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Fabric Covered Binders

Since I'm not able to do my three hour workouts this month, I've decided to tackle some of the 2016 Personal Challenges . This one w...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Air Boat Shenanigans

Okay, not really.  There were no shenanigans.  There were, however, many things to be seen...and - if I may lapse into some grammatically-incorrect word usage - we seen 'em all!  Yuk, yuk, yuk.

The day started bright and steamy, and as we pulled into the parking lot, we observed a big pig oinking at various tailpipes*.  This pig was huge, so we avoided all 'Babe' references and whispered 'nice piggie' as we made our way to the office to confirm our reservations.

We determined that our ride was the one with bright yellow seats.  Of note:  I have an uncanny ability to color-coordinate my wardrobe with random life incidents, and this was no exception.  Yes, indeed.  I was wearing bright yellow.  Craziness.
Me, yellow shirt and Hollywood the alligator.
This is post boat ride, so, spoiler alert, we made it back.
Our yellow-seat boat.
See, I am color-coordinated and obviously fashionable.
We eventually boarded the boat and donned headphones.  As we were on the top row nearest the propellers, those were appreciated.  Our guide offered us all kinds of interesting information as we buzzed around the river.  Enjoy the photos and ridiculous commentary.

Great Blue Heron.  We're sketchy.
He takes off.  He knows how we are.

This is what we came to see.  They kept avoiding us.  Why?
Was it the loud propeller?  The yellow shirt?
The sun was good at finding us
Cypress Tree and Cypress Knees

The water level was pretty low.
You can see the lines on the trees of where it should be.
Length in feet = inches between nose and eyes. This
girlfriend was probably 6 to 6.5 feet long. We were
informed that the alligators that make it to the 7-10 feet range are
more mellow...but they'll still eat you.
We are quite close to her nest.

Helicopter practice?  They were zipping and zooming
all over the place...so we waved.  I always wave at
helicopters, and I always moo at cows.

Look!  Cows!  Moooo!  Moooo!
All over this area, there were cows.
Wading Cows.  Dry Cows.  Sassy Cows.
They were accompanied by zen birds.

This one was striking...and stared
at us from the moment we arrived
...and kept staring.  Look at that
black cow... licking the other one.

Scarlet gave us a raspberry and ate some greens.
This is the life right here.
Indian Mound.  Will have to do some research on these.
I can't even imagine how rough life was back then...
and here I sit, complaining when The Internetz goes down.
Gorgeous Mexican Petunia.
When we returned, nice piggie was laid out by the office door, exhausted#. We took our newly-acquired sea-legs over to see the caged creatures (Hollywood, seen above, as well as smaller alligators, various turtles and a large tortoise with awesome spiky legs). We then sanitized our hands and tipped our captain. He did a great job with the tour, and didn't endanger any of us. We love that in a captain.

Softshell turtle, chillin'
Our captain, with Hollywood, who smiles with his 80 teeth!

This little piggie snored.  The end.
Do I recommend air boat tours?  Yes, I do.  Do I also recommend braiding your hair, if it's longer than, say, your shoulders?  Indeed I do.  I'm still unraveling this mess!

* You'll need to remember this...
# Did you see that coming?  Tailpipes, exhaust, etc.  Sorry - I am related to my father.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boom Chicka Boom

I don't know if I've turned old and crotchety or if the there's a squatter throwing neighborhood parties in empty houses every other night, but something has got to give.

I do not want to salsa all night!
Currently, I am jamming to the music of our neighbor, having endured this for almost six hours (it's almost 1 a.m.). There is no talking at this party -- just yelling, as the music is too loud for regular conversation, even at my house. Okay, yes, I exaggerated the last part of the last statement. However, if I walk outside, I'm not exaggerating a bit.

Here, kitty, kitty.  I SAID HERE, KITTY, KITTY!
I hate calling the police, but really, what choice do I have? Get up at 5 a.m. and return the favor? I know the police have more serious things going on, as noted by the time it has taken them to respond. It's been almost an hour. Not holding anything against them, but I would love some rest. Our 'quiet time' is supposed to be from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Fat chance. Fat, I say!!

Am I the only person with this problem?  Are my walls too thin?  Am I, indeed, crotchety?  Oh, the shame.

On a happier note:  It's 1 a.m. and all is quiet.  Bless you, boys and girls in green.  Bless you!

All images from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/?CTT=97

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I don't have anyone grading my progress on my life goals except for myself...and I'm pretty lenient with my grades (and accepting any late assignments).

I make my goals, start out pretty excited about them, then poop out within a month.  It's a cycle that starts every January 1st and a few months before any high school reunion, since I have to have something to write about in my bio.  Ran a marathon!  Wrote a best-seller!  Invented a cure for migraines!  Helped deliver a dolphin in the wild!  Oh, my list of dream accomplishments is endless.  My energy and will-power isn't.

I believe this lack of will-power is one reason for starting a blog.  I have to have accountability!  Even if I have to report to an audience of strangers, I will do better!

So, here is my 'first day of school' blog post, where I state my class schedule (my list of goals) and challenge myself to complete my class (reach a specific goal milestone).  After I get my grade card, I'll re-evaluate and start another semester.  Oh, peeps, I am pretty excited for back-to-school.  Aren't you?

Fitness: Granted, this goal will depend on my physical health, but I'm hoping to get back up to easy 5Ks before Thanksgiving. I sweat if I walk a mile, but the heat and humidity might have something to do with that. Also, I think I'm losing muscle mass, and I'm not used to that! Must. Have. Muscles. So, I'll add that fitness goal, too. Get my own muscles.

I win!

Career: Since I don't foresee myself returning to the world of network engineering or computer programming, I am focusing on writing. My goal is to write or brainstorm daily. I have so much dancing around my noggin that it needs to come out...and maybe that will mean income. Surely someone will pay to see what's in my noggin!

These books are so awesome!

Creativity:  I have always loved drawing, painting, creating...  I love when Groupon and LivingSocial offer creative stuff.  My goal in this area is to spend at least two hours a week on creativity.  I'm hoping to take some classes at a local art school, so improvement will be guided.  Don't worry:  I'll take pictures, even if it's an embarrassing form of creativity.  'Draw a picture of you sneezing!'  No dainty sneezes here, people.

^^ Not me ^^

I won't overdo it because that usually means failure...so there's my list.

What are your goals?  You don't have to tell me specifics, but you do have to tell yourself!

-All photos downloaded from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/?CTT=97

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Exercise is coming back

I will admit to not feeling well for about a month now.  I can eat apples and eggs and toast.  Boom.  That's my diet.  I'm dealing with it, and am working with my doctor to figure it all out.  In the meantime, I'm getting back to my regular routine of walking.  See my cute shoes?

When I walk, I sometimes have a friend with me.  Well, with me until we get to the house with the little dogs.  Here's my friend, who just woke up.

I only walked a little over a mile today, but with very few calories banked for such a thing, I think I'm good.

What's your usual workout?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer break is almost over!

As I sit and watch rain clouds move lazily across the sky, I can't help but notice that summer break is dwindling down.  I love my breaks -- I really do.  However, I get to the point where I've had enough rain and reading.  I want to go to the beach and walk around the neighborhood and ride my bike, without fear of being struck by lightning!  I'm prone to that, you know.*

We do need the rain, though.  I was with a group of friends a few weeks ago, kayaking on a local lake...which was six feet under the norm.  That was even after a week of rain.  However, as our guide informed us, it was a blessing, since it gave them an opportunity to clean up trash that had been hiding in the depths.  I think she mentioned pull-top cans showing up.  Do you remember those things?

All-in-all, the rain isn't a bad thing.  It's giving me an opportunity to pin all kinds of rainy-day crafts on pinterest.  I'm going through old magazines and catalogs.  I'm learning to paint!  I'm planning a trip...to rainy Ireland.  It's all good.

What do you do when it rains?  

* I guess I have a pinched nerve because every once in a while, I have a zinger on my neck and I flail around wildly... then declare I've been struck by lightning.  
- Photo of beer can via Wikipedia, public domain