Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More About The Shed

Well, so far nothing has been done about my windswept shed. I did finally get in touch with the insurance company and they filed a claim for me. They said it would take a couple of days for an adjuster to get back with me, but I will probably call the claims office on Thursday and check in. My neighbor P has returned home from his business trip and is probably anxious to get my shed out of his yard. Actually, he’s being very nice about the whole thing, but I would still like to wrap up this mess quite soon.

I went over to his house on Wednesday afternoon and took a few pictures of the shed up close. I wanted to see the side facing P’s house. I also had some dog collars from my dogs Oscar and Thunder that were clipped on to the shed and since I had not been able to find those on Tuesday, I wanted to see if they were still clipped on to the shed and bring those home. The collars were in fact still there and I was able to climb in to the mangled shed and get them.

So, the saga continues. I realize this isn't the greatest blog post in the world, but at least it’s a post. I hope to have something with more substance up in the next day or two. In the meantime, enjoy some more pictures of my mangled shed. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Once Had A Shed

This week has been quite crazy. I usually have time to carve out a few minutes during my lunch break to write a little something for the blog, but not this week. I have been exceptionally busy at work which is great because it helps the day to pass by quickly, but bad for you because the blog gets placed on the back burner.Usually I don't get on the computer much at home but I'm making an exception today for a few different reasons, one of which is that I have a story for you and I wanted to be sure and tell it as soon as possible.  

Monday night a storm blew through our fair city. A wind advisory had been issued for the wee hours of the night and indeed the wind was blowing quite ferociously. I went to bed around 10:00 p.m. as always and heard the wind beating against the house but didn't think much of it. After all, it wasn't the first time massive winds have blown at my house since I moved in seven years ago. At some point during the night I heard my rocking chair blow over - again, not unusual on a windy night. Once the wind blew so hard I thought the trim around the window might blow off - that's not too unusual either as it has happened before. 

I got up Tuesday morning and let The Tide out, fixed my lunch, took my medicine, gave The Tide her medicine, showered, dressed and headed out for the day. I had an appointment with a personal trainer at the gym scheduled for 5:00 and should have known that something would go wrong - this is the third time I have scheduled this appointment and each time I've had to reschedule for some bizarre reason. 

Around 4:30 I began shutting down my computer and gathering my belongings when my phone rang. It was my next door neighbor. I didn't have her number in my phone and she had been trying to find my phone number all day. She asked me if I had been home that morning and I said no - thinking she was asking if I had been home from work that morning, Long story short, she told me that my shed had blown away and everything in my shed had been exposed to rain all day, The shed was across the alley in the neighbor's yard. I was kind of in shock - clearly when I let The Tide out at 5:30 a.m. and it was still dark out I had no idea that the shed was MIA. 

I got home around 5:00 p.m. and sure enough the shed was gone. It had been screwed into a concrete slab and of all the screws that were holding it in place, only one screw was left. Thankfully most things in the shed were in plastic storage bins so there was very little loss of items. I had tried to get in touch with my insurance company before leaving work, but was unsuccessful. I did email one person there and she said someone would call me - as of writing this I am still waiting. I took some photos and then my aunt's boyfriend came over in his truck and hauled off three loads of my goods to his workshop where he had some storage space. There is still a few things remaining out back, but they can all weather the weather if you will. My sweet neighbor Jeff let me put my bicycle, affectionately known as The Blonde Adonis, in his shed. 

I'm certainly hoping I hear from the insurance soon. The shed is still at my neighbor's house across the alley. He is out of town on business, but we were able to get in touch with him thanks to the neighbor that originally called me. My neighbor said the shed could stay there as long as it needed to - hopefully after the insurance company sees it we can move it somewhere. I really don't know what you do with a mangled shed. 

Needless to say, there will be a follow up to the story of the shed and I shall keep you posted as I have updates. Hopefully it won't be a long drawn out process and things will go quite smoothly  but the way my luck is going this year, I'm not going to count on that. Enjoy the photos. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Campaign Nat 5.16"

Y'all, I really like The Ellen Show. It always makes me laugh and there is never a dull moment when watching it. I don't watch everyday because I already have way too much TV watching on my agenda, but when I find myself home from work I will watch and if I hear of an interesting guest I will record it.

I'm not sure if I have mentioned yet or not, but my dad and I are going to California in May for vacation. You may recall we went to France a couple of years ago (me for two weeks, him for one) and since that trip we decided to take more vacations together. For one, as primary caregiver to my mother he needs a break from life (yes, mother, I know you are reading this, but it's true) and for two, who doesn't love a vacation? I picked California because (surprise, surprise) there is a bike race in California called The Amgen Tour of California and I wanted to take in the festivities - it's not like I can afford to go to le Tour every year. So, California was agreed upon and flights were booked. We are flying in to Los Angeles on May 14 and will be there for a few days before heading north to spend a couple of days at the bike race and in San Fransisco and Napa Valley.

My dad made mention that we should try to get tickets for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and then The Ellen Show popped into my head. So, for the past few weeks I have been religiously checking the tickets for these two shows. Finally last week the May dates for Jay Leno were announced and I filled out the form for tickets and then on Monday of this week, tickets became available for the May 16 taping of the Ellen Show, which is the only date they are filming while we are there, and since May is the end of the television season, we suspect this might be the last show of the season because as of the time I'm writing this, there are no other filming dates in May.

As you probably know, The Ellen Show is notorious for giving away awesome prizes, and so I sent The Ellen Show a tweet saying I need a new car, and then I emailed them that my parents could really use a new handicapped accessible van because the one they have now is about as bad as ole Blue! Then, my co-worker Kenny came up with "Campaign Nat 5.16" and sent out the email I have posted below to our co-workers and some of his friends. I forwarded it on to some of my friends and now I am sharing with you.

I figure if enough people bombard The Ellen Show with emails then surely she will let me be a contestant in one of the games or give me some awesome prize just because my friends pestered her to death. So, feel free to copy the email below and send it to your friends. Also, feel free to pester The Ellen Show from now until May 16 and maybe, just maybe I will be chosen to play a game and maybe I will win a car and ole Blue can go into retirement like she deserves or maybe my parents will get a sweet new handicapped accessible van and their old clunker can be donated to someone who could use it. Truth be told, we will probably just be people in the crowd, which is completely fine as well because I'm sure that no matter what happens, we will have a fantastic time, but wouldn't it be cool if we got a new car?!

Note: This email is best enjoyed if someone hums the battle hymn of the republic in the background while you read. 

Greetings. I am Kenny Shifflett, campaign manager for "Campaign Nat 5.16" 
As campaign manager for "Campaign Nat 5.16" my duties involve managing "Campaign Nat 5.16"

What is "Campaign Nat 5.16" you ask ?  I will tell you as that is one of my duties as manager of "Campaign Nat 5.16". 

Our friend, neighbor, co-worker, acquaintance, relative , friend of a friend and phone a friend Natasha (Nat) Parker will be vacationing in Southern California during mid May, later this year. On May 16th Nat and her Dad (Dad) will attend a taping of the Ellen show.  

Nat needs swag. Not cheese swag like we commoners get but Ellen DeGeneres swag, the real deal.

Nat asked me to help her score Ellen swag and BAM "Campaign Nat 5.16" was born. 

A couple ground rules then a request: 

Ground Rules:

1. "Campaign Nat 5.16" must always be referred to with quotes, even when speaking we must use air quotes. Not sure why but it is a rule.
2. All correspondence to Ellen on behalf of "Campaign Nat 5.16" must be spell checked as we don't want to give Ellen or her staff any Alabama joke fodder.


1 Send an email to :  titled: "Campaign Nat 5.16" and make your best case for Nat to be a contestant or better yet straight up recipient of some awesome Ellen Swag. Keep this up, regularly right up to May 16th.   
2. Send this email to several of your friends so as to get the word out and to Ellen about "Campaign Nat 5.16" 

Thanks for your support 
and if you don't support "Campaign Nat 5.16" 
Thanks for nothing. 

Kenny Shifflett
Campaign Manager
"Campaign Nat 5.16"

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

Some of you may have heard about #26Acts of Kindness that started in December 2012 after the Newtown shooting when Ann Curry sent out the tweet, "“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I'm in. If you are RT #20Acts." It obviously started as #20Acts for the 20 young victims of the shooting, but quickly turned to #26Acts in honor of each of the children and adults that lost their lives on that Friday morning.

I thought it was an excellent idea and even committed some random acts of kindness of my own. I had originally planned to write about it when it happened to encourage you to do the same, but with everything going on around Christmas, I didn't have time, nor did I want it to seem like I was bragging. So, I decided to take a pass on ever mentioning it...until now.

Why now? Well, at Kenny's funeral last week, the minister encouraged us to conduct an act of kindness in the name of Kenny Qualls and I want to pass on the challenge to you as well. Kenny was one of the nicest, kindest, most loving and compassionate people I have ever known and doing a random act of kindness for a stranger is one of the best ways we can honor him and keep his memory alive.

Go out and make the world a better place this week. The next time you are at the drive thru, pay for the order of the car behind you, leave a big tip for your waiter, rake leaves for your neighbor, fill up someone's tank with gas, buy someone's groceries, order dessert for the table across the restaurant - there are so many things you could do and if anyone asks why, tell them you are doing it in memory of Kenny Qualls. Believe me when I tell you that it will make you feel just as good, if not better, than the recipient of the random act.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Trip to Illinois

I'm sure you've stopped by for some sort of story and while I really don't feel much like writing or have anything of great importance to write about, I suppose I've got to start back at some time and so why not start with telling you about my trip to Illinois for Kenny's funeral. After all, it seems no matter the circumstances there is always something strange and in hindsight hilarious that ends up happening to me and this trip was no exception.

My dad and I had planned on leaving Thursday, February 14 around 5:30. I got off work about 4:30 and went to pick up a salad and hummus plate from Zoe's Kitchen and then had plans to go home and let The Tide out before changing clothes and loading up my bag and The Tide and heading over to my parents' house. While I was at Zoe's, my dad called and needed me to pick up his cry cleaning because he had no clean white shirts to wear. Also, Justin was nowhere to be found and he was to take care of my mother while we were gone. Since Justin has no cell phone, there is no way to get in touch with him and so we were in limbo about whether or not to go ahead and leave town.

I picked up the dry cleaning, made it home, changed clothes, loaded up my bag and The Tide and headed towards my parents' house. On the way, I rolled down the back window so The Tide could enjoy some fresh air - I've heard that dogs enjoy this because being in a car makes them sick. Who comes up with this stuff? I also rolled down my front window a little as well only to have the window fall and not go back up. Yes, even Blue doesn't take time off from malfunctioning during tragic times. As you may recall, three of my four windows have broken and been repaired and on the day I'm leaving town for a funeral, the fourth and final window decides to stop working. I was thrilled, as you can surely imagine.

I made it to my parents' house only to discover that my dad had borrowed my grandmother's car (a Lincoln Town Car) for our journey. I loaded my things into the car and went inside to eat my dinner while we waited on Justin to make an appearance. Around 6:15 p.m. my dad decided that we should go ahead and leave so my mom had called a few people to come and sit with her until Justin (hopefully) showed up. My dad put my mom in the bed and then we taped up my fallen window and we pulled out of the driveway at 6:37 with a five hour drive in front of us.

As we were heading out of town on I-565, we noticed the traffic was backed up right before the airport exit. Actually, my dad noticed it more than I did. I was driving and he was on the phone and I thought it looked like the traffic was backed up but couldn't tell for sure and then her started frantically waving his hands about and so I realized that yes, indeed, the traffic was backed up. So, I slammed on the brakes of the Town Car and we luckily got stopped before slamming into the car in front of us. The car behind us, however, did not get stopped and in fact hit us. The driver's name was Calvin and he tried to go off into the median (we were in the left lane) but hit the side of a little bridge and then hit our side. Thankfully no one was injured and the car was only barely scraped. My dad said he didn't even feel us get hit and it's true, it was only a light bump. We were very lucky considering we were on the interstate and everyone was driving as fast as they were.
While we sat on the side of the interstate waiting on the police to show up we witnessed numerous cars (and even an 18-wheeler) screeching their brakes and running off the road to avoid hitting other cars. The smell of burnt rubber was all around and we felt for sure we were going to be witness to some horrific car crash. Thankfully everyone got stopped and there were no other wrecks. The Madison police showed up and were really quick about getting us back on the road. However, both my dad and I needed to empty our bladders so we stopped in Athens, about 15 miles down the road.

After our pit stop, we made two other stops, one for snacks (I needed caffeine) and another for gas. My mom had called around midnight and asked how much longer we had. Garmin told us we had about 10 minutes left but my dad thought an hour. Turns out Garmin was right and we finally made it to out hotel in Marion, Illinois about 30 minutes or so after midnight - there was construction at the exit and so we missed the exit and had to go about six miles out of the way and turn around to get back to the exit. We got checked in and immediately went to bed. Apparently I was snoring within five seconds of my head hitting the pillow. First, I didn't know I snored and second, I was pooped.

The funeral was the next morning and the minister did a terrific job. He really knew Kenny well, or so it seemed, and he delivered a nice eulogy and even gave us cause to laugh on occasion, which was a welcome surprise. We left after the service and headed back south. Thankfully the drive home was less eventful than the drive up there and we were back in Huntsville around 5:30 p.m. It was a quick trip, but I'm glad we went. I wanted to be there to support Jackie and her family, because as you well know if you've been stopping by here for any amount of time, they are also my family. Please remember to keep Jackie and her family, especially her parents, in your prayers as they continue to deal with Kenny's passing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sometimes There Are No Words

It seems like every time I compile a list of things I want to write about something tragic happens and this time it's hard to even find the right words to write or the right things to say. This week Jackie's brother Kenny died. Kenny was one of the nicest, kindest, most loving people I have ever known and his absence from this earth will leave a hole in all of our hearts. To say that I am heartbroken is putting things mildly; to say that Jackie and her family are heartbroken doesn't even remotely begin to describe the sadness they are experiencing. I ask that you keep Jackie and her family in your constant prayers this week, and next, and for many weeks to come as they try to find their new normal and cope with the loss of one of the most important people in their lives.

I've said it more times than I care to count, 2013 has so far been the worst year I have ever experienced. I have never been dealt the blows of so much loss in such a short period of time. I am tired of getting phone calls and emails and text messages about people dying. I think we are all in need of some good news for a change. I certainly hope the remainder of 2013 is much kinder than these first six weeks have been.

Tim, Ashlyn, Jackie, me and Kenny

Monday, February 11, 2013

Apparently I'm on a Winning Streak

I'm late posting today and I'm sorry. I didn't write anything over the weekend to auto-post on Monday and it's been a busy morning at work so it took me a while to carve out a few minutes from my day to write something. I don't really know how or why it happened, but one day I started winning things and since then, I've been pretty lucky. In the words of Erika, I am "the LUCKIEST person" she knows. Seriously, y'all there is no rhyme or reason to it.

I told you last week about the bag that my favorite cycling team sent me. It arrived over the weekend and it is hilarious and awesome wrapped into one HUGE bag. I neglected to take a picture of it, but will try to get one taken this week to show you. Seriously, it is so cool and I am super excited that they sent it to me. Well, since word broke that Garmin-Sharp was sending me a banner bag, I've won two more things, the first of which prompted Erika to email and tell me I'm "the LUCKIEST person" she knows.

The first item I won was from the hilariously funny cooking blog Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. Erika actually introduced me to this blog a few years ago and I have been a follower ever since. I have made quite a few of Peabody's delicious desserts, my favorite being the Orange Cupcakes for Two. A week or so ago, Peabody wrote about using Cougar Gold Cheese in a Mac and Cheese recipe and since this particular cheese isn't readily available across the US (It's made by Washington State University), she gave some away. Imagine my surprise when I checked my email and saw an email titled, "Cougar Gold Cheese", which at first I thought was spam. Clearly, it was not spam, and in fact, I won the cheese. I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

Then today, I was checking my blog email address and discovered I had an email from another blogger. Last week I entered to win a copy of Big Mama's Sparkly Green Earrings which came out on Friday. I read The Big Mama blog each weekday and I think Melanie's book will most likely be as hilarious as each of her blog posts and so I've entered just about every giveaway for the book I came across. Today when I checked my email, I had won a copy of the book. Sadly, I did not also win the giveaway that included a pair of green earrings, but you can't win 'em all as they say. At any rate, I'm really excited about this book. I checked out the preview on Amazon last week and I think it is going to be great. If I like it as much as I hope I will, I may do a giveaway of my own. Stay tuned as they say.

Seriously, I have no idea how it is that I win things from time to time. If there was a secret formula, I might sell it to the highest bidder; but, alas, there is not. I just seem to get lucky every now and then and it always comes in spurts. I'll win something (or three somethings) and then nothing for a long time. My only advice is to enter as many giveaways as possible, so long as you are interested in what is being given away. For example, I wouldn't enter a giveaway for a new duck call. Just sayin'. If only this luck could continue with the lottery. I've never actually bought a lottery ticket, although maybe a trip to Tennessee this afternoon might be a good idea the way things are falling in my favor at the moment.

After I originally posted this, I realized that I actually got some more goodies over the weekend. I was chatting with my friend Meri here at work who also happens to attend church at Mayfair. Yesterday I attended Mayfair 101, which is the gathering for new members where we get a tour of the building and have lunch provided for us after the tour (which takes place during class time). Even though I know my way around the building (for the most part) and have been attending for a few months now, I still went to the orientation and I'm glad I did. I got a nice tote bag, a coffee mug and a pen as well as a church directory and then from the ladies' group I got a cookbook, and some lotion, soap and a loofah. I suppose they want us to have good hygiene at church - actually they were just being nice and I appreciated the gesture. The lunch was delicious as well. I am definitely glad I went and yes, Melissa, I saw your comment and promise to soon tell the story of why I changed churches! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Christmas Gift, Birthday Gift and a Surprise Gift!

On Monday my friends Erika, Kendra and Candy came over to watch the latest episode of Downton Abbey. This has become our Monday night ritual and I enjoy the time I have to spend with these girls. This week they provided all the food for our dinner since it was just a few days after my birthday. Kendra made Mexican chicken and Candy brought rice to go along with it and Erika made a yummy birthday cake.

As you may recall, at Christmas my friends and I had a Favorite Things party in which we all came home with lots of lip balm. Candy's husband was specking at a memorial service the night of our party and she couldn't find a sitter for her four munchkins and so she was unable to join us. Well, if you haven't guessed it yet, she brought us her gifts  that she had intended to bring the night of our party. We each got a Sharpie pen (love those), a bar of Dove Soap (the cucumber/green tea scent - so nice) and a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich - all good choices!

Before the night was out, Candy and Kendra gave me a birthday gift. It was a red kitchen towel with a ruffle at the bottom and a hounds tooth elephant embroidered on it. It is super cute. Sadly, I do not have a picture of it with me at this time. I would say I will post one later, but chances are I won't think about it and I wouldn't want you to be waiting by your computer all night long for nothing.

Then on Wednesday at the end of the work day, the store for my favorite cycling team (Garmin-Sharp) tweeted that they had some new banner bags ready. What's a banner bag you ask. Well, fear not because I'm going to tell you. At races throughout the year, the team has banners here there and yonder and at the end of the season the banners are recycled by being turned into tote bags - no two bags are alike. I saw these in the shop when they had them back in the fall and unfortunately never got around to ordering one. So, when they sent out the tweet with a photo of the new bag, which happened to have the face of one of my favorite riders plastered across it, I tweeted back, "Aw, snap! Love em!" and made a mental note to check the store and order one. By the time I got home from work they had sent me a tweet that said "Email us and we'll send you one!" Y'all, I about fell out I was so excited. Garmin-Sharp seriously has the nicest people working for them! You may recall I got a free jersey last year. I immediately emailed and then sent them a big thank you on Twitter. They are so awesome.

So, it's been quite a fun week for the gifts! if I do say so myself. Now, if I could only figure out how to keep this going the rest of the year. Hmmm....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Repairs For Free - A 2013 Miracle

So, I mentioned in my Birthday #36 post that my car wouldn't start when it was time to go to my birthday party. Either y'all just skimmed over that part or you have become oblivious to my car woes. That's okay. I understand. I mean, I have a lot of car problems and sometimes they kind of just all run together.By the way, Kathy, I saw your comment from a couple of weeks ago, and yes, please let me know when you decide to get a new car. I might just break down and buy whatever it is you are currently driving.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the power steering seemed a little off one morning and I thought the alternator might be bad; then last Friday when I went to leave for work, old Blue seemed to have a difficult time getting started. So, when I got to work that morning, I backed into my parking spot in case I needed a jump that afternoon. When I left work, she had a bit of trouble starting again but she did start and I, thankfully, made it home. I was at home for all of about five minutes and when I got in the car to leave she wouldn't start. I called my parents and they picked me up so that I could make it to my own birthday dinner. When they picked me up, we hooked the car battery up to a charger and it started soon after so we were thinking it was probably the battery. In the meantime, I had already called my loyal mechanic and told him I was bringing the car his way over the weekend.

Saturday morning after baptizing some folks at the jail, my dad came by to jump off my car so we could take it out to the mechanic. We made the decision to stop for breakfast on the way and when we finished with breakfast, we hooked the charger back up to the battery and it was a no-go. Now, we were thinking it was in fact a problem with the alternator. My dad then pulled his car close to mine and we used jumper cables and were able to get ole Blue started back up after much waiting. I drove out to the mechanic's and left it there and then my dad took me to my grandmother's where I stayed for a couple of hours going over thank-you notes and funeral details and then I went home in her car, which she agreed to let me use until mine was repaired.

While in class on Sunday, my mechanic called and it was in fact the battery that was bad (thank goodness) and he also fixed my lack of heat by replacing the radiator cap. I can't tell you how thankful I was for that because it is cold driving in to work each morning with no heat! The mechanic, bless him, didn't charge me one red cent for his time, and after picking up the car, I drove it to an auto parts store and had a new battery put in to the tune of $130. That watch I returned at Christmas quickly became a new car battery and Blue is running once again.

Some time on Saturday night, I noticed that the air in the house was running and running and running and by Sunday I was quite concerned because it had not shut off in over 24 hours. All I could hear was ch-ching, ch-ching, ch-ching for the utility company. On Monday I called the HVAC man and asked if he could come take a look at the unit. I suspected it needed some Freon and since it had a small leak a couple of years ago, he suspected the same and I braced myself because Freon isn't cheap, y'all!

The HVAC man came out early Tuesday morning and checked the unit and suspected it was either the compressor or some other mechanical thing; but, the unit was too hot for him to know for sure o he turned it off for a while and went to another job and was going to come back later to take another look. He said both things were not cheap and then my stomach groaned. That afternoon he called and miracle of miracles, it was neither of those and something had just gotten stuck and it was working again on its own and I was charged nothing.

So, now I have a working car and a working HVAC unit and heat in my car and my house and I didn't have to pay a penny. I don't know how this happened, but man, am I overjoyed. Finally 2013 has brought along a little good news! Here's to hoping no other repairmen or repairwomen for that matter need to be called any time soon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Adventures In Babysitting

This past Saturday, my little cousin, Sydney, had big plans to spend the night with me. Sydney is the daughter of my first cousin, Brittany, and she is four years old. Brittany has graciously agreed to let Sydney start spending Saturday nights with me so I can take her to church with me on Sundays and this past Saturday was to be our first adventure. Justin decided to stay the night as well and so it was a packed house in Five Points with two adults, a child and a dog. 

My dad was cooking fish on Saturday at 5:00 and so Brittany brought Sydney over to my parents house and after eating dinner we headed to the house. We played Hi-Ho Cherrio and played with my new Spirograph and colored and watched The Wizard of Oz among other things. Sydney only ate a few french fries at dinner and got hungry during the night so I cooked her some chicken fries from the freezer which Justin discovered were also tasty and then more chicken fries were cooked. this being the technology age, Justin had his head poked in his computer for most of the night and Sydney was engrossed in my Kindle. Welcome to 2013.

I went to bed about 10:00 and Justin and Sydney stayed in the den watching TV and eventually fell asleep in there. About zero dark thirty, Justin brought Sydney into my room. She had woke him up coughing and he had given her some water and then put her in the bed with me. Bless her little heart, she just coughed and coughed and coughed and then was wheezing and even had a hard time catching a breath at times. Justin and I, being raised on whiskey as out cough remedy, both had the same idea and I put a dollop of honey with a splash of whiskey in a mug and warmed it up. I told her to drink it really fast because it was going to taste bad, but I'm sure the smell was more than she could handle because then she started crying. We called her mom and then Justin, bless HIS heart, took her home at 1:15 in the morning.

We did the best we could but it just wasn't good enough for a coughing child. These days child protective services probably gets called in when you give a kid whiskey for a cough so maybe it's a good thing she didn't drink it.

At any rate, our first go wasn't too successful; I think she would have been okay through the night if she hadn't started coughing. At any rate, we are going to try again this coming weekend and hopefully we will be much more successful in our childcare adventures. I say our because I'm pretty sure Justin will be joining us again. Whatever the case, I'll be sure and let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Birthday #36

Well, birthday #36 is in the books and it was a good one. I personally think that people should automatically have their birthday off from work; but, since corporate America does not agree, I went to work. As I walked in, I met my dear friend Brenda in the hallway and she had a balloon and a gift for me. She was trying to beat me to my desk but we ended up bumping into each other which made for a good laugh. Brenda gave me a picture frame, a framed picture for the bathroom and a University of Alabama badge reel. It was so nice of her to think of me; she is such a sweet friend.

The work day wasn't too bad as I had lots of emails and a few phone calls from people wanting to wish me a happy birthday. In the afternoon I got a card from my co-workers which made me laugh hysterically. At work we often recycle cards. So, the card I got for my birthday was actually a Christmas card I had given another co-worker. My boss marked out Christmas and but birthday and she made a little birthday hat for the dog on the front who was originally wearing a Santa hat. It made for a good laugh and a fun afternoon. I had also put my name down to take home the flowers from the front lobby the week of my birthday so after I retrieved the flowers everyone kept asking me who sent them and I told them my boss did since I was her favorite employee. This caused a great amount of laughing as well.

After work I went by my house to pull out the wooden blanks that are used to help my mom get her wheelchair into the house since she was going to be coming over for some cake after dinner. I went back out to the car to leave to meet everyone for dinner and my car wouldn't start. It had a hard time starting that morning and afternoon and now it wouldn't start at all so I called my parents and asked them to come pick me up. Thankfully everyone else was prompt and got to the restaurant early so we had a table. We went to eat at Red Lobster which is kind of my birthday dinner tradition. I used to love to eat there for my birthday when I was a kid and still do today. There were 14 of us at dinner and it was surprisingly not as chaotic as I expected it to be. My grandmother bought my dinner and my aunt's dinner as we both have February birthdays.

When we were finished with dinner, most of my family and Jackie (who is also family) came back to my house for some delicious chocolate cake. I also opened my presents. I got a bracelet, a Spirograph (Oh yeah!), a concordance, and a massage from my parents, a bracelet from my granddad and Jackie got me a new Bible which I desperately needed since my favorite one if falling to pieces. My aunt and cousins got me a gift card to Amazon, the movies and two 12-packs of Diet Coke, and my great-aunt got me a scarf and a cute tote. I loved everything and am thankful for everyone's kindness. On Saturday, Erika stopped by with a gift of kitchen towels and matching clip magnets for the fridge which were all adorable. She also had a piece of chocolate cake while we visited.

It was truly a nice birthday. I wasn't sure I was going to be up for celebrating this year even before my grandfather passed away. I think it did us all a little good to get together for a happy occasion after all the sadness that we have had. I'm glad we all were able to get together and I'm thankful for such a loving group of family and friends. Here's to hoping year 36 will be a good one!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Fourth Blogiversary Giveaway Winner!

Drumroll Please..... The winner of the Fourth Blogiversary Giveaway is Meri! Meri is my co-worker and was the last person to enter the contest! Out of all six of you that entered, generated lucky number six, which was Meri. Congrats to Meri, my newest reader! I hope you enjoy!

I hope everyone has a really nice weekend! I'll be celebrating birthday number 36 and will be back to tell you all about it next week!