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Patrick and 29 other boys qualified to compete in the Gwinnett County Dive Meet. The boy who won first place will probably be in the next Olympics. He is that good. He's a junior and began diving as a freshman. Patrick regrets he only discovered the sport last year. Patrick came in tenth place last year at this same meet. He improved to second place this year with a score of 362.80 for 11 dives. We are very proud of him! His picture made the paper today with a slight mention behind the 1st place winner's name. He will compete at the State Tournament on February 12th. Wish him luck!
Mom's graduation photo scanned
Today would have been my Mom’s 81st birthday. I remember last year for her 80th birthday most of us braved snowy, slushy weather to go to Mom & Dad’s house for a surprise birthday party. It was a complete surprise and as usual my Mom was thrilled to have her kids at her house. Now she’s celebrating in heaven. I’ll miss her forever, but am so thankful for the time we had. Happy Birthday Mom!
It began snowing on Sunday night. Brianne tried to get home around 30 minutes after it began at 10:00 and she said that people were already stuck and not able to get up hills on the main road to our house. Her friend, Kyle, drove her and her boyfriend, Patrick, to our home in his four wheel drive truck. He weaved in and out of parked cars on the road. Brianne said he loved it!
School was canceled Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday and NOW Friday. Unbelievable! I dread thinking of making it up, but I have loved having an additional week off. Brianne's boyfriend stayed here from Sunday to this morning when his business opened up. Patrick's girlfriend walked over here Tuesday afternoon from her neighborhood which is about 1-1/2 miles away. She spent two nights here. Her mother is a nurse and picked her up this morning on her way home from work.
Brianne had to go to work for a teacher workday 11AM - 4PM today. She's got the same schedule tomorrow. We have had a great time eating meals together and playing games at night. It's been a fun time, but we are all ready for some warm weather!
Snow in Georgia
On Wednesday, Brianne graduated from Georgia State University with a Master's Degree in Reading, Language and Literacy. The ceremony was at 2PM at the Georgia Dome. We estimated there were 1500 graduates in attendance. We read in the paper the next day that 3350 had graduated. The graduates did not walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. They stood up as their college major was called and were declared "graduated." The ceremony lasted one hour. It took us that long to get out of the Dome, into our car and out of downtown.
We went to a favorite neighborhood pizza restaurant in Atlanta afterward because we were all hungry and did not want to wait until dinnertime. We got gourmet pizzas and they were delicious. After that we went to Red and Geraldine's house so they could see Brianne in her cap and gown. They were going to attend the graduation, but since Red was having a procedure done at the hospital the next day, they decided not to go because it was raining and cold.
After visiting with them for a while, we decided to head home at 7PM. The roads had become icy and we had to take many detours to get home because ramps and roads were closed due to the dangerous road conditions. It took us two and a half hours to get home. It usually takes around 35 minutes to get home from their house. The news reported that there were over 1000 car crashes that night.
Brianne is happy to be finished with school . . . for a while. She has gone straight through without a break since kindergarten. She is looking forward to not having to go downtown to class each week, AND the raise she will get in her next paycheck, too!
I thought I had spotted our Buff-Bellied Hummingbird friend, whom we had nicknamed Buffy, last weekend. We missed Buffy last winter. As it turns out, I don't think this one is Buffy. The one visiting us right now (Pictured below) does not have as much green and does not chatter, chatter, chatter like Buffy did. Wish I'd had better light today. I think this new visitor is a female Rufous Hummingbird. She's quite welcome here and I will keep nectar out for her as long as she wants to stay. We've decided to name this one Roofie (Original, I know).
CrabAppleLane Rufous Hummingbird - November 14, 2010
CrabAppleLane Rufous Hummingbird - November 14, 2010
Barrett was the ring bearer in Stephen's friend's wedding on Saturday. Allen is Barrett's godfather. Barrett was very excited about his role in the wedding. He practiced and practiced at home. He was elated when the black, shiny shoes arrived in the mail from Joey. He wanted to sleep with them in his bed the first night! The big day came. He was promised a piece of candy (Starburst) after walking up the aisle. He was supposed to join Kellie in the 2nd pew after getting to the altar. After he got his candy, he took off running to the back of the church where we were sitting with Wyatt. The congregation erupted in laughter. He was a happy boy with his big wad of candy in his mouth!
The Collins Hill Homecoming Dance was also Saturday night. I didn't get to go to the girl's house and take pictures. She sent these to Patrick yesterday. His date was a friend from his English class. I have been chaperoning this dance since 2000, and regretably, I had to miss it this last year because of the wedding. Patrick bought his jacket at Goodwill for $12 and he was thrilled with the find. Stephen was too and asked to wear it to work the day after he got it. I altered it to fit Patrick and it looked great. Stephen had a bowtie that matched perfectly. Patrick said he received a lot of compliments on his outfit.
Last month, Patrick joined the University of Georgia competitive diving club. He goes there on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for 2 hour practices. The pool is incredible! There are jets that shoot up from the bottom to soften divers' entry. Patrick hasn't tried them yet, but he has seen others use them. He participated in a dive clinic this weekend and Scott and I went to watch the last hour yesterday. Scott videoed a couple of the dives. The dive from the highest platform was done on a dare from one of his friends. He smacked his arms pretty good! He hasn't been training on that platform, and I think he said it was only his 2nd time on it.
His first competition with this team is on October 16th in Birmingham. He will also be on the Collins Hill Dive Team. That season begins the middle of November. He enjoys diving and has made a lot of improvement in the year that he's been doing it. He has recently decided he would like to dive in college. The problem is that there are only 3 schools in Georgia that have men's diving. They are Emory (cost prohibitive), UGA and Georgia Tech and you have to have placed in the National Championship to be considered for their teams. Patrick hasn't been to Nationals. There's also not a lot of scholarship money given for diving, we have been told. And we depend on the HOPE scholarship given to Georgia Students who qualify!
CrabAppleLane Hummingbird Flock - September 24, 2010
Decided to set up the camera, use what I learned a few days ago, and try to capture their activity in the morning. Didn't think I had enough light but it turned out OK. You can hear the news in the background mentioning this week's Saints-Falcons game. This is what we get to watch just outside our living room window. It is one of our greatest joys. For what it's worth, there is another feeder out. It gets hardly any visitors. Not sure what the deal is with this location but it gets, by far, the most activity. They are swarming now because they're about to head south for the winter. Not sure if these are all regular visitors or if some of them are heading south from northern climes. They're all welcome. Enjoy.
Recently (7/25-8/8) Dan, Ashley, Nicole and I went on an amazing boat trip. We started out in the Apostle Islands (where we keep our boat), stopped at Grand Portage, MN; on to Thompson Island (near Thunder Bay); Thunder Bay, Ontario; Silver Islet, Ontario; Isle Royale (Michigan territory/state); Grand Marais, MN and then back to the Apostle Islands. We were sooooo lucky with the weather. We had rain a couple times in the evening after we were set for the night and stayed an extra day in Grand Marais, MN ‘cause the winds/waves would’ve been too uncomfortable (4-7 foot waves; 30knot winds)and some occasional fog; thank goodness for radar! We stayed on the boat the entire time; sometimes at a dock and sometimes at anchor. Here are some of the highlights. Grand Portage- Trading Post replica; Thompson Island-gorgeous waters, trails and a sauna!; Thunder Bay-Fort William (original fur trading post early 1800’s); Silver Islet, Ontario-one of the richest silver veins/mines in the late 1800’s; Isle Royale- remote island only accessible by ferry, personal boat or sea plane, many inlets, anchorages and trails. (http://www.nps.gov/isro/index.htm ); Grand Marais, MN-last stop before going “home” to the Apostle Islands, we lucked out and were able to spend time at the Fisherman’s Festival which is their annual summer celebration (mini-donuts, log rolling exhibition and street vendors). It would take me a long time to fill you in on all the details of the trip, but overall it was great being together (yes, we still talk to each other) and taking in all the beautiful sights. We are so fortunate to have been able to take such an amazing trip. Here are a few (of the hundreds) photos from the trip.
2.Thompson Island Lookout
We had another great FL vacation last week at the Waterscape Condos. in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. We went with Joey's family. Sue, Elizabeth, Christina, and I were all supposed to go earlier in July but I panicked back in June because of the oil, and we all cancelled that trip. Well, I'm sorry I did! Joey's family hadn't planned anything yet and decided at the last minute to go here so I gave in and said we could go. It was absolutely gorgeous the whole week! We did have a few tarballs on the bottom of the Gulf on one day, but otherwise it was perfect. All 3 kids loved the sand and the water. We had green or yellow flags every day and clear water on the first 3 days. After that it was a little seaweedy but it didn't bother anybody. I hope that BP continues to do everything they can to preserve our Gulf because I would be so sad to see this way of life changed!
The last picture is a picture of Joey's brother, Andy's arm. He was snorkeling in the Bahamas when he was attacked. He did not see the fish that did it, but said he felt something that was like someone punched him very hard in the arm and looked down to see that his arm was mangled and bleeding. He swam back to the beach (and no, he was not far off the beach at all!) and called for help. The doctor who stitched him up said that it was most likely a shark or barracuda that got him. He got 37 stitches inside and out. He has decided to tell everyone that it was a shark because "that sounds cooler." They were on a cruise when it happened and he said that he became a bit of a celebrity on the ship afterward. Everybody on the ship had heard about it and people would come up to him and start humming the "Jaws" music. They got off their ship on Sat. morning, saw a doctor, and then headed straight to FL to join us for our vacation. Joey and his other brothers rigged up a blow-up shark in our condo and when they arrived we all stood by the door and hummed the Jaws music under the blow-up shark. We just had to have a little fun with it!! He gets his stitches removed today and is expected to be just fine.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida - 2010
This past weekend, Ashley and Nicole (and Dan) surprised me w/ a Segway tour in Minneapolis as an early birthday present. It was so much fun. At first, I thought for sure I was gonna fall and break my neck. However, after a bit of instruction and some practice time, we all got the hang of it and it was easy. We went to the Stone Arch Bridge, to the Mill City museum (just on the outside), the river walk area then over the Hennepin Avenue bridge to Boom Island, Nicollet Island and back to the Segway store. It was about a 2½ hour event. We got rained on a bit, but all in all it was a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. Next time anyone is looking for a fun tourist thing to do, I recommend the Magical History Tour. Just go to www.humanonastick.com. We celebrated my birthday with brunch before the tour w/ our friends Andy, Erin and Andy’s dad Sid. It was a great morning to sit outside and enjoy brunch (at Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka). Dan also surprised me with a new bicycle. I have been lookin’ at buying one for a while as my old one was over 20 years old. Now to get the June rains to subside so I can get out and try it. All in all a fabulous 40 something birthday.
Fashion on a Segway
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