Saturday, March 01, 2014

Winter can stop now

Once again I must apologize for my lengthy absence. If you know me, then you know that dang Facebook has eaten up most of my free time, of which there has been very little since last time I wrote. Oh yes, we went on vacation over the holidays but I never really was good at blogging while on vacation. So because I have no arching narrative to divulge, I am just going to fall back on my snippet and picture formula and catch you all up that way.

* Winter hit hard and nasty up here. And it hasn't let up. I finally bit the bullet and hired a guy to clear the snow in front of the garage.


* So on Christmas day we left home where it was 20 below F, and landed in Los Angeles where it was 80 degrees. 100 degree difference. Here we are in the car with Grandma headed to the family xmas party.


* The next day we went out to Palm Springs and Melanie cast on for the scarf I wanted to knit. I have since begun another scarf and cast on myself. Easy peasy.

* There was an unfortunate incident with the transferring of the photos in Palm Springs and we lost all our beautiful hiking pics that we had taken. Oh well, just another excuse to go hiking again in Indian Canyons.

* We spent a week tooling around visiting friends and then went to camp mommy as usual.


* Then our flight got cancelled and it was a headache getting rebooked but the weather was so delightful, it made missing work (and $$) a bit more bearable. This picture garnered quite the hatred from those living in the icebox that has been this winter.


* I cranked that scarf out in two and a half weeks and I was able to give it to Bryan for his 50th birthday. I liked it so much, I have started another with blue red and purple yarn. The pattern was unplanned but it came out neato if I do say so myself.



* A couple weeks later our friends paid us a visit and although it was pretty dang cold, we tripped around town and played tourist.


* First time I went snow shoeing and dang it was another very cold day (all the coldest days in winter are the sunniest) I sweat up a storm. We must use different muscles for snow shoeing because I was crippled the next day. Next thing I need to try is cross country skiing. I want to embrace the winter instead of snarling at it.


* I think this is the first year ever that Serge and I have done something for Valentine's day. We took a guided moonlit snow shoe walk on freshly fallen snow. We had mulled wine and truffles in the forest on Mont Royal. Pretty darn romantic.


* Other than that, we have been cocooning and working. I learned the hard way that I am highly allergic to the beard dye but I hate the white chin so I found some organic dye that doesn't mess me up. We are really looking forward to going to Florida at the end of the month to shop for new property managers. We don't trust ours and we have to claim all of forty five bucks each net profit on the property we bought there last June. Hardly the investment we thought we were getting. Oh well live and learn, right? Mostly though it will be nice to visit a warm place after the bitch of a winter we have had. Again sorry for my absence, I am hoping this spring will afford me more free time to nurture this here blog thing. Smooches to you all.

* Bonus video: A glimpse into our mundane life and my absolutely favorite song.






Monday, November 25, 2013

Snippets style update

* Didn't get two posts in in October and almost missed November. Yikes. It just amazes me that I used to post every single day way back when.

* As we did last year, we went out to a friend's house to help stack 10 cords of firewood in the basement for the winter. Three guesses what we were doing in the evening. (pictured below)


* Our friend Ida is an artist so her place is really cool, full of amazingly creative decor.

* Since she lives out near the border of Maine, near the Mont Megantic observatory, there is extremely little light pollution. At night we went out and laid in the grass and were just gobsmacked at how brilliant the Milky Way was.

* Daytime was lovely too, as the colors of autumn were on display. There were a bazillion photos on Facebook this season with the colors so I'll spare you. Needless to say, beautiful.

* For our 9th wedding anniversary, we went out for Japanese food on the Plateau. It was good, but we both decided we didn't need to go back. Nice presentation, however.


* As we do each year, we make a family Christmas photo to send out. This is at least our 15th year of doing this so trying to make it different is getting to be a challenge. Although I scour the internet for ideas to steal, many of them are too difficult, or Georgie won't comply. Luckily, Serge is a master with the photoshop. Here's one that we were doing, thinking about photoshopping and "riding" Georgie. It didn't turn out quite right so we went with something else.


* Saw Gravity and after feeling nauseated at the beginning and then tense throughout the rest, I decided I could not recommend the film. We go to movies to escape, not participate vicariously in nightmares.

* Toward the end of October, I decided to start growing my first beard. Everyone thought I was doing Movember, but no, I don't like to hit up all my family and friends for money, whatever the cause. I just wanted to try it. Here it is after a week or so.


* We have become good friends with a former student of mine and her husband. They came and spent a weekend with us. She revealed that she had always wanted a gay friend, and when I started tutoring her she went home to her husband and said of me, "I found him, it's gonna be my new gay friend." I was charmed of course. But really, isn't it cool when you just click with another couple? I wish they lived closer than an hour away.


* We went out and took them to the drag queen place. They loved it. Serge wants me to sign up for drag queen "school" which they do once a week at that place. I would have to shave the beard though and I kinda want to keep it for the winter. It really makes a difference keeping my face warm.

* Serge liked my facial hair so much, he started a little project of his own. He can't really grow a full beard, but I like his so far. And his pork tenderloin with mushroom cream sauce was to die for.


 * The sky has been just stunning at sunrise and sundown this season. I try not to post them all on FB, but rest assured, I am taking pictures of each and every one. Each unique.


 * Serge turned 47 and we celebrated at his mom's house. We brought Georgie along to play with Tigars. The beard is about where I'm keeping it trimmed to now. 


* I got Serge the health and beauty package at the spa for his birthday. It includes a massage and a facial among other things. He has never had a facial. Oh my is he gonna love it.


* One other thing he got was a package of sponge toffee. I had never heard of nor seen such a confection. Probably a good thing, too. Dang it was good. Sorry I ate most of your birthday treat honey.


* Well, that's about it for now. Of course there are lots of other things going on that I've skipped. The investment property woes in Florida, work, playing and losing the lottery, the drugs I'm on to quit smoking next week, vacation plans, coloring my hair (gasp) just to name a few. All the better to have something to talk about next time. Thanks for stopping by.

* Oh wait! I forgot. I had a sleepwalking episode this week. Apparently, since I don't remember it, I came out of bed and opened the fridge. Serge was in the office and heard this but then heard nothing else so he came to investigate. Then I squatted in front of the open fridge and peed a humungous amount of urine all over the floor soaking my socks I should have taken off before bed. I wondered what that giant wad of yellowed paper towels was in the sink when I got up the next morning. LOLOL!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

September shenanigans

Where has the time gone? September flew by in a flash. I owe October 2 posts to make up for it. Best chance of that happening is to post on the first. So here I am. What has been going on the last month, you wonder? Well not if you are on FB as I am pretty active there although I usually just post a picture with a little blurb. I wonder if one day the word 'blog' will be forgotten. But I digress.

I went back to work the 29th of August, slowly, from one day a week to four over the course of the month. Money is finally dribbling back in after this summer of blown budgets.


Our piercings are going quite well. Better for me than for Serge. I can play with it now with no sensitivity. We disinfected the piercing every day for a couple weeks. Here we are doing just that at the beginning of the month. Yes, I know the mirror is dirty, but neither Serge nor I can understand how it gets like that.


Georgie has been doing much much better. We have followed the vet's advice to keep him calm (as much as you can with a dog) and stopped even going on walks. At MIL's house, which you see above, Georgie got out into the yard and got into the neighbor's yard and then thought it was a game as we tried to catch him, ran and ran and ran and then was practically crippled the rest of the week. So now we know that strenuous activity is to be avoided.


We have tried a couple of restaurants we have never been to this month. One, a French bistro in our neighborhood that we finally tried after seven years, and also a breakfast place in the village. Here, you see my 'breakfast poutine'. Potatoes, cheese, sausage, bacon and hollandaise topped with fried eggs. It was delicious, but I mean what isn't covered in hollandaise sauce.


We also participated in the 'kiss-in', an event to protest the policies against LGBT people in Russia. Here we are in front of the Russian consulate with hundreds of other same-sex kissers. We were in the news and on TV. Plus, I got more likes for this picture on FB than any other photo I've ever posted - over 100!


The Wednesday happy hour gang. We have gone out every week in September. The weather has been delightful and the company stimulating.


We also went to our first corn maze. We spent a couple hours trying to navigate our way through, but there were so many dead ends and everything looks the same. It was difficult to know if you had already been in that spot. We finally cheated and went through the corn walls to get out.


Our friends from Halifax, who we can't post pictures of, took us to one of our fave restaurants in town. Pinxto, which is a Catalonian restaurant. I loved the blood sausage. We have hung out with the boys all week and today they are headed home.


Finally got my Camp Camp stained glass piece I made up. I am happy with how it turned out. The deck looks awful here because we were getting ready to paint it again.


Here it is all done. There were a couple rainy weeks and we weren't sure if we would get it done before the party on Sunday, but finally we got a dry week and got it done. Primered and put two coats on. It's hard to see Georgie turds now, something Serge hadn't thought about when he ordered this color.


The boys also taught me how to make awesome rolls. When I get the chance I'll post the recipe in the comments.


Then we had our corn boil. We had about 25 friends and family over to feast on corn and munchies. It was a wonderfully warm and sunny day. But we drank for 9 hours straight! Once everyone went home, Serge and I started dancing. And for some reason we took a couple videos of it. Serge put one on FB, but I think this one is better. Again, drinking for nine hours....


It cracks both me and Serge up. Hope you got a chuckle too. So now you are all caught up and I am off to work. Thanks for stopping by! Mwah!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

A week at Camp Camp!

Hey sticklers, less than a month has passed and I'm blogging! It does seem to be a dying art what with the timesuck that is Facebook. There is still something I like better about the blogging format where we can flesh out our ideas instead of trying to come up with pithy one liners for our Facebook photos and posts. And so I blog....

So the big thing that happened this month is Campcamp! It turned out that there was a last minute cancellation and I still had time off so we made a rash decision (I blame the mother in law who had visited on the spur of the moment and coaxed us into noon martinis.) We have regretted pushing the buy button before when under the influence, and there was a bit of regret the next day when I realized how much it was costing, but in the end it was a miraculous week full of gifts. Here let me walk you through our experience.


We loaded up the car and left a day early to break up the drive. It was a gorgeous day, something that was repeated the entire week. We decided to overnight in Stowe and see what it was like in the summer.


I must have been a bit stressed out because I got a cold sore ugh, right when we left. I get mine on the base of my nose between the two nostrils. So pretty. We stayed at the Riverside Inn which had great prices and free wifi.


We walked around town and picked up some more of that olive relish we liked the last time we came. Then we found a place to eat and tried fried pickles for the first time. Yum! Greasy, salty, sour goodness.


The next day we drove through Vermont and New Hampshire on our way to Maine. We picked up a baguette with cheese and salami and wine and had ourselves a picnic in the most beautiful spot. Crawford Notch state park in New Hampshire. Would love to go back and camp and explore.


And then we arrived at Camp! It was rather overwhelming going through the welcoming, registration, photo taking, name chip making, mail bag making process, but the energy was so positive I just knew it was going to be fun.


The next day we had a ceremony where all 240 of us introduced ourselves and then we had some activities to help get to know one another. The whole first 24 hours had my head spinning.


We then took the adventure course training and Serge got to practice a bit on the spider web. As it turned out, that was the only thing he did since he gets so panicky in high places. Maybe next year for him.


That night was the barn dance. We didn't have much time to plan for costumes, something we will definitely be prepared for next year.


Among the many activities was a hike up to the top of Burnt Hill. Dang it was hot and we were drenched with sweat by the time we reached the top.


It was just like camp as a kid (except with a late night bar) full of activities. Here is Serge doing stained glass. We also did Tie Dye shirts, astrology, paddleboard, morning swim, kayaking, dildo-jousting (also absent during the camp of my youth) zip line and on and on. There were far more activities available than one could participate in which just makes looking forward to next year that much more fun.


Every night there was a different kind of party. This was Studio 54 night. Serge got some help to dress up from the Beauty Barn and I glued some mirror bits to my face and oh my how we danced. Serge was hilarious in that getup.


We had Christmas Bingo night and Serge won a prize! Lucky duck.


For the tea dance we couldn't get Serge the cop costume to complete the Village People so he dressed up in drag for the first time in his life and played a groupie. He really got into the role. Hilarious.


And one of my all time fave pics ever of my husband.


Not sure if the video will up load. If not click the link here to see it on FB. Anyway, it's a great game called Heads Up and I kept tilting my body when I got the answer instead of just the phone. Much to the displeasure of Serge. So funny. Bonus too, the game has been a huge hit with students in my English classes.


Dancing under the stars and making scads of new friends. Serge and I both agree it was the Best Time Ever!!! Although since coming back, Facebook has become a full time job keeping up with all our new friends chatter about the experience. I had 25 thousand times more fun than I imagined I would.


The last day turned quite emotional for us. We did something called the Walk of Angels where one by one campers walked through a corridor of people who guided the closed-eyed walkers through. I had no idea my emotions would go so haywire. I basically bawled in front of 200 friends and strangers. Kind of like the miseries of the past year just came pouring out of me while being loved on. Makes me teary eyed just typing this.

Anyway, I am sure no one can do the experience justice with words, but we have definitely drunk the Kool-Aid and will be back next year.

In other news, Serge and I passed the 20 year mark together and in honor of that got our nipples pierced! God dang did it hurt but I really like it. You can see that video here.


He the left and me the right. We didn't force poor Georgie to join in. But Serge made a nice souvenir picture of our tye-dye with Georgie in it. Until next time my dear readers, Mwah!


Friday, August 16, 2013

A couple trips out West

When last I popped in, I was winding down my work contracts and getting ready for six weeks off. Ah, summer, it certainly makes being a teacher lovely to have summers free. As I said last month, the house is up for sale but we have only had one visit so far so either the price is too high or everyone else is enjoying summer too.

In July, I took off for two and a half weeks to California. First I went to San Francisco to visit our new friends that we made on the family cruise and also to hang out with my brother.


I was delighted to meet Dexter, the boys' dog who like Georgie is a beagle and he warmed to me straight away. The boys live in a charming apartment building in Russian Hill and it was a great little neighborhood full of cute shops and eateries. My absolute favorite restaurant in SF is closed on Sunday (what restaurant closes on Sunday!?) so I couldn't go as I didn't know this salient fact until it was too late.


We caroused most of the weekend and enjoyed what makes San Francisco so great - FOOD. I also got to meet up with my bestie in high school for drinks in a speakeasy. The pics came out lousy but don't want him to feel slighted by omitting that. Thanks Dave for the drink, I owe you one.


Enjoyed hanging out with baby bro and the weather was perfect. We walked all around and drank and ate and drank some more.


I guess this place thinks they are taking coffee to the next level. All I could think was, you know there are machines that do the same thing. Coffee theater.


After that rather debauched weekend, I headed down to M's house to begin an enormous project. I was so happy to see Bear again, what a great dog. She also warmed to me after the initial growling and barking.


And then we began the enormous project of life, stripping and painting the exterior of her house. I agreed to come and help and at the same time used that time to process and heal over some unmentioned events. Don't worry Serge and I are fine, there just aren't any roads without a few potholes, you know? Have you ever scraped paint off of wood? It is a grueling task and it took us six full days of hard labor to do it.


In the evenings I got to meet up with friends that I usually don't have enough time to spend quality time with so that was an added bonus. Bob and I used to work together oh so long ago, but we keep in touch. We went to my old watering hole in Long Beach and I said that if John was there he would call me "Tiger" and sure enough that's what happened. And I haven't been there for 10 years. I guess I make an impression.


There's M and her son N as we were waiting for mom to arrive at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It had stormed in the night and the air was definitely tropical. I had hoped for more thunderstorms but alas, my wish was not granted.


Mommy and I at the aquarium. It was really great to spend time with her and her two visitors for the summer. They hosted two Spanish girls for six weeks. The girls' dad stayed with me one summer when I was a teenager and now he has seven, gasp, children. Lovely girls.


It was great seeing D and N for our 10 mile bike ride on the beach path in Long Beach. That shirt was a gift for Serge but since it hadn't been washed yet, the medium sized garment fit me. Once it was washed it was definitely Serge sized.


The next day was my birthday (Yes the same shirt but only in the morning). I have never been so happy to turn a year older. 47 will go down as one of the worst years so turning 48 came with lots of positives. M took me down to the beach where we did a little ceremony to let things go and to start anew. Something changed in me that day and I am filled with gratitude for that.


Then we went down to mommy's for the rest of the day. Here she is making my favorite birthday cake in the world and one I haven't had in thirteen years. Confetti angel food cake with strawberry frosting. It brought back the kid in me.


Mom also invited people to my party. What an unexpected treat. Got to hang out with the cuz, the niece, the aunt etc. There was far too much free flowing champagne as evidenced by the next morning's headache.


Cake! The tan was courtesy of house scraping. Ooh and I was sporting my new Birkenstocks. My old ones lasted 13 years so even though they are expensive, they really aren't when you consider the longevity.


The next day (a tad hungover but I don't look it) I hung out with Dad and his girlfriend and grandma. We had Mexican food (I ate Mexican food for 8 straight days once I got there - yum) and then went on a hike.


M and I lived together about 25 years ago but it felt like it was just yesterday. Even though we worked our asses off, I really enjoyed all the time we got to spend together.


Finally we finished the immense project of doom. Serge says it doesn't count since we didn't do the trim. Bite me! The trim is a much smaller, manageable project. It was cool how this pic got 60 likes on FB.


Met up with some other old friends to go to the Crayfish Festival. Although the Crayfish Etoufée was delightful, watching the murder of hundreds of thousands of these creatures was a little hard to take. Seriously there was an enormous contraption with a crane that lowered them into the boiling water. I refused to take a picture of it.


When I got home, Serge had a surprise waiting for me. What a sweetie. I really missed him too even though we Facetimed almost every day.


Here is my honey in his preshrunk (and worn by me) shirt. My little stud puffin.


Georgie was really happy to see me too. We took a video of it but it's too big to upload, but he just went nuts shrieking when I arrived. It sounded like he was in pain, but they were shrieks of joy. Love the little guy.


I wasn't home for long though, as five days later was my annual junket to Las Vegas with B. We took this pic because this Denny's has a full bar. Unfortunately our heads blocked this part of the sign. We ate there but didn't drink since the drinkies are free while gambling. We love gambling, it's part of why we go.


We also went back to Downtown, this great speakeasy type place where the mixologist really knows his craft. I had two of those before we had the best Thai food I have ever eaten. Then we went to the El Cortez and I won some money on the Kitty Glitter machine. Yay!


I just love being goofy with my friends. The last night we went to the strip and saw Ka, the Cirque du Soleil show where someone was killed during a performance a couple months ago. It was good but I've seen better.

So now the blog is caught up again. We are not finished with the traveling yet though. Tomorrow we are headed to Maine for a week at Camp Camp. It's an all gay camp that recreates the summer camps of our youth replete with tons of activities to keep everyone entertained. Perhaps there will be another blog post after that. This will be the end of travel until the holidays. My bank account is not only bruised, it is bleeding. Thanks for stopping by!