Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Grandpa's Garden

My grandpa puts out a huge garden every year - this man is in his 90's! He loves the work associated with the garden and especially loves the fruits of his labor. In the summertime I will come home from a visit with a car-load of veggies. Squash, zucchini, okra, corn, melons, tomatoes, you name it - he grows it. This year he put out several tiny blueberry bushes. They won't produce for a few years, but it's something to look forward to.

Here is his vast garden - prepped with seeds and ready to prosper!
Here are some early lettuces that have already come on.
And here is Muffin running with her cousin and some ponies. Run off some of that energy girl, run! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Memories Or Jewelry?

I recently had a conversation with my Sissy that posed this question: Would you rather have memories? Or jewelry?

We were discussing my upcoming trip to Rome and I was bragging informing her of my awesome airfare deal - $525 round trip! I was saying "I know you guys aren't really looking to travel right now, but SISSY! At $525 - you guys could have a second honeymoon!"

She sighed and replied "Ahhh, yes. But, I think I'd actually like a ring more than a trip."

And thus began the discussion. Is jewelry (she has a wedding ring - but not an engagement ring) more important than the memories you could make together on an exotic "second honeymoon" trip? There are arguments for both sides!

On the one hand - with a beautiful ring you can bequeath your heirs (as well as show off to your co-workers) with a lovely, valuable piece of family history.

On the other hand - you and your loved one can have an awesomely inexpensive and fun time in a foreign location.

Honestly - for me it's a toss up! I have always proclaimed that my two prerequisites to marriage are A) A ring! and B) A Honeymoon! I want what I want! Sue me!

*ahem - this probably explains a lot about why I've never been married*

But what if those aren't the cards I'm dealt? What if I fall for a perfectly lovely gentleman who wants to claim me yet can't meet my demands. What would I settle for?

Hopefully, if and when that happens, I'll be able to gauge the situation and make a decision. But for now - here are my conclusions:

I know that I will always be able to provide for my needs. So, what I might like would be someone to sacrifice for my wants. Therefore, I would choose jewelry. Because jewelry is from the heart. We can save for a trip together, but a token of love would be the most beautiful surprise I can imagine.

(**oh, and if the "token of love" happens to be a round-trip to somewhere fabulous? That's awesome too!!!**)

My question to you is obvious. What would YOU choose? Memories? Or? Jewelry?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Classics

Ok, I've tried to do a lot of things on Sunday. And they have pretty much all failed.

HOWEVER, I am going forward and introducing a Sunday theme I can totally get behind - Sunday Classics.

You may or may not know that I studied to be a violinist before deciding to get my degree in Economics and then become an officer in the Navy. Oh yeah, I can totally see the thread there... Insert irony.

Anyhoo - I have a passion for classical music and listen to it every day. So does Muffin. We are fortunate to live in an area where there is a publicly sponsored classical music station and I have to say - one of the greatest joys in my life was when Muffin piped up from the back seat and said "MAMA! This is Mozart!" I swear to God it brought tears to my eyes.

So, I'm going to attempt yet another Sunday theme: Sunday Classics. A youtube "recording" of a piece I've either played or wish I had played.

The Premier is a gorgeous piece by Alexander Borodin. String Quartet #2, third movement. Such a sweet and moving piece. I played this piece as "second" violin my first year in ECU's school of music.

The role of the "second" violinist is to provide harmony to the melody. Yes, there are other instruments but the violin has such a huge role in the orchestra that it's necessary to break it up. Obviously, being "second" violin (here is where the term second fiddle comes into play) isn't the most glamorous but it's necessary and perfect for first and second year students.

My big part comes in at minute mark 6:19. It's when me and the "first" violinist start to do a simple fugue/round. Well, at any rate, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Funnies - My Feelings EXACTLY!

Damn, I admire this guy.


If only.....

Friday, April 24, 2009

There's No Business Like Cho Business

Do you watch The Mentalist? It's a relatively new show, came out in the fall I think, starring Simon Baker - the super cute writer/other man in The Devil Wears Prada. Anyway, I like it - it's a crime procedural with a quirky twist and I'm a sucker for those.

The charming Mr. Baker is joined by a great cast - one of which I have a super huge crush on. Presenting Mr. Tim Kang:

Otherwise known as Detective Kimball Cho. He often plays the straight man and does a lot of time in the interrogation room. I love his calm confidence, dry sense of humor and *ahem* his biceps.

He's been in several commercials and movies - including one coming out soon called Mr. Sadman. It's a dark comedy about a Sadam Hussien body double who comes to LA to get a fresh start

So, that's my plug for The Mentalist and Mr. Kang. I <3 him.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lonely and Bored

It's been a long week without Muffin.

By now, I'm used to being a parent. I'm used to waking up early to ensure two people get out the door and get where they are supposed to be. I am used to finding ways to entertain youngsters so they won't get into trouble. I am used doing three or four things at once because - hell, they've got to be done. I'm used to giving baths, bandaging boo-boos, singing silly songs, making dinner, doing laundry, reading stories and snuggling.

I am not used to having so much time on my hands.

I have stayed late at work every night this week because I don't want to go home to an empty house. Hmmm, does a house with bitching kitties in a cage count as empty? Nah, don't want to deal with that either.

Right. Well, that's the end of my pity-party.

I have found something to do every evening after work - go to the library, go shopping, go to the beach. My checkbook is a little pissed off, but I'm sure he will recover. Tonight, I think I'll go get a pedicure. Any other suggestions for a lone woman in need of distraction?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordy Wednesday - Muffin and her Posse

Princess Muffin and her Princess Ponies. There were some "normal" pictures of her but here...

Here, she has that crazy look in her eyes that small children often get when they channel the spirit of wild beasts. You know that look - you see it before they run amok and put crayon to wall. Thankfully, Muffin simply herded her ponies upstairs for a tea party. Nothing was harmed. This time...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, the new Monday

I woke up refreshed after a great nights sleep and so far the day is going well. Honestly, sometimes I feel that a lot of my mood swings tend to come from lack of rest. Just because I'm in bed doesn't necessarily mean I'm sleeping. My eyes will be closed but my mind will be running like the proverbial hamster in the wheel. Usually I dwell on things that I'm particularly embarrassed about - but sometimes I spice it up with my worries. Last night, I rested. It was bliss.

So, I've decided to scratch yesterday and start my week today. I'm going to Muffin's dance lesson tonight - sans Muffin. Crazy? Well, it's the important lesson where they tell us everything we need for the recital, how they want the little girl's hair done and all that business. Of course, it happens during a time when Muffin is at her dad's. Of course. Therefore, I'm going solo.

Also, I'm slowly getting ready for my trip to Rome. I have taken my parent's advice, as experience world travelers, and set up my suitcase in the spare bedroom. Whenever I have a thought of some random thing (like a wine bottle opener!) that will make the trip easier - I just toss it in!

And those are my random Tuesday thoughts. Now I'm going to get back to "work" and send out a few resumes. Hee hee - gotta think about the future!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Somebody Has A Case Of The Mondays

And that would be me.

Muffin went to her Daddy's on Saturday (after a long and difficult argument Thursday). I miss her terribly.

The handyman came over on Friday to spiff up the front of the house and in the course of his inspection he found a hole in my soffit that was apparently made by rodents who ATE THEIR WAY INTO MY HOUSE!!! He is going to fix this hole but of course, it costs extra to chase down the little buggers. Dammit.

The exterminator came by this morning to rid me of some pesky wasps that decided to take up residence in the shutters outside my window. More money. Great.

Finally, some bitch at the grocery decided that the "self checkout" lane was going to be a unique and satisfying learning experience for her three-year-old. You know, I wouldn't have minded the wait if it hadn't have occurred at 5pm when all I want to do is go home. Lady - please play with the self-checkout machine sometime during the day and not at rush hour. Kai? Thx.

I was very very tempted to go down the wine aisle and pick up something to self medicate with, however the last time I drank wine I made a damn fool of myself and that particular sensation of remorse will probably last me at least another week or so. Ugh. I hate that feeling.

So, here's hoping that the rest of the week begins to look up. In parting, I will share a youtube video sent by my very good friend to cheer me up. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bribery Works

At least when we're talking about a five-year-old's trip to the dentist. Ms. Muffin has had three previous visits to Dr. Dentist in the past couple of years and only on the last visit did she allow anyone near her teeth. And that was just the technician - the doctor got screamed at.

I'm really not sure where this fear of the dentist came from. I certainly never disparaged my dentist - even when I had braces on! Perhaps it's one of those latent fears that we are all born with. Don't. Mess. With. My. Teeth.

For the past two weeks I've been psyching her up for the visit. I continually praised her last visit and said that she did really really well. I also blatantly bribed her. Not only would she receive the traditional Webkinz for a dental visit - she would receive a meal at McDonalds. I think it's the Happy Meal that clinched it.

She was calm and composed when the technician led her away. Twenty or so minutes later the technician came to fetch me. Muffin was still laying in the chair with her "sunglasses" on to keep out the bright light. The Doctor said all was well and that she did great. He showed me her x-rays and pointed out the adult teeth that were exactly where they were supposed to be. He praised her dental hygiene and all around good manners. Way to go Muffin!

Afterwards she wanted to get her promised McDonalds meal - even though I told her that Ronald McD didn't serve Happy Breakfast Meals. She didn't care. She wanted McDonalds right away. Off we went and she happily scarfed up sausage biscuit, hash brown and milk. I had yogurt parfait and was jealous.

This afternoon we will shop for her Webkinz. She wants a snake. God knows why. I can only pray that she has not developed a fascination with all things snake-like. I was sincerely hoping to avoid that conversation for another ten years. *small sigh*

Way to go, Muffin. I'm proud of you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Some pictures from my trip to DC

Cherry Blossoms on the Potomac

Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial

National Defense University

War College

Horrible Good Friday Traffic

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Week In A Nutshell

So, yeah - the trip to DC was surprisingly pretty full of actual training. Which, if you work for the government, is kind of a rare thing. Normally when they say that class is from "0800 - 1600" they actually mean "show up around 8:30 and we'll cut you loose about 3pm or so." Not the case with this class.

The class was at Ft. McNair which is kinda "downtown" DC in my book. It's right off of I395 and in a somewhat "transitional" neighborhood. I was going to take the metro (because I love not driving) but several people nearly had heart attacks when I mentioned that. Apparently there have been muggings in that area and it's not safe for young (ish) ladies to walk around. So, I had to drive. And, it was horrifying.

I thought Hampton Roads traffic was bad, but damn - DC has us beat by miles. Getting to class wasn't too bad - it was getting back to the hotel that had me shaking like a leaf. Oh - did I mention that it's like SPRING BREAK? Oh - and the freaking CHERRY BLOSSOMS! I think I might have to block these traffic memories for the sake of my sanity. MOFM, I don't know how you do it. Hats off. Seriously.

I would daydream throughout the class about catching the metro to the mall to take some pictures but by the time I made it back to the hotel I was ready to have a drink and chill out. I did manage to take a few cherry blossom pictures from the campus of NDU at Ft. McNair. They aren't as pretty as the ones over by the Jefferson Memorial, but still nice to look at. I'll have them up tomorrow.

Anyway, I'm back at work and overwhelmed with emails and voice mails. Wading through this mess is going to take me most of the week. I look forward to catching up with all of your blogs!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quick Update aka Why The Ritz Sucks

I came to DC Sunday evening and checked into the Ritz Carlton for a week of training and swankiness. I read on the hotel's website that they offered a mini fridge, microwave, dvd player and high speed internet service! Guess what - none of that shit is free.

So, now I'm down here in the "business station" paying $6 for 15 minutes for the express purpose of bitching about that fact.

Oh sure, the rooms are very nice - the bed is freaking AWESOME! But, hello? $40 a week for internet in my room? I didn't even ask how much the stupid dvd player was. Didn't matter! I'm on the government's dime and that charge can't be justified.

So - for future reference: ask about these so-called "amenities" before you finish packing. It might make a difference.

OK, on the upside? Now I have a legitimate reason not to stay in contact with work. hee hee!

Cherry blossoms are still very pretty, food is great, training is tough but educational. That's me in a nutshell. OH! And Muffin asks about me every day (according to my mom). I am missed. awww...

I miss you guys and can't wait to catch up on your posts next weekend! Have a super week!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Funny - Twilight Edition

This clip is not suitable for kids - fair warning!

It's the "deleted" sex scene from the movie Twilight. Though I've read the books and seen the movie a couple of times (thanks Netflix!) I wouldn't consider myself one of the rabid Twilighters that takes them very seriously. In fact, last weekend my sister and I had a long conversation about the cheese-tastic-ness of the movie and it's ability to not take itself too seriously.

So, in keeping with "not taking itself too seriously" here is a pervy but funny spoof on Bella and Edwards frustrated sex life.

Friday, April 3, 2009

And she's off!

I have the day off in order to get my affairs together before the baby switcheroo and my trip to DC. Yay! Where's the vacuum cleaner...

My real estate agent is coming over at 11am to put the sign in the yard and the keybox on the door. It will then be official - my home will no longer be my own anymore. I will be subject to random strangers strolling around my living room and judging my decor. It's my first time. I pray that they are gentle.

After we're done with the real estate agent, Muffin and I are going to the travel agent! I confirmed our itinerary with my friend last night and we are ready to put our money where our imaginations are. Roma! Here we come!

As if that's not enough - I'm also driving a couple hours to my parents this afternoon. However the drive will fly by as I am going to be high on life by that point and picturing myself with a bottle of wine at a street cafe in Rome. Preferably with a hot guy - because HEY! It's my daydream, right?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Guess Where I'm Going?

No, not to Hell in a Handbasket (although I'm pretty sure there is a reservation for me).

I'm going back to DC next week for some additional training. Yay. Sort of. I mean, I like staying at the Ritz, but it means finding accommodations for Muffin and missing her terribly. My Mom volunteered to keep her for the week and I'm very grateful. She's made tons of plans and is quite excited about the prospect. They've never kept Muffin for any length of time and she is really looking forward to it.

Now I need to get on the ball and make plans for my trip to Rome in May. Times running out!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Diva!

I snuck up on Muffin playing "dress up party" in her room and she obliged me with a few snapshots. No autographs though - too busy playing with her jeep.