Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunburns and big grass fields

If you have been around here very long, you probably know I'm a pretty big race fan. If it has four wheels and goes fast, you have my attention. So in Alabama sunburns and big grass fields can only mean one thing... last weekend was Talladega weekend.

I had not really planned on going to Talladega this year but my new boss Sean won tickets to the Saturday race and given that he is not a race fan and was going to be out of town... he offered the tickets to me. Whoo hoo!! So I got up on Saturday morning to cloudy skies and a weather forecast that almost assured me it was going to rain at some point during the race that afternoon. My spirits were not dampened... I headed out for the track and figured that if it rained... I would head home and watch the rest of it on TV. The trip is not a particularly long one and with free tickets in hand I didn't figure I had much to lose.

Sean won two tickets but I didn't really want to force anyone to go with me... and I actually kind of like going to races by myself. I like doing my own thing, keeping my own schedule, sitting where I want and listening to the scanner as opposed to explaining what is going on on the race track. I mean no offense to my friends and family.... that is just usually the way I prefer to watch a race.

In college, my friend Bobby taught me the back roads to Talladega. If you have ever been stuck in traffic on the interstate on a race weekend in Alabama you will understand how important this is. On Saturday I ran into no traffic and as I pulled up over the last hill on some two lane county road, the track came into view. (It's an awesome sight... and coming over this hill is much more dramatic than passing the track on the interstate.) I got as close to the track as I could and pulled into the grass parking lot I was directed to.

I got there in time for qualifying and after picking up a new hat and a few other things at the merchandise trailers, I headed for my seat. I called my dad at some point and he reminded me to put on sun screen. When I was in college, I sat at Talladega all day one Saturday with Bobby and came back so sunburned I had blisters on my shoulders and the tops of my knees. It was stupid and painful.

So this Saturday once I got settled with my scanner and camera I put on the sun screen... at least I thought. The rain never came on Saturday and I sat out there for about 6 hours. I had a great time and took lots of pictures of my favorite cars. I watched qualifying for the Sunday race and then the race on Saturday afternoon. By the end of the race, I was hot, sweaty and I realized my ankles were itchy. I didn't think too much about it and when the checkered flag flew on the race Saturday afternoon I headed for my car.

Another thing my friend Bobby taught me in college was that the other secret to avoiding Talladega traffic is to leave as soon as the race is over so that you can beat out all of the people who dilly dally around after the race. So once I snapped a few pictures of the winning car, I took off for my car.

Remember that grass field I parked in when I arrived six hours earlier... it looks a whole lot like every other grass field surrounding this giant race track dropped in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, six hours of sitting in the sun and my complete lack of a sense of a direction left me a bit turned around and lost. I finally found my car after wandering around lost for a little bit.

As I headed for home I looked at myself in the vanity mirror in the car... whoops... looks like I didn't get every spot with the sun screen. After I made it home, a shower was the first order of business. I'm not sure about you but after I have been in the sun, my sunburn really shows up after I have showered.

I have the most uneven crazy looking sunburn you have ever seen! I apparently forgot the front of my neck... so I have a v-neck red spot. I also missed the top part of my arms... not my shoulders but just below my shoulders. I missed my right hand and the inside of my left arm. And the worst part is the inside of my left leg. Apparently I sat for a lot of the day with my left foot propped on my right knee. So one side of my left leg is terribly red from my knee to just above my sock line.

Awesome!! I had a great time and I don't regret going... but next time maybe I will do a little better with actually applying the sun screen. And I guess I'll just have to put a homing device on my car. One day maybe I will learn.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Annual Exam and Shots for Brun - $142.50

Amoxicillin Antibiotic to keep him from getting an infection - $19.40

Surgery for a cut ear - $276.50

The devotion, affection and unconditional love of a four legged friend - Priceless

There is no question that I love Brun more than most people... but it's been a hard couple of days for him. He got no less than four shots and had surgery.

When I got to my parents house this past weekend, they told me that he had cut his ear either on a fence or on the mouth of another dog. This is not the first time he has done something like this and since it did not seem to be hurting him, we did not worry about it too much.

I brought him back to my house and on Monday night I gave him a bath. His ear was quite gross and bleeding a lot. So on Tuesday night we went to the vet. Since it was time for his annual shots they went ahead and gave him those and told me he would need to have surgery to have his ear stitched back up.

So on Wednesday I dropped him off at the vet on my way to work and he should be as good as new before too long. But for now, he is quite wiped out from the drugs and pain medicine they gave him. Poor Brun... maybe he will feel better by tomorrow. That was not quite the way I planned on spending over $400 this week but I would pay many many times over that in return for all that he does for me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

If you have Photoshop

I have a full blown version of Photoshop thanks to my old job. When I left, I asked if they wanted it back and they said "not right now." Whoo hoo!!!!!!

I know very, very little about how to use Photoshop... it's really quite a shame because I know it is a very powerful program that you can do lots of things with. It's not the easiest program in the world to use and so I have not devoted the time required to learn how to use it.

When I saw that Pioneer Woman was going to release some actions for Photoshop I was very excited about them. If you happen to have Photoshop, I highly recommend going and downloading these. They are totally free and as best I can tell very cool and open up lots of options for editing photographs while continuing in your lack of Photoshop understanding. They apparently do not work with Photoshop Elements but she is planning to release some actions for that soon.

I started playing with these actions this afternoon and I thought I would show you my first shot at it. I didn't have any cool photos with me that I wanted to mess with at the moment, so I stole this beautiful picture of Sarah from Amberly's site (I didn't ask permission... I hope she won't mind. :-)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this picture straight out of the camera and I would love to print it off just as it is. But when I started playing with it I came up with this. I may have taken some of it too far but like I said it was my first attempt.

I hope to find some time in my schedule to start messing with Photshop a little bit more. I have always known it was cool but if someone does most of the "hard stuff" for me, that makes it that much more appealing.

One Sunday Afternoon

I know I am super late with this post but the pictures were too cute not to share.

My Sunday afternoons are usually filled with a nap and some NASCAR watching. Sunday afternoon before last (so almost two weeks ago) I had a much more eventful afternoon. Amberly had just had her surgery and with her hubby out of town for the afternoon she had asked if I could take Nathan to have his baseball pictures made. I was happy to help out and get to experience the zoo that is dozens of six to eight year old boys running around and just generally being six to eight year old little boys. They were not being bad at all, just being kids. We successfully got Nathan's individual and team picture made and were back to the house in about 30 minutes. I don't think the official pictures have arrived yet but the team picture should look something like this (but in better focus and from a better angle).

After I dropped Nathan off at home and played kitchen with Abby Grace for a few minutes, I headed back to my house. Shortly after I got home, Leslie, Toolman and CRB came by. They had been in town to run some errands and to try and get Leslie's car fixed. Well CRB has always loved Brun and that Sunday was no exception.

Now I love CRB, but as most 18 month olds tend to do, they like to find trouble. When he headed for Brun's food bowl I could see Science Diet Lamb and Rice poop in his diaper future for days. Well Brun, who never wants to miss anything that might be going on in his house, was close on the heels of CRB.

Contrary to what I feared, CRB didn't want to eat the dog food, he wanted to feed it to Brun. So morsel by morsel, he picked the food up out of the bowl and put it in Brun's mouth.

Not once did Brun bite too closely or "snatch" the food from CRB. He gently took each bit, gobbled it down and waited patiently for the next one. When CRB dropped one morsel in the water bowl, he quickly fished it out and gave it to Brun anyways. CRB must have decided that Brun liked his food a little mushy because at that point he began dunking each bite in the water before he fed it to Brun.

I am pretty sure the two of them might have done this all day but the fun was cut short when I had to get ready for church and Leslie, Toolman and CRB headed for home.

I'll take my nap and NASCAR any Sunday afternoon but days like this one were a lot more special and more memorable.

Almost Forgot

I mentioned in my last post that Amberly, Sarah, Abby Grace and their Grammy came over last Sunday. Well I forgot to tell you about the sweet House Warming present that they brought me.

In case you can't tell what it is, it is a basket filled with kitchen towels (that I am sure I will monogram very soon) and a big serving fork and spoon. There was also a pretty white pitcher/vase filled with flowers and a smaller pitcher/vase that Abby Grace picked just for me.

It was so nice of them to bring me such a sweet and thoughtful gift. I am sure I will find the perfect spot for them in my new house.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


No that is not how many readers I have lost due to the length of time since my last post. That is approximately how many boxes I have left to unpack. YEA!! Unfortunately I am down to boxes that I moved from my old old house four and a half years ago or boxes that I don't have a good spot to the stuff in them just yet. I am thinking that means I have AT LEAST 12 boxes too many.

I have been moved for about two and a half weeks now and things are finally starting to come together. I have found my shoes (which all but three pairs were lost for the first week). I lost all my dirty laundry until yesterday. Fortunately I (being a single person) can get by with doing laundry about once a month as opposed to once a day. :-) It is found now and I really should have run the washer tonight.

I never realized how much stuff I have until the movers dropped off all of my furniture and six million boxes. Good grief there were a lot of boxes! I should know... the broken down empty boxes are still sitting in my garage. It is times like these when I remember why my family never moved in all of my years growing up. Quite simply, we are pack rats and it's way too much trouble for pack rats to move.

I fully intend to get rid of at least a few things as I get everything settled but at this point I am still trying to get it all put away so I can get all of the boxes out of my house... and I will figure out what to get rid of later on.

I promise to put up some pictures but if I put up pictures now you would all just think I was a very poor housekeeper. The place is pretty dirty. Cleaning has not taken a priority since I moved and it is almost embarrassing. Amberly, Sarah, Abby Grace and their Grammy came over Sunday night after church and I was so happy they came but felt kind of bad that (a) the place was so dirty and (b) that I had not been to the grocery store since I moved.

Hopefully before too long I will be able to improve my role as house keeper and hostess...