Thursday, January 31, 2008


I don't have just a ton to talk about today.

One of the girls here, Ellyn, is having her ten year Westlake anniversary today. They are taking the department to Grand Luxe. I think I may have posted about that before... so I am looking forward to that.

We're doing our normal month end close crazniess...

Conrad is feeling better. He's still at home today, working from there- our weather is pretty bad.... and I think he still needs a day or so to get his strength back. Of course, he should be on a sugar high since I came home last night and he had eaten ALL the brownies. I was so upset! I bought these Little Debbie brownies for him when he was sick Monday night. My grandmother used to get them for me- and he loves them too. We each had one and when I got home yesterday, cooked and ate dinner- I started looking around for a little snack. I opened the pantry and NOTHING. They were GONE! I have no idea how he ate them all up in two days. UGH - so I'm sure that helped him regain his strength.

I don't know why he just won't post, but he wanted me to retract my Valentine's Day statement. He DID buy me a gift last year but he said he did it because I was feeling so bad. I was- I had a terrible cold, had just started my job and was miserable. I didn't even REALLY want to meet him for the V-Day dinner... so he said he only bought me the presents to make me feel better. Retraction PRINTED, Mr. Hopkins.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Conrad has brought germs into the house!

No... he's sick. He has gotten the flu, somehow. It's probably my fault- I work with people who have kids and lately, all the kids have been sick. I thought they all had Strep, but maybe me or Conrad or something brought some flu-type germ into the house as well.

The poor thing can barely eat. He ate Monday afternoon and then not again until last night around dinner time. I bought chicken noodle soup, Theraflu and Gatorade. He said he thinks his fever broke sometime last night... and today he is feeling better, but still going to sleep most of the day. I'm sure Blanca is beside herself. Not only is her precious daddy at home, but he seems to want to participate in one of her favorite activities- sleeping! Sometimes I think she stays awake on our days off just to make sure she doesn't miss anything - like fun or food. But I know her and I know she sleeps a good portion of the day... Now her daddy is home with her and he wants to SLEEP- she must be in Doggie Heaven.

I think he is going to feel well enough to eat today though- so back to dinner cooking. I had a nice two days off! So nope- still no Marlboro Man Sandwich. I think by Friday I'll be making it. I actually may make it tonight and just heat up the meat Friday- I have a work thing tomorrow. We are going to the Grand Luxe Cafe. Now there's heaven! It's owned by the Cheesecake Factory and it is PHENOMENAL! They have them in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and I think a few more places. The menu is overwhelming, the portions are huge and the desserts will make you sit at your table and sob like a twelve year old girl. They even have one you have to order BEFORE your order your meal- because it is cooked to order, it takes over 30 minutes and it is served STRAIGHT out the oven, baby! I think it's one of those molten lava cakes that the chocolate just pours out the side of- I think I'm having some kind of a moment just thinking about it. What? I have to fit in a dress in less than three months? I can't HEAR YOU!!!! ....

Anyway- we need all your thoughts and good wishes sent in the Houston direction- so Mr. Conrad can start feeling better. He says I have been taking care of him- I've really just been taking his temperature, washing my hands a lot and making sure he's breathing in the middle of the night... I also let him have more control over the remote and not making him watch Oprah ... OMG! Happy Birthday Oprah! (yesterday) ... anyway, *sigh*, just things you do for the people you love ....

Oh- and yes, I did change the blog backsplash. That black was very depressing, even super happy fireworks couldn't liven it up. I went with puppies this month- for Valentine's. Because puppies LOVE you unconditionally and I LOVE puppies and I wish I had a new doggie-baby to LOVE (Conrad are you LISTENING!) ... and well, this month is about LUUUURVE.. so there ya go.

Nurse Karyn

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I have been tagged by DEE DEE

The Rules: Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog. or Share the 5 top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list. or Share 5 things you never pictured being in your future when your were 25 years old. Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. The tagees have a choice of which they want to do.

Random/Weird facts about me:

1. I have a fish hook tattooed on my back.
2. I smuggled moonshine from South Carolina to Texas, on an airplane, in a Mountain Dew Bottle
3. I do not wish to have or adopt children.

4. I have visited 41 of the 50 states.
5. I am absolutely, hands down, scared out of my mind, terrified - HATE to fly.

Ok- I don't know how to link.
So I verbally tag Tracy, Karyn Bosnak- because these are the only two live people besides Dee Dee, that I'm linked too! :)


Monday, January 28, 2008



I came in today, logged in and saw 89 days til the wedding. What? When did I miss the three month countdown mark? Oh yeah ... uh SATURDAY. Saturday I should have looked at Conrad and said THREE MONTHS! ARE YOU READY?, then sat back and watched the fear take hold in his eyes. Oh yes, this is really going to happen, Mr Man- you are going to be MARRIED... but um, yeah, I forgot. I missed my PERFECT opportunity to scare the pants off him! I hope I'm not going to be one of those girls who is just so foggy she can't remember anniveraries. I hope I don't get to April 26, 2009 and forget to tell Conrad Happy 1st Anniversary. What is WRONG with me? Aren't girls supposed to be ALL about anniversaries and Valentine's and all that? Not me. I really dislike Valentine's Day- I feel all the pressure to either prepare a fabulous dinner or find a place halfway not crowded so we can celebrate our love. Presents? Conrad is the hardest person on the earth to buy for... all I feel is pressure- what if he gets me something better than I got him? Ugh. I wish we could just skip that entire day. We got through the first one by telling each other it was too soon and we didn't want to celebrate. WHEW! Second one was last year and we met out at dinner. I came empty handed (AS AGREED) and he showed up with chocolates and flowers. DOH! He said he did it on purpose and while I DID accept the gifts, I felt bad that I had stuck to the original agreement...

Anyway- less than three months now. Something like two months and 28 days or some nonsense. Thankfully, we are motoring right along. I'll work on invitations this week. Did you know they have to be HANDWRITTEN? It's like a nightmare...

I did bring up the fast approaching day to Conrad a few days ago and I did wait for the panic, but none came. Apparently he has reconsiled himself to the fact we're getting married. I was really hoping to torment and scare him these next few weeks and months- and provide a little entertainment for myself, but he's not budging! I guess I gotta go to Plan B. :)


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Well- here on January 27th I am finally posting Christmas pictures. Yeah, I know- but I got a new camera for Christmas and was so lazy about loading the software and getting going...

There are a lot of pics and I don't feel like labeling each one. The cast of characters is Conrad, Blanca, Conrad's mom and dad, Conrad's sister and her husband, their two kiddos and me... so I think you can figure out who we all are. Also please remember it was EARLY and it was Christmas and none of us felt much like getting dressed. We had a great time though- and I'm glad I got some nice pics!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Raincheck on the Marlboro Man

Last night I was not feeling my best- so we had to take a raincheck on the Marlboro Man Sandwich. Conrad stopped and picked up something to eat and then I went to bed. I did try to stay up and watch Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? That principal almost went the entire distance and I can not believe that *I* did not rememeber it was Jonathon Swift who wrote Gulliver's Travels. Clearly, I need to devote some time this year to re-reading some of the classics. I may add that to my 2008 Goals List.

There's already so much on there... pertaining to books I have a deal with myself to read a certain amount of non-fiction and a certain amount of biographies. So it won't hurt to add a classic or two to the mix. My favorite of all time is The Jungle- by Upton Sinclair. First of all, how ROCKING is his name? I wish my name was Upton- I really think I could do that name justice! Second of all it's set in the 1920's, which besides Civil War time, is my favorite era .... and then of course, there's just the story itself, which is about Canneries- you know, factories that can food. It was VERY eye-opening and was written before the Food and Drug Administration was put into effect. Anyway- good book and I highly recommend it to you all.

I think also I want to re-read The Great Gatsby (Conrad wants to know what made him so great (*SIGH*) ... and maybe also the Grapes of Wrath (Conrad wants to know who John Steinbeck is). WOW... anyway, ok... so maybe those two can go back on my list. I don't know if I will ever read Of Mice and Men again- it so depressed me and like the book, Where the Red Fern Grows, made me sick to my stomache for weeks. I take books VERY personally. :)

I encourage any reader of this blog to read one of the classics listed here, or any that might interest you. People just wrote differently way back when. Our heads are so filled with smut and trash and things that don't mean anything- I think reading some hardcore literature would be good for us all! I think you all should pick two and read them before December 31st.


Here are some I recommend:

Great Gatsby
Scarlet Letter
The Grapes of Wrath
A Tale of Two Cities
The Jungle
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Pride and Prejudice
The Picture of Dorian Gray- SCARY!
The Time Machine
Treasure Island
Gulliver's Travels
Wuthering Heights

Look how many we have to choose from!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good Stuff

Last night I tried out one of my new recipes! We grilled steak and then I made some fabulous roasted potatoes. It was SO easy!

All I did was cut up little red potatoes into 4 pieces each- I did several of them. I put them in a giant ziplock bag- added a small amount of olive oil and one packet of the Lipton Onion soup. I shook up the bag until it was all coated and then popped them onto a sheet pan in the oven- 375 degrees for 30 minutes. DELICIOUS!

They really were great- Conrad is like a three year old and has to cover everything with catsup, but I ate them plain and they were fabulous! I would imagine you could do the same thing with ranch dressing packets, if you were feeling a little zippy... AND it was pretty doggone healthy to boot!

Tonight I making something called the Marlboro Man Sandwich and it is NOT healthy... I will have to report on that one tomorrow. It has more butter in it than one cow could possibly produce, BUT like Paula Deen says- it's margarine, not butter that's really dangerous. Pioneers used real butter forever- it's when you add all those saturated fats the problem comes in. We no longer eat ANY margarine in our house. I buy butter and we just use that- in stick form. Anything in a tub scares me to death!

I got this recipe for the Marlboro Man Sandwich from the Pioneer Woman Cooks! blog I have linked to this site. It looks so easy and so yummy- sort of a manly variation of a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. I'll let you know!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I totally agree with my friend, Tracy today concerning Heath Ledger's death.

The news and media outlets were screaming suicide before his body was even removed from his apartment- just because he and Michelle Wiliams broke up a few months ago. That is such crap.

It must be so frustrating for friends and family to have to deal with THAT when they are already in shock and so very sad. My heart goes out to them all, but mostly to his daughter Matilda.

I absolutely adore my father and I can't imagine what it would have been like to have lost him at 2, 10, 12, etc.. . I feel for Michelle Williams in having to break that news to a baby and try to explain where daddy went. It's a very sad day.

I don't think Conrad understands my fixation on the television when such things happen and frankly, I don't get it either. But I almost can not come away from the TV or I suppose I am waiting on confirmation for them to come back with some undiscovered heart ailment or the pneumonia angle...

This just goes to show that you never really know. You must live each day fully and like one of my posts around Christmas- let people know you love them. Apologize for any past wrongs you may have committed and just try to be a good person, a good friend, a good family member- a good human.

Peace and Love from H-Town,


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Such sad news from New York today- Heath Ledger is dead.
He was the actor from the Patriot, Brokeback Mountain, 10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight's Tale, etc...

I am always sad when someone so very young (28) passes away. Right now they don't know if it was an accident or not. The worst part is he had a two year old daughter. I feel so badly for her right now.

It's true that she will always have her father there on film- and many of us don't have that priviledge, but it's not a subsitute for a dad. This is just awful and frankly, shocking.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his daughter and his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Williams... I know they all must be so shocked right now.

RIP Heath.

I don't know if I will ever complain about something silly again... like traffic and the rain. At least I'm still here to sit in the rain (shaking my head)... it's all very very sad. I guess having money really doesn't give you everything- it seems more and more to just take stuff away...

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

So... Conrad was gone for a week. I ate things he doesn't like- like okra soup and beanie weenies and veggies. I brought my lunch everyday and at night, I did cook or heat something up at home. I didn't go out for six days, or however long he was gone.

So he got home this weekend and I was ready to cook, but he said no, he wanted to take me out- I had been probably cooped up all week. So we went out to a Mexican place and can I just tell you, it wrecked havok on my tummy! I was so not feeling good when we got back home... I wonder if the eating in and then eating out just sent my system into a tailspin. Isn't that WEIRD? I felt awful- it was more food than I had eaten in over a week.

So I cooked last night- we had stuffed bell peppers. They were really very good... I think though next time I am going to cut them in half and stuff each half- like a little bowl... because each of us eating two entire bell peppers, it was a little too much. When the second one came into play you were really sick of bell pepper- but we did eat the stuffing out of each one of them. It was a simple mixture of hamburger, onion, rice, diced tomatoes and a beef boullion cube. I topped them with mozeralla cheese... it was good.

Then today I go to put on my black pants I haven't worn in a few weeks and there is at least an inch gap where my tummy used to be. I zipped them all the way up and it feels just fine... hmmmm.... interesting... I didn't eat out for a week = an inch gone from the tummy area. Hmmm...

Tonight though it will all be wrecked because we are having Chicken Georgia! Still not as bad as a restaurant though- and I can control the portions. Tomorrow I think will be balsamic steaks on the grill with red potatoes made in the oven. I have been gathering recipes while Conrad was gone. More of that nesting syndrome, in preparation of the wedding, I reckon...


P.S. I hate the New York Giants
P.S.S. I also watched ONE chick flick while Conrad was gone- Evening with Meryl Streep and Toni Colette, etc... it was really good. A total chick movie. I liked it and I put it on my "to buy" list- you know, when Blockbuster has that ridiculous 5 movies for $20 sale. I will purchase it then. If you're feeling depressed though, save it for another time. It was sort of a tear jerker. I didn't cry, but I was on the fence, you know what I mean? If it involves a kid or a dog- or better yet a kid WITH a dog, I'll cry like my hand was cut off- but if it's just a luuuuuuuurve story- then I just get sort of sad.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I hate the Patriots
I hate the Giants

This year's Super Bowl is hereby now officially going to be referred to as the Stupid Bowl.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Conrad Speaks

Our Conrad is home! Much to Blanca's relief... she was getting to be quite the handful. So you all can get to know Conrad better... I have asked him to fill out the survey I did the other day. Here we go!

Four Jobs I Have Had In My Life
1. Telemarketer
2. Coke vendor
3. Sales
4. Welding Supply

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
1. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Terminator
4. Alien Vs. Predator

TV Shows I Like To Watch
1. Family Guy
2. The Simpsons
3. Two and A Half Men
4. The Unit

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
1. Maui
2. Switzerland
3. Costa Rica
4. Bahamas

Favorite Foods
1. Sushi
2. Pizza
3. Chicken Parmasean
4. Cheesecake

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. Big Fish- Game Website
2. Yahoo Email
3. Work Email
4. Conrad can not think of an answer here, I will just put in until he thinks of something better.

Four Places I Would Rather Be
1. Switzerland
2. Gun Range
3. Driving a Bentley
4. Doing naked jumping jacks

Alrighty then- now you know Conrad a little better. You and me both.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Workin' Hard

I have been working so hard since Conrad has been gone. There's been no problem sleeping this time around- I think I wear myself out every single day!

First I climbed up in the pantry and found all the rice and syrup- around the same time, I cleaned out the fridge. While he's been gone I've been eating things that need to be eaten, random stuff ... and it's helping to clear out the old stuff AND I am saving money by not eating out. CHING CHING! SCORE!

Then I went into the closet and went through all my clothes. I was holding on to things that had holes, things that were stained, or raggy looking... things that were out of style or just plain ugly.... I had a system. I have a throw away pile, a donate pile and a pile to keep. I found out this week my thyroid levels are OFF again, aka the reason for a slight bit of weight gain. So I had some things that are just a TINY bit to small, that would be easy enough to get in again when I get my levels straightened out, that I really LIKE and I didn't want to part with. However, when they are hanging in the closet and I have memories of how super cute I was in them, it's enough to send me running for the brownies. So I decided to pack them away for another time. When I get them back out again, it will be like going shopping in my closet!

Then last night I went to library to pick up my new books that were on order. I also went by the grocery store and got groceries for the next few weeks. I am going to try a few new recipes. I have been on the hunt for simple, easy and healthy. I think I have a few candidates... and I am also going to be REALLY bad and make Chicken Georgia again - maybe on Sunday night. I have to use the mushrooms soon or they'll spoil.

I also picked up a box of RIT black dye. In my closet cleaning, I found some servicable items which have faded. I think I can re-dye them black and save them. One of them was a Chico's shirt I paid $68 for about five years ago. I have worn it SMACK out. But I am wondering if I can get another year out of it. I love that dad-gum thing. This is a shirt they carry all the time- I could go get another one- but they don't go on sale all that often and for $1.52, I might can save it. We'll see!

Conrad is so lucky to be getting himself such a frugal woman! However, let me point out, it does NOT mean we should spend our savings on Maxim Magazines and firearms. Just saying...


Thursday, January 17, 2008


No time to really post today.

Work has blown up and so has this wedding. Today got really stressful for some reason. I just want to go home and bury myself in some chips and dip. BUT, alas, I won't.

They have me doing some export stuff at work- I am in domestic. Domestic and export are as different as night and day. While I pride myself on being pretty smart and catching on pretty quickly, this one WILL be a challenge for me. I haven't even typed up my notes yet- my head is spinning, and I had to get away from it for a bit.

As for the wedding, just logistical stuff. Money stuff. It's all falling around my ears today. We are so lucky it hasn't been this way from the beginning- I guess that's what happens when you were a professional event planner and you get married. Everyone has done REALLY well in getting stuff done, but every now and again, I start to freak out.

In other news, driving home yesterday was like a ghost town. I thought about it and there was no holiday, no reason why it should have been so easy to get home. A normal one hour commute took about 30 minutes. Maybe everyone left and headed to Dallas to run Yoko Romo (AKA Jessica Simpson) out of town on a rail. I don't really care WHAT Tom Brady says... and thanks SO much to Tom for his thoughts on the subject- I don't recall asking you Mr. 16-0 PERFECT SEASON... but he thinks we should all lay off poor Tony and Jessica. But HEY- it's his JOB. It's Tony's JOB to get to the Superbowl or as close as he can to it. When I don't do my job, I get in trouble, I see no reason this is any different. They ought to take away $500K every time he loses a game. I bet he'd stop throwing interceptions REAL quick.

So thanks again Mr Brady for your opinion. All I have to say to that is: GO PACKERS!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ah Sugar..... Honey. Honey


Conrad has been gone a few days now.... and I have been cleaning and organizing the house. We have TWO wedding showers coming up and I know that I will have no where to put anything- so I started throwing stuff out, making donation piles, etc.. we really had no use for 8 phone books, or 2 blenders, etc...

Last night I tackled the pantry area. I haven't done that before- so I found some remnants of Conrad's former life. WOW. I am REALLY concerned. He had FOUR bottles of syrup. FOUR. Some of it expired in 2002. All were in various states of use. It would be different if it was maple, blueberry, sugar-free, etc. - but it wasn't, it was ALL maple syrup. Did he have some sort of sugar addiction I'm not aware of? Was he like Vince Vaghn in Wedding Crashers- where he just piled up all kinds of random food like muffins, sausage, eggs, potatoes and fruit and then poured an entire bottle of syrup on top of it? I mean WHAT is going on? It was very disturbing.

On my side, I found like four boxes of hot chocolate I had forgotten about... I do like it and I do drink it, but I guess I forgot it was there... and why do they sell GIANT boxes of crackers? Why don't they sell smaller boxes? I really don't WANT all those crackers, but if you want crackers at all you have to buy the giant boxes. I threw out like three boxes of stale crackers last night. SO SAD.

Also from Conrad's single days- I came up on FIVE boxes of minute rice. He had four of the smaller ones- which I think hold two bags and one of the giant ones which has like four bags. I have never seen him eat rice. When we go to the mexican restaurant he never eats it. What is up? This was all plain white rice too- and most of it, you got it ... EXPIRED.
But he doesn't EAT it, so I don't understand why he had it- unless he was stocking up for the big Y2K crisis or something... maybe a hurricane.

YES! Maybe this was his hurricane preparation kit. My hurricane preparation kit is my truck. So I can GET OUT.

We also have an ant problem- now I know WHY- Conrad was feeding their syrup addiction. They seem to get into boxes and bags. So I bought some airtight canisters yesterday and put those in there. I had to throw away the rice and grits and food the ants had gotten to- but this weekend when I go grocery shopping, I will replace those things. Conrad will be SO excited to hear we'll have grits again. He hates them.

That boy is just NOT right!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Are you all DYING to know more about ME?!

I would fill this out for Conrad... but I think he should do it himself. I'll ask him to when he gets back from Orlando.

Four Jobs I Have Had In My Life
1. Burger King
2. Pro Pac Marketing- Account Exec
3. Rainbow International- Sales and Marketing
4. Westlake Chemical

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
1. Hope Floats
2. Forest Gump
3. 13 Going on 30
4. Sweet Home Alabama

TV Shows I Like To Watch
1. Oprah
2. Designing Women
3. Paula's Home Cooking
4. Two and A Half Men

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
1. Maui
2. Seattle, WA
3. Vancouver- Canada
4. Savannah, GA

Favorite Foods
1. Mexcican
2. Chicken N' Dumplings
3. Red Robin hamburgers
4. Spaghetti

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. Yahoo
2. Save Karyn/or her blog- Pretty in the City
3. Bank of America
4. Harris County Library

Four Places I Would Rather Be
1. Home Reading
2. at a GREAT Mexican restaurant
3. at a coffee house
4. Laying out on the beach


Girls Week!

Conrad is in Orlando for a week- on his yearly meeting with his company. Blanca and I have the house for a week. Last night I washed the dishes and just puttered around. I ate my leftover chicken n' dumplings and was exhausted by 9. Normally, I don't sleep well if Conrad isn't in the house- but I don't even remember 9:30 coming. I woke up at 6, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Usually I go to bed at 10 and am pretty tired in the morning- maybe the secret is that extra 30 minutes and NOT sitting in front of the TV all night. I should be more active and see what happens.

Blanca and I have some girl "chick flick" movies ready to be watched. I have some food ready to be cooked that Conrad doesn't really care for and tonight I intend to purge my closet. It's a wreck. I'm holding on to the weirdest things. It's all coming out tonight! More fun to restock!

Wedding moving right along too... I bought a stamp yesterdaythat says Karyn & Conrad April 26, 2008- it should be here in about ten days. I have an idea on how to decorate some things for the table... today we'll get the jars for the BBQ sauce and I have a new idea on how to label those too! :) That stamp will come in SUPER HANDY!

It's coming so much faster now that Christmas is over. We're looking at just a little over three months now. I can't believe how fast time is moving. Was it like this for all of you, who got married?


P.S. In light of the Cowboys loss, and how much I HATE THE PATRIOTS and that rotten, baby-making Tom Brady. GO PACKERS!

Monday, January 14, 2008


I am in mourning. I am just sick, sick, sick about the Cowboys loss last night.
Romo has not been himself for the past three games or so... and then to run off to MEXICO on VACATION before the big game?! What was he thinking...

I am just so very upset, I can barely function today. I really thought this was gonna be their year. I tried so hard not to cry last night, then looked up and saw T.O. crying at the press conference.

I tell you, this IS Jessica Simpson's fault. I never liked her before and now if I ever saw her in a back alley.... Well....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Part Time

Today I decided to get a part time job, but one I love. We have a wedding to help pay for- Christmas will be back before you know it (seriously, it sneaks up on you) and of course, just like anyone else I have a little bit of debt AND I also like cool things.

I have a business account at Bank of America I don't use. On payday (Tuesday) I am going to transfer $100 into it and I also have a ton of things around the house here I don't use, don't like and can't fit into. These things are going on Ebay and Craigslist THIS WEEK. Any proceeds are going into this business account. I'm going to keep sort of a jounral or something and start garage saling again in full force.

I think this part time job is going to be me buying things and reselling them. It's in my blood. I've tried to fight it, because if I'm anything like my grandfather, I'll just become a junk hoarder... but really, this is my passion, it's something I love and you never know, one day it could actually be what I do...

So I am going to use the money in the account to start up a little EBay business for the year and we'll see how I do. My goal for 2008 will be to MAKE $10,000

This is why I have to keep the journal- what I paid for it, if I had to put anything in it like paint, etc... what I had to pay Ebay and then what they pay me for it, minus shipping. I'll have to come up with a fun little Exel spreadsheet or something to keep tally.

I'm excited!

Today is January 13th- Blanca got her heartworm pill today (the one she was supposed to get on the 1st) and the Dallas Cowboys have their first playoff game today. GO BOYS!


Friday, January 11, 2008


I made a "New Year's Resolution" if you want to call it that - that I would update the blog frequently (points for me there) and that on the first of every month I would 1) give Blanca her heartworm pill and 2) I would change the background of this blog per month. Oh how SUPER FUN! You know- fireworks at New Years, something about hearts or loooooooove for February, March- um... Easter I guess, April- oh oh the wedding! , um- May... recovery from the wedding?, June FLAG DAY!, July- the 4th, August- all about ME, my birthday month... and so on.

So I have been on a big time mission from Hades to find some cool blogs to read and link to on my page. Mission accomplished. I'm totally into cooking right now - and all things domesticated. I must be nesting.

Anyway, everyone's blog is so nice and cheery! Mine is BLACK with some lame fireworks. I should have maybe spent more time looking for something completely fabulous- but at the time, I thought this was very festive... and NOW I am stuck with this background until February 1st. UGH.

Darn resolutions. Oh yeah- and it's January 11th and Blanca has STILL not had her heartworm pill. I'm two for two here...



Here is our wedding cake topper. YES. IT IS.
I love it!
My friend Sunny, from Dallas, says it suits us just perfectly- both us being drug down the aisle at the ripe old ages of 32 and 33.
Not really though. It just took us longer than I guess normally expected to find each other.
I don't know- upon annoucing the engagement to Conrad's family members, many of them said, "What? Conrad?" .... not sure if that's frightening or not.
Upon my announcement, it was more like "FINALLY!!!!"
Hey- many WEREN'T WORTHY dad gum it!
Peace and love from H-Town,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Health and Gov

To follow this post, you probably need to read Tracy's comments on my blog post from yesterday.

I don't know if socialized is better than the system we currently have. All I know is my entire life I have heard about how lucky I am to live in the US and how our government is the best, etc... and yes, it's true we don't have county-wide famine. We don't see pictures on the news of thousands of Americans walking down a dusty road, in rags, hungry.

But we do have a TERRIBLE legal system. In this country, someone has to PHYSICALLY attack you before you can get a restraining order, in most cases. Someone calling you and telling you they're going to kill you isn't good enough. The government is far too worried about infringing on the ATTACKER's rights, than on the victims. In many cases, the victim is dead before they were ever ALLOWED to file. There were several cases in Texas this year- I think 20 or more - of exonerated people allowed to leave prison after 20 or more years because they were finally cleared of crimes they didn't commit. That's just in Texas.

I've heard from some of my friends in Dallas that the food banks there are running out of food. There are so many hungry people in this country too.I remember I got into an argument one time because a family member had decided to try to spend her time and money fighting for the Afghan women, because they are oppressed. WHAT?! What about the single mothers in New York, Birmingham, Houston, Little Rock, Minneapolis? What about them? Isn't our money and time better served, staying here at home.

Then the healthcare issue. You raise wonderful points, Trace. ... and I think it boils down to the fact that not everyone, everywhere is going to be happy. I don't know if Socialized healthcare is the answer. Michael Moore's movie, Sicko, is certainly worth a watch. It will make you angry - but it will make you think. I didn't get my information about Canada from Michael Moore- but from people I know there. Some like it, some don't.

The point of my tirade is that some people like things here as they are and some don't... and healthcare is near and dear to my heart because I am sick and had been let go from my job- working temp, I didn't have insurance - and I needed help. I called my doctor to get help before my insurance ran out and she wouldn't help me. They were too "booked". I offered to come in and sit all day in her office and wait for a canceled appointment. She wouldn't help... I called insurance companies, they wouldn't help... government, no one.

It seems if you are sick in this country, you're on your own. Conrad heard it so much his ears were bleeding. I was alone and I was upset and scared and there was no one to help. Now my mom did buy me the COBRA for two months and I went to my primary care doctor. He did a blood test and wrote me about 6 months worth of medicine and then mom got me a catasrophe insurance plan which didn't cover doctor's visits. My endocronogist VISIT was $500 a pop and that didn't include the blood tests... so six months later, I was back in the same boat. Luckily for me, my primary doctor took pity and saw me again (self pay for office visit and bloodwork) and wrote me another prescription. I was un-insured for a year and NOWmy insurance plan does not cover pre-existing conditions. I am STILL seeing primary care doctors for blood tests. I will not be eligable to see my endocrinologist until May 6 of this year- TWO YEARS I have gone without being under a specialists care... and I wonder why I've gained weight, why I had heart problems, why I sometimes can't sleep and sometimes all I do is sleep. I have had no specialized medical care. Because the government and insurance companies make it too hard and too expensive.

It's pretty scary- the truth is, I'm afraid to get old in my own country.

Edited to add: There was a Bridal Extravaganza this weekend in Houston. I did not go, nor did I make Conrad miss his Bowl Games. I AM AWESOME.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I am proud of me today.

I had a three month follow up appointment with my doctor today- this was for the whole biopsy drama that happened a few months ago... so anyway, if you will remember his staff was atrocious. They never returned phone calls.... when it was determined that I needed a biopsy they had no bedside manner- promised to call back within a week to schedule my procedure and then never did... I had to call them. It has been a nightmare. The entire process, to find out I really was ok, took over two months. Ridiculous... The doctor himself was fine, not super impressed, but I could TOTALLY see how his staff could misplace documents, etc... and give me incorrect test results. The last time I was in there, the nurse I am ALWAYS trying to get in touch with, was lounging in the nurses area talking on a personal phone call.

Well today was my appointment and I just could not bring myself to go. I really thought about it- and what if five years down the line I have a problem and I need urgent or consistent medical care... I would not trust this man or his office to handle it. I really think, without being dramatic, if I had a life threatening problem, my chances of biting the big one under his care rise dramatically....

SO, I canceled my appointment this morning. I am not going somewhere I am uncomfortable and do not trust. I got on and looked up reviews of other doctors in the area and I found a FABULOUS place near my house... and I called and made an appointment there for Feb 4. I explained everything and they were VERY helpful. They even have a website where you go and fill out all your paperwork and then forever and ever, they post all your test results and things there so you can see them at any time. HOW CONVENIENT!

I called the other doc back and told them I need all my medical records. I am not settling for sub-prime care. I saw the movie Sicko and I AM concerned for medical care in this country. I do sometimes wonder if a blanket health care system wouldn't maybe be better... I know we'd have to wait longer, but it's proven that in Canada or France, etc... if the issue is life threatening, they do see you immediately. I am so tired of hearing about things not covered and pre-existing conditions. I sometimes wonder why in the world we even HAVE health insurance. I know when I was jobless with Graves Disease it was one of the scariest times of my life.... no one would help me and COBRA coverage was astronomical. My mom paid for it for two months and then we dropped it because it was so expensive... now even though I am in a group plan, I still have some pre-existing conditions that are not covered until May 6.

YIPPEE- yeah America! No one, including the government would help me get medicial care, but they sure do take their taxes every month on time- and every time I go to the store, etc...

We have some serious issues in this country.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wedding Update

Full steam ahead!

We 100% have a minister! WOO HOO
Invitations- Check
Tux - Check
Rings sized- Check

We are just trucking right along. I think we did more in the last week than we did for all of November or December. I have no idea what I was thinking planning a wedding during Christmas and football season.

Which brings me to the next thing- LSU won the National Championship last night. DRAT!
I still have a deep, unabiding hatred for them. My boss showed up here at work today wearing her LSU jersey. So sad... and here I thought this was a safe place to work (sobbing). The only thing that could be worse is if our Vice President was an OU fan. Bless him, I don't think he is.

Anyway... taking a break from wedding stuff for a few days and just going to enjoy life. I find I have to take a break now and again, although really, when comparing with other people's big productions, this is just nothing. This is just me complaining about finding the right shoes. We are really, for most purposes, pretty much done.

Conrad is getting ready to leave for Orlando on Monday- and I am planning which Chick flicks to have delivered to the house while he's gone. Blanca and I have some girls days planned. I even went and got myself all the food I'll need while he's gone. I won't be cooking any big dinners- this will be like frozen pizzas, eggrolls and noodles, okra soup and lima beans and sausage. YUM YUM.

I am most excited about the lima beans. As with most veggies, Conrad hates them. I don't know what's wrong with that boy... poor thing tried to kill off my daddy at Thanksgiving by asking him WHO Jefferson Davis was and then announced he didn't like boiled peanuts or grits. My dad told me it wasn't too late to back out of this wedding thing.

WHO was Jefferson Davis? Great sakes alive, I almost had to pick my daddy up off the floor.


Sunday, January 6, 2008


WOW, did we get a LOT done this weekend!

First of all, all the stuff that needed to be hung was done yesterday- the clock and pictures and the dustbuster.

Then we got SO much done for the wedding. We popped into Men's Warehouse today and in thirty minutes the tux thing was done- all I need to do now is alert all the participants. It was so easy to do! I got the wedding cake topper bought, all the cameras for the tables (candid shots), all that stuff is done... I am so getting pumped now, because it feels like we are making tons of progress. OH - and we got a minister! It looks like Conrad's childhood minister is going to be able to do it. He is going to confirm Monday morning, but 90% sure he can do it. WHEW!

Tonight for dinner we are having the spaghetti and meatballs Conrad's mom and sister make all the time. He loves them and it's been ages since I made any. I also decided that maybe lunchtime at work is making me fat. It's so easy to just run out and "grab something"... so I thought about it and what I would want if I could and I decided on the Old Fashioned Charleston Okra Soup. MAN is that stuff GOOD and good for you too! ... and filling and cheap and easy to make. I have a pot on the stove right now and it is driving me crazy- with the smells. It's delicious!

For one hour, boil ham pieces (or a ham bone) in water
Then add one can of tomatoe sauce and one BIG can or two small cans of whole tomatoes, kind of chopped up.
If you used the bone, please remove it now, but if it was ham pieces, leave 'em in!
Add a bag of each: frozen corn, okra and speckled butter beans
Then cook that pot for several hours... I usually make a big pot of white rice too

I put the rice in the bottom of the bowl, then add soup. I don't ever combine and store. It lasts FOREVER.... DAYS and I love it. I had been craving it anyway. This week, at lunchtime, is gonna be GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.


P.S. Conrad is throwing up, thinking about the soup. He has no idea what he's missing...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Yesterday- All my troubles seemed so far away

Yesterday, back on track. Hardly a meltdown in sight.

Conrad's mom is talking to the minister today... and Conrad has agreed to go with me tomorrow morning to get our rings sized, my wedding band ordered and I also need to replace a diamond in my grandmother's ring. I want to wear it when I get married, so she'll be with me. This takes yet one more thing OFF the list! Conrad said that he is going to be able to do The Men's Warehouse thing during the week, as there is one near his office- so this won't cut into his Bowl Game time. What was I THINKING, planning a wedding during football season... my sweet Conrad has not been available on a Saturday since late August. I kid ... kinda... he will of course, always be available to me on a Saturday- and he would miss a game for me... but he would be sad about it and baring an emergency, I would never make him do it.

I think the invites should be arriving soon as well, and even though they are not due to be mailed until February, I can at least begin addressing them. I also am going to go this weekend and hunt down some wedding shoes (I need them for my alterations) and soon shall go to the wedding store and get my unmentionables to suck and hold me in the dress... then January TO DO list will be just about wrapped up. I think we are rocking and rolling on this thing. I should be a professional wedding planner- except I don't do well with anyone's drama but my own (and really, there is so much...) and I don't really like many women. HA HA HA ... so.... maybe not.

Mr. Conrad is about to go on his big business trip in about a week- to sunny Orlando. He will be gone a week. The big joke in his company is that all the guys are going to the golf course and all the girls... and Conrad are being signed up at the spa. This is why I love him and why he "gets" me. Conrad would rather be at a spa anytime than some ugly golf course and this, my dear male readers, DOES make him a real man... I'm going to use that time he is gone, to clean the closet and jewelry box out and maybe paint a wall or two. I also want to catch up on some chick movies. We will miss him dearly, Blanca and I, but this will motivate me off the couch and into some productive movements.

Everyone have a LURVELY weekend!


Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm Melting!

I don't know if this is just post-Christmas stress, pre-wedding stuff or WHAT, but I very nearly had another melt down last night.

The house has been a disaster area. We have boxes and wrapping paper EVERYWHERE... and then gifts that have not been put away, just all piled up. I finally got around to putting all of that to bed this weekend, but as the wedding approaches and I realize people will be in and out of the house, I start to see things that need to be done. I would like to hang the new dining room light, and the master bathroom needs to be painted. The alcove leading into the master bedroom needs to be painted. We have new bathroom lights- but they are still in the boxes... and we do now have another new guest room, with not one thing hanging on the wall. Maybe to some people, this is no big deal, but I have always been a decorator and my houses have always looked pretty nice... but like Conrad says, there is ALWAYS something to do. ALWAYS. I have to hang some pictures I haven't yet... I have a clock I bought, still sitting on the table- not hung. My plants are all dying... disaster... and it's stressing me out.

Work has been mildly stressful. I'm dealing with some companies we've hired to help us out with some things- completely useless. I'm not sure what we're paying them for and to top it off, I would bet the farm that one of the guys hates women because he never calls me back and when he does, he immediately asks to speak to one of the men on the project.

With the holidays over, everyone is back on the roads and I am back to over an hour commute to and from work. I so much wanted to start working out and eating healthy at home again, but how can you when you've been away from home for 12 hours and you're exhausted?

Then let's not even talk about the wedding. We STILL don't have a minister and I am abotu to go crazy. It's about all I can think about... and we need to get the tuxes fitting done and the rings need to be sized... I have not yet gotten a return call from an artist I hired to do some stuff... I worry about money... I can not wait really for this part to be over. I neglected it at Christmas and so now I am paying for it... by being overloaded with things to do.

So I get home last night and the last thing I want to do is cook. I put some chicken out and it's turning weird colors, so we can't cook it anyway- but if we go out, then my diet is blown and do we REALLY need to spend the money. I almost just decided not to eat. I was pouting and huffing on the couch when Conrad made the executive decision and made me put on my shoes. He took me to a nice dinner at Chili's ... and I went to bed early.

I don't know how to come out of the funk really, but I'm trying.
Writing it down sometimes helps. ... and I'm also thinking next Christmas needs to be less about presents. I spend WAY too much money and drag them all over the place and ship them all over the place and stress myself out... Next year I need to come up with a new plan. I've been watching a lot of craft shows and figuring out a way to make more gifts. Maybe not so much for the kids, but for some of the grownups- seems to me like it would mean more.

I don't know- just something I'm fiddling with- because you should never come out of Christmas depressed and stressed out... and this is like the 12th one where I've felt that way.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Chicken Georgia

Holy Shnikes, Batman!

Did we have a GOOD dinner last night. I watched an episode of Paula Deen's Home Cookin' or whatever it is and she made what I thought was a pretty simple chicken dish. It's called Chicken Georgia and IT IS FABULOUS. I have to share the recipe

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, 2 tablespoons minced shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

Melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes on each side, or until tender. Top chicken with mozzarella cheese and cover pan with lid. Wait about 5 minutes until cheese has melted.

It was the easiest thing in the world to make... and I made some rice pilaf and cornbread to go with it. We were almost crying it was so good... and I really am not a good chicken cook. I have one or two things I've perfected, but chicken is really NOT my bag... but YOU MUST TRY THIS.

My other topic today is Oprah's Book Club. Normally- not a big fan. Her books are either WAY to hard to read or they make you want to kill yourself about halfway through. Why does a woman with so much money and so much supposed inner peace and gratitude read these books that are about death, famine and poverty? Anyway- her latest book selection intriqued me. It's called Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It's set in the middle ages and is about a Monk and the building of a great cathedral. I CAN NOT put this book down. It's 970 pages and I'm somewhere around 349. I would stay up all night and read if I could. I found out this weekend it has a sequel... on one hand this is exciting and on the other, it's exhausting. It takes a LONG time to read this book, because it's very detailed...

But WELL worth the read. I am on board with this, her 60th book selection.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope this post finds you all well and happy!

Conrad and I had a great New Year's Eve. We went to a restaurant he had eaten lunch at a few months ago- near to where I work- called Cavatore. It's a nice little Italian place that is housed in an old Texas barn.

We had the fried ravioli, a nice dinner and ended the evening with a canaloni. It was really great. Conrad treats me very well, ya'll! Then we came on back to the house, because I don't think either one of us likes to be out much on New Year's Eve. It's just that we had our first date on NYE two years ago, so the night is special to us for different reasons than most I guess. I had a very sad and stressful 2005, and my 2006 started out so well and promising, since I had met Conrad a few days before. Since 2006, things have been up and down- probably for both of us, but we weathered all the storms together and neither one of us caused the stress for the other... we were just there for each other. We often say WOW- most long distance relationships don't last. It's mostly because the weekends you spend together and very idyllic where everything is happy and bright. Generally, when one person moves to be near the other, a break up soon follows, because the two people never really lived real life together... but we sort of did, even from Dallas and Houston. We had deaths in the family, job losses, financial problems, weddings, trips, holidays... all kinds of things that happened during our "courtship"... so I guess we felt like we HAD experienced real life together. It ended up working out GREAT. I really feel a peace I never did before. It's a peace knowing you're loved and well taken care of... and knowing you have made and are making the right decision. Most people say getting married and moving forward is pretty stressful - but I can honestly say neither one of us has felt stressed or cold feet at all. This seems like the next step, the natual progression of things.

I know for ME, but probably not for Conrad :) as I neared my late 20's a sort of panic set in... that I would be alone forever or wondering what was wrong with me... but now I am very grateful for the time alone, the time to grow up and the chance to meet someone and do things right... I am very very thankful that things happened the way they did. We are blessed.

I hope you all have a happy and blessed New Year.

Conrad found $20 in the driveway this morning, so he's convinced this is his best year yet. We went to lunch today and he refused to eat the black eyed peas and cabbage (*sigh* and this IS heartbreaking for a southern girl), so I tried to bone up and eat enough good luck and prosperity for both of us.... and then HE finds the money in the driveway. It's so unfair! Just like men only gain weight in their tummies and if they stop drinking soda for three days, they lose 40 pounds.

Sometimes life just isn't fair!

Love and Warm Wishes from Houston and a Happy New Year!

Karyn, Conrad and Blanca