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Alice Cooper Concert
Things to Do
Hello . . . Is This Thing On?
Monday, 22 September 2008
It's a New Post!
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: nothing - it's quiet!
Topic: home

Apparently, according to the masses who read this one person, I haven't been posting here enough - so will try to be a little more up to date with writing.

Even though we are in Texas - the north Texas area - we didn't get hardly anything from Ike last week.  The day it wiped out Galveston and hammered Houston along with several other coastal cities, we had some rain and not a lot of that.  However, up in the Midwest - by Sunday - they were getting hit really hard.  I heard that the technical term for what happened in Ohio was a "dry" hurricane.  Almost every single one of Ohio's counties was affected.  Power was out for so many - and some are still without power.  Word of advice for all those people who have electronic phones - go get a cheap-o regular phone & stash it someplace close to your phone plug-in so when the electricity goes out, you have a phone to plug in that will work!

Here at the Hello house, we haven't been as busy as we were for the last few weeks.  That's always a good thing. 

So since it's supposed to be Fall now, when do the leaves start changing colors and the temps get cool?  Oh - right!  I live in North Texas which means we have 2 seasons - VERY hot and the town has shut down because it's cold.  Leaves don't change colors - they just fall.  Temps don't get cool - it just teases us - promising that this is the day you can turn the a/c off & let the fresh air in.  Only to find out mid-day that it is now too hot and your a/c will run overtime just trying to cool things off.  I look at the bigger picture - we could have freezing cold weather half the year!

Tonight is the 3 hour (?!?!) opener for "Heroes" after waiting since last year.  I guess there's a recap and then the 2 hour show.  Thinking we probably won't watch it.  Not only is my favorite PBS show on (History Detectives) but there's something afterwards on the beginnings of Warner Brothers Studios.  Besides I also wanted to see the premiere of CSI:Miami - no, I don't think Horatio is dead.  Seen that plot before somewhere else.

Have a good Monday and I promise I'll be back at least weekly to update everyone!

Posted by wendylittrell at 6:49 AM CDT
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Monday, 8 September 2008
Still Busy - but Getting Better!
Mood:  hungry
Now Playing: Doo Wop's Greatest - on PBS
Topic: Things to Do

So the weekend was VERY busy - more so for Son than for us although there was a domino effect there.  He had to work two different shifts on Saturday and I was sure he was going to fall over from being so tired yesterday but he held it together until about 7 & then went and crashed.

I woked up 15 minutes before I was supposed to have him at work this morning! AGH!  But he got there 1 minute late - not bad for not speeding!  Of course I think I got all the lights green & no traffic yet.

This evening I went to the PTA Board meeting.  Where are all these new people that were supposed to be there?  Also did some hocking selling school T-shirts and PTA memberships.  And while you're buying this and filling out this envelope, how about signing up to actually DO something at the school!  We all discussed how NO ONE on the board is a SAHM (or N - for "Nana" - in my case).  We all work - most of them full time, some of us part time.  The running joke was - all the SAHM's can't serve on the board because they are "too busy"!  Ugh!

So tomorrow is shaping up to be relatively easy - no evening stuff. 

And did I mention we finally got stuff dropping from the sky rain?  All it did was make it steamy - and very humid.  We need a nice cool rain that cools things off!

So how was your day?

Posted by wendylittrell at 8:27 PM CDT
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Friday, 5 September 2008
I've been SO Busy
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: Channel 11 News
Topic: Things to Do

Yes, folks - I've been extremely busy the last several weeks!  It seems that as soon as we got back from vacation, we've gone from 0-100 in a peco second!  One weekend was our grandson's 2nd birthday party at our house.  The following weekend was the wedding of a good friend's daughter.  In between that, my husband spent 3 weekends in 100+ degree weather working on his vehicle (wiring issues).  There was the 2 1/2 day orientation I attended with College Daughter.  Second Grader (formerly First Grader) Grandson had to get new school (& regular) clothes, shoes, supplies, and of course the annual picking out of a new superhero backpack (ok, he now has 3 Superman backpacks - anyone see a pattern?).  And a superhero lunch box and thermos (he went with the "Hulk" on that!).  Then we came to the discovery that College was starting really soon and College Daughter needed something to drive!  So instead of waiting for a good time (there aren't any good times) - daughter and I drove around our town looking at cars. 


So we went to Carmax (ok, this is a shameless plug for them!) - and they treated us VERY WELL.  Now College Daughter has a nice pre-owned Hyundai that she's driving back and forth. 

Second Grader Grandson is doing well at the brand new school building that was finished justintime for school to start.  His 2nd grade teacher was my son's teacher way back when!  And I think she's one of the greatest teachers there!  Way to go, Ms. G!  And of course since school has started that means PTA has started!  Yes, I've already done PTA stuff - selling T-shirts during Meet the Teacher night the 2nd night of school and help sell school supply boxes the fisrt day of school.  Next week is the board meeting and orientations that I need to help out at.  We are never without something to do!

Work picked up quickly with mailing out almost 1000 brochures and putting out the monthly newsletter all on the same day this past week.  I messed up on the timing of that!  And I don't think I'm caught up yet!

And if you think that wasn't enough try this - back in the swing of mid-week Bible study (and somehow I volunteered to lead this session).  Someone remind me how to say no!  Some of us ladies got together mid-week to have lunch together.

I have managed to get a few things done around the house somehow.  This next week my big project is going through Second Grader Grandson's dresser to weed out all the too small clothes & get all that organized.

Oh, yeah & we're now working around not only our schedule, College Daughter's schedule and Second Grader Grandson's schedule, but our Son's work schedule!

No wonder I've had an eye twitch that's lasted a couple weeks.  If you see me in a corner drooling and twitching, you know I've gone too far over the edge! 

Posted by wendylittrell at 10:33 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 5 September 2008 10:49 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Rain - Thank Goodness!
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: something on Louisiana on PBS
Topic: Weather

We've had lovely rain the last few days!  After a very DRY July, we are in dire need of this.  Our grass, plants and trees are already greening up - this after we were sure some of it was going to die. I noticed my calla lillies are HUGE now!  I think it's going to be dry again for the weekend though & that's ok as we need to go car shopping. 

Found out today that the fall tuition for College Bound Daughter is all taken care of (thank goodness for student/parent loans!)  That is one thing I can stop stressing over.

I've been busy working on the Genea-blogger group games over on Facebook the last several days.  The "games" (in conjunction with the Olympics) end on Friday evening. I have at least one more task to complete that I set as one of my goals.  Head over to my genealogy blog to get the scoop (see link on the left).

Now to give you all a laugh - I decided to fix chicken for supper this evening & turned the oven to 300 degrees at 2:30.  I got the chicken prepped & put in a small roaster pan & stuck it in the oven & walked away.  At 4 I wondered why I didn't smell chicken cooking. Well, DUH!  I had forgotten to turn the knob to "bake"!  How silly is that?!

Found out yesterday that my 30th High School reunion will be next August.  Have had the home town team meeting monthly since the spring organizing it.  One gal who has done a lot for all the other reunions said she'd help but she just couldn't go through it all again so several took it upon themselves to organize. I think the class will be very happy with the plans.  It also helps that one of our class mates owns a club for our Friday night bash.  That saves a lot!  The reunion itself is being held at the same place my mom's alumna hold their reunions & I know from her, that the price is really reasonable. Which sure beats the $40 price we had to pay 10 years ago at the 20th (no offense to anyone but a lot of people didn't go in to eat dinner & just showed up after dinner for nothing - I really didn't blame them!) 

Second grader is all excited about school starting on Monday.  Brand new building - I haven't even been it as they've had a small water leak & have been busy getitng it all ready before Monday.  I'm supposed to "work" Monday morning showing kids to their classes so I'd at least like to see part of it this week.  College Bound daughter starts college on Monday.  Son is sick today so he stayed home from work to catch up on sleep (after a graveyard shift the other night) & to get to feeling better.  Photographer daughter has a new job doing - wait for it - photography!  She's working at a dept. store photography studio real close to where she lives & she says her job rocks!  Florida Daughter is dealing with some personal issues at the moment - so all my good thoughts & love are with her. 

So what have you been up to?

Posted by wendylittrell at 9:35 PM CDT
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Thursday, 14 August 2008
Are We Done Yet?
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: The Incredibles - DVD
Topic: Things to Do

So my weekends have been very busy lately! The end of July I spent 2 1/2 days with College Bound Daughter at College Orientation. Then went to a wedding shower for the daughter of a close friend. Last weekend was 2 year old grandson's birthday and party at our house. Not to mention that Florida Son has now become "Moved Home" Son. He has a new job and has been getting used to the new (very early) schedule (so have I!). This weekend is the wedding of our close friends' daughter. It's also Texas Tax Free weekend so we will be spending time fighting the rest of the world cooperating with the rest of North Texas in the stores! The weekend after this is the last week of freedom for 2nd Grade Grandson and College Bound Daughter before embarking on a new year of school and a brand new experience in higher education. Sometime between now and then we need to go get another car.

And the weather - all this consecutive "over 100 degree" days are for the birds! At least we are getting some relief in the mornings.

Have you been following the Olympics? Our household is rooting for Team USA and of course, Michael Phelps, all the way!

I've also been doing some organization on my genealogy stuff (check out the genealogy blog - link on left - to see what I've been doing).

Oh & I also baked a chocolate, peanut butter cake yesterday & it was yummy!

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:26 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 August 2008 7:27 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008
CD Frenzy!
Mood:  irritated
Topic: music

(I'm still irritated - see the post below!)

But I'm excited about the new CDs!  Yesterday 2 of my favorite artists released new CD's.  "Along Came A Spider" is Alice Cooper's new one. 

Back to his roots of "horror" rock.  The theme concerns Steven (character from the "Welcome to My Nightmare" and "Goes to Hell").  You can go to to read more about the new CD. I won't post it here as I'll get all kinds of weird hits!  I think my favorite is "Salvation" which is more ballad-y and "Vengeance is Mine" - which is heavy metal.






Rick Springfield released "Venus in Overdrive" - which is being hailed as his best work ever.  The new single, "What's Victoria's Secret" (WVS) is being played and promoted everywhere!  Monday he was on Good Morning America.  He's also done "On the Record" and will be doing lots more radio and television promotions. The highlight (besides the CD being released) yesterday was one of his altar egos - Eli Love - singing the new single on General Hospital.  That was actually the first chance I've had to hear the entire song.  If you listen closely you can hear a couple riffs that remind you of "Jessie's Girl".  Head over to to hear some of these great songs and get more information!

Both artists are on tour right now so check your local venues. If either or both are headed to your town, make sure you get a chance to hear them live in concert.  Both have amazing personal concert experiences, and leave you wanting more.

If you are a fan of either (or both, as I am!) make sure you pass the word and urge them to buy the CDs or download them.

As of last night "Venus in Overdrive" was #13 on Amazon's bestseller list and "Along Came A Spider" was #18!  Let's all push them both up to the top!

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:40 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2008 7:54 AM CDT
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No Water - sort of!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: home
So out of the last 4 days, the drains have plugged up on 3!  That generally wouldn't be a problem. Hubby gets on the roof & snakes out the drains.  Unfortunately, he didn't have time this morning and Photographer daughter will be here all day. College Bound daughter will not be happy when I wake her up to go to College Orientation & she finds out that no showers or water running is not allowed.  What a way to start out the orientation day, huh?  At least she'll be in the dorm for the next couple nights & hopefully they have running water!  Think I need to get ready & run to the store so I can get some ultra-strength stuff to put in the drains & maybe get them moving before she has to get up.  Keep your fingers crossed that this will work or everyone will be miserable here all day.

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:06 AM CDT
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Monday, 28 July 2008
Loss of a "Sister"
Mood:  sad
Now Playing: PS2 - Pirates 3
Topic: family

Our family lost someone yesterday - my sister-in-law in Ohio.  Technically, she was my former s-i-l, but to me she was always another sister.  She was a member of the family even before I was.  Her smile and laughter would light up a room.  She was funny even when she wasn't trying to be. 

As a young child, she and my brother would have me over to spend the weekend with them many times (before they had a child).  I had such fun at their house.  Just hanging out, playing cards or games, watching her cook, being taken to the ice cream truck by my brother in the evenings, and the wonderful aromas of food baking and cooking.  As an older child, they took me with them to Cedar Point amusement park one year. 

My sister-in-law always made me feel as if anything I told her would stay between us and that she would never judge what I did.  She became a professional cake decorator for many years and also made candy and other treats. 

For three months she was my oldest two daughter's babysitter.  I would drop them off in the mornings with their lunches and bottles and she would love them as her own. 

Even after she and my brother were no longer married, she was still invited to all the family gatherings as my brother had since moved from that area.  I would always try to go visit her and my nephew whenever I was in town. 

Due to some severe health issues in the last few years, it was more and more difficult for her to get out to come to the family gatherings we would have.  I feel particularly lucky that I did get to see her the last two years I've gone home.  Unfortunately a few weeks ago when I was at my mom's, I wasn't able to see her. She wasn't in the best shape health wise. I did speak with her over the phone and urged her to hang in there.

So it was quite unexpected yesterday when my nephew called to tell me that she'd been hospitalized and the doctors feared that there was nothing else they could do.  Surely, after giving her the medicine needed, she would rally. Or so I thought.  Then my cousin called in the evening to tell me she had passed away.  There won't be any services (probably) and she didn't want flowers or anything.

So in lieu of a real obituary, this is my way of telling the world who she was.  Daughter who survived both her parents; sister who helped all she could; mother who loved unconditionally; aunt who enjoyed the help and assistance of her neices; an aunt who loved and took care of her other nieces and nephews.  Leaves behind a brother, 4 nieces, a son, a mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, 4 other nieces and 2 nephews, and a host of friends who will miss her deeply.

At times like these the guilt can rise up.  I should have made an effort to at least go visit her for a few minutes.  I should have written some real letters to her as she hadn't been able to use the computer.  I should have called her.  The should have's and would have's don't accomplish anything productive.

So I will continue to think of her as a member of the family.  To honor her memory by reflecting on her laughter, the way she filled a room with her voice and smile, the too humorous for words things she has done or said, and the love she had for her son and family.

I'll miss you, Phyllis.

Posted by wendylittrell at 1:47 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 28 July 2008 2:03 PM CDT
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Sunday, 27 July 2008
Vacation Part 2
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: grandson is humming something!
Topic: home

The first "episode" of our vacation is posted below.

Spent the first night at my mom's bringing in luggage, cramming a lot of talking into a short time and eating the dinner she'd heated for us (sloppy joes).  Husband spent time putting up the air mattress on a frame. This time we remembered the air pump!

While we were there, several of my cousins and families came over. We enjoyed a pot luck of sorts. My contribution was Kroger's Fried Chicken (which isn't all that bad!).  What we had left over, our Son mostly consumed during late night refridgerator raids or we ate during lunch the next day or so.  Cousin "J" (wow - most of my cousins that were there are Cousin "J"!) brought 3 pies which her grandson and College Bound Daughter ate with gusto!  There was some sort of pie eating contest the rest of us didn't know about and the two consumed 5 pieces of pie each!  They didn't want to be outdone by the other.  And the worst part is - I don't think either of them gained any weight.  If it had been me, it would have all settled in my hips and thighs.  But she ate my piece of Lemon Meringue pie! Wah! 

We attended Mom's church - the church I grew up in.  Was nice to see some familiar faces there.  The Youth Minister preached that day as their minister was in the hospital. Delivered a very good sermon.  Soon to be Second Grader even went up for the Children's time and then went back for Children's "Sunday School" for the remainder of the service.  Back home afterwards to eat the wonderful Pork Loin Roast that I'd fixed that morning.  Was even better than I remember making it at home!  Another of my first cousins - and another Cousin "J" came over with her daughter & 2 grandsons.  We yakked and yakked and College Bound Daughter and Cousin's youngest grandson had a great time.  Her oldest grandson and my grandson spent the whole time playing with a gameboy video game.

We treated Mom to some Frozen Custard from "Ritters" while we were there.  Too good to pass up and it is one of her favorites.

The morning's and evenings were cool and was wonderful not to be in the Texas Heat during that time.

Will bring you Part 3 of our vacation next time!

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:51 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Back From Vacation
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: nothing - it's quiet!
Topic: family

We left outta here the morning of July 10th for the Midwest and visits with family.  Two parents, two adult children, the grandson, and a dog!  Traveling up 35 through Oklahoma and Kansas actually went by fast - as fast as 8 hours can go!  Stopped in Emporia, KS (on the turnpike) at the McDonald's and service station for some lunch.  As always when we stop, someone needs to stay with the dog.  Got back on the road & headed toward Kansas City and then 2 hours beyond that to my in-law's farm.  My father-in-law had tried to tell us about the bridge being out (about 20 minutes from their house) but then went on about 435 or 35 being closed in KC so we were a little confused.  Hit Waverly, MO and over the Missouri River.  When we got to Route 24 we saw the signs saying there was a detour.  Unfortunately whoever posted those detour signs was a little confused as well.  We were going to go 24 East.  The detour sign was for 24 West.  No - it was for both!  So instead of going back to Waverly to detour, we went about an hour the other direction toward Chillicothe to get back toward where we needed to go.  That was extra time we hadn't counted on.

Pulled into the farm in the early evening and had a wonderful short visit with the in-laws before heading out the door about 7 a.m. the next morning for Southwest Ohio.  Let me tell you about Illinois.  Seems when anything happens on a trip - it happens in Illinois.  These are just a few of the past incidents: finding out our gas tank was leaking; leaving the gas cap on top of the van for hours between fill ups (& not losing it!), the fuel pump acting up and having to sit on the side of a very busy highway without a cell phone signal but getting through to the 911 operator who sent a patrolman out to make sure we were ok and wait with us until the van decided to get going again; NOT finding any gas stations when we needed to!  This trip through Illinois went much better!  Stopped in the Champaign-Urbana area for food.  Pulled into Mom's carport about 7 p.m. her time (we lost an hour between Central and Eastern Daylight Savings Time). 

Things we did while traveling: ate junk food (I'd packed beef jerky, Pringle singles, goldfish, snack packages of cookies and cheese or peanut butter crackers; drinking lots of water or coffee; read (wow, I actually was able to read part of a book while traveling!); play computer games on the laptop; text message friends; and sleep!

More from the Travels of '08 later!

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:07 AM CDT
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