Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Crowd Goes Wild!!!!

Watching the Olympics has been interesting. The British love an underdog...ANY underdog. They are so enthusiastic for them.

In watching the archery there was a man from Fiji who was down almost beaten and came back to tie. The British went wild for every shot. It came down to his last shot...if he got a bullseye he would win. Unfortunately he got a 4 (that's really bad) and lost. But the crowd was so appreciative of his play.

That's what I love about the Olympics. Yes you have the best, but then you have the underdog who almost makes it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics are Dominating My Life

It is a good thing the Olympics only come around every four years (well two when you think about winter ones). Because I seem to be glued to coverage. And now that you can get 10 different channels of Olympics plus everything online live, it is enough to overstimulate my brain. Our cable company got smart and have all the channels together so you don't have to remember channel numbers.

Opening Ceremonies
I may be in the minority but I didn't like them at all. I was glad we had dvr'd them because I fast forwarded through a bunch. The high points were James Bond (I love Daniel Craig and how did they get the Queen to do that) and the torch lighting. Other than that I felt like my time was wasted.

Saturday Sports
We enjoyed archery (good going American men) and fencing. Those are sports that never would be on the regular broadcast to we are lucky that they are on other channels. Men's gymnastics is always fun to watch. Boy those boys have some muscles.

Sunday Sports
I didn't get to watch too many unusual sports since we had company. But in the evening we watched the normal broadcast. They really need to change the rule that limits only two competitors from one country for the all around in gymnastics. If some of the countries have the best athletes, they should all be allowed to go for it. Every other sport lets you do that.

Monday Sports
I have the ipad going at work with the Olympics one while I work. (I am a good multitasker). Equestrian is on now. The horses are so beautiful but have seen several go down on these fences. It is a dangerous sport. Also checked out canoe although I'm not sure what the difference is between that and kayak. Hope to have some fencing and archery later today.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fragments - Olympics

So Mrs. 4444 hosts Friday Fragments. Always a fun way to end the week of blogging. Plus this is easier than writing a complete blog!

Mommy's Idea

Everybody is talking about the Olympics. We've got the dvr set to tape tonight so we can fast forward through some of it. I really don't need to see everyone walk in. A fast forward to check out outfits works for that part.

Watch for the men's gymnastics team. It is full of our university men. Of the 8 on the team, 5 went here. Awesome.

There are also a couple of women's track and field competitors from here also. And then one of the coaches from Whitney's school is with the kayak/canoe team. Bet you didn't know that Oklahoma City is the official US Olympic training facility for rowing, canoe and kayak. They host the trials and the training. Yes in the middle of nowhere we are THE place to train.

Did you know that there are more women on the US team than men? And that women are competing in every sport that men are. They added boxing this year for women.

With the internet there is no need to wait until the evening to see who wins an event. One year I tried to avoid any news of winners but I have given up that quest. I've figured out how to watch stuff live on my computer so I can have different events going on during the workday. Doesn't mean I'm going to watch, but I can listen to it instead of music.

I had to have blood drawn this morning and this is the first time I'm going to get a bruise from it. Normally they are so gentle but this woman was pretty rough. I won't be going back there again.

I am still being successful in my quest to not turn the oven on while it is 100+ degrees outside. The crockpot and the George Foreman grill are my best friends.

I learned something today about Ramadan. I knew that they couldn't eat during the day but I didn't know that they couldn't drink anything either. Wow, with it as hot as it is, that must be tough. Our student said that you get used to it. I'm always interested to learn about other people's religions.

We'll have to start the "last meal" cycle at home. Whitney goes back to college on August 7 and there are a few meals she wants before she leaves. She says that she never gets pasta because they overcook the noodles. For the spaghetti lover that she is, it is truly a sacrifice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hodgepodge Time Once Again

Hodgepodge question time from Joyce.

1. The Summer Olympics officially begin this Friday night...will you be watching? If you could see just one event in person which one would you pick?

I plan on watching the Olympics. Whitney is really into it so we'll be switching stations all the time. I can remember when you only got what NBC decided to show in the three hour block every night. Now you can watch everything. I downloaded the ap so I can watch video coverage of everything. If I could see one event in person I would probably say the gold medal game of men's basketball. I'm sure USA will be there and it would be neat to see them win it all.

I figured out how to watch the Olympics on the computer! Guess I know I'll be doing some of that during work hours over the next two weeks.

2.Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?
UNPRODUCTIVE!! I can't stay still and when I do I feel like I should be doing something. Don't get me wrong I can be lazy but I feel horrible about it.

3. July 25th is 'officially' Threading the Needle Day...can you sew? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread?
I'll say a 5. I made Whitney the cutest jumpers and matching scrunchies when she was little. But then she grew up and simplicity just wouldn't cut it for clothes. I do sew buttons on all the time and fix holes. I think we are going to try and make a seat cushion for Whitney to take to college so it can be customized for her room.

4. 'Threading the Needle' can also mean to walk a fine line between two things or issues (think awkward social situation). When was the last time you had to 'thread the needle', figuratively speaking?
I don't really know. I avoid any conversations that have the hot topics of politics and religion. I imagine those are the biggies.

5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy...your favorite bean?
I'm not really a bean person. I will eat chili/kidney beans in chili but I won't eat bean soup. And forget just having them as a side...yuck.

6. Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Was it more success or bust? We had a garage sale once and it was successful. Got rid of lots of baby stuff. Nowadays we just bundle up everything that we are going to get rid of and donate it to Goodwill. We probably do that 3-4 times a year.

7. What makes you roll your eyes?
Rolling of eyes are not allowed in our house...just ask Whitney.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I survived my boss's assistant being gone for two weeks! Phew. Nothing like covering for someone else while trying to catch up on your own work after your own vacation. Nobody was covering for me like I did for her. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be top dog.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Cleaning

The local grocery store had all Kellogg's products half off so I went a little crazy. When I got home I had no place to put things. So I had to buckle down and clean the pantry.

I decided to start at the bottom. The actual plan was to do just that area but I couldn't stop and did two shelves. Then my back decided I'd had enough so will have to finish another weekend.

I had to get all this in the bottom. We were smart years ago and bought some shelves to help keep things straight.

And guess what, it all fit.

I did the next shelf up and was able to get it looking good too. I still have three shelves to go but this was a great start.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fragments - Christmas in July Edition

Time to empty all that junk out of your brain with Mrs. 4444 and Friday Fragments.

Mommy's Idea

The radio station I listen to on the drive to work was playing Christmas songs today. They were hoping that Christmas in July would help people feel cooler. Since the temperature today is going to be 106 I think we need a little bit more than a song.

American Idol is in OKC for auditions today. The last two days they had sign ups and today is auditions. I wonder how many people got heat stroke waiting to sign up and then today to sing. Saw a photo of Ryan Seacrest and he was standing outside in a long sleeve shirt. You'd better watch out Ryan or you might get sweat pits under the arms. That won't look good on tv.

I am almost caught up on my after the vacation to do list at work. And that includes covering for my boss's assistant while she's on vacation and getting extra work this week. Sometimes I amaze myself.

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect recipe for dinner without heating the house. It's too hot to grill or use the smoker outside (plus I'm not sure how well they work). There is no way I'm turning the oven on. I'm trying to eat healthier and Dan can't really eat hard to chew foods. The new pasta dish I made this week was ok but not very flavorful. So will keep looking through all the food blogs I follow.

Normally I stay in my office at lunch but yesterday I finally used a groupon I had bought for a sushi restaurant. I have one friend who eats sushi with me so we met up and had two pretty good ones. The restaurant has a lot of original ones (a lot of them have jalapenos which we passed on). The best we had was called the tsunami. We also had a rainbow. Maybe we just like things named after natural phenomena.

Anyone catch the Project Runway premiere last night? Just looking at the before show and what they showed there, my money is on Ven. Some of those other people (I'm talking about you Kooan) are just plain crazy.

And so now my brain has been emptied and I can go back to my regularly scheduled work. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Gold Medal Goes To...Hodgepodge!

Wednesday Hodgepodge courtesy of Joyce From This Side of the Pond

1. The Summer Olympics begin next week and London is playing host. If you had the chance to go in person which (non-Olympic) London site would you most like to visit?

I think I'd like to see Buckingham Palace. I'm fascinated by how people live in those big places and don't get lost.

2. What is something in your life right now that feels like an Olympic event?
Staying cool. Let's face it, Olympic athletes sweat a lot. And with the forecast being 100+ degrees for the next week, I think I'll be sweating. 

3. What's your favorite supper to prepare and serve when it's too hot to cook?
I've been trying to figure this out for the last two weeks. I refuse to turn the oven on but I haven't found the perfect meal yet.

4. July 18th is National Get Out of the Doghouse Day...when was the last time you were 'in the doghouse'?
I'm never in the doghouse because I'm always right! :) Just ask my husband. LOL

5. What television advertisement do you find particularly irritating or inappropriate? You may not answer with 'all of them'. I know some of you were thinking about it.
We have a local one for At The Beach tanning salon. Why anyone would want to use this company by watching the ad I don't know. About 3 seconds of watching this and you will know what I'm talking about.

6. Share one piece of interesting news from the year you were born.
I know one piece about the day I was born. Women got the right to vote in the US. But for the year I have to google something. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was finished the year I was born.

7. What's the best part of your average day?
The stumper question came late in the list today. Maybe the joy of the dog every day when I come home from work as she knows she gets a chew stick. She starts waiting for me 30 minutes before and if I run late it confuses the heck out of her. The simple happiness she gets is quite amusing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
This weekend there was a fight in my bathroom. Well maybe not a fight but the aftermath certainly would lead you to believe there was. In the first corner was the bathroom counter.

In the other corner was Dan. His chin took eight stitches and he needs lots of dental work (7 crowns, 1 root canal).

So who do you think was the winner?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Big Bears

Alaska is quite proud of their bears and they should be. So there are lots of carvings and big bears.

I love the one with the binoculars. Makes you wonder if a bear could use them, would they use them to look at us?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fragments - I Need a Vacation

Time for Friday Fragments with Mrs. 4444.

Mommy's Idea

 Yes I just got back from vacation but you know what they say. You need a vacation because of all the work you have to catch up. Not only am I trying to catch up, I'm filling in for my boss's assistant who is now on vacation. I really don't need to be doing two jobs at once but guess that's why I'm appreciated.

I can't believe that my roses have continued to thrive and flower. I bought them thinking I would take a chance and I've had roses all summer. I make sure to water them every day so they don't dry out. But pretty miniature pink roses are my reward.

We still haven't showed Whitney all of our vacation photos. It seems that no matter how we try to view them we get stuck. The ipad is too small. Whitney's laptop wants you to open them one at a time (no slideshow). The DVR only will do a slideshow and not let you forward through them. I'm thinking I need to find a CD so I can burn them to it.

We went out for Mexican food this week and I was so disappointed. The place we went is near the house and it had been a year since we were there. There wasn't any flavor to the food, the cheese sauce was runny, the flour tortillas tough and the sopapillas were cold and tough. I don't think we'll be going there again. Plenty of others in town to choose from.

I need to return our unused rain pants this weekend. It was nice not to need them especially since they were going to be about 8 inches too long for me.

I keep playing Words with Friends and getting all vowels. I hate when that happens. Then I have one friend who I swear has the dictionary memorized. Where she comes up with some of these words I have no idea. I beat her once this week though and it was a major accomplishment. If anyone wants to play me I'm treinke65.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hodgepodge - Do We Really Need to Talk About the Weather?

Hodgepodge questions courtesy of Joyce From This Side of the Pond.

1. How often do you check the weather? How do you check the weather?

Well I work with weather people so I'm surrounded by it all the time. And to answer everyone's question, I don't know the forecast. I figure someone at work will tell me if I need to know something. I was obsessive about the forecasts for my trip though for packing purposes.

2. Since this is volume 84 of the Wednesday Hodgepodge, and since I (Joyce) got married in 1984, and since I'm (Joyce) attending a wedding this weekend it only seems right to post something related here.

"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."

Agree or Disagree. Why?

Not a fan of anything written over 100 years ago because I never understand what they are saying. So I don't know how to answer.

3. Do you like to dance? Have you ever taken dance lessons?
I like to dance. On my list of things to do before I turned 40 was to learn how to tango. So our university had a ballroom dance club that did lessons once a week. I went and learned the basic steps to the tango and a few other dances. Can I do them now? I have no idea. One of my friends was in the class and he is a big ballroom dancer. He says I'd be fine but I'm afraid I would embarass myself. I do embarass Whitney if I try and do dances even in the house. She looks at me like I'm crazy. No one seems to think its cute except me.

4. Fresh from the oven peach pie or home made peach ice cream? Pick one.
Hmmm. I like a real peach but the only peach pie or ice cream I've had is store bought so they weren't that good. I have nothing for comparison.

5. Should people accept unfairness and learn to make the best of it?
Life is unfair. Get over it.

6. The top five all time summer movie blockbusters (released between May and August and grossing at least 100 million dollars) are-Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (the original), Ghostbusters, and ET. Which one's your favorite?
Star Wars has a special spot in my heart since it was the first PG rated movie I ever saw. My mother said that if Amy Carter (the President's daughter) could see it, I could see it. I remember the excitement of the theater and I knew it was something special. Plus a young Harrison Ford is just too cute.

7. If given the chance, would you like to visit the moon?
Nope, don't want to be in a rocket ship or go to the moon or anywhere in space.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Whitney moves back to her dorm in 27 days. Since it is a different dorm than last year she needs new bedding (full size bed) and bathroom stuff (her own full size bathroom). Definitely her own style instead of mine.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Animal artists

Im sure you have all seen the paintings done by various animals. elephants, dogs, cats...you name it.

So at the Sealife Center the seals and puffins were the artists. The whole idea was so cute that I wish the paintings were a little cheaper. I would have bought one for sure.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Video Time - Animals

Going along with yesterday's post, have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride on a dogsled? First of all...AWESOME! I got to be the brakeman for most of the two miles (thanks to my wonderful husband and the older couple who didn't want to do it) but I did take a little video while Dan was the brakeman and I sat down.

Just a short few seconds but you get the idea from it.

We got to see some of the cutest puffins at the Sealife Center. There was one who was trying to climb up a log and slid down after making it halfway. Here's his second attempt.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sled dogs

One of my favorite things about our trip was the sled dogs. We saw them in several places.
These dogs are workers. While they accept people petting, it really isn't their thing like for most dogs. But boy they love to run. They are extremely intelligent too.

They prefer much colder than what we had. So the dogs were cooling off by laying in the snow. One of the mushers was in a tank top and shorts.

These dogs are federal employees at Denali National Park. They were a little calmer than the ones on the glacier.

The park ranger drove them in a circle. Not nearly as exciting as riding on the snow like we did on the glacier.

And of course this is what most people think of when they think sled dogs. The Iditarod. They have a little museum which was very nice.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Movie review - First Position

Whitney wanted to see this movie at the art museum this weekend. So I took her to spend quality time bonding vet a dance movie.

For those of you who have not heard of this (if you have...wow) it is a documentary about children trying out for a huge ballet dance competition. It was at the Sundance Film Festival and I had seen the trailer before. If you appreciate dance, you need to try and find this movie.

As a former dance parent, I'm used to what kids go through...or so I thought. These kids live, eat, breathe ballet. The torture they go through is horrible
And yet they love it.

The best dancer was a 14 year old who had been adopted from Siera Leone. She was so amazing. I watched her do one turn sequence and couldn't believe someone so young could do that.

So if you are a ballet fan, please find this movie.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fragments - I'm Back!

Did you miss me? Of course I entertained you with trip stuff but what about real life. So I present to you today my fragments courtesy of Mrs. 4444.

I stayed awake for 36 hours because of the red-eye flight back from Anchorage and then doing laundry and other things. I wasn't even tired last night but I decided it would be a good thing to go to bed at a decent time. I was asleep by 10:30 and up at 7 (a little overslept). A great night's sleep.

It got dark last night at night! That sounds funny but after two weeks of never complete darkness it was very welcome.

I got all my photos uploaded to a computer in addition to the ipad as I was doing on the trip. So many pictures. I wish you could label the pictures on the camera as you are taking them because I'm trying to remember which glacier/mountain some of them are. I might just say glacier and call it good.

I couldn't figure out how to post video from my ipad because it kept wanting me to put it on my youtube account and then it wouldn't let me log in. So here's the first video from the trip. Dan took it and you have to turn your head sideways because he turned the camera. I can't figure out how to change it and I don't think you can. It is video of me pouring champagne into the big tower they have on the ship. It took 30 minutes for 3 guys to put it together. I'd hate to be the one to make a glass fall. I show up at the 20 second mark.

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Reflections on our Vacation

As I sit in the airport waiting for our flight (11:50pm), I'm reflecting on what I will remember from this trip.

Views of mountains like this. I'll try and remember this as we swelter in 100 degrees.

Flying in a helicopter and riding with a dogsled team. The ultimate in winter travel.

Being waited on all the time. I didn't have to do dishes, cook meals or clean up after anyone.

Watching glaciers calve right outside my window.

Wildlife everywhere you look.

A glimpse of what life is like in a place with few roads.

But what I am looking forward to most when I get home is seeing this

My lovely daughter Whitney. I didnt have a more recent photo on the iPad except for last years graduation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kooky signs

Do you ever go on vacation and see stuff that you would never see at home? This is one of the great parts about traveling around the country. I love taking pictures of them.

I'm not quite sure what sealing bears is. I imagine it has to do with the hide but not positive. I don't think we even have bears back home other than the zoo.

This was for lodging in Seward. We didn't stay here but love the name.

This was in a IGA grocery store. I've never seen an aisle labeled like this. And this wasn't the only strange combination.

This is actually a book you can buy and there is a poster that shows pictures of them all. I resisted the urge to buy it for my office.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wildflowers of Alaska

It turned out that we were in Alaska at the height of wildflower season. Very different flowers than at home. Very pretty but most of the flowers were very tiny. Probably a result of a short growing season and the cold winters.

I have no idea what any of these are called. I'm terrible about remembering that stuff. So I'll just enjoy the beauty.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Camping Alaska Style

Before anyone thinks I'm camping, don't worry. I haven't gone crazy. I'm talking about other people in Alaska. There are more rental rv's here than I've ever seen. Many of the workers are seasonal and while we were in Skagway we talked to our tour bus driver about it. He said that their is such limited housing and the apartment owners won't let you sign a short term list. So there were three campsites in town for the workers to stay in. My immediate thought was shanty town. And it sort of looked like it. The site nearest to the cruise ships was cheaper but you had to pay utilities. There were people staying in tents for the whole summer. I think that would get pretty cold there and after awhile not fun. A few people had trailers on the back of pickup trucks. But the really neat one I saw was called an ALiner.

Come to find out it pops up in 20 seconds and it can be towed by small cars. This lifestyle certainly does not work for me. A lot of the people looked to be college aged and more adventurous than me.