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Thelma and Louise Internacional — Part IV

Thursday, 5/5

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Breakfast for the birds

Boo hoo, it’s our last full day in paradise!

While enjoying my coffee on the balcony this morning, I shared a mushy banana (and peel) for the birds and agouti. AA wondered if the guests below us were sitting on their balconies seeing random stuff dropping from the sky. The birds seemed to like the banana but the peel sat out there for most of the morning.

We were planning to meet up with everyone for the 11:30 dolphin show, so we hopped the resort shuttle to check out the breakfast buffet at Maya Caribe which was the one closest to the Dolphins. For the first time, we had to give our resort bracelet numbers to the hostess. AA discovered that her number was 10666, so she was basically 10SATAN all week! While we were once again seated very far from the food, we agreed that the breakfast buffet at Caribe was the best one! It had the largest food selection of all the buffets we’d tried.

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Band aids from the staff at Maya Caribe

Since I was hobbling around with flip flop blisters (stupid winter feet!), we stopped at the Caribe lobby to see if they had a gift shop where I could buy band aids. The staff asked how many I needed and handed me 4 children’s band aids. Sweet! You have to love a resort that hands out something at no charge!

We headed over to the Caribe pool area to grab beach towels and slather ourselves with sunscreen before meeting up with everyone for the 11:30 dolphin show. Though we arrived early at Dolphinaris, all of the front row seats were completely filled. We all ended up standing to watch the dolphin show which was AWESOME!  Dolphins racing back and forth in their pool (we had no idea they were so fast), jumping several feet into the air, “walking” across the pool, snuggling with their handlers. Adorable!  After the show, we headed over to the Riviera Maya sign so we could all take pictures with it like the tourists we were.

Following the dolphin show and pictures, the plan was group snorkeling. AA and I were considering snorkeling, but decided at the last minute that we would just hang out on a lounge chair on the beach. A few minutes after we got settled in a chair, the crew showed up to say that all of the gear was in use, so they weren’t able to snorkel either. We packed up our stuff to move to a group of beach chairs that could accommodate all of us.  Everyone dropped their bags and headed out into the ocean [AA:  sea…the Caribbean Sea]. AA and I joined them. AA went into the water willingly! Those who know her know that she does not like touching nature, nor nature touching her! The water was WARM and crystal clear. The sand was very soft with no shells or rocks where we were.  We bobbed around in the water for a while, and were watching a guy riding a jet pack (and showing off). Just as we were making our way out of the water, someone noticed a stingray swimming near us. Of course, we had to all stop and get pictures of both the stingray and the schools of fish we could see swimming. Picture six people, in less than knee-deep water, all with cameras stretched out in front of them, circling the stingray.  LOL! AA later sat in the water to try to get more underwater pics of the fish and got smacked in the face with a small wave, reminding her why she usually keeps nature at a safe distance. I headed back to my chair to begin packing up my stuff as we were going to grab lunch together. I missed AA falling as she tried to make her way out of the water. [AA note: There was a surprise ditch in the sand. Left step, right step into ditch, SPLAT face first in the water! Wondering how many tourists got to see the flailing. It was sooooo not graceful.  Nature 2, AA 0]

Our group grabbed lunch at the Mariachi Grill in Maya Colonial and got to see two more beautiful hawks – Cappuccino and Matrix.  We even got to touch Matrix! His feathers were so soft!

After lunch, AA and I headed down towards the pier. I parked myself in a lounge chair to grab some more sun and give my knee a rest, while AA took a long walk down a short pier to get a few (hundred) pictures.

Since we were still sunburnt, we headed back to our resort pool to sit in the shade for the late afternoon.  A number of the wedding crew were gathering for dinner around 7. Since we were still at the pool at that time, we opted to grab dinner a little later.  On our last evening there, we finally learned that the resorts had dinner buffets  – we were never really hungry at dinner time so had not paid attention to dinner options – so we planned to visit Hacienda Buffet for our first and last buffet dinner! As we sat down to enjoy our plates of food, I commented that we are always seated as far from the buffets as possible. Are they worried that I’m going to eat all the food? Maybe they don’t want us in anyone’s vacation pics? And then we noticed that “Santa” had a front row seat close to the buffet! I guess THAT’s how you get priority seating. Harumph!

Following dinner, we head up to the lobby to pre-check out. This should save us some time in the morning.  We head back to our room to sadly begin packing for our return to normal life. As I’m moaning and groaning in the bathroom trying to de-suit myself for a shower, AA says “I’ve lost my prescription glasses!” While I’m showering, she’s checking her bags, the bedside table, the desk, the closet, and the balcony. As I’m wrapping up in the bathroom, AA asks if I’m dressed yet and can open the bathroom doors. Uh oh … what happened in the time I was showering? As I open the bathroom doors and she tells me that she found her glasses …

On her face …

The entire time … [AA note: I have literally become my grandmother!]

 

Note: AA co-authored and contributed pictures for this post.

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Mother’s Day

What the kids greeted me with when I got home on Mother’s Day.

What I went out and bought myself for Mother’s Day.

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After comparison shopping between Lowe’s and Walmart, I bought the better model at Lowe’s since it had a Honda engine. My previous Craftsman POS mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine from Sears won’t start again this year (it must be year 10 for this!). An online friend had recommended buying one with a Honda engine, so we’ll see how this one works out.

I already effed up a bracket that secures the mower blade. As darkness was falling quickly on Sunday evening, Dumdum (me) didn’t tighten that bolt prior to my attempt to use it.

I used a vacation day today to celebrate Lineman’s birthday. I ended up rethinking my original plan for his birthday so I spent the morning reviewing the mower manual, tightening the blade, and basically enjoying a weekday day off. Since I chipped out some of the bracket, I ordered a replacement piece. At least I was able to get my small back yard mowed until the mower started making odd noises again. I’ll replace the bracket when it arrives and attempt the front yard again.

One of these days I’ll learn that my lack of patience ends up costing me more in the end!

2014: The Year in Review

Holy crap, we’re through another year! I can’t believe we’re starting 2015 already. I couldn’t decide whether to post something here publically (well, with a password) or whether I should just write privately in the journal I attempted (key word “attempted”) to start last year. I figure I’ll post some thoughts here and document the “less suitable for public” ones elsewhere.

When I sit down to think about it, 2014 was a roller coaster year of ups and downs.

Highs from the year: 

I had a great vacation on The Rock Boat. FM and I were not dating at the time of this trip but we were cabin mates. He stupidly twisted his ankle two weeks prior to the trip, so we ended up spending a good bit of time together attending shows. Post-Boat, we discussed the challenges of our relationship and chose to give it another chance. By summer, however, things had severely fallen apart and I finally ended it in August.

I GOT A NEW JOB! While it’s been an adjustment to be the “new girl,” I’ve adjusted into my new role in my new department. (I do still absolutely hate working until 5 PM though!)

Vampire Boy finished his freshman year at college. He didn’t do as well as his parents had hoped, but at least he wasn’t thrown out of school.

Social Diva went to Colorado for two weeks in June to visit her friend who used to live here. Social Diva had not been on a plane, yet alone travelled alone, but her dad and I sprung for direct flights for her to do both this year! The girls had so much fun visiting that they’re already planning for a longer visit next summer.

Road trips to see my favorite bands! Melodime at Jammin’ Java over Easter weekend, four Red Wanting Blue shows (one each in Ohio, Pittsburgh, DC, and Cleveland), and ending the year at a New Year’s show at Jammin’ Java by Melodime, Steve Everett, and Paul Pfaw. So many TRB peeps traveled to Virginia for this! I was also able to make a number of shows by my favorite bands here in Pittsburgh.

A “Happy Birthday” phone call from a former boyfriend (which happens every year) was followed up two weeks later by a “I’m going through some things, can you meet and talk with me over dinner?” We had remained friends over the years, but the more we talked though his situation, the more I wanted to talk with him.

Another great OBX vacation with friends! (Even with the relationship drama.)

Conference in Chicago and Social Diva went with me. She enjoyed wandering and exploring Chicago (both with me and on her own).

Lows from the year:

Relationship issues. While I tried my best to leave past transgressions in the past, I continued to have trust issues. Renewed communication with the man from my past ended up throwing my world upside down.

Disintegration of friend circle. Our fun circle of people who made plans to hang out on the weekends has disintegrated as has the social site that introduced us in the first place. In addition, I feel like I’ve lost some friends thanks to the break up. Everyone claims they don’t take sides, but based on conversations and observations, I don’t believe this.

Relationships with dads who are divorcing and have custody quarrels are certainly challenging. I’ve been to this rodeo before and hope that I can maintain my sanity and the relationship! I think my photo may be listed next to “Been there, done that!”

It’s funny how one moment you think you have your day, your week, your month, or your year mapped out, and the next thing you know, everything has changed! My hope is to keep my sanity for whatever challenges 2015 throws my way. Here’s wishing you a longer list of highs and a happy and healthy 2015 filled with new fun and adventures!

Happy New Year!

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Introduce Yourself!

nametagHi! Thanks for stopping by!

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that my views have been increasing.

Stats

So please, say hi and introduce yourself! What brings you to visit?

A review of ‘search terms’ for the past 30 days shows me the following:

breakup quotes 27
break up quotes for her 3
i am here for you quotes 2
quotes about breaking up 2
quotes about relationships being hard 2
quotes breakup 1
the break up quotes 1
quote on break off 1
black relationship quotes 1
getting over a break up quotes 1
breaking up relationship quotes 1
acquaintance vs. friend 1
break up quotes for boys 1
almost breaking up quotes 1
break off quotes 1
relationship ends quotes 1
breaking up quotes 1
Unknown search terms 108

Lots of unknown search terms, but lots of people finding my site when searching for break up quotes. As someone who has muddled a number of relationships over the past 13 years, I’m sorry that I don’t have any magic words to share with you. Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You have to learn as you go. We’re all making mistakes along the way, but do your best to not take advantage or hurt others.

Some good advice from my therapist (who I still hear in my head when I’m trying to work something out): “Always do the best that you can with the information you have.”

SQUIRREL

So back to the original purpose of my post.

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. What brings you to visit?

2013 Annual Report

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Day 22: TGIF

And how am I spending my Friday evening?

Well, first Social Diva and I had Chinese for dinner. (I also had cake at work, so there goes my diet today!)

But with the holidays coming, I said I wnated to get the house cleaned up.

Tonight, I focused on cleaning up all the papers lying around, and Social Diva reorganized her “school” bookshelf in the dining room.

She’s now enjoying the Pens Game while I am ready to head to bed.

Tomorrow’s another day! (and with the cold forecast, it’s going to be a perfect one to stay indoors and clean!)

Day 7: I Hope to be a Guinea Pig

Last night I attended an information session for a clinical trial at the local university. The study is to help people lose weight and present weight regain. The program will include physical activity, nutrition, and weight loss intervention for reduced cardiovascular risk.

While I did buy a Fitbit at the end of August, I haven’t made much progress with increasing my exercise.  This study will require weekly group meetings and my weight and eating habits will be reported to the study coordinators via a wifi scale and the Lose It! app.  Accountability (and no cheating)!

At the end of the information session, we had to answer a few questionnaires to see if we qualify to participate. The coordinators will review our answers and will let us know our eligibility to participate by early December. Baseline testing will  start in January, with group sessions beginning in February.

I hope I’m eligible to participate. While I’ve done well this week with my modified eating, some nutritional advice for this picky eater would be very helpful and greatly appreciated!

It was just yesterday!

Seventeen!

I am the mom of a seventeen year old!

It was just yesterday that I decided to go off birth control.

It was just yesterday that I got pregnant.

It was just yesterday that I was admitted for induction.

It was just yesterday that I was sent home with a delightful bundle of joy.

It was just yesterday that the handsome little boy I gave birth to started kindergarten.

And then middle school.

And then high school.

Holy crap, he’s a junior in high school! He’s (hopefully) getting his driver’s license within the next few months. We’re choosing classes for his senior year of high school. He’s thinking about attending college. He’s trying to find a summer job (fingers crossed for the second interview at the Zoo!).

He’ll be a senior soon.

Senior pictures.

Girlfriends.

Senior prom.

High school graduation.

The kids laugh at my tears at the end of Toy Story 3.  How am I going to make it tear-free through graduation? It’s going to be impossible!

While he may be an introvert and doesn’t like to do much with mom these days, I have been blessed with handsome, well-mannered, polite young adult. ::sniffle, sniffle::

He is 17 today, and I wish him the happiest of birthdays!

Can someone please show me the rewind button?

Thankful

I hate hearing stories on the news about domestic violence cases, especially ones that involve young women.

What happened to Karissa Kunco could have happened to me.

At the young age of 20, I became involved with, moved in with, and eventually engaged to a man who was not right for me.  He lived across the country road from my grandmother. I had been infatuated with him since my younger teenage years, and we reacquainted after I wrecked my mom’s car and needed auto body work. My sister had recommended him to do the job, and my only “charge” for the work was a date with him.  As the relationship evolved, I learned just how addicted to alcohol and cocaine he was. He was frequently jealous and it was a volatile relationship. I thought I could change him.

I packed up and moved out numerous times, a few times with just the clothes on my back.  Unfortunately, my moves were across the street to my grandmother’s which was not far enough away from him. Break-ups were always followed by apologies and empty promises. I was young and inexperienced and didn’t know how to break the cycle. There’s more to the story that I’m not comfortable sharing here, but in August 1988, my life changed. I cooperated in the investigation and prepared to testify in front of a judge.  In the end, he accepted the plea that was offered and went to jail. I was left to rebuild my life.

I was a fortunate one. I was able to get away. Unfortunately, not without experiencing some violence and trauma myself, but I was able to break free.  Sadly, Karissa Kunco was not.  My heart breaks for her family.

Hopefully, my experience has taught me the skills to educate my own daughter and to watch for any signs of a controlling or volatile relationship. Having been there, I hope to recognize the signs and be able to share my story with her. If I’m lucky, it will continue to be my secret.

Lost: My Sanity

Four years ago, due to a move I did not ask for, I had to surrender my two labs to the Humane Society since I could not find a home (temporary or permanent) for them. I sobbed the entire ride home after having to leave them.  I eventually acclimated to living without the strings of having a pet and thought I enjoyed life as it is.

Until today.

I got an email from my dog-loving co-worker. She ended up cornering a small dog that she has seen running around for a few weeks since she returned from her vacation.  He has both a collar and flea collar but no tags.  She took him to her vet to see if he was microchipped (he’s not).  He looks to be healthy but he’s severely malnourished.

I immediately shot off her email and pictures to my landlord to see if he would reverse his standing of no-pets. If I don’t hear from him by tomorrow afternoon, I will call him.

I called my co-worker to call dibs. Her neighbors got to her first, but I’m next in line if they don’t take him.

See what made me reconsider? (But don’t tell my kids yet)

Adorable