Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Year

I'm not real sure where this year has gone, but it appears that there are only 7 hours left of 2006. The older I get the faster time seems to go. It just seems like yesterday that we were welcoming in 2006 wondering how the year would go. There were many surprises this year as well as a lot of tears over lots kitties, parents that continue to hate more then love and continued dental problems.

But this year there was more laughter then all tears combined. I've never been with someone where I can have such serious conversations one minute and then the next minute we are laughing at something so hard we are crying.

There are several things I want to accomplish in 2007.

*I want to continue working on my health. With my mandatory time off I want to spend as much time at the gym as my body will allow me. I want to go off all my meds completely and be back to the weight I was before I got married.

*I want to really enjoy the time I will have off from work. I want to do more then watch tv. Maybe read some books that I have been wanting to read and finish painting the bathroom.

*I want to go camping more this year. Camping is one of my favorite ways to travel. I love feeling so close to nature and sitting by a campfire at night.

*I want to become more patient. I have very short fuse and there are many times I react to something in a manner that is not always good.

I hope each of you have a wonderful 2007 as well. All of you are my friends and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Here's to 2007!!!

Bush


Is it just me or does anyone else think that Bush should have ended his vacation early to be back in Washington for Ford's funeral procession?

Is it 2008 yet?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

1989



I was very surprised and happy when the mail came yesterday and my yearly newsletter came from the camp I attended for 6 years as a teenager had arrived. Camp Mishawaka was probably the best experience I had as a child. When my father was a teenager he also attended this camp, which I thought was cool that I was going to the same camp that he once attended.


A year ago I had written camp asking them to change my address so I could continue to receive the newsletters. They had been sent to my parents house and for some reason my parents were not passing them on to me. I was very surprised and happy to see that in the alumni section for the 80's there was a small part in there about what I was up to these days.

With the newsletter came an informational DVD about the camp as well as pictures from this past summers sessions. Watching that DVD brought back so memories and it was fun spending 30 minutes in a time when life seemed so much easier and my only worry was did I have enough hair spray for my bangs and who was best friend.

Camp Mishawaka is located in Grand Rapids Minnesota. Grand Rapids is about 4 hours north of Minneapolis and 2 hours south of the Canadian border. My Dads parents lived in Outing Minnesota and were just 45 minutes from camp. There were many summers that my Grandma would drive in for the day to have lunch with me. I always loved those days when she would come to camp. A couple years she would pick me up at the end of camp and I would spend a few days with her before flying home to Kansas City. I wish now that I had been more appreciative of the time I was able to spend with my Grandma.

If we are blessed with a child I would want our child to attend this camp. The things I learned at camp I still use to this day. It was there at camp that I learned there was more to the world then my church.

If you are reading this Mom and Dad, thanks for allowing me the chance to experience the summer days of summer camp.


*The above picture is from my last summer at camp; 1989*

Friday, December 29, 2006

Day Off

I took today off because I have a lot of vacation days and if I don't use them then I loose them. Last night Laura begged me to let us sleep in a little. Usually when we plan on sleeping in it doesn't always work that way. Today was no exception. Here is what was suppose to be calm and quiet day.

4:30am--Laura wakes up because her neck is hurting from her previous day of lifting weights. We get up, she takes some Ibuphren and then we head back to bed. As the wonderful partner that I am I give her a great neck massage to help the pain.

5:00am--We realize that we are not able to get back to sleep so we decide this is the perfect time to do our grocery shopping.

5:30am--We arrive at the grocery store (thank God for 24 hour grocery stores) and do our shopping in peace. The only other people there were people stocking the shelves. It was wonderful. I have now found my new favorite time to do grocery shopping.

6:30am--Arrive at our local bagel shop for our morning bagel. The people that see me there every morning at 8:30am are looking at me like, "what the heck are you doing here this early?"

7:00am--Arrive at grocery store #2 to pick up items that the other store didn't have. Only found one item we were looking for, but found numerous other junk that we clearly don't need. Shopping with a list is really the only way to shop

7:40am--Arrive back home. The benefit of driving back to the house that early we saw the most gorgeous sunrise. I just wish I had my camera.

8:00am--Call the vet to make an appointment for Sophie Dog. Poor thing has been suffering bad with arthritis in her back leg and has been showing signs of pain.

8:15am--Finally get through to the vet and make an early afternoon appointment.

9:30am--Get a call from little sis (who lives just 10 minutes away) to say that she has thrown her back out and needs us to bring her some meds. We immediately get cleaned up to help her out.

10:15am--I go to Post Office and Dollar General. What should have taken just 15 minutes total took close to 45 minutes.

11:00am--Arrive at little sis's house and take her some meds as well as make her lunch. Had a great time playing with their two dogs Harvey and Ian. Clearly these dogs are best friends and we had fun watching them play together. Another time I wish I had my camera.

12:00pm--Leave little sis's and go out to lunch at LoneStar. We both have been craving a steak and with our Gift Visa we got for Christmas we thought this was the perfect way to use it. Yum Yum.

1:15pm--Go to Blockbuster to sign up for their online movie rental. We did have Netflix, but with a Blockbuster right down the road the benefits are great then Netflix.

2:45pm--Leave to take Sophie to the vet and Laura takes the other car to get her pay check.

3:30pm--The vet starts to examine Sophie and when the vet and the vet tech go to lift Sophie up on the table she pees all over the vet and vet tech. I personally thought it was funny, but they did not. And yet another time I wish I had my camera.

4:30pm--Arrive home with Sophie dog and give her her first dose of meds, which have already started to work. YEA.

4:45pm--Leave again to go to little sis's to check on her and make sure her hubby made it home and that she doesn't need anything else.

5:15pm-Arrive at grocery store #3 and finally find the other things from our list. And of course a few other things that we don't need. I suck at impulse control.

5:30pm--Arrive home for the day..finally and start a load of laundry. I would have put that off until tomorrow, but I am out of clean underwear and we are out of clean towels.

My lesson for today: 1) Always bring a camera along 2) Act sick next time I have a day off.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 in Review

Here is our review of 2006. And of course it's through pictures.
January--Like it always is January is cold and dark in Kansas City. The year got started with our last snow of the year. We never saw snow again until the next winter. We were busy planning the wedding reception for little sis and hubby, which took up most of our time for the month of January.
February--During the month of February we decided we needed a change in our bedroom. We took out one big dresser, took off our headboard and moved the room completely around. Made the room look a lot bigger and it there was a lot less clutter in the room. During Feb. we also welcomed home Lynilu who came home to pack up her house and move to New Mexico.

March--During this month we were happy to see green return to our yard. During this month we also refinanced the house and started looking around for the right company to remodel our bathroom. Looking back maybe we should have looked a little bit more. It rained a lot during the month and we were counting the days until our trip to Florida in April.

April--What started out as a quiet month turned out to be one of the busiest of the year. We spent 6 wonderful days in the Florida keys and decided that we wanted to come back a year later and have our commitment ceremony. A week after we returned the remodel of our bathroom started. We got a new bathroom, but in the process one of our precious cats (Ben) was let out and as the month ended there was still no sight of my Ben. What started out as a calm month ended with my heart just breaking for the cat that was lost.

May--One week into the new month and Laura and I were out on the back deck enjoying a nice spring evening when we heard Ben meowing. He was home and my heart was no longer broken. We continued with plumbing problems from the remodel which took another 5 months to clear up. Memorial Day weekend we went camping for the first time as a couple and had a blast. The end of the month I celebrated my 33rd Birthday.

June--During this month we went down to the lake with older sis, hubby and nephew. We had a blast with the three of them and they finally realized why we love the motel we stay at. It started getting warmer by the end of the month. Little did we know what Mother Nature would have in store for us for July. I also had the first of 3 root canals.
July--During this month we spent the whole month inside because it was too hot to do anything else. We had several days that were well above 100. It was miserable. The cats enjoyed sleeping on our floaters and when we finally were able to use them again there were tiny holes from their claws. Now they no longer float.

August--The beginning of the month was still very hot. On the 16th Laura celebrated her birthday. We went down to the lake for one more weekend. I celebrated one year of blogging and was amazed at all the wonderful people that I had met through bloggerland.

September--The heat finally broke Labor Day weekend and we spent most of that weekend outside. By the middle of September the temps were back in the high 90's. We thought summer was never going to end. I had root canal #2 done.

October--Because the temps were so warm we decided at the last minute to get one more camping trip in. It was one of the best weekends I have ever had. We took Sophie-dog with us and she had a blast, although for several weeks after we got back we would ask her if she wanted to go for a car ride and she would run up to the bedroom. She is not a fan of car rides, especially if they are 2 hours. We also said goodbye to Lynilu again as she moved for good to New Mexico. And yet another root canal to make 3 total.

November--During this month we drove down to Springfield to see Kathy Griffin. It was a wonderful weekend. During November I also got a feeling that maybe I should start looking for a new job. I am not sure what told me to look for a new job, but I would find out in December. We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving at Laura's parents house where we spent most of the night playing dominoes; a new tradition in the family.

December--During this month we started a new tradition of taking treats to the local pet shelter. Sophie go to see Santa and gave him lots of kisses. We finished all our Christmas shopping early so that meant almost no stress. I found out that yes my position at work was being terminated and I was being "let go" on January 15, 2007. Laura and I had a wonderful Christmas in spite of the bad news and I decided to take a well needed vacation from my job.


2007 is going to be an exciting year. I am looking forward to my little break from work, our possible trip to Connecticut to meet some blogger friends and of course our Commitment Ceremony on April 16, 2007 in the Florida Keys. 2007 is "our" year and I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's OK

As I mentioned in my previous post Laura and I had a wonderful weekend. We watched lots of movies and I was again reminded why I don't let Laura pick out movies. She has been wanting to see Wicker Man with Nicholas Cage for a while and rented it for the weekend. It was the most horrible movie I have ever seen. It was definitely 2 hours of my life that I will never get back. Thankfully she agreed that it was a stupid movie. If you are thinking about renting this movie, don't waste your money or time. We also watched A Love Song for Bobby Long which was very good and Invisible which was fantastic. Both Laura and I love the "underdog" movies. We had no idea that the coach that gave this guy a chance was Dick Vermeil who coached the Chiefs for 4 seasons. Then we watched All the Kings Men with Sean Penn. Also very good, but very deep.

On Saturday while I was taking my traditional weekend nap Laura discovered that we had the Logo channel. (gay/lesbian channel) I can't tell you how excited we are that we finally have this channel. I don't know how long we have had this channel, but Laura swears that it's just since last Thursday when TimeWarner was out changing our phone. So in between all our movies we watched a lot of the Logo channel. Last night we sat and watched 4 hours of "Coming Out" Stories. It's interesting watching people tell their loved ones they are gay. I am not sure if I would have had the guts to tell my family with it being filmed.

One of the shows that is on the Logo channel is called Nemesis Rising. It's a show about identical twin brothers that are trying to make it in the music business and they were raised Jehovah's Witness. The show is about their music careers as well as their families dealing with both of them being gay. You know I will be watching that show faithfully. I am sure there is so much I will be able to relate to. I am really looking forward to it.

We also watched this program about a woman going back to Utah after having been gone for 20 years. Raised a Mormon she was finally coming to terms with her faith, etc. Watching that show made me realize that it's ok for me to still have some fondness for the faith in which I was raised. Doesn't mean that I agree with it, but it's ok if there are some parts of it that I miss. Laura asked me what I miss the most and I think I would have to say the thing I miss the most is how it really is a community and everyone looks after everyone. I always loved singing at church and of course I miss my family. Watching this show it hit me hard that it's ok if I miss that stuff. Sometimes I find it shocking how just watching a show on TV will make a point hit home for me.

It's OK. It's OK.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A VERY Merry Christmas

What a great 3 days Laura and I have had. In all the years that I just imagined what it would be like to celebrate Christmas, I never imagined it could or would be this good or that I would be this happy. I got some wonderful gifts from Laura as well as from the family. Laura got me an MP3 player that I was secretly hoping she would get me. I have been using an old "walkman" when I go to the gym and it just seemed too big and outdated. I can't wait to go to the gym now with the music I have picked out. I also got a very nice size gift certificate for my local bagel shop. It's going to be perfect when my paychecks stop. Oh, and I got both Postsecret books. I had asked for the new one, but Laura surprised me with both. I find myself both thankful and a little sad when I read those secrets. Some really tear at your heart. Here are some pictures from Christmas day. As you will see, only the dog and our 15 month nephew will let me take pictures of them now. Huh, I wonder why.
Here is Sophie saying "can I please have my treats now". She's eaten so much junk the last couple days I am sure she will be spending as much time outside as we will spend in the bathroom.
This year Santa brought Sophie 2 new toys. As she always does, she ran downstairs first thing in the morning and went straight to the tree to her new presents. You would think she had been celebrating x-mas her whole life. She's such a cute dog.

The neighborhood cat George was there to greet us when we got to Laura's parents house. He was all over the car. I called him down off the top to the trunk to take his picture. He's such a sweetie and I always secretly take him some food after we are done eating dinner.


Here are me and Laura. I am so lucky.

Before everyone got there Laura's parents had some music playing and we looked over and they were dancing. So in love after 38 years of marriage. So sweet and so full of love.

Here's Laura's Dad and little nephew. He loves Grandpa so much. The minute nephew walks in he says "ma" for Grandma and "pa" for Grandpa. He has to find them before he does anything else. Can you tell nephew is feeling a little under the weather. His nose was so runny and he just looked like he was saying "can I please take a nap."
He quickly became more alert when we gave him his stocking to open. A new hat, a new rubber ducky and a new ball..what more could a boy want.

Life is always better when you get as much food on your face as possible. It's your only time in life when it's cute to have food all over your face. I don't know, but it looks like he's making a fist saying, "Auntie if you take one more picture of me my fist will get to know your face." Again, another time when it's only cute when a kids says that to you.

You know it's time to go home when all you can do is rub your eyes. Not too long after this photo nephews parents took him home because it was time for a long overdue nap.

It was a wonderful weekend and we have one more night of Christmas tomorrow night. Younger sister and hubby spent Christmas with his family in Oklahoma and we plan on getting together tomorrow night to celebrate Christmas at Laura's parents house tomorrow after work. I think if I don't anything until tomorrow night I might just be hungry again.

I hope all of you had a day filled with love, family and lots of good food.
To see more Christmas pictures click here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Waiting



This morning we woke up and decided to get one last workout in before Christmas. Our gym is closed tomorrow and Christmas day so today was our last chance workout. I was very tired this morning and really didn't want to go, but knew this was the best thing for me. Not only did I do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, but while Laura was finishing up her 50 minute ride I jumped on the bike and did 10 more minutes. I figured I might as well and it would be better then just sitting there waiting for her. We then lifted some weights. It felt good and when we were leaving I was very thankful that I went.


This time of the year I always think of all the things I am thankful for. Every day I see people come into my office that have nothing. Nothing. Laura and I may live in a very modest home and not drive the newest of cars, but we are happy and more importantly we have each other. No matter how bad my day has gone at work the minute I get in my car to come home I know everything will be ok. Life is good, life is very good.

We have a very casual 2 days planned ahead. All our shopping is done, all the gifts are wrapped and now we just wait for Christmas morning. We have movies to watch and we are really enjoying the free movie channels that came with us switching our phone to our cable provider.

My wish for all you is that you have peace and love this Christmas and someone special to spend this holiday season with.

*The above picture is one of our strays who loves to sit under the tree in front. This is one of my favorite pictures from this Christmas.**

Friday, December 22, 2006

Flat Tire & Hot Air

Last night when we got home we needed to take out the trash. On Wednesday night we changed the cat liter. Because we have a small one car garage I backed Laura's car out to change the liter. I kept hearing this "hissing" sound. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from so I just forgot about it. So last night as I backed her car out of the garage I realized there was something wrong. I had her look at her back tire and sure enough it was flat. Not just low on air, but completely flat. After some looking we realized there was a nail in her tire. Thank goodness for AAA. Laura has a small SUV so the tire on the back is a full size tire. They came out this morning and changed the tire for her. AAA is the best $50 we spent this past year. We save 10% at a lot of restaurants, hotels and they come help us if we have any car problems. I love it.

Unless you live under a rock you have heard about the feud going on between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. Laura and I Tivo The View everyday and watch it in the evenings. When we watched it Wednesday we were a little shocked at how she came out against Donald. Now, I am in no way on Donald's side because I really feel he is slime. We were even more shocked when we saw the clip of him bashing Rosie calling her a 'fat loser" and that she fails at everything. WOW. Donald just doesn't know when to stop. He has been all over the news and even was on Larry King Live last night. We watched the 11pm airing and were so disgusted with that fat bastard that we have vowed never to watch The Apprentice again. Yes Donald personally has not filed for bankruptcy, but several of his companies have. I don't see the difference. But I'm not a lawyer, so I may be wrong. And it was so obvious that he is does not like us gays. He kept referring to Rosie not being a good compass for morals. Huh, I wonder what he meant with that. Doesn't he realize when you piss off one gay you piss us all off? I just see Donald as trying to get as much press time as possible for his show that starts in three weeks. This Christmas I have just one wish....for Donald Trump to shut up. That would be the ultimate Christmas miracle.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Back to Writing

As much fun as the contest was I really missed writing here daily. It was like I was being detoxed from blogging. I hated it. So it's back to writing about the everyday things that are going on.

Yesterday my boss forced me to attend a training. It was here at our office, but I was still miserable the entire time. This training had been on the calender since August and when I asked my boss if I had to attend since I only have 3 weeks left he said, "but you have a whole career ahead of you." Damn. Normally I wouldn't mind attending workshops, but I had just been through this training one year ago and I knew everything that was covered. In fact the tool that we were being trained on I use on a daily basis. I probably could have taught this class. So I sat for 8 hours with people that were driving me nuts. Here are some of the things that went on during the training:

*The lady behind me coughed the entire time. The tables/chairs were so close that every time she coughed I could feel it in my hair. I kept hearing her say, "I don't' think I am sick, but I have this cough". By 4pm I was wondering if she maybe had TB.

*The lady next to me was a very big lady. She apparently had no sense of boundaries because she was completely in my space and it was driving me nuts. She kept getting up which meant I had to get up in order for her to get around my chair. I wanted to tell her, "just sit and listen"

*About 30 minutes into the training this one guy got up and went to the bathroom in the hall and proceeded to throw up. I was sitting at the table right by the door that went to this bathroom. I thought I was going to throw up myself.

*The guy sitting in front of me looked exactly like my ex husband from the back. I sat and stared at his head thanking God that I am not with my ex anymore.

*I don't know how many people didn't listen and the would ask a question that the instructor had just answered. You would think we were in middle school and couldn't listen. Please listen. The less questions asked the sooner we will be let out.

*A guy that was across the room obviously has a hearing problem. 3 times during the training his watch started beeping and it took someone pointing it out to him that it was beeping.

So that was my Wednesday. It's amazing how tired you get from just sitting. I was exhausted by the time I got home.

Is anyone else as excited about Christmas as I am?? I am looking forward to having 3 days off this weekend and then just working a 3 day week next week. I think Laura and I are going to go see "The Pursuit of Happyness" on Saturday. That movie looks so good. Tuesday night we watched "Little Miss Sunshine". Oh.My.God. That is the best movie. I loved it. I think that is one that I would like to own. If you haven't seen it you must go see it.

Tonight we off to see my oldest nephew. This is my brothers oldest boy from his first marriage. His Mom is more then ok with me and lets me see him. I haven't written about it before, but his Mom said it was fine that I talked about it on my blog. Knowing my parents read my blog I didn't want to write anything that would affect my nephew in a negative way. My nephew is 12 (I still can't believe that) and is growing up so fast. I love spending time with him and my favorite thing is when Laura and I pull up to his house and he comes running out cause he is so excited to see us. That's love. We actually get to see him a lot since he lives in the same small town as Laura's parents. Whenever we can we stop and see him and of course spoil him.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Winner of Post 500

Well, we have picked 2 winners for my contest. Personally you are all winners in my eyes, but I had to pick just two. I threw out the anonymous comment "Mabel" since everyone knew that was Laura trying to win. And did you notice that Lynilu tried to cheat by putting two comments? Sorry Lynilu, just one comment was added to the contest.

The winners for this contest are...................

Casey and Ragged Around the Edges. Just email me your name/address to carolinesemail73@yahoo.com and I will get your prize in the mail. Because the lines are outrageous at the post office right now I will probably wait until Tuesday to mail them out.

Thanks again for being part of Caroline in the City. Each of you is the reason I keep writing and I thank you for your friendship and support this past year.

Monday, December 18, 2006

500th--You Light up My Life

**Edited Wednesday 12/20**The contest will be ending later this afternoon. Make sure you add your comment if you want to be eligible for the contest. One last thing..thanks for all the awesome comments. I really needed those comments this week. You all are the best!!!

Here it is my 500th post. There are so many of you out there that faithfully read my blog daily (and sometimes more) and I wanted to share part of Kansas City with two of my readers. Here is a little bit of history on the gifts and make sure you read all of the post because it will tell how you can can win.
Kansas City is home to the Country Club Plaza which is probably our most famous, if not only famous landmark. It's a open air shopping area with lots of upscale stores. For the holiday season they put lights up around every inch of all the buildings. On Thanksgiving night they have a huge party to celebrate the lights being turned on. Usually 200,000-300,00 people turn out to see the lights being turned on. I have gone once to see the lights turned on when I was a child. I was too young to remember much about it. It's a beautiful sight and when the Plaza lights are on you know it's the holiday season in Kansas City.
Because all of you have played such a vital role in the history of "Caroline in the City" I wanted to share a part of my city's history with you. The above picture is two burned out light bulbs from the Plaza lights. These two bulbs have been made into Christmas ornaments that can be put on your tree for next year.


Here's how you win: In one word tell me what "Caroline in the City" means to you. I will then put all your comments in a hat and Laura will pull 2 at random. To make sure that everyone has a chance I will leave this post up until Thursday morning. (For you guys I am going to go 2 whole days without blogging) This includes all you lurkers that come to my blog. I want to hear from you as well.


Good luck everyone and thanks for being part of Caroline in the City.

499

I really don't want to be at work today. Knowing that in three weeks I will be out of here anyway it really makes me not want to be here. I would rather be home and at the gym with Laura. Just 3 weeks....I can do it.

I am so excited because Sassy is hosting a get together for blogger friends in Feb. and I think Laura and I are going to try to make it. We found an awesome deal on plane tickets and once we get through Christmas then we will see. But it's looking good. I am so excited. From the sounds of it there are several blogger friends that will come into town for this get together. Who would have ever guessed I would actually be meeting all of them in person. This one flight we found we change planes in Minneapolis. On the way home we have a 3 hour lay over. If all this goes as planned then we are going to ask Sandra if she wants to meet us at the airport. Again, I am so excited. This trip would be the perfect weekend getaway that we were looking for.

My next post is 500 and I plan on giving prizes away to my loyal readers. Just two prizes so make sure you check out my blog later tonight or tomorrow. The gifts are cool if I do say so myself and they are so unique you can only find them in Kansas City. Curious? Make sure you come back to check it out.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Person of the Year



I was shocked to read the news today I, yes ME, was named person of the year. Well, actually it wasn't just me. It's all us bloggers that have changed the way the Internet works. Click HERE to see how you have changed the world.

Speaking of my blog, I am very close to hitting my 500th post. I never imagined that I would still be doing this blog thing a year and a half later, but here I am. Keep your eyes open for a special post to celebrate and a chance to win an actual piece of Kansas City history.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wide Awake

Here it is midnight and Laura is in bed asleep and I am wide awake. I should be tired because we have had a busy three days, but here I am not able to sleep. I guess I will write in the hopes that I will soon become sleepy and ready for bed.

After having taken 1/2 day on Thursday and then already having asked off for the afternoon on Friday I decided what the hell I might as well not go in at all on Friday. Really what's the worst thing they will do...fire me...sorry already done. And it was wonderful not feeling guilty at all about not going in. Laura and I decided that Friday was going to be our test run of our days when I am home. We got up, made some breakfast and were at the gym by 9:15am. It was so wonderful going to the gym first thing in the morning. Not only was it not that busy, but my back/leg were not stiff at all. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then Laura showed me the weight lifting program she is doing. All of it felt wonderful, but I knew I was going to be sore later in the day or the next day. After the gym we came home and cleaned the entire house since we were having little sis and hubby over for a little get together. After cleaning for 3 hours it was time for a nap. I laid down for about an hour and then got up to do some last minute cleaning. We had a wonderful time with little sis and hubby. We sat around and talked about Florida and all the things we are going to do while we are there. I told Laura when I was told that my job was ending that the one thing I didn't want to do was to cancel our trip to Florida. Smart planning on our part in the past couple of years has enabled us not to cancel our trip, even if I don't have a job by April. So, Friday was a wonderful "test run" of our days when I am not working and it was a huge success.

Today was also a busy day. We had our 9 year old nephew the whole day so his parents could finish their Christmas shopping. We took him for pizza and to do a little Christmas shopping for his parents/brother/grandparents. It was fun watching him pick out little things for them. One of the stops we had to make was to Best Buy. On Friday afternoon while we were cleaning I went to touch our cordless phone and shocked the hell out of it. After that shock not only was my hair a little frizzy, but the phone didn't work. Having just received a $15 rebate from Best Buy we thought we would go look at phones. Our nephew thought we should by the one that was really cool looking at only $200. I tried to talk Laura into it, but she thought the $25 phone would do just fine. With our rebate we only paid $10. Not too bad for a phone. When we got home I opened the box and realized that there was something missing from the box....the base/answering machine. I couldn't believe it. So back to the store I go in hopes they don't think I am trying to rip them off. Luckily there was no problems and I was out the door in just 10 minutes. As Laura, our nephew and I were checking out, the cashier looked at our nephew and said something about his Mom and then looked at me. Our nephew told the cashier, "No, she's not my Mom, she's my aunt. I am spending the day with my aunts today." Nephew had never called me his aunt and it felt really good being seen by him as his aunt. Make sense?

Once home the three of us played a game of LIFE (my favorite) and watched some of the show "Little People Big World" (Laura's favorite). It was a good day, but once nephew left Laura and I realized how tired we were. It takes a lot to entertain a 9 year old for an entire day. But it was fun and we were so glad to be able to spend this time with him.

Tomorrow we go to the gym and then watch the Survivor finale. I realized that all the stress going on this past week has been wonderful for my diet. I lost 3lbs this past week. I think part was the stress, but also I have been gonig to the gym at least 3-4x a week now. Maybe that's why I can't sleep. Too much exercise. Probably not.

Well, I am finally finding myself a little sleepy. I better head to bed since in 9 hours we have an date with the gym.

Night everyone.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Few of My Favorite Things


This being only my 3rd Christmas that I "officially" celebrate I may not have as many favorite things about the holidays or traditions. But the traditions that Laura and I have already started are some of my favorite things.

One of the traditions that we have started is whenever we go on vacation or mini trips we always pick up a new ornament. It's fun pulling out all the ornaments when we are putting up the tree and being reminded of all the places we have been as a couple. This tradition started the very first summer we were together. We didn't have a lot of money and we really wanted to get out of town for a few days. We ended up going to Branson for a weekend and it was the best time. I had never been to Branson before and I quickly realized it was the knick knack headquarters of the world. And I am the knick knack queen. On that trip we picked up our first Christmas ornaments. Even though we have gone many other neat places, those first ornaments we bought as a couple in Branson will always be some of my favorite ornaments.


Ever since I can remember I have always loved Christmas music. Even when I was an active Jehovah's Witness I would always listen to the Christmas music they play on the radio stations in KC. There is just something about that music that makes the world seem more at peace. The stations in KC have started playing the music earlier and earlier. One stations started playing the music Nov.1. I think that was a little early, but that didn't stop me from listening. My favorite Christmas tune is "O Holy Night". To me the words are magical.

Since Laura and I don't have any children (yet), we always make sure we pick up presents for the dog and cats. The cats usually get a new thing of the best catnip and some cat treats. Once we put the catnip down they don't care about anything else. The dog on the other hand is just like a small child. The first Christmas we were together we got the dog this stuffed toy. The night before we put it right in front of the Christmas tree and Christmas morning we all came downstairs and the dog went running to the tree and right to her present. She was so excited about that stuffed toy. To this day, this stuffed toy is her absolute favorite toy. Last year she got a new dog bed and this year we got her two new stuffed toys as well as some very yummy dog treats. Sophie's reaction Christmas morning is like having a small glimpse of what our child might do Christmas morning.

And finally one of my favorite things is the time we get to spend with family. I have been blessed with having Laura as my family and then her family accepting me into the family. From day one I have felt like I was part of the family and loved. Christmas day the whole family goes down to Laura's parents where we exchange gifts and eat a wonderful dinner. It's not often that the entire family is able to get together, so those few times a year are always precious. Having been separated from my own family I have realized that family is what you make it. I may have not been born into Laura's family, but you would never know from the way they love and accept me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A lot Going On...........

*We got a call today saying that Laura's aunt had been rushed to the hospital and is on a ventilator. It does not look good. Please keep Laura's aunt in your thoughts and prayers.

*The CEO of my company today called me into her office twice today to say how sorry she is that they had to eliminate my position. When I reassured her that I had no hard feelings, her response was, "when have you ever had hard feelings?" It felt good that she approached me and let me know how sorry everyone is that I am leaving. Knowing that you are wanted somewhere always feels good.

*We found a family on Craigslist that just moved to a farm and is looking for 4-5 cats for their barn. This family has a 3 and 4 year old and the kitty's will be their Christmas gift. They also stated they wanted cats from the same family so they would all get along. We have been in touch with them and we are in the process of sending them pictures of our strays outside. Blacky would stay since he's older. Mama, Baby and the 3 kittens would all go. They would be so happy on a farm and sleeping in a warm barn full of hay.

*After Laura called me about her aunt I decided to take rest of the day off. I have plenty of PTO and I loose 1/2 of the days when I leave next month. With Christmas and New Years in the next few weeks I am finding it hard to find days to take off so I don't loose so much PTO. I never thought I would be saying that.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lemonade Anyone?




It has spread like wildfire at my office that my position is being eliminated next month and I think people are worried. My position was suppose to be one of the more secure ones at our agency. I was working under a grant that doesn't end until June 2007, so everyone seems confused that they are letting me go. The truth is my agency has somehow really messed up the finances and the only way to get out of this is to eliminate positions. There are many things I would do differently if I was the CEO of my agency. First thing is to have the employees start paying some of the health insurance fees. Since I started the board of directors have been trying to save money. Since day one they have been having talks about having the employees pay a little bit of their health coverage. As of today, our agency is still paying 100% of the health insurance for all employees.


Last night Laura and I stayed up talking about things. We have already started to adjust things financially so that we are still able to save some money each month. For starters we have switched our phone over to our cable provider. This will automatically save us $50 a month plus we get 2 movies channels for free for one year. We are going to switch plans on our cellphones because with both of us home now we don't need 1500 minutes. Weight Watchers is also out. But I think I have the system down and with me going to the gym everyday I don't think I will need Weight Watchers anymore. Unless we start stopping at Krispey Kreme for breakfast.


I think everyone is shocked that I am taking this so well. I think Laura is waiting for me to break down at any moment, but really I am ok. I am actually looking forward to a little bit of a break from work. Maybe this was God's way of helping me not get burned out from my work. After any kind of break from work I always go back completely refreshed and feel 100% committed to my clients again.

Being a social worker is emotionally draining. No one comes to see me because they are doing good. My clients come see me when they have no where else to turn and their world seems to be ending. It takes a toll on my soul when all day I see is heartbreak. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't ask myself "why is this happening to this person?" Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair what some people have to go through just to survive in life. And it really doesn't seem fair when someone shows up at my office and they can't name one person that loves them. Everyone needs to be loved and more importantly to feel loved.

Yes I am losing my job, but I still have lots of love in my life. Laura and I may not be able to spend as freely as we do sometimes, but we still have a roof over a head and plenty of love for each other and our family.

I am suddenly in the mood for a nice glass of lemonade.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Waiting Game

Laura and I talked last night and I decided that I was going to ask my boss about this. I am not a person that will just sit and wait to see what happens. Not only would I drive myself and Laura nuts, but I am sure you all would be tired of me writing about what "could happen" for two or three weeks, or whenever they decided it was a good time to tell me that I am officially out of a job.

So this morning I came in a few minutes early to talk with my boss. As usual he was here so I just went in his office and asked him if this rumor was true. His initial reaction was shock. Not that there was this rumor going around that I was losing my job, but shock that I knew. He asked who I heard this from. I didn't tell him. I figured if it was not true and I was still going to have a job and they really wanted to know then I would say. But who knows..I hate being a snitch. He told me that he would check and I would have an answer by the end of the day. Sounds like it was true. Otherwise he would have reassured me that it was not true and not to worry. Now I just sit and wait. At least I only have to wait until maybe the end of the day to find out.

Last night Laura and I were talking about what I was going to do with my time if I suddenly find myself out of job. Here are some of the things we decided might be fun to do if I suddenly had a lot of time off and of course unemployment coming in.

*Go visit Lynilu in New Mexico. I would love to see her again and see where she is living.

*Buy a couple tickets on Amtrak and go to either the east coast or west coast. We have both wanted to take an extended train ride and how cool would that be to go west through the mountains. Checked prices and for both of us to ride the train to SF it would be about $550.

*Spend lots of time at the gym

*Paint the bathroom. This has needed to be done since we had the bathroom done in April.

These are just a few of the ideas we came up with. I am sure once it's official the list will become longer. It's not too often that you are forced into a long-term vacation and if this happens, then I plan on taking advantage of every minute of it.

**Edited 5:30pm**I had a meeting with my boss today at 4:30 and I was told the rumor was true and that my position is being terminated January 15. My boss was very upset that I found out "through the grapevine" and that he didn't have a chance to tell me first. I wonder if I hadn't asked today if they would have waited until the first of January to tell me. He did reassure me that I am eligible for unemployment, rehire and of course I can use him as an excellent reference. I guess all that is good, but right now I am still a little down due to being "officially" out of a job and having to really look for a new job. I hate interviews and I hate the first couple of days on a new job when I feel like I don't know anything and there is so much to learn. But I am going to try to not worry about that right now. Laura and I will be more then ok through all of this. We always have been. And like she has said "it's you and me against the world and we're winning."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Needed Somewhere Else

This morning I was told that I will probably loose my current job as early as January and as late as February. Apparently they can't afford my position anymore and that means they can't afford me. I was not told my boss or his boss. I was told by someone that was in this meeting and they thought I should know what is going on. My boss and his didn't want to upset me during Christmas so they are going to tell me after the holiday are over. Thank you for not wanting to hurt me, but I think this time I would have liked to know that in as early as two weeks I will be out of a job. I am thankful that the person that did tell me (she was in the meeting when all this was said about my position being cut) so Laura and I can start planning. Thankfully we plan all year for situations just like this.

Still haven't heard anything from that agency I interviewed with right before Thanksgiving. I called them last week to see if they had made a decision and they told me that some of the interviews had been rescheduled due to the weather. They did seem happy to talk to me. That's a good sign. Now I really hope for a call from them.

I guess this is God telling me that I am needed somewhere else. I learned that things happen for a reason almost 3 years ago. After getting fired from a job I hated I struggled to find a new job. Finally after 6 months I found a job in a little town south of Kansas City. I kept trying to figure out why I was in this job. Six months after I started I met Laura in this little town that I was working. It all became clear at the moment I first saw her. I thank God everyday for sending me to this little town that I had never been to before.

So here's to hopefully finding a new job before they let me go and with a small prayer going out in hopes they let me keep my dental insurance until I get this last crown put in.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday

There are some days when I wish I were in this place. Just the sounds of nature and the warm sun on my face. Today is one of those days.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sophie's Day with Santa

What a wonderful day our family has had. Today was the first year of our new tradition of going to visit all the animals at the local shelter and taking them a little bit of love from our family to them. Here is our day in pictures.
Here is Sophie checking out all the gifts we got for the dogs and cats. She was a little jealous of all the treats they were getting. We took them moist cat and dog food, cat treats, dog treats plus lots of new dog and cat toys. As a thank you for taking the donations we got a Christmas ornament. Yea, a new ornament for our tree.
Nosey Brady had to see what all the fuss was about as well. At one point (of course after the camera was turned off) he stood on his back legs to look in the bag.

Here is Wayside Waifs. It started out as a tiny shelter out of a house. It has grown into a very modern facility that can house hundreds of dogs and cats. They also have a pet cemetery as well as 2 large dog parks.

Once we got inside Sophie became very nervous. They were in the middle of talking different dogs out for their daily walks. Sophie hasn't been around too many dogs and this made her a little nervous. Can you tell she was nervous in this picture?

Sophie was wonderful with Santa. Here she was giving Santa a kiss. I loved that they took the time and took about 20 pictures and let us choose which ones we wanted. When we walked up to Santa he got up, picked her up and put her on his lap. Sophie was a little distracted with all the people there, but overall did very well. Everyone loved this picture and they asked if they could use this for next years promotion. How cool would that be if Sophie's picture was part of their promotion for next year. Our baby may be a star after all.

Here's another picture of Sophie. She's was such a good girl and we had a blast with her today. We ended up spending about an hour and half at the celebration today.


While we were there one of the dog walkers came by with the cutest mix Shar-Pei. She had the Shar-pei face, but not the wrinkles. She was too cute. We found out that her name was Sophie. The dog walker hung out with us for about 20 minutes and our Sophie and the other Sophie seemed to get along great. This dog had been at the shelter for two months and her adoption fee today was only $55. We were ready to bring her home. Laura went back to look at her one more time and she noticed on the information form that she should not be around cats. There went that idea. Can you imagine being in a house with 3 Sophies? We can't either.


This next part is for "anonymous" that asked me to say hi to her friend at the shelter. Sharon says "HI" to you and talked fondly of you and the work you did at Wayside Waifs.


It was a wonderful day that the three of us will not soon forget. It really is better to give then receive.

Friday, December 08, 2006

How Brady Annoys Laura



It's no secret that Brady (left) annoys Laura in every way possible. This picture is proof at how he does exactly that. As soon as we finished laundry earlier this week Brady decided we made him a cozy bed. He stayed there until we went up to bed and then he stayed in there while I carried him and the basket full of clothes upstairs.





Here is our oldest cat Bonk. She is around 19 and still acts like a little kitten half the time. Bonk has decided that Laura is her new best friend and follows here everywhere, even into the bathroom to throw up. Now that's a good friend.
Here is my best kitty friend Ben. Most nights he spends it in my lap. And most nights he spends under the covers right next to my leg. He's my extra blanket on these cold winter nights.
Here is Sophie cat. After Laura and I go to bed she jumps on the couch (although she likes us to believe she can't jump up there) and lays out like the couch is her bed. Notice she uses a pillow also. If she could I am sure she would pull the blanket over her body.

Wow!!

First of all, I was completetly overwhelmed by all the wonderful comments from my last post. I loved hearing from all the lurkers. I welcome all lurkers to continue to comment. To be honest, after I got that comment from Jolene last night I felt like a complete ass. I emailed her apologizing to her and telling her that I saw her reasoning. So, all is well. If you do have a chance, stop by Jolene's. You will be amazed at how creative she is. Time to move on...

It appears Laura's worst fears have come true. She started feeling sick yesterday and by 7pm she was laying on the bathroom floor in pain. She informed me that she feels she has the bird flu. She has been talking about it for two years and she is certain she will be the first documenated case in the United States. I personally think it's just a stomach flu, but I will let her think it's the bird flu if that will make her feel a little better. Thankfully she is feeling a little bit better this morning. It was a rough night for all of us, the cats included. We have one cat that follows Laura everywhere. Bonk kept trying to see what was going on and Laura kept pushing her away. Bonk was not happy about that and let Laura know by meowing most of the night. When I left this morning both Bonk and Laura were sleeping soundly on the bed.

Tomorrow is Sophie-dog's big day with Santa. I just hope she doesn't pee on him. She does that sometimes when she gets very nervous. And the fact that we are taking her to a shelter she might think we are leaving her there. We have all our treats and presents for the animals there and now we just have to convince Sophie that the dogs/cats there need the stuff more then her. God, I keep seeing that scene in Mommie Dearest where they have to give all their presents to charity.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Part Cold, Part Rant, Part Inspiration

I think someone forgot to turn on the sun this morning. We woke up to horribly cold temperatures. Today high is only 20. Add the windchill and it feels a lot colder then that. The sun is shining brightly, but doesn't seem to be doing anything but look pretty. I like cool weather, but this bitterly cold weather is just too cold for me. Hopefully my car will be warm when I leave work in a few hours. The only good thing about having a black car is that it heats up nicely in the winter.

Ok, I need to vent here for a second. (Taylors: if you are reading this, this vent is NOT about you.) I lurk on many blogs. I find them randomly or through comments they have put on other blogs. It usually takes me a while to comment because for some reason I am nervous. I don't know why, but I am. Maybe it's because really I am shy in person. So when I do finally comment it's because I feel comfortable telling them who I am. Last winter I found this blog and the person ended up living in the KC area. She was commenting on the crazy weather we were having. I put a post about how I could relate. Within a couple hours she put a post up about how the blog was just for family and dear friends. Well, excuse me. If you want it that private maybe you should just send emails to your family/friends or better yet..call them. This person was acting like I was invading their personal family space. Anything on the internet is not private. Then there is this other blog that I have been reading since July. I finally got the courage to comment a month ago. Well, this person put a post up yesterday and I was the first to comment. She happen to do the last meme that I did. I said something about me doing it. I noticed she came to my blog today and then went back and deleted my comment. I then noticed she has gone back and deleted the last 3 comments I made. I had just added her to my sidebar in the "blogs I heart" part. The weird thing is that I have had several people come to me via her blog and comment on my blog. I just don't get some people. End rant.


Laura has really motivated me to get back to the gym and get back into shape. She is going to the gym 3-4x a week and working out. We talked a little about me training for the triathlon as well. I think have the mind over matter part, but all I have to do is want to do it. I probably will end up training with Laura since I am so competative. I don't see me sitting on the sidelines while she is doing the triathlon. Part of me is really excited about it. I guess if you can't beat them, join them.

**Edited**Since I have had several new people put comments on my blog I would like to welcome all you that have been lurking to comment. I promise to welcome all that decide today is the day to have the courage to tell me who you are, how you came across my blog and why you keep coming back.**

**Edited 6:40PM**I got a very eye opening comment from one of the blogs I visited and the comment had been deleted. After this comment I realized that the picture on my profile was not appropriate for all the blogs I visit. This isn't because of people being prejudice, but because sometimes there are little eyes that see the comments. I apologize to anyone I may have offended. My picture has been updated to a more appropriate picture and I personally would rather look at one of our Florida sunsets then the other picture I had up.

Please continue to come out all you lurkers.**

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Caroline's ABC's

A - Available or single: Last time I checked available and single were the same thing. I am so taken.

B - Best Friend: Sounds so high school to me. Laura is the complete package: best friend, lover..she's everything.

C - Cake or Pie: Cake and I will find any reason to have cake. For instance: tell me today is your birthday and I would feel like I would need to have a piece of cake to celebrate. This is the reason I am going to Weight Watchers.

D - Drink of choice: Lately it's been water, but I still love one ice cold Coke a day.

E - Essential Item you use everyday: Toothbrush. Seeing my recent problems with my teeth you will understand why I will never go more then 8 hours without brushing my teeth.

F - Favorite color: Navy Blue

G - Gummy Bears or worms: Gummy Worms. But I do also like Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears. So good, but so expensive also.

H - Hometown: I have lived in Kansas City my whole life. First 22 years on the Kansas side and the last 11 years on the Missouri side. I prefer the Kansas side.

I - Indulgence: A trip to the casino.

J - January or February: February. January seems so long and so dark.

K - Kids & Names: No kids yet. We do have any future kids names picked out. Right now our kids are Sophie Dog, Sophie Cat, Astro, Brady, Bonk and Ben

L - Life is Incomplete Without? Laura.

M - Marriage Date: My first marriage was November 19, 1995. Laura and I won't consider our commitement ceremony a marraige. We'll save that term for when it's legal. Our commitement ceremony will be April 16, 2007.

N - Number of Siblings: One older brother.

O - Oranges or Apples: Oranges

P - Phobias or Fears: Waking up and the house being on fire or being struck by lightening

Q - Fave Quote: "Annelle, you can shove that Bible where the sun don't shine".--Steel Magnolis

R - Reason to Smile: It's almost Christmas time and getting close to our trip to Florida.

S - Season: My favorite is fall. I love feeling the cool air after a hot summer. I also like winter because of the snow.

T - Tag 3 or 4 people: I tag whomever.

U - Unknown Fact about Me: The first time I "made out" with a guy I thought maybe I was pregnant. I was so nervous I walked up to the drug store and bought a pregnancy test. I really wish my parents had talked to me more about how babies were made. After that scare I read about it msyelf and realized there was no way you can get pregnant from "making out".

V- Vegetable You Don't Like: I like most veggies.

W - Worst Habit: Biting nails.

X - Xrays: On back and my finger

Y - Your Fave Food: Steak Fajitas

Z - Zodiac Sign: Gemini. Just ask Laura. There are many days when it seems I have two very different personalities.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Christmas (or dental) Miracle


Finally some good news from the dentist. (I never thought I would say that) They looked at the tooth that was causing me pain last week and said there is nothing wrong with that tooth. I go back on the 18th for just a cleaning. Finally, back to normal dental visit. Well, I have two more in January, but that is just to have my last crown put on. I felt like it was a Christmas miracle today. (quote from Little House on the Prairie) To celebrate Laura and I went out to dinner. It's nice when Applebee's sends you a buy one get one free coupon. I am not sure why we got one, but we'll always take a free entree.


It seems this year we will be hosting two holiday parties. A week from Friday we are having younger sister and hubby over. I think it's more of a "let's get together and talk about Florida" thing, but it's still going to be fun. Laura has been so much more into the holidays then the past two years. I think her lack of stress from work is a huge thing. I love having her here during the day and I love even more coming home to a clean house, clean clothes and dinner on the table. I keep calling her my "housewife" but she doesn't like that very much. It's so nice to see her happy with her job. I know she loved teaching, but it was always so stressful. Then on Christmas Eve we are having big sis and family and her Mom and Dad over for an early celebration. I work with a lady at work that has no family in town so I think I am going to invite her over that night as well. I drive her home everyday so to her she already knows all the family. I think she will enjoy finally having a face to all the stories I tell.


Thinking about how much I love Christmas makes me think what our household will be like when we have a little one of our own. Or two or three little ones. (Take a deep breath Laura, I was just kidding about the two or three) You think we go overboard with the holidays now, wait until we have a child of our own to spoil. It's going to be wonderful. It's going to be a Christmas Miracle.


*The above picture is Brady. We caught him taking a catnap and thought he was too cute not to share with everyone.

Random Tuesday Stuff

Yesterday I was complaining because I was so bored at work and today is the complete opposite. It's been kind of nice. I was out of the office until noon today which did me a lot of good. Looking at the same 4 walls in my office get to me sometime and I needed some space this morning. I think that is part of the reason I am looking for a new job. Not only is my grant ending soon and there is no guarantee of a job afterwards, but I don't feel challenged at work anymore. I have no patience with my clients anymore and it's time for me to move on before I get too burned out. Still no word from that one agency, but I am not too worried about it...yet.

Sandra brought up a good point in one of her comments. I need to make sure they have a good dental plan. Can't you just hear me now: "I don't care about your vacation benefits...what kind of dental plan do you have?" Laura and I have already decided that if I change jobs then we will take out a seperate dental plan for me that pays as good or better then this one I have. Dental plans are farely cheap and with all the problems I have had an extra $50/month would be worth it.

Speaking of dental issues; I am going back to the dentist in about an hour. My appointment from last week was rescheduled due to the weather. I am just having a crown put on so it's no big deal. And the pain I was having last week is gone. I am still going to have them check it out, but I have had no pain since Wednesday of last week. Either it was no big deal or the infection is so bad it's killed the nerve. I am hoping for the first of the two.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mabel

Many of you have asked about the nickname that Laura has for me. I thought I would give a little bit of history of this nickname.

Laura started calling me Mabel pretty much out of the blue last April when we were in Florida. While we were in Key West we were walking across Duval street and I stumbled with my steps. I didn't fall down, but it was pretty close. Instead of helping me, I turn around and Laura is laughing at me. Then all of a sudden she started saying, "We have a Mabel down in the middle of Duval Street". Rest of the trip she called me Mabel. At first I think it kind of irriated me because I was trying to figure out where this nickname came from.

When we returned home she continued to call me Mabel. And then she started calling me Mabel around other people. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it.

Then in June when we went down to the lake with big sis and her family I realized how often Laura was calling me Mabel. We had rented a Kayak and I was just paddling around and ended up going out pretty far. Suddenly I hear Laura and our 8 year old nephew laughing. Once I got back they told me why they were laughing. When nephew realized I was way out there he said to Laura, "will you look at what Mabel is doing". So now not only was Laura calling me Mabel, but now our nephew was calling me that as well.

Ever since that incident the name Mabel has grown on me. Laura rarely calls me Caroline anymore, unless she is really upset at me. I would never tell her this to her face, but I actually like her calling me Mabel now.

Here is a bit of trivia: If you watched the show Mad About You you know Paul and Jamie named their daughter Mabel. Do you remember what the letters stood for?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cards, Naps & CD's

Today was a typical Sunday in our household. I have realized over the past few months that I really don't like Sunday's. I think it's because I know that I have to go back to work the next day. As much as the routine is good for me I sometimes just hate having the same routine day after day.

Laura went to the gym this morning and I opted to stay at home and be lazy. I know I should be going to the gym, but Sundays are so hard to motivate myself. I am happy with the weight that I have lost, but I now it will come off faster once I start exercising on a regular basis. Another reason for me to go back to work tomorrow: I won't snack as much. The past three days I think all I have done is eat. Part of it is due to PMSing and the other part is, well, I just love food. If I can just maintain my weight through the Christmas season then I will be happy.

I took my usual Sunday nap today. Some people, like Laura, take short cat naps and that is enough for them. Not me. I laid down at 1:30 and didn't get up until 4:45. I am still feeling tired so I am hoping I will be able to fall asleep tonight. There is nothing better then an afternoon nap with a two cats under the covers right by your legs. I think they love my afternoon naps as much as I do. Oh, and add a dog on the floor next to you and you have one happy napping family.

I also completed our Christmas cards today. There are a few blogs I read where they sent out something like 200 cards. I don't think I know 200 people. So our list is usually around 25 and I got them all filled out and addressed and will drop them off tomorrow at the post office.

For those of you that requested a CD, believe it or not I am mailing those off tomorrow. We had some trouble downloading some of the songs. Apparently if you download it you can only burn it so many times. We had never heard of that. But we got it all figured out. Look for those CD's mid week in your mailbox.

Sends good good thoughts this week because I should be hearing about that job I interviewed for the day before Thanksgiving. If I don't hear something this week I don't think I will be too concerened. They said they were interviewing throughout this past week and with all the nasty weather we had I wouldn't be surprised if they had postpone a few of them.

Have a great week.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shopping, Wrapping & Giving

Today has been a very busy day for the two of us. We got up and decided to finish our Christmas shopping. We got our list and we headed out. We were so successful and managed to get all the gifts we were needing and on budget. Plus, while we were shopping I managed to finish my shopping for Laura. It took a little bit of manipulating on my part when we would check out, but I did it and she has no idea what I got for her. After shopping we sat down for a nice Mexican lunch. We told the waitress that we were celebrating the completion of our Christmas shopping. She informed us that she hasn't even started. Poor thing.

When we got home we pulled slowly in the driveway because Mama was out on our steps with her 3 new babies. We thought there were just two, but surprise, there is a third. They are too cute. We plan on taking them to the shelter when they are old enough plus getting Mama, Billy and Blacky all fixed. No more babies for us.

We then wrapped ALL the gifts we had. It was a tough job, but it's done. I am still learning how to wrap. This is something that was never taught to me so sometimes my presents look like they were wrapped by a child. It's the thought that counts, right?


Laura and I strongly believe in giving to those that are less fortunate then us. Two years ago we adopted a family from a local community center. It was very rewarding delivering the gifts to this family. Last year we adopted two students from Laura's classroom. This year we have decided to help a whole list of individuals that really need our help. We have a local pet shelter that is right down the road from us. Wayside Waifs is a wonderful dog/cat/bunny shelter. Many Sundays Laura and I will just go and walk around and give the dogs and cats lots of love. Most of the cats are in an open room and not locked in cages. They always seem happier that way. This year they are having a Holiday Open House and our family (Laura, Me and Sophie) are all going to the open house. Like they do all year long they have a long list of things they need. We did some shopping for the animals at the shelter and we plan on taking Sophie so she can drop the presents off for the less fortunate animals. Plus, Sophie will have her picture taken with Santa. It's going to be a memorable day.

It always feels good to help those that don't have as much as us and we thought helping the shelter was a perfect way to give this year.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sand Snowman



This morning I got this picture from my good friends that live in Tampa. Apparently they are vacationing in Siesta Key, FL and saw all the snow we were getting and build this snowman just for me and Laura.

My friends that live in Florida are the ones that are meeting us in Key West for our commitment ceremony. They are so special to me and have supported me in whatever I decided to do. Even when I went back to the JW religion they loved me just the same. It's nice having that support and love.


This morning I got 3, yes 3 emails from my Mom. I had sent her an email on Tuesday night saying "yes I got the thing that was left at our door, but please don't leave that hateful material anymore." The email was also sent to my uncle who called on Monday. No response yet from my uncle. In my email I explained how my family is always welcome to our house as long as they respect us.

My Mother was not happy with my email. She explained to me how my Dad just had surgery as well as 2 of my nephews. I am trying to understand how I would have known this since no one talks to me. Oh and she was upset about the email considering it was their 38th wedding anniversary. I gave her a link to my post where I said Happy Anniversary to them.


I do hope my Dad and nephews are ok and I would never wish anything bad to happen to them. But dammit don't get upset at me for not saying anything about the surgeries when I didn't know in the first place.


Each email I get from my Mom I am more surprised at how I really didn't know what kind of person she was. I know I shouldn't, but I continue to be shocked at her behavior and words.

The Morning After

As you can see I am home today. We got about 9 inches of snow so I decided to take a snow day. It would have taken me til noon to find my car under all the snow/ice. Down south where Laura's parents and older sister live they got 12 inches (Mom & Dad) and 17 inches (Big Sis). A little south of them they are reporting 25 inches of snow. Here are some pictures of the snow this morning.
I love this picture of the bright sun coming up through the trees in the snow.
It was so windy last night and because of that we got some awesome snow drifts. This is one from our roof/gutter.
Here's the front of the house. When the ice starting coming we had to unplug our inflatable. With all the ice and snow it was just too much for Snoopy to stand upright.

Here is our back deck. We won't be sitting in these chairs for a while.

Here's Sophie enjoying the snow. She loves snow and all last night kept wanting to go out. At one point she just laid down on the deck in the snow. Silly Dog.

Here is our dog statue with his Santa hat covered in snow. Notice in the background the food/water for the strays. When I got up this morning I made sure I fed them and gave them warm water. They were very grateful.


Lynilu asked that I do a snow angel for her. Keep your eyes posted for a post with a picture of me doing a snow angel.