Sunday, December 31, 2006

Cruise Excursions

Making my reservations today for the excursions on my cruise. The picture above is from Belize and it is the Cave Tubing excursion. I think this will be way too much fun!! On this excursion you actually tube through 2 caves...how exciting is that?!?!

William left yesterday to return home for California. I miss him already. *sigh*

It's New Years Eve and I've got no plans. I'm trying to get my house cleaned a bit and do a few things that won't be too taxing on my brain...I'm a bit fried after the long drive back and forth to Charlotte for William.

I'll be getting 2 more applications out this week for my PhD. I'm applying to Ohio State and Michgan. Must keep all options open! Be an opportunist! Don't put all my eggs in one basket!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!!


William flies in today and I'm so very, very excited!! I can't wait to see him. Richard is driving us to my sisters house and the whole family will be spending Christmas together.

I wanted to wish all my friends, and those I don't know who might stop by this blog, a very, VERY Merry Christmas. I'll be back before the New Year...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What I'm looking forward to....

Today on the cruise board I'm a member of someone started a thread about what we're looking forward to on the cruise. Here were my answers....

That moment, when the ship pulls away from the dock and you feel that first sea-breeze on your face that tells you "We have set sail"...

Towel animals on my bed everynight....

Screaming like a girl while doing the zip-line in Honduras...

Sending postcards that say "having a FABULOUS time in.....

"Writing about my travels in my journal...

Not having to work on my master's thesis the whole week I'm gone!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

75 days!!

I can't WAIT to go on my cruise. I'm imagining myself right now waking up from sleeping soundly...the gentle rocking of the boat is wonderful...and I think to myself, I'd like some coffee and some breakfast. It's so easy to just dial in for room service...

Room Service:"Morny. Ruin sorbees"

Guest:"Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service"

Room Service:"Rye..Ruin sorbees..morny! Djewish to odor sunteen??"

Guest:"Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs"

Room Service:"Ow July den?"

Guest:"What??"

Room Service:"Ow July den?...pry,boy, pooch?"

Guest:"Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."

Room Service:"Ow July dee bayhcem...crease?"

Guest:"Crisp will be fine."

Room Service:"Hokay. An San toes?"

Guest:"What???"

Room Service:"San toes. July San toes?"

Guest:"Uhh... I don't think so"

Room Service:"No? Judo one toes??"

Guest:"I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo one toes' means."

Room Service:"Toes! toes!...why djew Don Juan toes? Ow bow singlish mopping we bother?"

Guest:"Oh, English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine." Yes, an English muffin will be fine."

Room Service:"We bother?"

Guest:"No. Just put the bother on the side."

Room Service:"Wad?"

Guest:"I mean butter...just put it on the side."

Room Service:"Copy?"

Guest:"Sorry???"

Room Service:"Copy...tea...mill?"

Guest:"Yes. Coffee please, and that's all."

Room Service:"One Minnie. Ass ruin torino fee, strangle ache, crease baychem, tossy singlish mopping we bother honey sigh, and copy....rye??"

Guest:"Whatever you say."

Room Service:"Tendjewberrymud."

Guest:"You're welcome."

Ummm...on second thought, maybe I'll just wander down to the buffet.......

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm going to be sick...

I think almost everyone knows how much I love cookies and bread and of course, tortillas. But since finding out last month that I've got an allergey to gluten and that I can't eat flour anymore I've been going out of my mind. I want cookies so badly! Well, chocolate makes a decent substitute, but not perfect. The other night I was working on a final paper for school and I was eating these new cherry cordial hershey's kisses. I looked over, unaware of how many I'd eaten, and nearly fell out of my chair. The picture above will give you an idea how many I'd eaten.

DO NOT BUY THESE!! THEY ARE ADDICTIVE!! YOU CAN NOT STOP AT JUST ONE...OR 10 FOR THAT MATTER!! YOU HAVE BEEN FOREWARNED!!

Today I'm heading out to the health food store to buy some gluten-free cookies. They'll probably cost $5 a box but I gotta have some cookies!!

Lastly, my sister says that she is having her "IT TEAM" in India read my blog. She cracks me up!! So, if any of you do read this blog I wanted to leave you with one word today....Namaste.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Finals are over!

I finished my last final yesterday - another semester done...YAY! I'm relatively certain I passed all my classes but grades don't come out until at least Monday.

Still no word on New Zealand yet - don't want you to think I'm keeping you in the dark. I simply haven't heard a word.

It has been a wickely long day today - up at 4:30 to work at Lowe's 6:30-10:30, 11:30-2:30 work at UNCW reading freshman applications, 3:00-5:00 proctor an exam for one of the professors. Tomorrow my day is free (although I'll probably go read some freshman applications during the daytime to help pay for my cruise).

I got home tonight to a note from Richard. It read: GOOD CHILI - I stole 2 sausages, 2 bags of popcorn and a bowl of chili. Aren't kids too funny?!?!

I felt the need to put this picture up to remind me that William will be flying in on December 22nd for Christmas. Once again this year I'll be with both of my boys - I am truly blessed! This picture was taken in June 2006 at the restaurant in the middle of LAX - expensive as heck but totally worth it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Somewhere, beyond the sea....


I've gone and done it...I've booked a cruise! Yep, spring break I am OUTTA HERE! I'll be sailing on the Carnival Valor through the Western Caribbean. My ports of call are....

Miami: March 4th
Grand Cayman Islands: March 6th
Roatan: Honduras: March 7th
Belize: March 8th
Costa Maya: March 9th
Miami and Home: March 11th

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am!! I've worked far too many jobs for far too long and it's time to start loving ME and taking care of ME! Watch out world...here I come!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

PhD Possibility....


University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
3 year fully paid scholarship
Applying as we speak
Need I say more?!?!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rocky would be proud....

So here I am at the Rocky Balboa statue in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you will recall, in the movie he runs up the stairs and jumps around at the top of them. This statue is there to commemorate that. I walked, not ran, up the stairs but I did make it in one fell swoop without stopping so I figure it was my own version of running. I was a bit out of breath at the top but hey, it's okay.

The trip to Philly really revitalized me when it comes to my thesis for my Master's degree. To be honest, I've been tired too tired to think about getting my stuff done for my degree. This time in Philly gave me the light at the end of the tunnel. There's a reason behind finally seeing that light....I'll share that with you tomorrow.

But for now, I'll leave you with this quote from Rocky...Know that I, too, am ready to go the distance...

"Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Philly was AWESOME!


Mmmm...a real Philly Cheesesteak sandwich...it was delicious!! We ate at Rick's, a famous cheesesteak place and above is what an order looks like. It's traditional to have cheese-wiz as the cheese on the steak...did you know that? There was so much food I couldn't finish it off. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

The conference went well and I took a lot of pictures that I will be posting over the next couple of days. At the conference I met some very important people. First, I met Bill Ausich, a professor from Ohio State University who is an echinoderm specialist (you know, sea stars, sea urchins, that kind of stuff). I spoke with him at length about graduate school and it sounds like he would definitely be willing to take me on for PhD. I also met with David Meyer from University of Cinncinatti. He, too, has some PhD projects he thinks I'd be suited well for. Lastly, I spoke with Liz Nesbitt from Washington State. She is involved with a project in New Zealand and has asked me to apply for the PhD program as I have a background in molluscs (clams). It would require that I live in New Zealand for 3 years minimum - something I could very easily do now that the boys are grown. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

I do love to travel, but I'll be honest, it's so nice to be home. I think I'm going to head to bed early tonight too. For now, I'm off to read a bit....

Stay tuned for more Philly updates/pictures (some QUITE hilarious!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Getting Ready for Philly....

I leave for Philadelphia on Saturday morning and will be back Wednesday night. This is my first time to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America and I'm very excited! I will be presenting research I did with my paleoecology class. My research focuses on the taphonomy of the shells. Taphonomy is "the laws of the burial" and it is a determination of how something has changed since it died, was buried and now exhumed. I've attached a picture of the 4 of us who worked hard getting two different posters done. From left to right is me, Michelle, Tricia (my graduate advisor and an all-around amazing person!) and Patti. We are the Ladies of Paleontology!!

The other great thing about going to this GSA meeting is that I'll be scoping out a new University for my PhD work. I'm very excited about this and have bought new clothes and accessories. I even made my own business cards!! (with purple on them, of course) I'm hoping to pass on a professional image so that people will want to work with me and think I am serious about my studies.

I'm also going to go see the Liberty Bell, the Natural History Museum and run up the stairs at the Art Museum that Rocky Balboa ran up (will probably even get my picture taken with his statue).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mmmmm...men...



The Guardian was fabulous and Kevin Costner looked amazing...I mean really amazing! I swear, the things I could do with him would boggle the mind!! Why is it that these men just get hotter and hotter as they get older? I've always had a thing for older men, especially those about 5+ years older than me.

Here's another gorgeous man for you at the top of the post....I just go weak when I see him.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

10 hours....

Yes, 10 hours - the amount of time it took me to complete the midterm exam for micropaleontology. My head hurts! But, I'm done and tomorrow I am going to scrapbook and go to the movies. I really think I'm going to go see The Guardian with Kevin Costner...I need to see a hunky man...rOwr baby...

Oh my goodness but I do love a man in uniform... Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is......

Friday, October 13, 2006

Brrrr Cold!


This morning I woke up and headed to work at Lowe's again....this 4:30am stuff is going to kill me! When I rounded the corner on my bicycle the wind gust nearly froze me to the bone. I am so NOT a cold-weather kind of girl.....I'm still freezing....

This weekend I have a take-home midterm to do. I'll be spending all day Saturday on campus working on it...I figure that's the best place because I won't be tempted by the TV, etc.

Above is a picture from this past weekend. The leaves were beginning to change color up the mountain. In some areas they were really at peak, but of course were in areas where I was unable to stop to take pictures.

Enjoy....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A piece of my world...

Today I happened to have my camera at school taking pictures for the poster I'll be presenting at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philly next weekend. I thought I'd take a moment and share with you a bit of where I work when I'm at school on the main campus (I'll put up pictures another time of my lab-space at the Center for Marine Science). This, my dear friends and family, is my office! Notice as you look from the top down, there is the most perfect specimen of manhood (except of course you, Corey darling) that I have ever laid my eyes on. Yes, Mr. Johnny Depp graces the wall above my desk. Who better to look at when my eyes start to glaze over and I think "how in the heck do you do this?!?!" Below that is my memo board with cards that I love (that Deb sent me in field course!) along with a bumper sticker from the New Mexico balloon festival (thanks Casey!), a starfish given to me (thanks Devon!) and a few cartoons that I think are hilarious.

Below that you'll see pictures of the boys and I along with some fake flowers (I am a girl ya know) and my coffee cup (one of my most precious possessions). To the right is my bookcase filled with stuff I haven't looked at in ages. And, don't you just LOVE the makeshift handle on the desk? Thank goodness for learning knots in the Navy!! On my desk is my Micropaleontology book (in case Dr. Laws looks here so he thinks I'm really studying).

It's small, it's cramped (when I'm working on stuff) but it's a great place! Devon has the desk to the left of me and we love to cut up as much as we can to break up the monotony of grading papers and reading articles for class.

So, my dears, this is where I live when I'm not living at home.....

PS....HI CATHY!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Say hello to my little friend...


Yep, a line from "Scarface", which I guess in some ways almost seems appropriate. This weekend while I was visiting my family I went to a breakfast sponsored by my sister's church. The breakfast was wonderful - my favorite breakfast foods like biscuits and sausage gravy and country ham...nummies!! While we were eating, one of the church members came over and said to my sister "is this your mother?" while looking at me. WHAT?!?! Am I her MOTHER?!?! Quick calculation here: my sister is going to be 40 next month so in order to be her mother I would need to be at least 56 or so? WAIT A MINUTE!! HOLD THE BUS!! Do I really look like I'm 56+ years old?!?!

Well, needless to say this has been weighing on me, even though my sister tried to smooth it over by saying this woman is crazy, but that statement really shook me up. So, yesterday I went out and bought this new little microdermabrasion machine by Neutrogena. I also picked up some of the special moisturizing cream the dermatologist told me about that I've been out of. Vanity you say? Yes, I'm sure a part of it is.

Seriously - 56?
Ugh....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

#7 & #18 Done!

As an immediate follow-up to the original post about 42 things, I wanted everyone to know that I have already completed two of the items on my list.

The first was passing my oral exams (#7 on my list). I did that on September 1st. It was one of the most difficult things I'd ever done. I don't think my brain has ever hurt so much. But, pass I did and I'm thrilled to have it behind me. Of course, PhD orals and qualifying exams will be even harder, but we'll tackle that when we get to it.

The second was walking a part of the Appalachian Trail (#18 on my list). I did that this past weekend on October 7th. It was a cloudy, rainy day down in Lenoir where my parents live, but the mountains were just gorgeous!! The leaves are changing color and the sun was shining. I couldn't have asked for a better day. I walked a part of the trail outside of Hampton, Tennessee - a blue blaze trail called Laurel Falls. Below is a picture of me at the end of the day.


Forty-Two Things

Going to try to get this going again. I've had a couple of requests (hi Randy! hi Diane!), so let's see if I can keep it up....

For my 42nd birthday this year I came up with a list of 42 things I want to do in my life. I intend to get them all done and share the results, via pictures and blog entries, with you. Here is my list of things - and I highly encourage you to come up with a list of your own. They say that as long as we have goals we'll never slow down...so here goes....

1. Climb Chitzen Itza
2. Go to Maccu Piccu
3. Ride a motorcycle cross country with the boys
4. Learn to ride a motorcycle
5. Buy a new jeep wrangler
6. Take another cruise
7. Pass my oral exams for my Master's degree
8. Earn my PhD
9. Win a blue ribbon in the fair
10. Live in a foreign country
11. Keep up with my scrapbooks better
12. Attend Creating Keepsakes University
13. Become a grandmother (after I finish college...haha)
14. Make a quilt for each of the boys
15. Write my autobiography
16. Get in shape!
17. Explore the western national parks
18. Walk at least one part of the Appalachian Trail
19. Times Square on New Years Eve
20. Swim with dolphins
21. Learn to scuba dive
22. Travel Europe by rail
23. Take a photography class
24. Get a really good camera
25. Learn how to clog
26. Pay off my student loans
27. Own my own house
28. Create my dream scrapbooking space
29. Find true love
30. Learn to speak spanish
31. Pamper myself more
32. Go to New Zealand and Australia
33. Walk through a rainforest
34. See Niagra Falls
35. Go to Hawaii again
36. Take the bike trip down Halekala in Hawaii
37. See the glaciers in Alaska
38. See the Northern Lights
39. Go to Greece
40. Return to live in California
41. See my boys very happy and settled in their lives
42. Continue to be happy with my life

And now, the journey begins....