July 31, 2011


Depending on when you're reading this, I'm either somewhere in the air moving westward across the US, over the Pacific Ocean, or pretending I'm a ninja in Japan.

I'm not sure what type of interweb access or how much time I'll have, but will post if I can.

July 29, 2011

Blooms and Bullets

  • The heat and the rain have caused the gardens to explode in color. It makes me immensely happy to watch the explosion happen overnight.
  • We had a woman on a Vespa stop at the house the other day and ask about our gardens, particularly the espalier apple trees. It's a nice feeling that after all these years living in the house, that it's looking less like a dump.
  • I got the front lawn mowed yesterday in between rain bursts. So at least it'll only get 2 weeks of growth, not 4!
  • I got my Nikon 10-24 mm camera lens yesterday. (Rented for the vacation, not purchased)  I'm so excited to use that bad boy again.
  • I've been declining my Words with Friends game invites because I don't think I'll be able to play while I'm gone. I'm already showing signs of withdrawal.
  • Today is C-man's last day of summer camp. He's so sad that it's done and said this morning that he can't wait until he can go again. That has been one good summer camp.
  • Until yesterday, C-man was convinced he was going to Florida to see Grandma and Grandpa. I have no idea how he got that idea. Maybe because they used to winter in Florida and we were talking about him going to Winter? (Winter, Wisconsin) Maybe because his neighbor is going to Florida with his Grandma, and he thought he was doing it too? He's still excited to go, even though it doesn't include a trip to Disneyworld.
  • Only 2 more days until our interminably long flight. Sweet!

July 28, 2011

Thursday Thirteen Random Things

  1. We have a full on Pokemon obsession going on in our house right now. They are all put in a binder, organized and reorganized. And that binder goes everywhere.
  2. I hate Pokemon. At least he has baseball cards in that binder, too.
  3. C-man's counting down the days until we leave
  4. So am I. 3 days to go.
  5. Harry gets shaved today. Which is a good thing, because a week in the water would make for a pretty swampy smelling dog.
  6. I have a dental cleaning today. I forgot the last one, so it's overdue. I hate the cleanings, but it always feels better the next day.
  7. I am mostly ready for the trip. Everything but toiletries and final electronics are packed.
  8. We don't have rail tickets purchased, and we'll have to do it while there.
  9. That's because every credit card I try to use gets shut down when I try to buy them. How many times can I call a credit card company to tell them I'll be in Japan and need to make some foreign purchases before they actually let me do it? I've tried 3 different credit card companies with the same result. Frustrating.
  10. The lawn needs to get cut before we go. It's been 2 weeks since we've done it, and it's scraggly but not really overgrown because it's been dry. We've had a ton of rain now. Hopefully it dries out enough before Saturday to be able to cut it.
  11. I haven't gotten all passy-outy lately. I think it must have been an inner ear thing. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
  12. We gave the last of our baby stuff away to a co-worker last night. It makes it easier to see it all go when you know it's going to go to someone who will make good use of it.
  13. I only just remembered that earlier in the year I was selling baby stuff on Craigslist to save for this year's trip. Jackpot! Jennifer's got a little extra spending cash!

July 26, 2011

Moving along

The robins have come and gone again. We didn't see them go, but we didn't see a hawk sitting in their nest this time either. So it's our hope that they made it out safely. Only 5 more days until we make our own long flight!

July 25, 2011

Let the countdown begin

It's now down to 6 days before I'm on an 18 hour flight to the Northeastern Hemisphere. A new continent to check off the list. Whoot! We still need a place to stay in Tokyo. And a way to get there, for that matter. I was in the process of booking a highly recommended place when they asked me how many mats we required. Um, mats? Yes, mats. Not futons, but mats. At a cost of $200 per person per night, I'm going to need a bit more than a bamboo mat, thankyouverymuch. So I'm still on the hunt. It's hard to know where to even stay in Tokyo. At that point in the trip, are we going to want a quiet residential area or to be right downtown in the glitz and neon? So many decisions, so little time.

Normally, I'd have it all done by now, but this past week, I've been feeling all dizzy and passy-outy. And then some medical test results came back wonky with little in the way of any obvious explanation, so I've been trying to drink Gatorade and lay low until the doctors can figure something out. The doctor wants me to wear a heart monitor, but I don't really have time for that nonsense right now. Maybe after I'm back from our trip I can deal with this. Because my Web MD and I are quite sure that's not the problem anyway.

But my clothes are packed, the lists are made, the mail and paper held, the fish feeding arranged, house cleaners called off (I forgot that one while in New Mexico!), 3 August wedding and 2 birthday presents sent, C-man and Harry's stuff set aside, the laundry is done, camera lens rented, and the passports are still valid.Whew!

July 22, 2011


My whole world of happiness might just fit in that left dimple.

July 21, 2011


Things have been a big discombobulated lately. Emotionally and physically, I've just been out of whack; which has made blogging and making sense at the same time quite difficult. So on doctor's orders, I'm going home to bed to close my eyes for a few days. Maybe when I wake up, things will be in focus again.

July 20, 2011

Making plans

I am counting down the days until we fly out to Japan. We have a sketch of a plan: 4 days in Nara, 2-3 in Kyoto and 3-4 in Tokyo. I'm planning on heading to the floating gate (My Nikon 10-24 mm camera lens is already rented) on my own one of the Nara days while Beerman works, which means I have to switch trains in Hiroshima. There isn't much there to see in Hiroshima, because, well, there's truly nothing left of the place from pre-WWII. But since I have to go through it, I plan on stopping and seeing the memorial. (Apparently I'm big on the death tour when I travel?) Our hotel is booked in Kyoto, which is nice. I have to figure out a place to stay in Tokyo now. From preliminary investigations, I think that Tokyo might be the more expensive leg of the trip. I was kind of hoping to see some sumo while there, but sumo competes every other month. And alas, August is a non-sumo wrestling month. Bummer. I think my wardrobe is set, though, thanks to Zappos and its deliveries of happiness. Packing for C-man and Harry to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's might be the bigger chore now. But I have lists made. I always have lists made.

Ahhh... I'm getting excited...

July 19, 2011

Because it's the only way I know how to blog anymore

  • The new shoes I'd ordered for my trip came. They're going back. One pair was too big, so I'm exchanging them for a smaller size. The other pair just looked manly. I cannot wear manly shoes, no matter how comfortable.
  • My new skirts came. One is getting exchanged because it was too big. At least that's a bonus of being off the really yuk meds - the midriff swelling is going away.
  • When Zappos says they deliver happiness, they aren't kidding. My replacement stuff should be here tomorrow!
  • We have to sign C-man up for winter baseball camp this week if he's going to get in to the good one. Seriously? It's 100 degrees out, and I have to worry about February baseball?
  • Our trip is going to mean I'll miss State Fair. The first time (sniffle) since I've lived in Milwaukee. And this year's tasty treat is deep fried butter. (sniffle)
  • I've decided I want to take a day trip to Kyoto while Beerman is working. Everything I've read is that it's a fabulous place. But there's also the floating gate. Oh, to photograph that...
  • It occurred to me this week that a good souvenir to get in Japan would be a new camera lens. You know, because a girl can never have too much pretty glass.
  • After 2 years of trying to get to my mom, my travel bug just got marked as missing in Ontario. So sad. Guess I'll have to send another one off on its way.
  • We picked up a travel bug while in New Mexico and cannot find it for the life of us. I feel really terrible about it.
  • Which reminds me to order a few trackables so we can send them off in Japan.
  • We're going to miss the big recall election while we're gone. We're voting absentee, but it does sadden me a bit to miss going to the polls. It's better than Christmas, voting is.
  • I got a new land line phone because Beerman absolutely hates our current one. I don't know why, because our land line was totally out for 2 weeks, and we didn't miss it a bit. Maybe once C-man is older and we don't need him to have a specific home phone anymore...
  • I really am digging my daily sweaty bike rides. I'm totally getting a new bike next spring.

July 18, 2011

Summer loving

I just can't get enough of the summer sun. My heels are so scratchy, I'm offending myself. Apparently I've been going barefoot or in flip flops too much. But I can't be bothered to stop long enough to get a pedicure, because who wants to sit in a stinky nail salon when it's hot and sunny out?

I've also been trying to maximize working from home as often as possible. That way I can let C-man stay up a little later at night and sleep in a little later in the morning. Camp doesn't officially start until 9 a.m. anyway, so that has made everything a little slower paced and more relaxed.

We've been taking daily bike rides around the neighborhood, and C-man continues to improve his bike riding skills. (Now if only he could improve his getting started on his own skills, but that is sure to come, too.) We ride to friends' houses when they want to play. We ride to Baskin-Robbins when we need a treat. We ride around neighborhoods passing friends' houses. It's also had an added bonus of helping me with the arthritis heat-induced swelling that tends to happen. I took my old bike in for a tune-up, and as I was there, I started to drool over the new bikes. Since I like biking so much again, maybe for my birthday next year...

It almost makes leaving for 2 weeks hard. Almost. Except C-man is counting down the days until Camp Grandma and Grandpa. And I can hardly stand to think about our upcoming trip. Ahhh, I am loving this summer now that it's finally here!

And because I'm shameless, Harry's famous today. Click here to see how.

July 15, 2011


I have no idea what I'm doing while in Japan for 10 days. We have no idea how we're getting from Nara to Tokyo, where we fly out from to come home. But I do have brand new shoes ordered. If there's one thing I've learned while traveling, it's to have brand new, smelly-free, comfortable shoes that can be dressy or casual to take on the trip. I've also learned they can't be super expensive shoes, because after walking umpteen miles in them day after day, they just might end up in a train station dumpster minutes before leaving the country for good due to their ultimate stinkiness.

I am still on the hunt for a couple of cute, all-purpose skirts. Beerman has already warned me that we need to pack light, and skirts are always a good all-purpose way of doing that. Plus, I'd feel kind of weird strolling into a 4000 year old temple with a tank top and shorts.

In other important priorities, I've already pre-scheduled holds on our mail and newspaper.

I swear, I feel like a Kentucky Derby horse that just got shut into the gates. Let me out! I've got running to do!

And just because it's a great quote that I think about every Friday:

July 14, 2011

Thursday Thirteen Cool Things

  1. My work trip to Baltimore got canceled the night before I was to leave. Awesome!
  2. I have a flight to Japan booked for July 31st. Boo-ya! It's official. I'm turning Japanese, I'm turning Japanese, I really think so.
  3. We're staying the first half of our trip in Nara, which is the origin of the ninja. How cool is that? (C-man desperately wants us to bring him ninja stuff back. We'll see what ninja stuff is 6 year old and TSA appropriate.)
  4. Angry Birds Rio released another new level. I love that app.
  5. C-man and I took the day off yesterday and went to the zoo. Well, he took a half-day off. He didn't want to miss afternoon summer camp. (Wicked good summer camp, when you consider THAT!) He got a dog tag, a moldarama, a squished penny, and a giant cookie in his lunch. (Beerman's response was, "Just wait until it's MY turn to play hookey!")
  6. I "painted" my nails with nail strip stickers yesterday. Some moms on C-man's baseball team were talking about having done it, and I wanted to check it out. I didn't go pink camo, but it was still easy and fun.
  7. Today is Bastille Day. Not that I'm going to the festival. Or French. Or even like French stuff all that much. But it's still fun to say.
  8. Our driveway finally got re-sealed yesterday. The on again off again rain had been preventing it from happening. It looks a thousand times better now.
  9. The little slide/video I made of C-man's baseball team has over 200 hits. There are 12 players on the team. And it's an unlisted video. So either some kids have watched themselves a few times, or it's gotten sent out to family members. Either way, very fun.
  10. We saw Cars 2 this past weekend. Not the best movie I've ever seen, but fun nonetheless.
  11. I got a new box for our ransacked geocache and filled it up with loot. I'm going to re-plant it today for new finders.
  12. My schedule was cleared because I was supposed to be in Baltimore, so my days have been swe-eet!
  13. The sun is shining and summer is in full swing. I can't tell you how happy that makes me feel every single day I wake up.

July 12, 2011

Another blog by bullets

  • 23andMe added 7 new tests to its panel of genetic tests. According to the newly identified markers, I have a 12 x greater chance for Parkinsons. I've gotta say, I'm fairly disturbed by that news, because the other stuff they've reported has been pretty much spot on.
  • I'm actually going to Japan. We're just finalizing the coming home date now, which is exciting.
  • But not before I head to Baltimore this week. Because after all, nothing says good times like sweltering Baltimore in July.
  • I voted this morning. I was #60. Part of me understands that all this putting fake Democrats in to create a primary is a valid and legally available strategy. But really, what a waste of time and money. (Click here if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
  • Yesterday, I went to the grocery store on my way home. Beerman went grocery shopping during his lunch. Anyone interested in 4 pounds of cherries? How about 6 pounds of strawberries?
  • Thankfully, Beerman was planning on making more fruit leather for C-man. He just hadn't planned on doing it all last night! But since it wouldn't fit in the fridge, the dehydrator was busted out and the fruit leather assembly line began.
  • You know how people say if your kid won't eat something to wait, because he'll eventually get hungry enough. Yeah. Not so much. C-man can't have nuts in his lunches at this camp, so we packed ham. The ham came home. We packed jelly sandwiches. They came home too. The only thing he'll eat is cheese or crackers and we stopped packing them so he'd eat something else. It all comes home untouched, and he arrives home starving and ornery. Stubborn little sucker.
  • C-man and I are talking about taking a random day off next week and take the train to Chicago. He's always wanted to ride a train, and as his cousin cutely said, "I need a little C-man".

July 11, 2011

And then it was done

What started with winter hats and gloves and strikeouts ended in sweat running down the middle of your back heat and double plays. Despite that, as expected, the Yankees fell swiftly to the Indians yesterday, officially ending their season. And yet, it was truly the sweetest little team I've ever seen, wearing their rally caps when they were down by 14 runs thinking they could actually make a comeback. Which is why it is really so sad to see it go. The good news is only 2 kids age out to the next league next year, so they'll all be back together again and a true force to be reckoned with. On the way out of the game, the kids were already planning their first post-season pickup game at the park.

I, of course, took too many photos throughout the year. About midway through the year, I decided I should get photos of EVERYTHING and put it into a montage for everyone. I thought it was a really good idea, but then true to form, second and triple and quadruple guessed myself. I changed the photos around more than I want to admit, and finally just had to hit publish, even though it's killing me that there are several things that could  be changed or added. But C-man has one of his deepest desires fulfilled now - to be a star on youtube. And the reaction from the parents has been really supportive. So feel free to enjoy the entire 16 game Yankees season in a mere 3:34 seconds. Winter hats and gloves are optional.

July 10, 2011

Summer days

The weather has been officially summerlike. And I'm absolutely loving it. We've been playing in the backyard, playing with friends, going to parks, riding bikes, having friends over for long dinners outside that finish off with s'mores and pudgie pies, and, of course, playing lots of baseball.

As for baseball, we're now in double-elimination tournament season. The Yankees have one loss and one win under their belts. And I fear today's game will be the end of their charmed little season. Which is sad, but mostly okay, because it'll give us more time for other fun summer stuff like pools and lakes and backyard campouts.

Hope you're enjoying your summer days, too!

July 8, 2011

Family fun

Beerman's sister, husband, and family were able to come for a quick visit this week. It was a really nice visit and C-man was thrilled to have his cousins at his house. It was made even better, because I swear I could take pictures of these gorgeous children all day long.

(Okay, these are mine, but they're darned cute, too)

July 7, 2011

Thursday Thirteen Random Things

  1. Our geocache was stolen. Well, not all of it. Just the container. All of the insides were left in a neat little pile in the log. Seriously, who needs a giant ammo box with geocaching stickers on it? A-holes.
  2. It seems we're moving our trip to Brazil to Easter break. September is too early and October just doesn't work, which leaves November. The road into Pantanal washes out sometime in November, and to be sure to get in, we'd have to fly in a Cessna the last leg. Beerman doesn't think C-man would do very well in the Cessna. (Who are we kidding? I wouldn't do very well in a Cessna.) Plus, it's an extra $1000 that way.
  3. So instead, I think I'm going to tag along with Beerman to Japan in August. He has to go there for work for a week. So while not ideal, it's still a free hotel in Japan while I tour around. And I'll see him at night that first week. It could still not happen, but it's looking better every day.
  4. I've been losing some matches in Words With Friends (online Scrabble) lately. I can't decide if it's been unlucky with the letters I've been getting, I've gotten dumber lately, or people who are good have been requesting rematches. Maybe all of the above. But I'm kind of not into all this losing.
  5. Speaking of losing, C-man has his first baseball tournament game tonight. The team they're playing is pretty big. And they're pretty little. It's a double-elimination tournament. It'll be sad to see it all end, he loves it so much.
  6. C-man begged us to go to Summerfest. So we finally gave in and went last weekend. He lasted 2 hours and was done with it. Thank God, because I really don't like that festival.
  7. The Fest IPA is one of Beerman's brews, so he was happy to go there and see the signs and have one. I kind of thought it odd that he created the beer and then had to actually buy it, but what do I know.
  8. I'm going to Summerfest today for a work outing. Oh goodie.
  9. I'm working on making a slide show of C-man's baseball team. It's a lot harder than I thought it'd be. Partly, because there's a lot of organization and making sure each kid is featured the same amount of times. But also because a few kids are so bad, it's hard to get a good shot of them not doing something wrong. So far, so good though.
  10. Hopefully other people actually like the video and don't think it's lame. I thought it was a great idea, and am now second-guessing myself. I tend to do that.
  11. I wanted to play hookey with C-man and go do something fun together. He said he'd rather go to summer camp. So much for that idea.
  12. C-man has been getting tennis lessons at summer camp. He's loving it. Maybe after baseball, I can sign him up for some lessons. It's a good skill to have, after all.
  13. I know this has been a short week, but I'm exhausted. Come on, Friday!

July 4, 2011

Cheers, America!

235 years ago today, an amazing thing happened. After thinking long and hard, our founding fathers looked eastward and said, "Suck it!" And to that, I happily say, "Cheers!"