Drivers Test

I was reading a story on CNN about how 36 million drivers would fail a written driving test, which doesn’t surprise me even a little bit. I think drivers in Florida are some of the worst around… people just love to tailgate and drive aggressively. Here’s a link to the test:

GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test

I got 100%, woo hoo! I think I’m a pretty good driver… I do try to follow the rules of the road and not be a hazard to someone else. I wonder how Trav would do on this test? He’s the best driver I know – he can avoid a crash like nobody’s business. I feel very safe with him at the wheel. Test results welcome in the comments!!

Surprise!!

I was laying in bed this morning, petting the cats and planning my day, when I thought I heard Aunt Susie’s truck. I jumped out of bed and peeked out the through the shades, and WOW!!!! There they were. Trav drove straight through from Michigan! 23 hours!!! I threw on my robe and ran through the house shouting, “They’re here! They’re here!” And so we all went out to greet them. What a wonderful surprise, I’m so glad they made it safely. They were really happy to arrive. And it’s wonderful to have Trav home. Yay!! I barely had enough time to miss him. 🙂

Day Two

Hopefully Trav is well on his way out of Michigan by now! I keep wondering where he is right now… and now, where is he? Now? Now? He never seems to be very far from my mind.

We’ve been following our normal routine… walk this morning (saw the front chickens – 3 babies, still – and the crane family). Dinner tonight will be Italian Chicken Soup with sourdough baguette from Panera, mmmm! Same old, same old, which is not so bad.  We do have to drag in all the potted plants because it’s going to freeze tonight. Then it’ll be back up in the 80s next week. Nice!

I feel compelled to write about the everyday stuff while Trav isn’t here to share it. Hopefully this is not too boring for you, dear reader.

Waiting

Trav flew up to Michigan to drive his Gramma & Aunt Susie back down here, so Bleys & I are on our own for the next few days. Poor Trav will probably be seeing snow while he’s there!! Ugh. On Friday it’s supposed to get down into the low 30s here. Brrrrr.

It’ll be great to have Gramma & Aunt Susie here, though. I love going to do stuff with Aunt Susie, and to visit with Gramma. Their dog, Taffy, is a lot of fun, too. She’s a little Pomeranian and she just loves to play, play, play. Earlier this year, Aunt Susie and I bought passes to Homosassa State Wildlife park, so I’m sure we’ll be going there on a regular basis, to visit the manatees. Whee!!

Hopefully the next few days will pass quickly so I can have my honey home with me again! Miss you, dear. |*

How to Tell the Sex of a Fly

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Hunting flies,” he responded.

“Oh. ! Killing any?” she asked.

“Yep, 3 males, 2 Females,” he replied.

Intrigued, she asked, “How can you tell them apart?”

He responded,
“3 were on a beer can,
2 were on the phone.”

—–
Thanks to John for that one!!  🙂

Sea World

Our friend Wendy is in Orlando for a conference, and she invited us to go to Sea World. Today was the day! We had a great time. The first thing we did was get something to eat at Sharks Underwater Grill. It was really neat because the entire wall of the restaurant was a huge tank with sharks in it!

Sharks

We also saw two shows – Shamu (the orca show) and an animal show with Jack Hanna. Overall, a very fun day. And because we bought our tickets through AAA, we can go back within 13 days for free, so we plan on making the trip next week. Next time we’ll ride the roller coasters and take in some more shows. Thanks, Wendy!!

Shamu

Hey, You!

One of the main problems in our country today is lack of personal responsibility. I’m lucky to have very responsible parents, but some are not so much. And if parents aren’t responsible, their kids won’t be, either. Which brings me to this lovely notice posted in an apartment building:

Notice to Tenants

I really like the tone of the letter and the idea that there will be consequences… it’s nice when somebody has the guts to say “Hey, you few are ruining things for the rest of us!” I don’t find it passive-aggressive at all… it’s straightforward and refreshing. Do you think the targets took it that way?

Some of the notes on that site are pretty funny! I wonder how often they have a positive impact on a person’s life? Even just to affect a tiny improvement can be good… leave the world a little better than you found it.

Yardwork

A bouquet of sand spursYesterday I went all around the back yard and picked this lovely bouquet of sand spurs. It’s a kind of grass which grows nasty burrs – see them on the ends of the stalks? Poor Sadie gets them stuck on her legs, toes or tongue and we have to take them out. She’s a good girl, letting us know when she needs help. You can see her a little in the background of the picture.

Today we mowed the back and weeded all around the house. I’m amazed at how many insects make their homes in our yard, and I hate clearing it out – especially the flowers. Sorry I was grumpy about it, Trav. I just love all the critters and want them to have a nice place to live. But I want us to have a nice home, too, so it’s better to clear everything once in a while. It looks great now! And that’s the last time, we’re done mowing for the year. Yay!! And for the part I mowed, I went in nice, straight lines today… this time it doesn’t look like some drunk guy mowed the yard!!

The next thing is to wait for more turkey oak leaves to fall so we can gather them to use as mulch on the pineapple plants out front. Only one pineapple is growing right now, hopefully it will be ripe before we get freezing weather.

Oh and I gathered a nice crop of sheep sorrel from the yard as we were cleaning. Some of it is going in tomorrow night’s salad! And I found a recipe to use the rest – sounds like it would be good to spread on toast for breakfast. Mmmmm. :p~

Happy Halloween!

Tonight, Bleys and I carved our pumpkins. Bleys made an ultra-cool design – it’s carved into the rind instead of being cut all the way through.

Bleys’ Pumpkin

And here’s my pumpkin…

Emmy’s Pumpkin

Note to self – do not use a Sharpie to draw the design! It makes a real mess. 🙂

Today is a Someday!

Devil’s Food White-Out Cake

Check one item off the Someday list – Devil’s Food White-Out Cake. Mmmmmmm!!!

I’ll definitely make this for a special occasion. It’s a bit of work but worth it – I think it’s as good as any store-bought cake. If I got this for dessert in a restaurant I would be happy! Since I didn’t follow the directions to the letter, I’m sure it will be even better next time. Oh and I wasn’t sure the candy thermometer was working right so I had to look up the Cold Water Candy Test. The frosting turned out great – it’s fluffy and not too sweet. Mom, if you’re reading this, I used floss to cut the layers in half and it worked perfectly!!

Someday…

Today I came across a great article from the Life Coaches blog:

When Is Someday?

Someday, I want to go to Europe. I also want to complete my web site “What Would You Say If I Died?” (a place for people to post all of the kind words they would say about someone when they die, but for the person to read before s/he does). Someday I want to have a nice garden (this one is for retirement, when I have more time to care for the poor plants). Someday I want to learn to play guitar (I have one, and a book to learn, so now I just need to start). Someday I want to start a foundation or something to help homeless people. Someday I want to go back to college and study geology. Someday soon I want to dejunk our house. And someday really soon (like maybe today or tomorrow) I want to make a Devil’s Food White-Out Cake. Mmmmmm!!!

I know most of these things are within my reach, in my lifetime. But will I take the time to go for it? Who wants to go with me? Comments about your somedays are welcome!

Secrets

I’ve found some really great info over on Dumb Little Man. The other day I came across this great post about 10 Things They Won’t Tell You… a collection of links to articles about different industries and their secrets. I was kind of surprised to learn that most of our lawmakers don’t even read the legislation they’re voting on… they rely on staffers or somebody else to tell them what’s in there. Ugh! And that credit card companies can hike your rates based on late payment of other bills. Now if I can just remember those tips!

Blog Action Day is Today!

A while back, I signed up to particpate in Blog Action Day, a movement to help people be more aware of environmental issues. Today is the appointed day to blog about saving the planet! Here are my favorite ways to help:

  • Get involved in online campaigns. Together we can make a difference! My favorite sites for activism are Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Care2. All are respectable organizations doing quite a lot to help the earth. And they make it easy by providing online tools and easy ways to donate to their causes.
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle! We recycle all we can… junk mail, food packaging, etc. Veggie waste gets thrown into the backyard for plant food, and we avoid using plastic grocery bags by taking cloth bags to the store. Even bread bags get sort of recycled into trash bags for used kitty litter. Here’s a nice post about recycling other stuff.
  • Buy a fuel-efficient car. Our new Toyota Matrix gets pretty good mileage for a car of its size… and we do what we can to keep it running at top performance. For more info, see this article from UCS about Saving at the Pump.

Of course, there are more ways to care for the planet but these are the ones I’m particularly fond of. And once you get in the habit, you don’t even need to think about it too much! Comments on your favorite ways to hug a tree are most welcome.

Food Links

I use Opera for my web browser, and one of its features that I just love is that it will keep your current windows open for you. So, when I exit Opera at night and come back to it the next day, everything I had open is still there. This works for me and against me, because most of the time I have like 20 pages open and it gets to be a real mess. So from time to time I have to go in and figure out what to do with all those tabs… for each page, I try to decide if I should keep it open, blog about it, or close it. In today’s go-round, I found several articles which are related to healthy eating… I don’t want to forget about these articles, so here they are!

The Ten Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

Top 100 Foods to Boost Your Productivity

26 Top Calcium Food Sources

Hope you find something good!

Driving Lessons

Since we got a new car, we gave Bleys our Hyundai Accent (that was actually part of the reason for getting the Matrix). He’s not used to driving a standard, so we’ve been taking trips around the block until he gets used to the shifting and all that stuff. He’s been doing really well so far! The only real problem has been a tendency to go a little too fast around curves.

I found this article the other day, and I think it applies to giving driving lessons…

How to Give Kind Criticism

I’m hoping to make this a positive experience, helping him gain confidence in his driving abilities. If he doesn’t cry from learning how to drive a standard, it will be an improvement over my training and we’ll have been successful!  🙂

Now we can really be IN the Matrix!

We got a new car!! It’s a 2008 Toyota Matrix. Here’s a picture of the love of my life, in front of the car he worked so hard researching and getting a great deal on:

New car!

We upheld the Bloss family tradition and went for ice cream in the new car (forgot the camera for that trip, though).

The buying experience was great at Sun Toyota.  Trav was well-prepared and knew what price we should have gotten, and we did good! It was no muss, no fuss to get the car we wanted at the price we wanted. Now we can travel again!!! Our first longer trip will be down to Haslam’s bookstore this weekend. It’s in St. Petersburg (about an hour and a half drive) and it’s HUGE (over 300,000 books). Hopefully we’ll be able to bring Sadie to Tucson, sometime in the relatively near future. That depends on how Bleys does with his driving lessons. 🙂

Brain Gender Test

I found this really neat test which tells if your brain thinks more like a male or a female:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/

My result was zero, meaning I’m right in the middle. Trav says that’s probably why we get along so well, because I’m not like most women. Hmm! I wonder what his score would be? I would love to know your results – leave a comment or send me an email! Also, here are some more interesting things to do on their site.

Home

It’s good to be home… I really missed everybody here. The cats piled on me for the first two days, but now we’re pretty much back to the normal piling system (which is still pretty often!).

I had been meaning to post pictures of the wonderful wall hanging my brother gave me, so here they are! Each panel is a slab of jasper, and the name of the piece is “Seasons”. Here’s the whole thing:

Jasper

The tint is a little off because I took the picture at night – too many reflections to take a daytime picture. Here’s a shot of each panel:

Spring – This one is especially great because it looks like the frozen Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, which is where our romance officially began.

Jasper - spring panel

Summer

Jasper - summer

Fall

Jasper - fall

Winter

Jasper - winter

I treasure this gift. It hangs right above my computer monitor so I can see it all the time.