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?


  1. First look amazing as always. That black and white outfit is stunning on you. Secondly you baked and you baked chocolate cake with chocolate frosting......not only am I surprised but I could she'd a tear of happiness. ..chocolate and baking two of my great loves..... Thirdly I love your girls flair for drama and just plain awesomeness.

    1. You are too kind! Check this out, I just sat down from making a new recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough! It’s chilling in the fridge right now! The dough was sooooooo good (molasses!). I’m going to eventually make it into a cookie cake tomorrow for an early birthday gathering for Ellie tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. :)

  2. More chocolate????? Is this the beginnings of a cocholavert? (Chocolate convert)

    1. Nope. Didn’t have a single desire to taste the cake. No converting for me. The choco chip cookies are AMAZING!! I eat around the choco chips. :)

  3. You are funny. You should just make some without choc chips for you.

  4. Love your update - I have no idea how you have time to blog at all! Your family looks like you all have so much fun (and a wee bit of mischief) together : )

  5. You are such fun! Sounds like your summer is interesting, anyway!!

    LOVE that photo of the paw print in your leg. Seriously. :)


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