Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Music Review: Tuskegee

My college roomie, Melissa, left a comment earlier this week asking me to post a book review; and, while I would love to oblige her, today is not the day. I haven't really read anything as wonderful as The Hunger Games lately, but I am reading something right now that is getting better by the day so I may have a review of that book before too long. I will try to put something together for Melissa and the rest of you before then on some books I liked and maybe haven't reviewed on here.

In the meantime, however, I did want to tell you all about a really great new album I purchased from iTunes this week. The name of the album (I have a hard time spelling and typing that word) is Tuskegee and it's by none other than Tuskegee native, Lionel Ritchie - love that guy! This album is a remix, if you will, of some of Lionel's (yes, we're on a first name basis) greatest hits. However, instead of Lionel singing along by himself or with some anonymous back-up singers, he sings with some well-known country music stars. Well, they may be well known to you; not all of them are well known to me.

I'm not a fan of country music by any stretch of the imagination, but I must admit, I really love this album. It's got a classic Lionel sound, but also a new twist and it brings these old classics to life once more. My favorite song I think is probably "Stuck On You" with Darius Rucker, which may not surprise many of you that know I am secretly a big time fan of Hootie and the Blowfish. Blake Shelton and Lionel open up the album with “You Are” which is also a good one.

Other artists include Jason Aldean (who my little cousin Sydney likes) singing “Say You, Say Me”, and Tim McGraw singing on “Sail On”. There are also songs with Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson.

If you are a lover of Lionel like I am, then I really think you will like this album a lot. I would almost venture to say I love it more than the originals…almost. It is truly great and I have been listening to it ever since I downloaded it. If you are looking for some good music, then give Tuskegee a try and then try not to sing out loud while listening at work – it’s not an easy task!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

She’s Not Sure She Can Help

On Monday night, we had our monthly Ladies’ Night Put event for the gals at church. We got together at the home of one of my favorites, Idova and she grilled hot dogs for us. We talked and ate and had a really fun time.

Before the night was over, we played a game called Songburst. This particular version was songs from the 1950s and 1960s. I would read a few words from a lyric and the two teams would try to guess the name of the song. The participants were supposed to sing the song which didn’t always work out so well. The toughest part for me was when I did know the song – it was hard for me to not sing.

Somehow during all of this singing and reading of song lyrics, I ended up showing the girls my not so awesome dance moves; particularly the dance moves I used when I was at Patrick’s wedding reception on Saturday night. Well, needless to say, the ladies got quite a kick out of those dance moves of mine.

Myrtle, who is the sister of Idova, basically told me that my dance moves were terrible and that she needed to teach me some moves. After the game was over Myrtle told me she had taught all of her girls to dance and that she in fact won a dance competition when she was younger – I have got to get more information about that!

I demonstrated some more of my dance moves and she told me not to move my arms around so much. I told her I could not wait for these dance lessons she is going to give me. She probably will try to pass on actually showing me something, but I will not rest until I learn some sweet dance moves from Myrtle!

Sadly, as she was leaving for the night she told me she didn’t know if she could help me – apparently my dance moves are that bad! I assure you, I will keep on Myrtle until she gives me some dance moves and of course, I’ll be sure to tell you all about my progress right here on The Chronicles of Nat!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It Was a Party All Weekend

Well, I don't know about you, but I certainly had a busy weekend; and, by the time Sunday night rolled around, the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and write a post. So, I'm a day late getting things started here this week; but hopefully all will be forgiven.

Friday night I managed to mow most of the back yard on a very high setting and knew that without a doubt it would have to be mowed again on Saturday. I also managed to pull up two dead tress from the backyard and the holes in which they once stood now pose a hazard every time I walk in the general area. No doubt I will have to fill the holes with mud so I (or The Tide for that matter) don't break a leg.

Saturday morning I woke up early to do a little cleaning before I went to the gym and then after the gym I mowed the front yard and the back yard again. Thankfully the yard is at least now somewhat manageable provided I don't wait weeks to mow again, which I don't plan on doing. I will also have to bring out the weed-eater on the next go around because some areas around the house are in desperate need of a trim and the lawn mower can't reach. So, I have that joy to look forward to.

After mowing and showering, I did a little more cleaning and then got all dolled up to go to a wedding. My friend Patrick got married at Grace Lutheran Church and then the wedding reception was at the Huntsville Museum of Art. It was a nice ceremony, but the best part was that they had a bagpiper play when Meredith walked down the aisle and when she and Patrick left the building. It was awesome! He also played when they were introduced at the reception. The food at the reception was also really good. They had chicken fingers and rolls at one table and a cheese and bread table and then the main course was roast beef or chicken with potatoes and carrots, asparagus and a squash, broccoli, zucchini mixture. The bride's cake was red velvet and white and was kind of dry, but the groom's cake was chocolate with peanut butter frosting and was very moist and quite delicious! They had a DJ mixing tunes for the dance floor and I must admit I kicked up my heels and did a little dancing. It was such a fun night!

Speaking of weddings, a guy I work with also was married over the weekend. He came in to work on Friday and worked half a day then drove to Biloxi with his girl and got hitched. I thought that was so strange that he would come in to work and then get married in the evening. He was back at work today as if it was no big deal. Totally cracked me up.

On Sunday, I cooked birthday dinner for my mom, whose birthday is today, March 26! Happy Birthday Mother! We had chicken tetrazzini, salad, garlic bread (thanks Cheryl!) and apple dumplings for dessert. It was pretty good if I do say so myself. I made it home about 8:30 Sunday night, cleaned up the kitchen, watched one TV show and then called it a weekend. I was more than tired by the time I hit the bed and I did not want to get up this morning.

I'd like to think the next few weekends were going to be a little less eventful, but that couldn't be further from the truth. At least I will have something to write about! Sadly, I'm not sure what I will write about tomorrow seeing as how I've told you everything that happened over the course of the last three days, but maybe I'll be able to think of something. I hope you had a great weekend as well and that your week is off to a tremendous start!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Need To Mow My Yard

I don't have anything exciting to end with this week. Hopefully you're not too disappointed. I'm sure you all have already mowed your lawns, whereas I have not and now my grass is out of control. I heard Robert Reeves say that you should mow on March 23 or 24 so that the green onions wouldn't come back and so I decided to hold out for the 23rd, which is tomorrow (or today if you are reading on Friday). However, it poured down rain Thursday and I think we are supposed to get more rain on Friday; so, now I have no idea when I'm going to mow. Fingers crossed it won't rain on Friday and I can get it done then. Otherwise it will be Saturday morning after a trip to the gym, which sounds like too much physical activity in one day! At any rate, it needs to be done before The Tide gets lost in the tall grass never to return.

I wanted to tell you all another story about that neighborhood cat. On Saturday when I left to go to the gym the cat was on top of the roof of the house across the street (where its owners live). The roof over the porch of that house is a little lower than the roof over the living portion of the home and that's where the cat was chilling out. When I got home, it was still there. Then moved to the higher portion of the roof. I took a photo with my phone, but you probably can't tell much about the scenario. I found it to be really strange, but what do I know?

This photo makes it look like I live in the ghetto!

Here's another photo from my phone that I thought was funny. On Saturday when I went to the concert with Maria and Jackie, I took this photo of my two friends. It cracked me up because Maria wasn't even looking at me, her eyes were turned towards the tour bus. She was not going to miss it if one of The Avett Brothers walked by!

My neightbor Charlie broke out his fire pit this week. This cracks me up. You can read all about Charlie and his fire pit here. That's it for the week, friends. I hope you all have a great weekend and that your yard is perfectly trimmed!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Eavesdropped In On The Solution

You probably know by now that I seem to often have problems with my sinuses. I end up with a sinus infection every time the weather changes, or at least the seasons. It’s quite a curse, if you ask me, but one I deal with because I live in the land of pollen.

Last Wednesday, I overheard a conversation before our morning meeting. One of the guys said that he had heard eating local honey would help with allergies. I had never heard that before, but was willing to give it a try because I was close to finishing my medication from the doctor and on that particular day was feeling quite terrible.

So, after work on Wednesday, I stopped by Ayers Produce and bought some local honey, made in Meridianville by Bill Mullins, whoever he is. I then stopped by the liquor store, yes, Aunt Linda, the liquor store, and bought some bourbon. I wanted to make a hot toddy that evening so that I could get a night of good sleep.

After church that evening, I ate a few spoonfuls of honey and then made a hot toddy and soon after went to bed. Ever since that night, I have eaten at least one, usually two spoonfuls of honey a day and I am here to tell you, I am feeling so much better. My eyes have not been watering and my nose hasn’t been dripping as much as it was. The soreness in my throat finally went away on about Sunday. I really do think it’s helping!

If you have trouble with your allergies and sinuses, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I feel better than I ever have in the spring and that’s saying something. I guess you need to like honey, otherwise it might not be a good solution for you. I have been a lover of honey since I was a young child thanks to my parents who used to put honey on my pacifier. I’m sure parents wouldn’t dream of doing that nowadays. But, in the 1970s, it was a-okay. If you give it a try, report back and let me know if it’s working for you as well as it is for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Have You Got To Lose?

So, y'all know I love to save money and try to do so in each and every way I possibly can. I recently read on one of the money saving blogs I read that you should call your internet service provider every few months and see about getting a lower price, or a promotional price and once that runs out, call them again. I stored this little nugget of information in the back of my head and didn't think much about it again.

Last week my dear friend David stopped by my cubicle for a visit and told me about his recent call to DirecTV. Last year about this time, he called and complained about a gaming channel they were doing away with and so he threatened to change service providers and they gave him some free movie channels and $20 off his monthly bill for a year. This month, David’s promotional $20 off per month ended. So, he gave them a call and asked what they could do to help him out – times are tough, man! So they gave him $20 off per month for another year.

David inspired me to make my own phone call and so on Thursday night, I called DirecTV and asked them what they could do for me. After speaking with a third person, I was also offered $20 off per month for six months. I took the deal. The guy I spoke with said I could call back in six months and ask for it again. Then we continued talking because I had a question about an old receiver I wanted to send back. As a result of asking about the receiver, the guy I was talking with discovered I was being overcharged for a receiver that wasn’t being used and he gave me a credit. He could only go back six months on the credit so that was another $36.

The next day when I logged into my account, my bill, which is usually around $106 was only $45 for the month of April! Score! It was so worth the phone call.

David later called his internet service provider and ended up with $20 off per month of that bill as well. I haven’t called mine yet, but it’s on the agenda. In this competitive society we live in most companies will do what they can to keep your business and it will benefit you as well. So, pick up the phone and give your cable, dish, and internet companies a call this week and let us know your success stories!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It Happened Again

After arriving home late Saturday night, I still managed to wake up around 6:30 on Sunday morning. Since I didn't have any studying to do (we had a guest speaker during the Bible class hour), I decided to peruse iTunes for some Avett Brothers tunes. Seeing as how I didn't know very many songs at the show on Saturday night, I figured I needed to download some of their music so that maybe next time I will also want to jump up and down like Maria.

I found a set of songs I wanted to download but rather than smoothly downloading, I received an error message that the transaction had been declined. I looked at the card number on file at iTunes (my debit card) and it was entered correctly. Rather than try to figure out what was going on with this card, I just entered in the information for my credit card and the songs downloaded. Strange, yes, but not all that unusual as I had some problems with my card on iTunes around Christmas time because I had not downloaded any songs in a long while.

During church I received a phone call, but it was a 1-800 number so I didn't leave worship to answer it and to be honest didn't think much else about it after I declined the call. When services were over, I went to Publix to pick up a few things because I had to make some food for a funeral of one of our members. Then I went to Newk's to get some lunch for myself and tried to use my debit card (I had used my credit card at Publix) and the card was declined so I had to use my credit card. I had no idea what was going on, but I was concerned at this point.

On the way home, I stopped by the ATM to see if I could get some information. I selected a balance inquiry (even though I had checked my balance that morning and all was okay) and the transaction would not go through. I received a message that said to contact my institution and thought to myself, um, this is my institution.

I went home and ate my lunch and then prepared to call my bank. I realized I had a voice mail and checked it first. It was from the call I had received during church and was alerting me to possible fraudulent charges on my debit card. I called the number and spoke with a nice girl who went through all the recent charges with me and indeed they were all fraudulent, with the exception of the Pet Store where I had taken The Tide on Saturday morning to give her a bath. The girl canceled my debit card and told me to contact my bank about having a new one issued.

This morning, I went to my bank at 9:00 a.m. when they doors opened and spoke with another nice lady. She made sure my card had been cancelled (it had) and issued me a new one. She also filled out paperwork disputing the pending fraudulent transactions. There were far fewer transactions pending than I had been told about on the phone Sunday and the lady at the bank said that I will have to come back in and dispute those separately if they show up. I'm hoping they won't show up so I don't have to spend any more time on this matter.

So, for the second time in a month someone has stolen my card information. This is really becoming annoying. Thankfully this was stopped before it got out of hand. I don't know how the card companies know to notify you when there are possible fraudulent charges but I'm glad they do! The lady at the bank said someone could have hacked into the pet store information since that was my last transaction or a dishonest employee somewhere could have gotten the information and used it. She also told me she had some customers who had their social security number stolen and didn't know until they went to file taxes and the government would not accept their return because someone had already filed under their number! It's a scary and crazy world we are living in! Be sure and watch your information as closely as you can!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

They Probably Thought I Had A Bad Time

On Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, Jackie, Maria and I went to Birmingham to see The Avett Brothers at Boutwell Auditorium. We left Huntsville around 4:00 and headed south. Our plan was to find the location of the show (since we had not been to this particular venue before) and then find somewhere to eat.

We arrived in downtown Birmingham about 20 minutes to 6:00 and quickly found Boutwell. Then we went to The Fish Market and stuffed our faces with delicious seafood. The Fish Market is one of my favorite places to eat. You may recall my dad and I ate there back in December. We Parkers try to eat at The Fish Market as often as we can. Dinner was great and really hit the spot. I wish I had some more right now!

After we ate, we found a parking spot behind Boutwell and as we were walking towards the entrance we happened upon the Avett Brothers tour bus. Maria wanted to knock on the door and see if they were inside. She is a little head over heels for these guys. I can relate. As you may recall, I love Harry Connick, Jr. more than a little. We lingered around a little while and I took a photo of Maria and Jackie by the bus.

Once Maria resolved herself to the fact that she was not going to meet the band, we made our way inside and found our seats. There were a ton of people at the show, most of whom were in general admission. Thankfully we were in seats so we didn’t have to bump elbows with people young and old. A couple of guys from Mississippi sat in front of us and we talked to them before the show started. Once the show started a little after 8:00, the guys were being loud and having a good time and some people in front of them told them to stop being so loud. So, the guys moved and found somewhere else to sit. I mean, it’s a concert for crying out loud! I couldn’t believe those people complained or that the guys moved.

Maria and Jackie stood up the whole show and on the rare occasion Maria did sit down she jumped out of her seat five seconds later because the band started playing another song she loved. I sat the whole time and I’m sure the girls thought I wasn’t enjoying myself, but that’s not true. I am not as familiar with the band as Jackie and Maria and so I didn’t want to stand up and scream for songs I didn’t know. The few songs they played that I did know I enjoyed quite a bit. If it had been a Pearl Jam show I would have been 10 times worse than Maria was on Saturday night. There was a guy sitting next to me who kept bouncing his leg rather quickly and I almost grabbed it to make him stop on more than one occasion.

After the first encore, I went out for a bathroom break because I didn’t want to stand in line after the show. I stayed outside while they finished playing and met Maria and Jackie when they came out. We walked back by the tour bus on the way out but there was no sign of the band, much to Maria’s chagrin.

We made it back home around midnight at which point I promptly washed my face and went to bed. It was nice to get away for a night and I really did enjoy the show. Hopefully the next time I see them I will be more familiar with their music, but I doubt I’ll be as crazy as Maria!

At the tour bus

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hope you all have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day. Jackie, Maria and I are headed to Birmingham for an Avett Brothers concert. It should be a good show and will definitely be a late night. Hope you have fun celebrating! Don’t forget to wear some green!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Photo

As mentioned previously this week, we celebrated my granddad’s 80th birthday on Saturday. Well, not only did he receive some gifts, but I got one too.

My grandmother gave me a copy of a photo I have wanted for years. It’s a picture of my great-grandmother, Lizzie, standing in her back yard with her dairy cow. The photo was taken in 1940. The backyard she is standing in is my backyard now. Yes, a dairy cow once lived and roamed in my backyard. There was also once a well there and an outhouse. Clearly things have changed.

I don’t have a scanner, but took a photo of the photo to share with you here. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Movie Experience and Review: The Lorax

Last Friday night, I joined Jackie and the kids for a viewing of The Lorax, based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. I have never read the book, at least I don’t think I have and I just realized I have a copy of it in my bookcase in a collection of books called Six by Seuss. Maybe I’ll give it a read here in a bit.

Anyway, Jackie had emailed me about going earlier in the week and I agreed even though the only 7:00 showing not sold out was in 3D, and y’all know how I feel about the 3D! Jackie went to the theater during the day on Friday to purchase our tickets because she was afraid it might sell out, which is now kind of funny when I think about it because the theater was pretty empty. Before I left to meet the gang, I got a text from Jackie. Ashlyn had asked if I was still going and when Jackie said I was, Ashlyn said, “Yes!” and maybe even gave a fist pump. I found that to be quite the ego booster.

I met the gang a little before 7:00. Ashlyn brought along a friend as did Troy and then another of Jackie’s friends and her son came along as well. We were quite the group; the adults in a trio, the girls in a duo and the boys in another trio all on one row.

The movie wasn’t too bad. It kind of dragged in some places I thought, but the kids really liked it and that’s all that mattered. I was a little drowsy from taking medicine before the viewing so that probably had something to do with hindering me from fully enjoying the show. The movie had a good message as well and that’s also important in today’s take everything for granted society. The best part I thought was the singing and dancing numbers. I seriously thought to myself that it would be fun to sing along to on the way to work or just when you’re cleaning house or whatever.

Sadly, nothing of great interest took place during the show. No one snorted or sneezed or talked loud or anything that I’m used to when going to the movies these days. After the show was over we all went our separate ways and I said a little prayer for Jackie who had to go home with Troy who had enjoyed an Icee during the show. Bless her heart; that was one hyper child.

So, if you’re looking for something to take the kiddos to, then check out The Lorax. They will enjoy it and you probably will too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Was Number Three

Yesterday was primary voting day here in Alabama –so exciting! I arrived at my polling location a few minutes before the polls opened at 7:00 a.m. I was probably the fourth or fifth person in line, but I was the third person to turn in my ballot; probably because I was the youngest person there and didn’t have to take 45 minutes to read everything on the ballot – including the 1,000 delegates listed.

It was a little chaotic when 7:00 a.m. rolled around. There was a new inspector at our poll and he looked as though he didn’t have a clue as to what was going on around him. He had a gaggle of old women working for him and they seemed like they didn’t know what to do either even though I know some of them have been working at this polling location for a good long while.

I had to point out my name to the lady checking identification and then the lady printing our name on the form couldn’t even see the name printed on the driver’s license; another lady had to read it out to her. Then she had to go retrieve her glasses so she could see. Finally I was handed a ballot and filled it out quickly since I already knew for whom I would cast my lot.

After work, I stopped back by the voting location because I wanted to give my name and information to the poll inspector and let him know I was interested in working future elections. My dad is the inspector at his poll and I am familiar with the process and would like to be a worker, plus extra money is never a bad thing. When I went in to talk to him, he once again looked like he didn’t have a clue as to what was going on around him. My dad’s precinct runs like a well-oiled machine; my precinct, not so much. Maybe one day I will get the call and eventually arrange a coup and take over as inspector. I have no doubt I would do a good job.

After my evening stop by the polling location, I headed home for the day. I had grand plans of returning to the gym, but spent most of the day sniffling and sneezing and decided to wait until Thursday to make my triumphant return to the bike. Hopefully I won’t gain 10 pounds in the next couple of days. The remainder of the evening was spent watching results come in. Most all of the folks I voted for won so it was a good night in my book. I guess the next election, if you don’t have a run-off in your precinct will be for city elections and you already know who gets my vote for mayor – the lovely Loretta!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It’s Voting Day in Alabama!

For those of us who live in Alabama, it’s voting day! If you know me at all, then you probably know that I am a lover of voting! I think it is one of the greatest priveleges we have as Americans. I remember filling out my voter registration form the week of my 18th birthday. I think I mailed it in the day before I turned 18.

I’m proud to day that I’ve never missed a day of voting; even when I was in college, I voted via absentee every time there was a chance to vote. I would always request from Judge Riddick, our probate judge at the time and a dear friend of mine, to send me the “I Voted” sticker. I don’t know if it was him or he told his assistant or whatever to do it, or maybe they include it in all absentee ballots, but I would always receive about three “I Voted” stickers in my package from the courthouse. I like to think they were sent to me special so if you know otherwise, don’t spoil it for me.

Someone at work on Monday said, “I’m not going to waste my time to go vote tomorrow.” I’m pretty sure my blood pressure sky rocketed at that moment. I just had to walk away without saying anything. I don’t know why anyone would skip out on an opportunity to vote. If you do, maybe you can tell us why in the comments.

I plan to be at my polling location bright and early when the doors open at 7:00 a.m. because to me it doesn’t get more American than being able to cast my vote. So, get out and vote Alabamians! If you happen to need me on Tuesday night, I’ll be by my television watching the results come in, probably with a pen and paper by my side.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This and That and a Birthday Soiree

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend. As planned, I made it in to work by 6:45 on Friday morning in order to make up a little time so I could take some time off to visit the doctor, and paid only a $20 co-pay – take that Quick Care! As suspected, I have a sinus infection. I was given a prescription for some antibiotics and I also got some Clairton D to help with the congestion. Is it just me or do you also feel like a criminal when you buy medicine from behind the pharmacy counter? I always feel like the clerk is wondering if I’m going to make a batch of meth with my purchase.

Anyway, I also bought a new humidifier because my old one had stopped working last month. The hum of a humidifier is very soothing to me when I’m sick and reminds me of my youth. Sadly, the newer ones don’t really hum like the older models do. My throat is still hurting a bit, but I am starting to feel better. Hopefully I will be back to normal just in time to start mowing the grass.

On Friday night, I met Jackie and the kids for a viewing of The Lorax (review coming up later this week). Saturday morning, I skipped the gym since I still wasn’t feeling well and made an early morning run to Publix. I did some cleaning and laundry, but mostly did some resting.

Saturday afternoon we had a birthday celebration for my paternal granddad’s 80th. His actual birthday is this coming Wednesday; so, we celebrated a little early. My dad grilled pork chops and everyone brought a side item. My aunt brought him a couple of fancy party hats and also some birthday decorations. We had a good time getting together and celebrating his 80 years.

Sunday morning was my first Sunday to teach the Ladies’ Class since Janet taught last week. I think it went pretty well considering I had to blow my nose every few minutes and keep a cough drop in my mouth. My small group met for potluck after class and then I came home and napped. I skipped evening service because I just really didn’t feel like getting out again. Hopefully the Lord will understand.

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell. It should be a fairly busy week at work. We Alabamians head to the polls on Tuesday, which is always one of my most favorite days of the year, and on Saturday, I’m going to a concert with Jackie and Maria.

I hope you all have a great Monday and your week starts off on a good note. Here are some photos from the birthday soiree.

My grandparents

The birthday cake

Getting ready for cake

Blowing out the candles

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Think It Was The Country Air

I'm sick again! Just when I thought the Spring pollen might pass me over and spare me from the dreadful sinus infection, it didn't and in fact it has hit me like a ton of bricks. A little warning would have been nice. The past few times I have been sick, it has come with no warning whatsoever, whereas in the past, I would at least feel a little bad before I was sideswiped with a full-on sickness.

At any rate, my throat started tingling on Wednesday night and by Thursday morning my throat was in full-on pain. It was pretty miserable. I mean, there's not much worse than a sore throat, can I get an amen? I don't know if it was the country air out in Hazel Green that caused it or what, but no matter the cause I'm feeling rather dreadful.

I went to the Quick Care Clinic at Propst Drugs after work today to see if the good folks there could help me. I’ve been there twice before and had a nice experience both times and figured I would be sitting here writing nice things about this experience as well. Apparently my insurance company has increased the co-pay for Urgent Care places from $20 to $40. So, after waiting an hour and mulling this over, I decided to get a refund on my $40 and schedule an appointment with my primary care physician instead. I don’t know about you, but $20 is a lot better than $40 in my book, even if it means suffering a little longer.

So, tomorrow morning I have grand plans to go in to work around 6:45 to get in a little extra time so I can visit the doctor without it affecting my paycheck. I have a little sick leave I can use if necessary and let’s face it, I probably won’t make it by 6:45, but I might. In the meantime, I have sufficiently drugged myself and hope to get some sleep this evening.

In other news, my new brown shoes arrived today and although they are not as grand as my beloved browns, they might work out okay. I will still be on the lookout for some shoes that are just like my beloved browns.

I hope everyone has a great Friday. It’s always nice to end the week on a good note. Hopefully I will too once I get some good drugs from the doctor!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Past Couple of Days

Well, hello there. No, I didn’t blog yesterday. There’s not much going on right now and last night, I just couldn’t conjure up anything to write about. I’m not sure tonight is going to be much better, but I will give it a try.

Work has been super busy this week, which has been great because I love to have busy days; it makes the day pass faster and I feel like I actually accomplished something when I come home at night. On Tuesday night, my friend Kendra and I went out to the boonies to have some clothes hemmed. Kendra and he sister Candy use a lady named Wava to do all their alterations and I had two pairs of jeans that needed hemming; so, we rode out there together because Wava was working on a coat for Kendra and needed Kendra to try it on.

Anyway, Wava lives way out and I was glad Kendra went with me because I’m pretty sure I would still be driving around if she hadn’t been along to tell me where to turn because Wava didn’t give the best directions in the world. Wava pinned my jeans and worked on Kendra’s coat and then we were on our way back to the big city. When we got back to my house, we had gumbo for dinner because I had made a large pot over the weekend and needed someone to help me eat it. I think it was the first time I had ever spent time with Kendra one on one as we are usually in a group of people when we are together; so, it was nice to be able to hang out with her, just the two of us.

On Wednesday I went to work and afterwards made a run by Target to pick up a prescription and a couple of other things. I used to have no problem with the Target pharmacy but the past few times I’ve been they have not run my prescription. I have a discount card on file and they either don’t use it or don’t use the right one. Today was no exception; they had not used the discount card at all. I didn’t get ugly with them, but I did, once again, express my frustration with the prescription never being right. A lady that was there with her mom passed along some nice words to me and told me to hang in there. See, there are some nice people in the world, after all.

On my way home, I noticed a missed call from Wava and I thought she might have a question about my jeans; so, I called her back. She asked if I was the girl who had called about the prom dress. I said no, I’m the one who came out with Kendra last night. She said, well, I was trying to find the girl who called about the prom dress. Clearly, not me. Maybe she found the right girl, who knows?

Since it was the beginning of the quarter at church, we had dinner at the building. The menu was hamburgers and hotdogs, potato salad, green salad, corn on the cob and cobbler. It was good and always nice not to have to cook dinner before church.

So, that pretty much sums up my past two days. I’m now watching Survivor and wishing that Colton had been the one voted out. He may be from Alabama, but he is an idiot if you ask me. Until next time…

Monday, March 5, 2012

Photos From My Phone

Here are some recent photos I took with my phone.

This is my cube mate's hand a ring. She received this as a gift. It's not something she would normally wear but she wore it so I could see it. It's quite interesting, isn't it?

Whatch you talkin' bout Willis?

Blue hit 170,000 miles last Thursday, I think 110,000 of those are mine, the other 60K is from when Blue was my dad's company car.

The Neighborhood Cat on my front porch.

H&M is coming soon to Bridge Street! YES!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Like a Lion

I’m sure you have heard the old saying March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, that lion certainly made a loud roar this year. We had a couple of tornadoes in the area on Friday. The chaos began Friday morning around 9:00 or so. Some of the same neighborhoods that were hit on April 27th of last year were hit again as well as other areas of North Alabama.

This time around I personally know three people whose homes were hit; one family’s house is basically gone, another one had the roof blown off and another one just sustained some minor damage. At least no lives were lost and that is always a positive in these types of situations.

Other area of the country were also hit and sustained much more damage than we did here in Alabama and many lives were lost in those states. We were very lucky this time around. Since we’ve had such a warm winter, I suspect that we will have a very turbulent spring. So, brace yourself, folks, the craziness is only beginning.

Also at the end of last week, two people I know died. The first was Walter Vinson who has been friends with my family for many years. We have a lot of fond memories with Walter and his wife Susan. He had Alzheimer’s and at the end didn’t even know Susan. What a terrible disease. Walter died on leap day, which I find to be interesting for no particular reason other than it only comes around every four years.

The second person to pass was the lovely Betty Tucker, who was best friends with my late grandmother. Betty’s funeral was three years to the day that my grandmother died, which I found to be very fascinating. I’m not sure if fascinating is the right word, but I’m having a hard time thinking of the word I want to use here. One of the items the family had displayed at the funeral was a poem that my grandmother had written back in 1975 for Betty Tucker and two of her other friends. It was a lovely expression of the friendship they shared. The Tuckers and my family have been friends for three generations now. Betty was one of the kindest and most wonderful people I knew and she will be missed here in this life.

Amongst all the sadness and post-storm chaos, Jackie and I managed to carve out some time for a shopping trip at Bridge Street. I bought some jeans and a shirt from White House Black Market and a sweater from Coldwater Creek, all three on sale. I also bought a new pair of brown shoes from Clark’s but they had to be ordered because they didn’t have my size. I hope they work out okay because they are meant to replace my beloved brown shoes, but will probably only pale in comparison. Hopefully they will work out okay.

Sunday evening we had a going away soiree for our interim minister who has been such a blessing to our congregation and to me in particular. He has brought us some wonderful and challenging lessons and I am so grateful he came our way. He will be missed.

It’s back to the grind again tomorrow. I don’t have anything overly exciting planned for the week, but with any luck I’ll surely be able to find something to tell you all about. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that your week is off to a good start!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Case of the Belated Birthday Cookie

Perhaps this will be the last "the Case of" for a while, but you never can tell. Today is the first day of March - really? I mean, where did January and February go? It's just crazy how fast the days pass by; sometimes I feel like my life is one big blur, do you? One good thing about moving into the month of March is that I am once again parking in a prime parking spot. I won a good spot for January, March, July and September of this year and I love having a spot close to the entrance. It's very nice indeed.

So, as you may recall, my birthday was on February 1. I have a friend at work, Alex, who forgot my birthday. I mean, it was mentioned on twitter and other places and he didn't even so much as say hello to me on my big day. A couple of weeks ago he sent me a message and I mentioned that he missed my birthday and he apparently felt bad about that.

This week he started asking me about what kind of cake I liked; so, I figured he was probably going to get me a slice of cake or a cupcake or something along those lines; but, while I am a lover of cake, I don't really have a favorite. I have a lot of varieties that I would not eat (German Chocolate, Coconut, anything with coconut) but for the most part I am a big fan of flour and eggs mixed together and baked in an oven. One of my favorites, however, is the cake Erika makes and I’m pretty sure my friend and Erika don’t know each other so it’s not like he could call her up.

On Leap Day, Alex stopped by my desk and asked if I liked chocolate chip cookies. I do! In fact, chocolate chip cookies are probably one of my most favorite things in the world - I guess I get that from my granddad as he is a lover of the chocolate chip cookie too.

So, today, one month after my birthday, Alex brought over a cookie cake that said "Happy Birthday -N- one month". It took me half the morning to understand it meant Happy Birthday and a month because it seemed like it was saying Happy Birthday in one month.

Anyway, my friends and I enjoyed the cookie cake at lunch today and for the rest of the afternoon. I had lots of people ask if it is my birthday and when I said no it was a month ago, some people asked if the cookie cake was a month old. Needless to say, the cookie cake brought lots of laughs today, and laughter, dear ones, is always a good thing. I guess you could say we celebrated my 35 years and one month birthday today. Perhaps we should have a celebration on the first of every month? I might have to see what I can do about that. A big thanks to my friend for bringing me the cookie cake and lots of laughter to boot!