Thursday, November 29, 2007

One week!!

That's right week until geochemistry is over. Do the "Happy Happy Joy Joy" dance with me!! Of course that also means my geochemistry final is in one week....EEP!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I am so very thankful for the UNCW Paleogirls! We made such an awesome team!!

Michelle is standing next to me. She and I went to Iceland together with Dr. Patricia H. Kelley, immediatly to the right. Michelle and I worked on our Master's theses at the same time and will graduate together in December. She is a wonderful person and I feel so lucky to count her as my friend.

Tricia Kelley was my advisor through both my Bachelors and Masters degrees. She is the person who really got me hooked on paleontology. I've never met someone who is so "pro-student." I am truly blessed to have had her as such an important part of my life.

On the far right is Patti Mason. Patti is an amazing person! She came to UNCW during the second semester of my Bachelors degree and fit right into our group. Yes, she was a part of the "Fab Five" group. Patti is not just smart - this woman is brilliant! I pale in comparison. Plus, she generally loves everyone and would do anything to help you. Such a spectacular person.

Sadly, my friend Christy Visaggi is not in this picture. She is a PhD student at UNCW working with Tricia. Although I've only been friends with Christy for a little over a year, I feel so lucky to have her as my friend and she was a lovely addition to the Paleogirls.

So there you have it - the UNCW Paleogirls! Tricia once told me that "we Paleogirls need to stick together!" I can't imagine that our paths will venture too far apart. We have shared too much and come too far together to allow that to happen.

How lucky am I to have all of these amazing people in my life!?!?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I am thankful for a hobby that I love....Scrapbooking!! Through this hobby I have made some great friends and kept myself out of trouble...well, relatively speaking....

Two Peas in a Bucket (great online source)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful for a Good Sense of Humor!!!!


And check out THIS

The boys are sooooo gonna kill me!!!

Didn't get to post yesterday....

Because it was black friday and I was out shopping.

I am thankful for my education. An education is one thing that can never be taken away from you....even if everything else is....
This picture was taken immediately after receiving my Bachelor's Degree. My sister took this of the television monitor that enabled everyone to see what was going on....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank you for...



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thankful for...

I am thankful for my friends who have stuck with me through the years - even though they've seen how truly flawed I am - and yet somehow love me anyway....

My best friend in the whole, wide world...Queen Casey....who has cried with me and laughed with me and carried a 10 pound stromatolite up the wet, slippery hill in field course for me while I cried like a baby the whole addition to many other things...

My peeps from Wilmigton...Deborah, Sandee, Rhonda, Miranda, and Carol

Janet and Miranda

Corey and Diane

Each of these amazing people bring such delight to my. I cannot believe how incredibly lucky I am!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thankful for my family...

My sister Danielle and her daugher Haley
My sister Roxanne, her husband Randy, and Haley

My grandmother, Goody

My parents

Monday, November 19, 2007

Giving Thanks...

This week I am going to focus on things I am thankful for. First and foremost, I am so very, very, VERY thankful for my boys. They are absolutely the lights in my life and I shudder when I think about how horrible my world would be without them. They have overcome many obstacles that could drive others to the brink of disaster; they have done this with grace and style. They are true gentlemen - they never cease to amaze me - they are my heroes!

The first thing I am going to thank God for when I get to heaven is my boys....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What I'm Reading...

This is what I'm reading in that spare 37 seconds I have every day. This book was recommended to me by Casey and is entitled "Smart Women Finish Rich: 7 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams." It's a fact, the price of oil is going through the roof. We all see this as we fill up our gas tank. But I am worried about how it's going to affect other the price of food (it has to be shipped around the country) and the price of other consumer goods (that also have to be shipped...and let's not forget the plastic that we all love so much is petroleum based).

This book puts steps into place for you and defines some of the more technical aspects of things like 401k's and money market accounts. Some of the book is also pretty basic stuff like "stop spending money." It's an interesting read...

So my goal is to try to save some money for that proverbial rainy day. Also, I want to be able to take at least one big trip per year because I love to travel so much. In order to accomplish this I'm going to be tightening my purse strings a bit and saving some money.

While some are dreaming of a white Christmas, I'm dreaming of Hawaii....Alaska....Europe....Galapagos.....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Last night I had the opportunity to hear the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra perform. One of the professors in the geography department had two tickets and couldn't go so my friend, Jorene, grabbed the tickets and called me. They were $40 seats!! I felt like such a lucky girl!! It was a night filled with Beethoven and it was great. I love spontaneous opportunities like this!!

I got my new MP3 player yesterday and loaded it up with music for my workouts. After the good news from the doctor I am determined to work out more and maintain my good health...and hopefully lose a couple of pounds in the process.

Today is homework day. I have a couple of geochemistry problems to complete for this week.

Hope you have a lovely day....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh Happy Day!!

This morning I got the results of the blood tests from yesterday. The results were really quite excellent and I am such a happy camper!! My cholesterol was 137 (needs to be below 200), my LDL (bad triglicerides) was 73 (below 100 is optimal), and my blood sugar was great. She noted that my blood count was a little low and I should try to remember to take my multivitamin a bit more regularly (you know I'm blonde and never remember to take the darn thing). She also said my thyroid was a bit borderline and has asked that I return in about 3 months to have it checked again....but that my thyroid horomone levels were okay. So...all in all probably more info than you needed to know but it makes today a very happy day for me!

I hope you have a happy day today as well....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who are these crazy people???

This morning I'm headed into school at the crack of dark. I'm on my way to have some blood drawn as I've been feeling a bit tired lately and wanted to have some tests run. Needless to say the tests must be done while you have been "fasting" so they can get accurate reads on blood sugar, etc. This means that I have not had any of my most favorite thing in the world before leaving the house. Yes, you know what it morning coffee!! I was half comatose driving in. But that's not the best part!

So, I'm driving along and come to a stoplight and there is this subaru in front of me. I see the two people in front turn around and wave. They then start to make goofy faces at me and I'm thinking to myself "who the hell are these people and why are they messing with this caffeine deprived woman????" I truly thought God must be testing my patience. And then I thought that maybe I really looked so bad since I hadn't had any coffee that these folks were trying to tell me "you look like crap, lady!" I blew them off. And then...about 10 seconds before the light turns green it suddenly dawns on's my advisor and his wife! HAHAHAHA Boy did I feel like a fool! I'm blaming it on caffeine deprivation. I have since had a cup of coffee...minus the sugar because there wasn't any when I went to get the coffee. Who doesn't have sugar where they have coffee???

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ijams Nature Walk

This past Sunday I went hiking with a friend at the Ijams Nature Park here in Knoxville. It was a beautiful day as you can clearly see in the picture to the right. Behind me is the Tennessee River. The trails in this nature park are numerous and all equally as lovely as the next. We walked, and talked, for about an hour....meandering through the fall-colored trees. It was simply wonderful.

Hope you can share a bit of wonderful with someone today as well.

Lastly, for my friend Casey who has been a bit blue the past couple of are NOT a loser!!! Love you girl!!! *mwah...big kiss*

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I go here...

No...the title isn't bad english, it's a quote from one of my favorite movies...Legally Blonde....

Warner Huntington III: Excuse me, I'm sorry... are you here to see me?
Elle: No, silly. I go here!
Warner Huntington III: You go where?
Elle: I go here...Harvard Law School
Warner Huntington III: You got into Harvard Law?
Elle: What? Like, it's hard?

Well...this is where I go. This is the main entrance for the Earth and Planetary Sciences building. I love the old brick buildings...but not the hill I climb every morning to get here. I need to take a picture of that hill to show you what it looks like. It's crazy!!

I'm sitting at my desk right now. I just realized I didn't update my jump drive with my last thesis revision so can't make the final changes and change to pdf....jinkies! Far too many jump drives (3 in all) to worry about lately. Life should be easier than this....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Congratulations and a Recipe!

[ Michelle ]

A huge CONGRATULATIONS goes out to my friend Michelle who successfully defended her masters thesis today at UNCW. I knew she'd do exceptionally well. She is such a bright young woman. I am so very happy for her!!

[ Zuppa Toscana ]

Made this for dinner last is delicious! Not sure where I got the recipe though.

1lb spicy italian sausage, casing removed
2 russett potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise then cut into 1/8 inch slices
1/2 cup real bacon bits (like Hormel)
1 onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups kale, chopped (I removed the tough stems as well)

Combine the chicken broth, water, garlic, potatoes, and onions in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are done. Meanwhile, brown the sausage. Drain, place on a plate with paper towels to continue draining, and set aside. When the potatoes are done, add the sausage and bacon bits, salt and pepper to taste (be careful as the bacon and sausage add a lot of salt), and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low. Add the cream and chopped kale. Heat through and serve.

Off to eat some zuppa....mmmmm

Sunday, November 11, 2007

6 1/2 Hours

I know! I know! It's been a long time since my last post. It's not that I haven't wanted to post but school has really been a bear. This geochemistry class is kicking my arse and I am truly looking forward to December when the class ends. One homework problem took me and a friend 6 1/2 hours to do...that's right....6 1/2 hours for one homework problem and we had 15 problems to complete. Something is just simply wrong with that kind of homework...especially since the "rocks" we're calculating stuff for will never contain fossils so it's meaningless to me.

I have tried to do a few small things for myself. For instance, last weekend I went to the Smoky's for a day of hiking. The fall colors were beautiful and I snapped the pictures below. I'm trying to save some money to buy myself a new camera. Even though this one takes pretty good shots I want one that is more like a SLR. I'd really like a Canon Rebel....*wishin' and hopin'*

Today I am going hiking again at a local hiking spot. It's a beautiful sunny day here and I need to be outside. After my hike I'll be heading to AC Moore and Michaels. Both have things on sale that I feel I need...haha. Then it's off to the Walmart for some groceries. I'm in a soup mood now that it feels like fall and I think it's just the ticket for dinner!

Dryer just buzzed...must go....