Monday, April 28, 2008

When you leave here, don't forget why you came.
Adlai Stevenson

Well, it was a wonderful graduation day! I just wanted to share some pictures:

Graduation stage

Hooray for my masters degree!

With my proud mama

My godmother, Sue, came to be in my cheering section

Melissa joined us for dinner

Nick with his fan club

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Sunday gratitude:
  • Local television news in the morning.
  • Half & Half in my coffee.
  • Tokyo Bay.
  • Flowers delivered to my doorstep.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's finally Friday, I'm outta control
Forget the workin' blues, And let the good times roll.
George Jones

We've all had those ordinary weekends - laundry, cleaning, maybe dinner with friends. Those are nice, but ordinary just the same.

But it is even better to be coming up on a weekend that is going to be special. My laundry and cleaning was done last night and I'm ready for some fun!
  • I have a Tri Delta alumnae executive board meeting tomorrow at a local Barnes & Noble (nice ladies, yummy coffee).
  • Picking up my graduation gift from my mom at Waterside Shops (also a lovely place to kill some time on a Saturday).
  • Dinner with Melissa on Saturday night.
  • Nick arrives Sunday around noon!
  • Off to graduation by 2 p.m.
  • Dinner at one of my favorite downtown restaurants with my family, Nick and Melissa to celebrate my masters degree.
  • Monday I took off work to be with Nick all day.
  • Tuesday morning I will also be with him, take him to the airport and then do a half day at work.

Here's to a great weekend ahead - enjoy yours too!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Essentially, you do not so much teach your cat as bribe him.
Lynn Hollyn

Last night after struggling with Bella, holding her in a death grip while she wiggled around I finally got that stupid pill down her throat. Then I felt bad and turned the bathroom faucet on for her. All was well in the end.

But while pinning her down I couldn't help but think of that funny joke I have seen, so I just had to share:

How to Give a Cat Pill
Sit on sofa. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to it.

With right hand, position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. (be patient) As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

Pick the pill up off the floor and go get the cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process. Sit on floor in kitchen, wrap arm around cat as before, drop pill in mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away. Scoot across floor to pick up pill, and go find the cat. Bring it back into the kitchen. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

Pry claws from back legs out of your arm. Go get the cat, pick up half-dissolved pill from floor and drop it into garbage can.

Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of closet. Call spouse from backyard. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

Retrieve cat from curtain rod, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figures from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

Get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.

Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take another pill from foil wrap.

Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat's mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour one cup of water down throat to wash pill down.

Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call at furniture shop on way home to order new table.

Get last pill from bottle. Go into bathroom and get a fluffy towel. Stay in the bathroom with the cat, and close the door.

Sit on bathroom floor, wrap towel around kitty, leaving only his head exposed. Cradle kitty in the crook of your arm, and pick up pill off of counter.

Retrieve cat from top of shower door (you didn't know that cats can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, did you?), and wrap towel around it a little tighter, making sure its paws can't come out this time. With fingers at either side of its jaw, pry it open and pop pill into mouth. Quickly close mouth (his, not yours).

Sit on floor with cat in your lap, stroking it under the chin and talking gently to it for at least a half hour, while the pill dissolves.

Unwrap towel, open bathroom door. Wash off scratches in warm soapy water, comb your hair, and go find something to occupy your time for 7 1/2 hours.

Arrange for SPCA to get cat and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let thy words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:2

I always love good blog reocmmendations from others so I just have to pass this along.

With all the random nonsense out there on the Internet, Confessions of a CF Husband stands apart. It chronicles the life of Nate and Tricia during their trials of her Cystic Fibrosis, their new baby Gwyneth and her recent double lung transplant. It isn't depressing, just inspiring, interesting and wonderfully written.

I check it daily and I hope you'll add it to your list too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some people own cats and go on to lead normal lives.

My poor Bella had to take a trip to the vet this morning. The only thing I have ever taken her in there for was a urinary tract infection about two years ago - it's back! Little darling went to her kitty litter box about every five minutes yesterday so hopefully we can get it cleared up.

She knew something was up when I took out her cat carrier last night. She took one look at it and one look at me and disappeared under the bed for the evening. This morning she HOWLED all the way down to the car and during the drive to the vet. My neighbor actually came out to her front step to see what all the ruckus was!

I wish she understood that I was doing it to make her feel better!

Say a prayer to St. Francis that my Bella isn't too scared today at the vet and that she is on her way to taking less trips to the kitty litter box!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:

  • Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook.
  • Leftover Chinese take out.
  • Getting to see Nick one week from today!
  • My palm tree coffee cups.
  • Method bathroom tub + tile spray.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping.
Bo Derek

I love me some eBay.

I'm certainly not an eBay expert, except for two words. Vera. Bradley.

Maybe it is because I'm frugal or just that I like the retired patterns better than what is out now. I'm not sure. But over the years I have gotten some great deals on NWT (that's "new with tags" for you non-eBayers) and barely used Vera Bradley pieces.

I really only go for two patterns: Villa Red for my mom and Pink Pansy for me. I'm picky, know what I am looking for and have pieced together lovely weekend luggage sets of our patterns.

My holy grail of eBay Vera Bradley has been the Pink Pansy pattern garment bag. The piece is expensive to begin with, even if you just walked into a store and puchased it for $130. On eBay it is even more expensive because my pattern is retired and "rare." I have seen few garment bags go for less than $120 and some as high as $250.

I have watched, looked and searched for that great deal for a long time. And, ladies and gentlemen, I have found it.

I heard this little trick a while ago to use on eBay. Take the item you are looking for and search for it's most common misspelling. You will find listings with incorrectly spelled item names going for 1/4 of the general price because people aren't bidding on them. They aren't bidding on them because they can't find them!

Type: Vera Bradley Pink Pansey. Oops. BINGO!

My darling brand new garment bag arrived today for the steal of $35 including shipping. Now I just need to take a fabulous weekend trip to pack up my great new find!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends.
John Lennon

My dear friend Melissa lives in my building so it is nice to have her around on a day to day basis. Especially now that Nick is gone I don't have the option of, "I'm bored, I'll just go to Nick's house and make dinner" or whatever. And because I'm done with my masters degree, I need some things to do!

She jokes to that she'll be my honorary fiance. And as silly as it sounds, it is wonderful to have just another person in close proximity... to take a walk, go to Applebee's, see a movie.

Tonight I'm making my yummy spaghetti for us and When Harry Met Sally will be waiting in my mailbox from NetFlix - she has never seen it! It is nice to have something different to look forward to.

Two of my favorites - Melissa & Nick

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

Nick left early Sunday morning for St. Louis. We packed every available inch of his car with stuff. I burned a lot of great CDs for the drive and sent him on his way with a goody bags full of trailmix, Red Vines, cheddar Goldfish, Gatorade and Diet Coke - really, what more does a guy need?!

Snacks and songs for the road

I was dreading the goodbye. Gave him a big bear hug and of course I started crying.

Now, Nick doesn't cry.

He is just not a cryer (and I can usually take care of it enough for the both of us!).

I always joke that I've only seen him cry twice. Once, when Zach Johnson won the Masters and again when he proposed.

But on Sunday morning when he stepped to get in his car, tears were streaming down his face. Which of course made me cry more. Boo - goodbyes are awful.

The longest we've ever been apart is two weeks when I was in Italy about three years ago. This time we are at the two week mark again - he will be flying back from my graduation (hooray!). But when he leaves after my graduation it will be about a four weeks apart before I make my first trip up there at the end of May. I know in the grand scheme of things it really isn't a long time but for us, it is.

So I'm doing okay here alone - it is still funny to think that he isn't at his old job or waking up in his bed. But I know we are going to get in a new schedule with him in St. Louis and me here.

And it will make our time together after we get married so much sweeter!

On his way to St. Louis!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.
Dave Weinbaum

On Saturday, my sorority alumnae group hosted the graduating seniors from the local university (and my alma mater) for the annual Pansy Brunch. This honors their graduation and welcomes them into alumnae membership.

It is always a fun and well attended event and even more interesting this year was our guest speaker, author Lisa Unger. She was wonderful to listen to and I can't wait to pick up her books Beautiful Lies, Sliver of Truth and Black Out- check them out!

It was a little sad too because this will be my last event with this alumnae chapter. Our membership events are highly seasonal and our next meeting is not until late November - well after our wedding and move to St. Louis. The chapter president said some kind words about me which made me blush but was also very nice. I just have to think that I will hopefully see them again soon!

Flowers and certificates for the graduating seniors

Darling new alumnae!

With alumnae chapter president, and my friend, Judy

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • Sun showers in the morning.
  • Online coupon codes.
  • Bella chatting with the birds from my back lanai.
  • Red Gatorade.
  • Bear hugs from Nick.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Change is inevitable. Change is constant.
Benjamin Disraeli

Things 'round here are a changing.

Big time.

Nick has accepted a job offer in St. Louis and we are moving! Oh my goodness, we are moving!

He actually is driving up there to start work on Sunday (yes, as in TOMORROW). We have moved the wedding date from April 2009 to November 2008. I am staying here to keep working, assist with the new tenants in his house and just sort of get my life in order. Oh, and PLAN A WEDDING!

Then I'll moving to St. Louis closer to the wedding (either before or after depending on how my work schedule pans out).

The plan is that we're taking baby steps. He is going to stay with a college friend this week and is close to subletting an apartment whose lease is up in August.

I am planning on making a few trips up there throughout the summer to get the lay of the land and so we can find "our" place. You don't really think I'd let him pick it out alone, do you?!

At first I was really overwhelmed. But now I'm just darn excited. This is a fabulous step up career wise for Nick and is going to lead to life choices in the future that will shape our dreams into a reality. I am sad to leave my job but with solid experience under my belt and a shiny new masters degree I am looking forward to some new possibilities.

So, here's to the next chapter of our lives!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.
William Shakespeare

I was tagged by Rachel to write a six word memoir.

Six words. That's not a lot. I stared at the computer screen for a bit. Wrote some uninspiring things... stared some more.

Me, be brief? Well, shoot.

My dad always used to say this to me... it rang true and stuck in my head.

In life - always happy, never statisfied.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish to death do us part.
Book of Common Prayer

On Friday night, Nick and I headed to Sarasota to celebrate the wedding of Amanda and Jay.

It was a lovely outdoor ceremony, followed by dinner in the ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton...

View from the ceremony

Amanda and her father walking down the aisle

Jay cried - I love that.

Blessing of the marriage

Nick at the cocktail hour with fellow bachelorette party member signficiant others - Amir and Adam

Have another!

He wanted me to stop taking pictures of him...

Beautiful table center pieces and a bridesmaid bouquet

With my handsome guy

With my friend Britt (also a bridesmaid)

With the new Mr. and Mrs.!

You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.
Georgia O'Keefe

It's official.

My master's thesis has been approved by my advisor, the paperwork is being processed and I have finished my masters degree! HOORAY!

Just 19 days until graduation... oh, whatever will I do with all my free time now?

That's right, I get to plan a wedding!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:

  • Bleaching white linens.
  • Lettuce wraps at PF Changs.
  • Bella's new red collar with a shiny gold tag.
  • craiglist.
  • Taking a nap just because I had the time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

If I had a man, I'd dress up for whatever he's into.
Anything goes with me.

Nick and I are heading out of town this afternoon for the wedding of Amanda and Jay.

The wedding is at The Ritz-Carlton tonight. Nick's in a new suit and I'm in a new dress (a-Calvin-Klein-makes-me-feel-like-Audrey-Hepburn-$30-marked-down-from-$180-new-dress). Yipee!

Can't wait to get fancy and spend a lovely evening celebrating Amanda and Jay with my sweetie!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Playing bingo is really exciting, it's good, clean fun in my old age.
Betty Montgomery

I still live in the town where I went to college, so my sorority alumnae group often has the pleasure of heading over to the university to see the collegeiate chapter. The girls in the chapter are darling and officially make me feel old the moment I walk in the door (at no fault of their own, of course).

The other night we joined them for BINGO!

I haven't played bingo in quite a while, maybe a cruise years ago, so it was fun. I sat at a table with some other alums (and one alumnae husband being a good sport) and we dominated!
Blew those squealing 18 year olds out of the water with our bingo-ing skills. A few gift cards (a Starbucks card won by yours truly) and candy goody bags later we showed them the benefits of being older and pulling tricky playing-three-cards-at-a-time skills.


Alumnae table at Bingo night

Us chapter presidents stick together: me with the current chapter president, Autumn, and immediate past president, Tara.

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