Sunday, April 26, 2009

Full Circle

I intentionally stayed up until midnight so I could celebrate my "new year"'s official....Countrywide Home Loans is now a name of the past....we are now Bank of America Home Loans!!!

One of the first things I did was check out our old website, favorite, white and blue! A strange, but welcome sight! Then I "googled" Bank of America Home Loans and found this great press release, which was appropriately released at midnight!

So, let me tell you how I really's almost 37 years to the day that I started in the mortgage business with VNB (Virginia National Bank) Mortgage Corp. as a receptionist....that started my career in mortgage banking. Now, after all these years, I've come full circle (VNB became Sovran, then NationsBank, then Bank of America, I think). I just couldn't be happier!!!

I've always prided myself in helping people make sound financial decisions and being a responsible loan officer. This is the foundation of Bank of America Home Loans and it is the foundation of how I have always done business....a perfect match! Somehow it just seems right that I should end up where I began (not that I'm going anywhere soon!).

Bank of America has always been a name that people could trust......I'm home now...I'm home! My door is always open!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Kid on the Block!!!

Shugs's favorite place in the world to visit is the home of our neighbor two doors down, her Aunt Carol!!! From the day we got her 4 1/2 years ago, we always knew where she was if she wasn't sitting on the front porch....she was on the top of Uncle Bruce's picnic table in the backyard rubbing her head on his shoulder while he scratched her back.

Well, a year ago Uncle Bruce died from heart problems......while he was in the hospital, Uncle Bruce's and Aunt Carol's Westie, Kelly, spent quite a bit of time with us....we'd go down to visit with her all day every hour or so (she wouldn't leave her house). A few months after Bruce's death, we found out Kelly had cancer and didn't have but a few months to live. We actually noticed that Shugs's became a bit more gentle with Kelly as time progressed....and she sat sadly when we laid her to rest.

Since that time, we just assumed Shugs was getting older....well, mature and less puppy. BUT now Aunt Carol has a new baby!!!! She brought home a 2.5 pound Black Yorkie Poo that we eventually named Pepper (after about 20 other names!). The first day Shugs was curious....for about 10 seconds! Then she decided that she was just not happy about this new little "thing"! She kept going down to visit Aunt Carol, but as soon as she saw that little black blizzard, she'd turn around and head home. She was just not happy.

THEN we found out that Carol needed bypass surgery. We knew Carol was worried about Pepper and we stepped in and told her we would take care of everything.....soooo, Pepper came to live with us for a week!!!

Needless to say, Shugs was just NOT happy....for about 6 hours! She spent that time in the recliner and Pepper spent that time jumping up and down like a jumping bean trying to figure out how to get up and play with her new friend.

THEN, Shugs HAD to go......we took them both out in the yard and poor Shugs couldn't even go potty....that puppy was ALL over her. Little by little Shugs found the puppy in herself and now they are so close that they can barely stand to be apart! And now Shugs will play with her old toys, which she has rarely ever played with!

After Carol came home from the hospital and had recuperated enough to take Pepper home full time, Shugs was so depressed. We could see that she had taken over the "Mommy" role in Pepper's life, stopping her when she tried to go into the street and rounding her up when we couldn't get her to come to us. She would even let her drink from her water bowl and eat from her food bowl (unless there was some chicken in it...then BEWARE!)

She eventually got over the loss of her new "baby" and realized that she was just down the street, but now Pepper sits at her back door waiting for her Mommy to let her out so she can run down to visit Shugs and Shugs sits in Pepper's driveway waiting for her to come out.

We've come to realize that Shugs had been depressed over the loss of two of the most important people in her life.....Uncle Bruce and Kelly. She is now playing with her toys again.....and she acutally looks like she's smiling.

Thank you, Carol, for bringing Pepper into Shugs life and into our lives! And don't worry, eventually she will be potty trained.....then we'll call Stanley Steemer! ***We have other GREAT pictures, but it's a new camera and I haven't downloaded them yet.....keep an eye out for the CUTEST pictures you've ever seen....this puppy is ADORABLE!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Congratulations, Melinda!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today was a GREAT day!!!! I had the great opportunity to watch my best friend defend her dissertation! It was so much more than I expected.....I walked away with a great understanding of her passion for her work AND I actually understood what it is she loves about it. I have to say, I was a little surprised that "I got it"!

The new Doctor Melinda Barker is a Professor at Hampton University's School of Nursing and, while contributing to the education of others, has continued her own education....and now she has earned her Doctorate Degree!!! has been a dream of hers for a long time and I'm so very proud of her accomplishment.....but I'm even more proud to know that it wasn't the title.....and it wasn't the new deskplate that says, "Dr. Melinda Barker" (a gift from Anna)....and it wasn't the new door plate that says, "Dr. Melinda Barker" (a gift from Jessica and Adam)....and it wasn't the monogrammed stationery that says, "Dr. Melinda Barker" (a gift from Dennis and me) was the dedication that she has to the world of medicine and to making the world a better place for those who are ill and more, to helping to educate those who also want to follow in her footsteps.

She may have officially become a "Doctor" today, but I've always felt she was my own "doctor".....I call her when I don't feel well....and she jumps in her car and comes to my aid. I can remember countless times that just her touch made me, Shelby or Evan feel better. I've always known that I could count on her....and I know I always will...

Congratulations, Melinda......I love you!