Friday, October 22, 2010


Blogging has been difficult lately - life is very busy...

I went to the doctor this week. Blood Pressure is not very good. Borderline numbers. So I have been going to the nurse at work for a check every day. It is about 140/90 on average. I know it is weight related... Poo... They are doubling my crazy meds. Can't imagine why?!?

I have one of my insurance licensing tests next week. I took my pre-test today - 84%. Not bad - not my usual 90's but good enough considering. I will study my rough chapters more this weekend but I am not really in my normal panic mode.

I had been working on a decorating thing for Mellisa's volleyball team. The coach asked me a month ago to have decor for the final game (10/29) with a tropical theme. So - I have a huge Tiki hut made from 2x4's, huge trees (made from old 2liter bottles), tiki torches set in buckets and sand, tropical mini-lights, about a hundred flip flops made from construction paper for the walls - you get the idea. He decided yesterday to go with a Halloween theme. Yea - good thing he told me over email. I am over it now - but wow. I packed it all up and put it in storage last night. One day, I will have one hell of a luau.

I am chairing a Spaghetti dinner fundraiser/art exhibit for the girl's elementary school. That is coming together very well - great volunteers. That dinner is Nov. 5th. We should make money. I have one kindergarten parent that is getting my sponsors for our placemats - that's just pure profit there. I ordered cute red/white table covers from Oriental Trading. And I am using some glass floaty bowls that I already had (I think I have 12) filled with dried pasta and one of those battery candles (which I have to buy - but will be very handy to have for all of my little projects). Art portion is free - and the artwork is coming from the kids - should be very cute.

I met with my committee for the school board project. Luckily, I did NOT volunteer to chair that!!! Chris would have killed me. The committee I am on is making recommendations to the school board on how to improve college and career readiness at the early childhood level. Basically, it is tons of research and surveys all rolled into a gigantic research paper. Due date in March. Yikes.

Chris was a sweetheart and moved all of the bananas trees into our bedroom one of the weekends in was in Chicago (vaulted ceiling). It is very nice going to sleep feeling like I am in a paradise. Maybe I should hang the luau stuff up in there!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicago - Round 2

Last weekend, Mellisa and I had a wonderful time with Lee and Phil in Chicago. It really wasn't supposed to happen - as I somehow had the wrong weekend! So - two weekends in Chicago for me!

We went to Millennium Park - saw the Jellybean, the fountain with the faces and Clint Black at the Country Music Festival. Now, I am not a country fan by any means - but it was fun to people watch. Zillions of cops - and lots of pot smoke wafting thru the air. Gotta love it.... Saturday was prime shopping for mom and Meesie. Saturday night - Ethiopian food. Not much to look at - but wow - the taste was phenomenal.

This weekend - I am meeting Aunt Lynette and Betsy in Chicago - and all of us are hanging out with Lee and Phil again. Cannot wait!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walter Bond

COUNTRY actually hired an awesome motivational speaker!!! If you ever get a chance to listen to him - please go. He was funny, current, emotional - just loved him. He talks about his desire to become an NBA player - and all of the drive and determination that takes. He relates his life to business now but wow, it really struck home with me and the things that have happened in my past and with Kiel.

I wish Kiel could have heard him. I did grab a flyer and gave it to Coach Jones when he visited last night. I hope FSU is able to at least grab a DVD or something.

My favorite phrase he used - "Confidence is arrogance under control". That is what Kiel needs to hear!!! We used to be confident but have now crossed the little line over to arrogance. I can't wait till the season starts and someone knocks him on his butt and he gets a little reality knocked into him. It might not happen this year - but wait till FSU season. There is always someone bigger, faster, stronger... Big fish in a small pond comes to mind... I love Kiel - I love that he has this wonderful future - but I hope he doesn't forget himself...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's talk about gynos...

I am a pretty bold, forward thinking female. Not much gets past me. I am open, brutally honest and I think very accepting of other people (except stupid people - can't wrap myself around them). My life is an open book - and any topic is free range for me. I am not a private person. I am not ashamed of my body - although I would change a few things about it! I have always had open conversations with my daughter, husband, coworkers - whoever wants to listen. I will even openly discuss gyno issues.


One of the perks at my job is monthly sessions on health issues over the lunch hour. Today, there is a flyer for a lunch and learn on women's health and the speaker is my physician's assistant. I see her for everything. She listens and actually sits with me to discuss topics. But - I am usually in my little pink napkin (cause we know those gowns don't cover a dang thing) and in the privacy of a little exam room. She even decorated several of her exam rooms with a theme. I usually pick the 'beach' room - shells, muted paint shades, draperies, lovely chairs, etc. She makes those visits as pleasant as possible.

Anyhow - they are serving light deserts as well for this lunch. I dunno. I just have a hard time picturing myself having light dessert with my gyno. I won't be attending... Just too strange.... It would be like meeting your minister in a sauna or something...

Friday, September 17, 2010


This has been a long month.

Meesie is continuing to be the most awesome middle blocker on the planet - no bias there...
Kiel has given his verbal official to attend Florida State.
Alyx is the gymnastics queen and just about has her flip flop down.
Riley has applied to be in Student Council again.
AJ is still working - but about finished that degree.

You are welcome Christopher

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some agents... wow...

I deal with all sorts of people on a daily basis. Most of the agents and assistants are wonderful. And then - there are the ones that I never forget.

T. is one of them. Wow. He must have said shit to me 15 times yesterday. I was trying to walk him thru plugging in a router. Usually, this is a simple task - two or three cables - that's it. I could tell he was not a computer kind-of-guy so I went into elementary lingo (blue cord - yellow box, etc) rather than the patch cable or the port... You get the point. I usually handle these people very well - but this guy was just so frustrated and would not even try. So - I called a tech who said he could be there first thing this morning.

So - at 8:20, T is calling wanting to know where the tech is. I had called my tech at 7am to confirm - and he was heading out then. I told T that he would be there - he was coming. T said - well, so is Jesus!

You know - I didn't know what to say at that point.

Some agents....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School...

I can always tell when it is time to go back to school... The kids fight like cats and dogs OR they always fight like that and I am just sick of it! I am not sure which - but the girls have lived another summer...

Back in the day, I would stay home on the first day of school. I would make pancakes and take loads of pictures. Yea, that was a LONG time ago. AJ took pictures for me today... AJ is a smart ass....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The bedroom

Mellisa is hell bent on getting our master bedroom painted. Every single room in the house has been painted as we moved in with the builder's primer white. First, we had to unclutter. So, Chris basically moved everything he owned into a storage unit. Then, furniture rearrangement. Now, we are debating colors. I would love a darker brown (affectionately referred to as poo brown around our house) behind our headboard - and white walls. Then I thought molding would be pretty around the brown - like a frame (white around the edges). I have a lovely tree picked out to go on the edge of the molding -
Now - trying to talk Chris into it....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Busy weekend...

Chris arranged for the girls to have a sleep over on Saturday night. Both girls got to have one friend over. Then Kiel calls and says he is coming home on Friday and is bringing two players with him for the weekend. Chris and I had a party to attend on Friday night. Riley had volleyball on Friday night. Meesie and Sara decided to throw a going to college party on Saturday (luckily - this was at Sara's). AJ's bday was Sunday (yes, 25 - which makes me have more gray hair). This weekend required a lot of cooking and food (and pillows!)

Then Mellisa announces that she thinks we need a family picture done before everyone leaves again for college. So Sunday morning - we traipse to the photographer after dropping off the sleepover girls at 8am (getting four girls ready that early is NOT fun). We ditched the two friends of Kiel (which I am not sure even noticed that we left since they were still snoring when we got home).

Friday, August 6, 2010

The morning drive...

Chris and I carpool. We listen to various morning shows on the drive into work.

One of our favorites - well, it's more Chris' than mine - is the Bob & Tom show. It is juvenile humor that usually revolves around poop stories or boobs. Every once in awhile, they actually make me laugh - but usually, I am just amazed that Chris thinks they are funny!

This morning - very interesting topic. They were discussing fun things to do in your hotel room such as leave a chalk outline on the carpet for the maid - or police tape - things like that. Well, one of the listeners wrote in something that I am going to have to do. He suggested that you take Rain-X (it's a solution to put on your windshield for the rain to whisk away) and cotton swabs and write a message on the mirror. Now, the maids won't see that since it's clear but the next person that gets out of that steamy shower will! It was suggested to write something like - Did you find the video cameras? or meet me at noon in the lobby or something fun like that.

I may just have to try this!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Heat plus menopause - not a good combo

My, oh my, it's hot! I am not a hot weather kind of girl. I get this genetically from my grandmother.

I lived with my grandmother about every summer. She had a pool and I would teach swim lessons to the kids in the neighborhood. It was an awesome money maker and a great way to get a tan! I remember coming inside the house during breaks and turn blue from the cold! At night, I would have a zillion blankets to try and keep warm.

How times change... I am now the one trying to freeze people out.

I have a giant fan at work. My manager comes thru about every day and tries to be cute and either turns it around or turns it off or something. He doesn't realize that he is risking his own life touching my fan. I have warned him - I have witnesses. One day, I may just snap. And trust me, any female judge that has gone thru any type of menopause will let me off with a slap on the wrist!

Poor Christopher mentioned that he has a horrible runny nose. Hmmm... I wonder if it could be the ceiling fan on high in our bedroom - along with the pedestal fan at the foot of the bed - along with the little fan that I have next to my side of the bed on top of the ac duct...

And yet, I still sweat like a pig... Or is it glisten?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What were they looking for?

Our cars were broken into last night. I guess I can't say broken into as they were unlocked. We keep hoping that someone will just take the dang things!!! Anyway, Chris and I get in the ghetto van and notice that the doors are only pushed shut - not really closed. Then, everything that was in the glove box or in any of the storage drawers was thrown out. Curious. We thought maybe Mellisa was frantically searching for something?
Then - we notice the green car is in the same condition.
Now - we keep nothing in our cars. Not even CDs. I do have a package of Tums in there and some pennies but they were not taken.
We drive to work - and notice other doors open in the neighborhood.
I texted one of the high school girls - yes, her car was a mess but not even her CDs were taken.

I called the police - since nothing was taken - they didn't want to take a report. Jackie's mom is a little more demanding - she made them take a report.

Very strange - what were they looking for?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My cube life

I never thought I would end up in a cube.

I have gone thru lots of different "what I want to be when I grow up's". At one point, an oceanographer (I think that was because Roger wanted to), a pig farmer (Kip), a social worker, a teacher (even have that degree) but not one time did I ever imagine I would end up spending 7.75 hours a day in a cube!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What is this?

So - due to peer pressure - an entry!!!

Today, one of the girls I work with brought in a bag of these "cherries". At least that was what she called them. I didn't recognize them so I passed. Now, I am not a food snob - but I had not seen this 'fruit' before. I guess some neighbor of her's found them in the woods and gave them to her.

No one at work has seen these things before and I can't find them on the internet. Several people did say that they thought they were a weed that grows out on farms. I dunno...

Here is a poor picture. They do have a beige, flakey, thin paper-like outer layer that peels easily. Inside is a pinkish-greenish berry that is very sour (or so I was told).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Next time.... a houseboat

I have been around water pretty much all of my life. But lately - wow...

It all started 10 years ago or so when we moved into our house. Chris and I thought it would be a great idea to build our own house - I mean, what new couple doesn't need that stress on a new relationship? We found a builder who seemed to do great work. I guess that we missed the update that he was a former alcoholic who had recently returned to drinking...

It started with the flood. Make that two - nope, three floods. Two of the floods wiped out AJ's room. The third one was the doozie. It took out the whole basement. At least it was considered by the weather folks as one of those 100-year floods. In the process of developing our basement indoor pool, it was discovered that the egress window drains were never connected to the sump pump - just big pipes stuck in the ground. This would explain the one flood that made AJ's window look like a giant aquarium - that is, until it finally bowed out enough that it cracked. One day, we will get carpet down there again. This did require Lisa to relandscape and grade.

Then the outdoor water faucets. Generally, these are handy gadgets to have. Life is much easier when you can hook up a little hose and water the garden, maybe wash the car or let the girls run in the sprinkler. The back yard faucet went first. It froze and burst - again drenching AJ's room. AJ has declared that he will never live in a basement apartment. The front faucet froze and burst the following winter. This time, drenching the video game room (AJ's room was spared this event). The plumber that came did determine that the faucets that were used weren't exactly installed correctly and not insulated quite right - shocker.

At some point, we had to replace the sump pump. That quit working during some storm - which caused water to seep up from all over the basement. AJ keeps nothing on his floor now.

The hot water heater stopped working - had that replaced. That did not cause any damage - but it was water related so it has been included.

And then of course, the dishwasher has been replaced - that was only leaking slowly. And I can't remember if we are on garbage disposal number two or number three - but those are always fun to clean up.

And we are now current. Water - love it.

Chris loves fish. Chris has, or should I say had, a 75 gallon fish tank. We had just finished watching Hell's Kitchen (thank heavens Chris didn't miss the end of that!) Riley runs in the room - people are yelling - Alyx is crying - we run into the hall. I see blood and then water pouring out of the 75 gallon fish tank. Chris is grabbing towels - I am grabbing Alyx - Riley is freaking out - Mellisa is running downstairs with her friend Sarah to get AJ. The panic has begun. Chris yells - get buckets! I run to the garage. I have heard stories about moms with super-human strength that can lift cars that land on their children. Well, I think I had a brief moment of that strength. I ripped the door off of it's hinges. I guess I was in a hurry. Buckets are upstairs. Chris is trying to get the syphon going. AJ is trying to catch water with towels. Alyx is downstairs crying. Mellisa and Sarah are trying to pick glass out of her hair. Then the fire alarm went off. Chris looks at me - "HELL - we have a fire now??????????????" I run around the house trying to find a fire. Nope, the water is just dripping thru the ceiling into the fire alarm. Now, our builder spared no expense on that system. When one fire alarm goes off, the whole damn house goes off. So now the neighborhood knows that the Nichols house is in chaos once again!

Our drunk builder did neglect to tell us how to turn it off though. Sarah takes the girls and the dogs outside to save their eardrums. So, I am flipping fuses trying to find something to turn it off. I climb a ladder to pull it off the ceiling - it's electrical - Chris is afraid that I will get electrocuted. I yank the damn thing out. Sparks fly - whatever - I don't care at this point. Guess what, it doesn't turn off. NOTHING turns off. Who knew that the battery still would send a signal to the other fire alarms! Makes sense - but when one is panicking - logic is not what I use. Battery out - silence restored - except for the horrible ringing in my left ear.

AJ is sent out to find a rug doctor. And, as luck has it, everything closed at 9pm. Yes, 9. Don't people need Rug Doctor's after 9pm??????? Crap. So - more towels - and wait till morning.

Alyx is fine - just a bad gash and some little holes from loose glass. Meesie made cookies at some point during the fun - so the women will have chocolate. AJ's only comment was - wow, never thought I would see the upstairs flood...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's been quite a month...

Well, I have failed miserably on the blogging thing this month. Too much going on!

Hollin Reunion was nice. So many people were missing tho - very sad. I love talking with Darryl and Robert Bruce. They have always been the 'real' cousins that I could really understand. The kids had a blast in the pool and as always, our family went overboard with our theme attire. It's almost a challenge to me now!

The roadtrip to Alabama and Tennessee went very well. Kiel now has three "major" colleges to compare (USC is the third). Each has some positives and negatives. I certainly know where I want him to go now - barring any new candidates. One just stood out to me as far as academics and the coaching staff's honesty and eagerness to treat my son as a human rather than a piece of flesh. I hope he picks the right school for the right reasons. We will do officials in the fall with the signing in November.

The drive itself was long but not bad. I was very annoyed with Illinois. The roads are horrible all over but Illinois - who is broke and can't pay for schools, etc - has the only road construction going on. Now, I know that story - we are creating jobs - blah blah blah. BUT - they are laying off teachers left and right. I really would rather have students get the education that they need and deserve and let us deal with the potholes! Oh - we rented a car for the trip. Pleasantly surprised when Enterprise upgraded us to a Cadillac! Lots of bells and whistles and plenty of buttons to play with. We never could figure out how the air really worked - but it did work!

Lovely trip to Chicago for Alyx's birthday. We met Lee & Phil at the Science & Industry Museum - that was very cool. The guards were kicking us out in fact! We had to find the Fairy Tale Castle room (which was a slight disappointment). The girls are getting older so we can do some of the museums finally - the zoos were getting routine. We went to dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant - specifically for Chris as they have lots of vegetarian choices. Of course, he didn't like anything but I loved it! I was proud of the girls - they tried everything and actually ate quite a bit. The waitress brought baklava with a candle for Alyx's birthday. Lovely evening. I did tell Chris that it is not fair to be a vegetarian and a picky eater!!! Lee & Phil have the cutest flat. Very old building - very fun neighborhood. They are within walking distance of anything that they could ever need... Sunday - we headed to Navy Pier. We saw Toy Story 3 in 3D on Imax. My old eyes/glasses had a bit of a time with the screen but it was still cool and it made me cry...

Meesie is home from Florida. She went with her bff Sarah and her family. This is the second time they have made this trip. And, they go first class all the way!

Hoping that July slows down a bit. Kiel flies to Oklahoma for the Mullens Invitational Camp on the 9th - so he will be looked at by several more D1 schools. Other than that - I need to catch up on my gardening - it looks like a jungle!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My lovely hubby can cook too!!!

Aunt Janet brags about her gourmet chef (Uncle Marty) regularly - and some of the pictures are just mouthwatering! Well, kudos to my hubby last night. He made the most fantastic, flavorful dinner - and he should get extra credit as he could only eat/taste portions of the meal!
Grilled peppers - with balsamic marinade chicken - served with dilled corn, shallots and fresh basil...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Graduation weekend

Meesie's big day quickly approaches. And I, for one, cannot wait!

AJ's graduation - I cried like a baby. I was devastated. Kiel's - I was sad but happy for him and all of the exciting things that would be happening for him. Mellisa's - what can I say? The girl needs to go to college before harm is done...

I love Mellisa - and some days, life is good. Then there are days that I could just about kill her. Her mood swings are worse than mine if that's possible. It doesn't help that she was 'done' with high school back in September!

Anyhow - I look forward to Saturday - and I hope we both survive the summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ten years already?

Today is our ten year anniversary. I truly do not think Chris had any idea what he was getting into! But he has hung in there - and wow, what a lucky girl I am.

Lots that I could say - but I would just start crying (I think that's all I could do during the wedding too!)

Anyhow - love you more Christopher...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Myers Briggs

Two years ago - I took a class that 'typed' myself. I was supposed to use this information to help me become a more professional person - and work better with others.

If you follow my blog at all - you know that we have a very strained team that I work with. I tend to be the middle ground and keep the peace. Well, the situation had gotten so out of hand that our supervisor had HR develop a class just for our team. So today, the 7 of us got a refresher course on how to be a decent human being.

Lovely. Not sure it worked - and my, it was exhausting. I don't like thinking that hard about feelings and relationships. Just do your damn job and grow up.

By the way - I am typed as an ENTJ - which is the bitchy corner.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Big TB

AJ - what a big sweetheart with a heart of gold.

Just a quick story...

He was picking up one of his kidney dialysis patients this weekend. She was sitting outside on her steps - which he thought was strange as it was rather cold out. She told him that she wasn't going to treatment - she wasn't feeling well. So he helped her back in the house and left for his next pickup.

He drove a bit - then thought about a strange looking wet spot on the step. He drove back to check on her. Come to find out - she had fallen and hit her head and blood was dripping everywhere. So - he called 911 and waited with her for the ambulance.

Poor kid. Chris told me that AJ was just crying his eyes out. He worries so much about his people - and wondered what would have happened if he would not have come back to check on her.

What a sweetheart - the world is so much better because of him...

Friday, May 7, 2010


Just a quick run down of the kids for those that follow these things...

I have decided that Alyx somehow picked up Uncle Lee's gene for money. She is loaded. And loans money to her broke family. We have to sign a post it note - place it on the front door - and she expects the money to be paid back immediately. Quite scary actually. She even counts it when it is returned. Not bad for someone in 2nd grade that is just now learning about money. My only fear - when do schools teach about interest...

Riley had her end of year Student Council lunch. She rec'd a wonderful certificate and has it proudly displayed on the fridge. She loves the whole politics thing. Oh - and the cast that was a lovely neon orange - is basically black with orange flecks. I swear half the town has signed that thing. And softball has started and she is so cute with her cast and her mitt.

Meesie was with Travis - broke up with Travis - back together with Travis. I am sure today will bring a new update. Thank heavens for Facebook or I would lose track. I had to tell her Lincoln volleyball coach that our family was uncomfortable sending out letters to our friends and family requesting donations to the volleyball team (the girls were asked to send in an address list & names). First of all, I didn't know that we were still fundraising in college - crap. Secondly, times are tough all over - wow. Chris and I talked - we are just going to do our own non-hassle fundraiser and send in a check. It was not a fun email to send - and I am not sure how well it was rec'd but at least I was honest and I feel better.

Kiel is back home - for three days. He leaves for LA on Tuesday morning. In the future, I will be vetoing these little 'unofficial' visits. This one is costing about $1000. Or at least, he will have to 'unofficial' a little closer to home and stay in a tent!!

AJ has a new 'friend'. I haven't met her. I have only seen a couple pictures on Facebook as she is one of AJ's friends there. They are going to a movie tonite. A friend at work won two tickets to the Brooks & Dunn/Jason Aldean concert next week and gave them to me as she will be out of town. I am not a country music fan - AJ is not a country music fan - but his 'friend' is! So, they will be going to the concert next Saturday night. I told AJ if you really like this girl, you will do a lot of things that make her happy that might not thrill you. Compromise and giving are great relationship skills...

Monday, May 3, 2010

The garden expansion

The Nichols household officially has the gardening bug...

We doubled the size of the garden this weekend. We now have a strawberry plot, grape plot, a corner for blackberries, a larger herb garden, a tomato plot, an area for garlic and onions, a row for our banana plants and a small area for whatever looks good (probably green & red peppers).

Still have a lot of work to do - but the frame is in. I sprayed to kill the grass & the landscape fabric is purchased. Chris is going to order the truck of dirt and mulch this week for our delivery. I think we will need to buy a new wheelbarrow though... Good thing Kiel comes home this weekend!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Just a thought

I think I might need to create a new video game called "To Travis' House We Go"... It is driving game and along the way there are pitfalls...

If your energy gets too low from speeding, you fall asleep at the wheel - which loses game points.

And of course, there would have to be obstacles to avoid. Hitting them, of course, would cause point loss. A good example - a deer darting across the road. Total the car - end of game. Glancing blow (as pictured) - small loss of points.

A winning game would require a trip back and forth to Travis' house and still have a drivable vehicle.

Stay tuned for more ideas as I am sure there will be more revelations...

Love you Meesie...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


There are two things that I try and try again to cook - and fail every time.
Fudge - which just about kills me since I love it.
And frozen pizza for Chris.
I have been married for 10 years. Frozen, unique pizzas are one of Chris' favorite foods.
I have five kids for gosh sakes - and we have eaten a lot of frozen pizzas over the years - without issue.
Why can't I remember to take the stupid cardboard out from the bottom when I cook one of Chris' pizzas?
I make beautiful breads and pies, can entertain major crowds of people with appetizers and crowd-like meals, candy, cookies, cakes - but not frozen pizza?
Poor Chris...
It's a wonder he lets me even try anymore...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chris was gone again...

Long story...
We live in a fairly quiet neighborhood. Lots of kids - lots of dogs.
Alyx and I stayed home on Monday. Neither of us were feeling well. We watched Animal Planet all day. There were a couple of shows that I enjoyed. One was called "Its Me or the Dog" - very interesting dog training type of show. The other was a heart breaker but I don't remember the name. It is a show that follows the Animal Control people in Texas. One episode was the team saving over a 100 dogs that have been left to die after a puppy mill closed. Horrible - absolutely horrible.

So now - you know my frame of mind on Tuesday...
I went outside to spray dandelions in the back yard (I don't like whole lawn fertilizer too much - try to minimize that as much as possible). I thought I found a rabbit. Nope, it's a dead dog.

Crap. I squeal and run upstairs to Mellisa. She looks out the window - mom, it's a rabbit. Looks again - mom, that's a dog!

I have no idea what to do - so I call Chris. As usual, he is gone. I make him leave Alyx at gymnastics to come home and help me freak out I guess...

I want to call the police - Chris says - no, you don't call the police for this. I look it up on the Internet. People's dogs kill a lot of other dogs. Lots of lawsuits, etc. Crap. I am sobbing now. I don't want anyone to take my dogs away!

I called the Animal Control people. They were very nice and managed to understand me through my tears. They showed up about an hour later. I guess they got a call earlier in the day about two dogs roaming the neighborhood and they only caught the one. No tags - no collar. They take away the dog and will notify the neighbor that they found the second one - as soon as they claim the first one and pay the fine. They did tell us to watch our dogs for rabies as they doubt that these dogs had had any shots.

Those poor dogs are notorious in the neighborhood because they crawl under their fence and get out all of the time. We have even found one of them in our back yard before - which is quite a challenge as they have to squeeze thru the wood slats in the fence.

I am still angry. These poor animals had bad owners that just didn't care about their well being. And I can't blame my dogs - they are animals - and were reacting with those instincts.
The whole thing is just sad.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The oven

For Easter breakfast, I decided to not make our traditional, yummy egg casserole and try something new. I love Paula Deen and found a recipe for her French Toast casserole. What a disaster. It cooked an extra twenty minutes and was still a mushy mess. The kids will never forgive me for that attempt at change...

The casserole did make one giant mess all over the inside of the oven. Brown sugar and eggs - lovely.

We have only been using the grill outside since Easter but last night, Chris made the girls corn dogs. And I guess it smelled really badly.

I had a girlfriend over to chit chat and in the midst of her visit, Chris gets a wild hair to start the self-clean oven. Normally, this is not a big deal - a little smelly - but not too bad. I usually start it over night so we don't have to smell it.

Anyhow, Bobbi and I noticed that the kitchen was getting foggy - then down right smoky. Then smoke starts pouring out of the burner vent. What in the world? We had had some cocktails - so we are just giggling like crazy and yell for Chris and run outside so we can breathe. Of course, the over is locked due to the temp - probably a good thing that the door wouldn't open - but he did manage to get it shut off. After twenty minutes of us sitting outside - the door comes open. Aha! That's where my dinner was! I thought the dog ate it! I have never seen a chicken breast look like a small hockey puck. Chris just threw the little pan away and went to bed.

I thought it was the funniest thing.... Guess you had to be there...

Oh - and I come to work - in clean clothes mind you - and I smell like I have been at an all-night bonfire - hahahahaha!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I haven't written in quite awhile...

Several thoughts about rabbits.

The girls have the cutest game series for their Wii - starring Rabbids. They are alien rabbits - and I am sure there is a bit of the rabies reference in the naming as they are crazy. The worse that they do is steal peoples' clothing. It is cute. Definitely not the furry, lovable animal however.

Rabbits make Alyx break out and swell up like a balloon. We discovered this last year when the neighbor down the street was raising a couple for her 4H project. This was not a good thing.

Rabbits are annoying little pests that eat my strawberries. I had to use a very extravagant cover to protect my berries last year.

And then, last night.
Tanner found the nest. Tanner proceeded to drag one out of the nest. Alyx investigates and starts screaming - Mom - it's a rat nest!!! I go outside. Nope, I couldn't get that lucky. Infant bunnies. Fantastic. Riley - always logical - points out that the legs and arms are in different directions and there is a lot of blood and this bunny is going to die. Alyx begins crying - no, not crying - absolute hysterical sobbing. Riley is poking it with a stick. Tanner is growling wanting to finish the job. And yes, Chris is sitting at the White Sox game drinking a beer. Just great. Riley tries to throw it over the fence with a napkin. Tanner eats it. It's a fun evening at the Nichols household once again.

What idiot mama bunny builds a nest inside a fence of a home with three dogs??? And why in the world do I have one dog that always manages to find bunnies and drag them into the house while they are squealing for help? Why is Chris always gone when these things happen? Why is Alyx always the one crying and sobbing? And why is Riley so sedate over murder?

I just hope Tanner eats the rest of the bunnies while we are at work and school today...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mom guilt

Kiel really wants to go to USC. I really want him to stay in my basement and be a little kid forever. My friends can't wait for their kids to leave and have their own lives. I must have missed that parenting class. Or maybe I am just selfish. Who knows...

I know that Kiel would love southern California. It's beautiful. If I was his age and carefree, I would love to go too. But then that mom thing kicks in and I know that if he heads out there, I won't get to see him. And he probably will meet some wonderful girl - and then will settle out there. And then my grand kids would have their birthdays out there. And I would miss it all...

I know - silly. But these are the kind of things that keep me awake at night... I know - get over it. And I will - but I will be sad just the same...

Monday, March 22, 2010

For your reading pleasure...


What a week - what a whirlwind week...

This has been a week of utter amazement and pride.

Kiel has been so patient for so long - and it is finally paying off. He has been riding the bench for years - always waiting - always practicing - always trying to stay positive and support his team. He has dealt with fantastic coaches, crappy coaches, great teammates, crappy teammates and he persisted.

Weaker players would have folded and called it quits. He truly loves the game and so he kept waiting - year after year after year.

The sky is the limit for him now. He has become such a wonderful athlete as our family has always known he would - and our job was to remind him of that as much as possible. And it is finally happening for him. He has come from that last kid on the bench to the man that the team depends on.

I am amazed and proud and so happy for him....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tourney time

Kiel's first game of the tourney was last night - he was awesome. Coaches are very interested - several offers on the table...

But - a nice thing occurred on a different level. I was sitting in the stands, reading the program. I noticed that the company that I work for (let's call it CF) is a corporate sponsor of the event! I had no idea!

So today, I emailed the manager of the Danville area (his picture was in the program) and told him thanks for supporting NJCAA and to thank his agents for me as well. Then I mentioned that my son, Kiel, was participating in the tourney.

Well, I guess he forwarded my email onto his agents and I received some of the nicest compliments and congratulations. And then I get a text from Kiel a bit later and I guess the manager found him and talked him to a bit. The manager emailed me and told me that I had a very nice young man for a son.

That was the greatest compliment a mom can receive.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Yes, I know it's Friday and I should be super excited. Yes, I am going away for a lovely weekend with my daughter to the cutest little bed and breakfast. Yes, the weather is warming up and I should be giddy that I don't have to wear a big, thick heavy coat.

I have nothing to wear!!! Poor Christopher had to watch me try on about fifteen different outfits this morning. Nothing fits or I have worn it to death or I am tired of wearing black - you get the idea. I am NOT my mother's child. I am big - big - big. I am not the quiet, sweet, petite little angelic soul that she was. I am loud, entertaining, fun to be around and LOVE to eat. Now, typically, I can keep my weight at at the 'fluffy' stage (for those Gabriel Iglesias fans) but with my menopause and absolute hatred of exercise - I am nearing the 'DAMN' stage. Well, maybe not that bad but it felt like it this morning! And where the hell are my black socks????

But I made it. Twenty minutes late but I am here. I guess that is half the battle....

Monday, March 1, 2010

GO LYNX! (and Kiel)

I am not sure of their Regional tourney schedule other than it is the end of this week way down in Southern Illinois.

Nationals is in Danville (whew) and is March 16-20.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

He fwunked!

I spent quality time with Kiel yesterday at the hospital for more tests.

The first test was a tilt-table test. IV went in then they strapped him down and I had to leave the room. Twenty minutes later, the little Korean cardiologist tells me 'he fwunked'. Excuse me? 'He fwunked!'. OK - I have no idea what he is saying but he was just the cutest thing. I went back in the room - Kiel is laying on the table - white as a sheet and the nurse said he flunked. I guess they tilted the table only 70 degrees. Kiel handled it for 16 minutes then just passed out. He was coming back around when I came in - lots of IV fluids. Blood pressure bottomed out. So - this test told us that he has orthostatic hypertension. Basically, he needs more fluids, better diet and will never be able to stand at attention very long without passing out. If he has to stand for a period of time - or get up quickly - he will need to fidget or keep moving - not just stand still.

Echo was next. It was kind of emotional for me. I hadn't really 'watched' his heart beat since he was in the womb (awwww). That test took forever - and he fell asleep during that one. It was neat watching the heart valve open and close. I am not an expert by any way, shape or form, but it didn't look like a regular heart beat to me. There was an extra, smaller thump in there once in awhile - but then again - maybe we all do that?!?!

He is wearing a holter monitor now. It comes off at 11:30.

I am not sure at what point we get the results from the zillions of tests. I am sure that our doc has the EKG and the MRI and the bloodwork back - but I am not sure how long it takes for the tests from Monday to be 'read'. So - I will update when I can!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Go West!

West's girls bball team won the regional tourney last night - heading to sectionals on Tuesday.

Couple of things...

They played in Minooka. This is almost a two hour drive from here. The best part - we played our crosstown rivals. Yes, both of the Normal schools drove all the way up there to play each other. Craziness.

Second - google maps sucks. I went by myself on this little journey since it would be too late for the girls. I followed their map to a T. I even backtracked and drove it again. And again. Every time, I ended up in the middle of a corn field. So I called Chris - new directions - and I backtracked again to the interstate - and drove another 15 minutes up the highway and found it perfectly. Luckily, I left in plenty of time and only missed the tip off. Should have borrowed AJ's GPS.

The game itself was goofy. The three old men that were reffing were scary. I was worried that the school might have to use the defibrillator. They were as round as they were tall and had to have been in their 70's. Needless to say, blind as bats. Very lopsided fouls. Remember when your brother would hit you - and you would hit them back - and you would get caught and in trouble? That's what it was. They just weren't quick enough to see the first 'hit'!

Meesie is still out - doctor's orders. It made the celebration very strange and uncomfortable. Way back in Jr Hi, Meesie's volleyball team won the state tournament. Only 6 girls played in the championship game. Not sure why - that's just what the coach decided. So - it didn't really feel like the team won - just those 6 girls. And gosh knows the parents of the 6 rubbed it in every body's face - and called their girls the Super 6. Not a team oriented group. Anyway - that didn't happen last night but it still stirred some of those same emotions that we felt. Happy for the team - sure - but didn't really feel like a part of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What is this?

So - our department rec'd a box of 1000 of these 'bags'. The box was destroyed - it was obviously not supposed to come to us and UPS can't figure out who to return it to so they told us to keep them.

But - we have no idea what they are!

The notebook that the bag is on is 18x11. There are a zillion little perforated holes. It is made of a plastic material. It also has a sealed shape at the top of the round part. It is completely open on the bottom.

It's not a wide enough opening for a head. Too large for a hand. Strange shape for fruit or bread. I've searched in beauty supply, food supply. I give up.

Any ideas?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love the Olympics...

So, I am glued to the TV now. I love the Winter Olympics. I watch as much as I can.

Couple of comments...

I am old and tired and need entertainment. I fell asleep during the Opening Ceremonies about Albania's team introduction. I just need more excitement than watching the delegations walk around. Don't worry - I watched YouTube.

Why is Chris Collinsworth there? I understand Bob Costas - he's everywhere. I kept expecting some new football sport or something...

Mr. Button needs to not wear workboots when being interviewed. I understand that typically we see him from the chest up or just his voice. But someone should give that guy a nice pair of shoes to wear on camera.

Luge video. Wow - was that necessary?

Moguls? I hurt my knee yesterday carrying in the giant firewood bucket. That was one little mogul - how do they do that day after day after day? Every bump makes me ache!

Finally, the cross country ski/shoot thing. I believe it's the biathlon. I was eating my lunch while watching yesterday. Can't someone give them a hanky? That was just nasty. They had to have dehydration issues due to the massive snot loss! Use your sleeve or something! Gross...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trivia mornings

Chris and I carpool. And we tend to be a bit anal about what time we leave. For example, running late is ten minutes and we hate it. Good thing we married each other!

Anyway, we listen to the same radio station every morning - 93.3 The Drive. At 6:15ish, they give a list of 'items' that occurred during a particular year and then the callers guess the year based on three given choices.

This is a HUGE competition for us - and it is a blast.

This morning, I knew the year was 1977 based on the Queen song "We Are the Champions". We did that crazy cheer in the bleachers when I was in Jr. High. Chris knew the answer based on the Carter election. As usual, he gets the answers based on historical facts - I get the answer based on my memories of goofy events. But since he picked '77 first - I had to go with '78 (which was impossible since I was in High School then and was too mature by then for that cheer).

So, yes, he won. Whoop-e-do. I proceeded to roll down the window, get a nice supply of snow from the window and pelt him. I had a great morning!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Old term?

Meesie wanted to see a movie with her 'friend' Joe at 9pm on Saturday night. Now, normally this would be ok since she would be home by midnight but she had been very ill and missed two days of school that week. Chris and I felt that she should get some good sleep and maybe go to the matinee on Sunday before the Superbowl.

Matinee? She didn't know what that meant. We explained - she said - why didn't you just say the 2pm show? AJ even let us down - he thought it meant the midnight show.

Is that a term no longer in use? Are there just so many show times now that there isn't really a true matinee?


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Two for one

I need to make two updates today...

First of all - my AJ. I don't get to talk about AJ much. He flies under the radar and causes absolutely no trouble - ever. So - a bit of bragging is due. AJ is working the Polling place today. Not many kids his age seem to appreciate or understand the importance of voting - not to mention care enough to get that involved. So kudos AJ!!!

Now - to Kiel. Way back in the day before I became the voluptuous blonde that I am now (that's how I picture myself anyway) - I was fit and trim. I had these same type of black outs that Kiel is experiencing. Old doctor Veirs gave me salt tablets.

So - we take Kiel to his doc. Blood pressure is low. And he asks Kiel if he is restricting his salt intake on purpose as he imagines that this is a diet related problem. HAHAHAH I had been telling Kiel to eat salt!

BUT - since big guys are dropping like flies from heart issues lately - no one wants to take any chances. He had an EKG yesterday along with blood work. Kiel is THE biggest chicken when it comes to needles. It was quite humorous. And he lost more weight. He is down to 206 - which is pretty skinny for someone seven foot tall. He is scheduled for an MRI on the 12th and will have a 24 hour heart monitor on the 22nd.

All of this is just in case. But wow, it will make the mama feel better knowing he doesn't have that heart mess...

Friday, January 29, 2010


My workplace had a huge push for retirees recently. I think there were at least 30 that retired from IT alone. So, lots of cake - lots of parties - lots of Happy Hours! GREAT one last night!

I can't imagine working in the same place for 40 years - some of these people did the same job almost that same amount of time. I would get too bored - I need challenges - I like change - I like working. Retirement will be a foreign word to me - completely out of my grasp. Unless we win the lottery - I think I will work until the day I die. I am already worried that my night 'job' of volunteering is nearing a close. What will I do with my time? Iron? Mop? Clean grout? Sort sheets? ewwwww

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Interesting night

So - I journeyed to Kiel's game solo last night. The game itself was boring. The other team tried very hard but our bench even beat them. I think the final score was 101 to 47.

Anyway, Kiel's coach stopped me before the game. He mentioned that he needs to meet with Chris & myself as he is getting lots of calls from colleges already. He wants to narrow down Kiel's choices so he can just tell schools up front that he isn't interested. I teased the coach that he just didn't want to deal with the calls - and he agreed! So, we are supposed to decide small/large school, in/out of state, degrees, etc. Exciting! Last I heard, Kiel was going to stay at Lincoln the two years and get the associates and a bit more conditioning/strength and stats before moving on...

Then, after the game, the Spoon River coached stopped and talked with Kiel and me. He heavily recruited Kiel over the summer. Wonderful guy, young, full of ideas but his program was just too new and sketchy and we just couldn't risk it. He shook our hands and told us that he felt we did make the right decision by coming to Lincoln. He said he had no idea what level Kiel was going to be at and there was no way that Spoon River could have provided Kiel what he needed in a program. Shook our hands again and we told him thank you. Awkward but made us both feel very good.

It is very scary making these decisions! Hopefully, our next big one concerning schools goes just as well!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Great pic

Chris took this...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Awesome Game!

Kiel & the Lynx were phenomenal... Unfortunately - they played so well that the game was boring! Kiel's slam dunks were a highlight of the night...

Friday, January 15, 2010


Wow - I am just pooped. What a long week at work - followed by a long week of concession stands...

We have NOTHING on the calendar tonight. I wish I could say that I will collapse in a chair in front of the fire and drink wine but no.

First of all, we are out of firewood. I don't know how cold it's been, but wow. Usually the amount that we bought before Christmas lasts the rest of the season. I must have really turned the heat down this year! My dad would have been proud! Anyhow, we ordered a new delivery that will come on Saturday afternoon.

Second, the house doesn't get clean by itself. Why is there always laundry? It just never does stop. Too bad I can't talk the fam into pulling the old college method of turning stuff inside out and wearing it again!

So, I guess it will be sweats and chores.

At least, I can have some wine!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Bear

The family has a new member. Bear is a Great Pyrenees and the sweetest dog. His family had to give him away since their new infant is allergic to dogs. The poor owner, Matt, was almost in tears when he left.

Bear is huge - his feet are huge - his head is huge. And his coat is so soft - like a big blanket. This is a good thing since he thinks he is a lap dog! He loves to play in the snow - probably since he is hot! He is very protective of his food. He has a low guttural growl that sounds just like a bear for his warning noise. He seems to be adjusting well however. He came from a very quiet household to chaos so I am sure he will slowly get used it.

The girls love him. And he slept with us the first night (that was a VERY crowded bed). He slept on a sleeping bag next to me last night. We will get him a giant doggie bed tonite.