Friday, March 29, 2024


Marla and I just arrived in Raleigh and our hotel is really nice! 

I'm looking forward to a fun weekend. Back on Sunday! 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Birthday weekend


Nearby peach orchard in full bloom. 
(McLeod Farms, McBee, SC)

Yesterday was my birthday! I've been having a really nice weekend. First of all, this area is beautiful this time of year! How gorgeous are those peach trees? And here are blooming dogwoods at the end of my driveway (my neighborhood is full of dogwoods, wisteria, and jessamine at the moment):

We're still having some chilly nights, but my lettuce is coming along nicely. I planted it in a plastic kiddie pool this year to save space in the raised bed, and it seems to be working out well. I'm looking forward to fresh greens.

And of course, my tomatoes and peppers are getting big and will be ready for planting out in a couple more weeks (I hope).

On to birthday gifts! Gregg went shopping with me yesterday and I picked out three new bird feeders to hang in the back yard. We put them up this morning.

And my main gift was a really nice new grill! We bought it last week and Gregg spent hours putting it together one afternoon. Lots of cursing was involved. :)  It's the nicest grill we've ever owned and I'm excited to cook with it! We couldn't try it out yesterday because of rainy weather, but tonight we're going to break it in. I went by the butcher shop yesterday and had some thick, beautiful ribeye steaks cut (the price ended up being eye watering, but it's a special occasion, right?) and I also went to the farm stand and bought some Florida-grown corn on the cob, new potatoes, and zucchini. Tonight we'll have a small feast! :)

Of course, my birthday post wouldn't be complete without mentioning my birthday buddy Little P.! He turned 11 years old yesterday (I turned 49). I went out to eat Mexican food with him and his sweet mama earlier in the week. He's growing up so fast!

We always take a birthday selfie. It's a tradition.

His mom told me he's really into the video game called Fortnite, which I know absolutely nothing about, but it turns out you can buy gift cards for it and do.......something...with them. No clue, but I got him a Fortnite gift card and also an ice cream shop gift card for his birthday. He seemed thrilled! Video games and ice cream seem like a really good birthday gift for an 11-year-old boy. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Fun day planned (updated)

Have I mentioned that our nephew Tyler and his wife Jessica are having a baby? They're the ones who got married last summer. They're expecting a little boy at the end of May! The whole family is pretty excited.

Two weeks from now I'm headed up to Raleigh to attend the baby shower. Since Marla is a longtime friend of the family, she's going with me. We're heading up the afternoon before and staying the night. (The hotel I've booked for us has a really cool rooftop lounge overlooking the city, so we're looking forward to checking that out!)

Anyway, I decided to get creative for a shower gift. I wanted something fun but also practical, so after much perusing of Pinterest I decided to buy them a huge box of diapers and to build a castle out of them! Here are the two main photos that inspired me:

Marla and I went shopping last night for ribbon, cardstock, and notions to use for the castle, and she's coming over today to help me build it. We're going to drink wine and make an afternoon of it! :) I bought the sweetest little (infant safe) stuffed dragon to go on top. It's baby blue and silver, and it's going to look really cute perched on top of the castle! 

Of course, I'll post pictures later on and show you how it turns out. 

So we're not quite done, but we're going to add some finishing touches next weekend. And this picture was a quick one before we disassembled the various parts for storage, and some of the turrets aren't straight, etc. But here's what we have so far!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Some excitement over breakfast

My school had our annual "Doughnuts for Dads" breakfast this morning, where dads are invited to come have breakfast with their kids. You wouldn't think there would be much scope for excitement in that, but oh boy, what a morning it turned out to be! 

Several of the dads in attendance today are police officers. And one of them spotted a dad who was wanted for attempted murder having breakfast with his child! All of a sudden our parking lot (which I have a good view of from my office window) was swarming with undercover police officers. One or two of the plain clothes officers sat in the office with our security guard, watching all the guy's movements on our school cameras. After he finished breakfast with his little girl and walked her to the kindergarten hall, he walked out the front door, and was immediately arrested. 

Fortunately, they took the guy in without incident, and most of the staff (and all of the students) were blissfully unaware of what was going on. But the office staff and administration were quite nervous, waiting to see how it was going to go down. Thank goodness nothing bad happened!

And can you believe the nerve of that dad, on the lam for attempted murder, coming up to his kid's school to have breakfast?! 

You can't make this shit up!!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Last day (with cake!)

Yesterday was Gregg's last day at the pet store. He really didn't want a lot of attention for retiring, but several of his coworkers gave him cards and small gifts. One young woman presented him with this plate she had hand painted. Wasn't that sweet?

Lots of regular customers and friends stopped by throughout the day to say a kind word to him and to wish him well. After more than 25 years of managing that store's aquarium section, he's something of a local fixture. One rival large chain pet store here in town even offered him a job last week! (Of course, he took that as a compliment, but politely declined).

Anyway, when he finally got home last night, I'd bought a cake to mark the occasion.

It's a hummingbird cake, one of his favorites. I bought a separate chocolate cupcake to get that Dr. Suess fish topper for it. :)