Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vacation Time!

So as some of you have heard I am going on vacation to Northern California. I am really excited about it and can't wait to see my brother. I haven't been on a real vacation since he got married....I think that was 3 years ago? Not sure. Either way it was a long time ago. I am a little bummed and very excited at the same time. The bummed part is because I won't be visiting him in Southern California where it is really warm .... I have been freezing here for awhile now and it is pretty much the same temp in Northern California right now. The excited part is that i get to go to San Francisco! I am so excited to see this city as an adult. I promise to take a million pictures and post a blog with them when I get back. So far my vacation from school has been wonderful! I have been able to hang out with most of my friends that I haven't seen in forever and managed to spend a lot of time with my family for the holidays. My house is getting there and almost clean! You know it is bad when it takes this long to get it cleaned up. I can for sure see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have 4 days left next week before I leave for California on the 8th to get it ready for vacation. A friend is staying at my house with Daddy, Stan Lee, the cats and fish. Lily and Suki are going to stay with Lily's BFF Jayme Griffin. They will all be in great hands and I can enjoy myself while I am gone and not worry about any of them. Once I get back I have to go back to work the very next day and when my work weekend is over I have a Monday off and then right back to school and my crazy busy life. Better enjoy it while I can! I hope all of you had a great Holiday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Texas Blizzard/ Christmas Photo Blog 2009

Texas is a fickle place...when it comes to the weather here anyway. December 23rd the high was 77 degrees. On December 24th the temperature dropped steadily and by noon the snow started to fall. I spent my morning from 8am to 4 pm at work where we were steady but not crazy. After work I headed to my sisters house during the worst part of the storm, I never got above 35 miles an hour an the way. There was high winds and a BUNCH of snow came down! We got 3 inches in several hours. I hate being cold so I wasn't thrilled about this weather let alone driving in it. When I drove home from my sisters at 10 pm that night the roads were basically an ice skating rink. It took me 2 hours to drive 30 miles. This trip usually takes me 25 minutes. I only got stuck once and managed to get myself out of it. I am pretty proud of myself as this is the first time in my life I had to drive on ice and I did a really good job. I got me and my pooches home safely. Here are some pictures of the day and the festivities at my Mom there are no pictures of me! I am always the one taking them. My brother in law Jade managed to get a picture of me and my dog pack so as soon as I get it I will post it!

The snow starting to accumulate, I think this was about 12:30 in the afternoon on the 24th.

I can't believe the day before this it was 77 degrees!

Snow Art!

I made it to my sisters despite the blizzard! The kids posing for me. From left to right; Thomas, Christopher, and Alanna.

My sisters tree is always beautiful this is hand blown glass.

All the stockings lined up on the family made a stocking for me this even has a little dog on it!

By the time 4:30 rolled around there was about 2 inches of snow and it was still coming down!

The dogs venture out into the snow...this was Daddy and Stan's first snowfall and the first good one for Lily and Suki in 6 years. There are no pictures of Daddy in the snow because he just stood on the porch looking pathetic the whole time. He did play in the snow but it was after it stopped falling. I guess he likes to get snowed on as much as he likes to get rained on. He is such a cream puff!

Suki making some "yellow" snow!

Lily checking it out.
Stan Loved it! He went tearing around the yard like a maniac!

A little break from running...Suki is almost up to her elbows!

Lily Loves the snow as well...she turned 11 this year and is still able to keep up with the puppy!

Stan getting a taste of the snow...Lily is getting cold already.

More romping around.

My brother-in-law Jade. I love this picture! I also took one of my sister and him together but it ended up being over exposed. I am learning alot about my camera and sometimes fail to get good shots. The real bummer is on the 2 inch preview screen it looks great and then I get it home and it looks really lame on the computer screen.

Lily is starting to get cold but it having too much fun...look at her face here.

Not too cold for one more romp around the yard with Stan Lee!

Stan was having so much fun he wouldn't come in the house even though he is freezing!

Alanna never puts the phone down.....ever.

My sister Debra working hard on our Holiday feast!

These were taken the next morning before I went to was really pretty, the snow is so sparkly in the sunlight..if you look close you can see that in one of these.

Icicles on my patio pretty but now they are gone, so is the snow. Now it is just muddy and cold. I am so happy I got to have some snow even though I complained about it the whole time and hated traveling in it. It was nice to have a "White Christmas". See you next year!

What is Christmas Anyway?

Well here we are the day after Christmas. Most of us have full bellies and tired minds from the days and weeks spent shopping, cooking and traveling to see family and friends for your chosen holiday festivities. Kids and grownups alike are having fun with new toys and the remainder of the long winter is in front of us.

Last year I wrote a somewhat scathing blog about the Christmas season that pretty much summed up my opinion of it (See "How the Stupid People Stole Christmas" December 2008). This year I have been listening to NPR in my car as I traveled to and from work and family parties on Christmas eve and day. All week NPR has featured stories about the history of Christmas as we know it today. It seems that last year, sadly, I was wrong. I decided to set the record straight here and write not only a retraction to my last years sarcastic flogging of all things Christmas, but also comment on my new found knowledge of the history of the season.

This whole celebration we now call Christmas actually began during neolithic times when the humans celebrated the winter why would people that starved and froze to death by the hundreds during this time want to celebrate? Well, they had an excess of meat lying around as they slaughtered all of their cows so they wouldn't have to feed them over the winter so there was a plethora of meat to be eaten. In addition, the beer and wine they had been fermenting all year was finally ready to be drunk so the mid winter celebration was the last big feast before the long winter started. The druids were also amazed that the conifers miraculously survived during the winter outside when everything else seemed to die so they brought them into their dwellings and decorated them...Does anyone else do this? The winter solstice also marks the reversal of the ebbing of the sun. It is the longest night of the year and so, everyday following the solstice the sun stays out longer and longer. Many cultures celebrated reversal rituals during the solstice. For example; Saturnalia, the holiday celebrated by the Romans to honor Saturn, the roman god of war, was introduced in 217 BC and was marked by the role reversals of masters and slaves, general revelry, and eating and drinking in excess. This holiday started on December 17 and lasted until December 23rd. Romans would eat, drink, gamble and celebrate for a week. Slaves were allowed to party with the masters and no one was punished during this time. Schools were closed and people made and exchanged little gifts. Does any of this sound familiar? Once the Christians took over Rome they appropriated much of this pagan holiday into what we now call Christmas so as to easier convert the pagans to Christianity. It apparently worked because we now have Christmas every year on December 25th the supposed birthday of Jesus according to the Christians of the times...the actual day of his birth is actually unknown.

I am really excited to learn about all of this as this explanation allows me the freedom to enjoy the holiday with the reckless abandon I did as a child. It seems after learning all of this, that I don't have to feel guilty about enjoying a religious holiday when I don't really believe in religion. I can enjoy it the way it was originally intended, the celebration of the middle of winter. I can revel in the fact that the sun will stay out longer each day instead of shorter. I can eat until I am going to pop and enjoy all the excess this time of year has to offer. I wonder how easy the role reversal part would be to pull off at work...

Anyway, I hope all of you had a safe and wonderful Holiday. Thank you for continuing to read the ramblings I post here and I hope you all had a happy "Saturnalia" and also a wonderful new year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fall Semester 2009.

Finally! This school year is over and I am officially on Winter break! So far I have wasted several hours playing with my Farm on Facebook, started picking up the house a little in preparation for a serious scrubbing and caught up on a couple of my episodes of House that I had saved up on the DVR. This is my third blog post in two days which is pretty awesome. The semester went great and compared to my first Fall semester it was fantastic! I was reading my blog that I wrote pretty close to the end of the 2008 Fall semester and I am amused at how stressed I was (see "On Being Tired" Nov 2008). This semester seemed easier and went by faster even though I was taking much harder classes. Most of you know, I took Human Anatomy and Physiology II plus the lab, Computer science plus a lab, and U.S. Government. I also started with Intermediate Algebra but as some of you know I had to drop it because my instructor for that class was confusing the hell out of me. I ended up with A's in A&P and Computer science and a B in Government class. I am a little bummed about the B but I tried my hardest and a B is really not a tragedy (maybe a little one). My GPA is 3.7 which I think is pretty respectable and should get me a spot in the Radiology Tech. program. I am really looking forward to my time off from school and already have some fun stuff scheduled. I am going to sleep in everyday until I don't feel like sleeping anymore and I am hoping to finish my novel I have been reading; Fyodor Dostoevskys' "The Brothers Karamazov". My brother John is going to fly me out to the California Bay Area for a five or six days in January, one of my co-workers and hopefully soon to be buddy Stephanie, has planned for a couple nights out on the town for us, another work buddie wants me to take some engagement photos in downtown Fort Worth, and I want to go see my friend Lisa and her beautiful new daughter Ava. I am also spending some time with my sister and the kiddos on Christmas Eve and some time with the rest of the family in Texas on Christmas Day. I don't have plans for New Years Eve but I am looking for something to get into. I plan on resting a lot and doing pretty much what I want when I want to. I am already looking forward to the next semester but am really going to enjoy my time off...I won't get anymore until next Winter break. Keep your eyes peeled for new and exciting blog posts. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cute Dog Photos

Winter break is upon me so that means you guys get to be inundated with new blogs and the pictures I had time to take while I was in school. Here are some recent photos of the dogs!

Daddy is so cute I never tire of taking his picture!

Stan still has a puppy face!

Stan and Suki..they like to cuddle. I can't resist the cuteness.

Billy the cat...he thinks he is a dog. I think that counts.

Stan Lee's life is really hard...I don't know how he gets through the day.

Suki was a guinea pig for one of the new kennel techs at work...even after being man handled she still manages to look cute.

Daddy is like Mc Gyver he can make anything into a bed.

Wow these guys have a hard, sleep, sunbathe, drink, sleep, eat, sunbathe, sleep in one of a million beds in the house.... it goes on and on. ( I apologize for the quality on this pic...but it is taken through the kitchen window and screen...if I tried to go outside to get this shot they would all get up and move...I think it is cute anyway)

I posted this for all of those people (who shall remain nameless) that think it is dog abuse to put them all in the same kennel...they really do sleep that close together... and of their own free will.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Photo Blog!

Hey all you blog readers, I went to Krys and Alyx' Thanksgiving fiesta after work and had a blast!(as usual) It was 82 degrees in the house but we all managed to have fun anyway. I had to take the dog pack with me so they were there as well. After we stuffed ourselves we played "Scene It" Guys against Girls...of course the girls won. I had a really great time hanging out with these guys I hardly get to see them at all since my schedule is so crazy and they go to bed at 8:30 during the week. Here are some pics of the antics and drama! Hope you all enjoy!

Alyx and Christopher chillin on the sofa. I can't believe Alyx let me take her picture!

One of the few times Stan Lee wasn't moving...he was really good but he just hardly laid down or was still for that matter.

Alyx and her Brother Josh...they spent a lot of time looking at his phone...I am totally unsure as to why.

Still with the phone! As Alyx would say CHEAP!

Krys, cooking us up some LOVE!

Josh still on the phone...even Alyx gave up on it! The dogs really liked Josh...which I guess he didn't notice because at the end of the night he told me that daddy wouldn't come near him!

This was how Stan Lee spent most of the time I was there...the good thing was he slept for about 36 hours after!

Don't hate! The crust may be burnt but that was some awesome pie...I think because of all the love that was in it (I don't ever eat the crust anyway).

Alyx hates her picture taken...little did she know that I have others....

Lily likes to stay out of the way at holiday gatherings (insert sarcasm here)...I think she secretly wants to off us and get the Turkey....she was trying to trip us one at a time.

The Turkey emerges from the oven. That is Audrey's behind and Alyx in the Farve jersey (this jersey caused much testosterone exchange later in the evening)

A final basting...almost done.


Taking a rest before he is devoured!

Daddy stayed out of the way like a good boy.

Alanna was texting the whole time...she said she wasn't texting Logan(who was in the same house) but we didn't believe her.

Suki made a new friend...Logan Audrey's daughter.

Oh look... Josh is still messing with the phone!

Josh finally got off the phone to come eat some turkey...he decided to eat the leg and after much toil he ended up with just a bone. (Krys and Alyx seem to be afraid of it)

Audrey doesn't want to eat that!

This was hilarious! Josh is so proud of himself!

Alanna and Logan BFF's

Of course everyone is still eating and Krys aka Felix Unger is cleaning like a mad person! (notice Logan has pie)

I had such a great time (I had to mention it again) I can't wait to hang out with these guys again at Christmas..hopefully there will be more antics and drama...with this bunch it is inevitable. Happy Thanksgiving all!