March 31, 2009

Make-up... CHEAP!

I'm a Sephora devotee... I love all the brands that I find on there, and the quality (and perks!) is awesome.

However, my fabulous cousin Kirstren sent me a little nugget of information. It seems that Nordstrom's is repackaging all of their cosmetics. As a result everything branded as their e.l.f (eyes, lips, face) line is being sold off. That means good stuff - CHEAP!! Most of it is only a $1.00.

So do yourself and your tax rebate (Oh, you know you're gonna spend it anyway) a favor and swing by to check it out.

In addition, use the coupon code CAROLINA and get up to $7.50 off (they are giving 50% off up to the first $15 of your purchase). Get shopping ladies!!

Tuesdays at the Table

Happy Tuesday! That means it's time to partake in Andrea's bloggy recipe/food tip/product review party.

Please join in if you'd like...and link back to Andrea too!


Lemon Squares

2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup margarine

Let margarine soften then mix all three ingredients together and press the crumbly mix into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat eggs slightly, then add other ingredients. Mix well and pour over crust (cooled for a few minutes). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool, then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and cut into bars.

I promise...I won't do another desert next week!!

March 30, 2009

They Like Me; They Really Like Me!

Many, many thanks to Casey and Janet for my very first awards!! You both made my kinda crappy weekend bearable. Plus getting your first awards (in one weekend!) is really cool.

The AWESOME Casey tagged me with..

For which I am supposed to list seven things I love. That's an easy one! I love- puppies, caffeine, a good glass of Riesling, Internet shopping, the Spring, down pillows and my friends/family.

The very cool Janet tagged me with:

This one requires ten honest things about myself. Ugh! Here we go.

1. I have a problem with squishy foods. Pudding, yogurt, jello... YUCK.

2. I think I'm the only person in the world (other than JC) who doesn't like chocolate cake.

3. I have an obsession with ice. I MUST have access to ice at all times.

4. My family has dictated that I never go to Florida on my own EVER again. The last two times I was there I brought home dogs.

5. I have amazing navigational skills. I can get just about anywhere...except in my home town. There, I get lost if I go more than two miles away from my house.

5. I'm at Barnes & Noble so much that they know my name.

6. I keep a toothbrush in my office so I can brush after every meal.

7. I'm passive for the most part...but VERY passionate about certain issues.

8. Most of my friends and family have never heard me swear. But in my mind, I have the mouth of a truck- driver (or your basic soldier after boot camp; your choice!).

9. None of my FaceBook friends know I have a blog.

10. I'd like to be a stay at home mom some day. But... seeing as I'm neither married or have kids, I'm in no rush.

I tag:





A Sassy Engineer

Anyone else who wants to have these snazzy awards!! (And I apologize that my blog is a little stretched out. I'm having a little spacing issue...grr)

March 27, 2009

We're NOT Going Clubbing in Uzbekistan

I'm a people person, and really like to take a few minutes now and then to just watch. It's just fascinating to be around folks who don't think you're really paying attention.

My office is quite diverse, which is a wonderful thing. There are roughly 350 of us crammed into two floors of our building.

Lately, I've noticed this one clique of ladies. From what I understand, they all originally came from the same region of Uzbekistan. As this clique has formed... they all seem to be prodding each other to wear some pretty outlandish stuff.

Today featured (names changed to protect the not-so-innocent):
"Sourpuss"- wearing black tights (I'm fairly certain that she thought they were leggings...with um, feet), a gold lame blouse and an orange bra. Really, I shouldn't know what color bra you have on!!
"Red" - wearing the shortest skirt I've ever seen, a vintage Doors t-shirt, leg warmers, and sandals WITH SOCKS!
"Bubbles" - sporting an all white ensemble; stilettos, painted on jeans, bustier and cropped jean jacket.
"Shades" - a bedazzled pair of black dress pants and a see through purple top.

Yeah, I should also mention that these ladies are all in their 40's and have taken to 1980's big hair as part of their new look too. While our office doesn't have a real rigid dress code...people also need to realize that we're part of a Fortune 25 company. It's not professional (by ANY stretch of the imagination), but it's FUN TO WATCH!!

March 26, 2009

Notes From Beckett's Crate

Hi, I'm Beckett and my momma has already posted some cute pictures of me.

Poor momma is on the verge of hysterical laughter/crying as she copes with trying to find money at work (oh, and that one of her Ops staff has gone out on emergency medical leave starting TODAY), so I'm writing today's post for her.

While she toils away at work (poor sucker...or, um... momma), I have a big day planned. Carmella is going to break me and Meadow out of our crate. We already have a scheme on how to get our little butts over the baby gates and into the living room to watch us some Animal Planet!! We DVR'd the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, so that's on the agenda too. Of course, we can't lounge all day so Meadow is going to set up an obstacle course through the house too.

Carmella says she'll flip a biscuit to determine who's in charge of clean-up following our shenanigans. I bet I lose! Those girls love watching me be all domestic. :-)

Have a ruffy day; hopefully momma will be a little more sane by tomorrow night!

March 25, 2009

It's Kinda Like a Treasure Hunt

Oh, I just love the end of our fiscal year. All the deadlines and chaos make us all so... cheerful and energetic. *POOF* There goes today's delusion bubble - and we're back to reality!

I apologize in advance for the rant in which I am about to deliver.

Ok, senior leadership team... did you REALLY think I was kidding you when I said something is wrong with our revenue recognition process 9 months ago?!?! Did ya??? Were the numerous emails I sent you asking for help funny?

I implore you; PLEASE explain to me why on God's green earth you decide NOW that I'm actually FREAKING RIGHT!!! Further more, explain to me what the hell you're smoking... To think that I can now find almost a million dollars BY.MY.SELF!!!! Oh, and while were at it - give me a detailed description of how I'm supposed to lead my team, do my actual job and still find all this money with 3 days left in the fiscal year. Ugh...

Someone hand me coffee, chocolate and a margarita - I don't care in what order. :-)

March 24, 2009

The Good-Bye Girl

Being a military family, it means that saying "good-bye" is a common occurrence. While JC is the one I focus on...he is far from being the only member of my family currently serving across various branches (um, everything but the Coast Guard) of the military.

From experience I know that each of these people have just ONE person that they have to say good-bye to last. For JC - that person is me. Don't get me wrong... he LOVES our parents, and has some lifelong friends that are hard to leave. But for some reason, I'm the one that get the honor of being the last to let go.

This morning I brought JC back to the airport and he starts the long journey back to Afghanistan. I can't explain it, but it was harder watching him leave this time than when all my guys left in December. On the bright side - I know the guys he's going back to. I love them; they're great. They truly are family to me.

While I wait for them all to come home... I could sure use a hug!

March 23, 2009

Tuesdays at the Table

My new bloggy friend - Andrealeigh is starting Tuesday's at the Table. I love to cook, plus I think she has an amazing idea. So here goes... I'm starting simple.


Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
1 package Butterscotch chips (11.75 oz, I believe)
1 heaping cup of Peanut Butter (your choice!)
6 cups Rice Crispies

In a microwave safe bowl, slowly melt your butterscotch chips. Once nice and melted (no bumps), mix in your peanut butter.

Then slowly add your rice crispies. Your last addition will mean a little bit of a work out.

Turn out into a lightly greased 9x11 pan and refrigerate for an hour or until set.

Cut into bars and enjoy!

*Note: While you may be tempted to use low-fat peanut butter... I advise against it. The consistency changes. Use the good stuff and ENJOY!*

Scarves...And Bath Time

As I mentioned last week, my crew of trainers is descending on the office this week. Well, they have arrived and I'm already certain that I'm not going to get anything accomplished this week! It's a good thing they are cute. Hahaha!

I bestowed upon them the gift of scarves this morning. As much as I'm sure they liked the handiwork - it was mighty cold today, and most of them are from warm climates. They were thrilled to see something to keep them warm!! Below are a few pics that I took this morning. Please forgive Beckett's muzzle in the lower right corner. What can I say...he's nosy. :-)

The highlight of the weekend was bathtime for the dogs. They are so small that it's easy for me to groom them myself. :-) My poor drowned doxies!! Hahaha!

My soggy little Meadow!

Beckett, realizing it's easier to just let me shampoo him and get it over with. :-)

Smiling for the camera; I survived Momma's bath time!

March 20, 2009

All Things Vampire Related

I think that I might be addicted to vampires...and I'm beginning to wonder if they have 12-step program for it. In my mind a meeting for it would go a little like this:

Me: Hi. My name is Cole, and I'm addicted to Vampires.
Group: Welcome, Cole.
Me: It's been 2 weeks since I last read the Twilight series.
Group: *Round of applause*
Me: I'm feeling the pressure; Twilight is available on DVD in just 2 hours. I've already ordered it online from Barnes & Noble...but I think that I might need to go wait in line for an emergency copy from BestBuy.
Group: You really need two copies?
Me: No, not really... but maybe, just maybe the extra copy could be part of my first give away?!?!
Group: Oh, that's a different story. To the cars's a late night field trip!!

Yes, I know that I'm delusional. :-) It's not just Twilight though... For years, I've had an affinity for Anne Rice novels. Plus CBS made me ecstatically happy last year when they aired (the short lived series) Moonlight. Really, Alex O'Loughlin makes one HOT vampire!

Am I alone on my affinity for Twilight (both books and DVD)? I think that the hopeless romantic part of me likes that there's the possibility of FOREVER with someone you love.

What do you think? Could you deal with your hubby FOREVER? Or maybe just a good hundred years?!?!

March 19, 2009

But I want a pretty blog too!

When I started this blog, I made a deal with myself... I either need to get 25 followers or hit my 100th post before I can indulge my desire to get someone to design me a pretty blog background.

I wish I had the talent to do it myself...and while I have MANY talents; HTML code isn't one of them.

So, as I sit here and try to renegotiate with myself (while I'm generally a patient person, there are some things I just, NOW)- I want to know who you had design your blogs. Really! Some of you have totally kick-ass blog backgrounds!! :-)

Please, please (and thank you!) share with me.

March 18, 2009

I'm a Knit-Wit

You might have read my earlier post about being an insomniac. One of the many things I do whilst NOT sleeping is knitting. Somehow, I got in my head that all the trainers that I randomly send across the country need scarves. I send these poor ladies everywhere from Maine to Miami; Anchorage to Alabama. They are known for displaying their displeasure of flying into cities with large snowdrifts.

So... I've knitted 22 scarves since January 1st. HOLY CRAP!! My trainers will be descending on the office on Monday for their yearly training updates, and hopefully will enjoy the small hand made tokens of my appreciation. :-)

Now that I've finished knit, pearl, cabling scarves for them, I need a new project. Anybody need a scarf, baby blanket, hat, mittens, sweater?! Hahaha.

Happy Wednesday Gang! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JC!! :-)

March 17, 2009

DWTS - Week 2

Another night of ups and downs on DWTS, including some REALLY good dances for this early in the season. Below are my high (and low) lights.

- Holly gets dragged around like a rag doll by Dmitry.
+ Denise does a good quick step. Much improved from last week!
- Belinda was BAD. Poor thing tried, but looked very stiff and uncomfortable.
+ Ty's dance looked more like a dance this week; and less like an Army maneuver.
- Steve Wozniak's dance him compared to Wall-E.
- Steve-O is hurt and we see a tape of his dress rehersal.
+ Little Kim rocked out her dance. She was good last week, and even better this week without any references to her jail time!
+ Melissa did an amazing dance too!
- The costume department needs to not dress Melissa and Tony like they come from the Amazon!
+ Gilles was by far the best of the male celebrities. He did AWESOME!

Did you watch? I think one of the Steves is leaving tonight. What do you think?

March 16, 2009

To Tattoo, or Not To Tattoo?

I'm toying with getting a tattoo. My 3rd tattoo to be precise! I know exactly what I want, exactly where I want to put it... Despite the fact that I'm a girly girl; I have great respect for body art. To me - tattoos are a visual manifestation of who you are. I just LOVE knowing the story behind my friend's tattoos; what they are, what they mean, why the decided that it JUST HAD to be part of their body for the rest of their lives.

Both of my tattoos have stories. My first tattoo was done in Connecticut, as the college I went to was about 5 minutes away in Massachusetts (where tattooing was illegal at the time). On the inside of my right ankle is a heart. Very simple; easily missed if you aren't looking for it. It represents the love I have for my friends and family; all the people that I can't imagine my life without.

My second tattoo is on the inside of my left ankle. It's a Celtic cross, representing both my spirituality and my Scottish heritage. While it's technically done... I'll be adding wings and halo to it when the last of my grandparents passes away. This little piece of artwork also hold value in that I did it with JC. I corrupted him and brought him for his 1st tattoo that day! It was a theme for us - he got a Celtic knot.

Now five years later, but he and I are itching for new tattoos. We're both certain in our desire, and I intend for the piece to be my birthday present to him (his b-day is this week). Tattooing is now legal in MA, and we've found a great artist. The problem is that I'm not sure that we can get appointments this week, and JC head back to Afghanistan next Tuesday. I think we might need to wait until he gets back in 10-12 months and he's back at Drum. Sigh...

By the way, this tattoo will be little paw prints walking across my right foot. I've never lived without dogs, and can't ever imagine not having a dog (or three) in my home. Beckett likes to stand on my right foot, so this is a little reminder that no matter where I go, I have a piece of my fur-kids with me. :-)

Do you have any thoughts on tattooing? Are you pro or con body art?

March 15, 2009

A one woman USO

Wanna guess what I've done today? I made a big trip to Wal-Mart and bought out the store, then came home and started assembling care packages. I didn't realize how many soldiers I loved until I started sending care packages! I've put together nine today, and have to bake and pack up chocolate chip cookies before the boxes can be sealed. :-)

Truthfully, three of the boxes are for JC... He has stuff the he wants sent back so he'll have it a day or two after he settles back into his FOB. Hopefully it'll make the others smile to get some of the truly RANDOM things I'm sending them! Who knows what was going through my mind (probably lack of thought really...), but they're getting some off the wall stuff - Silly Putty, Febreeze, pens with their names on them, water balloons, magazines, temporary tattoos... the list goes on and on.

I know that some of you are military. What are you sending your guys? I can always use new ideas!!

March 14, 2009

I'm hyper-organized...and a few updates

I'm one of those people... either you are exactly like me or it's likely that you've come to despise someone like me. Yep, I'm one of those really organized people. I always have a notepad in my purse and more often than not - color coded post-it notes too.

I was delusional in thinking that everyone was like this! That was, until I went out with friends one night and someone asked for a receipt/scrap paper to write down the title of a book we were talking about. Since then I've realized that my desire to be organized probably falls outside what is considered normal.... But in my defense, there's a lot on my plate! I don't want to forget all the stuff I need - dog food/more yarn/a birthday present for a friend. :-)

Are you really organized too? And if so, how do you manage it? Post-its, notebooks, BlackBerry, Palm Pilot?

Just in case you've read a few of my past posts, I've decided to give a smattering of updates.
  • My poor car took just over $500 to fix, and had both a loose part in the steering column & a bad O2 sensor too.
  • Ellie LOVED her presents! She called me at work when they arrived and told me that I made her cry! Not my desired response, but I'm glad that they were at least happy tears. Dee enjoyed her presents as well. Her son hijacked the M&M screen cleaner (but in his defense - it does look like a stuffed animal) to add to his toy collection.
  • JC goes back to Afghanistan in about a week and I'm already getting stressy about it.
  • Both of JC's friends that OD'd a few weeks ago are still in hospital... no news is good news, right?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :-)

March 13, 2009

You win some; you lose some...

And today, I WON!!!!! JC is still home on leave (I thank God every day that he's safe!), and today was gambling day. :-)

Despite the fact that it was supposed to be a bonding day for JC and Dad - they deemed me and my frilly pink girlyness cool enough for them. That - and I have both an awesome SUV & and a tendency to drive like a bat out of hell. (P.S. Knock on wood - NEVER gotten a ticket!!)

We went to Foxwoods and took a divide and conquer approach to the casino. JC and dad went towards the poker tables, while I stayed safely ensconced in the slot machines. Things were going great - I won $100 bucks!! Then a chain smoking idiot (sorry, to those of you that smoke... but I'm asthmatic, and REALLY don't like people blowing smoke in my face) sat next to me, and my lucky streak broke.

I was a good girl, and put myself on a gambling budget. In order to stretch out the fun; once the above lucky streak was over - I went for a walk around the entire casino complex. What?! It counts as exercise for the day...right???? A quick drink, then back to the gambling floor. We found each other a little while ago, I won another $50(!), and headed home.

Today was a good day... :-) Maybe this means I can treat myself to a mani/pedi this weekend!

P.S. Thanks to all of you that visited me from SITS!! I love new visitors, and promise to come visit you in return.

March 12, 2009

And it only took an act of Congress...

Ha, not really... but that's what it feels like in order to take vacation time! I admit that I'm a workaholic. It's so bad that when I announce that I'm taking a few days off - the first reaction of people is "what's wrong?".

Last year was an all-time low. I "gave back" a week of vacation to my company - so in addition to all the extra hours I work for free; I essentially paid them for my attendance too!

My New Year's resolution was to work less. Unfortunately - I don't think that I've made any headway on achieving that.

However, I am off today (and tomorrow!); and it feels GREAT!! I went out to lunch with my cousin Kirstren then ran a bunch of errands. Sure, it sounds kind of mundane... but Kirstren is a blast to hang with! Plus being out in daylight on a weekday is a foreign and exciting concept to me. JC needs tons of stuff, so all this afternoon's errands focused on what I can pack up and ship back to him. Hopefully, I can time it right and have the packages arrive the day after he settles back into his FOB.

That's all... Now I'm off to walk the puppers around the block. :-)

March 11, 2009

New computer...

After months of using my work computer (Shh, don't tell them!) for my personal use, I bit the bullet and bought a laptop of my own.

I took a poll of my family and friends, and after some VERY passionate responses - decided to go with my gut instinct and bought a Dell. Luckily, my company has a corporate discount through Dell, saving me a good chunk of money. :-) However, I'm probably telling you something you already know; DAMN, COMPUTERS KEEP GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE!!!!

I placed this laptop order on February 5th. Wanna guess when my computer showed up??? YESTERDAY! Not only are they charging me an arm and a leg - but it took forever to get it too.

Alright, I'll quit whining! In Dell's defense - my computer is BEAUTIFUL and everything I wanted. :-) It's lightweight, and fast, and has the new computer smell...hahahaha. At the time, I really wanted a pink computer - but now I'm glad I fought that urge and got a pretty blue one with retro 50's doodles.

What kind of computer do you have? And more importantly - if you had to buy a new one RIGHT NOW - would you buy the same thing?

March 10, 2009

Dancing with the Stars

Unlike most of my friends - I am not a reality TV junkie. I'm probably weird... but I just consider most of it too fake. With that said - I AM SO HAPPY that Dancing with the Stars is back!

There was drama building up to the season premiere (two dancers out before the season even kicked off!) and our fair share of both funny and awkward moments last night. I'll be a good girl and won't critique everyone (YET!!), but do need to share my highlights and low lights of the night...

+ Little Kim and Derek Hough kicked off the season with a respectable dance.
- Little Kim dedicated her first dance to all the ladies in Federal Detention Centers!! (funny... but still a low light)
+ Steve- O celebrated his one year sober by joining Dancing with the Stars.
- Carrie Ann announces that she's mesmerized by his beauty and awkwardness. (WHAT?!?!)
+Gilles (best known as the naked shower guy in the Sex and The City movie) does a great dance.
-Gilles has an awkward backstage chat w/Samantha Harris over hardness of certain things. (I almost choked on my iced tea during that little exchange.)
+Melissa (the recently dumped fiance of this season's The Bachelor) did an amazing job with only two days of practice.

That's all folks! Did you watch? Who do you think has the goods to make it through and win the mirror ball trophy?

March 09, 2009


You heard it right... JC is home! I wasn't expecting him for another few days, but he wandered right into the house yesterday afternoon. It was quite the surprise!! And I'm hard to surprise, let me tell you.... I'm usually the girl that's "in the know".

I am SO excited about the next few weeks, and wish I could take more vacation time! Right now, I'm planning on Thursday and Friday this week and next week. We have tons of stuff planned while he's home! In theory - we have a trip to Wally World, a casino trip, a tattoo excursion, a few family get togethers, and other randomness. Who knows if we'll get it all done... but it's a goal. :-)

JC did an amazing job of taking pictures the last few months and it was great seeing pictures of where they are staying, the trucks they are driving - and most importantly, the rest of the guys! I miss my guys; not as much (of course) as JC, but I've grown fond of a few of them and seeing that they are looking good means a lot.

March 06, 2009

The BBC book list

It's been a bit of a long week, and my brain is I'm taking the easy way out and doing a survey - kind of.

The BBC has a theory that people are reading less (which I actually believe) and that most have only read 15-20 books that they have deemed "classics". I've mentioned before that I'm an avid reader and I've marked the books I've read in bold.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (well, most of it)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (ugh, I've read a lot of it...but not ALL)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Guess I'm above average...huh?! :-)

How do you fare on this list? And do you have any book recommendations? I'll read just about anything.

March 05, 2009

Random Gifts

Yesterday, after my deep thoughts, I was feeling a bit down. It might sound a bit odd... but sending random little gifts to friends makes me feel good. It was just the pick-up I needed last night.

I ditched work at 7 (early for me!) and picked two friends to bestow little trinkets upon. Ellie and Dee are the lucky recipients this time around. They've been good to me and deserve a little something to make them smile.

I wandered around The Paper Store (which I LOVE... almost as much as my second home - Barnes & Noble) finding cute cards, post-its and Godiva chocolate then meandered next door to the packie (or liquor store for those of you not from New England) and bought them each a bottle of wine.

The packages got shipped out this morning; and I wish I could be there to see Ellie and Dee's faces when they arrive. Dee has never been the recipient of my random gifts before, but Ellie and I share a history of FedEx shipments. You see, her hubby and JC have been buddies since AIT. Whenever JC needed something it was MUCH easier to send it to Ellie than to JC's barracks. Since the boys left on their field trip, Ellie and I have been going through FedEx withdrawal. :-)

It was a good time to send Ellie a package anyway. Right after the guys left I got her a t-shirt that reads "Army Wife - Celibate for your freedom". A wise woman told me that the best things you can do for a military wife are:
1. Hug her
2. Make her laugh
3. Get her drunk

Unfortunately, she's a bit too far away to hug right now... but I'm hoping the wine and goofy t-shirt accomplish the other two!

Just remember... be nice to me, and you could be the next giftee. :-)

March 04, 2009

Release the Hounds...

After today's earlier posting, that was...well, depressing...I decided to do something fun.

So, I introduce to you my furbabies. They are adorable, I couldn't love them any more if they turned human one day and have personalities that will, I'm sure be described in detail in upcoming posts.

Carmella (aka Smella or Freckle Face) is my 6 year old Cocker Spaniel. She knows she's in charge of the others and as you can see, she LOVES to play in the snow!

This is Meadow (aka Peanut or Princess). She's my five year old miniature dachshund, an angel and a better picture is shown instead of my as my profile picture. What can I say, I'm camera shy...

And lastly...this is Beckett (aka Scooter and Loud Mouth!) my 3 year old long haired dachshund. After two girls, I decided it was time for a boy. He is most definitely a Mommy's boy! Also, after coming home from Florida with live souvenirs the last two times in a row, I'm no longer allowed to visit there without proper supervision! Hahaha. :-)

Today will be better...right?

I've had a few really stressful moments over the past 24 hours, and thought I'd share.

JC is at Bagram waiting to come home on leave. When CNN reported this morning that there had been a suicide bomber there, my heart skipped a beat (or two). I know that statistics would dictate that he'd be ok... but it's the first real violence that has happened since he deployed. Luckily, he called me about 10 minutes ago and is ABSOLUTELY fine!!

My second area is concern is my friend Izzy. We met at work, and she quickly became one of my best friends. I feel that I can tell her anything (and she does the same), knowing that she'll make fun of me, but loves me none the less. Izzy had a messy break-up during the holidays, but I truly believe she deserves better than her ex-boyfriend. She is an AMAZING person, and any guy would be lucky to have her. She met her ex-boyfriend yesterday to tie up some loose ends and he got violent - sending her to the hospital. I'm just heartbroken! I tell her all the time how great she is, and I'm hoping that she never sees or hears from her ex again. If you have any tips, hints, etc. on how to help someone who is coming out of an abusive relationship - I'm all ears.

Lastly, is what really made me cry last night. I found out that two of my brothers closest childhood friends overdosed. They are both still alive - having been found by their families in time. But they are both in bad shape. My heart goes out to both of them and their families. I wish I knew what to do to try and help them get healthy again and beat this addiction.

March 03, 2009

I'm the "Calendar Queen"

I have an long list of "job functions", but one of the biggest things is running our training calendar. Essentially, I take the list of customers that want training - match it with our group of 21 trainers and determine where our trainers go each week. It sounds easy, but both our customers and staff are scattered across the country. Take into account travel time, expertise level of each trainer, personality types (Seriously!!! You don't want to send a fast talking NY trainer to a laid-back So.Cal facility... it's just asking for trouble!), vacation schedules and the like...and it's an adventure EVERY day.

I've been doing this for quite some time, so most of the time it runs like a well oiled machine. However... lately, I've gotten some really demanding customers who ONLY will work with certain trainers & trainers who decide they don't like certain cities and would "prefer" not to go there. I'm sorry kids - but if you live in Los Angeles, it doesn't make sense to send you to Washington DC to do training. It's just not time and cost efficient... even if it is a good way to get the company to pay for you to see your grown children/sorority sister/long lost cousin every so often!

There's a method to my madness, and I'm willing to listen to reason. But, DARN IT, if you don't quit whining... I'm gonna send you to do training in a bowling alley on the MEXICAN border!!! (Seriously, the training session had to happen anyway & the customer held the session in a bowling alley!! But an un-named trainer made me grumpy, so he got sent.)

Ok, off to polish my tiara. :-) Thanks for listening to my little rant!

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