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I've come back. - Long story short, I just wasn't getting what I wanted out of other blogging platforms and communities. While LJ has wavered and some friends have left I'm giving another whack at it.  I've been around , occasionally reading and commenting on other post that have kept up here.

I'll be cleaning up my little space shortly. I'm cleaning out my friends list of friends who no longer have an account, defunct communities. I will not be getting rid of friends and I'd actually like to expand. So if you are reading this and think someone may like to be my friend let me know.

So Why did I come back. I missed the friendships, the level of personal experiences shared. I loved that I could write what ever I felt like and didn't have to worry about being PC or trying to uphold a level of professionalism that comes with having a corporate job. You know all those things you deal with on Face Book.

In short I missed this odd, open minded community.

So I might as well recap what has happened since I've been gone.

I was employed by a software company for a little over 3 years. They contracted me out to work for a large hotel chain servicing all of their websites. After which the Hotel chain employed me full time. There are some neat perks, especially discount rates on hotels all over the country and world. Note, that work keeps me pretty busy so I haven't done much of that. but I do have vacation coming up. (more on that later)

I Got Married
The same guy I was with for all those years, I am proud and happy to now call Nick my Husband. We eloped in New York City, in Manhattan back in January  2009. I now have a BirthdayVersary as my Birthday is Jan 22nd and My wedding Anniversary is Jan 23rd. Easy to remember right?  My parents threw a big reception for us when we got back.

Cleo is still Cleo
Every bit of a trouble maker as before. She's 8 now, but Miniature Pinschers don't slow down that much. She has grown into a wonderful mature MinPin. She is in good health, and never ceases to amaze me with her intelligence and manipulative ways. She has me trained I think.

We brought a Pumpkin into our home
Pretty recently we adopted another dog from a good friend of ours. Our friend rescued her years ago but in their current condition and with their son (Bam-Bam), she was not doing well. The son was too hard on the 5 pound dog and when she needed someone to take her in we decided to. Her name is Pumpkin. No one knows for sure but she looks like a Doxie-Pin, a cross between a MinPin and a dachshund . Cute as can be and with a heart of gold she is a great addition to our family.

Cleo had only child syndrome but is now doing much better at sharing. Each day they get closer and closer.

There has been Family Drama
I'll go into more detail with this later but as we are heading into the Thanksgiving holidays, I will tell you a story about a thanksgiving past. My mom's side of the family was together for Thanksgiving when some arguing broke out, then some people ended up getting feelings hurt, crying and leaving. As kids we swore that we would never have that drama and that we would all remain friends. With that pact we initiated an Annual Thanksgiving after party that went on for years.  This was a pact among brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. and While I'm happy to report that my sister and my brothers are great friends, my mom and dad are doing awesome. I can not say there hasn't been family drama else where in that pact. 

I Became an Aunt
My sister became a mom and gave birth to the cutest, sweetest, most intelligent kid on the planet, Alex. Some might call him an old soul, some may call him a sponge. He picks up so much. At age 1, it was clear this kid was not a regular kid. He wanted to color, and paint. At 2 he was putting words together and learning to read signs. He graduated from coloring with markers and crayons to painting with water colors. He was stacking like items together, he already knows all of his colors, what primary colors mix together make secondary, he counts. He uses play-doh but doesn't eat it. At 3 He graduated from water color to acrylic paint, he is learning to read, and is doing well at it. He loves maps, and he can point out where he is standing at on the map when we go to Disney world. He no longer plays with the big blocks but prefers legos and wants to use the instructions in the lego booklet to make the models. "Let's make this!" he says. He still likes his play-doh but also does stuff with modeling clay. At 3 years old his favorite word is "Exit". Who knows why. Also when we are driving in the car he will point at the signs."Mama, we are on the Turpike now?" He says giggling, are we going somewhere fun?
I'm a very proud Aunt as you can see. For his 3rd birthday I spent about 100 bucks on canvas, sketchbooks, water colors, acrylic paint, we bought him sports stuff for baseball, a soccer ball, and of course an activity book CARS 2. I also bought him a bunch of Dr. Suess Books. He loves books.

I have Become an Excellent Baker
It was by complete and total accident. Nick is amazing at grilling, smoking, and preparing meats. His steaks rival that of high end restaurants. So I started taking over a niche of baking. I love making my own pizza dough, breads, cakes and desserts. I took a cake decorating class with a friend and I can make my own butter cream, and put together a home made birthday cake that looks like it came from Publix.

I have Became a Great Cook
I have always helped cook, and always made side dishes and party food but never a full meal. When Nick is out of town I would cook for  myself and I started experimenting when he was gone. My failures were mine to keep, my successes I shared when he got home.  I got recipes from my mom, and had her show me some of my favorites I could recreate.

Last January my Grandma (Nana) went into the hospital. She is a diabetic and had a mini stroke. After a lot of test, it was clear she had arteries blocked and needed a bipass but because of her weight, and inability to stand she could not have the surgery. They fixed her up and was brought home to be put on a strict diet. 

So the family pitched in and I cook for her once a week on Thursdays. Baked wild caught halibut, Bison meatballs in whole wheat spaghetti, Sugar free strawberry shortcake, using angels food cake, Lamb Vindaloo, Bison Meatloaf, with Mash potatoes, Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Capri Salad, Greek Salad. Dill Lemon pepper shrimp in vegan butter, crab stuffed mushrooms, Vegetarian Lasagna. Whole wheat veggie bean burrito,  Butternut squash soup, Goat cheese and mushroom stuffed whole wheat ravioli, Shrimp Kabobs, Pineapple kabobs with yogurt dipping sauce and on her birthday I made her sugar free low cal strawberry cheesecake that tasted pretty darn good. 

I'm especially proud of my Lamb Vindaloo. There is this Indian restaurant that one of our Indian Software engineers took me too, this is where I fell in love with Lamb Vindaloo. It's a dish that is fusion from when the Portuguese came to India.  After searching the internet I couldn't find a recipe that made sense to what I tasted. I took some pieces that seem to ring true, and put it all together.
The result was delicious and very close. I know the things I need to work on but it is a huge hit

I should probably wrap this up
It's getting long.

I really enjoyed writing all of this. I've missed LJ and all the friends it encompasses.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2012 06:13 am (UTC)
Welcome back! I'm not really much of an LJ'er much anymore, but I do lurk to keep up with old friends.

Nov. 6th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Hey Sam,

Nice seeing you around. How is life? I remember one year we were trying to get by Nashville area to see you after Bonnaroo. You had a Girlfriend, are you still with her?

Hope all is going well for you!
Nov. 23rd, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)

Things are good here in Nashville. I'm still doing AV at a huge hotel/convention center here. Everything has changed, but it's all still the same too. That girlfriend you mentioned eventually became a fiancee, but due to distance (she was in cali) and many other things we fizzled out. Probably for the best in all ways in retrospect. Things are good, glad to see you back around.

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 6th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
I have posted some comments on your LJ during my lurking days. I know it's been rough for you. I'm hoping things turn up for you because sometimes in our worst of times we can find some of our best of times.

Take care
Nov. 5th, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
another replier...
Still browsing, still replying in comments. Not much for new posts, tho.

Glad to hear you and yours are doing well.

Here, have some puppies:

Nov. 6th, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
I love puppies!

My Husband worked on Marley and Me and he was at the extended living hotel with all the dogs. I took my dog and she got to play with the stars of the show. They loved her.

There is nothing in the world like puppies to make you laugh, and smile.
Nov. 5th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
I'm getting sick of Facebook too. I still check here every day, write on my blog (blogkitten.com) and am increasingly posting more and more over on Google+.

I wish I could convince my family to migrate to G+...then I could ditch FB for good.

~Carolyn (a.k.a. blogkitten....I really should change my username on here to reflect that...lol)
Nov. 6th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
I should try google plus again. I find it harder and harder on FB to express opinions based on the fact that I don't want to hurt anyones feelings, offend my family or my coworkers, etc.

I want an open minded community that doesn't get offended easily and values each others opinions and personalities even if they aren't like their own.

Carolyn, Of course I remember you! :) We are birthday buddies.
Nov. 5th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
Welcome back! I only ever post on Facebook now-a-days but still check my friends list here. I'll feel slightly less silly checking it now that TWO friends are updating on LJ.
Nov. 6th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
You should come back!

at least post what you post on FB here.
Nov. 7th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
Nov. 17th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I've read some of your post. I'm glad to be back. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )