Friday, March 28, 2008


It's hot out! 82 and sunny sunny sunny today! It was even warm enough to walk around in a t-shirt and shorts already this morning.

Cali and I spent some time in the backyard. Her munching on her huge log of wood that she found on one of our walks and dragged home as her treasure, and me weed-wacking (my way of mowing the lawn). Weed wacking the lawn now takes about 40 minutes, if I had a mower it would be far more effective- but I don't. And I never have room in my car to bring my dad's spare one back. But it's definitely better than cutting the grass with scissors...which I actually sadly had to do twice. I was afraid the neighbors were going to complain because it had gotten so long, and I didn't have the free weed wacker yet. Cali tries to attack the weed wacker, thinking its a game, so it gets a little bit obnoxious, because it could really hurt her. So I have to keep my eye on her as she tries to sneak up.

I planted a whole bunch of grass seed back in August because the yard was pretty barren when I moved in. It has now filled in pretty well, although certain parts could use work; there are a few spots with no grass where Cali has dug in some 6 inch holes. Apparently its a husky thing, they love digging. The one time she has been to the beach she dug in the sand almost non-stop. She was also afraid of the waves ha. Anyhow here are some pictures of the little stinker frolicking in the backyard. Her hair has almost grown back in completely after her surgery, hoooray!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dolla dolla bills ya'll

It's a good day, when you find money, any amount, just laying around somewhere. Today I found one single shiny penny on the path across the bridge, going up the hill towards the train tracks. It was heads up, so of course I pocketed it. But really, even if it hadn't been I would have picked it up anyhow. There is just no way to lose when you find free money. It's one thing that always keeps my walks entertaining, I never know what I'll find.

At brunch last Sunday, I was in a bad mood and one of my friends asked, if she threw 5 cents on the ground, and I "found" it, would I be in a better mood- ha.

My most recent successful find was this past summer. I found a one dollar bill laying in the grass right along the curb on the main road that runs through Carrboro. Now that's definitely not a lot of money (I've heard of others finding $20s in the past, etc) but it was all it took to brighten up my entire day. I could have bought 50 tootsie rolls, not even, because of tax, but it was still a bit deal!

What's your best money find?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Last night when I pulled into a spot at the grocery store, and got out of my car, I jumped a few feet in the air. Not out of joy, but because there was a huge life-like mannequin of a child in a car seat in the backseat of the car next to me. It was really creepy looking- a bit like Chucky. About three feet tall, red hair, a big round face; it looked so real. My next thought was, why would you have something like this is your car? And the stories about people driving in DC, putting fake people blow-ups, or dolls in their cars (sometimes with tinted windows) so they could drive in the HOV lanes on the way to work, to get there faster, came to mind. Here is an example (not from DC, but clearly that means it's happening all across the country!) Cops caught some of them, and of course they were fined. I am shocked that people would go to measures like that, especially abusing something such as "carpooling" that was being encouraged. Anyhow if some day soon you see a creepy child in the back of a car in your grocery store, maybe we live close to each other.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter faves

1.) When mom told Cali (the husky stinker) to "put it here girlfriend" and Cali gave her a high 5.
2.) The coconut cream eggs covered in dark chocolate.
3.) When Rachel went to Goodwill 2 days in a row and found even more things the second day.
4.) Buying huge stuffed animals for Cali at Goodwill for awesome prices.
5.) The "forced" hike in the woods, during which mom spent the entire time searching for round rocks that Oma could paint.
6.) Finding easter baskets 30 feet in the air, rigged up by a pulley in trees (the easter bunny must have taken flying lessons this year).
7.) Going to Rita's (hopefully a new tradition) and eating GM crab cakes!
8.) The smell of the purple hyacinths my aunt brought for Oma.
9.) Finally getting my hair cut, and for free at that!
It's been a good weekend- now back to reality.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mom is a star

MercyCare Extraordinary Nurses page 15:
Roving Reporter asks What is your favorite winter time activity?
"My winter hobby is hiking in the Patapsco State Park. I wear multiple layers including cotton and wool socks, a neck warmer and wool sweater and a warm parka. I have reusable heat packs in my pockets that can be reactivated once more during a hike for another burst of warmth. I've seen a barred owl, foxes, a newly dug fox den and baby foxes, and deer. I love the blue heron that I see on the Patapsco River. Its wing span is amazing. I love winter hiking!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pet Parade

Michael Jackson's "pets" have been adopted by Voices of the Wild Foundation, a non-profit animal sanctuary in Page, Arizona. Lucky for them! No more sleepovers with Michael. The bundle includes enough animals for an entertaining parade: four giraffes, nine parrots and three giant pythons. Jackson’s two caymans and two anacondas will be joining the crew in coming months. What ever happened to just having a dog, you know, man's best friend?

VWG has been keeping the animals in a temporary set up but has announced plans to build a huge multimillion-dollar, 186-acre wildlife preserve.

The animals arrived “in good condition, with no signs of mistreatment” and VWG is letting Jackson visit his ex-pets whenever he’d like.

Monday, March 17, 2008

In bloom

I love this time of year. All the flowers and trees are blossoming. The bradford pears are covered with white little flowers (but they smell funny). The hyacinths are bright purple and pink. And the forsythia is florescent yellow and overtaking the arbor. We had a ton of rain the week before, so the grass is long and lively.

I'm very excited for Easter, it's coming up so fast. At my house, the bunny always leaves "poop" (little jelly beans) all around the house inside and out the day before easter- that way we know he is around and can expect him to be there the next day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Few more pics from Budapest

The view from the top of Liberty Mountain on the Buda side, overlooking the Danube. It was pretty chilly and overcast on the day we hiked up there. But it was a fun walk, and not too many touristy crowds. A bus pulled up just as we were leaving though.

Snapped one of Parliament on the way to Margarite Island.

Also took a few of the castle at night- these are of the backside.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back in the US

And oh it feels so good. But, let me re-cap the parts of the Budapest trip I haven't yet recorded. After our outing to the castle, the next traditional Hungarian activity we participated in were the baths. We went to baths that were all outdoors. And although it was extremely cold outside, you did not feel it, because the water was so warm. The clashing temperatures made a thick steam stream above the water. There were a ton of people, lots of old men playing chess on floating boards, others standing on water vents, or under bubbling fountains. I tried out the sauna, actually 2 of them- for about 5 minutes each. It reminded me a bit of the erg room from my college days ha, I wasn't the biggest fan- but it was something new. And after I dashed out of the sauna I had to stand under the cold shower.

The next days were full of trips to the traditional market, to the top of the largest hill (with the freedom statue), to the outlet shopping mall, ice skating, to the movies, to Menza, to bars like Krazy Cafe and Beckette's, to the grocery store to get more fresh croissants, rolls, pasteries and pretzels. While ice skating we encountered a ton of Hungarian teens- many attempting to be "cool" and impress the girls. They were pretty good at skating though, they even put down coke cans and skated in between them all sorts of ways. They also formed a line, a sort of copy the leader line and did a whole bunch of backwards skating, jumping, etc. I was grappling with backwards skating, and ended up being quite successful.

My favorite food was the sport XL bars. I brought back a ton. They are rich chocolate bars with a tint of rum. They also had ice cream versions of the sport XL bar.

The place I stayed was comfy, clean and had the highest ceilings I've ever seen in an apartment. It also about as much security as the White House. Check out the picture of the front doors. I enjoyed the office there too, check out the view. It was nice to be able to handle all the work that came in over the night, before getting bombarded with new stuff (as I was 6 hours ahead of US time). Cool picture of the basilica right down the street from the office too.

Glad to be back to my normal routine, bed n dog. More pictures to come once I get around to uploading them.