Just the random ramblings of a stay at home mommy...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You?

Where were you on September 11, 2001? Do you remember? Is it still so clear in your mind it could have been yesterday? I certainly hope so. What happened MUST be remembered. The innocent victims MUST never be forgotten. If we forget, we give those cowards a victory.

I was in Kalispell, Montana. My cousin had been married on the 8th. My mom and I arrived at the tiny airport early in the morning on September 11. Our flight was to leave at 8ish mountain time. I had talked to Johnny the night before - the flight was wide open, we'd have no problem getting on (we were flying standby). We got to the gate ... and the flight was suddenly full. This was a bit of a problem as the next flight out of this tiny airport to Salt Lake City wasn't until after 1pm. Sigh.

We went back to the main area of the terminal. Mom walked to the windows on the opposite side to contact our family to see if we could get a ride back to their house. I sat down at a table in the small "cafe" to wait and see what we'd be doing. I remember an airport worker coming up to the lady in the cafe and telling her that there had been a plane crash and to turn on the news. The first thing that popped in my head was "Oh my stars! The plane we were just supposed to be on has crashed!" So the cafe lady turned the little TV mounted on the wall on and flipped through the channels; I recall it went past a station and there was a picture of the Twin Towers there, smoking, but we didn't notice it, we were looking for plane crash coverage. The first worker told her," No, no. Go back. That was it!" Horrible reality set in.

I sat there in my little chair staring at those building with smoke pouring out of them. The two ladies stood there staring. I kept trying to get my mom's attention across the room. Slowly, people in the airport gathered around in silence. My mom came back to the table. This airport is really small (REALLY small) and its not going to be noisy like Hartsfield here in Atlanta but it was dead silent. Dead silent. I remember glancing around at the people gathered around us, maybe a dozen or so, and everyone had the same expression: shock, horror, sadness.

Then there came the report that another plane had been flown into the Pentagon in DC (and I think I remember there was a mention of a fire or explosion on The Mall). I looked at my mom and said, feeling like I was 5 and not 22, "Mom, what in the world is going on?" She just looked at me, tears in her eyes, and shook her head. I have never felt so young or helpless or confused or scared in my life. This was America. Things like this didn't happen here! We hadn't been attacked since 1941 and even then there was a war going on (even if we weren't in it then).

Suddenly, there was more smoke pouring from one of the Towers and a gentleman to my left said there had been another explosion. I stared at what was on the screen and knew that was no explosion and cried, "No! The building is collapsing!!" They didn't want to believe me. Nerd that I am, I have watched those shows where they show building demolition and I recognized the sight of a building collapsing. It was soon apparent I had been right. I remember glancing kind of behind me and to my left. There was an elderly couple standing there, the gentleman had a cowboy hat on, and I can still see the expression on his face. We probably all looked like that. There was no sound; we all watched in silence as the second Tower fell.

We heard the flights had been canceled. We went to the Delta desk to ask what we should do? When would there be another flight? I'll never forget the poor girl behind the counter in tears just shaking her head and saying over and over "I don't know, I don't know."

I have never been so glad to see someone as I was when my cousin walked in to pick us up and take us back to their house in town. We would be stuck there for another week as there were no open seats once flights resumed (standby remember?); there weren't even any rental cars left in town. I am just glad that we were with family.

When we were finally able to get on a plane home a week later, the flight from Salt Lake City to Atlanta was....interesting. After dinner, while they were serving us ice cream sundaes we hit some turbulence. Not really bad but enough to bounce the plane around pretty good for a couple minutes. Needless to say, everyone on the plane was pretty freaked out. We had been lucky enough to get seats in first class for that trip and I remember the stewardess looking pretty freaked out herself.

We can never forget what happened to this country. There are people out there that just want to wipe us off this planet. They will try again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Funny

Thank you, Karen, for sending this my way!

Mr. Knightley - My Favorite Austen Hero

Until about three weeks ago if you had asked me who my favorite Austen hero was I probably would have said (after much thought) Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility. I wouldn't have really called him a "hero" (and he certainly wouldn't have called himself one!) though that is what he is classified as but he is quite the gentleman and you can't help but love him for his attachment to Marianne. I have seen several different adaptions of the book and by far my favorite portrayal is the one by Alan Rickman. He really seemed to fit the part and his voice! Really, what can be said about his voice but wow!

However, about three weeks ago I finally picked up and read Emma ... in about a day. Really. It was marvelous; a fantastic comedy of manners with some very comical moments and very memorable characters. And the most memorable? Mr. Knightley of course! He has now become my favorite Austen hero. He was, after all, Jane's favorite hero and created in him her "ideal Regency English gentleman." And boy did she ever!

A little background on the character for those of you who have not read this novel (and if you haven't...why??): Mr. Knightley of Donwell Abbey is the principal land owner in Highbury (the little town where the story takes place), is about 37 or 38, and a close friend of Emma Woodhouse and her father. In fact, Emma's older sister and Knightley's younger brother are married and living in London so there is a very close relationship between the families. Knightley is intelligent, kind, sensible. and very generous. Being an old friend, he is very concerned with Emma's "upbringing" (though she is 21 in the story...) and worries about her. He is the only person in the novel who can gain the upper hand with her and is the only one who will find fault with her (which is something she needs). Knightley just wants (so he thinks) Emma to be the wonderful young lady he knows she can be and sees that as his reason behind his constant concern over her activities. Of course, his feelings run deeper than he originally expected. At the end his patience does win out and he wins the woman of his dreams.

So that is a very generalized look at Mr. Knightley but there is so much more to him! He is quite the gentleman, friendly to every one despite their "situation" (remember there were strict social classes at this time all dependent upon how much money one had). He always goes out of his way to help the impoverished Mrs. and Miss. Bates and their niece, Jane Fairfax (so much so that some believe he is going to marry Jane at one point!). He also considers his tenant farmer Robert Martin a friend; Martin even comes to him for advice on whether to marry or not. So while he is obviously aware of his own situation in the community he is not at all snobbish about it and uses his position to help as many as possible. Even when Frank Churchill arrives Knightley is able to be the perfect gentleman around him, never revealing how much he dislikes him and suspects Frank isn't all that he seems. There are some wonderfully humorous moments between Knightley and Emma that show he is quite funny and witty. Even when he is lecturing Emma, he is not at all unkind and you can tell by his words and manner that he truly wants to help her. After she insults Miss. Bates at the Box Hill picnic you can tell that his anger with her stems from his extreme disappointment in her behavior, knowing she is a better person than that (and feeling this change is because of Frank Churchill). You will not find Mr. Knightley covering the pages of the novel but his presence is there even if he, physically, is not; Emma is usually concerned with what Mr. Knightley will think and even finds herself guided by his opinions (even if she is not aware of it).

There have been a few different TV and movie adaptions of this wonderful story but my favorite is the 1996 Miramax version with Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma and Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley. As another blogger stated, "he is the definitive Mr. Knightley," a statement with which I heartily concur. Northam is wonderful in this role. Besides being oh so suave and handsome (yes, all the Knightley pictures in this post are of him!), he really brings the character to life. He just has gentleman written across him. His mannerisms, his humor, his emotions all fit with the Mr. Knightley of Austen's novel - and he looks so comfortable and at ease in those Regency clothes! Throughout the movie I find my eyes drawn to him whenever he appears, he really steals the scene! He does a superb job with the script; in fact some of the most memorable lines (or scenes) are his. His "Badly done, Emma. Badly done" is one of the most famous lines from the movie. After seeing this movie I have found it very easy to picture Northam's Mr. Knightley in the various sequels or retellings of Emma I've come across (the best, in my opinion, is Barbara Cornthwaite's George Knightley, Esquire).

I love this movie so much that I have yet to return it to Netflix! Of course when I've gone looking for it in the $5 section at Target, I can't find it, though I've seen it numerous times over the years! I highly recommend this movie to any Austen fans; I do not think you'll be disappointed. Besides the wonderful Mr. Northam, there is some other fantastic acting in the movie. Get it! Watch it and see for yourself what a wonderful job Mr. Northam does with this character! I am very glad I watched Showtime's The Tudors before I saw this movie. Northam plays Sir. Thomas More in the series and I think I would have cried to see my Mr. Knightley meet More's horrible end!

Monday, July 5, 2010

An Award!

I feel all special! My good friend Kristine the HistoryDiva at Blissfully Unaware has passed along my first award! Pretty cute, eh?

So the rules for this one are that I'm supposed to list 7 random things about myself before I pass it along to a fellow blogger. Hmm....

1. I wish I was an archeologist.

2. I desperately want to get my Master's degree but there is not one college in this country that offers the program(s) I want or would be interested in!

3. Green thumb I am not. In fact, plants running screaming in terror when they see me as I am a serial plant killer.

4. I love white roses solely for the fact that they are the emblem of the medieval royal House of York. (York peppermint patties are pretty good too actually...)

5. Deadliest Catch is my absolutely favorite show on TV. (still can't figure out what is so fascinating about watching grown men catch crabs...)

6. I could probably quote the entire movie Cars from memory. (Logan watches it that much...)

7. I am claustrophobic and would rather deal with the hassle of getting to the airport and flying somewhere rather than sit in a small vehicle.

I am passing this award on to....my friend Melissa at her blog The Sheltons!.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chipper Jones I am Not...

Or perhaps I am considering how often he gets injured these days.

After not stepping on the softball field for almost 10 years I joined my church's co-ed softball team this year. I was at my first practice last Saturday and I have to admit that I was really, really, really sore afterwards. It was getting better by the time we had our first game last night.

I got to play about one inning. I was behind the plate catching and then up to bat in the bottom of the inning. While squatting behind the plate I felt something in my leg but didn't think much of it. Boy was I wrong. Running from 1st to 3rd about killed me; horrible pain in my upper leg. I was sitting for the rest of the game.


I can put weight on my leg no problem but if something requires me to bend or stretch that muscle ... not happening. Sigh. My typical luck I suppose! Johnny thinks I pulled a hamstring but I don't know. I just know it hurts - alot - and I hope its better before the next game this Saturday.

Guess I won't be going out for the Braves any time soon!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Yay for Robins!!

Or...I'm really looking forward to the new Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe. It opens on May 14th and Johnny has said he wouldn't mind seeing it. Yay! I don't have to go by myself! Only 7 days to go!!
There have been so many versions of this legend (and legend it is, though there probably is some basis for it in the lives of real people) and so many of them have landed on the big screen. There is a BBC TV series about it as well.
Who can forget the oh-so-manly green outfit of Errol Flynn?

Why, yes, it is a lovely shade of kelly green; makes me feel manly. I can give you the number of my dyer.

My personal favorite (really, it is) is the Kevin Costner version which came out in 1991. Yes, cheesy acting (though I do so love Alan Rickman) and an almost equally cheesy plot but I still loved it. The scenery was beautiful.

As a matter of fact I do use Garnier Fructis.

This newest version, starring Russell Crowe as a much more realistic Robin and Cate Blanchette as a very warrior like Marion, is going to give viewers a much more realistic look at the way life was in the 1200s - gritty, dirty, and violent. I am really looking forward to this, especially since I have read so much about this time period (via Sharon Kay Penman's wonderful Here Be Dragons and Elizabeth Chadwick's novels about William Marshal).

Shhh...be vewry, vewry qwiet...I'm hunting wabbits.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cousins Rock!

That's what my son and my cousin's daughter apparently thought this evening!

We drove up from our hotel in LaGrange to Carrollton to meet my cousin Joyce and her daughter Madison for dinner at Applebees and then spend some time at their home. It was so great to see Joyce again; I don't think we've seen each other in almost six years (since my wedding). We were close friends growing up, sending letters back and forth all the time (yes...LETTERS...this was before email and a disappearing art I believe). Our children hit it off with no problem and kept us laughing the entire time!

Some classic lines this evening:

Madison: Does he eat people food??

Madison: Hey! Listen to this!!

Logan also decided that it was more fun to lay in the crayons and wiggle in them than to color with them. Well, to each his own I suppose. As soon as I'm home I'll try to upload some pictures; got some cute ones.

I am just so happy to finally get the chance to see my cousin again and I am determined that it will NOT be another 5 years!! I really want our kids to be as good friends as we were growing up.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day!

Yay! Baseball is back in town! Opening day down at Tuner Field. Wish I was there...I'd love a nice cold Coke and a hot dog right now!

Oh how I love my Braves!

Just sitting here enjoying Opening Day 2010 and watching my Braves beat the snot out of the Chicago Cubs! 14-5 right now in the 8th. Rookie phenom Jason Heyward has made a great start for us...3 run homer in his first major league at bat!

I sure do hope they can make it to the play-offs for Bobby Cox's last season as manager. I really can't imagine anyone else down there in the dugout...it will be weird next year.

Here's to a (hopefully, got my fingers crossed) great year!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reagan Quote for Today

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

--Ronald Reagan

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yay for Spring!

Well, I had my snow. It was fun and pretty. Now I am more than glad that spring is here! Yesterday was gorgeous here...70s. I love being able to open my windows - even if that means some sneezing!! That's one thing I'm not looking forward to...everything being yellow for a few months. I noticed some yellow along the edges of a rain puddle just a little while ago....it has begun already.

JJ got his new truck. Yay. I had hoped for a Toyota mini-van but once he got his bass boat he just HAD to have something that could pull it. Sigh. It is a nice truck (Chevy Silverado 1500, 4 door crew cab) and I am looking forward to going fishing.

I have been getting some sub work which is a blessing (and Logan is doing great at the baby-sitter we found). If I keep getting a couple days a week I should have enough money saved to go to England in the fall, which is my ultimate goal. Ahhh...England...I want to go back so bad and I'm determined to see more historic sites outside of London this time around. My tentative itinerary:

1. London - Westminster Abbey, the Tower, Madame Tussades
2. Hampton Court Palace
3. Windsor Castle
4. York - York Minster, Jorvik Viking Center, etc
5. Bosworth Field

Yes, I am a complete nerd. While in York I would love to be able to travel to Middleham where Richard III lived but I just don't think I'll have the time or money. I also need to find out where I could get some white roses to take to Bosworth...I want to put them at Richard III's monument. I fully plan on avoiding chain hotels and staying in B&Bs and small, local hotels. I've already begun my research into that!

Now to find someone to go with me!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Golden Day for the USA

Yesterday (Feb 17) was an awesome day for the USA at the Winter Games in Vancouver! In fact...it was the most successful day the US has ever had at the Winter Games: 6 medals (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).

Skiier Lindsey Vonn FINALLY won the women's downhill (and with a severely bruised shin!). She has suffered through so many injures to get to this point. Fellow American skiier Julia Mancuso won the silver.

The amazing Shaun White completely cleaned up the competition in men's halfpipe last night. He didn't even have to do his second run - he had already won - but he did it anyway and got an almost perfect score of 48.5. He even threw in his new move that I can't even pronouce correctly!! I just know he was twisting and turning the air A LOT!! American Scotty Lago won the bronze.

Shani Davis won his second gold in the men's 1000m speed skating event. He's the first man to win the event back to back. His teammate Chad Hedrick took home the bronze.

What an amazing day for the red, white, and blue! I can't wait for the events today! Men's figure skating finishes up tonite with their long program and American Evan Lysacek is sitting in silver medal position at the moment. The women hit the halfpipe today as well and US boarders Gretchen Bleiler, Hannah Teter, and Kelly Clark are poised to possibly sweep the medals as well.

CURRENT US MEDAL COUNT: 5 gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze
(Germany is in 2nd place with 10 medals)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The morning after...

So this is what 4-5 inches of snow looks like....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow part deux!

Yup...we are getting some snow here in the Atlanta area again this year. Thankfully it is not so bone chillingly cold like it was with the snow last month..don't think I have to worry about my pipes this time around. However, we are getting a lot more snow with this system and surprisingly, we'll be getting more snow south of the city (hey...guess the mountains can't get everything!). Its been coming down about 2 hours now here and I'm guessing we have about an inch or so on the ground now. I am a bit anal about my snow though...I don't want people walking around in it because it messes up the beauty of it (and makes it melt faster). Yes, I'm odd...I know it. But when you live in an area that rarely seeing enough snow to actually turn the ground white you can become a bit possessive of the snow you do get! Hahaha!

It is really, really pretty...and so peaceful to watch. I am planning on starting a fire closer to when Johnny will be getting home, having some yummy homemade sweet and sour chicken for dinner, then curling up on the couch to watch the Opening Ceremonies tonight. What could be better than watching the Winter Olympics, a cozy fire, and snow outside??!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Almost there!!!

days until the opening ceremonies at the Vancouver Winter Games!!!

days until the Daytona 500!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Didn't want to make myself ill...

...so I didn't watch Presbo's State of the Union speech.

I know what the "state of the union" is. I don't need that ass telling me. Its BAD!! VERY, VERY BAD!!!

I have no desire (or stomach that can handle) to hear that pompass, arrogant ass spew more lies and spin from him mouth while his nose is so far up in the air that he'd drown if it rained. It doesn't matter what he says anyway; he and the people in control in DC don't give a damn about what the American people want or what is good for America. Hell, I don't even think the man even LIKES America. He just wants to ruin the country and he's doing a good job at it (only thing he's doing good at, besides making the USA a laughing stock).

I just wish people in this country would WAKE UP and see that he DOES not want to help you, he wants to control you. If he can weaken the country enough and ruin things enough, he feels certain that we, the American people, will come to depend on him, the government, for everything. HELLO???!!! Is this ringing any bells out there, America??? Socialism?? Marxism?? Communism??? Having the government controlling every aspect of your life????

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here I Blog Again...

...really, blogging gets a bit addictive. At least its not harmful to my health.


I have started ANOTHER blog though I'm fairly certainly it won't be a frequent updated one. The topic, you ask??? Well...after drooling over the places Guy goes to in Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, I've decided to try to get to some myself...and blog about it. Hehehe. Yes...silly I know. But I've been wanting to try some of these places for a LONG time and I think it would be fun to blog about it.

So, head over and check it out. The address is tripledfoodie.blogspot and I've put a link in the side bar (along with my OTHER blog that is updated about a zillion times a day!).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Countdowns begin....

Soo....my two countdowns begin!

days until the Cauldron is lit!

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver begin on February 12!! I can not wait!! I love the Winter Games...much more than the Summer Games.


days until the green flag at the Daytona 500!

I so can NOT WAIT for the Nascar season this year. Maybe THIS will be Junior's year...I sure hope he does better than last year!!