Friday, October 24, 2008

Lengthy Update

It's been over a month since my last update, but I've just had a lot going on. Good news first I guess...which should be obvious if you can see my profile picture..but Kelly had her baby! Sept. 25th...a very adorable little girl named Noel Hollyn. She looks so much like Tim! Kelly's due date came and went and I was on stand by waiting for a call. Around 4:45 am on the 25th Mom called me and I was ready and out the door an hour later. I'd been packed for a few days, just in case b/c I didn't want to have to drive home from work to I just took it w/ me.

Anyway, 4.5 hours later, I was at the hospital trying to be there for Kelly while she was in labor but I didn't want to be too intrusive. I ended up dozing off in the waiting room and Tim came to tell me Noel was here! I couldn't wait to see her! After a few hours there and dinner w/ Mom & Dad, I made my way over Afton night and in the rain (yikes) to Leslie's house. It was sooo good to see her!! We chatted a bit before bed, then the next day, back to the hospital. Jeff came down the day after and we visited w/ Kelly a bit before dinner in Charlottesville at West Main and then a trip back over the mountain..again at night and in the rain.

Saturday, we couldn't get up with Kelly or Tim, so we hung out at Leslie's with Matt and had dinner with them when Leslie got home. I'm glad I got to spend some time with them and catch up a bit since it's so rare that I get to. Their house is awesome! Leslie's done a great job with landscaping and decorating!! Sunday was an uneventful trip home, then we crashed, downloaded photos, had dinner, etc. Not much to tell. Since then, it's just been work, scheduling conflicts with holidays..and election, politics, gas prices and gov't spending hullabaloo.

Since we got back from Kelly's and this bailout thing happened, I've been really on edge. Anxious, worried, unable to sleep..sick. I also developed a UTI this past weekend..probably unrelated..but to continue..I've had headaches every day since we got back. I was anxious about Kelly having the baby..had a knot in my stomach b/c I didn't know when it was going to happen. She had Noel, the knot went away. Then the bailout happened. Headaches. Dizziness. Nausea. Loss of appetite. The headaches aren't constant..but I get one everyday...and it's always accompanied by the dizziness and nausea. At first I thought sinuses, but I'm not congested..allergies? No..I'm on allegra. the Dr. this past Friday for my UTI, I told her how I'd felt. She gave me antibiotics for the UTI..and decided that the rest of the symptoms were probably brought on b/c I couldn't she gave me a prescription for Ambien. I took it this weekend and slept great. Last night I didn't take it, but I slept all night last night and most of today. She said if that didn't solve the problems, to come back for anxiety meds...which I'd rather not be on.

It wasn't until I got back from the Dr. that I realized the stress of what our government's doing was probably cause for the anxiety. I disagree w/ McCain's health plan. I don't trust Obama. Palin is a ditz who I would NOT want to see in the White House and running this country if McCain dies. feelings either way. Every candidate promises tax cuts, but that's impossible. Since the beginning of time, things have gotten more and more to cut taxes when you know things are going to cost a lie. However...there are more people in this country now than there ever have been, so how come they claim to not have enough money?? Why do they need more taxes? The money is mismanaged and pissed away. Even after the which the CEO's of these companies were walking away w/ approx. 17 million each...AIG asked for even MORE money. How can 85 BILLION not be enough!??!!? I don't get it.

What has this country come too?? I used to laugh when Jeff would make jokes about the 'Revolution' and about the 'need' to build a bunker in the backyard to stock ammo. Now I'm thinking he may be more right than I gave him credit for. To think on a smaller scale, let's just look at NC for a minute. In the past 4 years, NC's taxes have been raised 5 Billion dollars. Our gas prices are still $.29 above the national average...around $3.60 when everywhere else is about $2.60. We're even higher than California right now!! Only Alaska and Hawaii have more expensive gas than us. A few months ago, they said that b/c of the gas prices, fewer people were driving and therefore the tax that goes to help maintain roads was in a one of their possible solutions was to tax NC residents PER MILE that we drive. ?!?! Obviously, that didn't fly. How could they? There's no way to know if those miles were in the state or out of state...and it's punishing people for trying to live their lives.

On an even smaller scale, our county is wanting to charge a homeowner a tax for selling a home...I guess as punishment for leaving the county...who knows. They're also delaying the property reevaluations this year because property values have gone down..which means taxes would decrease..which means less money for them. However, somehow ours till went up by $100 this year. I also want to mention the stupid Zoning Ordinance & Subdivision Regulations that have been proposed.

Stupid stuff like..if you build a gas station, the pumps CANNOT be seen from the street, but must be behind the building and the gas station sign cannot be bigger than 4 feet square and no taller than the building. if it's a new station, and I can't see the pumps..or the am I supposed to find it?? Basically..they're trying to turn us into Cary. Cary unofficially stands for Containment Area for Relocating Yankees. People move here to get away from places like Cary..then try to turn us into them. I don't get it. There's another one stating that if your property borders a creek, you must give a half mile clearance from the point where you build your home. So, the county's saying someone can't build their house within a half mile of a creek, stream or river..even though they own the property to the creek's edge...and they're not going to pay them for loss of property?!?! Just makes me angry. Sigh...I'll move on..I could keep going, but it just sets me off, so I'll stop.

I also found out from Mom Sunday that my grandma's lost weight. She said the swelling in her legs went down..which is good...but the weight loss is not. She also said that last week when she went to visit around 10am, Grandma was in bed. The nurse said she'd been in bed the entire day before too. Mom took her and Grandpa up on Roanoke Mountain for a picnic and said Grandma didn't eat but a bite or two. Then, the next day when Mom stopped by, she wouldn't talk either. Anyone who's met my grandma knows that she almost never shuts up. It sounds like she's depressed. Mom said she perked up during the picnic a bit. She's been in that nursing home for over a year and Grandpa keeps saying he wants to get a place where they're both taken care of, but I don't think he means it. He's still in that big house alone and they can't take care of each other..which is why she's in the nursing home.

Honestly, I think they need to be together..but Grandpa can't stand being around her. You can't carry on a conversation with her anymore..which is hard since she talks nonstop..but now she doesn't make sense. And I know it has to be hard seeing her like that. She's just a shell of who she used to be and that has to hurt him. Physically, he can't get around, but mentally, he's still sharp. I know Mom's worried, but I don't know what can be done...if anything. Mom's worried about Grandma, worried about me b/c I've been sick, worried about Kelly and the baby..and there's nothing I can do to relieve her anxiety...which compounds my anxiety. Sigh....The only thing keeping me going right now is knowing I have a two week vacation coming up and a trip back to the mountains with Jeff. I'm also going to try to make it back up to Kelly's, but we'll see if I can afford it by then.

I think that's enough of an update for now and probably more drama and typos than you asked for and maybe if I updated more often this wouldn't happen. I just get in these moods where I don't really feel like writing. C'est la vie. Till next revoir.

Oops, I forgot!

I said I'd update on our beach trip when I got back and forgot. Jeff and I did end up with a non-smoking room since the whole floor was that was a blessing. Lucien's snoring was like having to sleep next to a jet airplane during take off. We even had earplugs and that drowned out most of it..but not all. He knows he snores, so he'd leave the room after he woke up so we could get some "real sleep" as he put it. Friday we had planned on leaving at 9 which would put us at the beach around 12 and give us a half day on the beach. Nope, we left around noon and by the time we stopped at South of the Border, ate lunch, etc..we got to the beach around 5pm. Just enough time to check in, meet up w/ Jeff's parents and brother..and go out to dinner at Sticky Fingers.

My eye was really bothering me that Friday. I thought we'd have a day on the beach so I put my contacts in that morning. At some point something got under it and was making me scratch my eye. By the time we got to the beach, my eye was red, puffy and oozy and stayed that way all night. I could barely keep that eye open, so Saturday, it was off to urgent care. It took us almost an hour to find an urgent care place close by AND open. They numbed my eye, put in orange drops and looked at it under a black light. Fun, fun. I had a scratch from the 3 to 9 o'clock position around the top of my iris. She flushed the orange dye out of my eye, gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. When I asked her about going to the beach and told her I was worried about getting sand in it, she told me to wear an eye Saturday, I was a pirate for a day. I couldn't go out far in the water or ride I just sat in a chair in the surf and moved back every time the tide came in. Jeff's brother James called me Peggy all weekend. Griffin, my youngest nephew kept trying to put potato chips on my shoulder so a bird would land on it. Ha. Ha.

Since I didn't get to the beach until around 3pm that day, we stayed until around 7, then had to get 9 people showered and ready for dinner. Needless to say, we didn't eat until around 9pm...but it was a seafood buffet and quite I didn't mind the wait. Sunday, we just couldn't get going and didn't get to the beach around lunch time, stayed until 5, showered and then went our separate ways for dinner. Jeff, Lucien and I went to Dick's Last Resort. None of us had been, and even though we knew what to was too much money to be insulted the whole night. The food was ok and the hat's were incredibly funny..but it's not somewhere I'd go more than once probably. After that, we went to a bar and had some drinks and didn't make it to bed until around 2am.

Monday, Jeff, Lucien and I went down to the Boardwalk to walk around and did a little bit of shopping here and there along the way. That evening, we headed up to Sunset to visit w/ Ron & Misty. We had dinner, got to see the kids and watch Lucien dance. Lucien was staying with them the rest of the week, so we headed back home around 8pm and got home around 11:45..something like that. All in was fun, but not nearly long enough. I had just started to relax by the time we left. that I did my update..I really need to go and run errands like I said I Sorry it took 2 weeks to do this..but life gets in the know how it is!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Uncle Update

As many of you know, my dad's brother Wayne was burned in a house fire back in July and has been at UVA ever since. He seems to be doing much better. They've put a voice box on his trachea so he can speak, so he's still adjusting to that. They were having to pump him full of so much fluid to keep his skin hydrated that it was backing up into his they had to put in some chest tubes. They've removed one and the other isn't draining as much, so that's good news. They were able to take the braces off his hands and the skin graphs are doing very well. He's able to move his hands on his own and still has rehab daily. Yesterday he was able to move around in his chair a bit and spent the day in it rather than in his bed. He still has good days and bad..but he's progressing. They're also hoping to replace his trachea with a smaller tube so it will be more comfortable, but the tube they ordered hasn't come in yet. He's also been coughing quite a bit, but they want him to in order to get the mucus and what's left of the ash out of his lungs. I think he's also complained of his back itching which is good..that means it's healing. His other complaint is that he's thirsty and I can understand that being that he's had a tube down his throat for more than a month.

Dad's doing much better too. The first few weeks after the accident he wasn't himself since we didn't know if Wayne would make it. Now that Wayne's recovering, Dad's much more at ease and back to his old self. He's still been going up once or twice a week to visit with him and I think Wayne enjoys that. I was a little disappointed to find out that our annual Kitts reunion up at The Homeplace Restaurant in Catawba has been cancelled. Dad said that since Wayne's in the hospital and everyone's tired from all the travelling to visit him, he thinks it'd be just too much for everyone to attend. We haven't missed a Homeplace gathering years. Something like that. Maybe more like 15. I think the immediate family..meaning Mom, Dad, Kelly, Tim, Jeff and I may still try to go sometime this fall just so the tradition isn't broken. It will mainly depend on when we all have an available weekend together and if Kelly feels like traveling with the baby. I get to go to the Homeplace only once a year and I really don't want to miss it. There's just something about sitting on the porch swing up on the mountain taking in the fall colors and knowing that you're going to get yummy home cooked food and blueberry cobbler for dessert!!

Anyhow..I'm off to run some errands and get food for the football game today! Jeff requested some chicken wings, salsa and beer, so while he's off working on the car, I'll be making food to eat during the VT-GT game. Hope they win!! Go Hokies!! =)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Joy and Sorrow

This past weekend was a wash of emotions. Kelly's baby shower was awesome! After months and months of planning, it finally paid off. We had 22 people, bbq, slaw, cake, fruit, cheese, veggies, meat, macaroni salad, tea, lemonade and made for a great Saturday afternoon. Kelly got a TON of gifts and I also got to feel my little neice move around quite a bit. I even got to feel her hiccups! It was so amazing and I was so happy to spend time with Kelly! April did a fantastic job in helping me!! She made a diaper cake for Kelly and really went above and beyond anything I ever asked her to do. She's just an awesome person. She needs to be a party She's very creative, thoughtful and organized..I just owe her big time! Even Kelly surprised us with thank you gifts! I also need to mention how absolutely cute my sister is with her little belly! Adorable!!! I couldn't stop hugging her and rubbing the baby bump! It was just smiles all around for the baby shower!

However..even in times of happiness, there's sorrow. I found out last Thursday that my dad's older brother Wayne was severely burned in a house fire. He's in critical but stable condition at UVA Hospital. Wednesday night, a fire started in the laundry room due to an electrical problem. The fire ignited the fireworks that were stored in there and that's what woke them up. My uncle went to check out the sound and opened the laundry room door which caused a sudden flash. My Aunt Mary heard him scream, "I'm burning! I'm burning!" and kept talking to him and telling him to come back to the bedroom. He tried to open the front door but couldn't so he went back to the bedroom where him and Mary tried to get out the window. They couldn't get the AC unit out and had to break the upper portion with a lamp and climb out.

Mary put a pillow on the jagged glass and Wayne went first, but he fell and cut his legs on the glass below. They went next door to call 911 and the fireman said that based on the size of that window and the fury of the was a miracle they made it out. My uncle Wayne apparently put his hands up to block his face so his hands, arms and face are covered in 3rd degree burns. His T-shirt also caught on fire, so his back is severely burned also. His left eye is also badly burned and it's highly likely he'll never see out of it again. Also..apparently Lynchburg General tried to start an IV and hit an artery instead. Jeff said he thinks maybe they were trying to start an arterial line and messed up. Anyway, they said his artery looks weak and they want to put in a stint..but don't have any to fit it. It's formed a clot, so they've had to put in a filter to keep it from going into his lungs.

They've still been vacuuming soot out of his lungs and inserted a feeding tube on Sunday. Monday is when they wanted to start skin grafts and are already doing physical therapy with his hands. He's heavily sedated obviously, but he'll be in their burn unit for about 6 to 8 weeks. He still can't breath on his own and is on a ventilator, but he can nod his head yes and no. My dad's been a complete wreck since then. Not only does Wayne have a long painful road ahead, but they have no where to live. The house was gutted. Strangely enough...his gun cabinet where he also stored his ammo..and her purse were untouched. The couch and tv were melted blobs.

I feel that even through this tragedy, God was working a miracle. If it hadn't been for those fireworks, they would've burned up inside that house while sleeping. The smoke detector never went was the fireworks that woke them. Also, if he'd been able to open that front door, it would've only fueled the fire and formed a backdraft..basically exploding. God was watching them. The ammo wasn't set off and her purse..with their insurance information..was spared. I'm just so happy they were able to make it out of that house. Horrible as it is, it could have been soooo much worse. It's hard to see my dad so upset.

My cousin Lauren works as a nurse at UVA, so at least she's there to check on him and be a comfort to him. It's at least one familiar face when he's somewhat coherent. My aunt Mary and their familes are there too. Anyhow..I just wanted to let all you guys know what was going on and to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers...for good times like Kelly's little bundle of joy...and for bad times like my uncle Wayne's burns. It would mean a lot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OMG. Excellent headline!

As posted on
Police arrest man for allegedly trying to sell 'crackburgers'

Posted: Today at 2:01 p.m. Updated: Today at 2:20 p.m.

Benson, N.C. — A Fayetteville man has been arrested after police said he tried to sell drugs concealed inside hamburger buns to undercover deputies in Benson on Saturday.

Ishmail Middleton, 27, of Fayetteville was charged with four counts of trafficking cocaine and maintaining a vehicle to keep a controlled substance.

Sheriff's Narcotics Capt. A.C. Fish said he had never seen drugs concealed inside hamburger buns before.
"He was trying to hide it inside of a trash bag," Fish said. "We called it a 'crackburger.'"

The undercover operation began when a narcotics agent ordered 1.5 ounces of powdered cocaine from a suspected supplier. Police said Middleton drove from Fayetteville to deliver the drugs, worth an estimated $3,500, to narcotics agents waiting on Church Street.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The comments left are too funny too. This was written by Wags:

How about a Quarter Pound of Crack with Cheese or a Filet-o-Crack or McCrack or a Southern Style Crispy Crack Sandwich or Chipolte BBQ Snack Crack Wrap. (say that real fast three times when you are on crack). How bout some breakfast? Sausage McCrackin, Bacon Egg and Crack Biscuit with a side of (here it comes) HASH Browns...ha, ha, ha, ha!!! I'm killin me.

What I'd like to know is..would you have the right to complain if there's a hair on your crackburger??

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Time slipping away

I know..I've been horrible at updating this. Jeff and I have been way too busy to keep up with things. I'm either working or out of town and it's been that way for several months now. Even when I am at home, we've had company or had other things to do. I'd love to just kick back and relax for a bit. Nashville was a blast..great times, great food and great friends..we didn't slow down once while we were there. Aldon's wedding was a ton of fun and even Darth Vader made an appearance.

This weekend I'm going up to VA for my sister's baby shower and while I'm really looking forward to seeing her, I'm ready for it to be over with. Months and months of planning and coordinating and changing ideas, etc..I'm tired. The part I dread the most is the drive up there and back. I'm low on funds and gas prices are killing me. Next weekend, Jeff and I are heading off to Fontana and Deal's Gap for the Miatas at the Gap that'll be a weekend of driving the Dragon and Cherohola Skyway instead of lounging by the pool...which is what I'd rather be doing. Seven a Miata with the top down....ugh. I'm sorry...I love the outdoors, but I'm an air conditioning kind of girl. I get bitchy when I'm hot. Maybe Jeff will let me have the AC for part of the trip anyway. Besides, I'd rather not be burnt to a crisp at the beginning of my vacation.

There's still work always. One of my coworkers told one of the Sgt's that I hated her and couldn't stand working w/ she asked me about it. Of course, I've never even had a bad thought about the I sent an email to my supervisor asking her to do something about it b/c I wasn't going to have him spreading malicious lies about me. I also happened to mention that he left me alone for 6 hours one night w/o checking on me to go ride around w/ an officer that he has a very unhealthy obsessive crush on.

Anyhow, they're doing a full scale investigation on him and have called most of us in for an interview...and he's claiming that I did it out for retribution for him filing one against me. Um..he told me he didn't file it, so if he told the truth, I have no reason to retaliate. If he did, it's just another instance of him lying. It's like being in elementary school all over again. I seriously don't know why I'm still here. Maybe out of spite..because if I leave, he wins since it's exactly what he wants. I'm also resistant to big changes and this is an easy (drama not withstanding) paycheck. I'll figure something out. Maybe the fat little creampuff will choke himself on the rope he's trying to hang me with. Maybe the man in the corner office may realize that he looks like a creampuff and acts like a creampuff..but on the inside it's not cream....he's really filled with self loathing evil venomous tobacco spit. I know I know..I'd better hush my devil tongue before it gets carried away again. I just thought I'd give a quickie update. I may write more later when I'm in a better mood.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Spider Monkey uses garden hose to flee Indiana zoo

Yahoo News, AP, The News Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - A spider monkey used a garden hose to scale the wall of a moat at a Michigan City zoo before being captured at a nearby boat dealership.

One of two spider monkeys recently added to the Washington Park Zoo broke out of its enclosure this week while workers were cleaning the moat, which had been emptied of water.

Zoo Director Johnny Martinez says workers had figured the monkeys would remain inside their enclosure during the cleaning despite the lack of water in the moat to act as a barricade.

Once past the moat Wednesday, the escaped monkey jumped onto the roof of a water filtration plant. Martinez says zoo staff recaptured it at the dealership atop a white and blue speedboat.

Martinez says the monkey is sociable and posed no danger to people.

In my mind, the monkey had been planning his escape for quite some time. While onlookers thought he was just banging a stone against a rock, he was really drawing a map to outline his evil scheme. Once the moat was drained, he and the other monkey were going to make a break for it, but the 2nd monkey was scared of being found out and having to give up the free bananas, so he got left behind. Then, his plans were foiled because the man in the yellow hat forgot to leave the keys to the speedboat. Drat! Fie on the man in the yellow hat! And fie on the 2nd monkey who was too chicken to help with the escape. Next news article.."Spider monkey seeks revenge by giving man in yellow hat garden hose enema".

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fading Past in a Tattered Box

The past few weeks have really made me think a lot about my life. Nothing in particular happened, but I've realized a few things. Since last fall, May/June has been jam packed with things to do. Commitments we felt we couldn't get out of. A family reunion and two weddings. Initially, I was really looking forward to the weddings because it meant I got to hang out with friends from college who I never get to see.

The first one we planned for was Aldon's. It's in Nashville on June 7th. We bought our plane tickets, reserved our rental car, made arrangements to board the dogs , got a hotel and couldn't wait for the trip. Since we were going through the trouble of going all the way there, we decided to take a few extra days and explore Nashville since I hadn't been in about 11 years. The trip quickly turned very expensive. Then in December, Leslie announced she too was getting married..2 weeks before Aldon up near Charlottesville, VA. That would be this upcoming Saturday..the 24th. So..3 out of 4 weekends we're going to have to board the dogs at $51 a night. Ouch.

Jeff's parents agreed to watch the dogs for Leslie's wedding, but we're stuck paying the $310 to board them for Nashville. Anyhow, I started wondering why I'm going through all this trouble. I don't think they would've gone out of their way to attend my wedding or come visit. I can't even get them to return emails. I thought for sure Leslie would've kept in touch since we were roommates, but I hardly know her now. We forward emails to each other here and there..but that's where it stops. I am no longer a part of her life and haven't been for quite awhile. Aldon and I were never really that close and I have no idea why I'm spending so much money to see him get married. I think I just wanted to feel like a part of something and belong again.

I realized that I don't really have any close friends other than Jeff. There's my sister, but she's moving and about to become a mom so I feel it'll be harder to keep in touch. All the friends I used to have are now internet and email friends. A Myspace message here, a Facebook Superpoke there, an "are you alive" email every so often..but that's where it ends. I have no one to go out and have girls night with. No one who calls and says, "Hey girl! DSW is having a huge sale this weekend..I was thinking Mexican food and in?" I know a lot of it is because I work 12 hour night shifts and it's next to impossible to schedule things with those in the "normal" world.

My closest friend here I met at work and since she took another job...I can't get her to call me back. I haven't seen or heard from her in months despite leaving numerous messages. This brings me to a key question...why do I keep trying to cling to a past that I've outgrown?? Or maybe it's outgrown me..I'm not sure. Either way..I've changed quite a bit since college and maybe since that's behind me, I should leave the friends I met there behind too. Some things just cannot be moved through time and stay intact.

I see no benefit in trying to hang on to the strings of these relationships. The only thing I get from them is wistful memories. I still care for them, but I did my part to try to stay in touch and the actions weren't reciprocated. When I saw Leslie at our little reunion in Oct. of 06..which was the first time in 7 years that I'd seen her....she said.."I'm so glad you're back in my life!" That surprised me because in my mind..I'd never left to begin with. I feel a sense of loss and sadness over the fact that I'm no longer in their little group. Leslie, Candi and Mick have all stayed really close and the rest of us have gone our own way. It's not too surprising though..we're all so spread out that it's hard to see each other. Do I still call them "friends" or do I now refer to them as "acquaintances"?

I'm just lonely and feeling a bit down, so I think that's why I'm going so far out of my way to go to these weddings. Maybe it's so I can see them and determine if the friendships are worth saving. Or maybe I'm going to see them one last time before I put my memories of them in the tattered keepsake box of my mind. Maybe all I need is closure as I watch small pieces of my former life fade away. I hope it'll be enough to help me move on. I no longer want to feel the need to cling to what was. Life is too short for that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Retarded Childrens Thrift Store

I know..sounds bad, right? It's real. Yes..a real place. When Jeff and I were in California on our honeymoon back in 2001, we stopped in Ventura, CA to have dinner at a very yummy mexican restaurant called Yolanda's. On our way down main street, we passed the store, whipped our heads around and then just stared at each other. So..Jeff drove around the block so we could go back by it and get a picture.You can look it up on Flick'r or Google Images. I tried uploading it here..but it wouldn't let me.I recently found this news article on Ventura's newspaper website, The Ventura County Star . I have highlighted what stands out to me.

Nonprofit's name change to show up on thrift stores

By Jennifer Saturday, September 1, 2007

Visitors to the Ventura and Oxnard locations will see a noticeable change at the Retarded Children's Thrift Store and Retarded Citizens Thrift Store.

Both stores will read The Arc Foundation Thrift Store by Sept. 10 if all goes according to schedule.

Replacing signs is one of the final steps to complete two official name changes. The Association for Retarded Citizens of Ventura County will be called The Arc of Ventura County, and its counterpart, the Foundation for Retarded Citizens of Ventura County, will be called The Arc Foundation of Ventura County.

The Arc of Ventura County is a nonprofit organization that provides education, vocational and residential services for people with developmental disabilities, including case management, job placement, job coaching and independent-living training.

"I've been encouraged to have this change for a while," said Fred Robinson, its CEO.

He said the organization has used The Arc of Ventura County unofficially since the early '90s, after the Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States became The Arc of the United States in 1992.

Further motivation came in November, when the American Association on Mental Retardation changed its name to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

As part of the official name change, anywhere "retarded" appears it will be removed, including signs, documents and literature.

Several years ago the athletes of Special Olympics came to management and expressed how hurtful they regarded the word "retarded," said Leslie Aun, Special Olympics International spokeswoman. Although the word goes back a long time, today it is outdated and often misused, she said.

The Arc of Ventura "is joining the recognition that it is a hurtful word, and in many ways, it's often used negatively," said Aun.

The Arc of Ventura County, established in 1954, serves more than 800 people through its programs. The original name, Association for Retarded Children of Ventura County, came about because of the founding father's children. In the '80s, the word "Children" was changed to "Citizens."

The Foundation for Retarded Citizens of Ventura County, now The Arc Foundation of Ventura County, was established in 1989 as a nonprofit corporation to raise funds to support the nonprofit's programs and services.

The thrift stores are at 265 E. Main St., Ventura, and 625 N. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard. Both are open seven days a week. in 1992 the Asso. for Retarded Citizens of the US changed their name to the ARC of the US.'d think that maybe Ventura would've caught on and just gone ahead and officially changed their name..but no. They've been trying to get Mr. CEO to change the name for quite awhile apparently and a complaint from several years ago...from the S.O. athletes no less.. finally gets acknowledged. While I find the name of the store a bit offensive and's because of it's tactlessness that I also find it funny. Naming it the Retarded Children's Thrift Store is just evidence of some big cojones. I about just putting it all out there, you know? They've refused to join the "politically correct" society and I'm not sure whether to applaud them or smack them.

My question however, is why did it take so long for them to realize that "retarded" is a derogatory word and is meant to insult people? Could it possibly be that perhaps they are retarded? Oh..I'm sorry.."developmentally disabled"? Probably not, but's a question worth pondering. I am glad that I got to see it before it's name was changed. My pictures will now be safeguarded by robots and flying monkeys.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Um...what?? Bacon Vodka?!?!

I don't understand this. Bacon flavored vodka?? Seriously?? Yes, it's real! Check out this article I found on (orignally from ) :

The scoop on bacon vodka

I did it.

I drank ... drum roll please ... bacon vodka. At Capt. Larry's.

Oh yes.

You: So, stop stalling and tell us how it tasted, Sessa!

Me: OK.

Do you know those dog treats Beggin Strips? That's what it reminded me of.

Not to say I've eaten Beggin Strips. But I've smelled them.
And, oddly enough, they were the first thing to come to mind when I did the shot.

If I were reviewing bacon vodka for the New York Times, I would describe it thusly:

"The drink had a robust, meaty aroma that pleased the palette, grounded by a sharp undercurrent of liquor. It will surely stimulate the senses of breakfast aficionados." --Sam Sessa

Wow. What next? Baked beans vodka? Sausage & Egg Vodkatini's...and instead of an's a chunk of sausage...rimmed with sausage fat and biscuit crumbs instead of sugar? Yum yum..makes you start to salivate, right?? I'm kinda grossed out...but it's a concoction that represents the good ol' American diet. Fatty meat and liquor. Both are good in their own right..but combining them..I just don't know. I'm not the biggest bacon fat..I mean fan... in the world...and vodka makes me ill, so I imagine this would leave much to be desired for my palate. Jeff however, would probably love this.

Last weekend, we went to a housewarming party at his friend Matt Cheeley's house. The last time we saw him and his wife Kristie-Sue (sp?--sorry if it's wrong!) was at Adam's Christmas party. He served water chesnuts wrapped in bacon and it sparked the conversation that it was just an excuse to eat the bacon. Then, Cheeley commented that someone should just bring bacon to a party because everyone would be saying.."Bacon?? Why would someone just bring bacon to a party?"...all the while..chowing down on it. husband brought Cheeley's ideas to fruition and brought bacon to the housewarming party. Two packs of it actually...and wouldn't you know, Cheeley was right! Everybody was devouring the bacon all the while saying things like.."Bacon? Well this is unusual" and "Mmm..this bacon is awesome!" or "This is some good bacon!" I think there were only a couple of pieces left by the time we went home. So for your next party..if you have no idea what to bring..bring bacon. It's cheap, easy and a huge hit. We took Gwaltney's Brown Sugar Bacon. The key is to cook it on a low comes out perfect.

So..on to other things. Cheeley's party was a lot of fun. His house is awesome and very unique. There's lots of holes in it..going from room to room..we're assuming for air circulation. While really neat to look at, you can also hear everything going on in the house from any room...this must be why the one to the master bedroom was sealed off. The house is in a secluded woodsy area just on the outskirts of you still get the rural feel while only being a few minutes from the city. We had a great time, good food, some laughs and ended up with a free dog house which we get to display when we throw our party in August. We were volunteered to throw it by some of Jeff's friends since we live in the middle of nowhere. I just know the words guns, bonfire, and beer were mentioned. Oh boy...great combination...LOL! I think we'll tell people to bring tents if they wish so they can crash somewhere if they drink too much. We have some room in the house, but plenty of space for everyone to pitch tents. Hopefully by then we'll have the fence finished and the moulding in the den back up.

Anyhow..the only other news worth mentioning is that Summer..a girl I sporadically work with gave me a bunch of stuff to give to Kelly since she's having a girl. I went to pick it up this week and it included a Pack and Play playpen, a lot of clothes, toys, a carrier, bottles, bottle liners, a wipe warmer, bottle warmer, a walker..and that was just this time around..she still had a ton of stuff left. I also got to talk with Summer for about 2 hours and play with her little girl Aspen. I hadn't seen her in awhile, so it was nice to catch up.

The last bit of news is that Jeff and I bought another car today. He's been eyeing a new Miata for MONTHS and finally found one worth going to see. It's a 91 british racing green Miata with tan leather seats and a tan top and it only has 46,000 miles on it. It was owned by a guy who collects cars so it's been garaged for 17 years. It has a couple dings here and there but that's to be expected on any car. The engine is super clean and it runs great. We also got it for about $3,000 less that what it's worth b/c the guy didn't know what he had. There were only 4,000 of that particular car made that year with that package in that it's fairly rare. We hadn't really intended on buying a car right now, but at the price he was asking..we couldn't pass it up. He's going to try selling his Caprice and then I'm going to use the red Miata he's been driving as a commuter to save the mileage on my Nissan.

Ok..I think that's all for now. If I think of anything else worth mentioning..I will. Hope everybody enjoys their weekend and has time to kick back with a nice glass of bacon vodka!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

2 dogs, 2,000 miles

If you've ever lost an animal to cancer, this is something you'll want to read about. I discovered this website after I got a friend request through Flickr from a man named Luke Robinson who'd lost his Great Pyrenees Malcolm to metastatic bone cancer. As I had posted many pictures of Jack on my Flickr page and wrote about the devastation of cancer to his sweet face, he found me and let me know about his cause. Luke is walking from Austin to Boston with his 2 other Pyrenees Hudson and Murphy to help raise money and awareness for canine cancer research. There's many cancer foundations working to find cures, but he wants everyone to find out what's causing it to prevent it from happening to begin with. To quote part of his site, :

"The funds raised from the walk will finance the first ever nationwide epidemiological canine cancer study which will be managed by our partner, the Animal Cancer Foundation. Scientists have discovered that the vast majority of cancers found in pets are the same types in humans, which make the dog an ideal model for research. Not only will pets benefit from this study but people, too.There is another reason, too. By using dogs with pre-existing cancer for studies, it reduces our dependency on lab animals."

I added my sweet Jack to his memorial wall so that people will know how heartbreaking it is to watch an innocent pet and family member go through all this. There are so many on the wall and we need to stop it's growth. Luke's cause is noble, heartwarming, inspiring and an exemplary display of compassion. For those who don't know, I lost Jack, my border collie/black lab mix in Sept. of 2007 to squamous cell carcinoma which is a type of skin cancer. It started as a small growth on his lip which went away and then reappeared. It went away again with antibiotics, only to return months later and grow out of hand. Since it had gone away with medicine before, we tried again..several different kinds and it didn't work, it only grew larger. We had a biopsy done and got the results back way too late. The cancer was very aggressive and what started as a small bump on his inner lip soon took over his entire upper lip, soft pallate and was moving down his throat..all in a month's time. By the end, he was almost unrecognizable as his face was swollen and he went blind because of it. He could barely breathe and could no longer eat hard food. The easiest way to describe the growth is that it was red, cauliflower like, raised and ulcerated. If he'd bump it even slightly, it would bleed.

We kept hoping that the biopsy would find something like a fungal infection that could be cured, but it just wasn't to be. We found out on a Thursday that it was cancer and had him put to sleep the next morning. He was miserable. We spent his last night in the floor with him scratching him behind the ears like he likes and rubbing his belly until he fell asleep. Several times he quit breathing and I had to move him to a position where it was easier to get air. The last few hours of his life were spent outside on a beautiful sunny September morning rolling in the grass. We got to hear his bark one last time as the vet pulled into our driveway. He laid in the grass for a belly rub and thumped his tail in happiness for all the attention and then moments later, he was gone.

Sometimes I think I'll never recover from the devastation and unfairness of it all, but all I can do is live my life the best way I know how and use what Jack taught me. He taught me that sometimes, a hug is all you need to feel better. He taught me that no matter what, a good back scratch always feels good and is always needed. He taught me that you don't have to say anything to be there for someone...your presence is enough. He also taught me the meaning of unconditional love and the importance of listening. He was a great listener and gave me the most knowing looks. Of all my dogs, his presence brought me the most comfort and I will always miss him. I think of him daily.

I don't think I could bear to watch another of my animals go through something like this and that's why I think it's so great that Luke is doing something like this for all our furry family members. Please check out his website and consider making a
contribution to his cause and help discover why so many animals are getting cancer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Food and Creative Love

Last night was long awaited. The anticipation and energy was palpable. The giddiness was seeping out of my every pore and infecting those around me. I was not disappointed. Rusted Root came through for me and replaced my day to day inner turbulence with light and happiness. Simply put, they rocked the house. Jeff and I had dinner at Tir Na NÓg Irish Pub in Raleigh before heading to the concert. They never disappoint either. Check out their menu and you'll see why. Everything I have ever had there is phenomenal. They had a couple of men playing some Irish jigs that really enhanced the atmosphere. You feel like part of a family when you're in there. My only word of warning is that the portions are order accordingly. If you get an appetizer and 2 of you want the same entree, get one order and split it. This is my opinion as I've never been able to finish a dish there. Jeff however, has no problem.

After filling our bellies with excellent Irish food and beer, we walked the few blocks over to the Lincoln Theatre. It doesn't look like much inside or out, but it's clean and has pretty good sound. I was amazed that there was no bathroom stall carvings or graffiti. That's usually a bar/theater staple, you know? There was only a faint smell of smoke which also surprised me. Smoking is limited to the rear of the theater, even though most didn't seem to abide by that. We got great seats on the upper balcony only about 20 feet from the stage. My advise is to get there when the doors open or else you'll have to stand the whole time. The opening band One Flew South came on at 8pm and played for about 45 minutes. They were alright. They were kind of an acoustic, a'cappella, folksy, country, pop fusion band I guess. They had excellent harmony! Their soundboard was small in comparison to Rusted Root and the person operating it didn't seem to be too experienced because for 3 men, 2 guitars and a tambourine without the castanets....they were incredibly loud which made it sound a little distorted at times. Some of the songs were good though and I'll have to check out some of their other stuff to be able to give a full review.

After OFS left the stage, the crowd got antsy for Rusted Root to come out. People were shoving, vying for a better spot to watch the show. Then it happened..Rusted Root took the stage and blew me away. They sounded amazing and had an energy about them that just pulsed through the room, my heart seemingly beating to every beat of the drum. If I remember correctly, they opened with Food and Creative Love. They played some of their older stuff which are favorites to all. Back to the Earth, Martyr, Laugh as the Sun, and Lost in a Crowd were included as well as some new stuff that will be on their album coming out this June. They closed with Send Me On My Way and somehow breathed new life into every song. They never sound the same from one concert to the next and I love that. You never know what to expect.

This was the 2nd time I've seen them and both times just left me wanting more. You can't help but dance when you hear them play. Their music just winds its way inside you leaving you a helpless puppet, dancing...but not remembering when or how it started. You just know you can't stop it and don't really want to. The energy feeds you until everyone there is drunk on the power of the music and is undulating and moving almost as one. This is what it looked like from the balcony in any case. There were a few groups of people who were content to lean against the wall with their eyes closed and absorb the sounds of one of the greatest jam bands in existence.

Their encore included Cat Turned Blue and Ecstasy as well as a cover of Elvis' Suspicious Minds. They blended it all into one long song that had Jeff and I thrashing around the floor dancing like a couple of careless teenagers. I was sad when it was over, but to top off the night, as we were leaving, Liz Berlin was at the souvenir table and we got her to sign the copy of her CD that Jeff bought. I wanted to wait around to see if the other band members came out, but it was 11:30 and Jeff had to get up for work the next day and for all we knew, we'd be sitting there for 2 more hours. Ah well, maybe next time. I had a fabulous night with great food, great music and a great husband. What better way could a girl ask for to celebrate an early 7th anniversary? I can't think of one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Life Update

Sorry I haven't updated in awhile..I've been really busy!! We did get a new washer and dryer a few weekends ago. A 5 yr. old Calypso and matching 2 yr. old dryer for a sweet $280. We had to drive an hour away to get them in Fuquay Varina and basically spent half a day driving out there and back. We stopped at a neat little thrift shop, an Aldi store and a few other places. When we got back, we went out to eat at the brewery and then came back to move the old set out and the new ones in. It was interesting getting them moved with only 2 people. By the time we got it moved in and hooked up, it was about 1am. and I had to of course see how it bedtime was around 2am. I was a washin' fool for about a week. We also worked on the fence a little. It's almost done..and I can't wait! The dogs rarely let me sleep, but once we get the fence done, They can stay in the yard all day while I sleep. I'm thinking a doggie door would be best though...I just have to figure out how to keep the cats in.

I also did taxes last week. Blech. How we keep on owing money when we have $20,000 in deductions, I'll never know. I can't find any of my thrift store donation receipts even though I know there's about 5-6 of them. With those, I would at least break even. Right now, we owe $800..which isn't that bad, but still..I don't have that right now...and with gas at $3.25 a gal...I could use some money. I know we're getting back $1200 from the government during the summer, but why can't they just subtract our tax due from that now, you know? That would be so much easier. Damn IRS.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Eve Carson murder that happened last Wednesday. Well, the Crimestoppers line goes to our communications center and they never thought to put another person in there to answer that line. All weekend, S and I answered those calls back to back for more than 8 hours of our shift..all while trying to do our regular job. Let me tell was atrocious. I don't think they ever thought we'd be handling that kind of call volume, but it was horrible. I didn't feel like I could give my officers the attention they needed because I was answering the tips line. While I think it's great that everyone is trying to help out and catch the guy..or guys who did it, and I don't want to discourage people from calling b/c everyone's just as upset as we are, we could use some help in there should something like this ever happen again. I really hope it doesn't. We got calls from everywhere..hundreds of them. Here's my request for anyone who's going to call a Crimestoppers line...please have a FULL name or location where you think the person is. You will be asked a name, a location, height, weight, build, scars, marks, tattoos, vehicle, place of employment, hang outs, last known location, last time seen and anything else that we feel may be relavent. Here's how most of my calls went:

Me: Crimestoppers.
Them: Uh..yeah. I'm calling about that photo in the news and I think I know who killed the Carson girl.
Me: Ok, what's their name?
Them: I don't know his name, but he goes by Little T (fictitious name) and he looks just like the guy in the picture.
Me: Do you know where he lives or where he could be found?
Them: No.
Me: Do you know where he works?
Them: Uh..he used to work over in Durham but he isn't there any more.
Me: Ok, do you know where he used to work or where he normally hangs out?
Them: I don't remember the name of the place, but it was in north Durham near Wal-mart. Do I have to give my name?
Me: No, it's completely anonymous.
Them: Then how do I claim my money?
Me: I'll give you a Crimestoppers report number you can use as a reference to claim the money should the tip lead to an arrest or conviction. When was the last time you saw him?
Them: Ok, cool. Uh..about a year ago I guess.........

At this point..I have to enter it even though there's not enough information to even begin to search for this person. Some of the calls were valid tips and I had at least a first name and their place of employment to go on. This guy is apparently Superman as he's been seen all across the country in a matter of minutes. We also got calls claiming that Eve was a witch involved in human sacrifice to the God's and that's why she was killed. That she was taken for the aliens to experiment on and that she was a drug dealer. Ok..student body president, straight A's, traveled the world helping people and pre-med..I very seriously doubt that...but the information was passed along anyhow because it had to be. Craziness I tell you. I had several people who called every night with more and more information and some who said they couldn't sleep until this guy answers for what he did to Eve. I'm glad I live in a community who cares so much. I do hope this guy is found quick before vigilante justice is carried out on anyone who looks even slightly like the guy. When they do find him..he needs to be tortured and killed slowly. I was thinking of covering him in fire ants for a few hours before dumping scarabs in on him. Too harsh? The violence was an overkill, pardon the expression and he killed someone who had a TON of potential and could've really helped this world. Society has been robbed of a beautiful, intelligent, generous and kind person. It's the worst kind of senseless crime and my heart goes out to her family and friends. Anyway...moving on.

I was attacked by a bird last week. I went to Lowe's to get some plants and return some stuff and as I went to get a bag of bird seed..this friggin' bird just dive bombed me! I yelped and was trying to bat it away like you would a bee..all the while it's screeching and squawking. The garden lady came over and started helping me shoo it. All I could think of was Hitchcock's "The Birds", so I put my arm up when it got too close to my head and it scratched my arm!! It flew into the rafters..still twittering and screeching at me. I washed up and cleaned the scratch, but I still couldn't believe that happened. The lady said every time they get them out of the store, they just come back. I was able to get my birdseed, but I paid for it with blood. I should picket outside the store with signs that say "No blood for birdseed!" That bird will get what's coming to him, mark my words..this isn't over. He may have won the battle, but not the war..

I was in Rke. the weekend before last for my goddaughter Natalie's 7th birthday party. We had a lot of fun..just hung out and goofed off. It was fairly small and laid back, but I like them better that way. We also had lunch Sunday at Mom & Dad's where I got to see my very cute pregnant sister! She just looked so cute in her little empire wasted shirt. It's just a small baby bump, but noticeable since she's so small anyway. I'm so excited about it! I've been starting to plan the baby shower and at least get the major stuff taken care of..the where, when and who. I have awhile before the little stuff needs to be done. It's just hard trying to fit all that in! The first half of this year is just crazy busy for us. On the weekends that I'm not working, we have plans for every weekend through June. So..I get basically no down time. Yeah we're traveling..but it's not a vacation, you know? We spend weekends in Rke. house hopping trying to see everyone and that's pretty tiring. I mean, I'm glad I get to see everyone, but I'm worn out by the time I get home on Sunday nights.

We're going to Rke. Easter weekend to see some friends who're in town from FL that weekend, then we have a Rusted Root concert the Tuesday after that...then there's the NC Ren Faire in Raleigh that next weekend..then Mom's birthday, then I work 2 weekends, then there's Hannah's birthday, Ronnie & Misty's trip to Busch Gardens for their anniversary that we're trying to go to, Jeff's birthday, my mother-in-laws birthday, my nephew Griffin's birthday, our anniversary, then work 2 weekends..then Leslie's wedding in VA, Aldon's wedding in TN..then Kelly moves to Richmond..then..a break..shew!'s a trip to Fontana at the end of July, then the baby shower, a trip to Sunset Beach in August..then the baby comes in September!! I'm going to be exhausted by the end of this year. If you'd like to donate money to the Dana Lane Mental Health Fund, Paypal, checks, cash and money orders are accepted. All proceeds will be used to help fund weekly or monthly massages and pedicures and is not tax deductible. In return for your gift, you will not be fatally injured when Dana snaps and goes on a rampage. Bitch-slaps and bites do not apply. Please see Dana for details. The Dana has spoken. That is all.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tying up loose ends

This past week has been incredibly busy! I had a dentist appt, eye appt, oil change appt, septic tank maint. appt., and a ton of errands to run. I'm tired and feel like I need a few days to recover! Tuesday, the insurance company called and said they'd never heard from the well pump guy and he never brought them the well pump. Sigh...but..she said she'd talked to her supervisor and he told her to go ahead and pay us. Woo hoo! Jeff went and deposited our $1837.54 check today and will be paying the well pump guy next that will no longer be hanging over our heads. My issue at work will also be resolved soon and that won't keep hanging around like a dark cloud.

Anyhow, things are finally wrapping up. I hate loose ends and not knowing what's going to happen. It causes too much stress. After Monday, the only thing out there in front of me to tie up is doing our taxes. We've had to pay the last 2 years and I hope this year we get something back. You'd think that with almost $7,000 every year in mortgage interest that we'd get some back..but no..we keep getting screwed.

Jeff already bought our plane tickets to Aldon's wedding in Nashville in June..all we have to do is make hotel & car reservations. We're actually flying into Chattanooga b/c Skybus doesn't go to Nashville and then driving in. It's something like 2 hours or a little over...not too bad since our flight costs were $260 total for the both of us...and $100 of that was taxes and fees. Our flight home got screwed up though. Skybus has limited flight we're flying from Chattanooga to Columbus, OH on Sunday afternoon and then from Columbus to Greensboro on Monday we'll have to get a hotel up there for a night. Not much we can do about it now though. It's $40 per person to change the flights and we could probably get a hotel for $ it wouldn't really be worth it.

Two weeks before Aldon's wedding is Leslie's wedding, so we'll be driving to VA for that. We're also going to VA the first weekend of March for Natalie's 7th birthday party. Then, we're planning on going to Sunset Beach in August for a week and to Fontana Dam a couple of times this year too since we've already paid for our timeshare. Plus, several trips to Richmond after Kelly moves to help out with unpacking, decorating and to see the baby (due Sept. 19th) And..all our usual trips to Roanoke to visit family. That's a lot of weekends to board the dogs!! I hope we can afford it! Looks like a busy year so far..let's just hope nothing major goes wrong! Last year was bad enough, I don't need that stuff this year. I hope to have a new job by summer..but that may be a pipe dream. I can never find what I want or if I do, it doesn't pay enough. I'll keep looking though and keep you guys posted!

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm so happy!!!

So after a long weekend of putting up a fence in the yard and using muscles I'd forgotten about...and after coming into work tonight when I really really just didn't want to..I got some great news tonight. My baby sister Kelly, is pregnant!! Woo hoo! I'm going to be an aunt! She said she's about 8 weeks along and goes to the Dr. Thursday to check things out and get her official due date, etc. She said she was unsure about telling everyone until she was 12 weeks, but Tim told everyone, so she did to. I'm only listing this to my preferred people b/c I didn't want to spread it farther than it needed to go until I'm certain she's ready for it to go public...but I'm so excited!!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous since Jeff and I have been trying for 5 yrs. w/o any luck, but my happiness for her and Tim completely overshadows my jealousness. Plus..this fulfills what I've said all along. When Jeff and I first started dating, I told him that every time we have a Kitts Family reunion..there's a new person there..and I was kind of kidding..but so far it's been true every year for the past 10 years at least. Whether it's a new baby or a new boyfriend..there's always someone new. This'll be Kelly's turn to bring someone new...and hopefully the year after that, it'll be my turn.

I can't wait to see her belly grow and help her pick out baby clothes and nursery stuff.....and I can't wait to spoil him/her rotten! And most of all..I can't wait to see Kelly hold them for the first time and just be able to watch her be a mom. I know I have 3 godchildren and 2 nephews already..but this is different. Maybe it's b/c this one will be a blood relative or because Kelly's closer to me than anyone else..but I'm so excited I could just burst! She'll be a great mom. I know she's worried b/c her and Tim are in the process of trying to buy a house and move to a new city and this is just one more worry added to all of that, but she's strong and will get through all this because she has to, you know?

There's a few things I find interesting though. I find it unusual that both Jeff and I will have had younger siblings that had children before us. We both always thought that b/c we were the oldest that we'd be the first to have children, but life doesn't work that way...and that's ok. I also think it's neat that Tim will have lost his own father but become one himself in a year's time. I don't just seems significant somehow. So anyhow..I just had to share my joy! I tried waiting to tell Jeff tomorrow so I could see his face, but I couldn't hold it in and I called him...hehe. Ok..back to work!! Or maybe I'll just start shopping for baby stuff....

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bill Gates owes me a blog! >=( I'd written this huge long blog on my weekend at Astronomy Days and my dinner at Tir Na Nog and our walk around the capitol in Raleigh..and wrote a little bit about some other mundane details of the past month or so.....and windows experienced an "error" and needed to close. WTF? It does this every night. So...I copied what I'd written so I could repaste it after I reopened it. Nope...completely gone. Not a trace. So..I spent an hour writing this LONG blog..and it's all gone. You know what I say? EFF it. I'm not writing all that again. It's a shame too b/c it was very well thought out and rather eloquent..and now no one will ever get to read it. Here's the summary: I got my picture taken with an astronaut ( Dr. Robert Crouch), had incredible scotch eggs at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub, got pics of the capitol building and went home.

I also mentioned in the other blog that Jeff bought a telescope, I have to put a fence up b/c my dogs were aggressive towards my neighbors and I still haven't heard about my well pump from insurance. Oh..and I have to pay out another $250 to have my septic tank maintained. Jeff's teaching a class at the community college, speaking at a conference next month and having some of his photos published in a magazine. That's the top points of my blog...but the details were what made the story..maybe I'll write them some other time when I'm not in such a pissy mood. I was in a great mood until I lost everything I wrote..all b/c Bill Gates can't build a reliable product. Sigh..such is life. Nothing's meant to go my way apparently. As Jeff says, why does everything have to suck?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Miss Patches Prissy Paws

I just love my dogs..let me tell you why. Yesterday as I was eating a bowl of cereal before coming to work, Jeff was in the floor playing with Patches..our border collie. He put his hand up to her face and says, "I'm going to get your nose!"...and she ducks her head and hides it under his leg. ?? Hmm..ok..probably just he says it again, and she hides her nose in his arm pit. Um...ok..maybe she was just smelling Jazz who was behind him. One more time.."I'm going to get your nose!"...and she covers her nose with her paw. Ho-ly crap. We have no idea where she learned that b/c Jeff doesn't say that as a habit. He's said it to her a few times in the past, but not enough for her to pick up on it...or so we thought.

He stands up and she comes to check out my empty cereal bowl and he says it to her again...and she runs behind my chair to hide. The next time he said it..she hid behind me and gave me this look like.."Please..don't let him get my nose!! I'm too cute!" we rewarded her with a cookie so she knows that we're not really going to get her nose..but I was just completely amazed.
She's done a couple of other things in the past that were quite amazing too. She figured out how to operate the ice maker on the front of our freezer. I'd come home to puddles of water in the floor and couldn't figure out where they came from...until I was in the office and all was quiet and I heard small thuds in the kitchen. I snuck around the corner and see Miss Patches Prissy Paws (her full name) pushing the ice release button with her paw. Ah ha...mystery solved. This continued until I accidently left the fridge on the 'water' setting and it sprayed her in the face. Oops.

The other time I was completely amazed was when my parents came down to visit. We were watching Mighty Joe Young on tv...the gorilla movie for those who don't know and Patches came in to check out the action...wait.. I should probably tell you about their toy bin first though. We have a huge basket that's about the size of a half barrel filled with all their toys. They'll go visit it and pull out what they want whenever they want. If I could train them to put them back..I'd really be on to something.

Anyhow, Patches glances at the tv, cocks her head to one side then trots over to her toy bin. She starts rooting around in the piles of bodies, tossing them over the sides haphazardly until she gets to the bottom and pulls out what she's seeking. She starts shaking it back and forth and then drops it in my mom's lap. I glance at it and it's nothing other than...wait for it...wait for it...still waiting..wait for it..... a stuffed shrieking gorilla. I'll be damned. Just seeing the one on tv reminded her that she had one too.

That gorilla had been buried in the bottom of the bin for MONTHS..mostly because it does shriek and hearing it at 3am sucks. Plus..she tore it's butt out and left the fuzzy white innards laying all over the living room. Unfortunately this was not enough to kill it's just busted it so that it shrieked in a continuous loop until you stomped the crap out of it....or it would start shrieking on it's own with no one around it. I fault for buying the damned thing..but it was cute.

She's also waited for us to vacate the dinner table and instead of being like a regular dog who would just put their paws on the table to steal scraps off the plate, she jumped up in the chair and was sitting there perfectly poised licking the plate she belonged there. When she got caught she gave us this look like.."What? You didn't put it on the floor, how else was I going to get it?"

Patches is probably too smart for us. Her and the cats work together to steal food off the counters. I'm sure she's the brains behind the whole operation. Anyhow..I was just proud of my girly for basically teaching herself a trick. She provides hours of endless entertainment and love and I just wanted to share my amazing dog story with everyone!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Is it really a New Year??

I can't believe it's already 2008. I wasn't so much celebrating the beginning of 2008, but the end of 2007. Thank goodness it's over! Horrible year! it really a new year? Time is a never really ends. Each day is just a continuation of the next and just because we're asleep, doesn't mean that time stops or that when the sun comes back up that it'll be better. So why do we procrastinate and keep putting things off for another day? It's not going to stop needing to be done just because you ignore it, you know? I still need to lose weight. I still need to pay off my credit cards. I still need to save money..but I keep putting it off. Why? I have no motivation. Why? If I could answer that question, I think I'd have achieved a pretty significant goal.

This year, there are a lot of things I'd like to accomplish. I'd like to lose about 50 lbs. I'd like to have about $2000 in my savings account. I'd like to learn how to speak spanish. I'd like to pay off one of my credit cards. I'd like to get pregnant and have a healthy baby. I'd like to fix all the stuff wrong with the house. I'd love to get a new job working day shift hours and have every weekend and holiday off. I'd love to finally get our fence up in the backyard. I'd love to get a tax return. I'd love to develop some kind of self discipline so I can build my savings and pay off bills. And..I'd love to see more of my friends and family. Where do I start?? How do I start? It all seems so overwhelming.

So far..I have done nothing to achieve any of those goals. I know it's only the 2nd day, but I can't get motivated. If anyone can tell me how..please..let me know! I had all these big plans for the weekend like taking a car load of stuff to the thrift shop and cleaning my carpets. I've been meaning to do that since September but haven't done it. I wanted to get my kitchen cleaned and my sheets washed. Nope. None of it happened. Jeff and I went shopping instead. Instead of saving money, we went and spent it. Granted..I took back stuff I bought on impulse and then bought stuff I really groceries, but still..we spent money. The only thing I was proud of is that we didn't eat out all weekend. I cooked every night..and that's rare!

Friday was chicken pie night with corn and green beans. Saturday was flank steak in a maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic and vinegar marinade with mashed potatoes. Sunday was fondue night..cheese and bread followed by bananas, strawberries and raspberries in chocolate fondue. I even made a gigantic breakfast Sunday too. Monday..New Year's Eve..was enchiladas and refried beans. All we did that day was go see I Am Legend and then come home and cook dinner...then waited for the new year to roll around....then off to bed around 1am. Nothing grand. Though, Jeff did fix my computer that afternoon.

If you get a chance to see
I Am should was incredible. There were a few times that I jumped and was on the edge of my seat...and there was no gore..which is a huge plus in my book...but it was also a very sad movie. I'd like to go see it again actually..but I'll wait and buy it on dvd. If you don't want a huge NOT go to tells the entire plot right through to the end.

My movie recap.....

In the year 2009, a doctor develops a genetically engineered strain of the measles virus which cured cancer. By the end of the year, the virus had killed 90% of the world's population. Another 9% were infected but still alive and 1% was completely immune. Will Smith's character, Robert Neville was one of the immune. The 9% of infected survivors degenerated into a primal state of aggression and reacted painfully to UV light..basically becoming vampires....and they hunted the 1% of completely immune people. By 2012, Robert Neville is in New York and believes he's the only remaining survivor. He is a military scientist who is doing his best to find a cure in order to save the human race. By day, he hunts and gathers food and supplies for him and his dog. By night, he seals up his apartment and tries to survive the night.

The link above takes you to the movie trailer. It averages a B- from critics..but I thought it was great. If for no other shows Will Smith shirtless doing pullups and running. Yowza! Oh..and a warning...I don't want to spoil the movie..but things happen to dogs in this movie that are very uncool and sad. That was the worst part for me. Anyway, It's based off the 1954 book I Am Legend by Richard Matheson which was based in LA instead of NY...and the end is totally different, but I still want to read it.

Alright..enough movie reviews....I just felt that it was worth one. I know where I'll be May 22nd and November 21st of this year though. Seeing Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Harry Potter: Half-blood Prince. Woo hoo! Can't wait! So..I guess those are 2 more goals I know I can accomplish this year. Another bright spot is knowing that my car will be paid of this year! Woo! That's a huge relief. I just want this year to be filled with happy things. For all the bad things that happened last year, I deserve to have a year where things go my way, you know? I'm still waiting to hear back from the insurance company in reference to our well pump and to hear from the people here at work about the stupid IA against me for venting in a blog. I hate it hanging over my head! I'll let you guys know when it's over. For now..I have to get back to work...

Christmas Love

You know..I wasn't expected much for Christmas this year..mostly because I hate it when people spend a ton of money on me when I can't spend any on them. It just bothers me. We'd had a bad year in general..but the last couple of months were the hardest. I felt bitter and sad and was dreading the holidays because I knew we couldn't spend money on anyone. Therefore, I wasn't expecting much from anyone else.

Some friends of ours..Justin & Sarah and Kyle & Andrea..each sent us gift cards in outrageous amounts!! I wasn't expecting anything close to what they got us. On top of that, Jeff's parents spent a ton of money on each of us..separately and as a couple. We got loads of gifts plus a lot of cash. My parents gave us money as well as gifts and Mom also got me the black pea coat I've been wanting forever. I just feel overwhelmed with all the generosity I received this year. It was one of the best Christmas' I remember having...not because of the gifts or the amount they spent..but because they cared enough about us to get us all that stuff. It was a great ending to a really crappy year.

I am truly thankful for such a wonderful family and amazing friends. No matter how rough my life gets, I know they're there and I feel so lucky that they are. everyone, I just wanted to say thank you for being so generous and for bringing happiness and light into my darkest days. You guys are what get me through the day to day muck that is life. I'm so lucky to have all of you that no amount of words could express it. Thank you guys again and I hope you had an awesome New Year!