Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What are your plans for Easter? Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner?  Dyeing eggs? Attending a sun rise service?  Eating too much chocolate?

Mom is hosting Easter dinner, we're cooking up a tri-tip, a ham, some salads, and a lemon meringue pie. My aunt is bringing a cheesecake, too. We haven't dyed eggs in years, but we always eat too much chocolate!
2.  What is something you feel too young to do?

To start coloring my hair to cover gray hairs! lol
3.  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."  
Of the characteristics mentioned in the biblical definition of love which do you find most difficult to live out and why?

 I would think "keeps no record of wrongs", simply because so many people don't forget how someone wronged them.

4. What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?

Hmmmm. I have no idea.
5.  Ever sung karaoke? If so, what's your go-to song? If not and you're given the opportunity, would you?

I've sung karaoke before but always in a group. And practically forced onto the stage. I refuse to subject poor innocent people to my major lack of singing skills. I'm nice that way.
6. What is something you keep in a basket?

My random crap. My little basket (courtesy of Mom), sits on the corner of the kitchen counter.
7.  When was the last time you felt foolish?

Pretty much every day. lol
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 I freaking love Top Gear. I'm your typical girl and know next to nothing about cars. I mean except how to drive, gas up, and I can find where the oil goes. So for me to love a show about cars is kinda strange. But really. I freaking love that show. Tanner, Rutledge, and Adam do some of the stupidest things ever, but it typically winds up pretty funny. Here's one of my faves. (I should probably mention that Tanner is a professional driver, and one shouldn't attempt what he's doing)


Monday, March 25, 2013

100 Things I Love About The USA: Part 6

I'm doing a post of things I love about the good ol' USA. To catch up on previous posts, please click here. And in no particular order, I continue!

#21. We've got "Amish Country". The three largest Amish communities are in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. I personally have visited the Amish community of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Yes, you read that right. I even took a local paper with the name of the town on it for proof. I also bought the best homemade snickerdoodles from an Amish roadside stand. While our group felt uncomfortable riding around in an air-conditioned bus peering out our windows at Amish farms, we were in awe of beauty of their community.

A Pennsylvania Dutch farm

A typical Amish horse & buggy, their preferred method of transportation

These communities do not have modern day conveniences of electricity, indoor plumbing, automobiles, or telephones. They live simple lives with very strong community ties. While they are typically fluent in English, often times they will speak Dutch/German within their own communities. The Amish came to America starting in the 18th century to flee war, poverty, and religious persecution in Europe. If you ever visit Amish country, please remember that the Amish do not like to be photographed.

#22. The dependable "like a rock", Chevrolet cars and trucks "run deep" in America's auto history. Formed in 1911 to compete with Ford Motor Company, it was founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted General Motors executive, William Durant. Chevrolet was acquired by General Motors in 1918, and has been one of GM's top selling brands. It's brought us trucks, the Bel Air, the Corvair, the iconic Corvette, the Suburban, and their new electric hybrid, the Volt. I, myself, am a Chevy girl. My first car may have been a used Subaru, which I loved, but the two cars I have purchased myself are Chevy's.

Chevrolet 490, 1916

#23. Our love for helping others. From the soup kitchen to 4-H/Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts to donating blood to the PTA to the YMCA to therapeutic riding to volunteer firefighters, Americans love to help. Roughly 70% of all firefighters across America are volunteers. Whenever some kind of disaster happens, people are there to help victims of tornadoes and hurricanes, and in hard economic times. We may be divided about a lot of things, but when the shit hits the fan, we come together.

#24. Customer Service. Now, we have all had horrible customer service at one point or another. But America is obsessed with delivering good customer service, to the point where it drives us employees insane. No, really. But since no one ever wants their boss or customer to say to them, "You suck. You're fired", we do everything we can to please the customer. We want customers to come back; enjoy their shopping or dining experience enough to want to repeat it willingly. We smile and greet customers as they walk in our establishment, ask them how their day is going (even if don't really care because in all honesty, we're probably not going to remember it by the end of the day), ask them if they found everything okay, etc. The point is, wait staff want tips; sales people want commission; employees want good reviews every year; and managers/owners want customers to come back - meaning, you, the customer are the most important. Because without you, nobody would ever get a freaking paycheck.

Because NO ONE wants this.

#25. Friendliness. As a general rule of thumb, Americans really are friendly people. We love tourists from abroad - probably because we love your accents most. Even in large cities, people will still smile at you when you walk down the street. Not all the time, and my few hours in New York City scared the shit out of me, but that's my experience. Why, in the grocery store, I smile at people I pass and they smile back. The other day I gassed up my car and an elderly gentleman wish me a "good morning". People will hold the door for you, let you go ahead in the line if you only have two items and they have a cartload, and will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. March 20th is the first day of she a lion or a lamb in your part of the world?
 I'd go with lamb. Here in northern California we've been having 70* (F) days, which has been pretty awesome. Although we could really use some rain still. And today (Tuesday) a storm moved in and started raining around 2pm. We don't expect a ton of rain from it, but we'll take it.

2. What's the most dreaded task on your spring clean to-do list?  Do you have a 'plan of attack'?
Well, probably waxing the 5th wheel. My parents say they'll pay me, and since I'm looking for work again, I should be a smart girl and take it. But it's so big. lol

3. 'em or hate 'em?  What's a favorite dish you make using peas?
I'm a pea hater. Although, oddly enough, the one (and only) time I ever ate Japanese food, the peas were my saving grace. And the water. I'm pretty sure the waitress thought I was a camel. A pea loving camel. But normally, I hate peas.

4.  Do you feel under appreciated?
Usually only at a job. My friends and family are pretty good about telling each other how much they are appreciated.

5. Have you been using Google Reader?  If so, what are you switching to now that GR has announced retirement?  If not, how do you read your favorite blogs?
I haven not used Google Reader. I tried it once and I didn't like it. I've just been getting my blogs on my Blogger Dashboard. Simple and easy.

6. Anne Bradstreet is credited with the following quote~
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 
Agree or Disagree?  Why?
I agree. If you've never had to struggle for anything in your life, then you have no idea how good you actually have it. You then also have no respect for those that struggle every day with something.

7.  When did you last 'spring for something'?  What was it?
 Um . . . lunch with Mom last week? Although I used a gift card, so I'm not really sure that counts. lol I did spring by jumping up and down when my BFF told me that a country band from my childhood that sings my absolute favoritist song ever is playing at her county fair in the Bay Area in July. Because I'm totally going.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My job and I parted ways recently. I was so unhappy, I usually felt physically ill going to work every day. I also couldn't please the office manager, no matter how hard I tried or how often I tried to change who I was. I never felt like I belonged there, I was so afraid of making a mistake because when I did, the manager would berate and belittle me. So I'm currently looking, again, for employment. It's depressing, looking for work. I'm checking online every day, and I'm signing up with a temp agency to see if they can help at all as well. Keep your fingers crossed that something comes my way.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino?  Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?

I think money was a prize for the bingo games my Mom and I played on the cruise ship years ago. I have visited casinos but I'm not much of a gambler. That and there's too much noise. And cigarette smoke. I have never personally bought a lottery ticket, although I went in on the employee pool at an old job a few times. Oh and yes, I have placed a bet on a horse - two whole dollars! lol I was just a kid and my parents and I saw the horse races in Sacramento. We watched three races, and we each bet $2 on our choices and we each won one race.

2.  Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day? Mashed-baked-hash browned-french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?

My stomach just churned. Nope.

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over? 

I have no idea . . .

4.  What's at the end of your rainbow?

It better be a pot o' gold, dagnabit! Nah. Just happiness. The gold can't buy me that. It would just pay for stuff.

5. March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-March, 1945).  Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time.  Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal?  Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journaling something new for you?

I read The Diary of Anne Frank in high school. I bought my own copy from the Holocaust Museum in D.C. It's something that has stuck with me since the first time I read it. Everyone should read it, or at the very least, watch the movie. Trust me when I tell you, both will leave you with chills running down your spine.

I have kept a diary since I was a little kid. I think my parents bought me my first diary when I was around 7 or so. I don't write in it very often anymore, but I do still write in it.

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?

I don't think I own anything that has that many colors on it. lol

7.  Write a limerick with you as the subject.  You can do it!!  Just remember this is a family friendly blog...don't make me get out my wooden spoon.

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
And down he run,
Hickory, dickory, dock

Oh wait. That one's been done. . . . lol

(BTW, I'm so not gifted at rhyming. Also, I know the wooden spoon won't be needed! lol)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

An update on the gal that told me I was "insensitive" and called the doctor a "butcher": 

She called UC Davis Vet School, who told her to call her veterinarian, aka the so-called butcher. She came in to see the doctor who had a very frank conversation with her. The doctor told her, "If you ever speak to or treat my staff the way you did, or myself, you will no longer be a client of ours."

And Peanut, is doing very well. The lady brought Peanut in for a check-up and I held her while she signed in. I got tons of puppy kisses, which kinda made up for the fact that her owner was, um, rude . . . to put it nicely.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. My real life friends came through with another question this week so thank you real life friends. When you've eaten in a restaurant do you complete their comment card? Do you take online surveys highlighted at the bottom of store receipts? 

I don't usually fill out their comment cards, mostly because the waiter might remember my face with the comment card, and if I didn't say something nice, they might ban me. lol

I typically will only say something if the service was atrocious. And I've only complained about restaurant service to the restaurant once. My BFF and I went to a restaurant for lunch about 10 years ago or so, and our waitress basically forgot about us once we ordered our lunch. We had to ask other servers and even the poor hostess for drink refills, that I got the wrong order when my food came out, and at times, just ask where our waitress was - which no one ever knew the answer to that one. It was the only time ever that I left no tip, because I was so pissed. I got home and went online and relayed the whole story to the company. I got a letter in the mail from the manager of that specific restaurant who gave me a voucher for a free meal and appetizer, with his apologies and that what had happened was inexcusable. About a year later, the restaurant went out of business in our town.

2. The (US) ban on women in combat was lifted at the end of January. It will probably be next year before specifics are worked out, but its been reported over 200,000 front line positions will eventually open up to women.  Your thoughts? 

Be careful what you wish for, ladies.

3.  In looking back at all the blog posts you've written, what's your favorite post title

Is it wrong that I have no idea? lol
4. What's worse-overly permissive parents or overly protective parents?  Did your own parents lean more to the permissive or the protective category?  If you're a parent where do you fall? 

My parents were pretty protective, but because I was a pretty good kid, they were permissive in certain areas. Really, I had it pretty easy growing up because my parents were pretty freaking awesome.
I think being too much on one extreme or the other is bad no matter how you spin. You have to find a comfortable medium.

5.  Candlelight-moonlight-firelight-bright lights in the big city...which one's your favorite? 

Anything but bright lights in the big city.

6. Dr. Seuss's birthday was celebrated on Saturday. What's a favorite book you remember (Seuss or otherwise) from your own childhood?  Did books play an important role in your growing up years? Explain. 

But No Elephants. My mom used to read this to me all. the. time. I could hardly get enough of it. I know I still have it somewhere in my parents house with my other kids books. I can't wait to read it to my future kids.  

Books played a huge role in my childhood. Once I could read, I almost always had a book in my hand. My love of Arabian horses is solely because of The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley that I read as a kid. I hope that my future children will enjoy reading as I and my parents and my grandparents all have.

7.  To quote Dr. Seuss...
"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." 
from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Share something funny you've recently read, seen or heard.  

I put a client and their pet into an exam room. The dog was obviously not wanting to go because, duh, it's a vet clinic, and the owner was embarrassed because "usually her dog is so much better behaved than this." (Of course) We eventually make it into the exam room and I tell her the doctor will be in to see her in just a moment. As soon as the door is shut, I hear her say to her dog, "What's the matter with you?! You're embarrassing me!!"

I nearly lost it. I clamped my hand over my mouth and nose and went farther into the back where I laughed my ass off.

I felt sorry for the dog, by the way. lol 

Also? Exam rooms are not sound proof. Just an FYI. lol

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This conversation played out Monday night while watching TV:

Dad (to himself, trying to pull his afghan up): Well you can't pull it up if you're standing on it, stupid.

Mom: Especially if it's your underwear.

Mom nearly choked on her ice cream and I nearly choked on my popcorn - from laughter.

Because it's totally true.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

100 Things I Love About the USA: Part 5

I'm doing a series of things I love about the good ol' USA. To catch up on previous posts in this series, please click here. And in no particular order, I continue!

#16. Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. It's one of the largest protected lands/water area in the world.

This whole area used to be one large glacier until somewhere in the 18th century, when it began retreating - it's retreated 65 miles in the last 200 years. There are 50 identified glaciers in the area. Three quarters of the people who visit this majestic part of our country are cruise ship passengers.

John Muir Glacier

#17. They Mighty Mississippi River. It's a right of passage for every child to be able to spell Mississippi quickly. This river runs from near the Canadian border over 2,500 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

Between all of its tributaries, the Mighty Mississippi drains all or part of 31 states between the Rockies and the Appalachian Mountain ranges (so basically the entire Mid-West), and also two Canadian provinces. It's widest point is in the southern region, where it's over 1 mile wide. This river was a huge turning point in our Civil War (1861-1865), since it was used largely for shipping of supplies. And it still is used this way today.

While this river helps make all this land some of the most fertile anywhere, this river also causes so much devastation when it floods. This river has several tributaries, the largest are noted on the above map, and when they flood from rainfall and/or snow melt, so does the Mississippi.

#18.  Nothing says "America" like the Statue of Liberty. This world renowned landmark nearly never came to fruition due to lack of funding in the economy of the 1870's, as we Americans were to front the bill for the pedestal. In the end, the majority of contributors donated a dollar or less. Our Lady Liberty was built by the French in bits and pieces, which were shown off bit by bit before being shipped in crates to America. In the 1980s the statue to was closed to the public due to major structural issues - her arm was swaying too much and had been found to have been improperly attached in the first place. Also? Her head was two feet off-center. (REALLY.) It was closed after 9/11. Parts of it were eventually reopened bit by bit until recently when Hurricane Sandy devastated the entire eastern seaboard. It's unknown when it will be reopened again.

 Post Hurricane Sandy, 2012. The Statue is structurally sound, but the island's infrastructure isn't.

Dedicated in 1886, our lady represents the Roman Goddess of freedom, Libertas, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776, and at her feet lay the broken shackles of oppression and tyranny. This majestic lady has welcomed millions of immigrants and vacationers alike. And just for fun: her crown has 7 rays on it, representing each of the 7 continents, her waistline is 35 feet, weighs in 225 tons, and her face is 8 feet tall.

#19. The Golden Gate Bridge in the one and only San Francisco.

Built in the early 1930s, the bridge is actually named after the strait it straddles - the Golden Gate Strait. The bridge itself is "International Orange" in color. It cost $35 million to build back then, but if it were built today, it would cost well over $1 billion. They also have "reversible lanes" - with a total of 6 lanes of traffic, they can decide how many lanes will be open to northbound or southbound traffic to offset congestion during peak hours. For example, for the morning commute there are 4 lanes of traffic going southbound into San Francisco and two lanes going northbound; for the evening commute they can change it to 3 or 4 lanes northbound out of the city, and 3 or 2 lanes heading southbound.

20. Mesa Verde National Park. I've been fortunate enough to visit this national park. And it was so cool!

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park.

This park, which isn't too far from Four Corners (which I wrote about earlier), so if you ever get a chance to visit one, you should visit the other. These ancient buildings were built by Native Americans starting as early as 600 A.D. and left somewhere around 1300 A.D. They built more than 600 cliff dwellings. President Theodore Roosevelt created this national park in 1906, to "preserve the works of man".

Square Tower House, Mesa Verde National Park.

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde National Park.

Here's the map to show you where I've taken you in today's post.