Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chamberlain St. Update

The temperature in Dallas has reached triple digits for the 26th consecutive day, and is expected to continue well into next week. It feels as though the flames of hell are licking at my feet when I walk outside. I've always said there is a reason God chose the heat with which to threaten mankind. Notice he didn't choose ice or snow as a deterrent. 

Anyway, what was my point? Sorry, the heat zaps what little thought process taking place inside my head. Oh! Just that I haven't been able to get out with my camera as much as I'd like, but I was curious as to the situation on Chamberlain St. and their exploding heron population, so I went to check it out. 

First, I stopped at a nearby pond because I noticed a different looking heron with wonderful charcoal gray markings. See him? It's a juvenile Little Blue Heron. Did you know baby Little Blues are solid white? As they mature, they start showing more blue. This young'un is about nine months old or so.

One of these birds is not like the others. Does anyone know why the Little Blue Heron has white vertical stripes? Is it the water reflection?
Arriving on Chamberlain St. my eyes began to burn as soon as I emerged from my car. The smell is more horrific than ever with this ridiculous heat. The street is noticeably absent of vehicles parked in front of the homes for obvious reasons, and no humans could be seen or heard. I parked my car at the end of the street to avoid an unsightly mess and walked. More like trudged, at the same time praying I wouldn't pass out and die on this godforsaken street. Looking up, I tried to remember to breathe through my nose and keep my lips closed. Didn't want any "deposits" ending up in my mouth. Next time I really need to be prepared with a face mask. Or oxygen tank.

An explosion of fledglings, among other things, are evident.

Who knew tons of bird poop could resemble a light dusting of snow?
After Chamberlain St. I needed to clear my head, so I drove to a nearby nature preserve. The drought is really taking its toll. I wish I had thought to take more photos of these deep crevices in the earth.

How anything is living in this heat is a mystery to me.
Credit: Kim Klassen's Dream texture

Oops, how did this end up in here? Tee hee. Played around with Coffee Shop's new Vintage Frame 14 action. Love it! But I was treated for third degree burns on my arm after posing for this shot. Not really; sometimes I like to exaggerate.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My new baby!

I want to begin this post by telling you that I'm not a status-conscious person, obsessed with owning expensive toys...unless we're talking photography. That's a whole other ball game. Other than that, I'm a simple girl with simple tastes. But I must admit, when my good friend Les—who has sold us our last 5 vehicles—assured me that I would fall in love with this car after I'd pretty much settled on a 2008 Volkswagen Beetle, I thought, pfffttt, no way. Well, people, when I'm wrong I admit it. The 325i is pretty farkin' amazing in every way. It is L-O-A-D-E-D. Although it's 5 years old, it looks and drives like a brand new car, and is definitely an upgrade for me. This beauty replaces a 2000 Honda CRV that was pretty plain Jane with 107,000 miles and an air conditioner that was ready to conk out any day. I couldn't have that, not in this heat wave. It was time. The writing was on the wall.
Processed with Shadowhouse Creations' new Postcard series
Double D took this of me standing in front of our house. Gee, I thought I was doing good on my diet, but looks like I need to drop another 20. Note to self: no more sleeveless shirts! :/
Stay tuned for some BIG news happening in my life in the next several weeks! Ciao for now, my friends!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photos and Google+ plus Spotify=Awesomeness

Here are some photos I took while in Baton Rouge. I really didn't get out much, but I kinda liked these.

Now for the awesome stuff:

I am on Google+ and really liking it. It does what Facebook cannot seem to do easily (at least not when I was on there) in that I can post status updates targeting a specific group of people, or what Google+ calls Circles. It's so much cleaner and cooler than FB. At least to me! If you would like an invitation, send me an email, dixon.gail (at) (remove spaces and replace (at) with @ symbol). 

I am also loving the new music service called Spotify. I'm listening to some of my favorite music while I'm writing this post. Yes, I can do the same with iTunes, but with Spotify I can locate music I don't actually own and play it until my heart's content. It does a lot of other cool stuff, too, but I'll shut my yap and let you check it out for yourself. Unfortunately, sign up is by invitation only at this time and I don't have any invites to give out! I got mine by begging and panhandling on Twitter. :) Hopefully, they'll open it up to everyone soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lake Sherwood Village Lit A Fire Under My Mom

Another whirlwind visit to Cajun Country is over. I must say, it was one of the better visits. I only had two goals: get my mom to the neurologist appointment and visit an assisted living center. Well, cher, I did that and so much more.

On my arrival I met up with my freshly "doodied up" mom and Aunt Yvonne. They had just come from the beauty shop, so when I saw how cute they looked I told them they needed to be shown off. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Zoe's Kitchen, all of us ordering Zoe's famous chicken salad with fresh fruit.

Once back at my mom's apartment it took about an hour for cabin fever to strike. And after an entire afternoon and evening watching the mind-numbing Hallmark Channel and Lawrence Welk, I knew I couldn't last much longer, so the next day I asked her if she wanted to go check out Lakes of Sherwood Village. She told me to go ahead, that she had too much excitement yesterday, what with getting her hair did and all. (She doesn't talk like that, I'm just being silly). She told me to go check it out and come back with as much info as possible.

Like an undercover detective I apprehensively entered the main entrance to the retirement center. I think I was secretly hoping to find some misdeed or filth or something negative so I could go back and tell her there is no way she's going to a place like that! But it was surprisingly grand, decorated like a nice hotel. Bingo numbers were being called in the distance so I followed the sounds until I found a beautifully appointed room filled with a rather sophisticated group of elderly souls sitting alertly at tables, engrossed in their game. I observed them until I heard a faint "BINGO!"

Several things caught my attention:
~no unpleasant odors
~no drooling or incoherent patients
~friendly staff
~friendly residents
~clean carpets and furnishings
~beautiful lake views
~Catholic mass and novenas

Lake Sherwood

I went back and reported the findings to my mom, complete with video. She began to cry. She sobbed, actually. I assured her that this was just Plan Z, much later down the road, that she wasn't going to move there today or next week or even next month.

After that, my mom changed. The next day she had several things on her list of errands that I normally do by myself. This time she wanted to do them WITH me. We went to the bank, then we got pedicures together, and finally shopping at Steinmart. Usually my mom can only do one thing per day because of her Parkinson's, so I wasn't surprised when she got halfway into Steinmart and said she'd had enough. But I praised her to the heavens! Mom! Look at all you did today!! I'm so proud of you!!!!

We did even more the next day, including a visit back to the dreaded retirement home, which she was very impressed with, by the way. On my last day there she ran out of gas, yet still felt good. She admitted to me that the idea of moving into an assisted living facility is what got her butt in gear. Ha! My mom still has fight left in her. I didn't realize I was putting her feet to the fire when I instigated the retirement home idea. Whatever it takes. I'm super encouraged seeing my mom not give up and fight to get her life back.

I'm still toying with the idea of moving back home to be near her. I asked God for a sign on what to do about that and seeing her perk up during my visit definitely seemed like a sign.

That's all for now! More posts to come if I can get my own rear in gear. Please know that I am visiting blogs and leaving comments where I can, but my Google Reader overwhelmed me on my return. You all have been busy!

Oh! One more thing: y'all know how fleur de lis is my thing; well, Louisiana's state symbol is the fleur de lis, so it is sold everywhere! I went to the shoe store and look what I had to have! Later gators!