Monday, August 31, 2009

The Countdown Is On

I deserve to be praised a little today. I have deliberately held my tongue when it comes to gloating about my upcoming trip to Mexico. I really have been excited but nothing compares to the euphoria I felt before we went to Holbox back in January.

However, I have held back and spared everyone long enough.

Officially, as of today, I have 13 days left before we depart for a week at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico.

Unlimited drinks. Unlimited sun. Unlimited relaxation. Life will be good.

One of the things that I am looking forward to the most is the Couples Moonlight Massage on the beach using hot lava shells! Holy crap! That is gonna be like heaven on earth!

Here is a sneak peak at our resort.

Please. Don't be a hater.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dirty Little Secret

I am confessing this morning. I have been sucked into a new obsession. No, it's not shoes, make up or purses this time. It's coupon clipping!

I feel like I have been in a cave all of my life now that I have seen how much money you can actually save. Remember, I am Greek and we looooove a good deal.

There really isn't much to it. It's primarily all about knowing when to use your coupons. My long time friend, Amy, from Facebook actually turned me on to this when she posted that she purchased $194.61 of product from CVS and Walgreen's and only paid $14.92 for it all. Who's eye wouldn't that catch? I immediately wanted to know her secret. Amy actually attended a workshop from a lady that goes around and teaches others the basics of it all.

Even if you aren't in the south, you can get lots of information on how to get started from the Southern Savers website.

After a few days of thinking about my typical grocery shopping process, I decided that the coupon binder may work the best for me. I'll try it and keep everyone posted as to how it is working for me in addition to some of the savings that I intend on having.

Here is a preliminary view of how I will get it all organized. I still have to make the tab dividers, but ya'll get the big picture.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

For those who love me and put up with hearing the stories of my family every day; you will understand and relate to this show.
I am simply exhaused from the visit to the doctor with my dad today and this was the picture that came to mind.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Happy Monday.

I was unsure of what to post about today. I had several small events occur over the weekend but decided that I would try to remain uplifting for the entire week. Those small things are really trivial in the big scheme of things.

I attended a ladies conference on Saturday. This conference was sponsored by our church and the topic was Stand Up & Go Forward. To be honest, this retreat was not at all "gender specific." The topic could really apply to all of our lives at one time or another.

One of our main discussions was about getting rid of the bondage in our lives - past and present. Bondage within us keeps us from moving forward and doing what we were intended to do. It's the ball-n-chain on our spirit.

Even more powerful is the fact that bondage prevents us from holding our head high and using the good of our lives to work in a positive manner with others.

Chef Ed and I have talked a lot about legacy's lately. I expressed to him how important it was for me to leave this world making a mark on someones heart. I want other's to remember me for the love and kindness that I had shown them. I want to be a giving soul willing to do the extreme for someone else even if it meant sacrificing my own needs a wants for a while.

Do you know Mary Sue Merchant? Have you ever heard of her?

Well, neither do I. But, right now, I'm gonna introduce you to her.

Mary Sue Merchant died of natural caused in a tightly locked house on 25 acres in a small community, with only a dog for company. Her small town is now reflecting on why no one noticed for 18 months.

No one knew the reclusive widow was gone - not even when the house was sold for back taxes while her decomposing body lay inside. Sometime later, the lonely dog died of thirst in the same room.

"We didn't know this lady existed," said the Sheriff.

Only after the body of this 72-year old woman was found last week did it occur to neighbors they hadn't seen her in a while.

"We've lost the community," said the Rev. Neil Flowers, who planned to talk about Merchant on Sunday at Beulah United Methodist church, a few miles from where Merchant died. "We do our own thing. We lead busy lives. We go and go and go.....and stay within our comfort zone."

By all means, Merchant and her husband kept to themselves. They had no children. The sheriff and coroner say one neighbor told them David Merchant was once a prison guard who feared retribution from former inmates - but officials couldn't confirm that. David Merchant died in October 1985 at age 53 and his widow apparently lost touch with her own older sister years ago.

Mail should have been a red flag. But Merchant had a post office box, so no mail piled up for neighbors or a carrier to notice. Her electricity was cut off in February 2008 after three months of unpaid bills.

Meanwhile, the brick ranch home sat partly obscured by trees and brush from the road. Merchant's white four-door Chevy parked in front and a faded "Beward of Dog" sign on a telephone pole.

Merchant's unpaid property taxes lead to her discovery.

It's sad to know that this lady had nobody who cared enough to check on her.

She had no voice. She had no encouragement. She had no respect.

I encourage you to reach out. Make your mark and in the end, long to hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

No other words will ever give such pleasure.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I've Been Inspired

Mary, over at Fightin Mad Mary & Q, has inspired me since she joined a boot camp class out in LA. She's pretty neat - go over and see what progress she's made. Her reason for doing this was because she was nominated for the Emmy Creative Arts Award and she wants to be a hottie in a cool dress. I will side note that going to Cancun in three weeks has also been a small factor in getting my fannie to the gym.

I rejoined the gym this week and hit it pretty hard a couple of times. I debated joining Chef Ed's gym but decided that it may not be a good idea if we wanted our relationship to continue to remain strong. His ideas are different than mine and I can foresee a big, huge fight in the works if that were to take place.

Anyway, I will start doing some interval training next week. Interval training is a type of physical training that involves bursts of high intensity work. This high intensity work is alternated with periods of rest or low activity (the intervals in interval training). We will see how it works out.

As for now, I'm tired and I'm glad it's Friday!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sigh A Deep Sigh

I'm going to post twice today so please forgive me.

I've had a busy morning already. I got up early, came to work, met my mom and dad for my mom's eye surgery, and now I am back at work again.

Man, I feel like I have already worked an 8 hour day.

First, I want to give a shout out to a new blog that I follow - Live from the 205. It's a story about a woman who's world has been turned upside down after the loss of her husband/soul mate. I *shudder* at the thought of losing a spouse but I can relate to the loss of someone that you love in general. I feel her pain and she brings tears to my eyes every time I read her blog. After the loss of my brother, I know how people actually grieve themselves to death.

Second, my mom had eye surgery this morning. She had a cataract removed and had lasik. In two weeks, she will have the other eye done. I was glad I could scoot away from work for a few hours and be with her even though the surgery was noninvasive.

Last, I heard from the my way-ward eldest daughter yesterday. Remember, the one that is living with her dad because she didn't like my rules and I was too strict, and so on and so on??
Well, she started school at another high school yesterday. She had a successful first day with the exception of lunch where she had to sit by herself because she didn't know anyone. Gawd....that broke my heart into pieces and I spent the rest of the night crying my eyes out about it. Poor Chef Ed. That man has taken the brunt of my drama in the last 9 months. I swear I will make it up to you one day when you are old and I decide not to put you in a nursing home. (big smile....)

Today, I feel somewhat emotionally refreshed. I am hitting the gym after work and after leaving from there, I am going straight to church. You got it. Gym shorts and all. The Lord doesn't care what I look like and if the people at church do, then they will have to get over it.

Anyway, I will leave you with my Words of Wisdom for the day:

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men. Think BIG!

Have a great day!

Way Back Wednesday

Sorry I bailed out on Way Back Wednesday last week but my life was crazy busy. I will resume entertainment today.
Tin Lunch Boxes: ...and I had a thermos to match. You know, the kind that had the glass lining inside? More times than once, I can remember getting to school and during lunch, opening my thermos to find the glass had shattered with my drink inside. Those lunches that my mom made were the best ever!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Under Protest

(I'm gonna miss those days.)

Well, the time has come. The "little girl" in my house now has an opinion of her own.

Yesterday, I was informed by a reliable source (my mother - her MeMe) that she no longer wanted to wear a ribbon in her hair. Stab. Me. In. The. Gut.

Yes, my girls were always the little smocked dress - hair bow wearing little darlings. But no more. It almost hurts me to see the end of a time period where she was so innocent and child-like. In a way, I felt like those bows or ribbons would ward of the voodoo of middle school madness.

It saddens me to know that I will never again have a little child to dress in those cute little outfits of gingham check with some sweet Sam and Libby's to match.

For now, I'll close the book on babyhood and try to manage to enjoy her growth into her own individuality.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My, How Times Have Changed

I did a little reminiscing last night. While I was cooking homemade Chicken-N- Dumplin's, I decided to venture through my grandmother's antique Lane hope chest to ponder over some old pictures that I had tossed in there. Honestly, I missed my 20th high school reunion this weekend so I wanted some revenge on old classmates. Instead, I became side-tracked with a picture of me when I was close to my youngest daughter's age. My, how times have changed! We have paper pom-pom's and hand made uniforms! Nonetheless, WTH was my mother thinking when she allowed my picture to be taken with my hair looking like a fried Q-tip??

Most importantly, I had a great few moments when I stumbled across this picture of my brother when he was healthy. This was taken on Christmas Day, 2006. He LOVED Christmas and the look on his face is how I remember him the most - always happy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And Mexico Thought They Had It Bad?

Sorry that I have been MIA for the last week. Turmoil was full swing with one heck of a bat in hand.

My baby girl and her dad returned home from Ohio (said while gagging) and my previous post spoke of the eversofamous "viral syndrome" that had reared it's ugly head.

On Tuesday morning, my mind lit up like a Christmas Tree on December 25th and I realized that she still had a recurring fever and really was not getting much better. My dad and his dry humor teased coyly about bringing back the "Yankee Swine Flu" and I realized that it certainly could be a possibility.

I got to work and called her pediatrician first thing and explained the whole situation about them traveling through the airports - blah, blah, blah....and said that I was really concerned that this was more flu-like symptoms that I was noticing. She suggest that I come in. All the while, her super-dad was coming down with a low grade temperature as well.

I'll cut to the chase here: The final outcome was a confirmed diagnosis of Swine Flu and every single one of us was put on Tamaflu.

By Thursday afternoon, I was ready to jump off of a bridge! Only two words are associated with Tamaflu in my book.



One full can of Lysol later, losing 3 pounds due to the nausea and diarrhea, and my skin smelling lof bleach from all of the disinfecting, everyone is better.

Newsflash: There has been over 6500 people in the state of South Carolina that have been diagnosed with Swine Flu.

So, when I remind you that I am leaving for week in Mexico on September 13th, please don't fret. I think I have my bases already covered.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Plane Germs

Notice the spelling, would ya?

My baby girl (who's 11 years old) will be returning home today. Her father had the bright idea of taking her to Ohio to see his family for a few days last week. Those folks are some strange birds up there.

They flew. I felt better about that because she gets motion sickness very easy like her momma. Riding 12 hours in a car would not do her any justice. All seemed to be going well until I received an alarming phone call at 7:30am on Saturday morning. She had been running a high fever all night and he was carrying her to the emergency room. Please note that I am in the medical field and I am VERY critical of any medical care given to any of my family members - especially my children. I am positive that she picked up some cooties from the airports she traveled through. That place is a breeding ground for stuff which explains why I chug Airborne about a week prior to traveling anywhere that requires my presence at an airport.

I had the diagnosis all figured out before he even left the house to take her there. I had it pegged that she had strep throat. WRONG! It's viral syndrome and as a mother, that is WORSE than strep. At least they can give an antibiotic for strep and within 24 hours, they are well on their way to recovery. Viral syndrome is something that you are at the mercy of and you can only sit and wait that booger out.

She continued to run a low grade fever yesterday and they will be flying in at 2:00 this afternoon. Poor baby has to travel feeling yucky. That just breaks my heart and she needs some "Mommy Love."

I will be resuming my responsibilities with the Junior Service League this year as I went "inactive" last year due to my brother's illness. Wouldn't ya know that tonight is the first kick-off meeting of the league year. And, yes, it's mandatory.

I'm certain that it will all work out. It always does. I hope she enjoyed herself this time...because she won't be going again!

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

For Fun

What is your salad dressing of choice?
Catalina but they never have that so I like French, too.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Upscale - Rossi's in Myrtle Beach

What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of?
Honey Nut Cheerios

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
beef and mushrooms

What do you like to put on your toast?
good ole' fashioned butter with strawberry jam

How many televisions are in your home?

What color cell phone do you have?
hot pink

Are you right- handed or left- handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
tonsils, 2 children, gallbladder and a mole

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A rug at the beach house.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Yes, because I am a organizational freak

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Wyn - I just LOVE that name!!

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
No way! I hate spicy. I would make Chef Ed do it. He could do it hands down!

Last run-in with a cop?
I don't think that I have ever had one.

Last person you talked to?
Chef Ed

Last person you hugged?
Anna Catherine

Favorite Season?

Used to be Christmas but since my brother is no longer here, it's really hard to enjoy any holiday.

Day of the week?'s usually something fun unless there's softball involved.

Month?'s a nice time of year in the Carolina's.

First place you went this morning?

What's the last movie you saw?
Madea goes to jail

Do you smile often?
yes, a lot

Do you always remember your phone?
Nnever leave home without it.

It's four in the morning and you get a text message. Who is it?
wrong number

If you could change your eye color, what would it be?
Hazel and they would change according to what color I was wearing.

What flavor drink do you get at Sonic?
Unsweet Tea

Do you own a digital camera?

Have you ever had a pet fish?
no and never will

Favorite Christmas Song?
Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
A Pandora bracelet.

Can you do push up?

Can you do a chin up?
Uh...nope again

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
very excited

Do you have any saved texts?

Ever been in a car wreck?

Do you have an accent?
yes, southern - more lowcountry-ish

What is the last song to make you cry?
How Great Thou Art

Plans tonight?
Not really.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Sort of. I have been very blessed, though.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
Sushi, veg all, cream cheese

Have you ever been given roses?

Current worry?
That my oldest daughter will straighten her life out and behave correctly.

Current hate right now?
My oldest daughter's boyfriend and his low life family. Was that too harsh??

Met someone who changed your life?
most certainly

How did you bring in the New Year?
asleep on the couch

What were you doing at 12am last night?

What was the first thing you thought when you woke up?
I miss my baby girl.

Now you know a few more things about me.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sad Face

I have my sad face on today. My little girl is traveling with her dad to Ohio for 5 days. Although I have been away from her, she has never been away from me out of her element.

I did better than I thought this morning when we were saying our goodbye's. I truly hope she has a great time.

Her plane hasn't left the ground and I already miss her sweet face.

Chef Ed is working all week so he won't be much company but he has the best shoulder to cry on. (Speaking of which- he went to the dermatologist yesterday and they removed a suspicious mole on his back. WTH?? I have looked over that back a ga-zillion times and I have never seen anything of interest.)

Anyway, it's gonna be a long 5 days.

Maybe I'll get a massage or something.
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