Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Pursuit of (true) Happyness for 2009

First off I know I spelled happiness wrong. But I liked the movie and I like the spelling with the Y.

I usually don't make New Years Resolutions, mainly because I don't keep them. I am proud to say though that in October 2008 Jason and I started the slimfast diet and so far (even through the holidays) we've managed to loose about 45# and 20#. Since we did not have that as a 2008 resolution I feel this is more of an accomplishment.

The pursuit of (true)happyness for 2009.....In 2008 we experienced nice wealth. Sitting here thinking back...wealth did not make me truly happy. It was nice that all of the bills got paid on time and we were able to have some nice vacations but all-in-all, looking back, I was happy on the outside but not on the inside. Well I take that back...when we were snowmobiling and when we were inshore/offshore fishing my soul was truly happy. 2009 I want to change/try some things out. A BIG change I am almost 100% for sure I am going to make is that I will not seek re-election for the Arkansas Women's State bowling board. I've been on the board for 5 years now and I've pretty much doing bowling non-stop since I was 13. I want to state that most of time I LOVE BOWLING. For the past year now bowling & being on the board has become a JOB not something I love to do. I've tried making myself love bowling but the more I try the more I hate it. The hard part for me is that there will be certain people that will be very disappointed. It is the disappointment that has kept me on the board for the past year. I will keep bowling but just need time away from the business part of it. This will not be a permanent leave...just something long enough so that I get the desire/fire back in me. This will be hard but something I feel I must do.

Also...I want to spend time with my husband and motorcycle riding more. This will be totally new to me BUT an experience I am eager to take on. I never understood his love of the bike until I got on my trike headed to El Dorado. This bug has bit me.

Next...since we did not sell our fishing boat this year we are going to buy a new trolling motor and fish more in 2009. I was born in June under the Cancer sign. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being on the water. On the water I feel my soul is beaming.

Then...I am going to get caught up at work. I am so far behind and swamped that I will work from home or come in on a weekend. Heck, when I go on VACATION my lap-top comes with me and I work. Jason frowns upon me working on vacations, BUT I will say that it is my work that allows us to take our vacations. I am ready for a vacation where I turn my computer on and the first thing I don't do is log into SeaArk. I think this will be the hardest for me to accomplish...just ask my husband.

The one thing I don't want to change is time family. I've got a great family and two adorable great neices. In February I will be going to Boise, ID for the 2009 Special Olympic World Games where my brother is a coach for the Arkansas Floor Hockey team. If he doesn't have a game we will be able to spend some time together.

These are some things that I THINK will help me in my Pursuit of (true) Happyness. If you have any thoughts/commments/suggestions please feel free to leave them for me.

Hope everybody has a Happy, Healthy and Safe 2009!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why????? (Part II)

Why do I even bother to actually make an appointment at the doctors office? I had an appointment yesterday morning at 10:30 with one of our local doctors. I had called in last week and scheduled this appointment, I did not walk-in. The parking lot was not packed and neither was the waiting room. I finally got to see the doctor at 12:25 p.m. By the time I got to see the doctor, get a shot and have lab work done I left the office at 12:55 p.m.

I could understand if I had walked in and the office was trying to fit me into an already booked schedule, but to actually have made an appointment....well the time I spent there yesterday was just ridiculous!

I hope everybody has a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Do you know how could it was out hunting this morning? We got to our stands around 5:30 a.m. By 5:45 a.m. I was freezing. Around 6:30 a.m. I finally found the "clicker" and was able to start my portable heater. TOO LATE!!!!!

Around 8:25 a.m. I called Jason on the walkie talkie asking if he had seen anything. He had not and the next words out of his mouth just about put me into shock. He CLEARLY stated....."I am getting down from my stand because I am about to freeze my --- off". Now those of you who know Jason knows he is NEVER cold. We made it back to the house about 8:30 a.m. and I think both of us were equally excited about the heat.

** Christmas tree is at Universal Studios Japan and was taken December 2005 **

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This year for Christmas holiday I am on vacation the 22nd, will work the 23rd and then work is closed the 24th, 25th and 26th. That is 7 of 8 days of NO work (yes I will go in anyway to try to catch up).

Why is it that the closer it gets to Christmas the less amount of work I want to do and the more I REALLY don't want to be at work??????

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This year Jason and I had a little bit of a different Thanksgiving this year. We spent it in Crowley, LA with Anthony, Kelly & Nora Claire. Thanksgiving day we went to Anthony's family in Franklin, LA. We had fried turkey (we usually have at home) a turkey roll (excellent), fresh mustard greens (Jason loved), melotone w/seafood (not for sure exactly what that is), mashed potatoes, gravy, macaroni & cheese (not boxed) and spinach. Since we've been on the Slim Fast diet our stomach's have gotten smaller and I will say that our eyes were way bigger than our stomach's. The one thing we couldn't turn down was Anthony's mom's blueberry banana cheese cake. Too die for! The weather was just wonderful, the food was good and the company was great. It was nice for a change not having everybody out by us. Nice for a change but not the same.

Friday we headed to Lafayette for some shopping at Target, lunch @ Pete's (hamburgers with a fried egg), shopping at Babies R Us and Linen's & Things. We found Nora Claire a door jumper which she was put in Saturday night and enjoyed it. We wanted to stop by Casual Male XL but Nora Claire was having a stomach ache screaming fit. We pulled over and tried comforting her for about 20 minutes. All we could do unfortunately is let her work though the pain. I felt so bad for her & momma. We finally made it back home. After a few more screaming attacks I think Nora Claire just got tired and gave up.

Anthony's team (Notre Dame Pioneers) are in the Louisiana state playoff and were playing Rayville (just south of Monroe). We did not attend the game but did listen to it on the radio. Well we tried listening to it. There was bad weather in Monroe so the local radio station went in and out....well more out than in. The Pios lost their starting qb to a broken collar bone but managed to hang on and win. They will play next week back in Crowley and IF they win that game the state championship game is 12-12 at the Superdome. By Monday I will have made a hotel reservation for that Friday night. I would much rather have to cancel a reservation than have trouble trying to make one. Jason and I were sorry to hear that Monticello lost such a close game. I was a firm believer that if the Billies won that they would go on to win the championship. Still they had a GREAT year!

Today was pretty much a relaxing day. Anthony had coaching stuff to do. Kelly, Jason and I had lunch at home. We were going to Franklin tonight to eat dinner at Rik Rak. This is a Japanese steakhouse at the casino in Franklin. The food is E X C E L L E N T!!! The earliest reservation we could get was 10:30 pm. Instead we ran to Lafayette real quick to Fresh Market. We bought NY strip steaks, sushi (spicy tuna and smoked salmon Philadelphia roll). We finished out the meal with a Doe's salad and veggies (asparagus, zuchini and squash). Last but not least finished off with desert (Jason-creme brule, Anthony-NY cheesecake, Kelly & I-fruit tarte). As I am typing this I am sitting here in misery!!!!

Even though Nora Claire was fussy a bit it was nice to get to spend some time with her, Kelly and Anthony. Jason and I are looking to leave NLT 9 a.m. We want to stop by Simmons in Bastrop to look for me a new deer feeder and once we get home I will either go out hunting or go to work. I leave Tuesday morning to go to New Orleans to attend the 2008 International Workboat Show (work). I have alot I need to get done before I leave Tuesday...........I may just have to sit on my deer stand.

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2009 Special Olympics World Games

I want to start off by saying that my brother will be going to the World Games as a coach for the Arkansas floor hockey team. When I finally realized that Jason and I wouldn't be going snowmobiling (sob, sob) I jokingly told my brother that I am going to Boise. He made the suggetion to try to register through family services. Well I did knowing I probably wouldn't be accepted.

I got wonderful news today. My "family" application for the 2009 Special Olympics World Games has been approved. I will be attending the games from February 7 - 14 in Boise, ID. I hope to fly in on February 6th and fly out the day of February 14th. I will be attending the opening ceremonies but will miss the closing ceremonies. Since I am a "family" member I will have tickets for the opening ceremonies and all of the games that the floor hockey team will be playing.

I am happy that I will get to see snow again!!! Just won't be the same not going out into the wilderness on a snowmobile. I am happy that I will be able to spend some time with my brother. Yes brother I do enjoy doing things with you and I think this is going to be AWESOME.

I am apprehensive though. Taylor (our daughter) was a special needs child. While it has been 14 years since she passed away I ALWAYS get a little emotional getting to see the participants in action. I often find myself wondering that if Taylor would still be here that Jason and I might be attending the numerous Special Olympics events with her. While the majority of time you will never know how much I miss her, attending this will be tough.

I will be purchasing my plane ticket, reserving a car and booking a hotel tomorrow. I can't wait...Before I even think about Boise here is my schedule through the end of the year:

November 21 - November 23 bowling tournament in Tulsa, OK
November 26 - November 30 Thanksgiving with Kelly in Crowley, LA

December 2 - December 5 International Workboat Show in New Orleans, LA
December 6 - Hot Springs dropping off motorcycle parts & staying overnight to celebrate our 18th anniversary

January 1 - January 4 Inshore fishing in Venice, LA

During all of this time I will be working, bowling and enjoying the holidays. You know it seems like I am already looking forward to 2009!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's Up

Well it has been a while since I posted so I thought I would provide an update to what the Caldwell's have been up to.

A little more than a month ago Jason and I started the Slim Fast diet. We drink a shake for breakfast, have a low calorie morning snack, have a shake for lunch, have a low calorie afternoon snack and then for dinner we eat what we want. Since we no longer need leftovers for the next day we are cooking less at night. Our stomach's have shrunk and my pocketbook likes the cost savings. Earlier this year Jason was up to 335 - 340. Today he got on the scale and he weighed 295. He would like to get down to 275. Earlier this year I was 232 and as of this morning I was 214. I would like to get down to 200. For turkey day we are going down to Kelly's (cajun food). The first Tuesday in December I am going to New Orleans for a boat show (more cajun food). Needless to say that week and a half all I can do is hope I can excercise portion control. I know I can with the food but the time we are in New Orleans......the crown and coke will be the killer.

Mother is having cataract surgery tomorrow. My brother will pick her up @ 5:30 in the morning. I will pick her up and take her to her follow-up appt. I didn't realize how bad the cataracts were until last weekend. We were in West Little Rock and come up to an intersection. Between the street lights and traffic lights it was so bright mother had to put her hands over her eyes to block the light. I know she has been looking forward to having this surgery. I do hope it is a success.

Due to the neck it is suggest that I do not ride a snowmobile (bumps). Because of that I am toying between just going with the group snowmobiling then just hanging out in West Yellowstone OR going to the Special Olympics International games in Boise, ID. My brother is a coach for the Arkansas floor hockey team. While I would not be staying with him I would be spending most of the day and some of the evening either watching the team or hanging out with him. CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES.

How come it is that recently I've received a big commission check and bonus check from work, know I need to pay off a credit card, invest some money and buy both Jason and I new clothes (smaller sizes) but I can't seem to get motivated to do it.

I've gotten x-mas gifts already for Jason's dad, my mom, 2 of my 3 neices, 1 great and one great neice. Having the money has afforded me to go ahead and start buying. OH, I truly love I've recently ordered 650ct Egyptian cotton sheets and I tell you they are awesom. I also just got a couple of down pillows. We will see how they sleep tonight. I ordered a king size down comforter and man-o-man.....

I am loving my trike. More discussion on this will have to come in another post.

Last but not least Jason and I did go hunting this weekend. Both days I saw does and a 3-point. Jason saw a spike and 3 does. For those of you who have been to our house the rule has always been you can't shoot a deer from the back deck unless it has horns.........well tonight Jason took a step out of the back door and shot a 7-point.

All in is good!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nascar Race in Memphis

Yesterday Jason, his dad and I went to Memphis for the Nascar Nationwide race. For Father's Day we got Jason's dad a ticket (we did this last year also).

We left yesterday morning about 6:20 a.m. and got to the track around 9:45 a.m. We as we were setting up the tint my newphew Neil and Anna came up. Neil and Anna went to get their tickets and Jason and I went to get our scanners. After meeting back up at the truck we grilled chicken, corn and I made a Doe's salad. The weather was nothing but sunshine and windy! After lunch and a quick clean up we headed into the track and to our seats. We sit in Grandstand J on row 56...that is the grandstand going into turn 1 and is ALL the way up top. As I mentioned earlier the weather was awesome. The only thing I could have asked for was a little less wind. The National Anthem was performed by country group Half Way to Hazard and they did a good job. After a flyover by an Apache helicopter the race got started.

Last year's race had a record 25 cautions which made for one of the worst races I've seen, whether it be on tv or in person. This year the boys played nice and it was actually a great race. For the second time this year (Bristol) we got to see Carl Edwards do his backflip. There is a good possibility that he will get to do the backflip today. As of 9 laps to go he is in 1st.

After the race we made it back to the truck and grilled hamburgers. Neil and Anna also stayed and had dinner with us. By the time we got through eating all of the traffic was gone and we easily got out of the track. Just outside of Memphis my nose started running and my throat started hurting. I think from there to Monticello I used a minimum of 10 tissues blowing my nose and sticking them up the nose because it was draining. Once we dropped Jason's dad off we went to Wal-mart to pick up some sinus/cold medicine & Chloraseptic. By the time we made it home I really felt crappy and I still feel that way.

Jason has had to mow Mrs. Collins yard by himself. I had to run into town to get some lunch because we have nothing at the house. We still have to go grocery shopping and I am still on the couch. I got to feel better tomorrow because I have to make up 4 hours during the week so I can get off Friday at lunch.

We are going to see Saw V tomorrow if I feel better and.....Carl Edwards is doing his second backflip for this weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My day Abrisitting

Monday had the opportunity to babysit my great neice Abriana, henceforth "Abrisitting".

I could take up an hour typing about our adventures but I will hit what amazed me the most about this 2 year old.

1) She insisted on walking down the stairs at the court house, only to say "Aunt KK help me". She thought she was big stuff.
2) She went from being happy to being 30 minutes past due on a nap in no time flat.
3) After the meltdown she woke up from her nap with a smile. How great is that!
4) She loved coloring and enjoyed the playdoh.
5) She told me she had to go tee tee but I was too slow. She was tee teeing as I was pulling down her pull-ups. I didn't know it until I stepped in it and slipped.
6) While watching cartoons she said "that's a dragon". How does a 2 year old know about dragons???
7) While watching cartoons she was asking about Sponge Bob and Chowder. Uncle Jason and her will talk like Schnitzel from the cartoon Chowder.
8) While I was cooking she told me "Aunt KK poo poo". I RAN to the bathroom. She is walking towards the bathroom and her hand is covering her butt....every other step she takes.....there are little poop balls falling out of her panties. I am laughing my a-- off as she is dropping poop over my floor. While taking her panties off poop is falling out. After she finished her job and I got her cleaned up I started picking up the poop. She stands there and asks me "Aunt KK what you doing?" When I told her I was picking up her poop she laughed.
9) Last but not least, while I am cooking she is in the kitching with me. The tv is on but no music is playing. I look at her and she is dancing in circles. I asked her what was she doing and she answered "I'm dancing Aunt KK".

This little girl remembers everything you say AND she will repeat most of it. She is proud to be wearing big girl panties and really tries to let you know she has to tee tee in time. When she starts talking about mommy, daddy, puddin and mommies/daddies house you can't stop her. She can name everybody in my picture collage.

With work being stressful and life being so busy it was extremely enjoying to play, watch cartoons and learn from a 2 year old. I can't wait until the next Abrisitting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Are we ready?

The deaths of the young people the past two weeks were sad to me but since I did not personally know them didn't really affect me. The recent accident and death of Dave Parker is different. Wednesday evening Dave was headed home from work. This is something each and every one of us who works does. What happened next is what has me down heartened and wondering if.

I am wondering if something were to happen to me tomorrow would my husband of almost 18 years know how much I love him. Yes we tell each other we love you but the words I love you come no where near the feeling of I love you. Does Dave's wife know this?

I am wondering if my mom would be able to handle loosing her youngest child. My sister doesn't live in town and my brother is usually busy with his own to be able to spend much time and do much with mom. I am the one she turns to..I guess in a way since loosing my dad many years ago I have become my mom's rock. Will Dave's mom be able to get over the loss of her youngest?

I am wondering if neices and nephew would truly know how much I am so proud of them. I tried to be a friend just as much as being Aunt Karen. They may not have always made the right decisions, none of us do. I always tried to support them in whatever it is they did. Will they be able to offer support to their dad, mom and grandmother? Will they know that I loved them? Will Dave's neices and nephews know this?

I am wondering will my neices tell my great neices (and any more great ?? that might come along) how proud I was to see them the first time. How being able to keep them helped fill the void that loosing Taylor left. Will Dave's son and soon to be baby remember the love that he had for them?

I am wondering if my friends (work, sports, close) know that if I ever made them mad, upset or let them down that it was never my intention for it to happen? I value friendships. Friendships (whether short term or life time) help us learn, develop and grow beyond our means. Does Dave's friends know this?

I am wondering if my family and friends will understand that I was ready to go. Will they understand that I will be happy to see my dad, Taylor, Scotty, Mrs. Furlough and all of those who pasted before me. Will they understand that I am where I want to be and that I will be there waiting.

I am not asking WHY I am just wondering........What are you wondering about?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ever Wonder WHY?

The happenings of this past week has me wondering about life.

Three young people were taken from this earth. The first thought is to sit and wonder WHY? Why at a young age...why in such a horrific manner? Why not let the parents say goodbye?

Having lost a daughter 14 years ago when she was 19 months I have mixed emotions. I was very distraught over loosing her. I take solice in being able to tell her goodbye. If I had to do it again I would I would not change a thing. I think that babies are gifts to us from our Heavnly Father. We are just "borrowing" them for a time. We hope this time allows us to see them grow up, have a family and grow to be older then we are. You never once think that you will burry them before you. Since our daughter was a gift, while it was not easy, I along with my husband made the easy decision to not put her on life support. She had taught us many lessons and we looked at quality before quantity.

Like my daughter, I truly believe these young people were needed for a much bigger plan. While it has hard to let them go we have to rejoice and know that our kids are where we want to go.

I know at times like these the immediate thought is to turn to prayer. The two car accidents were just that accidents. No amount of prayer could help that. The prayer that is needed is for the family members left behind. As a matter of fact the prayer needs to be for all of those left behind....the prayer needs to be that those left behind can carry on, one day leads to one week, one week leads to one month. The prayer needs to be that in time those left behinds will heal and stop questioning WHY.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Out Of It

During our trip to Bristol, TN for the Nascar race I suffered from neck pain. I've had this before but Tylenol didn't help. I was also nausiated from the pain. I've been hurting off and on now for about 5 months, but up until now I hadn't been nausiated (if I am going to be nausiated I should be that way becuase I had too much to drink).

The Monday we got back I made an appt. with Dr. Sylvia. After x-rays it was determined that I have a bone spur between vertebra #5 & #6. I got a little nervous when the first x-ray tech asked if I had injured my neck and when the second tech asked the same questions I really began worrying. Dr. Sylvia come and got me and let me look at the x-ray and sure enough between the vertebra there is a bone spur (calcium)deposit. By where it is located at I can have pain anywhere between my shoulder blades (feels like a pinched nerve) all the way up to the base of my skull (pain makes me feel like I have a blood pressure headache when my blood pressure isn't up). She prescribed me a muscle relaxer, steriod pack (you are allowed 3 steriod shots in a 1 year time period and this would be #3) and physical therapy.

I took the steriod pack and it has not relieved any pain and of course the muscle relaxer works but it makes me drowsy, so therefore I rarely take it. On August 29 I started physical therapy. After the first visit the therapist stated that it was going to be more of a project. We have to loosen up the muscles in the back and neck and then we can work on improving my posture & strengthening my neck.

After the first visit I hurt so bad that it was tough for me to bowl (yes I did get the okay to bowl). Therapy has its good days and its bad. When I went to therapy this Wednesday I came in hurting and finally today it has stopped. Again, I don't mind dealing with the pain but when I am sick to my stomach that is a whole nother story. I go again tomorrow and then M, W, F of next week. During all of the therapy my pain has not really gone away. I have better days then some but most of the days I have some type of pain whether it be in my shoulder blades or at the base of my skull. If I am still having pain on Monday I think I am going to go ahead and get my last steriod shot for a while.

Once therapy is through I am going to do 1 month of home therapy. After that if I am still in pain I am going to have Dr. Sylvia set up and MRI. The x-ray is good but you are looking 2 dimensional at a 3 dimensional item. I can bowl but the end of September my travel league bowled 6 games and by the end of the third game I was hurting. I know the only way to get rid of the bone spur is surgery, which I am really not wanting to have, but I now have to decide how much of this dull, pinching, headaching pain can I stand.

Last night I took a muscle relaxer and today at 12:00 I am still groggy. I KNOW I can't live much longer with that.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I've had the opportunity to see the aftermath that hurricane Katrina left in Biloxi, MS, Plaquamine Parish, LA and the water devistation to New Orleans. Here was my take of each:

Biloxi, MS (March 2008)......Casinos, restaurants, souvenir stores and fun parks that I've frequented wasn't there. They are trying but it will just take a while. I don't understand how people can stay there not knowing what the next hurricane will bring.

Plaquamine Parish, LA (6 times since Katrina).....N O T H I N G could have prepared me for what was seen in southern Plaquamine Parish (Empire, Buras, Venice). The December after Katrina we went down. The big bridge at Empire with the boats laying next to it...that was REAL. Slabs with no houses, houses in the middle of the street...that was REAL. Furniture in the trees, a dead horse in a tree, a shipping contianer on top of a trailer...that was REAL. People knowing the parish as the only way of life and willing to return just because "that's the price you pay for living in paradise"...that IS REAL. They've come so far in 3 years and knowing/seeing what can happen makes me very unhappy. This is MY playground! Again N O T H I N G could have prepared me for what I saw.

New Orleans, LA (December after it happened).....I saw the pictures, I saw what happened on tv BUT seeing it and viewing it in person.......WOW. To drive down the interstate that housed people for days, seeing the debri that was still left...that is gut wrenching. To drive by the Superdome where people were told to go because it was safe...knowing what happened, that is gut wrenching. Driving by the Ernest C. Memorial Convention Center...seeing and knowing what happened there....UNDESCRIBABLE! The first thing I thought of was all of the people who (again) were told to go there because it was a safe place, dying, suffering, looting...what ever else they did, that was UNDESCRIBABLE. Parking next to the convention center, getting out and hearing.........almost nothing.....scary!

NOW just having come back from Crowley, LA (south LA) I got to experience just a little of what happens BEFORE the hurricane. Now people take the hurrican threat seriously. It is a very erie feeling to see most of the traffic heading north and you are heading south. It is a very erie feeling seeing (120 miles away from the potentional hurrican path) people at the gas station waiting 2 to 3 deep. It is a very erie feeling going to a shopping center where I've seen the parking lot be packed full on a Saturday afternoon and seeing it 1) empty and 2)stores with windows boarded up. To make even more chill bumps go down my spine, seeing the elderly in the nursing home being loaded up into buses so that they can be taken away from danger.....helicopters removing patience from a hospital.....and this town is 60 miles from the coast.

For those of you have experienced the aftermath of a tornado...imagine that EXCEPT instead of a couple of miles think of 40 miles!

Having seen what happens BEFORE and AFTER I have just a few thoughts:
1) When living on the coast is all you know and have ever done....that is a true dedication to keep going back OR just stupidity. That is a very fine line and one I won't ever understand.
2) Mother Nature is in control. You CAN NOT stop her, you CAN NOT wish her have to be the best prepared as possible for what she gives. If you do not take her warning and you survive then go ahead and subtract 1 of your 9 lives.
3) Go ahead and start thinking.....if I had to evacute how do I determine what will go and what will stay. What do I need it I cannot come home for days, weeks or even months.
4) Know that you are not in the recovery by yourself. When you least expect it someone (family, stranger, customer coming down to fish) will show up, volunteer and take your greif upon themself.
5) Hopefully one Katrina is enough. Even if Gustav is no where near as bad I PRAY that the people throughout the gulf (TX, LA, MS, LA, FL) will always be prepared. From Katrina forward any more deaths probably and should have been prevented.

Now that my neice & great neice are in Monticello for a few days, I am actually THANKFUL for being able to see what happens BEFORE. This will always bring a greater appreciation. Don't know I want to see if again, BUT if a family member/friend are in need I will GO WHEREVER at WHATEVER time is needed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Here we come

What do you call two ladies that are headed down to south Louisiana with Gustav headed that way? The first word that comes to my mind is CRAZY but since I am one of those ladies I will use the word determined.

You see my great neice Nora Claire was born last Wednesday afternoon and I haven't had the opportunity to be "offically" introduced to her. Jason and I were in Bristol, TN last weekend for the Nascar races. Thursday, Friday & Saturday night when we made it back to the house we were staying at the first thing I did was check for photo's of her.

Tomorrow morning around 6:00 a.m. Blake Burns (the "other" neice who doesn't get Christmas gifts) and I are headed out. We should be there by 11:00 a.m. Hopefully Nora Claire will be up and waiting but if not we are on HER schedule. Blake and I have already been tasked to babysit Saturday night for a couple of hours. I got the feeding and Blake has the diaper changing!

Now back to Gustav......I am about 90% for sure that Kelly and Nora Claire will be coming back with us for the week. Nobody wants them two traveling by themselves. Anthony will stay unless a parish evacuation is issued. The original plan was to leave Monday after lunch BUT now it is totally being determined by how fast Gustav moves. The earliest we will leave will be Sunday evening and the latest will be Monday mid-morning. We will not be traveling the main highways so hopefully the traffic won't be too bad.

A ticker tape parade for our arrival back into Monticello will not be necessary!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Hubby

Yesterday was Jason's birthday. We didn't do anything spectacular. Grilled hamburgers over at Rickie's. Jason's mom & dad, my mom, Haley & Abriana were there. Jason's mom made a fish cake for him and it sure was cute.

The spectacular part of his birthday happens next Thursday - Sunday. Thursday we leave to meet a bowling buddy of mine in LR then we are headed to Bristol, TN for the Nascar night races. The Bush race (not Bush any more) will be held Friday night and Saturday night is the Nextel race. We are in the Darryl Waltrip seats Section S Row 40. From what I can tell on the web-site this is half-way between turns. We will see everybody come onto pit row on one side and exit pit row on the other.

We've been to the Bush races in Memphis and have been to one Nextel race at Talladega. We are excited about it being a night race (cooler) and a short track. We will take plenty of pictures!

Now how will I top this birthday next year (40th).........Halibut fishing in either Alaska or the west coast!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

O O U U C C H H!!!!

How come it is that the time a toothache usually happens is on a Sunday when you can't get to the dentist?

I had a twing hurt yesterday but I did not think much of it. Well today the twing has turned into hurt. I have no ambesol at the house....I have no anti-biotics at the house. I have no MAJOR pain pills. The last time I had a pain that started out like this I ended up having a root canal and was in MAJOR pain for about 2 weeks. The sad part about this pain is I think it is coming from a tooth that has already had a root canal. Needless to say I will probably be getting into work early so that I can be at the dentist when they open at 8:00 a.m.

I sure hope it's nothing major because I have too much to do to be in pain for 2 weeks!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bowling With the Big Girls

I spent yesterday in Benton bowling in a women's scratch tournament. There were 16 ladies and I can easily say it was some of the best women bowlers in the state (don't laugh cause I was bowling).

I will start off by saying that I did not check to see if all of my equipment got loaded in the car. I got to Woodlawn and called Jason to see if he put my shoe bag in the trunk. He did not. This is not the first time I've left my shoes at home. When I had a 6-ball bag I had enough room for EVERYTHING. With going to a 4-ball bag I do not have room for everything. I know, I know.....leaving your bowling shoes is worse than a softball player leaving their cleats at home.

Upon arrival at the bowling center I paid my entry fee and then went looking to see if the pro shop was open so I could hopefully buy some shoes. Well the pro shop was not open and the guy at the counter offered me a pair of the house shoes. I told him that I did not mind paying for a good pair of shoes. Well he had a key and got me in. After searching for about 5 minutes I found a pair...actually in my size but white. I don't wear white shoes. I wear dark/black/fire shoes, but they fit, were comfortable and didn't need any breaking in.

With being out of state last week I got no practice and I've not bowl this summer. I got to bowl on the lanes with Rachael Perez. When there was a professional women's Rachael bowled on the tour full time. The first game I actually beat Rachael 247 - 215. The next game she bowled 300. She finished the last game with 279.

After the first game I was actually #1. After the qualifying 4 games I was seated 3rd (not too bad with no practice & not my own shoes). The field of 16 was then cut to the top 8 (double elimination). My being 3rd I bowled the 6th person. Well the game was not good for me. I kept sticking on one lane and (hindsight being 20/20) I really should have stopped and had them clean the approach. I got my a-- handed to me to the tune of 181-235. This put me into the loser's bracket. My next match I was able to slide and I started off with 6 in a row. Frame 7 I ended up with a split & opened. I had another spare and a strike in the ninth. I knew going into the 10th I had to have 3 strikes to shut my opponent out. Well I left the 10-pin, spared and struck. My opponent had to throw 2 strikes in the 10th to shut me out. Well she threw 3. I ended up (with one open) with a 226 and my opponent had a 243. Her two games after that was a 180 something & a 170 something (damn why couldn't she bowl that against me.) The first opponent that beat me ended up 4th and my second opponent ended up 3rd.

I hated to be the first person to get put do you go from 3rd to 8th in two games? I guess that is why they call it bowling and not striking & sparing.

All in all I am very pleased. Rachael complimented me on my bowling (I've taken bowling lessons from her before) and that made me feel real good.

SO, my new pair of WHITE shoes will forever stay in my car (just in case) and I look forward to our next stop. We will be bowling once a quarter and might even have a stop here in Monticello. If so I will let everyone know and maybe you can stop by and not only support the tournament as a whole but even show a little support on my behalf....I won't pay you though!

Monday, July 21, 2008

San Diego

Back in September at our company sales meeting the president of the company said that I could travel to visit customers. Well along with attending MACC in Norfolk, VA the beginning of June I am currently in San Diego, CA. The furthest west I've been has been Las Vegas and that was for about 7 hours.

Where do I start? The weather....I am not lying when I saw the temperature is in the mid to upper 70's and absolutely NO humidity. I am staying at the Holiday Inn On The Bay and am on the 12th floor and I have a wonderful view of the bay. The USS Midway (decomissioned) is stationed over to the left of the hotel and is currently a museum. Just in front of the balcony is the sailship The Star of India, which you can also go on. Just to the right of the balcony there is a Russian submarine that is also a museum.

Today was kind of slow. We (Mike Caldwell, no relation) went to the naval base to work on getting me a pass to get on the various bases here in San Diego. After about a 2 hour wait all of the necessary paperwork was filled out and my pass is actually valid until January 2009. We got to meet with a few guys today briefly (we will have our official meeting with that group on Thursday) and couldn't make arrangements for any more meetings. We had lunch in the GasLamp district, rode over to Imperial Beach, drove through Coronado and saw the Hotel De Coronado, drove over the Coronado bridge (very, very tall bridge) and finished the day by eating dinner at Anthony's Fish Grotto. I chose the Pacif Red Snapper and must say that I was not impressed. It is a very dry fish so I guess we will have to come up with some "wet" recipe to cook our snapper.

Tomorrow's day will start around 9:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. back home) with one of two visits. I will be meeting military customers that I talk with alot and have had the opportunity to meet at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans a few years back.

On Wednesday we are meeting with MESG-1. I've dealt with 2 gentlemen from the group for about 2 1/2 years now and I am so excited about getting to put a face to the name. Both guys are great to work with, easy to get along with and not to mention one of my biggest customers (presently speaking). We will be meeting with their boss also and taking them out to lunch. Even though I am excited to meet them I am very anxious. Now THEY will have a face to a name when they go to fuss about me :).

Also tomorrow my brother is having an arterialgram done at Baptist in LR. After the little heart scare last Saturday he was able to immediatley see a cardiologist who decided (due to our family history) it would be best to skip all of the "little" test and go ahead and do the one that will actually immediatley show what is going on. This is very hard for me not to be there BUT my trip has been planned since June and whatever will happen is going to happen if I am there or not.

Hopefully I will have more pictures to post before I leave!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Offshore Trip

Well I just typed my complete blog and managed to erase it. So here is a quick preview...

We caught our limit of 6 tuna within 2 hours and our limit of 4 red snapper within 30 minutes. It was a great "CATCHING" offshore adventure. We made it home with plenty of fish and 40# of 10-15 count shrimp.

All in all it was another great fishing adventure!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I need to post about our offshore trip but I can't seem to find time. Work today was sooo hectic. It usually is when I take vacation. I am the only person who handles the after-market parts sales so what comes in while I am gone stays there until I can get to it. My hope is to be caught up by the end of September. July 20th I am flying out to San Diego, CA for a week of visiting customers. I fly back on the 25th then on the 27th there is a Women's Scratch Bowling Tournament that I will be bowling in Benton. The first weekend in August there is a state youth bowling meeting in Cabot (may try to get excused from) and the second weekend we are having our annual state bowling board meeting (cannot get excused from). In the mean time I really think Nora Claire is going to decide to show up the week I am in San Diego. I may be wrong but I am sure feeling it.

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow night I will have time to post about our offshore trip.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Inshore Fishing

Well this is a day late but yesterday was.......HOT!

The morning started off by running into a few sprinkles. I will be the first to say that when it comes to fishing I do not mind fishing in the rain. We went to a new area that we've never been to but Darryl (our guide) is the export at where to go. That is why we hire him.

We ran for a few minutes and stopped to see what the water looked like. If the water is muddy the specks (speckled trout) will not bite. When we stopped we found muddy water. We headed to another spot. One thing you look for when you inshore fish is birds. Whever the birds are the bait fish are. Wherever the bait fish are the fish are. Well we found birds and we even found bait fish running. We caught 3 specks right away and then the bite just stopped.

We've been coming down here at least once a year (the past two years twice a year) since July 2004. I can honestly say that in all of our summer fishing trips it has NEVER been as hot as it was yesterday. The sun was out with no shade and there was no wind. We fished for specks for about 6 hours and we caught 30 specks. Some may think this is good but you can keep 25 specks per preson. We also caught 4 red fish (what we really like the best), 2 sheephead and 4 black drum. We did not catch our limit on any inshore species but all in all the day was okay.

I will say that we've become really spoiled with our inshore fishing, well I will go ahead and say inshore catching. You have to have days like yesterday to make you fully appreciate the hard days like today.

Here is a picture of a sheephead that Jason caught. YES those are teeth in that fishes mouth. It is the weirdest thing I've seen.

Trips of our offshore trip today will be posted tomorrow

Friday, July 4, 2008

2008 Summer Fishing

We left Monticello this morning at 6:30 a.m. and headed to New Orleans to have lunch at The Court of Two Sisters. The buffet LOOKED good on the internet. We had the Jazz Brunch Buffet. I was not overly impressed BUT the Bananas Foster desert was excellent. I would only go back to eat dinner there, but the restaurant was featured on the food network.

After eating lunch we stopped by the Southern Candy Maker.....their pralines and fresh made turtles are to die for. We also got some white chocolate macademia nut and toffe mix. OH MY GOSH!!! That is all I can say.

Upon arriving at our cabin our guide "uncle" Daryl was there. We visited a few minutes and it was decided he would be here in the morning at 5:30 a.m. As you can see by the time of this posting I am not going to get much sleep. There is ONE thing I can get up early for and fishing is it.

After Daryl left we unpacked and headed to the marina. We look forward to going to the marina so we can see how much has happened since last year. (NOTE: We were originally supposed to go fishing September 3 &4 2005 but Katrina changed our plan. We ended up coming down in December and had one heck of a CATCHING TRIP). While we can see progress I still say that it will be a minimum of 5 - 10 years before it finally gets back to "normal".

Well on our way from leaving the marina we noticed 3 gators in the slew. Jason stopped and I got a couple of pictures. The picture attached is of the biggest gator. It was about 6' long.

Well it is time to go to bed so check back tomorrow night for pictures of the day's catch...if we catch anything!

Happy 4th of July!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This weekend

Friday we ate dinner with my brother (Rickie). When we got home Jason washed his bike and I got on the computer. Jason was going to a bike & car show in Malvern. I decided that I was going and put my car in the show instead of working.

Saturday we got up and stopped by Crackerbox by Western Pines. For some reason I decided to check the weather channel on my phone. From about Little Rock north it showed a bunch of rain. After Jason saw the picture he decided that we shouldn't go. We then went and had breakfast at Lena's. I went to work and Jason went home. While I was hard at work Jason was having fun playing the Wii. About 4 I called Jason and he come up to help move my desk around. We ended up eating dinner in Star City at the bbq place with my mother and Rickie. As always the food was excellent. Where else can you go and order: 2 appetizers, a full slab of ribs, a skillet dinner, 2 deserts and 2 drinks and it only cost $42.00? Then Jason and I went to Wal-Mart to buy a new game for the Wii. We ended up buying the gun and the Trophy Buck hunting game. We also bought a cd/dvd book shelf. The hunting game is MUCH harder than what we thought. We ended up playing bowling, baseball and golf. I won the bowling, got lucky on baseball and Jason whooped my a.. on golf. We ended staying up till 11:30 p.m. Jason and I NEVER stay up that late. I guess the kid in us is coming out.

Sunday we slept until 8:30 a.m. and then I got up to make a grocery list. We ate lunch at Young's, went grocery shopping and then come back home. We wasn't going to do ANYTHING but we ended up sweeping/vacuuming the house and moping the kitchen floor. I am so fortunate that I have a husband that helps in every aspect around the house. We ended up watching the end of the Nascar race (Kurt Bush is a lucky s.. of a b....). My mom had to drop her car off at Earl's Transmission close to Star City so we picked her up. Rickie had invited us over for dinner. I made guacomole and he grilled hamburgers. Again, everything was sooooo good. Now we are at home and Jason is on the Wii (he has played it more than I have and it was his b-day present to me).

Next week at work is a short week at work. Jason and I leave July 4th and head to Venice, LA to inshore (Saturday) and offshore (Sunday) fish. We are staying at the cabin Monday to put up the fish (hopefully) and rest.

I really liked this weekend. I got to work (needed to go back in) and enjoyed some time just doing nothing with Jason. One of these days I am going to realize that work is not everything. Until then though.........

Sunday, June 22, 2008


We didn't get to mow yesterday morning becuase the grass was too damp. The yard we mow Jason bags the front & back. When the grass is damp it will clog his catcher...I went to work and then we went to LR with Rickie (my brother).

We went to 7th Street Tattoo first. I had 1 1/2 hour wait but it was worth it. My wrist tattoo is completed (will have pics soon). Rickie says he I failed to tell him about that portion of the trip...I thought I did. I have to remember he is turning 49 in December and his memory must be going. Needless to say he wasn't real happy.

Next we headed out to The Fresh Market. By now it was 5:30 and I am starving. It was like I wanted to buy everything I saw. We ran to Academy real quick for Rickie to look for new shirts. He came out empty handed but Jason got a wireless cooking thermostat he has been wanting.

We headed to Kobe's Japanese Steakhouse. The sushi was great, the soup sucked and the salad was a bit better. Rickie and I had the filet minon with fried rice and man was it good. We then went to my mostest favorite store BEST BUY!!! I got what I thought was SAW, SAW II, SAW III and SAW IV. What I got was two of SAW II and none of SAW III. Oh well. We looked for a WII (Jason is wanting to buy me one for my birthday) but they had none in stock. Besides their price is the same as our Wal-Mart. I got the new Madonna, The Offspring and Three Days Grace. I've listed to Three Day's Grace and will listen to Madonna tomorrow. The Offspring is for Jason.

We made it home around 11:30. We got up at 7:30 a.m. to go grocery shopping. We made it over to Mrs. Collins to mow around 9:30 a.m. and got through about 12:45 p.m. I am an unusual person. My soul is most at peace when I am either in a boat on the water or mowing. Tonight we had my mom, Rickie and Ked (neice) over for dinner. Since Ked will not be able to come to dinner Wednesday night (my birthday dinner) I decided to have something tonight. All was good.

Well it's off to watch SAW...........gosh I love those movies!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gotta Get Regular

The title should not be taken literally. I gotta get on a regular routine for posting on my blog, so starting tonight I am going to try to do post at least every other day. Since I am at work from 7 am to 5 pm (at least 3 days a week) I will probably do my posting in the evening after dinner.

Jason and I are mowing Mrs. Collins yard in the morning and then going to LR with my brother in the afternoon. We are going to start off at 7th Street Tattoo so that I can have my wrist tattoo finished out. Then it's off to my favorite store BEST BUY!!! We'll do a little more shopping at Fresh Market and then it's off to eat dinner at either Kobe's Japanese Steakhouse or Bone Fish Grill. My birthday is Wednesday so Jason says I get to decide.

I am going to try not to go to work on Sunday....but we will see how that goes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Bowling is over for this season and I've NEVER been so happy to be through. I've essentially bowled non-stop for 2 years now and I am sooooo burned out on it. This is hard for me because I LOVE to bowl. I am also on the women's state board. Including this weekend, 4 out of 5 weekends I've been in Texarkana for our annual state tournament. This is the last weekend for the tournament. Also, on Monday we will have our end of the year bowling banquet. I've made a promise to myself that I WILL NOT step foot in the bowling center until the next season starts (end of August/beginning of September). I hope that by this self-imposed break I will start the new season of bowling with a better attitude.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April 3, 2008

Finally figured out how to get back to my comments needed :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Work

Both Jason and I work for SeaArk Marine, Inc. here in Monticello. Jason works in the Engineering Department and I sell after-market parts for the boats.

Here is a picture of a couple of the boats we build in Kuwait

First Timer

Well there is a first time for everything. We'll see how this goes from here!