Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat?

I'm amazed! I would have thought with the weather being really nice here tonight and the fact that the clocks have not yet changed that we would have a ton of little trick or treaters beating down our door. I haven't had one yet. I haven't even seen any little ones in the neighborhood. Halloween certainly isn't like it was when I was a kid and it is nothing like it was in Osmond...

I promise, in the next couple of days I will get some posts up of our weekend in Southern Missouri. I'm still not feeling 100%. Quite frankly, I just want to go in and vegitate on the sofa...

I hope tomorrow yields a more favorable feeling of energy...


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm sick

We loaded up the dogs on Friday and headed South in Missouri to work on a Geocaching challenge as well as a little camping trip. I have so much to talk about and tons of photos to share. Unfortunately, somewhere along the trip, I picked up a little bit of a cold. All I really want to do right now is lay down and rest. Hopefully, I will be feeling a little better tomorrow evening and will be able to add the story and some photos...

...until then...I must rest.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vacation Days 1 & 2

...I've spent cleaning...

I must admit, there is something about completing a cleaning job that makes me feel like I have truly accomplished something. You know, that deep down cleaning that you really only do once or twice a year...My fingers are all wrinkled and my arms and legs are sore but I feel fantastic about the job that has been done...tomorrow, I tackle the yard and the grocery store - then we can finish up this vacation with a little R&R (more about that once we figure out exactly what we are going to do...I'm fairly certain it involves fish, caches, and a tent).

I have a few more things to get done so I can go to bed (like put the clean sheets on it).


Monday, October 22, 2007

It's been a few days...

Sorry about that - I went to Phoenix for work and this time Mike was able to join me. We took a mini-vacation for my birthday so I didn't log onto my computer to do much of anything but look for geocaches! We had a great time (I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday!). I have tons of photos to share. We spent most of our time in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves on the North side of Phoenix. If you ever have the opportunity to check it out and can handle some serious hiking, it is a must-see destination:

Playing around with some of a cache's contents.

Showing my 'Caching Gansta Sign'

A very unusual cache container - yes I had to reach into the cactus...
A view of one of the bluffs on our hike. We didn't climb to the summit on this one. We instead went to one a little higher - making this one look VERY little!
Mike showing off one of the caches with the mountains in the background.
We climbed to the top of this bluff instead. This photo was taken on the way down the other side so we were about halfway down already...
Just thought this was a cool view
Me climbing to the top. (Okay...we faked this photo a little - but it looks good!)

Mike checking out the view at the top
Family photo at the summit.

We spent the night Saturday at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. This photo is of relaxing in the hot tub by the bar after a long day of hiking.
We had an awesome time! We got back last night at about 2:00 so we have spent today trying to adjust back to our normal time zone. I'm on vacation this week - we don't have big plans (other than cleaning up the basement) so I should be able to keep up on blogging; I hope.
I'm off to bed...

Monday, October 15, 2007

It all started with a kiss...

Friday morning I awoke to the radio DJ's mumbling about something at a volume high enough to wake the neighbors in a three-block radius. I rolled out of bed as I do every morning and turned the talk-box off; no need to delay getting out of bed on this fine day! I had plans that were going to make the day of the one I love; no matter what!

I quickly ran through the morning routine. My entire plan hinged on the fact that he believe I am at work during the morning hours. If I didn't conduct myself in the 'business as usual' manner, he would begin to suspect and then the day is shot. I quickly run in to give him a kiss, tell him I love him, and then head out the door; as if this were any ordinary day.

This is where the ordinary in my day ends. We have been married for five years as of Friday, October 12, 2007. My drivers license expires this month; obtained five years ago the month I changed from the name my parents gave me at birth to the name I will have for eternity. I decided I had some time to kill so I would pop in and renew the silly thing. The pop in theory did not work quite as I had intended. The state of Missouri requires that you supply everything that points out to them that you are who you say you are; just short of donating a pint of blood and a urine sample. I didn't have these items when I arrived so I had to return home for the necessary paperwork. Luckily, my husband continued in his normal morning slumber and didn't realize I had returned home. I went back to the license office and stood in line once again only to discover "We do not accept plastic; we are against it". I had to then run to the bank for some much needed cash. You guessed it, I returned to the license office to stand in line for the third time. I guess I did say that I needed to kill some time. After almost two hours, I have my new identification in hand!

I bolt out of there and head to the gas station, where I fueled up for the day and purchased some much-need caffeine. I prepared for the remainder of the day over the next couple of hours. When the time was right, I sent a text to my husband to make sure he was awake. He promptly returned my message stating that he was; which I expected to be the case. We sent texts back and forth while I told him he needs to be prepared to go to lunch; all the while, I am preparing. When I am finally ready, I head to the house to get the man I married for a romantic anniversary surprise!

Once he is dressed and ready to go, we jump in the car and drive to the scene of the crime; the park where we married five years ago. I take him to the falls and tell him to look around as I prepare our picnic. I set up the table and snap a couple of photos before calling him over. He is stunned at what I have prepared. We sit down and I begin to read to him; Bible verses from the day we were married. For some reason, I couldn't help but cry - so happy that we are together and he is intently listening to me. We read our vows to each other as a gentle reminder of our promises to God and to each other. We share a kiss and then a quiet little lunch...

Our meal complete, we walk across the park to a cache ( that has been placed in the cache; a tradition of ours to sign the log on our big anniversaries. However, what my husband doesn't know, is that I have prepared a special 'cache' for him on this day. I hang back while he searches for the cache. He notices that the container is different than previously and suddenly it dawns on him that this cache is special. He opens it up:

I prepared a scavenger hunt for the remainder of the day; all about us - where we have been and where we are going. All of the locations for the day were set in the GPS I had just given to him and cards had been prepared with clues to each. He simply had to figure out where we were going and direct me to it.

The next location on our journey was to the place we met; the pool hall. We spent only a couple of hours shooting pool as I didn't want to wear him out! I gave him the next clue and off we went. Unfortunately, we discovered that the GPS maps are not quite as good as I had hoped; they don't zoom in all the way to the street level. So he couldn't quite get me to the location based on his new toy. However, he did finally figure out where we were headed and off we went. We were to spend the evening at the Steeple Inn & Spa in Liberty ( When we arrived, the home owner welcomed us; as did the smell of natural gas. Unfortunately, there had been a gas leak; no romantic fireplaces for us. I showed my husband our quarters for the night. Pleased with the reaction, I gave him the next destination.

We were to eat dinner at Carrabba's in Independence - a wonderful Italian restaurant we both enjoy. We arrived and were seated promptly (thanks to call-ahead seating). Dinner was delightful; as we expected. We headed back to our Inn for the evening for a wonderful String Duet concert prepared by the Inn Keepers and a desert to die for. A much unexpected surprise for the both of us; and the concert brought out a hidden love of music for us both.

At the conclusion of the concert, I handed my husband his next destination. The only clue I provided was 'PLEASE'. He quickly figured out the dogs needed a break from being inside all day. That, and the fact that we needed to pack an overnight bag...We spent a few minutes at home and then returned for the night to our resting place.

The rooms are very cosy for an old church. The bed and a fireplace rest on the ground floor. A staircase leads to a loft which has a two person hot tub and yet another fireplace. The Inn boasts a beautiful grand piano and huge cathedral windows and ceilings. The entire setting is very romantic. We shared the remaining wine as we soaked together in a tub with no working jets. After a few enjoyable hours together, we retire for a much needed rest.

About 7 AM my husband wakes me. Storms had rolled into the area and were producing fantastic lightening shows, amazing claps of thunder, and torrents of rain. Part of the rain had made its way through the tiles in the roof down onto the pillow where my husband was resting his head. We discovered the roof of the Inn leaks. We both arose and decided that breakfast would be next on the agenda; even though we really just wanted to remain in bed together enjoying the remaining moments of our anniversary evening.

The entire experience was fantastic! I have no complaints; even with the few issues with a new Bed & Breakfast as is the Inn (I would recommend it to anyone coming to the area). My dear - here is to another 5 years; where I may have to consider reading our vows at the scene of our honeymoon instead...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How I Met My Husband

Yesterday was our 5th anniversary (time goes by so quickly!). I will tell you the entire story in the next couple of days. However, I wanted to share the video of us from yesterday shooting a game of pool (which is how we met if you didn't know). He beats me, but it's the way he does it that is so fantastic! In case you are worried that it will take too long, when he and I shoot pool, our average time is around 3 minutes to finish a game - and this one falls within the average just under that! Take a look:

I still have to finish up some homework and then we are going to watch a movie...


Sunday, October 07, 2007


Chiefs fans - I am embarrassed at the way that you treated the football team today; more specifically, the quarterback. I'm not saying that I am happy about the 20 to 7 beating that the Chiefs took from Jacksonville today. Quite the contrary - too many missed opportunities and a running game that so far has not impressed me. However, the crowd 'boo'd' the team in the second half at almost every opportunity. Damon Huard went down after a hard hit toward the end of the fourth quarter and I only heard a handful of people applaud when he got up and walked off the field. However, the crowd cheered loudly when Croyle took the field shortly after. If the crowd had applauded when Huard got up, I might not be quite so unhappy with the fans today. I'm right there with you in your questioning thoughts about who the quarterback of the team should be; when I saw Croyle get out there and showed the fans a little flare by walking the team down the field and making sure the game did not end in a shut-out at Arrowhead, you bet I was cheering. However, good sportsmanship dictates that an injured player deserves respect when he or she gets up from the field and returns to the sideline - no matter how unhappy you are with his or her performance. C'mon Chiefs fans! Don't be "THAT GUY" and show some common courtesy!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Conflicting Accounts of the Same Story

In the morning, I wake to the sound of the radio DJ's talking mindless chatter at the highest volume the clock radio will allow. If I don't, I won't rise at an early enough hour to make sure I arrive at work at the appointed hour. Ever since my husband purchased a new comforter and realigned the bedroom to look a little more like a place you sleep, my buddy is kept outside the bedroom by one of those child-proof gates. I stumble from my resting spot to my workout clothes neatly placed the night before. I fumble to get dressed. I pull the latch on the gate and awake the sleeping beast from his slumber. His excitement to see me makes me fully aware that now he must get out that door so he might relieve himself. Of course, I get to go first; I have a lower tolerance for the pressure on the inner walls of my bladder than he! I finish my business and trek to the door. He anticipates the lock turning and that big green block being removed from his path. He sprints down the front steps to his normal dead little tree; dead from his use of it. He scampers back up the stairs and awaits for the green monster to once again open. He sprints ahead of me to the kitchen (right by the fridge) where he will receive his morning reward. He eagerly sits up and then receives his treat. Running to his spot, he devours the small token in about 3 seconds flat. He then waits to hear the familiar sound of the leash being removed from its nail in the stairwell. He runs to be 'dressed' for his morning walk. We trek outdoors and find a direction to go. He is familiar with several routes and the one we choose makes no difference to him. He prances along; almost as if he is showing off. He stops occasionally to let the world know he was there. The walk is one of the highlights of his day. He really doesn't care for the chain that he has to wear around his neck; he would much prefer to run ahead and then stop to look back and see what is taking me so long to catch up. However, the city would not allow that sort of freedom. When we return to the house, he eagerly laps up a drink and waits while I prepare my first meal of the day. He knows he will get the end of that banana; and that suits him just fine. We step out into the back yard, where he runs from tree to tree hoping to catch that squirrel that (to date) has eluded him. When I complete the ritual, we return to the house and then he takes his spot in the hallway; waiting for me to do what I do to get ready for work. When I choose to work from home, he sits directly behind my chair; almost as if he is guarding me from any harm so I can focus at the task at hand. When I get up, he follows. His hope is that the chain in the hallway will jingle, but most times, it is just a 10-minute romp in the back yard. His entire day is spent close to my side. When I retire to the living room for the evening, he sits at my feet, hoping I will rub his belly. When we sit out on the front deck, he brings his tennis ball to me and begs for me to throw. He promises he will bring it back at some point. He just wants to play! At the end of the day, as the gate closes and I settle in for my night's rest, I can rest assured he will guard the room from any harm. He waits for the sound of those DJ's telling him it is once again time to be my buddy for the day!

In the morning, I wake to the sound of the radio DJ's talking mindless chatter at the highest volume the clock radio will allow. If I don't, I won't rise at an early enough hour to make sure I arrive at work at the appointed hour. Ever since my husband purchased a new comforter and realigned the bedroom to look a little more like a place you sleep, my little girl is kept outside the bedroom by one of those child-proof gates. I stumble from my resting spot to my workout clothes neatly placed the night before. I fumble to get dressed. I pull the latch on the gate and she comes running from her spot on the sofa to greet me. She pays no mind to the fact that she has to go outside. Instead, she joins me in the 4X4 room we call a bathroom so she can be with me all of the time; my shadow. We head for the door. She eagerly awaits for the barrier to be removed; but waits for her brother to go out first. She then follows me out the door and sits to wait. She rarely goes down the steps first thing in the morning to relieve any pressure. She would much rather be with me. We head back inside. She follows me to the kitchen and assumes her position on the green rug sitting in front of the sink. She sits up ever so pretty and waits for the treat to be placed neatly in her mouth. She runs with her prize to the sofa and daintily eats it; leaving crumbs in her wake. No worries though, her brother will clean up her mess. She then joins me wherever I may be. If I run on the treadmill, she lazily eats her breakfast and waits for me to finish. If I pull the chains from the nail in the stairwell, she jumps for joy. She bows her head and waits for me to pull the choker over her head. Out the door we go and she is always excited; up until the point we reach the sidewalk. She then stops dead in her tracks as if she knows she isn't suppose to cross that threshold. I gently pull on her leash to remind her that it is okay. She likes the way the choker rubs her neck as we walk. I get a fantastic arm workout as we trek on the path. She stops only once to do what she needs to do. The rest of the time, she moves along as if she is on some sort of mission. When we return home, she sits nicely at the door and waits for me to remove her choker. I open the door and she runs to the bedroom gate to make sure PawPaw is still slumbering. She then comes to be with me. I trip over her frequently as I attempt to prepare my first meal of the day. I sit at the table and she moves to the sofa; not interested in bananas and oatmeal. When I head out the back door into the yard, she shoot off like a cannon to run the normal route. She is fast - but is unable to keep up with the furry critters in the yard. After one attempt, she returns to my side for the affection she knows she will receive. When I am finished, she returns to the house before I can take the step up. She really prefers to be indoors it seems. While I get ready for work, she waits patiently on the sofa. She is forbidden from the bedroom; unless I leave the gate open just enough she can push her little nose in. She can frequently be found under the bed during thunderstorms; even if the gate is latched. Whether I work at home or in the office, she can be found on the sofa. She is like a cat, sitting on the back looking at the world outside. Sniffing and barking, she spends her day right there. When I get home at night, she greets me by jumping on my belly. She is willing to share her kisses on my arms and face. No matter where I go, I can assure you my shadow will be right there with me. When I retire to the living room for the evening, she will be right there on the sofa with me. Pawing at my hand on the mouse for a scratch on the belly or snuggling next to me in hopes I will lie down and cuddle with her. At the end of the day, as the gate closes, she looks at me with those sad little eyes as if to say I have forgotten about her. She retires to the sofa where she will wait for the familiar sound of the DJ's telling her once again that she will be my little girl for the day!

Funny how the two are so very different yet both are my dogs! I understand the love of a parent; I would do anything for them. My buddy and my little girl; Topos and Sedona.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Frank Lloyd Wright

One of the greatest names in architecture is the name Frank Lloyd Wright. Among some of his greatest achievements in architecture are the Kauffman house known as The Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, the Guggenheim Museum in New York city, the Robie House in Chicago. When you hired Mr. Wright to design your home you hired the entire package; all the way down to the clothes you would wear for the house warming party. An extrodinary man with a fantasticly creative mind.
What most people don't know about (because quite frankly I had no idea until I saw it) is the school of architecture he founded in 1932 known as the Taliesin Fellowship. Taliesin West is a self-sustaining community of apprentices and architects who would learn and practice the philosophy of organic architecture by sharing in architectural work, building construction, and the related arts. The fellowship still exists today with a few of the original members still living on the property located just outside Scottsdale, AZ. If you find yourself in the area, you would find the tour of the grounds (and the Wright home) to be well worth the money spent. Here is the story of my visit to Taliesin West:

Geocaching can take you some very interesting places. Along the road, I see a sign for Taliesin West; mentioned earlier in the week by a coworker as a must-see. "What the heck!". So I begin to drive up the mountain road to what I expected to be a small place in the side of the mountain. After all, it was built in the early 30's, right?

As I approach the gate and the home, I begin to realize this is going to be much more than I had anticipated. I pull in and go into the book store/gift shop to check out the tours and prices. I approach the counter and nice gentleman asks if I am there for the tour. I ask when the next one starts. As it turns out, it was my lucky day; the final tour started in 10 minutes. For $20, I would be treated to 90 minutes. 90 minutes for this small little house? Okay...

The tour begins just outside of Mr. Wright's office. The young lady giving us our tour was fantastic! She was extremely knowledgeable about the property and the lives of everyone that lived and/or lives there. Any question that you would ask, she would shoot back with an answer. You began to trust she knew what she was talking about. I don't want to give you all of the details here simply because it will ruin your trip there; plan on it before you die!

We were taken through Mr. Wright's office then to the front of the property. Oddly enough, shaped like the bow of a ship. We were taken through his living room and to his wife's sitting room (pictured below).
We were taken through his bedroom and his state-of-the-art (for the time) meeting room. We were taken through his theater and cabare room. We saw beautiful sculpture gardens full of works of art of one of the current residents (example below)

One of the best features of the property is that everything is built using materials from the area. The members of the fellowship learned to work very hard; which included collecting rocks from the landscape to use in the buildings. The fountain below is just one example:
At the end of the tour, I had the opportunity to speak with an architect who volunteers at the property every Sunday. He is not part of the fellowship but feels that being at the property gives him the opportunity to learn so much more about what he could be doing with his trade. As I spoke with him, I began to feel like I was placed here to hear what he had to say for a reason. He told me that one thing Mr. Wright always said was this (phrased how I remember, not quoted):"If someone calls you a radical, thank them. It means you are throwing out the old way of doing things and creating new ideas." This gentleman went on to say how Mr. Wright believed you needed to go for what you wanted. Live every day to the fullest and take time to watch the sunset. So on my way out, I was able to watch the sunset through the Taliesin West moniquer (pictured below):
It was a fantastic end to one of the best pieces of architect I have ever seen. Again, I won't go into any further details in my blog about the tour; you MUST experience it for yourself. If you can, don't do the 90-minute tour; do the 3-4 hour tour. It may cost more but I have a feeling it would be even better. There is even an evening tour that allows you to see the entire property in the evening lights...
I now have the desire to drive to Wisconsin and see Taliesin East, the summer school for the fellowship. If you want to see additional information on either of these sites or on Frank Lloyd Wright, go to
I'm now very motivated to find somewhere for my pottery wheel and kiln...

Monday, October 01, 2007

May God Bless You Always

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

"Leave me alone," he growled. To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling; her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.

"Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away.'"

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone."

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked.

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by he table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this. Is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.

"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

"I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."

The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"

"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this." She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes, "I think so; I mean you do look familiar."

"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business, that, with the help of God, prospered." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said.

"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you."

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. "Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And...And thank you for the coffee."

If you have missed knowing me, you have missed nothing. If you have missed some of my emails, you might have missed a laugh. But, if you have missed knowing my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, you have missed everything in the world.

Have a Wonderful Day And May God Bless You, Always.