Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lucky Cricket

Today we locked in the interest rate and did the initial walk through with the inspector on our home. We were able to get a fantastic interest rate and it ended up dropping our monthly payment by $60 per month over the original interest rate estimate. The walk through went great as well. All very minor issues and mostly just touch up painting to be done. While we were walking the back yard, we saw a cricket walking through the yard. I was very happy to see the cricket since they are a symbol of good luck. I am hoping this is a sign that 2009 will be a much better year for us; 2008 had many challenges and I am ready for this year to draw to a close.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back from Stephenville

We made it back home from visiting the parents. At the last minute hubby began to feel better and was able to go too. I was very happy that he felt like going. In 20 years, we have only been apart once and I was not looking forward to being apart this year. We had a really good, but exhausting time. My parents actually live in a small community called Shelby which is outside of Stephenville near Lingleville. Stephenville and the surrounding area is smack in the middle of dairy country, so it has a very "unique" smell. Since they don't live inside the city, the computer access is dialup, the television is satellite, and your cell phone rarely works.

We left here on the 23rd and arrived at Mom's around noon. Dad got home from work shortly after and announced that he had the rest of the week off. My Mom works for the school district so she is off until after the first of the year and my Dad is a surveyor. Mom had a roast almost done so we sat down and ate a late lunch when Dad got home. After that went for a walk in the pasture to exercise the dogs and work off our lunch. We also had to run in to town to pick up a couple of items we had forgotten. While there we decided to pick up chicken for dinner. There were three of us picking out items to order. It didn't sound like we were ordering very much, but when we finished the bag was so large it almost didn't fit through the drive through window! Needless to say, we snacked on leftover chicken for several days.

On the 24th we went to the cemetary to visit my grandparents grave, went to a couple of other cemetaries to get some of the geneaology info my Mom was needing, and then went to my parents favorite restuarant called Mary's. By the time we got home, my uncle had been calling looking for Dad to go help with feeding the cows, so we went wandering around the property while Dad and my uncle fed the cows. When we got home, we just had left over chicken for dinner and then relaxed while watching a couple of movies my brother had brought home from work (he still lives with my parents).

My family is not big on exchanging gifts. Instead we spend the time just being with each other. On Christmas Day we got up and I helped my Mom cook a yummy meal of ham, chicken and dressing, potatoes, corn, okra, lemon bars, and fruit salad. We all ate too much so we decided to go Geocaching to work off our lunch. My parents really enjoy Geocaching, but won't go without us. Also, their GPS unit is very outdated (it is one my brother used when he was in Iraq). We had a great time Geocaching and then came home, went for a ride on the 4-wheelers, and watched another movie. Well, actually, I think we all fell asleep before the movie was over, but we attempted to watch a movie.

On Friday morning we packed up and headed home just after breakfast. We made it home in the early afternoon and were completely exhausted - even the dogs. Everyone got a bath and took a nap.

I will write later about the non-human members; they each have a unique personality and role in the family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Tuesday I will be heading to Stephenville for Christmas. It has been almost two years since I have been home and I am really looking forward to spending a few days with my parents. Hubby is staying home (he has hurt his neck somehow) and will keep Abbie with him; I will be taking Riley with me. Riley will have fun because there will be plenty of other animals there to play with and lots of area to run.

I will have to remember to take my camera with me to get lots of photos.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Abbie Ran Away

Today I was bringing some moving boxes from my car in to the house and didn't notice that Abbie had snuck out the front door. It wasn't until about 2 hours later when we were putting the dogs in the kennel to go grocery shopping that we realized Abbie was not there. My first thought was that she got locked in the closet. Sometimes when we are getting dressed she will go in the closet and then she gets stuck in there. That wasn't the case this time and she wasn't hiding under the bed ignoring us either. Both hubby and I instantly went outside and started looking for her. Hubby approached it in a very logical and methodical way; I, on the other hand, panicked. I went to look by the pond where they like to go to run - not there. Then my thoughts kicked in to overdrive and I began to worry that she had run to the street. So I ran, literally, to the front of the property to see if she was on the street - not there. I circled back around toward our apartment to see my husband standing by my car wondering where I had been. He had already found her, taken all of the garbage to my car, and had been waiting for 5-10 minutes.

He had decided to go look behind our apartment in the woods that she is always so fascinated by and sure enough she had been hanging out there and exploring. She was safe and sound back in her kennel, but I never seemed to kick the panicky feeling for the majority of the day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where's Your Jacket?

Yesterday I was wearing shorts and sweating as I took the dog for a walk. Currently, it is below freezing (30.6) and windy. On the way home today, the temp was about 35 degrees and I saw a person walking down the sidewalk wearing flip-flops, shorts, and wrapped in a fleece blanket. They were too well groomed to be homeless, so I concluded that they either didn't own a jacket or were not prepared for the temperature to make such a drastic change so quickly. Either way, they were getting a lot of stares from the cars passing by.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Blues

We had made plans to visit my parents in Stephenville for Christmas, but when a project came up at work, I had to cancel those plans. I didn't realize until yesterday how much I really want to go see my parents for Christmas. I have always been very independent and there was a time when this would not have bothered me at all; but my mother and I have been working at building a closer relationship, so not being able to go see them is giving me the holiday blues.

There is still a possibility that I can get the project completed and be able to take some time off, but I won't know for sure until the middle of next week. If I am able to get the project completed, I am pretty sure I can get my hubby's sister to watch our apartment.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can get everything to work out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo Phriday



This is a picture of my favorite house during the holidays. They always go all out and there is so much to see. Each time we drive by I see something new. This is just a portion of the decorations they have out front. Not in the picture is a scene with Frosty, three Reindeer scenes, and a Nativity scene.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reindeer Names

Do you have kids that like to shake and guess what their gifts are under the tree? A friend of mine does this cool thing with her kids that prevents them from messing with the gifts under the tree.

She assigns each of her kids a reindeer name and puts that name on the gifts under the tree (she changes their reindeer name each year). She then takes and puts that name on a piece of paper and places it at the bottom of their stocking. Instead of spending their time shaking and guessing what is in the box, they spend their time trying to guess which reindeer they are this year. On Christmas morning, they open their stocking and when they get to the bottom, they discover their reindeer name.

I thought this was such a cool idea. She started this when her kids were in elementary school and still does it today even though they are grown.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chocolate Stout

Okay, I am having no luck with the wine drinking thing, so I switched to beer. I went to Central Market where you can buy signles and just picked one out called Chocolate Stout. I picked it out solely by the name; how can you go wrong if it has chocolate in the name. I sat down to do a little blogging while I drank my beer. It actually had a very nice taste that I could learn to like. I needed to go check on something in the other room and this is when I realized this was no ordinary beer. Admittedly, I am a light weight drinker, but I felt this one in my legs as soon as I stood up. When I checked the bottle, it said it was 5.2% alcohol instead of the 2%-3% of a typical beer. Guess the hubby didn't feel it necessary to point that out to me when I purchased the beer. I actually like the taste of thisone; however, I am not sure I would have named it chocolate - unless they were referring to the color.

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Office

My team and I moved in to our new office location today. It felt very odd going to a new building to work. I had been going to the same building for almost 9 years. We are doing the same thing, just in a new location. The old office was very noisy and always filled with chaos. The new office is very quiet and no interruptions. We had our typical first day challenges; computers not working, no fax machine, no printers, etc. We will get settled in and all will be running smoothly in no time, but I definitely have to get a radio to add a little noise in the background.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Transiberian Orchestra

Transiberian Orchestra is coming to Austin for a concert on January 4th. I desperately want to go see them, but just don't have the extra funds for the tickets. I was lucky enough to see them in concert 2 years ago and that was the most spectacular concert I have ever seen.

Sometimes when you go to a concert you talk about it for a couple of weeks and then you kinda forget about it; well not this one. Hubby and I still talk about that concert two years later. The music is phenomenal and the laser light show if the best I have ever seen. The band members all stay afterwards and greet anyone who is interested. You can't help but have the holiday spirit after you leave. I have their CD The Lost Christmas Eve and play it all year long because their music is so spectacular.

If you have the chance to go see them in concert, you should definitely go seem them.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

White Elephant

I am going to a White Elephant gift exchange in a couple of weeks and I don't know what to bring. I want to bring the gift that everyone wants. You know, the gift that keeps getting stolen. Last year, that gift was a box of lottery scratch-n-win tickets. The only thing I can come up with is to go to Specs Wine and Liquor and getting some type of beer or wine gift basket. Everyone in that group is fond of alcohol.

What kind of gift would you like if you were going to a White Elephant gift exchange?



Friday, December 5, 2008

Photo Phriday


What a difference 6 months can make! My sweet little Riley was only 6 pounds when we brought her home. Six months later she is over 6 times that weight. Yep, she is weighing in now at a whopping 37 pounds. Unfortunately, she has not learned that she is getting bigger. She still wants to be held and snuggled at night while she watches television. I guess that could possibly be my fault.... nah, that couldn't possibly be the reason.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stephenville - No Longer Dry

I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in Stephenville, Texas. Stephenville is the county seat for Erath County and it has always been a dry county. Anyone who wanted to purchase alcohol had to go to a neighboring county; usually a town called Proctor. Some of the smaller towns truly made their money from all of the college kids and young adults in Stephenville who would make the drive just to purchase alcohol. Every time the subject of making alcohol sales legal in Erath county would come up for vote, the townsfolk would always vote to keep the county dry. In the most recent election, that was again on the ballot. This time, the town actually voted to allow alcohol sales in Erath County.

Unfortunately, for many of the merchants, it can take up to 6 months to get approved for a license to sell alcohol. The sleepy little town of Stephenville is finally waking up.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Austin Skyline

Today we went downtown for the City Wide Garage Sale. On the way there, I noticed something very disappointing in the Austin skyline - it was full of cranes. Not the bird kind of crane, but construction cranes. I saw at least 5 cranes working on different construction projects. More and more buildings going up even though the economy is in a downturn. This just means more buildings to either be left unoccupied or worse yet, stopped in mid construction. It used to be nice to go to Auditorium Shores and you could see the lake and all the people walking their pets. Today I was just drawn to all of the construction projects and it just looked sad. I am all for progress, but I am not sure that is really what is happening.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Days Like Today

I wish there could be more days like today.

I was technically on vacation today, but I went to work for a couple of hours to help out one of the girls on my team process in 30 new hires so she could go home and enjoy her long weekend. After that, I went to run a few errands. While I was out, my sister-in-law called saying they were coming over. Hubby doesn't hear so well on the phone and thought they were coming over later in the evening when in fact they were on their way right then. So I dashed home and we did a fire drill house cleaning. When she and her husband arrived, the guys began cooking lunch while we worked on her resume. Well, actually, only my hubby took care of lunch. My brother-in-law is not very handy in the kitchen so we put him in charge of the tv remote.

We had a great lunch and just kicked backed for a while. Talking with them is very relaxed because no subject is off limits. We are both very open with each other, but we don't share anything with the other siblings about each other. Unlike some of the family who just want an update so they can gossip with everyone else.

When they left, I cleaned the kitchen and we watched a little television. It was very relaxing and nice to hang out with family. Our house is going to be near my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, so maybe we will be able to have more days like today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I grew up in a family where Thanksgiving was not so much about the food, but about the time spent together. The time spent together making the food and catching up with everyone. It was the one time of the year that everyone gathered in one location, usually my grandmothers house. There was never enough places for everyone to sleep and never enough bathrooms for everyone to use, but none of that mattered because we were all together just having fun. We would stay up late talking or playing a rowdy game of spoons.

My grandmother has long since passed and the family has gone in separate directions, but I am still thankful for the memories she created and the sense of family she instilled in all of us. I am also very thankful for a wonderful husband, a good job, and a great family (both mine and my in-laws).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Errand Day

Today was errand day. We started our day going by the post office to buy stamps, then off to a store I really love called Things Celtic. I was hoping to find a pewter St. Bridget's Cross for our new house. It is supposed to bless and bring luck to anyone who crosses the threshold. They didn't have what I was looking for, but we still spent a good bit of time looking at everything there. They import most of their stuff from Ireland and Scotland. The store is super packed, but feels very relaxing. Their store cat is beautiful and he likes to stare at himself in the mirror.

Next was a stop by Walgreen's to get meds for the dog, then we were off to the mall. The mall was total chaos. People were already in full swing with their holiday shopping. The place was completely packed. We went straight to Macy's to pick up the item we were after and then back out. Unfortunately, we were in such a hurry to get out of the mall that we didn't realize until we got home that we purchased the wrong item. So, back to the mall I headed to exchange it for the right item this time.

I really like the holiday season, especially when it is cool and misty like it was today. Unfortunately, it seems to bring out the worst in other people. Hopefully they will catch the holiday spirit too and leave their Grinch selves at home.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Phriday


I absolutely hate to clean; if it weren't for my husband my house would be a total mess all the time. However, I do really like my broom vac. This is the best invention ever. Hubby bought this for me in April when I had back surgery. I wanted to feel like I was helping out, but I couldn't push the vacuum and I couldn't bend to use a dust pan. This lovely gadget lets me do both. Now, even though I can use a vacuum and a dust pan, I still go for my handy broom vac.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pogo

I really like playing games on Pogo. It is a way to unwind for me and to talk to people from other places around the world. Sometimes in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, I will sign on and play games. I have such a competitive personality, that some of the games get really addictive. If you've never checked out Pogo, give it a try (www.pogo.com). You can play games without paying a membership fee, but there are extra games if you do become a member.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bond, James Bond

My favorite James Bond was always Sean Connery, but now he has moved to number 2. He is being replaced as number one by Daniel Craig. There is something about his personality that seems to really capture the dark side of Bond that is very appealing.

Who is your favorite Bond?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Carols.....Seriously?

Last night I turned on the radio to fall asleep as normal, but the music playing was not the normal tunes - it was Christmas Carols. Christmas Carols, like Christmas trees and lights should come on the day AFTER Thanksgiving. Now, don't get me wrong, I love holiday music as much as the next person. Dominic the Donkey, Christmas Shoes, and Transiberian Orchestra are among my favorites; but if they play them constantly, it begins to ruin the fun of the song.

I guess for now I will have to change my radio station until after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Did It!

Well, hubby and I have finally taken the first step in to home ownership. We signed the contract on a house. We were very specific in what we wanted and what we were willing to do for a house. We wanted no down payment and no closing costs. We had a fantastic realtor who understood our needs and got us exactly what we wanted. He found us a new build spec house with LOTS of upgrades. It has all appliances (even washer and dryer), fully sodded yard front and back, covered back patio, upgraded tile, island kitchen, separate shower/tub and an over-sized yard for the dogs. Since he found it in one of the rural communities, it qualifies for the USDA loan which will give us the 100% financing we are wanting. As a bonus, USDA does not require mortgage insurance.

The only requirement is that we cannot close until late January when the USDA changes their income restrictions (we make too much for the 2008 limitations). Waiting until January actually works well for us and gives us plenty of time to pack and prepare.

We have already completed the pre-qualification, now we just need to go through the formal approval process. There should not be any last minute surprises, but we will wait until the close date to celebrate.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

House or No House

Hubby and I have decided to move forward with the possibility of becoming homeowners. We look last weekend and found a house that we liked and should know tomorrow if we are going to move forward with a contract or if we are going to postpone home ownership for a little while longer.

I can completely understand why they say this process is ranked as one of the top 5 things that cause stress. When I took my paperwork to the finance people the first question they asked was - "Are you going to be putting down the standard 30%?" After I finished laughing, I informed them that I would not be putting down 30%. In fact, I would not be interested in moving forward unless they could find me 100% financing. I want a total move in cost of $0.00. Thankfully, hubby and I are on the same page with regards to what we want; and if we cannot get what we want at the price we want, we are prepared to walk away and continue being renters.

We absolutely need the tax deduction, but I refuse to spend all of my disposal cash to get in to a home and I refuse to get more house that I can afford.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photo Phriday



Introducing.....Seth Steven. Born November 3, 2008. His Mommy and Daddy tried a long time to bring him in to this world and I can't wait to meet him for the first time. Yes, I am a very proud Aunt.







Wednesday, November 5, 2008

He's Here

Weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces, little Seth made his debut performance on Monday, November 3rd at 4:01 am. Of course, my brother forgot to call or text that he had arrived! Since he was tired from being up at the hospital for 24 hours straight, I will cut him a little slack this time. Mother and baby are doing great and went home from the hospital today. I should have a picture to share for photo phriday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you Vote?

This morning I got up early so I could get to the polling place as they opened. Thankfully it was literally next door to where I live. When I arrived at 2 minutes after they opened, there was already about 45-50 people ahead of me - guess everyone else wanted to go before work too. Sadly, the polling place where I went only had one electronic booth and the box for the manual ballots was having technical difficulties - yes the manual box was having technical difficulties. It took me forever to get to the front of the line, but I eventually made my selection and went on my merry way to work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bad Leg

You know how some dogs like to chase their tails? Well, Riley gets very angry at her back leg. She will be scratching and then next thing you know she is growling and fighting with her back leg. It's as if it didn't scratch her ear in exactly the right way. She grumbles, growls, and actually bites her back leg. When she feels it has been sufficiently scolded, she leaves it alone. She could care less what her tail does, but that leg is not allowed to get out of line.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baby Watch

We went out looking for a home today and when we got home we heard that my sister in law is in the hospital. Her water broke some time this morning and now we are on baby watch. My brother feels like it should be within the next couple of days. When I spoke to him on Friday, he was telling me about her latest visit. He was telling me in medical terms (he is a nurse), but basically she and baby are doing well. I can't wait to see the first pictures of little Seth. Hopefully he will not have my brothers ears!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bar Flies

I am convinced that my parents have become bar flies. Growing up my parents rarely, if ever, went out alone. Now when I call, my brother answers (that is a story for another post) and tells me they are at the bar. This happens about three times per week. My mother was never a drinker and can not hold her alcohol. Two beers and she is tipsy. They get bored at home so they go out. Since all, well most, of their kids have left home; they go out to visit with friends in the same situation. It just sounds strange to hear that your parents are at the bar - again.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Photo Phriday

Today was a work from home day for me, but we did venture out for lunch. Hubby really likes sushi, but I am not a fan. He had heard about this restaurant and found that it had something for the both of us. The look on hubby's face told me that his sushi was very good. My food was extremely good, but that was definitely the most expensive lunch I have ever had.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

News Teaser

I heard a news teaser this afternoon that was really strange. It said: "A mother throws her daughter in to traffic, how will this affect the child?"

How do you think this will affect the child. Scarred for life, need therapy, or perhaps hate her mother. Give me a break. I know they are just trying to get people to watch, but come on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wine

I really want to learn to like wine. My hubby and most of my friends like various wines, but I haven't found one that I really like. Red wines are too strong and white wines taste bitter to me. The only wine that I have found that I can drink is a Riesling, but it is really sweet. We have gone to wine tastings and I have tried to learn and search out which ones are appealing; unfortunately, I still can't find one that I would like to drink on a regular basis.

When I go out for company dinners or out with my hubby, it would really be nice to have a glass of wine and enjoy the conversation. Instead, I drink tea, soda, or a mixed drink. How does a person train the taste buds to enjoy wine?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Flu Shot

I had a flu shot today for the first time ever. After she gave me the shot she told me that my arm would hurt for several days. I really would have preferred to know that in the beginning. What she didn't mention was that by the end of the day, your whole body would ache. They absolutely promised me I would not get the flu. If they told me wrong, I am not going to be a happy person.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This Week

I didn't realize until today that I had not posted anything since Monday. This week has flown by for me. Tuesday, I was so tired and irritable that no fun to be around. I was such a witch that I didn't even want to be around myself. On Thursday I took Riley to her obedience class since I am the one who has a hard time being authoritative when giving her commands. I fully expected the class to be really hard since I have not been going, but Riley was really good - and I did okay too. The only other participant in the class is a 4 month old Yorkie names Tulip and her owners Paige and Alex. Tulip was still in "rock star" mode from Tuesday's howl-o-ween contest. She dressed up like a bumblebee and won first place. Friday I was up at the butt-crack of dawn to go to Flower Mound. That was such a long day. Today, we did all of the errands that didn't get done during the week. While we were at Academy looking for a larger dog kennel, I found the most adorable little shoes for baby Seth. They are camo (my sister in law is active military) with a Longhorn logo. Of course, I had to find something to help cushion the box, so I got several bibs. I had a hard time deciding which ones until I saw one that says "I Love my Auntie." I hope Chelle doesn't read this before the box gets there!

I also noticed today that I looked really old and tired. Hubby, being oh so supportive, reminded me that I was aging after all. He was very amused at himself - I was not quite as amused. Perhaps more sleep will help with the bags under the eyes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gas Prices

I am so happy to see gas prices continue to come down. Yesterday, the price at the gas station near my work was $2.59 per gallon. That was a $0.10 drop from the day before. Unfortunately, I fill up when it was $2.69, but I was happy to pay that amount considering some of the prices we had been paying lately. I just hope they continue to drop for a little while longer.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Insomnia Sucks

I was sound asleep on the sofa two hours ago. I don't even remember the ending of the House episode I was watching about the 600 pound man. Now, I am wide awake. I don't have the luxury of being able to sleep in. I have to be up in three and half hours to start my busy day. I can't even sneak out of work early to come home and take a nap - I am booked in meetings or conference calls all day long. Why can't my eyes stay closed when it is time to go to bed? This happens a lot, but it is usually because I have a "to do" list running through my head. Not tonight. My brain is clear and I want to go to sleep. I stayed in bed thinking I would just eventually fall asleep, but that didn't work. I was tossing and turning so much I was certain I would wake the hubby. I don't want to turn on the television or any lights, because then the dogs will wake up and want to be taken outside. I even took some night time cold medicine before bed. Arrrrrgh. I am hoping sitting at the computer will make my eyes tired enough to fall asleep, but not so tired that I don't get up when the alarm goes off at 6.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Phriday

This is Riley's new stick. Apparently the one that we got her from the woods behind our apartment was not big enough! Abbie is trying to figure out how to get the bird seed from the feeder that is about 4 feet up in the tree. Yes, they are crazy, but I love them anyway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phone Obsession

My dog, Riley, has an obsession with the telephone. Anytime it rings, she whines and jumps on you wanting to hear the person on the phone. It all started when my husband called me one day at work and put me on the speaker phone. Riley heard my voice and started acting silly. When he showed her the phone, she started licking it like crazy, took it out of his hands, and carried it to her bed. All of this sounded really strange on my end. All I could hear was him telling her to bring the phone back.

Now, any time the phone rings, she insists on trying to get the phone out of your hands. If the battery goes dead, I will know it was not saliva proof!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blue Lacy

The Blue Lacy is a breed that originated in Texas around mid 1800 and is believed to be a cross between the greyhound, a scent hound, and a wolf. They are very intelligent and easy going dogs. Appearance wise, they look a lot like a lab. www.dogbreedinfo.com/bluelacy.

I am definitely considering adding a Yorkie to the threesome from this litter. It depends on how many she has in the litter. Although I am not sure how one that small will work with Miss Riley who has now hit 27 pounds and still gaining! Riley is quite the little brutus.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Puppies

My mother is about to have a puppy explosion. She has a pair of Yorkies and a pair of Blue Lacey's that are about to be parents. Her Yorkies are due this Saturday and the Lacey's are due just before Thanksgiving. My parents house is already like a miniature zoo, so I can't imagine how chaotic it will be once the puppies are born. They already have 6 dogs, 2 coyotes, and 2 amazon parrots. And, yes, I did say coyotes. My dad is a surveyor and they found them abandoned by the mother on a job several years ago. My parents raised them as if they were dogs and now they don't leave. They have tried to let them go in the wild, but they always come back. They have even had a couple of litters of pups at my parents home.

On a personal note, I would love to have one of the Yorkies. They are so adorable. I got one of the pups from my mothers very first litter almost 20 years ago and our little Munchkin was with us for 13 years. When we brought her home she was so small she fit in my husbands shirt pocket and never got over 5 pounds. Going home for Thanksgiving should be very interesting - especially adding my two monsters to the mix!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Seth Steven

Seth Steven is the name of my nephew who should be making his grand entrance into the world around mid November. At first, I was not crazy about the name, but it has slowly began to go on me. For little Seth's sake, I hope that my sister in laws genes are more dominant than my brother's; otherwise, little Seth will come in to this world with a full head of bright red hair and very large ears. This is not my first nephew on my side of the family (hubby's side is pretty large), but we don't get to see my brother's son from his first marriage very much. I am hoping we will get the opportunity to be closer to Seth. I am the aunt who fills them full of sugar, spoils them rotten, and then sends them back home. I know, I know, every kid needs an aunt like that and I am happy to fill that need. I had an aunt like that, Sylvia, and I cherished every minute I had with her. Even later in life when I knew better, she was still so much fun. With Seth, I will have to spoil him long distance since they live in California.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Glasses in the Freezer

When got my glasses with transition lenses a few years ago, the tech told me to go home and put them in the freezer overnight. When he told me that I that he was playing a prank on me, but I did it anyway. About a year later my hubby got new glasses with the transition lenses and they did not tell him to put them in the freezer. We followed their instructions thinking they knew what they were doing. Unfortunately after about a year the film on his glasses began to peel. It was so bad it was in his line of vision. Of course they started peeling after the 1 year warranty expired. I have been wearing the same pair of glasses since 2005 and have not had any issues with the film peeling. The only thing done differently with the two pair is that mine spent a night in the freezer before being worn. We both use the same cleaning solution and cloths so that could not have caused the difference. When I mentioned this to the techs a the glasses place they didn't say we should put them in the freezer, but they didn't say we shouldn't. Actually I think they were trying to determine if I was joking. Needless to say, the pair we purchased today is spending a night in the freezer before getting worn! They are way too expensive to risk having them start to peel so soon.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Good News

Today I received something in the mail other than a pile of bills. I received the lab results back from my tests on Monday. I am still in the pre-diabetes stage. That means 1 pill instead of 3 or more. Over the last couple of weeks I have been gauging how I feel with different diet varieties. I feel much better when I stick to a primarily vegetable based diet (just include small amounts of meat) and have a light meal mid day. Now I just have to get the exercise thing going.....

Monday, October 6, 2008

OJ Simpson

Okay, I know this may not be a popular opinion, but I am glad that the justice system has finally caught up to OJ Simpson. Yes, I am one of those who thinks he was guilty the first time and got off because he hired a smart lawyer. Do I think they are going overboard with this case? Possibly, but I don't care. Simply mentioning this name in our household starts an instant debate because hubby thinks he is innocent. I, obviously, think he is very guilty. Karma is a witch and she will eventually catch up to you. Looks like she finally caught up to OJ.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Doctor Visit

I have not been feeling like myself for a while. I have been really tired, irritable, and in general just feel like crap. I suspected I knew what was going on, but I went to the doctor Friday anyway so we can get things going on the right track. As suspected, I am a pre-diabetic. I am very familiar with diabetes because of my family and my husband, so I knew the warning signs and could tell I was starting to have more of them. I just didn't want to admit that it could be happening to me too. I have a few more tests to do to make sure I am still in the "pre" stages, but we have a game plan to get things going in a more positive direction. Mainly - be more active. On Monday I go to take the other tests and then I can get busy correcting what I have tried to ignore for too long.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Progress

Today I finally made progress in being able to set up my new team at work. Since Monday I have been in back to back conference calls dealing with all of the other division heads around the state about staffing. Today was the final call and I actually got almost everything I wanted. Now I feel like I can actually begin putting my new team and department together. Things are going to move very quickly from here until the end of the year. My new office should be ready in December and I have 30 days to move in my staff and be ready to roll by the beginning of the year. I am confident we can get it done, it is just going to come quickly.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Annoying Voice

Today was a long day of meetings and conference calls. I literally had back to back meetings and calls all day long. Most of them went pretty well, but one of the calls - and of course it was the longest one - had someone on it whose voice drives me over the edge. She has one of those whiny, nails on a chalk board, kind of voices. The call was to discuss staff changes and about half way through the call I was ready to give her whatever she wanted just to make her be quiet. But by the end of the call I was so annoyed that she would not shut up, that I was no longer willing to negotiate. She normally gets what she wants because she is very confrontational and people don't want to deal with her. I am a pretty laid back and calm person most of the time, but I can tell I am really going to have to be on my toes when dealing with her.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How do you know?

I have a question that has been bugging me for a while and I have not been able to come up with the answer, so hopefully some of you can help me with the dilemma. Career wise, how does a person know they are doing what they are supposed to be doing? Some people say they just know and others say they feel lucky to be paid for what they are doing. But how did they know that was what they wanted to do? Did they always know or did they stumble in to it? Or perhaps they woke up one morning and decided that was what they were going to do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Flying Husky

Riley is now 4 months old and has been having a difficult time learning how to jump. Abbie on the other hand is a phenomenal jumper. She mastered jumping at a very young age and we have found her on top of counters and tables that we never knew she could reach. Today Abbie and Riley were running and playing as normal while I was watching tv. I turned to look at them just in time to see Riley flying through the air and heading straight at me. I had just enough time to put up my arms to catch her. She had actually gotten enough lift on the jump that she was on target to land on top of my head. Twenty pounds of flying husky can make you respond a lot faster than you might think. Of course, she thought I was playing and insisted on trying to jump on me several more times. I'm glad she starts obedience class next week. She is going to be a large hand full and I don't want her to be one of those unruly dogs that everyone cringes when they see her coming.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Perfect Fit

I did something yesterday that I had been putting off for a while. I went to be professionally fitted for a bra. I had been putting it off because I had convinced myself that the bras at this store must be very expensive; they weren't, they were normal price. I was surprised to find that I have been wearing the wrong size all these years. I had convinced myself that no bra was going to be comfortable and that readjusting and fidgeting were just part of normal everyday life. Boy was I wrong. After they measured me (clothes on for those that are wondering), they brought me a few to try on. Wow, what a difference the right size makes. First, the comfort level was unbelievable. I wasn't constantly aware of something pinching and pulling. Second, it made me look much smaller! If you have never been custom fitted for a bra before, I highly recommend it. I will never go back to just trying them on and living with one that is not comfortable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Photo Phriday



Abbie, on the left, is sound asleep. With that smile, whatever she was dreaming about must have been really good. Riley, on the right, was getting very annoyed that I was interrupting her cartoons.

Maybe next week I will have time to venture outside of my office and take pictures of something other than my crazy "children".

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vegetarian Day 7

Well, I made it 6 days of eating no meat. This morning I woke up at 2:30, then tossed and turned until I finally climbed out of bed at 7:30. I was super tired and craving meat. I gave in and had meat with my breakfast - which I rarely do. I probably could have made it the full 7 days, but tiredness won out and I gave in to the craving. I plan to continue with a primarily vegetarian diet, but will include small portions of meat.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Day of Mixed Emotions

The long awaited news of regionalization was finally announced on Friday. The day looked like it was going to start like any other and then our division president came asking for my boss bright and early that morning (neither are morning people). The tone of her voice and the look on her face told me today was not any other day. When my boss returned, all she said was that she had hoped she had been wrong this time. I instantly knew what that meant. She was being let go as a result of the regionalization. Unfortunately, there were more to come that day. A total of three members in our department and 4 others from within our division. It was very sad as we were all meeting and she was bringing us up to date on what had happened. At the same time, I needed to put my professional game face on and do what was needed as a member of the HR team. Having been through this routine before, you know what needs to be done and you just go on autopilot to get it taken care of. After all of that was done, the remainder of the day was spent on conference calls finding out what the new structure looks like going forward. Fortunately, for me, the new structure meant a promotion and a new supervisor. I was so busy making sure the rest of my team was okay (they were pretty upset with the news of losing 3 members of our team), that the realization of a promotion didn't really set in for me until about 5:30 this morning. Half asleep I got up to go to the bathroom and while taking care of nature's business it dawned on me - holy crap, I got promoted yesterday and it was a pretty big promotion. I am now a regional manager and have a much bigger team and more responsibilities. I now cover the whole state of Texas instead of just Central Texas and my team doubled in size. Then I started to laugh because it amused me that the stress had finally worn off enough and my brain chose to kick in while I am half asleep and sitting on the toilet!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yappy Hour

Yesterday I took the dogs to a Yappy Hour after work. They hold them at the dog park periodically here at the property where we live. I had brought Abbie before, but this was Riley's first Yappy Hour experience. I was able to last about 45 minutes and then had to bring them home. First off, there is no shade at the dog park, so it was pretty hot. After being there only 10-15 minutes both dogs had their tongues wagging, but would not go get a drink out of the community water bowl. Shortly after that, Abbie bumped in to a dog named Huxley that she had previously met at the park. Huxley is a large Irish Setter and held Abbie down with paw the first time they met. She didn't like it then and apparently remembered Huxley. She would not let him get within 5 feet of her. Every time he even looked like he was going to come her way she attacked him. He instantly put her in a bad mood, so she was ready to come home. Riley on the other hand was having a blast. She found two dogs she enjoyed playing with - Diego and Duke. Duke is a Great Dane and stands about 4 feet tall from the groundto the top of his back. He is an absolute teddy bear. Diego was a chihuahua puppy who could have fit in the palm of your hand. The three of them playing together was so cute. I wish I had taken my camera. By the time we got back home, they were worn out as was I, so we just vegged in front of the tv.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vegetarian Day 2

Day 2 was also very easy. I don't care for typical breakfast meats, so that is an easy meal to figure out what to eat (cereal or oatmeal and I am good). Lunch is also pretty easy and thanks to a Wendy's being really close to my office, there are options if I want to go out - and it is cheap. Dinner is the one that is a challenge. I don't want to make hubby prepare something separate for me (yes, he does all of the cooking during the week). For dinner, I went to the store and purchased a quiche and we had that. He was not satisfied, but he didn't complain. We decided not to go walking because I was very sore. Going from 1 mile to 2 miles without and transition was harder than I thought. It is a good thing we didn't go walking, hubby seems to be getting sick. Hopefully he will feel better in a couple of days. We are thinking it is just allergies, but not really sure.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A New Approach

I decided to try something new. I am going to try to eat vegetarian meals for 1 week and see if I can handle it. I don't eat a lot of meat anyway, so it should not be too hard. Today was the first day and it was not bad at all. I learned that broccoli and peanut butter don't make a good combination, but other than that it was pretty easy. In addition, hubby and I walked 2 miles at the park this afternoon (4 laps around). The first two laps were not too bad, but the third lap and part of the forth lap was a killer. But the important part is that I made it through and plan to go again tomorrow. One way or another, this weight is coming off!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

All Done!

I was determined to make this weekend different when it comes to my around the house "to do" list. I always save everything to do on Sunday and then feel like I am running around like a mad woman to get it all done. Today was different. I have managed to get everything on my list completed - well almost - the last load of laundry is drying. I took the dogs for a walk, picked out two recipes to try from my magazine (broccoli cheese casserole and no bake chocolate oat bars), went to the grocery store, took care of laundry, cleaned up the yard (sure wish the dogs would learn how to pick up after themselves), changed the sheets on the bed, and made the chocolate oat bars. It feels good to get it all done and tomorrow I can be a slug without feeling guilty. I do plan to try the broccoli recipe tomorrow, so I will have to let you know how it turns out. The chocolate oat bars are setting up now, so we should be able to taste them later tonight.

It feels good to be able to sit at the computer without that nagging little voice telling me what I haven't finished!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finally Friday

For some reason the short work weeks seem to be twice as bad as the normal work week. I guess it is because we have to cram all of the same amount of work in less days (ugh). Each week that goes by and we have no information on regionalization, people start doing and saying crazier things. People read in to every email and statement regardless of what is intended. It is at the point where people are just making up their own versions of what is supposed to happen. Keeping everyone focused gets harder and harder. At least we were able to get in one trip to the park this week. We took the girls and had a lot of fun. Hopefully next week we can get in 3 trips to the park to walk.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

I took Friday off and am enjoying an extra long weekend. Unfortunately, I have this habit of saving all of my "to do's" until the last day of the weekend. I don't know why I do that, but I do it every weekend. Today I have lots of laundry that needs to be done, the yard needs to be cleared of all the "gifts" left by the girls, I need to prep the eBay packages, and actually catch up on the work items that I brought home. I did manage to get all of my home filing done, so that is one thing off of the list. All I really want to do is play with the girls and be a bum, but I will have to find a way to resist the urge.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Surprise from Hubby

Hubby has lost, and kept off, 97 pounds over the last 2 years and I am so proud of him. Unfortunately, I have slowly gained weight. I always used the excuse that my back was hurting too much or that I was too tired. While that was true, I could have pushed myself a little harder. I am really tired of feeling tired all the time and truly do want to unload the extra pounds. A lot of extra pounds actually. Now, that I have no more excuses, I have been trying to be more active and eat better. I have been trying to either go walking or doing crunches with an exercise ball. I feel like I get more of a work out when I go walking, so that is really my favorite (those crunches are killers). When I go walking, I use my MP3 player that hubby bought me a few years ago. It is nothing fancy, but it worked for what I needed. When he met me this week for our normal Wednesday lunch date, he brought me a nice surprise. A new water bottle to take walking with me and inside the water bottle was a new MP3 player that does both audio and video. He knows that I am not good at buying things for myself (I don't even like to go shopping for clothes), so I love it when he brings surprises for me - even when they are not big ones like an MP3 player.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wookie

Today I was getting into my comfortable clothes after work and washing my face when I hear these noises coming from the living room. I had no idea what the sounds were, but it sounded just like a wookie for the movie Star Wars. When I peak my head into the living room, I see hubby talking to Riley and her answering him in this wookie sound. It was totally hilarious. She loves to "talk" and just kept going as long as he would continue to talk to her. When he stopped and she felt like she was being ignored, she made the wookie sound first and then went straight to a bark. Unfortunately, she will not talk like this with me. I apparently don't know the wookie language.

She is definitely a handful, but she has been a positive influence on the whole family - especially her sister. Abbie was getting a little pudgy since being on the epilepsy meds and keeping up with Riley is slimming her back down to her normal weight.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Family Walk

Even though it looked like it was going to rain, the whole family went for a walk. Hubby handled the dogs so I could go at my own pace and get a good walk. Both dogs had their tongues hanging out before we really got going good, but they managed to last for the whole walk. We walked for a total of a mile. I was totally beat, but it felt good later. Even the dogs were worn out - they slept the rest of the evening.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hands

I loved my grandmother (I called her Nan) dearly and was always intrigued by her hands. She did not have feminine hands, but they were not masculine either. She had hands that showed she had to work hard in her life. My hands have always looked like my grandmother's hands; however, I have not had to work near as hard in my life as she did in hers. When I was coming home from the hardware store today, I looked down at my hands and arms only to notice that I also have her arms. Not very feminine, splotchy, and scarred. A part of me was a little sad that my arms are not more attractive, but a part of me is proud that I have the "McCoy" arms.

Friday, August 22, 2008

In the Zone

Riley loves it when her Daddy rocks her to sleep at night. She gets totally relaxed and zoned out. She is now up to 16 pounds, but still skinny enough to fit through the fence.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Exercise Ball

I have been doing reasonably well with my walking, although the scales seem to be moving in the wrong direction. Today was supposed to be my day to go walking, but stayed home because hubby wasn't feeling well. On the days that I do not go walking, I work on stretching and strengthening my back muscles by using an exercise ball. Those things give you more of a work out than you realize. Today I tried doing one of the twisting crunches (not sure what it is really called) and that did not feel good on the back at all. That felt like someone was trying to rip my spine out in little pieces. Clearly I was doing it wrong, so I need to stick to the basic crunches for a while.

Tomorrow is back to the walking and I am going to try a new path that I picked out. On this one I can even take Abbie. She would enjoy getting away from her rowdy sister for a little while.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fire

Today there was a fire in our building. Thankfully it was at the other end, but it still is a little unsettling. The apartment management at first did not even try to evacuate the building. They tried to pass it off as sprinkler issue. When the fire department finally showed up, everyone was evacuated. I am so thankful that the hubby was home. He was able to keep the dogs calm and get them outside. I can't even imagine how scared they must have been with the alarms going off and everyone running around like crazy. To make it even crazier, it decided it was time to start pouring rain just as everyone was being evacuated.

This type of thing always makes me think about all of the things I would like to get out should this happen. I know realistically that there would never be time to get everything I would want out of the apartment. I guess as long as my husband and my "babies" are safe, everything else doesn't matter - although some of it could never be replaced.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lance Armstrong

Since Lance Armstrong has a home here in the Austin area, it is not unusual to see his name in the local paper. Typically it is a positive article; however, today he was in the paper for having the most water usage for the month of June. He was number one on the most used list with 222,900 gallons of water in one month. I can't even imagine what he must be doing to use that much water. Granted his home is larger than most, but he used 26 times more than the average household in the city (average use in Austin is 8,500 per month). According to the Utility company who assess a penalty to those who use excessive amounts of water, his water bill for that month was $1630. At number 10 on the list was another local celebrity, Jerry Jeff Walker at 185,000 gallons of water. At least Lance did admit that his usage was unacceptable. Many of the other people on the list would not even respond for comment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Huskytoad

Riley went back for a check up today and the vet said she was doing great. She is now up to 11 pounds! She is healthy and right on track for a puppy her age. She goes back in one month and will probably get her rabies shot then - poor baby. This is a picture that we took while she was in her favorite relaxing pose. We call it huskytoad because she looks like a horned toad the way she is all spread out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bruise

How does a person give themselves a bruise in their sleep? This has happened to me and I have no idea how it happened. I am not a sleepwalker, so I know it had to have happened when I was in the bed. I went to bed on Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning with a big nasty bruise on the underside of my left arm near my arm pit. It is about the size of a golf ball and looks like I was either hit or pinched really hard, but neither of those things happened. I told my husband that I was going to tell everyone he did it so I wouldn't have to tell them I somehow did it to myself. I have always considered myself "talented" when it comes to bumping in to things and hurting myself, but this one is beyond me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Out of Shape

I am so stinking out of shape it is not funny. On Friday I went for a walk and came back exhausted. I was so sore for a couple of days, but was glad I finally got off of the couch and did something. Today I went for another walk. My plan is to walk on Monday, Wedensday and Friday then take the weekend off. After my walk today, it became obvious just how out of shape I really am. After only 30 minutes I was wiped out. Granted, it was pretty hot outside, close to triple digits, but 30 minutes should not have made me feel like I couldn't move. I came home, took a shower, then just wanted to collapse. Unfortunately, Riley was not going to allow that to happen. I am hoping it gets easier as I go, because this is a killer on my out of shape body.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Simple Life

No matter how little sleep they let you get at night, or how many times they get in to things they shouldn't, or how rotten they have been all day long; when you see their loving faces, you can't continue to be upset with them. If only our lives were as simple as theirs: eat, sleep, play, and if you are about to get in to trouble - act like you don't know what they are talking about.















Saturday, August 9, 2008

Star Wars: Clone Wars

Today we went to see an advanced screening of the movie Star Wars: Clone Wars. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, but I enjoy watching the movies. When we got there, they were taking up cell phones so no one would take pictures or film bits of the movie. They also had one of the Storm Troopers and Bobofet in costume taking pictures with people. The people attending were primarily employees of Time Warner and their families. We were all treated to the movie, popcorn, drinks, and a chance to win prizes. I didn't win any of the prizes, but we had a good time. One of my coworkers brought his family and we were talking to his son who is 9. I asked his son if he had gotten his picture taken with the Storm Trooper and his response was - "How? He doesn't have a cell phone either." We all cracked up. I guess kids today don't use cameras that aren't part of their cell phones.

I know a lot of people aren't interested because it is animated, but I actually thought is was pretty good. It was 3D animation which is not like the typical cartoonish animation. In comparison to Transformers, Star Wars is much better - hands down. The movie had a good story line and was interesting to watch. Don't listen to the critics - get out an go see the movie. My favorite characters were the Padawan and Stinky.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Stupid Drivers

The street we live on is fairly busy and there are a couple of school zones, so the police patrol this area constantly. Tonight when I was out taking a walk, I watched two people get pulled over in a span of about 30 minutes. The street is very open, so the line of sight is not blocked by trees, building, or corners. The police are in plain sight, sitting in the same spot in a big open parking lot; yet the drivers still don't slow down. Almost every single day I see someone getting pulled over getting a ticket. Usually they are pulled over right at the entrance to our community. I have no sympathy for these people who drive this street every day and still won't slow down. Okay, I am done venting about the stupid drivers on my street.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Making Jewelry

I had previously made a simple pair of black and silver earrings and they turned out pretty decent. Today I decided to make a necklace to go with them. I set out all of my beads and put out what I thought was all of my supplies. After I took the time to string the beads, I started to wonder how I was going to make this clasp stay on the wire. That's when I pulled back out my starters guide and realized I needed crimper beads. After I make a trip to the craft store to find crimper beads, I will be able to finish my necklace. The set is pretty simple, but I wanted to make something that I would actually wear on a regular basis. Stringing beads is more tedious that I thought, but it was still fun. Maybe after I get a better variety of beads, I will be able to come up with something more colorful. Anyone have any tips on the tools and supplies a beginner should have?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Exercise

It is time I got off of my behind and do a little exercise. The back is healed, the infection is all gone, and there are no more excuses. I have decided that I am going to begin by going for a 30 minute walk every other day. I have got to build up my strength or we will not be able to get back to geocaching. Not to mention I need to find a way to destress from work.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Motivation

My motivation to go to work today was at an absolute zero. I really wanted to stay home with the hubby and play with the dogs. Unfortunately, I had a lot that needed to be done and today was when the "big meeting" was to take place. There was no news out of the meeting, but hopefully we will know something soon. The tension around the work place is getting unbearable while everyone waits for the news.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bedtime

I am always catching grief because I have spoiled Abbie. I don't so much see it as spoiling as pampering. When Abbie was a baby, the only way I could get her to go to sleep at night was to hold her on my shoulder and rock her to sleep. Well, now I'm not the one doing the spoiling, or pampering, whichever you want to call it. Riley expects her daddy to rock AND sing her to sleep every night! He will cradle her in his arms with her laying on her back, and as he rocks and sings to her, she will go totally limp. Once she is limp and relaxed, I can put her in her kennel and she will fall asleep without whimpering. On the nights that he does not rock and sing her to sleep, she will whimper for a short period and then drift off to sleep. I still rock Abbie to sleep some nights when she is being restless. I want to see daddy rocking and singing to Riley in 6 or 8 months when she weighs 50 pounds!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ready for a Decision

With the prospects of having to make some major life changes, I have been thinking a lot lately if I want to stay in the Human Resources profession. I want to work in an environment that is team oriented and employee focused. Unfortunately, that is not the case with my current environment. I have also found that I have a very good technical ability for HRIS items and actually enjoy that type of work. Luckily, I am willing to relocate to almost anywhere. I would prefer to relocate to a colder climate since I have had enough of the Texas heat, but I will go where ever is necessary for the right job. My brother wants me to move to California. I am not really interested in moving there. I do not have a body that should be seen in a bathing suit on a beach. My parents want me to move back to Stephenville, but the job possibilities are very limited. I am already applying for new jobs, but am finding the job market here is really tough right now. All I know is that I am ready to know what is going to happen so I can know what plans to make. You would think by the time you reach age 42, you would know what you want to do with your life. Me, I am still trying to figure it all out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Faithful Monkey Has Near Death Accident

Monkey is a faithful and willing playmate, he never refuses to be part of a game of tug-of-war or just be there when Riley or Abbie nees someone to snuggle. Unfortunately, monkey had to be rushed in for emergency surgery today to close the gaping wound in his neck. He is now fully recovered from this ordeal and has been advised to take a few additional days of rest. Unfortunately, he will not be able to survive another serious injury.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Abbie's Oral Surgery

Abbie has not been feeling great for the past several days. She had two seizures in 3 days and then was mopey and wouldn't eat after that. We realized that her teeth were bothering her so we scheduled her for a cleaning. She went for her appointment today and the poor baby had a broken tooth that was exposing some of the nerves. No wonder she didn't want to eat or play. She had the tooth removed while they were cleaning her teeth and put in a few stitches. She has some pain meds to take for the next few days, but you can tell she is already feeling better than before. She is still a little tired and doesn't really want to play with a hyper 8 week old puppy, but honestly I wouldn't feel like it either. I totally panic at the thought of going to the dentist. I have to give myself a pep talk just to do the cleanings every six months. When I had my wisdom tooth pulled, they gave me an anti-anxiety med before I had it done. I can only imagine how poor Abbie must feel. She thought she was going in to play with all of the techs at the vet clinic and came out with stitches in her mouth. We will baby her over the next few days and then she should be back to our normal bouncing off the wall child.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fetch

We are working with Riley to teach her some of the basic commands like sit, stay, come, and fetch. She is doing good, but like all 8 week old puppies, her attention span it very short. Today we worked on fetch. When you throw the ball she will chase it and then just before she reaches the ball she does a belly flop and slides to the ball. She put her back legs straight out behind her, the front legs are pointed forward, and she grabs the ball with her mouth. It is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. She looks like a baseball player sliding into base. When the game of fetch is over, she likes to go sleep in her favorite place - on top of the shoes we leave by the back door.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Regionalization

Work has been extremely stressful lately. As a part of the management team, I have known for a while that changes are coming and that our company is going through regionalization. I didn't, and still don't know the exact details. I do know that some people will ultimately be let go due to job elimination and that those will mostly be in "leadership" roles. The down side of being in management is knowing this information; the really downside of this is being in HR management. I will most likely be part of the team that has to deliver the news to these people. I have done that in the past and it is never easy. I had to tell my team yesterday that I could be one of the people impacted and they were pretty upset. That made be feel good as a manager, but still a little sad too. Thankfully, we have put a backup plan in place in case I am one of the "leadership" roles that is impacted. Now we just have to wait and see if it has to be implemented.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scared

Abbie has epilepsy and takes phenobarbital twice a day to control her seizures. No matter how many times it happens, it still scares me to death. Last night, I was on the computer and I heard an unusual noise in her crate, when I turned around she was not able to stand up and had a lost look in her eyes. I instantly realized she was having a seizure. Her front legs were stiff but not able to hold her up so she kept falling in her crate. It took less than a second to reach her, but it seemed like forever. We scooped her up and took her in to the bathroom hold and comfort her in case she was not able to control her bladder (that has happened a couple of times). This one only last 2 minutes, but that was the longest 2 minutes imaginable.

I don't think I will ever get used to that sad lost look in her eyes, nor will I ever not be scared.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Trip to the Dog Park

Today we took the girls to the dog park to play. Abbie is a terrier, by nature her moods can change quickly. Add to that the fact that she is female and her moods change quickly and with no zero provocation. Riley on the other hand has a very laid back personality. She is vocal, but doesn't let things bother her. Well, today at the dog park both girls had a really great time, but we had to cut our visit short because Abbie was getting cranky. Riley was enjoying playing with the other dogs, especially a german shephard puppy named Callie. She also discovered the mud puddle next to the water fountain, so she needed a bath when we got home.

Friday, July 25, 2008

20th Anniversary

Today was our 20th Anniversary. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday when I was working at Chevy Chase Apartments and we took the day off to go get married before the JP. Other times it seems like I can't remember any life other than married life. Honestly, I can't say that I believe whole heartedly in the idea that a couple must get married to spend their life together. I know, a strange thing for someone to say who is celebrating their 20th anniversary. I say this because I truly believe that we would still be together even if we never officially got married. Nothing about our commitment to each other changed when we received that piece of paper. At the time we got married, it was not acceptable for people to live together without planning to be married. In today's society, it is perfectly okay. We have conquered so many hurdles together that could not have been handled alone. That type of bond isn't strengthened (or weakened) just because you have a piece of paper that says you are married.

Thanks babe for 20 years and I am looking forward to the next 20.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Riley & Abbie

Riley has been such a good puppy. She only whimpers a small amount when she has to go in to the crate and has already learned to go to the door when she wants to go outside. Of course, like all puppies, she wants to chew on absolutely everything, so we are keeping her busy with plenty of toys. She has learned the best way to play tug of war with her sister is to lay flat on the floor (back legs are literally straight out behind her), go limp, and let her sister drag her across the floor. If we could put a little dust rag on her belly, we wouldn't have to sweep the hardwood floors. Of course, Abbie will only be able to drag her around for a few more weeks. Once Riley starts putting on more weight, Abbie will be the one getting drug around the house. Abbie is still learning that she will get special attention too, but is being needy from time to time. It reminds me of when she was the puppy and her older sister, Jasmine, was feeling a little left out. We are making sure she gets her one on one time so she can still feel like the "big girl" of the house.

Shopping with Riley is almost impossible. I took her to PetsMart on Monday and tons of people came up to me and wanted to see her and pet her. She has such unique markings that she attracts attention. Even our vet wants pictures for his collection because of her markings. Unfortunately, she seems to know she is cute and is using that to her advantage. When you scold her, she puts her head down and cut her eyes at you as if she is batting her eyelashes. She is going to be a hand full.

Sometimes during the day, Ray will send me pictures of what the girls are doing and it really makes my day. When I see those faces, I can't wait to get home to play with them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Denali becomes Riley

We found ourselves inadvertantly calling Denali by the name of Riley. We have no idea why, it just sort of came out. Ironically, she seems to respond to that name (when we called her Denali she had no name recognition). So, we decided to not keep her kennel name and started calling her Riley. She deserves a fresh name and a fresh start.

So far we have had so much fun with her. She is a very vocal little girl and will let you know when she wants your attention. She made it through her first night in a crate with no accidents and only had to go outside once. She and her sister are still learning how to play with each other. Abbie wants to play rough and doesn't understand why Riley can dish it out but not take it. This morning I caught them playing tug-o-war with a monkey. That poor monkey never had a chance. I see him having his legs ripped off in no time.

Now, maybe having a new little one in the picture will take my mind off of all of the crap that happens at work and the uncertainties that lay ahead with our reorganization. Now I can just focus on making it through the day and getting home to the family.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Denali

Today the Friends of Greater Austin rescue group were at the PetsMart near our house and in addition to a new toy for Abbie, we came home with Denali. She is a 7 week old Husky and German Shepherd mix. She and Abbie are getting along fine and are learning to share the toy box. It has been a long time since we have done housebreaking and crate training, but we are up for the challenge. She has the cutest face and loves to nibble on your ears!







Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back to Work Blues

We have had a really wonderful weekend. Granted we didn't do anything super exciting, just our normal weekend errands and shopping, but it was still really nice. We had fun shopping and being goofy in the stores and making fun of the other goofy people there too. The weather was typical July in Texas - hotter than hell. I brought home some work and did some of the stuff I was really behind on, so I felt like I had actually accomplished something.

Sunday came along and we had our normal lazy morning. I always make a big breakfast and we watch a movie (today was The Brave One with Jodie Foster) while we relax and eat our breakfast. Even the dog looks forward to Sunday's because she has special treats while she sits on the back of the sofa and watches the movie.

In the afternoon I decided to finish up some of the work stuff I had brought home. As I was working, I started to get a tension headache. I hadn't had one in a really long time. Then I slowly felt my mood turn from good to sour as I was thinking about the work I was doing and what was on my plate for next week.

I really hate when I start thinking about work on Sunday evenings because it gives me what I call the "back to work blues." When that happens it seems like it totally wipes out the relaxation and fun I had the rest of the weekend. That is so not fair to my poor hubby who has to deal with my sour disposition and he has no idea why or what happened.

Anyone with any tips on how to not let this happen? And, by the way, quitting the job is not an option!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Insomnia

I haven't had insomnia in a really long time, but it has definitely set in tonight. I made the mistake of thinking about my to do list for tomorrow as I was trying to fall asleep. As the to do list grew, I grew more and more awake. I stayed in bed for a while hoping to make myself bored enough to fall asleep. I even listened to the radio which normally does the trick; but here it is 2:30am and I am still wide awake. I am hoping that being on the computer will at least make my eyes tired enough to want to go to sleep for at least a couple of hours.

Unfortunately, tomorrow I have to get up earlier than normal to travel to Waco and teach two classes on a very boring topic. Instead of being worried about keeping my audience awake, I may need to worry about keeping myself awake. The only good thing about the trip is that someone else is driving.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Favorite House

I grew up in the town of Stephenville and we always lived out in the country, but I always wanted to live in town. There was this one house on Long Street which was near the City Park where we would go for basketball practice and to swim during the summer. When I would walk back to my grandparents house, I would always go out of my way just to go past this house. It was a two story white house with a large front yard. The house just looked so majestic and I always wanted to see inside. I never saw people coming in or out of the house, so that made it all the more mysterious. As I would walk home, I would daydream that someday this house would be mine.

Well, believe it or not, that house is now up for sale. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to buy the house, but with the aid of the Internet, I can finally see inside. The inside was nice, but in the pictures I was drawn to the back yard. I never really thought about the backyard before, but from seeing it on the Internet, it is fabulous. There is a sunroom on the back of the house with a big deck leading into two backyards. The main backyard is huge and the grass is a beautiful green. Beyond the main backyard there is a rock fence that leads to the secondary backyard which has an orchard of pecan and fruit trees. The look in the pictures reminds me of a southern plantation.

Sometime as kids the things we are drawn to are not a spectacular when we become adults. This is still just as appealing to me now as it was as an adult. Someday, I may be able to own this house, but not today.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lazy Weekend

I think this has been the laziest weekend in recorded history for us. When my meds kick in, it makes me really sleepy. Considering I am taking them three times a day, it seems like I am sleeping most of the day. My meds must be stronger than I thought, because they are making hubby and the dog sleepy too!

Today we decided to head down to Central Market and see what they had that looked interesting. Anyone who has ever been to one of the Central Market stores knows that can be dangerous. We walked the store and actually came out better than normal, only $70. Usually that place gets a minimum of $100 when I go in there. They now offer curb side grocery carryout service and the young gentleman who was coming to help me had one arm in a sling. I couldn't make him carry out my groceries when I had hubby with me and he had two good arms.

Tomorrow, I have to get my PowerPoint completed for work. I was having our summer interns work on the handout and PowerPoint for my presentation, but it just needs a little more pizazz too it.

On a great note, I did a bandage change today and the wound is completely closed over. Tuesday could be my final visit to the doctor!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Almost Done

I haven't blogged in quite a while because I have been so tired. I am trying to get back in to the groove of things at work, but my body is still not 100%; I tire out more quickly than I did previously.

This week the doctor blessed me with yet another round of antibiotics - yipee. This time they are really strong and are kicking my butt. About 1/2 hour after taking them I can barely hold my eyes open and then the other pleasantries kick in. I have to be sure I am within reasonable distance from a bathroom when that happens. This is only for 10 days, so I can do it if it means getting well once and for all. I just need a good supply of milk and saltines.

Next week I start on a presentation circuit at work, so I have to be sure to take a supply of crackers . I don't think it would make the greatest impression if I ran out of the room while make a presentation to all of the supervisors, manager, directors, and VPs in our company.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Protein Blows

I am really beginning to dislike being on a high protein diet. Most people I talk to would love to be required to eat lots of protein, but I am really getting tired of it. The doctors put me on a high protein diet after surgery because of the open wound and unfortunately 3 months later, I still have an open wound and am still having to eat lots of protein.

I thought this week that I would be able to get off of it, but we found another seroma and it popped open on Tuesday night. Needless to say, the protein stays.

Thankfully I am a cheese lover, so that is really enjoyable. The meats however, I could do without. I purchased some protein powder to mix with milk so I could have a little variety.

Okay, enough of the pity party. Hopefully I will only have to be on this diet for a few more weeks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So Many Toys So Little Time


Poor Abbie has too many toys she doesn't know which one to play with first.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Big Ass

You know how sometimes you walk by a conversation at the wrong time and what you hear makes no sense at all? Well, today I walked by our VPs office and she was speaking with the Division President. When I walked by all I heard was "big ass." It took me by surprise and I immediately thought, "I know, but you don't have to point it out."

Shortly thereafter I realized they were talking about a title of a book called "Bright Lights, Big Ass" and I just happened by at the wrong time.

At least it made for a good laugh.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Facial Hair

Sometimes good wives do mean things...........unintentionally.

A few weeks ago, I asked the hubby to shave his beard and mustache. It was beginning to feel scratchy when I kissed him and I didn't like the feeling of kissing a brillo pad. I knew he liked his facial hair, but he gladly shaved it without hesitation. As soon as the facial hair was completely gone, I regretted asking him to shave it off. Now he looked like one of his brothers and the thought of kissing that brother was worse than kissing a brillo pad.

I couldn't hold it in, so after a couple of days I told him I didn't like him clean shaven. Thank goodness his hair grows quickly. Now his beard and mustache are back to normal and I don't have to deal with the thought of kissing his brother.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Mall

Today we went to the mall and ran all of our errands. This is the first time in over 2 years that I have been shopping and actually had an enjoyable time. Normally we would go out to do shopping/errands and after about 30-45 minutes the pain was unbearable, so I turned to a complete grouch and just wanted to go home.

Today we were out for almost 6 hours. We went to the mall, Payless, Target, Michael's, the book store, and the grocery store. All of that and still no pain. I was tired and exhausted but it felt great just to be out doing normal things again.

I decided while we were out that I was going to try my hand at making jewelry, so that is why we headed to Michael's. I don't like the flashy jewelry that you see in most stores, so why not make my own. We will see, since I have never been the craftsy type, it could be butt ugly. If not, mayble I have found a great past time.

Now off to take a nap.

Friday, June 20, 2008

TGIF

Another week done and I am really looking forward to this weekend. Even though I brought home lots of work that needs to be done, it is the first weekend that hubby and I are off together - and I actually feel like going somewhere.

I think we are actually going to go to the mall. The mall is normally the last place I can be found, but it actually sounds like fun this weekend.

Abbie almost made it a whole week without having an accident in the house. She made it all the way to this morning. I thought we had turned a corner. Better luck next week.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cleaning House

Those who know me well, know that I am not a domestic type of person. I do not like to cook, clean or go shopping. I can do those things, but I prefer not to do them. You need a minor electrical or plumbing repair - no problem; if your fishing reel needs to be repaired - give me a call; you got a bug that needs to be removed from the house - I'm on it; but if your house needs to be cleaned - don't even think about calling me. Luckily, I married a man who does not mind doing the cooking, the cleaning, and he even does my clothes shopping.

Well, this evening when I was washing dishes (hubby cooks and I do the dishes), I decided to do something out of the norm and clean the toaster. I took the little tray out of the bottom and I even turned it upside down to get more of the crumbs out. Next thing I know, hubby is in the kitchen and has taken over cleaning the toaster. He pulls out some tools, takes the toaster apart, and is outside with the compressed air getting the remainder of the crumbs out of the toaster. Now, mind you the toaster was not that bad. There were no nasty smells coming from it when you turned it on and it still worked fine. But now, the toaster is like new.

I am very thankful that I have him here to do the cleaning (yes he even does the toilets). If not, I would only clean when I absolutely had to - and I certainly would not take things apart.

I am fortunate that I found someone who balances me out. I will handle the 50-60 hours in the office and he can run the household. That has worked perfectly for the last 20 years, so why change things now.

Hmmm, maybe I should consider renting him out to other women who don't like to do housework?!?!?!