Friday, December 29, 2006

Couldn't be more true....

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Venerable Lady Colleen the Talkative of Giggleswich Lanken
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I'm Back!

K & D and the new blanket!
Originally uploaded by Chepner.

The holidays are over. The cookies and candy have been made and handed out, the cards are still in the package (thank goodness I got Happy Holiday cards!) but we all survived!!

I must admit. I fibbed. BUT for good reason.

The picture above is of my sister and her husband. The blanket that my sister is wrapped up in is what I had been working on for the past month (well that and cookies and candy). I couldn't very well blog about it - in the off chance my sister actually reads my blog. :-)

I hope everyone is well.

Don't expect something everyday - but I am going to work on getting better!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I've Been Hibernating


I've been hibernating.

Not sure why, no real reason...just been trying to limit the computer time at home so I can reduce the headaches. It seems to have worked!

So in my time away I have learned a few things....

I learned that if you tell people that you are collecting boxtops for education for a poor school - no matter where it is - people want to help! If you want to help you can mail them directly to Mama Chep's school!

Here's the address:

Linda Hogan - Lake Ridge Middle School - 3601 W. 41st Avenue - Gary, IN - 46408

I also learned that I CAN do Thanksgiving! My in-laws came to Iowa and we celebrated here. It was nice having them here to visit!

I also learned that you don't try new recipes ON Thanksgiving. It's easier to BUY bread than make it! :-)

I'm sorry I haven't been online....I am working on getting back. I promise...sometime soon.

Until then - happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Food for thought

I got placed on a new medication last week to help with headaches.

Doctor told me I had 2 options.

1. Drug that would cut the headaches but weight gain is a side effect.
2. Drug that could cause you to lose weight but can make you stupid (yes his exact words)

"Stupid I ask?"

'You might find yourself - searching for words'

So...fat and smart or skinny and stupid.

What do you think I

What's that word???

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Witches of HC

Halloween Fun at HC
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
It's been awhile....I know.

I am feeling a wee bit disconnected for some reason - it's that time of year for open enrollment and this was the first time that I realized the seriousness of my condition.

You see - I have a pituitary tumor. Found two years ago. The doctor made it seem minor. "Take this drug it will curb the headaches and the additional side effects."

It did.

It appears that companies are going with a most consumer-based insurance option. For many people - including myself - this could very well save money. Unless you take a drug that is used to treat an unusual condition. I have to take this drug. There is no alternative.

It isn't covered as a chronic drug to get assistance through insurance. When I called to find out how much it costs - they hadn't heard of it. I had to spell it, explain it, talk about my condition.

It was their response that made me realize that this is a little more serious than I ever considered. Guess I hadn't thought about it. To be honest it made me angry that I don't have any other options.

So I guess that's where I have been. Pissed off.

Halloween was a nice change - got all gussied up and gave blood. Helped someone else that is worse off than I am.

I hope to get out of this 'funk' soon.

I promise to be back soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

We wonder why dogs bite

Check me OUT!
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
My sister bought this outfit for Pepper a few years ago.

Each year I try to put it on her. Each year the screenplay is the same.

**On the floor playing with the dog trying to divert her attention from the outfit on the table.***

Eventually I corner the dog and get the hat on her head.

Chep: Come here pepper!


Chep: Pepper come here and show daddy how cute you are!

(Pepper: if you think I am going ANYWHERE in this rediculous outfit you're as crazy as you look)

Chep: OK - I will come and take your picture in the hallway then

(Pepper: Whatever dude - just take the damn photo and get this sh** off me!)

Mr Chep: Poor Pepper - come here I will take that off your head

Chep: NO! I want to take her picture! She can take it off in a minute!

Mr Chep: Whatever

(Pepper: Male Master! I thought you were on my side you snot bag.)

Chep: OK - you can take it off now

(Pepper: Thank goodness!) ***proceeds to swipe at her head until the witch hat falls off***


Thursday, October 19, 2006

A New Awakening

I have been bad. I know this.

The first weekend in October I spent some time with my dear friends in Indianapolis.

This trip brought back an old addiction. One I have not been able to shake. I have found myself tweaking without it.


I thought I had kicked that habit a few months ago - but after our visit and as soon as that cooler weather hit I was a mad woman.

I suppose I come by it naturally - both my parents and my grandparents LOVE the 'joe'.

So thank you Angie and Tom for awakening my tastebuds to an old friend!

And thanks for a wonderful visit - it was MUCH too short! I miss you all!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The 4 Letter "S" word

That's right folks. You read it here first.

SNOW in Iowa. OK - it wasn't was a flurry.

But it's cold.

Know what that means don't you???

Time to make the brownies and cookies

**out of the box of course**

Boxtop for Education contest has started at Mama Chep's needy school. If you would like to read about the original post click here. Last time we pooled together to collect boxtops we gathered over 100 and Mama Chep's class got a hot breakfast!

So if you would like to participate please drop your boxtops in the mail and address them to:

Chepner's Boxtop Challenge
PO Box 9792
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Thanks for all you do!!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dog Days of Fall

Mr. Chep went up north with a friend to Campbella's so I decided I would spend the day with my friend E.

"E" breeds, boards and grooms dogs on the side. He grooms and boards mine for free. OK - not free; since I am what he calls "handy" he puts me to work doing odd jobs around the house.

Today - it was helping with grooming.

It was a busy day at Happy Tails Grooming (I came up with the corny name - so :-P) He had 2 shelties (which boy are they hairy) a schanuzer....and 3 cats. Yes, I said cats.

The person that coined the phrase "It's like herding cats" Has never bathed one. Or shaved one for that matter. For your information - cats do not like to be shaved. There was A LOT of mewing, some clawing (and a few teeth) today. Happy Tails is a popular place for cats because many groomers sedate cats when grooming. I understand why. If you don't know what you are doing (and E does - trust me he's good) it can be extremely dangerous.

So what did I learn today?

1. Don't ever shave a cat alone.
2. Shelties are cute but HAIRY. I never want one.
3. Don't agree to help the groomer when he has cats coming for a groom.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wonderful Flashback

I was working on getting booklets ready for this evening's faculty orientation and jamming to tunes on my I-pod.

There was one song that made me get up and put together a quick blog....Writermom? Any suggestions?

Could it be....Prince's "Let's go Crazy?"

I am now going to giggle through my morning with images of ripped pantyhose, condoms and rotten bananas!

That song will always bring foward great memories.

Thanks WM!

I miss ya!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

If aliens came in bug form...

If aliens came in bug form...
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
As I cleared my garden of dead plants, I came across this guy. His attack pose (OK I don't know that it's an attack pose - but it sure made me think twice about getting much closer) is a perfect photograph of the way I have felt all week - attacked. BUT anyway...

Growing up in NW Indiana I can count on one hand how many of these facinating bugs I encountered (how do I know how many I encountered?? Mama Chep would capture them and bring them inside to watch! I also had a walking stick and a tree frog!) I have 2 in my yard alone. (I tried to take a picture of the other one with not much success.)

The Iowa State University Entemology Department website states that Mantis have just started to move into this area. Perfect example is at the baseball game this summer. A co-worker of mine looked up at about 6 on the net and said "Those things are SO noisy" to which I replied "What?" He pointed to the 6 mantis on the net and said "Those bugs. I hear them every night" To which I replied, "I didn't know Praying Mantis made noise" He said, "I thought those were locust."

I stressed to him NOT to grab one. If you didn't know - they have WICKED NASTY spines on their legs.

Anyway - thank goodness last week is over - I am hoping I don't have to take on this pose again next week!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day here is my name (somewhat appropriate no?)

For more information about this WAY FUN day visit:

Your Pirate Name Is...

Arch-Pirate Flirty Fran

Monday, September 18, 2006

Please tell me you'll still love me...

I'm the only one....I think everyone else is RAIN! Please keep me as part of your group.... ;-)

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous

People will stop and watch you when you appear

Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Eastern Iowa Weekend News....

This is not a news spot.

It is a direct quote from the 10pm news.

When asked if it was going to get warmer the meteorologist stated "Someday - it will. But I would suggest that you two (meaning the 2 news anchors at the desk) keep your pants on."

To which the lady newscaster responded "I got them on today!"

Iowa news...definately interesting.

I have a confession....

OK - I have a confession.

Nothing mind blowing - but a small item you may have suspected (if you have been to my flickr page)

I do not know how to shape eyebrows.

There I said it. Whew. Glad to have that off my chest.

Why do I bring this up today? eyebrows are a wee bit ghastly. Not uni-brow ghastly - but unshapely and just all around...not pretty. Need proof? Here ya go.

My mother and sister on the other hand have well shaped eyebrows.

What happened to me? Who knows! No one taught me how? Maybe they all thought. "Heck you can't see them anyway...they're blonde. No one will notice.

I noticed. I admit it. I need help.

Kelscraggly is out there thinking - "OMG I thought she's never ask!"
Writermom and her roomies tried to get me to wax my face in college.
There have been attempts. I have failed.

So today I went hunting for good information on how to shape your brows. There isn't any. So if you know of any good sites or any hints - please help me. I don't want to grow up and have these eyebrows!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kermit the Frog Here

Kermit the Frog
You scored 50% Organization, 50% abstract, and 94% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are mostly organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Kermit the Frog.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Kermit is also reasonably tidy. He'll even dress up for interviews.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Kermit spends a lot of his time as a reporter collecting facts, but he is also the author of the dreamy song "The Rainbow Connection." You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both extroverts. Kermit gets along with everyone. Sure a few folks annoy him, but that's just because they are annoying. Kermit likes to meet new people when he does his job as a street reporter. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Kermit starred on Sesame Street years before The Muppet Show.

The other possible characters are
Oscar the Grouch
Big Bird
Cookie Monster
The Count
Guy Smiley

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago today...

I had just started my new job as a trainer for GC Services. We were an operator center for MCI.

It was the first time in a long time that I was working the "day" shift. It was early. I was groggy.

How I found out about the terrorist attacks on the towers is up for debate. Mr. Chep says he called me, I think I called him. Either way - we called one another.

The rest I DO remember.

I was walking through the breakroom where the TV was tuned to GMA. Everyone was stopped in their tracks. I glanced over at the television and saw smoke. I stopped for a closer inspection. Someone leaned over and said, "It's the Twin Towers. There are EMERGENCY signs all over on GEN"

I had just been promoted to a "Trainer" at the call center. It had been almost a year since I had taken an "operator" call (connecting callers for overseas calls, 1-800-Collect....that kind of thing) Suddenly I was thrust into the role of operator. The lines were flooded and they needed operators.

The first call I got was from a distressed caller trying to reach her family in NYC - she was calling from France. I attempted to break through the line - to no avail. We tried several times to get through - when we finally did, I connected it at no charge. It was the least I could do. She was one of the lucky ones.

So was I.

As a phone operator we had callers that were trying to make calls - connect to directory assistance, easy calls. It was the operators that worked in paging that had the heart-wrenching calls. A page from a husband to his wife telling her he loved her; and that he was not going to make it, calls from passengers on Flight 93, and calls that informed emergency crews where survivors were located.

Yes, those operators saved some lives. Others passed on messages to loved ones from burning buildings in NYC.

Iowans played a small part in connecting loved ones on those days - and the weeks to come. I am grateful for the few I was able to assist - and saddened by all those we lost 5 years ago today.

I've been tagged....

I needed the help! It's going to be a long week at work.

So here it goes....

1) A book that changed my life: Geometry I (Author unknown) It was this book that made me realize that I am really terrible at math.
2) A book that I've read more than once: To Kill a Mockingbird
3) A book I'd take to a deserted island: Peterson’s Field Guide: Edible Wild Plants (and yes I own it!)
4) A book that made me laugh: Oh the Places You’ll Go
5) A book that made me cry The Green Mile, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
6) A book I wish I’d written: The Hobbit
7) A book that should never have been written:
8) A book I'm currently reading: Well here’s the sad part; I’m not reading anything. Maybe I should read more of these and get some suggestions!
9) A book I’m planning to read: Harry Potter book 7 (other than that anything Kelscraggly is suggesting)
10) Who I'm tagging next: Kelscraggly, J-Shay (that is if she reads!)

1… Things that scare meTornados (so most Iowa weather)
Being lost in a crowd
Raw chicken (hey it would scare you too if you had salmonella)
Gas station bathrooms

2…People who make me laugh
Mr. Chep
My sister and D

3…Things I hate the mostNon-team players
People that take advantage of other’s good nature
Wet hair
Flesh colored bandaids

4…Things I don’t understand
People who abuse their pets
How I could NOT be allergic to ragweed

5…Things I’m doing right nowWatching the President speak
Answering WM’s meme
Feeling the effects of last night’s chili

6…Things I want to do before I die
Have children
Visit all the NL and AL ballparks
Travel west of DesMoines, IA
See the Grand Canyon
Kiss the Blarney Stone

7… Things I can do
Bake some damn good cookies
Fix a toilet (although I don’t CHOOSE to)

8… Ways to describe my personality
Easy going
Um…people say I’m fun???

9… Things I can’t do
The splits.
Eat coconut
Intentionally hurt someone’s feelings
Watch reality TV

10…Things I think you should listen to
The Barenaked Ladies complete set (at least once)

11…Things you should never listen to
Noises coming from your dog’s bum (or at least stick around for it)

12…Things I’d like to learn
How to say ‘no’ when I’m too busy to take on yet ANOTHER project

13…Favorite foods
Chicago Style pizza

14…Beverages I drink regularly
Diet Coke

15…Shows I watched as a kid
The Muppets
The Cosby Show
The smurfs
ChiPs (I loved me some Poncho)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Here's to you...

Here's to you...
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
The (displaced to Iowa) Hoosier girls thank you for all you do!

(It's not Guiness - but it's a fine domestic brew!)

So here's to you Violinsoldier!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Teens today....

I went to mass with my parents, my sister and brother-in-law on Sunday.

A teenage boy came in with his family. As he passed by our pew we caught a glimpse of the back of his shirt. It read:

"My ladies always come first"

We all looked at each other with mouths wide open.

After mass there was a pancake breakfast. We all discussed the shirt we saw.

My sister thought, "Maybe he doesn't know what it means"
I mentioned, "Maybe the front of his shirt had something totally different"

Well - he and his family did arrive.

So what did the front of his shirt say?

"Chivalry's not dead!"


Monday, August 28, 2006

Seeing Red....

This is I-80 Illinois on a normal road trip back home.
This is how everything looked this Sunday.

Cell phone companies irritate me.

We currently "Get things done" with our cell phone company. We have - for the last 3 years.

Well the "Gitter done" company was bought by the "I suppose you can" company - and our customer service went down the toilet.

We had a great plan when we first signed up. Free voicemail, caller ID...the works. Several months after signing up - they politely informed us that we would no longer receive that benefit. (I find this out on Sunday....the husband didn't seem to mind paying the extra bit o cash I suppose)

We never really "outgrew" our plan - but we did try a new service - "Teledirect". It was free try for 30 days. Mr. Chep signed up to use it while out of town on business and promptly cancelled within the 30 day window.

They charged us. Mr. Chep decided it wasn't a big deal - and paid the partial fee.

The following month we received another charge. I called and had our bill adjusted.

The month after that - we were charged again. I called and had that charge removed. I politely informed the CSR if I saw the charge again - I was going to cancel my service. Please make sure it doesn't happen again.

Guess what? It happened again. I called to make sure I was out of my contract (I have been a customer since 2003)...I found out that my contract had been extended without my knowledge when I purchased new phones on a business discount (not a promotional price). This on top of the billing issue that hadn't been resolved - made me call and ask about the cost to cancel my service (after an hour dispute about my contract end date - where the CSR had hung up on my twice and blind transferred me to another department)

Then I got Kristie. She was very apologetic. She wanted to fix my problem. She got to the root cause of my discontent (price of service, poor customer service, etc)

It was at this time (after I threatened to cancel 3 times) that Kristie offered me the same plan I currently have at $40 less then I currently pay.

WHY did it take 6 customer service representatives, 3 threats to cancel, and 2 hours on the phone to get a resolution?

This is what irritates me about phone companies in general. Your rates never change until you call. Then they charge you to change those rates.

Why can't companies just give you the best rate all the time? Why do good customers have to fight and threaten to cancel to get a better deal?

Thanks for letting me rant.

I feel much better.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Old Salt at Da Cell

Chicago White Sox 2006
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
We have returned!

This Friday was the day when we took my Grandfather (85 years young) to his first "big league" ball game. This photo may not prove it - but he was thrilled.

The game started at 7:30pm and ended 11:00pm. By the time we got was 1:30am. Grandpa never fell asleep. I think he was still reeling from the experience.

There were 2 homeruns hit during the game (a HUGE thrill for Grandpa) 2 broken bats....but the score was not in our favor.

White Sox: 4
Twins: 5

It wasn't the score we wanted - but seeing my grandfather's face when Konerko hit the first homerun of the game.....priceless.

It was worth every penny.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Don't Cry K - 30 isn't all that bad!

Yes - that's correct. My kid sister turned 30 today!


Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Feast

What color is your car? Today: Blue (Mr. Chep's truck) Normally: Pewter?

If you could wake up tomorrow with full training in another occupation and a job in that field, what would it be? Some sort of researcher - like the Martinez on Criminal Minds...I love her.

How many times in your life have you had the flu (or something similar)? Who seriously knows the answer to this question? Even I don't - and they all say I have OCD!

Main Course
What is something that has happened to you this week that you didn't expect? See previous post.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Funny thing....Mr. Chep will probably meet the guy next weekend when we are home! I was 7. He chased me around the gym until he caught me.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Guilty Conscience

I know....I've been a bad blogger. I've been at the gym. :-)

Why is it when your boss asks you to "close the door" we all assume it's going to be bad. Even if we haven't done anything wrong???

Is it something that our parent's ingrained in our skulls at a young age? Is it the cliche...."We need to talk" talk?

Whatever it gave me a heart attack today.

I went into S's office today to file some paperwork in the manager's file. S is a busy man so I try to keep my visits to his office minimal and short.

S: Hey Chep (he didn't call me Chep....but he has) go ahead and close the door. I want to talk to you before I get a million people in my office today.

Ah Crap....I think I saw him with one of those communications forms up earlier today....I wonder if that's for me...I see him whip one of those bad boys out and give it to me..I start to panic.

S: I want to read this.

**OK - don't show that you're worried - grab the paper....pretend to read....scan for diciplinary action.....wait....did I see a "exceptional on there??" I look up and see S just grinning....I start to re-read.

Basically he was telling me his good performance is due to my performance.

He got one of these was a communication for commendable performance. He had gotten a written communication from the Academic Dean for commendable performance at his job and for an exceptional file audit.

He turned around and tossed me a compliment stating he couldn't have done it without me (not in those words....that would be hokey) but you get the idea.

I must admit it made my day. Heck I would have to say it made my week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Thought for today

While on my way to work this morning they had a contest on the radio to win tickets to see Korn.

The callers had to answer questions in "lightning round" fashion.

The first 3 callers bombed.

The question you ask?

"How many states make up the continental United States?"

Caller 1: 50
Caller 2: 50
Caller 3: 52?



Thursday, August 03, 2006

US Cellular Field - HERE WE COME!

Well he did it!

Mama Chep forwarded my original post to her brother (Uncle D) who worked his magic and hooked us (me, Mr. Chep, Grandpa, Uncle D and Aunt B) up with tickets to the White Sox!!

I called my grandfather this evening and he was thrilled (well as thrilled as my grandfather gets!)

We won't be going until late August - which seemed like a long time from now, but when I put it in the terms of days (about 20) he perked right up! I think the only thing that would make him happier is if the doctor would tell him he could drive again.

I'll be sure to take tons of pictures!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Public Potty Talk

In the most recent edition of our school newspaper (yup I'm the editor, reporter and printer) I wrote an article discussing "professional appearance" on campus. This dealt with: dress code, personal hygiene, grooming and professional language. The idea was spawned not only from the lack of undergarments on students but the converstations overheard in the hallways very similar to this one found on Writermom's website **NOTE: if you have not read this - you should it's hilarious! (This means you "WB" when you have that girl you could very well have this conversation in your own home - so READ! That's an order!)

This is a true account of what happened to me while in the ladies room the other day at work. This was the MAIN reason I wrote the half page article.

I am sitting quietly in the ladies room, removing the 2 liters of water I have taken in during the day (OK - it wasn't 2 liters - more like 3 bottles and it wasn't ALL water - most of it was Diet Coke) but anyway....I am alone - well I WAS alone.

The door to the ladies room bursts open.

"I told you I have class today. I will be home to watch the kids before you have to leave for work"
(The stall door slams shut and the latch of the stall door slides into place)
"No Seriously! I will. I worked it out that way."
(The sound of pee running into the toilet at high velocity)
"He's doing WHAT? Well tell him to stop! He knows better"
"NO he can't have a cookie! Tell him to stop crying"
(Faucet runs for 10 seconds and then the hand dryer starts up)
"What? Hold on. I can't hear you."
(Door opens and girl exits - still blabbing away)

I am still sitting there. Shocked. Stunned really.

Writermom/Kelscraggly: I know what you are thinking. "In our long, late night converstations I KNOW you have taken our call into the throne room. Ah yes, but I have never taken you to a PUBLIC JOHN.

I am used to the chatter that happens in the ladies room. I went to college - I lived in a dorm. In fact, the girls down the hall would use the toilet, leave the stall doors open (with the mirror above the sink in front of them) look at each other in the mirrow and talk to each other....and every other girl that walked in the common bathroom to brush her teeth. (Yes it happened to me)

Difference you ask? Dorm. We kind of expected weird shit to go on the in the bathroom. We all knew each other on Harper 2. We RARELY let visitors use the bathroom. WHY? Because we all knew our floormates did odd things in the bathroom.

This chatty student not only shared HER bathroom noises - but MY bathroom noises with her friend on the other line. I felt voilated. Just a little less innocent.

I would like to say: "These kids today - they have no respect for others privacy." But I can't. My husband of 7 years (who is 3 years younger than I am) still "sits down" with the door closed and locked. (I like to think it's for his privacy and my safety) As for *** and ***- they have to remind themselves to close the door when they have company! (***Names removed to protect the guilty***)

Mom used to tell us that "Potty talk is not appropriate in public - espcially at the dinner table" Cordless phones weren't invented yet - so she didn't even think to include "Talking on the phone in a public potty is also inappropriate"

I'm thinking we'll cover that at my house!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Night at Geekville

It's official.

Brad and I are geeks.

We spent the evening watching Mythbustas. I have to say...I did learn something.

If you are throwing a party and you forgot to chill the beer - if you place your cans in salt/ice water it will chill your 6 pack (to 37 degrees) in 5 minutes.

The only way to chill your beer faster is with a fire extinguisher (2 minutes). Granted it costs a bit more - but it IS faster!

Party ON!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What I learned this weekend....

Easy money can come with a price.

My good friend Kelscraggly works for a company that is privvy to new clinic study information before it's released to the public. The most recent study was allergy related and Kelscraggly thought I would be interested.

To qualify it was necessary for me to stop taking my allergy medicine for 3 days, go to Iowa City to get tested, and if I qualified for the study I could be eligible for the $300! SIGN ME UP! Help science determine if there is a better way to fight Ragweed and make some moola? Hells yes! Mr. Chep was concerned about me stopping my allergy medicine - but I assured him I would be fine.

That was Monday. On Thursday I went down to IC for the first step in the study. I read all the rules of the study and donated my arm to science. They placed 3 drops of stuff (yes that's the scientific term) on my arm and scratched my skin to let it "sink" in. This was the test to see if I was allergic to Ragweed. So I wait for something to happen. All of a sudden part of my arm starts to burn and itch. Holy good god. Talk about ITCHY! Much to my dismay - that was not the ragweed. Come to find out - Chep isn't allergic to ragweed. Huh. Ah well. At least I know what it isn't. There are only a hundred other things it could be....Kelscraggly says she will take me down sometime and we'll figure it out. NO kidding...I'd like to know why the heck I am taking the allegra.

As soon as I came back from the study I started back on my allergy medicine. Come to find out - it wasn't soon enough. I am now suffering from a stuffy head, sinus pressure and coughing like MAD. Grrr...

So two lessons here.
1. Allergy medicine is my friend.
2. I am not allergic to ragweed.

Saturday my friend "M" had a party at her house in IC. She had her husband have a beautiful house situated on a pond. Houses in their neighborhood are fairly close together. The people in the house 2 doors down leave the blinds open and walk around nude. We had a few "shows" before they realized it would be a good idea to shut the blinds.

Later that evening - the sirens were blowing and the firetruck whizzed by the house. So "S" turned on the scanner to find out what happened ("S" is an EMT). There were no flames - but an a LOAD of smoke. Come to find out the homeowner (who was not home) left a pot on the stove and it melted. The firemen had to "break-in" the house to remove the hazard and air out the house. In case you were wondering - the firemen left a note about the fire and what happened.

Lessons here:
3. If you walk around nude in your home...close your blinds.
4. A melted pot makes an assload of smoke.
5. If you are not home and the fire department enters your house - they leave you a note on your door!

I spent today on the couch (coughing up a lung) and checking the Mackinac Race results. My uncle's boat's name is Majic. No results yet, but I keep checking.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend - and maybe you learned a little from my post today!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Meme I Stole From Kelscraggly


What is your salad dressing of choice?
Red French/Catalina/Western….depends on where you’re from on what ya call it.

What is your favorite fast food restaurant?

What is your favorite sit down restaurant?

On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?

Name three foods you detest above all others.
Coconut, Canteloupe, peas

What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant?
Hot and sour soup

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Depends on the location of the pizza joint. Iowa – Pepperoni. Chicago – SAUSAGE!

What do you like to put on your toast?
Canadian Raspberry Preserves

What is your favorite type of gum?
I love them all.(well except grape)

Number of contacts in your cell phone?
More than Mr. Chep

Number of contacts in your email address book?
Work - So many you just might gag.

What is your wallpaper on your computer?
Home: Clouds. Work: Daisy (Both photos I took myself)

What is your screensaver on your computer?

Are there naked pictures saved on your computer?
Well Mr. Chep and I share computers….so hard tellin.

How many land line phones do you have in your house?

How many televisions are in your house?

What kitchen appliance do you use the least?

What is the format of the radio station you listen to the most?
XM Radio - online

What do you consider to be your best physical attribute?

Are you right handed or left handed?

Do you like your smile?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Teeth (not wisdom)

Would you like to?
Not really…

Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom?
I’m too quick to read.

Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?

When was the last time you had a cavity?
A year ago

What is the heaviest item you lift regularly?
My fat butt out of bed.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
Briefly when I hit a fence full speed.

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
Not sure I would.

How do you express your artistic side?
Preparing candies.

What color do you think you look best in?

How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison?
Mama Chep would kill me before I made it there.

Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
I worked in a park and mowed regularly so bugs were on the menu often.

If we weren’t bound by society’s conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at?

How often do you go to church?

Have you ever saved someone’s life?
If you count giving blood…then yeah.

Has someone ever saved yours?
People have saved my ass…

Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000?
Tax free?

Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?

Would you have sex with a member of the same sex for $10,000?
Do I get to choose?

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
I have had dismemberment insurance and never did – so I’m thinkin no.

Would you never blog again for $50,000?
Yeah – but I’m not sure I could give up the flickr.

Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
Not sure I could do that….

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
Yeah – I love me some hot sauce.

Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
Nope, couldn’t do that.

Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5,000?
My hair grows fast – and most people pay to have their bodies waxed so SURE!

Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Toasted Cheese

Named after the sandwich Grandma R. used to make. Here's the make-up:
*2 slices of bread. Toasted
*1 slice of american cheese
*30 seconds in the microwave.
***Hot***Gooey***kinda soggy***
Pretty much sums up my day - so here it is.

Rattle, rattle, rattle.
The smell of Limburger on my face.
Must be time for Pepper (Jack) to get up.
It's already 80 degrees at 6:00AM. Damn gonna be a hot one.

A little shredded wheat and the paper get me going for the day. Iowa news - a little on the dry side.

The boss left me a message - out sick. Hopefully he'll come back as a Fresh Jack.

I wrote 1 report, fixed a major curd, and when I stepped out at lunch it was 107. Talk about Frying Cheese!

Pepper (Jack) and I had lunch together - and on my way back to work - Hickey called me, he was one brick shy of a full load. Freaking out over work. I got the (Texas) Longhorn smoothed over and started to churn away at my second report of the day.

After word that we might get storms I made a call down to Maytag (blue cheese) to talk to Mr. Chep about dinner. We decided to take both cars up to the north side and park in the garage at the mall to protect them from the baseball sized hail on it's way to CR.

Dinner at a chainy, Irish wanna be pub. Had me a blue cheese burger, with some sort of nasty gravy on it. I do not recommend combining gravy and blue cheese. Ick.

We avoided the rain, wind and potential hail and headed back home.

This is when I fell upon Zilla's contest.

So here it is. My days are so dull I had to integrate cheese in the story. Boy do I have a boring life.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Shellsburg Big Day Parade

Shellsburg Big Day Parade
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
I spent the morning (90 degree morning I might add) in Shellsburg, IA at their "Big Day" parade. (No Mr. Chep didn't go, he was required to stay home and rest - he's been sick.)

My friend "E" grew up, and still lives in Shellsburg, as do his very cool parents.

It was a wonderful morning and I captured some very interesting shots...this being one of my favorites. Check out my Flickr account for more shots!

Tidbits from Zilla

I took this from Zilla....she told me to tag myself...

In My Fridge:
Homemade chicken soup from last night
Diet Coke
Raspberry preserves from Canada
Jalapeno/Cheddar Brats

In My Purse:
Nearly dead cell phone
Wintermint Gum

In My Closet:
10 pair of shoes most people could use as skis
2 Bridesmaids dresses
2 Letterman's Jackets (circa 1992 and 1995 - sweet!)
Handbeaded sequin shawl

My Car (this's Mr. Chep's truck)
Hamilton College camp chair (from this morning parade)
XM Radio
Wirestripper and screwdriver
Dog hair

I tag Kelscraggly...she likes these things! :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Like Father, Like Son...Part Duex

Grandpa and Uncle Dorsey
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
This is grandpa and Uncle D.

Both sailors....for life.

Good luck Uncle D in the Mackinac Race!

The life of a Sailor

Originally uploaded by Chepner.
Grandpa has always been a sailor. Always will be.

He is now 85 years (young) and still owns and sails a 22' Atlantic City Cat Boat. He passed his love of sailing (and boating) on to his children and grandchildren.

Grandpa's only son, "Uncle D" is preparing to sail in the 2006 Mackinac Race. He has been successful in years past and I wish him luck in his 29th run in the Chicago to Mackinac race.

I boat (as you all know ...Mr. Chep and our fishing trips!) but I haven't sailed since college (Iowa doesn't have much in the way of sailing waters, nor do I have a sailboat) but I did take sailing in college! (Writermom has a photo of that somewhere - as do I)

But anyway....

It's amazing to me that Grandpa will even get on a boat, much less sail one.

Why you ask?

Sixty-three (63) years ago, Grandpa was on the USS Helena when it when it was struck by 3 torpedoes in the Pacific ocean and sank on July 6, 1943.

He shared his story in the local paper on May 30th of this year. Sometime when I have a little more time I will share his amazing story.

Tonight I want to wish my Uncle D the best of luck in the race - and a speedy recovery to Grandpa so he can get back on the water.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Old Salt

Thanksgiving 2005_0342
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
This photo was taken in November of this year. He is now a spry 85 - and LIVID that he can't drive (well for the time being - his eye is swollen shut from the shingles)

This past weekend I picked him up and took him over to my mom and dad's (his daughter's) to eat lunch and watch baseball with my husband.

My grandfather, an avid White Sox fan has never been to see a game. No, don't mean he has never seen the new field, I mean he has NEVER been to a White Sox game.

It is my goal to get him there this year.

In case you hadn't heard the Chicago White Sox won the World Series last year, so trying to find tickets for my grandfather, my husband and me (in lower level seating - Grandpa doesn't get around really well) is next to impossible.

So if you know of anyone that has weekend tickets they are looking to sell send them my way!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Is this WWII? No it's Indiana.

It's 9:00am. There is a loud BOOM in the distance. I am starting feel like I am living in an episode of M*A*S*H.

July 1, 2006, Indiana made it not only legal to purchase fireworks in the state, but to blow off your hand...I mean shoot them off.

If you are wondering to what I am referring; Indiana was always able to SELL fireworks, but before your purchase you were asked to sign a waiver stating that you were going to leave the state to shoot them off **wink.** (Illinois it's legal to shoot them off but not possess - hence the millions of firework stands along the Indiana/Illinois border)

Not the case this year.

Saturday night we spent most of our time indoors, so the sound of the M-80 wasn't noticed (actually we were up in the "ghetto" so often I thought they were gunshots.) We did notice on our drive home an unusual amount of neighborhood fireworks being blasted into the air, but thought nothing of it.

Sunday morning there was an article in the paper describing what fireworks give you the most BANG for your buck...which fizzle - which flop; including a note saying that fireworks were now legal in the greate state of Indiana.

Sunday afternoon the fire sirens in the town of Lowell went off 4 times. Papa Chep was driving through town and went by one of the THOUSANDS of firework stands and saw 2 police cars and an ambulance.

Something tells me next year there will be a town ordinance against shooting fireworks off in town. Until then, wake up Indiana to the sound of bottle rockets and firecrackers....IT'S LEGAL!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Like father, Like Son

Rinsing it off
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
See we do pick up good habits from our parents!

Shortly after this shot Mr. Chep soaked me with the hose.

Our neighbors must think we are 12!

I'm Draggin....

Carrie and Kelly
Originally uploaded by Chepner.
I blame these 2 for a fun night out that has left me tired, tired, tired today!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Oddity for today

You know you don't wear skirts enough when you wear a new skirt (with cute shoes) and your boss says...

"WHOA - nice shoes"

I had many compliments on my outfit. Made me feel pretty.

It was a good day!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's been a week

Grandpa and Mama Chep

Well...this week has been a little more eventful than most at work. This alone has kept me busy, busy, busy!

Anyone looking to run an MA department at a small Iowa school???

I can't complain though, my mother has been working her tail off to help my grandfather (85) get over a case of Shingles. She is more than's a good thing she has the summers off.

Taking care of a parent can be difficult not only physically, but emotionally as well. Taking care of my grandfather - is a whole different ball game.

Grandpa still lives in the house that he built when he got married many, many years ago. He has encountered more in his 85 years than most people can dream about. He has been on his own since 1996 when we lost grandma. Since then he has learned to cook (not great - but he keeps himself fed), pay the bills and even continue to send Christmas cards (not without some help from mom of course.)

He makes me very proud to have him as a grandfather. One day I will tell his story. Today it's about mom.

Mom is the only of her 3 siblings that has stayed in the immediate area. In fact she lives across town. So when grandpa got sick last week - it was up to her to make sure he got to the doctor. When his only good eye swelled shut, it was up to mom to travel across town 4 times a day to put eye drops in his eye to reduce the swelling. She is doing a wonderful job taking care of him despite his grumpy disposition.

So here's to mom - and her devotion to her dad.

Keep your chin up mom....he doesn't mean to be grumpy. OH and we will be there this you have that to look forward to!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

WOW...the UK does it up right!

I have a wedding to go to next weekend.

As I was searching online for this couple's bridal registry (at a nationwide store that is) I stumbled across an interesting link.

Now this link is no longer functional. BUT as I searched for a similar site I did locate this:

Talk about fun and easy! Too bad it's a UK exclusive (London to be exact)

Anyone up for making this a US reality? I'd buy the first one....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Relay for Life - Walk for a Cure

June 16 and 17 was the Linn County (Iowa) Relay for Life.

The Relay for Life it is an overnight walk designed to raise money and awareness about cancer. The walk in Linn County was from 7:00pm - 10:00am and over the past 16 years has raised over 2 million dollars for the American Cancer Society.

As you may or may not know I was part of the entertainment committee - helping to get mascots, prizes, and local police and fire departments on site at the event. I also was a participant in the Relay walking approximately 5-6 hours. Some of those hours I was on "Prize Patrol" but 2.25 hours (2:45AM - 5:00AM) was spent walking non-stop.

This year, our event raised $310,ooo - our best event to date and I have many of you to thank.

My goal was $100. Not a large amount, but as my mother pointed out: I'm not good at raising money.

Well the generosity of my Blogger friends proved this to be untrue.

Not only did I reach that $100 goal.....I exceeded it, by raising a total of $195.00!! *Second highest on my team I might add*

BIG THANKS go out to my supporters...thank you ALL for your donation to the fight against cancer.

WriterMom (the most supportive friend a girl could have)
Jack (son of WriterMom and the coolest kid I know)
Zilla (the hippest chic on the block)
Fine Artist (world traveler and incredible artist)
"K"- Sista Chep (my awesome kid sista)
Mama Chep (the lady who made me the girl I am...thanks mom!)
Miss "A" at Hamilton College ($70 from bottles and cans collected over the course of the year)

The event had bands, clowns, magicians...even a Dude looks like a lady contest! One of our team members entered....and I must say was the prettiest man out there!

Thanks again to EVERYONE for their donations and support for the American Cancer Society!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Top 10 Reasons My Dad Kicks A**

  • 10. He looks like William Shatner.
  • 9. He gave me his denim blue eyes.
    8. He taught me how to play golf (My ability should not reflect his teaching skills...)
  • 7. No one makes a better pancake!
    6. He's a smooth operator
    5. He embraces all types of music (yes even RAP...well at least the song "You Can't Touch This")
    4. He supported his kids in all their ventures
    3. He has the uncanny ability to turn cardboard into a million different objects...such as this dragon!
    2. He can "bust a move" better than most!
    1. He made me who I am!

  1. Thanks for everything dad! I miss and love you!

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Southern Memories

Although a little blurry - this is a photo taken when I spent some time in South Carolina on business a few years ago.

It's a giant Peach (in case you couldn't tell)

I visited with my friend "E" today, he took me out to dinner (where I received a lesson on the difference between Broasted, fried and deep fried chicken.) Little did I know Iowans take such pride in their cooking fat! "E" reminds me often I am so Yankee!

As we sat and enjoyed our broasted chicken we chatted about southern food. I was reminded of the 6 weeks I spend in Duncan, SC. It wasn't until working in the south that I realized the true difference between the northern and southern states. I had visted other states before, but hadn't spent this much time working in another area.

When I moved to Iowa, I noticed a pretty big difference in the work ethic, and the pace that people worked, but other than that, people were similar....just a little nicer than NW Indiana.

South Carolina was a TOTAL change in what I was used to.

While working in Duncan, my main job was to hire employees for a facility we staffed. I was not prepared for the different culture of the area.

People called me maame.
There were people that looked at the table when answering questions (like I was "above" them)
They ate their peanuts BOILED (which I didn't care for)
They ate their pickles fried (which I actually miss)
They had fried pig skin (or fat, can't remember - but it was gross)
They put coleslaw on their BBQ (which I still do to this day)
And the smell of Magnolia still makes me think of those HOT spring days.

Some people have the opportunity to be world travelers. I have been to the Caribbean when I was younger- but I have found that it's a different world just a few states south!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I am a slacker....

It's official.

I am a slacker.

The Relay for Life is next week (June 16 and 17) and although I got 8 different mascots, 2 Police Departments and the Fire Deparment to volunteer their time to this worthy cause; I have only raised $20 (thank you SO much Zilla and Mama Chep!) I am just not good at asking for money.

I have also failed to clean my house for the 2nd weekend in a row.

The shed needs to be painted (although I must admit the rain helped with that)

I DID however do laundry and my friend E did clip the dog.

Maybe next week will be a little more productive....and hopefully a little more profitable for the Relay for Life!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Food for Thought

My friend Lego and I had McD's for lunch today.

While we were enjoying our Big Mc's a group of painters walked in.

Lego asked, "Why do think painter's wear white?"

So after much discussion - I decided to ask. These were the answers they gave:
  • "We are actually part-time doctors"
  • "Not sure, so we can tell what color we are painting?"
  • "Because that's how it's always been"

Because that's how it's always been? What's up with that? I did some research and found a few answers. But I'm curious.....

What's your theory?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Chepner Returns!

This will be a brief post...I am still doing laundry and unpacking from the trip.

It was a wonderful visit - 6 days of peace, quiet and great fishing.

I will write more a little later when I have more time.

One thing before I go - Mr. Chep wanted me to inform you that the glove is for the protection of the fish.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Off to Canada

Well, Mr. Chep and I head for Canada this afternoon around 1:00pm.

The first leg of our 635 mile trip will take us to Cloquet, MN which is just outside of Duluth (that is after a short stop in Owatonna, MN to visit Cabela's.

It should be a much needed vacation for both of us.

I just hope my dream I had last night about forgetting all my clothes but my PJ's doesn't come true!

See you in a week or so!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Ah yes. The 10 million dollar question of this morning.

I went to the doctor yesterday because I have had a sore throat for about 4 days (not sore...Irritating - sore like...Please God don't make me thirsty because the fluid HURTS LIKE HELL going down!) I thought it was a severe ear infection (yes Mr. Chep and I have had them that bad) but it turns out it is either Strep throat or Mono. HMM....can you say...lesser of 2 evils?

Remember I am leaving for vacation in 3 days....

So this morning I awoke with a burning throat (as if 8 hours of antibiotics will kill what ails me) and I lay there pondering - do I go? Do I stay?

I fondly remember the day before (after my doctor's visit) my friends at work making their index finger crosses in my direction (with the exception of Lego that wanted me to kiss her if I had mono - apparently she lost 14 lbs last time she had it.) This memory was enough to convince me to call my boss and let him know that I was not going to make it in. OH yeah and I also did extensive research on the internet about the ailments - you know trying to diagnose myself before the doctor've been there. Don't lie.

Well the stay at home proved to be in my favor.

You all know that I am leaving for beautiful Nestor Falls, Ontario (that's Canada for the geographically challenged) on Friday. We stay at a resort owned by the Uncle and Aunt of my dear friend "E". I am nearly asleep on the couch watching pompous and Blonde - LIVE the phone rings. Arrowhead Resort? I am suddenly sick to my stomach.

"What if they accidentally overbooked and they are telling us since we haven't been coming up as long as the other guy that booked it we don't get the cabin."

Strangely - not too far from the truth of the call. Only - we still have A cabin. Just not the cabin we thought.

The cabin we had reserved is the smallest in the camp. It sleeps 2, it's a studio and frankly there isn't a lot to it. No bells, no whistles, just a place to sleep while we cruise the lake fishing. OH yeah and did I mention - it's the cheapest one.

So Clyde tells me that another guy had this cabin reserved awhile back and then decided to cancel. he has changed his mind and wants to stay for 3 weeks. He wants to know if he can move us to another cabin.

If any of you know me at all, I am a "pleaser" (some people call us pushovers...but whatever.) So I tell Clyde...sure, but we really aren't prepared to pay for the other cabin (which by the way is a 3 bedroom right on the lake, 2 doors down from the beach.) So he agrees that he will let us stay in the larger cabin - at the same cost! Clyde then proceeds to tell me that the fish are bitin' and the weather is great - so it should be a good trip. I feel like it's Christmas!

So now we have this big ole cabin, on the lake, for the same cost of the studio with a "view" of the lake. Not a bad deal.

Mr. Chep has already said he make fork over a little more for the bigger cabin - just because the owners are good people.

Good thing I chose to stay home.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sweet Dreams - Hard to come by....

The last few nights I have been suffering from insomnia. I know, there are probably many of you that have been affected by the inability of sleep (yes I have noticed posting times on some on your blogs) but, this is a little different for me.

If you suffer from chronic insomnia please stop reading now or you may begin to seriously dislike me:

I am one of those people that is asleep when their head hits the pillow.

I am from a long line of "sleepers" (as Mr. Chep puts it - he is not a "sleeper" and often lies awake cursing me and my damn snoring...but anyway)

Growing up it wasn't uncommon to come into the family room to find my father asleep with the remote in his hand watching some SciFi program. Often my sister and I would take the remote when my father would awake and proclaim, "HEY - I was watching that" (yeah sure you were.) In his defense my father was diagnosed with sleep apnea a few years back and the sleeping isn't as often - but he does still "nap" on the couch with the remote in his hand!

My sister is also a "sleeper." I can't begin to count the number of times I have called my sister at 7:00 or 8:00pm to have her sleeping. I can't account for her day - as I am sure it is very mentally taxing - but come on. 7PM? Oye. I quit feeling bad about waking her up years ago.

It is also common knowledge that any family function will have at least one family member asleep before it's over. Nope - not just when we have could be any number of food items - but mark my words at least one holiday has at least one of Chep's family passed out on a couch (yep - my mom and brother-in-law too!)

Now I have heard of this "insomnia" fact Mr. Chep suffers from it regularly. I however do not. So on Wednesday night I awoke at 2:15am staring at the ceiling I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to do or think. SO I laid there. After awhile I checked the clock. 2:30am. DAMN. This went on for the next 2.5 hours. When I finally did fall back asleep, it was time for Mr. Chep to get up for work.


This went on for 2 days, until Friday night when I had to take the medication for my pituitary tumor (knocks me out) and last night when I took 3 Tylenol PM for my head (damn allergies)

I do hope this phenomenon quits soon - Next week will be really long if I can't sleep and I am getting up at 5:00 am to fish!

Wish me luck!

OH yeah - and 4 more working days until I am on vacation!


Thursday, May 18, 2006

KY Fried Crap

I have an confession.

I am an odd chicken, duck, whatever.

Why you ask? Well I am a firm believer that the food on your plate should not touch. My grandfather's Thanksgiving plate kinda wigs me out.

This is why the nationwide Fried Crap chain has just released the most disturbing menu item. It's all of your necessary food groups, covered in gravy and served in a bowl. Can I just say ICK?

Here's the recipe:

Layer 1: Mashed Potatoes (which I don't particularly like...reminds me of already chewed food)
Layer 2: Sweet corn
Layer 3: Bite sized chicken pieces (Fried of course)
Layer 4: OK not really a layer - more like a drench in brown gravy
Layer 5: Three cheese blend (OK I have to admit I like many a thing covered in cheese...)

Yeah. This is a nightmare for people like me. There are more of us out there than you know....

Don't's one of my quirks. Just don't eat one in front of me and we're good.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Tribute to My Mother....

June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Marion Cunningham and Mama Chep. What one thing do all these ladies have in common?

At least one kid, at one time – wished they had one of these ladies for a mother.

Growing up, our house was where all the kids wanted to come. Pool, big backyard, pizza and an endless supply of pop! Yes, all the kids I knew thought that my mom was TOPS.

I’ll be honest. When I was a teenager, there were times that my mother embarrassed me. Heck, who wasn’t embarrassed by their mother at some point during their childhood?

As I look back, those things that embarrassed me, were the exact things that I lovingly remember today: Mom yelling at the ballpark, at my volleyball games, cheering on my sister while she ran her heart out (mom did a lot of cheering!)

Sure, mom embarrassed me; but she did some really cool stuff too. I bet June Cleaver never let Beaver dissect a frog (much less do it in the kitchen and provide all the tools to do so!) I can bet that Carol Brady never let her kids raise chinchillas or albino rats, and I’m pretty sure that Marion Cunningham never went Mexico and brought back her kids shot glasses and a 1/5 of tequila.

Unfortunately, we live 4 hours from my parents and my sister lives 2 hours away so we were not able to spend Mother’s Day with Mama Chep…so we sent flowers. There was an issue with the arrangement sent to my mother. I chatted with the young man at and he asked permission to call my mother at 8:45 PM to see if she received her flowers (even though I assured him had she gotten them she would have called us VERY excited.)

He was gone no more than 5 minutes. When he came back the first thing he said was “I must say, that your mother is a very nice lady.” I strongly agreed – she’s a lot of fun too.

So here’s to my mother…Mama Chep we love and miss you! Wish we could be there to celebrate your special day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mumps, Iowa and The Chepner's

Two days ago, the state put out a message urging Iowans between the ages of 18 and 46 to recieve a second (or a first) mumps vaccination

This includes me. :(

I don't like needles and Grandpa Chep said he had a horrible reaction to the vaccination.

I think I will go when we come back from Canada.

I'm just not excite about this. But since I work at a school and Mr. Chep works at a large manufacturing facility - I guess we better.

Let's hope we can keep in the clear.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Look Who's 30!!

Happy Birthday Kelscraggly!!!

Just a few photos from Kelscraggly's pre-birthday party (pictures from Saturday - her real birthday is today!)

Kelscraggly holding her card from Lego.

Ah - my little Princess and her Prince!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Mr. Chep is on his 2nd business trip in 2 weeks. This week he is in rainy and cold Raleigh, NC.

He left 8:30 this morning. After I read the paper, I decided to do some yard work.

I started simple. Weed the herb garden. Went well. I edged the driveway (manually - on my hands and knees) - cake - compared to the next project I decided to tackle.

When we moved in, we put a large flower bed in the front of the house and filled it with different types of flowers. Due to its location, we had some trouble finding ones that worked in the half sun/half shade location.

My mother (Mrs. Green Thumb) suggested a low growing plant that could survive in any kind of light. In fact, she assured me - I couldn't kill it. She wasn't kidding.

This is what she gave me.

Bishop's Weed.

This plant took over my flower bed. I believe it has teeth. Since its addition to the flower bed I lost: purple coneflowers, sage, thyme, gerber daisies and 2 lavender plants.

This "cannibal" had to be removed today. I filled TWO 39 gallon trash bags with this evil perennial - that I am SURE will come back. How am I sure? I have removed it before. It comes - back. I am convinced that it will continue to come back until I locate the correct voodoo chant and pass this cursed plant onto some other inexperienced gardener.

Any takers?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Honesty - IT WORKS!

7 weeks ago my microwave died.

3 weeks ago Mr. Chep got me a new microwave. Amana Radarange with ALL the bells and whistles (on discount of course.) It's awesome. I don't even have to tell it how long to pop the popcorn - it just knows!

SO - when the old microwave died (7 weeks ago) I moved it to the doorway of our spare room and asked Mr. Chep to dispose of it.

That was 7 weeks ago. As of this morning it was still in the doorway.

Mr. Chep is leaving for a business trip tomorrow morning. He was rattling off a list of things he had to I included removing the microwave from the doorway in that list. He looked at me with the look that says "You have been nagging me for weeks and I haven't done it - you know there must be a reason."

So to that look I responded, "The reason I have been nagging you, is I really don't want you to go away on your trip, forget to get dispose of the microwave, and have me be mad for the entire time you are gone because I couldn't clean the spare room."

Know what? He removed the microwave.

No argument, no grumbling.

Putting it in perspective and being honest worked!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A note from Mama Chep

WE WON!!!!!!!

My advisory class won the Spring Boxtops for Education competition!!!!!! They are thrilled!!!!! We could not have done it without all of your help....For some of these kids, it will be the only thing they win in their lives so you gave them the opportunity to be the BEST...on the top of the heap....and they are very again, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

She asks that you continue to save the boxtops as they have a fall contest as well!

Thanks again to all!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Administrative Professionals Day

Something to ponder....
***One of the Administrative Professionals jobs is to ensure that their boss(es) are reminded of reports, special projects and special days. SO - does an AP need to remind their boss of Administrative Professional's Day??!!***

In case you didn't know - I am an Administrative Assistant for the Director of Education at a small college here in Iowa.

This is my first administrative position, so last year on Administrative Professionals Day, I:
  1. Didn't know about it
  2. Didn't know what to expect

So when my boss forgot - I didn't know. Heck I didn't know until one of the department heads brought me some MK products (love those Satin Fingers!) Needless to say - my boss felt like a tool. He took me to lunch and apologized profusely.

No matter how many times I told him it wasn't a big deal - he never seemed to believe me.

Anyway - Wednesday was AP Day this year.

He didn't forget this year. In fact, he was the only one in the office that remembered (besides the same department head that remembered last year)

So not only did he make sure I got flowers - all the other admins did too!

My boss is a great guy - and he sure did make all of us ladies feel special!

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm getting involved!

This is my first real volunteer activity since I have moved to Iowa - and frankly I don't think I could have picked a better organization in which to become involved.

In college I did a lot of volunteer work through Alpha Phi Omega and I really enjoyed giving back to the community. When I graduated I did some volunteering through the parks department but not much.

Hamilton College (where I work) emphasizes giving back to the community. In fact all students are required to take a Human Dynamics course which requires the class creates a project in order to give back to others. We are also allotted 4 hours a month in order to volunteer in our favorite charity. Working in this kind of environment has taught me to examine my life, and what I can do to help others.

Sadly, I didn't do much. Until this opportunity presented itself.

Many people in my life have been touched by cancer. My grandmother has lost nearly all her siblings to the disease and now my father has been fighting his own battle with skin cancer. This, along with the never ending fear that I too will someday face skin cancer, has prompted me to become involved in this worthy cause.

Hamilton College sponsors a team in the Relay for Life and I have volunteered to walk in the 12 hour event (hence the trips to the gym!) I have also been involved in the entertainment committee working to get volunteers to come to spend some time at the event.

As a participant I am working to raise my share of the team cost.


10 friends - to give $10.

If you would like to help me raise my $100 please click here.

If you would rather not help me - at least help the Cancer Society in your hometown. It's a wonderful organization that has contributed to almost every major discovery in cancer research.

You never know - the life you save, might be your own.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

And so it begins....

It was sunny and 65 today.

The boat called - it wanted to see the water. We obliged.

We didn't catch anything - except a little wind burn!

We'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

$10K for WHAT?

OK - I am not political person. So maybe that's why I don't understand.

A certain famous Texas politician was in Iowa today to support a local congressman.

If you wanted to have lunch, hear the rancher speak and support the candidate you forked over $250. If you wanted to have your picture taken with Jr. it would cost you $10K!

I don't know about you, but I can think of so many other ways to spend $10,000.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Truth About Chepner's Disappearance

OK. I haven't been completely honest about where I have been.

Yes. I was in and out of the doctor.

Yes - our school had graduation (2 weeks ago) - which always keeps me busy.

Yes - we start a new term on Monday - which keeps me busier than graduation.

BUT - I must admit. I have a new obsession. Writermom has her Flickr - I have - the gym.

I must admit the blog lags will only get worse as fishing season arrives.

Please know that I am not ignoring you - in this case I am trying to put my health first (doctor strongly suggested) and I am taking it very seriously.

So anyway - that's where I am - trying to win the second round of the Biggest Loser contest at work.

Just wait - I'll probably end up pregnant and lose!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Nocturnal emotions....

When I was 10 years old I woke up in the middle of the night staring at a shadow of my Miniature Schanuzer and I was scared out of my wits because in the dream I just woke from my dog was 8 feet tall.

I had a similar feeling this morning, only I wasn't scared - I was PISSED.

I woke up thinking that I had been fired from the musical in which I was the star. Now mind you I have NEVER starred in a musical (unless you count the part I played in Writermom's music video in college set to the tune of Prince's - Let's Go Crazy) nor do I even work at a school that has a drama department. How I came to star in a musical where the Campus President was director I will never know. I do know that I haven't had that feeling when I woke up in years.

It's a good thing I don't sleep on the job!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Welcome Indiana to DST!

Yes. It's 11:14pm in Iowa.

I am suffering from Daylight Saving Time lag. Slept late. Not good.

So Hoosiers - how are you coping with your FIRST change in time?

I find it amusing that the Hoosier state decided to stay on Eastern time, when the 2 areas in the state that were already practicing DST were on Central.

OH yeah - and the White Sox are on their 3rdh hour of the weather delay. Mr. Chep is still up waiting to watch the end.

Proving Chepner's existence

According to the US Postal Service THIS is a suspicious letter.
This letter was from Writermom and inside were boxtops.
Now I don't have a PO box assigned to Chepner, nor do I have proof of "Chepner's" existence.
Two days ago I went to pick up my mail at the PO box and I had received a notice of mail being delivered to "Chepner's Boxtop Challenge" and for MY PROTECTION I had to come in to the post office, bring proof of identity (2 ID's) in order to receive my mail.
My question is this. How on earth do you prove the existence of a fictional person?
I went to the post office and explained to the nice man behind the counter what my intentions were - and he was more than willing to help.
For a minute I was afraid they were going to hunt down Writermom and arrest her for sending cereal box tops!
Guess Dental Dad should leave addressing the envelopes to WM!
Just kidding!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mama Chep Hates to Lose

In case you don't already know:

Mama Chep hates to lose.

Would you like an example?

Over Thanksgiving there was a contest for the homeroom to make as many words as you could out of "Happy Thanksgiving".

Most people had 150, 200, 300 words. How many did mom come up with? Over 1,000 words.
How did she do it? Well - she Asked Jeeves!

Anyway - there is another contest that runs through the month of April at school. She is collecting boxtops from cereal boxes to raise money for their low-income school.

This is a win-win situation.

The winning class wins: They get a healthy breakfast - paid for by the school

The school wins: They get 10 cents for every boxtop turned in.

So what do you get out of this? get the good feeling of helping a school in need.

Over 50% of the school's population qualify for free lunches and 17% are on the reduced lunch program.

So what can you do to help?

You say you don't use prepared foods?
Well lucky for you - they come on things like kleenex, paper towels, baggies - just visit their site for a list of all the participating products!

What do you do when you have a few?
Send them to:

Chepner's Boxtop Challenge
PO Box 9792
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Remember - it doesn't take a lot - to make a HUGE difference!

Please mail by: 4/24/06
But if you can't get them in the mail - that's OK - they never expire I will continue to collect as long as she teaches!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Once, twice - Three times....

Had some blood work done today.

I am starting to lose hope in the medical field after the last few weeks.

I had to fast for 12+ hours. So when I show up this morning at 9:10 I am hungry and ready to be done.

Have I mentioned I am not fond of needles?

Well anyway - she pokes me once...not too bad. Blood starts to run. Then STOPS. GRRR....she wiggles the needle...taps the vial and determines it's a bad tube. Puts on a new tube.

Blood starts to run again. Then stops AGAIN! Now I am irritated. So she taps the bottle. She wiggles the needle. What next? Try the other arm? OH NO - she JAMS the needle up my arm. I wince in pain. Have I mentioned I don't like needles?

So by this time (hungry, thirsty and violated with a needle) I am starting to get a wee bit - faint. So she tells me she isn't comfortable continuing.

SCREW THAT. You are getting what you came for lady. Do what you have to do. Get that damn blood. I am NOT doing this again next week.

So she moves me to a room with a bed.

Pokes me again - and the blood starts to run. THEN STOPS AGAIN.

By this time I have had about all I can take. Get it over with. Get what you can.

So she wiggles the needle - pokes me again (I think) and gets enough.

It's been a long day.