a bit of a downer and for that, i'm sorry . . .

been feeling kinda blah today. i'm not sure why. perhaps it's a combination of things, but needless to say, today hasn't been a great day. it hasn't been a complete bust . . . just feeling a little down, i guess.

i know one reason is because of school. i have been doing well and working hard. so far, i have As. but i did something so incredibly dumb the other day that it could perhaps affect me finishing school and getting my associate's in computer science. and that would completely suck cuz i have no PLAN B. matter of fact, this IS my plan B. so if this fails, then what? i don't know. right now, i am just waiting on a resolution and then i will be able to feel okay with everything. either way. i did this to myself, so if it goes badly, i will suffer the consequences. if it goes in my favor, i will be smarter in the future.

another thing that has been really bothering me is that i am really worried about someone i hold near and dear to my heart. she has been going through a lot of changes, and honestly, i'm afraid she's not okay. and i don't mean because of the physical changes. i mean because of what's going on inside her head. i always thought she and i were really close, but lately, she seems . . . vacant. like nothing matters to her anymore. and that scares me. i worry for her mental health and i worry for her family. it isn't my life, so i cannot live it for her. and i will never judge her or think anything bad of her. i will just worry in silence and hope that she knows i love her more than my life. i would do anything to take her pain away. i hope that one day she can be strong enough to seek out help and get herself mentally situated. she is a strong person and deserves the best that life has to offer her. i know she doesn't believe that, though. i hope that one day she can see herself as i see her : beautiful, smart, funny, strong, vivacious, caring and thoughtful. right now, i'm just not even sure she sees herself. it makes me so sad for her. i hope one day she can find strength and put her demons to rest. her husband deserves it. her kids deserve it. but most of all, she deserves it.

i have to go back to work tomorrow, too. i have had a few days off; the beau and i took our kiddos, my nephew and my niece to dallas for the weekend. they had a good time. we went to LegoLand, hurricane harbor and medieval times. we took them bowling and they got to eat out a lot. i know they enjoyed it. it makes me happy to think that we could do that for them. especially my niece. she doesn't live around all her cousins, so i know it was a real treat for her to spend an entire weekend with three of them. and i know she looks up to my girls, so that makes me proud. even though lynese and lynae are my "stepchildren," i don't think of them that way. i love them as my own. i hurt when they hurt, i am happy when they are. everything i do now takes them into consideration. i tell them i love them, but i hope that they know i really do. and i hope that one day, they will love me, too.

anyway, it's late and time for me to get kids into bed. work comes early. i have strayed from going to the gym, but the beau and i are supposed to start back together tomorrow. mom is going to watch the kids and we will go to a spin class tomorrow night. i am actually looking forward to it. i know that if i can just get going again, i will build a routine and get back to a healthier style of life. i want that for myself, for my beau, for the kids. we will see how tomorrow goes.


spin class . . .

kicked my booty last night. i can barely walk today. but i am still going to yoga tonight! what are you doing to be more healthy?


"rock"ing and rolling . . .

and so i blog again about being fat, and the travails that come along with it. if you don't care to read about my fatty-tattiness or about what i am doing to become a healthy, stealthy, wealthy (dang -- is that all that rhymes with healthy?) girl, click that white X in the red box in the corner and have an amazingly wonderful day. otherwise, read on and discover the new adventures of

**HP and girl fitness**

seriously, that is a nickname that one of my co-workers gave to myself and my roommate (another quick fact for the confused : my roommate and i work together). how disheartening it was to just be called "HP." i mean, i guess it was better than being called "beached whale" but still . . . she gets "girl fitness" and i get initials. not to say she doesn't deserve it, cuz she works hard for her body ("so hard for her body! she works hard for her body so you better treat her right!" sorry -- i had a donna summer moment). it's just that man -- i used to *be* girl fitness. now i am . . .

**girl fatness**

but in all seriousness, i do not like being girl fatness. my buddy's dad just had a massive heart attack the other day and the doctor said it correlated directly to his sedentary lifestyle. he rarely exercises and is overweight. and now he has stints in his heart. i do not want to be that person. i do not want to leave behind my glorious blog audience (well and my family/friends, etc.) because i was lazy. i want to live life! and so one day, i want my roommate and myself to be called

**girl fitnii**

(in case you didn't know, "fitnii" is the plural form of "fitness," like "fungi" or "cacti.") and i have begun my journey to get there again. yesterday, i started yoga. yes, i know that that is hardly "real exercise" but i did work up a sweat and my heartrate was crazy! and today i am really sore. i have been southbeachin' it up, too . . . been watching my carb intake and eating a lot of chicken. granted, today is really only my second official day, but i have been good. the only thing i really hate about southbeach is that the weight loss is accompanied by headaches the first two weeks of doing it. they say it's cuz your body has to get used to the limited number of carbs and blahblahblah. i just hope that this 800mg ibuprofen kicks in really soon. like really soon. i eat so much salad that i stay in the bathroom (and i don't mean weighing myself). either way, i am doing okay.

**and because i am awesome**

i am going to post some pictures of me from the last time i was in shape. call it motivation (and you can also call my booty nice cuz believe me, i know it once was!) for the future. i am heading to el paso next week for work, but since the beau is there for work, too, i am going to have him tape me. today, i will give you my starting weight. i can't believe that i am going to actually post it. no one is allowed to laugh or call me "two ton tilly." so officially, my starting weight is . . .

**202.8 lbs**

i know what you are thinking. how does a body as gorgeous and svelte as mine weigh that much (i kid, i kid)? but really . . . who wants to say they are over 200 lbs? scratch that -- what WOMAN wants to say they are over 200 lbs? i know i hate saying it. i would rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than to have to say i am 100 lbs times 2. it is mortifying . . . even worse was this weekend when i couldn't fit into anything and my husband's jeans were too tight. talk about a reality check.

**and that is when the switch in my brain turned on**

and so far, that switch has stayed on. even after almost killing myself at yoga last night, i am still determined to do well. i am supposed to go to spin class tonight, but i'm not sure i'm in shape enough to do that yet. i have to do something, though. i wanna get back to looking like this :

so, i invite all you good people of my blog to join the fight against fat. change your diet a little bit, take the stairs instead of the elevator -- heck, even do zumba without me making fun of you. but do something. don't let this life pass you by because you are just too lazy. do something good for yourself. in turn,

**you might just save your own life**


good will hunting?

last week, after hearing about the tornadoes up north and in the mideast, my little brother posted on facebook that he would love to go help out with the disaster relief effort. after a couple of phone calls, i decided i was down for going and we planned a huge trip to go out and aid the folks of el reno and piedmont, oklahoma. needless to say, the trip didn't happen. i don't want to go into detail because i am still a little bit heartbroken that we didn't get to go, but i must say :

*it completely renewed my faith in the inherent goodness of people*

on another note, since this is my blog, i am allowed to write on here WHATEVER it is that i want. and if you don't like it, you do not have to read it. you can simply click that little red X in the corner and pretend that i don't exist. not entirely sure anyone reads this anyhow, but since it is mine, i don't have to apologize for what i will write, either. this blog is not directed at anyone specifically, but everyone generally. if you do feel like this is directed at yourself, then go look in a mirror and perhaps heed the advice offered this time.

alright, so here it goes. i am SOOOOOO tired of people complaining about other people because they believe differently or think differently or act differently or dress differently . . . or anything differently. THIS IS AMERICA, folks! wake up! and if you wanna play religion, then it is called FREE AGENCY. people are allowed to do what they want, when they want, how they want and if it isn't hurting you, then quit complaining about it to me. sometimes i think the only reason i am around is so people can call me and complain to me about what dick or jane did or didn't do or will do or said they would do. cuz honestly, I DON'T CARE.

and it's not that i truly don't care . . . it's just that i have enough going on in my life that i can't worry about someone else's salvation or someone else's actions. what dick or jane do has no direct bearing on me or my happiness. what i am concerned about is the welfare of my (step)children, and how their mamas do their best to keep the kids away from their daddy. and how much his heart hurts cuz he doesn't get to see them, and how much my wallet hurts cuz of child support.

and don't get me wrong, i know that i do my fair share of complaining, but i can also say with great conviction that it's never over someone's physical appearance or what someone said on their facebook status. sometimes, when i get phone calls, i want to ask a pre-screening questionaire to the caller:

a) does this conversation have anything to do with me?
b) are you even going to ask me how my day has been going?
3) do you want a miniature pinscher?

okay, so really -- i don't always wanna ask that last question. only when inspektor or lucky are getting on my nerves. but the first two are always relevant.

however, being the good friend that i am, i rarely say anything to anyone about this. i just let them complain, offer my advice that is often -- if not always -- ignored and take a day off my life for having listened to the negativity. and maybe that is what all of this boils down to . . . negativity.

folks, believe it or not -- i try to be a positive person. i try to uplift and help whenever i can. some days, i admit, i am selfish, but most days are spent looking after the welfare of others. and i honestly don't mind. it's who i am. i enjoy it. but i think everyone reaches a breaking point. and really, i reached that breaking point a few days ago. instead of focusing on the negative in someone, try focusing on the good things they do. focus on their heart. to me, that is the most important thing we can not only do for ourselves, but for others.

**try to see the inherent good in others**

and if you just can't bring yourself to do that today, if everything has you in a crappy mood, if everyone is less than perfect compared to yourself, then give me a call or shoot me a text. i will be there to listen. and offer unwanted advice. but please do me one favor when you call to complain and whatnot:

*ask me how my day is first.*


one more about dogs . . .

*and so the saga of the dogs continues . . . *

first of all, we found brutus' real home. when we got brutus off of craigslist, the lady said that they had done all they could to find his owners. i took his to mean that they checked to see if he was chipped. apparently that isn't part of "all we could do to find his owners." here's how it all went down.

i arranged for a lady and her two kids to meet brutus on saturday. turns out they didn't want him, so i asked my dad to take brutus up to the second chance shelter (which is a no kill shelter) to see what we should do with him. it's not that i thought he was a bad dog or anything; he just wasn't a good fit for our house. he was whiny and barky and a little aggressive. i felt horrible about taking him to the shelter (which is why my dad took him) -- and i even cried after he took him. i just imagined him going to some horrible home where they abused him and starved him to death (i don't know why i always think about worst case scenarios).

*turns out, brutus was chipped.*

the lady working at the shelter wouldn't give dad the owner's number, but she did inform daddy that brut's real name is phat phat, and that he is an english toy terrier. yes, folks . . . you read that right. phat phat. anyhow, daddy brought him home and i was getting ready to take him up to the animal control shelter (because second chance said that would be our best bet cuz they would get him home) when i got a call. the lady on the other end was phat phat's owner. she told me she had been looking for him and that he got out of a friend's backyard when she was in new jersey for a funeral. we met up at big lots in killeen and she got her dog back. everyone won in the end.

*fast forward a day to sunday . . . *

the roommate, nephew and i went to meet up with a lady who had the one-eyed dog i blogged about last time. we met at a place in salado called pace park, which turned out to be an awesome place (we're thinking of taking the kids there for memorial day weekend). here are some pictures of it :

**view to the right**

**view to the left**

**col and inspektor hanging out in the creek**

anyhow, the lady who we were getting the dog from -- who from now on i will refer to as lucky -- showed up about 15 minutes after we did and we chatted quite a bit about lucky. she wanted to hang out for a bit to make sure lucky got along with oma and inspektor. and he did. and he was so adorable! he has the softest coat and is quite handsome (although i must admit, inspektor is the most handsome). he was friendly and came up to us after he sniffed us and got to know us. here is a pic of him that i snapped by the creek:

**don ciclope luciano d'occhio**

we decided that we would take him home with the understanding that if he wasn't a good fit with us or the dogs, we would be able to return him and they would find another home for him. i don't think we'll have any issues with him, but it is really too early to say that for sure.

we got him home and let him walk around the house, to get a feel for his new surroundings. i am glad this one is fixed, but that sure didn't stop him from humping the bed! it was quite hilarious and colby couldn't stop laughing whenever lucky pretended to "take care of business" . . . but he was wearing a "belly band," so there were no accidents. here are a couple of pics i got of lucky with the dogs. i couldn't seem to get them all together in one and it was hard to keep them still long enough to even get these. these are the two best ones :

**oma and lucky**

**inspektor and lucky**

anyhow, our first night was a success. he had a bit of trouble figuring out where he was supposed to sleep and kept trying to jump into my bed. i would put him firmly into his and say "bed." by the end of all of this, he got the hang of it. when i would say bed, he'd run and jump in his. i just hope that he continues to be as good as he was yesterday.

*if so, we might have to keep him!*


dogs in diapers . . .

as the title suggests, this post is about dogs in diapers. to start off, the reason the dogs were in diapers is because oma is in heat. and because i didn't want her "leaving a trail" behind her wherever she went (you know what i mean), i decided to get her a diaper. she looks so cute in it, as you can see :

well the diaper i bought was a two for one deal, one pink and one purple. the roommate came home last night and we got the bright idea to put inspektor and brutus in the purple one. it was hilarious.

here is inspektor :

at first, he was a little annoyed by it. he wasn't sure what to do with it on and kinda ran around for a few second, nipping at it. but then, once he figured out he wasn't going to be able to get it off, he jumped up on the couch and laid down by oma, who was wearing hers. it was quite adorable.

and then there was brutus :

he looks like a bodybuildin' beast in this pic, doesn't he?!? it was so funny. first off, once we got the diaper on him, he just stood there, frozen. i kept calling his name and i could tell he wanted to move, but wasn't quite sure how to. and then when he did walk, it was the most awkward thing ever! he walked about 3 steps and decided that was enough and he was ready to get rid of the diaper.

all of the sudden, we had brutus the german gymnast in our living room! he was throwing himself all over the floor, doing flips and turns. everything he could think of to get this diaper off of him. we were seriously crying it was so funny. after about two minutes of him doing this, i got him calmed down enough to take the diaper off of him and i could tell he was still mad. so how did i solve this?

i took oma's diaper off and put she and brutus outside for some alone time. that seemed to have worked. when he came back inside, he was happy as a clam (and the only time i will ever advocate brutus humping oma).


doggy day care . . .

so we started off with one dog. his name is inspektor phinneas von owens, III. by now, all of my loyal blog readers should know this.

**inspektor phinneas von owens, III**

practically overnight, we added two additional dogs to the family : a miniature dachshund and a rat terrier.

**frau olga von hundsen**

this is oma. okay, really her name is frau olga von hundsen. but she goes by oma. she is the sweetest little miniature dachshund a person could want. she is lovable and cuddley and calm. we "rescued" her from a friend who found her dropped off in the country. i didn't know i was actually looking another dog until i got her. originally, the friend dropped the dog off at my parents' house, cuz they were taking her up to my sister's house to keep. when i saw her at their house, i took her home to have her play with inspektor. she didn't play much, but i loved her instantly. and so i decided to kidnap her and claim her as my own. we just got her vaccinated again and she will be spayed next month. she is so much fun to have around.

i really didn't think she'd make it this long. when we first got her, she was really sick and halfway dead. i thought she might live a week or two, at most. she puked every single time we fed her and she was so weak that she couldn't even walk from her bed to the backyard. i had to literally carry her and put her on the grass so she could go to the bathroom. it was sad. one day, the beau and i went out to petco to get something -- i can't remember what we actually went for -- and i talked to a dog trainer out there. when i told him about oma, he told me that it sounded like she had a food allergy and he recommended we immediately change her dogfood. we picked up some wet food -- we weren't sure her stomach could handle dry -- called natural balance LID (limited ingredients diet). we also gave her 1/2-tsp of pepto, 3x daily, as recommended by a vet friend of mine. it took her a bit of time, but after about a week or two of eating the new food, she was as good as new! i bet the reason she was abandoned was because she was always throwing up. if only they knew!

i took her to the vet today to get her vaccinated. they recommended we just get her the distemper/parvo, rabies and one other shot. only cost me $40. the other reason i took her was because i thought she might be pregnant. turns out, she's between 9-10 years old, and that is too old for her to have any pups. the vet told me that she is going through a "false pregnancy," so she is displaying all the symptoms of pregnancy, but not really going to give birth to any puppies. i am taking her back in one month to have her spayed (she has to complete her heat cycle and be done with it for approximately 2 weeks before they can spay her). the doc said that on the off chance she is pregnant, they will terminate her pregnancy during the surgery. if they don't, oma will prolly die trying to give birth. all in all, she is a very sweet dog.

and then we have the rat terrier . . .

**baron brutus von bergenstein**

this is brutus . . . full name is baron brutus von bergenstein. we rescued him, too. found an ad on craigslist and decided to have him meet inspektor. they seemed to like each other and neither one barked when meeting the other. we took him home and he has been with us for about a month now. and sadly, i do not like him. it's not that i don't, i guess. it's just that he is a constant barker/whiner. it drives me absolutely crazy! he is always whining about something. it's gotten even worse since oma is in heat and he isn't fixed. they have been humping everywhere. see?

and i hate it! and i hardly get any sleep at night because brutus is on oma all night long. they wake me up and i always catch them before they start doing it, but it is seriously driving me crazy. and it's just not the humping. really, he isn't a good fit for us. i listed him on craigslist a couple of days ago and so far, i have only had one text about him. i am supposed to meet up with the lady on saturday. let's hope she still wants him. i'd hate to have to take him to an animal shelter, but that may end up happening. we will see.

but because we are giving up brut, we are on the hunt for another dog. the beau has decided he wants to stick with either another min-pin or another mini dachshund. they both have the best temperaments. i went onto craigslist-killeen and looked for both, but couldn't find any that i really liked. i decided to look on craigslist-austin to see if there was anything there, and i found one. this is him.

yes, folks . . . he has one eye. i don't know why i think he is so cute, but he is! i think it's cuz he reminds me of inspektor. i emailed the owner and asked about him and found out that he lost his eye to an internal infection. he is 3 1/2 years old and fixed, as well as up-to-date on all his shots. his name is zephyr, but you know i can't keep that name. we decided that he will be italian this time, instead of german. we already have a name picked out : don ciclope luciano d'occhio. in italian, ciclope means cyclops and d'occhio means eye. and since the beau wants to call him "lucky," we went with luciano as the middle name. i think it fits him perfectly!

anyhow, we are meeting with lucky and his owners on sunday in salado. i really hope that inspektor and lucky get along. i will keep you posted and if so, i will take more pics of our newest family member soon!


not a lot to talk about . . .

well it's been a month since i last blogged . . . i guess it's a little better than i had previously done, cuz it was like a year between before. i guess that sometimes i just get so caught up in facebook that i don't remember to blog. not that i really have anything to talk about. my life is still boring and pretty monotonous. but i am happy to report:

*i start back to school in four days*

i am a little nervous, but a little less than i would be if i hadn't helped the beau through this last semester. helping him gave me the itch to finish. i took a trip down to a&m in college station last week to find out what i needed to do to finish up my bachelor's of arts-english (poetry). all in all, i have about 19 credits left til i graduate. i will take most of the classes at the local college here, but 6 credits have to be taken through texas a&m in college station. i am looking to knock out most of the credits between now and next spring, and finish up by driving down to college station twice a week (at night) to take my 6 credits, if they offer night classes. otherwise, i'm not sure how it will work out. 3 of the credits can be taken online, but the other class isn't offered online. so we will see.

i'm also going to the local college to pursue an AA-computer science. i am actually really excited. the beau is going for the same thing. i am fortunate that the classes i am taking this summer are the classes he just finished up. i will take 15 hours during the summer 1 session and hopefully 15 more during summer 2. that will all depend on work, of course.

*speaking of work*

i will be in el paso for the second half of this year. i have to take a few trips out there before my long deployment (15 august-12 december). the beau leaves 9 may and returns 9 july from el paso, too, but for a different test than i am. i am sad that he will be gone, but him going will help us reach our goal of getting out of debt completely in two years. i am looking forward to reaching that goal, but wish he and i didn't have to be apart. we have done it before, so i know it can be done again. plus, having my sister and her family in el paso will help a lot. i am glad she decided to stay there for paul's deployment instead of going to killeen since the beau and i will both be there at some point between may-december (hilary -- this means you *have* to cook sunday night dinners now so that the beau can get a good meal every once in awhile).

what else? our garden is growing! i am so glad we decided to plant it. there was, at one point, a time when we thought it wasn't going to make it. but we have eaten a lot of the lettuce and we have TONS of squash and zucchini growing. our bell peppers are still struggling to grow, but we have tomatoes and jalapenos that will be ready to harvest soon. our watermelon plants are even doing well. i am pretty happy and satisfied with the growth and that we have managed to not kill off everything! i will post some pics of it later, i suppose.

and i gues that's about it. not much to report.


meet charlotte . . .

this is the new love of my life. of course i bought her like a week before the government shutdown (which means i may be out of a job for a week or two). hindsight is 20/20.



today has been a blah day. it started off in a blur and now i just feel sad. i found out last night that a friend's sister passed away. this friend and i haven't been close in quite some time, but she and i were *reallyclose* growing up. i have fond memories of both my friend and her sister.

my friend posted some pictures of her (deceased) sister on her facebook page. looking through them made me feel sad for her loss. i can remember many times growing up tagging along with her sister to do things. it just made my heart hurt for my friend and her family.


you had me at "mint chocolate chip"

so a couple of weeks ago, i had this dream about some deliciously gooey, insanely sugary mint chocolate chip cookies. in the dream, my oldest sister (heidi), made them. i woke up and had a craving for these cookies, which is unusual cuz i rarely eat sweets. some people have sweet tooths . . .

*i have a salt tooth*

anyway, i mentioned it to my sister, and to my delight, she went and bought the ingredients and made up a recipe and made the most amazingly good mint chocolate chip cookies and sent them to me in the mail. as soon as i got the box, i sampled one and had to immediately share one with my roommate. we reveled in their softness, in their gooey-ness, in their deliciosity. never had a cookie been so good.

*it was seriously explosions of heaven in my mouth*

anyhow, i shared some with my family and then decided to share some with my co-workers. they loved them and started requesting that she make different flavored cookies, some with sugar, some with splenda (for my co-worker who is diabetic). i pitched the idea to them about paying for cookies, and each one agreed that they would definitely pay. and so, the idea was born . . . my sister, much to my insistence, would begin her own cookie company.

*why hadn't we done this sooner?*

we went through a long list of names that we could call her business . . . sugar britches, heidi's, bites & delights, miller's morsels and finally settled on baker's dozen. yes, it is kind of generic, but it's something people will remember. we are shooting for simple, yet delicious. heidi played around and came up with our logo -- very simple, yet effective. i have nominated myself to be the COO (Chief Operations Officer) and heidi as the CEO (chief executive officer). we are hiring out for an accountant. there are a lot of aspects about starting business i don't know about, but i'm pretty clear on how to get most of it going.

*by the way, good people, we are looking for investors*

anyhow, we're starting off small. she will do 10 flavors of cookies. we haven't gotten into details about what those flavors are, but she will also look into making "diabetic friendly" cookies. a lot of details to work out. i am just excited to get it going. and i'm excited for her. i know heidi will do great with this business. it combines two of her (and two of my) favorite things:

*food and money*

and really . . . who doesn't like that combination?


more garden stuff . . .

not a lot to write about. we finished up the garden today. more pics below.

the planters

all planted

the watermelon patch



an impromptu home improvement project

so my roommate (not to be confused with the beau) always comes up with these hair-brained ideas and

*i always agree they are actually good ideas.*

on friday, we went to kohl's to find a dress for myself. didn't find anything, and since kohl's is next to lowe's, i asked her if we could run in and look to see if the BBQ grill the beau wants was still on sale. we ran in and somehow, in 5 minutes of looking for the grill, she convinced me that building a planter would be a good idea. and before i knew it, i was on the phone, asking my dad if he had used all the stone from my sister's house (she has a HUGE pile of white rock in her backyard she is getting rid of).

*turns out, there was plenty.*

in our heads, moving rocks -- and these rocks ain't little -- was going to be easy peasy and take like 5 minutes. insert reality and suddenly, we realized we were going to move about 400 pounds of rock from my sister's backyard to the roommate's truck, and into a wheelbarrow and then to the backyard, where we would unload them onto the ground until we could figure out where we were going to put everything. it started off easy enough, until the second minute of moving rock.

*two hours later, we had the rock moved to the backyard*

i was entirely sure i was going to pass out at more than one point. the next few hours were spent moving rock, tilling ground that prolly had no business being tilled, moving more rock and watering. we bought dirt and then bought more dirt. we also got fruit & vegetable mix, as well as coconut coir. did some more watering and i think the big planter will be ready for planting tomorrow.

while building this big planter, our old german neighbor, sue, came outside and talked to us about our garden. she is very knowledgeable about gardening; when we informed her we were growing watermelon in the big planter, she told us that the watermelon would overtake all the other plants and that the watermelon patch should be separate. what did my roommate hear?

*let's build another planter . . . which we did.*

there was a lot of wheelbarrowing and hauling and digging and weeding . . . but i am so proud of what we accomplished in two days. we will plant tomorrow and see how it goes. we are both new at this, so i hope our first attempt at gardening is successful. below are some pictures of our project thus far!


so many things, so much time . . .

so i got the notion to check out my blog this morning and realized

*i haven't actually posted anything on here since august.*

matter of fact, i'm not even entirely sure i have a "blog audience" anymore. oh well . . . i feel like writing this morning, so i will write and if someone reads it, i guess it's a bonus (for them, of course).

so much has happened since last august. let's see . . . i left and went TDY to california for a few months; added a new nephew (thanks to brett and cindy) and a niece to the mix (thanks to scott and val); got a new truck (okay, it was used but it's new to me) and oh yeah -- i got married. that is true and correct, my good people. the "anti-married" is now "the married." i'll share my wedding story here, even though i am sure if you are reading this, you already know the circumstances surrounding it.

i met this guy i kinda liked. that slowly turned to love and i decided that i liked him enough to introduce him the parents. they met him and fell more in love with him than i did (just ask my mom . . . i don't believe she has ever said "no" to any of his requests). they bugged us about marrying, but timing wasn't right for me. i was in no rush and neither was he. we just were. and then i went TDY to fort irwin (for those of you who don't know, that's in california, near LA/san diego, etc.). and one day, i got the notion that he and i should run off to vegas and elope. a little for love, a little for the tax break. mainly for the announcing it on facebook (i kid, i kid).

*so i asked, and he said yes.*

he flew out to visit and i took 5 days vacay and we headed out to that great city of sin in the desert, otherwise known as las vegas. we checked into the trump hotel and they upgraded us to a suite since it was to be our honeymoon. we headed out onto the strip and quickly realized, to our dismay and horror:

*we aren't vegas people*

he dislikes crowds, i'm not much for walking miles and miles in flip flops. we both don't gamble (we're the type that want something to show for the $200 we just threw away), nor are we huge drinkers (an occasional beer once in awhile, but not nearly enough to justify a trip to vegas). so honestly, we mostly stayed in the room and hung out. boring, i know.

anyhow, we had arrived on a tuesday. on thursday morning, we woke up and decided

*this is the day*

we got dressed -- i was down for jeans and a tee but the beau made me dress up a little -- and headed down to get our marriage license.

i had previously applied for one online, so the wait was literally 2 minutes. we got our license and the lady at the window told us we had to call the courthouse and schedule an appointment to be married. i called: the wait was 2 1/2 hours. so we scheduled and decided to kill time by driving down the strip.

we passed some landmarks -- gold & silver pawn (featured on history channel's "pawn stars"), some major casinos . . . and the little white wedding chapel. we decided to pull in to see the charge. we pulled up to the window and spoke with a lady in bad make-up with huge, southern hair. we negotiated fees and whatnot, passed over our information and decided to get married at a drive-thru window.


lanette or ladean -- or whatever that lady's name was -- took our money, handed us a "tip envelope" for the reverend and told us to wait and a reverend would be there shortly to marry us. sure enough, pastor max zuniga came to the window just like a mcdonald's clerk would do, and began the wedding procedure. i could see lanette or ladean -- or whatever that lady's name was -- standing in the back with another lady to act our witnesses. pastor max said his piece and we exchanged rings, kissed, handed him his tip and were on our "marry" way.

*the whole thing took less than 30 minutes*

and we were married. pastor max pronounced us "mr. and mrs. gilbert," but i am keeping my own last name. it's not for any reason other than there would be so much paperwork involved to change it and the beau is perfectly okay with me keeping my name. i like my name, he likes his. no need in going through all the muss and fuss; it's already official.

*oh wait -- this isn't even the best part*

the best part is, we announced our wedding on facebook. prior to this, only two people knew. one being my sister, heather, because the beau felt it was important to ask someone for my hand in marriage before actually marrying me. since we wanted to keep it a secret from my parents, he texted her (yes, you have to love technology) and asked. i think she replied with something like, "you better marry her!" and of course, the roommate, cuz i had to get an opinion on my ring, and well, we kinda felt like she should know in advance she does live with us. but otherwise, no one knew.

i think i just posted a pic of our hands with rings and wrote, "look, ma! we got married!"

the parents were in el paso visiting another sister. my brother-in-law called my sister (who was out with my parents) and said, "did holly really get married?" my sister asked my mom, and they said something like, "what are you talking about?" and he told her that we posted it on facebook. the rest is history and

*that, my friends, is how we announced our marriage to the world.*

i mean, seriously . . . i don't know that anyone has a cooler wedding story than that! vegas, eloped in a drive-thru chapel, announced on facebook. it *is* pretty awesome, you have to admit. i feel like the winner in the deal . . . i got a great guy and a pretty nice tax break.

*win/win if you ask me!*


home improvement 101

so the beau and i started some various home improvement projects around the house. we decided that for right now, we'll stick with those that are low cost but that can be done in a few days. i don't know what we were thinking when we decided to redo the kitchen cabinets!

it all started because we have (or should i say "had" now) some unfinished patio furniture. it's really sturdy and made of really good quality wood, but we never did paint / stain it. plus, we rarely sit outside (cuz it's typically too hot or there are too many mosquitoes) so we have never done anything with it. however, the beau and i were talking about how we'd like to have some dinner parties or something at some point at our house, and it would be nice to have patio furniture to use. so we bought a can of stain that is a red mahogany color (which matches our inside house dining room table and barstools) and the beau went to town staining. he got it all done and it's now outside on our patio, getting crapped on by birds (which i'm not happy about).

when the beau was done, we noticed we still had about 3/4 of a can of stain left. and it was a saturday and i was in a project-doing mood, and so i came up with the bright idea to start staining the cabinets, cuz we had talked about doing it for a long time. and we took all the cabinets off (all 17 of them) and began staining. and didn't think about it being july and how hot it is. which, for painting cabinets outside isn't bad. it's just bad when the cabinet borders have to be painted INSIDE the house . . . which means the a/c goes off and the windows are opened. and that means the house gets to be about 100-degrees and you can't stop sweating and there's no relief from the fumes of the stain or the heat of the day.

and it takes a lot longer than one weekend to finish. and quite frankly, we're still not finished. we still have cabinets left to hang and i think we're also going to have to paint another coat of stain onto the cabinet borders. it ended up going so much smoother and way more quicker in my head. but i think that overall, the cabinets look good. we're now looking to see what else we can stain . . .

anyhow, here are some pictures of our almost-completed project:


july -- and possibly august & september -- home improvement project

so lately, the beau and i have been doing little "home improvement" projects around the house. nothing too pricey, but something that betters our home and is definitely noticeable. this month, we've been tackling the stainage of furniture and cabinets.

last year, we bought some new furniture for the house : bedset, dining room table with chairs, barstools. we bought it all in this beautiful mahogany red color. while i loved the dark-colored wood, the rest of the house has light furniture accents, like oak or something. and i don't like the way that it doesn't mesh. i'm sure no one else notices it, but because i'm crazy about everything matching in my house, i have noticed. we have some really nice unfinished patio furniture (thanks, daddy or chad . . . or whomever we got it from) that we decided to stain a mahogany red stain we found by minwax. we get it all stained up and head to lowe's the other day to find a sealant for it. we talk to the guy in that department and he informs us that the stain we have used on our outdoor furniture is actually for interior wood . . . which i admit, pissed me off. after all, we had gotten that specific stain based on one of lowe's employees. but the guy assured us that putting a sealant on it would help it last longer and since it sits under a covered patio and never gets direct sunlight, it should be good for years. so now my anger has subsided a little. my beau covered it in a few coats of stain and put the sealant on it. it's really nice now. but the thing is, we had half a gallon-sized can of stain left over. and what happens? we get the brilliant idea to stain the kitchen cabinets!

we start the job and finish 17 cabinets the first day. only after putting the first coat of stain on the 17, moving them to the garage to dry and putting everything away do we realize we left two cabinet doors unfinished (the ones above the fridge that we use for nothing). since we also have some drawers in the kitchen, we decided to just stain the two cabinets we missed with those. sunday rolls around and start applying a second coat to the cabinets. we only did like 12. and then the interest petered out. and guys . . . this is not good! we still have more to do, as well as the cabinet border and the backside of the cabinets! i think this is going to be a lot longer of a project than we thought. and i hope we can continue with the motivation to get it done. especially since we have the spare room furniture to stain still (my beau doesn't know we're doing that yet).

anyway, i've decided that from now on, before we jump into a "little" project, we will definitely think it through. and research it. and consider that while a project may be cheap, it's not necessarily little!

before cabinet:

after cabinet:


a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong survey

i'm a little bored today and figured i'd bore you with a bunch of useless questions and answers **cuz i can.** and you'll read it and you'll like it. and maybe you won't and maybe i don't care. but for your reading pleasure anyway :


Name: holly olga pritchard. okay, so maybe olga isn't my real middle name, but in high school i told everyone it was. and when i graduated and walked across the stage, they announced it as such. my mom was mad.

Date of Birth: 06/07/1980. can't believe i turned 30 this year . . . seems like i was just a teenager sneaking into the movie theater with my best friend leslie to meet up with our boyfriends, brandon and richard!

Birthplace: dothan, alabama. i left that place when i wasn't even one yet and never plan on going back. i may have been born in alabama, but i'm a texas girl at heart!

Current Location: killeen, texas. it's home.

Eye Color:

Hair Color: well, at the moment, i have brown trailer park roots with blonde ends. one day i'll make it back to my stylist and get my hairscut and have it highlighted, as well. in the meantime, i wear it in a ponytail every day in an attempt to disguise my horrible roots!

Height: 5'6 1/2" . . . "sometimes a girl needs a half."

Heritage: you know, every time i talk to my siblings or parents about this, my heritage changes. i think there is quite a bit of dutch and maybe some german or english. and of course, some sort of native american and maybe even some finnish or something. i think it's just easier to say i'm american.

Piercings: nope. no longer. my body rejects all metals.

Tattoos: oh tattoos. i do have four of them, and i must admit, i regret the days i got each of them. being young and dumb has left a permament "scar" on me.


Band/Singer: this is a loaded question. i have so many favorites that i'd never be able to narrow it down to just one. at the moment, i'm loving tom petty. ask me tomorrow, however, and i may tell you talib kweli.

Song: again, way too many answers. however, i will say i *love* to sing fleetwood mac's "everywhere" to my beau. i absolutely love that song; he abhors it.


no other movie has ever brought me so much joy and made me happy when i was sad. i love singing along and quoting it. makes me even happier when all my sisters and sisters-in-law quote and sing with me. when the movie isn't playing. simply to annoy my brothers and brothers-in-law.

Disney Movie: i always loved "peter pan" growing up.

TV show: right now, the beau and i are hooked on all sorts of shows like "river monsters," "modern family," "the office" and "i survived." we don't get to watch TV often, but we do DVR quite a few to pass the time when we do!

Color: charcoal grey. i have been told several times that that is not a color, but rather a shade. really, though -- is there that big of a difference?

Food: oh so many answers, so little time and space to write them all. food and i are friends. there isn't much i won't try. aside from sushi. the thought of it makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

Pizza topping: black olives, onions, bell pepper and pepperoni, please.

Ice-Cream Flavor: hmmm . . . for all of you *not* in texas or who do not HEBs in your area, i will say mint chocolate chip. those of you who do have HEBs in your area and have had the pleasure of eating creamy creations ice cream, i'm going with nutty chocolate sugar cone. or something like that. little explosions of heaven in your mouth.

Drink: triple tall sugarfree vanilla breve latte. i once tried to give them up, but just couldn't part ways. they are just that good.

Coke: let me preface this answer by saying this question was asking me my "favorite soda." however, no one in texas calls it a soda. and so i had to change it to make sense for all my fellow texans ;) and with that, i'll say dr pepper.

Store: sadly, my favorite store has changed from a fashion store to a grocery store. yes people. today, on my blog, i declare HEB to be my most favorite store. ever. nothing is quite as heavenly as that place.

Clothing Brand: i go back and forth on this one. usually, it's gap. but since becoming poor lately, it's gone back to old navy. essentially the same thing; gap just costs more and has somewhat cuter clothes. sadly, however, the quality is the same. and it's becoming harder and harder for me to justify spending $44 on a shirt. i never thought i'd see the day that i said that.

Shoe Brand: depends on what i am using the shoe for. working out it's either nike or new balance. when i played soccer, it was adidas. flip flops are whatever is comfortable. no jimmy choos or anything like that for me; those would cost me a month's paycheck.

Season: fall. nothing like fall in texas. and hayley -- i know you say there are no seasons in central texas, but believe me . . . someone from here knows the difference between summer and fall. it goes from being hot hot hot to just hot.

Month: i don't know why, but i have always loved october. it has nothing to do with halloween, cuz that is my least favorite holiday. we don't even pass out candy or open the door. we just sit at home and ignore the doorbell.

Holiday: this is a tough one. i love christmas because of all the good memories i have associated with it. it's not quite a big deal anymore now that i'm grown. maybe the first time we have the kids on christmas morning it will be a bigger deal. but i really love the fourth of july. i love the fireworks and the BBQing and the time spent with friends and family. plus, i'm a patriot and am in love with america and all that we are afforded in this country. i am so thankful for the freedoms i have.

Flower: my favorite flower has always been the star-gazer lily. my wedding bouquet (yes, for those of you who have forgotten : i was once married) was made of them. but lately, i have loved the hibiscus. maybe because we bought a pretty red one from lowe's and it has actually survived all summer under my care (which is a miracle in itself). i love them.

Make-Up Item: it's funny. i always remember my gramma telling me growing up that a lady doesn't leave the house without putting on makeup. even when she was near the end of her life and didn't leave the house much, when she did, i helped her powder her nose, rouge her cheeks and color her lips. and for the longest time, i believed that sentiment and you wouldn't catch me anywhere without makeup. except maybe the gym. but now, it seems like i'm always running late and quite frankly, i'm not looking to impress anyone. and the first thing to go was my makeup. i keep reminding myself that a lady never leaves the house without it, but then i also rationalize it that i'm more of a tomboy than a lady. but if i had to choose, i would say mascara. it makes me feel complete when i do wear it.

Board game: hmmm . . . it's a toss-up between clue and scrabble. i'm good at both. quite frankly, any game is my favorite as long as i win.


Sunny or rainy: definitely sunny. rainy is only good when you don't have to leave the house and have plenty to do on the inside.

Chocolate or vanilla:

Fruits or vegetables: i like both, but am a bigger fan of vegetables. but they have to be cooked.

Night or day: night cuz day means i have to be at work.

Sour or sweet: hmmm, between the two, i'll choose sweet. but i'd rather choose salt.

Love or money: why does it always have to be one or the other? why can't it be both?

Phone or in person: either works for me.

Looks or personality: again, why can't it be both? my beau has both.

Coffee or tea: coffee. tea is bad for you.

Hot or cold: inbetween. summers in texas are too hot and the winters are too cold. i want fall year round.


Goal for this year: lose 40 pounds (refer to two posts below this one)

Best physical feature: well that all depends on who you ask. i like my booty, but i'm sure my dad will tell you something different!

First thought waking up: SNOOZE!

Hypothetical personality disorder: hmmm . . . either OCD or anxiety.

Preferred type of plastic surgery: i don't prefer any. the less time spent under the knife, the better. i'm not trying to die anytime soon.

Sesame street alter ego: i guess big bird since i'm the boss ;)

Fairytale alter ego: none . . . most fairytale characters are waiting on their prince charming to come and take care of them. while i love my beau, i am capable of taking care of myself.

Worst crime: i hope there are no cops reading this. i was once involved in a hit-and-run. i was 17 at the time and scared to death. it took place in my mom's van and i hit a little tiny chevette. moved it to another parking space. i never stopped and lied for years about it to my parents. i still can't believe i did that.

Greatest ambition: to be successful.

Greatest fear: dying young and dying alone. would be even worse if i died young and alone.

Darkest secret: i really can't think of any dark secrets.

Favorite subject

Worst habit: my inability to delegate at work. i'm trying to be better at it, but i still feel guilty when i ask someone else to do the work that i'm ultimately responsible for.


Smoke: nope. nasty habit.

Drink: rarely. and i mean that, mama and daddy.

Curse: i really try hard not to. especially since we have kids around a lot more often now. usually i will if i hurt myself. or i'm super incredibly mad. but otherwise, i say thinks like "blast" or "crikey" or "bastard!" (which mama, is not really a curse word).

Shower daily: sometimes twice.

Like thunderstorms: as long as they don't knock my power out, i'm fine with them.

Sing: much to the chagrin of my beau, i do. and i sing loud and horribly. and he secretly loves it when i do.

Play an instrument: i can pick a tune or two out on the piano. i used to be really good at it. and the french horn. now? not so much.

Get along with your parents: swimmingly. i am happy to say that my relationship with my parents is a complete 180 from how it was when i was a teenager. i talk to my mama just about every day and we see them quite often during the week. they do a lot for me and i could never thank them enough.

Wish on stars: only on shooting stars.

Believe in fate: yes and no.

Believe in love at first sight: no. i'm a realist. that's called lust, people.


Drive: yes, but i'm what you'd call a distracted driver. and so i don't drive often.

Sew: not at all. not even a button. i guess in theory i could sew on a button if i had to, but i just let my beau take care of all that. he used to be in the marines, so he says it was required of him to do that.

Cook: i can.

Speak another language: only a little bit of restaurant spanish, and that might not even be the case anymore since i haven't worked in a restaurant in years.

Dance: of course. although i haven't done it in a long time.

Sing: not at all, but that doesn't stop me from pretending i can!

Whistle: not well. barely at all.

Curl your tongue: yep.


Been Drunk: more times than i can remember or am willing to admit to.

Been Stoned/High: not unless you can count my ambien highs. never been high on any sort of illegal drug.

Eaten Sushi: i think i have tried eel before with my sister. she thought i'd like it cuz it's salty. i couldn't get passed the texture. i settled on teriyaki chicken.

Been in Love: sure, why not?

Skipped school: i almost didn't graduate cuz i missed so much school my senior year. we used to go shopping in austin. leave at 8am and get back in time for the final bell at 401pm. those were the days.

Made prank calls: not recently. everyone has caller ID now. and no one answers blocked calls, so it would be no fun.

Sent someone a love letter: ah, back in the days. now i just facebook my beau and tell him i love him. how romantic, right?

Stolen something: just a few hearts ;)


What annoys you most in a person?
*i think lying annoys me the most. i hate when people lie to me.

Are you right- or left-handed?
*right handed.

What is your bedtime?
*sadly, it's like 830pm. i take my ambien at 8pm and am usually falling asleep 30 minutes to an hour later. yes, i know the sun is still out at 8pm. what can i say . . . i'm an old lady.

Name three things you can't live without:
*coffee, bottled water, phone

What is the color of your room?
*tan and red (more specifically, ponytail and bangkok rust)

Do you have any siblings?
*i have enough siblings for me and you. seven total.

Do you have any pets?
*i'm ashamed to admit that i am now a pet owner. his name is inspektor phinneas von owens, III. he is a miniature pinscher. he is 11 months and way too hyper:

Would you kill someone you hate for a million dollars?
*i don't really hate anyone that i can think of, so i'm not sure i'd be able to kill someone for a million. however, i might be able to break someone's legs for a million. i'd just make sure to pay their medical bills.

What are you nicknames?
*you know, i don't really have a lot of nicknames. my mama calls me holly dolly or hol dol. my dad calls me pumpkin or squirt. and my beau calls me babe usually.

Are you for or against gay marriage?
*i'm not about to tell anyone who they can or can't love, nor am i going to get into this topic here on my blog.

What are your thoughts on abortion?
*whatever my thoughts are, they are my thoughts. and again, i don't feel like sharing them. buh-bye.

Do you have a crush on anyone?
*oh, i do. have you ever seen "river monsters" on animal planet? if so, then you know who jeremy wade is. and that's my crush. and before you go and criticize me for having a crush on someone other than my beau, know this : he has a man-crush on him, too, so it's okay.

Are you afraid of the dark?
*negative . . . the darker the better.

How do you want to die?

Would you take a bullet for the one you love?
*oooh . . . as much as i love my beau, i love myself more. so no. i'd be sad if he were shot, but this is survival of the fittest, people!

What is the last law you’ve broken?
*ummmm, driving from my mama's house to my house with no seatbelt on.

What color shirt are you wearing?

Name three things that are physically close to you:
*laptop, bottled water, cellphone

What is the last book you read?

Are you or were you a good student?
*i don't know that i was necessarily a good student; i just picked up easily on things and knew random things. i also learned good study techniques which came in handy. especially for those days i slept in class.

What's your favorite sport?
*to play:

to watch:

Do you enjoy sleeping late?
*oh how i love it! i actually slept til 11am on saturday and 10am on sunday. it was marvelous!

What's the weather like right now?

Who tells the best jokes?
*you know, he may not tell the best jokes and quite frankly, he's prolly one of the worst joke tellers i've heard tell a joke, but my little brother (scott) wins this category. the kid can tell an entire joke and forget the punchline. gotta love it.

What was the last thing you dreamed about?
*the last thing i remember dreaming about was my dad and me smoking the biggest blunt you've ever seen. it was a swisher sweet stuffed full of weed. and huge. and we were very high.

Do you collect anything? If so, what?
*i collect cash. if you're interested in donating to my collection, hit me up. i have plenty of room to add yours to mine.

Are you proud of yourself?
*i'm proud of what i have accomplished, but i do think i should have accomplished more by now.

Are you reliable?
*i really try to be.

Have you ever given money to a bum?
*that i have. however, since i started watching "intervention," i have a hard time giving money to them. i'd rather buy them a meal than give them cold hard cash.

What's your favorite invention?
*hmmm . . . this is a good question. there are so many i love, but i am going to have to say an espresso maker!

Is your room messy?
*i prefer the word cluttered. and it's mainly cuz we don't have any shelving in my room. if i had it, it would be a lot less cluttered, for sure.

What do you like better: oranges or apples?

Do you give in easily?
*um, i do when i'm guilted. and my mama can give a mean guilt trip!

Do you have a job?
*i do . . . and i think i like it.

What time did you wake up this morning?
*late. way later than usual. had to rush.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
*um, i didn't exactly eat breakfast. i came to work and had every intention of eating; however, my yogurt expired on 8 July.

What's your favorite day of the week and why?
*i am a big fan on the weekend. i used to love tuesdays, but now i have to work on tuesdays. i'll say sundays because we get to eat at mama's house and see the family.

Would you ever go skydiving?
*i don't think i would. i prefer to keep my feet on the ground.

What toothpaste do you use?
*colgate total. sometimes gel, sometimes paste. sometimes whitening, sometimes not. really depends on if it's on sale.

Do you enjoy challenges?
*i enjoy being told i'll fail when i know i'll succeed.

What's the worst injury you have had?
*concussion in the ninth grade. the only game my daddy was ever late for. and he missed the whole thing. however, he did stay most of the night in the hospital with me.

What's the last movie you saw?
*we watched "the bounty hunter" the other day. one of the worst movies i've seen in a long time.

What does your last text message say?
*"okay" from my beau. he was asking me for a grocery list and i told him i hadn't made one.

What is your dream vacation?
*at this point, any vacation is my dream vacation. i'd love to go to italy, hawaii or puerto rico. hopefully we'll do all three in the next three years.

What is your favorite animal?
*any animal i don't have to take care of.

Do you need to do laundry?
*that i do, even though my beau just did it friday. i am out of jeans.

Do you listen to the radio?
*only my iPod or pandora.

Where were you when 9/11 happened?

What color are your bed sheets?
*the ones on my bed now are dark brown. i try to keep the same colors throughout all of my house, including the sheets.

What's your ringtone?
*depends on the person. most are the generic, iPhone xylophone ringtone. my mom's is stewie from "family guy;" little brother's is "encarnacion" from nacho libre; colby's (my nephew) is "have you ever seen the rain?" by CCR; daddy's is "california dreamin'" by the mamas and the papas; my beau's is "jammin'" by bob marley; heather's is "tarantula" by bob schneider.

Do you watch cartoons?
*never on purpose. whenever we have the kids, a lot of cartoons filter onto the TV. and it sucks. unless it's phinneas and ferb, which i think is funny. but i hate spongebob now.

Do you hold grudges?
*oh how i wish.


the passing of the celica . . . and horsepills

so when i went away to college in my early twenties, i was the proud owner of a 1981 ford ranger F100. nowadays, a ranger is a tiny truck that really has no purpose, i don't think. but back in 1981, it was a bad ass truck . . . very big and bulky and made all of metal. i ran over things and ran into things and never once dented my truck. it had an oil leak that was so bad that i literally carried a case of oil in the bed of the truck. every morning, i popped the hood and poured an entire bottle of oil into the engine; repeated this ritual just about every single morning for the year or two i owned this truck. it had the original push / knob radio, a cloth bench seat and most importantly, it could hit about 65mph tops when it was warmed up. it took me all over college station and back and forth to and from killeen on weekends i didn't have to work.

and then one day, it suddenly became unreliable. the leak got worse and worse and it started to have trouble making the trip back and forth from college to home and back. i was a poor college student, though . . . worked a full-time job, went to school full-time but still never had enough money to do much of anything. and in stepped my father.

he had gone onto the "lemon lot" on fort hood a few times over the months i had been having car trouble and he found a sporty little toyota celica for me. the GI selling it was getting ready to deploy and he really just wanted to sell it. one guy offered him $2000 cash; Daddy offered him a $1500 check with a sob story about his daughter in college. needless to say, daddy got the car. he and mom drove it down to college station one weekend and we traded cars. he got my truck to take home and use for his pool business; i got a reliable, sporty (albeit somewhat ugly and banged up) celica to cruise around town in. i loved it instantly.

my friends and i had great adventures in that car when i was in college. one summer, between spring and summer semesters, my best college friend (veronica) and i hopped into the celica and took a week and a half road trip to california. we had never been and it seemed like a good idea. we got out of texas and into new mexico the first night; onto california the second day. we hit the beach and knew we were styling in my sports car, whom by now i called Celi (pronounced 'Selly'). after our week in cali was up, veronica and i loaded celi back up and made the long trek back to texas. we even outran a cop on the new mexico border into el paso. my celi was the shiznit.

a few years and a few wrecks later, my poor celi was no longer as fast as she once was, and was even uglier than she was when i got her. mismatched -- and later, i found out, not even the same sized -- tires seemed to help add to the flats and blow-outs i had often. i had a blow out on one of the tires one night in a rain storm on my way to see my college boyfriend. i sat on the side of the road for over an hour waiting on him to come get me. he finally did and ended up dumping me that weekend. perhaps celi was trying to prevent me from going down there that weekend, from getting my heartbroken. it was definitely an omen. but i lived and learned, i suppose.

celi made it's way back home with me to killeen and we both settled nicely into my parents' house. one morning, someone broke into my car and stole the only nice thing i had in the car -- my sony XPLODE sound system my parents' had paid for and had installed in my car not even a year prior for my birthday. i drove around for a long time with cardboard and duct tape on the back window before my brother pulled a favor from someone and they fixed my window for me. and then there were wrecks and soon the bumper was falling off and the trunk didn't open. it was a mess.

one afternoon, i took it into the mechanic (the same mechanic we have used for like 20 years) and i was told i would be better off buying a new car rather invest in fixing everything that was wrong with it. and so, i faced a dilemma because i didn't have money to buy anything. my brother, again, stepped in and helped me buy a 2000 dodge stratus from a major on post who had used the car for the live-in nanny he employed. he wanted $8000 for it, and quite frankly, he could've prolly gotten more for it than that; we offered $5000 and he took it. and then suddenly i had this stratus and my celi was no longer needed.

fast forward a few months to me being out of a job for one reason or another and suddenly i'm $600 behind on the rent i owed my parents. at this time, dad's van was in bad bad bad shape and he was looking for a beater to get him around, to and from work, etc. in stepped celi. daddy and i agreed that i would essentially "sell" him celi for the $600 i owed him and then the love affair of celi and my daddy began.

for years they went all over town. and they broke down all over town. but dad managed to get things fixed on it little by little -- nothing aesthetic, of course. my daddy's theory on cars is that it is a tool. no need to have something pretty when you're just gonna run it into the ground anyway. and believe me, it was run into the ground -- and quite a bit of poles, too -- and about on it's last leg.

mom and daddy decided they needed new cars eventually. one got a camry, one got a corolla . . . and like that, celi was the red-headed stepchild no one wanted. she has sat in dad's driveway for a few months now, never running, never moving. nothing. he and mom finally decided to call a charity and have it donated but then i intervened.

my beau and i have been looking for a car for him to use to get to and from school, and to serve papers. we had been sharing the stratus for a few months now : he drops me off at work in the morning, and picks me up at lunch so i can take him to school and take the car back to work. after work, i pick him up from school and we would serve papers in it. problem with that is, my stratus isn't the most gas-efficient car out there. and surprisingly, the celica is. and so i asked dad if i could re-own the stratus from him. i didn't wanna pay anything for it aside from the fees to change the title over to our name and to pay any taxes on it. ended up costing $100.60. about $100.60 more than i wanted to pay, but at least now we have a second means of transportation.

and although it's his car and he'll be the one driving it, my beau asked me not to ever mention that. he usually has the same theory my daddy has on cars -- that they're just tools. but today, we took it for a ride around the block and to get it washed, and we were both thoroughly embarrassed by it. blue smoke pours out of the back pipe thing and it smells bad. we took it to the carwash to see if that would help, but after we were done washing, we realized it was still an ugly car. and so i decided, at that moment, to take the proud owner approach and post pics of my beauty. and without further ado, here she is, MSSSSSSS. CELI!

and my absolute favorite, cuz it shows the seat cover:

and PS : when did the pharmaceutical companies start making pills the size of a horse suppository? this is a picture of my calcium pill, which i am required to take since i'm on the b/c shot, compared to my sleep and anxiety pills. it's huge:

hopefully tomorrow's post will be a lot more interesting than tonight's. i'll be posting all about our home improvement projects! i know, you just can't wait!