Saturday, May 28, 2011


Yesterday was my 35th birthday. 
I worked in the morning and came home to find A had made this special banner. If you're a fan of "The Office" you will understand. If not well I just can't have your type stopping by to read. Nah, just kidding. 
A has been asking for weeks...or maybe it's been months about what I want to do, where I want to go, what I want for a gift. 
My choice was to stay at home and have dinner. She loves to cook. I requested grilled shrimp. She came home with these monstrous prawns.

 Soaking in a marinade of key lime juice, green chilies, garlic, onion and ginger.
 And grilled to perfection...even out in the pouring rain.
Served with my favorite grilled asparagus and baked potato.
I asked for a margarita cake this year. The cake and the glaze contain tequila, triple sec and margarita mix made with key limes. Once you go to the key limes, you can't go back.

We played in the yard with the dogs. When the rain came we took a nap and then got up and drank margaritas. Not a bad birthday at all.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Levels of Insanity and a Tacky RV Make-Over

Meet my 2 newest house guests.


Let me stress that they are only guests and will be heading to their own homes in less than 2 weeks. They are sweet and polite but there are entirely too many dogs in this house. Leeza and Chantelle's addition brings us to the insane number of 10. Yes, that's right I said TEN!!      When I sighed and muttered those words this morning, A practically dropped to her knees rejoicing that I realize that fact. 

When A and I finalized our trip to Ohio, we couldn't very well leave without at least offering to transport any dogs that needed to head east. We have foster homes along the route and with gas prices, well transports are becoming more limited. Early last week it appeared that we weren't going to have any extras along but by the middle of the week, two adopters had contacted us about meeting along our route to pick up their newest addition. By Friday, I had it all planned out and Saturday I picked them up while doing my previously planned transport. I can't help but be amazed by the dedication and efficiency of the people I work with on a regular basis; four people came from four directions and dogs were swapped, 3 headed for adoptive homes and another 6 headed for the first time into a foster home. It was a good day.

Between all the seemingly non-stop rain we have managed to get the RV road ready. The all important engine maintenance and wheel and tire conversion was completed a few weeks ago. Then we decided to start a little make-over on the interior. We plan to paint but don't have time to get into that yet so we started easy by covering the retro sea-foam green 1987 interior and replacing the curtains with bright colors and now we're kind of hippie-ish. 

A said she wanted bright colors and I aim to please. In the rear there are two more windows with turquoise, purple and pink curtains and I covered the rear bench with a bright polka dot sheet. Now I can't wait to start painting.
For the driver and passenger seats we chose blue Hawaiian seat covers. Once A got a look at those, she decided she wouldn't be satisfied without a dashboard hula girl to complete the look. Meet "Sweet Leilani". I found her and several others on Ebay. A made her choice and I had her shipped to us from Hawaii even though I'm sure her point of origin is China. Looks like she is more traveled than us already.
What can I say except that when we decide to go tacky and cliche, we go all the way. 
My favorite part of this picture is A's lumbar support pillow in the driver's seat. :)
Before placing Leilani on the dashboard for our hula-ing pleasure, A just couldn't resist finding out what she had on under that skirt. For the record, she has a yellow bikini. 

Here in Minnesota, spring has finally arrived in some way, shape or form. It's been extremely rainy and cooler than normal but that doesn't stop life from struggling forward. The farmers may not be able to get into the fields but the plants have managed to push through the soil. The leaves appeared on the trees overnight and my hostas shot up like magic. The rosebushes are filling out and the ants are already working on the peony buds. A planted her salsa garden; herbs, tomato and pepper plants yesterday between scattered thunderstorms. We just can't keep waiting for mother-nature to get her ass in gear.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This Life is All Just an Adventure (And A Long Post)

I woke up this morning to thunder and lightening and hail. For one brief moment I thought I should get up and check things out...but then I rolled over and my muscles groaned and I decided I wasn't going anywhere. I looked at the kitty sleeping on my pillow and moaned, "Can't I have just one more day at home?" A few hours later I got my wish; work called to tell me my schedule had fallen apart. Yeah, I get to stay home.

My weekend started at 5pm Friday on a gloomy note. I left work and as I turned toward home I could see a huge storm cloud in the distance. All I could think was great, finally a beautiful day stuck indoors and just as I get to go home, here comes the rain again. Fuck!!
Luckily is was just a quick moving rain cloud and I just missed the sun-shower as I drove up to a lake just 5 miles from my house. Instead I was treated with a view of this beautiful rainbow.

At home A had the same idea and took a picture from our backyard. 
It ended up being a lovely evening and we spent it at home.

Saturday I woke early to a beautiful sunny day. It was a little cool, only in the 50s but perfect weather for  walking/running. It was especially nice for me who had not been out training for over 2+ weeks because of the cold rain/snow.  We actually made it out the door and to the 5K early (because I'm usually running late) and we got to see the 1/2 marathon runners start. 
Before the 5K, the 5 of us posed for one last photo just in case someone dropped over beside the road.  I have to admit that some of us (mainly me) were kind of lazy 5Kers. We walked up hills and jogged down. We just wanted to finish before time was up. I did get a little stressed at one point. We came around a corner and the Boy Scouts were set up handing out water. Someone asked how far to the finish and I swore she said we were 1 mile in. At this point I'm starting to panic, "OMG A, did she say we've only went a mile! That can't be right! We still have 2 miles! I can't go another 2 miles!!" Picture that I'm panting and wanting to die. A just tried to reassure me that only a mile left, "Just keep thinking Blood Mary, Bloody Mary".  I told her I don't like Bloody Marys that damn much! 

All my life I've heard of the mythical "Runners High". What a fucking joke! Afterward I had that damn lactic acid burn in my legs and the girls told me that was supposed to be a great feeling. I told them that feeling is only great if induced by wild, mind-blowing sex. Otherwise, it's a waste!
The girl who had my camera didn't know how to turn it on, so she didn't get a picture of us crossing the finish line. But we finished in 39:22. The first of our group finished in 32:04 and everyone else fell in between. The average finish for the whole 5K was 41:26 so we were all better than average. Bonus, no cramp in my side!
Afterward, Bloody Mary, beer chaser and a huge-ass breakfast that calorie content surpassed what I had just burnt off. I will admit, that after my belly was full, I agreed to do it again next year. I'm a glutton for punishment.

We came home and spent some time outside with the dogs. Last year at our rescue auction I won a dog agility set and wanted to try out the tunnel; some sniffed it, others just avoided it. A thought it would be a good idea to climb in and maybe entice the dogs inside.
Okay, now they're interested.
 Jill even went inside for a minute.
But then she got stuck and the dogs scattered. Notice, I take pictures but don't rush to help her. I wonder what my neighbors think. Even after all this, we had to go grocery shopping plus I had extra stops to make. By the time we came home that night, I could barely walk. Every muscle in the lower 1/2 of my body was screaming and I was asking myself why the hell do I do these things without properly preparing.

Mother's Day went off without a hitch. A and I both invited our mothers out to brunch at a nearby restaurant. It's on the river and they have great outdoor spaces and a lot of feeders and nesting areas to attract birds and other wildlife. It was busy and they didn't accept reservations but the awesome breakfast was worth the wait. 

After the moms went home, A got to work installing a new stereo system in the RV. Sounds simple until you realize the RV is 24 years old and so is the old radio. We knew we needed to install new speakers but when we pulled the old radio out, well things were just wired differently back then. The radios didn't need as much power and there were only 5 wires. A new stereo has more like 15-20 wires and needs additional power from wires that don't exist. This endeavor required removing part of the dash, a Dremel to cut a larger opening and sacrificing the cigarette lighter for extra power. All in all, it worked out well and A gets an A+ for effort on that project.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tonight I was doing my regular dinner preparation for the dogs. Here there is not just throwing some kibble in a bowl. There is food to be soaked and softened for the old toothless dogs, chicken to be cleaned and divided evenly (okay, I admit the old man gets a little extra) and all the while there is dancing and leaping and scratching and woo-wooing and the chirping of LuLu. Tonight during all this chaos, A stood leaning against the counter watching. When I asked her what she was smiling about she just simply stated "If this all ended tomorrow, you would miss it." I rolled my eyes and sighed and muttered sarcastically about this glorious existence I live. This is how I've spent almost every evening for the past 5 years and she's right, I wouldn't change a thing.

I've been a bit absent here but I have a good excuse; once again my procrastination has caught up to me. I've been cramming some online continuing education classes in to complete my licensure requirements. Suddenly, it's my birthday month and I find myself unprepared. I'm happy to finally have that done. In two years, I'll probably find myself in the same boat. I've also taken on some new responsibilities with the rescue. Somehow I fell into Home Visit Coordinator for the Midwest. Huh? It is basically working with other rescues to find people to complete the home visit in areas where we don't have our own volunteers. The woman who was handling it had some medical issues with her husband so she's got her hands full. I have no experience but I'm sure I will find my way and I have great experienced people guiding me.

We also had a visitor for a week. Miss Leaha was our first foster. When she was adopted I cried for a week even though she was rowdy, unruly and bossy. She was adopted by a woman and then returned to rescue 7 months later because the woman was working all the time and Leaha was alone too much. Since then she has been in another foster home, but we wanted to get her into an area where she could get more exposure. She came here on a stop and then onward to South Dakota. She's such a pretty girl; almost 4 years old and still looks like a puppy. I was happy to see she's not quite as sassy these days.

Last Saturday we spent the whole day at PetsMart for an adoption event. There's no way to describe it except exhausting. Still we packed up all the dogs and supplies and hauled everyone out into the cold rain in hopes of finding someone a home. This little girl Cassie is always a star and charms everyone, but for some reason she's still here. Don't tell A that I really don't mind since she's my little cuddle buddy most evenings.
Maybe I need to start dressing them up like this...Oh, I want to so badly!

May 1st we woke up to 33 degrees and snow flurries. We said fuck it and brought the RV home anyway. I'm happy to report it started right up and we had no mouse damage. We have just four short weeks until we leave on our first road trip of the season. Honestly, it's all I can think about these days. I NEED to get he hell out of town. I'm hoping that a vacation will drastically change my point of view.