Thursday, May 29, 2014


Last March my family bought an annual membership to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  For those not familiar, that is where Winter the dolphin lives.  Late in 2013 and early 2014, they were filming Dolphin Tale 2 at the Aquarium and had it closed for filming off-and-on for two months.  Because of that, they extended our membership through the end of this May. 

Last month I also purchased discount tickets to go to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa and they expire May 30.  So what's a girl to do when you are in the last week of the month and have passes to two places about to expire?  You go to both of them in the same day, of course!

We had been to Lowry only once and that was 3 years ago.  I remember there being animals as well as a few rides for the kids.  We've been to the Aquarium a couple times in the last year so I figured we'd spend less time there so we started at the zoo.

We spent about 3.5 hours at the zoo where we walked just about every path we could.  Being that it was 90 out we also stopped for snow cones.  Aside from the fact that they helped cool us down, we were able to dispense our own flavors.  I had a wonderful tropical fruity concoction while my kids had I have no idea what to call it... a fruity cacophony of flavors.

Unfortunately, the two rides my kids were most interested in were either closed or they were to big to ride  :-(  Did I mention they were water rides which meant our initial plan for cooling off didn't work.  Yay for snow cones!

We were able to see a couples shows, as well as see some animals up close.  So all in all it was a good time and I'm glad we did it.

Lorwy is one of 5 locations in FL that takes in hurt manatees

National bird.  Got to see one fly and heard their call (very different than what you think).

Baby is almost 2 years old.

One of my daughters favorite animals.  Flock flew by us and one right over us too.

After the zoo we drove over to the Aquarium and spent about 45 minutes there.  We got there just in time to see most of a Winter show / training session and got to see some of the changes that were made for the filming of the new movie.  Although this was a really short stop, I know Winter is a favorite of my daughter, so I'm glad we went since I don't think we'll be going back for a while.

Winter is way down there in the middle of the picture.  Down side of getting there late = bad view.

Only thing about the trip I disliked... the drive.  It's a long drive to begin with, but on the way home we encountered 2 separate accidents with overturned SUVs which had traffic backed up big time.  In fact, it delayed us so much that we didn't get to see my hubby before he had to go to work.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

As Memorial Day wraps up, I'm cutting expired coupons.  Lots of them.  To the point that I'm taking a break by typing this quick blog entry.  Expired you ask?  Yes, expired.  That's because, military personnel stationed overseas can use coupons up to 6 months after they expire.  Considering the cost of living in some of these locations as well as the miniscule pay they receive, I can only imagine that coupons truly help them meet their budgets.

This is not something I do just on Memorial Day.  I try to make it a monthly thing and I admit, sometimes I get behind (like I am now).  I will say, it is a bit more poignant today, because as I clip, I have opportunity to ponder all that our military personnel have done, are doing, and will do for me and my family.  I know it's not much, but it's just one simple way I can show my appreciation and support.

If you are so inclined to send your expired coupons to the military too, I'd recommend the following sites to help you figure out what, when, and where to send:

God bless and protect our troops!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kids have a Sixth Sense Too

Mom's have a sixth sense.  An eye-in-the-back-of-their-heads if you will.  Everyone knows it's true.  After all, how many times did you get caught doing things you KNEW your mom couldn't see when you were growing up?  I admit, I've honed this same "sense," and my kids are amazed when I catch them doing things.

But you know what I've discovered?  Kids have it too.  But their sixth sense helps them get up early on those days Mom gets up early to get things done while the kids are in bed.  I've been getting up at 7AM the last week and a half or so.  That's a big thing for me... I'm not a morning person.  Getting up at 9 is more my speed.  And 9 or 10 USED to be my kids speed, till I started getting up early.  Now they are up at 7:30 or 8.  And why can't I have some uninterrupted, productive time? 

My goal with getting up early was so I could get work done and give my kids more undivided attention later in the day.  Now all three of us are sleep deprived and cranky by the end of the day and the house is still a mess and I still have hours of work to do after the kids are in bed, but I'm to sleepy to do it.  Sigh.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Here Comes the Drill

It's official... I have a new dentist.  She happens to be the same dentist my daughter saw for all her fillings and her tooth being pulled, but it's the first time she's inspected MY teeth.   Now that we have dental insurance, I could actually go in and have my initial visit.

And what do I think of her?  So far I like her too (my kids already do).  She and her staff are very nice and thorough.  I admit, I went into this appointment with some trepidation.  You see, every time I went to my previous dentist I was told that I needed to floss better.  I wasn't the most regular flosser back then, but I wasn't horrible either.  Now I floss every night no matter how tired I am.  The only times I missed brushing and flossing was when I was so sick I couldn't handle the thought of putting something in my mouth.

So how did today go?  She applauded me on being a regular flosser.  Then she told me that I don't need to... SAY WHAT?!?  Apparently, rather than using floss I need to use something a little different because the gaps at the base on my teeth are so big that floss doesn't do the job.  She also helped explain why I tend to have issues with cavities between my teeth (just like my daughter, I might add). 

Although I DO need a couple fillings because of the gap / floss issue, I'm hopeful that the new method of cleaning between my teeth will prevent any future cavities.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Living on a Funny Farm

Well, we've done it again.  We took in another stray.  This time a rabbit.

As you can see it's really cute.  And the story of how we got it is rather sad (after all, we're suckers for a sad story).

We had an old fridge we were selling on Craig's List and someone came for it.  Apparently they'd been kicked out of their former home and had a new place lined up but there were NO appliances.  Thus they were looking for the cheapest running fridge they could find (which happened to be ours). 

So how did we end up with the rabbit?  Side note, I was not home at all during this time.  As they were getting ready to leave, they asked if we were interested in their rabbit or dog (We are not big dog people so that was out of the question).  I guess they either couldn't have pets or they didn't feel they could afford them.  Whatever, the case hubby said yes to the rabbit.  So, back to the side note... I get home and AS I'm getting out of the car the kids come running out of the house and say, "Mommy guess what?  Daddy got us a rabbit!"  My first thought - they MUST be kidding.  He wouldn't do that with all the animals we already have.  I was wrong.

We now have a rabbit, 10 cats (only one of which we consider ours), and 6 fish.  And we're thinking of getting some chickens soon.  Yep, we're crazy.

I will say this though... I have never seen my son more willing and interested in reading and looking up things than since we started getting all these pets.  We've come home with library books on fish.  He's done online research about them too.  And the rabbit research has pretty extensive as well. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cry Uncle

I'm a busy person.  I don't like to sit still for long.  Even when I'm "watching TV" I'm usually doing something else (working on my grocery list, knitting, working on my to do list for the next day, etc).  It's the way I've been as far back as I can remember.  My moto since I got my first job at 15 has always been, "I'd rather be busy than bored," and I stick by that because being busy helps the time pass by more quickly. 

But there is such a thing as too busy.  This evening after finally getting my kids to bed way later than I intended, I realized I still had so many things to do in preparation for the next 2 days, that I finally cried uncle and had hubby help me with a few things.  Under normal circumstances these things would be pretty simple (trash, cat care, dishes, etc) but here it is and it's almost 1am and I finally wrapped up the rest of list of prep items for tomorrow (minus a treadmill workout that I can hopefully squeeze in tomorrow).  If it weren't for his help, I'd either have starved the cats, let the dishes get crusty and hard to wash tomorrow, had rotting food in our trash can for an extra few days, or been up till 2 or so getting these things done.

Crying Uncle is a good thing.  Perhaps I should have done it sooner and given him a bigger list so I could have been in bed before midnight... Lesson learned for next time (I'm sure there will be a next time).

Now to get to bed so I can get up bright and early (for me) so I can enjoy endure have another busy day tomorrow.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Runnin' in the Rain

Well, I am happy to report that I finished the 5K today.  Being that there was thunder and lightening as the race started, I had some doubts about whether they would cancel it.  Because of all the rain we got yesterday and again this morning they also had to change the course a bit.  I got to dodge tree roots and a fair number of mud puddles and water puddles still.  I don't know exactly how I finished compared to the other racers in my age group, but I finished with my fastest time yet and with a hard push at the end so I'm happy.  Especially since it's my first 5K in 7 years and I really only trained for 2 weeks prior.

I think it's safe to say, I want to try this again.  A 5K is definitely something I can see myself doing on a somewhat regular basis.  And I can see myself getting faster if I train consistently.  In fact, I'm thinking of doing a night race in July.  My goal for that one will be to cut 4 minutes off my time from today.

Good news... tomorrow's training day is a 2 mile walk so I can do that in my old tennis shoes.  That's important since it will probably take a couple days for my shoes to dry out from today's run... that ankle deep puddle really got my feet wet.

Update: I was able to figure out how I placed.  11th for my age group and 135th out of 171 overall.  And one more thing... when the race started I was about 200 feet from the start line talking to a friend who wasn't running, so I could have done better just by starting with everyone else.  With the rain I wasn't thinking I'd do that well.  If I'd have known I'd do as well as I did, I think I would have tried a bit harder... next time.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pushing Through

I like to think of myself as an athlete.  I played soccer on a co-ed county league for many years.  I enjoy swimming, bicycling, and even weight training.  Running on the other hand... I like the idea of it, but I'm just not good at it.  A sprint I can do, but distances are not my thing.  So when someone mentioned there is a half-marathon in November that is supporting a cause near and dear to my heart, I thought about saying no simply because "I don't do distances."  But I heard this song on the radio and decided that I'm not going to use that as an excuse.  I may not get the best time, I may not even finish, but I'm at least going to try.

To that end, I'm running run/walking a 5K tomorrow.  While training the last couple days I've found that that 1.5 mile - 2 mile mark is my tough point.  But once I get past that, the rest is cake.  So here's to overcoming my fears, overcoming my doubts, and pushing through.