Dating Do's and Don'ts

Adam & I have compiled a brief list of first date "Do's" and "Don'ts" that we've learned from our vast dating experiences. So, whether you're a novice dater or recovering from a dating mishap or a slight incident that resulted in a restraining order... come to the table & learn.
Dating Don't #248
Don't discuss all your former relationships on a first date.

Oh my gosh, you're so sweet- Not at all like my ex-boyfriend, Dan. Ugh, Dan was the most jealous boyfriend ever. We went out for three years and he would like call me up if I was five minutes late and would be like, "What's your deal?" And I'd be all, "Nothing. I'm just a few minutes behind." And he'd be like, "Who are you with?" And I was all, "Just with Kristin." And he'd be like, "Are you sure you're not with another dude?" And I was all, "Ugh. Whatever, Dan" You know? I am so glad that we're not together anymore, you know? But that's nothing compared to Billy. OMG, Billy was so into himself I couldn't even handle it. No, literally, I couldn't even handle it for a second. He like wanted to marry me, too. Can you believe that? But I was like, "No way, Billy. You should just like marry yourself. Because you're completely obsessed with yourself." He used like five pounds of product in his hair. His hair was brown and spiked up, though, not like yours. You have pretty hair, though. Have you ever tried Paul Mitchell hair products? It would totally work for you hair. Oh my gosh, that totally reminds me of Brad, this dude that I dated before Billy. He's in prison now....

Instead, ask thoughtful questions to get to know your date and make him or her feel valued.


Greek Festival, 2008

Oh, Happy Happy, Joy Joy! I just saw that the Erie Greek fest is going to be July 11-13th this summer.

Greek Festival 2008. Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 4376 West Lake Road. July 11-13 2008
Back in my Erie neophyte days (aka last summer), Adam & I discovered this festival for the first time and it was incredible. Click here for the reminisce. You won’t regret going, fair neophyte.


Resume Builder

Hear ye, Hear ye.

I recently discovered a hidden gift that I have. A very special, rare gift. No, I'm not a parseltongue. (Anyone?) But, I can say that alphabet backwards, quickly. How did I discover this? You might ask. Well, I discovered it from an email forward. (yes, forward away! You might help someone discover their true life gifting!) A girl that I work with sent us a forward questionnaire that she had filled out. One of the questions was, “Can you say the alphabet backwards easily?” And she had responded “Heck no. That’s creepy!”

I giggled at her response but then I decided to give it a try. Maybe I can say the alphabet backwards. And guess what? I can! I’m pretty fast, too! Too bad it’s not a “marketable skill.” Still, do you think I could put it on my resume?

Do you have any stupid human tricks?


The Venus Williams of Badminton

Our small group from church had a cookout this week. It was at Heidi’s house & everyone brought fixins and we grilled up some hamburgers and hotdogs and tofu (yes! We have another tofu lover in the small group! Sharon actually has a funny story about how she became an ‘accidental vegetarian’ for 3 years! Now she's a carnivore again.)

The best part of the evening, though, was the badminton. Yes, Heidi & Shane have a badminton set in their backyard& we played all stinking night long. I am thrilled to report that the girls dominated the boys (well, technically, Heidi dominated the boys- she’s really good! She's the Venus Williams of badminton.) Badminton is funny- I feel like I should be in a long ruffled skirt with a white pirate blouse and my hair in a bun. You know, like in those old, black and white photographs from the 1800’s. No? Anyone? Bueller?

Anywhoos, the night was refreshing and it was so good to just be together and visit and laugh. You know, life is serious, sure. And we’re going to walk through difficult and challenging times together, true. But I highly value simply having fun and enjoying a 70 degree summer night with other believers. And hitting around the badminton, of course. I think Jesus and his disciples may have done that a time or two…


Miss Manners- touche

I love reading Miss Manners because she is just so darn funny- satire of a Steele Magnolia, I tell ya. I came across this "dilemna" the other day and had to laugh at Miss Manners' reply:

Dear Miss Manners, This is not exactly an earth-shattering problem to have, but I know there must be a better way to handle this particular situation. What should I say in response to a compliment about my looks? I'm not a super-model or anything and I don't have a great body, but I've had several people tell me I have a pretty face. A lady at church said it recently and I just went blank. Strangers even will say in passing how pretty I look.

I feel terribly awkward when this happens. I want to say thank you, but that feels wrong because I didn't do anything to look this way. Do you have a suggestion for a kind way to acknowledge the compliment in a sincere manner without sounding like I'm getting a big head?

Gentle Reader, No, you don't want a big head, Miss Manners agrees. That would be unbecoming. So you want to watch out for the danger signs, and one of them is taking compliments too seriously.

That is what you are doing when you feel the need to explain that the work of art that has others enthralled is not actually of your creation. To be told that you have a pretty face is very nice, but a mere pleasantry. You need only reply, "Thank you." It is not necessary to point out that you did not make it on your potter's wheel.


Three Beautiful Things

1. The first day lilly of the year blooming in our yard.
Hopefully, many of it's friends will follow.
(Just ignore that sprinkler in the background...)

2. Now that we have Pennsylvania plates, we gotta show our loyalty & love to the great state somehow!

3. Oh, Lord have mercy. That is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  AND making mexican food!
(The apron was my suggestion... if you're going to do it, go all out!)


A Heartbreaking Tale?

If you watch nature long enough, it'll turn ugly.

My mom has spoken these words enough to where they were the first words that came into my mind as I watched this horrific scene this evening.

So, Adam & I are walking Powers- out enjoying a nice evening. Suddenly, we see this tiny baby bunny come running down the street in front of us. There is this huge black bird trying to pick it up with it's claws. And the tiny, baby bunny is doing this: "Eek! Eek!" really loudly and running like mad. Then, another big black bird joins it and is trying to pick up this little cutey baby bunny. This cannot be! I try to yell and clap my hands to scare the birds away (we were about 30 yards back) to no avail.

Oh, no! What were we to do? How could we save the bunny?

Reading my mind, Adam says, "Do it, Cam."

Immediately, I take off sprinting at the birds, waiving my arms madly above my head and yelling jibberish. Finally, when I get about five yards away, the birds take off and the bunny runs away into another yard! Victory! I saved the bunny! Run little bunny, run and chase your dreams!

Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, this stupid huge black cat appears and scoops the baby bunny up into it's mouth before little baby bunny can dive into the bushes while the bunny yells "Eek, eek!" I try to scare this cat away but it's too fast and runs into the neighbor's backyard.

Terrible, right? Sure, I thought so at first. There may have been some moistness in the eyes. Until I discovered what had really happened. See, after thinking about it and pondering it and bringing it back into conversation every 30 seconds, I finally discovered the true story in my heart: See, the cat was waiting there to rescue the bunny! As soon as he saw the birds, he wanted to help the teeny-tiny baby bunny so he zoomed over to save the day. But then when he got close, he suddenly had a flashback from his childhood- a big black bird attacking his baby sister. It was horrifying. The cat was paralyzed with fear and remorse and doomed to sit and watch the big black birds finish off the teeny-tiny baby bunny. But then, suddenly, I ran up and scared away the birds away. Recovering from the trauma, the big, black cat decided to scoop up the bunny in case the birds came back. Then the big black cat, who'd recently discovered that she was infertile and couldn't bear children, decided that this bunny was a gift from God and excitedly ran home with it to raise baby bunny into a humanitarian bunny who loved all living creatures and eventually will become a U.A. (united animal) delegate from Erie, bringing into effect many earth-changing laws and finding a way to cure cancer.


Poll Troll

So, the Harry Potter poll didn't go as well as anticipated. Although Harry did pull out a win for which Harry Potter character you'd most like to grab a cup of coffee with (how original), it was the lowest voted-upon poll yet!

I tell you, if you'd people try it then you'd love it! Remember my story?

Regardless, there's a new poll coming soon. Get your frog giggin' shoes on.


Check out the new poll located under the ad to the right- it's a dialect survey.  


IntraGenerational Ramblings

Thanks for all the ice cream information, people. This give me a good list of places to try. Currently, my favorite is Cold Stone. Yes, I know it's not exclusively Erie. However, if you go there and get a chocolate devotion but tell them to take out the chocolate chips and add oreo crumbs instead, you will know why it's a chain. Trust me.

I find being officially in the last half of my 20's (1st half is age 20-24, last half is 25-29) to be an interesting season. When I was in college and even shortly afterwards all of my friends were in the same(ish) season of life. We lived in community with people like us- girls with roommates, usually in school, maybe someone was dating someone but life was pretty consistent across the board. Now, those same girlfriends are married, single, dating, pregnant, stay-at-home moms, powerhouse career woman, and everything in between. It changes the dynamics of your relationship, too, being in these different seasons.

Talking to a friend in the same exact season as you may come more naturally. I'm sure moms experience this- it's easy to talk about what's going on with your kids. Wives might experience this talking with other wives about balancing work and home or what to cook for supper, etc. Sometimes I feel like a boring old broad talking to my single friends. I love hearing about dates and concerts and roommates but it's hard to express how me and my husband just had so much fun at the grocery store. Yes, I've officially become that woman.

I don't want to be only friends with married people who don't have babies, though. Yes, I think it's important to have friends walking through the same season as you are but I hope that I embrace diversity amongst my friends. It takes a little extra effort and it doesn't come always come as naturally but it's definitely worth it. Each woman in each season has wisdom and gifts to share and tribulations to walk through and burdens that need shouldered by a friend. I'm thankful that, regardless of our earthly circumstances, we're all in the same boat- in need of a Savior, passing through an alien land, and looking for meaning and purpose in life. I think when i put on my "eternal perspective" goggles (Target, $13.99), I see us folks down here with a lot more in common than I may be prone to normally think. Jesus brings the generations, seasons, and stages together and unites us under a common banner. We're sinners. He has redeemed us by his blood and called us unto him. Our goal is to know Him and to make Him known.

There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us
I Cor. 12:6 NLT


Summer Storm

I'm sitting on the couch watching a summer storm roll in. The wind has kicked up and everything outside is a weird shade of green. Definitely thunderstorm time.

I love a good summer storm at night. If it had been during the day, I would've been sad as Adam & I are definitely "Daytime People" and love soaking up the outside during the sunshiney hours (with appropriate SPF, of course). Today we took Powers out to the lake, along with Brooke, Freeland, and their two great danes. It was perfect weather and the dogs swam until they were tuckered out. I'm really thankful to have friends in Erie enjoying their first year here. I think we're going to experience a lot of new Erie things that we take for granted or wouldn't get out and do.

For example, until last night we hadn't been to JR's (also known as Juniors... I suppose). If you can, you should go and hear Josh Sneed. You may need to wear Pampers or Depends, though, because you may wet your pants. He's funny, folks.

Also, we're on a hunt for the best ice cream in Erie. Any suggestions for ice cream or gelato?



I'm a bit too tired to post very much tonight.

We went with Brooke & Freeland to JR's comedy club (Which I thought was pronounced JR's and I learned was pronouned Jr.'s. Whoops!) It was HILARIOUS. Maybe you're thinking, "Duh. It was a comedy club, what'd you expect?" But really? I didn't have very high expectations. Our drinks & food were yummy and Josh Sneed was a hoot.
Student Dr. Jennings, is laughing really the best medicine? If so, I think we could bottle our laughter from tonight and sell it for at Walgreen's. Oh, ha ha ha ha. Lame.

Anywhoos, then we went to State street where they were having a hot rod/car show. It was so much fun for two reasons:
1. Really cool vintage cars lining the street for blocks and blocks (we even saw a few wagons!)
2. FANTASTIC people watching

I'm off to bed but you should check out J.R.'s if you have the chance ( I refuse to call it Jr.'s)


Aunt Camille & Uncle Adam


Joe Root's Misfortune

We ate at Joe Root's grill last night with Josh & Bethany. Have any Erie folks ever eaten at Joe Root's Grill? Here's the real question: Have you ever read the story of Joe Roots on the back of the menu? Let me give you the Readers' Digest version:

Joe Roots was a teenage runaway who lived on Presque Isle, killed animals with rocks, showed up uninvited to peoples' picnics and made his hat talk to their children (He dabbled in ventriloquism). He also wandered into bars and shared his business ideas (a balloon factory that could transport people to Canda and a feather factory being amongst his most famous) for a free drink. Eventually, he got into some trouble and ended up in the Mentally Insane Institution, I believe they called it. He died there longing to be reunited with his beloved Presque Isle.

Delightful story! Let's eat!

City Deer


This morning, I was sitting there, sipping a cup of coffee and reading in the living room alongside Powers and Adam when, suddenly, I looked out the window and gasped. "What?!" Adam said.

"I think I just saw a deer running down our street!"

Sure enough, a fawn was running down our street with it's long gangly legs galloping about (It strangely resembled Oliver, Brooke!) We took off outside and saw it run down the street and over the hill and disappeared. Strangely enough, it did not come to us when we called it. Weird!


Real Love

My mom retired from being a CPA when I, the youngest child, was in high school. A driven, type-A, fizzer of a woman- we wondered what she would do with her time. During those years, I was running crosscountry and Mom began to revisit running after a long hiatus when I was a freshman in high school. Because she's a hard worker and never half-way does anything, she improved quickly and soon found a group of women to run alongside.

These women are a hoot! They have run together for years, training for and completing several marathons. These ladies have all been there for each other's kid's weddings, for funerals, for hard times, and loads of good times. Nothing is off limits when it comes to these women and you can probably hear them laughing a mile down the road. One of them, Mrs. Lisa, has breast cancer. She recently began undergoing chemo and now has a shaved head to go along with her sweet smile. Well, the running women got together and showered her with scarves and fun hats and even decided to go beyond that.

Click here for the full story from my Mom's blog.

I hope that my girlfriends and I live like that- it reminds me of Steel Magnolias, ya know? It's an amazing story of community and really living out love for each other.

Selective OCD

My dear old young mom posed a question on her blog today. Who is more OCD, men or women? I say- it depends. My husband, God bless him, but my sweet husband can go for weeks without replacing the empty roll of toilet paper. He'll just plop a new roll right above the old cardboard roll thingy sitting beside the toilet. He could live in a bathroom full of hairs and spills and dirt. It wouldn't bother him- he wouldn't notice. BUT take one look at his fly fishing gear and you'd think you were in a museum. The stinking Guggenheim! His gear is always organized, always spotless, and always perfectly put away. He could spend hours organizing his fly-tying equipment or putting away his bicycling stuff or camping equipment. So I guess he has selective OCD?

(But I wouldn't trade him for the world. He is wonderful. You can't have him!)

SIDENOTE- at my gypsy tea house, I would play Martin Sexton music at least 75% of the time as I believe it would be conducive to my creative, welcoming, diverse, thoughtprovoking, peaceful, fun coffee house mojo. Plus, we really like it.


Camille's Gypsy Tea House

Okay, due to recent ramblings that this blog may be turning into a Harry Potter tribute blog (hem, hem), I shall post about something else. I’ve always had this little idea in the back of my mind that, if I were to ever start a business, I would open the following:

A tea house. It’d have some catchy name like Camille’s Gypsy Tea House. Have you ever been to the Mad Hatter’s Tea House in San Antonio? If yes, then okay, kind of like that. It needs to be Bohemian but not too much so. I’d want it to be a “cool” atmosphere, but not “too cool” so that if you don’t have on black converse sneakers and a discreet band name on your shirt, you’d still feel welcome. You know what I’m talking about.

I’d want it to be an inspiring place, like when you were there you’d want to pull out a journal and write or whip out a sketch book and draw. I’d want it to be a welcoming atmosphere, lively but peaceful. Oxymoron? I think not. I’d also want a backroom there where you could have little get-togethers like showers or brunches or random things like that. But it wouldn’t be just a girly place, no sirree Bob. And just because it’s a tea house does not mean that we wouldn’t serve coffee, mkay? Coffee indeed. Oh! And there would be awesome curtains on the windows. Like 1920’s paisley prints.

Oh, and we’d have not just normal plastic tables but a conglomeration of eclectic tables and really comfortable couches and lots of lamps.

Oh and one night we'd have to have like an open mic night so that people could come up and play their guitar or read their poetry or do an interpretive dance. Hmm, maybe not so much on the interpretive dance.

Anyone want to fund the invention of Camille’s Gypsy Tea House? Any takers? Free coffee for life?

P.S. This is what all the mugs would look like

Classy, no?


Three Years Ago, Today

Since I am feeling sleepy & uninspired tonight, I leave you with a post from my former xanga blog- dated three years ago from today. The date was June 16, 2005. I had just graduated from Baylor and was living with some crazy girls in Waco, Texas, dating this cute guy named Adam, and working at a t-shirt shop. And...action:

September 16, 2005

t.g.i.f. ahh, full house, family matters, dinosaurs, and step by step. what a killer combination, eh?

well since yesterday was me and adam's official "half year" mark (Since our 1st date anyway) tonight we celebrate. ironically, i always made fun of people who kept up with the longevity to the day of their relationship. but now i am she. not on purpose. i just happen to know it. and 6 months ain't too shabby! anyways, i plan the date tonight so i'm thinking a little 1424 restaurant with our favorite waitress, the latin sensation, and then maybe some new road bingo or maybe just some good old fashion tortilla tossin'. classy, i know.

in 2 weeks i'll be in florda for 3 days with my favorite family and i'm so excited. my only perpetual fear is jelly fish. i hate those guys. my nephew got stung last year when he had just turned 4 and then asked us "(sniffle) was it a good jelly fish or a bad one?" got to love that childhood innocence.

i think we've picked a triathalon. its in texas on october 2nd so that ought to be exhilarating/the death of me. just kidding

okay go love on folks and have a great weekend, friends!

Oh, my xanga blog. I wasn't quite as consistent with you, friend. So sorry. Blogger, I promise that I'll be better to you.

P.S. Just so you know- that triathlon did kick my butt. But we finished. And I cried during the last leg. The end.



To the Dads who taught us how to work hard, love family, get up after you fall, seek God, drive, grill a perfect steak, enjoy red meat, live with integrity.

To the Dads who were there at our games and races, sat through class plays and productions, told us bedtime stories, and tickled us til we almost wet our pants (or did!)

To the Dads who waited up for us, disciplined us when we needed it, and hugged us afterwards...

For all that and so much more,

we are thankful for you Dad & Mike!

Adam & Camille


The Myth of the Self-Made Man

Tonight at church, Pastor Mike talked gave a great sermon from James. As he spoke about his 1-year-old grandson and his grandson's complete dependence on all his caretakers, I thought about if there really was such thing as a self-made man. I don't think so. I know that Adam & I are 100% benefactors of #1- the goodness of the Lord and #2- the love and support of our families and #3- the generosity of the church and our friends there and #4- people I don't even know who have sacrificed for freedom's sake. I hope that Adam & I always remember that and never regard ourselves as self-made, victors by the work of our hands.

I don't think any man is self-made but, supposing there was, even if you were kicked in the face from day 1- there was not a man for you and you toiled and labored against 100% oppression, what are you making your self into? What is the purpose, the goal of the thing that you are striving after? I laugh when I think of my dreams apart from God. My greatest dream for myself was probably being liked. That's how I lived my life anyway. Lame. As Pastor Mike said, God's dreams are greater than our dreams. It's unbelievable that he invites us to be a part of impacting eternity. That instead of money, fame, or fleeting comforts, he offers us a chance to get in on his dreams and be used by him to love the unlovable and seek justice for the oppressed and see the hurting people healed and see the lost saved.

What's more unbelievable is how many days that I walk away from those dreams and pursue comfortable (read: Fleeting) things. Some days, I pursue nothing! I just glide along like a ninnymuggin. What a waste. Thank God that his mercies are new every morning and after a day where I lose vision and I glide along aimlessly, I can wake up the next morning and he's still inviting me to join Him and be a part of something eternal.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "
-Matt: 6:19-21


Poll Results

Okay, the poll is closed and it appears that your favorite summer activity is...

a 3 way tie. Wow, how anti-climatic. Still, the winners were

Grilling in the backyard (24%)
laying in the sun (24%)
Gardening (24%)

Um, wow.

I am sure that chasing the ice cream truck & summer reality t.v. are so hurt by their 1 votes apiece. How rude.

So, here's what we know about the readers so far aside from their favorite summer activity.

Favorite ice cream: Peanut butter cup (Shocking, i Know.)
Favorite destination: Ireland
Favorite... something: Um, Something

What was that first poll that we did? Anyone remember? Anyone...

Check back in for a new poll coming soon!

Powers & Rooster

Powers: Hey, Rooster.

Rooster: Hey, Powers!

Powers: Got a joke for ya

Rooster: Okay, shoot.

Powers: Why did the roman chicken cross the road?

Rooster: (Sigh)...for the last time...I'm a rooster, not a chicken.

Powers: Pot-ay-to, Pot-ah-to, why did the roman chicken cross the road?

Rooster: Um, I don't know.

Powers: She was afraid someone would caesar.

Rooster: ...

Powers: No? Nothing?

Rooster: ...

Powers: Um, want to go to Chic-fil-A?


Sunset Music Series- Night 1

Last night, we took our newbie Erieites (spelling?) to Presque Isle for the first Wednesday of the Sunset music series. Future Dr. Jennings parked us a good mile away from the actual concert but hey! Who doesn't like a good walk? (He knew there were closer spots- he just wanted to make sure that we complied with the government recommendation for 30 minutes of exercise a day, right, Adam?)

The concert was fun. There were loads of people at the beach spread out all along the sand on their beach towels and lawn chairs. The band (Duke Sherman blues band) was really good. The peoplewatching at these events is spectacular. (As in watching people at these events is fun. Not as in the actual people who are watching this event were fantastic. Although they are, I'm sure.)

First off, this kid in front of us dug the most gigantic hole that I've ever seen dug at the beach. Apparently blues music makes him want to be in China?

And, oddly enough, the sun really does set during the Sunset Music Series.

Okay, enough sunset pictures. These are our people. The newbie Erie folks. Brooke & Free.

We were kind of far back but you could still hear the music really well. Sadly, because of our proximity, Freeland's goal of ending up naked on the stage by the end of the night was not met. He was just kidding... we think.

Me & my absurd glasses with my wonderful hubster.

I also have a picture of the most sunburned person ever but I need photoshop so that I can blur out faces. Otherwise, I feel kind of bad posting a picture of severely sunburned stranger. He was in need of some serious Aloe.

All in all, a great night. There are still 5 Wednesday nights left in the music series so head on out if you're so inclined. There are lots of families and some people even bring their dogs (on leashes, of course). So, maybe I'll see you at the next one!


A Conversation Between the Decades.

Lately, when I'm frustrated or upset about something, I clean. Now, if you saw my house, you'd probably say, "Hmm. She must not be frustrated or upset very often." Hardy-Har. I don't know why I do it- My 15-year-old self would kick my butt for cleaning when I'm upset. In fact, here's how I'd imagine a conversation would go between my 15-year-old self and my present day self. For future reference, I will refer to 15-year-old Camille as 15C and present Camille as 25C. Okay:

15C: Hi 10 years later Camille. Wow, you've got little lines around the outside of your eyes. What are those?

25C: Shut up, 15-year-old me. That's not why we're here.

15C: Right, oh right. It's because of this cleaning when you're angry business. What are you doing?

25C: I don't see what's so wrong about it. I mean, I'm doing something productive with my frustration, right?

15C: Um, sure, but that's not the point. Don't you remember how to throw a big tantrum? Don't you remember how to stomp upstairs and slam the door? You're turning into... mom!

25C: Blimey. You're right. That is something that Mom would do. What's happening to me?

15C: Exactly. Okay, you're seeing the light. Let's take this thing a little farther- Why are you cleaning?

25C: Honestly, it probably has something to do with a pity party? Like, woe is me. I'm frustrated and now I'm cleaning too. Nobody mind me. I'll just keep cleaning and working until I die.

15C: Oh, so it's kind of like when I say, "Fine! I'm not hungry! I just won't ever eat again!" I can get behind that- a good pout is all that business is.

25C: Okay, glad we can agree. Also, I'm sure you're glad to know that you haven't really grown up any 10 years from now.

15C: Yeah, except for those lines outside your eye.

25C: They're laugh lines!! They show character and joy, thank you very much! And if you didn't spend so much time in the sun maybe we wouldn't have this problem with these lines!

15C: Yeah, well at least I'm tan and have a rocking metabolism.

25C: Low blow, 15-year-old Camille. Low blow.


Referring to the frustration pouting, though. Good verse: You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Is. 26:3


Cat Stroller

Two small items that cannot wait until after work:

1. Brooke reminded me of this. They have a neighbor who keeps their cat outside on a leash tied to a stake. I think this is strange. But not as unusual as this: The other day, Adam & I were walking along the road and we saw this couple walking towards us with a stroller. We're like, "Aw. A couple out walking with the baby! That's adorable." As we got closer, we realized this was no ordinary baby. No, this wasn't a baby at all. It was a fat cat. Since then, I've seen this couple many times pushing their cat in the stroller. It's kind of sweet- like Maury & Babette on Gilmore Girls- you know, their fat cat with arthritis riding in the wagon? (Trivia: What was that cat's name?) But also highly unusual. If you're the fat cat pusher and you happen to stumble across this blog, thanks for the entertainment!

2. My mom is having a contest on her blog. I'm going to kick myself because this seriously lowers my odds of winning but if I'm going to win, I like to win BIG. Click here to read about the contest and enter to win a special Ruston, Louisiana (born and bred!) treat.


Dental Ramblings

I had a dentist appointment today. Trying to respond to questions with two hands in your mouth is difficult, we all know. That's why I appreciate my current dentist & dental hygienist. Dentist asks questions before he checks out the mouth. Dental hygienist talks while her hands are in my mouth and sometimes asks questions but, when she does, she answers them for me! Score! Then all I have to do is give a vague gurgling grunt noise of agreement.

Today's work highlight: We had fire training at work! I got to put out a real gasoline fire (contained in a small tub in the parking lot) with the fire extinguisher. Yeah, it was pretty much the most fun had at a work meeting ever!

Wednesday night is the Sunset Music Series at Presque Isle- woohoo!


Splashy, splashy mercury fish

Adam made it back from Texas and so we had some good quality spousal time this weekend. We took the kayak out to Presque Isle on Saturday and put it in the bay. So, we were rowing over on the bay to the reeds so that Adam could fly fish. Well, we get closer to the reeds and we started seeing all these splashes in the water. I had seen it before in the lagoons, it is usually fish bedding or mating. However, in the bay, the fish are much larger. So, we're in pretty shallow water and there are gigantic fish (carp) mating all around us. And when you're in the kayak, you're like right on the water, you're not feet above it or anything with space between you and the enormous, scary, splashy fish.

So these gigantic fish are all around us- splashing around with one another, doing their business and it's terrifying! I know it sounds weird to be scared of fish in a lake (It's not like in Austin Powers where the bass have laser beams attached to their frickin heads) but I was pretty spooked. And the big fish would like knock into the boat accidentally and scare the tar out of me. About the time one splashed up inches from my face I said, "That's it. I can't do this anymore." Adam laughed and we rowed to a deeper area, away from the frisky fish.

When we're in the kayak, we both row and then I bring Harry Potter and steer us while Adam fishes away in the back. Adam caught some large mouth bass and, this afternoon when we went, he caught what looked like a swordfish! It was actually a Northern Pike and it had tons of sharp tiny little teeth.

We've had a nice weekend- we finally got to watch the LOST season finale last night with Brooke & Freeland. I tell you what- they like to leave you with your panties in a wad. Now we can speculate all summer...

We had a fantastic church service today and then headed back out to the peninsula. We enjoy this heat & sunshine! It went from winter to summer, folks! But I am savoring the time we get to spend outside, I'm like a solar powered human. I need to soak it all up so that I can make it through the winter!


White Christmas

The year: 2003

It was the fall of my junior year of college. My friend, Carrie Blurton had invited me to go to Dallas to a Gavin DeGraw concert with her and her friend, Jen. I readily agreed and we drove up to Dallas, spent a little time shopping around, and then headed to the Gypsy Tea Room (genius name). Upon arriving, we saw people lining the sidewalks to get in. I don't remember the details but, long story short, we didn't get tickets. It was sold out. Probably because Gavin DeGraw was playing before Maroon 5. Regardless, it was sold out.

We sat on the sidewalk in disillusionment. What were we to do? Here we were, thinking we looked so cute in our 2003 Urban Outfitter attire and our distressed jeans sitting on the sidewalk outside the Gypsy Tea Room. Suddenly a lightbulb switched on. I had a brilliant idea. "C'mon, Carrie!" I said. We walked a couple of blocks until we found the tour bus, hidden away in an obscure alley. This was our shot.

"Blurton, this is what we've been working towards our whole college carreers." I said. "White Christmas on three."

You know the version of White Christmas that they play in Home Alone? With the deep bass voice doing the, "Ba Doo Dee Doo... Bum, Bum.... Bum-da-Bum. Ba Doo Dee Doo...Bum, Bum...Bum-da-Bum." And then the alto comes in, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...." while the bass keeps on trucking? Well, Carrie and I had always loved singing that and we obnoxiously annoyed our friends with that song wherever we were. So, on cue I began with the bass line and Carrie came in and filled in the alto. We were belting it out at the tour bus, staring hopefully at the tinted window. Jen stood back, deeply ashamed to be seen with two such embarssing women. Yet, we persisted.

Just as we were getting into the 2nd verse, the tour bus door swung open. Who could it be but Gavin DeGraw? Obviously impressed with our unseasonal version of "White Christmas" (it was early October). He was nice as could be and we, with our charming smiles and bouncy curls (Blurton), won his heart. He gave us three VIP passes to backstage and the after-party. Yes, we were good!

When we arrived at the afterparty, there were gifts (gasp!) for all the invitees and we saw Maroon 5 (they were kinda rude) and hung out with our pal, Gavin DeGraw (he was nice). We tried to act like we belonged there although we were probably painfully out of place snapping pictures of our gifts with the disposable cameras we had brought with us. Silly-looking or not, we had a good time. Then we all walked to Cafe Brazil and had breakfast at 3 a.m. with Gavin DeGraw and a few friends. It was such a bizarre night but we had a really fantastic time. And as we pulled back onto I-35 to head to Waco, the sun slowly rising in the distance, we replayed the night and thought that was probably one of the coolest adventures we'd had yet. And now, everytime I hear a Gavin DeGraw song on the radio, I think back to our little Dallas adventure and smile.


I don't think we're in Texas anymore

This is a portrayal of an actual event took place last night at 9:45 p.m. at the Burger King drive-thru.

Freeland: Yeah, I'd like a #2 with cheese & jalapenoes.
Drive-Thru Guy: Sir, we don't have jalapenoes.
Freeland: (Gasp!)

Yep, Brooke & Free arrived last night at 8:45 p.m. with two great danes & two semi-tranquilized cats after 23 hours of driving. We are glad they're here & sorry I stole your blogging material, Brooke. It was too good to pass up.


And the winner is...

By the way, on the last poll, peanut butter cup ice cream won the Favorite Ice Cream award. I was shocked! What a bunch of radicals I have reading this blog.

I'll tell you what, though, if you'd ever had Blue Bell Birthday Cake, you might be singing a different tune...

New poll coming soon.

Twitter Happy

Brooke & Freeland are driving up here and Brooke is "twittering" as they drive. Basically, you can text message little hoo-las to twitter and basically blog them. They magically appear on your twitter website. So you could share every mundane detail of your life if you wanted.
Putting on mascara. Looking at facebook.
Or it could be helpful: In 2nd stall, roll empty. Someone please bring me some toilet paper.

For Brooke's 23 hours journey, it's definitely wonderful. Mary Lou, when you get ready to delivery Baby Oswalt, you should have Brian twitter the details. That way, everyone can look at twitter.come and see MaryLou is at 8 cm. or Oh, Mary Lou just threw a bucket of ice at the nurse. Oh, delightful!



I've got a joke for you: What do you call 10 rabbits walking backwards?

... A receding hare line.


Brooke & Freeland will get here tomorrow night late! Adam and I are pumped to Erie-cate (Erie & Educate put together) them. You know- Polishfest, Greekfest, Italianfest, Sunset Music Series... Let the Eriecation begin.

I wish that I had an owl that I could use as a courier pigeon. I would tie a little note to it's leg and I could send it on over to a friend. It'd be much classier than text messaging or emailing or even calling or even, even sending a letter via snail mail.

Powers is snuggled up against me. I think he's missing grandma & grandpa.

We miss the parents but remember them everytime we look at our beautiful yard. Thank you!


Party like it's 1983

25th Birthday New York Celebration, Amigos!

Well, the parents are leaving but we had a fantastic time. I turned the big "Quarter Century" on Saturday and so Adam & I took my parents to Panama Rocks in the vast village of Panama. It's only about 35 minutes from our house & it was a rockin' time (no pun intended). It's a long trail with a lot of rock formations that you can explore and climb on. The rock formations are named already but we came up with a few clever alternative titles. Don't be like me, though, and wear flip flops and plan on bringing tennis shoes to change into but then forget your tennis shoes in the living room by the red couch.

Mom & Dad hiking along

This crack still had snow in it! Fancy that!

Adam scaling a gigantic mountain!
Well, he was a good two feet off the ground, at least.

me, too.

Adam being eaten by the fat man rock's mouth.

Mom and Dad looking like they're shaking hands and posing for a newspaper picture. Husband and wife join forces- fix up yard for daughter and son-in-law.

Then, we went to the Chataqua Institute. But it wasn't "Season." We drove around, though, and I would like to go back when they have the concerts & lectures & stuff during the summer and see what it's like. At first, I thought it was a cult. Hall of Philosophy? But then I realized it's not- just a really, really nice summer vacation spot.

Then, we went to Bemus Point. Oh, I love you Bemus Point. You are like a little Stars Hollow that I've always wanted to live in. It's the cutest little lakeside town and we ate at the Italian Fishermen

Brooke & Freeland, you'd love it. You can eat outside and they have Italian nachos and they have bands play on a floating dock.

Score! It was the perfect lunch- sitting outside on the deck, stuffing our faces with good food and feeling the warm sunshine with my wonderful parents & studly husband. Best lunch ever!
Bemus Point really is the cutest little town you've ever seen and I wish we could transport it to Texas.

Mom asked if these were the biggest pair of sunglasses that I could find. Are they a little goofy?

too cool for school parentals.

Today I had to work because of graduation, which was sad since Dad flew out today and mom flies out tomorrow. I'll miss them but we're so thankful that we had them here to visit us....and work on our yard....and cook us supper....and do the dishes. Sheesh! I feel like I need to do all that stuff when i go visit them now.