General musings on the ups and downs and ins and outs in the life of a 30 something, unmarried, life loving, some times interesting and sometimes not, mostly happy girl just trying to figure it all out!

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Jobs & Ice Cream

My new favorite reason for living in Texas: Nathan is the perfect excuse to go for ice cream whenever I want. And tonight, I wanted!

I had a bit of an upsetting doc appointment today and I was in major need of ice cream. Thankfully, Nathan was happy to take me up on my offer of a date. And when I thanked him for taking me out he replied, "Yes, you ARE welcome, Auntie!!" He is priceless! 

Bonus pic: Nate and Van napping. So cute.

Tomorrow I'm off to my new job! I'm excited- and scared! But mostly excited. I can't wait to be purely creative. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Morning Thoughts...

I'm spending my first quiet morning in my apartment- which is nearly unpacked and ready for pics, by the way. It's wonderful and scary and perfect all at the same time. A few random thoughts whirling through my mind...

This is my new true love (right after Van):
I found this gem in a closet at AC's house when we were packing her things and I stole/was gifted it. It's a wedding gift they never used, because she doesn't drink coffee. Well, I do and this thing makes GREAT coffee! Plus there's little to wash because there's no carafe. In love.

There is nothing in the world like having a huge bathtub. Nothing. I have one now- I will never be able to go back. "There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know any of them." - Sylvie Plath.
Amen, Sista! I spent an hour in mine last night.

I am exhausted. Emotionally and physically. More so emotionally. So, change is hard! I'm loving it and petrified of it at the same time. How weird is it that I left something that was stifling me and I almost wish I was still safely there. That's not weird, it's demented. I think starting the new job and having a new "purpose" will be very good. I do well with something to throw myself into.

Living alone (which, by the way, I love) is reminding me that I am nearly 30 and alone. Even in 2011, there is still a feeling of "I'm getting old and I'm alone..." What up- Women's Lib??? Weren't you supposed to get rid of these emotions? I'm actually looking forward to 30. They say a woman's 30s are her glory years. And I really won't miss my 20s. They were a bit traumatic. But... it still is a little hard to have to carry everything yourself and not have someone to lean on. Plus- I worry because I have this mental block with "just having fun with a guy." I can't do it. I get attached too quickly. As in, right away. For example, I met a guy right before I left P'cola (thank you, timing, for that one), cuddled with him a bit (as in just cuddled, nothing more) and it's killing me. Can we say irrational hang up?

I was at the doctor last Friday and contemplating too many things while checking out. The lady had Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope, and a future.) posted at her desk. How cool is God? He has laid everything I have prayed for in my lap and I am having a bit of a freak out. Instead of being mad, he gives me a Bible verse... in the middle of a doctor's office. I JUST LOVE GOD!!!

I have a ridiculous number of books. I don't have enough places to put them. And the other day, I bought more! Is there a term for book addiction? Because I have it. I should have rented a library, not an apartment.

Don't think I'm regretting or am unhappy! I'm in my bliss, actually. Niki is here! I have seen her EVERY day for a week! There is nothing better. As you know- my best friend is my peace and my happy place. She is God's amazing blessing in my life and every time I see her every single worry flies out the window. That, and Nathan looked at me the other day and declared, "I DO love you, Auntie!"
I'm in Heaven!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Playtime with Auntie

It's been a busy, but great few days. Niki and I have been unable to break out of the "pack it all in" mode we usually have when I eventually have to leave. We still have this urgency to do everything together. It's open for debate as to whether or not we'll grow out of this. :)

In the mean time, Nathan's been getting away with a lot at my apartment! Between my Mama, Katie and I he's getting spoiled rotten. The other night he was over in his jammies and decided to wear Katie's boots and spurs and my cowboy hat. Adorable!

He also jumps off of my bed and onto the feather mattress pad. Obviously, there are going to be rules for Auntie's house and for home. Because he's not allowed to jump on (or off) the bed at home.

As for the pets, Van's loving all of the attention and activity. Yesterday Niki and a friend took their kids to the park- so I brought mine along too! She loved it. She had all of the kids in the playground delivering sticks to her in short order. And Little Brown Noser seems to love her new apartment play space. She runs around the living room every evening.

Me? Why thanks for asking. I'm good. Everything seems very surreal, though. It's a huge change and as great of a change as it it- it's been tough too. I'm excited and petrified at the same time. Last night Niki and I watched Eat, Pray, Love and I was crying through half of it because of her explanations about dealing with change and making the changes you want in your life. 

I'll try to get back on a better blogging roll soon. It's back to the real world next week, so hopefully I'll get into a groove. And the apartment's almost unpacked- so I'll work on some photos.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We Have Arrived!

It's been quite a busy four days, ladies! It's 3:30pm and I have yet to shower today.
I know I've been out of touch, and I'm not up to date on your blogs either. I'll try and get back on track.

For now, a brief update in photos:

Van and I about to head out. Also, this is my new car. :)

Daddy and I stopped in Sulphur, Louisiana Saturday night and found this amazing, hole in the wall restaurant called The Boiling Point. We had to clean out own table, but it was totally worth it!
Crawfish Platter
That bread item is one of the most amazing thing I have ever eaten. It's called a Pistolette. I call it a crawfish doughnut because it has the consistency of a hot Krispy Kreme Doughnut but no glaze and is filled with crawfish etoufee. TO DIE FOR! We ordered 6 to go.

My sweet Daddy driving the U-Haul down I-10 headed for the Texas State Line!

A few preliminary apartment pics. I really like it - Niki did an amazing job picking it out. It's really spacious and has TONS of storage. I'll do better soon!

Niki pulling in for the first time ever!! (Yup- I was that happy. I took a photo)

Lorelei, Van and Nathan watching us unload.

Lorelei checking out her new highchair. It was mine when I was a baby. :)

All right- must shower! More to come...

Friday, February 18, 2011


When it rains, it pours... right?
Yep, exactly right!

What should have been two weeks of packing and rejoicing has turned into two weeks of little sleep, drama, stress and wine for coping. Sally's hip replacement went well. But none of us imagined how difficult the recovery would be. We've been fighting our way through quite a lot of pain and tears. It's a nightly event to get through with the pain meds, Sal being pissed about the pain, and a bunch of general craziness.

Then comes... a new friend. Hmm... that makes it hurt to leave. Short version: I don't handle things like this well. I can't start something I won't finish. It's hard for me.

Also- my nephew is in Boston Children's Hospital due to fluid in his lungs. And I've been sick.

Yesterday I had a wrap-up doctor visit before I leave. Turns out my heart murmur may be acting up and I need to see a cardiologist. It's doubtful that it's anything serious. But just one more thing. And with me- after losing about 2 years of my life to medical drama any little thing pushes me over the edge.

Then on to U Haul loading. But the U Haul wasn't ready, of course. So we had an hour to load up. We made it!

Last night we ended up with an emergency trip to the ER (of the ambulance, paramedic, fire department type). Sal had a reaction to one of her meds and her tongue was swollen to the point she was having difficulty breathing. That began at 1am and ended at 5. She's home now, and supposedly OK.

So the saying is true, when it rains it pours.

I have been calling AC and Niki almost constantly in various states of panic. Thankfully I have friends with the ability to remind me who I am, what I need, and why I am doing the things I am. I love that when I call Niki she can tell me what to do and why because she knows me so well. Quote of the day: "There are plenty of single cowboys in Texas!!" And poor AC- I think she will probably be glad when I take my drama and go!

This is the loaded U Haul yesterday, and my sweet Daddy-o pretending to be my knight in shining armor with a BBQ grill lid.

I grew up fishing with Daddy. I aaaaaalways got stuck on the bottom. I would think it was a fish and get all pumped and then be crushed. And then, I got so used to being stuck that I would just hand the pole over regardless. Turns out, about half the time it would actually be a fish! Over time these childhood incidences turned into a life lesson from Daddy:
"Life can be difficult, but step out and try again and again. Sometimes when you're stuck on the bottom, it might be a big fish."

Here's a prayer of thankfulness for friends and family, for new friends and old, for cowboys, for nephews and nieces, for help stepping out of your box, for friends that know you better than you do yourself, and for a God big enough and wonderful enough to bring us together.

I'm off!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sugarland & Hedgehog Update

I was listening to Sugarland on my way in this morning. They're amazing! "Wide Open" came on and it seemed like they were singing it just for me this morning.

A few of my favorite lyrics:

"I've been waiting my whole life, betting on a change.
Feel it coming, getting better, getting better now...

Wide, wide, wide, wide open, and it's a fine, fine ,fine ,fine world.
And this is my life I'm hoping will be a fine, fine, fine, fine world...

Every life has a moment where sweat meets fate,
On your mark, get ready, get ready now...

Pretty appropriate for me right now, don't you think??

As for Little Brown Noser- she is doing great. I let her out to run around for a few hours again last night and she had a ball. She also got a bath, so she's looking a bit better. 
The problem I have is that she's fat! I am trying to get her to eat some fruits and veggies but she only wants her cat food. I'll keep working on her. 
She seems to have taken right to the litter box idea, so that's great.

I'm getting more attached to her all the time. She's just adorable and a really fun pet to have.

Hiding under a chair

A little scamper around my room. Yes, that is my hair stuck to her. I shed a lot and she seems to attract it.

Post-bath play time in the bed so she'd stay warm. Hedgehogs get cold easily.

Exhausted. Apparently Little Brown Noser sleeps on her side. How funny is that???

I'm feeling a little sick today, like I'm getting the "crud" that's going around. Say a little prayer it goes away!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Statistics

Just got this in the mail from my uncle and HAD to repost!

98% of Americans say, "Oh Shit!" before driving on a slippery, icy road.

The other 2% are from Louisiana and say, "Hold my Daquari and Watch this shit!!"

We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time... L'aissez les bon temps roulez!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Little Brown Noser

I got a Hedgehog this weekend!

I know, I know. What am I doing acquiring a new pet when I am moving and starting over? I agree with you. I really do. In fact, I turned the little thing down the first time. But then I thought about her and how cute her little nose was (thus the name "Little Brown Noser") and I decided to forget about being smart and adopt her!

I only have one picture of her so far because she's feeling a little traumatized. Coincidence: so am I. So we can bond over it. But she's been living with just Michael in his nice, safe apartment. And now she's on the farm with lots of smells and animals. And she's relocating to Texas. She did cuddle with me a bit last night and did a little exploring.

Hedgehog facts:
- Little Brown Noser is an African Pygmy Hedgehog and should only weigh up to 1 1/4 pounds. She's a bit fat right now, but we'll work on that.
- Hedgehogs love to play and be active. They need toys and a wheel for exercise and space to run around. Little Brownie will be taking nightly excursions around the new apartment (yes, Van is fine with her)
- Domesticated hedgehogs survive mostly on good quality cat food. But they also like treats of veggies, some meats and bugs. Little Brown Noser will be getting all of these because I am a pet spoiler.
- Hedgehogs don't smell. And as long as you clean their litter boxes they aren't very messy.
- They're covered in little quills- but they don't shoot them out like porcupines. In fact, they aren't even related to porcupines. Their quills can be a little prickly when they're scared. But mostly they are no bother. And their little tummies are very soft.
- They are mostly nocturnal, although they will wake up some during the day. I found this out the hard way when I tried to wake Little Brown Noser for a Valentine's Day photo op this morning. Oops!

OK, I am studying up- so I will regale you with more facts later.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bare Walls

My office walls are bare. Well, just two. The other "decor" (I use the word loosely) that I scraped together belongs to the DIB. But I took down my personal pictures, pin-up board and magnets today and am now left with this:

A bit sad, don't you think? And the picture Board is going too. Niki made it for me as a wedding present... for HER wedding!
If you're wondering why the wall color is yellow- it's actually a golden yellow and I love it. I picked it out. Our logo is Tar-Heel blue and this color gold. So the plan was to play on that. We never did, but I loved it with purple- LSU, baby!!

This would be the view I am leaving:
Pretty nice, right? How many 28 year olds get that view? And I was actually 24 when I acquired it. But my view before was of the copy machine. And I think that is quite similar to the view I'll have in my new office. Ah, well...

More packing to come for me this weekend- hope the weather holds!

Little added bonus pic: Van playing with my Mama's teeeeny 3 pound Chihuahua. Too cute, don't you think?
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Love Cupcakes (and their work)

I started following this adorable blog by Abi in San Antonio called Cupcake Photography. It's a great blog about her life and also her budding photography business. About once a week she posts really cool photos that she's edited. She did a few for ME! I am so pumped.

So cool, right? I am going to fame these for the new apartment. 

Follow Abi's blog to see more- and to stay abreast of her antics. Pretty interesting... the other day she wore her hair like Lady Gaga!

I wish I had artistic talent!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Big Sal Robarts

Sally is going in for her hip replacement surgery in the morning. We're all pretty excited because she's going to be able to move without pain now- and even ride again!

Please send prayers and thoughts- we all know God's really in charge and the doctor just helps. :)

In honor of her surgery, I would like to tell you one of my favorite "Sally is Crazy" stories. This is 100% true, guys. I swear!

A few years ago, Sally’s dog Tom Boy (Tommie to her friends) came into season. For those of you who don’t know exactly what this entails, it’s rather like a woman’s period. Tommie is a member of the family and lives in the house- there was no banishing her to the out-of-doors for the duration of her “visitor.” How could one girl ever do this to another? On the other hand, Theresa (mine and Sal's roommate) and I just couldn’t abide her being in the house and on the furniture without protection. So we did what any rational human being would do, we found an old pair of panties, cut a tail hole in them, inserted a pad, and put them on the dog. This may surprise you, but Tommie had no problem at all with the arrangement. The first pair we chose for her was a very chic pair of lime green boy-short style undies. She wore them with pride, and was a great sport. When she went outside she stopped to have her panties removed, and upon reentering the house she stopped again to “get dressed.” It was a great laugh and we had fun with this for more than a week, choosing new panties for Tommie and throwing the old away. While everyone else thought this odd, it really didn’t seem so strange to us. But what followed, I did find quite strange. Hilarious, actually.

A few weeks later, we were spending what began as regular evening in the log cabin. We had taken our supper, watched Wheel of Fortune, all was well. Sally had gone to take a bath and sauna and Theresa and I were doing whatever we did. I went to ask Sal a question and found her humming, dancing, and scrubbing her bathtub before she got in. This sounds normal, but I haven’t described her attire for you yet. She had stripped down to her skivvies and had her back to me, she was be-bopping around and shaking her booty to her own rhythm- which was how I noticed she was wearing a pair or the dog’s panties!!! It seems one day she had needed a new pair of panties for Tommie, so she’d offered up a pair of her own. Afterwards she dropped them into the laundry pile inadvertently, laundered them, and put them away… in her own drawer.

My reaction was to instantly fall onto the floor, laughing hysterically, and wallowing around in another pile of laundry which I now realize may have been dangerous. I couldn’t breathe, much less explain to her my hysterical fit. I think she may have believed I was having a seizure. And maybe I was, because I have never laughed that hard in my life. Hell, I’m laughing again right now. After a minute or two, Theresa came scooting into the room to see what it was that was wrong with me. I still couldn’t speak, but I managed to motion to Sally to turn around. Upon noticing the tail hole in the panties, Theresa also lost it. I think our tears of laugher may have created a small pool on the floor. Sally spent the next thirty seconds or so spinning around, quite ironically, like a dog chasing its tail until she also noticed she had donned the dog’s intimates. She laughed as well, although not quite as hard as Theresa and I did.

The South

I want this for my new apartment

It reads: 
The South

The place where... 1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweater. 2) Summer starts in April. 3) Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable 4) Front porches are wide and words are long. 5) Pecan pie is a staple. 6) Ya'll is the only proper noun. 7) Chicken is friend and biscuits come with gravy. 8) Everything is Darlin'. 9) Someone's heart is always being blessed. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Police Raid at the Farm

Can't believe I forgot to tell you this!

So Sunday night/morning we had a police raid at the farm. OK, not really. But kind of.

At 2:30am the police came to the farm. I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. I just knew there were lights flashing outside and someone was shining this incredibly BRIGHT flashlight in my windows. Van was growling like she was about to kill something. Tommie came running in from the other bedroom growling and barking like bloody hell. Who wants to guess what my reaction was?
I groaned, rolled over, and put my pillow over my head. So serious. There's your first clue I would make a sucky criminal- the police come and I don't run, I try and go back to sleep. WHAT? They woke me up from a dead sleep!!

So, eventually Sally gets up to answer the door and there are more flash lights in the windows and stomping on the porch and people yelling "Police!!" and so I roll out of bed and yell, "What the HELL is going on???" By the time I stumble to the living room and Sally tells me that they say it's the police at the door (because apparently a deep voice yelling "POLICE!!" didn't register to me) and I see that the dogs have straight up morphed into two Cujos trying to eat the door down I wake up enough to say, "Oh shit! What's happening, what's happening???!!!" (At this point I realize the bright flashing lights and flashlights in the window actually meant something.)

I restrain the dogs (but only half heartedly, because if the police are coming to get me I am letting Van at them!!) and Sally opens the door. Turns out all that drama is because the neighbors' alarm is going off (I can't hear a thing) and no one is turning it off and the police came to the wrong house. It took me at least 10 minutes to get Van calmed down enough to go back to sleep. Van does not do strange men at our house. Love her.

Well thank you VEEEERY much, Escambia County Sheriff's Department for not being able to read the address numbers on the house with your huge, very bright flashlights!
These things only happen to me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Book Review

You all seem to hate this weekly post, but I don't really care because I love doing it. And this is my blog!

Three Cups of Tea

I read this book at the recontamination of my sister (Amanda this time) and it was just amazing. Three Cups of Tea the story of Greg Mortenson and how he accidentally falls into the business of building schools in Pakistan. I won't give away how that transpires, because it's part of the draw of the book. However, I will tell you that Mortenson is so enthralled and involved in the building of schools that you can not help but get caught up in his narrative of the story.

Aside from that, I found the book extremely educational as to the situation in Pakistan and how the Pakistanis view the world's involvement in their affairs. I have a fairly open and often changing opinion of our involvement in the Middle East- in this case Pakistan. I grasp that there is huge significance to the Pakistan/Israel conflicts from both Biblical and US Foreign Policy fronts. But I have a difficult time defining my exact emotions on the topics. This book gives a very clear, easily understood insight that will benefit you even if you are, like me, unsure about your stance. At any rate, I believe it's vital that we (the world) attempt to understand other cultures rather than just "fix" them.

The stories of the individuals in the book and their true excitement of the basic educations we take for granted is moving.

Stones Into Schools

This is a follow-up books Mortenson wrote to Three Cups of Tea and is also a great read. Two huge points that I took away from the book were that the US Government uses Mortenson's knowledge- so I believe it ratifies the validity of the book.

The second point I take away- and the one with the most impact for me- is Mortenson's assertion that the only way to truly get a handle on terrorism and Jihad is to educate the women of th Muslin countries. I'll let you read his explanation and decide for yourself. but I found the statement very impactful.

Happy reading!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Frivolous Friday

When I first met AC she sent me one of these and we started a trend of doing them daily for months. It was kind of sad, really, but it's how we got to know each other. We roped other friends into doing them too- which is even sadder.

Seeing as I will be makig new friends soon, I decided to get back in the swing of things. So here I go...
You're drooling aren't you, Ash? ;)

27 random questions

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I can't see... I need to put my contacts in!

2. How much cash do you have on you?
About 75 cents.

3. What's a word that rhymes with "DOOR?"

4. Favorite planet?
I'll go with Earth

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
I haven't missed that many calls yet today

6. What is your favorite ring on your phone?
LSU Fight Song, BABY!!

7. What shirt are you wearing?
A red one in honor of Sadie!

8. Do you "label" yourself?
All the time. And sometimes I even mail myself...

9. Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing?
Rampage (cheap, but cute!)

10. Bright or Dark Room?

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
I think they don't exist

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
I was sound asleep

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
It was some random spam text. You can get Spam texts now???

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
We don't have one in P'cola

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

17.Who told you he/she loved you last?
Van Geaux this morning. ;)

18. Last furry thing you touched?
Again, Van Geaux!

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Just vitamins

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
None- I'm digital

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

22. Your worst enemy?

23. What is your current desktop picture?
Van and Whoodie at the beach

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"She's always annoying." Yes- I'm horrid.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
mmmmm, Toughie! But I'll go for the million bucks.

26. Do you like someone?
Now I just feel like I' in elementary school

27. The last song you listened to?
Am I Living it Right by John Mayer

Wow- now I see why we stopped doing these. That was lame.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Everything is Bigger in Texas

You know how they say, "Everything's Bigger in Texas?" I had a guy from Texas tell me that in college. Betcha can't guess what he was referring to...

So I was thinking today about things that I hope really ARE bigger in Texas...
Margaritas! (Like you didn't know this was going to be my #!)

Closets (everything is currently exploding out of mine)


Ice Cream Cones (S, wanna come visit???)

Bath Tubs (If I could just knees my knees from getting cold...)

And, of course, pay checks!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I am not getting much new furniture for my apartment in Texas because I have a storage unit full of things.

Van, however, will be getting this:

That's right- her own sofa. And yes, it will be in our living room (hers will be taupe like the human sofa).
She will also be getting the bone-shaped pillow with her name on it.
My Mama is getting it for her as a house warming gift. And honestly, Van is going to love it!

So how about them peaches? Furniture for the dog.
Think she's spoiled much?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Big Change

Alright everyone... it's finally happened! I'm moving to Texas.

How exciting is that? It's over 2 years in the making. Niki and I had this life plan in college where we would live in the same town and have families together. Obviously we got off track for a while there. But seeing as we have remained "Roommates" (BFF) we stuck to our dream. And since she has the kids, and I never intended to settle in P-cola in the first place, I am the one getting to move.

Although, in all fairness to her, she's doing a lot of the work for me.And she's been putting me up for a year during interview trips and giving me her car. And she drove me around for 4 hours last weekend apartment searching. In the end I got totally overwhelmed and quit and she totally found my new apartment and booked it!

So I have turned in my notice to the DIB, driven AC, Roommate, S, and my poor little Mommy insane with my panic attacks, and started packing. Kind of.

Truth be told, I am scared out of my mind. Really, truly scared. It's overshadowing the excitement. I am packing up a safe, sound (and fairly lucrative) life and moving it to the land of uncertainty. But guess what- I don't like this safe little life!! So off I go.

PLEASE feel free to provide moving tips of any type!

PS- I will not be becoming a true Texan any time soon. I am a Louisiana girl at heart and a Florida beach bum second.

All About Ashley

My photo
Spring, TX, Southern, United States
Playing with and keeping up with my nephew and niece take up a lot of my time. Van Geaux takes up the rest of it. Work is an afterthought most days! I like to be outside- but not when it's too hot. I get bored at my desk all day. Niki keeps my world spinning and without her and AC I'd lose it. My work ethic crashes at 4 p.m. daily and I live my sweet puppy and my hedgehog whenever I am not at Niki's. I truly believe naps are quality pass-time events, and sometimes I say bad words at work. I'm pretty sure I'm insane on multiple levels and I believe rules don't apply to me.
It seems that my life is quite entertaining. I didn't realize this myself, but was informed of it by my friends- who are rather entertained by tales of my life occurrences.

I'm far from a professional writer. These are just stories, comments, and other items for simple amusement. Hopefully it's a fun read, as Shannon plans to edit it into a book one day! Maybe we'll become famous, and maybe we'll just have some good laughs at my expense (and some other characters in my life). Either way, happy reading!