Monday, September 29, 2008

Update on Liam

You guessed it, this is Liam with the OSU Men's Basketball team, along with a mountain of stuffed animals (that's Liam in the middle--kinda looks like a scene from E.T.). I wish I had a great report for you, but Liam is still not doing well. I think he's holding out for the OU Football team. There is still some leakage from his kidney and his pancreas numbers are still way too high. I think Kathy said it was about 205 today and it needs to be 60. He's been throwing up a lot and has had to endure countless enemas, with no progress. He still has a feeding tube, which they had to move today--Ouch! They also drained his lungs again today. As you can imagine, after more than 3 weeks in the hospital, he is discouraged and depressed. His parents are trying to steer him into optimism, telling him to say, "I feel a little better today than I did yesterday." To which he answered, "But I don't feel better today." Poor little guy! Liam loves to read, and therefore has a massive vocabulary. He had the doctors cracking up today as they worked on him by saying things like, "this is making me feel disoriented" and "I feel a sensation....." He will probably come out of this with more knowledge of the human body and medicine than most college kids. Please continue to pray for him.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Favorite Phrases

Friday afternoon, I picked Jacob up from school. From the moment he saw me walking down the hall, all the way to the car, buckling up in the car seat, he was talking non-stop. He could hardly get a breath. I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the highway and he said, "Nana, you want me to shut my eyes til we get there?" I said, "sure." Two minutes later, he was in a sound sleep. Slept through getting out of the car seat, being carried around while getting a pillow and blanket, and being put down on my bed. Slept for two hours. Of course, it was one of the stories I told Neal when he got home and we had a good laugh. Yesterday, we worked outside all day, Neal mowing and me preparing the deck and starting the process of waterproofing it. Last night, Neal and Jeff were watching the football game and I laid down on the couch with Neal. I said, "you want me to shut my eyes til the game's over?" I think it's my new favorite saying.

Here are a couple others.

When the boys were little, around 3 and 5, we were driving along and hit a big chug hole. Jeffrey popped up from the back seat and said, "What the hall was that?" to which Jeremy immediately whipped his head back and forth between us to see if we were going to punish his little brother for the obscenity. To this day, Neal and I will occasionally use that same phrase. It just stuck.

Our Wisconsin friends' son gave us another. When Kyle was very young, maybe 3, he would make a statement and then end with "eeder" (either?) which changed the statement to a negative. It might have had something to do with a phrase made popular on SNL (the "good" years...80's). For instance..."that's hilarious--not!". But Kyle would say something like, "I like vegetables--eeder." It caught on, and made perfect sense to all of us who were in the circle. Thanks, Kyle, you were great entertainment.

So, is there a word or phrase that you've adopted from one of your kids or grandkids? I'd love to hear them. (Actually I just like getting comments on my blog, so I'm fishing.)

Friday, September 26, 2008


Liam remains in the hospital. Some days, he seems to be making progress. Yesterday, he had a rough day, with his numbers up again and more leaking from his kidney. He is such a trooper, though. On Tuesday, while I was visiting, he was being a typical 10 (almost 11) year old, banging his casted arms and his hard head against the railing of his bed and flopping one of his many (and I mean MANY) teddy bears around like he was delirious. His mom warned him that they'd put him in the psych ward if didn't quit. It just so happened that earlier that morning, he was visited by Jared, the Subway mogul, who was spreading the word about healthy eating to the children at the hospital. We even got to see Liam and Jared on the Channel 6 news at noon. He ate a cup of fruit that Jared brought and as of the time I left, he had been able to keep it down....a first since the accident almost 3 weeks ago. Several days ago, the OSU Girls Basketball team paid him a visit. Can't complain about that! Kendria, who goes to church with me, works with OSU and volunteers for the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign. She was kind enough to send some of the pictures taken of Liam with the basketball team. As Kendria said, you can hardly tell Liam from the teddy bear....he's just so darned cute!

Another Friday Night's Friday-Out-to-Dinner-Night again. Tonight there are 11 head of cattle in all, grazing to their little ole hearts' content. So why am I eating leftovers? Doesn't seem quite fair.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dinner with Jacob

Last night, Jeremy and his family came over so that Jeremy could do some target practicing with his bow. Neal has constructed a wall of hay bales around the target since he's already lost 2 arrows. Of course, once in awhile Mr. Blackbull rearranges the stacks. I was cooking dinner, between reading bits and pieces of The Rainbow Fish (mainly on the scary Octopus page) to Lauren and helping Jacob set up his cowboys and horses. When Jacob decided to come help me in the kitchen, he noticed there were only three placemats on the table. He insisted that we ALL have placemats, so I put him to work setting the table. Oh, what a great helper he was! After placing all the plates, napkins and silverware, he saw a package of pretzels in my open cupboard and decided that he would put a handful in each plate. Nice side dish to our dinner of barbecue meatballs, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and bread and butter, don't you think? Neal was running a bit late and since Wednesday night is church night, we had to start without him. Once we were all at the table, Jacob said, "Guys, we hafta pray!" Oh yeah, I knew that. So we all bowed our heads and Jacob sang this precious song: (to the tune of Frerer Jacques or Are You Sleeping for those of you who aren't familiar with the French version)
God is thank you
God is thank you
For our food
For our food
God is berry thank you
God is berry thank you
God is good
God is good.

Oh, be still my heart. It was so sweet. *sigh*

When Neal drove up, Jacob rushed to fill Papa's plate, putting spoonfuls of each dish on his plate for him. During dinner, Jacob kept us entertained with his stories. He had been running a temperature the day before and didn't go to school yesterday. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I couldn't open my eyes," and began demonstrating how he tried to open them, and they just stayed shut. Then he told us about how he'd had diarrhea and the toilet wouldn't flush, and the water and poop just kept coming up and up and they were all gonna die, but Daddy got that orange thing and put it in the toilet and then the water went down and they didn't die. It was a lovely dinner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Go Yankees!

As I mentioned before, Jeremy and Trista went to New York City recently. Jeremy has been a Yankee fanatic as long as I can remember. While some dream of traveling abroad, or a trip to Hawaii, Jeremy's long-time desire has been to go to Yankee Stadium and watch his beloved team play at home. Time was running out. Sunday was the last day to play in "The House that Ruth Built."
They stayed at the Grand Hyatt, right at Grand Central Station with a view of Central Park. What a wonderful experience and great memories they will have, despite the fact that Trista's luggage was lost and not returned to her until four days after they returned home!

View from their seats.

Jeremy got to witness Derek Jeter get his 1,269th hit in Yankee Stadium, tying Lou Gehrig's record. You can also see the marquis, where in the 3rd inning it said, "Welcome to Yankee Stadium, Jeremy & Trista Blevins." Of course, there was too much to take in and they missed seeing it!!!

On the subway.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Chase Is On!

Saturday evening, after our glorious day in Edmond surrounded by beautiful and affluent city-dwellers...bankers, educators, know....people who don't have to scrape manure off their boots before entering their back doors, we returned home to find our new homesteaders grazing peacefully in the deer plot. Our new strategy was to chase them down in the 4-wheeler Cadet and push them down the trail from whence they came. Sort of a modern-day, motorized cattle drive. We revved up the Cadet and Neal opened her up as we sped what seemed like 70 mph, straight for the bulls. The bulls were slow to catch on and Neal had to slam on the brakes to keep from running smack dab into the stationary bovines. They finally got the hint and high-tailed it West. I managed to snap a few photos as we bounced along the bumpy terrain, around the pond, through limbs smacking me in the face.

This is Mr. Blackbull

We call this one Red Bull
(does that mean he has more ENERGY?)

Stubborn fellas.

They finally headed down the trail, after trying to split up and outwit us several times. But this morning, we woke up to find them in the barn lean-to, Red Bull enjoying the salt lick, and Mr. Blackbull bedded down.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dobson Field Dedication

We spent the day today at our Alma Mater, Oklahoma Christian, to be a part of the dedication of Dobson Field. Max Dobson was head baseball coach for many years at OC, including the years that Neal played baseball. You never know how many will attend this kind of event and Neal took several weeks to decide if he could pull himself away from work. But in the end, he decided to go, and we had an absolutely fabulous day. The new field is not completed, but the center stands were done and were filled to capacity. As you can see by the picture, there were plenty of old-timers there to play a scrimmage in the morning, and they managed to get through it without any pulled muscles, torn ligaments or stawberries. They fed us lunch, then we returned to the field for the dedication ceremonies. Afterwards, the 2008-2009 team played an inter-squad scrimmage. It was great to see so many old friends and we made that lame promise again that we wouldn't wait so long to get together again.
Alumni Players

In the Dugout
Neal and Max Dobson
Old Teammates
Bruce Talon, Tony Collier, Kris White, Norm Easter, Neal, Alan Hoffines
(Neal's the good-lookin' one.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Night is Out-to-Dinner Night

USUALLY, Friday night we go out to eat. But since we're trying to save money as well as watch waistlines, I cooked dinner again tonight. While at the table, Neal asked if I'd seen "the bull" today. I admitted that I hadn't really looked, but hadn't noticed any sign (if ya know what I mean). He mentioned putting his NEW (did I mention we're trying to save money?) deer feeder together and I advised him that it probably was a bad idea until we knew for sure Mr. Blackbull was gone for good. When we finished eating, we went out back to see if the deer were feeding and if they were being joined by Mr. Blackbull. Whoa, Nelly! Not only was HE back, but apparently he had brought his friends and family--seven in all. Neal has planted all sorts of good stuff for the deer to eat...rye, clover, chickory, etc. and I guess the bull thought it would be a nice treat for the herd, it being Friday night and all.


I went to the hospital yesterday to check on my cousin's 10 yr. old son, Liam. Here's the story. The little daredevil tree-climber fell a from a very tall tree almost two weeks ago. Injuries include two broken arms, ruptured kidney, lacerated spleen and damaged pancreas. His surgeon is the same doctor that did Jacob's surgery over three and a half years ago. (We loved her, and so do they.) On Wednesday, his lungs were filling with fluid. Not good. Still unable, and with the discovery of pancreas damage, not allowed to eat. Pain meds every two hours. Critical situation. Yesterday, when I walked into his room, I was amazed to find him sitting up in bed, alert, and even a smile on his face. Talk about night and day! I took lunch to Dan, Kathy and my Aunt Kay and although Liam had not had any desire to eat since the accident, the aroma of the Arby's curly fries flipped a switch and he REALLY wanted some fries. Good sign, but....way to go Lita! We give thanks to God for every day that Liam gets better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Might Be a Redneck If..........

Last night as we were sitting at the dinner table I noticed that Neal was being very quiet and seemed upset. I asked, "Honey, is something wrong?" With his head hanging down he announced, "my fee-der-broke." To which I said, "Your feet are broke?"He looked me in the eye and repeated, "my fee-der-broke." Again, "Your feet are broke?" NOOOOO. MY FEEDER BROKE!" "OH.........your deer feeder?" Yeah. Well, that shor 'nuf explains yer feelin' low.Now that's what I call BROKE! What in tarnation could've dun that much damage? This calls fer some pokin' around. (Here's where yer gonna git a lesson in poop.) Ya see deer poop looks like this:

Like a pile o' black beans. Now here is what we found out by the deer feeder, I mean the broke deer feeder:Now that's either one monster buck, or we got us a cow problem.

Or should I say, a BULL problem. He was back taday! As you can see from the blurry picture, I was keepin' my distance, tryin' ta zoom in and keep the camera still 'nuf ta focus. I shor 'nuf didn't want him ta start chargin' and hafta run thru the briars and brambles in my crocs and OU shorts! When Neal got home from his day job, we went chasin' the bull and I got some better pics.

Yeah...he looked straight at me and I was still able to snap this shot. Anyone missin' a bull?

What's Wrong with this Picture?

I need agricultural advice. Carolyn, I expect your input. My grape tomatoes are beautiful and delicious. However, my other tomatoes, obviously "bursting with flavor," are not very pleasing to the eye. What is causing them to split? I'm anxiously awaiting your comments.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Last night was our night to spend with the kiddos. My job was to get them up and ready for school and the babysitter this morning. Somehow I also got the privilege of picking up the twins--Piercen and Baylor--and getting them all to school by 8:00, which is usually about the time I'm finishing my first cup of java. Jacob was excited to have us spend the night with him and insisted that I sleep with him (the child with Restless Leg Syndrome), leaving the gigantic king-size bed in the master bedroom for Neal. Hope he slept well.

When we've been with the kids for a 24-hour period of time, there are usually some memorable conversations. But with my memory, I must write them here, or next week I'll have forgotten.

Jacob has observed lately that Neal doesn't have any hair. Jacob: "Papa, you don't got any hair." Neal: "I don't? Where'd it go?" Jacob: "I don't know!" This last week Neal began growing his hair out again.

Lauren has been calling me "Nina" lately. I guess it's a combination of "Lita" and "Nana." She really talks well for a not-yet-2 yr. old. "Nina, what you doing?" "I'm brushing my teeth." "Bwushing you teef? Ohhh-kayyyy." She wanted to draw in Jacob's marker book yesterday.

She was still wearing the outfit (minus the skirt) that she'd worn to church. I really did consider removing it, or covering it up with another shirt, but I had gotten some of the marker on my hand and it had wiped right off, like it does on the page. When we put the book away, I noticed several places on her shirt and tights that had nice, bright blue markings. *GASP* She looked down on it and whispered, "oh my gosh!!!" I immediately treated and washed the shirt, but to no avail. Sorry, Trista. Seems like every time I have the kids, clothes get ruined.

Jacob went out in the Cadet with Neal to do some work around the place. Several limbs had fallen due to the wind from Hurricane Ike. When they came back, Neal had shot a couple of doves, which delighted Jacob. One of them was still blinking and opening and closing his little bill, like he was saying, "help me, help me, I'm still breathing." It might give me nightmares. Speaking of which, Jacob told me about a dream he had where a scorpion with claws was knocking on his window. I didn't know 4 yr. olds could remember their dreams. Later in the evening, the deer had come up to feed and we tiptoed out to watch them over the pool fence. While we were admiring them, Jacob said, "I want to shoot one." He is soooo Blevins.
Before we left to go to their place, Neal decided he'd had enough of people commenting on his gray hair. So Jacob had the honor of shaving his head. But he did tell Papa that he liked his beard.

While still in the bathroom, Jacob applied some of Neal's cologne with one of my make-up sponges. While he was playing with it, the sponge tore in half. "Oh, no. I ALWAYS tear things up." Earlier, he had spilled something and remarked, "I ALWAYS make a mess." Then after bath that night I started to dry him off before he got out of the tub. He said, "You have to get me out to dry me, on the rug." I said, "Oh, okay, my fault." He said, "It's not your faut, Nana, it's my faut." Whoa. Gotta work on those self-esteem issues.

Most of the time the two siblings get along pretty well. But occasionally there's a little conflict. Jacob came sobbing to me that "Sissy told me, NO." I comforted him, knowing that he was probably starting to really miss Mommy and Daddy. Later he gave me a huge hug and said, "I LOVE you, Nana. Sissy made my feelings hurt."

Jacob was really excited this morning that we were going to pick up Pierce and Baylor. All the way to school Pierce and Jacob goofed off and laughed and made faces and wierd noises. It's so much fun to watch them interact. Once at school I had three kids to unbuckle and don backpacks, so by the time Baylor was out and ready, Pierce and Jacob were already to the door without so much as a wave good-bye. So I just hugged Baylor and told her to have a good day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Morning Circus

With Jeremy & Trista in NYC for a few days, our grand parental duty started this morning. It seems like only yesterday that we were wrestling J & J on a church pew, but somehow I had forgotten how little time is spent worshiping and how much time is spent corralling the kids. Being the planner and organizer that I am, I packed a bag last night with coloring books, stickers, paper, crayons, etc. and even wrote the contribution check so that I would have it ready to tear out and drop in the plate. We were either very brave or very naive by choosing to sit in our regular pew, just a few rows from the front. As we were standing and singing the second of three "stand-up" songs, I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye a blond head peeking out from under the pew in front of us. Neal had noticed at the same time and in unison we each extended our right forefingers and gestured to "come back." Jacob had brought some of his matchbox cars that kept him relatively occupied and Lauren kept busy coloring and writing on the attendance cards from both our pew and the pew behind us (she can be sneaky). Communion time. Uh oh. Miss Prepared forgot to pack any snacks, and at the passing of the bread, both kids were suddenly starving. Papa made a trip to the kitchen to retrieve cookies. Meanwhile, I searched my purse frantically for the check I had so painstakingly prepared the night before, and finally gave in to the fact that I had left it sitting on the kitchen table. Sometimes I think I try too hard. After communion and contribution, I happened to notice that the attendance card that Neal had filled out was still sitting at the end of the pew. Now, I did put a card in the plate when it was passed (in lieu of actual contribution) but I don't think it will be legible. Papa tried taking Jacob to Children's Bible Hour, but no such luck. No big deal...they'll be fine. Shortly into the sermon Lauren decided to start a game of rocking forward on my lap, then leaning back and sticking her pink-tighted legs and black patent leathered feet high into the air and practicing her scissor kick. I'm sure the rest of the congregation were getting quite a show. Midway through the sermon Lauren became restless and after whispering to her several times that we would be leaving soon and go eat pizza, I decided to take her out to change her diaper. Walking up the aisle that was much longer than I remembered, she bellowed out, "OHHHH-KAYYYY!" Snickers were heard throughout the auditorium. I went into the nursery and began changing her when one of the nursery attendants informed me that I had not one, but two spaceship stickers on my toes. Ohhhh, I love and admire and sympathize with all the young mothers out there.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Come Home George!

It's been over a month now since we last saw George. One morning, Neal found Gracie in the front yard and Otis inside the pool fence, but no trace of our "special needs" basset. Gracie has been in mourning and I'm sure she thinks we acquired Otis with the intentions of getting rid of her best friend. Otis has tried his darndest to win her approval, but Gracie remains aloof. We now know for certain who the escape artist was, as there have been no prison breaks since George's disappearance. Meanwhile, Otis' "for-real" owner seems to have forgotten that he asked us to dog-sit for "a few days." He has become a permanent resident at the Blevins' Farm. The "for-real" owner may be shocked if he ever does come to reclaim his paper-carrying, registered Basset Hound and find that we've had him "fixed." So much for stud fees.

We've pretty much given up hope of ever seeing George again, but if you happen to come across a tri-colored, un-fixed, male basset with a prominent underbite, give us a shout. Gracie will be much obliged.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lazy Lita

Sometimes you just have to take a whole day to do nothing. Rainy days are the best. Today was one of those days. Don't get me wrong, I can make a list of things I DID do today, albeit the list is very short.
1. I made coffee this morning before sitting down to my BSF Bible study. Actually that should've been listed as TWO things.
2. I checked my email and Facebook.
3. I played Word Twist and Pathwords on Facebook.
4. I watched two episodes of Lost, Season 2, Disc 4.
5. I called my Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday...left him a voicemail.
6. I did a load of laundry (Neal's jeans--if I'm gonna do ANYTHING, I want Neal to notice).
7. I vacuumed the bedroom and living room.
8. I sorta watched the Spanish version of the Discovery Channel.
9. I cooked supper for my hardworking husband. (Fried catfish, black-eyed peas and cornbread, fried okra and sliced tomatoes out of my garden.)
10. The "rest of the day" I was engrossed in a blog Janell introduced to me. I'm telling you, once you start reading, you can't stop! Maybe I'm especially interested since her story isn't too different from mine--City Girl turned Ranch Wife. This woman is amazing. Fantastic writer, fabulous cook, gardener, photographer, etc., etc. What is even more amazing is that she lives in Pawnee!!! Who knew? I spent most of the afternoon reading, laughing and crying. Better than a good book, 'cause it never ends. You may want to check it out -- She is also writing a cookbook to be published soon.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Jacob started Pre-K exactly 2 weeks ago today. Hard to believe he's getting so big. In general, he likes school, likes his teacher, and his teacher likes him. But I think he'd still rather just go to Nana's house, which Carolyn attributes to the fact that his teacher probably doesn't feed him Trix while he watches Spongebob. Only 2 weeks and already he is "learning." The other day he walked into his bedroom and saw his drum set knocked over, to which he exclaimed, "What the h__ll?"...parents' mouths agape in disbelief..."What the h__ll happened to my drums?" Oh, their little brains are just like sponges, aren't they?

Big D

I returned home last night from a girls-only weekend in Dallas. One of my long-time BFFs, Janell, is now working with and has become good friends with my former sister-in-law and forever friend, Mary Ann. Hence, they have also become BFFs. So the three of us took a break from our real lives and headed to Big D for food, fun and shopping. On Saturday we were joined by another of Mary Ann's friends, Leigh, who rounded out our foursome. Janell, who lived in Dallas several years, introduced us to IKEA. Yeah...that's what I'm talkin' about! I think we spent four hours there! We really need one in Sand Springs (the old Walmart/Cheapo Depo building is my suggestion) or even somewhere in Tulsa or OKC would be fine. Leigh had to return to Wichita Falls Saturday night and the rest of us stayed up talking way past my bedtime. But here we are on Sunday morning, rested and refreshed...

If we can't have an IKEA, my next suggestion is "Sprouts". That's where we went on Sunday, much to Janell's delight and my reluctance. We came to Dallas to go to a grocery store? Really? But I did like Sprouts and even bought some walnuts and almonds for Neal and a basil plant for myself.
Today is catch-up day. This morning I vacuumed the pool since I'm closing it tomorrow. I also took an unplanned, unexpected, unintentional last dip in the pool. That pole and vacuum can get away from you fast! Gotta go get my drenched clothes out of the dryer now! Stay tuned for pics of Jacob's first day of school.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Weekend Adventure

This was the first Labor Day weekend in years that I haven't either gone to Kemah, TX or picked Neal up at the airport for a short hiatus at home. Janet and I had discussed the possibility of going know, actually taking the 5th wheel out for it's original intent and purpose. Neal mentioned that he was thinking of going out west to mow the 40 acres that's in CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). Now, getting Neal to actually make definite "plans" is like trying to nail jello to the wall. I'm usually the planner and organizer and he dutifully follows along. But this time, I decided to leave everything up to him. That was my first mistake. By the time he was ready to start making decisions, it was too late to try to get a camping spot and the Richardson's had made other plans. Okay, I guess it's a good time to head west. Even though my uncle has more John Deers than Old MacDonald, Neal insisted on loading his baby on the trailer and hauling it down I-40. I took along my Spanish CD and planned on doing some practicing and then having a nice siesta on the road. We had barely made it to the turnpike, when the airconditioning changed to heat. That meant open windows, hair-in-the-face, hot & sweaty, and the desperate need for earplugs. By OKC I was in dire need of el agua and managed to yell loud enough to let Neal know that I needed to stop. As we passed El Reno, with parched lips I reminded Neal of my request. We finally pulled over at Weatherford where I bought a large bottle of water and lingered in the airconditioned store as long as Neal would allow. Meanwhile, not only had we not secured a place to stay the night (usually at my cousin Carolyn's, who was away for the weekend) but we really didn't know the regulations for mowing, since it's in a government program. Minor details. We reached our property around 6:30 p.m. and I helped Neal unload the tractor...which looked more like a riding lawn mower on the acreage. I got back in the truck and commenced extracting the cuckleburrs/goatheads/stickers (whatever you like to call them) out of my Old Navy flip flops. The evening air was relatively cool, so I sat with the windows open while reviewing my Spanish. It wasn't long before the ginormous mosquitoes began their attack. I fought a losing battle and finally closed the windows and killed off the last sucker (literally) when Neal came and opened the door (I can't even remember why) letting in a dozen more. I continued to swat until it was too dark for Neal to see to mow. My uncle and aunt gave us shelter for the night, as well as sausage, biscuits & gravy for breakfast, and a huge delicious, farm grown meal for lunch yesterday. In the meantime we started checking around for details about the regulations for CRP. Aunt Don asked if we'd looked it up in the handbook. Handbook? I guess since the acreage was already in CRP when we acquired it, the handbook was lost somewhere in the shuffle. I remembered getting a notice last year that we would have to mow, and when I called to inquire, I was told we had two years to do it. I thought that was sufficient. Not so. After several phone calls to those "in-the-know" we concluded that we could only mow from November to March. Hmmm. Hope they don't notice those strips Neal cut Sunday night. The trip home last night was slightly better than previous. The airconditioning worked long enough for me to get a short nap, then back to the open windows. Neal did some dove hunting and I got to visit with my aunt, uncle and cousin (who returned on Monday), so the weekend wasn't a total loss. And I learned a valuable lesson--not to leave the planning up to Neal.