Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Millie

Well, I had high hopes for this post sometime on Thursday. In my mind we would come home from our much anticipated camping trip this weekend, and I would post pictures of a wonderful time with the kids and the several other families that came with us.
I guess I could still do that, because those things did end up happening, but a much more serious and sad thing occurred that will far overshadow this trip in our memories in the years to come.
We took both of our dogs with us when we departed this Friday, which is a standard practice for us everytime we go. Everything was fine as we were setting up camp around 10 a.m., and as the day went on, we were grateful for beautiful, breezy weather. However, our dog Millie, seemed to be a little antsy. We made sure that she (and our other dog, Oreo) had plenty of cool water, and they were both in the shade, but she was still restless. I went ahead and unleashed her, knowing that she would probably do better being free, and that she would never get away from us. She seemed to calm down some, so honestly, we went on about our business.
About an hour later, Mark and I were at the campsite next to ours when Jacob yelled for us because Millie wasn't breathing well. I ran to her and sure enough, her breathing was terribly labored and she was struggling. We scooped her up immediately and rushed her to the animal hospital that was only about a half an hour away, but we didn't make it. We lost her.
I never, never, never would have taken her out of this house if I would have known that something was wrong with her. We are still so completely baffled about what happened to her. Even the vet couldn't figure it out.
We are just so stunned and hurting right now. It is so hard to lose a deeply loved pet, because they are such a part of your day to day life. Even my footsteps are lonely today because I never took them without a furry, sweet and loyal companion right behind me.
I would love to post a picture of my sweet girl for you to see, but I don't think that my heart could stand to see it right now. If you want to do some fishing, I know that I posted about them with pictures recently under the title Precious Pups. And that she was, indeed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tofu, anyone?

So you have probably correctly deduced from my last post that one of my fave things in the world to do is chow down. Well, is catching up with me. Right about the time I turned 30, my metabolism decided that she was sick of me and that she was going to kick up her heels and take a long overdue nap.
In the meantime, I went to the Dr. to get a random check-up, due to the fact I hadn't done that (apart from childbearing) since I was like, say, 6. I received a phone call about a week later telling me that my cholesterol was significantly higher than it ought to be and that they wanted me to alter my diet and c'mon back in in about a month. Thank you v'much, bye.
I am only 32 and I am only about 10 pounds heavier than usual, since my girl decided to fall asleep. But seriously, my diet isn't horrible. I don't eat unhealthy foods, but when I do eat, I eat alot....and at the worst time....late at night. I could go most of the day without eating, but when suppertime rolls around, Gayle puts on the feedbag and doesn't stop until right before bedtime.
So all of that may explain the extra weight, but the cholesterol? I couldn't figure out why in the world it was so high. In the end, I found out that it doesn't really matter how thin you are, if you have rotten genes, your goin' down (or up, in this case).
So guess what? I get to start my very first diet ever on Monday. I have read the book South Beach Diet which was written by a cardiologist for this very reason (heart health), and both Mark and I are going to give it a go. One thing is that I am a HUGE carb freak, and I kinda love sugar, so this is going to be hard. Here is a little tidbit for the equally naive, white potatoes contain more sugar in the end than if you had sat down and just ate straight table sugar....OH!! THE INHUMANITY!!! I super-dee-love my mashed potatoes. However, I am not willing to DIE for them, so I will get over it.
The only reason we aren't starting until Monday, is purely logistical...we have no groceries. So tonight, I am going to a Mom's Night Out, and I am throwin' back, y'all. I am going to kill me some cheesecake and bread like I will never behold the tastes again, and then walk, with my cheeks bulging out and my head held high, down the pathway of Cheerios and fish.
I'll let you know how it goes...:)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Top Chef - Olive Garden

Hey y'all! I am still alive... just very busy! We started school back and all is going very well~Praise the Lord. :) It's amazing how long it can take you to get back into your groove, though. We made some pretty big changes this year, so while I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say, our previous schedule flew the coop in a big way.
That first week was t-o-u-g-h with trying to get us a workable thing going! BUT, by George, I think we have it now.
Last night Mark and I went out on a rare, spur-of-the-moment "date". It was completely wonderful and very much needed. Just to show you how huge our gooberness is, I will tell you that we adore shows like Iron Chef and Hell's Kitchen and we love us some Top Chef, too. You know, reality meets food...does it get any better? No.
So, we are always sitting on our respective couches drooling and wishing that we could be the ones tasting that super yummy food that is up for judgement on these shows while we knaw on our dry, slightly stale pretzels. How does one go about getting a cushy job like that anyway? Well, last night we decided to take matters into our own hands. Watch out Olive Garden.
We sat down to dinner and instantly transformed into Padma (if only) and Tom (who is super-cute in a bald, knows-how-to-cook-some-serious-grub sort of way). Anyway, here is our report: First strike was our waitress. She gets a big fat F. Right after we were seated, she looked at us, and then proceeded to carry on a conversation with her friends about football for a full 10 minutes before she came to get our drink orders, which she turned around and messed up. She messed up THE DRINKS! How hard is that?! Padma almost spazzed at that point, but maintained composure. (It was 8:00 p.m. and I was starving, so I was a little edgy, what can I say?).
Strike 2 was the gloppy appetizer (that is normally very good) called Smoked Fonduta something or other. Anyway, it's supposed to be this smooth cheese dip served with fresh tomatoes and basil on top with a side of toasted baguette. Well, for us it was none of the above. I wish I would have taken a picture, but Tom simply couldn't be photographed with such atrocities. It wasn't even melted completely and we had, like, 5 or 6 little dices of tomato on top with nary a basil leaf in sight. The bread wasn't even toasted and there flat-out wasn't enough of it (the bread, I mean...certainly not the fonduta). The real Tom and Padma would have deemed this almost inedible, but hey, we are Mark and Gayle, so unless there is something funky growing on it, we'll wolf it down anyway.
The restaurant redeemed itself nicely with Tom's entree: Steak Gorgonzola with Alfredo. The beef was beautifully prepared and had a flavor that was out of this world. It was so tender and juicy, that it practically melted in your mouth. It had spinach tossed in with the pasta which added a nice flavor along with color that made the presentation visually appealing. I would have wanted his dish, but I couldn't get past the funky gorgonzola, which, in my world, tastes distinctively like feet. Not that I go around tasting feet, but if I did, that is what they would taste like, for sure. He loved it, though, and for that, it gets a nice ~thumbs up~
My entree was Ravioli di Portabello, which is, pretty simply, ravioli stuffed with chopped portabello mushrooms covered in an insanely yummy tomato alfredo sauce. They put fresh diced tomato and basil along with chopped sun-dried tomato on top of that to make a mouth-watering dish with a great balance of flavor. This dish, too, gets a hearty ~thumbs up~.
Overall, our experience was a good one, and we would certainly go back again despite that shotty service and the lame appetizer...but, our standards wouldn't be above McDonald's if it means we can get away for a few hours.
After we left, we morphed back into our own flabby selves and drove to Starbucks for a decaf toffee nut latte with whip, and then on to Walmart for a few odds and ends. (Can we ever escape that place?!) It was a great date. ~sigh~
Tonight, we are heading to another competition: Iron Chef Boy Scouts! joke! Ty's Troop hosts a cooking competition every year where the scouts cook and the families judge. I am completely thrilled about this, especially because I don't have to cook for the second night in a row. Good times.
Have a great day to catch up with all of you....

Monday, September 3, 2007

Back to School...

Well, I certainly have been M.I.A. around here lately. Sadly, I still can't promise that things are going to be much better in the near future, either. Bummer, because I love to keep up with y'all, but tomorrow starts our school year back and that needs to be my focus.
We have been seriously busy over the last week or so with a very successful Back to School Bash for our support group families, an amazing Labor Day weekend blowout, and just flat getting ready for school. I am pretty panicked about the latter because I STILL don't feel ready for it. Oddly enough, this is the first year where I haven't been all gung-ho to get us started.
I am not going to go into too much detail here, simply because it is almost 9:30 and I have to get up kinda earlyish tomorrow, but I will say this....If you are doing what God has called you to do, than you can bank on the fact that the enemy will pull out all the stops to destroy it, or you.
I am recognizing a bunch of his rotten lies, lately, yet I will confess, I have a little fear going back into a place where he LOVES to nail me. Not a huge deal, but if you think about it on Tuesday, say a little prayer for me and the Crew. Thanks! <3
I seriously cannot believe it is already September! Wow, how time flies! I love the Fall and the Spring equally. What are your favorite seasons of the year?
OH YEAH!! Are any of y'all planning to go to the Siesta Fiesta with Beth Moore next August? Laugh if you will, but I am seriously wanting to go, so if any of you are thinking about it, let me know...wouldn't that be the COOLEST thing for all of us to get together to hang out and worship?!