Sunday, April 29, 2012

Did You Know We Attended The Royal Wedding?

Yep, that's right!  One year ago today I took the day off work, one of my best friends, C, came to my house and we watched attended the royal wedding of Prince William Mountbatten-Windsor to Kate Middleton.

We made ourselves some very stylish hats for the occasion (I sported some lovely silk purple roses on a Susan G Komen ball cap while C wore a very trendy straw cowboy hat wrapped in a lei),

we made fun of discussed the poor choice of Princess Beatrice's ugly unfortunate hat (I later joined a Facebook support group for the deer that die so she could have said hat),

we drank English Tea (with milk),

we marveled at Kate's sister Pippa, Pippa's dress (and the Pippa butt in it),

we snacked on French Pastries (we believe in equal opportunity),

we watched with great anticipation to see Kate's dress as she stepped from the car (the dress
GG snuck a peek at and then left message on my cell phone just before getting on the bus that morning said, "I just wanted to let you know I got to see the dress before you did!!  Hahahaha Hahahaha!!"  She sounded a little lot like Woody Woodpecker.)

we ate finger sandwiches (OK, they were regular sandwiches, but we cut them in fourths and ate them with our fingers),

we sang God Save The Queen (alright we mumbled and hummed along in a slightly off key but very enthusiastic fashion),

we switched to soda (after all when you're not English you can only drink so much tea),

we watched the couple exchange their vows (while running a side commentary),

we had celebratory petit fours (with coffee.  Don't judge!),

we eagerly awaited the newest royal couple, William and Kate Mountbatten-Windsor, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in their balcony appearance (and their balcony kiss),

and in general had a jolly good time.  Is there any other kind of time to have?!?!

Today in honor of William and Kate's first anniversary I think we'll have pizza, iced tea, and cookies.  After all, it would be wrong of us not to celebrate their happiness.  In fact it could probably be considered unsouthern, and we can't have that!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

When I Came Home...

this is what waited for me.

Perhaps I should go away more often?!?!

On a side note, I returned home from Orlando with a sinus infection to find that GG was suffering from the same ailment.  This morning we were off to an Urgent Care Clinic for mother/daughter sinus cocktail shots and antibiotics so we'll be well enough to brave the water, mud, fire, barbed wire, tight ropes, and other miscellaneous obstacales, all in the pursuit of a warrior's helmet and a turkey leg, next weekend.  L and NG stayed home to work on NG's Giving Celery A Tall Drink Of Water Science Experiment.  Do we know how to have a good time or what?!?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Classes Start Tomorrow, The Education Started Today

My coworker R and I are currently in Orlando, Florida for a convention/ learning seminar. 

Classes don't actually start until tomorrow but our education started early (at the butt crack of dawn early) this morning.  I can honestly say we haven't had a dull moment since we pulled out of the driveway.  Here are ten things we've learned today.

1.  Traffic lights are not at their most efficient at 4:30 am. I recommend looking both ways (to make sure there are no witnesses oncoming traffic) and then proceeding on. 

2.  Dressing in business casual attire and holding a laptop carry-on is apparently a red flag in Memphis and will get you pulled aside for a random security check, twice. 

3.  Having something unexpected in your laptop carry-on (like the movie Sybil) makes for interesting conversation during random security checks.  It also seems to puzzle concern the security guards, but since it doesn't contain sharp objects or more than 3 ounces of fluid they will let you go.

4.  If someone with a really heavy accent gives you directions in English and you don't understand but you nod like you comprehended every word and walk'll still be lost. 

5.  If you use google maps to find your hotel but neither you or your travel companion know which way is N/S/E/'ll still be lost.  We did eventually find our hotel... and then we lost it again.

6.  You really should verify that you've returned to the correct hotel after lunch before giving the valet driver the car keys and telling the front desk you would like to check in.  There is a big difference between the Rosen Centre Hotel and the Rosen Plaza Hotel.  One will give you a room key and directions to the elevators, the other will give you a strange look and directions to your hotel (and return your car keys so you can leave).

7.  Reading signs will help, reading them correctly will help more.

8.  U turns are your friend.    

9.  When shopping for shoes you should remember that ugly cost extra,  

and injuring yourself while shoe shopping is not a legitimate workman's comp claim.

10.  You will improve at following directions when you have the proper motivation.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Out Of Their Comfort Zone

Tomorrow morning I leave for Orlando, Florida for a business trip.  Due to the early flight departure I'll be spending the night in town.  That means L is now the official "go to, problem solving, decision making parent".  I'm not sure who is more concerned about this shift in power, L or The Girls.

L has agreed to wake The Girls up on time to avoid another two snooze buttons and a dog walk too late incident, and to deal with girl stuff that can't wait until I return home.

In return, The Girls have agreed not to overwhelm L with makeup issues, wardrobe malfunctions, shoe crisises, sibling conflicts, and teenagegirlyoureallyshouldaskyourmotherbecauseI'mpretendingyourstill4drama. 

It's probably a good thing L has already scheduled a night out with the guys this weekend.  I'm betting he's going to need the shot of testosterone.  As for myself, I'm not really worried about them.  I know L will handle the important stuff, and everything else can just wait until mom get's home.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Girls Day: Playing Hookie With GG

Is it still hookie if you have permission?

GG's high school has what's known as a Renaissance Rewards Program.  One of the privileges she earns through this program is a personal day, one free day to use whenever she chooses to do whatever she chooses.  When I asked what she wanted to use her day for she asked if I would take her to World Fest at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.  Spend an entire day with my oldest sidekick at an amusement park riding roller coasters and eating "foods of the world"?  Um, OK!!  I have mentioned how much we love roller coasters and eating, right?  So Thursday we hit the road early to travel back in time and around the world.  

We arrived almost an hour before the Opening Ceremony, which was great by the way (click here to read about it).  We amused ourselves by browsing through the gift shop, grabbing a snack at the bakery, listening to the mini shows at the gazebo, familiarizing ourselves with the map, and watching the people around us.  Judging from some of the looks we received and the amount of giggling we indulged in, I think it's safe to say we provided a certain amount of amusement as well.

GG's first stop of the day?  Grandfather's Mansion, because she wanted to see the funny mirror.  As you can see we did a fair amount of goofing off there as well.

I think this is her Captain America pose.

I told GG to stand and lean and I would take her picture, but she kept falling over.  So she decided I could stand and lean while she took a picture.

I don't know if you've ever rode the Mighty Galleon (The Ship Ride), but the coveted seat is the one in the very back since it gives you the biggest rush.  As we walked toward that ride we had the following conversation:

GG: Let's hurry up.  There's only one person over there right now and he's older.  I don't think he's going to want to ride in the back seat.
Me:  Probably not since he's the one operating the ride.
GG: Oh!

Since the lines were short and the rides were basically empty GG and I decided to have a "dueling teacups" contest.  We each chose a teacup and as soon as the ride started we began our spinning war.  Did you know those teacups have brakes?  That's right, if your teacup is still spinning when the ride stops (and we had our teacups wound tight, so they were) there's a brake that can will stop you right in your saucer.

GG talked me into riding a water ride around noon.  She got damp.  I got soaked!  The park actually has a family size dryer available for $3.  It didn't take very long for even frugal me to decide I would rather be dry than have the $3, so to the dryer we headed.  When we got there a woman was already using it, but she graciously offered to let us share with her since she was almost done.  Another couple walked up while we were still in the dryer so we offered to share with them.  Nothing bonds strangers like wet clothes and chattering teeth.

One of the main reasons GG wanted to go to World Fest was for the food, and so for lunch we went to the Frisco Freight Company Barn to check out the Tastes of the World menu.  We decided to split an order of Naples Nachos and then shared a Tiramisu Torte and an Apple Dumpling with Cinnamon Ice Cream. 

We spent the afternoon reriding some of our favorite rides,

checking out the shops (and the free samples), observing craft demonstrations,

GG stopped for words of wisdom from the bucket,

and watching the street shows.

On a side note GG rarely misses a day of school for any reason. That afternoon we discovered that the one day she did miss turned out to be quite dramatic.  She knew she would be missing the school play, she did not know she would be missing the Lawnmower Boy's famous ride to school, the school board's infamous overreaction (and excessive punishment), or the resulting school wide protest. 

I think she was somewhat disappointed to hear she had missed all of the action, but I was able to console her with Yak Jerky and the assurance that there would still be lawn mower excitement when she returned on Friday. 

As it turns out the excitement continues to build and is now benefiting a very worthy cause, the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. To check out their story or support their cause click here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Feeling Free Enough To Sing

Yesterday GG and I spent the day at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.  Before you're allowed into the actual park they have an Opening Ceremony.  In the past I've made my thoughts and feelings about our military and veterans very clear (click here to read that), so it pleased me greatly to hear the Master of Ceremonies thank our military and veterans for their service and honor those actually present that day.

That was followed with the Raising of the Flag, our Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem.  GG and I stood for the entire ceremony, during the Pledge of Allegiance we placed our hands over our hearts and pledged, and when they began to play the National Anthem and the woman beside us began to quietly sing, we joined right in with her.  And you know what?  It felt good!  It makes us happy to sing along, and more importantly, thanks to our military men and women, we are free to do so. 

So how about you?  Do you sing along?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Between Trees And Tight Ropes

This weekend GG and I sat down to take a serious look at the obstacles in our upcoming Warrior Dash.  One of the obstacles is a tight rope, and we have our suspicions that it will be suspended over a mud pit.  Tonight L made us our own mini tight rope to practice on.

The Girls made me go first...

and then they joined in.

A short time later the following conversation took place:

L to GG: Do you think you can throw your legs over the top rope and slide down it?
GG: Is it safe?
Me: I wouldn't think so, the top rope is secured with a broomstick.
L: It's not a broomstick, it's a handle.

Oh!  Well in that case...

L gave us some lessons on balance...

and we were congratulating ourselves on how good we were doing...

and then this happened.

Yep, there's a good chance we're going to get

Sometimes Plan B Stinks...

...a lot!!

Last night was auction night, and M and I were in attendance.  Unfortunately, about 5 minutes after I arrived I realized I had made a serious error.  Do you know what serves as a bathroom at this auction?  That's right, a porta-potty (and it's been there a while).  But desperate times call for desperate measures and that meant my options were suck it up and use the smelly thing or leave (and we all know that wasn't going to happen). 

So after a quick trip to my truck for supplies, because it's been my experience that most porta-potties are a BYOTP type party, we were off to the facilities; me to make use of it and M to stand outside and be my Lassie dog just in case I fell in the well.  I also made her hold my iPhone, because as much as I happen to think I can't live without it, that's one place I would refuse to go in after it if it were to be dropped. 

All I'm going to say about the experience is this:  the moment when you're squeezed into a smelly plastic box, hovering above the toilet, and holding onto the bottoms of your pants legs (because you do not want them touching the floor) isn't the time to have performance anxiety.  When the experience was over it was back to my truck for hand sanitizer because although I was pretty certain I hadn't peed on my hand, I couldn't be sure no one else had.

Now just in case you're wondering...yes, taking a picture of the porta-potty did get me some strange looks; and yes, there was someone in it when I took the picture (no, I don't know who).

Then it was back to the auction.  You can find the darnedest things at these places!  Last night I bought this box of junk trinkets...

for this particular treasure.

That's right!  I am now the proud owner of a cow that sticks it's tongue out, winks with holographic eyes, has a bottle cap remover for horns, and a corkscrew tail.  Totally worth the trip to the porta-potty!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Who Doesn't Love A Depressed Donkey?

I love the entire Winnie the Pooh gang, but my absolute favorite is Eeyore.  My love for that little blue donkey is pretty well known, and occasionally someone will bring me an orphaned Eeyore who's in need of a good home.  This morning was just such a time.  This waited for me when I went to check my mailbox this morning, so I adopted him.

He now lives in my office with all the other adopted Eeyores, a singing duck that likes to bust a move because he's Happy (And He Knows It), a flower that knows how to shake that groove thing while crooning Build Me Up Buttercup, and a cow that poops candy while belting out Jingle Bells.  He'll be lucky if he can get a sad word in edgewise. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Give Me A Coupon And I'll Follow You Anywhere

I've spent the last three days in Hot Springs, AR.  It's a beautiful town to visit.  One of my favorite things to do is walk Bath House Row.  Here's why...

It's absolutely beautiful!

On my way back to the hotel I passed a woman standing on the sidewalk giving out coupons for a restaurant at the top of the stairs. 

There's a restaurant up there?  It looked a little questionable, but I had a coupon: Buy one order of Beignets get one free.  In case you're wondering, a beignet  is basically a French doughnut covered in powdered sugar.  So with my coupon in hand and the promise of deep-fried pastries covered in sugary goodness, I climbed the stairs. 

Guess what?!?!  There really is a restaurant up there: Andrews Restaurant & Bakery.

It turns out there's a sign too, but it's almost as well hidden as the stairs.

The beignets were great...

and so was the calamari. (Yes, I know it's squid, but it's still yummy!)  So I now have a new favorite restaurant that I must visit the next time I'm in town.

On another note, I arrived home to be told by GG, "We're so glad you're home.  Yesterday Daddy woke us up two snooze buttons and a dog walk too late."  NG weighed in with, "Yea, I had to go to school la natural."  That translates into without make-up not without clothes.

It's good to be missed!! Lol!