Saturday, December 18, 2010

God Has Been Showing Himself

A series of events have taken place in the last couple months that have really reminded me that God is always here, even when it doesn't feel like it.

First, nobody was injured in the very bad car accident I posted about in November. Our car was absolutely destroyed, but no one involved was hurt badly. I was the most injured (being a small gal, the airbag nearly broke my ribs), but nothing was permanently damaged. Our insurance took care of everything (I had no idea how expensive emergency room visits were!), and our new-to-us car should be here before Christmas. We could have easily died, but everything turned out fine. Thank you, God.

Second, a fellow blogger experienced a Thanksgiving miracle involving her horse, Denali. Long story short, Denali's appointment to be put to sleep was already made, when it had to be canceled because of heavy snow. Denali improved, literally overnight. Those who aren't "animal people" might not understand what a huge deal this was for Denali's mom, but I know many of us do. I know I couldn't stop grinning when I read her update that Denali was sound! (Her blog is That is pretty freaking cool, God.

Lastly, a story that has been all over the national news over the last few days hit very close to home. Many of you may have heard about the shooting that took place in a school board meeting. Well, we live two hours from Panama City, where this happened, and both grew up in PC. I can't remember the number of times I stood where Duke stood and played the national anthem for the school board.

Basically, this man Clay Duke was upset that his wife was fired from her teaching job and decided to kill the school board members and himself. There are several heroes in this story. Duke told the women to leave the room, but Ginger Littleton snuck back in and attacked him with her purse. What a brave lady. Bill Husfelt, the superintendent, was incredibly calm, even with a gun stuck in his face, and tried to get Duke to let everyone else go saying that he was the one responsible for firings. And finally, Mike Jones went into the room (which is very open) and shot and injured Clay Duke (Duke ended up shooting himself).

Bill Husfelt is a close family friend, and has been for a number of years. He was my Sunday School teacher, and the principal of my brother and sister's high school before he decided to run for superintendent. He has always been someone that I look up to and respect very highly. Mike Jones is a friend of my parents', and went to high school with my mom. I regret that I've only met him a few times, but you will never find someone to speak a bad word about him. He runs Salvage Santa, a local charity for kids that he runs often out of his own pocket.

Like I said, this one hit very close to home. It would have been so easy for it to have all ended so differently. The news very easily could have been that all the men on the school board and Mike were shot and killed. Duke most certainly tried his hardest to make that happen.

I watched the video of the shooting a couple days ago and could not stop bawling. Heck, I'm tearing up just remembering. The gun was pointed right at him when Duke shot. Husfelt should not be alive today. There is not a doubt in my mind that God stood between him and the shooter. Wow, God. Just wow. I am SO in awe of You.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oy Vey


What a weekend.

My hubby and I drove up to Kentucky for the Breeder's Cup this past weekend. I'll post about it later, once I get all the photos off the camera.

We drove my parents' Avalon, because it is more reliable for long trips than either of our vehicles.

Had a flat tire we couldn't change (lug nuts were inhumanely tight) on Saturday night.

Then on Sunday night, just outside of Dothan, we rear-ended someone at a stoplight. I don't know what happened exactly, neither does Hubby, because it happened so fast. Apparently there is some question of fault because the other car may have been stopped at a green light right around a blind corner. I don't know. We didn't get a ticket, so I suppose the cops didn't know either.

The car we were driving was totaled, the other car just had a dented bumper (Ford Explorers are tanks!). Thankfully, other than some serious aching, everyone was fine.

In fact, I was the only one who even got admitted to the hospital, and that was just because I was having trouble breathing from being smacked in the chest by the air bags and seatbelt. I'm a really small gal, and air bags don't get along well with small people.

Still. It could have been much worse. The pictures don't really do justice to just how destroyed the car was.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Friends

Well, I haven't posted in a bit, but since I am up late watching the election results I thought it might be a good time to do so. Not going to touch politics though, those who know me probably know my views, and I'm not going to preach at the blogosphere. =P

The puppy that stayed with us over the weekend in my last post was absolutely adorable and incredibly sweet. Honestly, he is an amazing dog in his own regard and he got along with Indy, so if we had been looking for another dog he probably would not have left. Stevie was very hard to get a photo of, but I managed to get one (literally, just the one) not super blurry picture of him.

Isn't he a cutie? The photo does not at all do him justice.


Friday, October 15, 2010


Pretty Boy

No way this is happening. No way.

We have a houseguest right now, a young BC puppy on his way south to a rescue. We picked him and another up in Georgia earlier today, and he is going to leave us on Sunday to continue his trip.


Indy snarked at him most of the afternoon. Indy snarks at every dog, especially those that don't stay long.

He isn't scared, he just tends to be a bully with other dogs.

Indy and the puppy are playing right now. Literally rolling, jumping, wrestling, PLAYING.

I've never seen Indy actually play with any dog except for Diocese, and he only does that sporadically. Yet here he is, playing with this puppy. Nice!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy


It has been a crazy week. It is exam time again in our classes, so there was a lot of studying to do. Why is it that even when I keep up with classes/class readings I still feel the need to reread every single chapter right before a test?

It is a personality quirk I could do without.

Tomorrow I head out to the new barn for the third time. I'm really loving it so far, though honestly, I'd be hard-pressed to not love it when horses are involved. ;)

My trainer, Lakey, has me riding a bay gelding named Irish who is about as much a schoolmaster as any horse I've ever seen. The nice thing about him is that, unlike most (all?) lesson horses I've ridden, his canter departures are flawless. No getting hauled around an increasingly faster trot while getting more and more nervous and kicking until my leg is tired.

Since the transition from trot to canter has been my fear for literally years (some bad experiences as a kid turned me into a very timid rider, though I'm probably one by nature anyway), I'm hoping he will be able to help me get over it. Irish is a real sweetheart.

Before ending this post I have to brag on Diocese.

Diocese in Shadow

Diocese is our older Border Collie. He has some behavioral problems, namely his fear-reactivity to strangers. We can't take him on walks around the neighborhood unless it is late enough at night that no one is likely to be outside. He has to be locked up when we have guests. The UPS guy knocking on the door is enough to throw him off his game for a full day at least. He's never bitten anyone, but he will certainly act the part of Cujo at times.

Not that he is a bad dog. I'm not just saying that because he is my heart dog either. Anyone who really knows how to read doggy body language can see that he is terrified when he sees somebody he doesn't know. My agility trainer said he is bar none, including her own dogs, the most affectionate dog she has ever met. A behaviorist once said he is truly weird, because he is notfinenotfinenotfinenotfine and then *poof* omgiloveyouwillyoupetmeforeverandeveramen.

Now, we spend a lot of time working on his reactivity. In certain specific situations he is much less reactive than others (e.g. he is much better at the agility field, with all the happiness he associates with that place). Our house is not one of those places.

Now that the backstory is out of the way, I'll get to the real story.

We had a couple of friends come over the other day, both guys we've known since high school, and that D has known since he was a puppy (whether he remembers it or not). I put Diocese behind a baby gate in the hallway, where he could see some of the living room, where I was sitting, but not where the guys were sitting. He saw them every now and then, and eventually I asked one of them to help me with a training exercise with him.

Diocese was perfect.

More importantly, he did so well, with zero signs of nervousness (possibly because this is a friend who I do a lot of training with), we decided to try and let him come into the living room on a leash, just in case. With the exception of a few minutes of nervous sunken cheeks on D's part, he was fine.

By the end of the night, he was sitting between our two friends, getting petted by both at the same time, and looking like he was about ready to melt from happiness.

It was heartwarming to not see him scared to death, and actually acting like a "normal" dog around other people.

Yay. :)


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Getting Ready for Halloween


My hubby and I have never decorated the house for Halloween before. We've actually never passed out candy before either. Last year on Halloween night we just turned the lights off outside and in the living room, and stayed in the back of the house so that no one would knock on the door.

Well not this year. We aren't going crazy, but I bought all the candy we need to actually pass some out. We have a 'scary pumpkin man' hanging from the willow tree, and the above trick or treat sign is hanging on the front door. Lots of school-age kids live on our road, and I want to be one of those cool people who hands out the "good candy".


I think it will be fun. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Evil Broken Printer of Doom

I am really growing to dislike my printer.

Evil Broken Printer of DOOM

It is a Kodak 5250, and we bought it because it was supposed to save money on ink. The ink IS cheap, I'll give them that. It doesn't really help though, if the printer doesn't run. Our first printer worked for a couple weeks then said that it was out of ink. This made sense, because we had been printing a ton of recipes to put in a binder. We replaced the black and the color cartridges.

The printer still said it was out of black ink.

We shrugged, and wrote it off to a defective cartridge and got another black ink cartridge.

The printer still said it was out of black ink. Then it changed its mind and said it was out of color ink. Remember, this is with two brand new cartridges installed, and after we had already replaced the brand new black cartridge, just in case.

I spoke with "Winner" (no joke), the tech support guy who had me run through a whole series of troubleshooting tests. I honestly don't think updating the firmware is going to help the printer with what seems to be a hardware issue, but okay. Winner sent us a replacement printer, "refurbished" of course, which arrived today.

I admit it, I was totally excited. No more running to the store to print stuff from the computers! We followed the instructions to the letter, moving the ink cartridges and printhead from the old printer to the "new" one.

Guess what?

I'm getting the same error as before. The internet tells me that the problem is probably the printhead, but the tech support I spoke with this time told me it wasn't. He says the problem is a defective ink cartridge. So they are sending me a new color cartridge.

Most likely scenario: The new color ink cartridge does not solve the problem, and tech support sends me a new printhead which may or may not solve the problem. From my research, if it is the printhead, it is an issue that will recur again and again. I suppose buying a new printer would be the best idea, but I really hate buying a new one when I have one... even if it doesn't work. =P

Why didn't I just look this up before buying it? Sites like this are not uncommon:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


My family is made up of dog people. I can't remember a time when we haven't had one or more pet dogs around the house. A 'few' years back my little sister and I started hounding (hehe) my parents for a cat. They eventually gave in, and adopted a 6 month old kitten from the shelter for us.


Simba was not at all we expected. He literally would not let anyone touch him for several months after we adopted him. Eventually he warmed up to my dad and I, but was still terrified of everyone else. Including my poor sister who the cat had been adopted mostly for.


He was, and is, a total grouch fairly often. Even now he doesn't tolerate being touched when he doesn't want it. He doesn't like to be picked up, or be around guests.

However, Simba has blossomed in the last few years. He loves Kevin (not a surprise, Kevin is a total cat person). He hangs out in the living room like a social cat, sometimes even when company is over. He even adores Schafer and Rumor (our two younger cats). When Kevin and I first got married, he was absolutely enraged at the thought of sharing a space with another cat. Now if he is separated from them for any significant length of time he gets upset and searches the house for them.



We took Simba to the vet the other day. He is 12 or 14 years old or so. He has always been the healthiest of our cats, despite being a senior. The vet pointed out that his eyes are starting to get cloudy. I've also noticed that he is moving just a little slower, a little creakier than he used to.

I can't believe it. When did my Simba get old?

Simba Chilling on the Goban

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Study Day

Oh boy, I get to study today. How exciting.

Both my Victimology and my Drugs class have their first exams tomorrow. Victimology I'm pretty caught up in, but the textbook for Drugs is mind-numbingly boring.

So I'm procrastinating by cleaning the house. I suppose if I must procrastinate, cleaning is a pretty good side effect, right?

Yeah. I will just keep telling myself that.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Nine years ago today I was a freshman in high school. I had a math test in first period. When the bell was a minute or two off, the test was finished and my teacher started to walk over to my desk. She did not look happy, and was probably going to fuss at me for not turning in my homework. I remember being relieved when another teacher ran into the classroom and started talking quickly and quietly with my teacher. I slipped out without a tongue lashing.

Next up was science, maybe marine biology, I remember the teacher much better than the class. He was Mr. Warren, a tall, soft-spoken black man that worked part-time at a local diner that my friends and I (and everyone else in town!) absolutely loved. He was, and probably still is, a fantastic teacher.

He was sitting at the front of the classroom, in a chair he had pulled up in front of the tiny TV that we sometimes watched documentaries for class on. I stopped just inside the door and looked up at the TV, because it was unusual for it for be on. I remember being confused at the recordings of the burning buildings. I've been to New York, but it was after 9/11, and I honestly didn't recognize the buildings on sight.

When the bell rang, Mr. Warren got up and told us what had happened (though many students apparently got the news in first period). He let classwork go that day, and most of us just watched the news feed. All the teachers let classwork go that day, except my band director. He felt that we needed to be distracted by work, and he was probably right.

Think about where you were when you found out that terrorists had flown into the Twin Towers. Think about how you felt. Now hold that in your mind, and think about it on the anniversary of 9/11. None of us will forget but sometimes we don't really remember.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Puppy Love

Guess who spent the night last night?


What a smile.

A week ago she was very close to being euth'd at a high-kill shelter. Today she is well on her way to her new home.

We had the privilege of picking her up in Georgia yesterday, keeping her overnight, and transporting her to the next leg of her journey today. It is such an honor when we can be involved in Border Collie rescue.


Although I should note that the boys are completely relieved she wasn't a permanent house-guest. Diocese was nice enough to her, but he very obviously did not want any of "his" attention to go to her. Endymion is just a snarkface. ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rawr Goes The Tortoise

We added some new seed to the tortoise house outside. It was growing beautifully earlier this summer, then we ended up staying with my parents for a month so all the lovely seedlings died. Awww.

Tortoise house, you say? What on Earth is that?

Koopa's "House"

That is our tortoise enclosure, or as we call it around here, Koopa's House. Koopa is our young Hermann's Tortoise.

Turtle on the Roof 2

He was a teeny tiny baby when we got him, and is about the size of my palm now. Hermann's aren't one of those tortoises that get really big and eat you out of house and home, no worries. He'll max out at a little less than a foot long.

In fact, he is probably the lowest maintenance of any of our animals. He just needs water and chopped up dandelion greens to be happy. Oh, and the sun. Which is why he stays outside unless the weather is incredibly, horribly bad, or we go on a trip. Then he gets to hang out in the far less glamorous fish tank with an overhead lamp. He hates that.

I love turtles. They remind me of dinosaurs. I always wanted a pet dinosaur. Rawr, Koopa, rawr!

Turtle on the Roof

Monday, September 6, 2010

Out of town

We visited my parents over the weekend. Originally we planned to go to Dragon*Con like the gigantic nerds we are, but decided to attend my mom's birthday instead. Usually when we are in PC we stay at my parents' house, in my old room. Sometimes I forget how gorgeous the view from my room is.

Sunset with Tobacco Filter 2

The dogs had a blast of course.

You Coming?

My horse fever is attacking with a vengeance. Yeah, I know you horsepeople know what I'm talking about. Thankfully, this semester is settling down so I can get out and track down a barn to start up lessons again.

Time to get the Taco Soup in the crock pot. We've made it several times before and can't get enough of it.