Friday, October 31, 2008

Goulish Mutterings

Happy Halloween, All!

Sadly, I don't have any more Trick or Treaters because the girls are too old but I will enjoy seeing those little darlings in our neighborhood all dressed up tonight. I consider myself to be a pretty festive mom and I make every effort to spice each holiday up at least a tad. It may be making cookies or decorating something simple around the house, but holidays, growing up, were aways an excuse to decorate. That tradition still carries on. My mom, at 68 years old, STILL does it! We were a little late on carving the pumpkin but managed to get it done last night. We chose a simple stencil this year because of the time factor. It turned out cute and it will serve it's purpose.

A few weeks ago, we make Oreo Spider Cookies and they turned out CUTE, CUTE, CUTE. The only downfall was that they were almost too sweet to eat - and a little messy because AC wanted to do EVERYTHING herself.

I hope the girls do things like this with their kids when they are all grown up. These are ever-lasting memories.
Happy Night!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If You Are Counting Calories - Stop Here!

I have discovered a new secret indulgence. I am not a coffee addict like some folks I know, but I do tend to lean towards the flavored stuff that you buy at Gloria Jeans while Christmas shopping at the mall in the winter time. It's one of those traditional things, I guess. AC, my youngest daughter, LOVES coffee - thanks to my mom and dad and although decaf is what they swear they give her, I am not so sure that her pediatrician would support this action! I didn't help much this weekend when we went grocery shopping and I spotted the Coffee Mate Gingerbread flavour. OMG-- this stuff is sinful yet so YUMMO!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Smile Award

Baby Girl <------- (that would be me) is SPENT. Today has been a week since my brother has been in the hospital but I honestly think things are finally starting to look up. The heart cath is scheduled for tomorrow and if all is uneventful, I think he may be able to go home by the weekend. I'll keep my fingers crossed because spending all day at work and all evening at the hospital is just not my cup of tea. I have to fit family life in there somewhere.

I came across something this morning when I was doing my usual surfing of the web and it was called a "Smile Award." THIS made me smile.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Down and Dirty

A. Attached or Single? About as "attached" as you can get.
B. Best Friend? Ed
C. Cake or Pie? Pie
D. Day of choice? Sunday
E. Essential item? Lipstick
F. Favorite color? Pink
G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither
H. Home town? Summerville, SC
I. Favorite Indulgence? Vera and a GOOD glass of wine.
J. January or July? July - it's the birth of our country and it summertime!
K. Kids? Yes, my two beautiful daughters. I am blessed.
L. Life isn't complete without? God
M. Marriage? It's a great thing with the right person.
N. Number of brothers and sisters? One older brother.
O. Oranges or Apples? Oranges - I like citrus.
P. Phobias? heights
Q. Quotes? "Powerful is like being a lady. If you have to say you are, you're not."
R. Reasons to smile? Although life is tough, I have been blessed with healthy children and great
life surrounded by people that love me unconditionally.
S. Season of choice? Summer - it's magic!
T. Team of choice? Old high school football team - Greenwaves. Coach McKissick is a legend.
U. Unknown fact about me? I am scared of the dark.
V. Vegetables? Eggplant
W. Worst habit? Cursing
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound because I saw the sex of my girls for the first time.
Y. Your favorite food? Seafood - oysters
Z. Zodiac sign? Sagittarius
(Another) Z. Which zoo animal is your favorite? They monkeys. The are so interesting.

More Than Enough

Today is my first day back to work after being out most of last week due to my brother's illness. The past five years, his battle with cancer has been a courageous fight. He has won so far but it is begining to take a tremendous toll on him physicially. Last Tuesday night I really felt as if the time had come for this to all end. He has suffered a major heart attack, a blood clot and a kidney infection and has somehow managed to STILL be living. Talking about a "cat with nine lives?"

I am trying to maintain some sort of normalcy by plowing through each day. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that have called, visited, and prayed for us. The love that I have felt has been overwhelming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Explain This

I have been keeping my political opinions to myself lately because I felt that blogging them was not really the appropriate way to show support to the candidate that I was endorsing. However, after careful thought, I realized that THIS is the beauty of living in America and if I really believed in the candidate of choice, I should be on my "soap box" about it.

Although McCain may not be the best person in the world for President, he is the lesser of the 2 evils that we have to choose from. I don't feel compelled to list all of the reasons why I am voting for him because listing all of the reasons why I am NOT voting for Obama seem much more important. It concerns me to no end that people are not openly questioning his history and if I were you, I would do some research on these things below. IF he is elected, I don't want to hear the upper/middle class Americans who voted for him complain!!!

Around 1979 Obama started college at Occidental in California. He is very open about his two years at Occidental, he tried all kinds of drugs and was wasting his time but, even though he had a brilliant mind, did not apply himself to his studies. "Barry" (that was the name he used all his life) during this time had two roommates, Muhammad Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both from Pakistan.

During the summer of 1981, after his second year in college, he made a "round the world" trip. Stopping to see his mother in Indonesia, next Hyderabad in India, three weeks in Karachi, Pakistan where he stayed with his roommate's family, then off to Africa to visit his father's family.

My question - Where did he get the money for this trip? When he came back he started school at Columbia University in New York. It is at this time he wants everyone to call
him Barack - not Barry. Do you know what the tuition is at Columbia? It's not cheap to say the least. Where did he get money for tuition? Student Loans? Maybe.

After Columbia, he went to Chicago to work as a Community Organizer for $12,000... a year. Why Chicago? Why not New York? He was already living in New York.

By "chance" he met Antoin "Tony" Rezko, born in Aleppo Syria, and a Real Estate Developer in Chicago. Rezko has been convicted of fraud and bribery this year. Rezko, was named "Entrepreneur of the Decade" by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association" . About two years later, Obama entered Harvard Law School. Do you have any idea what tuition is for Harvard Law School? Where did he get the money for Law School? More student loans?

After Law school, he went back to Chicago. Rezko offered him a job, which he turned down. But, he did take a job with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Guess what? They represented "Rezar" which was Rezko's firm. Rezko was one of Obama's first major financial contributors when he ran for office in Chicago.

In 2003, Rezko threw an early fundraiser for Obama which Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland claims was instrumental in providing Obama with "seed money" for his U.S. Senate race. In 2005, Obama purchased a new home in the Kenwoood District of Chicago for $1.65 million (less than asking price). With ALL those Student Loans - Where did he get the money for
the property? On the same day Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining empty lot for full price. The London Times reported that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born Billionaire loaned Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Obama's new home was purchased. Obama met Nadhmi Auchi many times with Rezko.

Now, we have Obama running for President. Valerie Jarrett, was Michele Obama's boss. She is now Obama's Chief Advisor and he does not make any major decisions without talking to her first. Where was Jarrett born? Ready for this? Shiraz, Iran! Do we see a pattern here? Or am I
going crazy?

On May 10, 2008, The Times reported, Robert Malley, advisor to Obama, was "sacked" after the press found out he was having regular contacts with "Hamas", which controls Gaza and is connected with Iran. This past week, buried in the back part of the papers, Iraqi newspapers reported that during Obama's visit to Iraq, he asked their leaders to do nothing about the war until after he is elected, and he will "take care of things".

Oh, and by the way, remember the college roommates that where born in Pakistan? They are in charge of all those "small" internet campaign contribution for Obama. Where is that money coming from? The poor and middle class in this country? Or could it be from the Middle East?

And the final bit of news. On September 7, 2008, The Washington Times posted a verbal slip that was made on "This Week" with George Stephanapoulos. Obama on talking about his religion said, "My Muslim faith". When questioned, "he made a mistake". Some mistake!

I will be sure to watch the debate tonight!

Don't Reach Out & Touch Someone While Driving!

The last two days of being stuck in traffic for well over an hour has sparked me to investigate some of the possible reason as to WHY South Carolinians have such terrible driving statistics. We move slowly in the South yet we drive like maniacs! I have never been an advocate of demolishing cell phone usage completely while behind the wheel, but I do support hands-free devices vs. holding the phone chatting OR text messaging. This is what I found.

South Carolina is No. 1 for people who report that they text message on their cell phone while driving, according to a survey sponsored by a company that offers a solution to the problem. It's no laughing matter. There are reports of drivers in Tennessee and Colorado who have caused fatalities because they were distracted while texting. State lawmakers around the country take the issue seriously.

The company, Vlingo, sells software that it says can translate voice to text on a cell phone, eliminating the need to tap out a message. It hired a firm that tallied 4,820 responses to a "self-administered" online survey.

The Palmetto State came out at the top, with 40 percent reporting they reached out and touched someone with text while driving. Arizona had the lowest rate, 17 percent.

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, California and the District of Columbia outlaw the use of handheld phones while driving, and 38 states are considering 133 bills that would regulate their use behind the wheel, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A study conducted by Nationwide Mutual Insurance found that 19 percent of all drivers — and 37 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 27 — send text messages while behind the wheel.

While the state Department of Public Safety does not track accidents involving cell phones, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that using a cell phone, including hands-free devices, left drivers four times as likely to get into an accident serious enough to cause injury.

More than half of the states place some restriction on cell phone use by drivers. The majority of restrictions are on school bus drivers and teens, according to the institute.

Monday, October 13, 2008

He Cooks...and He's Cute, Too!!

I'm going to brag for a bit and he's gonna read this eventually so I had better keep it nice - big smile.

We received a proposition for a large upscale dinner party a few weeks ago and this came from no ordinary folk. Let me first tell you that I am NOT a waitress, bartender, etc. and I will NEVER claim to be one. Not that there is anything wrong with them, I have just not gone to school for this long and suffered through sleepless nights studying in college for something I don't think I would be good at. I have earned my chair at my desk a long time ago and I love what I do during my M-F job. When Ed and I initially met, some time passed and he had a strong urge to pursue the hands-on culinary skills that he used to use before he moved here from St. Thomas. We realized that there was a pretty good demand for a Personal Chef here at the beach and he has since been quite successful in doing this. He really loves it and he is great and talented at it. He asked if I would be willing to learn how to help him in the kitchen and of course, I agreed. I am a social butterfly so "hob-nobbing" with our clients came easy to me. I know the in's and out's of the Charleston area and I never suffer from lack of conversation. I have since become his Girl Friday to a certain extent and I do truly enjoy working with him and it we do it well as a couple.

Now, we had no idea that this gentleman and his wife were owners of a large food distribution company and were in business with the military so our opportunities were endless if all went well with their dinner club. My initial meeting with them came Saturday night and much to my surprise, these people were amazingly genuine. They provided us with a bartender, Amelia, and a dishwasher, Alvera, and there were both well versed in what needed to be done due to their past experience with these clients. This was extraordinary!!

At the end of the night, everyone adored every aspect of the meal prepared and invited us back for their holiday party.

I know I'm partial, but I not only love "Chef Ed" for his kindness and thoughtfulness, but I love him for his hard work and dedication to the things he enjoys in life. I really consider myself lucky.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Don't Bother To Buy Your Children A Costume

This was sent to me from a guy I do business with in Detroit, Michigan. This speaks the truth!

Halloween is going to suck this year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Never Again - So Don't Ask!

Does it really pay to try and be healthy?? I am beginning to question this today more than ever! About a month or so ago, I made a commitment to myself that I would put taking care of everyone else but me on hold and try to get caught up on some way over due doctor appointments. I am busy sending Ed, my parents, and my girls to the doctor but never me. They have all had check ups, dental appointments - everything they need but I manage to forget that I need some maintenance as well. I needed to have my teeth cleaned, have my yearly visit with my OB/GYN, and get some answers to a few questions regarding some sensitive skin issues that I have been dealing with. (see the post below in reference to the mole removal.)

When the most handsome, Dr. Ward, did my minor procedure in his office a few weeks ago, he wanted me to see an allergist for some patch testing because I have had some issues flare up pertaining to some form of dermatitis around my eyelids. Because I trusted his judgement at the time, I agreed. After all, I have had this problem for years and have been self treating as usual.

Listen, if I must "toot my own horn," I am pretty smart when it comes to medical stuff. I have been in this field a long time and I can more than hold my own in conversations with physicians regarding most treatments, etc... I will admit that allergy testing is not my forte so I went in blindly this morning to see Dr. Ruppe. His wit and charm had me sold UNTIL........he asked the nurse to explain the "scratch" testing procedure to me. Let me say to you that it was nothing short of 80 scratches on my back and last but not least, 18 sub dermal skin tests on my arm! I looked like a dart board coming out of there. God have mercy! I was not having an anaphalactic reaction to something. All I have is a freakin' rash above my eyelids once in a while! I spent 3 hours in that office and they found NOT ONE allergy to anything except a dust mite!! He gave me 8 samples (which I appreciate) of everything under the sun and told me to change my facial cleanser. Was he kidding??? I guess not. He wants to see me back in 3 weeks. Yeah, right!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Power Of The Tongue

This morning, I really feel compelled to educate others on the power of the tongue.

There are not very many people, who at some time or another have not experienced pain, hurt, shame, or disgrace, as a result of a person or group of persons' careless and sometimes deliberate use of an unbridled tongue. Characters have been assassinated, reputations destroyed, spirits broken, lifelong relationships ruined, and seemingly repairable damage has been been done by some members of your life.

The unfortunate thing is that the tongue is simply an instrument that is used. IT does not think, nor devise evil, and by itself it really does absolutely nothing. Yet, in the same way that with a bit, a rider can control the body of a horse, a captain can determine the course of a ship, so it is that the tongue nestled in our mouths control the direction of our lives. It is the owner or master of the tongue that determines how it is used. It stands to reason; therefore, that the things we say is often a reflection of the things in the heart.

Those who abuse this power will soon find themselves all alone with what is left, if anything, of their consciences.

Change your heart.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Boys!

Set aside from raising two girls, Ed and I are also the proud parents of 2 male cats. Cats?? Who says they are cats? They act more like dogs to me and the things they do never cease to amaze us. Let me introduce them to you. Murphy, the gray one is diviner and smart - almost in a nerdy sense. All he needs is some black rimmed glasses and a pocket protector and he would be good to go! Larousse on the other hand, is a "daddy's boy" and is Ed's Siamese twin. He follows that man everywhere! I would never expect anything different as he was named after Larousse Gastronomique for all you foodies out there.

One year ago today, we began hand feeding these boys when they were 24 hours old because they were the children of a stray momma cat at my office. I BEGGED Ed to take them and he willingly agreed. Things have never been the same since. They chew on things, eat people food (Whole Foods no-salt turkey, I might add) and the newest trick is shredding toilet paper that is left on the roll in any of the bathrooms. In honor of them, I will share their latest masterpiece that we disovered upon entering the house after our weekend trip to North Carolina.

Better be glad we love ya', boys.....or you would find yourselves in the soup line!!
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