Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Derecho came a calling

You learn something every day, so they say. Today I learned that the ferocious storm that came through last night with 80 mph winds was called a derecho. All I know is that it looked like a tropical storm, produced massive bangs of thunder and lightening and scared us half to death.

We are all ok but had no electric for the last 24 hours. It's amazing how much you miss your washer, dishwasher, fridge and AC unit. I can say with 100% confidence that I could never live like the Amish!

To escape the heat today we went to the pool  and we are all going to the Columbus Crew soccer game tonight, if they have their electric back on in the stadium by kick-off!

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Hot Weekend in C'bus

Here's Luke at the firing range with Craig last night. What a great shot (no pun intended). We were hoping to take them to the drive-in movies tonight but it's too hot. With the heat index it's 109 degrees F.  Ack! We also have a fire advisory since we are so dry. Wonder if they'll cancel the 4th fireworks next week? Anyway, we have a full weekend planned so will post pictures.

I'm also gearing up for Jack's 6th birthday next week. We are going to get him a new bike then Danny can inherit his old one. Poor Danny has been riding a toddler tricycle with his knees bashing on the handle bars. That's what happens when you are a 3-year-old the size of bigfoot I suppose. Jack also wants Hulk fists, a Scooby Doo game for his Wii and a drum set. Guess which one he's NOT getting. He's loud enough!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tennessee Holiday Pictures

As promised a week ago (sorry English family), here's some pictures from our Tennessee holiday. As soon as we got back I had a work event in Cincinnati so I've not had time to write much. I hope captions are good enough for now :)

Nan & boys. She kept them amused for 12 hours and deserves a BIG trophy.

Our cabin. Air conditioned with full kitchen and bath. I'm too old and knackered to crawl round on my knees in a tent for a week! Plus, we had a fridge for the wine :) 

Danny, Yogi and cool dude Jack

Danny on the peddle cars

Jack on peddle cars.  The blue inflatable water slide was a major source of amusement for all of us.
My descents were erm,  unladylike at best! 

8 hours of swimming, sliding & bouncing

Father's Day bedtime story "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!"  

Jack at Gracelands

Luke at Gracelands

How handsome was he!


Meditation Garden at Gracelands

Jack at Gracelands

Luke at Elvis's car museum. 

Don't step on my blue suede shoes
Hay ride with Yogi.  Danny wasn't touching that experience with a barge-pole! 

Boogie on down on Beale Street

Tupelo, Mississippi

Elvis at 13
His dad Vernon paid $180  for materials to build this two-room cabin with no water or electric, but it got re-possessed when Elvis was three and they moved out (Vernon had just spent 8 months in prison for writing a bad check for $4). Elvis bought this house back the same time he bought Gracelands and visited it often.
One month before he died he spent an hour alone inside. 

At Tupelo

Elvis's mum Gladys bought him his first guitar from here for $7 as a birthday present.
He wanted a  bb gun. Good choice Gladys! 

Danny doing his thing

Luke finally conqueres the piranha

Jack & Danny made friends with two boys Ashton (10)  & Luke (8)  and the four of them were thick as thieves every day, well into the night. The two boys were from South Dakota and just great lads - well mannered and friendly. The four of them reminded me on The Goonies - only they were off exploring for the ghost cat with a flashlight each night.

The King

The Mighty Mississippi

The Peabody Hotel, Memphis

Duck parade at The Peabody

Danny & his dad on Beale St.

Jack & his mum on Beale St.

Captured on Beale St. - the most luxurious transportation for Pugs I have ever seen.
Bike night on Beale St. 

In Nashville. My favourite holiday picture

Jack - Hello Moose!
Danny - Pow pow pow!
At Johnny Cash & June Carter's house in Hendersonville, just north of Nashville. They lived there 35 years, from 1968 to 2003. Anyone who's ever watched "Walk The Line" would get how special this place is.
The mailbox was empty by the way  ;)

It's such a nostalgic place and so sad that it burned down in 2007.
We spent a long while there, outside the wood and stone wall fence. It was deserted and felt like a ghost town, but had signs up  saying security cameras were watching, so we resisted jumping over. 

The Cash/Carter property and the ranch house over the street (his mum's house where he spent his last days) are both for sale.  I should probably buy lottery tickets. 

Johnny Cash & June Carter's gravesite at the Memorial Gardens in Hendersonville.
The cemetary also has the graves of all the Carter family, the Cash family, and Luther Perkins

Craig took his family to The Grand Ole Opry

So there you are. A fabulous holiday. I wish I had photos of the fantastic fun we had on the blue water slide and of Luke at Sun Studios and the Gibson guitar factory. Also, Luke got to go up on stage at the Nashville Palace and played his own song one night but we had already gone back to the cabin. Doh! How cool was that. There's still lots to do with the family so I'll be posting again. And I am currently nurtering about 6 little Mimosa trees that I took from the perimeter of Johnny Cash's garden. If I can have a tree in my garden, that came from his garden, then I'm going to be one very happy woman.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tennessee Hols

I try to post on here most days but two things have happened on my hols this week - the Internet connection at our campsite was too slow to do anything on the computer that involved pictures and I also forgot to bring my camera lead, so will have to do a big photo post when I get home.

Memphis was great. The campsite was perfect and the boys made friends with neighbouring boys aged 8 and 10. Their mum was more than happy to offload them onto me for a couple of days but they were nice kids so that was ok. The boys played every day on the big inflatable water slide and Craig and Luke played like teenagers too. Even I went down it a couple of times, but it was a VERY unladylike descent! The kids met Yogi Bear, played in the pool and just had a blast.

Our tourist stuff included Sun Studios, the Gibson Guitar factory, Gracelands, Beale Street and Tupelo (little town in Mississippi which is Elvis's birthplace). My favourite by far was Tupelo.

Beale Street
Today we left Memphis and came up to Nashville. Craig took his family sightseeing while I took the boys to the hotel pool. I've been to Nashville a few times so I'm not going to do some of the stuff that the others do but I do really want to go to the Hermitage.

So now we are off to Nashville Palace for dinner and some music.  Maybe we'll bump into some famous singers!

Friday, June 15, 2012

One last one, for Cody

It's been a rough week after we lost Cody. The day after he died I found his collar in my bag at work and completely lost it. Then I lost it when the pet cremation man rang me to discuss details because he said "let me know when it's convenient for me to bring your boy home".

The pet cremation man brought his ashes to my house today. We now have a very nice box, engraved with Cody's name. We are absolutely NOT ready to even think about scattering ashes.

When I got home tonight Craig met me at the door and told me that a sympathy card had come from our vet, Dr K. We got one after Tutz died and also a little plastic card with the Rainbow Bridge poem included. So I expected the same, but Craig warned me that I was going to cry. I thought he was exaggerating.

Look what they did at the vets. They did his paw print. It has bloody destroyed me. I love them for doing it , I really do, but it has just done me in.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Letting go of our boy

Today we took Cody to the vets for the last time. In hindsight we probably left it about a week too long but it was so hard to let him go. It is beyond sad that we have lost him and it's going to take a while to get over. What a good boy he was. He was the most perfect dog.

Goodbye our gorgeous boy Cody
Adopted September 2003 ~ June 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Getting Ready for Visitors

I meant to get so much more done this weekend, especially since I took Friday off. But alas, I've still got a big 'to do" list before our English visitors (Craig's mum and dad and nephew Luke) get here on Thursday.  Not that I was idle though, as we went strawberry picking, to the pool 3 times, to the library, to Jack's t-ball game and we got some of the guest rooms semi-done.
T-ball, or 1.5 hours of torture as I like to call it
Most importantly, I got all the kids toys stored in the laundry room so that I could free up the whole basement room for Luke. So now he has an en suite room with a pool table and gaming system. We might not see him too much when we are at home! Jack's already asking if he can play down there with Luke but I've told him he has to get an invite and to leave poor Luke alone. Craig's been filling his head full of funny stuff like "Luke LOVES Justin Beiber!" and "Luke LOVES to play with crayons too!" Poor Luke will be pestered to death and will need his little place to hide I reckon.

I did have a horrible thought today while getting the basement room ready. Tutz used to have her litter tray and food & water in the laundry room and we had to fence it off to make sure the dogs didn't get in there. It was a pain pulling the gate across each time but now I am  able to leave the laundry room open. I can also leave the pool table uncovered, knowing that it won't get covered in cat hair (for some reason she loved to sleep on there). So I guess that's two things I don't have to do anymore. I then thought about not having dogs and what it'll be like when the kids have flown the nest and I envisioned a cold, sterile and empty house. Tidy & cold.  So I'm going to try and not stress about mess too much because the alternative sounds horrible. This is a good attitude to have since Ben's had the trash out every time we've left the house this weekend.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Two from the Pool


Popcorn at the Pool

Jack's Mohawk!

I promised Jack that seeing as he did so well at school he was allowed to have a Mohawk for the summer. I'm pretty sure we call them Mohicans in England. That's odd how we call them different things.

Anyway.  Here's the "Before" .....

 During ....

And after!

He's been getting loads of comments from people and he's getting a bit shy about it, bless. I keep telling him he looks cool and not to worry.  Talking of worrying, I drove to the nearest shop afterwards and bought factor 85 suncream for his head.