December 17, 2011

Shooting Guns and New Phones

And, how I was able to get the cost covered. Well, I've been living with my now, free and broken phone for several weeks. The crack bothered me less and less, and who doesn't love a free phone? But then I had a revelation. If I continue to break my phone, the Apple Store won't give me a trade-in value on it. That means I could be left having to purchase my replacement phone at full cost. No ma'am. I went right out to the Apple Store and swapped out my phone. I wasn't going to leave there without a case. I don't want to tempt fate twice. Say hello to my new case!

I really like it, and Chris says it looks like my style. Here are some important points about it. It's a hard case, not make out of silicone, and it snaps onto the phone. 

The case covers the front of the phone too, adding padding if you set your phone face down on a surface. 

The case covers the edges of the phone completely. This is very important if you drop your phone on its corner edge in a parking lot...just saying. 

And finally, this case covers a crack-free phone. Yay!

In other news, Chris, Jenny and Darrin and I went to Tunica last weekend for some time at the shooting range and some time with the slot machines. 

These photos are at the skeet shooting range. The gun is Chris'. Here Chris shows Jenny how to work the gun. He had already given both Jenny and Darrin a gun safety lesson at the house, but you can never be too careful. Don't place with guns, kids!

Jenny was already getting the hang of it.

Darrin pulled the button for her first clay/first shot.

Seriously a natural!

The happy gun couple.

Then it was Darrin's turn.

He was breaking clays right and left!

And then it was my turn.

Why yes, that gun is twice my size. After my obligatory shot, I called it a day and kept score.

But Jenny kept right on shooting! At'a girl!

Darrin continued to hit clay after clay. Chris and he were neck and neck on my scorecard.

I pulled the button for Jenny.

Don't we look like we belong?

An action shot of Darrin being the button guy for Chris.

Manly men. 

After our shooting, we hit the casino and found this festive Christmas village. It was all made out of gingerbread!

And someone came out the winner for the weekend...I wonder who?

In final news, I sold my old, new dining room chairs on Craigslist! Remember the pretty slip-covered ones that Porter scratched to death? Well, I finally sold them! The couple came and picked them up, paid in cash, and hauled them away all on the same day. I'm so happy they are going to a good home, and the woman plans to sew new slipcovers for them. Everyone wins!!

December 14, 2011

Porter goes screwy and Grace sleeps

I've been trying to get this on a video for some time now. Chris and I find the tops to our sink plungers all over the house. They make a fun noise as they slide across the hardwood floors, according to Porter. I knew no one would believe me if I didn't have proof on video, but Porter unscrews these tops. Unscrews them, I tell you!


 And what does Grace do while Porter is working his magic on the sinks? She dreams of a better life.


December 7, 2011

And the winner is....

Laura is the winner of the $50 Snapfish gift card! 

Happy Holidays!!

**And the update on our Christmas is that it's still standing! Porter hasn't tried to climb the branches or pick off all the ornaments. Success!**

December 4, 2011

My view from the finish line

Saturday, Chris ran the St. Jude Marathon. 

While he was running all over the city, I was volunteering at the finish line at AutoZone Park, giving out space blankets and medals and generally helping out. The greatest part was that I was there when Chris came across the finish line, and I got to "medal" him. 

After spending time at the 5K, half marathon and full marathon finish lines, I learned some lessons. 

1. You can not determine a person's running ability based on weight, height, gender, creed, religion or color. I saw all kinds of people come across those finish lines, and the length of the race did not correlate with any of the above-mentioned factors. Pregnant women in the 5K, dads with kids in backpacks in the half marathon and hefty men in the full. Tall lanky men stumbling in the half and petite women throwing up after the 5K.

2. Most people are very generous. There I was just standing around at the finish line doing minimal labor, and people who had run for miles and miles and raised money for St. Jude were thanking me for my time. It was consistently amazing and reaffirming that most people are inherently good. 

3. Marathons are emotional events. Now for obvious reasons, the St. Jude marathon is especially emotional. People are wearing t-shirts in memory and in honor of patients. Some families are running in thanks and others in pain. There's no getting away from that. However, I think marathons in general are emotional. I think it's something your body seeps into after hours of running. At the full marathon finish line, I medaled a girl, probably about my age, and she was weeping. I told her congratulations and asked if she needed help. She said she had no family there, and she asked me for a hug. I wrapped my arms around her and held her for several minutes while she cried. She said it was her first marathon. I continued to congratulate her and tell her how proud she should feel of her accomplishment.  Marathons are emotional. 

4. Marathons make you delusional. Not all, but a whole lot, of people coming across the finish line, mostly from the full marathon, were completely delusional for several moments. Their minds just weren't there. I'm sure it's a side effect of the places your mind has to go when you're running for more than 20 miles. I'm sure it takes it a bit of time to get back to reality. But seriously, marathons make you delusional. I had one person thank me for the pillow when it was clearly a big long blanket. One person kept running at full speed through the finish line and when he reached the water station, a true dead end, he stopped and looked completely confused. I think he couldn't tell his body to stop running. Another person, whom I have known for some time, didn't recognize me when I medaled them, gave them a blanket and then walked them to the water station. Thankfully, Chris recognized me immediately. That would have been a bummer. Thankfully marathons don't make you forget your spouse. 

5. Marathons make you sweat. I know this is an obvious one, but after putting medals around runners' necks and wrapping space blankets around runners' shoulders for several hours, I was covered in other people's sweat. Which is grosser than your own sweat. It's just a fact. 

December 1, 2011

Christmas tree update and a giveaway

So our live Christmas tree has been up for several days now, and it's still standing! No cat climbing the trunk. No dog knocking it over with her behind. Last night we added the ornaments, and we have our fingers and toes crossed that the animals in the house will continue to leave the tree alone. 

In other news, who wants $50? Everyone, right? Who wants $50 at Snapfish? Everyone, right? I'm very excited to announce that Snapfish has offered a $50 gift card to one of my readers. It's very exciting because Snapfish has just launched a new line of home decor items, created by Genevieve Gorder, host of “Dear Genevieve” and judge on “Design Star,” both on HGTV. Don't you love her?

I've got my eye on a canvas print

It's the holidays. You want to freshen up your house for parties and/or the new year. You want this gift card. How do you get this gift card you ask? Leave me a comment on this post telling me what is top on your wish list for Christmas. A new purse? Peace on Earth? A car with a big red bow on it? Tell me all about it. 

You can leave your comment until December 7th at 6pm. After that, comments will be closed and a random winner will be chosen. Yay! 

Happy holidays!

November 29, 2011

Trimming my first real tree and taking bets on my cat

Say hello to my first live Christmas tree. It's in the midst of being lit. 

It's a real tree!

With tree stems, seed looking things and everything.

Grace doesn't seem to think much about it. She sniffed it a bit while it was drying out in the garage, but she seems kind of over it. 

But what about this guy? 

What's he looking at? Is he eyeing the tree? Does he have a plot to take it over and climb to its very top? 

We're not sure either. So the tree will sit, lit and waiting, two days before an ornament touches its branches. If the tree survives two days, surely Porter will no longer care. Surely. 

So what's your vote? Will the tree survive a cat's curiosity? Leave me a comment and tell me your vote. Happy holidays!

November 28, 2011

The Thanksgiving Grind

This Thanksgiving, Chris and I traveled home to see my family. The night before Thanksgiving lunch, my mom and I set out to make cornbread dressing, and we discovered we didn't have any corn meal. You know, the corn meal to make the cornbread that goes into the cornbread dressing? 

I offered to drive to Kroger and fight the fight of everyone else who had forgotten one ingredient the day before Thanksgiving, but before I got in the car, Mom said that she did have polenta. Polenta is just a larger grind of corn than corn meal. 

So you know what? I ground (in the food processor) the polenta to get it closer to corn meal. 

And it worked! The cornbread came together perfectly. I felt very pioneer-like doing this successfully. 

But I didn't get a photo of the finished cornbread dressing. I was much too busy eating. I was able to get a group shot, thanks to my new remote control for my camera. 

A pretty good looking group.

And, yes. I did cut my hair again. It's even shorter than before, and I'm loving it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2011

Ceramic magic

A few Saturdays ago, I met a group of women at a paint-your-own-pottery shop in Germantown, Paint A Piece. 

I've visited shops like this, mostly in SeaSide. You pick your ceramic piece and paint it. Pretty simple. The nice thing is that the shop has all the paints, and they fire the pieces in the kiln for you. 

Last year in SeaSide, I wanted to make a ring holder, but they didn't have the piece. I don't know if you think about a ring holder a lot, but I do. I always think how I would use one by my sink so that I could put my ring and small jewelry on it while I'm washing my hands/face/etc.

Paint A Piece did have a ring holder, so I was all over it!

I decided to try one of their pottery glazes. It paints on a totally different color than it fires in the kiln. The nice thing is that they have some built-in textures and colors. I chose the glaze called Robin's Egg. We have brown and blues in our master bedroom, and I thought the ring holder would fit in well in our to my sink. 

This is what it looked like when I finished it at the shop:

Questionable I know. The white inner ring you see if a white treatment that I was told could lighten the area you put it on but the other glaze color would remain. 

My ring holder was ready in just a few days, and it looked like this! 

Can you believe it? I'm really happy with it, and I find the pottery glaze amazing. How did it transform so completely? You can see the lighten inner ring too, which I'm really happy with. 

I also did the bottom because you have to cover the entire piece with the glaze, and I added an A initial with the year. 

I had a fun time at the shop, and I'm really happy with the results. I could see doing this again!

November 17, 2011

Book Review: Sea Change by Jeremy Page

I just read Sea Change by Jeremy Page. I found this book to be very intriguing. The overall premise is sad: Guy loses his wife and child. There you know. By the way, his name is Guy, not just a descriptor.

BUT, he keeps them alive in his mind and grows their lives' stories in his diaries. He continues to write about his family as if they are all still together for five years while he lives on a boat at sea. As a writer, I found it interesting that you could keep someone alive by writing about them. Could you really keep your life as you knew it going in your writing? I enjoyed the idea that his writing took on a life of its own, and there were times that even he was surprised by the outcomes, as if some other force was really writing the story...much like real life.

If you are a writer, I highly suggest you reading this book. If you're not a writer, you will still learn some life lessons from Guy, his diaries and his life on his boat. If you read it, come back and tell me the significance of the bird in the box....just wondering.

Go here to learn more about the book and talk to people who have read it. 

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

November 16, 2011

My iphone, American Express, Charlie Sheen and me

Right about the time we moved to Memphis, I got this guy. 

He's the original 3G iphone. He changed my life. I used him when I got lost in Memphis; I used him when I needed to find a restaurant; and I used him to call people and ask for a job. Basically, he was my best friend. 

Recently, he had gotten old. He just wasn't running as quickly as he once had, and he seemed to be forgetting things. I had strong feelings for him, but my eye wandered. 

It wandered right into this guy. 

New and improved, sleeker and with the boost of Siri. It was like a better powered, more personal and faster partner. So I made my move. The first day available, I pre-ordered a brand new iPhone 4s. One week later, the very day it was available in stores, my new friend arrived, and he changed my life. Maps were faster; he reacted to my voice commands; and he knew things about me like where I lived and what time I usually set my alarm. 

28 days later, this happened. 

iPhone 4s and I were getting out of the car, and it slipped. 

It slipped from my lap onto the pavement. Serious damage occurred. 

I didn't know what to do. It still worked okay, but the disfigurement was terrifying. I knew it didn't feel like itself. I visited the Apple Store. They said they could fix (replace) it for $150. I spent $200 to get iPhone 4s just 28 days ago. I couldn't stand to shell out that kind of money again. So I left the store. 

The next day, I realized I purchased iPhone 4s on my American Express card. I knew this because the bill for it just came in. It wasn't even officially paid off, and it was broken. American Express...they have a Purchase Protection guarantee. I did my research, and they cover damage to items paid for with an American Express card within 90 days of purchase. So.......would this include iPhone 4s??

Yesterday, I filed an online claim on the damage to my phone. This afternoon I received an email from American Express:
     "Thank you for choosing to use your American Express Card for your purchases. We are pleased to inform you that payment has been approved for your Purchase Protection program claim.  Your payment of $218.49 has been processed as a credit to your American Express Account."

Y'all that means my iPhone 4s is paid for. Seriously paid for. Because I dropped it and broke it. Now, meaning tomorrow, I will go to the Apple Store where they will replace my broken phone for $150. You do the math. I'll also be purchasing a new iPhone 4s prevent breakages from falls and scratches.

I think this scenario is actually what Charlie Sheen was referring to: winning!

November 10, 2011

Get your Bounce on

Thanks to BlogHer, I'm trying out the new Bounce Dryer Bar. 

I got to choose with variety I wanted, and I definitely wanted the dye and scent free. I don't like added chemicals on my skin, thanks. 

When I took it out of the package, it said Bounce. 

According the package, when it's time to change it, it will say Replace. Pretty cool.

It sticks to the side of the dryer. 

I have run three loads of laundry since installing it, and so far I'm really happy with it. There is no scent and the clothes come out well fluffed, soft and not sticking together. It's also awesome not to have those pesky dryer sheets that end up everywhere when you're folding and putting away the laundry. Does that happen to you too? I find them everywhere!

I'll keep you updated as I use the bar up. How is it going to change the words on it? Crazy!

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