Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday's with Harley: Under the Weather

You read it right. Mr. Harley is not feeling well at all. It all started yesterday afternoon. I got home and realized that he was acting kind of funny. Just not his normal self. All he wanted to do was lay around.

As the night progressed Harley kept getting worse and worse. I didn't like it at all. I was worried and there was nothing I could do to make it better.

Around eight o'clock last night he started shivering so I covered him up with blanket but that didn't stop it. I decided right then that I was going to call the emergency vet number. I mean, I pay a ridiculous amount for my dog to go to the vet once year for all his updates, why should I hesitate to harass the doc on her personal time. So that's just what I did. However, no one answered. I left a polite message and requested that she return my call.

An hour went by and Harley was even more pitiful. At this point he was whimpering. It was so sad.

Around nine fifteen the vet called me back. I explained Harley's symptoms. She told me that he need to come in first thing this morning.

Harley and I were the first ones in the door at her office this morning. I told HarleyI loved him and left him there... scared and in pain. It just broke my heart.

I couldn't really focus on any of my work this morning because I kept thinking about him. By lunch I still hadn't heard from the vet's office so I called them. So much for waiting. I was ready to know something.

Come to find out Harley has thrown his back out (the vet had a more advanced name for it). The vet said that this is common among small breeds that jump off of the furniture i.e. beds, chairs, couches. He is on pain meds for the next two weeks and limited to his kennel for the next two weeks as well unless he's being held or walked. He's not going to like the latter part of the instructions the vet gave.

When I picked him up he was so happy to see me. It was a long night. I'm so thankful he's going to be okay.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm no Annie Oakley

First things first... if you know me then you may know that I am no adventure seeker or an adrenaline junky. It's just not my style. You won't find me bungee jumping or sky diving because, quite frankly, I'm too much of a scaredy cat.

Which, leads me into my latest adventure. A few of my closest friends had made plans to be in town this past weekend, so I thought it would be fun to do something a little out of the norm. I had been informed that through Russell Lands Adventure Center one could schedule a time to explore a few trials via horseback. Now, I wasn't sure of any other details. I didn't know the cost of the excursion, the length of time, or even where the trails were located.

I immediately got in touch with the Equestrian Director (ED) at Russell Lands to figure out some of the details and scheduled our group of five for this past Saturday morning.

I jokingly told the him that I would like the most gentle old soul he had and would even be okay with a horse that was a bit arthritic and slow. The ED laughed and told me he see me on Saturday.

I have ridden a horse a few times. My Uncle Jack had horses and we would ride them on occasion when we were younger. Also, one of my friends had a few horses and let me ride a few times when I was younger as well. However, I am not one with the horses, so to speak, but I was willing to branch out and go for it.

When we arrived at the trail head, as the ED called it, he was ready with all of the horses saddled and waiting. I will be honest, I was feeling a bit nervous yet excited at the same time. The ED lead me to my horse first. The horse I was ridding was named Gray, because he was, well, gray. I hopped right on, took a deep breath and yelled YEEE HAW- ok... so... I didn't really yell anything because I didn't want to scare Gray but I was kind of thinking I'm ready for this... or so I thought.

Meet Gray:

The next thing I knew we were all on our designated horses and ready to head out.

click to enlarge. names of person and horse included

The ED was going to lead us along the trail. My idea of a trail is more like a dirt road. I assumed it would be wide and well cleared. Not so much the ED's idea of a good trail. We headed off into the woods one behind the other on narrow wooded trails. At first I was really enjoying it. I even commented aloud that Gray and I were kindred spirits. Little did I know....

As the trail progressed we ventured along the lakeside and over several small creeks. It was beautiful. Then it got real... real fast, for me at least.

We topped a small hill and the trail went STRAIGHT DOWN, like WAY DOWN. I didn't like the sight of it and I didn't want to do it. The ED knew I would need a bit of coaching so he told me to hang on to the back of the saddle, put my feet forward, and pull back on the reigns... Easy for him to say he wasn't on the verge of fearful tears. I'm not sure I did anything that he told me to do... I just held on for dear life and went with it. I put all my faith in Gray and kind of shut my eyes. The next thing I knew I was at the bottom of the steep hill and Gray was lunging over the creek at the bottom and making a mad dash up the other side.

People say that a horse can sense when someone is scared. They know when they've got the upper hand and Gray knew. Oh, he knew all too well he was the boss from that point on. I went from kindred spirits with Gray to Gray's bitch... just like that.

He was veering off the trail, going the wrong way around trees, and he would even slow down in order to create some distance between us and the horse in front of him so that he could trot in order to catch up. Basically, Gray was taking full advantage of my delicate situation.

I didn't want Gray to fully turn on me so I spent the rest of the ride apologizing to the dang horse. I know you are thinking, Are you kidding me? No. I'm not kidding. It went like this: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! I'm sorry. My bad. I shouldn't pulled back so hard. Oh. God. It was ridiculous.

I was ready for the ride to end. I had been adventurous enough for one day, but I couldn't just bail. We were deep in the woods on a trail not fit for walking. Then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. We came to a dirt road that we had to cross over in order to continue on the trail. That's where I threw my hands up and yelled, "I'm done." I would walk my horse back to the starting point. We'd be just fine. [I'm pretty sure I cried a little at this point but that's lame, so yeah, let's not dwell on that]

I think the ED was worried that I hadn't enjoyed myself. The truth is I loved it to begin with. I just never came back from the monster hill that went straight down... that my horse basically "scooted" down and raced up.

I think Gray felt bad that he had taken advantage of me, however, we finished on good terms.

Disregard the crazy hair... I had been flailing about on the back of a horse for an hour... what's a girl to do?

Someone (not anyone that was along for the ride) made that comment that I was probably the type of person that they laughed at after it was all said and done, but that's absurd! The Equestrian Director and his wife were nothing but kind and encouraging. I even agreed to come down to the barn sometime and practice riding in the arena (I think I would do better in an enclosed area) so that I will have more confidence in my riding ability next time.

I would recommend anyone with at least some experience with horses spend a Saturday morning with the ED and his wife out on the ole dusty trail.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Good Weekend

I spent this past Friday night with two of my best friends, Bess and Lacey- and it was much needed. Sometimes a girl just needs a night with the girls! Can I get a amen? I just love them and don't get to see enough of them since were not in the same town anymore. Friday night we had dinner at Cocina Superior to celebrate, Margret's birthday (in the pink shirt below).

It's always a bit loud and quite entertaining if you have a few of us together, as we tend to talk over one another and to be honest in all the excitement we don't always listen. We ate, drank and made merry and then hit up Innisfree for a good time. We danced on the front and only row, harassed the band pretty hard core, and even joined them on stage for a rendition of some random song. I did learn that Bess plays a mean tambourine! [I think the band loved it. It really added that little something extra.]

Click to enlarge photo collage.

I love to visit with friends and it's always hard to leave them, but I love to come home to this guy so I guess that makes it okay...

Side note for the lady's who were in attendance for dinner:

ON THREE, let's get in here for "Nachos"... One, two, three.... "NO ENTREES" What?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just a Swingin'

I find myself browsing the design blogs and longing for a beautiful space. I'm not an interior decorator by any means, but I know what I like. I took a "Style Quiz" today via HomeGoods and it declared at the end of the ten questions that my style is "Country Casual."

It stated, "Your home expresses your open, easygoing approach to life. You love unique finds, and can turn a few mismatched garden chairs or floral teacups into a charming arrangement. You appreciate a pretty mix of relaxed pieces, like painted wood or weathered furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, lots of throws and pillows, mementos and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a unique sense of breeziness and charm.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect."

For the most part this is probably true. I don't know if I have any floral teacups sitting around, but maybe I should go buy some. Who knows? I can only hope that one day my home will be warm and inviting, filled with fresh flowers and throw pillows... but currently I just dream of those things.

Right now I have Ryan's house that I wish I could do tons of things to... but it's not "mine" and funds are limited so I haven't been very aggressive. However, I do have one portion of the house that I would love to spruce up. It has to do with the curb appeal. Currently, Ryan's front porch is lacking. I bought a front porch swing and have planted some flowers in terracotta pots, but it needs more.

The swing is unfinished wood. It needs to be sanded down a little bit and either a)stained or b)painted. I haven't been aggressive with this because I have been so torn. The day I bought the swing I planned on painting it white, but after purchasing the swing I have had MANY opinions tossed my way and most of them say not to paint it white because it will require more up keep in the future. So I don't know what to do.

I have lots of ideas for the front porch... I think the windows need shutters, preferably black, the front door needs a new coat of paint, and maybe even a rocking chair. I would love to put up an outdoor fan, but for now it's the swing that's got me...

Here are some porches with white swings (I love them all):

and now a couple with the 'natural' look:

Last, but not least, the actual swing:

What do you think? (Keep in mind the porch its self is natural... it's not white and it hasn't been stained- but it could be white or stained.) Should I paint the swing white? or stain it to keep the 'natural look'?

Please Help ME!!!

If you would like to take the HomeGood's "Style Quiz" check it out at: http://www.homegoods.com/hghq_quiz.asp

Several pictures via Desire to Inspire (see side bar) and the others are from in and around the web that I had in my "inspiration folder" Please let me know if you recognize any of the photos so that I can give due credit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Review: TV Series

If Harry Potter books/movies freak you out then I advise you to stop reading now! This isn't a blog post for the faint of heart. If you are weary of people who enjoy a series about a little school age wizard then this post will blow your mind...


I have to keep it real with you guys. When I find a show, book, or place that I enjoy I want to fill you in on it. So here we go...

I was one of the millions that got on the Twilight Series 'bandwagon'. I am totally unashamed for my love of a series of books about vampires, werewolves, and humans trapped in a crazy love triangle. Nope, not at all embarrassed. I love the books. In fact, I didn't want them to end. I had a crush on Edward and at one point had a crush on Jacob! Half the time I wanted to be Bella so that I could love Edward. (if you read the series- you are on board with me here)

When the first movie hit theaters I rushed out to see it. I didn't really like the movie so much. (but that may have had something to do with the fact that the theater was filled with one million 15-17 year old girls oohhhing and ahhhhing over every. single. scene.) Overall, the movie just wasn't what I had envisioned as I read the books (especially Jacob).

When I talk to someone now that is just beginning to read the series I always say, "I wish I hadn't read them yet so I could start them again." But the truth is I have read them and so I moved on...

...to a new story about vampires. I am officially hooked on the HBO series, True Blood. For weeks I had seen advertisements for it on HBO and read about it in magazines. Finally, it got to the point that I couldn't stand it any more. So what did I do? Yep- I hailed a ride on the ole True Blood bandwagon. I went to Wal-Mart and grabbed season one on DVD. We have been loving it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the HBO series, it could be compared to (in my humble opinion) an adult version of Twilight- complete with a vampire, shape shifter (guy turns into a dog) and human love triangle. Much like the Edward, Jacob, Bella triangle. See the similarities? Now, there are plenty of differences in this series and Twilight. True Blood is very risque and much darker, just to name a couple of differences.

I'm not sure why Ryan and I are hooked but so are my brother and Kyle- we've all been watching season one together. It has really sucked us in (get the pun- vampire::sucked)!

(Pictured above, two main characters Sookie and Bill Compton. [or Bella and Edward if this were Twilight])

If you have HBO and can handle vampires, murder mystery, scandal, and a love story I would recommend you checking it out. If you can't... don't hold it against me because I can!

A Close Call

I had a close call yesterday. It was scary and I just have to tell you all about it.

My day started out simple enough, until lunch rolled around. I had a decent salad and was eager to enjoy an ice cream bar (caramel, nuts, chocolate... so good) but when I opened the freezer to grab one- they were all gone. Now, I must tell you I have lunch at work and the above referenced freezer is at my office in the break room. I was so upset that they were gone... and no one knew who ate them. Pretty fishy if you ask me.

The rest of the afternoon I could hardly focus on my work. All I could think about was ice cream. So I decided as soon as 4:30 rolled around I would be working that out!

Once I got off work- I purchased an ice cream sundae, complete with fudge, and headed over to Ryan's.

I arrived at Ryan's and noticed that he hadn't gotten home from work yet. I sat in my car for a minute just enjoying the moment- relishing in the happiness that the ice cream sundae was bringing me.

This where is gets interesting...

After a few minutes, I hopped out of the car and noticed an ant bed that appeared, seemingly, overnight. I made a mental note to tell Ryan to work that out with some poison and continued on my way into the house.

It's important to note, for the sake of the story, in the front yard at Ryan's there are a few cross ties. In order to enter the front walkway one must step down the cross ties. The ant bed had been created on said cross ties. So I had to jump over the ant bed, which in turn meant I jumped over the cross ties to the ground below- That make sense? Still with me?

Once I jumped over the ant bed and cross ties to the ground below, I noticed something two inches from my foot. I thought to myself: Now where in the world did that black rope come from? So weird. What is it doing here? And just like that the rope moved!!!

It was no rope- IT WAS A SNAKE and my foot was a mere two inches from it!!!

I would love to say at this point. I calmly leaned down, Steve Irwin style (god rest his soul), and picked up the little booger (in an Australian accent) in order to move him to a safer place where I could release him.

But the truth is I FREAKED OUT! I screamed as loud as I could and ran. Ran like my life depended on it. Made it to the door and, in all my panic, couldn't figure out which key unlocked it. So I screamed some more. I finally made it inside. My heart was racing. My hands were shaking. So I did what any normal person would do... I stripped down and made sure the snake wasn't on me. {In hindsight, this is pretty ridiculous-but I have a fear of snakes like you couldn't believe}

Next, I tried to call Ryan. Straight to voicemail. I tried again. Still nothing. So I sat down and the emotions took over. I had almost gotten bite by a snake that may or may not have been the most venomous snake this side of the Mississippi. I had no idea because I don't know my snakes very well. I just knew that I almost landed right on top of one. So I cried and thanked the good lord for bringing my through this scary incident virtually unscathed, sans the emotional damage.

My feelings then turned from "grateful to be alive" to "if this grass had been cut then this may not have happened..." so I sent Ryan a text message that read:

"RYAN... I almost stepped on a damn SNAKE in your yard right by the cross ties... Totally freaked me out. Now I'm trapped inside by that thing. You ARE cutting the grass and getting this yard in order this week! To say I'm overwhelmed right now is an UNDERSTATEMENT!"

As soon as Ryan got my text he called me. He was tickled and told me he'd be there to save me momentarily. I think he thought it was all quite funny. Once he arrived- he wanted to know if I had locked the door to keep that mean ole snake out.

Once Ryan had checked around the perimeter of the house to make sure that the snake was gone, he walked me to my car. At this point he assured me that the snake would have been in the yard regardless of the height of the grass. That snake was just passing through, he told me.

After all this happened I couldn't enjoy my ice cream sundae. It was melted and the fudge was the color of the snake... I could only eat a few more bites... before I had to throw it away.

My afternoon was pretty dramatic. I'm thankful to be alive today.

From memory, I drew a picture of the snake:

Please let me know if you know what type of snake this might be.

Monday, August 3, 2009

First 50 Autographs FREE

CMT Insider did a segment on Aquapalooza this past weekend and I was eager to check it out. So much so, I started harassing Ryan to set the DVR/Tivo early last week. I then made sure to set my alarm for 11:30am Saturday morning (why? I don't know.. I NEVER sleep that late) because I wanted to make sure I got to watch the real version (not that it mattered one bit).

Needless to say, Ryan was skeptical about us actually making the cut for the five minute segment that CMT Insider was about to air regarding Aquapalooza. I mean... yeah there were an estimated 40,000 people at Aquapalooza and CMT more than likely got a ton of footage but I wanted to watch... maybe if I didn't see our boat, I might see someone I knew.

I eagerly sent out a mass text message to my comrades to remind them to set their TiVO because this might be our moment to shine. Then I waited.... I think I got on Ryan's nerves a little bit because I kept saying things like: "What time is it?" "Who do you think we'll see?" "I hope if our boat makes the cut- that we all look skinny!" "Aquapalooza was so fun" " I loved it" and so forth and so on.

I think at one point he compared me to a small child, however, I take his criticism with a grain of salt. (I have to get excited for the both of us half the time anyway)

At 12:30 CST, CMT Insider's latest episode began. We were ready. The DVR was recording and it was go time. We watched a segment on Sugarland, and then something about the biggest skank ever, Gretchen Wilson, and then it went to commercial. So we waited a few more minutes.

When the show returned from commercial Katie Cook, the host, began her segway into the segment about Alan Jackson's recent performance on the banks of Lake Martin. Oh, was I loving it?

And then... you know what happened? I SAW MYSELF! I screamed with excitement.... "RYAN THAT WAS ME!! THAT WAS OUR BOAT. DID I LOOK OKAY? REWIND IT!! OH. MY. GOD."

I couldn't believe it. It was too crazy- and just like that I made my nationwide television premiere along with several of my closest friends. I was eating it up. My phone was going crazy with texts and calls (mostly from the people I had reminded to tune in). I was famous (in my own mind) and I was loving it.

Ryan and I had to run a few errands that afternoon and I told him before we left the house that if anyone was starring at me... not to worry... I would probably be recognized quite a bit more now. I think this continued to aggravate him. But what put Ryan over the edge was not my excitement for the show to air, or my big famous head- I am pretty sure it was the fact that he not only had to rewind the show three or four times... but he had to pause it just right so that I could snap a picture.

I think that he told me that pausing the TV to take a picture of it was the skankiest thing ever... or maybe he said it was the most redneck thing ever... not sure... because I was unphased. Plus, I think he was a little jealous about not really being in the shot. (locate Ryan in the second picture below)

Without further ado,

And here's an up close one... (I labeled everyone).

I never thought my nationwide television debut would be in a bikini but I'll take what I can get. We've all got to start somewhere, huh?
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