Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve!

Just wanted to wish everyone a fun and safe night tonight! I'll be at home designing a new header. No, it won't be "November 2008" forever in this blogosphere! And I know by saying this, I've made 2 holiday wishes come true.

I may even eventually post about our trip. Maybe... stayed tuned.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saved from the clutches of Alabama...

Yesterday, I wrote that Southwest had no idea where my suitcase was - the black suitcase with the yellow ribbon on it and TWO luggage tags. I was starting to fear that if I hadn't heard anything today that my bag and all of its contents would wind up in Alabama. I was making a partial list of contents, but I just honestly couldn't remember everything in it.

I'd think I had it all and WHAM!, I'd remember something else. Honestly, none of it was very valuable. There was no jewelry or pictures. But it was MY STUFF... it was my pajama pants that I've worn almost non-stop since I got pregnant. They are old and I'm sure not real pretty to look at, but they are priceless to me. I'm sure they were originally $9.99 from Target. But now after years of wear, PRICELESS!

Last night while talking to T on my cell phone, I had another call. I recognized the number and practically hung up on him. It was Southwest calling. Not only did they know where my bag was, IT WAS IN OKLAHOMA CITY! I let out a "WOO HOO!" It was going to be delivered that evening.

Around 9:30, I was tired and called it a night. T was going to stay up and wait for the bag. As I was getting dressed for bed, my cell phone rang again. It was Southwest again now giving me a time frame for delivery, 11 pm - 3 am. After talking over several delivery options, I said to just deliver it and I'd leave a note on the door.

Even though we live in Hooterville, I still didn't want my suitcase sitting by my front door all night. In the note, I said to please knock thinking we'd hear it. Or maybe the dogs would hear and wake us up. Yeah, not so much on the dog front. I'm not sure they woke up at all until the alarm went off this morning. My luck, I'd get the long lost bag back and it would be taken from my doorstep.... where it is no longer the responsibility of the airline and now I have no recourse because I left a note on the door.

So needless to say, I didn't sleep well. I kept waking T up every 30 minutes to ask him to check for the bag. I don't remember this, but he says I did. I know I didn't sleep well, so I'd believe it. I do know that at 3:35, I woke up and asked him to go check. NO BAG! Since there wasn't anything I could do about it then, I went back to sleep. When the alarm went off at 6:30, T went to check and there it was!

He rolled our suitcase into the bedroom. It was in one piece, properly labeled with both luggage tags AND the airline tag. But it has returned home to us and now we are complete again.... our family of 2 parents, 1 baby on the way, 2 dogs and 3 suitcases is once again whole.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And a Happy New Year to you....

We have made it home after our tour of the southern US and Mexico. However, only 2 of our 3 suitcases made it home. So Southwest calls me today to tell me that they are still looking but they don't know where it is. It only had all of our hang up nice clothes, my make up, T's dress shoes (2 pair) and my blow dryer and my flat iron!

We can buy new clothes. I can buy new make up. Heck, I can get a better flat iron. But really? Two of T's suits! I'm just frustrated... And I feel like I'm just looking for something to complain about at this point, but to not even know where it is? How is that possible?

So I'm trying to start compiling my list of clothes that were in there now. Cause if this goes any longer, I just simply may not remember.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The stuff they don't tell you...

WARNING: GRAPHIC POST

Ok, so I know this is rare, but I'm posting twice in one day. You know, when you get pregnant, you know the basic stuff but you don't get told some of the other stuff. Apparently this is just - if you knew, you'd think twice about it.

I haven't talked a lot about being sick, but I have been. I thought I was getting better after the hell that was the week of Thanksgiving. In fact, I was determined to be positive and just soldier through this part. And things were going well, until yesterday.

No one likes to throw up. And I'm lucky that it's been limited to the confines of my house. Sunday started ok, but when it came time for lunch, the thought of eating food wasn't appealing (never a good sign). I ate anyway because I have to and immediately knew I should have just eaten toast.

I laid on the sofa waiting for the feeling to pass. I wound up falling asleep and that normally helps. When I woke up I was ok. Not necessarily great, but I didn't feel the need to jump up and run into the bathroom. Around dinner time, I decided to just have soup.

I had to go back to lying down, immediately. The feeling progressively got worse. I'm not sure why I fight it at this point, but I still do. I took a bath and got in bed. About 10 minutes after getting in bed, I knew I couldn't fight it anymore and I spent 15 minutes reliving my dinner AND my lunch... oh and all the Tums I'd eaten in between.

I won't get completely graphic but let's just say it was bad. Skip ahead to 10 minutes ago when I pulled out a mirror to look at something I thought was in my eye. I noticed it looked like I had a rash around both of my eyes and then it hit me.

Leslie had mentioned it a while back as we compared our sick stories. Apparently, I'd given myself two black eyes by popping the blood vessels around my eyes from the force of getting sick. So I emailed her to tell her and this was her response.

"And now I will officially welcome you to pregnancy, but instead of some nice welcome gift, you get black eyes, permanent throw up taste in your mouth, an absent mind and countless wonderful other things that will last for a while. But, your welcome gift won't last and at the end you'll have a beautiful baby with no sleep."


At least from far away they look like lots and lots of freckles... not really, but that's what I'm telling myself.

The apple doesn't fall far..

T and I went to the doctor this morning. We were hoping to find out if it's a boy or girl, but it's a little too soon. We'll find out for sure next month. But we did get to see a lot.

I ate some fruit this morning for breakfast hoping the sugars would get him moving around, and boy did they! He was kicking and tossing and turning. He was putting his hand to his mouth at times that looked like he was sucking his thumb. And other times he was kind of waving one finger in the air. The doctor said "oh he's waving at you!"

We both laughed and at the same time said "nah.. he's probably flipping us off!" His little feet practically never stopped moving, so we think this is part of the reason that I'm having so many bladder issues. He's using it as a soccer ball.

And I guess I should add the disclaimer that we say "he" because I've just always thought it's a boy. We are very open to either a boy or a girl. Our request is simply a healthy baby. Once I get a picture of the ultrasound, I'll post it too. Scans don't work so well.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It went where?

For the last 13 of 15 weeks, I have struggled with indigestion and reflux. These are two things I've never in my life had a problem with, so it's required a bit of an adjustment. Now that I know I must eat Tums like candy, it has gotten better.

Yesterday morning, T and I were lying in bed and my stomach growled. That in and of itself is rare. Usually if I let myself get hungry, I'm naseous and it's hard to make myself eat at that point. But having just woken up, my stomach growled. But imagine my surprise as it continued to growl and I could feel where my stomach has actually moved to.

Oh yes, it's moved! My stomach is now right in the middle of my body but it's right underneath my sternum. So I guess that explains some of my reflux - my stomach is practically IN MY THROAT!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's only temporary.... I hope!

Apparently this thing called "pregnancy brain" is real. I couldn't find my butt with both hands right now if I wanted to.

I had to ask T what our telephone number was last night.

I lost my cell phone in my purse.

I can't retain anything I read.

I forget what I'm doing in mid-action or even worse, forget what I'm saying in mid-thought.

I'm doing things twice at work because I've forgotten I've already done them.

Oh maybe the most obivous to the readers of this blog, apparently it's still November 2008 in Smithland (at least that's what the header says). Might be helpful if I remember to change that. That my friends is on the short list for tonight.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let It Snow!

So today we had our first wintry weather. We had freezing rain earlier in the day and lucky us, we had snowfall for the drive home. Now, none of this really amounted to actual accumulation, but it was enough to make people lose their minds. When I went to lunch, my drivers side door was covered in ice. Thinking I was super smart, I backed into my parking place when I got back so that the drivers side wasn't facing north and it wouldn't be covered in ice when I left work.

Well, lo and behold, that worked. The passenger side was covered in ice and the drivers side was clean. It had little specs on it, but not much. What the drivers door had on it, was the most awesome thing. It was a snowflake. But it wasn't any ordinary snowflake. It was one of those perfect snowflakes that looks like exactly like the snowflakes you see on wrapping paper and those cut-out snowflakes you did as a kid.

I tried to take a picture of it with my cell phone, but since it was the size of a large pin head, it didn't quite work. It was beautiful though.

So back to the windows. Backstory: last winter my driver's window froze shut and since I tried to open it anyway, it really messed up the motor. Present day: I had to go to the bank on my way home. I thought since there was no ice on my window it was fine. When I got to the bank, the window was frozen shut! So much for outsmarting Mother Nature!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The fumes clouded my eyes

I had to stop and get gas this morning. Not an usual occurence given my daily commute, but this morning was different. Everyone knows that prices at the pump have been falling due to less demand (sidenote: less demand certainly isn't coming from Commuter City, Oklahoma). But I guess I didn't really quantify in my head what $1.69 at the pump means.

I know that it's been a tremendously long time since I've seen gas that low. I'm guessing somewhere in the 2005 range. So this morning, I started the pump and the fastest auto setting shut off almost immediately. I put it on the middle setting and that seemed to work. I got back into the car because the wind was howling and it was chilly.

The pump cut off again and I looked at the price. It said $26.47 and I knew that amount couldn't possibly fill up my vehicle. Funny thing - the gallons was close to the right amount though. I got out and topped off the tank. I filled up my mid-sized SUV for $27.00!

I'm not sure the last time I filled up for $27! I do know at the height of oil prices, it cost me in the area of $70. It was $100 to fill up the truck - sometimes more, depending just how long T had ridden around with the gas light on.

$27! I still can't believe it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cathy Wood, Y'all - Take 2

Cathy finally made it into town on Friday afternoon. She luckily landed to 35 mph winds. We were happy she could experience our light, balmy breezes. Saturday we shopped. We shopped till I dropped. The mall was packed, but she got a lot of Christmas shopping done and I was able to just about finish mine.

Sunday we just hung out. And she left early this morning. It was a short visit, but just like old times.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The List Continues

Off the list ... all breakfast foods and Taco Bell is very close to being off, although not completely yet.

On the list ... Totino's plate sized pizzas, Spaghetti-o's with meatballs.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It figures...

Yesterday morning, I had to stop and get gas. The station right by my house finally had gas for $1.99 (that price and lower had been popping up all over the metro in recent weeks). I was pretty darn happy. I filled up for $30. I can't even remember the last time that happened.

So consider my chagrin when I came home late last night and drove past the station. It was down to $1.89!! I have no idea why it dropped 10 cents in one day, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't mind. It just figures.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The List

The list is food that can be eaten.

Food off the list (generally as a result of making me sick)
  1. wheat thins
  2. doughnuts
  3. Lays potato chips

Foods on the list (generally not like previously but now oddly refreshing)

  1. chocolate milk

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Holy Groundshake, Batman!

Sunday I was at home. The dogs were outside and T was hunting. I was sitting on the sofa not doing anything when I felt the house shake like it was hit with a huge gust of wind (like hurricane gust of wind). Not uncommon in Oklahoma, but my when I looked outside, the trees weren't moving. The leaves at the bottom were just kind of rippling.

I didn't think much about it until they started talking about the series of earthquakes that have been going on for the last week in Luther - the town just north of us.

EARTHQUAKES!

At least it explains the reasons the dogs have been acting nuts. Well, more nuts than normal.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's the little things, really....

My in-laws are taking everyone on a cruise this year for Christmas. So it was finally time to update my passport with my married name (yes, 2 and a half years later). My passport was going to expire in March anyway, so it's not like I was out a ton of money.

Now, my passport is not full of colorful stamps from all over the world. The majority of them are from Canada. But there is my first one from England... I remember stumbling off the too long flight, just wanting to find a soft bed, and having to be coherent on my first journey through customs of another country. That trip was crazy. But it was a once in a lifetime thing, so I decided to do it. And the little stamp on my passport made me remember things I had forgotten.

There is also the stamp from Mexico that was for my honeymoon. I was also tired from that flight, but because the previous 2 months of my life were non-stop and this seemed like my first time to relax in ages.

So when it came time for me to mail in my passport, I was sad to say goodbye to those little stamps. I know that I still have the memories that come with them, but when I saw the crease in the front cover, it took me back to that trip in March of 1999. Every time I travelled, I thought about all those trips. But I mailed off my passport with the paperwork, new photos and the money (oh don't forget the money!) and decided I'd make new memories with my new passport.

Imagine my surprise last week, when I got an envelope back with my old passport in it. Now, it had holes punched in it, but the crease was still in the cover and my red Gatwick stamp was still there. And my brown-haired, 22 year old self was staring back at me. It was good to see her again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm fabulous, dahling!


What customer service should be


I've always loved etsy. For those of you who don't know about it, it's people who are selling their handmade wares online. There is such a vast range of wonderful things. It has become my go to place for gifts. It's quite wonderful.

A while back, Stephanie introduced me to a vendor with handmade soaps and lotions - Bunnybutt Apothecary. I ordered some lotion and soap and have loved it. The smell of the lotion has started to change for me though. So I send Anna a note through etsy and asked if she had non-scented lotion.

She didn't, but you know what she did? She made a custom batch just for me! It came in the mail yesterday and is WONDERFUL! And in the spot where she normally puts the scent of the lotion, she had put my custom named lotion... it's called "Non-Smelly". And that not only made me smile, but made me a loyal customer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Too much is not enough

It's pretty widely known that I like to sleep - a lot. I can go without much sleep for a couple of days, but I will need to catch up at some point. But usually, once I catch up, I'm ok. Well, that's not the case the last couple of days. I'm tired. I can't focus. I can't stop yawning. I even put my head down on my desk today! It's not like I'm going to bed late, but apparently it's still not early enough. So no calling our house after 7 pm!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ok, this reason is good!

I know I haven't been around, but this time I have a great reason why! It's not an excuse, per say. It's just what's been going on. After way too long of trying, T and I are having a baby!

Yes, you read that right! WE'RE HAVING A BABY!

While it hasn't been two full weeks since we've known, it feels like a lifetime. Needless to say, we've been busy with doctor's appointments and questions about daycare (not so lucky for a year of maternity leave here) and baby furniture and deciding on birth plans!

It's been quite fun to tell people and see their reactions.

I've been feeling ok so far. I'm just really tired. Naps have become quite routine, as have early bedtimes. Things are starting to smell funny. The dogs must be at my side at all times. They want to be curled up with me or touching me, preferably both.

Ok, I'm yawning. So I think I need a nap.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lagniappe

So I know I've been short on posts lately. It's not for any real reason (i.e. so busy with work, visitors from out of town, amnesia and can't remember my log in or how to type). I've been fighting a sinus infection and got a whole lot of nothing done this weekend.

I started knitting a Christmas gift on Friday night. It's a simple knit and should only take me about 4 hours. I know this because I've made 2 already. Saturday night as I was finishing it because it had taken me way longer than 4 hours. Apparently medicines that say "do not operate heavy machinery" also apply to "do not attempt to knit at any normal pace". Anyway, so I was trying to finish the stupid thing Saturday night and I realized I had a big mistake. So I tried to be clever and fix it and promptly only made it so much worse. So the whole thing got ripped out and the yarn was re-wound and I had wasted my Saturday. I've started again, this time paying attention as to not make said stupid mistake. I'm about 40% of the way through it. My 4 hour project is now a 3 day + deal.

Copper is doing much better. She was better about 2 days later, but I'm continuing to keep her going on her herbal meds and supplements, just to keep her feeling good. I'd rather prevent than react.

B's allergies are once again in full affect and we are fighting stopped up ears. So I'm continuing to put drops in his ears every night. It's the one thing he truly hates - other than actually going to the vet, of course.

Deer season started on the 1st, so T's been hunting all weekend.

The day that it was announced that Washington Mutual was being seized, we got a credit card application in the mail from them. Um, I don't think so.... that went straight into the trash.

About a month ago, I got a letter from American Airlines saying that I could use my measly 7500 frequent flier miles that were about to expire on magazine subscriptions. So T and I signed up for nearly everything we could think of. We get so many magazines a week that I'm having a hard time keeping up with them. It's like a doctor's office around here (on more than one level really - lots of magazines, sick people, medicines, kleenex).

We've made no decision about the wall. There is no entertaining in our future.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Toy

I've got a new toy of sorts. I've convinced my boss to bring all design work in house and put me in charge of it. Not like that was a hard decision, there are only 2 of us. And it's not like we had a lot of out-sourced design work. But in a move to help re-brand our industry, I get to be more creative and do actual print publications.

We do have a magazine and website - both of which I have to redesign in the next 6 months. No biggie, right? I'm excited but flipping out a little. Ok, a lot. But I'm excited for the chance.

So we purchased Adobe Creative Suite 3, which includes Photoshop and other programs, but I'll just stick with Photoshop for now. This program can do so many things, it's pretty amazing. I was just playing around one day after work to see how it works. I took a picture that I had taken back in May at the Botanical Gardens but didn't like. In fact, I disliked the picture so much that I didn't even print it. The composition was fine but the exposure was wrong, etc.

This is the original.

This is the new and improved picture!! This one I actually want to print and hang on my wall. And I might just do it.

Now, it's not a perfect photo, but it's greatly improved. And for not knowing what I was doing, I thought it came out pretty well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

World's Worst Type-O

So we discovered we had a leak in the pipe that leads to the outside faucet. We've just been procrastinating getting it fixed (didn't leak when it was turned off - just turned on). And then we started having sewer issues. Nice, huh?

We finally called a plumber to come out and look at them both. Leaky pipe you can live with for a while. Sewer problems - not so much!

T sent me an instant message to tell me they were finished and that the cost was $1135. Yes, you read that right. I FLIPPED OUT! I was thinking, MAYBE $500 max... MAX (and that was if they had fixed the hole they cut into the wall.

After reading my reaction, he realized a tiny mistake. He had typed one too many "1's" in that price. So he quickly responded that the cost was $135 - which was much more reasonable and I was ok coming home to find this:


Not a great sight in the dining room - especially considering we found THIS at the bottom of it:

So I imagine we'll be tearing all the sheetrock out and fixing it. But at least we know the leak is fixed. I'm not looking forward to that project. Maybe after hunting season is over with (which is in February).

The joys of homeownership.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Somehow Copper got old!



Somewhere along the lines, Copper got old. Not sure how it happened, but it really snuck up on me. I guess always concentrating on the really old dog (Rufus), I forgot she was getting old too. So color me freaked out yesterday morning, when we woke up to B running around the room and Copper crying.

It's a horrible sound to hear a dog cry in pain and while I was freaked out, I remained calm. I know she can tell when we're freaked out, so I tried to calm her down. It was obvious she was scared. It took a minute to calm her down, but I did. I thought at the time and the vet confirmed that she's suffering arthritis in her hips. She had a flare up about 4 years ago, but hadn't shown any signs since then.

I took the morning off work and spent it with her at the vet's office. While there, he performed her geriatric exam, which he likes to do on all older dogs to asses their health. I consented and turns out that Copper is in great health. Her heart, lungs and joints all look great according to x-rays. What he did find though was some evidence of the inflammation in her hips and possible signs of degenerative disks in her spine. So that's not good, but we did catch it early.

Several hundred dollars later, we are now armed with a plan of nutrition and supplements to ward of surgery ($$$$) and provide a better quality of life for her. I am relieved, but it's been a rough dog year for us!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I pose a question...

So my lack of blogging has been brought to my attention. What have I been so busy with you ask? Well, I'm currently trying to figure out what to do with old pillows.

For some reason, when I decide it's time for a new pillow, I take the old one and put it in a closet. Apparently, I suffered through a great shortage of pillows at some time, because otherwise, why would I hold onto all these old pillows?

So now, I have a closet full of old pillows that you'd need 3 of them in one pillow case to make a decent sized pillow. I'm not sure what I could use them for other than building a fort. They are just taking up space. I hate to landfill them, but why would I insult someone by trying to donate this old pillow?

Any ideas, Internet?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sit. Shake. Snooze.

I think we've turned a corner with B. He's such a sweet dog and has so many of Rufus's traits, it's kind of uncanny (except the drool, thank goodness!). We've been working with him little bits at a time and not pushed him so that he freaks and we lose patience.

This summer he's spent a lot more time inside - partly to give him a break from the weather and partly to acclimate him to the house. The ultimate goal being him being able to sleep inside, if he is so inclined. He sits on command very well. And T also taught him to shake, which he will try and do even if you don't want to.

He's a 72 lb cuddle dog! He's real gentle and good natured, even when we try to mess with him. Given all of his good qualities, he's never been real comfortable in the bedroom, much less overnight with the door closed. Last weekend, after a trip to the vet left him recovering from sedation (he's fine, just doesn't like the vet), we decided to try him in the bedroom overnight.

He made it till 3:00 a.m. and promptly let T know that he needed to go outside. We were impressed. He was relatively quiet and learned to lay down and sleep without any destruction - that's always a good thing. On Saturday, we tried again and he made it till 3:30 a.m. He was barking in his sleep, which woke us up. Which in turn woke him up as we were trying to figure out what was going on, and out he went.

Last night, we tried again. And I'm not sure what made us try on a weeknight, other than he was being a good guy all evening. We turned out the lights and he roamed a little. He tried to either play with Copper or get in Rufus's bed (we're not sure which), and she promptly snapped at him. And he finally laid down in his bed and went to sleep.

I never heard him during the night. When my alarm went off, he came over and licked me on the face. I hit snooze without talking to him and he got back in his bed. So I'm not sure how it happened, but he learned snooze faster than anything else.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Total Ham!


I just got this picture of Navarre from the beach in August. You can't tell me she's not the cutest baby ever!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gustav's Guide to Hurricane Survival

This was an email sent to me by Addie. She's been working non-stop since Gustav hit (she works for a power company) and I know she needs a laugh to keep from going insane. I'm not in Baton Rouge but I have felt like I have been (minus the sweating from no AC). So I hope everyone else can appreciate these little bits of humor.

Lessons Learned During and After the Storm
  1. The hurricane grouch quotient can be calculated by adding the number of children and pets in a home without power, multiplied by the number of days quoted on the Entergy telephone recording, divided by the number of fans or portable air conditioners powered by your home generator, however if you were last in line at Home Depot and have no generator then multiply by the daily high for that day reported by either Pat Shingleton or Jay Grymes), then add the number of trips to the washateria and the days left until school opens. Discount by the percentage of time spent at neighbors who have power. Recalculate as often as necessary!

  2. No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.

  3. Vienna sausages only appear on the food pyramid during hurricane season.

  4. Gas mileage is recalculated based on miles per fume.

  5. Lovebugs do not disappear in 80mph wind gusts.

  6. Disasters can cancel one LSU football game but there will be even bigger casualties if we cancel two.

  7. Despite protests, kids can re-live their parents' youth when there were only 3 tv channels!

  8. Cats are even more irritating without power.

  9. Baton Rouge without traffic lights resembles Mexico City, Rome, Los Angeles and New York City all rolled into a single snarl.

  10. A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz beers to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 lb. turkey frozen for 8 more hours.

  11. There are/were a lot of really big trees around here!

  12. Just because you're 18 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you want. Mayor Holden meant business when he said curfew.

  13. People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.

  14. Calories consumed during a hurricane or power outage do not count.

  15. Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing. New Delhi does not check the weather report in Baton Rouge.

  16. Most popular text message after September 1: do u hve pwr

  17. Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!

  18. Crickets and cicadas can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.

  19. Dirty clothes in an unsupervised hamper multiply at an exponential rate.

  20. Coffee, spaghetti and frozen pizzas can be made on a grill.

  21. He who has the biggest generator wins.

  22. Tree service companies are under-appreciated, except after hurricanes.

  23. Our Lady of the Lake never closes. Really.

  24. Water will fill the Acadian Thruway underpass, even sometimes when it is not raining.

  25. There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.

  26. If you owned a store that sold only ice, chain saws, gas and generators, you would be rich

  27. With only a small amount of guilt South Louisiana can collectively pray a second hurricane to landfall in another state or country.

And so to our friends and families, some who are still without power and others who have endured great personal loss, you are in our prayers. Hang in there, we are making progress.

Thank you to all our first responders, healthcare professionals, service technicians, teachers, police officers, small business owners, and more who join with the thousands of individuals sharing their time and talent to help restore our community to wholeness.

The most important lesson of all learned from Gustav in the last week is that the human spirit has an amazing resilience that even a hurricane cannot bend. Through God's love and amazing grace we can endure all things.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I can just picture the expression on his face

T: The Ol' Ball Coach is pissed now.

me: Did he throw the visor?

T: Not yet, but he's adjusting the shit out of it.

me: haha

There will be no Saturday Night this week


The LSU game for this week against Troy has been postponed until November 15th. Tiger Stadium suffered a good deal of damage from Hurricane Gustav, although none of it appears to be structural. Awnings were ripped off of club level seats on the west side of the stadium. Windows were blown out and large divots were made to the field. The aren't sure about the scoreboard and lighting systems because there is no electricity to test them. The north scoreboard suffered some surface damage.

Logistically, it makes sense. I get it. But I've talked to a lot of people about this. I remember how I wanted football after Katrina. I can assure you, if Tiger Stadium was the only place in Baton Rouge with power, the 92,000 people who tried to fill it would be completely ok with that - as long as football is being played.

So it's hot... it's muggy... there's a huge mess to clean up...you can't get gas anywhere... oh and there's no football this weekend....

There is no rest for the weary after a hurricane.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

There are other places in Louisiana besides New Orleans

Hurricane Gustav by the numbers (taken from the front page of The Advocate - Baton Rouge's newspaper)

■ 91 mph — speed of highest sustained winds measured in Baton Rouge
■ 105 mph — highest wind speed measured, in Southwest Pass
■ 4 to 6 inches — general rainfall in south Louisiana
■ 14 inches — rainfall in Grand Isle
■ 300,000 — residents without power Monday night in East Baton Rouge Parish
■ 972,000 — minimum number of Entergy, DEMCO and Cleco customers in south Louisiana without power Monday night
■ 63,590 — number of people in shelters
■ 324 — number of shelters
■ 5 — number of other states where evacuees were taken
■ 85 — percentage of south Louisiana gas stations with no more in-ground fuel
■ 3 — supply, in days, of gasoline at state’s refineries
■ 400 — number of sheriff’s deputies and police officers slated to enforce overnight curfew in East Baton Rouge Parish.
■ 12,000 — number of National Guardsmen stationed in the Gulf Coast region for hurricane response

After talking with my parents, there are lots of trees down, but everyone is safe. And that's really the most important thing. This is the worst storm damage in Baton Rouge since Betsy in 1965. The eye of Gustav passed right over Baton Rouge. Since national media outlets are only covering New Orleans, I had to go to the hometown paper to find out what's going on in the rest of the state.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cathy Wood, Y'all!

Cathy was supposed to visit this weekend but couldn't due to Gustav. She needed to stay home and prepare and possibly evacuate. With her return planned for Monday night, she would have most likely been stranded in OK for a while

So as the storm strengthens and zeros in on the Louisiana coast, I just wish all my friends and family to be safe and prepare as best you can. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers. And if you want to evacuate to OKC, just let us know. I'm sure we can make the dogs share the couch.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rejuvenated!


There's nothing like a few compliments to get you going again. The last 10 days or so, I've not been real motivated to knit. I haven't even picked up the thing. It just sits there and taunts me. And then I thought, well, maybe I should knit. So I did, but not too much. Just a few rows here or there.


Then I get a compliment on my work from someone I don't know and it just lifts me up. I would say that I've focused on some of the technical aspects of my knitting the last couple of months. I feel like I'm making progress. I'm learning new techniques. I'm fixing mistakes. I'm taking my time to do things correctly instead of just flying through things. I'm trying to control things like tension and gauge (I know... this is all wah wah wah waahh to non-knitters).


But I guess I still don't think of myself as a Knitter. That's Knitter with a capital K. I still think of myself as a knitter, with a little k. I feel like there is so much more to learn. And when someone else who knits compliments you, well, it rejuvenates you! It makes me think that maybe I am learning and progressing and other people notice.


I guess to my point (or second point).... I've decided I need to finish what I'm working on right now so that I can move along to other projects that are smaller and maybe more fun. So I'm rejuvenated tonight. I've made a list of the things I need to complete this fall for gifts, and then I'm doing something strange....


I'm going to knit for me. I've never done that. I've always done things that became gifts for others. So my plan is to be done with all Christmas gifts by the end of November. Then it's all me!

Monday, August 25, 2008

None whatsoever....

What am I lacking? Well, lots. But at the moment, I'm lacking willpower. For the last 142 minutes I've been stalking Sarah. Well, not her personally, but her online yarn store. I've really held off, especially since she offered me free shipping on my next order. So in order to obtain that, I need a next order, right? Right!


So anyway, in the spirit of the upcoming football season, I'm made some inspired choices (even though I wanted everything). Do you think you know the teams I was thinking of when these choices were made?


Keep in mind this is hand-dyed yarn. It wasn't processed in some NCAA clearing house. Teams were my loose inspiration.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photos! Get your Photos!


I'm slowly but surely adding pics of the baby from the beach. You can find the link here. Keep checking back, because yes, I have more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

30 is the new 21!


Well, I'm not sure I want to be 21 again, but that's what I've been hearing. So since today is Stephanie's birthday (even though she refuses to admit it), let's everyone sing along....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR STEPHANIE!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Steph, I hope you have a wonderful day, even though this day is of no consequence and nothing about it is special (oh yes, please ignore the top of this post).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Games to Play While Watching a One Year Old at the Beach

We played a bunch of a games. We played let's-see-how-long-Auntie-can-keep-you-pinned-on-the-sofa. We also played let's-laugh-at-daddy-while-he-sleeps. But the game that had the most fun outcome was let's-take-pictures-of-the-baby-and-then-show-her-on-the-camera.

There will be more pictures, but blogger is being stupid right now. Click on the picture and it will take you to my photostream. I'll continue to add to these pictures.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Natural

The break in posting was due to a small vacation to Navarre Beach, Florida. And as you can tell, the baby named for the beach is a natural in the sand, water and sun. I took way too many pictures, so it's taking a while for me to edit them to manageable sizes and get them all uploaded. When I do, you'll get a link, I promise. But this one was too good not to share right away.

The Olympics are keeping me sleep deprived, but I am quite lucky in that my boss not only understands, but she is also in the same boat. So last night I was able to not only see the recap of the gymnastics that I fell asleep moments before, but I also watched Phelps tie the record for most golds and all the ensuing prostration at his feet.

Don't get me wrong, I think what he's done is absolutely amazing. It just makes me uncomfortable to watch people heap so much praise on one person straight to his face and then expect some kind of profound response. I give Phelps credit for actually having responses other than "yes, I do totally rock!" and "woo hoo!", both of which, I'd probably say.

Things Used to Scratch My Dry, Sunburned Back

  1. the ever popular door frame
  2. letter opener
  3. long handled spoon
  4. my boss
  5. knitting needle
  6. handle removed from the Swiffer mop

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Heard by a fly on the wall...

TV Announcer: "Don't miss the season premier of Grey's Anatomy September 25th..."

ME: "WOO HOO!"

T: "You do realize that is over a month away, right?"

ME: "There's football on TV and they are running ads for fall shows to return. I don't care if it's hotter than the surface of the sun outside. This means fall is right around the corner! WOO HOO!"

FOOTNOTE: We've set record high temperatures most of this week. If there actually was humidity here (the Louisiana kind, not the faux humidity they have here), people would just burst in flames if they stepped outside.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Knitting Updates

For those of you who don't care about the knitting, just close this page now. I've been knitting in secret and it's been killing me! But now that my recent projects have reached their final homes, I'm here to share.


First up is a sweater for Stephanie. And since she's outlawed her birthday this year (which is in 16 days and she'll be 30 - oh yes, I put it in print), I went ahead and gave her the sweater as a "you're a great person and this isn't for your birthday" present. I knew the pattern would be perfect for her, but it's hard to knit something in secret for someone that you talk to all the time without knowing sizes and dimensions. I think I came close. I apologized to her today in case she thought I was checking her out a couple of weeks ago.


The color of the yarn, I loved. And I knew she'd like it too, but I had originally bought this yarn for another project to be completed for Christmas. When she saw it, she oooo'd and aaaahhh'd over it. So I thought, I'll just switch. I had equal amounts for each similar project, so it worked. And yes, it is the same pattern as Leslie Christmas sweater. When I saw the pattern, I knew it was perfect for both of them.


My latest FO is a dozen eggs for Stephanie's son Mason. His birthday is on Friday and because we will be in Florida, we won't be able to attend his party. Eggs, you ask? Well, Mase likes to play with cooking related items. In fact, he's asked for some more eggs. He currently has wooden ones. So one dozen, colorful eggs, coming right up! There is even one with an "M" on it for him. I also dyed some yarn for the very first time and it made it's way into the dozen.


That scary looking M is my first attempt at intasaria, and of course, I had to start with stranding in the round, without any kind of pattern. Apparently, I like the punishment. But it worked out after a couple of go rounds. The first box is all cottons I had lying around the house. Frankly, I don't know why I had them other than they were cheap because they weren't used for anything. Well, not true. I used the yellow for a penguin I made for Mason last year. The only wool is that small purple stripe, which was left over from Leslie's sweater.


The second box features mostly wools. The top left red is leftover organic merino from Navarre's Baby Surprise Jacket (finished in early July, posts and pictures to come later). However, it wasn't originally red. I DYED IT MYSELF! The white bits weren't supposed to be there, but I'll say they were and it's just how I wanted it to turn out. The bottom left is the tiny, tiny bit I had left over from Stephanie's sweater. I was actually sweating whether I would have enough to finish her sweater. But I did and now Mase has a matching egg!

The purple is the same wool left over from Leslie's sweater. It's Dream In Color Classy, the same as Steph's sweater. For a semi-solid, you can't beat Dream In Color. I'm always happy when I open a box of Dream In Color. The bottom right egg is Malabrigo Silk... because every little boy needs a knitted egg made of silk, right?

I've finished a couple other things, but because they are gifts, I can't post right away. Of course, I will when they are given out. I love giving knitted gifts to people who really appreciate them. I don't know if I can explain how much their joy makes me so happy!

Enough yarn.... for now!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Frantz

Shelly and Travis tied the knot over the weekend. For pictures, check out Stephanie's blog here. Since her husband Nick was the photographer, we've got some quick access to pictures!

Congratulations to you both! I hope you are not reading this and enjoying your time on the beach!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Guess who turned 1 year old today! Yep, that's right. My niece, Navarre, had her first birthday today. She had a party in Baton Rouge with family and friends. We weren't able to make it there this weekend, but we will be there next weekend!

I hope to share some pictures soon with birthday cake smeared all over her face and head. She's real good at that, so I'm sure they didn't have a problem with it.

And one week from today, we will all be relaxing on the beach.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Frizzhead Cheesepants

Today is just one of those days. I'd think it was Monday, if I didn't know it was Wednesday. This morning while trying to fix my hair, it just wasn't happening. Turns out the weather today is one of those hot, muggy, thick air days that are so common during the summer in Louisiana, but rare here. So not only am I sporting just a ponytail of crazy hair, but it also needed to be tamed with a headband.

I get to work and things are going fine. I went to the fridge to get my mid-morning snack. My snack is a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and Melba Rounds. For those of you not familiar with this particular cheese, it's a small wedge of spreadable cheese that is low in calories but oh so tasty!

I'm sitting at my desk, unwrapping the little wedge when it flies out of the foil packaging. What do you do when you drop something into your lap? You automatically shut your legs to catch it. Well, I turned my cheese wedge into a cheese blob. ALL OVER MY PANTS!

I'm wearing dark denim so it doesn't scream CHEESEPANTS... but I'm not sure I intended my snack to be garlic, herb and denim cheese on Melba rounds. There is no telling what this kind of afternoon will hold. I envision spilling something on my shirt.... but well, that's a given!

UPDATE: Stephanie, I think you'd love Laughing Cow cheese. HA!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blending in while wearing pink

I like pink. That shouldn't be a big shock to anyone. Dressy clothes - pink. Casual clothes - pink. You know... just a lot of pink.

Well, this past weekend, that was a good thing. In fact, it was assumed I was part of the larger group even though I wasn't. I went to Dallas this past weekend to visit Julie (oh and to shop if there was time). Julie was in town for the Mary Kay convention.

Mary Kay = Pink

I had a good time and met some very nice ladies from New Jersey who sell Mary Kay. Julie and I got to catch up. I even got to stop at IKEA and a couple of local yarn stores. All in all, a very good trip!

Julie, Karen & Jeanine - I had a great trip! Thanks!!

P.S. No, I did not attend the conference. And no, I do not sell Mary Kay now. If you'd like to place an order, contact Julie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

GGTV


After years of vacationing in Florida, Leslie coined the phrase "GGTV". It came about after being able to find Golden Girls on at least one channel during any time of the day. And while in Florida, we watch a lot of GGTV. We each are associated with our own character. I'll let you decide who you think resembles whom.

But it is a sad day as I report that Estelle Getty, who portrayed Sophia Petrillo, has passed away. She was 84 and, ironically, the youngest of all the Golden Girls.

Monday, July 21, 2008

FINALLY!

Here are some pictures.... FINALLY!
"Avocados are yummy.... yeah, avocados... that what it is!"

"woo hoo! doggies!"

"Copper, I love you... Give me a kiss!"

"But Daddy! I need more kisses from Copper!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Falcones have landed!

Yesterday when I got home from work, I was greeted by Leslie, Jamie, Navarre and 7,000 toys and pieces of baby paraphernalia. We spent last night just relaxing and getting them unpacked and clothes washed, etc.

Navarre hasn't met the dogs yet, one on one, but we did open the door so she could see them. She got this big, excited look of awe on her face and looked at Leslie, as if to say "THAT'S A DOG! AND IT'S RIGHT THERE! AND I'M THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WHOLE WORLD!"

Tonight, we'll probably introduce them. I'll have the camera ready.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Countdown...


I've been looking for a good countdown clock to add to the blog, to countdown the start of the LSU football season. I am quite excited about football, but I must say that I don't know if I'm as excited as usual. I'm not preoccupied with all the preseason what-ifs that always come up.

And I think I've figured out why. This article articulates what I wasn't quite able to. Probably why this guy is a sports writer and I'm just a sports watcher.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Route 66 Icon

Living in Oklahoma, we aren't far from Route 66. In fact, one of the newest icons along Route 66 opened last year. It's a gas station, restaurant, convenience store and all around neat place to visit in a nice, ultra modern package called Pops.

I took Jolie and Aunt Betty to visit over the weekend. In fact, we made 2 trips. The big feature is the 66 foot soda bottle that is cool in the daytime but lights up at night. Also at Pops, they have just about any kind of bottle soft drink you can think of. They boast they have nearly 500 different varieties. Looking for 5 flavors of Jolt Cola? Well, Pops has them all.

It was a pretty neat trip. I recommend it to anyone in the area. For the Route 66 enthusiasts out there, it's just west of the Round Barn in Arcadia.

I'll add some pictures from the visit tonight.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Afternoon Musings

Stephanie : "I don't want to be known as the girl with the sores."

Nicole: [no response...laughing too hard and not breathing]

UPDATE: This conversation snippet was not edited. These two lines (or one followed by a reaction) occurred exactly like this. HOWEVER, there was a conversation before this that led up to her statement. On previous trips to a certain fast food establishment, I noticed one particular employee that had sores on her hands/arms. I did mention this to Stephanie on my return to work. So today, while in the car, she said, "Is that the girl with the sores?" I replied, "yes". This brings us to the start of the post. So no, Stephanie does not have sores. She has implied that I made it sound like she does. I just wanted to make sure I was clear that she was clear. I believe this is how "misquotes" happen in the news.

201

I was just given the directive to blog about something because Stephanie is "so over the cups." Which is funny coming from the person who blogs even less than I do! And frankly, I might make my crystal punch cups my new background because, they really are fabulous. But I digress.

My friend Cathy is coming to visit for Labor Day weekend and I'm extremely excited. She sent me her airline itinerary yesterday via email. I read it and replied to that email with this phrase:

WOOT! CATHY WOOD, Y'ALL! CATHY WOOD, Y'ALL!
I know it doesn't make much sense to you, but Cathy would know what I'm talking about it. A few minutes later I get an email from Orbitz Customer Service letting me know that they had received my email and would respond within 24 hours to my question. Yep, turns out I sent my nonsense phrase to Orbitz, not Cathy.

About two hours later, Kevin in the Customer Service department sent me an email.
Thank you for contacting Orbitz. I have received this e-mail and believe that you may have intended it to be delivered to someone else. I would like to make sure that your correspondence reaches the intended parties.

If this email was intended for customer service, we are unsure of your question.

Sincerely,
Kevin
Orbitz TLC Team

Apparently, my nonsense email didn't make sense to Kevin. Which makes me feel a little better, actually. I would hate for my inside joke with Cathy to be widely understood.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Party Time

Party Time! Excellent! The shower went off without a hitch. It was a rather subdued group but fun, nonetheless. Stephanie and I both showed up with punch, so the punchbowl was full. And I'd like everyone to take time to marvel at my lovely punch bowl. It was a wedding gift from my Aunt Betty and Aunt Diane (my mom's sisters). Had we still been in Louisiana, I'm sure it would have been used by now for various and sundry occasions, namely showers.

Well, today was the first occasion I've ever had to take it out of the box. So I was extremely happy to have that chance. Doesn't it look lovely. I forgot to take a picture of it filled with punch. It's still nice anyway.


Shelly got a lovely array of gifts and it was good to see some people that I haven't seen in a while. All in all, it was a nice afternoon.


There is also another reason to celebrate. This is my 200th post. WOOT! The posts really add up after a while.

Our Life in Oklahoma so far - 26 months of marriage, 25 months in Oklahoma, 13 months blogging, 1 niece and 200 posts!

Showtime!

So I've managed to have everything finished and be ready to go earlier than I need to leave for the bridal shower today. I guess planning and giving myself enough time will actually pay off. I've only got to do minimal finishing stuff once I get there.

Now, I just have to load the car. I feel like I'm bringing half my kitchen. Well, at least a 3rd of it. So I've got 30 minutes to load the car. I think it's doable, I just need to do.... so here I go. Hopefully I will have some pictures to share later. I will add my camera to the list of things I need to pack!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Next year in Omaha...

...we're going to win it all. Knowing that we have all these great, young players returning, I think next year will be the year for the Tigers. If you didn't already know, LSU lost last night to North Carolina. It took over 25 hours to get the game underway, due to 2, YES TWO, rain delays. We looked good early but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

T and I decided earlier in the week that we were going to Omaha next year, even if only for the opening weekend. Considering we are half way there (from Baton Rouge, that is), we knew that we needed to do it while we are in Oklahoma.

My yarn, not yams, that I purchased earlier in the week is on its way. I'm very excited to see it. I've been on quite a yarn jag lately. Granted, some of it is for presents. Some of it is purely because it's wonderful. I should have projects lined up out the door and I do to an extent. But I think I have a couple more floating around in the back of my head too. I started a pair of socks for myself. Yes, you read right. ME! I'm knitting something for me! WOOT!

I also have a sweater on the needles for Navarre. I needed additional yarn, which I purchased directly from the yarn source at a great price, but I have to wash it before I can knit. And I haven't done that. So as soon as my yarn gets a bath, I'll get back to the sweater. I need to have that finished for her birthday, but I've got a holiday weekend coming up so I'm pretty sure that will not be a problem. Well, I'll need it for her birthday celebration in July when they are here.

Anyway, I'm cooking for a bridal shower that I'm co-hosting tomorrow. So I guess I need to get back to it....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

YAMS

I've been told that my blog doesn't contain enough yams. So here you go.... YAMS! In fact, LOUISIANA YAMS (more commonly known as sweet potatoes in Louisiana)!


Typical Thursday

Nicole: "did you see my blog post of the yarns i bought last night?"

Claudia: "no! will look now"

[pause]

Claudia: "OMG I thought you said YAMS!"

Nicole: "Why would i show off yams?"

Claudia: "I DON'T KNOW! THAT'S WHY I RUSHED TO READ IT"

UPDATE: Apparently, we do actually share a brain. We posted at almost the same time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm a lurker

Last week some time, I came around the corner of the hallway headed to our bedroom. That part of the hallway is dark and I didn't notice T standing there. So he scared me and I screamed in sort of a slow motion, exaggerated scream. I immediately started laughing, as did he.


I asked why he was just lurking in the hallway. He insisted that he wasn't. I insisted he was. We laughed and left it at that.


So this evening, I find myself lurking. But this time I'm lurking a yarn store online. One of my favorite yarn shops, featuring hand dyed yarns from a very nice lady in Detroit, was posting a shop update tonight. I made sure I was online at 7pm to see what she had to offer. And for the last hour, I've been hitting refresh every 30 seconds or so to see what she had to offer. I did purchase some things, although I lost out on a second skein of yarn that I was going to use for a gift. Apparently, things can be taken out of your cart before you actually purchase them on etsy.



Anyway, I made a purchase and one of the skeins will turn into a Christmas gift. The other, I'm not sure about. It was originally going to be a gift when I thought I had two skeins of it, but now I'm not sure.




I guess I'm the lurker now. Are you lurking somewhere online? Tell me where....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why you shouldn't listen to the College World Series at work

I couldn't be in front of a TV for today's elimination game of the College World Series, so I did the next best thing. I pulled up streaming audio of my favorite play by play guy, Jim Hawthorne. So for the last 3 hours, I've been listening to the game while working.

It's not like basketball where you have to hear everything to understand what's going on. You hear the gist of each batter. Well, lo and behold, the Tigers made their way back. Up until this point, my cheers have been mild and just a fist pump here or there. There wasn't too much to cheer wildly for, anyway.

Well, as Dean comes up to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9, the gentleman that rents an office in our building comes out to tell me about his schedule for the rest of the week. He is slightly hard of hearing and doesn't hear my computer speakers, as they are low and pointing away from him. He proceeds to tell me that he will be out of the office on Thursday and Friday.

My response? A loud cheer as I jump out of my chair, my arms above my head. Turns out, he tells me this right as Dean gets his double, scoring the go ahead runs.

When I look at his face and see the shock, I immediately start laughing and explain to him the situation. He did chuckle like he understood, but I think it scared him a little. He's a theater person, not a sports person. So my devotion to baseball, college baseball at that, is a little puzzling to him.

And I'm sure this is why I shouldn't have been listening at work. But I guess it's better than pretending I had a doctor's appointment and not being here at all!

Monday, June 9, 2008

On the Road Again....

Well, actually we are off the road for now. At least as far as I know. We spent this past weekend back in Baton Rouge. It was unplanned and last minute. My Paw Paw passed away this past Thursday morning (June 5th). He had been sick for a long time.

Actually if you asked Paw Paw, he was always sick. He probably hired and fired every doctor in Baton Rouge. But I guess that was part of his charm. Paw Paw loved his tractor and his garden and his dog, Pa'put (all of them). And he didn't like paying $15 for a haircut. He thought that was too much, so one Easter he let me cut it. It didn't matter that I'd only cut Leslie's hair in a straight line before.

Paw Paw always liked meeting my friends from all over the country and would tell colorful stories and entertain them while Mee Maw prepared a down home Louisiana feast. And when I built my house in Baton Rouge and only lived 15 minutes from them, he would always drive by the house and check on things for me (didn't matter if I was home on not).

So on top of the normal Monday blahs, I'm tired (1400 miles in 58 hours) and sad.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Weekend Pics

As it turns out, I didn't take too many pictures while we were in BR last weekend. Actually, not many at all. The baby was sick and not wanting to be followed by a paparazzo. So I tried to keep it to a minimum. But here are two cute ones.



This last picture is of Leslie's very belated Christmas gift. I am happy with the fit and so was she. I, however, would probably have shortened the sleeves a little. If she wants me to do that, I will. But as of right now, the sweater resides in Halifax.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Typical Monday

Claudia: "Well, I figured grapes with hats deserve a fun font."

me: "Nothing scream FUN like grapes with hats!"

me: "Except maybe a banana with a microphone.... cause the microphone is loud..."

Claudia: "Word!"

Sultans of Swing

The Tigers swept through their Regional in a blaze of home runs, amazing defense and ace pitching. While listening to the game under our tree 200 yds from the stadium, LSU's crackpot radio announcer comes up with another jewel, "I wish you could have seen that play!" Apparently, having to listen to him wasn't enough of an insult. Now he has to rub it in our face that we aren't IN the game.

Anyway, it was a nice, quick trip. We got to see a lot of people. Thanks to everyone who adjusted their schedules and went out of the way to see us. And for those that we couldn't see, we will be back! It was short notice and a lot to do in a little bit of time.

I'll have a few pictures to put online later. The baby was sick, poor thing. So we don't have a ton of them like I did at Christmas. But I'll put them up in the next couple of days. We were only gone a couple of days, but it's amazing how out of touch it makes you feel. I'm trying to get back in the groove.

For those of you not aware, T starts a new job tomorrow. He's enjoying his last Monday off today. Poor thing will have to go back to regular weekends and holidays off. Sad, huh? When we have new contact info for him, we'll let everyone know.

LSU takes on the UC Irvine Ant Eaters (not making that mascot up) next weekend for the final weekend of baseball at Alex Box Stadium. It holds a lot of baseball history, but the steel frame that is up of the New Alex Box along with the return of successful baseball tells me that there will be plenty more memories created in the new stadium. And they might even air condition the bathrooms! WOOT

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

Driving home from work this evening, T calls me. He says "um... we have a problem...." So I ask what the problem is. Imagine my shock and horror when he tells me the house is filled with gas. Apparently, the nob on the stove wasn't turned off all the way.

He opened all the windows and turned off everything and the house was aired out by the time I got home. We don't know when it happened. We weren't in the kitchen this morning. And we didn't use the stove last night. So the only thing I can think is that B might have hit it by mistake. We aren't really sure at this point....

All we know is that the house could have blown up.... so I just thought of another negative to having a gas stove.....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's a Gold Out!

With LSU Baseball's return to postseason play and 20-game win streak, the talk of the town (well, Baton Rouge not Oklahoma City) is the last Regional to be hosted at the old Alex Box Stadium.

Since my family is descending on Baton Rouge from various places around the continent, I thought it was time that the blog got into shape as well. So the month of June will feature a GOLD OUT (wear GOLD this weekend, people) on the blog as we cheer LSU on to Omaha!

GEAUX TIGERS!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Bloggiversary!

Well, I managed to forget our bloggiversary. On May 13th, this little blog was a year old. Thanks to those who read because they know us. Also, thanks to those who read because they like to read.

We have started our third year in Oklahoma and I think we are finally feeling like we fit in. Well, as much as we can fit in. Somethings we just don't want to emulate.

Stay tuned.... I have no idea what will happen next. If anyone does, let me know so I can prepare for it (well, scurry around at the last minute and complain about my own procrastination).

Coming To A Campus Near You!

LSU Baseball is on a roll. An 18 game roll to be exact. So word on the street is that LSU is getting a Regional. For the final season at Alex Box Stadium, it seems very apropos. Talking to my to my sister a couple of weeks ago, she said "Man! I'd hate to miss the last Regional at The Box!"

Background: We spent many consecutive years tailgating and enjoying the entire weekend of LSU Baseball that is the NCAA Regional tournament through the years. We tailgated with family friends at the 4th large oak tree to the south of the stadium! However, this all ended when LSU Baseball was no longer the juggernaut it had been and quit making post-season play. LSU will open next season at it's new state of the art baseball stadium across the street and up the road a bit.

So a couple of days later she finds me online at work and sends me an instant message. "I've got enough SkyMiles and they'll expire before I can use them for anything else. Navarre and I are going to be in Baton Rouge. Are you?" My answer? "Yes, I'll be there!"

When I got home that night, I was talking to T about it and he said "well, I want to go!" So here we are several weeks later with two plane tickets. We are flying into New Orleans next Thursday night. We won't be in Baton Rouge until around midnight (provided our flights are on time). But that will give us full days on Friday and Saturday. We head back to Oklahoma on Sunday, just in time for work on Monday.

So if you are in the area, please find us with the large group of people, a 10 month old baby and possibly a large dog that could be mistaken for a small horse at the 4th large oak tree south of The Box.

Geaux Tigers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On the DL

I've been knitting a lot the last couple of nights. I finished a Christmas project over the weekend, which is good since I'm already ahead of the game (at least for now). I've also started on another project that I wasn't planning on but am happy to do. My grandmother requested something for my great aunt for Christmas and I'm happy to oblige.

Who knew Nicole Knitted Christmas Gifts were the hot ticket for the holidays?

So all day today, my arm has slowly been hurting more and more. And of course it's the arm attached to my bad shoulder (thank you, big time car accident). I didn't think too much about it but was trying to stretch it out like I've been instructed to in the past.

I stopped by my friend's salon to notarize something for her (Yep, I'm a notary. Impressive, huh? Yeah, not really.) I mention my bum arm and she starts a little massage on my shoulder and quickly finds a large source of pain in my arms, not my actual shoulder. She asks, "do you do any low motion repetitive motion?" My response? "DUH!" Well, that's not really what I said but what I was thinking since I've knit stuff for her too.

Anyway, so she gave me stretches and we worked on it and it felt better. I get home, eat dinner and settle in for some evening knitting. And then it hit me.... the pain.... the dull aching pain...

So I put it down and have been joying the Wednesday night lineup of season finales. Let's just say, I'd rather be knitting....

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's Monday...

...and since Monday's are usually blah for me, I thought I'd share a few pictures that I've had on my camera for the last 2 or 3 months. I took this picture and immediately thought, "This is what fly heaven must look like!"


But really, it's just my first peony of the season! I was quite excited to have some blooms form at the end of April. And the day after I took these pictures, we had a huge rain storm and hail, which pelted this guy to smithereens, but at least I got to enjoy the beauty and fragrance for a couple of days. Our whole front entry way smelled of these few flowers.


I do have a lot more pictures on my camera and have really been avoiding downloading them because my last pictures of Rufus are on there. But I finally did download them and while seeing pictures of him playing made me happy knowing he played up until the end, I was also just overcome with sadness that I thought I was passed.

These pictures were taken 2 and half weeks before he passed away. And I know the playing ones are blurry, but the Old Man rarely stopped moving!



Sunday, May 18, 2008

Apparently too cold is a problem!

Friday night, T loaded more canned Diet Coke into the fridge. It would be prime drinking temp in the morning. I woke up on Saturday and after a little while, I went to grab one of these frosty Diet Coke's to drink. The only problem was that it wasn't any colder on Saturday morning than it was on Friday night. Well, that's not good.

So I tried various things, including a phone call to Dad to diagnose the problem. Since the freezer was working just fine, Dad and I decided the best route was to unload the fridge contents into an ice chest to keep cool and turn off the fridge portion and let it "rest" for a while. I also dusted coils and vacuumed, etc. After 3 hours, I kicked it back on and NOTHING!

Since my first diagnostic route didn't work, I tried my second - the Internet. Yes, you, Internet. Apparently you hold the answer to everything. After googling several different things, I got up to check to see if the freezer was TOO COLD and yep, it was. The freezer was frozen up, thus blocking the fan to blow cold air into the fridge.

At this point, T was home and we unloaded the freezer into the freezer outside and turned the whole thing off. We opened the freezer door, put towels on the floor and left it. We woke up this morning to soaking wet towels on the floor, but a completely defrosted refrigerator. I mopped up all the water and plugged her back in.

VOILA! Internet, you were right. It was our freezer being too cold that caused our fridge to be too hot. We are hoping that maybe it just didn't get closed well enough one night. If that's not the case, it could be a list of other parts that I read about. So we'll just keep an eye on it. At least for now, we have the free fix. And that's always best!!

And as I report this, I am enjoying a frosty cold Diet Coke!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A shout out!

Hey Mrs. Toni! Mom says you read the blog, and I thought I'd say thanks for that.

So, THANKS!

If you'd like to comment, just click on the link that says "comments" at the bottom. You can sign in with the Name/URL button. Just put your name and what you'd like to say. You can leave the URL line blank. Then click "Publish Your Comment" and you're done.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A different perspective

Last night in the trauma that I'll call a drive home, I heard the best thing on the radio that I've heard in 2 years of listening to storm coverage. It's 5:15 and the height of the rush hour commute. All heck is breaking loose at the TV station and you can hear that on the radio. The chief weather dude keeps telling people to stay at work and get off the road, etc. You can hear the doomsday approaching in his voice.

Just then, the second weather dude says in a very calm voice, "I know there are a lot of kids at home waiting on mom and dad and you don't need to be afraid. We've been through this a couple of times this year already. You just need to get to your lowest level and center room. Turn the TV real loud so you can hear us and we'll be with you through it. We just want to be cautious. There isn't a reason to be scared."

So the chief weather dude comes back on after apparently regaining control of himself and taking to heart what the other guy said. I know it helped calm me and I'm an adult (by age anyway). I must say, that statement made me think a little better of the television show interrupting folks.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Commute from Hell

It's been raining all day. So the drive in this morning was slower because people freak out when it's raining. About 4:00 pm, there was a huge blast of hail, but it's Spring in Oklahoma, so I didn't think much about it.

I noticed that traffic was heavier, earlier in the day, but I didn't think much of it. If the weather is bad, they'll certainly tell us on the radio, right? So I was locking up the front door and walking to my car enjoying a cookie, when I heard the tornado sirens going off just south of my office.

I got in the car and headed east towards the house. I was looking at blue sky but the ugly stuff was to my back (west). About 2 minutes after I got in the car, not only did they break into the music to say that we were under a tornado warning, but they joined the weather simulcast. Yes, now they are pre-empting radio too. I joke, but I knew at that point it was serious. Even more so because I was in my car, which isn't exactly the safest place to be.

I'm trying to get home as quickly as possible when I remember that my gas light had come on that morning on the way into work and I didn't want to stop because of the rain. So I stopped to get gas and tried to hurry so that I could get home.

As I hear death and destruction on the radio (100+ mph winds hitting the TV station and hearing them freak out), I'm starting to get a little freaked. I can see blue sky ahead of me. I'm right on the edge of the weather. In my rear view is nothing but black.

I'm starting to relax a little as the people on the radio calm down a little. It's only sprinkling where I'm at, but my blue sky is getting a little hazy. Just then there is a HUGE bolt of lightening that crackles to the south of me and then spreads across the sky. Then the radio chirps with another tornado warning east of me.

Yes, Internet, my blue sky turned into another storm. I gripped the steering wheel so tight, I'm only now getting the blood flow back into my fingers. At that point, I was about 6 miles from home, so I hit the gas!

I did get home and promptly curled up in the fetal position with the covers pulled up over my head.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO T!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO T!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR TEEEEEEEE!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO T!

Last night we celebrated with boiled crawfish and a homemade cookie cake. So thanks to T for driving our dinner all the way back from Louisiana and thanks to the most failsafe foodie website for a phenomenal chocolate chip cookie recipe that I made into a cake (one large cookie).

I've never made anything from Smitten Kitchen that I didn't really love. When someone takes a bite of a cookie and pauses to say "Oh my goodness! Did you make this?", you know you've not only found a winning recipe but a winning source for recipes. From handmade pizza and homemade oreos to spicy Chinese noodle dishes, you will find something you just have to make when you visit the site!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Such a nasty habit

The more time B spends inside, the more his personality is coming to light. And yes, apparently he has a personality that is more than screaming "PET ME. PET ME. PET ME! LOVE ME! PET ME! LOVE ME!"

However, his one real issue is that he likes to try and steal my ball of yarn. And while part of me secretly wishes he was trying to start a yarn stash because he knits when we aren't in the room, I know that is not true. I have not found one project he's working on.

In reality, I know he just wants to run off with it because when he does, my head spins around and then flies off my head., shooting sparks like a firework on the 4th of July. Apparently, that's just fun for him.

Copper just shakes her head at him and says "Dude, not the yarn...anything but the yarn."

Sheeee's baaaaack!

With the loss of Rufus, it's understandable that Copper hasn't quite been her self for the last week and some change. She hasn't eaten very much and has been real patient and sweet with B. And for those of you who know her, well, that's not like Copper. She didn't earn a reputation as a biatch for no reason.

She could NOT stand Rufus when he first came to us. And with reason, all he wanted was to be petted and loved on and included (much like B currently is). And although she didn't want to petted and loved on, she didn't want any other dog to be so either. It's her world and we just live in it, or so she thought. Rufus quickly changed all of that. And after years of being together, she came to love him when he would tackle her to play even if she was giving him the "I hate you" glare.

The more B comes inside and is included in things, the more Copper reverts to her old self. In fact, last night she was downright feisty and biatch like. So while the nice, sweet, lovable dog is a joy to have around, it's just not Copper. We're glad to have her back - warts and all.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Grey's Anatomy Recap

Well, I'd recap last night's episode if I could. But there was a line of bad storms and while it did go through the metro, it was to the west of us. And because there was "rotation" in the system, we didn't get to see anything on TV last night except weather guys.

You know, I get it. I do. These storms are dangerous and people need to be warned. My question is this. Why can't once the storm has passed a specific area, can the pre-empting only occur in the danger zones? At 8 pm, the weather was to the north of us AND THE METRO. Did I get to see Grey's Anatomy? No, ma'am. I did not.

I get that Stillwater had bad weather bearing down on them, but why not have them watch the weather guys and just let us see the program. And if the weather geeks around here want to see the continual coverage, maybe offer it on another channel. Just an idea....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It will be the end of me!

I have a nemesis. That nemesis is filing. I. CANNOT. STAND. FILING.

I'm not sure if I'm being clear about this. But anyone who has ever worked with me will attest to the back-logged piles of paper that must be dealt with. Or anyone who has ever been in to my home to see the mail monster that resides on every flat surface, for that matter!

If I was locked in a room and my only way out was to file all the papers to find the hidden key, I may never make it out of that room. I know you think I'm exaggerating, but what am I doing today instead of filing? Well, I'm telling YOU about it. Thanks, Internet, for helping with my procrastination.

Oh new blog design? Yep, courtesy of filing hatred.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not exactly how it was planned

Seeing as it was our anniversary last night, T was going to drive into OKC and meet me at work. We'd then enjoy a dinner of sushi at our favorite sushi place across town. After he left work, he had to stop by the house and make sure fix-it guy came and then he'd be on his way. I expected him about 6.

I had a couple of errands to run but would be back to the office (where he would meet me and we'd leave a car) by 5:45. At 5:38, my cell phone rings as I'm headed back to the office. He's talking in short, one or two word sentences and not making a lot of sense. I can tell he's really mad so I'm worried that he's been in an accident.

He calms down enough to tell me that fix-it guy didn't come. He'll call us tomorrow. Yeah, let's don't even start on that one. Ok, so next thing. He's on the side of the road and his truck is not working. His back tires were locking up and when one of them was smoking when he stopped. He was probably a mile from the house. So I said that I'm on my way but since I'm not back to my office (which I have to lock up), it will probably be 45 minutes before I'm there.

So about 35 minutes later and when I'm almost there, he calls me from home to tell me he got it to the house once it cooled off. We rethink dinner plans and decide to go to the steakhouse located in the close by casino. It's a very nice restaurant and a special occasion kind of place.

We find a parking spot right by the door, so Smith Luck is changing! We get upstairs and the steakhouse is closed. oooooookkkkkk. So to the sports bar we go. Our anniversary dinner was a cheesburger for me and a turkey sandwhich for him. BUT it was 2 for 1 domestic beers, so yay.

To the casino floor we go, thinking our luck certainly has to change. Well, not on the slots for me. It took my money as fast as I could press that little button. T did OK at the blackjack tables - he broke even. So all in all, we probably spent the same amount of money we would have on sushi but not exactly the evening we had in mind.

As for the truck, T drove it to the shop in Harrah about a mile from our house and then rode his bicycle home. There are real advantages to living in a small town sometimes - at least living IN THE TOWN and not on the outskirts.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where did the time go?


Two years ago today, T and I were saying "I do." I can't believe it's gone so quickly. And because he's the most wonderful husband ever, he sent me the flowers above today as a surprise.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Relay for Life Update

When the Harrah Relay for Life started up this year, our community goal was $55,000. And we ended the planning and fundraising of the last six months on Friday night. I am extremely happy to report that our small community of 10,000 people raised over $85,000!

Thanks to everyone who helped me raise money. I know that none of the money (other than my own) came from Harrah and I appreciate everyone, everywhere who helped.

Thanks!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Longest. Week. Ever.

This really has been the longest week ever. It has been completely exhausting but gone in the blink of an eye. I capped off my week of practically no sleep by staying up all night for the Harrah Relay for Life. It was hard but for a good cause.

We just want to thank everyone for the kind words and sympathy regarding Rufus. He was a part of our family. And I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about all the good times with him and the completely hilarious things he would do. I also remember how it was in the beginning with him - it wasn't exactly easy. You just couldn't pet him enough. He always wanted more.

There are lots of stories that I want to share and I may some day, but right now, we're just sad.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We tried


Rufus Louque Smith
1993-2008

He loved our dirty clothes, especially towels, so we wrapped him up one night and he slept like this. We laughed when we covered him but he was so content that night.

He went peacefully in his sleep last night. Thanks to everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers. They mean the world to us.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cautious Optimism


Yes, Rufus is giving me a kiss in this picture. And I hope that he'll be able to do the same again sometime soon. As of 6 pm, he is doing better than he was this morning. He's making progress, although not as quickly as the vet would like. But progress is progress and we'll give it to Old Man for hanging in there.

He's not in pain. They are giving him meds for that. Right now they are still flushing his system to get rid of the toxic ammonia. Tomorrow they will redo the blood work to see if some of his low levels have come up and some of his high levels have gone down. And after that, they are going to start him on some liver boosting meds. They will also do some radiographs (fancy word for x-rays) of his chest to see if there is any damage and what is going on. He does have fluid in his abdomen but priority #1 today was rehydration and reversing the liver and kidney failure - or at least starting the process.

He is better because he was reacting to me when I got there. He tried to get up (and couldn't naturally) and he wagged his tail a little, which is really huge from where we were at 5 am today. So I am choosing to be cautiously optimistic.