Monthly Archives: May 2006

Officially Summer

Okay, even though summer doesn’t "officially" start until June . . . I’m declaring that it’s officially summer now.  The hot dog stand close to the office openend over the weekend.  They have the most wonderful soft serve ice cream . . . and I had my first ice cream cone of the summer yesterday.  I can finish off a cone on my walk from the hot dog stand back to the office after lunch.  The hot dog stand is close to the river and there is a nice little area with picnic tables and a little fountain that the kids play in.  Sometimes the adults play in the fountain too, but that’s another blog all by itself.  I take my lunch and go there to people watch . . . .and splash my toes in the fountain if it’s not too crowded. 
It’s been sunny and close to 90 degrees every day now for a while.  With the heat and humidity comes the chance for scattered evening showers.  We got one of those scattered evening showers last night.  At the house.  While I was cooking hamburgers on the grill.  I can now honestly say that I’ve been grilling in a thunderstorm.  I spent most of the time in the mudroom watching the rain bounce off the grill, but there were moments when I was out by the grill with the jumbo hamburger flipper that I was worried that Hubby would have to explain to everyone why I was grilling during a thunderstorm . . .
As bad as I’ve felt the last week or so with my cold/allergy problem, I have to admit that Hubby has just trumped me in the feeling bad department.  He’s had a pain in his left side for the last couple of weeks that we thought was a pulled muscle.  It’s not getting better, so I finally talked him into going to the doc to have it checked.  Turns out the supposedly pulled muscle is (insert dramatic soap opera music here) shingles.  Oh, yikes.  I know that sounds bad but it’s not contagious or life threatening, but still it’s not a fun thing to have.  Luckily he doesn’t have much of a rash (only two spots so far), but the pain could last for a while.  Doc has him on pain meds and an anti-inflammatory so we’ll have to see how things go.  When Hubby called to tell me what the doc said, his exact words were "I’m old.  I have shingles.  Only old people get shingles."  Poor baby . . . he’s only 52 and that’s not old . . . (which is what I told him!) 
(By the way, the stupid cold thing has turned into my annual cottonwood allergy thing.  Still have the odd coughing fit, but I’m not going to complain anymore about it.  How can I complain about a stupid coughing fit when Hubby’s got shingles and it’s hurts him to breathe?!) 
My newest reality TV addiction is Last Comic Standing.  Hubby started watching the auditions last night and I got hooked.  We had to watch the whole show just to see who got picked.  Now I’m going to be spending Tuesday nights watching the show to see who wins.  I hate when Hubby gets me hooked on these stupid reality shows . . . . a couple of years ago he got me hooked on The Real Gilligan’s Island and last year was Dancing With The Stars.  The man is a bad influence!!
With that . . . I need to get back to work!!


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Another Luci First

This was Luci’s first Memorial Day holiday.  I know she doesn’t have a clue as to what the holiday was about, but she did know that Mommy and Daddy were home for three days.  She got to play in the pool and the sprinkler.  She’s learning that little black doggies shouldn’t sun bathe on the deck and she’s learning the importance of shade.  Most importantly, she’s learning the joys of central air.  We turned the AC on late last week because we knew it was going to get very warm (in the 90’s) over the weekend.  Blacky has always loved the AC – he lays in front of the register in the kitchen so that he can have the cool air blowing in his face.  Luci’s still trying to figure out where the cold air is coming from and what the heck is that noise?  (The AC makes a little more noise than the furnace and it really gets her attention when it first kicks on.) 


Hubby went fishing Sunday night so that left me, Luci, and Blacky home alone most of the evening.  We got to watch the NASCAR race without listening to Hubby complain (he’s not a NASCAR fan).  I had the race on while I was cleaning the house and Blacky and Luci were in the living room in front of the TV.  I know that Blacky listens to the TV, but I’ve never actually seen him watch TV.  Luci does watch TV.  She seems to be able to the action on the screen and will follow something if it catches her attention.  I’ve watched her try to figure out where the cars go when they zoom off the edge of the TV screen.  At one point, she was watching the race when I left the room to go check on the laundry and when I came back upstairs, she was asleep in front of the TV.  A true NASCAR fan! 


I cooked out all weekend, just like I hoped I would be able to.  We had ribs on the grill yesterday.  I cooked them in the pressure cooker first so they wouldn’t take forever on the grill.  Luci is usually in the kitchen with me when I’m cooking, but she wasn’t too sure about the pressure cooker when it started to whistle and make noise.  She could smell the ribs that were cooking, but the noise the pressure cooker made when the pressure started to build spooked her a bit.  She didn’t bark at it, she just sat and stared at it and then stared at me like "What the heck is that?"  I tried to get her to go outside so that she wouldn’t be spooked by it, but she just sat at the back door and looked in at me. 


It was a wonderful weekend.  I got to spend time with Hubby and the dogs.  I sat on the deck with Blacky and watched Luci run around the yard chasing squirrels.  I got to splash in the wading pool and play in the sprinkler.  I didn’t have any plans and I didn’t have to be anywhere at any particular time.  It was nice and relaxing. . . . I can’t wait for the next long holiday weekend!!


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Summer Fun

I’m having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  I haven’t done much of anything and that’s a good thing.  Right now Hubby is out fishing and I have the house to myself for the next few hours.  I think I might actually do some housework.  I did get the kitchen and mudroom floor mopped yesterday and did some laundry.  The rest of the house could stand dusting and running the sweeper.
See, the problem is that it’s sunny and warm and I don’t want to stay in the house.  I’ve been out in the back yard with the doggies.  When the temperature gets above 70 degrees, then Blacky knows that it’s time to get the wading pool out.  He’s been staring at it a couple of times the last week or so and I told him that we’d do it over the weekend.  Yesterday I finally got it out for him.  Oh, he was so excited.  Luci didn’t have any idea why he was so excited . . . but that changed the minute I got the hose out and put it in the pool.  I was afraid that Blacky wouldn’t want to share the pool or the hose with Luci, but he really surprised me! 
After we got some water in the pool, I got out the new sprinkler and put it in the yard for them.  They had a good time with that, too.  I’ve never seen two dogs drink so much water.  Of course, they played in the sprinkler and the pool for about 20 minutes and then wanted to go back in the house . . . soaking wet!  I played fetch with them for a little while so that they’d get dry enough to go back in the house.
Today and tomorrow are pretty much the same thing . . . . lazy, not doing much, no plans.  Life is good!


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My Very Own Happily Ever After

This weekend marks the 24th anniversary of my first date with Hubby.  (Yes, I’m one of those people who remembers stuff like this.)  In honor of that wonderful date, I’ll tell the story of how we started out . . .


My first job out of high school was as a delivery driver for a local auto parts store.  My across-the-street neighbor was the manager of the store and he needed a part-time driver.  I needed a part-time job to work around my class schedule at the local community college.  Hubby was the assistant manager at the auto parts store. 


I didn’t like Hubby when I first met him and he didn’t like me.  He was going through a rough patch in his first marriage and was (in my opinion) an asshole.  He had no sense of humor, he had a short temper, and didn’t cut me any slack because I was a girl.  He really expected me to lift 40 lb. bags of oil dry, 5 gallon drums of paint thinner, and lift brake drums off a tractor.  He thought that I was an ice princess.  


Over time, I found out about Hubby’s problems at home and discovered that’s why he was always in such a bad mood.  He eventually started warming up to me and I learned that he wasn’t such a bad guy after all.  We played practical jokes on each other – he taped up my coat and held it hostage for a day.  I taped up his coffee cup with masking tape just after he had filled it – and taped it to the parts counter.  He got back at me by taping up my entire desk.  I gave up trying to get back at him.  His brain works too fast for me. 


Hubby’s soon-to-be ex-wife didn’t like me because I was an 18 year old college student that was working with her husband.  At the time, I had just broken up with a boyfriend (another blog all by itself!) and had no interest in anyone else.  Besides that, Hubby was OLD!  (There’s a 9½ year age difference between us.)  It actually got to be a joke at the store about me and Hubby having an affair. 


Hubby got divorced on a Monday, he asked me out on Tuesday, and we went out that Friday.  We’ve been together ever since.  


Who says Happily Ever After never happens?


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One Symptom at a Time

Okay, folks, I want to know if anybody else has had this problem . . . I’ve got a cold.  Had it all week.  But I’m getting one symptom at a time.  You’d think that this would be a good thing.  But it’s not.  If I’m going to be sick, I want to be sick and get it over with.  This has been dragging on for a blinking week.  I’ve taken so much cough syrup and cough drops that I have no taste buds left.  (Can’t taste, don’t want to eat . . .maybe that’s a plus?)  And it’s not showing any signs of stopping.  Started out with a scratchy throat on Sunday.  Got a dry cough on Monday.  Tuesday was heavy feeling in chest, productive cough, and raspy voice.  Wednesday was the alternating stuffy/runny nose and watery eyes.  Today is just the uncontrollable coughing fits.  What in the world is with this one symptom at a time thing?  Shouldn’t I be getting all the symptoms at once, have them last a couple of days, and then be done with this?  At this rate, I’ll be sick all summer.


Oh, yea, it’s finally gotten warm here.  I’ve got this cold and it’s 80 degrees outside.  Supposed to be near 90 by the end of the weekend.  Hubby wants to turn on the AC tonight.  I’m doomed.


I know I’m whining.  It’s beautiful outside and I feel like crap.  My nose is sore from constantly blowing it.  I’m tired of smelling like cough drops.  I’m tired of taking cough syrup or cold meds.  I’m tired of going to the bathroom every 30 minutes because of all the water I’m drinking.  I’m sorry that Hubby hasn’t gotten any sleep because the cold is making my snoring worse.  I’m sorry that my snoring has even gotten the dogs up in the middle of the night.  (You know it’s bad when you wake the dogs!)  I don’t get sick very often, but when I do I sure do it up right. 


I sat outside on my favorite bench at lunch and soaked up some sun.  That helped some.  But I don’t know if it was the benefits of the sun or the fun I had people watching during lunch hour in the beautiful downtown area . . . .


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The Mice Will Play

The boss is gone for the afternoon and it’s sunny and 72 degrees outside.  He’s probably going to call in this afternoon to check on me so I can’t go far or be gone too long.  So, I guess it’s going to be a trip to the bank and a walk around the Square to do some people watching.  The exercise will be good and it’s always good to feel the warm sunshine on your face.  People watching in downtown is one of my most favorite activities.  I sit on a bench and just watch the people walking by.  You’d be amazed at the things you see.  Last week I watched a skateboarder doing his tricks while talking on a cell phone.  Not a cell phone with a headset thing in his ear . . he was actually holding the cell phone to his ear while he was doing his tricks.  It was the most amazing demonstration of coordination that I’ve ever seen.  Heck, I can hardly walk through my house without tripping over a dog toy – or a dog – without falling down and this guy was flipping a skateboard and carrying on a conversation at the same time.  Amazing!! 


Then there are the fashion victims to take a gander at.  Yes, I know it’s not nice to stare at people, but sometimes I just can’t help it.  You can’t tell me that those people don’t expect to be stared at when they go outside looking like that.  I’m not going to mention all the various fashion offenses that I see on a daily basis, but just let me just say that no white girl has ever looked good in cornrows . . . and that includes Bo Derek. 


Oh, yea, the cold is a little better.  I actually feel better than I did on Monday, but now I have these wicked coughing spells.  They come from no where and I can’t get them to stop no matter how much water I swallow or how much cough syrup I take.  I end up coughing so hard that my eyes water and my nose starts to run.  I know, great visual, but what can I say . . . that’s my life at this point.  The fits last for about 5 minutes and are usually about 3 hours apart.  Hubby isn’t sure which is worse – my coughing fits in the middle of the night, or the snoring because my nose is clogged.  I’m thinking it’s the getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom because of all the water I’ve been drinking to counter the effects of the meds that are supposed to be drying up all this congestion.  


Okay . . . time to go out and play.  Wonder what wonderful sights I’ll see today.


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Spring Finally Arrives and Now I Get A Cold . . .

Yep, the tradition continues.  For the last several years, I’ve managed to go the whole cold and flu season without any kind of sickness at all.  Then when we finally get a nice stretch of warm weather, I end up with a cold.  One year I ended up with bronchitis and strep throat and it was 90 degrees outside.  Go figure! 


April was pretty warm but May has been cold and rainy . . . I think Mother Nature got the two months mixed up.  Anyway, the weatherman is finally predicting warm weather just in time for Memorial Day weekend – the temperatures are supposed to be in 70’s and 80’s by the end of the week and we’re supposed to have beautiful weather for Memorial Day weekend.  It’s finally going to be nice enough to spend some time outside and I’m fighting off a cold.  My throat felt ticklish on Saturday and, sure enough, I got up Sunday morning with a dry cough and a scratchy voice.  Today I’m a little worse, but I’m taking Dayquil and eating cough drops.  With a little luck, I’ll have this thing licked by the weekend.  I am hoping to be able to get out the wading pool and the new sprinkler for the dogs over the weekend . . . and maybe even give them a bath.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see. 


Luci’s been looking at me strange for the last couple of days.  Almost like she’s thinking, "You look like Mommy, but you don’t sound like Mommy."  She’s paying more attention to me when I call her but I think she’s afraid that she’s in trouble.  At least that’s how she’s acting.  Her ears are slicked back along her head and she has a "I didn’t do anything." Look on her face.  Blacky knows that I don’t feel well and has been right by my side for the last couple of days. Awww . . . what a nice doggie.  Even Hubby called me this morning to see how I was feeling and suggested that I get started on the Dayquil so that I don’t develop bronchitis.  I love the fact that he’s worried about me, but I know that part of his concern is that he knows that if I’m really sick then he will have to deal with the doggies and the house by himself.  


Except for the fact that I would have to re-do everything he did while I was sick, watching him try to deal with everything could be pretty entertaining . . .


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I got to visit the Princess Diana exhibit today.  It’s a collection of some of her clothes (including THE wedding dress), some of her toys and other mementos from her childhood.  And the largest collection of condolence books that I’ve every seen.  Geeze, one whole room was filled with nothing but the condolence books that were filled when she died.  There was the handwritten text of her brother’s speech at her funeral, the handwritten sheet music from Elton John.  I’ve been a Princess Diana fan from day one and this was something that I was NOT going to miss.  The exhibit also included some of the Spencer family home movies from when Diana was a child.  It was pretty interesting to see that they taped and photographed the same kinds of things that my family photographed.  Some of the photos in the albums looked alot like some of the ones in my family photo albums.  
The clothes were beautiful.  The wedding dress was just gorgeous . . . and I looked at every bead and every sequin.  The 25 foot train was unbelievable.  I can’t imagine walking around in something that big.  As beautiful as they were, though, they just didn’t look the same hanging on the dress dummies.  
I couldn’t believe that she’s been dead almost 10 years.  From the looks of the lines at the exhibit, she’s still as popular today as when she was alive.  This exhibit started in February and will run through the middle of June.  It was an hour and half wait to get into the exhbit and then it took about another hour to go through the various displays.  I’m tired and my legs hurt from standing in line for so long, but it was worth it. 

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The Rest of The Story

It was wonderful to be off work on a Wednesday.  Since I was making the special trip to new Super Wal-Mart, I decided that it was going to be a "me" day and I was going to do what I wanted when I wanted and the only time constraints were that I wanted to be out of the house by 10 a.m., had to be back within 5 hours to let the dogs out, and I had a nail appointment at 7 p.m. 


I got up when Hubby’s alarm went off.  (Which meant I got an extra hour of sleep.  I usually get up at 5:30 a.m. and he gets up at 6:30 a.m.)  Let the dogs out, gave them breakfast, sent Hubby off to work, paid some bills, made myself breakfast, did the dishes, took a shower and got ready for my big excursion. 


I hit my goal of being on the road at 10 a.m.  Had to run a couple of errands and made it to Wal-Mart at 10:30.  Wandered around Wal-Mart until 1:30 and then went home. 


For some reason, Luci decided that she was going to be my shadow all day yesterday and wouldn’t let me alone for a minute.  Normally she doesn’t pay much attention to me if I’m home.  She’ll either play out in the yard by herself or go upstairs and hang out with Blacky.  Yesterday, though, she followed me everywhere I went.  That made me happy because I thought we finally might be bonding and I’ve missed having a shadow.  (Goldie was my shadow when she was alive.  She was always right by my side.)  Luci wanted to try some of the chicken fried rice I was having for lunch (I didn’t give her any), she barked at me when I was trying to surf on the computer, and when she thought I was ignoring her barks, she started pawing at me . . . and then put her front paws on my right leg and stood up on her hind legs so she could bark in my ear!! It was so funny that I had to stop what I was doing because I couldn’t stop laughing and because I had to do something (anything!) to shut her up.  I wonder if I should explain to Luci that I already have partial hearing loss in that ear and barking in it isn’t going to help.  


After we played fetch for a while – she seemed tired and stretched out under the tree to rest – I came into the house to mop the kitchen floor and the mud room floor.  As soon as she heard the broom on the mudroom floor, she had to see what I was doing and would not leave me alone.  Any other time, she’s as far away from me as she can get, but for some reason yesterday she was under my feet all day.  I wonder if it’s a one time thing or is she really getting attached to me and is going to be my new shadow.  After I finished moping the floors, we went back outside to play fetch again until I had to leave for my nail appointment.  By the time I left at 6:30, she was asleep on the living room floor next to Blacky.  She was so cute  that I didn’t have the heart to put her in her crate when I left. 


Blacky was glad that I was home, watched TV with me while I ate (he didn’t beg for any of the chicken fried rice), came outside and played fetch with us for a while, then spent the rest of the afternoon upstairs.  He doesn’t like the sweeper and always runs and hides when it’s out.  Once he saw me bring the sweeper back upstairs, he came outside with me to play fetch with Luci.  


After the nail appointment, Hubby and I had supper and watched TV.  Luci was still right by my side all night long.  I sat on the floor with her on my lap and Blacky’s head on my right leg.  That’s getting to be the new routine.  


I had such a great time yesterday that I might have to take more vacation days in the middle of the week. 


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A Vacation Day At Wal-Mart

Yes, you read that correctly.  I took a vacation day yesterday to go to the Grand Opening of one of the new Super Wal-Mart stores to open in my town.  Okay, I know that a lot of people see Wal-Mart as an evil corporate monster, but I like Wal-Mart and I’m excited to have one fairly close to my house. 


First, a little background.  Hubby and I have lived in our house for 16 years.  When we first moved to our end of town, there was a small Meijer department store close to the grocery store that I went to every week.  After a couple of years, Meijer built a large superstore on the other end of town and closed the one close to my house.  There also used to be a Lowe’s close to our house.  But they also built a large superstore on the other end of town (across from Meijer) and closed the store close to my house.  Since Meijer and Lowe’s relocated, every other type of store and restaurant imaginable has located a store on that end of town.  Wal-Mart, Best Buy, PetSmart, Panera Bread, Quizno’s , White Castle, Home Depot, Target.  If it’s in our town, you can bet that it’s on that end of town.  There are stores and restaurants on my end of town, too, but it would be nice if one of the new things coming to town would locate on my end instead of lumping everything over on the other end.  The town I live in isn’t that big, so the problem isn’t the amount of time that it takes with having to get across town to go to one of these stores.  The problem is the traffic congestion.  It takes forever to get out of one of those parking lots.  It’s the frustration of not being able to make a quick trip for something.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished that they’d build something on my end of town . . . . 


Well, "they" finally listened to me (and all the other people that live on my end of town) and built a Super Wal-Mart about 10 minutes away from my house and I knew that there was no way I was going to miss opening day.  (Yes, they built a Super Wal-Mart on the other end of town, too.  A town of 65,000 people has two Super Wal-Mart stores on either end!)  I’ve waited 16 years for this day and I’m going to be part of it.  You should have heard the boss laugh when I told him what I was planning to do on my day off.    


I wasn’t there for the grand opening ceremonies – they took place at 7:30 a.m. and I knew it would be a zoo – but I got there about 10:30 and stayed for about three hours.  I went through every aisle in the grocery department, I went through every other department (some of them twice!), I looked at just about everything in that store.  I watched the HD TV’s in the electronics department.  I listened to CD’s in the music department.  I checked out the live bait for sale in the sporting goods department.  (Worms for sale in Wal-Mart!  Wait ’til Hubby hears about this!)  During my trip through the store, I got something for everybody.  Movie for hubby, paperback book for me, treats for the doggies and the kitty, some grocery items that I haven’t been able to find at Kroger’s lately, a rug for Luci’s crate, a towel to dry off the dog’s feet.  Nothing extravagant.  When my tummy started growling and my feet started to hurt, I picked up something yummy for lunch and headed for home.  I was parked in the last parking spot in the lot, so it took a little while to find my car.  Then it took me a while to find a cart corral . . . you know me, I have to put the cart where it belongs.  They can’t be out and about crashing into unsuspecting cars!  It was wonderful to drive home without having to wait for three lights before you could get out of the parking lot.  It was heaven to be home in less than 10 minutes.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. 


The prices in the grocery dept. were about the same as Kroger, so I’ll still go to Kroger for my groceries.  After all, I’ve been going there for a really long time.  Why switch now?  But it’s just so nice to know that a little farther up the hill is Wal-Mart.   


I’m a happy girl. 

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