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Revenge of the Kittehs

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

During my 2 week vacation I locked the Kittehs in the basement. I had bought toddler swimming pools and filled them with water and litter and 40 pounds of food – far more than they would need – and gave them blankies and pillows to sleep on…but somehow I knew they would not appreciate my efforts and would want revenge. I had been living in mortal fear since I returned on the 20th but then l I realized just how insidious their plan was.

They are trying to kill me with guilt. They look at me with huge eyes and give sad little meows, request frequent belly rubs and follow me around so closely I trip or sit on them several times a day.

Guilt I can handle and I will survive the Revenge of the Kittehs.

Or so I thought until this morning, when Rocky decided guilt is too light a punishment and dropped a live wriggling worm in my cereal.

I am doomed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUECHRIS50 6/28/2013 4:15PM

    I have a dog, she wont look at me when shes upset or she's giving me the hairy eyeball.I say come give mommy love and she turns her head. emoticon

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ADRIENALINE 6/28/2013 3:05PM

    Me oh my. I don't envy you your life! emoticon

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NINJA-NED 6/28/2013 7:54AM

    this is frightening. i'm about to go off for a week and leave our 6 cats...

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BBONET 6/27/2013 7:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon This is really cutie!!! Love it!!

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23KAIYA 6/27/2013 2:24PM


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DEZZIEJAMES 6/27/2013 2:21PM

    LOL. Rocky was just trying to help you up your protein intake!

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ILOVEMALI 6/27/2013 12:25AM

    This is hysterical! We have The World's Greatest Pet Sitter (Auntie Trudi) to take care of Bailey, Mali, and Gato. She's reasonable and absolves me of the guilt. And she reads to them sometimes!!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 6/26/2013 9:39PM


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GETSTRONGRRR 6/26/2013 8:59PM

    Will they net over never get over the fact that Egyptians once worshiped them as Gods?!?!? That was over 2000 years ago already....move on!

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GAYLLYNNE 6/26/2013 4:13PM

    OMG!! To funny!

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FROSTY99 6/26/2013 3:53PM

    Rocky was just trying to tell you he would wait on you and bring you food-just don't leave him again!!!! emoticon

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STARLIGHT615 6/26/2013 3:00PM

    OH MY!!!! Kitties defiently know how to take revenge!!

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FANGFACEKITTY 6/26/2013 2:23PM

    The best part is Rocky looks exactly like the second cat in the background, the darker tabby. Same white area on the face and everything.

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COOP9002 6/26/2013 1:21PM


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HOPEFULHIPPO 6/26/2013 12:59PM



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NAYPOOIE 6/26/2013 12:20PM

    ROFL. A worm is just too perfect.

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JUSTME29 6/26/2013 10:57AM

    Awwww - he tried to bring you breakfast. How is it his fault that you don't enjoy worms?

Love the picture

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ONMYMEDS 6/26/2013 8:39AM

    Yes, you are. Cats never forget, and only forgive if it suits them.


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RUNNER4LIFE08 6/26/2013 7:56AM


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GARDENCHRIS 6/26/2013 7:28AM

    mine does upchucks around the house !

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RASPBERRY56 6/26/2013 7:14AM

    Yeah - they'll certainly find a way to get to you!

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I am officially on vacation for 3 weeks. I went to bed after midnight...and was awake at 6 am. WTF?! I do not even get up that early on work days! Not a particularly auspicious start to my time off; I hope that this morning nonsense improves quickly. Vacations should be about sleeping in.

Anyway, I was actually "up" at 4 am because Stupid Dog thinks if he goes outside that early I will be sleepwalking and give him breakfast without realizing it...and then a second breakfast once I actually do wake up a few hours later. Didn't happen, but he had hopes.

And I was on dog duty this morning because I am now Empty Nester.

My daughter flew home to the US yesterday evening and will be living with her dad the next 2 years, until I return. My son already sort of lives there. So now it is just me and the cats.

And Stupid Dog, but he goes back to the US tomorrow to be with my daughter.

Because I am, in case it has escaped notice, a cat person.

I like dogs but much the same way as I "like" small when they belong to other people. When I can pat them on the head and say "good doggie" and continue on my way. Not that I actually say "good doggie" to the small children, it tends to upset the parents.

Her flight was at 7:30 pm so we left the house at 3:15. It generally takes an hour to get to the airport and park and I wanted to have plenty of time in case of...anything. The way my life works is when I allow a lot of time...everything goes perfectly. We were there at 4 pm, last check in was not until 6:30.

Now, if I had allowed just enough time there would have been road destruction, accidents, traffic jams, computer system crashes, terrorist bomb get the idea...and she would have missed the flight. Instead we were there several hours early and she was through security by 5...for the 7:30 flight, which actually didn't take off until 8 pm.

This might not have been a bad thing though. The Psycho Ex-Husband (PEH for future reference) booked her on some budget airline that flies to New York, not to Detroit. He did this because it "was a lot cheaper" than the airlines that actually go to Detroit. But note...he now actually had to drive from Detroit to NYC, which is a full day's drive. He had to leave on Sunday, stay in a motel, park at the airport to pick her up, stay in another hotel Monday night, sometime on Tuesday start driving home, stay in another hotel Tuesday night. Gas is expensive & PEH has an exceptional talent for buying cars that need constant repairs ("But it was cheap!"). Plus meals and tolls...and dealing with traffic and the subway and crowds and lines because he promised sightseeing as a way to pacify her. None of these are things he is capable of handling well; I predict a major temper tantrum before noon EST.

Add up those costs and you have the price of a ticket to Detroit, which is only a 60-90 minute drive from his house and $20 for parking. Instead of a 3 day road trip with a jet lagged teenager.

PEH logic at its finest.

The airline had the typical 1 checked bag and then pay an unholy amount for more. And since she is moving and can open her own store from her closet we had more; I limited her to just 2 checked bags, thinking she could also take the carry-on. Nope, the budget airline restricts carry-ons to the normal dimension BUT only 5kg (about 11 pounds). Her laptop & case alone weighs that much. She had to grab her camera, DS & purse to carry on, I had to take the rest back with me, including the laptop. Because the fee for the 3rd checked bag fee was beyond outrageous.

Now if she had flown home normally she would have had a free 2 checked bag allowance from her frequent flier miles, plus a normal carry-on and could even have taken a 3rd checked bag since I paid the fee.

Remember, she is moving, not on vacation. Under normal vacation circumstances we have our carry-ons and that's about it. Of course now I have 2 large suitcases of her stuff, plus I now have to take a carry-on myself with 2 computers since I will need to work for a few days...and the 90+ pound dog. Should be fun getting through the airport tomorrow.

Now back to the original purpose of the blog...

When I've told people she would be returning to live with her dad the universal reaction has been "Oh no, what will you do?!?"

Ummm...pretty much the same things I've always done. My life isn't ending because I'm now here by myself.

Yes, I'm a "bad" Mom.

Yes, I will miss her (maybe even miss Stupid Dog a little bit, he is a handy excuse for walking around), just as I miss my son. But I always raised them to become independent people (sooner the better lol). I have eagerly anticipated every life milestone...walking, talking, school, friends, driving, etc. When other Moms were crying because their babies were starting daycare or kindergarten I took them out to do something fun to celebrate because it was a happy day.

I am not the clingy type.

Because isn't that the best thing you can do for your children...prepare them to live their own lives without Mommy taking care of everything...and then let them do so?

My friends and coworkers are horrified when I say I am happy with being an empty nester. Of course they are also horrified by (or would be if I shared) my views on a variety of parenting and societal subjects. I have never been accused of being a lemming or a mainstream thinker.

Before she left my daughter was talking about one of her friends and said the friend's mom was "awesome". I asked her if the mom was more awesome than me.

She said "yes".

But then she said it was because the mom let the friend do anything she wanted and did not make her do anything...the mom was just another "friend" to the daughter. But, and I quote, "You're my friend, but then you go all Mom on me, which is probably a good thing sometimes".

I think that was a compliment emoticon

So yesterday was another milestone, just a few years earlier than expected. Even if/when one or both move back in with me for a time it will be different as they will be legal adults and the relationship will be different.

Life is what you make it and mine is not "empty", even if I am the only one in the house.

And now I have to go figure out how to finish getting everything packed.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZEJR 6/27/2013 11:37PM

    Thanks for the late-night chuckle (description of the ex's reasoning with the NY flight). I'm with you on enjoying my "empty" nest. Just seems peaceful & liberating to me. And I can really enjoy their visits. :)

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HOPEFULHIPPO 6/26/2013 1:04PM

    awwww, but I LOVE the stories of Stupid Dog.

That part is emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/6/2013 5:44PM

    Several smiles from this blog as I've been there, done that. The "everyone else's parents are awesome" routine. Knowing the cheapskate who pays more to save money than spend the original amt needed. The loving the empty nest and liking kids better when they belong to others. I understand oh-so-well. Life is your oyster now that it is just you to take care of. Have a wonderful time.

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CAALAN23 6/6/2013 9:41AM

    Love that man-logic for monetary savings. There's no proving it wrong.

I hope Stupid Dog got where he was go ing this week!

Sounds like you've got a solid relationship with your kiddos. It's better to be a great mom than a good friend and even better when they recognize that too.

Have a great weekend!

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DEZZIEJAMES 6/6/2013 8:42AM

    A very practical way of looking at it. I'm glad to see you are back in the states, and hope you have a fabulous vacation my friend!!!


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23KAIYA 6/5/2013 2:52PM

    I am the same with my kids and looking forward to an empy nest, that doesn't make me a bad mom any more than you. You're a great mom and a great person, keep up the greatness!

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MCJULIEO 6/5/2013 12:57PM

    "You're my friend, but then you go all Mom on me, which is probably a good thing sometimes".


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SVELTEWARRIOR 6/4/2013 10:34PM

    You are a great Mom, and yes that was a compliment!!! Have a great vacation and enjoy your airy nest!!!!

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FROSTY99 6/4/2013 9:44PM

    I am with you-loved my sons but never wanted them to live with me forever and like you raised them to be independent. Enjoy your vacation and I too will miss Stupid Dog tales.

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CODEMAULER 6/4/2013 4:21PM

    Well, I'm going to miss the Stupid Dog updates. I think he was getting on track with his fitness minutes!

My mother raised me to be independent... and now kvetches that she rarely sees me. Lesson here is that you can't have it both ways when there's 700 miles between us.

Some days, that's not even enough.

Good luck on the return trip to the airport. After our trip to China, it'll be a while before I get back into the terminal!

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3016DEBRA 6/4/2013 2:30PM

  Great blog! I usually back off the long one's, glad I didn't this time. Have a great vacation...something tells me you will! emoticon

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IMPROVINGME 6/4/2013 12:40PM

    Loved reading your blog. Have a wonderful vacation!

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FLORIDASUN 6/4/2013 11:33AM

    Ha..ha...good story! Your PEH and my XPEH X..being for EXTRA emoticon would probably be the BEST of friends! The day I walked out of that 10 year marriage from H*** was the BEST day of my entire life!

I actually heard from our daughter that he got mad at the LUCKLESS wife #2 and threw a refrigerator on her foot! emoticon I didn't even have to ask for details! emoticon Could see the entire scene unfolding before my eyes.

Lucky refrigerator attack...but...he used to just pin me up against the wall holding my NECK as his point of contact while I wiggled and waggled like a raggedy ann doll. I was MUCH lighter back in those days! emoticon darling second hubs of our recent 35 year anniversary 5/20 wonders why I don't take any guff from ANY one at this point in my life.

I learned well how NOT to tolerate insane and obnoxious bullies...learned from the time I started dating this creepster at age 13 and got bullied into marriage at age 17...WHERE were my parents on THAT one?

My mom actually LOVED the guy..a high IQ does NOT impart common sense..I can tell you THAT for sure...for sure! emoticon

If you have taught your children well on how to handle the world and develop survival skills..then you have done your matter what their age is. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/4/2013 11:35:53 AM

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KAREN_NY 6/4/2013 10:48AM

    CAROLCRC: "Like the glass-half-full, it's really full - it just has air (space) in it for you to breathe more " love that. :)

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KAREN_NY 6/4/2013 10:47AM

    Enjoy vacation! And here's to non-emptiness! :)

On the mom front, I'm both -- a little emo, AND celebrating my daughter's independence and adventures. Not quite bipolar, just... Gemini, I guess. :) So I put her on the Kindergarten bus with a smile, cried and read her baby book after she left, and then we celebrated like crazy when she got home. Not because I'm hiding it, but because I actually feel both. Ditto for dropping her off at college last year. In 3 weeks she's off to Turkey for the summer- a big adventure... maybe too big, if they don't stop teargasing Istanbul! I did miss her while she was at school this year, mostly because she's an awesome person to be around, not because I was empty.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/4/2013 10:42AM

    Oh dear, you are not a bad Mom! Or if you are, so am I! I am loving life with my teen girls and looking forward to them flying from the nest in the next few years!

Have a great vacation!

ΈΈ.•΄Έ.•*¨) ♥Έ.•*¨)
(Έ.•΄ .♥ (Έ.•΄ .♥ (Έ.•*΄¨`* ♥☆Έ.•*΄¨`*♥☆
`*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!

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JUSTME29 6/4/2013 10:41AM

    Can you ship some of the excess baggage? Or would that cost even more? I can't imagine moving with just 2 suitcases. Good for her! I hope the road trip isn't too traumatic for her, that would be rough dealing with jet lag and a road trip at the same time.

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    I love my children but I also love when they are away visiting others! Enjoy the time to yourself! Have a great flight!

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CAROLCRC 6/4/2013 8:05AM

    It was a compliment. Enjoy it.

Enjoy the "empty nest". Like the glass-half-full, it's really full - it just has air (space) in it for you to breathe more and enjoy life on your own terms (which it sounds like you already know how to do!)

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/4/2013 7:56AM

    Sounds pretty cool kiddo! You've done a great job with them...that's the kind of parenting where they come back at you a few years later and thank you!

So what's the deal, are you vacationing in Detroit too? Personally, I'd celebrate a little empty nest action in Tahiti or Bora-Bora

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BOILHAM 6/4/2013 7:52AM

    Great blog! Love your style, except you fail to appreciate dogs enough, but still a fine blog. My coffee got cold while reading it, but I was captivated.

Love the PEH thought processes, too. Once again, I repeat one of my favorite comments - "it's all about math" folks. Success in life depends on basic math skills. My prowess in math suggests I not become a bridge bungee jumper, too.

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ONMYMEDS 6/4/2013 7:32AM

    Love this story. You sound like a fabulous mom and a wonderful person. I love your attitude towards children and dogs.

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GARDENCHRIS 6/4/2013 7:21AM

    loved the story about the PEH !!! I roared laughing! Defies logic!

You and I are more alike that I thought! LOL when my boys were little and they'd come in crying because someone "hurt their feelings" I'd ask is anything broken.. NO... are you bleeding anywhere... NO... then go back outside as I don't want to hear about it.

sounds harsh I know .. But when I first went out to mediate with the kids the other moms would then be mad at me and the kids were "friends' again within 10 minutes! So what did I accomplish?? And the kids learned to stick up for themselves and be independent .... wasn't that my job? lol

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CAROL6X 6/4/2013 5:09AM

    Have a great vacation!!! You can do it!!

Carol emoticon

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STRIVER57 6/4/2013 5:07AM

    it was definitely a compliment.

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SPARKCHANTAL 6/4/2013 3:22AM

    don't you just love 'cheap' people

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ILOVEMALI 6/4/2013 2:58AM

    what a great story. I ove how you have room for everyone in your life -- and that you know how to take care of yourself. You are a great mom. Don't let anyone fool you.

Have a great vacation!

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May Goal Results

Sunday, June 02, 2013

1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds
Met; back in the middle of the range

2) Maintain my budget and pay off 1 debts (revised)
On track

3) Finish my 1st Marathon
Squats hurt my knee again mid-month and I can still feel it when I go up/down stairs and when I run. I don’t know if a marathon is going to happen this year.

4) Resume saxophone playing and look for a band to join

7) Improve sleep habits
emoticon emoticon
Met; best month yet at 89%. YTD average of 83%

8) Eliminate the Snooze

9) Learn French
Still no quantitative measurement but I called the travel agency to change the date on my train ticket, called the vet to make an appointment for Stupid Dog to get his health certificate for the plane and went to the Sous Prefecture to exchange my drivers license – all in French – and was able to accomplish what I intended. And making a phone call is my own special kind of hell in any language so making these calls in French is deserving of a national holiday IMHO!

10) Have fun and stress less; list other monthly mini-accomplishments
10a – front hedge completely trimmed
10b – did other mending including replacing zippers on a hobo bag I like and my mesh travel bag
10c – have a good start on my container garden, everything except the eggplant has now sprouted
10d – went for 2 bike rides for the first time in forever; need to get the seat fixed on my Trek before I will take any more rides though
10e – finally got curtains for the living room and kitchen

11) Half Fanatic Moons
See Goal #3 above. I have not run in a month so the fate of this goal is still TBD

SCHEDULED GOALS (not yet in progress)
5) Travel
**5Q1 – met; Normandy, Paris, Compiegne & Oise area in January with my son
**5Q2 – met; Amsterdam

6) Set Triathlon goal date, start training

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOY-EVELYN 6/7/2013 11:34PM

    Love reading about the progress you're making. May you have a thoroughly delightful June.

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23KAIYA 6/3/2013 2:40PM

    Congratulations on hitting so many goals!

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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 6/2/2013 11:58PM


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MCJULIEO 6/2/2013 11:47PM

    So glad to hear that your garden is coming along.... garden therapy is a "Must" for me ...

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FROSTY99 6/2/2013 6:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHIMMERMAMA 6/2/2013 4:41PM

    emoticon ! Looks like you're doing really well! emoticon on defeating the snooze button. I'm working hard to defeat the little bugger myself!

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    Wow! You are becoming a Renaissance Woman!! emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 6/2/2013 3:05PM

    great job!!

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KAREN_NY 6/2/2013 2:18PM

    This is great! Congrats!

I'm particularly a fan of the eliminate the snooze goal met (sooo hard!), and the saxaphone (I haven't played since high school, lol). WTG!

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REBECCATKD 6/2/2013 2:09PM

    Very accountable! You are a great role model, setting the bar high and then reflecting on your achievements.

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MAJTMS 6/2/2013 1:22PM

    I feel your pain communicating on the phone. When I was in Brazil, making phone calls in Portuguese was torture for me (probably for the person on the other too) and usually ended with me just going in person to get the job done. Congrats on that success!


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Great job! I could never remember French, so to me that is amazing! Have a great June!

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STRIVER57 6/2/2013 9:17AM

    sounds excellent. me too for phone calls, in any language. especially as i have a hearing problem. why i love email!

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GARDENCHRIS 6/2/2013 9:09AM


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PMRUNNER 6/2/2013 6:07AM

    Great list, great recap! Good luck getting and keeping your knee healthy again! Great job on the French too!

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SHANNONY84 6/2/2013 4:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Stupid Dog Gone Wild

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sorry, no expose video of Stupid Dog's misdeeds while on Spring Break. Instead what you get today is a photo journey of one of our walks. Stupid Dog has put in an impressive 12.5 miles over the past 3 days...I think he is about ready to hide when he sees the harness now. Is it wrong to be smug that I can outlast my dog? emoticon

Stupid Dog in the forest

Path along the river, saw 2 duck families and some sort of brown furry mammal swiming which submerged just as I got the camaera so no pic :

Walked up some ginormous hills, saw lots of trees :

Saw several examples of what could be trench remnants, or old expired river courses :

Saw a cave on the other side of one of the big trenches/river course :

Saw some ruins, one fairly recent the big curved one is older but no idea what it was or how long it has been there :

Was accidentally "stung" when I touched this plant that I thought might be catnip until I saw the flowers. Felt like a bee sting on my fingers and was quite painful for a minute or two, and still some minor stinging a few hours later. It was from the plant though, not a bee or other insect :

Saw a snail on the way home, Stupid Dog ate it :

There are snails all over the place, I find them in the yard and driveway. Some this size, some 2 or 3 times bigger. We also have giant brown slugs. No pics of the slugs because they were in the process of consuming the dog piles in the yard & I draw the line at photographing poo.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGSTARDADDY 5/30/2013 1:46PM

    Stupid dog ate the snail!

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    Beautiful! My husband runs with our dog...20 km run they come home and dog still bouncing around! Makes me laugh!

: )

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GLC2009 5/29/2013 5:09PM

    looks to me like you got stung by stinging nettle. it's awful stuff.

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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 5/29/2013 2:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 5/29/2013 1:00AM

    I outlast Mali and end up walking and carrying a 15-pound weight...

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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/29/2013 12:00AM

    Love the pictures!!!! Stupid Dog is adorable!!!

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FROSTY99 5/28/2013 10:19PM

    Thanks for sharing your walk with Stupid Dog. Amazing scenery.

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KPACE7 5/28/2013 8:16PM

    I have a yellow lab. Gotta love the energy. emoticon

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 5/28/2013 7:55PM

    The photos are beautiful, and made me relax just to look at them! What a blessing to have such a beautiful area for walking! Stupid Dog looks a lot like my Stupid Dog! Mine has escaped out of the house so far today. If you were closer, I would send her to you for some walking- she clearly needs to get some energy out of her system! emoticon

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3016DEBRA 5/28/2013 1:41PM

  Loved your pictures! I wish you'd have mentioned where this is...looks beautiful! emoticon

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JUSTME29 5/28/2013 11:17AM

    At least "Stupid Dog" is pretty so he has his looks to fall back on.

Seriously though - beautiful walking pictures and I'm sure the pooch is thrilled with every chance to go for a walk with you. The snails are just a bonus.

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CODEMAULER 5/28/2013 11:05AM

    I'm impressed with the pooch's performance, snails aside. I think you make a good adventuring team!

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GARDENCHRIS 5/28/2013 10:26AM

    so glad you did lolololol (on the poop) nice pictures.... wonder what the older ruin was ...perhaps local historical society could help?

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MICHELLEPHANT 5/28/2013 8:23AM

    Thanks for sharing the awsum views of your trekking....poor pooch, are you letting him stop to sniiff? tee hee

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/28/2013 7:41AM

    He's bluffing! He really loves it.

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GOLFGMA 5/28/2013 7:33AM

    emoticon Your walks must be entertaining and wow, 12.3 miles in 3 days is impressive!

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GAYLLYNNE 5/28/2013 6:59AM

    Awww, nothing like a dog to keep one motivated!! Beautiful trail to hike. Good for you!

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WELLNESSME09 5/28/2013 6:58AM

    Great blog!

Love all the pics.

Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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INIT2LIVEIT 5/28/2013 6:31AM

    Cute blog! The countryside is gorgeous!!! and I have to admit stupid dog is actually quite good looking ;)

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Always & Never

Monday, May 27, 2013

Today is the day we remember our fallen, those who gave everything for our country, for our freedoms that we so often take for granted. Always remember their sacrifice, never forget that freedom is not free. And when you see a soldier today, or a policeman, or a firefighter...remember and tell him or her "Thank You".

Thank you for your service, protection and sacrifices,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZEJR 5/29/2013 3:35PM

    Very nice.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/27/2013 11:19PM

    Great Tribute

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MARYBETH4884 5/27/2013 7:28PM

    Thank you! Our heroes deserve our respect, remembrance and thanks! emoticon

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 5/27/2013 5:30PM

    Nice tribute.

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FROSTY99 5/27/2013 1:58PM

    May we always keep those heroes in our heart and mind and never forget their ultimate sacrifice so we can be free.

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GETSTRONGRRR 5/27/2013 8:39AM's a great day to spend remembering!

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GARDENCHRIS 5/27/2013 8:22AM

    right there with you!

Must be strange celebrating US holidays in a foreign country! Be safe.

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GAYLLYNNE 5/27/2013 6:45AM

    My dad was a vet. When he passed away they had a ceremony at the grave-site and resented me with the flag. I have it framed and in my living room. We all should never forget the sacrifice that was made for our freedom.

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