Monthly Archives: July 2011

Pair of Perfect Weekends.

Old Miner’s Day Parade was occurring the weekend we went to the mountains two weeks ago, but we didn’t know about until it was happening. We heard the military jets fly over to kick it off and we saw remnants of it afterwards as we walked through town. But we were enjoying our delicious “regular” breakfasts while it was parading through town. Everybody loves a parade, they say, but I think it’s safe to say that we love our breakfasts more! Priorities!



… and we both had enough leftovers for 3 or 4 breakfasts during the week. Nothing like having a tangible reminder of one of our favorite restaurants (and people) for a week after the original meal.

The tiny carnival was in town, too, and we strolled through the local vendors mixed in with the “carnies.” Tony visited the vendor who was popping and bagging kettle corn, and I visited the vendor who was selling shave ice. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it really was shave ice, and it neared the quality found in Hawaii and wasn’t that snow cone stuff. (What’s the difference? See here: Link)

We also saw llamas, people fishing, baby ducklings following their momma in the lake, people camping, speed boating and hiking with their dogs.

We stopped and visited the donkey, who was really interested in me until she discovered I had no treats for her!

She came trotting up to me…

She waited for me while I went to the car, and then came back…

Look how sad she is because I have no treats…

How bewildered I am…

We BBQ’d hamburgers and toasted marshmallows, had popcorn and watched movies on DVD. Oh, and took naps in the afternoon and had a nice, relaxing bath in the evening when the temperature cooled off.

(Sorry, Photobucket is being weird about these photos… you’ll just have to tilt your head…)

This weekend we headed down to Sea World, the planned highlight being Breakfast with Shamu. We were so excited when they brought back the Dining with Shamu experiences a couple months ago!

We left the rest of the day unplanned and spontaneously had our picture taken with Sea World characters (Shamu, Polar Bear, the Penguins and Sea Turtle).

We also happened to be walking by the Dolphin Show and the Pets Rule show just as they were starting and managed to score really good seats.

Dolphin finale…

Cat on high wire. Must be some good treats at the other end!

Doggy jumping rope in tandem with human…

While in the dolphin show, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds, which heated up the stadium immediately. We both spotted a vendor offering lemonade that was so cold it had beads of sweat falling off the cups, we looked at each other and were all, “LEMONADE!” Which is where we bought our companions for the day — The Psychedelic Dolphins!

They walked around with us the rest of the day, they drove home in our cup holder with us, and when Tony went to a movie that evening, I sent him a picture message of them with text that said, “You left your friends behind! They miss you!”

This morning, we had an unexpected rain storm. It was chore day, so I was up and at ’em early, but when it started raining, I went upstairs and crawled back into bed, into my husband’s arms, pulled the covers up to my chin, and listened to the rain as he snoozed waiting for his alarm.

It’s moments like that, and experiences like these, that make weekends perfect. I hope yours was, too.



Filed under Best Husband, I did something Special, I Left Home for Awhile

Blogabilities — Week of 07/24/2011

* I’m so grateful that the hummingbirds have decided to return to our yard! We filled their feeder and waited. Then waited some more. Months, really. We asked each other how to get the word out, is there a Hummer Tribune where we should be advertising? Then, Monday night, like magic, the hummingbird came!

* Those lemon trees I mentioned behind the deserted business buildings? Yeah, those? Let the harvest begin!

* Not happy with thieving neighbors. Every year around this time, I like to find my swim accessories and stock up for the rest of the year. (‘Tis the swimming season — have you ever tried to buy a swimsuit in December?) Swim goggles, swim caps, board shorts and cropped tankini, those are my things! The cropped tankini was discontinued two years ago (Newport News it the only place who I’ve found that makes them), and I was getting to the point where I was giving serious consideration to having some made by a custom swimwear company. Thus, I was thrilled to discover that Newport News is offering the cropped tankini once again! They were also on sale, so I ordered six of them, three in each color. When they arrived on my doorstep, there were only four, two in each color. I also thought it odd that the shipping package didn’t have a “plastic zipper” opening, and the internal sticky strip (if I needed to return it) wasn’t on the package. The next night, the two that were missing from my package were sitting on my doorstep. Like someone took them out of the shipping package (using the zipper opening, and resealed it using the sticky strip), kept them for 24 hours and then returned them. I’m a little creeped out about the apparent fact that I have a neighbor who goes around and opens packages, removes contents, reseals the packages, and then returns the removed contents the next day.

* Came across this recipe, if you want to call it that, for one ingredient ice cream. No ice cream maker needed, either, just a blender or a food processor. I’m one of those people who only likes bananas if they’re slightly green. Once they turn yellow and spotted they gross me out. Which is to say that I had a lot of frozen bananas. Not anymore. Not after finding this recipe. Yum!

* One of my bosses pulled a muscle in his neck yesterday at the gym. After commiserating with him, because I’ve certainly had my share of pulled or strained neck muscles, especially if I don’t stretch it out after swimming, I stood up to leave and drolly said, “There’s nothing quite like a pain in the neck…” He had been focusing on signing stuff, so there was a moment of silence and I took two steps before he processed what I had said. He laughed shortly, abruptly, in surprise and said, “Nope, there’s nothing quite like it.” One of those had-to-be-there moments, but it really was quite funny.

* The amusement I get when anyone asks to borrow a pen at work, and I offer them this particular pen. I’m also not a discriminator of offering this pen, either, I include the CEO of the company and my bosses. I’ll tell you, this pen does not make it very far away from my desk.


Filed under Blogabilities

When 2 Become 1…

We would like to interrupt our regularly scheduled program to make a public announcement.

Assuming that all continues to go well, we are pleased to announce — with much excitement and happiness — that we are anticipating the arrival of our son mid-to-late December 2011.

Given our love for the holidays, a Christmas baby couldn’t possibly be more perfect for us.

To celebrate, I made some specially themed S’mores cookies just for you!

Please, have two — we can’t eat them all…


Filed under Kid Quest

Blogabilities — Week of 07/17/2011

* The personal sized watermelons have completely disappeared from stores. They left Costco, which is where I normally buy them, which I thought was odd. Then I checked grocery stores; gone from there, too. Is Mexico on watermelon strike or something (that’s where they grow the personal sized ones)? It took me 2 weeks to give in, but I finally bought a small, seedless watermelon at Costco. The key words in that sentence being “small” and “Costco.” Which means it was large but they charge per melon vs. per poundage. At $3.99 each, it was hard to pass up. But that’s way too much watermelon for me to eat by myself, so that means Tony has been eating watermelon too! Which means I’m sharing my melon! (I think there’s a double entendre in there somewhere.)

* We finished a box of peaches from Costco on Monday night. My cat, Tug, adores boxes and since he’s been unhappy since Saturday’s vet trip, instead of throwing the box away, I put it on the floor by the sliding patio door. He watched me do it from across the room. As I turned to leave, he got up, walked over, sat down, curled up in it and went to sleep. I don’t think he moved all night. He’s been in that thing ever since. Guess I’ll make a note to remember that a box is the best soother for him for the next traumatic event in his life.
The first five minutes…

The 2nd night…

The 3rd night…

* I was searching in my personal diaries for something back in 2008 and, in skimming my entries during that time period, realized just how unhappy I was at my former job. I’m so glad I don’t work there anymore.

* I’m still loving my 5 am lap swims. I’m also loving that the weird marijuana smell has completely disappeared.

* I bought a fish net to keep in my swim bag to “fish” gross things (such as band aids, half eaten pop tarts or cigarette butts) from the bottom of the pool. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for years, I don’t know why I haven’t… optimism for the human race, I guess? But I’m glad I did. It’s been put to good use this week.

* Tony discovered lemon trees alongside a bike trail behind an unoccupied business building. If they’re gonna just drop to the ground, which they will, why not put them to good use and make lemonade (which I will)?

* I have a dental cleaning scheduled this Friday. I love my dentist and am very excited about getting my teeth cleaned. Yay for clean teeth! (Sometimes it’s the simple things, right?)

* Also, we’re going to the mountains this weekend. The anticipation! So many chores to do before we leave! Cannot wait. I’m so excited, I’m beside myself!


Filed under Blogabilities

Wordless Weekend.

Snug went to the vet yesterday for his wellness exam.
Tug went along to reduce post-event Alpha Control Syndrome.
We’re not sure if the strategy worked or not.

Driving to the Vets Office from Jammie J. on Vimeo.

Parking lot at Vet’s office from Jammie J. on Vimeo.

It was a fun drive. In fact, I’m still laughing about the vision I must have been. A yowling red convertible on a Saturday drive. Nothing like a clown car!


Filed under I feel Amused, Kid Substitutes, Tidbits

Blogabilities — Week of 07/10/2011

* It looks half dead, it should be half dead, my poor tomato plant. It has survived two years now hanging in this half disintegrated tomato hanger thing, and yet the poor thing has 5 tomatoes on it. I’ve been following these people’s blog for awhile now, and they posted about their tomato plants. I confess, I had Tomato Envy. Then reality struck and all I could think was, “How on earth do those people get the tomatoes from off the top of that thing?” Link
My poor tomato plant

* With the recent heat wave, the community pool has been loaded with kids. My response to that is that I’ve switched my schedule and now go swimming around 5:30am. I get in a good uninterrupted, solid 40 minutes of laps and 5 minutes of post-swimming stretches that way. I really enjoy swimming that early, although it does lend a certain sense of surreality to the start of my day. Or maybe it’s the weird marijuana smell over there that makes it surreal.  I hunted around for the source this morning, but couldn’t find it.  I thought it odd the first morning I noticed it this week that it never really went away the whole time I was swimming… so early in the morning. I also never saw the giveaway puff of smoke. Then again, this morning, when I went swimming even earlier, and there it was.  5am is kind of early to be smoking weed, isn’t it?  Maybe it’s some sort of weird plant that’s growing somewhere over there?  But I’ve never smelled it before… or maybe someone smokes it late at night and leaves their used doobies in their backyard?  I have no idea what’s going on. Surreal, yes indeed.

* This is why I’ll probably never use a new sun shade in my car until my current one disintegrates. I love having a gecko shadow on my dash.

* Tony discovered he had an issue this week with fraud on his debit card. We have no idea how, but someone fraudulently used his debit card at several merchant places — supposedly SWIPED it. We are baffled, because the thing has never left his possession. Fortunately, he’s not responsible for the charges, BUT his money is tied for 10 days. Money that he needs to use to pay bills. Even though the charges came from different merchants, I’m suspicious that it’s something like what happened with Michael’s Craft Store: LINK

* When our Parrotlet’s wings grow in, she becomes Miss Independent and sometimes cops an attitude. She did that to me last week and chomped into my lip. If anyone would have seen it, it was probably quite a sight to have a little green bird hanging off of my upper lip. I would have taken a picture for you, but (a) it hurt and (b) even I sometimes lack in dedication for photo documenting things. I pried her beak open and dropped her to the floor, except she didn’t drop. She flew all the way down to the first floor into the Den of Cats. It was harrowing, except the cats were more startled than she was… and Tony rescued her, and in the process pulled a calf muscle. I think there should be a recap here, except this paragraph is already way too long. Stop laughing! Suffice it to say, birdy’s wings got clipped this weekend and now she’s back to being the sweet, loving, funny little thing that she’s supposed to be.

* While we were getting birdy’s wings clipped, we talked to the pet store owner about our cats’ dietary needs. You may recall that we almost lost one of our cats last November due to urinary tract blockage. We would have lost him except for the quick diagnosis and dedication of our amazing vet. Anyway, so he and, because of him, all of our cats have been on a special urinary tract food. This has become prohibitively expensive for us, especially when you factor in that the manufacturer of this special food has a monopoly on the market of that type of food, so they keep raising their prices. Katie, the pet store owner, came up with a strategy for us to feed him a really good wet food morning and nights, and then she found a less expensive food with comparable ingredients to our special food that we’re hoping will work out for all the cats, including our “special” cat, in the event that he sneaks the food that our other cats are eating.

* We saw this sweet Bengal kitten at a pet store a couple weeks ago. I have never drooled over the way a cat looked more than I did this little girl. Isn’t she gorgeous?

* Ripe and ready figs from my tree in the back yard make me very happy. This one, I thought, was going to be terrible. It showed up so early on the tree. Turns out, it was one of the sweetest i’ve ever had.

* Our county fair opens this weekend — although we won’t go this weekend, I can’t wait to go!


Filed under Blogabilities

Glad That’s Over!

It’s been quite the week around here.

The heat wave we have every summer has hit in full force. Especially in our area, since we’re up near a mountain, inland, we seem to have more extreme weather than those who live more coastal. Trying to get the get the heat out of the house at night always seems to be a bit of a challenge, especially since all of our bedrooms are upstairs.

Tony’s been in and out of the dentist chair this week. He has slowly, as budget permits, been taking care of his teeth. Getting fillings replaced, and if they’re too deep, getting crowns put on. Our dentist’s office has been working with him, allowing him to make partial payments as the work goes along. Despite the insurance coverage we have, which we’ve been told is really good, co-payments for dental work beyond the basic stuff is still very expensive.

One of the nights this week, he was hit with pain that kept him awake all night in misery. We thought it may be due to having kept his temporary crown on too long while we waited for money to catch up with treatment. So, he went in the next day and had the permanent crown put on. The next day, the pain returned. He found himself in the specialist’s chair on Friday having a root canal done on the tooth above the newly crowned tooth. A tooth he’d had a crown put on but a month or two ago.

I’m always amazed how such small parts of our bodies (a tooth, a toe, a finger) can cause such life altering pain. He seems to be feeling better, based on his activity level yesterday… he helped a friend move. You have to be feeling good to do that, right?

As a bonus, one of the places that his friend needed to go for furniture was up to the mountains. A block away from the Grizzly Manor. Which meant that, as a surprise (I didn’t know they were going up there, neither did Tony, actually), Tony brought me my favorite breakfast — The Mess. I was (and am) happy about that!

On Friday night, we spontaneously participated in Chick-Fil-A’s “Dress Like a Cow, Get Free Food” promotion. We were just sitting at home, talking. Tony’s pain meds had finally worn off and he said, all sad, “Today was Chick-Fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day.” He looked at me, I looked at him. He goes, “They don’t close until 10pm…” We hopped online and printed off some cow disguises and off we went. I figured the fact that I was wearing my jammies in public (so classy of me, although in my defense they ARE Jack jammies, and those are pretty cool!) would be hidden by the cow disguise!

Sure we had people laughing at us in the parking lot, but we got a free meal out of the whole thing — and they didn’t, because they didn’t dress up. Plus it made us laugh after a bit of a crazy week!


Filed under Best Husband, Life Encompasses Me


Minutes ago, our black and white kitty sat perched on my lap, purring loudly in response to a brushing that two nights ago I had promised him I would give him “sometime this weekend.” I have no confidence that he knew what I said, but I do know that he looks forward to brushing sessions like a boat riding seasick person does to seeing land. Head turning, eyes searching for what he desires when someone walks past the drawer where the brush is held.

As our cat looks forward to his brushings, I look forward to my hour long swims on the weekend under the early morning sun. Yesterday morning and this morning, I arose early and made my way to our community pool in the hopes that I would beat the crowds of neighbors seeking cheap “Marco Polo” type holiday weekend entertainment. I win some, I lose some. Yesterday, I lost. Today, I won.

In the afternoon yesterday, when the heat became overbearing, we headed to our local mall and walked hand-in-hand with each other through a few of the stores (air conditioning!). We headed to the frozen yogurt place and joined the throngs of people waiting in line for our chance at the cold treat, eating hurriedly to minimize the melting and dripping. The perfect excuse to eat fast!

Satisfied with ourselves, we headed home via the Duck Park route. We noted a group of fowls gathered near the sidewalk. As we drew near, we noted that someone had spread a great amount of seeded bird food there. Although the location of the food was less than ideal given its proximity to the road, we were thankful for it because we had no bread or food for them, since it was a spontaneous drive by.

Other small events lent the weekend a sense of ease and leisure, although it’s not — not really. We’ve been doing chores and normal weekend stuff, but the pervasive feeling of the holiday is here. Of just having an extra day that’s our own to enjoy with each other. Of freedom.

I feel like our kitty getting brushed — happy, content, long-awaited desire met for extra time at home. It’s good.

Happy 4th of July.


Filed under Best Husband, Entertainment can be Cheap, Who I am