Category Archives: Blogabilities

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.

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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!

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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!

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Blogabilities – Week of 06/26/2011

* I’m ever thankful for a husband who notices small details. As a very tiny example (because there are far too many wonderful things that man does, way too many to list), when I buy the “personal-sized” watermelons at Costco, they come in a mesh bag of 2 that I hang on the corner cabinet in the kitchen. One day recently I came home and set groceries down and went back out to my car for more. I came back inside and most everything had been put away, including the watermelons hung just the way I usually do. I stared at them for a second and wondered if I had done that, but I smiled as I realized that I hadn’t, he had. He knew how I liked it. He’s always been that way… and I’m so blessed.

* I very much dislike bad marketing pictures. In fact, I’m making this a new blog category. Walking through Walmart, I saw this guy on a box for a floatie tube thing for the pool. It scared me so bad I took a picture (isn’t that what everyone does)? Then for the next two days until I cleared off my camera’s SD card, if I reviewed pictures I’d shriek and yell, “AHHHH, SCARY TUBE GUY!” And my husband would say, “Huh?” And then laugh at me.

* You may remember when my friend, Grace, had her baby … FIVE YEARS AGO. How does this happen, five years? She had a birthday party this past weekend, and I watched as Mia (her daughter) laughed and played with her friends, smiled and interacted with everyone at her party, and did crafts… and she starts school this year. I’m so baffled. From a tiny baby who stared you down with an “I dare you to make a fool of yourself!” look on her face came forth this happy, skipping child with a beautiful, engaging smile who loves dresses, Awana, Octonauts, Disneyland, princesses and (weirdly) snails. Mind boggling. Where did the time go?

* This very same friend (Grace) bought ME a gift and gave it to me at her daughter’s party. I’m not sure if this is a blessing or not, actually, because it’s a gift of the consumable nature. When she gives me these types of gifts, they’re usually highly addicting. This gift was organic/decaf corn tea. Sounds kind of weird, but it has, in just a few short days, become my new favorite warm drink. Over hot chocolate, even.

* I got a notice in the mail from my mortgage company. Worried, because I don’t like getting anything in the mail which departs from the regular mailing schedule from companies who collect money from me, I ripped it open. Happily, I discovered that they’re notifying me that my ARM is going down and I will be paying a tiny bit less each month to my mortgage company starting September. In times when money is so tight in our household, everywhere really, every little bit helps!

* The perks of having a small car… I can park all cockamamied in my parking spot to maximize tree shade and still be inside the lines of my parking spot. Bonus? No one can figure out how to park next to me without being all crooked, too.

* The pool bunnies are back. Since I’ve been swimming in the community pool again, I’ve been looking for them, waiting for them. I was thrilled (THRILLED!) to see one hop out and start grazing on the grass one evening this week. Pool bunnies are the best!

* S’mores cookies. Do you really need me to say more?

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Blogabilities – Week of 06/19/2011

* Me: I love your version of Rice Krispie treats. They’re so good and not as sweet as the store bought ones. I think everyone else must add extra sugar.
Him: Probably. I’m glad you like them.
Me: They’re mostly healthy, I think, you use less marshmallows than the recipe calls for… although there is a lot of butter in them.
Him: Yeah, but the butter cooks out.
Me: Stares at him with raised eyebrows. He’s totally serious.
Me: No. That’s liquor that cooks out.
Him: Oh. You’re right.

* This here is the primary reason I go to work on Fridays and get there by 8am. Also, you know, the whole “Building the Money Hump” thing. Oh, and to interact with all my charming co-workers. But mostly, this.

Croissant filled with scrambled eggs…

Fresh fruit…

* I know they’re lying to me, when I’m at the bottom of my FB feed and it says, “There are no more posts to show right now.” Liars! Liars!

* Based on traffic patterns this week, it appears that a lot of people have taken this week off from work. Good for them, good for me! Less traffic in my way cuts 10 minutes off of my commute. Such a treat!

* I’m not terribly thrilled that my boss is going on another 2 week travel trip, starting tomorrow. (sigh) I’m really praying that this trip will go more smoothly for him than the last one. The reality of it is that it matters not how much preparation one does in advance, because wacky weather and unattended packages left in airports can throw it all off.

* Because I’ve been swimming laps outside in our community pool, I’ve not been going to the gym to swim or attending my weekly aquatic aerobic class. My instructor for the class emailed me a couple nights ago to tell me how much she missed me. Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever?

* Outside the kitchen/break room window at work there are several jacaranda trees where a group of crows like to hang out. I love watching them hop around in the tree, fly from tree to tree, or when they sit up there and groom themselves. On an occasion last week, the gardeners were testing the sprinklers and there was one crow who flew down and hopped through the sprinklers like a 5 year old kid on a hot summer day. He hopped and flew through several of them, even found some puddles to splash through, and then went so far as to stick his face in the sprinkler itself. That bird was so wet and so very happy with himself. It made me happy to watch him being happy.

Crow in a jacaranda tree…

Kind of difficult to see him since he’s in the shade of the tree…

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Blogabilities – Week of 06/05/2011

* My right ear has been weirdly blocked for last couple of days. I mean, I can hear from it, I don’t have any pain, but when I chew anything — apples, gum, nuts — it sounds like I’m living in a drum. Even scratching my head makes it all echo-like in there. I’d say it’s like having water in my ear, but it’s not. *grunt* Very hard to describe and very weird. Hoping it goes away soon. I’m thinking it may be related to allergies, since my eyes have been really irritated lately, too.

* My boss is back in the office. The one who has the strange stuff happen to him when he travels. But not without a last hurrah of weirdness. So his travel day went well, his flights were even early. His flight landed and he was informed that the airport shut down minutes after his flight was on the ground, as well as all the freeways surrounding the airport (where my boss’ ride was), due to a suspicious unclaimed package. So, he sat on the tarmac for an hour, then they moved him and his fellow passengers, and everyone in the airport, into a quarantine area. For FIVE hours. The bomb squad finally blasted the package with high-powered water and then the package was deemed “harmless.” Apparently, some dude had forgotten to claim his harmless package and offered apologies. No arrests were made.

* My husband followed me home in his car from an outing this past weekend and told me that one of my brake lights was out. So he took that part of my car apart (and cleaned any remaining cat barf from the inside of my brake lens) and we headed off to Walmart to buy the appropriate replacement light. That little outing then turned into a spontaneous journey of getting paperwork from his doctor, then picking up a late lunch, eating that lunch at the local duck park, going to the grocery store to buy a cheap loaf of bread to feed the ducks at the duck park, and then back home again to fix my brake light. It was a beautiful day for spontaneous time spent with my husband… and ducks.

* While we were at the duck park we witnessed an inter-family fight. There was this whole family of people there, and two of the women and one of the men got into a physical fight. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. It consisted of a lot of hair pulling (so cliche) and jewelry pulling and clothing pulling with a couple of attempted slap swipes, a pathetic attempted choke hold by one of the women, and then everyone marched to the car, crying, got in together and the main woman who seemed to have started the fight was the driver, and she drove away all wild and swervily with all those people in her SUV. Maybe it’s because we’d just seen the new X-men movie, or because one of our neighbors is a recently retired UFC fighter whose fights I’ve watched (ouch!), but I kept saying to Tony, “Should I call the police? Is that really a fight?” Word of advice: It’s always best to talk things through like adults, but — really — if you feel the need to make a spectacle of yourself at the local family duck park, at least learn how to properly fight. Because you NEVER know. Someone like me could be sitting there eating my lunch and totally judging your fighting abilities. And then blogging about it later.

* One of my favorite performers, Shania Twain, is coming back to the stage in December 2012. I’m so excited! I’ve been watching her show, “Why not?” on OWN, and while much of it is frustrating and seemingly repetitive, I also know that’s the best way to work through the heavy emotional stuff. Especially if the heavy emotional stuff has never been worked through before.

* My new printer arrived a week or so ago. I finally took the time to install the software this past weekend and I’m building a relationship with it. So far, it’s meeting and exceeding my expectations, although there are still a few functions I need to test out. It’s definitely not a trial sized printer and it LOOKS like it means business. There were stickers on the side of its box pronouncing it to be a “team lift” project. Hopefully the UPS guy had a helper to lift it. ha

* When we go to the movies, sometimes I like to get a soft pretzel but I really dislike salt on it. I’m a mustard girl. After the movie, I was surprised to note that they had given me the salt packet separately. I know I’ve always been curious what’s in my pretzel salt, so I thought you might be, too. Let the mystery now be solved…

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Blogabilities – Week of 05/29/2011

* Someone hacked into one of my Yahoo e-mail accounts and sent a bunch of spam e-mails to my contacts… some of whom I’ve not been in contact with for years and years. Beyond the fact that I’m a little confused at how they managed to hack in, since I don’t ever use unsecured connections, always log out, change my password often, and run anti-virus software, I find myself just a teensy bit amused, because the spam they sent out was about quitting smoking. Considering ALL the types of spam out there, I have to say that’s not the worst option to have been sent on my behalf. I only hope the people who received it weren’t dumb enough to click on the link.

* Tony has been having severe back pain since last Monday. He took himself to our General Practitioner on Friday night, who prescribed some pain medication and sent him home. But the persistent pain continued and worsened over the long holiday weekend — of course. Isn’t that always the way of it? On Tuesday, he again presented to our GP who referred him to a specialist… who couldn’t see him until June 10th. He called back for another referral, and went in Tuesday afternoon at 4pm. At 4:45pm he called me to say he was being admitted to the hospital for surgery and would be staying overnight for recovery and observation. Because I really want to gross you out (because I was kind of grossed out and I have a pretty high tolerance for grossness), I’ll tell you that he had an abscess at the base of his tail bone that the specialist cut into and drained out 1/2 cup of pus. He was released Wednesday afternoon, and is home recovering in much less pain.

* A couple weeks ago, I e-mailed the city in which I work about a traffic signal. They had reprogrammed it, not sure why, but it was allowing only 4 cars per green through which, during rush hour, or any hour, really, since the light exits traffic for the airport, caused a mile long back-up on the freeway. In California, people react to this by slowing and cutting in the exit lane at the last second, which causes slowing (and near-miss rear-end accidents) in the lane they’re changing from… and at the light, people squeak through on a red light. This morning I received TWO emails from the city, attaching the trail of emails since I emailed them, showing that they’ve been internally pushing this through to the appropriate jurisdiction and following up with them. I am so impressed.

* Last night for my evening swim, I went to the “upper pool” in our community. I may have to do that again, as that pool is surrounded by star jasmine shrubs. We’ve established in previous posts that the jasmine plants are blooming profusely this year, and I’m thrilled to report that the gardeners haven’t yet trimmed those shrubs back. The scent, combined with my favorite activity, was simply heavenly. The only problem I had with that was that it evoked a desire in me to go to some remote tropical place, like Kauai (for example), and swim there.

* Pool safety is one of my biggest concerns and also a pet peeve. So many parents bring their kids over, let them “swim” around in the pool, while they bury their nose in a book, get on their cell phone or take a nap, and call that supervision. It’s not. Or those parents who think it’s OK to send their younglings over to the pool all by themselves. It’s not. A couple years ago, my former boss related a story after his weekend, how he attended a pool party with 15 adults supervising their collective cache of children and yet his young daughter, who knew how to swim, almost drowned in the midst of all that supervision. He noticed, fortunately, and dove in, fully clothed to save his little girl. How can that possibly happen, you ask? See here: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning. Also, you guys, if your kids are in those wading pools or above ground pools, it’s just as important that kids be supervised. Link

* Looking forward to the weekend already. A three day weekend followed by a four day work week really rocks!

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