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 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 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."