Tuesday, December 30, 2014

wrappin' it up!

It's 5.1 degrees F outside, and that's about the expected high for the day.  Well, at least the negative sign is gone from the digital readout now.  BRRRRR!

Yesterday, my plan was to take the van in to swap on the snow tires.  Ironically, I didn't make it there because the van doesn't have snow tires!  Today?  Maybe?

I guess we can call this "The Bitter End" of  2014.  Before I make any resolutions (yeah, riiiight...), I thought I should take a look back on the year with it's ups and downs.  Seems to me that they were mostly ups.  To save my fingers, I'm posting this photo montage of (some of) the highlights of the year in (sort of) chronological order.  Ready??!?

Yes, it's been another wonderful year!  And I'm looking forward to more good times among blog friends in 2015.  Thanks to all of you for making my life richer and warmer!  Best wishes for much fun and amusement in the new year for all you hard working souls!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Here we are, the final week of 2014!  I'm not quite yet organized for the year-in-review post, but I think I can handle the week just passed.

It was a nice week off from school and work.  And, as typical, we don't get too stressed around here for the holidays, but still manage to partake in the specialness.  The kids all seem happy with what Magnum and I got for them.  Maybe part of the Christmas Eve freeze-out is to increase the gratitude scale!  Heck, it works for me.

Plus they had Grandparent money to burn, so we did some Boxing Day shopping on Friday.  Mostly all at Bass Pro Shop, where I didn't care to buy anything, but I do enjoy looking at the fish.  The guys also went to Big 5 Sporting Goods, and I passed on that one.  Too bad because some drunk guy came in and started undressing!

I guess he was using the floor display exercise equipment and began stripping.  Management had to throw him out.  Dang, I knew I should've gone with them.

We've had fun gaming together, of the non electronic sort.  Along with the more wholesome games, we played that totally inappropriate game, and so now our familial relationships have reached a whole 'nother level...

Along more traditional lines, there's been jigsaw puzzling, working away on this Picasso.  Anyone know the painting?  Anyone?

In movie news, Magnum and I watched "The Grand Budapest Hotel".  What silly fun is that?!  I'd never heard of it, but Magnum found it at the library so we gave it a go.  It's just silly satire, and I suspect that the many big-name celebrities in it had as much fun making it as we did watching.  

And I will give a shout out to the makeup department.  Remember a while ago when I was bashing "Prometheus"?  One of my gripes was the terrible make-up job in making a young actor look like an old man?  Well, The Grand Budapest Hotel had it going on.  Tilda Swinton looked absolutely ancient!

So we're winding up the last of the year.  This week looks to be a blast!  As in arctic blast...  I suppose that's good, though, because I still have much to scratch off the to-do list.  I did get out today for a romp with Bella since it's probably our last nice bicycling day for a while.  The menfolk also took advantage by going to the shooting range and (literally) blowing away the Christmas cash.  

Have a great final week!  Stay warm!


Friday, December 26, 2014

larvae little Christmas

Happy post-Christmas to those who celebrate!
Happy Friday to the others!

We enjoyed a nice day of much cooking, much eating, much gaming, and much general slacking off for the five of us.  No travelling, and no visitors.

We also managed to survive another Christmas camp.  In fact, this year was not nearly as cold as last, but that's not saying a whole lot because last year was freaking freeeezing!

The trusty tent stove did its job nicely, cranking out the warmth until it didn't anymore.  Strangely, no one wanted to stay up all night to feed it.  I think  it needs a name...

We think the temperatures got down into the upper 20s.  Livable for one night, but I wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis

Long johns are our friends.

I remember waking up cold around 4 a.m.  The fire had long gone out and I was craving my hoodie, which was outside my bag.  WHY did I not tuck it in with me?  I managed to funnel it in through the small hole in my mummy bag, but had no success in actually putting it on once it was in there.  I had to sacrifice crucial body heat and loosen the bag so as to put on the hoodie, but in the end, it was worth it.

I stayed snug the rest of the night in my cocoon, hoping to emerge a beautiful butterfly.

Spoiler Alert:  it didn't work.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

oh, holy frijole night

Here we are, Christmas Eve.  The "manger" awaits.

Yes, once again, we'll be re-enacting the original Christmas story. We've got a Joseph, a Virgin *COUGH* Mary, three wise guys, and some animals.  The only missing detail is the baby savior.

All right, well, we will be spending the night outside again this year, but it's not really a portrayal of the nativity.  I'm not actually sure of the why behind Christmas camp, but I'm pretty sure it isn't that.  Maybe it's to spend the night like homeless people to help us appreciate that we're not homeless or alone on Christmas day or any day.

Yeah, okay, I'm going with that.

Wishing you all laughter, peace, and love!  Oh, and warmth too, we mustn't forget warmth (inside and out)!

From the AbbyNormals


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Winter Solstice!  In the northern hemisphere, the days will start getting longer now until they aren't anymore!

We got our annual little tree yesterday.  A baby Colorado Blue Spruce.  Here she is.  Quiet, she's asleep... the garage, next to the unwanted TV that, yes *sigh* is still here.  

This was another nice week of getting caught up on a few neglected things.  Oh, Christmas is coming soon too.  PEO was fun earlier this week.  No business meeting in December, just party time. 

Despite the fact that we DID go to BestBuy on Thanksgiving, we're not big into the whole retail scene at all.  Magnum and I do get gifts for the kids, but we've never done lists or Santa or any of that, and so they're actually pretty hard to get gifts for.  If they need it, we just get it when it's needed.  If they want it, they just get it themselves or come to us ready to deal.  What's left??  It's a challenge, I tellya!

As mentioned, my pedal perks leg warmers arrived this week, earlier than I expected.  Gosh, they're nice :D.  Really, I would not likely get these for myself, but since they were on the list...

Alice and I took them for a lovely ride to put them through the paces.  It was about 40 degrees out and sunny.  My fingers and toes went a little numb, but my legs were so cozy!  Recommend!

When I got home, Chaco was here, happily finished with semester finals.  He took the pics of the legwarmers.  Not only are they comfy cozy, but I think they bring out Alice's eyes.
And so we're into the final weeks of 2014.  Thank you to all of my blog friends for another fun year of blogowship (??)!  Enjoy your holidays and all the extra sunlight coming our way!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday! Not that it matters what day it is...

Happy Friday, but it's my second or third official day of break, so I'm not really paying attention!

Wednesday night, we got a dusting of snow, and yesterday morning I was out in the backyard with China when I noticed a bunch of critter tracks like this:

Cute huh?  About three inches long and all over the place.  The photo was taken next to China's food dish.  Note:  China was an outdoor dog when we first got her.  She and our other dog, Domino, had a barn and a dog run.  She has since become a lazy indoor dog, but she won't eat inside.  Against her religion or something.  Anyway...

These tracks, I wasn't sure what they were.  Fox maybe?  I googled and have narrowed it down to two possibilities:  raccoon or big skunk.  

I sure hope it's raccoon.

Unless it has rabies.

Now I'm off to run a few errands.  Good news - my leg warmers arrived this week and were bestowed upon me on Wednesday!  That was quicker than I expected.  I'ts fun to win stuff!

Gonna go road test them now :D.
UPDATE:  I'm back.  

free legwarmers!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

dawn of a new error


I think I just turned in my last school assignment for the semester, and I'm all... "now what?"  This is how these semesters seem to typically end.  Mad rush of finals followed by a vast nothingness.  All that momentum grinds to a halt.  I'm a bit worried about my brain turning to mush before the next round, so I'd better come up with something to stimulate it.  Even my one current tutee is a college boy also on break, so he's no help.

But I do have things I need to do today.  It's grey and gloomy out with snow in the forecast, but nothing falling yet.  I can't decide if I should venture out on a bicycle or not.  I'm thinking, "yes", and that will surely get the sky precipitating.

Last night, we had our PEO Christmas party.  Potluck followed by a yankee swap gift exchange.  I ended up with this large platter:

It's a nice ceramic serving platter, about 18" in diameter.  Not something I would choose myself since I don't even know if I have ample space to store it in our tiny kitchen.  I had my hot little hands on more appropriate items, but they were all stolen from me, and in the end, I brought the platter home.  Good times.

So now, to get caught up.  I look around and I see that the house needs attention (always), my hair (perpetually) needs attention, my wardrobe (ugh) needs attention, the pantry (constantly) needs attention, the monster fish tank... 

...screw those evil fish that thrive no matter what.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Alice - so SEXAY!
Greetings on this cold, blustery Sunday.  'bout time!  Really, as much as I was loving the mild December weather this week, we need some moisture now, and it's just WRONG to get rain in Colorado in December.  Also, it's been so mild that my allergy symptoms had returned.  I'm thankful for Zicam Allergy Relief snort, and I'm thankful that it is currently cold and snowing.

I took the above photo of Alice earlier this week for the Pedal Perks community blog, and thought I'd share it here too.  As you know, I've been somewhat inappropriately spending time with Wolfgang's bicycle Louie.  Alice and Bella don't really approve, but it is what it is.  When I was with Alice, she seemed to want to drive her various attributes home to me, and she did quite convincingly, Goose Poop Queen that she is.

And I'm looking forward to the arrival of the leg warmer prize.  With my luck, that won't happen until summer, but oh well.  I did get some new underpants this week, so I can bask in feeling good all under!

The semester is coming to a close, and my final projects are finished.  I've enjoyed my classes and am looking forward to the next round.  Just ordered my book$$$...

On that note, I'm thankful that amazon sells used textbooks and then buys them back at much better prices than the university bookstore (ripoff!)

In other shopping news, we're 2/3 of the way done with our Christmas gift-getting.  I don't know about anyone else, but I'm usually a pretty responsible spender and non-spoiler of children.  It likely goes back to the decision for me to be a stay-at-home-mom, but at Christmas, I just want to buy the kids EVERYTHING!

Can't take it with you...


Saturday, December 13, 2014


Magnum and I watched Prometheus last night.

Let me just say that I really liked the original Alien movie.  Thought it was extremely well done and deserves to be the classic that it is. And I say that, although I first watched it when I was, what?  Like fourteen years old? But I've also seen it as an adult and stand with my impression.

Prometheus, the prequel, is directed by Ridley Scott who also directed Alien as well as some other great films.  Should be good, right?

I dunno, maybe my expectations were too high.  I will say that it was not boring.  It's just that so much of it made so little sense.  Once I suspended all logic, I was able to enjoy it well enough.  But, a few nagging thoughts remain, so I will spew a bit.  In bullets (some spoilers):

  • This team of hotshot, handpicked scientists assemble for an epic mission to the outer reaches of space, yet... most of them don't even know what the mission is until AFTER they've done all that travelling and hypersleeping?  
  • Almost instantly upon their arrival to their destination, the lead scientist looks out the window to the planet - apparently approximately the same size as earth, since things seem to weigh about the same there - and conveniently spots the ONE creature-built structure!  "There!  Land over there!"
  • The team predictably goes out exploring the structure with seemingly no plan or specifically designated responsibilities for individual team members.  
  • The geologist who maps the structure promptly gets lost.
  • The biologist wants no part of studying the alien corpses.
  • The biologist takes no precautions when encountering an alien snakelike thing and is predictably killed by said alien snakelike thing.
  • It's the year 2093, and the high-falutin' medical pod thing doesn't "do" gynecology?

And one other thing that bothers me, but has to do with production and casting, not plot, is

  • There's this old guy in the movie.  He's played by a young actor (Guy Pierce) who is poorly made-up to look like an old guy.  Yet, the character remains an old guy.  Why didn't they just cast an actual old guy in the role rather than cast a young guy and make him into a poorly made-up old guy?  WHY?!
Charlize Theron seemed unnecessary (and should have been coached on proper push-up form), but did okay with what she was given, which wasn't much.  Idris Elba was good in his role, but I wish his role had also been bigger.

There were a few other bothersome things, but that's enough.  The CGI is good, there are action and suspense (once you suspend all logic).  I never felt like sleeping or reaching for my tablet to check facebook...

And I will say that I found the DIY, alien baby C-section scene extremely entertaining!  By that point in the movie, I was already watching with a smirked face, and that scene nearly - pun intended - had me busting a gut!  Seriously!  I kinda don't think that was the intended reaction, but that scene made the movie for me, if only for its ridiculous amusement factor.

Have you seen Prometheus?  Whadja think?


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I'm (almost) a weiner! And I (may) have been busted!

So... remember Pedal Perks?  That bicycling incentive program at the university?  I got a water bottle and a pretty tail light?

Well!  They also give out special prizes to perky riders each month, and it seems I'm a perky prize winner for November!  I got an e-mail that said so last week.  It included the email of the person to contact about getting my perky prize.  Turns out she's the enthusiastic typer I met when I got my tail light.

Anyway, I emailed her, it went down a little something like this:

Me:  Boo-yah, I won!
Perky:  Yes, you've won some wonderful winter apparel!  Just pick something from this list and I'll order it for you... [list of wonderful winter apparel]

Me:  Awesome, I'll take leg warmers for 200, Alex!
Perky:  ??

Me;   Erm... uh... I mean, I'd like the leg warmers.  Size small please.
Perky:  OK, got it!  I'll let you know when you can pick them up.

And... well... here they are!


Apparently bicycling leg warmers are popular items this time of year.  But hey, I'm just so delighted I won.  

On a related note, the weather here continues to be super duper.  So while out on my travels today, I was once again with young Louie and his sinfully smooth summer tires.

Not surprisingly, the path was occupied by several basking walkers, bikers, runners, and pooches taking similar advantage.  Louie and I were happily and smoothly flying along when I noticed a runner several yards ahead, running toward us.  As we got closer, I thought, "Gee, he looks kinda familiar"

Damn if it wasn't Wolfgang!  Crap!

Obviously, Wolfgang knows I like Louie, but he is unaware that we've taken our relationship to this next level.  

I enthusiastically dingled Louie's bell (a trinket I purchased for him, unbeknownst to Wolfgang) and flashed a big smile to Wolfgang, thinking "look at my face, just LOOK AT MY FACE!"

We exchanged happy greetings, then continued on our respective ways.  I don't think Wolfgang noticed... I don't... think...

But I had to fess up, so I texted Wolfgang later and admitted the whole affair.  I've yet to hear back from him.  Understandable.

It was all very sweet, but I guess I knew we couldn't carry on like that much longer.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

I don't know about anyone else, but the weather here is B-E-A-Utiful!  Especially for early December.  Doesn't Mother Nature know I've got projects due this week!?

In movie news, we actually saw two goodies this week.  Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow was the more manly of the two, I'd say.  Then Magnum and I also watched The One I Love which was maybe the more feminine - no explosions anyway.  So two very different movies, but both worth the watch.  We'd never heard of The One I Love, but it had good reviews.  It gets kind of Twilight Zonish, which was fun.

And our nice weather has been helping with progress on the backyard walls.  Magnum's been working, with some help from Meego. I've done nothing other than order stuff, write checks, watch, and write up an overly thick analysis of the whole thing for school.

And I did make decent progress on another project this weekend, but then I just couldn't take it anymore and had to go play outside.  I figured I'd go for a short bike ride for a nice break.

Two hours later *sigh* I returned  home.  It's just SO nice out, and I took Wolfgang's bike, Louie again.  We ended up going all the way...
... into the city.  Here he is, just oozing sex appeal.

See, the thing that makes him so special is that he's got that muscular frame, but Wolfgang put on some sexy, sinewy, smooth, super fast tires on him over the summer.  So if there's no snow or mud around, he's just IRRESISTIBLE!  I can't be blamed for my actions!

I'd like to say, I got right back to work when we returned home, but instead I'm here blogging.  And that's after I gave Louie a bath while listening to Boy Band music.

I can't fight it.  If loving him is wrong, I just don't wanna be right.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

under a buck

Okay, show of hands.  Who carries a hankie?  Anyone?

*raises hand*

I do, so there's a piece of worthless information for you.  Now I'm kind of wondering how common it is. The reason I bring it up is that it's really annoying when I can't find it.  Like a little while ago and up until now.

The hankie is typically on my person at all times.  It's like my phone.  In fact, I usually carry the phone and hankie around together.  They're kind of joined at the hip, like phoneandhankie, much like hamandcheese.  "I'd like a grilled hamandcheese, please.", "Where is my phoneandhankie?"

Do many people carry hankies?  I guess it's not something that comes up in conversation.  I've seen the old movies where the weak woman starts to cry and the strong man hands her a hankie.  When renting tuxedos for prom, the hankie is color-coordinated with the bow tie and/or vest, but strictly strictly as decoration.

As for my phoneandhankie, I have a special pocket in my purse for them.   I have a special pocket in my bicycling backpack for them.  I have a special pocket in my tutor bag for them.  Sometimes I misplace them, but when I locate one, I locate the other.  Feel a need to blow my nose?  Reach for the phone...

Anyways, I got home a while ago, and eventually, I had a hankering for the hankie.  I just don't like kleenex... or rather... facial tissues.

So there I was, retracing my steps, wondering where the darn hankie was.  To make the situation worse, I found my phone easily enough, but no hankie.  Now this was definitely a strange prospect.  I was beginning to think, poltergeist activity!  It must be!

So I thought about where I could have misplaced it, especially since it wasn't with the phone or any of the usual pockets.  Then I remembered, on my ride home, I came across this hungry mob:

I couldn't resist stopping to take a photo.  Without taking my eyes off of the mob, I reached behind me to my phoneandhankie pocket of my bicycling backpack, took the photo, put the phone back, then continued on my merry way.  Is my hankie on the side of that road?

Oh deer.