Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fragments

I have nothing, my brain is tired, just full of one liners... perfect for Friday Fragments!  Thank you again to Mrs. 4444 for hosting.  Stop over and visit everyone!

Mommy's Idea

* Last week, I was surprised by winning the "Customer Service Award" from February.  It was nice to know that as hard as I try to be courteous to everyone, someone else appreciated my efforts.

* The turtle is still hiding in the pine straw next to the house, I am beginning to wonder if he/she showed up to expire?  Would not surprise me one bit considering we had a wounded Turkey Vulture land in our backyard only to expire.

* I am not sure what the above statement says about Doodle and I.

* The spiral staircase for the deck has arrived, it is currently in pieces and parts under the deck... I wonder if the great deck build of 2011 will conclude in 2012 or 2013!

* This weekend we are going to finish planting in our new area, I cannot stand just looking at dirt.

* Holy Smokes the fire ants are bad this year.  They are everywhere and I am tired of being bitten every time I step outside. 

* Happy Friday everyone... enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"A budget tells us what we can't afford, but that doesn't keep us from buying it"

~ William Feather

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Newest Family Member

Photo Credit
I have discovered an Eastern Box Turtle that appears to be hibernating in our flower bed.  It has been really cold and windy the last few days here and the turtle has buried itself under the pine mulch and into the dirt.  I put some lettuce out for it but it has not moved from the site.  I suppose I will just keep checking on the turtle and hope that with warmer weather he/she begins moving around again.  I wonder how many of them are around that I have never seen?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy 40th Doodlebug

Happy 40th Birthday Doodlebug.  Whomever named you must have know you would grow up doing amazing things. 

I love you my husband!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marine Marvels

Click on the link below to take a look at the awesome photos... what a wonderful world we live in.

Underwater Photography Contest Winners

Feast for the EyesCredit: Ximena Olds

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”

~ Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finally

It is finally raining here now.  If only for a brief moment.  The pollen is washing away, the plants are smiling and so am I.  Maybe this will be the start of a good soaking, we really need it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Great Deck Build of 2011

We continue work on redoing our deck and patio in the backyard.  We have made significant progress the last couple of weeks, thanks to Doug and Andrew, who are true gems!  The pavers are down and the columns roughed in.  Take a look at the progress we (they) have made.

Thousands of pavers were needed for the patio.  The Home Depot delivery man has been to the house so many times, we are now on a first name basis.

 Here is the almost finished patio.  We still need to order the staircase and figure that out... but we are closer!
Close-up of the pavers with the border accent.
This weekend, Doodle and I added the first of the shrubs and flowers into our new planting area.  We have vastly different ideas about what to plant, so we comprised with Gardenias, Flirt Nandina and Blush Pink Nandina.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hell - Recap

Yesterday was not really hell, I worked from home and that is always has positive effects.  No gasoline consumed, the cat and dogs were inside with me, I wore my comfy clothes, etc.  The hellish part of the day was replaying the prior two days at Dale Carnegie over and over in my mind.  When Doodle left for work yesterday morning, I was still feeling really down, after all, I should be leaving for the last day and then happily graduating from the Dale Carnegie class with my co-workers that afternoon.  Instead I was home, a failure!

Doodle said something to me that morning that made me think all day.  He asked if I knew who Lou Gehrig was?  The baseball player I said... everyone knows this!  Doodle asked what position did he play?  I have no idea.  Doodle said Lou Gehrig played First Base because that is where his strengths were.  The coaches did not ask him to be a pitcher or a catcher because you needed a different set of strengths for those positions.  Doodle said not everyone has the same set of strengths, everyone is different and finding where you can excel with your strengths is the true test of a coach.

That conversation rolled around in my mind all day and I finally figured out why I was so upset over the past two days.  Mr. and Mrs. Trainer made me feel small.  They made me feel like there was something wrong with me.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!

Not everyone leads in the same way.  So there you have it, a defining moment.  Great leaders come in different designs and what makes them great is not being the same but being themselves.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hell - Day 2

Day Two of HELL! 

I have officially flunked out of Dale Carnegie.  Today, I was told I was a negative influence on the class because I refused to speak in front of everyone and feel humiliated for a second day.  The trainers decided the best way to handle the situation was to call a break and ask me to leave.  Could you not have waited another 3 hours for class to end and quietly ask that I do not return on the last day.  To add insult to injury, my supervisor had to leave work and drive to the center to pick me up. 

WOW, now I am a failure in the eyes of thirty strangers, five co-workers, and my immediate supervisor.    Gee, that really increases a person's feeling worth and self-confidence.  Mr. and Mrs. Trainer, I do believe you are hounds of hell.

I will never recommend Dale Carnegie to anyone! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hell

I have descended into HELL and it is called Dale Carnegie.  Specifically a three day immersion class called Strictly Business.  According to their website this course is designed to, "equip you to perform as a persuasive communicator, creative problem solver and intelligent risk-taker. The program emphasizes the principles of success and shows you how to put them into action every day". 

Let's break this down...

"Equip you to perform as a persuasive communicator" = give impromptu speeches on topics of their choosing.  I would rather be in front of a firing squad than speak in front of a group. I literally started crying in front of thirty strangers because I was so nervous.  Did not even really give a speech... that was professional and a great way to equip me for being a persuasive communicator.

I DO NOT SPEAK IN FRONT OF GROUPS. 

Why is that so hard to understand.  Why cannot my supervisor just accept me as I am, instead of making me into what she wants me to be.  I was so embarrassed, humiliated, a failure, and the best part, there were five other co-workers there that watched me fall apart.  I am sure the emails were flying back to the office! 

The worse part, I have to return tomorrow, and go through HELL again.  I hate my life.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

You may not live up to everyone's standards, but there's someone out there who will love you just the way you are

~Anonymous

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fun Fact

Want to know how to can save money on car washes?  

By letting your car sit in the driveway and get rained on! 

How do I know this... my car is in the driveway getting rained on.

Try it, you will not be disappointed.  Okay, maybe you will be disappointed because then the car is covered in rain spots but at least the pollen is washed away and here in the South, that counts for a lot!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Camera Lenses

Does anyone else just have random thoughts pop into their head at odd hours?  It occurred to me last night when I was looking through the pictures that we took of the horse show the reason so many of them were blurry.  I had the wide angle lens on the camera.  Of course, I have no idea what a wide angle lens does but after reading about them, I have deduced they are not optimal for a horse show.  Now if I could just find the other lens... somewhere in the basement that has become the bane of my existence.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

3 Goals

3 Goals - sounds simple, easy, how hard could only three goals be.  Apparently for your first horse show... VERY!  Yesterday, I showed in my first "real" horse show.  I moved Austin a month ago to a new facility where the trainers specialize in American Saddlebreds.  I love Saddlebreds, they are smart, funny, lovable, and fun to watch and ride.  Somehow, I got talked into showing at the 2012 ProAm Horse Show in Perry, Georgia.  Remember I am 41 years old, have not ridden in a year and am showing at a show.  I have been sick to my stomach for the past two weeks!  That leads me back to my three goals:

No Puking - success
Do Not Fall Off - success
Do Not Come in Dead Last - success

We left the house bright and early yesterday morning for our trip to Perry.  3 hours later we arrive at the Georgia fairgrounds and I must say, what a lovely facility.  We walk into the arena and I look at Doodle with terror and exclaim... "I cannot do this"!  Doodle looks at me, as if I have truly lost my mind, we got up at 5:30am on a Saturday morning, drove three hours, and you are not going to get on a horse!  However, what he says is "I know you can do this, if you do not want to do this, we won't".  (what did I do to deserve this man?)

That did nothing to calm my nerves and I made a beeline for the bathroom (again)!  The Saturday morning portion of the show was just getting started.  We were able to watch a couple of classes, find the where the barn was located amongst all the others, and watch the other riders get ready.  Academy classes are for new riders and started in the afternoon and before I knew it, I was dressed and on the horse. 

Honestly from there my three classes were a blur.  I looked for and found the trainers stationed around the arena to keep me going and tell me what to correct.  I saw Doodle, but the rest of the world blurred away.  I made mistakes, many of them, but I survived to ride again.  I did not fall off, I did not come in dead last, and I did not puke... three simple goals.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

~George Burns

Monday, April 2, 2012

Where Did March Go?

I cannot believe it is April!  It seems the older I get the faster time flies.  Remember our deck renovation that we started sometime last year.  We are still hard at work on it. Here are a couple of updated pictures.

The ceiling has been installed, I have to admit it was worth the wait.  We are shopping for ceiling fans and need to put the lights in.


The columns have been roughed in. But first the pavers have to be laid before the columns can be finished.  We picked out the pavers, colors, and design for the floor.  Bought 1400 pounds of cement to mix in with the dirt for the pavers to sit on.  Poor Doodle had to unload all the cement himself.  I was of absolutely no assistance with that!
During our spare time, we decided to work on adding an area for more gardening in what we lovingly referred to as the dessert.  So far we have only filled the first area with herbs, lettuce, okra, and brussel sprouts.  Hopefully, I can get the other areas filled in this week and weekend.