Saturday, November 12, 2011

Its the End of the World as We Know It...

Lately, I've been in on an old movie kick.  Years ago I bought this book (circa. 2000) called 1001 Best Movies Ever.  I love books like this-- lists of things-- because I like to see how many on the list I've seen and make a goal of seeing more.  At the time I bought the book, I think I'd seen like 85 of them.  I'm too lazy to get off the couch and see the actual number.  But I went through the book and highlighted the ones I'd seen, and then, as I saw new ones, I'd mark those and put the date I saw them on the page as well.  I've not watched maybe 125?  Every year or so, I get into a movie kick and I'll go through and DVR as many of those movies as I can and watch them.  I've gotten a wild hair here recently and have been watching lots of movies on the American Movie Channel.

A couple weeks ago, I watched The Alphabet Murders, starring Tony Randall, and written by Agatha Christie.  It was funny and I liked it a lot better than I thought I would.  The main character, of course, is Poirot, an answer that came in handy during trivia that same week, so now all my trivia people think I'm super smart.

Today Parker and I watched The History of the World, Part 1.  This was written by and stars Mel Brooks, and has lots of other people-- Gregory Hines, Bea Arthur, and lots of others.  I will admit that the French Revolution part of the movie kinda bored me and I wound up getting distracted and basically missed the ending of that particular segment, but the "Coming Attractions" for "Part 2" (which does not exist, Arrested Development style) were really funny.   Another admission-- it starts Madeline Kahn, whom at first I thought was the new star of ABC's Revenge.  But its not.  That's her:

Madeline Stowe-- Also, if you aren't watching Revenge, you are a flat out terrible person.  That show is awesome.  I don't even want you reading this blog.  Seriously, get off here.  NOW.  
But this is Madeline Kahn:

She's been in a bunch of stuff too, but I've been mixing those two women up for many years.  But the kicker?  Both of whom I've in all actuality been mixing up with this lady:

For years, I watched La Femme Nikita on USA and I loved that show.  This lady was one of the main characters and for years, when I would see the name Madeline Kahn or Madeline Stowe, I would think of her and look for her on the screen.  Up and until... today.  About 15 minutes ago.  Even when I watched The History of the World, Part 1, and I saw the name "Madeline Kahn" in the credits, I thought this person would be in there.  I looked for her.  I couldn't find her.  I decided that since this movie was older, I just didn't recognize her.  Until 15 minutes ago when I looked this up on for my blog (you have no idea how much research goes into these blogs.).  Then I realized exactly who Madeline Kahn is, and then I looked up Madeline Stowe.  Imagine my surprise that the woman whom I've been thinking of all these years, is in fact...

Alberta Watson.  Yeah, not even Madeline.  She did, however, play Madeline in La Femme Nikita.  See how smart you get when you read my blog?  Imagine how smart you'd be if you WROTE my blog. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Confessions of a blogger....

Readers, I have a confession.  It's probably fairly obvious to avid readers of this blog that my blogs have been a bit, er, sporadic lately.  And if you are a regular reader of this blog and you have not noticed this, you have more serious problems that the fact that reading this blog is the highlight of you day!

Anyway, those who know me well can often tell if I'm in a bad mood, or if I'm going through a tough time because I tend to zone out-- ignore the things I love, avoid my issues, and stick to myself and my couch (which is sometimes quite a mess to clean up all that stickiness).

So, here's the confession.  I've found myself going through a tough time lately and its due to one thing-- I'm in an unhealthy relationship.  I've tried to ignore this.  I've tried to make it better.  I've tried to pull away and take some time to myself.  But nothing works.  Its with this person:

These pictures above were of us in a happier time.  Back then, we spent time together, we went out and did fun things.  For example, the second picture was after I'd had dinner in Oxford and Parker had spent the day hanging out with her sweet Uncle Nick.  Back then we had a good time together.  She was sweet, she was fun, she was adorable.

But eventually, we settled into a a more boring routine, and then, right before my eyes, Parker turned into this:


A lazy bum.  She lays on the couch all day long, sometimes moving into other places such as underneath the bedside table, or behind the pink chair in the living room.  Every morning I used to ask her if, while I was at  work, she would clean up around the house a little bit, or get stuff together for dinner, or at least pick up her toys around the room.  Everyday I return home and... nothing.  She's done nothing.
All the time, I tell her "you're so pretty", and "sweetest girl" and "did you get prettier while I was gone?" and she ignores me.  She's never once told me that I was pretty or sweet or anything.  She's never thanked me for anything I do for her-- not for getting her the cute outfits that she loves so much, not for anything.  

I even bought a fancy new queen-sized bed so she'd have more room.  How did she thank me?  She started going into the guest room and sleeping on the old bed.  

Every night I try not to disturb her when I'm getting up to go to the bathroom, or turning out the light.  She sighs and turns away from me.  

Every morning I wake up, sideways, falling off the bed, while she lays stretched out across the majority of the bed, with her feet in my face.  

I give her treats all the time and sometimes, when she's feeling a bit fine-haired, she ignores them as though they are not good enough for her, even though they are the most expensive treats I can buy at Walgreens.   But when she is interested in eating them, she doesn't just eat them-- no, first I have to throw them on the ground for her and if I don't throw it close enough to her, she just looks at me.  And looks at me.  And looks at me.  Until I kick it closer.  And closer.  And closer.  When its close enough, she will grab it, and run like crazy into the other room.  If I happen to follow behind her and go into the same room, she will stop where she is, and what she is doing, and stare at me, until I leave the room at which point she will resume eating.  Several times, we've had a battle of wills over there and she will always win-- its as though she doesn't trust me to let her keep her food.  As though I'm going to steal back the jerky treat I just gave her. 

I try to snuggle with her all the time and she immediately gets up and goes somewhere else.  The only time she's interested in snuggling?  In the morning when I'm getting ready for work (and usually wearing black so her fur gets all over me).  And then, I have to push her off of me to get up.  

She never says thank you.  She never says she loves me.  She never tells me I'm pretty.  She basically lays around all day and occasionally sits beside me, and stretches out on her back which means she wants a belly rub.

On the weekends, when we watch tv, she always gets most of the couch and I am forced to lay on the very edge, with her behind me, between my back and the back of the couch, where I'm about to fall off the couch.  Sometimes, she gets up, steps all over me, and proceeds to sit in one of her favorite places-- at the end of the couch, right beside the arm.  Which is, as you might can imagine, where my head usually is.  So then I cannot see the tv.  She does this a lot when she doesn't like the show I'm watching.  She prefers Gilmore Girls and Stargate Atlantis over Sister Wives and Hawaii 5-O.
Its something I've been denying for a long time-- perhaps out of embarrassment.  But now, I'm trying to be honest and open with my issues and trying to make our relationship healthier.  Its not going to be an easy process, and, unfortunately, my insurance doesn't seem to cover owner-pet counseling session (At least I don't think they cover those-- it was hard to tell over the laughter coming from the lady on the other side of the phone when I asked).  Now, I must get off the computer and go buy some new treats for Parker.  She's decided she no longer likes the kind I've been buying, so I better hurry before she gets mad.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ghost of Halloween Past...

This year I did Halloween cards.  Some of you readers got them already.  Some of you might get them this week if I ever get a chance to finish addressing them.  Its the thought that counts, people.  I took some pictures of Parker to put on my card.  This is what happens when you have a compressed schedule and you have a Monday off and you are super bored.  Parker officially hates me.  Here's why:

 I made her dress up and take a bunch of obnoxious pictures for Halloween!!!

For each picture you see here, there were literally 15 other ones where she wasn't looking at the camera or walking away or rolling over or ignoring me.  Its hard to get a puppy dog to focus on the camera.  I was exhausted by the end of the photo shoot!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Trick or Treat!  Happy Halloween!  Yep, I've been tricking all you folks lately with no blogs.  But now, I'm treating you to a good one!!!  Sorry for the lack of blog posting.  If you didn't already know, I have an incredibly busy schedule of working, driving to work, snuggling with Parker, watching Project Runway, reading my magazines, sleeping, eating, trying not to have bad dreams about the zombies in The Walking Dead, driving to Cracker Barrel to meet my brother, taking Parker for long walks in the park, practicing my beauty pageant poses for Toddlers and Tiaras, driving home from work, decorating for Halloween, ignoring the many emails and texts I get about why I haven't posted a blog lately, etc.

For example, this weekend was a wild one here in the Delta.  First, Parker and I watched The Alphabet Murders, a mystery written by Agatha Christie and starring Tony Randall.  Was really funny.  I'm into watching old movies lately and I spent a good portion of Saturday morning tivoing upcoming movies that look good.  Then we made Rice Krispie treats with candy corn in them.  Well, I made them and Parker watched me and occasionally ate any krispies that fell on the floor.  Its nice not having to clean up after myself when I cook.

Then the real fun began.  We loaded up, Candy Corn Rice Krispy Treats in hand, and headed up to another, close by, podunck County, for a Halloween bonfire!  My friend, Madeline (names and places have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) invited me to come to her house, meet her husband and her cute kiddos and some of her friends to roast hotdogs and smores and hang out.  I was really excited-- I love doing stuff like that so I had been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time!

We got there about dark on Saturday night and the bonfire was already in full swing.  I got to meet a lot of Madeline's friends, most of whom I'd heard stories about previously, so it was nice to put a face with the name.  There were lots of kids there and several of them took a liking to Parker.  Unfortunately for Parker, she has an excited bladder, meaning that she goes to the bathroom, on purpose, when she's excited.  So Parker and her bladder got to hang out in the sunroom and watch all the fun from a distance.

After eating a huge bowl of deer meat chili, and getting to hang out with all Madeline's friends and family, the real fun began.  And by real fun, I mean, we decided to roll yards.  There were several young teenager/upper elementary kids that were there and at some point, it was determined that we needed to go roll yards.  Now, I grew up in Newton.  I've rolled many, many a yard.  And I'm entirely not afraid of getting pulled over by the cops while rolling yards.  But I was in a different county, different town, many, many hours from my town.  So I was a bit apprehensive about this.  My concerns seemed to be merited when Big Bird, the driver of our getaway vehicle (and local bank executive) asked me if I was up on my criminal law.

First we went climbed into the world's tallest blazer, where Madeline and I sat in the front.  It was so tall that it was necessary for us to literally crawl up on our knees and then pull ourselves up onto the seat.  We did that like a dozen times to let people in and out before we were smart enough to climb into the back for the rest of the night!

Down the road from Madeline lives some Teach For America people.  TFA is a really big deal in this area-- they are trained at Delta State and many wind up living in the Delta, teaching in local schools.  And while I'm sure they are a fantastic lot of kids, ready to save the world and all, sometimes, they come across, well, a bit snobby.  TFA deserves its own post another day.  Anyway, apparently, last year, Madeline and her crew went to roll a friends yard, and they actually messaged him to let him know, and he was totally fine with it.  However, these TFA people, who lived next door, called the cops.  So, this year was payback.  We hop out of the car, and I hop out as well, and I get to rolling.  And I'm doing a GREAT job.  I mean, really fantastic.  I'm standing near the vehicle and everyone else goes onto the other side of the house.  And then, all the sudden, someone says, "um, Jessica, that's not their house.  That's someone else's yard".  Whoops-a-daisy!  They gave me an "A" for effort, a "D" for "Follows Directions Well".  That's the point when I retired my toliet paper rolls.

After we left that place, we went over to another house-- Madeline's friend Mitzi has a brother named Neil .  Well, Neil lives nearby with his wife, and so we headed over to his house to roll it.  At this point, we've really lost all ability to even pretend that we are decent yard-rollers, so we literally pull into his driveway without our really loud blazer truck and 6 really loud women and 2 loud kids.  This isn't a long driveway, either.  I jump out, put out some Halloween decorations that we'd picked up along the way (sorta like the Robin Hood of ghost windsocks and carved pumpkins) onto the porch, while a couple people attempt to roll the super tall tree in his yard.  About 3 minutes later, Neil comes to the door, eating his dinner and laughing at us.  We continue.  He tells us we are really terrible yard-rollers and then goes back inside.  We "finish" wrapping the tree since we'd given up trying to throw high enough to hit the branches, and we get back in the car.  Which will no longer start.

So we have to call Neil back outside and he backs his car back up to jump us off.  Now, the wheels have fallen off the wagon and the kids we've brought along are beginning to realize that we aren't super cool, fun adults who are going to take them rolling, but are instead a bunch of weird, super loud annoying people!  We got a few other places, including to some dirt road where I accidentally almost slammed Madeline's leg in the door to avoid a dog that was apparently about half a mile away.  Madeline was laughing too hard to actually explain that I was closing her leg in the door.  Sorry about that, Madi!

After riding through the world's longest "shortcut" through the woods and mudpuddles at about 3 miles an hour, the kids lost all patience with us, and demanded to be taken home.   I felt so sorry for them!  But before we could head home, we decided to go roll the Hastings!  Don't know the Hastings?  Neither do I!  But they live close to Madeline in a pretty nice house and, apparently have like 13 kids, all of whom have alphabetical names, beginning I and going through Q or something.  By this time, Madeline and I have moved to the back with her friend Mitzi, and when we get to their house, the other three women jump out with the kids and start rolling.  They were doing a great job when... the police car comes by.  And stops.  Big Bird, our driver, gets out to talk to the police officer.  The police officer, whom apparently everyone knows.  In fact, several people go over to talk to the officer!  Who is parked in the middle of the road!

A few minutes later, some of the Hastings turn a light on or something, so the kids and a couple others jump into the car, and Madeline's friend, Grover, (who is the only adult dressed up-- as an oompa loompa, complete with orange face paint and green hair) jumps in the driver's seat and we take off, with one door still open.  And three people still standing in the street by the police car.  I'm like, "oh, um, should we go back and get them?"  And the consensus is that no, the cop will bring them back.  Sure enough, a few minutes after we get back to Madeline's the police car pulls up with our friends.  And the officer says, "they told me to talk to the attorney".  And I was like, "um, officer, can I help you?"  And he's like, "yeah, get these idiots out of my car!"  After a few complaints at the lack of leg room in the back, we were all safe and sound and un-arrested!  We had a great time!  I headed to bed soon thereafter and I think Madeline and her husband were right behind me.  It was a super fun time!

(BLOGGER'S NOTE:  This blog was edited, at Madeline's request, since she wants to keep her internet presence to a minimum when it comes to blogs about breaking the law.  After a short argument wherein I tried to convince her that the only people who read my blog are my mom and my siblings, I relented and changed the names.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Right now, I'm sitting on 9,973 views since I started this blog, whenever that was!  I'm smart enough to realize a correlation between how often I post a blog and how many readers I have, so I'm hoping to trick you people into reading this rather lackluster blog so I can hit 10,000!!!!  Come on, people-- 10,000!!  That's exciting!  It says a lot about how fun my blog is and even more about how boring the lives of my friends are.  Regardless, it says something and I promise to be a better blogger in the future, once we hit 10,000 together. 

I'm home this weekend after a wild and crazy week in Bay St. Louis for a Mississippi Child Support Association Conference with all my DHS colleagues.  It was super fun and I was really glad to meet some of the people whom I've heard their names or spoke with them on the phone.  An old friend from law school was there and we had a lot of fun hanging out, plus I got to meet a few new, fun people.  The conference was for DHS workers and the staff attorneys-- so we had separate meetings, which wasn't very fun.  It was especially unfun the last session when us lawyers were having a "roundtable" discussion about youth court and summons and contempt procedures and across the hall, the workers were having a "Family Feud" game-show thing where they could win prizes if they answered questions correctly.  Since they were across the hall, we could hear them cheering and clapping and laughing, all while we discussed the civil v. criminal contempt.  I was super jealous. 

Now I'm back in Laurel, and I got to go eat at Mi Casita last night with my family-- Aunt Ju, Mom, and Em and Em's boyfriend Joel.  We had a great time!  Mi Casita is THE BEST Mexican food there is.  And that's not IMHO (in my humble opinion for you non-texters), that's F.  Fact.  Cleveland is great.  Has lots of fabulous, fun places to eat.  And two Mexican places.  I've been to both and both are perfectly fine.  But they are no Mi Casita.  Laurel has a very high number of Mexicans in the area (thanks Howard Industries) and they know how to eat.  So, one of the things I miss the most is Mexican food and I got my fix last night! 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Friends are Friends Forever...

Last Sunday, Cleveland and the Delta had some major bad weather.  All sorts of tornadoes and lightning storms and power outages and such.  Rumor has it that the Wal-Mart Tire Shop got hit, but since I despite Wal-Mart and avoid it at all costs, I'm not sure if this is true.  I do know that a house down the block from mine, owned by a guy I went to law school with, was destroyed by a tree that literally cut the house in half-- its really awful.  And its a cute house, so that's even worse. 

Sunday evening, I took Parker outside to potty in the most incredible lightning storm I've ever witnessed.  No rain, no thunder.  Just lots and lots of lightning.  And some wind.  It was actually quite beautiful and a bit scary.  How someone can see that type of thing (along with many, many other of nature's beautiful creations) and not believe in God is beyond me.  But then again, so is the fact that 20 million people watch Two and a Half Men, so obviously, not everyone is as smart as yours truly.

Right after we came inside, the rain began and didn't end for a really long time.  About 8 the power went out and I lit some candles and laid on the couch with nothing to do.  Its really super boring when you have nothing to read or watch or anything.  I went to bed quite early but the raging storm outside did keep both Parker and I awake for a while.  I generally don't freak out too badly at bad weather, but even I was a bit scared.

Early the next morning, the lights popped back on and of course, I'd forgotten which ones were actually on when I'd gone to bed, so I mostly likely turned a bunch on instead of off, and then at 2 am when they came back on, I had to get up and turn the back off.  The next morning I realized my internet was still out, but I didn't have time to worry about it because of work.  It was still out Tuesday when I talked to my neighbor about it-- his had been out as well, so we both decided it was still a problem with the storm.  It wasn't until Thursday that I realized that, in fact, his had gone back to working late Tuesday night but mine was still down.  So Thursday night is when this story takes a Reader's Digest Human Interest Story-type vibe.

Thursday after talking with my neighbor and a discussion with my friend Katherine who wanted me to look at her on-line pictures, I decided to call Cable One.  Of course, they make you go through the automated system directions of giving your account information, checking the phone number associated with your account, unplugging your modem, taking out the battery, waiting 2 minutes, adjusting the antenna, typing in some different stuff, etc.  And then, finally, when the robot lady voice is convinced that you actually do have a problem and not just calling her because you are bored, she will transfer you to the next available customer service representative.  That's when the story gets good (finally, you say...)

I get transferred to this guy, I'm pretty sure his name was Glen, but to be honest, I didn't know the journey our lives would take over the next few minutes, so I don't really remember.  Let's say Glen for blogging purposes.  Glen, of course, has to get my account information because apparently the robot lady voice doesn't give out that information.  Then, of course, we get to go through all the steps that me and robot lady voice JUST DID.  First, Glen tells me to unplug the modem and take out the battery and wait two minutes.  So, after I move the telephone table beside the plug-in and knock over a picture frame and start giggling, and then finally get to unplug the modem, and Glen and I listen to each other breathe for a minute, he says, "So, how was your day today?"

And I say, "It was actually quite good. Now if I can just get this modem on-line, it will be great.  How was your day?"  Glen replies that it was a pretty good day, except obviously, that he's now at work (and I think the unspoken part of that sentence ended with "dealing with idiots like yourself" but he was kind enough not to say that.  So then Glen starts asking me how long the internet has been down, and I tell him about the storm and my neighbor and his internet issues, and Glen suggests it could possibly be that the storm hit my modem and that is why its not working.  Then I say, "well, I'm sure that all my blog readers (shout-out to you guys!!) will be ready for me to get my internet back working."  And he says, "oh you have a blog?  What kind of blog?"    And I tell him all about my blog and all about you guys and how many of you fuss at me when I don't post and how I actually sometimes have 50 or so hits a day and he seems impressed.  And asks me the title.  And I tell him.

And then its time to plug the modem back in, so I think our time together is almost over.  But as fate would have it, we have to wait for a bunch of the little green lights to come on and then see what order they are flashing and what lights are not on and a bunch of other really technical stuff like that.  So while we are waiting for the green flashing lights to come back on, I decide to continue the conversation.  "So, Glen, where are you from?"  Glen's from Arizona.  Its really nice there.  Like 90 degrees even as he speaks.  And I say, oh well, its probably about 90 degrees here too, but that's not unusual in Mississippi.  He then says he's never been to Mississippi, have I been to Arizona?  And he thinks I'd really like it there.  Its beautiful.  Beautiful sunsets and lots of hiking and outdoorsy things to do and I should totally go there sometime.  Obviously, Glen and I aren't best friends yet or else he'd know that the closest I get to outdoorsy is walking Parker and watching my Rebels lose on Saturdays.  But its still nice that he's telling me all about it.

And we go on to talk about our jobs and traveling and the weather and how excited I am for fall cause I love to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Glen, unfortunately, didn't seem to share my love of decorating.  I tell him about my home phone that came with my internet and tv, and how I never use it and he agrees that its funny that I even have one.  He tells me about his new cell phone thats already broken.  He asks if I have any fun plans for the rest of the evening and I tell him that I've got Project Runway DVRing even as we speak.  He has to work the rest of the evening. 

Eventually the lights came back on, though apparently not in the correct order of flashiness cause my internet never went back up.  Glen sadly tells me that it seems like I might really need to have someone come out to my house to check it.  But after telling him my work schedule and how it doesn't fit well with home visits, he suggests that since I have Monday off, I should call back Saturday and ask them to come out for an "emergency visit".  He'll put in the computer that its an "emergency visit" since it will be over a week since I'd had internet and it was probably due to the storm.  He'll also make a note that we've already done all of the automated stuff and done together all of the "turn off your modem" stuff.  He doesn't usually do that, but he will for me.  Then we talk about our plans for the rest of the weekend and how he hopes that I will get my internet up soon cause my blog readers probably miss me (that Glen, always thinking of other people, you know).  We promise to come visit our respective states one day and then, we say goodbye. 

And then, just like that, our friendship ends.  I'll probably never talk to him again.  But I love being a part of a world where two strangers, separated by miles of rugged terrain (Texas?) can form a bond over a phone and a broken internet service.  Its really wonderful, if not heartbreakingly sad.

I'll never talk to Glen again.  I'll never find out if he fixed his phone and he won't ever know if I was able to get all my Halloween decorations from my mom's house this weekend.  But we'll always have that Thursday night.

The next day, just when I thought the story was over, and, worse, when I thought I'd have to call back and go through all the steps again to get my internet working and get a service repairman out to the house, I walk through the hallway where the modem is, and I look up, and there, underneath the framed photo of my friends from college, I see the modem, with all the correct flashing lights that Glen told me to look for.  Working perfectly.  I know somehow, someway, Glen gave me the greatest gift of all-- the ability to write this blog.  Thanks, old buddy.  You're the best.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Even more partying...

At my new job, paternity's the word.  Seriously.  Its the word.  We are all about paternity.  We want to get as many kids with father's as possible.  And get those father's to pay child support!  We have all sorts of cases we are to file, but paternity is the "big push"-- we have been trying to get a statewide paternity rate of 90%-- some counties made this goal a long time ago, and other counties (ahem, Hinds) probably never will.  Our deadline is the end of September and its something that's always in the back of our minds.  I personally love having goals like this and every single time I get a paternity order signed by the judge, I love taking it to Ginni (the supervisor) and getting her to enter it into the computer.  I love checking each week to see the steady, albeit slow, progress.  Coahoma County is a great county but they didn't have a full-time attorney or supervisor there for a long time and, as to be expected, a lot of things feel through the cracks.  So Ginni and I are trying really hard to get things back into shape and she especially, has done a great job. 

So, we've been talking about this 90% paternity rate ever since I got here.  And finally, a few weeks ago, we did it!  Sooner than our deadline too!  We were all so happy!  Our office had decided to celebrate by going to the Stone Pony (local pizza place).  In one of my conversations with the Chancery Clerk Ed Peacock, I'd told him all about our goal and how hard the workers were trying to get there and about our little "Reward".  And he said that when we made our goal, he'd treat us to lunch at the Stone Pony!  Isn't that awesome?  He's so super nice. 
Once we met our goal, we were all about taking him up on his offer, but we decided to order in since otherwise, someone would be left at the office answering the phones.  In yet another example of how I've turned into my mother, I took lots of pictures and made everyone smile (between rolling their eyes at me).  I love this office and, its my opinion that if you have to work with people, you might as well enjoy it as best you can.  So I'm all for some office bonding.  This was a good example. 
The proof is in the pudding...

 Doretha, Fran and Jerome.  Doretha and I have bonded over this 90% thing-- she would come into my office all the time and tell me how much our percentage went up!

 Our supervisor, Ginni.  She posed for this picture just like this!  And then she said "this better not go on your blog!".  Whoops, sorry, Ginni!

A couple other of my co-workers didn't get their pictures taken.  And Vanessa was sick that day, which was so sad since Stone Pony was her idea to begin with!  But Ginni and I made it up to her the next week and the three of us ordered Stone Pony again and sat in my office and ate.  Seriously, I'm such a good person to work with that I will literally try to make other people happy by ordering pizza and eating it with them.  I really try to put other people first, you know.  Don't you all wish you worked with me!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Party Fun!

A couple weeks ago, I headed home to Newton to attend a VIP (Very Important Party).  This VIP had its own VIP (Very Important Person)-- Gatlin Rose!

First off, one of my most favorite houses in Newton County-- the Rose House!  Sonji Thomas Rose is a friend from high school and I adore her in so many ways!   You've met her previously here and here.  She's married now (Clay) and has two great kids (Gatlin and Bentley)-- and this family is quite possibly one of my most favorite families ever!  I love them!  I love going to their house, hanging out, watching random movies, playing with the kids, and just being with them.  I love that they let me be a part of their family!

This was Gatlin's 7th Birthday Party, which is hard to believe since I'm almost positive that about three weeks ago, he was 3 years old, but time flies when you are a cute kid and Gatlin's the cutest!  The theme is John Deere-- Gatlin loves all sorts of machinery, especially John Deere.  He sometimes gets to go to work with his daddy, who is in the lumber business, and he is so smart about all the different vehicles.  See?  I don't even know the proper terminology-- machines?  vehicles? big things?  But Gatlin does-- he can name the make, models, and purposes of every single large item that, to me, just looks like a big machine. 

First things first- figuring out how to put the decorations together.  Obviously, it was easier said than done since it took both me and Sonji's mom to figure out how to do it!  But we came through in the end!

This was my gift-- and we used it as a centerpiece which was fun!

Rose birthday parties are known for their good cakes-- they don't play!  We've had carousels, tractors, and now logging trucks.  Lots of fun!

The piece de' resistance-- a huge water slide that looks all sorts of fun, although yours truly did not participate or even consider participating.  There are much more fun things to do at a birthday party than helping a 30-year old woman get into the ambulance when she breaks her leg trying to slide down a large inflatable. 

The birthday boy Gatlin and his uncle Tim Bounds.  Tim and I went to high school together and now he's married to Sonji's sister Kim.  Its good to get to see them when I come hang out.
Gatlin (plaid shorts) and some unknown (to me) child.  I'm sure someone knew who he was, or else the word of the super slides had gotten out to the local kids.  Right after this picture was taken, I told Gatlin that I was so glad to see him.  To which he replied, "I'm so glad to see you Aunt Jess."  Wow.  I wasn't able to get a picture of my melted heart on the patio, but you'll have to take my word for it.  He is the sweetest child ever!

 Lots of presents--

Time to open the presents as Mrs. Barbara (Clay's mom) supervises.  

Any of you who know me know that I go to a lot of kid's birthday parties.  Sometimes I even know the kids.  Other times I just heard there was going to be cake.  But I am practically an expert on kid's parties.  And one thing that I've learned, from this party in particular, is that the older the kids are, the louder they are when the presents are being opened.  Most of the kids' whose parties I am invited, are younger than Gatlin, and of course, there are presents that are opened there as well, but its usually quieter and less chaotic.  But not these guys-- there were some serious "ooohhs and ahhhhss" going on-- with every present, they got louder and louder.  As the designated "person-who-holds-the-cards-and-money" (PWHTCAM), I had a unique vantage point and was able to join in on some of the oohhhs and aaahhhs.  It was lots of fun!

The aftermath:

And last, but not least-- Bentley (left) and Anna (right).

Bentley is Gatlin's little sister and Anna is my friend Becky's daughter.  I've watched these girls grow up and love them so much!  Aren't they both so pretty!!!
It was a fun weekend and I'm so glad I got to come!  I stayed after the party wound down and got in some coloring time with Bentley while I got in some catching up time with her mother.  It was a great party!  I cannot wait for next year.  On second thought, I totally can-- Gatlin is growing up WAY too fast!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just a Swanging...

Part Three...

After the disappointing loss last weekend, my friends were ready to head home, and they packed up really fast.  I helped them pack up, and then headed to my parent's tent to help them pack up.  This is NOT the most fun part of the game.  No matter what the score is.  Usually, we are tired and everyone is ready to go home, and of course, the game is a reflection on everyone's mood.  But also the long drive ahead is on people's mind and having to load the car is never fun.  This was no exception.  But we got everything loaded up and I made the forever long trek back to the car.  Its never fun to walk back to your car alone.  While carrying things.  Its times like these that make me wish I could afford a butler.  But, this particular walk across campus was even less fun because every 3 minutes, and I'm NOT kidding, someone was calling me.  So I'd stop, put my stuff down (including my "vintage purse" that's straps broke about 2 minutes after I left the house that morning.  So I was literally carrying it in both hands.  I looked like a grandma.).  Calling to check to see where I was.  Calling to see where I was now.  Calling to see when I'd be back to my car.  Calling to see if I was safe walking to my car (which, yes, I was safe.  Walking.  But, stopping here in the middle of a sidewalk isn't quite as safe).  It was rather annoying.

But I finally made it back to my friends and we had a great time sitting around, listening to football games and talking about totally random stuff.  It was, as it usually is, with this crew, a really good time.

Sunday morning, I woke up and ate a yummy breakfast that David had made for us.  I told you how nice he was here.  After my tummy was full, I crawled back into the bed with Katherine and then Courtney laid on the foot of the bed and we all talked and laughed till we cried.  These are probably my favorite moments-- right before we all have to leave and go back to our respective lives, and we are tired and exhausted from the fun weekend, but we get to sit around and laugh at all the things that happened that weekend and discuss things (and people!).  Honestly, some of my favorite memories involved these two girls, hanging out, within nothing exciting going on, just the three of us, talking and laughing.

After we said our goodbyes, I headed over to my brother, Nick's house, to pick up Parker.  She's spent the night with her Uncle Nick, something she isn't really crazy about.  He's a bit mean to her and he doesn't let her roll all over the bed, or take up the entire mattress, so she's not a huge fan.  But he is super sweet to allow her to stay and she does, mostly, like him.  I went over to the house and it was a messy, rainy day.  We sat outside on the porch and drank coffee and watched the rain, like grownups.  I guess we both are really grownups.  Its hard to believe!  We had a great time, talking, laughing-- discussing the family, the football game, Ole Miss, friends, Parker, etc.  We sat out there for a couple hours.  It was a good time with my great brother!

Finally, Parker and I headed home.  But not before a stop at what has become our Sunday afternoon tradition in Oxford-- Abner's to-go.  Yum!!!   

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Forward Rebels...

Part two of my fun weekend....

As Katherine so kindly reminded me in the comments here, my Hotty Toddy Saturday last week began with David singing the fight song to get everyone in the mood.  Also to drive everyone crazy probably.  I'd actually repressed this memory until I read the comments.  But she's right.  Now that Ole Miss doesn't have flags to wave, songs to sway to, or the original mascot, we've started singing the fight song for school spirit.  No one really knows the fight song, except, obviously, David.  He is kind enough to sing it to us while we are asleep in hopes that it will seep into our dreams and we will learn it that way. 

So, up and at 'em.  We get up, and get going and I'm dragging a little bit, so Katherine, David and Crockett head on to the game while I'm still getting ready.  I then load up everything, including the sort-decent-looking-flower-arrangement I'd labored over the night before.  Unfortunately for Mrs. Barbara's floors, my flower pot apparently has a leak and water goes EVERYWHERE.  So, there I am, in my cute blue, pineapple-print dress with my hair just perfect, mopping up the water that is now all over her concrete floors.  I'm sure there is a metaphor for the actual football game in there somewhere.  But I got it all situated and headed onto the game. 

Now I've been going to Ole Miss games for MANY, MANY years.  And for many of those years, I lived in Oxford-- which is especially nice when you are having to wake up early or get home late from ballgames since you live only minutes away.  But its been 5 football seasons since I lived close by and, well, you forget easily.  Being able to stay in Oxford the night before a game, meaning you don't have to wake up at 6 a.m. to get ready and on the road, is AMAZING.  Like, totally wonderful.  I arrive at the Grove with minimal traffic, meet the boys on the side of the Circle to help me unload, find a pretty decent parking spot and am sitting in the tent with my friends in less than 20 minutes.  Wonderful!  All the while, my mom and dad were still a couple hours away, having woken up with the roosters to get going. 

If you've never experience the Grove, then you should totally come to our tent sometime-- its really indescribable.  But its wonderful.  I know people think the Grove, and Ole Miss, are all snobby and pretentious and obnoxious.  And there are arguments to be made for that.  But, the Grove is a home-- its my home, our home.  Come football season, I get to spend time with my friends, some of whom, I've not seen since last football season.  I run into people I've known over the years-- from college, law school, Newton, Laurel, and other places.  I see family members that I rarely see other than Christmas.  I get to sit in a tent, enjoy the breeze (if there is one), eat some good food and relax with some of my favorite people in the world.  One of the more interesting aspects of "Grovin" are the people whom you only know from the Grove.  My family has set up with many different people over the years and in a few different places.  We typically have different neighbors each year. 

But my law school friends have set up in the same place since we started.  And I'm pretty sure we've had these same neighbors since then.  Its a large family and we really only know them from the Grove-- we know their names, their families, their children's names and where they go to school, where they are from, etc.  But its literally like a family reunion at the first game!  These people are our friends-- even though we've never seen them outside the campus of Ole Miss.  We've celebrated with them, drowned our sorrows (especially last year!), shared food and drink, borrow supplies, even helped them guard their tent at time.  And vice versa.  I think its a really neat relationship and its once of the reasons the Grove is such a special place to me. 

This year, I'm really happy to be back in the Grove.  Last year, for obvious reasons, just wasn't the same.  Not only because our team wasn't so great, but also because yours truly wasn't so great.  And it all culminated in a spectacularly bad Egg Bowl.  But this year is, thankfully, a new year.  And while our team apparently won't be much better, I am.  Being in the Grove surrounded by my friends is a wonderful, wonderful place.  Its worth 15 sessions of therapy, I promise.  I also get to see my brother, and my mom and my dad, and sometimes my sister.  Plus, I get to eat really good food.  Honestly, its just about perfect. 

And last weekend was just about perfect.  I had a great time.  I did get a tiny bit stressed out about a few things, and there was one temper tantrum about some tableclothes, but otherwise, it was great.  Unfortunately, the game wasn't.  Fortunately for me, however, I'd left the game at halftime, so in my mind, we totally won.  I ran into a friend after the game, as he was walking, along with 50,000 of his closest friends, with sorrow-filled steps and frowns on their faces.  I told him that in my mind, we'd totally won the game.  He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Good for you, Jess, stay in that happy place.  You are better off than the rest of us."  I think, in so many ways, he was right!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cheap thrills...

Its the little things that make me the happiest! Today I had a delivery while at work. At first I thought Prince Charming had sent me a navy Birkin bag to woo me, or at least a big thing of flowers. No such luck. But, it was a shipment of office supplies that had been back ordered for some time- check out these nifty magnetic file holders! My office isn't big and the 5 filing cabinets take up most of the room. There isn't a great place to organize my filing and I'm determined not to let it get out of control. So I devised a system to match my courtdates. Soon I will make corresponding labels to match my filing cabinet court drawers. It will be super organized and people will gawk at my organization skills. Or at least at the cool clear magnetic holders! Love office supplies!!
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Its the best time of the year...

Seat warmer time! I turned it on yesterday morning when the temp was about 55. And its stayed on. Its about this time every year that I turn it on and leave it!! Its my ode to fall- I'm keeping that seat warmer on even at lunch when its 95 degrees. Take that summer!!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Labor for the Weary...

Labor Day has come and gone and all I'm left with are the memories.  But good memories!

The main reason last week was so sad was because I'd left Parker with my dad last week when I went to visit.  So all week, I was all alone and sad.  To be fair, it wasn't much difference from when she is normally here-- I still talked to her, told her about my day, asked her if she was the sweetest girl, told her she was the prettiest girl and said a million times how much I loved her.  The main difference was that normally she ignores me; this time, she didn't hear me.  Also, I was no longer the crazy neighborhood lady who talks to her dog- instead, I was the crazy neighborhood lady who talks to herself.  The benefits are pretty much the same. 

Last week I spent most of the week planning for the Ole Miss football game on Saturday.  Anyone who things going to an Ole Miss game requires making some ham sandwiches and icing down some DC's the night before has obviously never been.  It takes a village people.  A big village, full of Southern women who sit around and discuss the grilled v. friend chicken nugget ratio, the perfect platter for that new cheese dip recipe, shades of red, the effect of the weather on our choice of shoes, the perfect amount of diet cokes and waters, and timing of cooking your food at home before the game that morning.  For those of you who are rolling your eyes at this, you were obviously not on the phone with me all of last week when these actual topics were discussed. 

Friday after work, I headed to Oxford where I picked up Obys for dinner for myself, Nicholas and his roommate Dillon.  Remember them?  They set up our tents in the Grove on Friday night, which, for all pre-home-game Friday nights, and this, first game one in particular, involves hanging out in the Grove with 500 of your closest friends, saving the spot for your tent.   I used to do this in college and in law school and there were different rules and procedures then.  Now, the people bring computers, frisbees, friends, and games to play or sit on top of the overturned trash cans waiting for 9 p.m., when they go get the tents from their vehicles and unload.  This blogger lasted about 30 minutes before she was bored to death, and glad to hear from her friends who were in town. 

I headed over to stay with Katherine and David (and David's son Crockett) at David's mother, Mrs. Barbara's house (who was lucky enough to miss the game since she was on a European cruise!).  I was glad to see my friends, and to see Crockett, whom I haven't seen in a really long time.  He seemed glad to see me as well-- when I got out of the car, he came and said, very brightly, "Hey Miss Mindy!!".  I said, "umm, try again."  And then he said, "Miss Courtney?".   Keep trying, kiddo.  Eventually, he got my name right, but not before he'd tried pretty much every name in the book.  I eventually forgave him. 

Once I'd gotten over the gladness of being so important to Crockett, I settled in to a fun night with my friends-- we stayed up way too late and had way too much fun.  Unfortunately, the fun stopped pretty early the next morning when I had to wake up and realized it was a BAD idea to stay up till 3 a.m. talking when I had to get up at 7 a.m. for a full day of tailgating!  I wrote this big, long blog describing my entire weekend, and then, poof, it was gone and didn't save correctly.  I think that was for the best- now, I can divide my weekend up.  So I will end here and head to bed!  Night, Night readers!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tiredest girls...

Parker and I are exhausted from our fun weekend! We got home from Oxford about 4 and we've laid around all day. I laid on the couch and put her on my stomach and she has barely moved the entire day! She's so tired from all the fun! I'm about to head to bed, but more details to come from this weekend!
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hotty Toddy

I am at the first Ole Miss Rebels football game of the season! This will probably be the only picture I take because I left my camera in Cleveland! However, this game has been so fun already and it just started! I love my Rebels but last year, for various reasons, was a tough season. And not just because Ole Miss lost a lot! So this season I am optomistic and enjoying myself as best as possible! Honestly, there isn't a much better day for me than hanging with my friends, eating good food, seeing old friends and watching the game with my daddy! Pretty much my idea of a perfect weekend! Plus its overcast and not too hot!
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm a gal on a budget...

Last night, at Kroger, I literally spent an entire minute in the paper goods aisle contemplating which package of toothpicks to buy. As I am currently financially embarrassed, I had to forgo the fancy, colored ones. But I debated about the flat v. round for entirely too long considering the $.04 price difference. I decided the splurge and get the more expensive ones! I think the people at the Grove this weekend eating my bacon wrapped pineapple will really appreciate this.Take that Extreme Couponers-- Those extra four pennies felt good in my pocket!  That is, till I dropped my wallet and they fell out onto the ground and I decided it wasn't worth it to bend over to pick them up. 
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'll never ask for directions...

I went home to Newton this weekend and had a super great time.  I've only been back to Laurel once (Easter) and Newton once (in June for a 24-hour layover after a trip to Atlanta) and it was nice to be back home again.  For those in the know, I consider both Laurel and Newton to be my homes.  And for those not in the know, well, now you are in the know.

Friday evening started out super fun when Parker and I hit the road, and about 15 minutes later, I realized I'd gone the wrong way.  There are several different ways I can drive home, and I've been trying to determine if any are better/quicker/smarter than any others.  I don't really think they are-- its all which way you prefer.  To go home to Newton, I like to go through Greenwood, and hit up my fave, Krystal, then onto Vaiden, Kosciusko, Carthage, Forest and Newton.  This time, instead of taking the easiest way to Greenwood, I somehow didn't pay a lick of attention and headed towards Indianola.  And then, when I realized my mistake, I decided to continue on the road I was on, and try that way.  I knew where it would take me, so I wasn't technically "lost" but I did technically "lose" about 30 minutes of my time on this detour.

My weekend at home was lots of fun-- dad and I stayed up super late Friday night talking and then, Saturday morning, I cleaned and relaxed while he slept super late.  We met my mom at Cooks BBQ-- missed that place!  After a productive trip to Dirt Cheap, I headed to my friend Sonji's house for her son Gatlin's 7th birthday party.  Pictures of the birthday fun to come!

Today I went to church and it was wonderful to be home at church and see so many people whom I love.  Dad and I ate the hospital for lunch and then I headed back, sans Parker.  I don't want to talk about it.  This weekend was lots of fun and I cannot wait to download the pictures from the party soon!

On the way home today, I finished up a stellar weekend with yet another out-of-area detour, this time in Carroll and Attala County.  I left Kosciusko, as I have done many times, and started driving towards Vaiden.  I noticed a few extra stop signed I'd not remembered from before (even from Friday night!) but thought nothing of it.  Often I get into over-thinking my life or jamming out to Adele and I totally don't pay attention to where I am.  This was apparently one of those places.  I hit a dead-end near Friendship, Mississippi.  I have no idea where that is.  But I have half-way decent instincts and I knew that if I headed left (west), I'd eventually hit I-55.  There is always a chance that when you hit I-55, you are all the way back down to Jackson, but luckily, this wasn't the case tonight.  I was only a few miles off and didn't even mind it-- I spent most of the detour time thinking how nice it would be to live in a place called, Friendship, Mississippi.  How nice! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seriously, its finally Friday...

Readers, its been a LONG week.  And ironically, my week started on Tuesday.  That's right, suckers, I get every other Monday off.  Its great.  This Monday, while the rest of the world was dragging themselves out of bed and pulling on their suits and stockings (heh, who wears stockings anymore?!), I was lazing around in the bed.  Well, on the very edge of the bed because Parker likes to sleep with plenty of room between her and the rest of the mattress.  So, we usually wake up with me having one small corner and her having the rest.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for a cute puppy!

Despite my short week, this had been a long week for me.  Tuesday I was in an awful mood.  Not sure why.  Its a good thing I didn't get those obnoxious messages from my family saying things like "no blog in 8 days, Jess.  Seriously?" or "that last blog was only okay".  It would not have been pretty.  In fact, my mood was so dark that everyone at my office noticed almost immediately.  I didn't snap at anyone or fuss about anything, but I walked in the door and went straight to my office.  When I emerged an hour later, Cassandra, my sweet legal clerk, talked to me for a minute, but she could tell immediately I didn't feel good.  Later that day, she told me that she could "tell I wasn't feeling good cause she's NEVER seen me walk in the office like that before" and then she told me to go back to my office and she'd take messages for me so I wouldn't have to deal with anyone.  I was very appreciative. 

I went home from Bible Study that night (also, people I barely know knew there was something wrong with me!  Its nice to have people who care, even if they barely know you!) and took a melatonin (throw-back to my law school days when I took them all the time!) and went to bed before 9! 

I woke Wednesday in a much better mood.  I felt better, I knew it would be a better day.  And it totally was.  Until 8:30.  Which was when I was sitting in the drive-through at the Regions Bank in Clarksdale and I had gotten there a bit early.  I was low on gas, so I decided to wait in the line until they opened, and I turned off my car to save gas.  Ironic.  When 8:30 rolled around, I cranked my car to roll down the window.  Nothing.  Wouldn't work.  Great. 

I figured it was that I had run out of gas (I was seriously low!).  So I call the office and talk to my friend Ginni who isn't at work that day but her mom works in Clarksdale and she has a gas can and she comes to fill me up.  I wait.  In the middle of the main lane at Regions Bank in the drive-through.  It was horribly embarrassing.  If only I'd been in Newton, then I could have at least gone to hang out at the Mayor's Office (Carr Insurance Office, located at Regions Bank.  Come visit!).  Instead, I'm stuck in a town where I literally know 10 people, 7 of whom work at my office and the other three work at the courthouse.  Ginni's mom was kind enough to bring me some gas, and while I was waiting, the Regions Bank guys were kind enough to come PUSH MY CAR OUT OF THE WAY.  While everyone in line was watching.  It wasn't humiliating at all.  I couldn't stop the tears coming down as I opened the car door to say thank you.  I'm officially a crazy lady now. 

When we filled the gas tank up, nothing.  Nothing happened.  So apparently, it wasn't the gas tank at all.  She doesn't have jumper cables and has to get back to work, so I turn to the other group of people I know-- two blocks away at the courthouse.  I call Ed Peacock, the Chancery Clerk in Coahoma County, whom I adore.  Ed and the courthouse ladies are wonderful people and I love getting to work with them.  DHS attorneys work very closely with their Family Master/Chancellors and Chancery Court Clerks, and I'm super lucky to have some really nice ones.  Not all DHS attorneys are so lucky. 

And Ed was nice enough to come jump off my car.  Of course, he made his daily deposit first, so he was at the drive-through window when I noticed him-- he hollered out the window "Hey Jess, I'm here!  Be there in a second!".  As if I were going anywhere. 

He was super nice and, second times the charm, and the car cranked.  I drove immediately to Firestone, one block away, and left my car there with my new BFF Steve.  Steve has a child support case, but he pays every month on time, cause he really cares about his kids.  So he hopes he never has to see me again regarding child support! 

By the time I made it back to the office that morning, news had spread of the "incident" and that, coupled with the previous day's mood, caused people to pretty much avoid me all day, even though I was in a much better mood, I promise!  Cassandra went to get us all lunch and I just put my head down and got to work.  Even trivia last night couldn't cheer me up and I left early and came home!

Today was better, but its still been a long, somewhat emotional (for no apparent reason) day.  The best part of today?  I walked in the office and Cassandra says "Good morning.  Think today will be a better day that the last couple days?"  and I say "I think so!".  And she reaches under her desk and pulls out a Twix bar (my fav) that she brought for me!!  Isn't that sweet!  It did make my day better!  Hope tomorrow is the best day of all, for me and for all you readers!!  Love you!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Baking is my favorite thing to do...

Last Thursday, I went to the Cleveland High School Meet the Wildcats with my favorite neighbors, the Walkers.  Seriously, they are my favorite neighbors.  To be fair, I don't know most of my neighbors, but its safe to say that even if I knew everyone on the street, these would be my favorites anyway!  Their son, Nathan, plays for CHS and so I'm really excited to get to go to some of his games this year!  They won their first game Friday night against Ruleville, so the team is off to a good start!  After Meet the Wildcats, I headed back to the Walker home for Jennifer's "Surprise" birthday party.  Jennifer's daughter, Abigail, had talked to me about it earlier that week, but, like a good daughter, Abigail told her mom about the party so that she wouldn't be bombarded by random people coming over to the house!  It didn't matter though, cause surprise or no surprise, it was still lots of fun!!

This is the cake that I made.  Seriously, I made it.  Stop laughing.  I can bake.  Its not that funny.  I know how to make a cake.  Honestly, you laughing so hard is hurting my feelings.  I CAN bake.  I'm not going to type anymore until you quit laughing.

[insert really long, 15 minute pause]

Got that out of your system?

Ok, fine.  I did not make this particular cake.  Satisfied?  But I CAN bake.  I just choose not to.  Again, stop laughing.  Its so rude.

I didn't make this cake, but I did something much better.  I BOUGHT it.  I am very good at buying stuff.  Ask my banker.  This cake is from the Dutch Oven in Clarksdale, and it is fantastic.  They make the best food, hands down.  Its yummy.  And its huge.  We barely made a dent in it the other night and I took a huge slice home for my aunt and Lori and we barely made a dent in that slice.

Jennifer and Abigail digging into the chocolate!!
I had a great time and I hope Jennifer had a fantastic birthday! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poptarts aren't for dinner, guys...

I mentioned yesterday that I had a dinner date last week with Nick and Dillon on Wednesday.  I was so excited for them to come see me in Cleveland.  They came earlier in the summer and we ate at Lost Pizza Company and they really liked it (Nick liked the pizza and the t-shirts, Dillon liked the cute girls behind the counter!).  They've been promising/threatening to come visit again, but it took all summer for them to make good on their promise/threat.  Late Wednesday afternoon, they pulled up to my office in Clarksdale and go to meet most of the people I work with and see my office.  I'm pretty sure they were very impressed. 

Then we headed home (but first the boys drove through the campus of Delta State.  If you've met Nick, you will understand this.  The kid is obsessed with college/high school campuses-- we always have to check out the football field and buildings of any school we come within 14 miles of).  The boys originally came over to check out trivia at Hey Joes (every Wednesday night at 8!) but we had some time to kill before it started, so we sat around and discussed my fantasy football league.  The boys think I am a total chucklehead, it seems, and forced me to drop a few players.  Only to realize that those were the best players I could get for those positions, so now I'm without any players there.  Who's the chucklehead now?  (answer: still me, for listening to them at all.) 

Nick played with Parker, Dillon played with my fantasy football league, and I didn't do a whole lot.  I was able to get rid of these yucky pop-tarts I bought last week (ice cream shoppe SOUNDED like a good pop-tart flavor.  But learn from me, readers.  Its not.  Luckily, boys will eat anything, so I sent them home with the entire box.  But not before they ate half of another box of regular, strawberry pop-tarts.)

We went to Hey Joe's, and, the boys, taking a page out of my book, "didn't have any money" to buy dinner.  So, being a sucker, I offered to pay.  We ordered an appetizer since I was starving and had only had one roll for lunch that day.  I go to speak to some friends on the other side of the restaurant.  I return.  Nick has eaten almost half of the appetizer.  By himself.  While Dillon watches.  Because they only had one fork.  Once we finally get another fork, I get to eat a total of about 2 bites before it is all gone.  I mean, seriously?  They ate the entire appetizer and HAD JUST EATEN TWO POP TARTS EACH not an hour before.  These boys will eat anything.  Just like Mikey.

We didn't play with my usual group for trivia, but we did pretty good until the last category, which is always music.  Its my weakest.  I pulled through with some good ones in the television category, but missed a few I should have known (didn't matter though, we still would have lost).  My back hurt from carrying my team during that category though.  Typically, anything to do with television I'm really good at.  Its sad. 

Despite the hunger pangs during the appetizer course and our embarrassing 4th place showing, it was a really fun night.  I love those boys!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How I met the love of my life...

Last Wednesday, I had a real treat.  I was lucky enough to have avid reader (and my little brother) Nick and his roommate, Dillon to come over for a visit.  Many of you readers may remember Nick as being a frequent commenter on both this blog and on facebook regarding the lack of my posts or Parker's hair or both.  While he may laugh at Parker's most recent haircut, and he might make fun of her when she wears her Ole Miss cheerleader outfit or one of her sundresses, he really loves her.  A lot.  His favorite saying is "Parker, I'm not happy with you" whenever she has an accident/jumps on him/ignores him/makes a mess/barks too much/won't sit in his lap/won't stay in his lap when he picks her up and makes her get into his lap/sleeps too much/etc.

But he really loves her.  In fact, Nick was the reason we got Parker in the first place.  He wanted a dog.  I did not.  Because I knew that I would be the one who would take care of her all the time (it was at some point during these dog discussions that I realized I'd kinda turned into my dad.  This was often his excuse when we wanted a pet or something when we were growing up.  He was right and so was I.)

So we decided we would get a dog, but since we are a family of chuckleheads with a serious lack of successful pet relationships, we didn't really know how to go about getting a dog.  Luckily, a day or two after we made this decision, someone who works with my mother told her of an older lady who had a pet she could no longer take care of.  This was the week before MLK day (on Monday) in 2009.  It turned out that the older lady had a sister who had been taking care of the dog, and the sister turned out to be a local city court judge in town, whom I had met before on occasion.  So we called Judge Arnold and she said she would bring the dog over that Sunday afternoon.  We believed it was so we could meet the dog, get a feel for the dog and then, later, decide if we wanted to keep the dog.  My college friend (and also avid reader) and her young daughter Ela, were visiting that weekend as well.  It was a busy weekend at the Carr house!

Judge Arnold brought the dog by and lo and behold, she brought all of Parker's stuff and decided we seemed like nice people (apparently she hadn't really met us yet) and left the dog with us.  We were a bit surprised because we just didn't think it would happen so fast.  Judge Arnold's sister was older, and had previously had many pets, and had gotten Parker, trained her and then the sister's health went down, so Parker had been living with Judge Arnold and her family of pets for a while.

Regardless, we now had a pet.  That no one really knew what to do with.  Least of all, Ela, who was a bit scared of Parker.  We kept her (Parker, not Ela) in the kitchen behind a doggie door, and tried to convince Ela that "Parker can't get out."  Ela then called Parker "Parkercan'tgetout" for a really long time.  And probably still does!

For a few days, we sorta tried to figure out how to handle this dog and how to play with her and how to take her outside and all that fun stuff.  She slept on the floor of Nick's room for a few nights because he is so mean that he would not let her get on the bed.  She was a bit scared of the stairs in the house for a long time, but eventually, she made it all the way up in one go.  About a week after we got her, Nick went to stay with my dad or stay with a friend or something.  So I told him she could sleep in the room with me.  Once again, my suspicions that I would be the one caring for her entirely were entirely correct.  That night she headed up the stairs.  Jumped on my bed.  And snuggled up against my back when I turned the light out.  I fell in love.  She never left.

She quickly became my dog and she has been ever since.  My family loves her so much and I love that they love her.  Cause I love her!  She's fun!

But as fun as she is, she is a good dog.  She absolutely knows who is in charge in this house.  (Hint:  Its not me.)

As much as Nicholas likes to fuss about her, he really does love her.  As evidenced by this picture that I snapped the other night: