Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Well, it's about that time! I LOVE Christmas. In fact, I even have a special Christmas section in my planner that starts in August and helps me make sure I do all the "Christmasy" things I want to do. Yep. I'm one of those kind of people. I like to do crafts (paint ornaments, make wreaths, etc.), bake (I'm having a marathon cookie bake tomorrow), and shop for just the right gift.

But this year, since all my belongings are in storage, I only pulled out my very favorite decorations. And rather than pull out my tall pre-lit tree from the storage building, I opted to put up 3 small pre-lit trees. Small, but still very festive.

I finally got my cards mailed out this week--I did photo cards this year. I couldn't resist. Every card I got from my college friends was a photo card, usually featuring their small children. Since I don't have any children to feature, I figured I'd put me and my dogs. And of course, me being me, I printed a few different cards just for some variety. I won't actually post the cards, but see the pictures below!

Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It Seems Like Everyone's Got A Plan....

It's kind of like Nashville, with a Tan....

Okay, I know that was a little random. But it was one of my favorite songs (Lullaby by Shawn Mullins) back when I lived in Nashville, and I heard it on Monday while I was driving to Nashville, and now I'm sitting here in Nashville...you get the picture...

So I'm in my very favorite coffee shop in the whole wide world (and I have traveled all over the world, and have a love affair with coffee, so that is saying a lot!) trying to get some work done on my book.

The coffee shop is called Fido (it used to be a pet store...), and it's in Hillsboro Village in Nashville, near downtown. I used to live in Hillsboro Village and was a frequent (almost nightly) visitor to Fido. Hillsboro Village is the "cool, trendy, hip" area of Nashville, and when I lived here, I felt very cool, trendy, and hip. In fact, just sitting here ingesting a large Mocha, I think I may have recaptured some of the cool, trendy, hipness of my early-twenties. Back in the day when I was just out of college and still wearing rose colored glasses.

Now I'm plagued by the cynicism that comes with being single and in my early (very early, thank you very much) thirties. Or as my friend Katherine says, my "Twirties". Which means Thirties but haven't let go of the cool, trendy, hip Twenties. :)

I'm here in Nashville for a week, visiting college friends and remembering what a social life is. I've dropped out of life for the past 4 months, but this little trip has let me know that I'm back from the abyss and ready to live again.

Which if you know what all I've been through these past months, should have you cheering for me. And if you don't know, well maybe I've just added an air of mystery to myself that will make you want to keep reading my blog. Ha! That reminds me of a great quote from a movie that I saw not too long ago...."No one is as mysterious as they think they are...."

And now, I will get back to writing my book, as I wait for my friend who is meeting me for lunch....he's a musician. After all, I am in Nashville!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Belated Blog

So I actually wrote the following post a week ago and had "blogger" problems, so am just now posting it.....

I'm writing this from my hotel room in downtown Mobile. I'm here for a week of "on site" work. (as opposed to the weeks of "from home" work I've been doing for the past few months)

The 2 day event I've been planning for the past few months is this week, and thus far, everything is going well. Of course the event doesn't start until Thursday, and there will be many a fire to put out between now and then!

This event is such a cool thing. I will definitely post pictures later in the week. We will have a mock disaster staged in the parking lot of the Civic Center. (I have a towing company bringing 2 wrecked cars tomorrow and they will put them together as if they were just in a car crash) Both days, the Fire Truck and Ambulance will be on hand, just to add to the drama of the scene.

As the busloads of students get to the event, I will put them into groups and place them in a staging area where they will hear speakers from area hospitals while they wait their turn.

Then they will be taken one group at a time, first to an area where there is a tape player set up. There they will hear a 911 call. (I played the role of the 911 Dispatcher...) Once they've heard the mock call, they will go to the scene of the accident. (kind of gruesome, with a body lying on the concrete by the cars...he is portraying a drunk driver)

Then they will go with the EMTs and actually learn what they would do for the victims. (in this case, it will include CPR, intubating, and delivering a baby!) The students actually do this hands on, working on special mannequins. In exactly 10 minutes, a siren will sound and the students will take their "patients" into the ER. (every 10 minutes, a new group moves into the exhibit.)

In the ER, students will learn to start an IV and other things that would go on in there. From there, they go to radiology/lab, where they look at x-rays with a radiologist and check out the patient's labwork with a lab tech. From there, they go to surgery where they have to amputate a leg, among other things! Then they go to the patient's room, where the nurses will teach them to give a shot and listen to the baby's heartbeat. (the baby they delivered earlier at the accident scene) Then it's on to respiratory therapy for some breathing treatments for the asthmatic boy who was in the wreck, as well as a stop at the Pharmacy to learn how the Pharmacist plays a role in the treatment. After that, they go to Rehab, where they learn to do Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Exercise Physiology. Finally, they stop at the discharge nurse/case manager, to learn what the orders will be upon the patient's discharge from the hospital.

As you might've guessed, this event is meant to introduce students to various healthcare careers, but in a very cool and exciting way. The students who attend (I'm expecting 1000!) will be hands on through the whole process, from getting the "patients" out of the ambulance, all the way to discharging them.

This is my 4th year to plan and coordinate the event, and it is always a nervewracking time. Over the course of the 2 days, I will have around 300 volunteers, as well as 1000 students and around 75-100 counselors and teachers who will all be relying on me to make sure everything runs smoothly. It's a high pressure couple of days, especially working out the inevitable kinks on Thursday morning. My favorite part will be Friday afternoon, when things are running on their own and I will actually have a chance to go through all the exhibits and watch the event in action. But there is a long road ahead of me between now and then!

Beginning at 8am on Thursday, we will have a new school group every 10 minutes for several hours. Ditto on Friday. Between parking buses, making sure the food and drinks for volunteers are replenished, and directing the numerous volunteers to their spots, it is quite a hectic couple of days.

But still a great event! See below for a few pictures!


This was the mock car crash--we put a little plug in to tell kids "don't drink and drive" by making the cause of the crash driving while intoxicated. In our scenario, the drunk driver didn't make it.


Another view of the accident scene. You can see the fire truck in the back.


Ambulance on the scene--the kids got to pull the mock victims out of the ambulance just like in a real emergency.


This is just a shot of some of my artwork! I drew and painted pictures for each career represented, and the ambulance is one of my favorites!


More of my artwork! This was in the Emergency Room exhibit.


This is the "Surgery" exhibit. The kids got to amputate the "leg" of the victim. (also see a view of more of my artwork in the background!)


Nursing exhibit--students learning how to listen to the heartbeat of a newborn baby.


Nursing exhibit where there students learned to give shots.


Pharmacy Exhibit where the students learned what goes on in a Pharmacy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Life as I know it

So I haven't been in a "blogging" kind of mood lately. Not sure why exactly. Since I last blogged, I went to Dallas for ACFW conference (very fun!) and to Mobile for work (also very fun, and nice to see the Gulf again). It's funny--I never would've thought that when I started working from home, it would actually mean I would be busier than when I did the 8-5 office thing.

I am finally making progress on my book! But first, I spent a lot of time clearing out some space and bought a very fun bright yellow desk. I think just having a designated workspace has helped me tremendously.

Right now I am working on some of the details of the long synopsis and it's actually going really well. I love my heroine and the hero is growing on me. I changed his name yesterday though and am now even happier with him.

I'm finding that I'm addicted to Facebook. Most of my really good friends from college have recently gotten on there, and we are all having the best time re-connecting. It's sort of changed the way I e-mail--now most of the time, we just post on walls or send a private message.

Here are a list of a few other thoughts that I've had these past "no time to blog" weeks:

1. Britney Spears--bless her heart. Not that I'm a fan or anything, and I certainly don't support her decisions. But I can't help but feel a little sorry for her. Hopefully if she and her mom can really reconcile, it will make a positive difference.

2. The new season of Dancing With the Stars! I was so sad last week to see Albert Reed have to leave. I thought he was very cute and a pretty good dancer. So now I am pulling for Jennie Garth (yes, I was a 90210 fan back in the day), Cameron Mathison, and Helio the race car guy.

3. New season of Grey's Anatomy--I'm hanging in there with it. I miss Addison being there although I like her spin off okay. I also miss Dr. Burke. And I don't like where they are going with Meridith and McDreamy OR George and Izzy. But hopefully it will get better...

I think that's enough pop culture for one day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reunion!

I went to Memphis over the weekend and had a reunion with some of my college friends! It was so much fun. We ate sushi and shopped, then stayed up late (okay, it was midnight, but that is late for us!)and talked.

We had such a great time, and I can't even express here how thankful I am to have friends like them. Even if it's been a month or a year or whatever since we've been together, it's as if no time as passed.

So after a very fun weekend, I am back home, trying to get ready for ACFW conference! I can't believe a week from today I will be on my way to Texas! I'm working on my pitch right now. This is the most daunting task I think I've ever faced.

I am not a good "speaker" when I get nervous. And I know I will be nervous. I am one of those introverts who hated being called on in class, even though I knew the answer. I just don't like to talk in front of people. UNLESS it is a large group and I am "performing". I can be in plays or musicals with no problem. I spoke in chapel at FHU 3 times--that's in front of about 2000 people, and was hardly nervous. I can stand in front of large tour groups and give a Civil War tour. But put me in front of one or two people and I'm a wreck.

Hopefully I will find a way to put myself at ease when I pitch. If anyone has any tips...please share! :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What kind of coffee girl am I?

Well, this may be a bit of a cop out, but I found a fun little quiz and thought I'd post it on here! :)

You Are a Cappuccino

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

Monday, September 3, 2007

Time Keeps on Ticking...

Well, the time certainly seems to fly by, doesn't it? I had all these grand plans of having both of my manuscripts finished by the time ACFW conference rolls around, but it seems that might not happen.

Okay, not just that it might not happen, it won't happen! But I am working on finishing my cozy mystery and am also preparing to pitch my chick-lit work in progress to an editor at the conference in 2 weeks.

I'm feeling pretty good about it actually. Of course, in 2 weeks, I might not feel the same! I talked to a friend last week who had pitched something last year at RWA and she thought she had it memorized, but forgot it once she got in front of the editor. That is my fear!! Thanks to her advice, I am definitely going to take a cheat sheet with me to my editor appointments. Just in case I lose my train of thought.

And in other news, I am trying to decide what to wear to the awards banquet. Am torn between my favorite formal that I never get the chance to wear, and something a little more casual.

I'm leaning toward my formal, just because I love to get all dressed up, and let's face it--there aren't many opportunities to do that.

Of course, what I should REALLY be focusing on is my manuscript. But my philosophy (or excuse, depending on how you look at it) is that if I look good, I'll feel good, and if I feel good, I'll do a better job pitching my work. So really, it's all about the clothes! Ha!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Change Will Do Me Good...

I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. Let’s just say that my life has been going through some transitions these past few weeks.

After my last day of work a couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days at the beach. Alone. And most people who heard that thought it was really weird. But I think sometimes we all need a little alone time to rejuvenate. And like I told my mom a few years ago when I traveled in Europe by myself, God is with me everywhere I go, so I’m never really alone. (she didn’t like it much when I said that because it meant she could no longer fuss about it!)

Now I’m in Arkansas, writing 2 books and enjoying time with my family. I am also doing a freelance job for my old company which gives me a purpose (and an income) but still the freedom to write and visit with people I’ve neglected for far too long.

And my big life drama (or if my life were a book, my main conflict…) is trying to decide where to go and what to do next. I am only planning on being at mom’s for a few weeks before I find my own place again and start job hunting. But I will say—it is rather nice to have so many choices! At this point, my life, which a few weeks ago I thought was pretty well planned out, is now a clean slate. I can totally reinvent myself if I want to and start all over. And you know, it’s kind of nice. And scary. But very much what I want right now.

Here are a couple of random verses I stumbled upon this week. They both really stuck out at me, so I thought I’d share:

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”

Proverbs 11:22 “A beautiful woman without good sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.”

Friday, July 20, 2007

Waiting on Harry

Well I admit it. I'm excited about the final Harry Potter book which comes out at midnight tonight. And though I'm not going to be at Barnes and Noble at midnight to buy one of the first copies, I am going to be there tomorrow morning. In fact, I even saved a birthday Barnes and Noble gift card for this occasion!

And I can't wait to read it. But at the same time, I'm a little sad. I know two characters die, and quite frankly, unless it is Snape or one of the Malfoys, I'm not too happy with it. And to be honest, I'm sad it's the last book. I wish she would keep writing them until no one wants to read them again! (although I guess depending on the ending of this one, that might be tough to do)

I just re-read the Half Blood Prince, so I'm definitely ready to find out what happens next. Hopefully it will be a satisfying ending to a great series.

I'm just afraid the ending will end up on the Internet (like on the front page of MSN) or on the news. And I really don't want to know the end until I read it with my own eyes. I'm really hoping Harry, Ron, and Hermione live. And Hagrid. I really don't want him to die. And of course, I wish Dumbledore could come back to life. And Sirius. Obviously I'm more of a happy ending kind of girl! :)

So of course, I will start reading it tomorrow. And probably not stop until it's over! With Half Blood Prince, I had to make myself put it away periodically, or I think I would've read it at one sitting.

Oh, to be able to write like that!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Reality of It All

Summer TV just seems to feed my reality/game show addiction!

First off, The Singing Bee is very fun, even though Joey Fatone is even cheesier than he was on Dancing with the Stars. My verdict is still out on this one, but I'll definitely tune in tomorrow night.

Second, and a little more disappointing (yet somehow still strangly entertaining) was VH-1's Scott Baio is 45...and Still Single. I was a Scott Baio fan during Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, and of course, Charles in Charge. But I never knew he was such a womanizer! The basic premise is that he's now 45 and has a long (very very long) string of girlfriends but no wife or family. So he's hired a life coach who is making him re-visit all of his exes to see what went wrong. (there was a movie a few years ago with this EXACT same scenario called Seven Girlfriends. Tim Daly was in it and it was actually pretty good) Anyway, the Scott Baio show looks a little trashy. I'm giving it one more week. He did reunite with Erin Moran (Joanie) and talk to Henry Winkler (the Fonz) which was kind of cool.

And now for my favorite of the recent reality shows--I loved Victoria Beckham: Coming to America! Posh is really funny. And she has such good hair. A little disappointed that they aren't doing the weekly reality show they originally planned to do. Nope, just the one night hour long special. But it was good.

And now I think everyone knows why I haven't made as much progress on my Chick Lit manuscript as I should have! Too much TV!

But I am excited that the e-mail loop is getting started for those of us who will be new to the upcoming ACFW Conference. We are all in the process of introducing ourselves right now and I'm hoping that this will provide motivation for me to turn OFF my TV and write!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I Love a Good Bargain!

This has really been the week for bargains. And there is nothing I like better than getting a good deal!

First, you have to realize that the U-Haul has already visited my house and taken my earthly possessions to Arkansas. Which means that I'm surrounded by pretty much nothing. Here's what I kept with me:
  • A box of books (The Ashley Stockingdale series by Kristen Billerbeck, Arkansas and Promise Me Always by Christine Lynxwiler, a Heartsongs Collection--Bayou Brides, the entire Anne George Southern Sisters series, and all 6 Harry Potters, just in case I want to marathon read them before July 21st)
  • Some magazines that need to be read and thrown away before I move
  • Enough outfits to wear each one twice for the rest of my time at work
  • Way too many shoes (I'm ashamed to tell exactly how many pairs)
  • My dog, Arnie, who is currently curled up on a twin size air mattress which he has claimed as his own (after his favorite bedding inadvertently got packed up and sent away)
  • A couch that I'm leaving on the curb in Mobile (and which is doubling as my bed until July 31st)
  • My laptop

So I thought I'd just spend these few weeks reading, writing, and maybe going to the gym and getting some use out of my Y membership.

Unfortunately, when I got back to Mobile Sunday night, after being in Chattanooga for several days, I was unnerved by how quiet and empty the house seemed.

So Monday after work, I went to America's Thrift Store and found a 20 inch color TV for...$19.96! Seriously! And since I hadn't cancelled the cable yet, I bought it and plugged it in, only to find that the picture is better than on my other (expensive) TV! YAY!

That was bargain #1. Bargain #2 came yesterday.

I went to Bruno's after work, thinking I'd pick up a frozen pizza for dinner. (my plan to lose a little weight and log a lot of gym time before I go back to Arkansas is obviously not working out very well...)

Anyway, I get inside and glance at the ad they have posted near the front of the store. It was there that I found my next great bargain of the week--I bought 2 large Red Baron Pizzas for $9.98 and then got an 8 pack of Garlic Bread, a Mrs. Smith's Apple Cobbler, and a 6 pack of Pepsi product for free! That is a lot of food for a grand total of $10.88!

So of course, I'm tempted to go shopping tomorrow just to see if the bargain fairy is still with me!

Monday, July 2, 2007

I Resigned!

Well, life is certainly crazy, isn't it?

I turned in my resignation last week, effective July 31st! I have made the decision to move....back home! To Arkansas... With my mom.... And we haven't lived under the same roof since high school...

Okay, so that will really only be temporary, but still it's kind of funny. Talk about life imitating art. One of my current WIPs is about a 30-something girl who moves back to her small town and lives with her mom for a short time. And here I go, doing the same thing! (although I hope I don't find any dead bodies, as she is prone to do!)

And while I don't really know what I'm getting myself into, moving back to a place without a red light or a Wal-Mart, I feel like I've made a good decision.

Really I go back and forth between being happy, sad, and overwhelmed.

Happy because I have been hours away from my family for so many years. I won't know what to do with myself when I don't have to rush around and see everyone in one weekend then hurry to the airport. I'm looking forward to spending time with all of them, especially my grandparents.

Sad because I like my job, and living this close to the beach has been such fun. It's been nice living in a vacation spot. I can hop in the car, and 45 minutes later, I'm on the beach in Gulf Shores. And the winters are nice too--I haven't really worn a heavy coat in 3 years!

But most of all, right now I'm a little overwhelmed. The whole packing thing has never been my talent. Where did I get so much stuff!!?? And the thought of unemployment, even for a short time, leaves my insides knotted.

Enough of that for now though. I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say as I make the transition!

And let me say thanks to Christine Lynxwiler for giving me a "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award! Right back at you!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy




I love summer! At least I love the summer that lives in my memories....the one that included endless days of climbing trees, looking for four-leaf clovers, and eating cold watermelon.

Do kids even do those things anymore? Not being a parent, I'm not really sure. A couple weeks ago we were in Chattanooga and I was running around Tim's sister's backyard chasing fireflies (we don't have those in Mobile and I just couldn't help myself).

It made me wonder if all the things that made summer "summer" to me are obsolete today. (and laugh at myself for acting like a little kid)

I admit that I'm a bit of a weirdo. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. I love the heat, the fireworks, the patriotic songs and parades. Picnics, water skiing, camping, and fishing are my favorite things.

So here's to a great summer, filled with cold watermelon, fireflies, and four-leaf clovers!




Friday, June 22, 2007

Royal Watcher

So I remember watching the wedding of Diana and Charles. I was only 5. I think I either stayed up late or got up early to watch it. But even then I was enthralled by the festivities and the idea that Diana was a real princess.

She was so beautiful and the dress, the carriage, the sheer royalty of it all was such a fairy tale, especially to me, a little girl in Arkansas who would've worn a tiara every day if my Mom would've let me!

And while through the years, it became obvious that the fairy tale marriage was just a myth, I was still enchanted by Princess Di and her boys.

I remember hearing of her death in 1997. I had just come back from Europe and was camping with some friends for Labor Day. We had been water skiing and just having a great time. Josh's parents were with us and they had their big camper with a TV and all. Most of us were staying in a tent. Someone came in the tent that Saturday night and said that Princess Diana was dead. I remember thinking at first that it was some kind of joke--maybe a Saturday Night Live skit that they'd seen, and not really the truth.

The next morning, we all watched the news on TV and saw that it was indeed the truth. Of course, during this very sad time, a funny story occurred. The TV announcer kept saying that "Diana was killed by Paparazzi" and Josh turned to his dad and said "Was Paparazzi her ex-boyfriend?" and his dad said "No Son, that's just a fancy name for photographer."

To this day, that was one of the funniest conversations I've ever heard!

After Diana's death, I watched the funeral and remember worrying about her boys. They looked so alone as they walked behind her casket. So I've always kind of been interested in them and what they were up to.

I was very happy to see the interview this week that they did with Matt Lauer. I have to say that they are both cuties! (maybe I should book a flight to England...)

During the interview, you could see that they are very close to one another and seem pretty well adjusted. Like normal guys. Funny, warm, and maybe a little irreverent. The thing that struck me the most is how involved they both are in humanitarian efforts. It seemed very sincere too, not something they do for photo ops.

Their Mom would be proud.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trying to Catch Up!



Well, I'm finally back in Mobile. After many miles on the road, me and the dogs made it back safely. (in a very fun rented red Jeep Liberty, which I hated to turn in yesterday)

The dogs did well--they are such good travelers! When I'm by myself traveling with them, my rule is that we don't stop. It takes too much time to get one out of the crate and hold on to the other one so no one jumps out or anything. They both slept most of the time we were in the car and I made excellent time.

The Civil War tour went very well. I realize, as I do every year when I go back and lead it, that being a Park Ranger at a battlefield truly was my dream job.

My fascination with the Civil War began when I was a little girl. From the time I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, I was getting a Civil War calendar every year for Christmas. I did research projects on the war when I was in junior high and high school. I read tons of books about it and always wanted to know more.

When I found out that Shiloh was hiring before my senior year of college, I was elated. I applied and interviewed, and thankfully was offered the job. I went back after graduation and worked for a few years. In fact, I didn't turn my badge in until I had moved to Mobile 3 years ago.

This year's tour went well. My group had fun and so did I. (One of the ladies on my tour, Echo McGuire, was Buddy Holley's girlfriend for 5 years--she had some neat stories)

Despite my nervousness, I remembered all the facts and didn't draw a blank while I was up speaking to the group. However, there was ONE time where I mis-spoke...

I was leading a tour of the National Cemetery, and had just gotten to the most dramatic portion of the program where I have them turn and look at the sheer number of tombstones across the cemetery. At that point, I was supposed to say, "Over two-thirds of the men lying here are unknown." But what I actually said was "Over two-thirds of the men lying here are dead."

As you can imagine, I pretty much lost control of the group at that point. They made jokes about my faux pas for the rest of the day.

Here are some pictures of me as a ranger and also dressed as a Civil War soldier. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On the Road Again

Well, I find myself neglecting the blog again as I'm traveling. I took off from work this week and have driven many a mile.

Went to Chattanooga over the weekend, then drove to Arkansas to see the family. I'm now back in Tennessee gearing up to lead a two day tour of Shiloh National Military Park, where I used to work as a Park Ranger. (I have photos of this that I may post when I get back to Mobile, if I'm feeling brave!)

I'm playing tour guide for the next two days for a tour group from Freed-Hardeman University's Golden Year Reunion. (the reunion attendees have the option of coming to campus two days prior to the actual reunion to take part in my tour)

I admit that I'm a little nervous. Although, every year I'm nervous beforehand and then when our group actually gets back to the park, it all comes back to me. It's just the idea of being "in charge" and up in front of a group for two days and not knowing exactly what to say that scares me.

This is the 4th or 5th year I've lead the tour for the university, and it always turns out to be fun. Plus it's nice to catch up with old friends who still live in Henderson.

It's wonderful to have friends who you only see once a year, but who once you see, it's like you've never been apart. I'm fortunate to have many of those.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Trouble with Red Popsicles

The heat here is stifling. And I'm not just saying that!

My three story office building has been without air conditioning since late last week. Each day has been hotter than the day before, so we've taken to having Popsicle parties in the afternoons.

Everyone has a fan blowing on them and I don't think there's a woman in the building who isn't going sleeveless today.

Let me preface the next part of my story by saying that because of the sticky heat, I've been wearing summery dresses all week because they're cooler than any of my other work clothing options. And today, I was especially excited to put on my new dress. I splurged on it when I got my last raise. As in, I fell in love with the dress when I saw it online, and knew I had to have it, only to discover that it comes from a company in London!

Despite this, I ordered it anyway, and have the cutest pair of green wedge heels to wear with it. I've been waiting for the perfect day to wear the dress, and decided this was the day. Not only is it hotter than a furnace in here, but I have a little party to go to after work. So I've been happily wearing my new dress all day. Until...

I was sitting here, trying to get some work done, eating a cherry Popsicle as my fan blew warm air on me. I looked down and noticed that my red Popsicle was melting and spilling all over my dress. They weren't little spots either, they were big! I just wanted to cry.

A little dramatic, I know, but you see, I never have luck getting stains out. I'm one of those people who is notorious for spilling stuff (usually on a new item of clothing) and then having to throw out the clothes because the stain won't come out.

Thankfully, our receptionist had a Tide to Go pen in her purse. I'm happy to say that all the red Popsicle stains are now history! And after seeing that pen in action, I highly recommend everyone should go get one to keep on hand!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Edit, Erase, Delete, Redo

Hmmm. I seem to have bloggers block! Seriously. These past 2 days I have deleted and erased my thoughts about a wide variety of subjects. Not sure why exactly.

My "don't think, write" mantra seems to have flown out the window.

So maybe I should write about writing. I'm re-working A Walk in the Park and taking into consideration the judges comments from the Genesis contest. It seems that I need a little more conflict and my main character needs more purpose. As one judge said "What does the main character really want out of life?"

So I've been brainstorming about the conflicts and the character. It's actually pretty fun. But it can make me very unproductive at my real job because I'll be in the middle of working, and a scene will hit me and I'll have to stop to write it down.

I learned that lesson the hard way. The other day, I came up with this great ending to the book and didn't write it down. And now, of course, I can't for the life of me think of what exactly it was. But at the time I knew it was perfect! What in the world! Hopefully it will hit me again and I'll actually write it down this time!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Arnie!


Tomorrow is my dog's birthday! Arnie will be 8 years old tomorrow! Check him out--isn't he handsome?! (incidentally, the Mobile SPCA uses a photo of Arnie in their ads!! He's a star!)

Not sure exactly how we will celebrate, but let's just say, there will be toys (he likes stuffed bunnies) and treats (bones and greenies are his favorite). Perhaps even a long walk or his very favorite, a car ride.

And while some people think I'm crazy for treating my doggie like a king, I don't care. Arnie and I have been together for 7 years (he was fully grown when I got him).

So anyway, Happy Birthday to Arnie, the best dog I know!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Don't Forget Your Sunblock!

Yesterday I had to go to the dermatologist to have a mole looked at. Kind of gross thing to write about, I know, but bear with me! My primary physician sent me because she was sure I had a potential skin cancer that needed to be removed. (thankfully I didn't!)

The dermatologist put on magnifying glasses and scrutinized every skin imperfection he could find. I hate those glasses.

But it made me think--maybe we should stop every now and then and look at our lives through a magnifier. Would we see lots of tiny imperfections? Undoubtedly. Would there be some cancers that need to be removed? Quite possibly.

The doctor told me that you can't always see everything with the naked eye and that's why he needs the special glasses. Just like in life. I think sometimes we can convince ourselves that everything is fine, because maybe it is on the surface. We're on the right path and doing what we should. But if we really examine our lives, there may be some things we need to work on and need to change.

And it might be painful to do, but just as necessary as getting checked for skin cancer.

Thankfully, God provides "life sunblock" in the form of the Bible, which should be our guide for living. And sometimes we may forget to put it on. And that's usually when we really get burned...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fall Down, Go Boo

So Miss USA (from Tennessee) had a pretty bad time at Monday night's Miss Universe Pageant. By now pretty much everyone in the world with TV or Internet access has seen her infamous fall during the evening gown competition.

But it sounds like her bad experience started long before she fell. Earlier in the week, she was booed during the "Parade of Nations" as she represented Tennessee/the USA in an Elvis suit. Booed not because she was ugly. But because she was from the USA.

Now I am probably one of the most patriotic people you'll ever meet. I get teary-eyed during the National Anthem, no matter how poorly sung. And I also have pretty strong political views, which I'm going to try not to go into too much. (for those I need to start a new blog entitled "I am an angry white woman" or something like that) So I am going to try and be nice as I write this.

Most news outlets are saying that Miss USA was booed because of the Immigration Laws here. Interesting, because aren't there at least 12 MILLION illegal immigrants from Mexico living here? Hmmm.

And let me say for the record, I am a fan of immigration. LEGAL immigration. That's what our country was founded on. Immigrants from all over the world have come here to make better lives for themselves. And I think that's great.

But don't boo Miss USA because there may be stricter immigration laws. While she is a representative of USA, she certainly doesn't have anything to do with immigration. And I can't help but think that if the pageant were held in USA and an American audience booed someone from another country, it would be a national scandal. The headlines worldwide would blare about "Rude Americans" and such.

Incidentally, when the lovely Miss USA took her unfortunate tumble, she kept her composure. And when she was booed again, this time on national TV, she was very gracious, even speaking Spanish to the crowd.

I guess we can all learn a little about grace under pressure from that.

And to think people say you can't learn anything from beauty pageants!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Out of Town/Out of Touch!

So maybe it was a mistake to launch a website and blog, then go out of town for several days and be unable to update!

But I'm back and exhausted! Funny how vacation days always leave me needing more vacation days. We went to Knoxville to see Tim's family and had a blast. It was so nice to see hills and mountains and be away from the humidity that constantly hovers over Mobile.

I haven't even watched TV since last week, so I don't have any interesting (or not!) commentaries about reality television or celebrity court cases. Most of you who were bored stiff with my Floyd Landis trial blogs are probably cheering.

Instead I will tell about my excitement at getting the phone call/e-mail last week from my category coordinator in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest! A Walk in the Park, my chick lit manuscript, is a finalist in this year's contest. I had been nervously watching the calendar as June 1st crept closer and closer--we were supposed to find out by that date.

I tried to put it out of my mind, but it kept popping up. I was actually getting re-certified in CPR (something my office encourages) when the call came in. I got back to my office and checked my voice mail on my cellphone. When I heard who it was, I started squealing so loudly people came running. (probably thinking they were about to get the chance to put their newly learned CPR skills to the test!) I had to listen to the message twice before it sank in. It was my most exciting moment as a writer (so far, but I'm still hoping for the even bigger moment of getting a contract!).

I was so excited I was shaking and had to pretty much leave my building or else I would explode! After all the phone calls (mom, Chris, Tim) I finally settled down and could come back inside. But I admit I was pretty useless the rest of the day!

And it was really nice to get the score sheets back from round one. I just wish I could take those judges comments and re-work the chapters before the second round of judging! But even so, I am thrilled and thankful to be a finalist!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Too Much Pop Culture

Okay, here's a little bit on all the things I've been following this week:

1. Whew! I'm glad to see Apollo win Dancing with the Stars! I think he was the most deserving of the two. (I still wish Ian had made it to the finals...) I guess you have to be a professional athlete or an ex-boy bander to even be competitive on that show?

2. Jordin wins Idol! Okay, this was really not much of a surprise, considering the "winner's song" wasn't one that anyone in America wanted to hear Blake sing, let alone have to put on an album. She is much more the "Idol" type and now Blake will be free to do his own thing. I have no doubt though, that we'll be hearing from both of them on the radio very soon.

3. Floyd Landis trial wraps up...sort of. Closing arguments have been made. It could be 2 months before there is a verdict though. And even then, I suspect it will go on to another court. My opinion? As mentioned before, I believe in him more than I do the system. However, I think there's a good chance he'll be stripped of his Tour de France title, which will really be a shame. I just wish they'd get it all over with before this year's TDF--I don't want to hear the commentators talking about it during every stage.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Whatever the Verdict, Landis Suffers

Today seemed to go pretty well in the Floyd Landis hearing. It's hard to predict which way the panel will go, but I have 2 observations:

1. If Floyd wins, there will still be people who say "he's a cheat, blah, blah, blah."
2. If Floyd loses, there will still be people who say "he got screwed by the system, blah, blah, blah."

So I'm thinking that no outcome is going to satisfy everyone. However, my own personal opinion for what it's worth...I would rather see a guilty man go free than an innocent man be convicted.

But of course, I firmly believe he's innocent and I think he'll be okay in the end. Whether cycling will ever be okay again is another story.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Things Looking Up for Landis

So I'm much happier with the way things went today in the Floyd Landis hearing than I was yesterday. The circus that was the LeMond testimony seems to have died down. And in it's place was a very credible witness who seemed to poke some big holes in the case against Floyd. Yay!

And although I'm barely holding out hope that he will actually be cleared of the charges, I do think that maybe in the court of public opinion, he'll come out a winner.

I read an excerpt from his book that's coming out in June--it was really good and I think will cause lots of doubters to change their minds. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

Floyd himself is scheduled to take the stand tomorrow--should be interesting to see what he has to say.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Landis Vs. LeMond

I'm avidly following the Floyd Landis trial proceedings that are going on--thank goodness for the great bloggers who are covering it.

First off, let me say that I believe 100% that Floyd Landis is innocent. No matter the outcome of the hearing, I believe he's telling the truth. And not just because I'm a fan--I've followed this whole thing since the news first broke right after the Tour de France last year. I've looked at the evidence and read all the scientific crap. And I think he's innocent.

I don't believe anything Greg LeMond says regarding the Landis case. I think he's got pretty shaky credibility given the accusations he's thrown at Lance Armstrong in the past.

I didn't start really disliking him until last year, when he came out and publicly encouraged Floyd to come clean. I think he really wants to go down in history as being the only American cyclist to win the tour without any doping rumors hanging over him.

So the events at the trial today are a little hard for me to buy. It's awfully convenient that he just happened to get that phone call last night, isn't it? I'll be interested to see what Will has to say if they actually put him on the stand. And honestly, if Will did call him, why does it really matter? The whole testimony has no bearing on the issue--did Floyd dope or were the tests skewed in some way. Whether or not Floyd and Greg had a conversation last year and whether or not Will prank called him last night is just a smokescreen. Obviously Floyd has never been a LeMond fan. So who buys that he would've admitted guilt to him? Not me. No way.

And poor LeMond. If he was really abused as a child, is helping to bring down Floyd really worth letting his secret out?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the rest of it plays out. And really, maybe it doesn't matter anyway. His amazing win is tarnished forever. And no matter what the outcome of the trail is, he'll always be riding under a cloud of doubt. But not to me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Confessions of a Reality TV Junkie...

So I was devastated by Ian's departure last night on Dancing with the Stars. I wasn't surprised really, but I was hoping his Elvis dance would save him. I admit that Joey is entertaining, but he's such a cheese ball I was hoping he would be the one to go. Oh well. I think I'm rooting for Apollo now.

And for some reason Fox was blank last night for the first 15 minutes of American Idol. I missed everyone doing their first song. And on this one, I'm going to have to shy away from the popular vote...I'm hoping for a Jordin/Blake finale. I realize that Melinda Doolittle is the one everyone seems to think is the hands down winner, but I just don't see it. I'm way more entertained by Jordin and Blake. We'll see tonight I guess.

So now my secret's out. I love reality TV. And yes, I'll be tuned in on Friday night for National Bingo Night. And I'll probably play along...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just Write

I went to a writing seminar last week and the main theme was "Just write." I'm trying to take that advice right now and actually post a blog. I've spent way too much time trying to make everything pretty and testing out different colors and such. When what I really needed to be doing was just putting pen to paper. (actually fingers to keyboard, but you get the idea) I'm such a perfectionist though, that the most daunting task for me is just getting started. So here it is. My first post. Yay me!

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