Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twas the Night Before Christmas

What a great was to celebrate the holidays!! Bill and I just got back from taking our dog, Samantha, to the pet store to pick out her holiday goodies. She has a great time. She got to ride in the truck, sniff around the store, and say hello to the other doggies. She picked out some Dingo bones, pig ears, a new mat for under her bowl, and a new harness (OK, we actually picked that last one for her).

Tonight, we plan to kick back and just enjoy. We will have a dinner of salad followed by red beans and rice with sausage. We have two movies to watch and much beer to consume. All the Christmas lights will be on and we will be warm by the fire. We are so lucky to have what we have.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Christmas Letter

For two years now, Bill and I have been sending a Christmas letter out with our Christmas cards. It is a nice way to let friends and family we do not get to see often what we have been doing during the year. We limit it to one page, front only. We think it is fun to put together and I hope others enjoy it as well.

Our friends sent us their Christmas newsletter. It was 2 full pages, front and back. Bearing in mind that they do have 6 children (and one on the way), I still think that their letter is too long. I especially think it was too long when she started listing out the top ten things that they support. When I got to "marriage is between one man and one woman" I had to stop reading.

I personally do not think it is necessary to put my political and religious views in out Christmas letter. If I did, it would read something like this:

1. Marriage is between any two people who love one another
2. All women should have the right to choose to have an abortion
3. There should be a flat income tax - the rich should have to bear the bulk of the burden
4. The war in Iraq is ridiculous
5. I support the troops who have been made to fight in this war, but not the people who put them there.
6. We have more important battles in our own country and other less fortunate places in the world.

Anyway, you get the point. Now, as a liberal, I believe that everyone has a right to free speech. So, I guess I can't fault our friends for sharing their beliefs. I just think the manner in which they did it was a bit strange. I also think that I have the freedom to stop reading their letters and to disagree at will.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The end is near...

I am nearing the end of my employment at the ad agency. I resigned my position about 3 weeks ago. I will start a new job on January 2. What a great way to start a brand new year with a brand new job! I am very excited - I think my new job will be a better fit for me. I will miss the people I work with, but I am happy to be leaving. I really want to be a part of something bigger, something more stable. I am ready to start again. I am so glad I have a chance to do so.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We are Party People

So, our first party went incredibly well! We had 18 guests to our home Saturday night. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and so many hidden connections were found. My friend Sarah went to high school at the same school as Kevin in Augusta, GA. Her older sister was in his class. Our friends, Janet and Dan, had looked at the house next door when it was for sale about 2 years ago. They were able to meet the current owners, Tom and Karen, in our kitchen. There really are only 6 degrees of separation! There was plenty of food (Bill and I will be eating appetizers all week) and way too much to drink! We only drank 2 out of 8 bottles of wine, and we have over six 12 packs of beer left. I guess our friends are not heavy drinkers.

I am so glad we did it. Sure, it was nerve racking, expensive, and a pain to clean up, but it was worth it all. I had the best time entertaining our friends and getting to know everyone a little better. We may not be able to wait until next Christmas to throw another party.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

Christmas is now 11 days away. I know you will find this statement hard to believe, but I tend to go a bit overboard during the holidays. I have sent out about 76 Christmas cards. To whom you may ask? Just about every single person I or my husband has ever met. I sent cards to our dentist, our stockbroker, and our dog kennel. Of course, I have been going to the same dentist for over 13 years. He even sent a plant when my mother passed away. My broker sent me a card, so that one is even. And the kennel - well, our card has a picture of Sammy on it. I hope they will display it with all the other dog pictures.

As for presents, I have been shopping for over a month for Bill. Every time I think I am done, I buy more. Really - I think it is some sort of sickness. I guess it's just like the party, I keep fearing that I will not have enough, so I keep getting more. I am afraid he will not like what he gets, so the more options I have the better. Really - I never seem to know when to stop. I think that is tied in to the need to have everything to be perfect. If I have too little food for the party, then I will be a failure. My self esteem can't take that sort of hit. I have so little of it anyway. I guess that's why I go overboard - so people will like me. Wow, a little psychology lesson in this blog entry. Not what I was expecting when I started writing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Do I have enough food and drink?

So, this weekend is the big party. Bill and I are throwing our first ever party for the holidays. We have invited over 50 people, and have about 20 people coming so far. Now, I am panicked about having enough food and drink. I went to the grocery store last night and purchased a cart full of food. We are going to have quite a variety of things, but I still fear that there may not be enough. I think we are going to have lots of leftovers, but I still worry that the party may not be a success. I wish I could have faith that all will be well. I guess these are the reasons why we have not had a party before now!

On the bright side, our new wine cooler/refrigerator arrived yesterday. Bill hooked it all up and it looks great. It was a fantastic idea of his to buy it and it will come in handy for Saturday night.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tis The Season for Giving and Giving and Giving

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. There is great joy in the air and a general feeling of goodness for the whole month of December. There are also numerous requests for giving. Here is what I have done through today, December 6:

Gift exchange for work party
Gift exchange (2) for car club party
Gift for work Adopt-A-Family
Food donation at the local grocery store
Gift donation for The Junior League Community Basket
Toys for Tots Car Rally donation

I have enough and I know I am truly blessed. I don't mind giving, but there is so much!! It is just hard to get to the stores to buy all this stuff. The most wonderful time of the year indeed!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Eating in Full Swing

So, I went to my first official holiday party on Friday night. A woman at work threw a cocktail party for some of the ladies in our company. I thought it would be appetizers, but it was a full dinner. I stuffed myself silly with the great food she had and that others brought. After all that food, we did a gift exchange that was perhaps one of the funniest things I had ever done. People were going crazy and screaming to steal the gift they wanted. Luckily, I got the $20 gift card for Total Wine that I wanted. It's better than getting stuck with a box of stationary.

Saturday followed with the second official party of the season. We had our Piedmont Chevy Classic Car Club dinner. Everyone brought food to the party. We have some great cooks in our club - so good in fact that we brought up the idea of making a club cookbook. One of our members, Larry Deal and his son, caught fresh fish for the dinner. They cut it in small pieces and delicately fried it. It was fantastic - no bones at all! There was a blackberry wine cake to die for as well. We also did a gift exchange. While I got exactly what I wanted, Bill was stuck with a salt and pepper shaker. The salt was a cigar, and the pepper was an ashtray. It was horrible (Bill said it looked like a turd in a toilet bowl). It went right in the trash.

So, next party - The JLDOC Holiday party on Wednesday. More food, drink, and pounds...

Friday, December 01, 2006

To Be a Canes Fan

Last night, Michelle (, Jon, Bill, and I went to the Carolina Hurricanes Game. You never know what you are going to see when you go to the game. They can be absolutely horrible (November 2 loss to Montreal) or they can be amazing like last night. The Canes beat the Habs 4-2 with 48 shots on goal. They showed flashes of the brilliance that made them Stanley Cup Champions. They played as a team, with several players contributing to the victory. It was a pleasure to watch, and even better because we had 2 for 1 seats on the lower level. Please, boys, just keep it up. We'll see you on December 22.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is it Christmas Time Already?

Our house is completely decorated and I spent about 2 hours last night wrapping presents. Our Christmas photo cards have been ordered and will be sent soon. I have 2 more people to buy gifts for, and tomorrow is the first holiday celebration I will go to this season.

It is 76 degrees outside - is a really Christamastime?!?!?!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fantastic Thanksgiving

Despite all of my stressing, we managed to have a great Thanksgiving. Bill ran in the Turkey Trot in the morning, and did very well in the 8K coming in just under 45 minutes. When he got home, he prepared the stuffing and the bird, and I did the veggie tray and cleaned up a bit. Bill's parents came over, and we had a lovely time. I was able to use all of my inherited Herend China and Sterling Silver. The table never looked so beautiful. After cleaning, we enjoyed a night of TV, though nothing interesting was worth watching.

On Friday, we got up early to have breakfast with Bill's parents before they left. We pretty much stayed around the house all day waiting for the new stove to arrive. Fine day for a new oven, huh? One day after Thanksgiving!! Of course, they did not show up until about 7:15pm, so we stayed home for really no reason. Of course, it is still better than being in the mall. I love to shop, but the day after Thanksgiving is just too much for me! Now, the day after Christmas is a whole other story...

Saturday and Sunday were for decorating the house. All of our multitude of holiday decorations are now in place. I wanted the house to be ready for my book club meeting on Monday night. It was, after a bit of sweat and tears, and a little cursing. Everyone complimented the house, so it was worth it.

From one stress to another - we have to get ready for our Holiday Open House now!! Countdown to December 16 starts now!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving is so hard!!!

Thanksgiving seem to be so hard this year. We spent this weekend cleaning the house and buying food. Even after 2 days of cleaning, we had more cleaning to do last night after we got home from running. I guess, though, some of the things we have been doing are not strictly cleaning. Bill has been re-painting the trim to clean it up. I have been polishing all of our pieces including some very old brass bookends. We even bought and assembled 3 new bar stools for our counter. They look great. At least now the guest room is done and the beds are made. The downstairs looks pretty good - just a quick window cleaning for dog nose prints and a vacuuming on Thursday.

The food is coming along as well. We have all the fixings, I just need to get that pumpkin pie baked! Hopefully tomorrow night after we do all of our last minute running around to get the packet for The Turkey Trot. Still, it's the second best holiday of the year, so it's worth it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I love beer

Beer is the best drink. Bill and I have recently started to be beer aficionados. I bought him a Mr. Beer Kit ( kit for his birthday and we have started to brew our own stuff. We have done an IPA that turned out very well. Then, Bill got creative. We brewed a cherry wheat beer that is absolutely wonderful, and this past weekend, we made a raspberry porter. I don't generally like porters, but I can't wait for that batch to be done.

In addition to homebrewing, I love to drink beer out. This past weekend, we went to The Flying Saucer ( with our fellow beer lovers, Michelle and Jon. "The Sauce" as we affectionately call it offers 200 beers on tap and in the bottle for those of us who love the drink. There is no better way to spend a Saturday night than to tailgate, watch the Carolina Hurricanes win hockey, and drink beer with friends. Of course, I should have stopped before that last Blue Moon...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Whoever invented E-Bay is a freakin genius

I love E-bay! Where else can you go and bid on anything you want to buy? You can find anything your little heart desires and then enjoy the competition of bidding on it. It is a competition. I bid on something the other day. I entered what I determines that I wanted to spend for the piece (including shipping) as my maximum bid. When I was outbid later, I entered an even higher bid because I DID NOT WANT TO LOSE!! I did not want the product for that price, but at the same time, I did not want cmdv93 to get it either. In the end, I was outbid, so I did not get the product nor did I pay more than I wanted. I guess sometimes it does work out the way it should.

Of course, there have been those times when I lost the product in the last seconds and wanted to throw my computer across the room in a bit of rage. I stayed up one night until midnight to see my "winning" bid on a pair of bookends. As I refreshed the page to the last seconds, I saw my bid lose with about 2 seconds remaining. As hard as I tried, I could not get another bid in before time expired. I couldn't sleep - I was so mad that I have not put in a higher bid to cover myself. I wound up painting and embellishing a pair of bookends I already owned, but it's just not the same as the one that got away...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

UGA Football

Here is an e-mail that I sent my sister-in-law on Monday. She went to Auburn and I went to UGA. It's fun to pick on losers...

UGA's Football Season
Beating South Carolina for the first SEC match-up -good
Losing to Vanderbilt - Devastating
Losing to Florida - Expected
Losing to Kentucky - the nail in the coffin
Kicking the crap out of Auburn by 22 points andruining their chances at a title bid - PRICELESS
Have a good day!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I love to organize!!

Ok, I am such a geek. I really do love to organize things. Putting things in their proper place just feels so good. This past weekend, I rearranged my closet. It was wonderful!! I moved my tall show rack to the side wall so that I can have more space for my sweater buckets. Yes, I have organized my sweaters, too. I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond ( and bought these great canvas buckets for all of my sweaters. Now, they are all neatly folded and color coordinated. It makes going into my closet so nice. If only my obsession also included cleaning...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Yet Another Great Weekend

On Friday, Bill and I had a first. We went with some friends to a restaurant called Sage. The restaurant is 100% vegetarian. It was great fun, and the food was pretty good. I would go back, but I would not pick the same entree I had this time. Of course, the best part was hanging out with our friends and just chatting. It's good to have friends.

Saturday, we got up bright and early. Bill headed to a car show at the fairgrounds, and I headed to the mall (are you really surprised?) I needed to buy clothes for my sweetie for his new job. I have a great morning. I met up with Bill in the afternoon to work the booth for our car club. After that, we were pretty much exhausted and spent the evening at home.

Sunday was a day for reorganizing and catching up. We went to the Carlos Mencia show in the evening. I love the fact that the man is not politically correct and doesn't care. It is so refreshing to hear. The show was great. We tried out The Borough afterward for dinner, then went for a drink at The Flying Saucer. The perfect way to wrap a weekend - beer.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Big Leap

So, I took a pretty big leap last night. I volunteered to be on the Board for our homeowner's association. I am really interested in serving on boards in general. I think The Junior League has had influence with that. I went to a non-profit board seminar with the JL, and the speaker said a great way to get started is with your homeowner's association. At least I am not the only newbie - three of us will start next month. It should keep life interesting!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's like Christmas has come early this year

Donald Rumsfeld resigns!! The Democrats win The Senate!! Things just seem to be getting better and better. Over the course of the last few days, I have really found politics to be interesting. I have never really followed it before, but I think it is something I want to pay more attention. I have requested information from the Democratic Women's Society in my area. It could be a very interesting path to follow, particularly as we start seeing the campaigning for 2008. McCain vs. Obama - man, what a campaign that would be!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I have 2 Things to say today...

#1 - Yeah to all of the people who got out to vote yesterday. I was up last night watching returns and was thrilled to see the Dems take over the House. I went to sleep thinking that the Senate race was over, but was pleased to see that this morning Virginia and Montana are still in play. I'm sure that the final election will take weeks to tally, but I should say the next 2 years will be interesting.

#2 - Britney and Kevin split - seriously, is anyone surprised? We all knew it would happen, it was just a matter of when. Looks like Kevin's ride on the money train is over. Thanks for the picture,

If these 2 entries do not show my divergent tastes, I don't know what does!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day 2006

I can't believe it, but I wholeheartedly agree with Bush:

We live in a free society and our government is only as good as the willingness of our people to participate," Bush said, his wife, Laura, at his side and an "I voted" sticker on the lapel of his brown suede jacket.
"Therefore, no matter what your party affiliation or if you don't have a party affiliation, do your duty, cast your ballot and let your voice be heard." (courtesy of

In this day and age, it seems even more important to cast a vote. With all that is happening in this world, our elected officials take on more and more decision making power. It is important that you have the right people representing your interests.

I am so thankful to live in this great country and to enjoy this right. I voted this morning before heading to work even with the rain. I hope that my fellow voters feel the same way and will exercise their rights today!

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Motto?

Most days I feel like my motto should be "I will do it when I have time". I don't know how life becomes so complicated most days. It seems like I am going crazy during the weekends trying to rush around and get everything done. I never seem to get to exercise on the weekends because time runs out. Even during the week, I feel like I can't get things done. Bill laughs at me because I got out and run errands at lunch time. How else will I accomplish anything? Sadly, the most free time I seem to have is 9-5:30 M-F.

Friday, November 03, 2006

And the Canes lose...

There is nothing worse than watching your beloved team lose and lose badly. Bill and I went to our 3rd game of the season last night. The Canes have not yet won when we have been at the game, and they let us down again last night. Not only was it a loss, it was a shut out at 4-0. It really hurts to see the team lose particularly after reaching the pinnacle of hockey last season. They just couldn't get anything going last night. At least the beer was flowing and our good friends Michelle and Jon were there. It would have been more fun to see the win, though.

Better luck on November 18!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What a great weekend

This past weekend was so great. I had one of the best birthdays ever!!

Friday - Dad came to town. The three of us went to City Beverage (a great local restaurant) and enjoyed dinner. We went back to our place and chatted for a bit. It was so good to see Dad and to be able to catch up with him.

Saturday - Bill took me to a surprise dinner at Second Empire in Raleigh. He had me convinced we were going to a different restaurant. I was completely surprised. The restaurant made a menu that had "Happy Birthday, Susan" written across the top with the date. The chef even signed it for me. I had a fantastic meal and a wonderful bottle of wine. Bill really enjoyed his food, too. For dessert, they brought out a plate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate. It was fabulous.

Sunday - Bill, Sammy, and I took off for the NC mountains. We enjoyed the beautiful leaves changing on our drive up. We stopped in Black Mountain for lunch in our favorite little pizza place, then shopped downtown. The weather was so nice - sunny and about 70 degrees in October! We got some beer and headed to our hotel. The Madison Inn is a kitschy place in Black Mountain. Each room has a different theme. We were in Cedar's Retreat -a 2 room, 1 and 1/2 bath suite with a 2 person shower made on stone. It was so cute. We chilled Sunday night and watched TV. It was so relaxing!!

Monday - I finally got to open my presents. I am very good at not opening them until my b-day, but then all bets are off! I got some great gifts and even a surprise. My aunt got a federal tax refund check from my mom's estate. That was a nice chunk of change I was not expecting! We went in to Asheville for the day stopping in Biltmore Village and then downtown. It was another beautiful day to walk around and just enjoy the day. We had dinner at the inn - really great seafood in the mountains, no less!

Tuesday - We had breakfast at the inn - a full, freshly made breakfast is complementary. It includes fruit, eggs, meat, toast, potatoes, and pancakes. Not healthy, but it sure was good!! We left to head home, but quickly changed course. We wound up going to Linville Falls and seeing the water. We were so close to Blowing Rock, we decided to go there as well. We wandered the town and had a relaxing afternoon. We even got back home in time for 6 trick-or-treaters.

I had a fantastic, fabulous birthday. I have to thank my wonderful husband, my cute dog, my friends, and family for making it so wonderful. Love you!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

My Rant - The People at the Gym

OK, so the gym is a place to go work out and exercise. Why are people allowed to have cell phones inside the gym? I really don't understand it. Who do you need to talk to when you are supposedly working out? Is it really necessary to talk to that person at the gym - can't you just call them when you are finished?

Next Target - the faux exercisers. Why are you at the gym if you are not really going to work out? I was on the elliptical machine the other day and there was a woman next to me. She was talking to her guy friend on the machine on the other side. For half an hour, she talked non-stop. She was moving so slowly that the machine kept shutting off. I really don't understand why she was event there. I mean, call you guy if you have to talk to him, but not on his cell phone while he is at the gym!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

So this was a little weird...

As you know, I am taking a decorative painting class. We had our fourth meeting Tuesday night. It was a fine class; we worked on our Christmas project. At the end of class, my friend, Janet, and I were the last two to leave. Our instructor, Becky, starts to tell us how she just found out that her husband of 25 years has been cheating on her. For about 10 minutes, she goes on about how she heard a voice message on his cell phone. She then got the phone records from the cell company and saw that same number over and over. She paid for a reverse look up and found out the woman is a the wife of her husband's co-worker. She tells us all about how she thinks they went off together for the weekend. She tells us that she called the husband with her suspicions. She tells us how she confronted her husband at his place of work. She pinned his between two tables to question his and got so made that she put a knife to his throat (she had found the knife while searching his car for evidence). He has to bite her to get away.

I'm not sure which disturbs me more - her holding a knife to her husband's throat or that she told (in detail) this story to two virtual strangers. I barely know this woman - why is she telling me about her cheating husband? It was a little scary. I just hope to stay on her good side...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Great weekend, lousy Monday

So, this weekend was my big weekend. I worked at The Junior League's Bargain Sale Friday night and Saturday afternoon. It turned out to be a mostly great event. The Preview Night on Friday was particularly good. It really seemed like people were happy. The turn out was great, the food looked good (volunteers were not supposed to eat), and the band was OK. The silent auction seemed to go over very well, too. Saturday was a lovely day - sunny skies and about 65 degrees. It couldn't have been nicer. I just wish some of the BS folks were nicer. We sell nice things (donated by members) for pennies, and people still get mean. At the end of the day, we sell white bags for $5.00. Whatever you can stuff into the bag is yours - but it has to be IN THE BAG. This one lady got so angry when we would not let her go with her bag overflowing with stuff. We told her she had to purchase the overflow (for like a dollar) and she pitched a fit. She gave all the stuff back and got her $5.00. People are friggin crazy.

After BS, Bill and I had 2 parties to attend. We went to Bill's former bosses place for an open house. It was a nice little party. Bill was even able to meet a man who has worked at Bill's new company for over 34 years. It was nice to speak to someone who has had a long and prosperous career with the new company. After that party, we went to our favorite Thai place to wind down and made a little pit stop at the mall (you knew I had to get that in!) before heading to a party thrown by one of my colleagues. It was a great day overall.

Sunday was a day for rest. We relaxed and watched 2 movies. We were surprised by the movies - both were pretty good - Click and American Dreamz.

Then, Monday came. The day seemed OK for a Monday. Bill was working out of the house, so I was able to go home and have lunch with him. At about 4, our CEO invited us all to a company meeting. I was not surprised, he has these fairly often to keep us all informed. What I was not expecting was to hear that we lost a major client. We will also be parting with another client at year end. Needless to say, it was a shocking turn of events. Also needless to say, I will be working on my resume on Saturday. At least Bill got a good job.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My talented Billy

Bill designed, welded, and painted this business card holder for me. He came up with the idea all by himself and fabricated it in his welding class. He found a special paint to make it look like hammered silver. I love my new business card holder. It proudly sits on my desk now.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Time for a Bargain

This weekend marks the 67th Annual Junior League Bargain Sale. It is the time of year when Junior League members clean out their homes and sell good to the public for rock bottom prices. It is a particularly scary time for the JL members. We are each responsible for bringing in a certain amount of goods. To make it even harder, a certain amount has to be brought in for each category. I am always fearful that I will not make my quota. I have even started hoarding things to give up for next year.

It seems right after Bargain Sale, I start finding more and more things I could give up. If only there was more time and I had more energy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Crafty Morrisons

My talented husband is taking welding classes at the local community college. He made me this dragonfly out of ball bearings, washers, a marble, nails, and knige blades. The project looks great and it balances on its own. It looks great and I love that he made it for me. He is working on a new project for me now, and I will post the results when he finishes.

I am taking a class in decorative painting. My first project was the plaque about. It doesn't really look like the sample picture, but I like the way it turned out.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Great Quote

Some quotes are timeless. Thanks to my sister-in-law Sally, here is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt made in 1907. I think it is a true today as it was almost 100 years ago.

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm so proud of my guy

I am so proud of Bill - he just got a new job!! Bill has been working for an airline based in DC for about 2 years now. The company has been, well let's go with a challenge since he started. He has been searching for a new job locally for quite some time with no luck. That is, no luck until last week.

Bill had applied for a job at a company that works in the heavy equipment and trucking industry. He had an interview about a year ago, and really liked the place. They seemed to really like him as well. We were certain he would get an offer, but nothing happened. Literally, nothing happened. No one called to say they had filled the position, and people were not returning Bill's e-mails. Bill went on with life, but always kept that company in the back of his mind. He would write an occasional e-mail to remind him that he was out there and still interested in a job. Lo and behold, they called him back. He interviewed for a totally different position this time. The day after the second interview, he had an offer.

Bill starts his new job on October 31. The company has been around for 50+ years and still has lofty sales goals (like a billion dollars by 2020). I am so proud of they way he works and the devotion he showed to going after this job. I am a lucky woman.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Best Weekends

Sometimes, the best weekends are the ones where you don't do anything special, but still manage to have fun. We had one of those weekends.

It started out on Friday when we broke open our home brew. Bill had made a batch of IPA in his Mr. Brew beer kit. It turned out to be wonderful. We drank 3 of the eight bottles already. Not to fear, we have a batch of Cherry Wheat brewing right now.

On Saturday, we kind of did our own things. I got ready for the big Junior League sale this coming weekend and Bill prepped pieces for his welding class. I even managed to squeeze in an hour or so at the mall.

Yesterday, we took the Camaro out for brunch in Carrboro. It was a beautiful fall day - the perfect day for driving a classic muscle car. We had a fantastic meal at Elmo's Diner and later got coffee at our favorite place - Bean Traders. We went for a run later in the day and took Sammy for a short walk. I even got the house decorated for Halloween. We cooked up a steak for dinner. It was a wonderful way to spend a day. It makes me wish all days were like it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Love a Spa Day

I took Friday off as my floating holiday and went to a day spa. What a nice way to spend a few hours. I had three different strangers rubbing different parts of my body and it was great. First, I had my eyebrows waxed. It is so nice to have them cleaned and shaped. Then, I had a half hour facial. The facialist cleaned my face and put on a hydrating mask. She told me that my skin was great for an almost 35 year old (Hope she doesn't say that to all of her clients). After the facial, I had a 30 minute massage. I love having my back rubbed. I found out something else, too. I love to have my hands massaged. Very relaxing. As if these procedures were not enough, I got a spa pedicure as well. It was a full treatment from the knees down. I topped off the treatment with a dark, almost black, on my toenails. Very hot for the fall. Thank you to my wonderful husband for giving my the gift certificate for my birthday last year. It took me a while to get there, but it was worth the trip.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Carolina Hurricanes Opening Night

Last night, Bill and I were at the opening night of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey season. There was a great celebration for winning The Stanley Cup last year. Banners for all 3 wins in 2005-06 were raised - Southeastern Division Champions, Eastern Conference Champions, and the biggee, Stanley Cup Champions. We saw footage of the great wins and relived the dream. Now, it is time to focus on this season and what happens now. The Canes retain the majority of their key players, but a few new faces appeared last night. I was particularly impressed by new defenseman Tim Gleason. I look forward to watching him over the next few months. I mourned the loss of Matt Cullen. He was the star shooter for Carolina in shoot out situations. He was missed last night as The Canes could not get a shot past Ryan Miller in sudden death. It's a long season - 1 games down out of 82. Let's hope tomorrow night's game has a better ending.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why I love the Fall Part II

I also love the fall for the fall fashions. It gives me a great excuse to shop for the new season (of course, I don't ever need an excuse to shop!). I am really into shoes right now. I have fallen in love with Nordstrom's Shoe department. I think Bill hates that it is about 5 minutes from the house!! I have bought these great red flats from BCBGirls that I adore (I am wearing them right now). I have also purchased flats in all colors for the season - black suede peep toes, brown metallic weaved, and silver runched. I just got some brown heeled clogs from Banana Republic (my favorite store) and some brown heels from Sofft (on order - should get them soon!) What a great way to celebrate the change of season!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I love the fall

September 1 through January 1 is my favorite time of the year. I love the colder mornings and the changing leaves. Yesterday, Bill, Samantha, and I spent nearly the whole day outside. We went to a shopping area called Cameron Village in Raleigh. We ate lunch outside and wandered around the outdoor mall. After Cameron, we went to Umstead Park. We walked the trails through the trees and to the lake. It was a perfect sunny day, and very cool under the trees. I hope for many more fall days like yesterday.

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's a Shame About BNU

I have been taking classes online through Barnes and Noble for the past few months. These classes have been really interesting and a great way to learn about new topics. I have really enjoyed all the classes I have taken. And the best part - they are free!

So, now that I have come to rely on the classes and enjoy them so much, the powers that be at B&N have decided to do away with the courses. They are going to an all book club format. I will miss the exchanges I have had with all of the interesting people I have met in my studies. I will miss the information and the structure the classes had. I will so miss BNU!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

A New Book Club Season

Tonight is the start of a new book club year for me and our group. Tonight we are talking about the book "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Phillipa Gregory. The book was set in Tudor England and recounts the life of Mary Boleyn, the sister of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. I thought the story was quite shocking in terms of life in the Court in 1550s. Ms. Gregory is a PHD in history specializing in the Tudor era. I have been reading internet articles all about the historical figures portrayed in this book, only to find out that there are many inaccuracies in the actual novel. Historians stress that this book is historical fiction and is in opposition to many known facts. Why would a PHD include so many fallacies in her novel? To make it spicier and more interesting for readers in the 21th Century? It is a shame. People will take this novel for fact. It will be even worse when the movie comes out in 2007. I liked the book, but I am now disappointed to find several points were pure imagination. Oh well, I did search the Internet for more information on the subject, so maybe some good did come out of the reading. Read it yourself and you will see.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Why Do I do it?

Why do I continually over schedule myself? I am really beginning to think I have some form of ADD. I think I get bored if I don't have a million things to do. This week:

Tuesday - First painting class
Wednesday - League Meeting
Thursday - Cosmopolitan Book Club Meeting
Friday - My dad is in town to visit and stay the night
Saturday - Tai Chi class in the morning, the whole Morrison family at our house in the afternoon
Sunday - Finish reading the 661 page book I chose for my other book club - I have to lead the discussion on Monday night and bring a dessert

Don't get me wrong, I do like all these things I do. I just need a nap.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Peace in Zen

I have been taking a course online in Zen. It has been a fascinating class for me. I have been practicing Zen meditation each morning after I wake up. I have found it to bring peace in my life.

Here is a phrase that really touched me

"Don't look at the faults of others, Just look at your own deeds, Done and undone" - The Buddha

I have also enjoyed the writings of Dr. Brenda Shoshanna in her book "Zen Miracles." She has been a great instructor for our class and I find her word to be very wise. She says,

"We can only take care of the world we are living in - our own actions and deeds. As we stop focusing upon the mess of others and keep our own worlds in order, things all around fall into place. And our irritation ceases."

Check her out - she is an amazing teacher and woman.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kids in a Room

Yesterday, Bill and I went to Southern Pines to see his parents and his visiting sisters. Bill's sisters, Jeanne and Sally, are visiting with each of their children, Tyler and Matthew. We went to a lovely brunch at the Mid Pines Country Club. The kids were very well behaved and we all had a nice time. After brunch, we went back to his parent's home. Why is it that if there are children in a room with a bunch of adults there is no adult conversation? We just really sat around watching the play and being annoyed by their toys. No one really speaks except when related to the kids. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing both kids. I just wonder why this phenomena always happens.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Running Again

Bill and I got up yesterday morning at 5:50 am to go running. It was still dark when we left the house. Heck, the sun wasn't up by the time we returned home. As I was running in the dark, I kept thinking that it was pretty dangerous to be out by myself. I could be picked up by an evil person and never seen again. Luckily, there were a few other insane people out at that hour running or walking. It turned out I had a good run and survived the morning. It was horrible to wake up, but I felt good when I was done.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I Remember...

I remember 5 years ago today. I had an appointment in the morning and did not arrive to work at Midway Airlines until just after 9 am. I had not turned on the radio in the car, so I knew nothing of what had happened. I said hello to my colleagues when Carrie told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I was completely confused. My first question to her was "How did the pilot not see the building?" I quickly asked how they would get the plane out of the building. Was there a crane tall enough to lift out the plane? I assumed the plane in question was a small private plane that somehow got off course. Carrie told me the airplane was American Airlines. I still did not understand what she was talking about. How could an American Airlines plane get so far off radar that it hit a building?

As news reports came in, things began to become clearer. I remember our director bursting out of his office to say a plane had hit The Pentagon. I remember the frantic scramble to make sure that our own planes made it to the ground safely. I remember watching the towers fall on TV.

I remember being so happy to hear my friend Devi's voice. She was an international flight attendant for United working from NYC. She had been asleep during the attacks and only awakened when her father called her. I reached her on the first try at about noon. I remember thanking my lucky stars that both Devi's dad and I were able to get through. Too many people could not get through to their loved ones.

I remember watching TV all night watching the recaps of the day, the names of the dead scrolling the bottom of the screen, and the debris where 2 buildings had stood 24 hours earlier. I will remember 9/11/01 always.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I Need More Time!!!

Don't we all? I recently started an online class on Zen thinking. The first lesson was about zazen, the practice of sitting and breathing. Our instructor suggested that we would get up to 1 hour of zazen with practice. It sounds nice, but I can't imagine sitting still for 1 hour! I did sit zazen for about 10-15 minutes this morning. I have felt good all day and will do it again, but an hour? I really don't think I could spare the time. I have my husband, my dog, exercising, work, 5 classes, JLDOC, 2 book clubs...what have I done to myself?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Day Without Labor

Three days is the perfect amount of time for a weekend. We have a great Labor Day weekend. On Saturday, we went to Southern Pines to visit Bill's parents. They took us to a wonderful German restaurant. We have a fantastic meal and a good visit. On Sunday, we did almost nothing. We slept in, read, and watched a bit of TV. I even worked on my scrapbook a bit even though I never got out of my pj's. We had Monday to run errands and get organized for the week. It really was perfect.

I just need to figure out how to have every weekend be a 3 day weekend!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Field Museum

We were very lucky to visit The Field Museum and see Sue, the most complete T-Rex ever found. We also saw the amazing King Tut exhibit. It was fascinating to see artifacts that were entombed with the boy king 3000 years ago. There were pendants and amulets on display that were actually wrapped in the bandages of Tut's mummy. The pieces were still as beautiful and vibrant as the were all those years ago when they were first made. If you can see this exhibit, it is worth every penny.

Fabulous Art

If you love Impressionist Art, then there is no place in the US like The Art Institute of Chicago. We spent a great deal of time looking at the masterpieces in this museum. There were Reniors, Monets, Rodins, and Degas - just to name a few. We also viewed Grant Wood's American Gothic and Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. Look em up.

Gimme a Cheezborger!!

While in Chicago, we ate at The Billy Goat Tavern. The tavern was made famous by SNL with a skit of John Belushi yelling "Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger" at the customers. The restaurant is located under Michigan Avenue and you would never find it if there was not a marker prompting you to go downstairs. It looked a little scary from the outside, but the burger was great.

My Kind of Town

Bill and I went to Chicago to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful trip. We stayed Downtown at a hotel just off the Magnificent Mile, a section of Michigan Avenue famous for its great shopping. You know I loved that. We were not too far from The Chicago River either.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another Assignment

I had to write as a color using the first person. Here is what I wrote:

I am neither colorless nor pallid. I am pure white. I am the color of the billows that stand out against the azure sky. I am the softness of an unpolluted snow. I am unmarked, unsullied, and unspoiled. My starkness is a contrast to warmness. I am free; the absence of any other hue. I represent the goodness in the world in the peace of a dove. I am a bride walking down the aisle to the man she loves and a new existence waiting to commence. I am a fresh leaf of paper or a blank screen where an author embarks on a new tale. I am the soft fleece of a lamb or a boll of cotton. I am the one who wraps the newborn babe in comfort. I am purity everlasting and the beginning of all things. I am white.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here's a little story I wrote...

Writterific Lesson 2 Assignment – Use the highlighted phrase as the opening line of a story. Use dialogue and incorporate a twist in the ending.

August 21, 2006
12:11 pm

Pat knew for a long time that a clairvoyant gift was a blessing. She first found out about her abilities when she was 8 years old. Pat and her mother were walking in Manhattan when Pat saw a young man in a business suit striding quickly toward them. Pat looked at her mother and said, “Mommy, you had better give that man your handkerchief.”

Pat’s mother said,” Whatever for, Patricia, dear.”

“Because of his bloody nose, Mommy.” Pat responded.

Sure enough, the man tripped on the sidewalk and landed face first on the ground. Pat’s mother handed him the cloth to stem the flow of blood from his nose.

Ever since that day, Pat had the uncanny sense of knowing what would happen. She was not surprised to make the cheerleading squad in high school. She knew that she would attend Columbia University as soon as her application was in the mailbox. When she spotted David sitting on a bench in the park, she felt that he would be the man she married. Today, when she walked through the doors of Park & Hurst, she knew she would get the job. She smiled brightly at Mr. Greene through the hour long interview, answering one inane question after another. After all, Pat would have his job in a month after he was fired for embezzlement.

A New Class

So, I have started a new class called "Writterific - Creativity Training". In this class, I am supposed to write for 10 minutes a day. I have no idea what to write. I guess that is why I am taking this class!! I think it would be such a great job to be a writer. I would love to have the ability to write a novel. I think it would be a lifestyle that suits me. I do not need to be in an office full of folks. I think I would much rather be at home, working at my own pace. So, now I just need to find a plot, actually learn how to write a book, find someone to publish it...

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm Up

I have to admit that I am up about 9 pounds over my goal weight. I really shouldn't be surprised at this development as I have not been following the Weight Watchers principles for about 10 months. I am back on track now. I have started counting points again as well as writing down what I eat. Let me tell you something - it is hard!! It is so much harder than I remember from the first time. How did I used to make 24 points stretch a whole day? I hope to find the flow again soon. I hope the exercise helps even the food out. Yep, I'll be running tomorrow morning.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Off to Cosmo

I am heading to my Cosmopolitan Book Club tonight. It is a club of women who love to read chick lit. It is run by Barnes & Noble and the wonderful Community Relations Manager, Debbie. I love to read, so it is a wonderful club for me. This month we read "Baby Proof" by Emily Giffin. The club started last year because Emily made a stop at the store to promote her novel "Something Blue", the sequel to her novel "Something Borrowed". Emily continues to be on a roll of great book writing. Her latest is a very thought provoking story about a married couple who are very much in love, but disagree on one key point in their lives. She handled the story beautifully and created amazing characters who are wise, loving, and loyal. I recommend it to everyone!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thank God it's Wednesday?

Have you ever had one of those weeks were it seems like there were 2 Mondays in a row?? Well, that's what I had this week. I hate those days when I feel so out of control. I have a million little fires going at the same time and don't know which way to turn. I am just glad things are now calm. Hump Day seems to be passing nicely.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Terrorism Plot Thickens...

Well, great news for the airline industry. Terrorists were going to blow up 10 planes yesterday, and now everyone is in a panic. Security has now banned shampoo, toothpaste, beverages, gels, etc. A friend from work was flying on business yesterday. She said the TSA took her Chapstick and lip gloss. Bill was telling me last night that they are thinking about doing away with carry-on luggage all together. He also said in the near future it could take up to 5 hours to get through security checkpoints.

We are going to Chicago soon. I don't even want to get on a plane. I am not afraid of terrorism, I am afraid of the TSA. Between my Chapstick and my nail file, I am a real threat to the flying public. Where is the train schedule?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Went running...

So this morning was different for me. Bill and I got up at about 5 til 6:00 am this morning to go running. I can't run, but I went anyway. I ran about 1/4 mile, and had to stop. I ran/walked (mostly walked) about 2 miles all together. I got home just as my alarm clock would have gone off.
Overall, I think it was a good idea. My workout is out of the way. I had so much time this morning to eat breakfast, read the paper, and fix lunch. I was also pretty awake by the time I got to work (although that is not necessarily a good thing!). I don't know, I think I may have to keep up with the routine. It just might work out.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tax Free Shopping

I love tax free shopping weekend!! I know it is such a scam. You only save $.07 for each dollar spent, but every year I go out and shop my little heart out. There was an article in the paper yesterday about the weekend. One woman said she would not spend so much money if it were not tax free. The reported asked permission to look at her receipts. She spent a few hundred dollars and saved $24.00. I did find some great things on sale, and I did have some coupons. At least I didn't buy anything for full price. Still, I had a great afternoon with my dear friend Lisa. I guess that's all that really counts.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Who are you?

I was on my way to the pharmacy this morning and had some interesting thoughts. I started thinking about my cousin, Robyn. I used to be close to Robyn and her sister when we were kids. Even though we only saw each other about once a year, I always felt like we were close. I have not spoken of heard from her in five years. I sent her a birthday card about a year ago, and it was returned to sender. I have no idea where she lives, what she does for a living, or if she is in a relationship. It is so sad. We move on, we get involved with our own lives, and relatives get left behind. It is possible that I could never see her again. If I did see her, what would I say? I don't even know her now.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Love Quotes

You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny. - The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

We are visitors on this planet. We are here for 90, 100 years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. Try to be at peace with yourself, and help others share that peace. If you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the goal, the true meaning of life. - The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feng Shui

I am taking a very interesting course on-line through Barnes and Noble University. It is all about feng shui - the ancient practice of organizing your home to reflect the best energy flow. It has been fun. There are some things that I really believe (clutter brings your energy down) and other I do not (you can get energy from hugging a tree). I have done a little experiment, though. In the career area of our home, we hung a shelf that I stained. It is an inexpensive shelf I found at a craft store. I put a bamboo plant on top of it (living energy) and a picture next to/above it. The picture is a waterfall (flowing energy) with a red matt (strong feng shui color - prosperity). Everything is reflected in a mirror (doubles the energy) that was already hanging in the foyer. We'll see if anything happens. I will go crazy if it does!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

The opening of Fayetteville Street

On Saturday, Bill and I got to participate in a parade to mark the opening of Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh. We drove our Camaro and joined a group of about 18 other cars from our car club. It was so much fun!! There were more people than I ever imagined watching the parade. News accounts said about 20,000 people showed up. Everyone was so nice, waving to us and telling us how much they loved the car. Despite the 90 degree heat, it was well worth our time. We are so pleased to be one of the first cars to ever drive down Fayetteville Street.

Thanks to Jon for taking such wonderful pictures!!

I love a Parade!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Beautiful Quote

I just read this quote from my feng shui class. I really like it.

You split me and tore my heart open and filled me with love. You poured your spirit into mine. I knew you as I know myself. My eyes are radiant with your light. My ears delight in your music. My nostrils are filled with your fragrance. My face is covered with your dew. You have made all things new. You have made me see all things shining. You have granted me perfect ease. I have become like paradise. - Egyptian papyrus, author unknown

The Art of Pizza

I finished a class last night called "The Art of Pizza". We learned the history of pizza as well as how to create a great pizza from scratch. The final project was to create a pizza that is a metaphor for yourself. Here is what I came up with:

Dough - tough at first, but warms as you work with it
Pesto Sauce - slightly nutty
Mozzarella Cheese - classic and traditional
Chipolte Marinated Chicken - spicy
Red Onion - sharp on the tongue
Yellow Peppers - sweet on top

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In Equal Time...

Here is my husband Bill on his bike. He is a cutie, too!!

My Nephew Matthew

Here is my nephew Matthew with his new bike. Doesn't he look great? What a cutie!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The news is depressing

There have been some interesting conversations about world news in my feng shui class. Many people have decided to go on a "news fast" because watching the news is so depressing. They (maybe we) feel that it brings us down too much, makes us sad, and depletes our energy. I can say that I do agree that the news depresses me. I hate to watch it - there never seems to be anything happy anymore. Yet, I still want to be informed - I want to know what is happening in this world of ours. I think I will stick with my initial idea - read the paper in the morning so I can digest the news over the day. No more TV news for me, except maybe The Daily Show. News with a bit of comedy - that may work!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Devil Loves Prada

We saw the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" last night and I really enjoyed it. I am surprised to say that it is one of the few times that I actually liked the movie more than the book. Meryl Streep is incredible. She brought the crazy Miranda Priestly to life and added a little bit of humanity to her. She is an amazing actress and worth the price of admission.

The clothes, shoes, and bags were absolutely amazing as well. I could watch the movie again just for the costumes. Would I make a deal with The Devil for Prada? Probably...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why not me?

I am currently taking an on-line creative writing course. I really enjoy it. I like learning and playing with my writing. I like reading other people's posts. I am the person who always encourages my fellow classmates who think they cannot accomplish their goals. The question is, why can't I be my own cheerleader?

I can write a glowing message to Maggie saying she can accomplish all of her dreams. I tell her rejection and/or criticism is just a tool to make her story stronger. I can believe in a faceless woman named Maggie. Why is it so hard to believe in Susan?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bush's Veto

Well, I was wondering what I would write about today, and this story just fell in my lap. President Bush just vetoed - his first veto in 5 1/2 years-the bill for stem cell research. I have to say I am disappointed with this news because I do support this research. I think the thing that bothers me most is that Bush seems to have issued the veto because he is personally opposed to the bill. There are many Republicans who do not oppose the bill. Heck, most Americans do support this research. So, is it proper for one man to make the ultimate decision about this bill? I thought we are living in a democracy. Election time will tell.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dave and Carmen - Oh no!!

I am truly saddened to hear that Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro are splitting. It is so sad that marriages don't last anymore. Dave and Carmen seemed to have it all. They lead the rock star life - they even had a TV show about their courtship. I thought this marriage would last forever. Dave decided to have their engagement picture taken by having them lay naked on embalming tables, toe tags visible, and just barely holding hands. She went along with it! A match made in heaven is now over - what will the normal folks do?

Monday, July 17, 2006

On a hot Sunday afternoon...

Yesterday, we spent the early afternoon working outside on our front and back yards. It might seem stupid to be working outside when the temperatures are soaring over the 90 degree mark. It would not have been my first choice for the day, but it needed to be done. Our poor backyard was so overgrown. There were weeds choking our flower garden and air conditioner units. The crepe myrtle was sprouting from the base. The Bradford pear tree was covering a complete corner of the yard. I am pleased to say that with 2 1/2 hours of effort, one yard waste bucket, 2 brown refuse bags, and many tools, the yard looks about a million times better. Even Sammy took notice. She went out and looked around like she had never seen the place before. A job well done feels very good indeed.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Can you blame the Plame?

I am really not a political person, but I do feel for Valerie Plame. I am glad that she has filed a lawsuit against the idiots in the Bush Administration. Of course, the government leaked her identity on purpose. I bet the government does things like that all the time. Her husband was sent to Niger to find out if Saddam was getting ingredients for WMD from them, He finds nothing, reports it to the government, and goes about his life. Later, Bush says that they have found evidence of WMDs and cites Wilson. Wilson write a rebuff - telling the truth the government does not want to hear. So, what happens? The government leaks the ID of his wife to punish him. She will get nowhere with her lawsuit, but at least she is keeping the issue front and center.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why is every office FFC?

Why is it that every office I have worked in has been freezing fu$#ing cold? I mean, I like my job (mostly). However, every day I come to work, I am freezing in about an hour. I keep a cardigan sweater and a wrap in my desk drawer. I drink hot green tea at least once a day. I go outside for lunch when it is 95 degrees because it feels so good!!! It's not just here, either. I kept a space heater under my desk. I had it running during the summer.

All I ask is why is it so cold?!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Is my head still there?

Do you ever feel like your head is just going to explode? I have been working on my on-line beginner's writing workshop. The latest task it to use strong words to convey your ideas without being overblown and cliche. It is much harder to do than one would think. I have been looking at 4 sentences for an hour - revising them over and over again. This writing stuff is so much harder than it seems.
To top it off, there is this guy in my class who writes the strangest things. He just critiqued this poor girl and blasted her over a typo!! He spent several sentences stating how much better "owned" would be rather than "wonded". I mean really, like your stupid sentence made no sense whatsoever. I think he just thinks he is a big intellectual. Well, bring it on!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Check out my nephew

My nephew, Tyler, is a star! He has his first photo shoot and landed in this Macy's ad. The kid has talent at just 16 months!!

Tyler is the baby holding the block in the lower left corner. What a cutie!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sharing my writing

I have been taking a class in creative writing. It is something I have wanted to do, but was afraid for a long time. Now that I am doing it, I have really been enjoying myself. It is time to share a piece I wrote using the random words bride, car keys, and grocery store. Please leave your feedback.

The bride, the store & her car keys
Submitted by: Susan
“Where is the hairspray?” I hear someone shout at the top of her lungs. As I look up from my register at the grocery store, I see a red faced blond in a huge white dress with yards of embroidered satin trailing after her scream at Jimmy. “Did you hear me, where is the hairspray!” she screams again. Poor Jimmy, he has never been good at dealing with upset customers. He finally stammers “Aisle 5” as she has already turned on her 3 inch white heels to walk away. Her friend, wearing a long pale blue strapless gown with a matching gauzy shawl, tries to apologize before she runs after the bride. “Melissa” she calls “we’ll get the hairspray and have you looking beautiful in plenty of time for the wedding.” Melissa stares down her friend and screams “Jenna, if you hadn’t forgotten the hairspray, we wouldn’t be in this disgusting store right now, would we?” I realize that I will be the next target of Melissa’s wrath as she bears down on my register. “Hurry up, will you?” she asks me condescendingly. I hustle her through the line as Jenna gives me a look of apology. I try to give her a small smile as they leave the store in a cloud of white fury. I look down and my smile grows bigger. I spy sweet Melissa’s car keys still sitting on the conveyor belt.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Advanced Interior Design - Check!

I finished my advanced interior design class yesterday. Here is a look at my final project - the transformation of our master bedroom. I really enjoyed this project. It was fun to visit home stores to look for new fabrics and bedding. I would love to make it a reality - maybe some day.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I have been going through lots of old papers that I got when my Dad moved. I have been very lucky to find many old letters and books about my family's history. I have loved reading the letters that my great grandmother sent to my grandmother while she was at college from 1939-1943. It has been fascinating to read about the times - what was going on in their personal lives and what was going on in the world. I have also read the letters that my father sent to my mother while he was stationed in Vietnam. I have read letters that friends and family sent to me while I was in Europe over the summer. It is so sad to think that future generations might not have writing like these letters to read. I guess that is also part of the reason I write this blog - to preserve my thoughts on a daily basis. I just wish that I could talk to all of those folks who are now gone.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ken Lay is dead!

I was reading one of my other favorite blogs this morning,, and I have to agree with her comments. I do find it to be curious timing that Ken Lay up and died before his sentencing. I have read about the autopsy reports, but I sure hope someone really checked to see if it was him. DNA testing, stat!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Here is an interesting site

If you love fashion and telling people what to do as much as I do, you might like This poor fellow has no fashion sense and needs help dressing each day. You can also suggest things for him to buy for his wardrobe. If only I could get someone to let me do that for him...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy Independence Day to all our friends and family!! We are enjoying the 5 day holiday weekend - so sad to see it ending. Tonight we will go out with a bang - hot dogs, sauerkraut, corn on the cob, and baked beans. That should keep us "banging" all night long!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wild and Wonderful West VA

Just got back from a weekend trip to West Virginia. We went up there with a group of friends for a weekend of white water and camping. I used to hate the idea of camping - sleeping in a tent, miles away from the nearest facilities. This camping is great. We are in a campground about 50 feet from hot showers and running toilets. Nothing to do but sit around a camp fire, drink some beer, and eat everything in sight.
Since there has been so much rain in the Eastern US recently, we got a special treat. We were able to run the lower Gauley River - a river not usually open until the fall when Summerville Dam is opened and fills the river. It was great to be on a different river (been down the New four times). As much fun as it was, it was a tough day for me. I think I got drenched everytime we got a wave. I fell out of the boat twice. The first time was in a rapid called Mash. A wave just threw me out of the raft, but I grabbed the strap on the side of the boat. I was able to float with it until Bill could pull me back in. The second time, I was ejected from the boat when we beached on a rock in the middle of a rapid. I landed on my back on top of the rock (thank goodness it was a big one). I am still pretty sore, but overall, a good trip. I can honestly say that I have never had an adventure quite like this past weekend!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Brand New Countertops

Our new countertops finally arrived yesterday after a 2 month wait. The guy called and said that it would take about 3 hours to install, so about 7 1/2 hours later they were done. I have never been so glad to have people leave my house. They do look wonderful, though. They are Silestone Amarillo Palmira (look it up) and they make the cabinets look so warm and nice. I was working on cleaning the kitchen and putting things back in the proper cabinets until about 11:15 last night. Sometimes the organization freak thing can be bad.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Now I am scared of the World Wide Web

I sent out a note to trusted friends and loving family to tell them that I had started this blog. My dad apparently checked it out and sent me a note that I needed to be "very careful". Now, that's all I can think about in regards to this blog. So, if you are an Internet predator or someone trying to steal my identity, back off!! Dads are really good at scaring the bejeebies out of you. I still lock my doors in the car for fear of being carjacked. You make a good point, though. I will be careful. Love you, Daddy!!

Dog Lovers - Vote!!

Check out the campaign to choose a new mascot for Old Navy. There are 6 way too cute dogs to pick! Keep voting until July 7th.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Is honesty the best policy?

So, I am a new blogger and I have questions. My friend Michelle showed my how to set up my blog, and has a great one of her own. She told me that people (specifically her mom) have been upset by things she has written in her blog. Michelle is always honest and feels that it would be wrong to lie in her writings.

I am torn. I feel like since this is my blog and my thoughts that I should be totally honest. At the same time, I think that if I would not reveal my true feelings to a person's face (as I am a chicken in real life) is it fair for me to publish these feelings on the web? I would not right intentionally mean things about a specific person. I would discuss how his or her actions made me feel. Again, if I would not discuss those feelings of anger or disappointment with them, can I or should I write them down? In a way, this blog would be boring if I only related the things that happen to me on a day to day basis without discussing the emotions behind the events. So, what should I do? Let me know what you think. Time will tell if honesty is the best policy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I am a daughter

Well, of course I am a daughter! I would have to be one given that I am a female.

I am the daughter of Ralph, the step daughter of Bunny, and the step sister of Jamie with me to the left. Dad got re-married on December 31 of 2005 in Pittsburgh. I am happy for him. Bunny truly seems to love him and they match up well in terms of personalities. Dad just moved from our hometown to Boston. I am sad to see him go, but it was inevitable.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Meet my husband and pooch

Time to update my blog on this rainy Monday. Well, I guess the best place to start is to ask - who am I? Well, I am a 30 something married female with a full time job. Sound exciting? There's more. I have a wonderful husband named Bill, and a fantastic dog named Samantha. See above for their beautiful faces. They are the most important people/creatures in my life. They will (I'm sure) be the subject of many blog posts, so I might as well introduce them now. Aren't they adorable? Well, I love them with all my heart.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Welcome to My World

Hi and welcome to my world!! I am Susan and this is my first blog ever. I am new to this whole experience. I am looking forward to posting my thoughts on this world and seeing what comes back to me.

More to come!!