Thursday, February 26, 2009


Whew! We've had a busy few days around here.

On Tuesday our new entertainment center finally arrived. Hurray! We have been waiting literally months to get the plastic table out of our living room.

TADA! Less ghetto, more fabulous!

I need to find something for the wall above or to the sides, but I'm not quite sure what I want yet. I also want to get something tall and thin for the right hand corner to draw the eye upward.

We love the way it looks, although Nate thinks the TV is too far back now. Um, it's a 56 inch TV, how close do you need it to be?

We also got some new bookshelves for the office. My company gives us a discount with a major retailer and seeing as how that will go away very shortly, we decided to go ahead and order them. They were badly needed - the little bitty ones we had before were just not cutting it.

My plan was to get them put together and switched out on Sunday afternoon. But those suckers took two hours a piece to piece together! I'm no slouch when it comes to putting together furniture but these seem unnecessarily complicated. After doing the first one by the instructions, I did the second one my own way, which turned out to be much faster and looked better in the end. Naturally.

Now I need to rearrange the books a little better so the one doesn't look so bare and add some fun stuff to them, maybe pictures frames and a vase.

Project for the weekend: Finally, finally, finally organizing and arranging my scrapbooking room! I'm only 14 months behind on my latest scrapbook!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Going down swinging

Oh, how I long for the days when my company strove for mediocrity. As bad as I thought things were back then, it's nothing compared to the utter madness that I am subjected to on a daily basis now.

It is like drowning rats fleeing a sinking ship. Seriously, nobody cares about anything but their own interests, people refuse to communicate with one another and we are screwing our vendors right and left. It's sad. It doesn't have to be this way but the Powers That Be seem determined to do this in the ugliest, messiest, dirtiest way possible.

I am trying to remain grateful for my paycheck when so many others weren't so lucky, but honestly, some days I just really really want to be free from the stress of it all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Miracle Street

We had a minor miracle at our house last night. I cooked a dinner that included a main dish AND a side dish....that did not come out of a can!

Doesn't sound like much, I know, but this is major progress, people. My idea of 'cooking' usually involves heating up something that came out of the freezer. I consider boiling chicken breasts to be major dinner preparation. It is a rare night when we have a vegetable that wasn't nuked in the microwave.

Last night we had spinach and cheese stuffed shells and Swiss vegetable medley. Yes, I am aware that these two things in no way go together. But stuffed shells were my planned meal and I just really, really wanted the vegetable medley.

Swiss vegetable medley is my grandmother's recipe. I grew up eating this stuff at every holiday meal. I made it myself for the first time at Thanksgiving and now I just can't get enough of it.


Shirley's Swiss Vegetable Medley

1 bag (16 oz) frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower (thawed and drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 can French Onions

Combine mushroom soup, sour cream, pepper and 1/2 cup of cheese in a bowl. Mix in veggies. Pour into 1 qt casserole dish and bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes.

Top with remaining cheese and French onions. Bake uncovered for additional 5 minutes.


TADA! Best.veggies.ever.

My grandma mixes in half the French onions at the beginning, but I don't care for them, so I just top Nate's 'half' with the onions at the end. He doesn't seem to notice the difference.

Also, you can use Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese if you don't like Swiss. I usually use Monterey Jack and it is heavenly. *Cue angels singing*

Seriously, I woke up thinking about eating the leftovers at lunch time. I ate lunch at 11:30 just because I couldn't wait any more. And if I didn't hate onions so much, I'd consider eating Nate's portion of the leftovers too!

Get you some

Just because there is not an IHOP anywhere within an hour's drive of me, doesn't mean that YOU should be deprived of the rapture that is IHOP Free Pancake Day. Unless of course, you want to boycott in a show of solidarity with me, your pancake-less friend.

Today until 10:00pm, IHOP is giving away a free short stack (three pancakes) to all customers. In exchange, customers are encouraged to donate to the Children's Miracle Network or a charity of their choice. So technically the pancakes are not free-free, but it's still a really cool idea and a great excuse to devour the fluffy, buttery deliciousness that is an IHOP short stack.

So grab a little cash and head on down to your local IHOP and have a pancake for me. And if you do, please don't tell me, because then I will have to hate you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So very cherry (limeade)

My love for Sonic's cherry limeade has been well-documented throughout the history of this blog. Luckily for my waistline, with the nearest Sonic over an hour's drive away, I can only indulge on my infrequent trips to Knoxville or South Carolina.

Until now.....*drumroll please*

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Minute Maid Cherry Limeade.

TADA! Aren't you thrilled? I am! I discovered this yummy goodness while perusing the soda aisle at Wal-mart. The Light version is only 10 calories per can! I do miss the zingy carbonation of the Sonic Cherry Limeade (I am a sucker for those zesty bubbles!) but other than that, it's darn good stuff.

At least now I have something to alternate with my Cheerwine consumption. I opened the final case from our Christmas trip over the weekend. Gotta make that goodness last....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

May I have the envelope please?

Speaking of the Academy, who else is beyond excited for the Oscar's tonight? The dresses! The jewels! The hair! Angelina and Brad!

I'd like to thank the Academy....

I would never be where I am today without the support of Mozilla Firefox, Comcast, Dell and Blogger. We did it, you guys! They like me, they really like me!

*Ahem* Excuse me, I think I got carried away for a second.

Give a gal her first award and watch it go straight to her head. One of my new friends, Allison over at The Displaced Texan, has graced me with my first Bloggy Award. Hurray for me...uh, I mean, Allison! Anyway, if you haven't checked her out, give her a visit. She is also the designer of my lovely new pink and white background. Love.It.

Here's the dish on the "Love ya" award:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award!"

Aw, shucks. *Blushes* Thanks, Allison!

Domestic Sophisticate - These two sisters are SAHM's but still love to look lovely every day. I am sure Nate wishes I would be a little more domestic and sophisticated.

Cookie Crums - One of my girlfriends from college who know has one of the cutest lil guys ever.

My Chihuahua Bites - Andrea cracks me up nearly ever post. She's definitely worth the visit!

Leaving and Loving on a Jetplane - Newlywed Mrs. Jetplane's adventures in being a military wife.

Behind the Dim Unknown - Proud to say, that's my Daddi-o. He is the epitome of the unselfish blogger.

One Hundred Eighty Degrees - One new mama's quest to have it all. And she's working it!

Por l'Amour De - My newest blog friend.

Bees and Boo-boos - Sit down with a sweet tea and follow the adventures of this Carolina mommy and her two adorable kiddos.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Confessions of a Blog-aholic

Leah over at Thinking Out Loud tagged me with this meme awhile ago but with all the work insanity lately I haven't had a chance to do it. Since today is all about doing anything to avoid housework taking it easy, I am catching up on fun internet stuff and watching all the trash TV I've Tivo'd in the last two weeks.

Step 1: Respond and Rework.
Answer the questions on your own blog. Replace one question that you don't like with a question of your own invention. Then add one more question of your own invention.

Step 2: Tag six other un-tagged people!

1. Make a list of things you can see without getting up.
Two desks, two computers, my camera, receipts to be put in the check register, and a venti caramel machiatto from Starbucks.

2. Favorite Football Team.

University of Tennessee Vols and Indianapolis Colts

3. What are you wearing now?

My work ‘uniform’ – purple track pants, a striped tank top and a purple track jacket (I am a little obsessed with purple this season!)

4. What's the last thing you read/are currently reading?

I just finished Nicholas Sparks’ latest book, The Lucky One. I liked it well enough but not as much as some others, like Dear John and The Notebook. Next up is James Patterson's Cross Country.

5. Who was the last person you hugged?
Nate, earlier today when he came home from work. Yes, he was at work on a Saturday. Boo. We like to hug longer than necessary because it drives the furbabies bonkers for us to hug each other!

6. What's your current obsession/addiction?
Job hunting. I have also developed an unhealthy addiction to gummy worms lately. The red and white ones are my favorite.

7. What was the last thing you said aloud?
Oliver, you’re so silly – to Oliver, the dog. Yes, I talk to my dogs as if they are (very small and furry) humans.

8. What was the last thing you bought?
Technically it would be Starbucks and groceries, but that's a pretty boring answer. The last non-essential stuff I bought was a lightweight gray sweater and a bright pink scarf, both from The Limited.

9. What are you listening to right now?
The sound of my heater warming my feet and Lola snoring.

10. What is your favorite weather and why?
Sunny Autumn days, when the leaves are just turning and there’s a little crispness to the air. I have no idea why I love it, I just do. I missed the beautiful Tennessee colors this year. Indy doesn’t even come close!

11. What is your most challenging goal right now?
Waiting patiently to become a mother.

12. Say something to the person who tagged you.
Leah, I miss you making it fabulous every day! Bring back the clothes! We want to see how you dress your cute little bump as it gets bigger.

13. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished, anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Charleston, SC – It’s close to home and I have always loved the city. There is a mile long list of places I’d like to visit all over the world, but very few that I’d want to settle down in.

14. Favorite vacation spot?
A tropical island with all expenses paid. We’ve done it twice and it’s the best type of vacation. Not a care in the world and all the mimosas your little heart desires.

15. Favorite children's book ?
Anything by Robert Munsch

16. Name one thing you just can't resist no matter how bad it is for you.

Just one? Who made up that rule? I would say Starbucks, but since that’s the only way I ever drink milk, I can make a valid argument that Starbucks is actually good for me. So I guess I will go with cupcakes. Show me a fluffy vanilla cupcake with a mountain of icing and I lose all semblance of self-control.

17. What would you do if you won the Lottery?
The Dance of Joy, of course! Then I would tithe 10%, buy Nate an Aston Martin, and then invest the rest and live off the interest.

18. What was the first tape or CD that you bought for yourself?
I don't have the slightest idea what the answer to this question is, so I will replace it with this one:

18. Do you sleep with the covers on or off?
I always sleep with the covers pulled up to my chin. When I was a kid, I used to think that if every single part of my body wasn’t covered by the sheet, someone would chop off the protruding parts while I slept. Yes, I was a strange little kid. It must be a subconscious thing now because I am never comfortable without a sheet or blanket pulled over me.

19. Describe your perfect day.
A spa day with my mom and sisters, a little shopping in the afternoon with my Daddy-o and dinner at the Melting Pot with Nate.

20. What is your favorite accessory and why?
I have to agree with Leah on this one, I am currently rocking the scarf on an almost daily basis. It adds a little pop to any outfit and keeps me toasty warm too.

21. What is the accomplishment you are most proud of and why?
I am probably most proud of my career accomplishments. I went from being a lowly fleet coordinator to managing $40 million dollars in under four years. I am still trying to figure out how to convey the magnitude of this in a resume format. ‘Hire me, I kick ass’ just doesn’t seem like it will work.

And my added question:
22. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I tag these eight people:
Joy in the Journey
The Bleeding Heart
Honesty is the Best Policy
Count to 10
Consider the Lilies
Pink Polka-Dotted Dreams

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Four months after we ordered the first one, twelve weeks after it was supposed to be delivered, eight weeks after we cancelled it, and three weeks after we found a new one, we will finally have an entertainment center next week! The furniture store called today to say it's in and they will be delivering it on Tuesday. Hurray! Now we can finally de-redneck the living room and I will get my craft table back. Guess I know what I will be doing while I collect unemployment....scrapbooking!

Truer words were never spoken....

My mom got me this daily calendar for Christmas. I am pretty sure Nate would tell you I didn't need any additional encouragement to channel my Inner Bitch...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Once upon a time

In a land not so far away (Michigan), many eons years ago, a beautiful baby girl was born. She grew up a good Catholic girl with long black hair who loved to ride horses. As soon as she was legal age graduated high school she moved to Florida where she dated a handsome young man named Harry and then married his best friend, Dave, instead. Two years later she gave birth to the most lovely little girl who ever lived. And because this little girl had turned out so beautiful and so perfect, she decided to have another one, and then another one and another one. The woman was the best mom in whole entire world and her fiyr lovely daughters grew up to be strong, intelligent, beautiful women just like their mommy.

Happy birthday to the best-whole-world mom - mine!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Miss me?

Profuse apologies for depriving you of my daily wit and wisdom for my prolonged and unintentional absence this past week. To say the last 10 days have been stressful would be like saying Obama made a small donation to the economy today. I haven't had much time (to do anything interesting) or energy (to post about what little I did do), not to mention that I was in a less-than-cheerful mood for most of the past week.

Last Wednesday I had to lay off the two ladies who work for me. Over the phone. Do you know how much I loathed doing that over the phone? It was an awful way for it to happen but I wanted them to hear it from me and a call was the only way to make sure they didn't hear it elsewhere first. Those two ladies were the reason that my working-from-home situation worked. I always said that if I lost them, I wouldn't be able to do what I do and it's true. I can't. The days I have spent without them have been the longest, most scattered days of my entire career. And beyond the million ways they made my work-life successful, I just genuinely liked them. They are amazing ladies and I am sad at the thought of not talking to them every day anymore.

I can't decide what is worse - to be stabbed in the back so suddenly (as the ladies were last week) or to wait patiently, with my head on the chopping block, for the lay off guillotine to chop my head off too. My job is disappearing, no doubt about that, but nobody will say when. And so I wait in that limbo-land of being almost-but-not-quite unemployed.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I look back now and I realize I should have left a long time ago. Like when we moved to Indiana. Or at the very least, when we built the house and it was clear that we were sticking around. But I loved my job, I loved my ladies and my boss, and I especially loved the flexibility that working from home offered me. But now I am almost-but-not-quite unemployed and I have ZERO network for finding a new job. I spent the first few days last week kicking myself (figuratively, of course!)and despairing of ever finding meaningful work again. Pity, party of 1.

Then last Thursday night, as I spent my fifth sleepless night in a row racking my brain for ideas, I started to think of all the things I wanted to be growing up and how I am not a single one of those things today. Why the heck not? Maybe it's not too late to make one of those childhood dreams come true.

And that is when I realized that what I saw as a kick in the teeth might actually be an opportunity from God. Even in the midst of this trial, I am one blessed lady. I have a paycheck coming in for at least a few more days. I have received many kind phone calls and emails from colleagues and vendors who care and are concerned about me. I am not in danger of losing my home just because I lost my job. I will not starve to death by any stretch of the imagination (although I could stand to tighten that belt a bit). I can afford to go to school if I feel like it. Or take a part time job to get experience in a brand new field. In short, I can go ANYWHERE from here. How many people get the chance to say that?

I know this turned into kind of a long post, so if you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there while I rambled along. I am sure that I will have more bad days, when I'm feeling less than grateful for the extra days at work or for the blessing of starting over but I am determined to keep my focus on the good that can come from this and I will count my many, many blessings every day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Paging the Link Doctor

I think I got the link to my Indy Star blog fixed (at least it is working for me now). If it's still not working for you, just check me out at

Monday, February 9, 2009

WARNING: Shameless self promotion ahead

Just in case you can't get enough of me here, here and here, someone is actually paying me to do a little blogging over here.

Now I know 98% of you do not live in a state even bordering Indiana Noblesville, so you honestly could not care less what I say over there, but do a girl a favor and make me look good to the new employer - make a visit or two or a dozen once in awhile.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Desperate white female seeks talented hair stylist before I pull my hair out as soon as possible...

To say that I need a haircut is an understatement. I needed a haircut three weeks ago. Now I need a hair intervention.

Suffice it to say that after a hideous bowl cut at age 7, several unfortunate perms, an ill-advised attempt at bangs, and a traumatic incident involving a bleeding ear, I have become incredibly par.tic.u.lar about who comes near my head with a pair of shears.

From age 10 until roughly 24 (minus two years out-of-country), I had the same fabulous hairstylist, Donnie. All I had to do was say, 'I need more body' or 'I'm tired of this or that' and he knew exactly what to do - no pictures of celebrity hairstyles required! I always left his chair feeling like a rock star. Right through college and the first few years in Tennessee, a quick call to Donnie and he would squeeze me in any time I was back home in SC.

After two years in Tennessee and much soul searching, I decided it was time to grow up and find someone a little closer to home. I couldn't very well continue to drive five hours one-way every time I needed a haircut, could I? Into my life entered Zelda; a younger, female version of Donnie. Oh, Zelda, where had you been all my life the last two years of my life? It was to Zelda that I entrusted my post-Locks of Love 'do. Never in my life did I expect to say, 'Cut off 12 inches and do whatever you want with the rest', but that was how much I trusted Zelda not to steer me wrong. And the angled bob that emerged from her magic scissors was one of my favorite haircuts of all time.

Which is why, 20 months after leaving Knoxville, I have yet to find a new stylist in my new home state. I arranged business trips and wedding weekends around my need for a trim. This worked well when I was required to be in K-town every other week and then every other month. Not so much anymore now that non-essential business travel has come to a screeching halt and the next Knoxville-friend wedding isn't scheduled until July. What's a girl to do with no Knoxville trip in sight?

It's time to bite the bullet and find a new Donnie or Zelda. I have put it off long enough. A haircut with a weed-whacker would be an improvement over the hot mess that is currently on my head.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ain't this the truth?

Sometimes I would swear my work life is a Dilbert cartoon. Anyone else build in extra time in their project plans for MFU's? I know I sure do!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I was very excited about the prospect of a 90210 remake but was horribly disappointed in the new show. Not sure if it's because the show is just that bad or maybe I've grown out of it (Wait....what? Gossip Girl is set in high school and is about a bunch of rich, well-dressed kids, too? Like basically the same show with a different name? No, I wasn't aware.)

Anyway, I tuned out after a poorly-acted, overwrought episode or two, but I just might tune back in for this. You know you're dying to know what happened to Donna and the love-of-her-life David - hopefully it turned out a little better than Tori's real life blink-and-you-missed-it marriage to Charlie Shanian.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Who ordered a second helping of snow?

It has been coming down all day again - at least three inches when I walked the dogs at noon. That's three new inches, on top of what we already had. As pretty as it is, I'm kind of pretty much over it.

Guess I won't be running any of the errands I had planned for today. Mostly because I don't want to shovel the driveway again anytime soon.

Hope Nate likes eggs for dinner because that's about the only thing I've got to offer.
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