Captian Catch-up

{Remember that comic from the Humpty Dumpty Magazine???}

My internet had gone wonky, so I was off line for a few days trying to figure it out.

It was a curse & a blessing. We depend on the internet so much, that when it's gone, we are lost.

How are we supposed to look up an answer to a random question??

Oh, yeah. We could go to the library!!

Which we did, but they're remodeling the entire lower floor, and it was so crowded, noisy & there were no available tables and/or chairs to sit at.

So we did other things....

Monday R, D & I went to the pool about 7 PM. It was probably 110 or so outside with a warm breeze.

The pool was about 90 degrees.

It was so gross.

I took a quick dip, then sat on the lounge chair to read. The water was so warm, it did nothing to cool you off.

But the girls didn't mind. They swam & played for about an hour.

R took a pic of her toes. She painted them herself. And they always look cooler under water!!

She wanted me to take some pics of her, so she posed & I shot.

And of course we had to have a pic with goofy faces.

It wasn't a very exciting time at the pool. But the girls got out of the house & off the couch!

Tuesday S had to pick up her books before school starts {Aug 10th}. The students have to get their books at the book store, which is not a very large space. So to avoid over crowding in the book store, the school attempted to set up book distribution in a more efficient way.

Except this new method took us 4 hours!!

I'm not kidding you. We stood in line to get books for 4 hours!!

It was insane.

And boring.

I keep a paperback in my purse for those times I have to wait.

I finished it before we got books!

But it could've been a much longer wait, though. The previous week, they had set it up so students received books according to their last name. {So Mon was for students whose last name began A-D, Tues E-H, etc.} We missed that because S was a cheer camp all week in San Diego.

Which she hated.

She said it was a waste of time & money & they didn't really learn anything new. But she had a blast at the beach their last day!

And she didn't reapply sunscreen like she should have, & got a burn.

In about a week she will have a nice golden tan.


Wednesday was when we went to the library. I wanted to use their free wireless internet {which is so painfully sloooooooow} and D wanted to get the 2nd Harry Potter book.

She has finally gotten into reading!!

I've tried for years to get her to read. I even tried encouraging her to read the Harry Potter books when she was in 3rd & 4th grades. But she refused.

I just had to let her alone & come around on her own.

I'm not sure what suddenly sparked her interest {it could be that her sisters read the Harry Potter books & are always talking about them & comparing them to the movies} but I'm not going to complain.

It took her about 3 weeks to read the first book, and now she's already on Chapter 6 of the second!

Yesterday we didn't do anything. S had practice & I messed with computers, wireless routers & the internet.

I didn't turn on the TV all day & it was awesome!!

The girls got their room cleaned, played nicely together & even read!!

I think I'm going to leave the TV off more often....


Back in the Saddle Again


My laptop is back & in working order.


So now I can update more often & post some more pics.

See ya on the other side!


The {Death} of a Laptop

As some of you may know, I've been dealing with fixing my laptop. It had somehow got infected with a virus that kept making it crash. And whenever I ran any of the 4 anti-virus programs I have, it'd get to what I believe was the virus, & crash.

So, little by little I transferred all my files {mostly my digital scrapbook kits I bought or downloaded for free} on to the PC or DVDs. It was very hard to burn the files, because of the laptop crashing, so most of the files went on the PC.

Then I reformatted my laptop & things appeared to be fine.

They weren't.

I was installing drivers, programs & burning all those digital scrapbook kits when the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH appeared.

When I restarted, I got an error message, something to the effect there is no operating system being detected.

So I tried reinstalling Vista.

And got a message saying there is no hard drive!

Holy Irish Monk!! I have no hard drive?!?!?!

I was going to try to get help from Dell, but my laptop is now a year & a half old, so the warranty has expired. Any help from them will cost.

Cost money I currently don't have.

So, now I'm not sure what to do. I might save up to buy a new hard drive and start from scratch. But I did have some scrapbook files on the laptop I'd like to have. But I am now out of my league on this & have no clue how to get that hard drive back in working order.

Maybe it is fried & will never repairable.

So, I'm working on the slow-ass PC and any files I really, really, really want, get saved to my flash drive.


Huh?!?! What Did You Say?? I Can't Hear You!

Right now I'm in the bedroom reading my email.

Sean is watching Jurassic Park in the living room.

How do I know he's watching Jurassic Park?

He has the TV so loud that I'm pretty sure all the surrounding neighbors also know he's watching Jurassic Park...


Impatient Giraffes

Today I had to take S to get her annual sports physical. The school has a few days during the year they hold physicals & I was going to take her to that. But the next one was not until the 29th.

And we just found out last week she needs a physical before they go to cheer camp.

This Sunday.

For 4 days.

So I was scrambling around to find a place that I could take her to that didn't require insurance and would take her, like, yesterday.

Most of the Urgent Care Centers will do the physical, but they charge $45.


$45 to tell me my kid is fine, has no heart problems, what she weighs & how tall she is???

Okay, they check a few more things than that. But just a few.

Anyway, when we stopped in the Athletics Office to get the paperwork we needed they had a list of offices that where you can get a physical.

I called one that is just down the road form us, but they charged $40 & couldn't get her in on time. There was another office by the hospital & they charged only $25. That's a little better. So I called them & {thankfully} got an appointment for today at 1:15.

Now, everyone knows, you almost never get to see the doctor on time and usually have to wait 10-15 minutes.

After waiting 15 minutes S was getting antsy.

She is so much like her father in that she has no patience what so ever. On top of that, she was going to be late for practice.

In the 3 years of cheer, she has never been late.

First time for everything!

We ended up waiting 1 HOUR!!

That's right. ONE HOUR just to get in the room and have the tech, or whatever they're called, check her height, weight & blood pressure. Then wait some more for the doctor.

She was so bored in the exam room while waiting she was reading the toddler books.

That were in both English & Spanish!

Now here is where it gets funny.

The tech, or whatever they're called, came in the exam room & asked S a few questions. Except she was from Nigeria or where ever, & had a very thick accent so S had no clue what she was asking!

She had to keep saying "What??" {The tech, or whatever she is called, asked her if she was allergic to any medications or on any meds.}

After the tech, or whatever she was called, left we had this conversation:

S: I couldn't understand a single thing she said.

M: I could tell when you kept saying  "WHAT??"

S: Yeah.   "Do you want a giraffe?"

M: What??

S: That's what she could've asked me for all I knew!

Because giraffes have so much to do with a sports physical!!!

Then she sat bored & waiting for the real doctor to show up & sign the damn forms all ready.

Taken with my camera phone, so quality is not that great.

Would This Be Considered Being a Bad Mother?

As you know we have 2 kittens, Piper & the one who still doesn't have a proper name.

I call her Ugg because she is so very ugly.

Both kittens love to play with plastic groceries bags. Which they shouldn't.

We have been warned since the invention of plastic grocery bags to not let our children play with them for fear of suffocation.

I ignore that warning.

No, I never let the girls play with them when they were little. Well, only when they played pretend grocery store.

After all what, fun is playing pretend grocery store without real plastic grocery store bags?

I let the kittens play with them. And aren't kittens a bit like little kids?

I just can't resist. They are so cute pouncing on the bags. Chewing them like they just made the kill of a century.

And then doing things like this ~

Ugg pounced & played for a bit then crawled into the bag & pulled it around her. Like she was in a sleeping bag!

I did supervise her, though.

I watched from the couch & took pictures!

She stayed like this for about 20 minutes, occasionally attacking the bag.

Then she needed a nap.

Because kittens often need naps.

So she made herself a little bed and slept for a couple of hours....


The Result

This is what D wanted her cake to look like.

Well, mostly.

She wanted the lettering in neon pink, but thought it wouldn't show very well. So she decided on blue. But I told her, she should do yellow. It's a good contrast color and will show up the best.

It didn't occur to me until I began piping the letters, and was to the first 'p' of Happy, that the colors are McDonald's colors!!

This is what the cake looks like with the candles all lit and you forget your camera is on a slow shutter speed.

Kinda cool. But you can't see D behind there ready to blow them all out....

Aaahhhh! Much better.

Here is the best part. D, a child after my own heart, didn't want just a plain ol' white cake. No, Siree!

She wanted a purple one!!

She also got a few cool gifts ~

From Mom & Dad.

And from Grandma...

Mom brought this over this morning and D played it pretty much all day.

That is, until Sean came home late in the afternoon & we gave her the phone.

It has a camera on it. She took pictures of just about everything.

Then deleted most of them!!

Right now she is with Aunt Shannon at the movies. I think they went to watch Ice Age.

R went along too.

She had a gift card from school.

Because she's a braineack.

{And I'm not. So I'm not sure that's spelled right. And spell check doesn't recognize it.}


Birthday Prep

Okay. So it's not so much a birthday prep as it is a cake prep.

Because of our financial situation, the usual birthday party will have to be put off for another year.

So, D & I were up at 6 to make her cake.

Okay, I made the cake. She simply told me the colors she wanted me to use.

But you will have to wait for pics of the final product.

Because my laptop got a virus that I can't shake {how I wish I had a geek tech friend right now!} and the PC is sooooo sssssssllllllllllllooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww!

I had to put some of my files from my laptop on the second hard drive of the PC, because every time I tried to burn a DVD on the laptop, the virus made it crash.

Then the 2nd hard drive filled up, so I had to put some on the C drive.

Hence the extremely slow PC.

Add to that I'm all out of CDs to burn the extra files onto so I can clean up the hard drive to hopefully get it running a bit faster.

And the PC doesn't have a DVD burner.

And I'm still unemployed.


Sucks to be me.....



D: There are Mexicans all over the place.

S: That's because we live in Arizona. They just come here to live. And don't even ask permission!


Adorable Picture of the Day

For your daily overdose of cuteness & aawwww factor, click here......


Holy Feather, Batman!!

While hiking off the mountain, and through the desert after the 4th fireworks, S found this feather.

It's hard to tell from my amateur photography, but man, oh, man this thing is huge. I'd say about 12-15" long!!

And while trekking off the mountain, over the desert and down {or was it up??} the road to the car, Sean & S were trying to figure out if it might be from an eagle or a hawk.

Then Sean says it might be from a vulture.

For some reason that put all worries of snakes, coyotes, and scorpions out of her mind....


Welcome to the Show, My Friends. Come Inside, Come Inside...

Last night, as many did, we went to see the fireworks. I always let Sean decide where we'll go, since he knows the better places to get the best view.

Without paying for parking or an admission fee.

This year, as in past years, we hiked to the spot. And when I say hiked, that's exactly what I mean. Hiked.

He parked in a business park lot; we then trekked down the road, across an intersection, down {or maybe it was up, I'm not entirely sure!} another road,up a hill, down the hill, up a rocky mountain, down the rocky mountain, over a path, then up another hill to the best spot. We hiked for about half an hour to get the perfect spot. All by the lights of the city & the 3/4 full moon.

Thank goodness it had cooled down by then. About 8:30 PM. We settled on the rocky terrain and waited only about 3 minutes for the show to begin.

I sat & shot picture after picture {200 to be exact} while simultaneously watching the fireworks. Not an easy feat. My tush got sore sitting for so long and an ant bit me just below my left butt cheek! I ended up deleting a few and narrowing it down to 136 good shots. They would've been much better if I had a tripod, but hey, you make do.

Most of the fireworks look like sea creatures, dandelions or squiggles!! There are some interesting shots, that's for sure.

I think the show lasted about an hour, and was a pretty good one. When it was all over, we hiked back to the car, {this time by a slightly shorter route}, Sean bypassed all the congested traffic, and we got home tired and slightly dusty in time to fall exhausted into our beds.

Yup. It was a good 4th.


Pre-Fourth BBQ

Yesterday the girls & I went to Mom's for a BBQ with her & my 2 sisters.

Although it was hot & humid, we had a blast! The day started out sunny with a few clouds, but you could feel the moisture in the air.

We BBQed some burgers, dogs, corn on the cob and R & S made tossed salads. We had the corn, and those who wanted them, the dogs & burgers. Then came the best part ~ cheese cake & ice cream!!

After we stuffed ourselves, Jan wanted some help with a project for her beading. So she & I raided Mom's supply of wood and set to work in the back yard building a portable lap table.

I won't go into how we had some difficulties with the mitered corners for a frame & had to do that twice!! Let's just say, HGTV is safe from us ever being on a show!!!

While we were slaving away trying to get the perfect 45 degree angle, Jane and the girls were conspiring.

To throw water balloons at us!!

It actually felt good after working in the heat for about an hour!! But those suckers hurt.

A lot. Especially when you get hit square in the back.


Oh!! And Jane, Jan & I pulled the funniest/meanest prank on Mom!!!

As Jan & I were setting up one of her power tools to use, we had to have Mom come out to show us how to unlock it. But, being Mom, she couldn't just show us then leave. Nooooo. She had to stay to watch us.

Because we might not do it right. Which, in Mom speak means we might not do it her way.

Jan told her to leave, we know what we're doing and stop trying to tell us how to do it.

Just before she left to go into the house Mom says; "You kids better not cut anything off."

Because, you see, Jan is 38; I'm 41 and we grew up around and using all types of power tools. But we still might slice off a hand or something.

Sometimes that woman is crazy.

And here is where the funny/mean prank comes in. I told Jan, she has to pretend to cut her finger, we'll get Mom to run out, then punk her.

But we had to work out a few details.

Set scene:

It had to be Jan who gets cut. Because if I did, I'd pass out. And I couldn't be the one to run & get Mom. I was laughing so hard, she'd never believe me. Because if Jan did cut her finger and I had to run & get Mom, I'd be a white as a sheet. Then I'd pass out.

Jane comes in to lend a hand. She had to be the one who runs to get Mom while Jan is screaming & I'm setting off to the side with my head between my legs. Jane said she couldn't do it because she was laughing so hard, too. {We haven't pulled off the prank yet and we're in stitches and tears!!} Jan & I reminded her that's normal. For her. Whenever any of us get cut, Jane laughs. She's the runner.

And to sweeten the punk, we had the girls hide so when Mom came out, they'd bomb her with water balloons.


Jan makes the last cut of the trim we were working on. {Had to make it sound authentic.} Then screams & yells some curses. I move away, go sit down with my head between my legs, making it look like I'm trying to not faint, when I'm actually hiding the fact I'm laughing hysterically. Jane runs into the house & yells something like; "Ma! Get over here! I think Janice cut her finger!!"

Mom high-tailed it out to the back yard, and as she's running out she says a classic;

"Those damn kids!!"


After Mom got a little wet, her heart restarted and we all had a good laugh {at Mom's expense, of course!} Jane, Jan, me, R & S sat around and played Balderdash.

Jan found this game at a thrift store. It's missing a few parts, but she has the important ones; the cards.

If you've never played Balderdash, it's a game where a player pulls a card, rolls the dice and picks the word corresponding with the number rolled. She then says the word aloud, spells it, and everyone writes what they think the definition of the word is. The reader writes 2 definitions, the real one & one she makes up. After all definitions are written, the reader reads them all, including the correct one, and the other players try to guess which one is the correct definition.

This game is a blast when you play with a 12 & 15 year old.

Sometimes the definitions are really, really funny. Sometimes really, really bad or stupid. And sometimes really, really good.

Whenever we play Balderdash, we always end up laughing so hard our eyes water and we can't breath. Sometimes it's over nothing!!

Yup. Yesterday was a good day.....


Oh, Yeah. About the AC.....

We got the AC fixed the other day.

Well, kinda.

It turns out it wasn't the AC unit that was not working. It was the area it's installed in.

Let me explain.

The unit is housed up in the ceiling of the hallway. It turns out it was never properly enclosed & insulated. Just above the unit was the roof. Where all the AZ summer heat collects. Then was passed through our apartment.

Why no one ever noticed this before, is beyond me.

I've had maintenance up here to look at it every summer since we moved here. {This is our 3rd summer here} And it had to be hot before that, so you'd think previous tenants would've complained.

Oh, well. Whatever. We're good now.

The maintenance man spent a couple hours insulating & enclosing the unit & our apartment is now comfortably cool.

So cool in fact, I had to pull out my quilt last night.

And use it!

R woke up this morning wearing a hoodie & socks!

Now, I say, that's cool!!


Photo Shoot

I set up to do a photo shoot with S today so I can get more clone pictures of her.

That went well.


She's such a brat. D co-operated better than she did.

But I did manage to get a few good shots.

She just had to get Piper in a shot...

The apple on the head was cool. The rest of it.


She wanted another prop, so she got a tire Sean had on the back patio.

But it was dirty {naturally} & she didn't want to touch it. Makes it hard to get a variety of shots when the model won't get near the prop.

So the shoot ended.

For Savvy.

The kittens had fun messing around on my high tech back drop. {Sheets!! If you couldn't tell!}

S left the tire, and being curious cats, they had to investigate.

They were both in it, but by the time I got the camera focused, Piper jumped out.

S took care of the tire & a pine cone fell out. A source of fun for Ugg for a bit.

Then she posed for me...

She is just so ugly!! Sometimes she looks at you with really wide eyes & looks like a bush baby!

Piper did not want to be left out, so she got in the action...

She's so pretty....