Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friends in High Places

I am not referring to a high-ranking government official or a school board member, a celebrity, or an, I've got a friend, and he works at the car repair shop and that, my friend, is the best place to have a friend.   

While Brad was in Alaska, I decided it was time to get my oil changed.  I also decided to switch car shops because we weren't so happy where we had been going.  So upon the recommendation of a friend, I chose another particular shop close to my house. 

Little did I know I have a neighbor-friend that works there - and boy, is he helping us out!

We've been in twice now, once for the oil change and yesterday for brake work, and he gave  us a discount both times.  And not just a teeny tiny one either.  It's a deep enough discount that makes me think I need to bake this man some cookies or take him and his wife out to dinner or cut his grass for him or fall down on the ground and bow at his feet.  Okay, maybe not. 

But I am going to do something nice for him 'cuz he is certainly being nice to us! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Best Day EVER!

Yes, I stole the title from Tangled. 

But in fact Saturday was one of our best days ever or at least the best day we've had in a really long time. 

For months we've been coordinating with three college friends (well, they are more Brad's friends but I claim them as my own) to meet back at MSU and attend a football game.  Getting three families together to do anything can sometimes be a logistical nightmare, but we were all determined not to let anything stop us.  Except bed rest, I suppose.  One of the spouse's could not make the trip due to a pregnancy, but that's a valid excuse. 

We left the kiddos with my parents and headed up to Starkville.  We were the first to arrive since we had the shortest drive to get there so we rode around campus a little bit.  Then I went to see Hannah in her dorm.  Walking into the lobby of that dorm I was made keenly aware of the fact that dorms have come a long, long way.  No cement block walls, no community bathrooms, it's more like a really, really nice hotel than a dorm.  A very secure, quiet hotel, in a great part of a great neighborhood.  The kind of hotel you don't want to leave.  I have to say though, the dorm room itself was still the size of a regular old dorm room.  They don't have any extra space than we did in the olden days, but the space they have is definitely nicer/newer. 

After I left Hannah's dorm, we went to The Lodge where we met up with Kelly, his wife Kari, and Sean, and Sean's 7-year-old son Jackson.  Kelly and Sean and Brad all lived together at Farmhouse Fraternity.  After lots of State paraphenalia was purchased, we loaded up in the truck for lunch at Little Dooey's, the bestest b-b-q joint in Starkville. 

L to R:  Sean, Brad, Kelly

 We stayed there so long we considered ordering again, but decided to leave and move on with the day. 

With it being a game day, you could not get into a parking lot for free so we all had to pitch in to pay for parking at Farmhouse.  Once there, the guys reminiscing kicked into high gear. 

Sean, looking like he's moving back in....

The guys finding themselves and others in the composites and sharing stories.  The guy in the green shirt and khakis is currently living at FH and was entertained by the "old guys" coming back and telling him how it was in the "good old days." 

We couldn't go back to FH and not play a pick-up game.  Only this time it would probably be a "pick-me-up-off-the-ground" game.  The guys couldn't quite move around the court like they used to!

The spouses finally allowed in a picture!

We left FarmHouse and headed onto campus, accidentally happening upon the players and coaches making their way to the Field House.  You could feel the excitement in the air, and I held up my camera and starting clicking.  The guy in the suit is Dan Mullen.  I almost cut his head off, but I think you can still tell that's him.  This was one of my favorites parts of the day because I've never been on campus to experience this part of Game Day.  The players and coaching walking by, the band playing, cowbells ringing, it was pretty cool!!!!

Coach Dan Mullen in the Dawg Walk

The group outside the Union.  Thanks to my college roommate for making the walk across campus to come visit us in the Union AND for offering to take a picture of us all together! 

After eating in the Union (which by the way, is NOTHING like it was when we were there) it was finally time to head to the stadium.  Poor little Jackson had waited all day to actually see some football.  The rest of the stuff (i.e., hearing adults yap and yap) was very boring to him.  He wanted to see some action on the field, and it was finally time! 

The view from our walk up the ramps to our seats.  Campus never looks more beautiful than from up here....

The Hump in the distance - basketball season's not that far away!

My knees were getting shaky-Brad had to take all the "sky pictures."

We made it to our seats and settled in for the game.  We took a couple more pics before kickoff....

We won the football game - in overtime - but it wasn't a very good game for the Dawgs.  We should have won outright, but hey, I guess a win's a win.  We'll take it.  Anyway, the game was secondary to the experience we had just all being there together.  These are some standup guys and I feel privileged to call them friends (awwww.....)  We pledged to not wait so long until we all get together again, even spoke briefly about making this an annual trip!?! 

As a fitting end to a fun-filled day we saw this as we were leaving campus: 

Don't you miss college life? 

Thanks guys for a wonderful, wonderful day!  My cheeks have just now stopped hurting from all the laughing! 

Love y'all!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Conversations and Questions

On the way home from Alabama last week, a frustrating thing happened.  I want to share it with you wives out there and see if you can sympathize or whether it's just my husband that does this. 

It was late evening when we were leaving for the 5-hour trip home.  We had seen lots of family and friends at the funeral home and even though the occasion was a sad one, it was good to see everyone.  About 30 minutes or so into the trip, Brad realized he had missed a text message from his mother.  She simply said, "call Larry*, he wants to talk to you."  (*name changed, :) )

Now the back story on Larry is that he is a long-time family friend, specifically, he is my in-laws realtor.  Yes, their realtor is a close, close friend, and if you've ever heard Brad rattle off all the addresses he lived at through the years he lived at home, you would understand.  We joked that when his parents moved to Mississippi, Larry and his wife would have to close shop because their business had moved Westward.  But no worries, my in-laws are back in Alabama, and I believe his realty business is back stronger than ever. 

So even though Larry is a close friend to Brad's parents, he's never called and specifically asked for Brad.  Larry and his wife have been good to us over the years, they helped find us a realtor in the Jackson area when we moved here from Louisiana those many, many years ago, and we send each other Christmas cards, but personal phone calls just aren't in the scope of our friendship, ya know?

So this piqued our curiousity.  Why was he wanting to talk to Brad?  Brad and I discussed it for several miles.  We even texted his mother back to see if she had a clue what he wanted.  No, she said, no clue.  He simply asked if we were out of town yet and to call him as soon as we could. 

So we discussed it some more and could come up with nothing.  Did he want to talk about something personal?  something business-related?  something serious?  something not-so-serious? 

"Just call him!"  I said. 

But I didn't know if Brad would call him back or not, because Brad's just funny that way.  If it would have been me, I would've been calling the second I got the text but not Brad.  He has to think about the message and perhaps altogether ignore it. 

We stopped somewhere between there and here at a truck stop.  It was dark and we were tired.  I had almost forgotten about the whole "call Larry" conversation until I walked out of the truck stop and saw Brad on his cell phone.  Okay, he called Larry, and I couldn't wait to find out what he wanted!

I offered to drive so he could talk so we both got in and hit the road again.  I heard Brad's side of the conversation which went something like this:

"No sir, we're already on the road."


"That is so sweet."

"It's okay, don't worry about it."


There were also lots of yeahs and okays and uh-huhs scattered throughout.  My mind was trying to piece together what the heck they were talking about.   I thought as soon as Brad hung up I would find out. 

But I thought wrong. 

When the conversation was over, Brad put down his I-phone, adjusted the air conditioner vents and his pillow, laid his head back, and was bedding down.  Not a word

So there I was trying to decide whether or not to ask the obvious question or wait it out and see if Brad would ever tell me what the conversation was about. 

After several, several miles of silence I couldn't take it anymore.  And no kidding, I broke the ice by saying, "I know what my next post is going to be about."  To which he asked, "What?" to which I said, "husbands that do not share phone calls with their wives." 

Now, let me just say a couple of things:

First, I know my husband, and I know that he could have and would have ridden all the way home without telling me one word of their conversation. 

Second, I know me, and I know sometimes I get nosy curious and want to know who he is texting or talking to and (sue me) what they are talking about.  I have gotten better at this over the years however.  Now I try not to even ask and figure he will eventually tell me if it is something I need to know about.  But there's no guarantee with him that he will EVER tell me, so sometimes I'm forced to ask. 

Back in the car, I explained to him that I don't want to know or need to know about his every conversation, but this was a special case wasn't it?  Had we not just spent many minutes and miles discussing what Larry could possibly have wanted?  Had it not gotten the both of us curious?  For him to just hang up and go to sleep was beyond my comprehension, but he swore he doesn't do it on purpose to keep me in the dark, and yes, he reminded me that I didn't ask.  What.  Ever. 

Open your mouth and speak, dude. 

So here's my question. 

Have I got the only husband in the world who can have a full-length telephone conversation in front of his wife, then hang up, and not utter one single, itty bitty word about the conversation?  And should this drive me as crazy as it does?  (Okay, that's two questions)

Should the person engaged in the conversation be the one responsible for sharing the info, or should it be the unengaged listener who is responsible for asking for the info?  (Okay, now that's three)

While I'm asking questions, here's a few more.  I know you guys aren't huge commenters, but I really, really would like your opinion on this. 

With all the new technology, how much "privacy" do you give your spouse?  Do you always know who they are texting?  Is it rude to ask?  Is it okay to read their texts?  Does it offend you when your spouse asks you who you are texting? 

What is the etiquette on this?  Any opinions? 

By the way, dear Mr. Larry was going to give us gas money. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Theme Song Of Gogurt's Life

Brad took the kids to the library yesterday evening and since my husband is obsessed with all things music, he came home with CDs, not books. 

To my surprise he had Brad Paisley's new CD This is Country Music.  I was surprised since the library usually doesn't have new releases for checkout! 

We had never listened to an entire Brad Paisley CD before, and to be honest, I've never considered him one of my faves, sometimes his songs can be a little, well, goofy.  That's just what he's known for, or I thought that's what he was known for.  Maybe I was wrong. 

Brad put this CD into his laptop and I'm not kiddin' ya, by the end of it we were both crying.  Well, I was crying and Brad was close to crying. 

Yes, there are some goofy songs on there, like "Don't Drink The Water" and the one I'm gonna share with you below.  But for the most part these songs tackle some serious issues and yes, there are some seriously romantic songs on there too. 

Even if you do not think you are a country music fan, I guarantee this CD could change your mind.  It's that good.  There's a little something for everyone. 

And there was something especially special for Gogurt.  We almost couldn't believe our ears when we listened to the following song.  It is Gogurt's theme song of life.  He wears camouflage at some point in every single day.  Yes, it's annoying to me as his mother because he looks handsome in so many different colors, but his favorite color is........

Okay, if camouflage is patriotic, I guess won't fuss at Gogurt too much for wearing it EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

(P.S.  Go get this CD)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Must Post

Labor Day Weekend we went to Alabama to visit my in-laws.  It was a great visit until the rain came.  It set in Sunday about 1 o'clock and never let up.  It was the Tropical Storm, whose name escapes me at the moment, so we knew it was coming.  At least we had a couple days of good outdoorsy weather.  Unfortunately, on the ENTIRE drive home it rained cats and dogs.  It took us 7 hours to make a 5 1/2 hour trip.  But God got us home safely and we breathed a big sigh of relief when we walked through the door. 

We had our OCC Kickoff at church (see Jennifer's blog) and it went extremely well.  Hearing a personal testimony from someone who had been handed a shoebox as a child really made an impression on me, and I hope it also made one on my children. We all take so much for granted. 

Saturday was a wonderful day as my mother, my sister and her two daughters came down and went to lunch with Poptart and me.  We went to Brent's (as seen in the movie The Help) and had a really good time.  It has been a long, long time since just "the girls" went out.  Of course, the only boy in the family, not counting spouses, is Gogurt, but he didn't seem to mind staying home with his daddy.  Especially after they made a plan to go to their very first Gun & Knife Show.  I hear Gogurt walked around drooling over swords, guns, and various sorts of other weapons.  He came home with a grenade and a pouch to put it in.  (inactive of course!)

As life seems to remind me, along with good times comes bad ones.  We received a call Saturday that there had been a death in the family, and so we made plans to return to Alabama for a funeral.  My mother volunteered to spend 2 nights at our house so the kids would not have to miss school.  That was a big, big blessing since otherwise I probably would have had to stay home and miss the funeral. 

We returned home late Tuesday night.  I stayed home Wednesday to type and boy did I ever type.  Since switching to this new system, turnaround time has slowed down for lots of us, and we are all having to pitch in extra hours to catch up on all the work.  I think the latest e-mail I received said there is 25 hours of dictation on the system.  I believe there are 40 transcriptionists, but that's still alot considering the doctors do not take a day off from dictating so we can get "caught up."  It's never-ending! 

Tonight is Thursday and MSU plays LSU.  On ESPN.  We are bracing for a defeat (did anyone see the heartbreaker at Auburn?  How do you spell deja vu?)  Brad swears he is not watching the game-says he is in no emotional state to do so.  I agree.  I plan on watching, but I'm begging, begging the Bulldogs to at least play well (notice I didn't say win).  Oh and did you know State has canceled classes today?!?  Since when do they cancel classes for a football game?  That's crazy if you ask me.  Yes, I think professors of night classes or nighttime labs should have canceled so the kids could make it to the game, but to cancel an 8 o'clock-in-the-morning class for a night football game?  Believe me, if I was a student or if I worked on campus, I'm sure I would think it was a wonderful, brilliant idea! 

Well, September promised to be a busy month and it has definitely not disappointed.  

Have a good day, thanks for reading, love y'all......

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's That Disorder Called?

I could take the time to post about how the "change" is going at work, but I really don't have time 'cuz I need to be working at this moment.  However, I will say that after a somewhat nightmarish, "I'm-going-to-quit-my-job" weekend, I am feeling a tad bit better now.  And so as not to bore you any further with my work stories, I will provide you with a little humor today. 

Check out the article linked below talking about a certain disorder.  I believe I grew up with a big sister who might can relate, and I believe I live with a man right now that can definitely relate.

Click Here to read about it.  Read it and see if you know anyone who suffers from it!  Maybe you do....

Have a good one!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

They Must Not Know....

I do not like change. 

Or do I? 

About 2 years ago, I began hearing "rumblings" about a change in our transcription company.  "It's gonna make your life SOOO much better," they said.  Well, time came and time went and no changes were made.  There were small changes, in preparation for the big change, but nothing that caused me great pause. 

It took so long for this change to be implemented that I at times wondered if it was actually going to happen at all.  Then I would receive an e-mail assuring all the transcriptionists it was in fact still coming. 

And it has.  We are going live on the new system tomorrow morning.  After all that time waiting, why does it feel so fast?!?

After my first 2-hour conference call on how to use the new system, I have to admit, I felt old and left behind.  I can understand why older people leave jobs 'cuz it went computerized and they don't even know how to turn on a computer.  I know how to turn mine on, and I definitely know how to find my way around a keyboard, but this new program was blowing my mind....

It changes everything, how we pull our work, how we do our work, how we check our work, how we submit our work, and how we get paid for our work. The name of the company has even changed! Nothing, and I mean nothing, is the same. (Except of course the doctors are still humans and they are still dictating sick human patients). However, if the program works the way it's supposed to, I'm starting to see how it will benefit the transcriptionists. Less work makes time for more work. What that means is I will have to spend less time doing things I don't get paid for and have more time for the work I actually do get paid for. Does that make sense? In teacher terms, no more "busy work." After a patient husband gave me a sit-down run-through of the program (sad, he doesn't even do this job and he understood the program better than I did, mostly because I was so afraid of messing something up and he wasnt afraid of that at all) and after another 2-hour conference call last night, I'm feeling a little better. 

Dare I say even a little excited

Am I nervous?  Heck yeah.  I feel like I'm starting this job all over again....and I well remember my very first day to sit down at this computer and type a clinic note.  Scary.  But now I can almost do it in my sleep and oftentimes I know what the doctor is trying to say even before he gets the words out.  One day, I'm sure this new program will be old hat as well. 

Change stretches you, I guess.  It's good for you.  It can even be beneficial for you. 

But after tomorrow, I'm done with any more changes for the year.  I mean it!  I can only handle one big change about every 6 months!  One a year is even better!  (For the record, I've been at this job for almost 9 years and this is the first major change we've undergone so I can't fuss too much!)

I hope you have a great day and a wonderful, wonderful holiday weekend!