Friday, January 29, 2010

Vegas, Baby!

Got home just last night from a two night stay in VEGAS!

We stayed here at the...

It is a beautiful hotel. Especially when it is all lit up at night, like this.

We flew in on Tuesday evening and left on Thursday morning. But during our one day there we played The Price Is Right Live...Went to see Donnie and Marie at...
and stopped by here on our way back to our hotel.

This whirlwind visit was all to celebrate a very special person's SPECIAL birthday.

Happy 50th birthday, Robin!

We partied like Rock Stars...well, minus the huge repair bill for tearing up the hotel room and the massive hangovers!

(And, FYI, I wasn't going to mention which birthday we celebrated...but since she posted it on her blog, I figured I was good!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What's On My Nightstand - January

I was so proud of myself as I finished nearly all of my "To Be Read" pile in December. I had one, count them, one book left...and no it wasn't 'The Centurion's Wife'. I actually read that one, which had been in the stack for months and months, while on the deer stand back in November! The only book left was 'Rooftops of Tehran'.

As you can see, I have been in a lot of bookstores since Christmas. Half Price Books, Barnes and Noble, Twice Told Tales and even for a few that I didn't want to pay full price for but couldn't find in the secondhand bookstores.

It is not my goal to read all of these books over the next month...I will not even get through a quarter of them, I am sure. These are just a few that have caught my attention and thus earned a spot on my nightstand. (Though to be quite honest with you, they do not permanently reside on my nightstand, but under it. If Jim saw such an obvious stack, he would really complain that I read too much! He says it's bad for me.)

Read Since This Picture Was Taken:
Up For Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex And Starting Over - Cathy Alter (This one had me thinking...and that is a dangerous thing to do! The author is quite honest with her life, even when it would have been prettier not to be. I read the review over at 5 Minutes for Books last September.)

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll (I have tickets to see the musical Wonderland in a few weeks. Since I had never read the book, only knew the story through the Disney movie, I decided to read it before the play.)

Going Rogue: An American Life - Sarah Palin (I like Sarah Palin. I voted for the McCain/Palin ticket. I enjoyed getting to know her better through the pages of this book. I was just a little disappointed with the flow of the book and felt that she did herself a disservice by telling her story in such a way as to knock down the accusations against her instead of just telling her story as that...HER story, whether or not anyone knew of the accusations.)

To Be Read:
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I know, I am late and it is controversial...but for $1 in hardcover, I thought I would see what all the fuss WAS about.)

The White Queen: A Novel - Phillipa Gregory (This has been on my list for awhile now. I first saw it reviewed over at 5 Minutes for Books last September and I finally found it at Half Price Books just after Christmas.)

The Help - Kathryn Stockett (This one has been on my list since I saw it reviewed last February. I tried to wait it out at Half Price Books, but when I walked into Barnes &Noble for reading material for our New Year's trip to Arkansas and it was sitting right out front...I couldn't help myself, I bought it.)

101 Most Powerful Verses In The Bible - Steve and Lois Rabey (My occasional devotional read.)

Becoming Jane Austen - Jon Spence (I picked this up at Twice Told Tales. It looked interesting and needed a home.)

Creative Journal Writing: The Art And Heart Of Reflection - Stephanie Dowrick (A Half Price Books find that I thought might give me some ideas for both my blog and my personal journal writing.)

Camille - Alexandre Dumas (This is an old book that caught my eye in Twice Told Tales. I keep an eye out for the old covers while I shop. Plus, I have an aunt named Camille, so I thought I would see what this classic is about. The only other Camille I knew about was the hurricane!)

Idols Of The Heart: Learning To Long For God Alone - Elyse Fitzpatick (This one I am taking in bite sized pieces.)

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - Malcolm Gladwell (I picked this one up after reading a review at 10 Million Words about his newest book, What The Dog Saw.)

The Senator's Wife - Sue Miller (I have had this one on my list longer than any other. I read a review in Southern Living magazine the summer of 2008...but didn't get around to picking it up until just last week. It was on the buy 2 get 1 free table at Barnes and Noble... so I picked it up along with...

Snowflower and The Secret Fan - by Lisa See and...

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman - Nora Ephron (just because, quite honestly, I do!!!)

The Ghost In The Gallery - Carolyn Keene (Another old book that just needed a home. It is #17 in the Dana Girls Mysteries. I am looking for old (1930's or 1950's) Nancy Drew books and I ran across this Dana Girls book.)

and finally:
The first three books in the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich. I bought these from amazon in a package. I have been looking for book one in used book stores for ages, but can never find anything before book #5. It was cheaper to order all three...just in case I like them. So, next time I need a stormy night read, I will check out One For The Money, and it I like it, I will go on to Two For The Dough and Three To Get Deadly. If I don't like them, I will pass them along.

This will be my list for months to come, I am sure. Especially with a new Bible study starting up next week. (They start tonight, but I am leaving town in just a few next week will be my start.)

Thanks for taking the time to look over my Nightstand.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Time to vent a little...then ask for some advice.

We have had a HORRIBLE time with our telephone/DSL service at home. The line has been in service for a little over 2 years and we have made numerous trouble reports in that time. They have run a new line from the box to the house TWICE. They have told us time and again that the problem is resolved only to have more problems within a month or less. The telephone crackles and pops every time it rains. The DSL has not worked properly in over four months and we have walked through resetting it almost weekly since then. DSL blames the phone line, the phone end blames the weather or the DSL.

We have even offered to PAY THEM to replace the wiring in the house if that is the problem. But they always say that isn't the problem and that they have fixed it.

To top that off, yesterday I stayed home for the second time in about six months waiting on a repairman who never showed up...and never called to say he wasn't going to show up. Needless to say, I am a very unhappy camper when I remain home for a 12 HOUR WINDOW...only to have no one show and to find out that by the time their window closes their offices have been closed FOR OVER AN HOUR. If you try to call earlier, all they will say is "your on the schedule" that gets you nowhere either.

Today, I lost it with the manager...but they don't really seem to care. They just say you will be taken care of this morning, blame the technician for not calling yesterday and tell you that they will have the foreman call.

We have been customers of this company for over 20 years...really, since we married and got our first phone line. That is two states, five homes and nearly 28 years!!!

I know that having things serviced in Waller is a hassle. Believe me, 'Waller Wednesdays' has become a joke around our house because what else can you do but laugh when every time something breaks you have to wait a whole week or more until they are "back in your area".

I have threatened to cancel my service if things are not repaired properly this time. And I mean it. I am tired of paying for services that I cannot use half the time and have to go through troubleshooting to use the other half.

So, Jim is waiting at home today for a technician that is supposed to be there THIS MORNING...but at 11:14 am, no repairman!

How do you handle these situations? How do you get someone to LISTEN and RESPOND?

You would not believe my blood pressure level just typing this! Thanks for letting me vent!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Look Who's Playing Tennis Now

Yesterday was Will's first 'practice' match. Since they were practically playing in the neighborhood, I stopped by and snapped a picture or two. He seems to have pretty good form, but needs to perfect his control.

Listen to me, sounding like I know what I am talking about! All I know is that he returned quite a few good shots and seemed to do well on his serve. I have no idea what the score was because it has been a VERY, VERY LONG TIME since I played tennis in Junior High gym class at good ole' HJHS!

Maybe I need to read Tennis For Dummies next!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Wonder If They Will Offer A Family Discount

One of Davin's favorite things to do is to brush his teeth...with my toothbrush. This grosses his daddy out to no end, but at least I give him my travel toothbrush which has barely been used.

I snapped this picture while we were in Marion for the New Year. He prefers my electric toothbrush, so for Christmas I made sure that there was one in his stocking. A character one, of course.
I got to thinking, maybe he is going to grow up to be a dentist.
And then I came across this picture of Brooke, also from our trip to Marion.
She is checking that baby doll over good with an LED flashlight. That baby doll should not have any problems with strep throat...blindness from that light maybe, but no sore throat can escape that beam.

Maybe she is going to be a doctor some day.

Someone better get busy on college funds for these two!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, William!

May all your dreams come true!
Happy 15th!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goode Family Christmas 2009: Part Two

It almost killed them...but I convinced the family to open the gifts one at a time this year. I am never able to get everyone's picture because we usually do the "1, 2, 3, Go" form of gift opening.

So from youngest to are the best pictures from Christmas morning.

Will with his pile of gifts.
(Can you guess what he is holding? Brian isn't very creative with his wrapping.)

Brian has Jessica addicted to "Lost".
They have already watched all of Season 4.

It is hard for me to get pictures of Brian.
He usually pulls the gift up right in front of his face as the camera snaps.
Bri loves this movie.
I know the guys were cringing with thoughts of having to watch it over and over and over again.

Kelli is our more ways than one.
Just like the kids, she had more fun with the gift wrap than anything.
Here she is doing her Lady Gaga imitation.

Matt was as hard to get a picture of as Brian...except that it was the kids crawling in front of him that kept me from getting the pictures.

Meagan and her new boots.
I wonder how many times she has worn them already?

Derrick getting a hug from Brooke for her princess tutu.

Jessica got Jim a plaque for the Fish Camp...if we can ever get back down there again!
Mother was forced to stay with us for Christmas after her car broke down on her way to visit. At least Santa was able to find her.
As you can see, we had a very, very good Christmas! Hope you did too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New Arrival For A New Year

Miss January kept true to her name and delivered her calf this morning. They think it is a bull...but honestly, I don't know for sure yet. This is as close as Miss January would let Bri get.

Isn't he cute? Jim says he looks just like a big fat rib eye! Now there is a man who is trying to keep the end in sight.

Of course, she would deliver on the day we are expecting record lows!

If you want to see a few more pictures of him, check out Stacy's blog, "Just Horsin' Around' in the left sidebar.

Goode Family Christmas 2009: Part One

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, What Happiness Befalls Me...I love to see your green branches all decorated with ornaments from years past and presents brightly wrapped awaiting each boy and girl.
A Christmas sweet!
These two really do love each other!
And look at this happy little face, enjoying his first Christmas.
(It took us fifteen tries to keep him still long enough for a picture.
Most of the pictures are of the back of his head as he crawls away.)

What a beautiful present!
(Don't you just love the tutu that goes with her pajamas? I do!!!)

"Do you want a knuckle sandwich?"
(That wasn't what he was doing, but that is sure what this picture looks like.)

Our littlest Princess.
This was Brooke's favorite gift of the day. A tutu from Aunt Meagan, Uncle Derrick and Davin.

The two princesses pose for a portrait together.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Growing Up Razorback

The only thing that keeps this from being the "Perfect Goode Family Portrait" is the fact that at the last minute Brian was unable to join us for Christmas in Marion. A family all decked out in Razorback Red - Priceless!
Front row: Brooke Ham, Mary "Memaw" G., Bill "Poppy" G., Scott G., and Davin Rodgers. Second Row: Kelli G. Ham, Maddux Ham, Casey G., Sharon G., Fonda G., Brianne G., and Meagan G. Rodgers. Back Row: Matthew Ham, Paul G., Jim G., William G. and Derrick Rodgers.
Poppy is the ultimate Razorback fan...and his boys love their 'Hawgs' too!
See, we start them young! Even if their daddys' would have them in Texas Orange or Cougar Red, White and Blue...we are teaching them to call the Hogs. Davin can already "Woo, Pig, Soiee" with the best of them.
We had a great time at the Liberty Bowl. Even if it was COLD!!!! And I can't say that my Hogs won the game...only that they didn't lose it. Still, to have our first Razorback game be a bowl game that went into overtime was unforgettable. Maybe next year Arkansas could make it to the Alamo Bowl instead. I think it would be a little warmer!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To Every Thing There Is A Season

...and a time to every purpose under the heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

It is a fact of life that I think we all struggle with from time to time.

Just this past week, as I physically and mentally prepared for the end of 2009, I had three separate reminders of this truth.

First, I read a news article regarding the closing of Tavern On The Green in New York City's Central Park. I had read before that they were filing for bankruptcy (and the amount of the beef bill alone blew my mind). Yet, I still expected them to pull it out somehow...a last minute reprieve or something like that. The last meals would be served December 31st. Next week, the iconic items will be put up for auction.

In my mind, Tavern On The Green will always be a magical place. It is the place of our "Grandmas Snow Day" complete with snow angels and long walks through the winter wonderland. Our lunch, overlooking the topiary garden all dressed in white, was a wonderful gift from above.

A day or so later, Robin sent me an email about the sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco. When we were visiting last February, they were everywhere. Lounging on floating platforms and barking to beat the band. You could barely hear yourself think, they were so loud. It seems these sea lions have been in San Francisco since just after the earthquake of 1989.

Remember the 'World Series' earthquake in 1989? The Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants were getting ready to play the third game of the World Series when the 'quake hit, collapsing double-decker freeways and a 50' section of the Bay bridge.

It seems that just after that earthquake, the sea lions took up residence at Pier 39 and have been there for the twenty years that followed. In early November, record numbers were recorded at the pier...and yet, just after Thanksgiving they started leaving in droves. Last week only 10 remained.

Finally, last Tuesday evening, I stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up some reading material for our trip to the Memphis area. One of my favorite magazines to peruse is Today's Christian Woman. I have had subscriptions to it in the past...but lately, I have just been picking them up when I go into a bookstore. I picked up the latest edition and thought nothing of it. At bedtime, I took it to my room to leaf through before falling asleep. I hadn't noticed until then that it was the September/October issue. No big deal. I have had that happen to me several times in the pick up a magazine only to realize that it is actually an issue behind.

I have a bit of an OCD problem when it comes to magazines and books. I HAVE TO read every page ...first to last. That makes sense when it comes to books...except that I HAVE TO read every Forward, Acknowledgement, etc. IN ORDER! Needless to say, the Editors column is one of the first things that I read in any magazine. I was shocked and saddened to find that the issue I was holding in my hands was to be the last issue of Today's Christian Woman. (Yeah, all that reading, but I missed the bold "Final Issue" on the front cover!) This magazine has encouraged me and rebuked me (in a good way) for more of my adult years than I can count. Now it is to be no more.

It is with these things weighing on my mind that I closed out 2009. Not the best year...but certainly not the worst either. There was a part of me (the melancholy side, I guess - You know; my strong side) that didn't want to let go...that wanted to pout that things I had enjoyed would not be there to enjoy in the future.

But then, I was reminded by that Still, Small Voice that instead of pouting (which would do no good whatsoever at fixing any of it) I needed to be thankful for having the experiences in the first place. There is nothing to miss if I don't live my life day by day and enjoy the moments as they are given.

So, yeah, 2009 wasn't the greatest of years...but it was a year filled with special moments and unexpected surprises that deserve to be treasured. Even the things that I may take for granted as always being available to me to experience again should be appreciated...because there are no guarantees on that.

So, here is to remembering 2009 with fondness and gratitude...while experiencing each day of 2010 as it comes.

(And y'all are free to remind me of this post when I start complaining!)