Friday, June 29, 2007


I just saw this news flash about the Veggie Booty recall. I love Veggie Booty and Pirate's Booty, but I haven't had either of them in a long while. Guess that's a good thing!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Melissa, this post today is just for you. With love, from, "the baby."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


My dog, Peyton, hates thunder storms. And, when it storms, she does crazy things. Like, going into my bathroom, pushing back the shower curtain, and getting into the bathtub. Totally psycho.

Monday, June 25, 2007

"Gov. Mark Sanford said questions may always linger about a higher purpose behind the deaths, but that the men proved their courage Monday night. He said, “Who we are crucially depends on what we’re willing to stand up for in life. In short, are we willing to walk the walk? They walked their walk right into the company of angels and to heaven’s gate.” Before the service, a procession of about 100 fire trucks wound through the Charleston streets lined with mourners in the firefighters’ honor." --The Associated Press, June 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

Back in the day...

This video I found online is a compilation of several of the top riders (including Mark
Todd and Virginia Leng in purple) at Badminton back in the 1980s. It pretty much represents the vintage, nostalgic view of 3-day eventing, and it embodies the time period and context for the era that made me fall in love with the sport (well, late 80's for me, to be more accurate). They don't do it like they used to, that's for sure! It's so colorful, technical, commercial, orchestrated, and slick now-a-days. But, for better or for worse, that's where we are. Enjoy this, as you head into the weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Two Sides of a Woman"

"Imagine 10 women coming down a corridor. You can't see them; it's pitch black. You hear them getting closer; you know the sound, you know it is women. You sense that one woman among them is a woman you think. Now you know which woman. You think. It's not only a woman you know, it is the one person you know better than any other. Maybe. Yes. Except for certain amazing days when you don't know her at all. (There you are - one day - all settled in, sitting there like a fool, thinking everything is in place. You should know better.) Today she is an encompassing wind, sweeping through every part of your life, every part of your brain, rearranging even the past. She brings you down when you are too far up; she lifts you up when you are down. When you are crazed, she is sane. When you are calm, she is wild. When you are in a rage, she is all perfect logic. When you are mad, she is madder. When you are truly happy, she lets you run far ahead. Who is this woman? Isn't she, sometimes, more than one? Isn't she, sometimes, at least 10? Yes. Especially sometimes." -Anonymous

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Every summer, from the time I was 5 until I graduated from college, my mom, dad, my sister, and I spent time in Charleston, SC. We have family there, we have family friends there, Melissa went to College of Charleston for 2 years, and we still have old school friends and other assorted acquaintances there. Hurricane Hugo ranks right up there with 9/11 and the Challenger explosion in the realm of overwhelming historic tragedies that I have known in my lifetime. I have a special affinity for Charleston and I have always imagined I'd end up living there some day. I still plan to, at some point, so it is always with great interest and great affection that news from the Holy City makes its way into my daily life, offering me a little solace and a taste of the place and community that is so special and dear to me and my loved ones.

That is why the news of the 9 firefighters being killed in the sofa store warehouse fire yesterday has absolutely broken my heart. I have a real fear of people that I care about being injured/hurt/or killed on the job, as I have close friends who work in the construction business and, of course, the guys out there everyday on the side of I-40 here in Knoxville (um, yeah Will, that would be you). When I saw this on the news yesterday morning, I was just devastated. My heart absolutely goes out to the families and friends of those lost firefighters.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Pony!

This is Theodore O'Connor, being ridden by Karen O'Connor (no relation), at Rolex this past April. In the world of eventing right now, EVERYBODY knows who "Teddy" is. He has his very own fan club, his own ownership syndicate, and an endless list of sponsors and supporters from all around the world. He's taken the international eventing world by surprise and by storm, with his tiny size (he is the only card-carrying pony to ever complete the Rolex 4-star event), his effortless jumping style, his quickness and agility, and his adorable personality. I had an eventing pony when I was little, and occasionally he jumped anything I pointed him at, but on the whole, he liked to "ask questions first, and then jump later." Teddy seems to be just the opposite: jump, jump, jump first, then say, "How did you like that, folks?"

Karen and Teddy have been named to the team of 5 horses and riders who will travel to Rio de Janiero, Brazil in early July to compete for the U.S. in the Pan American Games. Whether it's a warm-up horse trial, a World Cup qualifying event, a 4-star competition, or an international team 3-day, he treats them all the same way: perks up his ears, kicks up his heels, and gallops like there's no tomorrow. What a super little guy and what an honest and positive breath of fresh air for our rather heartbroken and beleaguered sport right now. Go Teddy!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

He's Back!!!

It's good to see #7 back on the England national team. Here he is, getting some much deserved appreciation from new England captain John Terry in their recent match against Estonia. Rule Britannia!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Concrete, y'all

Ok, so on our way out of town Wednesday, via I-75 South, there was the comment made that, "It's too bad that we didn't take highway 411, Gary, since you would have liked to see Eddie's World of Concrete." This fact was processed, acknowledged as a sad tragedy, but then we moved on. On the way BACK to Knoxville, however, we took the more scenic route North on highway 411. At about noon yesterday, we rolled into Eddie's World of Concrete. There are lots of concrete statuary places out there, but Eddie's is a real gem. I bought a concrete garden gnome as a "souvenier" from our event-filled trip to Atlanta, and I bought my parent's a totally tacky and utterly inappropriate lawn jockey, because they will love it. And, it's already wired for a lantern, and David has agreed to help me install one for them, so it won't just be one of those shabby and useless lawn jockeys that everybody has. It will be shiny, functional, yet still totally kitsch and unnecessary (like 90% of my parents' belongings).

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I'm having a really hard time putting into words how much I love this Juicy Couture velour handbag. It's velour, it's pink and brown, and it has a gorgous satin ribbon tied on it in a big old bow. I want to just crawl inside this and take a nap. I want, I want, I want!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Road Trip

So, we're heading to Atlanta today (that would be me, Erika, David, and Gary) to work in the WSA-Atlanta office for the next day or so. I'm not looking forward to going all this way for a day jam-packed with meetings, office visits, and schmooze-sessions, but I am looking forward to a road trip with the gang and the opportunity to meet face-to-face a number of Georgia people that I have been doing proposals with for over a year now...having never laid eyes on them until now. It should be fun, but exhausting. That's ok, since I plan to stick around Knoxville for a while and avoid any more work travel, for the time being!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, Monday

"Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday's code." -- Dan Salomon

But, if one does have to get out of bed on Monday (and come to work), then, how much nicer to start the day off with this adorable smile. Becks makes it all better!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Clean Sweep

This is my new vacuum cleaner. See how ergonomically-designed, how streamlined, how HEPA filtered, how bagless, how cyclonic, and how purpley it is?? I heart it. And, I'm going to be doing some serious vacuuming over the weekend. Cat-and-dog-and-horse hair dust bunnies begone!!!

Get the fruit!!!

For those of you who love Pac-Man, it looks like Xbox has come out with a new "championship" version of the game that contains new mazes (the first new mazes in over 26 years). How fun! Now, if only I had an Xbox...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I am an eventer

Since my first USEA recognized event last spring of 2006, I've been an "eventer," but reluctant to get all "I'm an EVENTER!" I had puttered around in pony club eventing, and I've always been an avid eventing trainee (just never had the chance before now to actually get out and compete at a recognized event), but I was never really AN EVENTER. Now, I know I am only competing at Beginner Novice, after all, and for my friends who are riding at Training level, Prelim, and even Intermediate...well, Beginner Novice is just embarassing. But, everybody has to start somewhere, right? And, neither I nor my trusty steed had ever done a USEA recognized horse trial before last year.

So, imagine my surprise when not only did we bust it all out this year at May Daze and finish 4th in our rather large division, but I also have been informed that Eddie and I are qualified for the Area III Championships (this weekend at Poplar Place, so that's a "no go"), the Area VIII Championships (in Ohio the first weekend of September), and we are also qualified to compete at the 2007 American Eventing Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois. We placed 5th at MTPC last October and we just placed 4th at May Daze (two 1-5 placings at recognized events is all you need to qualify for the AEC's). Unfortunately, AEC's this year are about a 10 hour drive, so I won't be going. Plus, I'm hoping to move up to Novice this year, so I think I need to focus on that, rather than how many championships I am qualified to attend, etc. But, I sure will feel special when I see the "qualified horses/riders" list for the AEC's this year. Imagine that!


I have been ALL ABOUT some Ioan Gruffudd for years and years now. He is the shining epitome of all that is good, glorious, handsome, and intelligent. And, his posh British accent is to die for. Nobody can correctly clip and ennunciate words like "irrefutable" and "indefatigable" quite like Ioan, and he has the best nose and the prettiest eyes of anybody on the planet. I do fancy him clad in his various "British period-piece" costumes (Horatio Hornblower, Another Life, The Forsyte Saga, Amazing Grace), but he looks just as divine walking down the street. Or, wearing glasses. Is he not just the cutest thing you've ever seen?

"She noticed how warm his eyes were, how they crinkled at the corners when he smiled. She decided brown eyes were much nicer than blue ones." -- Jennifer Donnelly, The Tea Rose

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Shake and Bake

There is really no reason for this particular post today, except that I just needed some Will Ferrell in my life. If you ain't first, you're last! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I'll sing it one last time for you...

Ok, so my boyz (that would be Snow Patrol) have announced that they will be playing a show at Red Rocks in Colorado at the end of July. I am grief stricken!! Red Rocks is just about the coolest place to see a live show in the entire country, and I no longer live just down the pass there in Vail. I would love to see the Patrol play there, but...alas. Anyway, I've had to console myself by getting caught up on GL's blog. I am convinced that Gary Lightbody and I are long lost soul mates, and when you read his copious rhetorical rantings, you will know precisely why I believe that. Destiny, I tell's destiny.

I am thrilled they are taking the world by storm, and I promise myself I will see them live this year before they head back to the UK for a good, long while. But, then again, if I don't see them around here, it would be a good excuse to hop a plane to Glasgow in the near future, now wouldn't it?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Back to the old grind...

I'm back in Knoxville (there were no chocolate chip scones waiting for me in my office this morning) and I'm trying to get back into the swing of things here again. But, it is Monday, and WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Goodbye, Kentucky!

Well, it was a busy week, but a good one. And, now, I'm ready to cross the mountain and get back to Tennessee. I miss my mess there in Knoxville, so I'm heading home this morning, and taking the afternoon to catch up on my housework, yardwork, and pony-tending. Luzaz needs a bath!

I enjoyed my time in Lexington and look forward to coming back. Let's just hope they don't go crazy and try to talk me into moving up here (I'd need a seriously sweet re-lo package, which I know Wilbur is so adverse to, in order for it to even be remotely feasible). I'd have a very hard time saying, "no." I'd have a bit of an easier time saying "no," though, as I am fully aware that if I were to leave the Knoxville office for another Wilbur haven, in another state, there would be a hit out on me faster than I could say, "Erika, won't you miss me when I'm gone?" :)