Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Little Leisurely Learning


I consider myself a fairly ok amateur photographer.  Nothing spectacular, but I love landscape photography and occasionally I produce something that’s pretty good.  I’m a firm believer in taking loads of pictures in order to get at least one good shot!

Anyway, for years I’ve wanted to be better; I’ve wanted to know what all those buttons and settings mean and how they would help me to take better pictures.  Today I took that step and went out on the internet to see if HCC had any classes and found this company, Leisure Learning Unlimited, Inc.  I’ve never heard of them, but the price seemed pretty reasonable so I decided to give them a try and signed up.  I’m pretty excited!!

I’ve always loved film photography, but for many years I’ve just done the point and shoot digital thing because of the ease of it.  Two years ago I bought a Canon EOS ELAN 7 with a standard 28-90mm lens and a 75-300mm telephoto lens from a co-worker and since then have used it a little with pretty good results, but it has so many different settings I was pretty much lost if I wasn’t outside with good lighting.

Anyway, beginning Jan 18 I’ll be on my way to mastering my camera and taking gorgeous landscape photography!!  And yes, I’ve already checked and they do have a Landscape Photography class.  :)

I’m wondering if I should also bring my Canon S5 IS with me to the class.  That’s the current digital camera I use.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mini Vacation in L.A.

This past Wednesday Wendell took Brandon out to CalTech in Pasadena, CA to get settled in to his dorm.  I flew out that evening and Wendell and I went sight seeing Thursday and Friday while Brandon attended his orientation classes.



Griffith Observatory – you have to go here if you’re ever in the Hollywood/L.A. area.


Wendell sitting next to Einstein at the observatory.


Cool display of the planets at the observatory.


Random 50’s cafe off of Santa Monica Blvd where Wendell and I ate one night.


Los Angeles Temple.  Wendell and I did a session there on Thursday.


Afterwards we drove to Santa Monica and up the Pacific Coast Highway.  We got there just as the sun set.


Cool bridge off of Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, CA.


Stupid traffic in L.A.  This was taken as we were trying desperately to get to the airport Saturday.  Took us two hours to get from Pasadena to LAX (approx 20 miles).  Thankfully we had allowed ourselves a lot of time to get there or we would have been in trouble.  Our flight was at 4:45, so we had reserved the car until 2pm so we could be at the airport the requisite 2 hours early.  We left around 12:45 to give ourselves what we thought was plenty of time.   When Wendell picked me up from the airport Wednesday night it only took 35 minutes and that was with what I would consider normal rush hour traffic in Houston (except that it was 9pm!!).  Anyway, we got there about an hour before the flight.  Just enough time to sit down, de-stress and then board the plane.  The flight wasn’t full so we got the row to ourselves!

Labor Day Weekend – a little late

My dad called me the week before Labor Day and invited me to come down to Galveston.  My Aunt Sharlet, who I haven’t seen since I was 6, was in town and had rented a beach house on Jamaica Beach and wanted to see me.  So, Wendell and I packed a few things and headed out after church.

We had a good time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since it had been 30 years since I saw her and my dad and I don’t  really talk on a regular basis, but it all turned out well.


My Aunt Sharlet and her husband Wesley.

IMG_2595  IMG_2587

Random pictures taken from the beach house deck.  The one on the right is of a little sand crab.  You can’t see him here since he’s so well camouflaged, but if you click on the pic you’ll see him just below and a little to the left of his hole.  The pic on the left is the sunrise Monday morning.

Sunday night after the beach cleared out myself, Wendell and my dad went down to the beach to go swimming.  Dad and I were talking about our time in the Navy and found out both of us, when out to sea, had seen waves that glowed.  We were trying to explain it to Wendell when all of a sudden he was like, “hey, what is that!  I see something glowing in the water.”  I thought for sure he was just seeing things, but after a few seconds you could see it everywhere when you moved your hands through the water.  It was pretty cool that one moment we’re talking about it and the next we’re surrounded by it!  Sorry, no picture.  I tried to find one in Google images, but no luck.  I imagine it would take a special camera and a lot of luck to get a pic of it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Side Effects

I got hives a few weeks ago and the doctor prescribed a steroid (prednisone) to get rid of it. If I never take another dose of that stuff again, it will be too soon. The list below may not sound like much, but have them ALL at the same time and you too will live the nightmare!!

Difficulty Sleeping - check
Feeling of Whirling Motion - check
Increased Appetite - check
Increased Sweating - check
Indigestion - check
Mood Changes - CHECK
Nervousness - check
Elevated Blood Pressure - check
Muscle Soreness - check
Body Shakes - check
Racing/Confused Thoughts - check

Good news though, my hives are gone!! Bad news is that the battery of allergy testing they did on 4 viles of my blood came up with absolutely nothing that I'm allergic to. Go figure! Doc says it was probably just something transient I came in contact with. How do my boobs and stomach transiently come into contact with something??? :D

No new cloths/garments
No new laundry detergent
No new fabric softener
No new foods
No new medications

Friday, August 14, 2009

For My Friend Shelly

She believes I've been on hiatus long enough and should at least leave a line or two about how I am. So, here goes.

Life is wonderful.
Wendell and I are still dating.
Things are progressing.
Well, there you go! Until next month! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

wendell and dallas

I’m turning into the person I told myself I’d never become!  I probably know more of these people than most of you by virtue of the fact that I’ve been single for so long.  I’ve become the person that ignores her friends because she’s dating (and or is getting married).  I always swore that when I dated and got married I wouldn’t throw over my friends for a guy no matter how much I liked him.  Yeah, well, I’ve changed my mind, but just to be clear, I’m not throwing you over forever; I’ll be back.  It may be months down the road, but I will be back.  Please be patient and know that I still love you!!

As a side note: My reference to and use of the word “marriage” was not meant to imply an impending engagement.  Rest assured, most of you will get a phone call letting you know when that happens before you read it here! :)

As a side side note: Please do not be offended if you do read it here before getting a phone call.  I’m older now and the brain ain’t what it used to be!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Laughing Matter

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to find a little SUV for my mom.  She’s needing to get back and forth to doctors appointments and her old truck just isn’t reliable anymore.  It broke down on the way to Austen a few weeks ago so I began looking.  As I’m on the computer all day pretty much every day, I’ve been looking online.  A few days ago I found what I thought was a great deal, so I called the guy and made an appointment for a test drive today at 11:45.  The salesman said Ok and I hung up excited thinking I had found a good deal.

My good friend Jonathan (who I work with) agreed to go with me.  He knows cars and adds the male factor to what would otherwise be a, “Look here boys, we got ourselves a sucker/girl looking for a car!!” situation.  We got there right at 11:45 only to find out that the salesman I had spoken to earlier wasn’t due to come in until noon and the person who met us initially, upon finding out I had spoken to someone else already, decided he was going to go back inside and not help us.  No matter how much I asked, he flat refused. 

By this time I’m getting  a little hot under the collar.  The salesman I spoke to on the phone wasn’t there, the car he told me was available for a test drive was not on the lot and the jerkwod of a salesman we spoke to refused to help us.  Is that normal?  I can understand not wanting to snake someone else’s commission, but to flatly refuse any help whatsoever was astounding to me.

But wait, it only got worse.  Jonathan and I found another truck we thought was a good deal and requested the keys for it so that we could check it out while we waited.  Again, Mr. Jerkwod refused telling us that our salesman would “be here in a minute.”  I decided to wait in the car with the air on while we awaited the arrival of the other salesman.  A few “new” guys walk into the office while we sat there and when one of them came out I decided to get out and go see if he was the guy we needed to talk to.  He and Jerkwod were standing together outside the door when I walked up.  I asked if he was the salesman I was waiting for only to find that he wasn’t.  I asked them if he had arrived and was told that he had.  I then asked if one of them would go inside and ask him to come out only to be told he wasn’t there and that he was probably out on a test drive.

This whole conversation lasted a total of a minute during which Jerkwod and Jerkwod Jr. are snickering while we speak.  By this time I’m so mad I want to spit, but I keep it to myself, turn around and start for my car to leave.  As I turned they both busted out laughing.

All my life I’ve had people make rude comments to me about my weight calling me fat a— or mooing as I walked by.  I can’t prove it, but the first thing my mind did was imagine they were laughing at the fat chick and the black guy driving up together to buy a used car.  Lucky for me Jonathan is an awesome Christian guy and on our way back to work he talked me out of being mad at them for laughing at us.  I was so mad at them disrespecting him and me. 

And in case you’re wondering it was Joe Myers used car lot on 290 at Beltway 8. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

TMI, But You Know You’re Going to Read It Anyway

News Flash!!  I'm fat and for the most part I'm fairly OK with it.  I'd love to weigh what I did in High School when being fat meant I was 20lbs overweight (oh, to have those days back!), but I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that those days are done and dusted.  I think I'd be a seriously happy camper if I could lose 40lbs and get to an even 200.

Anyway, this post actually isn't about me losing weight, but about my weight in general and how I see others and their weight. 

When I was a teenager I loved to go to the mall.  No big surprise there, but while I was walking around I'd people watch.  For the most part I was watching how people interacted with each other; friends with friends, parents with children, husbands and wives, etc.

Where this goes downhill fast is when I would see fat people.  Now remember, at the time I was 20lbs overweight and sadly I thought I was HUGE!!  I would see these fat people and I would say to myself, hey, they've got someone who loves them so there's hope for me to find love.

In the years since it's morphed into something a bit different.  Maybe something a bit less destructive to my self image??  I see people who are considerably larger than me and I wonder if they wish they were my "fat."  Does that make sense?  I've (almost) moved away from the "no one loves me cuz I'm fat" mind set and replaced it with being grateful I'm not as fat as the lady across from me at Curves.  It's a weird kind of "things can always be worse, so stop complaining" way of thinking.

And just so you don't think I'm completely crazy, I have better body self image now at 36 than I ever did at 18 and I've added 60lbs to that original 20 (see body language pics below).  It's amazing what Faith, friends and a little therapy can do for a girl! :)




Thursday, May 7, 2009

Resorting to Drastic Measures

Much to my surprise my office building re-opened Monday. ConocoPhillips decided to hold off moving their employees back in until we (IT and Tcom) verified that the network was up and running and that all printers were working properly, so my co-workers (the remote team and IT at the temp office location) and I walked each of my 9 floors Monday morning to verify. It was a little eerie being there with no one else on the floors.

With everything up and running employees began moving back in Tuesday and it has been nonstop chaos since! Overall it's been pretty seemless with only roughly 10 pc related problems that required fixing or replacing. Considering there are approximately 450 people in the building, I'm counting myself lucky!

But that's not to say working that many issues was a cake walk. My co-worker (actual guy who works with me at the office) and I have been BUSY --- hence the Mtn Dew! It's helped a little to wake me up, but I'm so ready for a day off and not just Saturday and Sunday. I need a vacation!!!

Did I mention my co-worker went on vacation with his fiance most of last week and Monday?? Yeah, he basically missed EVERYTHING! Ok, so he got back in time to help with the move in, but he got to miss all the stress of getting everyone setup at their temp location. The next disaster I'm taking vacation and he can deal with it! :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Office Refugee

Ever had one of those days? Well, I’ve had one of those weeks!


That’s the below ground loading dock at the building where I work – four hours after it stopped raining Tuesday morning. Initially it was up over the road, in the parking garage and over the road behind the garage. The basement was completely flooded destroying all the electrical and HVAC in the building. I’ve spent the past 4 days relocating roughly 350 people to the building next door where 350 extra people don’t really fit! Lets just say there’s a lot of wiring running across a lot of floor space (taped down for safety).

Thankfully the IT guys had a little extra room in their area for me to pop a squat! Not that I’ve had much time to use it.

Oh, and my coworker (from the flooded building) went on vacation this week. I really hope he’s having a good time in San Francisco!!!!!!

Random pics of the flooding aftermath. The first is of Mayde Creek Bayou over by the house. It was up over the bridge until around 7 Tuesday morning. The rest are from Westheimer Parkway through George Bush Park as I was driving home today.

IMG00094IMG00101 IMG00096 IMG00098

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Birthday – A Little Late

IMG_2405 IMG_2403 IMG_2404

Well, the birthday wasn’t late;  I’m just late posting about it.

I can’t believe I didn’t get  pics from the party (except the cake)!  DER!  My dear friend Jeanette was totally awesome!  She sent out the invites, and  made my cake (seriously the yummiest cake and icing ever)! 

The pic above is of my awesome friend Ginny and her husband Drew.  I’ve known Ginny for forever!  Well, since Junior High anyway!  Ginny was planning on being at the party, but her boss had other plans so she and Drew took me out for lunch at the new 59 Diner that’s in the old Bennigan’s.  If you haven’t been, I suggest trying it.  We had breakfast and it was good!

The party was awesome.  I borrowed a projector from work, hooked my DVD player and computer speakers up to it and watched Mama Mia “widescreen” style while eating pizza.  Afterwards we dug into J’s gorgeous cake and made pigs of ourselves.  Oh wait, that was just me!  :)

Thank you everyone for the gift of friendship you give me every day (and for the gifts you brought)!

Downtown Tea Party

I’ve been a bit reluctant to post my pics from the Tea Party I attended on the 15th.  I uploaded a handful of them to my Facebook account and got hammered by a friend.  For years we haven’t seen eye to eye politically, but I thought they were tolerant enough to allow me my beliefs without calling me a hypocrite.  Guess I was wrong!

Anyway, whichever way your political pendulum swings, here are a few pics for your enjoyment and or ridicule.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Memo To Me

After three months of pretty much no caffeine (3 Cokes in 3 months), don't drink two Mountain Dew's after 5pm on a Sunday evening. Unless of course the goal is to lie awake until 2am. Then it's a great plan!

Side note: With only 4 (fairly lousy) hours of sleep, I'm surprised I'm as awake as I am. Two thirty this afternoon could bring a whole other story!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mother Nature Is Awesome!

Link to AP article.

I was watching a show the other day called How The Earth Was Made and it was talking about Krakatoa and how when it erupted in 1883 that it was so massive it imploded on itself only leaving a small portion still visible above sea level. (As a side note: the eruption of Krakatoa is the loudest sound ever recorded) In December 1928 the volcano (then undersea) erupted in the same way as the volacano above. I tried finding the video online, but to no avail (seriously cool!). Since 1928, Anak Krakatau (Baby Krakatoa), has risen to almost 500ft. That's an average of 6 inches a year!! That is just amazing to me.

Anyway, just thought I'd share this random bit of news with you.

Memo to me: I need to call my friend to see if she's heard anything from her family in Tonga.

{{UPDATE}} - Does This Mean I Get To Stay?

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but never got around to publishing.

Well, yesterday was the day we found out who was getting laid off in our department. Not that we went home Friday knowing that Monday morning some of us wouldn't have a job....THANKFULLY!! That would have been a crappy weekend.

All in all we lost 6 technicians, a supervisor and my bosses boss (that was a huge shocker!!) Last month our CEO told us that the company would be laying off 4% of it's workforce, but it didn't mean that each dept would lose that percent. Some departments did 4%, some didn't have to do any; my department lost 20%.

In Houston we have a huge Main Complex and two satellite offices. The majority of the techs work at the main complex and they got hit the hardest with 4 techs being laid off. The two satellite sites (one of which I work at) lost a technician each so now we're down to just two at each location. At my site we'll be OK, but the other site is probably going to feel the pinch.

Since the layoff announcement was made last month I never felt like my job was on the chopping block, but when Monday afternoon rolled around and it was announced that all the cuts had been made (my dept) it was like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was tough to watch my friends get walked out of the building. Two of the people let go over at the complex are really good friends of mine and it feels weird that I can't just call them up and meet for lunch on a Friday.

I'm so thankful I still have my job!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Does This Mean I Get To Stay?

I came home yesterday to find this sitting on my doorstep. Well, it was in a box, but this is what was inside. Next month marks the 5th anniversary of my working for ConocoPhillips. I've actually worked for them for 6 years, but the first year I was contract.

In recognition of this the company has a brochure of items you can get as an anniversary gift. There was a whole ranged of things from rings, watches, wall mounted clocks, cheesy digital cameras, etc. ...
...to this!!! That's right boys and girls, I chose the 3 in 1 Black & Decker Cordless Drill! It comes with a stud finder, so I should be able to find a husband pretty soon!!

MMMMMMMM! Power tools!
The company is smack in the middle of layoffs, so hopefully the fact that they bothered to send me my certificate of recognition means they plan on keeping me around. Fingers crossed!

It Always Works Out On The Hallmark Channel

Come on, admit it! You've watched a movie on the Hallmark Channel. I do it all the time. Well, mostly because Arlene loves it, but I'll be honest, I've watched and enjoyed my fair share of shows. Usually it's during the Christmas season. For about four weeks out of the year I get all sappy and want to watch feel good movies about people who's lives aren't exactly stellar. I always find it rather gratifying (and a bit fake) that by the end of the two hours, everyone loves each other and it's as though no bad feelings ever existed.

Wham, Bam, Thank you, Ma'am!

I need a two hour special on the Hallmark Channel. It would fit right in with their Christmas lineup.

Trailer Park Tinsel
Doublewide Christmas

Young girls world turns topsy turvy when a fight breaks out between her mom and youngest brother on Christmas day. What ensues is a hair-raising divorce, a dad who dives off the deap end leaving his kids to live in the twilight zone, years of every other weekend at his house, three stepmoms and loads of therapy. Can she forgive and love again or is she destined to always feel weird about her dad?

I think I should sell them the rights to the story! HA!

But seriously, my dad definitely went off the deep end after he and my mom seperated. Combine that with never really being around much when we were growing up and it's turned me into someone with a severe case of apathy. I use to dislike him a great deal, but I think I've pretty much gotten over that. I'm now to the point of not caring one way or the other.

About four or five months ago he called me out of the blue. I was at work and didn't recognize the number. Going completely out of character, I answered the phone. Since then we've talked about 5 times and have met for lunch and dinner. I'm ok with it, but I definitely don't go out of my way to call him or suggest meeting.

I think it would be nice to have the Hallmark ending where everyone lives happily ever after, but my apathy keeps getting in the way!
Now the question is, who would play me in the movie? I was thinking they could take some liberties with the timing and my age and have Camryn Manheim play me. I could see someone who looks like Stephen King play my dad. Stephen has more hair, but looks just amost as dorky as my dad! Vicki Lawrence would be perfect for my mom with all her red hair.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pride & Prejudice at Comic Con?


PRIDE & PREJUDICE #1 (of 5) (FEB092473)
Penciled by HUGO PETRUS

In March Marvel Comics will be offering Pride & Prejudice in comic book form. There will be 5 books published and I for one will be buying copies of them all if only for the originality factor. You can tell a man is the illustrator; all the sisters are gorgeous, including Mary!

According to the site, the adaptation is faithful to the book.

“I've tried to keep the flavor and sly humor of the story, and modernized the language only for better understanding," explains Butler. "Wherever space allowed, I've used Jane Austen's own words. This is your grandmother's PRIDE & PREJUDICE, and your mother's and your own."

David Gabriel, Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales, adds, "…, we're presenting these classic stories by staying as close to the originals as possible while still putting that unique Marvel spin on them. I think Jane Austen fans will be thrilled when they sample Nancy's work."

Don’t you love the cover? “Bingleys Bring Bling to Britain” HA! I’m excited to get my copies.

Where to order your copies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Guess He Couldn't Wait For The Bailout

Just after lunch I heard helicopters and cop cars outside. I didn't think anything of it until my co-worker came in and said that the credit union downstairs had been robbed. It feels a bit weird to know I was that close to a major crime being committed. The perpetrator took off and the police were in persuit, but I haven't heard if they caught him or not.
This guy must have been seriuosly hard up for money to hit this place. It's not exactly situated for easy access or a quick getaway! Not to mention that it's a small credit union only used by BP employees and it's not even payday. How much money could they have possible had on hand?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The $400 Plastic Cup or Why Am I So Freakin' Stupid?

I'm convinced I have some sort of stupid driver homing beacon on my car. For two mornings in a row now I've had someone change lanes in front of me and I've had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting them. Both times my morning cup of ice water has gone flying.

In my effort to keep my New Year's resolution, I refrained from thinking or speaking an appropriate curse word or flashing the single finger salute. What I did do was lay on the horn! In fairness to me, I think I stayed pretty calm during yesterdays incident. Well, except for when he drove up next to me, rolled down his window and proceeded to yell at me. YELL...AT ME! Like I was the one who cut him off and spilled his morning cup of whatever. I rolled my window down, yelled that it was his fault and told him to shut up! :)

Well, this morning, in the process of slamming on my breaks, I grabbed my cup as it was tipping over. I wasn't able to keep the contents from emptying all over my radio/ac and floor boards and I wasn't very good at not getting mad. I decided to show my anger by throwing the cup into the dashboard.

Yeah, that was smart. I busted my windshield! I now have a lovely dinner plate sized star burst shaped crack in the middle of my windshield.


Why am I so freakin' stupid? As if I didn't have a million other things to spend $400 on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jane Austen Week Feb 23rd - 28th

JANE AUSTEN WEEK at The Barefoot Mama!

Stop in daily for your dose of Jane, including challenges and other fun stuff. There will be a special culmination celebration on Saturday, February 28, so stay tuned!

Join Barefoot Mama in celebrating JANE AUSTEN WEEK, February 23-28, by displaying the banner above (right-click to save). It promises to be a most diverting experience.

Friday, February 13, 2009



Black Cats & Ladders

I'm fighting through my vicodin induced haze to wish you all a very happy Friday 13th. Be bold! Walk under that ladder! :)

Earlier this week I had a whole post written in my head. It's kinda weird, if I stop typing and close my eyes I can "see" it in my mind, but I can't get it to relay down to my fingers! :)

Nevermind, I'm going back to bed!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pride & Prejudice Facebook Style

Stumbled upon this during my morning blog reading ritual and thought I'd share.

For those of us who find Pride & Prejudice and Facebook excessively diverting, this is for your reading pleasure!

P&P - Facebook

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sick Kitty Update

I took Reilly back to the vet yesterday to find out the blood work results. She does indeed have diabetes. The special diet the vet put her on helped a great deal to lower her blood glucose, but it's was still really high. The normal BG range for a cat is 80-150. On Friday Reilly had a BG of 419! After a weekend of eating the new diet and taking an antibiotic for her bladder infection, it was down to 281. Still very high, but a huge improvement from Friday.

Below is her insulin, antibiotics and new food. The funny looking think on top of the food is called a "piller". You pull the plunger back and put a pill in the blue rubber area at the other end. Then softly pry their mouth open from the side with the piller and push the plunger, sending the pill to the back of the mouth! Much easier than trying to put it in her mouth or disguising it in her food.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself. When I found out she would more than likely need insulin shots, I FREAKED OUT! I hate needles. I hate getting shots. I can't watch someone get a shot. Anything syringe related makes me queasy. Until now. (I did a lot of praying from Friday evening to Monday afternoon.) Part of yesterday's office visit was to teach me how to give Reilly her shot. We practiced with saline first. The vet showed me how to hold her skin between my fingers and how to handle the syringe. After that it was my turn. The vet remarked on how flushed I was. Had she taken my pulse and felt my sweaty palms, I think she would have been a bit more concerned! :) I took a deep breath, told the vet I was OK and went for it. I don't quite know what I was expecting, but it was waaaaay easier than I thought it would be. All my prayers paid off!! I gave Reilly her first unsupervised injection this morning and she acted like nothing was happening. I petted her for a minute before the injection and she never stopped purring while I did it. HUGE load off my mind!

Below is my sharps container which comes with 100 syringes. That should last me almost 4 months.

I promise I won't make this blog into a blow-by-blow account of Reilly's diabetic care, but she is part of my life and the noteworthy stuff that happens in my life gets recorded here.
To everyone who has shown their support I would like to say thank you! It feels good that I have the support of my friends. My note at the beginning was to ward off blog lurkers who leave inappropriate comments, not to my wonderful friends. I think most people I know, if they didn't agree with me, would simply not comment.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sickness in the Family

A quick note before I begin this entry. If you're not an animal lover and in particular don't like cats, you might as well stop reading now.

A couple of weeks ago Reilly began drinking A LOT of water and eating her food a lot quicker than normal. My first thought was diabetes because of her drinking so much water, but I didn't know if cats could get it so I talked myself out of it. I was in denial and waited hoping that she would normal out.

Last Friday I finally took her in to see the vet. Sure enough, cats do get diabetes and it's actually quite common. It's only a preliminary diagnosis, but she has all the classic signs. The vet took a blood and urine sample and today we go back for the results. She also had a bladder infection and the doctor put her on antibiotics. Since being on the meds her water intake has normalized. I also started feeding her a special diet for diabetic cats to help get the sugar levels in her system down. It's a long shot, but I'm hoping it can be regulated by diet. If not, she's going to have to have insulin injections twice a day.

I know a lot of you are reading this and wondering why I would even bother. It's only a cat. It's not a human, it's not a child. For those of you who may think that, think on this. There's a good chance you've been blessed with children and so your days are filled with the love and concerns that go along with that. I, on the other hand, have not, but I have been blessed with the companionship of a gorgeous little orange kitty cat. I know that the love for a pet can't compare to the love for a child, but it's what I have right now and I will take love where I can find it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Twice in Two Weeks

Two weeks ago I was at a stop light on Memorial and Beltway 8 when the white Jaguar behind me rear ended me.  We were both stopped, but he said his foot slipped off the brake and BAM, he hit me.  It was a pretty solid thud, but didn’t do any damage.  Good ol’ German engineering!!

Well, on the way home from church today I got rear ended AGAIN!  It happened at the blinking light at Katy Fort Bend Rd.  The car in front of me went and I rolled up to the light and came to a stop.  No sooner did I stop then BAM!, I got hit.  AGAIN!  There was damage this time, but nothing huge.  There’s a pretty deep 8” horizontal gouge where I think his license plate frame must have hit.  There wasn’t any damage to his car.

I got his insurance info but we also spoke of him “knowing someone” and paying to get it done without going the insurance route.  Since I already had his insurance info I told him I’d be OK with getting it done that way.  Nothing is getting done until I meet this person and visit their shop, though. 

I think I need a nap.  When something like this happens my adrenaline gets pumping and when I finally come down from it I crash pretty hard.

I’m now waiting for the third person to rear end me.  Everything comes in three’s, yes?  Third hit, third week!  Maybe I should hold off until next week to get it fixed!!  LOL

Friday, January 30, 2009

Things That Make You Go, HMMMMM!

Some of you have probably heard that PETA has launched a campaign against the hunting and killing of Sea Kittens (better known as fish). They are trying to change the publics opinion of fish to reflect how we feel about animals such as dogs and cats.

Anyway, blah blah blah. I'm not writing to say this is right or wrong. I just wanted to point out the advertising banner at the top of the web page!!

Someone at PETA needs to check with their advertising department!! LOL

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Heathcliff – He’s Everywhere!!

Have you ever read, heard or seen something and for the next few weeks whatever it was you read, heard or saw seemed to be everywhere?  It’s been happening to me for the past month.

Back a couple of months ago  Good Friends Book Club chose their reading list for 2009 and one of the books we’ll be reading is Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.  I have to be honest with you, I was not overjoyed when I found out.  I have avoided that book like the plague.  I like happy endings, not torment and obsessive love and hate.  It’s just not my shtick.  I’m a Jane Austen girl and in my mind for years Emily Bronte was her antithesis.

Anyway, just after finding out we were reading WH for book club I came across PBS’s new lineup for their Masterpiece Classics series and what book do you suppose they were adapting and showing in January?  That’s right, Wuthering Heights!

I told myself then that I would go ahead and read the book and then watch the movie afterwards.  I set it to record on my DVR, but I couldn’t bring myself to crack open the book.  Weeks went by and the air date got closer and closer, but still I had not started to read.  I got to the point that I had talked myself out of reading the book or watching the movie, but last Sunday I was looking for something good to watch on TV and decided to give WH a try.  Why not?  I wasn’t going to read the book and by watching the movie I might be able to keep up a bit with the discussion at book club.

I loved it and I’ve been inspired to read the book.  I started Monday and I can hardly put it down.

Ok, so the first place I encountered WH was on PBS (watch online here).  I also have it on my DVR if you want to come over and watch.

The second place has been the blogosphere.  All of my Jane Austen/Regency/costume drama blogs I follow have been awash in reviews.  Some liked it, most tolerated it.  Here’s a few for your enjoyment.

The third place I found it was again in a blog, but not in the form of a review.  Someone had posted a Youtube video from the original WH and used The Puppini Sisters cover of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.  Up until that moment I had never heard of The Puppini Sisters or Kate Bush or a song called Wuthering Heights.  Boy was I in for a treat!

Thanks in part to all these WH sightings, I’m halfway through the book and I’m actually enjoying it.  I don’t recommend watching a movie before reading the book, but in this instance it helped move me to pull the book off it’s shelf and crack it open.  This book is meaty and I can’t wait for our discussion!

Ten Years Ago Today

It was ten years ago today I returned home from my mission.  The photo below was taken just outside the front doors to the Salt Lake Temple the Monday before I left.  Sister Tipton and I were the only two going home that month.  On one hand it feels like a lifetime ago and on the other as though I just stepped off the plane.  I will definitely serve another mission in my old age.  Probably not proselyting, but a mission of some sort nonetheless.  A service mission sounds cool or maybe genealogy.  Anyway, that’s a few years off.

You can make fun of the perm if you want. 

scan0006scan0002 Threw this one in so you could see the mood swings my hair went through!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Found this on Jane Austen Today. Nice to know I'm an OCB and a Book Snob!

If you love Austen and other writers from the Regency and Victorian eras, you'll probably like Vic and Laurel Ann's Jane Austen Today ("This blog explores Jane Austen as we see her today in movies, print, sequels, web sites, and other modern day media"). Vic has another blog called Jane Austen's World that you may also find excessively diverting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Third Times a Charm

I had my yearly review this morning and lets just say I was seriously surprised. For the third year in a row I've received the highest marks one can get on their review. We're "graded" on a scale of 1 -4 with 2 being the standard "way to go, you did good this year" mark. One is for individuals who worked above and beyond the normal scope of their job description. I felt that I had done a great job this year, but having gotten a one for the past two years I was certain I wouldn't get it again this year. In this instance, I'm happy to admit I was wrong.

I'm feeling pretty stinkin' awesome!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seriously Random

A blog I follow did a review today on a book called A Broken Vessel by Kate Ross.  Her review made it sound awesome, but I wanted a few other opinions so I went out to B&N and read the reader reviews.

All the reviews were positive, so I started checking out the author’s other books and the reviews they received.  Below is the synopsis page of the fourth and final book with one reader review.

Look at the date!  Who in their right mind writes a nice fluffy reader review on that day???  Maybe they posted the review at 7am before turning on the TV?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Donuts for Depression

I highly recommend a half dozen Shipley’s donuts when feeling a bit down. They don’t do much except add a few more dimples to your butt, but they taste great nonetheless and the time it takes to eat them takes your mind off of things.

I’m definitely not looking forward to the sugar crash later. Anyone have an extra Prozac I can take?

Brownies work well, too.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Kinder Aunt Dallas

For the past several months I have been pondering my life and how I live it and a couple of things have come to mind that I want to work on. Since it is now the new year, I'll call them resolutions.

Be Kind - Be kind didn't make it on President Hinckley's "Be" list, but I think it would fit in nicely; especially in my life. I don't necessarily think I'm an unkind person in general, but I'm definitely not the nicest person sometimes.

  • I think unkind thoughts of people who I feel don't drive as well as they should. I've glared at them as they drove by, thrown my arms in the air knowing they can see me in their rear view mirror, given the single finger salute on a couple of occasions, yelled out loud, cut folks off and purposefully kept someone from getting in front of me in my lane. I have become the driver I rail against while driving.
  • I like rules and boundaries. They help me understand my role in whatever it is I'm doing. At work I know the rules (processes/procedures) but, when someone works outside of those rules I can get upset. I really need to lighten up and realize for every rule, there is sometimes a very good reason why someone is going around it and to work with them, not against.  I have a horrible habit of ignoring phone calls from customers who I know are going out of process. 
  • I get too emotional about things. Not weepy emotional, but ticked off emotional, adrenaline emotional. I'm one of the easiest people to get riled up about something. Couple of examples: Religion - best way to get chucked off my Christmas card list is to tell me I'm going to hell because I'm a Mormon. Had this happen to me a couple of years ago at work and after a few minutes of her mouthing off to me, I told her I'd sick HR on her if she didn't shut her pie hole! That was very Christian of me!  Don't patronize me - I know I'm too emotional and when I get that way, there's nothing worse than being laughed at about it and told to calm down. Telling me to calm down brings out my sharp stick tendencies.  If I happen to get this way around you, just let me talk it out and know that  I’m not mad at you.  I’ve just allowed circumstances to work me up.  This particular fault is the biggest reason I’m working on being kinder.  Without working on this, the rest of what I want to do can’t be accomplished.

There are more items I could list under Be Kind that I should work on, but I don't want to overwhelm myself with too much change!

A desire to become a better person has been the driving force behind my musings. Several times a year I'll read an article in the Ensign about a sister who the whole ward loves. She's the aunt or the grandma of the ward. Well, since I'm not old enough to be the grandma, I think I'd like to be the aunt.

Let me explain. A large reason for pondering my life lately is that sometimes I'm not happy with how life has turned out for me. I know I should be grateful "for all my many blessings", but most of the time I'm not. I'm a paradox even to myself. I play an inner game of tug-of-war between the life that I have and the life that I want, but  I'm a realist, I accept my world as it literally is and deal with it accordingly.  Most of the time that works for me, but then my emotional monster rears it’s ugly head.

So this is how I want to deal with it. If I'm going to be The Westlake Ward Spinster (you can call me TWWS for short!!), I want to be the best one I can. I am poking fun at myself by saying this, but it's how I feel. Not just the spinster part, but my whole life in general. I want to be a better person. I want to be happy with who I am RIGHT NOW and not waste time on what I wish I had.

I want to let my light shine and in doing so, glorify my Heavenly Father. Guess it really boils down to my desire to be more like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I doubt I'll have fully achieved all this by the end of the year, but if I'm even a bit kinder today than I was yesterday, I will have achieved my goal and will be on my way to being a better person.

Ensign article that touched me deeply.

You Know Enough by Elder Neil L. Anderson (Oct ‘08 General Conference)

Every One Gets A Bailout

This was just too cute, so I thought I'd share. The blog post is from my friends Jason and Shelly.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What Would They Think?

Ever wondered how the person being written about in a biography feels about it?
How would I feel about someone riffling through every personal detail of my life and then publishing it for all the world to read?
My letters, emails, text messages, financials, homes, friends, religion; all used to convey the type of person I was.
What compels a person to write a biography?
What compels someone (like me) to read a biography?
If the person written about could look down from heaven, how would they feel about me reading their personal information, private letters?
Do some of them wish they could have chosen their biographer instead of being relegated to the pages of history by an inept researcher?
Yes, I'm reading a biography right now and I'm loving it.
Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
Biographies aren't my favorite, but I've read several before and each time I feel as though I'm snooping and should hide the book as if it were a copy of National Enquirer.
It feels intrusive to know so much about someone I've never met.
With a tinge of guilt I'll confess to being enthralled by this woman who was born 216 years before me.
But with all of that said, I'm going to press the Publish Post button and get back to reading!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mom and Me

There's no real reason why I uploaded this photo except that it's a good picture of me and my mom. I was probably a teenager the last time I was in a photo with her. The grave marker is of my great-great grandfather and gg grandmother. My mom loves to do genealogy and a few months back found some long lost relatives that only live about 2 hours north of her. She contacted them and we went for a visit back in November. It's all very confusing. The people we visited were half uncles/aunts/cousins. My great grandfather (son of gg grandpa Bjorge) married three times. My mother's line comes through the second wife. The relatives we visited come down through the third wife. There are no living descendants from the first wife. The third wife is still living (98 years old), but has alzheimer's and we didn't have a chance to meet her.

Alaska Update

Many of you have asked me what's going on with the Alaska trip. Did I get chosen? When will I know? Well, here's the skinny. The trip is off indefinitely. Every one's department is feeling the pinch of this bad economy and it's being reflected in budgets. I think IT feels it the most because we're overhead; we don't generate money, we spend it. Granted, it's all for the good of the company, but when it comes to budget cuts, IT takes a wallop.

Anyway, because of budget cuts the IT group in Alaska can't afford to pay the salary, travel and expenses of the person they would be bringing up. I offered to stay in Alaska for the three months, without coming home, if they would provide a place to stay. I also said I would pay my own expenses on my two weeks off. Normally, when traveling like that, food and entertainment would be expensed back to the company.

Now that the holidays are over, I plan to speak with my supervisor again and remind him of what I'd be willing to do. Maybe they'll go for it, maybe not. Guess it'll all depend on how badly they need someone.

I'll let you know how it goes.