Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Moods Are Contagious

I try to be happy. Really, I have so many things to be grateful for that I really shouldn't ever be in a bad mood.

But...those bad moods happen more often than I like. Sometimes, I find that happy people are contagious, though. When I am all sullen and out-of-sorts, a happy person can cheer me up again without even trying.

For instance, one day I came home from lunch in a splendid mood. Hubs wasn't in a bad mood, but he made a comment that I was very happy and I do think I made his lunch, and hopefully his afternoon, better.

Another day, I came home from lunch tired, worn-out, and crabby. Ransom was his normal happy-go-lucky self and walked up to me and gave me a wet kiss on my cheek. Normally, not a fan of dog slobber on my cheek, it was as if he wanted to pass some happiness my way...and he did.

And yet on another day, I went through the drive thru at Starbucks all bogged down and grumpy. The worker recognized me , and chatted about the beautiful day. He was so happy to see me that the weather was beautiful that instantly my mood was lightened.

So next time a bad mood comes along, try to find a happy person, or dog, to turn that frown upside down!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Usually, my pups has two perky ears. Perky ears are a sign of playfulness, alert, excitement, and they are just so cute. Lately, only one ear perks.

Ransom has a ear infection and so he either holds his ear down, or it just lays differently because it hurts.

I know it is kind of hard to see in the pictures, but in real-life it is quite funny looking. But it is even more funny to watch him after he gets his medicine.

He hates his medicine. We pour a solution down his ear canal while he is pinned by both Hubs and I against the wall. He struggles to get free from our grasp (and sometimes is successful). Then, Hubs pulls his ear straight up and massages the ear canal so that it makes this sloshy sound. We do this three times and then he is free to shake his head for about 15 minutes.

During that 15 minutes, though, he is lopsided. Not only are his ears lopsided, but his entire head. He can't seem to hold his head straight and therefore cannot even walk straight. He runs into things and walks crooked until his equilibrium returns. And although we both feel sorry for him, we also both laugh.

After the 15 minutes, we pin him against the wall again and pour a cream down his ears. This one makes him whine, but doesn't mess up his balance.

A treat usually makes up for the pain and embarrassment. 

Will she even stop taking these pictures???

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Outfit?

Do you get a new Easter outfit every year?

As a kid, I remember always going shopping for a new "Easter dress." As I got older, I continued the tradition mainly for an excuse to buy something new and springy. But this year, I have not even thought of getting anything new nor have I had time to think about getting something new.

Yesterday I wore dark colors to church - black top, dark denim skirt, black tights, and black boots. Can we say winter? I think I definitely need something happy and bright for next week, but should I but something new or just pull out something from previous years.

A new outfit for Easter seems to be a way to great springtime. It gets us, or maybe just me, started for the next season and finally put away those dark winter clothes. For some reason, spring just doesn't start until Easter happens, and I seem to want to kick it off with something new.

Really, I don't want an entire outfit. My mother-in-law just brought me this very bright top that I think will match an old skirt. Or I have a great skirt that just needs a top to go with. But really what I want are new shoes. Some wedges or flippies. Even just a nice pair or sandals...or one of each. And it just so happens that a new month begins this week...which means a brand new, unspent budget.

So, are you getting something new this year? Or are you revamping an old outfit? Or are you just getting a fantastic pair of new shoes to kickoff spring?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

City at Sea

Hubs and I toured the USS Midway while in San Diego. We got rained off the flight deck, but we really enjoyed walking through the inside of the ship - where the soldiers lived day to day.

The ship was GIANT. We put on headphones and walked around. When we reached a site of interest, we punched in the number and learned about what we were seeing. 

It's pretty tight down in the living area. I had no problems walking through the doors, but anyone tall would hit their head easily. They actually mentioned that they had people in the medical ward daily due to soldiers hitting their heads!

The area that kind of made me wary was when we went down to another level by going through a hole in the floor. A hole that could be sealed shut - yikes. But, it is truly a miniature city on the ship, complete with barber shop, laundromat, and movie theaters.

As we were finishing the tour, Hubs spotted a sign that said "Dental" with an arrow pointing down (one of those holes in the floor again). It was roped off, but I suggested that we go see it anyway. To my disbelief, Hubs looks around and says, "Okay, lets go. Hurry!"

Haha, Hubs and I went and explored the dental ward. Since the ship was decommissioned in 1992, the equipment wasn't completely dated. That was probably the most fun...simply because we weren't supposed to be there!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Note: When "updates" is a title for my post, you will be receiving random, unimportant information.

Last week was busy. Busy doesn't even describe it - hectic would be better. But, we made it through and we are back to sunny skies and another full week. I told myself earlier this week that, "once life slows down, I am going to get myself on a steady routine of cleaning, working out, etc." I finally realized yesterday that if I wait for life to slow down, I will be 75. Thus, I just have to be productive when I can and  not sit and fret about the things that must wait for tomorrow...or next week.

Last week, we made some improvements to our home. Small, but they were three things I had wanted to make our home more welcoming to our friends and visitors.

First, the addition of another couch. My parents were guests this weekend at our home and brought one of their old couches for our living room. Every Tuesday night when our friends come over to watch Biggest Loser, they have to sit on folding chairs. Not anymore! We were worried it would make the room look crowded, but it just seems homey to me.

Next, a rug for the guest bathroom. Seems silly, but I always felt bad that our guests had nothing cushy to stand on after their shower. Hubs picked this out, and it is definitely the cushiest rug I have stood on.

And finally, our old TV in the guest room now has channels! Those staying at our home can watch TV from bed and relax in their room. I guess what we need now is GUESTS!!! 

Last week, I was so excited to see crocuses and hyacinth pop up in our mulched area. Since this is our first spring at this home, we are not sure what kind of perennials may be planted there. 

Hubs was surprised to see the flowers. Last year, we put down a fabric underneath the mulch. If I would have been aware that this was to keep anything and everything from popping up through the mulch, I would have probably protested. I hate to think that there may be some beautiful tulips and daffodils trying to pop through the fabric and can't. So, I turned in some old vases for credit at our grocery store and bough the tulips in the picture above.

I guess that is enough for the random updates. I have lots of things to share, but I will formulate coherent, topic-oriented posts later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This morning, afternoon, and evening.

This morning I saw Hubs for about 5 minutes before I left to meet friends for coffee. He asked me if we could hang out sometime. I said I had some free time in three weeks.

This afternoon I saw Hubs for about 30 minutes while we ate lunch and cuddled on the couch.

This evening I saw Hubs for about 60 seconds in the church parking lot before he left to meet a friend for dinner in Manhattan - 2 hours away.

36 minutes total Hubs and Feather time today. I'm hoping to force myself to stay up so I can see him for 5 more minutes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thinking back

Weddings are in the air. Really, I only can think of 1 person I know getting little brother. Although it has taken me months to really get used to that fact, I am now very aware and excited that my little bro -sniff- is getting married in 2 months.

Today I found the cd of our wedding ceremony. Of course, I popped it into the car cd player and listened. It is funny some of the details you forget and some of the fun things you remember. For instance:

  • How much I love the song that was playing while I walked down the aisle. Claire de Lune with Jesus Loves Me. So simple and beautiful.
  • How much my face hurt from smiling so hard.
  • How significant and special it was to have both my grandfather and my uncle do the ceremony. The words they shared and the love they displayed. Not everybody gets that.
  • How over-used the word "privilege" was during the ceremony. Seriously, like 20 least.
  • How proud I was of my dad, who not only gave away his only daughter; who not only sang the song he sang for my mom at their wedding; but sang 2 special songs during the ceremony.
  • How during my grandpa's prayer very loud drum music started playing.
  • How, while my maid-of-honor was fixing my train, Hubs's best man straightened the back of his tux jacket.
  • How very, very uncomfortable I was during the entire ceremony because of my shoes.
  • How, though our wedding was not without flaws and mistakes, it was completely unique to us. 
  • How starving I was. So starving that I actually ate wedding cake!!
  • How quick that one day passed by and gave way to a brand new life. A life I cannot imagine not living anymore.
(By the way, if you haven't read about some of the more prominent, crazy, not expected event of the day read my post here. It may give you a nice laugh. By the way, after reading that post I realize I still owe you a few more stories...)

It was a fun trip down memory lane. But even more, listening to the charge given to us and the vows we pledged was a great refresher to me.

When was the last time you listened to or watched your wedding ceremony?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Where is it?

This past week has been ridiculous. Thing after thing; situation after situation. I have forgotten things; I have been frustrated. It has been a week.


Wednesday afternoon my mom called while I was getting ready to leave work. So, I answered it as I shut down my computer and cleaned my desk. It was raining outside, and it was cold. I walked outside with my arms full of stuff and realized I had forgotten my phone. So, I put all my stuff down on the cement, underneath the portico so that it would stay dry. I walk back inside, deep in conversation, and start searching for my phone. My search becomes more frantic as I realize it is not on my desk. I open drawers and look on the floor.

Finally, I give up. I tell my mom (loudly because I am frustrated), "I can't find my phone! It's so frustrating when I do this."

Then I realize my blunder and I say (loudly, again), "OH, I'm talking on it!"

Laughter bursts from the rest of the office and I quickly skedaddled out of there before I hear any teasing.


That's the kind of week it has been for me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Singles Ad

Well, I saw this and resisted the temptation to post it for about 2 hours. Then I couldn't stand it any longer. You need to see this.

This has to be one of the best singles ads ever printed. It is reported to have been listed in the Atlanta Journal.

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating our of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy. I'll be wating...

Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society.

Too. Old.

I have been told I am too short. Too small. And, too blonde. But never have I been told I was too old. Until last night.

Sorry, we need someone under 25. You are too old.

I don't like that. I don't like it one bit. It only confirms what I have been telling Richard, that we are old. I don't feel old. I really don't feel any older than I was 4 years ago. I may have more life experiences, a tad bit more wisdom, and some mistakes under my belt, but that doesn't mean you are old, does it?

I still feel like I can connect with the young crowd. My little bro seems to think I don't act too much like an old person. He thinks I am cool. Wait, is "cool" still the right word to use? And sure I may be ready to go to bed right at 10pm, but I still can have fun. Please don't tell me I am old because we like to play cards with our friends on Friday night.

For so long, I wanted to be older. Now I don't want to be younger, but I would like to freeze time for a while. Since that is not an option, I know I should learn some sort of lesson from this.

All my life I have been saying "someday." Someday I will have a house. Someday, we will have kids. Someday, I will find a young girl to meet with. Someday I will even teach young women. Someday, I will organize my desk. Someday, I will love Hubs better.

Someday is here. Before I know it, I will truly be old and I would hate to look back at 26 and wonder why I didn't seize the day then, take opportunities then.

So, for the first time I was told, "You are too old." The worst part was that it was to something I told myself I would do someday. Next time, I won't be too old. I'm gonna make my somedays, todays.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Unreasonable fear

I usually consider myself a reasonable human being. I try not to freak out over things before I know the complete facts. I stay cool, calm and collected under most circumstances.

There is, however, one thing I cannot tolerate. Worms.

Even having this picture of a worm on my very own blog is giving me the heebie-jeebies. I don't think I was always like this, though. Visions of my annoying brothers chasing me with squirmy worms rolls through my head, so I am sure they brought this aversion upon me.

As a kid, my dad wouldn't always put the worm on my fishing hook. Something about needing to learn to do it myself if I really wanted to fish. Well, there was no way I was actually going to tear one of the things apart with my hands and then jam a hook into its leftover body numerous times while it squirms in my hands. So, I gently poured a worm on the ground and attempted to jab the hook into it while hardly ever touching the actual worm.

I can't really describe how I feel when I see a worm. My insides cringe. My skin crawls. Panic sets in. The cool, calm and collected Feather completely evaporates into an insane, unreasonable person.

Which, is going to make walking the dog this spring very difficult. This morning, about halfway through my walk, I noticed them. They were all around me on the street; blocking my normal path. Who knows how many of them I had already stepped on. I couldn't think about that. I had to think about how I was going to get home without touching them, and without Ransom touching them. The rest of my walk, my eyes were glued to the cement - calculating my steps.

It was worse in college. Worms were everywhere after the rain. Hubs thinks these walks will help me conquer my fear. I think he should walk Ransom on these days.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The last of the animals

And now, for the last of the animals from our trip...

A peacock hanging out in the tree.

A condor spanning his giant wings.

A group of giraffes feeding in the sun.

A panda checking us out.

A momma napping while her cub plays.

A gnarly orangutan posing for us.

A big pig-like animal snoring away.

A flock of bright flamingoes.

A cuddly koala chomping on some bamboo.

A giant python actually moving around.

And, a two-humped camel slobbering all over itself.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Crock Pot Crap

As a high schooler, anytime I knew that Sunday's lunch was cooking in a crock pot, I searched for friends to go out to lunch with. I groaned when I knew I was coming home to eat a roast.

I really wasn't sure why I even registered for a crock pot when we got married. Crock pots meant no flavor. Hubs also was not a fan of roasts, so for 2 years our crock pot sat in the cupboard. Then my Hy-Vee man talked me into trying a roast. I did it; it didn't turn out well, but I was willing to try again.

Now, as a working wife of 3 1/2 years, I love finding tasty recipes made in the crock pot. And, I love my roast - Hubs likes it too! Perhaps just knowing I did not spend 45 minutes in the kitchen dirtying many pots and pans contributes to the flavor and fondness of the dish. I don't think that it tastes bland, but actually has tons of flavor - thank you lipton soup packets. It is such an incredible relief to come home on Thursday from work (Thursday is our busy night) and know that dinner is cooking and I have time to do other things. I should clarify that I only cook the meat in the crock pot, so I do still have a little bit of preparation for the veggies.

I have tried some nasty recipes in my crock pot. I have also not mastered how to cook everything in there. But, I am content with my 2 good recipes and I hope that in 20 or so years my children will not cringe when they learn supper is in the crock pot!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Pole o' Gum, and other oddities

We've all heard it...stories about those crazy Californians. While we were there, we saw a few things that may only be seen in Cali.

We came across the Pole o' Gum the first day. Hundreds of pieces of gum stuck to this pole from the bottom up. Extreme grossness. But, better than stepping in it on the sidewalk I suppose.

Do you see anything odd about the insurance offered at this place? The entire stay we tried to figure out what Mexico Insurance is. We saw it offered at a few different places. Hmmm.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a very large number of people with dogs. They actually have not only a large dog park, but a beach dedicated to dogs. The boardwalk is constantly full of dog-walkers. It is a very pet-friendly area.

But wait. Is that a...a pig?

Why yes, yes it is. Come to find out this pig wasn't lost, but his owner was around. The pig attracted lots of attention and tried to mooch food off of everyone. He was just enjoying the beach as much as everyone else.

Here the pig meets with another type of Cali's popular citizens...transients. EVERYWHERE we went, we saw people who obviously have no home and prefer to live that way. The bus. The trolley. The sidewalk. The beach. All over. You can usually pick them out by the lack of personal hygiene and the bags upon bags of their stuff they carry around. An odd way to live, but to each their own.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Plans thwarted. A happy ending.

On Thursday morning Hubs and I walked down to the concierge desk to figure out how to get to Sea World. That's when we found out that Shamu in Orlando caused a trainer to die and thus Shamu shows everywhere were shut down. They should resume the next day.

Instead, Hubs and I went to the Zoo.

On Friday morning Hubs and I learned that Shamu was not performing again, but would be back on schedule on Saturday. Saturday was schedule for lots of rain. Since the dolphins were also not performing, we decided to not spend $70 if we couldn't even see the main events.

Instead, Hubs and I soaked up the sun by the beach for the day.

On Saturday, it was raining. We decided to take the bus downtown to tour the USS Midway - a retired aircraft carrier. As we rode the bus, we talked with some locals who told us we must visit the La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) cove where we could see the seals. They told us of some great restaurants in that area and said that it would clear up and the sun would shine. So, we saw the Midway and he sun came out. We quickly made a stop at the hotel to change my shoes and then headed out to La Jolla.

We missed our bus stop. The bus had been stopping at every other corner until we missed ours. Then the bus travelled 1/4 of a mile further before dropping us off in the pouring rain. We had a one-person umbrella which served to keep our faces semi-dry as cars drove by spraying us with water. Determined to at least see these seals, we walked and walked, searching for the cove.

We found the cove and the seals - though it was now so windy, rainy, and cold and our shoes and jeans were so drenched that we didn't get any closer than this:

We decided to forgo dinner in order to be dry and warm, only to arrive at the bus stop just as it was pulling away. After running after it and failing to catch it, we stood and waited - soaked and cold - for 20 minutes until the next one came. We ended up ordering Chinese and Hubs ran through the now hurricane-like weather to pick it up.

On Sunday we woke up to clear blue skies. We got to airport security to find that the snow globe Richard had bought for one of his coworker's children would not be allowed in carry-on luggage. He went back and checked his bag, then stood in the security line again.

In Denver, we were offered 1st class tickets to take a later flight, as well 2 free round-trip tickets good for a year. Considering we took this trip on free round-trip tickets, we were pretty excited about this! We got to Wichita very late and, after some searching, found Hubs's checked bag made it safely.

Although the trip didn't go as planned, we still had a happy ending.

Lions, and tigers, and bears - OH MY!

The zoo is one of my favorite places. I love seeing different animals and Hubs and I are constantly talking in the voices we give them and saying what they must be thinking. Two things I noticed that were different at the San Diego Zoo. One was the activity of the animals. How often do we actually see the big cats walking around? Usually they are napping; never have I seen them play or interact with one another. And, two was the proximity of the animals. The cages were feet from the viewers.

That is why Hubs and I spent at least 30 minutes watching the lions. In the fenced area there were a pair of lions - one male and one female - they were mates. We happened to stumble upon this exhibit while the keeper was standing between us and the fence, answering questions and talking about the lions. We also happened to come to this exhibit right after they gave both lions beef bones to gnaw on.

This was super cool because they gnawed on these bones no more than 10 feet from us. We watched and listened for a while and then this big guy went to sit on the ground, even closer to the fence.

As he chewed, we could hear his rough tongue lick against the bone. We could hear the power behind his jaws as he chomped down on the bone. The keeper said they would work on these bones for a couple of hours before being done.

Meanwhile, the lioness (I don't have any pictures of her, but she was beautiful) got bored with her bone. She stood up and walked down by the big guy who is very protective of his bone. He semi-roared, or growled at her as she passed by.

That is one amazing sound, by the way. The keeper says that he does roar on occasion and it can be heard for miles. It makes your chest thunder and I can only imagine because this noise he made was no small thing. It was deep and guttural. It was majestic.

While the female went off to steal this guy's favorite toy - an empty plastic barrell - he took the chance to clean up her bone leftovers. Once he saw that she had his barrel, however, he trotted over, picked up the barrel in his mouth, and hid it behind a rock. He then went back to his own bone.

But, the lion keeper had gotten too close to his bone. He made some of those noises at her - warning her to stay away. She didn't move in an effort to let him know she was going to stay away. But, he wanted to make sure. So, he pounced at the fence! This fence, by the way, is not firm, but flexible. The fence gave out so that this giant lion was about 1 foot from his keeper. One time wasn't enough, though. He pounced again, growling the entire time. She slowly moved away, completely calm and collected, and he settled down again with his bone.

Have you ever seen action like that at a zoo? Have you ever been this close to the animals? It was amazing. I am always wanting to pet the lions and the bears, but this gave me a healthy respect for the "king of the jungle."

By the way, have you also ever seen a lion as well-groomed as he? They do not groom their animals, but  I think this is the healthiest, best-maintained lion I have seen. He looks like Mufasa from The Lion King, don't ya think? He should. They drew all the characters from The Lion King from the San Diego Zoo.

If you ever visit this zoo, be sure to stop by the lion pen. It is an amazing sight to see!

Monday, March 1, 2010

What a journey

Three months ago I was struck with the realization that if Christ returned or if I died and saw Jesus face-to-face, I would have not read the entire Bible. I would have to shamefully admit to my Savior that His words to me weren't important enough for me to read them all. Not to mention that at that point in my routine, I was actually rarely finding making time to devote myself to His words.

Thus, I began a challenge within our church to read the entire Bible in 90 days. I wanted to know what the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were about. I wanted to get an overall grasp for the flow of the Bible, the chronological sequence, and the details that I have never understood. I also wanted to make it a habit to set aside time in my day, mainly in the morning, to sit and read my Bible.

After 90 days, I happy to say that I got way more than I planned. The Bible is filled with mystery, scandal, adventure, romance, wickedness, disaster, and punishment. As someone who believes in the Bible's every word and as one who has a personal relationship with its author, however, it was even more. I learned about God - who He is throughout the entire Bible. How much He loves His children and how much we deserve death.

I read as God put the earth into existence. How He sustains everything. I read as His people continually chose other gods before Him. I read as they repeatedly turned away from God for their fleshly desires. And I thought, That sounds like me

I read as God sent His only Son to be a perfect man in order to save sinful man who deserved death. I read as Jesus, who did nothing wrong, willingly was mocked, beaten, and crucified in my place. I read as Christ then conquered death and rose again so that I could live with him forever and never fear death again. Then, I read as those who believed in Christ were persecuted: mocked, beaten, jailed, stoned, killed; all because they accepted the free gift of salvation and desired to share it with everyone they met so they too might have life. And I thought, That doesn't sound like me. 

Finally, I read the end. I read that it is a happy ending for some - those who have given their lives to Christ and accepted Him as their Savior. I read that it is an ending of torment lasting forever apart from God for those who don't know Him. And I thought, Who am I going to tell today?

Have you read God's Word? Have you accepted its truths? Dear friend, I cannot impress on you enough that life, peace, and joy can only be found through knowing Christ as your Savior. You must realize that you cannot get life, peace, or joy through any other way than through Jesus.

Now what? A few days ago Hubs asked me what I was going to do after this was over and I had no clue. I knew I wanted to study the Bible in a deeper way, not just reading it through as I had been doing. I had so many questions and thoughts. So, I have picked one of the books and I am going back to read it slower and study its words. I want it to penetrate my life to cause me to live differently. I want to cherish it and commit it to memory. I want to live by it and have it infiltrate my life so much that I base my every thought and decision on it. It is, after all, God's very words written to me. 

We're Back

And I've got lots of updates and stories which will come right after I start laundry and buy groceries. Since I just spent 30 minutes reading emails and catching up on blogs, I should probably get to real life sometime today.

Although our trip did not go as we planned, we still had fun and felt the warmth of the sun.

We saw things we had never seen before and enjoyed just getting away.

Being back is bittersweet. Sweet because I love being in my comfy bed, being around all our friends, and, of course, seeing our crazy dog again. Bitter because it is 32 degrees, cloudy, and not a large body of water for miles and miles....and miles.