Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Facebook . . . now bring on Twitter!

It took me a while to get into Facebook. I kept thinking it was this horrible teenage thing where you wrote nasty messages on the snotty girls' walls and posted party photos. What started as something I intended for work -- for our Youth Tour -- turned into something personal as I kept finding "friends!" I realized I couldn't combine "work" and "personal," so I'll develop another Facebook wall for the work thing.

Someone at a conference I attended in the past year commented they should rename Facebook, "Reunion Book!" Well, it's true. I've found people I haven't talked to for years from my high school in Germantown, Tenn. I found one of my best friends from high school now living in California who was in our wedding that I had lost touch with. We've got this little group going called "Germantown Alumni."

I'm now a member of "Auburn Fans," and "Fans of J.T.," and "Fans of BBQ!"

And every day I'm adding new friends! My kids friends! Students I've taken to youth conferences! My friends recommend other friends! My whole world is opening up!

I read an article in a magazine the other day about old people taking over Facebook! Yes, it's true! I'm sure the teenagers are really mad! All us old people are on Facebook and can find them! It's not their "thing" anymore -- the old people have figured out a way to navigate the mysterious world of Facebook!

And I won't even go into "Twitter!" I feel like Mr. Rogers . . . "Won't you be my neighbor?"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A decorating dilemma!

I've been thinking for a while about changing up my den -- and possibly getting new furniture. With the addition of Kate to our family, we're going to need a sofa sleeper before too long. Now that I've got the idea in my head, I've been looking around on the Internet at furniture. I haven't seen anything in the stores around here that I like as well as what I found at Rooms To Go online. Everything at the furniture stores in Dothan is either too dark of a color (for my already dark paneled room) or too traditional. I just love Rooms To Go's Cindy Crawford sofa bed shown here in taupe. I love the tufting in the back and seat cushions.

The only store I know of is in Atlanta, but not sure I want to drive up there to pick up. They say online they ship for one price, no matter how many items you purchase. So that may be the way to go.

And these are some of the chairs I like -- I know I want a club chair, but I'm tired of the flowered one I have now. I also have a chair and a half, and it's just too big. I want a regular club chair and ottoman to prop my feet up on to watch TV and read (this is the first red chair pictured).

Then I'd like two accent chairs. Not sure which I like best, but I think the one with the arms. And I want to move my desk armoire over to the right and get rid of my huge entertainment center and get a console cabine to set my TV on.

That's the idea, anyway. But whatever I buy depends on the room arrangement -- so I need your help. My den is long and narrow with a big brick arch in the middle of a long wall with our fireplace and sliding glass doors on a shorter end. It's always been hard to arrange this room because of the length and TV placement (which can't move, because I don't want to re-wire everything!) So take a look at the room diagrams below and tell me what you think! You can do this yourself at Better Homes & Gardens website. It's really easy -- just drag and drop pieces of furniture -- and you can change their color too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nice guys don't always finish last!

It's the year of the nice guys! First J.T. won Survivor -- a truly good old southern nice guy!

Then Shawn won Dancing with the Stars -- so cute and sweet and innocent! She reminds me of my niece Jessi with her facial expressions!

Then tonight Kris won American Idol -- so cute and humble! He even said Adam should have won! Adam will go far anyway with his talent and now the contacts he has. And the Idol show tonight was amazing with so many stars from my era! Lionel Richie, Kiss, Rodd Stewart, Santanna! Wow!
And today is Anna's birthday -- happy birthday sweetie! What can I say? She's truly one of the nice guys (or should I say girls)! Have a great one!
And I just have to post these two photos of Kate that Casey took and I stole off her blog! This dress was Casey's when she was a baby -- and she looks more like Casey here! Kate's growing so much -- I want to see her and kiss her so bad . . . and yes, she does love her mommy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes, I've become an addict!

No, not drugs -- Dancing with the Stars and American Idol!

I've been watching DWTS for several seasons now since my friends Chellie (at South Alabama EC) and Terry (at West Florida EC) got me hooked. Every time we had a co-op meeting, they were always talking about Dancing contestants and who they liked and didn't like. So I had to start watching so I could converse like an expert addict!

So now tonight is the finale, and I'm going to be so sad not to have it to watch each week! And all three of the final contestants are so great. Gilles is so hot, and seems so humble too, I just love him. And Melissa, I want her to win to show that bachelor something. And Shawn is just plain cute! Here it comes . . . third place is . . . Melissa. Shucks! So who's it going to be?

While I'm waiting . . . I'll talk Idol. I loved Danny -- and he was kicked off last week. Both Kris and Adam are great -- and Adam is so versatile. Until tonight when he came out in that long black coat -- that was a little too goth for me -- so I'm rooting for Kris. He's just too cute and I love his voice! And I haven't watched American Idol since Anna moved out! I just couldn't get into it until this year.

And then there's Survivor. I've never been interested in that show either . . . until this year when a young man from Samson, J.T., was selected. I really can't say I watched the whole program, but I'd tape it and fast forward until the end to see if J.T. was still in. I kept hearing rumors that he was 5th or 6th, but he was hanging in there until the end. I was so excited he won! Everyone who knew him talked about what a nice guy he was -- yea J.T.!

Here it comes . . . Dancing with the Stars winner . . . Shawn. Oh well, my third choice. Adam will probably win on Idol tomorrow night now!

They better start Design Star on HGTV soon or I'll bust!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

My conference in Las Vegas was last week, so Stacy went along for the fun -- while I worked -- at least during the day! We stayed at Bally's, one of the older hotels but that's right in the middle of the strip -- next door to Paris and across the street from the Bellagio (fancy). After we checked in, we ate at Bill's Gamblin Hall and Saloon (across the street and next to the Flamingo). It was pretty good, and very reasonable (I had a BBQ burger). We had to check out the Bellagio, one of the newer hotels, which had a beautiful garden area they were re-working. On the lobby ceiling are 2,000 spectacular hand-blown glass flowers commissioned by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly. It's almost too beautiful to describe.

There are really quite a few things to do in Las Vegas that are free, and the water show at Bellagio is one of them. The water is choreographed to classic Las Vegas music and shoots up in the air and twists and turns, it's really beautiful. By the time we passed through Planet Hollywood and Paris (check out the Eiffel Tower behind us), I was exhausted, so I chilled out in the room while Stacy went to check out the casino at the hotel. You can't walk anywhere in Las Vegas without walking through a casino -- they've designed it that way!

We had early meetings on Tues. and got to hear Tony Hsieh, CEO with, on "Building A Brand That Matters"; and Nadira A. Hira, a writer with Fortune Magazine, on "The Wired Y-ers: Understanding the Social Networking Generation." Both of these were excellent -- Zappos concentrates on the "best customer experience" (giving their WOW experience) with free shipping and returns. As a "baby boomer," I've always found studying the different generationational characteristics following us boomers very enlightening. I've spent so much time thinking "why don't they just change and do it right," when I should be concentrating on the best way to communicate our message to them. Which is one of things we're doing now on our WEC website with videos and Twitter -- and I guess what I'm doing now with "blogging!" See, I do learn things at these conferences! I've really begun to enjoy the "social marketing" available through blogging, Facebook and Twitter.

That night we joined several from other Alabama co-ops to go down to the older "original" Las Vegas -- to Fremont Street where the Golden Nugget and Binion's is. They have the "canopy of light and sound" -- a several-block-long covered area where they have a laser light show each night. This area was a lot of fun with street artists and musicians. We had dinner at the Golden Nugget with Dianne and Jimmy Hale (Sand Mountain Electric Co-op).

On Wed., Stacy took a tour to the Grand Canyon. I passed on this -- I'm not too fond of heights, and they don't have railings on the Grand Canyon! Actually, the tour he signed up for was over-booked, and he got upgraded to a better package for the same price -- so he was thrilled. He boarded a plane with 17 Indians (from India), then took a helicopter into the Grand Canyon, took a boat ride up the Colorado River, flew on a helicopter out to the south rim, visited with some Native Americans -- and had the time of his life!

Meanwhile, I was doing my duty. We had the Spotlight on Excellence Luncheon that day where we received our awards -- four Awards of Excellence (first place in our classification) and one Award of Merit (2nd place). We were very excited and honored to have received these awards. One was Brad's for the Relay For Life photo (on the cover of May's Alabama Living Magazine), and the other 1st places were for our website, our E-Newsletter and our Total Communications Program. The 2nd place was for our Employee Newsletter. As a little perk during the luncheon, Janet and I got to have our photo taken with Elvis -- and then he left the building!

That night we all went to the "Don Arden Jubilee" show at Bally's -- a general Las Vegas style show. (We had a half-price coupon, nice!) The costumes and sets were georgeous. Afterwards, we ate at a cafe in Paris -- great special of steak medallions, and of course, creme brulle for dessert -- my very favorite!

Thurs. afternoon Stacy and I visited several of the hotels to get the Las Vegas experience! We found the monorail system to be the best way to get around faster -- and save our feet. My favorite was the Venetian with its Grand Canal winding throughout and gondola rides (no, they weren't free and we didn't do); St. Mark Square where we got a $5 bowl of glacee (Italian ice cream); were entertained by the Artiste del Arte, a musical presentation in the ancient Venetian style; and enjoyed a "living statue!" The musical star flirted with Stacy -- which thrilled him no end -- and he kissed her hand! After all that traveling around the world, we were so tired and sore that I talked Stacy into the "water massage" at our hotel. You just lie down in a machine sort of like a tanning bed, and the water pressure massages you from head to foot. Felt great for our tired bodies!

Thurs. night Stacy and I had tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Love at the Mirage. It was amazing -- done to the music of the Beatles. I can't say enough about the acrobatics and sets and costumes! Stacy even liked it! I hope some day to see another Cirque du Soleil! After the show, we watched the volcano show in front of the Mirage.

On Fri., we all took a tour sponsored by NRECA to Hoover Dam. It is huge -- and fascinating that it was built in five years in the 1930s. We got to go down to the generating plant and walk through rock tunnels hundreds of feet under the ground. Can't believe those transmission towers protruding from the rock faces at 45 degree angles. And to think it's original intent was water management and not power production -- that was just a by-product. They are in the process of building a bridge down from the dam that I would be afraid to drive over! If you ever have a chance to see it -- go!

So Las Vegas isn't just for gambling -- in fact you can find plenty to do without even hitting a slot machine. They just steal your money anyway! It was a fun trip -- and educational -- but it sure was good to get home and sleep in my own bed!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Relaxing Mother's Day

I had a nice relaxing (sort of) Mother's Day today! Although the girls couldn't come home, I got to talk to both of them and hope to visit with Casey and Kate on the webcam later!

Casey made me a "brag" book of photos of Kate -- and Anna made me two CDs of beautiful music! I love both of them -- and I'm just grateful that my children love me and call me often. A lot of people don't have that.

We started off the morning with Sunday School and church -- where we had baby dedication for 11 babies all born this past year! So cute -- and none of them cried! Then we had lunch at MawMaw's -- chicken salad, layer salad, corn, butter beans and poppy seed rolls, and she made a wonderful cake she got the recipe for from the Wiregrass Living magazine. My mom came over and went to church with us, and Greg was there for lunch.

Came home and have been washing clothes and packing for a trip this week. We're going to the NRECA Connect Conference -- where we've won 5 awards this year! Yea! I'm excited because these are the first "Awards of Excellence" we've won. And most are for things I worked on -- Best Website, Best Newsletter (employee newsletter), Best Electronic Communication (for my E-Newsletter), Best Photo (that's Brad's of Lorrie's son Will at last year's Relay For Life that was on the cover of our May Alabama Living magazine), and Best Total Communication Program. Because of our size (22,000 meters), we're in competition with co-ops much larger than us (the category is 20,000-50,000 meters). So yea!

I had another Mother's Day present from Stacy yesterday -- he killed a moccasin in the yard! I hate snakes! There aren't many things I absolutely hate. I don't like mice or spiders or roaches, but at least I can smack them with a shoe or something to kill them. I don't like getting close enough to snakes to kill them. I bought a big ole' sickle thing at an auction once to use to kill snakes, but Stacy did something with it and I don't know where it is. I honestly don't know why God decided to make snakes -- and why He let Noah put them on the Ark. Maybe they just snuck on! And forget about getting close enough to it to see if it has a diamond shaped head and slinty eyes! For me, the only good snake is a dead snake!

Happy Mother's Day!