Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Day At The Dog Beach, Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin FL

First photo is waiting for the draw bridge to Honeymoon Island while a sailboat passed.
Second photo is the warning sign (good one too - last year Dad and I saw the biggest rattle snake I had ever seen in the wild near the parking area for the dog park)
Third photo is Eddie Ratbone Carmichael strolling near, but not in, the water.
Fourth photos is Miss Daisey Mae Carmichael, a.k.a. Princess Daisey, who got wet and sandy when we had to cross a little stream. Poor thing.
Fifth photo is Aunt Hellen on the left (white tee shirt, denim capris) and mom on right (has her shirt over her head to avoid the sun). Edward stopped due to burr in his foot.

*You can click on the photos to enlarge them*

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Went to Friday's "girls night out" last night with mom and Aunt Hellen. We couldn't reach Erica. We had a nice dinner at Red Lobster. The restaurant seemed really full with people waiting but we had barely found a place to sit and wait before they called us. Hellen is still looking for a place to retire (New mexico isn't working) and has added Florida to the list of potiental places. Tha would be awesome.

Still continuing to give chloe medication for a kidney or bladder infection. It smells like bananas and i suspect it is sweet because it is sticky. Have no idea if the dog has any appreciation for hte banana flavoring/scent.

Treated myself to a manicure & pedicure this morning. Mom's Christmas present may have started something ;) It was still a little hard to stand someone else messing with my feet but it was better than 2 weeks ago. It was beautiful until chloe was a bad girl and I had to grab her. Her fur stuck to my freshly painted nails.

I am liking my class! It's eBusiness and very interesting. Plus, my team mates seems to be folks who will contribute. Possibly the best part is that it is the next to last class!

No Marge tonight. Arthritis in knee is hurting her and meds make her sick. We will do some grocery shopping for her. With the rain outside i kinda thought she might cancel. Let's see if Mom and Hellen go or if Jerry and I will be left alone :)

Just playing on the computer and listening to the opera Carmen on NPR. Posting a photo of another sweet little dog that needs a home, poor thing.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back to Reality

I loved my weekend.

It's so hard to say good bye to extrodinary and hello to the reality of ordinary life. I was feeling like a princess with my fancy hotel, gourmet meals, and spa treatments. Not only am I back to work and school, but Chloe the chihuahua is reminding me everyday just how unprincess-like I am as I have to pick her her lovely little poo packages. Yuck.

Got caught up with Ratbone posting tonight and thought I would share a few photos of the dogs new to the system. Can you believe how everyday there's another one in need of a rescue and a home?


Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from Naples - no photos

Aunt Hellen took some photos but now sure how to download from her camera.

Yesterday was WONDERFUL! Mom and I had 3 hours of spa treatments. The facility was so nice - very tranquil, zen-like atmosphere. Nice amenities like shavers, toothbrushes, curling irons. Basically anything you need to get yourself back together before leaving.

First we had these exfoliating body scrubs where they rub you down then put warm water and brown sugar and wrap you up in plastic and towels as you lay on a heated bed. She then massages your head and face and infuses your skin with pettermint oil and sprays you with a tea. Sure opens up your breathing! The woman who did it was very interesting. She was from Tobago.

Next was the massage. I have a terrible time laying flat on my back or stomach without it creating discomfort in the small of my back so in the end she had me lay on my side and from there on it was a more enjoyable. The final treatment was a facial. I liked it alot and had fun talking to the woman who did it.

Supper was at a restaurant called Chops and I had Mahi & grilled asaparagus. Mom & H had filet mignon. Afterwards we walked around the quaint downtown of Naples and had ice cream while we window shopped. We met a lady walking her Rat Terrier which of course made me home sick.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Naples - Day 1

Mom, Aunt Hellen, and I left around 11am for Naples. We drove away with Jerry carrying Chloe to the vet for boarding. We stopped for lunch on the way since it was about a 2 1/2 drive. We checked into the Naples Grande Resort, checked out the grounds and the spa for tomorrow's visit and then walked to a nearby shopping center of upscale stores such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Cartier, Burberry, etc. The walk was hot and a little longer than we expected so our first stop at the shopping center was for ice tea (H), pineapple-coconut smoothie (me), and fresh lemonade (mom).

We looked around the shops, no buying, and then went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. There were several nicer restaurants but they had waiting times of 30 minutes. Dinner turned out to be very good at the CPK - I had a Thai crunchy salad that was very tasty and healthy. They also had the type of wine that H likes so we were all happy.

The resort is nice - very modern, clean lines, a hint of Asian. The steak restaurant here is quite spendy as are the services. The hotel is very nice but perhaps a bit overpriced. The "kitchen" is a refridgerator about the size of a microwave but there is no microwave! Plus we are paying over $10 per day for internet connection and we have to have two since both H and I brought laptops and it wont let us both sign on to one connection. Seems very petty for a hotel this expensive.

Tomorrow is spa day for mom and me. Hellen can't go because of a health issue. Our plans are to go to the downtown area with less chain, big name stores and to an area of more individual stores, galleries, and restaurants. Should be fun. Weather was wonderful today. You can sure see the differences in the flora just a couple zones away from home. Very cool varities of palms. Oh, I forgot my camera again! Argggg


Friday, February 15, 2008

Grade : A

MGT/449 - BSAM09W359
Grades through Week 5
Cumulative Score:96/100 (96%)

Eighteen down, two to go!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day


This year is the first year that I didn't feel a little excitement toward Valentine's day. This year it just feels commercial. I did present my sweety with some sweets and he brought home some peach roses. They are beautiful. I left little gift bags with candy and heart socks for the team at work. I did all the right things but it just felt like I was buying into commercialism for some reason.
I'm attaching photos of two dogs who recently came into Ratbone - the rescue group I am a volunteer for. Ive probably mentioned I am their pet publicist and I make sure they are represented on If you are ever needing a four-legged family member, be sure to consider adoption!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Louis Vuitton

I have a designer background, LOL. I was actually looking for chocholate for Valentine's day and ended up with this!

The roof is finally finished, yippee! Now the dogs can relax and not have to worry about the monsters on the roof. Life as a Rat Terrier isn't easy.

Just a few more days to Naples and the Golden Door Spa! Can hardly wait. Photo is from their web site: and a preview of what I will be doing this weekend :)

Nice to be outta school. Been playing Pogo instead something productive. Oh well, whatcha gonna do!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roof Monsters

Yesterday was a tough day for Miss Daisy. Jerry left for work and then I, having the day off, corraled Eddie, Chloe, and Annie Kitty for a trip to the vet. Daisey was heartbroken and distraught that her entire pack left her home alone. To make matters worse, a crew of roofers showed up and began banging, hammering, and sawing. Poor Daisy was all alone and terrorized by these roof monsters.

When I returned from the vet (bad news for those of you who know Chloe, she's healthy as a horse), Daisy became velcro dog. You couldn't get a sheet of paper between me and that dog! Poor thing shivered in my lap as though it was 30 degrees. I was sequestered in my office to keep Eddie from seeing the shadows of the roof monsters and trying to defend his territory.

Today was day two of the roof replacment. Jerry is home and she was a little better today but still disturbed. Rain came so they had to stop early meaning one more day of Roof Monsters.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Another 1 down, 2 to go!

It's Sunday night at 12:43 and I just posted the last individual paper for my online class and have also met all my posting requirements for the week. Whew...all that is left is the team paper. I turned in my portion yesterday but we were stalled for another team mate :( Oh well, I scheduled tomorrow off work purposely because it is the last day of class (Quality Management and Productivity). All that's needed now is a good edit tomorrow and I can think about other my upcoming weekend with aunt H & mom.

Typical Sunday for me. Writing academic papers, listening to Prarie Home Companion on NPR, and dinner with hubby. Lots of calls back and forth with mon & Auntie but we finally have a decision - we're going to Naples. I am booking a spa package there that includes a massage, a scrub, and a facial. I finally had a pedicure so why not finally have a facial! I have had a massage once before (on my birthday a couple years ago) so I know what to expect and am sure it will be much more relaxing.

I just love this photo of my Dad. I took it about a year ago when we went to the Kennedy Space Center. He really like the place. It's nice to find good father-daughter, multi generational things to do together. If anyone has suggestions I would love to hear them because I am thinking I can get my Dad down to Florida at least once year.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Christmas nails

Aunt Hellen is back! I went to mom's last night to set up a wireless internet connetion so H could use her laptop and for Friday night girl's night out. Mom worked late and we were on the phone with Verizon so long that I ended up spending the night insted of driving home at 9:30 last night. What a slumber party!

With our bellies full of Mexican food from a quaint little restaurant in downtown Dunedin, we surfed the net looking for just the right resort offering just the right spa treatments for our upcoming weekend getaway. We really wanted Daytona Beach because H hasn't seen the Atlantic, and the drive looks very doable, but we couldn't find anything available due to some NASCAR event - who knew race cars were so captivating.

Today I met Mom & H at a nail salon to use the gift certificates Mom gave us for Christmas. I've never had a pedicure before and frankly was dreading it all week. I'm a little funny about my feet. In fact, when I was younger I used to say if Playboy ever asked me to pose naked (as if) and I did it (even less likely than Playboy asking) that I would have to wear socks in the photo because I wouldn't want everyone to see my feet! Oh gosh, it donned on me some foot wierdo could see this blog - oh well, whatcha gonna do?

Anyway, it was the longest 30 minutes of my life - I equate it to a visit to the gynacologist. For the first time in my 50 years my cuticles were manipulated in some manner (cut, scraped, something foreign). Blood was drawn and stinging occured. It was a squirm fest for me. That big chair with the whirlpool had a back massager but what it needed was a seat belt! Mom kept telling me to relax and Aunt H was saying "find your happy place". As uncomfortable as it was for me, I just can't imagine what the nail tech was thinking. Luckily she spoke Vietnamese so I will never have to know.

Once that trauma was over and the swelling was subsiding, I followed her to the table where they cut, grind, and color your fingernails. I am a purist and prefer naked nails but since everyone was getting fancied up today I went out on a limb and decided to get some clear polish (what a daredevil). The tech was hard at work improving perfectly good nails.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday

Another Beautiful Day in Paradise

Saturday was a perfect Florida day, weather wise. Makes it hard to stick to plans, especially those involving indoor activities. My plans for the day today were to get up early to work on class, water orchids, go to Mardi Paws in Dunedin with a friend, finish team contribution for class and post it, then take mother in law to dinner since Jerry was working late due to inventory. (I am posting a photo of the entrance to the base where Jerry works). We took this for a Power Point presentation he had to do last year.

What really happened was: got up late because sick last night so didn't get to sleep until after 4:40am, showed up at right place for Mardi Paws but on wrong week, went to lunch with Mom, Cousins Erica and her daughter Sarah, got cancelled on dinner by MIL, had to run errand for hubby who was at work from 8am - 10:30pm, got a manicure because the white part of finger nails was about 3/4" long (on all but one broken thumb nail), shopped for some cool fabrics and trims to make Mardi Paws costume since I now have a week (we'll see if that project happens :), listed to 2 1/2 radio program on NPR (love the radio! - heard 2nd half of Prarie Home Companion, all of This American Life which is one of my favs, and all of Piano Jazz - Marion sounded grumpy or maybe it was just me). Drat! Forgot to water orchids.

The lunch restaurant was nice but not very child friendly (no milk or lemonade). In fact, no child menu but they did have grilled cheese sanwhich - on fricassia bread with melted cheddar, bacon, and grilled apples inside! Two year old Sarah's "grilled cheese sandwich" was way better than my vegtable fritatta and Erica's lobster/crab bisque! Interestingly, the kitchen is wide open. I mean like a kitchen in a home where you see everything.

There was a dance floor inside (we sat outside where we could pet the pups at this pet friendly restaurant, plus it was a BEAUTIFUL day) and they play smooth jazz over the stereo system. Took Sarah in for pee pee and she discovered the dance floor and just danced away. Apparently that is her thing at "school" as well. It was so cute because she wanted to pay for the lunch so she got a quarter out of Erica's purse so I prompted the cook (remember the kitchen is open) to take the "payment" from her. He was very obliging.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Children's Photos

As I look through the blogs of friends and friends of friends, I notice how many are filled with photos of their children. In fact, it seems as though blogging may be a new version of the family photo album. Since Jerry & I don't have children, I thought I would post the next best thing - my baby photos! These are supposed to be me at 3 weeks and again at 3 months. Don't ask which is which - I don't know much about babies and have no idea how to tell the difference between a 3 week old and a 3 month old but I'm confident I could point out a 3 year old if a photo was thrown in the mix ;) Go ahead, leave a comment. Oooooh and Ahhhh!

Neighborhood Muscovy

Broke Wing So, back in March a mama Muscovy showed up with 14 ducklings in the pond across the street. These ponds are retention pond...