Monday, February 28, 2011

Slan Leat (Irish for goodbye)

After four years and four months, I walked out of my office for the last time today.  Today was the last day of my job here in the U.S.  In four short days, I'll be making the journey to Ireland to begin a new life.  Of course, I couldn't leave my job without a proper goodbye.  And by proper goodbye, I mean a going away partay complete with an all things Irish cake.  Those are teeny weeny shamrocks on the cake that look like confetti. 

My co-workers munching on the pre-cake formalities (i.e. lunch).

I'll miss 'em!

Double Trouble

My going away gift...a subscription to Wild, Wonderful, West Virgina magazine.

He calls me lesby, lisa and everything but my name. 

Of course, my mom threw me a little going away shindig as well.  Which meant more cake...yum.
  And food.

Oh yeah, there were people there, too!

So, now that I have quit my job, I'm spending the rest of the week planning lunches and dinners with my friends and family before I leave...oh, and also trying to stuff, shove and cram my belongings into two suitcases and a carry-on. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yay! More Bloggy Love!

I got a message today from Tales of a Hockey Wife letting me know she had passed on the Stylish Blogger Award to me!  Yes!  I received this award twice before, but I always love getting an award!  Who doesn't right?  I'm super excited about it!  Thank you!

Please go check out Tales of a Hockey Wife!  It's an interesting blog with an insider's look into exactly what it says...the life of a hockey wife.  Plus, she knows how to work a pole...check it out here

There are rules to this award, including to tell 7 random things about yourself and to pass the award on to other blogs, I will do so!  You can find the 7 random things about myself here.  And, my bloggy love is passed on to:

Elephants & Rainboots

Eric and Courtney

Koukla Running

Make a Wish

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soap Box Wednesdays: Fragile is Italian

Honestly, I could do another Soap Box Wednesdays post on more drive thru dilemmas (I've had some doozies since this post), but this week I'm gonna talk about what the word "fragile" means. 

According to the dictionary (Merriam Webster), fragile means :

a : easily broken or destroyed <a fragile vase> b : constitutionally delicate : lacking in vigor <a fragile child>. 

 Sounds pretty staightforward to me.

"Fragile" is an English word, with Latin origin, however I find myself wondering:  Is it REALLY English? Why do I wonder this?  Because, apparently, some don't understand what it means.
Let me explain.  As many of you know, I've shipped many of my possessions to Ireland since I will be moving there in less than a week.  One of my most recent shipments was a large 11x18 framed wedding portrait of Barry and I.  I took my time wrapping the precious item in bubble wrap, paper and towels before I placed the portrait in a box to ship.  What other choice did I have?  I had to ship it.  It's too big to put in a suitcase and I couldn't carry it with me because I'm going to have my hands full with other carry-on items on the plane. 

Once the portrait was placed in the box, I taped it up and wrote the word "fragile" on the outside of the box.  And, yes, I've heard the horror stories from people who say that they've done the same thing, yet their items still arrived broken.  I've also heard that if "fragile" is written on an item, sometimes that package is deliberately mistreated, thrown around, dropped, kicked, etc.  But, I put my faith in humankind that that would not happen.  Mistake.

But, I thought who would be so cruel? ESPECIALLY, since when shipping something to another country, you must fill out a customs form and attach it to the outside of the box.  This customs form must specify the contents of the box.  And, I specified.  I did. I wrote, "WEDDING PORTRAIT" on my customs form for all to see.  Yet, woe is me. 
The package arrived with Barry in Ireland the other day.  He then informed me that the glass on the portrait was broken.  Not only was it broken, the glass had scratched and damaged the photograph.  Of course, I was upset. I understood the risk in shipping something like this and it was a risk I was willing to take, but I did take precautions. 

I supposed my question is why do we write "fragile" on these items when they are not treated as fragile? Perhaps everyone has the same mindset as Ralphie's dad does in A Christmas Story?  Picture the scene when he wins his "major award" and the box with this award arrives (see video below).  Maybe Ralphie's dad isn't the only one that thinks "fragile" is Italian?   If you haven't seen A Christmas Story, watch the video below so you know what the heck I'm talking about (I apologize for the quality of the video.  It appears to be one that someone recorded from their television and uploaded to YouTube...but, it is the only one I could find.  Personally, I think the volume indicator on the screen is a nice touch). 


P.S. All is not lost, Barry took the damaged photograph and is having it refinished at a low cost so all will be right in my world again. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I love my followers...but, I'm starving

I love love love when I wake up and see that I have another follower!  I created this blog as a way to keep my friends and family up to speed with my going ons in Ireland, but now I've found the bloggy community (which I also love) and I have 32 followers!  This seems shocking to me...that 32 people would want to read about what I'm up to.  And, this brings about all kinds of other thoughts...will I keep them entertained, I hope I don't sound like an idiot, and so on.  Anyway, I just want to say...I love you followers and I hope I can amuse you!

Not to bring the enthusiasm down, but I also have to mention that I'm starving.  And, no not in the I'm starving for attention kind of way.  I'm starving for food.  By choice. You see, I used to be thin, then I got fat, now I'm not fat, but I'm still not happy with my current weight.  Although, I'm not sure that I would ever be happy with a current weight. 

Right after I got engaged, I started trying to lose weight for the wedding, because those wedding photographs last forever and I didn't want to be repulsed by my own image in wedding photographs.  I've always exercised (Zumba), but dieting in recent years was never something I was down with, because dieting is hell. 

So, I started dieting for the dress...counting calories and fat intake.  This was a slow going process so I decided to speed it up a bit. I mean, it was April 2010 and my wedding was in September 2010 and I still didn't have a wedding dress because I hadn't lost as much weight as I had wanted to!  Something had to be done!

Enter the 3 day diet.  Many of you have probably heard of this diet before.  I was skeptical before I tried it, but I did lose 60 pounds using it and was able to reach my wedding day weight loss goal.  It wasn't easy.  Let me just say that this diet was created by the devil from the fiery bowels of hell.  I can almost see Satan in his lair, sitting in his wingback chair in front of a fire (what else?) writing with his fire pen or the tears of imprisoned souls, or whatever he uses to write with, the contents of this diet.  All while he releases an evil laugh deep from within his gut and says something like, "You silly women will follow this diet and you will be selling me your souls for food!"  Random thought: He wants souls, right?  At least that's what he wants in the movies. Okay, well maybe that's just what I picture.  Just a little side note:  I didn't sell my soul to the devil in exchange for food while I was on this diet, I'm stronger than that.  His plan is easy to see through.  So, joke on you, Satan.

For those of you that don't know, here is what the 3 day diet entails: 

Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
1/2 Grapefruit or Juice
1 slice toast with 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup of Tuna
1 slice toast
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
3 oz. any lean meat
1 cup green beans
1 cup carrots
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 medium apple
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
1 egg (any style)
1 slice toast
1 banana
1 cup cottage cheese or tuna
5 saltine crackers
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
2 beef franks or hot dogs
1/2 cup carrots
1 banana
1 cup broccoli or cabbage
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
5 regular saltine crackers
1 oz.(slice) cheddar cheese
1 apple
1 hard boiled egg
1 slice toast
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
1 cup tuna
1 cup carrots
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup melon
1/2 cup regular vanilla ice cream
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water

Condiments Allowed

  • Lemon (and lots of it, if you like)
  • a dash of salt and/or pepper
  • mustard
  • cooking spray


Some people use the following substitutions for the 3 day diet:
  • Orange instead of Grapefruit
  • Tuna instead of Cottage cheese (and vice versa)
  • Frozen yogurt instead of Ice Cream
  • Cauliflower instead of Broccoli (and vice versa)
  • Green beans instead of Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Beets instead of Carrots
  • Toast instead of 5 crackers (vice versa)
I followed this devil diet for five months.  Every week, I would do this diet for 3 days then have 4 days off and it really did make a difference.  To be honest, sometimes my substitutions were a cupcake instead of grapefruit, but it still worked ;). 

So, here I am six months after the wedding and I've been able to maintain the weight loss.  However, I don't want to maintain!  I want to lose about 15 more pounds.  But, all that will power I had before the wedding has just disappeared and I'm struggling to get it back.  But, it's hard, especially since McDonald's just re-released the Shamrock Shake, hello delicious. 

I tried going back on the 3 day diet this week, but it appears to be much more difficult than it was before the wedding and as I type this on what is supposed to be day 2 of the 3 day diet, I find myself fantasizing about what I'm having for lunch and I've decided that this week isn't a good week for the 3 day diet.  And, probably not next week either.  Those last 15 will just have to wait.

Here are before and after pics for your viewing pleasure:

This is before (and also when I was going through a weird dark hair phase):

And, this is me now:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A little Monday funny

My husband, Barry, has a corner shop/news agent type of business where he works seven days a week, twelve hours a day.  As you can imagine, a schedule like this doesn't provide much time for running errands.  So, until I can get there, he is relying heavily on his family for help with errands.  One of the errands his family, in particular his dad, helps with is taking the garbage to the dump a few times a week.  Also, since his washer is broken, his mother has been helping him with his laundry for several weeks now.  Seems pretty straightforward, right?  Well, yes until the two errands cross...da da daaaaaa (that was supposed to by scary/mysterious type music there). 

A few weeks ago, Barry's dad popped into the shop saying something like: "Where's yer rubbish and yer laundry?"  As usual, he was going to take the garbage to the dump and then take Barry's laundry to his mother's house.  Barry then puts a couple of bags of garbage into his dad's car and a bag of laundry into the car.  Now, the laundry was in a different part of the car and in a different type of bag so the two would not get mixed up. How awful would that be to have your laundry confused for garbage and thrown in the dump, right?  And away his dad to the dump and to have Barry's laundry cleaned and both men continue on with their day. 

A few hours later, Barry's dad reappears in the shop and says something like: "Alright where's yer laundry now?"  Barry stares at him, confused.  "But, I gave it ti ye," Barry says.  "No ye didn't," his dad insists.  Suddenly, Barry realizes that his dad apparently didn't hear him earlier when he explained where his laundry was and when he got to the dump he assumed all three bags were garbage and thus all three bags, including Barry's clothes, were thrown in the dumpster.  I'm not sure what was said after that, but I'm sure it was something like, "Oh, shit." 

Since this incident, the running joke has been: Don't give anything to Barry's dad, he'll just throw it in the dump.  

Recently, I've been doing some online shopping before making the big move to Ireland...mostly at Argos, which I love.  I've been looking for new furniture and decorations...I've even bought a few things.  One of the most recent purchases from Argos were a couple of plum-colored lamps and a new cell phone.  As I mentioned before, Barry can't really get over to pick up any of this and it is not available for home delivery, so once again, Barry's dad must go run these errands.  Imagine my concern...what if he accidentally took my new lamps and cell phone to the dump, too?!  To ease my concern, Barry sent photos...kind of like ransom photos, if you will, of the products once it arrived safely.  What a relief it was to see he didn't take it to the dump! 

Barry's dad with the lamps:

Barry's dad with my new cell phone:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It feels good to be loved...

I'm feelin' awfully loved today!  Yesterday, Mollie over at OK in UK awarded me with a Stylish Blogger award!  If you haven't read Mollie's blog yet, you must.  Its hilarious and I'm sure once you have finished with it, you'll have spit a cup of coffee at your computer screen while reading one of her posts.  At least that's what happened to me.

Then, TODAY, Angel over at Living in a Perry Tale awarded me with ANOTHER Stylish Blogger award! Like whoa to the whoa.  I'm flattered and I had no idea I was so stylin'!  Go check out Living in a Perry Tale and tell me Angel is not one gifted photographer?  Yeah, she really is. 

These awards do come with some rules...but, what doesn't.  Here they are:

Rule number 1: Mention the blogger who awarded you and link back to that person. Done and Done.
Rule number 2: If your feeling up for it, become a follower of their blog. Done and Done.
Rule number 3: Tell 7 random facts about yourself. 
Oh my...let's see...
1.  I prefer the CoffeeMate powder creamer in my coffee over any type of milk or liquid creamer.
2.  I could lie in my bed all day on a Saturday and watchy cheesy lifetime movies.  Like seriously ALL day, folks, no joke.  Dawn to dusk. 
3.  I was ran over by a car when I was five years old.  Not my whole body, just my leg, but it still hurt.  And I have the scars to prove it.
4.  I'm obsessed with Maggie's Salsa.  It's the best salsa I've ever had.
5.  I'm incredibly shy...especially around "new" people.
6.  I have over 100 pairs of shoes.  Well, I did prior to downsizing my wardrobe in preparation for shipping it all to Ireland.  I had a difficult time with the downsizing of the shoes part.  I'm probably down to about 75 pairs now.
7.  I have two degrees--a bachelors degree in marketing and a masters degree in criminal justice--both of which I am not using.
Phew...that was hard.
Rule number 4: And pass the award on to other bloggers & let them know about it! 
 I'm fairly new to blogging, and I sure some of these other bloggers may have already received this award before, but hey, it feels good to get it again, right? 
Paige @Ringing out my balalaika--just because she writes so beautifully.
Rhiannon @Rhiannon's Paranormally Romantic Bits & Pieces--'cause she has a vibrator and she ain't afraid to blog about it.
Shalyn @ Laugh Until Your Checks Hurt--she's just so gosh darn cute and happy.

Susi @ Susi--'cause she's pretty positive even though she has to constantly worry about her food...and that's cool.

Mrs. Sherman @ Mom's Bookshelf and More--she likes books...I like books...

City Girl@ City Girl Chronicles--'cause she wants to write a book and I wanna support that!

KT@ KT's Refinishing School--she's gotta cool yellow tabby much like my own cool yellow tabby.

Now, I'll go tell all these stylish gals!  And thanks again to Mollie and Angel!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Man oh man, I'll do anything to avoid doing what I actually need to do.  For example, I need to work on new Zumba choreography, work on my next book, clean my apartment, finish packing boxes to ship to Ireland, clean the bathroom, wash dishes (barf) and use the last of my teeth whitening strips (they hurt my teeth!).  Do you think I've done any of it? Na.  In fact, I've spent the last few hours catching up on The Bachelor.  Yes, I know what you're thinking.  The Bachelor?  Why would you watch this new season?  Especially since this season's bachelor, Brad, is no stranger to the show.  In fact, he was likely one of America's most hated men after his last season on The Bachelor when he chose to dump the last two standing bachelorettes instead of proposing to one of them.  I know I didn't care for him then...and, I still don't.  But, it's my little guilty pleasure so I can't help myself.

Since I'm all caught up now, can I just say...THANK GOD he sent that bitchy Michelle home.  She was awful.  And, I know that Brad has apparently worked through his "issues" with the help of a therapist, but I'm wondering if perhaps he isn't just stupid? On the last episode he took three women on a group date to do a photo shoot for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition where he ended up rolling around in the sand and making out with Michelle while the other two women watched.  Then, he wondered why the group date wasn't going well after that romp in the sand.  Hmm...I wonder what could possibly have caused that Brad?  I'm sure it had nothing to do with you dry humping Michelle on the beach while the other two women, both of whom have told you they loved you, watched.  Na, nothin' at all to do with that.

Anyway, I'll stop blabbering about The Bachelor for now.  For those who don't watch The Bachelor, sorry, but maybe you'll enjoy the photo below.  My cat, Charlie, and I watched the episodes on my laptop this evening and as you can see from his facial expression, he doesn't like Michelle either.

I feel the same way, Charlie.

Soap Box Wednesday: The not-so-negative edition

Yeah, I know I just created this Soap Box Wednesday thing a few weeks ago which has allowed me to basically bitch about whatever is bothering me.  However, this has been such a good week, I can't find any negativity in me at all...which is a very weird feeling.  I'm still processing it.  Soooo, this Soap Box Wednesday post will be a glorious post full of joy and positive blah blah blah. 

I was very excited today to see me wee little blog featured on For the Love of Blogs!  Holla!  I have to say...I am crushing very hard on For the Love of Blogs right now and not just 'cause they featured me, but 'cause they bring me so much amusement!  I have found and connected with some really cool gals with supa cool blogs via FTLOB.  And, honestly, my productivity in life has declined since stumbling upon FTLOB.  But, I don't care.  I deserve some entertainment.

And, to make this week even better...I got some beautiful flowers from the hubster, I received a package that I have been waiting on for TWO months, my EEA Family Permit for Ireland was approved, I booked my ticket FINALLY to go to Ireland and Mollie over at OK in UK passes along a Stylish Blogger Award (which I'll come back to later today) to me.  Seriously, I need to play the lotto I think.

It hasn't been all rainbows and puppy dogs this week, however.  I did turn my resignation letter in at work and did finally come face to face with the realization that very, very soon I'll be leaving my job and my friends and family.  Of course, I knew it was coming, but I'd been so preoccupied with the planning and organizing of the whole move, that I hadn't allowed my emotions to come out and play...until this week.  But, alas, all will be grand, I'm sure.  Cheers for now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lovely Valentine

Well, it is four days away from our five month wedding anniversary and about four and a half months since I've last seen my valentine.  Not that it is a big deal, well it is, but it is not the end of the world and we're used to the distance by now. This is the third Valentine's Day we've been together although we've actually never spent a Valentine's Day together together.  Since he's been in Ireland and I've been here for those romantic holidays, it made those Valentine's dates difficult.   Anyway, I digress.  P.S.  Please enjoy the very child-like sketch of a dozen red Valentine's Day "roses" (and I use that term loosely) above.  My internet was down this morning, so I decided to open up Paint and doodle a bit.

I've posted this passage from my fav book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, before, but since it is FTLOB's love letters day (and Valentine's Day), I thought I'd repost.  This is the passage that was read at our wedding on September 18, 2010 by one of my good friends who still managed to make it to our wedding even though she had just give birth by c-section three days earlier.  What a trooper!  Here she is on the left with the little baby bump that would soon become a cute baby girl:  

And here's the passage:
“When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke -- the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen -- the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert. It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning."
And, since I'm in a lovey type of mood, here is "our" song.  I'll share it with you now:

And here is my Valentine:

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Joy

FTLOB is co-hosting a Joyful Moments blog hop with Joyful Jones.  I thought it would be good to participate especially since I usually focus on the negative and the un-joyful (is that a word?).  So my joyful moment is reminiscing about vacation or planning my next one!  Since I don't have another planned right now, I'll have to settle for reminsicing today with some photos of previous vacays!  I could only post the ones I had access to from my online Kodak Gallery since my computer crashed a few months back and all I have left are print versions of my other fav vacations.  Enjoy!

Me and my hubby whale watching in Alaska on our honeymoon!  We did pretty good that day...a pod of killer whale and humpback whale as well as a few bald eagles.

I heart Vegas. Period.
Me anxiously waiting on the midnight dessert buffet to begin on our honeymoon!  My mouth is watering.  How could it not be?  They had a mountain on a table made out of profiteroles!  A MOUNTAIN!
And here is a somewhat blurry pic of the aformentioned mountain of profiteroles.
This is a view from the condo we rented when we went to Key West for my 27th birthday.  Wish I could wake up with a view like that everyday!
Inside of the Key West lighthouse.  This is one of my favorite vacation pics.

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend to everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Facebook! Yay!

FTLOB encouraged me with their Facebook link up to develop a Facebook page for Ireland Ever After so I did and it is here.  P.S. click on the word 'here.' So, go there, like me and I'll do my best to get and keep it updated :P! Content is pretty scarce right now, but I'm working on it! Bye for now!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Soap Box Wednesday: Drive Thru Dilemma

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Here we are again, week two of Soap Box Wednesdays and I have to say, I'm quite excited by this little venture.  Finally, somewhere to vent my frustrations and hopefully maybe yours, too! 

So this week, I'm getting up on my soap box about the fast food drive thru window.  I've never had luck ordering food from drive thrus.  Nine out of ten times, my order is wrong and I've learned to accept that, until this week.  Yes, the past few weeks has been a trying time for me as far as drive thru windows are concerned.  Every time, my order has been wrong! In particular with one well-known burger chain. 

After four times (one after the other I might add) of going through this particular restaurant's drive-thru window and after four times of getting my order wrong, I've had it up to here (I have my hand held at my neck, by the way.  Just so you  have a visual).  When I order a sour cream and chives baked potato, I expect just that (I also expect a fork, which I usually don't get, but hey).  Not a plain baked potato with no sour cream.  And, when I pay for a sour cream and chives baked potato, I expect to get what I pay for because the sour cream and chives potato is about 40 cents more than a plain baked potato.  Somehow they manage to ring it up and charge me for what I actually ordered but the food item I'm given is not what I ordered.  I realize 40 cents is not a lot, but times are tough and those 40 cents could potentially be the 40 cents I have in my wallet when I'm at a parking meter and my time is running out and the meter maid is coming by to pass out tickets.  So, those 40 cents could be the difference between getting a parking ticket and not getting a parking ticket.  Just sayin'.

I can't help but wonder, maybe they need help understanding their own menu?  In that case, I can help!  Let me just take a minute here and explain to this restaurant about their menu items.  A sour cream and chives baked potato has chives on it and it comes with butter and sour cream on the side.  Oh, and it costs $1.49.  A plain baked potato has no chives on it and it does not necessarily come with sour cream.  As the name of it suggests, a sour cream and chives potato has chives on it and comes with sour cream.  And, it is really helpful if you provide your hungry patrons with forks.  Forks are what we eat your yummy potatoes with. 

Phew!  Okay, I think I'm done.  I'll step off my soap box now.  If you'd like to share your drive thru dilemmas with me, I'd love to hear them!  Bitch it out by posting a comment! Cheers!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A little whine over some wine

(Channeling the Golden Girl Sophia Petrillo here.) Picture it...June 1995. A teenage girl takes her first trip away from her home and her parents.  But, it's not just a trip to a neighboring city, it's a trip across the Atlantic Ocean...all the way to Europe.  Yes, as you may have figured out by now, this girl was me. 

It was during summer break 1995, that I, along with about 15 others from my high school, Hurricane High, took a school trip to Europe. Specifically to France, Switzerland and Italy.  Now, I was only 14 years old at the time so unfortunately, much of my memory of the trip has faded and I can only remember flashes here and there.  But something that I do remember as if it were just yesterday is the trip we made to a vineyard in Bourne, France.  I have no idea what the name of the vineyard was, but I remember going through the shop at the vineyard and picking out the perfect bottle of red wine.  I couldn't believe my naive little ears when I learned that I, fourteen year old little me, was allowed to purchase wine.  That certainly would not have happened at home, but in France, it was all good.  And, that excited me.  Not only did it excite me, but all of my other traveling companions as well. 

I picked out the perfect wine and took it up to the counter. I flashed a braces encrusted smile at the nice French man who checked me out, all the time hoping he wouldn't realize how young I was and how taboo this very act would be in my own country.  But, he didn't and I carried my wine, bottled in Bourne, France in 1985, back to the tour bus and then back to our hotel.

When it was time to end our European vacation, I bundled my prized bottle of 1985 red into my dirty laundry bag and covered it with clothes.  Mostly because I didn't want it to break on the trip back, but also because I was terrified of what would happen if Customs found it in the possession of a fourteen year old girl.  Luckily, the wine was never found and I carried it home where I proudly showed it to my family before deciding that I would save this wine for a special occasion.  Perhaps, my wedding.  So, there my wine sat for years and years, waiting for the special occasion. 

Finally, the special occasion was upon wedding in September 2010. However, with the chaos of the pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding festivities I completely forgot about my special occasion wine, purchased more than fifteen years ago.  It wasn't until just recently that I remembered it, after my wedding passed and when I began packing up my apartment in preparation to move to Ireland to be with my husband.  Of course I realized that I couldn't take it with me to Ireland, so I needed to drink it now.  So, I took it to my mother's house on Christmas Eve where my mom, my brother and I decided to crack it open, finally.  I mean, why wait for a special occasion.  Every day we get should be considered a special occasion, right? 

So, we all gathered around the dusty bottle and opened it up.  Our mouths were watering at what we figured was a perfectly aged red wine. 

So, I was given the first glass and as I brought the glass to my lips, I imagined this would be the best tasting wine I'd ever had and the wine finally hit my tongue.  And, this is where the exciting story ends.  IT WAS AWFUL!  Terrible!  Enough to make a person puke!  We didn't get a picture of the sour wine face I made at the taste of it, but if we did, it is safe to say it would have looked something like this:

I don't think it was a bad wine.  In fact, it probably would have tasted fine if it had been bottled correctly, but we don't think it was.  The cork, as we were taking it out of the bottle, basically disintegrated into a million little pieces, so that wasn't a good sign to start with.  So anyway, the years of anticipation over this wine ended with that awful face you see above and I couldn't help but be disappointed in how much I had looked forward to the special occasion wine only to discover it was no good. 

I guess the moral of the story is to not save things for a special occasion and treat every day as that special occasion, because if you wait, you may end up with a face like that one up there...and who wants that?  Luckily, my sour wine face went away and it has molded itself back to my normal face.  Thank goodness!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A picture says a thousand words

Barry just emailed me this photograph today and I love it! 

Across the street from Barry's shop, sits a framing shop.  Inside this framing shop sits a talented framer, who must have been bored today because he decided to draw the inside of Barry's shop.  The detail amused me, especially the laptop in the bottom right hand corner.  If you'll notice, the text says: "Oh hubby how are you?"  That is supposed to be me since Barry spends a lot of his day chatting to me on IM and this is how we've communicated since the get go.   Gotta love his attention to detail!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Relocation practice run

Almost as if they knew which belonged to them, Charlie and Fox snuggled up in their respective airline carriers as soon as they were assembled and ready.  I know what you are thinking...Charlie's carrier is so much bigger than Fox's!  Yes, you're right.  It is MUCH bigger.  In fact, I think a beagle could ride in Charlie's.  You may be wondering why Charlie's is so much bigger, and...well...Charlie, is, er, um, a little on the "fluffy" side.  Okay, okay, maybe not "fluffy" in the traditional sense of the word, but perhaps a little overweight would be a better explanation?  Well, anyway, that's why.  I feel it is a little unfair...Charlie gets to ride in an air condo while Fox gets a Tuna can.  What a difference a few pounds makes when it comes to international pet relocation rules. I guess since Charlie is the oldest, it makes it a little more fair? Ah, well.  Anyway, I hope they are this comfortable when they make their journey to the Emerald Isle.

Soap Box Wednesdays

For today's post, I've decided to create a very special type of post.  I'm starting a Soap Box Wednesday posting every week, of course, and today is the very first one!  I've decided to do this because it is starting to get a bit ridiculous out there in the world.  Why is it people never do what they are supposed to do?  I just can't understand this.  If I say I'm going to do something, I always do it!  Even if its something as small as returning an email or phone call, I still do it.  Am I the only one now that does this? 

There are many things I could randomly rant about...injustices I have suffered by incompetent people and companies however, we have to thank a particular shipping company for the creation of Soap Box Wednesdays.  Now, I won't name names here, but I assure you, it is a VERY WELL KNOWN shipping company. So now, let me get up on my soap box:

You see, as you may have read in my previous posts, I have been working on my immigration papers so that I may join my husband, whom I've not seen since our honeymoon by the way, in Ireland.  I painstakingly put together a binder, with 100 pages of supporting documentation to go along with my immigration application, or more specifically, my EEA Family Permit application.  I filled out the online application, went to my biometrics appointment and then shipped my 100 page binder to the British Consulate in New York.  I paid to have this overnighted since it contained such sensitive information and documents like my passport, birth certificate, etc. 

Well, as you may have predicted by now, even though I paid for overnight shipping, it was not overnighted.  In fact, it sat in the shipping company's air terminal for a good 36 hours before it was shipped to New York.  There was no reason but incompetence and I could not be given a straight answer as to why this happened.  The weather was perfect, so it couldn't have been a weather delay. 

So,why?  Because no one did what they were supposed to do!  Yes, my package did finally arrive in New York 36 hours after it was supposed to.  But, I'm still out the cash I spent for overnight shipping and I'm just plain miffed about it.  What's the point of spending money on a service, when that service will not be provided?  I mean, would you go to a hair salon and pay $50 for a shampoo and a blowout and just leave not having the blowout or the shampoo without demanding your money back or at least a partial refund?  Of course not!  You should get the service you prepay for! So, why would any other service be different?

 I guess the good news is that it has arrived and now I'm just awaiting the decision on my permit, but I do have to say, the path to this permit has not been an easy one.  Oh well, the things we do for love, eh?