Ocean Commotion

This is a true tale.

A tale of ocean brawling.

Oh, and also of ocean snatching.

But we’ll get back to that in a moment.

It all started ten years ago, on a family vacation to Legoland California.

No trip to a coastal destination is ever complete without visiting the ocean.

At least, not in my opinion.

My then-2 year old son was thoroughly enjoying his second trip ever to the Pacific Ocean, collecting seashells and enjoying the feel of sand beneath his feet.

Until a temperamental wave crashed and leveled him onto the shore like a beached whale.

A few minutes later, he sat deep in thought on his ocean-themed beach towel with his plastic sand pail and shovel in hand, vengefully crafting his revenge.

Half an hour later, he left the Pacific Ocean with an ominous declaration:

I’ll get you, water!

Fast forward 10 years.

We had the privilege of visiting the Atlantic Ocean on our most recent road trip a few weeks ago.

And it was obviously time for payback.

Come at me!

My revenge-seeking child took a huge step backward, away from the shore, before continuing his tirade.

Come on! Show me what you’ve got!

Ah.

Coast to coast ocean brawling at its finest.

Then he stooped down to admire a cluster of seashells that had washed onto the shore.

Fortunately, he managed to escape the wrath of the Atlantic Ocean…

This time around.

Now, back to that whole ocean snatching incident…

My husband and I had set out with the intention of capturing an incredible sunrise on the beach.

And capture a sunrise we did.

Along with half the Atlantic Ocean.

Armed with our makeshift ocean snatching kit consisting of a freshly guzzled glacier cherry Gatorade bottle that I’d forced upon my husband…

Along with a Ziplock freezer bag that we’d been using as our travel toiletry bag and an R2D2 tote bag that held just the right amount of ocean loot.

Meanwhile, our trusty getaway mobile, a nondescript rental mini van with Oklahoma license plates, sat in the shadows of the parking lot.

It was a chilly 40-something degrees out that morning.

I couldn’t feel my toes.

But it was absolutely worth it.

For witnessing a majestic sunrise on the beach.

And feeling the lush sand beneath my feet.

And taking home the best souvenir money can’t buy.

Determined to make my very own authentic mini beach replica upon returning home, I needed to make the most of the opportunity.

And so we left the beach with bulging pockets full of seashells, a bottle full of Atlantic Ocean water, and a bag of Atlantic Ocean sand.

I absolutely love the ocean.

I love the melodious waves.

I love the paradoxical peaceful calm that dissipates with the intense crash of waves to the shore.

And I especially love majestic sunrises and sunsets.

Sunsets on the Pacific.

Sunrises on the Atlantic.

We had sacrificed precious sleep time to rise early on our vacation, just to witness a sunrise over the ocean.

But it was a sacrifice I was happy to make.

Did I mention I also love dolphins?

Unfortunately, we didn’t encounter any on this trip.

Which was probably just as well.

I might’ve been tempted to capture one and give it new life in my bathtub.

Wow.

I’m not just quirky, I’m apparently full-on crazy too.

Oh well.

I could happily live on the ocean forever.

But for now, I’m still working on creating my mini beach masterpiece.

I could really use my very own at-home oasis.

In the meantime, I’ve evidently become an ocean kleptomaniac.

I’m not sure what this says about my sanity…

But I’m okay with it.

More or less.

Now, I just need to devise a way to snatch a baby palm tree…

~Happy Saturday, friends! Can you tell I love the beach? The ocean is the most therapeutic place on earth, and I would totally live there if I could. One day…~

My prized ocean loot collection...

My prized ocean loot collection…

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Bigly Bestest Easter Fool

@thebiglybestestdoggie:  Hoppity hop! I’m the Easter Doggie! Haha! April fools! (Psst! It’s me, Jett!)

~Happy Tuesday, friends! How crazy is it that Easter and April Fools’ Day will be sharing a day this year? It’ll certainly make for some interesting Easter basket prank ideas…~

Comically Quirky by Quirky Girl

Happy Friday, friends! Have you been desperately yearning to discover just how crazy…I mean quirky, I might be? Then you’re in luck! Check out my interview with Kate, the lovely creator of Meet the Bloggers. Packed with fascinating fun facts about yours truly, along with advice for new bloggers and links to my favorite blog posts, it’s a great way to pass a few minutes. (Oh come on. You weren’t really all that excited about doing yet another load of laundry, were you? Yeah. Didn’t think so.)

Meet the Bloggers

Can’t remember when I met QG but it was ages ago, her mother also blogs as “TINK”.  Quirky writes great pieces about parenting, lack of cooking skills … all the little things in life in a totally hilarious manner.  Need a good laugh then hang out there for a while and your day will be brighter …

Please give a brief personal background and talk about your hobbies/interests?
I’m a fascinating mix of New Yorker/Washingtonian/Arizonan/No Man Lander. I was an avid reader as a child, and I’d write for hours at time about… well, everything a kid could possibly imagine. I’ve had a knack for finding humor in unexpected places for as long as I can remember, along with a tendency to see the world through a somewhat different perspective. Yet instead of going down the logical path of a writer, I set out to study Aeronautical Science in college…

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Bigly Bestest BFF

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Found a new doggie friend. Trying to teach him to roll a ball, but he hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet. Not sure what’s up with that. Oh well. Practice makes perfect, right?

~Happy Tuesday! What could be cuter than a doggie? How about a doggie trying to play ball with a plush doggie?~

 

Threading the Needle

Fasting and physicals.

They both start with the notorious “f” sound.

The very same “f” that starts off fabulous words such as failure and faint.

Sounds so promising, doesn’t it?

I don’t like doctors.

I don’t like physicals.

I especially don’t like blood.

Or perhaps more specifically, I don’t like the blood work that’s part of a rather unfortunate package deal with the aforementioned physical.

And the requisite fasting before the blood work?

That right there is my worst nightmare.

Well, that, along with passing out from loss of blood.

It’s not the needles that freak me out.

It’s the fact that my body riots whenever it’s forced to part with five vials worth of blood.

And for the record, passing out sucks.

But back to the whole fasting nonsense.

No food or drink for eight hours prior to having blood drawn?

What’s up with that?

Right around the three hour mark, I typically start exhibiting signs of feral beastly hunger so intense that this vegetarian becomes pathologically unpleasant while getting dangerously close to resorting to cannibalism.

But seeing as how cannibalism is frowned upon in most parts of the world, that’s probably not the way to go.

So anyway, no food or drink prior to the sadistic practice of drawing blood is truly a hardship for me.

But according to the doctor, in addition to water, I can also enjoy a nice cup of black coffee.

Yeah, no thanks.

I’d rather be a zombie.

Given my track record of passing out every time I have blood drawn, going solo is simply not an option for me.

As I’m getting ready to head out to my impending doom, my husband is forced to monitor me closely.

Hey! What are you doing? Are you actually eating that toothpaste!?!

Maybe I am!

Come on. Spit it out. NOW!

As we drive toward the blood work lab, a similar conversation ensues.

What are you doing with that Do Not Eat packet?

This time, he doesn’t bother waiting for a response before snatching it out of my hand.

Maybe I can enjoy that as a treat after the blood work.

By this point, I’m seriously contemplating eating the wrapper off my water bottle; just yanking that sucker right off and chomping away like an uncouth mule grazing in a pasture.

We arrive 15 minutes before the lab opens, so I have more than enough time for a quick trip to the restroom.

But I’m clearly not moving fast enough for my husband’s liking.

What’s taking you so long? You’d better not be eating the toilet paper!

Ha! Like I’d really do that.

I desperately scan the contents of the trash.

But it’s early in the morning. The trashcan is practically empty, with the exception of a used tissue and an empty bottle of Victoria’s Secret lotion.

We eventually enter the dreaded lab and get down to business.

It’s over fairly quickly, actually.

Holy crap!

I didn’t pass out this time, even after all three huge vials are filled.

Of course, this is solely due to the fact that I’m laying flat across the table like roadkill instead of sitting in the chair like a normal human being.

But whatever.

It worked.

After a few minutes, the room is no longer spinning.

I peel myself off the table with as much dignity as I can muster as my husband guides me out the door like a stumbling drunk.

We stop at the first store we come across, which happens to be 7-11.

We go in and grab a few munchies.

Oh Thank Heaven for 7-11.

I devour a family-size bag of popcorn in ten minutes, tops.

It’s a huge victory, overall.

I didn’t pass out, and I didn’t starve to death.

Perhaps more importantly, I didn’t resort to inhaling yet another Do Not Eat packet.

~Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend!~

Things are about to get ugly...

Things are about to get ugly…

(Threading the Needle originally appeared on Comically Quirky on 11/05/15)

Bigly Bestest Abandonment

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Where did everyone go? Momma? Daddy? Hmmm… I don’t see those crazy kids anywhere, either. Oooh! Tink is here! I get to hang out with Tink! Grandma time is the best!

~Happy Tuesday, friends! Jett just loves to share the love!~

Culinary Mayhem

If you can read, you can cook!

I read that somewhere a while back, and I could’ve died laughing.

I can read well enough, thank you very much.

But cooking?

Now that’s a different story.

As it turns out, that line is actually the title of a cookbook.

I’ve never read that particular cookbook.

But I’m way beyond the point of help, anyway.

As far as I’m concerned, the need to “refuel” is not only a major inconvenience, but an unfortunate human inefficiency as well.

It’s a necessary evil, at best.

And how utterly ironic that I am always hungry, yet I don’t want to be troubled by stepping into the kitchen to prepare anything that might take longer than 30 seconds.

Every time I open the fridge, I secretly wish that my next meal will magically materialize before my eyes.

I can bake decently.

From a box.

I’m usually able to follow those directions well enough.

Unless I don’t have all the ingredients and end up having to do a little experimental substituting.

Who needs a stick of butter anyway when you’ve got a whole tub of rice pudding?

Right?

Yeah.

I have no business being in the kitchen.

If I had a personal chef, I could probably get out once and for all.

Before somebody really gets hurt.

Case in point:

I’ve almost been knocked out by the freezer door on several occasions.

And I’m convinced the ice maker on the fridge is also trying to kill me, as it spastically fires off sharp-edged ice cubes at random angles across the kitchen.

There’s also The Oven Fire Incident, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

Onions aren’t the only things that can bring tears to my eyes.

For the record, I can tell you from experience that if you accidentally rub your eyes after handling an onion, you’re in for a world of burning inferno waterworks.

Kitchen gadgets terrify me.

On the rare occasions I wander into those kitchen stores at the mall out of morbid curiosity, I can’t figure out what most of those gadgets even are, let alone what purpose they could possibly serve.

Cookie cutters are fairly self-explanatory, but all of that other stuff?

Not so much.

Some of these bizarre looking items look like they belong in a science lab.

Butter churners look downright dangerous.

Nutmeg mill, anyone?

Banana slicer?

Butter curler?

Wow.

There’s something for everyone.

And yet, it’s all so useless to me.

I can slice and dice things just fine.

Oh, and I do excel at making mixed drinks. I’m a natural at that!

Surely, that’s got to count for something.

Speaking of drinks, Baileys is the ultimate utility player in the kitchen.

I’ve used it to transform random ingredients into a work of… well, a real piece of work.

Baileys is a delightful addition to cereal, yogurt, and strawberries.

Voilà!

Instant meal, with a little added bonus.

In my house, we tend to plan our meals based on what’s about to expire.

Oh, the eggs are at their sell by date, the twisty tie for the loaf of bread mysteriously disappeared, and the plums are starting to shrivel?

Guess we just solved the dinner dilemma.

If the produce is getting too soft and the yogurt is a couple of days past the sell by date, it’s definitely smoothie time. It is the ultimate saving grace, the fabulous Waste Not, Want Not approach.

Smoothies are easy, sometimes delicious, occasionally nutritious, and most importantly, a great way to use up all those bananas, blueberries, avocados, and brussel sprouts that are a mere 6 hours away from turning into moldy mush because they’ve been hiding in the ghastly shadows of gallons of milk and apple juice for the past two weeks.

Perhaps the best part about smoothies is that if you’re feeling lazy and think chewing might take more effort than it is worth, all you have to do is gulp it down.

Which may be especially beneficial, depending on the alarming mixture of foods you just dumped into that blender.

On the plus side, you can drink it out of a cocktail cup to make it feel like an extra special treat.

A few more perfectly valid reasons why the kitchen and its gang of appliance and gadget buddies are not my friends:

I once forgot to put the coffee pot under the machine before flipping the switch and wandering out of the room. I returned a few minutes later to the sight of coffee spewing out of the machine, across the counter, and forming a muddy lake that snaked all the way across the kitchen.

There was also that time I reached over to unplug the toaster. It was still hot, and it burned my arm. Yes, I actually got beat up by a toaster.

And I’d once forgotten to coat a pan with oil before pouring the brownie mix in, and ended up eating the brownies all by myself right out of the pan with a fork because it just wouldn’t come out otherwise, and I hate wasting perfectly good food.

The blender also literally blew up on me while making a smoothie. In my defense, it was pretty old.

And my greatest failure in the kitchen (to date) that has clearly set me up for a lifetime of culinary success:

When I was in junior high, I attempted to turn pita bread into pita chips by tossing it into the oven for a few minutes. When I reached in to grab it, it was hotter than hell.

The next thing I knew, the oven mitt went flying into the oven.

It came out engulfed in flames.

Seriously, if that doesn’t’ make my point for needing to stay out of the kitchen, I don’t know what will.

Needless to say, the smoke alarm and I are old buddies.

~Happy Friday, friends! I know there are plenty of people out there who enjoy cooking. Clearly, I am not one of them, and for good reason. But if you happen to also be a culinary misfit,  you’re in good company!~

Take that, Martha Stewart

Take that, Martha Stewart!

(Culinary Mayhem originally appeared on Comically Quirky on 9/03/15)

Bigly Bestest Cruisin’

@thebiglybestestdoggie: It’s been such a great day! I walked in the park! I went for a car ride! Then I jumped into the passenger seat and tried to drive the car! Life is good…

~Happy Tuesday, everyone! Doggies sure do love a nice car ride… I just never would’ve imagined how interested they might be in actually learning to drive. Haha!~

Directionally Delusional

Recalculating…

I swear, I’d never get anywhere without a GPS.

Although I don’t particularly seem to be getting anywhere with one either…

Ah.

The great Global Positioning System.

Where exactly does this thing think it ought to be positioning me?

Straight into the path of danger?

I wouldn’t doubt it.

After my younger son’s doctor appointment, we decided to get out and explore downtown.

My GPS informed me of a sprawling park with playgrounds and a botanical garden just one mile away.

I was looking forward to enjoying a bit of one-on-one time with my son.

Now I know I should’ve just dumped him back off at school and called it a day.

For the record, I’ve got a track record of getting lost just backing out of my own driveway.

Truly, I have no concept of direction.

If I didn’t have a compass in my car, I probably would’ve driven straight into an ocean by now.

Some people have an internal compass.

My husband and older son both have it.

My younger son and I clearly do not.

Instead, I’m gifted with an overactive imagination and an inclination for getting lost going nowhere.

Yes, I know GPS is not foolproof.

And sure, some people prefer to use good old maps.

But for me, reading a map is like trying to decipher hieroglyphics.

I’m convinced printed maps serve only as intricately detailed wall hangings.

Did I mention I have no sense of direction?

None.

Zero.

Zilch.

Turn left now.

Um, okay.

But that would put us the wrong way on a one way road, so I think I’ll pass.

Thanks, though.

At the fork, stay to the left.

That’s all and well…

Except following that cue just threw us onto an entirely different freeway altogether.

Would somebody please explain to me the logic of a freeway called I35E that evidently runs north and south?

Rather than eastbound, as the would imply…?

Why not just name it I35Q instead, to eliminate any unnecessary confusion?

At any rate, we could actually see the park from where we’re at…

Make a U-turn.

Make a U-turn.

Take the ramp ahead.

Okaaaay…

But which ramp?

And to where, exactly?

There are various ramps leading to six different freeways.

One of them is a toll road.

And I refuse to pay money to get lost.

No, thank you.

Prepare to park and walk the rest of the way.

Excuse me?!?

Does that seriously sound like something anyone ought to be doing?

Across a freeway?!?

I always say I want to get out and explore more.

But this was not at all what I’d envisioned.

Getting lost is never intentionally on my agenda.

Nor is driving in circles.

Or making dozens of U-turns.

With such overwhelming helpfulness, GPS surely must be one of Siri’s relatives.

In 200 ft, make a U-turn.

Make a U-turn.

Turn right.

Make a U-turn.

Seriously?

The GPS loses connection as we go through a tunnel.

On the wrong freeway, of course.

And then it can’t seem to figure out where on earth we are.

By the time it regains satellite, it’s convinced we’re coasting along on an adjacent freeway.

Gotta love complex metropolitan cities.

There’s a reason I prefer to stick to surface streets.

Half an hour later, we’re right back where we started.

I’m not getting anywhere.

Literally, I’m going nowhere…

 Recalculating…
 ~Happy Friday, friends! Who else can relate to the chaos of getting lost every time you enter a vehicle? I know I can’t possibly be the only one… I hope! Anyway, have an amazing weekend!~
The GPS never lies...

The GPS never lies…