Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Layla update

Well, as you might remember we potty trained her with bells on teh door, which worked great. It was up to her to let us know when she needed out and she did. We've now weaned her off those and she just looks at us, or if we ignore her, she will whine at us.

Which left the crate training. We crated her at night and when we were gone. Its a lot on the weekends - particularly if we go out Friday night. I know, that's a lot of crate time but she had so much energy she would find things to get into - often paper-trash, so we would fine tissue, napkins etc all over if she was left out for a little bit unattended. (even during a nap sometimes) Mr. Lush has been requesting that we leave her out at night for 6 months now, I held firm that we wouldn't consider it until she was a year at least - she's now 15 months.
Last week was her first few nights out - they went ok. At first she was confused and pretty annoying - she didn't know it was sleeptime so she was up eating bones, bothering the cats, etc. Eventually she went back in her crate where she settled down for a good night's sleep. Not so successful.
Try #2 was after a 2 mile walk in the morning and a 4 hour playdate with another dog in the evening. This time I took her to her bed (in living room) and said lay down, stay, and "sleepytime" (which will probably be my "command" for going to bed.) She got up from her bed and followed us into the bedroom, but then went back and slept great. Whined to be let out about 2 am, but other than that, she was pretty good.
Try #3 was last night - no play dates to wear her out so we were nervous. Once again, took her to the bed, said "sleepytime" and then went to bed. She was good.

Now, during all these, trash was up on tables so she wouldn't get into it, but all in all, no mess, no disaster. We'll still probably ease into it before we do it every night, but we're well on our way.

She will still be crated during the day - but we'll both feel better that she's not crated so much on the weekends when we go out. Progress.....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

30 y.o. skin

Ok, this is my first “about 30” post. I turned 30 in June and its been pretty much the same as 29. I get carded sometimes, sometimes I don’t. Even though I’m not “in my 20’s” anymore, life hasn’t stopped. I’m pretty ok with where I am in life but not overly thrilled with my weight and fitness level – so changing that by 31 is a goal, in addition to finishing my thesis. Other than that, whatever.

However, the one thing I don’t like about being 30- for the first time in my life, I have to wear face makeup nearly every day (foundation, powder, etc). Of course, I’ve worn it before, but usually only on special occasions or when I had 2+ blemishes. It might have looked a little bit better than without, but it wasn’t needed. But, I noticed as the days crept closer to 30, that my skin wasn’t quite as nice as it used to be – my pores show, skin color isn’t as even, etc. Boo hiss! When I shared this with a friend, she was less than sympathetic so perhaps I’m being a baby. Its not a big deal to put it on – its an extra 2-3 minutes in my morning routine and I use mineral face makeup and its easy and looks good and isn’t heavy….it just “bums me out” that I have to wear it, that’s all.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Napa's Siren Song

Is Napa calling to me? Perhaps to say, hey, you don’t need no stinkin French wine….good stuff is here in your country and a lot easier to get?

Why do I think Napa is calling to me, you ask?

In the past few days I’ve been lightly researching Yosemite Park – next year is Mr. Lush’s vacation pick and he does like “outdoorsy” vacations, so I thought perhaps we might look at a week in California – a few days in Yosemite and you know, maybe, just maybe, since we’re RIGHT THERE, go to Napa or someplace else in Cali Wine Country. Some could say that I'm trying to take over "his" vacation by making it mine, but others could say that I'm trying to make it a vacation we'll both enjoy. (I couldn't handle a week of outdoorsy vacation!)Like I said, some light research, nothing big, since the earliest we would go would be March.

Well, last night I got a “save the date” / invite to my aunt’s reception over Labor Day Weekend in California. (a little backhistory - my aunt is only 4 years older than me, so much closer to a sister/cousin than a typical aunt/authority figure and we were very close in my pre-teens. She got married last year in a very small ceremony (just parents)) Anyway, the reception is in Davis, California.

The first thing Mr. Lush says is “is it close to Napa?”. I look it up, and why yes, yes it is. Its just outside Sacramento and is a short 45 miles from Napa.

What to do? What to do? I priced flights and they are about $500-550 total. I have some miles, but of course because its over a holiday weekend so in order to use them we’d have to stay a whole week (or somehow find a way to earn 70,000 miles in the next month) but that's a little too long - we may not have that much vacation time. But, certainly IF we go to the reception, we couldn’t just IGNORE that lovely wine country is calling to us – in September, no less! We just don't know what to do.

Napa, oh Napa, why are you such a siren?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vineyard pics

Ok, here's some vineyard pics. I purposely didn't post them in previous pics, so if you don't care about vineyard pics, feel free to skip this entire post, as its only vineyard pics!

This one is probably my favorite....although its hard to say!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Cardinals and their ‘staches

Not sure if you have noticed, but many of my beloved Cardinals fans have had a growing shadow on their upper lip. Yep, they’ve been growing mustaches. Mr. Lush and I laughed about it last night, as the mustache growing-in phase isn’t always the most attractive. (and in truth, not sure if I'm crazy about Rick Ankiel in a 'stache either - too 1970's for me!)

Of course, being the curious dork I am, I looked it up. It appears its for fun to mix things up and, now for luck. Here’s some snippets from the local paper:

“The decision was made June 30, the day Chris Carpenter absorbed his roughest beating of the season in a 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants. That day, third baseman Mark DeRosa left the game with a torn tendon sheath near his left wrist.

"It's just something to do, to make guys laugh and have some fun," said Piñeiro, the first to emerge with the new look. "It's something where you can make fun of each other."

Since Carpenter signed on the following day, the rotation carried a 2.06 ERA (10 ER, 43 2/3 innings) into Wednesday's game.

Wainwright surrendered one run in nine innings in a no-decision July 1. Wellemeyer followed with his best start of the season. Carpenter bounced back with a dominant performance in Sunday's 10-1 win in Cincinnati. Wainwright then came within two outs of his first career shutout Tuesday.
Brad Thompson suffered the only hiccup during the run, allowing four earned runs in five innings Saturday. Thompson is also the only starter without facial hair.
"Look at me. Two swipes of the razor and I'm done shaving," pleaded the boyish, follicularly challenged Thompson.

"I will grow a mustache bigger than Wyatt Earp's if we keep winning," insisted Wainwright.”

I hear that!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quit manhandling my microwaved food

Yesterday, I was warming up some lunch in the work microwave. I set it for 1 minute 45 and walked around the corner to tell the receptionist something. I was maybe 30-60 seconds “past the beep” and I walked back around the corner to see that someone had taken my food out and already tarted warming theirs up. (This person was not waiting in line or anything when I put mine in, BTW)

Now, I have a question. While I agree that leaving your food in there for an extended period of time, particularly during lunch, is pretty rude, what’s the time limit before you can start manhandling someone else’s food? 30 seconds? 1 minute? 5 minutes? Shorter or longer depending on the line situation and time? I personally think greater than 2-3 minutes during lunch is “rude” and if there is a line then anything past a minute is rude, although in NEITHER instance would I actually remove someone’s food. (I would just give a sideways dirty look ;)


Monday, July 6, 2009

Boxers can't swim.....or can they???

Mr. Lush has always said that boxers can not swim- “their chests are too heavy….they will sink like a rock”.

Hogwash I’ve said.

A tidbit from Americanboxerclub.org, which I just read for the tongue-in-cheek benefit of the post….

“Precautions must be taken to ensure your dog's safety. Being deep-chested and tailless, our Boxers need plenty of instruction learning to turn and maneuver in the water.”

Hmm. Well, this last weekend we went to visit my parents at a lake. Someone suggested putting her in a life jacket. Which of course this is evidently not a new idea:

“Boxer's do not have the benefit of a rudder (tail) to help them steer, for example. Invest in a good quality canine life jacket.”

As you can see she didn’t like the life jacket much.

“Do not expect your dog to be a "natural". Starting to swim will require your patience and encouragement. It takes more than a few times in the pool or the lake before your Boxer starts to really enjoy himself.”

Hmm. Oh really???? Here she is with no instruction, no life jacket.....

It took her about 15 minutes of being locked off the boat with all of us in the water for her to swim on out to us. ALL ON HER OWN.

And here she is, sitting naturally in a floatie. Just like her mamma...well, minus the drink of course. ;) Yep. Boxers can't swim. Nope. Not at all.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Have a Meaty 4th of July for your bones

I like finding news that supports my lifestyle decisions. Lucy often finds reasons how drinking wine is good for you, and in honor of the 4th of July, the meat mecca of holidays, (I for one would never have a 4th of July weekend without grilling SOME meat of SOME kind) I just found an article saying meat eaters have better bone density. Woo hoo! Go meat!
Should you BBQ your meat, Lucy posted some BBQ friendly wines, however, I will caution that with spicy BBQ, such as ours, Zin may not be the perfect match. (although the Austrailian Shiraz's would likely go great and I will have to try that this month!)
Now I just need to find research that states eating buffalo wings and sitting on your bum most of the day is actually better for you than eating veggies and exercising. Hmm. Probably shouldn't hold my breath huh??? I guess in the meantime, I'll be happy for this tidbit.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Je ne parle pas français

(I do not speak French)

So one of the top questions we get asked about our trip was "did you have problems with the language barrier"? Yes and no. While I took some French in high school, I could read it better than speak or verbally comprehend it. We listened to some CDs in the car in French, but that's hardly real preparation, and it left Mr. Lush with zero ability to read. I was the best French resource of the Lush Travelling Duo, and I was really not that great.

My first question anywhere was "Parlez vous anglais?" (Do you speak English?) Often the answer was "yes" or "yes, a little". If he answer was yes, we got along fine with talking fairly slow and using the most literal words/translations we could think of. If the answer was "a little", we used the Lingo (electronic translator loaned to us by some good friends) a phrase book, and pointing to maps or menu items. It wasn't great, but it worked. As noted in my public transportation post we got around using public transportation, which most signs, instructions, announcements, etc are in French.

We put forth an effort when we could and were apologetic about not speaking the language which went a long way to keep things nice and civil and even to get people to go out of their way to help. We were polite and said hello, goodbye, thank you, just as you should. I will say, it was a LOT easier in Paris and Bordeaux/St. Emilion than in Burgundy. While "most" people spoke a decent amount of English in those areas, "most" spoke little to no English in Burgundy, even in Dijon and Beaune, somewhat larger towns in Burgundy.

So....would I say I have regrets about not speaking better French? Sure, because it would've made things easier. But is it required? Not really - but having some basic knowledge of what certain words mean does help - not only for public transportation, but to know if the check includes gratuity, for example. *Which, we always tipped extra anyway, just because we wanted to spread the word that "Hey, being nice to Americans pays". (literally) :)

I guess the bottom line is that the language barrier won't keep me away from a vacation, but I will probably spend a smidge more effort next time.