Re-affirmed: the right choice

After a evening with some friends and their two highly energetic boys, four year old and 6 year old, Mitch and I woke up this morning feeling certain that we have made the right choice for us.

Don't get me wrong, we both love kids. Keep in mind that up until late 2006, we were so focused on having children. I was on the verge of obsession with the whole thing and quite stressed from the years of disappointment of not being able to get pregnant. So we do love kids, no question about that. We have 3 nieces, 2 nephews and we love them all and love to spend time with them. But, with that being said, we do all live in different states and do not get to see each other frequently. Our friends are great, we enjoy their company very much. But, I woke up this morning with a headache, and it was not from the wine, because I only had a half of a glass, it was from the kids, just..well..being kids. Booyah and Maggie both went up stairs, leaving Cueball downstairs with the boys. He was being very tolerable. What a good boy! We will take a house full of the four leggers any day of the week. As for the other kids, we are fine with them, so long as we can give them back. =) No offense to all those who parent 2 legged kids. God bless you and thank God for you! I don't know how you have the energy or patience!!! OKAY RANTING IS OVER!

And, most of you reading this blog know that Mitch and I had been trying to have children for years, with no such luck. Soon after years of trying and then adopting Maggie, we came to realize that we were okay with not ever being able to have children. For us, our hounds are our kids, as loony as that may sound for some. So we have stopped trying. For us, adopting the hounds was the right choice! =)

So in honor of that choice, here are a few random shots of our beautiful, couch potato, quite, loving, sweet kids.

Maggie moo, couch Queen.

Cueball, our only roacher!
Sweet Booyah and his yellow lamb.Also, as I promised myself, I am reading one book a month. This month I am reading The Innocent by Harlan Coben. I should be finished by Friday. =)


More info. on Billy and Andy

From the GPA-GO website:

The “Cyanide Brothers”, Andy and Billy, have had another set-back in what was to have been their happy retirement. Their tale begins several years ago—with their first adoption. That lasted almost two years but the couple separated and the boys became a “burden” on the remaining adopter—one got loose, and we had to confiscate the other brother.

Back to GPA they came. After some time they were fostered by a family whose lives the boys saved during Hurricane Charley in 2004. The wind blew out a window of their home and the fumes from the generator blew back into the house, overcoming the three humans inside with carbon monoxide. Billy and Andy woke up the adults who rounded up the teenager, and they all staggered out of the house….alive, but ill. Another ten minutes and all three people, and the brothers, would have been dead.

Eventually, this foster family adopted Billy and Andy. All was well, or seemed to be so. Then, the family took a trip and left the brothers in the care of a petsitter. All seemed routine enough. Upon their return they contacted the petsitter and told her that they were abandoning the dogs….without ever contacting GPA.

Back to GPA and into another foster home went Billy and Andy. Through all of the changes they always had each other, even though the people they had grown to love let them down terribly.

An older couple from one of our partner Adoption Groups out of state wanted to adopt two Greyhounds, and this seemed like a perfect match. Billy and Andy were driven up to their new home. After almost two years, the older couple is faced with a life changing decision, and their deteriorating health has made it necessary from them to enter into an assisted living arrangement. Sadly, Billy and Andy are again homeless.

Although they are now in Virginia, they are also on the GPA/Orlando website because if the right family comes along to adopt these two heroes, they will be given a ride back to Florida. Billy and Andy are nine and a half years old, are cat friendly, and are perfect in every way.


Hero Hounds Need UR Help to Find Their FOREVER Home!!

VAGA needs your help. They currently have two brothers, Cyanide Billy & Cyanide Andy that need to find their new forever home. (Pictures of these two beautiful boys can be viewed by clicking on each of their names.) They have never been separated and MUST stay together. They are beautiful black males that will turn ten in May. These boys were featured in Celebrating Greyhounds Magazine for being Hero Hounds. They saved the lives of their foster family when fumes from a generator entered the house through a broken window. The foster family adopted the boys only to abandon them a few years later.

VAGA found a wonderful home for the brothers here in Virginia around a year ago. Unfortunately, their new owners must now move into a retirement home, which does not allow animals. They are heartbroken.

So, as you can see......VAGA must help these two very special boys. They need to find a good home in which they can live out the rest of their lives together. They need a home that will be FOREVER!!!!

PLEASE....spread the word and let's help VAGA find the FOREVER Home these boys so deserve!!

Thank you.

Whoo hoo......Winter Wonderland

We finally got snow that actually stuck to the ground and stayed around for more than a few moments. It started snowing on Saturday around 2:00 p.m. and stopped sometime after dark. It was so great watching it come down in large flakes!!

So, the kids played a little bit on Saturday in the snow. Then on Sunday, they really got to get out, stretch their legs and enjoy the white fluffy stuff. They all seemed to really like the snow. It made them very frisky. Above is Maggie playing with a toy in the snow and below is Booyah posing by the fence.
Cueball takes a nice stretch in the snow.
Ggroup meeting.
What exactly is this stuff?
Our handsome boy! What a great shot Mitch took!!
Hey Cueball....let's play!
Take that squeaky toy, your no match for me. She was having a ball!!
It's a nice day for a romp in the snow.
Lastly, Booyah trying to play with the snow.

The kids had a great time. They don't seem to mind the cold as much as they do the heat! Are they really Florida dogs? =)

I love the snow and this snow was perfect, it was so pretty to watch, it did not mess up the roadways and has not melted yet. Whoo hoo!!!


13-4 Oh bother.....

  • INDIANAPOLIS – He got choked up during his Saturday night speech, punctuating some of his more passionate statements with fist-pumps, and the San Diego Chargers felt inspired by their head coach's emotion. "I believe in you," he told them, and they believed him, and it meant something more than they had dreamt it could have back in the uncertain days of autumn.

  • This was a different Norv Turner than the man some of them doubted earlier this season, a driven leader who strode confidently and defiantly into the den of the defending champions intent on irrevocably changing the way he and his team are perceived. He shed the dead-fish exterior and took command of the sidelines, railing at officials and at one point venturing a good 10 yards onto the playing field to throw a replay-challenge flag. He looked like he would fight somebody – a ref, a row of fans, Peyton Manning, whomever – to get what he wanted.

  • Through it all, Turner kept his poise. There were smart calls at ideal times as he got into one of those sublime play-calling rhythms which made him such a hot coaching prospect in the first place. And for the first time as a head coach in a truly big game, he walked off a winner, his face showing no trace of surprise.

  • Meanwhile, virtually everyone else looked at the final score – Chargers 28, Indianapolis Colts 24 – and wondered if the football world had spun off its axis. San Diego, a team known for playoff flameouts, had just taken out the one team thought to have a realistic shot at stopping the New England Patriots' merciless assault on an undefeated season. Instead, it'll be the Chargers who show up at Gillette Stadium next Sunday to play Tom Brady and the Pats for the AFC Championship, while Manning sits home and digests a can't-win-the-big-one flashback to which Turner can unfortunately relate.

    Throw in the game's surreal circumstances, and what Turner's team accomplished was nothing short of stunning. Playing most of the second half without his superstar halfback and starting quarterback, seemingly shafted by the officials on a couple of key occasions, and stuck on the short end of what would be a 402-yard passing day from Manning, Turner was the hero in the headset.

  • "The adversity this year, starting out 1-3 and putting ourselves in a hole, it was a tough road," Chargers owner Dean Spanos said after the game. "And I give Norv all the credit. He stayed the course and pulled us out of it."

  • Turner, he of the 59-83-1 coaching record in prior stints with the Redskins and Raiders, joined the Chargers at a fractious time, with ultra-emotional coach Marty Schottenheimer having been fired by Spanos last February after losing a power struggle with general manager A.J. Smith. That the top-seeded Chargers, who'd gone a league-best 14-2 in the '06 regular season, had flailed down the stretch of a 24-21 divisional round playoff defeat to the Pats cemented the franchise's reputation as front-running underachievers – something Turner alluded to when he spoke to his players at their suburban Indy hotel the night before the game.

  • The new coach had his share of critics when he got the job, and the bashing intensified when he dropped three of his first four games, including a 38-14 thrashing by the Patriots in Week 2. To be fair, I have been a longtime member of this not-so-secret society, not because of anything personal I have against Turner, but largely because of what I've been told about him by various players and coaches I respect.

  • And, to be even more fair, some of those people who felt Turner was miscast as a head coach were current Chargers players. In mid-November, San Diego was 5-5 and seemed to be treading water, and Smith, a shrewd talent evaluator with an authoritarian streak, looked like he'd blown it by putting Turner in charge.

  • The coach, however, stuck to his message: Last year, you were the best team in October and November, he told his players, and look where it got you. The challenge this year is to be the best team in December and January.

  • LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego's All-Pro halfback and unquestioned leader, helped get his teammates on board with a heartfelt speech. The Chargers promptly began a winning streak that on Sunday reached eight games, and as the victories mounted, the coach's credibility increased internally.

  • On Saturday night, at long last, Turner found his voice. He spoke of the team's journey, reminding the players of the season's rough beginning and how many times they'd been counted out. "Once again, we're at that crossroads," he told them. "People want to see Brady vs. Manning. Let's be honest. No one gives us a shot in this game."

  • He talked about the way the Chargers were perceived by outsiders – as a talented team that couldn't dig down deep and, say, pull out a big game as road underdogs.

  • "I don't know where that comes from, but that's not true," he said emphatically. The room grew silent as Turner continued, "I believe in you. I believe in this team."
    Then, tapping his chest for emphasis: "I feel it right here."
    "You could see him tearing up," Tomlinson recalled Sunday. "We all felt it, because we knew it was coming from the heart. And when he tapped his chest …"
    Wait a minute – that was a page straight out of the Schottenheimer playbook.
    "Yep," Tomlinson said, smiling. "It sure was."

  • The Chargers could have been blown out of the Dome on Sunday, as so many other teams had before them, but they kept finding a way to silence the roar of 56,950 fans by drawing on the deep, talented roster Smith has assembled.

  • The Colts were up 7-0 and driving late in the first quarter when future Hall of Fame wideout Marvin Harrison, in his return after missing the regular season's final 10 games with a severely bruised left knee, made his first catch on a crossing route at the San Diego 23-yard line and fought for extra yardage. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie, a Pro Bowl selection despite spending the first half of the season as a non-starter, forced a fumble that safety Marlon McCree recovered – the first of three valiant takeaways by the Chargers, who led the league in that department this season – and the game settled down into a back-and-forth affair.

  • Three gorgeous touchdown passes by quarterback Philip Rivers (14 of 19, 264 yards) gave San Diego a 21-17 lead, the last coming on a short screen that 5-foot-6 scatback Darren Sproles turned into a 56-yard breakaway down the left sideline to close the third quarter. But Rivers tweaked his right knee while backpedaling on the delivery, forcing him to the sidelines, where (gasp!) Tomlinson had been relegated since twisting his left knee in the second quarter, on the Chargers' first touchdown drive.

  • So it was that with 10:07 left in the game and Indy having just gone ahead by three on Manning's 55-yard touchdown pass to rookie wideout Anthony Gonzalez, Turner's offense took the field with backup quarterback Billy Volek manning the controls.
    Armed with a slew of Smith-acquired skill players, including backup halfback Michael (No Relation) Turner, and the cool wisdom of a confident coach who pushed the right buttons at the perfect time, Volek marched the team 78 yards in eight plays, scoring on a one-yard sneak with 4:50 remaining to put the Chargers ahead. A pair of fourth-down stops, thwarted respectively thanks to killer rushers by bookend outside linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, doused Indy's comeback hopes.

  • The Colts, commonly depicted as having flown under the radar while the Patriots were completing an unprecedented 16-0 regular season, had officially crash-landed.
    Now Volek was taking a knee, and the Chargers were skipping off the field and into the locker room, where Turner gave the backup quarterback a game ball and told his players he was proud of them and marched into an interview room with a new bounce in his step.
    "We've got some guys who compete and fight and scratch and claw as good as I've ever been around," Turner said. "I told them in the locker room I've been doing this a long time … and I've never been around a more gutsy performance by a team. And the adversity, the things that happened during the game, the injuries, our guys never backed down.
    "It's one I'll remember in terms of individuals stepping up and doing the things you talk about and competing. That's a special game."

  • No matter what happens in New England next Sunday, this victory over the Colts was a game that Turner will never forget.

  • When we look at him now, we see a different man.
    His players saw it first.

  • "We're going to New England," Tomlinson said.
    At long last, they know who'll lead them.



Mitch fired up the smoker today and smoked some ribs and chicken.

As soon as he opened up the sliding glass door, a gust of yummy smoked flavor fumes filled the kitchen. The ribs were lip-smacking good and the meat fell right off the bone.And, the beer can chicken....yummy!! What is beer can chicken you ask? I did not know what it was either, but it is just this simple, you open up a can of beer, put it in the chicken and let it smoke. Guinness beer makes chicken good. Can we say Redneck?

Lastly, the proud chef carving the chicken. We will have enough ribs and chicken to eat on for a week, which suits me just fine, because I don't like to cook. Yes, I am lazy when it comes to cooking. Thank goodness for Mitch, otherwise I would starve. =)

Couch, Dremel and Meet and Greet

Mitch finally let me cave and buy a new couch. A bigger couch and more comfortable couch. And, we got a new lamp too. Somehow a bigger couch, positioned the way it is in the room, makes the room bigger. And, we now have a pull out bed. More room for family and friends when they stay over. Now all three hounds and two humans fit nice and cozy. The new couch gets immediate approval from everyone.Ahh yeah...this is the good life.

And, it's already ETS approved.
There is so much room. Maggie tried out every spot on the couch. She enjoys the middle and the end the most.
Don't ask, cause I don't know. Maybe memories from the womb? Cueball usually does not lay in the fetal position.

We also recently bought a dremel. I have been clipping nails for over a year now. And, Booyah can be quite the challenge. The dremel is a dream. It does their nails with ease and they don't seem to be too bothered by it, which is great, because they are happy and their nails look so much better. It pushes the quicks back. Their nails are now finally not clicking on our hardwood floors. Not that their nails were super long, because they weren't, but I was clipping once a week. But, I could never get them as short as they really should be.

So the clippers have gone into the MG bag for use for other hounds, when needed.

Speaking of Meet and Greets, we had the first MG of the year for the Richmond area on Saturday. And, boy did we have an awesome turnout!! =) It was a little chilly, so the hounds wore their warm fleece coats that mommy made and we went into PetSmart 3 times to get a break from the chill. We had lots of folks stop by and raised a good amount of monies for the hounds. Cueball was the donation dog. He is so great with people and children. And, everyone always loves his ears!! Here Power and him (FKA ShowPower) are saying hi to some folks.
Marvin, Baron and Maggie.
Cueball, Power, who is behind Cueball, and Maggie. The donation jacket looks really small. It kept riding up because of the coat underneath. Just too much clothing on one boy! Everytime Cueball would shake, he would lose the monies. He dreeds wearing any coat, but he was a good boy and very tolerable for the 2 1/2 hours we were there.
Maggie, Cueball, Baron and Marvin. Booyah was also at the MG, but sadly I could not get a good picture of him.

Our first MG was greyt. What an awesome way to start off 2008!!


KC birthday part 2

For some reason I am having a really hard time uploading pictures to the blog. But, I did not want to leave out this cute picture of KC. Her entire snout was in the bowl enjoying her yummy cake. LOL!

Happy Birthday KC

KC celebrated her 14th Birthday this Saturday. Since Mitch had Sunday off, we decided to have the festivities yesterday. We of course picked up KC's cake at Three Dog Bakery.

Cueball takes a moment to enjoy the sunshine before we start the clebration. It was a beuatiful day on Sunday, temps were in the 60's.

Then the kids get to enjoy the yummy cake!!

And, of course KC got the biggest piece of cake! =) After all it is her special day. She enjoyed the yummy treat very much and so did the hounds.

Happy Birthday KC!! Mommy and daddy love you very much. Hope you have many more!


Please help Roar Expedia.

Roar Expedia, a wonderfully sweet greyhound, needs your help! She suffered a significant injury to her leg during her racing career and will likely need orthopedic surgery. Please help this sweet girl get a chance for a pain free life! To learn more about Expedia's story and to see how your generous donation can make a difference in this hound's life, please go to www.virginiagreyhounds.org/expedia.htm.

Please, please, please help this sweet hound!! No donation is too small and every penny counts!!!!

Thank you for your consideration. =)


Must Sell!!!

We have been trying to sell my motorcycle for a while now. We recently put it in the trading post. So now I have decided to post it on our blog. If you know anyone who maybe interested, please let us know, or send them our way. Serious inquiries only, please!!

11,000 miles. Good condition. 2 owners, garage kept. Leather saddle bags included. Carbs need to be cleaned (but I'm going to try and get these cleaned in the next few weeks). $1,500.00 obo.

1996 Honda Shadow 600 cc


Happy New Year!!

It's officially 2008! I am super excited to start a New Year! And, I plan to do everything I can to make this a great year. Not that 2007 was a terrible year, but we did have to overcome many challenges along the way. Thankfully, it was no where near as bad as the end of the year 2001 was for us. Mitch and I are not into making New Year's Resolutions so instead I thought I would list the things that I am thankful for. And, hope to continue to be blessed with in 2008.

I have so many things to be thankful for, so I have decided to list the ones that I can think of at the moment. I am sure I will end up leaving some out.

1. My husband. Mitch and I have shared our lives together now for almost 9 years. In May we will celebrate our 7 year anniversary. No 7 year itch urge on my end!! And, I am positive Mitch feels the same! =) We have a wonderful relationship. Sure we have our ups and downs like any couple does, but we love each other very much and are still very much in love with each other. Sometimes, I wonder how he puts up with my moodiness, my laziness (yes, sometimes I can be really lazy), my over protectiveness with the hounds, my late night worrying/borderline obsession with various things on my mind, my lack of abilities in the kitchen (cooking), my obsessive cleaning of the house and other faults I am sure I have failed to mention.

Mitch, I love you! I am looking forward to another wonderful year with you!!

2. My Greyhounds. It is hard to explain if you have never experienced the love of a greyhound, but once you do, you totally get it. These dogs give you so much love. No matter how bad of a day I am having, when I get home and look at their sweet happy faces, I can't help but smile and give them hugs and smooches!!

My Maggie will always be extra special to me because she was our first. Without her, we would not have known how wonderful greyhounds are. Obviously she worked her magic on us....we are at 3!!

Our SPCA pack. My little KC, who I have had now for almost 13 years and our Tabby cat Misty, who we have had for 8 years now. We are very thankful to the SPCA for providing care for our two until they found their forever home with us.

3. My Family. I have a very small family, I am the only child, but I am very fortunate to have my mom close by. She is really the only family I have close by. We have a pretty close relationship and we get to see each other quite often, which is very nice. My aunt (my mom's only sister) and uncle are in Texas, I get to see them every couple of years. Those trips are always a lot of fun because we get to go to the ranch and help out with the all the animals. =) I lost both of my Maternal Grandparents my junior year in high school. I lost my Nanny in October and then lost my Grandfather the following February. Both lost their battle with cancer. For those of you who know me well, you know that I do not have a relationship with my biological father and his parents. He left when I was 2 and I did not get the opportunity to meet him until I was 16. My family is very small, but I am very fortunate to have them!!

4. Mitch's Family. Mitch comes from a larger family. 3 sisters and a brother. All though he lost both of his parents in the fall of 2001, the rest of the family remains close. They have all been very excepting of me and my family. And, they have all treated me like family from day one. We have become closer over the years and I feel very fortunate to have them as part of my family!!

5. Friends. Mitch and I both have a lot of great friends, some we have known for years and years and others we have just begun to know. We are thankful to have people who support us and love us for who we are!

6. Community. We live in a fairly small county, that is as far as population is concerned, we have wonderful neighbors who look out for us, our property etc. The majority of the people are very nice and always take the time for a wave or a hello.

7. Our land, Our home. It is very peaceful, tranquil and private. This is perfect for us. We have thought in the recent past of moving to a subdivision, but we always end up with more pros than cons for staying where we are. Only 9 more years of payments, and we will own free and clear. We have future plans for the acres behind our home. Our dream.....we will reveal that at a later time. It's going to be big though!!

8. My job. I love my job! I feel that I am making a difference and it is very rewarding. After losing my job last February, I am very thankful to have found permanent work again.

9. The Internet. It's how we stay in contact with most people these days and it's a great tool for researching and finding information.

10. Books. I enjoy reading and plan to get back into reading soon. I am going to start off slow, but my goal is to read one book a month. Ramona, I know this comes no where close to the number of books you read, but it's a start. =)

11. TV. I try not to watch too much TV, but do enjoy the following shows.
Grey's Anatomy
Desperate Housewives
Boston Legal
Army Wives
Side Order of Life
Men in Trees
Law and Order
Women's Murder Club
Lost - BTW....when is this coming back on?
Dog Whisperer

And, of Course.....Football!!! GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12. My health. Hmm...this should have probably been closer to the top of the list. I am a pretty healthy person....yes I am knocking on wood...so I am very thankful for this!

13. My happiness. I have everything I need with my husband, family and fur kids. This is what truly makes me happy. If I lost everything tomorrow, but still had my husband, family and fur kids, that would be enough for me to be happy. Material items, just don't mean that much to me. I am not saying I don't enjoy or want to have nice things. Of course I do, we all do, but I realize what is truly important in life.

14. Good wine. This one is self explanatory.

15. Chocolate. Have to have some every day to stay content!

There are many more things I could list, but these are the things I feel are most important to me!

So here's to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!!!