Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays

I only sent out a handful of cards this year. If I missed you, please forgive me and print out the photo on the left for your fridge.
Kristy & O'Malley

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

(Pirate) Christmas Comes Early

Here is my pretty Christmas tree. I have a few more ornaments coming via LadyBoyd. She wisely once used the same colors as I do for her tree :).

Anyway, things have been rather hectic lately with 2008 Youth planning (I can't wait until the church finds a new leader; I want to be a helper not a leader.) and the 2008 Plan for work. I've started my Christmas cards and hope to have them all out by the end of the week. I also found time to help out with the Women's Ministry blanket making project. Two Sundays ago, I went to the church and was able to complete a blanket with two other accountants. Then I decided after prayer meeting last week that I would have time to make a blanket before the 12/8 deadline since I had Friday off. Well, it ended up that my Friday was just as busy as any other day, so I finished up the blanket around 11p. I did have a good time rocking out to Day Of Fire while tying the blanket. I don't think that I could do another full size blanket by myself in one day, but I think I could tackle a lap blanket.

Back to the point: Christmas has come early. On Sunday LadyBoyd brought over her husband to help me patch the hole in my kitchen ceiling. (I got a patch for Christmas. See the pirate-ness of it now?) And by help me, I mean that he did all of the work and I held the dustpan while he swept up. Then, last night Mom called to tell me that I would be getting a beautiful Irish Nativity set for Christmas. I had seen it in the catalog and forgot about it because I knew it was out of my price range and I had requested BB gift cards for a new computer. Well, the Nativity set got ordered not knowing that it came in installments so once it arrived there were some second thoughts. But Mom & Nanny loved it so much they are going to get it for me anyway. (I've been told that it will become an heirloom and that Mom is first on that list!) The last little bit of Christmas to arrive this week is in the form of information I received this morning. I can't really go into it right now, but this will make my life easier in the long run.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Feeling Festive

Most of you may know that I am not big on winter. There is all of that snow, gaudy decorations, and annoying Christmas music playing EVERYWHERE! When it comes to decorations I'm all about simple. No non-Christmas related holiday decorations--the simplest of all--is the norm. I enjoy a tastefully decorated tree (small white lights are preferred) and that is about all I can take. This may be my way of rebelling against the plentiful decorations I grew up with in both my mother's and grandmother's houses. They both decorate themselves and their houses for Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving (beware of the multiplying Pilgrims!), Christmas, birthdays, etc. Heck, if they could find the right decorations for Mondays, they would be all over it. I'm not saying that this is a bad way to live; it's just not for me. So when E sent me a picture on Saturday of her fully decorated live tree, I started feeling festive. I spent Sunday night dragging out the pre-lit tree I bought a few years ago. I got all of the ribbon and ornaments on in short order. I even hung a few stockings from the mantle. O'Malley was very intrigued by the whole process and is in love with the tree box (and that is the excuse I'm using for the fact that it is still in the living room). I even spent last night wrapping some presents for under the tree. So pretty! I tried to take a picture of my tree with my cell phone but it has some weird color issues. I'll try again later with my camera.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

The family all met up in Maryland for Thanksgiving this year. To ease the stress for my Aunt & Uncle my immediate family stayed in a hotel a few miles away. I shared a room with my parents (they got the bed and I got the pull out couch) and my brother's family (left) got to share a king sized bed. As you can see the boys are getting so big. The oldest turned 5 on Nov 1 and the youngest will be 3 in Feb. They grow so fast. The one nice thing is that the boys always recognize me. I haven't seen them since the end of July, but D was the first to take my hand and draw pictures for Auntie Kristy! He even wrote out my Christmas list for me, Santa and all. We had fun just being together and eating. There was lots of eating to be done. I stayed an extra two days with N&P at my aunt & uncle's house after the rest of the fam left. I got to spend the day napping and reading. Heaven if you ask me. That last day really helped me to come down from all of the busyness of the holiday. Also, O'Malley was so happy when I got home. She's been all over my lap and spent the last two night curled up on my stomach at bedtime :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

To Hold Or Not To Hold?

So I thought I would try to get another mother daughter pic last night even though I was looking pretty rough. Something tells me that self portraits are not the way to go. What do you think?

Friday, November 16, 2007

A week later...

The once glowing tree outside my office is now naked. Most of the leaves came off in the nasty storm we had this week. On the bright side, the tree in my backyard is sporting nice yellow leaves. As for me, it just the norm. I have potluck this week and will be running between churches. Unfortunatlly, until they can get a youth leader this will be standard practice. I am heading down to MS on Sunday to visit E&J's new church. As E is aware, I'm having a bit of a hard time with the fact that she is not just switching churches but denominations. But I understand why she is doing what she is and am trying to be supportive nonetheless. Work is ramping up with all of the '08 Planning. Sometimes I wonder if it is even worth it as no one here usaully bothers to ask me and just spends anyway. It's pretty hard to hold back paying something if we've already committed to it. Also, the proposed office move next summer is leaving things in the air expense-wise.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Deep Thoughts Inspired By O’Malley Jane

All this week I have made it a point to wake up on time and have a morning devotional. This consists of a selection of chapters from the Bible (2 Kings 1-3 today) that go along with a reading in the HMS Richards’ Bible in a Year book while listening to the SoundScapes channel on TV and having O’Malley contentedly purring on my lap. This last part is a treat. O’Malley is very finicky about when she will and won’t sit on my lap or nap with me. There are times that I make this decision for her, but she quickly shows her distaste of being forced to do anything. This got me to thinking. I love O’Malley like no one else. I hate being away from her for even a night. I’m sure that those of you with spouses and/or children of any kind know what I mean. And I know that O’Malley cares for her momma. She likes to be in the same room as me even if she is no where near me in that room. While this is good, I would still like more from her. I would love it if she would sleep next to me every night and curl up on my lap or play the entire time I’m home. I must admit it’s been hard for me that she only sleeps on the bed when I pull her up for Sabbath naps and even then, I have to force her on the bed but once there she is ready to cuddle. So back to the thinking: This must be how God feels about us. He loves us more than we could ever love Him. He wants us to spend time with Him, but we want it on our terms. We like to spend our time our way. Sure we’ll come up in His lap for church and other worship events, but after all that lap sitting we get up, stretch our legs and run off to do our own thing forgetting that He is still there waiting for us, wanting us. Even when we have the best intentions, we somehow manage to hurt Him with are carelessness. (I relate this to how O'Malley forgets how much her claws hurt when we are playing and then I have to stop playing because she has torn a chunk of flesh from my finger. She doesn't mean to hurt me, it's just a part of her nature like sin is a part of ours.) While God doesn’t want to force us to spend time with Him, there are times that He puts situations in our life that remind us that we WANT to be with Him. Now, if only I could stop being selfish and place my will in God’s hands daily. I want to want a close relationship with God but I am horrible with follow through in all of the relationships in my life. Being a visual person, I wrestle with His intangibility--not hearing God and not being able to see the path that He sees for me. I can't just call Him up and ask for advice like I can with my friends and family. I can't hug Him to show my appreciation and care. I pray every day that God will make me want to be the person He wants me to be and show me how to do it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lookin' Smart

So I picked up something new today. Can you guess what it is? It's a obvious as the glasses on my face. Oops, I gave it away :) These new glasses do more than make me look smart. They are specifically for night driving and for when my eyes are tired from the computer or TV. They will hopefully correct my astigmatism enough to stop those crazy bad migraines that follow my weekly Doctor Who, Torchwood, and SciFi Friday marathons on Sundays. Because, really, what good is a Sunday without some British sci-fi? Brilliant!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Positively Glowing

I think it is safe to assume that fall has come to Memphis. The days are shorter and the nights are cooler. The view from my office window usually boasts nothing more interesting than a yellow generator, satellite dish, AC unit, and the neighboring building. Most of the non-evergreen trees in my view are sporting dried up red and brown leaves. But today I couldn't help noticing that one tree has gone from dull green to a radiant orange-red-gold. Every time I look up, I smile. Now all I can think about is curling up with O'Malley and some hot cocoa in front of a fire...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What's your Passion?

On Sunday we had a typically under-attended church business meeting to go over ways in which we could improve our church. There were many good ideas; it is just a shame that so few attended. One of the goals we came up with was to develop a program that will help to keep the youth/teens/pre-teens in church. I know that this is a problem for a lot of churches. I am not sure if we just don't have a lot of them in my local church--the fact that my youth sabbath school tends to have an average of 1-3 people each week is my basis for this--or if they are all hiding. Anyhoo, I was volunteered to work with the pastor's wife on this project. I know that this was brought about because I am involved in the youth class. But I have a secret: Ministering to the Youth is not my passion. I'm not really sure if I have a true knowledge of what my passion is, but at this point in my life it is not Youth. (I've been spending a lot of time up front at church and church related programs...maybe that is my calling? Scary thought.) Why then am I so involved? While it is not my passion, I still care. I believe that due to circumstances beyond their control the youth are often dumped on, ignored, or spoken down to. I have seen this at the Raleigh church with the former youth leader and his/my supposed assistant leader. That is one reason I stepped up and started preparing a lesson every week instead of just my one week a month. Thankfully, starting in November the Pastor will be leading the class more often than not. It will be refreshing to have a break. I kind of have a hard time relating to Youth. I don't have kids. I haven't been a youth for over a decade and when I was I went to boarding school. During high school and college I thought (and often still do) that Sabbath School class was one of the best parts of the whole church service so I don't understand their current mindset. I am trying to figure out what teens these days want/expect out of their churches. What do they like to do? Are they apathetic about everything at this age? Do they even know what they want?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A couple of firsts

Last night I did two things for the first time. One of which was turning on the heat in my house. I have two thermostats--one upstairs and one in the bedroom. As it is getting to be freaking wet and cold all of the time I really had no choice. I'm thinking that I may need to find a way to close up the huge hole in the bedroom wall (shutters or glass or something) to prevent all of the heat from escaping. We'll see what this change does to my MLG&W bill. If I have my way, a new water heater will be the next purchase instead. I can cover the cost with my gift card, but am not sure about the cost for install, delivery, & take away. Cross your fingers. The other first from last night was buying decaf coffee. "How can this be a first?" you ask. I didn't just buy a cup of decaf or some coffee singles. I bought a whole can of decaf coffee grounds. (On a side note: Dunkin Donuts ground coffee can now be purchased at your local Memphis SuperTarget. I can stop being a coffee mule!) Why on earth would I do this? Well, I like coffee for the taste, not the caffeine. I don't have any other caffeinated beverages at the house, so I figured I don't need regular coffee either. Mom is always mentioning that I should cut back, so I am going to try. Now if only we brewed decaf at the office.... Oh yeah, GO RED SOX!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something to Think About

Most who know me know that I don't often go around quoting Ellen White, but this passage really struck me. In Sabbath School we are studying Israel's wanderings in the wilderness and their conquests of Canaan. The lesson plan provided by the church recommends readings from Patriarchs and Prophets for added insight. Since I am leading out, I'll take all of the insight I can get! (Side note: I once got an F in my elementary school Bible class. I never did like homework.)
In their contest with Og and Sihon the people were brought to the same test beneath which their fathers had so signally failed. But the trial was now far more severe than when God had commanded Israel to go forward. The difficulties in their way had greatly increased since they refused to advance when bidden to do so in the name of the Lord. It is thus that God still tests His people. And if they fail to endure the trial, He brings them again to the same point, and the second time the trial will come closer, and be more severe than the preceding. This is continued until they bear the test, or, if they are still rebellious, God withdraws His light from them and leaves them in darkness. The Hebrews now remembered how once before, when their forces had gone to battle, they had been routed, and thousands slain. But they had then gone in direct opposition to the command of God. They had gone out without Moses, God's appointed leader, without the cloudy pillar, the symbol of the divine presence, and without the ark. But now Moses was with them, strengthening their hearts with words of hope and faith; the Son of God, enshrined in the cloudy pillar, led the way; and the sacred ark accompanied the host. This experience has a lesson for us. The mighty God of Israel is our God. In Him we may trust, and if we obey His requirements He will work for us in as signal a manner as He did for His ancient people. Everyone who seeks to follow the path of duty will at times be assailed by doubt and unbelief. The way will sometimes be so barred by obstacles, apparently insurmountable, as to dishearten those who will yield to discouragement; but God is saying to such, Go forward. Do your duty at any cost. The difficulties that seem so formidable, that fill your soul with dread, will vanish as you move forward in the path of obedience, humbly trusting in God.
p. 437 (emphasis mine.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is it really that bad?

There are some times that you just have to laugh. My not-in-a-relationship status has been much talked about lately (I have not been on a date in over a year and a half). And not just by Nanny and my mom. My local married friends, all in good fun, are quick to point out any male with a wedding ring free hand. I often join in the fun. There have been a couple of "you should meet So-And-So" discussions and even get together attempts, but nothing has come of it. What I think is really funny--or is distressing the right word?--is that one of my youth class members has joined in the fun. The 15 year old called and told me that her neighbor had some questions about religion and wanted to know if I would talk to him. At first I thought it was one of her friends (a fellow teenager), but come to find out it was her single 26 year old neighbor who is looking for more than answers to religious questions. A little warning would've been nice :) I have yet to decide what I want to do with this situation as he is very anxious to start a relationship of some sort (friend, romantic, etc). So the question I have is: Is it really that bad to be single? I have spent more of my life out of relationships than in them. This is largely due to the fact that for some reason or another my relationships don't stick. I don't any long term relationships in my dossier and know that I haven't been in one serious enough to lead to love. I am comfortable being single and am quite versed in my independence. Maybe too much so. For the most part I know what I want, what I need, and what I think. This can be rather off-putting for some people. Don't get me wrong, there are many times when I think that a helpmate would be nice. But I want the person I end up with to be a compliment for me and my personality. I do not need anyone to "complete me." That is a Disney Princess idea that I consider harmful to all who embrace it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Memories of Youth

As you may know, one of my guilty pleasures is reading Pink is the New Blog. When I read today's title, "Pip, Pip Hurray", I was overwhelmed with memories. As a child my parents had records of the Eric B. Hare stories. And yes, I do mean on vinyl. We had a combo 8-track/record/cassette player in our dining room. Anyway, when I read the title all I could think about was Pip, Pip the Naughty Chicken. I don't know the last time I thought of those stories. They were much loved and much played in our house. Something has to be said for hearing stories read by the author. Maybe I'll get some for Dean's upcoming 5th birthday or just get copies for myself for my ride to church.

Spoke Too Soon

That beautiful but dirty long haired black and white cat has not been around for several days. I've been keeping some dry food in a baggie in my car just in case it shows up. I noticed that once I started to put out food for the pretty kitty so did the neighbors on each side of me. This shouldn't bother me since the cat was really thin, but I admit to being a little put off. I wanted to be the one of take care of it. The cat would follow me to the door as if it wanted to come inside. I wish I could let it. My only hope is that someone else took pity on the cat and saw how good of a pet it could be and decided to let it into their home (the only thing that I wouldn't be able to promise this cat would be visits inside my home). I did try to see how O'Malley would feel about this new possible pet. I left the door open so that O'Malley could watch this new kitty through the glass door. There was some hissing from O'Malley, but I expected as much since they couldn't smell each other. Then she just watched this new cat eat and rubbed up against my legs to show the outside cat who I belonged to. On a side note, O'Malley been more affectionate since she saw the cat. She's back on the bed at night and even spent Snooze Time on my stomach yesterday morning purring so loud I almost couldn't snooze :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

And then...

I had a nice relaxing weekend. I made a 7 Layer Salad for potluck since we had communion this week. The deaconesses prefer a cold menu when potluck and communion weeks overlap. The service was just what I needed after last week. Some time to reflect and try to seek out the ability to forgive those who do not ask for it (even when they should). I may have an outdoor cat in addition to O'Malley. There is a beautiful black & white long hair cat that has been coming around. It craves attention and has been thrilled at the food I've left out for it the last couple of days. If only I knew that it could get along with O'Malley then I would bite the bullet for the vet visit and bring it inside. I would love another cat, but it's O'Malley's house. I spent the rest of the weekend down at Lake Bud Isaiah in Mantachie, MS. Don't worry; no one else has heard of it either. I got to spend time with E's in-laws and enjoyed the 5 month old. It's amazing how quickly an infant changes. E's in-laws have been quick to adopt me into their family. It is a nice feeling. In not so amazing news, I was once again welcomed to work by an issue I had no knowledge of. The details are the same as always: Mr. Boss Man promises something to someone without getting all of the facts and I have to sort out how to make it work. But, even through the mess I have a reason to smile today. I approved an invoice today for some yard work done around one of the towers: "For fixen fence along street..."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Good & Bad

Good: My boss swears that he does not intentionally not communicate with me, so I shouldn't take it personally. He also swears that he respects me and wants me on his team. Corp has also told me to hang in as there is hope for things to get better. Bad: I still don't trust him and do take it personally. The benefit of the doubt has an expiration date. About an hour after his proclamation that he is not doing this on purpose, I discovered yet another situation where I am having to pick up the pieces because he didn't tell me something. ARGH! Good: Terminix is now my friend. They came yesterday afternoon to help me with the Palmetto bug problem. It is working already. Bad: I can tell it is working by the number of dead and dying bugs I disposed of this morning. I'm not looking forward to coming home after work. I didn't realize how many bugs and bug types I had until they started dying.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If I Could Do It Over

I have come to the conclusion that if I could do it over I would not have bought my house. (Maybe all of the mishaps with closing were God's warning and I was too stubborn to listen.) And no, I don't feel this way because of the mega-huge Palmetto Bugs that want to live inside. If I didn't have the commitment of a mortgage and only had to worry about breaking my lease I would ask for a job transfer effective immediately. I am thoroughly disgusted, discouraged, and disrespected by my boss at work. It is my honest opinion that my boss is purposefully choosing to NOT communicate or to miscommunicate information to me that is essential to my job performance. I believe that he is trying to push me out. He knows that I have worked for many years with this company and have built up professional relationships. He knows that he would have an uphill battle (because I am a female and have 7+ years of service) in an attempt to fire me. As a result I can only conclude that he is attempting to make me miserable in the hope I will resign. Why would be do this? Because I am not a Yes Man and stand up to him when I think he is not working in the best interests of the company or our Market. Sadly, I think it may be working. Like I said, right now it is my brand spanking new mortgage that is keeping me there. NOTHING MORE. I love my company and am very loyal to them. I just can't take much more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Be Bad This Week

I couldn't get the photo link to work, but check out the Banned Book Site. If you are looking for something to do this week may I suggest picking up a banned book. Click on the link for a list of the most challenged books of the century (or just 2006!). I don't know about you, but the book "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler sound interesting.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thoughts of the Day

Disclaimer: Just in case I have not said it before, I am not politically minded. I am neither a democrat nor republican. I do not vote in primaries, but do vote in general elections. I don’t debate politics as I do not have the knowledge to make informed comments. 1. I heard on NPR this morning that the military in Myanmar is beating up the protesting monks. If this is true, don’t they know that beating up a monk is bad for one’s karma? 2. Is it not realistic to expect someone to know what you are thinking or know what you want them to know without telling them? I gave up mind reading long ago, but some people have not learned that about me despite repeated reminders. 3. While someone can make me frustrated and angry, they cannot dictate the actions I take or do not take based on those feelings. 4.A new Stargate Atlantis will help make it all better. 5. Someone will always be better off than me. Somone will always be worse off than me. I need to be content with what I have.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend in Review

This weekend went very well. While not too much happened, I did have a good class Sabbath morning and the children's story went smoothly. I even made it to the 10am Sunday church committee meeting early! Yes it lasted just over two hours, but it was very productive. I even found some time for dishes and laundry. I just need to convince myself to make vacuuming a priority. The only bad part to this weekend was when I tried to boot up my laptop. I'm getting a nasty hard drive "SMART failure" error message and can't boot up. I got a possible fix from the internet, but that will only work if I can get my laptop to start up with the command prompts. Cross your fingers. If it doesn't work, I'm off to visit the Geek Squad. My laptop is probably about 5 years old, so it may be a lost cause. I would like to save all of my files though. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No rest for the weary...

It has been an interesting two days. Monday night, after a new traffic system update that kept me at work until almost 8pm, I drove out to Knoxville, TN. For those who don't know the geography, that is 381 miles east of Memphis and is even in another time zone. Why? To attend the UT Knoxville job fair. Once again, you ask "Why?" Because a couple of months ago my dear boss said that HE wanted to go. I understand that we need to go to as many job fairs and recruiting events as possible. It's just that when someone says that they want to go to something and then proceed to remove themselves from the situation, it kinda gets under my skin. None of the managers would go with me and E's schedule changed, so she couldn't come with me. And you know that cancelling the booth that we paid for was not an option. What options were left? For me to go alone. And I did. I took a total of less than 15 minutes for potty breaks and lunch during the 5 hour event (with no one else there, any time I left the booth it was empty, not a good thing at a job fair). Oh, and right after taking down the booth yesterday, I started on the 381 mile trip home. What fun! I can't think of a better way to spend time than 11 hours of driving--5 there and 6 back thanks to Nashville's 5p rush hour. At least I was smart enough to get some audio books and made it through 1 1/2 books in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I've been wanting to start this series ever since reading a short story by Child in the anthology Thriller. Oh, and I want to make my way to prayer meeting tonight (I enjoy Pastor Lombard's Bible study methods), I have a school board meeting tomorrow night, Sabbath School (long, sad for me story that can be shortened to the end result: I'm now the de facto Youth Sabbath School leader) and Children's Story this week, a church strategic planning meeting at 10a on Sunday, the U of M job fair next Wednesday, and am taking O'Malley to the Vet next Thursday for her annual shots and nail clipping session. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I've been in Memphis too Long

You Are 72% Massachusetts
You're pretty Massachusetts, but you're starting to slip. Go eat a bulky roll and flip off a New Yorker.
How Massachusetts Are You?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Same Ol' Same Ol'

There hasn't been much going on for the last couple of weeks. I'm still dealing with some trace symptoms from the two-week-old wasp sting, but it is more annoying than painful. My doctor decided that it would be best for me to keep an Epi Pen Kit in my medicine cabinet on the off chance that the ginormous allergic reaction ever morphs into a deadly reaction. Best to be prepared than to be dead. Home ownership is going well. I need to figure out a good cleaning schedule and then it would be better. I lugged some tree limbs to the front of the house this week and was rewarded with a teeny, tiny splinter--which may even be the tip of a thorn--in my middle finger. What makes this one fun is that it is so small and completely under the skin that there is no way to get it out. I've already tried squeezing it and soaking it in hot water in an attempt to bring it to the surface. There is quite a red bump forming. If anyone has some insight on it, that would be most helpful. I guess it could be worse. I could have shingles like my brother. (There is nothing like several contracts falling through on the house you are trying to sell, two kids under the age of 5, and a new job to stress you out!)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Allergy Update Update

Upon Nurse Mom's advise, I ended up going to the Urgent Care center today. Three hours and two shots later, I now have a heavy prescription for steroids. Hopefully that will do the trick. If not, then I'll be headed to the ER in a week's time. The doc said that there is a slight chance that some bacteria got into my lymph nodes from the sting. Pray that is not the case and the steroids clear it up. Don't ask why, but I don't like the idea of a coma in my future. In addition, I will be on the look out for a bee keeper's hat to add to my daily wardrobe :)

Allergy Update

This pic does not due the reaction justice. To help you let me just say that I usually have more defined cheekbones. Also that red area goes about an inch or so into my cheek and goes into my hairline around my swollen ear. This is 36+ hours after the wasp sting. The swollen area is very firm to the touch and itchy. I'm off to have Nurse Mom apply allergy cream and tea tree oil. Cross your fingers this passes soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I consider myself an animal lover. Until last night the only animal that I could not stand was the ferret. This distaste is directly linked to the fact that a ferret did me wrong when I was very young. My mother took me to visit her then boss and I was allowed to hold the weasel like creature. It wasn't long before the beast bit my face and would not let go. I don't remember how we got it to let go, but I do remember that is the day I discovered ferrets are evil. Last night I realized that the red wasp is evil, too. After dropping some tickets off at LadyBoyd's house, a flying insect came up from behind to admire my hair. It was flapping it's wings around my ear and I could see something big out of the corner of my right eye. I tried to swat it away, but that only lead to more flapping and then a sharp sting on my head just above my ear. It felt like I'd been hit in the head with a brick. (Tangent alert: my father has always said that Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" should be my theme song.) I got some Tylnol and advise from the Boyds. By all accounts the red wasp does not have a powerful sting and therefore would wear off shortly. But since things can never be easy, that was not the case. I can only assume that I have a non-life threatening allergy to the red wasp. By the time I picked up my parents from the airport (about 30 minutes later) I had a huge lump on the side of my head and had such sharp pains that my father had to drive home. During the drive I found myself punching the arm rest to get my focus off of the pain. It wasn't until 11p--6 hours after the sting and 2 hours after the hydrocortisone cream application--that I started to feel some relief. I was literally crying out in pain when Mom was moving my hair to apply the hydrocortisone cream and tea tree oil to the sting last night. I also was unable to sleep on my right side due to the tenderness of the area. This morning things are a little better. I no longer have the searing pain that was coming from the sting site. However, there is redness, swelling, and itching on the side of my face around my ear and the general area around the sting is tender to the touch. Hopefully the Allegra and ibuprofen I took this morning will start to help. Consider yourself warned: Red Wasps and Ferrets are evil creatures!

Monday, August 27, 2007

House update

For those out there who are wondering what my furnished house looks like, here you go. Just don't mind the clutter :)
Dining Room

Living Room


Living Room as seen from Bedroom

Kitchen with new range hood. Yes that is a Longaberger

For those out there who are wondering what my furnished house looks like, here you go. Just don't mind the clutter :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Personality Test

Your Five Factor Personality Profile
Extroversion: You have low extroversion. You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people. Conscientiousness: You have medium conscientiousness.You're generally good at balancing work and play.When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it. Agreeableness: You have medium agreeableness.You're generally a friendly and trusting person.But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.You get along well with others, as long as they play fair. Neuroticism: You have low neuroticism.You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure. Openness to experience: Your openness to new experiences is medium.You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.">The Five Factor Personality Test

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cats and Candles

In what some might see as an ironic twist of fate, O'Malley almost burned down the house last night while I was catching up on past episodes of Rescue Me. I had a large Pottery Barn candle--a housewarming gift from my realtor--lit in it's stand on the side table between the love seat and sofa. I had a gray scarf on the table doubling as a table cloth. O'Malley decided that she wanted to play with the scarf, so she pulled it and the candle off the table. There was a loud crash, a shatter as the glass cracked, and the noise of a full soda can splashing on the carpet. The candle remained lit during and after the fall. My sofa and love seat are skirted, so the only thing that kept them from going up in flames was the glass from the candle holder. Wax went everywhere!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sometimes I Wish...

You won't hear me say it often, but yesterday was one of those days that I wished I had a husband or at least a male companion to call my own. I lost half a day of work because the cable guy missed the 12-2p window by two hours. It was 4:30p by the time he was done. I could've used someone to wait those extra two hours with/for me or to distract the snaggle-toothed cable guy from unwelcome over-friendliness. I really hated to waste those 4 hours. At least there was unpacking to done that kept me busy. I also brought the two solid wood closet doors out of the back bedroom and up to the attic last night. This took quite a bit of effort, but I was able to do it without dropping either of the doors down the stairs or on my feet. This is where a nice husband or even a roommate with opposable thumbs would've been helpful. If not for his strong back, then for a short massage to get out the kink which has taken up residence in my left shoulder. As it was I had to keep closing doors behind me to prevent O'Malley from investigating the attic and snacking on fiberglass insulation. Additionally, if I had a husband he could be blamed for all of my black and blue marks. I received the gene from my mother that allows me to bruise without touching anything. Heck, if someone looks at me wrong I bruise. My legs, knees, and arms are covered with bruises of every size, shape, and color. The fact that the 27" TV slipped out of my hands yesterday and landed face down on my knees hasn't helped. I'm going to have to take a break from home improvement or rearranging of furniture while I still have working limbs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Considering my delicate condition--I haven't been out in the sun since high school and spend most days in the office, therefore my white Irish legs glow even with the lights on--I am hating August. With the rising temps and the fact that it is hotter outside at 5 PM than at noon, I can only assume that Memphis in August is a prerequisite for Hell. I ran out to Walgreen's at 2:45 this afternoon and honestly believe I got a minor sunburn. The fact that I should put on sunscreen to drive my car is insane. While I should know better than to go out in the sun considering the fact that my brother had a malignant melanoma removed from his side a few years ago, I think this is just too much. On the home front, all is well. Mom is still on track for a visit over Labor Day. I'm getting used to the place and have started to put some things away. O'Malley is loving the spaciousness and the stairs. Tonight I will try round two on the bathtub de-clogging project. I truly think Big Foot and Snuffy were the previous occupants of the house. The first batch of liquid plumber didn't even make a dent. I was in water up to my ankles this morning and it was still there 40+ minutes later when I left for work. Cross your fingers. Tonight I'm also stopping into Lowe's to check out/order a new vent hood and then will run over to the scratch & dent store to take a gander at the ranges and microwaves. I'm a little upset at the 21 year-old oven that currently lives in my kitchen. While defrosting waffles this morning I managed to burn my hand pretty badly. And since I haven't unpacked the first aid kit, I made due by dunking my fist in a cup of water on the drive to work and then raiding the burn cream at the office.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tip of the Day: Chef Tony was right!

Here is the home improvement tip of the day: When in a bind and the proper tool is not available, the Miracle Blade slicer can be used as a saw and will cut through those annoyingly immobile plastic screws used to fasten toilet seats. This will not damage the knife, but will require patience on your part.
PS. Today is my two year anniversary as a Memphian.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And so it begins...

The joys of being a homeowner. I found out on Sunday that the storage room (which is accessed from the outside and houses my circuit breaker) is locked and does not use the key that I was given. The sellers of the house don't have the key either. So, I'll have to spend about $50 for a locksmith to open the door and then I can go and by a new lock. The fact that anyone can access my circuit breaker if the door is unlocked brings to mind all of the scary movies I grew up watching. I also keep finding little things that need to be fixed. There is some smashed tile in the foyer that was covered by a rug and therefore not included in the inspection. Also, the molding above the kitchen cabinets was never finished. I guess they didn't want to mess with the curved shelves. The cabinets are not the greatest anyway so that goes on the list of future replacements along with the stove, vent hood, fireplace screen, closet organizers, foyer tile, etc. Oh, and there is a freaky space between the house and the patio out back. Not really sure what that means either.

Regardless of what all needs to be done, the house is on it's way to feeling like home. All it's missing is O'Malley (who is moving over on Sunday, but don't tell her) and furniture. Bathroom stuff and a shower curtain were brought over yesterday. I spent about an hour or so putting in cabinet liners in the kitchen only stopping when I ran out of liner. Thankfully I found some that I packed when I moved from MA two years ago. I went searching in a box that has remained packed for the last two years in hopes of finding my ducky shower rings--I did--and found quite a bit of extra cabinet liner from my Winthrop to TN move. I'll be putting the rest of that in tonight and changing out the upstairs toilet seat. Why? Well, that seat is cracked and there is nothing worse than sitting down on cracked vinyl. Besides, I have a ducky toilet seat just begging to be used :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Membership Has It's Privileges

Yesterday afternoon my cell phone rings as I am going into our mid-town office. I didn't recognize the 617 number, but answered it anyway. Much to my surprise, it was someone from Red Sox Nation. I won an autographed Jonathan Papelbon baseball and it will be mailed to my apartment next week. I don't remember the last time I won anything as more often than not I'm not eligible. It's one of the downsides to working in radio which I have become so used to that I rarely enter any contests. The even bigger surprise came this morning. My brother, who almost never calls me, called me at work to fill me in on the rest of the story. Apparently, the Red Sox Nation winners are announced during the live broadcasts of the game on NESN. One of his friends called him during the evening rebroadcast to tell him about my mention. I guess the fact that I live in Tennessee was a point of interest as it became a topic of conversation for the broadcasters. Red Sox Nation is truly nationwide.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I'm a homeowner! There have been many frustrations these last twenty-four hours. After the shock of yesterday, I got a call at 10a saying that the close was getting pushed back to 3p because the bank hadn't brought over the papers yet. Then a little after two I call the title company to get a confirmation on the amount I need to get from the bank. Guess what? Somehow in less than 24 hours the amount increased by another $200! So there goes that last little bit of cushion I was keeping for the movers. Thankfully I did have it or I would've lost the house. I guess God was reminding me that I still had too much and need to put my full faith in him for my daily needs. Anyway, the seller's paperwork wasn't in yet, but they gave me the house key after I signed my life away. Fun stuff!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You are kidding me!

I had a good weekend in New England. I got to go to L's 30th birthday bash. I've never seen her so surprised in my life and E&J got the whole thing on video. I even got a chance to drive up to NH and see my cousin and his wife who are due to have their first baby any second. This weekend was fun and even refreshing. I finished Harry Potter (no spoliers, but I will say that I could've done without the epilogue) and spent time in 4 states in 48 hours. Today has been full of a week's worth of ups and downs. It all started on my way to work. I was 10 minutes out and got a call from one of the sales assistants. "The auditors are here." I knew they were in town but thought that would be at Union. I thought wrong. They were not getting what they needed in a timely manner at Union, so they stopped by my office first. I don't mind that they are here. I am ready for the audit, just not the time they needed today. I dropped off the majority of what they needed from me and rushed in to my Tuesday morning managers meeting about 5 minutes late. Then I spent the rest of the day being interrupted by sales people, my GM & the auditors. Just to give you a better understanding: I didn't get lunch until 1:30 (Taco Bell drive through), it took me 20 minutes to eat ONE taco at my desk, and I didn't get my first cup of coffee until 2:50. As if that wasn't enough, I got a call at 4p from my mortgage officer. Apparently she had made a mistake. The sellers agreed to pay all but $200 of my closing costs (which are about 5% due to it being a no money down loan and the taxes), but legally they can only pay 3% in closing costs! What does that mean? Well instead of getting back $300 of earnest money and not having to make my first mortgage until October 1, the seller reduced the price by $2,100 and I have to present a cashier's check for just under $1,100 by 11a tomorrow! Oh, and I can't afford the extra closing costs associated with the additional pre-paid interest, so my first mortgage payment will be September 1. After the initial shock wore off and I was once again able to function, I sat down with my checkbook. So, after transferring 99% of the money from my ING savings account and paying my rent for August on the 3rd (because it takes up to 3 days for the ING transfer to go through and my apartment does not consider the rent late until the 6th) and deciding to hold off paying one of my credit cards until next payday, I'll be able to pay the additional closing costs and have $2.12 to spare. Thankfully my pantry is stocked with Ramen and Mac & Cheese. :) At first I was wondering if God was trying to tell me that I'm not supposed to buy this house. Then, when I saw that I have just enough money to pay the closing costs, I realized that God is showing me that Yes, I should buy this house and to always remember that when you are faithful to God (When calculating if I could pay the $1,100 I refused to factor in any reduction in the amount of semi-monthly tithes and offerings that I committed to back in January.) He is faithful to you. It is also a reminder that God will provide exactly what you need. He may not give you more than you need, but he won't give you less!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Soon and Very Soon

In less than a week, I'll own my own house! The closing is scheduled for 11 am Wednesday. I can't wait. I had three girls from Pathfinders over last night to help me pack. Two pizzas and $20 each later, my kitchen is 90% packed (we ran out of boxes), my closet and dressers are barren, and all of my linens are packed. Apparently, I "have a lot of stuff." :) We accomplished all of this in about two hours! The girls were a blessing and even volunteered to come back to finish up free of charge. Thankfully I have a full weekend coming up to distract me from the fact that I'll be living in a sea of boxes for awhile.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Breathing easier

I heard back from the appraiser and all he had was praise for my new house :) Appraiser, praise...get it? Anyway, everything is falling into place nicely. I double checked with Lowes yesterday about the technical differences between slide-in and freestanding ranges. According to them there is no issue with using the cheaper freestanding range between the cabinets. Woo-Hoo! I'm also looking at over the range microwaves. I gave away my old microwave when I moved as my apartment had one built in. The hood that is currently in place needs some work, so might as well upgrade. I'm just praying it is at least 30"; I'll measure it during my final walk through. LadyBoyd's hubbie has been volunteered to help me with the details of the mini-renovation. I won't make him doing any of the install, just the cutting :) As for HP, I'm up to page 100+. I don't remember exactly where I stopped, but it was midnight when I put the book down. I'm hoping to get a lot of reading in this weekend. Maybe I'll even finish it by Monday so I can start reading all of the spolierish articles on line. I'm not good with waiting for surprises, so it is killing me not to read about the ending.

Monday, July 23, 2007


It is T minus 8 days until closing on the new house. I'm very excited and am getting butterflies every time I think of it. I have started the packing process and have at least a dozen boxes ready to go. The main challenges will be the kitchen and my closet. Thankfully I have some of the Pathfinder girls coming over Wednesday night to help. There is a lot to be done, but I'm pretty confident that it won't be too daunting of a task. My biggest worries have nothing to do with packing or moving and everything to do with the kitchen mini-renovation project. Once I talk to the experts at Lowe's I'll be more at ease. I just want to be sure that I do everything right when it comes to putting in the new stove and modifying the cabinets. Cross your fingers! On a side note: I got the new Harry Potter in the mail on Sabbath and have only read the first two chapters. I know, I'm lame.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11 (NASB)

Monday, July 16, 2007


Friday's home inspection went well. There are just the usual repairs needed on the outside of the house. I'm once again waiting to hear back from the seller about the repairs I want them to take on. I'm holding off on packing for fear of jinxing the sale, but August 1 is only fifteen days away! This weekend I went to a Spa Day at the Pastor's house for the women of our church. Only a handful showed up, but it was still a good time. We had a mini-women's ministry meeting to discuss what we wanted to do as a group. Some of the ideas involved making bears for the police to give out to kids and blankets for some of the local shelters. We also discussed the upcoming "secret sisters" program. We were trying to figure out some of the details such as how long it should run for and the dollar limit on gifts. We decided it should go from August to March and have a $10 each cap on gifts. The next major issue was the cap on the number of gifts. Should we have only 1 or up to 3? I brought up the point that I would like to see us allow the range of 1-3 gifts. I explained that my reasoning for this is that if my secret sister has a birthday during this time, I may want to get her something. Yet people who only give 1 gift during this time (ie, for Christmas) wouldn't need to feel like they are slacking. While most of the women nodded in agreement, one asked me "Are you a mother? You aren't a mother are you? If you aren't a mother then you can't understand." I was shocked into silence by this response since it is so irrelevant. This is not the first time that this single mother of an elementary school aged girl and her friend (also a single mother of a school aged child) have said this to me. The first time was because they were complaining about the excess charges by the after school care program run by the local church school when someone is late picking up a child. My response was to ask, "Couldn't you ask one of the other parents to pick up your child if you know you are going to have an issue making it there on time?" The response I got was: "Apparently, you are not a mother. You don't get it." True, I don't get it. But that has nothing to do with not being a mother. I don't get how there is not another parent in the entire SDA school that you would trust to pick up your child for you occasionally. Talk about overprotective parents! Now, I understand that being a single parent is not easy. Heck, being single isn't easy either. What really gets me is that fact that these two women who have been single mothers for several years and who have probably been burned in the past, are taking it out on me. The fact that I am not a mother makes all of my thoughts, opinions and comments invalid in their eyes. I call malarkey on that one. Being a parent, expecially a bitter single mother, is no excuse for putting people down nor is it permission to feel entitled to pressue those around you to feel sorry that your life is not turning out how you planned it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Waiting is the hardest part

So here it is 3 1/2 weeks until I close on the house and I'm stuck waiting. I'm waiting to hear back on my homeowner's insurance policy which needs to be in place for the mortgage papers. Waiting on this Friday's home inspection to find out what exactly I've gotten myself into. That is also when I'm going in with the measuring tape. I'm hoping to buy a stove this weekend (after the inspection of course). Next week I can work on finding some movers to help me with the heavy wood furniture from the bedroom and the washer & dryer. I also need to figure out if I want a futon for the second bedroom or a regular mattress set. Either way that is a purchase I'll need to make in the near future. I'm waiting until the inspection to start packing. I'll need to clean the rugs in my apartment and figure out a time line so I can transfer over the cable, electric, etc. I'm not really looking forward to two electric bills in August. It seems like so much needs to be done, including a small paint job on the cabinets, downstairs built-in and fireplace mantel, but nothing can really start for several weeks. I don't think that the back yard has been mowed all summer, so that will be a fun task. J has offered to take care of it for me, but we'll see. I'm going to need to get my own mower at some point. Maybe my parents can help me pick one out when they come for a Labor Day visit.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm a Big Girl Now

July has been a very busy month so far. On the first I looked at a couple of houses that are a no go. Then on Monday I took E&J to see the house that I like (see picture). They love it as much as I do. So I put an offer on the house Monday night. Tuesday morning I got my counter offer. They accepted all of my terms and came down some on the asking price. I jumped at it. The contract was signed that afternoon! I have an inspection lined up for Friday, July 13. Let's cross our fingers that superstition does not hold true :) If all goes according to plan, I'll close on August 1st. That gives me a full month to move out of my apartment and get it up to par so that I get back my full security deposit. I know I need to clean the carpets and scrub the aging linoleum. Thankfully the new house does not need a lot of work, just some minor painting of the kitchen cabinets and some accessory change outs. I still am a little shocked that if/when this works out I'll have reached my goal of home ownership by the age of 30. I'll even have done it with 9 months to spare! I guess I have to find a new goal. Kids by 35? Fitting back into a size 8? We'll see.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Morning Visitor

I don't really know what is happening, but I'm starting to wake up by 6:15 every morning even without O'Malley's gentle head taps. Since I was awake so early this morning I decided to take advantage of the situation and work out before breakfast/devotional time. This week I have been trying to do the "Slim in 6" DVD's 11 minute ab workout at least every other day. I put on the "Slim in 6" DVD I have and went with the simple 24 minute workout instead. It is basically a mini-workout designed to get you familiar with the moves. I have done this DVD program and the next stage in the past, but was really out of it this morning. I had to take several breaks and got a little overheated. I'm chalking it up to not being hydrated enough at the start even though I went through a huge cup of water during the video. Needless to say, I was quite the sweaty girl and much in need of a shower. Just as I was getting ready to lather-rinse-repeat I saw one of the largest, hairiest, ugliest spiders walking across the floor of the tub. It was inches away from my feet. I tried to get it to go down the drain, but it was a stubborn fella. I even tried switching the water from the shower to the spicket. I got out of the shower, soaking wet, and tried to dump water on it from the lid of the cotton ball container but that didn't do the trick. Finally I went to the bedroom, retrieved my trusty New Balance sneakers and crushed the bugger. Only then was I able to coax it down the drain and continue on with my morning. Before you put in your call to PETA, please note that I do not fear or hate spiders. I just don't want them in my tub! If he had been on the wall or outside I wouldn't have reacted to severely. I did try to get him down the drain alive at first...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Time Waster

If you feel like wasting some time or feel like trying on some new personalities, this is pretty fun. Unfortunately there were no gray cats, so a light one had to do.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Next Step

While I am still praying about my future, I am stepping out with Memphis in mind. I have a meeting on Monday morning with a loan officer to talk mortgages. I also have an appointment on Tuesday to look at four houses although I do have a favorite already. I'm somewhat picky and hate shopping; I didn't even test drive the two cars or motorcycle I've purchased. House hunting will probably be the same. The main thing I'm looking for in the visits is a sense of the neighborhood. Photos give me a lot of info, so I don't see myself looking at 16 houses in a single day like E&J did. The true test will be my meeting with Katy the loan officer. Once we figure out rates, payments, taxes, etc. then I will be able to find out how much house I can afford. I praying that this will be my sign. Unfortunately for me, I make more than the average first home buyer in Tennessee and therefore do not qualify for any of the state's help programs. If I can't get the payments I need, then that means that I'm not supposed to buy a house.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Weekend Update

I am happy to report that the Chili Polenta dish was a hit at Potluck. Of course I did have to explain what "that stuff on top" was to some of the born-and-bred southerns. Maybe I should've said it was Italian Grits :) If you ask me, the addition of garlic, onion, peppers, and then cheese to the polenta made the dish. It was fairly simple and inexpensive so it will be added to the regular potluck rotation. Atlanta was fun. It was nice to have the whole weekend at home before heading down. It's amazing to think that we were only there for less than 48 hours. While the Sox tanked on Monday night, they made up for it last night. I'm certain that the whole of Turner Field was aware that I'm a Tek fan. I might've blown some eardrums :) Now that I'm back I'm going to start thinking seriously about the whole housing situation. I was looking at some websites and found some cute places in Cordova. While I haven't decided what I want to do yet, I have decided to give the Boyd's realtor a call and start the process. I have to give notice by August 1 if I am leaving my place and would love some overlap so that I don't feel rushed with moving. I'm very much wrestling with this. Do I really want to commit to Memphis in such a large way? One of the signs I'm looking for is that my no-money-down house payment would be comparable to my current rent (I do live in Collierville). Once again I'm praying that the door is wide open or slammed shut. There is only one way to find out--if I don't try the door, how will I know that it is open for me?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cooking for One

I'm not a big fan of cooking for one. I tend to settle for cereal or a quick pasta dish when it is just me. However, I really do enjoy cooking and wish I had more of an opportunity to make the family recipes or just try things I've seen on the Food Network or around the web. Being vegetarian I'm always on the lookout for new things to try that don't involve pasta or too much work. I know that practice makes perfect (if only I had the confidence and track record of LadyBoyd!), so when I'm not too tired at the end of the week I end up using our weekly church potlucks at my outlet. Today I found a fairly simple recipe on PETA's website ( for "Chili Casserole With Polenta Topping." I intend to make a few adjustments (onion powder instead of onions? No garlic? Pshaw!) including using instant polenta versus homemade and might add some cheese to the mix. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Staying Put

First off, thank you for your prayers. I heard back from SNEC today. I didn't get the answer that I was hoping for, but I got the answer God intended. They didn't have to follow up with me, but I've very glad they did. Now I can close the book on it and Mom won't have to start looking into gift certificates for tattoo removal since she saw my art work as a possible "personality conflict." :) There are several incentives to stay where I am--most of them monetary--and the relationship with my boss is actually bearable at the moment. The new question is: where do I want to live now? My lease is up at the end of August and my apartment/town is a bit on the pricey side. Do I stay where I am, do I move to a cheaper apartment, or do I start looking to put down roots in the form of a real estate purchase? I like the idea of a townhouse because then I wouldn't have to worry about taking care of my lawn. Then again, I could get a house for about the same price and it might have better resale prospects. There is also an abundance of foreclosures available. And there is the question of where to move to. Somewhere safe between work and church would be ideal. O'Malley and I are living alone after all. Once I get back from Atlanta next week (GO SOX!), I'll have a lot of thinking to do and will need to start the process if I'm going to buy something.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

That's just sad

While the following is rather embarrassing and pathetic, I still feel the need to share. Please swallow any beverage you may be drinking as I do not want to be responsible for your choking fit. Yesterday I was not feeling all that well and stayed home from work. I spent the majority of the day sleeping. When I finally did wake up around 1:30 pm, I decided to catch up on my SciFi Friday shows. Still in my PJs--which consisted of a pair of Old Navy's scrub-like drawstring waisted bottoms from 1999 and a tank top--I made my way to the love seat. As I sat down, the rear seam busted open. That's right, I ripped a hole in the arse of my PJs by doing nothing other than sitting down. If that is not a wake up call I don't know what is.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Waiting Game

If anything is to come of my SNEC meeting from last month, I should know soon. I keep telling my mom and other friends not to worry about the outcome or spend too much time thinking about it. I tell them to pray for me and that if this is meant to be, it will happen. Yet I have been unable to think of anything else this weekend--I found out on Friday that my references have been checked. The more I think about the possibility of this opportunity, the more I want it. The amount of time, energy, and money involved to make this change is also weighing on my mind. I’m supposed to be flying to Atlanta in a couple of weeks (June 18-19) for the Red Sox series. I can’t help but wonder if/how this will be impacted by what might or might not come up this week... All I can do now is pray for a less anxious mind and that I can trust whatever path God wants me to go on. Even if it means staying in a yucky work environment.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just call me Angie

This has been a great b-day weekend. On Saturday evening E&J and LadyBoyd and her hubbie surprised me with a trip to Sunset Symphony and a homemade picnic. It was great weather and company. I my favorite part was LadyBoyd's homemade carrot cake. I was getting myself ready for a carrot cake-less May, but my friends refused to let that happen. This was the best cake I've ever had. BTW, it makes for a great Sunday Morning breakfast.
Sunday I hung around the house and did absolutely nothing. O'Malley forced me to wake up by 8:30, but I'll forgive her. Something about a non-declawed paw to the face is very motivating... Although I was pissed when she tried that trick today at 6 AM and several more times until I finally gave up at 9:30. I'm guessing that I might never need an alarm clock again.
Today, E&J picked me up for a nice lunch at Texas d'Brazil. While it can be really expensive for dinner, lunch is much more affordable. The "Meat Palace", as J calls it, is actually a great place for us vegetarians. They had the best roasted red pepper soup and grilled provolone. I finished lunch with coffee and flan. Yum! Next up was a trip to the zoo. This is the opening weekend of the summer butterfly exhibit. We walked around for about 4 hours. We hit all of the high points: cat country, penguins, polar bears, butterflies. E&J told me that they were going to buy a membership to the zoo on the way out. But that was a fib. They actually gave me a new child. How's that? They bought me a one year adoption for the one year old female White Bengal Tiger named Orissa. (Orissa for Krissa, get it?) That's her on the left. Sorry for the poor quality; it's from the Memphis Zoo website. The only sad thing is that I don't actually get to take her home and cuddle with both her and O'Malley. I must say that the last year of my third decade of life is off to a good start.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cake for Breakfast

The last few weeks have been full of surprises both good and bad. The first surprise was the not quite what I asked for birthday cake on the 16th. I asked for a carrot cake but got a white sheet cake with whipped cream frosting. (It took a huge amount of effort to get Mom and Nanny to call back the store and cancel the chocolate cake!) At least I got a carrot cake muffin (no frosting) out of the deal. Then while waiting for Daddy to get home from work on Thursday, I got a call from the treasurer of the Southern New England Conference of SDAs in Lancaster, MA. They have an opening and I have worked with several of the current employees there so they thought I might be interested. The trip to SNEC ended up with a chance to spend some time with my college roommate MM over subs at John's in Clinton. It was like old times. It's funny how you can forget how much you enjoy someone's company. Back to the surprises. When I called E to check in on O'Malley, she told me about another surprise that was waiting for me upon my arrival to Memphis--a rearranged office. My boss believes that his systems are the best and hates my piles. He took advantage of the fact that I was not here to make over my office. My office looks enormous now as everything has been shifted against the window wall. What really irks me is the fact that I was not consulted; I find that very disrespectful. My boss figured that if he likes, then I would as well. He keeps trying to get me to say that I like what he did. He doesn't understand why I don't. (Tangent: Last week when he was telling me about how he helped another controller become a GM, he was shocked to find out that I have no ambition to become a General Manager. Sorry, but sales is not my thing nor do I have any inclination to be a mini-him.) Anyhow, the best surprises of all so far were a beautifully cleaned up (inside and out) car on Wednesday and cake for breakfast today. E knew that I was wanting to get my car detailed and washed since it had become a bug cemetery over that last few weeks. That and I always forget to throw non-food things away. (Isn't that what back seats are for?) So, when she dropped me off at my car from the airport, Isabelle the Corolla (Ellie for short) was all bright and shiny. It was amazing. She even organized my trunk! The cake was made special for me (a layered lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting) by our resident traffic director/baker. Not only was it beautiful, but yummy too. Nothing is better than cake with your coffee at 9 AM! Now, you may be asking why I'm so happy about Ellie's makeover and not my office. It's simple really. I've told E several times that I need to give Ellie a good cleaning, but never make time for it. E knew that this is something that I wanted. As for my office, CS knows that I work in piles and that I do not subscribe to his organizational philosophy. Yet, he went ahead--under protest from just about everyone in the building--and did what he wanted anyway. E had to fight to keep him away from my piles of paperwork. Long and short of it: I wanted a clean Ellie and CS wanted my office his way.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


On Monday morning my friend (and E&J's sister-in-law) R delivered her beautiful baby boy Andrew. I am always surprised by the little fingernails. I took off after work and made the 2 1/2 hour drive over to Little Rock so that I could spend some time with little Andrew on his first day in the world. I got there around 7:45p and stayed just over an hour. Then I made the 2 1/2 hour drive home. It was totally worth it. Not only did I spend that whole time holding the precious little one, I got to see her in-laws. I am amazed by this whole family. Ever since I first met the family last year they have accepted me as their own. It's kind of like I'm another daughter/sister-in-law even though the Sims boys are married. Considering that my family is 1,300 miles away it is nice that they are so welcoming.

While I was holding Andrew I kept wishing that I was in a place in my life where I could start thinking about having children. Several of my friends are in the baby-making way and I'm a little jealous of that. I'm inching ever closer to the start of my fourth decade of life (only one year and 18 days left). Alas, there is no one in my life to make babies with. I do see myself well settled into married life before shaking it up with kids. I like that my brother waited five years before starting to spawn. It gave him and his wife time together to really appreciate each other before their lives became about the boys. But marriage is years away for me--as I keep telling my mom, I need to meet my future husband before I can think about marrying him :) Adoption is always an option if I never find the right person (or even if I do), but I don't really see myself as a single parent considering the fact that I am much in want of the help-mate that is missing in my life now. Anyway you slice it, I have baby fever and no outlet.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

About freakin' time

I’ve finally done it. I went ahead and committed to a one week vacation that will truly be a vacation. No email, no computer, and barring any emergencies no cell phone. What’s that? Am I taking a vacation in the Stone Age? Close. I’m going to the family camp in Maine. Tuesday night I booked my direct flight to Boston and ended up spending a whole $3.91. Don’t you just love the perks of getting bumped on flights? And since I am staying with family and at the family owned camp and borrowing my dad’s car, this will be the cheapest vacation. I’m heading out two weeks from yesterday and won’t be back in Memphis until the 23rd. Right now the plan is to spend a whopping 5 ½ days up at camp (drive up Thursday morning and drive back late Tuesday afternoon). I will need to pack a cooler with water and some munchies to tide me over, but that’s it. Dad will join me for part of the trip so I’ll have a canoeing buddy. We are even going to try to get in a little joint b-day dinner with the whole family for our birthdays. As long as there is cream cheese frosting I’ll be happy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Starbucks makes it all better

Since I had some errands to run and would be passing by a Starbucks, I had to go in. I haven't had a frappichino in at least a year but I broke down and got a caffe vanilla. Yum-o! It is amazing how much taste affects my moods. Oh yeah, and I get to be front row at small a Todd Agnew concert tonight; great way to bring in the Sabbath. Anyway, for the last month or so my bad days have outnumbered the good. As a result of immense frustration, I took a last minute personal day on Wednesday. It ended up being one of the most perfect days. I woke up just after 8 AM and then sat down with O'Malley and a bowl of cereal to have my devotional. I am just starting Mark Finley's Solid Ground. It is a short one page message for each day. It is simple to read but really packs a punch. When I was finished I decided to pick back up a book,The Unmistakable Touch of Grace, that my mom recommended to me a couple of years ago when I was in this same state of mind. Cheryl Richardson is/was the life coach for a friend of my mom's and recommended her. She deals with life makeovers and finding your purpose. This is right up my alley as I am feeling overwhelmed and burnt out and purposeless. So after reading chapter one and doing the recommended journal exercise, I went for a nice, leisurely 3 mile walk. I was surprised at how much wild life was out and playing: birds, geese, squirrels. Even though it started raining halfway through, it was very peaceful. I got back to the apartment at 10:30, took a shower and read some of C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet. Then my favorite part of the day: NAP TIME! I took a two hour nap. (Like I said, it was a very good day.) The evening was topped off with some Thai food (from boxes of course) and Lost with E & J. Why can't every day be like that?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It's a very rough draft, but it's been floating around asking to be written down for a little while: Placeholder Stabilizing, nudging in place Holding strong to achieve that which is not mine Stagnant anchor Finding purpose in journeys I can only guide Hidden beneath the surface Empty, sinking into the forgotten -klh 4.17.07 Update: Placeholder Stabilizing, nudging in place Holding strong to achieve that which is not its own Stagnant anchor Finding purpose in journeys it can only guide Hidden beneath the surface Hollow, sinking into the forgotten -klh 4.20.07

Thursday, April 12, 2007

April Showers Bring... too much to do!

April is turning out to be a very busy month. And I’m not even talking work-wise! The first weekend in April/last weekend in March I helped E&J paint and set up their new house. We ended up seeing The Vital Might at a dive bar that Saturday night. We met up with LadyBoyd and her hubby which made for a fun night. Last weekend was communion and potluck. I made Mom’s 7 layer salad; it takes little effort and goes a long way. It was nice to have E meet up with me for church even though she couldn’t stay for lunch. Tomorrow afternoon I have the privilege of going to a live Ardent Studios session with Jet. It will be a nice way to kick of the weekend. I’m sure to have to teach SS and I have announcements at church this week. Right after potluck I’m heading down to Mantachie for the rest of the weekend. J is singing at his parents’ church Sunday and since E is in Boston, I figured I’d support him. Next weekend is the baby shower in Little Rock and the last Sunday in April is the constituency meeting in Nashville/Madison, TN that I so nicely volunteered for and will most likely be driving a few others to. It doesn’t look like May is going to be any quieter. So far there is a wedding in St. Louis, the Beale St. Music Fest, my b-day, and maybe even a start on house hunting. In addition to the many travels, because I can’t seem to rely on the youth SS leader, I’ve taught the class for as long as I can remember. I got a call at 9 AM on March 31 from him saying he had to bail on the class. Good thing I feel the need to prepare every week. This was just two days after he told me that the days of me picking up his slack were over and that we were going to institute a teaching schedule. I have yet to see anything of the sort. Last week he was there in body only. After some small talk the actual lesson part fell to me. He didn’t even know what we were reading about and didn’t bother to check emails or get in touch with me during the week. I really don’t want to have to be the one to call the LEADER to ask if he is going to be prepared for class each week. I’m also worried about April 21 since I’m out of town. The last time I thought I was going to miss a class and he said not to worry about it, he put it off on the other assistant the night before. When I showed up halfway through (found out I had to cover announcements at the last minute and my plans had fallen through) I was expected to take over or do some Bible Trivia (the fallback plan for the unprepared). Not cool.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Good Day

So it looks like today is rounding out to be a good day. I was thinking that nothing was going to top the Cold Stone Cheesecake Fantasy I had last night. It has fruit that makes it healthy. But then there was this good news. I know that it is 18 months out, but it gives a girl something to look forward to. UPDATE: The link isn't working. The good news is that Dunkin Donuts is going to come into the Memphis market!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Burn Baby Burn

This afternoon I started to feel that lovely muscle burn associated with exercise. That's right: I exercised last night. I got home just after 6p and instead of turning on the TV I decided that it was nice enough to go for a walk. I walked my normal route which is about 3 miles round trip. Last night was the first time I've been walking in about 9 months! It felt good to be outside and I took my time getting into a grove. Now if I could only keep it up... As for that other goal, I've cut down on the nightly TV watching but haven't quite reached the 1 hour a night point. The main reason for the cutbacks this week has nothing to do with self control. I went out to a show Sunday night, cooked dinner on Tuesday night (Polenta Pizza: it's a must try), went for a walk last night, and tonight is TMNT movie night. Needless to say I haven't made any headway with the extra reading and devotional time.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Just me?

Have you ever been in a crowd (of any size) and felt completely alone? Tonight I went to a local rock club to see Skillet. This was a station-sponsored event and the potential for free admission was key (the record rep was supposed to put me on the list this afternoon, but it didn’t end up that way). I really enjoy concerts and smaller venues are better in my opinion. I think this is due in part to the fact that I have no musical talent whatsoever but know a large amount of people who do. Anyway, I made it to the club only to be told I was not on the list. I paid my $17 and waded through the crowd until I got a semi-decent view. All I could think about was how much better the acoustic set was this afternoon and the fact that in this crowd of hundreds I was completely alone. (I felt the same way in the crowd of a dozen or two at the acoustic show too.) This is something that is starting to get to me. I have always thought of myself as an independent person. I am financially independent, have a good job, live on my own, can cook, and even run a power tool or two. Lately I no longer feel independent; I feel alone. I sit alone at church; I either sit with strangers or annoying children at potluck. Ninety-nine percent of the time that I leave my apartment it is to go somewhere alone. I shop alone, eat fast food alone, rent movies alone, and watch TV alone. I know this shouldn't bother me. But it does. I even feel alone when I’m with others. Last week at Ever praise E & L came with me. We rode to church together and sat in the same pew. It felt no different then the times I sit by myself. Even when E joined me at Festival of Faith, I had the same issue. I wish I knew why this is becoming such an issue. I do believe that the worst part is that I’m extremely angry at myself for getting so worked up about it. On a completely unrelated note: I think that Memphians are descended from Pygmies. I've never seen so many height challenged people in my life. I know it was an all ages show, but it was ridiculous. At least 80% of the people were shorter than me and I'm 5'6".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Goal Setting

One of the things that I am really bad about is time management. I would almost go as far as to say that I am lazy or lacking in any form of will power. Almost. When I am at home I am more apt to turn on the TV than be productive. Sundays and/or Saturday nights are usually my TV days. What I realized this week was that when I come home by 6 I waste at minimum 4 hours sitting in front of the TV. This cannot be good. I am not a morning person, so devotions don't tend to happen then. The TV goes on as soon as I get home from work, so devotions don't happen then either. I need to change this. The epiphany came Monday night when I started my new book, Shantaram: a 936 page novel. The last book I read of that length was a Harry Potter book and I had to go to Oxford, Maine to make the time to finish it. While I love to read, I never make it a priority. I will read for 30 - 60 minutes before bed but that is all of the reading I do in a day. It can take up to a month or more to finish a book at that pace. I have come to the decision that this is no longer acceptable. I need to spend more time in devotions and reading and less time in front of the glowing TV screen. So what does this mean? Should I go cold turkey and unplug the whole thing? I hope not. I think the solution is to ween myself off TV. I will still DVR the shows I want to see (do you really think I could miss out on Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galatica, and Lost?) and have a mega catch up session on the weekends. So here is the plan: one hour of TV a night on Monday - Friday and no more than four hours of TV each for Saturday and Sunday. This way I can spend my nights reading and start using that 30 - 60 minutes before bed doing a devotional. The one possible hiccup to this plan is that for the next week or two or three I still have E&J here who are big TV watchers as well. We usually eat dinner while watching whatever is on TV. I'm going to have to be strong and set up camp in my bedroom while they watch TV in the living room and resign myself to the fact that the one hour of TV each night may be reserved for dinner time. Heck, if I really get adventurous I could start walking again in the evening for an hour. Don't hold your breath on that one though. Do you ever have issues with the magnetic pull of the TV? Have you figured out the best way to manage all 24 hours in your day? I'm always looking for a better idea.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekend in Review

This week was very full. L came down for a long weekend. It was great to see her again even if it took her sister moving here for her to make the trek :) Thursday night we all went out with LadyBoyd and her hubby to see 300. While it was high up there on the violence scale (it is about a Spartan battle after all), it is well worth seeing. The backgrounds were amazing. I was so into the story I found myself clapping at a scene near the end of the movie. Ladies, when you see the movie you’ll know which scene it was. I don’t know if it was just me but I noticed a lot of Jesus allegory in the movie. The Spartan king cared more about his countrymen than himself and proudly stood up to Xerxes. At the end I was blown away by Xerxes speech and Satan’s temptations of Jesus. Friday I took the day off. After an early morning filling/teeth filing session and a mid-morning nap, L and I made the trip to the Brooks Museum of Art. We had lunch at their cafĂ© and took our time wandering the building's three levels. L was very generous and thought that the Brooks was better than the MFA in Boston. Personally, I disagree because the MFA has more Egyptian and Asian pieces. Yesterday was an extremely productive day. After dropping L off at the airport I curled up on my bed with O’Malley and finished Deep Storm by Lincoln Child. The book was every bit as entertaining as one would expect from Child, but I was disappointed by the source of the illness and how it came to be located where it was. Highlight if you have no intention of reading the book or don't mind being spoiled: a weapons stash sent to Earth by aliens. (Quick plot summary: an oil rig off the coast of Iceland finds something unusual so the military and multiple high level scientists move into an undersea Facility to investigate and dig beneath the Earth’s Moho layer. The crews fall ill—no real common symptoms—and a submariner doctor is brought in to solve the medical mystery.) While I was finishing up the book, E cleaned the whole apartment. I sorted through papers and mail for about an hour. I was finally throwing out mail from August 2005! I’m really bad about keeping up with that sort of thing. E did a great job and the place is sparkling. I don’t think it has ever looked this good. I did have to promise to keep up with the papers and throw things out a minimum of once a week.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Long time no post...

This week’s sermon really hit home with me. Pastor Lombard spoke about giving up control. One of the examples that he used was someone trying to give up smoking. The epiphany came when she said “I can’t do this.” My mom and I were having the same conversation Friday night. I still feel overwhelmed on multiple fronts. Last week I finally became fully staffed at work. This will really kick in next week when I’ve finished closing the books and can start handing things off. Last week I put in some 10+ hour days at work. When I was telling a friend about my week, all he could say was “There is no way I would do that. They better be paying me tons of overtime if they expect that from me.” I have a huge issue with this train of thought. I don’t do my job for the money. (That’s not to say that I’m not well compensated, money just isn’t my motivator and it never will be.) The way I see it, I’ve made a commitment and have to do what it takes to follow through with that commitment. I am responsible for my deadlines regardless of what that entails. This is not just a work issue with me. One of the areas where this has become an issue is at church. For example, I don’t think it is fair to a youth Sabbath school for the teacher not to be prepared. It is also not acceptable to promise something and not deliver. I think I’ve mentioned before that I often find it necessary to have a backup plan when I am counting on someone else to follow through. I have had to use the backup plans on several occasions. I’m starting to believe that I’m being taken advantage of for being “the responsible one.” People know that I hate having the youth (or prophecy seminar attendees) get the short end of the stick from the church. I won’t be the person who contributes to the church letting them down if I can help it. As a result, people are slacking off because they know I’ll take care of things. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping. I am quite the helper. But if I wanted to be a leader or coordinator, I would’ve signed up for that job. I have enough on my plate with work. I don’t need to deal with finding out that I am supposed to help teach the Sabbath School lesson for up to 40 youths with one week notice. On top of that, I don’t need to deal with the “Leader” telling me that he will help with the lesson and then not facilitate a planning session so that the whole lesson is now my task. Just once, I’d like to be the one who brings the OJ and the CD player. At some point church needs to go back to being a fulfilling experience for me and not a draining one. I accepted the position of assistant under the guise of helping out one Sabbath a month. The reality is more like three to four times a week because I actually take the time to read the lesson and learn about the subject. This is very stressful when you consider everything else that is going on for me and the fact that I may not know until I get to church if I have to teach. Now that I’ve been very long winded, this is just another reminder that I need to STOP being the independent cuss that I am. I need to start asking for help and guidance even when I am afraid of where it may lead. I don’t expect to rely on people because we all screw up and people don’t change. I need to take the help offered by the one person who has the Map and is the Light for my path. Easier said than done.