Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday in St. Augustine

We went to St. Augustine today; one of my favorite places! 

I took some pictures and though I would share.  

Somewhere on a side street.

A church....

Cobblestone streets.


I love red doors.

Semi-creepy water fountain.

I thought this was interesting...

Thought the light/colors were pretty.

Old building.

Pretty house.

The sky was so blue and it was 80 degrees today.  

This one was for sale.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Squirrels and Pinterest

Today, I "liked" this picture of a squirrel.

I also "liked" a hamster on a swing and a meaty picture of Tim Tebow with no sleeves.

How did I find myself "liking" pictures of wild rodents  and insanely popular football players (when I fiercely dislike neither of them)?

Allow me to explain.

Chris, continuing to save us $75 carpet removal fee.

Chris.  Removing carpet.  Saving us $75 on the removal fee.  

We recently cancelled our cable t.v. service.

Granted, this was pretty much our only entertainment (aside from the Internet).

But we couldn't justify the cost.   Our bill last month was a hefty $180.00.

And with THAT sort of cost, we could actually PARTICIPATE in some sort of entertainment; not just sit on our butts and watch it happen.

With Netflix streaming on our Wii, Maggie could watch "Dora the Explorer" AND "Fresh Beat Band" till her little heart was content.

(The Apple TV is still in my realm of consideration, as is  I already subscribe to Hulu.)

There are entire HOSTS of television alternatives out there at this point in time, that cutting the "cable" umbilical cord hardly hurt.
The tile floors.  They are made to look like hard wood.  

Around this time, we ripped out the carpet of our family room downstairs and acquired a piano.

Done!  This is ceramic tile!  Amazing, right?  
We decided to move the large television with the Wii upstairs for the children to watch.  Ironically, we plugged our bedroom set into the wall and we still have network stations.

Anyway, because I don't want to take the long, arduous trek up the stairs to the second floor to watch the Netflix options, I have found new and fascinating ways to waste my time.

First waste of time:

8tracks is a service where people upload their music mixes from their collections and categorize them into playlists for the public to hear.    There are "rock" playlists, as well as "pop," "indie," "chill," "study," "techno," and even "sex."

I am not sure why people would upload a mix called "sex."  I guess that is what differentiates me (37) and the 20-somethings.     

Some "almost after" photos.  Still have more work to do, like something in that corner.  And yea....that's Maggie sleeping in the chair.  

From the foyer.  

From by the front door....where you can't see all the dirty shoes.  

I have been listening and listening....and listening to other peoples' mixes, as well as my own.  Maggie hangs out with me and listens to the music too.  Which MUST be better than Dora, with all her Spanish lessons and all.    

She was bouncing pretty well with her hot dog to Offspring's "Get a Job," on a 90's mix that I found earlier this week at lunch today.     (Upon listening to this probably wasn't the best song for a 3 year old to listening to;  I was all caught up in the nostalgia and memories of the 90's to hear the lyrics and the message of the song.)

Another time consuming activity I have found  a website that rivals the thrill of Facebook, if that is at ALL possible:   Pinterest.

I first heard  about Pinterest at a Christmas party last month.  As it was explained to me,  it sounded really lame.   And you had to ASk for an invitation,  or had to  be invited by someone already on Pinterest.

I received the invitation about a week later and tentatively began to play with it.

I pinned new recipes, neat organization ideas, fun photos, etc.

Like thousands of other housewives on Pinterest, I gathered together the photos of what I SHOULD be doing.  However, instead,  I was parked in front of the laptop putting the ideas together and organizing them into neat little files to use at some future date.

THEN, I realized how thrilling it was to upload a picture or a website I found on my VERY OWN and have someone you DIDN'T EVEN KNOW, RE-PIN it!!!

So, I have been trolling the Internet, looking for new recipes, exciting women's fashion ensembles and quirky photos to share with my Pinterest community.

It is like crack.  Or Diet Coke, if I use a comparison that is in my WASP-ish lifestyle realm.    

Which brought me to my squirrel.

And I had to ~ just HAD TO ~ click on the other entries to this contest.    There were monkeys, lions, tigers and other rodents dressed in armor.  Most of them clearly Photo shopped.

This little bugger, however, looks incredibly real.  And really gets me thinking.. ...


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Road Trip Misadventures.

We just returned from a road trip to Minnesota.

The kids, the German Shepherd, Chris and I all piled in the sedan like clowns.  We willingly headed north toward the prairie.

Let's backtrack.

The discussion of a road trip began when the Wisconsin Badgers landed themselves in the Rose Bowl.

I care nothing about sports, and bowl games only screw up the viewing schedule on network television.   The husband cared, though.

He cares a LOT.

The more I thought about it, though,  I was up for THAT sort of road trip:  through deserts, mountains, and ultimately Orange County (which I have a bit of fondness for.  It began before Real Housewives of Orange County.  Honestly).

Orange County morphed into Minnesota.

A leap?  Why yes, it is.

We would mooch off of family.

I began warming to the idea of Minnesota in JANUARY.

Then I dusted off my jeans and tried them on.


Perhaps it was that I have worn  elastic band pants for three years.   Damn those evil elastic waistbands:  they are so COMFORTABLE, yet they hide that one has put on 20 pounds in relative comfort.

 I had NOTHING to wear.

And...a coat?   What coat?  We live in Florida.  I sold them all before we moved here.

We set out, me in inappropriate clothing.   Of COURSE a cardigan and a scarf would keep me warm.  

I had blocked Minnesota cold out, much like one blocks out childbirth and colonoscopies.

We left Orlando after my brother's wedding on a Friday night.  

Within ten minutes we were lost and screaming at each other.  

The toll that was supposed to have been $1 turned into $4 as we backtracked.   Our exit was missing because of road construction.


We tried again.   The kids had found something to hit each other with.  There were feet flailing.  Someone accidentally kicked the dog.  There was yelping.  

This was a ROTTEN idea.

They eventually fell asleep.  When they woke up, we were in the Midwest covered in dog hair.

Perhaps it was all of the dog hair, or the entire tub of Pringles that Wes ate in, like, TWO SECONDS.  But somewhere in the Middle, we heard moaning in the back seat.

"I have a stomach ache."

"What," I screeched.  "What kind of stomach ache," I demanded.  "Do you have to go to the bathroom," I asked.  Or, the horrible, horrible alternative:

"Do you have to throw up?"

"I think I have to throw up," Wes whimpered.  

We opened all of the windows to get air moving, and at the next "safe" area, I pulled the car over.

We sat for several minutes with a ten year old dangling out of the back seat,  unsuccessfully summoning the contents of his belly.

We tentitively continued on.

Not five minutes later I heard wretching.  I looked back and Wes was bent over and throwing up on the floor.

Chaos ensued.

"Get a bag!  Get a bag,"  I yelled.  There was no bag.  Anywhere.

I was swerving, hit gravel and flung stones at the startled minivan behind us.

I rolled his window all the way down.

"Throw up out the window,"  Chris yelled.

"There's a car behind us.  He can't do that," I screamed.


More swerving.

"Throw up out the window," Chris repeated.  Pathetically, Wes stuck his head out the window while vomiting.

A portion of the vomit showered the car behind us, but most of it hit our car and flew back in all over Wesley's shirt, the back window.


Swear words.

Mass confusion in the minivan unfortunate enough to be directly behind us.  

The drive to the next exit was interminable.  As in, we drove at LEAST 25 miles in the middle of no where to find a gas station.

Chris walked in and bought paper towels, Lysol wipes and trash bags.  The small town gas station attendant eyeballed us suspiciously from her place behind the cash register.

Wes stumbled out of the car covered in vomit.  Chris handed him a change of clothing and a trash bag and ordered him inside to clean himself up.   Chris, my angel, cleaned up the mess in the back seat.

We started on the road again a bit more defeated, knowing that our destination was still about 8 hours away.

Driving straight through always seems like such a good idea.  The trip was about 25 hours total, and that included stops.

I distinctly remember how much easier these marathons were for us in our 20's.  We would drive and drive and bounce back.

The German Shepherd and the Norweigan Elkhound sort of got along....

We arrived home yesterday.

I loved every minute in Minnesota and was so happy to spend time with my husband's family.  Not everyone can say that about their inlaws....but I am blessed beyond belief that I definitely can.

I was able to hold my twin nieces that I hadn't seen before, and watch Maggie play with her cousin.  They are both three and fought like cats and dogs... both of them challenged by the concept of "sharing."

They sled together and played "house."   They took videos and pictures of each other on the  Mac's Photo Booth.

The first night home, I crawled into my happy to be home.  Only to be woken up by hacking and croupy coughing from Maggie.  Then my husband kept waking me up to tell me to stop snoring.    Each time I would wake up, I would be covered in drool; I was sleeping so deeply.

Chris suggested that this could be a yearly thing.

I looked at my hands that are chapped and dry, my sinuses were dry and are painful ~  my skin is flaking.  I have cankles.

I think I need a year to recover.

We'll discuss it in 2013.

The divas:  no photos!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (Things that Made me Laugh This Morning)

Dammit.  When I got into the car, I was seriously intending on running stop signs and barreling over some pedestrians.  But then I saw this message, and  was reminded to.....not.   (FYI, this was my sister-in-law's car.  I had to take a pic.)


And, this is an old video, but I just saw it this week.  And although it is pretty sad, it is hilarious at thesame time:
Drunk Guy in Store