Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ellie Update!

The little princess, Ellie is becoming more comfortable with her new home and new owners.  Matt and I try and take her on daily walks.  We miss a few days here and there but most of the time we are good about it.  Some days are better than others.  The last walk we took her on was just painful.  She was so stubborn and kept pulling on her leash.  She hasn't done that in a few weeks.  The other day she kept trying to jump and grab the strings on Matt's shorts during the walk. 

What she is excelling in is her indoor manners and basic training.  While she still likes to chew on things she shouldn't, she is learning her commands quickly.  Just a few nights ago we found out how to teach your dog to "drop it" when playing.  I found the website "Dog Star Daily" and they have GREAT articles on training with treats.  Ellie used to retrieve the toy but not give it back to us.  Now, we can say "drop it" and she does it without much fuss.  Within 5 minutes she had that down pat so we started working on "down."  That one has proved to be a bit trickier but the more we work with her the faster she'll respond.  Luckily, Matt taught her "sit" weeks ago when we started walking her so she does that without getting a treat. 

The next thing I would like Ellie to learn is to "leave it."  Similar to "drop it" but more difficult in my opinion because that means she has to stop paying attention to something that she clearly desires.  Matt and I would be able to use this command when Vinnie is around so she'll leave him alone.

Speaking of Vinnie, with Ellie playing in a more controlled way now he is totally into her.  Matt told me that yesterday Vinnie jumped down off of the dining room chair when Ellie was fetching a toy and began playing with her.  Once she noticed she ran toward him excitedly which prompted Vinnie to go, "oh crap!"  He sort of hopped away and back to the safety of the chair.  He just doesn't know how to play with her yet.  Eventually he'll understand and I have GREAT faith that they will get along perfectly. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Vinnie!

Today is the day that we celebrate our cat's birthday!  Vinnie is 1 year old! 

We took Vinnie in right before Thanksgiving last year and has been the most wonderful addition to our family.  He's our "first born" and is the apple of my eye.  When we first got him, I didn't want him.  I didn't like cats and said I never would.  Somehow though, he worked his way into my heart.  We have a really special bond.  I love how he purrs all the time and how he has the biggest personality.

We got him a new crinkle sack to play with and a birthday card that we'll give to him tonight after I get home from work.  Lately he has taken a strong interest in the packaging and box that my bottled water comes in.  We call it his "water bed" and feel bad taking it away from him since he loves laying on it.  Now that we have the crinkle sack we'll take away the water bed.  : )

Here is to many more years with our amazing Vinnie.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lasagna Obsession

This weekend I made my family a lasagna as well as one for Matt and I.  I use this recipe that my sister-in-law, Tammi, has used forever.  It's basically the only lasagna that I like.  A few years ago for Christmas Tammi gave all of us girls a hand made cook book of all of her favorite and best recipes.  I knew that the lasagna was going to be the first one I would attempt to make.

Since I first tried it and succeeded I've made it a handful of times and get more comfortable with it every time I do it now.  It's the easiest and simplest recipe for lasagna I've ever seen.  It doesn't require a lot of fancy spices or odd named vegetables.  I'm not much of a cook so keeping stuff simple is right up my alley. 

The recipe calls for three basic cheeses, parmesan (like Kraft shredded parmesan), mozzerella (whatever you do don't buy the imitation mozzerella... I learned the hard way), and ricotta.  Mix 'em all together and that's your cheese layer.  For the sauce, skip the whole making your own deal and just buy your favorite from the store.  I suggest Wal-Mart's generic brand Green Pepper and Mushroom.  I HATE mushrooms but you can't even tell there are mushrooms in the sauce.  It simply is the richest and thickest sauce that is inexpensive.  As for the noodles I never use the no-boil ones.  I think they don't bake well in the oven.  I take the time to boil my lasagna noodles.  Beyond that it's just layering all of those things.  No fancy spices and no vegetables.  You can use real ground beef (or chuck or whatever you meat people call it) or vegetarian ground beef substitute. 

If anyone is interested in the exact recipe let me know and I'll post it. 

In other news, we take Ellie to the groomers tomorrow for the first time so wish us luck!  She also went all night last night without going outside to go potty.  She slept really well and didn't wake up barking at me to take her out.  So proud of her! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Wrap-Up


It's time to talk about things just randomly on my mind lately.  It's not Friday so I can't say "Four For Friday."  Dangit.

Guilty Pleasure Television

What can I say?  I'm a t.v. junky.  Get me hooked on a show and you best not interrupt me until the commercials come on.  Right now I find myself looking forward to specific shows every week.  It usually makes my night to see a great episode. 

A new season of "Weeds" just started back up and got off to a good start.  I'm going to miss Alanis though if this is really going to be the end of her.  On Tuesdays I watch "19 Kids and Counting" featuring the awesome Duggar family.  Right after that it's time to indulge in seeing teenagers try and be good parents on "Teen Mom."  Watching Farrah virtually let her daughter play with matches all while allowing herself to get scammed out of $3,000 is television gold.  Catelynn and Tyler 4 Ever.  <3

Wednesdays I watch "The Real World" which makes me yell at Ryan through my television.  I feel like there is also something on Thursdays that I watch and I just can't remember what it is.  Help me out if you know.

Musica

This weekend I saw my favorite band Rooney open for my old favorite band, Hanson.  Funny how things work out, huh?  Anyhoo, both ROCKED and I had such a great time in Chicago that I almost cried driving home. 

My friend Ed got me hooked on a new band called Gold Motel.  The lead singer, Greta, once sang lead for The Hush Sound.  I never listened to them but I sure do love Greta's voice.  If you're interested in checking them out I suggest the songs "Summer House" and "Stealing The Moonlight." 


Meryl Streep

t is now my goal to see all of her major films by the end of the year.  I recently fell in love with her after seeing "It's Complicated" in the theaters twice.  So far I've seen "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Sophie's Choice."  I highly recommend them both.  Not sure what my next pick will be but let's just say I'm glad I've seen "Mamma Mia" already so I won't have to watch it again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Favorite Band

One day back in 2002/2003 I was cleaning my room and had Vh1 on for some background noise.  Through my speakers came the most wicked crazy spectacluar sound I'd ever heard.  I turned around and sat down on my bed to watch what would become my favorite band... Rooney.  Their style was something so familiar yet so fresh and new to me.  It was like they knew exactly what I had been looking for in music.  They were able to give my ears something that had been missing.  "Blueside" changed my view on modern day rock bands. 

All through high school Rooney remained "my" band.  I got so many other people listening to them and hooked on their signature California sound.  Not once did I get to see them live in high school due to A- being young or B- lack of them touring close enough to my area.  Ironically enough in the summer of 2006 after I graduated they toured with my favorite singer of all time, Kelly Clarkson.  The tour was seriously MEANT for me.  What were the chances of Kelly picking my favorite band to tour with her?  So weird.  Anyways, I got to meet the guys after the show and was really impressed with how sweet they were.  Very normal and down to earth.  It was clear that after seeing them perform so well live that I needed to see them again and again to get my fill. 

I've kept myself somewhat involved in Rooney's "online" community over the years.  I like to keep updated on what's going on.  I saw them again live in 2008 in Detroit and then later that summer in Jackson.  Around came last December and I traveled to Chicago and then to Detroit the following day.  Drove back home in an honest to God BLIZZARD and almost died.  Legit.  Still I can't seem to get enough and I absolutely adore listening to them. 

The band just released their 3rd album back in June called "Eureka."  While all of the albums bring something a little bit different to the table I find myself in love with this one the most.  I feel like the guys got to do what they really wanted to with this album.  It's something that they can be proud of 100%.  Rooney is constantly touring and working on spreading their music.

Even after 3 albums, loads of touring, a number one single in Germany, and a loyal following, the band still hasn't hit it big.

My husband said to me the other day, "Why isn't Rooney on the radio?  Why aren't they huge?  They are such a great band!"  Of course I totally agree with him and I do think that there is a rhyme or reason as to why Rooney isn't more mainstream. 

To me Rooney's sound isn't like anything else.  While this is easily my favorite thing about them, it's not what Top 40 radio stations look for.  Lately it seems that the more a band sounds like another band the more popular they are. It's sad really but that's the way it is right now.

I also have to think about what FANS want.  As a fan of not just Rooney but of other musical acts, I think I have a good idea of what different types of fans look for.  Some fans want to meet their favorite band while still keeping the slight illusion that they are "untouchable."  Others already know how completely normal they are and admire their musicianship.  Having a good assortment of merchandise on hand at shows is always a must.  Obviously, this can all be done with sufficient touring.  Luckily, this is something that Rooney is great with.

Keeping up with an online community is a great way for a band to stay in touch with their fans and really listen to what they are saying.  Fans like to be heard.  It's as simple as that.  I think Rooney really needs to work on this aspect.  Maybe a little more activity here would help them reconnect.  In my opinion, all of the guys needs to do this.  Not just one or two of them. If the guys would post more on their forum, make more YouTube videos, be active on MySpace and Facebook, then I could see fans really getting involved.

I'm starting to think that the bottom line is simply giving a shit.  Are the guys in the band for their own personal purposes and not for fans at all?  Are they really working on gaining a larger fan base so they can expand?  It absolutely does not matter to me because I'm going to love and support them 100% no matter what.  I don't care if they are soley in the band for the sake of meeting women or to see the country.  I just want to hear their music and feel connected in some way. 

Maybe Rooney doesn't want to become a huge rock band.  That's always a possibility and is totally fine by me since I prefer small venues.  Haha.  But seriously, if they are content with the success that they have achieved then kudos to them.  They accomplished all that they were looking for.  If they are happy at the end of the day then that is what matters. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living with Ellie - Everyone Poops

Updated on Ellie's health...
The vet checked her out and said that he wasn't sure what could be wrong but that her anus was swollen and red and we have to keep an eye on that until Thursday.  If she's still not eating or pooping then we have to take her back in to see him.

Luckily, last night around 11 p.m. she pooped!  She did drag her rear on the ground a bit though.  This morning she also pooped but didn't drag so maybe it's clearing up.  We may have to put Vaseline on her butt if it's still red tonight.  She also started eating properly again at breakfast this morning.  We'll see how she eats at lunch.

I can really tell that Matt has a bond with her that I think he wasn't expecting.  He really does find her undeniably adorable and loves having her around.  He started blowing into her face when she play bites him and it seems to be working so I think I'm going to start doing that. 

I think I'm going to take a break from all this poop talk and write about some other interesting things.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Living with Ellie - Week One

This weekend with Ellie went okay.  We had about 16 people over to our house on Saturday so she got to meet a lot of new folks and did really well with everyone.  Our families really seem to enjoy her! 

I tried walking with her but she just wasn't having it.  She kept pulling on the leash or biting it... or me.  I was so upset thinking about it Saturday night that I was in tears.  I just don't know what I'm doing wrong.  It's very frustrating.

Yesterday Matt was telling me about how well she walks for him on the leash.  I didn't totally believe it so Matt suggested we go for a short walk around the block.  We left the house around 7:00 p.m. and headed toward the park by our house.  We encountered an older woman who had a standard poodle.  She told us how much she liked Ellie and how friendly she was.  We let Ellie run free in the park until someone else came with a big german shepard.  At that point we left and walked down the street some more.  I seriously was amazed that after an HOUR of walking around the city with Ellie she was doing so well with minimal problems.  I walked in front of her and Matt.  He would make her stop at intersections and sit.  Which, SHE DID.  I'm seriously still mind blown by how well she behaves for him.  I'm just hoping one of these days she will walk like that for me.

At lunch and at dinner Ellie wouldn't really eat for me.  She would only eat if I hand fed her tiny bits of food.  Something seemed off but I didn't think too much of it until this morning when Matt said Ellie wouldn't poop.  She would squat repeatedly like she had to go but she was straining and barely anything would come out.  As he tried to walk her down the street she would keep stopping to drag her butt on the ground.  She did get a little bit out but then smeared it all over her back side.  Matt thought she needed a bath because she was so gross.  Matt bathed her quickly and I helped dry and brush her before I left for work.  Ellie still couldn't poop even after getting the dry fecal matter off of her ... for lack of a better word... hole. 

After looking up her symptoms I felt really concerned and told Matt that maybe we should take her to the vet.  He tried taking her outside one last time and she still couldn't go.  She even started crying when he brought her back inside.  Off to the vet they went and apparently he was in surgery so he couldn't look at her right then.  They said that he could look at her around 2:00 p.m. so that is when Matt is taking her back. 

Praying that the situation is minor and can be fixed with ease.  I feel so bad for her.  You can tell she is uncomfortable.  A little 3.5 pound puppy can only hold so much!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Living with Ellie - Day Three

Our little bundle of fluff is prooving to be a handful! 

Yesterday when I let Ellie out at 1:30 she did okay until I had to put her back in her crate.  She yelped and yelped.  Most of the time she'll do it for maybe a minute and then chill out.  This time she did it for like 5 minutes straight at least because she was still going at it when I walked out the door.  When I came back at 3:30 to let her out again I tried something new.  I sat in the bedroom with her while Ellie was in her crate.  I allowed her to mellow out and gave her a few treats for being quiet.  Then I walked away.  While she did bark when I left, she quieted down by the time I actually left the house.  Maybe staying with her for a while is the trick.  I'm working on doing positive reinforcements with her so she knows when she's doing something right. 

Ellie ate a good amount at dinner time and she did poop twice.  Her stool isn't all runny and gross anymore.  It's becoming more solid so that's awesome.  Don't ya love it when I talk about poop?!  ; )

The next obstacle in her training will definitely be the play biting.  I know it's a "pack" thing and that's what puppies do to each other when they are playing but, I'm not a puppy.  I certainly don't bite her so I don't want her biting me.  And she'll get ya anywhere!  Your arms, ankles, fingers, thighs, ASS!  Those tiny teeth hurt too!  I heard that a good way to get them to stop biting you is to yell "OW!" and then stop playing with them.  I told Matt about that so I think we'll start trying that and see if it helps Ellie understand right from wrong. 

Vinnie's curiosity with Ellie is progressing.  He wants to climb on her crate in the morning (which he can't because he falls through the cracks) and he seems more comfortable inching his way up to her crate when she is in there laying down or playing.  If she reacts to him being close though he'll back away.  When Vinnie was on his cat condo yesterday, Matt held Ellie and brought her close to him because he was trying to reach out and smell her.  They just calmly smelled each other and then we seperated them.  I don't want to overwhelm Vinnie because he is a timid cat and gets scared pretty easily.

Today we're going to go get Ellie a comb and brush.  Even though the foster bathed her Tuesday before we picked her up we're going to do it again because she has been in the wet grass and on some dirt.  My goal is to get her familar with being groomed so when she goes to the groomers it will be really easy. 

My neighbor lady once had a white poodle and she told me yesterday that the vet has eye drops that will help Ellie not tear so much.  The tearing has caused the hair around her eyes to develop a red/brown yeast rash.  We'll set up a vet appointment for her next week I think.  I'd like our vet to check her over.

That's all for now!  Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to blog about Vinnie and Ellie finally getting to interact.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Living with Ellie - Day Two

Yesterday was a great day with Ellie.  Matt said that she was really good all day for him and pretty much just slept.  After I got home from work and Matt and I ate dinner, my mom came over to spend some time with Ellie.  It's obvious that she is smittened with her cuteness and energy.  Mom brought over some of Colonel's old toys and ones that he had never played with at all.  She walked in the door with the very first toy I ever got Colonel and I almost started crying.  I remember getting that toy more than 6 years ago!

Ellie is a really playful puppy.  She is obviously wanting to chew on anything and everything.  She especially likes anything that is hanging off of your body.  Mom had brought over a rope toy and Ellie liked that the best.  Probably because two of the other toys weighed more than she does. 

Last night she didn't seem horribly interested in eating dinner.  She'd eat some but not scarf.  I'd have to keep turning her around and facing her towards her dish.  This morning on the other hand she ate and ate!  I was so proud of her and I'm very happy that she seems to accept the puppy food that we got for her from TSC.  Yay!

She slept wonderfully last night and we got her up at 3 a.m. for a potty break.  Around 5:30 Vinnie was able to come into the bedroom bravely and lay up with me.  He seemed very interested in what Ellie was doing... almost to the point where he was gonna climb on her crate.  I had to hold him back!  Eventually he left the bedroom and I got to go back to sleep.  Only thing was... 6:00 he came back in but this time he sat on the floor about 4 feet away from her crate just looking at her play with her plush toy.  I felt the need to watch him because I didn't want to fall asleep and then for him to swat at her if she scared him accidently.  It was so hard keeping my eyes open!  I waited and waited and waited for him to move along.  After 15 minutes or so he decided to move closer to her.  He was only about a foot away.  Ellie jumped up when she noticed him so close to her which caused Vinnie to take a step back.  She even let out a few yelps and Vinnie just stood there looking at her like she was some foolish puppy.  :) 

Around 6:45 I think he left and I went back to sleep only to be woken back up at 7:00 by the alarm.  I got up and took Ellie outside to go potty and then back in her crate she went until after I showered at which time I sat with her while she ate breakfast.  She sat in her crate for maybe 5 minutes until Matt could come get her to take her outside.  He watched her romp in the living room first doing a hilarious voice-over for her.  About a minute later she assumed the position and crapped on the floor.  And of all places, on the rug.  I saw her start to go and yelled, "No no no!"  I know I shouldn't have done that.  Reflex kicked in.  I've read a million times not to yell at a puppy when they mess on the floor because they don't know any better.  Still, I did it and felt so bad for doing it.  Matt scooped her up before she could finish and took her outside to complete her business.

Today will be tricky because not only is this Matt's 2nd shift work day but he got asked to come in early at 11 instead of 3.  I have to take two half hour lunches instead of a whole hour.  I have to let her out at 1:30 and again at 3:30.  I packed a PJ & J to hold me over.  ;)

I'm thinking of taking Ellie over to play with my brother's dogs Effie and Butters.  Effie is a pug and Butters is a puggle.  They can be really playful so they could help Ellie work off some of her energy.  I'm just a bit worried about Ellie getting tramped under Effie's big booty.  : )

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Living with Ellie - Day One

Matt and I drove down to Defiance, Ohio to take a look at a puppy we were interested in adopting.  The foster dad was at the house and after inviting us into the kitchen he grabbed the little female puppy out.  She was in a room blocked off with a baby gate along with a black maltipoo. 

She hopped her little legs over to Matt like a tiny pony and Matt knelt down squeeling, "aww awww ohhh awww!"  He later told me that he almost cried right then. 

We checked her body out.  All paws, teeth, eyes, and ears looked good to us.  We don't know exactly what to check for but she had all of her proper body parts so that was good.  She was fun to watch on the kitchen floor.  She would just casually stroll around and when Matt would tap his hands on the floor she'd get excited and run over to him. 

After talking with Doug (the foster dad) we knew she was the one for us.  We signed the adoption contract and got copies of her vet vaccination papers.  Into the car we went and she just sat there on my lap so nice and cute.  Once we reached Bryan, Ohio we decided that we were going to name her "Ellie" from the movie "Up."  Now is a good time to say that if you haven't seen the movie you really need to. 

We stopped in Bryan to get her a medium sized crate with a divider at a local pet store.  Luckily, that pet store had the crates $10 cheaper than anywhere in Sturgis.

After taking Ellie to see Matt and I's co-workers, my in-laws, and my brother's family, we went home to see Vinnie.  I set the cage with Ellie inside right in the living room.  We brought Vinnie out and he stopped dead in his tracks in the dining room after seeing her.  Ten minutes went by before he moved a muscle.  His tale finally calmed down and he started getting closer to the cage... stopping every so often just to keep checking her out.  Ellie was calm and just looked at him.  Eventually Vinnie was all the way at her cage and she was in the back sleeping like a rock.  He even laid down beside her cage and chilled out for a bit.

Matt and I competed with Ellie's new crate.  They need to make those things more idiot proof or something.  We put the divider up and I'm happy to report that the puppy has had no accidents in the crate itself.  She did go poop on my brother's floor however.  Haha!  We haven't had her out in our house just romping long enough to really test her properly.  But, it's still early so I don't expect it to come quickly. 

Ellie didn't care for being caged up suddenly after dinner.  She yelped and yelped.  It seemed that if we would leave the room or turn our backs to her that really upset her.  However, a few sessions of her yelping she only would bark like twice and then she'd be quiet.  At bed time she was SO great!  We moved her crate into the bedroom and once we turned the lights off and climbed into bed she yelped for about 30 seconds and then we didnt' hear a peep out of her the rest of the night.  I was a worried mommy and woke up quiet a few times just to check on her.  Every time she was snoozing.  At 3:00 a.m. Matt got up and took her outside to go potty.  I did the same after I woke up only I walked with her a bit. 

Walking might be a challenge with her if she remains so sluggish. I think she's just apprehensive at the moment.  Yesterday it was so dang hot I think she was just looking to rest.  I would tug on the leash and try and get her to move which only made her yelp like a pig.  After doing some reading I'm not going to tug anymore.  She can get praised and rewarded when she walks with me.  If she doesn't then she can just sit there.

One thing I noticed is that she has excessive tearing... especially in her left eye.  The redish brown color you see around her eyes are tear stains.  It's basically a yeast from bacteria building up.  I read some little tricks to helping her pH balance that will reduce the amount of staining.  I think we're gonna try and give her a bath sometime soon to see if we can get some of it off.  If anyone out there has insight into this it would be greatly appreciated.  Her poor eyes are covered up by wet red hair.  Distracting you from looking at how pretty the rest of her is!

I think that's all for now.  Will report more soon.  Oh!  And I will for sure be posting pictures of her all fluffy and clean very soon!

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Addition!

Wow, it's been almost 3 months since I've posted anything on this blog.  Sorry 'bout that readers.  Still I'm sure that inquiring minds would like to know what the hell has been up with me.

Sadly, not a lot has been up with me.  So instead of boring you with talking about work and family junk I will tell you that we are expecting a fourth addition to the Lantz family. 

A PUPPY!

Matt and I almost had a yorkiepoo but the sellers backed out and decided they couldn't sell her.  After getting over that heartbreak we decided to look into dog adoption.  Within 2 days of e-mailing on 4 dogs, all 4 had been adopted. We were feeling discouraged until we saw a new adoption pop up.  We e-mailed the foster parent and then found out that she also had several other applications and would have to call references over this past weekend.  None of my references ever got a phone call but Saturday evening I received an e-mail from the foster parent and she said that if we would like the puppy that she would be ours. 

She is an 8-10 week old Coton de Tulear.  I'm sure you're thinking, "huh?"  Coton's are a rare breed that originated in Madagascar.  They have "cotton" white fluffy hair that needs to be groomed and brushed regularly because it can get long and mat.  They can reach about 15 pounds making them a small but not "toy" sized dog.  They are very intelligent and loving. 


She checked out really well at the vet and they actually said she was one of the healthiest dogs that had come from a puppy mill.  Two thumbs up! 

Oh, and I don't want any of you to think we got her from a puppy mill directly.  How it works is rescues and shelters go to puppy auctions and purchase young pups in order to stop them from ever being bred by anyone else.  Overbreeding can lead to serious birth defects in litters.  It's a horrible chain of events that only leads to inhumane "breeders" getting more money in their pockets. 

We are excited and anxious for Vinnie, our 11 month old cat, to have a new playmate and sister.  I think Vinnie will have to warm up to the idea to having a dog in the house simply because he has been the center of attention for so long now.  He really is the apple of our eye and the best cat in the world. 

Right now the puppy has a very cute name, Annie.  Because it sounds so much like Vinnie we feel that we probably should change it.  Right now the top names in the running are Ilsa (Spring Awakening), Veda (My Girl), and Ellie (UP).  I'm leaning more towards Ilsa while Matt is leaning towards either Veda or Ellie.  No idea what we'll end up on though.  We'll probably decide once we meet her.

If we get to the foster's house and there is something wrong with the dog that we weren't informed of then we probably will not end up taking her.  But, if not, I'm 100% sure that we want to make her a part of our family. 

Here she is folks! 





Friday, May 7, 2010

No Control In Music City

In two weeks, I'll be Nashville bound along with my husband and my mom.  We're going to Nashville for two days and then driving three hours to Memphis to spend three days.  Nashville is more for me and Memphis is for my mom to finally see Graceland after about a billion years of waiting. 

Since I was a kid and desired to be a singer I've wanted to stand on the Grand Ol Opry stage.  Just the thought of it gives me shivers.  Sadly, Grand Ol Opry was hit pretty bad by the recent flood and most definitely will not be in working order by the time we get there.  All the shows scheduled are being moved to the War Memorial or the Ryman Auditorium, both previous homes to the Grand Ol Opry.  I'm really really upset about the Grand Ol Opry's current condition.  Think about all of the amazing musicians to have performed on the stage that is now under water.  We'll probably visit the Ryman Auditorium and do the tour.  I'm looking forward to it.

In Nashville i'm also pretty stoked about going to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Wild Cow.  Funny name, huh?  The menu looks freaking awesome and i'm hoping my mom will be brave and try something because they have absolutely no meat there at all.  Kelly Clarkson's guitarist told me about it so it's gotta be good!  ;)

Of course we'll be going to Graceland first thing when we get to Memphis.  I really can't wait to see my mom's face when we walk into Elvis' house.  I have a feeling we're all going to be crying at some point.  She's told me the story of where she was when she heard Elvis died.  I still get choked up when she tells me.  She was driving home from work on a country road.  The music stopped on the radio and the DJ reported that The King had passed away at his home, Graceland.  My mom said she could barely breathe.  She pulled over and sat there sobbing for what seemed like forever. 

We'll also hit up the Memphis Zoo and Sun Studios.  Not sure of exactly what else.  We might play that all by ear.  Here is where I run into a problem.

Playing it by ear has never been my strong suit.  Being a hardcore Disney planner, I always know, almost down to the minute, how the vacation will pan out.  I know where every single restroom is and what to do in case of almost any emergency.  With going to a state that i've only driven through before there is so much that could go wrong.  There are so many things i'm sure i'll miss out on.  I don't like not knowing how long it's going to take to get from here to there and how long it's going to see an attraction.  I hate the idea of driving 20 minutes to something to find out it's been closed for five years or that it basically is just a statue and some flower beds.  Borrrinngg. 

I think I feel the pressure on me because i'm planning the whole thing.  I really feel no pressure with Disney World since I know that place like the back of my hand.  With Nashville or Memphis, i'm fairly clueless and if anything goes wrong I'll feel like it's on my head for not being a good enough planner. 

While i'm very excited about the trip, i'm also very scared.  If anyone out there has any tips about visiting either Nashville or Memphis please feel free to share them with me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Feel Like Vomiting...

In general, I have a strong distaste for romance novels.  I've never read one but I can pretty much guess that every single one is written almost exactly the same just with different character names.  There is one subgenre of the romance genre that really makes me go, "who would write that?" 

"The Pregnancy Plan"
"A Prince and a Pregnancy"
"Her Pregnancy Surprise"
"Bedded For Passion, Purchased For Pregnancy"
"Pleasure, Pregnancy, And A Proposition"

Are you frickin' serious?  People get off on this? 

I don't understand the draw to reading about some chick that gets knocked up, has some issue with the guy, has the bastard child, then lives happily ever after.  Even more, I don't understand reading the same type of story over and over again.  How the heck is that appealing? 

You've gotta be some kind of freak that's obsessed with being pregnant yourself.  And if you ARE that crazily obsessed, you need some kind of therapy. 

In general, I don't believe in "happily ever after."  It's a nice idea and all but I'm far too logical to believe that kind of crap exists.  I know that it makes me sound terribly "Bah Humbug" but this is how I feel.  Romance movies don't do anything for me either.  I just sit there and think, "how cheesy is this!?"  I like my feet planted in reality when it comes to romance.  No use in reaching for something that doesn't exist.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Duggar Style"

I've recently become enamoured with a television show called, "19 Kids & Counting."  It's about a family in Arkansas, the Duggars, and their 19 children.  Jim Bob and Michelle, the parental units, recently gave birth to their 19th child, Josie, back in December.  Josie wasn't due until March.  Due to some very unexpected medical issues that put the baby and Michelle at risk, they decided to get the child out and try and save her life. 

The Duggar family has been recently flamed for their conservative Christian lifestyle.  The girls all wear long skirts or dresses, they are all homeschooled, and at one point participated in something called "home church."  The boys and girls go through courtship with the opposite sex until they find that suitable mate.  The Duggars don't watch television and their computer activity is closely monitored. 

The main reason that the family has been critisized as of late is in correlation to the birth of Josie.  Folks are asking, "how many is too many?"  Many find it absolutely ridiculous that Michelle and Jim Bob leave family planning up to God.  They let God decide how many children they raise.  Even after Michelle's health scare, they've chosen to not rule out having more kiddos. 

I pray that God kicks Michelle's body into menopause, though.  Those kids need her.  I'd personally hate to see something happen to her.  Watching her makes me happy.  She puts me in such a good mood.  Michelle is so soft spoken that it actually reminds me that I don't need to raise my voice when i'm upset about something. 

There's an article that I read that made some very good points about how the Duggars actually contribute to our economy.  Maybe some families could take little tips from the Duggars in successful family life.
  • The Duggars are debt-free, yet own a spectacular 7000 square foot home.
  • They eschew the often toxic dating culture, yet the oldest son, Josh, managed to find himself a lovely wife, Anna Keller, via a virtuous-style courting relationship. (The couple now has a baby girl of their own.)
  • They are entrepreneurial, not seeking government handouts. Both Michelle and Jim Bob, in fact, are licensed real estate agents, while Josh owns a car dealership. They have also saved the taxpayers of Arkansas hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe more) by choosing to be homeschoolers.
  • They are civic-minded. Besides Jim Bob serving a stint in the Arkansas legislature, they will also be headliners at The Baby Conference to be held this summer in San Antonio, and they have participated in short-term mission trips to El Salvador.
  • They are stars, but celebrity has not turned them into Jon and Kate Gosselin. Their dress and manners remain modest and squarely grounded in middle America, not Hollywood. The Duggars make it clear they have one purpose and one purpose alone in this life: To glorify God. (My money is also on Michelle and Jim Bob to make good on the ‘till death do us part’ business.)
  • They don’t mind being whimsical, given that all the childrens’ first names start with the letter “J.”
Obviously i'm partial to the family.  Sure, I don't practice a lot of the things that they do but I applaud them for having such an amazing family.  They are some of the most courageous and gracious people i've ever seen.

 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Busy Spring

I've got a lot of cool things coming up that i'm pretty stoked for.  Normally around this time of the year I have nothing going on and nothing to look forward to.

This Friday, Barbara is coming down from Royal Oak and spending the weekend with me.  We're going to go out to Applebees (her favorite Sturgis "hot spot") and bake cupcakes on Friday after I get out of work.  Saturday, I wake up and go to work until noon and then we get to basically play Wii Cheer 2 all afternoon.  That night my friend Kris picks us up and we're all going up to Kalamzoo to see Miranda Lambert.  Can't believe the Miranda show is finally here.

Next Tuesday I get to celebrate my 22nd birthday with my family.  We're doing dinner at my mom's house (my fav, boiled dinner).  Then heading over to Chris and Chantel's where Matt's family will be joining us for cake and ice cream.  That night i'll be watching my favoritist show in the whole world, Glee!  So excited for it to start back up. 

I'll be continuing my birthday celebration by heading up to Ann Arbor on Friday morning.  Lisa is housing myself as well as my girlfriends from Detroit that night.  We're gonna go dressed up and go out to dinner and then find a place to enjoy some cocktails. 

Bryan White's show in Kalamazoo is April 22nd.  I haven't seen him since December of 2008 when he brought me up on stage to sing with him.  :) :) :)  Let's replay that in our minds right now, ok?  Ok!

Finally, on May 1st, Spring Awakening comes to Detroit so again, I head to the east side of the state for a fun-filled day with Lisa and her sisters.  We have stage seats this time.  I have the coveted CC7 seat.  Magic all around me.  Eeeek!

At the end of May is my Nashville/Memphis trip and and at the end of July is the Lady Antebellum concert a the Elkhart County Fairgrounds.  We kick things into high gear again October 9th when Matt and I take our moms to Walt Disney World for a week. 

<3 Life

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bracketology

Who woulda known this girl would get so into college basketball?

Matt came home a week ago and said, "Stacey, you need to fill out a bracket for college bball."

Apparently there's a competition between some people at his work and it includes their signficant others.  I guess all the other women participating chose their winning teams based on which mascots they liked best.

I knew I was going to be educated going into it.  I based half off my picks on statstics and what the pros think will happen.  The other half is based on simply if I like a team or not... for any reason at all.

My final four and much of my elite eight is still in it and going strong!  I've got the final four being Michigan State, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Duke.  Hoping that Syracuse and Duke are in the finals with taking it all.  Of course i'd love to see State take it but I don't think that's gonna happen with how much they've been scaring me.

Yesterday during the state game I was 2 seconds away from a heart attack I swear to God.  They've gotta stop stinkin' it up in the 2nd half!  Syracuse and Duke have been doing really really well.  West Virginia may give me a scare later on.  I haven't been keeping a close eye on how they're actually playing. 

I'm also participating in a tournament on INTERCOT.  While i'm not the highest "scorer" as of right now... I have the highest PPR.  So, if all goes well.... DISNEY SWAG!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dear Movie Goers

I've went to the movies quite a bit in the past few months and I keep forgetting to write about something that has been bugging me.

The average movie goer gets a popcorn and pop (or soda, coke, whatever you call it).  But, does the average movie goer throw their empty cup and tub away after the flick is finished? 

I really don't understand what causes a patron to conciously decide to leave their trash on the floor.  Someone else has to pick that up if they don't take it with them.  At every theater i've been at there is a trash can right at the theater's exit door. 

Is it really that hard to take your trash with you as you leave and dispose of it yourself?

I told my husband that there are two kinds of people in the world... those that take care of their own trash and those that let others do it for them. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

West Bound?

Yesterday, on a whim, Matt and I started talking about California and the possibility of visiting his Aunt Chris.  She lives in San Luis Obispo, California.  A very well off California city... home of Zac Efron. 

Last year he went out there with his mom to visit his aunt and uncle.  He absolutely fell in love with it out there and always talks about me seeing it for myself.  I never had that huge of a desire to see California since it's obvious i'm a Florida baby.  It just seemed that the more Matt and I talked about the idea the more I liked it. 

Disneyland is about four hours away.  A little far but it could definitely work if we plan it right.  Matt and I think that it would be best if we fly into the airport nearest to Disneyland and spend our first few days there.  Maybe only one day.  Then wake up the next morning and drive to San Luis Obispo and spend a few more days sight seeing.  I'd love to see San Fran but that's just too much driving and would require even more vacation days i'm not willing to use. 

Our only expenses would be flying out there and then Disneyland.  We'd stay in Aunt Chris' house in San Luis Obispo and she cooks breakfast and dinner every day. 

Right now flights look to be about $300 roundtrip per person.  That's a huge amount compared to what we pay to fly to Florida.  I do understand though that it's a much longer flight out to California and that out west is just plain more expensive. 

I hate to say it but... if we decided not to go to Disneyland I definitely would be as into spending that much flying out to California.  I'm sure San Luis Obispo is gorgeous but I don't think that it soley it worth $600 for the two of us.

We'll see what comes of this little thought bubble.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank You, Ticketmaster

Typically, Ticketmaster and I really don't get along.  They like to dick me around.  Recently, I had an experience with them that totally made me say "Thank You" instead of "Screw you."

Barbara and I decided to buy into the Miranda Lambert Fan Club in order to get the best seats from the FC pre-sale.  Friday we tried our hand at plugging our FC password into Ticketmaster and watched what it spit out.  I couldn't get anything better than 8th row but lucky Barbara pulled up 4th row center.  We snagged those puppies right up and jumped for joy.

Saturday came along... the day of the public sale.  I casually wandered over to my computer and decided to see what the public was pulling up right at 10:00 a.m.  As usual, I was on the ball and played "Fastest Finger" with the website.  To much surprise I pulled up Section 200 (center on the floor) ... Row A. 

Row A?!?! 

And we have what?  Row D?!

I called Barbara as fast as I could.  After much confusion of her thinking I talking about ADAM Lambert tickets I paid for our new set of tickets. 

Ticketmaster couldn't let me get away without giving me at least a little headache though.  Even though I typed in two regularly priced tickets, it gave me three tickets... two regularly priced tickets and one student discount ticket.  I was under the impression that the student section was in the back only.  I triple checked it and for some reason all three tickets were right in a row... right in the front.  I knew if I'd release the tickets I wouldn't see front row again so I just bought the extra seat and asked my friend Kris to go along with us. 

April 10th, please come quick. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Damn Hoosiers

Yesterday I went with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece on a short excursion to Mishawaka, IN  to get a bifold door for my niece's room.  My brother, Chris, needed to get a new pair of tennis shoes from Kohls.  As my brother was searching for shoes, us girls decided to head over to the restroom so Chantel could use the facilities.  I stood outside with Charlotte and decided I would push her in the cart over to the books.  Realizing I couldn't push the cart with my small clutch in my hand I threw the clutch in the pouch compartment of the cart. 

Normally, I don't carry such a small purse.  It's technically a small Vera Bradley wallet.  My large purse recently broke and I hadn't switched my wallet and junk over to another purse yet. 

Continuing with my story... within ten or fifteen minutes we were at the check out counter.  Chris took Charlotte out of the child seat in the cart and I helped out by pushing the cart into another cart in the cart return at the front of the store.

Ten minutes later at Hacienda I realized I must have left my purse in the car.  No big deal.  I ran back out to grab it a half hour later, after we ate lunch.  Only thing was... it wasn't in the car.  Realizing I must have left it in the cart at Kohls, I call the store and have them fetch it out of the cart.  We arrived at Kohls within five minutes and began asking sales associates if a wallet had been turned in.  No one had reported it. 

After checking every cart with a child seat, retracing every step, and stalking current customer's carts, we arrived to the conclusion that someone must have taken off with it.

I got in touch with the Loss Prevention Officer at Kohls that afternoon and asked him if he's please look at the security cameras.  I gave him the time frame that we were gone.  He was able to track who took the cart after us but had a hard time following them through the store.  He was also trying to see me at Customer Service when I threw my wallet into the cart.  He seemed to be having a hard time in general looking at anything.

The contents of assumed stolen wallet:
Vera Bradley Wallet (retired pattern, blue and white with owls)
Old and new insurance card
Library card i've had since I was five
Lush gift card (unused of course)
Subway coupons
Twenty some dollars cash-
Probably some other irrelevant cards
My tiny golf pencil I use when doing Sudoku (yes, I carry this with me)
....my bank keys

I had thought that my debit card was in the wallet so I hot carded it that afternoon only to find it this morning sitting on my end table.  I forgot I took it out a week ago and never put it back in.  Now, I have to get a whole new debit card, drivers license, insurance card, library card, and wallet.  They also had to have the locks replaced at the bank this morning.

Reasons why i'm such a dumbass and forgot my wallet are pretty simple.  I'm not used to keeping a child occupied.  Normally it's just Matt and I.  I don't have to make sure he doesn't get fussy and start crying when his mommy leaves him with his aunt.  I'm also not used to carrying such a tiny purse.  Normally i've got a big honking thing with me.  I also never push a cart around.  That's what I have a husband for. ;-)

I'm pinning my bad luck on the fact that I rooted for the Saints and was in Indiana on the day of the Superbowl.  Those damn Hoosiers were getting back at me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thank you Blogger


I've been working on my WDW blog lately as some of you may have noticed.  I'm catching up after taking 4 months off.  *smacks forehead*

Blogger hasn't been my friend when it takes me three hours to write an entire blog entry.  Mainly the issue is moving the pictures around and how it throws the whole setup of the post off.  I have to keep going back and correcting it.  It - gets - old!  On top of that, when i'm finally done with my post it and I go to view it... the links to the full-size images won't work!  Just the first picture that I post!  Today I went into the settings to see if maybe I had a setting turned off or something.  Turns out, there is a new post editor that allows you to move images around more easily AND will allow full-size image links.  The only negative thing that I see is that they took away Spellcheck.  I'm a good speller but once in a while I just type something incorrectly.  Maybe i'm blind and just overlooking the feature.



I'm using this post to test the new image feature.  Ignore random pictures.



I like how these are the only photographs on my computer at work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Buried Life List

Back in like 2007 I made a "Buried Life" (see MTV) list. I haven't edited it since 2008 apparently. I need to update this list since... i've proudly done some of them! :) Some more than once!


Things I Want To Do Before I Die

*last edited 2/24/08

Sing with one of my favorite musical artists -- Done thrice! Bryan White, Jill&Kate, Matt GiraudTour the world as a back up dancer
Help young girls
Create my own dress
Raise a child
Have one crazy night -- There are some nights I could classify as fairly crazy... for me.
Model
Tell someone off
Have long curly hair
Bring at least one person joy -- I hope I've done this one.
Save a life -- I rescued a baby squirrel that was severely injured. And took a little kitten off the street and gave it a home. :)Work at a christmas tree farm
Decorate x-mas trees at a department store
Hang out with Rooney -- Sort of? Got to be around them and their crew for a long time & sold their merch.Meet Kelly... again -- Technically three times since i've written this!Buy a ridiculous amount of undewear at one time -- Did this!Ice skate
Ski & Snowboard
Wear a crown
Work at Disney World
Dress up as Mrs. Clause
Make someones head turn (in a good way of course) -- I think i've done this one too!Swim with dolphins (i've done sharks)
Own a snake
Make every ornament on a christmas tree by hand
Tour the country with a band
Get Lasik
Chop my hair off..... short
Grow my hair out really long again
Get hooked on fitness
Cook really well and have people be sickly impressed
Buy 50 pairs of underwear in one day
Visit Pompeii
Wash elephants
Own a pig
See Lake Chad before it's gone for good
Eat mushrooms and like them
Finish a scrapbook
Fix up an old church
Participate in Relay for Life
Lay in a field for hours
Invent something
Have my own cosmetics line
Finish a whole giant lollipop
Learn to play the piano at least a little
Cut someones hair and make it look goooood.
Dress up like Cher
Watch movies for 24 hours straight
Own a computer that's not a complete piece of crap
Go to a spa for a day
Beat Matt in Kelly Slater surfing
Be content with being lazy
Fly a plane
Witness a miracle
Design my own clothes

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sometimes I feel old...

I've noticed lately that i've felt so much older than my peers. I say things and do things beyond my years. And I don't say that in a "i'm so much more mature" way... I say that in a "what happened?" kinda way.

Last weekend I went to a bar with a few of my co-workers. I'm not much of a party animal so i'm not really used to the "party" setting I guess. But, nevertheless, it's pretty ridiculous when you can't hear what the person next to you is SCREAMING in your ear. Bah!

Also, i'm all for public places going totally non-smoking in Michigan. Who the heck wants to come home with their clothes & hair smelling like smoke? Did someone say that it smelled good and it became a trend or something to smell like an ashtray? You really don't wanna hear me go off on my "I hate smoking" rant, do you? Prolly not.

This morning in the car, I turned the radio to a local pop/rock station. After about 3 minutes I went, "I can't do this..." and turned the station. So so much of today's popular music sounds exactly the same. Same beats, same lyrics, same concept. I'd much rather pop in my Yusuf Islam CD and listen to music that actually MEANS something.

*steps off soap box*

I am done.
Don't I sound 70 years old?
I'm quite sure I come off like a prude as well.
Bah, oh well.
Thank you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome To My Day

Guy: Whats the date? 10th?
Me: 8th
Guy: 10th?
Me: No, the 8th
Guy: The date! The 10th?
Me: No, it's the 8th
Guy: Oh, the 9th!
Me: NO! The 8th!


....It's been like this all day.