Monday, October 30, 2006

Fall Festival

Saturday night, Georgia made her acting debut in the Fall Festival Worst Talent Show Ever. These are pictures of her in her clown costume before the show. Her act was supposed to include catching balls, a few tricks, and the Hokey Pokey. Dave decided to forgo the ball part of the routine because it got her a little too hyped up. When they came out, he took her on a lap around the crowd so everyone could see her and so she would focus once they got on stage. On stage, she did Sit, Down, Spin, Up, and catching treats in the air. They ended with the Hokey Pokey, which they did twice because the crowd loved it. I think all 200 people were singing the Hokey Pokey for her. She did wonderfully!! Only once did she try to lick a little boy, but that’s because he came in late and sat on the floor on the front row. Otherwise, she stayed right with Dave the whole time and did everything he told her. He got some really good, smelly treats to keep her attention, and they worked like a charm.

I was able to video her while they were practicing backstage, but I only got her entering the stage for the actual show. I promised Dave I would run interference in case she decided to run through the crowd, so I had to turn off the camera once he took her off the leash. It wasn’t necessary because she did great, but you never know. These videos are only a few seconds long, and there isn’t any sound because I took them with my digital camera.
Catching balls:
Hokey Pokey (sing the song in your head):
Entering the stage:

Georgia only got to go to the Fall Festival for her part of the talent show. We were going to let her stay and socialize with the kiddies after, but she was the first act and the crowd got really loud after she left the stage. She looked miserable with her ears back because of the noise, so Dave took her home.

I had to paint kid faces for the remainder of the evening, and that was a pretty funny job. Those kids wanted every exposed surface of their bodies painted. I had to tell some of them no. The first kid who sat down in front of me wanted camouflage. I said, “Camouflage what? Your whole face?” He nodded. I told him I would do his cheeks. Note, I’ve never painted anything camouflage and it wasn’t on our poster of things we could paint. When I finished splotching him up with green and black, I said, “I hope it looks like camouflage.” Dave said he saw him later and he thought that his paint had just gotten smeared. Oh well. Painting kid faces is interesting, especially when you have a really tiny kid and they pick a big design. It’s fun to try to figure out how to fit an airplane on a tiny kid face - especially when you don’t do airplanes well at all. Hmm. I think most of them got painted just because they like the attention, because they just kept coming back until there was nothing left to paint. Even after all the other booths had been cleaned up, we still had a line for face painting. I finally started telling them they wouldn’t have time to scrub it all off before church the next morning. Dave got a mustache painted on his face, but he washed it off right after. There were some jokes about body painting and leaving that at home, and I think it go the better of him. (Apparently, it made me turn pink, too. I HATE that.) All in all, we had a great time at the Fall Festival. All the kids were cute in there costumes, and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Sunday, we took Georgia to the baseball fields to play. She ran herself crazy chasing the football while we were throwing it. She’s not allowed to put her mouth on it, or play with it at all unless we are, so it’s her favorite kind of ball. She goes nutty for a football. She loves the wide open space, that’s why we take her to the baseball field where we can contain her and just let her run. She was running around like a wild thing. We also taught her how to play on the playground equipment at the park. I wish I had taken my camera for that part, because she learned how to slide down the slides and climb back up them again. I think she’d be a good agility dog – because agility courses are basically just playground equipment broken up into separate stations.

The sweet kittens are locked in the house until Halloween is over. Let’s just say that they aren’t so sweet when they are all locked inside together. They are bored out of their gourds, and so they pick at each other. Like children, I guess. I’ve been trying to provide them with distractions, and it works for a minute, but then we get back to hissing and spitting and growling. Two more days…. The good news is that they have all been using the litter box – I was worried about that since they’ve been going out to potty. Let’s all just hope there are no protests before they are allowed to go out again. I think they are trying to get kicked out of the house, too. Last night I caught Jewel E. trying to re-file Dave’s file folders in his office. She was using her sweet kitten hands to pull the hanging folders out of the plastic bin and she was trying to pull the papers out of the folders. I later caught her on the brink of jumping on the counter, and when I scolded her she narrowed her eyes and flipped her tail at me. She hates my guts right now. Oh well, it’s for her safety. As crazy as you may think I am, there is usually evidence of Satanism and animal sacrifices found around our town after Halloween, and I’m just not taking the chance of someone stealing one of mine (especially Squirt!) for such a purpose. Many shelters don’t adopt out black cats during October for that reason, and so mine aren’t allowed outside until it’s over. Plus, the trick-or-treat traffic will be heavy and I don’t want to worry about them getting run over.

I guess that’s all I have to report.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Feathered Friends

I wasn't going to post again until after the Fall Festival, but a funny thing happened today.

Dave called me this afternoon to tell me there was a bird in the house. Yes, in the house! I know, some of you are already thinking, "She shouldn't have left that window open for the cats." Well, you're right. Just last week Dave told me, "I'm going to come home one day and there's going to be an animal in here that doesn't belong." :) How right he was!! (I'm still trying not to laugh while I sit here typing.) While I was out of town, he kept the window closed to prevent this sort of thing.

So, there was a bird in the house. More specifically, in his office where he was going to work. He was slightly freaked out about it. I promptly and calmly told him, "You need to go in there and open the windows, then shut the door so it will fly outside and not into the rest of the house." I'm thinking: keep it contained and give it an escape route. He says, "I can't go in there with it!!" Then he proceeded to give me a play-by-play of the birds activities: he's on the fan! he's on my chair! he's on the bookcase! he's just flying around in there!

Me: "Dave, he's scared and trying to get out. You have to open a window for him."
Dave: "I can't go in there with it!!"
Me: "You have to let it out of the house."
Dave: "How do I get it out of there?!"

Rinse and repeat. Oh, at some point he told me it might peck him. :)

Finally, the bird landed on one side of the room, so he ran in and opened the window for it. It flew right out.

Two things:
1) WHERE were my useless, hunting kittens? Outside hunting, I'm sure. After exiting the open window through which the bird entered the house in the first place. Definitely I'm not allowed to leave the window open anymore. :)
2) Thank GOODNESS Georgia was on a play date today, because I cannot imagine the chaos that would have ensued if she had been there to help her daddy. :)

Side note:
When I related this story to Rebecca via email, this is what she had to say about it:
"I wouldn't have gone in there either . . . I would have closed the door and waited for someone else to come and let it out." Did I mention that Rebecca has a bird phobia? It might not be a full-fledged phobia, but she's had plenty of traumatizing bird (and one bat) experiences. Which is why I knew she would enjoy Dave's story. :)

Why do these things happen when I'm not there?! As long as it wasn't a snake, I think I would enjoy the unexpected surprise of finding an unauthorized animal in the house. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cold Weather Makes Us Snuggly

Okay, so the picture of Squirt is not snuggly, but I had to share it because there are so few good pictures of him. He always runs from the camera or stares right at it so that his eyes are glowing. Dave took this picture of him while he was sitting outside on the sill of the window that I leave open for them. Dave was standing inside the window and he stuck the camera out to take the picture; it turned out a lot better than I expected.

On to snuggling... I took this picture of Dave and Georgia when I got out of the shower Saturday night. Apparently they both had a big day Saturday. The cats have been staying out at night and during the day, but they come in for breakfast and dinner, and they stay longer for naps since it's been cold outside. This morning was one of those rare occasions when they were all inside at the same time. Jewel was snuggled on the back of the couch, Gypsy was following me around as usual, and Squirt was missing. I knew right where to find him. He was under the bed, in the liner of the box spring, right in front of the vent - getting warm as toast. :) Gypsy found him, too, and joined him under there. Gypsy is my number one snuggler and we haven't been to bed without her since the weather turned cool. Now she's even snuggling deep down between our pillows, rather than lying on top of me all night. She's quite the little heater.

The cold makes me snuggly, too. I sleep so well when it's cool outside. Dave freezes to death, of course. The only time that man is cold is while he's sleeping - which happens to be the only time that I'm sweating through my clothes. We've been sleeping with the window open (I think he's going to overrule me and make me shut it tonight), and I have not wanted to get up in the mornings because the bed is snuggly warm. Plus, the sun isn't shining when the alarm goes off. It should be against the law to have to get up while it's still dark outside.

Georgia LOVES cold weather. She's the only one of us that isn't snuggly. In fact, she's a wild beast right now because the weather has energized her. It only makes sense because she's built for the cold, but good grief it's hard to keep up with her when the weather cools off. It gets even harder when the sun only shines while we are at work, so she doesn't get good play time. That means cold, cold walks in the dark after work - which she loves and I shiver through. :) She wants to be outside all the time when it's cold, and she wants us to be out there with her - like we are in the summer. When it's warm. :)

How many times did I write "snuggly" in this post? :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fast Cars and Freedom

Fast Cars and Freedom is a great song by Rascal Flatts; you should look it up and give it a listen. It’s also the theme of my weekend.

We’ll start with fast cars. Rebecca’s boyfriend (he has officially graduated from boyfriend-type to boyfriend) and his roommate drive fast cars. They both have Nissan 350Zs. They also both race their fast cars. We spent Saturday afternoon at their house, and the evening ended with Nathan, Rebecca’s boyfriend, taking me for a ride. I am not at liberty to say how fast we actually drove, but suffice it to say it was FUN! I have to admit I was nervous, but not because I didn’t trust his driving. I kept thinking what if a dog or a child or a person runs out in front of us? What if a car pulls out in front of us? It was just slightly nerve-wracking (which made it all the more exciting in my twisted mind). I have to believe that someone who hadn’t actually learned how to race would have killed us both. I’d love to ride with him on a race track where I wouldn’t have to worry about dogs and kids and people and other cars. I don’t think I could ever drive that way, but I can understand why they do it. Oh, and I was praying the whole time.

Now for the freedom portion of the weekend. I spent Friday night and Saturday morning at a Ladies’ Retreat at the Springville Camp and Conference Center. Our keynote speaker was Caroline Jones, who is a consultant with the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). She spent 10 years as a missionary in Chile, and she had a lot to share about her experience there and her life as a Christian. The theme of the retreat was Fill My Cup, Lord – and I believe I left there with my spiritual cup filled. It’s not overflowing yet, but I’m working on that. You see, when I allow the Lord to fill my cup with his love to the point of overflowing, I will be able to spread His love to the people around me. That’s important to me because I am excited about the way the Lord is working in my life and blessing me and my family. It’s news that should be shared so that other people will know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and be freed from the worries of this world.

I learned some things about myself this weekend. I am a prideful person, I like to worry, I think mean thoughts about people before I really know them, the list could go on and on. Because these things were filling my cup instead of God’s love, the people around me see just me and not my Lord shining through me. It’s only through the grace of God that I can be the person he wants me to be (and the person that I want to be).

I went to two workshops, one about moving outside of my comfort zone and one about managing stress. I needed them both. This post is WAY outside of my comfort zone – which is why I decided to share my weekend with you. Stress and my humanly faults act as a barrier between myself and God. When my heart is full of sin, I cannot pray with a faithful and loving spirit and I do not act with a faithful and loving spirit. This means that I need to confess and repent over and over and over again all day long every day, because I’m telling you that I really struggle! I love to worry, and worrying is the same as telling God that I don’t trust him to take care of me. You know what? He does take care of me. He’s showed me time and again that He will resolve the sticky situations I get myself into, that He will meet my financial and physical needs even when it seems impossible to me, and He answers my prayers when I ask Him with a right spirit. Yet, I still worry because I’m prideful and I like to try to handle everything without help.

The stress management workshop was great. We learned the Theory of the Orange. It goes like this: everyone has an orange (the orange is a representation of your self) and stress affects that orange by putting pressure on it. Stress can apply so much pressure that it has a physical effect on us, often making us sick. Sometimes it gets so heavy that we are disfigured by it – our orange is crushed to pulp and juice and is no longer an orange at all. Then we discussed internal stressors and external stressors. Internal stressors are things that I do to myself (like degrade myself about a mistake I made or worry about my weight or cause conflict, etc). Essentially, when you apply stress to yourself, you are squishing your own orange. External stressors are things that you cannot control (death, accidents, an unexpected bill, sick kids, etc). There will always be external stressors. The lesson we learned is that we should quit squishing our own orange with the things we can change, and we should step back and let the Lord protect our orange from our external stressors. (You see how my problem with worry fits here?) All we have to do is trust Him, give Him our problems, let Him do the worrying for us, and He will. What a load off! If you want to read more about what the Lord will do for you if you let Him, check out Proverbs 3. It’s powerful and freeing.

So why is freedom a theme from the weekend? Because I offered up my selfish burdens and refocused on my relationship with the Lord. I left that retreat hungry for more of Him. I’ve spent more time in prayer in the past two days than I had in the two weeks prior. I’ve been freed from my stress and worry because I got a good reminder that God will handle it for me, and I started reapplying that to my life. The stress headache I’ve had for weeks is gone, and I slept better Saturday night than I have in a long time. I slept so hard that I drooled on my pillow!! That’s not normal (for me anyway).

If I’ve offended you, let me know because I’d love to pray for you. If you want to know more about my relationship with God or how you can have one, too, let me know because I’d love to share with you – and I’ll be praying that God gives me the words because that is also WAY out of my comfort zone.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

For Dave

Ladies and Gentlemen, the love of my life finally makes an appearance.

Dave, thank you for that. You are so good to me, and I am not worthy of such praise.

P.S. I fixed your typo. No worries. :)

George of the Jungle

I finally caught Georgia in her jungle (the weed bed behind our laundry room) for a few minutes while she was taking a break from playing frisbee this morning, so I thought I would post these pictures to surprise Amanda. She doesn't think that I read the blog, so hopefully she will be caught off guard a little by this post.

I don't really know who all reads this site, so I will be careful what I say. I know that some of our immediate family "checks the blog" pretty regularly, but I also saw a comment from some guy from another country, and I don't need for him to know all of my innermost feelings.

I will take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about your author, as I notice that Amanda devotes very little time to herself. Amanda is an extremely intelligent person. She is not one of those goofy smart people that you can't have a conversation with, but rather holds a quiet and reserved confidence and intelligence. She loves to read and believes that reading is fundamental. She believes that if there is something to read about a topic, she can figure it out (See "Bathroom Remodel" posts).

Amanda gives selflessly to her family - be they the skinned ones or the furry ones. She is always concerned with the problems loved ones are facing. Her empathy is amazing. She is my source of inspiration and discipline. She motivates me to be a better person and reigns me in when I get too far out of line.

For those of you who have had the privilege of meeting Amanda, I am sure that I am not telling you anything that you don't already know. For those of you who just like to read blogs of people you have never met, you are scary and should probably be in prison.

Suffice it to say that the author of your blog here is a special person and I am glad to be spending my life with her. I am the luckiest man in the world because I have met and married the woman that God made just for me. I know that there is no such thing as perfection on earth, but it is hard to imagine a life or a wife much better than the ones I have been blessed with.

So ya'll enjoy reading about what you're missing out on. I'll be spending every day soaking up the memories and living a story more splendid than any fairy tale.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sleeping Beauties

In case you've been dying for an inside look at my household after 9:00 p.m., this is it. :) We are happily boring. Photographs of the sweet kitten are rare these days, and this one just proves that she only comes inside to eat and nap. I think she's been skipping the eating part lately because she's gotten quite skinny.

Since it's been cool at night, we've been sleeping with our windows open in the bedroom. Squirt Monster has been staying outside at night (because that's when the good fights happen). The other morning, the alarm went off at 5:30 a.m., followed by a bang that made us say, "What was that? What was that?" Then the Squirt yelled in his sissy voice at the window. He jumped up there (banging on the window in the process) to tell me to get up and let him in, since he knew the alarm had already gone off. I told him to walk around to the window that doesn't have a screen, because I hit the Snooze button and wasn't getting up yet. He waited until I got up and opened the door for him. He's such a weirdo. I guess he forgot that he could come in through the window, though he exits the house through it all the time.

Another morning, we woke up suddenly at 5:30 (on a weekend, so we didn't have the alarm set) because Georgia was barking her fool head off. Barking in the middle of the night gets us up quickly because she just doesn't do that unless something is wrong. We both jumped out of bed and ran to see what was going on. She was standing at the back door barking, seemingly, at the porch floor. Upon further inspection, we found Squirt sitting at the door, crying to get in. He's so black that we could barely see him in the dark, but she knew he was there, crying. She's the best cat sitter.

Oh, and Squirts don't like the rain. When I got home from work last night, the door was open for them to come and go, but my Squirt Man was snuggled deep in the pillows on my bed. He stayed there most of the night, and I had to move him at bed time. This morning, it took him a long time to decide to go outside. He stood at the door, taking a few steps out and then running back inside, over and over again. He's been fairly active and amusing lately - normally we don't see much of him at all and when we do, he's sleeping. I think he's enjoying the cooler weather.

Let's talk about my crazy fool of a dog for a minute. Last night it rained steadily all night. She played frisbee at full speed in the rain for at least an hour. This morning I had to escort her into the rainy backyard, stand with her, and make her poop because she doesn't like to potty in the rain. I ask you, what is the difference?

No people news to report this time. We are just chugging along, waiting for a vacation. :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blogging from Indy

I'm in Indianapolis this week trying to finish up a form. It's going, but not as smoothly as I would like. Oh well, it never does. It has to be finished when we leave here Friday, though, because the client needs to approve it ASAP. Just another bit of crazybusy work. I'm glad I can say I really like my job. As crazy as it gets, I have fun doing it.

Kudos to Dave who's been doing all my chores since work has been so busy. He's so good to me. I haven't done laundry in three weeks, and he cleaned the house last weekend because I just didn't have time. I intended to fit it in sometime, but when I got home Friday evening he had already done it. I love him. :) Plus, he makes me laugh like a crazy person, and that's always fun.

We took Georgia to the Fire Prevention Parade Saturday morning. Montevallo is sort of famous for having a parade for everything. :) I have to say that the Fire Prevention Parade is probably the neatest one. It's always the first Saturday in October, and they have fire trucks from all over central Alabama in it. It's also the loudest parade. Georgia didn't enjoy the sirens, and she wanted to bark at the band members' hats (I think, she's developed a thing about funny hats), but she LOVED the kids and their breakfasts. We took her because we knew she would have a blast with all those kids and the food and candy everywhere. She ate entirely too much junk, but hey, it was a parade. She loves candy just like kids do.

We also took her to PetsMart in an attempt to find a Halloween costume for her to wear in the Fall Festival Worst Talent Show Ever. Apparently only tiny dogs are allowed to dress up for Halloween this year, because they didn't have anything in her size. Daddy gave me the idea to make her a clown outfit, and I think that's what I'm going to do. She wears a t-shirt really well, so I'm formulating a plan for turning one into a clown suit. It's crazy how much I miss that dog when I'm traveling.

We were planning to dress her up to give out candy to trick-or-treaters, too, but now I'm not so sure that's a good plan. The other day my brother came walking into the room wearing a scary mask, and I thought she was going to bite him. Really. Her hair stood on end and she barked her serious bark at him. Then she did it again when he came in a few days later in a cowboy hat and funny teeth. I don't know why he's wearing a costume every time I see him lately. :) Oh yeah, it's Homecomeing week. Anyway, I don't think it's a good idea to let her answer the door on Halloween since she barks like a mean beast when she sees funny head gear. We'll see what happens.

We also went to Zander's 1st birthday party Saturday night. He's my first cousin once removed. :) That means he's my first cousin's son, in case you aren't familiar with Southern genealogy - I wasn't until my Grandmama explained it to me. Anyway, Zander is a cutie pie, and when he laughs he sounds like a duck quacking. It sounds so funny, I almost think he's faking it because everyone else is laughing. Do one-year-olds do things like that? It was very cute. His big sister, Morgan, was off the hook with excitement at having a house full of kids to play with. That child is beautiful and a fireball, just like her daddy. They are going to have their hands full with her when she starts dating.

Cat news: Gypsy's reign of terror has reared it's ugly head again. I really think she just enjoys getting the best of Jewel E., and it's kind of funny to watch. What's not funny is waking suddenly in the middle of the night with a furry ball of hissing, spitting cat flying at your head because it's running from a terror-inspiring little pygmy. Gypsy is the tiniest full grown cat I've ever seen, but she's a street cat and apparently she knows exactly how to terrorize Jewel. She plays rough. :)

That's all I've got for now. I need to do some reading. I've just started Same Sweet Girls, by Cassandra King. It's really good so far, and it's based on the author's experience at the Alabama College for Girls (now known as the University of Montevallo - for those who aren't local). Cassandra King is also the wife of Pat Conroy, who is probably my favorite author ever. For those two reasons, I couldn't pass it up. I recommend it if you need some entertaining reading.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Busy Life

These pictures are from the baby shower I coordinated over the weekend. I made a diaper cake to use for the centerpiece on the food tables, and it was also our gift to the new baby. It turned out really cute, and the mom-to-be loved it. The centerpieces for the tables were little duck ponds: rubber ducks floating in glass bowls of water. The kids loved them! There were also rubber ducks floating in the punch bowl. The cake that my mom made turned out beautifully and it tasted great. I think I’ll consider this shower a success. Next up: Pastor Appreciation Night. I’ll be out of town for that one, but I’m getting everything ready ahead of time so someone can just facilitate it. October is going to be a busy month at church. There’s Pastor Appreciation Night, the Ladies Overnight Retreat, and the Fall Festival, plus various prep meetings for things that are planned for November. Time is going to fly by, but I’m sure it will be fun.

What’s been going on? It seems that Squirt has become quite the fighter lately. It’s not uncommon to hear bone-chilling cat screams from the great outdoors late at night and early in the mornings. There was one this morning, actually, and it was loud enough to freak us all out a little. He came right inside when I turned on the lights. Upon inspection, Dave found another sore on his belly. This one seems to be healing up without any help from me, but I’m still doctoring the one on his shoulder. It looks better, but he’s still picking at it on occasion.

The cats have really been enjoying the cool weather lately. They have a new pet door, courtesy of Georgia. She didn’t realize the screen was shut the other day and busted right through the bottom of it. I decided to leave it like that so the animals can come and go as they please – and they have taken full advantage of it. Jewel E. Cat followed us to Daddy’s house for family dinner the other night. He has a new screened-in porch. With her mastery of pet doors, she quickly learned how to use the pet flap in the screen porch door. That is, until Fat Tasha (my parent’s cat) came onto the porch with her and inspired a fit of panic in Jewel E. to escape the porch. She was trying so hard to get off the porch that she couldn’t remember where the flap was, and she kept butting her head up against the screen at random spots, trying to find the flap. In the midst of my laughter, I picked her up and put her through the flap, thus saving her life for the evening. It was quite funny.

Georgia played with Lucy all day yesterday, and she was still so tired this morning that she wouldn’t get off the bed, so we made it up around her. I thought she would get out once we put the pillows on, but she circled up tighter with plans to stay there under the covers for a while. We left the room and Dave called out, “So, do you want to go visit Lucy today?” I thought she would hurt herself trying to get out of the made bed. Needless to say, it needed to be remade. Georgia is going to be a star soon, too. She and Dave are going to do the Hokey Pokey at the Fall Festival talent show for the kids. We are taking her this weekend to pick out a costume at PetsMart. I just hope she doesn’t get stage fright.

Dave, Dave, Dave – he’s such a kid. Last night we were lying in bed, chatting about the day like we normally do. The lights were out, I was very sleepy, and he was wired from having just finished a motion to continue for court today. He was chattering away about various and sundry things, and I was trying to stay awake to listen. His chatter started to slow down and taper off and I was almost asleep when he busted out with, “So, how about a verse or two of There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly?” I probably laughed for about ten minutes – the snorting, crying, unable to breathe kind of laughter. And yes, I sang There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly for him. His favorite part is how the spider wriggles and wriggles and jiggles inside her. He’s not right.

An update on the honorary member of my household (my sister, Rebecca, in case anyone missed that reference) – she has a new boyfriend-type. I say boyfriend-type because I don’t know if he’s really her boyfriend yet, but they’ve been seeing a lot of each other and he’s met the family. I only mention him to introduce a disgusting and funny story about my sister. He rode in her car last night and when they came in he was talking about the nasty smell in it. Apparently, there were some decomposing French fries in there and he didn’t find the aroma appealing. This led her to tell the story of The Lost Taco.

While she was still driving her old car, she and her Lucky’s coworkers ordered Mexican food for dinner one night. The specifically sent Rebecca to pick it up because she would make sure the order was correct. One of her coworker’s orders included a taco. When she got back to Lucky’s with the food she couldn’t find it, and everyone assumed they had just left it out of the order. A week or so later, her car started to stink. Three weeks later, someone hit her car and she put it in the shop to have it fixed. The guy who worked on it commented on the smell. He thought it smelled like old pizza – and he reassured her that he knew what old pizza smelled like. :) The day after she picked the car up, she decided to clean it out. Guess what she found? You got it, The Lost Taco – it was hiding between the passenger seat and the door. I laughed hysterically while she was telling the story. The new boyfriend-type is glad that he didn’t know her when The Lost Taco story happened. I’m glad I never got in her car during those four weeks. Blech.

There’s been lots of laughter lately. That’s a good thing. I needed it after the last two weeks at work. We just finished the biggest release of the year last Friday night at 8 pm. In the last two weeks, I put in over 100 hours at the office. It was exhausting. I spent last week with the QA team (that’s Quality Assurance, for those who don’t know). QA is the last step in the software development life cycle before the product is given to the client. It is the responsibility of the QA team to thoroughly test the software to assure that it works and that it meets the needs of the client. I am grossly understating when I say that it’s a BIG job. It’s very fast paced and high pressure. Mix in a little frustration and the long hours, and it quickly becomes a hard job. So, I spent last week testing with the QA team, and I was nearly at my breaking point when we left Friday evening. I'm really not cut out for that kind of hours. I just want to say thanks to my QA and coworkers, because I know that I couldn’t do that job full time, and they are great at what they do. Good job guys, and happy 9.0!

That’s enough for now. Maybe this will appease my audience members who’ve pestered me about updating. Really, I haven’t had time until now.