Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Key Lime Pie

Big white sail, red sunset
Lobster tail and don't forget
My, my, my - my key lime pie
--Kenny Chesney

One of my favorite pies is Key Lime. I believe it's my inner Jimmy Buffett to which I owe this one. And one of my favorite memories ever is eating Key Lime Pie on the beach this past summer.

The other night I was watching "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on Food Network. The diner he visited that night was famous for their Key Lime Pies and I salivated as the woman making the pie remarked on the "copious amounts of whip cream" she puts on her version to offset its tartness.

For some reason the thought of copious amounts of whip cream stuck with me. However the idea of making my own pie never crossed my mind until today, when this magazine (another freebie, by the way!) showed up in my mailbox.

I immediately flipped through to the back and found the recipe. It was easy: using only 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup of key lime juice and 3 egg yolks, which you bake for 15 minutes and chill. However I'm not crazy about merengue.

But HELLO, no problem! How could I forget? Insert COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF WHIP CREAM.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Photo of the Day

final pictures of retreat 021
Originally uploaded by apsies
My father has zero interest in grilling. Which is odd, because isn't that what men do? Grill?

But no. He just doesn't care. (However, the fire bug in him did result in his ritualistic burning of beetles in the grill over the weekend, at which point I found him sing songing, "I'm cookin' some beetles". But really, that's another story.)

My mother on the other hand loves to grill. She fires that charcoal up in any weather. Which is why I've seen her grilling in everything from a bathing suit to a rain jacket to a ski parka.

Jonathan has caught her bug.

On Sunday she allowed him to fire up the grill all by himself. I believe the excitement in his face speaks for itself. But it was his reaction after lighting the coals that I'll remember the most, "Gosh, it didn't even go *poof* like I wanted it to....give me the lighter fluid."

Pinched at the Pump

I asked myself this question:

Question: Why are retail gasoline prices so high?

This website:

Offered this answer:
EIA analysis of the petroleum market points to the cost of crude oil as the main contributor to the record high gasoline prices that we are now experiencing.
The cost of crude oil now accounts for almost 70% of the gasoline pump price. World crude oil prices are at record highs due mainly to high worldwide oil demand relative to supply. Other factors contributing to higher prices include political events and conflicts in some major oil producing regions, as well as other factors such as the declining value of the U.S. dollar (the currency at which crude oil is traded globally).

You know what? I'm finally going to complain about gas prices.

For the past few years as gas prices have continued to soar I've taken a pretty nonsensical attitude about it. You have to have gas, as I pointed out in a recent blog. Whether it's $4 or $10 per gallon, somehow you have to work that math out.

And yet I've become increasingly frustrated.

You see, I drive what most would consider to be an economical car. My teeny tiny Chevy Aveo gets (on paper) 23 in the city and 31 on the highway. I'm not entirely sure I'm hitting those marks due to various factors (I speed and run the A/C constantly). However, when I bought the car (ha, read that I as my parents) it cost me on average $23-$25 to fill up.

Fast foward to today and if I were completely empty it would cost $39.49 to fill up.

In 2002 my father bought me my first car, a 1989 Toyota Corolla. It was a total clunker but I loved that damn car. It had a fuel tank size of 13 gallons.

In 2002 the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.30. Which means at empty I paid $16.90 for a tank of gas. I distinctly recall being able to take $4 to the gas station and actually leave with enough gas in my car to tinker around town with.

So solutions.

This is a bit of a tricky subject to research.

I can't, honestly, find any. There is the long term solution of forcing the automakers to improve gas mileage, find new technology, interpret technology that already exists.

And then there is biofuel.

If you don't already know the downfall of biofuel let me give you one hint: check your latest grocery store bill.

Getting higher and higher?

Sams Club limiting your rice buying? Is vegetable oil insane and does purchasing milk make you want to be lactose intolerant?

Yep. Biofuel.

Dumb idea if you ask my opinion.

Here are the Presidential Candidate's potential solutions:

- Double fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon by 2026.
- Devote $150 billion over 10 years to developing alternative energy.
- Does not support suspending the gas tax, saying oil companies would simply raise prices to make up the difference.
- Investigate market manipulation of oil prices.

- Suspend the gas tax through the summer months.
- Suspend filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
- Has not proposed targets for increased automobile efficiency, and voted against a 2003 measure that would have boosted standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2015.

- Suspend the 18.4-cent federal gasoline tax through the peak summer driving months. A windfall tax on energy companies would cover the revenue shortfall.
- Suspend filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for one year, freeing up more oil for the open market.
- Devote $150 billion to developing alternative energy.
- Raise royalties for oil companies that drill on public land.
- Increase fuel economy standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030.
- Investigate market manipulation of oil prices.


Make of it what you will. I don't care what your stance is politically, or who has the best solution. All I know is this: somebody is going to have to remedy this situation. Even a little bit. Or else I'm gonna need $20,000 for a Prius.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Inside the *Me* Studio

I saw this done last week, wanted to do it then, but forgot. I'm an Inside the Actor's Studio geek. Love, love, love it. And if you've ever watched you'll know these are the questions James Lipton ends the session with before turning it over to the students.

What is your favorite word? Arachnophobia. No joke, this was the first big word I learned to spell and in the third grade I'd spell it for you whether you asked me to or not. It's got sentimental value.

What is your least favorite word? Republican! No, I kid. I actually don't mind Republicans, they give me a reason to believe so fervently. Real least favorite word: Genocide. I hate that a word like that even has to exist.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Ambition. I love to meet people who are just going for it. Taking that proverbial leap. That's totally hot.

What turns you off? Inability to back up your belief system. I don't care if we don't agree on something, but I want the other person to know the issue and believe as passionately as I do on the opposite end. Otherwise it's just pointless.

What is your favorite curse word? Dammit. I know, not glamorous. But it really applies in so many situations.

What sound or noise do you love? The fan running at night and the sound of waves hitting a shoreline.

What sound or noise do you hate? Knives scraping across a plate. Ehh, I'm tensing up at the thought right now.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I don't really have a profession yet. But something off of my gameplan would be a real estate agent or getting into politics in some fashion. Both would be interesting in my opinion.

What profession would you not like to do? Something medical. I admire those who go into it, but I can't imagine putting up with the effed up healthcare system in our country day in and day out. My Mom does it everyday and hearing her horror stories of how system runs frightens me enough.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You did good, they will be okay and let me take you to see your Grandma.

Your turn. I'm tagging you all. Let me know if you do it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Before and After

I worked hard all weekend long to finally reap the rewards of my little backyard makeover project. On one hand I can count the number of things I've planted in my lifetime, they all happened on Saturday.

I am so thrilled with the end result. Not because I think it's some kind of masterpiece, but because it's all a product of my hard work. It's a very satisfying and rewarding thing to be done with.

Here is the before, a tiny space that housed two shepherd hooks with feeders on them. All in all it worked wonderfully as a space to attract the birds.



Is so much more amazing.

When everything starts really taking root and spreading out I imagine it's only going to get more amazing. I can't wait.

And yes, I sat on the patio waiting for the first birds to arrive after I filled the feeders. It took about 5 minutes!

The Details:
  • The tree is a flowering dogwood, which according to my research does well in containers.
  • We can't plant the tree there due to a lateral field in the backyard, so the only option was container planting.
  • There is a dogwood bush in the back, on each side of that a compact holly.
  • The white shrubs on each end are azaleas.
  • All of the flowers, except for the red petunias, are perrenials...including English Daisies, Salvias and others I can't recall the names of.
  • Clematis is the only thing missing, it will grow up the trellis.
  • Oh and I suppose Mulch is missing as well, I simply haven't bought it yet.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just Plain Tired

I bought a damn Nalgene bottle three days ago and now...I'm going to die.

Ain't that the way life works?

In all fairness I checked and my bottle is part of the phased out of the bad stuff line...but still. I've totally used other Nalgene bottles in the past.

It seems like every time you turn around there is another something to be worried about. Don't drink out of this, don't eat that, don't even think about considering that other thing.

Should you use paper or plastic. No, none at all, we should all buy those reuseable bags. Except Kroger thinks those bags are a joke because they make them the size of a pea. So I don't buy them. Well...I did. Half Price Books has a great reusuable bag. However, I never remember to actually bring it to the book store with me. Oops.

Then there is gas prices. I saw people lined up down the street the other day to fill up before gas went up eleven cents.

Which seems, kind of hysterical. $4 or not, we all have to have it. This isn't Europe, we don't have a system of railway lines (although we should), I have no access to public transit where I live and I bet most of you reading don't either.

So we freak out over gas. The same people freaking out who said Hell Yeah to war in Iraq years ago.

Now the economy is in the shithole, inflation is rising, gas prices are going up, people are losing jobs, and I have to worry about Nalgene bottles?

I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Overheard: Just Now

My Father: "Pee pee on the paper Jill. Come on, over here...on the paper. No Jill...NO...that's not the paper that's a towel."

*folding his arms and scowling*

"You peed on a towel Jill. God...are you proud of yourself?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

West Philadelphia Born and Raised

The girls who live next door to us are 16 and 13, they dress modestly, are not allowed to cut their hair and do not own a television. Now that the weather has warmed they are spending more and more time at my house hanging out with my little brother. It is an interesting paradox to witness these naive girls hanging out with my very savvy, very pop culture knowledgeable brother.

Occasionally he'll pop a crass joke that completely flies over their heads. Lately it's been fascinating to watch them clam up when we discuss Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. When the subject comes up their faces glaze over with the same expression I'd imagine they would have if we were talking about sex and doing heroin.

Nah, who am I kidding? I doubt they are aware of what heroin is and their breadth of knowledge on sex is highly questionable.

More and more I hear of parents turning off their televisions or attempting to limit their children's access to mainstream media. The same people who I'm sure once vegged out an entire summer watching MTV mindlessly. They worry about the effect of consumerism. They worry about the bad stuff on the news. They worry about all of the sex and drugs and violence.

And yet as I compare the two sets of children, those exposed to it all and those exposed to nothing, I really have to wonder which is a better approach.

I never had a filter put on what I could and couldn't watch growing up. If I wanted to catch the latest R rated film, I could. If I wanted to hear about all of the day's destruction and disaster on the evening news, that was okay as well. And when I entered the real world nothing has ever shocked me, or appalled me, or made me question anything. Because nothing was new.

These TV-less girls are planning a trip to Philadelphia next summer and when they were telling me last night I asked them if they planned on eating Philly Cheesesteaks while they were there. "You have to," I said. And one of them looked at me, point blank, and asked what in the world a Philly Cheesesteak was.

I realized in that moment that a Philly Cheesesteak is not something you learn about in a high school text book. They don't set aside a day in school to teach you the merits of sliced beef with onions and peppers. It's something you learn from exposing yourself to culture and the world around you, and what better tool than through television?

Now, I completely agree that we have gone too far in exposing our children to television at their every whim. It pacifies children in the car now, which I think is ridiculous. However, is exposure always a bad thing? Can we shelter children from too much? I certainly believe so.

Especially when you consider that next summer, when these girls make their way into Philly, they'll have no desire to hum the "Rocky" theme song while climbing the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And really, isn't that a shame?


I spent much of my time this past Winter writing about how much I hate Winter. Or how unhappy I was. Or how much I couldn't stand another cold day.

I've come to realize that while I devoted much time to the bad side of things, I've yet to devote that much to the good stuff. The good stuff deserves its own post. There are many things to be happy about now that the weather is fantastic and my mood has lifted. Let me indulge.

I'm happy about stopping to smell the roses. Or flowers of any sort. Planting, and relishing in the feeling of renewal.

I'm happy about Orange Crush in glass bottles. All sticky and sweet and refreshing.

I'm happy about flip flops in fresh cut grass and pink toenails.

I'm happy about sunglasses and UV rays and chilling in the warm glow of a sunny day.

I'm happy about warm puppies.

But most of all, I'm happy about feeling so good.

And that pink toenails in squishy sand is just 7 weeks away.
Hard to be unhappy when faced with this prospect.

Monday, April 21, 2008


One of the casualties of this Backyard Makeover project is that I tend to exhibit my father's traits when undertaking a project of this magnitude: go on full throttle until something is done, over-exert myself and then spend days recovering from it all.

Perhaps it was the adrenaline of the project itself that kept me running all weekend despite pretty fair warning signs that all was not well with my body. Whatever the case, while I was hurting yesterday, nothing comes close to the pain I've experienced this lovely Monday.

If I may vent...

Every single step I take hurts. My legs are aching, my back is killing me, the palms of my hands and heels of my feet are sore, and my poor shoulders are wishing they didn't belong to me anymore.

I'm miserable.

I've managed to pop nearly every available painkiller in this house: Aleve, Advil, Tylenol. Nothing has so much as dulled the pain. I'm sort of longing for the early days of Dad's health problems when he had a cabinet full of narcotics.

Which is why earlier I approached him with an idea. I'll simply insert a tube into his abdomen and siphen off some morphine from out of his pump.

Brilliant, right?

Yeah. He was less than thrilled with the thought.

So until I score something on the street (kidding) (kind of) I'm at a bit of an impasse with the retreat/sanctuary. Or at least until I finish buying what I need at Garden Ridge tomorrow and decide where I want everything.

If you check out my Flickr Photostream you can see some initial work on the retreat thing. Trust that it is bigger than appears in the photos and that no plant or birdfeeder in those pictures is where it will end up...probably.

In the meantime here is a picture of what probably did me in this weekend.

You see, my favorite tree in the whole world is a Redbud that resides in the frontyard of my childhood home. For years I've told my parents that their current house is simply bare without a Redbud.

And for years my father has reminded me how much he hates to mow around trees. In a fit of stupidity yesterday I treked off into the woods near my house with a couple of willing 13 year olds to find (and dig up ourselves) a Redbud tree.

Turns out, when your daughter arrives home with a Redbud she dug up herself you kind of have no choice but to get over your problem with mowing around trees and plant the damn thing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Becoming One with Nature

When I was four years old my mother sent me outside on a post-rainy day and made me play in the mud. When everyone else's mothers were chiding them about staying clean, mine was forcing me to get a little dirty.

She claims mud builds character.

It goes without saying that despite her best efforts, I've never become friends with dirt. I happen to think it is everything we say it is: dirty, nasty, grimy, filthy, disgusting, and mighty gross to have stuck underneath fingernails.

And up until this weekend I've managed to spend the eighteen years since I was four avoiding it.

You see, it all began a few weeks ago when I got the brilliant idea to expand our bird retreat, or sanctuary...I haven't decided on what to call it yet, into a rectangular backyard masterpiece.

Why yes, I have been watching a little too much HGTV lately.

But that's besides the point. The real story here is that I decided upon this retreat officially on Thursday night. By Friday morning I was spray painting the area to mark for digging. SPRAY PAINTING. There is like no turning back at that point.

Roughly an hour into digging the sod out of the ground I realized it might have been easier to own a garden tiller. Another half hour and one google search later and I figured out that was $200 I probably wasn't going to talk anyone into spending.

At some point in the day I ended up at a nursery and Meijers with my Mom spending that same $200 I couldn't talk anyone into for a garden tiller on various perennials, shrubs, trees, bird feeders and soil.

And by that night I was on my hands and knees in the mud digging up this rectangle in our yard.

The same mud I've spent most of my life despising.

I've never been so dirty in all of my 22 years. Nobody else has ever witnessed me so dirty. The neighbor kids were in awe. My father couldn't believe his eyes. And my mother?

My Mom was proud.

22 years of trying and her daughter finally got into the mud, willingly.

22 years and I'm thinking I need my head checked.

(The "project" is still not finished. I'll have more of my "Backyard Makeover" tomorrow. Maybe. If I can still move in the morning.)

(For the record: I still hate mud.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Photo of the Day: Kildeer Edition

A nest of Kildeer Eggs near our house. Until a google search last night I thought it was R, eggs. But apparently it's just further proof that we don't always pronounce things right in Kentucky. The Kildeer mama was guarding her nest, as they do. And Jon thought it was hilarious that I was nearly attacked in the making of this picture.

It went down like this:

Jon: April, go ahead and get closer to get a good picture.

Me: But the mama bird seems very angry over there, Jon.

Jon: Nah, she just struts around, she won't attack you.

Me: You sure?

Jon: I wouldn't lie to you.

So I leaned in, snapped the photo and the Mama bird took off after me at which point Jon began running and yelled back to me:

"I lied! Now....RUN RUN RUN!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another One

Photo of the Day: Deer Lake Edition

Before Editing:

After Editing:

I had my new Paintshop software humming last night. And Picnik! I have to say, Paintshop is definitely more complex and a bit trickier to figure out, but Picnik is completely comparable in basic photo editing abilities. This is, of course, from the I don't know what in the hell I'm doing most of the time perspective. I'll be the first to say I've never in my life given much thought to photo editing. And I'm usually very happy with my normal picture quality. However, I can't deny that a little editing really makes a picture pop.

Which is why I've spent my spare time, when I could have been watching really bad television, to instead keep on tinkering away with old pictures.
This photo was taken at Deer Lake State Park in Seagrove Beach, Florida. We were down there when all of those wildfires were smoldering. Which unfortunately gave a smoky look to a lot of my pictures from that trip. I'm liking the cleaned up version.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Election '08 Through Jon's Eyes (or camera lens)

Every once in a while something comes along that is so embarrassing, your immediate thought is, "hey, I must post this on the internet."

Right? I'm not the only one who thinks this?

So a few weeks ago I put a camera into the hands of my brother. A nice camera. With lots of nifty features. And he's loved it. I've barely seen him anywhere without it. I've also, apparently, barely noticed that he's been shooting video clips with that camera when nobody notices.

I eventually caught onto his game and began to grow increasingly alarmed with every moment of my life turning into Candid Camera.

Which is how I found this gem when clearing off his SD card. And since Flickr now hosts short video clips, I figured it was the perfect way to test it out.

I apologize in advance for the yelling. I know it's hard to imagine me this way. ;)

And I'll preface this by allowing you this image: imagine Jon is Barack Obama and I'm Hillary Clinton. I think that's the effect he was going for.

Photo of the Day

While I love the chihuahua and the chiweenie it is our labrador, Jack, who kills me the most. Labs in general are a bit goofy, awkward and aloof. Smart, but dumb...all at the same time. And Jack is no exception to the rule.

This picture was taken last week. Jack is now pushing his senior years (8 years old when the average lab life span is 10-12) and no longer feels the need to wander away from our house. So he gets the privilage of going leash-less outside. Most of the time he loves it, I would imagine this is his special right that he lords over the heads of the little girls in our family attached to their harnesses.

However, this particular day there was a hardcore game of baseball going on in our backyard. And by hardcore, I mean my brother was knocking out homeruns while his friends watched. At any rate, Jack was growing weary of the giant flying balls that were landing dangerously close to him as he walked around the yard. Which is why he huffed, in the only dramatic way he knows how, and took his spot nearer to the house. When my Mom came back outside he turned his head towards her and flashed this look as if to say, "Come on Mom, can't you stop them or something?"

Yes, my dog is almost as dramatic as I am.

(The pan and bricks he's laying near? Might be there because someone has a bit of a digging problem when nobody else is looking. And someone may have made a spot that now has to be reseeded.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Links I Found Interesting,,20191142,00.html

Are we perhaps implying, People, that Lindsay Lohan is bisexual and pursuing a relationship with openly gay Samantha Ronson? Hmm, are we People? Cause I can't find a purpose in this article otherwise.,,20191229,00.html

I'm not even going to lie. Riding around in my car alone, my guilty pleasure is rocking out to Miley Cyrus. Yep. This video from her Miley and Mandy show? Made my day. Like, how awesome would it have been to be 15 and make a full on production to spoof a Madonna video? AND have Channing Tatum do the video with you? And make 18 million dollars last year?

Girlfriend is living the life.

Oh hai Britney! Remember the good ol' days when that was you?


Okay, I'm on a typical-April "overly dramatic" roll today. Let me continue:
  • Perhaps my biological clock is ticking. Subconciously my body says it's baby time and therefore I'm dreaming about settling down. Couple that with a killer backache that forced me to down 2 tylenol, an Advil and a Melatonin pill last night before bed and boom...this damn dream that is ruining my day.
  • Maybe I should join an online dating service. Except all of those about me forms and selling yourself freak me out.
  • On second thought...not for me.
  • Church. People find husbands in church all of the time. Churches even have those singles groups!
  • Oh yeah, except I'm not into the evangelical thing and could never marry a Republican.
  • Polygamy?
  • Nah, probably falls into the evangelical Republican category. And I'm not into prairie dress.
  • How about a singles ad? "Single White Female, highly neurotic, likes to tell her business on the internet and really just wants babies..."
  • I'm guessing that might not go over well either.
  • I started reading marriage profiles on "The Knot". If you aren't familiar, the couple tells their how they met story, the engagement story, the wedding details and links to their registry.
  • I sobbed.
  • For a half hour.
  • Ugly crying I tell you.
  • And then I ate half a box of grasshopper cookies.
  • Yeah, get fatter, that'll really make me an attractive marriage prospect.
  • So then I bought another pair of flip flops online.
  • And I felt better.

So yeah. This was cathartic.

Haha, and all the married folk just turned to themselves and said, "Man, I'm glad I'm not single."



It is rare for me to wake up in the morning and actually remember a dream from the night before. This morning it happened. I dreamt last night that I was engaged, or at least fully committed to someone. All I remember was that I'd never known him before, he was strong, tall, with a sharp jawline, and probably a bit more country than I would have expected. (Probably from a conversation I had yesterday about George Strait being a beautiful man for his age! ;) )

At any rate I woke up this morning with a feeling of sadness over that short little dream about a mysterious figure in my life.

It reminded me, that for all of my outward happiness, for all of my confidence that I try to project, it is still very hard for me to go through life with this empty feeling. This sort of sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'm going to have to forge through my entire life on this Earth...alone.

I know, at this point you are all thinking to yourselves, "No, you'll find someone."

So, I'll point out that most of my known readers are in committed relationships. And so it must be easy for you to all have the faith that someone is out there for all of us. After all, you managed to find it.

But let me preface this by saying, I don't have the same faith. Because in all of my life, for all of the times I've felt that soul shaking desire to have someone love me back....they never have.

I suppose I'm just feeling a little bit vulnerable today. And uneasy perhaps. Because I go through my day to day life, not thinking usually about what I don't have, and focusing instead on all of the good. But on a day like today when I'm reminded of how utterly alone in this world I am, I need just a little while to wallow in my own self pity.

And then I'll dust off my boots, shake off my system and forge ahead. Alone. But with confidence again. I just need some time to remind myself that I'm okay.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Holy Roller

Despite a few changes in the story (the underwear and the baptism since I was never baptized) this was EXACTLY my experience with organized religion as a child:

Reverend Bud would begin the sermon slowly and thoughtfully. He preached
the wonders of God’s love and the importance of attending Church regularly.
Although this was typically the most boring part of the night, we (the kids)
used the time wisely. We’d make faces at each other over the pews or give random
people the finger behind our Bibles. The purpose of our antics was to simply
keep ourselves occupied until the adults starting yelling, “Amen!” and “Praise
God!” It was at this point, we would swivel around in our seats and keep our
eyes glued to the front two pews. This is where the action usually

My parents got involved with a Pentecostal Church a year or two after my Dad stopped drinking (I was 5 or 6). We stopped attending that church and left the organized evangelical movement when I was 11 after a few uncomfortable incidences where the preacher proclaimed the Catholic Church across the street was all "going to hell". (Hi Barack Obama! Yes, it is okay to leave a church when you don't agree with the minister.)

But nevertheless hearing or reading about or watching the ol' Holy Spirit brings back the memories for sure.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Caution: Girl Talk Ahead

It would seem I have two menstrual cycles, one which leaves me lying in the floor crying from the pain...oh dear God the pain and the other which leaves me relatively pain free but an otherwise blubbering, yet full of rage, emotional mess.

This week it's been the emotional mess I've been dealing with. I have, in the last three days, managed to cry over the following:
  • Cole Slaw
  • my Mother
  • otherwise happy music on the radio
  • Little People, Big World
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • "Dan in Real Life"

I'm rounding a corner and should be fine by the weekend. But's getting a little pathetic.

In other news, I figured my car lot weekends were over now.

Ha. Right. So my mother informs me last night that she needs me to follow her to the Honda dealership tomorrow because they are fixing a cylinder in her driver's side door and reprogramming the keyless entry. After that she needs me to follow her to garage where they will be replacing her brakes.

Happy joy down in my heart.

Other things I've been doing while suffering from blog block this week besides taking pictures:

  • Buying milk from a local dairy
  • Planting bulbs of gladiolus and raniculus. The latter of which I can't find a proper spelling nor picture of. But when I brough them home Jon looked at the package and said, "Raniculus? More like ridiculous!" Then he laughed like an old man and held his hand up for a high five.
  • Catching up on all of the neighborhood gossip. Which, remember as we re-enter the warmer seasons, I live surrounded by housefuls of extremely religious people of several denominations. Including a pastor from a prominent Mt. Washington Church. The gossip never ends. (You know those kinds of church goers. Don't deny you don't. "I'm not into spreading rumors, so listen close the first time." Yeah.)
  • Trying to find a suitable pet friendly hotel in Amelia Island, Florida. I've had loads of success with Savannah and have a list of about 12 different options. But Amelia is turning into a crapshoot. Unfortunately this is one area of this trip where I can't just go with the flow. As is the nature of traveling with pets I suppose. I'm currently considering St. Augustine or Daytona as a backup.
  • Officially killed all of those seeds I planted. They sprouted. Things looked promising. And now they are dead. Moving onto Plan B on that one. Which would be buying the plants from a nursery or garden center. Oh well. Can't win them all.
  • And finally I'm trying to talk myself into purchasing a Blackberry. So far, I've got myself pretty well talked into it. But does anyone have experience with them? The reviews have, for the most part, left me salivating. But I always enjoy hearing personal accounts.

Look at that! A real post. Aren't you all proud?

P.S. Any guesses on what Amalah is having for those who read her? I initially thought girl after comparing ultrasound pictures from a Google search, but I keep second guessing myself.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Guess Which One is Mine?

I know, it's hard to figure out. ;)

Photo of the Day: Spring is Here

I got home yesterday, grabbed my camera and happily started clicking away at whatever crossed my path. There are many things starting to come to life, including this Bradford Pear Tree. I happen to hate Bradford Pears, they attract bees and everybody has one or forty in their yard because they are cheap. Nevertheless, I braved the bees and snapped this shot of a Bradford Pear in my neighbor's yard. For a tree I hate, I never realized the little blooms on them were quite pretty.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Photo of the Day

Grass stained Chucks and red brick.

Out of Material

Dude, I'm out of material.

I've been sitting here. Trying to figure out what to write through the better part of the last hour. And I have nothing.

So I sifted through my flickr page trying to find a Photo of the Day and they all bored me.

Tried to find a Tuesday meme to join.

Didn't like any of those.

Wrote a post about the weather. THE WEATHER. Again. Exhausted that topic and deleted it.

Not feeling political.

Don't really want to talk about food or gardening.

I switched to my other Coach purse. But nah...not really blog worthy.

Still can't decide on a cell phone. Really want a blackberry. Can't really figure out why I would need a blackberry.

Would prefer an iPhone.

Remembered I was a poor starving college student.

Oh who am I kidding.

Just remembered I am cheap.

Sobbed about how Chick-Fil-A is STILL CLOSED.

Responded to comments and messages on myspace that had piled up.

Organized my email.

Thought about changing my blog template again. Decided it was too much work.

Came close to deleting this post.

Then adopted Erin's motto of "Eh, fuck it."

And there you have it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Like in Meet the Parents

This would be weird, right?

And yet, no more litter box.

Slightly tempted.

It would at least be a conversation point.

"Why yes, I just potty trained my cat..."

But then, we cat owners are a different breed anyway. Who else willingly submits themselves to torture and abuse, not to mention psychological damage from being ignored, than a person who owns a cat?


So why not potty train? ;)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Minivan

My mother doesn't understand young couples who get a positive pregnancy test and immediately run out to purchase a minivan. In regards to her children, as she puts it, "when they were little they'd fit in the back of anything."

And it's true. She was very anti-minivan as I was growing up.

And now, as she has me one foot out the door and Jon only a few years away from the same situation, she decided she needed a minivan. A minivan to travel in. To accomodate her grown children. Or her husband who prefers to sleep comfortably while she drives them to lakes or on longer trips.

And she needed an Odyssey. The van she had meticulously researched. My father had other ideas and it was somewhat fun to watch him try to talk her into other things. Best of all a Pontiac Solstice because, in his words, "all we need is room for you, me and Jill...who needs our children?"

He was joking, mostly, but we were appropriately offended anyway.

However, my Mom was deadset on an Odyssey. And the man who'd always wanted her to drive a van suddenly wanted something different. It was a standoff that lasted months.

Until recently. When Dad finally caved into what would have been a losing battle anyway. I drove them around car lots on Saturday with a specific plan in mind: Odyssey or bust.

And by late evening she had found her van. My father nearly had a coronary from sticker shock. But Mom stayed cool, talked him into it (or drug him into it kicking and screaming depending on who tells the story), finaggled interest rates and monthly payments and drove home that evening in her new minivan.

Dad finally got over the shock of the car loan and spent this morning marveling over the features in it. And Mom wants it on the road this next weekend.

I, on the other hand, am just enjoying having my car back to myself. I've appropriately trashed the backseat in celebration.

(Meet the Odyssey. White of all colors.)

(When I was his age my Mom wouldn't drive the cool minivan that all my friends could fit in. Lucky brat.)
(Should also be noted he spent all day planning on how to pack it for Florida.)
(Honestly, I like where his priorities are.)

(No words. Just look at how happy she is.)

Another Variation on a Vet Story (the doctor I see more than my own)

A vet visit comparison:

  • cleaned wound, shaved around puncture
  • given 2 antibiotic injections
  • sent home with topical spray to use twice daily for a week

Total: $106

  • put under general anesthesia
  • abscess sliced open and drained
  • drain tube inserted and incision is stapled AND sutured up
  • castrated since he was under anyway
  • given Amoxil in liquid form to take twice daily until gone
Total: $139

While I understand why Zena's bill was what it was, because of the injections and $30 topical spray, it blows my mind that all of that for Hercules only cost $139. My Mom braced herself for an upwards of $300 visit while we were waiting on his surgery to be over. Needless to say, she was more than pleasantly surprised.

My mother, in her previous job form, took drain tubes and staples and sutures out of people all day long. The vet felt comfortable bestowing this honor on her for Herc so we don't have to return on Monday. While I've gotten forcing the medicine down his throat down pat, I'm more than relieved it's not me removing this tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Twitting should all join Twitter. Trust me, you’ll like it.

Let me know if you do.


I've tried to blog.


I've meant to tell you about my bad karma.

Or about how I'm searching for a cell phone plan and don't know which company to go with.

Even the sheer amount of rain and how I'm wishing it were those evening rains on the island in June instead of cold rain in Kentucky.

I meant to share my cat's odd looking wound. (two perfectly round wholes and scratch marks all around it)

Or to talk about how I've forgiven Rick Pitino.

And about how last night I purchased the first baby gift for a slew of baby showers to come and how my Mom's friend's little girl is going to own one of the most precious little frilly dresses ever.

But first I'd warn you all that barbeque fritos are crack. And should probably be banned. Forever.

And then I'd share some video of Jon and the dogs, which is hilarious.

Except I've been unable to find the words to say any of those things in a well thought out--perfectly framed blog post.

So instead I'll end this now.

Merry Weekend folks, it should be pretty so enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Photo of the Day: Underbite Edition

Jill came to us from London, KY. She was born on a farm and the boy who handed her to my Mom pulled her from the inside of a 5 gallon bucket. She was the last of her litter. Picked over, I'm sure, because of that little underbite you see in this picture. She comes from chihuahuas, but isn't registered. We didn't pay the going chihuahua rate of $300. And she's not perfect. But darn it if I don't love that little girl.

Found on Perez

Too funny. Some people have too much time on their hands.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Photo of the Day: Full Circle Moment Edition


First things first, if you read me at Myspace it would appear I'm unable to cross-post there this morning. (Anyone else having a blog problem at myspace?)

Second things second, if you read me over at myspace chances are you are not reading this. So who cares?


I've skipped the remainder of the day's classes because Chelsea Clinton will be on campus later on this afternoon and I need some time to eat first. She's, from what I've heard, fielding questions from students for about an hour. I've been plotting the perfect question and if I get a chance to ask it I'll be sure to tell you all the details later.

Not that anyone cares. My Bill Clinton story dropped like a boulder. ;)

But it is important to me. I'm very loyal to the Clinton family and it will be fun to see Chelsea in person today. After her, I'll only have Hillary left to see. And given the word out of the KDP, all three Clinton family members are going to be hitting Kentucky hard in the coming weeks.

My mother, an ever faithful Clinton-ite as well, is growing increasingly jealous of my hobnobbing. Poor thing. ;)

So in addition to my Clinton schmoozing my parents are still on the hunt for a car. Which with my vehicle needs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Mom's new job requiring her to travel to the hospitals has them renting a car this week. I am beyond ready for them to just buy something. But Mom wants an Odyssey so they can eventually travel more when she scales back work in the next few years and Dad wants a good deal.

My father, let it be said, is a very frustrating person to car shop with. It's why I went a year without a vehicle once, and it's the reason Mom is dealing with it now. He is the worst consumer...ever.

But today he's foregoing the car search because our other outside cat showed up a couple of days ago with a gash on his side just like his sister a couple of weeks before. Dad and Jon are taking the cat to the vet, in what I'm sure will be an experience for them both. I don't think they've ever done it without me and I'm a bit worried.

To say I'm a mother hen would be an understatement. I tend to want to hold their hands through everything they do. Perhaps it's codependence. Perhaps it's just because they simply cannot manage without me.

Or perhaps it's because I know that while my Dad drives a hard bargain on a vehicle, he'll get himself taken to the cleaners at the Vet's Office.

Either way, I'm focusing on my day with Chelsea. And only periodically checking in on my boys.