Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Addition Part Two

I stopped by my parents' house last Friday to take some more photos and do an inspection of the progress. By the time Friday rolled around, I was expecting to see some framework up and so were they I think; but, the workers had not yet finished laying the cinder block for the foundation and so the progress wasn't as advanced as everyone expected it to be. That's usually how it goes in construction. Nevertheless, here are the pictures I took on Friday, July 24.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Banded Headbands

I've been meaning to write a post about the company Banded for a few weeks now, but haven't gotten around to it. So, I thought I would tackle that task today as there's not much exciting going on around these parts. 

Back in December, I went to buy some scrub bottoms to wear to and from my knee surgery. I figured they would be the easiest thing to pull on and off considering I didn't know how bendable my knee would or wouldn't be. I went by the Parkway Scrubs store at the corner of Governor's and the Parkway and found a couple of pairs for a really good price and when I went to check out, I noticed a display of headbands which caught my eye. I ended up buying a couple of headbands as well and have worn them over and over again when working out, or when I just want to pull my hair back or have a different style. They are super comfortable - the most comfortable of any headband I have ever worn. 

When I was post-Fourth of July shopping, I thought about my headbands and wondered if the company had any patriotic styled headbands and so I went shopping on their web site. Not only do they have headbands (and lots of different kinds), but they also have hair ties. So, I ended up buying two sets of hair ties and an American flag headband. 

My package arrived in the mail a few days later and it was only then that I realized that proceeds from Banded go towards feeding hungry children in Uganda. One headband or set of hair ties provides three meals. So, my purchase of one headband and two sets of hair ties provided nine meals for the children of Uganda. So, when I saw that, I felt even better about the purchase I made. 

If you are like me then you probably want or need new hair ties from time to time or maybe even a headband; so, I encourage you to remember Banded when you make a hair accessory purchase. You can also sign up for their email list which at the time I signed up offered a 15% discount on your first order. These are great not only for you, but also would make great gifts and it's all for a worthy cause. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Last Weekend

I'm finally taking a little time to write about the adventures of last weekend. It was busy and entertaining and there's was also downtime, all of which are a thumbs up in my book. On Friday night, I went to the area wide singing that was held at Lincoln Church of Christ. There was a good crowd of people there, including  Mamma Kay, the mother of my friend Erika, and I sat with her. After the singing, snacks were served, all of which were yummy. 

On Saturday morning, I watched some of the Tour de France and then recorded the rest so I could head out to run some errands. I stopped by the UPS Store to send of a package and then to Target to buy some school supplies and then to the movies where I saw Ant-Man. I had not been to the movies in what seemed like forever and I was glad I took the time to go. The movie was good and hilarious. I laughed many times and really enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The showing was in one of the larger theaters which apparently has two air conditioning units and one of them had gone out so the one remaining was struggling to keep the place cool. I either got used to the temperature or it did eventually cool off because I was never really uncomfortably hot and I really had a nice time at the theater. 

After the movie, I got my car washed and then headed home to finish watching the stage of the Tour. I tried to take a little nap, but Pippa was restless which meant I didn't get much sleep. Soon it was time to get ready for the evening adventures and I showered and got ready and soon left to pick up Erika. We were meeting up with our friends Candy and Kendra to celebrate Kendra's 32nd birthday. We had planned to go to a new spot, BJ's, and Erika and I got there about 30 minutes before the scheduled meeting time. The wait, however, was an hour and 20 minutes and so we ended up eating at Cantina Laredo instead. This worked out great for me because I love Mexican food and I had never eaten there before. The food was good, but the fellowship was better. It's always so much fun to catch up with my oldest and dearest friends. Erika and I made a stop by Ulta before hitting the road back home. It was such a fun evening and I look forward to doing it again next month for Candy's birthday. 

I promise Erika likes us. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Addition - Part One

I don't think I've mentioned it, but my parents are adding on to their house. It seems kind of weird since I've been wanting them to downsize for a long while now. The reason behind the addition is that my granddad has moved in with them.

My mom's dad, Bill, sold his house in Meridianville last month and moved in with my parents. They don't have an extra room at the moment and really my granddad needs some space of his own, so after much debate and changing of decisions, the final answer was to add on to my parents' house and have Bill move in.

For now, my dad sleeps on the couch and Bill sleeps in my dad's bed, but in two or three months time everyone will be back to having a bed of their own and things will return to some semblance of the new normal. I plan to chronicle the building of the addition here on the blog. I mean, after all, this is The Chronicles of Nat. I've long been intrigued by construction and love to watch a new project unfold, no doubt a trait I inherited from my dad's dad.

The project got started last week and is already moving along at a nice click. I'll have to rely on (and remind) my dad to take photos as well because I won't have time to make it out there every day, but do plan on stopping by each week.

I stopped by on Monday (July 20) and took the pictures below. The concrete foundation has been poured and the brick taken off the side of the house where the addition is going. Other than that, it doesn't look like much, but framing will be starting soon and then we will be well on our way. I hope you enjoy watching the addition go up as much as I will.

There is a port-o-potty and large dumpster in my parents' driveway. 

Inside the dumpster - full of brick.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Saturday on the Water and Other Ramblings

First of all, I'm still alive. I suppose that's the most important of the things. I've been super duper busy as of late which has left little to no time for blogging. Truth be told I haven't felt like even turning on the computer at night. I know I've mentioned it numerous times before, but after being on the computer at work all day, I just don't feel like turning it on at night. I'm gonna have to get used to it though because my graduate school classes start on August 19 and I will have to force myself to log on at night. 

I'm also having problems with my laptop as in it's about to die on me. I have been getting the black screen of death and it's living on a wing and a prayer right now so I've ordered another laptop which completely sucks because I don't have the money to spend, especially since I'm paying for this first semester out of pocket. I got approved for a federal loan, but am not taking enough hours this fall to use the money so I can't start using the loan money until the spring semester when I plan to take six hours. So, that's probably more information than you wanted to know about my schooling and computering, but there it is nonetheless. So, if anyone wants to contribute to my computer/school fund, just let me know. I'll be happy to accept your contribution to my future.

In other news, our Bible school class had a trip to the lake this past Saturday and it was so much fun! One of the couples in our class (Ray and Nancy) has a lake house in Rogersville and we spent a day out on the water soaking in the sun and having fun. I rode over with Paul and Leah. We left Huntsville a little after 9:00 a.m. and got to Rogersville around 10:30 a.m. When we got there, one group was coming off the water and soon a few others and I were on the boat heading out. I did some tubing and only fell off once which surprised me. After falling off the first time, I was certain I'd go flying off again because Ray like to take sharp turns which causes the tube to swing out wide and over the waves, but I did alright and surprisingly was not all that sore the next day. Christy tried wake boarding but was never able to really get up - but, she never gave up and we were proud of her for her valiant efforts. One of the coolest things about this trip out on the water is that Ray and Nancy's two dogs came out on the boat with us. They were so relaxed and just enjoying themselves. When we came back in, the dogs rode on the tube with two of the guys. It was incredible. I don't think The Pip will ever be that disciplined. 

After almost two hours on the water, we went back to the house to have some lunch. Ray smoked a Boston butt and Nancy made coleslaw, creamed corn, fruit salad, beans, deviled eggs, and banana pudding. It was all delicious. Not long after eating, we headed out on the water again. A few others rode the tube, but mostly we just cruised around on the lake which was nice as I do enjoy a boat ride! I wore a swim shirt with UV protection and didn't get burned at all which was smart of me. I got some sun on my legs, but nothing overbearing or painful. That might be a first for me. 

We headed back to Huntsville around 3:30 and stopped at Isom's Orchard on the way home so I could pick up some peaches which were eaten within a couple of days. We also stopped at Ollie's Discount Store in Madison which has a hodge podge of items and was a rather interesting place to peruse. I walked in the door of my house around 6:00 p.m. and was exhausted from a fun/eventful day. We are planning on one more lake day later this summer and I am certainly looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Photos From My Phone - July 2015 Edition

It's been a while since I've done a "Photos From My Phone" post; probably because most photos from my phone are added in to whatever I'm writing about. I did, however, find a few that I don't think have previously been posted and thought I would share them here today. 

Pippa is not spoiled.  

These chairs belonged to my cousin's grandmother and I bought them from her. They are super cute and comfortable. One day I may have them recovered but for now I'm sticking with the old fashioned floral. 

My cousin Tyler and I in a very blurry picture at his engagement party. I was feeling less than stellar and I'll blame my terrible looks on that. 

Finally found a Coke with my name on it. Still searching for the elusive Diet Coke with Natasha but for now, this Coke will do just fine! It was discovered in the cafeteria at work, in case you were wondering.

My favorite Toms and my white legs on a boat. 

Sometimes I color a picture with the pre-schoolers at church. 

The parking lot at work on Thursday, July 2 when I arrived. It was slim pickings that day. 

Pippa has a hard life.  

Did I mention she's not spoiled?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Twas The Fourth of July

Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Mine was interesting, a little different than normal, but still a lot of fun. I, along with most every other American, was thrilled to have Friday off from work; although, admittedly, it was confusing at times because Friday night I kept thinking that church was the next day. Friday morning I had an appointment to get the oil changed in the car and the tires rotated and just about the time I got ready to leave, the bottom fell out of the sky. I had planned on walking to the YMCA to get a workout in while my car was being worked on, but the buckets of rain kept me tucked safely and dryly inside the Goodyear. 

When the car was finished, I drove over to my parents' house and made a quick trip to Wal-Mart with my dad and then he cooked pancakes and then we began the arduous task of cleaning out the attic. We decided it would be best if we went to Lowe's to buy plywood to nail down to give the attic more room and so we could maybe move a few things around and actually get some work done. We got two strips of plywood down and moved some of Justin's things to that corner, threw some things away and set some things aside for the yard sale this fall and then my dad said we were done for the day. He said we got a lot more accomplished than he thought we would, whereas I was disappointed in how little we accomplished. The telling of two minds I suppose. The rest of Friday was spent being lazy and doing not much other than a few loads of laundry. 

Saturday morning I was up bright and early as the Tour de France got underway. I made my traditional French toast and enjoyed watching the time trial and just generally speaking enjoyed a relaxed morning. I made a cake and coleslaw for the cookout later that day and cooked some meat for my dad who was having a cookout as well. Justin stopped by that afternoon to pick up the meat that I had cooked and in the process dropped almost the whole pan of meat drippings all over my front porch. So, it probably goes without saying that I spent the next 30 minutes or so cleaning up greasy meat juice off my front porch. It wasn't exactly how I planned on spending some of the holiday, but those are the breaks. 

Once the meat juice was all cleaned up, I showered and headed over to the cookout which was being held at the brother of my cousin Jan's. Jan and I are cousins by marriage so her brother is not my cousin if that makes sense. All of the cousins that are my age were there and had set up games of slip and slide, volleyball, wiffle ball, corn hole, etc. I, however, was not provided the memo that there would be intense physical activity and didn't really come prepared to play. rest assured, I will be prepared for next year as I've already ordered a t-shirt for the occasion and will come ready to play. 
We had lots of food and there were lots of people there, most of whom we didn't even know. We all laughed because there was a "Family" side and a "We Don't Know Those People" side. As luck would have it, the skies opened up once again about the time it got dark and so the fireworks show was put into a predicament of sorts. We waited for the rain to pass, but it wouldn't let up and so the guys went out in the rain to shoot the fireworks. The problem was that the trees were clocking the view. Had it not been rained, we would have been able to stand where we could see, but as we were all crammed under the carport, we had to look at the fireworks between tree branches. There were also long breaks between each shot and I eventually got tired of sitting around waiting for the next one and decided to pack things up and head on home. 

Overall, it was a fun afternoon and evening and I look forward to next year's festivities where I will come prepared to play! 

The only picture I took - of G and his light saber fire sword!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: The Day Is Waiting

I recently selected the children's book, "The Day is Waiting" to review for the blog. It is a very simple book which would be great for preschoolers and younger kids. It is illustrated by Don Freeman, who actually passed away in 1978. Upon his death, Freeman left behind several illustrations and drawings and his wife, Lydia, thought they may could be used in another book. Linda Zuckerman, a close friend of Freeman's, penned the words to the book and used Freeman's previously unpublished illustrations. "The Day is Waiting" was originally published in 1980 and was published again in April of this year. 

Here is a blurb about the book, "Don Freeman, the creator of Corduroy, was one of the most beloved and popular author/illustrators of picture books for children. After Freeman’s death in 1978, colleagues and his wife decided to use his never before published artwork and make a commemorative book using his wonderful illustrations. Paired with Linda Zuckerman's thoughtful rhyming text, The Day Is Waiting takes readers on a tour of our big, wide world and reminds us that no matter how far we roam, we always have home to come back to.
This classic tale is imbued with Freeman’s gentle humor, spontaneity, and his appreciation of the variety and complexity of human experiences, creating a book that children will enjoy reading again and again."

The book has very few words, but the sum of it is in the first sentence of the book, "What do you see when you look outside?" It goes on to tell of adventure and places around the world where once might be able to go, but in the end, you can always come home. It's a delightful quick story that children will enjoy time and again. The illustrations are fun and colorful and go nicely with the tale. 

"The Day is Waiting" can be found at Amazon and other retailers. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cruising on the Tennessee River

I'm quite sure I've mentioned at one time or another that I participate in a Bible study with a great group of girlfriends from my Bible school class. We typically get together every other Monday night and have a time of study, fellowship and prayer. We decided to take the summer off from our in-depth studies in an effort to have more time together to get to know one another better in a more casual setting which works out great since a lot of people travel or have other things going on during the summer months. 

The family of one of the girls in our class (Julie) has a yacht, or a large boat, or a large vessel (however you want to term it) and early last month, we were supposed to get together for a sunset cruise on the Tennessee River. However, the weather didn't really participate with us and the cruise was cancelled at the last minute. We were all really bummed about the cancellation, especially my dad who was coming along with us to keep Julie's dad company. 

This past Monday night, the weather held up and we finally were able to go out on the yacht. I took a group of five (including myself) over to the Marina and a few others met us there. Julie and her family and some family friends also joined us, in all we had about 15 people and one dog (not Pippa). We left the boat slip about 7:00 p.m. and cruised along the river on what was basically a perfect evening. The weather wasn't too hot, there was no humidity in the air and the breeze from riding on a boat was fantastic. We enjoyed some snack foods that everyone brought and had a short devotional and prayer and just had a really great evening enjoying each other's company and relaxing on the river together. As far as Monday nights go, this one was top notch! Everyone had a great time and I think we all wished we could spend every Monday night on the yacht! 

In other news, it's July 1 and we are officially halfway through 2015! Seriously, where does the time go?