Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 2011 Dogs of Poston Park Calendar Adventure

I designed a dog calendar with the photos I have taken of the dogs from the park. I had 100 of them printed up and have sold all but a few. It's been a fun project and I've learned a lot along the way.

1. People don't know how to tell you "no." As in, "No, thanks I don't want to buy a calendar." I hear "no" all day at my job so I'm used to it. I don't need an excuse - plllleeease people, it's just a calendar. I can take it.

2. People say they'll pay you - but they don't. You have to begin to nag. I hate nagging.

3. Some people I NEVER suspected ever wanting a dog calendar bought one... or four of them! Other's did not. People are unpredictable.

4. I'm not comfortable in the sales arena.

5. I had forgotten the joy of designing. Getting to do WHATEVER I want. Seriously, it's been since college days when I designed something without a client to please. For this reason alone, the project was completely worth the effort.

6. Non profits need design help. Big time. They also need more volunteers for their big ideas. Fabulous, fabulous people who volunteer thousands of hours who go on doing what they do because they are passionate about the cause. I've meet some really great people. I have formed a new set of friends. And I hope to continue to make a difference in some way by volunteering more.

So more to come on this new found adventure. I'm anticipating more projects like this one for 2011. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween Memories

Halloween is coming and it's my favorite holiday. I can't resist looking at all the decorations in the stores. I shamelessly try on the masks and push all the buttons to make skeletons scream. I laugh out loud and feel like a kid again. And there's always the candy. Giving someone a treat and expecting nothing in return. I love Halloween.

I don't love haunted housed though. I remember once my Mom dropped us kids off at the local haunted house. It was an old, country house out in the middle of nowhere. The line was really long, filled with older high school kids. Mom didn't like to stand much. She gave us some money to get in and then went home.

I was terrified. How could Mom abandon me at this place? Why did I decide to come? I hate being scared. I decided to jump out of line, get some hot cocoa and not make it back in line before it was time to go. Convenient huh? My sister went inside with her friend. I could hear screams from the house and at one point I thought I heard my sister's scream. I remember thinking how brave she was to go in there. This clearly wasn't my thing.

I found that I was better suited to being on "the other side of the curtain." When we were in seventh or eighth grade, the nuns allowed us upperclassmen to convert one of the locker rooms into a haunted house for the first and second graders. We had a ball. We set up folding tables for them to crawl through. And we used sheets to make tunnels. We had food for kids to feel - like jello with grapes in it and told them that it was eyeballs in brains. We dressed up as goblins, witches, and ghosts. We scared those little kids and some of them even cried. I still can't believe the nuns allowed us to do it.

Savor the details of this season and tune into the kid inside.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Much to Learn

Life has gotten a little more hectic. After two years of hounding me, my husband has gotten a Border Collie. I'm not completely opposed to a third dog. I love animals. What I'm opposed to is the additional housework required. I hate housework. I would rather have my teeth drilled without the pleasure of a numbing shot than do housework. Seriously - I hate housework. And I'm not good at it. Things look nearly as dirty as when I started. It's an exercise in frustration and wasted time for me. Hey, we all have our weaknesses. Right? One more dog in the house means more hair, more dust, and more housework. Ack!

Superman really wants to train a Border Collie to be a a disc dog. I don't think he has much free time to do this but I took a big step back on this one. I strongly believe it's our job - as spouses to support our other halves dreams vs. just pooh-poohing them.

Well, little Susie joined the flock a few weeks back. She has ALOT of energy and loves the other two dogs. She's found a buddy for life in Sissy. They run and play and are inseparable. While Max tolerates her with an occasional growl and teeth bearing. Yesterday I witnesses a break through. Max and Susie playing in the house until he got tired and flopped on the sofa. He growled at her when she came near for round two of WWF. She apparently didn't hear the bell and that she had won the match. His growling only causes her to back up a bit and begin barking at him, as if to say, "come on grouch, play with me!"

Susie is a comedian. A blueberry had rolled on the floor and she found it. She thought that was the best toy ever. Flipping it around in the air, nudging it around with her nose and finally rolling on it; only to seem totally deflated when it smashed. She looked like a child who had just popped their balloon. Sad and confused.

This morning she came inside lathering and foaming at the mouth, followed shortly by throwing up. I think she found a toad and decided to play with it. Oh, she has a lot to learn for sure. We are looking forward to all we can teach her and in turn, all she will teach us. Savor the details.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Colorado Trip

We recently went to Colorado for a conference. It's a beautiful part of the country. I'm amazing at every bend in the road how picturesque the landscape is. I saw less wildlife than when I was there two years ago. Maybe because we were at a lower altitude? Who knows.

After driving to the Denver Zoo and reading the sign which said they were closing at 2pm for a fundraising event, we drove to the Botanical Gardens. We could not find a parking spot anywhere. So plan C was in effect. We headed on down to road to see "The Wildlife Sanctuary." A home to over 220 carnivorous animals that have either been confiscated by the USDA or surrendered by owners. You have to wonder what goes through someone's head when they take a tiger or bear into their home as a pet.

The sanctuary was on 320 acres. All the animals are kept initially in a smaller enclosed area as they adjust to their new surroundings and routines. We walked over these animals - about 20' above them on a shaky deck, so as not to disturb them or get too close to them. That itself was a little unsettling for me; hovering 20' above 32 very large tigers. I wished I had binoculars to see the animals that were far off in their more natural habitats - the bears, lions and wolves.

We saw Red Rocks again. What a beautiful place to see a concert. They were gearing up for one that evening. But we had time to explore and be in awe before they chased us away for the concert goers.
We saw Garden of the Gods. I loved how the name perfectly described the huge rock formations. Impressive red rocks jutting out the earth in strange shapes. Shapes that only God would have thought of to create. I think this photo looks like an ad for Chevy though.

We drove up to Pike's Peak. It is 14,110ft. up. The air was thinner up there and I felt a little drunk at times. We did not take the cog rail up but rather drove. It was a little unsettling at times as we slowly wound our way around the mountains. Very few guardrails and some dirt roads made us wonder how the pioneers felt as they traveled up this mountain on burros.

In this photo is the park ranger, checking the descending car's brakes so be sure they are not overheating. If the brakes were over 300F, then they were asked to pull over and enjoy the gift shop for 30 minutes or so, as their brakes cooled. We kept the jeep in low and our brakes were only 120F.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finn was Fun

I manage a Facebook account for the local dog park (Poston Dog Park) and decided host a contest for the fans of the page. The winner received a photo-shoot of their dogs (and themselves, if so inclined). The winner's name was Christine and her dog's name was Finn.

Finn was initially a little camera shy. But 15 minutes into the session, he relaxed and I couldn't take a bad photo of him. The sun was going down and the lighting was magical. I will try to do more of these contests. It's good practice for me and sharing the photos is so much fun. Savor the details.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

And That's No Bull

I went to a rodeo last weekend. A rodeo! Can you believe that? I can honestly say I've always wanted to see real cowboys riding bulls. The chaps, the hats, the boots, the danger - great stuff.

But there were a few surprises in store for me:
1. Those cowboys are just kids. Holy Cow! They are young guns.
2. There were girls (typically young too) who did barrel racing. And they were AMAZING. Those horses flew! I don't know how they stayed on.
3. There was a giant 50' American flag strung up over the arena and that should have been a clue to the Americana/All American Theme.
4. The clown was really funny and great at getting the crowd involved during the slow times of the rodeo (like when they had to wrestle the bull to get him back in the gate).
5. The stereo system sounded fantastic and they played great music.
6. The intermission involved Toby Keith's song "Boot in Your Ass" with a man strapped in rope lights, holding an illuminated American flag, racing a horse around in the dark arena AND a fireworks show. It couldn't have been more hokey - which is what made it so great.
7. They let the kids into the arena for a dance competition at intermission.
8. Don't mess with the bull they can get real mean. One bull caught a clown under the arm and pitched him upside down into the air. I think he broke a tooth on the landing but he walked away from it.
9. There was fair food - funnel cakes, ice cream, hot dogs.
10. They also sold saddles, hats, belts, chaps, and all kinds of cowboy clothing.
11. The local volunteer firemen were there taking parking donations.
12. We walked through a "fresh field" where the cattle used to be - good thing we had put on our boots.
13. The two guys who were on horses to help wrangle the bulls back into the pen were named by the clown. They were "Peaches 'N Cream."
14. It was as much fun watching them get the bulls back into the pen as the bull riding itself.
15. Those cowboys wear kevlar vests and helmets (usually).
16. They told Obama jokes. People chuckled to be polite. This is south ya'll - people are polite.
17. Kids threw food at the clown. The bites of funnel cake hit the dirt. The clown still picked it up and ate it. Yum - crunchy.
18. There was a funny banana eating contest with involved dancing with blindfolds on. A fuzzy haired, teenager won $100.

Savor the details.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Greenville Falls

I'm hoping to get back to this place - downtown Greenville, SC sometime soon. It's a jewel of a park nestled right next to cute shops and fun little restaurants. We didn't get to spend enough time there last year when we visited. To truly appreciate the scale of these falls, try to find the people in the photo. Did you find them? They are teensy tiny. We were there right after a storm moved through and the clouds were fantastic. Savor the details.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life."-Arthur Ashe

Here at my work, we can donate our own earned sick leave hours to others who have used up their own hours. When the email goes out from HR saying that someone needs hours it only says how many hours they are requesting - nothing more. Others never know the reason - just that they need hours or they will go without pay until the "borrowed" hours are worked.

I read in today's employee emails that someone I know needed 90 hours of sick leave. I don't know this individual personally but have always enjoyed working with him professionally. He's very laid back and goes out of his way to make my job easier. So, I filed out the paperwork took it to HR and sent this quick email off so he could look for the donated hours to appear as his sick leave.

Here's the transcript:

Hi Tim,

I've donated 10 hr of sick leave to you. It's not a lot but I hope it helps.



Thank you! My son drowned a few weeks ago at a resort in Orlando. We're lucky that there was a nurse and doctor at the pool who gave him CPR and the hospital helicopter was flying over the resort. They didn't think he would make it and brain damage was a concern. He is back to himself and his brain is good. We are running test at Duke to find out what caused this. He is a great swimmer for a 9 year old and this happened in 3 feet of water. Thank you for your help.




I couldn't read your email without shedding a tear; how unbelievably traumatic. I had no idea. Hang in there. I pray they find the cause so you don't ever have to wonder.



I heard something much, much bigger than what was in this short series of emails today. I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me. The message was: help someone whenever you can and remember what's important.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Sweet Slice

It's difficult to stop both of the dogs and Superman to take a photo. They all seem to be in motion, moving at their own paces. I snapped this photo at the dog park. The sun was setting and the relaxed, peacefulness of a Sunday evening is what I love. Savor the details.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pink at the Grammies - AMAZING

How did I not hear about this performance? Wow! Check it out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


My newly discovered favorite song by Pink. Go download it now. It's fantastic!

"Glitter In The Air"

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don't care

It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the ice burg
The sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning
The breathe before the fraze
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You're whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touch so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table
The walk before the run
The breathe before the kiss
And the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La La La La La La La La

There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee,
Calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight
Have you ever held your breathe and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lunch and Learn

I listened to a great speaker today over lunch. The speech was, "Against the Odds: Four Amazing Women Who Left Their Imprint on American History." The women were: Anne Hutchinson, 1591-1693; Abigail Adams, 1744-1818; Lydia Marie Child, 1802-1880; and Ida B. Well Barnett, 1862-1931. The historian said she choose one woman from the each century who against odds went on to leave a significant impact on American culture.

It was an interesting talk. If you had to choose just one American woman from this century who you consider amazing and left an imprint on history, who would you choose?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


One of many fabulous treats about living in the south are the Camellias. When everything else is just waking up from winter, this beautiful evergreen shrub puts on a show for everyone. The bush next to our office is blooming and it is a show stopper. I trimmed a few blossoms to enjoy in my office. Then I took a photo to share with you. Savor the details.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cell Phone Photos Part III

A few more fuzzy photos from my cell phone. This young one was at Walmart. Note the dashing Mohawk with Greek letters (?) shaved into the side. Nice touch.
Can you tell I live in Nascar country? This was in the Walmart parking lot.
A view from my office window, looking down at an overloaded trailer with the remains of a tree that was chopped down.
Northern Tool. Ya'll know I love their marketing.
Really? I light to slap on top my car so I can pretend I'm the police is $149.00. Love that Nascar logo on the box though - again, I'm in Nascar country.
The $89.00 model has the security device though...making you think this one is a better model to buy. Darn those marketing folks - always playing tricks with our minds.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who Pooped?

I finally got certified. You can be expert too. Go to

Monday, March 8, 2010

Toboggan and Lights

Here's my cute niece in the hat I knitted for her.
I just finished knitting my first mitten last night and I learned ALOT. I will try again with new yarn and smaller needles. The thumb wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I only ripped it out twice to start over. I was pearling when I should have been knitting. The internet with knitting videos really clarifies things.

I also got the outdoor Christmas tree lights down - all 11 sets on the 20' evergreens. I have to admit I would have liked to turn them on every night. I'll just have to be happy with listening to Christmas music year round on my iPod. Joy to the World!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Little Sergei Rachmaninoff

A beautiful day here in the Carolinas. I took a walk about at lunch to hear some opera. Yes, that's right - opera. Don't understand a word of it but it sounded so fantastic!

The pianist was amazing! She had a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Six Chants Polonias; Liszt's Transcriptions from Chopin's Songs, Opus 74. The opera singer was a lyric spinto soprano. Together they were awesome. The woman sitting next to me was actually moved to tears.

Are there other things in your life you don't understand but love nonetheless? Like saltwater taffy? How can anything with the word saltwater be good?

Tattoos are another example of something I love but don't understand. Would never, ever have the nerve to get one but they still intrigue me. The artistry, the courage involved and the commitment - all things I admire and love.
Walking back to the office I saw the president (not of America). I politely smiled and waved. He recognized me with my new sunglasses on and called me by name. It was a good afternoon.

Savor the details.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Hats

I knitted this child's hat on double pointed needles (vs. circular). It seems easier to join the circle on the double pointed. It's alpaca. I knitted most of the hat Saturday when I sat around with this cold that won't go away and in between laundry loads. I made the pom pom extra large and fluffy. I combed it out with a wire brush to fluff the fibers.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This Dalmation mix was at the dog park. Her name is Sassy. There's something very graphic about a black and white spotted dog with a red collar. I think the designer in me likes the pattern and colors.

K1, P2, SSK

As some of you who follow me on Facebook know, I've taken up knitting. Superman tells me "I'm at that age when women knit." Ha. I don't know what that means but I'm guessing it means I sit around too much in the evenings with nothing to do.

I like doing things with my hands - gardening, photography, baking, and now knitting. I've made six scarves so far. They are definitely the easiest to make. I've moved on to hats. They have to be knitted on double pointed needles or on circular needles. Mittens will be next - just as soon as I figure out that thumb gusset. I'm not sure I'll ever be ambitious enough for sweaters. I like the smaller projects that don't take too long. I can get distracted and drop my focus easily.

Here's a baby hat for a friend's soon to be munchkin. I like how this one turned out and may have to make a few more in larger sizes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

A little box of chocolates was in front of my office door when I came in. It's like the Valentine's Day fairy left me a present. And look it had a little note taped to it from our Vice President. sweet. Here's what the note read:

I'm kidding - I added the stuff. I plan on taping the revised note to a vacationing coworker's box of chocolates. Hee hee. Let the fun begin.

PS. If you didn't catch the CareerBuilder Super Bowl commercials - go now to youtube and look them up. HILARIOUS!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hiding Out

Do you ever feel like hiding out? That swords are being thrown all around you and it's best that you just lay low for a bit? Take cover?

Today's one of those days.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cell Phone Photos Part I

Are you familiar with the song "Yeah Toast!" If not, go here for a chuckle:
Bruce Willis was behind me the other day when I drove into work. I wished that I had my other camera because he's hard to see. Wonder what he was doing in North Carolina?
At Target, this little man was in the full fireman costume. I don't what was funnier the costume or me sneaking around the corner trying to take his photo.