Vacation brain

It seems like every time I write up a trip report I forget a few things.

  • One day at the beach I let Jacob & Joey bury me in the sand.  Oh my goodness, I got sand everywhere!  They loved it though and had  fun doing it so that’s what matters.  I swear, 2 showers later and I still had sand & sea life in all my nooks & crannies!
  • The first day we went to the beach the water was the coldest I’ve ever felt!  I run hot and I have sensitive skin so I’m used to cool showers and cold water.  But y’all, Y’ALL, I have NEVER in my life felt water this cold.  This was feet numbing frost bite conditions cold.  Insane.  By the next time we went in the water it had warmed up enough to not freeze you to death on impact.
  • I took 3 books to the OBX with me.  Apparently I thought all you do at the beach is read and I underestimated the amount of beer pong we played.  I’m a big library patron, I don’t buy books.  So imagine my horror when I accidentally got water on my book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang while brushing my teeth.  Yikes!  When I got home I ironed out the pages to try and make this brand new book look less ghetto and keep me on the nice list at the library.  I don’t think I’ve been blackballed just yet.  Whew!

Oh Bee Ex

I’ve just returned from my first trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, or OBX as you’ll see when you visit.  OBX can be found on tshirts, stickers, can coozies.  Each July my family spends a week together either at the mountain house or some other location, usually a beach.  This time we chose the Outer Banks as most of us had never visited.  I was so excited!  I have read Jenny’s yearly trip reports of her visits to OBX (she drives all the way from northern NY!!) and have picked up lots of tips.  I was especially excited to see some of the wild ponies! Continue reading

Goodnight, sweet boy Sam

Sammy chillaxin at the mountain house Sam- the oldest dog in the world, our family dog, went to heaven today.  He was at least 17 years old.  He came to live with us as a rescue and we were told he was 3 years old, but he could have been even older.  He’s just been around forever.  He’s the sweetest, best little guy. We have lots of great memories of him (like when he took a pair of my mom’s panties to all the neighbors’ houses).

Quite a few years ago he started having seizures.  Over the last couple of years they have just gotten worse and worse to the point that he screams.  Breaks your heart.  Then he started losing his hearing, his sight, and his hips have gotten bad.  So it was time to go up to puppy heaven.  The house, especially the mountain house, just won’t be the same without him.  Papa was with him at the vet when he went to sleep for the last time.  We love you Sammy boy!

Celebrity pug

When we take the pugs to the vet we take them to Bruster’s after for a free doggy sundae.  There isn’t a Bruster’s near us so it’s a big treat for us all.  Kiki grew an odd bump on her toe and has been having some trouble with allergies this year (more serious than normal) so we took her in to see the vet.  Afterwards we swung by Bruster’s for Kiki’s sundae.  When we pulled up to the window to pay a girl employee was walking by the window, stopped in her tracks and said “Is that Kiki??” OMG.  Kiki has fans.  She’s being recognized on the street!  You know it’s not going to be long now before the diva attitude sets in! Kiki enjoying her doggie sundae from Bruster's

Learning to fly

In my heart I am very organized.  In reality that isn’t always the case.  Quite a few years ago I found the Fly Lady and I’ve gone back and forth with her.  I don’t agree with all her practices (she’s anti yard sale and I’m not) but she has great principles and you can tell she’s incredibly kind hearted.  She really encourages her followers.  What finally really clicked with me was her tools.  A few months ago I bought a few of her tools and I’ve been hooked.  She’s right- the right tools make all the difference.  The Fly Lady doesn’t know me from Adam and she doesn’t know I’m writing this.  I am not getting compensated in any way for this post (although I certainly wouldn’t turn down some freebies!). You know I like to share my favorite things with you so that’s what I’m doing.

My favorites:

  • The Rubba Scrubba- only $4.95.  This thing is amazing.  I bought 2.  One for upstairs and one for down.  I bought it after I read a testimonial that it worked wonders on shower door tracks.  It does.  What I love is that it doesn’t splatter stuff all over.  The little rubber nubs are tough enough to get the job done and flexible enough that it doesn’t spray gunk everywhere like nylon bristles can.  I use it on everything.  It gets pug hair off the furniture.  It cleans my stairs.  And of course, my shower track doors.
  • The Detail Duster-  $9.95. This is a mitt you wear to dust.  It’s amazing.  I quit buying Swiffer products when I realized I was just paying money for my own garbage.  Anything disposable can’t be good for your wallet or the environment compared to permanent items.  This duster goes right in the washing machine when I’m finished with it.  It has 2 sides: a flat side -perfect for the tv screen, and the fluffy side which is great for dusting everything else.  Dust doesn’t fly around anymore.
  • Fly Lady Mop.  I replaced my Swiffer sweeper & Swiffer wetjet with this mop.  You can use it dry or damp.  The microfiber cloths go right into the wash to use again. LOVE this thing.  And it’s sturdy.  Oh, and the handle is adjustable.  I can make it short for when I’m leaning over getting underneath things or stretch it out long to clean the ceiling fan blades.  The cloths trap dust better than any swiffer cloth and I’m not adding to landfills.
  • I saved the best for last.  My favorite product is the Purple Rags in a Bag set. You get 3 cloths for $9.95 and it comes in a mesh bag for washing.  Now, I HATE the word Rag and it took me  a good while to bring myself to pay money for something called a RAG but I kept reading about how amazing they were.  So I bought my first set.  Then quickly bought a couple more sets after that.  You wash them in your clothes washer when they are dirty and dry flat or hang to dry.  Anything you would use a paper towel for you use your purple cloth for instead.  And you don’t need chemicals.  You can clean your glass doors, windows, mirrors with no streaks just using a purple cloth and water.  These things are miracle cloths.  One side is kinda smooth and the other side is ridged so you can really scrub with them.  I swear they clean everything. I keep at least one with a bottle of Windex in every bathroom and in the kitchen.

I haven’t bought this next item but if I were just starting out with bringing my own bags I certainly would.  I have  a TON of reusable shopping bags so I don’t need to add to the collection, but this set is VERY reasonably priced and the quality is apparently superb (based on testimonials). You get 3 purple grocery bags and 2 black insulated bags for just $10!!!  I’ve paid almost that amount for one bag (before I rediscovered Fly Lady).  All of her prices are reasonable.  The shipping is super fast.  And I truly believe that when you have the right tools it makes all the difference.  I never wanted to clean before.  But now I do.  Well, let’s not go crazy, I’d certainly rather have my man servant take care of the cleaning but since he hasn’t materialized it’s still up to me.  And now it’s much more fun!

My family keeps hospitals in business

I received a call early this afternoon from Gigi who told me that Momo was in the ER.  Momo woke up at 2 am this morning with sharp pains in her abdomen.  She went to the local urgent care around 9 am.  They took some blood, checked her out and promptly sent her to the hospital.  Papa & Gigi were coming down the mountain and were still over 2 hours away.  I didn’t want Momo to be scared at the hospital by herself so I scooted down to be with her as fast as I could.  Momo’s friend J brought her to the hospital.  She was being a total trooper. IMG_1015 They did a CT scan with contrast and discovered that Momo had appendicitis. Within 15 minutes of the announcement that she was to have surgery she was wheeled into the OR. Morgan in pre-op before her appendectomy. Poor Momo was so nervous as she’d never been admitted to the hospital before or had surgery. The surgeon came out after the surgery and showed us the pictures of her innards. You know I loved that part! While he was in there he discovered a hernia! I was so shocked. When I think of hernias, which is every day, I think of old men trying to lug big boxes or move pianos or something. I certainly don’t think of 20 year old girls! The surgeon said it’s actually pretty common for young people to have hernias. Who knew? Momo did great in surgery and came through recovery like a champ. Within just a few hours she was ready to take a stroll up and down the hall. Momo on her first walk down the hall post op I left the hospital at about 9:30 pm. Momo had just gotten her first round of pain meds and some jello. She’ll get to go home tomorrow afternoon if all goes well! What a day!

Pioneer Woman!

Last night I made butter!  CSP saw some tv show on Food Network where this chef lady made butter and he wanted to try it.  So we bought the ingredients and while he was grilling last night I made some butter.  It was way easier than I thought it would be.   You take 2 & 1/2 cups of cream.  Now, obtaining the cream can be a problem.  We went to many stores but no one sold just cream.  They had half and half  and heavy whipping cream but nothing that said just plain old cream.  The chef on the show didn’t say anything other than cream so I was in a pickle.  I asked my Aunt Marsha, a serious foodie, if I could substitute the heavy whipping cream and she thought it should be ok.  So I poured the cream into the mixing bowl and added a cup of sour cream. Started with cream and sour cream I would definitely recommend making this in a stand mixer versus using a hand mixer. You mix for quite a while. The chef lady said to mix on low, but the close up showed she was also using a KitchenAid mixer and it was on 4 so I put mine on 4. A few minutes later it started to look like watery cottage cheese. Looks kind of cottage cheesy Now, I didn’t hover but I kept an eye on it. While it was mixing I was cleaning out and refilling my hummingbird feeders. CSP came in and took a look in the bowl then we went outside to the backyard so I could rehang the feeders. I was in and out in less than 2 minutes. I came back in and heard a loud whomping noise! In less than 2 minutes that watery cottage cheese had turned into butter! It was all glommed on to the whippy beater thing and was making the mixer rock back and forth. Buttermilk was splashing all over my kitchen. Cabinets, countertops, floor, all over! But who cares cause I had butter! The butter is stuck to the beater. I put the butter and beater into a bowl that I covered with cheese cloth then poured the buttermilk and remaining chunks of butter into the bowl. I took the beater off the mixer (with butter attached) & put it in a bowl covered in cheese cloth I scraped all the butter off the beater and gathered it all up in the cheese cloth. I squeezed out the excess moisture and dunked the butter ball into an ice bath. The butter takes an ice bath You can see the buttermilk in the picture in the glass bowl. If I were a better baker I could have used that buttermilk (and all the extra buttermilk that was all over the kitchen) and made some biscuits. Homemade Butter! I pulled the cheese cloth off the butter and stored it in a Tupperware container. You could put it in little molds or stamp designs in it. We tasted the butter and it was so fresh and creamy! I can’t wait to make flavored butters- honey, cinnamon, garlic, herb, so many possibilities!

Wiki, wiki, casino chickie

I love the internet.  I love being able to Google any question I might have and have it answered right away.  More often than not Google directs me to Wikipedia for my answers.  LOVE Wikipedia.  I even have the iPhone app.  So imagine my delight when I found out there is a wiki for Online Casino Information!  Now, any time I have questions about the Online Casino and Gambling industry I know just where to go! Continue reading