Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I want to write a post really quickly because I just got off the phone with my friend from college and this whole blog was really started for me to write down what I'm grateful for so that when I feel down...I can look at all the things that I have in my life and not take them for granted.

Back to my friend...I've called her Chuck forever....that's nowhere close to her real name. It started because when I met her, her screenname on AOL was buttchuck and some numbers.

ButtChuck. Yes.

Chuck and I were on a staff together and when I first met her, I had a suspicion that she was not quite...umm...normal. She used "chuck" as a verb, an adjective and a noun. Someone could be a "chuck" as a term of endearment for her. If you were acting "chuckley," you were possibly in trouble. And, of course, someone could "chuck something" by throwing it. If you were exhibiting exceptionally poor behavior, you were being a "buttchuck."

She was an honors student and with that came a love of history, a slight air of being smarter than everyone else and a quirky sense of humor. I was older and had 'my own circle' of friends and didn't really try to get to know her. To make a long story short, Chuck and I got off to a pretty rocky start. We ended up having a verbal argument in the middle of a dining hall on campus and then she proceeded to push every button with me that she could. She officially "Mommed" me. Only my mother can push my buttons like Chuck did that day. Ironically, rather than making me angrier...I grew to respect her. It took guts to stand up to me and put me in my place and make me see her side of things. I appreciated that.

Chuck and I soon became good friends. Best friends. She's one of the 4 or 5 women in my life that I would do absolutely anything for.

Many of our mutual accquaintances still think that she's a little odd. Offbeat...kind of awkward. But, few, have any idea how much I absolutely admire her ability to take risks and how strong she is.

After she graduated, she took out a loan that I suspect is somewhere near 15k to take an internship in Washington D.C with an internationally ranked PR firm. She left her familiy in Ohio, and moved to DC to live with a stranger. She worked 80 hour weeks for a year with no guarantee that she would get anything out of this arrangement. She excelled because she's brilliant and she's got a kind of fierce drive and determination that I will never have. She got a full time position with this firm and worked with them for a year. I'm fairly certain that she was on the fast track to move up in the company, but, on a company trip to Lousiana she met a friend of a friend's for dinner. They started a long distance relationship shortly thereafter and she fell in love and married him a little over a year after they met. Her husband is 17 years older than she is and an officer in the National Guard...He seeks out active deployment, yet another risk that I would never ever take. But, she makes it work. They currently live with her husband's father in a beautiful old home on the family's ancient property.

Yes, you heard right....she moved to a town in Louisiana that is over an hour away from any PR company. She just trusted that everything would be okay. And it is...she may not like her current job much, but she has people calling her and offering her freelance work because she marketed herself and put herself out there as an expert. And she is one.

Another thing that I truly admire about her is that she has done the ultimate healthy life change. When she moved to DC she felt that she was getting very unhealthy and she started running. If you knew her in college, you would know that physical activity was anathema to this girl. She would play racquetball...and that was about it. Sweat? NO WAY. But, she started running. She built herself up and ran a 5k, then a 10k. She now has 6 marathons under her belt and is becoming active in a national marathon training program sponsored by Jeff Galloway the olympian. She's even oranizing her own marathon in her town.

I don't do risk well. I don't do the shaky little limb on the smallest branch of the tree well. But Chuck does...and I hope that I can take little steps to be more like her. I'm very proud to be her friend and I hope that she knows that.

I still don't REALLY think she's normal...but, sometimes, I think that we could all be a little less normal and a little more "Chuckley."

3 Things:
Chuck's kind of teaching me how to actually run more than a mile....no marathons for this girl, but, anything's better than nothing
When I do take a risk....I have an amazing support network of friends and family as a safety net.
That I'm learning to take risks and not completely freak out when I feel the limb start to shake.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sonford Q. McSquigglebottoms

This is an ode to the pooch who has taken over my house. When I moved to Athens, I found out that they had a pet policy at Ohio University and Hall Directors could own "smaller dogs" or cats. I talked to P about it and he told me how much he'd always wanted a dog and was SO excited that I could possibly get a pooch. So, while he was living in Columbus we'd chat on the phone and look at Petfinder.org the most fabulous website for finding rescue dogs and other animals in need of love. One day he came across this picture of a puppy that was a lovely reddish color with white tipped toes. I think that moment, my then boyfriend may have been more in love with a picture of a dog than he was with me! LOL!

We investigated the dog and decided that it was quite probable that we wanted to adopt him. This was a big step for us! MUTUAL DOG OWNERSHIP! That was like...a commitment or something *mwahhahahaha*
We drove up to Mt.Gilead, OH one day to check him out. He was living with the county rescue agent and her 30 other dogs. No. That's not a typo. 30.Other.Dogs. She let him in the house and he came running straight to us like he knew we were there for him. He was a little lighter in color than we'd thought he would be and he had a small cherry eye in his left eye. A cherry eye is mostly a cosmetic deformity in most dogs....in some it can cause eye problems because it interferes with the way the dog makes tears. Sonneigh's doesnt give him any problems and is minor so doesn't need any surgery. The rescue agent was worried though that people would be turned off by this little imperfection. We didn't care and took him home with us that day.

Have you ever transported a dog in a car that had never been in one? We hadn't. Let me tell you, we learned very quickly in the 3 hour drive back to Athens that it results in CARSICKNESS. ALL OVER. We had to pull over 3 times to clean out the car. It was A-W-F-U-L. I do not do vomit well. I nearly lost everything I ate that week the 3rd time it happened.

Despite the vomit and the chewed up dvds and the 3 foot tall stuffed dragon that ended up gutted all over my living room floor...Sonneigh is the absolute best dog in the entire world. He doesn't bark hardly ever and loves nothing more than a cuddle in the evening. He also likes comfort....as you can see in the pictures below.

I came downstairs one day this fall and found him sitting on top of the chair cushions that I had put on the patio table to dry out.

please pay no attention to the rip in the curtain....P got the dog excited and the dog stepped on the curtain and tore it. I haven't been able to find a replacement that matches the others yet!

3 Things:

The joy animals can bring to your life
That there are good people in the world that care about the welfare of animals

Monday, March 23, 2009

Before...more will follow in a few months

So, last post, I shared my to-do list, so for this post, I thought I'd share my back yard. Here's the before pictures for what I hope will some day be a beautiful after.

This picture is of the back yard and the back of the house...I don't think we're changing much there other than putting our patio table umbrella back up. We are going to re-paint the deck...possibly a slightly darker shade than it is now so there's a little more contrast with the house and the fence. I dont know yet. Also, on either side of the steps, a big purple butterfly bush grows. If it grows back after I over-pruned it last fall :-\

This is from the deck looking down. You can quite plainly see the bumpy yard and that the whole yard is really boring and plain.

This is the one part of the yard I like right now...we're pretty much done with the fire pit circle. I kind of wish our chairs matched, but I'm not sure that I'm really invested in repainting them with that plastic chair paint. We also probably should have dug the rocks into the ground...but we didn't want to make it quite so "permanent" yet. Our goal is for the grass to grow up around the rocks and in between the cracks so it looks more like you're camping on a cute little mountain plateau ;-).

This is the weird coffin sized dirt patch that was here when we moved in. This will be remade into a flower bed. The other corner of the yard behind the fire pit will be a matching flower bed. If only I can figure out what to do with the giant grass plant that currently hides the stupid cable box thingy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hello All

I am loving this warmer weather...thought it brings with it the reminder of just how much work P and I have to do outside this year. Let me share with you our to-do-list for Spring/Summer.

1. Get trim of house repainted. Should we do this ourselves....probably, but neither of us are very keen on balancing ladder and paint bucket on our bumpy lawn.
2. Fix bumpy lawn.
3. Power Wash House and Deck
4. Paint garage door and mailbox
5. repaint deck
6. carpet upstairs
7. cut out flower beds in back yard and clean up flower beds around deck
8. plant flowers in said beds
9. plant remaining flowers in front of house.
10. buy flower pots for my birthday present in which i will plant vegetables
11. plant birthday vegetables

I'm pretty sure there are some more things in there, but I can't quite remember them all. I will be SO SO excited to work on them though.

We made the first steps on tuesday, we went out to Lowes and bought a reel lawn mower. Yes, you know, the old fashioned kind that run on your sweat and not on gasoline? I think it goes nicely with our hybrid car and fits much much better in our garage than the big honking one that we broke last year. We also bought more paving stones for our fire pit circle and set that up. As soon as they settle into the ground and the grass grows, I think it will be a super fun location for us to sit and relax in the evenings! I am going to take some before, during and after shots of our backyard so that you all can see what I'm putting my poor husband through :-) mwahhahahahaah.

What are all of you planning for the warm weather?

3 Things:
That my computer training session was cancelled today!!!!
That my dad's cataract surgery went well this week
That my mom is officially retiring this summer

and a bonus:

my sister actually got an A on her math quiz....*cross your fingers folks...she needs a C- in the class to pass.* The Ominous gene pool is historically awful at math.

Friday, March 13, 2009


i'm not really starving. but oh my gosh am i hungry. we are going on a staff lunch and we have to wait til 130 and my tummy says feed me now! i have no students til 330 so nothing to take my mind off of fooooooooooooood. it doesn't help that the restaurant has a menu online and i'm drooling over my choices of mexican food.

nom nom nom.

home to dayton this weekend for "easter dinner" since my parents are going to be out of town on "real easter."

got my hair cut yesterday....people are SO complimentary about it...I'm thinking that's a good sign but ama little worried about how it used to look!


Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. Princess Diana

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