Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Favorite Combo: Mini-golf and Ice Cream!

Fridays are an early dismissal at Fiddle and Faddle's fancy pants school, and usually we have a slate of pre-scheduled activities to accomplish, but this Friday was event free. Cool!

Looking around for a low-cost high-fun option I settle on some mini-golf and ice cream. Sweet!

I had never been to this particular mini-golf facility and as a grown up with an unnatural love of mini-golf I was looking forward to it. This is one of those spots that has mini-golf, a big driving range and batting cages all in one sprawling former-farm location.

Fiddle and Faddle did really well! Arming two brothers with metal sticks can really be a daunting proposal, and it could end bloody, but not today! They listened, they cheated only marginally and did nothing mean to each other.

Also, to my surprise and happiness no one was in tears at any point. Fiddle is particularly inclined to allow his frustration with himself or his brother to overwhelm him so that he winds up in angry tears. To Fiddle's credit he stayed calm when the ball took a bad turn and wound up in a bad spot. His reward- he tied me for first place!

The course was kickin' it old skool with just simple, plain greens using bumps, rocks and angled boards to provide the challenges. The landscaping was pretty, and the course wound around a waterfall and pond as well as gazebos and shrubs. My only problem with this mini-golf course, and really, isn't it a universal problem, was that it was in a blazing sun-scorched sahara of open field. Whhhhhy are mini-golf courses always built with not one scrap of sheltering shade?

I am a pasty, pale, fragile blossom of a girl and by the time we had wrapped up our trip through the course I was starting to turn pink. Blech. I try to carry sunscreen around, but I happened to be out at the moment. [Note to self: Restock Sunscreen, pasty]

To wrap up our afternoon we enjoyed some delicious local ice cream. Yum. My favorite thing ever. I could eat ice cream ever single day. Every. Single. Day

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Morning

Oy, so Wednesday has found me making the early morning trek to the Home of Fiddle and Faddle (HOFF). As mentioned before, it is almost an hour drive. This week the sun was a little higher in the sky since we're still heading into the heart of summer. There were virtually no clouds in the sky so the brilliant morning colors did not last long before turning to bright blue and pure sun. Summer really has come to the Valley and it is gorgeous, even at my crankiest morning hour.

The yellow rays of the sun slanted over the tops of the trees and across the fields. Freshly furrowed, the rich soil looked perfect.

Parts of the forest areas was still quite dark, but as I topped the hills the sun would burst through.

My drive-by photography does no justice to how beautiful the apple orchards are. Row after row of trees, the branches twisted and gnarled, green leaves still in the morning. The tall, unmown grass is wet with dew and glittering in orange and yellow light.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

That S**t Is Rough

SO not work appropriate. But man, funny. Find a safe place away from the kiddies and boss and check it. Also, as it has a million views I am the last to the party. Ever. But if you haven't seen it yet, enjoy. Buahahahahaha!

Continuity, People, Continuity

I work from home a lot. I often have the TV on for both entertainment and simple background noise. I'm not extremely picky about what is on (and often I just put on music) but I have some standards.

On a typical morning I might watch the 9 AM showing of a repeat of Monk on USA and the Gilmore Girls on ABC Family around 11 AM.

I mention these two shows in particular because I feel like they illustrate a prime example of one of my small annoyances, the random nature of daytime repeat television. Episodes of Monk are followed by Walker, Texas Ranger. Ugh. Really? Not for me. And after Gilmore Girls, Full House. Yikes. Do these audiences in any way overlap? What would compel the schedulers to choose these shows to follow one another? Drives me bonkers.

I can't tell you how many times I've been working and after a few minutes look up disoriented to realize that my background noise involves a bar fight in Texas or a dilemma about a game of spin-the-bottle.

I know, really, the burdens I carry are unbelievable....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rotten, Rotten, Spoiled Rotten!

Sometimes (Often!) people are lovely and incredible and generous and fun. They are! They counter all the times that people are petty and mean and boring. For example...

Yesterday I was chatting with Gigi. I was playing shopgirl in my friend's store* and simultaneously watching Fiddle and Faddle who had an unexpected half day and needed emergency child care. It was an overly busy and super committed day in week (and month) of the same.

I have my 10 year college reunion this weekend and I had squeezed in the errands that needed to be done, except one. I really wanted a haircut but I just was out of time. My hair was fine, nothing major in the land of disaster, but I'm growing it out and it had been months since it had seen any scissors. It could use some shape to make it purty.

So, when Gigi said she would be late the next day for the shop because she was getting a haircut, I told her I was jealous. Not in a snarky mean way, but in a genuine envy way.

Fast forward to today and Gigi came into the shop looking totally lovely with a brand new do! She had chopped significant amounts off for a gorgeous bob and looked glamorous indeed. Stopping in front of the counter she said, "I asked and they have an appointment at 1:45- you must go! I will cover the shop. Go, go, go, call them now!"

So I called and booked the appointment and then ran down to the salon where the receptionist greeted me and declared, "You're all set, all you need to do is take care of the tip."

Wow! How insanely generous is that? Gigi had remembered that I wanted a haircut from one off-hand comment that I made in 2 hours of conversation. She then secured me a time, covered for me at the shop, and then called and paid for it! Holy smokes!

I made a quick stop at the florist downstairs from the salon and got a little bouquet of spring flowers. Nothing extravagant, but just a little 'thank you'.

I am spoiled rotten, rotten, rotten.

And, I have fabulous hair that is ready for reunion!

*My friends own a little store and I work there when they need extra help or go on vacation. I usually wind up taking one shift a week to give them some extra help and availability.

Sunrise, Sunrise

I am not a morning person. I am a night owl. Last night was a late night, which really isn't a problem for me, but this morning was an excruciating 5:15 wake up. Ouch. Don't get me wrong I know lots of people do this all the time. But I don't, and for good reason. I am not very bright first thing in the morning, so if I plan ahead I can execute, but I can not problem solve for a solid hour after I get up. If the apocalypse comes before 8:30 AM I am so going to be caught snoozing or standing while staring in befuddlement at the unfolding drama. However, if it arrives in the middle of the night, no problem, I'll have the reactions of a ninja.

Luckily, today, all went smoothly.

Fiddle and Faddle live a surprising distance away, nearly an hour's drive, and they needed a lift to school. So, at the unholy hour of 6:00 I departed for their far distant home.

Then, the most lovely thing happened, the sky was light and the sun just rising above the hills turning the sky peach, lavender and rose. The sun sparkled off the heavy dew that coated the newly green fields, while mist clung to the hollows in the meadows and the orchards were in full leaf.

My iPod seemed to be in tune and Norah Jone's Sunrise, Sunrise came on as I cut across the countryside. Now the lyrics themselves don't exactly suit, but the chorus of Sunrise, Sunrise seemed to be the perfect morning music.

So although I would never choose to be up and about at that terrible early morning hour, I was richly rewarded with an incredible, beautiful sunrise that would have gone unseen. My only regret is that I didn't have my camera. Of course, tomorrow's sunrise is on its own, I'll catch the sunset.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Under Lock And Key

Blogger locked me up!


They locked up my blog and sent me an email saying they had it flagged by some auto-spidering system thingy as a possible spam blog and that they would review and let me know. Really? What about my blog seemed spamish? I haven't even gotten into my love of Monty Python yet in this venue. Anywho they finally decided I'm a real human and they let me back in!

I'm all for keeping out the spam, so overall I support. But I can't quite imagine what of the posts about noisy neighbors and Fiddle and Faddle could have tipped them to think I was a baddy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Morning

Dear Neighbor,

A Saturday 6:58 AM arrival for the loud dudes with the big truck to move your stuff? Really? So glad I didn't mean to sleep in or anything.

Annoyed Upstairs

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Adventures of Fiddle and Faddle

Three days a week I watch two boys after school. I attempt to fill their bottomless pits that they call stomachs, oversee homework that they don't want to do, remind them that they are humans and not wolves and attempt to keep the brotherly love outweighing the brotherly homicidal tendencies. It has been a fun year with more than a few frustrations along the way, but today was one of the good ones.
It did not start out on a good note, the boys should have had swimming lessons but they both forgot their gear. Really? Both? Ugh. So, we headed to the Y anyway to burn some time since the guys didn't have any Friday afternoon homework.
Fiddle, the oldest by 18 months, and I struck a bargain where he was required to happily participate in vigorous physical activity for 45 minutes. No whining, no quitting and no complaining and then he could go to his nirvana, also known as the youth lounge. Faddle, the younger, would be stuck with me for any additional time I deemed necessary. Lucky him.
We got a basketball and hit the courts. We had an excellent game of 2 on 1 and worked up a sweat.
Fiddle and Faddle played together well even if Faddle hogged the ball as usual. Passing, an art he has not mastered. After the 45 minute mark I released Fiddle to nirvana and kept Faddle busy on the courts. After whipping me but good at HORSE and another skill game we grabbed some floor and recovered. A bunch of slightly older kids came in to play basketball and many of them seemed to know each other at least a little bit but it wasn't a closed/cohesive group. Faddle looked longingly at the scrambling group playing basketball.
"Wanna play?" I asked. Faddle shrugged. "Well, they might say no, and that would kinda suck, but they might say yes, and then you get to play a pick-up game of basketball and that would rock." Faddle shrugged. And watched. And watched. And watched.
Finally he stood up and tried to nonchalantly catch the eye of one of the players. Taking slow steps forward he edged to the side of the action. When there was a break in the game, he stepped closer, angling for one of the oldest boys until he was able to quietly ask if he could play. I didn't hear the exact exchange and it mostly seemed to be a silent ritual of ducking his head, waving a hand and pointing at himself.
He was in! Definitely the youngest and smallest, but not by a huge margin and he was oh-so-brave to ask! I love to see that bravery rewarded. It can't always be so, but it was this time! He did a great job, made a few shots, passed the ball, defended, got rebounds and even made a steal. They played for 25 minutes before finally seeking refreshment and I extracted Faddle as it was time to go home. He didn't want to leave but was lured with the notion of prying Fiddle from nirvana. His jealousy of Fiddle's access to nirvana knows no bounds!
Oh heavenly day, it was actually a lovely afternoon! Treasure it, treasure it and remember it next week when they try and turn my hair grey.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday Evening Adventchas

Last evening I had a chance to catch the band Bishop Allen when they played in town. My friend, Darcel, is a fan having seen them before in a little venue in San Francisco, so she got the cheapo tickets and we headed out. The crowd was small even for a mid-week concert in our not-very-large town, but such is the glamorous life of rock and roll. We were mildly impressed with the first opening band and fled the scene during the second band's set in an effort to preserve our hearing and sanity. We passed the time enjoying some beers and watched the dancing antics of the very young fans in the audience. Finally Bishop Allen took the stage and they were well worth the wait. Skinny, geeky guys who play some serious guitar, the overall sound is pop but not annoyingly so. If you get the chance- check 'em out when they're in a town near you.

And So It Begins

Technology, I wish I could quit you. Seriously, I already blog elsewhere just between friends and I Twitter and IM and email. I am a heap of technology that just never ends. However, I just couldn't resist having one more blog. This one will be public. Just what the world needs, more of me! Wheee! Lucky world.