Friday, February 28, 2014

Walking Across the USA

I can't believe I've never talked about this before!

There used to be an older gentleman at my work who set a goal by "walking across the US" on his treadmill.  That thought stayed in my mind and I poked around the Interwebz and found

I signed up on April 21, 2011.  I started out pretty spotty.  I logged 56.2 miles in 2011.  83 miles in 2012, 128.4 miles in 2013 and already 64.7 miles in 2014!

This was a combination of WalkAtHome DVDs and trips around the park with the dog.  So far this year, it's from the treadmill, elliptical and the bike at the gym and the occasional dog walk - due to it being so freaking cold I only take him out on nice days.

It's pretty neat that they show you a line on the map with the trek you're taking and where you're at on it.  At 332.4 miles, I'm not even out of Virginia yet!!  It also shows you the view of exactly where you're at, like from a Google street car view.

 This is my log.  
9 times out of 10, I enter info from my phone, so I tap on the date & it takes me to a screen where I can enter my miles for the day.  

 Here's where I am.  
If this isn't a stereotypical Appalachian scene, I don't know what is!

 I can choose different maps to look at. 

The only problem I have is that you can't choose your own route across the US.  
This is the only option.  Meh.

At least I'm on a good roll so far for this year. I can't even begin to guess where I'll be at the end of my 6 month gym membership.  Maybe into Kentucky??  We shall see! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - Random Getting to Know You

Happy Monday!    We have a new hostess for a while while Kenlie takes a little break.  Hi, Sarah!!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

1. Introduce yourself in under 10 words.   Married, dance mom, pet mom, Navy veteran, blogger x3, haunter

2. How did you find Friend Makin Mondays?  Oh crap - I don't remember!  I just went back an looked and my first FMM was June 20, 2011!

3. Have you ever met any of your blog readers?  Nope.

4. How many states have you visited?   I've visited Arkansas many times (my MIL lives there), Ohio.  Do weekend/overnight visits count?  Oregon, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana.  I've driven thru many of them.

5. What did you have for lunch yesterday?   Ummmmmmm, eggs & grits. I had to check my tracker!

6. How many different places have you lived in?  Ooops, wait while I go change # 4.......OK.  I've lived in Michigan most of my life.  I was in the Navy for 8 years so I lived in a couple states.  Florida for about 6 months for bootcamp & school.  Georgia for about 2 years while on my first ship.  California (ok, I lived on the ship but was stationed in CA) for about a year - 6 months of which was spent at sea.  Then we changed homeports to Washington, where I lived for about 3 years until my enlistment was up and I came back to MI.

7. What’s your favorite color?   Blue

8. Do you have any pets?
My walkin' buddy, Jack.
He knows when I put a certain pair of shoes on we're going for a walk and he gets excited!

Maddie & Chester

and we have 3 aquariums - 2 of which have 1 fish. This guy is about 12 years old now (taken at Christmas 2009!!!)  

9. What would your ideal job be?  I love photography & animals so something with both of those.

10. Do you have any tattoos?  I have 4.  A morning glory vine on my left chest, a heart with 2 flowers on my right ankle that I'm going to eventually/soon have covered up, a mandela & feather on my calf above that & a rose vine (with Love in it) around my left ankle.

Have a great day

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Catching up

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted in almost 3 weeks!  Shame on me!

I was up 2.2 lbs this past weigh in and I have no idea why.  I had a pack of pop tarts at one point and we had dinner at Texas Roadhouse (rolls & peanuts!) but the entree I chose was decent - my usual 8 oz sirloin & grilled shrimp with veggies.

I've been good about getting to the gym 3 times a week.  I had no intention of getting up to go to Zumba Saturday after Valentine's Day (not that we did anything anyway), so I dropped in on the class at Miss Angela's dance studio Wednesday night.  I confess that I really like Kelli at the gym better, since her class is 100% cardio the whole hour you're in there - sweat pours!  Rosita at the studio does 2 really fast songs to begin, then slows down to do some salsa and never gets you back up to those first 2 songs.  Then does toning.  Which I guess is all good in its own way, but I like to keep moving!  I confess I had a hard time walking Friday morning after that class, since the muscles in the fronts of my thighs were tight!!

This week, the class at the gym was cancelled.  I was bummed, until I got the text from the studio that even tho the schedule only called for competition classes during winter break, they were still having Zumba.  So I went.  I hope they're not expecting to see me there every week!  This one was a bit tougher, since my knee has been acting up again.  It's weird.  The pain moves around.  Recently it's been mainly in the tendons up the back of it, making it hurt to walk when they stretch.

And I probably wouldn't be offended hearing Kelli cheering me on about getting buns of steel & "no cellulite by summer after doing this move"  since she's a tiny, fit little thing (she doesn't do stuff like that anyway).  But Rosita is not.  In fact, that woman needs to invest in a good sports bra.  She would lean forward to shimmy and it looked like her boobs were doing their own form of dance under her tank top. It was like a train wreck - I couldn't pull my eyes away! UGH!!

2/23/14 - thought dump

Why is it I can't some up with a witty title?  Pppft.

Woohoo!  Check out the sunshine!  Granted its only 32* out, but it looks nice from the comfort of my desk chair!  Randy's worked for the past 2 days to clear ice rinks off the driveway.  I'm happy that the iceberg finally fell off the awning over the back door.  It was sagging so far that we could only open the door about 1/2 way.  I really expected the sides to give out at like any moment.  And until that berg dropped, I was not going to park my car in my usual spot.  If that came down on my car, both my passenger windows would have been goners.

On the down side - no more pretending we were hockey players leaving the bench as we went outside (step down and swooooooosh)!

Can you believe they had another week off school, after all the 'snow' days already this year?  Ours is one of the few districts that has a full week for mid-winter break.  The others get a day or 2.  So Miss Angela goes back tomorrow.  That means I have to have my act together and have my clothes set out & lunch made tonight, since I have to have her to the bus stop at 6:45.  I leave straight from there for work.  This past week I've been dinking around, not even getting out of the house til 7:15 and not making it to work by 7:30.  Shucks.

So there was also the requisite shuffle of the dance schedule this week.  Normally if there's no school, there's no dance.  But they've missed so many days that they still had comp classes this week.  Their first comp is the weekend of 3/21 so while they've finished most of their dances, they still need to polish them up.   They should start added more classes any time now.

I was sort of sad that they cancelled my Zumba class at the gym yesterday, but since they went ahead and had it at the studio Wednesday, I dropped into that one again.  I prefer Kelli's class at the gym, since she does an hour of 100% cardio, where Rosita at the studio does half Zumba and half toning.  Which is fine, but I want to keep my heart rate up and have a good sweat and that just doesn't happen with Rosita.  Plus my knee has been acting up again.  I don't know what else to call it - so far there hasn't been serious pain, but what there is moves around.  Lately it has been concentrated on the tendons in the back don't want to stretch, which is necessary to walk!

After dance Friday - I dropped Angela and 2 other girls off at the mall (she went home with them for the night) and then Randy & I went out to dinner.  For some reason, the waitress really thought she was giving us crappy service and we got free desserts!  We had no complaints with her, she explained the wine list to us wine-idiots and while service was a tiny bit slow, it wasn't anything so bad that we fussed about it.  And instead of stopping by and asking if we needed anything, she'd stop and put her hand on the back of Randy's chair, pause and just say "hello".  Which cracked us up!  We were enjoying our time together, chatting.  Plus the conversation of the 3 young-ish females behind me was pretty entertaining.

Randy really wanted to stop at a liquor store to look for this Scotch that a British guy at work told him about.  We spent probably 45 minutes in there browsing!  He ended up with this fancy Scotch, some Irish whisky, a tiny bottle of Jameson's (in case of emergency) and I got a tiny Crystal Skull Vodka and a bottle of Shellback rum.  I can't believe we spent over $130 in alcohol and we seldom drink!  And I actually want to go back and get a couple tiny bottles of tequila that were in the shape of painted sugar skulls.  I just like the bottles!

OMG, scotch is soooo nasty!  

I could barely bring myself to take 2 of the tiniest sips.  Randy was OK with is but this bottle will be around for a LONG time!  I swear Miss Angela is really Randy's kid - she has a taster like he does.  I personally would never eat Vienna sausages & they happily will share a can, standing at the kitchen counter.  And we let her have a sip of this stuff and while she wasn't impressed with it, she didn't do the full-body shudder & gag like I did.  So when she's old enough, they can sit around & eat their Viennies and sip some scotch!

Miss Angela had me watch a couple You Tube videos yesterday.  This guy won So You Think You Can Dance, season 10 (idk how long ago this was, since I don't watch it) but this is the song she's doing her tap duet to.   He's pretty freakin' amazing with his solo hiphop to it.   Actually, I was impressed with all of his dancing.

 Oh, to be able to move like that!  

And then we watched some videos of her high school dance team.  It was painful.  Angel was on the dance team for 1 year and they did OK with comps and stuff.  But her grades prevented her from staying on the team, plus it was getting in the way of her classes at the studio, so dropping the team wasn't a hardship.  I hate to say this about her school, but they sucked badly.  They were doing moves that the level 2 girls (around 10-12 years old) at the studio could do much better. And these girls are in high school and most also dance at studios??  Sad and I swear I'm not being biased, either.  
I've been somewhat productive this weekend.  We got all our errands run yesterday, I got a couple blog posts pre-written for the A-Z challenge.  I scrubbed both bathrooms top to bottom, I hung rugs outside to air.  Got the bed taken apart, washed the dust ruffle, changed sheets, etc and got it all put back together.  I've gotten the Valentine's stuff put away that has been sitting on the coffee table in the living room.  Now I need to wipe down the top of the stove and I'm waiting til the dishwasher stops to deep clean that.  There's mold growing on the racks & it won't just wipe off!  I'm going to have to take it apart & scrub with bleach or something.  Ew.

Sounds like the dishwasher is stopped.  Guess I better go hit the nitty-gritty!


Saturday, February 15, 2014


Sorry about the last woe-is-me post.  Sometimes ya just need to vent!

So I picked up the Valentine's lovebird double-daters from the movie theater around 10 last night.  Bart needed to get home.  I really like that his parents keep a fairly tight rein on him.  I approve!  Miss Angela had promised me a nice pic with him, but conveniently "forgot" so when we got to his house, we took them there.

But first, Brittany had to slam Angel's hand in the door.  Ooops!  Good thing there was lots of snow so I grabbed a big handful and held her hand in mine.  She's got a lovely bruise between her first & second knuckles on her pinkie finger now.  At least it's not a vital part of her anatomy that she needs for dance!

Eddie, Brittany, Angela, Bart

 Aw cute!

Then I took Britt & Eddie over to her house and we got some more pics.

 Photobombing with one of the dogs...

 No words. 

So I'm glad I re-arranged my workout schedule this week so I did Zumba at the dance studio on Wednesday instead of going to the gym first this this morning.  I got up at 7 to take the dog out, then went back to bed til 10:30.  I must have needed it, since I never sleep that late!  I am a total morning person.  I lounged until about 11, then got up and started breakfast.

Breakfast pizza!

We had a discussion at work and this idea came up, so I had to try it.  I used a Crescent crust that comes in a tube.  Baked it.  Then I sprinkled it with cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, cooked bacon, browned maple sausage and more cheese, then tossed it back in the oven to melt the cheese.   OMG, it was really good!

Miss Angela went to the mall with a friend, and I made Randy go shopping with me.  We wandered around the Salvation Army for a bit, just because it was there.  The real purpose was to go across the parking lot to Petsmart and get some new fish.  The one Gourami we had for like a year finally went to the big fishbowl in the sky and the tank was cleaned and ready for new inhabitants.  We had to check out the cats & critters first.  They had a dog adoption event going on and let me tell you, if our yard was fenced, Jack would have a new little sister!!  They had a 2 year old Beagle / Sheltie mix there and she was adorable!  She had the coat & coloring of a Beagle, but had a different looking head and was taller. But those eyes!  She wanted us.  But sadly, she couldn't have us. :*{

As my sister told me - put up a fence this spring!  But nope.  I'm going to be replacing my little mean green machine...
GRRR.  Fear me. 

With I don't know what yet.  I want a small SUV like a Ford Escape or something.  As long as it is taller than my Escort!  Some days it's really tough to get out of something so low, and the under-body is in pretty bad shape, rust-wise.  There have been times this winter I seriously thought it was going to break in half.  We'll probably ask Randy's friend down in Arkansas to look for prospects.  We'd rather have a used vehicle from there, since they don't have the salt corrosion that happens here.   And it has to be from the Big 3 - Ford, GM, Chrysler. But I could expand to Mercury, Dodge, etc.  I don't want to risk having Dad haunt me for driving something he didn't approve of!!

Yawn!  I'm ready for bed, but Miss Angela has a friend over, and lights out aren't til midnight.  So another half hour or so before they need to start settling down.  So I'll sit here on the computer with a glass of Malibu & OJ for a little while longer.

One of the ginormous snow-piles in our front yard.   
How many days til spring?  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Is it over yet? (edited)

I am so done with Valentine's Day!  

I don't even want to go on Facebook, because I don't want to see the flowers that your sweetie sent you at work, I don't care about your freakin' awesome date that you can't wait to go on.  Oh yeah - and it's cold & snowy here, too.  Not news!

Yes, you could say I'm bitter.  I thought I'd managed to tamp down the disappointment, and I felt pretty cheerful most of the day at work, at least until it was almost time to go home. Actually, I've been feeling down for the past week or so, knowing that this day was approaching.   You'd think with a name like ours that this would be an awesome day.  Nope.  I was told "Because I'm so practical, I will understand if we don't go out to dinner tonight because all the restaurants will be busy".  OK, that may actually be true, but it doesn't mean I have to like hearing it.  I'm OK with not going out to dinner.  I don't even need any jewelry.

I just want some damn flowers once in a while!

Randy used to bring me them practically every week, while we were dating.  I didn't care if they came from Kroger or 7-11 or wherever.  I loved them.  Carnations & cheap mixed bouquets were the best!

Then we got married.  {imagine air being let out of a balloon}

If I could remember over the past 7 1/2 years, I'd say the number of times he's brought me flowers I could probably count on one hand.

Soooo, on my way home tonight, I stopped at a little florist and bought my own damn flowers!

Jack says hi!

I've been living an ideal Valentine's Day vicariously thru Miss Angela & her boyfriend, Bart.  He got to school early today and decorated her locker with heart stickers and left flowers, a teddy bear & candy in there. SO cute!  So tonight, the 2 of them double-dated with Brittney & Eddie.  Britt's mom took the girls & someone else brought the guys and they met at the Olive Garden.  Afterward, I picked them all up and dropped them off at the movie theater.  I'll also pick them up after the movie, since they left lowers & food in my car.

I never had a boyfriend until halfway thru my senior year, so I never got to experience stuff like this. Which is probably why I willingly carted both girls to the mall last weekend and stood there for what felt like hours as they tried on dresses.

btw - it's 8:30 pm and Randy's not home from work yet, who knows when he'll be home. Most people would have thrown in the towel long ago, but OMG, they found some items wrong in this program (that he worked on last Friday, too) and since he didn't write the program, it takes forever to go thru it piece by piece to find the problem. He just won't stop until it's done.  So I had some lovely leftover spaghetti for my lonely dinner & am sitting here with the cat draped across my lap.  Woo.

...And I slipped a card & a "LOVE" chocolate bar in his laptop case this morning so he'd find it at work.  It didn't get acknowledged at all.

I wonder what it is like to have random little texts sent during the day because he's thinking of me...or what it's like to get small little thoughtful gifts for no reason.  Hell, you'd think by now both him & Angel would know me well enough to pick out something they know I'd like for Christmas / my birthday / Easter.  Nope. The best I can do is send him a link to something I want.  So not only do I usually buy my own presents, I wrap them too.  So those days usually suck, too.

Sorry for the pity-post.  I had to get that all off my chest.  Once this day is finally over, I'll hopefully be back to my normal, cheerful self. 

On the plus side - I totally want to be in the happy place that one of my co-workers was in today!  He came in, dropped into his chair & announced it was just anther day at the beach!  Proceeded to ask drivers to be his Valentine (and even told one that he loves him!), but when asked a question by a dispatcher, said "NO, YOU can't be my Valentine!"  He's usually pretty entertaining, but he was in rare form today!

Anyhoooooooodles, I'm going to leave you with a pic of my Mom with her new little friend taken last weekend.  My niece is on her college equestrian team and had a horse show at MSU so we went to cheer her on.

edit:  he got home at 11 last night.  On the plus side, his boss says she owes him big-time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Where I come from - Hell!

Where I Come From

For more pics & the whole vacation story - go HERE

This week we're going to Hell!
And this Hell is mostly likely frozen over right now, since it is about 3 degrees as I write this.   Anyhooo, Hell Michigan is located in SE Michigan, not far from Ann Arbor.  You're more likely to find Pinckney on the map, and it's basically there.  We mailed a postcard to my mother in law from there & they used a candle to singe the edges before posting it - she thought that was funny!
They also have a website!

Quite honestly, there's not much to do in Hell.  There are 2 buildings.  A diner called Screams and an ice cream place.  The pizza was OK.  You can be mayor for a day - that looks like it could be fun.  They do have events like hearse shows & such.

 There is an official NOAA weather station, to the delight of my geek hubby.

 You can get married in the wedding chapel, if you don't have many friends.  It only holds 10 people, but it is really cute!

And have your reception at the fire pit!

 The highway to Hell.

 You can get your ice cream toppings from an open coffin!

And once you go to Hell, the next stop is Paradise!
 First you need to cross the Mackinac Bridge.

 The sunset over Lake Huron.
We stayed in Mackinaw City.  That's my kid & rent-a-kid waving out there.

 Port Iroquois lighthouse - one of over 100 beuatiful lighthouse in Michigan.
More than any other state!

 And no, it is not 666 miles between Paradise & Hell - it's more like 350.
Paradise is a regular little town, not even really touristy considering it is right on Lake Superior.

Lake Michigan to the left, lake Huron to the right!
Standing under the Big Mac.

So I say that I've been to 2 different Hell's, since I also visited the one in Grand Cayman a few years ago.  I wish I took more pics then!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - Random Q's

Happy 1st Monday in February! We are that much closer to springtime!

The hubby managed to hurt his back while shoveling snow yesterday - yay!  Nothing like a whiny man!  Seriously, tho - we're running out of room for the snow heaps - we've been pushing it between the garage & the fence and the pile there is easily 12 feet long / 8 feet wide / 5 feet high.  Instead of allowing the pile to grow forward, he kept trying to throw more on top and wrenched himself.  I was mad at him anyway, so he didn't get any sympathy from me!  But I had to finish the driveway for him & clear off the cars and then damn if the neighbor didn't go by and plow the street and left that lovely icy ridge at the end of the driveway.  {{expletives}}

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Random Questions

1. Did you watch the Super Bowl? If so, what was your favorite part? We did. We turned it on just in time to see the coin toss, so we missed all the pre-game goodies. (What the hell was Joe Namath wearing???)  We don't really care about football, but we'd chosen the Seahawks to win, since I used to live in Seattle & that's where Miss Angela was born.  And she liked the colors of their uniforms.  We are such hard-core betters!  Commercials were mostly "meh" but we enjoyed the halftime show.  Bruno did great!

2. What is the weather like where you live?  I'm in SE Michigan.  Well, there is a mysterious bright, glowing orb in the sky right now....I believe it is called "sun" !!  It gives the illusion of warmth, but it's only supposed to get up to like 20 all week, with another 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow night.  Woohoo.

3. When is your birthday? August 29, the same as my oldest sister!

4. Do you prefer sparkling water or flat water? I haven't had sparkling water before, so I'd go with flat.  I used Cystal Lite & Mio a lot for flavor.

5. How many hours did you sleep last night? 6.5 or so.

6. What is your favorite day of the week? I don't have a favorite.

7. If you had to choose between riding a bike or swimming, which would you choose? Swimming.  Besides a good workout, I like the feel of water on my body!  The only issue I have the chlorine dries my hair out and it probably doesn't do my color any good. 

8. How often do you eat red meat? MmMmMmMm probably 3-4 days a week.  Love me some cow!

9. What time did you wake up this morning? 5:30 - my usual weekday time. I have to have the girl to her bus by 6:45 and be at work at 7:30.

10. Do you have any goals for the week? I have to do some shuffling due to an appointment tonight, but 3 days at the gym and my WW meeting on Thursday.  I like to do 2 days in the gym for cardio & weights and Zumba on Saturday, with some treadmill after.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to go over and link up in the comments. Happy Monday!