private lives, (especially people from this area whose homes and families were also touched by this disaster) to share their skills, talents, and hearts in our darkest days are truly my heroes.

Without these brave men and woman we would have surely melted away in our living rooms, due to the Louisiana heat. I haven't the slightest idea how southern woman in the nineteenth century wore those huge dresses in this climate, in addition to a petticoat and girdle. I'm sorry, but those little fans Hollywood provided Scarlet O'Hara (Vivian Leigh) to fan herself with in Gone With The Wind couldn't keep an ant cool, much less a woman with a thousand layers of clothing draped across her body in ninety degree weather.

I mean seriously, there is a piece of the puzzle missing. We were not alive then, so as far as we know, my fellow southern ladies ran around naked until they had a visitor or it was time to take a picture, then they dressed for the occasion. It could have happened; think about it...they probably went about their business in a petticoat most of the time, because it would have been too hot for those dresses.

Anyway, that is my theory, and I realized something else positive I learned from this experience- I could sail through the reality show Survivor-

In fact, I need to find out how to sign up, because I survived a hurricane and a week without utilities in Louisiana. (However, my cat Simon moved to California, so if you see him please tell him we miss him and we’re hoping for his safe return) Also, I have a can of tuna fish.

(Only kidding about Simon, he's fine, and eating tuna as I type)

Today's Popular Children's Picture Books

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My First Book Of Hockey!

Motherhood- Courage


Motherhood is an art impossible to explain, one which requires a vast sea of love, devotion, compassion, and understanding, unmatched by any affection we will ever know again.- Ann Clemmons

Courage-

Courage



Humor-

Humor


Words-

Words are the core of our souls, without written, vocal or lyrical expression we lose sight of one another or worse, ourselves. Words bring forth the essence of the human spirit; so express yourself without abandon.

Ann Clemmons

Written Phrase

Why is it that those we should know or believe turn out to be the ones we least understand? I suppose the world is an illusion until we find our way home.-Ann Clemmons

Favorite Phrase

I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense...

Beatrix Potter’s Journal, 17 November 1896, from the National Trust collection.

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The Storyteller, by Dawn Drover

Alone in her world
of make believe
weaving her stories
of magic and light

She brings joy
to the eyes
of innocent minds
less jaded and free

For only they know
what's in her heart
holding the secrets
she guards so well

Life's hidden mysteries
belong to those
whose wisdom and truth
shine on in imagination


Written for Ann
~Dawn Drover~

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Most of the worlds' great things were born of adversity and hardship; because these roadblocks encourage us to dream, imagine and believe.- Ann Clemmons

Favorite quotes-

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”'


F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Lines from The Great Gatsby)
"A Southerner Talks Music"

Mark Twain

"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us."

Franz Kafka

An author values a compliment even when it comes from a source of doubtful competency.

- Mark Twain in Eruption

"I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself"

Mark Twain

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