"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dog for a day

Well, Skippy is no longer Toby's little playmate. Mr. Joe came and picked him up this afternoon to keep for another lady until Monday. She has a girl dog, so they're hoping the dominance thing won't be an issue. I HATE that things turned out like this. I was so excited!

But, you know...for the few hours that Toby was outside with him last night (before I had to go separate them) the house was almost too quiet. I know I get aggravated with him, but he's pretty good company... for the most part. I'd probably wind up missing him if he was outside all the time. Yeah, he's hairy and smelly and slobbery and he jumps on my face when I'm trying to sleep, but he makes my life interesting.

A flaw in the plan

The plan was working wonderfully. At first.

Skippy arrived around 4:30 yesterday afternoon, and I immediately thought, "Oh! Now there's a happy dog!"

His tongue was lazily hanging from his mouth, a big doggie smile on his face...cute as he could be. I put him in the backyard with Toby and let them do their sniffing and circling and getting to know each other. It genuinely seemed to be going well.

This is when I sighed and thought, "I'm so smart! Why did anyone doubt this? Look how great this is!"

Toby could NOT have been more excited. Poor thing. You'd think he had never played with another dog before. He was bouncing around like he was on crack, panting like a wild-child. You could see the happiness in his cute little puppy eyes.

Skippy...well, it wasn't so much happiness as annoyance.

I failed to consider there would be a male dominance problem. Skippy claimed every chew toy in the yard, the food bowl, the water bowl and anything else Toby seemed slightly interested in. I'm not talking about merely taking it away from Toby. No, little "Skippy" would ATTACK. Not so skippy, afterall. Bared teeth, deep, threatening growl. Sweet little Toby would just wag his tail until Skip jumped on him. Then (being so brave) he would tuck is ears and run. Yes, he is ferocious. No doubt.

I think the deal-breaker is the fact that Skippy won't let Toby get within three feet of me. Seriously. He JUST met me. You don't get between me and my baby. He's been here longer. Don't run him off!

I know that all of that is neccesary to establish the alfa dog, but I just wasn't expecting it.

I'm not too proud to say I might have been a little hasty in my decision. (Yes, Mom. I admit it. Maybe I should have thought it over a teensy bit longer.)

There are about five people at work that are really interested in him, so I know I won't be stuck trying to make it work. I feel like I should give them time to get to know each other, but at the same time, I don't want them to fight all weekend.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

A new addition

Okay. I have some news that I am BUSTING AT THE SEAMS to tell you. Are you ready?

There will soon be a new addition to my family.

This is the part where Mom said, "No. No there won't be. You're not pregnant are you?!"

No, Mom...no babies.

Just THIS:

Let me introduce you to Skip, a three-year-old cocker spaniel who needed a new home. (How could I refuse?)

The shock collar around his neck will be GONE. He's been staying in a yard without a fence, but since my yard is fenced in, there will be no need for all of that!

Here's the plan:

Skip (whose real name is Skippy, but whom I will undoubtedly NOT call Skippy) has always been an outside dog. That's all he knows. He is supposedly VERY mild mannered and calm and I am hoping beyond hope he will be a good influence on my little hellion.

I've been trying to ween Toby from the house. I have a huge backyard for him to play in, but he gets lonely out there and resorts to barking incessantly until I let him back in. My plan is to put Skip out there with him for company and finally rid my house of tiny, white dog hairs. (THEY'RE EVERYWHERE.)

And I never thought I'd be one to mind it. I've always had an inside dog, but lately I've been getting frustrated.

I LOVE Toby, but I am so tired of my house smelling like dog, even after his baths. I'm tired of my sheets, couches and floors being covered in dog hair. I'm tired of stepping on chew toys when I get up to pee in the middle of the night and finding raw hides hidden under my pillow when I'm trying to fall asleep....

So, we'll see how this works out!

He will be delivered to my house this afternoon, so there will be more pictures to post soon.

Life at the edge of the table

This week, I’ve chosen a lighter writing assignment from Mama Kat. Instead of getting deeply introspective and pondering the everyday happenings and interworkings of my life, I will dazzle you with the thoughts of a glass on the edge of the table.

Since I’m magnificently clumsy, this is how I picture it:

“Oh God, I wonder if she realizes how close to the edge she sat me. Seriously, I can see the floor from here. I saw what happened yesterday. A FULL glass just toppled out of her hands. She said it “jumped”, but I know better. That girl can’t hold on to ANYTHING. Wait…what’s she doing? She’s coming this way! Maybe she’ll see how dangerous this is and move me back. No….oh GOD NO!! She’s tripping…she’s going to hit the table. NOOOOOO…..”


Monday, October 27, 2008

So many festivities, so little time

It feels like it’s been forever since I posted anything!! To my faithful readers (all two or three of you), I’m sorry for leaving you out to dry. I know you must be dying to know all of the exciting events that have been taking place in my life.

Well, fear not — I had a very busy weekend, so there is plenty to fill you in on.

It got kicked off early Friday night. When I got home from work I went through my bookshelves and, much to my surprise, realized I had a book that had never been read. So, I was all set to spend a quiet night at home when my phone rang with a much more exciting offer — a night of rides at the Covington County Fair. Mikey and Jessica picked me up around 6:30 and we headed to the fair grounds. We had a great time, but the trip wound up being a bittersweet reminder that I’m no longer 13. The rides that I LOVED as a kid left me feeling sore and disoriented. And until this year, I had never noticed how rusty some of those things are. And they throw them together in less than a day! Is that safe? Who inspects them and decides they’re ride-ready? Where did these worries come from? Ahhhhg, I’m getting older and I don’t like it!

Anyway, after surviving all of the carnival rides and returning home only slightly nauseated, I went to sleep so I get up early Saturday morning to enjoy more fall festivities. Saturday started with a trip to Opp to help Mrs. Cheryl and her daughter run a booth at the fall festival. We were in charge of “Go fish” — the game where the little kiddies throw a fishing line over the booth to hook a prize. Some kids got a little ambitious and I worried someone would lose an eye before it was all said and done. Thankfully, no one was injured and everyone had a great time. After our shift was finished, we strolled around, checking out the arts and crafts and eating yummy festival foods.

Then it was home for a short afternoon nap before heading back to the County Fair to watch a friend of mine sing in the talent show. (She placed 2nd! Should’ve won 1st, if you ask me…not that anyone did.)

Sunday rounded out the weekend with church, followed by pumpkin carving with Kevin. I’ll post pictures of that later — I don’t have my camera handy. It will be evident by the pictures that I am NOT an artist. I bought a kit with stencils, but Kevin informed me that using a kit was cheating. He helped me scoop out the guts, but left the “free-hand” carving up to me. Not sure that was the best idea, but hey…it was fun. That’s all that matters, right?

Anyway, that was my weekend — another reminder of why I LOVE this time of year.

However, I’d love it more if my heater worked. I called my landlord earlier and she swore she’d try to have it fixed by this afternoon.

OH, speaking of my landlord, she offered me another rental house that’s cheaper than the one I’m living in. It would save me about $200 a month, but I don’t know if it’s worth it. The yard isn’t fenced in, which would be a pain with Toby needing room to run. AND it would mean lugging all of my furniture across town AGAIN. So, I’m weighing the options but leaning towards staying where I am. I'm going by to look at it during my lunch break, but it's not sounding hopeful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Third time's a charm...or that's what they say

I sat down to blog on two other occasions today and shut my laptop because I couldn't come up with anything interesting to say! Maybe the third time will be a charm...

I've decided to crack my writer's block by making this blog a "meme." I've seen that on other blogs and it took me FOREVER to realize what it meant! (I'm a little slow sometimes!) It means I'm going to blog about something I'm an expert on...ME! I know what you're thinking: I do that pretty much every day anyway. But this time I'm going to do one of those little survey deals that teaches you all kinds of random, useless information about Yours Truly.

So here you go: Enjoy!

What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
First of all, can I PLEASE tell you how bad this question bothers me?? It is so redundant! A.M. obviously means morning, so the last two words or either unnecessary or the question should read, "What were you doing at 8 this morning?" or "What were you doing at 8 a.m. today?" SO, now that I got that out of the way, I was at work this morning. In Communications, where I use my major (Journalism) and my minor (English) to not say things like "8 am this morning." :)

What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Eating supper and watching Survivor. Which is almost unbearable this season. I feel so sorry for poor Fang...they can't win a challenge to save their scrawny, starving little butts. Did I mention I was eating supper while it was on. Obviously I don't feel that sorry for them. They signed up for it, not me! Mmmmm, that Arby's toasted sub suuuuure was good.

What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas, hands down.

What’s the best ice cream flavor?
Cherry vanilla, but only by Blue Bell

What was the last thing you had to drink?
Diet Dr. Pepper... one of my many addictions. (Thankfully caffeine is the worst of my addictions. The others include music, movies, Mike & Ikes, college football... you get the picture. No hard drugs or alcohol addictions.)

What are you wearing right now?
Lounge pants and a Troy sweatshirt. OH, and thick socks! You know it's cold if I'm wearing socks! I've managed to find yet another rental house with a broken heater! How does that keep happening?

When was the last time you ran?
Oh wow... I guess it's a bad sign if I can't remember, huh? I did hike last weekend. No running though.

What's the last sporting event you watched?
The Alabama/Ole Miss game last weekend. Auburn's on right now, but I haven't watched much of it.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Do you have a tan?
I used to. I'm getting pretty ghostly. We'll say it's in honor of Halloween.

Have you ever lost anything down a toilet?
I dropped my phone in the toilet before. It didn't get flushed, but it was messed up beyond repair.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Bad eighties music. I'm a sucker for it. In fact, you can't hear it (LUCKY YOU) but I just busted out in "I wear my sunglasses at night."

Do you use smiley faces on the computer a lot?

Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Not if it's in a can, but I have to use a straw if I'm drinking anything with ice. If there's ice and I don't have a straw, I turn into a two-year-old with bad motor skills. I will inevitably spill it everywhere. IN FACT, I generally spill something on my desk at work at least one time a week. They should stock our break room with straws. I guess maybe normal adults don't need them.

Where is your mom right now?
Probably at home watching CSI or reading someone's blog. It's her new addiction.

What color is your watch?
"I don't wear a watch because I want my arms to weigh the same." That's Mitch Hedberg. If you've never heard of him, look him up. You'll smile, I promise. Unless you're easily offended by bad language. Just a disclaimer...

Ever ridden on a roller coaster?
Oooooh yes. Many.

What is your birthstone?
Blue Topaz

Do you have a dog?
No. I have a kangaroo in a dog's body. You should see him jump.

Any plans today?
Well, since today is mostly over, I'd venture to say no. It's unlikely that I'll find anything to do at 9:00 in Andalusia. (Mama found out the hard way that all the restaurants in town close at 9:00. She didn't believe me.)

Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
No big annoyance, but I do miss people sometimes. I'm trying to get out there and meet people in my new town, but I still miss my family and friends elsewhere. And I miss Kevin. We live an hour away and he works nights. Needless to say, things are hard sometimes.

Last song listened to?
Yesterday by the Beatles. It was on in my car when I went to get supper.

Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
I used to be OBSESSED with my flip-flops. I wore them everywhere, all the time, no matter what the temperature. Now, I have a grownup job and have to wear "real" shoes.

What do you usually do during the day?
Write news releases and articles for the company newsletter, work on layout and design, create posters and bill stuffers... most of the time it's a lot of fun.

How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
TWENTY-FOUR!!! Good grief...where has time gone?

Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Ooooh yes. It's one of my favorite places. I haven't been in YEARS though. I'm an adrenaline junkie. I love roller coasters and thrill rides.

How did you get one of your scars?
I have a huge, egg-shaped scar on my left leg, just below the knee.
When I was seven, I had a red scooter (not a motorized scooter. It was one of those old, push-with-your-foot, skate-board-with-a-handle type things.) Anyway, our driveway went downhill (very steeply) and if you crossed the street, our neighbors driveway also had a pretty steep slope. So, what did my genius, seven-year-old mind decide? How cool would it be to start at the top, gain speed crossing the street and then continue down my neighbors driveway?? Remember, I just told you I'm an adrenaline junkie. My young mind saw no problems with this scenario, so I happily hopped on my scooter and pushed off from the top of the hill. The problem presented itself when I reached the street and saw a car coming. Unfortunately, scooters don't turn so well. I missed the car, but ate pavement and slid about four feet, losing a lot of skin in the process. It bled FOREVER. So much for my perfect plan. :)

Anyway, there you have it. Some random, amusing (or not) facts about me. I hope I didn't bore you too much!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sorry Mom...

MamaKat left a comment yesterday that really got me thinking. While I don't regret any of the big decisions in my life, I definitely could have been nicer to people at times — most notably, my parents. I know I put them through hell growing up because of my mouth. There was NO filter. Sometimes I said things just to get a reaction. I was loud, immature, disrespectful and just down-right bitchy at times (as Mama has often reminded me.) I was (and still am) very strong-willed and independent. And I like to have the last word, which can be tough when your mother also likes to have the last word. Arguments can end up lasting days.

Thankfully, I grew up, realized my parents love me and wound up feeling terrible for the "bad years." I can't imagine having to deal with me back then. So here is my formal apology. Mama used to say, "I'm your mother, so I always love you, but sometimes I really don't like you." Hopefully now you can do both? :)

Thanks to Jessica over at SouthernYankee for tagging me in her blog today!

First, I have to open the closest book to page 56 and copy the fifth sentence on the page (and a couple of supporting sentences that follow.) The rules say it has to be the closest, not my favorite or most intellectual... Unfortunately, I'm at work, which means my closest book is Power Pioneers: AEC's First 50 Years (A history of the company I work for!) So here you go, be excited:

"A serious blow came when the cities of Troy and Luverne gave notice of their intention to terminate contracts with AEC as of June 1, 1965, and to thereafter take power from Alabama Power Company. Such notices were given without prior warning when APCo filed a contract with the city of Troy at the APSC on Aug. 4, 1964, and then filed a similar contract with Luverne on Oct. 5, 1964."

I won't make you suffer through any more. I apologize for not having something more interesting to share with you. I assure you, my bookshelves at home are lined with edge-of-your seat thrillers that have nothing to do with power contracts. I bet Jessica is wondering why on Earth she tagged me!

In the second part of her blog, she was tagged with another Kreativ Blogger award where she listed six things she valued, and six thing she didn't. I like that idea, so I'm going to follow suit:
Things I value:
  • Honesty, no matter how harsh.
  • Memories. I cherish the good times and try to learn from the bad. Our experiences shape who we are.
  • Time with the people I love.
  • Compassion.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Music. It can lift your spirit and speak to your heart. Whether your in a great mood or you've had a horrible day, there is a song that will speak to you.

Things I don't value:

  • Jealousy.
  • Pettiness.
  • Negativity.
  • Close-mindedness
  • Spitefulness.
  • Immaturity (in adults; I understand it in kids :) I don't like to see 8 year olds act like grownups...they should enjoy childhood!)

So, I guess it's time for me to tag people now? So, how about Hebba, Bethany, Christi, Lacey and Jen? I hate leaving people out, so if you want to do it and you're not listed, feel free! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fabulously Fall

Hello and happy Monday. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was the perfect combination of rest and productivity. Here’s the run-down:

Saturday I slept in until around 9:30 (by which time Toby was whining incessantly wanting to go outside.) I was pleasantly surprised by the weather when I took him out. It actually felt like FALL! Which made going back inside to do my weekend chores really, really difficult. But I was strong. I got all of my dishes washed and most of my laundry finished in time to enjoy an afternoon of serious football watching. I wasn't as fortunate as Jen and her fam, who actually got to go to the Bama game, but I did enjoy watching it on TV. Let me correct that statement. I enjoyed watching the first half. The second half was down-right painful. Why can’t we pull it together and play a WHOLE sixty minutes of football?! It’s like we quit after half-time. (Yes, I know I keep saying we. I’m also aware that I don’t, and never have, played football. It’s a figurative “we”)

“We” scraped by with a four-point win. SO, although it wasn't pretty, Alabama still remains undefeated. That deserves a ROLL TIDE! (Sorry Uncle Frank, I know you were disappointed. Maybe next year!) Oh, and Toby showed his team spirit by rocking his Bama jersey all day. He hasn't even tried to eat it yet. A sure sign he’s a true Alabama fan.

Sunday, Kevin and I left bright and early and headed to Mama’s for a day of loading furniture and hiking. I was fortunate enough to have a set of California king mattresses bestowed upon me, courtesy of the fam. (My step-dad is 6’7, so he has to have the extra length. But this set was too soft for Mama, and PERFECT for me…lucky me!) So now, my 5’3 frame gets to stretch out on a gianormous bed (which takes up practically my whole bedroom — but I’m not complaining!) I also came into possession of a new entertainment center this weekend. Score! My house is coming together quite nicely! :)

After getting everything loaded into Kevin’s truck, we all (with the exception of my step-dad who was watching football) headed to Oak Mountain for a WONDERFUL hike. (By wonderful, I mean this one was NOT sixteen miles long and it was about 15 degrees cooler outside. If you don't know what I'm refrencing, see this.)

Overall it was a pretty great weekend. Football, family, furniture and friend-boy (okay, that last word is backwards but it needed to start with an “f” to go with the rest of the sentence...and the title of today's blog.)

And kudos to Kevin for being such a champ. This is the about the gazillionth time he’s helped me move furniture. ::Sigh:: My hero.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apologies but no regrets

Ya'll, I'm sorry for the previous post. Thank you for the comments reminding me that I shouldn't let stuff like that bother me. I'm too old for their high school mentality - you are absolutely right.

Today will be much happier, I promise. :)

I recently discovered through Hebba that MamaKat offers weekly writing assignments on her blog. I think they're actually supposed to be done on Thursday's, but I've never been a stickler for the rules, so I figured I'd try one out today.

The topic is: "If you could rearrange three things about your life what would they be?"

Once again, I'm going to break the rules. I'm going to tell you why I wouldn't rearrange anything about my life.

See, I am one of those people who truly believes that everything happens for a reason. The mistakes we make shape who we become. We learn, we grow, we move on and most importantly become stronger individuals.

Take my college experience, for example. Around my second year, I had a pretty big circle of friends that I'd stay out with all night - going to bars, fraternity houses, parties, you name it. I didn't want to miss a chance to have fun. Unfortunately, I didn't always make time for class and before long my grades showed it. I got put on academic probation and they threatened to take my scholarship away if I didn't pull my grades back up. So, I had to quit going out. I tried to refocus and be home at a reasonable hour. And you know what? It didn't take long to find out who my real friends were. I was surprised. Turned out, most of the people I hung out with were only around for a good time. Once I quit partying, they mysteriously disappeared. So what did I do? I picked myself up, made new friends, and got my act together. And somewhere in the process, I met Kevin, who has turned out to be one of the most important people in my life.

I learned how to tell people no, prioritize, and recover from losing people I considered friends. I also learned how to have open and honest communication with my parents. I found out that no matter how bad I screw up, they're still there for me. (They might be livid, but they're still there.) We became closer because of my mistakes. It's funny how that works.

Today, I'm happy with where my life is. I have a job I absolutely love and I feel like I'm becoming the best me. I've found a church full of wonderful people that help make me feel at home and I'm finally proving myself to be a responsible adult. I know I can handle anything that's thrown at me, so bring it!

Now I want to hear from you. What mistakes have shaped your life? Do you have regrets or are you happy with the way things turned out?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Get a life

I apologize in advance for sounding so angry, but it's time to vent a little:

I HATE when people try to meddle in your business and attempt to mess up a good thing. Kevin and I have been seeing each other for awhile now. Things have been great. We laugh together, we both enjoy the outdoors, we get along wonderfully. He's the yin to my yang. He can calm me down when I get worked up, make me laugh when I want to cry and tell me things will be okay when my world seems to be falling apart. (Note: It's never actually falling apart. I tend to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.) I would NEVER in a million years to do anything to hurt him.

I don't know if other people just can't accept the fact that I'm happy, or if they just have nothing better to do, but for some reason someone has decided to tell Kevin that I'm "talking to" someone else. Let's see, on a regular basis, I talk to Kevin, Mama, Daddy, the people at work, occasionally Morgan and Meredith, and oh...that's about it. I'm living in a town where I know almost no one and my dog ate my phone leaving me with no phone numbers. How does this anonymous meddler figure I'm talking to someone? Look people, Kevin and I already live an hour apart, we don't need someone planting suspicions and making things difficult.

My advice, don't start rumors about people just because you're not happy and don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong. It takes a lot to make me mad, but this person has crossed the line.

Get a life and leave mine alone.
Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest.
Friendlier posts will follow shortly...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's been awhile

I was a little surprised when Mama pointed out how long it had been since I posted anything. First of all, I didn't realize it had been that long. Second of all, when did Mama become so addicted to reading blogs? Come on Mom, just start your own!! You know you want to...

Things have been pretty busy lately. I was out of town for a couple days last week on my first ever business trip. There were a couple of interesting speakers and the hotel was BEAUTIFUL. Plus it was in Destin. (Although I never once set foot on the beach.) I did, however, set foot in the spa. (Moment of silence to reflect on the absolute wonderfulness of the spa)

I had a "Serenity Massage." Doesn't that sound delightful? When it was over, I felt like a limp noodle. Or melted butter. I was so relaxed, I almost couldn't walk. It was fantastic. And then I did something that proved I'm becoming an old lady. I went to Old Time Pottery and spent two hours finding things for my house and getting excited about how cheap it was. I got pillar candles for $2.99. I got a rug for my bedroom for $5. I got a really cute basket for $3.99. I am officially confessing my love for that store.

While I was in Destin, Toby had his first boarding experience with Dr. Jones. I felt bad leaving him, but at least I know he was taken care of. They even cut his razor-sharp nails while he was there. Apparently he made quite the impression a few months ago when I took him to get them clipped, because this time when we walked in, they referred to him as "the bad one." He weighs 16 pounds and it takes two people to hold him down and one person to cut his nails. It's not his favorite thing, obviously, but he acts like you're trying to kill him. Poor Toby. Or poor veterinary assistants who have to deal with him.

So, there you have it. A new blog. Was it anything important or interesting? No, but at least you know I'm still alive and still know how to type. Maybe you'll get something more exciting later.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I guess this makes me "that girl"

Okay okay....let me prefice this by saying I SWORE I would NEVER be one of those girls who put clothes on her dog. EVER. I'm just not that girl. But when I came across an Alabama football jersey for dogs, I could not resist the sneaking "Toby would be soooo cute in that" thought. So of course I bought it. Here is the result:

(Toby says "ROLL TIDE!")

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Music: like a drug for my addiction

For those of you who know me, you know I'm crazy-obsessive about music. All music. Any music. (Except rap...but we won't get into that.)

So, that leads me to today's blog. I've decided to put together a list of songs that I absolutely COULD NOT live without, a "Soundtrack of My Life" sort of thing. I'm almost afraid to narrow it down. I know without a doubt I will ultimately forget one and then feel like a traitor to a song that has somehow defined my life. But all fears aside, here we go:

  1. Let it Be by the Beatles: This song has an amazing calming effect on me. No matter how awful things are, I can listen to this song and somehow find a sliver of clarity. Plus, it's the friggin Beatles. Come on! They defined an era.
  2. What it Takes by Aerosmith: I smile just thinking about this one. For some reason, this has become mine and Mama's song. We sing it at the TOP of our lungs every time it comes on. This includes calling each other and singing it on the phone. Do we sound horrible? Yes. Is it funny? Duh. Do I have ANY idea what Steve Tyler is actually saying at the end of the song? No, but why is that important?
  3. Five to One by the Doors: Okay, for starters, it is REALLY hard for me to pick ONE Doors song. Sure, Jim Morrison was a druggie who may or may not have dabbled in witchcraft, but I LOVE HIM. Or I would have had I been born in another decade. Whatever the case, I love his music. This particular song definitely epitomizes his unique sound and raw vocals.
  4. Your Winter by Sister Hazel: What can I say? I love me some Sister Hazel. Great song. No particular explanation.
  5. 4 a.m. by Our Lady Peace: This band was definitely there for me in the time of my teenage angst. Remember, Mom? Those years of sitting in my room listening to alternative music that you HATED (but have now found a bizarre appreciation for? Example: Collective Soul)
  6. Crazy Game of Poker by OAR: I can't hear this song without thinking about my first couple years in college. It's fun, it's upbeat and it makes me remember a time before the "real" world of bills and falling asleep on the couch at 9:30.
  7. I'll Be There For You by Bon Jovi: First of all, Jon Bon Jovi is a SEXY old man. So there. That being said, this song is SO much fun to sing to and it puts me in a good mood. If you haven't seen A Lot Like Love with Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet, you should. There's a great scene where he sings this to her. It makes me smile :)
  8. Cross My Heart by George Strait: *sigh* George Strait is my hero. He has aged sooo well and his songs continue to be amazing. This one is from Pure County. Not the greatest piece of cinematography of all time, but definitely on my list of favorites. It's sappy and cheesy and when he sings this song to Harley, my heart melts.
  9. Wordplay by Jason Mraz: I ADORE him. The way he plays with language is so creative and unique. As a word-nerd, I find his lyrics really entertaining. He definitely doesn't get the props he deserves as an artist.
  10. Damn by Matchbox Twenty: I love Rob Thomas. Simple as that. This song is great on days when you literally think, "Well damn." Sometimes things don't go your way, or people hurt your feelings. That's life. Damn.
  11. Indiana by Jon McLaughlin: If you've never heard this guy, look him up — for real. He's an AMAZING singer/songwriter. If I knew how to link stuff on here, I'd link all of these songs to somewhere you could actually hear them. Reading about them doesn't do them justice. His voice is soothing and wonderful and makes you want to curl up on the couch on a rainy day and read your favorite book.
  12. Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson: This is my happy song. It's impossible to hear this song and not be in a better mood. Plus it makes me want banana pancakes. Like right now.
  13. Say It Ain't So by Weezer: Really this could be any Weezer song. I can't have a soundtrack to my life without one; but this is my favorite so it wins. Weezer makes me miss the awesome radio stations in Birmingham and reminds me of high school. I love living in small-town America, but the station choices here SUCK. I keep meaning to activate the XM radio in my vehicle. (It's on my to-do list.)
  14. Dance With You by Live: Severely optimistic, "I see a world where people live and die with grace." This song is so poetic. Live is one of those distinctively different bands that makes me think about things in a different light.
  15. Sunburn by Fuel: I used to listen to this song over and over. If I only knew then how true the lyrics "Livin ain't free" actually are.

Okay, I could probably spend a lot more time on this, but I have other things I need to be doing. This is by NO way a definitive list of my favorite songs (that would take FOREVER.) This is just a small sampling of songs that have had some sort of influence on my life or at least my current state of mind. I hate that I'm not smart enough to figure out how to set it up so you can listen to some of these.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I made it out alive

If you had asked me how I felt about hiking at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, I probably would've growled at you and told you to shut up. However, now that I am safely out of the woods and no longer being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I can honestly say we had a great time.

First of all, I think I'll be contacting someone at the Conecuh National Forest Rangers Office to let them know their trails are NOT clearly marked. Sure, there are little white diamonds on the trees letting you know you're going in the right direction, but there's nothing telling you what, exactly, that direction is. According to the website, there are several loop trails that eventually bring you back to your starting point. Apparently, we were not on one of those loops. After walking approximately EIGHT miles in one direction, we realized we had NO clue where the trail was actually going. So what did we do? Turn around and walk EIGHT miles back to the truck, of course. For those of you that can do math, you know that's a total of SIXTEEN miles. Sixteen miles in the hot, humid, sticky, mosquito invested forest of south Alabama. Delightful. Fall is obviously NOT HERE. So much for that theory.

In all fairness, it really was a great day. I learned all kinds of things about what berries you can eat if you're lost in the woods. (Being around Kevin is kind of like watching that Survivor Man show...he's a walking dictionary of all things outdoors.) I also had a horrible trick played on me and learned the hard way that chewing on the skin of a green Persimmon will make your mouth completely numb, like a bad trip to the dentist. And it tastes awful. Very funny, Kevin. Thank you.

I think the most important thing I learned was that I am very obviously not in shape. Somewhere around mile 12 or 13 I literally thought my legs were on fire. Every muscle was screaming "STOP!" but I couldn't...I still had three miles to go.

I think I will definitely be waiting for the weather to cool off before I venture back into the woods. And next time I'm taking a trail map! And a gallon of bug spray.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A lesson learned

Today's hike may be slightly hindered by the fact that I almost tore my leg off on the four wheeler yesterday.
Okay, it's not really that bad. My calf is pretty banged and bruised but I can still walk and will definitely still be in the Conecuh in just a few short hours.
So what did I learn from my experience yesterday? NEVER, EVER, EVER, even when it's an accident and the four wheeler feels like its about to flip, EVER let your foot slide off the pedal. That's very important. A second longer and my right foot would have had an upclose and personal view of an ATV tire.
And no Mom, I didn't have on a helmet. I don't see where that would have saved my leg, but I understand your concern. I can't afford to lose any brain cells if I fall off and bump my head. I have a hard enough time with the few I have. :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stalkers beware

Okay, let me just start by easing everyone's apparent fear...I am NOT going to go hiking alone! I promise! So don't worry!! You won't read about me disappearing or see my face on CNN under a missing person headline...unless someone steals me from the Wal-Mart parking lot one night when I'm buying groceries. (TOTALLY kidding y'all, don't stress out because I have a screwed up sense of humor.)

Tomorrow me and Kevin are packing lunch and taking our dogs to the trail for a fun-filled day our outdoor excitement. Hear that? Me, a guy and TWO dogs...crazy stalkers in the woods wouldn't stand a chance! :)

So, I have decided that I was not a natural born Atari player. I lost 12 straight games of Pong last night. And these weren't close losses, they were slaughters. I'm talking 11-1, 11,0, 11-2 (I thought I was improving.) But did I give up? NO! I was freakin relentless. I said, "I'll get you next game; I'm just warming up!" Finally Kevin got tired of such easy victories so he turned the game off and ruined my fun. Apparently my reflexes are just not quick enough to follow a little electronic ball across the screen. Sad? Yes... a little.

OOOOH I almost forgot. My very sweet friend Jessica over at Southern Yankee tagged me with this:

In return, I have to list six things that make me happy and pass the love along. So, here we go:
  1. Unexpected gifts and compliments. :)
  2. AUTUMN: football, hiking, cooler weather, pumpkins, apple cider, Halloween, candy corn, bon fires...I could go on and on.
  3. Singing at the top of my lungs in the car. Yes, it sounds awful but no one hears it but me.
  4. Mike & Ikes: I have an almost unhealthy obsession. This is why I try not to buy them.
  5. Watching my insane dog play outside. He hops like a rabbit sometimes when he runs and I fall out laughing. Yes, he's destructive, but he's also a lot of fun.
  6. Spending lazy days with friends and family. Sometimes just being together is all it takes. No plans, no schedule - just chill.

So there they are. There are many other things that make me happy, but I was limited to six and I try to follow the rules. (Hahaahaha, if you know me you'll laugh at that.) Honestly, I could go on all day, but it's Saturday which means there are football games to watch, so I'm trying to keep this short. I haven't figured out how to "tag" other people, so I will leave by telling Jen, Bethany, Christi and Heather to list your top six "happies" when you get a chance.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Time to hit the trails

So, as I mentioned in my previous blog, it is OCTOBER, which means it is finally Fall in the South. This is BY FAR my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather and the color of the changing leaves (although that hasn't really started here yet.) This time of year I find it almost impossible to sit still inside. Every part of me wants to be somewhere else.
I was a little worried about the lack of outdoor activities when I moved down to Andalusia. Yeah, there are lakes- but those are really more fun in the summer. What I want are hiking trails. So, yesterday I got on OutdoorAlabama.com and was very pleasantly surprised to find there are actually some nearby! And by nearby, I mean 13 miles from my house!!! In fact, there are 20 miles of trail just south of here in the Conecuh National Forest. I have a feeling I will be seeing those very soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Haha...seriously. OCTOBER??

Well, according to the insurance people, a lot of people have dogs just as bad as Toby. They said I'd be surprised at how many people call and say their dog used their phone as a chew toy. So, THANKFULLY my cell insurance covered the damage and all I had to do was pay a deductible on the new phone. The bad news is Toby demolished any chance I had at getting my contact list, so now I have NO phone numbers. So if I don't call you, it's not because I don't love you, it's because my memory sucks and I don't have your phone number any more.

Also, I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but today is the first day of October! Are you kidding me? Where did September go? Or what about August? Last time I checked, I thought it was still May. Sheesh...the summer flew by and now it's gone. I have officially been in Andalusia for FIVE months now. That's insane... I feel like I fell asleep and someone changed my calendar as a joke. The good news is that the weather will be cooling down some, prompting me to find outdoor activities to do on the weekends. I think I'm going to look on Outdoor Alabama today and see if there are any trails nearby. Why can't there be mountains in south Alabama?