Saturday, April 30, 2005

Saying Goodbye

It's amazing how an animal quickly becomes part of your family. I saw Amber when she was only a few days old at a breeder's house. I came by every couple of weeks to watch her grow, and even had the breeder mark her ear; I knew she was the one who belonged in our household.

People think that rabbits are plain, boring animals. You would be surprised at how much personality these little creatures have. For two years Amber has made me laugh with her silly antics. She greets me at my arrival, snuggles by my side and gives kisses, pulls on my clothes when she demands my attention, and jumps straight up into the air when she is in a particularly good mood. For a week now, I haven't seen her as I've known her to be.

The blockage in her stomach is not doing well, and I've spent a lot of money for treatment that is not improving anything. Today, her health has fallen drastically south. It's hard for me to choose, but I feel that this past week has been hard on her. Every day, twice a day, I've had to force feed medicine and fluids into her mouth. Last night I finally looked at her and could see that this was a losing battle. Her eyes had already lost their life. This is no way to live.

Amber deserves more than this, and today I chose to let her rest...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


My stepson, Kai, asked me this weekend what we would be doing for his 13th birthday this year. Sometimes we have parties for him or take him out of town, but this year he's asked for a pool party.

Kai's mom is to be married in June, and it seems that he's about to have 3 new step-brothers. Since Kai is an only child, he has been so excited about this, and asked if instead of having a regular party, if he and his new brothers could celebrate at our house, poolside. Of course, we didn't see anything wrong with this.

Just as it seemed he might have a normal family life, tragedy has struck...

Search mission on for teenagers missing at sea

Planes, boats, helicopters cover area stretching from Charleston to Bull's Bay
Published on 04/26/05
Of The Post and Courier Staff
The last time Shane Coker heard from his younger brother, Troy Driscoll told him he loved him.

More than 36 hours after receiving the voice mail message, 50 rescue workers using boats, helicopters and airplanes, including a C-130, searched rough waters Monday for Troy, 15, and his fishing buddy, Josh Long, 18. The search stretched 34 miles off shore from Charleston Harbor to Bull's Bay.

Officials were not yet calling the search a recovery mission.

"Maybe tomorrow," said Tom Allen, deputy group commander of the Coast Guard.

Coker clung to his girlfriend as he spoke about his half brother.

"He just let me know that he loved me," Coker said. "He just called to see how I was doing."

A helicopter searched into the chilly night for the teenagers as boaters and additional rescue officials planned to resume searching the cold waters at 8:30 a.m. today.

Rescuers were hampered by harsh winds Monday evening.

"We will continue to search until we come to some sort of resolution," said Angus MacBride, a corporal with the Department of Natural Resources.

As the hours passed, about 30 family members and friends hugged and cried as they stood on the banks of the beach at Station 30 on Sullivan's Island. The boat trailer used by the teenagers could be seen near the water.

"I'm really mad that he'd do something like this," said Jonathan Goerling, a brother of Long's. "I really don't know if he'd thought this one over."

Troy is the son of Anthony Driscoll, a captain with the North Charleston Fire Department.

"We're all hoping that he's all right," said Fire Chief Al Rissanen. "He (Troy) grew up in the Fire Department knowing everyone."

The teens were last seen about 10:30 a.m. Sunday when they left home to go shark fishing.They told some friends they were going to Folly Beach and others that they were fishing off Sullivan's Island.

They arrived at Sullivan's Island about 12:30 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Explorer, Coast Guard officials said.

The teens placed a 14-foot Sunfish fiberglass boat into the water off of Sullivan's Island during a small-craft advisory, with the tide going out, winds up to 28 knots and a water temperature of about 62 degrees. The boat is white, and has a blue hull with the black words "Under Construction."

George Wood, the director of the sailing program at the College of Charleston, said the Sunfish is one of the most popular recreational boats in the nation.

Made by Vanguard Sailboats, the boat weighs about 200 pounds. Normally, the boats are for one occupant, but Wood said that two can fit into the boats. The boats have foot wells of about 3 feet by 3 feet.

"It wasn't designed to be fished off of," Wood said.

The teens were equipped with two paddles. It was unclear if they were wearing life jackets.

Josh's father, Eddie Long, called the Coast Guard about 10 p.m. Sunday after the teens didn't return home.

Coast Guard officials searched from Folly Beach to Sullivan's Island until they found the Explorer about 11 a.m. Monday on Station 30.

The two teens are longtime friends from North Charleston.

Troy is a straight A student at Cathedral of Praise Academy. He plays soccer, baseball, golf and loves the outdoors.

"He's just a big-hearted person who will give you the shirt off his back," Coker said.

"Troy is the light of their (his parents) lives," said Joann Cantrell, a family friend.

Josh, a student at Fort Dorchester High School, also loved outdoor activities. He was described as a survivalist.

"He is the 'I-can-do-it' kind of fella," Cantrell said. "We are trusting whatever happened, that they are safe because of him."

John Chambliss covers crime. Contact him at 937-5573 or

Kevin and I went out yesterday on our boat to help assist in the search for Josh and his friend. They requested that we take a smaller boat out, to search creeks and smaller areas, as the main waterways were being searched by larger boats and planes already. It was a pretty rough day out and considering the size boat we were in, it was dangerous, ourselves, to be out there crossing the harbor. Our boat rocked heavily side to side, fighting the waves, and water began to come in. I have to admit that I was scared, and Kevin and I both knew that this was no condition for us to be out in. I can only imagine what it was like for those kids.

I can only imagine what has happened to them. Sunday was a very bad day, too bad for Kevin to even go out fishing in our back yard. I don't know what could have made those boys want to go out in that kind of weather, in a boat like that. Although I hope for the best, I'm afraid of what may be found.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad

My siblings came home this morning, and we all met up downtown for dinner to celebrate not one, but TWO wedding anniversaries!

My parents and Erick's in-laws share the same anniversary, it seems. The parents were surprised today with a get-together at Poogan's Porch. Poogan's Porch is a famous Southern Cuisine restaurant not only known for its food, but for it's history.

The house was sold along with the owner's dog, Poogan, and was transformed into a restaurant. After Poogan's death, customers have stated that they have felt "something" brushing up against them during their visits. Hmmmm? But, wait...there's more!....

An old school teacher and spinster, once resided in that house long before the restaurant was born. It is said that employees leaving their work at night could see her in the house, waving. She has also been known to move things about in the kitchen. There is also another ghost, a gentleman, who is known to make appearances in this same building. Although he is described as a "friendlier" ghost, it's still a little spooky to think that there are souls wandering that place....

I thought that server looked a little odd....

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Now What

Well, it seems that Amber is forming a blockage in her stomach; probably from chewing on undigestable carpet. I'm to give her 5 days of medicine to get her digestive system moving to help work it out. If it gets any worse, she will require surgery to get the mass cut out. I think she should be okay, though.

NOW...I woke up this morning to find myself COVERED in hives! I'm talking from toe to neck, I have raised itchy splotches all over my body! Even my hands have hives all the way down to my fingers.So, I need my own doctor visit today and was given some medications as well to help calm them down. I felt a little self conscious at the pharmacy while paying for my medications. I could just feel the cashier inspecting my patchy arms and hands as I handed the money over. I feel like the damned Elephant Man.

The medicine has me feeling like a zombie and I'm not to sweat, get hot, or drive. I have to teach kickboxing in an hour, and I've no idea how that will go. I wonder if Kevin will teach for me so I can go lay down? I can barely keep my eyes open....zzzz......

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Poor Bunny

This morning I woke to find my mini lop-earred bunny, Amber, sitting in her litter box. Nothing out of the ordinary, but she wasn't looking her normal, chipper self. Usually when I come dowstairs, she hops over to greet me, but today she didn't budge. Her eyes look dull and the overall expression on her face looks like she's not feeling well.

As I came closer to inspect her, it seems that the reason she's sitting in her litter box is because her tummy is upset. I don't know why, as I've been feeding her the same food for 2 years now. I hope that somebody (ahem, ahem) hasn't been trying to feed her cheese or beer or something.

I'm getting her cleaned up to go to the doctor's office today asap. Diarhhea is a really bad thing for bunnies. They become dehydrated and go into shock--resulting in dying. I hope that we can figure out what's wrong with her and maybe get her some meds or something.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Kevin's Birthday Weekend

Happy Birthday!!

We had a great time in NC this weekend. The cabin turned out to be very lovely and cozy and the area was gorgeous. Kevin's best friend, Roddy, and Roddy's wife joined us. Immediately after arriving at the cabin, we took a quick tour of our "home" and the guys bolted out the backdoor to begin their fishing.

The Birthday Boy doing what he loves best


The water in the backyard was fairly deep, but a little further down it was more shallow. I wish I had taken some pictures of Kevin in his waders, flyfishing. He was so excited to catch his first Rainbow Trout, something we don't have here in Charleston. It was nice to see him enjoying himself so much. Although we were together, we didn't really spend a whole lot of time "together," if you know what I mean. He completely immersed himself in a weekend full of hanging out at the river with his best friend, fishing every second he could--but that's okay; that's exactly what I wanted him to do.

Cookin' weenies

The nights were pretty cool, and perfect for us to build a bonfire in the backyard, by the river. We hung around and chatted, while cooking our dinner and roasting marshmallows.

By the way, I've found something new...check out the new Toasted Coconut Marshmallows! Oh my die for...

Tracie and Roddy

Wahoo!! I'm flying!!

Saturday morning, the four of us drove to Lookout Mountain, right outside of Chattanooga. Although Tracie and Roddy weren't too keen on our activity for the day, I was thrilled that Kevin agreed to try hanggliding. So, as part of his birthday present, I bought him his first taste of flight, and a t-shirt to commemorate it.

I was under the impression that we would be running off the top of the mountain, but was disappointed to find out that instead, we would be pulled to 2000' altitude by an ultralight and then released to fly about. I've never seen an ultralight in real life, and decided that this will be my next method of getting into the air.

Hanggliding is indeed probably the purest form of flight anyone can experience. Although it was enjoyable, I would describe it more as peaceful. I was sort of expecting it to be more adrenaline pumped, but it wasn't--not compared to skydiving, anyway. I've decided that I must be an adrenaline junkie, as I felt a tad let down, finding myself getting somewhat bored towards the end of my flight. However, it was fun and I would probably do it again. For someone who has never experienced flying, I would definitely recommend it though.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Happy Birthday Kevin

Where the guys will be

Our home away from home for the weekend

Tomorrow we'll be going out of town for Kevin's birthday. For our anniversary, I surprised him with the only thing he asked for: a beer kegerator. Not exactly the most romantic present, but I suppose neither is a running GPS system. For his birthday, I decided to surprise him with something he wasn't expecting.

I found a really nice cabin in the Smokey Mountains. Kevin is an avid fisherman, and flyfishing for rainbow trout is something he has never done before. So, I thought it would be cool for the hubby to spend an entire weekend doing what he loves best. This cabin that I found has the Hiawassee River running through the backyard, and I thought it would be perfect.

I know absolutely nothing about fishing, nor do I have the desire to spend an entire weekend doing it. To occupy his time, I invited his best friend, Roddy, and Roddy's wife. I figured that while the guys are spending their time doing whatever guys do, Tracie and I can go shopping and/or find something else that I would rather be doing (read: hanggliding).

I hope that he has a good birthday this year. I know that Kevin works very hard to provide us with a good life, and it can become quite stressful. This is my way of thanking him and giving him some time to unwind and relax. Oh...AND at the same time, I will be close enough to Lookout Mountain to hangglide. But, that wasn't my intention-I swear!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Gadget Nerd

Timex Ironman GPS

I took off on a 5 mile run today to try out my new anniversary gift that Kevin bought me. Since getting ready for the Cooper River Bridge Run, I've been on a running high and was given a Timex Ironman GPS System.

It's pretty cool. On top of being a normal sportwatch, which I needed anyway, it has a heart monitor, and can tell you exactly how far and how fast you're running. Although I spent the first half mile fiddling around with trying to figure out all the buttons, I finally got it straight.

What I really need now are some new running shoes. My Saucony's have had their share of mileage, and my throbbing knee and ankle are begging for some new cushioning. I think I may start looking into those in a couple weeks. Besides, knowing how I am with things that I'm hot on at the moment...well, just like I've said, it's only for that moment. Let me make sure that my running bug won't leave me too quickly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Okay, yeah...he's just hurt my feelings...Maybe I'm being selfish? No, I think that men just don't have a damned clue.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Two Down, 48 To Go


It's hard to believe that today is my two year anniversary! Kevin and I actually celebrated it on Sunday, because of work today. Luckily, Sunday's weather was much nicer than Saturday's, and we decided to break the tradition of dressing up and hitting downtown for dinner. Instead, we decided to relive our first date, five years ago.

Just like when we first went out, we took the trusty 'ol Valkyrie, and rode it out to eat lunch at Coconut Joe's, overlooking Isle of Palms. Kevin even ordered the same meal, for old times sake.

Five great years have already flown by. Before we know it, we'll be celebrating our 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary--but heck, who's rushing it?

Happy Anniversay, Kevin!! XOXOXO

Monday, April 04, 2005

Cooper River Bridge Run 2005

cooper river bridge run 2005

I stayed with my friend, Rachel, in Mt. Pleasant Friday evening to run the bridge run early the next morning. We were to meet at the starting line by 7 a.m. but we were both awakened at 5 a.m. by thundering and lightning. At first I was a little unsure about getting up and running in that sort of weather, then finally decided that we were gonna do it, rain or shine.

This year was South Carolina's 28th annual organized 10k run. Because we are getting a new bridge very soon, this would be the last year to run it on the old brige. There was a record breaking 40,000 competitors, with 18,000 of them runners.

Waiting at the starting line was miserable. It was cold, raining, and windy. Everyone was shivering and anxiously waiting to get moving. Once the race began, however, the rain stopped and finally the sun began to shine as we approached the bridge.

I can honestly say that this run was not as hard as I had anticipated it to be, considering that there was 30 mph winds going against us on incline of the bridge. Even with some bottle-necking at the base of Pearman bridge, and some short picture taking breaks, Rachel and I managed to run it in 1:21:05. Not bad for a first time! I'm already looking forward to next year.