Monday, June 30, 2008

Golden Georgia Sky


We've been getting some amazing evening storms here the past several days.

I actually LOVE watching a good thunderstorm roll in. Our house is up on a bit of a hill and we also have a front porch with rocking chairs, so I'll sit on the porch (as long as I feel safe) and watch the clouds roll and boil, and watch the lightning strike.

Hubster loves it too and (believe it or not) when we were dating, we used to go for WALKS during thunderstorms. (Yes, we were idiots in our early 20's and we now realize this....)

Anyway, last night's storm brought lots of wind, lots of thunder and lightning, and some much needed rain. Then, after it blew through, the sky turned a beautiful shade of golden orange. The photo doesn't really capture how beautiful it was, but this is the best I could do.

This was taken from my front porch, facing West.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

So Why do YOU Blog?


Lately it seems blogging has been in the news a good bit (or maybe I'm just more "in tune" to these stories, now that I'm part of the Blogosphere...)

It got me to thinking about WHY I BLOG....

Is it to fill the hours in the day?

No, definitely not that. With a husband, two kids, two dogs, and a business (and some volunteer commitments), I have plenty to fill my time.... and I frequently feel somewhat guilty sneaking up to my office on the weekends to "pen a post"....

Well then, is it to bare my soul for the all the world to see?

No, not really that either. If you were to meet me in person, you would find me gregarious and cheerful but not one of those people who is overly-eager to share All The Personal Details Of Her Life (I think we've all sat next to THAT person on a plane before, yes?)

So, when it comes right down to it, why do I blog?
It's a creative outlet, without a doubt. I've always enjoyed writing, and I've always (since I was 13) kept a journal. This has, in many ways, replaced my journal. And, it's a way to "connect" with other like-minded folks around the world who I simply wouldn't have had a chance to meet and connect with otherwise.

Now it's YOUR turn. If you would be so kind, tell me why YOU blog. How did you get started? Did it feel weird or awkward at first? (For me, it definitely did.) Why do you keep going? What do you get out of it?

Enlighten me. :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Diva Dashes About On The Deck

Diva has just figured out how to "negotiate" the deck steps, and wanted to play with Hubster.... who was chilling out after grilling some burgers and chicken wings.

(The memories of last night's Poo Party are now long gone.....)
:-)

Diva's Wild Party at 3 AM

So.... I woke up at 3:00 AM this morning. The bed was cold. Hubster had obviously not made it into bed yet. Last I saw him was when I kissed him good night at 11:30 - he was watching a movie downstairs, Diva was lounging in his lap, and he said he would 'finish the movie, put Diva in her crate and be up to bed in a bit'.

Famous last words.
So, at 3 AM I went downstairs and what did I find???

TV was BLARING. Movie was long since over and Hubster was sound asleep - and snoring loudly - on the couch. Diva was not only NOT in her crate, but she was running, unchecked from room to room. She was WILD. She practically had a lampshade on her head. There were 3 piles of poo; (and I didn't even bother to count puddles of pee).

I sighed, shook Hubster awake. He groggily looked at me, looked at the 3 piles of poo, realized I was irritated, and went up to bed. It took me a good 30 minutes to get Diva settled to the point where I could get her to go to sleep, and then I cleaned up the poo and the pee.
It's a Good Thing that puppy is so darn cute...... :-)

New Device That Short-Circuits Migraines

I will be the FIRST IN LINE when the FDA approves this little machine.
I'm sure it will cost a lot, but it will be worth it.
Very encouraging news for people like me. (Imitrex does not work for me.... Topamax helps to prevent them, but if one breaks through, I'm DONE for the day....)

Anyway, here's hope (Laurie, I know you get them too!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Kung Fu Panda", a Movie Review



Took my two kids to see "Kung Fu Panda". I was a little hesitant to take them at first. After all, J. is a rising 6th grader, and S. is 10 going on 19. Very sophisticated, these two, and I wondered if this movie might be too "baby-ish" for them...
Boy, was I ever WRONG.

This movie was absolutely hilarious. I think I laughed louder than any of the kids in the theater. Jack Black (who I've had a secret crush on for YEARS) was hysterical as Po, the overweight and out-of-shape Panda who has been selected as the Master Warrior (much to the other characters' shock and amusement). Equally hysterical was Dustin Hoffman as the Kung Fu master Shifu.
Very funny movie - appropriate for all ages. Some scary parts, but not too bad. I saw little kids in there (3 and 4) who really seemed to be enjoying it and, like me, many of the parents were laughing even louder than the kids.

Two thumbs up!!

NOT what I want my 10 Year Old to See....

Now, I'm sure some folks out there in the blogosphere find Mario Lopez disarmingly handsome, incredibly talented, and tremendously intelligent.

I just don't happen to share their opinion. And neither does my good friend Suz (Do you, Suz?)

To the contrary, I find him icky. And an exhibitionist. And when my daughter retrieved a People magazine out of our mailbox a week or so ago (yes, I full well realize that People is "junk food for the mind".... ), I wasn't prepared that she was going to see this SPREAD in there.

Yes, you saw that photo right. And there was no warning at all. He was right there in all his (almost) glory, for anyone to see. As you might imagine, I wasn't very happy that my 10 year old saw this. In People magazine, of all places.

I'm really not an 'uptight' Mom at all, but come on.
Is this really an appropriate photo for an innocuous gossip magazine? Really?

Why Trampolines Are Dangerous in Minnesota

My mother sent this to me, in an email, this morning. (She grew up in rural Minnesota.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Diva's Really Expensive Chew Toy


I have a quick second to post something, then I have to get back to revising resumes. (Side note: you would not BELIEVE how bad some people's resumes are.... and I'm talking licensed, educated professionals in the field I work in.... unbelievable.)

ANYWAY. Today Diva was left "unchaperoned" in the den for about..... maybe 5 minutes.
In that very short time she found a new Chew Toy. The problem was it was one of the controllers for my son's Play Station.

Yeah. Chewed all the way through the thick casing and the wires. (See photo above.... the wire right between the O and the N in SONY.... yep..... right there. Completely severed.)
I'm sure it felt fabulous to her little piranha-puppy teeth.

The controller is toast. Big time. Poor J thought maybe we could splice it back together (I love his optimism.)

Busier Than A One Armed Wallpaper Hanger

You guys probably won't see me much on the 'sphere the next few days.
I am incredibly busy with my business (GOOD news) and between my family, my business, the new puppy, the older dog, my children's friends (who keep showing up at the door to see the aforementioned puppy!), and everything ELSE in my life, there just isn't enough time in the day!

BTW: I tried like HECK to find a photo of a "One Armed Wallpaper Hanger" for this posting but guess what.... apparently it's an Urban Legend.

Who knew???! :-)

le framboise

I much prefer the French name for raspberry, rather than the American name.

After all.... rasp berry....? rasp???

Doesn't "framboise" sound so much more lovely?
Anyway, I had a bowl of fresh, cool, succulent and sweet framboise this morning for breakfast.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Diva's Screen Debut

I can't believe it - I figured out how to post a video - (someone call CNN!!)

Clearly, there was not enough light in our den when I took this, and you can hear me and S talking in "baby talk" to the dog (how embarrassing) but yes folks, this is my first attempt at taking my cinematography to a national audience.

(Mr. Spielberg, you clearly have Nothing To Fear. )

Diva's Reaction to Her First Bath

"Is this really necessary?"






(more Diva photos on my "sister blog" click on the link to the right!)

Wisdom From Kids

  • Never trust a dog to watch your food.
  • When you want something expensive, ask your grandparents.
  • Never smart off to a teacher whose eyes and ears are twitching.
  • Sleep in your clothes so you'll be dressed in the morning.
  • Never ask for anything that costs more than $5 when your parents are doing taxes.
  • Never tell your mom her diet is not working.
  • When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone.
  • Never try to baptize a cat.

Courtesy of MountainWings (www.mountainwings.com)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just For You

I've been feeling a very strong NUDGE this evening.... so I'm going to follow through on it.
A certain verse from Jeremiah keeps popping into my head. I'm going to put it below, in two different translations.
Feel free to ignore the below if you feel it doesn't pertain to you, but I can't help but think that someone who is reading this post needs to hear this.


When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed.
-Jeremiah 29:13 (The Message)


And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
-Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

You Know The Gasoline Crisis is Bad When....


Your next door neighbors trade in their Toyota Sequoia and BWM X5 for a Mazda 3 and a Honda Civic.

Just talked to them. They said the cost of gas was killing them.
The BMW required premium and the Toyota got horrid mileage.... they were spending hundreds and hundreds and hundreds on gas every month.

We still have our SUV. Trade in values are awful and - call me crazy - I still really like the car. My husband is very large (6'5") so he needs a large car to drive, and it's nice to have room for the kids and all their friends, as well as room for both dogs.

My sedan gets OK mileage, and (thankfully) since I work from home I really don't clock a lot of miles. (And lately I don't go anywhere unless I need to.)

I just really hope we can find a new clean fuel source before my kids' generation reaches adulthood. I would hate for them to inherit this MESS we've created. What a nasty legacy to leave someone.

A Disney Character?

We took our kids (and our dogs) out to our favorite park yesterday afternoon.
Enjoyed picking and eating some fresh blackberries (yummy), and of course, Diva was a TOTAL rock star at the park.

She LOVED the attention.

The most interesting comment she got was from a grown man who said "She could be a Disney Character!" (I could tell by his worshipful gaze that this really meant something....) :-)

The cutest moment came when we passed the doggie water fountain and it was Diva's turn to get a drink; she climbed into the water fountain and laid in it, luxuriating in the cool water, much to the annoyance of the dogs behind her, waiting in line for a drink. (I SO wished I had my camera or cell phone to capture that moment...)

Monday, June 23, 2008

How It All Started....

This may not be funny to anyone else, BUT the below clip was made by a couple of the guys in the worship band at my church. Before you watch this video clip, you have to understand that every Sunday there are about 3,000 - 4,000 people who attend 12Stone. It's a very culturally diverse, racially diverse place. People from all walks of life and at all places in their spiritual journey come through, and the music is very contemporary. There are no organs, handbells, or choir robes (not that there's anything wrong with those, it's just not our style...)

So, having said that as an introduction, the guys from the worship team made this VERY tongue-in-cheek video about how they "got started"..... it's quite funny.

PS: If you're interested in the actual MUSIC they do, check out Play Chase Music.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Difference a Comma Makes


I'm really glad I didn't blow off church this morning, although I came really close. Hubster and I were up a good bit of the night, cleaning up puppy pee, plus we had a houseful of over-excited kids (including our OWN kids), AND to top it off, we had a King-Sized thunderstorm move through our area at about 3 AM this morning. The kind of storm that comes out of nowhere and the windowpanes rattle and the wind howls and the rain comes down in sheets, and sleep is all but impossible. (But really, we needed the rain, so I won't complain TOO loudly.)

All that added up to a lousy night's sleep, but I managed to drag my sleepy self into church this morning (courtesy of 2 Mountain Dews). The part of today's teaching that really struck with me was: "What a difference a comma makes" and, in our bulletin was a little two sided card.... one side said:
Please, God and the other said Please God

It really struck me what a tremendous difference the comma makes there, both spiritually and emotionally.
I've been dealing with a couple of personal issues and my prayer life has felt like it's been hitting a brick wall, and I thought to myself (after hearing today's teaching) "Am I focusing on pleasing God?" or "Am I just 'pleading' with God to get my way?" The answer, I'm embarrassed to admit, was the latter. Which probably explains why I feel as though my prayers have been evaporating into thin air.

Time to change some things in my world.

"Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants."

Psalm 37:4 NIrV

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Our Darling Diva Has Joined Us

Diva has arrived and is settling in nicely. I'm worn out (suffice it to say I'd forgotten how much ENERGY puppies have!) She's wonderful, though, and she and Ruby are getting along famously. Below are some photos from today's festivities.
_________________________________________________

Passed out in the back seat on the drive home. (She makes tiny little grunting noises in her sleep.... if she were a boy dog, I would simply have to re-name her Wilbur, in honor of "Charlotte's Web". ) :-)


The initial "meet and greet" (may I please sniff your butt) with Ruby, our Alpha Dog. It went very well. Ruby was very sweet to her and Diva was appropriately submissive. By the end of the day they were playing and running around together. I predict a very special friendship.


S. and 2 of her 4 BFF's who descended on the house within MERE MINUTES of our arrival. The girls were all atwitter over the new puppy. J is excited but true to his laid-back nature, chose to play it "cool"... esp with a housefull of cute girls.


Resplendent Ruby, realizing that she is no longer the only dog, BUT she also has a companion and playmate now. A good development.



Backyard Action Photo #1


Backyard Action Photo #2


Time for an evening dip in the kiddie pool.


Is this water the appropriate temperature for canine consumption?


I think I'll just sit on this comfy lap right here and take a nap... it's been a tiring day..



Teen Pregnancy Pact

This breaks my heart.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91748721

Friday, June 20, 2008

In Less Than 24 Hours.....

.... we bring Lady Godiva ("Diva") home to live with us. Just spoke to the breeder and he reports that Diva is fully weaned and ready to go.

The kids are ready to BURST, they are so excited. (Hubster and I are, too...) Ruby, our other dog, is completely oblivious. She's just napping in the foyer, passing gas.... she has no clue What Awaits Her...! :-)



Important Message from Don Miller

This video clip is just 2 minutes. Please take a moment and listen to what Don has to say. (Don is one of my heroes, and incidentally, a fabulous writer.)

His website, if you want more information (or if you're interested in making a contribution) is: http://www.donaldmillerwords.com/

When Insults Had Class

Some of these are really very clever.
  1. The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, 'If you were my husband I'd give you poison,' and he said, 'If you were my wife, I'd drink it.'
  2. A member of Parliament to Disraeli: 'Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.' 'That depends, Sir,' said Disraeli, 'whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.'
  3. 'He had delusions of adequacy.' - Walter Kerr
  4. 'He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.' - Winston Churchill
  5. 'I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.'- Clarence Darrow
  6. 'He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.' - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
  7. 'Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?' - Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
  8. 'Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.' - Moses Hadas
  9. 'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.' - Abraham Lincoln
  10. 'I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.' - Mark Twain
  11. 'He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.' - Oscar Wilde
  12. 'I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one.' - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
  13. 'Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.' - Winston Churchill, in response
  14. 'I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here.' - Stephen Bishop
  15. 'He is a self-made man and worships his creator.' - John Bright
  16. 'I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial.' - Irvin S. Cobb
  17. 'He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.' - Samuel Johnson
  18. 'He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.' - Paul Keating
  19. 'He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.' - Robert Redford
  20. 'They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.' - Thomas Brackett Reed
  21. 'In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.' - Charles, Count Talleyrand
  22. 'He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.' - Forrest Tucker
  23. 'Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?' - Mark Twain
  24. 'His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.' - Mae West
  25. 'Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.' - Oscar Wilde
  26. 'He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination.' - Andrew Lang
  27. 'He has Van Gogh's ear for music.' - Billy Wilder
  28. 'I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.' - Groucho Marx

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Today I Mailed Out 6 Chain Letters

My good friend Jennifer sent me a chain letter It arrived in today's mail. I opened it up and thought "What in the world is THIS?"

What it is is an "informal book club".

It's really kind of a cool idea. What you do is mail out one book that you've already read (and enjoyed - no "crap books" please) to the person listed on the back of the letter you get. You only have to send one book. Then you make 6 photocopies of the letter, and mail it to six of your friends. Along with each of the letters you mail out, you send out 6 labels that have your return address on them. Then YOUR friends put your return address on the backs of the 6 letters they
send to their friends, and it goes on like so.

Anyway, if no one breaks the chain, you wind up receiving 36 books. And, assuming your friends (who I know are all cool and intelligent people) send their letters to likewise cool and intelligent people, you'll probably get some REALLY nifty books.

Pretty neat idea, huh?

(Suz, you're getting one of these. Everyone else.... I don't know what your "real" names or addresses are.... so if you're interested, feel free to start this amongst your "local" circle of friends.)

I'm looking forward to getting my 36 books!
Happy Summer reading!
:-)

Home-School Harriet Has Arrived


One of the MANY hats I wear, in addition to Mom, Wife, Chauffeur, Maid, Child Psychologist, Referee, Dog Trainer, and Comedienne (thanks to my blog) is (drum roll please) my "Home School Harriet Hat" (see attached sketch).

Yes, because both my children struggle with Math, we are doing 45 minutes of Math exercises every single weekday. When I announced to my children that we would be doing this over the Summer they looked at me as though flames were shooting out of my head.
I stopped, let this new information sink in, then told them that this was non-negotiable.

So, every morning at 10 AM, I stop working, go downstairs, turn off cartoons and videogames, pick up cereal bowls and announce (with a big grin) "Time for Math!" I am met with groans, rolled eyes, and a daily Battle Of The Wills ensues. But it's OK. I still outweigh them, so I always win.

Now before you think I'm the Meanest Mom Ever (a title they've already bestowed upon me), they still have plenty of "down" time. We still make it to the pool almost every day, and I make it a point to take them out for at least one "fun" outing every week. And of course they're always running around with their friends and playing. Really, this is only 45 minutes out of a whole day.

I must say though that I do have a newfound respect for homeschooling Moms. This stuff is challenging, and I'm really only doing one little subject. I can't imagine if I were doing a whole SCHEDULE of classes. (One of my cousins - who is a mother of 8 - homeschools her children. I think I'm going to write her a hand-written letter and tell her that I'm in AWE of her.... I'm sure she'll appreciate that. Assuming she has time to actually read the letter.)

Crazy Corporate America (also known as "Peter. What's Happening.")


By now, we've all heard the stories about how Bear Sterns' employees were forced to buy their own paper clips and rubber bands, because the weird corporate culture there insisted on these crazy cost-saving measures (while executives were given million dollar bonuses).

And we all know the end of the story with Bear Stearns' demise, collapse, and "rescue" by the Feds. In fact, in today's news, it was reported that two of Bear Stearns' hedge fund managers were arrested on charges of securities fraud. Not good.

Worrying over the cost of a box of paper clips when you've got problems like that seems a bit hypocritical, doesn't it?

All this got me thinking about the odd (and frequently contradictory) measures that Corporate America takes to save money in the workplace.

I have personally worked at places where:

  1. Coffee was not free (and let me tell you, this caused considerable ill will amongst the staff). Workers get pissed off when they have to pay for their morning workplace caffeine.
  2. File folders (the cheap manila kind) had to be reused until they were literally falling apart... and when you moved an old file to storage, you had to pull out the loose paper and rubber band it all together. (Good luck finding something if you ever needed it again.)
  3. The office supply room was kept locked, and when you needed supplies you had to explain to a manager what you needed from the supply room, and why.
Yet, each of these companies (and these 3 examples were at 3 different companies.... all names you would know) were extremely profitable organizations.

What gives?!

What are your weird Corporate America/workplace stories?

Luke Russert's Tribute To His Father

What an amazing young man Luke Russert is!
(Don't you know that his father Tim is smiling down on him... and is SO proud..) :-)

Luke Russert's Tribute to His Father, Tim Russert... June 18, 2008

Potato Cannon (Part Two)

Since many of you have expressed a variety of emotions (shock, curiosity, wonder, outrage, disgust, etc.) that such a thing as a Potato Gun/Potato Cannon exists, I'll simply have to take a picture of this contraption.

Actually, I will try to be Really Sneaky and tell my husband how studly he looks while holding aforementioned "instrument of destruction", so maybe I can get a REALLY humorous shot.

(He's too smart though and he'll figure out what's up.... although he doesn't actually read my blog, he knows that he is frequent fodder for it...)

Anyway, within the next day or so, EXPECT a picture of his potato cannon.
You'll be underwhelmed. Trust me.
:-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Moment of Silence...

...If you are fortunate enough NOT to have migraines, stop and thank God. Seriously.

My migraines laugh at Imitrex. I also take Topamax, which works MOST of the time at preventing them, but every once in a blue moon (or maybe it's every once in a FULL moon) one breaks through. And one has broken through today. :-(

I have 16 orders from clients that I'm working on, so crawling into bed and NOT working today isn't really an option for me, so I've taken as much pain medication as I can (without "toasting" my poor liver) and am plowing through. Luckily the pain meds have made the pain at least tolerable. Thank goodness.

So, be thankful if you don't get these things. The pain is tough to describe, the closest I can come is to say it's like a hot knife inserted between my right eye socket and my brain. (Sorry for anyone who is squeamish out there.) Bright light and noise make the pain geometrically worse, so I'm working in a quiet, cool, darkened office.

Eventually (probably by tomorrow morning) it will go away (typically after a wave of nausea hits me), but until then, it will be the definition of Unpleasant.

Kellan Has Been Spying On Me!

For those of you who haven't yet experienced the joy of reading Kellan's really funny blog, you MUST read today's post.

She and I apparently live in the same house, AND have the same children. :-)

Today's Thought To Muse Upon

"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness." - Dr. Robert Muller

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It Must Be the Full Moon

Well, if the full moon can "pull" the tides, cause women to go into labor, babies to be born and cause all sorts of miscellaneous chaos, I suppose it can cause my otherwise Good Guy Hubster to act like a total weinie-head.

Suffice it to say, I'm ready to shoot him tonight. Not with a lethal gun.... no, nothing like that. I'm actually thinking of going down into our basement, digging through all his junvenile "toys" and pulling out his "Potato Cannon" (yes, ladies and gentleman, my 44 year old husband has a potato gun that shoots raw potatoes into the air), and shooting him, in the ass, at point blank range.

To recount the evenings events: there was a function at my church this evening that needed volunteers. So, I've been serving at church for about 4 hours (which I love - it's wonderful).

So, anyway, I get home at 9:30. Dark. Past dinnertime. Almost bedtime. Our son J is home, reading. Our daughter S is nowhere to be found.

I ask Hubster "Where is S?"
Hubster replies, "Umm, not really sure. Maybe over at Rachel's house...?"
(What? It's 9:30 at night, and you don't know where your 10 year old daughter is???)
I remain calm but say "Can you hand me the phone please?"
I dial Rachel's house and talk to her mother - yes, she's over there. Yes, she's had dinner. Yes, they've been waiting for either me or my husband to come pick her up (!!!)
As I'm talking, Hubster starts giving me the "irritated" look and then he has the nerve to say, while I'm ascertaining the whereabouts of our daughter, "Can you talk in the other room? This is a critical part in the movie."

To say I saw red is a gross understatement.

So, if you hear about a grisly homicide tonight, outside Atlanta, committed by an otherwise very placid and loving wife and mother, you'll know it was me.
Argh.

My "Peace Place"

Gustav over at 9Worlds (who always has THE most thought-provoking posts) asked, not long ago, what places are special to us, as far as giving us peace/tranquility.

I have a few that are special to me, but one of my very favorite places is any deserted beach at sunrise. I prefer sunrise to sunset because 1) you usually have the beach to yourself (or close to it) and 2) the day ahead stretches out before you like a plain white canvas, and it's up to YOU what you're going to do with it. I love that.

The above photo was taken by me, in April 2006, on the Georgia coast, just as the sun was coming up over the horizon. A flock of birds was passing overhead and it was a completely perfect, grace-infused, peace-filled morning.

Some people only take communion in church.... that morning I had my communion on the beach. And it rocked.

My Senator Emailed Me Today

I recently wrote to both senators, my congressman and pretty much every other elected official I could find an email address for about our gasoline fiasco. I told them "I don't know what the answer is, but y'all need to quit fighting with each other and figure this thing out."

I got back form letters from all of them, but the below is the most thoughtful response I've gotten so far. Maybe our elected leaders are moving in the right direction. I sure hope so.


Dear Mrs. _____: Since you have written to me previously on energy issues, I wanted to share with you the article I wrote that appeared in The Atlanta Constitution on June 13, 2008. Also, here is a link to a speech I made on the floor of the U.S. Senate on this topic: http://www.isakson.senate.gov/floor/2008/061108energy.htm
Time for bold action on energy
By Johnny Isakson
(As appeared in The Atlanta Journal & Constitution on June 13, 2008)
No matter where you look in the United States today, you can see the effects of out-of-control gas prices on the American economy and the family budget. It's not just the painful price of filling up the family car. In Georgia and across the country, the trickle-down effect of these unprecedented gas prices is spreading financial misery to our schools, local governments and small businesses.
School systems in Georgia are struggling to fill the tanks of their school buses. Local police departments are keeping patrol cars parked at night, responding only to direct calls because they can't afford the gas to patrol the streets. Towns across Georgia that rely on tourism sit empty because so few can afford to travel. Our citizens and businesses today are paying more for gas and energy than they have ever paid before, and there is no end in sight.
Enough is enough. It is long past time for Republicans and Democrats to put aside their partisan biases on energy and join together in declaring war on spiraling gas prices and high energy costs.
Republicans must be willing to embrace conservation initiatives as well as alternatives such as solar and wind energy. Democrats must be willing to embrace nuclear energy for electricity and responsible exploration of our oil and gas resources in Alaska, Colorado, Montana and North Dakota, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic coast. Congress must pass and the president must sign legislation that removes current restrictions on these resources and their rapid development.
The rising costs for the future delivery of oil are in part based on the belief that America is not serious about reducing its dependence on imported oil or exploring its own resources at home. Unless we act decisively, the speculators will only push the price of oil higher.
In the 1960s, when America was losing its dominance in science and technology to the Soviet Union, President John Kennedy challenged America to send a man to the moon and bring him safely back to Earth by the end of the decade. At the time, we did not have the knowledge to accomplish that goal, but we had the will and we found the way.
Today, our challenge on energy supply and cost is no less daunting than the space race of the 1960s, but unlike the challenge of the space race, we do know how to reduce the cost and expand the supply of energy today. It is time for the president and the Congress to put aside their differences. We must act now and we must act boldly to expand and encourage the exploration and development of all our resources at home.

Sincerely,
Johnny Isakson
United States Senator
State of Georgia

A Foreclosure Across The Street

My crazy across-the-street-neighbor (who I've blogged about before) apparently has had her house foreclosed on. It all makes sense now. The fact that she tried to sell her house by owner and listed it waaaaaay below market "for quick sale" (according to her flyer) .....and the fact that her house and yard has been looking pretty unkempt (whereas it always looked flawless before) .... it all makes sense now.

I really feel sorry for her.

Anyway, she and her (hen-pecked) husband disappeared about 2 weeks ago and the latest "buzz" up at the neighborhood pool is that the house is a foreclosure.

Even though she was nuttier than squirrel poop, she kept to herself, for the most part.

I hope whoever moves into the house next isn't worse.
They could look like this....



Or worse yet, like this....



Or, I could get really lucky, and John Corbett could move in across the street. (My friend Anne and I would probably get arrested for stalking if John Corbett moved into our neighborhood.)

:-)




Monday, June 16, 2008

What Tiger Woods Taught Me on Fathers Day

I admit it. If I had been Tiger Woods this past weekend, out at Torrey Pines, I would've thrown in the towel. Did you see his face? The pain he was in was excruciating. My stepmother and I were watching the tournament and we thought he should just wave goodbye to the crowd, sign some autographs, and hop on his jet and go home to his wife and baby girl.

My Dad just shook his head, laughed at us and said "That thought hasn't even crossed his mind."

And Dad was right (as usual). Tiger kept going, despite the considerable pain he endured with each and every shot. And, as we all know, he wound up coming from behind and winning the tournament today, in sudden death. Amazing.

Here are some quotes that sum up what I gleaned from Tiger:

  1. In the middle of a difficulty lies an opportunity (Albert Einstein)

  2. The dictionary is the only place where "success" comes before "work" (Unknown)

  3. Concentration is the secret of strength (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  4. It isn't whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up (Vince Lombardi)

  5. Never, never, never give up (Winston Churchill)

  6. Failure is the path of least persistence (Unknown)

  7. It ain't over til it's over (Yogi Berra)

15 Years in 10 Bullet Points.... Can Ya Do It???

I have been TAGGED. My dear darling friend Suz who I've known since the tender age of 14 (or was it 13, Suz?) has tagged me. The gist of this tag is you think what you'd say if you ran into someone who you haven't seen in 15 years and you had to basically condense the past 15 years of your life down into 10 bullet points..... what on earth would you say?

Here goes:

  • 15 years ago, when I was 25, Hubster and I had been married about a year. We lived in a really crappy, really tiny apartment in the 'hood. We lived directly over a crackhead named Tim who was a mean drunk and had mis-spelled tattoos... (hi Tim, if you're reading this, but I think you're probably back in prison by now). We had 2 cats - Jasmine and Mortimer. We made $30,000 per year COMBINED annual income, however we were blissfully happy. Money does NOT equal happiness.
  • When I was 26 and Hubster was 29, we bought our first house. It was wonderful moving out of the 'hood and into a real home. The house felt positively cavernous after living in an apartment. Shortly after we bought the house, we added a beautiful Black Lab (Chloe) to our menagerie of pets.
  • When I was 28, we welcomed our first child, a son, into the world. J was born very very very very very premature (something I have never blogged about, but I guess I will now, briefly). J was born at 24 weeks gestation and weighed 1 lb 7 oz at birth, and teetered between life and death - it was a very tough time in our lives. He spent the first 5 months of his life in the NICU, and had to have a total of 6 surgeries. (Today J is a strapping 12 year old, and a Perfectly Normal Kid. Miracles still do happen. I know.... one calls me "Mom". ) :-)
  • When J was only 9 months old, we had a SURPRISE pregnancy. I almost fainted when my doctor told me I was expecting again (I had no clue). But our daughter S was born, at term, and was the picture of health (thanks to a little medical procedure called a cerclage, I was able to carry to term).
  • Our little house, which had seemed HUGE when we moved in, now seemed very tiny with two babies. So, in 2000 we moved to a much larger house, in a much nicer neighborhood, and a much better school district. We've been here ever since, and I doubt we'll ever move again.
  • Oh yes - almost forgot. During this time, my parents (Ward & June Cleaver) got a divorce. Shocked absolutely EVERYONE. They are both much happier now, and they're actually good friends. They have the most cordial, friendly divorce I think a couple has ever had. However, that first year was really weird. They had been married 28 years.
  • I turned 30 on the same day Princess Diana died. August 31, 1997. Very odd.
  • I worked in the Commercial Insurance industry from age 25 to age 39 and then finally said "Enough". I decided to control my own destiny (I know that sounds very Tony Robbinsesque - sorry...) so I started my own business when I was 39 and have never looked back. Sometimes it's really hard, when money is tight, but the independence is so worth it. Luckily Hubster has been with Big Brown since 1989, so our benefits are all taken care of. Whew. (And let me tell you..... you don't really appreciate your benefits until you've had a premature baby..... those tiny ones can REALLY rack up some medical bills....)
  • Chloe, our Black Lab, passed away in 2005 - she was almost 12. We had made the difficult decision, with our vet, that it was time to put her to sleep (her health had been failing rapidly and the quality of her life had become very poor). When Hubster came from work early that day to get her and bring her to the vet that final time, Chloe died right there, in his arms. To this day, I still believe she was waiting for him to come home, so she could "let go". She really adored and loved Hubster. The 4 of us grieved together as a family - it was the first time our kids had lost a "loved one". Three months later I got a call from a good friend who said "I found a stray dog last night.... do you know anyone who would want a sweet, mixed breed female? She's obviously been mistreated and is really skittish, but I think she has a lot of potential." Well, needless to say, we drove right out and fell in love with the "skittish dog with potential". Ruby has been with us for almost 3 years now and she has really come out of her shell. She still won't bark (she must have been beaten for that) but is honestly THE sweetest dog I've ever known. And, we're getting ready to add another dog - a puppy named Diva - a little later this month.
  • Last, but probably most important, I've become really involved in my personal spiritual journey. I belong to an awesome church that supports the "individual journey", and is a really cool, accepting place. I love my church and I love telling people about God, and his amazing love. I hope I'm not too pushy, I certainly don't mean to be, but I just know how his love has really changed my life and turned me from a negative worrisome person into someone who loves life and loves people.

I guess that's it. Hope this wasn't too boring, but most of what I've done (as far as changing) over the past 15 years has been internal, and tough to quantify and/or categorize.

Ok, now I'm going to tag the following:

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Technology is wonderful. I am the first one to admit it. Technology has enabled me to carve out my little business niche, so I'm very thankful for computers, cell phones, etc.

However, there are certain things I really miss about the BC ("Before Computers") era.

And one of them is..... the fine art of correspondence. Real correspondence. Sitting down at a desk with a pen, some paper and your thoughts and writing a letter to a friend.

It's a lovely exercise! And one that is all but extinct now.

And to be on the receiving end of hand-written correspondence from a good friend was (if memory serves) pure bliss.

My cousin Lucy and I wrote each other reguarly when we were growing up. Lucy is 6 years older than me and, because neither of us had sisters, we were very close. However, because my Dad was in the military, we moved a lot, so she and I kept in touch via the US mail.

I still remember the excitement of going out to the mailbox and seeing the envelope with my name on it and reading her funny letters..... and also letters from all the other friends I made through childhood and wound up moving away from.
I have saved all of them, and they bring back some great memories.

What are your memories of "special letters" from your childhood?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Torrey Pines


I've decided I'm going to move to Torrey Pines.

After reading KBL's blog, I've become completely smitten with San Diego area.... then after reading SmileyGirl's blog, that basically cemented this Georgia girl's "crush" on Southern California.

So, after this weekend, and watching the USGA tourney at Torrey Pines with Hubster (and my Dad, and my father-in-law), I've decided my little family simply MUST move there.
After all, it's absolutely gorgeous. Just LOOK at this picture!

(KBL, I am so envious! Do you realize how lucky you are? ...yes, of course you do.... that's a rhetorical question...)

After all, I can run my business from anywhere I darn well please, since 99% of it is all done via internet and phone. And Hubster works for a huge international package delivery company (I won't mention names, but his uniform and his big truck are both BROWN). I'm sure they have an office or two in San Diego, right???

Now all we have to do is sell our house, fly out there, find a new house, and find really good schools for the kids. No big deal.

(Of course, I'm being silly. There's no way I would leave my family, friends, church family, and the life we've built here.... BUT I really am completely smitten by the natural beauty in the San Diego area. )
I think Hubster and I are going to have to plan a romantic getaway to the Torrey Pines and Laguna Beach areas sometime very soon....!

Cute Labrador Video

Love this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xavecqEvLk&feature=related

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out in the blogosphere!

Here's a 'virtual toast' to comments like:

  • "Don't make me pull this car over!"
  • "I'm not napping... I'm just resting my eyes."
  • "Go ask your Mother."
  • "I don't need a map - I know exactly where we are!"
  • "Back when I was your age....."

    Thanks, Dad - we love you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quite Possibly the Funniest Thing I've Ever Read in the Blogosphere...

Granted, the link below is NOT for the faint of heart nor for those easily offended, but boy, is it funny.

I literally had tears running down my cheeks from laughing as I was reading this.

So, grab your Kleenex and HOLD ON.....

Today I Went to a Wedding

Today I went to a wedding. Yes, I know going to a wedding on a Saturday in June is really NOT that big of a "news item". But the reason it's big to me is because the young lady who got married is the daughter of one of my best friends from high school.

Meaning.... this child (er, bride) could very easily have been MY daughter.

And, today, she got married.

The wedding was simple, yet very lovely. The bride married the young man she's been dating since high school (they are 21 and 22 now, respectively). They are both very mature, responsible young people. (If these two are representative of their generation, our country can breathe a big sigh of relief. Seriously.)

He is a Marine - on leave from active duty in Iraq - and she works for a large commercial property management company here in Atlanta. They're beautiful, happy, intelligent kids who have the world by the tail. And today was their day.

The thing that GOT ME, watching them saying their vows, were all the memories that were playing in the theater of my mind.... the memory of her mom, my good friend, telling me (when we were just 18) that she was pregnant. Then the memory of that beautiful baby girl - always happy and laughing. Before Hubster and I had our own kids, she was almost like our own "surrogate" daughter .... we saw her almost every weekend when she was young and would often take her out on fun "outings" (in fact, one time we were featured with her on a TV commercial for Zoo Atlanta.... ).

So, to see her today, walking down the aisle, radiant in white and getting married to her handsome Marine, really sent me for an emotional loop. I've been very weepy all day. But also very, very proud.

Steve Brown - One of My Radio Heroes


Steve Brown is one of my favorite radio personalities. He has recently interviewed two of my very favorite writers (Anne Lamott and Don Miller). Both interviews are posted on my blog (see "Labels" under Don Miller and Anne Lamott, and you'll find them....)
Steve is so incredibly joy-filled, funny and his voice is so rich and wonderful - like hot chocolate. AND he has a fabulous dry, self-deprecating sense of humor.
I love listening to him.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert


Just heard an announcement on the news that Tim Russert collapsed and died today, while at work. He was only 58.

Russert has always been a journalist who I've respected - honest, forthright, and not prone to sensationalizing the news (like so many newsmen tend to do these days).

Rest in peace, Tim. You will be missed.

Don't Hassle The Hoff

David Hasselhoff is, in my opinion, the Cheesiest Person in all of Hollywood.

Total Velveeta.

But since he absolutely GLORIES in his own cheesiness, it's somewhat humorous, rather than pathetic.

The below video illustrates exactly what I mean. (Love those dance moves, Dave...)
"America, YOU'VE got talent!" :-)

Frog Dissection Free-For-All!

My daughter's 4th grade teacher this year (big shout-out to Mrs. Johnson) instilled a big love of learning to her whole class.

One of the things she gave to the kids to "play with" over the Summer was the below link, where you can do a Virtual Frog Dissection.

It's really pretty cool. No smelly formaldehyde; no feeling woozy from looking at all the frog carcasses. Anyway, the kids have been having fun with it and (I admit) so have I.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"You'll See It When You Believe It"


We've all heard the saying "I'll believe it when I see it."
That pretty much sums up the pessimistic culture in which we live.

We want visual, tangible PROOF of something BEFORE we're willing to believe in it.

However, I believe, very strongly, in the tremendous power of our minds to bring about very positive measurable changes in our lives. In fact, Jesus himself said "...everything is possible for him who believes." (Mark 9:23)

I've seen the power of positive thinking work in my own life, and in the lives of many people I know.

Have you experienced this as well?
If so, post your comments about your experience, and let's encourage one another! (God knows the world is always throwing Negative Stuff at us.... so let's counteract that with some Positive Stuff ...)
:-)

And remember: you'll see it when you believe it!
PS: Here are some great books that have really helped me bring Positive Change into my life:
1. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (this is not just about material wealth... this is a truly great, one-of-a-kind book!)
2. How to Stop Worrying & Start Living by Dale Carnegie
3. Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
4. The Road Less Traveled by Dr. Scott Peck
5. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
6. Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace, both by Dave Ramsey (these are about finances, obviously... but that can cause a LOT of stress when it's out of whack.).

Cupid Still has Great Aim...

Would it be really weird of me to say that after 16+ years of marriage, I still sometimes am so besotted by my husband that I want to tackle him, even in public places.

(And yes, sometimes I get so mad at him that I want to throw a potato at his head, but not today. No, not today.....)

Anyway, this "sudden-lust" thing happened again, just this morning. We had to go drop his car off for servicing. Hubster looked so incredibly yummy just STANDING there in the waiting room of the stupid dealership, that it was all I could do not to club him over the head, drag him down some darkened hallway and have my way with him.

I must be nuts.
Either that or I have some wild hormones surging this week, or something....

Today's Musings....

"If you're going through hell, keep going!"
-Winston Churchill
" Never, never never give up."
- Winston Churchill
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
- Maya Angelou
"Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy."
-Tim Hansel

These quotes are all listed in a great book called One Month to Live: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life. I recommend it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Puppy Photo from Today (6-11-08)


The breeder just emailed me a new picture of Diva, with her littermates.
(He knows that my family is completely SMITTEN with this dog.)

Anyway, here she is.... she's the 3rd one from the left.
(If you click on the photo, I think it will magnify it for you..... and you can see the close up of her Intense Cuteness.... ) But prepare yourself.... it's really almost too much to handle...)
:-)

Careful Out There

Further to what BuzyBee had to say on this same subject only a couple of weeks ago.....

I just got a fairly benign comment from a blogger and when I went to his site it was filled with all sorts of really graphic imagery, and some really explicit language. (To say he doesn't respect women and views them only as sexual toys would be an understatement....)

Also, I've had one crazy lady from India who keeps repeatedly asking me to let her post a link on my blog advertising her site ("...ummm... how does NO strike you?!"). She also has some really bizarre stuff on her blog. One of her ads says "You're ugly, but so am I, and I'm RICH". (Hmmm.... don't remember learning that tactic in Advertising 101.)

I'm all for self-expression, but there are some Weird Frikkin People out there in the blogosphere.

So, word to the wise, just be careful whose comments you allow on your blog.... I did have one (when I first started blogging and naively thought everyone was sweet, happy and full of goodwill!) who left a comment on my blog with a hyperlink that said "click here" and, like a dummy, I DID, and it downloaded a nasty virus onto my hard drive. (Which, eventually had to be replaced.)

So, tip of the day: be careful, and learn from my mistakes.

Whew.... Peace at Last

Hubster is on vacation this week. When he is home, my kids are WOUND UP. Forget the "Summer Schedule" I have them on.... any sort of organization and routine goes totally out the window when Daddy is home.

My house looks like it has been ransacked. In fact, if a police officer were to wander in here, he would probably call for back up, thinking something Really Bad had happened.

So anyway, after yesterday when I got NO WORK done for all the Wildness, I told Hubster "Please take the kids on a long 'outing' tomorrow." So, they just left - they're going to visit his parents (halfway across town) then they're bringing in bags of aluminum cans to be recycled (very exciting stuff) and then they're going on a hunt for a hummingbird feeder. They should be gone at least 3 hours.

Ahhh..... Peace. Quiet. Tranquility.

I can get some WORK done.
I can clean up my house, where it's at least no longer a health hazard.
Right now it looks like a Superfund Site....

A Delicious, Delectable Blackberry

No, not the kind you can EAT - the kind you can USE!
And yes, now I have added myself to the teeming mass of people who find it necessary to have that electronic umbilical cord.....



Actually, it's a Palm Centro, but it does basically the same thing that a Blackberry does.

Because my little business has been growing, and because I'm always wondering what sort of Important Stuff is waiting for me in my email box while I'm out and about, I decided to get this device so I can have that constant contact with work at all times.

Interestingly, if I had a boss who told me "Here's your Blackberry. Keep this on your persons at ALL TIMES." I would seriously balk. But, because I work for myself, this little gadget provides me with a certain level of FREEDOM. I can respond to work emails and handle calls while I'm chilling out with my kids at the pool, or while I'm checking out sales at Stein Mart.

I haven't quite figured out all it can do YET, but I'm well on my way.

It's really quite amazing to me how far technology has come. I remember being a senior in high school (way back in 1985.... I know, the Stone Ages, as far as technology was concerned) and having someone address an assembly at our school and tell us that eventually we'd be using phones that were completely cordless and 100% mobile. And I remember thinking it was the most preposterous thing I'd ever heard of. And now, look what these 'smart phones' can do. Amazing.

I wonder what my kids' generation will come up with?
(I tell them all the time to REALLY study their science and especially chemistry.... so they can invent a clean, renewable, safe and affordable FUEL that will take our world into the next century, and hopefully put an end to this crazy bloodshed over oil.)
That would be really nice if they could figure THAT one out, because goodness knows we adults sure can't seem to get it done.....

Scottie Tails "Shoot Out"

This one goes hand-in-hand with the one I posted yesterday. I love these two dogs... they are adorable and have so much personality. You can tell their owners have a blast coming up with all these "adventures" for them. :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Over-Active Imagination





Because I'm self employed, and in a sales-based business, I tend to be a VERY "glass-is-half-full" kind of person. (Actually, I tend to be a "glass-is-so-full-we-may-soon-need-a-bucket" kind of person....)
Right now, my business partner and I are working on some potentially very profitable deals. Of course, being a Serial Optimist, I'm positive that they are ALL going to come through.
So positive, in fact, that I have been e-shopping for my new convertible.
I can't decide..... should it be:

The VW Beetle?
The Audi A4?
The BMW 3 Series?
The Volvo C70?

Never mind the fact that my Delinquent Clients who still owe me $15,000 have not paid and just today I had to move some money from savings to checking to pay bills. All that is BESIDE THE POINT..... Soon, these delinquent clients will pay - I keep telling myself this (soon I will be clicking my ruby slippers together and saying it over and over).

Of course, these new deals could ALL come crashing down (and, in sales, that's often what happens....) but it sure is fun to visualize yourself cruising around in one of these babies, isn't it?....
And now, back to Reality, and back to my slightly dented, yet very reliable 6 year old PAID FOR vehicle. :-)

Love Does Really Conquer All....

Very sweet story....

Scottie Tails Videos

If you've never seen these videos on You Tube, take a few moments and watch them. The one posted below is "My Date With Barney". "Scottie Shoot-Out" is also really cute. They're all very funny, and very creative.
I frequently watch them, when I'm having a stressful day and need a Smile Break.
Enjoy. :-)

Strange, True and Bizarrely Funny...


My friend Anne's laugh is so high-pitched and shriek-like that when we're on the phone and I say something funny and she laughs, her fax machine will TURN ON because it senses a fax is coming in.

Not making this up.

The first time it happened and she explained to me that it was her LAUGH that triggered the fax machine to turn on, I thought I was going to wet my pants I started laughing so hard. Which made her laugh harder, which made the fax machine that much more intent on receiving the elusive incoming fax.....

Now THAT is comedy gold, people.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Presenting...... Little Miss Pupster....



As promised, here is today's picture of Lady Godiva. (We're calling her "Diva" for short.... Lady Godiva is a cute name, but way too much of a mouthful...)

She is in Hubster's hands in this picture.

Could she possibly be any cuter???! :-)

Overwhelmed? Stressed? Depressed?


Don't you know who made everything?
Haven't you heard about him?
The Lord is the God who lives forever.
He created everything on earth.
He won't become worn out or get tired.
No one will ever know how great his understanding is.
He gives strength to those who are tired.
He gives power to those who are weak.
Even young people become worn out and get tired.
Even the best of them trip and fall.
But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength.
They will fly as high as eagles.
They will run and not get tired.
They will walk and not grow weak.

-Isiaiah 40: 28-31, NIrV

Lady Godiva Has Been Selected


Well, we took a family trip to meet the Litter of Labradors today.

It was a long drive down to the breeder we selected - a good hour and a half from where we live, but well worth the drive. :-)

We arrived to find a HERD of very playful puppies.... VERY hard to narrow it down, but we really did have our hearts set on a female chocolate. So, we selected a very playful, fat, happy Chocolate female. She has blue eyes (they will probably turn a hazel-green color.) In the above picture, "Lady Godiva" (what we have named our puppy) is the first chocolate lab on the right.

The litter is 4 weeks old now, so we have 2 more weeks to go before she can will be ready to come home with us. (Plenty of time to buy toys and prepare for the inevitable destruction that will soon be visited upon the house...) :-)

We also met both the dam and the sire - both are active, attractive, healthy, friendly and have great personalities. Everyone got along famously. :-)

More pictures to follow soon!

UPDATE to the Garlic Debacle of Yesterday

UPDATE: The smell.... if possible.... has gotten WORSE. I have hosed off the driveway repeatedly but apparently enough Pickled Garlic Particles have soaked into the parched concrete that they are now permanently roasting in the sun.

Oh yes, and now the flies have found this bounteous treasure of putrifying garlic.

I can't TELL you how thrilled I am about this development....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Special Prayer Request For A Blogger Buddy

I have a special prayer request this evening for a blogger-buddy of mine.
Deron over at Here in Time is in the end-stages of his disease, Cystic Fibrosis.

I'm sure all of you know what Cystic Fibrosis is and how devastating its effects can be.

Although I don't know Deron personally, I definitely feel like I do, after having read his blog and having gotten to know about him, his 3 year old twin boys and his wife, all through the writings on his blog. (Isn't blogging a GREAT forum??!)

Deron is now at the top of the list for a double lung transplant due to the severity of his CF. Obviously this is a huge, HUGE surgery.

Whatever your faith, I'd ask you to please take a moment and pray for him and his family.
And, if you feel so compelled, you might want to stop by his blog and leave him a little note of encouragement. I know he'd really appreciate it.

Deron is a man of great faith, and he also has a great sense of humor and a very optimistic outlook on life. He has really been an inspiration to me!

Thanks, guys. :-)

PS: Deron, you ROCK!! :-)

It's The Thought That Counts.... I Suppose....


Hubster just got back from his Guys Weekend Away.
He arrived home gritty, unshowered, unshaven, but beaming from ear-to-ear.

Apparently a Good Time Was Had By All.

He told me he brought me back "a little something" and went out to the garage to retrieve it from his car. A moment later I heard a glass container shatter, followed by a string of expletives. I open the door to find the Happy Hubster now very unhappy, and staring down at a jar of pickled garlic cloves that were strewn all over the driveway. (Hmmm. Interesting gift. I do love garlic, but 'Pickled Garlic Cloves' as a gift for the Little Wife??)

Anyway, he was barefoot and there was glass, vinegar, oil, and a Big Mess ALL over the driveway, so I said "Just come in and relax - we'll clean that up in a little bit."

Famous last words.

(Also, remember that it's 96 degrees in Atlanta today....)

So, after about an hour or so, I open the door and am hit FULL in the face by an overwhelming smell. In fact, this smell defies description. Yes, the pickled garlic cloves (and vinegar-y juices) had been COOKING on the driveway in the late afternoon sun.

It takes a lot to make me gag, but yeah..... that did it.

I guess this was the gift that keeps on giving.... blech.

"It's A Wonderful Life" Actor Has Passed Away



Bob Anderson, who played the young George Bailey in my all time favorite movie "It's a Wonderful Life" has passed away.

If you've never seen this movie, do yourself a favor and rent it. (Actually, do yourself a bigger favor, and go buy a copy.)
It's a great movie about life and being thankful for all the things that you already have (that, chances are, you take for granted.)

Indeed, it IS a wonderful life.... thanks for helping me to realize that, George Bailey.

Rest in peace, Bob Anderson.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hubster No Esta Aqui


Hubster is out of town this weekend. He and a handful of his buddies took a "Guys Trip" to the North Georgia Mountains. (And yes, for those of you who aren't aware, North Georgia is in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains.... in fact, the Appalachian Trail (pictured above) starts in North Georgia.)

So, anyway, they're all up there at a cabin that belongs to one of his buddies. They're doing some hiking, some drinking (I'm sure), and probably some target shooting out in the woods (away from the trail of course). When I talked to him this evening, he was making steak & shrimp for everyone out on the grill (he's a fabulous cook... ).

Anyway, I miss him when he's gone, and I'm happy he has a job where he doesn't have to travel for work. Yes, it's nice not having to step over his dirty clothes when he's away, and yes it's nice not having to suffer through another episode of "Deadliest Catch" or "American Chopper" on TV (do women really watch those shows???), but I still miss him. I hate sleeping alone in our big bed and, believe it or not, I even miss his snoring. (Although I would never tell him that.)

And Ruby? Our sweet devoted dog who ADORES him? She has been moping around the house... she'll go to the front door and gaze out the little side window, give a Very Dramatic Sigh, and then plop down on the floor. Such drama, that dog.