Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good Qualities in a Doctor

I had to be at work at the crack of dawn this morning to give the monthly resident rotation exam. We give it in the office area where I used to work, which is of course across campus from my new office. I took everything with me when I left yesterday so I wouldn't have to come all the way over to my office and then hike back this morning.

Except when I went to give the first exam I realized I'd left the answer sheets in my office. Dang it. I told the first resident that I'd left them in my office across campus and then came up with an alternative solution, which was no big deal.

Since I no longer have an office over there, I had nowhere comfy to hang out while waiting on them to finish the exam so I ended up sitting in the floor near a table by my old office. When the first resident finished his exam, he couldn't find me. Apparently he went all the way back to the cath lab looking for me. When he found me he said he had gotten confused because he thought I was in that office but the door was closed so he didn't know where I'd gone.

#1. I was five feet from the office door.
#2. I'd pointed out when I gave him the exam that my office was now across campus and I'd left the answer sheets there.
#3. I was in the exact same place I had been when I handed him test.

As a patient, I find that I get frustrated with doctors who don't actually hear what I say when I talk to them. When I first started having chronic muscle pain I saw eleven different medical professionals in two years, in part because half of them weren't actually listening when I explained what was happening and never bothered to actually look at what I was showing them.

Now I talk to some of our trainees here and shake my head, wondering how in the world they are going to be effective doctors when they can't hear what people are saying and don't bother to look at things right in front of them. The answer is they probably won't be effective, but that doesn't mean they won't be successful.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


We left the pup inside this morning because we knew it was supposed to storm today. When I walked out the door he was laying on the couch looking pitiful.

When we drove up after work this evening the pup was sitting on his swing in the back yard. By the time we got out of the car and opened the front door of the house, he was greeting us right inside the door.



I have my account set up so that all comments left on this blog are emailed to one of my Yahoo email accounts. All of the sudden, starting today, all of the emails from comments are going directly into my spam folder.

Seriously people, if you're going to spam me, you should at least offer me Nigerian lottery winnings or a chance to enlarge an appendage of some sort.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I haven't gone missing, just crazy.

Spent most of the weekend out of town and am swamped with ridiculousness at work. It's going to be one of those weeks, but I knew that before I left last Friday.

So, in an attempt to improve my day a little, I'm about to go to the dentist.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Memo to Congress


To: Congress

Re: Tax "Rebate" Checks

I have heard a rumor that you are planning to send out tax rebate check later this year. I would like to request that you keep mine and put it towards the absurd tax check that we will be sending to the IRS later this Spring, thus saving our government the cost of printing and postage of my rebate check.

I would also like to suggest a better name for the program. "Rebate" makes it sound like I'm sending in a proof of purchase and getting reimbursed a portion of the purchase price. Perhaps a more accurate term would be "tax advance," since the last time you did this you expected me to pay it back to you the following April. I have never had anyone else ask for their rebate back a year later.

I understand that your intention in sending me this check is for me to turn around and spend it, thus boosting the economy. Perhaps a better approach would be to send the check directly to Best Buy, as I do not plan on taking it there myself. I plan to boost my personal economy by using it either towards my mortgage payoff or, shockingly, the ridiculous tax estimates we will be making each quarter for the next year. Again, it would be simpler to just credit our account internally.

This may be a good time to consider the cause of the economic slowdown and the fact that it might not be a bad thing. It was rampant over-spending, much on credit, that inflated the economy to begin with. It may be time to encourage people to SAVE rather than SPEND in order to build a stronger long term economy. Just something to think about.

Thank you.

P.S. If you have to give us "rebates" on our taxes every few years to boost the economy, perhaps you should consider taking less from us to begin with. Again, just a suggestion.

(I'll get down off the soapbox now, I've been bouncing up and down on it for a week already and my feet are getting tired.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Attention Diamond Lovers

Word has spread all over the personal finance blogosphere about the class action settlement against DeBeers. If you live in the USA and purchased any diamond jewelry (even if it's mixed stones) or loose diamonds from January 1, 1994-March 31, 2006, for personal use or gift, then you might want to check it out.

We just barely made it under the wire. Greg bought my engagement ring in March of 2006. My friend that got engaged a couple of months later missed the window.

We filed our claim tonight and the form was ridiculously easy. You need the purchase price of the jewelry and may need some details about the stone (I didn't, our claim was small) but you don't have to automatically send in documentation if it's under $10,000. They do reserve the right to request it later so it wouldn't hurt to have it. You can either file online or on paper. The deadline is May 19, 2008.

They can't determine how much you might get because it depends on the number of claims filed, and if the payout is less than $10 they won't send you anything (administrative costs and all). But basically if you spent over $100 or so, it's may be worth a shot. I figure if we get $15 back, then we're $15 closer to paying off the mortgage than we were before. Or it's an extra dinner at McAlisters. Either way, it would be worth the 8 minutes it took to fill out the form online.

Told Ya So.

I was informed by Boss #2 that I am volunteering to be on our department Taste of UMC team. It's a fundraiser they do every year. Each department picks a theme and cooks up something for 500 or so people and they give out awards and such, subsequently raising money for an organization that does stuff for the hospital (this year a percentage of funds will buy a screening device to detect hearing loss in newborns).

Anyway, remember this discussion we had back in December about my new plan for improved heart health?

Well guess what our department's Taste theme is? Heart Healthy Dark Chocolate. Complete with not one, but TWO chocolate fountains.

Told ya.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Orange Slice Cookies

Allison requested the cookie recipe, so here we go. It makes like 16 dozen, so you might want to make half a batch or make slightly larger cookies. I'm also thinking that I want to try to make them with some other types of candy. Seems like there would be many opportunities here.

Orange Slice Cookies

2 c. shortening
2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
3 eggs
3 c. AP flour
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
3 T water
3 c. oats
1 can coconut (3 1/2 oz)
20 candy orange slices, chopped
2 c. nuts, chopped

Cream shortening and add sugars. Add eggs one a a time. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir water, oats, candy, coconut, nuts and flour mixture into the shortening/sugar mixture. Chill for 1 hour. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 12 minutes or until brown.

Note - the candy gets very sticky when you chop it and likes to clump, so I used my kitchen shears and sprinkled a small area of the cutting board with sugar and either rolled the candy pieces in it or sprinkled it on as I went to keep them from sticking together as bad. I also sprinkled them into the cookie mix carefully to make sure they were distributed.

My Apologies - UPDATED

Several weeks ago I happened to see a news segment, I believe it was on one of the local news Medical Matters segments, about a new exercise program being taught that utilized pole dancing.

It was enough to make me come to a dead stop while walking through my living room and stare at the woman on my television. I'd totally intended to link to the video when they posted it online, but forgot about it until Alison mentioned her strip club incident in a post today. I went back and looked, but I must have waited too long because I can't find it. Sorry Alison. I know you were looking forward to it. I'll try to do a more extensive search later to see if I can find it.

UPDATE: Thanks to Stacey for supplying this link. I should have known Stacey would know where to find information on "Stripping for the Everyday Woman."

Although I have to say part of the bizarreness factor of the original story I saw on the local news was our local health reporter actually doing the report. I got the feeling she was more comfortable discussing STD's than stripping.

Slow News Day?

I had just commented to Greg a few hours ago that it seems like the day that I don't have time to look at the news until lunch is the day when everything happens. I was referring to the stock market coaster and Fred Thompson pulling out of the presidential race and such.

Now I get an email from a friend that Heath Ledger has been found dead. I'm a bit shocked, although I'm not sure why.

Geezum peetes, I guess there's a little something for every news program today.

Taco Soup

Per Sandi's request, I've acquired the slightly more organized Taco Soup recipe. Ironically, Jen lost her copy right before Christmas, but between the two of us I think we've got it:

Taco Soup

1-1.5 lb (approx) Ground Beef
1 medium onion, chopped (more or less, depending on your onion tolerance!)
1-2 pkgs Taco Seasoning (depending on your spicy tolerance)
1pkg Ranch Dressing Mix
2 to 4 cans of stewed tomato (or diced, or any tomato product. I used V8 and a can of tomato sauce)
2 cans red or kidney beans
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can pinto beans
2 cans shoepeg corn
1 can rotel

Brown ground beef with chopped onion. Drain grease and dump in crockpot. Dump in all other ingredients (do not drain any of the cans, except the black beans) and stir. Cook for several hours. Serve with cheese and tortilla chips.

Since I now make smaller batches, I trim the list down to a couple of cans of beans (whatever kind I have), 1 can of corn, less tomato, and simmer it in a soup pot on the stove for half an hour or more. This really is one of those recipes that can be altered to suit your tastes, i.e. Sandi doesn't like corn, so leave out the corn. I don't care for large tomato pieces, so I will often use diced or pureed. If you don't have all the necessary beans, use what you got and double up on some of them if you want to.

I also made orange slice cookies last night for Greg, which turned out better than I'd expected for my first try. I'd say it was a good day in the kitchen.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Soup's On!

My husband is quite picky about what he eats. My menu shrunk and/or changed considerably once we got married. Generally speaking, it's not worth it to try to cook if only one person (me) is going to eat it, so I usually just stick to the stuff I know he will eat and rarely cook a lot of the things I used to make. For example, taco soup. I love taco soup, but the only thing in it that Greg will eat is... well, the ground beef. He won't touch anything else in it. Suffice it to say, I haven't had it since we got married.

Yesterday, however, I had a brilliant idea. In light of our frustration over lunch options last week, Greg suggested I make a double batch of dinner tonight so we would be sure to have enough leftovers to take for lunch this week. That got me to thinking. If I make a double batch of dinner tonight, he can take that a couple of days this week, and I can make a big ol' pot of soup today which I can then take for lunch next week! Whatever is left I can freeze for easier lunches later.

I sit here now smelling a big pot of taco soup. Granted, not nearly as big as I would normally make, since I will be the only one eating it. It's a hard recipe to cut in half since it mostly consists of multiple cans of stuff, but I made a few adjustments to shrink it down a bit. Granted, if today hadn't been an extra day off, I probably wouldn't have taken the extra time. I'm glad I thought about it when I did!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stubborn Defined

The pup is going to the vet tomorrow, which is a trip he really loves every year. Really. He loves Miss Julie and Dr. Ferris. Unfortunately, going to the vet means getting a bath. He hates baths more than anything else in the world.

He was so mad at me after his bath today that he refused to be in the room with me. When I finally let him outside, he refused to come back in if I opened the door. He'd stick his head in, see me, then run back to his swing. As soon as I'd close the door, he'd run back and start throwing himself against the door again. We did this about 6 times before Greg finally got up and opened the door, and he came right in. He just wasn't coming in if that evil woman who tortured him opened the door.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Apparently it only snowed in my back yard. Not a flake in the front yard, nice dusting in the back. The pup didn't like it.

I managed to sleep through the actual activity, but about half an hour after we got up Greg happened to open a window and was like, "Look! Snow!" He has been wanting snow desperately. Freak.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anybody Know of Rent-A-Kid?

I've been pumped about this ever since it was first announced. I heard a rumor today that it might be open sooner than expected (i.e by this summer rather than end of the year). Check out the exhibit section and tell me that isn't cool.

Now I just have to find a kid to rent.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It occurred to me after getting home from conference tonight that I haven't had a meal that didn't come out of a fast food bag since we went out to eat with my in-laws on Monday. I am so sick of fast food, but it's a vicious cycle. Didn't get home until almost 10pm Monday night, which meant no lunch to take on Tuesday, so I end up at McDonalds (yuck). Ditto Wednesday, Back Yard Burger. Wednesday night we didn't have time to go home between work and church, so it was Wendy's. Which meant more McD's for lunch today (yuck again). Only had 30 minutes before we both had to leave tonight, enter Chick Fil A. Guess what that means for lunch tomorrow?

No wonder I feel awful. We're hitting a grocery store tomorrow evening and buying real food so that I can hopefully cook this weekend. In the meantime, I wonder which drive through we'll eat at after work, before we get to the grocery store... Sigh.


I need a nap. It's been an extremely long week. Today was symbolic of my entire week:

7:30 am Staff Meeting. What I learned: As a department,we will strive to improve communication this year. (Except clearly, we're not starting until later.)

Noon Faculty Meeting. What I learned: If you try to show a video and have technical difficulties, make sure you turn the lights back on or else people (read: me) will doze off during yet another rehash of the new compensation plan that only applies to physicians.

6:30pm Monthly Case Conference. What I expect to learn: I'd rather be at home than watching doctors drink and argue over cases.

I've officially cancelled our trip to visit the fam this weekend. Maybe next weekend. We haven't been straight home after work all week, and I'm worn out. I can't imagine driving for 2 hours after work tomorrow. I'm so grateful for the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rule of 3's

Greg learned the Rule of 3's very early in our dating relationship. This is a good rule to know when you frequently deal with people who have ADD. If you ask me to make a decision with infinite possible choices, the answer will likely be a blank stare. For example, "Where do you want to go for dinner." It's like when you try to run too many software applications at once on your computer and it freezes up. When you give me too many options, I freeze up. I can't think through that many options. Three choices, max. If you give me three restaurants, I can most likely make a decision fairly quickly.

Today Boss #1 tells me to order myself some new office furniture. Then he hands me 3 choices. Three catalogs of choices. Pain and suffering. I swear I looked through all 3 books and never actually saw any furniture. Too many choices. I'll take new furniture. Fine. No problem. Just please, please, please don't make me go through catalogs to pick it out! Three choices. Just three.

And that was just the desks. I'm supposed to get a new chair too. And because of my history of muscle spasms and upper back pain, I really do need a good ergonomic desk chair. But that's a whole new set of catalogs. I'm thinking I may just offer to sit in the floor.


By a very bizarre set of circumstances I was able to have lunch with my BFF Sharonda at the hospital today. During the conversation she suddenly got all excited and told me that her husband had informed her last night that he had to go to a one day meeting out of town on April 21. She immediately said, "It's somewhere good isn't it? Of course it is. That's Susan's birthday. It's somewhere great."

Of course he didn't understand the significance of that, so she had to explain that over the past few years she has made a tradition out of going on really cool trips for work on my birthday. Notice I didn't say she and I. No, for several years she's missed my birthday because of work trips. This year she had no work trip, so of course something had to come up so she would be somewhere cool on my birthday.

My clue that this one was going to be rough was the fact that she said, "Do you wanna know where???" followed by, "You're not going to get mad, are you?" at least three times during the conversation.

So in honor of my birthday, Sharonda will be spending the day enjoying the nice warm beaches of... Hawaii.

Yes. I said Hawaii. She's not my friend anymore.

A few minutes later, after the conversation had moved on, totally out of nowhere, she looks at me very seriously and says, "So, when exactly are you planning to have babies?"


Saturday, January 12, 2008


I forgot to mention that I received a response to my email to VS about my missing package. They emailed me the very next morning. I was impressed with the response time and the response itself. They offered to either reship the order or refund the purchase, and were very apologetic for the entire situation. In honor of those of you who thought in my earlier censored remarks were indeed appropriate, I stated that I understood the problem lies with UPS, and that I hoped there wasn't a driver riding around wearing my new underwear. =) I did request a replacement shipment, mostly because I don't think a $4 refund to the gift card will get me very far at this point. Now I just hope they still have some in stock, since they were on clearance.

In office news, I moved on Friday despite the fact that my new computer doesn't work. I'll take my laptop on Monday in case it doesn't get fixed any time soon. I didn't get much of anything unpacked, so that'll be at the top of my to-do list on Monday. One thing that hit me after the move on Friday - my work hours will now change. The new office is located in the main business office, whose official hours are 8-5. I'd been working 8-4:30 since those were the normal hours in my previous location AND matched Greg's hours (we carpool). That was a pain on Friday because he had to wait on me, and we'll be dealing with 5:00 traffic and getting home a bit later. That was a serious perk of changing jobs last year, walking in my house at 5pm. I suppose I could argue to work the old hours, but I'm in a precarious enough position without alienating myself any further from the other people in the office. It's not a good environment to be accused of favoritism, especially when they've already had to make alternate arrangements to continue paying my salary! We'll see how it goes the first week or so.

Saying Goodbye

There is a great article about our outgoing minister in today's CL.

He had mentioned that he did two media interviews last week, but I don't know who the other one was with. He did say that he'd had a very difficult time finding he words to describe his time here in Mississippi. Huh. Ross at a loss for words is certainly a first. He's been very emotional about leaving. I think he became rather attached to our rather eccentric Southern culture!

At the same time, we also say hello to our new ministers, Joey and Connie Shelton from Duke Divinity School. They'll be formally introduced during Ross' final service tomorrow and will begin their ministry with the Wednesday night service where they will introduce themselves and their vision more in depth. I'm looking forward to it. Ross has been wonderful, but he's also taught us that change is a good thing, and it keeps us from closing our perspective. We'll miss him, but we also welcome Joey and Connie and look forward to their leadership.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Chill in the Air

Notice how it suddenly turned cold today?

Hell froze.

The light went out on my phone about 2 hours ago. My office is packed. I move right after lunch.


Wait for it...

My brand new fresh out of the box computer in my new office doesn't work. They set it up wrong so it won't access the network. Excuse me while I thumb twiddle, since everything in my office is in a box now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Status Update from UPS (The Saga Continues)

I got an email response from UPS on my missing package. They get points for timely response. The email begins:

"Thank you for your e-mail. I have checked the status of your shipment in our tracking system. Our records indicate that your package was last scanned on 01/03/08. Unfortunately, it has missed its scheduled delivery date."

Yeah. I knew that. That's actually exactly what I told you in my email. They just lost their points.

The email goes to inform me that I need to contact the shipper to initiate an investigation, since they will not send claims notifications to the receiver and all claims are settled with the shipper.

Anybody that thinks Victoria's Secret is going to initiate a claim on my $4 undies, raise their hand.

They are now in negative points.

Tornado Warning for Clinton

Hang on pup!

I knew I should have left him pillows and blankets and a flashlight and one of the weather radios in the bathroom! Except he doesn't have thumbs, so I imagine he would have a hard time using the flashlight or radio.

File This

Boss #2 has only been working here a few months and has started keeping a file of things that make her appreciate working here. By that, I mean the really silly stuff she finds. Like the office furniture catalogs from the 1960's she found while going through a stack of papers left in her office; or the printout from the emergency preparedness slideshow we had to watch that lists eminent natural disasters in our state, including tornadoes, hurricaines, and deforrestation.

Today I sent her a form put in her file. The official form used to order ANYTHING from our printing department. You know, the "Requistion for Printing."

Yeah, I know I'm a big dork with an English degree, but I don't have a lot of faith in our printing department if they can't even spell "Requisition" correctly on their own internal forms.

Thursday's Forecast

I hate it when they start playing paint-by-numbers with the weather map. At least I'm still in the basement bat cave, which is probably as safe as a storm shelter can be so long as the other 7 floors don't fall in on top of me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lost in UPS Land

I order some stuff at the end of December and one item was sent in a separate shipment. I got the first package early last week. According to UPS tracking, the second package arrived in Jackson last Thursday. It has not found its way to my door yet. Every evening the tracking system shows it "In Transit" and has a "Rescheduled Shipping" date of the current date. There's been no notification of attempted delivery.

So tonight I waited until after the scheduled delivery time (7pm according to the website) and then sent an email inquiry explaining the situation and asking at what point I should consider the package lost and file a claim. I was very polite in the email.

What I wanted to say in the email, but was deemed inappropriate by my husband, was, "I fear one of your drivers is riding around wearing my new Victoria's Secret underwear..."

Follow-up on Moving Day

In case you've been wondering what ever happened after my posts in October and November regarding my office move, I haven't budged. I have had a couple more conversations with two of my bosses regarding the situation. About three weeks ago I had this one:

Boss #2 calls and asks, "Have they moved your phone line yet?"
I respond, "Well, since it just rang and I answered it, I'll have to go with 'no.'"

And then last Thursday there was this one:

Boss #1 calls, "Are you ready to move? The office over here is cleaned out and waiting for you."
I respond, "Well, I was under the impression that we were waiting on my phone to be moved."
Boss #1 then says, "Oh, well let me see if I can get that started."

I only bring this up because I had a conversation with my former boss #3, the one that dropped me from her budget rather suddenly a month or so ago, which made me think that perhaps I should pack up and move NOW, with or without my phone. The good news is that I'm somewhat more motivated to make the move at this point, just to be further away from her. On the other hand, I'm not sure physical distance is going to help much.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Back in November Greg found out that he would most likely be going to Washington, DC on a work trip sometime early this year. I was stoked. DC is one of the cities on the list of places we want to visit for fun. I love DC. Visited quite a few times when Sharonda lived there and always had a blast. I haven't been back since she moved, probably 5 or 6 years, and was pumped about the chance to go with Greg on the trip.

Not sure what I was thinking there.

Turns out the trip is in February. After a short discussion last night we decided that I wouldn't be going with Greg to DC. In a rational world, I would never have thought about going in the first place.

First, it's in February. I have it on good authority that it gets rather cold in DC in February. I don't like cold, and would likely be miserable. Frankly, I'd have gotten over that if circumstances had been different, but in light of the fact I can't go anyway, I'm using this as an emotional crutch.

Second, I really don't have enough vacation time to go. I would have to take off at least 2, probably 3 days. As of today I have 3.3 days of personal leave time available. Probably not my best plan to wipe that out, considering that if I get sick I have to take 8 hours of personal time before I can take any sick time.

Finally, and this is the primary problem, I just can't justify the expense. For Greg to go is free, it's a work trip. For me to go requires buying a plane ticket, plus we'd probably go up early to have a weekend to explore which would require 2 or 3 more nights at the hotel, which we would have to pay for, not to mention food and entertainment. We do tend to plan our travel around where we want to eat.

We are about 6-7 months away from having our house paid off, which is a means to an end. We have a ton of plans that all start with, "Once the mortgage is paid off..." I can't tell you how many people say things like, "If you wait for that you'll never do anything." Wrong. It's less than a year away, if we stay on track! We've worked too darn hard to be getting derailed now. There are too many bigger plans just waiting on that last payment. Heck, I'm the woman who is putting off buying new shower curtain rings because I want this so bad! There's just no way we can drop $1,000 bucks or so on a random trip to DC.

Besides, there's talk of a follow-up session in either Atlanta or Charlotte. Charlotte is only about an hour from Lauren and Ed and the boys. If I can save up some time off...

Monday, January 7, 2008


During a conversation with Sharonda on Saturday she bought up the idea that she and her new hubby may participate in the Marathon Makeover this year. The goal of the program is to take people who aren't exactly known for their high activity level and train them to run (or walk) the Chicago Marathon. I strongly encouraged her to do it. Not only would it be a great fitness motivation, but she has an opportunity to expand her consulting business if she completes the program.

Then there was the suggestion that we should join them. Ummmmm...

Ok, so I'm a big wimp. There are all the usual excuses - the big one being my knees would never make it. Running would be out of the question, but I'm not even sure they'd hold up to that much walking. Then there are the more realistic reasons. First, money. It's not a cheap program, and I'm cheap. Second, a marathon is TWENTY SIX MILES. I could probably physically do it if I trained and had some serious motivation, but there's a bigger issue. Do you know how long it takes to walk 26 miles? Something like 6-7 hours. I don't think it's a secret that staying focused isn't my strength. I'd be bored out of my mind after the first 90 minutes, and would end up sitting on the side of the road chatting with bystanders. And of course, they'd end up either being from or having relatives in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

I admit to being an excuse-mongering wimp. But I do hope Sharonda is able to do it. She'd be a lot more likely to make it than I would. It has nothing to do with physical ability, it's all about motivation and determination. I'm sure I would have motivation, I'd just forget what it was after the first hour or so.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Good, the Bad, the Friday

I had lunch today with a group of blogging hotties (and Doghouse!) and I have to say it was the highlight of my day, by far. Well, okay, Ace flirting with the waitress was probably the actual highlight, but the (somewhat more) adults rock too.

The rest of my day so far has been much less awesome.

Back in November I spent weeks working on a grant application to get funds for some continuing education programs. Today I get an email saying we'd been approved. I'm doing the twirl-in-my-chair happy dance right up until I actually open the email and realize they'd approved us for approximately 1/3 of the amount we'd requested. Well now. That presents some interesting delimas.

In the application I broke out the cost per session. The amount they approved will fund one and a third sessions. Um. Did they READ the application? The application also stated that we were not going to have funding from other sources. I don't think it'll be a problem if we now request funding for the remaining sessions since they opted not to fund them, but the 2/3 session could be a problem. I fear the solution is going to be to return the extra funds, which just grates on me considering how much effort it took to GET those funds in the first place!

Not to mention it's a bit late in the game to be submitting brand new grants for a funciton in MARCH. And I'm running out of sources. Seems like every time I do this there are fewer and fewer organizations offering the type of grants we need, and I've used 4 of those sources in the past six months!

However, on the bright side, I'm going to a function with Jen tonight that should involve an absurd amount of homemade chocolate goodies. I can feel my heart getting healthier just thinking about it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


To anyone walking by my house in the past 30 minutes who are now looking up the phone number for PETA:

I was not torturing an animal. I was trimming his nails. He can be a bit dramatic about such things. He can also be quite immature about it, such as when he finds a way to sit on all four paws so that I can't reach any of them. No animals were physically harmed during this process, although I'm sure the animal in question considers himself victimized and emotionally scarred. I have since given him a treat, making it all better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I'll admit that my sock drawer is a mess. With my new shiny boots I need black trouser socks, but I've had much frustration finding matching sock sets in the chaos of my sock drawer. Tonight I fought back. I pulled out all of my black trouser socks to match them all up and put this wrong to right.

In the end, I have 4 pair of matching black socks. And 11 individual orphaned black socks. I don't think I've ever owned 11 pair of black socks, so I really don't know how I have 11 orphaned black socks, PLUS 4 pair. I think the 4 pair were inter-breeding, creating the 11 mutt black socks that don't really resemble any of the others. It's the only explanation I have.

Another Story

Some of the comments on the last post reminded me of another story that I thought I might as well share.

Several years ago I worked with a good friend who was married with a baby and seemed to be on a bit of a financial roller coaster for various reasons. She had started doing some part time sales for a skin care company that paid commission. It wasn't a lot, but it helped a little at a time.

Anyway, she had a appointment one night that she really wasn't wanting to do and didn't expect to be very profitable. She had considered sending somebody else. As it turned out, her baby had been sick and the doctor bill came in the day before. She didn't know how they were going to pay it, so she decided to keep the appointment in the hopes of earning a little to put towards the bill. The next morning she walked into the office and the first words out of her mouth were, "God is so amazing!" Turns out she'd had a great meeting the night before and earned EXACTLY the amount needed to pay the medical bill. To the dollar. Not a dollar more or less, but to the dollar.

What struck me was the fact that she didn't walk in and say, "You'll never believe what I did!" or even, "What a relief!" The very first thing was, "God is so amazing!" That conversation had an unusually profound effect on me for a lot of reasons; and I can't tell you how many times I've thought of that over the past couple of years when something crazy happens. Even something as simple as somebody asking to rake our yard, which kept us from having to make a purchase we really didn't want to make. It's a little thing, but we didn't really need a big thing at this time. It was just enough. There was a time when I would have just blown off the coincidence as good luck, but there have been too many of them, too many that were a lot bigger when we needed bigger, for me not to realize that God is amazing, even in the little things. I don't think it has anything to do with what we want to happen, I think it has to do with encouraging us along the path God wants us to take, so long as we're willing to go there.

I'm not sure I ever told Nic how much that little conversation meant to me. I think I'll email her and make sure she knows.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Pine Straw

Greg was about halfway through raking the yard this past weekend when the rake broke. We were going to have to buy a new rake. Unfortunately, we hadn't budgeted for a new rake. Now I know it won't cost much and we could rearrange some things to pay for it, but we've put it off because... well, because we weren't in a big hurry to get back out and rake the yard.

This afternoon we had a knock on the door. It was a guy that works for the nature center down the road. He wanted to know if we'd mind if he finished raking our yard and took the pine straw. Seriously. They need it for mulch for the flowers. He's coming back tomorrow to get it. Said he'd come back in a few weeks and rake again, if we didn't mind. Do we mind not having to buy a new rake this week? Do we mind not having to rake the yard? Hmm. Let me think about it and get back to you.

When I walked back into the house after talking to him at the door, Greg was doing the happy dance. You'd think we'd be used to the little things working themselves out like that, but it's still always a surprise.