Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Off to the races...

This labor day weekend was one of the most random, but also one of the most fun of my life, besides the fact that my husband was sick and crabby all weekend (he was crabby mostly because of what happened at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, not because he was sick...) This may be a really, really long college football season at the Copeland household!

I was at the Atlanta Motor Speedway by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. I was so blessed to be asked by my good friend Chris to sing with the incredibly talented Journey Church band in conjunction with RaceWay Ministries on the Sunday morning of race weekend. I've had a few opportunities to sing with them in the past, and it's always so much fun! After some sounds issues, we got down to the business of leading worship for people from all over the country.

Our set list was:

Happy Day by Tim Hughes

Your Love by Chrystina Fincher (this was the one I sang)

Mighty to Save by Hillsong United

Beautiful Jesus by Kristian Stanfill

Grace is Enough by Chris Tomlin

I sang harmony with Chris and sang on "Your Love" which is now my new favorite song! The youtube video doesn't do it justice.

My observations from the track:

1. Wow is the Atlanta Motor Speedway HUGE. I had no idea the magnitude of this thing. I got lost trying to find the tent where we were playing.
2.This is one of the few places where the line to the bathroom is shorter for women than men.
3. Those are some REAL women who camp out all weekend and get ready in the bathroom at the race track.
4. Having a "big tent revival" at a race track is really fun!
5. Race fans are very courteous after they've been up all night when you "warm up" at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday!

I really enjoyed our "big tent revival." I hope I can get more opportunities to do things like this. More on this great weekend later.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If I had a million dollars...

I have a confession. When the mega millions lottery hit $350 million last week, four of us in my building went in together and bought 40 tickets. We had high hopes too. And I think we won $3. Great return on our investment, huh?

Anyway,I'm reminded of one of my all time favorite songs, "If I had a million dollars" by The Barenaked Ladies. In case you've never experienced this song, I'm kind enough to share. :)

Some of the great lyrics:

"if I had a millions dollars
we wouldn't have to walk to the store...
if I had a million dollars
we'd take a limousine cause it costs more

or how about:
"if I had a million dollars
I'd buy you a monkey
(I bet you always wanted a monkey!)"

I just love that song. Anyway, the lottery got me thinking about what I would do if I had that kind of money. Would I hoard it? Would I blow through it? Give it away?

I know one thing, after visiting Savannah this weekend (pictures coming soon), I could definitely live there. There's something magical about that city. But, if I was going to live there, I'd want to live in one of the big mansions on one of the squares, hence the "if I had a million dollars.." thought process.

Anyway, what would you do "if you had a million dollars?"

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, the day that will live in infamy...

Maybe I was a bit extreme in my post title, but August 31st is a special day. Especially in the Copeland family. Let me tell you a story, not quite a fairy tale, but perhaps it will end up like one.

You see, 41 years ago on August 31, a young couple named Buddy and Linda decided to tie the knot. It also happened to be the bride's 23rd birthday.

Then 3 years later, on August 31st, their first was born, a son they named Scott. Scott lived a rather nomad life (hmmm, am I sensing a pattern here?) and finally settled down at the ripe old age of 31. He married a lovely girl named Carmen on his 31st birthday which fell on, you guessed it, August 31st. And they've continued to live a nomad life in the seven years they've been married. Who knows where they will be when they celebrate their 8th anniversary?

But hopefully they will live happily ever after.

Happy Birthday and Anniversary to Scott!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boston Before and After

I know you have been highly anticipating the before and after pics of Megan's apartment in Boston. Here was the breakdown of our trip: I drove from Macon to a Park and Fly in Atlanta, who promptly took me to ground transportation...where I hopped on a Groome van to Chattanooga. Once I reached Chattanooga, I hopped in the car with Mom (we were driving Megan's futon and other "valuables") and we proceeded to drive 7 hours to northern Virginia. Whew. What a day. Then we were up and on the road by 7:30 a.m. and drove the rest of the way to Boston...reaching our destination at around 4:30 p.m. Thank goodness for GPS! We spent the next few days shopping and putting furniture together and getting her organized. Then, Sunday morning, Megan drove us to the airport where I was flying home on a standby ticket provided by my awesome flight attendant brother-in-law. I was able to catch the first flight AND fly business class!

Back to Boson...Megan is living in a VERY large Victorian house. This house has four apartments in it... and hers (with 4 other people) is the top two floors...which means we had to bring all this stuff up three flights of stairs to get to her apartment AND then another flight to the attic where her room is. There are 5 bedrooms, a large kitchen, sunroom/dining room and family room in her apartment and the house has 3 other apartments in it! It was HUGE! Anyway, here is the house (please excuse these pictures...I took them with my point and shoot... I wasn't trying to be creative, just documentative.)

the "before" shot of Megan's room.

Several "After" shots... her desk area...she used two tables from IKEA (one for sewing and one for computer)

The chair area. I banged my head on this ceiling!
Megan and I put together this futon chair.
It folds out to a twin bed! Go visit her, she has an extra bed!
I know I will...
Megan with her bookshelves from IKEA.
Mom and I put these together. They contain all her cameras,
bins full of clothing, scraps of fabric and all her little priceless
knick knacks. If you know Megan, then you know she has LOTS of these.

The futon...her sofa/bed... it folds out to a queen size bed.
Surprisingly comfortable!

We had so much fun even though we didn't sightsee at all.
I'm so glad I was able to spend that time with my sister and mother.
Bye from the Road!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long walks with dogs that pull...

I see so many bloggers out there with endorsements and recommendations. Well, about the only things I feel comfortable recommending are home improvement items and various pet items. One of the few exercises that I love to do is walk our dogs. It's actually quite funny- I exercise so irregularly that all I have to do is pull out socks and tennis shoes and the dogs go nuts with excitement because they know we are going for a walk. We have two dogs: a beautiful, albeit crazy beagle
named Alexandra (Lexie) and a labrador/sharpei mix named Anastasia (Anna). The lab/sharpei mix (or "flabrador" as we have affectionately dubbed her) is 67 lbs of solid muscle (well, with a lot of extra skin built in.) She is STRONG and when we walk Scott is usually in charge of her because she pulls so badly. Let's just say that she usually is the one taking us for a walk. With Scott gone it's virtually impossible for me to take both of the dogs for a walk at the same time. Well, not anymore! We bought a Control Ease Head Collar and it works wonders! Basically it's a collar that fits around the dogs snout and the leash hooks to it. When they try to pull it snaps their mouth shut and their head down...it basically forces them to walk calmly and not pull on the leash. And it's a pretty instantaneous training tool. I highly recommend it! The only downside is that she looks like the is wearing a muzzle (as you see in the picture above) and some may view her as a vicious dog, which is totally not!
So today I was able to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take the dogs on an extra long walk by the river. The picture above is of Anna collapsed on our cold tile after the long walk. She was tuckered out. And so is her mommy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Does anyone else do this?

My mom and I just got back from Boston, where we did not sightsee at all. We drove up there, loaded with my sister's priceless treasures and junk (no offense, Megan!) and helped her get unloaded, unpacked, and organized. We spent lots of time at Home Depot, IKEA and even more time putting furniture together sweating in her non-airconditioned attic apartment. I'll get to all that, including the adventure of getting there and before and after photos, in another post. I'm just too tired to download photos right now.

Because we drove up there (16+ hours!) I wanted to get a good book that would keep my interest. I'm reading Anna Karenina right now, but I didn't want to bring it because 1) it's in 19th century language and sometimes hard to follow and 2) it's super thick and we were flying back... had to pack light. So, therein lay my dilemna. Scott and I are shoppers of all the local Friends of the Library sales, and I had a bunch of books to choose from. I chose a recently purchased (for $3) autographed copy of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt, because (hopefully) we will be traveling to Savannah for our upcoming anniversary. Other than the fact that it was set in Savannah, I had no idea what the book was about. This book is considered a non-fiction book, although parts of it have been fictionalized. It tells the tale of a murder committed by a prominent citizen of Savannah and the drama, gossip, rumors (and truth) that surrounded it and the subsequent trials. The book also weaves in many colorful and eccentric characters of Savannah and their stories. Warning: this book is not for the faint of heart- some of these characters are VERY colorful. :)
I become obsessed with books and stories like this... after I'm finished I do tons of research on the subject/characters, and in this case real people. Now I'm ready to go on a specialized tour about the book and movie when we are in Savannah (although I think I'm about a decade too late!)
Does anyone else do this?
I guess another reason why I found this book so interesting is because tourism skyrocketed in Savannah because of this book and movie. Hotel/motel tax funds soared, the Savannah Economic Development Authority presented the author an award and the mayor created a "John Berendt Day" in Savannah. Now, if only we could get these kinds of results in Jones County, GA (although without any murders!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm starting to get offended...

It's been a year, and I'm starting to get offended that no one wants to buy my house. It's a pretty house, right?
house with roof

Not that I'm fishing for compliments or anything... :)

You see, when we moved to Macon, everything fell into place. Scott was losing his job in Franklin, TN (outside of Nashville) due to church troubles and we were looking into other options, including him leaving the ministry. Then, out of the blue, the worship pastor at a large church in Macon, GA called and asked him about taking a job that Scott never even applied for. I remember saying "Macon, GA- isn't that in the middle of nowhere?" (no offense, Maconites.) It was what you would call a "lightbulb" moment- you know, the kind of moment you pray for. For God to make His will obvious. And we put our house on the market- and it sold- IN THREE WEEKS. I applied for ONE job in Macon, and I got the job even before I had officially left TVA. My last day at TVA was literally on the last day of the fiscal year of my fifth year. Therefore I got my full bonus for being there for a complete year AND I was fully vested with my 401K and pension. Nice bonus, huh?

So it's hard not to question things when you feel like you are doing God's will, but nothing seems to be falling into place. And I know, the economy is BAD. It's the worst housing market in decades, etc, etc, but God can sell a house if He wants to. He's God.

In a lot of ways, this has been great year. Scott is loving working at the church in Lawrenceville. I've gotten to fill in at the Chamber/Development Authority as Interim Executive Director, and have been able to prove to MYSELF that I can do the job... a definite confidence booster. But that job is coming to a close - my replacement starts Monday. Ok, God, I'm ready. Something has got to give soon. Your will be done.

(disclaimer: These are the views of the author on this particular day. Normally she is a ray of sunshine- a downright pollyanna, some would say. She apologizes for any distraught or misery she caused with the writing of this post. )

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bargain hunting...

WARNING: Completely superficial and meaningless post ahead...
I have three loves when it comes to retail shopping. First, I love bargain shopping, particularly for "designer" brands. Second, I love shopping for denim jeans. I wear jeans ALL year round, on casual Fridays, to church, etc. I love any excuse to wear jeans. And thirdly, I love expensive purses. It's a vice. Don't you judge me.

Anyway, I especially love it when two of these loves collide, as was the case yesterday. I was at Marshalls browsing through the misses clearance racks. We went there originally to buy some undershirts for Scott- but I just HAD to look at the clearance racks. Again, don't you judge me.

So what to my wandering eyes should appear, but some 7 for all mankind jeans, on clearance FOR $29- IN MY SIZE. Now, if you don't know, this brand of denim runs in the $200 range (even the original Marshalls price was $99.) I've always wanted a pair, but never could justify spending that much. I ran off to the fitting rooms as fast as my longish legs would take me and tried those bad boys on. And they fit!

A smart woman would have turned around and sold those jeans on ebay for $75-80, but I thought, "this is a once in a lifetime occurance and I'm going to enjoy it."
It's amazing what a little retail therapy will do for your spirits. So what "bargains" have you guys gotten lately? I know in this economy there are lots to be had!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday...

I just wanted to wish a happy birthday to my kidney...it is 58 years old today. So, I guess you figured out that it's my mother's birthday as well.

Happy Birthday to my mom and BOTH her kidneys!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

She said, "I think I'll go to Boston..."

This post is dedicated to my dear little sister, Megan, who leaves for Boston whenever her car gets repaired. If you remember this post, Megan applied for and was accepted at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) for graduate school in photography. As you can imagine, we are all SO proud and excited for her. The emotions are also running high, I can assure you. Many a tear has been shed, and many more will as we all embark on this journey together. Since Megan does not listen to "Pop" music and had no idea what I was singing when I began singing Augustana's "Boston" to her on the phone tonight, I thought I would share (along with some lyrics that I have adjusted to fit Megan's situation!)

Enjoy! (and let me say that it HURTS me to see all those perfectly good pianos out at sea!)

Chorus from "Boston" by Augustana (with my changes in italics...)

She said I think I'll go to Boston...
I think I'll start a new life,
I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name, (except Kevin, of course)
I'll get out of California, Chattanooga, I'm tired of the weather (not really, I kind of like the south!),
I think I'll get a lover (I hope not!) and fly em out to Spain (although Spain sounds pretty nice, especially in the winter)...
I think I'll go to Boston,
I think that I'm just tired
I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind (but hopefully I'll be back!)...
I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of the sunset (well, as much of one as you get in Tennessee),
I hear it's nice in the Summer, some snow would be nice (SOME snow being the key word... )oh yeah,

We love you, Megan! Show those yanks how to take some photos!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Anyone else jealous?

Many of the schools in Georgia are going back to school this week. We had our tax free weekend this past weekend, where anything "back to school" related is tax free. I went shopping and saw many a child being forced to try on clothes, looking none to happy about it.

The thing is, I'm JEALOUS of these kids. I loved school. I was good at it. I loved getting bright and shiny new binders, organizing my subjects by tab, sharpening my #2 pencils, making book covers...and coming up with the "perfect" first day of school outfit.

Scott and I have had this conversation many times. We were both really good at school. It was something we had complete control over. Every good grade was a direct reflection of hard work, every bad one was a result of our own lack of preparation (for the most part.)

A lot of these kids can't wait to grow up and be through with school. They don't realize the carefree existence they live. With the real world comes responsibility: mortgages, bosses, car insurance, budgeting, the daily grind of 8-5, the worry of losing your job, trying to sell your home in the worst housing marketing in recent history (maybe that's just me!) the list goes on and on.

And while I know I wouldn't really go back, it is nice to ponder the good ole days where my job was to learn as much as I could and where seemingly my biggest problem was when my mother-prepared lunch contained the wrong kind of potato chips. And I'm always quick to tell kids..."Cherish these times...enjoy every day and don't try to grow up too quickly."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back to life, back to reality...

I've spent much of the last two weeks on Jekyll Island, GA. First, for a week of vacation with my family, and second, for a conference for the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The first week, my family and I spent on the beach side of Jekyll in a wonderful house right on the beach. It was wonderful to just spend time reading, eating and laying on the beach (under a tent of course.) We spent lots of time as a family walking on the beach, working puzzles, watching movies, and of course, eating. It was a wonderful vacation. Here are some pics...

Megan and Maddie goofing off at one of the "cottages"
meg and mad on cart2

Angel Oak in the historic district
angel oak with moss

Christ Church on St.Simon's Island
christ church on st. simons

The family at dinner- we had a low country boil- YUM (the blog format cuts Megan off, click to see her!)
family at dinner


Me at dinner
something funny

Last week I spent three days at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel on the Intercoastal Waterway side of the island in the historic district. If you don't know the history of Jekyll Island, it was originally a "millionaires club" from 1887-1944. The wealthiest Americans such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Pulitzers, Morgans,etc, would spend the winters on Jekyll at their "clubhouse" (now the hotel.) They also built "cottages" a.k.a mansions around the clubhouse. It is a really neat experience to walk around the historic district amongst the cottages and angel oak trees covered with spanish moss and imagine yourself at the turn on the 20th Century. As my mom said, "I think I was born in the wrong time period and the wrong socio-economic status." I agree completely. If you ever get a chance to stay at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, take it. It's like a Disney resort in the fact that every detail has been thought out and the customer service is amazing. It's different than a Disney resort because it's REAL. This place has real history and it oozes from every nook and cranny. I would highly recommend it.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel pics
jekyll island club_walkway

jekyll island club hotel

Croquet court at Jekyll Island Club Hotel
croquet court

Anyway, it's back to life... back to reality. It was nice pretending for a few days..

Friday, July 10, 2009

Now Time for VACATION...

Tomorrow this group is going on vacation to Jekyll Island, Georgia.
the family
We've been on a schedule of going on "big" vacations every other year and then beaching it on the off years. Well, we've gone off our schedule and are beaching it two years in a row.

You see, in my opinion, there's a difference between vacations and traveling. While going to Great Britain and Italy are amazing adventures, they tend to leave you exhausted (not to mention, BROKE.) And, after much discussion, we decided we all just needed a vacation this year. It's been a hard year, and I just need to chill (cook) on the beach, read and eat delicious food cooked up by my chef father.

So, onto vacation...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Speaking of Staycations...

Social networking sites are taking the world AND the marketing world by storm. It's another great tool to connect with customers and get your message out. I recently stumbled across the Explore Georgia facebook page and I became a "fan." Now, I get recent news and events about tourism happenings in Georgia. Guess what was on there today?

An article in USA Today about the new "Allman Brothers Band Museum " set to open soon in Macon.

With all the new things to do, I may just be a "Ramblin' woMAN." (I know, super cheesy play on words.)

Monday, July 6, 2009


With the economy down and family budgets tight, tourism officials have to be creative. Since I am in the tourism, I'm always researching and paying attention to what is happening in the industry. Recently, I have come across the term "Staycation." Meaning, it's summer vacation time and you may not have the money to "go" anywhere...why don't you look around your hometown or community and re-discover it?

Scott and I are staying in Georgia for vacation next week (Jekyll Island), but we are always discovering new and unique things to do in our local community. We've walked on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail (river walk), visited the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds
view from mound
view from top of the Indian Mound in Macon

and visited numerous nearby state parks and wildlife refuges, including High Falls State Park, Indian Springs State Park, Dauset Trails and Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge.

At High Falls State Park with Scott's family.

What do you guys do on your "Staycations?" Are you guys finding creative ways to save money AND have fun in your community? Please share!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm numb...

Literally. One half of my face is completely numb. I just got a cavity filled. That's what I get for not going to the dentist for 2.5 years. But I sure am grateful for dental insurance! Thank you Brookwood for providing for us!

Wow. Two posts in two days. It must be my loyal readers' lucky day. :) Here are some pics from my recent trip to Brasstown Valley for a conference. It was my first attempt at shooting waterfalls with a slow shutter speed. Probably not as sharp as they could be, but I didn't have a tripod (why is it that you always need a tripod when it's most inconvenient to use one- like on a hiking trip?) Enjoy!

(by the way, you can click on any of the pictures and it will take you to my flickr page- sometimes my pictures get cut off with my blog format.)

long waterfall2 cropped

long waterfall

water fall frozen with moss bw


Sunday, June 28, 2009

New roof and new pics...

We've had an exciting week over here. After some feedback after a home inspection, we decided to bite the bullet and put a new roof on the home. I think it looks pretty good, don't you? It's amazing how much money you can spend in one day. And those poor roofers, working in triple digits in Macon, GA...

house with roof

In other news, here are some pictures from the last several weeks. First some home photos...

Basil from my garden

Hydrangeas from my garden
hydrangea close up2
hydrangea close up bw

Dogs at the dog park...
anna at dog park cropped
anna at dog park2
lexie at dog park with drool
anna in water at dog park

In other news, I have lots of friends that are living in cities that are rated the "Best places to live" (i.e. Huntsville, AL, Auburn, AL) Well, Macon was recently selected as having the BEST tasting water in America. So there.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Crazy pills...

Does this look like the face of a crazy dog?

Lexie_looking away
Probably not to you, but this little dog has some demons living inside her. They tend to rear their ugly heads when a) the neighbors are shooting their guns (yes, we live in middle Georgia) b) Scott is on the lawn mower c) we go to the dog park d) when we leave her and she doesn't want to be left. She will shake, drool, pant and run on doors or generally try to escape from where she is. She has some serious "separation anxiety."

First of all, we've been dealing with a lot of crazy scenarios lately. LONG story, but hopefully we can update you on what's going on in our lives soon. Well, we've been noticing that Anna (our lab mix) has been gaining weight, been more aggressive/moody and her hair has been falling out. I told Scott that I felt like she was insecure because he's been gone so much and she's basically his dog. Being a concerned owner, Scott self-diagnosed her online with a thyroid problem. We decided to take her to the vet and we brought Lexie with us (because we are afraid of what she will do to the house if we leave her alone-she's that crazy and destructive.)

Scott obviously should have been a vet because he was right about Anna's diagnosis. Now she is on a thyroid medicine AND some supplemental fatty acids. We love our dogs. :) While at the vet, I decided to ask her about Lexie and her separation anxiety. Did you know they make anti-anxiety pills for dogs? I didn't! The vet gave us a month's supply of Reconcile, a separation anxiety drug for dogs. The funniest part was when the vet brought us the literature for the drug and there's a sad looking beagle on the front next to a chewed up rug and torn up door. We laughed with the vet and said that most of our doors look just like that!

I'm excited to see what the results will be with Lexie! And with all the stuff going on with us, I may have to sneak a couple of those chewable, beef-flavored pills for myself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two things...

I just need to use this blog as a venue to vent right now. There are two things that I want to share.

First: It really stinks to be in a buyer's market right now (when you are selling a house, of course).

Second: I really, really need a vacation. July 11 cannot come soon enough.

Jekyll Island here we come!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Laid back kitty...

So we've been showing the house a lot more lately...the market is really picking up (at least in Macon..) Here's how a typical house showing goes:

1) I get a phone call from a real estate agent or ours asking if they can show my house at a certain time

2) I rush home from work to do a quick clean of the house

3) I load ALL the animals up in my car and go for a "joyride" while the potential buyers look at the house

Luckily I have a gate in the back of my car that separates me from the dogs. It's funny, the dogs have really become conditioned to this life. As soon as I run through the house with room spray, they run to the garage door knowing full well that I'm about to let them in my car! (They also go nuts when I put on tennis shoes- it means they are going for a walk. Scott makes fun of me for this because this is the only time I put on my tennis shoes!) Dogs are so perceptive...

Anyway, lately we've added another element to the mix: Rasputin, the new kitty. I have been taking him with me on these joyrides because I'm afraid he'll get outside during the showing.

Here's a picture of my laid back kitty just chilling with me in the front seat this afternoon. How many cats would do this?

I thought I would share a snapshot from one of my crazy days!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Day You Will...

Today at church, Scott and I sang this great song by Lady Antebellum, an up and coming country group. The song is called "One day you will"... a great song about dealing with and overcoming adversity. Since this was our last Sunday in a series on Job, it seemed like an appropriate song. I thought I would share it with you guys...some of you could use a "pick me up" I'm sure.

One Day You Will...Lady Antebellum

You feel like you're falling backwards
Like you're slippin' through the cracks
Like no one would even notice
If you left this town and never came back
You walk outside and all you see is rain
You look inside and all you feel is pain
And you can't see it now

But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there's a silver lining
Just keep holding on (just keep holding on)
And every heartache makes you stronger
But it won't be much longer
You'll find love, you'll find peace
And the you you're meant to be
I know right now that's not the way you feel
But one day you will

You wake up every morning and ask yourself
What am I doing here anyway
With the weight of all those disappointments
Whispering in your ear
You're just barely hanging by a thread
You wanna scream but you're down to your last breath
And you don't know it yet

[Repeat Chorus]

Find the strength to rise above
You will
Find just what you're made of, you're made of

[Repeat Chorus]
One day you will
Oh one day you will

I hope you enjoy. By the way, I give Lady Antebellum 5 stars in the Carmen rating system. Every song on their album is amazing. Get a copy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The joy of animals...

It has been a bad year for the Ledbetters/Copelands in terms of animals. First, my childhood dog, Belle (a beautiful golden retriever named for Belle from Beauty and the Beast) got to the point where my parents had to decide to put her down. Then my cat, Gorbachev, was killed by a coyote in my back yard. A couple of weeks ago, the dog that my sister and I adopted from a sorority sister at Auburn also had to be put to sleep. Gracie was a mutt in all sense of the word, but it was if she KNEW she was given a second chance at life and she never gave us or my parents a moment's trouble. She was only 9 years old, but we think she had cancer.

My sister Megan called me on Saturday and told me that my parents had put our childhood cat, Mada, to sleep that morning. Mada was given to my sister on her 15th birthday (June 10, 1995) by her boyfriend, Adam (Mada is Adam spelled backward.) Mada quickly established herself as my mother's cat. Whenever my mom sat down, Mada was in her lap, contentedly purring. She brought my mother (and all of us) much joy throughout the years. She was 14 years old and was in full kidney failure. (side note: I'm sure glad they don't put people down when they are in full kidney failure!) :)

After Gracie died, my mother and I were commiserating on the phone and tearfully my mom says, "Why do we put ourselves through this?" At the time, I couldn't agree with her more. I had just lost Gorby and was grieving him and Gracie. But the thought of life without domestic animals doesn't appeal to me. When I've had a horrible day at work with humans, I know that my animal family will love me unconditionally and cheer me up. There's nothing like being the greeted at the door by slobbering tongues and wagging tales... they always bring a smile to my face. With all the problems that animals bring,(i.e. immobility, unclean house, "accidents", vet bills, and short lives to name a few) they also bring a pure and simple joy. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I mean, how could you not love these faces:
anna with ball3

lexie profile


Long live pets!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The big 3-1...

So today is my 31st birthday. And I have to say, it's been a little anti-climatic. How could it go anywhere but down after the week and a half I've had...

Last weekend (mother's day weekend) I left from a conference to drive to Chattanooga for what I thought was a weekend to celebrate Mother's Day. Scott met me up there and everything seemed pretty normal- that is until my mother says "hey, we are going to dinner tonight..." (which should have been a clue- why go out when your father is a gourmet chef?- we NEVER eat out at my parent's house...)

So we leave my house and mom says she needs to drop something my her best friend's new lake house and she wants to show it to me. We head down to their house, and when I walk in there's my little sister, saying "surprise, we are going to have a birthday cookout for you here!" Then they proceed to show me around the house... in every room a different couple pops out: first Alison and Garet (friends from college), then Joy and Alex (friends from college and work) and then Gina (friend from LIFE.) It had all been orchestrated by Scott for months to get me and my best girlfriends together. We cooked out and just talked all night. It was so nice to just relax with old friends in a great atmosphere... check out Joy's post about it here.

the couples_rock city
Click on the photo...it cut Garet off!

the girls

scott and the lake house

the rents

the lake

This past weekend we spent time with friends, saw Angels and Demons, went to dinner at Grits Cafe and adopted a new cat! Meet Rasputin (nicknames to be determined, but probably Raz)


He's the new addition to the Copeland household and he's fitting in perfectly! What a great birthday week!