Friday, April 30, 2010

CAL/UAL Merger

Airlines Approach Final Deal to Merge


Continental Airlines Inc. and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines are expected to announce Monday that they are merging to form the world's largest airline, people familiar with the matter said.

UAL's board of directors is meeting Friday, while Continental's board is meeting Friday and Sunday to discuss the deal, these people said.

These people cautioned that negotiations could still fall apart as they did in 2008, when Continental backed away. But after a hiccup over pricing, the talks appear on track, they said.

The combination would leapfrog over Delta Air Lines Inc. as the biggest airline by passengers carried.

United is much stronger financially than it was in 2008. This week, United posted a narrower first-quarter loss of $82 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $382 million. Revenue rose by 15%, to $4.2 billion.

A weekend impasse over which share-price ratio should be used to calculate the deal's value appeared to resolved itself as UAL's share price declined this week. The market is now expecting a swap of about 1.057 UAL shares for each share of Continental.
Journal Community

United had wanted the exchange terms to be based on the closing price of its stock on the day before any agreement is signed. But that would lower the value for Houston-based Continental shareholders, since UAL shares have climbed more than Continental's since United's interest in a merger was disclosed earlier this month.

Continental's board met Wednesday and agreed to continue the talks. It was also asked to consider a range of prices in an effort to resolve the share-swap disagreement, those people said.

In 4 p.m. trading on the Nasdaq Thursday, UAL shares were down 1.3% to $21.47, while Continental shares were up 2.4% to $22.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Continental already has agreed in theory to allow the combined airline to be based in Chicago, United's home base, and to retain the United name, according to those people familiar with the matter.

Jeff Smisek, Continental's chief executive officer, would become CEO of the merged carrier; Glenn Tilton, UAL's CEO, would become non-executive chairman for two years, after which Mr. Smisek would take over that role too, those people familiar with the matter said.

Sooooooooooooo... This is not good news for us at all. Even though Greg is employed by a certain Regional (he asked me not to specifically name them in the blog anymore), we were really counting on hoping for Greg to eventually get called back to Continental.  This is probably NEVER going happen with a merger with United.  The main reason is that United has a huuuuuge pilot base and actually has pilots furloughed with hire dates all the way back to 1998 or so.  It is more than likely that the pilots will be merged based on date of hire, which means Continental pilots stand to lose out big time unless they are VERY senior and have been around a long time.  We don't think a lot of Continental pilots realize this (Greg seems to be one of the only ones concerned according to what he's reading on his CAL forum).  I'm surprised more Continental pilots aren't more concerned!  Not only will Greg not get called back, but it is VERY likely that many more Continental pilots will be furloughed and United guys will be brought back if seniority is based on date of hire.  United is Greg's least favorite airline.  They are kind of "the bully" of the commercial aviation world.  We see them totally taking advantage of this situation.  If the merger didn't happen, rumors had previously hinted at the CAL furloughs getting called back towards the end of the year.  This was supposed to be our "green light" to start a family.  It's going to be back to the drawing board on that now.  Good thing I'm too busy running, seeing my friends, and taking care of the puppy to dwell on it.  It's not like I haven't heard bad aviation news before.  Same ol' thing!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dachshund T-shirt!

Look what my friend Kerrie got me for my birthday (which is tomorrow)!
A Dachshund t-shirt! How cute is that!?!? The color is better in person- like a hunter green color. It's from this company in Wisconsin called III Dachshunds Beer company. I can totally wear it on St. Patty's Day next year. Very cool and thoughtful gift!


Sooooooo I think I'm running a half marathon in June.  Maybe.  I ran with Jen last night and she brought up that there's this half on June 5th, and now I'm thinking about doing it.  She is going to help me train.  Actually, last night before going to bed I checked my email and found the following attached to an email titled "Brittney rocks a half".  LOL!
Week ending M Tu W Th F S S2 Total
2-May OFF/XT OFF/XT 4.5 mi  2 - 3 mi OFF 5 mi race
1 -2 mi cooldown
OFF 12.5- 14.5
9-May 2 - 3 mi OFF/XT 5 mi OFF/XT OFF 7 -8 mi OFF 14- 16
16-May 2 - 3 mi OFF/XT 5 mi OFF/XT OFF 8-9 mi OFF 15-17
23-May 2 - 3 mi OFF/XT 5 mi OFF/XT OFF 9-10 mi OFF 16-18
30-May 2 - 3 mi OFF/XT 5 mi OFF/XT OFF 10-11 mi OFF 17- 19
6-Jun 2 -3 mi OFF/XT 3 - 4 mi OFF OFF Half marathon! relax and refuel w/ yummy food and bevs 18.1- 20.1
Jen used Runner's World Smart Coach to come up with that schedule. So the plan is to try and train as planned and see how I'm feeling a week or so before and then register then if I still want to do it. We missed the window for early registration/discount anyway, so it doesn't really matter when we register. Eeeeeeek! This makes me nervous but excited. I feel like I'm as motivated as I'll ever be to do this, and if I wait to find a half in the fall I may not do that well training for it over the summer if the heat is bad here. I feel like this is the time to go ahead and do it.
Last night Jen and I ran a little over 3 miles on a trail to prep for Saturday's 8K trail race. We then did about 2 on the road. I'm feeling good about my running right now, like when I do 4-5 miles, I usually feel like I could go a little more, so I think I have a good place to build on from there. We'll see!
P.S. I think the end of my grid got cut off a little, but the only thing in the final column was a running total of weekly miles. You get the idea...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Almond Joy Oatmeal

This morning I came up with a good idea for oatmeal, something I've been eating a lot more of as of late.  It's been fun experimenting with different add-ins, and today I tried this:

1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup Trader Joe's light coconut milk
splash of water
About 1 heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
About 1 heaping Tablespoon of almond butter.
Squeeze of Agave syrup.

Tasted a lot like an Almond Joy!  Pretty cool!  Would also be good with actual almonds and/or shredded coconut in there.

In the chaos of getting ready this morning I did not take a picture of it.  Next time!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tennis anyone??

Today I said hello to an old friend...

Yup, tonight I played tennis!  I took lessons as a kid and my parents played with my brother and I pretty often.  Over the years I've played occasionally.  Greg and I will sometimes find a court and just volley.  Well, a guy in my office remembered me mentioning that I sometimes play and came knocking on my door last week to see if I might want to play in his league.  Next thing I know we're figuring out a time to play so he can see how I am.  So we went tonight.  I was pretty nervous that I would look stupid.  I warned him to keep his expectations low.  Well I did pretty good.  He said with about two lessons he thinks I'd be as good or better than most of the women in his group.  Cool!  Except my racket is pathetic and I don't even have tennis sneakers!  So I talked to the pro and will probably have two lessons in the next week or so.  And I need to go shopping for a racket and some sneaks.  Interesting.  Totally out of left field!

Sunday closet cleaning, running, and eating

Yesterday I did something I've been putting off forever... I worked on CLEANING MY CLOSET (applause please)!  I'd say my closet might be the messiest area of our entire house.  I've known for awhile I needed to tackle this beast as it's become a black hole for missing clothing as of late.  Even when we clean our house top to bottom, it's a neglected area (close the door and ignore the mess!), because I've known for a while it was going to be a complete overhaul to get that area clean and organized.  It's kind of the perfect time to work on it right now with Greg gone again.  I knew I could take everything out of there and spread it all over the bedroom floor to sort through without him being here to be bothered by it. 

I worked on the closet for a few hours before deciding that I ought to take Clyde out for a walk.  Originally, I thought it was going to rain a bunch yesterday, but it ended up being pretty warm and sunny out.  Once back from the doggie walk I was already breaking a sweat and decided to go ahead and do a run.  Since I've vowed to step up my running, instead of doing my wimpy neighborhood route, I actually ventured out and down to the many highway and back for about a 45 minute run.  I'd guess the loop I did was about 4 miles-ish, but did not have Jen or the Garmin to verify.  I was happy with it and felt like I pushed myself.

Once back I took my time getting ready for a 3pm invite to visit with some friends.  The C's live in my town and I work with the husband.  Greg and I used to hang with them a bunch when they first moved down here from NY, but they had a baby in October and have been understandably preoccupied since then.  Anyway, we were finally able to make plans to get together (which unfortunately Greg missed!).  Their daughter is 6 months old now and very cute :).  They also told me to bring Clyde over, since they had not yet met him.  They (of course) were smitten with him as is everyone!
My contribution to the meal was homemade hummus using the following recipe:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans with about 1/4 cup of the liquid from the can
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup roasted red peppers
1/3 cup EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste.
Blend all ingredients in a blender or larger food processor and enjoy.  
I brought it with the last of an English cuke, carrots, celery, and some pita wedges.  The C's loved it and even the baby had some and liked it.  I left them with a good portion left over to enjoy :)
I assisted with making some baby food for the baby for dinner.  We made a batch of fish, veggies, and cheese sauce, which were blended in a food processor for the baby- YUM (think 
The C's actually made us adults a delicious dinner of cheese burgers, grilled veggies with herbs, and baked potato salad.  Also, homemade to-die-for strawberry shortcake (one of my absolute favs).  Even the whipped cream was from scratch.  I was busting at the gut by the end of the meal and even ended up taking a TUMS at home later...ughhhhh.  But it was all so good.  
It was a weekend of good eating for sure!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Horse races and dinner with friends

After almost a week of discussions with Kelly back and forth about the Queens Cup at Steeplechase, a horse race in Charlotte, the plan finally came to fruition and we actually did end up going yesterday. It was actually really cool. All the women get kind of dressed up in sundresses and hats (think Kentucky Derby), and the men also dress up in sear sucker pants, polo shirts, etc... Mint Juleps are consumed along with other food and tailgate snacks. I went with Kelly, Brad, and their friend Jessica, who knew a group of people that paid for a tail-gating "spot", so we went there to hang with them. Our food consisted of chips and salsa, carrots, whole grain pretzels, two kinds of cookies, and AWESOME turkey burgers on Ezekiel roles (YUM) that Brad and Kelly made. They had apple, thyme, parsley, and onion in them...omg so good!! For drinks we started with mimosas, moved on to white wine, and met another group that offered us mint juleps and some beer, which was good because somewhere in the chaos of planning we all forgot about additional beverages for Brad.  I ended up giving him most of my mint julep and beer. The racing itself was cool, but I think a lot of people went more for the fun of dressing up and tail-gating. I think we will try and plan on getting our own spot next year and having more of our crew come along.
I was sooooooooooooooo tired after a bunch of hours out in the sun. When I got home I took a hot bath, and then took a nap with Clyde for a half hour. I almost never take naps, so I must have been really tired. Once the alarm went off, and Clyde barked at it. I got up and got ready to go out again, as our crew had plans to head to The Liberty for dinner. I'm so glad I came up with the energy to go because it was one of the best nights out I've had in a long time. There were nine of us and we all talked and laughed and ate and drank. I had a yummy crispy goat cheese with strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette on green salad, a side of mac and cheese (of which I took half home), and split crab cakes with my friend Christa. Also had a draft hard cider. I fully enjoyed myself.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stepping up my running

Last night I met Jen for a run again. I made the unfortunate mistake of not running at all between Sunday and last night and this run felt particularly blah. We did a similar loop to Sunday's but slightly shorter so it rounded out to 4 miles. Jen's Garmin watch said our time per mile was slower than Sunday! Well, I'm still inspired to run more anyway. My friend Gibson has long bugged me about setting running goals for myself and for a long time I resisted, insisting that I just run when I feel like it and that my primary goal was exercise so that I can eat ice cream and pizza and not feel like a blob. Well, lately I'm feeling a lot more inspired by all the foodie/health/fitness bloggers I follow, and by Jen running two half marathons within like 3 weeks of each other. I want in on this. So I am thinking of training for a long run, like maybe a half marathon. First up though, I registered for an 8K trail race on May 1st. Jen is running it too. I'm psyched :)
When I decided to run with Jen last night I was initially undecided about what to do about Clyde (as usual!). I took him for a quick walk around the neighborhood and then debated about whether to attempt the doggie stroller again, put him back in the crate, or *GASP* leave him home UNATTENDED! I bet you can't guess which I decided to do... You guessed it, I left him out of the crate with pretty much free roam of the house. I did close all the upstairs doors and the doors to our downstairs office, but otherwise, he was free to roam. Greg and I have been toying with the idea of trying this for a while now as it's been like a month or more since his last indoor accident. Well, I was gone a little over and hour and I'm proud to say that my baby did GREAT! No accidents and nothing chewed. I'll be trying this again in the future. I was so excited I immediately called Greg to share the news :)
Dinner was left over stuffed peppers and Kashi 7 grain rice (made with mexican spices) with a side of steamed broccoli.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

mexican fiesta

Greg ended up leaving for simulator training on Monday after all :(  What a mess the company made of that whole situation.  He was supposed to get first pick of schedule being senior in his class, and had told them he wanted to go as late as possible and have time off, as he doesn't need to build flight time like many of the young guys in his class.  Things didn't work out as planned though due to some kind of mix up with their scheduling office and his supposed long break turned into a total of 5 days, two of which were spent heavily engrossed in studying aviation once he realized he was heading out again this week.  Oh well.  I'm glad I had him home for 5 days, even if it did go by quick and didn't go quite as planned.   
Last night Kelly came over for dinner.  We had originally planned to meet up at Earthfare in South Park for dinner and bring the dogs and eat outside.  The plan was foiled by weather though as it was pouring rain and chilly outside and we decided on plan B, being dinner at my house.  I decided to go ahead and make mexican stuffed peppers for us, since I had some leftover black bean/onion/tomato/veggie protein (with mexican seasoning) crumbles
left over from mexican salad I'd made for Greg and I the other night.  I poached (microwaved in water) three halved peppers in the microwave for about 5 minutes.  Once done, I drained all the water out and mixed cheddar cheese and a little salsa in with other mixture and stuffed the peppers, adding a little more salsa and cheese on top.  Baked in the oven for about 25 minutes until bubbly on top.
I was debating a side and ended up deciding to make chicken tortilla soup (with no chicken) since it was a good night for soup.  In my Le Creuset dutch oven (if you cooks out there don't have one, you so need to get one, they ROCK), I sauteed garlic, onion, a little red and yellow pepper and some baby portabella mushrooms I had.  I added cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and this adobo salsa that I always use in mexican or chili when I make it.  I then added a can of chopped tomato (with the juice), can of black beans (drained/rinsed), and a couple cups of chicken stock.  I have also added corn to this when I have it (zuchinni is good too), but didn't have any on hand.  I let it all simmer for about 15-20 minutes and added a bunch of spinach and cilantro right at the end until wilted in.
Meanwhile Kelly was making us fresh guacamole.  We had our soup topped with a little cheddar and plain non-fat yogurt and each had one and a half stuffed peppers and chips and guac.  It was perfect for a chilly rainy night.  After dinner the rain had let up and we took the doggies for a walk around my neighborhood.  Well attempted to take them for a walk.  Rascal makes Clyde all sorts of hyper (yeah, he pretty much wouldn't leave him alone the whole time they were there), so we had to walk behind him and Kelly.  If we walked in front, Clyde would just stop every couple seconds to turn around and see where Rascal was.  It was not the most successful of walks...  Also right before we headed out the door I rammed my toe into a pillar in our living room and heard a nasty cracking noise.  It's still not right and I fear I might have fractured it slightly.  It's not too bad, but definitely beyond a bruise.  We'll see how that impacts running...ugh (I iced it for a while last night).
Kelly also brought me my bridesmaid dress for her wedding, which is this summer.  I had ordered it on my way up to VA back in February at this place near Greensboro, and the dresses came in recently, so Kelly picked them up last weekend while on a trip that was up that way.  Here is my dress:

It's a little big and needs to be taken up a tad, because the dress falls longer on me than in this picture, being the shorty 5' 3" that I am.  The bust will also probably need to be taken in a little.  It fits pretty well overall though and it's a pretty cute dress.  We all got to pick whatever tea length chiffon dresses we wanted in this brand/color (Mori Lee).  Nice job picking the dresses Kel!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Yesterday I decided it was time to get out of the house after spending much time lounging to be near Greg as he studied on Saturday. I made plans to meet my friend Jen for a run. Now, this is the third time we've met to run and the first was not all that fast or long, the second was foiled by Clyde and the doggie stroller, so this time I was determined to show her I could actually be a decent person to run with and not just a social diversion. We tried a new route and Jen brought her Garmin runner watch thingie and we ended up doing a 5 mile run! That's the most I've run in a while. Our pace was pretty crappy, like over a 10-minute mile, but hey, I was psyched that I ran that far!
During our run we chatted about bloggers a bunch. We both read Kath and Emily, two bloggers that live in Charlotte and run and eat lots of healthy food.  We talked about how we both needed to go grocery shopping and Jen was planning on going to EarthFare , which is a health food grocery store in Charlotte.  I also like Earthfare, but think it's kind of expensive, so I usually only go there every once in a while if I need specific health food items that are hard to find in normal grocery stores.  I mentioned that I like Trader Joe's, because it has a lot of health food as well and the prices are usually a lot cheaper.  Jen then said she'd NEVER been to Trader Joe's!?  Well then, it was settled, we were going there after our run!  Off we went to TJ's and perused the isles for good stuff.  I needed a lot of produce type items, so I ended up with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, bananas, carrots, cucumber, avocado, etc...  I also got a bunch of other random stuff like wraps, Peanut Butter Puffins (YUM), milk, fresh mozzarella, whole wheat pizza dough etc...  TJ's is kinda out of the way from my house, but I like taking a trip over there every once in a while.
Once back in the car, we again turned the discussion towards Kath and Emily's blogs and were talking about their mention of a new SELF SERVE TCBY in a post.  We were both like, where is that place- we HAVE to know??!!  Next thing we know we're calling Greg to google it and go there!  Turns out it was pretty close to TJ's so we cruised on over and went!  This became lunch as it was about 12:30pm at this  That place is coooooooooool.  I sampled the POM tart, which was not the sweet that I was craving, but maybe if I was in another kind of mood I'd get it.  Both of us ended up getting the white chocolate mousse (long time fav at TCBY) and peanut butter flavor, and various toppings.  I had a drizzle of peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, marshmellow, nuts, and Reese's pieces on mine.  It hit the spot!
Once back at the house I lounged for a while and Greg and I decided we were both hungry around 3-4pm-ish.  I decided to make the pizza with the dough I'd bought at TJ's, and made a margherita type pizza with sauce, mozzarella, mushroom, tomato, and basil.  It was good, but I think the directions on the dough were not great in advising the oven be set to 350 degrees.  In hindsight it would have been better with a hotter oven as the crust never got that crispy.  We also had yummy salad with all my produce in it.  We ate out on the deck though and the weather was gorgeous.  Not too hot, not too cold, just right.
Later we took Clyde for a walk, and watched SNL on Tivo.
Greg's still unsure of when he is headed to training Part II.  Probably Tuesday/tomorrow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend with Greg

I started the weekend with high hopes.  A bunch of people invited me to various events and parties and for once when I brought them up to Greg he didn't immediately cringe and shoot the ideas down.  He seemed pretty confident that he would be home for a while and since he got home Wednesday and had already enjoyed a couple days at home, he was up for whatever I felt like doing this weekend. 
First on the agenda was a party at a co-workers house as he is headed off to the middle east for four months!  As we were about to walk out the door, Greg checked his phone and realized he had a message.  He immediately started cursing and I knew what I was in for.  The airline had called and scheduled him to start simulator training.  There's some confusion over whether he leaves on Monday or Tuesday (the message said Monday, but an email says Tuesday), but the bottom line is that he won't be home for the week + we had been hoping for.  Greg agreed to still go to the party, but suddenly the rest of the weekend was promptly cancelled as he needed to stay in and study study study. 
I actually didn't end up minding too much that we had a lazy Saturday.  We took Clyde to the vet for the last of his shots and then headed home and lounged.  I worked on something for work I'd been putting off, and Greg studied.  We ate lunch, a snack, and dinner on the deck.  We took Clyde for a walk around the neighborhood.  It was a good Saturday after all.

  I really am just happy to have him here and want to enjoy what time I have with him since he's leaving again for a couple weeks tomorrow or Tuesday.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Doggie Stroller update...also the pilot is home!

Ok, so I've been meaning to update on the doggie stroller.  It came last week in a HUGE box on my doorstep.  Clyde actually growled at the thing when I pushed it through the front  I got it out and had assembled in about 20 minutes.  It's COOL.  Here are some pics of Clyde trying it out after I got it together:

 Sooooo funny!
I didn't really have time to take it for a spin last week because Thursday night I think it kinda rained and then I was packing for Hilton Head.  Then I was IN HHI for the weekend.  Finally Monday I decided it was time to take it for a spin.  I took Clyde for a regular walk first then came back and got him situated in it for a test run around the neighborhood.  It definitely adds to the workout to push that thing.  The position of the handle is adjustable and I'm not sure if I had it in the right place or not.  I also kinda think I felt more stress on my knees for whatever reason.  As for how Clyde did, he was pretty good in it.  I think he didn't know what to make of it at first.  He kinda whined a little about halfway, but settled down after a minute or so.  It went pretty well.
My friend Jen and I decided to run together on Tuesday night.  I warned her I might bring Clyde and the doggie stroller and she said it was fine.  Tuesday did not go as well as Monday.  For one thing we were trying to do a longer run.  My test run with Clyde was pretty short, so probably not a good gauge of how well he'd do zipped into the stroller for longer periods.  Secondly, I got home and walked Clyde, but I think he had waaaaaaaaaaay more energy to burn off and therefore being cooped up in the stroller did not make a happy puppy.  We ended up starting with him in the stroller and then he started whining and doing a high pitched bark and kind of scratching at the top to get out.  Not good.  We stopped, I put his leash on, walked him, then would put him back in the stroller for a while to run til he got antsy again, stop take him out.  It just went on in that cycle like that.  Not exactly what I was hoping for.  Luckily Jen loves Clyde and is so nice, so she seemed to be ok with the fact that we didn't get a huge workout out of the plan.  We decided to eat dinner outside after the run with Jen's husband joining us.

As we were sitting down to eat, Greg called my cell and informed me he was DONE with ground school and coming home in the morning!  Wow!
He's been home since Wednesday morning and is loving being back with Clyde.  It's so cute to see them together playing and snuggling :)  We're not sure when he will have simulator training, but for now we'll enjoy his time home.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The pilot!

So I guess I've been bad about updating the blog about THE PILOT (kinda half the point of the blog)!  It's easy to forget to update what he is doing because he hasn't been here in like 5 weeks and right now it's all about me and Clyde (yeah I know, my blog posts about Clyde are out of control-sorry!).  
But anyway, Greg is doing great at his training.  He's the oldest guy in his class and I guess he's borderline anti-social because he spends a great deal of time hanging out in the hotel room studying.  Some of his classmates are pretty young and do not have any other commercial airline experience and maybe don't completely know what they are in for the way he does since he's been through this oh about fifty thousand times now (ok maybe not that many, but it sure seems like a lot!).  Greg feels like he is kind of being held to a higher standard because pretty much all the instructors know he's got the most experience, so it's sort of added pressure (as if he doesn't already put a ton of pressure on himself!).  Anyway, the man spends A LOT of time studying.  The rest of the class, well, maybe not so much.  They like hitting Beal Street many nights of the week and sometimes don't come home til the wee hours of the morning.  Greg tries to avoid going out, but gets roped into it about once a week or so. 
Greg took his written final yesterday and scored 100%.  I think the lowest score he's gotten on anything might have been like a 95%.  He's got his oral exam later this week, and then we THINK he is coming home on Friday night!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That will be the end of ground school, and then next up is simulator training, which will probably be a couple weeks away again.  We think he's going to have a gap of hopefully a week or more in between ground school and simulator training, but we're not sure yet.  He should know more soon.  It's been a long 5 weeks or so without him.  I'm so glad we started Skyping most nights.  That really helped even though it's not the same as being with each other.  This actually may have been the longest we've been apart.  He's been to training in Miami and Houston for two + months with two other airlines, but with those I managed to sneak in a visit about midway, so we probably didn't go more than about 3 weeks or so without seeing each other those times.  Greg tells me Memphis is not the greatest city and is kind of unsafe, but regardless, I had hoped to get out there for a visit and see him and check it out.  It just didn't work out this time due to standby flights looking crappy, positive space seats outrageously expensive, driving not being very practical, and Greg feeling like he needed to really buckle down and study hard since he's been out of an airplane for a year and a half.  At the halfway mark I sent Greg some goodies with a little note from Heidi's Heavenly Cookies.  I was originally planning on sending a homemade "care package" with lots of different kinds of edible goodies in there, but he's actually been shopping a bunch while out there and had told me right before that he was worried he might not be able to eat all the stuff he'd bought in the time he had left.  I figured cookies would go quick though (I know my husband, and cookies don't stand a chance!), and he could share if he needed help polishing them off.  I don't think he needed much help though!
I'm so proud of him for doing so well in training and making it through a long time away from home.  I feel bad that he's missed all this time with Clyde.  He always says he can tell he's getting bigger when he sees him on Skype.  I think Clyde has gained like 3 lbs since Greg left, and is actually getting close to being full grown now.  It's sad that Greg missed a lot of "puppy time".  I think Greg would have had fun at the Dogswalk for Cancer, would have liked seeing Clyde meet my parents and experience the beach for the first time, and missed me teaching Clyde to sit.  :(  I guess we'll be in for the same sort of missed milestones when we have kids one day.  Sad.  I'm sure the boys will make up for lost time when he gets back though!  I see some slobbery doggies kisses and a tail wagging uncontrollably in Greg's immediate future :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Playlist

Just wanted to add that before leaving for my HHI trip on Thursday night I downloaded some new tunage for the trip that's been on repeat ever since:

Just Say Yes- Snow Patrol (I think someone should use this song to propose to their girlfriend!)
Never Gonna Be Alone- Nickelback
Maybe- Ingrid Michaelson
All I Have- Mat Kearney
Dancing Shoes- Gavin DeGraw
Crash and Burn- Lifehouse
Someday- Cary Brothers
Young and In Love- The London

It's all good :)  I think a bunch of it will be good for running also and may be added to my workout mix.

Weekend in Hilton Head

Clyde and I took a little trip to Hilton Head to see my parents this weekend. 

This was quite an important trip. I have mentioned before that my mom is not a dog person (here), and really worked herself up to the idea of him being at their house.  I originally thought that my parents' introduction to Clyde should be at our house, but we were having trouble finding a weekend to get together and my dad wanted to be at their house to watch The Masters on his precious HD TV this weekend, so my mom suggested I come there (which is never a bad thing for me as I love HHI).  But anyway, I had thought it best they come to our house to meet Clyde because that way if he had any accidents while they were around at least it wouldn't be on their floors, and additionally, we know how he behaves in our house, but I wasn't sure how he'd be at someone else's for a whole weekend.  Turns out it all went BETTER than I thought it would.  Clyde was just an ANGEL!!  He didn't even come close to having any accidents, didn't chew on anything he shouldn't, and furthermore just acted as cute and loving as can be.

He didn't jump on my mom and was totally gentle and sweet.  Also, my dad kind of IS a dog person but never pushed my mom to get a dog or anything because he knows she's not into them.  He had dogs growing up though, and likes playing with a dog when given the chance.  As soon as we got there on Friday, he got down on the living room floor with Clyde and they immediately started playing.  Clyde has a new BFF :)

I even went to a movie with my mom yesterday and left Clyde with my dad for couple hours and he was great.  He mostly slept in my dad's lap.  That pup could melt any heart!  I'm sooooooooooooo happy it went well.  I was so nervous that it wouldn't go well and my mom would hate him and never want us to visit again or come to our house now that there is a dog involved!
We took Clyde to the beach on Saturday and I was so curious to see how he'd be there.  Only problem was that it was soooooooo windy there!

Poor baby had sand all in his face!  He hid in his carrier to avoid the sand.  We were supposed to meet some of my parents friends there for a picnic lunch, but we quickly realized we'd be eating a great deal of sand in addition to our Publix subs and snacks if we stayed out on the beach.  Mom and I took Clyde for a walk near the water and he got his feet wet in the ocean.  I don't think he quite knew what to make of the whole experience.  After our brief stint at the beach we relocated our picnic to some picnic tables near the parking lot.

My parents' friends brought their 7 month old pug, Bella.  She was immediately kind of aggressive towards baby Clyde, and I didn't really appreciate them not being a little more conscious of that (Hello?!  Restrain your dog people!!).

I ended up taking Clyde to another table and sitting by ourselves because Bella wouldn't leave Clyde alone.  After lunch we tried socializing the pups and it went okay, but definitely was not one of his better play dates.
My parents took me to dinner at Hugo's Saturday night and my mom and I split tilapia and stuffed shrimp (YUM).
Clyde also enjoyed a walk around their neighborhood yesterday.  I may have snagged a couple new items at the Tanger outlets while there (pants, sunglasses, running outfit, two shirts).
I always wish I could stay longer when I visit, but I had to get back for work.
I'm so proud of Clyde for winning over my mom :)  Great visit!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weekend Round-up

It was another great weekend in Charlotte. It's really warmed up here, to the point that I broke out more of my summer clothes this weekend. I'm not sure I'm ever going to get motivated to clean out my closet now though and put my sweaters and cords away for the summer. Especially with all that sunshine outside!
Friday night I was itching to be outside but didn't want to leave Clyde too long. I ended up going over to my friend Kerrie's house and bringing Clyde with me so he could be involved. We left him at her place for a bit while doing about a 3 mile run, then got some food and ate outside on her patio. Clyde played outside and had his dinner al fresco as well.
Saturday Clyde and I got up bright and early for the DogsWalk for Cancer.
(picture from website)
We got there and met Kelly and Rascal and registered. There were SOOOOOOOOOO many dogs everywhere! I wasn't sure how Clyde would be since he's only like 6 lbs. I knew I'd have to keep a close eye on him with all the big dogs everywhere. Kel and I got our free goodies and got our free Salsaritas breakfast burritos. The best thing we got was a big free bag of dog food. The flavor is trout and sweet potato...hehe. Clyde seems to like it ok. I've been mixing it in with his other food. We also met up with a co-worker and his wife, who also have a dog named Rascal, but their dog is like a King Charles Spaniel or something like that. The walk started on time and Clyde off like a prom dress! He was soooooooooo funny! The walk was 1.1 mile, and I wasn't sure how he'd do, but boy was he a runnin! People were cracking up at the sight of my teeny tiny dog running his little heart out! It was toooo cute! Wouldn't you know that I forgot my damn camera! You guys will just have to visualize the scene, sorry! At the end of the walk we mingled a little more and Rascal and Clyde met a bunch of other Dachshunds. It was cute! My little dogster was tuckered out by the time we got home. I think he had fun and was impressed at how social he was and how well he did on the walk.
Once home I went for a run and then fired up the lawn mower for the first time this year, to give the lawn some much needed TLC. Greg's a pretty big lawn nazi and he would have a fit if he were home and able to see how crappy and yellow the lawn is right now. I've been trying to run the sprinkler and get it healthy, but I think he's gonna have to work his magic on it when he gets back.
Saturday night I met my friend Nicole for dinner in uptown at Dandelion.  Their menu is kinda like tapas, so we did an appetizer of prosciutto crostini, salads, and then steak skewers.  I feel kinda bad because I think I kinda high-jacked the evening.  Nicole had originally suggested going to Howl at the Moon.  We finished with dinner kind of early and wandered into this other bar to have a beer and kill some time before going to Howl at the Moon.  Well, while we were there I got the idea to text Greg's friend Dan and see if he wanted to come join us.  He came and brought his friend Jeff and this other girl he's kind of seeing.  I figured it would be fun to have a few more people, but they were feeling the low-key kind of vibe and we ended up going next door to Connelly's and just staying there for the rest of the night.  Nicole said it was fine, but she had previously told me that she's one of those people who likes to be in the busiest bars, with lots of people, and lots going on.  That was not how I'd describe our evening.  I don't think we are on the same page about what kind of scene we're into.  I'm definitely more of a 'hang out at a quieter place and talk' kind of person, and I don't think she is.
Sunday was a pretty lazy day.  I did a little grocery shopping, sat and read on the deck, and played with monkey dog.  Good times.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Clyde pictures

Just wanted to post a couple really cute pictures of my little angel!

My new favorite (saved as my desktop picture so I can dream of cuddling him all day long)!
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