Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, it was quiet. I mean I'm the only one up enjoying the quiet. Amazing to look at the tree with all the presents and know that in 12 hours it will all be gone. I've been cooking all day and staying warm while it has been snowing, yes snowing, outside. We set a record for snow in one day in Oklahoma and will definitely have a white Christmas. I haven't had one of those in 30+ years. The drifts are huge, we can't get out of the house, let alone the neighborhood. ALL of the interstates in the state were closed down. I don't think that has ever happened even in the ice storms we've had. It looks pretty but the house has been shaking with the wind blowing 50 mph. You know that Oklahoma's weather has it all and we certainly prove that point all the time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey

The local newspaper had a story about the inmates in the county jail would not be receiving turkey dinners on Thanksgiving due to budget cuts. It seemed to state that people would be outraged at this. I for one applaud the sheriff for not giving them the dinner that would cost about $2,000. They have already laid off 20 employees. And since when did being incarcerated mean that you get to enjoy turkey dinner. I thought the point of jail was to deprive people of things so they wouldn't commit crimes. Did I miss something in civics class?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

United Way Day of Caring

Tomorrow is the Day of Caring here in Norman where businesses donate their staff's time to go to work at non-profit organizations. I've done this now seven years. Some years have been easy and we've been done by noon. I don't like those years. One year I packaged boxes of donations for Hurricane Katrina at the Salvation Army and got very proficient at shrinkwrapping pallets. This year we are winterizing Health for Friends which is a local organization that provides free and reduced health care to people without insurance. We've had rain now for a week and there is a chance for it tomorrow so this could become a very muddy event.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birthday time

You know you are getting older when your birthday doesn't mean anything to you. When you are a kid, you count down days because it usually meant something great was going to happen. You got to be a teenager, you got to vote, you got to drink. Now they are just another day. For my birthday this year I get to spend all day at a retreat for a federal organization that we work with. Normally I do take it off but not this year. So I'll spend it listening to speeches, brainstorming about how to solve their workforce problems and get a free lunch. I guess that didn't change.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Results from Wine Tasting

I hosted my first wine tasting Monday evening at the house. I was nervous since I had never done anything like this before. But I shouldn't have because it was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed it and had a great time. There were lots of interesting conversations going on and we all enjoyed the wine. The cheese and crackers were eaten and we finished five bottles of wine. I hope to have another one this fall but it may have to wait until 2010 depending on schedules. Or maybe someone else will host one themselves.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bedazzling vs. Stoning

I have learned a valuable lesson. Bedazzling is not the same as stoning. In fact, the word bedazzle should not be said anywhere near dance moms. I made this mistake yesterday and will never make it again. We stone rhinestones onto uniforms and costumes. Bedazzling does not use good crystals.

So let that be a lesson to all of you out there wishing to take up a craft.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School

School starts next Thursday. The good thing about high school is there isn't a set list of things to buy supply-wise. The bad thing is when you get to each class they say what you need and a lot of the time you need it the next day. So the first night is hectic. You also have to make sure you have the right clothes. Luckily we really don't have to buy too many things this year since Whitney has to wear a uniform about once a week. And it is still so hot it makes no sense to buy jeans yet. But the day of getting her schedule we did spend a ton of money on Norman Tiger shirts and an entry rug for our house. The shirts weren't all for Whitney as I needed one since I'll be going to the games and need to support our team. But then there was the locker fee and a parking decal. I know that high school is just the tip of the iceberg for two years from now when we get hit with college costs. So I'll pay my money and shut up.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Planning a Wine Tasting

I'm finally going to do it and host my own wine tasting. But there are so many different options for tastings, I'm not sure what to do. It becomes very confusing. So I posted a poll on facebook hoping that it would answer my problem. Unfortunately it only made it worse. So I think I'm going back to my original ideas of either a certain region with a variety of wines or a certain wine maker and all of the wines they make. Either way it should make an entertaining evening.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My new job

I feel it is time to announce my new profession. I am going to be a professional clapper. I really feel that this is a growth industry.

For those of you who do not know what a professional clapper is, basically I will be hired to sit in any kind of venue where applause is needed and encouraged. My job will be to get the applause going in the appropriate places. You want someone to start the clapping at a wedding, I'm the person. How about a dance recital where people are unsure of when a piece is done. Bam, I'll get it started at the right time. Maybe a concert where someone isn't quite up to performing. I'll get the audience clapping to give encouragement.

Some of you may think, really, what kind of job is this. It actually takes a lot of hard work. You have to learn how to clap properly so you dont' wear out your hands. And you have to clap loud enough to get others to join in.

If you ask nicely, I may give you a demonstration of the proper clapping technique. But then again, I may not because maybe you'll think about doing this exciting new job and take work away from me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Chic-Fil-A Cow

At Turner Field in Atlanta, they have this huge cow that does the tomahawk chop. However, it is so high up and so slow it is hard to recognize. So I tried to come up with new ideas for it to do. My favorite is for it to spin around with fireworks coming out of its butt. That would be worthy of a big cow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Theme for our recent trip

Dan and I just got back from what seems a yearly pilgrimage to baseball. Every year we go on a vacation together we try to have a theme. Most of the time it seems to be some song that is played on the radio every 30 minutes it seems. One year it was "Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train" and another was the song from Moulin Rouge. So this year as we left town, Dan said he really wanted to have fun on this vacation. I said sure, F U N. Then I reconsidered and said no we need to have PH Fun. I explained that F Fun is ordinary and we needed something special. So this year became "Putting the PH into FUN". I think we did it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lack of Blogs

Alas, all of the blogs I follow have stopped. I figure facebook is eating up everyone. But I will continue to write. Well when I get back from vacation at least.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Questions to Ponder

It is 2am on Monday morning and I can't sleep. Why is it that on work days I can't sleep and on weekends I can't stay awake until 10pm? The alarm goes off at 6:15 whether or not I sleep so you would think my body would listen. But alas I still am awake with no sleepiness in sight.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate to sweat. For years I did no exercising but then about 10 years ago I started walking at lunch. I did it inside, climate controlled, which helped control the sweating issue. Then I switched to toning machines. You don't sweat doing that either. But recently I've picked up doing Wii Fit. The step aerobics is fun but not sweaty. However boxing is a workout. I can feel my heart start pumping and my body heating up. I thought I would start working out in the morning because I can't find time after work so I got up early today to do it. I am not a morning person and need a shower to wake up. However I may have to rethink this because I was getting really hot and I don't think my hair recovered from the small amount of sweat that came off my head. But it accomplished what I hoped, exercise and a good start to the day.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reflections of the Fourth of July

Tonight we watched the fireworks on tv from Washington DC. It is raining here and I'm not sure if they will even be able to do them here in Norman. There have been many years when we've sat home and watched them on tv instead of going out and fighting traffic. I remember when I was young we would go sit on a big hill and watch the fireworks over the river in Wisconsin. I was scared to death of loud noises so I would always cover my ears to try and drown them out. But I thought they were very pretty. As I got older, I got over the noise. We would go to Disneyworld on the Fourth and watch them over the castle. That still is as beautiful as I remember it. Dan and I got married on July 2nd and while on our honeymoon went to watch the fireworks over a lake in Branson. I am fascinated by all of the color combinations and shapes that are created. My favorites are the big ones that have more than one color. How they do that I don't know.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Interesting Signs

On the drive to Tulsa last Friday, we ran across a couple more interesting signs. The first was Moo Cow Cafe. Now I don't know about you, but I figure if you say moo people already think cow. So isn't that a little redundant? We have the Flying Cow Cafe here at work but that was named for the cow in Twister since we are the weather building. The other interesting store was Itchin to be Stichin. Cute and I'm sure you can figure out what kind of business it is.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unusual Sign

Dan and I were driving around Norman today and I saw a sign in a front yard and just had to write about it. It was an advertisement (you know like the ones for roofing companies) but it was for "The Skunk Whisperer". It had a picture of a skunk on it. I assume it is for a business that goes after skunks that have decided to live at people's houses but not sure. I doubt it is for people with pet skunks who need a little help with their skunks. I didn't get the phone number so I can't call to find out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Biggest Loser is over but not forgotten

Well two weeks after the biggest loser contest is over and I decided I had to go weigh myself. I haven't been as strict the last two weeks knowing that the contest was over. I did gain 1.5 pounds this time but since I hadn't gained any weight in 5 months I didnt' think that was bad. And I realized something when I had to pay for my new car tag. I pulled my driver's license out and I'm actually really close to the weight listed on it. I'm sure if you are like me you haven't changed the weight ever and probably lied about it when you first got one. So to be near it for real is pretty impressive.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Abby's new sleep habit

Abby has developed a new habit. She has decided that she needs to bunch up her bed in the living room so that she can lean against it like a pillow. Normally that means just one corner that she scratches to move. Last night she decided that wasn't enough. She actually moved her entire bed, turned it and bunched it up so she could be comfortable. I've decided that she is an extremely lazy dog. Dan thinks that she is just smart and knows what she wants.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You say tomato, I say tomato!

Look, a tomato! I have 2 little itty bitty tomatoes now. Hopefully more to come because there are a lot of flowers. And just to prove that I have success with a plant outside, here is what our basil plants are looking like. We are about to try and freeze pesto so we can have it all winter long.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The end of the Biggest Loser

Well today had to come. The last weigh in for the Biggest Loser at the NWC. I went in never thinking I would lose a lot of weight, maybe a couple of pounds. I ended up losing 20.5 pounds in about 5 months. WOW! I ended up in 2nd place at 13.2% lost. First place lost 21.6% (52 pounds) and he says it saved his life. He also donated all of the money that he won to Center for Children and Families, a local charity.

For all of you out there trying to lose weight, you CAN do it. Go slowly, watch portion sizes, eat slowly, don't starve yourself. The calorie counts/portion size on the box are there for a reason. I probably lost my weight simply by using the portion size on my breakfast cereal. If you eat something that is totally decadant don't make yourself feel like you are a terrible person. Believe me, I have to have chocolate every day or I'm not nice. I have found that after all of this, if I try to eat anything greasy or a large portion, I feel so full I'm uncomfortable. I really think that most of this weight will stay off.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Topsy Turvy Update

I have flowers on the tomato plant. It continues to grow. Maybe our experiment is working.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of Whitney's sophomore year. It is hard to imagine that in two years she will be graduating and going off to college. This year she has learned to make reasonable arguments and draw her own conclusions about a wide range of topics. Her grasp of US History is great. Dan and her have had many discussions about different things and he has been impressed with discussions. Her knowledge of Spanish is greater than she thinks. She has had a math teacher who made algebra fun. She has also learned that she is not cut out for any job in the medical field thanks to biology. And she also learned that classes are much more interesting when you are with a bunch of kids who want to learn rather than thrown into the mix with those that think school stinks. Next year should hopefully continue the good student mix with two AP classes and advanced math and science and a fourth year of Spanish.

Congratulations Whitney on another good year!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Topsy Turvy Update

I planted the tomatoes about one month ago and since then we've had over 4 inches of rain and not as much sun as I would have liked. Dan moved the plant to get more sun after a week or so because it defintely wasn't getting enough. I can turn the plant so it can get sun and grow evenly. It likes to grow towards the sun so turning is key. Hopefully it will continue to grow and in another month we'll have those 30 pounds of tomatoes to share.

Reflections of the month of May

May is always a busy month in our house. I always have a conference to go to and lots of work to do before the end of the fiscal year. Whitney has the end of school and dance recital plus now she is getting ready to work. Dan just has to put up with both of us being stressed out (a lot of extra work for him there). This month has flown by and I realize that there still is a week left because Memorial Day is early but I still don't think I've accomplished much. Here is what I would like to do but don't know when I can do it.

1. Plant flowers. I always say I'm going to take care of flowers and then it gets hot and I hate to go outside to even water them. I don't really look at them, so I think I'll skip it this year.

2. Take walks outside. I said I would wait until the weather is nicer to walk outside and it is nicer now. How many walks have I taken? Two. One at work during lunch and one after work in the neighborhood. I really need to do more because I'm not working out at all.

3. Exercise on the Wii Fit. I looked at the calendar and I think I've done it three times this month. Definitely not enough for any kind of aerobic benefits. Need to get back to doing that.

4. Write our will. I've owned software for four years to do it ourselves (legal in Oklahoma) and so far I haven't cracked it open. I tried once when I bought it (two computers ago) and it still isn't done. I don't suggest this for anyone out there.

5. Buy a car. I actually did accomplish this one so maybe there is hope for me yet.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My New Car

I finally have time to write about my new car. Last weekend I finally went to test-drive cars. It only took me two months of research to finally have the time to do it. I had it narrowed down to a Honda Civic Coupe and a Hyundai Tiburon. Dan and I went and I drove them. Whitney wasn't there so I had an out on the pushy salesman because I wanted her to see it too before I bought anything. The Honda place was so nice, it is where we bought our last car. The Hyundai place had a nice salesman but the sales manager was your typical pushy guy. I got a good offer before I left but knew I had to go back. So later that day we took Whitney to look at the cars. The Tiburon ended up having a really bad blind spot plus a rattle so I decided against it. But the Civic was good all around. Dan got them to let us take the car home and we would go back Monday with our decision. It was Sunday before I remembered that I was going to be in Oklahoma City at a conference all day and couldn't go back. But Dan talked to them on the phone Monday and actually negotiated the price that I wanted. They said it would be fine to come back on Tuesday. The car just sat in the garage for two days because I didn't want to risk bringing it out without owning it. So Tuesday afternoon I went to the dealer and did all the paperwork and was the proud owner of a silver Honda Civic Coupe. It is maybe not as sporty looking on the outside as it could be but inside it is sporty. And a Honda is always a good purchase. Now it is time for Whitney to get serious to learn how to drive the Stratus. We are officially a three car family. Got to find a place to park the extra car. It is hard since we have a fire hydrant in front of our house.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Coming to the end of the biggest loser

There are only 3 more weigh in days for the biggest loser in our building. So 9am I rolled over to the postage meter scale (got to love our office) and stepped on. I wore my skinny new clothes hoping it would bring me more luck because I wasn't feeling confident. And tada, I lost another pound. So now I'm at 11.25% lost. Wowser. I still need some more pants/shorts/capris but I think I have enough tops now. I think even my feet have lost weight and they were skinny feet to start with.

So to all of those out there trying, there is hope. Just take it one day at a time, don't get discouraged if you splurge every once in awhile, and remember you didn't gain all the weight overnight, so you can't lose it overnight.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lessons from The Lion King

Whitney and I saw The Lion King last night. It was the Broadway touring show and it really was fantastic. I believe there are a few life lessons to be learned from it.

1. Hakanu Matata may work for awhile, but then life catches up with you. As much as you say "No Worries" believe me worries come into play.

2. You cannot escape the past but you can embrace it and learn from it.

3. Family is very important and they love you no matter what.

4. We all have to die but we can make sure that we live on in spirit through our current actions.

5. And if all else fails, have a good funny sidekick who can crack some jokes. :D

Friday, May 8, 2009

VORTEX2 or better known as "Weather Geek Patrol"

There is a huge (and I mean huge) field experiment starting at work Thursday called VORTEX2. It is something about tornado research. You can watch it on the Weather Channel. There are literally hundreds of weather geeks here going to go out throughout the midwest corridor searching for tornadic activity. For six weeks. I know, crazy but they are spending lots of money trying to figure out why some storms cause a tornado and others that look exactly like it don't. So your safety is on their minds.
Anyway today is media day so we have crews from all over the country here getting information about the thing. Plus all of the vehicles are arriving that they are using. There is an entire row of our parking lot filled with radar trucks, mesonet vehicles (those are the ones with funny stuff on the top) and chase cars. I took some pictures so you can get a feel for what they are. So if you see any of these cars in the next six weeks, take cover immediately.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mr. Potato Head

I'm sure you all remember Mr. Potato Head from your youth. It even had a featured role in Toy Story. I think that the movie actually inspired a resurgence of the toy. So imagine my surprise when someone I know from work had a Mr. Potato Head in a Houston Astros outfit. I just had to have one in a Atlanta Braves outfit. My work neighbor said he had one for the Chicago White Sox. So I searched online and found one that was brand new and not too expensive. So I waited patiently for it to arrive (well not patiently but not much I could do). As soon as it got here, I decided we needed a Mr. Potato Head party so here is the result of that. The three amigos as it were. We open our party to any sports Mr. Potato Head in the building, we are a non-discriminatory organization.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What's in the Crate?

I feel like this should be Where's Waldo? We received this crate at the office last week and I had to take a picture. Everything (packages and mail) have to be x-rayed in our building before delivery. My assistant was called down to the xray machine when this arrived because we had to explain what it was. The x-ray was showing over 200 nails holding it together and they couldn't figure out what was in it. The answer: a bottle of water. Yes, I know it sounds very strange. And it is very strange. Last year we had shipped a bottle of Gulf of Mexico water to Germany to be part of a museum exhibit. Long story but basically a researcher had gone and gotten it and wrote about it and the museum wanted it for an exhibit about weather stuff. Crazy. So we had shipped this perfume bottle of water to them. We didn't ship it quite so fancy. But it came back like this. And after we opened the box, we found out that the Germans had added more water and sealed the bottle. So it isn't even what we sent them. I can't imagine what it cost to ship but it sure makes an interesting story.

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to make Shakespeare interesting

I bought season tickets to the university's drama series this year. It included musicals (Chicago is the reason for the tickets), dance (ballet, modern mostly for Whitney) and plays. Yesterday was the last one in the series and it was William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Now I'm not a big Shakespeare person. Whitney had to read this one last year in school and didn't like it. So I was sort of dreading it. I ended up going by myself as Whitney had dance pictures. We have really good seats, fifth row right in the middle. But when I got there, the audience was set up slightly different. They had taken out some of the seats to have stairs go underneath and then it looked like there would be audience interaction. I was sitting right next to the downstairs. Then I read the program and the director said that he wanted to make it more approachable to college students so he set it in modern day New York City. They still spoke the lines like Shakespeare wrote but they were portrayed as the ultra-rich. One of them even carried around her little dog. But the most interesting thing was "The Woods". Rather than being a real woods, it was a nightclub. We had all sorts of techno music and popular cultures songs. Many of which may have been inappropriate for young children. The audience was a mix of college aged and old people so they must have been shocked. The "fairies" were dressed up like nightclubbers in very skimpy outfits. I don't think that is what Shakespeare had in mind. They even had a beat-boxing Puck and a rapping Oberon.
(Photos are from the OU Fine Arts website)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Biggest Loser Update

Another weigh in day and another success story. I have now lost 10.6% of my original weight and lots of people are noticing. I definitely need to get some new clothes. This really hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I'm not going to win (there is one guy who is at 16% and still losing) but I did lower my cholesterol and think I've lowered my "health age".

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The M&M Club

I used to eat peanut M&Ms every day. It was my afternoon snack. So people started buying me them for my birthday and just to bribe me to do something for them at work. This started to spiral out of control when I started getting M&M gifts (not just the candy). I now own this collection of M&M things that are displayed on my office file cabinet. Everyone who walks in goes "so you like M&M's" and I have to explain that I USED to but now like dark chocolate and I really don't eat the m&ms anymore. I admit it is a conversation starter but I am not sure I want that conversation.

Then people started bringing me gifts from other countries. I have several items from China, a sheep from England, a loch ness monster from Scotland. I have my OU Sooner dog on a couch too. My latest addition is a Mr. Potato Head Braves figurine. I saw a couple other people with these for other teams and I knew I had to have it. It was my impulse buy but had to wait a week for it to arrive. It now serves as the separator between the M&Ms and outsiders.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Topsy Turvy

Well we finally did it. The Topsy Turvy from tv was bought and now has two tomato plants in it. Not only did we have to buy the thing ($9.99 from Walgreens) plus two tomato plants ($4) and 40 lbs of top soil ($2) and a hanging stand ($10) because it wouldn't get enough sun hanging from the awning. I expect 30 pounds of tomatoes in 60 days.

Unpacking the box and reading directions

Hand filling it with dirt per directions

Hanging in the back corner of the yard for the perfect amount of sun

Pouring in the one gallon of water slowly per directions

The finished product

Life is just a blur

Do you remember when you were a kid how long a school year felt? You never thought it would end and you couldn't wait until you were a year older. And now that you are an adult time flies by so fast you wish you could just slow it down. It's the end of April already and that leaves one more month of Whitney being a sophomore in high school. Just a few months until I have another birthday and last year's seems so close by. Another summer vacation to plan when we just got back from one at Christmas (ok that one isn't too far behind us). The weekends go by so fast that you wonder what did I do with my time. Did I accomplish anything with that time? Even time at work seems to pass by quickly. Will I ever be able to clean off my desk so you can actually see the wood or will I continue to live out of piles? Is there time to take to go outside on a beautiful sunny day to enjoy some of it? How do you slow down time to make sure and enjoy it? Or are we all just destined to move through it like the speed of sound?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Touch a Truck

Dan and I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and at the fairgrounds was the annual "Touch a Truck" fundraiser for the children's section of the library. This is a huge event where children can see, touch, climb and all around play with trucks/cars/vans of all types. The big hit is being able to blow the sirens in the police cars and the horns on the semi-trucks.

The radar truck is actually from my work. We have three of them. Needless to say there were lots of little boys. We knew our nephew Noah would have had a blast and we would never have gotten out of there. Dan thinks he needs to fly here for next year's event but I bet they have one closer to Spokane somewhere.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Being Outvoted

I have been officially outvoted by my family in our car search. Now that Whitney is driving we need to get a second car that she can drive. My 1997 Dodge Stratus is a stick and she hasn't learned that. It has a multitude of other problems but since I drive it about 500 miles a month, it really isn't a big deal. So we first thought we would buy a second SUV similar to what we currently have and then the three of us would share the two cars. When Whitney went to college she could then have one of the cars and we would get "my" car. Unfortunately I can't seem to make up my mind and find something that works in the price range I want to pay. So the second option was for Dan to get a new car and I would get his Honda CRV and then Whitney would take that when she graduated and I would get a new car. Of course, I could not commit to that either.

So now comes the outvoted part. Dan is going to teach Whitney how to drive the stick and she will have my car. He will get some better tires (pretty bald right now) and then she can drive it to school and work. I am supposed to go pick out my dream car because I have been told I no longer have a car. This came as a shock to me because now I have to figure out what I want and actually go buy it. So I have to car shop (that is almost as bad as clothes shopping but not quite). And I don't have a lot of time because I'm borrowing Whitney's car now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Growing Old

We all grow older but most of the time we really don't feel it. I actually feel younger now than I did ten years ago. I'm taking better care of my body and it shows. However, there is one part of your body that you really can't control the aging: your eyes. Your eyes won't repond to better diet or more exercise. They do what they want to do. I started wearing glasses when I was ten for near-sightedness. Then I moved to contacts when I was 21. When I turned 40 I had Lasik so I could see clear all the time. What a wonderful moment that was. But this past week, age has caught up to me. I now need reading glasses. I work on a computer all day and the screen would get a little blurry. You have to move the newspaper farther away to read the little print. And numbers on my spreadsheets would start looking the same (not good when I try and balance millions of dollars). So today I am sporting a fantastic pair of reading glasses. I asked the eye doctor if the generic ones would work and he said you could try. So with the help of Dan and Whitney I picked out a $8 pair at Walmart. So far so good. And Dan thinks they look pretty hot too. (Sorry Whitney for that comment).

Monday, April 13, 2009

What do you take if you have to evacuate

Last week we had a range of wildfires all around us. Lucky for us they were several miles away and not coming towards us but terrible for those affected. One of the things you do in a situation like that is mentally prepare for what do you take if you have to leave your house and never see anything else in it again. I made a list so I wouldn't forget anything. You know that less than 5 minutes you have to shove everything in a car moment. So my list was something like photos, family videos, jewelry, change of clothes. The last thing on my list humored Dan. The only reason I wrote it down was because Whitney told me to. It was to take Abby. Now Abby is as much a part of the family as any of us. And I would never forget her. But Dan kept the note just in case something happens in the future we know not to forget Abby.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Walt Disney World and Children

We are watching home movies tonight and we picked out the time we went to DisneyWorld for Thanksgiving in 2000. This was our second trip to Disney. Whitney was 8 this time (first time she was 6). I believe that the time between 6-8 is the perfect time to go with a child. The sense of wonder in their eyes and enjoyment is so worth the money. We went for Christmas this last year and while we had an amazing time it was definitely different with a 16 year old. So for all you readers out there, I recommend the early elementary age for Disney. Of course, I'm thinking the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's look like good ages too.

For more on children at Disney, go look at Dan's blog with photos from this past year.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Interesting Things at Work

I work at the National Weather Center and we have a huge variety of people who work here. So the attached flyer should be an indication of what happens here. It's not every business that has its own brass band.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For Hannah

This post is for Hannah. I finally got my purple nails so took a picture just for you. Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Abby - What I'll Do For Love

Abby is probably one of the sweetest dogs you would ever meet. She loves Dan so much she follows him everywhere. In the morning if he takes Whitney to school, Abby usually will get to come. So about 15 minutes before she knows Whitney is leaving, she starts stalking Dan. She will push open the bedroom door and sit there so he can't go anywhere without her knowing it. She recognizes the sound of a big glass of ice because that means Dan will be driving somewhere so she wants to come along. Dan has even made her a special bed in his office so she can be near him. Now that the sun isn't coming in the back windows anymore, she really likes staying with him.

She will even jump up on a hard wooden bench and be close to the guitar just to be with him.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pom Mom

Whitney made the varsity pom team yesterday so now I'm really officially a pom mom. What does a pom mom do you may wonder? First I have to make sure all the uniforms fit properly so that means a trip to Kim's Alterations. Then there is the pom gifts for camp. The last two years I've been on the bag group which entails making sure the girls like the bags to carry their shoes and water bottles and make them unique. Then there is the golf tournament. I've gotten away without doing anything the last two years for this because it is a varsity event, but now I have to do something. I hate being outdoors and of course the end of May in Oklahoma is not kind to fair skinned people. I'm not sure exactly what job I will have to do but I'll find out this week. Then there is finding four golfers who want to play at $100/each and $400 worth of hole sponsors. And of course I will become a faithful fan of Norman Tiger football and basketball.

All this being said, I am very proud of Whitney and what she has accomplished. When she sets her mind to something, she is unbeatable.


Once again, I am the bag lady for pom. Wonder I can make it four for four next year?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another one bites the dust

Another pound lost its fight with Tracy! I'm now at 8.4% lost. The person in first place sent out an email listing in great detail what he has done to lose all his weight. A total lifestyle change with changing his eating habits and starting to run. I haven't even started to add exercise so I guess maybe I should.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home Grown Tomatoes

I always love home grown tomatoes but I don't have a green thumb. I forget to water my flowers and they dry out in the Oklahoma heat. But I have found the solution to my problem. The Topsy Turvey, an upside down plant grower. I saw an infomercial for it and now I just have to have it. Because not only do you get one of these fantastic items (its a tube that you put your plant in, turn upside down, fill with topsoil and then water, hang from the eaves) you get a second one free. Yes, they will double the offer just for me. Plus they add in a tomato holder that will allow you to slice your tomato evenly. And a recipe guide so I know how to use the 30 pounds of tomatoes that each of these tubes will produce.

For those of you interested, you can see it yourself at:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our new Wii

We have finally caved in and bought a gaming system, a brand new Wii. None of us have been good at games simply because we never had one. I insist that I can't think more than point and click. But we went ahead and bought one thinking it would be family entertainment. So we got the original sports game, Mario Kart and MLB 2009. The original sports has golf, tennis, baseball, boxing and bowling. So far Dan's got into the golf and even I can do that. We put in the MLB game and man is it complicated. We'll have to work up to that. But by far our favorite is Mario Kart. Whitney wanted that one since she had played it before. It is great. We have enough controllers for two people so we can have a real race. And it is really fun. I even came home at lunch today so Dan and I could play (that wasn't the main reason but it sure was a nice diversion from work). I'm sure as time goes on we'll get more gams and get much better at them. I think a Wii Fit is in the future too.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Old Video

Last night we decided to watch some old video we had taken of a vacation at Cape Cod. It was 2002 and the first trip I got to take for work so it was pretty exciting. Whitney missed the whole last week of school to go. Watching the old video, I realized several things.

1. Whitney was a great kid and really funny and talkative.
2. Both Dan and I look fabulous now compared to then. It's sort of hard to watch both of us with a lot moreweight but helps reinforce how far we've come.
3. I need new clothes. I have all the sweatshirts from that trip and still wear them (am wearing one now). I haven't bought a new sweatshirt for 3 years. I guess if you wear them around the house after work, they don't wear out. But still, it's shocking how many things I have to wear that are old.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Finally Success!!!!!

My first blogged video. Dan decided it would be cute to buy shamrock ears things and Adam wasn't quite sure about them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baseball in Phoenix

There are two places to see spring training. One is in Florida (Grapefruit League) and the other is Arizona (Cactus League). So many of the teams in Arizona play around Phoenix we had quite a choice on who to go to see. Our first day we went to Peoria and watched the San Diego Padres batting practice and stayed for the game. It was $2 hot dog day.
This is Whitney and Dan enjoying batting practice in the shade. It cost $5 to park but we were about 15 cars from the entrance to the park and then the volunteers drove golf carts to take you wherever you needed to go.

They had this big baseball outside so of course we had to take a picture. It was 90 degrees this day so we all got pink before we put on our sunscreen.

The Padres played the Texas Rangers and the players are super nice about pictures and autographs. You can't get this close at a major league park.
Whitney has decided her favorite player is Josh Hamilton for the Rangers. So everytime he came to bat she went down close to take pictures and video.

On the second day we went to Surprise and saw the Texas Rangers batting practice.

Whitney decided that she needed to get autographs so Dan gave her his copy of Baseball Prospectus to sign. Minor league players wore gray pants and were very eager to sign the book.

Whitney waited for 30 minutes to get Josh Hamilton's autograph. Our friend Teri helped her by blocking people pushing from behind. He was very generous with his time, signing everything long after all of the other players went to lunch before their game. Since she got his autograph, we didn't have to go to the game.

Oz Museum

Whitney went with her grandmother and cousins to the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas. She obviously had a good time with Miranda as they kept taking funny pictures of each other with the exhibits.

Home Alone face

Whitney already has a brain but was posing in sympathy with the scarecrow.

Ta da!

I want those shoes. I love shoes.

I'm melting.

And now a picture of a tshirt that I should have bought.

I believe this should be all of our mottos.

Toto's Tacoz!

Our trip to Wamego, Kansas (billed as the Land of Oz) had us eat dinner at Toto's Tacoz.

They had a saddle set up so Whitney decided she needed her picture on it. We weren't sure how sturdy it was but we got a lovely picture without crashing to the ground.

Every October Wamego has "Oztoberfest" where living munchkins from the film visit. This photo was from a group of them eating at Toto's Tacoz. Unfortunately there are no more living munchkins so we will not be attending the festival this year.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Dog

Abby was very happy to ride in the car to Phoenix. We made her bed in the back on the way back and she enjoyed this even more than sitting next to Whitney on the way to Phoenix.

Driving to and from Phoenix

We went to Phoenix for Spring break and decided to drive. For those of you not from Oklahoma, while we are in the middle of the United States, nothing is close. It is 15-16 hours to drive to Arizona. Luckily the drive there we gain two hours because Arizona does not recognize daylight savings time. So we left Norman at 5am and got to Phoenix at 8ish. Dan wasn't feeling well so I did a lot of driving. I drove most of New Mexico which is probably the most boring state to drive through. It is worse than Oklahoma and I didn't know that was possible. We took Abby with us so had to make sure and walk her and give her water at our rest stops. We are sort of commando drivers and eat while driving and just stop for gas/bathrooms.

This is the warning at Arizona rest stops. Makes you really want to stop.

Monday, March 23, 2009

To Weigh or Not To Weight...That is the Question

So today is the first day back after back to back trips. It is also weigh-in day. So the question is do I go weigh? We get two free passes and after two days of McDonald's drive through I'm thinking it really isn't a good choice. But I wanted to know where I was. So I made sure if I didn't like the weight I could use a pass. (I always look for the loophole). The scale went back and forth a little bit but I lost 1/2 pound. Frankly I am thrilled with that. Of course I now head out of town for 4 days in Washington DC. But I'll be back for a whole week before the next weigh in and the weather is getting nicer so maybe I can start walking in the evening.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Movie Time

I'm sure to blog more in the future but we just got back from Kansas and am about to leave for Phoenix in less than 8 hours. My new camera is great so wanted to post a video and photo just to show you I actually am technologically savvy.

A surfing Toto from the Land of Oz (otherwise known as Wamego, Kansas)

OK, loading video didn't work. Tried two different ones thinking maybe too long but still didn't work. I'll have to try another time when we get back.