Monday, December 24, 2012

Have a Very Merry Christmas

I wish I was wishing you a merry Christmas from this sort of locale

actually, it looks more like this! But the wishes are true and heartfelt.
Merriest Christmas Wishes!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My #NewtoWho Story

Welcome to my new obsession! I was first introduced to the modern era of Doctor Who by 3 different sources; mentions by Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show; Paul Bradford of Ghost Hunters International via Twitter and @Nerdist Chris Hardwick. I would see and hear mentions constantly and the curiosity grew slowly. It wasn't until I was flipping through the hundred plus stations on cable and found a quirky, entertaining bit of TV called... Doctor Who. The episode was The Lodger and I was riveted. I wanted to know more so it was DVR time. I set it for all episodes of Doctor Who - and was pleasantly confused when my next episode was an Eccelston series episode - followed by a Tennant episode. Now I was completely hooked and so very confused! Where was that silly, qiurky, intense doctor from the Lodger episode? Where was spunky, plucky Amy?

Internet to the rescue, and I found out the whole deal, revived by Eccelston; fleshed out and well played by Tennant and finally "My Doctor" portrayed by Matt Smith. Watching these episodes is not nearly as black and white... there are so many emotions tied to these actors portrayals of the enigmatic Doctor. I cry at nearly every episode and I laugh through them as well.

There's so much to enjoy: The Doctor, the companions, the TARDIS, time travel, thought provoking writing... it's got it all - AND British accents!

All of this happened to me less than a year ago, I've been through the airing and re-airing of the Doctor on BBC America and my tv is almost always on that network now. I make sure to leave it on BBC America when I have to leave my puppy alone. I like to think that the Doctor helps him feel more at ease.

My Pinterest is alive with Doctor Who pins by me and by lots of fangirls who are constantly educating me further about the Doctor and all things Whovian.

I have a coworker who is a Whovian (it pleases me that I introduced her to that term), and it makes the day that much brighter when we swap Whovian images (and all things Geek).

I've started looking at clothes in stores and thinking "Rose"; "Amy", etc. and I love the Polyvore sets that have been assembled for dressing like the Doctor!

This is a Fangirl show, this is a Fanboy show, it's a kid show that is smart enough for adults and it's an adult show that's attractive to kids. Doctor Who will be 50 next year and those of us in the USA are just getting an idea of it - unless it got into your consciousness via PBS in the 80's like it faintly did mine (although I never actually watched then-a regret that can, thankfully, be rectified).

That's it. I'm a Fangirl and this is my "#NewToWho" story.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ricky Nelson Remembered - Brea, CA 6.16.12

Cindy and I had never seen the theater presentation with the multimedia display and I was so glad that we were in a theater venue so we could finally do so. Over the years, we'd seen Matthew and Gunnar do various incarnations of the show from 1998 through 2003; then we had taken a break from doing much of anything and once we went back to see them - it was last September. We'd been searching doable trips to see them again ever since.
@NelsonRockBand @RickyNelsonRemb
When the Brea show came up, it was a lock! We needed to get back to California, to Disneyland and the beach - and a show? Trifecta!
While we were planning - Cindy and I found the Bettie Page store in SLC and went a little crazy and decided to buy some retro style dresses for this show. It was a lark, and it was completely worth it! We got so many compliments and just felt like such "ladies". To me, it was an added bonus for the evening.

They performed at the Curtis Theatre a very nice, intimate venue with incredible staff. I recommend them highly after just this one visit! For the show, the setup was so cozy and inviting (the guys even referred to it as being in one big living room-which is apropos) and the show was astounding. I'm so glad I got the chance to see the multimedia presentation.

I had my precious new Canon DSLR with me and I was excited to have learned a few low-light tricks the night before, and some focus info so that I might get some good shots. I may have gotten a bit carried away with the continuous shooting feature, I got tons of images. So many turned out very well, which excited me to no end. I love digital for low light with film, a high ISO is usually so grainy. With digi, I haven't seen that problem. 

The show ended  much too soon - it wasn't short, it was just so fun that it flew on past. The guys are so entertaining and engaging, it's a true pleasure to be part of their audience and to hear them share stories of their father - it's just so touching and such a fun evening to be part of. I know that Rick is looking down on them both with pride and with a sense of joy.
If you ever hear of the Ricky Nelson Remembered show coming to a venue near you, you should go... you'll not be disappointed. They are fun, they are funny and man can they sing and play those guitars! To top it all off, they stay after to meet folks, sign stuff and be genuinely friendly!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I {heart} Disneyland

Last weekend Cindy and I went to Disneyland, Huntington Beach and to Brea to see Ricky Nelson Remembered. The latter was the initial reason for heading to California, but to be [ ] that close to Disneyland and not go would be a travesty! So a trip was born.

We subsequently found out that Cars Land was opening on that exact weekend... so we needed to decide if our plan was still sound. Eh, we'd done a busy Disneyland before, going once on Easter week and once on Memorial Day weekend. We could handle this; and we did.

The show on Saturday in Brea was a beautiful thing! I'll post more on that later. This post is all about the Disney adventures we had.

just a small portion of the line to GET INTO
California Adventures park on Friday, June 15, 2012
Of course, since there was a new LAND premiering and a new face on California Adventures (including a grand-reopening ceremony) the place was hoppin'. We heard people say they waited in line for one ride for 7 hours!

We knew that DCA would be busy so it was a real nobrainer to hit the less-busy Disneyland. This is not to say that the park was dead, slow or less than busy, but it was definitely less busy.

I was so sidetracked trying to find photo pass photographers - if you have never gotten photos of your entire party at Disneyland because you or your companions are always taking individual shots - this is an awesome feature. They give you a card, and scan it every time they take your series of photos. They'll even volunteer to use your camera too, which is great in case the $70 sticker for the CD is too much for your wallet. I figure I'm there partially for photographs, so that's a small price to pay. I've paid more for souvenirs that don't last as long as the photos do - but as I was saying, I was so busy trying to find one (I was too early) that I missed my own Disneyland tradition and walked right under the bridge without taking note of the plaque above.
I had to retrace my steps, stop, read and snap. and as I found my way back through and down Main Street USA, I found my Disney Tears... Yes, I cry at Disneyland. On multiple occasions. Upon entry, during fireworks, at any Walt Disney quote and any other time that the joy overwhelms me. So, there is Crying at Disneyland folks.

We are not huge "gotta ride" people, though we love the rides, Cindy and I can just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the beauty of the place, the delectable foods and the sweetness. I saw Characters leaving their posts because it was time to do so but they would stop with each kid who came to them - if only for a second, they would give them a bit of attention. It was sweet.

We did hit many rides though, and some more than once. We got to experience the rebooted Star Tours ride, so much fun with the new options!

I had such delicious food, eating at new places and trying new things. We had reservations on Sunday for Carthay Circle Restaurant and decided on the Kobe Beef Cheek Sliders. You get 3 sliders for $19 OH MY! They were heaven on a bun! The prices are definitely higher end prices, but the service is excellent, the atmosphere is a pure delight and the food... decadent! It's a must do.

At Flo's V8 Cafe, we had the vegetarian fare, a Shepherd's Pie like dish that was comfort food delicious, and a great little cheddar apple pie that was a delight. Flo's is inside Cars Land (of course you may have guessed this) and wow... Cars Land was crazy busy every time we went near. We were actually able to ride 2 of the 3 rides there, the third having anywhere from a 3.5 to 7 hour wait. We never found it so important to ride that a wait that long was seriously worth considering.

Cars Land



Sunday, June 10, 2012

How Does MY Garden Grow?

Well, I have zero claim to the "Green Thumb" fame, but I can proudly boast strawberries the size of DIMES!

 My rosebush finally bloomed - the last one in all of the neighborhoods I've been near recently - but these colorful gems are well worth the wait.
See the two above with the yellow rose? They were taken on the same day - just hours apart from one another... it was a warm and windy day and I've discovered warm winds are not the best friends of lasting blooms.

I've also discovered that this honey bee... is tiny compared to the elusive bumble bee that I saw yesterday... I never knew bumblebees were such giants! The thing was skittish and  enormous and beautiful and I regret that I couldn't have taken a picture of it! I did say elusive.

I also noticed that the honeysuckle is getting ready to bloom and there's one bright red lily out there. So green thumb- no... black thumb- no.

This IS good news... 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What No One Ever Tells You About Losing Weight Health & Fitness:

If you didn't get my message with last week's blog... Read this: What No One Ever Tells You About Losing Weight Health & Fitness:

I cried in recognition of my own phases, and with joy for the author. It's a good read, trust me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Are You Ready

Everyone wants to be (this is where we start filling in the blanks: fit, thin, perfect etc) [ideal].

I was FAT. I got to 305 pounds (as recorded by the doctors office). I thought I was overweight but I was truly "morbidly obese". I said hateful things to the universe for the creation of that term. And denied it.

I also denied myself. I stopped caring about things like appearance. Not so much that I became "people of Walmart" but I let myself forget what it was to be a girl. I stopped doing one of my favorite things; going to see Nelson (@NelsonRockBand). For 7 years I denied myself this wonderful treat. I knew I was a mess, even in the midst of my overall denial.

I gave valid excuses for not planning a trip to even the nearest venues, but under it all, I'd let myself go and I knew it. During the period of my weight gain, a basically fit Gunnar underwent his Celebrity Fit Club experience and all my thin mother and sister could talk to one another civilly about were weight and pounds they'd lost and wanted to lose. I got angrier! I felt vindicated when I noticed others gaining weight and blamed people who lost weight for universally sending their bulk my direction. Entertaining the stupidity that there was only so much fat in the universe and that those who lost it sent it to those who "mysteriously" gained it. Never mind the fact that I NEVER considered a serving size or nutritional quality of food. Add to that a heaping helping of couch potato! Conversely, I feel sad for people who are gaining weight and really want to celebrate those who are losing it, I'm in the frame of mind now to do these things.

In January 2011 something finally cracked through my self destruction. It might have been my age, but what's so magical about 42? It could have been a caring source outside my small universe - a treasure of a friend I work with made passing comments about "getting" me to do this or that thing to lose weight. Calli is NOT a man to mince words when he believes in something but it seems he used subterfuge in his attempts on me. At first I bristled at what I read as snide comments and then they started to be absorbed as the careful words they really were.

I immediately found myself ready. Ready to care. Ready to DO the things I only talked about. I started reducing my portion sizes and talked about joining the gym. That was when my youngest sister (not the weight talking one-the healer, holistic, teacher one) let me know about My Fitness Pal - the app and website. She warned me that I would get to a point where I would choose better foods just by not wanting to log that I'd eaten the worse ones. She was right. I never did join the gym, I still consider it. But I started walking. There's more to this story here

As I walked every day those first fifteen minute walks were very important but by today's standard would be a very minimal attempt. I used to do a complete 1/3 of a mile. Today that fifteen minutes is at least a full mile. Which proves that it does get easier. I walk up to (and sometimes beyond) 6 miles per day.

As a celebration of my success, I rewarded myself with girly things like cute clothes and hair, makeup and a much needed trip to see "my guys", so Cindy & I planned a whirlwind trip to Auburn, CA in September 2011. I'd lost 80 pounds by the time we started planning and had exceeded 100# lost by the time the trip rolled around.

The loss has slowed after 127 pounds but I've read that it gets tougher. I guess that gym thing really can't remain just a consideration. I'm not a "good" runner, but I might have to mix that in as well.

Back when Gunnar was DOING the Celebrity Fit Club thing, I thought he was crazy and NO I didn't watch. Recently I heard him talk about the experience on a radio interview and I "got it". I was not inspired by his adventure at the time but I've been further inspired by his retelling. Around the same time, Matt was talking about an entirely different lifestyle change and cited his own song lyrics from their mega hit After the Rain; "Don't be afraid to lose what was never meant to be". Like I said, completely different lifestyle change but the words I'd heard and sung along with hundreds of times all of a sudden crept up on me with new meaning. I was not meant to be this person, I could let it go, who is afraid of being better than they are now? Not me.

Many miles have been trod since the start of my own fitness adventure and they were to the beat of many a Nelson (@NelsonRockBand) tune. Especially their most recent Lightning Strikes Twice. It's got a great beat and you can really keep a good pace!

I considered more than once whether or not the words in this post were words to be kept inside my head or to be shared, but in the end, I felt like I just had to post this. I have been thinking a lot - for some time now - about who deserves an honorable mention in this chapter of my life and it has to be dear Kalehua (Calli); sweet Mary (my sister, the healer); Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson (for keeping the beat); my dear friend Cindy (for putting up with and eventually coming along with me on the fitness adventure).

You have to be ready for such a change, you can't force or will it to be. I was finally ready to change how I saw food and my interpretation of serving sizes. Don't be afraid to split a meal at a restaurant. They serve at least a double portion! Even if the server gives you the evil eye (true story for another day).

Be ready... whatever changes you have been waiting to make, be watchful for that readiness in your life... and if you are ready to hear any messages that might live within this post, I'm happy. If not, it will be here for when you are.

using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 30, 2012


Last week Cindy and I were on one of our regular walks with Gibbs & Sheldon when, on our way back, Gibbs started acting bored. Enough so that he started treating his leash as a toy. At first Cindy successfully kept him from it but then out of some twisted sense of play, she gave up and let him take it. He immediately started walking along like he was still being held by one of us but he was the one holding the leash cartridge in his mouth.

At this point, it was time to put Sheldon back on his leash, so what did Gibbs do? He dropped his leash and took Sheldon's. I let him have it, since we were not too close to the road yet. He did a fantastic job of walking Sheldon and Sheldon did a surprising job of keeping his cool for his brother's sake.

It was so cute/funny watching Gibbs proudly carry the leash. The road we were on is a one-way country road, badly paved, and perfect for dog antics (most times). A small pickup came up the road and while I was busy keeping the boys out of the way, Cindy was behind, seeing the look on the passenger's face. He looked, doing a double-take and then laughed quite joyfully when he figured out what our crazy party was about.
We have been letting him do this as his job on our walks, he has been very good at staying busy and walking his brother. When Sheldon goes off-leash, Gibbs carries Sheldon's leash for me, keeping him occupied so he doesn't stop and sniff and try to eat everything on the side of the road. There are lots of road apples that he's passed by with great success!

Sheldon has also learned that when Gibbs drops his leash, he has to stop til Gibbs can get it picked up again. This little fun adventure has turned into a pretty good deal all around!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Smart Puppy

This guy has upturned our household. In mostly wonderful ways.

The challenges:
  • All dog food is for Gibbs? he doesn't know the difference. The upside of this one is that he's not aggressive. Luckily neither are the others.
  • Sheldon is surprisingly tolerant of Gibbs' obsessive attentions (to the point that he seems a bit withdrawn for Sheldon). We're doing some one-on-one with Sheldon, and some brothers time with the two of them to get to a place they can both be happy in.
  • There's a lot of growling by Mickey (very not tolerant). He's not sure about yet another puppy in his face... but he's mellowing day by day. He even let his need to nurture and protect overpower his need to dislike this pup. When we were walking earlier in the week, Gibbs was spooked by a horse one one side of the road and a cow on the other, and Mickey came running back to us and circled around (his Heeler half herding us) and protectively encouraged this extra large puppy to come along. It was a sweet moment we have to hang onto in the chaos of transition.
Anyone can tell, that these are small challenges we are taking in stride.

The wonderful?
  • He's a love!
  • He's silly!
  • He's sweet!
  • He's smart!

So smart, he makes games of everything. And anything can be a toy (like this dog-water bottle). Just the other day, while walking him and Sheldon (one of our brother bonding time walks), Gibbs spied and picked up a pine cone that was about the size of a tennis ball. He carried it with him and we played together tossing and retrieving it until it broke down. He really knows how to entertain himself and us.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gibbs' Big Day

Today was Gibbs' first full day here at our house. We took our second walk, this time with Gibbs, Sheldon and Mickey. We got to the dirt road where the dogs usually go off-leash and though things started out well, blunderbuss Gibbs meandering along, Sheldon and Mickey bolting down the way, all of a sudden, Gibbs bolted back toward the street... I was afraid, but didn't panic, not wanting to frighten him into running farther and faster. I coaxed him to stop and sit... and managed to figure out what was frightening him as he skirted the fence and the horse behind it.

I tried to get Gibbs to follow the other dogs, with the aid of the leash but the cows crying and the horses hovering nearby were too much and he bolted again, this time the retractable leash bouncing behind and starting to entangle him, scaring him into running more, farther and faster. I managed, once again to soothe and coax him to me. Reassuring him, as I neared, gently placing my hands on his bottom (the closest part of him I could reach without startling him more). I got his leash again and didn't try going back again, instead getting Cindy's attention and encouraging the other two dogs to come along.

We managed to get back as a hailstorm was pelting us and the youngest dogs had a fun time wrestling one another as I tried to dry them both off.

Later, Sheldon learned from Gibbs just what it means to be that dog pillow Sheldon's always making out of Mickey. He was very tolerant of this large puppy snoozing and drooling on him.

In fact, Gibbs spent most of the rest of the day snoozing. Then when he wasn't fully asleep, he was sitting in by the door or by the dresser in a near-Buddha posture, with one eye open. Or trying to find someplace else to be comfy. He was one tired puppy!

Gibbs' info:
DOB 10/23/11
Vernal, UT
American Bulldog
Big sweetie, Buddha pants, Scared of horses, Noisy sleeper.

Meet Gibbs

It started about a week ago when Cindy's cousin posted that they needed to find a home for their American Bulldog. We waited a couple of days to see what would happen and when there didn't seem to be any action, we inquired. It was a bit of a roller-coaster from there, they weren't sure if they were going to give him up or not and after a few stops and starts, we found out yesterday that he would be ours.

His name was Chace. I wasn't sure how I felt about the name but I didn't know what else to call him either.

As we made our way home with the pup, after a detour to make a return of some purchase and to get some puppy food and a bowl and collar for our new large baby, I was less and less enamored with his name even as he, himself, was melting my heart with each "smile" and kiss.

By the time we got home with him and had successfully introduced him to Sheldon (not so with Mickey and Harlee. Mickey is still leery and Harlee is aloof), I was hopelessly in love and had no more idea what to call him but was certain Chace wasn't sticking.

While on an introductory walk with this new love and Sheldon, I started tossing out names from TV. Why not? We'd briefly discussed Doctor Who, with Rory... but it didn't seem to suit, when I pulled out my standard nickname "Sweets" for all of the dogs in my refusal to use "Chace", I started with Booth from "Bones" and that wasn't right, nor was Seeley. OK what next.... then "light bulb" GIBBS... why not, good strong name, easy to say quickly, sweetly, or gruffly... easy to remember and he seemed to be into it... bouncing and kissing at the first use and responding positively when called by Gibbs, Gibbers, Gibbsy... (morphing versions of Chacy, Chacers, etc., that I'd heard his previous people use with him).

It was a surprisingly good night with him, mostly he slept on the floor, but at some point he climbed up onto the bed, the other boys left him well enough alone, and he slept on me.

He's 5 months and 1 week, he's huge, weighing 69.4 pounds yesterday at Petsmart...and he's curious and enamored with Sheldon. He wants to be Mickey's friend too.... someday, Gibbs. Someday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Unsubscribe Button

I think there should be one big unsubscribe button on the Internet - I have been pushing unsubscribe links and buttons all day. It's my fault really, because I always have good intentions when I sign up to help this cause or save money at that store.

What I actually end up doing is deleting 10-20 emails every day. How can these places really have so many sales?

I suppose a clean slate on the first day of 2012 is a good plan though, so that's what I've been doing (between Pin-fests of Dr. Who and other geeky goodness on Pinterest).

Once the tree comes down, it will be time to look forward to Valentine's decorations. I'm just excited to do something fun, so I foresee some paper-crafts in my near future.