Monday, March 31, 2014

Friend Makin Monday's - hobbies

Happy Monday!  I'm glad that I'm finally feeling somewhat better - I got a lovely sore throat Wednesday & it's been crap since then. I even skipped going up north with my mom & sisters since I didn't think they'd want to be stuck in a car for 2+ hours each way with me coughing / sneezing / sniffling / etc.  And I didn't want to risk getting Mom sick, since she finally made an appointment to get her hip replaced! She's been needing it for a long time. 

On the plus side, I got to take Miss Angela to meet her stylist for the hair / fashion show she's modeling for.  And we got to attend the surprise baby shower for a teacher at her dance studio.  Don't worry - I was heavily medicated for each!

Happy Monday everyone.

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!

Hobbies and Games

1. Do you have a favorite board game?  I don't think I have a favorite, but I do like to play Scattergories and Cranium and silly games like those.

2. Do you have a favorite card game?  Again - not really.  We play Uno at family gatherings, but my mom is cut-throat!  No one wants to sit by her!

3. Do you play games on your phone?  I occasionally play solitaire, but I never got into the addicting games.

4. Do you prefer the x-box, playstation or wii?  I only have the Wii.  I'm pretty sure my Mii is dead by now, tho.  It's been a while.

5. Do you have a favorite outdoor hobby?  Gardening or taking the dog for a walk.  He watches close when I put certain shoes on, since he knows what they mean.

6. Have you ever been geocaching?  Yes - we haven't gone in a year or so, but we have done quite a few.  My favorite was a multi-cache in a cemetery where we had to find a bunch of stones with names of famous people and use the years to find the next step.  It was actually pretty obvious to see where the cache was going to be, but we played along for fun.

7. What’s your favorite hobby? I cross-stitch and just started a haunted house piece that I hope to finish by Halloween. I have a hard time working on that when it's warm out, so we'll see if it gets done.  I also like hidden object games on the computer.

8. Is there a hobby you would love to try but are too scared too?   Hmmm.  I can't think of anything I'm too scared to try.  I've tried bull-riding once - just to say I did.  I ended up face down in the arena with the wind knocked out of me and a hoof-print on the back of my calf.  

9. Do you enjoy doing puzzles?  I could take them or leave them.

10. Have you taken any classes in anything?  I used to go to weekly ceramics classes with my sisters (I was in high school) and I've taken an occasional belly-dance class, but nothing recent.

Woohooo!!  The A-Z Challenge starts tomorrow!  I'll still be posting my WW updates & FMM in addition to my a-z posts.  It's gonna be fun!!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Primetime & stuff

Last weekend was Miss Angela's first dance competition of the season!  I think they did pretty well, seeing as how out of the 6 studios at this competition, only 1 had fewer dances than ours.  Yes - one studio sent ***ONE*** lonely dancer and the poor baby was 7 years old!!!  Why would someone do that???  I'm so glad that our girls invited her to sit with them during awards, or else she would have been out there alone.  

Anyhoo.....  I can't believe I didn't get pics of her in her hiphop costume with full hair & makeup!  That's OK - there are 2 (maybe 3!) more comps & a recital.  Pics will happen. 

Her teachers didn't think the octo-bun was a good look.

I still think the small group tap outfit looks like something a waiter on a cruise liner would wear.

But the judges apparently liked it!

Small Group tap got 2nd place, 3rd place for small group hiphop and 7th for small group jazz.  I'm still miffed that she didn't place in her duet.  More on that later.  Grr.

Scoring is really weird and confusing for comps.  First they compete by age group - petites, juniors, teens, seniors. Then they're put in levels based on the points they earned from the 3 judges and are awarded pins for each dancer.  Then each level is broken down into the top ten and awarded plaques for the studio this time.

And then there are the finals - they take the top 3 highest scoring dances from each age group and level without duplicating studios (or hiphop would have gone, too).  The first score is erased, and they dance again - to get a new score AND a judges critique on the spot. Their tap number above went on to finals, hence the trophy.

How awesome is this shot from jazz???

So I'm thinking the judges must have been feeding their seeing-eye dogs during Heart Cry, since I only saw one tiny mistake and a tiny wobble and really don't think they should have gotten scored as low as they did.   Bull crap I tell you!  Miss Meghan, her teacher, watched the video twice and listened to the recorded judge's comments twice and still could not figure out why they were so low.  Vague comments like "ankles are too soft" - WTF???  Other piddly things they could work on, like sharpening their arm & head movements &"enunciating" their tapping so it's not muffled.  But other than that - they were together so nicely.  Meghan even commented about how they both even hesitated at the same place in the dance, instead of moving smoothly - but they were still in sync!!   So hopefully soon, Meghan will see the actual score sheet to see what the issue was.  The judges did however, say they looked beautiful.

There were 2 other dances I question the judges vision.  Little Jaden did her solo - she's adorable, her costume was cute & appropriate & fit well and she did her dance awesomely.  She didn't place.  But Bethany goes out for her solo looking like a lost child in an ugly costume that didn't fit well and even forgot what she was doing and stood there smack in front of the judges with a deer-in-the-headlights stare for a good 5 seconds.  And she got 4th place.   WTF people???   Angel thinks Bethany's dad paid off the judges.  He's an arrogant ass and he probably did!

I'm still proud even if the judges were putzes. 

 And one of them looked like RuPaul.
And he moved really fast, so it was tough to get a decent pic of him.

Angel & her mini-me, Sam.

One of the girls put a brilliant post on Facebook Monday morning.  She said "I think everyone from my studio has a case of "Post Competition Stress Disorder" today.  Word.

Miss Angela has something else to look forward to now!  There was a career expo for all 4 high schools in the district last week. There were like 200 tables set up so kids could talk to people in whatever field they could ever dream of.  Anyway, I also took BFF Brittney with us and they stopped and talked to the ladies at the make-up artist table.  One of the girls - a student at the Paul Mitchell school noticed Angel's hair up in her sloppy bun and asked if that was her natural color. She's got some grown-out highlights but it's all hers. So the older lady there, who I found out is an administrator at the school, asked if they would be interested in modelling at an upcoming hair show for charity!  Info was emailed to them Monday, so I took them over last night.  This lady was so nice!  I was expecting snobby witch.  They had a form that the girls needed to read & sign along with a parent.  (Sorry Britt - unofficial adopted parent doesn't count!) and then they needed to write a color on the form.  Green means the stylist has free rein on what they can do with the model's hair.  Yellow means maybe cut, maybe color and style.  Red means style only.  They both had sort of freaked out, since the first student they saw there had bright blue hair.  So we chatted with Monica and I asked her about coloring.  Angel can't have funky colors - she's got comps coming up!  So Monica wrote yellow on the form - and noted NO crazy bright colors due to dance. So next they have to go back Saturday and meet their stylists and go over the plan of what's gonna happen and what to expect at the show in April.   So exciting!   Angel thinks this is actually better than the last opportunity she had, since she WILL be walking the runway in this show - and not just auditioning.  I never knew she was even interested in modelling until that first phone call. I really shouldn't be surprised.  The photog who took her newborn pics said she should be in modelling!  Dude!  She wasn't even a week old!!  But she always looks stunning in front of a camera.  Brat.

I made sure Randy knows to be around this weekend so he could take her/them if necessary.  Brittney's parents can be flaky and I wouldn't it put it past them to come up with some asinine reason why they can't go.  Normally I would be home, but I'm going up north with Mom & the sisters.  Mom is finally going to sell the 100+ year old house & 120 acres that Dad bought in 1973.  She's only been up there a couple times since Dad passed away in 2009.  We used to spend almost every weekend & most of the summers up there as kids.  So we're going to collect any knick-knacks or whatever she wants to keep before selling it.  I'm hoping to get this painting from the living room that is a grove of birch trees in the fall.   My brother has been living up there for the past several years, but he's not working and doesn't have a car, so he's about to be screwed!  But he also hasn't made any effort to DO anything for himself, either.  He's one of those people who just goes with the flow.  He'll do whatever work you tell him & won't do anything if it requires thought or planning on his part.  He's almost 50 and has nothing to show for it.  Sad.

Woo, are we excited for the A-Z Challenge???  It's lurking in the shadows!!!

(I'm at work and guess I really should do some WORK, ya know!)  Later!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - Would you rather...?

It was a crazy weekend!  Miss Angela had her first dance competition and they did great - this pic should sum it up for her small group tap...

2nd place for her small group tap, 3rd for her small group hiphop, and 7th for her small group jazz and sadly, they didn't place in her tap duet.  I'm rather miffed about that, since I only saw 1 tiny mistake.  Luckily the judges wear headpieces and record commentary as the dances go on.  I REALLY want to hear what they said.  Their steps were together beautifully, they looked great, so I don't know what the problem was.  

 Love this pic from jazz!

I'm still proud of her, even if the judges were putzes.  

But man, it sure is exhausting sitting there watching those kids dance.  I was beat when we got home last night. 
Onto FMM !!!!  I always hated this game as a kid, so let's see how this one goes!

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 on Sarah's page 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!

Would you rather…

1. Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?  Chocolate.  MmMmMm.

2. Coke or Pepsi? Coke Zero to be exact.  If my choices are diet Coke or diet Pepsi, I will choose the Pepsi then.

3. Cats or dogs? I am proud to call myself bi-petual!  I have a Beagle who is my faithful walking buddy and we also have 2 cats.  I can't imagine life without any of them.  

4. Summer or Winter?   You're asking this now???  After this hideous winter we just had??  I bet everyone says summer!  Honestly, I prefer spring & fall.  I love to see the world coming to life - greening up and new flowers & leaves & such.  But then I also love to see the fall colors and the smell of the air!

5. Early bird or night owl?  Early bird!  It makes for fun family gatherings when those of us who are morning people break into song & dance to annoy the crap out of the non-morning people Muahahaha!

6. Baseball or football?  Ugh.  Neither.  Me like hockey!

7. Glasses or contact lenses?  both.  I wear contacts most of the time.  Glasses at night and weekends at home.   I've had no desire to have Lasik done.

8. Coffee or tea?  Probably tea.  When I have coffee, it more looks like colored & flavored milk.

9. Mac or PC?  I don't think I've ever used a Mac, so it'll be PC.

10. Roller coasters or not?  Oh yeah!  We went to both Cedar Point and Michigan's Adventure last year and went on all of them!  In fact at MA, we went on them multiple times, since there were no lines.   I have to confess that the coasters that were "the thing" the last time I'd been to Cedar Point (25 years ago) were crap now.  They really rattle your teeth loose & generally aren't fun to ride.  The newer ones (Top Thrill Dragster & the Gatekeeper) are so smooth and just a riot to ride.
Happy Monday!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Theme Reveal !!!!

Whooops, I sort of already put this out there, when I posted that I had signed up for the challenge.  Oh well - here it is again, in an "official" post!

This is my health / weight loss blog so I'm concentrating on a different fruit or vegetable each day.  There may even be recipes included!  But I'm keeping the posts short & sweet.  And yes...I DO have posts for the tough letters (X, I'm looking at you!)

I am not a foodie blogger by any stretch of the imagination, definitely not a food photographer & I will apologize now for my hideous 70s brown laminate countertops.  Consider that a heads-up!

I have 3 blogs, you can also find me doing the A-Z Challenge over at Tales from the Love Shaque where you'll find pretty much an identical post today!   The third I'm not entering in this challenge, since it's Halloween-related and I do other bloghops throughout the year over there.

I have most of my posts written & pre-posted so I can enjoy reading other blogs during the challenge!

On an off note - Super Extra Special Good Luck being sent out to the 
Dancers Only Studio's Competition Team who will be at Primetime 
Dance this weekend - kicking off their comp season. 

Werk It,  Ladies!!

Theme Reveal!

Whooops, I sort of already put this out there, when I posted that I had signed up for the challenge.  Oh well - here it is again, in an "official" post!

This is my most general of my 3 blogs.  I talk about anything & everything that is on my mind - basically life in general!  So my A-Z Challenge posts will be along the same lines. Randomness with a bit of Michigan info that I find interesting and some Navy sea stories (I was enlisted from 1992-2000) and dance stuff tossed in for good measure.

And since I've mentioned being a multiple-blogger, the other that I'm also doing the A-Z Challenge with can be found at ...Slow & Steady, where you'll find pretty much an identical post today!   The third I'm not entering in this challenge, since it's Halloween-related and I do other bloghops throughout the year over there.

I have most of my posts written & pre-posted so I can enjoy reading other blogs during the challenge!

On an off note - Super Extra Special Good Luck being sent out to the 
Dancers Only Studio's Competition Team who will be at Primetime 
Dance this weekend - kicking off their comp season. 

Werk It,  Ladies!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring !!!!!

I know there are still piles of dirty snow everywhere -but they're not up to the top of my fence anymore - yay!  And there are tulips popping up thru the mulch in my flower bed!  
I'm pretty sure I saw some daffodil spikes, too. 

Last weekend was the annual St. Patrick's Girls Night Out with the fam. Normally we just dress up & go out to dinner, then hang out at Laurie's for the rest of the night & next day.  This year we had tickets to see a local group put on "Escanaba in Da Moonlight" at the American Legion.  And it included U.P. themed dinner (pasties & gravy, salad & I don't know how they prepared the corn, but it was yummy!)  It was a really cute show, about the night before deer season opening day, how the one son felt he was cursed because he'd never gotten a big buck. Even Miss Angela thought it was pretty funny, especially when they all stripped down to their long underwear before turning in for the night. 

I think the director (maybe producer?) guy was flirting with Laurie,  He kept coming by our table and chatting.  As most of us stood by the bar, he came up and told us he sensed a theme to our evening.  Niece Catie (in the green hat) told him he was wrong - that she was a pimp and the rest of us were her bitches! And of course she has a dainty, quiet voice that echoed thru the room! 

After the show, we went to WalMart (exciting Saturday evening activities!!) then back to Laurie's to drink some Emmett's and play Scattergories. We are such party animals! 

Linda brought her puppy with her. This little guy was barely a pound at Thanksgiving, when niece Lisa brought him home from college with her.  She was looking for a foster home for him, but Linda fell in love and Lisa would have had to pry him out of her cold, dead hands to get him back. 

The sad part is - puppies don't have snooze buttons.  Baxter was up at 7 and no one could sleep thru "dingledingledingledingledingledingle" of the bell on his collar.  Jack, my Beagle, wouldn't have anything to do with Baxter when he was tiny, but at least now he would stay in the same room.  They even did some nose-touching at one point and Baxter chased Jack down the hall!

Baxter really wanted to come visit me on my air mattress, but was cautious about Jack lying next to me.  He finally couldn't stop himself and bounded over.  He missed the mattress, but landed across Jack's back.  Jack was so funny how he froze and looked like he was saying "GETITOFF"!!

I call this one "Girl and Puppy"

Miss Angela did try her damned-ness to kill me on the way to Laurie's.  A few months ago I started stopping on the dirt roads when we are close to Laurie's to let her drive.  She hasn't taken driver's training yet - maybe this summer if she doesn't have summer school for the 4th time in a row.   Anyway, I had to stop at the store, so she got to drive the rest of the way.  Her route options were to pull out of the driveway onto the main road, immediately get in the left lane and turn onto dirt roads for the rest of the trip, OR she could stay on the main road for another 3/4 mile or so, turn left onto a lesser (paved) road for a couple miles, and then onto the dirt road to Laurie's house.  Of course she took option 2!  As we came up to the stop light, it was green and there was no oncoming traffic, so I told her it was OK to go.  I should have reminded her to slow down. She took the left turn at like 50 mph and scared the crap out of me!!  My left foot was stomping the floor and I was flailing my arms & yelling SLOWDOWNSLOWDOWNSLOWDOWN!!  Thankfully, she kept the car on the road, she didn't hit the curb or go off into the corn field and I'm sure the Top Gear guys would have been proud.  Whew!  It took all the way to Laurie's house for my heart to slow down! 

She is really excited / nervous for this weekend - her first competition of the season!  They did a costume-only dress rehearsal Monday.  I like to see what the other classes are doing, too.  One of the girls in level 4 with Angel walked by in her first costume and complained that everyone else was so sparkly & shiny and she was ghetto.  Yup.  But the other groups were doing jazz or whatever & they were doing hiphop. 

Level 4 (seniors) hip-hop

Level 4 (seniors) jazz
She will have a different black top on - her's is currently with the rhinestone lady.  
We better get it today!!

Senior Tap Duet
Apparently this was the dance that everyone else was talking about.  It's just that good!
It's not a "normal" tap dance - this one is very dramatic & intense with music that has gunshots & breaking glass in it.  (Heart Cry - look it up!)

Level 4 (seniors) Tap.
I like the pants with the little flippy skirt in back, but the white shirt & bowtie don't excite me.  
They look like waiters on a cruise liner! 

So today & tomorrow are going to creep by, since we have to be at the Macomb Center at 7 am Saturday.  I know they're all excited about going!

One last Angela-ism.  The Marine Corps recruiter was at her school last Friday.  She wanted a bracelet that he had, so he told her to give him 10 pushups.  This gives her great joy, since these recruiters down't expect this skinny little girl to be able to do pushups and she can pump them out like nothing.  She's got all sorts of goodies like lanyards, water bottles & t-shirts from all military branches. Anyhooo, she went to do the 10 pushups but someone said something to her and she lost count after 8.  The recruiter teased her, asking if that was as high as she count count?  She said "Well, I am a dancer.  That's all I need to count to!"  She said he just stood there with his mouth open, speechless!  FUNNY!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - Holiday Traditions

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

It's a good thing I got my celebrating (everyone is Irish on March 17!!) done this past weekend, since I get to spend this evening at Miss Angela's dance studio for dress rehearsal - her first comp of the season is this weekend!   She's actually perfectly able to do this herself, but she likes the moral support.  She has no problems with me not being around for the recital (I'm in the audience) but for comps, she's 100% Momma's girl. 

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 Sarah's page 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!

Holiday Traditions.

1. Do you celebrate St Patrick’s Day?  Yes!  We always have a "Girls Night Out" with Mom, my sisters & the nieces.  Usually we dress up and go out to dinner, then back to Laurie's house (she's the oldest sibling) to hang out & spend the night.  This year, we had tickets to go see a local acting group put on "Escanaba in Da Moonlight" and it came with U.P. (Upper Peninsula) type food - pasties (meat pies of a sort), corn & salad.  And since it was in the American Legion - cheap beer! 

Then we had to pick up a few things at the store and then we sat around and played games until 1:30 am.  Linda brought her puppy and that little bugger doesn't have a snooze button!  So he was up at 7 and all we heard was "dingledingledingledingledingle" from the bell on his collar as he tried to get the older dogs and the cat to play.   
Jack is not impressed with Baxter & his bell.
I was proud of Jack - when Baxter was tiny, Jack was afraid of him.  So I'm not sure if Jack was protecting me here, or I was protecting him.  But at least they interacted this time.  

2. Which is your favorite holiday to celebrate?  Without a second's hesitation - Halloween!   I even have a blog dedicated to my yard display - Maple Grove Cemetery.  Love it!  I don't do the blood & gore, tho.  My display is more traditional and somewhat goofy - ghosts, skeletons, obviously a graveyard, black cats, spiders, etc.

3. Do you have a favorite ‘holiday’ food?  Hmm.  We usually have BBQ on the 4th of July - that would have to be my favorite. MEAT!

4. What do you think of holiday parades?  Fun!!

5. Have you ever been part of a parade?  A couple times.  My sister Laurie has always had horses, so one year when I was probably 16, I helped carry the banner in the Christmas parade for the group of people from the barn.  They were all dressed up as Scrooge & the ghosts from A Christmas Carol.  Another year when I was probably 14,  for Memorial Day she was the pooper scooper and I got to ride!  Her horse was one of those great ones who was never bothered by anything going on around him, but he also loved a parade!  We started out in the back of the group, but Nibbs pranced his way to the front & center of the group, with his ribbons fluttering and glittered hooves dancing. That was the greatest day ever!  We walked in the UAW parade on Labor Day in Detroit for a lot of years, until my dad retired.  More recently, I've helped out with radio communications, so I'm usually standing along the parade route on the 4th of July with my radio.

6. Do you decorate your house for the holidays?  Yes. And my desk at work, too!  I have stuff for just about every holiday.  Of course, Christmas and Halloween are the most involved.

7. Do you send holiday cards?  I send Christmas cards to a lot of people and family gets cards for the other holidays & random times.  They always gets the funny / gross ones.

8. Are there any holidays that you celebrate that are traditional in another country, but maybe less well known in the US?  I work for a trucking company that goes into Canada & Mexico, so we have to work around their holidays, too.  Like today in Mexico, plants are closed for Benito Juarez's birthday.

Top O The Day To Ye !!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oh yay! Another snow day!

OK, at least this one IS an actual snow day & school wasn't cancelled on account of the wind chill.

The school district's automated call came at 5:15 this morning.  Randy decided he was going to work from home. I actually was going to make the attempt to going in to work for a couple hours.  Yeah - that thought didn't last long.  I did get up, shower & dress, tho.  Then I looked outside and saw this.....

Our cars.  
Or a snowbank that has sprouted antennas?
OK, there wasn't this much when I looked out at 6am, but the snow was dumping!!

It seems like we had a couple gorgeous 50 degree days just to melt some of the snowpack - to make room for this bunch!   I still didn't get to go check out the front yard for crocuses, but as of last Friday, the flowerbed had been cleared on the south side of the house. I believe these are daffodils peeking thru the mulch, but didn't see anything else yet.  I'm glad I tucked these guys back in, cuz they're buried again!.  

So it's been a quiet day, all of us doing our own thing.  Randy is sitting in the kitchen with his work laptop, grumbling.  Miss Angela is watching Netflix & straightening her hair.  And I'm getting caught up on reading some blogs and writing some posts for the A-Z challenge.

 We didn't even make the bed today because that would mean disturbing the furry kids. 

This is Jack's "something is different in my world and I'm not sure if I like it" look.  I'm sure us being home is disturbing his regularly scheduled nap times.  He's afraid he may miss one of us eating. 

I'm sure Miss Angela is thrilled that dance has been cancelled tonight also.  She only has one class on Tuesday - her tap duet.  And she wore her new tap shoes which of course rubbed a huge blister on her heel. Wednesday's are her long night - she's at the studio for 4 1/2 hours with only one break.  And do you think these goofballs rest during their break??  NO!  They drop in on the Zumba class for fun!  This break will do her good - I don't think her butt has moved off the couch, except to get food.

This was sort of neat.  A while back, Angel & a friend were at the mall and this guy approached them and asked if they'd ever considered modelling.  Sounds like a line, I know.  They talked with him and filled out a form for more info.  Yesterday, I had a call from an out-of-state number that I didn't recognize.  I didn't answer, then the same number called our house phone.  We didn't answer it, either.  Then I got a text.   This lady is a talent scout from whatever modelling agency and Angela's name was referred to her - with a star by her name, indicating her as a 'person of interest'!!!  So I answered back and they are holding auditions in the area for 40 girls (by invitation only!!) to do local work in this area - fashion shows / print ads / commercials / movie extras / music videos.  The only problem......auditions are March 22. She's going to be at her first dance competition!!  I asked and there aren't any other dates, so she said they'll keep her in mind.   Shucks.  I totally would have taken her if she didn't have something so important going on.    Oh - and Shelby didn't get contacted!!

Oh man, I really need to get up and do something.  Just a few minutes ago, there was a robin sitting in the tree outside my window, complaining loudly.  I can only imagine that he was mad about the snow, too!   Hopefully the wind will stop sooner or later so we can go out & shovel.  Woohoo.

Check out my Christmas cactus!  I've never had this many buds / flowers before!  There's easily 20 on this plant.  There's another on the shelf below it with only a couple buds.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friend Makin Monday - Vacations

Happy Monday!  I can honestly say that Daylight Savings Time did not bother me or anyone in my house in the slightest.  So I had to drive to work in the dark again.  The sun was barely making an appearance last week when I got here, so it's really not a big deal.  I know Randy likes it, tho!

Got a good workout Saturday at Zumba, we had a sub teacher and she did a lot of hiphop dance moves (jumping), where the usual teacher does a lot of Salsa & bellydancing (hips).  I could really feel it in my knees all weekend!

I also had an eye appointment - I'm so happy about it.  Last year I went to a new place (because they take Randy's insurance) and had the crappiest service ever.  The first thing the eye doc said was "oh, you're gonna be 40 this year - time to think about reading glasses!"  He hadn't even looked at my eyes, I was miffed!  All sorts of hassle with those peeps, so I went back to my old place and can't wait to get my new contacts.  

Time for FMM !

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 Sarah's page 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. Where was the last place you went on vacation to?  Last summer we went up north to the Traverse City area for a couple days and drove down the west coast of Michigan.  Here are my posts about it.  It was a nice trip. 

2. Do you have any plans for a vacation this year?  Things are pretty up in the air right now. Normally we take the week before school starts to do something, but it's also going to depend on Miss Angela & her dance team.  They're going to Regionals in May, to see if they qualify for Nationals in July.   We will be spending Christmas in Arkansas with the Mother-in-law.

3. If money was no option, where would you dream vacation be?  I want to visit all 50 states.  I'd also like to see Australia, Europe, Asia, etc. 

4. What is your favorite vacation spot that you have visited?  Alaska.  I'd only known Randy for a couple weeks when he asked me to go.  He already planned to go alone, then he met me and I jumped at the opportunity.  It's funny that I have a picture of us - his first time on a horse - taken exactly 4 years to the day from our wedding day!

5. Have you ever had a staycation?  Sort of.

6. Are you a lie on the beach person or a go out and explore person?  I can only handle so long sitting on the beach before I die of boredom.  So I'd have to go explore.

7. When you fly do you have a favorite airline?   I honestly don't fly enough to have a preference.  Whatever Randy books us on!

8. Have you ever had a ‘vacation from hell’ ?  Nope, but I've been on 2 vacations TO Hell!  We went on a cruise and visited Hell in Grand Cayman, and Hell, MI is only about an hour away !

9. Have you ever had an airline lose your luggage?  Nope

10. Do you send postcards to friends and family when you go on vacation?  Yes.  Sometimes we get home before the card is delivered, but that's OK.  FYI - if you send a card from the Hell, MI post office, they singe the edges with a candle.  It's great!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

2 months at the gym pics

Alrighty - time to get real.  Let's see if there is any real difference yet. 
Pics taken January 6 are on the left and ones take March 7 on the right. 

There seems to be a more pronounced nip-in at my waist.  

 Hmm, the upper roll appears to be a smidge smaller.
And the bust.  

Here's where I see a difference!  My arms still cause me to wrinkle up my nose in dismay, but not cringe in horror like the January side does.  Definite difference in waist sizes. 

I just had to get up and take my measurements. Since the day I started going to the gym - December 26, I've lost.....5 inch off my thighs.  .25 inch off my arms, 1.5 inches off my bust, and an inch off both my hips & waist.  At least it's showing there, since I've only lost about 3 lbs in that same time frame. But 2 people at work have noticed and commented!

I'm feeling pretty sore right now.  There was a sub at Zumba at the gym this morning.  Joy did a lot more dance moves while Kelli does more salsa and bellydancing.  It didn't seem tougher at the time, but my body is telling me otherwise now!

My workouts lately have been Zumba on Saturday and 2 days doing the elliptical (I'm up to 17 minutes!!), 3 sets of about 12 on all the circuit machines and then 25 minutes or so on the treadmill.  If I'm pressed for time. I'll go do 35 minutes on the bike.

I guess there's hope for me yet.  I started writing my A-Z challenge posts, so instead of getting into the damn Chips Ahoy (with Reeses Pieces!!) the asshole, also known as my husband, brought home....I had grapes & yogurt - which will be a challenge post.

Friday, March 7, 2014

I'm still here!!

I haven't been posting as much as I want to lately.  Ugh,  life just happens!  Thankfully it's not been anything bad. Just busy.  

Here's a brief rundown how my weeks have been going...

Monday - Work (730am -330pm) Go to the gym.  Dinner is usually "fend for yourself".  Take Miss Angela to dance. (715pm)   Go grocery shopping while she's there, take it home & put away.  Back to pick her up at 930pm.  Get lunch & clothes ready for Tuesday.  Bed

Tuesday - Work.  Take Miss A. to dance at 6pm. She's only there for an hour so I stay, I have a cross-stitch project I hope to finish by Halloween, or I'll take a book.  Dinner. Now that RuPaul's DragRace is back on - I'll watch it online.  Get lunch & clothes ready for Wednesday.  Bed.

Wednesday - Work.  Home for maybe 30 minutes.  Take Miss A. to dance at 5pm.  She's there til 930pm again.  Go to the gym. Dinner.  Get lunch & clothes ready for Thursday.  Bed.

Thursday - Work.  Every other week Miss A goes to dance at 530pm.  WW meeting at 6.  Pick her up at 8pm.  Dinner.  Get lunch & clothes ready for Friday.  Bed

Friday - Work.  Sometimes go to the gym. Really my only night with nothing pressing. 

Saturday - Zumba 9am.


Don't forget to throw in errands, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, etc, etc, etc.  I feel like I'm on the go all the time!!  And Miss Angela's first competition is in 2 weeks, so I fully expect some extra classes to be added to the agenda.    

How do people function with more than one kid???

How cute is this?  Chester likes to be her teddy bear.  
I know he put himself right there, since he'd wandered by me not long before I took this. 

I'm pretty happy that I have an eye appointment Sunday.  It's been less than a year since I've had one, but I don't care.  I've always gone to America's Best Contacts and have had no issues with them ever.  Then last year, I decided to go to Pearle Vision, since that's where Randy goes and they take our insurance.  Big Mistake.  First thing that damn eye doc said was "Oh look - you're going to be 40 this year.  Time to think about reading glasses!" This asshole hadn't even looked at my eyes yet.  Seriously!  He's lucky he didn't get punched in the throat!  Then he saw I'd been wearing weekly contacts forever and decided I should wear monthlies.  Basically I would wear them during the day, take them out at night, then toss them after a month and get a new pair.  In theory, that's great.  But they are crazy thick and not comfortable at all.  I went thru 3 pairs of samples since I kept telling him that I can't see at work!  I can't focus.  So he'd tweak the prescription.  I finally just dealt with it, but it sucked!!  

Oh, and they ordered me a full year supply of contacts.  The first 6 month supply came in and they didn't call me to pick them up until the second half came in.  I was pissed, since the samples I had were pretty useless.  I asked why they didn't call me when the first ones came in - they didn't want me to have to make 2 trips.  People!  Let me be the judge of that!  It's not like it's a 4 hour drive to get to the store!  So I suffered thru half the supply and on the way to work one day, I was wondering if I really HAD to have the monthlies, since that's got to be the problem.  So I called.  The gravelly-voiced robot lady (her voice makes me cringe!!) told me that the doc just went in with a patient so she would ask him when he came out.  4 hours later, she called back and asked if whet I wanted was one of the samples I'd tried initially.  I said NO!  I used to wear this certain type & brand (from ABC) and they were great.  She said well, they don't make those any more.  So I asked if they carried anything comparable  She said she'd have to ask the doc.  This was Monday.  Never heard back.   

Oh, and of course, since I had the wonders of the Interwebz right in front of me, I looked up my old brand & type of contacts and saw 100 places to buy them and even called ABC.  Yup, they're available! So they lied about those - they don't carry them, which I'd rather hear instead of a blatant lie. So I am going back to America's Best.  Even tho they don't take our insurance, they have an Eyecare club that you pay so much and get free exams for 3 years and discounted contacts.  I'll just take the other 6 month supply back to Pearle and tell them to kiss my happy ass. 


It almost hit 40 degrees today!   It's funny how the sun makes it feel so much warmer!  I carried my coat out of work.  I even rolled my window down and cranked the radio on the way home!  Which of course is making the mountains of snow soggy. 
February 1 - looking down my driveway, aka the sled run. 

I still took the dog for a walk when I got home tonight, even in the slush & standing water. It didn't bother him in the slightest to wade thru the puddles.  We just went around a couple blocks, which is a short walk but it made him happy. Then he got to go for a ride in the car to pick Miss Angela up from her boyfriend's house. Exciting day for the Jack!  He's passed out on the floor next to me right now. 

Anyhoo, I'm ready for Spring - these nice days are such a tease!   I can't even go out in the yard to look for crocuses in the lawn, since they're still buried under a carpet of snow!

It's really sad how really true the next 2 pics are. 

This is my street about a week ago.  This is what happens when a street is not plowed.  It's covered in about 3 inches of ice and the holes you see are pavement.  This is actually a pretty smooth section of road.  
That morning there was a lovely layer of water over the ice and as I was attempting to leave for work, my car started to fishtail and I ended up doing a 180 spin in the road.  It surprised me more than anything and as I sat there, looking at the way I just came from, I was like "well, crap".   I deserve bonus points for style, since I didn't hit the snowbanks on either side of the road!