Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated

Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated
Yes this is a real sunflower I took this shot a couple of summers ago in the garden outside my work window

Sunday, December 28, 2008

This Christmas was rather interesting, while it was spent with the usual suspects, things were strange...maybe I should say estranged.

If you know me you'll be able to fill in the blanks...

_____ was sick and not able to attend
_____ was just tired of BS and decided not to attend
_____ was still stalkerish and monitoring people
_____ was nice and it was very out of character
_____ was the worker bee as usual, but didn't get angry
_____ was just there walking around with holiday cheer
_____ was happy at first but quickly turned impatient
_____ was dancing around as usual
_____ was uncharacteristically rude and intolerable
_____ was there, ate, laughed, slept

As for me, I obviously played the observant role. I don't know if it is because I am older and there are no little kids in our family at the moment, but the holidays just don't seem as fun as they used to be. I don't think I am so humbug as to deserve a lump of coal but I'm definitely vacationing next year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Post Turkey Day

I hope everyone had an awesome turkey day! Of course we had some good eats at home and then some questionables at the relatives house, but I won't go into that with great detail. I did experiment this year with sweet potato pie...although not difficult to make, the first one I apparently did not mash the sweet potatoes enough so while it taste good it was a little chunky! The second one I mashed and mashed and mashed...for a while I thought I may have mashed it too much, but it turned out amazing. Needless to say the second one is gone and the chunky masterpiece is still lingering! Someone will eat it I guess...

In other news I am in need of a serious vacation. Anywhere but here is how I'm feeling right about now. Maybe I should shorten the broadness of that...anywhere that is not ridiculously hot(I am a winter baby) and has entertainment. I would like to have a think-less vacation...the less brain power needed the better!

Happy Wednesday!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Soooo....

Well my Wednesday has started off splendid...

  1. I left my cell phone at home
  2. It feels like a sauna in the office
  3. I have a proposal that I need to complete for an 11:30a meeting and I have writers block

Maybe I should have stayed in the bed this morning! Regardless of my laundry list of mishappenings, I do have some musings for today.

~Apparently starting next week there are going to be ads on buses in the District stating, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake." While I do not have an issue with any religion, we are all free to believe or not believe in whatever we choose, it is a little unsettling to see that type of propaganda during a season that is the celebration of Christ. Seems to be done with a little bad taste in my opinion.

~~CNN put out a list of the top 10 healthiest grocery stores...of course Whole Foods is no.1, no big surprise there, but Safeway made no.2!?! How shocking...I hate Safeway...maybe I should rethink that.

*A side rant (haven't had one in a while) - Men, seriously learn some tact when you approach a woman. Rudeness, touching and persistent harassment are not appealing qualities.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am soo proud, not only because we have the first African American President in the United States of America, but I feel as though we finally have someone who is for the people of this country. It's been a long 8 years, many times I have not felt very patriotic, but just to see how many votes were cast, people standing in lines in excess of 2 hours, the joy of people of all races celebrating this monumental event, it is truly overwhelming. Words can not express the emotions I have...

It's a Great Day!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

It's finally here! I am excited for a few reasons...

  1. After months of anticipation, I now have my opportunity to vote for change ;-)
  2. I no longer have to endure election discussions, arguments and breaking news stories which happen to be the same stories that you have already heard
  3. There will be regular commercials on tv/radio, never thought I would be happy to see/hear a commercial ever

While the excitement is clear, a little nervousness looms...

  1. I can not handle the thought of McCain and Political Barbie being in office
  2. I hope everyone votes regardless of how long the lines are
  3. Did I say how much I can not handle the thought of McCain/Political Barbie in the White House

With all of that said, make sure you get out there and vote TODAY!

No Vote = No Voice = No Room to Complain

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Remember...

Today, my brother Avery would have been 33 years old. I write his initials and birthday everyday. I try not to forget a lot of things, but I can not remember the date of his death.

I remember that is was seven years ago. I remember when the phone call came. I remember the first person I told and him trying to cheer me up. I remember the road trip to Florida. I remember driving my father, grandmother and sister to St Petersburg. I remember my father telling me to slow down because I was going way too fast. I remember breaking down when we got to St Pete because it finally became real for me that this was actually happening. I remember the blue carpet in the hotel. I remember fighting for my sister to not wear all black like my mother requested. I remember my cousin telling me my brother's other sisters were looking for me. I remember sitting in the car during the wake because I couldn't go in and see him like that. I remember the two hour conversation we had just weeks earlier. I remember wanting to fight his girlfriend/wife because I blamed her. I remember the fake phone number she gave us. I remember sitting on the church steps before the funeral. I remember not walking close to the casket while it was open. I remember the repass and being stared at by his other brothers and sisters. I remember driving back to Tallahassee from St. Pete in the rain. I remember wondering why this had to happen and being angry.

Of all the things I do remember, why can I not recall his date of death?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Morning

Monday again...Clearly the weekend drew the short stick in the battle between work and play. Five days of work and two days off...I don't like the math, but here we are...Yay Monday :-(

~First and foremost the election, which is in 8 days!

I wanted to know who would be on the ballot. Of course we know the main people running for president, but outside of those two, there are 19 other people running. Most people are familiar with the Green party (Cynthia McKinney), the Independent party (Ralph Nader, every time), and maybe the Libertarian or Constitution parties, but did you know there are 13 write-ins? Yes, I said 13! That's a lot of "I want to president one day" individuals. I will not be utilizing my write in space.

Also on the ballot (Maryland) will be Representatives for Congress and Judges for Circuit, Appeals and Special Appeals Court. There will be two state wide questions regarding early voting and slot machines. Depending on what county you reside in there may be additional questions. If you wish to see what will be on the ballot for your area click one of the links below.

Maryland
Virginia
District

~~This isn't news but I absolutely love this commercial. I must have watched it at least 20 times yesterday and laughed every time like I had never seen it. I hope you enjoy it too! It's pretty short, but the concept is soo cute!


Have a great Monday!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday Night Live

Sarah Palin Rap...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Faux Monday Blues

Although it isn't Monday it's still the first day of the workweek therefore classifying today as a Monday by default.

While I do not have anything extra exciting planned for the week, I am on a search for a pumpkin patch. I want to go to the pumpkin patch and get some pumpkins. I have no plans to cut them open nor do I plan on eating them (yucky,) but I just want to look at them. I'm more excited about just actually being there and picking one out! I know, it's a slight digression back to childhood, but you know you want to go too!

Also, this weekend I thought about my birthday...what do I want to do for my birthday??? I really need to think about this. I know it's still a couple of months away, but January will be here before you know it and I'll still be wondering what I want to do! I guess an even better question is who do I want to spend my birthday with...yea I really need to think about this.

Have a great faux Monday!

(And yes I am still seeing frogs...I saw a family on Saturday)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here we are, October 2008, the year 3 quarters complete and just 3 months til the end of the year is upon us. We have almost completed our goal exercise and I am really excited for those that have completed most of theirs. Thank you for all of the email updates...I am always anticipating success of all who are participating.

During these last few months, we should be consolidating and working towards the end of the goals set forth in January (or July depending again on how you have divided your mini goals.) I encourage you to push past any obstacles and keep in mind, 3 is our magic number. If you'd like, start a countdown by week and write the steps you will need to take for that week which will help you to achieve your mini goal by January 2009.

For those that are still dragging their heels, 2008 will be a distant memory very soon. I find it befitting to say, (since this is football season and all) while you may not have gotten started until now, a strong finish is never unrewarded. You have a little less than 3 months to get going. Time is of the essence!

As always, wishing you great progress and a wonderful finale!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Frogs and Fog

It was super foggy this morning. Fog scares me, and no not because of the movie (well maybe), but because for some strange reason deer like to lurk around and hang out in it. I had to go slower than usual to make sure I didn't hit Bambi. And speaking of hitting, I have been seeing an over abundance of frogs in the road. I don't know if they always hung out in the street and I never saw them before, but lately I find myself dodging them. I even had to walk up to one in the driveway to move it from behind the tire. Why I noticed the frog back there, I have no idea, but it's starting to make me feel like the frog whisperer or something!! It's really weird.

It is the 1st of October and I cannot believe all of the Christmas decorations that are all over the stores already. They were actually being assembled the last couple of weeks of September. Give me a break seriously. It's bad enough that Christmas is as commercialized as it is, but to add insult to injury and start decorating before November is just ridiculous. I understand retailers want people to shop their stores for the holidays and when one store starts with the decor they all do, but it's a little over saturated. Seeing Santa before the weather has even turned cold makes me not want to purchase anything!

Have a Happy Hump Day....2 more to go...1 more for me :-) :-) :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a Weekend!!!

This weekend was rather interesting...makes me wonder why I haven't been having action packed weekends all the time....I'll admit I'm a little exhausted, but hey who needs sleep!!! Oh and I have some pictures to share...I am truly far behind with keeping up on my woes and the comings and goings of our crazy world, but October is a new month and it starts in 2 days so I promise, Promise, PROMISE to do better.

The best thing on Sunday for most Washington Redskins' fans was the rivalry win against the Dallas Cowboys. Personally I could care less for either team, but since I have seen 50 or more Redskins' jerseys today, one could assume most people are happy. The best thing on Sunday for me of course was Desperate Housewives...I'm soooo happy fall is back.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hmmph

I have hit a bump in the road. Speaking with a friend (MH) this morning made me realize that I have an issue with not being right. Of course who doesn't like not being right, but I think I have it to the extreme. I never want to be wrong. In fact I believe I am never wrong and apparently, my movement through life with this mentality has crippled me to the point that now when being told that I have the possibility of being wrong, it gives me great anxiety. I have that anxiety right now as a matter of fact and there isn't enough deep breathing in the world to turn it around at this moment.

Along with not being right all the time I am also thinking about other things that I could "work" on. I talked to another friend (LR) this morning it was determined that maybe I take things a little too personal...well I mean if it's a personal criticism and since I have this "I have to be right thing" going on as well, I suppose I could see how all of this interacts.

And to top it all of I have another friend (E) who thinks that at times my trying t0 change is coming off as insincere....

I'm starting to feel as though I am entering a quarter life crisis...of course LR would call this my dramatics coming out again, but clearly I cannot enter 26 with all of these jaded views and actions. While I make no promises to change my personality to please anyone, I will make a conscious effort to make the appropriate changes at the appropriate times. That means my timeline for change may run a little slow for someones taste, but slow and steady wins the race.

So thanks M, L and E for the acknowledgements and for dealing with my less than receptive moments!

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Autumn

Leaves changing colors, falling...coolness in the air...sweaters and scarves...I've waited all year for this to happen and I'm excited that it's finally here. Truly the most beautiful season, Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am so happy the weather is starting to change, although I am a little chilled in the morning I love it sooo much more than the humidity and the high temperatures. I really think I need to relocate to a more "me weather" location. I love it here in the DC area, but summer is really not a selling point.

I have a present coming today!! I am super excited as it is not often that I treat myself with something that I really really really love, but today is a new day! I'm not going to tell you what it is (some of you know already,) but you will see results from it soon!

In my Money magazine for September I read something well worth sharing. I am a little biased actually and I think everyone could benefit from Money magazine, but I'll just share this one item. As part of a settlement for selling customer profiles, TransUnion is offering credit reports and scores for six months. You can look at it as often as you like, but you have to sign up by September 24th.

Previously, I had been thinking about not saying anything regarding Gov. Palin, but I have changed my mind and I am going to make comments. I have to be honest though, I haven't really taken an interest to learn much about her so after some researching I'll give my opinion. I am going to attempt to be unbiased, but I make no promises.

Have a Great Hump Day!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

09.04.08

So the first week in September...school starts...squirt is leaving for college...the weather is crazy hot and humid...and I'm exhausted! It's only Thursday morning and I feel like crawling back into the bed for a couple more hours. I def. feel the need for some caffeine to make it through today.

Also, I have been a little delinquent in my writings for a little while now. I plan on doing my monthly refresh at some point this weekend, maybe tomorrow. Now begins the juggling act...work, schoolwork, gym, sleep, friends, family, sleep some more and of course blogging :-)

May the "FUN" begin!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Welcome to the World Baby Z

Baby Zoey Amirah has graced us with her presence at 6lbs 15oz. Congratulations L and A on the new addition!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Future President

Barack Obama...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Future First Lady

Too good for words... (pause the music at the bottom of the page)

Friday, August 15, 2008

FRIDAY FINALLY!!!

What an exhausting week! I'm glad it is finally coming to a close. I still need to clear off my desk...it looks like a tornado's been through it. I'll be working on that today. My father's back surgery went well...while I don't think he'll be running any marathons anytime soon, he should be in a lot less pain.

The Olympics have been absolutely exciting. I don't think I have ever been as excited to see the games than I have been this year. Politics aside...everyone is doing fantastic. Currently America is in the lead with overall medals, 44, with China in a not so far behind second with 38. China does have the lead on golds at 24 while we have 14, but it's not over yet. If you aren't able to catch the events on the tele, then by all means check out the site

The next three Olympic locations are already scheduled. Vancouver is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics and Sochi is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. All are great locations, but I'm a little more interested in where the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held. Mostly because I like all of the potential locations. I am a little biased, I should say, I'm really pulling for Chicago because it's not too far away and it's a great summer location.

Here are the sites for the cities that have bids in:

Chicago, Illinois

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tokyo, Japan

Madrid, Spain

Also, google has been showing their spirit of the games by changing their logo everyday to represent a sport being played at the Beijing Olympics. They have been cute! And of course my favorite one has a monkey doing the high rings from men's gymnastics.

Well happy exploring and Have a Great Weekend!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Little Irony

I feel the lyrics in Alanis Morissette's song Ironic represent some of the events from this past weekend. The lost of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, the murder of a former olympian's father in China, the list could really just go on and on. Sometimes I forget how quick life can escape me. I take for granted the people in my life, I don't call, say "I Love You", or visit. I am clearly no stranger to death, but I seem to push those thoughts aside. I never think about what if I do not wake in the morning, what if my sister, mother, father, friend do not wake in the morning. Have I done everything to the best of my ability to say what I need to say and do what I need to do for these people and even for myself? Sometimes I'm scared to react in certain situations. I'm working on working past my fear since fear is just an emotion not an actual state of mind. Do you feel there are things you are dragging your heels about? I feel that today is the day that I regain control...phone a friend to say hi, say what I mean, complete tasks. Hopefully if you feel like me you'll do the same! Good Luck!


An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought"Well isn't this nice..."
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic...don't you think
A little too ironic...and, yeah, I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures
Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

Friday, August 8, 2008

08.08.08

Well it's the first day for the Beijing Olympics. I plan on watching as much as I can of the opening ceremony and then of course probably dvr'ing the rest because it starts at 7:30pm and I don't think it's over until 12:00am. That's way too long for me!

I'm glad it's Friday and this week is finally over. It's been a strange one and I'm not sad to see it go one bit. I'm thankful for the revelations that came about but a little disappointed all the same. Nothing left to do but continue to do me and keep moving on. Time is a friend to no one and I don't plan on wasting mine any longer with people suffering from ignorance, idiot-statements/mentality, resent or frustration.

Nothing big happening this weekend, wait, I take that back the global peace festival on the National Mall. Check out the website it's very interesting and inspiring!

Have Great Weekend...the weather should be lovely...get out and do something!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Campaign Hoopla

Well imagine the confusion when I saw the new Sen. McCain ad. Why would you equate Sen. Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears? What do they have to do with the presidential campaign? I can't believe your PR people even approved this ad let alone you endorsing it! It kind of comes off as either a) your not happy that so many people want to Ba-rack the Vote this November or b) your insulting his genuine and overall concern for the state of the nation and potentially implying that he is only in it for the fame.

I wish the ad was pulled actually because I'm quite tired of seeing it. In the meanwhile, Paris Hilton had a hilarious response.

(make sure you pause the music at the bottom of the page before you play the video)

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In our professional lives we have the responsibility to uphold the integrity of the position that we signed on the line to accept. Why some of us seem to think we hold a higher position than the one we were hired for amazes me. Just because you may have access to things that fit outside the scope of your duties and responsibilities does that give you the right to tamper with them? Do you feel justified in doing so? What dignity are you bringing to your job and more importantly yourself? Do you think that by not being morally just in your role that some how you are invincible?

In whatever capacity you act in at work you are expected to maintain a certain level of honesty, integrity, dignity and overall good mannerisms while dealing with others. It's truly sad how many grown people (and I mean especially the ones that have been working for 20+ years) do not understand these basic skills. I advise you to correct it or you may run into someone who is not so understanding and will take any legal actions necessary to right the wrong.

Friday, August 1, 2008

08.01.08

Well this day never could come too soon, we are 2/3 complete with summer. I am sooo excited! Fall will be here before you know it, beautiful leaves, nice cool breezes and of course winter with possible snow showers following. I can't wait!

So as you can tell I have upgraded the look of my blog and added some features (i.e. music) and I am still working on it. I like the new feel and the three columns definitely give a better view of my sidebars. I hope you find it a little easier to read. I also changed the color scheme.

Other news:

  • I finally found a photography certificate program. Along with that I found one for graphic and web design. The photography program also has the option of a 2-week summer session in Prague!
  • My summer session class is half over. I am a little perplexed as we are supposed to be going through chaps 1-8 but we spent two weeks on chapter 0 and a week on chapter 1. I'm not too sure what's going to happen these last 3 weeks.

Have a Great Weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Blues

Monday really seems like it came around way too fast this time. I feel like it should be Saturday morning and I'm just waking up! Guess I have to suck it up for the next 5 days...oh well.

I'm so excited about shark week..I don't think you understand how great it is...all sharks...24/7...for a whole week...totally amazing! I wasn't even a fan of sharks, I prefer dolphins, but shark week changed my perspective. They are truly amazing and nothing like the monsters they have been depicted as. Of course different species have differing levels of aggression and certain things that trigger aggressive behavior, but for the most part they move about just like any other animal in the wild. If you have some spare time, check it out!

You know there is a holiday everyday and today is National Chocolate Milk Day. I thought it was cute especially since I was on a chocolate milk kick a few months ago! Where and what ever you do today....make sure you get a glass of chocolate moo cow to enjoy!

Have a Great Day!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Duh-Nah Duh-Nah Duh-Nah

It is one of my most favorite times of the year and it starts today on the Discovery Channel:

SHARK WEEK

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Concept: LEMON

At our office cookout, well it wasn't a cookout this time around we were at a restaurant at the country club, regardless I got a slight inspiration from my water glass. So I staged it and took the shot.

I like it because to me it represents fresh (lemon), refreshing (lemon and water), how hot it was outside (glass half empty) and just simplicity at its best! After uploading the image to my photobucket account I had the opportunity to manipulate it even further.



The different views of this image that I created got me thinking in a broader context. Do we think about all of the faces we wear daily? People pleasing is not something I'm into and for the most part I am consistently the same with everyone. I learned the valuable lesson of people categorizing from a friend. And when I say categorizing it is just to state that people show you who they really are and what they are really about early on. It is us, the receivers, who choose not to receive a hundred percent of the information being presented to us completely. It took me a while to get that statement and actually be able to apply it in my dealings with others, however it is the best thing that I could have ever done. I go to sleep not tossing and turning because I did not express myself as I wished, but with a clear conscience and ready for the next task in life.

I now pose the question to you, are you tired of trying to portray yourself in a variety of different lights, whether it's to keep the peace with family and friends or trying to get that new promotion at work? Have you thought about how much that wears you out? Trying to maintain a persona that is not your own...what a strenuous task. Like the lemons in the slide show we all have the chance when meeting someone with no knowledge of our background to present ourselves as being better, bigger, richer, smarter and so on than we really are, but who are we really fooling. Clearly at first you may think it is the other person, but the one who truly suffers is you. It's almost as if you become a shell of your true self by trying to hide behind this "perfect" image of what you think others will like you for. And yet we wander why so many people do not know a true friend!

What, may I ask, is wrong with the original image? The person you truly are? If someone fails to accept you as you are, are they really worth spending time and energy trying to convince otherwise?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

95 Degrees and Rising

I feel like a stranger on my own blog...haven't been on here in ages, well I guess 16 days isn't exactly ages, but it's been a while...

I don't know how many of you have been enjoying this heat and humidity, but I can tell you for a fact I have not! I find it to be extremely gross, sticky and stifling...bring on the snow I'm ready for winter. I guess I have a few things to discuss...

~I have decided that in preparation for my stay-cation next week, I tentatively made plans for the rest of the year to lead me to an action packed summer 2009. We live way to close to DC not to take advantage of all the activities that abound. So friends, and yes this means you, you may be receiving random phone calls from me to participate in some of these events. I have already secured a friend for sailing class but if your interested drop me a line. Other things I have lined up, which are not just limited to summer, Westminster Dog Show in NYC, glass making class, swimming lessons (of course before the sailing class!), trip to Great Falls and the Alleghenies, hot air balloon ride and some other things as well, but as you can tell it's going to be fun and exciting!!!

~~I don't know how else to put this so I'm just going to say it in the most tactful manner that I can...People, please please please and please make sure you do your own research on the candidates running for president. I have heard people repeating so many strange and outlandish comments...makes me wonder have we as a society truly gotten this dependent on word of mouth and this lazy that we can not find information for ourselves. Of course it is easier to depend on what you hear as fact, but it is also an irresponsible way of informing yourself. Rumor mills run crazy and most people hear it, repeat it and before long some major news outlet is reporting on it as if it fact. Educate yourself...take the time to hear the whole story, otherwise keep it to yourself!

~~~The Olympics starts in a couple of weeks, I'm interested to see what will happen. Also, I've read where China has taken steps to rid Beijing of the intense smog that is present. I wonder if these restrictions will last after the Olympics are over? Hopefully someone is noticing they can smell the roses without coughing up a lung!

Have a great Day!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Holiday?

Let me first start by saying Happy Birthday America! If it had not been for the brave men of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, America as we know it today would not exist! (No intentional rhyming!) While we celebrated with cookouts and other such events, I hope you took time to recognize, appreciate and say a prayer for our service men and women who have and continue to put their lives on the line so that we may enjoy ours. Independence Day means a lot to not only fellow Americans, but people around the globe. May we continue to celebrate many more!

So on to my eventful weekend...Thursday the lovely water pipe leading from our house to the WSSC connecting pipe decided to call it quits. There was a trinkle of water coming out of the cover, but nothing too terrible. WSSC came out said the leak was on our end so basically we have to cut the driveway and have the pipe replaced. So later on that evening what use to be a trinkle had then turned into a flowing fountain with six peaks. Needless to say water pressure inside the house was low but still do able. The plumber came out but can't do anything until Tuesday. That was fine and all until it rained Friday and the water completely stopped in the house. How depressing a holiday weekend none the less and no stinkin water. We ended up at a hotel and that is where we will reside until the water returns to the house. The street looks as though a river runs through it at the moment.

On top of all of that I tripped on Saturday and have done something to my ankle. It hurts when I go down the stairs, but other than that it's not swollen or anything so I'm going to see how it does the next day or so. I would hate to have to go back to the doctor considering I have been there twice already. Hopefully it is fine (fingers crossed) and the pain will subside.

In the midst of all the drama I did manage to hang out with friends, have a few laughs and a few drinks so the weekend was not a total wash (bad pun)...I actually wish it were a little longer. I may have some really big good news to share, but for now I'll keep it under wraps not really trying to speak it out of existence, but it's something that I am a little hesitant on stepping into, however I'm sure it will be GREAT and it's just my nerves getting the best of me!!!!

And....Happy Birthday KB!!! I wish you many more!

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Can you believe it is July already and we are already halfway through our goal exercise?!? How exciting is it to know that half of the battle has already been conquered! I promised myself not to type a novel like last time so don't worry you won't have to set aside too much time to read this! Now on to business...

Depending on how you have split your goals for the year, you may have a few items that are completely finished and others that are well on their way. I applaud your accomplishments and encourage you to use this midpoint as a time to reflect on the goals you have completed, the ones that are in progress, and the ones that may be taking a little longer than anticipated. Use this as your lessons learned for future endeavors as only you know the time you have to commit and time that you are willing to commit.

My stranglers that still have yet to begin...what are you waiting for? Time is passing and will continue to pass because as you know time waits for no man. What's holding you back? Why not today, why not now? So often we get wrapped up in the planning stages of ideas and thoughts that we never take the first step to completion. I want you to look at those plans that you are making and decide today what it is that you want to complete by the end of the year. Make a move today that will benefit your tomorrow. If you need assistance find a buddy with the same goal and encourage each other. Keep a log of how many times you actually do something that contributes to your goal. If you feel as though your mini goals are still way to cumbersome, cut it in half again and again and again until you do not feel overwhelmed. You can do it!!!

As always, wishing you great progress!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apparently I keep returning to the same path when it comes to friends. There has to be something that I have not learned from past experiences that warrants my repeating the same circumstances. This is the 5th time now and I'm starting to wonder if I'm just plagued with horrible friend choices or if there truly is something hidden within these issues. It's not that they are terrible people and have wronged me to no end, they just do not radiate positivity in my life. I have been blessed to only have one at a time which I believe has enabled me to determine it is an unhealthy friendship to continue. I pray that insight strikes me soon as it seems, right now, to be a complete waste of my time and brain power.

Midwest Flood Information

If you have been affected or have family/friends that have been affected by the recent flooding in the Midwest, the website listed below will provide you with information regarding how to locate family members and friends, where to apply for assistance, where to donate/volunteer and more.

Midwest Flood Info

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today for Tuesday

It's Tuesday, you know what that means...2 more days until Friday!! Then of course that means 2 more days until Monday. What a vicious circle!

~The 2008 Olympic Basketball Team was named yesterday. The players making the cut are:

  • Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets)
  • Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz)
  • Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors)
  • Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic)
  • LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets)
  • Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons)
  • Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
  • Deron Williams (Utah Jazz)

The twelve man team's head coached by Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski with assistant coaches Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University, Mike D'Antoni head mentor of the New York Knicks and Nate McMillan head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Best Wishes!

~~Here we go again...Don Imus...another racially spurred comment. Why oh why? I don't understand why he doesn't understand that some things, regardless of how you may feel, just cannot be stated using a public medium. Obviously he has issues with race that he needs to sort out. In the mean time since this is the second chance...it may be time for a new profession or a discontinuation of live broadcast. He needs to be edited big time. Some people never learn...I feel sorry for him...ignorance is such a preventable disease.

~~~If you have a child enrolled in school at a Montgomery County Public School...they may be hiking to class. Due to the increase in fuel, the county has predicted fuel cost to be $7.9 million for fiscal year 2009. While a permanent decision has not been made, it is on the table. Currently walkers in elementary school walk a maximum of 1 mile, 1.5 miles for middle school and 2 miles for high school. Don't like the idea? It's better than students sharing text books or having none at all. According to Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, "A million cost in fuel is about 16 1/2 teaching slots." A little walking never hurt anyone, but I hope parents teach pedestrian safety to their children before unleashing them to walk to school. Most schools take in during rush hour and it would be devastating to have a casualty due to lack of knowledge.

~~~~Some Blackberry users are demanding compensation for checking their blackberries after work hours. Some have referred to it as a ball and chain. Seems to me, if you do not have a job that you need to be in contact with 24/7 turn the thing off. And then again if you have a job that requires you to be reachable...didn't you know what you signed up for? If you don't like it...find a new job! Do they teach complaining classes or something...people are coming up with all sorts of things to be up in arms about.

Enjoy the day...start the count down to Friday if you dare...just remember Monday is going to come around a lot sooner if you do!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Water Gets the Go Ahead

If you are living in Nothern Montgomery County...WSSC has cleared all water in the area. No more boiling!!!

Excerpt from the WSSC:

(Laurel, MD June 18, 2008): The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is pleased to report that all distribution system samples collected on June 16 and 17, 2008 meet drinking water standards and indicate good water quality throughout the portions of our distribution system impacted by the recent major water main break. Tonight’s results are the second set of tests that indicate there are no signs of harmful bacteria. Thus, WSSC and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) have determined that it is no longer necessary to boil water prior to consumption. The Boil Water Advisory is lifted as of 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, 2008.
There has been no evidence of contamination in the area of our water distribution system that was affected by the water main break on Sunday. Nevertheless, as a final precautionary measure, in conjunction with MDE and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, residents and business owners affected by the Boil Water Advisory are encouraged to flush all cold water taps for five minutes. This includes water lines in refrigerators. Residents and business owners should also dispose of any ice that was made since 9 p. m. on June 15th. The next three batches of ice should also be thrown out. Ice maker containers should then be wiped clean with a solution of 2 tablespoons bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Repairs on the 48-inch water main in Montgomery County are underway and are expected to take at least a week. Water has been rerouted and all customers have service.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Wrap-up

Middle of the week already...It's going to be autumn pretty soon around here if time keeps flying like this! Not much of a busy week...I had a doc appt yesterday...yay fun! All in all I appear to be healthy!?! Suppose to go back in two weeks so maybe this is a false positive...I was waiting for bad news the whole time....didn't really hear any so I'm prepared, to say the least!

A couple of things to touch on today.

~As we all very well know the dollar is failing miserably compared to the euro (1 US dollar is .65 Euros), which unfortunately has put a halt on a lot of vacation plans to Europe for many people. Well, I am here to tell you...Do Not Fret!!! Why you ask...well it's quite simple. In July's issue of Money, there is an article entitled: The website that knows where dollars go furthest, there is a website that is used by the U.S. State Department to determine per diem rates around most of the world. Basically you'll click foreign per diem rates on the left side of the screen, select a country and it will produce a list of cities in that country along with the going rate for hotels. Of course the listing will not consider 5 star locations, but it will give you a good look into what the average rate you could potentially pay. You may even decide to stay in a neighboring city for a fraction of the cost! Happy hunting!

~~More airlines have jumped on the band wagon of not just charging for a second checked bag, but now, for the first one as well. I understand the cost of fuel is going up, but do you expect people to travel without a bag at all?? Of course there is always the option to mail your luggage to your destination via Fedex or UPS, but you shouldn't have to. I probably will the next time I travel by air because with these new charges there is no guarantee that my baggage will not be lost in the shuffle from point A to point B. Why not just increase the price of the air ticket overall instead of charging these frivolous fees for ridiculous items?

Have an event-filled day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father Knows Best

Today is Father's Day and to me it seems that it always gets overshadowed by Mother's Day...of course Mom's are special but Dad's are too!!

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!
-Lydia M Child

Happy Father's Day to all father's; new father's, old father's and soon to be father's! I wish you a joyous day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No tomatoes because of salmonella?!? I shed a tear...it's hot and the first thing you think of is salad; fruit salad, chef salad, cobb salad...the list goes on and on. While you don't put tomatoes in fruit salad, it is a fruit though, they are an important part to my salads. It's just not a salad without a good ole tomato mixed in! Yea yea I know you can still safely consume cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine and of course tomatoes grown at home, but it's just not the same as a nice round beefy tomato.

Excerpt from the Food and Drug Administration:

The Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak appears to be linked to consumption of certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes. The bacteria causing the illnesses are Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, an uncommon type of Salmonella.
The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation. However, preliminary data suggest that raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw round red tomatoes are the cause. At this time, consumers should limit their tomato consumption to tomatoes that have not been implicated in the outbreak. These include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.
June 9, 2008: The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning to consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak has been linked to consumption of certain raw, red tomatoes.
At this time, FDA is advising consumers to limit their consumption of tomatoes to the following types of tomatoes. The following types of tomatoes listed below are NOT likely to be the source of this outbreak.
cherry tomatoes
grape tomatoes
tomatoes sold with the vine still attached
tomatoes grown at home
Also, FDA recommends consuming raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested from the following areas that HAVE NOT BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE OUTBREAK:
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia
Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Netherlands, Puerto Rico
Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from that they have in their home are encouraged to contact the store or place of purchase for that information.
Consumers should also be aware that raw tomatoes are often used in the preparation of fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, are part of fillings for tortillas, and are used in other dishes.
Restaurants, grocery stores, and food service operators have been advised by the FDA not to offer for sale or service raw red plum, Roma, or red tomatoes and products made from these types of tomatoes unless they are from one of the areas listed above.
Since mid April, there have been 145 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of Salmonella. At least 23 hospitalizations have been reported.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oh my...the 90's...for the weekend...I wish I did not have to venture outside, but that was just not the case! This heatwave is real serious...I hate summer and the sad part is summer hasn't even began...hmmm

We went to the National Harbor Thursday and dined at the Pienza Italian Market which was not only very tasty but extremely entertaining. The chefs have a moving band of pots, pans, Tupperware containers, silverware, boxes of pasta and other things. We got to play with them which I have to say reminded me of my sister when she was younger and liked banging on the pots. Surprisingly they sounded really good and they sang well also. Made me wonder if they were really the chefs or a group of imposter's that really play kitchen items!?! Either way it kept dinner upbeat! The Gaylord Resort National Harbor on the Potomac where the restaurant is housed, was nice, but nothing that is to be ooohh'd and awww'd over. The best part was probably the incorporation of live foliage and water features around the interior. I will say the rooms are probably really nice, but I'm partial to my favorite hotel (which by the way is also at the national harbor), so my take on the Gaylord is really jaded :-\ Oh well!

Saturday a friend and I went to see Sex and the City which was funny. At first, I wasn't excited to see it as I thought it would follow the television series closely, but they explained the characters in the beginning so for those that haven't seen the show, like me, you can follow the story line. I will say it was a bit long and towards the end it was a little dragged out, but all in all a good film.

Sunday to celebrate a friend's birthday, a bunch of us had brunch on the Odyssey. Excellent all around and 50 million times better than the Spirit of Washington! Although it was smokin outside it was rather enjoyable. We all know the Potomac River is not the winner of the best looks award, but something about being out on the water, taking in the views, makes you forget the brown unsightliness that surrounds you. Sometimes it doesn't look sooo brown, but yesterday was no exception!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's see, in the news this weekend...

~Gas prices hit $4 a gallon on average for regular nationally. The highest prices being found in California at $4.43 while the lowest are in Missouri at $3.80. I know this morning when we stopped for gas it was $4.09. While I know high gas translates to higher prices for almost everything else, some economists believe this rise in gas prices will push automakers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles while turning consumers away from large SUV's and sedans. I think that is great and all, but $4 for regular is high. Yes I know other countries pay between $8 and $9, but it just takes some getting used to.

~~The Susan G Komen race for the cure was on Saturday morning. Congrats to everyone who participated and suported the cause. I believe everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease and it's only with continued support that a cure will be found.

There is more news, but those are the events that stood out the most to me...besides, I think this post is long enough!

Stay Cool!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Perfect Storm

Usually lightning and thunder do not disturb me, however in light of the recent severity of thunderstorms in the area, flash flood warnings, and increased seismic activity worldwide, I have found myself listening for a tornado and watching the weather reports a little more intently these days. To put my mind at ease, I found a couple of resources to share. When you have a moment, you should take a glance at them to understand these natural disasters and how to prepare/recover. I do hope that when weather warnings come out you are not too nonchalant to prepare for the possibility of an emergency situation arising.

General clean up info after a natural disaster

What is a tornado?
Preparation and recovery from a tornado

What is a earthquake?
Recovery from an earthquake

What is a flash flood?
Preparation and recovery from flooding

What is a hurricane?
Preparation and rcovery from a hurricane

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Well after months of fights for votes, political debates and slander...Senator Clinton has no choice but to concede the Democratic Nomination for President to Senator Obama. I can't even remember when all of this started...when did it all start? It has actually come down to the very end which I don't think I have ever witnessed, but then again, this has been a race like none other! I must say I am happy that we can move forward, regroup and refocus for the next battle which is to vie for the white house against Senator McCain. I do not wish to speak ill of Sen. Clinton as I do believe she is a phenomenal individual with poise and a strong likability factor, however I believe she approached this race with cowardly tactics which ultimately led to her own demise. Hopefully in her next endeavors she will not repeat these actions.

For those Democrats who feel slighted because you wanted Sen. Clinton to take the nomination bid, I pray when it comes time to vote in November that you actually look at the issues at hand. Stating that you will not vote for Sen. Obama, or that you would rather vote for Sen. McCain makes very little sense to me. If you are a true democrat and believe that being a liberal in this country means having an honest government, affordable health care, national security, civil rights and economic growth; then you will stand together with your party to invoke a change from the downward spiral we have been in for the past 6 years. Race should not influence you nor should gender. It always is and always has been about the issues.

If you are a republican, nothing wrong with that, but even you can admit that there is no better time than the present to bring about the change that we need. I ask you to look at the issues too. What do you want to change? What do you think this country needs? I am not encouraging anyone to cross party lines as your vote is just that yours and yours alone, but make sure you look at the issues at hand and decide honestly who will bring change and who will continue the policies already set forth by the Bush Administration.

I leave you with a few websites to visit and a decision. Make sure you take this vote seriously as it impacts the very being of our nation. We are currently at a crossroad. Do not forget the activists that died for your right to vote, the soldiers that have died protecting our liberties or the soldiers who are still serving tours of duty in Iraq.

Think...Read...Encourage...Ask Questions...Analyze...Inform Yourself

The Democratic Party
The Republican Party
Senator John McCain
Senator Barack Obama

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cue Lightning

Wow...first the weather was, well I 'm not going to say nice because hot is not nice to me, but it was pretty toasty out. Then the wind picked up and it got pretty cool which to me is fantastic! However, the storms rolled in. At first it was your typical lightning, thunder, hail and wind blowing hard rain of the usual summer storm, but then it appeared that things started blowing in circles and you know what blows about in circles. Our first line of defense was to retreat to the basement with Sarge in tow. While we have a window down in the dungeon we couldn't really hear much of the action. After calmness prevailed we journeyed back to assess what mess abound and to our dismay, the Bradford Pear in the front experienced a terrible blow. One of the main branches had completely broken off and is now laying across the front entry way to the house. While we are happy that the limb did not fall on the house, we are also saddened that our beloved shade tree has lost part of its glory. Trying to be the machos that we think we are :-) we attempted to move the fallen limb to the back of the house. Funny, we couldn't even lift the thing, so much for that!


Before and After


It appears a lot of trees in the area have suffered the same fate or have completely fallen altogether. I was unable to see any weather reports yesterday due to no power for 12 hours so I'm not able to let you know the specifics of damages in the area.

Yay fun! Primitive living I do not enjoy, however the generator was our best friend. We had a light, the frig, TV and DVD player so needless to say I had entertainment before retiring for the evening. Every time the power goes off the more I believe camping is something I will never do! Kudos to those who like being one on one with mother nature, I am truly not that inclined.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Update!

I have added a link to the site that I will post pictures to. It will be password protected, for obvious reasons, and at the moment I have not granted access to anyone as I have yet to set it up. I will still post select pictures to my blog, but for those close to me you will have the opportunity to view entire albums. I may eventually remove the password protection, however at the moment I feel this is the best solution.

More to come later...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Been Gone For A Minute...

It's been awhile but, I'm back! Memorial Day Weekend has passed and summer fun is officially starting for most of us. Cookouts, beach outings, fishing trips and so much more! I definitely have to plan something for next month, even though it's going to be hot (I hate heat) I feel the need to do something this time around!

Back to Memorial Day, hopefully you were not to wrapped up in weekend festivities to commemorate and honor those that put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy the civil liberties of our country. Sometimes I think we take a lot of things for granted and now is a time to reflect on how full your cup of life is thanks to those that did not fear losing theirs. I can honestly say I do not posses that same courage.

Court graduated from high school yesterday, I have to say of all the graduations I have been to this one was the most comical. The guest speaker had poor grammar while telling the graduates to excel. Hmm, kind of ironic huh? The good thing, it wasn't ridiculously long which is always a plus! She is excited to be finished with high school and to go on to culinary arts school. I really do feel old now! Email me if you would like to see the pictures...don't think I'm going to put them on here!

In addition to all of the graduation excitement, the devil is always looking for an opportunity to ruin the fun. I found out some things that if this was the old me would have totally angered me and made me act like a raving lunatic, but I am proud to say that I have grown spiritually and no longer feel the need to act this way. No need to entertain nonsense. I really feel at peace with it all which is a major step and can only be attributed to my faith.

My last comment I promise:
I still owe you the story that I was supposed to write about this time and I will surely have that for you soon!

Toodles!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finally...Friday

Although it's a bit dreary, chilly and rainy I'll take it cause it's FRIDAY!!!!! Not much to discuss today as this is finals time and my Calc final yesterday was a killer, but success never turns down hard work so I'm getting it done.

I was speaking with a coworker of mine regarding fuel economy for cars and SUV's with high vs. low mpg and regular vs. premium gas requirements, all of which I find to be a daunting task. There are way too many options and you have to dig so much when you go to manufacturer websites, so I set out to find an all in one. Of course there is Edmund's, which is a good site, not trying to bash it, but searching for info on there sometimes gives me mild headaches and slight frustration. I googled my question and came up with this. Check it out!

I suppose that is all...have a great weekend! I'll be studying and writing a paper...not sure how great that will be, but I'm sure I will take many breaks in between!

P.S. there is something I wanted to discuss, but it's long and I haven't finished reading the material yet, so I'm saving it for the next time...

Monday, May 12, 2008

The month of April was full of questions for me...why is, when will, how could, what happens, who does...needless to say the roller coaster of life took me for a few loops. I am proud to say through it all I have progressed and become a better person spiritually, mentally and really overall. While not to ramble on about my personal triumphs, I do have to attribute some of my victories to a few friends of mine. For all the questions I asked, long conversations with tears and complaints that I'm sure went on and on (you know me!) I am truly thankful!

Thank you so much...I love you guys!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother Knows Best...

I hope you enjoy this day set aside to celebrate the wonderful things you do for your family 365 days of the year. While we know today is the official day, Mother's Day is truly everyday!

Happy Mother's Day to All (and mother's to be too!!)

Friday, May 9, 2008

What's In a Name...

I have thought about this for the longest time and now I pose the question to you...

If you had a different name, would your personality remain the same, or change completely?

I often mill over this question and wonder would it make a big difference in the person I have become. Sometimes I meet people and their name really fits them...other times it couldn't be further from the truth! Mother's do set out to find the perfect name with the perfect meaning of what they wish their child to become, but I'm curious to how many of us actually live up to or named expectations?

It could all be relative I suppose and quite possibly my reading too far inbetween the lines...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thinkings 4 Thursday

Let see, so many things in the news, it's a bit tough trying to decide what to talk about and what not to talk about...

~At the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California some ignoramus decides he is going to slap a baby camel on a dare. First, what would even make you consider jumping the fence into the animal pen? Second, why on earth would you feel the need to abuse an animal? I mean clearly it wasn't calling you names. Last, but not least, you have warrants out for your arrest, but it must have slipped your mind while you led the police on mini car pursuit. Common sense once again eludes the masses.

~~The housing crunch...you've heard about it or know someone going through it. Well you may or may not have heard about the latest bill to grace Congress known as the FHA Rescue Bill. Basically the FHA bill will assist those at risk of defaulting on their mortgages. Below is an excerpt with a little more detailing courtesy of CNN Money

To qualify, the lender would have to cut the debt to no more than 85% of a home's appraised value. If the FHA-refinanced loans went into default, the FHA would pay the lender the remaining principal owed.

The bill is sponsored by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass.

While 1.4 million loans are likely to be eligible for such a program, the Congressional Budget Office estimates such a measure would end up insuring 500,000 borrowers and estimates doing so could cost $2.7 billion over 5 years, of which $1.7 billion could be a cost to taxpayers.

While I feel lenders should be at fault for offering loans to people who would not otherwise be able to afford them without the crazy terms, no one forced these people to sign on the line. I do not feel I need to carry the burden of the next person's actions. Tax dollars should be spent in other ways and about half of Americans are in agreement with me...

The poll finds 49% of Americans believe such homeowners should receive special treatment, while 48% feel homeowners should not get assistance. Three percent of those polled had no opinion. (CNN Money)

Where is the lesson learned in all of this if there is no penalty against the loan holder? I cannot find sympathy in this matter as there are a ridiculous amount of resources available for you to educate yourself on mortgages, rates and other related issues. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but regardless I'm sticking by my belief.

~~~I find this to be ironic...First Lady Laura Bush criticized the Burmese government's slow response to Cyclone Nargis that hit the Myanmar nation earlier this week. Hmm that's pretty interesting consider the non-response effort during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Seems to be a little of the pot calling the kettle black? How quick we are to assist other nations and be critical of how they handle emergencies, but when disaster struck our own soil the response was less than lacking. A little hypocritical to say the least.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo!!

Who would believe that it is May already! Where does the time go? We are one month into the 2nd quarter of the year and I hope you are well on your way to completing goals set for this time period. I have to say I have been a little slow with getting started, but I am determined to have my quarter goals completed by the end of June :-)

Today is the Cinco de Mayo! Not Mexican Independence Day, as many believe, but the day the under matched Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. While you do not have to celebrate the day, why not? Especially at a time like this when the Iraq war is entangled in so much controversy (I am totally not discussing my views on the war), why not use this as a way to think of and show support for our troops?

¡Salud!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wedding Bells

I would just like to say congratulations to Amy and Eddie on their recent exchanging of vows. I wish you many blessings and wonderful years ahead!

I love you both!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

Some things that caught my eye recently (and ears):

Empty Tanks + Empty Pockets = Empty Refrigerators

Got Milk...Not without a truck

Make a choice...Kids or Gas

Name one thing not brought by a truck

A few of the protest statements I observed as the trucker "march" rolled past my work window. I can sympathize and empathize with the cause. Gas is getting crazy high and I can only imagine how much it cost to fuel those 18 wheelers with diesel and a 200+ gallon tank. I complain when filling up just 17 gallons! Then, if you are an independent trucker and your fitting the bill for fuel yourself, you have to make up the difference somehow. This translates into higher prices for you, the customer. Although some have said they will not raise their transporting fees, it's inevitable as gas prices have not even reached there anticipated level. On the other side of this, to be a bit sour might I add, I'm not sure the protest is going to do much to change the current situation. It seems there are many protest parading down to congress, but I have yet to see action taken to address the issues being voiced by the masses, at least in recent ones. Makes you wonder if Congress has a completely soundproof building or do they just not care to the point of being unaffected? Hmm...guess we'll see what happens.

To Kill or Not to Kill...that should NOT be the question. There has been a lot of talk lately about the rise in animal health care. There was a woman showcased in the paper speaking on her experience with vet bills. Although her bills were high she stated if she had it to do all over again she would, regardless of the cost. On the flip side of this, I can't believe how many people would euthanize there pet if the bill got too high. Why do you have pets? Would you kill your child if they had a terminal illness? Maybe that is a little too extreme for some as they may not view their pet as an integral member of their family. However, you did accept responsibility for them and therefore you should do any and every thing in your power to ensure a sound quality of life for your pet. If you can not guarantee care throughout the life of your pet, don't get another one! Why don't you find a loving forever home for your pet to live in where they will receive everything they need? It's irresponsible to deny care for or even consider euthanizing for the pet you accepted into your home that relies on you for care. I can't believe death would even be an option. Do your research folks before you buy that puppy in the window.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Disney Pics

Animals from the safari and the hotel



Shots from the hotel

M-I-C...K-E-Y...M-O-U-S-E




Whew......back from Disney World and boy was it fun! The best part of course was staying on Disney property at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with the wonderful savanna surrounding us. When I say this hotel was absolutely gorgeous, that's an understatement. The decor and staff attire was not only authentic but beautiful and very meticulous. The lobby made you feel as though you just stepped off the plane in Africa literally. Beyond my excitement for the hotel was the feeling of sereneness and peace. It was quiet and even though there were kids upon kids upon kids, I didn't even notice them. The weather was perfect for our first day there, a lovely breeze and sunny with no humidity...I was in awe because it was hotter a couple of days before in DC than it was in FL...go figure.

We explored Animal Kingdom first and went on a safari ride, which was quite funny. The guide said "holy pajamas" at the "broken bridge" and one of the kids I was chaperoning was waving and saying hi to the animals, a very interesting adventure. We had the pleasure of viewing elephants, lions, an ostrich, bongo, impala, antekole cattle, cheetahs, Nile crocodiles, hippos, giraffes, termite mounds, vultures, pink back pelicans, flamingos, some other weird looking birds, a Galapagos tortoise, American crocodile, and I'm sure I have missed something, but that's all I can remember.

While walking to one of the other rides we ran into the 4pm parade. I thought there was only a parade at Magic Kingdom, but to my amazement there are parades in just about every park. I have to say the one at Animal Kingdom was much more livelier than the one I've seen at Magic Kingdom (cheesy), good music, great costumes and pretty floats. We actually watched the whole thing! Needless to say, the daytime was full of adventure. After resting in the hotel for maybe an hour, it was off to Magic Kingdom for Grad Night 08'. We had a couple of bumps in the road along the way, but once we arrived at 10pm, I ducked into the chaperon only area (my feet were killing me) and the kids ran along and enjoyed the night. While in the chaperon quarters, I couldn't believe how many of them were asleep. Not regular sleep either, I mean deep REM sleep, snoring and all. I know it was really late, I nodded a couple of times myself, but really how much help are you going to be if there is an emergency and you are stretched out kicking up Zzz's? Anyhow the story continues---Surprisingly the kids were ready to go at 2am, Magic Kingdom was not going to close until 4am, but hey there were definitely no complaints from me for the early duck out. So we approached the gate and I went to ask security if monorail would take us back to where we needed to be...do you know this man tells me we can't leave until 2:30am?? I asked him was he trying to hold us hostage...he laughed...I was so serious though, I finally get to leave and now I can't! So we had about 20 minutes to wait and then it was off to the hotel. We finally settled in at a little past 3am for some well deserved shut eye.

Day Two--while I wanted to rise early(6am) and had set my alarm to see the animals closer in at the viewing points of the hotel, after only having just under 3 hours of sleep...the snooze button was my best friend in deed. I did not get up til 10am and of course all of the animals by that point have taken refuge under select trees all of which were too far away to get good shots of with the non-professional digital camera we took with us. Talk about photo opportunity loses I felt so bad :-( not having my camera with me! With 1/2 of the kids still snoozing I took the opportunity to venture around the hotel and explore all there was to see. I admired the structure inside and out and searched out all of the animal lookout points for future reference!


I was really determined to be up close and personal with the wildlife, but I was exhausted. We finally left the hotel at 12ish heading to Epcot. I have never been to Epcot and it appears I have not missed anything either. The first ride we got on was, I forget the name, but it is the one that goes in side the golf ball. I liked the concept (evolution of intelligence/innovation of man kind) of the ride however, the information was not exactly accurate. For instance, the Egyptians were not the first people to create writing and maintain record, it was the ancient Mesopotamians. There was another point they made incorrectly, but I cannot recall it at this moment. Regardless, it wasn't that bad just needed some tweaking. The next ride, Mission Space, the line was kind of long and the warnings were everywhere, but did I stop...no! Should I have stopped...definitely. I felt so sick after getting off that ride that I refused to ride anything else for the day. I was the designated bag holder for the remainder of the time at Epcot. It seems that everyone at Disney is extra friendly...I was sitting next to this lady during one of my bag holdings and I inquired about my true intentions, searching out a giant tigger. She told me about this ginormous store in Downtown Disney that has everything. After that conversation it didn't matter to me any longer what the children wanted to do because I knew where I was headed...(sing along) Downtown, things'll be great when your Downtown...I informed them when they got off the ride. The next place they were going was to Hollywood Studios. I rode the shuttle with them and then it was off to Downtown!!!!!!!!! No one told me how long the ride was, I felt like it went on forever, but nevertheless we arrived. My first stop of course was the Christmas store (you know I sing jingle bells all year round!) Everything was FAB, I loved it! Spotted, Pooh and Friends so I zipped on over, got my tigger, and was on my way. I went down a little further and ventured into the World of Disney store. When I say overwhelming...that doesn't even begin to describe what I felt as I walked in the door. I quickly exited that place, I just couldn't take it. I brought the kids back to Downtown for a few hours when they returned from the Hollywood Studios venture. All in all day two was wonderful and relaxing!

The finale...Day Three--Well since we had to be on the way to the airport by 10am this was an early rising morning. After getting dressed and packing it was time to see the wildlife. I didn't make it out exactly at 6am more like a little closer to 8am. There were some good views and the animals we definitely closer than the day before. We took some shots ate breakfast, an awesome breakfast might I add, and it was time to say adios. All in all it was a lovely trip, my best visit to Disney thus far and we will surely go again and definitely stay for a week or two so that we can go to Sea World, Busch Gardens and visit relatives.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!!

Today is Earth Day...love the planet that loves you most!

Plant a tree native to your region, use eco friendly pesticides, put a bird house in your backyard, use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances, take mass transit to get to work or carpool, recycle all recyclable materials, dispose of all toxic materials properly

Use this day to educate yourself and the ones around you. Did you know if everyone in America alone recycled their newspaper everyday we would save 287,000 trees?? Get in the know!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Simple Things


Yesterday (not disclosing locations, but some of you may know where I was) I saw this water fountain and of course the only camera I had was on my phone. I think the picture turned out pretty well considering the source and time of day (late evening). So enough with the rambling, how often do you take in everything around you, truly stopping to smell the roses, closing your eyes and listening to the sounds, or blocking out the noise and observing the smallest details? I encourage you to take notice of all that surrounds. You never know what you could be missing!

~Side note: I am off for some fun in the sun on Friday (yay vacay finally!) and while I'm not so excited for the heat, it's a small exchange for some well deserved R & R. I'm sure I will have some stories (or rants) to share upon my return!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday's Run Down

Welcome to the world Jack!! My Canadian friends have a new addition weighing in at 6lbs 5oz. Congratulations B, T and A!

So the Pope is coming to town. I do not practice Catholicism so I will not be participating in any of the comings and goings, but if you are planning to attend I wish you luck with the crowds and hope you get a good seat!

Interesting:

In the paper today was an article addressing the lack of money padding the pockets of DC residents in light of the new economic boom. DC has so many new employment opportunities which unfortunately the residents are getting next to none of because business owners stated a lack of "qualified individuals" to fill the positions. Funny how a new stadium is built, new shopping centers galore, all with the promise of increasing employment opportunities for the residents, but they have yet to fulfill that end of the bargain. Now talks are about creating a community college system for the District, something that probably should have been in place years and years ago. I wonder when the light switch came on!

Low and behold here we are with the tried and true battle of good vs evil, or should I say politics vs public correctness. I am in no way a political hater nor do I believe all political actions are for the good of a few rather than many, but I somehow in someway figured a while ago that when "real" issues came about, (e.g, schools, kids, the homeless battle, working poor, etc) the District would cry foul and "oh we're doing all we can" and yet here we are after a new stadium is built and multiple retail ventures have popped up and we see the District, people wise, no further along than it was before. It always amazes me how common sense eludes the masses, but here it is. A perfect example: we have our "wonderful" Pres. who preached no child left behind yet a study conducted in the very part of the nation in which he resides has a very high dropout rate for high school aged children and of course who could forget him throwing out the first pitch at a Nationals game in the newly built stadium that cost $611 million (and rising) yet some public schools lack heat, books and need major repairs. I suppose this is just another showing of the lack of follow through from people entrusted to support the views, ideaology and goals of the voting public.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Update

Quick update: Pops is recovering from his operation...everything went well and he'll be home today!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday Torments

A few things that irked me today...

~I was watching this documentary on immigration that a group of students in Silver Spring called the Gandhi Brigade produced. On there is this man stating that he doesn't want anyone coming to North America because he does not want their cultures mixing with the "one" here. So the interviewer asks him about his ancestors to which he replies They were from France. The interviewer then asks well since you don't believe in immigration, your family shouldn't be here either. This ignoramus replies that people with European background made this country sophisticated...and other such nonsense along those lines. I find a few issues with this: First, if you don't believe in immigration no one including your ancestors would be here. Secondly, America is a land of different cultures, some brought here against their will, so to say you don't want different cultures here...maybe you haven't looked outside your window. Finally, how ignorant and closed minded are you??? I hate to say this, but I am glad he was an older gentleman (I use that term loosely) and hopefully you haven't passed your judgemental views down to your kids, grandchildren, etc.

~~I'm trying to stay neutral, but the Olympic games being held in China while civil unrest is occuring in Tibet, not the wisest decision I'm sure. Pres. Bush stating that the Olympics is about games and not politics is, well, pretty much how he has ran the country for the past 7 1/3 years. Surprisingly his lack of regard for the Tibetan people does not shock me, but the fact that other countries are continuing to support the Beijing Olympic games does. This is just the torch carrying and it has been met with so much protesting that I can only imagine how this is going to progress. Guess we will all have to wait and see...

~~~My grown people....pay your bills!! Not taking responsibility of the debts that you owe, whether it is a credit card, the phone bill or the Washington Post delivery man, is simply unacceptable. Funny how when it's time for bills to be paid people cry broke, but you somehow miraculously have money to go out and party like no tomorrow. The Bible states clearly in 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; When I became a man, I did away with childish things. Not taking care of responsibilities is a childish matter. I don't care how late, how old, how you "didn't get a bill", you know you owe, stop with the games. Bills don't go away they just gain interest and fees while causing you more headaches and heartaches. Set up a payment plan, send in $20 a month, a pay check or what have you just get it done. I can't believe I even had to go there with this. Get it in line.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rainy Day

It's quite peaceful outside today...no loud rambunctious kids running the streets, no noisy neighbors moving around, although there was a cute little chocolate brown puppy meandering about, it is, for the most part, a wonderfully rainy Sunday that I am thankful to witness. It's back to the routine tomorrow...

BTW my sister got accepted to her first choice for Culinary Arts School yesterday!!!!! Way to go Squirt!!! She was a little ticked with me for yelling outside when I read it, but hey if I didn't embarass her I wouldn't be a good big sister now would I...congratulations!!!

P.S. someone requested a comment section...wish granted.

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm sure you all have heard of the 3rd grade class in Waycross, GA that conspired to handcuff then stab their teacher because she reprimanded one of their classmates. I was a little shocked yesterday when I was reading the paper because it seems that some child psychiatrist do not believe these children could have came up with this plan. I'm thinking maybe they are living under a rock or something. Kids are not like the used to be three and four decades ago. Scientist have even admitted that the brain is the only organ they do not fully understand the workings of. I do not find it so hard to believe that they devised a plan and everyone came prepared. Look at the over saturation of violence they get from video games and the media, not to mention the absence of positive parenting. I have to give them credit for being able to actually lay out a plan (regardless of how bad it is) and then be prepared to carry it out. To think all of that potential literally going to waste. I'm not going to play the blame game, but I'm not sure how your 8 year-old child makes it out of the house with a steak knife. Take some more time with your kids instead of letting them raise themselves.

Today is the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. slaying at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. http://www.thekingcenter.org/index.asp

A brief side message: (yes, this is a rant)

Complaining

If you really have a legitimate complaint and you bring it to the attention of the people that could possibly fix it for you, but you fail to utilize the tools in place that solve your complaint, DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT IT ANYMORE. I don't want to hear it and I'm sure no one else does either. That is comparable to you complaining about policies, but you didn't bother to go out and vote. Seriously, get over it!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

So I got this "notice" in the mail from the Internal Revenue Service (ooh) which stated the ins and outs of the possibility for receiving the stimulus package for completing your 2007 income taxes. At first, like many, I was excited..."free money why complain?" However, I thought about it a little further...If I'm getting a minimum of $600 outside of the money that I received from my 2007 tax return...where's the catch. As we know nothing, NOTHING in life is free! A clause here, fine print there and you could be totally screwed! So to say the least I am somewhat excited, but a little more expectant of having to pay taxes on this "free gift" that is supposed to boost the economy.

Think I'll just put mine in the bank and see what develops...

Monday, March 31, 2008

As March nears its end while April showers are literally approaching fast....a fourth(1/4) of 2008 will enter completion. Scary isn't it?!? Time flies when you get older is truly an understatement! Regardless, I pose the following questions to you...

  1. Did you complete some (any) of the mini goals you set for yourself during this time period?
  2. Did you make realistic goals that you could complete in 3 months?
  3. Did you make an honest effort to at least attempt one item on your list?

I know sometimes we are overly ambitious and set goals that we normally would not be able to complete in an attempt to radically change the events of the past year. I want to encourage you to make positive changes in your life, but remember Rome wasn't built in a day. Do not be discouraged if you were not able to complete the items on your list. I find this to be a humbling process in which self-honesty and realization can be appreciated. Only you know your strengths and weaknesses.

Self Empowerment:

I came across this proverb in the newspaper yesterday and thought it was worth sharing as it pertains to our message for the year.

Once long ago there was a warlord who was ravaging the Tibetan countryside, pillaging monasteries as he moved from village to village. When he approached the monastery where a particular monk lived, all the other monks fled to the countryside. When the warlord entered the monastery, he was enraged to find that the monk had not fled.

"Don't you know who I am?" the warlord demanded angrily. "I could take this sword and stick it through your stomach without even blinking!"

"Don't you know who I am?" the monk calmly responded. "I could feel your sword pass through my stomach, and would not blink."

The time for being a cowardly monk and fleeing emotions and other things that challenge us in life is a thing of the past. The time for being the angry warlord and making others suffer because of our own insecurities and challenges is a thing of the past. I encourage you to have faith in your daily lives and move forward, hold your ground, speak your mind and start being an active participant in the decisions that affect your life. The time to stand is now.

Wishing you great progress!

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New Year, New ___________

So this is the beginning of 2008. I know resolutions are probably in effect for most of you, but I don't believe in those because I never keep them :-). It's been a while since I have written one of these, but my non-resolution is to try to do this a little more regularly.

For this new year many people think about trips they wish they took, jobs they wish they left, money they wish they saved, pounds they wish they lost, time they wish they spent taking care of themselves, the list goes on and on. Instead of looking at 2008 and making this a coulda, shoulda, woulda of yester-years, let's make this a planning, completing, finished year. Set mini goals for yourself by dividing the year into thirds or quarters that will lead to the bigger goal. If it's on your mind find a way to materialize it into happening. Make this a year of realities.

I wish you all the best!