Sunday, September 28, 2008
Grand plans were in place for the weekend, with the priority being to take care of all things house-related before we go on vacation. As my faithful reader knows, I freak the fuck out before vacation and decide we need to lay hardwood floors and build additions onto the house the week before we leave for anywhere. Well, not that extreme, but the laundry must be done, shelves must be tidied, and laundry must all be put away. Even the giant blue basket of unmatched socks.
We actually made good on the majority of those plans, dividing and conquering them Saturday night. I, of course, got the shitty end of the cleaning stick, which was to be expected. I tackled the bathroom - from ceiling to floor and every grouty place in between. Scrubbed it clean, and put away a basket of stuff that was hanging out in the back bedroom since the time of the Summer Leak. I had emptied out from underneath the vanity when our humble home was at the point of being blamed for the leak, and the stuff had never made it back. Until this past weekend, that is. While I tackled the bathroom, Kenny had the audacity to complain about matching socks on the coffee table, while he watched The Devil Wears Prada. I was a sweaty disgusting mess and offered to trade him. He declined and stopped bitching about matching socks. See, we originally were just going to throw them all in the trash, but then I just couldn't go through with the plan, regardless of the fact that we've already purchased new socks for vacation. I still had some favorites I didn't want to see just get tossed aside out of sheer laziness. So now they are matched, and what didn't have a match was pitched out.
Vacation Laundry is still in progress. Hopefully it will get handled a little bit each evening, with all packing in place without any stress or rabid cursing. Yes, sometimes I foam and drip spittle the night before vacation. With this big 14-day-er looming, I could be the most noteworthy stressout of all time.
During the cleansing of a drawer, I found a black string, much to Twinkle's delight. When he was a baby he had a very similar black ribbon/string that he carried around the house in his little cat mouth. He slept with it, took it with him everywhere, because ya just never know when you might need to bat a string around. He was like a boy scout, always prepared. Well, now he's got one once again, and any where Twink goes, the string goes, too. It's really the cutest fucking thing ever. Well, probably you people with babies would disagree, but it's the cutest CAT thing ever. He was sleeping on the coffee table with the string tucked between his paws. With string, all things are possible.
At the McDonald's drive-thru window today, as I was picking up a soda to take with me to Sophie's (she normally has some flat 2-liter off-label pop in her fridge), I actually said, "Thanks, Dude" to the kid who handed me my coca-cola. Really? I just blithely say "Dude" now, I guess. Later. Dude.
So anyway, we made a plan for this Sunday. Sophie wanted me to check out all his flowers and the work he did around the house. As a bonus, since we did that crazy planning in advance thing, my cousin Dawn and her husband popped over and it was Bonus Visiting. I haven't seen Dawn since Sophie's 90th birthday party a year and a half ago, so it was nice to catch up. See how nice planning can be??
We took a bunch of pictures, and you can now enjoy my visit with me. The most important thing you need to know about my uncle is that he is an avid collector and always out to make a buck on some of his treasures. He hit me up as soon as we arrived, leading me over to his treasure trove of jewelry. Here he is digging around in a box of jewels. He gave me a bracelet, no charge! But tried to sell me this magnetic necklace thing for $10. I declined, I have enough sh...er, interesting pieces of jewelry, and don't really need a magnetic necklace. If YOU need one, lemme know...I know where you can get one ~wink~. Rob, if you need something special for a special birthday for a special someone, just say the word....Anyway, here he is diggin' around in his box o' stuff:
Here are some of his other collections, which he has them very tidily displayed throughout his various barns and garages. Some cool bottles:
Dawn and I played with his antique slot machine. Notice the collection of license plates he has hung around the top of the garage. The collections are endless.
He has cars and bicycles, victrolas and banjos. Lots of stuff, all neatly arranged and For Sale for the right price. Even Sophie, if the price were right.
After we took an abundance of photos, we were drawn next door to the sound of a donkey braying.
This little fella lives next door with another little donkey friend and a couple of bully-ponies, who just rear back and kick the shit out of these little guys.
We fed all of 'em some grass, even the pony kickers. I wanted to bring that little donkey home with me, but he probably won't fit in very well in Parma. Someone would wanna make sausage out of him, probably.
And then Uncle Sonny took this one of us, and told us all to say Bullshit. I must have been adding my own curse words, as I'm the one apparently still talking:
Sonny and I headed across the street to see all the farm animals the at the other neighbor's house. It's a mini-zoo: chickens and hens, ducks, horses, peacocks, and this cute little Billy Goat:
I really am a City Slicker, as cute as he was, I was to afraid to pet him. He looks harmless enough. Yeah, they all do - right before they eat your arm off. He wasn't fooling me with his cute little tipped-out ears and charming little smile. Nope.
We walked back by their pond (yes, it was another weekend of trampling though other folk's yards uninvited), but I high-tailed it outta there when a couple of huge geese started waddling our way. Those things are NOT a toy.
Saw a tractor drive on by:
And after a nice three hour visit, we said goodbye and headed back home.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Just wrapped up the Artist's Way Retreat weekend, the purpose of which was to tap into my creativity, learn to love myself, set the course to achieve my dreams, and commune with nature and like-minded women. The boys have their own stories about the planned events, which included workshops such as Slap & Tickle and Soft Exploration. Maybe at one of the other houses, but not where I was staying. The craziest we got was "smuggling" in four bottles of wine and a pound and a half of fudge. I think we smuggled it, as one the way out of the little community on Sunday I saw a sign prohibiting alcoholic beverages. So we may very well have had illicit behaviors.
The majority of the group arrived on Friday night, but I had two incredibly busy days at work and wasn't able to leave early so I opted out of the Friday night festivities. Dirty Jim said that I missed the Deep Penetration workshop and had only myself to blame for it. I don't really get why we would have started the retreat with Deep Penetration, and not have saved that for later in the weekend, but it was Dirty Jim's fantasy agenda, so he can arrange it however he sees fit, I imagine. I did miss an opening ceremony, but felt much more relaxed driving up Saturday morning, although it was God-Awful Early as I had a watercolor workshop that began at 9:30. I made it, however, and here is the work of art that resulted:
I may have been more successful had it actually been a Soft Exploration exercise. All-in-all, it's okay, not that a chair is my particular preference in a painting, but whatev. I went with the flow, it was all about trying new things. I would have even Softly Explored, probably.
Having the lake at our doorstep was lovely. We should all buy lake houses. They were going for around $600k, we checked. And that was a smallish, moldy-smelling cottage. But the town is my Mayberry by the Lake. I kept waiting to see Anj on a porch somewhere. The town was far cuter than the real Mayberry, I was there once many-a year ago in my Old Life, and while it was cute enough, it was not quaint and charming like Lakeside.
Below are some pics of the cuteness of the community, just random pics. I have so many, far too many to upload in one swoop. You'll get to enjoy them in spurts, I know you are happy now!
Here is a conglomeration of wind chimes, overlapping on a storefront:
A wisteria-wrapped huge ol' tree: A little painted rock garden, in the bushes of one of the yards. I'm sure the homeowners were thrilled to have us (my friend Kym and her sister Traci and myself) tramping around in their yards, but we had to see all the cuteness we could. A pretty little circle porch, complete with carousel horse:
Not nearly as cute, these fucking spiders were EVERYWHERE. I did a good job not screaming as they were webbed out around the porch at one of the B&B's where we hung out. I think the wine helped calm me down from it. I tried very hard to Zen and let all living creatures be, blah, blah...but seriously was not a fan of the massive amounts of webs and web-inspired insects.
It was officially the last weekend of summer, so it's only fitting that the trees are on their way to performing their Fall show.
Here is part of our group, deeply penetrating emotions, as Kym was leading a session in What Do You Believe. The group determined that my procrastination relates back to my potty-training days, but I'm not convinced. I think I really just may be rather lazy. But I'm opening myself up to deeper possibilities, as I learned to do this weekend.
Sunday morning's workshop taught us how to engage the right side of our brain with some Imagination Arts. Basically we just drew some objects without looking at the paper. I opted out after the first hour or so, I wanted to go with Kym and Traci for a hot breakfast and Softly Explore more of the little streets. So we did that instead, which I think did a good enough job of engaging the right side of my brain, as well as the stomach. We had freshly made broccoli and cheese quiche from Oooh La La restaurant.
We wrapped up the festivities Sunday afternoon, and passed a little punkin' patch and stopped at the adjacent fruit stand and picked up some homegrown goodness: watermelon, fresh green beans, peaches and fresh beets.
And that is all I've got left in me this late on a Sunday night. Peace!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Ken and I were lucky to enjoy Dan's birthday with him at an Indian's ballgame. Dan won Club Seat tickets for four back in July and he & Bev took us as their guests - lucky us! I've never been in the Club Seats before and I think I like it more than the loge. Definitely more food choices, and since we only drink a couple of beers anyway, we don't care about paying for drinks. I especially don't care, since Kenny paid for 'em - hahah!
Here are some random, poor-quality pictures from the festivus. I didn't bring my super-duper fancy camera, I took the smaller one that fits in my purse. Exactly what I feared would happen with the purchase of an expensive camera - I don't want to pack it around most of the time, when I have a small one that can fit in my little travel Coach. Ah, well. I will be taking it on vacation, so hopefully it will earn it's place in my life.
Here we are heading out to the game. It had rained all day long, and the 1st game had a lengthy rain delay. As a result, we got to enjoy a very humid evening. At least the Club Seats had a nice air-conditioned dining/drinking area.
See that house in the background - the Colonial? It's up for sale, a Hud House now, the owners got divorced because he got caught with a-cheating on his mind. Well, not just on his mind, but on his wiener, too, so the Maligned Wife ordered a U-Haul to the house while he was at work one day and hauled everything out. He came home to quite a surprise - and of course I applaud her. I've thought about checking on the price, it looks nice from the outside, and the street rumor is that it's going for a steal, but I don't really need another house with bad Karma. Dan told me there's one up for sale for a good price in his neighborhood of Seven Hills. I'm interested in checking that out. But then again, I'm interested in going to Australia and the Mediterranean, and might throw in Alaska before I settle back down to a mortgage payment. Ah, life's one giant trade-off. But I digress. The ballgame:
Dan & Bev in the Club Seats. They weren't our assigned seats, but they had more leg room and were empty so we took 'em and no one seemed to mind. Our assigned seats were more in the mix of people and it was too humid to sit there when perfectly good seats were not being utilized.
On the way out after the game:
We lost, but had a hopeful moment at the end, when the Ducks Were On The Pond and Hafner was up to bat. It was a tall order for him to Grand Slam 'em in, and he didn't. Ah well. We played a pretty poor game overall.
I am sportin' a new, darker hair color. I mixed up a new concoction last Friday night, combining a couple of colors and it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. Not so much reflected in this photo, as the humidity wasn't my friend, but I still likey the color. And it's $4.60 vs. $184.60 with my home brew. I have an appointment scheduled with my salon for the end of the month, wanted to get a professional job before vacation, but now I'm reconsidering even doing that. We'll see what the hormones dictate by the end of the month. And that, as they say, was a Home Run of a night of fun. Well, I'm not sure if anyone actually says that, but I just did so now officially someone has said it.
On to other, even less important things.
I captured an elusive picture of the elusive Widda:
She's been enjoying time in the living room with us and has taken to sitting on the back of my overly-puffy chair, right above my head. Kenny and I have decided that we'll always have a black cat named Widda, and we've even picked out a name for the replacement: Widda Redux. Mancy & Fsteve will probably steal that name now, since she's still incessantly cyberstalking me, but whatev. I'm not going to let her obsession with me cause me to self-sensor. No one puts Baby in the corner!! **************************** My friend Rob has his next book started. It's starting out quite nicely. I'm falling quite behind and now need to get something of substance written. I've got the Artists Way Retreat this coming weekend, and I'm taking my laptop with the intent of getting a strong creative start with time to myself and my creative juices unleashed. That's the plan, anyway. I still haven't let go of The Glass Castle book yet, still replaying it a little bit. I did buy two new books while I was at Borders yesterday, I'm working on stockpiling my cruise material. But I might start one of them today, it looks short and funny, and who couldn't use a hardy-har-har sooner rather than later.
Speaking of the upcoming cruise, we're on Major Countdown Mode right now. Less than three weeks. I'm not prepared yet - either at home or at work. I have a lot of projects I need to get finished up at work - it's going to be a busy week. And I need to start getting my stuff compiled that I'm taking with me. I need a new suitcase. We've decided to just buy 14 days worth of socks rather than spend time sorting and matching, which is one of my most hated laundry tasks. "When I'm a famous, rich novelist, I shall wear new socks every day!!", the wanna-be writer adamantly proclaimed from her overstuffed-to-the-point-of-uncomfortable leather chair.
Alrightie, then, on that note I'm off to do something more productive. I need to Google tethers for my Olympus camera lens, it didn't come with one and I'm not even sure one can be attached, but it's quite inconvenient as it is prone to just falling off. I need to find a solution, if one exists.
Peace be with you. And also with you.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Kenny: "Look, I can kick really high!" And then proceeded to, in fact, kick really high, right there in the middle of the kitchen, and end with a karate chop flourish.
Kinda reminded me of a move I've seen Elvis perfect.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Tonight I surprised the shit out of myself (see the common "shit thread" I'm weaving here??) and without Passing Go or Collecting $200, I jumped right into cooking. With my work clothes still on! Normal practice is to change into either pajamas or sweats upon arrival at home in the evening. Sweats if I'm pretending that I'm going to go to the gym later on, jammies when I don't even try to put on a big show about it and head directly to the couch or my chair that projects my head forward. Anyway, I had taken some ground turkey out of the freezer and knew it was either use it or lose it. I also had some farm-fresh green peppers that needed to be used, and some tomatoes that were scaring the hell out of rotten, so I put it all together and made the freshest batch of Green Peppers you could ever hope to eat. I blanched the tomatoes and put 'em in my smoothie-making blender, cooked up a little brown rice & barley to add to the meat mixture (getting in all that fiber, making Gillian McKeith proud) and stuffed those peppers. They have smelled up the house quite nicely. I may have over-seasoned the sauce, I'm not really in the mood to taste-test it, but it smells good anyway. And then Kenny came home and we went out for pizza. Peppers tomorrow night or I will kill something after all that effort.
*********************************** Pizza for dinner tonight on top of pizza for lunch today. It was my Nerd Club's Humorous Speech Contest, and I Chaired the event, providing a pizza & soda lunch for the masses. It was pizza night at Parma Tavern and as I've realized it's not ALWAYS all about me, we did what Kenny wanted. He didn't want stuffed peppers. So he had a beer, I enjoyed a salad and a piece of pizza, and we called it a night. Gillian McKeith WOULD NOT be happy with my pizza-pooping ways tonight, Oh No Sirree, she would NOT. I've been monitoring it since finding her poo chart. With my increased interest in getting in more fiber, fruits and vegetables, combined with eliminating beef and alcohol, I've been enjoying some Type 4 Healthy Poos which get a "Well Done!" from Gillian. After my pizza diet today, not so much. I know you're all anxious to check out the chart and see how you rate. Go Get 'Em, Tiger! It's fascinating stuff, that poo chart. And with last bit of talk about poo, I bid you adieu.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Since we found ourselves there unexpectedly for an extra day we were rather at loose ends. Kenny was disappointed because it was going to be his first Football Sunday with his new Direct TV $400 football package. Instead he watched the game from his 37" t.v. in our hotel room. Still quite comfortable, but not the same experience he had hoped for. Good thing I always threaten to go check out the pool and pack my swimsuit with me - because I finally had the opportunity to make good on that threat. I suited up and headed down to the pool area, it's quite lovely in a windowed solarium and there was about 4 other people in there. I had the thing practically to myself. I swam around and hung out on the edge of the pool reading a new book, then sauna-ed and whatnot-ed for a few hours. It was relaxing and I felt good getting in a little bit of exercise. Might as well make the most of it, there's far worse places that my two year old fucking Lexus could have broken down... After pooling and dry heating myself up, I went back to the room and was going to head down to the casino for a little bit of extra gaming action, but instead was so engrossed in the book I was reading that I couldn't tear myself away. I stayed in the room and read for hours, finally heading down to find Kenny around 11 p.m. or so. He was doing pretty good, playing some video poker, and I watched him play for a while and recapped the book for him - I'm sure he was delighted. We called it a night around 1:00 a.m. I of course had to pick up the book again, however, and determined I couldn't put it down until I was done so I was up reading til 4 a.m. Best book I've ever read. I promised Kenny I'd stop talking about it after today, as he got a full re-cap, which included my reading excerpts aloud to him on the drive home. He was actually pretty interested in the whole thing - or he politely feigned interest to humor me.
Anyway, as you've gathered, we made it home. They had the car fixed around noon today and the Lexus Shuttle came and picked us up. The dude at the dealership who replaced the battery terminals told me he'd never seen anything quite like that on a 2 year old Lexus and that I should really lay into my dealership who's been servicing my car - they should have seen that during one of my $90 oil changes (which was only a couple thousand miles ago). So they're on my to-call-and-bitch-out list.
All-in-all, it was a painless inconvenience. Another free night at the hotel, swimming around, a free meal, free towing service, shuttle to the dealership, and a no-charge to fix the problem as it's under warranty. And of course there was the dealing with Foxy Bruce the security dude, which led to a little role-playing during some sexual shenanigans in between swimming and reading. Kenny didn't even mind being called Bruce, as long as it was his wiener getting the action. Men are all just pretty basic that way. Food, sex, football = call me whatever you want.
Luckily for me I had a light work schedule as I was unexpectedly off. Good thing it wasn't Tuesday, I have my Toastmasters contest which I am in charge of running. So with that, I must run and bake cupcakes for my Nerd Club event, check my emails and google the author of that book so I can send her a love letter. By the way, the book is called The Glass Castle. Get it, read it and we can sit around and talk about it. Kenny will thank you for taking it off his hands.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The scene is the living room, Tuesday night, while watching The First 48:
Tracye: "I'm so hot! I think I'm having a heart attack or something."Kenny: "You wouldn't be hot if you're having a heart attack. You'd have other symptoms, like arm pain and stuff."
Tracye: "Maybe I'm starting menopause early or something." Kenny: "Well, you might as well just go ahead and get it over with. Wouldn't you like to not have to shove shit up your pussy anymore?"
Tracye: "Why yes, I guess I would enjoy not having to shove shit up my pussy anymore, now that you mention it."