Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Favor...A RAK...and A Cricut Cake

I know how much scrapping bloggers love a giveaway so I thought I would share the following info. The fabulous ellen s is a member of the Cuttlebug Challenge Design Team. They are currently trying to reach 5000 followers so you know what that means...prizes are up for grabs.

Ellen has a RAK that includes all these goodies:

and this:

There is also a giveaway on the Cuttlebug site for this baby:

Go to THIS post on ellen's blog for all the details of how to be included in both drawings. Hurry now! I know you would hate to miss out on all this loot!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Weekend of Celebrations

A quick recap of the Howard girls' birthday blowout:

This weekend was a time of friends, family, food and fun! Saturday, my baby girl turned 20! Sunday, I turned...another number. LOL! I've always thought it a really cool thing to have back-to-back birthdays with Keri. Once the party starts, it seems to go on and on and this weekend was no exception.

It began Friday with lunch-time margaritas (me), dinner with dad & step-family(her) and late night dining and drinking with friends (me). Saturday was spent hanging around the house reminiscing then hosting a dinner-and-game night for Keri's special day. At the too-late-for-me hour of 1:00 am, I finally crawled in the bed for a few hours of shut eye before my day rolled around. Lunch with friends and family followed by a convertible ride made for a really nice day. We closed out the weekend with a fun movie at home saying farewell to another year of birthday hoopla.

The only bummer to it all was a nasty allergy attack accompanied by a migraine on Sunday. Not so much fun but it didn't totally get me down. I only had to spend a few hours in bed nursing the headache and simply chose to ignore my swollen, watery eyes and stuffy nose. Now, Monday is here and I'm drinking cup after cup of coffee in an effort to stay awake and focused. While some would argue I'm getting way too old for this (me being the ring leader of that argument), I hope the tradition continues as it is THE best way to spend a birthday!!!

To Little Miss Ker-Bear, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and thank you for making your mama feel so special! I love you!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Detour - "an indirect or roundabout procedure, path, etc.".

This weekend I visited the Howard Hilton. It's that time of year...a time to relax and recharge at my little home away from home. Due to a major rock slide on I-40, my usual route was closed and I had to follow an alternate path. One of the things I cherish most about driving on a Friday night is the time afforded me to reflect and unwind from my busy work week. As I was making my way west late Friday through meandering, mountainous back roads, the thought struck me as to how often life is filled with detours. Those moments when life as we know it gets turned upside down and we are forced to take an alternate route. The last few years of my life have held one detour after another and I find myself facing a change of plans once again.

While experiencing all the deviations from my planned life course , I have learned detours can be rather scary things. Much like my Friday night commute, any new way of getting-where-I'm-going is foreign. Unsure of turns required and unaware of upcoming bends in the road, I am forced to travel at a slower pace. The same principle applies to life events. When taking an unfamiliar path, I must slow down and pay attention. I can no longer drive on auto-pilot. The comfort of the familiar is gone. I must rely on maps and road signs for direction on the highway, looking to friends and life experience for direction in life. Of course modern technology offers mapping systems to "talk" me to my intended destination, but a GPS for life is yet to be invented. Even if a modern miracle occurred and I was able to map my life's course of action by pushing a few buttons, the mapping systems are rarely updated with detour information. When roads are closed, the traveler finds himself lost and confused...a place I've often found myself when meeting life's roadblocks. A great amount of faith and a good sense of direction are needed to "motor on".

There is, however, an up side to having my world shaken and stirred. Detours do not mean defeat. The goal, or intended destination, can still be reached. Occasionally, an altered plan is easily spotted and life continues. Other times, more thought and ingenuity is required to map a new path. There are even times the change allows me the chance to consider the path I am on. Do I need to go where I'm going? Or is another road... another city... another location meant for me? Maybe I shouldn't be traveling in the first place. It could be I am already right where I need to be. Detours can alter and/or validate decisions. My encounters with alternate life routes have provided opportunities for growth and a chance for improved self-awareness.

I've traveled some dark and scary roads and certainly hit a few potholes on my back road journeys. I've also come to appreciate that some of the back roads took me through scenic areas I would have never had the chance to enjoy were it not for the change of plans. Then again, there were also times I couldn't wait to get back to familiar territory. This time I have no idea which path I will take. I need to map a course of action and just go with it... see where it leads. Regardless of where I land, I will do what I always do and keep on truckin'.

So today I raise my glass to life's detours. May they prove to be pot-hole-free-panoramic by-ways that get me back to the well-lit-smooth-sailing highway of life. Cheers!


Friday, April 16, 2010


Poppin' in to say Happy Weekend to everyone in blog-land and to thank you for the wonderful sentiments for my last post. Sadly, some of you have encountered a few neanderthals as well. I've been told his chauvinistic ways are a regional thing but after reading your comments, I'm not so sure.

I must admit, I considered a few of your suggestions and followed through with the most common one. I did indeed have a drink...or two. It was then I began to fully appreciate Sandi's suggestion to add laxative to his tea! After downing a cocktail or two, the idea took root and began to grow into an obsession of sorts. Fantasies of Mr. Boss Man spending his day perched atop the porcelain throne felt like proper penance for my recently acquired bald spots...a much better plan than my original one that had me serving a life sentence for murder. Seemed a road trip to my local pharmacy would be just the thing...but I decided against it. Upon second thought, I realized I don't really need another excuse for him to be crabby and intestinal issues would certainly send him down the I-hate-the-world-so-I'm-gonna-make-your-life-hell path. Good news is, with the stress of our "big" meetings behind us, he has returned to the boss I know and only sometimes love.

Hope your weekend is filled with all things good! Later! -L

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


...I was wondering. Do you think a DA and jury of my peers would show mercy and reduce my sentence should I "off" my boss? I'm thinking mercy would be in order as it would certainly be a "mercy" killing. The kind of mercy where everyone who knows Mr. Boss Man goes, "Oh Mercy Me! Someone should have done that YEARS ago!"

In all seriousness, I truly love the guy. But today, let's just say I don't like him so much. He's one of those people (see THIS post) who needs to contradict your every word. Me wrong. Him right. No matter the subject. Even if I regurgitate his words verbatim, I'm told I'm wrong. Wouldn't be a problem except I've been creating loan restructuring agreements per his specifications the past few days. I'm beginning to develop bald spots where I'm pulling my hair out... slowly... painfully... while growling and calling him not-so-nice names under my breath. The final straw came when I typed his hand written notes EXACTLY as he wrote them and was told "Huh-ney! You just don't have a clue, now do you?"

Hmmm, wonder if he has a clue of the hidden dangers of telling a stubborn, over-achieving, hot-tempered, perfectionist she doesn't have a clue? I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oh No! My Roots Are Showing

A few days ago I was having a phone conversation at work. Ever the multi-tasker, I was shuffling papers while I talked. As the conversation was nearing its end, our shop manager, Rob, came into my office carrying a huge bag of baked goods that had been dropped off by one of our favorite clients. Of course I interrupted the conversation to respond to his offer of muffins, cinnamon rolls and other pastries. Despite the fact I was starving, I declined...regrettably, but firmly, declined. Can't be eating massive muffins and expect to see results from all those hours logged at the gym. Besides, swimsuit season is just around the corner.

Then it happened. I returned to my call offering an apology for the interruption. I'm so sorry but Rob just brung muffins... I stopped mid-sentence...held my breath in hopes I wasn't heard...then laughed my butt off!




Dang, that isn't even a word!

And yes, I did just type "dang". Guess there's no denying where I come from!

Oh, by the way, after my horrifying but humorous slaughtering of the English language, I had a muffin after all. I think my will power went out the window with my ability to speak proper English.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Whole New Meaning to Licking The Bowl Clean

So how was your Easter holiday? I truly hope yours was as sunshine and smile filled as mine was. The weekend was spent at my mother's lake house. I was the only weekend-long house guest but Saturday my brother and his family as well as Keri and her boyfriend came for the day. As is always the case when the Terry family gathers, craziness follows.

Friday began in the most awesome of ways...sunny skies and temps in the low 80's. After the horrifically snowy, frigid winter we had, I was thrilled to finally feel the heat of a blazing sun on my skin. The warmer weather afforded me a lovely little convertible ride to Georgia. Two hours of wind whipping through my hair and singing along to the radio at the top of my lungs...ain't nothing better for the soul. Never mind that my silly dancing-behind-the-wheel moves and my waaaayyyy-off-key vocals left many a confused and bemused traveler in my wake. Kinda forgot with the top down my antics werre exposed for all the world to see. Didn't bother me one teeny tiny bit! What did bother me was the enormous amount of pollen polluted air I inhaled as I zoomed down the highway. Can we say puffy, watery eyes accompanied by painful sinus pressure and nasty nasal congestion? The result was a beautiful allergy attack. Swollen eyes and runny red nose...simply beautiful!

My mother's house is in the rural town of Toccoa, GA. Not much exists in this lazy little town. At least that's how it appears to this big-city dwelling urbanite. Actually, Asheville, my hometown, is considered a small town by most people's standards, but I would argue it is a major metropolis when compared to the likes of Toccoa, GA. Up until last year, my mom was a life long resident of North Carolina. Given I've only been to her new house once, I got lost....several times. One reason is I can't see worth a darn at night. Another is the roads aren't marked very well and street lights are non-existent in her neck of the woods. Not to completely shift blame, but the directions I was given weren't exactly accurate. Growing up in a backwoods, countrified area, I'm accustomed to directions based on landmarks. The kind where you turn up yonder just a little ways past the baptist church and travel on a piece til you git to the dirt road on the other side a' the creek then make a left after the second hay field. Again, I am a country girl by definition but Oh. My. Word! I can't always tell a hay field from any other field, especially not in the dark! And will someone please tell me where one field ends and another begins? What exactly delineates the two? This was the manner in which I was told how to find the needle of a house in the sea of hay stacks. My favorite was being told to "Turn between the two white fences..." Well, I never found two white fences. When I later questioned this fact, I was informed the fences may have moved but the road was still there. ?????????

Several wrong turns and backtracking of roads later, I finally arrived and was greeted by the smell of something heavenly and delicious. There is something ultra "homey" about the scent of any baked good wafting from the kitchen. The sweetness envelops you like a warm hug and reminds you of that old saying "There's No Place Like Home". My mom is a fantastic baker! Absolutely fantastic! People far and wide request her cakes. Friday night, however, was not her night. I've dubbed it The Night The Cake Came Alive! Having already made a scrumptious strawberry brother's favorite...she wanted to add a chocolate cake to Saturday's line-up. The baking cake was what lured me into the kitchen. I hovered over her with a spoon at the ready as she mixed the butter cream frosting. I had to have a spoonful to savor while the chocolate layers cooled. Her icing was the smoothest, creamiest I've ever tasted. I could only imagine how good it would be once slathered all over the chocolate yumminess of the cake.

Seems I wasn't destined to find out how good it really would least not in the traditional cake-eating sense. Through some misfortune of fate, the layers didn't fully release from the pans. With great painstaking effort, we reconstructed them to what we hoped would be "stable" layers. As mom began frosting the bottom layer, we began to think we might have pulled off the save of the century. If we could succeed in transferring the next two layers, all would be well. Layer number two. Ummm...kinda, sorta made it. With crossed fingers, Mom added the frosting in hopes it would serve as the glue that would hold it all together. Again, so far so good. Then came layer number three. Carefully and oh so gently we placed it on top of the other two. It was then that disaster struck. The cake suddenly sprang to life and began to creep. From the center outward the white of the frosting began to meld into the mocha colored layers creating an ooey-gooey mess. The cake platter on which it rested could not contain the molten marvel. I tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to wrap my arms and hands around it in an attempt to keep its intended circular shape. The result was an ooey-gooey ME! All I could do was laugh and lick myself! Hmmm, that doesn't sound exactly right but you know what I mean. After all was said and done, I wasn't feeling so well. I may in fact have consumed the equivalent of half a cake. Who really knows? I went to bed that night with my sweet tooth sated and a seriously upset stomach. As I lay in bed listening to the defiant rumblings of my tummy, feeling my hips growing with each and every gurgle, I prayed my retro workouts would in some way off-set the damage I had done...hoping like heck Billy Blanks and Jane Fonda wouldn't abandon me in my hour of need.

So ended day one of my weekend get-away. This is but a mere prelude to the zaniness of Saturday. I'll be back with a few more stories later this week. In the mean time, here's a fun little challenge. Make like me and cover your hands and arms with frosting then lick til your hearts content. I can promise you it will be fun but I can't promise you won't need a few Tums!