June 30, 2011

Thursday Thirteen Happy Things

I got off the plane and drove straight to the last regular season baseball game. They lost. Again. But you'd never know it, because they are all just so darned happy to be playing. This was taken mid-game, to give you any indication.

Happiness has been a pretty big topic swirling around me lately, both personally and professionally. Heck, you can't even go to a kid's movie anymore without all sorts of inner peace and happiness talk. So here are 13 things that make me happy.
  1. Morning sunshine
  2. A triple digit word score in Scrabble
  3. Arriving home to an excited dog
  4. Listening to the Lake Michigan waves
  5. Honey and peanut butter
  6. Great beach reads (preferably AT the beach)
  7. Collapsing into a brand new bed
  8. Slurping the pretty cream leaf off the top of my latte
  9. Long holiday weekends
  10. Chocolate croissants
  11. Non-PC suntans
  12. Picnics in the park
  13. Drinking rum punch by a pool

June 29, 2011


It's time to head home.


June 27, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

I'm in Las Vegas this week. The food is great. The pool is beautiful. And the people watching is tremendous. (Apparently furry mid-calf boots paired with a bikini is the "look" these days.)
But as I'm not a gambler, it's really not my town. And since I'm here for work, it's not nearly as fun as it could be. But I'm making the best of it, enjoying the sun while I can, and taking in what I can: the shops, the artwork, and the room window shades that open and close on my arrival.
 Viva, Las Vegas, baby.

June 24, 2011

Friday random thoughts

I can hardly string a sentence together lately, let alone a full blog-post, so here is yet another exciting blog by bullets.
  • It's hard to believe, but C-man's regular season baseball season is winding down. This weekend and then Wednesday are his last games before tournaments begin.
  • Either as a blessing or just because they're the youngest team in the league, I don't see them winning the tournament games. The first two teams are pretty much league terminators, so tournaments should go fast.
  • I'm heading to Las Vegas on Sunday, so I'll miss the Sunday and Wednesday games.
  • Vegas is not my town. At all. But at least there will be sun. I miss the sun.
  • And I am kind of excited about this conference I'm going to. Richard Branson and Michael J Fox are two of the keynote speakers. Keith Urban is Tuesday night's entertainment. You know, the "take your cat and leave my sweater" guy that Beerman loo-oooves (that's sarcasm).
  • But back to the sun. Seriously - it's officially summer, and it's 65 degrees. That's really not cool.Well, actually, it is in a literal way.
  • I'm loving our new mattress and am sleeping so much better. I wake up 10 minutes before my alarm, and am feeling much better about my sleep.
  • In spite of the new mattress, I want to fall asleep every day after lunch. I'm thinking my iron is low. And I need to beef up my workouts. I've let them slide a bit lately, which is never good.
  • I got a landscape architect to draw up planting plans for our yard. Which would be nice if we didn't have to spend all that money on re-doing our backyard drainage. I'm never going to get my new kitchen.
  • I have found a good lodge in Pantanal that actually has some October and November availability. This trip might actually come together after all.
  • Beerman is going ahead with his work trip to Japan in August. I'd rather he didn't, but it's not stopping him. That said, I'm sadly not going along. It's kind of hard to justify a trip to Japan and Brazil within months of one another when we need to sock all this money into such sexy things like backyard drainage and driveway resurfacing.
  • That means Beerman will be at 6 continents by the end of this year, while I'll still be sitting at 4. (I've already got South America, he doesn't, and neither of us have Asia yet) Good for him, but I'm still insanely jealous.
  • Harry is really showing some signs of aging lately, and it really weighs on me. He used to jump up and down in the morning when we'd get up. Now he stays on his pillow, wagging his tail nub for us to come pet him. And when I rubbed his butt the other morning, he squealed in pain. Sigh... I don't want to think about it, but it makes me so sad, I can't seem to stop.
  • C-man continues to love his summer camp. When it rains outside, they have tennis lessons on the indoor court. When it's nice, they have their pick between 3 enormous play areas. When it's too cold outside, they go play on the indoor playground. They create plays in a huge theater. They do sensory activities that include smelling truffle oil. It's no wonder the school costs $18k a year to attend during the year. He'd better enjoy it in the summer, because back to Catholic school he goes in the fall!
  • Speaking of truffle oil, I went to a new olive oil place yesterday after my massage. I got the most fabulous blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar for Beerman. I can't wait to see what he does with it.
  • I finally bought the new Stephanie Plum novel. I can't wait to plow through that. I'm waiting for the plane for the bulk of it, and it's killing me.
  • Tonight the village is having a bonfire in the park. We're going to have to bundle up, but it should be a fun outing anyhow. Let the weekend begin!

June 23, 2011

Thursday Thirteen great things about summer

  1. Baseball - in the backyard or on the baseball field
  2. Loosey goosey bedtimes
  3. Bare feet on the grass
  4. Bubble blowing contests
  5. Farmers' Markets and CSA boxes
  6. Strawberry stained lips
  7. Smell of sunscreen in the air
  8. Mowing the lawn
  9. Hammock naps
  10. Gardening
  11. Bike rides
  12. Early morning sunrises
  13. Camping in the back yard

June 22, 2011

Summer Idols

Just in case you needed further proof how much fun being 6 in the summer really is...

June 21, 2011

Little League to Big League

Yesterday was a big day. The first day at a new day camp, and Little League night at the Brewers. C-man picked up home plate dirt and put it in his hat as a souvenir. Then we watched them play the Rays and spent some considerable time comparing the Brewers players' stats to his own. So far, Nyjer Morgan is the only guy better than him. Big leagues, here we come.

June 17, 2011

Road to Summer

Summertime things really seem to be kicking into full gear. Tonight it's wine club at the house (outside, hopefully), tomorrow it's a Little League game, after which we'll go to the first farmers market of the year. Yesterday, I picked up our first CSA share (mushrooms, basil, lettuce and radishes). And last night, after the jewelry party (I restrained myself and only got a pair of earrings), Beerman and I sat outside in the back yard, listening to the frogs and watching an owl hunt (which explains why Harry has been in the back yard barking at seemingly nothing lately - he can hear the owl, whereas we cannot.) Sunday, of course, is Fathers Day. We'll be spending the middle of it at the ball diamond, yet again, so I'll be treating him to a Fathers Day concession stand hamburger.

Ahhh, the weather hasn't totally cooperated yet, but I think Summer is almost here.

June 16, 2011

Randomly Thursday Thirteen

  1. A few weeks ago, I had an especially miserable night of sleep. So I went online to the Sheraton site and clicked "Buy" on their bed. 2 years ago, Beerman and I slept on their bed while in Germany and both LOVED it. It finally got delivered today.
  2. The bed doesn't fit the bed frame we have. The delivery guys told me it's because we actually had a Queen, not a King. But I'm not sure how that's possible, because only King-sized sheets ever fit it. And it was absolutely larger than a normal Queen. Regardless, we need to buy a new bed frame now, because this bed is definitely bigger than the old one. (Squeeeee!)
  3. I'm really hoping the bed is as good as we remember, and it wasn't the fact that we were regularly over-served on our trip and that's why we slept so well. Not that it really matters. Just not sagging toward the middle is a giant win.
  4. I am supposed to go to a jewelry party tonight at one of the baseball mom's houses. I need to find out where she lives so I'm not wandering around Fox Point shouting her name.
  5. I am hosting wine club tomorrow night. I really should figure out what I'm serving for food, because I need to do the shopping before that jewelry party tonight.
  6. I've been on a video shoot for the past 3 days for work. I was hoping to prep some of the food tomorrow during the day, but this video shoot is going long. Darn that work getting in the way of my social life.
  7. Wine club is a Rose focus this month. It could be really good or really bad, depending on how much research the wine bringers do before they buy.
  8. I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow before wine club. I always love hair cut day. Plus, my stylist is leaving for Sweden next week, so it'll be good to talk all things travel and Sweden.
  9. I'm pretty sure my ulcer is back. I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say it's time to get another prescription of Nexium.
  10. It looks like Weinergate is officially over. Maybe now we can move on to Calista Gingrichgate.
  11. I'm heading to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks for work along with a co-worker who is Mormon. Maybe I'll go see the Hoover dam while I'm there, because I'm pretty sure we aren't going to be shooting craps at all hours.
  12. Speaking of dams, I'm debating whether we should triangulate our trip in Brazil from Rio - Pantanal - Foz de Iguacu. I've seen the falls 4 times, but they are quite lovely, and Beerman and C-man have never been. And then we can always do a quick border crossing to Argentina and Paraguay to get 3 countries under C-man's belt. I need to check prices to see if it's worth it.
  13. The good news about being on a long-ass video shoot this week is they always bring in food for the crew and actors. Today is chicken pot pie day. Chicken pot pie just might be one of my favoritest foods. I can't wait.

June 14, 2011

Reading stuff

Every morning, Beerman wakes C-man up by acting out the stuffed animals on his bed. Each has a unique personality and story line. If you've ever seen the insane number of stuffed critters on this child's bed, you'd understand what a production this is. But a favorite giggle-inducing interaction is when Garfield demands that the Brewers Hot Dog "Get in my belly!" (It's reminiscent of Fat Bastard in Austin Powers, but C-man thankfully doesn't know this yet.)

On Sunday, it was a beautiful day and C-man asked to go to the zoo. We have zoo passes, so it's not a big production to just hop in the car to go for an hour or two. We were leaving the big cat house when C-man giggled and shouted, "Dad! Dad! Get in my belly!" and pointed to the tiger sign.

Apparently the kid can read.

June 13, 2011

Summer lovin'

Today is the first day of a new routine for summer. C-man is off to a babysitter this week before camp starts for our regular summer routine next week. And our CSA deliveries begin this Thursday. (Mmm... kale...) At least Beerman is ready for the overage with his dehydrator this year. Other than that, it's baseball practice, baseball games, garden tending, and work. Despite the "nothing new" atmosphere, it just feels better for it to finally be summer.

June 12, 2011

Weekend stuff

Grandma and Grandpa came to visit this weekend. They came to watch some baseball (the team lost and C-man didn't even get on base, which made him sob), but mostly to hang out and just have some fun. And we did.

We golfed,
We played hide and seek,
We made s'mores induced funny faces,

(Some of us understood the funny face concept better than others)
And we played games and talked and hugged,
See you next time!

June 9, 2011

First grade ahead

It's hard to believe, but today ends C-man's kindergarten career. In fine fashion on an out of uniform day, he wore a Packers jersey with a Yankees cap and a Brewers backpack. (Picking teams has never been a problem for him.) No more snack time. No more rest time. No more separate schedules. No more baby stuff. Goodbye, kindergarten.

June 8, 2011


  • Today is C-man's penultimate day of school. The last day of wearing a uniform until September. He got to hang out with the 1st graders on Monday and sit in their desks. This is BIG stuff.
  • The summer camp C-man is going to doesn't allow peanuts. Since the only thing the kid eats in cold lunch is peanut butter and jelly, this is going to be interesting.
  • I can't get enough of Weinergate. It's just so absolutely ludicrous, and more entertaining than real news. At least his wife didn't have to stand behind him and his tearful confession. I really hate when they do that.
  • I have a ridiculous amount of bruises on my body. Apparently I've been inordinately klutzy lately. Well that, and a 15' 2x8 fell on my lower back the other day. Don't ask.
  • Everyone is complaining about the heat. Everyone but me. I really like this. Seriously, February wasn't that long ago. I totally remember what it felt like to have the boogers freeze up in my nose the millisecond I went outside. No thank you.
  • I still continue to fight the lingering fun of shingles. Last night I was up for 2 hours wanting to claw my own skin off. This has gotten really old.

June 7, 2011

Golden hours

In case you couldn't tell from all the recent off-kilter or from below shots, C-man has been taking a real interest in my camera and photography in general. On occasion, we argue over who gets to take the shot. He straps the camera expertly around his little neck and uses the viewfinder instead of the LCD screen. He directs people where to go and how to look. It's always on auto for him, but I still think it's brilliant.

The other day, we were talking about the best time to shoot, that magical golden hour after sunrise and before sunset. The time of day when everything calms down and goes a little goldish everywhere. He now pays attention and looks for it every day. It's been a really fantastic reason to slow down and notice it. A nice reminder to drink in what's around us on these beautiful, hot summer days.

This is his last week of kindergarten, after which we'll have a "grader". (Beerman's a little choked up about that, by the way.) The weather is warm, the grass is green, and the flowers are in bloom. It's good to have perfect milestones like the golden hours.

June 6, 2011


Just how many bats does a team of 11 kids need?

June 4, 2011

Play ball!

 Today was the big game against the Mariners at Helfaer Field. It started with team announcements and a national anthem.
 It was filled with hits and outs and fun stuff,(C-man was nervous with his Nana and Grandpa watching, but managed a solid hit anyway)
 like someone you know running as Polish Sausage.
And the team celebrated after tying and then winning it in the last inning.
Good times had by all.

June 3, 2011


Can you tell I've been looking at old photos lately?

June 2, 2011


Because I'm too lazy to email or respond in another simple way, I'm answering questions asked of me here:
  1. The bush in our backyard is, indeed, very alive. It is brownish-red. I sort of wish it were dead, though, because it has pickers on it that hurt if you get too close.
  2. The cheetah photo from yesterday was one of 4 males we watched for several hours working together trying to eat some warthog babies in the Madikwe Reserve in South Africa. The warthogs won. Sturdy little pigs.
  3. Yes, I have Crocs, and I wear them while gardening. That is what Crocs are for, because they hose off easily. I do not wear them in public. Well, occasionally when I need some coffee, but that's not important.
  4. Yes, that is me at the coffee shop. I'm always there lately.
  5. I no longer have pox from shingles, but it still hurts like hell and wakes me up at night about every 2 hours. Hence, #4.
  6. We are planning on going to Brazil this year, but I don't know when. I want us to Pantanal for a 4-day adventure, and I'm working on a place that we will like that has availability, which will determine when we go.
  7. This past week we did some construction at the house. It included, but was not limited to, very exciting things such as an access-way to the attic, flooring the attic, re-plumbing the house, fixing some light switches, and getting the garage door to work right. I'm told I get new windows next.
  8. C-man's last day of school is the 9th.
  9. C-man has a game at Helfaer Field at 8 a.m. on Saturday. His walk-on music is, of course, Ironman.
  10. My favorite color is cerulean blue.