Be happy for no reason

laughing-child-camel

“Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.”

– Deepak Chopra 

(This is the only picture I have hanging in my cube at work…it was passed around the webs a while ago, I don’t know where it came from or who to credit, but I love it. )

Home for the Holidays

IMG_20121229_114755

Yessir, back home for the holidays.  It’s true, you don’t get a white Christmas if you spend it in southern California, but you do get a little bit of swimming outside in the sun…

IMG_20121229_115240

…and a little bit of running outside in the sun…

photo

…and a little drinking with friends outside in the sun.

IMG_20121229_115650

So, I mean, it’s a trade off.

Not to bore everyone (too late), but I was kind of in love with some of the gifts I gave to family this year.  First up:

IMAG2839-1-1

The Roo (gifted to my mother, modeled by Paul).  I originally saw this on Garden Betty, it’s a frickin great gardening/fruit picking/any sort of harvesting tool.

ref=dp_image_z_0

The MonkeyLectric M210 LED Wheel Light.  For Paul when he rides his bike to the breweries at night.  He tested it out last night, works great.  A driver may feel compelled to pump up the disco music (or seize) when they see his bike, but they will most definitely see it.  Plus you can program it to be any number of different patterns and colors.  WHEEEEEE

In addition to an emergency hand-crank tornado radio courtesy of my mother (who also insisted we go over how it works before we left…she’s worse than I am when it comes to bad weather), Paul and I also received an anatomically correct chicken model.

IMG_20121229_122059

If you take the plastic off you can see all of the innards, including an egg.  Paul spent about 45 minutes painstakingly putting it together.

And for a special gift to me, NY Road Runners decided to award me a lottery slot in the NYC Half Marathon in March.  Horray.

Trying to enjoy these last few days before the new year kicks into gear…

IMG_20121225_160742

Family Photo

IMG_20121218_091623

Like every year, the holidays roll around and I start going through pictures from the year to find one for a card and realize that we haven’t taken a single normal picture together all year.

Time to rally the troops for a family pic.

IMAG2756-1

Last year there were only three of us.

IMG_4664

The weather was nice, the sun was shining…easy.

This year, there are more.photo

And in addition to having our dog wear a bow tie (thank you, Marsha), Paul decided he wanted everyone in the picture.

IMG_5309

Um.

This probably goes without saying, but trying to look not just calm, but happy while having a dog, cat, and chicken(s) sitting with you on the same bench is…yeah.

It was also about to seriously storm outside (it hailed again yesterday), so we were on a tight schedule.

Aside from one minor incident where everyone got loose (Spike went after Romy and clamped down on her butt feathers and wouldn’t let go, the cat just laid there and watched while chaos ensued)  we managed to get something.  I may look a little special, but at least we’re all (minus Michelle and Tom Brady) on there.  Success on some level.

IMG_5282practice shot before we brought in the chickens

Happy Holidays.

RIP

img_20120824_131219

At 6:43pm yesterday, my co-worker’s abandoned fish who has been living in my cube for the past 5 months went to visit the big fish bowl in the sky.  Final diagnosis (my husband is almost a doctor) was ischemic stroke coupled with something else really weird that made him spin in circles whenever I shook the bowl to make sure he wasn’t dead.  He went quickly and quietly via commode.  I will miss his enthusiastic greeting every morning when I enter my cube.

RIP ol buddy.

IMG_20121005_171220

Waiting for Husband

I guess we all know who the most popular member of this household is.

…speaking of people coming home, and because I’m a terrible sibling, I didn’t even report that after 7 months of serving and almost a month of flying all over Afghanistan with no real sense of when/if she would ever get the heck out of there…

Molly’s back!

…and loving her some pitbulls at BARCS, where she volunteers in her free time (I know, nurses soldiers back to health, volunteers to assist homeless, unloved animals…wtf.)  She got back last week and, though you can’t tell in this picture, she is TOTALLY JACKED.  So no mean comments on this post, she will mess you up.

Excited to hang out with her and Joe over the holidays.

Calming Manatee

I’ve been sick this week and a little stressed about missing work, which means I haven’t done much aside from sit propped up on the couch with my laptop in my lap and sufferin’ towel on my head moaning.

Fortunately I also re-discovered Calming Manatee, who is always there to give you a boost when you’re feeling low.  Best therapy on the interwebs.  I love this meme.

Here’s to a better next week.  Happy Friday.

Blah

It’s a rainy Monday.  Who really feels like doing anything except the above.

Fortunately I had my cubemate to welcome me back and remind me to CRACK DOWN ON THAT EXCEL SHEET!

I’ve never seen a fish respond to someone walking in the room like this one does.  I swear he misses me over the weekend.

To wrap up this exciting, unintentionally animal-centric post, I’ll leave you with this series of pictures that went viral on FB last week.  Apparently every day these two go for a walk together.  I particularly like the pic in the upper righthand corner, he looks so excited that his buddy is coming down.

Reminds me of Barkley and my mom’s “feral” cat that she adopted from the humane society to hunt rats in the orchard.

So ferocious.

Happy Monday.

Californ.i.a.

This week has been pretty ridiculously busy, and I’ve spent a lot of it being Cranky McCranksterpants.  So it’s probably best I didn’t do any sort of commentary.  Last week, though, was amazing.

Started out flying into LA and renting the cheapest car possible:

Fiat 500.  Booyah.  Every time we saw another one the driver would give us a thumbs up.

First up was a 20-hour trip to SD, where I visited my old friend Jen.  We hit up Comic Con…

…and ended the night at a gay bar with everyone was dressed like superheroes with inflatable flamingos everywhere.  There was some carnage the next morning.

Kind of tragic.

After that it was up the coast to Santa Barbara

where we ate some good produce from my parents yard

enjoyed local brew

and binged on Blenders and burritos.  Lots and lots of burritos.

There was also Red Rock

and some kayaking

and Hendrys.

It was a pretty fantastic week of relaxation and sun.

Then it was up the coast again to Carmel for a really spectacular wedding.

Instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner, Alix and Christian threw a rock legends party where everyone had to dress up like rock stars.

The blushing bride.

The wedding itself was out on a reserve

and the reception was held in a barn.

Alix and Christian run the Lazy Parrot CSA, and our tables had basil plants and all sorts of fresh produce to make our own bruschetta.  That was awesome.  As was the dance floor.

It was a spectacular weekend.  The next morning we drove up the coast a little further to SF, which isn’t a bad place to recover with friends and fish tacos.

Then the red-eye back to Kentucky and right into the week from hell (OK, it wasn’t that bad, but it was busy.)  I’m still exhausted.  And tomorrow, assuming the weather mellows out, I’m on another flight solo out to DC for Kristin’s 30th.

But for now, enjoy the picture from our front porch tonight before the deluge began.

Unplugged

…is where I was for the past week and a half.  I sat down at a computer exactly once and it was for 5 minutes.  And it was glorious.

The past week, in a nutshell:

xmas in santa barbara (and an xmas dinner in seal beach)

hiking in the mountains

old friends

at old hangouts

a little swimming in the sun

in totally amazing weather

then i headed thata way

to sf

where i spent a lot of time walking

over hills, through familiar neighborhoods

avoiding death monsters

hanging out with super awesome peeps, making great food

and eating (and drinking) it

enjoyed some local music

and local art

culminating in a bridal shower for alix

where my more artistic counterparts took over the job of making the rehearsal bouquet (because I was ruining it) while i went and drank champagne and ate about 30 shrimp before hopping on a red-eye back to kentucky

so long, california. until next time.

happy 2012

The Rez

About a year an a half ago one of our very best friends from college moved with her husband, who is a doctor, out to the middle of the Navajo Nation in Arizona so he could work at the local hospital. Last Thursday three of us met up in Albequerque and made the four hour drive out to Chinle (pronounced chin-lee) to visit the two of them along with their two year old daughter and brand new baby, who was born in September.

Our hosts were gracious enough to let us stay for three whole days (God knows why).  Our weekend consisted of:

adorable babies

 crowns, tutus, ballet, and bollywood aerobics (it’s the two-year-old’s favorite dance video)
 some hiking
 along big canyon walls
 to the bottom of canyon de chelly
 playing in the dirt
a trip to the swap meet (us in front of the house getting ready to go)
 a drive through the desert
 to monument national park
 where i learned that if you get out of the car to take pictures of goats
 your “friends” will drive about 8 miles an hour 5 feet in front of you so you can’t get back in the car, which is really fun
 there were some amazing rocks
 and amazing colors
 and amazing skies
 and amazing (?) people
 it was a fantastic trip. i miss everyone. thanks to paul and lisa for hosting. more pics to be posted here shortly.