Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Say Cheese!

Cheese, glorious cheese....! Yes, that's what Wisconsin is all about, and I have to say, it's a wonderful thing. From cheese blocks, to cheese whips and cheese curds, it was definitely one of the highlights! Not to be outdone, however, Midwest airlines is a force to be reckoned with. Aside from the fact that it's a no lines, no waiting airline AND they held the plane so our luggage could join us, they serve not one but TWO freshly-baked, still-warm chocolate cookies to every passenger! As if the extra-roomy seats weren't enough of a treat, they give tasty desserts! I was mighty impressed. (I wasn't, however, so thrilled with the prop plane that seated all of about 10 people. But that's all behind us now...)

We spent the weekend at Cindy's cottage on Lake Michigan and did a lot of relaxing, cheese eating, wine drinking and hot tub soaking. Here we are out at dinner. No cheese, buy tasty wine. Note the wall decoration that looks like it's on my head. Like some Vegas show girl.

And speaking of my head, check out this fancy little number below.

As luck would have it, I got to meet up with my brother, David, and his family. I hadn't seen them in a year, so it was great seeing them after all this time. The kids are hilarious and, as always, thrilled to see their "Ant Hill." (Get it, like ANT-HILL?!)

Anyhow, we had fun tooling around in their groovy van and buying matching sweatshirts.

Hooray for trips! And huge kudos to my super husband who did his own version of that TV show, "While You Were Out." While I was off eating cheese, he re-did our office, complete with new paint, new furniture and a new home for all the hockey gear that once inhabited this space! I was floored, to say the least... Kinda makes me worried that he's got a big trip coming up next month -- what do I do to top this one? Buy a new house?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Let them eat cake!

Who says the 10 o'clock hour is too early for dessert? In an effort to sastisfy cravings (ok AND celebrate Shelby's birthday) we got the party started! After all, the Carvel (!!!) ice cream cake was going to melt anyhow, so we really HAD to dig in early and often. Nothing like some frozen confections to get the day going... and going in the right direction!


Summer in New England has been anything but. Aside from a few days that ranked "triple H" -- hazy, hot and humid -- we've had a pretty paltry season to say the least. So last night we pull into one of the many plazas in the greater Nashua shopping mecca and Gary, upon noticing this sign says, "East Coast Tan -- what's that, like WHITE?!" Truer words were never spoken.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beauty (& restoration) on the go

WHY can't I find these in a bathroom near me?!

"The saviour of bad hair days has arrived, the Beautiful Vending Styer machine is now available in clubs, bars, gyms and shopping centres; so for those occasions when sleek and sexy turns to shock and horror, we have the solution."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Oh Dear

Big Buck Hunter... "Pump your shotgun, take aim at the gathered wildlife, and hope for a nice, clean headshot. This revolutionary hunting simulator features fully rendered 3-D Whitetail Deer, Elk, Prong Horn Antelope and more in amazingly detailed landscapes. A sure shot will earn you fast paced bonus rounds where you can shoot up scurrying squirrels, rabbits, and even ducks."

Love the game. Love watching other people play the game while I sip my martini at the Westford Grill. Just can't say I'd ever seen an 8-year-old blast everyone away.

This girl was earning 'accuracy points' at a ridiculous rate... and was even giving her brother (age 3?-- you can sorta see him in his cammo pants to her right) a few lessons on proper gun handling and aim. I couldn't decide if I was impressed or a little sickened.

Then on the way home we saw two GIANT deer munching on grass right by our house. I'm sure Little Miss BangBang was hot on their trail.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An Incredible Journey

As you all know, the basset rescue thing is near and dear to my heart. While we mainly help hounds in the New England states, there are times when we reach out to other regions when their overloaded shelters are at a breaking point. To put it bluntly -- their days are numbered without our help. That said, we're taking three hounds that were rescued from a terrible situation of neglect in Arkansas. Beginning Friday, these three, along with three others, will begin an amazing journey, all thanks to volunteers. What happens is this: there's a "travel coordinator" in AR who has set up 22 legs (!!) of the dogs' journey. She creates a database online and calls on volunteers who email and call their friends and other hound dog lovers in the U.S. to sign up for a leg of the journey. Three of the dogs will split off in Ohio and head to NJ; our three "bassengers" will continue on up to our director's home in NH. They will arrive Sunday night. It's pretty amazing to see this intricate plan laid out, and the generosity of so many volunteers. At each meeting point of the "bassenger" trade-off, the volunteers call the travel coordinator to check in, update her on their departure time, any issues, etc. to make sure everything stays on track and the dogs are safe. You can view the travel itinerary by clicking here. The whole thing is amazing to me. Like the underground railroad in a way -- helping these needy hounds escape to a better life. I just wanted to share it to give you an idea of some of what we do!

On another note, we're welcoming our own "bassenger" from a different transport coming in Sunday night from Tennessee. His name is Jack and he's a basset-border collix mix. Isn't he cute?!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flip the Flops!

Sara came up with a genius game yesterday, and we worked on perfecting our skills today at lunch. It's a simple time-passer that combines equal parts of luck and physics. The rules are simple. Define a target point. In the above photo it's the center of the circle on the bricks. Each person then flips her flop -- right off her foot -- and tries to get as close to the center of the target as possible. We are currently working on a study of velocity and inertia based on our various rubber, wood and canvas footwear. Think of it as horseshoes... only with your own shoes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Grumpy's Antics

I love this story. It's about a groundhog, Grumpy, who has been pestering museum goers and staffers in Michigan. Here's an excerpt: "Mudd tried evicting Grumpy with ammonia and mothballs, but the animal dumped the offending materials outside of his tunnel. A few years ago, Mudd said he baited a trap with broccoli, caught Grumpy and took him to a wooded park near the Tittabawassee River. "I waved good-bye to Grumpy, and I was so happy," Mudd said. Grumpy was back within a week." ha ha. Go Grumpy! (read it!)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cowgirl Up

Celebrating her much-belated birthday with me, Emily came up today to cash in on her gift certificate for a trail ride at Bobby's Ranch. Laura had given this to Micaela for her birthday as well, so they came along too with Scott, Nina and Brenna. It was a great ride, even if the horse I rode was kind of a puke. Anyhow, my love affair with miniature horses blossomed when we pulled into the parking lot and there was a darling mini. Posing like a flamingo.

Now, let me put his size into perspective with this photo of Emily and the mini. Quite a cute little nugget, isn't he?! I think he came up to my knees. I don't know who really rides him. Infants, I guess.

And just when you thought these things couldn't get any smaller, then comes the mini mini, pictured here with Brenna. Like me, I think she was amazed that this creature was real.

Silly Mini Mini. He's just a free romaing kinda guy, who muscles his way over to steal water from Big Mini's water bucket. And talk aboutt their crazy hair.

We then hopped on (our full-sized horses) and went for our ride... a big group, but fun and quite nice in the shade. As if I didn't have enough photos of horses' butts from the Colorado trip, here's one more of Emily on Ritz.

Afterwards, it was off to the pool. I would have posed for the photo but I forgot my goggles (and, alas, my bikini.)

It was only a matter of time before Bosco took the plunge.

Woops. He didn't mean it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Adventures at the Lake

It's not often you go to the lake, in search of some rest and relaxation, only to find out that your day of sunning is also the day of the local church beach fest. We're talking those giant blow up jumpy things for kids, blaring music and scripture, and yes, countless baptisms. I know I'll likely be struck down for taking photos of this, but there were all sorts of family members doing the same, so I guess I just blended in. I don't know about you, but I've never attended a baptism where all the guests are in their bathing suits.

Here's the actual dunking (btw, if you've been folliwing my posts, I clearly have a fascination with all things dunkable.)

As always, this particular lake affords what is quite possibly the best people watching in the Commonwealth. Highlights included the family that filled their cups and drank lake water for a mid-afternoon refreshment. And the rabbi that appeared out of nowhere and decided to offer some sort of blessing to a newborn... right there on the beach. Who knew the beach was such a multi-tasking venue?!

The other highlight of the day came when we ordered lunch from the local sandwich/pizza shop, Lake Pizza. I loved that they even had a "specialty pizza" listed on the menu as Lake Pizza. I can only guess what's on it... straight from the lake.

Riot's TV commercial is airing!

What a nice surprise to be watching some house flipping show on A&E and then see my dear houndie, Riot, on screen! I managed to record the commercial, thanks to TiVo and my camera, and am now trying to figure out how to share this with you all. (I could upload it to You Tube, but there's a huge disclaimer about how you're NOT to upload commercials.) Hmmmm. Anyhow, look for it -- you see a guy in his "man town" and Riot in the chair a bunch of times. Such a star!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Did you know.....

...that there's a new trend out there called eco-running where runners make their daily jaunt filled with more purpose than just burning calories? These earth-friendly folks run with a plastic bag in hand (most likely of the biodegradable variety) and pick up trash along their running routes. So if you see someone running with a big sack of tash, there you have it. (Charline, after your photojournalistic exposee, I'm not sure what your friends in Taunton would do -- run with a truck on their backs?!)

And did you know, too, that you can customize Dunkin' gift cards? That's right -- with a simple photo upload to the Dunkin site, you can have your very own, rechargeable and reusable swiper card with anyone's face on it. I think that might be worth the $5 set-up fee.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Breaking news...

I know it's not possible that the dunk tanke people read my blog, but when I drove by yesterday, I noticed that not only had it been given a paint job, but there's a SMILEY face on the back of it now. Talk about improvements! I tried to take a photo this morning, but there was a bunch of cars... that, and I didn't want these people to think that I'm stakling their dunk tank! So you gotta trust me on this one! Fancy!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Clean what?!

The time has come. Try as I might to ignore the fact that I have a dirty job to do, it's summer, it's warm, and as a responsible horse owner, I've gotta take care of certain cleaning matters that involve a certain horse's undercarriage. Now, I won't go into details, but let's just say I've purchased the special solution and found some hilarious instruction online regarding this task. I invite you all to read it. I shall say nothing more, but CLICK HERE. (And if anyone would like to make some big bucks this week -- I pay well!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Shelby Lou gets married!

Big congrats to Shelby and Mike on their wedding! All of us at Table 9 had a fabulous time...

Special highlights included the ever-rosy KK. By day she may be queen of the database, but come night -- well, watch out!

Hello, Suzi and Dave!

... and hello Suzi and the electric slide!

While Shelby was cutting some serious rug on the dance floor, her petticoats had wandered to the front door. I decided to keep them company.

Even though the ever-singing, ever-dancing DJ never busted out the inflatable saxophone Sara was hoping for, he did pause long enough for a photo...

And last but not least -- my favotite picture of Mike as he's prepping Shelby for her gluten-free mini wedding cake...

(Luckily for the guests we had the real deal with plenty of yummy frosting.) Congratulations, guys!

Friday, August 3, 2007

A different kind of dunkin'...

While I love my morning Dunkin' iced coffee, I always have to laugh at this dunk tank I pass on my way to work (right on someone's lawn, out in the sticks, mind you.) I think it made its initial appearance last year and I was so excited to see it show up again this summer. Unfortunately for the owners, I don't think there is much business for the dunk tank. I think, perhaps, because it looks like a torture chamber?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's in a name?

I can honestly say I love Googling my name. I mean, how can you beat this: "At Heather Hill Llamas, we believe in breeding with integrity. Our goal is to produce pure llamas with excellent conformation, calm temperament, good health and nice fiber." Love that. Nice fiber.

So why stop there? Here's just a sampling of what Heather Hill has to offer (and these are just the North American selections.)
  • Heather Hill Music Therapy Research (Ohio)
  • Heather Hill Elementary School (Illinois)
  • Heather Hill Bed and Brakfast (Pennsylvania)
  • Heather Hill HealthCare Center (Florida)
  • Heather Hill Apartment Homes (Maryland) "Stroll the beautiful grounds of Heather Hill where you'll discover lovely, open, country yards shaded by trees and seasonal flowers. This is your new home."
  • Heather Hill Farm: Welsh Cobs (California)
  • Heather Hill Country Club (Massachusetts)
  • Heather Hill Clothing: Covered in beauty (California) "Heather is the flowering shrub that has bathed the hills of Europe in beauty for centuries. Hence, it has come to be known as the 'cover of beauty'. Heather Hill is a clothing company that was born out of that image."
  • Heather Hill Equine Massage (Minnesota)
  • Heather Hill Australian Shepherds (California)
  • Heather Hill Cottage (Massachusetts)
  • Heather Hill Gardens (Virginia)
  • Heather Hill Log Cabins (Arkansas)

And my second favorite tag line:

  • Heather Hill Farms (Arkansas) "In a world where BIGGER is promoted as better, Heather Hill offers a friendly alternative."