29 May 2011

Blog: Redux

Welcome to the newest incarnation of the blog. I've found it's difficult to post consistently without any real direction or focus for the blog as a whole, but my Garm has inspired me to try again. And so, taking my cues from my husband, which I usually do, here's a short and sweet post.

This picture was taken at St Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic. I was there in late September of 2009, traveling home after my service in the Peace Corps had ended. I'm no photographer, and all I had was a borrowed point and shoot camera (thanks, Ben!) but I've always loved the way this photo came out.

04 January 2011

Merry Christmas, or Why I Hate the Holidays

Since getting married, my Garm and I have gone through many life changes. We've combined bank accounts and laundry baskets. I've changed names and addresses. Our families have doubled. And we still haven't found an easy solution to the age old question, "what do YOU want to do for dinner?"

Towards the end of October, we drove to Alabama and adopted our new little bundle of joy, Colt. Why Cullman, Alabama, you ask? When we must have passed shelter after shelter of homeless adoptable puppies between home and Alabama and back? Well, for one, how could you say no to this face?

He also met the very strict requirements we had for adopting a dog. We wanted another beagle/blue tick cross. We wanted a boy. We wanted a tri-color. We preferred a younger dog (puppy was a bonus). And this little bundle of joy fit the bill! (Thank you petfinder.com for helping me find two wonderful animals.) So I made my best sad puppy face and Garm grumbled and agreed. He grumbled a lot more when it turned out they were paving the only 2 lane highway into and out of Cullman. We picked Colt up from the vet where he had just finished having his little balls cut off, and we took a very drowsy puppy home. Wester refused to be in the same room for a couple of days, sitting in a nearby doorway warily keeping an eye on the furry little something we brought home. The cat was indifferent.

Flash forward a couple of months, and you have two exhausted puppy parents. Colt hates HATES being in his kennel, and has from day one. He tends to complain about everything anyway, and you can hear him make the funniest noises as he chews on itchy paws or tails. Our first attempts to kennel him resulted in him howling himself hoarse the first night, which meant that day two was actually rather quiet and pleasant. He hasn't done that again, fortunately or unfortunately.

Since then, every attempt to leave him in his kennel has been a traumatic experience for everyone. I've never met a dog so completely against his kennel. We've tried everything, from comfy blankets to shirts that smell like us, to treats and food. Nothing works. But, he has to be kennel trained, so we invested in ear plugs and hardened our hearts to his pitiful hound dog cries. He's gotten .... better. And we've gotten a lot more practical. No fluffy blankets, moderate amounts of water, and lots and lots of praise. He only gets to eat in his kennel, which means he's perfected the art of chewing and whining at the same time. And every time he's in his kennel for more than four hours at a stretch, he pees like he's never going to pee again.

(we even tried company. Easter did not approve.)

Garm and I have discussed having or not having children. Our current decision is definitely not right now. Reinforcing this decision was the newfound discovery that 1. Eight week old puppies do not sleep through the night; however, 2. Garm sleeps through eight week old puppies; however, 3. I do not sleep through puppies. Well, we agreed to take turns when it came to getting up at 6 am or 7 am or 8am or whenever Colt decided he just COULDN'T stay in his kennel any longer. Of course, I still had to wake up enough on Garm's nights to wake Garm up to take him out. And again, he got marginally better. He'd even go some nights without peeing in his kennel also.

So it was a rainy Saturday morning a week before Christmas, and it was my turn to take Colt out. My shift at work the night before hadn't been the best, and I left late, again. It was about 9 in the morning when I didn't hear him complain that he needed to go out. Oh no. I heard him stand up and start peeing in his crate. I was mostly irate. Sure, it was later in the morning, but I got no warning! I was already cranky about that when we got outside and I realized that it was actually raining. We were going to walk around until he peed in the yard, like he was supposed to. Colt is pretty good about staying close to me in the back yard so I didn't have him on a leash. It helps that at 9 am on rainy Saturdays there aren't many distractions for a puppy off leash.

We were making our way down the hill when my feet slipped on the wet grass and flew out from under me. I heard a pop, and when I landed knew that something had happened in my right ankle. So there I am, lying in the rain, in dog poop, with a horribly painful ankle. My wonderful Garm went from unconscious to at my side at a speed that should be studied by physicists, and several hours and an x-ray later, I had a broken ankle and 3 unexpected weeks off work. Colt, by the way, was very good. I'm not really sure exactly what happened to him right after I fell, but after I was safely inside on the couch, Garm heard him at the front door and let in a scared wet puppy.

Well, there you have it. My life, on pause, during the Christmas holidays. Not because the semester is over, but because my ankle is broken. It was a pretty surreal experience. My mind wouldn't quite grasp the whole broken idea. And the cast is really annoying. I went from being a whole and independent woman, one who had walked the cobbled streets of Europe, hitchhiked around Azerbaijan, learned foreign languages, and mowed the lawn occasionally to a veritable couch potato who couldn't get into or out of the shower without planning, preparation and assistance.

Now, last Christmas I was sick. And I thought I had it pretty rough. I had sinusitis, bronchitis, AND laryngitis all at the same time. All right at Christmas. Talk about a silent night! Last year, Garm got sick also. He spent Christmas day in a daze. Poor guy, he tried so hard to work up the appropriate enthusiasm for the 32" flat screen I got him as a present. And he spent most of our time at his parents' house Christmas day supine on the couch, fighting unconsciousness. We had to forgo the annual trip to Jacksonville and the Garm Family Christmas Extravaganza (tm) so that he could recover. So yeah, last Christmas was a blast.

This Christmas we were both okay, aside from my whole broken leg thing.

This Christmas, we got to participate in all the fun Christmas festivities. Christmas Eve at Grandma Jane's. Christmas morning with ourselves at home. Christmas afternoon at my grandad's was canceled due to a freak snow storm in Georgia (resulting in the first white Christmas in Georgia since 1882) so we did a brief Christmas afternoon at my parents', then Christmas dinner at Garm's folks' house, then home again to recover before Jacksonville. We packed the pain pills, the shower chair, the walker and kept our fingers crossed that nothing would go wrong. And aside from feeling abused from 6 hours in a Ford Focus (not exactly the drive train of a Cadillac) each way, that was delicious. Seriously, my next task will be alerting Southern Living to Granny's cooking prowess.

The day we get home from Jacksonville, I find out that my grandad's Christmas has been rescheduled for the following day, so we pack ourselves back into the Focus and truck ourselves a couple of hours north, where we wait on my chronically delayed and disorganized family to sort itself out. 8 hours later, we get back home to a puppy who seriously has to pee (again, because you know he peed his kennel) and recovery.

What did all this running around do for us? Allowed us to visit family and friends, built up my upper body, and killed my Garm's immune system. That's right, another year, another flu. I am already dreading the 2011 holiday season and the catastrophe that will ensue.

25 October 2010

Ex Libris

Well, I've finally married my wonderful Garm. Yup, he's stuck with me. And my wonderful Garm's wonderful parents gave us the best wedding present ever: an entire wall of bookshelves. "Entire wall" doesn't really do justice to the scope. The bookshelves literally stretch the width of the entire house. That's right. We've figured it up to about 166 linear feet of shelf space. And we've almost filled it up already .......

We began measuring months ago. There were charts and graphs and some more measuring as the piles of books in corners grew. The goal was to make the most use of the largest single wall in the house, so that we could combine both of our libraries into one place. After a while, the was a good deal of hoping along with the measuring.

Once home from our lovely honeymoon we settled in then took our happy, literate selves up to Ikea, home of all things for the home (some assembly required). We weren't sure how all of the bookshelves that we knew we needed were going to fit into the back of Garm's truck, but those clever Sweedes, they're so good at flat packing that everything fit with room to spare. Seriously, the next time I need to pack a suitcase, I'm finding a Sweedish person do help me! Here's what the truck looked like:

We got home and I had to go to work, leaving Garm to assemble 6 full sized Billy bookcases, one half bookcase, a DVD tower, and a TV stand. While I was walking dogs, he was busy in the garage, and this is the result:

It's amazing, how packages so small can be coerced into being such significant bookshelves. Each one is over 6 feet tall. Garm was so excited he even dragged the first three in and started arranging some of our books on them:

When I got home that night, I helped him carry in the others, and we began sorting the books onto them. SO MUCH FUN! I've had some of my books in storage for years and years, since I moved away from Newnan the first time, and they've stayed in storage in a closet at my parents' house while I was overseas with the Peace Corps, then they moved to the closets and under-beds at Garm's house. Finally, they're breathing air again!!

I had to go to work again the next day, but was able to help Garm get the electronics started. There wasn't too much I could help with this,
and I mostly just left him alone to untangle that, checking occasionally to make sure he didn't accidentally get strangled in the nonsense. He got it worked out, thankfully, and in time for the Auburn game, even. That evening he also secured the bookshelves to the wall and started putting the history and non-fiction out.

I came home to a lovely mess of books all over the house, and quickly set to work pulling out more boxes and fitting them in to where they belong. We have the books sorted by category -- fiction, anthologies, children's, literary criticism, general non-fiction, religion, mythology, poetry, history (by time period and then by author), biography, and political science. Poor Garm, he was exhausted but I was just so excited that I kept pulling boxes out from under beds and putting them into their respective areas. The history section was probably the most difficult, and I let Garm do all of those, though I did try to help. Getting the books into both chronological AND alphabetical order was such a chore ... I will never, ever shelve a book in that section: he can do it for me! I'll build a book drop first!

Exhausted, sometime in the middle of the night, we finally had to go to bed. The next morning, Sunday, I went back to Ikea with my BFF so she could browse the home of all things for the home (some assembly required) and I could pick up a couple more wall shelves. Garm and I decided that to give our wall o' books a truly built in feel, we would join the Bill bookcases over the TV with some matching wall shelves. We got 4 shelves on our original trip, enough to make 2 joining shelves, but we realized that our TV does not need to be mounted, like we originally thought we did. We also realized that the extra 5 feet of bookshelf was going to be crucial.

Especially since while I was at the bookstore, Garm found 2 more boxes of books under a bed I missed the night before in my excitement and exhaustion. These books, mostly history and non-fiction, required that we rethink where those sections ought to go. So, when I returned home from Ikea we mounted all 6 of the shelves and made 3 shelves above the TV, with the resulting effect of a single, custom unit. Garm claims he was 3/8" off on one of the shelves, but I defy you to find a flaw in these pictures!! Once we rearranged mythology, religion, and moved the yearbooks for the umpteenth time, the bookshelves are finally complete! Can you believe we managed to get our living room from this:

to this:

in just a few days? We've been looking forward to these ever since I announced to my new betrothed that I came with a dowery of a library as extensive as his own. One neat side effect were the duplicate books. Garm and I often had the exact same book, and we collected the doubles to turn in for credit at our local used book store. They'll only let us turn in one box at a time, so we have to make 6 trips to get them all gone. We've even been able to replace a few paperbacks for hardbacks, then turn the paperbacks in! Of course, if we keep lucking out and getting such good credit off these books, we may be needing more bookshelves sooner than we thought ....

21 August 2010

Crafty Time!

So the blog has been slacking a little. My bad. I'd like to blame the long hours at work in the horrible horrible heat, but mostly it's due to a slight writer's block and an epic laziness.

And of course so much of our time is taken up with wedding preparations. Mostly, those preparations are nothing to blog about, but this one is!

In an effort to keep costs lower, I decided to make my own centerpieces for the reception: gel candles. I'd had this idea in my head for a while, and last week Garm helped me to make that idea a reality. I'm so happy with the results that I want to do this again and again.

The overall theme of the wedding is fall, and the reception is at a restaurant that overlooks the Chestatee River. The candles I pictured in my head were basically frozen scenes from a river in fall: small river rocks on the bottom, fall colored leaves, berries, pine cones and acorns. Originally, I was thinking of just gluing those in place and filling the containers with water, then putting floating candles on top; however, when I did a bit of research on making gel candles I learned it wasn't too complicated. So I threw caution to the wind, covered the kitchen surfaces in cardboard, and bought the materials. More expensive than water and floaty-candles, but well worth it!

So, here's how it was all done!
Step one was to glue the wicks to the bottom of the bowls with a glue gun. I then added the rocks, and then glued the silk leaves and berries where I wanted them around the outside of the bowl. I didn't want them to get too close to the wick. I didn't bother gluing the rocks in place, figuring (correctly) that the gel would take care of that for me.

Step two was melting the candle gel. The first batch took a long while to melt because we were very cautious with how much heat we used. There were lots of warnings about the gel being flammable, so we started with the lowest setting and waited a while before turning it up, then up some more. We did finally figure out the optimum setting on the stove for melting the gel without exploding it. This was also the step where we got to add the scent. That's right! My candles smell like cranapple spice! The gel felt really funny on my fingers; I had to tear it out in bunches from the tub it came in, and I'm still finding little pieces of it in the kitchen.

Step three, as you might imagine, was actually pouring the gel. We learned a lot in this step. I learned that my precautionary step of heating the candle in a sink of hot water was unnecessary. I learned that an extra step of tying the wicks to a pencil resting across the top of the candle was necessary to prevent the waxy wick from melting and collapsing in the bottom of the candle. I also learned that the hot gel melts the hot glue, so I need to find a better way to affix the suspended objects away from the wick. And I learned that hotter gel makes for a more bubbly looking candle, while the cooler gel, when poured, makes for a clearer candle. Garm was wonderful in this step: holding the candles steady for me while I ladled hot gel into them and helping me get a uniform look. He's also very very good at tying the wicks onto the pencils so that they won't fall off again.

Step four, logically, was allowing the gel to cool and solidify again. I filled the sink with cool water and ice cubes to encourage this process. Above are two cooling candles, wicks still tied to pencils. Once the gel was cool, we wiped off the excess gel from where it had dripped and remelted it for the subsequent candles, cut the wicks, and stood back to admire our handiwork. They turned out exactly as I had imagined, which I think is pretty amazing. I had so much fun doing these that I want to do more! We even burned one to be sure they'll work, and they, in fact, do work as candles. Success!! Garm brought out his lightbox to get some nice shots; here are the best of those.

My Fall River Candles:

24 July 2010


So for years I have done nothing but bash anything and everything to do with Crocs. They look clunky and plastic-y, they're really expensive for being made of plastic, the originals came in such garish colors, and it seemed like the only people who wore them were soccer moms and their toddlers.

Well, this past week I've learned that I'm going to have to eat my words.

Since I started my wonderful new job playing with puppies and kitties, I've had issues with my feet. At first, I thought it was because I wasn't used to being on my feet for 9 to 10 hours at a time. Then I thought the pain might be caused by the $10 shoes from Wal-Mart. Well, I upgraded to a decent shoe, and the pain still didn't go away.

It got pretty bad. I would soak my feet at night after each shift in hot water with epsom salts, then again in the morning. My feet, especially my left foot, would cramp horribly overnight, making any midnight trips to pee excruciatingly painful. I would be limping by the end of my shift. I lived with the pain, took the occasional advil when it got really bad, and just kept hoping it wasn't a sign of something really bad like a stress fracture.

I got the idea for the crocs weeks ago when a downpour flooded the building. The owner showed up in a pair of crocs, and after I got over my habitual reaction of OMGUGLYOMG, I realized those were probably pretty handy shoes for a flooded warehouse. I spent the rest of that shift in my soggy sneakers and socks. Then went home and soaked my foot.

Lately Garm has been suggesting that I might see a doctor about my foot. I don't really have an aversion to doctors, but if I don't really have to go, then I'd rather not. The crocs popped back into my head as another delay tactic for a doctor's visit. But the problem with the crocs is that they're really really expensive. And although I've always heard that they are comfortable, I didn't know how orthopedic they would be.

I finally made the decision to give the buggers a try. I went to three stores to find a very manly pair of black crocs with an adjustable heel strap. I spent the vast amounts of monies on them, and I decided that for the money I paid, they had better sex my feet along with the other, expected shoe-type functions.

Well, they come pretty damn close. In addition to not having to wear socks (an unconsidered benefit) the shoes gently massage my feet while I'm tromping around after puppies. We were graced with an unexpected summer thunderstorm (yay Georgia summers) that dumped a ton of water on us much too quickly, and although on the drive home my shirt, shorts and skivvies were still soaked and clinging to me, my feet had thoroughly dried out again. I've been wearing them all week, and for the first time since I started working this new job back in April, my feet do not hurt!  They're still a little sore after a 9 hour shift of lots of walking on rough ground and a good bit of heavy lifting and carrying, but there is no pain. None. I'm still cringing at night before I get up to pee at 2 am, but I don't have crippling pain when I put my feet on the floor.

Conclusion: in a week's time I have come to love these ugly, plastic, over-priced shoes, and I will finally stop saying how stupid they are. (But they still look stupid, no matter what)

19 July 2010

The Antics of Easter

He doesn't look like much in this photo, but my dear little cat Easter is many many things throughout the day.

He begins his day as the the fuzziest alarm clock in the world. He's usually snuggled up at my feet before we all start waking up, so it's a good thing I don't thrash my feet around too much when I sleep. Garm found out just how serious Easter is about Blanket Monster -- you know the monster that lives only under your blankets that cats just HATE? -- and has the scars on his feet to prove it. Since Garm gets up before me, it's usually just Easter and myself until Easter decides it time to get up. Never matters how late I was up the night before, or how hard work was, or if I have a headache, or if I'm in the middle of a really, really good dream .... when Easter decides it's time to get up, it's time to get up.

He starts by kneading my face. Sounds cute, right? I still haven't had him de-clawed. So after shoving him off the bed the first couple of times, he stops jumping lightly back up, and starts launching himself into either my back or my stomach, from which he will jump up onto my shoulder and start kneading some other sensitive part of me. The only thing that will stop him are vigorous tummy rubs, and by this point I'm so awake that sleep, and whatever wonderful dream I was having, is but a distant memory.

Usually Easter just wants breakfast. So after all this effort, I will feed him and he will eat about 3 pieces of kibble. He will be happy. I will be awake.

Easter is a Ragdoll, which is a unique breed of cat developed by a crazy lady. They're also called Puppy-Cats, which is an accurate descriptor for Easter. He will spend the morning following me around the house, mostly getting in the way of whatever it is I'm doing. If I'm on the computer, so is he .... literally. I'm constantly shoving him off my desk when I'm working on something. Making the bed means he's looking for Blanket Monster. Folding laundry means he's playing with the rolled up socks. Cleaning the bathroom means he's sniffing the 409.

He's also very good at entertaining himself. He loves tennis balls. If you throw a tennis ball across the room, he's good for 20 minutes. He'll catch it, play with it, throw it for himself and chase it again. He's also very fond of playing with pens, small rugs, and bathtubs. Yes, bathtubs. He likes shower curtains as well, but he will climb into the big garden tub and play with the shiny chrome drain for 10 minutes at a time.

All this play means that some serious naps are in order to keep up his strength and cuteness. Both animals have scheduled mid-morning and mid-afternoon naps. Easter has a favorite spot for sleeping: on top of the kitchen cabinets. He can only get to the ones above the fridge, but he has claimed that territory inarguably as his own. He's also been known to sleep (or try to sleep) in the dryer, in the bathroom sink, in whatever patch of sunlight he can find, under the bed, on Wester (this didn't last long) and in the pantry. He hasn't tried the pantry since the last time he got forgotten in there. Oops.

It's a good thing our Wester is so patient. We'll give Wester one of his teeth cleaning treats. They're designed to take a while for him to chew on, and in the process his teeth get cleaner. Well, as soon as Wester has something potentially tasty in his mouth, Easter is all over that. Poor Wester, we've seen Easter almost stick his head inside Wester's mouth trying to discover what is being eaten. It's a good thing Wester isn't food aggressive AT ALL or we might have a headless kitty. Wester has decided that some of his tastier treats, like his Frosty Paws ice cream, ought not be left out to tempt the cat, so Wester will eat it all in one massive CHOMP. I hope dogs don't get brain freezes!

Wester is allowed to do one thing that Easter isn't: go outside. The terms of Easter's adoption specified that Easter was to be an indoor kitty only, and Garm and I were just fine with that. Easter wasn't. Any time we're outside, Easter is at the back door, trying to get out with us. I got him a harness, which he hates, but I've taken him out with that. Once summer is over and we can stand to be outside for more than 4 minutes at a time I'll take him out more.

Easter is a morning kitty, and has lots of energy to run around the house, most of the time without any visible provocation, all morning long. But lately, he's had an excuse to be active at night: bugs. Apparently, we have more bugs in the house than I could have ever imagined. And Easter will find, stalk, catch and eat them all. I guess this is a good thing.

So that's my little Easter. And thanks to my wonderful Garm for helping me adopt him. I'm definitely more the cat-person in the family. But I think it's just that Easter knows who cleans his litter box. (Which reminds me, for all you people out there with cats, I highly encourage you check this out. Completely worth it!) So whether he's face-planting himself into the bathroom window (hilarious!) or just snuggled up on my lap and purring, his antics make him a wonderful addition to our happy little world.

18 July 2010

British Bluegrass??

So there's this great new band out there. I found them on Dave FM, and got hooked listening to the one song they played. So of course I did what any new fan would do: I got the album and set up a new Pandora station.

According to Wikipedia, Mumford and Sons began playing together back in 2007 and released their first album, Sigh No More, last year. It crossed the pond this year and has frolicked (do the English frolick?) its way up the charts and into our radios. The single I fell in love with, Little Lion Man, has a catchy chorus that isn't inane (coughkatyperrycough)  like so much new music out there. Also, who is rocking a banjo nowadays? Not enough artists, that's for sure.

M&S are listed as Indie Rock or Folk Rock, but the combination of instruments is begging me to call it Bluegrass Rock. But they're more than just the instruments. The lyrics and harmonies are darker and more serious than you'll find over the traditional airwaves. Broken hearts, revenge, regret and the state of your soul are all themes in their music. And yet there's something hopeful in the songs as well: "Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life."

All in all, this is a great new sound, and I recommend that if you're sick of the same 20 songs on the radio, which all sound the same anyway, to give these guys a listen.

16 July 2010

Paper, Ink, Glue

Almost $500 worth of wedding invitations. Certainly more than the sum of their parts. . .

14 July 2010

Goal = Achieved!

Wow guys! Thanks!

The first goal of my blog was to increase my readership exponentially from one (my wonderful Garm) to five. This was a difficult goal, since 1 to the 5th power it still one, but we DID IT!

Damn. Now I feel obligated to actually post something. Hmmmmmm .....

some time (and some cookie-cake) later

I've just finished a most delightful book. It's a newer book by a lady who has been my favorite author since my freshman year of high school when a classmate first loaned me the book The Blue Sword (I chose to read it because it has a horse on the front. PONIES!) Robin McKinley writes in such a way that it simultaneously inspires me to write stories of my own, and discourages me from ever finishing anything because there is no way I'll ever be THAT GOOD. The Blue Sword has lived unchallenged at the top of my favorite books list since I read it that first time. And is re-read every year and every time I get sick. It's one of those books where I feel like I'm going back to visit old friends every time I pick it up. The prequel to The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown is a Newberry Award Winner (although I thought Sword was MUCH better). Over the years I've collected McKinley's books and devoured each and every one. Her book Beauty is an absolutely perfect re-telling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. She eventually followed that one with a longer telling called Rose Daughter which is a lovely story, but lacks a something that Beauty has.

A Door in the Hedge and A Knot in the Grain are both collections of shorter fairy tales. McKinley is more than an author, she is a storyteller. My senior year in college I was at a B&N with my roommate and we came across her book Sunshine. It was just out, so they only had hardbacks. I NEVER buy hardbacks, unless they're marked down to super-duper-red-dot-never-saw-the-bestseller-list clearance for under $5. I didn't have twenty dollars to spend on a book, (and I literally didn't, Amanda had to loan it to me) but I had to have that book. So glad. McKinley wrote the best vampire book most teenagers will never read. I remember not sleeping until I finished that book. I finished that book before I found time to get to the bank so I could pay my roommate back.

After Sunshine I learned to stalk her website so that I would never again be caught unawares. So when Chalice came out, I knew about it and had already steeled myself to wait until a paperback became available. I periodically checked back on Amazon's website, and finally there it was! When I needed to round an order up to $25 for the Free Super Saver Shipping! that was the first item on my wishlist I clicked on. Chalice is not a retelling of a well-known fairy tale, such as Spindle's End. As far as I know, it's not a retelling of an unknown fairy tale, such as Deerskin. Chalice is a new creation of McKinley's own imagination, and it was truly delightful.

Her next book, Pegasus, is due out in November. You can guess what I want for Christmas!

12 July 2010


As I was sitting at my desk watching the deluge outside, I suddenly became inspired to write again. Now, I've tried blogging before, but with no great success, so only time will tell if this is another failed attempt or if it turns out to be a rave success. I begin with an audience of one, my wonderful fiancee, who will be sure to point out all of my typos, but will still tell me my stories are wonderful no matter how bad they may truly be. Wonderful man. After some creative emailing, my goal is to get my readership up to 5 by the end of the week. Lofty goal!

There is no overriding theme to this particular blog. I'd like to tell stories from my time spent overseas, stories of the antics of our wonderful dog Wester and our wonderful cat Easter, recipes and crafts I attempt, books I read, and other little vingettes that pop up in life. No drama, just stories.