Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend Observations

Ellie and I took Nigel to the vet Friday.

He had to have his anal glands expressed.

Yeah, that’s a thing.

No one talked about that with Lassie

or Marmaduke

or Snoopy.


Carisa told me that’s what he needed the day before 
when he was dragging his behind on the carpet .
She is a dog genius.

But on the way to the vet office, Ellie and I saw this THING pull out from the bike path by our house right in front of us.

It was neon green and the guy on it was wearing a matching neon green helmet that had all the seriousness of Tour De France. (With the aerodynamic pointy back and everything.)

The THING had really high handlebars. So high that his hands were almost shoulder height.

It had a front wheel and a back wheel but they were REALLY far apart to allow for the elliptical type pedaling that was happening in between while he was in the STANDING POSITION.

So. Much. Going. On.

He was working the elliptical part really fast 
for as slow as he was moving.

Ellie asked,

“Is he a villain?”

She went on to say that he reminded her of the Green Goblin from the Spiderman movie.

Green Goblin
No disrespect to either party.

I thought that his poor wife clearly had lost a very seriously fought battle. The kind that involved her saying things like,

“Please. Don’t. No! Really! I’m serious!"


“Don’t get the neon green. If you MUST order that THING, 
don’t get the neon green!”


“A matching helmet? Really?! In the same neon green??!!”


“You won’t be riding it in public, will you? Maybe just a spin to the end of the driveway and back?”

And definitely,

“It costs HOW MUCH??!!”

I just did a little search and as it turns out, it’s not called “The THING”  or “Doofmobile”.

It’s an elliptical bike. 
(Only slightly more descriptive than my names.)

Elliptical bike
The one we saw was neon ALL OVER. And the
handlebars were taller.

This model cost over $1700 with some models over $3,000.

While on a website for these bikes I found out that July 12th was International Elliptical Bike Day. 

We saw the THING on July 11th, so I bet he was gearing up for the big day.

I wonder if he asked his wife to make a cake.
Or permission to leave the driveway
and actually take the THING on the bike path.

Yesterday morning Ellie and I ran an errand and on the way home we saw some spray painted graffiti in large letters that read:



I confirmed that Ellie indeed had seen it too.

It reminded us of the word MOIST graffiti 
we saw in a few different spots in Alabama
over Spring Break.

We pondered the who and why’s of the FIBER graffiti situation.

I noticed it was in close proximity to two nursing homes.

Maybe that was just the kind of tomfoolery and horseplay one can expect from an elderly prankster/graffiti artist.

And there was a bit of a public service message with it too.


It’s good. 

It’s healthy.

It makes a good day great.

So we called Monte to share our funny observation when he asked where the graffiti was.

I explained it looked like a big metal electrical box.

He explained,

“Fiber, as in cable or fiber optics."


So it was more of an instruction 
than a public service message.

As in,

“Put fiber cable here."

And just like that, 

all funny images of elderly men or women in cardigans 
giggling in the middle of the night with spray cans in hand, 
one looking out for “the authorities” 
and one doing the spraying, 

were gone.


And yet the words “anal glands expressed”

and the image of Green Goblin riding the THING is clear as a bell.

And still less irritating to me than a recumbent bike.

Green Goblin with cartoon bubble saying, “Happy Elliptical Bike Day!"

Friday, July 11, 2014

What’s Been Going On

I haven’t meant to take a blogging break.

But the whole healing neck thing (I’m band-aid free FINALLY)

and 4th of July thing

and the girls needing three meals a day, 

Well, that has made blogging with any sort of regularity a distant memory,

like finishing any project EVER
without a million interruptions
and questions
and “Moooooommmm!!!!!”s

or wearing a bikini.

Those were the good ol’ days.

And because I’ve had to stop this post 40-11 times to 
look at what McDaniel was drawing, 
help her find a website to draw more stuff, 
help Ellie remember the movies she wants to see in list form, 
help her locate the tent in the garage, 
move the hammock, 
lay out the tent in proper position in the yard 
and pull poop from the dog’s behind, 

I better just upload some pictures QUICK 
before it’s SEPTEMBER before you 
hear from me again!

We went to the zoo the day before the 4th of July, which as it turns out, MOST OF AMERICA did too. Luckily, we went early and got to see the zoo workers herding the flamingos to feed them. They danced when they shook their container of food.

Flamingoes getting fed at the zoo

We also saw the workers “walking” a turtle. It was just as painfully slow to watch as you can imagine.

Our zoo finally has giraffes and zebras again!!! 

A few summers ago, my cousin and his family made the drive from Indiana to visit our zoo. They had just one son at the time and when he asked to see the giraffes and zebras, I had to pull aside his mother and explain that, best to my knowledge, our last remaining giraffe had died on the operating table during a routine surgery. 

(Whatever surgery is routine for a giraffe, but you’d bet it would involve the neck, wouldn’t you?)

Then I had to explain that our zebras had been transported to a large field outside of town that was part of a drive-through animal refuge while their habitat was being renovated at the zoo. And one of the zebras didn’t take well to the new scenery and took off head first, as fast as he could go, into a fence post breaking his own neck.

I’m not making this up. 

The other zebras decided that looked like a better deal than waiting on their home renovation, so they followed suit. Terribly sad.

Tragedies aside, our zoo really is wonderful. 

A new habitat called Africa just opened up and I swear, it was as if we were on safari.

And not the kind in northern Ohio with pig races.

No cement, cages, chain-link fences or anything.

It was beautiful!!

Baby giraffe at the zoo
A baby giraffe.
 We decided to eat at a restaurant within the Africa exhibit

(I had the most amazing garbanzo bean salad!) 

and look what we could see RIGHT FROM OUR TABLE!!

Lion drinking water at the zoo.

Lion by eating area at zoo.
See the tables inside and the big lion RIGHT OUTSIDE?

Monte played around with some filters on his phone. Isn’t this picture downright artsy?

Lion, giraffe and Wildebeasts at zoo.

We kept singing songs from Lion King the entire time we were in the exhibit.

The only thing we didn’t get to do that we will definitely go back to do is ride a camel.

Because I can TOTALLY see myself on a camel.

Then Ellie decided she HAD to have her face painted. She waited in line towering over all the toddlers.

Ellie’s face paint.

Towards the end of our zoo visit, we started to get hot and the crowds got WAY too intense. When we went to take the boat ride through the Australian exhibit, they told us to come back at 5:30. It wasn’t even 2:00 yet.

We started to feel like this poor chimpanzee.
Chimpanzee trying to have some quiet time.
I love that his eyes were open the whole time.
He didn’t want to nap. He just wanted everyone
to back off already!!!

Then we left the zoo and drove ourselves to a hotel just outside of the city that we OWN A HOME in, and checked right in.

Man in glass elevator going up.

We were supposed to be in Virginia Beach visiting my brother over the holiday weekend

but Arthur decided he wanted to visit too.

Weather map of Hurricane Arthur

Even though it was a quick moving tropical storm/hurricane, we didn’t want to get “caught up” in the 85 mph winds even if for only one day.

So we decided NOT to go, which bummed us all out.

Then Monte came up with a plan to use some of his built-up hotel points and booked us a hotel just outside our city for two nights FREE!!

We bowled on the 4th of July. We almost had the entire place to ourselves.

Bowling on the 4th of July
Red, White & Bowl.

Selfie bowling
I HAVE to figure out how to put a passcode on my phone!

The staff in the bowling alley must have been bored because we received 4 free arcade cards for little more than showing up on the 4th of July.

Man playing Guitar Hero
Monte made me watch him play a R-E-A-L-L-Y long
Aerosmith song on Guitar Hero. He got into it.

Ellie made me ride this simulation thing that made you feel like you were going to crash into a mountain, a lake or another car. We screamed a lot.

Girls screaming on simulator ride.

Then we went out to eat and McDaniel made Ellie and I pose pretending to laugh really hard at something.

Mom and daughter fake laughing

And pretend to point at something off in the distance.

Mom and daughter fake pointing off to the distance

Then I pretended to choke Ellie.

Mom and daughter being silly

And then I pretended to choke McDaniel.

Mom and daughter being silly

We were able to watch 4 or 5 different firework displays from our 6th floor hotel room while in our jammies listening to McDaniel sing patriotic songs into her hairbrush.

Girls watching fireworks from hotel window and one singing into a hairbrush

Back home, we popped in to see McDaniel’s friend on the job at a pizza joint.

Selfie of 2nd day on the job

And I made this.

Chocolate cake

And people actually liked it!

Which is usually NOT the case with my baked goods.

Click here for the recipe .

Double layer chocolate cake
Ellie actually asked me to make this again for her
birthday. The pressure is on!
We had a series of thunder storms that Nigel did not care for one bit 
as evidenced in the paw print embedded into my leg.

Dog paw print imprint onto a leg

McDaniel got more things stuck in her hair.

Hanger stuck in a girls hair

I got the gray colored right out of mine. But just in the roots. Which gave me this snazzy look:

Lady getting her roots colored
That makes me look like I have an unusual slant to
my head.
I might look like something from Star Trek.
McDaniel spotted this beauty on the way home from the grocery store the other day and made me stop.

Beat up 1965 Ford

It’s a 1965 FRD (look closely, the O is missing) something something. Not even sure. What I am sure of is that $6,000 price tag. I’m pretty sure there is a lot of rust and no AC too. And I’m also REALLY sure that McDaniel’s $274 in the bank will not bring this almost 50-year-old stunner home with us. 


Then today I get caught up in a cute little guy’s knife sales pitch that could win him a college scholarship if I just let him give me his presentation and then 10 names of friends and in between cutting rope with paring knives and melting ice with ice cream scoops and watching videos on his phone of him throwing a watermelon onto a knife and it slicing right in half,

I keep hearing my front door open and close and people rushing up and down the stairs and my phone buzz with texts in the room next to me.

While the cute little guy was cleaning up,

I checked my phone and found this:

Girls dressed like cows for Chick-Fil-A contest
McDaniel does have two legs.

Apparently today at Chick-Fil-A, you could receive chicken for FREE if you dressed up like a cow. That was all McDaniel and our neighbor Claire had to hear to make this the plan of their day.

And I’m pretty sure that was one of Monte’s undershirts.

I was not at all surprised as these were the same girls that years ago spent hours making a pickle costume out of lawn refuse bags that McDaniel wore in the front yard while Claire screamed, 

“Pickles! $1.00! Get your pickles for $1.00!”

To anyone who walked or drove by.

And we did not have any pickles.

So, what’s been going on with you?

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