Archive for May, 2013





I invite you all to join me on Google+. You can even create a new gmail account with your xanga name if you don’t want to use your existing gmail. I’ve had a blogger account for years which is now owned by Google. Might as well start using it.



Saturday & Sunday Pictures

We ran around quite a bit on Saturday and Sunday. I’m still not very good with my camera. Mostly I just throw it on auto and go. Sometimes it just doesn’t take the picture and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

The other day my husband found a hole going under our house (slab foundation) so he filled it in. I assumed chipmunks, but we have a huge assortment of small animals that burrow in our area so you never know. The next day my son and I saw a large uniquely patterned bunny digging around in the same area. Saturday I saw the same bunny sitting by our side gate under the mail box, just staring at our side door. For a very long time. I swear there was malice in those eyes.

Saturday we went to the Toledo Zoo. We normally arrive just before they open and it’s a great place to walk. Get some exercise while enjoying the animals before the crowds arrive. On Saturday we arrived 20 minutes after they opened and the line of cars to get to the entrance was about a mile. I guess a bunch of new exhibits opened this weekend and they’re were all sort of things going on.

One of them was this guy. I wish I could have gotten a better picture. He was impressive.

There are baby polar bear cubs in this exhibit I’m told. I could not have verified it. I escaped as quickly as possible!

I kept trying to work with the zoom on my camera.

This guy was staring at me. I’m sure.

Speaking of staring at me. On Sunday we went to The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. There is a very large Civil War Remembrance Weekend going on so the place is filled with tents and people in period dress living on the the grounds this weekend. We did get here before they opened as we’ve experienced the no fun’ness of not being able to find a parking spot before.

As so frequently happens I was trying to get a shot of the oncoming crowds and managed to capture someone looking straight at the camera. Do you think she thought I was taking her picture? I think whenever I see someone taking a picture I will stop and smile directly at the camera so they can find me in their pictures. Like a Where’s Waldo kind of thing.



Windmills are cool.


Corey was helping troubleshoot some problems at work for the plant in Illinois. Apparently the people on the path above him thought he was part of an exhibit. 

This was a shot out the window of an imported English cottage. Wouldn’t this be a lovely side yard? Probably no malevolent bunnies here.

The weather was really beautiful Saturday & Sunday. As evidenced by the shade seeking sheep though, the sun was a bit warm by mid afternoon. 

Apparently this is the Civil war reenactment solution to the same problem as the sheep were having.

Afternoon Siesta in the Tent


and then we dip!

I am a big fan of Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Strips. Fulfills my craving for breading that I can dip in sauces.

At Trader Joes on Saturday I ran across a little surprise!

Time for a taste test.


After eating all of them, dipped in a little plain yellow mustard, healthy & tasty, and carefully reading the nutrition and ingredient labels I can say with assurance that I will be buying Trader Joes from now on. They are identical in Taste, nutrition & ingredients but Trader Joes cost less! You know why they’re identical right? I’ll betcha my beagle that they’re MADE BY GARDEIN!

In case you didn’t know, Costo & Trader Joes both have high end companies make their products to be branded as with their own brand name. Sometime it’s very obvious, sometimes not. A lot of companies do this, but TJ’s & Costco are two that I know use the higher end brands. That’s why we switched to Costco Dog Food. It’s really good stuff, made by an expensive manufacturer, Diamond.


Having said that, I also want to say that I do not recommend them for anyone except maybe someone just like me who is female and has no reproductive organs. Soy has plant estrogen. Plant estrogen is very very similar to human estrogen. If  are a man you should be careful about soy or your male bits may suffer. Women must be careful because your body is already producing estrogen and you could have some unpleasant side effects.

But if you’re going to eat soy and you need something to dip in cocktail sauce, or ranch dressing, or BBQ or honey mustard, go to Trader Joes!


Cleaning out pictures.


This is a picture that I took of the picture that was displayed by the screensaver on my husbands monitor. Doesn’t it look fake? Like I’m in front of some sort of backdrop? What an amazing beautiful place.


My amsonia is blooming early. I think that’s a sign for a hot dry summer.


One picture shows the blue of the flowers but the others makes the flowers look white.


what role does technology play in a shifting population

I can go online a and research job openings in cities I want to live in. I can interview over Skype. Look on local sites for a home and scan my new lease.

Living far away no longer means high long distance fees or only written communication. We text , Skype and Facebook like we’re still living next door. 

Moving away no longer seems so isolating.





I have managed to make the worst looking food EVER

I had a small bottle of this:


I cut up a block of tofu and dumped it into a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Once it started to brown a little I drizzled this sauce over the top. The sauce when mixed with tofu & browning was a kind of gray lavender color.  Leaving me with some excellent tasting tofu that looked (as Al described it) like zombie flesh.



I think it actually looks much better in the picture. Not nearly as gray. On the 2nd day I added a little bit of red sweet chili sauce, which added the unfortunate appearance of blood.

Back to general blogging

I have a TENS machine that I use for some muscle/tendon issues.

On Sunday I woke up with a headache, mostly due to the huge amount of pollen from being in a flowering park for eight hours on Saturday. I popped a tylenol and decided to try the TENS machine for the headache. First – a TENS machine works by shooting small electrical pulses into you. Most of the time it causes uncontrollable movements.

I curled up on the couch in a semi-fetal position put two of the pads on the back of my neck and just tried to relax for 30 minutes while it did it’s work. You could not see the TENS machine or pads if you were standing up. So there I am laying on the couch at 11 in the morning which is very unusual, with my eyes closed, and my shoulders, arms & head making involuntary movements, twitches and shrugs and shaking. I can tell you that when my son came through he was quite worried about my apparent seizure and later my husband had a very similar reaction. It was very amusing in a lowkey kind of way.  It did a great job on my headache! Something to remember, but if you’re going to try it, please remember to warn your family.


 Cleaned off my cell phone camera.

Last week I went to a Networking Reception. It was held at Costco. They make a room by moving pallets of things to form walls. It was interesting. The room, not reception. I met our mayor. He was not impressed with me as evidenced by the way he kept looking over my head and not acknowledging me. I liked everything he had to say and I believed he was sincere but I dislike being dismissed. Probably because I did not look important. I was dressed in my summer casual instead of business black.

Ah well.

Mayor Bell on the right.

Costco provided a lot of tasty looking food.

My husband and I picked up the cakes the morning of the weddings. These are the bakery people literally scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do when they realized they had no way to pack the cakes. Stuff was missing that they usually have to pack things securely.

We ended up with an assortment of trays and boxes and drove very very slowly.

Went to pick up some flowers and there was an unexpected carnival in the parking lot!

Spent the day with Katy before her wedding.


This bench is at the park the wedding was held. I just love it.


I wish I knew how to improve my depth of sleep. Maybe I’ll try a white noise machine. Does anyone use one? Tonight I’m going to try ear plugs. I’m also considering ordering this thing on Amazon. It’s a soft wrap-around headband thingy with speakers. I could do white noise, or whatever.

Today I had a physical therapy appointment. Wednesday I am having the indestructable wart surgically removed. They’ve been treating it for three years with no luck. Not looking forward to that pain. Friday is checkup at the oncologist. Then, next week is foot doctor and physical therapy. Week after that is ear doctor. Then done for at least a week. Geesh.



Wedding Stuff

I will tell you the benefit of small family and a casual small wedding, No drama, no crisis!

The biggest crisis I can think of was that the one of the three fantastic tasting cakes had white filling between the layers instead of chocolate. oooooo the panic, NOT! 🙂

The weather was picture perfect. Sunny with white whispy clouds and a breeze that would blow through when it got too hot. I thank my sister for that because I’ve always said she could control the weather. It’s never bad weather when she has plans to be outside.

Between the cell phones & cameras and the actual photographer there are already a hundred pictures up on facebook and I added all of my crowd shots to Google+ so I won’t do that again here. But here are three that I loved and I’ll try not to add to many more over the next week.

Let’s call this two rows and start from the left. Grooms Family. Front – Grandmother, Mother (wearing a purple dress that turned out to be the same dress as me ‘cept I bought mine in yellow) nephew, niece, sister, bride. Me, my sister, my two nieces. Back row left: Grooms father, stepfather holding a nephew, sister-in-law, nephew being held by grooms Brother, Groom. My son, my Husband, my stepfather.

My step-brother Tony was the official photographer of record and he’s uploaded a few pictures to Facebook for us. This is what the actual ceremony looked like. It was short, sweet and lovely.

And here is one that I’m sure everyone who knows Jason & Katy will agree is fitting for them. Outside, laughing and with the dog! Barsky was not at the wedding. Katy went and got him after a couple of hours. The ceremony and reception was one short block from their home so there was a lot of running back and forth beforehand. As guests started arriving I was still in my shorts & tennies. 🙂 

It really was a beautiful day, the only sadness is in the people that weren’t there to celebrate with us.




A different kind of Zen

Feeling a little stressed (work – not real life) opened my laptop and went to I haven’t been there in a very long time. It’s amazing how much stress a little mean humor can dissolve. 

Do you go to any websites that make you laugh?

Just cleaning out my brain





A body’s relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing.


I have promised myself that if I lose another six pounds I will throw away all of my pants, shorts, workout pants and buy all new. I have pants that I have worn for a 30 pound range. Very little of my clothing fits me correctly. Even if it’s close to the correct size it’s been worn at to many different weights that it is stretched into odd configurations. I was worried that when I went on vacation my summer clothes would be too small. First day I put on a pair of shorts we had to do an emergency shopping trip for a belt. It’s weird how much of our feeling of confidence is defined by that number on the scale. Of course, when I say that, I really don’t mean it. I mean by the size of our body and by how we feel about the size of our body. My size is not always defined by my weight, sometimes it’s by my fitness level. 

Today my back and shoulders and chest hurt and I’m wheezing when I breathe. Yay for allergies. 🙂 I have a physical problem with a shoulder and my LMT pointed out that my shoulders are now rolling forward to the point of causing chest problems. I would prefer not to have a hunchback! I ordered a posture correcting brace that will hopefully be comfortable enough to wear frequently. My yoga teacher has been known to do this correction with a yoga strap but I would like something a little less obvious and that doesn’t look like something out of a bondage video!

I have uploaded all of my California pictures to Google so that I could share with my boss without adding him to Facebook. I resized them all and split them into days.

Much nicer.

I had three things to blog about and have forgotten all three. Just things that crossed my mind.

I was thinking the other day that I need a way to release all of my passwords to my daughter if I die. I would like her to have access to my Xanga so she can see any private or protected blogs. Maybe archive and store them away for a future generation or two. I’s not exciting history but people fifty years from now may be interested in some of it. It’s a whole lot of years worth of blogging to have it just go away. Then this morning on NPR they were talking about services that do that.

Maybe I’ll ask Xanga John what their stance is on it.

I use to have an online photo album of womens bathrooms. It was cooler than it sounds. It got lost. Maybe I’ll start a new one on Google that is staircases instead. I love staircases. I think Google+ is good for picture storage. It’s easy to upload and edit and share.  I’ll start trying to use that more I think. I don’t use Google+ for anything else so I might as well!


Nina – MB – Erin said there is a big craft fair in Chicago in September that she would like to go to.


Helpful Hint – when speaking about important subjects where detail is needed involving many things and people; use names not he/she they and it.

For instance;

Stan and Phil from Australia lost a poisonous spider in our kitchen.


They lost something somewhere.

Many pieces of vital information are missing from the latter sentence and it turns what could be a very important warning into an inconsequential piece of fluff.



Just remembered one of the things. The other day out of the blue my son said “you know I’ve got your back right?” “If you are ever in trouble and you need help, I’ll be there and I’ll do whatever I can to take care of you.”  It was pretty nice.

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