Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fiji....part Uno

So many wonderful things to say about our trip. So many that it's just going to have to be broken in to a few posts. Otherwise I fear I might lose some of you rambling on and on and on. Not like that would be THAT different that my normal posts. But it could get picture heavy. And nobody likes a heavy blog.

So I'll start from the beginning. We were excited. So excited. I counted down this trip from about 180-something days out. That's a lot of days, people! And we were THAT excited!!! Look at us, happy and completely unaware of just how long 10-1/2 hours can actually be when you are on an airplane. Well, Linda wasn't unaware since she has flown internationally many times before. But Troy, Tiffiny and I were blissfully unaware.


That grueling, 10-1/2 hour flight was NOT something we were looking forward to. And typical of our vacationing luck our flight was delayed 2 hours at LAX. You know, because being there 4 hours ahead of time to begin with wasn't quite long enough.


It is very difficult for Troy to get comfortable in a good situation (i.e. in our CA King pillow-top mattress) so sitting around at LAX proved challenging. His back did not provide top-quality cooperation so he was nervous and fidgety. But he was up for it. Anything for vacation. This is him chillin'....before he took a sleeping pill to make the trip easier. It was anything BUT easier (for me) but we won't go in to that.


4 spilt cups of coffee, 3,237 instances of unzipping the backpack, 234 times turning on/off the reading light, 4 movies and 0 hours of sleep.....we landed 10-1/2 hours later. 7:00ish a.m. Fiji time. How gigantic is this plane???


Another 30 minutes going through the customs line, about an hour waiting for our luggage, a 20 minute taxi ride and we finally arrived here:



Room I-202. Our home for the next 16 days. It welcomed us from the humidity and sun, gave us a comfortable place to lay our heads at night, a clean place to shower, endless hours of the Three Stooges (they like their Stooges, people)....and shelter from a Category 2 Cyclone.
Yes, the Pryor vacation curse brought with it a Cyclone to the Fijan Islands.

To be continued.....

Friday, December 25, 2009

A very Merry Christmas

to you and yours. Hope your day is filled with everything wonderful! For, friends, the spirit of Christ and these:


I know. I know. The spirit of Christ and Wizard of Oz Nutcrackers. Life is so awesome!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's that? Someone mentioned a prize?

Oh, you caught that, eh? In this post I mentioned that you should hold on to your seats because there "may be a prize".

I can't believe nobody has called me out on this prize even though I've been back for almost an entire week. But while I am still working on pictures (and have to collect the rest of them from my travel partners) I thought I would fill in some time with a little contest....and give a eluded to. Hey, I didn't "promise" the prize. I merely hinted.

But first, look at us being all cute on our 25th Anniversary in Fiji


I told someone today what a tool I am. This is just another case in point but it certainly goes along with the whole "everyone cares about what I did during my vacation" self-absorbed attitude that also goes along with the "I'm so funny and important that I should write about my life" blogging brain I have developed.

And sometimes you have to swim through the sewage to get to the beautiful blue ocean, people.

The first person to correctly answer the following five questions wins a $25 gift certificate.

1) What is the actual date of our anniversary (including the year)?
2) What are the names of my 3 dogs?
3) What was my favorite childhood toy?
4) What was the reason I started this blog 2 years ago?
5) Who were the ladies I spent a long weekend with in Canada?

All answers can be found in my blog. Have fun! Winner will be announced this Sunday....but I'm pretty sure some other post will show up before then. Fiji update? Electronic Christmas greeting? Probably some of both.

Until then....good luck!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!!

25 years. The silver anniversary. I think they call it that because being married to the same person for 25 years gives you silver hair. At least being married to Troy it does.

And it all started with this:


That phone call from El Paso TX asking me out on a date. 8 months in advance. This picture really is me talking to Troy, but I don't believe it is me on THAT particular phone call. What I love most about this picture is the cool olive green phone with a cord attached. Remember those? How retro. I talked on this phone so much that my brother found it completely appropriate to take a picture of me yapping my brains out. Apparently Troy and I were not to the point of whispering sweet nothings to each other but I'm pretty sure I hadn't farted on him yet.

He surprised me in June on a weekend leave. What a whirlwind of a weekend! I broke a date with some other guy after Troy showed up on my doorstep. Well, Linda did it for me. I remember his name was Jim and Linda told him that I was sick. In a way I guess I was. Sick in Love! (Wow. That was cheesy.) Troy took me to dinner at his favorite local Chinese restaurant. Then the memorable fart happened. The next day we spent the day at his parent's house swimming and such. That night he proposed. Well, sort of. I said yes....had to face Jim with a ring on my finger after my whirlwind weekend...and 6 months later we got married.


Man, we were young! And skinny. And Troy had hair. I was 19 and Troy had just turned 21. My oldest son is currently 6 months older than Troy was back then and I think I would seriously throw up if he told me he was getting married. My middle child is currently the same age as I was and I think I would seriously throw up if he told me he was getting married. And Troy is never letting our daughter get married so I'm safe there.

Man, we were young! It was all just romantic and warm and fuzzy and new and exciting, though. Just right for young kids who knew everything. We thought. We learned a lot those first few years. We learned even more after child one...then two...then SURPRISE! child three.

3 children through the teen years, 11 jobs, 10 cars, 18 pets (that I can actually remember), 9 rented homes, 1 purchased home and one life-changing motorcycle accident later....


We've changed a bit. Both inside and out. And we are always growing and learning and finding new ways to tolerate each other. But one thing is certain. There is always love. There is always determination to see through the changes.

There is always us.




In love....and working towards the next 25 years.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I forgot to tell this story

after I returned from Ice Fest. I was reading this post and it reminded me of another *fun and wonderful* thing that happened to me, this time on my flight to Niagara Falls. Stuff always happens to me. (Wonder what Fiji has in store....)

A little factoid for you before I tell this story: I'm a bit of a gassy person. I have been for about...hmmm...forever. I know this is probably way more information than some of you want to know, but you need to know. Trust me. Sitting for long periods of time without getting up and moving around make my situation worse. Some foods make it worse. Anxiety makes it worse.

Troy firmly believes breathing air makes it worse. He may have a point.

So imagine how uncomfortable things were getting after I boarded my connecting flight in Atlanta after sitting for 6 hours on the first leg of my trip. I was still in complete control of things, though. It was all good. I thought.

As I was listening to my iPod at a volume enabling me to drown out the coughing fit going on a couple of seats ahead of me, I sneezed. I tried with all my might to remain in control of all things, but sneezing really doesn't allow you to do that. And so came the exit of the gas.


I'm not entirely sure how loud it was since my iPod was blaring in my ears. The dude sitting directly in front of my turned his head slightly in my direction and I just decided it was because of the sound of the sneeze and not because of any other sounds exiting my body. Yeah. That was it. The sneeze.

When that plane landed I quickly exited without looking anybody in the eye. I was pretty sure I would never see any of them ever again so I'm not about to make chit-chat with someone who may bring up my intestinal issues.

And I told you that story so I could tell you this other story. Because while I am currently in Fiji these posts are supposed to be about Troy and I and our 25 years together.

After our first (and only) date, we took a drive and parked over looking our wonderful little town. We chatted, snuggled, steamed up the windows, chatted some more and then I dozed off a bit. It was sweet, my head on his shoulder, his arm around me.


I opened my eyes out of my slumber thinking, "Did that just happen?" As I looked up at Troy I knew in an instant that yes, indeed, "it" had happened. He just had this sheepish little grin on his face but he said nothing. He just kept smiling.

He still married me despite my obvious fault.

No wonder I kept him around for 25 years.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On us

I borrowed this ("stole" is such an ugly word) from Kayla's blog. I thought it was a fun little way to give you just a snippet of our life together as an old married couple.

What are your middle names?
Ann and Allen

How long have you been together?
Since July 1984.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We knew each other for four years before we started dating…if you can call it dating. It was ONE date.

Who asked whom out?
He asked me out over the phone. He was stationed in El Paso, TX in the Army and I was back home in Red Bluff, CA. The phone call was in April, the date was set for sometime in December during his next leave but he surprised me the first weekend of June. I actually had a date planned with some other dude the night after Troy showed up on my front door step. I made my best friend break the date. I’m chicken like that. But it all worked out because Troy and I were engaged by the end of the weekend. Explain THAT when the broken date dude sees your finger…..

How old are each of you?
44 and 46. I married an “older” man. Scandalous!

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Well I see MY siblings more than his and he sees HIS more than mine. Together as a couple it’s probably a toss up because that’s mostly holidays, special occasions or impromptu visits.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
We’ve been through some seriously difficult things in the last 25 years. I would love to tell you that we braved all the situations with grace and dignity but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. There were certainly some times where neither grace nor dignity existed in our household. It was usually when Troy would not admit I was right.

Did you go to the same school?
Yes. I first saw him in gym class and instantly fell in lust over the poor unsuspecting boy. I’m sure he was the 5th one that day. I could probably read up on it in my high school diary.

Are you from the same home town?

Who is smarter?
It depends on what we are talking about. If you want to talk about any kind of war history, Troy’s the man. If you want to talk about the Wizard of Oz, hit me up.

Who is the most sensitive?
My husband is a big, burly manly man of a man who is probably as sensitive as I am….but I cry. He doesn’t. Mostly.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Chinese. And if we are out of town? Chinese. And if we get take-out? Chinese. My two favorite foods in the whole wide world are Spaghetti and Lasagna. They don’t have either of those at Chinese restaurants.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
We are doing it right now….

Who has the craziest exes?
We don’t really have any exes. I guess that makes us the crazy ones. Unless you count my ex-boyfriend from the third grade. I threw up on him at the movie theatre. He went a little crazy over that.

Who has the worst temper?
Absolutely, positively, without a doubt in the world…..Troy.

Who does the cooking?
Absolutely, positively, without a doubt in the world….Troy.

Who is the neat-freak?
If you are talking about the dishes as they come out of the dishwasher – Troy
If you are talking about the pillows on the couch – Me
If you are talking about anything else in our house - *insert hysterical laughter here*

Who is more stubborn?
Absolutely, positively, without a doubt in the world….Me. But it’s totally part of my charm.

Who hogs the bed?

Who wakes up earlier?
When I work day shift – me
When I work night shift – him
When I have the day off – whoever has to pee first

Where was your first date?
At a Chinese restaurant. I really should have gotten a clue then.

Who is more jealous?
We would seriously have to flip a coin because neither of us has ever had jealousy issues….unless you count the time I got all butt hurt over him talking more passionately to his plants than me. No, I’m not kidding.

How long did it take to get serious?
We’re still waiting.

Who eats more?
*cough-cough* I’ll just back peddle right out of this question.

Who does the laundry?
Whoever runs out of underwear first. Okay, not really. Our daughter does most of it, he does the rest, I do about 2 loads a month.

Who's better with the computer?
Those of you in blog-reader land that know Troy personally are laughing your butts off right now. Those of you that don’t know Troy personally have just been told the answer.

Who drives when you are together?
Daytime: Troy
Nighttime: Me, mostly
Larger cities day or night: Absolutely me

Monday, November 30, 2009

In just 48 hours...

My husband and I will be on a plane headed for Fiji to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.


It's been a little surreal up to this point. It still is, actually. We (along with 2 friends) purchased our airline tickets clear back in June. We wanted to do our 25th Anniversary BIG. Really BIG! I think we've accomplished that. Initially we were headed for Maui and I was trying to talk Troy in to renewing vows....we were going to invite family and friends...etc, etc....but Troy was afraid I might not say, "I do." this time around.

Well, that's not entirely true. Not entirely.

He never really asked the actual question the first time he "proposed" so he was probably nervous that he would need to ask this time. And that I might just say, "No, thank you. I mean you're a nice guy and everything but I think I'll just wait until I'm older."

That's not really true, either.

So we just stopped talking about the vow renewal altogether because it made him sweat and fidget. That is entirely true. When I told my best friend, Linda (who was initially planning on coming to witness the vow renewal) that we weren't going to do that, she said she would still like to come to Maui anyway since she had never been there. She was going to stay a week, we would stay for 2 weeks.

So I popped on line to make reservations through our time-share resort membership thingy. I was on night-shift, a little bored (that's not really true...I was a lot bored) and started surfing around their website and discovered they had a resort location in Fiji! One thing led to another, one more person was invited to even out the numbers, we booked tickets, booked the room and here we are some 187 days later.


It goes without saying that I will most likely NOT be around a computer for 2 weeks. There will be no blog posts about Fiji as we experience it. There will be blog posts, just not about Fiji. Yet. But I've scheduled 3 posts to entertain and wow you. All 3 posts celebrate our 25 years together in some way and lead up to mine and Troy's anniversary on December 15, with an extra special post scheduled for that actual date.

So don't miss it!!

Because there may be a prize!

That may or may not be true.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mr. Cuervo

This is our little friend who showed up at the Ice Fest....Mr. Ceurvo. His first name is Jose. He is quite a party animal! His voice wasn't nearly as deep as you would imagine it to be and he was completely toothless. I guess that must be from sucking all those limes...


He made his first appearance the second night we were in Niagara Falls. It would have been nice if he hadn't shown up so soon because maybe, just maybe, that stupid slot machine would not have appeared quite so sparkly and bright and charming. And maybe, just maybe, I would have come home with a little more change in my purse.


But Jose showed up early. And he was larger than life.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

About that Wizard of Oz Slot Machine...

First things first.

If you are relatively new to this blog, you need to understand that I have an unusual love for the Wizard of Oz. I *heart* all things Oz. If you so desire to catch up with this phenomena you may do so by reading this...and this...or maybe this....and this....and let's not forget this.

There's more. Trust me. It's a sickness.

Now that we are all on board, let me get to the point of this post. Remember Patti? My Canadian, partying, gambling internet friend?


During my recent visit to Niagara Falls to visit her and a couple of other internet friends (see previous "internet safety" post before you lecture me...I understand the dangers...sort of) we hit the casino. At one point Patti started sashaying around the casino floor. She seemed aloof and giddy at the same time. Something was up, I could FEEL it. When she finally revealed where she was headed I lost my breath. She was VERY excited to show it to me. And I was VERY excited to see that lovely piece of metal. NOT so excited when that shiney-shoed girl from Kansas took my money. A lot of my money. But it just sucked me in like a tornado with it's sparkly images and extra fun bonus rounds and Bose surround sound built in to the seat.

Yes. Bose Surround Sound during a tornado. It was AWESOME!

There is no picture in existence of me playing said machine. Because we were not allowed to take pictures in the casino. And you know we followed the rules, right? RIGHT? *cough-cough* The truth is it is residing on a cell phone and I don't have it yet. gotta love google!!

Here is that lovely beauty in all her glory.


And if you are so inclined to view a little video and watch it in all its bonus round loveliness?

This machine did NOT show me the same kind of love that I so richly deserve. I've been a faithful follower practically my entire life. And there was just NO LOVE, PEOPLE! Those 3 free tequila drinks were the most expensive drinks I've ever had. But those images...those sounds...the action....those bright was almost too much for me to handle.

But not so much that I had to walk away.

Step away from the sparkly shoes, Cheri. Just step away.

Somehow tequila makes a girl hard of hearing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

18 days....

until my husband and I leave for this place


to celebrate 25 years of annoying the crap out of each other.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's a daddy to do....

when he sees that his baby is almost grown up? He hi-tails it to the back yard because his eyes "need some fresh air". Yes, those were the exact words from my husband as I sat and edited my daughter's senior pictures taken in our hometown a couple of weekends ago.



25 years together and sometimes my husband still manages to surprise me with his reactions to things.

But I will give him the benefit of the doubt in this case. It is a little surreal that we are so close to having an empty nest. Well, as empty as a nest can ever we really EVER get completely rid of them? Or want to? Hmmm....

Of our three children, this one has been particularly hard on Troy because they shared an entire year together living without the rest of us. Remember that? So while Lindsay challenged Troy in many ways and bugged the crap out of him with her multiude of teenage drama-queen issues, he is particularly close with her because it was just the two of them for so long.


So it's okay he got emotional. He earned it.

But I'm a little worried about graduation night.....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Internet Safety

If you have children younger than 18 (especially teenagers) that surf the net, what safety measures do you discuss with them about who they might meet on the internet?

I ask because I have failed miserably in setting a good example.

During my absence from blog-update duties I jetted off to Niagara Falls to meet up with some internet friends. *gasp!* I KNOW!! Now in my defense I had already met 2 of these ladies in person on previous jet-set adventures. (I told you I have failed miserably) but the third gal was a first-time meet-and-greet experience.

And these ladies are crazy. But not that physcho crazy that you would need to be wary of. But how do you know ahead of time? Until you get there? Again, failing by example.

This is Patti. Well, this is ME and Patti. But you already know who I am.


She is the hostest with the mostest. And I mean that sincerely. This woman parties and gambles so much at the casino that she is a VIP. That sounds charming, doesn't it? My Canadian, gambling, partying internet friend. But she is wonderfully delightful in every sense and allowed the 3 of us to follow her around as VIP wannabes. To be quite frank she spoiled us rotten even after we invited ourselves to come visit her. Yeah. You read that right. We were not ASKED to come but just showed up anyway. Patti treated us like the royalty we pretend to be.

And speaking of pretending to be royal.....this is Gina.


Well, this is ME and Gina. I'm on the left. You probably knew that by now. This was my first time meeting Gina. She got us in to trouble constantly. In her defense I think we probably encouraged her behavior a bit but I think doing gymnastics moves in the VIP lounge was totally her.

And this person is responsible for my gambling losses at the roulette table.


This is Cassandra. That is NOT me on the left. I am still wondering why it was so important for that Moose to be anatomically correct. Especially with children running around everywhere....or with adults running around everywhere acting like children. What? Well yes I DO happen to have a picture of us together!


That's me on the left. Again. Must be some hidden compulsion I have.

Cassandra is from North Carolina and has a southern drawl to prove it. She's adorable, gracious and was kind enough to share snores with me. We laughed as we shared our nervousness that we WOULD be snoring (there was no doubt in either of our minds) so we made the perfect roommates. She loves Ice Wine. I mean really, REALLY loves her Ice Wine. So much so that she will beg random men in the hotel hallway to pop the very-stubborn-stuck cork in her Ice Wine bottle.


We do not know this man's name. Or where he was from. Or the name of his lady friend. But wasn't she nice to play along?

And what is a post about Niagara Falls without a picture of the Falls? Worthless, I say.


And Canada where Patti lives? I've never experienced Fall colors like this in my life.


We toured. We ate. We drank. We gambled. In fact, here is a picture of Cassandra and Patti with their winnings from the roulette table one night.


You will notice that I am not holding out my winnings for the picture. Because I didn't have any winnings. As a matter of fact, Patti was VERY excited to drag me over to a WIZARD OF OZ slot machine when we first got there. I'll talk about that in a separate post a little later. It IS worthy of its own post after all. It's WIZARD OF OZ, PEOPLE!

My trip was wonderful. It was a nice break from the normality of my feeble existence. I can't wait to meet up with these wonderful ladies again!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh how I love the Sweet Slumber

Look at me. Peaceful. Relaxed. Asleep. Then my dear husband decides he needs to snap this picture of me sleeping during the middle of the day. Not because I was being lazy but because I was in the middle of night shifts.

Oh, how I love to sleep when I'm on night shifts.


What's so special about this particular slumber that my husband decided was so important to capture for me on film? No doubt to be thrown in a scrapbook with some pretty papers and fancy doo-dads next to it?

Well, apparently I'm not the only one who enjoys the sweet slumber of a chilly fall afternoon.


And just so you know, there is one more animal UNDER the covers with me.

And just so you know, I sleep like this more often than not during the day. Because during the night I usually have a beast of the human proportions in there with me and he most certainly will not allow such behavior during HIS slumber.

Party pooper.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Da Feet

I made it. Well, WE made it. I can’t take credit for completing the entire marathon since 3 other guys helped. I finished my leg of the marathon with a better-than-anticipated time of about 1 hr. 15 minutes. I say “about” because I didn’t wear a watch. On purpose. I figured it would make me too nervous and I would have been glancing at it all the time.

Here is our team in all our glory POST race (l to r: Felix Gonzales, me, Larry Bellnap and Chris Bossard)


Yes. These men tower over me. Hence our team name “3 men and a baby”. It really IS because of my compared size and NOT because I whined the whole time training for this. Yeah. Really.

Here I am immediately after my finish, before I sat down on the grass and lost all ability to make the muscles in my legs work:


And here is Larry crossing the finish line with our official Team time. Not too shabby for our first time out! (Did I say “first” time? It must be the post-race fatigue, delirium and pain in my muscles sucking all reason out of my brain)


And I have to brag a bit about my daughter. Her first entry in any marathon and she ran a half marathon (that’s 13.1 miles) in 2:35:and some seconds. She was pretty pumped before the start of the race, even if she did have to get up at 5:45 a.m.


Here we are just after she finished….about 5 minutes behind me.


And here with are with our craaaaa-zy friend Karen who was our inspiration for all this insanity. Oh, she was an official pacer for runners and finished the entire marathon in 4:05:and some seconds.


Our team actually had a pretty good time. I will speak for all of them mainly because this is my blog and my reality, not theirs. Okay, I ASKED them all if it was as bad as they thought it would be. Chris was the only one who answered “yes” but he also ran the second-best time of our team so I think I can talk him in to running the relay again next year. Assuming our crew isn’t on shift for the Sacramento Cowtown Marathon next year, we will be there to beat our first-ever time. Because I CAN’T WAIT to experience this wonderful pain in my leg muscles that I am currently experiencing. Have I mentioned that? Yeah. And have I mentioned how wonderful it is to walk up and down the stairs in my house right now? Yeah. I’m a prisoner to my bedroom because I refuse to walk up and down the stairs. I came up here. I went down them. ONCE. Then came back up the stairs determined I would NOT walk DOWN them again. Down hurts, people.

And when we run next year, surely I can beat my personal best of 1:15:and some seconds. Well, it is my ONLY time ever so I’m pretty sure I can beat it.

I do have an entire year to train for it after all.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tomorrow I run

I run not because I love it.

I run not because it is the only exercise I want to do.

I run not because I love to feel the wind in my hair. I mean, I would have to actually run fast enough for that to happen, right?

I run because I have this friend who is crazzzz-y (Karen...remember her? She's Olivia's mom). Karen ran a 100 mile endurance marathon over the summer and inspired me to run a 5k. A 5k...around 3 miles. Remember this number.

She found me the "perfect race" to start off with. The Sacramento Cowtown Marathon benefiting the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Great!! So I started training. Training with a calendar that had all kinds of workout requirements for each day. Some days were even indicated as "Rest Day." I loved those days. Karen actually created the training calendar for me and my daughter because the inspiration ran deep. My daughter is running a 1/2 marathon. That's a little over 13 miles. But she's 17 and in shape. I am not 17 nor am I in shape. I am middle-aged and hurting. And I don't run. I don't like it. I never have. Even when I was 17 and in shape. I sprinted around bases and up and down volleyball courts. I did not run up and down soccer fields or around tracks.

So I made the decision and walked in to work one night announcing that I was going to give this 5k thing a try. I looked at the website for the run and got a wild hair up you-know-where. "Hey, guys! They have relay teams that run, too. Which 3 of you are willing to step up and run a relay with me?" I quickly had 3 volunteers.

And my little 5k quickly turned in to 6.5 miles. More than double.

What is wrong with me?

So I've trained. I've crossed trained at the gym. I'm as ready as I'm going to be. It is, after all, tomorrow.

Send good thoughts. Light a candle. Pray for my right knee and left hip to behave and not crap out on me. (Funny I didn't have too many problems with those body parts until I started RUNNING.)

I'll post pictures and an update tomorrow night....assuming I'm not laying in an emergency room.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The glorious....the fabulous...the freakin' DMV

Is there a prerequiste to work at the DMV that you must have the distinct ability to care as little as possible about anything while balancing the skill to annoy and piss people off?

Tuesday morning I took my daughter to her SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT for her behind-the-wheel test. You know the test. The final step that you must take in order to gain the wonderful freedom of being a licensed driver. Well, as much freedom as a 17 yr. old newly licensed driver can have between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. while never having any underage passengers with her unless one of her parents is in the car with all of them.

Freedom. *Snicker*

But back to that SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT. It was at 9:30 a.m. We arrived at 9:15. This ended up being a mighty good call on my part because as it turned out her driving instructor neglected to give her the all-important "pink slip" indicating she had completed 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. All we had was the form from her final lesson that stated "lesson 3 of 3." Not good enough. She panicked. I remained calm in the eye of the storm. It's what I do. It's why I am employed where I am. I don't panic. I quickly assessed the situation, asked them if they would take a fax if we called the company. "Yes." So within 10 minutes they had their fax....just in time for the SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT of 9:30.

Here we are waiting for them to call her for her test.


You can see the anticipation and nervousness in her eyes as well as the sheer boredom of the excellent posture I have going on.

Here we are still waiting....AN HOUR AND 15 MINUTES after the SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT.


You can see how the anticipation and nervousness has been replaced with disgust and frustration as well as the attention I am now giving to every person walking up to that stupid counter wondering when in the world they are going to call my daughter up.

For anyone who has visited the CA DMV in the last two years you will automatically put the annoying voice to what we heard for over an hour:

"Now serving G42 at window number 6."
"Now serving A26 at window number 3."
"Now serving B4,237 at window number 8."

All I heard after 30 minutes was:


As my daughter grew more and more frustrated, I told her this was actually part of the test. She glared at me as I continued. "They want to see how well you can get your wits about you and calm down before getting behnd the wheel of a car." She didn't buy it. Completely. But it did make her laugh.

I finally had to go up and question what the heck was going on. Or not going on in our case.

Now I have to back up just a little bit for a moment and tell you about the woman who was actually helping us at window number 2 when we initially came in to the DMB. (That is actually a typo that I decided to leave because it closely resembles the word DUMB and I find it relevant to the gov agency of which this post is dedicated.) I still haven't decided if the woman was new, not properly trained, or just missing a few links. Either way I discovered that it was her fault we sat there for so long. She neglected to let the woman giving tests that day know that the 9:30 SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT had arrived.

Hmmm. Guess she missed that lesson on day one of her new job.

So just 15 short minutes after inquiring as to why we were still sitting around, the lady called my daughter forward. And just 25 minutes later this picture was taken.


I'm sure you can come to your own conclusion about the outcome of her test.

Thursday, September 10, 2009




Buddy is a staple in our house. He is an important factor in the life of Hamish. You see, Hamish is actually a bit of a loner. I'm not sure if it is a Beagle trait or if it is because Hamish is so lazy and doesn't really want to spend the energy interacting with the other animals/humans in the house. Don't get me wrong. Hamish is FRIENDLY. Very friendly. And lovable. But he does his own thing when and where he wants.

And the "where" never involves an automobile. But that's a story for another time....and a phenomenon with this dog that will never change regardless how much doggie-dramamine we give him.

But Hamish has his Buddy.


I should probably call this specific stuffed animal "Buddy the Fourteenth" or Buddy XIV....because he is really a 14th Generation Buddy. Or 15th. Or 22nd. I've lost count honestly. All of Buddy's kinfolk preceding him have suffered a terminal illness known as grossness-smelly-caca. Washing after washing would not rid them of this disease so they were delicately placed in to the trash. But only AFTER the next generation Buddy came to live with us.

Because Hamish would be lost without his Buddy.

Here is Hamish and Buddy shortly after retiring for the evening. He was snoring away when I snapped this picture (Hamish, not Buddy) and, yes, Hamish sleeps with his eyes partially open most of the time. I think it's because he wants to make sure nobody kidnaps buddy.


The flash woke him. I'm sure if he could talk he would be saying, "Whaddya dooooo-innn wakin' me up like that?" Yes, in my head Hamish talks like that of Hugo the Abominable Snowman from the Bugs Bunny Cartoon era.


On this particular day there was tragedy in Buddy's life.


This picture resulted in two things. 1) Buddy was released from the jaws of the Pet Door and 2) I cleaned the area in/around the Pet Door. Ew. Just Ew. I guess that's what happens when 3 dogs and 2 cats, who all shed and roll around God-knows-what, come in and out of a pet door 40 times a day. Why didn't I notice that sooner?

And here is Hamish sleeping again with Buddy. At the top of the stairs. Just yesterday.


Again with that one eye barely open...and the flash wakes him up.


"Whaddya doooo-iiinnnnn?"


"You cannot take my Buddy. I need to pet him and love him and maybe I should have called him George."


"I am going to take my Buddy away so you cannot hurt him."


And the thing about Hamish and his Buddy is that he really doesn't ever hurt him. He pets him and loves him (yep, really loves him) and squeezes him. He carries Buddy around everywhere but he NEVER chews on him or rips him apart. Buddy always remains completely intact until the day he is gently put in the trash.

And finding Buddy is just about the only exercise Hamish ever gets. Well, besides this. "Go get your Buddy!" This phrase both excites Hamish and gets him worked up to a point that he pants and drools all over looking for his little friend. And if he can't find Buddy?

Well, any old brown fuzzy thing will do....

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