2008 Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual Stella Awards! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck, who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

That's right, these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

So here are the Stella's for the past year:

Starting in last place............7TH PLACE: Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddlerwas her own son.

6TH PLACE: Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California, won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.

5TH PLACE: Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leavinga house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.Keep scratching. There are more.

4TH PLACE: Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4thPlace in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun. Grrrrr... Scratch, scratch.

3RD PLACE: A jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay AmberCarson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. Whatever happened to peoplebeing responsible for their own actions? Scratch, scratch, scratch. Hang in there. There are only two more Stella's to go.

2ND PLACE: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a nightclub in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms.Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies' room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the nightclub had to pay her $12,000, oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

1ST PLACE: (May we have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos, please.)

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of theWinnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Are we, as a society, getting more stupid? Or is it just the juries that the lawyers select?



Our obedient boy

Mitch and I took Booyah and Maggie to basic obedience classes back in Feb. of 2007. They both did well. Good enough to both pass anyway. Miss queen only sits when she wants to, so I have not continued to work with her. She is spoiled more so than the boys. She gets away with everything!! She waited 6 years to find a home, so I let her get whatever she wants and do whatever she wants. I know that is not okay, but she is my heart!! :) Booyah on the other hand will do anything to please you, so I have continued to work with him on very basic obedience. He may not have been a good racer, but he is great with obedience. You can teach him anything!! I work with him at minimum once a week and I am hoping to get Booyah certified as a Therapy Dog next year. I would love to be able to take him to Nursing Homes to visit. He is such a good boy and such a love bug!!

I usually don't have an audience when we are practicing, but Mitch was home and grabbed the camera. I had just got home from work so excuse the clothes. The shoes are my slip on shoes that I keep by the door and wear when we take them out. :)

Sit Booyah sit....good boy!Here he responds to my ignore command, I think. Or he could just be distracted by his daddy. :)
Cueball just waits till it is over and retrieves the toy.
We have only had our three this week, it has been a really nice break. Next Saturday VAGA has 5 more hounds coming up to VA. We are fostering at least one, maybe two! :)


Just pup pics

We have been watching Kinga for the week. She is sugar sweet. She fits in greyt with our kids.Isn't she pretty? She is going home tomorrow. I am sure her family missed her very much.

Our beautiful boy Cueball. He just loves the sunshine. :) He is working on that tan every chance he gets.Our kids playing in the yard.Today the kids I hung out for a bit after I helped with the VAGA haul this morning. More pictures of the haul can be seen here. Two beautiful boys now have homes in the Richmond area! There was no time for me to get any quality pictures.

We have a busy weekend coming up. We are going to see Rod Picott on Friday at Ashland Coffee and Tea and then Saturday we are heading out to Cooper for their Mini Cooper Rally. I just love the summer time!! There are lots of things to do. :)


Weekend rewind

Our weekend started out with a bang, or should I say buzz. We went to a wine tasting at the Wine Cellar on Friday evening. This is our absolute favorite wine store! They store the wine properly and at the right temperature. Plus they are super helpful to those of us who are still learning about the different grapes. They even color code their wine. It is a pretty neat idea and very helpful. They were featuring Goose Ridge wine from Washington state. The wine was very good and we highly recommend the Syrah and Cab. I also enjoyed the Chardonnay. It had a buttery flavor. The Chardonnay's that have a buttery flavor are color coded with a yellow sticker. I tucked this tid bit of info. away for future reference. ;-) We had a lot of fun and plan to go to these tastings more often.

On Saturday we attended VAGA's monthly meet and greet in Glen Allen. Both AARF and Bark were there also, so we got lots of extra foot traffic and everyone noticed how the hounds were so quite. :) Our pooches were pooped on the way home. It's amazing how much this takes out of them and us! We are done for the day after a meet and greet. It was nap time when we got home. We had Eve for one night last Thursday. She is another bounce back, who like NK Dianne was returned due to no fault of her own. She is now in her forever home in northern VA. She is one happy girl. She doesn't know a stranger!We are also hound sitting Kinga for a week. She is just like Iggy (M's Foxy Susie) so super SWEET!! And she has been great with our kids. In fact, I have only muzzled them once outside, because they all get along so great. :) More pics of the pups and Kinga coming later this week.


6 things

Tag...I'm it. I was tagged by Trina to share 6 things that people do not know about me. This was a hard list for me to come up with. And some of you may already know some of this, but here goes.

1. I am an only child. I know, I know, yes I was spoiled rotten, but not by my parents, oh no, I was spoiled by my nanny. I was the only grandchild, so you can imagine how spoiled I was by her. I loved my nanny very much and when she passed away in '95 a HUGE hole was left in my heart.
Believe it or not I was a blonde when I was younger. As I got older, my hair became darker. Whew...it's a good thing to, because I don't think blonde would suit me.

2. How Mitch and I met. Well, this may sound strange, but I won a date with Mitch. Let me explain. During college I worked at Whiteoak Semiconductor, which is now known as Qimonda, I was not dating anyone, just going out on the weekends to dance clubs. Yes, believe it or not I was a wild one in my early twenties. My favorite club was The Coppermine in Petersburg. Oh yes, I was a dancing fool back then. I know, I know...it's hard to imagine, but I was! =) All that changed when I met Mitch. Mitch caught my eye immediately. A coworker and I both wanted to date Mitch, but what to do? How would we decide who should ask him out? We decided on a bet. We bet if Mitch was younger than 40, I could date him and she would step aside and if Mitch was older than 40, she could date him and I would step aside. Lucky for me, Mitch was 37. We went out on our first date on May 18th of 1999. I moved in with Mitch that summer and we were engaged in the fall. We married 2 years later on May 18th of 2001. The rest is history.

We had a beautiful wedding. Everyone had a great time and kept telling us is was the nicest wedding they had ever been to. The pictures below are a little blury because I had to take a picture of the pictures. I don't have a scanner and our pictures were not saved on a CD.

We were married at Parker's Ridge in Charles City.

This is Mitch and I and his mom Betty. Mitch lost both of his parents in the fall of 2001. His mom passed in September and his father passed away in November. It was a rough first year of marriage, but we made it through it. The two bradford pear trees in our yard were given to us from my mom and stepfather as a memorial to his parents.

We vacationed in the Cayman Islands for our honeymoon. We had a blast!! And, Mitch's entire family, except for his dad, came with us on our honeymoon. No worries, we did have our own room and stayed at a different resort. :) Below we are at Hell in Grand Cayman.
And here we are getting ready to snorkle.
And here is a random recent picture of us at Ernie and Debbie's house.

3. I have 5 Nieces and Nephews. All are from Mitch's side of the family. When we got married, I became Aunt Michelle to Mike's oldest two Corie and Derek. And Darcy's only child Breanna, she was born in December of 2000 and was the youngest guest at our wedding. They have been very accepting of me. They are great kids! Mike married Ramona and now has 2 young children also.

This is Katie-Beth. She is a doll!!
And here's her younger brother Carl. He is all boy!! But, super sweet! :)
Breanna. She calls Mitch and I uncle and aunt Cheesehead. It's a long story. Maybe one day, I will explain. :) She is wicked smart and a great artist!

It's sad, but I don't have many pictures of Corie and Derek, so here is a group picture from our Maine vacation last year. Derek is beside Mitch and Corie is in front of Mitch. Katie-Beth, Carl and Breanna are also in this picture.
4. My favorite tree is a Weeping Willow. I am in complete awe of these trees. I absolutely love them and hope to one day have one in our front yard. They are beautiful!!

I couldn't resist a cheesy photo op on our trip to Pigeon Forge, TN in 2001. We left TN the morning of September 11th. We were driving back home to VA. We could not believe our ears. At first we thought they were talking about the '93 bombings. Much to our shock, they were talking about the trade towers. It was a very quite, sad ride home. I will never forget where I was on that day.

5. I have 2 Tattoos. Both are on my back and both are Tibetan symbols. I got my first tattoo at age 18 and my second 2 weeks before I got married. I have plans for a third and fourth. Tattoos are very addicting. Most people that I know who have one, have more than one.

6. Our home is modular. No people, it's not a TRAILOR. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Our home was built by Modukraf and was built in a warehouse in about a week, trucked out and crane lifted onto our foundation. It is quite amazing to watch. Here are some photos of the early stages.
Well, there you have it. Now to keep this going, I have to tag some folks. Tag to Ramona, Sarah and Bethanie. You're it!!


Let loose. Bounce back

Strange title, so let me explain. I usually muzzle everyone because I am always terrified someone is going to get hurt when they are romping in the yard. Can anyone say OVERPROTECTIVE? Yes, that's me. I admit it. But, this week I let loose and the kids including Zola, who is still with us until Sunday, got to play in the yard unmuzzled. They had a great time and NO ONE got hurt. Whew...that was a relief. Maybe I need to let them loose more often.

So here they are romping in the yard.

Maggie seems to be having a blast. She has running ETS.Cueball is always in the lead. He is the fastest out of this bunch, and he knows it. :0

And, they always gang up on him. Here he shows his angry face. His think bubble probably says "back off!"
Before too long the fun is over. I have no idea why they are all standing side by side except for Zola. Last Sunday we had NK Dianne for a few hours. She is a bounce back, who was in a home for 2 years, and is now going into foster. She is super sweet, good with kids and has loads of personality.

She is a pretty girl and reminds me a lot of WSR Tigress and Siesta Ria's coloring. Both girls are beautiful brindles. As far as I know things are going well in her foster home, so hopefully she has found a new place to call home!

It was time to get the kids some new ID collars, the other ones were getting kinda yucky even though I have washed them repeatedly. We got Booyah Neon Green, the queen got light pink and Cueball got to keep his color Neon Orange. Doesn't he look good in Neon Green?

We also put my cell phone number on them this time. We should have done that the first time around, but I wasn't thinking.
Miss Zola Zoo goes home tomorrow. She has been with us for the whole month of July. I feel bad for her because her mom travels so much. I can't imagine being away from my pups for that long. In my world, that is just CRAZY. But, Zola has adjusted to being here, like she always does. She is such a good dog.