1. I joined The Gym.
Really, that's what the gym in Oneonta is called: The Gym. I joined with a friend, and wheedled my way into a good deal via a long-term, prepaid, early-hours contract. I can't say I've lost any weight, but I feel in better shape. I'm getting to know my friend a lot better too, since we gab for about four hours a week more than we used to.
2. I thought I'd found a diamond.
People with a five-carat diamonds don't shop at Wal-Mart, I suppose, but I was momentarily dazed by the karmic thrill of it all. My mother lost her engagement ring stone over 40 years ago, and I imagined it had returned, with interest! Turned out to be only a cubic zirconia though, drat. Here is how you tell the difference. I couldn't read a newspaper through the CZ, and was already dreamily wondering how long the police would have to hold it before it was deemed unclaimed. The dot test worked like a charm, though. Like a big, balloon-bursting charm.
3. The garden refused to bend to my will. Again.
I had fun with the Zinnia experiment though. I got a late start, and Powdery Mildew crept in when we left town for a week. The grass got way out of control, as usual. Somehow I still managed to grow a few flowers to donate to Hospice. Maybe next year I will finally have my act together enough to get them there throughout the blooming season.
4. I won a major award.
Because I could remember the Alabama state bird, mammal, fossil, etc., when an emergency preparedness expert spoke to our wildflower group. OK, the award wasn't really all that major, but I basked in the egghead trivia glow anyway. Then a guy even more pointy-headed than me whined that my answer of "some kind of whale" to "What is the state dinosaur?" wasn't up to par. "The Basilosaurus cetoides is the state fossil, not dinosaur!" he moaned. I hugged my MRE and ran out of the meeting room.
5. We let Anatoli go. He'd developed a lump that we decided may have been from improper nutrition or insufficient sunlight. Since he was wild-born, we figured he'd fare better on his own. We saw an unusually high number of anoles this fall, but I was never sure if any of them were Anatoli.
6. I had to wait in line to vote!
There were all of four people in front of us when we arrived at our polling place. An elderly couple let us cut in front of them though, since the man was still searching his wallet for ID. There were a few local issues on the ballot so turnout was very high. The tallies from my precinct, not exactly what you'd call a democratic stronghold, included:
Obama 45, McCain 450
Figures 52, Sessions 442 (US Senate race)
Tag fee increase: Yes 59, No 392
Wet/Dry referendum: Yes (Wet): 226, No: 270
The ratios for the whole county were similar. I still haven't figured out how Vivian Figures, a State Senator from Mobile, received more votes than Obama. Most people in north Alabama weren't even familiar with her. I read that her budget was $22,000; the incumbent Sessions spent multi-millions. (I have loved her ever since I read that she was able to get the outdated, misogynistic Alabama State Senate dress code changed... the one that said women couldn't wear pant suits or slacks on the Senate floor!)
We needed the tag fee increase ($15), which would have gone strictly towards road maintenance. I had a feeling it wouldn't pass, but I was surprised at the resounding defeat.
I'm glad we stayed a dry county. I wouldn't mind alcohol sales in stores or restaurants, but didn't want a bar across the street from us. Rural counties don't have a lot of regulations, so it could have been a real possibility.
7. Alabama football, woohoo!
I had to say that before we play Auburn and