Showcase of a Shattered Mind (2005)

brighten j'lynn's day with an

current rantings or rantings of days past... 2004 or 2003

friday - 30december2005 - 09:17
another day, another reason for wanting to draw up in a fetal position and cry.
13:59 - for those who have asked, no i don't care to elucidate. thanks for your concern though. today is one of those days that i can't for the life of me figure out why i'm at work. it's been unearthly quiet. there's only four of us here (there were five, but just long enough for us to sing happy birthday to him and eat some cake {i'm such a great coworker}) which makes it that much more quiet. the good thing is that we got the one guy who has never joined for our friday lunches to go to lunch with us today. we had a good time and good conversation. perhaps he'll join again. the bad thing is that there's still half a cake in there and i can hear it shouting at me but i'm so full from lunch that i just can't answer it. too many distractions to write more.

thursday - 29december2005 - 11:34
there are times when i lament us not having friends. the problem is i don't really know how to make couple friends. all we do is work and the guys at work just aren't much of the getting-together-outside-of-work type. i'd like to do something fun and young(ish) and social for new year's eve but i have no clue what to do. last year we went snow skiing but that's not really a social thing (and i think we were actually asleep at the hotel by the time the ball dropped). i don't think it bothers randal that we don't have friends but there are definitely times i lament it more than other times. this is one of them. randal bought me a great top for christmas that i would like to get the chance to wear somewhere but we never go anywhere to wear stuff like that. if it's not workwear, i don't get to wear it anymore. i guess it just makes me feel old. and i've got a birthday looming over me that just seems old to me. i don't know if i was ever really young, but if i was, i've been missing that lately. i wish jenny were stopping in on her way to fl. at least then, even if we just stayed home, it would be a social event. i remember new year's eve being such a party when i was a kid. always went out to dinner (why oh why did michaels close???) with another family we were close with and then have them back at the house where all of us kids would run around the cul-de-sac with fireworks. it was great neighborly fun. maybe i've gotten too old to know how to have fun anymore. how sad.
11:49 - on a mostly unrelated note: for the most part, i'm fine with not having a real "blog". i like my simple rantings. however, it would be nice to have the ability for people to leave comments. mostly so that i could find out who some of my faithful readers are. i swear i don't know anyone at the ga state board of regents. and yet i get several hits a week from that person. and i'm intrigued by the drop-by traffic that comes from doing a web search for my name. are these people i actually know? why don't they ever me?

wednesday - 28december2005 - 10:20
it turns out we're awful neighbors. aparently, our next door neighbor has been moved out of their house for over a month now and we just noticed yesterday when we saw the strange people in their garage. we stood outside talking with the new owners (not neighbors, they're just flipping it) for a while and then one of our other neighbors came over and we talked with him for a while (he hadn't noticed that they had moved out either). so that was our neighborhood socializing for the year. we had a good christmas, although i'm glad it's over. maybe there's only magic in christmas if you are a kid or have kids. i can't remember the last time i found any kind of magic in the holiday. and the last few years it has mostly just disgusted me. all the commercialism. all the kids who are nothing but greedy and don't care about the true meaning of the holiday. it's just depressing. yeh, i was always excited about getting gifts on christmas, but it was always so much more than that. it was the one church service my dad attended with us every year. and it was a magical church service with everyone holding candles and singing beautiful songs and hearing a wonderful story of a magical birth. it was a day that we brought sailors home from the naval base so that they could be part of our family for the holiday (we did that every christmas and thanksgiving until they closed the naval base and we met some wonderful people who weren't able to make it home to their own families; some even kept in touch over the years). it was a day that the door was kept open and all of the neighbors would come and go throughout the day, partaking of the spread of ham and turkey and fixings and cookies and egg nog and "happy birthday jesus" cake (lest anyone forget what we were all celebrating). if my dad had to work, we waited until he got home in the afternoon to open our gifts but that didn't bother us because the whole day was a gift. who knows, perhaps i'm viewing christmas past through rose-colored glasses, but, quite frankly, i cherish the way i remember the holiday. and now, it's all gone. and i watch kids tear through gifts with no appreciation for anything they are opening because all they really want is "more". i hear people on the news who are outraged and offended by the term christmas because christ doesn't belong in the holiday. i wonder what they call the holiday when they gather their kids around the stack of presents under the "holiday tree". do they say with great cheer "happy greed day!"? do they tell their children to open their "avarice gifts"? i suppose it's really just come down to "it's santa day!". alright, off the soapbox. anyhow, we had a lovely time with the moore side of the family at gma m's on saturday. it was a full house and will be even more full next year when the two newest family members are born. after gma's we went back to randal's parents and had our gift exchange with them and the siblings. it was a good family day. after things had wrapped up there, we drove home so that we could have our own christmas day. it's so nice being close enough to be able to do that. i had wanted to get up and go to church in the morning but i didn't see any services listed as we drove by them saturday night. (another rant entirely about how churches are supporting the fact that christ doesn't belong in christmas by not holding services because they don't think anyone would attend - that's just #*$^ed up!) instead, we slept in until close to lunch - in our defense we didn't get home till close to 0200. we then moved out to the couch, i made breakfast, we ate, and then we fell asleep on the couch until 1530. we finally got around to opening gifts about 1700. i received a new bracelet (the one i've been wearing for the last 12 years straight broke a couple of months ago and my wrist has felt so nekkid). i also got a 60 gig portable hard drive that is slightly bigger than a wallet and a cute little 4 port usb hub that is about the size of a pill box and runs all 4 ports without external power. so nifty. randal received a 300 piece drill bit set, a 180 piece dremel accessory set, some warm fleece slippers, long johns, a leather tool belt, and a poker set. after opening our gifts, we snuggled on the couch some more and then played a few hands of poker while i backed up all of my pics and music onto my 60g drive. it was a terrific, restful christmas. monday we slept in again and then straightened up the house and headed to the mall to have my bracelet resized. we spent a couple of hours walking around the mall (surprisingly not crowded at all for the day after christmas, but then it was the dying and defunct mall above us and not the great mall below us). i accidently tried on and bought a couple of outfits from sears which were on clearance. not as good as kohls clearance but that's okay because sears is a huge supporter of extreme home makeover which is a great exercise in humanity. it was nice to have a couple of days of rest since we've been going nonstop for the last 6 weeks. now to decide what we're going to do for new year's. oh, i almost forgot. yesterday we received a christmas card from germany. the owner of one of the zimmer freis, mosel haus, we stayed in sent a handwritten card to us. it was actually the place we liked the best and we tried to stay there again at the end of our trip but they were all booked up. i thought it was a very nice gesture. FROHE WEIHNACHTEN, fam. baier!

tuesday - 20december2005 - 17:06
you know, the last few weeks of the year should be good and slow, what with the holidays and all. what's with all the work? eh, why complain. the weekend was good. had gma h's 95th birthday party. that woman just amazes me. i've been in a pretty bah-humbug mood but we finally got the tree up and fairly decorated yesterday. i also did my shopping for my hubby yesterday. i managed to get everything that i had set out to get him except for one item which is not imperative but i would have liked to have had it. if i should be crazy enough, i might try to go out again later in the week and do some little last minute things. i think tomorrow we're going to do an office christmas lunch. my boss had mentioned coming out this way to take me td out to lunch one day this week but td has been in and out of the hospital again and may not come back to the office until his lung transplant finally comes through. i assume my boss will not be coming all this way just to take me for lunch, which is fine. we all are going in together to get something special for td and his wife. they're having such a tough time right now. please keep them in your prayers that he stays healthy enough and that his transplant comes through soon and goes well. i feel badly for him, but i mostly feel bad for his wife. i can't imagine what i would do if randal was in life-threatening condition. enough nattering for one afternoon - clearly, it's time to go home.

friday - 16december2005 - 12:48
i guess yesterday was considered to be an "inclimate weather day". i was woken several times during the night wednesday night by the power flickering (wouldn't have noticed but that every time the power came back on the cd changer in my stereo changed and it was noisy enough to wake me each time). i know the power flickered at least 4 times and the last time it happened it was 0341. not very long after that (i hadn't had the opportunity to get myself back to sleep yet) it went off and stayed off. when we woke up and randal looked at his cell to see the time, it was 0840. oops, we overslept what with no power for the alarm clock to go off (and even if the power had come back on, i certainly didn't reset it each time it had flickered through the night). he called into the office to let them know we had no power and had overslept and we'd be in shortly. there was only one person at the office (the only one who lives south of the office) and he said the power was on there. we were just about to drag ourselves out of bed to start getting ready for work when bl called back to let us know that the power was no longer on at the office. we layed in bed a while longer, no use getting out of your nice warm bed when there's no power at your home (no heat) and no power at work (no work). after an hour and a half, bl called again to say the power was still off and he was going home. we went ahead and got out of bed to go out and take pics of all the pretty ice that had caused all this trouble and then we came back in and crawled back into the warm bed again (the heat was only on 57 during the night and had been off for the greater part of the night because of all the flickers and had been off for good for at least 5 hours now so it was pretty darned chilly). a little past lunchtime, we decided there was no point in sticking around a cold house with nothing to do so we called down to the mall area to make sure there was power down there and headed out. there were no redlights working from here to there. most of the stores down there still had no power (i assume the big stores only had power because of generators) including gas stations - a big cause for concern when we had driven down there on E. we stopped at sams, hoping that the gas pumps there had power since the store did but they didn't. we went inside and walked around a while and when we came back out, there was gas. thank goodness, it was way too cold and slippery out on all the ice for randal to have to push the car back home. while we were in there, the traffic lights were restored to a blinking status and several little stores were powered again. we shopped around for the greater part of the afternoon and then headed back home. we stopped at the office on our way to verify that the power was still out there. several of the neighbors had tree limbs down and there were a couple power lines in the street and another very large oak tree was completely supported by the main powerline transformer. we called our coworkers to tell them not to bother coming in the morning unless we called them. when we got home, our power was back on but not the cable/internet. it must have come on sometime during the night just so that i could work today. the office is still powerless at this moment. and all of the ice is gone. i love being a non-floridian!

tuesday - 13december2005 - 13:37
i am of the opinion that when you own a fitness gym, there are certain rules that should be adamently stressed to employees. first and foremost, if you are a male and your job is cleaning the place, when cleaning the women's locker room you should ALWAYS leave as soon as a woman enters the locker room and only return to resume your cleaning work when the locker room is empty again. i think that is a reasonable expectation from any woman who uses a gym. i was quite perturbed today when i went into the locker room to find a man cleaning and he just kept on cleaning. i asked him to leave but he didn't speak english so i pointed to the door and he picked up his bucket and went back to the shower areas. since he was at least out of the main locker room, and i could hear him back there, i went ahead and got changed into my workout clothes quickly. i was even more vexed when i had finished working out and went to get back into my work clothes and he was still in there. i once again asked him to leave (still no english) and pointed to the door. he kept on vacuuming right there in the main locker room. since i go to the gym on my lunch break and do not have time to waste complaining to management or trying to dance around in one of the tiny bathroom stalls, i went ahead and changed (luckily, i have always had a talent for stealthful changing without revealing anything, it was quite a skill to have in high school drama). when i was changed and saw that randal was not out of the men's locker room yet, i sought out the owner of the fitness center and made a suggestion to him that he instruct his cleaning staff to wait outside the women's locker room when a woman needed to use it. he informed me that the guy didn't speak english (yeh, i already figured that out) so he couldn't very well give him such complex instructions (complex?! don't you mean common sense!!). i told him that if that is the issue, perhaps he needs to consider not hiring people if he cannot communicate their job descriptions to them. i was steaming. i don't think my husband was very happy about it either when i told him since he said that it raised scary safety issues and he didn't like that i even stayed in there with him, not that i had much of a choice. to gym, or not to gym.

monday - 12december2005 - 11:41
it was a good visit. friday night we had dinner with my mom, made it back before kid-bedtime. and then we went to my cousins where we karaoked with her and duane and a couple of others. it was a fun night. saturday we slept in. i got up for a brief bit to see the kids off (gma was taking them to the zoo) and then climbed back into bed with my sleeping hubby. we didn't get up till after 1030 - i don't know that i've ever seen my boy sleep that late in the last 6 years. when we did get up, we made our way to my dads and then he and his wife took us to disney quest and got us and then left us to play. we didn't stay very long, only five or six hours, but we had a great time. we mostly did the racing games and air hockey. why don't i have an air hockey table? we made it home in time to spend a little time with the kids before kid-bedtime. we then kept their gma up watching the grinch. we left first thing sunday and made it home in about 7.5 hours, not bad considering we actually stopped for lunch and grocery shopping. at home, there was laundry to be done and couches to hold down.

friday - 09december2005 - 10:31
my sissy is gone. her hubby has whisked her away on a fabulous romantic getaway weekend for their 15th anniversary. what a good boy he is. if i'm not mistaken, this is their first vacation sans kids since having kids. i'm excited for her, it should be good for them. his mother is here to take care of the kids so i guess we're off the hook for that (hmmm, maybe they don't trust us ;-D). we may or may stick around here for pizza/movie night with the kids. my mom had mentioned meeting for dinner possibly. and then later we're going to stop by my cousin's to see duane. we haven't seen much of him this year. last night we were treated to some homemade phillipino cooking when we went to visit hayman. i appreciate that people cook for us when we visit them. mmmm feed me.

thursday - 08december2005 - 09:58
i'm just having an icky kind of day. i woke up with a migraine. now i've got terrible heartburn, which i never get. my stomach insists on hurting. the nerve that holds onto my eyeball feels like it's going to snap. my eyes feel like they've got sandpaper in them. it's just one of those days. such is life.

wednesday - 07december2005 - 08:46
overall, it's been a good week to be orlandoing. the weather has been unnaturally cool and pleasant. even our double laps around the neighborhood (4.28mi) for exercise each day have been enjoyable with the weather and the lights to look at. we arrived not horribly late thursday night and then stayed up horribly late visiting with the sis and bro-n-law. after work on friday we thought we had plans with my brother but after they were postponed, we ended up doing pizza and family movie night here. disney was cancelled on saturday due to a double ear infection in j-the-youngest but we did go over to my dad's in the morning anyhow to visit. we ended up spending much of the day with him and even talked him into going into work on his day off in order to help us save $ on various mousy items for katie's housewarming gifts. we took him to olive garden in thanks. after leaving his house in the early evening, we invited ourselves to katie's to see their new house. it is quite a lovely little place which is already becoming her own. and it has a terrific backyard for an energetic little boy to play in. i'm very happy for them and i know that they will be very happy in their home. sunday we were able to sleep in a little and then lounged around until early afternoon when we walked over to my cousin's. we lounged a bit there and then piled into the car to go shopping. we were taken to our first florida kohls. it was a large store with very nice inventory. i was greatly disappointed with the lack of clearance racks (what else do you go to kohls for?) but i suppose that it will take a season of being open before they'll really start doing a lot of clearance. i did find one blouse on clearance that was so pretty but, alas, it was a medium and hung badly on me. we then walked around the little shopping plaza for a while. i bought some new hiking shoes at sports authority and am looking forward to breaking them in. i so hope that they do not choose to rub monstrous blisters on my heels like my current hiking boots. they should also be cooler and lighter than my boots, always a plus. we also stopped at old navy where we got randal a nice double-bonded fleece for a little over $4 (after using the gift card that i've been carrying around in my purse since a return 6 years ago - really, after all this time, that was just found money). after a little more shopping of the food variety, my cousin-n-law cooked some yummy ribs for us and we walked around the neighborhood to see lights and watched a movie before walking back to my sis'. monday evening we stuck around here. last night, we went to my brother's new apartment and were treated to julie's fabulous filet mignon. since they get up early to work, we left at a decent time and thought that we'd get to bed at an equally decent time but that jim sucked us into high-def amadeus which didn't end until 0100. that's such a great film. i'm not yet certain of our plans for this afternoon. i believe they will include my mom if she's finally feeling well enough.

thursday - 01december2005 - 14:39
yesterday was a LONG day. and i'm not entirely convinced it was worthwhile. it was nice to meet the coworkers that i correspond with on a daily basis, but not nice enough to justify 6 hours of driving (6 hours of my personal time, not to be reimbursed). when i got home at about 2030 last night, my wonderful hubby had most of the laundry done so we were able to get packed up. we loaded everything into the car this morning and skipped lunch/gymming so that we can get a little headstart on traffic. hopefully we'll be in orlando before midnight.

tuesday - 29november2005 - 13:23
i'm so tired. it was all i could do to keep up with the treadmill at lunch today. perhaps i'd better go finish off that peanut butter pie. surely that will recharge me. not to mention replace all those lost calories. on the bright side, i'll be going to bed super early tonight. on the not-so-bright side, it's because i have to get up at 0500 and drive all the way the heck to thomson. i'm actually looking forward to going and getting it over with so that (hopefully) i'll never have to do it again. i dislike long distance alone driving. especially at the crack of oh-my-god-it's-early. but it will also be fun to meet some of the coworkers i only know by email, i suppose.

monday - 28november2005 - 09:02
i guess i'm just not much of a ranter anymore. we had a great weekend. i really enjoyed having my family up and i think (hope) that they enjoyed it too. we had a very yummy thanksgiving and then we took them all for a short hike closeby after thanksgiving dinner to try to make room for desert. friday they wanted to go to world of coke so we did that. it was about what i expected. i guess you just have to be one of those crazy c0ke add!cts in order to get into it. after the kids went to bed that night, we forced the adults to partake in a hawaii slideshow. saturday we took them to an educational nature center near home and then we drove north to amicalola falls for a nice waterfall hike. not so much a hike as a stair climb (620ish each way). i think the kids really liked that. on the way back, we stopped for dinner and found my sissy a scrapbook store. while she was in there, randal and i looked at living room furniture at american signature. i think we're close to deciding on what we want and that pleases me. company left yesterday morning and we immediately crashed on the couch for a couple of hours. after that nice nap, we got up and headed to the movies to see rent. what a phenomenal movie! they did a fantastic job translating this from the theatre to the screen. i highly recommend it to anyone, provided that they have some idea what it's about before they decide to see it. the two older women sitting next to us clearly did not know anything about it before they decided to see it and were audibly shocked at what they were watching. i laughed. i cried. i bawled (thinking about someone i haven't thought of in quite some time - i wonder if you're still alive, tj). it's such a powerful story. and while i agree that there is more power in seeing it in live theatre, there is much more understanding seeing it in film format. randal said that he didn't really catch what all it was about when we saw it in the theatre but now he was able to understand it all. it was terrific. i told randal that i want the dvd for christmas. unfortunately, i don't guess i'll be able to get it until next christmas. such a shame after waiting the last four months just to see it in theaters.

friday - 18november2005 - 10:09
the house is now mostly straightened up. there is crown molding in the dining room. all of the guest rooms are vacuumed and ready to be occupied. still need to clean our bathroom and vacuum/mop all of the common areas. there was just no point doing that until the last minute. this afternoon we head to wedowee. somehow we got roped into doing some wedding photography as a favor for a relative. i don't mind doing the favor, of course. i'm just afraid of ruining someone's wedding. i'm not a photographer. and weddings are so important. i look at my wedding photos and it reinvokes the dream-day. i don't want to take that away from someone else. but they couldn't afford to have a photographer so i guess my mediocre pics will be better than nothing. so the plan is to take some pics at the rehearsal dinner tonight and then the wedding tomorrow. and then i think i'm supposed to go to a baby shower on sunday but since we still have so much to do at home, i might just send the gift with randal's mom and politely duck out of it. i've been very slowly working on the travel log. it's slow-going with so little time.

wednesday - 16november2005 - 15:15
well, one of my faithfuls has threatened to stop visiting so i guess i had better start ranting again. and maybe even finish posting my hawaii log too. it could happen. clearly, you should be happy that there is so much of it posted already. i'm shocked, to be honest. anyhow, things have been busy and tiring since getting home. work is work, work, work. home is work, work, work. all work and no play makes j'lynn something something. ;-) we are mostly ready for my sis&fam and mom to come up next week. i have cleaned out the guest bath and two of the guest rooms while randal cleaned out the closets in those rooms (we only partially unpacked when moving in). i painted the accent wall in the living room (fabulous, it looks!) and randal pressure washed the back patio and cleaned the siding. we have such a nice house. it makes me a little sad to be getting ready to sell it. not that i'm not ready to move on, but it is my first house and we have just done so much to make it nicer. *sniff* i'll be alright. so anyhow, i apologize for the lack of ranting lately and hope that you, my faithfuls, will forgive me my transgressions. i will try to get better again. and i'll try to get the rest of hawaii soon too. although, it hasn't all been for naught. it may not do much good for my site, but i did finally get the pics from germany narrowed down and printed to go in the album.

thursday - 27october2005 - 18:18
for those of you interested in playing along at home who haven't already found it, i've already got my travel log started for hawaii. it is even up to date, complete with pics, as of yesterday.

friday - 14october2005 - 14:52
1 day to hawaii! i think we have a plan too. it seems like we'll be able to get to the big 4 islands - oahu, maui, big island, and kawaii. i'm a little worried about the flight. i just don't sleep on planes. i have to be able to lie down to sleep. and it's a 12 hour flight. and we'll be getting up before dawn sunday to fly back out to maui. so i'll really be needing to get some rest. perhaps some excedrin pm will knock me out. hopefully i won't just sit there watching movies the whole flight like i did going to and coming from germany.

thursday - 13october2005 - 08:52
2 days to hawaii! i'm so pleased that i got to sleep in my own bed last night. and sleep, i did. i painted a second coat on the whole room and touched up the trim around all of the baseboards and doors/windows. randal caulked the crown molding and touched it up with paint. then we moved all of the furniture back in and hung the curtains back up. i am quite happy with the way it all turned out. our room looks so much richer now. it amazes me when i look around our little house at all of the projects we've completed in it. it hardly looks like the house we moved into almost two years ago. and still much to do. randal started to get us organized last night to start packing tonight. i'll need to do all the laundry when we get home this afternoon but we should still be able to get 99% packed tonight. i think we've got a plan for getting to and from the airport. i'm very excited. i love traveling! it's just so exciting to be going somewhere new. especially somewhere where you know you'll see things you've never seen (in person) before. for example, i am most looking forward to seeing some red, flowing lava. i've been to craters of the moon and have walked on old lava beds - such a surreal landscape - but i have not seen lava flows except on tv. should be a neat experience. i am also really looking forward to the snorkeling. i've never been snorkeling (unless you count our two practice sessions in the murkiness of lake wedowee) and it seems like it will be an awesome place to begin. i hope that i will be able to get one or two good pics out of it. i expect underwater photography to be very challenging.

wednesday - 12october2005 - 16:32
3 days to hawaii! well i don't have very much time but i am aware that my readers are starving for my attention so i'll try to steal a couple of minutes for you. it has been BUSY. over the weekend, we painted the bedroom and decided to go out and buy some crown molding to put up in there. seemed like it would be a simple enough project. it hasn't been. however, i'm glad to say that we got it all up last night and randal started caulking it so it is looking fabulous. this afternoon i'll be doing a second coat on the walls. and then i'll have to finish going around the baseboards with the little tiny art paintbrush to make the lines all good and clean. and randal's got to finish the caulking on the crown and sand the nail holes and touch up paint. fun to be had by all. not sure if everything will be dry enough tonight to put the furniture back but hopefully by tomorrow at least and then we'll be back in our own bed. funny how, as much as we travel and as little as i sleep anyhow, i still miss my own bed when i'm not in it. we also finished up some last shopping details for our trip over the weekend and went hiking with a coworker.

monday - 03october2005 - 13:12
12 days to hawaii! i'm actually getting very excited. saturday we did some more practice snorkeling in lake wedowee. i took my camera under with me this time and attempted to get fishy pics. it's pretty tricky business. the water there is very murky so i could not get a fish unless it was right in front of the lens. which, of course, shouldn't be a problem in hawaii. i got a couple of clear partial fish pics. unfortunately, when they got close to the lens, they liked to nibble around the edges of it rather than pose in front of it. silly, uncooperative fishes. i did learn that you shouldn't find humor in the fishes. they kept nibbling on my mask, right in front of my eyeballs, which i wrongly found quite amusing. when i laughed, i ended up with a flooded mask, which made it fog over after clearing it. it was a good time though. i enjoyed getting to take underwater pics, even if they weren't prize winners. i did get a terrific pic of a randalfish. *sigh* i sure do need to get caught up on my pic posting. i'll refrain from commenting on my feelings about the rest of saturday. we did get to do some good visiting with randal's brother and wife who we don't see as often and we had good visits with the gmas. sunday morning, we got up at the crack of dawn to take randal's sis and family to six flags. we got there right when the park opened at 1100 and stayed until it closed at 2000. it was a LONG day! but we had a good time. the park was practically empty for a change so we got to ride all of the rides and the ones we liked we rode multiple times. plus we saw a couple of shows. the lines were nothing. 10 minutes mostly. sometimes, if we happened to catch one right, we just walked right on. it was a fun but tiring day and we got home fairly late so today my eyes are of the opinion they shouldn't be open. silly eyes.

friday - 30september2005 - 08:55
all of this busy-ness is really having a negative impact on my site. how upsetting. in any case, we got our bathroom finished last weekend. it's a beautiful bathroom, if i do say so myself. sunday afternoon, my hubby and i went out on a date. it was very nice. we got all prettied up for each other and went to a movie and dinner. i've decided that macaroni grill has the best lasagne around. it was indescribably good and i got three meals out of it, which makes it even better. around 0330 monday morning, i discovered that i managed to hurt my back while cleaning the tub so i worked from home on monday so that i could hold down a heating pad. sadly, that means that i've only lunch-gymmed three days this week. but i gymmed hard those three days. i stuck with just cardio so as to not re-injure my back. on tuesday i did 45 minutes, 380 calories on the treadmill. on wednesday i did 47.5 minutes, 435 calories on the treadmill. on thursday i did 45 minutes, 520 calories on the elliptical. i think i'm going to try to do half the week just cardio from now on. i need cardio more than weights anyhow. now for the prayer solicitations. td will be spending all of next week in the hospital for testing before his possible lung transplant. also, chiro guy has had some tests and procedures done this week to determine whether he has prostate cancer. please keep them in your prayers that everything turns out well for them.

thursday - 22september2005 - 15:02
week two of lunch-gymming and still going strong. i can't remember the last time we did four days two weeks in a row. still don't like gymming but it does break up the day so it's a good thing. and i seem to have lost about 2.5lbs so i can't complain. of course, i'll be happy when i can start seeing the results but i don't guess i can expect that after just two weeks. not sure if we're going to try to do a hike this weekend or not. we have some projects that need to get finished at home so i guess we'll see. i think we'll be able to get our bathroom back tonight or tomorrow. all that's left is putting the baseboards down (randal cut them and painted them last night), putting the commode back in, and caulking. and, of course, i'll have to clean everything. i can probably get the shower clean while he's working on the baseboards so that he can put the shower doors back up. and i think i can clean the counter and sinks. the tub will have to wait until the commode is removed from it. and the floors will be mopped when all else is done. it is going to be nice to have our bathroom back. so much more room. and i really prefer my shower to a tub/shower. i think it also will have to be laundry night. the mountain of clothes in the closet is starting to rumble. i fear that it will erupt soon. just as well since i've worn all of my gymming clothes out. they'll be gymming on their own next week if i don't get them washed. oh, i almost forgot. a funny thing happened while we were gymming today. right there on the bench next to us in the dumbbell section - the guy who married us. we said hi and talked for a few minutes. he said that he was going to be sending us an email on our next anniversary to get an updated pic and what we've been doing for his site. i thought it was nice that he wants to try to stay updated on the unions that he makes. of course, as soon as we walked away from him, i got all nostalgic and told randal that i want to get married again. i liked being a bride. i think i was pretty good at it.

monday - 19september2005 - 09:24
a huge and heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to katie and louis on the purchase of their first home! what a wonderful birthday gift for sammy. the weekend was a good one. we went to wedowee friday after work. had a very good visit with each of the gmas. although i felt horrible because i made the mistake of letting gma m know that there was a little bitty mouse sneaking around under her chair and, because of me, that poor mouse has been murdered. i feel terrible about this. i wanted to catch him in a box or something and put him out in the woods but she wouldn't have it and she put down one of those sadistic mouse traps. that poor little mouse. he wasn't hurting anyone. he was just a baby. randal laughed at me. apparently alabamans think that compassion for life is humerous. :-\ saturday was better. we tried to go out and look at some land but the person showing us the land didn't really know where it was so we struck out twice and went back home. when we got back to the house, we changed into our swimsuits and grabbed our snorkeling gear and went to the lake to try it out. i'm sure we looked like fools out there trying to snorkel in lake wedowee but it was actually a lot of fun. i've never snorkeled before so i really wanted to try it and have the opportunity to get a little use to the equipment before our trip. the fins made swimming so effortless. and it was fun to see the little fishies that were biting at my legs, even if there was only about three feet of visibility in that water. we had a good time swimming around and playing for about an hour. when we finally got out of the water, we headed up to randal's sister's house to work on her computer for her. then we went back to the house, which was quiet and empty since they had gone to watch some kids for a funeral. we had a quick bite to eat and fell asleep on the couches. apparently, snorkeling is tiring. we ended up taking about a two hour nap. shortly after we awoke, they got home and we went to visit the gmas again. sunday morning randal got up early and did a 7 mile run (great job, baby!). when he got back i got up and we started getting around to head back to ga. on our way out of town, we had one last good visit with gma h. we stopped at six flags but it was really just too hot and way too crowded so we did one indoor (air conditioned) show and rode one coaster and then left. that's the beauty of the season pass, you can go just to hang out and waste some time and then leave. our next stop was kohls where i was on a mission for a new bra (since my new blouses that i got last week are among those strangely sleeveless that are too far toward the neck and therefore you are constantly trying to tuck your brastraps all day long). next, we stopped at walmart to get some lunch stuff for the week and a few other things. then, we made it home. i really would have liked to nap but it just wasn't in the cards. i think tonight we will seal the grout and work on getting the bathroom reassembled. maybe tomorrow it will be ready for me to clean (ugh!) so that we can move back in.

wednesday - 14september2005 - 14:14
day three of lunch-gymming. seems to be working out alright. if nothing else, it breaks up the monotony of the day. and i'm much more motivated to gym when it means getting away from the office for a little bit than when it means that i can't go home right away. continuing to starve all afternoon. hopefully that will begin to subside as my body adjusts to the new routine. last night was the first night in over a week that i got to go home and do mostly nothing. it was very nice. granted, i should have been going around touching up paint on the baseboards and ceilings, but why ruin a good night off? i did make some yummy steak fajitas for dinner with some cheese brocolli so that's gotta count for something. in other news, we're halfway to friday!

tuesday - 13september2005 - 10:06
i wanted to rant yesterday about how pretty i looked (or at least felt) in my new purple outfit. it was one of the skirts and blouses i bought this weekend (kohls, of course). it was a light, billowy, plum-colored skirt and a patterned, purple, sleeveless blouse. my hair was down and curly and my eye makeup was cooperative. i received compliments from all the guys at work (yes, compliments are a large part of my self-esteem). it was a good pretty-feeling day and it made monday much more bearable. we also started a new workout regimen yesterday. we did not get to gym last week at all because we were busy trying to get the bathroom work done. and there are so many times that we miss the gym because there's something that has to be done at home or i have a headache or it's just been a long and not-so-great day. so, i suggested last week that we start going at lunch (which i did for a couple of months before the wedding). so anyhow, we went and gymmed during lunch yesterday (so i was slightly less pretty feeling in the afternoon) and i think that it will be a much better time for us to go. the only downside is that i was then starving the rest of the day. the little sandwich that i made when we got back to the office just wasn't nearly enough to fill the void. i guess the good thing is that it should keep my metabolism up longer through the day. we'll see how it goes anyhow. the weekend was productive. friday night i finished painting the bathroom with the sponge faux finish (it looks fabulous!) and we started laying tile. saturday morning, we got up at the crack of dawn to go and meet a couple of coworkers for a five mile hike. after the hike, we stopped at kohls to get me a new bathing suit for hawaii. they didn't have any suits that i liked but i did find two skirts and two blouses that i liked a lot (and, in case i failed to mention, the purple combination is a very feel-good outfit). once we got home, we did a good bit of nothing. sunday morning i got to sleep in a little bit, which was good since i haven't been sleeping at night again. we spent the afternoon finishing the tiling. last night we got it all grouted so all we've got to do is let it cure for a few days, seal it, and put the baseboards and commode back in. it will be nice to have our bathroom back again. you know, i think it's going to be a little bit sad when we move. this is my first house and we've put so much into it. we bought it brand new and have been working on it constantly since then. there was no back yard until we sodded it (not to mention the phenomenal job that randal has done on making it look landscaped). there was no upstairs room until we built it. there was hideous linoleum all over until we tore it up and tiled it. there was no color (except that atrocious pink that still shines through in places) until i painted. i think once we finish up our bathroom, randal is going to start working on building a bathroom upstairs. that should be a lot of fun since, not only is there not a room built yet, but there is also no plumbing up there yet. i'd have to say that, all in all, i'm very proud of our house and how much we have ameliorated it. for the most part, we've worked together, as a team, and the house is so much nicer than it was when we bought it.

friday - 09september2005 - 09:46
when you dream, what do you dream about? i always feel strange about it. probably about three times a year i dream (innocently) about my first love. they are always very vivid and real dreams that i remember pretty well when i wake up. i also dream (also innocently) about my "other" first love (not that i ever really fell in love with him but my feelings for him have always been intertwined with my feelings for my first love; i suppose because of the situation when i chose one over the other) about three times a year. i'm not sure why i continue to dream about these two persons with such regular frequency but i do. and, though they are innocent dreams, i always wake up feeling guilty for having such clear dreams about people who meant so much in my past. i guess that it has a lot to do with the fact that i think of people from my past so often and the ones that meant the most seem to just surface more, subconsciously. i've never really known whether to consider it a flaw or a blessing that i remember people so much. i think it's fairly strange. and sometimes i feel like it makes me a little pathetic. but it's really not so much that i'm trying to hold on to the past. i just really appreciate the past. if that makes sense - i don't live in the past, i just value memory. i would be absolutely devastated if i ever develop alzheimer’s. i truly think that's the worse disease for anyone to live with. not only for the afflicted, but for their loved ones as well. well, now i've gone from feeling guilty over my dream to feeling depressed over the prospect of losing my memory. good way to start the day. on a lighter subject... we got the first coat on the the bathroom last night. it looks fabulous! i love the color and even randal said he "liked" it (so hard to get him to like my color choices). i didn't think i would be able to get the whole bathroom done last night, and i probably would not have, but randal decided to help me out so we were able to finish it up. his help was very much appreciated (he took over the trim work which i don't particularly enjoy). tonight we'll get a scrap piece of sheetrock from upstairs to test out the sponging gig and make sure we like it. hopefully we will because, even though the new paint looks terrific, the repaired spots can still be seen and the hope is that the sponging will make them a little harder to see. i'm wondering when we're going to have some company again to show off all of our home improvements. seems a shame to be doing all this work and have no one to show it to.

wednesday - 07september2005 - 09:25
what a beautiful day! i have to say, this week has been full of beautiful days. we went out to lunch with the guys yesterday because they were going to an outside place and it was just so nice. the breeze was cool enough in the shade to be considered borderline chilly. so nice. we started tearing up our master bath this weekend. randal fixed all the flaws in the wall but since we can't figure out how to texture the sanded areas like the rest of the wall, it was decided that we would faux finish the bathroom. just a simple sponged look. nothing elaborate. hopefully it will look decent and cover up the sanded places. we got a dark olive color (same as dining room) for our bedroom and a very light olive color for the bathroom base coat. we'll sponge the darker color over the lighter color in the bathroom. we also got a deep red for the accent wall in the living room. i should be good and busy with painting for a while. tonight i'll tape up the bathroom but it will probably take the whole evening so i won't get to start painting until tomorrow most likely (unless i can convince my hubby to assist in the taping effort but i'm doubtful). i'm hoping that painting the base coat won't can be done saturday and then i can do the sponging sunday and randal can start laying tile next week. it will be nice to have our bathroom back (although i must admit that i am enjoying getting to use my duckie bathroom for a change - they're just so cheerful!). yesterday was an exciting day because we finally got our toys in. i got my waterproof camera case - it's so nifty! i can't wait to practice taking some underwater pics with it (i'm hoping to be good and used to it before we got to hawaii). randal got his bday gift, a handheld gps, and got to play with it some last night. maybe tonight he'll get to play with the software for it. we're also ramping up our planning on our hawaii trip. we're not very used to having to plan a trip but since we'll have to work most of the time we're there, we have to make certain that we plan for that. the camera case got us in a watery mood so we stopped by a scuba shop yesterday to check out some gear for snorkeling. while there, the guy managed to get randal interested in scuba so today we are going back and they are going to give us a free mini-lesson in the pool so that we can try it and see if we want to take the certification classes. i guess that's about all we have going on now. it's going to be a busy, busy few weeks with all this home improvement and trip planning.

wednesday - 31august2005 - 15:26
let the fuel crisis begin! monday our gas station was $2.49, tuesday - $2.59, this morning - $2.69, this moment - $2.79. rc called after driving south of atlanta this morning to say that it was $2.99 this morning and is now $3.19 with crazy lines. bl called a few minutes ago and said on his way home (toward atlanta) he tried to stop at 2 stations that were both out of gas entirely, and 3 others which had mile+ lines. crazy. i'm astounded by this. they say the national average will be $4/gal by next week. starting to feel a bit like europe - we payed $5-6/gal there. what i find eery is that just a couple of months ago fx showed an original movied called oil storm which was basically a fake documentary about this very scenario.

tuesday - 30august2005 - 16:41
i hope you are all praying for the people in the areas affected by katrina. my heart goes out to the people in new orleans and mississippi. the pictures and reports that i've seen today have been horrible. as for us and randal's family, we are all fine. none of the tornados were close to us. we got a bit of rain and a little wind but nothing much more than an everyday shower. today has been a long day for some reason. i've been so tired. it seems that i slept decently last night but i still tire immensely. the good news is that i ordered randal's bday gift last night so it should be here the end of next week, hopefully. i also ordered a waterproof camera case so that we can take our camera snorkeling in hawaii. i'm very much looking forward to having such a nifty toy to play with. bring on the photogenic rubber duckies in the bathtub!

monday - 29august2005 - 16:31
friday was a great day at work. that's all i choose to say. saturday morning we drove to 'bama and had a big family gathering for gma h that afternoon. it was a pretty good turnout, about 65 out of 96. since she usually has a hard time remembering who all was there, randal went around and made a video of everyone, having them tell their name and place in the family and a message to her. i tell you, i've never seen randal get avoided like he did saturday. you'd have thought that camcorder was the plague. but it turned out nice and when we stopped by to see her sunday morning, she was watching it and proudly proclaimed that "all these people came to see me yesterday". later on saturday, brenda and i snuck out to get birthday cards for randal. he kept trying to come with us so brenda pretty much had to tell him he wasn't welcome. it was amusing. clearly, it was his dad's fault. had his father been there, they would have been outside fiddling around and they never would have noticed us leave. saturday night we went over to gma m's to play several games of dominos. she and randal completely whooped me and brenda. i think we won one game out of 6 (but we did win it by a terrific landslide). sunday morning, we had a quick visit with gma h and then went to church with gma m. after church, we headed to anniston where we met up with his brother and sister and their families as well as him parents and gma m. we had a nice birthday lunch for him, complete with a cake (thank you, teresa for picking that up for me). i gave him a birthday card with a picture of his gift. i drove most of the way home and got lost (if only i'd had a gps) after getting off at the wrong exit for outdoor world to play with some of the gps units in person. i think randal will like this birthday gift. hey, after 6 years it's about time i get him something worthwhile, right? after getting home, we mostly held down the couch. the shame of that was that when i remembered that i needed to make a cake for randal's bday (and rc's since it got a little skipped last month), it was too late for cake making. this morning, i decided to work from home so that i could bake a cake while i worked and i went into work after lunch. i got ragged on for not being there this morning until they saw i was wielding cake and that shut them all up. boys are so easy.

wednesday - 24august2005 - 16:42
yesterday was a nice stress-relief day. my boss takes our department out for lunch once a quarter so he came by my office and picked up me and the other guy in our department at this office and then he drove us down to their office in atlanta. we ended up getting there with maybe 30 minutes to spare before we needed to start heading to the restaurant for our reservations so we did some visiting with our fellow coworkers who we never see. then we all went to have lunch, complete with a variety of appetizers and desert (to go, of course, after all that eating). we went back to their office for another hour or so in which time i sat with a coworker and helped her with some of our new job functions. then we headed back to our office and worked for a bit. i'll have you know i was such a terrific wife too -- i cut my cheesecake in half and shared with my hubby for our three o'clock snack. that was quite noble of me. yes, i'm very humble. after work, about half of our office headed back down toward atlanta to meet our big boss who treated us to a night of bowling/arcade fun and food. it was a good time, as usual. today was busy but not terribly stressful, which is a plus. and i got good news from katie that her tests are going well so far. please keep her in your prayers that they will figure out what is causing her heart troubles and that it will not be a serious or long-term problem.

monday - 22august2005 - 13:58
525,600 minutes... how do you measure a year? yes, i'm sure i'm probably the last to know, but rent is coming to the movie screen! i'm so excited about this. i loved the show when we went to see it - very powerful. and i love the soundtrack - listening to it now. i really hope that they do a good movie translation. they managed to get about half of the original broadway cast to do it so hopefully it will be great. i'm so excited! alright, enough of that. we had a good week visiting jenny. the comedy club was a good time friday night. saturday we did a bunch of nothing. we were going to go to a party with jenny saturday night but we decided we had better get on the road instead so we left jenny and got on the road by 19:00. we made it home by 08:00, proving that it is, indeed, only a thirteen hour drive. when we got home, we went straight to bed and got back up around 13:00 and then took another hour or two nap later in the afternoon and then went to bed at 21:30. i'm surprised that i actually slept through the night after all that napping and laying around. unfortunately, today has been a hellish monday. hopefully that's not indicative of the week ahead.

thursday - 18august2005 - 17:34
what a busy, busy week! buffalo has been nice. a much better experience than our last. we left work a little early on friday and got on the road at 16:30. amazingly, i actually drove most of the trip and slept none of it. we arrived at jenny's exit at 05:30 and stopped at mcdonald's to get some breakfast and give jenny a little more time till we woke her. at 06:00 we called her from the curb of her apartment and told her to let us in. by this time, having been awake for 24 hours straight, i was ready for a nap. we kicked jenny out of her bed and slept for about three hours before getting up and lounging on the couch for another hour or so. we three then went grocery shopping for the week, came back to have lunch, and then headed to niagara to walk around the falls (goat island, three sisters island). when we returned that evening, we played upwords and relaxed. sunday morning, we slept in a bit and then started getting around to go to six flags. it was an overcast and rainy day - not stormy, just rainy. the good thing was that that made it cool. the bad thing was that the small droplets of rain sting your face at 75 mph. it never rained hard and 2/3 of us had raincoats so it was dry. and later in the day it mostly stopped so we were able to ride and keep our eyes open. some of their rides were down because of the rain. the 4 coasters that were open, we rode. two of them twice. one of them should have never been ridden in the first place. heed my advice if you plan on going to this themepark: DO NOT RIDE PREDATOR! i've been on a few wooden roller coasters and you expect them to be a bit rough but this one was just rediculous. i strained to keep myself pressed against the back of the seat so that it wouldn't knock me too badly but as we went over the top of each hill it would jostle so bad that it would throw me into the seat. the first time it knocked the breath out of me and each successive time hurt my back. it was an absolutely horrible experience of which i did not enjoy so much as a split second. luckily, that was the only disappointing ride of the day. viper and minderaser were pretty good. superman was great. i like our superman in georgia because of its unique perspective (hanging on your tummy the whole time) but this superman was FAST and had a HUGE DROP and was very SCARY! we rode it twice. we would have ridden more if one of us had not developed a migraine and backache from a certain wooden coaster. in any case, i think it now takes the top of my greatest coasters list. from my fairly limited roller coaster experience, that is. it was a good, fun day and when we got back that night we watched a movie and relaxed. most of the week we've just hung out after work. one evening we went to an area of town that jenny likes and we walked around and had somme dinner. another evening we went to the driving range and hit some golf balls and then rented a movie. last night, we went to thursday in the square where they have free concerts during the summer. last night, the performer was john waite. he had a couple of songs that i knew. we mostly walked around and people watched and helped support jenny as she faced her first evening amongst smokers after quitting. it was a good time. i think tonight we are going to a comedy club and tomorrow we are going to a party before we start the long journey home. i'm glad we came up here. it's been good to visit with jenny. and it was the ideal time since she decided to quit smoking and we were able to be supportive for that.

thursday - 11august2005 - 14:24
the week is finally almost over. always a good thing. it's been a busy week that started out with two mondays in a row. i'm ready for it to be over. last night we had dinner at beth/jeremy's so that was nice. tonight i need to do laundry so that we can pack to leave tomorrow. i'm looking forward to seeing my jenny. and we're going to hit another six flags!

tuesday - 09august2005 - 17:21
i'm generally a fairly contented person. as well i should be. i am very blessed with a good life. so why can't i convince myself to be content?

monday - 08august2005 - 10:24
we had a good week in orlando. it always makes me feel good to go down there because i feel like we have a lot of friends down there. wednesday night we hot tubbed with my sis and bro-in-law until very late and had a good time talking. thursday night i went out for a short while with my cousin, came back and watched my boy and jonna's boy stain the entertainment center, and then my boy and i went back over to my cousin's to enjoy the housewarming gifts we gave them and hang out with duane. it was a nice evening. it was good to see duane again, it's been a very long time. friday night my mom came over for pizza and brought an ice cream cake for randal's early birthday. mmmmicecreamcake. later in the night, we watched a movie with jonna and jim - the last movie we'll have to squint to watch at their home (the 63" bohemeth arrives tomorrow). saturday morning our boys stained some more and then my boy and i went to my brother's and we all went to a surprise birthday party for a friend of theirs that i didn't know. it was a good time. there was food (lots and lots of food) and there were old friends of my brother's who i haven't seen in a while so we talked and caught up and there was texas holdem poker. fun was had by all. yesterday morning we slept in a little and then got packed up and headed home. it was a very enjoyable week indeed.

wednesday - 03august2005 - 14:01
been having a fun time in orlando so far. when we left friday, we headed to wedowee to see the gmas for a little bit. saturday we rose at the crack of dawn (if i hadn't wanted to get up that early, that rooster would have been breakfast) to head south. we decided to go straight to my dad's rather than go into orlando and then have to head his way so we got there at about 15:00 (yes, we were holding them up from their early-bird dinner). we caught up for a few minutes and then went out to eat. when we got back, we visited for a few more hours and then my cousin met us there and we went to old town. while there, we got some old time photos done, which i've always wanted to do so i was very excited. we did not find our car but we had fun nonetheless. we went back to their new house to crash for the night (they seemed pleased to have us as their first overnight guests). sunday morning, we lounged around and my cousin made us some yummy breakfast before we headed over to my mom's for a nice visit and lunch. from there, we headed out to see another friend who just moved into his first house. we visited with him a couple of hours and made our way to the dawson inn to settle in for the week. it was a busy visiting weekend but we enjoyed seeing everyone. monday after work, we went to katie's for dinner and had a great time with her and her family. yesterday, we generously allowed my sissy and her hubby to have a date night so we were on kid duty. we made some breakfast for dinner and then had a good time playing outside for a while. after playing, we got in the pool to wash off (hey, it's easier than showering!). when we came in, we gave the kids the opportunity to do something nice for their parents, if they wanted. julia wanted to color a card and clean her room up some. joshua wanted to clean his room, he wouldn't quit until everything was picked up and then he proceeded to get the vacuum out. jimmy made a nice drawing on the computer and printed it out for them. when they were done doing something nice for their parents, we got out a lego building game and played until 21:00. though we did not finish the game (we told them it was over at 21:00 no matter what), we decided that whoever had their lego thing the most completed was the winner. julia won, missing only 4 pieces. jimmy and joshua tied for second, both missing 5 pieces. randal was last with 7 pieces missing. it was fun. the kids then brushed their teeth and went to bed with virtually no fuss. randal and i followed shortly. i fell asleep fairly easily but then decided to wake up, i have no clue when, and remain wide-awake for the rest of the night. i'm so very sleepy now and it's not even close to being five.

friday - 29july2005 - 10:54
woohooo the week is done! looks like we're going to head south tomorrow. i think we're going to go to wedowee tonight to see the grandmothers and then we'll leave there in the morning and get to orlando in the earlyish evening, hopefully. it's been quite some time since i've seen my family.

thursday - 28july2005 - 15:09
because i just haven't felt like ranting, that's why. but the good news is that we've got our flight to hawaii booked! decided to go ahead and use some sky miles since there's no telling how much longer delta's going to be around. we're going to have to work about half of our time there but we should still be able to see plenty. i guess i'll need to get the rest of my pic pages all caught up so that i'll be ready to work on another travel log. i'm excited, not as excited as i was about alaska or germany, but excited nonetheless. it should be fun to hike and bike volcanos. and i'd like to attempt to surf even though i'm quite certain i'll fail miserably. in the meantime, we're trying to figure out if we're going to go down to orlando this weekend. so hard to sync up schedules.

monday - 25july2005 - 10:11
i am so upset at this whole being awake thing. i would have been perfectly happy to sleep until lunch today. stupid work interfering with my sleep... it was a pretty good weekend. we went down to panama city friday afternoon and got there around 16:00 so we had plenty of time to enjoy family beach fun friday. saturday morning i tried very hard to get some much needed sleep and failed. i finally gave up around 11:00. most everyone had gone to a waterpark with all of the kids, leaving just me and randal and his parents. since it was much too hot to get out in the sun at all, we decided to go driving and shopping. we stopped at a putt putt place where 39 years ago randal's mom had her picture taken sitting in the hand of an overgrown monkey. she was about 8 months pregnant with my hubby in that picture. we saw that the monkey was still standing so we stopped and got a picture of randal and his mom standing by the monkey's hand. now i'll need to get a scan of the other pic from her so that i can get make a sequence out of them. by the time we got back to the hotel, we were exhausted (that heat and sun will just zap you) so we went back to our room and layed down to take a nap. it should be noted that this is the first trip we've really been on where we weren't trying to go and see and go. we were just there. it was nice to get to relax some. shortly after laying down to nap, randal's brother and family got back and they tried to lay down for a nap too but the child decided that she was missing out on something so her mother finally got up and took her out to the pool and we remaining three stayed and slept for an undetermined amount of time. we were woken when they came back in because it was raining. we then got up and started getting around to go have dinner and take half the kids to an arcade (the other half was too wrapped up in trying to find boys on the beach -- they cracked me up, i must have missed all of that growing up). we got back and played more on the beach until about 01:00 and then went to bed. sunday morning we woke up fairly early, got some sun, cooled off in the pool, watched some sharks clear out the water (they came up close enough that teresa was able to see them clearly staning on the beach), and then packed for home. we left around 14:30 and were home by 20:15. not too bad. but i'm just so tired today still. i really could use a day to sleep that sun off. it was incredibly hot. good weekend all in all though.

tuesday - 19july2005 - 09:21
sometimes you just feel like a helpless waste of human being. last night we went for a couple of laps around the neighborhood since we skipped the gym to get some sun. there was a dog staggering around some of the houses at the top of our street. it looked like it had been hit by a car or injured by something. when we first saw it, it had a bad limp in its hind leg. on our next lap around, it was dragging that leg. on our next lap, it was mostly dragging its entire hind quarter. now you all know that i can't stand mongrels. they're just nasty beasts. but i really can't stand to see any creature suffer. and it broke my heart that its condition had deteriorated so rapidly between our first lap and our last. by our last lap, it was semi-following us back toward the front of the neighborhood. it had no collars and did not seem to have a home in our neighborhood since we had seen it drag itself to several different houses but stayed at none. it never came to our house. but when we got back home, randal stayed out and tried to call him over while i went inside to see if there was something i could at least feed him. i felt horrible. i had no more than gotten in the house and was searching the fridge when randal came in and said not to bother. the dog had ignored randal's calls to him and had tried to cross the main road outside our neighborhood. he got hit. i ran outside and the dog was howling in the street right there 30 yards from our garage. i started crying as we ran over to see how badly he was hit. there was blood on the street and he wasn't budging. i sat and watched him as several cars swerved around him and randal went to get a shovel and blanket to try to prod and pull him back into the grass off the street. we didn't want to get too close because you just never know with strange animals. not to mention strange animals who are hurt and scared. randal managed to coax him out of the street. his legs were bleeding and he was bleeding from his mouth. i was crying. i ran back to the house and got my phone and tried to find a phone book to see if there was someone we could call who could come get him and if he couldn't be helped, at least put him out of his pain. of course, we throw away all the phone books that get dropped at our door. so i went back out to watch him while randal went in to look on the net. i sat there a few minutes when he started to try to pull himself up. i begged him to stay down and he refused. i watched helplessly as he dragged himself into the bushes and dark backyard of our neighbor's home. i went in and told randal that i had lost him. i feel horrible. that poor suffering creature. that's two creatures in just a few weeks that i just couldn't seem to help. when we first saw him, i thought he had been hit by something. the more i think about it, i think it's very possible that he might have been rabid. his paralyzed condition just deteriorated so quickly. seems like, had he been suffering from a physical accident, a limp wouldn't have turned into a drag in 30 minutes. and we do have a very healthy bat population flying around here. i don't know. i never will. all i know is that i hope that poor creature was able to drag himself somewhere comfortable and die. i'd hate to think that he was suffering all night long.

Dog's Death
©1958 John Updike

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, "Good dog!
Good dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.

seemed sadly appropriate :-(

friday - 15july2005 - 16:16
wherefore is it not yet the weekend?!

thursday - 14july2005 - 09:32
been in classes the last two days so get off my back about it. i'm not any happier than you about it. not to mention all of the pics that i've posted this week. sheesh, i get no credit for anything. nothing very interesting going on. gymmed monday and tuesday. planned on gymming yesterday but my very compassionate husband, sensing how worn out i was from three weeks of sleeplessness, insisted that i go home and take a nap instead. i was able to sleep for about a half hour. i suppose that's better than nothing. i might have slept longer if the extremely loud thunder hadn't woken me and then the power went off for a while so it got hot. but the thirty minutes of sleep and hour and a half of laying there with my eyes closed after seemed to help some. if nothing else, my headache was considerably subsided when i got up at 8. and i did sleep somewhat better last night than i have been. i'd say i got about 5 hours last night. a good 2 hours more than i've been getting for three weeks. perhaps it'll start getting better. the crummy thing is when you spend so many nights fighting to sleep and then you finally get sleepy but it's at the wrong time and you have to fight off sleep. boy was i fighting off sleep the last two days. which just felt so wrong. how i would have loved to just embrace it.

monday - 11july2005 - 15:54
i am just about ready to see my doctor about getting a referral to a sleep clinic. it's been three weeks since i got more than 3 hours of sleep in a night. it's even gotten to the point where i can't even sleep in or day-nap. i can always sleep in on a weekend morning, but not anymore. i toss and turn just as much as i do through the night. i feel sick from the lack of sleep. there is a sleep clinic at the hospital just up the road, but our crummy insurance is not accepted at that hospital so i'm guessing the sleep clinic would not accept it either. if i don't start sleeping again this week, next week i'm going. otherwise, it was a pretty good weekend. after gymming every evening last week after work, we got up saturday morning (since i couldn't sleep anyhow) and went for a five mile hike up at raven's cliff falls. it was a neat waterfall because it was hidden in a crevasse between two cliffs. the trail was nice and cool and very easy-walking. it was a good thing we got a semi-early start because on our way back out, we must have passed a hundred people making their way in. a waterfall just isn't as nice when it's overrun with people. as it was, there were enough people there to obstruct some of the photos i was trying to take. after hiking five miles, we decided to do some shopping miles too. we finally got our alaska pics printed out to put in our album. they are the first digpics that we've have printed. we took them to wolf camera and i am just so happy with how well they turned out. the colors are just so vivid and you really can't even tell that they were digital. next we did some unexciting home shopping. then we went to kohls to get some better gym clothes. hopefully my new wicking pants will keep me much cooler than my old cotton pants. i'm a believer in the wicking fabrics. the shirts that i have are wonderful when hiking. it doesn't matter how hot and sweaty i get, they keep me from feeling all sticky and, therefore, keep me relatively cool. i guess we'll see how the pants work tonight. we then stopped at the grocery store to get something for sunday. by the time we got home at 8 saturday evening, i was exhausted. you would really think that i would have slept like a baby. expecting it to be a rainy day, sunday was spent protecting the couch from any hurricane threats. once it got dark, we even broke out the projector, covered the fireplace with a white blanket, popped some popcorn, and had a nice movie night. i've also gotten 3 new pages of pictures done and ready to be added to the events page. perhaps they will get posted tonight. no guarantees.

wednesday - 06july2005 - 09:26
germany finally posted! and none too soon since we are just starting to plan our big trip for next year. in celebration of randal's big 4-0 (or as he prefers to call it, 3-5), we are probably going to try to hike up to the summit of mount kilimanjaro in africa. clearly, i'm going to need to seriously step up my gymming efforts in order to make this happen but it would be a terrific accomplishment and ever since i met him, it's been on randal's to-do list. i've got just over a year to train. i really hope that we're able to make this happen. last night was another mostly sleepless night. it's really starting to wear on me, truth be told. but on the bright side, i've just about got myself convinced that if i continue to insist on being awake at 5 every morning, i should start waking randal up and dragging us to the gym pre-work. we'll see. perhaps that threat will scare me into sleeping better. ;-D

tuesday - 05july2005 - 14:30
you will be pleased to know that i finally finished my germany travel log. it is ready to be posted tonight so stay tuned. it was a good weekend. after work on friday we went on a failed furniture shopping expedition. saturday morning, we went to wedowee. we visited with the gmas and then randal and his dad went to a rodeo while his mom and i went to dinner and partook of a local concert. sunday morning we went to church with gma moore and then headed back to georgia. we made several stops on the way home -- another furniture shopping expedition, also unsuccessful. i know exactly what i want. you would think i should easily be able to find exactly what i want. stupid furniture stores having it all wrong. we rented a couple of movies before getting home and watched one sunday night. monday afternoon, we packed a picnic and headed to a local park. we had a lovely picnic (thanks again beth) and layed out in the sun for a while. the good thing is that it seemed to help blend away the stark farmers tan that i got from rafting last month. and perhaps i won't be quite so blinding when we go to the beach with randal's family in a few weeks. it was bloody hot out yesterday so we didn't stay out too long. we got home exhausted from the energy-draining of the sun and relaxed and watched the other movie. all in all, a very nice weekend. if it could just last longer...

friday - 01july2005 - 14:12
yay! my boss said we can go home in 48 minutes! wooohoooo!

monday - 27june2005 - 09:17
it was a decent weekend. it would qualify for good if it weren't for the menopause setting in again. hot flashes, night sweats, and sleeplessness... what more could a girl ask for? saturday morning, we got up early and headed to panther creek. we met a coworker there and commenced a seven mile hike. it was actually very nice. the trail was great, not too steep but plenty pretty. the trail followed the creek the whole way and was in the shade of the trees the whole way. it made for a lovely, and only moderately strenuous, walk. the waterfall was 3.5 miles in. it was well worth the hike. beautiful falls, they were. yes, of course there are pics; no, i cannot possibly guess when they'll get posted. what can i say -- i'm lazy. the 3.5 mile hike back out was slightly more strenuous, being mostly uphill and later in the hot day, but still pleasant. it was a good way to spend 1/2 a saturday and i enjoyed the company of our coworker, this is really the first time we've done anything outside of work with a coworker (ironically enough, this one is the least social in the office). when we got back home, randal crashed on the couch for a few hours. i wanted to nap but my inability to sleep lately has apparently spread into the afternoon as well. i'm so pleased. and don't even get me started on the stupid hot flashes/night sweats! the rest of the day, and really the weekend, was pretty much spent being lazy. we also discovered that going to ny this weekend may not be an option afterall. which is a shame because i was looking forward to seeing jenny and getting away for a few days. but that's life. we may still come up with some alternative plans. shame that we don't have more friends spread out around the country. i've thought about calling an old friend in dc (surely they would have nice fireworks in dc!) but i'm not sure how rude it would be considering as it's been so long since i've seen him and we only talk a couple of times a year and he's only met my hubby once. he's a great guy and i'm sure he probably wouldn't mind, but it still seems rude for me to invite us. who knows. i guess we can always just stay home. if we must.

friday - 24june2005 - 10:53
i'm very upset about the poor canada goose that i could have saved yesterday but she just wouldn't get close enough for me to catch her. poor, silly, scared goose. she's not going to make it without help. she has a fishing line wound tightly around her right leg. there was still fresh looking bait on it and, though i could not see it, i assume there was a hook on it too. the hook might have even impailed her already since i could see some blood on some of the surrounding feathers, but i couldn't get a close enough look to really tell definitively. all i know for sure is that the line was wrapped tight enough to be cutting off her circulation already since the leg was already swelled to nearly twice the size of the other. and she was keeping it close to her body, i didn't see her let it drop in the 30 minutes i was trying to help her. i'm pretty sure that she would not be able to get out on land with it. most likely, she will lose the leg in the next couple of days and then she will probably die. if i had noticed when i first sat down on the dock and she was swimming up to me and biting my hands, i could have grabbed her by the neck and pulled her out to work on her. but i didn't notice it then and when i did notice it, she stopped biting my hand and wouldn't get close enough again. when she finally swam off for good, i almost cried. i really wish i could have saved her. i feel horrible. if i had had some bread or a net... poor goose. all because some fisherman was irresponsible. on a brighter note, i think we'll head up to ny next weekend and spend the 4th at niagara falls with my ch!nk. seems like as good a holiday plan as any. change of scenery is always nice. also, congratulations to my cousin-in-law on your fresh, new eyes!

wednesday - 22june2005 - 08:26
after work yesterday we made our way across town to see an old friend in the hospital. we had a nice visit with him and then we went to the mall area to furniture shop while waiting for traffic to thin out enough to make it back this way. we finally found an entertainment center that we both liked pretty well at havertys. we didn't buy it yet but we know where to find it when we're ready. they also had a sofa set that i liked a lot but it was discontinued and they didn't have any left in the color i would want. so it goes. i'm not as concerned with the sofas or even the coffee/end tables. entertainment center first and then start matching out from there. so that was pretty much it for our exciting evening. on a side note, please think happy thoughts in the general direction of katie and her soon-to-be-new-home!

monday - 20june2005 - 14:35
mmmmpeanutbutterbars. i make some very yummy treats for my coworkers' birthdays. i'm such a good coworker. it was a decent enough weekend. went to wedowee. stopped at six flags on the way over friday afternoon and rode some coasters until the park closed. which reminds me, i still need to write an email to them. i had forgotten all about that. anyhow, saturday we went out with dad-in-law looking for property. we like to look for houses/property. when we got back, we got a call that gma moore was having another confusion spell (most likely mini-strokes) so we went over there but by that time she was getting a bit clearer. we stayed with her for a good piece of the afternoon and then went back to the house so that randal could get cleaned up to take his dad to the races with his sis and bro-in-law. i chose to remain at the house with mom-in-law since i really don't ever need to go sit and watch cars drive loudly in circles again. i guess i'll just never be redneck enough. luckily, they love and accept me anyhow. mom-in-law and i watched tv movies and then called it an early night. she wasn't feeling well or else we might have found something more exciting to go out and do. sunday morning, i got sienna out of the field and loved on her for a while before we left. she still doesn't much remember me but she does still enjoy being loved on. she keeps getting taller and taller. she's going to be a gorgeous nanny. we came back home and relaxed until i decided i had better get up and make some sort of bday confection for bl. i'll have to do another for rb on friday. today i'm just wondering why it is not friday. mondays are such treacherous days. oh, i also got chiro guy's website back up this weekend. i reworked the graphics on it for a smoother look. know of any small businesses needing a simple but sophisticated web presence? if so, give them my .

thursday - 16june2005 - 11:13
we had friends over for dinner last night. i enjoy having people over. and we had a very nice meal. i made a lasagne and salad and garlic bread. we ate out on the back patio which was very nice and comfortable. that's the first time we've had company and eaten out there (other than the rehearsal dinner but that's hard to count since it was all such a blur). i appreciate that our patio is shaded in the afternoons so by the time we get home from work it's fairly cool to sit out there for a while and relax. it was also a good place to eat because there were no worries with the kids spilling or dropping or anything. for desert, i had made brownies and beth brought an oreo pie and we also have some yogurt/sorbet bars (emily's choice). it was all good and so was the company and conversation. this has just been a hectic year (and i cannot believe it's already half over!). i think this is only maybe the third time we've even seen them this year. busy busy busy. on an unrelated note, it is just wrong to go into somebody's screened porch and steal their duck!

monday - 13june2005 - 09:21
what a wonderfully relaxing rainy weekend. first weekend in well over a month that we didn't have to go anywhere and we just got to enjoy each other. saturday we went on a date. we got all dressed up for each other and went.... furniture shopping! hey, i enjoyed it. after looking around a few furniture stores with no success, we went to some little seafood place and had a nice dinner. and then we stopped at steak 'n' shake to try out those yummy looking sippable sundaes that they've been advertising like crazy. i got the peanut butter shake and randal got the cheesecake shake. they were indescribably good! it was a terrific date. sunday was mostly a bunch of holding down the couch. which was fine by me. because every so often, you really just need to hold down the couch with your honey. unfortunately, the relaxation is over. because i got nothing done around the house this weekend, i've got to get the whole place cleaned tonight and tomorrow night so that it will be presentable when our company arrives wednesday evening. i'm so pleased that we're going to be having company again. even if it does mean i have to clean and cook.

thursday - 09june2005 - 14:24
i tire. always pleasant when my body decides on its own whether or not it needs sleep. such is life. after work yesterday we went over to the nature trails and did a very brisk 4.5 mile forest hike rather than go to the gym. when we got home, my shoulder was hurting again so i did a lot of nothing. i'm okay with that. today at lunch, we did some quick shopping around and bought a new lawnmower. my poor hubby is so distraught over this. he's had his mower for 17 years after buying it secondhand for $50. the thing is nearly as old as me! last summer, i repeatedly encouraged him to get a new one since every time he went to mow the lawn, he had to spend a couple of hours operating on it to get it running. he always refused saying that was his mower and it hadn't given up on him so he wouldn't give up on it. well, tuesday it finally happened. he was out mowing the lawn and when he came in he said "i think it's time for a new mower" which, naturally, shocked the heck out of me. apparently, he didn't mind having to work on it everytime to get it started, but he draws the line when it starts smoking up the yard while he's mowing. he said it embarrassed him. boys are so funny. they really get attached to their machines. i am glad that he got one that he won't have to fool with so much but he's very sad that he bought a new one. i'm betting he'll probably stash it on the other side of the garage so that the "mrs" doesn't see that he got a newer/younger model. boys.

tuesday - 07june2005 - 09:48
i've had several inquiries about whether natalee holloway is a relation to my in-laws. while it is possible that there is a distant link somewhere (afterall, aren't all alabamans related?), she is not known to be kin. i actually hadn't heard anything about her until we were there this weekend and some of his family was talking about her so i'm sure they would've said something if she'd been family. it is very sad. i hope they are able to find her, although, sadly, the prospects of her being found well grow bleaker by the day. anyhow, the exciting news for the weekend was that i got to see sienna!!! she has gotten so big and so pretty. she's very tall and long and lean. nice, shiny coat. all legs. she's beautiful. i'm so proud of her. i fully expect her to place if shane decides to show her. he showed at his first goat show this weekend and wound up with a 3rd, 2nd, and a grand national champion! a big congratulations to him. i know he was very excited. i never got to talk to him to see if he is planning on showing sienna when she gets a little bit bigger. i hope he does. granted, i don't know much about goats and their desirable traits for showing, but she is so darned pretty! it was so exciting to see her since i didn't think i'd ever see her again. scamp, on the other hand, is now living on another farm somewhere and i won't see him again. however, shane did assure me that he found him a home where the people would not make him a meat goat and he personally inspected the farm before he would let them have my baby. i suppose that's the best i could ask.

monday - 06june2005 - 09:30
decent weekend in wedowee. long lasting migraine. gma holloway was in good spirits. nice time at uncle charlie's house with gma moore. much needed "us" relaxation last night.

thursday - 02june2005 - 14:21
it was a fun night of not being able to sleep and hardly being able to move due to the wonderful migraine. i love those kind of nights. it wasn't until randal got up this morning that i was able to raise my head enough to take some excedrin, and then i had to lay perfectly still with a pillow over my eyes for another 30 minutes or so to make sure i wasn't going to be sick if i tried to move my head again. so i worked from home this morning - from my darkened bedroom, laying with my head fully supported and my laptop opened wide in my lap so that i could see it. boy do i love being a sufferer of migraines! by lunchtime i was feeling well enough to get out of bed and make a quick lunch for me and my husband so he came home, we ate, and then he brought me back to work for the afternoon. head is still not great feeling but at least i can move it now and the nausea is mostly gone. i just took some more motrin so i should hopefully be able to gym this afternoon. and that there, folks, is my tremendously exciting day, thus far.

tuesday - 31may2005 - 09:26
it was a great weekend. not nearly long enough, but great nonetheless. my brother and his friends arrived just before midnight thursday night and pretty much went straight to bed. friday morning, we all slept in just a little bit before slowly getting around. we managed to turn my brother and his friend into grunt labor in order to move that piano so my boy now has his own piano. it needs tuning but that's not a big deal. i decided at the last minute to make some mmmmpeanutbutterbars to take along with us. they were so mmmmmmm. finally, around 1100 we started out, making a first stop at waffle house for a nice relaxing breakfast. from there, we headed up to amicalola falls for a quick hike up to the waterfall. it was very nice. after the short walk, we headed the rest of the way up to adventures unlimited at the ocoee. we set up our campsite and julie started on dinner while the rest of us relaxed or played horseshoes. dinner consisted of perfectly tender fillet mignon and baked potatos. i like camping with them. they camp-dine much better than we usually do with our pbj sandwiches. saturday morning, we rose bright and early for our full day of rafting. of the four times that i have been now, i'd have to say this was the best trip. dave (the greatest guide on the ocoee) was in a very playful mood so we surfed some holes 3 and 4 times. it was a heck of a ride. when we got back that evening, we each got showered and repeated friday night's routine. this time for dinner julie grilled some sirloin steaks and we had noodles on the side. delicious again. after dinner, we all compared our impressive burns and more relaxing and horseshoes ensued. sunday morning, we took our time getting up and about, finally leaving adventures unlimited around noon. we made our way back slowly, stopping at desoto falls for another quick waterfall hike. for those interested, the lower falls is hardly worthwhile. luckily, it's only a 1/4 mile hike each way so if you are just looking for a nice, short, yet semi-strenuous hike, this is your trail. just don't expect to be gratified at the end. the upper falls, on the other hand, was quite lovely and well worth the 3/4 mile, less strenuous hike. continuing on our journey, we stopped a few miles from our home at a lake so that my brother could do some fishing. we stayed there for about 1.5 hours but, unfortunately, none of our three fisherman made any catches. from there, we made it the rest of the way back to our house, ordered some pizzas, grabbed showers, and bummed on the couches for the rest of the night. monday morning, we woke up just in time to say farewell to the four of them and then held down the couch for the rest of the day. it was a great visit. i always enjoy having company. and spending time with my brother on our rafting weekends is always special. of course, i could use another day or two now to recoup from the hectic month of may. not this weekend though - if i'm not mistaken, i think we have a family gathering in alabama on saturday. hopefully we'll get at least one weekend to ourselves this month.

thursday - 26may2005 - 08:37
i'm very pleased to announce that i have a lovely olive dining room. the rolling went nice and quickly last night so i was able to get both coats on the wall before carrie was proclaimed winner. that should leave me plenty of time this evening for cleaning and straightening the rest of the house before t gets in. he probably won't get here before midnight anyhow. and the house isn't horrible. the biggest task is that it needs an all over vacuuming and mopping. the rest is just a matter of tidying up. and laundering the bedding but that's nothing. so, the point being, we're in good shape for having company this weekend. and speaking of good shape, we also made it into the gym yesterday afternoon. the ellipticals are mostly all tore up (which angers me quite a bit - glad we didn't pay full price for our membership) so i got on the treadmill and put it on the random course so it would incline and decline intermittently on its own. i did 10 minutes of quick walking, 15 minutes of jogging, another 5 minutes of quick walking, and then 5 minutes of cool down. it never showed me a calorie count so i don't have a guess at what i did there but i did go 2.1 miles and i was so proud that i had jogged for 15 minutes straight. unfortunately we won't have time to go tonight because we need to get the house in order. we're also going to try to recruit my brother and his friend into a little grunt labor. this just might be our chance to finally get that piano!

wednesday - 25may2005 - 09:20
sleepier - oh so much sleepier. we had a good visit with gma holloway. she stayed awake for the whole two hours that we were there and she talked as much as she was able. i didn't know until we got there that she's on oxygen now. it was so sad to look into the room and see her hooked up to the loud breathing machine and wearing a hospital gown (she's usually dressed in pretty house dresses but hospice wants her in hospital gowns now so that they can monitor her easier). she looked so small and frail and tired. she spoke with effort in barely a whisper. she was sweet as ever though. told how much she enjoyed watching randal and his 7 cousins when they were kids. how she loved to watch them sitting on the porch step eating their sugar biscuits. how much she loves randal and his wife too. i don't mind that she's forgotten my name. at least i know that she did know it not too long ago. and i know that she recognizes me when i walk into the room. and that means the world to me. we sat and talked to her for two hours. randal held her hand. we even put in our video from germany to tell her about it a little. it was a great visit. i'm glad that we went. i don't know whether we'll see her again next week or not, but i'm glad we had such a quality visit with her and that she was't in any pain. we saw randal's parents for maybe 10 minutes and we stopped by gma moore's for about that long before we started heading back home. we got home around 23:30 so it was after midnight again by the time i showered and got to bed. and i chose to toss and turn a lot. i'm so sleepy. and there's much to be done. tonight i'm hoping to finish the entire first coat on the dining room. i also need to wash up some bedding in the guest rooms and clean some junk out of the one room. busy busy. i'm looking forward to a slightly less hectic week next week.

tuesday - 24may2005 - 12:53
sleepy - oh so sleepy. we came in to work before 0700 this am so that we could get out a little early to head to wedowee. going to go see gma holloway - we expect it to be the last time, but one can never really tell with these things. please continue to pray that she doesn't suffer. we're going to run over there and back tonight so it's going to be a very long, sad, and tired night. last night, we walked/jogged the neighborhood after work (had planned on going to the gym but that i had bought a gallon of milk at lunch that needed to be taken home). it's been a while, which i could tell, but it felt pretty good. as soon as we got home, i began my painting preparations. i probably got a third of the dining room painted and i'm very pleased with it so far. i painted all around the ceiling tray with two coats and i also trimmed out the ceiling edges of the walls. tomorrow night i'll have to do some taping in order to do the baseboard trim work and then i can start rolling. it'll probably take tomorrow and thursday night to get it done. which is fine, i'm just pleased to be getting some color on the walls.

monday - 23may2005 - 09:02
we made it back home. had a nice week in orlando. mom's lunch party went well yesterday (pics to come after i get our travel log posted). all is good. this should be our last horribly busy week for a while. need to start back to the gym. i'd like to get the dining room painted before my brother gets here late thursday night. and we need to make a 5 hour round trip visit to wedowee one night after work to check in on gma holloway since we won't be around this weekend. busy busy busy week.

thursday - 19may2005 - 09:39
we got a call this morning that gma holloway is not doing well. she was up last night complaining of her heart hurting her. her blood pressure is up and her heart rate is down to 50. hospice is going to be coming out to see her around lunch and hopefully they will be able to give us a better idea about whether it's time for us to head north. please pray for gma holloway. pray that if this is her time, she passes peacefully, and if this is not her time, that she starts feeling more comfortable quickly. and pray that if this is it, that we are able to make the 8 hour drive before she goes because i think it would be really hard on randal to not be at her side when she goes. i wish that i could adequately convey what a good, sweet, humble, special woman this is and what an impact she has had on my life. i can't stand the thought of her suffering.
11:31 - aunt dee bought granny a new dress the other day to be buried in. this morning, she asked to see it. she wanted it hung in her room for a little while so she could admire it because she said she's going to be wearing it soon. the woman is so at peace and ready to go. so why am i so sad?
14:08 - the hospice nurse came out and said that her vitals are stabalizing. could be 10 minutes, could be a week, could be a month. which we already know. in the last year, the family has been called in a couple of times but she's gotten better. i like to hope that when she goes, it will be an unexpected thing. maybe she'll have a really, really good day and just not wake up the next morning. not that i want to deprive people of their chance to say goodbye, but randal and i make sure to say our goodbyes everytime we leave her. we always make sure to tell her just how much she means to us when we go, just in case tomorrow's too late. and i'd rather her last day be a good one filled with joy than a painful one filled with the sadness of her family. does that make sense?

monday - 16may2005 - 16:56
captian obvious says: florida is ungodly hot. it is entirely possible that i might have the germany travel log posted by the end of the week. that being said, i won't be responsible for those of you holding your breath.

thursday - 12may2005 - 13:49
if it makes you feel any better, i am working on my travel log for our wunderbar german adventure.

wednesday - 11may2005 - 14:46
patience - not a universal virtue...

tuesday - 10may2005 - 11:16
honey, i'm home...

monday - 25april2005 - 09:02
well, randal has decided to cancel our trip. apparently, the toads of germany have joined forces with terrorists. suicide toad bombers frighten randal. hee hee. in other news, it was a good weekend. went to wedowee. had a nice visit. stopped at six flags on the way back yesterday to activate our passes and ride a few coasters. fun was had. we then continued towards home, stopping at a few outdoor/sporting stores along the way to finish our hiking gear shopping. we'd like to get some hiking shoes (smaller than our hiking boots) but there just weren't any good sales. we also stopped and picked up a bunch of snack foods to pack. when we got home, it was a short nap on the couch and then i barbered my hubby's hair (don't know why he didn't want me doing it while i was sleepy). packing was started before bedtime and when randal got up this morning, yes i usually stay in bed about 20 minutes past him), he commenced with the serious packing. so it's entirely possible that we can be fully packed tonight. which would be nice. in other other news, HAPPY FIRST DAY AT YOUR NEW JOB, COUSIN!!!
seems that randal's getting a bit worried about germany. i guess their personal ads are a little different than we're used to as well.

friday - 22april2005 - 13:58
i am quite pleased to say that my bathroom is done. it is clean and re-ducked. and it looks great, in my humble opinion. i don't think randal hates it so much now that it has all the ducks back in there to complete it. i'm really looking forward to doing the dining room but that's going to have to wait until we get back from germany (less than a week!!!). there's just no sense in tearing anything else up when we won't have time to finish it. certainly don't want to leave with the house in disarray. we learned that lesson the hard way last year. we also just signed back up with the gym for another year. we and some coworkers managed to broker a deal that was just too hard to pass up. $200 less than last year for the both of us. randal was hesitent because he works out at home. i do not work out at home. yes, i am aware that that is my own personal flaw, but it's just the way it is. whereas when we go to the gym, i work out hard. and i generally like to go to the gym. usually, we only stop when something happens (one of us gets sick or something) or when randal starts wanting to work outside in the afternoons. i'm of the opinion that gymming is more important than yardwork. if there is something that really needs to be done in the yard, we should stay home more on the weekends. so the plan is that monday we start back. unfortunately, we'll only be able to go monday and tuesday but that's better than nothing. wednesday, not only will we need to finish up all of our packing, but i also have to make a cake. i'm such a great coworker. did i mention wir gehen nach deutschland in weniger als einer woche!!!

wednesday - 20april2005 - 16:44
i don't wanna hear it. i'll have you know that i stayed busy with work the whole bloody day. the audacity. last night i finished up all the trim work in the bathroom so, hopefully, tonight i'll be able to just roll it all and be finished. i'd really like to be finished tonight. please let me be finished tonight. see, it's just too small of a room to justify spending more than three nights painting it. and there are other projects that we need to start on. and i'd really like to see all of my ducks back in there so that i can reassure myself that i chose a good color. also need to sit down and start planning our packing and such for germany. i think we're going to alabama this weekend since it's going to be a long time before we can get back there so our packing time will be limited to after work next week. and we know that we are not the best at advanced packing so the more i can plan and organize it, the better the chance we'll be packed ahead of time and not running around like headless chickens. wooohooo! time to go start painting!!

tuesday - 19april2005 - 09:06
HAPPY ONE-DAY-LATE ANNIVERSARY TO MY DAD/RHENA! seven years, eh? guess she's finally served her time for a broken mirror. really, it's not that i forgot or didn't know the 18th was their anniversary, i just didn't know that yesterday was the 18th. i mean, how often do i date anything at work? and being home sick since last tuesday, i'm just all out of it. that's my excuse and i'm sticking to it. so, for those who haven't guessed it, that's why i haven't much ranted. i worked from home wed/thur/fri of last week because i was sick and i just tend not to rant from home. still not feeling 100% which i just don't understand. actually, last night was fun because i was up until 0130 having a great coughing/hacking fit. makes for such a fun morning. however, all things considered, it was a productive weekend. randal went back and sealed the grout in the bathroom. i did a mountain of laundry. randal put up blinds in the room upstairs (now the room looks complete). i started painting the bathroom. it's so nice to be getting some color in the house. i started painting last night. i got the whole wall that the commode and sink are on finished so that randal could put the commode back in last night (great, now i get to clean it and the tub that it has been laying in for two weeks - ick). i also trimmed out the wall that the door is on. not sure how much i'll get done tonight since i'm so tired and i've been up till after 0100 two nights in a row now. i'll either make it my goal to finish out the door wall or trim out the rest of the walls. i really need to trim out the rest of the walls. it's just not fun. randal hates the color. granted, i too think that it's a bit loud right now, but once the ducks are all back in there to put it into context, it is going to look great. bright colors are really hard to like out of context. we also bought the paint for the dining room so that will be my next project. i really really like the color we got for that. i think randal does too. it's going to look fabulous! i'm hoping that the bathroom will only take tonight and tomorrow night before it's done. then i can start on the dining room. and randal can start tearing into our bathroom to lay tile. although we really need to pick out some bedding so that i can get an idea of a color scheme so that i can paint the bathroom while the commode and baseboards are pulled up. plus, i'm not sure that we should really even start into the master bath project yet because i don't know that we can finish it before we leave the country next week. and next month is just about completely booked up. so if we start it now, it may not get finished until june. that seems like an awfully long time to have such a visible unfinished project. we'll see, perhaps randal will feel more confident in his ability to knock it out really quickly. on the bright side, NINE MORE DAYS TILL GERMANY!!!

tuesday - 12april2005 - 10:47
not much ranting lately. guess i just haven't had anything to say. we did finish the room upstairs. i even vacuumed all the fuzzies off the new carpet last night. it looks fabulous. we grouted the new tile in the guest bath last night. today i'll pick up some sealer from the store so that we can seal it all up and then we can put the commode back in and start on our bathroom. see, when your life consists of work and home improvement, rants just aren't very interesting. on the bright side, we're going to germany soon so there will be a travel log and pics in the forseeable future. hmmm, guess that means i should get caught up on my pic-posting. maybe later...

thursday - 7april2005 - 11:13
finally! my morning reading is finally back up. unfortunately, several hoops had to be jumped through to find it. but at least it's there again. i feel much better about the matter. as we draw ever so close to the end of the upstairs room project, last night my boy ripped the toilet and floor out of the guest bath downstairs. i'm betting tonight it will be tiled and tomorrow grouted and by saturday, we'll have a beautifully tiled guest bath. i appreciate having such a useful boy. we also found our new house yesterday. at lunch today, we're going to get the keys to look at it. i never tire of looking at houses.

tuesday - 5april2005 - 11:27
we started walking again yesterday. about 2.5 times around the neighborhood, right around 2 miles. hey, there's hills at least. better than nothing. i think tonight we are going to cut the carpet and prepare to finish that room once and for all. not much else going on. been trying to prepare for our big trip while wondering why we're not going yet. that's the bad thing about a big trip, so much motivation is lost to anticipation of the big trip. luckily, i'll be attending a class the two days before we go so i won't need to worry about work productivity so much those last couple of days. a late CONGRATULATIONS ON MOVING INTO YOUR NEW HOME to my cousin. hope that you are enjoying it and that you have a happy life there.

thursday - 31march2005 - 09:48
i'm so pleased. our room is beginning to look like a room. tuesday night, we got the window framed out. last night, we painted the window, i went back and put another coat of paint on the first wall, and we cut and put up the baseboards. it is amazing how much nicer it looks just having the baseboards and socket plates and other such trimmings up. tonight we'll put down the tack strips and get the floor cleaned up really good. maybe even get the padding down. then it's just the carpet. i'm so impressed by what we have done in that room. it's not all perfect, but it looks fantastic. and it's ours.

monday - 28march2005 - 14:02
if nothing else, it was a productive weekend. friday, we were pleasantly surprised to get out of work at 1500. randal had to go out and run some errands but he dropped me off at home so that i could get started on my painting. i was so pleased to finally finish the last wall, when i noticed that the very first wall we painted (over a year ago) was much lighter. looks like i'll have to go back over that wall again. sigh. unfortunately, the 4.5 hours of paint fume inhalation was enough to send me into a full-blown migraine. it was horrible. by the time randal got home, i was laying on the couch with a blanket wrapped around my head just praying for it to stop. he was nice, he came in and fixed me some dinner and babied me. he also praised me on how nice the walls looked - always nice after working your tail off. i told him that i was going to have to go back over the first wall but it was going to have to wait and he agreed. stupid wall. saturday morning, i woke up wanting pancakes so i had to go on a shopping spree. when i got back from buying way too many groceries, i made some yummy whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter chips. most of the day, i spent recuperating from my hard work and migraine of the night before. saturday evening, we watched a movie. sunday morning, we had intended to find a local church and go to their sunrise service. of course, we overslept. instead, we ended up holding down the couch for much of the morning and then started back on the room. i made a great easter dinner and we cut and primed all of the window framing. we need to go to the store before we can put it all in place though. last night i finished laundry and we both did some overdue house cleaning. it's getting there. it amazes me what a mess the house becomes when we barely live there, however it is looking much better. perhaps tonight i will begin on some of the tasks i truly loathe.

friday - 25march2005 - 08:18
well, the good news is that we finally started working on our upstairs room again. i'm hoping to finish the paint tonight, then we'll be ready for framing the window, putting up baseboards, and laying the carpet. i'll be so pleased to see that room finished. i figure we should have it done by next weekend. we talked about putting the bathroom in up there too but i am of the opinion that tiling the existing bathrooms comes first. it's good to be working on the house again though. the bad news is that i'm not going to get to see my goatlets anymore. i was really sad when i heard this last night. if i had known, i would have never taken them in the first place. i took them with the impression that i'd at least get to see them grow. my poor babies. i miss them terribly. clearly, i really need to work on getting some pics of my babies posted for you to see how sweet they were.

wednesday - 23march2005 - 12:19
I'M GOING TO GET MY PASSPORT STAMPED!!! the plane tickets are purchased and we are set to go. Passen Sie auf, Deutschland, wir sind auf unserer Weise! clearly, it's time to dust off the old text books. this is so exciting! on a more sobre note, lots of love to a very important friend who is going through a very rough time. you're in my thoughts and prayers and i am here for you.

tuesday - 22march2005 - 09:15
i can't help it, my ftp has been uncooperative lately. i'm still tired. we weren't able to convince my sister to come up by they did promise to come up this summer when the whether is better and there's more time to prepare. we drove from orlando to wedowee saturday afternoon and got there about 2300. we took the kids out to the barn, their new home. they were quite displeased with the situation. my poor babies are not used to sleeping in a crowded, dirty barn. they were in there with one momma, four (mean!) three-week older cousins, and one 1/2 day old baby. it was dirty and crowded and they did not want to be left there alone. i had to give them a pep talk and let them know not to let those other goats bully them because they are better than those other goats. they've seen more places and had more experiences than those other goats will ever dream of. i felt horrible leaving them in that barn. they screamed and cried as i walked back to the house. sunday morning i felt even worse about leaving them out there since that one older cousin who was so mean to them two weeks ago when we visited had been mean to them again. she must have butted scamp hard enough to cut a gash from right below one of his disbudded scabs down to just above his eye. he had blood running into his eye, down his face, and all the way down his leg. my poor, poor scamp. unfortunately, we had to go to church so i could not doctor him up right then. after church, we took randal's mom out for a late birthday lunch and then looked at some stuff in town. when we got back to the house, i immediately got my goats out of the pasture and ran in to get changed into my goaty sweats. when i came back out, i cleaned them up real good and held them a bit. scamp tried to act like he was too big a boy to be loved on but it wasn't long after sienna fell asleep in my lap that he came over and squeezed his way up into the other half of my lap. the two of them nestled up close to me and slept there for a good hour. it was very nice. unfortunatley, when they woke up, i had to take them back out to the pasture with those other mean goats. my poor kids fought it, they did not want to go. i felt horrible. and as we drove away, i heard their cries and my heart sank. poor goatlets. we went back and visited the gmas again before heading home. they were both doing well this weekend, which was good to see. since gma holloway had never seen a computer, we took a laptop in and set it up on her and showed her some pictures and videos and songs. we showed her how to click the mouse and she just grinned like she was doing something big. it was sweet. we got home, exhausted, around 2230. all in all, it was a good week and weekend. while driving, we talked about trying to do a trip for our first anniversary. i'm doing some research and we'll decide today whether it's feasible. of course, just the thought of a good trip has me all excited.

thursday - 17march2005 - 09:01
happy st. patrick's day! it was 13 years ago today that my dog hatched a duck. good times, good times. the week has been fairly good. lots of traffic over here to visit with the goatlets. they have been loving all the attention. and a couple of days, all the children coming and going and running them 'round has just plumb worn them out. my poor kids. the first day was the hardest on them. they got played so hard saturday that by sunday morning they wouldn't even lift their heads when i opened their cage to let them out. the week has been more restful since most of the kids have been at school. it's been fun. i've gotten to enjoy time with all of my family already and have more friends coming over this afternoon. sadly, it's raining so the poor goats aren't going to be able to get out very much today. i may have to break down and put up the pool fence and let them wander around the patio so that they can at least get some exercise. i'll just have to clean up after them real good. on the bright side, an evil burden has hopefully been lifted. the other news is that there is a possibility that my sissy and the kids will be coming home with us this weekend. they brought it up but i'm having to try to convince them. the problem is that jim has to work so she'll be on her own with the kids, which i can understand her being hesitant about. it has to be difficult to drive 8 (well, more with kids) hours with three kids and no other adults to assist. although we have offered to put the boys in with randal and i'll drive with her and the girl. that will just leave her coming back on her own but maybe it wouldn't be so bad. anyhow, i'm doing my best to talk her into it but i don't know yet. if it weren't cataloochee's closing weekend, i'm sure i could have bribed them with snow. darn it all.

friday - 11march2005 - 10:15
HAPPY (one day late) BIRTHDAY, JULIE! got to work at 0657 (aka "the crack of ohmygoditsearly!") this morning. i think we're going to try to skip lunch and hopefully leave just a little early this afternoon. i've been working steadily on a monster of a form. trying to get it finished before we leave this afternoon. i'm doubtful. i think we've got most everything ready to go. just have to load up the kids and the cooler and that should be the biggest part of it. i'm hoping for a decent drive without much traffic since we're not going to have room to lay down and nap. i'm very tired and headachy but i'm looking forward to getting down to orlando. the form is screaming at me...

wednesday - 09march2005 - 16:03
well, it's been a slow week for ranting. i'm very displeased to report that today is exactly one week of having this headache. it started as a migraine last wednesday while i was teaching. it's been a bad headache since then, but it's starting to become a migraine again. this makes me so happy. not too much else going on. the kids are doing well. they are getting bigger and stronger every day. no success yet with the leash training. hard to train a goat. can't offer them any little treats as a reward or enticement. just praise and petting but they don't seem to respond too much to that because they're stubborn (and probably because they get so much praise and petting from us anyhow). they've also been very restless the last couple of nights. i'm not sure why. they haven't been bleating, with the exception of a soft whimper-bleat every so often, but they have been moving around a lot in their box and kicking the sides and i don't really know what else. they've been noisy though. but then, i'm used to complete silence when i sleep, coupled with being a light sleeper to begin with. mind you, i'm not complaining. it's not as though they've been waking me or keeping me awake. no, the wonderful hot flashes/night sweats are doing a fine job of that. sigh, could i have a few more issues? please? the good news is that the week is more than half over now. and we're going to orlando this weekend. with our kids. how fun is that going to be! i just hope that they behave themselves. i'll feel awful if they are bad houseguests. i'd hate to ruffle any feathers at the dawson inn. although, i'll bet the cats aren't going to be very happy about the situation at all. ha ha.

monday - 07march2005 - 10:00
HAPPY BIRTHDAY COUSIN! all in all, it was a depressing weekend. we went to wedowee and saturday afternoon we got a call to hurry over to check on granny moore. when we got there, she was laying in bed under two electric blankets shivering and shaking and rambling on incoherently. we called an ambulance. the poor woman was so confused and disoriented. she took a few swings at randal. she didn't know who most of us were and she didn't know where she was or what day, month, or year it was. when we got to the hospital, randal's mom was in the room with her when she started talking about painting and asked brenda to put the lid back on the paintcan so it wouldn't dry out. she also said something about not being able to fish because her reel was tangled or something. later she asked where the paint was and brenda told her that she had put it away for her. it was sad. compounded by the fact that the woman in the ambulance that came in ten minutes after her didn't make it and we shared the waiting room with the family as the doctor came in and told them the news. it was bad. one woman, i think the deceased was her aunt, completely fell apart. brenda went over to comfort her (i respect that she's always just a really good person, she didn't even know this woman and she was holding her and helping her to a seat and getting a cloth for her face and such - i'm proud to have such a genuinely good person for a mother-in-law). they ran some tests and couldn't figure out what was wrong with gmaM (they were calling it vertigo. i don't know where these podunk clowns got their medical degrees from but it doesn't take a doctor to know that delirium is not a part of vertigo, not to mention her lack of spinning head or nausea) but they decided to admit her overnight for more tests and observation. randal stayed half the night at the hospital but came back to get some sleep since we had to leave so early to get the kids tortured. when we stopped by before leaving yesterday morning, she knew who we all were but wasn't much better otherwise. she still didn't know where she was and was just overall confused still (they had also changed their diagnosis and are thinking that she must have a blood clot around her pacemaker which is acting like a stroke -- hmmm, all these complications from the pacemaker, i can't help but wonder if it's because they sent her home hours after the surgery instead of observing her to make sure everything was right). from there, we went to get the kids disbudded. it was quicker than i thought it would be, but every bit as traumatizing as i'd imagined. i stayed in the car. randal went in to help hold their heads. i could hear their screams. we smelled the burned flesh all the way home. it was horrible. they look so ugly, with their cute little curls shaved off and replaced by burned out holes. and they didn't make so much as a peep or whimper all the way home (2 hours). they stayed absolutely quiet, shaking and shivering and looking so depressed. my poor kids. on the bright side, they seemed to recuperate fairly quickly by the time we got home. i thought they'd be a little wary of us but they didn't seem to have lost too much trust in us. i guess they figured, no matter what, we're still the holders of the bottle. my poor kids. randal had to go out yesterday afternoon so while he was gone i attempted a nap (no luck, stupid phone). when i realized my efforts were futile, i got up and started sorting the mountain of laundry (how on earth do we have that many clothes?!). once i got a load on, i began pasteurizing the milk that we had brought home with us. i have my concerns. last week we brought home two gallons and were out by lunchtime friday. this week, they gave us two gallons. we need enough for three weeks. not gonna happen. we brought home a bucket of kid replacer also so i made up two gallons of that and made four half-n-half gallons. hopefully, i can stretch that for two weeks and then the third week, i'll just have to give them straight replacer. i was expecting that they would have been able to save up more than two gallons this past week but i guess they were feeding her milk to the other kids too. oh well. hopefully the replacer won't be too hard on their tummies. last night was just stressful to me. i was extremely tired (i hadn't been able to sleep while randal was at the hospital saturday night and while i made sure that he got a nap yesterday afternoon, i was not granted the same priveledge) and i had been going on house and kid chores nonstop all afternoon and evening. i never really got to sit down until it was time to hold and comfort the poor traumatized kids. i think they really enjoy our tv time. after that, i put them out in the garage for their bedtime feeding and i was just cranky trying to get them ready for bed and trying to get myself showered and in bed at a semi decent time too. in any case, i didn't consider it a pleasant day/night. to make matters worse, the kids were restless all night and i had horrible night sweats all night. i would love to know how to rid myself of such an agrivating condition. this morning, i had a hard time getting up and out of bed. i ran so low on time i had to feed the kids in their playpen which means they didn't get any morning exercise and they have to soil their playpen more than they should have to. i'm a bad mommy. add to everything else some good ol' self-loathing and it's just a wonderful day. sigh. perhaps more uplifting rants later...

friday - 04march2005 - 11:04
i'm so upset. i made my kids sick. i didn't mean to. randal's sister told me that just a little bit of baby cereal would help fill them up better. turns out that it makes their tummies sick and they get diarrhea. my poor babies. i made them sick. i'm such a bad mommy. and, as if that's not bad enough, i also haven't been doctoring them right. i've been putting kaopectate in their bottles since yesterday at lunch but i was supposed to cut their milk in half and i've been feeding them just a bit more instead. sigh. see, one more reason that i don't need to have a baby. i'm a terrible mommy. and now i'm depressed. sigh. on a different note, wednesday i had the pleasure of going down to atlanta to teach a class. it's the first time i've been the sole trainer in a class setting. i've trained several people one on one. and back in a previous life, i assisted in class training. it was a semi-unsettling experience. on the one hand, i liked the slight power factor. on the other hand, i spent the whole time terrified that i was boring the tears out of these people. it was interesting. but the real point of interest was the bathrooms. they were so bizarre. first, i entered and it was quite dim. then, i round the corner and on the left, i see a full length mirror (normal for a public bathroom) but when i went to make the turn to the right, fully expecting to see some sinks and stalls, i saw nothing but a long, dimly lit hall. then i noticed the big doors with airplane-esque "vacant"/"occupied" locks on them. i opened one of the "vacant" doors and there was a full bathroom. very nice marble counter with a large sink and mirror and a higher-end (as compared to most public bathrooms) toilet. it was so bizarre. granted, it was nice and private. no chance of that annoying situation where strangers try to talk to you in the bathroom. but it was so bizzare. tonight we head to wedowee. last chance to visit with the grandmother's for the next couple of weeks. plus, we're out of milk. as it is, the afterwork snack is going to be mixed with cow milk. sunday morning we have to take them to be put through horribly excruciating pain and disfigurement. my poor, poor kids. i feel so terrible. first, i'm a bad mommy who gets them sick. then, i'm going to allow someone to hurt them badly. no, i will not be watching. i'll be sitting in the car with a pillow over my head so that i can't hear their screams. my poor kids. sigh.

tuesday - 01march2005 - 12:18
IT'S SNOWING!!! shame that it's 35° and sunny so it's not sticking at all (at least not here, 15 miles south of us, where we used to live, there's already a .5 inch of accumulation - meanies!) but just watching it come down is fun. it's actually coming down in pretty good sized clumps and fairly fast. here's hoping the sun stops shining and it drops another 5°. last night we named the kids, sienna and scamp (i had some more creative names on the list but randal thought they needed simple names). they seem to be getting used to our home and they seem happy there. we went home yesterday for lunch and fed them a snack and let them play in the garage (too cold/wet to get them outside still) and then again when we got home from work. later, we held them in our arms on the couch to sleep while we watched tv. i can't tell you how sweet they were. then we took them back out to the garage for their final feeding and romping just before bedtime. i'm pleased to report that they slept through the night so we must have done something right.

monday - 28february2005 - 09:08
CONGRATULATIONS to sandra and tony on their valentines day nuptials!!!! i can't tell you how excited i am for the two of you! it was a good weekend indeed. granny moore got out of the hospital friday afternoon so we stayed the night with her to make sure she was okay. saturday morning, we went over to randal's mom's where i finally got to see my babies (pics later today, hopefully). we adopted two strong and beautiful baby goatlets. one boy, one girl. we brought them home with us yesterday and got them set up. they seem to be happy in our loving home. and then we checked the mail and got the wedding announcement, which finished nicely a very exciting and happy weekend. last, but certainly not least, i'd also like to wish a hearty HAPPY BIRTHDAY to jonna and jim today!

thursday - 24february2005 - 15:58
go me with almost being caught back up - ice/sleet pics now posted on the events page. we got another call yesterday. granny moore is in the hospital again (not sure if i mentioned that we got a call last week that she was in the hospital and they put a pacemaker in her). not completely sure what's going on with her this time. something about her ribs hurting her lungs. hard to get the whole story sometime. anyhow, please keep her in your prayers, she needs them these days. we'll be running over to wedowee to check up on her and gma holloway tomorrow night. i'm hoping that there will be some babies born this weekend while we're there. this time, no second-guessing - i am bringing a goatlet home with me. oh what a happy thing to have a goatlet to love.

wednesday - 23february2005 - 12:39
woohooo the week is half over! getting closer, new year pics now posted on the events page. in other news, my cousin's step-daughter has been victimized and no one seems to care. very disturbing situation and quite angering.
A 13 year old boy shot a rubber band in the general direction of his teacher. 10 days suspension, possibility of expulsion. Boy's parent's outraged.

Two 10 year old boys tackled an 8 year old girl and tried to remove her clothing. 3 days suspension from the after school program only. Brushed off as child's play. Girl's parents outraged; principal dismissive.

Same school district, 5 miles apart.

There's something wrong with our society.

Clearly I need to be in touch with our local media. I don't want my step-daughter raised in a "it's okay to be the victim" mindset.

15:05 - i am so psyched! i just implemented a system which will make my photo cropping/resizing much less tedious. this means quicker and less of a chore that i need to procrastinate on. i've been taking these little online photoshop classes through my place of employment and it turns out that you can set macros for your monotonous adjustments and automatically apply them to an entire folder at once. yes, i am aware that i am probably the last person with photoshop to have figured this out, but i'm quite excited by it nonetheless. i just adjusted, resized, and saved for web 27 photos - a task that would normally take me about 30 minutes to do one by one - in less than a minute! could i be more ebullient about this revolutionary discovery?! i think not!

tuesday - 22february2005 - 09:18
no gymming last night because i had to go home and launder our gym clothes from last week's jogging. just as well since there were some pretty nasty thunderstorms through the evening and it wouldn't have been much fun to run through the cold rain to get into and out of the gym. so we stopped at the store on the way home (nothing worse than being out of milk) and did a half-hearted straightening up and then collapsed on the couch. at about 2130, i finally forced myself to go put in that load of laundry so that we could attempt to gym tonight. seems i had less to say than i thought.

monday - 21february2005 - 10:10
not much ranting last week, eh? i make no apologies. it was a pretty good week. lots of late nights with my sis working on my dad's birthday scrapbook. friday night we stayed up till 0500 saturday morning working on it. i am MUCH TOO OLD to stay up until 0500 in the morning! it was painful. but the finished product turned out fabulous! it even made the old man cry. we got out and spent some time with my mom, cousin, and brother. we went to disney on friday with our friends from up here. it was a good time. saturday we had the surprise party for my dad, which turned out well. we left from there to head home. we actually made great time, under seven hours, and we were in bed by 0230. nothing like coming home to your own bed. i actually slept until noon. and i slept hard. the rest of the day we held down the couch. luckily, the daytona 500 was on so i got to nap for another few hours while randal watched that. it was a good rest-up day.

tuesday - 15february2005 - 08:44
i can't begin to tell you how upset and heartbroken i am. michael's has closed. my absolute favorite restaurant. the restaurant i chose for all of my birthday dinners. the restaurant where our family would ring in the new years with family friends. the restaurant that made the best calzone in the world. sigh what a sad, dark day. on the bright side, we've been having a very nice visit in orlando. spent most of the weekend working on a secret project with my sister, but also got out to see my cousin's soon-to-be new house and had my mom over here to spend time with her. after the heartbreak last night, we also stopped by my mom's and visited more. she had our christmas presents for us, which was very nice. i was excited to get a crock pot since i've been intrigued by the possibility of a nice meal waiting on me when i get home from work. we also got some wonderful bride/groom snowmens jingle bell ornaments for our christmas tree - i love snowmens! randal got a calorie-couting radio pedometer. he'll get lots of use out of that walking/jogging around the neighborhood this week. and i got a great little 5" b/w portable tv. yes, randal did make me drive home so that he could plug it into the car charger and watch 2.5 men while i drove home. meanie. it was all very nice and we were quite appreciative for everything. last night, i didn't fall asleep once. quite a long night. today will be quite a long day. and we're watching the kids tonight so that my brother-in-law can take my sissy out for a belated vday (no, he didn't forget, they just didn't have time last night). okay, off to work.

thursday - 10february2005 - 08:42
been trying to get pics updated so i haven't had much time for ranting. you'll deal with it. gymming's not been going well this week either. we went tuesday night and i did the step class with the instructor i don't like and i thought i was going to die. i was very upset at how badly i did. we intended to go yesterday evening but i started feeling bad so we went home and did four loads of laundry instead. i woke up with a pretty nasty headache this morning and took some motrin so hopefully i'll be able to kick it before gym time tonight. afterall, tonight's the class that my boy actually likes. other than the increase in headaches, it's been a pretty good week. i'm still kicking myself for not taking a goatlet or two last weekend. and we're giving serious consideration to going three hours out of our way tomorrow to ameliorate the situation. that makes the drive so much longer but they are SO CUTE!

tuesday - 08february2005 - 12:51
didn't gym last night due to throbbing head, i guess too much excitement over the weekend. i thought today was going to be another bad day since i still had the headache when we went to bed last night but, happily, it was gone this morning. always a good day when your head's not throbbing. this morning we had a guy from AFLAC! come out to talk with us about the benefits that our company offers through them and at the end of the presentation, the guy gave away a talking duck. of course, i showed him my cubicle so that he would realize that it was futile to try to give it away to anyone else, but he insisted on it being won by whoever answered the question correctly. silly boy. on the bright side, i did win it fair and square (good thing since everyone here knew that if they had won it, it would still be mine). surprisingly, i was the only person who knew the answer and the guy said that i was the only person he had ever asked that got it right. downright shocking since it was such an obvious answer. who is the voice of the aflac duck? c'mon, how can anyone not know that? especially with the newest commercial. silly folks. anyhow, it was fun to get a new duck to add to my cubicle. goatlets and ducks, what a great week. as for my babies, i'm very upset with myself that i didn't just go ahead and take one. both my sister and her husband have said that it would be fun to have a goatlet for a houseguest. why did i have to be so darned polite about it?! so now i have to either talk randal into going three hours out of our way to stop by wedowee on the way down to orlando, or i have to talk his sister into meeting us ½way to bring us a goatlet. sigh. i really think it'll be fun to bring a goatlet down with us. i'll be the coolest aunt on earth!

monday - 07february2005 - 09:11
what an exciting weekend! i had babies! i had NINE of them! it was so much fun! i midwifed 4 goats and they had 5 little bucks and 4 little ninnies. there is nothing cuter than a baby goatlet!!! they are so sweet and they cry like little babies. i fed them bottles and ran around with them to help them get strong on their feet. they are so much fun. although there is NOTHING pretty about the birth process. those poor mommas. excellent birth control, watching goats struggle through labor. the last momma had a very bad labor and we were all afraid she wasn't going to make it. i'm glad that i slept through most of it. i would have been very upset to see the horrors that i heard about. it was bad enough to see her so listless and bloody afterwards. it took her two hours to get back on her feet. it was sad. but she seemed to be doing alright later in the day so hopefully she'll be fine. it was just so much fun to have babies and play with them and feed them. they each had a distinct personality and were just so much fun to play with. i even got to name one of the little bucks. he has a silver belt around his waist so i called him orion. he was beautiful. i even got randal to let me bring one home with me to raise for the next month or so until it's weened. unfortunately, i never could get a hold of my sister to see if she would mind us bringing a goat down to visit with us. i'd like to think she wouldn't mind, and i know the kids would have been thrilled, but it's just not polite to bring a goat into someone's home without their permission. so there are two more due at the end of the month and if they have any ninnies i'll get to bring one or two of them home. i can't wait. how fun will it be to raise a goatlet! of course, i took a bunch of pictures but i am not allowed to post them until i get caught up on all of the others, which i started last night by cropping/resizing all of the christmas pictures during the superbowl. i'm hoping to have the time to work on them a little throughout the week and maybe get the goatlets up by the end of the week because you just have to see how ADORABLE these kids are! keep your fingers crossed. the other good news is that gma h was having a very good weekend too. she was laughing and telling stories and jokes and she actually ate too. and my cousin is getting ready to be homeless so a big congratulations to her!

thursday - 03february2005 - 09:39
it just occurred to me that i never ranted yesterday. awful of me. please accept my apologies. i did finish my first online ps7 class. i actually did learn some stuff but i was very upset when i sat down to play with it to put it into practice and couldn't get it to do what it did in the little class thing. it just hates me. but such is life. speaking of classes, i've done a class at the gym each night this week. monday night i did the kickboxing, tuesday was step, and last night weightlifting. i'm surprised that i actually hurt less today than i have the last two days. tonight would be yoga but that our big boss is coming in to take us out to dinner tonight. and probably no gymming tomorrow either since we'll most likely be heading to wedowee. hospice has been called in for gma h and they don't think it will be too long so we'll go and spend all the time we can with her. when we were there two weeks ago, she was getting very jaundiced, which tells me that her kidneys are shutting down. and she's still not eating and barely drinking and hospice said she's in heart failure too. it's so horrible because she's the sweetest, most humble person you could ever hope to meet in your life and to know that she's suffering is just unbearable. every single day i say a prayer that she would fall asleep and not wake up. i pray that she not suffer nor feel any pain. i pray that, one day, i could make a fraction of the impression she has made in my life on someone else's life.

tuesday - 01february2005 - 08:56
thou shalt all watch the orlando american idol auditions tonight (or tomorrow night, i'm confused) and try to spot my cousin, aka "hat girl". also, thank you cousin for the fixed link. works much better. we were good and made it back to the gym last night. i was proud of us since we didn't go at all last week. my boy was nice enough to join me for the kickboxing class. i don't know why, i just feel more comfortable when he's in there with me. the class was way too crowded (mondays are always very crowded at the gym, i suppose everyone starts the week with the best of intentions) and it made it very difficult to move around and do the kicks and all. i like the instructor because she takes time between songs to show what moves will be used in the next song. she's much slower and instructional about it. of course, that doesn't change the fact that i'm massively uncoordinated, which is very frustrating. but i just try to stay moving the whole time, as much as i can. i'm a bit sore today, but nothing like after the step class. speaking of which, there's a step tonight. i'm thinking of trying it because it's a different instructor, one i haven't had for anything yet, so perhaps it'll be a little more lenient than the other. i doubt i'll be able to drag my boy into that class. i think he views it as much more of a feminine gig. but that's alright. it's not that i really enjoy the classes, and i'm sure not good at them, but i do think they are better for me than just ellipticalling. they push me more and use more muscles.

monday - 31january2005 - 13:58
with all the working today already! i pulled this up to rant at 09:36 and am just now getting a second to perhaps get something down. sheesh. and now to remember what all i had to even rant about. the most exciting thing was the snow (read: sleet) that we got this weekend. it was very exciting saturday morning to wake up and see white all over our yard. we got all bundled up and went out to crunch around in it. so exciting! it was really more ice and sleet than anything but i still count it as snow. afterall, the yard and streets were white. that's snow. of course, i have pictures. of course, they'll be posted just as soon as all of the holiday pictures get posted. one of these days... i promise... anyhow, we were pretty much iced in since the roads were covered in a good inch of ice/sleet and not at all safe to drive. which made me feel very badly for the poor delivery guy who had to drive from the next town down to bring me my flowers that my mom had sent. they are a very pretty arrangement in a big ceramic duckie planter with a "happy birthday" balloon attached. very sweet of her. that poor driver. for the most part, our blissfully iced in day was spent holding down the couch together. sunday morning, i was woken to breakfast in bed, followed by a wonderful massage by the fire. it was quite relaxing and enjoyable. we then layed around a while waiting for the roads to thaw out and then we went out for dinner and walked around the mall just to walk around some. it was such a nice birthday. i didn't even feel old all day. preliminary congratulations to my cousin on her impending homelessness. very exciting, indeed. also funny that my cousin chose to comment about her broken links and missing pictures. i was looking through my links the other day and noticed that the wedding pics were gone (the onese from your site and jim's too). also noticed that the engagement slideshow doesn't seem to be working and the little movies you took at the wedding are gone. had meant to ask about all this but got wrapped up in work and forgot. well, that's enough of that, more work to be done, unfortunately. alright, that was truly bizarre! while i was sitting here typing this in wordpad, somehow my computer started reading my rants to me. i don't know how the heck it did it or what triggered it. i was just typing. how strange to have my words read aloud to me in a halting computerized voice. wtf? anyone know how the heck that happened?

friday - 28january2005 - 10:16
bad, bad week. you'll recall that i was complaining at the end of monday's rant about dizziness/nausea. well, monday night was the most miserable night of my life. i have never been so sick, nor did i think it was even possible to be that sick. it was horrible. it started between 1930-2000. by 2130 i was already completely empty and that's when it got really bad. from then until about midnight, every 10 minutes, like clockwork. i thought the gallbladder thing was bad, i thought i'd never ever bring up bile again after that; i was wrong. it was horrible and excruciating. from midnight until about 0200 it fell back to every 20 minutes and from 0200 until daylight, about every hour. not even water would stay down. it was miserable. because of the frequency and the fact that i got too weak to lift myself or stand, i spent the entire night on the bathroom floor. it was pitiful. my wonderful hubby stayed up with me until about 0200, trying to get water, soda, or pepto to stay down and help my stomach. he made me a nice bed on the cold floor with sleeping bags and blankets and pillows. i never want to go through such sickness again. i wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. about lunchtime on tuesday i was finally able to keep some water down but i hurt all over and was still nauseous like crazy. tuesday night i had some broth and noodles. wednesday, i attempted to work from home but only made it about half the day before i was just too nauseous to continue. and my 10 ritz crackers, 3 spoonfuls of jello, and half bowl of broth and noodles were not helping rebuild my strength. yesterday, i started feeling better and was able to eat some toast for breakfast, some soup and a grilled cheese for lunch, and some meat for dinner. today, i'm feeling much better (except still tired because i apparently was too sick to sleep all week). it was a LONG and MISERABLE week. i'm still not sure what it was exactly, i never had the slightest fever so it doesn't seem likely that it was a virus, but i'll have nightmares about that night for years to come. my hubby was so great though. he nursed me and brought me flowers. he's terrific. and this morning, he snuck out to get me a birthday cake (which was much better than the oatmeal i was attempting to choke down when he came back). they're predicting a big ice storm for this weekend. we'll see how that goes, might be trapped in the house a few more days. good thing i heavily lysoled once i was feeling well enough for the fumes. my cousin was talking about jello pudding pops, a fond snack memory from childhood. apparently, they're back. which got me to thinking (actually, having much more of a salt tooth, i think fairly often about it) when the heck are they going to bring back o'boises?! i'm sorry, but there has never been another potato chip that compares to those o'boisterous chips. they were the best. and they just went away (at least in orlando) when i was in 3rd grade or so. it's sad that i can still vividly remember the taste and the crisp of them. i never understood why they discontinued them. the taste was far superior to any other chip product out there. why, oh why, won't they bring back the o'boises?!!

monday - 24january2005 - 09:50
the good news is that i can walk without ouching today. friday's gymming was pure, undiluted torture. i did 15 minutes, 185 calories, 1.68 miles on the elliptical. i then decided to attempt the step aerobics class. it turns out, this was a poor decision. first, i thought i was going to die! i've never been so sweaty and out of breath in my life. then, there was the embarrassment factor. most anyone who knows me is aware that i'm not the most coordinated person. there were times that i was completely and utterly lost. and the girl in front of me was being so nice and pointing out the moves for me so that i could see what direction was coming up and such, and i was still going the wrong way! she must have thought i was just the biggest bonehead on earth. i felt like such a loser. it was nice though that this was the first class that people talked to me. during the class, the nice pointing girl kept turning around to offer me words of encouragement. after class, another girl was talking with me all the way out to our cars about how bad she was her first couple of times and how i was doing fine and to just keep going. it was also the first class that my boy did not join me. i wasn't upset about that but it was strange to not have him there. although, i'd like to thin that he wouldn't have held up as well as i did. we all know he's in much better shape than i am but i generally am able to outlast him in class type settings. i probably don't want to know whether he would have shown me up or not. tonight is the kickboxing. i'm not sure whether i'm recuperated enough. it'll probably be a last minute decision, guided by what time we get out of work. after the torture had ended, we went home and got showered and curled up on the couch for a long movie. saturday morning, i got to sleep in a little. when i woke up, we started getting ready and headed for wedowee. we had to make a few stops to run some errands for his grandmothers. when we got to town, we went straight to gma m's house and spent a few hours visiting with her. for some reason, in mid-conversation with her (convo about some paranoid schizo - very interesting to me) i lost the battle with my eyelids. next thing i know, it's getting dark out and randal's telling me it's time to visit gma h. i suppose it's a good thing i got a nap though. we went by and spent some time with gma h. she wasn't very talkative so we popped in our alaska video, which always interests her and we talked with her about all the things on the video. after a while, we headed to randal's mom's and stayed there long enough to take our stuff in and grab her to go back to gma m's to play some dominoes. granny and i were a team and we kicked butt. it was a lot of fun. i think granny was tickled to win so much. which explains why she stayed up until after 2100 playing. we left there and went back home and ended up having to work on his mom's computer until late. i slept not at all! /diatribe. sunday morning, we spent a good long time with gma h. she was doing well and telling stories. it's been a while since she told stories without prompting. she's gotten quite jaundiced. sad day on the horizon. we then stopped by to visit with randal's sister for a little bit and then went to gma m's and took her out to lunch. it was the first time we've seen her eat real food in some time. she's lost 57lbs in recent months because she's been too sick to eat. it was great to watch her eat a plate of potatoes and chicken. we took her back home and headed home ourselves. it was about 1730 by the time we got home and we were both pretty pooped. we pretty much just held down the couch. watched the end of the falcons game and most of the steelers. both lost so no one at work is happy today (other than me, what with me not caring about football other than that the superbowl is not falling on my birthday). this morning, for some reason, i am very much dizzy. seems like i can barely move my head without getting dizzy and feeling faint and nauseous. clearly, i am allergic to work. mondays - they are cursed, i telll you!
14:42 - it's not bad enough to masticate the duck, but to boast about it... sheer evil!

friday - 21january2005 - 13:28
well, it took it long enough to get here this week, didn't it? i'm pleased to say that we finally made it back to the gym last night. and it was good. i did 13 minutes, 160 calories, 1.38 miles on the elliptical and then i saw all the women heading into the classroom so i grabbed my boy and we went to do the yoga class. back when we were trying out the classes, we only did the yoga once. only because we never made it to one until we were already on a gymming decline. it's a fairly enjoyable class. lots of stretching and balance and such, which is very good for you. it was pretty tough though. especially since i'm not a very coordinated or balanced person. i've got to say though that it did have me sweating. and i'm pretty sore today. so maybe it did some good. i really like that it's an hour of activity that doesn't feel like an hour because it's quick and varied. it makes it so much easier. tonight is a step aerobics class with the difficult instructor that i'm not quite comfortable with. i'm debating whether i'll do it or not. my boy already said he will not. which is a shame, i don't like going in there with all those women by myself. i've never been very comfortable being surrounded by women. i could just elliptical but i'm really a bit bored with that and i can only really do 30 minutes of that whereas i get a full hour of activity with the classes and it only feels like 30 minutes. we'll see. it mostly depends on when we get out of work anyhow. i've never done a step class, not sure if it will be too much on my knees. and that instructor is murderous. although, after the pizza hut buffet lunch today, i probably need a good murderous workout. such a decision.

thursday - 20january2005 - 10:17
i think i'm about fully switched over to my new pc. last night, i made sure that i could work from home. today, i hooked up a 4-port usb hub so that i can use my optical usb mouse and my thumbdrive at the same time (no thumbdrive, no rants folks). i was so excited when it worked. it's the little things, you know. last night was another late night at work so no gymming, we're hoping to make a conscious effort to get out of here on time today so that we can go. i did start laundry last night, so it wasn't a complete waste. and i made a big pot (relatively speaking when you've only got one size pot and it's not very big) of spaghetti sauce so we've got good eats for a couple of days. still trying to decide whether or not to go to wedowee this weekend. not too much more going on here. perhaps more later.
11:09 - just in case i've never mentioned it before, evil people suck.

wednesday - 19january2005 - 09:11
alright, tangent time. i know that i previously discussed my hang up on customer service. i am a firm believer that customer service is what makes or breaks a business. you know that i was a little taken aback by the weak response i got from staples' customer service. however, i can at least say that they did respond. clearly, if you have any hope whatsoever of placating a disgruntled customer, you must at least make the effort of respoding. apparently, not all businesses adhere to this logical philosophy. i honestly don't recall if i ever griped about the jewelry store that moved into our local shopping plaza last summer. i was very pleased to have such a close and convenient store. this is the letter that i wrote to that store on 10jan2005:
To whom it may concern:

I am writing to inform you of my dissatisfaction with your jewelry store. I have been in the store twice.

My first visit was to get an estimate on having some marcasites replaced on a ring of mine. I told the two service persons, a man and a lady, that I was interested in getting the small stones replaced but that I would likely have the whole ring remade in the future. I expressed my happiness that a jewelry store had moved in so close to home and how convenient that would be. The service representatives were very nice. They took down my name and phone number and the size and quantity of stones that I was looking to replace and told me that they would call me during the week with a cost. I never heard back from them.

A month or two later, I was in the Cingular store next door and decided that I would give your store the benefit of the doubt and try again. I walked in and the lady behind the counter instantly recognized me and recalled the ring and the stones that I had inquired about previously. I told her that I was there to inquire once more because I had never been contacted the last time. She seemed very apologetic and went back to ask the jeweler about a price. I found the price agreeable and she informed me that they would need to order the stones. She took down my information (again) in order to contact me once the stones came in. She assured me that she would personally follow up on this to make sure that I was contacted and that my ring was taken care of this time. I never heard back from her again. I am quite relieved that I decided against leaving my ring at the store.

My coworker was going to purchase a ring for a Christmas present from your store. After a week of not hearing back from your representative (again), I told my coworker that he would be better off going to another jeweler. [competitor] got his business and when I have the chance to get up that way, they will have mine as well. I have told all of my coworkers about my experience and they all subsequently chose to go to a less convenient jeweler for their Christmas needs.

This letter is merely to inform you that your poor customer service has lost you not only my business, but that of anyone I know who is looking for a jeweler. In my opinion, a business that just opened within the last year does not have the luxury of throwing away customers.

J'Lynn V Holloway

would you believe that i have received no reply at all?! i cannot even express how much this angers me. it's bad enough to have such poor customer service, but when such a complaint is sent to the owner of the store and he does not even attempt to offer an excuse, that's just terrible business practice. it really makes me feel like conceiving some mass truth-telling campaign to ensure that they lose all of their business. /phillipic. so we gymmed monday night, but due to crowdedness and blistered heals, i only did weights. i did legs and abs. funny that when i get home, i feel like i've done nothing at all if i haven't gotten all sweaty and out of breath. last night, we didn't leave work until almost 1900, which is really just too late to gym. tonight, i might attempt the aerobic weightlifting class with the instructor i don't like if we get out of here on time. it's not that the instructor is not good, she just has no beginner level. we did her aerobic kickboxing class a couple times and she about killed us. she's just much faster than the other instructors. unfortunately, i am intrigued by the aerobic weightlifting and it is only offered one evening this month and it's with her. we'll see. perhaps i'll just elliptical instead. sometimes you just can't tell until you get there and evaluate your mood. i also did measurements last night and was quite depressed. must. work. through. the. depression. if i let it get me down, i'll never fix the problem. really bad cycle.

monday - 17january2005 - 16:28
return of the monday. and what a busy monday it has been. i tell you, work has an awful lot of audacity interfering in my site maintenance. it was a good weekend. friday night, we went home and watched a movie. saturday, i got to sleep in (always a good day when you get to sleep in). my boy spent the day outside working on the backyard (wooohoooo! he finally finished it!!!). around lunchtime, i made us a good breakfast of eggs and bacon and toast. after he went back outside, i put in a roast and let it cook for about 4.5 hours on a low heat. it was so tender and tasty. i made some baked potato soup to go with it. very yummy dinner indeed. sunday morning, we both rested some (turns out that yardwork gave my poor boy out). for lunch, we finished off the roast and soup. we then got dressed and packed our hiking bag to go to elachee nature center. we hiked the 4.4 mile lake loop (orange blazes). it was really a very nice hike. most of it was uphill so there was plenty of cardio involved. but it was nice and cool and quiet and my hubby and i got to talk and have some great quality time. made for a wonderful sunday afternoon. my brother returned my call about halfway around the loop so i wished him a happy birthday and caught up with him a bit. congratulations to him on his new apartment. so nice to have your own space. on the way home from the hiking trails, we stopped to return movies and pick up some new ones. last night we snuggled together, worn out, on the couch and watched a movie. a thoroughly enjoyable, yet much too short, weekend.

friday - 14january2005 - 08:34
last night turned out to be a night of rest. which was fine by me. i thought we would be gymming until just shortly before leaving work and my poor hubby started complaining of a headache. he's fortunate enough to not get headaches so such a rare thing is very uncomfortable for him. i felt horrible all night because he kept grimacing in pain but there was nothing i could do, and of course he won't take anything either. my poor boy. it was nice to rest though. we've been gymming pretty darned hard this week. i'm sure we'll be making up for it tonight. i am pleased to know that my gymming has inspired another long-distance workout buddy. she's starting out slow, but at least she's starting. yesterday was an exciting day for me. i found out that the new company expects each of us to take a certain number of classes each year. they have a free online program with "more than 82,500 learning objects" which allows you to choose which class you want to take and take it whenever you want (including work hours) for free. i looked through it briefly yesterday and found courses in web design and web development and e-commerce. i think i might start out with their photoshop class. i'm so excited about this. from what i was told, i can also choose to take courses at a college and get reimbursed (up to $2k for tuition and books each year). that, of course, would be the better option since you get credit for those and can slowly build up for another degree. i'll have to thoroughly research this matter before i decide on anything, but it was such a thrilling revelation. i really hope that the information i was given is accurate. even if i only get to do the online programs, i'm all for increasing my knowledge and skill base. it's always good to keep working on your marketability.

thursday - 13january2005 - 12:11
15 minutes on bike at 95-100 rpm, 35 minutes on elliptical at 65-70 rpm, went home and walked to the end of the street then jogged the entire long cul-de-sac and all the way back up the hill to the cross-street again. thought i was going to die. walked the small cul-de-sac and back to the house. it's not even that the workout was so bad, it's that i spent the entire night in pe class doing fitness testing and the wednesday run. i woke up this morning absolutely exhausted. not at all a restful night. stupid pe classes. on the bright side, it is ever so close to friday. i can just about taste it. and i'm ranting today's rant on my new (to me) work laptop. it's not the latest and greatest but it's so much faster and nicer than my old one. i'm so pleased that my cousin is joining me in the torture. she's my long-distance exercise buddy.

wednesday - 12january2005 - 08:29
what a workout last night. did my 30 minutes on the elliptical and then 5 minutes of cooldown on the bike. i get somewhat discouraged by the fact that the 30 minutes kicks my butt so hard, but i am ellipticalling more intensely than i did last year. last year, i generally stuck to level 2, sometimes 3, and i'd try to keep my rpm in the 60-65 range. now, i do level 4 or 5 and i'm keeping my rpm up around 70 for about 25 minutes. and every time i've ellipticalled this year i've done a full 10 minutes backward. so, all that being said, i think if i were to go back to a level 2 or 3 and lower my rpm slightly, i could probably still stick it out a full hour. but that's all supposition. anyhow. when we got home, before going in the house, we went for a walk/jog around the neighborhood. we walked at a moderate pace to the end of our street and then started jogging down the long cul-de-sac. i knew i could jog down to the cul-de-sac because it's downhill. i didn't think i'd be able to jog uphill at all. i'm proud to say i was wrong. i kept jogging around the cul-de-sac and made it about halfway back up the street. i then briskly walked to catch my breath and started jogging again before i got to the cross-street and i jogged all the way around the small cul-de-sac and back to our street. the rest of our street back to the house was, of course, cool-down walking. i was quite impressed with my endurance. even if i couldn't make it the whole way (although i really didn't all-out push myself), i'm still shocked that i could jog uphill at all. that's something i've never in my life done (what with the lack of hills in orlando). i really don't enjoy working out, i should, everyone else does, i don't. but i do take pride in my progress. i guess that makes the unpleasantness worthwhile. of course, it would be much more worthwhile if i could see some results for a change. i'd love to see my legs/thighs/tush shrinking. unfortunately, the only body part that really shrinks when i exercise is my chest. gee, thanks. on a fairly related note, did anyone see the biggest loser last night? we watched several episodes of this reality show throughout the season and i thought it was such a positive show. these people who were very overweight and unhappy with it, learned how to eat and exercise and worked really really hard to feel better about themselves. i think every one of them continued to get in shape after going home to "the real world". they all looked better and felt better about themselves. the final three last night were quite impressive. the third place was a woman who had lost 79 lbs, which was a 33% weight loss and 17% body fat loss. the second place guy was the oldest and looked incredible. he lost 71 lbs, a 31% weight loss and a 23% body fat loss (in all fairness, this guy was the lightest to start with so he really couldn't afford to lose anymore weight without looking emaciated). the guy who won lost 122 lbs, 37% weight loss and 18% body fat loss. it was quite impressive to see the before and after pics of all these people. i just think it was a really positive show that demonstrated to the viewers (who by american statistical default were largely overweight) how to work at feeling and looking better and healthier. what a tangent.

monday - 10january2005 - 16:17
what a monday. on the bright side, my cousin has received an offer on her house and has made an offer on a house they liked. she's very excited and scared. i'm quite excited for her. it will be so nice for them to be in a bigger and more modern house. and a nicer neighborhood. happy thoughts abound in her general direction. the other good news is that jenny has started a simple website to showcase some of her writing. there's really no bad news, other than it being monday. at least monday is almost over. except that i feel exhausted and yet we have to gym tonight and then i have to go home and make a cake. i'm such a nice coworker. i suppose i need to go ahead and get that buttercream icing recipe printed out. we spent the weekend in wedowee. it was a nice visit. one grandmother seemed to be doing pretty well, the other not well at all. a sad, sad day is on the horizon. my thought for the weekend: what makes a person so full of hate at a whole group of people? i've just never understood racism. now, i'm not saying that i'm perfect - we all know i take huge issue with those who come to this country and refuse to speak our language (it's english folks!). but i've never felt so strongly about a race to feel that there's not a good person among them or that they all deserve to die or that i wouldn't allow my children to associate with them. how is such hatred bred? how is it that people fail to recognize that people are people, regardless of color or creed? how am i any different from a person with darker skin? once more, i'll admit that after i was robbed and pistol-whipped by two masked young, black men, there were several months that i was suspicious of most young, black men that i walked by. was he one of the men who did this to me (this meaning introduce this horrible fear into my mostly fearless life)? but i never once felt that because of those two men, the whole race was bad. that would be rediculous. i have never been so offended as i was listening to this racism. i've never, in person, heard such hostile racism. i've never been assaulted with the N word so much. and i was so ashamed that i had to sit and listen to it. it took every ounce of might in me to keep from walking out. the whole while, i sang to myself your racist friend by they might be giants. it didn't help.

friday - 07january2005 - 14:27
hee hee, i hacked my cousin's blog. and i'm pleased that i did because it enabled us to discover that ftp works and she can start blogging more again. always alterior motives. i was quite disappointed in the gym last night. i did my 30 minutes on the elliptical again but i upped the level. wednesday night i did level 3, last night i did level 5. i expected this to have a slightly negative effect on my mileage but i figured it would boost my burned calories. instead, both were lower. 30 minutes, 360 calories, 3.11 miles. boggles the mind, i tell ya. i choose to believe that the machine wasn't working right. it was tiring, but easier than the night before. hopefully by the middle of next week i'll be ready for a class again. the goal is to be ready for a class in the next two weeks. we'll see how that works out. i did good yesterday with snacking. i'm bad because i snack all day long. yesterday, i refrained from snacking on any fishes, opting instead for craisins and strawberry applesauce. i'm trying so hard. unfortunately, today the office went out for mexican and i stuffed myself till it hurts. and i fully intend to eat one of those klondike bars as soon as my tummy has the slightest bit of room for it. for shame, for shame.

thursday - 06january2005 - 08:51
casey's home! yes, this makes me happy and relieved. though i am so proud to have people i know and care about defending our freedom, it is terrifying to have someone i care so much about in such danger. he's being outprocessed at the base now but he'll be returning to fl sometime between saturday and tuesday. a big thank you to his mom for keeping me informed. i was getting concerned about him because he's been really good about replying to my emails and hasn't responded to my last three. i'm glad to hear that he is home and safe and doing well. his mom seemed happy too. the other good news is that we're gymming again. haven't gotten full force into it yet but we've started. last night i ellipticalled for 30 minutes, 370 calories, 3.2 miles. it was the longest 30 minutes. i had no distractions. the tv at the machine i was on was broken, so there was nothing but snow. so i gave randal my headphones since all i heard was static anyhow. it's really really difficult to do any kind of cardio machine without some kind of audio and/or visual distraction. without said distraction, you spend the whole time watching the time on the machine. 30 minutes feels like 3 hours when you're watching it tick by and your legs and lungs are screaming. of course, they play music in the gym but it's really only audible in the weight area. can't hear it over the roar of cardio machines and fans. and, speaking of fans, last night i did manage to luck out enough to have a fan all to myself, directly in front of me, pointed straight at me - you would think that it wouldn't have been so unbearably hot, you'd be wrong. it was pitiful how red my face was by the end of the 30 minutes and how drenched i was in sweat. sad, i tell ya. i did pick up this month's class schedule and i have hung it on my cube wall. perhaps we will start classing again. overall, i really liked the classes because it was an hour of straight cardio/aerobic but it didn't seem like it because there's different movements and music and it's just not monotonous like ellipticalling or biking. not sure if we're ready to get back into the classes yet though. they are pretty difficult. have to be prepared for a strenuous hour. judging by the redness that was my face last night, i'd say that i'm not quite ready yet. perhaps in the next couple of weeks.

wednesday - 05january2005 - 09:41
another year, a fresh set of complaints for missed rants. c'est la vie. if you must know, i worked yesterday. i worked from the time i got here till the time i left. with the exception of going to lunch with a friend. mmmmmmpanera. i appreciate that kc and i get together for lunch about once a month. who'd have thought that i would make a friend up here. i feel bad that she is having trouble selling her house. hopefully my cousin, who listed her house monday, will not have the same trouble. meanwhile, we are still trying to figure out what we want to do. so it goes. i also purchased our six flags season passes monday. so as soon as the park opens back up (what's with a theme park not being open year round?!), we'll be able to start going again. and the passes were actually about $15 cheaper this year for the two of us. always a plus. roller coasters, here we come.

monday - 03january2005 - 09:50
and so we begin once again... and a big happy birthday to katie!!! it was a terrific new year. friday morning we left early and headed up to maggie valley, nc to go snow skiing at cataloochee. we took our time getting up there and arrived about 1030 (it's only two hours from the house, making it very convenient to go back whenever we'd like). the first thing that we did was drive up to the ski area to see what it looked like and to cure our disbelief that there could possibly be any snow in such heat (it was in the upper 50s). i think randal's idea was that we'd ski the whole day but since we'd missed the start of the "day" session (0830-1630), he was leaning more towards doing the "twilight" session (1300-2200). we watched for a short while and the lines for the lifts were incredibly long. when we went back to town and reserved a hotel room that wouldn't be ready until after 1500, i was able to convince him that between the crowded lift lines and the fact that we couldn't check in to our hotel to get changed, perhaps we might just do the "night" skiing (1800-2200). having made that decision, we had plenty of time to kill before we could check in to our room so we drove over to cherokee and walked around the casino for a little while before making our way to the buffet for lunch. casino buffets are usually incredible meals. this one was so-so. it's not so much that the food was bad, it was just a pretty limited selection. the ice cream was good though. after stuffing ourselves silly, we held our breath (why must smokers pollute my lungs?!) and headed back out of the casino. there was a wonderful sitting room right outside the hotel lobby with a very comfy couch that needed a little holding down. after a while, we headed back to maggie valley and checked into our room. we rested for a short while and then got all geared up for our night of snow fun. by the time we got back to cataloochee, i was terrified. i really, really wanted to be able to ski because i know how much my hubby enjoys skiing and he hasn't gotten to go in 5 years because of me. so i was determined to get it. we started at the practically flat tow-rope area so that i could get comfortable with the equipment. i was so upset (and ouch) when i fell flat on my back and cracked my head into the slush (more than snow) on my second time getting on the tow rope. i mean, we were only there five minutes, give me a break. i kept on and after maybe 20 minutes, i felt comfortable (in a hyperventillating, terrified sort of way) enough to try out the real beginners slope so we made our way to the lift. the one thing that pleases me about the lift is that i've never had the trouble getting on/off of it that others have expressed. even five years ago when i first tried (and miserably failed) to ski, randal told me to expect to fall getting off the lift but not let it bother me and it pleased me that he fell and i did not. that said, the only time that i fell this time was when (for some reason) he took my poles from me and told me to push myself away from the lift. i like my poles. don't take my poles. my poles are my friends. the first two times that i went down the slope, i fell. and i cried (out of frustration and stress, not pain). after those two times, i layed down at the bottom of the slope and told randal to go ski the upper slopes a couple times. by the second time he came back down, i was willing to give it another try. i am very pleased that randal was a much more patient instructor than he was five years ago. we went down the sloped 4 times before i needed my next break (my poor burning thighs). i was pleased that the only time i fell that time was when i threw myself down in order to keep from getting out of control. randal skiied the top runs a couple more times and then we did three more runs on the beginners and he did two more on top and then skiied my last two runs of the evening and returned my equipment while he finished up all he could on the top runs before they closed the lifts. the last couple of hours, i'd have to say that i started to enjoy it. and i started to feel fairly comfortable, especially on the first half of the slope. i was able to do a bunch of s-turns and have fun with it. i think we'll try going back again when it gets good and cold again. i also liked the night skiing because there wasn't the blinding glare of the sun on the snow. it was nice. there are pics, but much like the christmas pics, their posting date is tbd. all in all, it was a much better experience than last time. i was very proud of my improvement. when we finished skiing, we were both a bit hungry but the great metropolis of maggie valley was rolled up. the two or three restaurants that were open didn't appeal to us so we stopped at the gas station and picked up some snacks and headed back to our room. at midnight, we watched the ball drop at times square. saturday morning, we slept in a bit and checked out of our hotel and started heading back home. we had seen a couple of waterfalls on the map that we planned on stopping by. the first one we saw wasn't even on the map, had no name, and yet was among the nicest falls we've seen. it was just on the side of the road (rt 106, i believe) and had a couple of small turnouts to park and look at it. we ventured on in search of dry falls (on the map), which was part of the nantahala national forest so we paid the $2 parking fee and were able to explore any of the falls or trails in the forest. dry falls was a pretty short path but the cool thing was that the path went behind the falls. i had never personally walked behind a waterfall so it was really neat to look out through the cascades of water. a whole nother perspective. we the other one that was listed on the map was bridal veil falls. unfortunately, during the flash floods and such this summer, a huge piece of rock fell down and changed (read: ruined) the falls but it looked like it was a great one when it was whole. the awesome thing about it was that it was actually one that you could drive behind. i've never heard of a fall that you could drive behind. how very cool that must have been. of course, since that huge piece of rock landed in the road that went behind it, that is no longer an option. such a shame. continuing up the road, we found glenn falls and turned into that area. it was actually a hike, about 2 miles down to the bottom. it was a good strenuous hike that my poor skiied-out legs were not happy about me undertaking. it consisted of a series of switchbacks and there were about 4 different falls along the way. very nice. the hike back out seemed much more strenuous than going in but it was well worth it. it was beautiful and great exercise. not a bad start to 2005. we left there and stopped for lunch when we got back into ga and then headed on home. it was a great day. sunday, i decided that my weary body was in need of rest, while randal's was apparently in need of yard work. today, we packed our gym stuff so that we can start back (let the resolution countdown begin!) this afternoon. i'm thinking with all the exercise i got this weekend, it should be easier to get back into it. the one very important resolution we did make was that any weekend that we are home, at least one day will be spent out doing something. some form of out of the house exercise. i think that will be a very good resolution to stick to. we're also going to try to find some way to make more "us" time. currently, most of our "us" time gets pushed aside for "family" time. wow, what a large rant to start off the new year. don't think that this is to be expected.
14:25 - boy are you guys lucking out, not only did you get a very lengthy rant to start out the new year from me, but you're getting two in one day. i forgot this morning to mention that i received a reply to my staples complaint. i don't know what i was expecting them to say - i mean there's nothing they can do, but it seems to me like a pretty serious complaint to receive from a customer - the reply was pretty weak, in my opinion. if i were a customer service representative, i think i would have found a much more solid way to respond to this. perhaps it's just me...
Subject: Paper Surprise

J'Lynn, we appreciate your inquiry concerning this issue.

I really apologize that you received that in your paper box. I can't explain how it got there but 
would like to insure you that we do not promote such things like that. Again I really apologize.

Thank you for your patience concerning this matter.

back to normal