Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Christmas

Well, I managed to make it through another Christmas! I say it like that because it is always so difficult without my mother being here. She passed in April of 2001 due to complications from pneumonia. She was a life-long smoker as well, and had severe emphysema. I actually quit smoking myself around 1998 mostly due to seeing her rapid decline after the initial emphysema diagnosis. It truly is a slow death. Her lungs were so fragile by 2001 that all it took was a bout of pneumonia - one that she just couldn't recover from.

So, with that being said, the holidays are always difficult. It was last year that I purchased a beautiful fake tree at Lowe's and put it up in the living room, using decorations that are pretty much all made by my sister. Those decorations had not been used in six years. I just couldn't get into the spirit and it just isn't the same. Christmas was always such a wonderful holiday in our household growing up and even since my move to Atlanta. So many great memories.

But it's those memories that help ease the sadness I always feel. Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever go away.

But you know, life has a habit of going on no matter what you feel and what you think (which certainly beats the alternative). I look forward to the next holiday which is New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Nothing ever spectatular is planned or expected. It's just a time to enjoy some traditions I've set for myself - a delightful lobster on New Year's Eve and then those wonderful black eye peas on New Year's Day. I truly think every year gets better so that is always a welcome anticipation. Every year except 2001!

Best wishes for a wonderful 2008! Pin It

Friday, December 21, 2007

Prior Perspectives

Found another trio of writing by most of the same folks.

Part I - Matt G
Part II - Ambulance Driver
Part III - BabsRN Pin It

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good Stuff

As was posted on a friend's blog, check this out. Read in order provided.

Part I - LawDog
Part II - Ambulance Driver
Part III - BabsRN Pin It

Monday, December 17, 2007


Another start to the work week and this one will be longer than most because I must work 50 hours to make up for being off next Monday and Tuesday for the holiday. Next week, I'll work 30 hours. So, that would make it 80 hours for the two weeks. Whew! Being an IT contractor is nice but the downside is NO HOLIDAYS and NO VACATION or SICK days! This time of year is the toughest, it seems.

And I made it through the birthday! It was pretty low key this year. Dinner at Kim and Guy's home was nice and relaxing. My navigational system got me lost on the way over. I know how to get there but thought I'd go "her way" this time. Big mistake! She had me going down two pig trails (in my SUV with three greyhounds in the back nonetheless). I thought she knew how to get me there but she didn't. I managed to find my way there without her help. Guy made his trademark barbeque ribs for dinner. Yum, yum. He'll make them again for Christmas day. I could eat ribs every day of the week, I think. We had corn on the cob, salad, and butter muffins. Dessert was praline cheesecake. I should have jogged home after all that but I didn't! :)

On Sunday Kim, Guy and I met at the kennel to cat test the 11 new greyhounds who came in on Saturday and also do their photo session. With Guy's help we finished in record time and were able to then enjoy our afternoons. I went home and built a huge fire in the fireplace, put in a movie and worked on the laptop in front of the fire all afternoon. The three girls were passed out on couches, dog beds, and the floor and the cat even took her afternoon siesta on one of the dog beds. She was a bit tired herself from the morning spent testing the newbies. It was nice to just hang out with them for the afternoon.

But on to getting through Monday! And on to the next holiday, I say!! Pin It

Friday, December 14, 2007


Thank goodness it's Friday! What a week. A big news week for Atlanta with the Vick sentencing, resignation of the Falcon's head coach, and then the revelation of steroid use by some ex-Braves players - none of which is a surprise, really.

Personally, I finally made it to the Dr. to get my flu and pneumonia shot so have been pretty sore from those until today. The day after the shots were given, my left eye turned really red on the inside sclera. There is a bump on the sclera as well. I went to the ophthalmologist this morning and it's just an infection, probably caused by my contacts. So . . . it's a week in glasses and plenty of prescribed eye drops(a steroid and antibiotic combo). He is a bit concerned about the bump on the sclera - more so than the redness. All I know is that it hurts and keeping it closed is the only relief I get but we all know we can't sleep 24 x 7. So, I'll just have to muddle through life the next 7 days in these hideous glasses. Actually they aren't that bad as the frames are relatively current. I just don't see as well with them and feel as if I'm groping my way around. Imagine how the driving is! :)

I found a new drink recipe this week that I want to try. It's called an Old Cuban and is pretty much like a Mojito except that it's suppose to be so much better. I must get some bitters and champagne so I can mix up a batch. In my research for this drink, I found a fabulous club in New York called the Pegu Club. It sounds intriguing with it's emphasis on mixing the best cocktail with the freshest ingredients known to man. On my next visit to the big city, I definitely plan to check it out. It's in the Soho District I believe.

Tomorrow is another birthday for me. Whoo hoo! I have plans to have dinner with my BFF and her husband and a friend and then it's just some R&R for the weekend. It's suppose to finally turn cold so perhaps I'll just hang in the living room with a fire in the fireplace all weekend and watch a few movies. I'm buying Bad Santa today so that should be fun to watch.

Toodles. Pin It

Sunday, November 25, 2007

She Did It Again!

Yep, Lucy came in First Place again yesterday out of a field of 6 Open greyhounds. Needless to say, I am still dumbstruck - a deer in headlights. I am so proud of Lucy and so pleased she is running so well. You just never know and always hope for the best, you know? And as I always say, I'm usually so happy everyone gets in safe and sound that I barely even notice "how' they are running. I hope to get a little movie of her next course which may be next Saturday. We're still contemplating that one since our holiday Greyhound Gala is that night and I must be at the venue by 6 p.m. I don't know if I could make it! We'll see.

To date, I believe Lucy has 44 points toward her Field Championship title. She needs 100 points plus two first placements to attain that title. We're surely on our way! Pin It

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

It's Thanksgiving Eve and I think I have all the groceries I'll need to cook my Thanksgiving feast for tomorrow. There will be a turkey breast w/spiced rub, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, baked butternut squash, and pumpkin pie. I'll have leftovers for days but that's okay. I really enjoy cooking a Thanksgiving dinner even if it's just for me! My Mama taught me well! The dogs are all getting marrow bones for their Thanksgiving. They'll be happy as clams. I'll be heading to Kim and Guy's place for lunch and then back to my place for dinner.

Saturday we lure course again. I hope Lucy does just as well as she's done in the past. She really enjoys it. Heck, I don't know any greyhound who doesn't like to run!

Wish us luck! And have a safe and wonderful holiday. Pin It

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Weekend - Finally!

I tell you - having a Monday holiday seems to make the week just drag and drag on. I think it's the 10 hour work days I have to do to make up for having the holiday off. Aw, the perils of being a contractor. And next week it'll be a three day week of 10 hour days followed by a five day week of 10 hour days. All to make up for the Thanksgiving holiday. Did you get that? I think I confused myself! I'll make it through it though. It's always tough this time of year with all the holidays but it's doable!

No real exciting plans this weekend except that I'm planning to go to Carrollton to see a dog show. It's suppose to have rare breeds but I think all breeds are welcome. It should be fun!

And tonight I'm meeting a few of my old comrades from my Slocum days. That should be fun as well. It's been a while and we're way overdue as we all used to meet up quite frequently.

Other than that, I plan to take it easy and get ready for the upcoming holiday. I truly enjoy cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. It only happens once a year so why not enjoy it? Pin It

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two Days Post Coursing 1,680 Yards

Lucy is in fine spirits and is feeling well. The peeled pad is healing just fine and she seems much less "ouchy" this morning than yesterday. Every day it heals more and more. The udder cream is doing the trick, I think. Who would have thunk it? Anyway, tonight we hit the road again for some more conditioning. There's no such thing as too much road work, for her or for me, so we definitely intend to keep it up. It makes a huge difference.

Other than Lucy and her exploits - all else is well. I have some cooking to do tonight as our annual Thanksgiving feast at work is tomorrow. There will be about 130 folks with lots of food and fun. I'm making broccoli and rice casserole and pumpkin bars. Yummy! Lucy and I will definitely need to walk tomorrow night to help walk off some of the calories I'll indulge in at lunch! Actually, it will probably take days of walking as there will be scads of dishes I'll think I'll need to try! But hey, it's once a year that we get to enjoy this! Right? Pin It

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lucy's Big Win

This past Sunday was Lucy's big debut in lure coursing at the CHASE Veteran's Day trials. Well, she had coursed before but only ran in Singles which means she obviously ran by herself and received a ribbon (two first placements) but no points were earned. Yesterday she ran in the Open category which means she runs with other dogs - two other ones in the morning and two in the afternoon. Points are tabulated and totaled with two judges judging. After the morning run of a course that was 840 yards in length and went every which way with three crossovers, she was actually in third place with two (more experienced) dogs tied for 1st. The afternoon final run was great and she scored really high, putting her in first place with a total of 304 points for the day. The 2nd place dog had 301 points. It's always close like that but she did really well and I am so proud of her. She could have run for Best of Breed against the Field Champion winner but they forfeited so she got the ribbon and more points that will count toward the Top 20 standings. Maybe at year-end she'll hit that list, who knows? She's doing great with only one corner of a pad that "burned off". The ground is extremely hard right now with the drought so that being the only injury is definitely a good thing!

On Monday to commemorate Lucy's big win, all three dogs received baths complete with an Epsom salt foot soak, manicures and pedicures, and ear cleanings and a fresh spritz of flea and tick spray. Then they were treated with fresh marrow bones which they devoured! What a weekend!! I couldn't be more proud of my girl Lucy!!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

To help explain why I've been so busy, I must tell you about our latest Fundraising activity for the Southeastern Greyhound Adoption program. Remember I'm the fundraising chair. In any event, I was approached by our Club president one day about the possibility of us doing a calendar like the one depicted in the movie Calendar Girls. This was 15 months ago - around July of 2006. At first I immediately said no, there was no way I could pull that off (no pun intended). Well, I thought about it and did some research. The results of the initial Calendar Girl project back in 1999 plus the success of the Still Magnolias calendar the ladies of Aiken, South Carolina put together both inspired me so much that I said yes, I would do it.

It was no easy project believe me but eventually I found 11 other women who agreed to be in the calendar. That number swayed back and forth over the next several months, even up to two days before the final photo shoot. But in the end, there were 12 lovely women posing in the nude with their Greyhound(s).

The photographer is a friend of mine from a workplace years ago. We found a make-up person and stylist amongst our own volunteer force. As well, our graphic designer is also a volunteer who regularly designs for our Cafepress store,

After months of hard work and coordination, our first photo shoot was this past June with the second and final shoot in July. The final photos were spectacular, if I say so myself, and the calendar presentation cannot be beat! You must check it out at Oh, the website was also designed by another volunteer within the organization - Teresa Wheeler. What a fantastic job she did!

Check out the calendar and order yours today. As well, spread the news to your Greyhound friends.
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Such a Stranger

I have been a bad blogger and haven't been here since April? It's just been so busy lately and I just haven't had much time. I hope to get better at this and frequent my Blog as often as I can. I'm gearing up for Greyfest our annual fall fundraiser that usually garners SEGA around $5,000 or more. It's a nice boost, that's for sure. Our guest of honor this year is Soaring Cindy, the greyhound who holds the world record in high-jump at 68". It's gonna be a great time! More later.

A post script - Greyfest was quite successful garnering SEGA almost $7,500!! I believe this a record. Soaring Cindy was phenomenal. It was quite a treat to see her in person. What a sweet dog as well as a very talented one!!

The girls all ran in the Blur of Fur which is always a big crowd pleaser. Here is Remi doing her thing. She and Lucy clocked at 43 mph where Sugar clocked at 38 mph, I believe. They all had a blast as did everyone else in attendance. Another successful Greyfest behind us!!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Heading West!

Yep, I'm psyched because tomorrow (on Friday the 13th of all days) I fly West to Phoenix, Arizona to attend a yearly Annual Convention of Delegates for ASFA, the governing agency for our lure coursing program. I'll be representing the Southeastern Greyhound Club along with it's president, John Parker. It's usually alot of fun seeing other coursing enthusiasts from around the country, all converged in one hotel for the duration while we review and vote on impending rules and regulations which could potentially affect all who participate in the sport. John and I have plans to join Rory Goree (GPA President) and his wife for dinner at a local greyhound gathering. Then Saturday it is the convention all day with plans to hit the local greyhound track that evening. Sunday mid-day, I fly back home. It should be an exciting weekend full of meeting new friends and having fun! I can't wait to see Phoenix for the first time. I'm sure I'll be posting details of the trip later! Pin It

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Down with Six Flags Over Georgia

OMG, Six Flags decided to have this promotion today titled "Ditch Work" where they offered free admission for folks between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., I think. They failed to remember it is Spring Break here so every teenager in Atlanta was stacked up on I-20 and everywhere in between, trying to get into the park for free. Traffic was at a standstill. The folks trying to get to work suffered. A normal one hour commute for me took three hours. I just emailed Six Flags. I really think they should have thought about that promotion a bit more - perhaps providing traffic control and communication folks. It was mayhem, to say the least. There were reports of kids walking around on the Interstate (in the dark) and getting into fights at the gate. I hope no one was hurt in all the commotion. Honestly, is a free three hour stint at Six Flags really worth all that? I say not. Just pay the money and go in, hassle free, and have a good time - just like everyone else does it! Pin It

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Hunt

On Sunday, April 1st I pulled off SEGA's first ever Hoppin' Hounds Easter Egg Hunt at SummerWind Farm in Newnan, Georgia, along with help from Charles Parrott, Kim LeVear, and Robin and Ted Waterfall, all of whom pitched in wherever was necessary and did an outstanding job.

We had about 40 people show up, despite the threat of rain, and about 35 greyhounds. It was such fun! I think the total egg count was near 950, most stuffed with wonderful prizes for the greyhounds and the humans. We cooked hamburgers and hotdogs complete with all the trimmings (all courtesy of Sams Club and Kroger). We raised $500 and definitely I think everyone had a good time. It'll have to be a repeat for next year, for sure.

I've decided I've got to slow down a bit with fundraising and see if I can have some FUN myself. I'm tired, it's very plain and simple. In May I plan to take a refresher SCUBA class, after which I plan to do some diving, hopefully, in the Keys and probably in Panama City. I miss it, that's for sure, and can't wait to get back into the water! It should be fun!
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Monday, March 26, 2007

Lucy's Lure Coursing Debut

Well, Saturday was the day Lucy stepped up to the coursing line and ran her first course in Singles. She did really well for the morning prelims scoring a 152, I believe. The afternoon proved to be difficult for her as she appeared to be a bit stiff from the morning's run. I think her afternoon score was 149. Fortunately for her, her other Single competitiors pulled out of the afternoon run so that put Lucy in 1st place! Her first blue ribbon. And hopefully not her last!!

A few folks I spoke with on Sunday thought Lucy had experienced lactic acid buidup. I am consulting with a few trainers to determine how to avoid this in the future and perhaps get some recommendations on supplements or "tricks of the trade" to prevent this. Basically, it's a metabolic breakdown due to the exertion of the running which is causing severe muscle cramping. She was pretty lethargic and not wanting to walk after her final run but by the time we had returned home, she was fine and in the backyard chasing squirrels.
I don't know but I hope to obtain some valid information in the next few days which will help us down the road.

Other than that, the weekend trials were wonderful and the new field at the Barry's in Moreland is absolutely beautiful. They were great hosts as well! We're looking forward to returning in the near future!
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Anticipation . . .

It's a day before the SEGC trials in Moreland and I am anxiously awaiting Lucy's debut. It's just exciting getting back out there after taking a one year hiatus after the ASFA National Greyhound Specialty last Spring. We've been roadworking a bit and I think she is ready. She is also scheduled to run in Singles on Sunday but that, of course, depends on how tired she is after Saturday. We'll see.

This should be a large trial for SEGC so we are anticipating a large entry. It's at a different field than the one we usually course at which should be nice for the dogs. It's always fun to see them course on new terrain. And I'm sure it makes it challenging for them, too. Nothing worse than a bored coursing dog!!

I'll post again after the trial with a rundown of Lucy's exploits!
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Monday, March 19, 2007

The Weekend

Wow, well, Saturday I took Lucy to the CHASE trial in Cartersville for a practice run. She did just great and ran her little heart out, first time around! I was amazed. At the "Tally Ho", she seemed to just stand there so I nudged her a bit and whispered, "Go chase it!", and sure enough, she did just that. She was bookin' it in the beginning but seemed to fade a bit toward the end. We are going to ramp up our road-working efforts this week in anticipation for her run in Singles this weekend at the SEGC trial in Moreland. I'm hoping she does well and perhaps will obtain her certification one day soon. We'll see how it goes! She seemed to really enjoy the run and was much more enthusiastic about the plastic bunnies afterwards. That was my goal for taking her up for the practice run so we were successful. She didn't appear to be sore anywhere that evening or the next day but this week we will get a good workout in preparation for the trials this weekend. The weather is suppose to be warm and beautiful all week, including Saturday and Sunday!

Sunday was a pretty dismal day. It started out nice as Kim, Guy and myself drove to Birmingham to pick out two new greyhounds to bring back to our adoption group, Southeastern Greyhound Adoption (SEGA). It's hard to pick just two but that's all the room we had at our kennel. We picked a red fawn girl named Cate and a black and white tuxedo girl named Darcy. Cate turned out to be cat tolerant and Darcy would have jumped over desk and chair to get to the cat so, unfortunately, is not tolerant.

After getting them all squared away, I went home to find my 16 1/2 year old Himalayan in dire straights. She had kidney failure and really deteriorated rapidly over the weekend. She just plummeted from Saturday night on. I was hoping to make it to our vet this morning with her but that was not to be. I had to take her to the ER vet on Sunday to be put to sleep. She is at peace now and is with her husband, Boca, who preceded her in death by 8 years. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It just tears your heart out but I know now that it was the only thing I could do.
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Friday, March 09, 2007

Oh my - what a week!

Last Thursday I began getting sick with some upper respiratory thingamajig. Yes, that about sums it up. I went to the Dr. on Monday and was prounounced to have a "touch of the flu, an upper respiratory infection and perhaps some strept throat". UGH!! And I've survived the week at work but only after being prescribed some good decongestants and cough syrup with Codeine, nonetheless. The syrup absolutely wipes me out so must be taken at nighttime. It's good stuff and has done the trick, so I can't complain!

Dear Lucy is settling in quite nicely. Sugar is liking her pretty much and Remi just seems to be "okay" with her. She's doing good with the kitties as well. She is 14 days post-op from her spay surgery and I think is wanting to run a bit. We'll see. Next weekend I'm taking her to the CHASE trial in Cartersville just to watch the coursing a bit and see what she thinks of it.

Off to hit the Friday afternoon traffic. Fun, fun, fun!!!
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Friday, March 02, 2007

Lucy. . . I'm Home!!

I am currently fostering a 2 1/2 year old White w/Red Ticking female greyhound formerly known as Yopon Laverne. She has no race record but was recommended as being a good lure coursing prospect. I do plan to formally adopt (nka) Lucy and try our luck on the lure coursing field. She is young, very energetic, and loves life. She is getting along well with Remi and Sugar and Savannah. Chelsea, the Himalayan, is in the midst of kidney failure so isn't around much as she pretty much stays in one place most of the time. She isn't fairing well at all. More than likely, I will have to make that decision to put her out of her misery. She is 16 1/2 years old!

Anyway, dear Lucy is a riot to have around. She thinks playing with the toys at 2 a.m. is acceptable behavior. I'm working on this, trust me. She thinks chewing on my leather boots is acceptable behavior. I'm working on this, trust me. She thinks she is not getting enough kibble at every meal. I'm working on this, trust me. She thinks she sees "dead people". I'm working on this, trust me. She thinks her bed is attacking her. I'm working on this, trust me. She thinks all the stuffies can sleep in her bed and she can sleep on the floor. I'm working on this, trust me.

As you can see, there is never a dull moment. I can't wait to see her on the lure coursing field. Pin It

Thank DOG It's Friday!

Well, in true Atlanta fashion, Friday morning's commute started out with news that an area policeman had been driving down the I75/I85 connector around 2:50 a.m. the wrong-way, causing a head-on collision with an ambulance transporting a female patient to Grady Memorial Hospital. The wrong-way driver died upon impact. The two emergency services personnel in the ambulance and the female patient were injured and taken to the hospital. At about the time that incident was cleared and traffic was moving again, a charter bus carrying a college baseball team heading to Florida for a spring break series, apparently mistook an HOV exit ramp from I-75 southbound as a continuation of the HOV lane, never slowing at the top of the ramp (where there is a stop sign before entering onto Northside Drive), and careening across Northside Drive at the same rate of speed crashing into the 6 foot barrier fence and plumenting back down onto I-75, landing on it's side. The crash killed 6 people - four students, the bus driver, and his wife. Three other students were critically injured, and 20 or so were titled, "the walking wounded". The crash site eventually was cleared by 11 a.m. and all lanes were reopened at that time. My, what a tragic accident for all involved. The bus nearly hit two vehicles on I-75 at that very moment, one being my friend's husband who was on his way to work, but thank goodness no one else was injured. Everyone involved appeared stunned in disbelief that this bus had toppled over the barrier fencing and onto the highway and at the rate of speed in which it did do just that. It's amazing others weren't killed. Of course, traffic was doomed from the get-go, having never fully recovered from the earlier wrong-way driving fatality accident. I am hopeful that the afternoon commute will be much easier!! Afterall, thank DOG it's Friday!! Pin It

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another Day in Paradise

Well, it took me two hours to get to work this morning. I kept inching closer and closer thinking there must have been a God awful wreck downtown - one bad enough to warrant the blocking off of all lanes, Northbound and Southbound, so a Life Flight helicopter could land and pick up multiple bodies but alas, that was not the problem afterall. It appears there is a very popular motivational seminar at Phillips Arena today plus the annual International Poultry Expo began today across the street at the Georgia World Congress Center. The one-day "Get Motivated" seminar, featuring speeches by former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Braves pitcher John Smoltz, talk show host Larry King, Gen. Colin Powell and former Disney chief Michael Eisner, began at 8 a.m. at Philips Arena. My goodness, I think all of Atlanta went to one or the other! Ah, if only I had my own helicopter and pilot, but then, I wouldn't need to work if that were the case. I've got to buy some lottery tickets today!! Afterall, someone has to win!! Pin It