Wednesday, July 31, 2013

True Love

Down Pup!
Before Penelope could even talk, Linda taught her the "down" sign.  Chimi would get excited around her and jump up.  It took Penny one afternoon to learn to take control of the situation and get him to stop jumping.  She was just 12 months and had him totally obeying.  Now that she can talk, she says "Down-Pup!"  (Chimi is always Pup to her, and not Chimi.)  Penelope is able to use her skills and take charge of dog she meets in her neighborhood. 

We both LOVE Penny and get so excited when she visits.  When Penny looks at our photos on Linda's iPhone, she gets so excited.  I think its true love.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Perfect 10

The carrot cake is still in our freezer (which is amazing since Linda usually doesn't have that kind of self control.)   She was planning on eating it tonight, but she just doesn't have the energy to walk into the kitchen and defrost it.  Tuesday night is always Linda's tired night.  She has to have the food pre-made and ready to eat or she just skips dinner. Tonight she had a small piece of leftover pizza dipped in some guacamole.  It's a good thing her pedometer-watch is at a perfect 10 or she would have to jog in place to round it up. (kidding, but just kind of.)  Jerry took us for a long walk before she got home, so Chimi and I are tired too.  At least she fed us a good dinner.

That's from a Sculpt class, Kid Fit, Body Combat and Aqua Boot Camp
There were no new Penny photos today, so instead.. here is one from the Cancun vacation a few years ago. 
Penny was there, you just can't see her in Sarah's belly!

Monday, July 29, 2013


Linda is so excited!  She already got an email from Tierney; all the way from Spain.  They had a great day sightseeing and exploring. Hopefully more photos and emails will come soon.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daniel Boone, great philosophers and carrot cake

Taylor embracing his inner Daniel Boone
It's been a fun Saturday for Linda.  Taylor was supposed to run a 50 mile race today, so Linda had gotten a TKD sub to teach her classes so she could go support him.  It was way back in the winter when they made the plans, and she actually forgot about it.  Taylor injured his leg and hasn't been able to run long distances without pain, so he had to drop out of the race.  Her Aqua class was canceled because the pool heater is still broken and her friend taught her Kid Fit class.  Everything just lined up to a big surprise day off.  

After sleeping in (until 5:30 a.m... for some reason Linda is having a hard time going back to sleep when she naturally wakes up) and enjoying an hour of quite time on the deck, she went shopping.  She had to buy a bridal shower present and then spent an hour at the mall.  Next Sarah and Taylor picked her up and they went to an old country town for lunch and to do some antique store browsing.  Penny was pretty happy to see her Nana.  Taylor tried on this Daniel Boone coat at a thrift store, but it was a little too small for him.
The Outback website says this is two servings... not. 

Later on, Linda met Tierney for some more fun.  They went to Outback and Linda scored a free piece of carrot cake from the manager on their way out the door.  Its actually in our freezer right now.  She'll probably parcel it out and eat it over a few days. 
"Hmm... I wonder if I packed enough shoes?"
Tierney leaves tomorrow for her whirl-wind European trip.  She'll be visiting Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Turkey.  She promised Linda she would send updates via email.  

It's a good thing JWalker came today while she was gone or we would have had a seriously boring day.  He took us for a long walk and spent some time playing with us.
Back in the day when we still had carpet (and Jerry had an earring.. or that might be a tick)

It's a zoo around here

 Penny had her first trip to the National Zoo yesterday.  She wasn't that thrilled with the animals when Sarah and Linda took her to the Petting Farm, but she LOVED the zoo animals.  The monkeys were her favorite.  I think its because these little monkeys kind of look like me! 
"So this is a cow!" says Penny.  Mooooo...

"It is so great having a strong Daddy who can lift me up high"
"Can we get one for a pet, please..oh please"

The zoo wore her out.  She didn't fall asleep until they left though.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just Captions Today

Maybe Chimi knows something I don't. That could be why he is afraid of normal objects

Penny taking a snack break during a long bike trip

Jackpot!  Linda found rotisserie chicken on sale and bought two! It's already ground up and in freezer bags for our dinners.  True love...when a vegetarian cuts up a whole chicken because she knows I'll be happy.

Someone left this in the ladies room counter at the gym. Linda found it when she went to wash her hands.

I know a few people who would LOVE this Hulk renovation in their bathroom
Mowing the yard: 2.6 miles and over 300 calories burned.  Yay Linda!
Just one more day before Tierney leaves for her amazing trip of a lifetime. Hopefully she'll take lots of photos I can share

Introducing Blue Bear

When Taylor was just one day old, he received Blue Bear has a welcome to the world gift.  Blue Bear was his first and favorite stuffed animal.  It went EVERYWHERE with Taylor.  Once it was left in a booth at a Roy Rogers restaurant.  When Taylor discovered it missing a few hours later, Linda piled both Tierney and Taylor back in the van and sped back to see if it was still there.  It was under the table they were sitting in.  Thank goodness!  Blue Bear eventually wore out and started to lose his stuffing. Linda scoured the earth trying to find an exact duplicate.  She was in Baltimore and found the same Blue Bear.  During the night, she changed out bears and Taylor was none the wiser. 

Now Penny is carrying on the Blue Bear tradition.  Linda bought it for her a long time ago, but she's just started loving him in the last few weeks. 
Her other lovey is Lamb. 

A Blue Bear has got to eat too!

Try not to be too jealous of these overalls Penny got as a gift.  She was actually afraid to put them on!  Sarah will be cutting off the trim and tutu part to make little shorts for her. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cool Weather and Cows

During our walk tonight, Linda was a little chilly.  Yup, you read that right.  After days of blistering hot weather, it has cooled way down.  We did our normal walk together, then Linda put me back inside and did a longer jog with just Chim.  He's still afraid to run, but he's getting much braver.  Only once did he put the breaks on and almost come out of his collar.  She is not sure what happened to cause him to stop, but she was yanked backwards while he did his flat-as-a-pancake impression.  Chim is also petrified of this: 
It's a canteen that she has been using to make sure we have fresh water during walks.  Chimi thinks its a Chihuahua killing tool because he won't go anywhere near it and cries when he sees Linda get it from under the counter.  He was nervously wagging his tail and making sure it stayed safely on the table while she took a picture of it.   Two aggressive big dogs lunged towards us tonight, but he merrily went on his way without a second glance.  Just don't get near him with a plastic bag or canteen. 

Penny and Linda had a great morning hanging out and going to check on the soccer camp at church.  She had two of her TKD kids enrolled and promised them she would come and say Hi. 
Here they are in the gym during the closing assembly.   There is a painted horse on the wall right behind them.  Penny was sure it was a cow and kept pointing at the mural while "mooing" during the awards and prayer.  (To be fair, it does kind of look like a cow.) 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Faces of Penelope

"Don't be taking my bread Riley! A girls got to have her carbs!"
"Whoa!!  How did this cow get so flat?"

Penelope makes some of the best faces ever.  A lot of the time when she is in a crowd of people, she has this board face that looks like she is totally uninterested in life.  When she is with the family or a few people she is close to; she has dozens of different expressions that are so funny.  This cow chair seems to be making her happy, Riley eating her bread.... not so much.
Penny loves pressing the beep button on Linda's pedometer watch
This is her "I'm tired from playing in the baby pool" face.  Penny loves sitting on Linda's lap and will reach for her and say "up" the second she sees her. Now she is starting to cry when her Nana has to leave, and it makes Linda feel so sad. 
Chilling with sippy cups and pretzels during a pool break

Monday, July 22, 2013

Penny rocking the nautical look

I wouldn't go for our walk tonight, even though it is not really that hot.  I don't believe Linda that I won't overheat and have a seizure, so I'm still hiding when she gets the leashes out.  Chimi went without me, and they did 1 mile lickity-split.  He can pee while he's moving, so they never had to stop.  He's afraid when she jogs. If the leash or collar touches his ear, tail, backside or otherwise brushes his body he flips out and loses total control of his body.  He just flops to the ground like a soggy pancake.  

Here is the promised Penelope picture from yesterday.  Her outfit is so adorable!  She needs to get some red or navy boat shoes to match.  The pants aren't supposed to be capri's but the waist was too big and Sarah had to roll them up so they wouldn't fall off.   She better not jump into her pool wearing this little number. 
This outfit makes me look short Nana.
Penny is waking up every morning calling for her "Nana."  Maybe Sarah can get a video of it and send it to us.  They both went for a bike ride this morning on a beautiful trail, but we don't have a picture to show you. 

The Royal Baby was born today in England.  It is a boy.  There are betting pools what the name is going to be.  I think they should name him Simba.
Then he could be the Lion King

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Forgot to Have Children!

These are all true about Chimi.  Quirky for sure!
Linda was looking at some fun dog art on a website earlier today.  The first one "I forgot to have children" just cracked her up.  She did remember to have kids, but now Chimi and I are her "babies" since Taylor and Tierney are all grown-up and have their own homes.  Linda pretends that Penelope is her baby too, but she has to keep giving her back to Sarah since she won't let Linda keep her for good.  Sarah sent her a few cute pictures of Penny, but Linda's phone is too far away and she doesn't want to get up and go get it to sync with the laptop.  You just have to wait to tomorrow to see them!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Going for the Gold

Penny hasn't been much of a pool fan until today.  On Thursday, she watched her two friends splash and play, but she wasn't all that interested in actually stepping into the pool.  When Linda put her in, she would climb back out.  Both Riley and Ben were putting their faces under and rolling around though.  Today, Sarah and Taylor were going out for an ice cream date.  Penny walked out of the house and jumped belly first right into the pool!  Clothes, shoes and everything!! 
Ha!  I guess she just wanted to do it in her own time and when no one was pressuring her.  
She even put her whole face under water.  Better sign her up for swim lessons soon.  Linda has a friend at Gold's who is an amazing kids swim instructor.  There is even a kiddie sized pool at the Ashburn gym that she could actually stand up in. Maybe Linda will take her there swimming this Thursday. Future Olympian Miss Penelope!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hot enough for you?

Ha!  Two posts in one day.   Linda actually thought that she posted this mornings update last night.  I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but the day has felt a million hours long.  We all got up around 5 a.m. so by the time she left for classes at 9:15, it felt like 1/2 the day was already over.  Even though PW came over while she was gone, we didn't do our normal Friday walk.  It's so hot out that it could be dangerous for us.  There is this special dog vest that you soak in water and it keeps pups super cool during walks.  I'm sure its not small enough for me and Chimi would freak out if Linda tried to put a cooling vest on him.  I bet he would like it once he got used to it though. 
It should have a D-ring on the back to attach the leash.

Instead of being hot this morning, it took Linda a whole hour to get warm after her Aqua Boot Camp class.  (She had some time to wait between her two classes.)  The pool heater is broken at the gym. This normally wouldn't be a problem if you were outside in 98 degree weather.  When an indoor pool has no heat, it's freezing since there isn't any sun to warm it up.  When she jumped in it felt like one of those Tough Mudder obstacles where you jump in the dumpster full of ice.  The students were brave and all finished class.  (When the Triathlete woman swimming laps told Linda the water was cold, she knew it was going to be icy.  They are always complaining the pool is too warm.)  One woman joked she was wearing a wetsuit to tomorrows class. Doing class in cold water actually burns more calories, so maybe its a good idea to keep it like that.
The pool at the gym is so fancy!

No Excuses

I wish there was a better excuse of why I'm not posting everyday like I used to for the last 6 years.  There would be a day here and there that I would miss, but lately we've been a whole day behind.  Mostly its because Linda has become bored with our den.  The den has the TV and laptop (along with two incredibly comfy chairs) and it has always been her "go to" place in the house.  The TV/Internet just isn't interesting to her anymore.   Days go by without even turning on the TV.  She does check her email 2 or 3 times a day (lots of work emails come to pick up subbing classes in the summer) but she is doing it on her iPhone.  In her 20's, years went by without her owning a TV (and that was before everyone had home computers.)  Hmmm... seems she might be falling back to the same habits.  We will be keeping up this blog though, so she'll at least turn on the laptop for 5 minutes a day to update our daily happenings.
If a 1 hour workout is 4% of your day, what percent is a 5 minute blog post? 

You probably already know one of the two places shes hanging out.  The first is the deck.  I'll spare you yet another umbrella/table picture.  She's out there most of the time.  The second place shes sitting is our living room couch.  She's sat on the couch more in the last week than in all the years we've had the furniture; just spending quite time or reading.  Plus, dogs are not allowed on the living room furniture so she doesn't have to constantly deal with slobbery face kisses or wrestling dogs knocking her book over.  
That cushion poking forward is bugging her.  She has to go fix it.
At night, the twinkle lights in the palm tree make the whole room look like she is on vacation.  It's been a long time since Linda's been on vacation.  The last time she went Penny was just starting to grow in Sarah's belly!

Mexico. It was the best food on vacation ever!
Also, Linda's headaches that she had Sun-Wed this week are gone.  Yay!  And she is not as tired during the day.  Yesterday was busy, but she was able to function fine and tackle her classes and the "to-do" list.  The best part was watching Penny and her two friends Ben & Riley play in the wading pool.  After the visit, she went to Lowes to pick out some boards for her TKD testing on Saturday.  They have to be light and have a wide grain, so she needed to go through about 40 long planks until she found one she liked.  The Lowes worker-guy was nice and didn't charge her for cutting it into 12" pieces.  The Body Pump mix she taught at 5:30 was really hard.  The squats and chest were so challenging that people were stopping to rest.  After class, she went to go pick up our 10 pounds! of freshly picked blueberries from a friends house.   Blueberries are OK treats for dogs (a few a day) and they don't have a lot of calories so we can go back to a daily snack.  Linda will be making a lot of blueberry smoothies and putting them in her daily yogurt. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wedding Memories

The UPS man left a package on the doorstep today.  Linda had ordered some coffee and Pop Chips from Amazon a few days ago (Thanks for the gift card Kristin!) so she thought maybe it was those.  Then she realized it was a small envelope, way too small for Pop Chips.  The delivery guy left the wrong box.  She walked it 10 houses down to the right address, and sure enough her package was on their doorstep.  She switched them (hoping it wasn't against the law.)  Her prize wasn't food or coffee, it was her Mom's old wedding album from 1951.  Her cousin Judy (from old-school NJ)  found the photo book and sent it to her.  So many great shots!  Nick was so handsome and Mae was so beautiful.  Tierney has her same smile (and it looks like Mae is wearing Rub Woo red lipstick too!)
They had to get married on the Rectory steps because Mae wasn't Catholic and they wouldn't let her in the church. 

Linda didn't even turn on her laptop yesterday, so no post on Tuesday.   She has been going to bed by 9 or 9:30 p.m and not checking any blogs or FB.  Last night she was in bed 9 hours and woke up feeling awful.  There isn't any time to feel bad though, life goes on.. classes need to be taught and house things taken care of.  She isn't sick, just physically exhausted.  It feels like she has run a marathon everyday for a year (but two on the last day) except the woman who actually did it probably didn't feel bad at all.   Linda's upped her water intake and started eating more almonds/nuts to replenish the sodium from sweating, but it's not working.  The headache behind her eyes (sometimes the right, sometimes left) won't stop.  Maybe she better check the symptoms with Dr. Google before she goes to the Dr. and wastes a $40 copay. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


How hot was it today?  So hot that Linda had to carry us down the deck steps because the wood was like walking on fire.  It actually burned her bare feet a little bit when she went outside to eat lunch.  (Why in the world did she eat lunch outside when it was almost 100 degrees? Because she loves sitting on the deck and she was already sweaty from Body Pump and Combat.) 
Ignore all the dirt on the radio display
 Inside the car it was 109 degrees, and that was after 5 p.m.  This isn't even the hottest day.  Tues-Friday is supposed to get even hotter.  Chimi was begging for a walk as soon as she got home from teaching, but she made him wait another few hours because he would have overheated.  There was no way Jose' that I was going to walk.  As soon as she got the leashes off the hook I ran and hid under the dresser.  

Linda really shouldn't be as tired as she is.  She taught her normal classes and just did a 30 minute walk, but she'll be in bed by 9 p.m.  When your little you want to stay up as late as possible.  When you grow up, getting to go to bed early is a treat! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Birds Eye View

Linda had the best day mowing ever.  It was hot though, the no-joke kind of hot.  The heat index was 100, but the grass was so long that it just had to be cut.  The trick to getting it done is that she comes right in from church, changes her clothes without sitting down and goes right back out to get the mower ready.  If she takes a little break or eats lunch, then there is a good chance that the mowing will get shuffled to the bottom of her to-do list.
The backyard doesn't look like a hill, but the shallow part isn't in the picture.
Usually, she likes to use mowing as a workout, but not today.  Our yard is kind of big and on a hill. If she sprints 2 or 3 up-and-backs pushing the mower up hill, then walks a lap... it feels like interval training.  She walked the entire time today.  Wow, what a difference!  Sure she was sweating, but her heart rate stayed only slightly elevated and she could have mowed all day.  Too bad the trimmer thing ran out of string because only 1/2 the front yard got done.
Back when our grass was super green

What made it the best mowing day ever?  There are two robins nests under the deck on the cross beams.  They nest rims are eye level, but Linda hasn't wanted to get too close to the eggs.  Today there were baby bird heads squawking out of the nest with their little mouths open.  Ah!!!  It was so adorable.  The Mommy bird flew back into the nest to guard them while Linda was about 3 feet away.  She didn't finish mowing under the deck because she didn't want to disturb the little family.  Linda has such a soft-spot for wildlife, especially if they have babies.  She really wants to go take a picture, but you'll just have to settle for a google search photo. 
There are a lot of articles about people raising baby robins by hand if they fall out of the nest. Linda is hoping that doesn't happen because Chimi will get to it first and there won't be much left to raise. Robins have an 80% mortality rate in their first year of life.  Hopefully, none of the squirrels or other critters in our yard can get to them before they grow-up. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Killer Brownies

Nothing new to post since Linda was gone basically the entire day.  She just got home a little bit ago from her church meeting and is heading to bed in 3 minutes.  We did get a long walk this morning with J, but there is no way Linda is taking us out for the second walk tonight.  She is tired and has a wicked headache behind her left eye.  (That is a weird place to get a headache, isn't it?) 

There aren't any pictures from today, so here are some old ones.  For the people who blast blogs that post old photos, guess you better stop reading now (or complain about it on your own blog.)  Here are random food photos that Linda wishes she could eat right now:

Dear Sarah, would you make these pizzas again?
Tier's leopard and nautical themed 25th birthday

These were from Wholefoods.  I guess killer brownies are better than brownie killers. 
Linda's breakfast of champions


Tierney had a kiddy band-aid on her boo-boo
It was another super exciting day for Penny yesterday.  She got to spend the morning/afternoon with her other Granny, and based on how tired she was when Linda picked her up... she had big adventures!  Tierney was waiting for them at Mimi's.  Penny kept saying "MeMe" but they think she wanted things and was actually" saying Me! Me!"  One of Pen's favorite things to do is look at the pictures on your phone.  She points and identifies everyone, except she says "Pup" for "Chimi."  All dogs she sees are called Pup except for me. I'm "Ooop."

Penny fell asleep on the way home from the restaurant and Linda let her nap for 45 minutes since it was already 6:30 p.m.  Lots of book reading, pretend play, a bath and a snack kept her going for a few more hours, but when 9:00 rolled around Penny started going up stairs to her room by herself.  Linda sang her a few songs in the rocking chair and then she went right down for the night, not a peep or whine.

Linda has another busy day today with classes and her church meeting.  Tomorrow she has group practice at Gold's between church services.  She needs to find a chunk of time somewhere to mow the lawn and do her house chores.   Where is the gardener and the maid when you need them?

How about an automatic mower? Relax on the deck and it does the work for you!