Monday, March 31

I refuse to be self-conscious about them, too

ITEM!: I have decided that this summer is The Summer I Don't Care About Bra Straps. I picked up some adorable, comfortable and flattering tank tops the other day. I am excited because all my normal "summer" tops are looking a bit worn, and really need to be cycled out of the closet. The problem is that these new tops have racer-back straps. I do not own racer-back bras. I will not purchase a bunch of them, either. Thus, my declaration about the summer wardrobe. I tried it today and discovered that I was really more comfortable with it than I thought I would be. Bring on the sunshine.
ITEM!: Sydney's summer camps have been reserved, mostly. I'm waiting for her to make a decision on another one, and waiting on other information on the other one. But the camp I took care of today was the main one she wanted, so I feel like a good and productive mom right now.
ITEM!: Happily, tomorrow is the decorating day for the last holiday I decorate the house for until Halloween. That's five months of undecorated house (after April), and that makes me happy. At any rate, I have a fair amount of Easter stuff to festoon my home with, and I actually am eager to figure out how everything will look. Also, candy.
ITEM!: And finally, I want to point out that I have published a blog post every day this month. I'm not entirely sure that I've ever done that before, and may not do it again, because it's a bit stressful. But I realized around the 23rd that I'd posted every day, and figured I might as well keep it up. So, there you go.

Sunday, March 30

No, we didn't have lunch at Pepsi

Very rarely does a comment, or even a letter, in regards to something unsatisfactory ever result in a positive change. Several weeks ago, during a visit to one of our favorite restaurants, Oregano's, Brian and I were dismayed to discover that the restaurant's new to-go cups were suddenly too large to fit in the car's cup holders. The cups also were generic Pepsi cups, which, to be shallow, were not as cool as the restaurant's personalized to-go cups. But my biggest complaint was that they were too wide. Brian and I groused to each other. No big deal.
A couple weeks after that, when Mom and I had lunch there, I had the opportunity to chat with the manager (who had just come by to ask us how our lunch was and to be sure we were happy). I, of course, told him how delicious our lunch was (as usual), but then said, "You know, if I can complain about something random though, I want to talk to you about the new to-go cups." From there, I laid out how they were too big to fit in cup holders, and how, after years and years of never having a complaint about Oregano's, I was now irked by the new cups. The manager, if you can believe it, seemed to have appreciated the completely random feedback. Honestly, I didn't give it another thought after that.
But today, Mom, Brian, Sydney and I ate at Oregano's for lunch. I asked for my tea in a to-go cup, as I do, without thinking of the too-big cup issue. And what do you think was set down in front of me? Nothing but this perfectly awesome Oregano's to-go cup. The exact size as before, and ideal in every way. Now, I won't take total credit for this small, but significant, victory. But I do think I deserve some credit for it. ... And one more thing is right in the world again.

Saturday, March 29

Butterflies fluttering by

A butterfly pavilion haiku:

Watch where you step, peeps;
butterflies rest on the ground;
and don't care for shoes.

We visited the butterfly garden this morning, and enjoyed another day of fluttering wings, bright colors and tiny feet that can taste.
Sydney and I have gotten really good at "picking up" the butterflies by encouraging them to step up onto our fingers, but this little guy in the picture just LANDED on Mom's finger. He's actually super awesome, because his wings are transparent. This may be the coolest looking dude we've ever seen there.

Friday, March 28

It looks quite uncomfortable, actually

My kid loves dinosaurs. She has for several years. She's seven now, and fell in love with the prehistoric dudes when she was two. That's a super long time for a child to be obsessed with a single thing. Her dream career: paleontology. Her biggest pet peeves: people who think she won't be a paleontologist, and people who don't like dinosaurs.
Adding to her dinosaur obsession is an obsession of mine, so I foster her love as often as possible. New dino shirts, toys, games, books and the like are always on my radar.
Where I feel like I've drawn the line though, is in random dinosaur art. And I mean, art, as in official paintings. This piece to the left was a painting on the wall in a restaurant in Phoenix last weekend. I thought it was super cool, and considered picking it up for her, but she didn't understand the awesomeness of Mr. T.
At the art festival today, Mom and I saw several pieces of artsy dinosaur wall hangings. I couldn't bring myself to buy any of them though. Is she too young to appreciate the art of them? I think so. She'd dig the dinosaur aspect, certainly. But the art-ness that would make them worth the money, or make them a waste if she ever loses interest in dinosaurs, kept me from going that extra step. Maybe in another few years, if the love is still there, I can start supplementing her bedroom wall hangings with more elaborate dinosaur art. But until then, I'll just take pictures of the ones that make me laugh. Like Mr. T riding through what looks like Hawaii on the back of a female stegosaurus.

Thursday, March 27

The movie vs. book conundrum continues

Brian and I went to the theater last night and saw Divergent. I wanted to see this movie because it looked super cool and exciting, and because Theo James is dreamy. But mainly because there can never be too many movies with strong female protagonists running the plot. So when those films come out, we owe it to the filmmakers who put their own faith in the story (as well as our own daughters), to put our money towards these box office numbers.
But here's my issue: I've got the book, Divergent, on my To-Be-Read Pile. I really liked the movie, and now I'm all scared that the book won't live up to my enjoyment of the movie. Or that something I read will shift how much I enjoyed the movie. I realize that this is opposite of how things usually roll, and perhaps if I read the book before seeing the movie, as I had intended, I'd feel let down by the film. But really, I liked the movie.
I haven't read much in the way of reviews of the movie from people who have read the book, so I'm not even sure how to deal with this predicament. Because if the movie and the book are similar in goodness, do I even bother reading the 400 pages that will be just as good as the movie, and therefore redundant in my head? Do I "waste" that time reading Divergent when I could/should be reading something else on my Pile? Or is it worth reading the first book, just so I can dive into the second and third book, and then not have to wait to find out what happens next?
A quandary!

Wednesday, March 26

Auto registration: CHECK

And with that swipe of the debit card, Texas is gone from us, in all ways. Except a debt to the IRS, I guess, but whatever. At least we're done with Texas. Brian and I took the time to visit the DMV this morning; spent our 35 minutes waiting; and then were able to register both our cars. We now have Arizona license plates on the cars, finally scrubbing all visual aspects of Texas away.
On the AZDOT web site, there are a whole lot of license plates to choose from for you car: breast cancer, ASU, children's charities, pet charities, environment, Arizona Highways, and the like are all available for you to buy for your vehicle. Brian and I each had our choices in mind, and were eager to order them. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to order them right there, and instead got the standard Arizona license plate.
Here's the problem, because we did both cars at the same time and one right after each other, our license plates are off by only a single digit. My plate ends in 33; Brian's in 34. That's a problem because, we decided, they are adorable. (We're license plate buddies. And that's something that we say, and we think it's funny. License Plate Buddies. For reals.) So all the debating, and back and forthing, is now, perhaps, for naught. I think we'll stick with these plates for a while. Because they're adorable.

Tuesday, March 25

So thirsty, and awaiting my 'Bucks partner

ITEM!: When Mom is here, I enjoy flooding Facebook with our Starbucks stops and fun activities. Tomorrow, it begins.
ITEM!: Also, as I usually do on the day before Mom arrives for a visit, I spent the morning cleaning my house. Right now, all my counters are wiped clean, the carpets are vacuumed, the floors clean, and the everything is dusted. It looks great. But also, it reminds me how very much I hate cleaning the house. Next week, I'm going to get an estimate from a maid service for cleanings every two weeks. This cleaning bullshit is nonsense.
ITEM!: Where I live, the air conditioner has switched on for the past two days. The thermostat is set at 80 degrees, and it was tripped yesterday and today. This is not acceptable, specifically because my power bills have been glorious for the last few months. I am not looking forward to paying to cool a home again. We are supposed to have a bit of a cooling spell the rest of the week, so my a/c fears may be for naught, for now.
ITEM!: Tomorrow, we finally wash the last of Texas from our skin, by registering the cars in Arizona, and removing the Texas license plates. This is among the last of my things that have to be done before we can rest, though at this very moment, I can't think of anything else that needs to be tended to. I refuse to state that everything will be in good shape once the registration is done, because I'm pretty sure that something has slipped my mind. But WHEW, getting the registration finished will be a weight lifted from my shoulders.
ITEM!: I've watched Pitch Perfect twice today.

Monday, March 24

I need more awesome garden space

Is a blueberry bush usually a very large plant? I need to know if this image here to the left is typical of what I'd get, if I walked into a nursery and asked for a blueberry bush. They didn't have any blueberry bushes at Lowe's today, which was a bit disappointing, because we're on the hunt for one. Sydney and I decided some time last year that we needed a home-grown source for blueberries, but knew we'd have to wait until this spring to get one.
So, here we are, because it's spring in Arizona, hunting for blueberry bushes. But again, I wonder if they really come -- blooming as well -- in this smaller size. I don't want to plant it in my backyard, because we want to take it with us when we move, so it'll have to be somewhat portable. I've got a relatively large pot ready for it, too. This will be a task for our Thursday, I think, since we need to find a flowering plant for Sydney to take to school with her on Friday anyway.
BACKYARD UPDATE: I had to buy bug spray for my roses today, too (which is mainly why I went into Lowe's), to get rid of the aphids all over them. And my orange tree is still kinda smelling good, but now I wonder if I'm going to get any oranges. The rosemary plants are growing nicely, and there's fresh growth on my gardenia (despite Oliver peeing on it occasionally). I'd like to trim some of the purple, flowering tree's branches to clean up the aesthetic, as well. Finally, I think even the plumeria will see some happy growth, now that it's getting warmer.

Sunday, March 23

Catch y'all on the flip side

It's that perfect storm of uncomfortableness when it's too warm to put the extra blanket on the bed when going to sleep, but then waking up chilly in the morning because the weather has cooled so much. Such was my predicament last night and this morning. In light of that, I got less sleep than I wanted, and so tonight, I'm super tired.
I've watched my zombie television for the evening. I've eaten my dessert. I've checked on all my kids to be sure they're comfortable themselves. My duties are done for the night, so I'm checking out for a few hours.
I'm looking forward to my hike in the morning.

Saturday, March 22

Pop Culture has bad taste

I have no opinion about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the cover of this month's Vogue, except to say that if it was Vanity Fair, I'd be having a fit. I can't stand the Kardashian juggernaut out of principle, and West has never been of interest to me musically, so their "celebrity" always seems a bit forced. Pop Culture shoved these people down our collective throats, and, as happens every once in a while, I hate Pop Culture for it.
The backlash against Vogue is, of course, delicious to me. Because honestly, you can't tell me that there is a very real Vogue audience desire to see these two people on the cover of their magazine. And the rumor that West practically begged Anna Wintour to include them is fantastic.
I agree with most other decent magazine readers in thinking that Kardashians belong on the cover of US Weekly, People and InTouch, not fashion mags or thinking-persons' magazines (I lump Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, and even Reader's Digest there; you know, magazines with articles more than just pictures). Like I said, if this had been Vanity Fair, I'd be screaming. In fact, I hope VF is taking note of all this, and appreciating that they weren't the magazine to do this.
Because of my reluctance to even include Kardashian and West on my blog, I'm instead featuring the photoshopped image that James Franco released on his Instagram with himself and Seth Rogen in the bride and groom positions. Now, that's a cover that I think all of us could appreciate.

Friday, March 21

My Mercury is in relevance

Honestly, I got nothing for today. I could tell you what I did, but beyond putting St. Patrick's Day decor away, and finally getting a well-deserved pedicure, it was pretty much a Friday. Target was a part of it, too. Still, it was another productive day. And tomorrow looks to be pretty good, as well.
It's been a while since I've looked at my horoscope, so let's go ahead and do that, shall we?
March 21, 2014 ~ CAPRICORN: Your hopeful nature comes out in a big way today and may show you a new option you hadn't considered before. It's an interesting time to try new things and move forward with confidence.
Huh. Well, let's look at the day again under this light. I was hopeful to have a decent looking pair of feet this weekend, and that happened. Witness the pedicure. A new option I hadn't considered before? I think I may stop watching Hart of Dixie, because it's just getting silly. That's an option I hadn't thought of until tonight. Also, I may decide to rip up my March Madness bracket.
Moving forward with confidence, I suppose, is our determination to get rid of the last holdovers of Texas life. And trying new things? Hmmm. I think we're going to take Sydney to play miniature golf tomorrow. I guess the horoscope was unknowingly relevant. I love it when that happens.

Thursday, March 20

Frosting makes for good glue sometimes

It kinda freaks me out when things start going along well, or as if they will eventually work out. At this very moment, I have minimal bumps in my road, and it scares me a little. I had a ridiculously productive week. Shit got done; got scheduled; got taken care of; and got handled. I feel like quite the Wonder Woman.
My balancing act is a bit more stable than it has been in a while. And for the fun of it, I'm gonna give you all the highlights.
TEXAS: We are finally washing the last of Texas off us. I've got the auto insurance transferring to an Arizona policy holder; Saturday we're getting our cars emission tested; and next Wednesday, we've made plans to get the cars registered. No more Texas plates! And then, Kimmie gets a new windshield!!
HEALTH AND WELL BEING: My mammogram results were good. Brian's blood work from his physical came back showing that everything is functioning properly. I've got my own physical scheduled, as well as an appointment with a dermatologist.
HOUSEHOLD: All the St. Patrick's decor is down, and ready to be put in the bin tomorrow morning. Landlord Aaron came by today and may have solved the large puddle problem we've been having in the backyard. My roses are blooming.
FINANCES: I filed our 2013 taxes this morning, via Turbo Tax. I feel very proud of myself for doing this, not least of all because we are getting a refund, which I did NOT expect. I swore that Texas would fuck us over again this year, but it seems to not have happened. And it really was pretty easy, too. Another perk. Because I didn't go mental doing it all.
MIND AND BODY: I did, actually, start and finish a book, too. Beautiful Ruins was good, though not as active as I was hoping. I don't know what I expected, but it didn't really float my boat. Also, I got two hikes in this week. And I shaved my legs this morning.
You see? A magical week!!

Wednesday, March 19

No more Costner for a long while

One of the most fun ways for me to martyr myself is to see a truly awful movie, just so I can tell everyone else in my circle to not bother with it. So, here we go.
It's not very often that I turn and look at Brian in the very middle of a movie, and say, "This is silly." And then he agreed, which is even more rare.
Every once in a while, a movie starring an actor I don't always enjoy will pique my curiosity. For whatever reason, this movie starring Kevin Costner intrigued me. And because there was nothing else in the theater that we wanted to see more, we saw this film.
It was ... not good. There were random plot twists; bizarre antidotes to brain cancer; girl problems; marital issues with the lady from Gladiator; and an operative who doesn't serve much of a purpose. Also, Costner still kisses weird on screen.
Seriously, don't pay money for this one. If you feel like you have to watch it, and happen to be a Netflix member, it may be worth the rental, but that's about it. It was silly.

Tuesday, March 18

I think our time together is ending

My sinusitis and I had a good day today.
First, we went for a hike in the preserve, and thoroughly enjoyed being outside in the fresh air. We looked at flowers, got some exercise, and had a lovely conversation with Mom.
Then, we came home and got a whole lot of stuff done: scheduling appointments for Brian's physical follow-up and my own full physical; moving the auto insurance over from Texas to Arizona (finally!); printing all the tax information; downloading the tax program to my computer; and organizing papers on my desk.
Thirdly, we did some laundry, hung up a picture, did some futzing around the house, and then went and got some lunch.
While we ate lunch, we watched last night's The Tonight Show.
Next, we did some more laundry, and ate a cupcake.
Most excitedly, after all that, we decided to sit down and start reading Beautiful Ruins.
As the end of our time alone together today got closer, sinusitis gave me a bit of a break, and I'm able to feel air move farther into my head and sinuses than I have in weeks. It feels like the prednisone may be working. And if I feel as much better tomorrow morning as I did today, I'll be a very happy camper.
Sure, my sinusitis and I had a better day today than any other day for a while. But I'll be happy to say goodbye to the damn thing.

Monday, March 17

And now we know how to fight it

I have SINUSITIS. Very exciting. But at least I know that mine and mom's medical diagnosing skills are on point. The doctor at the urgent care this morning gave me prednisone to reduce the inflammation, and a prescription for five days worth of it, which should take care of this relatively quickly. I also have a prescription for an antibiotic, which I was told to not fill for a few days, to give the steroid some time to work first. It's not bacterial sinusitis, so the antibiotic won't work excellently well at first, I guess. I took my first dose of prednisone this morning right after the doctor's appointment. I have to say, at this point, more than 12 hours later, I really thought I would be feeling even a little better. But my nose still hurts, my sinuses are still throbbing, and I'm still in a bad mood because of it. I'm really happy that I took care of it (somewhat) today, because it's really uncomfortable.
Speaking of uncomfortable, I also got a mammogram today! Because in addition to head irritation, we should just add chest waffle-ironing, too. The clinic I visited today wasn't as lush as the one in Houston, but it was still very nice, and very calming. I got squozed (not a real word) a lot. Happily, we are done with that for a year ... unless we're not. And in that case, another mammogram is the least of my issues.
Speaking of issues, Sydney and I had a chat about her participation in Animal Jam, and while she's mad at me and slammed her door because her chat options are now so limited, she wasn't mad enough to not speak to me at bedtime. And she still loves me. But I was told earlier, "You know, I'm pretty mad right now. And I don't want to talk to you." I can live with that, kiddo, if it keeps you safe online and keeps me from freaking out. Irish.
Speaking of Irish, today's only excellentness comes from the fact that it's St. Patrick's Day. Other facts: Corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish. Do not write it as St. Patty's Day; it is St. Paddy's Day. There are more Irish people in the United States than in Ireland. A day celebrating my Gramps and his leprechaun-ness is awesome, as was my conversation with Sydney this morning, where I got to tell her how wonderful he was, and how much he would have loved her, and how much we all miss him.

Sunday, March 16

No kidding, I'm so annoyed

My irritation with life has been on overdrive lately, in response to my nose, specifically. Remember about a month ago when I had that cold? Well, I'm still dealing with the after-effects of it, and it's all about my nose. It makes me very angry that I haven't gotten healthy again.
I think I've figured out the problem, though. I think I've got a sinus infection. The cold must have developed into something worse. It's really the only thing that can explain what my nose issues mean.
But, since I'm no doctor, tomorrow, before my mammogram (yay; so much fun for a Monday), I'll head over to the urgent care to get my head looked at by someone more qualified than I. Hopefully, it will result in a lovely prescription that will make me feel better. Because this continuing illness is pissing me off.

Saturday, March 15

What does "o3o" mean?

Oh my god, you guys. I'm issuing something terrible over here, and I don't even know how to deal.
Guess how you find out that your kid's game web site has a chat room? By being horrified by it. That's how you find out. By reading over your daughter's shoulder, and being horrified. Perhaps the only calming aspect of this is Sydney's non-understanding of the entire experience. Of course, nothing explicit or specific was said, but the use of the word "it" by this other "kid" has scarred me for life as a mother.
I spent about an hour on the game site, and in the chat room. I didn't invite any conversation, because that's gross, but I did eavesdrop on what everyone else was saying. (The chats are all in thought bubbles that everyone in the room can see, and show up sentence by sentence, or phrase by phrase, and then disappear.) There was one inventive use of the word "popsicle," which everyone ignored. But then it was all kids asking to be adopted, or trying to recruit partners for adventures, and the like: the normal stuff in the game.
As of now, I've changed Sydney's chat abilities, but that only restricts what she can say to other people. It doesn't protect her from what she is able to read. And when the offending phrase is a innuendo-laden use of "popsicle," I imagine it's difficult for the regulators on the web site to police.
I'm not at all a fan of this web site now. I had no idea that there were CHAT ROOMS for children on it. I mean, I remember how gross chat rooms could get. Now begins the delicate dance of telling her that her days on this site are numbered. I don't trust the people on it, nor do I trust the "regulators" to pay enough attention to what's going on.

Friday, March 14

Once again, a reading declaration

I decided to change my mind about what book I'm going to read right now.
I've had The Lions of Lucerne waiting on the coffee table downstairs for me for weeks. I still very much want to read it, but I just can't bring myself to pick it up.
So I spent a couple minutes staring at my book pile, and decided instead to read Beautiful Ruins. And I'm already glad I did. The first page grabbed me more than the first 15 pages of Lions. I honestly can't wait to sit on my patio and spend some time reading tomorrow. (Brian and I watched a couple episodes of House of Cards tonight, which is why none of the book got read this evening.)
I'm eager to get into it. Yay book!

Thursday, March 13

A ship-borne forest is just cool

This ship was abandoned off the coast of Australia more than 100 years ago. It floated into a shallow area, where it managed to run itself to ground close to the shore, but still a ways into the water. Over those 100 years, some seeds, saplings and the like have rooted, and the ship now is a stationary forest in the water. It's pretty amazing, isn't it? I found this picture several months ago, but couldn't find the right post for it to accompany. Tonight, I decided that it was time for there to be a post to accompany the photo.
The world is a pretty awesome place, my friends. Crazy stuff happens, and so much of it is inherently beautiful. Also, nature finds a way.

Wednesday, March 12

Aromatherapy is a fantastic thing

I'm in need of a delicious local lavender farm.
I'm almost out of my hand and body lotion from Chapel Hill Lavender Farm in Chapel Hill, Texas. It has lasted this long because I've used it sparingly and prudently. But now, I'm seriously running low. And when it comes to lavender, I really like to stick with local purchases.
I spent a few minutes on the Internets this morning looking at lavender farms in Arizona, and was pleasantly surprised to find that there were more than four different farms in the state. Only a couple of them seemed interested in having visitors. But all of them are a couple hours drive from us here.
I'll be looking forward to the art festival at the end of the month to see if any of them come down here to peddle their wares. I'm so particular about the tone and nuance of my lavender lotion that I won't just buy something online without knowing its scent. Lavender lotion is atop my need-to-get list.
[ASIDE: As I was checking out the images for lavender online, I noticed a headline asking if lavender could be used as a wedding bouquet, and I was instantly pissed off that I didn't know that was a possibility. Not that I didn't love my roses, and the Belles of Ireland, but lavender would have been super yummy to smell wafting up, as we listened to Elvis. END OF ASIDE.]

Tuesday, March 11

And then it was time for bed

Today's post lends itself to another ITEM! list, but I don't like doing those posts too close together. So, my completely random listings will be based on the television shows I've watched tonight.
The Originals ~ I had to break out the Mom Voice so many times today that having to do it one last time tonight to get Sydney to put on her pajamas for bed gave me a headache. And since we're out of Advil, I'm surviving as best I can with sporadic cold compresses to the forehead. I hate speaking in Mom Voice. We had a talk about that tonight, but I don't believe for a second that she'll start responding to anything after the first request, no matter what she promises.
Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ~ I have finally finished all the magazines I had in my nightstand pile. Even the magazines that arrived in today's mail have been read and dispatched to the recycle bin. I feel pretty good about myself because of this. I may even start reading a book soon. You know, now that I've reminded myself that I am capable of reading.
Cougar Town ~ The bulk trash pickup in my neighborhood is sometime this week. People along the street have big and small piles here and there. A gripe is, of course, that some of these "bulk" items are large cardboard boxes, which these people should have just broken down and put in their recycle bins. But more to the point of why I'm telling you this, is that there is a log-constructed ladder that's about five feet tall, that one of my neighbors has put out on the curb. I'm intrigued with it as an outdoor plant stand of some kind, after it's been weather treated. So, what's the etiquette for absconding with someone's bulk trash? If it's on the curb, it's fair game, right? Or is this consideration gross?
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart ~ Katy and I had a Ben & Jerry's ice cream tasting today! Surprise of all surprises: we kinda liked all of them. Peanut Butter Jam Session is a peanut butter ice cream, with peanut chunks and swirls of raspberry jam. I am shocked as hell that I liked that one. Rockin' Blondies is brown sugar ice cream with butterscotch chunks. It was good, and not as sweet as you might think. Still, That's My Jam is the clear favorite. I have to tell you how happy I am that I'm the fun aunt that has a lot of random ice cream in the freezer.
Well, that's all I've watched tonight, so that's all I'll blog about.

Monday, March 10

That's My Jam is totally my jam

I am a huge fan of Ben & Jerry's ice creams. When we first lived in Boston, my love began. When we moved to the South End, the love blossomed and flourished. There was a convenience store around the corner that carried a ridiculous array of flavors, of course, because the Ben & Jerry's factory is in Vermont. Anyway, it became a thing for me to taste random flavors. I'd pick up a new pint once a week or so, and either taste it and discard it, or try it and eat it all. (This does not apply to ice creams that I know right away I won't like. Chunky Monkey need not apply.)
This passion for taste testing continues to this day. I have two pints in the freezer that I haven't tried yet, and I can't remember what they are. Anyway! Then B&J announced these new core flavors, where the pint is filled with two kinds of ice cream, and then has a core of a flavor going through the center of it. The idea intrigued me, as it would, and I was excited to check it out.
My Albertson's rocks, because they had the one core flavor that I was most excited about: That's My Jam. It's chocolate and raspberry ice creams with fudge chips and a raspberry core. I have to tell you, it's frickin' delicious. I love raspberry and chocolate together anyway, but this takes it to the next level. I dug into some tonight, and had a really hard time putting the pint back after only the few bites I ate.
There is a Salted Caramel core that looks interesting, and I'll be on the hunt for that one soon. But I'm falling in love with That's My Jam.

Sunday, March 9

I like me some Captain, and Daryl

ITEM!: This week is going to be a series of days revolving around my child, who is on spring break, and for whom we need to "do something fun" every day. Happily though, she has requested a day to stay home and in bed tomorrow. I know for a fact that this will not actually happen, but hanging out (and, dare I wish it, going for a hike) would be a wonderful thing for me. I love my Mondays because the house is finally quiet and mine again. Tomorrow will not be that, but if she's interested in chilling, it'll make the day better, for sure.
ITEM!: The Walking Dead is wrecking my heart these last several episodes. I told Brian that there had better be a happy reunion in the near future, or I'm going to start getting sadder than I am hopeful. I invest too much emotionally in Daryl, and his trials and tribulations. I'm terrified that he'll turn into an icky character, though I know the show wouldn't do that to us. Still, there are only three episodes left to put my heart and mind at ease before the long break between seasons.
ITEM!: Sydney and I gave Cooper a bath today, so he smells much better. I can't wait for him to be old enough, and vaccinated enough, to visit the groomer. I mean, I know I'm doing okay, but when it comes to ears and buttholes, I just don't get that thorough. (Weird story, the spelling of thorough just looked so wrong to me that I had to look it up to be sure.)
ITEM!: Also, Once Upon a Time returned to my television tonight, and with it, so did Capt. Hook return into my pirate fantasies.
ITEM!: If Sydney saw that palette full of colorful cupcakes, she would insist that we make them. Good thing she doesn't read the blog ... yet. Hmmm. That's interesting. Will she ever read the blog? Would my writing change if I knew my kid was reading all this? What an amazing thing to think about.

Saturday, March 8

Magazines, they make a mind good

I had aspirations to read all my magazines today. I have a lovely pile about two inches tall of various periodicals, including but not limited to Real Simple, Vanity Fair, InStyle, This Old House, and Raising Arizona Kids.
No single magazine would take any time at all to read, but the pile as a whole is a bit intimidating. So, it continues to sit on a shelf in my nightstand: mocking me; talking about me; and whistling quietly to me every time I'm in the room with it.
I figure, if I lower my expectations for a mass reading, and instead roll with a one-at-a-time philosophy, I'll eventually make it through all these magazines. Until next month's arrive. Some of you may say, well, why subscribe if you have to force yourself to read them? That's a dumb question. Magazines are awesome, and relevant, and are excellent sources of information. This magazine editor will never turn away from her favorite magazines, so leave me alone. I just need a couple hours to get through these here first.

Friday, March 7

Kevin Spacey is a rock star

I'm late to my posting tonight because Brian and I have started watching House of Cards on Netflix. We just finished episode three of the first season. You guys, I've always loved Kevin Spacey, and this show is exactly the epitome of the reason why. He's frickin' awesome.
I've got concerns already, in regards to the way some plots are beginning to shift, but I'm intrigued to see how it all plays out. Politics is such a nasty business, and this show is giving an unsettling look into it. I'm troubled by how manipulative things can be. And knowing that real life is probably ten times worse than what I'm seeing just makes the entire thing worse.
So, we're three episodes in, and 10 to go until this first season is over. Then, on to season two. I'm excited to see how quickly we can burn through this show.

Thursday, March 6

Way to ruin ambrosia, random blog writer

I read a thing online yesterday about the fast-food and random establishment stuff that you should never eat. One of those things is popcorn at the first movie showing of the day. The person who said this implied ... no, said ... that the popcorn at the beginning of the movie day is still last night's popcorn that they refused to toss out.
The contemplation of this is troubling. I love going to the first movie showing of the day. And I love popcorn. Is this really something that I have to worry about? I like to think that my Harkins theaters wouldn't dream of doing this. That they would be horrified to hear that anyone from the theater profession would be out and about on the Internet spreading this kind of story.
Granted, several of the horror stories in this article were spawned from eating places in other countries, such as Australia. And I choose to believe that the United States has stricter cleanliness laws. But still, the thought is there, and now I can't make it go away. I feel very Inception.
SOLUTION: There should be some kind of oversight committee dedicated to ensuring that movie theater popcorn is fresh from that day. I would be on it, you know, because then my "work" would require visiting movie theaters, and eating their popcorn. Popcorn that I have just myself seen being popped, so I know it's the freshest it can be.
I am concerned about this much more than a person should be.

Wednesday, March 5

My backyard smells really good

The most awesome thing is happening in my backyard right now. My fruit tree is blossoming, and smelling really good. I've got a ton of white flowers all over my tree. Some of them are blooming, others are white flower buds, and so many more are just green buds.
I'm thinking that this must mean that the tree is an orange tree. Orange blossoms smell awesome, right? I don't remember our lime trees blooming flowers like this, and I certainly don't remember them smelling so good.
And now that I've just spent the last few minutes looking at pictures of orange blossoms, I am now sure that an orange tree is what I've got growing in the backyard. The flowers look exactly like this. What an amazing bit of smelly happiness.
And even though I'm giddy at the idea of having oranges, I still would rather it be a lime tree.

Tuesday, March 4

Watching "Tonight" on the downlow

Well, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots have managed to achieve the impossible. I am watching The Tonight Show. Every night. And I'm laughing through it.
I always enjoyed the Late Night bits I saw online. I never took the time to actually watch the show, though. I'll admit to being one of the numbers who tuned in to the first Tonight Show just to see how Fallon did in his new post. I enjoyed, so set the DVR for the week. And honestly, I haven't stopped watching. Last night's classroom instruments performance with Idina Menzel was epic, and may have made me a fan for life.
I'm not sure I'm totally ready to put it in my "What I'm Watching" box, though. That seems like a serious commitment to something that I've avoided for a super long time.

Monday, March 3

Flippity floppity, for my feetsies

Flip flops.
They are required footwear, and I need some new ones. I'm running low.
It's getting to be that time of year again, when I wear nothing but flip flops. And if you can believe it, I'm actually looking at a shoemaker that is not Reef for my flip flop needs. But we'll see, since after all, I don't switch my allegiances that quickly or easily.
The great maybe-flip-flop switch of 2014.

Sunday, March 2

Selfies are awesome, even at the Oscars

I do, so very much, enjoy the Oscars telecast. I like to sit in front of my television for hours, watching the pre-show and the actual ceremony, comfortable and happy on my sofa. For three years now, Brian and I have had a ballot competition with JJ and Anthony. We won the first year, and got trounced last year.
I'm happy to say that we won again this year. Brian guessed correct on 18 categories; I got 17. Somehow, he manages to guess correctly on the random documentaries and short films. A bizarre extra-sensory thing going on there.
Anyway, I'm quite pleased with the show's results, and am looking forward to my Netflix queue blowing up with the winners and losers from tonight's ceremony. Also, a lot of things made me laugh, and even a couple things made me almost cry. One of the laughs came, of course, via the selfie that broke Twitter, and became the most retweeted photo ever. One of my teary moments was Angelina Jolie's acceptance speech from the humanitarian awards.
The whole thing was pretty awesome, you guys. I love hanging out with my husband, who even made a snide comment about someone's hair, and talking about everything. And the flurry of texts, Facebook posts and comments, and tweets keep me engaged and happy with all my friends, too. A good night, all the way around.

Saturday, March 1

Just because it's raining right now

ITEM!: So, it did some raining today. Not a constant downpour, but some definite rain showers here and there. Right now, my backyard is more poolish than dry rock bed, and I've had to close most of my windows to keep any water from getting into the house. GOOD NEWS: Cooper isn't afraid of the weather, and came inside wet a couple times throughout the day. BAD NEWS: The water was too deep for him to find anywhere comfortable to pee right before bed tonight, and now I'm all concerned about his bladder.
ITEM!: Mom and I were able to start and finish one of my household projects this afternoon before I took her to the airport. I had some random metal valances over my horizontal blinded windows in the dining room and living room that served no purpose aesthetically or practically, and they bugged me. We uninstalled them, tossed them in the trash, and painted over the installation spots. So now my walls are clean and smoother, and make sense.
ITEM!: I wasn't able to take Mom on the hike this morning, like we had planned, because of the rain. Now, because rain is so needed and awesome, I won't complain about it, but I will say that I was really looking forward to taking Mom on the hike. Sydney, who complains about the hike every time, also was disappointed. Well, Mom will be back in a couple weeks, and she'll get to hike then.
ITEM!: Dallas Buyer's Club is a good movie, but it's not one that I think I'll ever have to see again. It was extremely well acted, and well made. And I liked the heart behind it. But I guess I have an aversion to movies that I know will not end well for the main protagonist. If the main guy had AIDS in the 80s, you just know that it won't be a happy ending for him, right? It's like movie Blackfish; I know it'll just make me super sad and angry to watch, so I'm avoiding it, even though I know that it'll be good. It's on my Netflix queue, but it's just hanging out for now.
ITEM!: My magazine backlog has gotten pretty ridiculous. Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow, if it's still raining. Also, the Oscars are tomorrow night!