Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Settlers of Catan

Settlers is a great game, but it is awfully hard to track down if you want to buy it! My brother and his girlfriend Kristen were planning to buy it and bring it up to Michigan with them for this next week when we're all together. I suggested getting it off of ebay since they couldn't find it in any stores. So they shipped it to Kristen's parents' house because they figured it would arrive while they were there. Well, Tim called me today and said it hadn't gotten there yet and they are planning to leave tomorrow (before the mail comes).

So I decided to see if I could find it anywhere. I went to Toys 'R' Us tonight and asked about it. The guy I asked said, "Yeah, other people have asked about that game but I haven't found it yet." (So why don't they stock it by now, I ask myself?) So as I was walking out, one of the cashiers who was just standing around (the place was absolutely deserted) suggested 2 other places I might go: Castle Comics store (sounds kind of scary) and Game Stop at Levee Plaza. Well, to make a long story short, I drove around for a while but didn't find either place. So I decided to go online to ebay and see what I could do about ordering it and sending it up to MY parents' house so we can have it for next week! I just finished ordering it.

So, we'll see if we ever get to play it. I played it at the Duttons a few years ago and it's a very fun game!

On a side note, doesn't this sound as if my brother and his girlfriend are making "family-type" purchases together?? Hmm, I can't wait to meet this Kristen in 2 days!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Some of you have asked how my scrapbooking is going. So here's an update!

I'm almost there on the scrapbook project that I'm trying to finish before I leave for Michigan on Thursday!

This morning (after working on this project off and on since Wednesday) I finally put all the pages in their respective albums with no leftover pictures (well, except for the ones I decided not to use). All that's left to do is to LABEL all of these pages now! (That's still quite a project; it's probably going to be at least 4 hours of work, I'm guessing.)

So I counted up all the pages I did because I'm going to need page protectors for them now: 44 pages (well, double-sided I guess that would be 88)!

My living room floor is finally starting to emerge from underneath a covering of paper, pictures, and stencils.

And I only had to chase the puppy around a few times for grabbing paper (she likes chewing on paper), a pencil, or my corner rounder and taking off. Overall she actually did pretty well at not touching all the junk on the ground--of course, she had to be relegated to the kitchen a lot!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

1 More Week of Summer

Summer blahs. I feel like my mind is on summer vacation along with my schedule. I'm feeling very unproductive these days, and I'm having a hard time remembering WHAT I'm supposed to do, anyway. For instance, yesterday my big accomplishment was teaching a whopping 4 piano lessons and getting my new debit card activated by using it in at ATM. Other than letting my friends' dogs out 3 times a day, that's about all I got done (off of my "to-do" list--if I had one), and it felt like the day flew by. However, it is nice to be able to have a few hours to relax, take a nap, fix a sandwich, surf the net, or read a few chapters in a book. Oh, I have watched a few movies lately, too: Skeleton Key, Love's Eduring Promise, Two Weeks Notice, The Others--those were over the last few days. Today I spent a couple of hours over at school teaching preschool music and practicing for Sunday, but the rest of my day I'm planning on devoting to scrapbooking. That's my big project to get done by next week.

It's been nice to have some "lazy days" of summer, but those are fast coming to a close. Next Thursday I live for Michigan for a week, and when I come back I start back to "school mode." Aahhhh! Where has the summer gone! There was more stuff I wanted to get done, more books I wanted to read, and some more projects I was going to work on.

But I did accomplish one summer goal: I DID get a puppy! So it's been nice to have time to devote to my little baby. On a side note, it seems as if every time I take my dog for a walk, we meet new neighborhood dogs, but for some reason we never see the same dogs we've already met! I don't see how we can meet 2-3 new dogs a night and never repeat on the old ones! My puppy just got "terrorized" by a loose dog out in the backyard, too--looked kind of like a boxer. She was semi-friendly, but just charged over Juju and really scared her! Don't remember meeting her before, either! Oh well.

Monday, July 17, 2006


We survived Juju's first bath today!

She tried to escape, but I was able to hold her in the tub. After a couple of minutes, I think she even started to enjoy the massage. And with all that hair gone, she's bound to feel cooler in this heat wave--today's high was 94 degrees! She wasn't even that hyper afterward; she was ready to go to sleep. On a side note, I think she's going to have shorter fur like either a lab or German shepherd--and it seems very resilient to water.

Worn out!

In the backyard after her bath.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Dog Thermometer

Today is probably the hottest day of the year so far. Earlier my outside thermometer read 101 degrees, although it tends to read a little hotter than the actual temperature. Praise the Lord for air conditioning!

Juju is a good thermometer of whether it is cooler outside or inside--she will find the coolest place because she hates being hot! Today I tried turning on the box fan in the kitchen to see if that helped her feel cooler. Later I let her have the run of the house and I discovered that the coolest place in my house must be my bathroom floor, because that's her new favorite nap spot!

Today is definitely an INSIDE day!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blueberries Blueberries

Japanese beetles--those awful insects that love fruit like blueberries and can be found all over some of the branches and berries of blueberry bushes! (And even on Macintosh apple trees; I know that firsthand.)

I had an opportunity to encounter some of these creatures, because last night after church my friend Marney Rausch invited me (i.e. talked me into) going blueberry picking with her this morning, bright and early at 7 AM! Today was opening day at the Prelock Blueberry Farm. I'd only been out there picking once before a year or two ago--and never on the first day of the season.

Okay, Marney, yes, if you're reading this, I was very glad I went. The berry picking was excellent; there were LOTS of people there (and lots of helpful workers that I knew!); and the weather was perfect--it hadn't warmed up too much yet. There weren't TOO many Japanese beetles (they are pretty lethargic that early in the morning anyway). We (Marney, Amy Shaw, and I) cleaned up quite a few blueberry bushes and decided to call it quits around 8:30. I ended up with 8 pounds (24 cups) of blueberries!

So I came home, and instead of going back to sleep as I had planned, I ended up making 2 dozen blueberry muffins, a blueberry coffeecake, and a blueberry pie. And then I froze the other 16 cups!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pirates II

I just got back from seeing Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest. This was my first time to see a movie on its Opening Day (well, technically it ended on the next day). I went with my friends Keilah, Joy, and Ashley.

I'll try not to ruin it for any of you who haven't seen it yet, but I really liked it. Of course, I'm a die-hard Pirates fan, so anything with Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is bound to be good. And Jack is definitely back. One thing I liked was that it seemed as if all of the same actors were playing the same parts, so that really helped with continuity. It is definitely more of a "middle" movie, as in it is definitely a plot kind of buffer, setting up the finale in the third of the series. In fact, sometimes the plot was a little tricky to figure out, but that just makes me want to see it again to see if there's anything I missed the first time around.

Of course, there's the unreal scenarios of getting out of tight places and falling off of high places (and lots of rolling balls or wheels in this one), but the CGI stuff definitely makes up for that! I thought the special effects were tremendous; everything was very real-looking and some of the scenes were just really cool. I have no idea how they made some things look the way they did, but it was really cool. I would tend to rate the graphics somewhere akin to the Lord of the Rings.

I would highly recommend it--especially if you liked the first one (well, probably ONLY if you liked the first one). But nonetheless, a great movie. Can't wait for Number Three!

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Whole New World

I was at PetSmart yesterday. I am gradually getting back into the "Pet World." I had forgotten how overboard some people can go with pets, how many products are out there, how many different kinds of foods, training materials, toys, collars, books, etc., etc. are out there. There must be a lot of spoiled pests--uh, I mean pets--out there. (that was a real typo; I just decided to leave it in) One thing that surprised me was the number of "organic"-type products. I realize there are some people that are really gung-ho about organic stuff for people, but I didn't realize they were into it for pets too!

I've also been reading almost every book in my public library about dogs, housebreaking, and dog training. Wow. There are a lot of ideas there, too. Never play tug-of-war, only play tug-of-war if you win all the time, don't give tennis balls, do give tennis balls, don't give rawhide, don't paper-train, do this, don't do that. Which is actually extremely helpful, but I've been out of the "pet world" for so long, reentry is a little bit of a shock! I haven't had a puppy for 15 years, so it's very fun, but a lot of repetition too. Teaching the same things over and over and over and over. Right now she must be teething because we've been working on NOT BITING!! (Especially people's hands.) Hopefully she'll grow out of it, because she's sure not catching on most of the time from me. And I've tried everything in the books!!!

It's a whole new world, that pet world!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

You will be so tired of me posting about my dog!

Yesterday we had some thunderstorms, and Juju likes playing with the rain gutter--and the mud, too, of course. She doesn't understand the concept of coming in out of the rain yet!

So here's a few more pictures. Juju's almost 11 weeks old now and she's growing! She's over 10 pounds now, but still likes to be carried, as I carried her all the way home from church Sunday afternoon as she was very warm (it was over 90 degrees). She's definitely gotten used to the air conditioning!

It is still rainy this morning, but hopefully it will clear up before the fireworks tonight!