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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Giving up on the day...
Mood:  down
Topic: Ponderings

Here it is only 8:40am and I am thinking about giving up on the day.

I'm stressed out yet my vacation officially started on Thursday when I got off of work.

What the hell world? Did I need more shit to deal with?

So, yeah, Friday night the refrigerator seemed not to be working as well, and yesterday it was confirmed, it is basically dead. The freezer isn't frozen, and the fridge side is barely chilled. Thus, now I need to shell out like $1,300 to get a new refrigerator!

For Pete's sake - I am putting money into getting the house repaired all over the frinkin' place:

  • $145 a week to a handyman doing all the work
  • $1000 to the local hardware store of all the supplies
  • $1600 on replacing the hot tub
  • No numbers yet on how much the paint is going to cost to paint the entire outside of the house and garage/barn
  • No numbers yet on a new roof - thinking $5,000
  • No numbers yet on hiring an exterminator to make sure the house is bug free and all the wood is safe
  • No numbers yet on staining and sealing the deck

AND NOW - a new refrigerator! Seriously?

I am just sick and tired of this shit. I'm not made of money, and even though I saved for this stuff, all the unexpected crap my handyman keeps finding is starting to really get to me.

My vacation is basically f***ked and I am giving up and going to bed.

Oh, and did I mention that right before I started writing I got up to get a glass of water to take my morning Levothyroxin and slammed the pinky toe of my right foot into our library door? Yeah, let's hope that's not broken.

OH, and yeah, double great - I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning and Kyle needs to go to Wichita for his final orthodontist appointment tomorrow - wee!

Not a happy camper right now. Today is not the day to ask me for ANYTHING!

Yell

 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 8:49 AM CDT
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Saturday, 26 April 2014
The Cookbook is Published!
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: Celebration by Kool & The Gang
Topic: Recipes

Well, I have finally done it!

After twenty years of writing, researching, tasting, taking pictures and much hemming and hawing, I have published my cookbook - online!

http://www.angelfire.com/amiga/trippiehippie/Cookbook.html

I am planning on reviewing it once more before it goes to print. Especially the breakfast section which I think could stand some re-writes and a new picture for the Bacon Cinnamon rolls. Will I ever truly be done?!

I thought I was truly finished two weeks ago until last night when the kids got hungry and didn't really know what they wanted. POOF - I created a new recipe called "I've got a craving & they don't deliver" Chinese Food - which kind of what I used to do in college - find stuff around the kitchen and throw it together. The children rated it with FOUR STARS, so I HAD to add it to the cookbook. Thus, the Meats section got another recipe since this wasn't really "Chinese Food" per se. If you want to weigh in and tell if you think it belongs in the Asian Pacific Islander section, please find the recipe, make it for yourself, and let me know. If I hear from enough of you, I'll move it Wink

I've also updated my LinkedIn profile was planning on updating Facebook.

 

Right now, though, I am chair dancing to Kool & the Gang!

 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 4:43 PM CDT
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Saturday, 23 November 2013
The return of the Blogger
Mood:  cool
Topic: What's Been Happening

What a long strange trip it has been…seriously. Those words hold so much meaning for me.

Since the last time I blogged on my own website in 2011, I have been using Facebook and Facebook notes more often to express my thoughts and whatnot other than my blog. It was easier, faster, all everyone would actually see it rather than this sad little blog nobody reads. Well, I’ve decided to go back to blogging and get more said and off my chest.

I won’t be able to everything that’s happened to me since May of 2011 – if you want that detail go find me on Facebook and read all that crap I posted – which is a LOT. No, that’s not what this is for, just to regurgitate what I wrote on that site. I am stepping back into the Blog-o-sphere to do more than that. I want to say what on my mind without commercial tags floating beside my words. That IS why I pay for my own domain name.

Well, I’m back, and if anyone is reading this – which I know you aren’t – you might like to know what’s inside this wicked head of mine. Onward to utilizing my free speech powers once more!


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 9:04 AM CST
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Monday, 9 May 2011
Does our house hate us?
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Bob and Tom's Morning Show
Topic: Tired

Sometimes I wonder if our house hates us. The temperatures this weekend were in the upper 80's and low 90's and thus the ambient temperature has been sharply higher than the last two weeks. Last night, our house decided that it was happy being warm and turned our air condictioning off. Yes, we are without air condictioning right now. It is 5:30am and has to be near 80 in our house. It was NOT fun trying to sleep. My poor baby, Matt, hardly got any sleep at all.

Oh, wow, the radio guy just announced it is supposed to be a record setting high of 98 degrees today. Great. Matt has decided to stay home from work and get the AC fixed. I have too many deadlines and crazy stuff at work that needs to be done for me to stay home. Right now, the front door is open, we have three box fans going and ceiling fans in all the rooms that have them working away. We just can't open "any" window, as most are so old, they don't open. As soon as it is light out, Matt's planning on opening the back door. It's 68 outside, so trying to get the cool morning air into our house until the HVAC people get here is our current priority.

It was a year ago today that I had to buy a new car because my old Pathfinder died. Now, it is the AC. Why does the month of May have these issues? We were so close to paying off the amount we borrowed from our savings for the car. I am really hoping it is merely something small and that we don't need to buy a new unit - cha-ching.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 5:52 AM CDT
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Friday, 6 May 2011
Hitchhiking
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Bob and Tom's Morning Show
Topic: Ponderings

Yesterday driving to work, I was passing the Hydraulic exit in the midst of what passes for rush hour traffic in Wichita, when I spotted a man walking on the side of the road. He had a large hiking backpack and what was obviously a single person tent rolled up on top of it. He looked like the hippies that used to follow The Dead around - long hair, beard, tie dye t-shirt, flannel tied around his waist, etc. I thought to myself how odd to see such a familiar sight in Kansas of all places. Guys like this one were commonplace in Northern California on the road between Trinidad and Ferndale - a thirty mile span encompassing McKinleyville, Arcata, Eureka, and Fortuna.

 

Had this been California, and had I been in my old Volvo, and had it been ten years ago or more - I might have stopped to give this guy a ride; my how things have changed. I've only picked up three hitchhikers in my life, and only one of them was a man, and that was in Valencia of all places AND he turned out to be a great connection to a job with Dell Arte School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake! The other two were women who were obviously stranded on the side of the road - car plainly in sight either smoking with the hood up or flat tire without a spar. It was common courtesy on my part helping another woman in need of aid. I couldn't consciously leave another woman stranded when I could provide assistance and other people were callously leaving said woman on the side of the road. Especially so in NoCal when it could break out in sudden rain in the blink of an eye in certain season, and when it was so scarcely populated in certain areas.

 

I have never hitchhiked though. The closest I have come to it would be the time I caught a ride with Chrissy and Stacy on our way back from Magic Mountain with three guys we met there with Chrissy's church group. I really don't think of that as "hitchin' a ride", and it was hardly dangerous as either Stacy or I could have beat the crap out of the guys easily - scrawny as they were.

 

I have been with others in a car when the driver stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. Lisa Hoffman will remember that one forever, won't you Lisa! Talk about a strange turn of events - Elk Dancing, frog hunting in Fern Canyon, lawn chair surfing, and then picking up some guy needing a ride to the Chevron. Wild day that was!

 

David, my beloved brother, had his share of hitchhikers - which he so generously shared with me - literally. Like the time he was driving back from Seattle and stopped by my house with his "three friends". It turned out, so I found out as David and his friends ate my Thanksgiving leftover and then turned to leave at 1am, that one of his friends was in fact a hitchhiker they picked up on the road. By the time I found that out, the hitchhiker was dead to the world asleep on my living room couch and David and his friends were out my door, entering their pick-up truck and almost out of my driveway. Yeah, I slept well that night! NOT.

Yell


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 6:20 AM CDT
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Thursday, 5 May 2011
Dreams about climbing?
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: Bob and Tom's Morning Show
Topic: Ponderings

Most of the night, I dreamt about climbing a very tall building. It was an incredibly difficult 'free climb', no ropes, only finger tips. But...

  • I am affraid of heights
  • I've never climbed anything in my life (mountain, tree, fence, etc.) 
  • I was wearing a peasant shirt, long skirt, and Birkenstocks
  • I was age 17 in the dream

Now, does climbing a building have any significant meaning? I sure don't know, but boy was it an odd feeling. I don't mean odd feeling like "wow, I'm climbing a building" because in my dream, climbing the building was a no brainer for me. I knew how to climb it. It was tiring, challenging, but it was totally something within my skill. The odd feeling came with the knowledge that I would be arrested when I reached the top. Yet, I still kept climbing as if I didn't care I would be arrested.

The building was similar to the federal building in the Westwood area of Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd, at least in my mind. It had the feeling of the federal building, as if climbing it would get me in trouble. If you have no idea what the building I am talking about looks like, Google it. There are plenty of pictures of this monolith of a building. I have been to that building many times. When UCLA had its annual Homecoming Carnival parking at the federal building was a common practice. I parked there when I went to go see the Jerry Garcia Band play at the Pauley Pavilion arena on the UCLA campus April 16, 1993. That was my last time being close up and personal with that building.

The first time I was truly up close and personal with that building in LA was a protest in high school. The protest was about getting all citizens and states of the US to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. day. It had officially been made a federal holiday but a-holes like John McCain and the Gov. of Arizona refused to recognize the holiday. It was a well attended protest, and I remembering feeling very good about being there. So, I don't have bad memories of the federal building.

Why then should I be climbing this building in my dream?  I haven't a clue. I awoke feeling both sore, yet mentally refreshed. Sore? Yes, as if I had been climbing all night. Perhaps I was. I'll have to ask Matt if I was climbing in my sleep when we meet up for dinner after work tonight.

Cool


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 6:03 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Memories of Learning How to Drive
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Ponderings

My step-daughter Michelle will be turning sixteen in July, and starting this past January I have begun to teach her how to drive. I took her out early on a Sunday morning about 45 minutes before sunrise and let her drive around the empty parking lot at the high school. It was the first time she was behind the wheel of a car, and it went fairly well by my estimation. It did bring back memories for me though.

 

I was taught how to drive by both my mother and my father. My experience with my mother was in a large parking lot at night somewhere in El Segundo - like the E1 building formerly owned by Hughes Aircraft. There are curbs, stop lights, and parking of course, but there is also a fairly large road that runs around the whole facility. It was blessedly empty as I went for my first drive in our white 1984 Toyota Corolla. Later, my father took me driving in his truck - on the street. I remember the first time I hit 55 mph driving west on Jefferson Blvd. headed through what was then the marshy area between Centinela and Lincoln. It was pretty cool, and very exciting. The 405 freeway was another feeling entirely. My poor father must have had nerves of steel to do that, teaching me to drive in Los Angeles traffic. I will say this though, out of everyone I know, with the exclusion of my father, I can parallel park like nobody's business. He taught me how to do that in a full size pick up truck on LA streets parking between two sub-compacts. Yeah, seriously! I learned how, and scored 97 out of 100 on my drivers test; passed first time out of the gate. Thank you, Daddy!

 

I've been driving now for more than 22 years and it still seems a fresh memory in my mind. The wind coming through the window as I hit 55 on Jefferson, my dad's face, cheerfully smiling at me, and him telling me, "Good job, Pun'kin" - it's all so clear, like it was yesterday. Laughing


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 9:11 PM CDT
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Monday, 13 December 2010
A bit implusive, but why not...
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Ponderings

This morning while searching through my dresser I came across a CD that I've had for over ten years, nearly 13. It is a CD of piano instrumentals written and performed by a former boyfriend/love from my youth (age 16). It kind of blew me away seeing it there in my dresser drawer next to my good jewelry. I've kept it as one of the last things Brian ever gave me. I have but one picture of us together, the very same that I had put in my Sr. yearbook on my half page in the back. I had kept all of his love letters to me until I married Matt, and I threw them away, moving on with my life in early 2003. *Note* I kept those letters even though I married Mike Arrasmith! LOL - now that is telling. I would bet a silver dollar if there was a love meter out there I loved Brian more than I ended up loving Mike Arrasmith!

Anyway, I love my husband, Matt, more than I love any other person in the world (yeah, I think I can say that even including my family), and those letters just reminded me of how much I hurt Brian (blogged on that back in September 2008) and lost him as a friend, and oddly enough, they reminded me of my bad choices with men - loosing Brian, getting engaged to Jack, marrying Mike.

Well, now that there is such a thing as Facebook, and that CD planted Brian's name in my brain this morning, I went searching for him. Three short clicks and BAM there he was, Brian Neumann. My guts twisted and memories flooded back to me: the homecoming football game for John Muir High School at the Rose Bowl in 1988; dinner with his parents at that wonderful Mexican restaurant; his brother's space mural on the bedroom wall; listening to him play the piano.

One of the best memories of age 16 I have was the implusive decision I made to meet Brian at the airport when he was coming home from basic training from Ft Sill, Oklahoma. I remember that I asked Jenny Gallegos and Leo Wagoner to help me. Leo and Jenny gave me a ride to the airport. I remember what I was wearing too - a full length red circle skirt, and a white ribbed blouse with red, yellow, and blue shooting stars, and white keds with white bobby socks. I was so incredibly excited, I can remember sweating up a storm and my pulse racing like I was going to have a heart attack. I knew the flight number and the airline, and I waited across from the gate wondering if he'd see me first or I'd see him first or what. Wow, what a crazy memory. So sweet and naive I was then - if I do say so myself.

I remember bringing Brian home to meet my mother and step-father and taking him to a football game at my high school. We had such little time together before he went off to North Carolina to Fort Bragg. It was a whirlwind, and I don't think I could have asked for more fun.

And now, well, I sent him a Friend Request on Facebook. Amazing it would be to get in touch after all this time. I wrote him a little message, too, hoping he'd remember me. I wonder if he will. I don't know how big an effect I had on him - we were so young and all.  It's been so long, and I don't know if he has thought of me in forever and a day, or if he, unlike me, kept my letters. Probably not. Last I heard from him he was married too.

Well, I'll just have to wait until I get home and check Facebook to see if he's accepted my Friend request. Simply incredible to reach out and "click someone" after all these years. If he doesn't repond, or doesn't remember then, oh well, but what if he does accept the Friend Request? Do I bring him up to speed with so much that has happened? I wonder how he is, and if he's happy. I sure do hope he is. He deserves it.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 2:49 PM CST
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Tuesday, 11 May 2010
How about them apples?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Reality

How interesting things are when you reliquish control and just go with it.

Sunday was Mother's Day, the following day was Joey's (our former roommate and Matt's best friend) birthday and thus, we combined the two for dinner and movie like we did in 2008.

Sunday started off slowly. I watched a few episodes of South Park while playing online. We picked Joey up around 2:15pm and headed off to Wichita. We made a bee line for Shoe Carnival and bought Matt some new shoes for work. Then, we headed over to the Warren Theatre on 21st to see "Iron Man 2". I had purchased three adult tickets online while I was surfing the Net earlier, so we didn't have to worry about the show being sold out. We got to the theatre with enough time to spare, and got excellents seats for the 4:15pm show.

Great flick - enjoyed it, and yes, would go see it again.

At the car after the show, Matt spies a gold/brass colored piece of metal, kind of like a nail puncturing my passenger side front tire. I become worried, we debate the merits of changing the tire in the rain or just driving back to Wellington on the tire. I convince Matt and Joey it is best to just wait until we get home.

The guys had chosen Sumo Grill for dinner which I was cool with, and we headed around the northside of Wichita to get to the Eastside and to Sumo Grill. Had I know they wanted Sumo in advance, I would have taken us to see "Iron Man 2" at the Warren right next to Sumo rather than on the west side of town, and I would have made reservations. We show up at Sumo around 7pm-ish, there was not one parking space available and we could see at least a dozen if not more people standing and sitting in the waiting area inside.

Let me just say now, I hate the Eastside of Wichita. It reminds me of the too overly concerned with appearances vibe of West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Plastic stay at home moms and ladies who lunch with WAY too much make-up, push up bras, and annoying children named Blane or Persphone whom they playfully call Bootsie or Babs. *retch* We pulled into Bradley Faire to eat at Il Vicino and my senses were promptly assulted by such a woman leaning over her polo wearing six year old, cleavage out, leaning down arms akimbo helping to open the cleavage further for all the world to see, hair, nails, and make-up screaming I shop Neiman Marcus or nowhere, telling her litte boy that this was her day and that he was going to eat food she chose for him. She spoke to him in a 'dog voice' like she was talking to her prize Maltese or something.

I looked at Joey and Matt and said, "Yeah, we are SO out of here." We left and headed for the real side of town - south - toward N & J Bakery on Lincoln and Edgemore for some great Greek/Lebonese food. I could just taste the hummus and tabouleh and was planning on ordering the roast lamb kebobs. Well, that turned into a no starter as N & J is closed Sundays. We then headed for Marjaritas Cantina on Douglas. Nope - closed Sundays. Finally, I head to Old Town for Whiskey Creek Saloon. Just as I turned from Douglas into Old Town - my car stalled. Died right in the mid turn and the acceleration out of it.

I turned the car off, put the blinkers on, and sat there a moment. I looked at Matt and said, "I am buying a new car tomorrow." He said, "Okay" and that was our full discussion on the new car situation.

I turned my attention back to the Pathfinder we were still in, turned the key, and blessedly it started. We went straight to Whiskey Creek and had dinner - it was nearly 8pm. The place was empty. Four or five guys at the bar, and maybe a table or two near the back. It was perfect. No noise, no kids, no annoying nouveau riche bitches - I was in heaven. Matt and Joey got steaks, I got a spit roasted chicken breast. It was simple, easy, and relatively inexpensive when compared with Sumo Grill or Il Vicino.

We drove home and finally got into our house at 10:22pm. I wrote Ronda and email and told her I was taking Monday off to buy a new car...which I did.

I was up early and from 6:30am to 10:30am searched all the local dealerships stock online, did price comparisons to similar cars at dealerships in Wichita, and then started researching Consumer Reports, Kelly Blue Book, and various other car reviews. My critera:

  1. Had to be less than $20,000
  2. Had to have head and leg room so Matt would feel comfortable either driving or being a passenger
  3. Had to seat four comfortably - preferrably more
  4. Had to have good storage space
  5. Had to be either AWD or 4WD
  6. Had to have better gas mileage than the Pathfinder
  7. Could not be red or yellow

Well, I found just that in the 2007 Suzuki XL-7 Luxury model at Countryside Motors in Wellington. We paid Blue Book for the car, I got a $2000 trade in on the 1998 Pathfinder (with 223,000 miles on it). This new (used) car has only 52,000 miles, is Jet Black, has leather interior, a DVD player and plenty of room to stretch out for both the driver and passengers. Oh, and it can seat 7 too! Good storage in the back and on top - it has racks.

Here I am today - a new car, a topic to blog about without consulting my spreadsheet of topics, and a tasty bowl of mushrooms, and a delicious tossed salad for lunch.

OH, and no tornados near us at all last night! It's all good to go! Smile

 

 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 1:01 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 May 2010 3:27 PM CDT
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Saturday, 8 May 2010
Week in Review
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Reality

So it is Saturday and I am up early. That is not unusual, but not anticipated. I had hoped to sleep in today. Oh, well, I guess not this time. Some odd dream about me mopping the kitchen floor and trying to kill ants with diatomaceous earth instead of chemicals like Raid woke me up. Funny thing was the kitchen I was mopping wasn't our kitchen, it reminded me of the kitchen I had at the house I lived in on Preston Way during my high school years. Anyway, it was a strange dream to have before waking this morning and I just can't shake that feeling that ants are crawling around me.

This week was a wild one, filled with LOTS of mental tasks for my brain. Several grant applications for the district were in process this week, with either the deadline being this past Wednesday or this upcoming Wednesday.

  1. Curtis Middle School - major overhauling of staff, class size, training, etc. $2M a year for three years is the request. Extremely detailed budget with last minute changes down to the wire. I REALLY hope we get this grant, it would do such good at that school, and help both the staff and the teachers.
  2. State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) Investing in Innovation (i3) Development Grant (84.396C) - AVID, AP and PSAT program expansion for 21 schools is what our application is all about $1M a year for fiver years is the request. Again, a super detailed budget that I worked on with Stacie. This would go a long way in helping the children who would like to advance to higher education but are struggling or are at high-risk (AVID), children that want to go to college and starting in high school are gifted enough to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses but can't afford to pay for the testing fees, and children that want to take the PSAT. Additionally, the grant would aid in training teachers on teaching these specific children. It's too huge to explain here, but it is exciting.
  3. State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) Investing in Innovation (i3) Development Grant (84.396C) - Same grant application program different grant application from the district - major training program overhaul - another $5M over five years.

The grant applications took a great deal of my time. Thankfully, Mary was there to help me with my journal entries and whatnot. I successfully balanced the several funds which have projects and grants reconciling to them, and we were able to proceed with closing April's books. After Sandy created the general ledger reports I created the salary spreads for Linda, including a new view of the figures which includes a single calculation for overtime instead of spreading the overtime throughout the various salary accounts which changes the average salary. Like you guys care what I am talking about here? LOL - I know exciting work, ay?

Well, work was also crazy because we got a bunch of new grants - 17 of them before Tuesday. Then the mini-grants were announced from the Wichita EDGE foundation, and so another 10 projects have to be set up by this upcoming Tuesday besides those 17 grants. I've set up a few already, but mainly I needed to do invoices to receipt the funds for which we have already received checks and ACH deposits. In addition to setting up new grants, and creating invoices I did several massive budget adjustments and additions to already existing grants. Then, there were all the regular things I do like set up account codes for payroll, and go to meetings, etc. etc. Needless to say, it was a busy week necessitating three hours of overtime (that I actually recorded and am asking reimbursement for) and three hours of overtime that I am not reporting.

At home, Matt and I have been relaxing and preparing for his first day at Spirit, which was yesterday. He is going to work about 90 days on first shift and then, most likey, will move to second shift for a while. We are hoping that he'll eventually get transferred back to first shift. Still, both of us are happy that he's got a permanent job again. He's been working on a temporary contract with TECT, the company that let him go in December 2008, who then rehired him in March 2009, and then let him go in April 2009, who then rehired him in May 2009 and then let him go again in August 2009 who then rehired him in March 2010. Yes, it has been a wild ride these last 16 months. Spirit supposedly has tremendously awesome medical and dental benefits. Joshua and CJ have Spirit's benefits and say they rock. As soon as we get the official cards from Matt's new work, I am cancelling the district's health insurance and claiming cash option. The district charges me $20 a month for insurance. When I take cash option, I'll not have to pay the $20 a month AND I will receive $100 a month. That means basically an extra $120 a month more than I now get. Better benefits, no cop-pay and extra money a month. Awesome.

Friday night I went to a Pampered Chef Party and spent way too much money. I am thrilled with what I am getting with this order. I can't wait to use all of the stuff at the Luau that Robin and I are putting together for May 22. I am getting two large rectangle platters with handles, two large round platters, two large square bowls, two three tiered stands, the spoon holder for the stove, an ice bucket set, a gravy separator, and an easy accent cake decorator. I just love Pampered Chef products.

This week I have also been watching South Park on Netflix Instant Streaming. Season 4 was the last one I had seen, and only a select few episodes form Season 5. I finished all of Season 6 today and laughed my butt off through most of the episodes. The last one where Santa tries to bring Christmas to Iraq was hysterical. Now Matt is wondering around the house singing the Mr. Hanky Christmas Poo song and playing with the flying screaming slingshot monkey I got him for his birthday.

Man - I just love the lazy weekends.

 


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:42 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 8 May 2010 3:15 PM CDT
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