29 December 2005

How to Temporarily Distract a Migraine

Ingredients:

1 12oz Coke Zero, consumed while driving to work from a blue Aladdin insulated-cup-thingy
1 Little Debbie Apple Pie, consumed while driving back to work from the gas station
2 Excedrin extra-strength coated tablets, purchased at the aforementioned gas station
1 20oz Diet Mountain Dew, purchased prior to the Excedrin in vain attempt to avoid taking medicine by using caffiene (diet because we're watching our calories...never mind the apple pie), all in an effort to ward off the blistering pain over my left eye
1 Huxtable's Beef Shepherd's Pie, otherwise known as The Ambrosia of The Gods of the Walmart Deli Case

I'm not sure, but I think the shepherd's pie coupled with a four word story including "they called him...Tater Salad" from the Lost Boys Gathering Place forums MIGHT have done the trick...though the monitor still has a funny aura around it and my ears are ringing louder than the Carol of the Bells...

On the Road Again

My dear Thug brought up a good point the other day on the phone. She said "You sure do travel a lot!" She had called me twice in as many days and both times caught me on the road to Georgia. I was thinking about how much I drive this morning as I was driving from Greenville to Anderson for work.

Tomorrow I will be driving almost to North Carolina to pick up said Thug. Then Saturday I will be driving to Lawrenceville for a Lost Boys concert at...gulp...a comic book convention. Once the merriment and revelry are done, Thug and I will drive back up to my house in Greenville for the night.

But wait, there's more...

The following weekend, I will be returning to Georgia to attend a party thrown by my sister and her husband, but it will be a tad less stressful because I can take my dogs with me to their house. Christmas I worried the entire time because I can't take my dogs to my parents' house. Also, I may be able to see my friend ebeth while I'm there...I can't believe it's been almost ten years since I've seen her in person, and I'm so incredibly excited at the possiblity of meeting Andrew and MC in person!

I travel a lot...but my life is never dull, I suppose.

And to all a good haul!


Santa Was Here
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
Here's a photo of my parents' den this year on Christmas Day. Note the picture of my sister over the mantle, and how mine was carefully not included...

Hope everyone's day was merry and bright...is it 2006 yet?

27 December 2005

The Day After The Day After Christmas

I know some of you are back at work today. I'm so terribly sorry. I don't have to go back to work until Thursday, and then after working for two days will have another day off for New Year's. You may commence the tomato hurling....now.

I now have a fridge in my kitchen, and it has food in it! This morning I had a marvelous breakfast of blueberry bagel with butter and a latte with dulce de leche creamer. Yeah, so I'll start my diet tomorrow...

Christmas was grand fun, and will continue tomorrow when I venture back to Georgia to see Susan and Dave who were visiting his family in Alabama over the actual Christmas weekend.

I really feel like my house is home now. My cats are here, my dogs are here...and I have a new DVD player to learn how to use (thanks to Mom and Daddy) as well as a new VCR so no more missed Days of Our Lives!!

24 December 2005

Another Quiz, Thanks to my Thug

Not really a surprise, not at all...Thanks Kalyne for the linky.

Reflections of the Spirit? You reflect the sadness of the spirit. You have been wronged by life and are troubled by the spirit's journey, yet find strength in this. This is a temporary reflection and once time has past you will find that you have a new reflection and show others that they too can rise above their depression.
Take this quiz!


Merry Christmas


My Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
So I'm not really a Scrooge after all...thanks to my sister and brother in law for coming up here yesterday and reminding me what Christmas is about.

Oh, and to my sister, for keeping my pseudo ADD in check while we shopped in MOBBED stores...thanks Sooz. She even helped with my tree, and the Nuclear Powered Angel you see in the picture.

I hope everyone is warm and happy and with loved ones this weekend.

22 December 2005

There's No Four Day Weekend for Crazy

(thanks to Charles for the title of the post...)

I am in a state of complete denial that Christmas is this weekend. With everything that has happened over the past month, I'm not even sure where I am half the time, let alone how many shopping days left there are or what Christmas movie will be on TV tonight. Is it really December 22nd?

I am thankful that my power is on. I am thankful that I have heat. I am thankful that all six of my critters are still with me this Christmas.

And yet through all that thankfulness I am reminded that I still only have 2.5 shopping days till Christmas and so far I've bought ONE gift. One. I think you know where I'll be once I leave work today.

A Quick Quiz

I am 79% (Dixie). "Your neck must be at least pink!" I am not sure that this is really a surprise.

Thanks to Amy for the linky...Are You a Yankee or a Rebel?

20 December 2005

All Hail to the Duke

Duke Power that is...

Man alive, have they had a job to do. This is a quote from their website (linked in the title above, if you missed it in my last post):
Peak Outages: 700,000

Total Customers Restored: 593,700

Total Remaining Customer Outages: 106,300
In North Carolina: 16,300
In South Carolina: 90,000

County Name/Total Customer Power Outage
Anderson, S.C./2,200
Burke, N.C./Complete except for scattered outages
Catawba, N.C./Complete except for scattered outages
Cherokee, S.C./750
Cleveland, N.C./Complete except for scattered outages
Greenville, S.C./56,700
Henderson, N.C./10,000
Pickens, S.C./1,100
Polk, N.C./1,700
Rutherford, N.C./3,200
Spartanburg, S.C./28,400
Transylvania, N.C./550

Someone asked me yesterday what on earth could be taking "them" so long to restore power. Well, according to "them"...
At this point, crews often are forced to clear entire trees before they can replace a pole, cross arm, transformer and wire that may result in only a few more customers being restored.

Restoring power to some homes in a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean all will be restored. The structure of electrical lines doesn’t always follow the layout of neighborhoods and streets. There may be occasions where restoring a circuit results in electricity to some homes or businesses, but nearby locations served by different circuits remain without power.
Pretty much that's what happened to my neighborhood. I live off of a fairly busy street in Greenville, and the businesses on that street have had power since Friday I think. My neighborhood is still dark.

I have seen Duke Power trucks all over the place over the past 6 days, and I have to say that I take back some of the harsh things I've said about the company over the years. I saw guys out on Thursday, in the freezing rain that continued to come down for most of the day, working while bundled up to their eyeballs. It can't be an easy job, and I appreciate all the work they are doing.

Now, having said that, I'm sure that I have a different perspective because I have heat and power. I'm sure that those that are living in cold houses for the 6th day in a row, using fireplaces and blankets to keep warm and taking cold showers in the dark before work every morning aren't as understanding as I am about how long it's taking to restore power.

I just hope that Charter is as fast as Duke Power...

19 December 2005

A Cold Lesson in Humility

I'm back...probably not many of you noticed I was gone, but I'm back...sorta.

Last Wednesday evening/early Thursday morning, an ice storm hit the Carolinas. As usual, Greenville was one of the harder hit areas (just lucky, I guess?) of South Carolina. I'm not sure about North Carolina, but when I checked the Duke Power website today (first day I've had access to the internet since Wednesday!), there were still 76,000 reported customers without power in the Greenville area. The next one down the list was Spartanburg who still has 45,000 customers without power.

My neighborhood was hit pretty hard. We have power lines STILL down across one of the streets, there is a line dangling in my yard (but we think it isn't a power line, maybe phone, doesn't connect to my house at all), and I cleared a pile of limbs (some as big around as my arm!) out of my yard that now stands taller than I do. There was a huge limb (prolly about 2 feet in diameter) that fell on my roof, but luckily it didn't have far to fall so it just kinda came to rest up there and didn't puncture the roof. My landlord got up there with a chain saw and cut off what he could to lessen the weight on the roof until a tree service can get there...with all the downed trees in Greenville they are booked solid.

I can't complain though...I still have "the country house" which has power and heat...just no TV or internet or phone. I've been watching a lot of movies since Wednesday of last week... A lot of the people in my neighborhood don't have anywhere else to go, and I've seen more firewood stacked on porches there these past few days than I have since I started moving in! At least I have hot water and heat and lights, and all my animals are safe and warm as well. We only lost power in the "country house" for a few hours on Thursday morning.

Here is a link to some images from the ice storm courtesy of Duke Power, they don't tell you where the pictures are, but it was pretty much the same all over I think. I don't know when my internet will be back...the lines leading to my house look to be solid so maybe that will happen as soon as the power does. It is a little disconcerting to have to drive off the road to avoid the power line that someone has propped up on a street sign to keep it from completely blocking the road...

But on to the lesson...as I said above, I have a warm place to be. I have power. I have lights. I have my animals with me and my house in Greenville wasn't damaged. I have it so much better than so many other people, even those just down the street from me. So for that, I am thankful...even if it means no Christmas decorations this year.

13 December 2005

Profile and Jeany's Big Adventure

(As originally posted on a message board, 12/05/05)

I had the life scared out of me yesterday, and was reminded why I'm so thankful that I'll be taking all three of the doggies with me when we finally settle in the new house this week.

I was loading boxes in the car and had the gate open. I was interrupted by a phone call from my sister, and sat down to talk to her a sec. After about half an hour on the phone, my doorbell rang. My neighbor was at the door and said the words that none of us ever want to hear:

"One of your dogs is out of the fence."

He went on to say "It's the little one, and she won't come to me." I dropped the phone and ran out the front door to see Jeany running back and forth along the fence across the street. I called her and she flirted a bit, then thankfully ran to my neighbor...but not before she darted toward the busy street. I walked her back to the house and put her in the yard, then went to find Mr. Lassiter. He hadn't checked the gate and just let her out the basement door.

Okay, I've recovered, I'm loading boxes again, this time having driven the Element inside the fence to avoid another escape. Jeany and Hunky are dancing around me, inspecting the car and trying to hop UP to GO for a RIDEINTHECAR.

Where's Profile? I head back in and ask Mr. Lassiter. He doesn't know, he says. "Isn't he out there with you?" I head back upstairs and check the bedroom. No Profile. PANIC.

I fly back down the stairs and confront Mr. Lassiter who "can't remember" if Profile went out when Jeany did. He's yelling at me to find the squawker and I'm yelling at him to get his (very ugly language omitted) outside to help me look for my dog. I run outside, fully losing my composure and screaming for Profile when I see His Royal Silliness across the street down by the lake. He comes flying back up to the house and bypasses my waiting arms to poke his nose through the gate, waiting to be let back in the yard.

Thank goodness both of them are still safe with me...and thank goodness we should be in our new home by the end of the week or there might be a homicide. I will admit to sometimes not looking to make sure the gate is closed before I let the dogs out, but at least I know which dog is where.

And where was Hunky through all this? Snoozing on the sofa.


See, that's why the other post is called "Mommy is an Idiot..." but should be called "Padlock your Gates."

Mommy is an Idiot or Profile's Big Adventure Part Two

Stupid people really make me mad, especially when it's me that's stupid.

There is a gentleman working for my landlord that is painting the outside of my house. On several occasions I have mentioned to him that when I have the dogs living here full time (almost there, not quite, still no fridge ), he has got to make absolutely sure that every time he comes into or goes out of the back yard he closes the gates behind him.

You can see where this is going, I'm sure.

Yesterday he was supposed to paint my front porch and iron railing and front door. This was to be done with oil based exterior paint, so he was going to leave a trail for me to get to the door that would be painted later. I get here last night, nothing has been done. Nada. Zip.

Or so I think...

I went back to the old house to spend the night last night and then came early this morning to leave the doggies here before I went to work. Being the good mom I am, I let them out in the yard before I left them here.

Yeah, this is the part where I'm stupid.

I didn't look before I opened the sliding glass door that leads to the backyard. All three dogs sprinted for the back of the yard to do various and sundry doggie business. I walked out on the deck and that's when I saw the gate standing wide open...unfortunately Profile saw it the same time I did and decided to go exploring.

Apparently the guy had been painting the back of my house, rather than the front like he told me.

For those familiar with the Greenville, SC area, my road is off Laurens Road, otherwise known as HIGHWAY 276, otherwise known as A VERY BUSY ROAD. I jumped off the deck, ran after Profee (shutting the gate as I went through it) and when I got out of the yard I couldn't see him. I was screaming for him...no Profile. I ran out into my street, no Profile...but the gate leading to my neighbor's yard was open. Sure enough, Mr. File had gone to check out their back yard. I ran in, shut the gate, and resisted pinching his little head off long enough to drag him back to my yard...then I hugged the stuffing out of him until he growled at me to let him go.

I'm buying a padlock for my gate.

12 December 2005

Two steps forward, one step back

A new house with freshly painted walls and nice sofa slipcovers and new beautiful dishes that match the aforementioned walls and a snazzy desk and beautiful hardwood floors and a fireplace that works all mean nothing when you hate being alone. That would be my thought for the day.

Don't post a comment to talk me out of it or tell me it will get better, it's how I feel right this second and there's nothing wrong with that. Cranky? Yep. Every so often the enormity of what I'm doing hits me in the head and I get a bit cranky after.

You know you're exhausted when...

...you can fall asleep sitting straight up in your desk chair while playing Everquest.

...you can fall asleep on the sofa watching Comedy Central when your allergies are so bad your lungs feel like they are full of wet cotton.

...you can fall asleep in the desk chair at work even though the back of the chair only just covers the lumbar region of your back.

...you can sleep soundly in a double bed with two greyhounds pinning you to the mattress (and a third voicing objection to the new digs by sleeping alone in the guest room).

...you grab everything you could possibly need to shower and get dressed back at the old house EXCEPT for your hairdryer.

...you can't figure out the lock on the sliding glass door to let the dogs out.


I am still living between two houses and I'm so tired I barely know my name, but I think it's coming along well. I was making progress on setting up things (with Scott's help to get my blinds up and slats cut for my bed) yesterday until I had to leave to go to Katy's for a dinner party. Now, before that, I had to feed the dogs and since I don't have a fridge yet I had to run to the store to get something for just that one meal.

My new house is just off of a fairly busy road in Greenville that has EVERYTHING...except a grocery store. I rode for at least fifteen minutes before I remembered a grocery store on Roper Mtn Road, so I headed for that...via Greenville Hospital Patewood Campus and 385. I chalked it up to being in a new town and scampered into the grocery store to get my long suffering puppies some dinner. Easy, right?

Since when do butchers NOT package chicken leg quarters in quantities of less than a zillion? Luckily I found one tray that only had 5 quarters so I grabbed that. The problem was that I have 3 dogs so I'd have to do something with the other two quarters. Cooking them up was not an option as the stove is still hanging out with the fridge, so I got creative. In addition to the leg quarters, I bought a new litter box for the cats and a bag of ice. After I fed three of the leg quarters to the dogs, I wrapped the other two (which were still a bit frozen) in 2 walmart bags, put them in the litter box, and then put the bag of ice on top. (No, there isn't cat litter in the box yet.) That stayed in my sink while I went to Katy's and had a marvelous time with some good friends and even better chili!! I got home around 9:30 and sat down to play some Everquest and revel in the fact that it only took me FIFTEEN minutes to get home from Katy and Kurt's house. The leg quarters which were still cold went out onto the porch, still in the litter box and still covered with the bag of ice.

At around 10pm, I had a weird allergy attack and took some benadryl. As sure as clockwork, when the four hours that the medicine keeps me in a sleepy stupor and free of allergy symptoms were up, so was I, wide awake on the couch and gasping for each breath. (Those who don't have respiratory allergies can't fully appreciate the literally choking fear of feeling like each breath you take fills your lungs with damp cotton rather than air. Relaxing enough to fall asleep during an attack is just impossible.) Two more benadryl, check the clock and sigh loudly when I realize it's 2:30am, turn on the computer and play City of Heroes until I AGAIN fall asleep in my desk chair...get up, stumble to the bedroom and fall onto my now HUGE bed (thanks to my beautiful sister Sooz for the most gooshy-comfy mattress on the planet!) but this time I managed to sleep past the four hour mark and didn't wake up until 8:30am!!

Did I mention I was supposed to be in Anderson at 9am?

Did I mention that I forgot to take my alarm clock to Greenville?

Thank goodness my co-worker had agreed to cover for me in Anderson until I could get myself together and into work. She is a blessing.

Somehow I convinced the dogs that it wasn't time to be HUNGRY and we would EAT when we got HOME but first we had to GO for a RIDEINTHECAR. Herding cats isn't as hard as re-arranging three sleepy and hungry greyhounds. It took a good five minutes to coax Jeany out from under the covers in the guest room bed!

I realized I didn't have my hairdryer just as I got off the interstate in Anderson...too late to turn back now. The dogs had a fast breakfast of...GULP...Pedigree canned food (hey, I don't have to sit in that house and smell the after-effects today!), the cats got fed, and I got clean and dressed and headed out with my wet hair plastered to my head.

Right now if I took it out of the ponytail I would most likely look like one of those Troll Dolls, circa 1975, that someone shook violently until its hair stood on end. Hell hath no fury like naturally almost-curly hair devoid of PRODUCT.

So the first night in the house wasn't too bad. I think the allergy attack was brought on by a sweatshirt I found in a box and put on...that I haven't worn in a LONG time and might have been stored in the basement in Anderson. Once I took it off I slept like a baby...well, a baby with allergies, lots of drugs, and a bedspread made of sleeping greyhounds.

I don't know where I'll be sleeping tonight, but you can bet I'm going to the store to look for a longer acting benadryl today.

08 December 2005

Where I will be living...


Where I will be living...
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
Yep, the first thing up in the house is the computer...Just wanted to share a photo of the most amazing transformation...look in the set for the Bleckley Ave house for a picture of "my office" to see this same room before it turned blue. Thanks to my Daddy for painting it in record time while Mom and I were at the store, and to Amy and Charles for this smashing desk...that only took me 4.5 hours to put together!

07 December 2005

Follow up to "Give me your tired..."

Otherwise known as Overheard In the Walmart Customer Service Line...

Woman in front of me: You know, if they don't stop soon the whole store will be covered with those instruction signs.
Me: Huh?
Woman in front of me: The ones up there, telling you how to do refunds, they're already in at least one other language, what is that, Spanish?
Me: (after noticing the billboard sized YOU MUST HAVE A RECEIPT sign) Yeah, that's Spanish. I hadn't noticed till you said something, actually.
Woman in front of me: Well, there are a lot of (sic) Mexicans so I guess they have to have Spanish, but what is next? There are a lot of Indians too, so I guess they'll have Indian up there.
Me: (not responding due to the tone I heard in her voice)
Woman in front of me: I mean, this is America. We speak English here. If you are going to come here and live you should learn English so we don't have to re-do all our signs in fifteen different languages.
Me: (still not responding and trying to figure out why she decided to tell me this in the conspiratorial tone that makes me think SHE thinks I'd agree with her)
Woman in front of me: (after finally noticing that I was not responding and very obviously trying not to look mortified at her words) Well, maybe it's just me, but we do speak English in this country.

English...and Spanish...and French...and Hindi...and Cherokee...and Russian...and American Sign Language...but hey, who needs diversity...

My American Hero

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. I am lucky to have had three uncles that are members of "the Greatest Generation" and were in the military during World War II. I love all of them, of course, but this post is going to focus on my Uncle JC, my father's brother-in-law.

I grew up knowing that Uncle JC was a POW during WWII because everyone in our family knew that. He had the Purple Heart license tag on his car and his medals graced the walls of their den. He never really talked about it other than to say that he had to go to the VA hospital for this/that/the other or meet with his fellow POW's for some gathering. In fact, he talked more about the years that he was a schoolteacher following his military service than he ever did about being a soldier, a POW, or any of that.

Just recently he has started talking about all of it, and I am encouraging my father to get his stories on audio/video tape so that I can transcribe it and the family can have a permanent written record of our American Hero, Uncle JC. I remember at a recent family get-together he suddenly started talking about being part of a forced march from one camp to another. The story came on so suddenly and took me so by surprise that I don't remember where the camps were...but he told us how they walked and walked because the enemy had guns on them and if they stopped they'd get shot.

Someone was pointing a gun at my Uncle JC!

I know that I come across as anti-military in a lot of my posts, and that is not totally true. I think that a country, any country, unfortunately needs a military in the world we live in today. I am proud of those who can sign up and go serve, not knowing if they will come back home or not...I certainly don't have that courage. I also think that you can't possibly compare the world then and now or compare warfare then and now because it's like apples and oranges. The quote that I see SO very often that more Americans died in World War II in a short period of time than have died in Iraq is a ridiculous comparison. Of COURSE more people died then. WWII soldiers didn't have the technology we have today. WWII soldiers didn't have the medical advancements we have today.

So I'm not anti-military...my father was in the Army, three of my uncles, as I said, were enlisted men, and one of my best friends from high school is in the Air Force. Not anti-military...I'm anti-war and anti-lying. But above all that partisan crap... I'm darned proud to be JC Cannon's niece.

06 December 2005

Okay, no more Anti-Bama Jokes, Dave

As seen in my photostream...and just because I love my family...Dave, hooking up my parents' new DVD player last Christmas.

Notice I waited until AFTER they headed back to Georgia to post? Plus it just showed up in my photostream, yeah, that's the ticket...

/hug Dave.

Where is Nan?

I'm in my new house!!!

Thanks to my wonderful brother in law, Dave, I'm sitting on my couch in my new house on the laptop (only because I don't have my desk yet) reporting to all of you that I am finally here!!!

I think that my sister took some pictures today while they were here, so I'll try to get them out of the camera and into the computer as soon as I can.

I'm off now to go back to the Anderson house to spend the night because I don't have any provisions here to do that...but I'll be back tomorrow after work.

My house. This is MINE. Where is Nan?

Home.

05 December 2005

Give me your tired, your poor...but not your sick

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and warn you that this post will be filled with the kind of tree-hugging, peace-mongering, liberal rhetoric that may bother some of my more conservative readers. I heard a story on NPR on the way home tonight (see the link in the title) that made me nearly sick.

The story concerned the death of an immigrant detainee due to the apparent negligence of the prison staff where he was being held. Richard Rust, a Jamaican immigrant, died in the Oakdale, La. federal prison of cardiac arrest on May 29th, 2004. He was 33 years old. Allegedly he was not given any life saving measures in the nearly forty minutes from his collapse in the prison barber shop until an ambulance arrived to take him to a local hospital.

Not surprisingly, the prison and the Department of Homeland Security have refused to comment on the incident other than to state that the prison staff's behavior was "appropriate."

Mr. Rust is not the only one. There have been many incidents of immigrants dying in detention centers...one of which was a minister from Haiti named Joseph Dantica that was seeking asylum in the United States. He was meeting with an immigration officer and a lawyer when he had a severe medical attack, and the lawyer reports that the guards refused to call for help.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

What really lies behind that golden door? I don't care if they are from Jamaica, or Haiti, or Cuba, or even the Middle East...they are still human beings, and it is reprehensible for a country that touts itself as the leader of the free world in decency and morality to allow something like this to happen. Are these people less than we are because they were not born within our national boundaries? I'm just disgusted...I hope that the families of these brave people that have come here for a better life only to fall through the cracks can find peace. May their God bless them and give them strength.

A Funny from "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me"

I'm a big fan of Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me which is a news quiz on NPR every weekend. I was listening to it yesterday afternoon when I heard this quote which nearly drove me off the highway in fits of laughter...

Here is the executive summary of the speech the president gave in front of the big signs that read "Plan For Victory": We're going to leave, but not until the Iraqi troops are ready to take over, and, as a general told the New York Times, "They should be ready to take over by the time we leave."
-Peter Siegel, host of Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me

I agree with Roy Blunt, Jr., who followed up that quote with the following response: "It's seamless, really..."

Before I'm accused of being a left-wing-anti-war-democrat-who-doesn't-know-what-Dubya-said...I read the transcript of Bush's speech, and I pretty much came away with the same summary as Mr. Siegel. So I do know what Dubya said. /wink

One more from the show... Why Cameron Diaz would not be a good choice to play Maria Von Trapp should the Sound of Music be remade to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film's release:
She's not flighty as a feather. She's not a darling. She's not a demon. She's not a lamb.
-Paula Poundstone
Don't get it? When you're done watching National Lampoon's Vacation as I told you to do, go rent the Sound of Music. You'll thank me.

A Quick Note

B-flat!

Okay, yeah, bad joke there. Anyway, I did not get anything painted yesterday, but with the help of wonderful friends I got LOTS of furniture moved up to my house. I wish I'd had the camera out to get the look on Hunk's face when I told him to go "sofa" (lie down somewhere) and he stood where the sofa used to be. I swear, I could hear him thinking... "SOMEONE STOLE THE FURNITURE!!!!"

Poor puppy. I promised him that I knew exactly where it was and that the sofa was fine, but I don't think he believed me. My house is starting to look cozy...and I'm starting to miss it when I come back down here at night.

Off to feed the dogs and go back to work!!

04 December 2005

It isn't stalling if you're drinking coffee...

(At least that's what I'm telling myself this morning.) Today I have decided I will paint the kitchen and move more small stuff to the house. It occurred to me that the appliances might very well be coming to the house soon, and once the stove and fridge are in the kitchen there won't be much space left to paint...and I want the kitchen to be clean, not just hidden by large appliances.

I got out my Christmas decorations to take to the house today and found a box of knicky-knacky stuff that apparently used to be out in the house somewhere. To my utter joy, the box also contained my Legos...I LOVE LEGOS. I have a bunch of Star Wars ones and some King Arthur types and I'm going to put them out somewhere in my new house. An end to lego repression is in sight, let the little plastic people rejoice!

Okay, I don't love them that much, but I did collect them for quite some time, and when Scott was still being the doting husband he would give them to me for birthdays and Christmases.

I'll try to remember to take the camera with me today so that I can show the difference a coat of paint has made to the two bedrooms.

Coffee seems to be gone...so I'm outta here.

The Movie of My Life

And to think, I just watched Clerks last night..."I'm not even supposed to BE here today!"-Dante




The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick



You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.

Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!



Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite



Thanks Dave for the linky...

03 December 2005

Stalling again

This time it's stalling with packing. Scott has told me for years that I have too much stuff, and I might be willing to believe that now that I'm trying to pack up 6 years worth of married life and move out on my own.

I just don't get why I'm sad though. My new house is wonderful...Mom and Dad came up yesterday and we got the bedrooms painted (with only one "mishap" that resulted in a very clean corner of carpet in the guest room) and some things acquired for the house such as shower curtains and sofa slipcovers. I just look at the stuff here though and want to cry, it's like I can't decide where to even start. I have cleaned off my bookshelves and packed up the various and sundries from my sewing area, but that isn't even close to being all of it.

Oh, and since I'm able to post this, Charter hasn't switched my cable tv and internet to the new place yet.

I'm just ready for it all to be over, I guess. It's also frustrating doing it all by myself...I don't hold any hard feelings that my family can't help when I can do stuff...it's hard for a family full of preachers to coordinate doing anything on weekends. They are coming up here on Tuesday with stuff and to help, so maybe I can move stuff then.

It's a cardboard jungle in my den right now. I hate cardboard.

02 December 2005

Here Goes...

Dad and Mom are coming up today to help me paint the two small bedrooms in the house and get stuff like blinds and so forth. This is the last step before I start hauling my stuff up there to the house and making for myself a new home.

I'm stalling now again I think...I'm burning a CD to listen to in the car...looking for just the right lyrics for a blog post...when I should be getting ready and going. Story of my life...procrastination is my way, I suppose.

So here goes...

30 November 2005

Overheard in a Meeting

(Paraphrased, of course, to protect confidentiality...)

"...X is a bully, you see, and Y is paranoid...so that's like the worst possible combination."
"...he was all bright and cheerful one moment...then told me to watch my back."
"...Z will be talking away to someone no one else can see until you ask if Z is hearing voices and the response is no, none..."

Never a dull moment where I work. Never.

The Jinx is in the Homestretch

I'm hoping that my jinx-y tendencies only apply to college and major league ball clubs (any time I turn on a Braves or Bulldogs game to watch they lose), because I think I'm close enough to step over the threshold into my new life as far as my house is concerned.

You know, it's sentences like that one up there that keep me from being a published working author.

Anyway, as I type the Molly Maid cleaning service is at my house. The gas is on, the electricity is on, the water is on...it's all sort of falling into place. (Pardon me as I quickly knock on the closest piece of faux-wood.) I could have kissed the operator I got at the gas company yesterday when she said "It was turned on at 9:45am, Ms. Lassiter." Now, I will be off tomorrow starting at noon through Friday at 5pm, and will get the front bedrooms painted and that's all she wrote. My new home will be ready for me to move in...now if I can just find the package that Vonage sent with my router so I will have phone service I'll be golden...once Charter knows to transfer my service up there, that is...

The virtual key is in the lock...soon I'll be locking the door behind me for real.

29 November 2005

My Beautiful Goddaughter


Kaya at Build a Bear
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
I saw her in my photostream as I was updating a post and just had to make sure that everyone has seen my wonderful goddaughter, Kaya. She was adopted by two of my closest friends and is a constant reminder to me to keep the curiosity and wonder in my life if I want to stay young. Isn't she beautiful? Her mom sent me this photo from Build a Bear I think, and I just had to share it. ILY ILY KR!

28 November 2005

On Birthdays, Thank-Yous, Temporary Color-Blindness and a little more Rent

So I'm now 34 years old, as of yesterday. In a lot of ways, I haven't felt any different since I was 24 years old...I think my brain might even still be about 14 years old...but according to time and my mother, who was there, I am 34 years old. I'm a year older than my brother-in-law Dave (until next August when he catches up again) and a year younger than my best friend Amy (until next November when she jumps to two years older than I am). I have caught up with liz and shared my day (in thoughts, anyway) with her beautiful daughter Mary Catherine, who turned three yesterday.

I spent a wonderful evening with my family last night in Georgia...we laughed until I'm sure the folks at O'Charley's were ready to throw us out the door! I also learned a valuable lesson: do not, under any circumstances, leave the table while you are out dining for your birthday. If you do, when you return, half of the restaurant staff will surround you, sing to you, clap loudly, and then present you with a birthday cake as your family looks on in wild amusement. Allegedly when they set this up with our waiter, my mother said to him, "She (me) is going to DIE." Then my father chimes in: "Actually WE might die." Ah, how well they know me. At least the cake was good.

Thank you to all that wished me a happy birthday. It was very surreal yesterday, as it's the first birthday in more than seven years that hasn't started with my husband kissing me on the forehead and wishing me a happy birthday. In fact, he forgot all about it until I reminded him that I was going to Georgia and he needed to plan to be there with the dogs for their dinner. Amazing. This time last year he could remember, now he doesn't. I guess our lives are detangling...or detangled already, at least from his perspective.

My dear friend Pat called me all the way from Philly to sing Happy Birthday to me. I got emails from two online friends vying to be the first one to wish me a happy birthday after midnight (Scott, you won...but Shan was close behind at 1am...thanks to both of you.). My most beloved Thug not only called and left me a birthday message, she blogged about my birthday!

And it goes on and on...thank you from the bottom of my heart. Just when I think that I'm alone, you guys remind me that I'm not.

I dyed my hair on Saturday. Ever make a mistake that is just huge, and you don't realize you have done it until it's just too late? Yeah, that was my hair color experience. Perhaps if I'm brave I'll take pictures of my noggin for y'all to see. I got the wrong color to start with...after I'd dyed it, washed it, dried it, and gawked at the orange head staring back at me from the mirror, I fished the box out of the trash. Wrong Color. Too Much Red. Hardly Any Brown. I guess it could be worse, it's not the purple color I had once when I left it on too long, and it's not the ORANGE color it was when I was in college (remember that one, liz?)...but it is so obviously dyed now...can you say mid-life crisis?

Finally, a little more Rent...I can't get the songs out of my head! To make matters more vivid, I read a stunning post in Dave's blog about how he spent his thanksgiving feeding the homeless at his church. He writes:
Coming away from this, I am not thankful for all the things I "have" and how fortunate I am that I don't live like that. I'm thankful that my eyes have been opened to how people very near to where I am typing live in developing-world conditions. I am thankful that I am in a position to do something about it.

Katy and I had a similar discussion coming out of the theatre after seeing Rent. I don't know the first thing about what it is like to live in their shoes...to live "that kind" of life...and while I am thankful, as Dave mentions, for all I have I feel at the same time guilty that I have so much and those in my community, my town, my world, aren't as fortunate.

I guess that's why I feel that Rent is such an important show...and why now, at this time of the year when I have a tendency to focus on what I don't have in my life, it is so important to look at what I do have, and rejoice.
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss...no other road, no other way, no day but today...

26 November 2005

No Day But Today...

Several years ago I went to New York with my then-roommate and we saw a positively life changing show at the Nederlander Theatre called Rent. I had been listening to the music before we saw the show because it was all my roommate played, but the time I spent in that theatre was positively mystical. I don't think that I breathed from the moment the curtain went up until we were standing up to leave.

I had a similar experience last night, seeing the movie version of Rent (linky in the title above). The songs still move me to tears and I spent most of the movie positively engulfed in goosebumps. If you haven't seen it, go see it. I'm sure that it doesn't make as much of an impact if you haven't seen the stage musical but man...the cast that I saw in New York, for the most part, has returned in the movie...and as many times as I have listened to my CD (of the same cast) in a small way I felt like I was watching friends on the screen...like I knew them. Crazy, I know, but that show is just so very important to me.

I had the opportunity to interpret Rent when it came to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta...that was a challenge, but just another way Jonathan Larson's incredible work got under my skin and into my soul. It's just such an important piece of work.

I can't control
My destiny
I trust my soul
My only goal is just
To be
There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today...

24 November 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

A reposting of a Thanksgiving post to a message board...What I am thankful for:

I'm thankful for Henry, Foxfire, Striper, Marky, Luna, Xena-Angel, Alex-Angel, Abee-Angel, Buddy, Onyx, Bucky-Loo-Loo, Nellie, Tyson, and all the other fosters that may have only spent one night under my roof but have left permanent footprints in my heart.

I'm thankful for BoBo-Angel, Lizzard-Angel, Profee and Jeany, the fosters that never left.

I'm thankful for Hunky, the first greyhound that captured my heart, and thankful that he can now run around with healthy feet.

I'm thankful that I still have my Old Man Kitty Zooey around with me to swat at my pants when he's ready to be held...and that his Little Old Spinster sister Franny still howls when I've slept past breakfast time...and that Mills, the baby cat at 7 is still burrowing into my hair at night to wake me up with a purr that sounds like a freight train...

I'm thankful for my biological family who is supporting me unconditionally through this process and still loving me when I throw tantrums.

I'm thankful for my Deaf family who love me even though I'm hearing and I sign things wrong, and who have taught me the value of sitting still and just listening.

I'm thankful for my Rennie family...those seven weeks of hell and laughter were just what I needed to keep me going this fall. Ya la ya la! Ai-awa ai-awa..ya la ya ha bi bi!

I'm thankful for the friends that have known me forever and the ones that haven't...all of you keep me going.

I'm thankful that I'm almost 34 and I am relatively healthy and relatively intelligent and that I have a new life ahead of me full of promise. Happy Thanksgiving.

23 November 2005

A Quick Book Review: Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z.

This book was loaned to me by my beloved thug, Kalyne (who I still say is much too young for parts of this book!!) and I finished it today. While I am not gifted in writing poetry and can barely string two lines together coherently in prose, this book was intriguing to me as a wanna-be literary type. I found myself struggling to remember some of the references to famous poets and rejoicing over the prominent place of my absolute favorite literary mind, Emily Dickinson, in the pages of this novel.

The story goes that Annabelle becomes the assistant and then apprentice (a great deal of weight is given in the book to the difference between those two words) to an acclaimed poet and professor at her university. The reader follows Annabelle's awakening to herself as she sees the "other side" of the literary scene in NYC.

I liked the book a great deal, and found that in the last few chapters I was unable to put it down. I will say that it has inspired me to take the running dialogue always present in my head ("scraping my fingernails across the metallic back of the blackberry pager" or "delicately removing the wrapper from the piece of gum, her fingers traced the word wrigley on the piece of green paper" and that sort of babble) and get back into the habit of writing every day...even if it is just on the blog.

"Well, he left a message..."

Man...I have never been so glad to see a day end as I was last night.

It started innocently enough...the folks from the gas company were supposed to come out to turn on the gas, and were going to call me thirty minutes before they arrived so that I could meet them. That was a problem until I called them and found out that the call is just to make sure the house is open. No worries...Scott went by on his way to work and unlocked the house. Nothing in there to get stolen. Problem solved, right?

Wrong. I never heard from the gas company. I had my cell phone with me at all times yesterday (save a few times when I was interpreting in group or on the unit, but there was someone close by to answer it both times). PollyAnna here thought, "Well, maybe since I spoke with them Monday and let them know the house would be open, they just didn't call." I went along my merry way, but it was about that time that the doubt and worry started to creep in...

Yesterday at work was stressful. It wears me out to have ONE patient in the hospital, let alone two that are on opposite ends of the building. I was very glad to see 4pm roll around so that I could leave. I'd gotten a shipment of books mailed out and the oil changed and food bought for the dogs on Monday, so I was good to just go home (and feed the cats and feed the dogs and clean the cat box and do a load of dishes and and and...).

Scott gets home around 8pm. As he is heading to bed around 9:30, I ask him, feeling silly because I know he'll say yes, if he remembered to go by and lock up the house.

The expletive that came out of his mouth next let me know he had forgotten.

So for an hour I debated getting in the car and going to Greenville. The house had been open all day, what was a few more hours? Scott said he'd go by on his way to work today and lock it up. This little voice in the back of my head kept saying that I would not sleep if my house was just standing open, so at 10:30 I got in the car and drove the 40 minutes up to my house...

Which was locked.

The deadbolt was locked, but the doorknob was unlocked. Now, keep in mind dear readers, it's now 11:15pm and I am standing in my flannel pants, sweatshirt, and bedroom slippers on the front porch of my house and I just drove up there for nothing. Oh, but what is it that the old commercial for knives used to say? "But wait, there's more..."

While I'm there I decide to turn on the heat so that when the guy came to finish the painting and carpet and all that it would be warm in the house for him. I walk in and turn on the switch in the den.

Yeah, you saw this one coming, huh?

No power. I tried the guest room and office switches. Nada. Tried the kitchen. Nada zero zip. By this point, I'm in tears and very angry. I locked the house up, got in the car and came back home.

Scott, of course, is sleeping soundly, all snug in his bed. "The house was locked," I announce loudly, not caring if I woke him up.

"Then someone must have locked it," he says, then resumes snoring.

After I'd pulled out all my hair...just kidding. Resigned to the fact that I could do nothing more that night, I finally fell asleep around 2:30.

This morning I decided to just check on the gas company because I had a bad feeling that Scott had unlocked the doorknob and not the deadbolt. After being on hold for fifteen minutes, a very dour sounding woman answered and informed me that according to their records, the service person called my cell phone at 5:00pm.

Not possible...it didn't ring, it was in the same room with me all night. I tell her so and she responds with "Well, he left a message. Did you check your voice mail?"

I took a deep breath and told her that I was holding the phone at the time and there was no missed call nor was there voice mail.

"Well, he left a message," she says again.

Finally we rescheduled the visit for Monday. Now, understand that both my patients will still be here Monday, rendering me unable to physically meet them at the house. I will have to trust that the door gets unlocked and that they will actually call this time or I will have no heat for the cleaning service coming on Wednesday.

And what about the power, you may be wondering? This would be the point at which I am an idiot. I called the power company, and the incredibly sweet and a bit too chipper woman that answered checked on my account to find that sure enough, the power had been turned on. I explained that I'd tried the switches and nothing happened, and she said very gently, "what happened when you tried the breakers?"

Breakers?

Apparently there are indoor and outdoor breakers that were in the OFF position, hence the lack of light in my den. I thanked her for being so patient with a dumb-arse like myself and she laughed and told me that a lot of people call with the same question.

Somehow that didn't make me feel any smarter...

It also occurred to me yesterday that I have paid for two weeks worth of rent on a house I don't live in, and on Thursday of next week I'll pay for even more time not living in the house (because it will have to be painted before I can completely move in).

What doesn't kill ya, right?

22 November 2005

Holy Moly, it WAS a Virus!

...and it was sent, may I remind you again, to my PAGER.

From Snopes.com...seems Mr. Allison was once the ever faithful M. John Stellford! Here are more details from a press release by the FBI dated 22 February 2005:

FBI ALERTS PUBLIC TO RECENT E-MAIL SCHEME

E-mails purporting to come from FBI are phony

Washington, D.C. - The FBI today warned the public to avoid falling victim to an on-going mass e-mail scheme wherein computer users receive unsolicited e-mails purportedly sent by the FBI. These scam e-mails tell the recipients that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center and that they have accessed illegal web sites. The e-mails then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions. The attachments contain a computer virus.

These e-mails did not come from the FBI. Recipients of this or similar solicitations should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner.

Opening e-mail attachments from an unknown sender is a risky and dangerous endeavor as such attachments frequently contain viruses that can infect the recipient’s computer. The FBI strongly encourages computer users not to open such attachments.

The FBI takes this matter seriously and is investigating. Users receiving e-mails of this nature are encouraged to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center via http://www.ic3.gov.


I love Snopes.com.

A Funny from my Blackberry

I get spam from time to time on my Blackberry. No biggie, I just delete it. It really amuses me when it has attachments...it's a pager address, nimrod, what exactly are you wanting to infect??

Anyway, to compliment the mood I've been in for the past few days, I have gotten so far FIVE emails, all allegedly from different branches of our government (FBI, CIA, etc) with the following message:

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal websites.

Important:
Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steve Allison

***Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI***


Okay...if I had gotten this in my regular email, it might have given me pause for a second because of the email addy sending it ending with fbi.gov. But the fact that I got it five times...that each time it's signed by the ever faithful Mr. Allison who apparently works for both the FBI and the CIA...and that there is a zip file attached that has been sent to a TEXT PAGER address...the whole thing just makes me laugh.

Nice try, whoever you are. I think I'll go see what snopes has to say on the subject...

More on the House

The heat will be on after today, as the gas company is coming out to turn on the gas. Scott went by and unlocked the house for them this morning on his way to work. He and I went up Sunday to look at the kitchen to see what he could do to help me have a dishwasher in the house...and so far the news isn't good. The cabinets are small, because they are probably original to the house, so they aren't even big enough (there's not really room anyway b/c of the size of the kitchen) to hold a standard dishwasher. I managed to find an 18 inch dishwasher at Lowe's that has to be ordered...but it's $400+ so I don't know if my landlord will be willing to foot the bill for that. Ah, to be a Rockefeller...

The carpet is down in the master bedroom...the hole in the window has been replaced...the carpet in the guest room has been tacked back down and is anxiously awaiting a good cleaning. Now that I have power in the house (allegedly) and will have heat after today, I'm hoping that the cleaning service can get in there asap and then I can paint and move in. It's rather frustrating to feel like I've made progress and then remember that I have to wait...

Scott wanted to move some of my stuff up there now, but I just can't until it's been cleaned or I know I'll be sick with allergies. Soon, though, when Jeany decides at 2am that she needs to go out I will just cross the room and open the sliding glass door for her to go out...when I decide to make dinner I will make whatever I want...and hopefully will have a dishwasher to clean up with afterward.

It's only 9:30...

It's only 9:30, and already I have a headache.

It's only 9:30, and the heart flutters caused by stress have ceased, at least for now. I'm sure that they are directly related to increased interaction with people that annoy me, but I keep putting myself in those situations.

It's only 9:30, and I'm already wishing it was 4.

It's only 9:30, and I apparently spoke too soon about the flutters.

19 November 2005

Movin' on up...

Two and a half more things toward my move are done. The power will be turned on Monday and I have a new VOIP phone number all ready to go once I get the internet/cable service connected up there. Natural gas will be turned on after the electricity is on (and after they extract a hefty deposit from me like the electric company did and water company will, I am sure), then the water. Then the cleaning service will come and make the house allergen free (thank you Mom and Daddy!), a few walls that need it will be painted, and I can move in, finally!!

Now, somewhere in all that I still need to pack...

17 November 2005

Hiya Mommy!


Hiya Mommy!
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
Debbie took this picture of me and I just had to share it. Up until the middle of CRF this year I thought that when I moved I'd be leaving my precious Jeany Bean with Scott and only taking the boys. That thought would drive me to just sit on the sofa, look at her, and cry...a lot.

Well...somewhere along the way, Scott decided that she would be better off staying with the boys. We went out to eat, he told me that, and when I got home and looked at her...yep, you guessed it, I cried again. Man, do I do that a LOT!

Anyway...I love that little girl so much. From the first days with us when she would barely come out of her crate except to proudly bring me a shoe she'd half-eaten to now, when she hops up in the bed with me and wiggles until I'm clinging to the edge and she has my pillow...

One hundred thousand thank you's to Debbie for this shot...I think it captures how captivated I am by Miss Bean...and I just had to share.

16 November 2005

Welcome Home Part Two

Click on the linky above in the title if you'd like to see a slideshow of shots of my new house. It occurs to me that some of you got my frantically happy email full of pictures the day Amy and I went to see it, and some of you did not. For those that did not...enjoy.

Please take special notice of the bowling alley in the living room.

More pictures to come in that flickr set, so keep an eye out (if you're interested at all...)

Still Breathing

Okay, this is not going to be so bad. While I did not actually get the keys yesterday because the carpet guy was still there, I did get to talk to my landlord about some improvements to the house. Kitchen: possible remodel/definite addition of dishwasher, courtesy of Mr. Lassiter's woodworking expertise. Guest room: definite paint job (Glidden, some color other than WHITE)/possible removal of carpet and covering of plywood patch in floor by a rug. Addition of small shelves into the former window in my office.

I have notified the cable company of my impending move. I have requested service from the power company (which requires a $150 deposit...ouch) and once that is done I can get in touch with the gas company so I'll have heat.

I took Hunky with me yesterday and he walked through the house with his ears at full attention. Cutie pie...he seemed to approve of the backyard and actually laid down on the carpet in the guest room while I was talking with the landlord. Other half of my soul, that dog is...

As usual, I have built this moving thing up to be so incredibly much more awfully worse than it actually will be. I can Griswald anything, and usually with very stressful results. (Don't get the Griswald reference? Go rent National Lampoon's Vacation right now. This instant. Go. Shoo.)

Now to pack...the absolute worst part.

15 November 2005

Breathe in....Breathe out...part five-hundred

Here I go to get the keys to my new home. Here I go to take the first step toward freedom and my new life. Here I go...so why am I still sitting here?

Breathe in, Breathe out.

Go.

Knowing is Half the Battle

I know why I am so anxious about this move, but I had the reason spelled out for me in a book I am reading. I am currently just done with the fifth book in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, Soul of the Fire, and yesterday while finishing it up I found a good explanation of why I am so anxious.

In the book there is an evil Emperor who has enslaved thousands of people. Some of them are members of an order called Sisters of the Light. One of the sisters, the former leader, finds a way to rescue her sisters and sneaks in to save them. She tells them her plan, they agree, and the captives leave for a bit on an errand before the escape. They return with guards and take their former leader captive.

Why? Because to one who is a slave to something, the fear of the unknown beyond his or her captor is so paralyzing that he or she can not make the move to escape captivity. My life here in this house with a man I was not meant to be with is not good. In fact, the state of the house itself is inflaming my allergies to the point that I sometimes have trouble breathing. He has taken care of all the money/bills/etc. for seven years now, and we are in debt to our eyeballs (and currently in negative numbers in our bank account). And yet the prospect of moving out...of taking care of my own money...of having my own house...is so terrifying to me that I am on the brink constantly of just calling the whole thing off.

This has been my life, right, wrong, or indifferent for so long now that I can't imagine the change. I can't wrap my head around it. House shopping was fun, this is real and frightening. Even now I am stalling and blogging while I should be getting ready to go meet my new landlord and get the keys.

However...I have something that Emperor Jagang's slaves didn't have. I have a network of friends and family that will not leave me in my self imposed captivity. Scary or no, they will shove me out the door of this house and into my new life with the knowledge that if there is a cliff past the door jam they will catch me.

No more stalling. Off to jump the cliff.

14 November 2005

On Closing Doors and Opening Windows

Yesterday was the last day of this season for the Carolina Renaissance Festival. I can't post on that yet. I'm incredibly sad...so much more than I have been in years past. I think it's because our group got so close in the seven weeks we were there...anyway, that will be another post for another time.

Today I panic.

Tomorrow I get the keys for my new house. I don't know when I'm moving, I don't even know when exactly I'm getting the keys. However...it's coming, and I need to wrap my Change-Fearing mind around that and get past it. I have to pack and clean and all the stuff that goes along with moving. Blech.

Saturday night I tried to set my house on fire, apparently. As I was going to bed, I took off my necklace and tossed it onto my makeup bag as I have done a zillion times in the past...only this time it got hooked on the plug for my hairdryer. Apparently there was enough current there (even though the hairdryer was off...that plug is known for buzzing and sparking a bit) to cause a reaction with the chain of the necklace. All I knew at the time was that I saw sparks and the lights went out in the bathroom. I thought a bulb had blown/exploded, so I reported it to Scott and went to bed. The next morning we realized the breaker had been tripped, so he removed the lightbulb from the socket and then turned the breaker back on. Hmmm, thinks Nan, my necklace is hanging from the hairdryer plug. As I reach up to pull it off, more sparks and a pop.

Turns out my necklace had MELTED to the plug. In the daylight we could see that there was soot on the wall just above the plug. Oops. Scott got very angry at me for that, even though I protested that it was an accident, that I'd thrown my necklace over there just like that a million times before, and that maybe it was actually a fault of the outlet (remember the buzzing and sparking I mentioned before?). I told him that I felt it was not fair of him to be angry at me for something that was so clearly an accident.

He felt that accident or no it was irresponsible of me to toss the necklace and it could have burned the house down.

Close door, open window...gimme those keys.

08 November 2005

Welcome Home


 Posted by Picasa

This is it...my new home. My home that's all mine, that I don't share with anyone but my animals. My home that I will get the keys for on the 15th and move into sometime after that (when it's cleaned up a bit and ready).

This is such a huge step and I'm scared witless, but it is a good thing and the right thing to be doing. Now I can get on with my life. My life, lived the way I want to live it.

More details as the moving commences...

30 October 2005

Be Bold, Be Beautiful...


Well Hiya Puppy!
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
Be A Greyhound in a Sea of Bellydancers!! This is what happens when you're a handsome trio of greyhounds just hanging out at the Renn Fest... (l-r) Reggie, Profile, and Tim Tam charming the Jewels of the Caravan. Ai-a-wa, puppies!

28 October 2005

The United Methodist Church's response to the War in Iraq

"As people of faith we raise our voices in protest against the tragedy of the unjust war in Iraq. We urge the United States government to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of its troops. The U.S. invasion has set in motion a sequence of events which may plunge Iraq into civil war. "


Wow. I must say that the church I was brought up in has both surprised me and made me quite proud. Hop on over to Dave's blog and read the rest of the statement issued by the UMC.

27 October 2005

The Never-ending House Hunt

Amy and I went out to look at a house yesterday in Central, SC. Cute Cute Cute little town. Cute house...but no fence. The agent handling the property also never showed up, but the sliding glass door was open so we let ourselves in to have a look.

The house was adequate. As I said to my mother on the phone, I have a tendency to look at these places with my "dream home" floating in front of them like some kind of ethereal litmus test. One story ranch compared to two story cape cod. Yellow wood exterior with hunter green shutters compared to white clapboard with navy shutters. Nothing will ever completely live up, obviously, but some houses come closer than others.

After sleeping on it, I've decided that while I could live in that house, I wouldn't be happy there. Something about it just didn't sit well. Plus, there was no fence in the backyard...something I think I'm going to have to have for the dogs. True, I could put in a little fenced area, but my hounds are used to having quite a bit of area in which to stretch their legs and I don't think a small enclosure within a big yard will work for them.

So I spoke to the agent this morning who claims she came out to the house "late" but we weren't there (we stayed at least 45 minutes) and told her that I just didn't think it was the house for me. Amy, thanks for finding it and for taking off work early to go with me to see it. Back to the classifieds...unless there are new developments with my investor friends...

Edited to add: I did speak with the agent about fencing, before I am accused of being too picky (LOL), and it was not an option. Just to clarify...

26 October 2005

Waking up on the political side of the bed

My alarm clock is set to radio, and the radio is set to NPR. I can't deal with the buzzer option...you're likely to be peeling me off the ceiling when it goes off. So every morning I am awakened to Morning Edition and try to make it out of the bed before Radio Reader.

This morning I was lying in bed listening to two mothers talk about what it was like losing their sons in Iraq. This story coincided with the death of the 2000th American soldier in Iraq.

I'll let that one sink in for a sec. TWO THOUSANDTH AMERICAN CASUALTY.

I've never been a fan of the war and I'm even less of a fan of Dubya, but come on...enough is enough. How many more of our own have to die? Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost compassion for the plight of the Iraqi people, and I understand that they needed help to get out from under Sadaam Hussein. Got it. No problem there. USA=heroes. Got it. But aren't we kinda done? Haven't we been training them to take on the peacekeeping work in their country?

I listened this morning to a mother say that when she saw the gray vehicle with the man in camoflauge fatigues park in her driveway she just started screaming because she knew what it meant. Another mother said that she met the military personnel on her front porch because somehow if she could keep them out of her house "it wouldn't be happening." When that same woman was asked if she thought that her family's sacrifice was worth it for the good of her country, her answer was very simple.

"Hell no."

I don't have children yet, but I lay there in my bed and cried with these two women this morning. To have that much strength and not completely fall apart in the face of losing your child...the second woman went on to say that she had seen on the news an Iraqi woman, dressed all in black, clinging to a coffin and wailing...and she wanted to put her arms around that woman because "I know exactly how she is feeling."

I admit freely to being a liberal and a democrat. I admit freely to thinking that our country is being run by a frat boy who puts his cronies in offices that they aren't qualified for and can't talk his way out of a wet paper bag. I understand that a great majority of Americans probably think those who believe as I do are un-patriotic, un-Christian, un-fillintheblank, and that's fine, that's their perrogative. But in this post and on this issue, please understand, I'm speaking as someone who loves her country and her fellow Americans...and doesn't want to see any more of them die. This war is a sham. We need our troops to come back home.

25 October 2005

Once again...from Amy...

She knows me all too well...it's about halfway cool and halfway scary... love ya, Evil-lyn...
Tell ya what; you relax and stop worrying about places to live and let me make a few phone calls and I'll tell you if I find anything worth looking into. You need to focus on getting through Ren fest without killing someone.

I'll be sure to post about the rental house we're going to look at tomorrow afternoon.

24 October 2005

This Just In

Thanks, Amy!

A Woman's Prayer

Dear Lord, I pray for Wisdom,
to understand a man, to Love and to
Forgive him, and for Patience for his moods.
Because, Lord, if I pray
for strength, I'll just beat him to death…

Exhaustion: The Outer Limits and Other News

I didn't know it was possible for someone to be this tired. I have been Very Tired before, like when I was a camp counselor and the end of a week would come or when I was sitting up all night with BoBo when he was so sick right before he died. But this tired is different. It's like a soul tired. It's a brain tired. It's a There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry tired, and I think I'm even too tired for that.

I just wore myself out counting how many times I typed the word tired in the above paragraph.

Seriously, I am running myself so very ragged lately that I will almost be glad when the Renn Fest is over for the year. But at the same time I love going, so I dread packing up the tent for the last time. Crazy, I know.

I did get some very good news on Friday. Scott is going to let Jeany live with me. I don't have to give up my girl. I get to see that little blonde head every day, even after I move. I was so happy that I nearly cried just looking at her Friday night. Scott was taken aback, I think..."You mean you'd really have missed her that much?" Yes, absolutely. But now I don't have to miss her except when she goes to visit him...and I will know that she is coming back, so that makes it okay.

This past weekend at the festival was good...I think I really bonded with Hunky. I know, he's my baby, my heart dog...sometimes the other half of my brain, but I think I understand him all the better. There was a little boy that would NOT leave him alone on Sunday. The kid was hugging Hunky's head, leaning on him (after repeated admonitions to stop), getting right in his face, and generally testing my gentle and sweet boy's patience to the absolute limit. Finally he noticed his parents were gone (believe me, I'd noticed quite some time before he did!) and he left the tent. Hunky immediately wiggled over until half of his body was in my lap, and his rear end was close enough that I could cover it with my enormous sleeve. He had done his time with that kid and was letting me know that he needed me to protect him for a bit from any more that might come along. And that I did...my sweet boy.

It's like Linda (another HOEF'er) said to me on Saturday...I just never thought I could love anything the way I love my greyhounds. I love my cats, don't get me wrong, but there is something different between me and my hounds. There's a communication there (and I don't mean like the animal communicator, I only WISH I had that gift) that I've never had with any other pet. When I take the time to pay attention to it (which I need to work on doing more often), it overwhelms me. Maybe it's a connection to my Scottish ancestors who no doubt had sighthounds in their lives. Maybe it's my previously repressed maternal instinct in hyperdrive. Whatever it is...when I get so tired that I want to cry like I am now, the best medicine in the world is to snuggle up with a hound (or three) on the sofa and take a nice long nap...or just lie there and watch the hound sleep, and remember how incredibly lucky and blessed I am.

20 October 2005

Which Peanuts Character Am I?

Rerun
You are Rerun!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Thanks to Kalyne for the linky to the quiz...)

A bright spot

I have a real tendancy to let myself get overwhelmed and subsequently lose it. A prime example would be me riding through Charlotte on Tuesday morning looking for where I was supposed to meet and pick up Kalyne for CRF School Days. The more I discovered I was utterly lost and not anywhere NEAR where I was supposed to be the more hysterical I got, pounding the steering wheel, cursing like a sailor and scaring the life out of the three dogs in the back. I was even angry that I couldn't cry because I had makeup on and no way to fix it if it ran...that's how bad it was. I wasn't mad at Kalyne or CRF or the idiot drivers cutting me off...I was just past the point of exhaustion (mostly mentally but somewhat physically as well) and lost my mind temporarily.

Yesterday that feeling of sanity was again stripped from me with a blinding migraine followed by the news (alluded to in yesterday's post) that I would not be moving into the beautiful little yellow house in Greenville. By the end of the day my migraine was gone but little of my sanity had returned...I was feeling the need to write, sew, clean, and run away all at once, and could muster the energy for none of it.

Today, however, I've had a bright spot. It's a bit sad, because I miss my Lizzard Angel still, but it makes me happy to know that I've made someone else happy...I got this in email this morning:
I just wanted to let you know that I got the book "Blind Faith", yesterday and just fell in love with Liz. What a greyt story told from her point of view.

I think I actually smiled, but don't hold me to that.

19 October 2005

For those of you following my housing saga...

This will NOT be the porch on which I will greet you to welcome you to my new home...

 Posted by Picasa

we will not have tea in this front room while gazing at the neighborhood outside through the wavy old glass in the windows...

 Posted by Picasa

and I'm remarkably okay with that. I do have a migraine today, but other than that, I'm okay with the fact that this house wasn't meant to be mine. I guess there is a reason somewhere, and it will be clear to me why someday, but it just wasn't the right house for me. Nevermind the built in china cabinets and perfect little mudroom on the back.

Back to the house hunt.

18 October 2005

No More Pictures, Huh Mom?


Profile ate a bit too much jerky at the Renn Fest today and had an...interesting ride home...bleh. I decided to snap a pic of him in the rear view mirror as he spent most of the ride home with his head hung over the seat like he'd just come off a bender... Posted by Picasa

17 October 2005

Back to reality...at least for one day

Every morning I have a routine. Get up, check email, drink a cup of coffee, give out cat meds, feed the cats. Take up the cat bowls, give out dog meds, feed the dogs. Clean the litter box and have another cup of coffee.

It's really not that hard.

After a weekend away at CRF, I came home to find the litterbox not cleaned, no food in the fridge for the dogs for this morning, and the exact same amount of Franny's prednisone as was here when I left on Saturday.

It's really hard for me to feel good about staying up there when I can't depend on their care being continued while I'm gone. I've had to alter my plans for kids days from staying with Sharon to driving up and back each day because of that fact. Profee and Franny are on prednisone...5 days at two a day, 5 days at one a day and then every other day. This will be the second time we've...no, I've had to start Franny's over because it wasn't done while I was gone.

Guess I won't be getting any new garb done for tomorrow. It was just a bodice too, very easy...but I'll be out buying dog food, cleaning the litterbox, getting flea and tick prevention (because a doggie houseguest we had awhile back brought us some fleas, unfortunately), and trying to identify the strange smell in my house. I guess I can always get the bodice done tomorrow...

Slightly updated...Profile did get his meds and Franny got some of hers, the liquid one, over the weekend. The flea and tick treatment (a Capstar pill each and a round of Frontline for the dogs and Advantage for the cats) was over $100...but there won't be any more doggies or kitties chewing on themselves due to fleas. It was also reiterated that dirty litter boxes can lead to UTIs in cats...so we'll see what happens this weekend. Off to the laundromat!

11 October 2005

Nan and Kalyne Stick Weaving


Nan and Kalyne Weaving
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.
The very first year we did CRF, there were two nannies associated with the mayor's court. One of them taught us "dog ladies" how to do Stick Weaving which is a period appropriate craft. I refer to it now as my Portable Loom Addiction. In this very bad bad picture of me (I'm gonna get you, Debbie, for that one! Hehe) you can see me showing our greyhound groupie, Kalyne, how to get started. She has already succumbed to the addiction and had her first scarf done by Monday.

10 October 2005

Time Flies


October 10, 1998 Posted by Picasa

Back to the blessing counting, because dwelling on this for too long will just make me very sad.

Blessings

After the week I had last week, I think it's time to do a little counting of the blessings. I'm going to try my best not to get snarky this week, even though I still have reason to be...it's better just to rise above.

The link above is for information on St. Francis of Assisi. I want to start my blessing post by talking about where I went this weekend (before the Renn Fest on Sunday). My sister and her husband are both United Methodist ministers, and Dave had a pet blessing (in conjunction with the feast day of St. Francis, which I believe is October 8th?) at his church. The turnout was small, as it was the first such event and the weather was kinda weird, but quality definitely trumped quantity. Hunky and I got to meet a brassy and bold miniature schnauzer named Bubba and a dainty little chihuahua girl whose name I can't remember. Dave used the Blessing of the Pets from the UMC hymnal and it was just a neat way to spend a Saturday morning. Hunky thinks the Milkbones were pretty awesome too... So thanks, Unka Dave and Aunt Susan, for letting us invade your house and share that experience with Dave's congregation. At one point Dave went up to the church building to get something, and the people there for the blessing couldn't stop talking about how much they think of Dave, and how blessed they are to have him as their pastor. Made a sister-in-law right proud!

I'm blessed with an incredible family. They are intelligent (5 masters degrees in the family) loving, compassionate people who never meet a stranger and are always ready and willing to help. They are my litmus test for everyone I new bring into my life.

I'm also blessed by having the amazing souls that share my house with me. Hunky was an incredible ambassador for his breed on Saturday! Of course, when compared with smaller breeds that have lots of energy and spunk like the two that were there, he is the paragon of stoic nobility...but he held a stay and rooed when asked, so I have to give my boy credit for that. Profile went with me Sunday to the Renn Fest, and again reminded me how much he trusts and loves me as his person when a child (who I think had some intellectual challenges) repeatedly pinched his head (till I moved his hand), asked the same question over and over, tried to look in Profile's nose, and stepped on his foot. When we first got Profile, that child would have gotten snapped for stepping on his foot. Yesterday Profile let out a little growl and that was it. He and I are working as a team now...he growls to let me know I need to take control of the situation and I did, and no one got snapped at or bitten. He is a very smart dog, and I don't know what I'd do without him.

Jeany is just a blessing with feet. She is silly, she is beautiful, she is loving, she is maddening...and she is going to leave a huge hole in my heart when I move out and leave her here with Scott. That's about all I can say about that without losing my composure.

Last even though they were first, my kitties...Fran and Zoe have been with me for 11 years. How much has changed in my life over 11 years, and yet they remain the same. Zooey still crawls up into my face and tries to snag what I'm eating just as he did Susan 10 years ago when she visited to help me move from West Virginia. Franny still screams when you pick her up like you've pinched her, just as she did the day 11 years ago when I picked her up to put her in the car to go TO West Virginia. Mills...well, Mills is Mills. He still rolls over on his back when I walk past him and swats my foot for me to come play and I am still awakened to him purring in my ear...although at 7 years old and about 13 pounds, the purring is a bit louder than it was when we first got him at 7 WEEKS old.

Yep, I'm blessed, a thousand times over. The things that I let get to me last week are miniscule. The people that drove me to "snarky" are details. All I have to do is sit back and think about all the blessings I have in my life and I can't help but smile.

07 October 2005


The English Countryside, Beamish (Summer 1995) Posted by Picasa

After the week I've had, filled with fatigue, sick critters, uncooperative computers, rejections from financial institutions, online bullies and just general BLEH...I thought I'd post a picture that reminds me that life will be okay. I just have to remember to "be still, and know..."

Enjoy. The northern English countryside sets my heart at ease every time.

Warning, Mood Set to Snarky

Someone on a message board I frequent used that word yesterday and I love it. It works for how I'm feeling today, for sure. I was thinking about things that make me feel snarky and came up with a nice list.

1. Small people who make themselves feel big by being bullies to others.

Is it just me, or is this now running rampant with the popularity of message boards and other forms of "anonymous" online communication? These bullies can sit in their darkened rooms and be as big and bad as they like with no threat of physical retribution. As I'm writing this though, I'm not sure if these folks would produce snarky or just elicit plain old pity from me. It's sad to feel that in order to have control over something you have to bully someone via a medium where they really can't fight back. At least I could get a pinch in on the one that stole my lunch money...

2. Skirts with drawstrings.

Inevitably I think every time I need a new piece of garb for festival that a skirt with a drawstring will be a good idea. I mean seriously, who wants to spend hours and hours of frustration getting those pleats folded just right only to run your sewing machine at light years below the speed limit to make sure you don't miss one? Wouldn't you rather spend hours and hours threading one darned boot lace through what seems to be millions of yards of fabric only to accidentally lose the other end as you're threading and have to start all over? Huh?

3. Things that don't work like they are supposed to work.

My sister and father and I were all born with low tolerances for this occurance. Susan will say loudly "I HATE this (whateveritis that isn't working)." Daddy will proclaim that he's tired of this (whateveritis that isn't working) and stand up and leave in a huff. I take things one step further...if it is small enough I will throw whatever it is. If it isn't small enough...watch out kitties. Currently my computer is picking and choosing which sounds it wants to play. I am not amused.

Those are my current gripes, but just give me time, I'm sure there will be more. The first one is still raising my blood pressure, but as with all things that I can't control I am trying to write it off as a detail.

When I figure out how to do that, I'll be sure to post it.

06 October 2005

What a day...

(This post is being edited because I was reminded today, 10/7/05, that I don't have to be snotty, snide, rude, or anything else of the sort to get a point across. That's not my style anyway, and it's just plain wrong. The old "if you can't say something nice..." Thank you, "Smiley-Riley," for the reminder.)

Let me preface this whole thing by saying I have a very neato nifty little thing on my blog that you can see down on the right hand side in the buttons section. It says Stat Counter, and it lets me see all kinds of stuff about who is visiting my blog and when and all that. It has an option to make that info public, but since it shows the referring page and some of my message boards are member only/private, I have opted to keep that info private.

Now, on with the post...

Today started out fairly normally. I got all but the hem and the drawstring done on the black underskirt for my stripey costume, so barring a catastrophic sewing machine failure I should be wearing that costume again on Sunday of this weekend. Huzzah! I'm also in the planning stages for a bodice or two to go with the black skirt...something for Halloween weekend and Pirate Christmas weekend. We'll see.

I think I should also pause to point out here that I have done all the work on that skirt without a pattern. I am not a seamstress, nor do I play one on tv. Two years ago I could barely cut out a pattern. Now I'm eyeballing a skirt and when I went to put it together the pieces fit!

Anyway...

I had another reminder today to keep in touch with what is really important and leave the rest to be a detail...several actually. The first was the reminder that it has been a year today since I gave up a vice that was ruining my health and my life. I didn't realize it had been a year until I was driving up the road and answering a page and noticed the date on my pager. I've been through hell in the past year, several times over, and not once did I give up on my decision to live a healthier life. I've had and still have more stress than a normal person should ever be asked to carry, and I still remain dedicated to the decision I made a year ago today.

Today also marked one month since I took control of my life and my heart and stopped letting relationships I made online take as much of my focus as the people and relationships that are right here in front of me. One month since I got my priorities back in order and got back to my real friends and my real life...people who know the real me, and love me anyway.

Work was rough today. I was having a hard time compartmentalizing and being just the interpreter during some of what I worked with today. In fact, I had tears in my eyes by the end, and that never happens...or at least it shouldn't...

So why did I bring up the stat counter? Because I can see who is reading this...I can see who is listening. Some of those folks are the real life friends that I care about, and that I am glad to see turn up in the ISP list. It is for them that I post...it is to them that I am speaking in my posts.

The rest of this post has been edited. My Mom would be proud.

05 October 2005

Another Day, Another Rant

Now then, before I get started, this is not in any way a declaration that I am planning on having a child as a single mom. Okay? Everyone calm? Good.

I am getting a divorce mainly because I want to have a child or children. Due to my age, I am considering other means of becoming a parent in addition to having my own biological offspring. I am also considering the fact that I may be a single mom even though I don't think that is the optimal way for a child to be raised. I know lots of single moms and dads who have support systems and raise fantastic, bright, well rounded children, so I know it can be done.

I found this on the AP and I'm disturbed and at the same time relieved that it hasn't spread to South Carolina...at least I don't think it has. There is legislation in the works in Indiana to prohibit all but married couples from beginning the process of having a baby by other means than natural conception.

It then requires "intended parents" to be married to each other and says an unmarried person may not be an intended parent.

A doctor cannot begin an assisted reproduction technology procedure that may result in a child being born until the intended parents have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of an assessment required under the bill. The assessment is similar to what is required for infant adoption and would be conducted by a licensed child placing agency in Indiana.

The required information includes the fertility history of the parents, education and employment information, personality descriptions, verification of marital status, child care plans and criminal history checks. Description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents also is required, including participation in faith-based or church activities.

Miller [author of the bill, Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis)] said the state often reacted to problems and that she wanted to be proactive on this issue.

"We're not trying to stop people from having kids; we're just trying to find some guidelines," she said.

She acknowledged such a law would bar single people from using methods other than sexual intercourse but said "all the studies indicate the best environment for a child is to have a two-parent family — a mother and a father."

So, you can't adopt a baby in Indiana unless you're a married couple. I like the extensive checks they do until you get to the lifestyle and participation in faith-based or church activities. No mention is given of how that is weighed.

Now before I get a bunch of comments on how children should be raised in the church and I'm a heathen liberal that wants to drive traditional values out of our great God fearin' country...not the case at all. In fact, I agree that there is a place for religion in the formative years of a child's life. However...I think you have to remember that as the child of a minister I saw a very different side of the "church" experience than most as I grew up, and it continues to color my views of "religious" or "church" people. I can tell you this, when I am a parent I will expose my children to religion, most likely United Methodism because that's how I was raised, but we will have open and honest discussions about religion and its place in the world.

Anyway...off to work, just wanted to throw that out. I wonder if that law applies to older children waiting for homes in Indiana or just infants?

Dia duit ó GARF.

Almost TOO Irish, that. Go raibh míle maith agat  to Chris Heffron (of the Southern Travel Guide ) for this great shot from last Sund...