Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We made it!!!

Last night was one of the scariest nights of my life. BJ and I left at 1:30 from Farmington to get to northeastern Indiana for Christmas with his family. Everything went along fairly smoothly except for a steady stream of rain until we hit Indianapolis. At 8:30, we were only an hour and a half away from our destination, we had just gotten around Indianapolis, and we were going along steadily when traffic suddenly came to a stand still. Apparently, there was a wreck about ten miles ahead of us. With traffic stopped, the rain that had fallen all day turned into a sheet of ice, and the rain that was still falling made it even slicker. Before we knew it, everyone was sliding around, including us. Realizing that we were not going to be able to go all the way, I called my brother and asked him to start searching for hotel rooms. He found one, and I called to make a reservation. It was about 12 miles down the road from where we first stopped. We pulled into the hotel at 1:00 in the morning. It took four and a half hours to drive 12 miles, and it was the most terrifying 12 miles of my life (even BJ was scared, and that is saying something). Thankfully, it warmed up today, and we made the last 60 miles of our journey in an hour.

After sliding off the road, seeing cars and trucks literally lining the sides of the roads, and fearing we would have to sleep in our car on the side of the road last night (it was an actual possibility), I feel exceptionally grateful to be in a home with family enjoying Christmas. So here's to all the warm and fuzzy feelings of Christmas. They have their purpose.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm strong enough to face the cold. I'm strong enough to face the cold. I'm strong enough...

This has become my morning chant (or you might say pep talk) while crouched in the fetal position in front of our space heater.

Eleven days to Texas (and Texas had better deliver some unseasonably warm weather.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The silver lining to an economy in shambles

Yes. It is absolutely glum to watch the news right now. It is heartwrenching to see the unemployment rate climbing each mother, and I can't imagine knowing that Christmas at home is impossible because that home was lost to a foreclosure. These are trying times, but there are still blessings in which to rejoice.

Today I found out that due to economic reasons, Murray State will be closing a few extra days over the Christmas break. This means that instead of a week, I get two full weeks of paid vacation. And this means that I might get to see Texas our Texas after all. It has been nearly five months since I have seen Texas, over six months since I stepped foot in Abilene, and nearly seven months since I slept in my bed at home in Menard. I thought I was going to have to wait until spring break in March, but it looks like I might just have to wait two weeks. The thought of those short, ugly, shrubby mesquite trees lining a huge (hopefully cloudless) Texas sky is putting a big lump in my throat right now. I might even have to go out and buy a big yellow rose to take home with me after work.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A dog with a sophisticated palette, sort of

Being a Lab, Sienna will eat anything and everything we put in her food bowl or that falls to the floor while I'm cooking. Anything. Gus, however, is not a glutton, and he has been known to go days without eating a bite of food. After over a year and a half of trying to learn how to keep my dog from starving, I finally figured out what the problem is: Gus only likes food when it is moist and fresh. He would always eat dry food when we first opened the bag, but after a few days of it drying out, he lost interest. To remedy this, I have started mixing one can of wet food into his dry food everyday. Now, he is eating a lot, and this makes me happy.

The other day, BJ and I were in Walmart when I remembered that I was out of Gus's canned food. We went over to the dog food section, and I started throwing in cans of the different flavors Gus likes: beef, beef stew, turkey and bacon, lamb and rice, etc. Here is the conversation that followed between me and BJ:

BJ: Do you really think Gus cares if you get different flavors?
me: Of course, I don't want him to get bored with just beef or just chicken. Gus is pickier than your dog.
BJ: Yay, you know what else that sophisticated palette likes? Cat turds.

Okay, he sort of got me on that one. But I will continue to provide Gus with the best cuisine Ol' Roy Dog Foods has to offer.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sienna's Thanksgiving dinner

Its back to work after what was a very memorable Thanksgiving. One of my best friends from high school, Garrett, and his wife, Sarah, came down to Kentucky for the holiday. They have a 17 month old daughter, Charlotte, who kept us pretty much entertained for three days. I was nervous about having a baby in the house because I am notoriously bad with kids, we have two giant dogs roaming around, and our house is basically a collection of hard edges and sharp corners. But amazingly enough, Charlotte came out of the holiday unscathed, so I'd call it a successful Thanksgiving.

As I said, this Thanksgiving had many memorable moments, all of which we can attribute to Charlotte and her tireless admirer, Sienna. However, one moment stands out in particular.

It was Thanksgiving afternoon, and the four adults were all in the kitchen either preparing for the big meal or just chatting. Charlotte was busy exploring everything within reach of a 17 month old. BJ and Garrett had done a little grocery shopping earlier, but BJ had neglected to put up all of the groceries, basically picking a choosing which ones he would put away. Unfortunately, one item he did not choose was a carton of 18 eggs. Charlotte climbed up unto one of the dining room chairs, saw the pretty green carton, and pulled up on the lid. Garrett was watching this (probably in slow motion), and I was fortunate enough to catch the look of horror and helpless that crossed his face. In the middle of our eat-in kitchen, in the middle of the Thanksgiving meal preparation, 18 eggs crashed to the floor. There were only four survivors.

Charlotte's eyebrows popped up in an adorable "oops" expression, and I immediately bent over laughing until tears came as the parents apologetically start cleaning. Of course, BJ helped the cleaning process by calling in his dog. She licked up a large portion of the mess for us.

As Garrett was bent over cleaning, he looked up at me and said, "This is going to be a blog post, isn't it? " Yep, it is.