Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: The Power of the Prophetic Blessing

~~ This Giveaway is now Closed ~~

So, as mentioned earlier this week I have three book reviews to write and I have finally gotten around to writing at least one of them. Today's review is for The Power of the Prophetic Blessing written by John Hagee and published by Worthy Publishing and was released this week. A description of the book is as follows:

"God's prophetic voice thunders through time - from Adam and Eve, continuing through Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, and then through Jesus himself. While apocalyptic prophecy is a dark cloud over the heads of unrepentant, rebellious people, at its core, prophecy expresses God's desire to powerfully bless and multiply his people, not to strike fear in their hearts.

For God's people, prophecy is a word of hope, deliverance, bounty, and richness for their life and family. Hagee takes readers through the entire biblical narrative, showing how this powerful prophetic message flows throughout the Bible."

The book, which is 292 pages long, is divided into three sections - Defining the Prophetic and Priestly Blessings (Section 1), The Prophetic Blessings (Section 2), and Releasing and Receiving the Blessing (Section 3). All three sections and each of the 11 chapters uses quite a bit of scripture to back-up Mr. Hagee's beliefs on prophetic blessing.

The first section goes into detail about what prophetic blessing is and how it was used in the early days of the Bible. He describes how we are born to be blessed and how God wants each of his children to be blessed and uses examples from the Jewish faith. He gives examples such as Jacob and Esau and how Isaac blessed Jacob when Jacob deceived him and from that point on Jacob's offspring was blessed and Esau's offspring, well, not so much. He goes on to explain how he believes that people today should speak a blessing over their children or people that they love and describes how the congregation he pastors did this and as a result many great things began happening to the congregants. Now, I am a little skeptical on this and can't say that I necessarily believe that speaking a blessing over someone will indeed bless them with better grades, good health, etc. If that were the case then we should have spoken blessings on my mom about 20 years ago when she was diagnosed with MS.

The second section describes times when people have been blessed throughout history - both biblical and secular. He explains fulfilled blessings and also goes into great detail about the eight prophetic blessings of Jesus, which are more commonly known as the beatitudes found in Matthew 5.

The third and final section deals with "Releasing and Receiving the Blessing" and describes how one can release the prophetic blessing through the spoken word, through touch and how one can receive and proclaim the prophetic blessing, all of which are described through Old Testament scripture. As a New Testament Christian, I follow the new law rather than the old law found in the Old Testament which is why I am extremely skeptical of Mr. Hagee's theories.

I don't think it would hurt to speak blessings over people, but in reality, isn't it just another form of prayer? I'm a firm believer in prayer; speaking blessings, not so much. Overall the books had some interesting theories and historical information. As always, I would say go to the Bible first and then develop your own idea about whether or not speaking a blessing over someone will indeed help them to be blessed on earth.

If you are interested in winning a copy of Mr. Hagee's book, The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, then please leave a comment on this post. The contest will be open through 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 2, and a winner will be announced that same night. Thanks for reading and good luck!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Apparently We All Love Chris Christie

When I wrote yesterday's post, Chris Christie had yet to give his speech and judging by the comments (yes, all two of them), y'all enjoyed his speech as much as I did. I agree with Jackie, he looks like he would give a good bear hug. I saw him on an interview with Oprah a few months ago and really liked his enthusiasm. Maybe he will run for president one day. The political conventions always get me fired up and hopeful for America's future. I need someone to remind me to run for delegate in four years. I have always wanted to do that and think it would be a lot of fun to be at the convention. Would you vote for me? This year there is a senior from Madison Academy at the convention and he is writing for the Times and I saw one of his articles earlier this week and it was very well written and it seems like he is having a nice time. I'm a little jealous.

I've got to say, I'm really disappointed in Hurricane Isaac. I was really hoping it would bring a lot of rain our way and even mowed the lawn on Tuesday night in preparation for the deluge of rain the weathercasters said we were going to receive. As it turns out, I don't think we are going to get one drop and we could really use some rain. I'll tell you the one thing I do love about it is all the broadcasters out in the rain looking like they are about to be blown away. The harder they are pelted by rain and wind the better. I'm waiting for one of them to seriously get swept up and away by the strong winds. If you love these crazy broadcasters as much as I do then check this out. I laughed so hard and the videos make it even funnier.

Can we chat for a minute about Christmas decorations? Yes, I realize it is still August and that is precisely my point. Why on earth do stores bring out Christmas items in August? A friend of mine sent out a tweet yesterday saying that Sam's Club already had their Christmas lights on display. The last time I was in Hobby Lobby which was over a month ago, they already were putting up Christmas trees and ornaments. It gets earlier and earlier every year. I want to know what all the rush is about, and who are the people buying Christmas trees in August? Why are they doing it? Can't we wait until after Halloween at least to put out the Christmas stuff? One of the things I love most about Williams-Sonoma is that they do not put out items for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. They do their store sets on Thanksgiving night - I know this because I once was offered and accepted a part-time job for the holidays there and then ended up not working there because my full-time job picked up and offered me some overtime. Anyway, they do not decorate or put out items for the next season until the current season is over. For example, now they have some Halloween items available and will not have anything Thanksgiving related until after Halloween. Why can't every store be like this? I personally think it would make the magic of Christmas a little more magical.

Tonight is the start of football season! As I do every year, I've been counting down the days since 50 days away which was July 11. There will be a couple of college games on tonight and also Madison Academy starts their season on the road at Tanner. My dad and I are planning to make an appearance. Jackie is going to come over Saturday to watch the Alabama-Michigan game and we are going to fill ourselves on chips, salsa and guacamole! I can't wait.

Not only is football season upon us, but so is Labor Day - the unofficial end to summer. This year has seriously flown by! I don't know about the rest of you, but I am ready for a three-day weekend! This year Labor Day also happens to be Jackie's birthday - how lucky is she to get the day off for her birthday? sounds like the best ever birthday present to me. In September I once again have the good fortune of being able to park in the United Way parking spot for the month. You may recall that last year during our United Way campaign I won four different months of parking in this spot which is close to the building. This is my fourth and final month. Our campaign is usually in October and with any luck I will win another month or four.

My friend Candy is having baby number four soon and you can go online and make your pick for when you think she will have Quatre (That's four in French, not the name of le bebe by the way) and also whether you think she will have a boy or a girl. They did this for number three as well. This is one of the things I love about Candy and her husband - when they are having baby they don't like to find out the gender, they like for it to be a surprise. If I am ever blessed to be with child, I want to do the same thing. This is one of life's greatest surprises, why ruin it by finding out the gender beforehand?

I think I mentioned that when the allergist told me I was allergic to nothing that he also told me there was no need for me to take Allegra anymore as it wouldn't do me any good. As it turns out - I had a half-full bottle and four unopened bottles that I bought when Allegra was on sale at Publix a few weeks ago. I tried to take them back to Publix and to Wal-Mart but needed a receipt at both places, which they said they could look up if I knew the date I purchased the product (um, no). Long story short, A friend of mine at work knew of someone who takes Allegra and I sold the four and a half bottles to that person for $20. So, at least I got some of my money back.

One final thing, the sister of my collegie roomie Melissa had surgery yesterday to have a brain tumor removed. The tumor was related to her breast cancer and was larger than the doctors first thought. Please remember sweet Dana in your prayers this week.

That's it for today folks, be sure and stop by tomorrow for a book review and giveaway!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Decisions were Made, Cheesecake was Bought

Let me begin by saying thanks to everyone for your comments yesterday. My decision, like I said, was 90% to quit and 10% to stay, but after reading your comments and emailing back and forth with some of you, and mulling it over some more, I decided to just call it quits. My heart isn't in it this year, I hate what the newspaper has done to the employees and the direction it is going, and quite honestly, I have already bought season tickets to MA this year and re-joined the TD Club so the decision was pretty easy to make. It was just time. I hate to leave my "boss" in a pinch, but he seemed to be okay with it, as he is also done with the paper five weeks from now. I feel very relieved to have made the decision and am ready to just be a fan again. It’s a real shame what has become of the newspaper business.

So, Huntsville's mayoral election was yesterday and the big winner was Tommy Battle, which was really not all the surprising to me. I was, however, surprised by the margin. I figured he would win by a few thousand votes; but, instead he won by like 18,000 votes. Um, I’d say the people have spoken. Like I said earlier in the week, I think he has done a good job and I am not upset at all that my gal Loretta lost. I do, however, wish he would bring back that awesome leaf picking up service. Perhaps I will message him on Twitter about that.

Tuesday morning I tried a different method with The Tide's medicine which seemed to work just fine and I will probably keep it up. Instead of injecting the medicine into her mouth, I squirted it into a bowl and she licked the bowl clean. I guess the medicine must taste pretty good, but then again this is a dog that has been known to eat a dirty sock.

So, I’m watching the RNC and I’ve got to say I thought Ann Romney was a little shaky at first but finished really strong. Also, they showed Condoleezza Rice in the crowd a few times and I just love her. Did you know she modeled some NFL fan apparel for women recently? I love that about her. And, she was just admitted as a member of Augusta National. She gets cooler by the day. I wonder if she would come over for dinner if I sent her and invitation. (Yeah, I doubt it too.)

Did you know Gigi’s is selling cheesecakes in the shape of a cupcake now? Yesterday, I received an email they sent out promoting these and then I couldn’t get cheesecake out of my head so, of course I stopped by and got one. It was okay; not great. I’m a lover of cheesecake and as far as cheesecake goes, this one did not hit the spot. I think I will stick with the cupcakes from Gigi’s from now on.

I think this is all the rambling I have for today. I hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Dilemma

Actually, I'm not sure it's much of a dilemma as I am pretty sure I already know my decision but I guess I need to talk it out (or type it out as the case may be) in order to make the decision. Perhaps you can weigh in with a comment to help aid in the decision.

I wrote a few months ago about the changes at the newspaper and made the bold statement that I wouldn't be returning even if they asked me back. Well, as you may be aware, football season has arrived, and I have been asked to work and have, in fact, been given an assignment for this week. I was originally given an assignment for last week's jamboree at Madison Academy but because of the ridiculously early deadline of 10 p.m., all the jamboree coverage was cancelled because no one can make that deadline when the games don't end until close to 10 this time of year due to the heat time outs which are required each quarter. I was actually kind of in shock when I got the assignment from my boss because I just assumed that none of us would be returning this season.

Tuesday morning when I woke up and checked my email, in my inbox was an assignment for this Friday night - Locust Fork at New Hope. To sum it up: ugh! I hate covering game at New Hope. I am pretty sure I have mentioned this before. Their press box is extremely small and the men that work in that press box aren't always the most welcoming and I have to elbow my way in to create a spot for myself. The time they were the nicest to me was when my brother came along to help me out. Not only do I dread the press box situation, but I also dread the game as New Hope isn't the most talented team in Madison County and I'm sure to wish I was somewhere else other than the New Hope press box the entire game. To top it off, we have another early deadline this week. I think they were gracious enough to extend it to 10:30 - how nice. I know that New Hope isn't blessed to have wireless internet which means I will have to rush to write a story then rush to find a spot that has an internet connection all before 10:30. Did I mention I only get paid $40 for all this fun?

I would really like to just throw in the towel this year and not work. I'm really disgusted with the fact that the newspaper has fired so many good people who won't have a job after September 30. After finding out I had an assignment last week (the one that was cancelled) I decided I would work through September and then call it quits because that's when my "boss" will be walked out the door; but, now I'm not even sure I want to do that. I'm already going to miss two Friday nights because of prior engagements which leave only two Fridays to work in September and one in August for a total of $120. When you figure in gas to drive to the locations, the money I will most assuredly spend at the concession stand, and the general frustration of it all, I wonder is it worth it?

Then I think about all the unexpected expenses that have come my way recently. The Tide needs medicine for her arthritic hips and the best bargain is a bottle that will last about three months - it's $185. Then there are all the $40 co-pays I've had recently because I seem to have need for a doctor every week and I still have to buy contacts when I return to the eye doctor next week, I am probably going to soon receive an outrageous bill for some lab work that my insurance didn't cover and I have another appointment in Nashville next month (gas, $40 co-pay and lunch) and Lord only knows what might next happen with my car. Not to mention the fact that I am supposed to be saving for a possible trip to Israel in December which I haven't mentioned on here before. It just seems like all the financial cards are stacked against me right now. I'm sure this sounds like I'm whining and maybe I am a little. I am grateful I can pay for all of these things, but bummed that when I do pay for these things it takes away from my savings plan.

So, what would you do in this situation? I'm 90% leaning towards saying so long to the newspaper, but the part of me that loves writing is still pulling for the 10%.

Note: If you are one of the folks who stops by during the day, then there are probably two new posts for you to read. I'm posting this one early because I want to hear what you all have to say.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mayoral Election, Ice Cream and Other Thoughts

After a busy weekend, Monday was exceptionally slow, boring, and uneventful. If it hadn't been for Jackie emailing me throughout the day I might have fallen asleep sitting up at my computer. Monday evening will be Ladies' Night Out for the gals from church and we are gathering at Myrtle's house, who you may recall said there was no hope for my dancing skills. She is cooking hamburgers which I am looking forward to as I am a lover of the hamburger.

So, instead of a tale today, I will just throw out some random bits of information. For some reason you all seem to like that. So, here we go...

My brother was paroled last week and should make his return to society in the next three-six weeks or something like that. We actually don't know when he will be released, just that he will be. If you are a praying person, I would ask that you remember him in your prayers and pray that he will do well this time around. He has a lot of potential, if only he would use it positively.

If you are reading this on Tuesday, and you most likely are, don't forget to go out and vote for the city elections today. I'm pretty sure Tommy Battle is going to win a second term and be victorious over my beloved Loretta; but, I'm okay with that. Mayor Battle has done a good job - if only he would bring back the leaf picking up service in the fall. Please Mayor Battle, I beg of you. It's so much easier than trying to bag one million leaves in October. I will still be casting my ballot for Loretta, but I think Mayor Battle is going to run away with it. Speaking of Mayor Battle, he made an appearance at Mayfair on Sunday morning. Apparently Gary Bradley asked him to come. Jackie and I saw him sneak out during service and she said he probably had six other services to go to - gotta squeeze in all the handshakes and baby kissing you can before election day. Then, when I was leaving after lunch, I saw him coming back in with his family for some free grub. I don't blame him, it was good. Anyway, polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. so don't forget to get out and vote..for Loretta...just kidding - vote for whomever you want; just vote!

I've got a new favorite to tell you about today. Have you tried the Magnum Ice Cream Bars? Oh, sweet mercy they are good. They have these in Europe (I think they originated in Belgium) and have been in the States for at least a year or more. I remember when they first came to my local Publix they were always sold out. I guess the fever has worn off because they have them stocked on a regular basis these days. They have been on sale the past couple of weeks and so I bought a couple of boxes to try and have already eaten all of those and bought two more boxes. This is saying quite a lot considering I am not even a big fan of ice cream. It takes a special ice cream (I'm talking to you Ben and Jerry's Pumpkin Cheesecake) to make me eat ice cream and these bars are exceptionally wonderful. I have tried the double caramel and the Moccachino - delightful!

I watched X-Men First Class over the weekend and loved it. I bought the Blu-Ray after that mishap when I recorded it from HBO Latino. I thought it was really great and am now looking forward to the next installment which I believe is in 2014 - just around the corner.

I seriously need to write three book reviews for assignments and just cannot get motivated to do it. One of the three should have been done weeks ago, another is due before September 1 and the third needs to be done sooner rather than later. Hopefully I can complete at least one before the week is out. Fingers crossed.
I think this is all the random I can muster up for a Monday. Come back tomorrow for who knows what - maybe a book review; but probably not. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tales from the Weekend

Well, we’ve reached the time of year when my schedule seems to pick up along with everyone else’s and I don’t even have any children. I guess by the time school starts back there are just more things on the calendar for everyone, which suits me just fine as it hasn’t been a very busy summer.

On Friday night my cousin Brittany and her daughter Sydney came over to pass the time while we waited on my dad and granddad to come pick us up for the Madison Academy football jamboree. As it turns out, my granddad didn’t go (which wasn’t much of a surprise) and Brittany ended up driving so she wouldn’t have to move Syd’s car seat. The game wasn’t very good as MA trounced Columbia, but I still had a good time visiting with everyone and of course partaking of some concession stand food. I think you all know my avid love of concession stand food.

Syd striking a pose!

Saturday morning I had a haircut appointment for 8:30 and ended up taking The Tide with me. I think I mentioned that her legs have been bothering her some lately and I have suspected for a while that she has arthritis in hips. The past week or so she has really had a difficult time getting on and off the bed or the chair that she likes to sit in and Thursday and Friday she would attempt to get down from the bed or her chair and then would just sit there with a look of extreme sadness. So, I knew it was time to do something about that.

She stayed in the car with the windows down and a bowl of water while I got my haircut and then I took her to the vet where they worked her in. I thought we might be there for hours on end, but it actually ended up being a total of about 30 minutes, which was great. We saw the newest doctor at our vet’s office who we had never seen before. He did an orthopedic exam and The Tide yelped out in pain a few times. It wasn’t too pleasant for this dog mamma either. He determined that she did in fact have some arthritis in her hips and he prescribed some medicine for her. The medicine is injected into her mouth rather than a pill. He demonstrated how it was to be done, I paid the large bill and left thinking it was certainly going to be interesting each morning when I try to make The Tide take this medicine.

Saturday afternoon we had a joint birthday party for my dad’s mom who turned 80 on August 22 and my mom’s dad who turned 77 on August 20. Some of my granddad’s in-laws came in from out of town and then there were a plethora of Parkers there for my grandmother and some friends to boot. We enjoyed a good spread of food and fellowship.

Sunday morning I got up early to put together my grocery list and complete some chores and of course I had the pleasure of attempting to give The Tide her medicine. I finally managed to get it all in her belly. Some of it she had to lick out of my hand. It was an interesting experience to say the least. I went to church and sat with Jackie and her family and afterwards we had dinner on the grounds which was quite yummy. I made my weekly stop at Publix before heading home for my nap.

Me and Troy at lunch on Sunday

My friend Kendra text me right as I laid down to take a nap and wanted to know if I was free at 3:00. She had asked me on Friday about going out to the mall to be a part of that pilot they were shooting for the Food Network. Tyler Florence was going to be there and she wanted someone to go with her. Being the big loser I am, I backed out on her. I had kind of forgotten about it and I really didn’t feel like going. I was so tired and really wanted a nap. (I have been super tired lately for some reason). She said she wouldn’t hate me if I didn’t go, for which I was thankful.

Sunday night I went to church and then came home to eat a variety of leftovers from the weekend and do some laundry, etc. Kendra sent me a photo of herself from her afternoon outing and y’all, she got to meet Tyler Florence! How awesome is that? Guess I should have gone with her after all. Maybe we could have talked him into giving us our own cooking show; serves me right for being a big ole loser and wanting to sleep my life away. Next time I back out on someone, please remind me of this.

Kendra and Tyler Florence!

The Tide, by the way, seems to be feeling much better. She's getting up and down from the chair, bed, etc. and back to jumping up and down when she’s about to get a treat. I’ve got to change her food to a joint formula as well, which won’t be for a while because I just bought a new bag of food – isn’t that how it always seems to go?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I’m Not Allergic to The Tide

Thursday afternoon was my appointment with the allergist which I had been looking forward to as I was hoping that this would be the solution to my chronic sinus problems. As it turns out, I am allergic to nothing. I can’t really say I’m surprised, but am still a little disappointed because I was hoping some allergy would be the cause of my problems.

For those of you who might be curious as to how things go at the allergist, I am here to fill you in. My appointment was t 1:45 and I arrived at 1:20 and was called back before 1:30 – needless to say, I was impressed with the promptness of this medical office. My blood pressure was checked and was high, which wasn’t much of a surprise because I was a wee bit nervous. I took a few breathing tests and they also pricked my arm to make sure I had not been on an anti-histamine for the past week. That prick – it itched like crazy and I couldn’t scratch it! I was then put in a room to await the arrival of the doctor.

Dr. Kumar had, as Tony warned, gross hands. His fingernails needed to be trimmed and they were exceptionally well, gross; but not crusty as Tony suggested. We talked for a bit about the problems I have experienced with my sinuses and then he left the room so the nurse could come back and start the testing. I had to change out of my top and put on a gown with the back open.

The nurse came in and wrote the numbers 1-42 on my back and then pricked me beside each of the numbers with 42 different things from tree pollens to grass pollens to dust mite and dog dander. After 15 minutes the nurse came back in and examined my back which apparently did not break out and my results were that I was not allergic to any of the 42 items for which they tested.

Next she tested me on my arm with 24 different pollens, etc. These 24 had been tested on my back, but now instead of just a little prick these 24 items were injected under the skin and y’all, these injections hurt like nothing I have ever experienced before. I don’t like needles anyway, and these injections hurt so bad that I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. The nurse kept asking me over and over if I was okay. I probably looked like I was going to pass out.

The injections all came back as negative as well, which I suppose is a good thing. My arm, however, looks like I have measles now due to all the marks left by the injections. The doctor came back in and basically told me that I have nonallergic rhinitis, which basically means my sinus issues are not allergy related. He gave me some nasal spray to use once in the morning and once in the evening and in one month I am to call back and let him know how it is working. If it is working okay then he will write a prescription and if it doesn’t work, then off to the ENT I go. He will send me a summary of my visit in the mail in the next week or so. I’ve got to say, despite his long gross fingernails, I thought he was a very nice doctor and I would recommend him.

As I left and went to check out, the receptionist tried to get me to pay my $300 deductible. When I told her I had already met my deductible, she seemed skeptical, but she relented and only charged me my co-pay. I was thinking to myself, lady it’s almost September, who in the name of insurance hasn’t met their deductible this late in the year? I would like to meet that person and ask them how they stay well.

So, that’s the story of the visit to Dr. Kumar’s office. For the record, I don’t think there’s a Harold working there.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random Musings

As you may recall, last fall I was laid off, but then re-hired at the same company, just in a different division. It's been almost one year since I started in this position and finally a few weeks ago the administrative assistant for our group ordered name plates for our cubicles and each end of the row we sit on. I was looking forward to finally having my name listed so that people could find me. Not to mention that having a name plate makes you feel a little more permanent than not having one. The name plates came in today and mine said "Natasha Moore." I mean, really? First I'm called Nadine by a customer, which I can excuse because I didn't really deal with them all that often; but I have worked with these people for almost one whole year and they order a name plate with the wrong last name! Maybe they know something I don't. Does anyone recall me getting married recently? Did I miss the whole thing? Our admin is ordering me a new set of name plates, thank goodness.

There is a lady that I work with who is, well, a wee bit more than overweight. Yesterday she said the funniest thing and I told her I was going to steal her line. She said she had a survival metabolism. Y'all this cracked me up so much. I love it!

Wednesday was my Grandmamma’s birthday. She turned 80. We went to Red Lobster this for her birthday dinner. This coming Saturday we are having a little party for her and my mom’s dad who turned 77 this past Monday.

My Grandmamma on her 80th birthday

Thursday (which is probably today for most of you) is my appointment with the allergist. The appointment is in the afternoon and is supposed to last about two hours – should be interesting.

Apparently it is the season for break-ups. There was a lesbian couple behind my house and one of those two (it seems) moved out over the weekend. She had a U-Haul packed up and hitched to the back of her Jeep and I have not seen the Jeep since. Across the street was a young couple who moved in last winter. I didn’t have many dealings with them but would see him in the morning when he was walking their dog. Jeff and I noticed he had not been around for a while and then on Saturday he showed up in his truck and loaded it up with his things and hasn’t returned since.

Football season starts in one week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Annual Doctor Day

As mentioned yesterday, I had Monday off from work to take part in some annual doctor’s visits. Every year about this time I take a day off to visit the eye doctor and the OB and squeeze in whomever else wants to poke and prod my body. It turned out to be a really nice day all around. This August weather has been exceptionally surprising, wouldn’t you agree?

My first appointment of the day was at the eye doctor and as I have been having problems with my contacts, I was anxious for this visit to roll around. As it turns out, my prescription hasn’t changed (for the fifth year I might add) which kind of surprised me because I’ve been having some issue with seeing the computer at work. I guess it truly was my contacts that were giving me fits. So, I was given two different kinds to try over the next two weeks and I will return on September 4 to let them know which kind I like the best and will then order a year’s supply. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if the problem with my contacts was also a result of my allergy problems.

After the eye doctor I visited the chiropractor which was confusing to everyone there because I am usually the last appointment of the day, not one of the first. I finished up there a few minutes before 10 a.m. and decided to go out to Bridge Street to kill some time. I wanted to get some lunch from Blue Plate CafĂ© and I knew I couldn’t order lunch until 10:30.

I decided on Bridge Street because believe it or not after all that talk of being at the front door on opening day, I still haven’t been out to the new H&M. So, I figured I would venture out there for 30 minutes or so and I wanted to pick up a shirt for Troy and Ashlyn’s birthday to go with the jeans I already got them and figured H&M would be as good a place as any. I was right – I found each of them a shirt for $7 and of course a shirt for myself for $14. If you haven’t been to H&M, you should check it out. Their prices are great and the clothes are durable and stylish.

I left Bridge Street after making my purchase and headed to Blue Plate and ordered a veggie plate. Did you know they are now open until 8p.m.? I sure didn’t! Apparently they started their extended hours on July 23, which is good to know because I like their food but hardly ever make it there because they are closed on Sundays and had been closing at 2:00 during the week. I got my food to go and ate it when I got home and it was so good! It made me glad I stopped in.

I spent the next few hours watching TV and napping and then went for my annual OB visit. The nurse practitioner I see referred me to an endocrinologist in Nashville that my mother found for me. I’ve suspected for a while that I may have some issue with my thyroid because I can’t seem to lose any weight and I am tired all the time. So, I am anxious to see this doctor and see if he can’t get this all sorted out for me. I will certainly keep you all posted since I apparently love to blog about every detail of my life.

That was it for my doctor’s appointments for Monday anyway. I will visit the allergist on Thursday who, by the way, the OB nurse sees and she said they are a good group. She mentioned nothing of the gross hands that Tony told me about, which was good news. Monday afternoon I watched some cycling and am going to Ladies’ Night Out with my mom on Monday night. So, that was my enjoyable day off. It will be back to the swing of things tomorrow; but I’ll take a four-day work week over a five-day work week any time!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Remain In a Sinus Haze

Well, I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes trying to determine what to write; usually when that happens I end up writing a lot of words about nothing in particular. I suppose that will be the case again this time because, if anything, I love to ramble on about nothing.

So last Thursday as I was driving home, Blue started overheating. I was sitting a traffic light when all of a sudden the air conditioning wasn’t blowing cold air any more. It was then that I noticed the engine was overheating. Friday morning it did the same and when I arrived to work I remembered there was some coolant in the trunk, so I emptied the bottle into the reservoir and that afternoon there was no overheating.

Saturday morning I took Blue to get aligned and ask the folks at Goodyear to check the fluids and they also checked for leaks. There were no leaks and so far everything has gone okay since the coolant was filled up. For this, I am very thankful because I certainly wasn’t looking forward to another car expense.

I had originally planned to walk down to the YMCA and get a workout in while the folks at Goodyear were working on the car. However, since I couldn’t stop coughing for more than 30 seconds at a time, I figured it best to not work out and instead sat at Goodyear while Blue was getting aligned. I brought plenty of things to keep me occupied like clipping coupons, reading magazine articles and playing games on my phone. The service took about an hour but the time went by really quickly.

After my morning at Goodyear, I came back home to do a bit of cleaning and laundry and later that afternoon went out for my weekly grocery trip. I also made a stop by Target to pick up a copy of The Hunger Games on Blu-Ray. Saturday afternoon I finished up the chores and well, watched The Hunger Games – that had been my plan all week. I’m surprised I didn’t watch it twice.

Sunday was spent at church, and of course napping. When I got home from church Sunday morning there was a note on my door from my neighbor saying that the a transformer had blown and the power had been out since 11 am. Thankfully the morning temps had not been too hot and so the house was still cool. The power came back on while I was napping and has thankfully stayed on since.

Erika and Kendra came over Sunday night to watch some PW cooking shows and they were both kind enough to bring dinner. Erika made a delicious chicken tetrazzini and a salad and Kendra brought some scrumptious brownies. I was glad they were able to come over and exceptionally thankful that they brought dinner as I am still not feeling up to par and haven’t felt like doing much of anything lately. This particular round of illness has really knocked me on my backside.

I’ve got the day off from work on Monday; not for anything fun mind you. I have a couple of annual doctor’s appointments which are a couple of hours apart and what’s the point of only going in for three hours or so when you can use a sick day?

I hope all of you had a nice weekend as well! Can you believe it’s less than two weeks until football season and Labor Day? This summer (and year) have flown by! Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Banana Bread and Driving with the Donut

Well, I managed to make it through the week despite all my sinus issues. I'm still not feeling top notch, but alas, life must go on, beginning with some yard mowing on Thursday night. I'm really not looking forward to it; but, it has to be done. I have a couple of random stories to share with you because nothing much else has really been going on. I've spent every night this week watching a movie and going to bed around 9:00 - I'm such an exciting person! So, without further adieu, I give you the following:

A story about banana bread - please try to contain your excitement. So, we have a cafeteria at work which I have mentioned on more than one occasion. I don't eat from there often because I'd rather save money and bring lunch from home and the food isn't always the greatest, although it has immensely improved since I first started working where I do. Also, the prices can be steep if you are not careful.

A while back, the cafeteria started making homemade desserts, some of which are not too shabby. A couple or three months ago, they introduced banana bread to the line-up. I didn't think much of it, but kept seeing people buy it and figured it must be good; but, still never took the banana bread plunge. Then a few weeks ago, the girl I sit with and her sister bought a slice and let me taste it and y'all it was so good! I couldn't believe it had come from our cafeteria.

The next week I gave the girls $1 and asked them to buy me a slice if there was some available. I could not stop thinking about that banana bread and I had to have some. Wouldn't you know it, that particular week, no banana bread was made in the cafeteria. Just my luck. I would go down to the cafeteria every day when they opened for lunch only to be disappointed and then I requested that someone make some loaves!
The week after I struck out on banana bread, the cafeteria made some loaves and so I bought a couple of slices and then someone else bought me a slice. Needless to say, after those three slices (not all in one day mind you) my craving for banana bread had been satisfied and since then I have not been craving it.

Everyone that works with me, however, apparently still thinks I am over the moon for the banana bread because the next week someone bought me a slice and this past week someone bought me a slice and I only ate a couple of bites out of each slice because I didn't really want any. I was thankful for the gesture - it was really nice for those folks to think of me; but, there's only so much banana bread a gal can eat before she is sick of it. You know what I mean?

A story about driving with the donut - I don't really suppose there is any specific tale to regale you with regarding driving with the donut, just that in general, it was terrible. I am so thankful that I was able to have a couple of new tires put on the car this past weekend.

On the Wednesday night that I had the blowout, I had to traverse over Chapman Mountain with the donut to go to church; needless to say, someone road my tail the whole way to the church building. I wanted to slam on my brakes and cause them to hit me if I'm being honest; but, then I thought better of it. After all, the last thing I want right now is a car payment.

Driving to and from work on Thursday and Friday was beyond hilarious. I had the foresight to actually leave the house early and it's a good thing I did because when you can only go 50 miles per hour down the Parkway (and that's the speed limit on that road) it feels like you are driving only 20 miles per hour. I felt like a grandma driving so slowly. Every single car on the road passed me. It gave me a big chuckle, but was still annoying and it made me realize just how fast everyone in Huntsville drives. Seriously, I felt like I was sitting still on the road.

I could probably sit here and write something else about the final week of the Olympic coverage; but, I think I will spare myself and you the misery of the situation. The last week of the Olympics was exceptionally boring television. The closing ceremony was beyond weird and those Ralph Lauren designed, made in China outfits that the USA Olympians were wearing were about the ugliest things I have seen in a long while. I will not be rushing out to get one.

Hope everyone has an exceptionally wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Restaurant Review: Moe's Original Bar-B-Que

I've got another restaurant review for you today. I guess I've been eating a lot lately, or eating out more than normal anyway; and just a few weeks ago I said I didn't eat out much. I suppose I need to retract that statement.

Sunday after church I went with a few of my cousins to Moe's Original Bar-B-Que. Apparently all my cousins knew about this place because a few weeks ago, someone suggested it but because we had been talking for so long he thought it would be crowded and so we went to Newk's instead. Anyway, I made my first visit to Moe's this past Sunday with a table full of Parkers. Moe's is located on Cecil Ashburn in the same shopping center as Alabama Outdoors.

When I arrived, the line was almost out the door. The menu is printed on the wall and I took a look at it to see what I might want to eat. I decided on a pork sandwich plate which came with two sides and a drink for $9. The non-sandwich plates with two sides and a drink were $10. I chose coleslaw and potato salad as my two side items. Sadly, Moe's serves Pepsi products and so I drank some sweet tea which basically tasted like sweet brown water - there wasn't much of a tea taste to it. That, however, was the only thing about the food at Moe's that I didn't like.

The sandwich came on a grilled bun with red sauce and pickles and was absolutely delicious. I'm rather particular about bar-b-que and am always a bit apprehensive to try new places, but this bar-b-que had a wonderful flavor and was juicy and just generally tasty! The sandwich was piled high with meat such that a lot of it fell off and had to be eaten with a fork. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. A few folks at our table got the quarter (or was it half) chicken and y'all it looked so good - I just wasn't up for plucking my lunch off a bone or I might have gotten that as well. The potato salad was okay, not the best I've ever had but definitely not the worst and the coleslaw was kind of weird, but had a good taste and I put some of it on my sandwich. I almost got black-eyed peas which was a special side item for Sunday as was Mac and Cheese which nearly everyone at the table got and it looked amazing. I wished over and over that I had gotten that. (The more I write about this place the more I want to jump up and go get something to eat from there - it was really good - maybe I'm just super hungry right now). Other side items were baked beans, banana pudding and chips. The plates also come with a side of grilled Mexican cornbread that looked amazing. I didn't try it though so I will just go with what my eyes think.

The atmosphere is exceptionally casual - most of the decor is University of Alabama paraphernalia. I only saw one item from that other school. You order at the counter when you walk in and when your food is ready they call your name and you walk up to the counter to pick it up. There are a plethora of TVs for game-watching or what have you. The folks who worked there were really nice and we didn't have to wait very long for our food. I would say that after paying, our names were called 5-10 minutes later.

My cousin Anna said that one day (Tuesdays or Thursdays) they have a Thanksgiving dinner sandwich that comes with turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce, and my friend Janet said that on Wednesdays they have friend chicken that is supposedly out of this world and it sells out super quick. At the bottom of the menu it says that all food is made fresh daily and when they run out, that's it for the day. Judging by that statement, I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up being closed at dinner time. If you are interested in perusing their web site, here is the link.

Moe's was listed in one of the recent Southern Living Magazines as one of the best bar-b-que joints in the south and I was kind of skeptical but now that I've been, I totally agree. I will definitely be making a return trip to Moe's - sooner rather than later.

Edit: The nice folks at Moe's were kind enough to email me and send me some photos of their delicious food. Check them out below:

Moe's Bar-B-Que Sandwich

 Moe's Southern Sides - Yum!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Sandwich Farm

Last Thursday, Jackie and I had plans to meet up for dinner. The kids were visiting grandparents and so we set aside some time to catch up. Jackie arrived at the house around 6:00 and we headed out. Our first stop was Greene Street Market; since they have a few booths set up with food I thought we might be able to find something for dinner there. We struck out as far as dinner was concerned, but we did purchase a couple of homemade popcicles that were quite delightful and I also bought some cucumbers as those are my favorite.

In the Go Magazine from the newspaper that same day was a review for a new sandwich shop that had recently opened close to my house and so we decided to give it a try. The name of the place is Sandwich Farm and it is located on Cleveland Avenue next to the Lone Goose Saloon and around the corner from the Lumberyard and Bicycles, Etc. The girl that reviewed Sandwich Farm for Go Magazine said she liked it so much she went back the next day for another sandwich and you know what, I think I could have done the same thing because I kept thinking about that sandwich on Friday and probably would have stopped there for lunch on Sunday had I not been invited out by my cousin.

Sandwich Farm is a very small location. There are only about 10 tables, if that, and if you are handicap-able and in a wheelchair, then you might have some issues maneuvering around - this is something I often observe since my mom is in a wheelchair. She would probably knock over a lot of people or chairs if she were to zip around in there. There was one table away from the others that would probably work out okay if she were to venture out for a sandwich.

The menu is posted behind the counter and rather than simply naming what is on the sandwich, there is actually a picture of each sandwich and how it is stacked. The Go Magazine piece featured a picture of the roast beef sandwich and I had thought about getting it, but Jackie decided to order it and I figured I had better try something else so we could compare notes. So, I got the Turkey sandwich that came with avocado, Havarti cheese, garlic mayo, lettuce, (maybe tomato) all on a baguette. The bread, I must say was amazing. I'm a sucker for a good baguette. The sandwiches come with a choice of a side item - potato salad, coleslaw, chickpeas, and probably another choice or three that I cannot recall. I first ordered the coleslaw and then saw an older gentlemen with potato salad as his side item and it looked really good. So, I asked him how it was and he gave it the thumbs up and so I went and changed my side item to potato salad. I'm glad I did because it was indeed quite good and I am exceptionally picky when it comes to potato salad.

Jackie said the roast beef sandwich was really good - it came with a horseradish mayo (red onions and sharp cheddar which Jackie left off) and maybe lettuce and tomato. I'm doing a terrible job remembering what all was on these sandwiches. The turkey sandwich was also quite good. They also have a meatloaf sandwich and I almost ordered it per the advise of one of the employees. Perhaps I will get that next time. Also on the menu is a vegetarian sandwich, and I'm sure there is a ham sandwich of some sort because everyone has a ham sandwich. They also have a duck confit  sandwich and I will pass on trying that as I'm not a big fan of duck. If you want to skip the bread (why?) you can have any of the sandwiches served over a bed of greens with the homemade vinaigrette dressing. They have one dessert sandwich which consists of blueberries and ice cream between snicker-doodles. That sounds really good to me and if we had not been so full we might have split one. It might even be worth a trip just to give it a try. The sandwiches are around $8 each and the dessert sandwich was around $4 or $5 if I remember correctly.

I realize there are a lot of sandwich places around these parts and everyone has their favorite spot; but, if you are looking to try a new place that serves a sandwich with fresh cut meats, veggies and freshly made sauces, then you should give Sandwich Farm a try. I think you will like it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Wonder, is His Partner Harold?

Well, hello there. I'm posting late today because to be quite honest, I did not feel like writing yesterday. I ended up only working half a day because I felt so dreadful and thought that perhaps my head might explode. So, I spent the second half of the day in bed, sleeping and then slept all through the night as well - a sure sign that rest was indeed needed.

I left work at 11:00 and went home and ate some lunch before I went to sleep for the afternoon. I received a call from the Quick Care Clinic that they had set up an appointment with the allergist for next Thursday, August 23. The appointment is with Dr. Kumar and all I can think of is Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. Hopefully this Dr. Kumar will be a little more mature than the Kumar from the movie. Tony sent me a message via Twitter saying that he thought he had seen this very same Dr. Kumar a few years back when he was having a lot of allergen issues and he provided me the comforting thought that the only thing he can remember was that Dr. Kumar had gross scaly hands. As you can imagine, I am really looking forward to shaking this doctor's hand. Let's hope that Tony has Dr. Kumar confused with someone else. Either way, I'll be sure and let you all know how it goes next week. If scaly hands is what it takes to get me feeling better, then so be it.

So, after sleeping the afternoon away, I finally managed to pull myself up by the bootstraps long enough to dress and head over to my cousin Brittany's house for a couple of hours for the birthday party of her little girl, Sydney. Syd turned four yesterday - hard to believe - and we celebrated with "Sketti", Salad, and Birthday Cake! Syd got a lot of great presents including a Baby Alive and a new bicycle! I got her a new pair of jeans and a pink top which I, of course, think will look super cute on her. I took a few photos but haven't uploaded any of them yet. If I get motivated later on, I will try to put one up on this post tonight when I get home. The party was Hello Kitty themed and Syd was dressed in a Hello Kitty shirt and shoes and hair barrette. Hello Kitty was popular when I was a kid. Who would have thought it would have been popular 100 years later too?

I made it back home around 7:30 and finished up a letter to my brother, made myself a much needed hot toddy and then at 9:00 watched the season premiere of Grimm. I think I mentioned a while back about how I had watched all the first season on the NBC Web Site and really liked the show. Well, last night's season premiere was absolutely thrilling and if it's any indication as to how the season will go, then we viewers are in for a treat!

I suppose this is all the news (or lack thereof) that I have for you today. In a completely unrelated matter, I observed something last week that gave me quite a chuckle and I don't think I could write a whole post about it so I will just throw it in here at the end and maybe you will get a chuckle too. Our church pays a couple of off duty sheriff's deputies to direct traffic coming in and out of the church parking lot on Wednesdays and Sundays. It is quite a blessing to have them because otherwise it would be very difficult to cross lanes of traffic on a busy highway when leaving church. Anyway, last Wednesday as I was pulling in to the church parking lot, I noticed a car coming from the opposite direction and instead of driving on down the road, the car stopped where the deputies were. I thought maybe the guy needed to ask for directions but as it turned out, he was delivering a pizza to them. Yes, people, the sheriff's deputies had a pizza delivered to where they were directing traffic. It was perhaps the laziest and funniest thing I've seen in a while.

Have a good Tuesday!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Was the Responsible Adult

Whew! What a weekend. I feel like I was super busy and yet not busy all at the same time. Has that ever happened to you? All I know is the weekends go by way too quickly.

Thursday afternoon I started feeling kind of rotten and was fairly certain that I was about to be plagued with yet another sinus infection. Jackie and I went to dinner that night (a review coming soon) and the longer the night went on, the worse I felt. By the time I woke up on Friday morning I knew I would be spending the afternoon in one doctor’s office or another.

Since I have to clock in and out at work, it’s sometimes difficult to take off for doctor’s appointments. So, after work I went to the Quick Care clinic at Propst Drug Store, a place I have been a couple of times previously. When I got there, there were no patients in the back and no one waiting out front and I felt pretty confident that it would be a quick process. However, I guess one of the employees that has been working there was off to college and so they were having a little going away soiree and I was forced to wait through all of the goodbyes which probably didn’t take all that long but feeling as bad as I was, I was in no mood to wait.

Finally, I was called back and I told the nurse practitioner Claudia that I had a sinus infection. She asked me how often I got them –my reply was every two months. She was surprised my family doctor had not referred me to an allergist and I told her that I wasn’t always able to take off and see him and so he probably didn’t make the connection that it was needed. So, she is referring me to an allergist and I am thrilled because if I can get some help with an allergist and be free of getting a sinus infection every two months then life will be much happier!

Claudia gave me a steroid shot and swabbed my nose to check for viruses, gave me a couple of prescriptions and sent me on my way. I spent the rest of the evening sleeping. The nose swab came back the next day as a virus, but nothing else and the meds she gave me should take care of that. Oh, and I also have an ear infection. Good times people, good times. What I wouldn’t give to feel good for more than one month at a time.

Saturday morning I woke to a 5:00 a.m. alarm, got up showered, drove out to Hampton Cove, made a stop by Mr. Donut and met Jackie at the Wal-Mart parking lot at 6:15 a.m. I left my car there and we drove in to town because she had a 7:00 a.m. endoscopy. My dad, meanwhile, went up to Wal-Mart when they opened at 7:00 to tell them I needed two new tires and an oil change.

Jackie and I made it to the hospital a little after 6:30 and she was called back a few minutes after 7:00. The procedure didn’t take long at all. While she was in the back, I sat in the waiting room and cut coupons, ate some donut holes, read a magazine, and kept myself occupied with my phone. About 8:15 or so the doctor came out and chatted with me, which was kind of weird because I’ve never been chatted to by a doctor; well, I have but have always had other people with me. Then a few minutes later the nurse came out and I signed the release form as the “Responsible Adult”. Can’t say that I’ve ever signed as being responsible for another person before, but I did on Saturday and thankfully nothing bad happened while Jackie was in my care.

We soon left the hospital and I had her back home around 9:00 a.m. Since my car was at Wal-Mart and my parents were visiting my brother, I stayed at Jackie’s house for the day. We napped on and off, snacked on fruit, played SongPop and watched some of the most boring Olympic coverage known to mankind. I also finished reading the ESPN Magazine college football preview. There were some good articles in there and I’m glad I had the time to read it.

Around 5:00 p.m. Jackie was sober enough to operate a vehicle and drove me the one mile to Wal-Mart to pick up my car. When I got there and paid, the cost only seemed to cover the two tires. I asked the guy if an oil change had been done. He said no. It was at this point that my blood pressure no doubt shot through the roof. My car had been there for 10 hours and all the work had not been performed. I told the manager I was expecting a free oil change and that my car needed to be moved to the front of the queue because I was not going to wait there another hour. I went through the store and picked up a few things while my blood pressure returned to normal and about 30 minutes later returned to find out that they had done the oil change, but it was on a separate ticket. They did not charge me for it. I paid for the few items I picked up and went on my way.

I picked up some Mexican food (I told y’all that a hungry Nat is a less than pleasant Nat) and went home to The Tide who no doubt was looking forward to going outside seeing as how she had been holding it for 13 hours. I went over to my neighbor Jeff’s house and gave him some donuts – it was his birthday; he’s 64 – came back home, ate dinner, and proceeded to be a lazy bum for the rest of the night. I did manage some laundry and a wee bit of cleaning, but not too much.

Sunday I went to church and then lunch with some cousin’s at yet another place I had never been (another review to come) and then stopped by Publix to pick up a few things they had one sale for the week. Sunday afternoon I napped, and then it was back to church and then back home. I cooked some chicken for dinner while I was at church Sunday night, but by the time I got home, I wasn’t hungry or in the mood for eating so I just put it in the fridge and will eat it later this week. That, dear friends, was my weekend. I don’t know why, but I’m tired just thinking about it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Like a Good Neighbor Jeff Is There

Sometime within the past few months, I lost a casserole dish. It wasn't a fancy one or anything, just one of those 9x13 Pyrex glass casserole dishes and the blue cover that accompanied it. I have absolutely no idea what happened to it. One day it was there, one day it wasn't. I used it often and I am sure that I probably left it somewhere - the question is where? Was it at church? My parents' house (I'm pretty sure no because I've looked)? Or somewhere else? It is a mystery that has baffled me since I first discovered it was missing, which was around July 4 when I went to make a tasty treat and the dish was MIA.

It is just so bizarre that I cannot find this dish because I am overly protective of all my dishes and usually hover over them like a mother hawk when I take them to the church socials or what have you; so, how this one escaped my watchful eye is something that I will probably ponder the rest of my days here on earth. I have other baking/casserole dishes mind you so the cooking hasn't stopped, but now I don't have any 9x13 dishes with a top, which I happen to like. Occasionally when I think about it, I will look at the prices of these 9x13 Pyrex dishes and think about getting one but I always decide to pass because I am not in desperate need of a baking dish and I can put it off for another time.

Fast forward to this Tuesday afternoon. I got home from the gym around 6:40 and on the porch was this past Sunday's edition of The New York Times. You see, my awesome neighbor Jeff subscribes to the Sunday edition of the New York Times and when he is finished reading, he brings it over for me to read. Monday or Tuesday or occasionally on a Wednesday, the newspaper is all wrapped up and placed on my front porch for me. It just so happened that Tuesday was the day this week. When I got up to the porch, I noticed there was a yellow post-it note stapled to the bag which holds the newspaper. I figured Jeff wanted to make sure I kept a certain section of the newspaper before depositing in the recycle bin - sometimes he likes to hold on to a certain section or send it to his mom. I picked up the paper and the note said, "Do you need a 9x12 Pyrex dish?" (He meant 9x13 - he's a man let's cut him some slack). Y'all, I'm pretty sure a tear formed in the corner of my eye I was so overcome with joy. It was all I could do to not drop everything and run right over to his house, but I was kind and let The Tide outside first.

I then walked on over to Jeff's house and sure enough, he gave me a Pyrex dish just like the one I am missing. It doesn't have a top, granted, but I found one online that can ship to be for around $10. So, when I feel like coming off $10, then I'll probably go ahead and buy it. I was so excited to get this baking dish! Jeff said he prefers to cook in a metal pan and wasn't using the glass one. Clearly he isn't making large dinners for his family like I sometimes do. He probably only needs one pan at a time. Whereas I - well, I sometimes need more than I have.

Jeff also hooked me up with about six pads of sticky notes while I was at his house. Apparently he bought a large lot of them at Staples and needed to pass some along. I heard on the radio this week that 72% of Americans don't even know their neighbors names. I am really blessed to have such a good neighbor and I certainly hope you have a good neighbor too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Apparently it's Called a Donut

I had a little post all ready for today, but it has been put on hold until tomorrow because something happened on the way home that makes for a better story, at least in my opinion.

I had an appointment at the chiropractor Wednesday afternoon, as is often the case and so I left work at 4:00 in order to make a stop by a UPS drop off location (to ship Caroline’s package) and then make it to the chiropractor by 4:30. After dropping off the package, I got back on the Parkway and exited at Governor’s. For whatever reason, I always take that back street that runs behind Top Line Tires and Ayers Produce to cross Governor’s and turn right onto St. Clair which is where the chiropractor’s office is.

I was stopped at the light and called Star Market to order a small Terry’s pizza to eat for dinner because after three days of roast for dinner, I was ready for a change. The light turned green and as soon as I crossed Governor’s I heard a high pitched squeal and felt a bump and thought, “Oh Lord! Have I hit a cat? A dog? A small child?” As it turns out, the tire on my front passenger side blew out. So, I turned onto St. Clair and pulled into the first parking lot I came to.

I am sometimes a lot smarter than I look and thankfully had the brilliance of mind to pay for the Roadside Assistance as part of my car insurance. The reason being is, sadly, my dad won’t be around forever and I need to rely on myself more than him. So, I pulled that gold card out of the glove compartment and gave it a call. The automated system connected me with a company whom I assume my insurance company has a contract with and after telling them where I was, the lady said someone would be there in about 30 minutes.

Now, 30 minutes isn’t too big of a deal except I needed to pee and instead of going at work before leaving, I had planned on using the facilities at the chiropractor’s office. So, I gathered my purse and phone and keys and walked up to the front of the building where I was parked. I had no idea what kind of businesses were there. Ironically one was an insurance agent (although not my company) and the other was a bathroom and kitchen store – they sell cabinets, fixtures, etc. I went into the kitchen/bathroom store, explained I was in their parking lot and did they have a restroom I could use. They apparently took pity on me because they pointed me in the direction of the facilities. The old man was also willing to change my tire but I told him I had already called someone and plus it was hot out there so he needn’t bother, but thanks.

After using the facilities, I went back to the car and cranked it up and did some reading while waiting on the roadside assistance. The man arrived a few minutes after I opened my book and when I got out of the car, he didn’t really say anything – weird. Finally he asked for my ID, which I gave him. His name was Kevin, per the nametag on his shirt. Kevin then had me sign the paperwork and brought out a jack and a thing to take the lug nuts off of the tire. (What is that thing called? It looks kind of like a drill – I’ll just call it the thing).

In the meantime, mind you, I called Terry’s pizza again and let them know what was going on and that I would be late picking up my pizza. A young guy answered the phone and said he would just make me a new one and have it ready about 5:15 – works for me!

Back to the scene of the vehicle – Kevin was working really slowly and it was so hot outside. I thought I was going to be drenched in sweat by the time it was all over and I wasn’t even doing any of the work. He got that thing and started to take the lug nuts off and he didn’t have the right size remover on the thing so he had to change that out. (Is anyone else laughing at “the thing” or is it just me?) Then after he removed two, the power in the thing died (“I ran out of juice,” he said) and I kid you not, he went and cranked up a generator so he could give that thing some power.

Finally 15 minutes or so after arriving, Kevin had the spare tire on my car and we parted ways. Now look, I have driven Blue with tape on the window, a wrecked front side, etc., but there is just something exceptionally ghetto about driving around with the spare tire. I find this to be the most embarrassing of all. I drove it to Star Market and picked up some apples from Scott’s, some ham for the next two day’s worth of sandwiches for work and my pizza. The guy that I had talked to earlier asked me if I was okay. Then he asked me if I had the donut on my car. I have never heard of the spare tire referred to as a donut, but now I know. This kid was probably 16 or 17 and he told me not to go too fast with the donut on – not over 50 he said. I think it’s more like 40, who knows?

So, if you see me driving around Huntsville with my donut the next couple of days, just honk and wave and smile, but wait until I’m past you before you start laughing at my donut. I hope to have some new tires put on this weekend. Until then, fingers crossed this doesn’t happen again because I don’t have any more donuts in the trunk of my car.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So Long Sewing Machine

You may recall (or not) that three years ago I bought a sewing machine. In fact, it will be exactly three years this Friday that the sewing machine shipped to my home. I looked back in the archives of August 2009 and I apparently never blogged about purchasing the sewing machine. What can I say, it was the first year of my blog and I wasn't the best blogger as far as regular posts or content for that matter. Obviously this blog has vastly improved over the past three years. Shh! I can hear you chuckling! Moving on...

Tony was the reason I purchased the sewing machine. You see, he basically insinuated that I could do everything but sew and so I set out to prove that I could in fact do it all - even sew. I had never really had any interest in sewing but by George if someone thought I couldn't do something then I was certainly going to prove that I could do it and so to Amazon I went and ordered myself a machine that can stitch about 70 different ways.

I was pretty excited when I first got it and my friend Shawna came over and helped me set it up. She helped me sew what was originally going to be some place mats but turned into pillows because I cut them to small. I also sewed a couple of super hero capes which quite honestly weren't much to brag about and I attempted to sew a camera strap cover - that was an epic fail. Shawna came over another time to help me attempt to sew a reusable grocery bag and we got as far as ironing on a protective coating on the fabric before we called it a day and then she moved to Tennessee a few weeks later. Needless to say, the sewing and I weren't very compatible.

Last year in August when the floor to my spare bedroom was ripped up and replaced, it had been around a year or so since I had even turned the sewing machine on. I would occasionally look at it and envision all the lovely things that could be crafted using it, but I was never motivated to actually turn it on and make anything. To put it bluntly, it was sitting on my desk collecting dust. After the spare bedroom was put back in order, I stored away the sewing machine in a cabinet instead of leaving it out on the desk; and so, it has been sitting in a cabinet untouched for a year. That makes a total of at least two years, maybe even two years and some months that I haven't turned on the sewing machine. To say I lost interest in all things sewing is the under statement of the decade. I admire people who can sew and make lovely things, it's just not for me. We all have talents and I am not ashamed to say my talents lie in places other than the sewing room.

A month or so ago, my friend Caroline wrote a teaser post about the gender of the baby she is carrying. She didn't reveal the gender because she didn't know but did mention that if she were to have a girl (she has two boys right now) that she wanted to get a sewing machine so she could make girly clothes and who knows what else. So, I left her a comment and said that if she is pregnant with a girl I would give her my sewing machine.

Then this past week, Caroline wrote a post and announced that she and her lovely husband are indeed having a baby girl, which meant it was time for me to pony up. I am a woman of my word after all. So, I left Caroline a comment and told her to send me her address and I would send her my sewing machine. I had honestly rather she have it than it sit in my cabinet. I'd rather give it to Caroline than sell it in a garage sale 10 years from now.

Monday I was able to get a box and some foam from work (legally, people!) and I brought it home and packed up the sewing machine. There wasn't enough foam to fill up the giant box the shipping supervisor gave me so I am going to pack the empty spaces with newspaper and am thinking about getting some bubble wrap for the actual machine. Once I have it packed to my liking, I'll tape it up and send it on it's way to North Carolina - ironically, three years to the week that I received it.

So long sewing machine - you served me well for three years and three projects - huh, what do you know, I averaged one sewing project a year for the last three years. I think I may need a gold medal for that! I'm sure Caroline will average more than one sewing project a year and I can't wait to see all the lovely items  that my sweet friend creates!

All boxed up with somewhere to go

Going to Caroline in North Carolina

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lazy and Unproductive

Well, I wish I could sit here and write a post about what a productive and eventful weekend I had but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This was probably the laziest and most unproductive weekend I have had in a long while – I guess we need one of those every now and then. Right?

Friday night I managed to get the grass mowed which is always a nice thing to be finished with. Thankfully it didn’t take too long and since I started at 6:15 I didn’t have a heat stroke – another plus! I spent the rest of Friday night watching the Olympics and then went to bed. This is exciting reading I know. Please try to control your enthusiasm.

Saturday morning I woke up with every intention of going to the gym but when the time came to leave I was too lazy to get my derriere of the sofa. That ended up not being such a bad thing though because my dad ended up stopping by for a visit and if I had gone to the gym I would have missed him. He stayed for about an hour and we caught up on old times. OK, not really, but we just chatted about this, that and the other. I haven’t really talked to him in a week or so and I was glad he popped in for a visit. The rest of the day was spent watching the Olympics and sleeping. Finally around 4:00 I managed to bathe and then ventured out to the grocery store; and that, friends, was about all the energy I exerted on Saturday.

Sunday wasn’t much better as I once again had grand plans for an early morning walk and then didn’t follow through. I made it to church and class and then went to grab a bite from the new Chipotle out on University. I came home and put a roast in the oven for dinner and then napped. I stayed home from church Sunday night because I wasn’t feeling too well. I have had a headache since Wednesday and have no idea why – perhaps it’s the abundant laziness that’s causing it. At any rate, I wish it would dissipate because it hasn’t been pleasant. In addition to the headache I was feeling just generally not great –stomach cramps just to name one reason. (Too much information?) So, I spent Sunday night at home with The Tide who happens to be just as lazy as I am.

I had originally intended to go see Total Recall over the weekend but obviously didn’t make it. If anyone saw it, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought because I’m kind of one the fence about it.

I wish I had a more interesting post for you today, but sadly, I don’t. Perhaps I can come up with something better for you tomorrow and if not, then please bear with me through this drought of activity in my life and pray that things pick up soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Feel Like I'm In an Olympic Coma

Have you been watching the Olympics this week? Of course you have because who hasn't? I think every single blog I check in on (at least the ones who update on a fairly regular basis) has blogged about the Olympics. So, I figured I might as well too because what else is going on? A whole lot of nothing that's what.

So, a lot of people are mad because NBC is showing all the marquee events on tape delay in prime time. I don't really understand why they are mad about this. Call me crazy, but I doubt there are many working people whose employers would just let them sit around and stream live Olympic coverage instead of doing work. I know my employer wouldn't like it. In fact, live streaming is blocked where I work so I have nothing to complain about because I for one am glad the marquee events are shown in prime time. Now, admittedly, it is hard to stay in a bubble throughout the day such that finding out the winners is a surprise; but, that's the age we live in. I am able to keep all things le Tour de France a secret until I watch at night because not too many people follow cycling. The Olympics however is a completely different story. I have found out numerous spoilers before seeing the event in prime time - but, I expected that would be the case and I am okay with it.

Having said that, however, I think I am a little un-enamored with the Olympics this year. Basically I just kind of stare at the screen and don't even know what's going on half the time. Let's take swimming for example - if I happen to not listen to the announcer say this is a semi-final or qualifier, I have no idea what kind of race it is and have thought a time or two that I was watching a medal race only to find out it was a semi-final. How about some graphics NBC? For the cycling road race, I kept looking at the bottom of the screen to see how many kilometers were left only to discover there was no kilometer countdown like there is during other cycling races - all of which are shown on NBC Sports Network - what gives? Can't NBC put up the same graphics we are accustomed to seeing?

The gymnastics commentators drive me nuts! They have got to be the most dramatic and negative people to ever walk the face of the earth -well, them and the figure skating commentators during the winter Olympics. Seriously, it's as if the gymnasts can do no right. These are 15 and 16 year old kids and the commentators are tearing them down as often as possible. Give me a break, man! I would like to mute these morons but sadly, watching silent gymnastics is just weird and when I do mute them and turn on some music, I have no idea what is going on so I'm forced to listen to their oohs and ahs and gasps of horror when one of the gymnasts takes a misstep. They act as though it is the end of the world. I assure you, it is not. These children will live to see another day... unless maybe they live in North Korea.

Michael Phelps - I'm over it. He was so 2008. His ego wouldn't fit through the front door of my house and he acts like he's got much better things to do than swim in the Olympics - like taking a hit from a bong for example. He just seems like a person with whom I would not want to be friends. I could be wrong, but man he just seems so full of himself and that is beyond annoying.

The prime time coverage should end at 10:00 if you ask me. I'll admit that I am an early to bed, early to rise person, and I cannot stay up until 11:00 to watch Olympic coverage. So, every night about 9:30 I check to see who won and then I go to bed, missing out on the last hour of the coverage which is probably the penultimate Olympic coverage for the night. It would have made more sense to me to start the coverage at 6:00 and go to 10:00. I guess everyone else in America is staying up past their bed time (or maybe I just have an early bed time), but not me because too little sleep makes for a crazy and moody Nat!

USA is doing awesome in the medal count, but seriously, where are all those medals coming from because in the past five days I feel like I've only seen less than 10 medals won. What am I missing? And how about a run down each night in list form of which events the medals were won. I can't even find that online. Maybe I really am in an Olympic coma. For all I know, they are breaking it down in that last hour of Olympic coverage, but I'm already dreaming the night away by then so I couldn't tell you (or me) for sure.

I think this is really all I have to say about the Olympics for now; but, fear not, there is still one more week of coverage to go and I'm sure I'll find something to say about it before it all comes to a screeching halt.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shelley's Shower

This past Saturday, as previously mentioned, I went to a baby shower for my sweet friend Shelley. Can I just say that Shelley and her sister Kimberly are always at the height of fashion. They always look so adorable with their flashy heels and stylish clothing and just because Shelley has a baby bump doesn't mean she's tossed her fashion choices to the side. That girl was wearing some shiny red heals and a zebra print shirt that showed of her bump. The shower was at 10 a.m., a brunch, and to answer Kimberly's question, I loved the early start time because I am not a fan of having to go to a shower in the middle of the afternoon. So, 10 a.m. was perfect for me - please remember this when it snows in July and you all are preparing a wedding shower for me.

My friend Sara is a fabulous sewer and maker of hand-crafted goods. She has an Etsy shop you should check out. Last year I bought one of her baby blankets for a friend and his wife who were expecting and decided I wanted to get one for Shelley as well. So, on Thursday before the shower on Saturday, I called Sara and asked her if she had a particular one (yes she did) and that I would like to buy it. Friday afternoon, Sara brought the blanket by my house and we naturally started talking about Shelley's shower. Sara had no idea what she was going to get Shelley because she had just sold me the gift she was thinking about giving. So, while two of Sara's three boys had spend the night company, she sewed and sewed and sewed and made baby Easton a soft baby book which turned out super cute.

Sara showed up at the brunch about 10:30 because she thought it started at 11:00 and at 9:00 that morning when she finished up her gift, she looked at the invitation, jumped in the shower, got ready, stopped by the dollar store to get a gift bag and still made it to the party by 10:30 - she is awesome, y'all! We had a great time telling everyone the story of how I stole (bought) Sara's gift to Shelley - but now Shelley has two lovely homemade gifts by Sara. To top things off, while Sara and I were talking, I became animated and was using my hands and hit the glass of fruit tea she was holding and it spilled all over her - not one drop on me. What can I say? I've never claimed to be graceful.

Kimberly and the other girls did a great job with the little details such as shaping the napkins as bow ties and taping them to the forks and spoons - so cute! The cake was super cute as well. It was brown and green (which sounds gross, but I swear it was adorable) and had a bow on the front. Shelley didn't want to cut it until she got a photo taken with her mother-in-law beside the cake. So, when the time finally came to cut the cake, I was first in line - I love me some cake, y'all! It was done in fondant and and I guess the person who decorated it used straight pins to hold some of the fondant on the cake because I was served the first piece along with a straight pin. Thankfully I found it and pointed it out to Kimberly. Hopefully no one else got a pin in their slice. I know I mentioned the sausage rolls before, but they are worth mentioning again because they were so good. They were like some my mom used to make when I was a kid only these were made with crescent rolls and I'm pretty sure we didn't have canned crescent rolls in the 80s. Mother probably made hers with biscuits. I am attempting to make some of these this week when I have some girlfriends over on Thursday night. I hope they turn out as good as the ones at the shower.

They also set up a yogurt bar which I thought was a really great idea. I didn't eat any of this since I am supposedly still on a dairy ban. I say supposedly because I've pretty much given up over the course of the past few days. After two months dairy free and zero weight loss I figure what's the point, bring on the cheese! Anyway, they had plain yogurt and then a bounty of milk and white chocolate chips and assorted fruits and maybe even some nuts. It was a great idea. I will say, however, that it may have worked better if it had been set up at a different table because it held up the line on occasion. There was also French toast which was very good. The brunch idea was excellent in my opinion, but I love brunch, it seems so sophisticated.

Shelley got a lot of really great gifts and I'm sure she was thrilled with the loot she got to take home. I should have taken some photos but I didn't because I'm a slacker. At least I admit it! Maybe Kimberly will one day post some photos on her blog before baby Easton arrives. Of course, I'm sure if you are friends with these girls on the dreaded facebook then they probably posted some photos there. It was a fun morning and I had a nice time catching up with some of my favorite gals. I can't wait to see how spoiled baby Easton is going to be!