Sunday, August 31, 2008

Destination Unknown

Early tomorrow morning, I will be leaving the comforts of home and venturing into the unknown. The call came after 9:00 last night - are you ready to go? Yes. I'm ready.

The Virginia Baptist Feeding Unit will mobilize west of Atlanta tomorrow night, and wait to find out where we are needed once Hurricane Gustav makes landfall.

This will be my second trip to the Gulf Coast to assist with disaster relief; however, it will be my first time with the First Response Team. I hope I am strong enough for this - inside AND out.

My nerves are starting to fray.........there is so much to do at home and at work before I leave. I hope I haven't forgotten anything. If I did, it will just have to wait.

Keep our team in your thoughts and prayers. I'll be back in a couple of weeks, and I'm sure I will have a lot to share.

BTW - Leave me TONS of messages on this post so I can enjoy them when I return!! Thanks:)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Southern Hospitality

Hospitality abounds in the Commonwealth! It's not unusual for someone to hold the door when you exit an establishment, or for someone to smile and speak as you pass. Most folks here are raised to say "please" and "thank you", and their Mamas don't take any lip. All it takes is one trip out to the woods to choose your own switch, and from that day forward you remember what Mama taught you!

Cool Breeze was on his way home from work yesterday when he encountered this nice Southern Gentleman...... Wouldn't his Mama be proud?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just Shoot Me

As a general rule, it is fiscally irresponsible to replace every stitch of clothing in one's closet because one has GOTTEN TOO BIG to wear said clothing. There comes a time when one has to finally admit that the dryer is not to blame. One also has to admit that carbs, and cheese on carbs, are NOT going to burn themselves off while one sits in front of the computer blogging. Much to one's, um, MY chagrin, that time has arrived at Casa de Envy.

Several weeks ago, I returned to the gym determined to shed this excess junk in the trunk.... and stomach, and thighs, etc. You get the picture. Ugly as it may be. Anyway, I eased myself back into the whole exercise thing because, quite frankly, I don't like to be in pain. Ever.

I had been hitting the treadmill and the exercise bike two or three times per week, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I could get on these pieces of equipment and roll through my 30 minutes while catching up on the evening news. You know I'm a multi-tasker! Life was good back then.

I realized that I needed to kick things up a notch when I bravely boarded the scales and realized that I had only shed ONE FREAKIN' POUND!! What is THAT about? Time to get serious BHE! Nothing like starting off a new week with a new resolve. I WILL shed at least two pounds this week even if it KILLS me. Yesterday, it almost did.

The class was called "Guts, Butts & More!" Yes, it had a little exclamation point after the title. That got me excited! I need to get rid of my gut, my butt and MORE! It must be the perfect class for me!! The room was quiet when I entered, and there were only a couple of other people in attendance. Fantastic! Not many witnesses if I fall out in the floor! The laughter wouldn't be quite as deafening.

We were instructed to gather a stair stepper with three risers, a 10 pound weight bar, two 10 pound dumbbells and a mat. I got my things together and awaited the zero hour - 4:30 p.m. At 4:28 1/2, at least seven additional people stormed the exercise room. They were intense, they moved with conviction, THEY had been here before! My stomach started to knot.

The class began with a five-minute jog around the room. Keep in mind that I haven't jogged since high school gym class - which was at least 75 years ago. The first thirty seconds were a breeze. It all went down hill from there. I had to MOVE TO THE RIGHT SO PEOPLE COULD PASS ME! Come to think of it, the same thing happened in high school. It wasn't any less embarrassing this time around.

The next fifty minutes are a blur. A torturous combination of squat, lunge, squat with weights, step up, squat, don't drop your weights, step down, stand on one foot, squat, repeat 400 times, lunge across the entire room and back, remember to breathe, balance on this ball to work your abs, what abs, why is the room spinning, only 45 minutes to go, don't fall out and embarrass yourself in front of all of these people. They. Will. Laugh.

The last five minutes of class involved stretching. I am an excellent stretcher. I LOVE stretching. Without weights. Or running. WHEW!

When I woke up this morning, I realized that there was no amount of stretching that could have prevented the tightness I felt in just about every muscle in my entire body. I now understand what it feels like to be a piano wire. I rolled myself out of bed before I realized that my legs were about to stage a mutiny and toss me in the floor. Thank goodness the nightstand was there to offer support.

I have spent the remainder of my day, thus far, hobbling from point A to point B. I am begging my co-workers not to ask me to do anything that involves walking, or getting out of my chair. The problem is, the longer I sit here, the stiffer my legs become. My quads are officially on strike. I may have to spend the night.

As soon as my legs will allow, I plan to go back for more torture. This class is NOT going to beat me! I lived through it once, and I will do it again. Wish me luck!

Would it be easier to have my mouth sewn shut?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Secret Code

As many of you know, I am technologically challenged. I LOVE blogging, but I don't know how to do all of the fancy stuff. I'm a work in progress. Taking it one day at a time. Reading "Blogging for Dummies" every chance I get. Determined to be a total computer geek if it kills me.

Last Thursday, Blogger decided to play a cruel trick on me. I logged in to my site, and received the following error code bX-w90v67. Of course, the first thing I did was go to the Help Center. I don't know who named it the "Help" Center, but what they meant to call it was the "Torture Chamber for the Technologically Challenged". TCTC for short.

I followed the instructions, and searched the TCTC for my problem. Not there. No such code. You're looking for WHAT? Hahahahaha! Mere mockery. After an extensive search, complete with additional mockery, I was directed to leave a message for the Blogger staff. I went to that part of the TCTC, and tried to leave a message. An S.O.S. at this point. Well, I should have known it would be another dead end. I was told that I could not leave a message because I WAS NOT LOGGED IN!

No joke Sherlock! I came to this site because I couldn't log in in the first place! A lot of help YOU'VE been!

Over the weekend, I hit my trusty DIAL-UP (heavy *SIGH*) and tried to figure out what was going on. Somehow I managed to get into my blog - I'm still not sure how that happened, but I'm relieved. The bad thing is that I have to circumvent this awful code every time I want to blog, or read messages, or leave YOU a message. I had a nightmare last night that I went to my blog and the WHOLE THING consisted of bX codes! AAHHHHGGG!

I would appreciate any advice you may have regarding these heinous codes. I just want to blog code-free, is THAT so wrong?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tag, I'm It

I have been tagged with two new memes, so I am going to incorporate both into this post. Is that cheating? Maybe, but I like to think of it as good time management.

The first came from Amy at Little Toes and Cheerios. Amy's meme asked that I list SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME. The second came from Mommy Pie. MP's asked that I list TEN RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME.

I did something similar to this in my tenth post. Since that will probably tell you more about me than you want to know, I have decided to take liberty with the format of these two memes. Let's just call it a question and answer session, shall we? In the spirit of the meme, I will list 17 things. That should cover the tags from Amy AND MP.

Diamonds or Pearls? Pearls

Coffee or Tea? Diet Coke

Bo or Luke? Luke

Beach or Mountains? Beach

Favorite Smell? Coffee Brewing, Freshly Cut Grass, The Ocean, Dryer Sheets

Dallas or Washington? GO COWBOYS!

Favorite Color? Purple

Chicken Noodle or Tomato? Either. With Grilled Cheese

Ever Been Arrested? Not Yet

Chinese or Mexican? Mexican. Cilantro ROCKS!

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla

Big Mac or Whopper? Whopper with Cheese

Salty or Sweet? Salty

Like to Cook? Almost as much as I like to eat!

Paint or Wallpaper? Paint

Dream Job? Professional Blogger

Ever Want to be Someone Else? Bossy

It feels great to get all of that off of my chest! The next thing you know, I'll be posting a photo of myself. Or not.

Tag, you're it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alien Sighting

I was a fool to believe that growing up in the country meant that I had seen all of the strange bugs there were to see in my little corner of the world. Imagine my surprise when this fellow showed up on the porch.....
I'd like for you to meet "Alaus oculatus", a.k.a. "The Eyed Click Beetle", a.k.a. "That Freakin' Bug from the Paleozoic Era"!!! I just love scientific jargon.

By conducting a little research, I discovered that these bugs are just as crazy as they look. Crazy, but harmless. Their "eyes" are just nature's way of psyching out predators. Their real eyes are located elsewhere. When threatened, they play dead. They will drop to the ground and lay motionless until they feel safe. Just for good measure, they will begin to jump about six inches into the air while making a clicking noise. This will continue until they have determined that the coast is indeed clear!

The following description just cracked me up:

In their Lilliputian world, the oversized eye-spots suggest a creature larger and more menacing than the harmless click beetle. Perhaps to a hungry predator, the jumping beetle looks serpent-like and dangerous as it snaps and rears up when threatened.

Oddly enough, that paragraph describes ME when I first wake up in the morning. Thank goodness for coffee.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


In the spirit of the Olympics, my cat tried her hand (or paw) at the balance beam last weekend. She's a natural on that particular apparatus. Her first attempts were a bit shaky. She was also distracted by the flying insect parade. Once she was able to focus, her form improved tremendously and her confidence soared. I think her scores would have been higher if she had been able to keep her tail straight. The judges seemed to frown upon that. I thought it was really cute!
She didn't receive a medal this time, but she is already practicing her winning stance.
A dedicated athlete at the ripe old age of three.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Love And The Olympics

Cool Breeze and I are big fans of the Olympic Games. We often discuss our childhood memories of being glued to the t.v. set watching Olga, Nadia, and all of the other amazing athletes of that time. (Obviously, the gymnasts were my favorite!) During the Bicentennial Year, national pride surged, and our Olympic athletes were the greatest American heroes.

During the games this year, things have taken a strange turn at Casa de Envy. We have fallen in love with other people. It's heartwrenching. After almost 22 years of marriage, our hearts have been stolen by beautiful people on a television screen. Scandalous.

I am in love with Michael Phelps. No further explanation needed. Wow. I could watch that boy swim all day. I could watch him listen to his iPod all day. I'm not sure that I could afford to feed him. 4,000 calories for breakfast sounds expensive.

Four years ago, Snow White commented that he was the only person on the earth who should be allowed to wear a Speedo. She was only twelve at the time, and wise beyond her years. Is it wrong that I am old enough to be his mother?? Cool Breeze has taken things to a whole new level. He is in love with TWO other women. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. I have known for several years that he has had a crush on them, but he has finally confessed his undying love. At least he's honest.

I am sure we will work things out during this difficult time in our relationship. After all, the Olympics only last a couple of weeks. Then things can get back to normal!

Hey, we can dream, can't we?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Serendipitous Lunch

One of my special blog friends will celebrate a birthday today. Happy Birthday Sometimes Serendipitous Girl! I had originally planned to throw her a pool party, but I came up with a much better idea. We are heading to New York City. For a virtual lunch. How decadent!

This idea came to me as I sat at my desk yesterday eating leftover meatloaf and squash. Obviously, I am not imaginative when it comes to lunch. That's all about to change. Here we go.......

We will be dining at Serendipity 3. It's a great little place with miles of ambiance! It also has an interesting history. Be sure to read about it when you click over. Don't just read the menu! I will request that we be seated under the HUGE clock. Or one of the beautiful Tiffany lamps.

After a fabulous lunch, we will treat ourselves to dessert. When they find out we are celebrating such a special day, I'm sure they will serve cake. I hope it's chocolate. With extra frosting. They will also sing to the birthday girl. I wonder if she will blush.

Just when we think our stomachs are pushing maximum density, we will order FRRROZEN HOT CHOCOLATES. They will be the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Is it my imagination, or is that picture (FROM THEIR WEBSITE!) a bit vulgar?

Anyway. I'm trying to get tickets for us to see Wicked, but that may not work out due to time constraints. We still have to be at work tomorrow.

If you would like to join us for lunch, please let me know as soon as possible. It's a busy place, and I will need to make reservations. If you cannot make it, go over and leave her a comment. That's probably better than lunch!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What The Heck Wednesday

Welcome to "What the Heck Wednesday." I have SO many questions, and SO few answers. I need your help. Feel free to answer any and all....

Why don't people use turn signals? Are some vehicles no longer equipped with these handy devices?

Why do people go through the drive-thru bank line when they don't have their paperwork ready? Shouldn't the teller make them go INSIDE?

Who woke up one morning and decided that the mullet would be a great hairstyle? Why do some people still believe that to be true?

How does one slice of pizza turn into six pounds on my butt?

Why can't I read the letters that I am required to type in order to leave bloggy love for my friends in the blogosphere?

Where does the time go?

Why does food have to taste so good?

How does my cat lick herself like THAT?

If I decided NOT to cook dinner one night, would my family starve to death?

Why do my clothes keep shrinking in the dryer?

Why do they grow up SO fast?

How can I make a living blogging? Could I quit my day job?

Will I EVER meet any of you?

How do I always manage to pick the slowest line in the grocery store?

Why can't I quit work and go to the beach every day?

Is it wrong to tan?

Does anal retentive have a hyphen?

Has Kiefer Sutherland ever been married? What could possibly be wrong with him?

When did I become my mother?

What was so great about Marcia, Marcia, Marcia?

Is it strange that I would still like to become a Marine Biologist? at 42?

Why do I miss my grandmother so much? Still?

Are you still reading this?


What is the purpose of a kelp supplement?

If a bear.........oh, never mind.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Vinny The Forger"

My nephew celebrated his 8th birthday on 8-8-08. Now THAT'S something that would have been nearly impossible to plan! It's hard to believe that he is already eight years old. I remember holding him when he had been in this world a mere 30 minutes or so. It's a little harder to pick him up and hold him now!! He is shown in this photo with his sister (on the right), Snow White, and my dad - a.k.a. PaPa. Don't let that beautiful, innocent face fool you. He is full of mischief. And hugs.

My youngest sister called me a few weeks ago and said that her baby wanted to have a family pool party for his birthday. How can you say no to an eight year old who actually WANTS his family to come to his party? It must be because adults show up with MUCH cooler gifts than kids. He became aware of this at a very young age. Although, I have to give credit where it's due, the gifts from his buddies were impressive.

Shortly after everyone arrived, the boys kicked into high gear - there were balloon fights, there was running in the house, there was ear-splitting laughter. There was also a broken glass. Evidently, balloons are heavier than they look.

With a house full of boys, my sister thought it would be a good idea to get the cake and presents out of the way first. She asked the kids to sit down so we could sing "Happy Birthday" and eat cake and ice cream. For most of them, the concept of sitting still seemed foreign. They did the best they could!

After the gifts were opened, the kids headed out to swim. I really enjoyed watching them play in the pool. Their energy level was mind-boggling. When I stood up to go inside, my nephew made sure to squirt water all over the back of my pants. They were the perfect color to show off EVERY DROP!!!! It's been a LONG time since I've had the back of my clothes soaked. Good times!!

I haven't talked to my sister to find out how the rest of the night went. The boys were sleeping over. It's pretty much a given that my sis was in dire need of a nap yesterday afternoon! I hope she got one.

You may wonder (or you may not) about the title of this post. Yes, my nephew has already begun his life of crime, and we felt it was only appropriate to give him a suitable name. Actually, my mom came up with this name for him after an incident that occurred a couple of years ago.

As a bright, but bored, first grader, this little guy began to get into some trouble at school. He always did his homework, he always did well on his tests, but he just couldn't seem to keep his mouth closed! The teacher began to send notes home to his mother regarding his behavior. My sister would give him a stern talk, then initial his note so he could return it to the teacher. His mom was SO proud of him when he had managed to go to school for three weeks straight without receiving a note. THEN, she got the call. It was the teacher. Evidently, little man HAD received notes during those three weeks. Rather than give them to his mother, he signed her initials and returned the note as if nothing were amiss. He was then able to bask in the love and adoration of his parents. You will never believe how he finally got caught - he wrote the "S" backwards. Hahahahahaha! Heaven knows how long he would have gotten away with it if not for that tiny slip-up! "Vinny The Forger" was born!

I hope he hasn't been sneaking out of bed at night to watch reruns of "The Sopranos." I'm not ready for him to run away and join THAT family!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Phone Solicitors

I just hung up with a phone solicitor. Normally, I would be saying that I just hung up ON a phone solicitor, but this one seemed different. His thick accent made it difficult to catch everything he was saying, but I believe he told me he was gathering data on the types of phone systems that businesses use. As a psych major, I understand the importance of data collection and analysis, so I obliged.

His questions started off reasonable enough.....How many employees do you have? How many phone lines are in your office?.....but things deteriorated rapidly. He started asking me questions about T-1 and T-3 lines, or something. I told him that I had no idea what those were. THEN he started reading the definition for each - as if THAT would somehow delve into the recesses of my brain and force an epiphany. I'm sure the tone of my voice began to convey the love I was feeling for him right about then!

FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER he was still trying to torture the information out of me. The only people who could possibly understand what he was talking about would be the telephone technicians who fluently speak the language. It would also make a difference if I actually CARED how our phone system works. What's important to me is that I am able to place and receive phone calls and faxes. The rest of the inner workings shall forever remain one of life's great least to me.

Let's just say I have learned a lesson today. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be nice. As my uncle UR always says, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

To Meme, Or Not To Meme

I know my mom just read that title and thought, "What the heck is a meme?" Mom, a meme (rhymes with theme, so I'm told) is an idea that is started on one blog and passed along to others, who will in turn post the idea on their blogs. Of course, credit should always be given to the one who memes you. It's just common courtesy. Can you believe how much I have learned after only one month in the blogosphere?

Today I was memed (this concept takes on multiple parts of speech) by Krissa. She and I have developed a sort of mental telepathy. When she sensed that I was struggling to come up with something to post, she memed me! Thanks Krissa!

I am supposed to come up with EIGHT THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE:

1. See my daughter grow up to be the amazing woman that I know she will become.

2. Travel across the U.S.A. with my husband. I would like to visit every state at least once.

3. Be able to wear a bikini just one more summer! HaHaHa! (Krissa didn't say these had to be realistic.)

4. Go back to Slidell, Louisiana to see what a difference three years (or however many years have passed by then) have made in the clean up effort. And to eat another oyster Po' Boy!

5. Study Marine Biology.

6. Go one year without ANY car payments.

7. Go to a Dallas Cowboys football game - in Texas!

8. See Earth, Wind & Fire in concert.

WHEW! That was harder than I thought it was going to be.

I am not going to tag anyone for this meme. If you are having trouble coming up with a post, or if you just want to play along, use this idea. Just be sure to leave a comment so I can go and read yours! Any takers?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cheesecake Anyone?

I was underwhelmed with requests to post this recipe, but I'm doing it anyway!! You'll thank me later.
(I cannot verify that this is the actual cheesecake recipe from this restaurant. It was on the internet, so it must be true. Right? HaHaHa!)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (That's pronounced "pee-cans"!)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
3/4 cup finely chopped vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons melted butter
Mix all nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered springform pan. Try to line the sides as much as possible (about 1 1/2") up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice (I squeezed mine fresh!)
All of the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.
Beat the cream cheese on low until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.
Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.
Add flour, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well.
Add the sour cream and beat well.
Pour cream cheese mixture into springform pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes.
When time is up, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour.
Remove from oven and let cool, then refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
I topped mine with Hershey's chocolate syrup and strawberries, but the possibilities are endless.
I have once again reached my limit with trying to post a recipe that won't run together. I GIVE UP! I am confident that you can figure it out even if it does run together! Blogger hates me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend In Review

It was a busy weekend at Casa de Envy! Friday night, Snow White worked and Cool Breeze grilled hamburgers at the local Cruise In. For those of you who aren't familiar with the whole Cruise In thing, it's a place where folks bring their antique cars for others to drool over. The testosterone is palpable.

Since they were both gone for the evening, I decided to get a jump on my cooking for Mom's birthday party. I baked a cheesecake. Not just ANY cheesecake, mind you, but the CHEESECAKE FACTORY cheesecake!! My gosh it was good! If anyone is interested, I will post the recipe another day. I also chopped tomatoes and cucumbers for the Crabtini appetizer I served at the party. Ditto on the recipe post.

My evening wasn't just fun and games people. Yes, I know, I was sipping wine and listening to the '70's station on cable; however, I also had to vacuum and do laundry. Laundry is the bane of my existence.

We were all up early Saturday to prepare for our guests. There were lots of surprises in store for Snow White's grandparents and godparents (who were visiting from Boston!!). There were also three more loads of laundry to finish.

Once everyone arrived, things really kicked into gear. Hanging out by the pool was the first order of business. Next, there were massages. Yes, massages! Some were forced to nap afterward.

The afternoon went by too quickly. We sipped Hillbilly Surprises, we ate beef tenderloin accompanied by Caesar salad, potatoes, corn and onions cooked up in Swamp Dust, and of course we had cheesecake for dessert.

I used Chinet plates, so we all gathered around the trash barrel to watch our dinner dishes burn. We didn't really do that, but there WAS a rousing game of horseshoes!

One other thing to note, The Boy With The Perfect Teeth returned home from Texas on Saturday. His father lives there, and the poor guy left the day after school got out to spend the summer with his dad. Snow White was SO excited to see him. I have to admit that I missed having him around as well. He's a great kid. Furthermore, when Snow White is happy, EVERYBODY is happy!!

How was your weekend?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. I'm sending her birthday greetings on my blog because I think it's much cooler than a card. I hope she thinks so too.

This is a picture that I came across recently in a photo album. I absolutely LOVE it! It was taken in front of my grandparents' house in 1968. I was two years old. Mom is pregnant with my middle sis. Isn't she beautiful? (She's a blond now, but she's still really cute!) Dad is tall, dark and handsome. (Still is. Just imagine more gray and no side part!) My dad used to carry me everywhere so I wouldn't get my shoes dirty.
My mom is one talented lady. She designs and makes her own jewelry, she is a fantastic cook, her flower arrangements rival the local florists, she loves to fish and isn't afraid to bait her own hook, and her interior decorating skills would make Martha crawl away in shame. I inherited none of these skills. I'm still pretty angry with the DNA Fairy.

Mom, I hope your birthday is the best one ever! I have a special dinner planned for tomorrow night. Can't wait to celebrate with you!

I love you.