Mar 27, 2007

March Madness Mistake

My boss called me into his office yesterday. He stood up and asked to shake my hand. I was obviously confused. I know that I am a good employee, but I couldn't remember doing anything worthy of a stand-up-smiley-hand-shake. Then everything became clear when he said, "You obviously know your basketball! You are so far ahead in points that no one can catch you. YOU WON!"

I WON! I WON! YEE-DOUBLE-HAW! I did my happy dance right there in his office! I was so excited! I was a GIRL and I won the office NCAA basketball pool! I tried to pat myself on the back and found that my arms weren't long enough.

My boss sent out an email to everyone that participated congratulating me and the runners-up. I quickly forwarded the email to Kyle…….because I knew that he would be totally unimpressed, but proud of me anyway. I pulled up the email and opened the spreadsheet to view my sweet victory. It was the prettiest spreadsheet I had ever seen. For a minute, I contemplated taking it to Kinko's, having it printing it in four-color poster size, framing it and hanging it on the bare walls of my office.

Then…..well, then…….I saw it. One little number. It glared at me like the reflection off Brittany Spears' head. He had made a mistake in my score. He had calculated that I had nine wins in the regional semifinals. Since there were only eight spots to win, I knew that he had calculated my score incorrectly. I pulled out my highlighted brackets and only counted seven wins.I took my brackets and slowly walked to his office, the sweet taste of victory slowly disappearing. "I know that I have already done my happy dance and you have already sent out my congratulatory email with a BEAUTIFUL spreadsheet, but my score is wrong."

He double checked it. Unfortunately I was right. DAG-NAB-IT!

He gave me everyone's brackets and I carefully audited everyone's wins and compared them to the email spreadsheet. There were a few mistakes here and there, but only two big ones. In the end, I lost sixteen points and the person in second place gained a few points. In the end, there were two people that could pass me in points.

I know that I should be all poor-poor-pitiful-me and be a big ol' whiney baby about it, but I am actually excited. This makes watching the Final Four even more fun! Each person that has a chance to win has picked a different team, so that adds a whole new level of excitement.

So if you are truly my friend……I will expect you to be cheering for Florida this weekend. I really want my name in that darn company newsletter!

Mar 26, 2007

Sweet Smelling Monday

I walked into my office this morning and I knew that it was going to be a good day. A fresh bouquet of roses and daisies was sitting on my desk. The flowers are BEAUTIFUL and they make my office smell wonderful…..I would rather have the smell of roses over the smell of new paint and carpet any day! It turns out that one of my employee's daughters got married over the weekend and he brought all the ladies in the office a bouquet that had hung from the church pews. How super nice of him!

Plus, as an added bonus, I got to call Kyle and tell him that I got flowers from another man. He didn't get jealous at all, he just said "Really, that is nice." Like it was no big deal.

Then after a minute he said "Whose ass do I need to kick?"

Mar 25, 2007

Empty Spaces, High-Pitched Voices and Echos of My Past

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have built a beautiful speck house that has been on the market about a month. So with this big open area and hardwood floors….there could not have been a better place to throw a slumber party! There is nothing quite like the sound of fifteen shrilling little girls echo in a wide empty space. My hearing finally came back around three o'clock on Saturday afternoon.

Big kudos to my sister-in-law for keeping everyone entertained the entire time. Some of the many activities included decorating t-shirts, movies projected on the wall, charades, jump-roping contests, rain dances, singing karaoke at the top of our voices, multiple dance routines and, of course, SPOONS! I played truth-or-dare with some of the older girls and OBVIOUSLY CHOSE TRUTH, because those girls were VICIOUS with their dares. I wasn't about to lick anyone's foot or show the whole group my butt, so I had to tell about the first boy that I kissed.

Early in the evening everyone got their hair decorated with green, blue and pink hairspray, which left my fingernails permanently blue. I looked like a Smurf; everyone else looked like Rainbow Brite and smelled like Aqua Net.

As with any slumber party, there were hurt feelings because "She won't let me be part of her dance group." or "I didn't get in the cheerleading picture." For the most part, tears only lasted a few minutes and there wasn't any problem that couldn't be solved with a glow-in-the-dark bracelet.

Sleeping bags and air-mattresses filled up the floor early for some of the younger girls. All-in-all things settled down around midnight and I heard girls saying, "I can't BELIEVE that we stayed up this late!"

I think that Haley had a wonderful birthday party and I had a great time remembering all the silly stuff that I used to do when I was younger. But, believe me, I will never play truth-or-dare with them again!

Mar 22, 2007

I Bleed Blue....At Least In March

I am from Kentucky, so naturally basketball was embedded in my X chromosome at birth. It is EXPECTED of you in Kentucky. You have to LOVE royal blue or you are frowned upon. You have to own at least one shirt, sweatshirt, coffee mug, beach towel, tattoo or bedspread that bears the wildcat emblem. I kid you not, I know someone that has a toilet seat cover with that darn wildcat on it.

Those of you from Tennessee will understand. I have seen you crazy fanatics that drive the orange truck with the big T in the back window, while wearing your orange hat and sweatshirt, with your coon-dog named Smokey riding in the bed of the truck….wearing his very own orange collar AND BANDANA!

Kentucky is kind of like that…….except we are blue and we think that Lexington is the center of the universe. Knoxville is just another town with a football stadium.

So, naturally, when the NCAA basketball brackets arrived on my desk last week, I filled them out with more vigor and excitement than my Girl Scout cookie order form! I will admit, it wasn't easy. Living in a football state, it is hard to catch a basketball game on television. This may come as a shock to my friends back home, but I didn't watch a Kentucky game all year. You can disown me now if you want.

Everyone at work was supposed to fill out their brackets and donate $2, but then someone complained and the money aspect was withdrawn. The actual reward of winning has yet to be named……but I have a feeling that the winner might be mentioned in the company newsletter. OH PLEASE GOD LET IT BE ME!!!

I made a copy of my brackets and diligently highlighted each win that I had. I even took my brackets home over the weekend and tacked them to my bulletin board for safe keeping. Each win of the first two rounds was carefully highlighted, even the one where Kentucky got beat. I didn't have very high hopes for them after looking at their stats. Sorry Kentucky people…I play to win! (Apparently a lot of you do to, hence the reason that Tubby Smith is going to coach Minnesota next year.)

At the end of the weekend, I had a lot of teams highlighted. I was proud of myself. I knew that I had done well and I was eager to see how everyone else at work had done. So when the email arrived early Monday morning, I almost fell off my chair. I was SECOND. Let me repeat that…..I was in second place. HOLY RUPP ARENA!!! And I was only behind by one stinkin' point! Darn those Duke Blue Devils…..they foiled my evil plan for getting my name in the coveted company newsletter. I was thrilled, as I was one of three girls that entered the contest. Then I realized that all the guys are football fans… I wasn't really beating anyone that knew what they were doing. (No offense Barry.)

Tonight is the start of the regional semifinals and you can bet your sweet sixteen that I have my highlighter ready. Keep me in your prayers. If I actually make headlines in the company newsletter…..I promise to send you a copy…..highlighted.

Mar 21, 2007

Because When Sweet Carolina Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

"Well, I put a post on your page today."

"You did? What did you say?"

"I said that you haven't put up a blog post in a while. It is has been over a week. I am having withdrawals. Are you okay?"

I laughed. "Yes, I am fine. I just haven't had much to talk about."

Sweet Caroline usually gets her way. That is one of the qualities that I love about her. So, of course I have to put up another blog post just to please her. The thing is, I don't know what to write about. My life is kind of boring right now.

I am drowning in work, which is a good thing. The days go by quickly and I am learning new things every day. My office walls are still bare and boring, but I am so busy that I barely notice. I went picture shopping this weekend. After a trip to Target, Fred's, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, and Old Time Pottery, I still turned up empty handed. Maybe I am being too picky. Sweet Carolina and I are going to partake in the Nashville Flea Market this weekend, so maybe I will find something there….at least I will be able to get a polish sausage and maybe a new purse.

I am still addicted to American Idol. Kyle, Jake, Elwood and I watch every Tuesday and Wednesday night. Jake prefers Jordin, because they have names that start with the same letter. (He is learning to spell, but that is a whole other blog post.) Elwood is partial to Haley, because that is my niece's name and he plays with her all the time. Kyle loves Melinda Doolittle, not just because she is from Nashville, but because she has an awesome voice. As bad as I didn't like the little beat-boxing kid in the beginning, I am finding myself strangely attracted to him now. He is just cute…and he can sing, yeah that's right, he can sing. And I swear to all things holy that if that Sanjaya kid makes it one more round I will pull all of my hair out….strand by strand. Kyle is planning on holding a rally on the footsteps of our nation's capital to protest the show if Sanjaya makes the cut this week…and he says that people will listen because everyone knows who the Birddog is. JUST SAY NO TO SANJAYA!!!!

Okay, Carolina, there is your post! Are you happy now?

I promise to do better in the future. Stay tuned.

10 Reasons I Have Had A Good Week

I got an email from a friend that said that she read my blog. She said that she missed me, loved me and has the same screwed up sense of humor that I do. Thank goodness that I am not the only nut out there. If she only knew how alike we really were!

My husband has been home for an entire week. He has been traveling on business so much that it is a blessing to have him at home all the time. Things are going well with his business, so not only is he home, but he is in a GREAT mood all the time. I love his smile, I have missed it. Not only is he been at home, but he has been working from home…so I come home to a clean house and supper on the stove. What more could a woman want????

All my bills are paid and I am actually going to get ahead on some. THIS IS UNHEARD OF AT CASA GARTON! My 2007 budget is actually working!

I totally know that you are never supposed to blog about work, but things are going GREAT! It is an odd occurrence when things go my way at work. The futures so bright, I gotta wear shades!

American Idol is on THREE nights this week. Count 'em. THREE NIGHTS! And it is finally to the good part, where you don't have all those freaks that their momma told them they could really sing.

My little brother got engaged over Christmas to a girl that I love as much as him. They are closing on a house this week. Things are going really well for him right now. I know that I don't tell him as much as I should, but I AM SO PROUD OF HIM AND I LOVE HIM VERY MUCH!

I have a girls night planned for this weekend. We aren't going out on the town, but having a fun night at my house…and I am really looking forward to a new Pear Martini recipe that Sweet Caroline is bringing. Maybe we can convince Em and Tobi to play Spoons…..let the blood-bath commence!

It is February 21st and it was 65 degrees today. It freakin' snowed five days ago! I have spring fever BAD.

Jake and Elwood are acting like I am their favorite parent. They are usually stuck up Kyle's butt, but since he has been gone on business so much, they have totally become momma's boys. I am smothered with doggy-kisses and wet noses as soon as I walk in the door. It is like I am carrying t-bone steaks in my pocket.

I have accomplished almost everything that I wanted to do by the time I turned 30 years old….and I am getting close to finishing my list.

Mar 10, 2007

Now New and Improved With Springtime Freshness!

I really think that the year shouldn't begin in January, but at the spring equinox. There are so many NEW things this time of year, shouldn't the year begin NOW? It seems like the world around me is finally waking up. The trees in my front yard are beginning to show signs of little red bulbs, the days are slowly growing longer and I am spending a longer time staring in my closet trying to figure out what to wear.

There are lots of new things around Casa Garton right now…

I have a new job within the company. My office is newly built and it smells of fresh paint and new carpet. There is a new desk and new chair and new everything. The walls are bare and are screaming for decorations, but I am still undecided on what artwork I need to put up. If anyone knows how to decorate an office let me know. Plants die as soon as I look at them, so that is out of the question.

We have new neighbors that seem really nice. They have a couple of dogs which has sent Jake and Elwood into a tail-spin. The barking and butt-smelling phase is almost over......with the dogs, not the neighbors. The Brothers Garton are happy to have some new buddies with which to play. Their new canine friends come over to our porch for an afternoon treat and everyone seems to be getting along.

New furniture was delivered to our living room last week. As with the afore mentioned bare office, I am not a home interior expert either. I moved that darn couch more times than Lindsay Lohan has been in rehab. I have vacuumed in places that haven't seen daylight in over a year and I found that missing flip-flop. Sweet Carolina came over last week to rearrange and make sense of the chaos that I had created. It is starting to look like an actual living room…but I need a few more new things to finish the look.

A close friend called to let me know that there was a new ring on her finger. I am ecstatic about her great news and can't wait to see her and give her a big hug and ogle at her ring.

My cousin called to let me know that an old friend of mine is expecting a new addition to their family. But my cousin would NEVER pressure me to have a baby….she just wanted to let me know that these people were my age, got married on the same day that I did… and just happen to be pregnant. No pressure…"But when are you going to have one?" (As this is a blog post about NEW things, let me note that this is NOT a new question….I have heard it for two years.)

I am glad that spring has finally sprung, that people are getting married, friends having babies and that I found that darn flip-flop. I am really excited about all the new things that are happening in my life…except I really need some new springtime clothes. Shopping anyone?

Mar 5, 2007

Time Marches On

One of my favorite things about this time of year, other than the warmer weather, is the March flowers. They were popping up everywhere this weekend. Last week on my way to work I didn't see any, but today they were EVERYWHERE. There is even a business close to here that has HELLO SPRING written in daffodils on their front lawn. I smile every time that I see it.

I remember my cousin and I picking daffodils on my Mamaw's farm when we were little. We would gather as many as our little hands could hold and then take them inside, where she would put them in a large mason jar. The best ones were down the country road just a bit and back in an overgrown area of trees. That is where my great-grandparents house was at one time. I always thought that it was neat that they grew in two little rows, where a path used to be.

There is a wide open field close to my house that has a large perfectly square group of beautiful buttercups. Kyle said that there used to be a large farmhouse that used to sit there. One of his childhood friends lived there, but the house fell into disrepair and had to be torn down. There is no sign of that house now….but the little yellow flowers tell a story of the past.

Now I think about that house and my great-grandparents house every time that I see a patch of buttercups. When I see a group on the side of the road, I think is that where an old driveway used to be? Did someone grow up there? Did they pick daffodils to take to their grandmother? If they did, I hope that she put them in a mason jar……..March flowers shouldn't be displayed any other way.