Monday, October 31, 2005

First Impression

It has been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. While this is probably true, today, I really hope Jake's second impression makes up for his first one. Today, Jake started a new job. It was not a good morning!!

He was supposed to be in Ankeny at 7:00 sharp. New job want to be there early right? Well, when he went to get into his Jeep at 6:25 it wouldn't start. He thought the battery was dead so he asked me to come out and jump it. Let me digress for just a quick moment, on Saturday my Dad came and towed the two UGLY trucks out of our driveway, so I moved his jeep then and it started fine so I was wondering exactly why his battery would be dead.

As I walked out to my jeep to pull over to his I heard him start it. However, I could tell that it was just not running right. There was a weird smell and he kept having to give it gas to keep it idling. Finally after a few minutes it idled on it's own and he finished packing his jeep and left. It died at the end of the driveway, but started right up and he drove off.

About 3 or 4 minutes later I got a call from him that the oil pressure had plummeted and he was pulling off the bypass. So, I jumped in my jeep and sped there, determined to try to "minimize" his tardiness on his first day. By the time I got to him he had it started again and said the oil pressure had come back up. So, we decided I would just follow him in case something else weird happened.

It did. It wouldn't be the Hamilton Family Circus if it didn't. He probably only went 150 feet and the oil pressure started to drop again. So he pulled off and threw his stuff in my car and off we went. By this point it was 6:45 and we were no where close to the north west side of Ankeny. I think my speedometer hit 80 a few times and 90 once when I decided that would be a VERY painful ticket and I let off the gas.

We made it at 7:02 am. I felt really bad for him though. It was his first day and everyone was in the parking lot staring at the new guy who was late and had to be dropped off by his wife. Not to mention that I had driven so erratically that when he went to get his things out of the back of the jeep they all toppled out onto the concrete.

I just called to see how things were going and he assured me that no one was mad that he was 2 minutes late and that he has enjoyed his first 2 1/2 hours. Send your good thoughts his way, I think he needs them after the rough start to his day!! :-) :-)

Friday, October 28, 2005


I did not post anything yesterday because the internet was down when I was at lunch. It was amazing to me how quickly people started coming back to my corner of the office (I sit across from the tech guy) to ask what was going on and when it would be fixed.

I also noticed yesterday that a website that I read was having some technical difficulties. On my way home I got a phone call from Katie asking what was going on. Where did the website go? I am happy to report that Julie's website is now back up and working. (Although she says that there are still a few kinks to be worked through.)

Both of these things got me thinking about our reliance on the internet for most of what we do in everyday life. Do you realize that this thing that we have become so attached to really only became available to the masses in 1993? That means that in 12 years we have become so reliant on the internet that it is hard to imagine life without it.

In fact, there is now a whole generation of children that will never know what it is like to live without the internet. Makes you feel old doesn't it? Anyhow, I do have a point here, I promise. With the invention of the internet it has made it very easy to stay connected to people. But the connections that we have are not always as "personal" as they used to be.

It is very easy to get onto the web and e-mail all of your friends that you are expecting a baby, or that you got a new house. Before we all had e-mail you would call these people and personally share with them your news. While it is SOOO much easier to just shoot off that mass e-mail, it is also MUCH harder to read emotion in an e-mail. Many of the social skills we have for telling whether someone is joking or being serious are wiped out when we e-mail a person.

That said, it is also much easier to forget that behind the website or the e-mail there sits and actual person with thoughts and feelings. I know that I personally read about a dozen or so blogs, most of which are people whom I have never met and who don't even know I exist. At any point in time, I am well aware that the same could be happening to me.

Anyone can read this blog, and if they don't comment I will never know that they were even here. In the same token, it is easy to write something in the comments that you would NEVER say to someone in person. We forget that eventually those comments go to a person, not just into the world wide web.

So now, I want to hear from all of you. If you have never commented before, take this as your opportunity. How attached are you to the internet? Are you guilty of finding it easier to just send out a mass e-mail then to call people on the phone? Do you read blogs of people you don't know? Have you ever commented on a blog and then kicked yourself later because what you said was mean or just sounded really dumb?

I'm counting on you people!! Fill up that comments section. But remember, for every comment, there is a real person on the other side of the computer who is entitled to whatever opinion they have.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nutritious and Delicious?

As most of you know, I am not a big McDonalds fan. There are many reasons, but to sum it up, I just do not like the taste of their food. Now, they have released a statement saying that in 2006:

Nutrition information will now be displayed on the majority of McDonald's product packaging using an easy-to-understand icon and bar chart format.

This, my friends, just gives me another reason not to eat there. When I go to a fast food restaurant, I know it's bad for me. I don't really need to see a bar chart to tell me HOW bad. Now what fun is that??

I think it's ME!!

Let's see... Katie - Check, Jess - Check, Danette - Check.... yup... definately me!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How good are your company outings?

In looking for something to post about today I stumbled upon this story.

Executive Disputes $241,000 Strip Club Bill

What I find interesting about this is not the fact that they are disputing the bill. It is the fact that

According to the lawsuit, McCormick admits spending about $20,000, but no more. The company said he's "the victim of fraud."

Now maybe as an accountant I think of things a little differently than the rest. (No wise cracks we all know I'm a little different!!) But if one of the people around here had tried to use a company credit card to pay for strippers I just don't think it would fly. I highly doubt we could claim $10 let alone $20,000 as a legitimate business expense.

What his company should have been saying is hope you aren't too attached to your paychecks because we will be deducting this amount from all further checks until it is paid back. As it is, it appears that the uproar created when this story broke has caused them to at least re-think his position. As of 8:00 p.m. last night

the company announced that he was on an unpaid leave of absence and that the audit committee had launched an investigation.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Few Rantings...

This post may offend some of you, and for that I am truly sorry. In knowing that, you may be wondering why would I even write it at all, well because I can. That my wonderful people is the beauty of the internet, and of this great thing we call blogging. That does not mean that I do not want people to read our blog. It simply means that I can, and will, write my opinion on the way things are going in our lives.

I try not to drag Jake's and my "dirty laundry" out into the open. I try more to write about our adversities as a couple or about things that are happening. However, in doing that some of you choose to make generalizations and assumptions. Some of you who know what is going on between us automatically assumed that last post was about Jake, or something that he did. Then, those same people did not have the nerve to put their own names on their posts.

Please people, if you are going to comment here, don't hide behind the anonymous entry. If you have the nerve to post it then you should have the nerve to identify yourself. If you don't, then please don't post it here, e-mail it to me. We really do not want any mud slinging on this website. If you still feel the need to post something please know that we reserve the right to delete comments that we feel are inappropriate, or uncalled for.

This is our family's personal website. Another blogger I read wrote something just the other day about this. She writes:

As I take moments to reflect on my life, I am always blown away to know
that there is someone out there who is unable to see past the story I am
telling, like somehow they think I have not moved past that moment of

I wonder why they can't see that my stories are just little glimpses into
my life.

And like my words are little glimpses into my life, I would like to think
(hope) that when someone leaves an ignorant or intentionally mean comment here
that their comment represents just a tiny glimpse of the person they really are.

Now, let me clarify one thing, I am not saying that I do not want to hear a difference of opinion. I am as open to discussion as anyone else, in fact I enjoy a good debate once in awhile. However, that said, please keep what you say here limited to ADULT discussion. Please no personal attacks on me, my husband, or other commenters.

Secondly, if you are unsure what a post is about PLEASE do not ASSUME you know. E-mail me and ask for clarification or do so in the comments. Sometimes I am not always that clear on things or I may say something that you construe as something else without meaning to.

That said, I know there are times when I only see little glimpses, I misjudge
and I click send, tailgate, or yell when ten seconds later I completely regret
my impulses. It only takes one impulse and one second to change the direction of
our lives. Our choices really do affect the people around us. You know what I

So for those of you that I have made assumptions about or have said something without thinking first, please forgive me. A lot of times in the heat of the moment we say things that we may not mean later. Please understand that this website is only a "glimpse" into our lives and should be read as such.

Thank you... and we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming....

Friday, October 21, 2005


Why is it SOO hard for people to be honest with one another? I am probably one of the most honest people that you will meet and so it just BLOWS my mind to see the way other people try to lie and distort the truth.

Here's an example. You do something that you are not so proud of (we have all done it) and then you lie to your spouse, mother, father, friend, etc. about it. They find out. You come clean with them but they are more mad at you for not just coming clean in the first place than they are about the thing that you did.

Then, just for fun, you are still not so proud of this thing so you continue the lie to all of the other people in your life except for the one person you have told making your life a continual juggling act of who did I tell what and when.

Here is my own personal motto. Tell people the truth and let them deal with it. They may not like it, but that is their decision to make, not yours to make for them.

So for all of you out there that I have been blunt with or have told you things that may have upset you. Think of how much more hurt you had been if I had lied to you and then you had found out the truth later. As far as I'm concerned lying gets you know where. All it does is delay the pain.

Happy Halloween!!

Since it's getting close to Halloween, I thought I would post some pictures I just recently received of my favorite Forest children in their Halloween costumes. For those of you who are wondering, yes we are still here. I know I have been neglecting this blog for the past month but I will try to be back next week full bore posting once a day again.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Have you filed your tax return?

What many of you don't know is that while April 15th is the "official" tax deadline as long as your taxes are paid you can file and extension and have up until October 15th to file your return. However, if you think that you don't owe enough to warrant filing watch out. You could end up like this woman:

Ohio Police Arrest Woman For $1 In Unpaid Taxes

And this is why there is a need for us C.P.A.'s. So that you will have someone to pay $500 to file your tax return with $1.16 due!! :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Kitten Update

I went to visit Annie, Angel, and River last night while Jake was at the bow shop shooting. They are all doing really well and have changed so much from the last time I was there which was only last weekend. River seems unphased by his past leg injuries and the only residual affect is the fact that all the fur has not grown back yet on his back legs.

This scratching post is one of their favorite toys. They like to climb on top and play king of the mountain. Then they stretch out and put their front feet on the garbage can... we are waiting for the inevitable kitten in a can! :-)

For the first five minutes I was there, this is what the pictures were like. Every time I would pull out the camera I would have a kitten RIGHT in the lens. Annie is a cuddle bug. Ever since she was little she just wants to be right in your lap observing what is going on. She is by far the daintiest of the kittens. A real girly girl. Apparently River decided that rug needed to be taught who was boss.He only fell off the couch once in the process...

Angel comes in for her close up.... Where'd she go? I know she was JUST here!! Come back here!! That's MY watch tower!!Well at least I can keep you from going up there!! What are you two doing down there? When all else fails bite her on the butt. That will get her to come down!!

So, as you can see, they are doing well. Full of LOTS of energy!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Race For The Cure

On Saturday I participated in the Race for the Cure in Des Moines. This is the second year that Danette and I have walked the 3.1 miles (5K) to raise money for breast cancer research. Last year I walked 3 days after my grandma's funeral. I remember thinking that it was very ironic that Danette asked me to participate with her in this walk for a cause that my aunts and uncles had dontated to in my grandma's memory.

This year as I thought about doing it again I could not believe that it has been a full year that my grandma has been gone and a full year that Clint has been battling with his cancer. The more I think about it the more I think that I will continue to walk every year in memory of my grandma, and most likely very shortly Clint too.

I know that my grandmother did not die of breast cancer, and her husband and son (obviously) did not either. But I think once we find a cure for one type of cancer it will only be a matter of time before we find cures for other cancers. I think that this will just be my one way of remembering every year those who came before me and the lives that they lead.

As for Clint, he is hanging in there. They admitted him into the hospital last Tuesday with the thoughts of getting him first in line to see the breathing specialist. Unfortunately, they have yet to discharge him, and it is now looking like that may not happen. In investigating why he was having trouble breathing they have discovered that he may have congestive heart failure.

Several years ago Clint had a major heart attack and has continued to be a heavy smoker, so the news that his heart is weak is not a surprise to us. What is a surprise is the fact that they are now suggesting that he may die of heart failure before he dies of cancer. I suppose in the end it really makes no difference either way but it has hit our family hard. When he was at home it was easy to convince ourselves that he was still fighting. Now that he is in the hospital with the prospect of him going home dwindling it makes it all that more real that our time with him is slowly slipping away.

So next year I will walk again in the race for the cure and in any other cancer walks that I can find. For my Grandpa, both of my Grandmas, and for Clint.

Friday, October 07, 2005

New Bow

Okay, I know I have been a HORRIBLE blogger lately! I can explain, I promise. The project that was supposed to take me one week is now finishing up its second week. When I am out at the client I usually only stop long enough to wolf down my PB&J and then continue working. When I get home, I have been bringing the stuff home, so I am working. However, trust me... there is really not anything all that exciting happening in our lives. You are not missing much.

The only thing we have done in the past week, besides work and sleep, is get Jake a new bow. He has been talking to me about it for about two months now and like most of our hunting (i.e. sell our first born child to afford purchases) I have been putting him off. However, last weekend was opening weekend of bow season so it was pretty much now or never.

Since we refinanced our house last month, we get to skip a house payment this month so I figured if we were ever going to have the money to afford it, now would be the time. So, on Saturday we headed out to the bow shop with the intention of buying a medium grade bow. However, when we got to the bow shop we discovered that this bow had what they call the glo sight. Which has a plastic casing (Jake is hard on things... plastic is not our friend!)

It also had an arrow rest that was just two metal prongs, which means if you turn the bow and arrow sideways at all the arrow can fall from it's position. (I was told this is not so great)

So, that meant we needed to "upgrade" to get him some better features. Upgrade... such a harmless word, such an expensive price tag...

I was also told that the bow was a higher quality (although this could have been just for my benefit). For the price increase I hope it was just not the two accessories that were different. And speaking of accessories... now we had a bow picked out, but you can't hunt with JUST the bow. No, no... we needed arrows and not just any arrows, special arrows cut to the correct length (called the draw length).

We also needed an arm guard to protect his arm from the flying string should he hold the bow in not such a correct position and have the misfortune of catching his arm upon release. (I was also told that this will help keep his bulky clothing in when he is sitting in the tree stand in 10 degree weather)

A stabilizer. This goes on the front of the bow and makes it so the bow stays in a correct shooting position without you having to grip too tightly to the handle. Why you wouldn't just hold tightly onto the handle is beyond me. I was just told that he required one of these.

Finally, there is the trigger release. Gone are the days of pulling back the string with your hands and releasing. No, now you tie another string to your string in a loop like so...

Then you hook a clip to that loop and pull back. Then when you want to shoot you pull a trigger, just like shooting a gun.

Needless to say, the accessories for this bow made our medium grade bow go up a couple of notches. So, now, I present to you... the bow. In all of it's bow glory!!