Mrs. Clean

Posted by Felicia on 8:28 AM
Yesterday was a terribly busy day,and my head was swimming with things I still needed to do.
I finally sold the loft bed that my son screamed about not wanting anymore. But, I don't want to sleep up high anymore! And so I got him a different bed frame because you know, I am made of money. The lady called on Monday to come see the bed frame and I gave her directions and told her we would be home at 6:00pm because my son had a Dr.'s appt. Cut to us at Sonic having a leisurely dinner in the cool night air without a care in the world. We get on the rode at 6:15 and she calls to say she is almost to my house. Oops! I totally forgot to get home early so I could clean up the trash bin I call my back porch. I had piled newspapers there as well as bags of clothes that the boy had outgrown and were awaiting a fate of thrift store purgatory. I got there 5 min before she arrived and launched myself out the back door with a broom. Too late...the doorbell rang. I let her in and 3 teenagers trailed behind her. It never fails. You can turn a blind eye to the messes in your house, but when you look at it through another person's eyes...whoa! I do my best to herd them through the back door into the other embarrassing mess. Here it is, just step over the clothes. Sorry...cleaning out...no time...I procrastinate...ahhh!!! Look at the darn bed frame while I huddle in the corner with shame and embarrassment. I'm a good host like that.
Fortunately for me she overlooked the mess and decided to buy it. Because really...I'm not a slob...well a tad disorganized...cluttered maybe. But I have plans! Big plans! Just you wait! She gave me a good offer and we spit on our hands and shook. She'd be back tomorrow evening. I waved goodbye and disappeared into a cloud of dust and cleaner for the next 20 min. Voila! Clean(ok...rearranged and tidied.) I then set to work on the rest of the house vacuuming, dusting, and putting 10,000 things away that were teetering on my coffee table. Whew! What a difference. I collapsed into bed and didn't wake up for 20 hours. I wish.
The lady came over the next night with only two teenagers following her this time, and the first thing she said was, "Oh you cleaned up!" Of course I did, you just caught me on a bad night because usually I clean every day. Yep, that's me scrubbing the floors and walls, and picking up stuff off the carpet by hand.EVERY DAY. Because I'm a NEAT freak! Me and Mr. Clean are like tight. Don't be fooled by the cobwebs. I keep those up to scare away any bugs that might try to inhabit this ULTRA clean house.
Ok...I nodded and turned red, and told her to pick up her stupid bedframe and go. Like she has the neatest house on the block. Just the same I'm following her home to find out. I'll try not to judge too harshly. She does have teenagers after all.

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Fall Fun

Posted by Felicia on 12:06 PM in
It finally feels like Fall. I shook off the weariness of my last post and headed to Tate Farms for some fall fun. It's a real working farm and every year they open for six weeks and have things like a petting zoo with goats, pigs, bunnies, and puppies. The puppies were an added feature this year. They feature a hay maze, a barn for kids to jump around in and various other kid-friendly things.

This is a new addition too. I had to pry the boy away from this so we could actually do something else.

The corn cribs are so fun. Another activity he didn't want to leave. But I couldn't blame him. We all jumped in.

After that we got on the hay wagon and the tractor took us out to the fields to pick our own pumpkins. By far the cheapest pumpkins around. As many as you want, and only .40 cents a lb. We picked 2 pumpkins and only paid $5.00. Woohooo! And its just down right fun to take a hay ride and pick pumpkins off the vine.

The pick of the patch!

Also....just wanted to share a quick and easy soup recipe considering it's getting all chilly like in places. This soup takes 30 min. I swear it. EASY!

Chicken Salsa Soup

2 chicken breasts, cooked, and cubed
2 cups chicken broth
1 16 oz. jar of your favorite salsa-mild, medium, or hot. Your choice!
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can of corn
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
Tortilla chips

Directions: Over medium heat, place the chicken broth, salsa, chicken, corn, and black beans in a 2 qt. saucepan. Cover and simmer for 2o min. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese and serve with tortilla chips. YUM!

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Posted by Felicia on 12:12 PM in
It's Friday. Finally. I swear I work just for the weekends. Not that I don't love my job, but it's just really nice to not feel pressured by time.
I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm blaring repetitive hits of the 70s and 80s, and all I could think of was what an interesting mark it would make on the wall if I threw it. I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed , pulled on some pajama bottoms , and stumbled into the livingroom shielding my eyes from the hundreds of lights my son feels it necessary to turn on every morning to get ready for school. I collapsed onto the couch and listened to the whining about how "this shirt is too long" and "it looks to puffy",and no one will think I am cool. I mumbled something under my breath and sat up to assess the situation. I saw my own reflection. Puffy, tired eyes and frustration, but in a much smaller form. I hugged him and sent him off to school.
As I came back through the house my eyes scanned the room. Laundry that had been washed , but never folded sitting on the dining table for the 5th straight day in a row. Toy cars haphazardly strewn around the room because I was too lazy to tell the boy to pick them up. Graded school papers, celebrated but not filed. Magazines, half-read and stacked more than 12 deep waiting to be sifted through. Vaccum out from having begun its daily chore, but left sitting still plugged in from a distraction that never ended.
I wearily looked at everything I still needed to do, and lay down on the couch and closed my eyes. Just 15 min. Make the morning go slower. Fall back a little. Anything to prolong the inevitable. My thoughts drift into what has been on my mind.
My sister and her family who live in San Diego waiting to see where the fires will go, and if they need to leave. Safe, but worried.
My grandparents finalizing their divorce making settlements to end their union that started over 35 yrs ago. It just...seems...wrong. World out of place.
My boy starting his medication for ADD. Will it work? What will happen? Check his breath in the middle of the night. Place my hand on his chest to feel it rise and fall. Paranoid? Maybe, but he's my heart.
I crack my eyes open and drag myself off the couch and into the shower to start my day. Trying to shake the tired that no amount of sleep can cure.

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4th day-Busch Gardens

Posted by Felicia on 10:44 AM in
We spent out fourth day in Florida driving to Tampa to spend a day at Busch Gardens. I kept dreaming of beer. Maybe it was just me. Busch Gardens was like zoo meets amusement park. Animals and roller coasters. Good times people, good times. When you enter the park you see this. Alligators. Staring at you. Anyone for a swim?

On to the gorillas. They had a bee-u-tee-ful exhibit for the gorillas complete with waterfalls, trees, and LOTS O' HUMIDITY. Geez. I sweated 2 pounds off of me walking through there. I even smelled gorilla like prompting several people to throw bananas at me throughout the park.

The claim to fame at this Busch Gardens is the roller coaster called SHIEKRA. It is floorless and drops people at a 90 degree angle. It was insanely fun. Short and sweet. And the best part about it was NO LINES. We got on in less than 5 minutes. SO we rode it again for good measure. I can't imagine waiting 2 hours to get on a ride. I just don't see the fun in visiting a place where the waits are longer than 20 min. for a ride. How is that fun? Off season is the way to go.

The little safari adventurers. I love those little boogers.

There is the coolest area towards the back that is all egyptian. I love me some egyptian. It's that whole archeaologist Indiana Jones thing. LOVE IT!
This is the boy as the High priest of bodily noises.

They have the coolest walk through exhibit of King Tut's tomb as it was found back in the early 1920's. Are you kidding me? Awesome and creepy all at the same time. The flash of my camera doesn't capture the fact that it was all dark and lit only by candles because those crazy egyptians didn't believe in flourescent lighting. The boy clung to my side like linen bandages on a mummy. Speaking of mummies...SWEET! King Tut!

Here is my own little pharoah King Toot.

Since we were not far from the beach we decided to go and have a looksey, but it ended up being dark, and so pics were of no use. But it was nice to smell the salty air, and the temperature was perfect. Because of that we decided to eat al fresco at a place called Guppy's. It was casual gourmet. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but seafood....not my thing unless it's sushi. And of course with a name like Guppy's what would you expect but seafood. I decided to be adventurous though and order some. On the menu they had reef fish. Like veal of the ocean. They don't move around much, and so they taste less fishy(gamey). A mild flavor as the menu put it. So I chose the trio of Hogfish, Opai, and Red Snapper. Gorgeously presented I might add.
The Red Snapper is on the left followed by Opai and the Hogfish. Cut to me being surprised. I loved it. Expect for the Opai. Not my cup of fish. Everything else though was super tasty. Reef fish rock. What a great day!
We got back to the hotel late got the kids into bed, and literally collapsed into be-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Felicia on 8:45 AM

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Ten for Tuesday-Random and not related

Posted by Felicia on 10:01 AM
1. I once picked up a dead rat and took it into my kindergarten teacher's house. She screamed.
2. I'm not big on chocolate. I don't crave it. At all.
3. In the 12th grade I once helped a friend egg a girl's car who had been dating her boyfriend behind her back. I felt horrible afterwards. I still regret it. Teenagers are dumb.
4. I can still do the splits.
5. I am bad about returning phone calls.
6. I remember getting into a accident at age 6 in my babysitter's van. Her husband locked me and my sister in the back of a car in the hospital parking lot. We were hurt but never got looked at.
7. I am an insurance agent, but I hate selling things. Wierd. I don't even like those stupid fundraiser things that schools send home because I hate asking people.
8. I can name songs that fit particular moments I am in at any given time. No, it has no use but to amuse me.
9. I want to visit Prince Edward Island because I looooove Anne of Green Gables.
10. I want to perform in plays on the stage. I just might. Ya never know.

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3rd day-Islands of Adventure

Posted by Felicia on 2:54 PM in
The third day of our vacay found us at Universal's Islands of Adventure. And let me tell you just how much fun we had. If you were thinking lots then you were right, but I have no prizes at this time. Check back later! Hehe
We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and went to Jurassic Park where there was water to be played in, caves to explore, bridges to cross, and kids to scare. Yes...we scared the kids. There is a part of the play area with dino footprints and when you step on them it makes a different dinosaur sound. Ok..so it scared me first which is why I knew I must share with others. Especially if they are under 10. Because I care. Really I do.
This was Popeye's Bilge Rat barges. It's like a rapids ride where you get totally soaked. very nice in 90 degree weather. And the fun part is after the ride you walk up to Popeye's boat and use the water guns to spray the people in the barges. Great fun. I think that was more fun than the ride.
Spiderman. The boy's hero. He died of sheer joy right before he took the picture and we had to revive him so it didn't look like Spiderman destroyed him in the pic. His smile lasted a good 30 min. after this meeting. Go Spidey.
A view of Suessland from one side of the park. Totally cute and fun. Like your childhood Suess books come to life. I was happy girl. And the kids liked it too. Not that I cared. Nope not one little bit.
And to think that i saw it on Mulberry Street. Dr. Seuss! respect!
After we ran ourselves ragged around the park and they finally kicked us out we wandered over to the Citywalk to eat dinner. And this is where we ate for dinner. Come on...you cannot not go to Universal and NOT eat at Margaritaville. Had to. HAD to. I had been to his sister Lulu's place in Alabama in July. I had to try this too.
The have a guy who plays a guitar for entertainment and he played all kinds of fun songs including the restaurant's namesake- Margaritaville. And look what I found. Just look.
I found my lost shaker of salt! Haha Too fun!
This is what I had. Crabcakes! Yum! Now some crabcakes are made of a little bit of crab and a whole lot of breading , but it was just the opposite here. LOTS O' CRAB.
My kid had macaroni & cheese. No Cheeseburger. No paradise. But just the same...fantastic!

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Silly Sunday

Posted by Felicia on 9:02 PM
My cat Milo is awesomely mellow. Sweet, independent, loving, and more importantly, tolerant because I torment this animal for my amusement.

What? It was cold in the house!

Cat & Mouse! Respect!
Lookin cool yo
Say what?
I just love that furry orange beastie.

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Dolphin show

Posted by Felicia on 7:07 AM

Just a short video I took at Sea World. Enjoy!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

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Day 2 - Sea World

Posted by Felicia on 5:05 AM
We headed out early Sunday morning for a full day at Sea World Orlando. I was excited because I had not been to a Sea World(San Diego) since I was 4 months pregnant, so we are talking a good decade ago. I felt like a whale then so it wa s a good place to feel validated. It was really cool to see the differences in the park, and I was excited that this time I would get to ride the rides, namely The Kraken, and Atlantis. The Kraken was a fast, floorless roller-coaster that was made to thrill. Sooo fun...I luv me some roller coasters. Atlantis was a cross between a boat ride and a coaster that boasted a long descent splashing into the water below. Surprisingly we didn't get wet because I wisely chose the back of the ride. Watch and learn! lol (oh by the way, you can click on the pics to make them bigger)

We headed to a few shows that day and wanted to catch the Shamu show called Believe. Ok...the premise of the storyline is the story of a boy who has a dream about working with whales and he carves this whale tail out of wood and wears it around his neck. he then gets in a boat and has an experience " communicating" with Killer whales. This kid is supposedly the trainer who comes out wearing the whale tail necklace and they go on about believing in your dreams, and then..to cinch the whole " I'm only crying because I have something in my eye deal" they pick a child from the audience and put him on the big screen and ask him what his dream is and hands the necklace to him. * (I'm getting a little teary-eyed here...talk amongst yourselves.) Ok all better. To say I cried was an understatement. I blubbered. Like a whale. Darn Sea World and their stupid inspirational crap.
The whales were magnificent by the way.
These are my favorite maybe because I feel a certain kinship with them. hahaha They are the manatees! Or what they have been affectionately dubbed "sea cows". I wanted to get on the back of one and hug it. How can you not want to? Sooo cute..must look away. The coolest thing was that these gentle giants were all rescued and recuperating from various accidents. They are eventually released back into the wild , but for now they have a pretty sweet deal. I want one to keep in my bathtub. It's a jacuzzi tub it would totally fit. Ok, well a baby one then. I will hug it and kiss it and call it George.
These feisty sea lions were hilarious. They knew where there fish were coming from, and they sang for their supper. We bought some fish and began feeding the greedy things. If they weren't given fish they barked at you until you did. I barked back, until we had a concert going and then several people asked me to go away or they would give ME fish. Haters. I was connecting.

For dinner we ate at the coolest place- Sharks Underwater Grill- next to the Shark Encounter. It was nothing short of awesome. Pricey, but worth it for the atmosphere alone. The front of the room is the shark aquarium. Huge glass and you watch them just swim by. C had an amazing time. But $7 for a kids chicken tenders meal? Geesh!
This is what I had. And it was worth it.
Sharks Trio
Our culinary team has fashioned a special presentation of their finest seafood creations - herb crusted tuna, scallops and shrimp, pan-seared, seasoned with rosemary, cilantro, parsley and basil, or if you prefer, blackened with zesty cajun spices. Finished with a mango-papaya sauce
Yum! I am not a big sea food person, but this was awesome. I chose the herb-crusted variety. I love that word. Herb-crusted. Doesn't it make you want to cry? Or devour the whole thing and worry about calories later? But just think about all the Omega-3's. Think about that while I dip my herb foccacia bread in some more olive oil.
The last show of the night was fun. It was called Shamu Rocks. And that's pretty much all that happens. They play rock music and he does stunts. So do the trainers. And they dance. I bet they didn't realize that would be happening when they filled out the application. It was fun watching though.

All in all, we had a fabulous day, and hurled ourselves into a cold shower at the hotel because oh...did I mention the temp. was in the 90s? Because it was, and it took every ounce of willpower not to hurl myself into various water tanks around the park. I even wore shorts. In public. The horror.

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Day 1- Pool time/Pirate Adventure Dinner Theater

Posted by Felicia on 5:28 AM
Wow! What a whirlwind vacation. My head aches from the roller coasters, my stomach is torn between gastronomic heaven and hell, and my feet have staged a coup, and have decided to secede from their body of government. And who could blame them. You know its bad when your feet hurt worse when you STOP walking. Stupid feet. You're supposed to be supportive.

Needless to say we had a fabulous time, and the week literally flew by. We came home yesterday morning and vegged all day and C ended the night in tears because he still wanted to be on vacation and "it's not fair that it flies by so fast mommmmm." he said crying hysterically. Poor guy.

So I will attempt to regale you all with pictures, and fun times we had. For the next week I will make this a photo/food/vacation blog. The rides! The fun! The photos! The food! Oh my...did I mention the food? Did I? Because ...like....WOW!

So today I'm posting about our first day. We checked in early to our fabulous 3 bedroom condo and hit the pool. I on the other hand wanted nothing more than a shower to clean up 12 hours worth of traveling grime off my face.

This is the pool. Suhweet! I swear the kids would have been happy staying in here all week. Disney wha??? There's a pool! With waterworks! And water fountain shooty things! A Jacuzzi! Who needs Disneyworld?

Accccckkkk! I'm blind. Whiter shade of pale anyone? Yikes! But at least we won't worry too much about skin cancer? Right?

Later that night we went to the Pirate Adventure dinner show. It's all about the pirates lately. And hello...they were hot! It was really fun because you get assigned a pirate color and that's the section you sit in and the pirate you cheer for. They offered appetizers in the main hall and had a mini-scene to set up the story for the show and let you peruse the gift shops looking for classy souvenirs like "hand over yer booty" on a guy's shirt and rings that looked like oozing bloody skulls. Like I said, classy.

This is what we saw when we entered the main dining area. There was a big ship in the middle complete with water surrounding it. AWESOME!

This is me and the kids. Ignore me. Please. I was tired and way too shiny in the T-zone area. (*note to self..get blotting papers)
My little pirate is cute though!

Now the food...the food was...well....it kinda blew. It wasn't the WORST food ever, but it definitely was not great for the moolah we spent. Chicken that was dipped in too much seasoning, wilted veggies, and the shrimp was mushy. Seriously...mushy shrimp? How long do you cook it to get like that? Bad. Oh well, at least the potatoes were good.

The show however, not mushy. It was really fun and they rely heavily on audience participation. Kids, adults, contests with the pirates. It was spectaaarrrgggular! hahaha I highly recommend it. C couldn't see straight he was so excited. He wants to be a pirate. I told him to download some music off the internet and not pay for it. Just teasin. I'm not worried. He's 9. It's normal. Now if he tells me he wants to be a pirate when he's like 17 and looking for colleges...then I'll worry.

Surrender fair maidens or I'll make you walk the plank. ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!

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Sweet Home Alabama

Posted by Felicia on 7:11 AM
We are home. We are exhausted. We are couch potatoes today. So much to blog about..pictures...food....sights...sounds....coming soon.

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Posted by Felicia on 9:26 PM
Tucking my son into bed tonight I handed him his nightly medication and some water. He stalled of course holding the pill between his fingers and the water in his other hand trying to stall the inevitable bedtime. I told him to swallow the pill so we could say prayers and I could kiss him goodnight and finish packing for our trip. This is how it went.

"Take your pill sweetie."

Holding said pill in hand he begins to inspect it. " Why is it so spongy?"

" Because it is made with gelatin so it will dissolve easily in your stomach."

" What's inside of it?" he asks staring intently at the blue and white pattern.

" Medication for helping to treat your ADD." I say matter-of-factly.

" I think the DD stands for doo-doo."

" Attention doo-doo?"

Laughs hysterically for a moment and then says, " Attention...Doo-Doo!"

Dr. appointments-$150 a session

Medication: $30 a month

Having a sense of humor about your condition: Priceless

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Digital Camera Fun

Posted by Felicia on 5:15 AM

I finally started playing around with my new digital camera this weekend to see what it could do. My main goal right now is to play around with the manual settings because I want to see what kid of effects I can do with it. This is what I did.

This was the first one I took.(Above) I told C to move around and I snapped the camera with no flash. You can see the face, but barely. He sort of looks headless. LOL
This next picture I told him to run from one side to the other, and as you can see it is just a red streakish blur. Try again!
I told him to walk fast for this one and it turned out a little better. Ghostlike movement, but still too blurry for my taste.

This final shot turned out better and made him look blurry, but you are still able to make out the general body form. I used a setting of 1/4 with an F2.6 to get this shot.

I will definitely be trying out other techniques, and try to recall what I learned in 11th grade photography class. Yeah right. I have trouble remembering last week let alone 16 yrs ago. Haha...and now I feel old.

I think my fave thing about this digital camera is that I can keep taking pictures and just delete what doesn't work as opposed to wasting film. I LOVE MY CAMERA! By the way...does anyone have any suggestions for other camera effects that I can try out?

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