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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Steamy Random Bits

Oh, that title might not be the best choice, LOL.  It's hot here, like pretty much everywhere else in the country, and I just finished mowing the lawn.  I did the shady bits first, took a rest, did half of what was left, took a rest, then finished the job.  Even with the breaks, and lots of water, and wearing few enough clothes to make my neighbors shut their blinds in horror, I'm absolutely whipped.  Unfortunately, I've only just begun my chore list.  Diva, who wanted to help me, was sent instead to the neighbor's pool.  I'm all for kids learning responsibility, but Diva is only ten and it's pukey hot outside and it's summer break.  I told her to go have some fun.  Walker has also been working too hard lately, so I sent him to the water parks of Wisconsin Dells with Bro and my nephews.

Sitting at my desk at work last night, I watched a family out for an evening stroll:  mom, dad, two kids, and the family bird.  Yep, a large white bird, walking along, keeping pace.  I've seen them before.  Sometimes the man runs and the bird follows in the air, just a bit higher than the man's head and just a bit behind him.  Weird, in a fun kind of way.  Wish they'd walk by one night when I have my camera.

In honor of the hot, hot weather, Walker and I had chocolate dip cones from Mc Donald's for lunch yesterday.  Mmmmmm.  My other guilty pleasure this summer?  Dallas, Peeps!  I am so loving this new season.  JR, you evil old creep, you are just as much fun as the old days.  And of course I have a crush on Bobby.  Again, LOL.  C'mon, Pamela, you know you want to come back.  Pretty please?  Supposedly Victoria Principal was too busy with other projects to do the show, but I'm betting she just wanted to make sure it was a hit before she came on board.  I spend way too much time thinking about this, LOL.

Speaking of Dallas, I have this week's episode queued up to watch as soon as I get my work done.  Best get on it ~

Friday, June 29, 2012

Moving On

I'm back.  Thank you all for your kind thoughts.  I can't say I'm "over" my sadness, but I do feel like I'm moving past it.  It does not help that my little Spike has gone home to his forever momma.  I miss him, but he's where he needs to be.

With Spike in mind, I've been trolling PetFinder, just looking.  Um hmmm.  Okay, maybe I did think about bringing one or two, or a dozen, of those babies home.  But I know that I'm making an emotional decision, not a mindful one.  This is so not the right time to adopt an animal.  One of the listings was a plea for foster homes for a dog rescue organization the specializes in small lap dogs.  That got my attention.  Walker is really not enthused about bringing home another fur kid, so I thought, this would be a great way to ease into it.  Or not.  We could just be foster parents over and over.  I got really excited thinking about how nice it would be to make a real difference in the lives of these rescued dogs.  But Walker wanted nothing to do with that idea.  He didn't even want to think about it, or discuss it.  I can't imagine never having another pet, but if Walker has his say, that's exactly what will happen.  Not quite sure where to go from here.....

My doctor's appointment went well.  The only issue I still need to work on is my LDL cholesterol, which came out nine points too high.  For nine points, my doctor just recommended  I get a bit more exercise and cut a bit of fat out of my diet. I can do that.  She took a look at my knee, too.  Of course, it decided not to be swollen when I was actually in the doctor's office.  It's been feeling pretty good these days, too.  But to be safe, my primary care doctor wrote an order for an evaluation with a physical therapist.  I've got that scheduled in two weeks.

It looks like we're going to be doing some work on our living room this summer, but that is a story for another day.  Til then, Happy Weekend, Peeps!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Someone I care about had a horrible accident and passed away on Friday.  I'm devastated and need some time to process everything.  I will check in with you all in a couple days ~

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Just Another Saturday

Hahahaha ~ Fooled ya, didn't I? It was so NOT just another Saturday. We got all dolled up for a family wedding. Walker's nephew took the plunge with his beautiful bride. Wanna see?

The wedding party blew off some steam before the wedding ~
Doesn't Walker's family look great?

The bride's mother helped her get ready ~

The very happy couple ~

Does this really need a caption?

These little ones darn near stole the show ~
After the ceremony we celebrated the night away.  We had a delicious dinner, a festive DJ, and lots of dancing.  There were champagne toasts, special dances, bubbles to blow, and some really yummy wedding cake.  Really?  It was as perfect as a wedding can get.  I don't know anyone who was not happily exhausted at the end of the event.  Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

The bridal party had a little bit of fun ~
Yep, just a little bit of fun, LOL!

Walker's brother gave the DJ a hand ~

The bride and groom shared their first dance ~

Walker took his mom for a spin around the floor ~

The bride and her daddy ~

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Frickin Cancer!

First thing Friday morning I was at the Cancer Center for my semi-annual check up.  Now, right off the bat I want to mention that everything was fine.  I had blood tests and a physical and there were no surprises and no bad news.  I did ask the oncologist about my knee, and he looked at it, poked it a bit, did whatever doctors do that lets them know that it appears I tore my ACL, which is a ligament that stabilizes the knee.  I asked about getting a referral to a specialist but the oncologist felt that since I already have an appointment in Family Medicine next week I don't need one.  He said that the Family Medicine doctor can order whatever tests need for a confirmed diagnosis and send me to a specialist if needed.  The likely treatment will be Motrin and a knee brace and to stay off it.  So I'll start that "treatment" right now. 

So why is the title of my post, "Frickin Cancer!"?  Well, after my blood was drawn I had to wait for the test results so Walker and my mom and I were in the lobby and in walks a friend of mine  She is my age, mid forties, and she was there for her second chemotherapy treatment.  She has breast cancer.  Later, another friend of mine came in for her chemo treatment.  She has colon cancer.  Really?  Is our water tainted or something?  It's too much, too many, and I'm sick of it.  Someone, somewhere, needs to find a way to wipe out this damn disease.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quick Bits

Leave it to me to wonk up my knee again, just after we take in an active little dog.  I have an appointment to see the oncologist on Friday, and I'm hoping I can get them to write me a referral for whatever kind of doctor can fix my knee.  If not, I have to wait for an appointment in Family Medicine on the 21st.

My shadow ~

The heat broke this morning, driving temps from 90's down to the 60's.  I'm loving the break.  Cross your fingers that the cooler temps stick around a while - we have a wedding to go to on Saturday.  Formal wear in 90 degree heat is so miserable.

Walker likes the break in the heat, too, because he gets a break from manning the barbeque grill when I make his favorite chicken enchiladas.  And if you're looking at this and wondering, "How's that diet going, Denise?"  Well, this is a lightened up version.  One enchilada has just under 350 calories.  And since a batch makes ten enchiladas, I freeze half for a quick dinner later on.  It's all good, Peeps!

The way to Walker's heart ~

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meet Spike

Not the greatest photo, but Spike is so shy, I didn't want to startle him by using a flash ~
 While Walker and I were traveling the state, attending parties and wowing crowds with a plastic pasta cooker, this sweet little guy was in need of a place to stay and a lot of love.  His mommy has been in the hospital, and he's been shuttled around town from family to family.  Of course we volunteered to provide foster care for him, until his mom can take care of him again.  His vagabond days are over.  As soon as we got back to town, he came home to us.  He's been through a lot lately, and is a little shy of us, but Walker and I are dedicated to him already.  Later today, puppy nieces Lily and Baizie will welcome him to the family.  I have my fingers crossed that all goes well, cause the girls will be staying with us later this month, too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Family Time

These two handsome young laddies graduated from high school over the weekend. The ceremonies were 400 miles apart, so Walker and I decided we would attend whichever one we got invited to first.  We didn't share our plan with anyone, to make it fair.  The first invitation came from the little guy on the right, who is no longer a "little guy".  Saturday morning, as soon as I woke up, we hit the road.  Destination?  Moorhead, Minnesota, all the way across the state in the Red River Valley.

We stopped at rest areas with names like Big Spunk and Enterprise.  From where we were sitting, they looked pretty much the same.  Outside Minneapolis, we picked up Subway sandwiches.  I opted out of lettuce and tomato, since they tend to squirt out the butt end of the sandwich when I bite it.  Didn't matter, as two plops of mayo and a sliver of cheese landed on my shirt about three seconds after we started eating. Sigh.  I can't take me anywhere.

First rest stop.....

and the second rest stop.

The graduation ceremony was on Sunday, with a party to follow.  The day started rainy but by the time the festivities started, the sun was out.  I made pasta salad in the lobby of our motel, since our room didn't have the microwave were were promised.  Me and my pasta attracted quite a bit of attention, as apparently microwave pasta cookers are not all that common. Who knew?  I also contributed cookies decorated with the school colors and a collage of photos from my nephew's growing up years.

The party was held in my sister's back yard.  It was pretty well attended, both by family and friends.  My nephew is a great kid, smart and funny.  It was nice to be able to meet some of his friends.  There were a few uninvited guests, too:  tidying up the yard that morning, Bro uncovered a nest of bees.  We didn't have time to deal with them before the party, so we directed traffic away from that part of the yard and hoped for the best.  The bees kept to themselves, thank goodness.

Busy little suckers ~

We stayed in Moorhead on Monday, too, so Walker could take my nephew golfing and my sister and I could have time to visit. We also crossed the river into Fargo, North Dakota, just to look around a bit.  My nephew will be going to college there next year, so of course we visited the campus.  While we were tooling around, we saw several signs like this:

Really, Fargo?
We got another nice day for the drive home, and it's back to work tonight. Funny how you look forward to something for so long, then it's over in a flash.  But we had some big changes while we were gone, and I'll share them with you soon.  Til then ~

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 6 - Hollywood Studios & Downtown Disney

Hollywood Studios wasn’t part of our original itinerary.  That changed when I learned that the Studios now have an attraction called “American Idol Experience”.  I have never seen American Idol, but my mom is a fan, so I knew she’d enjoy it.  Can I tell you?  I LOVED it!  It was fabulous!  They had three singers competing, and we got to vote for our favorite.  They run this show several times a day, and all the winners come back later that evening for the finale, and whoever wins that gets a "Golden Ticket" pass to the front of the line at any American Idol audition in the country.  The girl I voted for was named Katie, and she won, so I told my mom if she sees Katie on any American Idol shows to let me know, cause I would actually get TiVo to watch her. She was THAT GOOD.

We also took in a showing of Beauty and the Beast,  and we saw a really cute show about how cartoon characters are developed for Disney films.  When we came out of that one, we were on an upper level looking into a lobby area, and guess who was down there?

A Disney staffer came up to me when I took this photo of Pooh and told me I was not allowed to take photos.  They have professional photographers all over the park, including here, and they have never objected before.  I can see if there were someone else's kids in the shot, but clearly, it was just Mickey and Pooh.  Not sure what the problem was.   Didn't matter -  I already had my photos when he scolded me.

And then it was time for the parade, which we watched while enjoying some Mickey shaped ice cream bars.  Yummmmmm!

Before the sun set on our last day in Florida, we zipped over to Downtown Disney for some last minute shopping and more fabulous eats at Earl of Sandwich.  There was a choir performing outside World of Disney, and of course we topped the whole day off with yet another Ghiradelli sundae.  This trip was just about as good as a vacation can get, and we can't wait to go back again ~

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 5 - EPCOT

EPCOT hosts an annual Flower and Garden Festival, which was the reason behind our whole trip this year.  The park is done up with flower beds, topiaries, and my favorite, Bambi’s butterfly house. 

 Before we  We skipped the rides and shows in the first part of the park, as we’ve experienced most of them before, but we did pause for a photo op.  I have a Disney Visa credit card from Chase Bank, and they offer a free portrait with a Disney character when you visit EPCOT.  

After the photo we headed to World Showcase by way of the Faerie Walk, which was basically a garden with several fairy topiaries along the way.  Miss Diva knows the names of every fairy, and I was wishing she was with us as I snapped my photos. 

A park as large as EPCOT is hard on my mom.  She’s a trouper, refusing to rent a wheelchair and walking with us a total of 42 miles around these parks during our week in Florida.  Still, I know it wears her out, so it was a nice treat to find there was a shuttle boat taking passengers from one side of the lake to the other.  The far side of the lake houses World Showcase, but we just call that part "the countries".   We found Jasmine and Aladdin right after we got off the boat. 

We finished our day with a cold pint in England, then we settled in to watch the fireworks.  One thing worth mentioning:  my mom uses a cane, and someone told her that there was a designated area for disabled folks, so we walked  - quite a way - over there, only to be turned away because my mom did not have an official Disney "special needs" card.  I was a bit cheesed, because clearly she would qualify, the area was not even close to full, and we walked a long way to get there.  If you have special needs, it's worth a visit to Guest Services to get your card, even if, like my mom, you don't think you need it.  You never know when it might be handy to have it. There is a Guest Services desk in every Disney park.