Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wet & Wild Bike Week

It is officially Bike Week(s) here in Daytona Beach. Unfortunately  it is also cold, raining and windy. Makes coleslaw wrestling even more uncomfortable. (yes, they do have women who will wrestle in coleslaw during bike week and no, I am not one of them).

I saw something kind of fun in my travels about town yesterday. A small makeshift campsite had been set up in the yard of a neighborhood near by. I guess the owner of the home invited his friends down for bike week. There were about 6 guys dressed in biker type gear poking around a campfire that was surrounded by tents and a small pop-up camper in the side yard of a home. I thought to myself, "So you invite your friends down for bike week but instead of putting them up in your home you make them pitch tents in the yard?"

I guess I'd been doing it wrong.  I always let my friends stay in my actual house, shower in my actual bathroom and eat my actual food in my actual kitchen. I didn't know they'd be just as happy pitching a tent in my (rainy cold) front yard.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

3 Dog Night

At the encouragement of Beloved, I agreed to foster a dog again. The last time I fostered a dog was back in September and by blogging about her on one of my other blogs, Plain Brown Dog, I was able to get her a home within a week.

I've been blogging about this sweet dog Penny for more than a month. Sadly, despite my best efforts, she's had no one interested in her. Although she is an obvious favorite among the kennel staff and volunteers. If you ever find yourself in the position of adopting a dog, ask the shelter volunteers who are their favorites. The volunteers spend a lot of time with the animals and they know which ones have the most pet potential. And it usually isn't the cutest or smallest dog.

That's the case with Penny. I was surprised how quickly she settled into our home. She has no issues at all with other dogs, and luckily our dogs seem to be having no issues with her. She is a little starved for attention, but other than that has been completely well behaved, quiet, and friendly.

So now the hard  part begins again. I'll be Crazy Dog Lady campaigning to find her a home and using my blog as my main weapon. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

I was inspired to write today's post by my blogger friend Sandcastle Momma who has a HI-larious post about her cooking skills.

Unexpectedly, I found out I was gonna have some extra mouths to feed for dinner last night. I shouldn't say it is unexpected since I often don't know how many kids I'll have around my table each night until sometime earlier that same day. Makes dinner planning akin to nailing jello to a wall.

So since my oldest stepson would be gracing us with his presence last night on a surprise pop-by visit from college (uh-oh, a Monday night visit, must mean he's out of money), I broke out "Momma's Little Helper." That's right, my gigantic Crock Pot.

I've become a crock pot culinary genius. It's simple really. Just toss in some sort of meat (any meat will do). Sprinkle with some seasoning. Add some vegis (frozen or fresh chopped work better than canned) and pour something over the whole mess - a can of soup, a jar of preserves or a jar of salsa. Cook for 6-8 hours. Serve over pasta or rice and you're done! Simple.

I think even Sandcastle Momma could make an edible non-burnt dinner using the should-be-patented Native Mom Crockpot system.  However, I have to admit, when it comes to cooking bread, I burn it every time as well. I think the Pillsbury Dough Boy is out to get me.  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Would you believe ...

Would you believe that all of you, my fans, are more loyal readers of my blog than my Beloved? I had suspected this for a while but my suspicions were confirmed when I logged on tonight and he started reading over my shoulder. I had to go back about 8 posts to catch him up!

I mean if a blog-girl can't count on her hubby for readership, who can she count on?

That would be all of you, my favorite people on earth!


(That's me giving the raspberry to Beloved) Thanks for checking in. You people crack me up!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thanks iMom!?!?

Have you seen the billboard campaign that iMom is doing? Well MiniMe has and it led to an interesting question and answer session. Which I guess is what iMom is hoping for with this campaign. See billboard below.

So we're on the way to Disney World Monday on a very busy Interstate 4 in Orlando and I glance over and see this billboard prominently looming above the traffic. As I'm thinking to myself "Please don't let MiniMe see that and ask me about it," she does.

Mom, what's STD?

"Oh, you saw that billboard huh?"

Yes, what does STD mean?

Sexually Transmitted Disease.


(Long pause)

MiniMe, do you know what sexually transmitted disease is?


Well (and I explain it's like catching a cold when you have sex)


(which for you NativeMom readers who don't know, TMI stands for Too Much Information!)

So thank you iMom! TMI!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Very Florida Birthday

Beloved had the day off from work and MiniMe had the day off from school on Monday. And what a coincidence, it was my birthday! So I got to pick how we spent the day (pampering mom would be priority number one).

My day started with breakfast in bed. Dunkin' Donuts and coffee. A real treat (and definitely not on my diet).

Then we headed off to Disney World. Gotta take advantage of the fact that we live an hour away and have annual passes. Beloved had never been to the Magic Kingdom, despite living in Florida for much of his adult life. So Magic Kingdom was our first stop. It was packed! But we had a great time anyway. Of all the things in the park to be excited about, my history loving husband just had to get a photo of us with the replica of the Liberty Bell in Frontierland. I have to say that visiting the park with Beloved as a first-timer was a unique experience. I enjoyed parts of the park I've never really paid attention to before (like that Liberty Bell). We rode the steam engine around the park, which was my first time riding the iron horse. Tip from me to you, it's a quick and stress free way to get from one side of the Magic Kingdom to the other, especially on days like Monday when the park was packed.

Another tip from me to you. Plan on hunkering down for a bite to eat during the afternoon parade. We got stuck in the "parade traffic" which means we got stuck in a crowd and trapped without a way to get to where we wanted to go. So unless you plan to watch the parade, it's a great time to visit a park restaurant. Everyone else (and I do mean everyone) will be watching the parade.

I wore one of those "Happy Birthday" buttons on Monday. Genius on Disney's part to give away these buttons for park visitors to wear that celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and first-time visits. Wearing one of these buttons gets you lots of special attention, greetings and well wishes from park employees and visitors alike.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Things I learned blogging

My local newspaper had a column this morning by a reporter bemoaning the fact that "anonymity too often emboldens bloggers." In a nutshell, he ranted about the "almost criminal lack of credibility" displayed by the blogosphere when people can anonymously present fiction as fact.

I think that he may be right when it comes to certain subjects in the blogosphere - that is why I avoid "political" blogs at all costs. But it's been my personal experience that the blogosphere has taught me many things, opened my eyes to new ideas and brought a lot of supportive "anonymous" friends my way. In fact, here's just a few things I've learned recently through the blogging community.

I solved the mystery of what creature or natural occurrence makes those little sandy mounds found throughout Florida forest areas. Thanks to blogger treeringcircus, I now know it is a Southeastern Pocket Gopher, which kinda looks like a short-tailed rat thing.

I've been seeing those mystery sand mounds all my life and did not know this creature even existed. Thanks TreeRingCircus and SuwaneeRefugee.

And if it wasn't for Florida Cracker, I wouldn't be able to identify nearly the number of Florida flora and fauna that I can now. I also learned how to re-plant bamboo and this week he taught us all how to plant horseradish.

Ok, maybe this one does deserve a fact check. (Photo copyright to PureFlorida)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


OK. Before I get into the meat of this post, I have to provide a disclaimer. For the last 3 weeks I've been on a diet and trying to lose weight. I'm already vegetarian, so I've been trying out a vegan diet (warning, whatever you're thinking, NEVER try vegan cheese. EVER!Yuck is an understatement.) I've also been exercising. Like really hard exercising not just walking around the block. And I've cut back on the wine consumption.

I know, this is all proof that I've really slipped over the edge from kinda-funny-crazy to full on wack-a-doodle!

Anyway, back to the subject.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night. Actually, I startled myself awake with some sort of crazy dream that caused me to thrash around and jolt myself awake (must have been the vegan cheese experiment). My first thought upon waking up was "What? Where am I? What's going on?" Then I thought "Oh, thank god, it's Thursday. Almost end of the week and I can finally get some rest."

Then I realized it was only Tuesday morning.


P.S. I've lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks. Only 4 more to go!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Daddy-Daughter Dance

This year was the fifth year that MiniMe was escorted to the Junior League's annual fundraiser - the Daddy Daughter Ball. The lead-in to Valentine's Day just wouldn't be the same in her little world without a chance to get dressed up, wear a little make-up (minimal amount of make-up, not hooker in training spackle) and spend the evening dancing with her friends, her dad and enjoying the ice cream sundae bar.

The mommies don't go. We get a free night off!

Tonight I was catching up with MiniMe on how the dance went, trying to get all the details. She was barely paying attention to me because she was very busy reading a magazine - one of those Tiger Beat-style magazines that are really nothing more than silly quizzes (Is your style more Hannah Montana or a Taylor Swift?) and lots of pictures of young movie and music stars.

Of course, at this time, you can't find one of those magazines on the rack without Taylor Lautner (Jacob from Twilight) plastered all over it. This particular magazine I noticed had him on the cover with a headline that read "Is Taylor Boyfriend Material?"

So to get her attention I ask "What do you think? Is Taylor Lautner boyfriend material?"


"Your magazine. On the cover it asks Is Taylor Lautner boyfriend material? What do you think."

No, not for me.

"Why, is he too old for you?"

No, I mean even if we were the same age I wouldn't want him for a boyfriend."

"Why not?"

Because I loooooovvvveee Justin Bieber!

"Oh, he's that new singer, right? The one with the hair? (see above)"

Yes, I loooovveee his hair!

Then she says, and I quote . . ."I'd bake cookies on Justin Beiber, he's so hot!"

Nothing for me to say or do but laugh and be thankful she won't be running across this Bieber-Boy-With-The-Fancy-Hair anytime soon.

Nice day for a walk

A friend sent me a photo from this past weekend's Mardi Claws event. That's me, Native Mom, and MiniMe walking the lovely Penny in the photo above. We're surrounded by Halifax Humane Society volunteers. The HHS volunteers really came out in force this past weekend. I think they took all but about 4 dogs from the shelter to the event. A nice outing for the dogs. 

Beloved called me a Crazy Dog Lady again this weekend. As a public relations professional, I quickly corrected him with a more appropriate title. 

"No, I'm the Mother Theresa of Dogs"

Actually, all those ladies in blue shirts around us are the real heroes. They are at the shelter every week walking, grooming, feeding and helping out the animals there in so many ways. If that's what being a Crazy Dog Lady is all about, I aspire to be one someday!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mardi Claw update

So the mardi claws event was not much of a success. Very poor turnout and a volunteer took my Penny to the event before I could get to the shelter. No worries, at least Penny got to go. However, Kudos go to MiniMe who was more than willing to wear the sandwich board sign to promote Penny's adoption. I didn't even have to bribe her. What a great kid!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mardi Claws

So I spent some time giving a dog a bath today. Not my dogs, although they both could use a bath. I was cleaning up a dog named Penny who is up for adoption at the Halifax Humane Society. Back in September, I started a blog called Plain Brown Dog to help find a home for a dog I was fostering. The blog worked so well that I've continued to use it to help place other "plain dogs" in homes. Right now, my "guest blogger" at Plain Brown Dog is Penny (that's her in the photo above).

Tomorrow I'll be taking Penny to an event near my hometown called Mardi Claws. It is a pet event that features a pet parade where people dress up their pets Mardi Gras style. I do not plan to dress Penny in costume, but will help her look her best and spread the word that she's looking for a home.

My plan is to make a sandwich board like sign that says "Adopt Penny! Ask me How!" and make MiniMe wear it while I walk Penny in the parade. I don't think MiniMe is gonna go for this, so I will probably have to bribe her with ice cream or a sleepover party for her friends.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making it Count!

Wondertwin is currently serving as the Vanna White of the Census in our hometown. She agreed to be part of the local campaign to promote participation in the Census (which everyone should take part in because being counted helps your community).  As spokesmodel for the Census, she's appearing on billboards around town. I was driving down Mason Ave last weekend and spotted her. Her billboard was strategically placed over one of those rent-a-center stores next door to the cash for paycheck office and across the street from the tattoo and piercing parlor.

Location, location, location!

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Running!

No that's not a Miss America sash MiniMe is wearing (at least not yet . . . ), it's her safety patrol belt. Today was the first day of her new responsibility as a Safety Patrol at her elementary school. She let me know that on this, her first day, she was assigned a very "high traffic" area, which only the most responsible of safety patrol students are assigned. So, with that in mind, I asked her share some tips for "staying safe" that I could pass along to all of you.

Here goes - top five:

Stay away from boys with baggy pants.
Do not walk in the street.
Don't run.
Wash your hands.
Stay away from strange dogs.