Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Case closed

(for those who know the sitch) The case I was speaking about earlier has been resolved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cool stuff going on



heh heh. I wanted a pink belly button ring, but this was the only blingie ring available. (and it matched my nail polish at the time.)

Also, I uploaded some new videos on my youtube page. (subscribe or friend me peeps.)

It was such a weird phenomenon. Just one UFO shaped cloud in the entire sky, with non-stop lightning. It was like the cloud was statically charged or something. I mean, I'm sure it's not unique or anything, but it was nothing I've ever seen before.

That same night I saved a snapping turtle. It was in the middle of the road and my mom almost ran him over. It was pitch black out and it was just by luck she thought it was a large rock and as we passed him I noticed that he was a big turtle. Snapping turtles are scary cause they can take off your finger. They have long enough necks that they can reach around and get you even if you come from behind.

Luckily this one must have known what I was trying to do, cause instead of rounding on me and trying to bite as they normally do, when I tapped his tushy he bolted across the road. I chased him into the swampy brush and he disappeared. I didn't know turtles could move that fast... but I was happy cause he's safe where he belongs. In the pond and out off the road. I really wanted to get a pic, but I left my phone in the car.

The strange thing is, my brother and his wife took the babies on a car ride, and came across another large snapping turtle earlier in the day. talk about coincidence. 

Leg update

hey guys. Okay, if you don't know what has been going on... read THIS . That link explains everything going on... it explains what happened, and what has happened since what happened happened. LOL


Since that blog was done, I finally got to see an orthopedic surgeon about the issue I had been having with my leg.

I explained everything, and for some reason he thinks there is a back issue. Herniated discs or something. I don't know how, because my ankle hurts on the side where the bone is... my knee hurts, and the pain feels like it's deep in the muscle and tissues.

I tried explaining that I don't have back pain, I don't have numbness and my toes, ankle and leg are swelling, (toes and ankle swelling not being symptomatic of leg issues.) but he wanted me to get a back MRI anyway. He said that these things don't always manifest themselves in the 'usual' way. In fact, frequently people have leg pain and no back pain with herniated discs. If the MRI shows something I'll have to see a back surgeon.

So that's fine... if not for one thing. I'm in a lot of pain, and I had to wait through the weekend to get the MRI, and now I have to wait till October to get the results of the MRI. If it IS the back, I'll have to find and then see a back surgeon for further treatment (hopefully it won't include surgery cause back surgery would SUCK)... but if it's not the back... I'll have to go for a full knee to ankle MRI, then wait for those results... all the while being in pain.

However, it's like my brother's wife told me (she's a nurse), it's better that the doctor is making sure to test me for the most serious issues instead of settling on the easiest to fix, cause that means he's concerned about my health and wants to look at all angles as to not miss something that will cause me problems down the line. So I guess I can see that, and am thankful the doctor is being careful for my well being. I just wish it wasn't such a long wait. cause I'm hurting.

So I guess the news right now is, there really isn't any more news until October. Fingers crossed it isn't the back. If it comes down to surgery, I'd really rather it be leg surgery.

It's hilarious though, my brother and his wife were visiting with my nephew and newborn niece, and my nephew would always run into my leg. Finally I told him he needed to be careful cause "Auntie Drea has a boo-boo on her leg". So he walked up, kissed my knee and said "boo boo bet-ah" Lol. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What happened to Shirley Temple?

Where have all the Shirley Temples gone? I remember when I was little, my hair was down to my butt and every special occasion, my mom would make me sleep in those torturous comb curlers over night. When I would wake up, she'd yank them out (provided they weren't tangled in my hair, which they usually were) And the end result would be Shirley Temple banana curls. In fact, everyone always use to call me 'cute as Shirley'.

Then she'd put a cute frilly dress on me with white gloves, and if I promised not to wipe it off with my gloves, she'd let me wear a tinted lip gloss.

back in the day, I'd have been considered cute enough to win a pageant crown. Everyone always told my mom I should be in pageants. I had an adorable smile that lit up a dark room, I had giant puppy dog eyes, and I loved to sing. I was a performer and never had to be bribed, coaxed or forced to show off in front of people. In fact, I use to have to be bribed, coaxed or forced to stop. LOL

That's not the case anymore. Gone are the days of Shirley Temple being the ideal for what a cute kid should be. Gone are the days of kids being cute just cause they're kids.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about Toddlers and Tiaras, where girls go from three years old, to 30 in an hour episode.

Fake Eye lashes, Fake tans, Fake hair, Fake nails and in some cases, fake teeth for the kids at the age where they lose their teeth, or whose teeth are too small, and in one case, contacts to give them fake eye color.

Not to mention... so much makeup even Tammy Faye Baker would have said... 'whoa whoa whoa... know when to say when.'

We even finally saw a day when a mom put her daughter in fake boobs and butt padding so she can look like Dolly Parton

And most recently we had a mom who put her daughter in an exact replica of a Julia Robert's costume. You know the one she was wearing when she was PLAYING A PROSTITUTE!!

The saddest thing is... the parents have come out and basically said, there is nothing wrong with what they are doing.

This particular mother said it's more harmful to put your kids into sports where they can get hurt, like pageants can't hurt your child.


1. When a child doesn't win... why don't they win? Because they judges didn't find them to be "the whole package." Judges are looking for beauty, glamor and how photogenic the child is. So when your child doesn't win, eventually they will start to think it is because they weren't pretty enough, or wearing enough makeup, or a short enough dress, or spending enough money on costumes. They will eventually look at themselves as ugly, fat, and grow to have serious body issues. I even saw a mom tell her child the judges didn't think she was pretty enough. I've seen parents tell their kids not to make "those faces" because it makes them "ugly".

Damaging a child's self image is worse than when they are cut from a team because they don't have an aptitude for a sport. They'll find something they're good at one day whether it's a different sport, or something artistic... but they only have one body... and when you destroy their image of it, you're setting them up for some serious issues as teens and adults.

2. These children are being taught their biggest value in life is beauty. The faker they are, the better. Fake hair, fake teeth, fake nails, fake eye lashes, fake tans, too much make up, short skirts, low neck lines, the more sexual they are, the prettier they are. That's not harmful to a child? Teaching them to be sexy at 3 years old? Teaching them to be fake? Teaching them that their looks is their value? No, that's not going to create the next generation of "mean girls" who will eventually turn into little Lindsay Lohans when they realize being "former child pageant" winners won't mean a hill of beans in the real world. That's not harmful to the child at all.

3. These children are being turned into sexual beings. More makeup than a hooker would wear, short skirts, low cut tops, almost embarrassingly risque two piece bikini's... shaking their butts, doing the pump and grind dance style, blowing kisses and winking at the judges and the audience (some of whom are male), while wearing redder than red lipstick, long fake eye lashes, and loads of rouge. You have to weed through piles of poofy hair, and fake bake tan spray to see what the child underneath actually looks like.

You are telling me, as a mom whose main job is to protect her child from the scary things in the world, that having them dress as prostitutes, shake their booties on national TV, and wear enough make up to look like their 30 at 3 years old, isn't at all harmful? Especially when you don't know WHO those millions of strangers on the other side of the camera watching a show like Toddlers and Tiaras are or what their intention for watching is? That's not harmful at all?

4. Is it just me, or does anyone else notice a lot of these moms are overweight, slightly unattractive former child pageant contestants who want to relive their youth and former beauty through their child? I notice a lot of pageant moms saying the following.

"This was the best pageant of MY life."

"After all the work I put into this"

"MY dream would be for her to be discovered so I can quit MY job"

"This is the moment I'VE been waiting for"

a lot of "I", "Me" and "My". Very little emphasis on "my child".

I also notice the scenes where the kids are kicking and screaming and crying, and saying "Stop, stop" and looking scared enough to pass out, yet the parents always say "I'm only doing this because she loves to be in pageants".

Really? And you don't think this attitude harms your child? I've seen one parent who favored her pageant son over her pageant daughter because her son won more often. You don't think that won't hurt the little girl down the line? You think openly admitting on National TV you favor one child more than the other isn't harmful?

In the episode with the girl who was dressed in the prostitute costume... the mother whose daughter won 5th out of 12 girls through a hissy fit because she didn't take a higher title. She even took the trophy and pushed it away when her daughter tried handing it to her, like "this is for losers."

It's gotten so bad you have parents who won't discipline their children because they want them to perform on cue. Like this one girl who is almost 5 years old and won't give up her pacifier. She hits her mom, kicks her, yells at her, barks orders at her, tells her what to do... yet mom just caves or thinks it's "so cute". Can't wait to see what that kid will be like when she's 16 and has no boundaries. I feel sorry for her teachers cause when she gives them trouble, they won't get help from mom. Mom will blame the teachers cause her daughter is just "spirited", "cute", "expressive". 

5. Parents who say pageants aren't harmful are naive. Broken bones aren't the only thinks that can harm a child. Emotional damage is just as painful as a broken bone gotten while playing volley ball. In my opinion, a naive parent is very harmful to a child, because they are not focusing on the bigger picture and leave their child open for a whole world of pain.

No I'm not completely against pageants. Natural pageants aren't as bad because the don't allow a lot of the age inappropriateness than Glitz allows. There is a bigger focus on talent. And I see a lot of kids who do really seem to like it, and there are parents who have good heads on their shoulders. They know the line they won't let themselves or their kids cross. They know when their kids are miserable and won't force them to do it, and they know it's about their child, not about them and what they can get out of it.

I can get behind that. I wouldn't be against a child in a pageant who loves to do it, isn't forced to do it, and who isn't made to be 'sexual' in order to win. If the kid is a kid and having fun, and the parent is supportive win or lose, then Rock on.

It just scares me how many parents are ready to push the line so they can be famous through their child. Dressing them as prostitutes, putting fake boobs and butt padding on a 3 year old, botox (whether fake to get on TV or not)... it's gone waaaaaaaaaaaaay too far... and at that point it becomes about the parents, not the kids. These parents are doing it for themselves and their own self gratification.

Toddlers and Tiaras shows, these pageants are no longer about beauty, because under all that fake hair, fake tan, fake eye lashes, fake nails, and gallons of makeup, how can you even tell if the real kid is actually cute or not? Its all about how far you can push the envelope. And that's sad. One thing I would never do if I were a parent, is see how far I could push the envelope with a baby I'm suppose to protect.

I think the biggest thumbs down is to those who hold the pageants. They're the ones who pick the children whose parents go too far as the winners which just encourages them to go even farther next time. Like the one who dressed her daughter as the prostitute character ended up winning the big prize. I'd have disqualified her for being age inappropriate. 

What happened to Shirley Temple? and the days when kids looked like kids and were allowed to be innocent and free of care?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun Night

HEY ALL! Me again! And lookin cuuuuute! lol

Anyway... I actually had a fun 'mommy and me' night with my mommy. Lol. We were missing my baby niece and nephew, so we decided to go to the casino for a night out. I was playing this one game and was down by like $40. My mom stopped by to see how I was doing after losing her $20, and I won $20 back, which meant I was only $20 down. Then I got 10 free spins, and ended up coming out $50 ahead. Lol. If I break even I consider it a win, so it's really exciting when I come out ahead.

We were both starving, so since I was the winner I offered to buy dinner. We decided to check out the restaurant at the casino, and found out the menu was actually all done by a winner of one of the seasons of "Top Chef". He was there signing autographs too. We decided to give it a go. It was so fun. I felt like I was a judge on Top Chef. ha ha.

I had baby whitaker with bacon, ginger and lime as an appetizer, pork belly with charred eggplant and miso honey for the entree, and for dessert I had Nitrous Oxide ice cream. It looked scary, but tasted great!

I got to meet the chef and got his autograph. So that was really awesome considering my mom and I just expected to get an average meal rather than this gourmet celebrity dinner.

What a week.

So, I've had ankle problems for a while now. I've had 2 surgeries on my ankle, and it still bugs me now and again, especially if I'm on it all the time. And babysitting a 1.5 year old who has learned how to get into EVERYTHING, keeps you on your feet from sun up till sun down. So my ankle was feeling sore, and my whole leg was cramping up occasionally.

Well, I was headed downstairs to my bedroom when I stepped down, and I felt something strange in my leg. The only way I could describe it is, it's like if you have a rubber band in your leg stretched from your thigh down to your foot, and suddenly it snaps and you can feel it running down your leg. That is followed by excruciating pain.

The next morning I could barely walk, so I went to see my doctor. He was worried about a potential blood clot, so he sent me over for some tests. No blood clot was evident, but he was still worried enough about my pain and swelling that he told me he wanted me in a wheel chair at all times, and wanted me to see an orthopedic specialist who was coming to the clinic.

So he gave me a prescription to rent a wheel chair and some pain killers and told me if I have any more pain to get seen right away, even if I have to go to the e.r. I gave it the weekend. I decided to see if the painkillers would work through the weekend and get seen on Monday if I wasn't any better.

The painkillers really didn't help much. In fact, it made things worse, the meds gave me a serious headache and barely numbed the pain so I stopped taking it. I wanted to see if there was anything else my doctor could do, and if he could give me a less potent pain med.

That morning I got a call from the office that he was needed in the hospital so they rescheduled me for that afternoon with a physician assistant. So I hopped in my wheelchair and headed to the appointment. I was in a lot of pain, so I was trying to get comfortable in my wheelchair when he walked in the room. I gave him a friendly "hi, how are you?" and was met by a severe scolding for making my wheelchair squeak. I was a bit taken a-back... I couldn't understand why a health care provider would be so rude after being met with a friendly hello from me. Especially knowing I was in bad pain and already feeling miserable.

The rest of the appointment was even worse. I have NEVER been treated so bad by a medical professional. All I did was say hi, how are you, and everything fell apart from there. He was mean, he was rude, he was a complete ass. I held my tongue as long as I could, until I finally lost my temper and stormed out. First time in my life I ever filed a complaint, but he was completely out of line.

The next day I finally got to see my own doctor, who was very apologetic about how I was treated. And I can't say how... but I was vindicated when I found out I'm not the first person to complain about him. So now I know it wasn't just me. 

So all that was going on and I was completely stressed out. I fell asleep on my chair, and somehow my Droid 2 fell into the seat of my chair and when I pushed back into a recline position, it got crushed in the bendy metal part of the chair. $400 later I now have a Samsung. Not sure what it is called, I guess it's a 4G android Charge or something. I don't know. It's a cute phone, but I miss my flip out keypad option. I'm not use to touch screen.

But the bummer part is, I need a new lap top. My laptop says like "80% available (plugged in but not charging"... and every few days it loses a percentage. When my battery got down to 25% I bought a new battery to see if that would work. Sadly it didn't, and my battery is now down to 73% and dropping every few days. I tried a few minor fixes like going to system properties, device manager, batteries, and deleting the Microsoft ACPI-compliant control method battery, then reinstalling it and restarting my computer. That didn't work. So I took it to a computer repair place. The diagnostic and repair would cost about half of a new laptop, so I started shopping around... that was BEFORE I spent the price of a new laptop on my new freaking phone.

Sad thing is... even the cheap non-smart phones are nearly $200 these days... so I figured, why not just go for another smart phone since I use it so much?

Just when I thought nothing else could go wrong... I had a publisher that seemed interested in my book. They are a niche publisher that deal with the paranormal and found my proposal interesting enough to want to read it. They asked to see the manuscript and then I got an email that they were about to have a meeting on the manuscript.

That was the day of the Virginia earthquake. The Virginia earthquake was centered in Richmond. Guess where the publisher is out of? Yup. Richmond Virginia. Haven't heard from them since. Normally they are very friendly and good about contacting you right away... so whether they had decided to publish the book or not, they'd have let me know as soon as they knew. So I'm assuming they are dealing with a lot of damage from the quake since they are located right where it happened.

Seriously, I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday, cause I can't wait to start a new week. I need a hug.

Fingers crossed the bad week doesn't carry over into Friday, because there is one interested party who wants to buy my house coming for a second showing with their parents. It seems an offer may be coming, but the way my week has been going, I don't want to get my hopes up.

Baby Niece and Nephew

So, my niece and nephew just left. I babysat my nephew for a week while my brother and his wife were having my niece Veronica. He's gotten so cute. He's a year and a half old now, and getting into everything. Best part is, he does it with a smile, so it's hard to tell him no. lol.

He's talking a lot better... not making up as many of his own words as he use to (Like light use to be oonda and music was mika and money was munga). He now says money (mun-dee) and he's getting closer to the word Light. (instead of oonda it's now "nt"). Music is still Mika. Lol.

Its so cute when he calls me An-knee Dee. He's always "An-knee Dee, Ah-nee Dee". They day he was heading home with mom, dad and baby sis, he patted the couch and said "Ah-knee Dee Dee, see-saw... see-saw" (that's how he says, Auntie Drea, sit down.") So I sat on the couch. He sat next to me and gave me the biggest smile you'd ever see and said, "Dee Dee... ov oo too" (love you too). It was so out of the blue and sooooooo cute! He was my little buddy the whole time my mom and I babysat him.

Every night around 9pm he'd bring me his two special blankies, crawl in my lap, and want me to sing him to sleep. For about an hour I'd sing "I see the moon", "Lullaby", "Mocking bird", "ABC", and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" over and over till he crashed. Then my mom would pick him up and carry him to bed. He's such a sweetie. My brother and his wife lucked out with him.

My baby niece Veronica is amazing as well. It's funny... I found a picture of me at her age and held it up to her... we are almost IDENTICAL! Lol, she looks just like me. She rarely cries. Only when she gets hungry. And she FAAAAARRRRRTTTTTTSSSSS like you wouldn't believe! Lol. She is not very dainty in the pooping department. ha ha. I've never seen a baby poop that much.

I'm also amazed that she was 3 days old when they brought her up to visit, and she could already hold her head up. They showed the video of the first time they brought her into the hospital room for her first feeding, and she held her head up. You could even hear the nurses seem shocked. Normally neck muscles for holding the head up develop by the time the baby is about 2 months old or even 3 months. While she was getting tummy time, Veronica held her head up no less than 30 seconds, and even looked around from side to side, without any assistance. She's only 10 days old right now.

She's also got a real grip. She grabbed my finger and wouldn't let go the whole time I sang to her. She's so cute and sweet.

They had to go home early because my brother had a doctor appointment for himself that got re-scheduled, so they had to leave. I was so sad to see my nephew and niece leave. It got so quiet. It was nice to hear when he woke up the next morning that he asked for me and my mom. So I know he misses us too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baby Niece is born and Fair update

My Baby Niece Veronica Rose was born today! she is 8lbs and 5oz! Funny thing is, she looks like me. LOL. (not a far stretch considering how alike my brother and I look)

So in other words, she's absolutely adorable!

They are going to get out of the hospital on Wednesday, rest a day or two, then come here to pick up my nephew who I've been babysitting. They're going to stay and relax for a week before heading home, so I will get bonding time with my new niece. I'm so excited!

It was hilarious, my brother sent me a phone vid of the new baby, and I showed it to my nephew. I said "Mikey look, this is your new baby sister!" He gave me the biggest smile I've ever seen and said, "no no no" then walked away. LOL well at least he was smiling.

My mom and I have been having such a blast with my nephew. He's such a good boy, and so happy all the time. He's rarely cranky. the only time he gets cranky is if you stop doing what he wants you to do (like reading him a book over and over and over and over and over again), but he gets over it pretty quick.

He really loved the fair. He loved the merry-go-round and the petting zoo. The fair is over now, so now he's enjoy the swings at the park. We're having a lot of fun.

Oh, speaking of the fair. Remember this photo I talked about in my previous blog?

I had gotten an honorable mention ribbon for this photo, which surprised me since it was such a popular photo. (I've sold prints of this photo, everyone always says this is the favorite of all my photo proofs)

Well, I picked my stuff up last night, and when I got home I started taking the tags off of the photos when I noticed something.

On the back of all the description tags, the judges will write what the item placed.

For example: My clay painting of Japanese Cherry Blossoms took first place, and on the back of the tag was the number 1 circled. One of my photos of the roll cloud took 2nd place and on the back of the tag was the number 2 circled. The picture of the dog tails forming the shape of a heart took honorable mention, and on the back of the tag there was the number 4 circled.

See how that is going?

Well, on the back of the tag for the purple flowers photo was the number 2 circled... so it turns out, this photo took 2nd place, only whoever distributed the ribbons gave me an honorable mention ribbon instead of a 2nd place ribbon.

So I'm going to buy myself a red ribbon to go with the photo. Lol

but that makes it 1 first place, 4 second places, 3 third places and 2 honorable mentions.

I also found out, there is no gold ribbon anymore. (the gold ribbon was between first and grand champion.)

now that it doesn't exist, the top prize is grand champion which is awarded to one out of each category. After that it's blue for first, red for second, white for third and green for honorable mention (4th and 5th.) anything passed 5th doesn't get a ribbon.

So knowing that... 4 second places and 1 first really isn't all that bad. So I'm not as disappointed as I originally was since a blue ribbon is the highest I could get if I didn't win grand champion. I'd have liked a few more blue ribbons... but last year I only got 1 blue ribbon, and all the rest were 3rd place ribbons, so to get a lot of 2nd places means I'm improving. lol

Friday, August 12, 2011

Maybe I'm bitter... lol

What's up ya'all?

I finally found out what where I placed at the fair. I was a bit disappointed.

(click the photos to enlarge)

This photo of the bee on the cherry blossom didn't place.

I thought this was actually a really nice photo. I'm surprised it didn't get at least a 2nd place.

I thought this picture was adorable. my puppies tushies side by side, their tails connecting into the shape of a heart.

It got an honorable mention. I thought it would at least place 3rd.

This photo seems to be everyone's favorite. I've had people ask to buy prints of this photo, and everyone stops at this picture in the album of my photography proofs.

This only took an honorable mention.

this is a rare weather phenomenon. No one entered a picture like this, cause you just don't see this kind of thing every day. It's very rare.

This took an honorable mention. I thought for sure, since this was so unique and so different, and the color contrasts, the moodiness of it, it would at least place 1st, 2nd or 3rd. but nope.

This picture took 2nd place.

This is the same cloud as the one above, as it was starting to pass over head.

this won 2nd.

Third place

Third Place

Third place

This was my one and only 1st place.

I also won a 2nd place for my Japanese antique from the 1800's. (a book of Japanese wood burned art)

So all in all it was 3 honorable mentions, 3 third places, 3 second places, one first and one that didn't place.

Last year I won all 3rd places, minus 1 first, and one non-place.

I honestly thought I had a good chance of a few more firsts and maybe even a gold ribbon, but nope. Once again, for like the 3rd year in a row that I've started going to the fair, a baby picture took grand champion.

This year it was a picture of a baby with "cake face" (you know, when a kid smears cake all over their face). there was nothing out of the ordinary about it... it looks like the typical photo every parent, grandparent, aunt and uncle has in their photo albums of the kids in their family.

Last year it was a photo of a random baby smiling that looked as if it was pulled out of someone's wallet.

What disappoints me, is... there were really nice photos... like this one of a bald eagle nest with baby bald eagles that didn't place... a beautiful picture of a baby surrounded by a garden and an old shed in black and white that looked like it should have been in a magazine that only took 2nd, a beautiful picture of a butterfly landing on a flower that only took an honorable mention. There was a photo of a close up of a horse's eye, reflecting the photographer like a mirror. It was a really interesting and artistic photo that only took 2nd place.

I mean, the baby that won was cute and all... but this feels like a cutest kids contest rather than a contest of amateur photographers and their artistic visions, because in a true photography contest, those photos wouldn't even be considered for top prize, because they were never meant to be "artistic" pieces. They were meant to be family photos. It just seems unfair to those of us who go out and spend hours setting up the perfect shot. It feels like we should just not waste our time, and just dive into our photo albums and pull out pictures of babies.

lol, does that sound horribly bitter of me? I mean, congrats to the winner, but still. It's just odd that ordinary baby photos seem to always take grand champion. 

but all in all, I can't totally complain. I mean, I did get one first, and a few second places... not to mention, I had a lot of fun with my nephew who I am babysitting while my brother and sis-in-law are getting ready to have the new baby on Monday.

He had a blast at the fair, riding on the merry-go-round, watching the big kids on the big rides, listening to the music, and I'll tell you one thing, even though he's barely a year and a half old, he has a thing for the ladies. We passed a little girl with long blond hair, and he gave her the biggest smile I've ever seen as we walked passed. I had to explain that she was too old for him. She was practically 3. lol So it was worth it to see how much fun he had. (and to tucker him out so he went right to bed tonight. LOL)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well crap. lol

Hey all. Andrea here again...

Wow, I look different blonde, ne? (This is a pic from last year when I went blond for a short time.)

Well, today my brother John, his wife and baby John John came to visit. my nephew's 2nd birthday is coming up next week, so I spent the weeks before their visit searching for the right gift.

I like to buy unique gifts. Things I know no one else would think of buying. I bought both of my nephews a slide, I had their faces superimposed into DVDs of Dora the Explorer, Arthur the Aardvark and Barney where they appear in an entire episode... I did the same thing only with a book where their pictures are on every page, as the main character of the book.

Like I said, I like to get gifts I know no one else is going to buy.

I finally found some good gifts.

For John John's 2nd birthday I bought him Little Pim DVDs. Little Pim is a cartoon Panda who teaches toddlers and preschoolers different languages. I bought the Japanese volumes 1 and 2. Its never too early to teach a kid a second language. It's important as it helps with giving them an affinity for learning another language, which is beneficial for high school, college and being bilingual is great on job applications. And Japanese is just as important as any other language in my opinion, because lots of major American companies work closely with Japan.

My other sister-in-law is due to give birth to my first niece soon, so I special ordered her a Kimono styled onsee and matching kimono style newborn shoes.

I didn't want my other nephew Mikey to feel left out when his sister-to-be gets a gift, so I bought him a CD/Song book. It's Japanese toddler songs with English translations. The CD helps mom and dad learn the songs along with him. He has a real affinity for music. (if you sing a song to him once or twice, he can sing it back to you in perfect melody, in baby talk.)

he also loves music (obsessively) if you start playing a song, he'll make you play it over and over and will get mad when you turn the music off. He also has an affinity for languages (as he likes to make up his own language. For example: Music is Miika, Light is Unda, Grandma is Kangi, Money is Manga... He knows the real words, he just chooses to say his own. LOL and he's only 1.5 years old.)

So I figured I had really great unique gifts.

Well, my bro, sis-in-law and John John finally made it into town, and I was talking to my sis-in-law about my other nephew and his making up of words. I said he's going to have a real easy time learning another language.

That's when my sis-in-law said, "yeah, well, John John needs to learn English before he learns any other language. You remember when I did that book thing, were I asked for children's books instead of cards? Well, my cousin bought him the "green eggs and ham" book, only its all in Spanish."

(side note: my sis-in-law knows a little Spanish. not fluently, but enough to communicate)

"Well, that's just too hard translating it into English cause there are some parts I'm not sure of, so I just put it away. I don't even take it out... If he wants to learn another language when he's older, that's great. But I'm focusing on him learning English first."

As she's saying this, I'm thinking about the "Little Pim - Japanese" Toddler DVDs I have sitting in a gift bag. expensive DVDs too mind you.

Well crap.

So I'm going to give DVD 1 to my nephew Mikey, and the other DVD to his (soon to be born) sister. And tomorrow I'll have to run out and see if I can secretly buy John John a new birthday gift. Only problem is, the only real place I can go shopping around here is Walmart, which means, forget the unique gift idea.

I'm going to see if I can buy a baby guitar or a baby drum set. I know no one would buy him a baby drum set (for obvious reasons. lol) So fingers crossed that Walmart has one in the toy section. I mean, what are the chances really of her saying "If he wants to learn another language when he's older, that's great, but right now I want to focus on him learning English."? I mean, really?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Carefree day today

Hey all, Andrea here!

It was hot again today... I was going to go to the beach, but I had a small headache from the heat and I decided just to stay home and enjoy a quiet day relaxing.

I watched a little TV while playing a little Everquest II (for those who don't know, it is a mmorpg like world of warcraft.)

I play a half human, half demon/vampire character. Its a fun game.

This is my character, Andrieha

And this is my character Andrieha baring her fangs during a battle. (click the pic to see a larger version. Much cooler full size.)


I ride in style on my enchanted tiger horse.  =^_^=

Playing video games is not all I did today. I also decided to shine up a few of my newest agates that I found when at the beach... like this one:

And I caught up on some reading.

I read my Black Butler Manga to the most current chapters

Black Butler is a pretty cool Manga.

I finished "Alice in the Country of Hearts". it was a pretty good manga... but I was shocked it was actually over. It was very confusing because the mangaka left so much unanswered an unexplained.

There was a message board dedicated to talking about Alice in the Country of Hearts, and a LOT of people seemed as confused as I did. If I were the mangaka, the last thing I would want to hear when a series is over, is that everyone was left confused, so that was a bit disappointing. The series had so much potential and had such an amazing start... it should have ran for a few more chapters to tie everything together neatly. However, it was still a good series. Confusing in the end, but good. I mean, you get the general idea of where the story was going... it just didn't get there as nicely as it could have had it ran longer. Still worth reading.

And I caught up on BLEACH. (The manga, not the cleaner)

*Spoiler alert* (since most of my friends read manga and watch anime. lol - us nerds stick together. hee hee)

I was pretty surprised Gin Ichimaru ended up not being a bad guy. Seriously, I thought the twist would be he would betray Aizen to rise to power himself, but instead it was all a ploy to kill Aizen and avenge what Aizen did to his true friend and the one person he truly cared about, Matsumoto Rangiku. (When they were children, he saved Rangiku from death at the hands of Aizen and his minions, and everything he did, his cold demeanor, his betrayal of the soul society, it was all to get close enough to Aizen to enact his revenge so Rangiku would hever have to cry again.)

So that was a pretty cool twist.

After reading the most recent chapters of BLEACH I decided to read a little of "Pride and Prejudice" (my third favorite book. Samurai Banners of Furin Kazan being first, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies being 2nd. lol)

So all in all, it was a relaxing day. Nothing too exciting happened.

one funny thing though, I was reading the paper, and every day they have a police blotter. Basically, it tells you who got arrested, who got in a car accident, who filed a complaint against who, so on. (On the average basis, its usually deer hitting cars, DUIs, kids smoking pot, or people getting arrested for driving on a suspended license. Sometimes the occasional dog complaint... Nothing big really happens here.) Usually if something bigger than a kid knocking over a mailbox happens, its front page news. lol.

Today though, there was one cute animal complaint in the blotter.

"Mrs. ***** of *** street, called in a complaint against one Mr. Black Bear for trespassing on her property and disturbing a bird feeder. Mr. Bear, whose last known address was listed as The deep woods, had fled the scene prior to police arriving. Mrs. ***** was advised to remove the bird feeders for the time being and contact the police if Mr. Bear was caught trespassing again."

That gave me the giggles. Someone writing the police blotter that day was bored. hee hee

anyhoo... that's it for now. I have a lot to do tomorrow.  I have my brother, sis-in-law and nephew coming to visit Tuesday, and when they leave my other bro, sis-in-law and nephew (and dog) are coming to visit. Then I have an art show I'm entering, followed by a county fair I'm entering stuff in and I have to get that all prepared. I'm a bit late getting my butt moving for the art show next week. I don't want to be last minute for the county fair since I'm entering more stuff.

So lots of work tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beating the Heat

Its been horribly hot here. So I decided to go to the lake and beat the heat. It was sooooo nice at the lake. The water was warmer than it's ever been. Usually its like ice even on the hottest day, and is nearly impossible to swim in, but today it was so warm I didn't even have to get use to it gradually. I just plunked myself right in and started swimming. I couldn't believe how warm it was.

Even my dogs enjoyed swimming. Dojo doesn't like water much. (probably stemming from his dislike of baths) but once they were in the water, they didn't want to get out. Especially Yoshi. every time she neared the shoreline, she'd turn around and head back out.

It was the first time they actually went swimming of their own free will. (If they are really stinky in summer I sometimes would take them out to the lake and carry them in so I can shampoo them. lol) the water was calm and crystal clear, and they were enjoying chasing the schools of fish that were near the shore, so that helped them enjoy it.

They had a fun time just like me.

Although, I did get a smidge of sunburn over my sunburn. Lol. It was worth it though. I found 3 really nice agates and a few different coral fossils. I'll have to post pictures of those later when I've had time to shine them up.

the trip home was interesting too. I had twisted my ankle a bit so I had my mom drive home. I didn't feel like driving with a sore ankle. since I wasn't driving, I was texting my sister-in-law Jamie when my mom gasped and swerved a bit. I looked up and I saw something so large, I thought it was a deer trying to jump over my car.

I thought for sure we were going to get hit until whatever it was flew up and over the car. I turned around and saw it was a baby eagle. The wingspan was as big as my Rav4's windshield. Thankfully he didn't hit us, and continued to fly after whatever it was he was chasing. Momma eagle better keep a better eye on her baby. lol

Then we passed this older lady. From a distance it looked like she was petting her dog, when she stepped out in front of us with her hand out as if asking us to stop. As we got closer, my mom slowed down and we noticed the dog she was petting was actually a young fawn. Momma made it across the street, but the baby was too afraid to follow and kept following the lady around. Finally when we stopped she made the baby follow her across the street, then shooshed it off to it's momma where they both ran off. The lady thanked us as she ran back across to where her husband was waiting. It was the cutest thing. That little baby was a bit too trusting.

I guess animal mommas have their hands full with their babies this year. ha ha.

anyway. It was so nice today. A nice break from the heat. Although, the sun seems to have disappeared behind clouds. It's not suppose to rain, but it sure looks like there's a storm out there ready to brew. Anyway. I hope the rest of you stuck in the heat find an enjoyable way to beat the heat too.

Right now I'm catching up on some of my Japanese Manga in my air conditioned room. lol. Finally caught up on all the current chapters of BLEACH and am now working on Black Butler. =^_^=

Sunday, July 3, 2011

So Kawaii!

Hey all, Andrea here! (I suppose it would be since this is my blog. lol)

I had to show you a pic of this adorable little guy I found when I was tanning on my deck today.

I'm not 100% sure what he is... but after some online research I THINK he's a Viceroy Butterfly Caterpillar. Whatever he is, he's so adorable. He had like this piggy nose, and if you turned him on his back and tickled his tummy he'd flip over. I wanted to keep him sooooooo bad... but he'd have a better chance of survival in his natural habitat with plenty of fresh air and plenty of natural food.

Somehow he found his way up onto my deck, so I brought him down and put him under the deck. It's safe because there is grass and fallen leaves under the deck, it's not in the direct heat of the sun, and birds don't tend to sneak under there. So fingers crossed he'll grow into a gorgeous butterfly.

But tell me this lil' guy isn't ADORABLE!!

Here he is just hanging around. (click on the picture to see a bigger version. He's just so cutsie wootsie)

This just cries "Rub my belly"! so kawaii!

Here he is crawling around.

Man I wanted to keep him so bad he was sooooo adorable!

Anyhoo. That's it for now. Back to getting a tan.

  <-- before I got sunburned. LOL Actually, this pic is just about 2 years old. taken before I moved from my old house. I lost that bikini in the move. Made me sad, it was my second favorite bathing suit next to this cute one-piece I have now.) ANYHOO. Neither here nor there. (I'm chatty tonight cause I've had a bit too much coffee.)

coffee, Coffee, COFFEE. HA

Speaking of sunburn...

If you read the blog about my vacation, you probably saw this one already. Believe it or not, it's been almost 2 weeks and I'm still sunburned, although its slowly turning to tan. I just wish I was wearing my bathing suit cause my tan lines are weird at the moment. hard to explain. I had the start of tan lines from being at the beach in my bathing suit, but then I got sunburned while wearing this dress, which gave me different tan lines over the tan lines I started. I'm tanning to fix it, but I worry about too much sun. I should just use fake bake tanning cream. but anyway. Again, I'm rambling.

(lack of sleep last night, hot, and too much caffeine.) ha

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Awesome Vacation!!

Hey all! Andrea here!

So I spent a few days on a reportedly haunted island on my recent vacation. It was kind of cool. nothing haunted happened while I was there, but still, I've never been on an island. And to tell you the truth, this island was so beautiful, it could have been Hawaii in my opinion. It was sunny every day, it was warm with a cool night breeze coming from the lake. The grass was green, the lilacs were JUST starting to bloom and smelled so fragrant, the sky was so blue as was the water that surrounded the island. I was expecting to have a Lei put around my neck as I stepped off the boat.

My mom and I stayed at one of the most reportedly haunted resorts. It's a beautiful resort. Old fashioned, but well maintained, with a beautiful view of the Lake from our window.

No cars or are allowed on the island except for ambulances. The ONLY ways to get around is by walking, renting a bike, or horse drawn carriage. (My dogs LOVED riding in the horse drawn carriages. Especially Yoshi.) When I went to bed at night, it was to the light of a full moon. When I woke up, it was to the clippity cloppity of horse hooves. It was so relaxing.

Here's some pictures from my trip.

It was a long drive to the ferry that takes you to the island, about 10 hours or so. So my mom and I decided it may be a good idea to stop at the halfway point, do some shopping, and sleep overnight at a hotel. So I made reservations to stay at one hotel the night before we were due on the island. One stop we made was at a funny place called Da Yooper Tourist Trap. A gift shop named after (and run by) a comedy musical group called "Da Yoopers". (Yoopers are what people from the upper peninsula of Michigan call themselves.)

outside the gift shop is Big Gus, the world's largest working chainsaw, and Big Ernie, the world's largest working shotgun.

Before we did anymore shopping, my mom and I decided it would be best to head to the motel I made a reservation at, and get settled in with the dogs. When I got there to check in, I was shocked. The pictures used online must have been for another place, because this wasn't anything like what they showed it to be. It was dingy, the carpets were stained, and it smelled horrible from Chlorine. I asked to see the room and they took me to this closet of a room with two beds that looked dirtier than a patch of dirt after the rain... and it smelled horribly like cigarettes. The cleaning lady tried telling me it was a mixture of Fabreeze and Mr. Clean. Um... I know what cigarettes smell like. Unless it was tobacco scented Fabreeze, that was Cigarettes.

My mom and I left kind of upset and started driving around to look for a hotel that accepted dogs when we found this place:

It was a pretty motel with a sign in the front that announced "PET FRIENDLY!" I stopped in and explained my situation. It was then I was told they probably stated that it was Fabreeze and Mr. Clean because smoking is illegal in Michigan Hotels and they were covering themselves.

I got a room for my mom and I, went back to the other hotel and canceled our reservations stating family emergency. They let me out with no problems, and we went back to our new hotel. It was very nice, clean, smelled clean, and had a lovely view of the lake from our window.

So my mom and I were pretty happy. We spent the rest of the day shopping. There is a mall in Marquette, Mi (where we were) and a lot of small gifty shops. I didn't buy much because I wanted to save my money for the island gift shops. We decided to travel around a bit to take in the sights. Leave it to mommy to find a casino.

Of course I won. Well, not big. I came out like $20 ahead... but that's better than being $20 in the hole or just breaking even. It was pretty fun.

The next day it was off to the island. I've never been on a speed ferry before (I've only ever been on one boat in my life and that was in Lake Geneva during a lake tour. A slow moving tour boat.) so this was pretty exciting. Yoshi seemed to really love it.

(my mommy and Yoshi) Yoshi loved looking out the window as the boat flew by different places on the lake, including Mackinac Bridge. (It's pronounced Mackinaw by the way... Mackinac is a French spelling.) Dojo wasn't as trilled. He cuddled in my lap the whole time.

when we got onto the island, this is how we got to our resort. This is really the only way to get around besides walking and biking. And since it was hard to ride a bike with the dogs, we usually walked everywhere. Great exercise. although I don't think Yoshi was as thrilled. Every time we passed a horse carriage, she always tried to climb in like "no more walking! we ride now!" lol.

This was our view during the day from the window of our resort. It was so beautiful during the day. The sun shining on the lake, the horses riding up the street under our window. It was nice. It was actually even nicer at night.

The moon was full, and there was a lunar Eclipse on the other side of the world. In America it could be seen as the moon turning a reddish orange color. It was quite beautiful. Especially when it reflected in the water. Its hard to tell in the above pics since they are screencaps from the video I took. but it was gorgeous in person.

The view from a Bistro where we had dinner that first night. OMG you haven't lived until you've tasted Truffle fries! yummy!

Here's a few other pictures of our stay.

Dojo was such a brave boy when he saw the horses on the street. he barked at them, he even went up to one, stood on his hind legs and kissed a horse on the nose, but he wasn't as brave when he got on the carriage... although once he was on he calmed down enough to enjoy it. (sorry for the low quality pic. It was another video screencap. you can see that my mom is holding Dojo.)

I got a smidge too much sun while I sunbathed on the white chairs by the lake. But you have to admit, even though my face was a bit red from sunburn, I'm still looking adorable. (if you look closely, you'll see my GACKT necklace lol)

While nothing really paranormal happened while we were on the island to us personally, my mom and I took the dogs on a Ghost Hauntings of Mackinac Island tour and learned a bit about the history, legends and hauntings of the island. It was actually very interesting. And it got spooky as night fell.

I do have to admit, the spookiest part was when they got to our resort. The resort where we stayed, Mission Point Resort, is reportedly the most haunted on the island. From the theater, to the room just down the hall from where my mom and I were staying.

Room 2200 is the most haunted place in the resort. It is said to be inhabited by a spirit named Harvey who took his own life after a girl he loved rejected him. I don't believe the room is rented anymore, I believe it's used for employee use only, though ghost hunts are allowed in there occasionally.

I didn't get to do an actual ghost hunt, because my mom and I left the island the day of the midnight ghost hunt. So I know what I'm going to do when I get a chance to go back to the island.

Yoshi was exhausted from all the walking we did, while Dojo wanted to keep walking. He also loved watching the horses from the window. Believe it or not, it was a culture shock for them when we got back into town. I think they missed all of the horses, and people stopping every few feet to coo and call them cute, and the walking and sitting lake side.

we had a beautiful ride home on the boat... then it was back to reality. Over a 10 hour drive back to reality... but it was all worth it.

My mom and I have never had so much fun before. There was so much shopping, and so many sights we just never got to see. So I'm looking forward to going back.