Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wow... really?

OMGosh! Has it really been since the new year that I've posted a blog? I need to make an effort to do more posting, that is totally unacceptable! Hehe

So here I sit, at the end of August, 2011, watching a Carolina Panthers Preseason Game and mulling over the last few months. So a quick catch up. I'm still at Razzoo's (or as I lovingly call it, the 'Zoo), am currently the bar manager, and am enjoying it immensely! It's such a fun and welcoming place, and we are truly a little family up there. I've made some great new friends, and am enjoying my time.

D and I are still working on the baby making process. Seems like a never ending process really, but I trust in God that it will happen exactly when it is supposed to. The past year has been crazy for us with our Chooldren (aka furbabies). We lost Alex a year ago, then in November/December the idea was mentioned to D by his psychiatrist that maybe a service animal would be a good option for him. We figured out that Alex, while never having been trained to be a service animal, was most definitely one. He helped keep D grounded when things were not good. So after a couple months of research, and a bit of a search for the right dog, we picked up a bull mastiff puppy on January 2nd. Her name is Taylor, and she is currently running through my house like a tornado. It's the weirdest thing... she's been well trained by a wonderful trainer D found and is still working with, and she has passed the first two rounds of tests. She goes pretty much everywhere with D and is, for the most part, an angel in public. Other than the fact that she's not as big as she'll eventually get, she is really good, and has learned quite a few of the "tasks" that she uses to help D. She's really good when we're out in public, as long as she has her vest on.... but when we get home, and the vest comes off, she quickly becomes the 8 month old puppy she is.... holy cow she can be a terror! And she thinks that she is still 3 lbs, not the 70ish that she is... gotta love a big old crazy puppy.

Last year when we had finally made the decision to let big Alex go, we were also going to let Maggie go with him. He took that decision out of our hands by passing in the night, and Maggie stayed with us. We finally had to make that tough decision a few months ago and let Maggie leave this world to go be with Alex. While it was definitely sad, she had lived such a long, loved life, that we joyfully morned her passing. I have to admit though, that I still think I hear her every now and then trying to hide her food bowl!

Through the process of trying to gather information on Psychiatric Service Dogs last year D realized that the information was not easily accessible, and that there was a need for such a place to get all the info needed and try to help others with their search. Out of this, Psych Dog Charlotte has been born. We are in the process of filing the non profit papers and getting the non-profit off the ground.

In other news, D was laid off from his job with ADP at the end of last year, and he is currently working to get Purplesun Consulting up and running fully. He will be essentially be doing the same thing he did the past couple of years, but will be doing it privately. If he can truly get it going there will be a good future in it for our family. On this end he has found an assistant for both Purplesun and Psych Dog Charlotte. Megan is promoting and working as a volunteer until we start bringing in money. So far, in just a week, she has been able to get D on track and things running. She's very goal oriented, which is a blessing. I too am that way, but when I push D he gets mad. It's different with Megan.

Let's see, what else.... I've been itching for a while to get another tattoo, and think I've finally decided what I want, now I just need it designed, then it will be time to find a good artist and go get inked!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tammy's favorite things.... 2010 edition

I have a super fun friend from college (Missy Can Doren Weaver) who decided if Oprah can have a favorite things list then so can she... I thought it was such a great idea I am now stealing it! I think (like Missy does) that it will be fun to compare the list next year and see what if anything has changed or is new!

So here is my list of favorite things, 2010 edition...

  • My super loving husband Darryl
  • Family that is ALWAYS there... 
  • My mom, sister and husband for always being my sounding board in any and every situation
  • My fur babies, aka Chooldren, who know every time I need nothing more than a cuddle to make my day better
  • A new camera that will allow me to explore my creative side, something I crave
  • A fun new job and great new co-workers
  • The best friends a girl could ever have. They know me at my best and worst and accept me no matter which end I fall on. You all know who you are! 
  • Facebook for allowing me to re-connect with old friends I never thought I'd find again. They are often the best cheerleaders and give me the best ideas for blogs/notes!
  • My wonderful husband (yes he merits yet another mention) for allowing me to explore on my own when the time is right. 
  • Said wonderful husband's job that allowed us the immense number of frequent flyer miles and amex points and such to get a flight, hotel, and car rental for free so that I could go to my cousin's wedding in California and get my world rocked. 
  • The ability and means to travel. I can't wait for our next trip... ready to start planning! I have to put that camera to good use right?
  • My new cowboy boots
  • A great new extended family and friends met while in Cali this summer... Nic and Doug's union was meant to be, because his family was meant to be joined to ours!
  • Wonderful family friends... you forget when they're not around all the time, but they always hold a little piece of your heart.
  • Kristin Hill Vining's photography and quirkiness... she inspires me to learn to take photos as beautifully and artistically composed as hers.
  • LRT's Be Pretty blog that inspires me to pull out my inner fashionista daily...
  • American Eagle's boyfriend fit and artist fit jeans... the ONLY jeans I can find that truly fit correctly and flatteringly! Now if I could only find a pair of skinny jeans that will slide into my new cowboy boots and other cute boots right then I'll be all set!
  • Old Navy jersey turtlenecks... I wish I'd bought more than one, they fit perfect and are super cute with a chunky necklace and jeans!
  • My super cute husband's musical talent. 
  • Pashmina scarves... I think I own 20 of them in different colors, and wear one almost daily.
  • Fun jewelry in every shape and size... truly you can never have too much costume jewelry right? (again a thanks to my hubs for indulging me in this area!)
  • Super cute handbags purchased as gifts from my super cute husband. (again, thanks for indulging me in this area!)
  • Warm throw blankets and snuggies
  • Flannel sheets and warm comforters
  • 700 thread count sheets that feel like silk.
  • Clean laundry and clean sheets day
  • A clean house.... (doesn't happen nearly often enough!)
  • Bath and Body Works Orange Ginger scented shampoo/conditioner and body wash
  • Airwick oil air fresheners
  • Natural Ice Cherry Flavored lip balm
  • Our loving church family at AFM who check in on us regularly, even when we are MIA for a while!
  • My marbled red patent leather dansko work shoes
  • Rain scented oil from Global Scent Company... same scent I've been wearing for 10+ years!
  • My niece Lilly (aka Buggie) and my soon arriving niece/nephew... so excited for another baby in the family!
I'm sure there is more, but this is what I've got rig

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wow, it's been a while...

I just realized that I haven't updated my blog in forever!!! I finished my 6th week at Razzoo's this week... two weeks left of training, then the training wheels are off... I'm excited! I have already completed 5 weeks of kitchen training and a week of server/host training... it's been great. I've held my own in every aspect so far. This week I have my final day of host training and then three days at the bar, and then next Sunday, on Halloween, I get to start my "SMIT" shifts (service manager in training). Then I'm done. Woohoo!! We have a great place, great people and great fun... it couldn't be better. I think D might be happy if I was working a little less, but the past couple weeks have been rough with a lot of mid shifts, that keep me there longer than if I was opening or closing. It's all good though.

I love what I'm doing, and that is what matters.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New jobs....

Well today is my orientation at Razoo's and tomorrow I start officially training to be the new manager. I'm very excited, but at the same time, slightly nervous. I think it's normal to be nervous when you're starting a new adventure. Honestly, the part of the 8 week training that is making me nervous is the kitchen training. I know I can cook, and hope that I can hold my own, but I've never worked on that side of a kitchen. I don't think that Fuel counts in this regard... I could run that kitchen with my eyes closed, but there is a big difference between a full service restaurant kitchen and a pizza kitchen. The up side is that the prep part doesn't frighten me too much, because lord knows I did plenty of that. I know I'll be fine, but it's still slightly nerve wracking. So wish me luck, I'll say my prayers, and put on my big girl panties, and here we go!!!

In other news Darryl is in Canada this week, and the Calgary Curse has reared its ugly head again. On the flights up yesterday he wasn't feeling too hot, and go there to the beginnings of the lovely kidney stones pain. We honestly weren't sure if it was a stone, or a kidney infection, but the test at the ER said that there was no infection, so let's just hope that this passes super fast and he can rock it out this week. On the up side, he gets to see Tina on Thursday in Calgary, and hang out with her for a while that afternoon and evening, so that is good, and I'm sure will help him feel a bit better.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New beginnings...

Well... it's been coming for a while.... I left my last job at the end of April because I was unhappy, as well as realized that after taxes, gas and food I was only bringing home about $4 an hour... not even worth the frustration I was feeling every day. So D and I made the decision to have me try staying at home for a while. This meant tightening the belt a bit, and it has been a rough summer as far as money goes. The up side is that I have been able to travel a good bit, which has been fun, but would have been more fun with a little more money to play with.

Those who know me know that I am not one to sit around the house and do nothing. I started out ok the first couple months. I had "projects" and was getting a lot done around the house, which was good. Unfortunately, after a while I get bored with the projects and start doing not too much... aka.. I end up being a bit of a couch potato and start getting almost depressed... not good. When this happens it is time to hitch up my britches and make the decisions to change the circumstance.

A couple weeks ago, my girls and I went to dinner at a restaurant a couple of our friends manage, Razoo's, at Concord Mills. Our friends, Scott and RD, have been there forever. Scott for almost 10 years, and RD for almost as long. I've known Scotty for 20 years, no lie, our first job was together when we were 15 at Baskin Robbins at Eastland Mall (tells you how long ago it was when it was safe to work at Eastland!) We've been friends ever since. Anyway, I mentioned to Scotty that night that if he had anything part time, or that didn't include weekends, I would love to get out of the house. He asked me then, "Would you say no to a good paying, good job, with a great company, even if you had to work weekends?" At that point I told him that honestly I wasn't sure. It doesn't typically bother me to work weekends, but the problem is that Darryl is pretty much only home on the weekends, so it's the only time we really get to spend together. His schedule is lightening up a little bit now, so he'll be home a bit more, which is good. So two weeks later I was thinking more and more about what Scott had said.

When D got home last weekend we had a heart to heart and I told him that I am sick of struggling to make the pieces fit money wise, and also that I need to get out of the house. I also mentioned to him what Scott said to me... and why at that point I didn't just jump all over it. He looked at me then and said that he wanted me to be happy, and that if this was something that I thought could do it, then I had to call Scott. Which I did this week... verdict being that once we get back from our vacation next week I will be starting management training at Razoo's... WOOHOO! It will be a bit of an adjustment over the next month or so, while I get used to working full time again, but I'm REALLY excited for the opportunity and the things that will be coming. I'll officially be a working girl in not too long!! Go me!

D and I have been tossing around the idea for a few months of trying to find a new rental house closer to Huntersville... but I think now we may start looking more in the Highland Creek/University/Concord Mills area. It's great where we live, but honestly, it would be good to not have a 30 minute commute each way, and  one of the perks to being here is that we're so close to the airport, but we only go to the airport twice a week, so being farther away is not that big of a deal really. It just makes more sense!! So any of you out there that run across a good rental, not too expensive, in those areas... keep us in mind!

I'm excited for tonight, the Brad Paisley concert and then to spend a week in NY and MD with my love visiting with friends and family and generally having a good old time relaxing and reconnecting.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Moving on...

The emotions in our home have finally calmed down a little... thankfully! I'm sick of the crying and crap constantly. Hopefully it will just continue to get easier.

D is home this week.. we think... he may be leaving tomorrow for a day or two, but we're not positive yet. Tonight we are headed to dinner with Linley and Hunter. Hunter leaves for Elon on Friday... it so does not seem possible that the little almost 4 year old I met so long ago is all grown up and headed to college. I'm so proud and excited for her! Wednesday night Mom, K and I are having girls night... dinner and a show! Mary Poppins (the musical play) is in CLT this week, and Mom got us tickets... so excited! (and yes I'm a dork!!) Thursday night I have planning meeting with the group who will be organizing the "Heart for Hope" fundraiser in February. Stay tuned as we get closer for more info on that! Friday we're headed to the Brad Paisley show at Verizon.. should be a blast! And then Saturday morning D and I leave for Central NY for most of the week... We're gonna hang out at Mamma's and just relax and reconnect. Vacations are good for that. Friday we'll head down to MD for a couple nights to see more "family" and chill there. We were originally going to head to Baltimore and stay at a hotel and go to an O's game and such, but we've decided that we're just gonna chill with Tina and crew, hopefully get to see some of our other friends, and that Tomi and Richie will come hang out with us as well. I know Saturday we're talking about taking the Metro into DC and doing the tourist thing, which will be fun! Overall I'm just looking forward to a week of friends, family and chilling. After the last couple weeks it will definitely be a welcome change.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Passing on...

So this morning, sometime between 5am and 8:30am our sweet precious boy Alex breathed his last breath. I knew last night that today was going to be the day that we sent him to the rainbow bridge, and I spent most of the night on the floor with him, or hanging off the side of the bed, petting him. When he finally fell asleep around 5 I was delirious and laid down myself to get some sleep. I woke up at 8:30 to use the restroom and call D to wake him up and soon after discovered my sweet big boy was not breathing.

I am sad, of course, but at the same time am excited that he is no longer in pain and that I know his big sweet face is no longer struggling for breath. He went quickly, more quickly than I could have possibly imagined, but I am so glad that he did. I'm sure he went last night for me, and for him so that he was at home with those he loved in a place that he loved. I told him all night long, while loving on him, that he could go, that he could let go and go be free. I know his daddy was praying the same thing from Calgary. He heard our prayers and passed over the bridge today. He will always hold a special place in my heart, that right now is totally breaking.


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 
Author unknown...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Waiting....

They, whoever they are, always say that waiting is the hardest part. I would have to agree that it is so true. I've always been a rather patient person, but when I'm waiting for something that I know is going to rip my heart out it just seems like an unusual kind of torture. Watching someone/something that you love continue to diminish daily is unbearable. I know some people won't understand the love that we have for our chooldren, but to us, they are just furry kids. 
Alex is getting worse. He's still eating, barely, but at least he's eating. What is breaking my heart is the fact that he is not really sleeping well, or I'm not even sure at all. I think he is at night when I'm sleeping, because he stays laying down, and it is the only time he lays down for more than a few minutes at a time. I think he's scared to go to sleep because his breathing is labored. I don't know that this is why, but it's what I think. That or he just can't get into a position that is totally comfortable for him. I would love to give him some benadryl, and hope that it knocked him out and he would finally get some sleep, but I'm afraid to give it to him and it take him before he's ready. I'm just not sure what the answer is. 
I got him to eat a whole cheeseburger from McD's yesterday, so that was something. Today I've only gotten him to eat a few bites of anything, cheeseburger included. I'm going to try again in a bit and see if I can get him to eat a bit more. Honestly I'm just waiting for him to tell me he's ready to go. As hard as it will be, and as much as we'll miss him, it's all up to him when the time is right, and I know he'll tell me. In the meantime my heart just keeps breaking a tiny piece with every labored breath he takes. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

the best friends....

Sometimes I forget how very, very blessed I am. I have an amazing husband, an incredible family, and the very best friends a girl could ever wish for. I could go into vast detail, and tell you all about each of them, and why I love them so much, but let it suffice to say that they're there through everything. We've been there through births, deaths, sickness, wellness, the good and the bad... and through it all we love each other no matter what for who we are. As we've gotten older and everyone has gotten married, had kids, gotten busy living life, we found that we were not spending enough "girl" time together. A few years ago one of my girls took care of that... My gosh.. it was 6 years ago I think... Mary sent an email to all of us telling us that she'd had a "cheesy" idea to start a supper club so that we would get together and have good bonding time at least once a month. She told us all that if we thought it was a dumb idea it was ok, but we all jumped on board with both feet. There had always been six of us "regulars", and occasionally we all bring in others who we feel like need a "break" from their normal lives and some good girl time. As someone has moved or something has happened we have always found a new sixth to fill the hole. We switch months, so we each cook dinner twice a year, it works out great. Or well it did, until recently one of our members decided to divorce us. Long, crazy story, and I'm not going into it. So now we have two months a year that are unaccounted for.

It just so happens that August was supposed to be our former members month.. so the question was posed, what to do? We tossed around a couple of ideas, and the final decision was made that we would have a "girlie date night." So we are going to dinner and a movie (although I have a feeling we may not make it to the movie!) I'm so excited, after the chaos of this week, to spend some good, quality time with my besties. Most of these girls I have been friends with since High School, or just after. Or in the case of my sister, all of her life! We always have a good time together and we always laugh a lot. I simply can't wait.

I love you girls! And I think we should leave the two months every year for "date night"... might be the best idea in a while!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How do you say goodbye?

Truly... how do you say goodbye to one of your best friends/furbabies?

Alex, or 10 year old big old black lab, has been not feeling well for a few weeks. I took him to the vet two weeks ago and he'd lost right around 20 lbs since his last visit in September '09. He'd been coughing and was breathing a bit more heavily than normal. Because I see Alex every day, it was hard for me to see the weight falling off of him. He was still eating like he normally does, so I didn't think much about it until the coughing/breathing issues started. They ran a panel of bloodwork then, and everything was clear, even his white blood count. His lungs sounded clear, and of course, he did not cough even once while we were there... figures. The vet and I decided that the best course of action, being that his blood work was good, was to give him two weeks to improve, and we left with an appointment and cough suppressants. The cough suppressants were helping a bit, but nothing drastic. He was still eating and drinking like normal, so I wasn't too worried.

I went to Cali for 6 days, and by the time I realized what was going on last week, it seemed like he'd lost more weight. Then he quit eating like normal, and was only eating 1/2 of his normal amounts, even if we mixed in wet food, which he usually scarfs without chewing. It started to get worse through the weekend, but he had an appointment for a re-check on Monday, so we just kept an eye on him.

We went in yesterday, and the first plan of action, after realizing that he'd lost another 11 pounds in two weeks, was to do a chest x-ray to see what was causing the respiratory problems. I had a wave of dread flow over me while we were waiting, and started to tear up, so went to the rest room to put myself back together. I didn't even tell D.... just said I had to use the restroom. When the vet showed us the x-rays you could see the tumors clearly... and they were everywhere on his lungs. No wonder his breathing has been labored! She told us that if there was only one or two tumors, she would suggest removal and chemotherapy, but with Alex's age, breed, and the wide spread tumors, her suggestion was to make him as comfortable as possible and when we know it's time, to let him go. My heart was breaking, but I could see the anguish and feel the pain emanating from Darryl. We decided to take the vet's advice, paid for the x-rays, and left to take our sweet boy home. At this point we're really not sure how long we should make him suffer.. his breathing gets more labored by the day, but I pray that God will let us know when it's his time.

I fought tears the entire way home... we were about to get off of I-277 and onto South Blvd. when I had a flash of a deja vu.... about two years ago, before we were even in this house and we were still living in Mt. Holly, I woke up from a dream that totally mimicked what was happening... I woke up in tears. In the moment of exiting the highway I knew that I'd seen this coming two years ago.

I'm beyond heartbroken, but just pray for him to not be in pain. I love this sweet, big boy, but only a fraction of the amount that I'm sure D does... I'm not sure how he's going to deal with this, but we're doing the best we can.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers... if I can ask for anything, it would be that he not be in pain for the time he has left with us, and that the good lord will help us to know when it's time to let him go. I know he'll be waiting for us one day....


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 
Author unknown...