Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Tour of Homes

As usual, I am late for the blog party... but I will play along anyways. Welcome to the "Living with a Labradoodle" household and all it's Christmas decorations!

I hope you arrive at night so you can see the front yard in all of it's glory. It really does qualify for "The Tacky Light Tour" but I enjoy it. :-)

The snow globe is having some condensation problems... so in case you can't tell that's Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Let's go inside...

When you first come in the front door, you will see a small table filled a little village. Next to it on the floor is a Christmas tree that I painted a few years ago and a stuffed Snowman from the Hallmark store.

I have placed house ornaments and some of my favorite car ornaments on the table... along with a few other ornaments that didn't have a good spot. One of my favorite houses is this one that I have dubbed "The Tacky Light Christmas Tour House." It lights up and plays various Christmas songs.

As you make your way past the front door, you will likely notice the fireplace.

It is covered in singing Snowman and has a stocking carefully hung for both Brun and I. On the hearth are some glass blocks filled with lights that I made last year. Just to the right of the fireplace is a cool card display that my mom got for me this year.

If you try to sit on the couch to enjoy a little TV, you won't have much of a place to prop you feet. The coffee table is covered in decorations as well.

Need a snack? Well I haven't had time to prepare anything for you, but if you make your way into the kitchen you are welcome to ohh and ahh over my dying poinsettias and the gingerbread house that my roommate and I made Thanksgiving night. The poinsettias are not long for this world but I do think the gingerbread house turned out quite well.

The next to last stop on this event is a bit unusual.

Years ago, my grandfather built this covered bridge. He was a Civil Engineer and loved the covered bridges of Alabama. This is a perfect scale model of one of the bridges here in Alabama. Well when we were cleaning out my grandparent's house this was one of the few things that I really, truly wanted. It sits on the top of the bookshelf all year round, but I think it is such a neat piece and so this year I made it a part of my Christmas decorations.

The last stop is the main event... the Christmas tree.

This year I actually had time to get all of my ornaments on the tree. I am very particular about the tree. I only allow Hallmark ornaments on the tree and they all have special places where thy have to go. Ornaments that have wings, involve space travel or are meant to be in the sky must go at the top of the tree.

Ornaments that have wheels or are meant to travel on land or water in some way must go at the bottom of the tree.

Then my favorite ornaments go on the front middle. These are primarily the dog picture ornaments as well as some Snoopy and Pooh ornaments.

Thanks for joining me on the tour. Be careful as you leave. Brun likes to sleep with his head under the tree.... so try not to wake him.

I hope you all enjoyed the tour of our house. Thanks to BooMama for hosting such a great event! I can't wait to come and see all of your decorations!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas blog

Most everyone posted this awhile back... but I thought I would join in the fun.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping paper... a bag might sneak in every once in awhile for one of those oddly shaped gifts but I love wrapping presents in lots of pretty paper.

2. Real tree or artificial? Always artificial... I am allergic to the real.

3. When do you put up the tree? I used to be a strict purist and refused to put it up until the day after Thanksgiving but now I have changed to closer to the first of November... I know it's too early for most but I want to enjoy the decorations longer. And besides... with being gone for 12 days in a row, if I don't put it up early it won't get up at all.

4. When do you take the tree down? I try to get it down by the first of the year.

5. Do you like eggnog? No

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I can't remember one specific one... there were lots of good ones. Santa always did a good job of bringing exactly what we asked for and more. One year there was a Walkman, one year a Barbie Dream House, an American girl doll, a bike... lots of good stuff.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? No

8. Hardest person to buy for? My parents or Leslie... they all have everything they need and buy the things that they want. :-)

9. Easiest person to buy for? Maybe I just put too much thought into people's gifts but I can't think of anyone that is an easy buy.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? As much as I loved my grandmother she tended to give some bad gifts.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I don't like a lot of the traditional Christmas movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" but I love a lot of the trite and predictable Christmas movies on channels like ABC Family and the Hallmark Channel. I have been filling my Tivo with them the past couple of weeks. They are great to watch when you are wrapping presents and things like that.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Summer... whenever I find the "right" gift for someone.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably but I can't think of one off hand

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mocha Squares... I will post the recipe sometime this season.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear... but I really do love colored ones.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I have four Christmas albums that I love. Either of my two Harry Connick Jr. Christmas albums, my Kenny Chesney Christmas album and my Jimmy Buffett Christmas album. I have all four of them on repeat. I also love the XM Christmas channels.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Go to my parents part of the time and stay at my house part of the time

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A Santa with angel wings from Hallmark

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Traffic!

23. What I love most about Christmas? Seeing everyone, giving fun gifts, the pretty decorations ...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Wedding

I am not a big fan of big, fancy weddings. Personally, I think people should elope and save the money for something more practical. But I realize that that is my viewpoint... and others see it differently. My roommate (now former roommate) Stacy is one of those people. Ever since Stacy and Josh got engaged this summer, it has been a non-stop wedding planning extravaganza around here. Well last weekend, everything all came to fruition in a beautiful, fairytale wedding. If you will, allow me a moment of nostalgia. Stacy has been my roommate for the past three and a half years and is really the only roommate I have ever had (that wasn't a family member). You could not ask for a better roommate. She is a sweet person who never has a bad thing to say about anyone. She loved Winston and she loves Brun like her own. The house won't be the same without her. Stacy came to be my roommate when she moved to Alabama from Tennessee to be near Josh. In fact, if it weren't for Josh I don't think that Stacy and I would have ever crossed paths.

I have known Josh for the better part of ten years, first through church, next through graduate school and then when we bought houses two doors apart from each other four years ago. We have become good friends over the years... particularly over the past six years or so, through good times and bad times in our lives. We went through the MBA program together, worked on group projects together, even took dancing lessons together when it was required for one of our classes in graduate school... and he has been one of the best guy friends that I have. We may not always see eye to eye on things but he is a great friend. He has always been a good person to bounce ideas off of, to get help with school work on, to go to lunch with and to discuss church and religious issues with. When Stacy was looking to move to town to get closer to Josh, my house (two houses away) was a perfect fit for all three of us.

When Josh FINALLY proposed in Italy this summer (after they had dated for over four years)... I knew that things were about to change. I don't think it really hit me until last weekend how much things were going to change. The house is quieter and the neighborhood won't be the same without them. And while I am very happy for them and their future together, I am going to miss them both a lot.

Enough with the nostalgia... on with the pictures. :-)

Last Friday (Dec. 7) my parents and I headed to the Knoxville area. We made it just in time to check into the hotel and allow me to head to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It was good to see a lot of people, including Josh's friends and families, many of whom I had not seen in quite some time. The rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner went without incident and everyone was ready for the big day. I sat with the ring bearer, his mom and her boyfriend. Here is a picture of the ringbearer... what a doll!

Saturday we awoke to dreary but warm skies and a persistent drizzle that lasted most of the day. Stacy picked me up from the hotel around 9:30 that morning and it was off to the chapel/bed and breakfast where the wedding was to be held. We spent the morning getting ready. The ring bearers mom is a great hair dresser, so she did most everyones hair and makeup. Notice the white jacket thing Stacy is wearing... I embroidered her new name and wedding date on it. You can't really see it too well but I thought it turned out really cute. I also made her veil and her garter (with some help from my mom). Who knew I had these skills!! Not me, that's for sure.

Things were going okay... and then the first crisis (if you don't count the rain) hit around 11 AM. Stacy had her dress on and was getting ready to have portraits taken. At that point we realized there was a big problem. When they hemmed Stacy's dress they hemmed the dress correctly but all of the under layers were just kind of gathered up near the waste and were sticking out and causing a line to show through the dress. I don't know how to explain it... but it looked bad. So without her taking off the dress, all of the bridesmaids and the others that were there held the dress up while we investigated the six thousand layers of tulle and satiny stuff under there. We couldn't get the gathered fabric to lay down on their own. Tape was attempted... but failed miserably... and I had a thought. I found the wedding coordinator and asked her for needle and thread. I used my rudimentary sewing skills to tack the gathered fabric down to the six thousand layers of tulle and satin. I did this while Stacy was still wearing the dress and while the other bridesmaids held up the dress. Everyone (including Stacy) stayed amazingly calm. I stabbed myself a few times but it worked perfectly! At some point I became worried I might have tacked it to her slip... but she didn't care... she just wanted it fixed for all of the pictures and ceremony... and that was accomplished.

At that point pictures continued and the time for the wedding finally arrived. I was the last bridesmaid to walk down the aisle and as I walked towards the front, everyone was crying... including Josh. I didn't have any problem holding it together... until the next crisis. Right before Stacy was supposed to walk down the aisle, two of the groomsmen were supposed to walk to the back of the chapel and roll out a paper aisle runner. Well they walked to the back, picked up the runner and proceeded to rip the runner as they started to pull it. So then they walked back to the front of the chapel empty handed. At that point I started crying because I was trying so hard not to laugh. It was really funny.

The wedding proceeded... everyone was crying... Stacy's dad gave her a handkerchief and I think half the wedding party passed it around. Stacy's dad used, Stacy used it, Josh used it, one of the best men used it. At some point, it became funny to see who the handkerchief would get passed to next. As you can probably tell, I tend to get distracted during weddings. This one was no exception and I enjoyed watching the flower girl and ring bearer. The flower girl was waving and doing a little dance and I thought the ring bearer was going to take a header off the stage. He didn't, but he was teetering mighty close to the edge of his step. Watching them was a lot better than listening to Josh and Stacy getting choked up during their vows. Listening to that would only make me cry. Here is a not so great picture from the ceremony that my parents took. It was a beautiful chapel, perfectly decorated for the Christmas season. My parents were sitting close to the front and were too polite about taking distracting pictures so this is really the only one I have. Stacy had two photographers so I am sure there are some beautiful pictures out there somewhere.

Then came time for the reception... and everyone seemed a little more relaxed. Josh and Stacy ate cake and neither of them shoved it in each other's face. I was pretty surprised at that... my guess is that Stacy threatened Josh's life if he did it. :-)

Here is a picture of me and Stacy. At first I wasn't sure about the bridesmaids dresses... but they really worked well with the holiday decor and the holiday season.

Here is a picture of Josh and I.

The reception was very nice... but eventually it was time for that to end... and it was time for the bride and groom to be showered with rose petals...

And then, they were to ride off in a horse drawn carriage. The horse had other ideas. He was apparently not in a good mood and really had no interest in picking up additional passengers. I didn't think the horse was going to stop to let them get on... but it eventually did. They both looked a bit uneasy and the horse really didn't slow down long enough for pictures. As they were pulling away Josh yelled back "pray for us!" He wasn't referring to praying for their marriage... he was just hoping they would survive the carriage ride. I did talk to them last week so I do know that they survived the strong willed horse. :-)

As they went off on their carriage ride, we all started to head out and the wedding was over. As much as I don't really like weddings, it was very beautiful and I am very happy for them. While some of the planning and Stacy's easy going nature made me, as a compulsive list maker and planner, a bit crazy... the whole thing came together perfectly.

Sorry for the extremely long post... I'm sure some of you are bored out of your mind at this point.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Santa in Alabama?

Sometime in amongst my travel over the past two weeks I was at my parent's house on a Sunday. Well Sunday night after church we went out to dinner with some friends (as we typically do). As we were escorted to our table, I noticed one of Santa's helpers sitting at a table that happened to be just behind us. This made me smile but I didn't say anything, thinking he probably gets tired of everyone looking at him and saying "There's Santa."

As we were waiting for our food, Santa came over to our table and started talking to the little girls who were with us. One of the families we were eating with has three young girls and two of them were thrilled to be eating at the same restaurant as Santa Claus. The youngest one slept through the whole thing but the two older girls sat on Santa's lap and even posed for pictures.

"Santa" was so nice to come over and spend some time with the sweet little girls at our table. He certainly did not have to do that. This particular helper of Santa is stationed at the mall and sees children all day long. I think it is safe to say that our "Santa" that night understood what he means to children and made the day of two special little girls.


This is my bed. I love my bed. It is a beautiful, antique bed that used to be my mom's. It's such a comfortable bed. I've missed my bed. I've missed my Ralph Lauren sheets and poofy comforter.

I have been gone from home for 12 days straight. Yuck!! Part of that time was spent in hotel rooms and part of it was spent at my parents house... but no matter what I do to make it more comfortable, it's not the same as my bed. I am so happy to be home and sleep in my bed for a few nights.

I still have some blog catching up to do. I have to tell you about meeting Santa Claus and our family Thanksmas and then the big wedding event last weekend. I will try to catch up soon!

Maybe Al Gore has a point?

I know I live in Alabama but this is ridiculous!! This is what my car thermometer read yesterday on December 10. This was not right after I got in the car mind you... I had been driving around at least 30 minutes... so it should be pretty close to actual temperature. I actually put on a pair of shorts last night it was so hot.

By this weekend they are predicting there could be snow flurries. Gotta love Alabama weather.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

100 Things About Me

It seems to be the tradition on most blogs to post 100 things about yourself for your 100th post. It has taken me from March to December to make it to 100 posts... but here goes. here are 100 interesting (and not so interesting) things about me:

1. I have lived in Alabama my entire life.
2. I was born on January 9, 1979.
3. I lived in the same house from the time I was born until I went to college. My parents still live there.
4. I have a miniature labradoodle named Brun (pronounced Brew-n).
5. Brun was born in Missouri and came from Missouri Doodles outside of St. Louis.
6. Brun was born on December 16, 2005 and came to live with me on March 17, 2006.
7. Before I got Brun, I had a wonderful standard labradoodle named Winston.
8. Winston was born on August 14, 2003 and died on February 21, 2006.
9. Winston was one of the greatest dogs to ever live. No matter how much I love Brun, I miss Winston every day.
10. I have an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering.
11. In college I was in a co-ed professional Engineering fraternity called Theta Tau. While it was a little more social than some professional fraternities, it was one of the best things I did to help me get through college. I made a lot of great friends through that organization.
12. In the past I have typically had more male friends than female friends. I probably have more female friends at this point in my life than I have ever had before.
13. I have a Masters in Business Administration.
14. I never planned to live in the town where I currently live. In fact I declared in a graduate school class that I would not live there. You can see how well that worked out for me.
15. My job title is Assistant Research Engineer. As best I can tell, that means I do a little bit of everything.
16. I have naturally curly hair. It used to be naturally blonde but now I pay for the blonde. :-)
17. I wear a size 10.5 shoe. Trust me, that is not an easy size to find.
18. I am five feet seven and a half inches tall.
19. Even though I am almost 5’ 8”, I like to wear high heel shoes.
20. I have no sense of smell.
21. I have never been married and I have no children (unless you count Winston and Brun… which I do).
22. I love to sing.
23. I love to take pictures.
24. I only sleep about 5 or 6 hours per night. I find sleep to be a waste of time. :-)
25. As a general rule, I prefer TV programs to movies. I love my HD Plasma TV.
26. I don’t like to shop but I like to shop at outlets.
27. My favorite restaurant is a local Alabama restaurant called “The Fish Market.”
28. I have to travel a lot for work. A lot of my travel for work is to my hometown.
29. I do not like to travel for work if I have to go somewhere other than my hometown.
30. I take my pillow with me everywhere when I travel. If I can’t take my pillow, I take a pillowcase from home and the sleep sack that Leslie got me for Christmas last year.
31. The only countries I have ever visited are Canada and Australia.
32. One day I would like to visit Scotland, Ireland, Italy (particularly the island of Capri) and go back to Australia.
33. I have been to 30 out of the 50 states, including the biggest and smallest states.
34. My favorite cities to visit are New York City, Washington DC and Chicago (so far).
35. I am a huge NASCAR fan. In fact, I love pretty much any motorsport.
36. I love to camp.
37. Christmas is my favorite Holiday. I love to decorate for the season. It borders on tacky at my house at that time of year. :-)
38. My first car was a Saturn… it was a stick shift.
39. I love driving a stick shift.
40. I did not get my driver’s license until I was 17 because I didn’t want it.
41. I don’t like to read. My attention span doesn’t usually tolerate it.
42. I come from a family of Civil Engineers. My grandfather, uncle, mom and dad all have degrees in Civil Engineering.
43. I have one brother named Warren (we call him Wren) who is 21 months younger than me.
44. Everyone thought that Wren and I were twins when we were growing up.
45. Wren has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and supposedly will have a Master’s degree in it eventually.
46. I tried to take flying lessons a few years ago but I kept getting sick so I had to quit.
47. I don’t sit still very well… I need to be doing something most of the time.
48. I know how to smock
49. I know how to knit.
50. I have a semi-professional embroidery machine and am trying to get a small in home business going on the side.
51. I am an extremely picky eater.
52. I eat in order. I eat all of one item on my plate before I move on to another item. I save my favorite item for last.
53. I take Flintstone vitamins instead of adult vitamins.
54. I do not like Cheeseburgers but I love cheese.
55. The only pie that I like is homemade apple pie… preferably made of apples from the trees at my parent’s house.
56. I love watching Barrett Jackson auctions on TV. One day I would love to go to a Barrett Jackson auction and buy a car.
57. A hotel qualifies as a good hotel to me if it has Speed TV included in the channel lineup.
58. I hate sleeping in hotel rooms… I usually do not sleep very soundly.
59. I think that men who are prematurely grey or partially grey (like Anderson Cooper and Taylor Hicks) are extremely gorgeous.
60. I have painted toenails throughout the year but rarely paint my fingernails.
61. I wore braces for a year and a half in middle school. I now have very straight teeth.
62. I love to make lists.
63. I took piano lessons from second grade through seventh grade.
64. Even though I was fairly successful at fooling my teacher, I did not practice like I was supposed to.
65. I played the flute in band for a few years in elementary and middle school. I was never very good.
66. In middle school and High School I was in the following musicals: Oklahoma!, Sound of Music, West Side Story and Guys & Dolls.
67. I had a solo in West Side Story. I sang “Somewhere.” On the first night of the production, a young child from the audience got away from their parents and ran across the stage during my performance. I had trouble not laughing.
68. I was the editor of my high school newspaper.
69. I was in the chorus in high school.
70. I was also in chorus in college my freshman year.
71. My favorite high school extracurricular activity was Science Olympiad.
72. My favorite elementary school teacher was probably my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Atkinson.
73. My favorite teacher in high school was Miss McConnell who was my Biology teacher in 10th and 12th grade… once for regular Biology and once for AP Biology.
74. My favorite teacher in Middle School was probably Mr. Hayes who was my 9th Grade Physical Science teacher.
75. I hated Middle School.
76. I really didn’t like High School either.
77. I loved College.
78. I went to private elementary, middle and high school. I got a great education.
79. I lived with my grandmother for 2.5 years when I was in college. She unfortunately passed away Christmas 1999.
80. I do not like meeting new people or making new friends.
81. I could probably be described as verging on anti-social when it comes to most social situations.
82. I used to be deathly afraid of speaking in public but I have gotten over it since I started working.
83. I could probably live the rest of my life only eating bread, nuts, cheese and coke. I would be malnourished but I would enjoy it. :-)
84. I have been described as a perfectionist and OCD about some things.
85. If I don’t like the way you put dishes in my dishwasher, I will take them out and put them in the way that I want.
86. When I am purchasing something at the store, I almost never take the front or the first item. I don’t know why but I will move it aside and get the second one instead.
87. When I get gas the total dollar amount must end in an even nickel amount. For example, if I have 30.01, I will get $0.04 more worth of gas to make it $30.05.
88. I don’t like change – and by that I mean things becoming different, not pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
89. When I go to a particular restaurant, I almost always order the same thing.
90. My perfect Sunday afternoon consists of takeout Chinese food, a NASCAR race and a nap.
91. I order the same thing so much at my local Chinese restaurant (almost once a week when I am in town) that they know who I am and what I want when I call without me even telling them.
92. I once tried out for Teen Jeopardy. I did not make it past the first round.
93. I get told fairly often that I look like Drew Barrymore. I can see it but I don’t think the resemblance is that great.
94. I like a wide variety of music. Some of my absolute favorites are The Beach Boys, Barenaked Ladies, Kenny Chesney and the fabulously amazing Harry Connick Jr.
95. I try to forget bad memories but at the same time I worry that I will forget the good memories.
96. I love God.
97. I love my family.
98. I love my friends.
99. I love my dogs.
100. I love my life.
101. I am thankful every day for the fact that I have been blessed beyond measure.

So there you have it. Somehow I ended up with 101... oh well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Old Friends

One of the hard parts of being a "younger" member of the crowd at work is that when you start getting attached to people, they retire. This happens with friends (even non-work related ones) that move and things like that but today I was reminded of how good it is to see old friends... even "work" friends. :-)

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work with every state trooper in the state of Alabama and two of the head guys retired this year. This made me very sad as I enjoyed them on both a professional and personal level.

Well today I am at a conference for work in another part of the state and I heard one of them talking as he walked in the room. I turned around and literally squealed I was so excited. He gave me the biggest hug... so big that he literally picked me up off the ground. I had not seen him since the summer and I have missed working with him and talking to him so much. He was my partner in crime for the best time I have ever had at a NASCAR race... and I feel quite certain that I will never again have that much fun at a race again. He looked out for me at conferences and made sure I was having a good time and is still someone I will always look forward to seeing.

Then not 5 minutes later the other trooper walked in. I was once again thrilled! Even though they have retired to other jobs and new adventures in their life, they had decided to come over to our conference to visit everyone. In the back of my mind I had hoped that they would but I didn't really expect that they would.

Oh how good it is to see old friends. It makes me want to look up friends from college and go visit them too. It's so easy to forget how much you miss some people until you see them again.

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I know it's been awhile but I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I personally am not a big fan of this particular holiday. I don't like Thanksgiving food... and by that I mean I really don't like any of it. I don't like turkey, dressing, stuffing, most casseroles, cranberries, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, etc. etc. On top of that it seems like bad things always happen around Thanksgiving. I have known too many people that have died right around Thanksgiving and known of so many other bad things that happen.

Don't get me wrong... I enjoy spending time with my family and I think we should be thankful all of the time... not just on one day (or even one month) of the year. So personally, I try to focus on being thankful all of the time and bypass the Thanksgiving holiday altogether. Seriously, I am happy to just ignore the day, enjoy it as any other day off from work, watch the Macy's parade and the dog show and eat whatever I feel like on that day.

This year my parents did come into town and we (along with my roommate... who had to work the day after Thanksgiving) had a Thanksgiving meal of ham and some vegetables. However, it was very low key and enjoyable.

But that being said, the time after Thanksgiving until New Years is my favorite time of the year. Our extended family gets together for Thanksmas sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas and that is always a lot of fun. We had Thanksmas last Saturday and I will post about that soon.

I love decorating for Christmas and I love enjoying other peoples decorations. I love buying gifts for people. I just love the whole season. Even the rushed craziness and the traffic don't bother me too much.

I am happy to say that my house has been completely decorated inside and out for the past week or so. The presents are not all bought by any stretch of the imagination but I am making progress on it. I can't believe there are only 23 more days until Christmas... it all passes by too quickly.

I hope you are all enjoying this time of year as much as I am. In amongst all of the craziness, don't forget to take time to slow down, be thankful and enjoy the many blessings you have.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Car is Going to be Famous!!!

Okay... not that famous. But if you live in the state of Alabama, you can check out Discovering Alabama on Alabama Public Television on Wednesday night. I think it is on at 7 PM. The subject that night is White Tailed Deer and they called me about videoing my car after the deer jumped on it. I haven't seen it yet but supposedly my car will be on.

Just thought you might want to know. The guy that came to film it worked hard to make it dramatic. I think he was a bit disappointed with the lack of destruction on my car. :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Meet Nessie

In amongst all the animal killing that happened with my car a few weeks ago I never got a chance to blog about the craft fair that I went to with my mom that Saturday. It's a great arts and crafts show right outside of my hometown that always takes place on the first Saturday in November. Years ago, my parents had a booth and I would make a few things during the summer to sell. Last year, Amberly and I had a booth and had a great time. This year we just went to shop and although I didn't find much, I did find one item I particularly like. Meet Nessie.

Nessie is a four piece concrete sculpture that I picked out. The people that I bought him from said it was a worm... but I have declared it to be a Loch Ness Monster. :-) Nessie currently lives in my front flower bed... and at the moment is actually covered in colored Christmas lights. The picture above was taken before I rolled out the Christmas decorations. Here is what he looks like now:

I didn't find too much at the craft show this year other than Nessie... but I thought he was a pretty good find.

On a related note... my car is STILL at the shop. The damage done by the deer was not THAT bad (only about $2,200 worth) but they are still waiting on a side view mirror to come in and apparently they are never giving my car back.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How can you forget something like this...

Last week I was helping my roommate try to find music for her wedding. She is getting married in December and so there are lots of little tasks to be done. As she started talking about music for the wedding and the reception, I volunteered to help. I started digging out CD's and had a field day of my own.

I guess it was this summer when I stopped listening to music as much. It wasn't intentional but I was doing a lot of traveling and so I began listening to CNN on the XM satellite radio in the mornings and talk sports radio on the XM in the afternoon. Aside from that, I kept a couple of CD cases in my car and never really rotated any new CD's... so I listened to the same 20 or 30 CD's over and over again. I never really thought of this as a bad habit, but I forgot how much I miss music and I forgot how much I missed my old CD's.

I like most types of music... but I really love soundtracks and scores and old music. By old music, I mean music from the 40's, 50's and 60's... and music that sounds like it is from the era. I have about a bazillion CD's and I had forgotten about so many of them. I don't claim to have great musical taste but they are my taste and I like them. :-) I was so happy to rediscover so many CD's and add them to my ipod.

I guess we accomplished the original goal of finding the music she needed for the wedding... but more than that, I found lots of great CD's and didn't have to purchase a single thing!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The weekend that went from dreaded to bad to worse... and isn't even over yet

So it is no secret I have not been looking forward to the lingerie shower tonight. I have been dreading it for weeks (that's where the dread part of my title comes in). Then yesterday, I hit an animal of some sort and messed up the front bumper of my car (that was definitely bad). Well tonight, I was headed back to the town where I live for my roommate's lingerie shower and I HIT A DEER (that was way worse)!!!!!!!!

This road is notorious for deer but I have never had a problem... until now. I saw the deer on the side of the road and I had time to slow down a little bit. Then it jumped and I swerved and there was nothing I could do. It hit square on my windshield and resulted in this.

Two teenagers were in a car behind me and stopped. They said that when I hit the deer it flew up in the air as high as the tree tops! They were impressed. They walked back and found the deer. Unfortunately it was suffering. :-(

I am nothing but an animal killer this weekend. My parents call the Conservation Department for me and they said that since it was deer season here in Alabama someone would probably pick it up for the meat. However, they were going to check it out. Note to self... I need to add that phone number to my cell phone.

I called the state troopers and they were tied up and it was going to be awhile before they got there. It was getting dark and it is a pitch black road... so it's pretty scary. So with the suggestion of my parents and "permission" from the troopers to fill out an accident report later, I drove on home. I was only about halfway home... and within 10 miles of where I had the animal incident on Friday night. I could only see out of about 20-25% of the windshield and there were shards of glass all in my car. I cut my hand a little trying to wipe glass out of my seat, but it is nothing too serious.

All in all I was once again very lucky. The windshield is obviously shattered, the side view mirror got knocked off and there are a couple of dents... but that is it. If I had been going a little slower, it would have messed up the front of my car... if I had been going a little faster it would have likely hit the side or top of my car and could have done a lot more damage to the car and me.

Here are a couple more pictures of the car. In the first one, you can see the missing side view mirror and the dent on the front panel. It also appears there is a footprint on the passenger side door. In the second one, you can see the fun new angle of the rear view mirror from the inside along with the shards of glass.

What a weekend!! I don't think I will be going home via that route any more. There is another way that is longer... but it is all interstate and I will be going that way from now on.

I hope tomorrow is less eventful. By the way I did survive the lingerie shower (when I finally got there) and the bridal tea tomorrow should be much more my speed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Poor Animal, Poor Car

I BROKE MY CAR AND I FEEL SURE I KILLED AN ANIMAL!!! On the way to my parent's house tonight, I hit an animal of some sort... and I'm afraid it was a dog. I didn't see it until I was right about to hit it and there was nothing I could do. It was darting across the country road and I was going about 60 mph. It was very dark on a two lane road... and there was a good bit of traffic at the time.

I didn't go back because there was nothing I could have done. I feel terrible and am still concerned about the animal. A little further down the road I stopped to look at my car. It fared better than the animal I'm afraid but it's pretty messed up. The bumper is pretty broken and dad thinks I knocked a duct off right behind the bumper.

I think I am going to take it in tomorrow morning and see if they can fix the duct (which could be important to it's existence) and give me an estimate on how much it will cost to fix it.

Poor car and poor dog/animal. :-(

Fun Thursday, Weekend So So

Thursday morning I did make it to my meeting and thanks to my mom saving the day, I did not have to wear my pajamas to the meeting. It was a fairly typical meeting for work... but it was one of those non-confrontational yet productive meetings... my favorite kind. I met with a group of law enforcement officers who are typically a lot of fun. They like what they do and they are making a difference in the state... so I enjoy meeting with them.

After the meeting I headed to lunch with one of the folks that we work with. By the time we were done with lunch it was still too early to head to Amberly's house. I'm sure they wouldn't have minded but I felt like I should get some work done before I played for the rest of the day. So I camped out in a conference room and worked for a few hours.

Then it was off to see Amberly and her crew. I always have so much with them! They fed me dinner and kept me entertained all afternoon and evening. No matter how tired or stressed I am, they always brighten my day. This is the second time I have gone to see them since they moved. Hopefully I haven't worn out my welcome quite yet and they won't get tired of me any time soon.

When I finally left them alone to let them try to return to a normal nighttime routine it was fairly late. I got back to my house after 10... and then the non-fun part of my day started. I had to finish cleaning the house for the lingerie shower some of the girls are throwing for my roommate tomorrow night. I am not looking forward to this shower but apparently I don't have much choice but to show up since she is my roommate and I am in the wedding. I have considered not showing up... but that would probably hurt my roommate's feelings. I'm still considering my options. :-) Call me prudish, but I am not a fan of that type of shower. At least it will all be over soon enough.

This week's somewhat crazy travel continues. Tonight I head back to my hometown to go to an annual arts and crafts fair in the morning. Last year Amberly and I had a booth but this year my mom and I are just going to browse and shop. The weather should be great and that should be lots of fun! After that it will be back to the town where I live for the lingerie shower. Sunday there is a bridal tea for my roommate... but somewhere in there I'm going to need a nap!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Packing Woes

I travel a lot... I would say on average about once a week (sometimes more, sometimes less). Some of that is for work and some of that is personal... and most of it is for one night or less. This has been the case for the past couple of years and it has never been a real problem. Well within the past few weeks I have apparently lost the ability to pack!!

This afternoon I headed from the town where I live to my hometown. I have a meeting for work in the morning about 25% of the way here, I realized I had my shoes, I had my bag... but this time, I had forgotten my dress clothes. Not again!!! Remember... this just happened a few weeks ago.

I called my mom, frustrated with myself and ill about the fact that I was going to have to turn around and go get my clothes. Well my wonderful mother offered to go buy me a new outfit. I haven't seen it yet but she says she found a great deal at Kohl's. We usually agree on clothing taste, so I'm sure it will be fine.

Who knows what I will forget on my next trip! One day I will remember ALL of my stuff. You wouldn't think it would be that difficult...

Monday, October 29, 2007

haircuts and other tidbits

I'm pouting. This afternoon I called to schedule a haircut with my wonderful stylist. I need to have my hair cut and highlighted before my roommate's wedding in December... so I thought I would schedule it in advance so I could get a convenient appointment. Well guess what... my stylist is gone again! If you remember back in May I was so happy to have found my stylist again.

I'm starting to take it personally. This has happened twice now with no sign of where she went. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. I hate with a passion attempting to find a new hair stylist. I'm so picky about my cut and color that it makes it a very stressful situation. I have had so many bad experiences with very expensive hair cuts coming out very, very bad. Fortunately I have a little bit of time to figure it out.

Other than my latest hair crisis... there is not a lot to report around here. Last week was rainy and dreary... which I enjoyed until it turned cold. It's not that cold... but it seems cold in the mornings and at night. I have a little bit of travel for work this week. I am hoping to spend some time with friends in another part of the state on my way home from the travel. :-) This weekend is going to be a super busy one with too much pre-wedding craziness. I will save that for another post... but let's just say I am looking forward to it being over.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A moment of Nostalgia

18 years ago today, one of my favorite people on the planet was born. I have blogged about L. before when I talked about my first job. Well today is her 18th birthday.

Her family did not live in my hometown when L. was born so I haven't known her quite 18 years... but they moved into town when she was around 9 months old... so I feel like I have known her her whole life.

I'm not always sure why people come into your life and stay there but I am sure glad that L. is a part of mine. When she goes off to college somewhere next year I will miss seeing her and sitting with her at church when I go home... but maybe there is still some chance I can convince her she should move to the town where I live so I will get to see her even more often.

I was so proud of her this past Monday night. She competed in the Junior Miss Contest (they don't call it a beauty pageant... but a scholarship contest). She didn't win but she did a great job, had a great time and looked absolutely beautiful. Here is a picture of both of us Monday night.

Happy 18th Birthday L!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

When you go on a trip...

When you go on a trip there are a few things you should always take. 1. Your suitcase. (Who would forget a suitcase?) 2. A pillow... also important (at least to some... including me) 3. Toiletries (very important for overnight trips) Here is a picture of these three things sitting in the entrance to my bedroom... not in my car... but in the floor of my bedroom:

So on Monday night when I got to my hometown (where I had a big meeting for work on Tuesday) I had none of these three things. That's right... I left them sitting right there in the entrance to my bedroom. I literally had to step OVER them when I left my room.

How dumb can you be? Apparently just about that dumb. Fortunately I have some things at my parents house... but I was missing vital things like dress shoes to match my suit, the proper undergarments and my shampoo... but it all worked out. Fortunately after my initial panic I realized my mom had just bought me a new outfit that would work perfectly for my meeting and that matched the shoes I had on my feet... and I could borrow or make do without everything else.

When I got back to my house this afternoon... I found my three trip essentials were sitting in the floor of my room... disappointed that they got all packed up for no reason at all. Just wanted to share my dumb blond moment for the week.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Good Weekend

I usually try to have a good and relaxing weekend but I would say that this one was particularly good. On Friday night my parents came into town for Classic Rock Baby's first birthday party. This was the first time that they had been out of town since the accident so I was very glad that they felt up to the drive involved with coming to the town where I live.

During the birthday party we actually got a picture of our whole family. It turned out pretty good so I thought I would share.

That's me (with particularly fluffy hair that night), my mom, my dad and my brother.

The party was a lot of fun as most first birthday parties are prone to be. I don't want to spoil Leslie's post so I won't go into all of the details but there was definite cake wearing involved before the party was over. I am pretty proud of the gift that I got him. It his own baby sized chair from Pottery Barn kids with his name on it. I got the idea after a friend got one for her nephew a few weeks ago for his first birthday. I thought it was the perfect gift so I quickly ordered one for CRB.

He already took a couple of head dives off of the chair but hopefully he will get the hang of it. He really seemed to like it. Here is a picture of him trying out the chair towards the end of the party. He was getting tired and had already been stripped of the cake covered outfit he started the party in.

On Saturday we didn't go out and do a whole lot but we watched a lot of football. Dad went over to my grandparent's old house to do some work but mom and I stayed at the house most of the day. I made four of the aforementioned apple pies.

On Saturday night my parents headed back home with Brun in tow. My dad and I are headed out Tuesday night for a little camping/racing vacation so mom is on puppy sitting duty. They have informed me that he has a lot of energy. I'm not sure why they thought this was news. :-)

Sunday was filled with church, a nap, lots of laundry and the start of packing for my trip. I am so looking forward to getting out of town. I didn't go on a real vacation this summer so these few days will be my vacation until the Christmas holidays.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Apples, Apples Everywhere!!!!

After my parent's wreck the only thing that mom was really worried about was the fact that she had all of these apples that she was planning to do things with that were going to go bad before she felt like dealing with them. You see, they have apple trees on their property and for whatever reason they had TONS of apples this year. Given the dry summer we had, none of us thought that there would be any apples but we were wrong.

I wanted to do what I could to help mom after the accident so I offered to take all of the apples to my house and take care of them by making, and then freezing and/or giving items away. Well that was over two weeks ago and there are STILL apples all over my house!

As of right now I have made 12 apple pies... totally from scratch... including the crust.
Here is a picture of one of them:

I have also cooked and frozen a good many apples to go with meals throughout the year. I enjoy the apples and I LOVE apple pies... and I am happy to be able to do something to help but I think these things are multiplying in my refrigerator. Is that possible? :-) They are still filling my fridge and I feel like I am never going to get them all cooked.

Hopefully I will get to all of them before they ruin. Anyone know any good apple recipes? :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two Weeks Ago

Two weeks ago tonight something pretty terrible but pretty miraculous happened. I was in my hometown for work and started to head back to the town where I live following church that Wednesday night. When I was about 10 miles out of town I got one of the worst phone calls you can get. It was my dad telling me that he and my mom had had a bad accident and that I needed to come back. Fortunately I could hear them both talking so I knew they were relatively okay.

I drove as safely and quickly as I could about 20 minutes back to where they were and came upon this:

That used to be a 2000 Honda Accord. There wasn't much left of it after they hit a pickup truck that my dad never saw. They were driving home on the interstate and ran up on the back of a pickup truck. We have yet to piece together all of the story but the truck was apparently traveling very slowly with either no tail lights or at best black out tail lights that looked like this:

Here is a better picture of the truck that they hit and another picture of their car (these pictures were taken the next day at the junk yard):

Anyways, back to that night... my parents were both taken via ambulance to the hospital and we spent the next five hours or so in the ER. Dad was released with only bumps and soreness but mom was kept for the next few days. She had a broken sternum (breast bone) and two broken ribs. She also has a herniated disc in her neck... but it doesn't hurt and they aren't even sure whether or not it might have been there prior to the accident.

The whole incident was terrible and scary but my parents were so lucky. All of their injuries were from their seat belts and the airbags. That in and of itself was a miracle. While they are still sore and mom won't be completely healed for at least three months, it could have been SOOO much worse.

Fortunately I was able to drop everything and stay in town for the next few days to try and help take care of things. I've been playing a bit of catch up ever since and I haven't had much time to blog but I feel very lucky to still have my parents here.

Just wanted to share with all of my "blog friends" and let you know why I had been MIA. I am still getting caught up and getting ready for a little vacation next week but hopefully I will be able to check in a little more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday: First Job Experience

It's technically Wednesday here but it is still Tuesday in some parts of the country and the world, so I am going to go ahead and participate in Time Travel Tuesday.

My first "real" job experience was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. I was a file clerk at a local construction company and while I worked with very nice people I was bored out of my mind most of the time and there isn't much to tell about that job.

But I'm not going to talk about that job experience. I want to talk about the job experience that I had the summer after my 7th grade year. I guess that would have made me 13 years old. A family from church that had moved to town about a year and a half before had a little girl named L. who was about two and a half years old. Her mom was working that summer for the company where my mom was working and so I had my first real babysitting job.

I can't remember how many days a week I babysat and I don't remember exactly how much money I made... but it seemed like a lot to a 13 year old. I remember that with the money I made I bought my first CD player and my first CD's. The first CD I bought was the Greatest Hits of the Righteous Brothers. I know... that's not what most 13 year olds would get but I have always loved Oldies.

I think I was a pretty competent babysitter but the summer did not go without incident. That summer I was also taking some enrichment classes at a local college. I don't remember exactly what I was taking... but it was probably something like etiquette or acting or something like that. Well on the mornings when I was taking those classes, my younger brother would watch after L. One day when my mom was bringing me back to the house, my brother came out the front door to meet us and shut the front door behind him... accidentally locking the door.

There was then a confused child inside the house and a freaked out babysitter and her brother outside the house. L. could not unlock their complicated front door lock and so my brother and I had to wait until her mom could get back to the house to unlock the door. Fortunately they had a window in their front door and we could see L. and she could see us. We kept her occupied and it all worked out just fine.... but it was pretty scary.

One way we kept her occupied was by singing the theme song to The Elephant Show. The lyrics were as follows:

Skinnamarinkydinkydink. Skinnamarinkydoo. I - Love - You!
Skinnamarinkydinkydink. Skinnamarinkydoo. I - Love - You!
I love you in the morning and in the afternoon.
I love you in the evening, underneath the moon.
Skinnamarinkydinkydink. Skinnamarinkydoo. I - Love - You!
Skinnamarinkydoo, I - Love - You -- Too!. (Boop, boop, ee-doo)

There were little hand motions to go along with it too. I don't know how many of you ever saw The Elephant Show... but think Barney only with a giant elephant instead of a purple dinosaur and you have the result of a somewhat less annoying tv show. We watched a lot of Elephant Show that summer.

I also got hooked on the soap opera All My Children that summer. I would spend the night with their family sometimes and L.'s mom watched All My Children. This was long after L. had gone to bed but I would watch it with her some nights. This was the days when the characters of Haley and Brian were on All My Children. Who knows what became of the actor who played Brian but Haley was played by Kelly Ripa.

I was also not the greatest cook at the time (who am I kidding I am still not the greatest cook). Anyways, L. and I ate a lot of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that summer. This still constitutes a well balanced meal in my house and apparently it does for L. as well. She told my mom not long ago that when she got married she was going to have it at her rehearsal dinner. She's not getting married any time soon so she might change her mind between now and then... but I say go for it! :-)

I can't believe that L. is now a Senior in High School. Obviously we both survived the summer and lived to tell about it. It was a great experience for me and L. is still one of my favorite people in the world. I love her to death!

So depending on your definition of a job... that was my first job. For more Time Travel Tuesday participants, visit Annie at My Life as Annie.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Catching Up

Anyone out there still reading? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't. :-) If blogging was a job I would have been fired long ago. But once again I am resolving to do better. I even have a few blog topics I am putting in reserve for the moment.

But before I move on to any of those topics I thought I would share a few events from last weekend. Last Friday afternoon, my friend Andrew and I took engagement pictures for my roommate and her fiance. Andrew ended up taking most of the pictures and I became more of the photographers assistant... and the getaway driver. :-) We went to a couple of fancy areas of town (including a golf course and yacht club) where we weren't technically supposed to be... and we certainly couldn't just park in the grass... so I drove around part of the time while they took pictures. Here is one of the pictures that I took.

Not the greatest... but not terrible. The ones that Andrew took are much better. I have a very nice camera... but I have serious lens envy. My lens is not bad... but it is not as nice as I would like either. Here is Andrew's lens... and Andrew.

I have already added it to my wish list on Amazon. Now I just need to come up with the $600 and the justification for purchasing it. :-)

We took photos for probably two hours in different places in town and in several different outfits. It was a lot of fun and I think they got some great pictures to use.

On Saturday my parents came into town and my brother offered my parents tickets to the home opener for my college alma mater... the University of Alabama. My mom wasn't interested in going so my dad and I went to the game. We won 52-6 so it was not the world's most exciting game but we had a lot of fun.

I hope everyone else is having a great week. On top of being post lazy I have also been comment lazy... but I promise I am still reading.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend Reflections

Annie noted how quiet the blogging world had been and I would have to agree. I know I haven't blogged in way too long. Hopefully I can do a little better this week.

Last week was a super busy one filled with late working hours and not a lot of fun. I worked from home until about 2 AM most nights and until 4 AM Thursday night trying to finish up a report for work. Fortunately I finished it on Friday and so that late night working from home should be over. From the end of the Summer up until the end of the fiscal year (end of September) is always a busy season for us but getting this report out is one of my main tasks, and it is taken care of.

On Wednesday evening I got to go to my hometown for work... which was nice. I had meetings down there on Thursday. The meetings were somewhat stressful but overall they went well.

Saturday was probably the most exciting day of the week. My parents came to the town where I live on Friday night and on Saturday morning myself, my parents, my brother and my brother's girlfriend all went to an academic symposium on the debate between government controlled space exploration and privatized space exploration. I am showing my true "dork colors" by telling you that I went to a symposium on a Saturday morning... but I am even more of a dork when I tell you that it has been on my calendar for at least six months.

One of the organizations that I was involved with in college sponsored the event and so I had been notified of the event and the speakers that would be there for quite some time. When I saw on the agenda that Burt Rutan would be there I knew I had to go. If you don't know who Burt Rutan is, do yourself a favor and click on the link above and read a little bit about him. He's an absolute genius and was named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People of the World" after winning the X Prize for his work with Space Ship One .

I had the privilege of hearing him speak at Osh Kosh a couple of years ago and even got to see Space Ship One and Global Flyer fly that year. I was very excited to hear him speak, get a chance to meet him and even get his autograph on Saturday.

I did skip out of the afternoon part of the symposium. After staying up until 4 AM on Thursday night I was still pretty tired... and asking me to sit still and listen to people talk all day is asking a lot. My ADD tendencies kick in after about an hour. :-)

So this week I am thankful for lots of things. As always, I am thankful for my family and Brun. I am thankful that my report is finished and late work hours should be over (at least for now). I am thankful that I got to meet Burt Rutan and I am thankful for the rain we got on Saturday. We are suffering from record breaking heat and drought here so the rain was a welcome reprieve.

I hope everyone else had a great week!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Reflections

I haven't been very diligent with participating in Weekend Reflections recently but I will try to do better.

Last Sunday night I was talking to my friend Andrew at church and he asked if I had heard about the meteor shower that night. I had not but I told him that he and whoever were welcome to come over to the house later and watch. I live a little bit out of town and have a relatively big yard for us to hang out in. Andrew came over about 9 and a few other friends came over around 10:30. Andrew and I laid in the lounge chairs in the back yard for three hours. We only saw about 10 meteors in those three hours... but oh well. It was fun and Andrew and I got a chance to catch up. It is not very often that I take three hours to relax, talk and enjoy the beauty of God's creation... I should do it more often.

On Monday, I got some great news. I was happy to find out that my Uncle was able to go home from the hospital. He had been in the hospital for about a week but was finally doing well enough that they let him go home. I have been really worried about him but he is continuing to do better.

Tuesday night I headed to my hometown for work. I was there for meetings and to teach a class on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday after I got home I had a lot of work to do. I have a major report due this week and so I worked on that until about 2 AM. Friday we had visitors so I got to go out to a nice lunch with people from my work.

This weekend no one was at the house other than Brun and I. Fortunately he let me sleep in Saturday morning and to "reward" him I took him to the vet to have his nails trimmed. He hates going to the vet so he was mad at me the rest of the day. Saturday morning and afternoon I worked on lots of sewing projects that I had been putting off. I also went to a wedding shower on Saturday afternoon for a couple at church. Overall it was a productive and relaxing day... my favorite kind of day.

This week I am thankful for friends that are coming back to town after being gone all summer. I am thankful that my Uncle is doing better. I am also thankful for the rain that we got yesterday... it was much needed. I hope everyone else had a great week! For more Weekend Reflection, visit Judi at Mommy of Two.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Photo Hunters: Two

Here is a picture of two of my favorite boys... Brun and CRB. Don't worry... we didn't leave them separated for long.

For more Photo Hunters participants, visit TN Chick.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday's Feast

I don't usually participate in Friday's Feast but I liked the questions today so I thought I would play along.

Appetizer: What is your favorite kind of pie?

The only kind of pie that I eat is my mom's homemade apple pie made with apples from the trees in their yard. It's the best!! Even better when it's made with green apples (apples that are too little and too tart to eat by themselves).

Soup: Name something that made you smile this week.

Brun always makes me smile. No matter how tired I am or how ill I am at him for shoving his ball under the couch for the 100th time so that I have to stand on my head to get it out... he can always bring a smile to my face.

Salad: What do you do to cool off when the weather is hot and humid?

Pay Alabama Power lots of money to keep my house cool... and try to be thankful that I have central A/C and can afford to keep the house as cool as I want it.

Main Course: You receive $1,000 in the mail with a letter that says you can only use the money to redecorate one room in your home. Which room do you pick, and what do you buy to spruce it up?

Hummm... that's tough... I like the way my house is right now. I would say maybe my bedroom... I might paint it a different color... but what I really want is a new flat screen TV for that room and a new piece of furniture to put it on. That would definitely blow the $1,000. :-)

Dessert: Fill in the blank: My _________ says __________, but I __________.

My head says trust in God, but I worry about things more than I should.

This was fun! Let me know if you decide to play along.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Fun Book Contest

I don't read as much as I should or nearly as much as most of you in blog land seem to but this is my kind of book giveaway! Go on over to Jill's and check out her cookbook giveaway.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

This and That

I forgot to participate in Weekend Reflections last weekend but last week was a good week. I was sad to find out that Amberly and her family will be moving away from my hometown but happy for them at the same time. But the other big news of last week was that it was my last week on the road. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sure I still have some travel for work but my eight weeks in a row (or whatever it was) of being out of town for the majority of the week is over. I like traveling, but I am happy to be home and believe it or not I am even happy to be back in the office.

I have started a new schedule for myself this week as well. Our work schedule is a bit flexible and in the past I have arrived to the office at about 8:30 and worked until 5:30 or 6. But for several reasons, I have decided to go in earlier. The main reason being... Brun is still half asleep when I go to work in the morning but he is ready to play by the time I get home. So the earlier I get home the better.

I am not a morning person but so far I really like it. I am trying to go in between 7:30 and 8 and leave by 5. Almost no one else gets there that early so it is nice to be able to get some work done before people come in and start wanting stuff. And even nicer is getting to leave at 5 and have more of the evening to myself. I have had to go to bed a little earlier but hopefully I can stick with the schedule.

That's about it for me this week. I am spending some more time at my brother's house painting and cleaning this week. It is really starting to look good. My brother moved out last weekend so it is pretty empty but the progress you can see is certainly a good thing. Tonight I cleaned my brother's bathroom. I called him after I finished and told him when he comes to visit he can't use that bathroom any more... he has to go to the service station up the road. :-) It's so clean I might even use it now.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I never win anything... and today is no exception

This coming Sunday night in my hometown there is a pretty impressive rock band coming to town. I was not impressed enough to buy tickets but I was fairly interested in going. So a week or two ago I entered a contest online for free tickets. I never win anything... and so I entered and really never thought about it again.

Well I was out of town all of this week and when I got back to my house in my hometown on Friday afternoon I checked my answering machine. Sure enough I had won the tickets to the concert! Unfortunately I had to pick up the tickets in my hometown by Thursday afternoon. I am so dumb... I don't know why I didn't give them my cell phone number instead of my home number. They called back on Friday and left another message and said that they were going to have to go on to another name on the list.

So now I am pouting about winning the tickets but not actually getting the tickets. :-( From now on I will give people my cell phone number when important things like concert tickets are on the line.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Reflections

Well my week was basically taken up with my trip to St. Louis for work. It was a good trip and just in case you missed it, you can read the recap of the trip here.

I arrived back in the town where I live Thursday evening and basically unpacked and rested Thursday night. On Friday it was back to work. I felt like I spent the whole day chatting with people in my office… but for the most part it was not social chatting. After being out of the office it was good to catch up with everyone and find out what they had been working on during the week. Friday night I chilled at home and did some things around the house.

On Saturday morning I got up and ran errands and went over to my grandparent’s old house to paint more ceilings. My arms are still sore but the ceiling looks a ton better. My brother and dad came in while I was there after arriving home from their trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture event.

So this week I am thankful that all of us (me, my dad, my brother and his girlfriend) had safe trips to and from our destinations. I am thankful for all of the cool things I got to see and do while in St. Louis. I am thankful for my mom who kept my doggie while I was gone. I am also thankful that my summer travel season is nearly over.

I hope everyone else had a great week. Go on over to Judi’s to read about everyone else’s week.