Sunday, November 08, 2009

For the Herb Lover

I saw this nifty little tool in a magazine and thought it was so cool.

"Easily identify and enjoy the most common culinary herbs. Move the tab to reveal which parts are best to use and how each herb can add life to your favorite foods. See the reverse side for helpful preservation and storage tips, a few easy recipes and some quick ideas to inspire you as you begin to experiment with fresh herbs."

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Good lord, what a slacker I've been. I have been getting better at updating my other two blogs though so give me some credit there lol.

So we did the vacation thing in August - went "up north" for a week.

First we headed up to Munising, MI to see the Pictured Rocks...

Then we headed down to Mackinac and spent an evening on the island. Love it there!

They had a butterfly house on the island, so we decided to give it a visit...very cool.

We made a trip over to Hartwick Pines one day...

We also hit up Traverse City for lunch at the Mackinaw Brewing Company, headed over to Glen Arbor to go to Cherry Republic winery/store/cafe and saw the Sleeping Bear Dunes along the way. We didn't attempt to climb them. Been there, done that. It's a GIANT sand dune that takes FOREVER to get to the top...I'll pass.

Back home, in August they had an air show at the base so we went to that. I think I got some pretty cool shots. I have a few more on my photo blog too.

Let's see...what happened in the month of September. Well we celebrated my brother's 24th birthday. Did the bar thing and had some fun.

Here's me with my brother and sister...aren't we a cute bunch? lol

And then we went back up north for Labor Day weekend. Just hung around the cottage, did a little drinkin'...good times.

After I got back from the cottage, it was back to work. I headed out to Rock Island Arsenal with Jill for a work trip.

See how much fun we have?

Then throughout September we went to a Mudvayne concert, Sausagefest (hehe), a Beer Festival and I went to the International Gem and Jewelry Show. I don't go for the loose beads, although they have plenty, but I like the glass rings and bracelet watches they have.

I think that about catches us up through September.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Trash the Dress Pics

So I decided it was time to trash my dress since I've been married, oh, going on 4 years now. And it still fits (actually it's a little big) so now was as good a time as any. Plus my friend Rachel didn't have any of these types of photos for her portfolio yet, so it worked for both of us :o)

Here's one pic...

And here's a link to the first blog post and the second blog post. There's quite a few pics on these links but if you want to see the whole gallery, email me at lostarz at gmail dot com and I'll send you the password for the full gallery.

I love they way they turned out!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back from vacay and more Cheeto updates

Well we came back from vacation today and went and picked Cheeto up. He's in pretty good spirits considering everything he's been through (and the cone he has to wear). Everyone at the vet loved him and were sad to see him go.

We were told that now even after the surgery, he's doing great except for the fact that he's not urinating on his own. Um, excuse me? They're saying because of his neurological issues that he may not be feeling the sensation of a full bladder. The whole thing doesn't make much sense to me though. How do we go from a bladder infection back in June to all of a sudden him not being able to tell he has a full bladder? Geez...from one extreme to the next with this cat. First he's peeing all over the house, now he won't go at all. So we get to express his bladder for him. Oh yes, you read that right. We haven't done it yet tonight since when we picked him up earlier around 5:30, they had just done it and nothing came out. BUT...just about 20 minutes ago he peed on a Shamwow we had on the floor. So hopefully that means he CAN feel his full bladder. We shall see...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Well Thursday sucked

Here's another vent post, but I felt I should share.

So Thursday morning Jim woke up early to take Cheeto to the vet around 6:15 so he would have enough time to get home and get ready for work. Well it was like 7:00 by the time he finally got back. Apparently the woman at the desk was a moron and Jim had to actually go back into a room to sign some papers. Seriously? It was just supposed to be a quick drop off. was fine, but he was a little rushed.

I get to work around 8:00 and notice I had three missed calls from Jim. I'm thinking something was wrong, so I call him back immediately. Apparently he had an interesting encounter after I had already left for work. See, we have this little tree outside our condo and we have a bird feeder hanging from it. The birds are pretty used to us by now and they'll fly away right when you walk out the door, but immediately come back to the tree. So Jim walks out the door, birds fly away, he walks to his truck and the birds fly back. Then all of a sudden they all fly away again and he notices a hawk swoop in and go after a sparrow. The sparrow flies to another tree about 6 feet behind Jim. Then the sparrow flies toward Jim and the hawk is following. Jim said in that split second all he saw was hawk claws and face and then felt the whoosh of the hawk's wings on his head. He needed a clean pair of shorts after that lol.

Then, at 11:00 I took our Edge up to U-Haul to have a hitch installed so we can take our bikes up north with us. I show up, tell the guy I'm there to have a hitch installed and he looks at me and tells me his hitch guy isn't even there. Well isn't that a great way to start off the conversation. I actually called on Monday to make the appointment and they told me a hitch wasn't in stock but that they would get one in by Thursday...fine. So the guy keeps asking me who I talked to (I had no idea) and he keeps telling me it isn't in stock. I said, I know it wasn't it stock which is why I called yesterday (Wednesday) to make sure it was going to be here. He basically did nothing for me and told me the closest one was in Toronto or Ohio. THEN he tells me that I must have talked to someone at the call center. Apparently if their phone rings twice and they don't answer it, it gets sent to a call center. Then when I made the appointment, how did the call center know where I wanted to go if they didn't ask me? None of that made sense and I left telling him I'd call him later if I needed the hitch overnighted from somewhere. I don't understand how you can operate a business like that!?!?

So I call Jim, tell him the situation and he gives me another place to call. I call the place and after a few annoyances, was able to make the appointment for today.

I call Jim back to tell him crisis averted, we will have a hitch. Then Jim fills me in on the conversation he just had with the vet. See, the doctor performing the surgery wasn't actually the one that we had been dealing with and that recommended the surgery. The one performing the surgery is the main guy, but we're not really a big fan of his. He tells Jim that he doesn't think Cheeto needs the surgery! Are you kidding me?! He says his urine stream is fine and that they would run some tests to see if there is more of a problem.

Two hours goes by and we hear nothing so I decide to call to find out what the deal is since by this time it's like 3:30 p.m. So I get the doctor on the phone and he tells me he thinks that Cheeto can't feel the sensation of a full bladder. He thinks this because when Cheeto stands, his legs seem to buckle. Uh, ya think? How about he's been like that since he was born and 3 years ago we took him to a neurologist for that very problem. They told us his spinal cord is too short and that he'll never walk normal. How about you look in the effing chart and note that your practice told us to see a neurologist. Seriously? I need this right now? So I explain all that to him, continue to tell him that Cheeto's peeing problem has been going on for TWO MONTHS and that we've had this surgery planned since Monday. What if he has an emergency when we're gone and my brother who's watching our other (low maintenance) cat doesn't realize it because he doesn't know what's "normal" for Cheeto? Then he says, ok, well you answered my question, I'll do the surgery. UGH!

So that was Thursday. Talk about some completely unnecessary stress before we leave for vacation.

So now I sit here, blogging (and venting) away, and ready to go away for a week. We SO need this vacation.

I talked to the vet today and Cheeto is doing well. We'll go see him tomorrow before we leave and pick him up next Sunday when we come home. Let's hope he's back to normal.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Looky what I got!

Isn't it purty? Unfortunately I'm just renting it for now, but it's always good to try before you buy! I wanted a longer zoom for our vacation so I decided to rent the 70-200mm f/4.0 IS lens. Plus I can find out if the f/4 is something I can live with or if I'd need want the (MUCH more expensive) f/2.8. Look for some pictures in a few weeks!

This is where I rented it from.

Cheeto Update

Well tommorrow he goes in for surgery. When Jim took him to the vet on Monday for his daily bladder squeeze, he wasn't really doing that great and the vet once again told us that Cheeto was a great canidate for surgery. Jim gave her the run-down on how we were leaving on Saturday for a week vacation and she mentioned that he could stay at the vet the entire time. He's going to need to be in medical boarding and then general boarding anyway, so in all reality he'll probably only be there a couple extra days. So now we feel MUCH better about the whole situation. He'll get the much needed surgery, will be taken care of at the vet and we can enjoy our vacation rather than worry about his condition at home with my brother trying to give him medicine. So that's that. Hopefully this surgery does the trick and we get our Cheeto back to normal!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I hate you post office!

I bought a backpack for my camera equipment about two weeks ago and it was delivered this past Monday via USPS. Since we're in a condo, the package couldn't fit in our little mail locker. And since we all know the post office has such friendly hours, I decided to wait until today to go pick it up since they're open 8:30-1:00. Well I'm not really the morning person and like to sleep in so I was in no rush to get there. So I show up at 12:30 only to see that their summer hours allow them to close at noon on Saturday! AHHHHHHHHHH! It would have been nice if that was noted on the little sheet they left on my door! After everything else this week I just wanted to scream! Oh and even better, their summer hours have them opening up at 9:00 during the week. Seriously?? So now I either have to go into work really late or go into work early so I can leave early to pick up the package. Like I said, I'm not a morning person so I don't go into work very early to begin with.'s just so annoying.

And the other stuff I was dealing with this week had to do with Cheeto. The medicine that a different vet put him on to help with his muscle control in his bladder apparently didn't work. This past Monday we realized it had been quite some time since Cheeto actually peed. He looked like he was in pain and when Jim went to pet him, he growled at him. So we took him to the vet and he ended up staying three days due to a major blockage, which really confuses me since he had already been on antibiotics for like 1.5 months.

He came home on Thursday and it seemed like nothing changed. He looked like he was in pain and was seriously dripping all over the house. We had to keep him locked in the bathroom all night and all day Friday with a litter box to see if he would go in it or not. PLUS, the vet wants us to bring him back for the next three days to make sure his bladder is small.

So I took him back last night for a tech appointment and end up talking with the doctor. She said since the blockage was so big he may actually need a surgery to remedy the situation. She said he still looks like he's spasming which is why when he tries to go nothing comes out, yet when he's laying there it drips out and he ends up sitting in his own urine...awesome. I said he looked like he was in pain so she gave him a shot of prednisone, an anti-inflammatory. When I brought him back home last night he seemed like himself again. I think the prednisone made him feel much better! Plus he stopped dripping all over the place.

So I have to take him back today and tomorrow and see how he is...then we'll decide if he needs the surgery. What really had us worried though is that we're supposed to leave for a week vacation on the 8th and he's still on medicine, and then what if we decide he needs the surgery? I had an epiphany last night when I realized my brother could stay at our house while we're gone. He agreed to it so now I feel much better, no matter what decision we make.

So that was my week in a nutshell. Hopefully later today we're going to go get some new cell phones. I love a new gadget! We attempted to do that last Sunday, but to no avail. It was around 5:30 p.m. and I mentioned to Jim about hitting up the Verizon store. I went online to check the hours and it said they closed at 7:00, cool, we had enough time to make it there. So we drive all the way out there (it's not that close to our house) only to find the store hours on the door say they close at 5:00! OMG! What is the deal with me and store hours??

Ok, so this was quite the vent post, but I just had to share.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Functional and Decorative

I saw this cute calendar in a magazine and just had to share. And for $34, it's a pretty good deal since it can be used as artwork too. I'm not sure if you can still get a calendar for 2009, but the 2010 calendars are coming soon. Also, check out the blog.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I really am quite the slacker...

...when it comes to updating this blog. I don't know what it is but I feel like I always need to have pictures in here and then I don't feel like uploading them and blah, blah blah.

So anyway, just a few updates for now:

- Family drama: not going to get into any details, but for a good week my stomach was in knots and I was totally stressed out.

- Cheeto is still peeing on the floor (although nothing last night). We've taken him to another vet and they did xrays and didn't find any kidney/bladder stones or anything so that was good. I guess since he does have some spinal issues, the vet is thinking that maybe he's having some loss of control in the bladder so we're trying a medicine that is supposed to tighten those muscles up.

- Work has been keeping me busy so that's good. Although since I switched teams I feel like I'm back at square one and I'll never be able to catch up and become a "subject matter expert" in my field. I know it all takes time, but I tend to stress myself out about that kind of crap. I don't bring it home with me but at work there's always a million things running through my head.

- Tonight we're going to the Kid Rock concert with some friends and I'm pumped! Love a good Kid Rock show! He was here last night too and it's a like a little block party down in the D. There's a second stage, chili contest, classic cars and a bunch of other stuff. And it's all free! Except for the actual show, but we've had our tickets for months.

Monday, July 06, 2009

ships, monkey jockeys, birthdays, fireworks and more

So it's been a pretty busy couple weeks. June 23-26th I was in Norfolk, VA for work with Jill. We had a few meetings to attend but we also got to do some of the touristy stuff. One night we ate at Todd Jurich's Bistro, had lunch at Kincaid's and then another dinner at Snappers. All of them were very good! We didn't get over to Virginia Beach but we checked out some ships.

...this one is in dry dock for repairs...very cool...

...this is the Battleship Wisconsin... she is at night...

...and here's Jill and I atop the large vessel...

So we flew back to Michigan on Friday the 26th and on our way home, swung by a gem and jewelry show in Novi. I got some really cool glass rings and some bracelet watches for like $5/each. Can't beat that!

That night were the fireworks and Stars and Stripes Festival in Mount Clemens, so Jim and I and my brother headed down there. We met up with my sister and her friend Doug and just sort of walked around, checking out the goings on. So we're walking down a street on the way to the bar and came across the Banana Derby. Have you ever seen anything so ridiculous??

...yes...that's a monkey in a little jockey suit on a dog.

Moving on...

We stopped in at Orleans and had a few drinks and played some darts and my boy... sis and her pal...

Once we left the bar, we headed down towards the water to watch the fireworks. And that pretty much sums up that night.

Now my birthday was actually June 30th, but we celebrated on June 27th. A bunch of us got together to hang out at Fishbones for some drinks, music and pool. It was a good night!'s me and Melanie...

...Jill and Ken... and Rachel...

...Rachel and her husband Fred...

...of course one of Jim and I...

...and my brother striking a pose for the camera...

Sunday (June 28th) we headed over to my parents house for a birthday dinner and some cake. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, cake.

Tuesday was my actual birthday. I got some cards, a bunch of birthday wishes on Facebook, Jim brought me flowers and we went out to dinner at Brio. All in all, it was a good birthday.

So this past weekend we headed to our cottage for the weekend. My parents were already up there and then Jim, my brother and I headed up there Friday. Saturday night we went into town to the beach for the big show. We got there around 8:00 so we had some time to kill.'s my sexy man...

...and Jim and my brother lookin' like badasses...

FINALLY at 11:00 the fireworks started and I was happy to get some good shots

I posted more on my photo blog.

And I think that's about it for now. I took a bunch of pictures at our cottage so I'm sure I'll be posting some of those in the near future.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not quite 30

So it's my birthday today! Celebrating the big 2-9. It's not too hard but it is a little depressing to only have one year left in my twenties. Oh well. Guess I should start popping out kids soon since I'm getting so "old" LOL.

I have a lot of updating to do since last week I was in VA for work and then we had a pretty busy weekend. Just wanted to stop in and say hi!

I'll leave you with a picture that I thought was pretty sweet. My brother took the picture and it was timed perfectly with my friend Melanie taking a picture of me...

And then here's one with me and my boy...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saw my first fishfly of the year today...

...and you know where I saw it? Down my shirt, chillin' in my bra. Nice. It was during our bike ride that it decided to fly into my shirt. Awesome.

For those not familiar with a fishfly (or mayfly which I think is the proper term for it), this is what it looks like.

These little buggers usually show up around this time, last for about 2-3 weeks and then disappear until next year. They are totally harmless but pretty disgusting. In some cities, party stores have to turn off all their outside lights as to not attract to many at night, but in the morning you'll still see them out there with hoses/shovels/brooms try to get rid of the aftermath. Oh and at a stop light later on in the night, you pretty much slide to a stop because of all the dead fishflies on the ground.

Here's a good description...they're pretty much useless.

Life Cycle: Adult mayflies are very short lived, surviving only one or two nights. During that time the adults mate in swarms in the air. They are also attracted to lights. Eggs are deposited while flying low over the water, or by dipping the abdomen on the water surface or some even submerge themselves and lay eggs underwater. Adult females lay eggs into water and often die on the water surface. Immature stages develop through several stages instars by molting during development. The number of molts varies depending on the species, temperature and water conditions. Immature stages then swim to the water surface or crawl onto rocks or plants. There, they molt into subimagoes with wings in seconds or minutes, which fly quickly from the water to nearby plants where they molt again into adults (imagoes). Mayflies are the only group of insects that molt after they have wings. In all other orders winged forms are as only found on adult forms, the last stage of development. A typical life cycle will last one year.

Pest Status:
Common aquatic insects that generally go unnoticed; occasionally, large numbers of adults (and subimagoes) emerge during certain times of year in synchrony and are sometimes abundant enough to be a nuisance; most problem situations occur when they are attracted to electric lights at night. They are medically harmless. Immature mayflies are an important food source for fish. Many lures and artificial flies are patterned after them.

They are definitely a nuisance in some areas around here!

Happy Day for the Fajah

So we went to breakfast this morning with Jim's parents and his brother and family. It was so nice of them to let us know that they had planned on doing this breakfast thing, oh, like 14 hours beforehand. We don't do the church thing and we don't have kids so we like to sleep on Sundays :o) I know, I know, it's Father's Day and all but this isn't the first time this has happened. I always feel bad for Jim though because Sunday is his only day off and he had to get up the same time today that he normally does for work. Oh well. My dad isn't even home this weekend. My parents are at our cottage but I did call to wish him a Happy Father's Day. The good thing about getting up that early is that we got a bunch of stuff done and still had the rest of the day to do whatever.

Our first stop was Costco. We noticed they had a coupon for the GPS we wanted to get so we were able to purchase that. We went with the Garmin nuvi 265WT.

Then after that I wanted to stop by the mall to find a few things to wear for work. I'm going to a meeting in Virginia next week and it's supposed to be like 90 degrees so I wanted something not too hot to wear. Well at NY&CO I found the cutest dress...

And while this can't really be worn to work, it will look cute with the black leggings I bought that I swore I'd never wear.

After that we hit up Sonic so I could grab a Cherry Limeade and then we went to a nursery so I could find a stand for my bowling ball. Bowling ball you ask? Why yes. My mom took an old bowling ball did some crafty stuff to it and made it a garden "statue". I think it looks pretty awesome and now I FINALLY have a stand for it.

Jim and I just got back from a bike ride and and I think I'm going to go relax for awhile. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Oh and here's me and Jill at the bowling fundraiser we had last night...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The vet is a pain

So last week our lovely Cheeto started peeing whenever and wherever with a little blood in his urine (sorry, a little TMI). I called the vet to make an appointment and since he was due for his yearly stuff, they wanted me to bring a stool sample too, cool, whatever.

So we get to the vet, he does his thing, diagnoses Cheeto with a bladder infection, gives us some antibiotics, tells us he wants to see Cheeto again when the medicine is gone and we go on our merry way. This was last Tuesday.

So on Tuesday of THIS week, I get a call from the vet telling me that Cheeto has roundworm. I asked the tech if I'm to assume that our other cat has it as well since they share a litter box. I mean, when we take them a stool sample they say it doesn't really matter which one it's from since if one cat has it, the other one probably does too. Well she told us NOT to assume that and to bring in a stool sample from our other cat Mowee. Fine. So I go tell Jim that Cheeto has roundworm and while he's a little confused since our cats are indoor cats, he says ok.

So at work yesterday I start thinking about the call from the vet and wonder why it would take an entire week for them to let me know Cheeto has roundworm. Did they analyze the right sample? Did they mix them up? Did they call the right owner? So I call the vet, pose my question and get put on hold. The tech comes back to tell me that it is indeed roundworm and they are not mistaken on that. Hold on a minute...that wasn't my question. My question was a) why did it take so long to tell me and b) are you sure you have the right cat? Then she tells me the test was run LAST Thursday! "Oh, nobody called you?" Uh no. "Well they're supposed to call you when they get the results". Well they didn't. So then I ask HER if I should assume my other cat has it as well and she says yes. WTF?! Do these people have any idea what they're talking about? Do they communicate with each other? Did they have different books in school or something?? So I say yes, I want the medication for BOTH of my cats and I'll be up there later to pick it up. It was about 2:30-3:00 when I called.

So at 6:00 when I go to get the medicine, they don't have it ready for Mowee. Seriously?? I was SO annoyed at this point. Then there's confusion in the computer system, confusion with why Mowee was prescribed more when Cheeto weighs more and is actually the one that was diagnosed with the roundworm. UGH! Apparently we give them a dose now and then in three weeks give them another dose, wait a week, take in another stool sample and hope the worms are gone. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong.

These pills aren't small. Cheeto we have no problems giving medicine to. He's had his fair share of vet visits and medicine so he's pretty easy. Mowee on the other hand? Forget it. Liquid is probably the easiest, or really tiny pills but these roundworm pills? No way. So we gave it the old college try. We tried different techniques, different positions. There was no way she was taking this pill. So now, we've decided to just take in a stool sample of hers to have analyzed and if she does have roundworm, the vet can give her the pill.
Oh and at the vet I asked if there were any known intestinal side effects from the pill since Cheeto already has some issues. It took us forever to find a combination of foods that doesn't mess him up so we hate to disrupt his intestines with anything lol. The tech tells me he doesn't think there are any side effects. When I get home, Jim opens the packaging and reads: SIDE EFFECTS: GI SIDE EFFECTS ARE POSSIBLE BUT UNLIKELY FROM THIS MEDICATION. Down a little further it reads: CATS AND DOGS MAY EXPERIENCE SALIVATION, ANOREXIA, VOMITING, GAGGING AND DIARRHEA WHEN GIVEN THIS MEDICATION. Sweeeeeeeeeeet. And guess what? Cheeto's puked like 3 times since last night and has gross poo. Cool.

Man I hate giving him medication.

Look how sad he is...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You know you want it - XII

Jazz up your plain jane shoes with some fun shoe clips from Absolutely Audrey

Love these fun flower pins from Linda & Harriett

I thought this cuff from GS Lillian was really cute.

Apparently I have a thing for pink cake stands because I blogged about one in another post. This one is from nowdesigns and can be found here

I just thought this pillow from Pier 1 was really cute and girly