Monday, July 28, 2008

An Award

I am very humbled to have been granted a blogger award. Thank you Marcie at Down On The Farm. You are so kind!
Once an award is received,the rules are as follows:
1. Put the logo on your blog .
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blog.
I am delighted to share this award with the following ladies whose blogs I read regularly and find to be uplifting, interesting, and absolutely worthwhile. Check them out for yourselves!
  1. Lizzies Home - For brilliant writing style
  2. The Homespun Heart - For brilliant insight into hospitable living
  3. With All That I've Been Given - For brilliant cookie recipes
  4. Renaissance - For brilliant photography
  5. Praise And Coffee - For brilliant daily devotions
  6. Scribbit - For brilliant ideas, giveaways, and recipes
  7. Making A House A Home - For brilliant ideas on homemaking

I love these ladies! You will too! Thanks again Marcie, for you would have been on my list too if you had not already been granted the award!

Blessings Monday

Our little nephew is quite the blessing! Only a couple days with him and we found ourselves giggling, singing, watching Barney, and chasing the little guy. We didn't have to compete for his attention. He gave it freely. His smile lights up the room. He's very chatty and opinionated at that. He was infatuated with our refrig, though he never took anything out. He just wanted to open and close it.

We are so blessed to have had some special time with this little guy. What a grand blessing.

Check out other Blessings Monday posts at Down On The Farm. C'mon, you have something to share don't you?! Thanks for hosting Marcie.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Reason For The Trip

I just wanted to see a hippopotomus. I remember seeing one a LONG LONG LONG LONG time ago at the Pittsburgh Zoo. These truly are interesting creatures. I loved when it would submerge itself in the water. It would stay under for several minutes, then circle around and look at the onlookers... and do it again. We watched it for a good long time. I don't know why, but I have been wanting to see one of these for a long time. When we heard that there was one at the Cleveland Zoo, we decided it was time to pay them a visit.

It's really a huge zoo. If you can go, do it. We were there a good 7 hours and were never bored. There is also an indoor rain forest, which is pretty neat.
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These Ones Are NOT Pets!!!!

We went on a little weekend trip to the Cleveland Metropolitan Zoo last weekend... or was it the weekend before? I can't remember. Anyway, it was a grand time. We had a weekend long date. Fantastic!!! We got to pet the stingrays and a shark. that was really neat! Keith got to feed the seals some fish and also some nectar to the birds... very cool! I really like the camels. I rode one when we were on our first date (at the Cincinatti Zoo). They had camel rides, but I passed on that this time. It is a really cool experience though. I recommend that everyone try it at least once.

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We have had a bird cage for a long time. We recently decided to fill it. The blue parakeet is named "Gonzo" and the yellow is "Sunshine" although Amanda says we should have named her "Beaker." That would have been appropriate, but Sunshine fits her so well. Maybe the next one Manda.

They are easy to care for. Sometimes they are messy with their food, but I keep the shop vac nearby, so clean up is a cinch. Keith is trying to teach them to talk. All the literature says it is possible to teach them, but it might take a long time. I can positively report that at least one of them attempts to mock K's whisteling like a cat-call at them.

We let them out to fly every couple of days. The cats enjoy watching them, but surprisingly have not bothered them... at least not that we have noticed. So far they are good pets.

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Say CHEESE!!!!

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Is it just me or does it look like this big grizzly guy is posing for photos? Maybe it's his "senior portraits" ???

Ponies Parks and Zoo... What more could a little boy want?!

Penny & Sir

Slippery Slides at the Park

Petting Kangaroos!

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Our nephew, Hayden, and his mother (of course) payed us a visit this weekend. His proud Uncle Keith spoiled him rotten!!! First was a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo... then Aunt J.J. took him to pet the ponies (and even sit on one)... and then the picnic dinner at the park! He left this morning with his new black-bear-back-pack, bug puzzle, and other goodies. We don't get to see him but a couple times each year so we are most impressed that at 2 years old he even knows our names... What a delight. His mom is quite aware that we are glad to visit with her, but the main attaction is the little-one. We were sad to see them go this morning.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blessings Monday

I have recently been blessed with a little R&R. Oh how I long for that, especially during the summer months. While most families are planning excursion for mid-summer, I find myself so swamped at work that taking time off would simply make more stress for me upon return. None the less, Handy Hubby and I were BOTH off Friday and Saturday and we made the most of it!

Thursday evening we packed a few things, made some reservations, and hit the road. First stop, Bruno's Pizzaria, for dinner. They have the best italian dinners for very reasonable prices. Next stop, Cleveland, Ohio. We splurged on a hotel room, which is not something we frequently do... but it was oh-so-worth-it! We asked for a King size bed, but they said we'd have to take a room with two-doubles. Fine. But when we arrived they DID have a room with a King size bed and it was on the Concierge Floor. I never heard of such a thing, but we quickly learned that those on the Concierge Floor had a private lounge with complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. They did have a full bar, do-it-yourself, on the honor system to be billed to the room. These accomodations were WAY more than we asked for!!! The hotel room was clean, and very comfortable.

While we were in Cleveland, we visited the Cleveland Metro-park Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, and the Natural History Museum. More on those later.

I just need to say that it was a fantastic trip. Keith says I slept too much at the Hotel, but I'm telling you... R&R is what this girl needed! I am so blessed to have the time to spare and a few extra bucks in my pocket for such an occasion. The weather was sunny, comfortable, and the company was fantastic.

Do you have blessings to share? Stop over to Down On The Farm and share with us! Thanks Marci for hosting once again.
p.s. I found my camera!!! Pictures are forthcoming!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for the season of summer... and I never thought I'd say that. I am not actually a big fan of hot and sticky weather, but this summer has been rather pleasant I think. We have had a good mix of rain, sunshine, and breezy days. I think the lack of drought definitely makes a world of difference in the season.

I'm grateful that the Lord created seasons and has allowed me to live in an area where I may witness the changes in a significant way. My favorite season is fall because the weather is comfortable and the leaves change so beautifully. My next favorite is spring because after a long time of cold and dreary comes new life springing forth in abundance. Summer and winter have always been a toss-up for me. I like the snow as long as the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing. But summers like this year... gotta love it.

I like to participate in Thankful Thursday, but I'm not always good at linking up. Thank you Peggy for reminding me. Usually it's because I'm in a time-crunch of sorts... But I do want to recognize the host, Iris over at Sting My Heart and invite ya'll to participate as well. Check it out!!!

Workplace Humor

I have to tell these true stories, N-O-T because I have a big head, but because I can see the humor in them...

This was my conversation with the VP whom my boss answers to. You know... the bosses boss.

Dr M: Jennifer, have you ever taken the personality test over in Human Resources?

Me: What personality test? I didn't know there was such a thing.

Dr M: Would you mind stopping over there and taking it?

Me: Um... is there a problem with my personality?

Dr M: No

Me: Is this a trick? Or a trap?

Dr M: No, we want to use it as a prototype for when we look for the new hire in the Department.

Me: Oh (giggle), that is very flattering. Thank you. But... Ok.

An hour later I'm conversing with a colleague at another institution. We are discussing the upcoming job posting for my Department... my conceited remark... "They want to clone me!" HA!!!

Moments later we are discussing how our work-load pretty much doubles in the summer months...

Me: It's crazy that we cannot take a summer vacation because there is too much work. I (sarcastically) told my boss that I'm planning to take vacation for the whole month of June next year.

Joe: How'd that go over?

Me: He said I had to go through him and then he laughed. I'm shocked! I'm giving him a years notice! A whole year I tell ya!

Joe: You know... if you timed it right you could take maternity leave.

Me: (laughing hysterically) Why didn't I think of that!!!??? I gotta go tell my boss!

Update... the boss laughed, shook his head, and said "WOW"

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tuesdays With Jen... My Memoirs

Since Saturday was the close of the annual Big Butler Fair, I thought it most appropriate to take ya'll back to my roots that once ran through that stomping ground. I was an exhibitor at the fair on numerous occasions. I had some friends who I stayed with who, now looking back, were probably not the best role models, but hey... it was a good time.

I showed my horse... a couple years Magnium, and after Penny came... her and her mother... AND Duke, my friends horse who is a smidge younger than Penny. We won many ribbons and a few bucks, but never enough to pay for the weeks worth of fun. But who's counting?!

When Penny was one year old, she went for her first trailer ride, it was an absolute disaster. A friend had a smaller two-horse trailer and agreed to haul her. It didn't take too long to get her into the trailer. She was fine. I was to follow to be sure that all was fine. About a third of a mile down the road she had a little meltdown. Oh my goodness!!!! I stopped my truck and was running down the road yelling S-T-O-P as loud and as frantic as I could. She had reared and got a foot into the manger, broke the snap, and somehow ended up with one hind leg over the divider and one broke through under it. She was pinned on her side. We were able to move the divider and free her legs so she could stand up. She was probably in shock, as was I. We decided that if we took her off the trailer that she would probably not ever want to get back on. So I tied her with two ropes and we tried again. This time we made it and she hauled fairly well. Lucky for her, she only had some very minor injuries. She scraped her leg a little and had a one-inch cut over her eye, but that's pretty much it. Poor thing.

The week was a success. We showed and we won... and when it was time to go home we had an alternative ride. I was worried about getting her on the ride home so I blindfolded her and practiced walking her all around. I purposely took her over logs so she would learn to lift her feet when I commanded. She learned really quick and was quite willing to lean on me without a fuss. When I walked her up to the trailer I said "UP" and she initially stepped up, except it was a ramp and she fell the rest of the way in. She landed in a nice big fluffy bed of shavings... and she didn't try to get up until I took the blindfold off. She has loaded and hauled quite well ever since.

This photo is duke, a year younger than Penny. He's so much more mature these days! He's still one of my favorite rides too!

Fantastic Summer Give-Away

Check out Monica's blog at The Homespun Heart for her Fun Summer Give-away! She's convinced Lands End to offer a generous gift-card because she really likes their swim suits... Stop over and enter for a chance to be one lucky winner!

My favorite is the Women's Regular 3-piece Dot Paisley Halter Tankini Swimsuit but you know... I'm into pink!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Where are the pictures?

I cannot find my camera. Has anyone seen it? UGH! I had all intentions of taking pictures of Penny last week, but couldn't find the camera. This evening I spent some time just brushing her and scratching her belly which she oh so loves! (you have no idea!) But no camera! Gosh, she was all prettied up too. Hmph!

Picked up a saddle, bridle, etc. from Rene'e's tonight. It feels kind of weird and a little bit sad taking those things and moving them to the new place. If I had already had those things on hand I could have rode her tonight. Hmmm... I need boots, helmet, jeans or riding pants, some fly spray and some leather cleaner for the saddle. I'm excited to be close to being back in the saddle; however I still miss riding with my pal, Rene'e.

Anyway... still looking for the camera. I wonder if I left it in her truck from the trip??? But I thought it was in the car? Oh I'm so confused.

Blessings Monday

As we come down off the high of celebrating the birth of our nation, it seems fitting to proclaim thankfulness for the blessing of freedom. As my pastor said this morning, freedom is a biblical topic. Christ offers us freedom from sin... that being bigger and better than the freedoms we usually recognize.

Those who fought and are fighting for the well-being of our country deserve to be honored. Thank you Dad. Thank you Keith. And thank you to other friends, family, and fellow American soldiers. My heart warms with patriotism at the thought of how the two closest men in my life took the time to serve our country. The freedom you protect is a precious blessing.

To realize the freedom we have in Christ is also very humbling. What a blessing we have in him! For God deserves the glory all the more!
Come join us at Blessings Monday hosted by Down On The Farm.