Saturday, August 31, 2013

Minion Attack

Minions are the new X-Men according to the kids in Linda's classes. 

OK, now this is weird.  Linda has four new bruises that were not there when she took the pictures at 3 p.m.  Unless there are invisible Minions running around the house kicking and pinching her, it makes absolutely no sense.  There are now two tiny bruises on her arm and two on her knee.
That amazing scar is from her knee replacement.  The surgeon decided to be creative!
She didn't do any cleaning where she knelt down, no one grabbed her arm and she didn't run into anything in the last 4 hours.  Even though she isn't supposed to google any sickness or injury symptoms on Web MD (said a wise adviser) she might have to break the rule just this once just in case she should make a DR appointment for this week to check it out. 

Linda wishes she was a better photographer.  A girl at church has a blog called the The Red Spoon Her pictures of the recipes and food are borderline works of art in themselves.  I don't think she uses an old iPhone in poor lighting conditions like Linda does.  If Meg were here to photograph Linda's awesome dinner tonight, she would have made it look so much better.
This looks unappetizing, but OH NO, it was her favorite dinner (just kidding!) ever.  It was seriously the easiest though.  She took a 100 calorie wrap, spread it with a 3 pepper spicy humus, organic salsa, then melted Jalapeno Jack cheese on top.  When it was warm, she added fresh spinach and guacamole.  Seriously the best sandwich she ever ate.  The grapes are just plane grapes.  She wanted the new "cotton candy" flavored grapes, but can't seem to find them in any of the places shes looked.
Has anyone seen these at the store?
Every night except Tuesdays, Linda has been taking Chimi out for an some additional exercise.  (I refuse to go at night so its just the two of them.)  They move fast, alternating between a power walk and slow jog.  He's not allowed to stop and sniff anything, they just go, go, go for 30 minutes.  He needs the exercise since he is a time-bomb of nervous energy.  It's working.  He's conked out on the chair next to her lightly snoring. 

p.s.  Linda might have to start a new food blog if she keeps hijacking my blog about dogs!

Brusing and Chicken Poop

People have been stopping Linda at the gym to ask her how she got so many bruises.  It is ridiculous the amount of bruises she has right now and 99.9% of them are mysterious.  The biggest and most purple bruise is on her hip.  She can't show you that one since it wouldn't be modest.  There are other big ones on her quads, shins and arms.  All three of these pictures were taken seconds apart, but it looks like she is pasty white in two shots and vacation tan in the other.  Its just because the flash didn't go off in the third shot.
The one bruise she is aware of hasn't really started to turn color yet.  She smashed her hand in the folding door in the hallway earlier this afternoon.  Ow.. that is going to leave a mark.  The other bruises must be from teaching classes, but she doesn't remember hurting herself.  (Either that or she is sleep walking during the night and running into things.)  Maybe all the vigorous cleaning she has been doing is the culprit.  They better be gone by next Saturday.  She has a pretty sundress she wants to wear to an outside wedding.  If they are still purple-yellow, she is going to go buy that tattoo cover makeup. 

Today's lunch was the very best yet.  I know... Linda has said every meal lately has been the best.  This one really is.  Even her vegetable hating friends would love it.
Just kidding.  That's gross rare roast beef.  She would have to be close to starved dead to eat this.
So amazing! And under 300 calories for the whole thing.
It's a take-off on her regular meal the last few weeks, only way better.  She splurged and decided to go all out. She likes making things that don't require too many dishes and a bunch of clean-up.  This took one pot, one skillet and a baking tray along with silverware, stirrers, plates and a spatula.  Our microwave is broken and a new one isn't in the budget, so she has to do all her cooking the old fashioned way. The base is (surprise!) a giant Portobella mushroom. She topped it with white organic quinoa, sauteed fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, Trader Joe's meatless meatballs, cubed cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.  There were other seasonings and she used Trader Joe's sesame soy ginger vinaigrette to roast the mushroom. 

That reminded her about a mushroom story.  Apparently everyone in the world knew this but Linda.

 Yesterday, she was shopping for more fresh veggies.  While she was loading her cart full of goodness, a perfectly pleasant man (and he might or might not have been handsome, she really didn't notice...)  was chatting to Linda about the healthy stuff in her cart.  He was a vegetarian, plus gluten-free.  As she was putting her stuff on the belt to pay, he followed her.  Then he looks surprised and goes "Oh you really want to put those mushroom caps back.  Those are not vegetarian." Linda's like..."Um.. I think they are, they don't have a mother."  Oh NO they are not!" says the handsome guy, "they are grown in chicken poop (only he didn't say poop) so technically they are not vegetarian."   Of course Linda googled "are mushrooms grown in chicken poop" and its true. 

At least its free range chicken poop lip balm
She doesn't care enough to stop eating them though.  She's been told not to eat yogurt because of bug shells and horses-hooves in it. She doesn't listen though. Linda is laid back about that kind of stuff now.  At one time in her life she was so hard core about her eating habits it almost made her have an ulcer.  Worrying about what she was eating or if it was healthy actually made her so stressed it had the opposite effect than she wanted. 

p.s.  She knows of at least 3 people who will tell her she is bruising because of not eating meat.  Linda eats a lot of spinach, black beans, nuts, artichokes and squash, all of which have iron.  For Linda's age, she only needs 8 grams of iron day which she is totally getting.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Linda goes in spurts watching TV.  It hasn't even been turned on for about 3 weeks.  Not because Linda is abstaining or anything, she just totally loses interest in it.  If there is a Netflix show she likes  she'll watch all the seasons in a row without a break.  There is nothing on network TV that she watches on a weekly basis.  She doesn't like sports or news shows.  Tonight when she decided to watch the old school movie Twister on ABC family channel, the cable was buggy, cutting in and out.  She can only hear about every 3rd word before it breaks up.  Looks like another quite night reading (yay!).

In other exciting buggy news, the mosquitoes are out in full force.  Before Linda went out on the deck to eat her dinner, she sprayed herself with Cutter.  It has worked in the past, but the bugs were not deterred. 
There are more bites on her arm and at least 5 more bites on her legs.  Linda must taste extra delicious to bugs.  She is pretty sensitive to bites and stings.  Once at the zoo she got stung near her eye and the whole lid swelled shut.
At least the dinner was amazing: a roasted Portobella mushroom topped with artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes; balsamic vinaigrette asparagus; and spicy Brussels sprouts.  For all the non-vegetable eaters out there, you are probably grossed out.  Enjoy your rare filet mignon, Linda won't bother you for a taste. 

Penny and Sarah went apple picking today.  Apples are one of her favorite foods so she was pretty happy to sample the goods while they picked!

Nail Nibbling and More Cleaning

(Fair warning... turn the volume down when you watch this video if you get freaked out by the sound of a dog chomping on their nails.)

Chimi has been acting weirder than normal lately.  You know how he likes to keep Linda in his line of vision whenever she is home? It is worse than ever.  He isn't the kind of dog that goes off to his own bed to nap.  Once a month he'll find a patch of sunshine streaming in the glass door and relax on the hardwood, but mostly he is close to Linda. It's as if he is either going to miss something important like a piece of food dropping to the floor or Linda getting her shoes on (which is dog talk for "Lets walk.")  Chim isn't as bad as some dogs we've seen on Cesar's The Dog Whisperer, but he is a worrier.   When he worries, he does repetitive behaviors.  The last few days he has been scratching the side of his face and nibbling on his nails. 
Sometimes he shreds toys, blankets or beds.  Other times he goes on hunger strikes.  Then for no reason at all he won't walk, he'll just flop his body around like a wet towel and cry.  Sometimes at night, he freezes in the backyard and is too afraid to come back inside.  Linda has to go down the deck steps and carry him back up.  I know your thinking "It must be something physically wrong" but it is all emotional.  A plastic bag, book, comb, key fob, DVD case, the sound of a dropping shoe, seeing a kid on a bike or even a bug flying into him can make him come unglued.  I'm totally the opposite.  A real loner and super laid back.. except in thunder storms. Tier calls me the emo dog.  I would rather be alone than have company (guess who I take after?)

Linda took 15 minutes earlier and cleaned out the cabinet of glasses.  It was so easy that she is going to do the plates and tupperware cabinets next.
There were glasses that she hasn't used in years (which are now in the trash can. They were so old that even the thrift store wouldn't have wanted them.)  She also Pintrest cleaned the living room and dining room this morning before classes.   Look at the shiny hardwood floor!  She wanted to try the teabags steeped in hot water method for cleaning hardwood, but was afraid it would wreck the finish.  Has anyone actually done that? 
Now that most of our house is Pintrestsized, we should invite some people over on Saturday night.  We even have an unopened Costco size jar of organic salsa and a giant slab of cheese. 
Or not.  This happens more than you think

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wrong Idea

Just in case you get the wrong idea about Linda and her OCD issues, I wanted to set the record straight.  She doesn't have true OCD like some people she knows.  Not everything makes her crazy, just some things do.  There is a movie star girl who was in a movie called the Hunger Games.  (Linda can't think of her name, but she is often quoted saying funny things or pictures of her are posted tripping up the stairs.)  Linda read an article about her that said she once broke-up with a boyfriend because he left wet sponges in the kitchen sink overnight.  She said something to the effect "waking up to a fresh, new sponge on my kitchen sink makes living all worth while."  The guy would always leave the sink wet and the sponge soaked and she finally had enough.  I'm sure she was kidding, but Linda totally gets it.  Leaving a sponge wet, dishes in the sink for more than 15 minutes after cooking/eating, a dirty bathroom, hardwood floors with dust, or horrors of all horrors... leaving used glasses or food plates around the house makes her cringe.  These pictures of our house were all taken 15 minutes ago:
Notice the disarray and cups falling down. There looks like there might be a bottle of soy sauce in there too.

This is actually 10x better than it used to be.
One of the spare bedrooms downstairs is nothing but books and bears from Starbucks.
This big room was supposed to be her "workshop".  Taylor and Tierney still tease Linda about wanting tools.  It is used for storage and junk.
The weed whacker is still broke so this is our front step
This is a 6' fence.  There are weeds 6' high along the fence line.  No joke.  Even if we had a weed whacker, it wouldn't work.  Linda needs to borrow a machete to get these suckers cut.

See, I told you she doesn't have OCD.  No one with true OCD could have this kind of disarray around the house and not go crazy.  The difference, all the messes inside are behind closed doors.  She doesn't have to look at them.  She will clean the cup cabinet now that shes seen how bad it looks.  Maybe she can hire someone to do the yard work since it is her least favorite chore of all.

Merry-go-round fun

Linda loves being a Nana. Spending time alone with Penelope is one of her favorite things.   Could it really be almost 25 years ago that she was toting a baby and toddler around the mall?  She forgot how hard it is to go to the mall with a kid.  Of course now shopping malls are a whole lot different than when Tierney and Taylor were little.  Kids kicking off their expensive Nike sneakers stayed the same though. Today Penny got to ride the merry-go-round.  She loved it!
She kept saying "wheee....."
There are also video clips, but we first have to do all the "make the iPhone like your Windows laptop upload" tricks. Check back later for the video.  Don't worry, once the merry-go-round started moving, Linda held on to Penny.  Oh yeah, Linda remembered too late she can't do rides that spin.  About 30 seconds into it she got some serious motion sickness.  Luckily she didn't puke on the ride or have to make the lady stop it so they could get off. 

There is also an indoor play area.  Penny wasn't the youngest kid there, but she is the ONLY kid who had an adult walking around with her.  Moms were sitting on the benches texting or chatting with their friends while the 14-18 month old toddlers were playing.  Um... maybe you better watch your kids people.
"I'm going to try and ditch Nana.  Its embarrassing to have her follow me everywhere"
Penny was trying to push the airplane
Sarah had packed a lunch for them so they stopped at the food court to eat.  Behind their table was a Ben and Jerry's and Penny wanted ice cream in the worst way!  She kept pointing to the people getting cones and calling to them. 
I'm climbing out of this seat right now if you don't get me a cookie-dough cone Nana! 
When Linda got home, she did another Pinetrest cleaning chore.  This time it was the whole kitchen.  Yes, our kitchen is this small.  You can't see the fridge, and the small table behind her, but this is pretty much it.
Everything is so bright its blinding.  She used to be sad about the old cabinets and counters, but now she loves them.
Those wrinkled dish towels will have to be traded out for less creased ones.  Now that she sees it in the photo, it will bug her when she walks in the kitchen.  Admittedly, Linda can have a wee bit of OCD on some things.  Also, the blue sponge needs to be hidden.  The OCD comes and goes though.  There are weeks when a pile of clean clothes are on the family room couch waiting to be folded.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pass the tissues

We've been getting so many Penelope pictures lately from Sarah and it's making Linda happy!  It's such a treat to open her email or check her text messages and see that "you've got mail!" with photos of her sweet little munchkin.  Yesterday the family visited a lake, went antiquing and stopped at a dairy farm for handmade ice cream.

"Whoa Mommy, this water is COLD!"
"This is so much better than the plastic pool in the driveway."
Penny, where are your cowgirl boots?
This is one of Linda's favorite photos of Sarah and Penny.  It made her tear-up with joy.

Linda has been crying a lot lately.  Not in a bad depressed way, just in an emotional "isn't that amazing?" way. There are two big weddings coming up.  She'll need to bring a real old-fashioned handkerchief to the ceremonies because paper tissues just won't be able to handle the sop-up. 

Cleaning with Pintrest

Remember the Pintrest post about all the "to-do" things Linda wanted to do?  Such success!!  She started today.  So far she has:
Cleaned the kitchen sink.  This sink was born in 1982 (ish?) which makes it old.  It was looking ratty and no matter how much Linda sprayed cleaner on it, the finish was still dingy.  Ta-Da! After the miraculous Pintrest cleaning method, it actually looks almost brand new!! She even did the inside the garbage disposal cleaning.  Next up was the stove top:
This stove was a hand-me-down from when Tierney gutted her townhouse.  The home was a foreclosure and her Dad and brother basically rebuilt the entire inside.  When Linda got the stove, the entire top was crusted with food and she had to use a razor blade to even see any of the white rings. (She'll spare you what the inside of the oven looked like.)  For the last few years, it has looked OK, but still beat-up.  Hello Pintrest!  After the amazing "this will change your life" method it looks ridiculously good.  The little spot on the back is where the finish is worn off and she can't do anything about it.

One last project today.  She spent 2 hours cleaning the hall bathroom.  You all know she cleans everyday, but it is just a mop...wipe...spritz...and swish.  Today she did the whole shebang including toothbrushing the corners, taking off the light fixtures and soaking in the tub, using dryer sheets on the baseboard, using duct tape in the toilet to remove the rusty stains tucked under the rim (oh, and Resolve carpet cleaner in the grout.)  It was hard work, but now her bathroom looks like a model home. 

The part where you spray the tile and then take a hot shower to let the cleaner soak in wasn't the best idea.  Linda got a little light-headed from the smell.  All in all, not too shabby for an old-school bathroom built when Linda was still a gal in her 20's and not an old Nana.  It was so much fun cleaning she can't wait to check more projects off her list. There is so much more to do, maybe she can take a week off work and do a "cleanstation" instead of a vacation.   Check back for more cleaning make-overs!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Feeling happy for strangers.

Linda reads about 10 blogs everyday, which is down from the 25 she was reading.  It was taking about 15 minutes each morning to read them all, so she pared down to just her favorites.  There is one about a Librarian who has postpartum depression but she is trying to hold it all together.  It is funny but kind of sad at the same time.  We are always hoping she is having a good day.  A few are about people who cook wonderful things and the rest are exercise blogs.  Today she read a post that actually made her cry.  It's about a woman who wanted to do a triathlon.  She is married with a family, plus she works so finding training times were hard.  She battled injuries and was deathly afraid to swim in rivers because of fish-things getting her.  (Just like Linda!  She won't go in rivers or lakes.) The lady even backed out of a race she had paid for and planned to run.   Well today's post was the recap of the race she did run.  Great job Coy!  We are so proud of you and we have never even met you.
Not likely.  I can only walk about 6 houses at a time before Linda has to carry me.

Cook your chicken dirty

Yesterday was National Dogs are Amazing Day (or something like that) and I totally missed it.  It's OK though.  Everyday in our house it is dogs are amazing day.  We are smart, funny and keep Linda busy with our antics.  Read this story about how a woman is offering classes to teach dogs how to use an iPad.  First, you download some special apps.  One is a Yes and No button.  You put a little peanut butter on the yes button and ask "Do you want a cookie?"  When the dog licks the Yes button, they get a treat.  Eventually they figure out what button gets them the desired result. I guess for the "No" button you ask "Do you want a bath? or "Do you want your nails cut?" and when they lick the PB off, you plop them in the water or trim their nails.  The classes are $50 each, so we are just going to stick with our method. (Plus, you don't have to keep wiping dog drool off your screen.)
I already answer questions by barking.  This is just one example.  If she asks me "Do you want me to get my shoes on?" but I don't want to take a walk, I hide under the dresser.  If I do want to go, I'll bark and dance around.   The easiest question to answer is "Do you want chicken?"

 Linda also read an important news flash of how you should NEVER wash your chicken before you cook it.  When you bathe your chicken before you cook it, it spreads tons of germs and can get you sick.  It's a good thing that Linda had never heard that you should wash your chickens so she hasn't been doing it wrong.  She always uses a piece of foil to pick up the raw chicken parts before she cooks them because they feel gross and make her stomach queasy. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013


* Whining:  To complain or protest in a childish fashion.

Sorry for all the whining yesterday about mowing.  Linda reread it and decided it was a stupid thing to complain about.  After all, she LOVES our house and LOVES having a yard for Chim and I to run around in. (I mean for Chim to run around in.)  She really should sell this big house. Linda lives in about 500 square feet of the house and the rest of it just makes her happy to look at.) Once she even started to get the house ready to sell by getting new flooring, carpet and beautiful paint on the walls.  When it was all done, she loved the house even more and couldn't bare the thought of moving.  Really though, we are going to move to a small TH sometime soon.  For Linda, it's all about having a private space that is quite (no TV, radio, or music for background noise) and clean with sparse decorations (No clutter that she can see...Messy closets are different as long as the doors shut.)   She would even be OK with getting rid of 99.9% of the stuff in the garage and storage rooms.  As long as she has her favorite furniture pieces and comfy bed, she would be totally happy no matter how small the sq. footage was.  There will be no more mowing whining stories.  Promise! *... just as soon as the weed whacker thing gets fixed and the mower doesn't conk-out.
Linda was looking for pictures of our house to post when she found this.  Look at the face of that massive dog eyeballing me.  I guess I'm pretty lucky to still be alive.  One bite and my head would be gone.

And this picture.  When I used to have daily seizures, Linda had to walk me in the umbrella stroller since even a slow walk could trigger one.

Oh.. and this shot of happy sweet Noah.  He used to take all those books out of the shelf and then wait until Linda put them back before he would take them all out again.  It was their special game.

Penny was just a wee-baby here.  She is such a big girl now. She is singing songs, saying big words like "octopus" and "penguin" and starting to repeat the ABC song when Linda sings it with her.  She is also using her potty most of the time when she is home.  Penny is learning to not be afraid of the deep pool too.  Listen for the "wheeee" at the beginning when Sarah spins her around.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mowing Woes

So much busyness.  Linda has just been checking her email on her iPhone since Friday morning since she didn't even open her laptop.  Slow down Linda, take a load off and chill. 

"Daddy, would you teach me how to swim?"
If you read Thursdays post, you know how much fun Linda had at the pool with Penny and Sarah.  (Taylor took her today for some more swimming.) After her Thursday evening classes, she went to bed early and read.  Friday was non-stop.  Up at 6:30 to clean the house (it had been over a week.. for Linda, that is just crazy) before she left for classes.  She was home for a few hours to finish cleaning and eat some lunch, then it was back to the gym for round two.  The best part of Friday was that she got to watch Penelope.  Sarah and Taylor dropped her off at the gym so they could have a date night.  Nana and Penny had dinner out together, went to church for some fellowship and then Linda took her back to the TH.  By the time Linda got home, it was 9:30 and bedtime. (Notice a pattern?  Linda likes to go to bed early.)

Today started out and ended up great.  Her classes were fun and she got home ready to rest up and eat.  Except there wasn't any resting.  She didn't mow last weekend and the grass was super long.  Ugh. Mowing.  Nothing went right. The mower kept dying.  There isn't any guard on the mower so grass blows all over her.

Her whole body was covered with grass
 A rock came shooting out, ricocheted off the house and hit her in the chest. There were tears involved.
Sob Sob.  Mowing is so hard....
Then the weed whacker wouldn't work.  There is string in it but its just going "wheeeeerrrrrr" and not actually cutting any weeds.
To make matters worse, while she was slaving away mowing backwards (her shoulder is still hurt so she couldn't push the mower.  She had to drag it behind her like oxen yoked up to a plow) the guy behind our house was just cruising around on his giant riding mower.

Linda took a shower, then did some errands that had to be done today.  Also, it was her turn to clean up at church, but that didn't happen.  She waited in the parking lot for over 20 minutes and no one came to unlock the church doors so she came back home.

She was in serious need for food so she pulled out all the stops and made herself a delicious meal and ate it outside by candlelight.  Ahhh... finally time to relax.
That's not real chicken. They are chipolte lime soy strips and really yummy!
 Now it's 9:30 p.m. and you know what that means!  Goodnight. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013


One of Penny's favorite things to do with Linda is to watch all the videos on the iPhone.  The videos are mostly Chimi and I doing tricks, barking, running or sleeping.  Here you go Penny... these dogs are having so much fun being dogs that it will make you giggle.  


It was a great day for a trip to the pool!  Penny wasn't super excited getting her swimsuit on at the TH, but once she was fortified with a second breakfast she was raring to go.  The lifeguard gave her a Nemo fish and ball to play with.  She was holding on to them for dear life! 
Sarah bought her a new little swim vest, but since she didn't want to let go of Sarah's hands, she really didn't need it.  
Linda is a huge wimp with cold water.  Sometimes she doesn't even get in the pool when she teaches her Aqua Boot Camp classes because the water is too cold.  This is as far as Linda got in today.  Linda took a really cute video of Penny swimming while she is saying "Wheee....." but Linda doesn't have time right now to figure out how to flip it upright.  For some reason, the iPhone always rotates video sideways and she always forgets how to fix it.  Check back later tonight for a possible update.
When they were getting ready to leave, Penelope wanted to wear Linda's shoes.  I think we need to buy her a pair of boat shoes to match the rest of the family since everyone has a pair (even baby Jackson!) but her.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

I LOVE YOU SARAH AND TAYLOR!  (even if Taylor is allergic to me!)