Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random Pics on My Camera

Signs, signs...
My kids would take the sign and use it to build a ramp.

Canopy Fail
(part 1)
The pool people really should stake these- this one blew right into kids coming out of the water slides.

(part 2)
Storm took out our canopy. Again!

Spotted at the store...
Once they are recycled, I suppose they do all sorts of things with them!

It's hot here...

Which, combined with a full moon, really brings out the crazies.

I got lost recently, the dirt roads getting dirtier by the quarter mile, but decided it was time to turn around when...
the NRA signs came out.
I have nothing against the NRA. But I'm scared of NRA members with cars on blocks, fridges on their porch, dogs on chains, and the first thing they say is, "You ain't from 'round here, are ya?"

Love these things. At restaurants, I hog them all up.
Finally, a whole box to myself!

Hey!!! What's with the fake side panels in my box of mints?

From the fastest deer...

To the slowest cat.
She sleeps like this all the time, right next to the tires.
It never fails to scare the hell out of me.

Super cool furniture- it's an ottoman...
That opens up to a bed!
Imagine the possibilities!

At Kid's Day, the Raptor Center had owls to observe. I asked a nearby little girl if the owls brought the mail for the Raptor Center. She looked confused.
"Like in Harry Potter?" I prompted
Her grandmother, who was with her, said sharply,
"We don't do Harry Potter. We believe in Jesus and accepting Him into our hearts as our Savior- not Harry Potter!"
A good comeback might have been,
"So does Jesus fly in with your mail?", but I didn't think of that until later.

Aaron is a fabulous Juggler....
But we couldn't find two more Chihuahuas.

Kids will make their own toys...
And then use them to launch sharpened sticks at each other.

This is at Walmart, in the Barbie aisle.
They won't sell music with explicit language,
but in the toy department you can buy
Pussy Galore! (yes, they use her name on the box!)

And lastly...

This was right outside my bedroom door. Everyone who sees it says, "Chipmunk", but the animal is almost a foot long. So I'm going to go with "Baby Groundhog".
Any CSI Wildlife Division fans want to chime in on this?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nice Work, If You Can Get It

We had a great time babysitting Nicola at the pool today!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Castle an' This Guy

A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air.
A psychotic is the man who lives in it.
A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
~Jerome Lawrence

For two million and change, I can own the Castle (and the Friary next door).

I'd take off the cross, and put a dragon on the front lawn.

I'd use it as a B&B, we'd rent it for weddings, hand-fastings, themed parties, senior pictures, film-making, as well as hosting royal balls, performing plays, and re-enacting scenes from the first Outlander novel.
I turned to Jamie in sudden panic. "I can't marry you! I don't even know your last name!"
He looked down at me and cocked a ruddy eyebrow. "Oh. It's Fraser. James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.

"A blood vow? What do the words mean?"

'Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.

I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.

I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.'
Hobbit Door, under the balcony

Beautiful women would pay us to be locked in the highest room of the tallest tower, awaiting their Prince to rescue them.
"What kind of knight are you?"
"One of a kind."

The views while they are waiting are stunning.

"O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright"

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your long hair!"

Howl: Calcifer, move the castle sixty miles west. And while you're at it, make hot water for my bath.
Calcifer: Fine, like moving the castle isn't hard enough!

When I left you, Bella, I left you bleeding. Jacob was the one to stitch you back up again. That was bound to leave its mark — on both of you. I’m not sure those kinds of stitches dissolve on their own. I can’t blame either of you for something I made necessary. I may gain forgiveness, but that doesn’t let me escape the consequences.
I can be noble, Bella. I’m not going to make you choose between us. Just be happy, and you can have whatever part of me you want, or none at all, if that’s better. Don’t let any debt you feel you owe me influence your decision.Edward Cullen, Eclipse

"I was at a loss suddenly; but conscious all the while of how Armand listened; that he listened in the way that we dream of others listening, his face seeming to reflect on every thing said. He did not start forward to seize on my slightest pause, to assert an understanding of something before the thought was finished, or to argue with a swift, irresistible impulse -- the things which often make dialogue impossible.
And after a long interval he said, 'I want you. I want you more than anything in the world."
Anne Rice (Interview With the Vampire)

The Castle, as it is called, was constructed from 1928 through 1933 by Thoney Pietro, an immigrant Italian stonemason who had become prosperous using his expertise and craft throughout West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Pietro donated the Castle to the Franciscan Friars in 1949. The Franciscans constructed a chapel in 1955 and a dormitory in 1968.

The Howard Hanna site states the friary was once used as a training facility, church and retreat by the Good Counsel Friary. At 25215 sq feet, it sits on 14 acres of land and has about 20 bedrooms, two large rooms that could be used as seminar rooms or classrooms, several offices, a cafeteria with space for a commercial kitchen, and marble-floored bathrooms.
Estimated cost of renovations would be more than $1 million. It costs about $,000 to $10,000 a month to keep the Friary running, including utilities and maintenance.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shut Up and Sing

The one thing Ron wanted for his birthday was a group of us heading up to Pittsburgh, going to Sing Sing, and staying in a hotel.
We worked hard to grant that wish.

You'd think after 22 years, we'd have traveling together down to a science. But this is obviously not the case. When we travel, instead of using his own toiletry bag, Ron puts a toothbrush in my bag. I tell him, "Okay, now you have a toothbrush in my bag." and the next time we travel, he grabs yet another toothbrush. So I now have a collection of Ron's toothbrushes- most used for only a day or two- in my bag.

We were five, in our van going to Pittsburgh. Four others were in the second car, and two more met us there.
As soon as we got to the hotel, I began setting up the bar...
Which quickly grew...
What you don't see is all the stuff in the refrigerators!

Munchies as far as the eye can see!

Let the snacking begin!

My brother enjoying the view of the Hot Metal Bridge, from our room.
Once we were all way too drunk to give Mary Ellen proper directions to the hotel
"I don't know... We are by the river! Look by the river!"
much less operate a motor vehicle, we all hopped into the Leaf Van, driven by the ever-patient Max- oh, wait... Mike rode with the famous "Hot Nicaraguan" Oscar, who was sober because he's training for a marathon- and we all went to Sing Sing.

Our server, "Autumn, like the season", who has been at Sing Sing since it first opened in ... 2003?

Let's get this party started!

Birthday Boy

Mary Ellen's DD - Designated Date- for the evening, his friends call him Tuna.

We even got Ron up on stage to do the Hokey Pokey with fellow birthday guests.

It started innocently enough...

And went from there...

As the evening became the 2am, we headed back to the hotel in shifts.

By 4am, everyone was asleep.

"Yes, I do need them all!"

Even though I shared the bed with Ron, I still managed to make the patented "Lisa's Nesting Pod" out of all the pillows.

In the morning...
The sun was shining brightly, and there's nothing like an early morning jogger to make your hangover that much more punishing.


(oh, sorry... 'Happy birthday, Ron!' )