Friday, February 22, 2013


Recently, I was in Puerto Rico. On our final full day, my beloved sat on our balcony enjoying the view while I went to the beach to capture the boogie boarders in action. Upon my return, I spied my beloved and thought I would take his picture from afar. The dude in question was wearing a red shirt, navy swim trunks, and a navy ball cap--the same apparel my beloved had worn all afternoon. I had my telephoto lens affixed to my camera and was all ready to take the stalker-like picture, catching him all unawares-like. As I was focusing on the dude, we happened to look at each other at the same time. And then, in a split second, this is what went through my head:

Hmm...I don't remember our floor being up this Pat's swim trunks have a stripe on them? And why is he standing? Is he looking for me? And why is he looking at me with my big, long, stalkerish zoom lens?  Maybe he'll wave. That would be a fun picture. ZOMG! That's not my husband!! That's just some random dude that is wearing similar clothing and ZOMG he's looking right at me with a quizzical expression on his face!! ACK! He's wondering why there's some strange woman pointing her zoom lens at him! Point it somewhere else! ANYWHERE ELSE! YES! YES! AIM YOUR ZOOM LENS AT THE SKY!! THAT MAKES ABSOLUTE SENSE!

And so I swung my camera skyward and literally whistled, like they do in the cartoons, and I was all, HI-HO! JUST MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS SHOOTING CLOSEUPS OF THE SKY! And then I swung around towards the ocean and I was all HI-HO! WOULDJA LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL OCEAN! OHMERGEHRD! LOVELY! MUST! TAKE! PICTURES! And then I pretended to take pictures of the ocean for a few minutes. And then I ran with my head down into the hotel and proceeded to slink into our room and out onto our balcony, whereupon I breathlessly told my beloved of my stalkerish photo session. I am so smoove, yo.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

La Isla Bonita

Last week I was lucky enough to tag along with my husband to his sales meeting. I've done this twice before. But this time, it was particularly lovely, as we were in a warm locale in the middle of February. Now I suppose if you are fortunate enough to live someplace that is temperate throughout the year this wouldn't be such a big deal, but since I don't live someplace temperate (Indiana is many things, but friends, it ain't temperate) it was a big deal to me. We managed to have my sister-in-law come over for a few days of child wrangling and we were able to fly away to Puerto Rico.

I have never been to this pretty island, but if I'm ever given the chance again, I will go back in a heartbeat. It was beautiful, the people were lovely, the food was delicious, and it was like Foreign Destination Lite, given that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, requiring neither a passport nor a change of currency.

We didn't have long--just three full days--as we didn't want to tax our babysitting service, nonetheless, I was able to sit on the beach, visit Old San Juan twice, eat delicious food, watch some fabulous locals show off on their boogie boards, enjoy a slice of time with my beloved, and take lots of pictures. So sit back for the modern day equivalent of your Uncle Larry's vacation slide show. And if you are like me, and don't have the luck of living in temperate climes but are stuck in the middle of the February doldrums, look at the pictures, imagine the sound of the ocean, and sip a drink with an umbrella in it. You'll be transported--if only for a few minutes.

The capitol building as viewed from the Castillo San Cristobal.

Castillo San Cristobal. Stunning views.

Castillo El Morro from Castillo San Cristobal. Two beautiful, old forts in Old San Juan.

The cemetery below El Morro. One of the most picturesque and symbolic sites in Old San Juan.

El Morro.

I'm a sucker for pretty doors. And Old San Juan had plenty. 

Those mountains? They make some good coffee.

Governor's residence, Old San Juan.

This guy? He was a great singer. And I understood about every 3rd word he was saying. High school Spanish only goes so far, people. I'm such a gabacha.

The Cathedral of San Juan. 

Seriously. I could live here.

See? More doors. Told ya. Complete sucker.

Love the blue brick streets.


Total sucker. And my oldest claims this as her favorite. She never met a turquoise she didn't like.

Sucker, sucker, sucker.

The view from our hotel room. Your shoulders just lowered 2 inches, didn't they?

Hello pretty Puerto Rican finch. Why yes, I did see you carry away a lizard  twice your size. Ain't skeerd.

This lady? Not only was she beautiful, but she was a complete BOSS on the waves.

Boss. Boss.

"I am the mayor of these waves."

This guy? SO FUN to watch. He hooted and hollered each time he rode a good wave.

Wave + Face = Still way better than any attempt I could make.

Tomorrow I will post a picture and tell you a funny story about this trip. It involves my camera and my beloved and me. And that's all I'll say for now. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Post Where I Start Out Talking About One Thing And End Up Talking About Donuts (Mmmm...Donuts...)

I am a hot mess. I have been face-first in closets and cabinets for the last week, cleaning out, purging, organizing, and de-crapifying STUFF. Y'all. We have some STUFF around here. Too much STUFF. Like, I can't believe how much STUFF. Some of it is useful, some of it is pretty, some of it is memories. But much of it is crap. And I am not done. Not by a long shot. But other things have come into the picture that are causing me to have to pull my nose out of cabinets and closets and pantries.

I am leaving in six days for warmer climes. My beloved has a sales meeting in a warm place and the spouses have been invited to tag along. This has caused me jubilation because WARM! SUN! BEACH! But also panic, because ACK! Leaving for several days and relatives are coming in to care for my offspring and my house is sort of, well, a hot mess. Much like the housekeeper.

My parents are off enjoying their annual February in Florida trip, so we weren't able to bribe ask them to come watch the kids. This time, the punishment duties fall to my fabulous sister-in-law and her husband, Aunt Heather and Uncle Steve, whom we shall henceforth refer to as Aunt Hes and Uncle Buck. (Not the unemployed, betting on rigged horses part. And not because of a physical similarity to John Candy. But some of the other stuff? Um...maybe. The whole hatchet thing? Could totally see it happening.) The kids are very excited to have their aunt and uncle coming to stay for a few days. Aunt Hes has already promised a dance off. (Sort of wish I was going to be around for that...) And I'm terribly grateful for their willingness to come over and care for my kids. But you know, it means that I have to lay out routines and phone numbers and appointments and emergency stuff in pretty good detail. And also I need to cook a few meals ahead of time so that Aunt Hes won't have to cook. And I need to get the laundry as caught up as possible. (HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Shut up.) And I need to get the house cleaned so that they won't see how we really live.

Things are also tough because I have a severe case of PWS. This is not to be confused with PMS (which, at times, I may or may not have but you probably shouldn't go down that road because it can only lead to bad things...). I'm talking about a full-blown, Midwestern wintertime induced case of PWS-Pasty White Skin syndrome. If you know someone who lives in the Midwest, then you know what I'm talking about. The sun is pretty fickle 'round these parts during the winter months. Sometimes it doesn't come out for days. And when it does, it's as weak as Chuck Hagel during confirmation hearings. No? As weak as the NRA's reasoning behind their defense of assault weapons. No? As weak as my similes?  Bingo! Anyway, my point is: the sunshine, it is not so great in the winter. And the skin? Well it is covered virtually 24/7 with clothing. Because winter around here? Brrrr. And what does the combination of weak sunshine and virtual burqa-wear equal? Pasty White Skin. Hence my need to lurk around the tanning salon.

Yep. I'm outing myself. I have, for the first time in my 40-something years, been to a tanning salon. Now, I'm not talking about the spray tan that my daughter talked me into a few years ago that caused me to have carrot fingers. I'm talking about the lay-yourself-down-on-the-bed-with-the-cancer-causing-lights-that-your-mother-doctor-and-every-health-class-warned-you-about-tanning-bed. I know better. Really, I do. I am an SPF 50 kinda gal. True story. But vanity has overridden all of my common sense. And so I have found myself pulling up to the tanning salon, furtively glancing around before I get out of my car, and pulling my collar up around my face in hopes that I won't see someone I know. And it's not just because I'm not wearing makeup and I look, as my daughter would say, ratchet. (This definition is much easier to swallow than the one on urban dictionary.) I am afraid of running into someone and then having to justify myself for going to a tanning salon. The fact that the tanning salon sits right next to the doughnut shop is not a bonus. When you park in the lot, you are only going to one of two places, and neither of them look good. Hmmm....tanning or doughnuts? This is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't quandary. I mean, it's not as bad a quandary as say, Heroin Den/Brothel, but still. Tanning salon? Skin cancer! Doughnuts? Stuck in bathing suit yet again! It's a suburban mommy quandary.

So far, the tanning salon is winning. But if I start looking carroty, I'm thinking that a Bavarian may be the cure.

**I'll be busy tanning cleaning this hot-mess-house this week and then gone to warmer climes for most of next. But look for pictures to come the week after. And also, there could possibly be a wisdom tooth story as well. My daughter is having her wisdom teeth extracted immediately upon our return. Sad panda! However, this might produce significant blog fodder. Happy kitty! (Or something...)