Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Delish Chicken Tortellini Florentine Soup

Hey guys!!

I just discovered the most amazing recipe for a quick and easy weeknight soup that is sure to satisfy!

Chicken Tortellini Florentine Soup

1 32 oz box chicken broth
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
1 10 oz container refrigerated Alfredo pasta sauce
2 9 oz packages refrigerated three cheese tortellini
1 7 oz jar sun dried tomatoes (cut into strips)
1 package Perdue Short Cuts (Original flavor, diced)
3 cups baby spinach

In a stock pot add the chicken broth and pasta sauce, stir well. Add tortellini, tomatoes, and chicken and cook until pasta is tender but do not boil broth. Add in spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until spinach is wilted. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.



This was an incredibly delicious soup that I will definitely make again and again!

L.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why doesn't the doctor hand out waterproof mascara?

Okay...this hormone thing is driving me batty! It's like perpetual PMS. Okay...so I know the little squirt growing in my belly is going to be worth it and all but geez...I sure hope its Dad and I are still married when it comes.


Poor Shooter....I've bitten his head off twice in the last few days for absolutely nothing in particular....actually, I think he sneezed in my general direction and that set me off.


Also, I recently had my end of year review at work and I ended up crying through 45 min of the 75 min we were in there. Yea, the boss was a little, no a lot, too direct and harped a bit much about the bad stuff. But geez, peeps. I couldn't get the waterworks stopped once they started. I did the whole hiccuping thing too....I HATE it when people do that and here I was completely and utterly out of control! My supervisor and HR director were looking at me like I was the most pitiful thing ever and that just made it worse. It didn't matter what they said...I just hiccupped and cried harder. I should have worn waterproof mascara yesterday....why didn't the doctor give me some when that test in their office came back positive? It should be mandatory.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday morning catch up

I sit at home this morning....having called in sick to work. I started getting sick last Tuesday and it smacked me hard Wednesday afternoon. I spent most of Thanksgiving day without much of a voice (which has never happened to me!) and I didn't even go shopping on Black Friday. I ended up getting out for a little bit on Saturday but only about half a day before I was exhausted. I spent most of yesterday in the car driving back home from my brother's house and fell into bed around 8pm. I've got this cough that won't give but hopefully will ease up soon.



I will tell you one thing....I bought a generic neti pot at CVS before I left town last week and boy am I glad I did. It's a life saver.



This thing is amazing. It helps clean out your sinuses while moisturizing them. I know that sounds weird, but I get a really dry nose from the winter weather and all the indoor heating.


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All in all, the pregnancy is progressing right along. I've discovered that the progesterone is being tolerated very well and my levels are increasing with every blood test (yea!). I've also discovered that I can hardly watch certain food commercials. There's one for Longhorn Steakhouse that has a cheesy steak in it that makes my stomach do somersaults.

We also went out for sushi for my sister-in-law's birthday on Saturday and while I ate all "cooked" sushi, Shooter decided that he wanted some raw nigiri. I took one look at his plate and had to turn my back to him. My stomach threatened to ruin the evening, but I held it in check.

It seems that I am averse to the things that I shouldn't be eating anyway. Guess that's good!

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Oh...and since I last posted we had our first ultrasound. My dating indicates a due date of July 13 but the ultrasound showed a date of July 17. So according to the doctor, we're going with a due date of July 13. We even got to see the heartbeat!!! I was amazed that something so small was growing inside me.

I go for another ultrasound tomorrow. I'm excited about getting a new picture because I am planning a really cool surprise for my extended family.

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Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and your Christmas preparations are moving forward smoothly!

L.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When something could be wrong but ends up so right

Several weeks ago, you may remember that I wrote about a test that I was going to have to undergo. It was an ultrasound to detect the presence of any polyps or perhaps even cancer. I had worked myself up into such a frenetic ball of anxiety about this stupid test. I was convinced that something was really wrong with me.

Well, little did the ultrasound tech, my doctor, or myself know....there was something wrong with me....or something right had happened, rather.

On the day that I went in for the test, I was actually pregnant and none of us knew it.

I look back and the tech mentioned something about an area that looked kinda "fluffy" to her. The doc looked at it and determined nothing was wrong at all, no polyps, no nothings!

Well, that "fluffy" area was probably the makings of the fertilized sac that is wreaking havoc on my body! hehehe....the soon to be baby that will kick my bladder and make me spontaneously pee....

I just have to laugh when I look back on that day....I remember how positively scared I was that something was so wrong...and in actuality things were so very right!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Progesterone.....the drug from hell.....

Okay....so in my right mind I understand why my doctor wanted to put me on Progesterone. She wants to make sure my body has all it needs to keep the baby safe and sound, yada, yada.


But when I can't find my right mind cause I'm curled up on the toilet with a trash can in front of me and my insides are coming out in both directions....yea, I have a hard time rationalizing how good this stuff must be for me.


I spent Friday night from 11:15-11:45pm just that way....spewing my guts, my butt becoming raw, tingling like I'm about to pass out, and sweating all over.


I tossed and turned all night and went from being cold to hot to cold to hot to cold to hot. It was horrible! I had the worst stomach cramps known to any human and was scared to death that this was all hurting the baby....well, the fertilized sac that is wreaking havoc on my body.


I called the doc on call and she said I was having the most violent reaction to progesterone that she had ever heard of. Lucky me. Then she says, could it have been something that I ate. Okay lady...you may be smart enough to be a doctor...but it had been 2 1/2 hours since I'd eaten dinner...I surely to Pete I didn't have food poisoning. I've read about food poisoning...you get that really quickly...like 10-30 min after you eat.


Let's just say that I certainly hope that my doctor doesn't put me back on the drug I refuse to call by it's name anymore...it forever and always shall be called the "Drug from Hell".


Here's to being pregnant...

ugh!


Edit: Okay...so I went back on the progesterone kicking and screaming. I took it with food like they said and I haven't been sick. Okay....so maybe I had a stomach bug like the kind nurse suggested. Anyway....I seem to be tolerating it okay except for the restlessness and the hot and cold thing - which could probably be attributed to the fact that my furkids can sense something is up and they are PLASTERED to my side 24-7. Oh...and prune juice is my friend....just don't stand too close to me....haha!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm sure you're wondering why....

You guys might be wondering why I've closed off my blog....

Well...I have big news to share and to document and don't want the world to know just yet....

I'm pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!

Pretty newly pregnant, only 5 weeks today, that's why this is being held under wraps. I did want to share this with those who've followed this blog for a while.

I've been nauseaous 24-7, which I keep being told is a good thing. Yea, I don't know what they're thinking, but this is crappy. I am a wimp when it comes to spewing my guts so I should thank my lucky stars I'm not huddled around the toilet or a bucket. I pride myself, in a very Jerry Seinfeld sort of way, in how long it has been since I last felt my insides twist in violent fury. Before Friday night, it had been 2 years and 6 days. *sigh* Streak broken. This baby has a lot to answer for already. ;-)

Anyway....that's my news....

More nauseating details about dr. visits and hormones and tests will come in the future I'm sure.

Laters!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

So you say you live in AT-laaaaaaan-tah?

Just had to post this for all my readers in and out side of Atlanta.

This is for anyone who lives in Atlanta , Georgia , has ever lived in Atlanta , has ever visited Atlanta , ever plans to visit Atlanta , knows anyone who already lives in Atlanta , or knows anyone who has ever heard of Atlanta .

Atlanta is composed mostly of one-way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over when you reach Greenville , South Carolina.

All directions start with, 'Go down Peachtree' and include the phrase, 'When you see the Waffle House.' Except that in Cobb County , where all directions begin with, 'Go to the Big Chicken.'

Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with:
Peachtree Circle
Peachtree Place
Peachtree Lane
Peachtree Road
Peachtree Parkway
Peachtree Run
Peachtree Terrace
Peachtree Avenue
Peachtree Commons
Peachtree Battle
Peachtree Corners
New Peachtree
Old Peachtree
West Peachtree
Peachtree-Dunwoody
Peachtree-Chamblee
Peachtree Industrial Boulevard

Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions, they will always send you down Peachtree.

Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. Coke is all they drink there so don't ask for any other soft drink unless it's made by Coca-Cola.. Even if you want something other than a Coca-Cola, it's still called Coke.

The gates at Atlanta 's Hartsfield International Airport are about 32 miles away from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch.

The 8 am rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30 AM.

The 5 pm rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:30 PM.

Friday's rush hour starts Thursday afternoon and lasts through 2 am Saturday.

Only a native of Atlanta can pronounce Ponce De Leon Avenue , so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. The Atlanta pronunciation is 'pawntz duh LEE-awn.'

And yes, they have a street named simply, 'Boulevard.'

The falling of one raindrop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules. If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. Overnight, all grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer.

I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph (but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as 'The Watermelon 500.'

Don't believe the directional markers on highways: I-285 is marked East and West but you may be going North or South. The locals identify the direction by referring to the 'Inner Loop' and the 'Outer Loop .'

If you travel on Hwy 92 North, you will actually be going southeast.

Never buy a ladder or mattress in Atlanta . Just go to one of the interstates and you will soon find one in the middle of the road.

The last thing you want to do is give another driver the finger, unless your car is armored, your trigger finger is itchy and your AK-47 has a full clip. Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Georgia .

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Georgia , plus a couple no one has seen before.

If it grows, it sticks.

If it crawls, it bites.

If you notice a vine trying to wrap itself around your leg, you have about 20 seconds to escape, before you are completely captured and covered with Kudzu, another ill-advised 'import,' like the Carp, Starling, English Sparrow, and other 'exotic wonders'.

It's not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.

'Fixinto' is one word (I'm fixinto go to the store).

Sweet Tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're 2 years old.

'Jeet?' is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'

'Momma-nem' means: How's Mother and all of the other children and other members of the family doing.



Lordy, I love ATLANTA !

Cholula Original Seasoning


In my chili recipe below, I mention the use of Cholula Seasoning. Please note that I am not meaning the Cholula hot sauce. The hot sauce is phenomenal but it's not the flavor you're looking for in the chili. Definitely invest in a bottle of this stuff....it's amazing on everything.
L.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Most Amazing Chili Ever!

I created what I believe is the most amazing chili ever. It topped any pot of chili I've ever made and I have decided that you are all worthy of the recipe. :-)

Laura's Amazingly Easy Chili

2 lbs ground chuck
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs Cholula Seasoning - Original
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 packets McCormick Chili Seasoning

2 cans Del Monte diced tomatoes - Zesty Chili Style
1 box Pomi strained tomatoes
1 can Luck's beans - Pintos and Northern Beans

In a large Dutch Oven, brown ground beef with the onion, salt, chili powder, Cholula, cumin and garlic powder. Once completely browned, drain the meat well and return to the pot. Add the two packets of chili seasoning and stir until completely mixed into the meat. Add the diced tomatoes and the strained tomatoes and the beans. Stir until well combined. Simmer on medium-low about 30 minutes and enjoy!



Now that we're getting into cold weather season, I believe I'll be making this alot. I will say that the seasoned diced tomatoes really were the ticket to this quick chili tasting like it had been simmering for hours.

I believe -

This is the blessing I claim today -

Romans 8: 38-39 (NLT)
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

My heart was set free by these verses today. My fears were calmed by these verses. My eyes were turned to Him by these verses.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's been 10 days?

Many times over the last week and a half I've clicked on the link to my blog...figuring I should write something...then I stare at the empty box and can't figure out anything worthwhile to write about.

Today I figured I would write just to let the few people who read my blog know that I am alive and kicking albeit not too wildly right now.

Mom's getting better - we had another trip to the ER with her last week while I was home....she tried doing too much and...well, you know how that goes. I had a great weekend with my brother and sister-in-law at a cabin in the mountains. Mom and Dad came back up and joined us after Mom rested up some. It was nice to be away.

I have yet ANOTHER frippin' frappin' test to do for the ob-gyn in a couple of weeks. I'm not happy about it and it's caused a whole other level of anxiety for me, but I'm trying to keep pushing it to the back of my mind. Let's just say that it's one they typically do for people who they think may have the BIG C. And I don't mean Colitis or Colic or Cerebral or Congestive....I mean the C word that no one wants to talk about. (See me leaning forward and looking around to see if anyone's watching and putting my hand over my mouth and whispering really low....) I mean cancer. *WHUMP*









Wha...where am I....on yea, that cancer thing....sorry, I feel off my chair. I really don't feel like that's the problem, but you never know. Like I said, we'll know more in a few weeks.

Anyway...just wanted ya'll to know I'm alive...and kinda kicking....and just jumping the waves of life as they come at me.

L.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Coming up for air.....

I have to just say that my husband is the coolest possible person in the world. I love him and he's just too darned awesome for words. Check out his blog post....The Shooter Chronicles.

I'm exhausted and can hardly hold up my head, but I'm at work. I can't afford to not be at work with the economy the way it is.

I'm worried about my Mom, my Dad, my job, my family and tons of other things. Good thing they make meds for that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Someone send relief now....Pepto might work....

Okay....It's 7:45am on a Saturday morning and instead of sleeping in my nice warm bed I'm up and awake and have been for almost an hour. I was rudely awakened from my delicious slumber by my husband and the tunes of the most handsome and virile Bono (yes, Vertigo is my phone ringtone). I truly wouldn't have minded being awakened by Bono singing in my ear....but I digress.

For some reason unknown to me, the city of Atlanta and all surrounding counties are being affected by a serious gas shortage. Luckily I haven't had to visit the gas station while things have been at their worst as I don't have to drive far to pick up the commuter bus that takes me into the city. Shooter, however, got up bright and spanking early to go to work and called me to notify me that the gas station about 1.5 miles from our house had just gotten in a new supply of petrol and I needed to slap on a baseball cap and a bra and head down there.

Well, that's the way to get me going in the morning! Talk to me like that more often and things will get steamy fast.

So I jump up....grab a ball cap, a bra, jeans, sweatshirt and flipflops and flounce my way down to the local gas station. Me and about half the town it seems. Actually it wasn't that bad...I had filled up both of my cars in about 25 min which isn't bad considering I had to drive, wait, fill up, drive to house, drive to gas station, wait, fill up and drive home.

I am actually pretty darn fed up with whatever is going on. How bad is it that you have to get up at 7am to go and get gas? We tried to get some last night but the lines were so bad we decided to wait until after we'd eaten dinner. By the time we finished our lovely sushi dinner the gas had run out.

Hurricane Ike was...what....2 or 3 weeks ago? How come we're the only city in the Southeast experiencing these problems? Why can't people get their crap together and get us the gas we need. I will say this....I'm darn glad I drive low end cars that only take Regular gas. The people that drive those high-falutin' fancy engine cars are all shit-outta luck because hardly any stations are carrying any octane higher than Regular. Thanks Mazda, Nissan and Honda for making cars for the regular kinda folks.

Anyway....if you can send Pepto for our gas stations, I'd appreciate it.

Later lovelies!
L.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Football and the Southern Belle

One thing you should know about me is that I am a complete football fanatic. I grew up in a Southern city that is home of a nationally recognized football program. I blood runneth Orange has often been a saying in our house. My father went to the University in our city...as did his brother...as did my cousin...and my other cousin....and my other cousin....but I bucked the tradition and went to a smaller school away from home. I mention that tradition only so that you get the idea that being a fan of this nationally recognized program is an all-consuming thing.

I learned very early on that if I wanted to watch TV (other than the Mull's Singing Convention) on Sunday morning, I had to watch ESPN gameday updates. I learned about the spread offense, the nickel defense and what the shotgun was. I learned about the greatest rivalries and coaches with the most amazing and revolutionary coaching skills. I learned about tight ends (Hallelujah for football pants!) and wide receivers and cornerbacks and blitzes. I learned how to tell when there'd been pass interference and to always expect that our team would get a block in the back penalty on a kick return. I learned that fans of our football team didn't accept mediocrity. We'd rahter pull a moving van up in front of your house or notify the newspaper that your house was for sale if we decided we were ready to see you vacate the city.

It's very safe to say that my Father equipped me with such amounts of football knowledge that I was able to get a few dates sheerly because I loved to watch a good game. I could analyze with the best of my guy friends.

Now, I am - always have been - always will be - a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. Unfortunately, right now we're suffering from a lack of good coaching and individual talent that makes for a really rough season. After our very sad performance and subsequent dismemberment by the Florida Gators on Saturday, I officially decided that I am cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs this season. This doesn't negate the fact that I am and always will be a Tennessee fan. Oh No! My blood will always runneth Orange. I just will probably wear more red and black this year than I normally would have.

An event like this has only happened one other time in my reasonably short life. Once upon a time, I was a young girl in college - approximately 18 years of age - and I decided that I had fallen out of love with my dear Volunteers. I decided that I so despised Johnny Majors (then coach of my beloved Volunteers) that I was going to become a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish until he was fired and replaced. I had several Notre Dame sweatshirts that I wore every weekend and I championed them fervently. I would come home and shout their victories from the deck of my parents home and proclaim their greatness. No one really care in Tennessee about a football team in Indiana, but I was not deterred! Eventually Johnny Majors was replaced - by one fateful coach, Mr. Philip Fulmer - who is the currently detested coach of my beloved Volunteers.

I do not hold much hope for what this football season will bring...as far as the Vols are concerned....however, I will watch as much football as possible in search of good coaches instructing talented kids who play hard and want to win. I will watch Alabama in awe - but not like it. I will watch Georgia and cheer. I will watch USC and continue to believe that they can beat most NFL teams right now. I will watch Notre Dame and gag. I will watch all SEC teams and cheer my hardest. But I cannot be the fervent fan I used to be when it comes to the mighty Volunteers.

The mighty have fallen - and they forgot to wear their LifeAlert necklace...

Later lovelies!
L.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ahhh...geez....they come home when?

Today was such a good day - it started with a lazy morning sleeping in. We had originally thought that we'd get up and go to our favorite breakfast place but it didn't work out that way - which is perfectly fine with me.

Korby, our Pomeranian houseguest, is still peeing in random places throughout the house, but no more poops, thank goodness!

This morning he pee'd on the bathroom rug and I looked at Shooter and said, "His parents are coming home when?" We have enjoyed having him but we are certainly not used to having a puppy in the house.

We ended up getting a call from our groomer offering us a discount on grooming for Moe and Leah - we jumped at it and took them off to get all prettied up.

I then went to have my cherry blossom tattoo finished and boy does it look good. I can't wait to see how the colors pop once it's healed...here it is below:




We're now off to pick up the pups and grab a pizza for dinner...good times...and Korby's going back to his home for a while....whew!
Later lovelies!
L.h

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All I wanted was to take a pee.....

Okay...I know I've mentioned on many other occasions how I will wake up ramdomly to one of my dogs vomiting in the bed or wake up to poo on the floor of the sunroom in the morning. Wel....let me just tell you about this morning....

As background - we are currently dog sitting our friends' pup Korby. Korby is the cute lil ball of fur who is 6 months old and a Pomeranian. Korby gets excited and piddles in little places all over my house. He's not used to living with other dogs so he gets all kinds of excited at random times of the day. Mostly it's at 6:30am when Shooter's leaving for work and I'm in the middle of getting ready and he's sitting on the bed. He pee'd on Shooter's side of the bed twice this week. Ugh. So last night Shooter decides that Korby will sleep on the floor rather than in the bed with us. Suits him fine as he'll sleep about anywhere.

So - about 4:00am this morning I get up to go pee and shuffle my way to the bathroom because I certainly don't want to step on lil Korby. I take two steps into the bathroom and scream, "Holy Sh*t!" I land on the toilet and then mumble, "Yep, that's a pretty good assessment. Damn dog." Shooter wakes up and says, "What's the problem?" I'm still sitting in the dark mind you - "I just stepped in Korby's crap!" He gets up and turns on the light, and believe me, that did nothing to improve my disposition. We then notice that cute lil Korby has pee'd in the bathroom too...I think my pretty blueish-greenish rugs remind him of the great outdoors. Shooter and I fight our gag reflexes to clean up the poo - let me tell you, my gag reflex is darn hard to fight at 4am.

We get everyone settled and I head back to bed and as I am crawling under the covers I look at my pillow. I just stand there and stare for a few seconds and Shooter asks me what's wrong. I'm all like, just look - would you? He looks and starts to laugh, hysterically mind you. Apparently while all the drama was unfolding in the bathroom over Korby's lack of bodily control, Morey decided that he was so traumatized and couldn't believe we'd held back on the vomiting that he'd vomit for us. Yup, folks, he laid a big old pile of vomit right on my pillow. All I could say was that I was glad it wasn't my favorite expensive pillow.

Side note - I mentioned to Shooter I was glad it wasn't my favorite pillow because I was going to have to throw that one away. He was all like, why do you have to throw it away? I just looked at him like he had three heads. I asked him if he'd sleep on it after Moe had thrown up all over it, and he said that he guessed he understood. Geesh....men....

Anyway....the god's were conspiring to make this a day where I vomited, I could tell. I don't vomit...I haven't vomited in almost two years...since that fateful Halloween night two years ago. I have a Seinfeld like streak that I refuse to break.

Okay...I gotta run and sip some ginger ale and eat Saltines...I've made myself nauseaous just writing this post....good luck reading it...

Later lovelies!
L.


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edit

Here is a picture of the pup who is a constant thorn in my side, er, I mean loveliest houseguest ever. (please excuse the demon eyes, my blackberry doesn't seem to know how to not make everyone look possessed)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My weird quirks, anxieties and compulsions (Part I)

I don't know exactly what compelled me to start writing this - perhaps it was the conversation I had with my Mom or with my BFF Di. I am weird. I figured that out a long time ago. Honestly, I surround myself with other pretty weird folks too. I've determined in my old age...ha!...that being weird is pretty darn cool. I certainly wouldn't have admitted that many years ago...say in high school...but I can certainly admit it now.


I have many weird quirksZ, anxieties and compulsions. Some people might call them normal - because they experience them - and others may look at them as completely strange and incomprehensible. I have decided to pull back the blinds on my weirdness and expose it to the light....in all it's quirky weird glory.


The first weird quirky thing that comes to mind is how I used to lay in bed as a child - and by child I'd say that it was mostly in my pre-teen and teenage years - and pretend that I'd been in a horrific car accident and was completely paralyzed. I'd pretend to lay there unconscious while people came and visited me. They'd cry and stay with me and read to me. I'd pretend that I wanted to talk to them but couldn't. I used to imagine that everyone who'd ever done anything wrong to me would come to my bedside and apologize and cry because of what they'd done. Mostly I'd pretend that my handsome boyfriend would insist on staying by my bedside and would declare his unending love for me.

It wasn't always a car accident, sometimes I would have broken my neck in a diving accident or I would fallen off a horse.

I always remember focusing on the people coming to see me and that they were so sorry and sad and were always telling me how much they loved me. The boyfriend was always part of it too.

I am sure that somewhere there's a psychiatrist who would have a field day with this.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Did you say 15 Twinkies!?!?!?

I found a very interesting article online the other day. It's an article in Men's Health on the 20 most unhealthy drinks out there.

http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/Unhealthiest_Drinks_in_America/index.php

Let's just say that the top 5 all top 1,000 calories and the top 2 are over 2,000 calories. I had a terribly hard time picking my jaw up off the floor....

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My first big event in my new role at work was Tuesday evening. I planned a dinner for 35 at a local upscale Mexican restaurant. The food was good, the service was reasonable, the restaurant was breathtaking - the Guacamole was TO DIE FOR!!!!! Somehow I have to figure out how to nicely render my constructive criticism to the events manager. There are several things that would have to change if I were to go back there again. I have to relay that kind of news. *sigh*

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Work is hard right now....just lots of stuff going on and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. Hopefully it'll all right itself soon enough.

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Can I tell ya just how much I miss my husband - I think we live in the same house but I'm not sure. I think we've spoken over the last few days, but again I'm not sure. We've both been running ragged at work and I'm ready to slow down a bit...I know he is too. Dear Shooter's employer...bring him back to EP so I can get my hubby back. Thanks!

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Did anyone else have a hard time yesterday? It doesn't seem like 7 years have passed - my heart aches when I see the pictures and hear the stories.

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Later lovelies!
L.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Who told you that you were funny?

Okay....I admit that I watched the MTV VMAs last night. Well, actually, let me correct myself - I tore myself away from my work and watched Britney fumble her way through the opening remarks (and geez, someone show her how to hold a freakin' microphone wouldya?) and then half listened to the British idiot known as Russell Brand make a complete a freakin' fool of himself (I mean seriously - how many times can you make the Jonas Brothers the object of a joke in a two minute monologue?) and then watched Rihanna's pretty good opening song. I then mumbled about how stupid and retarded Russell Brand was and moaned something about how he can't even speak correctly (it's THink you idiot! Fink means something entirely different over here!). I heard Shooter gripe periodically about the performances as he half paid attention to it. I ended up falling asleep and he stayed up to watch Christina Aguilera. I'm so glad I didn't....that was one of the WORST lip syncing performances EVER in the HISTORY of MUSIC!!!!! I wonder how much time she put into preparing...even Britney does better than that!

Personally I was glad to see that the entire crowd wasn't behind Brand (as he obviously thought they would be) when he went on his Bush rant. See, Russell, it's like this - I can talk bad about my family but the minute you talk bad about them it's ON LIKE DONKEY KONG. His attempt at coming over to America and bashing our government didn't quite go over like he had hoped.

MTV...I hope you learned your lesson....

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I so want Guitar Hero for my Wii. Shooter and I were at the Wal-Marts yesterday and for once it wasn't be hogged by some 10 yr old pre-acne twerp and I was able to try it out. I LOVE IT!!!!! I played one of the easiest of the easy songs but I was hooked. I tried using my puppy dog eyes on Shooter and it didn't work. I tried say pretty please with sugar on it and using puppy dog eyes and he stood like a rock. I tried hugging up to him as innocently as possible in the Wal-Mart but he held firm. I was about to launch into a tantrum but reigned myself in. I'll get it...and soon. I promise you!

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The final kitten found a home. I took it to my boss' house on Saturday and it will now be living there with two beautiful girls to take care of it. If it's a girl it's name will be Sophie and if a boy it'll be named Sebastian. Both beautiful names for a beautiful kitten.

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Well....off to do some work....

Later lovelies,
L.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Overheard - in the middle of the night....

Two nights ago, at approximately 3:30am ET the following conversation took place:

Me: *wakes up a bit, wrinkles nose, determines one of the dogs farted, shakes head, goes back to sleep*
Shooter: *wakes up a bit, wrinkles nose* What the hell is that smell???
Me: Who? What? Fell? Who fell? Did you fall out of bed?
Shooter: Smell!! Smell that? What is that?
Me: Oh. I smelled it too. I think one of the dogs farted.
Shooter: Dude...that's no fart. That plain smells like ass.
Me: *lifts the covers to find Morey* Son of a.....I'm gonna kill that dog. *Spies a big pile of dog vomit on the sheet next to her*
Shooter: Ha! At least it's on your side this time.
Me: Yea, and he's lucky I didn't roll over - he'd be looking for another home. He's walking a thin line as it is.
Shooter: Here let me get you a towel.
Me: I have one right here...just waiting for the opportunity to mop up one of his stanky butt piles of vile vomit.
Shooter: Oh well...we needed to wash the sheets anyway...
Me: *rolls eyes* Whatever...get the comforter, I'm too tired to find another sheet.





I love my dogs....I really do.....if I keep repeating it I'll believe it.

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Oh....and yesterday (while I was working from home) I rescued three kittens from my backyard. They're adorable and one is still at home with me. I kinda wanna keep it...but kinda don't. I haven't decided. Here are pics of them.









I have this little guy at home right now. He's so cute and such a snuggler...they all were actually. The dogs just don't know what to make of them being in the house though. It was a crazy day.

Later lovelies!

L.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Boomsday '08


Now that I've actually been out taking some pictures...here's a photo of the Knoxville skyline on Sunday evening during their annual Boomsday celebration.




Friday, August 29, 2008

If it weren't for beef you'd be a vegetarian?

Last night I had the honor of tagging along to dinner with a phenomenal group of ladies. I met them through Shooter - they were all friends of his when he was in college. To say they were an answer to prayer is an understatement. I have been lacking in the female friend department for a long time. I have been craving a close relationship with a group of girls with the same mindset as me for what seems like an eternity. One random afternoon it happened. I did it for Shooter...rearranged our weekend plans so we could go and he could hang with some buddies from college. Little did I know, I would meet some women who I would connect with in a way that makes me feel like we're all separated at birth.

Em - she's a sista from anotha motha - and unfortunately she's moving to podunk Mississippi to be with her super chef of a husband. Good thing her family still lives here so that I can still see her occasionally.

Meg - one of the sweetest hearts I've ever met - she was a good friend to Shooter and is an equally good friend to me.

Jolie - you'll never meet a more genuine person that her. Shooter always spoke highly of her and now I completely understand why.

Mrs. Cheese - this girl is a RIOT! She has a way of telling a story that will bring tears to your eyes....and she does it frequently. She's compassionate and caring and a great friend to know.

Jenn - such a sweet and quiet spirit. An avid reader and someone I know I'll spend lots of time sharing authors with (if Facebook ever lets me finally add her as a friend - grrrr!). Good luck at school girl!

There were several others I met at the gathering that were not at dinner last night....and they were sorely missed but we fellowshipped with them in spirit.

We told stories....we talked about college and marriage and dating and kids and books and life in general. We "met" at 7pm-ish and didn't leave the restaurant until after 10pm. I think we loitered in the parking lot another 30 min and it was so hard to tear ourselves away....just as we'd finish one topic of conversation another would pop up and no one wanted it to end. We all decided that it was one outing that we would have to do on a regular basis - reason or no reason.

I just thank the Lord above for his gift of friendship. I needed this so badly and I needed last night - but then again, He knew that.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, lovelies! I am off to see family so I'll be back next week.
L.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Say what?

I am a real jokester. I mean, I like to tell jokes. I tell my jokes in the form of stories. The stories may be real or may be born in my imagination. They're pretty darn funny regardless.

I also have a side that is a sarcastic jokester. That sarcastic joker side of me is about 90% of the time truly joking. There's that other 10% of the time, however, where I'm joking but completely serious. I find that I'm usually that way with only a handful of people. I think it's a little bit in retaliation for what I perceive to be the same sort of humor played out against me - or others close to me.

There's one particular person in my life who hardly ever gets genuine humor from me and I'm not sure they even know it. I sense that the humor directed at me is 100% sarcastic truth so I reflect that back at them. It really makes me sad that they don't seem to get it. If only they could break that one wall down, I think it would make such a huge difference in their life - personally as well as professionally.

Oh well....but if they change their ways I won't get to poke fun at them being completely serious yet laughing it off. My life will be much less funny if they straighten up. Hmmm....maybe I'm more self-serving than I believe. ;-) So go on...you self-centered, egotistical SOB - talk about yourself a little more - keep that world revolving around yourself - put me down one more time - it just gives me more fodder for my own amusement.

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Later, lovelies!
L.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Who punches like a girl?

Ohhh....I am so super psyched because I got our Wii yesterday! Thanks to my lil bro and super sis-in-law!!! I have hunted all over my side of Atlanta only to always come up empty handed. I was determined that I wasn't spending a gajillion bucks on eBay for one either! My lil bro lives out in West Tennessee where there are only smallish kinda towns but they have a plethora of Super Wal-Marts in the area - go figure - too close to Arkansas apparently. He made an off-hand comment to me one day on the phone that he sees Wiis in the stores now down there and they're not so hard to find. Well...I texted him a few days later and begged him to please oh please buy me one and that I promised my check would be good and I'd pay him back. Well, he believed me and my Wii arrived yesterday. I promptly went home and worshipped the box...and tried to hold myself back from hooking it up before Shooter came home. I ended up deciding that we'd need to eat sometime so I put a pot of marinara sauce on the stove to simmer and by that time Shooter and hauled himself home. I hooked it up with a little participation from him and we were off.

We bowled...I kicked Shooter's butt....then Shooter boxed and won his first fight in the third round....then I boxed and one my first fight in the second round...and my second in the first round....and my third in the third round. Yea, I may punch like a girl but I'm MEAN!!!! ;-) I then played a little tennis and then my arm started to hurt a little...I figured I better give it up before I get to the point where I can't type at all. So I played with the Mii channel and that was tons of fun too.

I highly recommend getting one of these games, guys. It's highly addicting but loads of fun too!!

What you say? You have to probably work most of the day Saturday, Shooter? Oh, no problem, I'll figure out some way to keep myself busy. hahahaha!!!!

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Also, Country Girl apparently reads my Tweets....god bless her....and she's clamoring for a pic of my new tattoo. Well, here's a really crappy on that I took this morning with my camera phone. I'm warning you, it's totally crappy, but I promise to get a better one.



It's a branch of cherry blossoms and I've only had the line work done so far. There was a little miscommunication between my artist and I on what I wanted so he had to completely redraw his design and then he had a scheduling screw-up so we just decided to do the line work first and then color it in later. I have an appointment in two weeks but I'm hoping to get back in next weekend to finish it. We'll see. You can also see the other tattoo I have on my back in the bottom corner....we a portion of it. It's three entwined circles with the overlapping parts emhasized in a new color. It is a Celtic Triquetra representing the Holy Trinity. The cherry blossoms....well, they represent the female - the amazing strength coupled with fragility that makes a woman so mysterious. I can't wait to see how the color work comes out...my artist is amazing! If you're ever in the Atlanta area...check them out....it's Joey Wallace at Karmic Tattoo.

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Ugh...I'm sitting here and my back is sore, my arm is sore and I'm tired. Damn that Wii!!! ;-)

Later lovelies!

L.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You only came for the food?

Shooter and I host our church small group at our house on Wednesday evenings. We had taken the summer off but started back last week. I didn't make my normal start of the series dip, I tried something new that was AWE.SOME! I also made up a recipe for last night that was a hit too. Unfortunately I have no pictures...but I do have recipes! That's what you came here for anyway, right? The food?

Hot Mexican Spinach Dip
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, diced and softened
1 (2.25 ounce) can chopped black olives, drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup evaporated milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a medium baking dish, mix together salsa, chopped spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, black olives, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Add milk a little bit at a time (if needed) until you get a nice creamy consistency.
Bake mixture in the preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until bubbly.


So...I was on a spinach dip roll....I loved the mexican one so much that I thought, well, I'll tackle the Spinach Artichoke dip. I looked at scads of recipes, and no I don't know how many that is exactly, and couldn't find any without a gajillion (and yes, that's lots) of ingredients. I like it simple, man! So here's my easy, peasy take on Spinach Artichoke Dip, ladies and germs.

Laura's Easy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
2 10 ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1 14 ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
1 16 ounce container of light cream cheese, softened
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
1 1/2 cups of italian cheese blend, divided
salt
pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine together the spinach, artichokes and cream cheese. The mixture will be very thick. Add evaporated milk a little at a time until you reach a nicely creamy consistency that isn't runny but yet stirs easily (I added in about a 1/4 cup in all). Add in 3/4 cup of the italian cheese blend. Add salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes. Add in 2 tablespoons of the dip packet. Stir well and then transfer to an 8x8 baking pan.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

This is one of the best dips I've ever had. It's easy and it's so yummy!! I'm going to experiment with a little onion in it next time and see how that goes. Next week at small group, though, we're back to the Buffalo Chicken Dip...man that stuff is GOOD!!!! The recipe is here somewhere...I'm too lazy to link to it. Sue me!

Later lovelies!
L.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Somebody slow down the bandwagon so I can jump on!!

Okay...so I know everyone and their uncle have been screaming about how the Chinese have been getting preferential judging....well, now so am I.

I was bolstered by reading The Fourth Medal blog today over at Yahoo!

I, however, am going to exclude the following events where the outcomes are decided by judges and not solely on the athletes physical abilities:

* Gymnastics
* Trampoline
* Judo
* Diving
* Fencing
* Equestrian

The current medal counts are:
China: Gold - 43 Silver - 14 Bronze - 19 Overall - 76
USA: Gold - 26 Silver - 26 Bronze - 27 Overall - 79

Under my new calculations the medal counts would be:
China: Gold - 22 Silver - 10 Bronze - 12 Overall - 44
USA: Gold - 22 Silver - 16 Bronze - 22 Overall - 60

I don't want to sound like some ungrateful, egotistical, pompous jerk of an American...but please, the numbers kinda speak for themselves.

And there's no way that He Kexin is 16...gimme a freakin' break!!!!!!

Later lovelies!
L.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic events? For real?

Okay...so I had a real leisurely weekend...Saturday I laid on the couch reading "Breaking Dawn" and watching the Olympics. Well, I actually I had the tv on mute and then when I'd see something that interested me I'd stop and watch.

Did you know that the some of these are a real, live Olympic events?

Trampoline - I watched it on Saturday and Sunday and was absolutely amazed at these folks. The Chinese...of course...were amazing and it's unbelieveable how much height they get on the tramps. I was scared to death just watching them. In a really morbid way, I was sitting there waiting to see if someone would go flying off the trampoline....no one did but I did see a gal misjudge the distance to the trampoline and go flying sideways.

Fast walking - I mean, what the heck??? It looks like a huge group of people need to pee really REALLY badly. Can't you just see the scandal should someone break form and jog? Medals would be withdrawn....the fast walk crowd would stampede as fast as fast walkers can....it would a horrendous sight.

Marathon - I mean really.....2+ hours of marathon coverage....kill me now....

Handball - it's not what I thought it was....I thought handball was like raquetball but using your hands instead of raquets. Not so, grasshopper. It's kinda like dodgeball....actually I think dodgeball would be more fun to watch.

Badminton - Okay...lawn games become Olympic events....I'm waiting for croquet next year. Seriously I saw the men's champion running around the arena like a rock star. Of course he was....wait for it.....CHINESE. After he won he threw his raquet into the stands and people were trying to grab it....then he starting throwing his shoes out for people to catch....then his towels. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

In all truthfulness...because I lie to you all the time....I am looking forward to the rhythmic gymnastics a lot. I love the ribbon thing they play with....I pretend I'm on the US team sometimes in my bedroom...I attach some toilet paper to a chopstick and go with it. I'm pretty darned good too...don't laugh.

I'm also looking forward to seeing some table tennis. Nothing like those little Chinese folks running and doing somersaults and screaming like girls all in the name of hitting a tiny little ball on a table over a net. It's mesmorizing folks!

Synchronized swimming - all children....I spent my entire youth fantasizing that I was a synchronized swimmer. I was either in a glorious Esther Williams movie or on the Olympic team. I spent a good bit of the summer practicing my moves and I was darned good....I had the nose plug and swim cap too...I was a looker.

Well....there's my Olympic recap for you. I'm going to go now and watch as many clips of Michael Phelps as I can. I can't get enough of him and his teeny Speedo. YUM!

Later lovelies!
L.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Whew...don't see a picture like that everyday....

Well today I went to the hospital to have my "dye test" done. It's actually called a Hysterosalpingogram or HSG for short. I was prepared for it to be incredibly painful and to have lots of pain afterwards. I won't lie....the actual procedure was pretty darned uncomfortable. I was close to tears when it was over. However, once I have gotten home, I feel pretty good - intermittent cramping but pretty tolerable

Apparently I had extra cramping because the radiologist couldn't get the catheter in as far as he'd like to....oh well, I survived.

When it was done, I sat up and the radiologist showed me the images. My first thought, which of course came spilling out of my mouth, was, "Wow, don't get to see pictures of yourself like that very often." The radiologist was really awesome and started joking with me about it. He says, "If you'd like we can print them out for you!" I said, "Certainly, I'd like to hang them in the bedroom." Ha!

Luckily, the result of the HSG test was everything I was hoping for. The images showed that everything looked great and nothing was blocked....everything looks to be just the way it should be. I was quite happy!

So, apparently the results from Shooter's test should be sitting at my doctor's office right now. I have a call in to see if they'll let me know what it says.

Well....the adventure continues.....

Later lovelies!
L.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And the saga continues....

Well, now that I've officially "come out" to my parents and Shooter's parents...I figured...why not do the same to the whole 4 people who read my blog.


I've hinted in the past about some hard things going on with me. Basically, Shooter and I have been trying for the last 7 months to have a little Shooter/Shooter-ette. Unfortunately we've not been successful in our attempts - but do not feel sorry for us, we've had fun trying.


Last week I had blood drawn to see if all my internal stuff was working like it's supposed to be. I found out this morning (all but one test came back) that everything looked really good. The last test will be an important one and hopefully it'll be back this week. Shooter's done his thing and we're just waiting on word from that doctor. Tomorrow....whoa Nelly....tomorrow I go in for an outpatient procedure. It's an HSG test I believe. Anyway, they shoot dye up there and then xray you to make sure all the plumbing is working like it should. I'm trying to make this family friendly and not so graphic....hahaha. Anyway, as best I can tell, I'll be laid up tomorrow in bed, and watching lovely daytime TV (Maury (Who's The Daddy of my 5 kids? and Cheaters!!!!) ...when I'm not popping Tylenol PMs and sleeping. I'm holding out hope I'll be feeling well enough to go to work on Wednesday, but bets are that I'll be working from home.


Basically we should know by end of week where we stand and if we have to do more invasive infertility treatments. I'm kinda hoping we don't....but I'm willing to do whatever we need to. I just draw the line at the shots and stuff...no thanks!!! I'm also not so willing to do the Clomid route...that is how Kate of Jon & Kate Plus 8 got her 6!!! Well, that plus IUI. No thank you.

Well, that's what's been up with me and Shooter....hopefully we'll be adding to the brood and I'll have great news to share before too awfully long.

Later lovelies!
L.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Shooter Chronicles

Well, Shooter has decided to jump, errrr...rather fall, into the land of blogging. I think he's going to start doing some video blogs since our brand spanking new laptop has a webcam. I might do some guest vlogging over there every so often, myself. Anyway, head over there and say hi!

www.theshooterchronicles.blogspot.com

Later lovelies!
L.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

There May Be Bugs On Some Of You Mugs.....

Okay....so I took Morey and Leah off to the vet yesterday. All's going well UNTIL I get the dreaded phone call....the one where they try adding lots of things onto your bill that you and the dogs don't really want/need.

Well....this is how the phone call went:

"Hello, this is Laura"
"Mrs. B? This is XXXX from your veterinarian's office. I'm just calling in regards to Morey."
"Okay...is everything allright with him?"
"Oh, yes, he's fine. However, we wanted to see if you wanted us to perform their dental today, because they REALLY need it."
"No, I will call back in a couple of weeks to have that done, but thanks for asking."
"Well, I also wanted to address your concern of Morey's licking and scratching excessively. In doing our exam, we DID FIND two fleas on him. Were you aware that Morey had fleas?"
"Well, no, I wasn't aware he had two fleas on him. He is due for his Advantix, so I guess he probably picked them up in the yard this morning."
"Do you HAVE any flea control or should we add some to your bill today?"
"No, I have some at home, just need to put it on him. Did Dr. B take a look at Morey's rear where he had the scaly patches?"
"Yes, he said it must be a reaction to the rabies vaccination."
"But, didn't you just give him the rabies vaccination? He's been biting at that spot for two weeks."
"Oh, well, Dr. B. wants you to give them both baths tonight and then put the flea/tick medication on tomorrow - hopefully that will take care of the itching and scratching."
"Alright. Thanks."
"So, how are you on heartworm medication? Have you been giving that to them?"
"Yes, we are diligent about giving them their heartworm medication and I'm fine with that too."
"Alright, well Dr. B. will talk to you about what steps you need to take with them when you come to pick them up."
"Okay, thanks."

I mean, seriously....I got scolded for one of my dogs having TWO fleas on him......TWO little bitty teeny weeny fleas. Not an infestation. Not a colony. TWO!!!! Ugh...sometimes I despise the vet.

Later, lovelies!

L.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's got to be 5 o'clock, somewhere!!!!

Geez oh Pete....I really think that turning another year older has caught up with me. Okay...so maybe I'm being a little dramatic....well, okay, a lot dramatic...but this morning has kicked my butt and it's only 8:37am.

5:00am - I woke up and started frosting and decorating the cake I brought to work for a co-worker's baby shower.

5:35am - I managed to finish decorating and clean up my mess. I then got the dogs out and fed them.

5:55am - I started getting myself ready.

6:45am - I'm all beautified, lotioned and potioned and dressed. I let the dogs out again and then get them ready to go to the vet.

7:00am - Get to the vet and get the pups all signed in so they can get their shots and whatnots.

7:35am - Head back towards the house to get to the bus stop.

7:44am - Run to the bus and get the last seat that will allow me to occupy two seats - one for me and one for the cake. :-)

7:52am - Bus leaves for the big city.

8:25am - I walk in to the office.

8:37am - I begin writing my blog about my morning.

I'm not kidding....I'm tired. But I also feel pretty darn good for someone who got in bed at 11pm (90 min later than my usual bedtime).

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Also, keep us in your thoughts and prayers and stuff - I've got a couple of tests coming up in the next week or so that will shed a lot of light on some things that have been going on lately. I just hope the results are good.

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Okay....now I'm off to see if we have some vodka stashed somewhere I can mix in with my orange juice! Ha!

Later lovelies!
L.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Birthdays through the years

As I reflect on my upcoming birthday....I remember past birthdays. When I was a kid, I always hated the fact that I wasn't in school and therefore my stay-at-home Mom couldn't bring cupcakes to my class and celebrate. I remember having lots of family birthday parties because school was always out and friends were off vacationing.

I remember turning 10 and my family getting together yet still reeling from my uncle's tragic accident that broke many bones and rendered him with a jaw wired shut.

I remember turning 16 and all the fun and gifts that came my way. I actually remember turning 16 while on a family vacation to Las Vegas...I was in Dallas on my birthday...I remember it was hot...and while in Vegas my Dad refused to drive us to LA to the Hard Rock Cafe. He was so cruel. ;-)

I remember turning 18 and preparing to go off to college....I remember standing in my dorm room window and jerking it open and yelling at my parents that I was afraid I'd forgotten something. Just cause I didn't want them to leave yet.......

I remember turning 21 while I was away at college taking summer classes. Most of my friends were still at home and hadn't returned to school yet....so it was me and a few friends downing tequila shots at Applebees. Woo!

I remember turning 22 and thinking..."What am I going to do with myself now that I'm about to graduate and become an adult." Wow...how young I was....

I remember turning 24 and believing I'd met the man of my dreams. I hated his Mom, nevermind he was a Momma's boy, but I loved him. Yea....about 4 months later I saw the light.

I remember turning 27 and counting the days until I married Shooter....we were about a month away from our wedding date.

I remember turning 29 and being in a depression for the next 6 months as I contemplated turning 30.

I remember turning 30 and thinking, "This aint' so bad!"

I remember turning 33 and having a bit of a mid-life crisis.

I remember turning 35 and wondering where the heck the years have gone!

Now, as I am facing 36....I can say that I'm happy with me. I'm happy with my marriage and completely in love with Shooter. I love my pups dearly...but desperately want a human child to add to the household. I am content with my job and the things it affords us. I am happy with God and church and all my friends. The one thing I'm certain of is that things will change. Luckily, with each passing year, things have changed for the better....oh some years were a change for the worse....but in general I've made many leaps forward. 36 ain't so bad....plus I got to grow up in the 80s when some of the best music ever was made!!!!! (but that's a discussion for another post)

Later lovelies!
L.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good news, ants and crabbity crab crab crap

Okay...so as I stated below, I made the leap and created an Etsy store. If you scroll down, some of my listings are showing in the column on the right. Tell everyone you know...I'd like to maybe sell one, or two things. No pressure or anything. ;-)

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I really don't like bugs. I hate spiders. Water bugs freak me out. Slugs cause me to hyperventilate. Ants, ugh...ants cause me to break out in spontaneous itching all over my body. At the bus stop, we have a colony of ants who've moved in just a few steps from where we catch the bus. Their mound has grown every day for the last two weeks and nothing's been done. Ugh...I'm itching now just thinking about them!!!! It's just like when my Mom was telling me about a camping trip she and my Dad went on with some of our family and how everyone had all these little bitty ticks on them and they had to comb over every inch of their person with a find tooth comb and extract something like 20+ ticks from their bodies. NO NO NO!!!! I don't want to know that!!!! My scalp itched for two weeks and every time I had the slightest itch I feared the ticks had found me. Ugh!!!!!

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Oh, and I just found out today that I could have been billing time for the Friday staff lunches we have in the office. That means I could have been billing 30 min every Friday for the past....ohhhh....9 months at least!!!!!!! And....I can't go back and bill it to make up....even though apparently every other admin was billing the time. Why, oh why, couldn't someone have told us that we could bill the time? Why wasn't an email sent indicating this? Grrrr.....hacks me off is what it does.....actually....it does more than that....but I'm trying to keep this family friendly around here.

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Later lovelies!
L.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friendship and things your Momma never told you

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a friend?

I mean, there's no "friend police" out there with a set of rules that we all follow. Women all have different ideas about what a BFF is and who can be your BFF. Some women wouldn't dare call anyone their BFF. Introverts perhaps don't really know how to be friends. Extroverts can't imagine life without a huge group of friends.

I have been wondering lately what it means to be someone's friend. I never got the lecture from my Mom regarding friendship that I did about boys and sex and puberty and such. The closest we came to it was when I was in Middle School and one of my church "friends" pushed me and called me a name and I pushed her back. She cried to her Mom and I got in trouble. (Story of my life!) I remember my Mom telling me about how I should try harder to be her friend and I remember arguing and telling my Mom that this girl was so fake and I couldn't stand being around her. After that, I just sort of muddled my way through it as best I could and tried not to stick out in the crowd too much.

I've had friends in my life....most have come and gone with the passing of time or changes in lifestyle. I look back on my former friends and wonder what happened....was it me? Is it my fault that I don't keep up with many friends from high school? Is it my fault that I don't keep up with any of my college friends? I will admit right now that I am an introvert. I love my quiet time and solitude. Give me a book and I'm happy as a clam. I however, don't want to pass all that off and lay it on the shoulders of my introverted self. I am not patient. I take things too personally sometimes. I don't like to be made into someone's punching bag so they can let out all their gripes and frustrations. I don't like to always be the giver - although I am a giver, to a fault.

But I wonder....what's the difference between me and the next girl who keeps up with her preschool friend and still chats daily with her college roommate?

I wonder, what makes some friends give and give and give and some friends take and never ask why. I wonder what causes some friends to constantly be looking out for others and some friends are always trying to put others down. Perhaps it's not a "friend" thing....but rather a woman thing. Perhaps it's "Mean Girls" for the adult set?

Well....all I know is that I have tried, probably not as hard as I should, but I have tried to be a good friend to those I've crossed paths with. I just wish Momma would have sat me down and given me the birds and bees explanation of friendship.

I jumped....

Alright, bloggie peeps....I jumped. I got a big running start and just went for it.

I set up my Etsy store for my photography.

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5962273

L.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday, Oh Sunday.....

My how the weekends fly. This weekend my parents came down to celebrate my birthday...a little early. It is always nice to have them in town and I always have fun with them. We had a great trip to IKEA where I bought a few really cool things for the house and found some bedside tables I fell in love with....unfortunately a lot of people like them and they were sold out...just my luck. ;-)

Mom always finds great things from Marshalls and she brought me several new items for the house and I loved all of them!

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Several of you have asked about my Flicker page. Here is the address:

http://www.flickr.com/welcome/31171404/621792/

I do think that if I open an Etsy shop, I'd give you the opportunity to ask for specific pictures from my Flicker page. There's a convo option there that I think would work well for this.

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My friend Di's Etsy shop is up and running for her To Di For Designs shop. She's got some awesome necklaces and matching bracelets for sale....and I took the pictures for her. hehehe

Do pay her a visit...

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6062219

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I watched the Golden Compass today....I thought it was a really good movie....however I HATED how it ended....I mean....don't leave me hanging like that. Ugh!!!!!

I also saw The Dark Knight with the parents and Shooter this weekend. Wow!! What an amazing movie. Heath Ledger was amazing in the role of the Joker. He's guaranteed the Oscar this year for that role and he deserves it. Honestly though, I felt like it was about 45 min too long. They so could have cut most all of the Harvey Dent villain part out and left that for another movie. My butt was so asleep by the time the movie was over.

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Well....it's back to work tomorrow....hope you all are ready!!!

Later!
L.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Complete Stream of Consciousness

Okay...so when I do daily things like take a shower or blow dry my hair - I tend to zone out and my thoughts wander randomly. I'm sure this shocks each and every one of you to think that I allow my thoughts to wander. Anyway....there was a blurb this morning on the news about how a local woman was shot and killed and she was a teacher in a local county's schools. I thought to myself, "Well, how horrible is that. Her family is distraught and imagine how the kids who admired her feel." That led me to thinking about teachers that had really made an impact in my life. I then thought of this particular teacher that my brother really loved, Mr. Ferry. I remembered seeing Mr. Ferry working at the local department store during the summer and during holidays to make ends meet. I thought, "Ya know, it's got to be hard as a teacher to have to supplement your income with part-time work that way." I then thought about how peculiar it was that my brother decided to name his stuffed bear (for you kids of the '80s it was a Pot Belly Bear - and my brother somehow forgot him in a hotel room in Georgia on a trip to Florida one year.) Mr. Ferry - but eh, whatever he's my weirdo little brother. And it was rather peculiar that the bear was potbellied and so was Mr. Ferry. I then thought, "Ya know....Mr. Ferry was this late 30's guy who was single and taught 2nd grade and was kinda creepy now that I think about it." I then unearth from somewhere in the recessess of my brain a tidbit from the local paper where Mr. Ferry had been arrested years ago on some kind of public indecency charge.



Strange how the brain works, eh?

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The other day I went to my local camera store to pick up the enlargement I had made of the picture above. I had this made into an 11x14 picture and then picked up a double matted 16x20 frame to put it in. I just can't believe how incredible it looks. I am tempted to start selling my photos. Do any of you guys buy photos online, from Etsy or other places? Would you be interested in any of my photos that I've showcased through my blog or you've seen on my Flicker page? Feel free to email me directly with your feedback...and please be honest. I'm not sure if my stuff is worth me investing in all the equipment - Shooter seems to think so but I'm pretty sure he's biased. ;-)

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Oh...I found out yesterday that I might be picking up a few more peeps in the $50 per person picture taking adventure. Turns out the regular guy really screwed up yesterday and didn't do what they needed/wanted. hehe....I can't tell you how much I'd love to have that as a regular gig.

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Also, my coolest friend Di is going to be opening up her own Etsy shop for her new venture called To Di For Designs. She's making one of a kind beaded necklaces and bracelets. They're gorgeous!!!! Make sure you keep up with her - her blog link is over on my blogroll - and go visit her shop once she gets it up and running.

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Later!

L.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Pretty Decent Monday....

Wow...after totally not wanting to get up and moving this morning....it's turned out to be a pretty decent day.

I hadn't mentioned this because I never like to talk too much about work and especially not on my blog - but I interviewed last week for a 50% position at work. I was asked today to accept the position - and I did!! I'm so excited. Basically my job will now be 50% Executive Assistant (staying with my boss who I've worked with for 4+ years) / 50% Training Coordinator for Consultants and Admin. I have an amazing opportunity ahead of me in that I will be working with my supervisor to create a comprehensive training program for the admin group. I will also handle all the training needs for all consulting staff in our office. I'm super excited about the challenge.

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My parents are also coming into town this weekend - they're bringing my cousin SK some furniture and seeing me in advance of my b-day. In preparation for their arrival, I was framing some photos and such yesterday. Wow...I can't wait to get them all up on the walls!

Also, we found a king sized headboard in brown leather at Garden Ridge for $200!!!! I loves it. When the 'rents arrive I'm going to get my Dad to go with me and we're going to go pick it up...it's a little big to fit in our little car - good thing they're bringing the truck. :-)

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Oh....Shooter bought a HUGE smoked pork butt this weekend....something like 15 lbs of meat. I've already eaten it smothered in BBQ sauce twice this weekend. Now I'm brainstorming on all the different ways I can eat pulled pork. I'm think enchiladas one night (Thanks, Di!!) and other than that I'm stumped. HELP!!!!!

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Later!
L.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday bits and pieces

Well....I've been a royal lazy bum today...Shooter had to work and only moved from the bed to the couch to the bed to the couch today. I was completely engrossed in the new novel I was reading, Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight". I finished it and started the second book in the series, "New Moon". I'm completely obsessed with them and cannot put them down. I'm paying for it as I have a headache from having my head buried in the pages for so long.

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I know I've only been at this blogging thing for a short time....but I just don't get the whole BlogHer thing. Don't get me wrong....I'd love to visit San Francisco....but.....

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I was asked by some folks at work to take pictures of a couple of women coworkers for a new recruiting brochure we're working on. I was glad to help out....the regular photographer was on vacation and they had to be taken care of this week. I found out they pay the regular photographer $50 per person to take the photos.....I made $100 for taking 20 min worth of photos. I am so going to try to secure that gig!!!

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So, my hairdresser is moving salons. Today in the mail I get a letter from her new salon with her new information as well as a letter from the former salon. The former salon is offering me all these discounts to keep coming to them. Little do they know that every other stylist there is looking to leave. No way I'd keep going there. Apparently one of the co-owners is a bit bipolar and is prone to throwing towels and cussing out the staff. No wonder they're all looking to leave.

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It's official - I'm totally addicted to Facebook

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Okay....who in God's name thought it would be a good idea to give Brooke Hogan another reality show? Gag me.

God bless the person who decided to bring back Paradise Hotel, though. :0)

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Tomorow is another Sunday where we're teaching the preschoolers....I'm sure it'll be another amazing day of hilarity and burps and all around fun! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Black Hole, Angel Food Cake and......Racism?!?!?!

Okay...ya know...I try to be as sensitive as I can to the politically correct movement in this country. BUT sometimes people, and by people I mean African-Americans, and by African-Americans I mean Black people, take it way too far.

I read the following article on FoxNews.com this afternoon and it just blew me away.

Texas County Official Sees Race in Term "Black Hole"

I mean, seriously?!?! A white person make a comment about a department being a black hole for paperwork and a black person takes offense at that? Please! And to demand an apology for the racist remark? I shake my head....

Then the idiot....yes, I called Mr. John Wiley Price, who's a black man, an idiot....went on television in Dallas and said that he thought other terms were racist.

"So if it's 'angel food cake,' it's white. If it's 'devil's food cake,' it's black. If you're the 'black sheep of the family,' then you gotta be bad, you know. 'White sheep,' you're okay. You know?" Price said.

I mean, seriously....how do you make the leap from someone making a derogatory comment like calling someone the "N" word and someone calling a local government department a black hole. To me this is straight up ignorance...that's what I have a problem with...it's not someone's skin color...it's the fact that they're just ignorant. This sounds like a sad attempt at making someone out to be a bad guy and get attention for yourself.

Oh well...I'm off to make a racist devil's food cake this weekend....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday reflections

Wow...it's pretty amazing how a good night's sleep can help clear your head. Yesterday was just a really hard day and I ended up crying over dinner and then having a good cry when I got home later. It was a chance to purge myself of all the sadness, bitterness and doubt that had plagued me all day. It's gone...the clouds have lifted....your comments were certainly cherished.

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Now....can I just say that I really do have a problem with men who decide to be less than gentlemanly. I was on the bus this morning coming from the outer reaches of Mongolia where Shooter and I decided to buy our little slice of paradise...and since I was one of the last lucky patrons to board, I got to stand. I had men sitting all around me and not one of them got up and offered their seat to me. There were 4 other women standing, besides myself, and no one offered them a seat either. What's up with that? I mean, seriously.

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For the first time in over a month Shooter was home before me last night! It was awesome to have him back on a regular schedule of getting home before primetime TV starts!!!!

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Praise be to the makers of Excedrin Migraine. I got home last night and was barely able to open my left eye. I left my sunglasses on for over 30 min. I was sick to my stomach and bitchy....and then I took two Excedrin Migraine, laid down for 30 min and I was a new woman. Praise be to that miracle little pill. :-)

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I have to say that I'm addicted to Facebook. I love it. Myspace is crap next to Facebook.

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I tried to go today and give blood. I wanted to do my part as a red blood cell producing American so I signed up and hauled myself down there. I finish filling out the form and then am reading the mandatory informational packet and I realize I didn't bring my ID down...so I'm going to have to come back up to my office and get it. And then I also notice that I'm supposed to speak with the registration crew since I've had a tattoo in the last 12 months. So, I mention this to them...the kind lady looks at me and says, "In the State of Georgia?". I answered that yes, it was in Georgia. She said, "Well, Georgia doesn't regulate tattoo parlors (or something like that) so we have to mandate that you wait 12 months after having a tattoo." Well crap that! I tried to do my duty and give a little blood and I get turned away. I didn't need to lose any platelets today anyway....so PHBLTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!

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Peace, love and chicken grease, ya'll!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tears, disappointment, and hope

It's been 6 very long months. 6 very long yet very fast months. Now it's time for some kind of intervention. Not sure just how much intervention is needed or wanted. The ups and downs are hard to deal with sometimes. I tell myself to hang in there....but my self isn't doing so well today. Today is another day of disappointment. But, I have hope....I touch the brass ornament that hangs on my doorknob every morning. I think about what it means....what the future holds....what lies ahead. HOPE......it's about all I have right now.....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Preschoolers, Burps and a Pastor

Okay...so I've linked to a few video blogs by my Pastor - he's a really awesome guy with a great sense of humor. Well, he's taking a few weeks off from preaching as we go through a series called One Prayer - we're getting messages by video from 4 different pastors around the country. Well, as I'm working with my 4 year olds on Sunday, Pastor Ritchie comes around to visit with us. We're in the middle of snack/story time and so it's a good point to take a break. He pokes his head in and asks how everyone's doing and one of my precious little boys, named Ethan, lets out this rip roaring burp like none I've ever heard before. Ethan smiles, giggles and then when he catches my eye says, "'Scuse me." I laugh, Pastor Ritchie starts laughing hysterically and says, "Well, it certainly sounds like you guys are having a blast in here." I say, "Well, it's always something new from one minute to the next!" Pastor Ritchie then asks how old these guys are and I told him they're all 4 and explain that we just promoted up a bunch of kids who're getting ready to go to kindergarten to Kids Town. Then I played this little game with the kids that I've been doing for a few weeks....I ask them if they'll still come back and see me when they get big and go off to Kids Town. They all start yelling "NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" at the top of their lungs and I pretend I am crying because they'll leave me and never come back. I always have one or two...usually the girls....who'll say, "Miss Laura, we'll come back and see you because we love it here." Well, melt my heart....

Pastor Ritchie leaves and I can hear him laughing as he makes his way down the hall...I think we made his morning!

It's always something with those buggers....I wouldn't trade 'em for anything though!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fireworks, boating and grilling!!

WOW!!!

What a wonderful 4th we had this past weekend. I hope everyone else did.

We started off by sleeping in on Friday morning...it was wonderful...I don't think we finally emerged from the cave that is our bedroom until about 8:30am. Well, I should say that I emerged from our cave of a bedroom and Shooter remained curled up in the covers until around 10:30am. He needed it....that poor guy has been commuting 90 min each way for the last 3.5 weeks. I'm over it....and thankfully his stint ends today! Woot!! We then headed over to my BFF Di's new house for a housewarming/4th celebration. Her house is GAW-GEOUS!!!! I'd so buy it in a heartbeat...it's my kind of crib. ;-) We had fun cooking and celebrating and playing with the kitties and by 7:30pm Shooter and I were crashing. We headed home before the fireworks, but got to enjoy (NOT!!) some around our house. I'd say around 10pm we started having some fireworks pop right over top of our house! I looked out the sliding glass door and saw the flashes going off. The dogs were going bezerk! Shooter, being the responsible citizen that he is, went out to see what was going on. Needless to say, the fireworks went on until right at 11pm and then quieted down....which is a good thing!

Saturday was a lazy day for me...Shooter got up and drove across town to spend the morning/early afternoon with his friend Federovsky. Fed is a former neighbor of ours that we've kept in touch with and he and Shooter like to go to the gun range and such. So they had a great time being guys and burping and whatever guys do when they're together. Me, I stayed at home in my PJs and did laundry...lots of laundry....and ironed....lots of ironing. I had let my ironing pile really get big and needed to tackle it desperately. So....I pulled the ironing board into the bedroom and put the TV on the Food Network and steamed my way through the pile. It's so nice to not have to iron something every morning. I figure I'll get to enjoy this for another 4 days and I'll be back to the pile again. ;-) Saturday evening our friend Dusty from church put on a concert that was really awesome. He could have sang for two hours and we still would have wanted to hear more...he's got such a great voice!

Sunday....oh Sunday....yes, we taught preschool again this week. I have a whole post dedicated to that...oh my friends....it's always interesting! We stopped at the Wally World to pick up a few things and barely made it home before the storms started rolling through. I managed to get a birthday cake baked before the power started flickering. (Which NEVER happens!!) We laid down to take a nap and two hours later we awoke to sunshine and humidity that would melt your face off! Needless to say, we braved it all and went to the house o' Profs (some friends of ours who have this fab lake house) and grilled out and enjoyed a great dinner outside. Just when I was ready to fall asleep on their patio, they shake us awake and take us down for a boat ride. Whew! It was so nice out and we had a great time chatting with Les' parents and playing with their pups. By the time we got home it was close to 10pm...where does the time go, anyway?!?!?!

So today....I'm needing a long weekend to recover from my long weekend!!! ;-)

Oh...and apparently our wireless router started to bite the dust little by little over the last few weeks. Shooter went and bought us a new one on Friday and now I've been enjoying surfing the internet from all corners of the house...life is good again!!

Hope you guys are adjusting to your Monday back at work!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lordy what eye candy....

Okay...can I just say that this past weekend I was treated to some of the best eye candy on TV. Okay...so some of you may not agree, but I KNOW at least one of my readers will.

I had told someone a while back that if I had nothing to do on a Saturday but lay around on the couch and watch TV, and if there was nothing on but a marathon of Dirty Jobs and No Reservations, I'd be in heaven!!!

Well kiddos....this past weekend....there was a marathon of Dirty Jobs on!!!!! The heavens opened and angels sang. *sigh* Mike Rowe....you fill out a pair of jeans so well. I can't help it ya'll...he's manly and dirty and hunky and has fabulous arms and pecs and just is so darn masculine. *sigh*

Contrast that with my other "love", Anthony Bourdain. A skinny, New York chef who lacks any real muscular appeal....but he has this fabulous salt and pepper hair....and he can cook a mean meal. Plus he has that dry, sarcastic wit that just makes me melt. ;-)

Then there's Shooter...my love...my Romeo....he's the best of both of them all rolled into a neat little package.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Total Tuesday Randomness

Okay....so the dogs did it again....actually I should say that their absent-minded Mom just left everything they needed to make a big mess in the kitchen floor. Shooter and I went to the store last night and I forgot to grab a bag of items that I was throwing away from my snack cabinet. Well, Leah and Morey had all the fixin's for a grand feast. They ate an entire graham cracker crust - including gnawing a bit on the aluminum pan, they ate 1/3 of a bag of Trader Joe's Veggie Sticks, and some pistaschios. Somehow they didn't manage to get into the bag of dried apricots or dried apples. Or Cheez Its. Or Granola. Or Lucky Charms. Thank goodness. Leah did however look like she'd swallowed two softballs and has been drinking water like she's been in the desert for two weeks. Go figure.

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I have seen two fabulous movies over the last two weeks. You must go see the Incredible Hulk. I know...you're saying that you wouldn't dare go see it after the fiasco that was the Christian Bale version...but trust me....this one is awesome. It is action from beginning to end. The special effects are amazing. Edward Norton is really, really good as Bruce Banner. I would also make sure you go see Ironman before this movie. I still haven't seen it and have been told that some of the ending will make more sense if I'd have seen Ironman first.

Shooter and I went to see Wanted on Friday night. We haven't seen a movie on opening night in, well, I can't remember how long. It was AWESOME!!! You have to go into it knowing that it's based off of a graphic novel series and that it's really a sci-fi type movie. The stunts aren't supposed to be plausible. Bullets can't be curved...but who cares! James McAvoy plays a character you kinda come to hate...but admire at the same time. You almost start to like the "bad" guys better than the "good" guys. I certainly didn't see the ending coming either! Definitely a must see!

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I went home to Tennessee a couple of weekends ago for the Secret City Festival and the Lavender Festival. Awesome time was had by all. I bought some of the coolest jewelry - especially a bracelet and earrings made from old pennies. They'd been pressed so that they were curved and linked together with decorative silver pieces. The earrings are simply the pennies. I will have to take pictures because they're the most unusual jewelry pieces I own.

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I've been a salsa and gucamole making queen here lately. I made a triple batch of salsa for a co-worker's birthday party and a huge mound of guacamole. All soooooo good! I have to give Shooter the credit for going to the Farmer's Market and getting all my food items. He's such a sweetie! :-)

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Well, July 4th is upon us....time for patriotism and flags and parades and fireworks. We're taking it easy this July 4th. No family commitments...only hanging out with friends. I can't wait! Gonna hang with my fabulous BFF Di on Friday. Hanging out with the small group, and more, at my pal Dusty's concert at Church on Saturday night. It will be an awesome event, can't wait to hear him sing familiar church stuff as well as some rockin' other tunes. Sunday we're teaching the kids in preschool (Lord, please send me some girls this week....you know it's so hard to make boys pay attention and none of them want to color with me, they all want to wrestle with Shooter. Amen.) and then most likely hanging out with the small group at the lake. *sigh* I love that I can type so many references to "hanging out". hehehehe!

What are your plans for the looooooong weekend?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cancer, Schmancer....

Sometimes the world just plain sucks.



I have a friend from work who's battling a recurrance of melanoma...and it is very sad. He's married with two small boys. His battle will be a long hard one, but his determination remains strong. He has a blog at the Caring Bridge site...please pay it a visit and keep them in your prayers - http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stephenmcallister.



I have another friend who's battling uterine cancer. She's 30 years old. 3. 0. It blows my mind. She had to have a radical hysterectomy and still has to undergo chemo. She's facing a long battle as well, but her faith is in the Lord and she's remaining strong. She's one of those folks who I have envied for a long time...she has it all....she's gorgeous, has a great job, gorgeous husband, lots of money, vacation home...but she's one of the sweetest, most genuine people I know. Why this has happened to her, I'll never know. God must have something amazing to say through her.



Same goes with Stephen...why this would happen to such a young man (he's not yet 40) with two young boys I'll never know. I just shrug and try to make the most sense of it I can. And pray...pray a lot for them.



I pray a lot for all those affected by cancers of all kinds....Lord knows that every single person fighting that battle needs all the strength and perseverence they can get. May the Lord bless you and keep you....each one of you.