Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Just wanted to take a minute to say hello to all of you. You're all slack and need to post more on the blog, you know that? I had a good day today... spent the day getting back in the saddle with Sales. I met with the owner of Finishing Accents, a beautiful home accessory store in Arlington Village, about upgrading her office systems, her phone system, and spending some time to teach her how to use her software to make brochures for her business. Then I went over to Pacso Concrete and worked with the owner's wife there and got them to agree to let me remove and replace all that atrocious wiring in that building. That place is a fire hazard waiting to happen at this point. Tomorrow, however, it will look much nicer. That's been my day. I spent most all of it on the road while talking on the phone.. surprise surprise. Well, April's going to work at the bar tonight and I'm gonna hang out at the house and actively NOT work on anything. I think Hannah and I are going to play computer games for awhile. Talk to you all soon.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I was reading Yankeebob's blog and came upon a memory from Christmas years ago that I thought I should share. I was 11 or 12 maybe, and my brother was maybe 8 or 9. My mother and father are divorced and my Mom has spent all year working two and sometimes three jobs to provide for us. I didn't know then, as I do now, that much of her Christmas presents from friends were cash, so she could get things for us boys when times were tough. All the things she did for me and my brother for so many years; I will never forget what she has gone through to get us this far in life. My brother and I wake to run into the living room and drag mom out of bed. It's Christmas and we have lots of work to do... (and by work, I mean opening presents in fervent abandon.) I can't remember what we got that year now, the memories have faded through time, but the point still sits with me. It happened when we were done. My brother and I were happy, ready to play with our new toys, as any kids would be. Mom was exhausted from spending all night being Santa Claus. I guess Christmas had to have been pretty sparse that year. I can't remember for sure, but it would have to be for this to have happened... Mom sent me outside with the trash, to carry all the paper and boxes to the can at the end of the driveway. As I walked past the car, I saw a black trash bag on the trunk. Curiously, I grabbed it and prepared to heave it with me to the road. I remember being surprised at the weight and size of it. It was a giant lawn-leaf trash bag and the sides of the bag were stressed in places where the sharp corners of packages had left marks in the plastic. Curiously, I ran back inside and asked Mom if she had forgotten presents outside. Of course not she told us. Who would do that? "Well, they're out there" I informed her. I ran outside to get the bag and bring it back in the house, all thoughts of the trash forgotten. I'll never forget seeing the truly curious look on her face when that bag came inside. I've always been good at reading people, even as a child, and I remember watching her face; waiting to see her sly smile belie the lie and expecting to discover that she truly DID know what was in the bag. She didnt. I remember seeing her stand there curious as we opened the bag. There were of course gifts in it. Gifts were pulled from the bag and stacked in piles, separating those for me and my brother. Suddenly, she was surprised seeing a third pile formed. Those had her name on them. Now my mother has a beautiful hand-writing but she's left handed, so I can recognize her South-Paw script anywhere in the world. These were all adressed to us by name, individually, and it truly was not her writing. I can't remember what we got from that bag that year, but I don't think that was the important part of gift. We each opened our presents, truly amazed to see things we had all wanted. Who would know this stuff? I remember playing detective and trying to puzzle these things out for myself. Both my brother, myself, and mom got things we asked no one for but all wanted. Somewhere in the distance that day, I'm sure there was a "ho ho ho" because Santa Claus had truly come to my home that year. If it was a person, and I'll never know for sure who it could have been, then they have my eternal gratitude. I will forever remember the day that Christ and Christmas were joined in my memory. We weren't poor, but we weren't wealthy either. Someone knew that. Someone cared enough to take money from their own family, their own children, and themselves, and shared it with us that year. That was the Christmas I remember most. Merry Christmas everyone.
You know, I 'm wondering how many people across this earth of ours, are sitting right now, writing some out-of-the-box Merry Christmas on their own blogs, emails, or letters. Amidst all that, I'd like a to take a minute to deliver a sincere thank you to all the people who have made 2005 the year it has been for me . All of you "Scoobies" know who you are. Others are new friendships I've made this year. I've had a very busy last half of the year, working most all of the time and not having much free time to spend with my friends, but it's not for lack of wanting to. I love and cherish you all and I carry you all with me every day. I wish all of you the most Merry Christmas possible. I hope you all know you're loved and that I hope to see you all soon to get together ourselves. ( I'm thinking maybe Tuesday or Thursday night.) And on a sincere note, please try to take some time to remember Christ this Christmas. It's his holiday, not ours. Don't leave him out of your celebrations. Later all.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Wed is nicole's B-day .....after we go to child birthin class ....around 830 i am taking her out to eat ...the place is yet un-named at this time but all is invited.....i know this would mean a lot for her feel free to call me on my cell anytime other than early morning......i be workin all night at the pd 717 3689 thanks.....lee
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Ok all.. I've finally gotten the free time to update the photos from this winter thus far. Here are the New Albums added under the "Special Events" Category (mainly because they're still publishing and I can't even if I wanted to), but you can click on the photo album link on the right links menu and get to them that way. Hope you all enjoy them. Please post comments as you see fit.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Greetings once again to all of you in the digital world. It's been five days since I last saw any internet communication and I definitely needed the time away. It was indeed a roaring success, with neither April nor Clair having any idea what we were up to until we actually arrived. Friday night we left and drove through most of the night. As midnight closed upon us, we finally arrived at our destination, Maggie Valley, North Carolina. I haven't had the opportunity to re-visit Maggie Valley since my young childhood, when I traveled there with my grandparents and family. So, for me at least, this part of the trip was a reunion of my childhood of sorts. Saturday morning we rose early and departed for our destination. Friday, I took us all but 50 miles to our final destination, wanting to rise Saturday and spend it enjoying the last 50 miles of scenic beauty. We departed Maggie Valley on a meandering course through the Blue Ridge parkway to take in natures sights. We stopped to see Ghost Town In The Sky, but found it to be closed. It seems it was finally bought this year and will re-open in the Spring of 2006. Deflated, but not defeated, we drove on. As we traveled up towards Cherokee North Carolina, we stopped to take in the sights. Having been detoured due to heavy ice in the mountains, we found the Blue Ridge passes also closed to all traffic. So, after enjoying the scenic pleasures of Cherokee and spending a little time shopping, we headed off into the wild blue yonder, and I DO mean WILD and BLUE. The tops of the blue ridge mountains were visible, encased in a snow covered dome, as we approached. Having been turned back at the entrance to the parkway, we sought another path. As I have often praised the inventors at Garmin, I do so again. With the GPS, we simply clicked another pathway and the computer generated us a new course, only about 25 miles longer than the first. The alternative was to go back all the way past Maggie Valley and proceed north, circumventing the mountain range altogether, which was definitely NOT in my plans. A park ranger stopped us at the base of the mountain pass, warding away all traffic sans the benefit of four-wheel-drive. After assuring the ranger that I could indeed, if needed, press the magic button, he let us proceed with fair warning and we were off up into the snow. The ride was beautiful. As we crossed from 1500 feet to 2000 feet, we started to see signs of ice and slush on the roads. The rise to the top carried us a full 5, 080 feet up that mountain range, to the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Frequent stops were made for photos of the surrounding mountains, valleys, creeks, and ice covered wonders nature had on display in its holiday spirit. At long last, after spending 4 hours just to traverse 26 miles in the ice, we arrived through the other side of the mountin range, deposited instead into the Great Smoky Mountain range and the wonder and gentle beauty of Gatlinburg Tennessee. Lost amid the architecture of the late 1800s, we made our way at last to the condo. The girls had been told at this point where our destination was, but had no idea what we had in-store for them. As we drove past this complex on the right, the girls faces lit up with "ooohhs" and "oh how cool"s . April asked me where we were staying, and I knew I had it made when I said "umm.. you're looking at it honey..." We entered into our ,1200 (or so) square foot condo with a full kitchen, rustic dining room, leather clad living room, king-sized master bedroom (with built-in jacuzzi by the bed) and a studio apartment attached that Tim and Clair claimed as their own. Saturday night was spent mildly relaxing amongst the plush accomodations and planning what we would do the next day. As Sunday rolled around, the girls took us on their shopping spree across Gatlinburg. We walked the half mile or so to the main street and headed right, up the street, to begin our trek, after having devoured a huge breakfast in some Pancake place on the same road as our hotel. Soon after our travels began, the girls delighted upon a hawker eagerly selling discount packages to all the attractions in town. We began our journey in the Ripley's Haunted House, where, as I'm sure you'll hear from April, I was jumped by a dead body in the elevator at the end. I'll let her regale you with this tale, as I'm sure she's dying to practice her embellishment skills. After this event, we toured some more local shops, and headed on to Ripley's Amazing 4D Theatre. Twenty grinding minutes in the four dimensional (although technically it was only 3 dimensional as the 4th dimension is time, not motion.. but I didn't feel the need to argue semantics at this point in the trip) theatre left me feeling quit nauseous so we headed back to the condo to enjoy a repast of ham sandwiches and hot chocolate. Mid afternoon found us back on the streets, headed down the opposite street to see what wonders were to be found there. Here we traversed more shops, more knick-knack stores, the Guinness World Record Museum, and the Ripley's Aquarium. Of all the events, being a huge nature fan, the aquarium was by far my most favored attraction up to this point. (Of course, no dead bodies assaulted me in the elevators here, so it was already in the points lead by the time I arrived.) We have probably close to one hundred photos detailing our events throughout the aquarium, so we'll share those with you on here later. By evening, starving, tired of walking, and in search of sustenance, we found our way to the Park Grill for dinner. A beautiful antiquarian building with absolutely stupendous steaks made our day complete. Sunday evening was spent coupled up in various jacuzzis throughout the complex. I'll let you determine the results of the rest of the evening on your own. Monday morning was what I was waiting for. In an attempt to recoup some of the costs of the vacation, we split up and each couple visited a time-share presentation. We walked, they talked, we didnt buy, and they gave us one hundred bucks. Not a bad use of time at all I'd say. In a rush and bundled up for an arctic event, we headed for the ski slopes. Unfortunately there are no pictures detailing this event. We thought, and correctly so, that the cameras would not survive the tumult in which we were about to immerse ourselves. Boy Was I Right! We spent an hour in Ski School, during which I only crashed into the main instructor twice, the secondary instructor once, and the big blue retaining fence numerous times. After an hour, our instructor relesed us to the slopes and to our own demise at nature's hands. As April and I headed down the slopes the first time, Tim and Clair passed us TWICE, once at such speed that I was sure I was going to find Clair in a bundle at the bottom of the hill. She had attempted to slow down to see if April was ok on her second visit past us in our initial descent. Her attempt at help was more akin, however, to a passenger in a speeding car screaming out an open window. She blew by me at about 40 miles per hour, hands out, knees locked, ski poles flailing, and yelling "are you ooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk?" Later, I made a second descent alone, just to enjoy one final time at coming down the hill. Somewhere in the middle of two slopes and two curves, my legs finally figured how to maximize their position for speed. Unfortunately, my feet were still working on the stopping lessons I had been fervently teaching them earlier. The result was a feet-splayed smash into the snow, at about 30 or 40 miles per hour. I hit face first so hard that I scraped all the finish off one side of my sunglasses. Thirty minutes later, I was trying to get my ski clothes off and was STILL finding giant balls of ice and snow stuffed in various places from that fall. Suffice it to say, all things considered, I had an absolute blast on the slopes. We returned to our rooms, ate dinner inside, and immediately seeked refuge in the hot tubs. The english tobacco, dominican cigars, hot coffee, and jacuzzis made a nice way to forget the stress of the day's events. Now, that being said, no one moved a muscle for the next four hours on the couches. We were sore in places that we didn't know existed. Today, we rose and began the long drive back home. Now, hours later, I am once again comfortable, back behind my keyboard, telling you all my story. To those of you who called a hundred times, we ignored the phones on purpose. lol April didn't want to alert the SBN (Scooby Broadcast Network) individually and thought instead to let everyone know at once what happened and what we did. So, there is my story to all of you. I hope you have had a wonderful week yourselves. Know that I missed you all, and those of you I'm speaking of know who you are. I'm glad to be back to my home, listening to my narcississtic cats, and banging away on my keyboard. Hope to see you all soon. Me.
Friday, December 09, 2005
It's midnight, and I'm just finishing up packing for our "surprise" vacation....... I know I need to be in bed, but I just can't calm down enough to go to sleep! If you didn't know, Tommy, Tim, Clair, and myself are leaving tomorrow for a fun-filled, relaxing, break away from Greenville, surprise vacation! The boys have gone to GREAT measures making sure Clair and I don't know anymore than what they've told us..... (which we've been trying to sneak little hints out of them......but no luck) We're all pretty excited about going, so I can't wait to leave!! :D For all the Scoobies that are hanging around this weekend, we luv ya, we'll miss ya, and we'll see ya when we get back! I'm sure we'll have lots of stories, and pictures.... To my baby, You sure know how to make a girl feel very special! I have NEVER had a guy do this for me, and it's the sweetest thing in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!! I know I may not have said it enough this week, but I'm so excited about having some "us" time away from home. ;) I love you so very much, and I can't begin to think of how I'll ever show you just how much that is! I LOVE YOU!!! Well, that's it for me.... I'm going to try and get some sleep now...... we won't be blogging or anything while we're gone, and our cell phones are with us ONLY for emergencies, so we'll be sure and catch y'all up when we get back! TTFN!!! (Ta ta for now!)
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Tommy Just wanted to say that I miss you bunches and I LOVE YOU!!! Can't wait 'til you get home. Hope things are going well in Denver! Take lots of pictures! I'm going to bed now.... so I'll talk to you in the morning! LOVE YA HONEY!!! *Hugs & Kisses* April
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Hey yall. I want to thank everyone for coming out to help me celebrate my 21st birthday. It was a blast. To ALL of the girls it wouldn't have been the same without you. It is a birthday that I will never forget. No more shots of 151 please. I felt soooo bad Tuesday when I got up I didnt think I was gonna live. Bridgett the pictures were awesome I cant wait to see the rest. Well I will talk to you guys later. Again thanks for everything. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Long Branch. Love Little Bit