Monday, March 30, 2009

Things I Did This Weekend

The title makes it sound like I actually did stuff this weekend, huh? After our whirlwind weekend last weekend, I was determined to do as little as I could get away with this weekend. Having it rain 75% of the time really helped me attempt to achieve my goal.

Saturday, I got in an afternoon run on the elliptical. No rest for the too fat and lazy. I haven’t slacked off of the exercise at all, but after our weekend in Georgia, my eating habits have been on a downhill slide. I gained almost three pounds over that weekend. THREE POUNDS!! But you know, without the pecans, pralines are basically pure sugar. I wonder why I gained so much weight!!! Anywho, Saturday night I did something that I haven’t done in a looong time. I actually planned to and sat down to watch a movie. Sex and the City was on HBO and I enjoyed a girlie night to myself on the couch. Glass of wine in hand, candles lit, and the windows open to a fantastic night breeze, I enjoyed watching the movie all by myself. The Mister was on the computer or something and the girls were in their rooms playing. It was really nice. And the movie was pretty okay. For a chick flick, you couldn’t really ask for more. It was very predictable though.

Sunday, the Mister and I hit the commissary and then he disappeared for a marathon paper writing session. I, however, sat down to read Twilight on my Kindle app. I’m almost done with it and I have to laugh at how many times Meyers uses the words “beauty” and “beautiful”. It gets to the point where the meaning is completely lost. It’s just like when you say, “I’m sorry” all the time and people stop believing you after a while. I was prepared to thoroughly dislike this book. I began reading it keeping in mind that the intended audience is tweens and teenagers. In fact, that’s why I decided to read this book at all, because my 12, soon to be 13 year old daughter, wants to read it and I wanted to read it first before I gave her permission. I can see why it would appeal to teen girls but I really could take it or leave it. The dialogue comes off as being fake 90% of the time and Meyers has yet to make me care about the characters. Also, I dislike how much she has deviated from the traditional vampire myths and legends. I don’t mind creativity but her take on vampirism comes off as too contrived. It’s as if she was trying to be different just for the sake of being different. Whether or not I read any of the other books in the series depends on whether or not the oldest child wants to continue reading them. Twilight is too easy to put down to make me want to read the rest of them for myself.

As for the rest of my Sunday, I washed my car. It was such a gorgeous afternoon that I wanted to spend some of it outdoors so I decided to clean off all the bug guts from the drive too and from GA. It was disgusting. The really irritating part is that as soon as I was done washing my car, it had a layer of pollen all over it. Pollen freaking sucks. I also got my garage cleaned out AGAIN, so that I could park my car inside of it. I’m hoping that it will keep the pollen coverage to a minimum.

And that, folks, was my fun and exciting weekend. I got my workout in already this morning and now I’m headed for the shower. Then it’s work, dinner, work, bed, rinse and repeat.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Georgia Pictures

Here are some pictures that I took while in Georgia. All in all, I didn’t really take all that many but the ones that I have are pretty neat.


Statue in Chippewa Square which is where the bench scene in Forrest Gump was filmed.


Church spire from which the feather in Forrest Gump was dropped.

IMG_0039 IMG_0040

The two pictures above are of Savannah gray brick. There is quite a story behind the bricks which today, are worth $40 to $50 a piece. These bricks were made by slaves and when the slaves left Savannah, they took the recipe for the bricks with them. That’s why they are worth so much money and they are very historical to the city of Savannah. These bricks above are found in the courtyard of the Sorrel-Weed house. You will probably need to click on the pictures to make them bigger, but you can actually see finger indentations in the bricks that were made by slaves when they were forming the bricks. I really thought that was so very neat. Actual, touchable, history. Anyway…


This is the Mercer house which is where the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was filmed.

IMG_0044  These picture are of a 300 year old Live Oak tree which is also the oldest tree in Savannah.


The following pictures are of The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist Church. It was absolutely stunning. We had never been in such a magnificent church before and were all suitably impressed.








This last picture is of recruits marching at Parris Island. The youngest child had never been to Parris Island before and the oldest was only a year and a half when she was there.


All pictures can be clicked upon and made bigger for better viewing. I really recommend that for the brick and church pictures.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun Times in Georgia

We had a really good, albeit short, time in Georgia.

The trip down was uneventful. North Carolina to Georgia is VERY boring. The highlight of the drive was driving through Spivey’s Corner, NC. Yes. Spivey’s Corner. We laughed and laughed at the name. There’s nothing there either. It’s hard to tell it was an actual town. Anywho, we left our house around 5:15’ish and arrived at the hotel at midnight. I will never forget Jennifer bounding out of the hotel, very reminiscent of Tigger, in her too cute pajamas and slippers to greet us.

Saturday we got up as early as we could, grabbed breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, Jennifer’s first time, and then drove to a nearby outlet mall that we had seen on our drive down. That was way too much fun. We bought some clothes at the Gap and the Tommy Hilfiger store. Then we bought some new running shoes at the Nike store. I finally have good running shoes!!

After the outlet mall, we drove the rest of the way to Savannah. Savannah is a great city. So much history! The azaleas are in full bloom so there was amazing color everywhere you looked. We decided to take a trolley tour so that we wouldn’t constantly have to find parking and so that we would know what we were looking at. We got off at several of the stops for tours and pictures. We have never taken a formal tour of a city before but it was neat, informative, and something that I would do again.

After the tour was over, we grabbed our car and drove down to River Street for more shopping and dinner. At Pam’s recommendation, we stopped in one of the candy shops and tried the pralines. Oh. My. Gosh!! They were so good. Jennifer and I both bought some to take home. I also bought some caramel chocolate gophers which were also very yummy.We grabbed dinner at a seafood place that had the most excellent crab legs I’ve ever had. They were so juicy that Jennifer and the Mister ended up with butter down the front of them and I sprayed some poor guy as he walked by our table when I cracked a leg open, lol. Dinner was to celebrate Jennifer’s birthday. Her birthday was yesterday but we couldn’t stay through the week so we took her out while we were there. I did the same thing last year in San Diego, heheh.

Sunday, we were up and off to the Shoney’s for breakfast and then we had to head home. :( The visit was too short but worth every minute. On the drive home we took a detour to Parris Island. I hadn’t been there since 1997 when the Mister graduated from boot camp. Parris Island has changed a lot but some things never change like recruits marching everywhere and drill instructors yelling at them along the way, lol. We didn’t stay long because the oldest child decided to pick herself up a bug while we were in Georgia. She was running a fever and right after we drove through the gate to the base, we had to pull over so she could be sick alongside the road. It was so not a fun ride home for her. She’s still home sick with a fever today.

So, that was our trip. I have pictures but I’ll have to post them later. My camera is still in the glove compartment of my car and I don’t feel like running out to get it at the moment. Stay tuned…

Friday, March 20, 2009

Georgia, Here We Come!

I’ve been going nonstop since 6 am but I think I finally have us ready to leave. The car is loaded and I dropped the dogs off at the pet spa about an hour ago. :( It was really hard to leave them, lol. I feel silly about it, but I miss them already. I know they’ll be fine. The people at the spa and the vet’s love them. When the woman took the dogs to the back, they went with her without even looking back and they didn’t even give me a chance to say goodbye. They probably won’t even notice we’re not there. Oh well.

As for the trip, we’re leaving tonight when the Mister and the girls get home which should put us at the hotel around midnight. It sucks, but I wanted to have the entire day there Saturday and the Mister couldn’t finagle any time off of work. It’s going to be a whirlwind trip since we’re leaving to come home Sunday but I don’t care. It’ll be fun and totally worth it.

I have no idea what we’re going to do while we’re there. I hope Jennifer has some ideas, lol. I’ve been so busy all week that I haven’t had a chance to do any research. If anyone has any suggestions of “must see” sights in Savannah, leave a comment!!

We’re not taking a computer with us so I won’t be able to post anything over the weekend but I’ll have pictures and stuff Monday. Tuesday at the latest.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!! I’ll see ya’ll when I get back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Results are In

Hannah had her vet visit this morning and she is fine. She just has some sort of stomach bug. I had no idea that dogs could get what is basically the stomach flu, did you?  Anyway, they ran tests and took x-rays but didn’t find anything. No worms or obstructions. She does have a fever so she’s being treated for that and the nausea. I have to give her two different pills twice a day for five days and she should be all cleared up. AND, the doctor said that we can kennel both dogs at their sister facility next door so that if anything happens with Hannah, they’ll be right there to take care of her. Neato, huh? It’s actually a pet spa, heheh, so they should have a pretty good time while we’re gone. I even paid a little extra so that they could have  special play time each day they’re there.

I’m pretty relieved. Hannah laying around the house for four days had me more worried than her nausea did. She’s such a hyperactive, go, go, go, kinda dog that it’s really scary to see her sleeping all the time. But I guess like people, dogs sleep when they have the flu too, lol.

So, since everything is cool with the dogs, I’m making plans for a weekend trip to Georgia. There’s packing and cleaning to do but with only going for the weekend, it shouldn’t be that bad. I’m really excited and looking forward to going and to seeing Jennifer again. The really coincidental thing is that I was in California this time last year visiting her, lol. It would be really great if we could actually turn this into an annual visitation. Only time will tell.

Monday, March 16, 2009

That’s One Sick Puppy

IMG_0118 It’s never a good thing to start your day out with having to clean. It’s a really bad day when that cleaning involves dog puke, pee, and poo. That’s how my morning started Friday and the cleaning continued up until yesterday. I have a carpet steam cleaner that has totally saved us. Not to be too disgusting here, but the messes were dark in color and I have very light carpeting. My steam cleaner got every last trace out of the carpet leaving nothing behind. Each spot took about half the reservoir of cleaner, but whatever works. So far today, Hannah hasn’t vomited anywhere but she’s had these really loud, deep burps that have panicked me twice this morning, lol. I called the vet and made her an appointment for first thing tomorrow just in case.

We’re trying to plan a weekend trip to Georgia to visit with Jennifer this coming weekend but it’s sort of in limbo with Hannah being the way that she is. We can’t kennel a sick dog and we don’t want to take the dogs with us either. Should we be able to follow through with our plans, we are going to tour Savannah which should be a lot of fun. I’ve been to and through Georgia several times but I’ve never seen Savannah before. I really hope that we get to go. It would be a shame for Jennifer to be this close and for us not to get a chance to see her.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And We’re in Business!

I am officially in business. I finally applied for and received my business license last week! Woot! I figured it was about time. It’s actually past being about time but hey, better late than never.

In other news…

We’ve been having the most excellent weather. It’s been in the 70’s and 80’s for a few days now. I LOVE it. I have the windows open in the house and I’ve been wearing shorts and sandals. It’s supposed to cool back off to seasonal temps this week, but it was a sweet taste of spring while it lasted. As for daylight savings, as usual, it sucked. I wish we could do away with it altogether. The youngest child walks to her bus stop in the dark now. How much fun is that?? It’s also a lot harder to wake up in the complete dark as well. I just don’t like it at all.

AND!!! I have lost a total of TEN pounds now. Woot woot!! Yup. I’m still going strong on the dieting and exercising. My plan is to lose 1 1/2 pounds a week so I’m ahead of the game still. I ran for five miles on the elliptical yesterday and I’m actually going to  hit the streets with the Mister this weekend. I’m nervous about running for real, but he says it’s about time, lol. I’m hoping I don’t chicken out.

In the world of being a gadget whore…

The Mister and I got BlackBerry Curves last weekend. I figured with having four business e-mails (and counting) and a couple personal e-mail addresses I could use a mobile way of checking my e-mails. BlackBerrys are good for a lot more than that, but it’s a start. ;)

Also, I downloaded a Kindle app for my iPod touch and I LOVE it. I’ve been really reluctant to buy a Kindle and for a few reasons.

  1. 1.  I like to own my books. This means that any books that I digitally download will also have to be bought for my bookshelf. That’s one book for the price of two.
  2. 2.  Kindle makes it waaaay to easy to download new books and I would have to learn a way to control myself, lol. I’ve had the Kindle app for less than a week and I’ve already downloaded and read five books on it. I’ve been on reading roll.
  3. 3.  They are freaking expensive!! I don’t know if I can justify spending $359.00 on this gadget which is only the beginning of the cost. Refer back to numbers 1 and 2.

So, I figured the Kindle app was a compromise. Kindle e-books are cheaper than most other e-books and if I ever do get one, all the books that I’ve downloaded will work on the actual Kindle as well as my iPod. Ho hum.

I think that brings you all up to date. Work has been pretty crazy but now that I’m settling into a routine, I hope to be able to blog more often. It’s just that by the time that I’m done sitting at my computer for hours working, I don’t feel like being in my office anymore. I don’t even play games on my computer these days. I’ve been reading books on my iPod, crocheting a throw, and hanging out on the couch in my off time. Excuses, excuses, lol.

Monday, March 02, 2009

On Being Confident and Professional

I’ve never done this before on my blog, but I would like to introduce you to my newest client. I find her both fascinating and informative.

My newest client is Guila Muir and Associates. Guila is an expert when it comes to presenting oneself as a professional. She teaches and coaches people on how to be a confident facilitator as well as  how to give presentations without falling flat on your face. I don’t know about you guys, but these are tips that I could use. For example, when I’m on a business phone call, I catch myself umm’ing a lot. I cringe every time I do it but I can’t seem to stop myself. And you can forget about public speaking. I’m pretty sure you’d have to drug me first. Guila’s website and the articles that she writes give the everyday person or professional the tools that they need to present themselves in a confident and professional manner.

Guila’s newest article is titled, “Two Presenting Myths:  BUSTED!” In her article, Guila discusses how thanking your audience isn’t necessarily the correct opening to a speech. The second myth in her article covers how there is a definite difference between moving about in front of your audience with a purpose and rambling around as if lost. Both points Guila talks about have to do with body language and how you are presenting yourself to your audience. Even if you don’t regularly present at conferences or meetings, people such as teachers and managers would benefit from Guila’s advice. The Mister, who is a Marine, gives a class on Lean Six Sigma several times a week and has told me how Guila’s insights have helped him to better convey his message to his Marines.

If you would like to read more about Guila Muir and Associates and to get more advice on how to be an expert facilitator and presenter, I’m sure Guila would appreciate a visit to her website. When you stop by, be sure and leave her a comment. She even has articles that could help students when it comes to remembering what you learn.

Guila Muir and Associates