Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Outdoor Food

This week's theme courtesy of Girlichef is Outdoor Food. I had another fur butt encounter that caused me to use these shots for the theme. I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!
This is our cat. She is a good mouser. She brought this one into the house and after I chased them both outside, I was convinced the mouse would scurry to a safer place. I think he either had a death wish, or wanted to play.
She's got this thing in her mouth, and I've locked them both outside. The last think I need is another smelly bloated carcass turning up.She played with this pour or perhaps misguided mouse for a good 2 hours, and I never did find it dead later, so maybe they are now playmates...She doesn't really like her cat food, and so has been supplementing with rodents. I think the Jays like her food though!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ABC Wednesday - B is for Butterflies

For the rest of the Alphabet soup, folow the link above!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

This was a tiring weekend. Friday at work was tiring. People in general are making me tired. Living with a bipolar person is tiring. the heat tonight is tiring. Well enough about the tiring things, and on to why I am really tired.
Friday was the usual neighborhood kids hanging out in the afternoon and evening. Friday night I went to bed early, on purpose, but The Dog had other ideas. He's 15, and usually a very mellow being, lazing about the house all day and night. Not Friday night, ohhh noooooo, he paced the hallway and our bedroom for 2 hours in the middle of the night, sending The Dude out in case he needed a restroom break, and bringing his water in for him. He FINALLY settled down, and about an hour later I had to get up and use the restroom, and an hour after that, so did The Dude. By Saturday morning I was fried.
Saturday was another swim meet, at the pool I grew up going to, in the neighborhood where my parents still live. The boys had fun, and I was second shift timer partnered with a guy who was a bit of a tool. I replaced the person he was initially partnered with because he complained about her. He also yelled at a bunch of the kids, and at one of our coaches. Really he was kind of a heart attack waiting to happen. I mean really, this is summer league swimming, not the Olympics... It took a great deal of energy just to deal with all of the negative vibes going on. Following the meet I just wanted to come home and relax, but the neighborhood kids hung out for a couple more hours, while The Dude napped. I unpacked the car from the meet and repacked it for the Swim team sleep over. You read that right. Think tent and sleeping bags, swimming, a slide show and movies, BBQ, potluck, dessert, snacks, not much actual sleeping, early morning, bagel and coffee, tear down and repack the car. The Boys had a complete blast with their cousins and friends, and didn't ever want to get out of the pool. In fact the first thing I heard from them this morning was if they could go in the pool. This was at 7:30, after having gone to bed at 11:00.
Got everything torn down and leaned up, and The Boys got to swim for about another 90 minutes before it was getting unbearably hot for me, and I wanted to come home, take a shower and nap. Instead, we got home, I unloaded the car, did dishes and laundry, and The Dude went to work, and napped when he got home. The neighbor kids were back, but only for a short while until The Youngest threw a meltdown fit. The Boys were just as tired as I was, and didn't even want to nap. The Oldest is now on a Queen kick asking me to add We Are The Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody to his ipod. I added a few others I thought he'd like, and we lost him to the ear buds pretty much the rest of the day after that. Pizza for dinner, and I needed another shower to cool off. I just hope everyone sleeps through the night tonight so that I am moderately rested for work tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday Stills - Toys

Today I took my inspiration from the two places I will site a t the bottom. If you want to see the rest of the participants, which I suggest you do - go! do it now! GO HERE

"Woody, we seem to have landed in a mysterious place, far from home!"
"Buzz, this is just our backyard."
"It most certainly is not our backyard, Woody. See this oddly shaped gourd? What evil genius is growing this?"
"Buzz, it is not odd, nor is the grower evil. It's a pumpkin. For Halloween? and the grower is J9, hardly evil at all.""I still don't trust her, she has a past. I'm going to look for a way back home.""Buzz, just stop messing around in the tomatoes, and get up here! See, look in the window - that's the kitchen."
"Right, and I suppose those upside down tomatoes are just a good idea?"
"Well, I'd say they are a little creepy, but evil? No Buzz. Now let's go through the dog door and get back to the toys before they think I tried to kill you again."So that's my borrowing of Toys for this week!
I was going to do Lego Indiana Jones, until I saw this.
And the following made me laugh so hard - the language is NSFW, but really REALLY funny.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Reflections on Life

Today's Friday Shoot out can be seen below, but I've been doing a bit of reflecting on life lately.

I have sung his praises before, but Nick James is an amazing philosopher for one of such young age. His post of 7/16 struck me, especially this excerpt:
"Life doesn't always happen the way it should. The "way it should" is actually only the way you think it should. Once we clear our minds of of we think things should happen and just open our minds to see how things pan out naturally, we will end up feeling more triumph than failure."

This is nothing new or Earth shattering for a revelation, and it seems perfectly natural a thought to occur to a 20 something. What struck me is that at over double his age, I sometimes forget this. I need to be reminded of these things as I get caught up in the morass of day to day living.

Today, while combing the Friday shoot-out participants I found a couple of helpful things. First from Kimberly at Life is Now a quote from Thomas Merton:
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
Then this gem from Sherri of Painting is just another way of keeping a diary... :

Which got me thinking of this song, and made me smile:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Reflections

This week's theme courtesy of Audrey is Reflections. I did spend a portion of the week trying to chase down a photo I'd taken decades ago, with no luck, so I had to kind of improvise. I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!
This first shot was taken in my home, looking down the hallway toward the bedrooms.

This shot was taken in my kitchen, looking up into my garden window, the reflection of some dirt, bricks, garden hose and soccer ball bungee laying in the back yard.This is my favorite of the reflections shots this week. Taken in my backyard, the side fence on the left, and the reflection of same in my garden window on the left along with the other half of the fence.Because these seemed rather anemic, I dug through my archives for additional images. The below image was taken this past Spring at Shannon Center:Taken this past winter on a walk through my neighborhood:Taken in 2007, in our local Hooters:Taken about a year ago in Yellowstone:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wicked Wednesdays #1

Well, well, well... It seems like you all want a Wicked Wednesday, and so I intend to please. This all began last week with this post. So I guess I'll regale you with a night of drinking that went horribly, horribly wrong. If you are under the age of consent for wherever you live in the universe, take these as cautionary tales. If you are like me and have had your share of poor judgement moments, then we can laugh together.
Yes that is a picture of me with a lampshade on my head, doing the shimmy. I will not be posting the names of my cohorts in these wanton ways, but for clarification, will identify them by an initial of their names.
It was one of my college years at UC Santa Cruz, where I was probably majoring in nothing at the time, or perhaps I was still trying to decide between Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Archeology, Physics, Linguistics, or Math. Or maybe I had already broken my parents' hearts and declared Theater Arts as my major... At any rate, I decided to visit my friend "D" at Humbolt State. After a REALLY Looooooong drive, by myself, where I almost ran out of gas and nearly hit a buck crossing the desolate highway, I managed to arrive alive and in one piece. Oh, and needing a drink.
I must take a moment to mention that UCSC and Humbolt are known for a certain weed that is rolled and smoked. However I was never into it, so I was happy sitting and watching people take a bong hit, then run the stairs while holding their breath. And I did love to screw around with people who were high, asking such greatly amusing questions as, "Don't your teeth itch?" and "What do your eyeballs say?" I know, what a horrible bitch I was...
We were drinking Root Beer Schnapps on ice and is was going down far too quickly on an empty stomach, so we headed to one of D's friends and the store (likely a 7-11). For some ungodly reason I thought Fritos would settle my stomach and soak up some of the alcohol. I ate an entire bag. Then "D", and her friend / boyfriend "M", or maybe it was "P" thought a cinnamon milkshake would be the ticket. Let me assure you that it was not. Placing ice cream, milk, and cinnamon on top of alcohol, fritos and stomach acid was a very bad idea. Very bad indeed. I ended up passing out in D's room, and she and her roommate "S" placed me on my stomach with a garbage can nearby. I vomited into that can for what seemed like days, but was really several hours. I'm not quite sure if or how "D" or "S" slept. I seem to recall "S" being particularly nice about cleaning up, while "D" was clearly in the "You made the mess, you clean it up" mood. Hungover and feeling like death on a stick, I made my way back to Santa Cruz. I actually think I didn't have another drink with "D" until we were both well out of college. She probably still either holds that evening against me, or laughs her ass off when she thinks of it!

ABC Wednesday - "A" is for Airplane

I decided to join this meme in it's fifth round now. I have seen some of the folks I follow participate, and thought it would be fun too! The rest of the folks can be found on the ABC Wednesday Blog.
This is the Spirit of St. Louis shot while of tour of The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. I was tempted to include and astronaut for this historic week, but without this airplane, the adventurous spirit it took to imagine the trans Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh, and the technology developed for this aircraft, there may not have been astronauts at all.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Audrey got this WHATZIT no sweat
Right out of the gate, you can bet
I will make these tougher I rant
She correctly called an Aloe Vera PlantGuess the item pictured for fun
It will help you heal from the sun
We have them in the Pacific Northwest
Can we see who guesses best?

Monday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Was unable to pull it together enough to submit on either challenge over the weekend - oh well... I miss my FS and SS peeps.
Spent some of the afternoon with The Boys, and their friend. Played in a water park nearby, and everyone had fun. I was able to visit with my friend (mom of their friend), and relax a bit. The Boys went to bed early in anticipation of Saturday Swim Meet. The Meet was at the pool closest to our house, which meant not leaving the house quite so early, AND The Boys swam against many of their friends from school and Tae Kwon Do.
The Dude in standard pose at the Swim Meet
The Boys did well in the Swim Meet. The Oldest beat his Butterfly time by about 6 seconds, and The Youngest beat his Breast Stroke Record, barely. Missed seeing Sis and Nephews because they were at a soccer tournament. I'm sure the team suffered without them there, but I haven't checked the meet score. Just checked, and yeah we got creamed. But the boys had a blast, and although it was HOT, I enjoyed myself too. Got some decent photos, which you will see below.
Kilroy Was Here We have Splash Down!Ice Cream Time!The rest of the day was spent hanging around the house, doing laundry.
Planned on taking The Boys to a different water park, packed lunches and got them in swimsuits and in the car. Ran back into the house for towels and when I got back to the car, The Youngest was beating the crap out of The Oldest who was screaming. Sent The Youngest into the house, got in the car, started it and asked The Oldest what he did to have this all happen. Turns out, they called each other idiot, The Oldest pinched The Youngest, and The Youngest was hitting The Oldest when I returned. I turned off the car and sent The Oldest back into the HOT house. So much for a cooling time at a water park. They were generally pissed off and crying the rest of the afternoon, but in the evening they played well together and surfed You Tube for funny Sponge Bob videos.
Other random things:
The fur butt cat brought a LIVE rat into the house and deposited in The Boys' room.
The Dude and I got in an argument over the DVR and my wanting to daily record Rachel Maddow, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and how that messes up his weekly recording of several items. The reason for the mess is that all of these daily shows ALWAYS list as first run, and as such record 3-5 times each day. And they are prioritized higher than his shows, so he's missing a number of them. The compromise is I manually record Rachel Maddow once a day, and The Daily Show and Colbert Report at 5:30 the next morning.
I got to sleep in on Sunday, which I think is fair since The Dude naps every day.
I really hate Mondays.
I'm doing better on remembering to take my High Blood Pressure medicine every day.
The Boys are doing well in helping to keep the house a bit tidier.
I love British accents.
Facebook is like crack.
I'm sad and bitter about not being able to buy my in-laws home.
I miss all the friends The Dude has alienated over the years.
Torchwood is tonight, so maybe Mondays aren't so bad after all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesdays and I need a new name

So I had an idea this morning at 3ish while driving home from Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. I was listening to a replay of Derrick and Romaine And they were taking calls about "A Night of Drinking That Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong". I have certainly had my share of these, but they wouldn't fill more than 2 months of Wanton or Wild or Wicked Wednesdays Weird Wednesdays seems a bit more in step with what happened today, so I'll start with Weird Wednesday tales. This is eerily similar to earlier weird tales of my home. The temperatures here have been hovering just around 100 degrees. Yesterday afternoon, the office/playroom started smelling weird - like melted poo. This morning I spent some time trying to locate where the dog or cat may have left something. It wasn't until late this afternoon that I was able to sniff out the dead, bloated and rotting roof rat. Thankfully, The Dude was able to get it out in one piece, but that left a trail of smell. I sprayed everything down with Febreeze, opened the window, turned up the fan, and shut the door. Two hours later, everything was good to go. I have to wonder when my Little fur butt brought that treat in - this week? while we were on vacation? It makes my skin crawl really. I will regale you with tales of my Drunken nights gone horribly wrong starting next week. In the meantime - vote in the poll at right for your favorite alliterative Wednesday name.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tableau Tuesday 7/14/09

Here we are at Tuesday again, and I'm going to post some of last week's Swim Meet that are not also already in my weekend wrap up. I'm deciding whether to join yet another photo meme, or maybe two. Don't know if I'm up for it quite yet...

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Friday afternoon and evening was spent feverishly cleaning my house because it was important to The Dude that the house be clean for visiting friends he hadn't seen in 20 years, and I've never met, nor really even hard of until facebook. But he was working late, so I cleaned. The neighbor kids wanted to play, but The Boys had an early swim meet, so they couldn't.

Saturday, the meet went really well, The Boys had a ton of fun, they swam against a team with several of their classmates, so I got to see some friends I hadn't really seen all summer. I've been thinking alot about the people I see, but not regularly who I find inspirational, or calming, or just a friendly face. I realize that I miss my interactions with the greater world around me, and this summer has been all about shuttling kids and working, although my 4th of July holiday was fun. The Dude left the meet early to greet his friends. They live a few hours away and have mostly grown kids. The Dude, in typical fashion was not particularly clear on what we would be doing, other than it was to occur after the swim meet. He asked me to find a sitter, and when I asked his mom, she could, but not until dinner time, which I thought would be ok. Turns out, The Dude wanted to do something immediately after the swim meet, until about dinner time so his friends could be on their way home before too late. Without a sitter, we ended up going to the county fair, which was fine because we haven't actually been in a few years, and The Boys love riding the rides, and eating junk food. While there it poured. seriously. Rain. In July. The rain was cold, and the weather was warm and humid - just weird. The Youngest played some games and won his own prizes (which he has been doing since the age of 3). The oldest rode the rides he likes over and over. We walked around and visited, and saw another friend that I hadn't seen in a month, as well as one of The Boys friends from Tae Kwon Do. The Boys ate Cotton Candy, Caramel Corn on a stick, and Corn Dogs. The Youngest and The Dude rode the mechanical bulls, and we managed to miss the mini dog races, and the pig races, and roller derby. The Boys were exhausted by the time we left, and went right to bed after baths with no arguments.

Sunday was a stay at home/lazy day. The house was still clean (thankfully), and The Dude took The Boys to the movies, while I went grocery shopping and did laundry. Following the movies, The Dude went to work, and the neighbor kids came over to play. Because I'd actually taken the time to grocery shop, we had a decent and well balanced dinner, with strawberry shortcake for dessert. Oh, and I've found a new dressing to obsess over - Yogurt Blue Cheese. Haven't actually compared the label to regular or "lite" to see if it is actually healthier.

Another item that struck me yesterday was on the back of a mini van. I didn't immediately know what it was about, but it got me wondering if the moniker was intended as Riotous, or as Righteous. It looks like neither, but it got me thinking about the two words, and how different and similar they really are. Yes, I know, but it's something to occupy my brain.

My eye twitch is back with a vengeance.

I worked Saturday's meet, so I have to include pictures from last Wednesday:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Town Shoot Out, and Sunday Stills

Both Challenges that I have been neglecting chose the same theme for the same week, so I get a two-fer! And I have little excuse not to jump right into both!

The theme this week is Texture.

For My Town Shoot Outs, I recommend going to look at everyone's home towns. You can find us all in the comments of Patty or Reggie Girl's Blogs, or in the sidebar from Gordon or GingerV. I did not get very far from home - all shots taken in my back yard!

For Sunday Stills, you can find all of the participants in the comments of the link.

I enjoy participating in both challenges, but it is sometimes a challenge just to get to all the posts (at least 70 combined), navigating through ie issues, commenting, and sometimes even coming up with a comment that has more meaning than just, "nice shots". That is part of the reason I haven't been joining in recently - the whole work life balancing act added to visiting and thoughtfully commenting on 70 posts was too much. This week, I will indeed try to get to all of them, though no promises.
Roofing Composite Tiles on my shed out back:The roof of my patio cover - corrugated aluminium:Bark on the wood pile on the side yard. I fiddled with the lighting and contrast:
Mossy bark on the wood pile:
The tire on a hand truck. I really like the sharp edges on this shot:
Wood on the back gate:
You can even find texture on a leaf with cobwebs:
Or on the head of my Youngest:
A Paintbrush worn and weather beaten. It reminds me of tall grass and autumn:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tableau Tuesday 7/7/09

The weekend was really cool and very busy with little kid fevers and puking thrown in for good measure. Oh, and fireworks, and lake water, and sand and boats and tubes, and lots and LOTS of laughter. My eye twitch completely disappeared until I logged back on! All images were shot over the weekend, and all are DOOC. I haven't had time to sit and play with them at all!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

To my Evil Twin, Pamela Anderson. We are both 42 today. I wonder what she is doing to celebrate our birthday. I wonder if, like me, she will be shuttling kids around, picking up people at the airport, packing and shopping for a 4th of July water holiday. Is her day going to pass with little fanfare? Is she going to be running around like a chicken with her head cut off, or having a luxurious respite at some swanky spa?
Allow me to elaborate on how I spent my 42nd Birthday:
Left the house to drop off The Boys at Oma and Opa's at about 9:30. Had no gas in my car, and when I went to pay for the gas, found my ATM card expired yesterday. Used the $8 I had on me. Shopped for groceries for a camping trip. While at the store (pretty much smack dab in the middle of said store), got a call from a friend stating his flight just landed (nearly an hour ahead of schedule). This was after The Dude dropped the bomb that I needed to even go to the airport because he had to finish a couple of contracting jobs today, and teach CPR tonight. Finished shopping, picked up The Boys and sent them with my car and shopping partner to her house. Borrowed Oma's car, drove to the airport to pick up friend, and drove him to his home (about 90 miles away). Got back to shopping partners house to find The Boys swimming with her boys - totally cool. Dropped Oma's car off at her house. Went to the bank to order another ATM card, because mine was not at home. Took out cash and filled up my car. While driving by DMV decided to stop and see how bad the lines were, as my license also expired today. The line was at least an hour long and I only had 45 minutes to drop off shopping partner, pick up The Boys, get back home, get them changed, pack up the car and get to their swim meet. Made it, no problem. Sis and I were scheduled both to work first shift, so I traded for 2nd shift with another person, and got The boys to the races on time. The Youngest had me draw a shark on his back, but he only wanted a baby shark! The Oldest agreed to no more writing on his back unless I approve it first. They swam against alot of kids from their class, friends from soccer and baseball, and the kids of a friend of mine whom I have known since the third grade. My Mom and Dad were there, and brought cupcakes, and sang Happy Birthday to me, and then did Happy Birthday in Opera Cat. It's difficult to explain, but at some point I will have The Oldest do it for the camera, and I'll post it here. Everyone had a blast until The Youngest crashed out at about 9:30. They hardly whined or fought, so I knocked down their sit-up balance, and I'm completely pooped! Oh, and I didn't have much chance to eat, except for a couple of snacks and a cupcake. Oh, and The Dude cancelled his CPR class, and forgot about the meet, so I set up and took down all the stuff, with the help of my nephew, sis and bro in law!
And because it's my Birthday too:

And we certainly cannot ever forget this: