Friday, May 30, 2008

St. Augustine in photos - post 2

I wanted to share a few more of my St. Augustine photos with you:

As you can tell, I have this thing about taking lots of pictures of flowers.... lol!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Everyday Nothingness

I am a much happier commuter these days! Last week a new bus route started from my part of the city into downtown...I get from the commuter lot to my office in about 30-40 min as compared to the 45-60 min that it used to take me. Now I get dropped off right in front of my office building and don't have to ride the train anymore! Woot!


I got a new blackberry, finally!!! Mine's been on the verge of crapping out for about a year now. I'm in lurve with my new Curve! ;-)'re my hero...kinda...the crazy salesperson forgot to activate my enterprise email feature...WTF???


I finally created my Twitter account today...I figured since I have my new mac-daddy blackberry that's more user-friendly I can now keep up with the world. I'm LauraBSquared if you'd like to follow me...I'm boring...I'll go ahead and let you know that right now. :-D


Last night Morey finally started showing the real signs of intestinal distress...he does this every time he goes to the kennel. He's sensitive that way and always comes back with tummy problems. Well, last night he threw up all over the rug in the living room right before our small group arrives. Then, while we were in the middle of talking, he goes and throws up all over the dining room rug - I have to walk away to clean that up. THEN while I'm talking and making a point, he walks into the sunroom and hunkers down and proceeds to take a big old smelly poop in the middle of the sunroom floor - I have to stop talking and go clean it up. It stinks too...bad...we have to take out the garbage and spray air freshener ALL IN THE MIDDLE OF SMALL GROUP! Ugh....


I wish I was back on the beach....working for a living sucks. I need to find a job where I'll get paid to vacation.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - River Street, Savannah, GA

I had to take this pic because of the awesome "Save the Ta-Tas" flag!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

St. Augustine in pictures - day 1

Shooter and I took an Eco-Tour of St. Augustine while we were there and I got some amazing pictures due to our being out in the water. Here are a few....

Just thought this was kinda neat.

St. Augustine is currently a free port - but the local government is looking to try to change that. Basically anyone can come in and anchor their boat in the "bay" at no charge. I didn't get any pictures of them, but the south side of the "bay" is full of discarded boats. We even saw one sailboat that had been run ashore and left there. On the north side of the "bay" are the permanent "residents" of St. Augustine's boat village.

This is one of the many dolphins we encountered while in St. Augustine and Crescent Beach. Our Eco-Tour guide is working on getting grant money to track the migration of the dolphins in that area - to see where they go during the winter season. I told him I'd definitely volunteer to go with him to the Bahamas and take photographs for him. ;-)

We came up on this sand bar and found these four adolescent brown pelicans and a host of other sea birds. Zach, our tour guide, said that you know they're adolescents because their heads are still brown and fuzzy.

There is this huge bronze cross erected in St. Augustine. We passed by these fishermen and I thought it was a poignant picture.

This is a picture of the Castillo de San Marcos. Being in the "bay", which isn't really a bay, offered a great perspective on taking pictures of downtown.

Here's a better shot of downtown and the shops.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Tails

Well, after calling around to many places last night and this morning, we finally found a place that would take Wallace (aka Braveheart), George (aka Curious George) and Thomas (aka Bommas). Turns out that all three of the kiddos were my instinct at naming them was right on.

We intially went to the Atlanta Humane Society and they told us there were three issues with them taking the kids - 1) they're too young and couldn't handle being neutered, if they kept them until they were old enough they'd likely get some infection and probably die; 2) they didn't weigh enough; 3) the shelter was full. Nice of them to get our hopes up.

Luckily Di knows some wonderful ladies at a PetsMart from the Georgia Humane Society and they love cats. They took one look at the kids and said, no problem - we'll take them. They'll give them a good once over and their vaccinations and take care of them until they can be neutered and then adopted. Here are some pics of the little ones.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh Lord Have Mercy.....

Hey ya'll!!!!

I've been slammed head first into reality....ugh....and laundry and sandy gritty dirty clothes, and towels, and dogs. :0) Well, the latter isn't bad...we've been snuggled on the couch most of the evening getting reacquainted.

But...guess what? Braveheart is back in the house....with two of his/her a box....on my dining room table. We came home today and after Shooter retreived the pups from puppy jail, errrr, the kennel, we let them out and the typical barking and howling and scratching ensued from the area where the kittens had been. We didn't think anything of it until Shooter let them out around 8pm tonight and went out with them....and he heard some hissing from under the pile in the backyard. He lifted up a piece of wood and found Braveheart and two of the other kittens. We dont' know what happened to the 4th one. We're actually pretty afraid that the kittens just moved locations and weren't actually carried away by the Mom. They don't appear to have gained weight and are much less frisky than the last time we saw them, a week ago.

Shooter went to the Wal-Mart to get some pet milk and we fed them each a few droppers full of that and they lapped it up like crazy. I think, they way they were lapping it up, that they may be weaned after all. They didn't want to take the little bottle we bought at all.

I think they'll be okay...but I have to try to get them to a rescue group. I have a friend who wants Braveheart...if she's willing to take on the medical bills then I'll let her have him and take the other two to a rescue.

Whew...I hope this all works out...

I promise pics of the vacation are coming!!! :0)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quickly checking in.....

Hey all!!!

I'm posting from a Starbucks this's sunny and gorgeous. Shooter and I just finished an hour on jet skis and it was a blast. Just as we were bringing the skis back, we were joined by two was amazing!

I have tons of pictures to share, I just haven't managed to make myself work too much on the computer, I'm sure you all understand! :0)

Oh...the story about Morey....

Well, Friday night I was on the phone with tech support from my work trying to figure out how to get my stupid computer connected to my home wireless network. The dogs were irritating me cause they were barking at who knows what in the I let them out. Not 5 min later the tone of the barking changed guys with dogs (or kids) know what I'm talking about. I went out to see what was the matter and Morey was in a standoff with an itty bitty kitten in our backyard. I basically hung up on tech support and ran out to save the kitten. Leah was circling from behind, but that little kitten was holding his own against my 18 pound schnauzer. I bent down and grabbed his scruff between my thumb and pointer finger and just looked at the little furball who'd so bravely stood up to not one, but two dogs. He hissed at me like he was a 50 pound panther. I cuddled the little man and finally got him to calm down. I didn't know where he'd come from but I had a good idea. We have stray cats behind out house and I was afraid that one of them had gotten up in the remnants of our dog house and birthed some kittens. I couldn't move anything so I wanted until Shooter got home. In the meantime, I took the kitten (who Di and I later named Braveheart) inside with me and the pups. We all laid down on the sofa and watched a little tv. The dogs finally ignored him and he slowly emerged from his towel and curled up on my shoulder. Shooter came home and was so surprised to see how small he was...much younger than I'd originally thought. We went out and turns out there were three more kittens back there. We gathered them up and went to see our neighbor who cares and feeds the strays. She guessed they were somewhere around 4-5 weeks old and not weaned. If we were going to take them to the humane society or a cat rescue....we'd need the Mom. Well, we tried trapping her and that didn't work. After talking to several people we decided that it would be best to put them back outside and let the Mom come get them once she was comfortable. We checked in the morning and they were gone.

I swear, little Braveheart made such an impression on me. He was small but he was the protector of his litter. Of course....Braveheart could be a girl....don't know why I assumed he was a boy...oh well. :0)

I hope to post more pictures but in the event that this relaxation overakes me....I promise to post over the weekend.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

To the beach and beyond.....

Allrighty guys....after one hectic ending to the week....I'm finishing up my packing and getting ready to head off to the beach. I am sure that I'll find a way to update the blog while I'm gone. But in the event that I don't....I promise to share my abundance of pictures and stories when I return later in the week.

Oh...and Calico...those poppies were at Callaway Gardens....I'm growing some pretty things but no massive fields of poppies!

Oh...and do I have a story to tell about a kitty named Braveheart and a schnauzer who's bark is bigger than his bite. ha!

Ya'll be good!!!!!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ahhh....only 3.5 more work days to go....

Update: I spoke with my Mom last night and she told me that she didn't start packing and laying out our clothes two weeks before vacation. It was more like a week. She said she had to because with two small kids we'd go through tons of clothes and she'd be doing tons of last minute laundry. I promised her that I'd post her rebuttal to my childhood memories of the incidents in question. Oh - and I also have to make sure to post the fact that I did have plenty of clothes to choose from, not just one pair of undies and one change of clothes...apparently I have the knack for exaggeration...who knew!!?!?! ;-)

Well, first I have to give a round of applause to Shooter...way to go baby!...and his first guest post on the blog. I'll get him to work on some lighter pieces in the future....he and I have been in this majorly deep and dramatic funk...but I have decided that it's enough of that.... ;-)

Lots of dramz in lots of places these an effort to keep from getting "Dooced" I'm going to keep my little, wittle mouth shut. The economy's bad after all and we need my health benefits.

I am on the countdown to vacation though. I have been washing clothes and ironing and folding and sorting and laying things out. I feel like my mother all of a sudden....although, if I were really turning into her I would have started laying out clothes two weeks ago. I remember when I was a kid and Mom would start setting clothes aside about two weeks before we were to leave. We'd go on vacation for two weeks so by the time we'd gotten to the day before we left I was usually down to 1 clear pair of panties and one clean outfit. Everything else had been strategically squirreled away into the luggage and master locked. But I digress, I have basically finished washing and ironing everything and put my outfits together and planned what shoes I'm taking. I have to pack for a short overnight thing for work and then repack on Saturday evening. We leave bright and early on Sunday morning! Woot!!

I am just focusing on my mental image of me on the beach with a good book, my SPF 15/30 suntan lotion/sunblock, feet in the water, and lots of delicious seafood meals! No agenda, no specific time to be anywhere...lots of nothing!

Until then....I have 3.5 more days of work to get through...Lord help me!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Guest Post by Shooter

It's Shooter ya'll!! That sounded cheesy didn't it? Well last weekend my in-laws were in town. Some may think that having your in-laws in town and staying at your house would be torture. I my case it is not. I enjoy having Laura's parents in town.

Well as Laura as said in a previous post we went to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. It was a good opportunity for Laura to get some good pictures and for all of us to relax. To be honest, I had a good time, but the beginning of day was rainy and it was kind of a downer. However it turned out to be a good day.

On the way back from Callaway Gardens we drove to LaGrange, GA. This is where my mother grew up and my grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. I haven't been to see Pop and Grandmother's grave since 2002 when Grandmother died. It was nice to see them again. I had a good relationship with both of them and used to stay with them in the summer when I was off from school as a young child.

Pop would taught me how to shoot and probably can be credited with developing my ability to shoot like I do today. It started with an old Daisy pump BB gun then a Crossman pellet rifle. The rest of time I helped him in his garden with his fresh tomatoes, okra, green beans (yuck!), and other vegetables. Grandmother always made sure there was a fresh pound cake and plenty of lemon drops when I came, those were my favorites and still are to this day.

When Laura and I got married in 1999, my Grandmother even though very feeble, told my mom and my Uncle Frank that there was no way she was going to miss her baby grandson's wedding in Tennessee. She did make it and it really meant a lot not only to her, but to Laura and I. Her Chad Boy had gotten married and was happy. Here is a picture us at our wedding.

Pop passed away first, he broke his hip and got pneumonia. I really never got to say goodbye to him and that still haunts me today. I loved him dearly and still miss him. Here is a picture of me and him at (I think) my 3rd birthday. Side note - that's my mom behind me at the counter.

Grandmother died in 2002. I remember the weeks prior to her death well. I had gone to visit her several times the last few weeks of her life. My sister and I went together along with my parents and by ourselves also. We talked about times growing up, recipes, and life. Grandmother said one thing she said to me a couple of days before she died that has stuck in my mind. "Don't let yourself get old." Grandmother was the best and I miss her everyday I wake up.

One thing that was very special about our trip was I got to see my great grandparents grave. John Terrell Huff and Lady Rebecca Stripling Huff. I love my great grandmother's name. Lady Rebecca Stripling sounds like something straight out of old England.

Anyway, that was my weekend.

Thanks Laura for letting me post. I love you, sweets!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!!


Another Mother's Day is upon us. We've celebrated 35 of them...36 if you count the one we celebrated while I was still inside you. It's kinda hard to believe that we're that old isn't it?

Gone are the days of laying on the couch side by side, sharing a blanket. But we have those memories and the picture to prove we were both once that small. Gone are the days where I would get switched for misbehaving...although you may wish you could still tell me to go find a suitable switch from the woods! Gone are the days of keeping me out of trouble at every curious little hands picking up every knick-knack and dust catcher around - you should know that I still have to touch everything that looks pretty. Gone are the days of chauffering me around to soccer practice, soccer games, flute lessons, band practice, football games, French competitions and music competitions - although you did all of this without complaint and with a smile. Gone are the days of lugging all my stuff back and forth to college...and catching me asleep and unprepared for moves back home.

I have so many memories, more than I could ever recount here. I just remember you always being there, my supporter, my driver, my friend, my disciplinarian, my chef, my teacher - always my teacher. I probably recount at least one lesson per day that you taught me - even today!

All days should be Mother's Day...not just this one day in May. I hope that I, in some way, make you feel as special as you made me while I was growing up. I cherish every memory and nothing is more fun to me than pouring over those old memories and laughing about them. It's like a mental picture album and it keeps us close and bound together.

Mom, you are my hero - with superhero powers of unnatural hearing abilities. You sacrificed more than I'll ever know. You were my protector and my champion. You were my biggest fan - cheering me even when you couldn't understand a word I was saying. You were my constant.

I love you, Mom!!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 9th - A Day of Celebration and a Day of Sorrow (Pt. II)

I started this post intending for it to be one singular post that I put up started to get so long, and there was so much more I wanted to I split it up. Please go here to read the first part.

Drew's funeral in Orlando was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Unfortunately, because we lived in different states for his whole life, I hadn't known all that much about my cousin. I reflected on how utterly sad that was. Here I was...28 years old....and I barely knew my 17 year old cousin. What I know now is mostly what I heard from those who spoke at Drew's funeral and from the stories I heard told at the reception following the funeral service.

Let's talk a bit about that reception. Drew had told my other cousin Whitney that he wanted balloons at his funeral and for people to have fun. No one should cry. I hate to say, I couldn't complete his request for no crying.

I cried for a life lost so soon. I cried for my Aunt Dana and Uncle Jack who world had just collapsed around them. I cried for my Cousin Kate who had been the one to find Drew...who'd have to live with that pain for the rest of her life. I cried for Drew's friends who'd had their dearest friend taken from them. I cried for the life that Drew would never live. The marriage he'd never have, the children he'd never have, the people that he'd impact.

I remember Mom and I asking my Cousin Whitney if Drew was a Christian. I wanted to know because the only comfort I could seem to find was in the belief that my Nannie was in Heaven welcoming Drew home. I look back and do hope that we didn't hurt Whit with our questions...she was just the closest of all of us to him. We just knew that she would have the answer that would ease our pain. Unfortunately we didn't know...that haunts me to this day. The not knowing where Drew hope is that he's in Heaven with Nannie and I'll get to see them both again.

My parents, grandfather and I then drove with Drew's family back to Atlanta where there would be another service. They had spent most of Drew's life in Atlanta, but were living in Orlando when Drew died. The service in Atlanta was more of the same. People talking about all Drew had done for them, taught them, shown them. Teachers, friends, acquaintances. So many people affected by this young man. I could only hope that in my years here on Earth I could affect so many people with who I was.

Drew was an amazing person. He loved family more than anything. I remember a trip to see them in Boca Raton when Drew was only about 2 or 3 years old. He'd fight taking naps because he wanted to be with his "Friends and Faaaam-ah-lee". He also loved to say the name of a local department store, he'd just ramdomly say "Buuuuuuurrrrrd-iiiiii-nes". It was hysterical. Those were hard years for their family, but I remember the most of him from that trip.

I want to end this with my biggest keepsake from Drew. My parents had been to Orlando to visit his family just about a month before his death. Drew had taken this picture of my parents:

Drew captured my parents perfectly in this picture. I am forever thankful to him for one of the best pictures of my parents.

Drew, I wish I'd had the opportunity to know you better. I am not proud of the fact that some of your friends knew you better than I, your family. I am glad, however, that I had the time we did at Nannie's funeral. Our trip in the woods was one I'll never forget. I hope I see you again.....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 9th - A Day of Celebration and a Day of Sorrow

May 9, 2001. It started out like any typical Spring day in Atlanta. It was pretty, the sun was shining...I rolled over in bed to kiss Shooter and cheerily greet him with a "Happy Birthday!!!" We went about our morning routine and the went out the door to work - hugs and kisses and promises of seeing each other later were shared.

Work was like any typical day...I worked for a pretty large regional bank and it was just another day of crunching numbers and sending out checks and calculating commissions. Late in the afternoon...not long before I was to leave to go home and share a great dinner with Shooter...I received a phone call from my Mom. Not completely unusual, but enough out of the ordinary that I had to frown a bit before I picked up the phone. Not one word was said...I heard her sobs...I could sense her body being wracked with a pain I'd never experienced before. "Mom, what's wrong?", I whispered. Louder sobs. "MOM!?!? WHAT'S WRONG????" I immediately imagined the worse. "Mom, what's wrong with Daddy? Talk to me!!" She manages to compose herself enough to squeak out, "Honey, it's not Daddy." "Well, what's wrong with Peepaw or Paw or Granny or Wes!?!?!? Or you!!!!", I was panicked by now. "Honey, it's Drew. I just talked to them...he's gone."

I remember screaming "NO!" over and over again. I remember sobbing hysterically. I remember my co-workers running to my office to see what was wrong. I remember them closing my door so that I could deal with my grief in private. I remember the looks on their faces....their my world broke apart.

I was able to get myself together enough to pack my things. I went to my boss' office and all he had to do was take one look at me and he was so kind. He told me to take all the time I needed, they'd be fine. He didn't ask any questions, he needed no explanation. He was a good man that way.

I called Shooter on the way home. Explained to him what had happened, or at least what I understood had happened - what few details I had. He (and I for that matter) had far more questions than I had answers to. Somehow I made it home...Shooter's birthday dinner a distant thought. I had talked to my parents and they were on their way to Atlanta with Peepaw...we were going to drive to Orlando that night to be with them. I was going to have to help Daddy and drive, Mom said. I didn't mind...I needed something to focus on...something besides all the questions floating around in my head.

I can't remember what time they picked me up...but we drove that evening from Atlanta to Orlando. We got there late...that's all I really remember. Most of the time in Orlando was a blur. I do remember taking my cousins to the movie at Downtown Disney. I thought it would be good to get them out and distract them a bit. We were all overwhelmed and raw emotionally. We'd cried all we could. Actually, we'd cried all our tears a few months earlier when our Grandmother, our Nannie, passed away. This was just about the last staw for us.

To be continued.....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gardening, it does a body good...maybe...

Sunday was a beautiful day here in Atlanta. It was sunny and warm with enough breeze to cool a sweaty brow. In other words a gorgeous day for playing in the dirt. And boy oh boy...did I play!! Well, I really only meant to go out and dig a few holes and plant a few plants and weed out a few pesky weeds...but garden had other plans for me.

I was ready to dig my first hole...after spending a while weeding the bed, I had selected the perfect spots for my foxgloves. I put the shovel down and put some weight behind my foot and shoved....nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing! No movement into the soil at all!! I thought, what on earth could be the problem here. I got down on my knees and started feeling around for a rock or something. What I uncovered was a bunch of roots so tightly packed that I couldn't get my shovel through to plant my flower.

This discovery led to an approximate 40 min session of playing tug of war with Boxwood Shrub roots. Good lord, I HATE shrubs. With a passion...hate them. They're of no value to me. What did happen, though, is that the dirt got really turned up so that I didn't have to shovel too hard to get holes for my lovelies!

I thought I'd share photos of my perennial bed...with a few annuals thrown in for color. ;-)

Here are my two "baby" hostas. My Mom gave me these as just we cuttings back two years ago. Can you believe how they've grown? They go off to Harvard next year...I'll be so sad.

Here's the "Momma" hosta. She started out as small as the babies, but apparently she loves that darker corner of the bed. It is quite shady there and it stays cool and pretty moist back there. Apparently she's loving life...she's promised not to abandon me once the kiddos go off to school.

In the background are my Black-Eyed Susans. In the foreground are some Evening Primroses. These also came as small little split offs from my Mom's plants. They were so small and fragile and sad when I got look at those guys! They're growing like crazy. The Evening Primroses will have to get split after this season - I have another patch (below) that's equally as big. These Black-Eyed Susans will have to get split up as well.

My other patch of Evening you can see those buggers are getting ready to bloom out all over!

Here's an over view of the garden. The Monkey Grass in the front will need to get split after this season too. It's amazing to me how this bed is taking shape. In a couple of years it will be so full and gorgeous.

I planted about 4 different kinds of daylillies, foxgloves, a mounding periennial of some sort, and another purple periennial. ha...I'm such a great gardener aren't I! I should have kept those darned tags from the nursery!

Now...for my Iris dearest Irises....I adore this time of year!

I have a few of these bi-color Irises that are blooming.

These make up the biggest part of my Iris bed. I love their dark reddish purple color!

You can see my lone white Iris in the's my only one so far!

I am feeling a bit better today. I have been trying to get in to see my doctor for well over a week and finally was able to wriggle my way into a spot that opened up this afternoon. I am hoping that I can get my meds all worked out and get back to feeling "normal" again.

The gardening this weekend helped. I was able to focus on something else and walk away with a real sense of accomplishment. Right now I do better when I can have some kind of concrete results to show for my work.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 5, 2008


I have so many things bouncing around in my head today...I'm restless...and sore and tired.

In lieu of a written are more pictures from the weekend.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Botanicals Abound

I just wanted to share a few pictures from yesterday's visit to Callaway Gardens: