Monday, August 29, 2005


Today marks one week since the funeral of dear friend of mine. He was a member of the same board I serve on, he was well respected, a devoted and loving husband and father, a hard worker and dear to everyone who knew him. He was also very young. One month before his 40th birthday, he died of a massive heart attack. The news came as a huge shock and rattled each of the members of our circle with tremendous grief and force. I had spoken with him a day before his death and we had tasks agreed upon that we were doing, his tasks he would never get to and it is with sadness that I pick up the activities that we set out to do.

After the funeral I was due to drive to Columbia, South Carolina. The long drive gave me a long time to think. And unfortunately I should not be left alone with my thoughts like this often. As my mind wandered to what the next few weeks would be like as I tried to adjust to no longer having my friend, I realized that if something happened to me on this trip, Greg would be left with a lot of unknowns and loose ends. We have a will that has yet to be finalized, he does not know where all of my paper work is on accounts, insurance, etc. And I realized that I am still putting things off until tomorrow.

There is more to this though than grief. There is energy and life left for me to tap into. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we have today. And with today comes the energy of life within us and that surrounds us. There are people in my life that I am so drawn to because of their vitality and spirit. They are examples of me of how to look at each day. It is so easy to fall into the rut of life that I seem to have found. I have passion for my work, but when it comes to sitting down and putting words into creating stories I seem to have laid that down at times. But I draw inspiration from the friends and family I know who give off that positive force, because I know that I can get that back as well. So I am reminded of life and the beauty of it. I am reminded that when I wake in the morning I have a day to do my best, to be my best, to push myself to the limit and see how much further I can go.

And positive reminders of life I seem to receive often. Saturday evening was my ten year high school reunion and it was a grand time. I had a chance to see people I have not seen since our five year reunion. I got to catch up with friends I only see every couple of months and friends whom I only see now if I happen to be in town and bump into them, or at our reunions. I left that night really excited about seeing the friends I spent some great years with. We reconnected, I caught up with their lives, and I was excited to see that my friends were happy. They married wonderful people, most of them have adorable children and all seemed glad that we could get together once again. We even agreed that we would like to do this every five years. So it looks like I will have another reunion to look forward to in the years to come.

I pushed on through this day which was busy because it is a Monday and Mondays are always crazy for me, even when I am prepared and I made the most of it. Greg and I worked out upper body today so I was on edge and ready to tackle some things. All in all it was a good day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The $20.05 Deal

It is past my bedtime and I am stuffed. One of my girlfriends got an idea a while back to take part in the Restaurant of the Week special and made reservations for 5 of us this evening. We ate at Dailey's which was wonderful. I have been there for drinks before, but never dinner. The special was as the title says, Twenty dollars and five cents (The price came from the year that it is). The special included a side salad, entree and desert. Swordfish was the featured item of the evening and it was incredible. The desert though, was really out of this world. I was sure that Claim Jumper had the best deserts around since they had slices of cake that were large enough to fit into a shoe box, but the Chocolate Charlotte at Dailey's was good enough to compete.

It was fun catching up because I really have not seen these girls much lately and even though I have a chance to spend this coming weekend with them, we really got some quality time in because our reservations were for 8:30, we were not seated until 9:00 and we did not get to order until after 9:30. In fact, we were finishing our deserts just before 11:00 PM. I am going to have some strange dreams tonight. That is if I can get myself to bed.

Like most, I am sending my shout outs to Madonna for her Birthday and hoping a speedy recovery from that tumble she took on the horse. Not the way I would want to spend my birthday either. Maybe she refused to share her birthday cake with her son and Karma is coming for a visit.

So off to bed I go and out of town I go tomorrow... Well, that is today.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Season of Weddings

This weekend made the second weekend in a row that we had wedding activities. One of our groomsmen married this weekend and it was a lovely wedding. The couple had family that came from every area of the states. The summer rain came just in time for us to travel to the wedding so the ride was nice and wet. But, the wedding went off without a hitch, the bride was beautiful and the reception was amazing. The bride selected The Biltmore Hotel for the reception and it could not have been more perfect. Cocktails were served the first hour and once they were ready to introduce the bride and groom, we were all led to a magnificent ballroom. It was hard to imagine that trees were once growing where a new dance floor was, as a shell of a majestic building once stood mainly burned and decaying with neglect and age. Job well done on the restoration. Complete attention to detail was made. In the foyer is a mixture of traditional hotel elegance and modern architecture. This coupled with good food and wonderful company made for an enchanting night.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to house work, yard work and mental health. I am about to have another busy week.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Oh, so over due

Neal Reid my not be a house hold name to you right now, but if you run in circles of the LPGA and ESPN, he is right now.

This is so over due and to Neal I have to apologize for that. Neal is a dear, dear friend of mine. In fact we have been friends for more than half of my life. We met the year he moved to Georgia. This Alabama boy moved to the booming burbs of Georgia when I was 13 years old. I was playing softball and he was playing Pee-Wee or whatever the league is when you are 14. We went to the same high school had the same friends and spent a lot of our first few years of high school playing Cupid to hopeless romantics who we called friends and hung out with. We played tennis during the summers, talked ourselves into honesty on a the worst movie we ever saw "Death Becomes Her", and kept in touch through my last year of high school and all of our years in college. He went to Auburn and eventually became the editor of the school paper. He loved it there so much that I half considered going there. (My father-in-law would have loved me more had we shared Alma mater) But, I could not bare the thought of being that far away from my parents. I learned after I graduated and started working in Alabama that Auburn was as far away from home as my school was.

We counseled each other through very bad dates and laughed about them later. Neal listened as I vented or cried on the worst break-up of my life and when I married Prince Charming, Neal gave us the most unique and special gift we received. Being the very talented writer that he is, he wrote a poem that he had engraved on a beautiful vase. It brought tears to my ears when I opened it and I look at so fondly almost every day. He has always been good about putting me in my place when I get close to the deep end and for a brief time (when I actually did the work) we had a writing volley. Like Tiffany, Pam, Carrie, Chels, JJ and some of my other friends, Neal has seen the transition of a bouncy cheerleader, grown into a business woman. He was one of the first people to hear me admit that I was head over heels for the man that I married and with this I have to say more than thanks.

Since Neal was in college he has been making his mark in life. We celebrated over several Tequizas our last year of school because he was going to work for the LPGA. He fulfilled that commitment and spent years there working in press rooms, traveling to exotic courses that I was very jealous of and collecting stories all along the way. He is a master of words, ruler of logic and reasoning. He advised me shortly before I graduated from college to take an internship that would be life changing yet very financially deficient and I decided against his good judgment, not to do it. Then, his chance came to take a job in Colorado (my favorite state over all), and when he asked my opinion I told him to take it. That answer did not matter because his mind was made and he was going to do it regardless of what anyone thought. Now, he is living, exploring and writing in Colorado and I could not be more proud. He is a gifted writer, one of my biggest fans and dearest friends. So to Neal, I say- Congrats! Well done! Keep it up!

As I mentioned before, Neal is a great writer and I hope you enjoy his work as much as I have. Because I have known him for so long, I have the appreciation of a man who knew what he wanted, went after it, got it and continues to thrive. For my own writing he is my inspiration.

To my dear old friend- Well done and thank you for allowing me to be part of it. When you all get a chance please add this link to your daily reads. You will be as grateful as I am that you did. Neal's Notes

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A New Routine

Two days in a row... Maybe three. I am finally getting back into a routine of trying to write. If I can just keep the rest of my life as neat and in line. Polished Rocks was not updated for a year... I could hardly believe one whole year. Now two days in a row I have added something. I guess that is a start.

Nothing exciting to report except that Greg and I came up a new Homer Simpson bottle opener. We have a Homer Simpson bottle opener that comes back with a phrase when you use it.." Ah, beer.... Yes, Oh! Oh! Yes! Ouh whoooo!!!" We thought a Mexican Homer would be great, "Ah, Cerveza, Ce, Oh! Oh! Ce, Ouch whooooo!!!" You would think we had nothing better to do.

Monday, August 08, 2005

These are just random things

To start off a very random entry, I have to give proper credit to a very special person who could fill many wonderful entries of my blog, but I never really get around to glorifying her. Greg and Holly's cousin, Brandi is by far one of the most wonderful women I know. She does share that place with my moms, sisters, and my Ya-Yas. Greg and I spent the weekend with her and we had a great time. I wish so much that I had her around more. In fact, if this woman had her own blog it would be your favorite. She throws together the most wonderful gatherings with friends. She is creative by nature and it comes so easily to her. Her parties are wonderful and so effortless. She is a fantastic cook, thoughtful in every detail and when guest arrive she has everything ready to go, a drink in her hand and her laughter is filling the air. This weekend was no exception. She cooked a fantastic prime rib and coupled it with shrimp creamed potatoes. My goodness, it was wonderful! She is a fantastic hostess.

Other random things-

Now, I am sure I have mentioned this before, my husband and I are from the south and we are very southern as you would see from spending time with us. We were ever so slightly swayed by other southern kin this weekend to change our minds, but we made a list of reasons why we should not see the Dukes of Hazzard. We both watched DOH during the original release of the TV show. We love that Daisy was sweet and could use her feminine charms to nicely get what she needed or wanted without making the poor guy feel like a chump. Uncle Jessie provided wisdom and help without having to beat anyone up and if you watched the original as we did, you know that those Duke boys did not have to do a lot of damage physically. They were smart and could get out of most things without someone getting hurt. And Boss Hog was just in his own world trying to make a buck or two. He was not out to hurt anyone. So, knowing that the remake of this movie was not at all like the original, honestly Greg and I were afraid that we were going to hate it. So we decided that we were not going to see it until it came out on video. Well, our other southern kin who did see it, say that it is worth seeing. Not that is was great, but entertaining. That was enough for us. We will probably see it, and who am I kidding anyway? Jessica looks hot in the movie and I am sure that will make up for some lameness.... That is if you ask my husband. *giggle*

Props to Cassie~

If I have not mentioned this enough, Cassie is our black cocker spaniel that just fell right into our lap. She has been a blessing and an absolute pain in the neck at times. She has gotten us in trouble with Holly and Mike's neighbors as well as our neighbors. This weekend she made the biggest leap of maturity and change that we have seen yet. The poor thing is never allowed off the leash when we are not in a fenced in area because we have had to chase her down on more than one occasion. She did something this weekend that almost made my heart burst. I was so proud of her. Before we left my mother-in-law's house Sunday we decided to take out all the dogs before loading them up in the car. Mike made the bright suggestion to let Cassie go out without her leash and just see what she does. He suggested that we all take a corner and make sure she does not get too far away, that way if we need to chase her, we can. Well, bless her heart, she staying near us, she did what she needed to do and we did not have to chase her anywhere. When she was finished, she walked back to the house like a good girl. We have been working on this with her for a long time now, so it was really good to see her make some strides. When I take her for her walk, I have been letting her off of her leash a little earlier every time and she has been great. I am so proud of her. She is still my bouncy ball of fur, but she is beginning to learn how to behave and I could not be more proud of her.

More randomness....
I know why men have nipples. The new book,Why Men Have Nipples is a completely fascinating book to me. I read about it recently and had a chance to see the authors interviewed this morning. I asked Greg the other day if he knew why men had nipples and he looked at me as if I were a little weird. I explained and he seemed to be pleased with that. He still thought it a little strange that a thought like that would take up my time. I thought is was amusing though.

So, that is all that is random for me, for now.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Courtesy Of Your Professional Author

I may not have any truly creative writing projects completed and published, but by gosh I am going to have some professional works published soon.

I just concluded a call for my first writing assignment. Our company is working on a book and some presentation materials for public safety and some of the projects my office has worked on has been selected. I am meeting this with incredible excitement. I found out last week I could be doing a lot more of this work if I would agree to move to California. While that sounds cool, my husband has said that he would get really tired of flying out there every weekend to visit because he is not moving there. I guess that helps my decision now doesn't it. Which is all okay with me because I do have an ignorant fear that if I move to California it may fall off into the ocean. Silly, I know.

It does seem like some of my old career paths are coming back to haunt me. Besides the writing, teaching is sneaking up on me as well. We have a regional meeting coming up in April of next year and it is a bit like a mini conference. I have been invited to co-teach a workshop. So my folks can be some what proud that I never completely moved away from teaching. Yes, in a previous life I was working towards a teaching degree until I did some substitute teaching and realized first that I did not want to teach math. Secondly, I did not want to teach middle school. Thirdly, I did not want be a teacher. Well, a one day workshop does not really make me a teacher. All students are safe from my unconventional teaching ideas.

Well, I feel like I have accomplished a lot today. Maybe I will go home now.

Signing off.....

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I am not on top of the world, I am on top of my desk

I noticed a very disturbing theme. My entries became all about how busy and stressed out I was with work and I neglected to mention really great things about life. While, I may not be on top of the world, I am on top of desk. I mean that in a figurative way. I have wrapped up all of the things that were lingering from last week. The main thing I have to do now is a conference call this evening, yes this evening. And finalize some application work for a grant. Yeee-hawwww

While my email inbox is clean and my desk almost is, my home projects are not. Our house is a wreck because Cassie, our beautiful cocker spaniel has decided her new favorite thing is to roll in fresh grass clippings and bring them all in the house. I want a flatscreen monitor for our computer as well as a new faucet for the kitchen sink. There is also an annoying stump in the back yard that the hubby and I complained about last night while we sipped beer as we sat on our Atlanta Falcons bench. Yup, house stuff will be my obsession for a while. So will that darn IKEA catalog. I have flipped through it several times now and in my head I have completely redecorated our entire house around my favorite pieces. That is not healthy because we just spent a boat load of money on floors and furniture. Do not worry, dear- I did redecorate our house around the new couch that you love so much.

But the biggest things I am really excited about right now, simply are life. This past weekend some friends and I gave one of our dearest a baby shower. It was the first time I had seen her with her bump, as well as the first time I had seen our latest prego with her bump. It was a completely weird mixture of feelings for me because the hubby and I had a baby talk this weekend which was concluded with us both agreeing that we just are not ready for babies. My reasons are utter and completely selfish. So, seeing my girlfriends in their second and third trimesters with their hubbies so excited and the new gleam of awe they have for the mother of their children gave me a really weird feeling. Was I depriving my life partner of something? Thankfully he has eased my mind on that one. None the less, the decision to hold off children longer feels a little weird. I know I am not saying no to children, just not yet. It feels almost like drawing a line in the sand on what I will give to my marriage right now and what I will not.

However, my excitement grows as my girlfriends' bellies grow. The girls that I watched Beverly Hills 90210 with, played softball and stayed up late watching movies with, the girls who have comforted me and that I have comforted in return are soon to become nurturers for beautiful, tiny babies. These girls have learned patience and compassion. I have watched them fall in love and grow up from the sorority girls that we were in college. They have fantastic careers, husbands who are completely taken by them and that motherly glow. I can not imagine being more excited than I am now.

So, to all my girlfriends who are mommies now and soon to be mommies, I love you all and I am so blessed to be a part of this phase of new life.

Here is to rattles and diapers:)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Is that a healthy obsession you have there???

On top of the fact that I have so much work to do this week, I am also struggling with a major issue right now. My obsession with IKEA. I received my first catalog this weekend and my mind has been on it ever since. I really want to find a small table to go between the chairs in our living room and IKEA has several things I want. I have quotes to send out, emails to answer, an office to clean and reorganize, but I am scanning IKEA and eBay for some of the items on my brain.

I need help, real help. My phone is already ringing, in fact it started before 7:30 AM which NEVER happens on a Monday.

The other heavy thing on my brain this morning is a will. Greg and I have a meeting with our newly acquired attorney this afternoon to draw up a will. That is something that I do not have the same excitement that I have for IKEA and eBay. I know that is stuff I will have to deal with one day, but it not right now.

I would rather think of IKEA