Thursday, May 31, 2007

virginia beach

Over Memorial weekend, Chris and I went to VA Beach. We visited his family, walked around the boardwalk and beach one night, swam a lot in the pool, relaxed, and had a graduation party for Chris. It was a great time (other than the fact that I got sick at the end of the trip and am still getting over it). Chris' family is great. I always feel like I can be myself around them. And they seem to love me just fine. =)

Now that we're back, Chris says I need to keep a VA Beach attitude. You know, happy. It's a little difficult still being sick and tired, but we're both trying really hard and so far it's working well.

This weekend Mom and Dad are driving out here for the weekend on their way to Oklahoma. Then they'll be back again over Father's Day weekend on their way back home. I'm making my "I need these things" list because Mom really wants to buy me stuff (no, really, she does, and if there's nothing for her to buy she'll feel useless). You know, bathroom rug and trash can, food processor, a house. Just kidding about the house. But I really do need the food processor. I tried making hummus last night and it was a disaster. The mini-prep processor (is it a food processor or not? I've decided not) didn't work with more than 3 ounces of chickpeas, and the blender didn't work with the hummus at all. So for now I have lumpy hummus in the fridge awaiting food processing. Then it will be glorious.

Friday, May 25, 2007

last night's dream

I had a dream last night that I got my Boston Terrier puppy. Not only that, but I had nothing for a puppy. No food, no crate, no toys. And I was freaking out. I made Chris go with me to a huge pet store, I'm guessing PetSmart (I don't know if there are even any out here) and I ran around all frantic-like looking for puppy food, which for some strange reason I hadn't researched, toys, and a crate, which I also didn't know anything about.

Good thing I've started researching how to train puppies. And, of course, I've researched breeds. I've even looked at photos and read about spay/neuter surgeries. Whew.

relationship budgeting blog

Some stats from this blog, Committed Unlimited:
  • The median household income for a family of four in the US is around $45,000; it’s been stagnant for several years.
  • About 43% of Americans spend more than they earn in a year.
  • The average U.S. household has over $8,000 in credit card debt.
  • Credit card debt in the U.S. has increased by 1/3 in the last five years.
  • On average, Americans spend $1.22 for every dollar they earn.
  • Americans now have a 1-in-6 chance of losing half or more of the family income in any given year, a huge increase from previous decades.
  • Personal bankruptcies have more than doubled in the last 10 years.
  • 78% of Americans have a major negative life event at least every 10 years.
  • A majority of Americans now have net worths lower than most people in the poorest African nations.
  • In Georgia, the state where I live, 1 in 422 homeowners is somewhere in the process of foreclosure. Foreclosures nationwide have skyrocketed in the last five years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Is my ex-roommate's birthday. Or would be? I'm not sure of the proper verb tense. I guess if someone was born on a certain day, even when they are gone it is still their birthday.

I will never understand why some people take their own lives. But I do know that it severely impacts the lives of those close to them.

I hope I can make Stephen proud of me. He always knew what I was capable of and would hold me accountable when I fell short while still encouraging me. I hope at some point in my life I can be that for someone else.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

photos from grant

One of my aunt's (Aunt Frankie's and Papa's sister). And a photo of Papa, his dog Hank, and Grant.

My family is awesome.

hard core folds fans

A fight broke out at a Boston Symphony concert. Ben Folds was the main artist. Crap. That really reduces my chances of getting him here.

my baby!

Not to be confused with my bebe.

My MacBook came in the mail! Chris helped me set it up. I'm SO HAPPY with it. The only problem currently is there's no sidebar when I open folders despite the settings showing they're supposed to be in folders.

It's quieter, lighter, faster, just plain nicer than my PowerBook G4 (5 years old and still running, though!).

I'm in love!!!


My awesome cousin (okay, ALL my cousin's are awesome, I must admit), Grant, lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He's my Aunt Frankie's son. He kept Auntie's bedroom furniture and his wife drove it all out here for me to have. (Next month when one of my roommate's moves out, I'm taking her room and will be able to use it all!) He and his wife also have 4 boston terriers. At Papa's funeral reception I mentioned that Chris and I want to get a dog (September or later), and he said they're going to try to breed and I could have one. Well, he didn't say "have" so we will probably have to pay for the puppy but I'm sure the price would be super cheap.

Chris and I have been looking at puppies and I've been reading up about breeds. A few weekends ago we played with a Bullmastiff puppy, a Maltese puppy, and a Shih-Tzu puppy. Okay, we would never get a Bullmastiff, but it was fun anyway.

The plan is dual custody. The dog would be with me one week and Chris the next week. And that wouldn't last too long if I buy a house in March.

Also, Chris and I know we won't have a huge place to live so we don't want a huge dog (not fair to anyone). But Chris doesn't want a little fluffy froo-froo dog. Although we both have allergies (in general, not really dog-specific), we were originally looking for a breed (or cross-breed, or mutt) that's non-shedding and has "allergy friendly dander". BUT, I've come to the conclusion that I keep my home CLEAN and having one small "average shedder" would be okay because I'd be cleaning a lot anyway.

So Boston Terrier it is (I hope!). We'll see how the breeding goes. =)

Oh, and the picture on this post is serving as my MacBook desktop.

suze orman

I'm reading her book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke and it's amazing. Easy to read and understand, great advice, and she totally understands the importance and long process of graduating college with student loans and credit card debt and getting a first "real" job with a tiny salary and having to pay for housing and pay off loans. She's convinced me to hold off on putting more money into my Roth IRA until I have a downpayment for, and buy, a house. So my current lease is up in March and I'm going to live as frugally as possible (although sometimes I wonder how much more frugally I can live) until then.

And I've been downloading and listening to Dave Ramsey's podcast from iTunes and sometime in the near future really want to go through one of his classes about investing and/or home buying. His "headquarters" are close by and he seems to know the way to invest and save and get out of debt.


Papa passed away a couple weekends ago. The trip to Oklahoma was the most difficult 4 days I think I've ever had. I think the biggest reason was seeing my family, especially Mom, so upset and I couldn't do anything to help. Apparently Papa was famous. Who knew. For a county with 2 stoplights (downtown), 1 small post office (where you only need to know a local's name and county and whatever you're mailing will get to them), 1 k-8 school building and 1 high school, and where everyone lives at least a half mile from their neighbor, the small church (14 pews) where the funeral was held was standing room only, and some people had to stand outside with the doors open. What a production, though. There was a viewing of the body and receiving of friends and family the night before (I will be cremated!). At the funeral a number of people spoke (including Mom, who by far did the best eulogy- despite there being 3 preacher who spoke- and did it without crying). People donated silk flower arrangements that covered the entire sanctuary (they even did a big arch over the casket). We had to view the body again. Then we all went to the cemetery and had a presentation of the casket and another prayer for the family. Then we all went back to the church for the reception (Dad made a slideshow on his Mac of pictures of Papa that was great). So many women cooked so much food. And so many people out there have little to nothing, but they still contributed beyond their means. And it was all because Papa did the same thing. We didn't know so much of what he did to help others because he was so humble. He was an amazing man who loved everyone and everyone loved him too.

Some great memories... we went to the barn with a milk pail and filled it with the barn kittens and Papa brought them inside to my room and I read books to them (I was only maybe 5 so I faked-read)... he taught me to ride a horse and saddled the horse for me every day so I could go ride when I visited... he let me ride in the pickup bed to go up to the mountain place or drive around the homeplace (the only times I was ever allowed to ride in a pickup bed)... he would write me letters (difficult because he was missing parts of 3 fingers on his writing/dominant hand) and include a stick of doublemint gum and 2 $1 bills... the last time I visited, he told me "never give in, never give up" and I hope to take that to heart.