Friday, January 29, 2016

Baby let's cruise...

A week from today Spouse & I will be leaving on vacation.  We're going with our friends Steven & Thad on a cruise with ports of call in Nassau Bahamas, St Thomas/US Virgin Islands, and St Maarten.

But this isn't just any Caribbean cruise... we're sailing on the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas.  (Allure of the Seas is its twin sister ship.) 

Oasis of the Seas has a maximum capacity of 6,296 passengers and 2,394 crew.  That's nearly 8,700 people! But it won't be crowded because we'll be on the world's largest cruise ship!!

But how big is the biggest?  Its nearly 1,200 feet long and 236 feet tall (above the waterline).  Still not sure how that compares with other cruise ships?  Well, in the photo below you can see Holland America's Maasdam ship in the foreground, and Oasis of the Seas behind it.

Yeah.... that should clear things up.

In addition to its gargantuan size, this ship also features a unique open center, providing balcony cabins facing the center of the ship, overlooking a replica of New York's Central Park.   
This ship's Central Park features the very first living park at sea, with over 12,000 live plants and trees.

Other amenities onboard include: 
2 wave simulators
A zipline over Central Park
An ice skating rink
A fitness center with over 150 machines
A working carousel
2 rock climbing walls
A miniature golf course
A childrens water park
An aquatheatre well as the 'standard features' of most cruise ships such as a casino, multiple nightclubs, bars, shops, theatre shows, specialty restaurants, spa, multiple pools and hot tubs.

We're pretty excited!!  It will be fun to experience something so large and unique, to get away from the winter weather, to visit the 3 tropical islands, and to get out of our routine of work.

Obviously I'll have photos to share here once we return.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Flip my wig?

OK, so you know how everything online is linked nowadays, right?  For instance, if you open Google's Chrome browser and search for mens' black shoes, then use Google Chrome to log into facebook, you'll see ads in the sidebar for mens' black shoes.  I've experienced this a number of times for different items for which I've recently searched on Google.  It can be a little annoying if you went ahead and made the purchase but continue to see the ads for them everytime you log into facebook.

So, the other day I log into facebook and over in the ad space I see this:

...a website for mens' wigs.

Now, I can assure you that I have never, EVER done a Google search for mens' wigs, so I don't know HOW this got 'connected' to me.  But I must admit that once I clicked on the ad I was astonished at the prices!  $10 USD for a 'realistic' wig??

My mind then began to imagine all the possibilities of changing up my look to suit my mood, or even the place I'm going.  I could have bangs partially covering my eyes, I could have shoulder-length waves to toss with dramatic inflection, or maybe even a sassy shag.  So many choices!!

As tempted as I was by the reasonable prices and multitude of choices, I resisted the urge.  

For now.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The lesser-liked Jonas

So the snow from the lesser-liked Jonas started falling around 3:00 on Fri afternoon, somewhat lightly, and continued for 5 or 6 hours.  We probably got about 5 inches before it changed over to rain.  Fortunately we did NOT get the 2-3 feet of snow many of our friends and family in the DC area got by the time it was all over.

We got a LOT of strong wind though.  Crazy, howeling wind that rattled the window screens and whistled past the eaves of the house.  Fortunately there was no damage to our home or property.  But the strong winds combined with the full moon and high tide created an unusual situation that caused the canal to flood, just 4 blocks from our house.
In the photo above, you can see in the distance a multi-level condo building, and in the foreground is a park.  Between the condo building and the park is the canal, which overflowed its banks on both sides. 

The canal also 'feeds' a large parcel of marshland nearby.  When the marsh could no longer contain itself, it too overflowed onto several neighboring streets.

Spouse was off because it was Sat, and my company decided not to open on Sat due to the weather so I was off too.  We didn't leave the house at all on Sat.  We texted with family and friends in the DC area, watched TV, played with the boys, and did some laundry.  Very easy, relaxing day.  Once high tide was over and the winds died down a bit the waters began to recede.  By Sun the roads were all passable again.

Friday, January 22, 2016


With the impending blizzard expected to dump 2-3 feet of snow in many places that don't normally get that much, my facebook feed has been blowing up with photos of empty grocery store shelves.  Milk, bread, and toilet paper are nowhere to be found.

Milk?  Bread?  Seriously??  Who needs 'em when you've got "Daddy's best friend"??
Make yourself a cocktail or 2 and you won't even THINK about milk or bread.

Here's wishing everyone a safe trip home from work this evening, and that your power stays on.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekend recap

My work schedule happened to end up with me being off Sat & Sun, which is nice since that matches Spouse's work schedule.  

We started the day by meeting Steven & Thad for breakfast, then returned home to start undecorating the Christmas tree.  This is a pretty long endeavor since our tree typically has about 300 ornaments, and putting them all back in their respective boxes is challenging.  Spouse kindly sat in the living room and talked with me while I did it.  After getting the ornaments in their boxes we took a break and went to the theatre to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in 3D.
While neither of us are huge Star Wars fans, this just seemed like the epic kind of film one should see in 3D on the big screen with Dolby surround sound.  We both liked it, but felt it was very, very much like its predecessors in the 'special effects' realm.  But it was a fun diversion.  Afterward we met up with Steven & Thad again, this time for an easy/inexpensive dinner, then returned home to finish with the tree.  I removed the long string of silver beads and the lights, then Spouse began removing the branches so I could pack them nice and tight into the plastic storage tub.  Bye, bye Christmas.  I'm always sad to see it go.

The next morning we awoke to text messages from Steven & Thad asking if we wanted to go to Philly that day.  Late Sat night I saw photos on facebook of furniture that will be available for sale at the mid-century modern store and sent this one to Thad:

I knew he'd been interested in a mid-century triangular table, and sure enough this caught his eye.  They also suggested we could go to Ikea since Spouse & I are looking for an ottoman or bench, so we agreed to go.  Not only was Thad able to get the table, but he also brought 2 unwanted end tables with him which he sold to the dealer.  He bought the 2 tables (with makers marks) in need of refinishing for $20 at a thrift store and sold them to the dealer for $150!  I found a piece of furniture that would look absolutely fabulous in our Hollywood Regency bedroom:
I referred to it as Flintstones Regency, but it was super expensive and we really don't need it.  I thought it was super cool though.

The trip to Ikea was fun but we didn't find an ottoman or bench.  But we did eat dinner at the famous South Street Diner before leaving the city.  It was an unexpected but fun day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Back on the wagon

I've written several times about the Fit For Life eating program I've been on since Jan 2015.  Its helped me lose weight AND feel more energetic, but I decided to give myself permission to go off the plan between Thanksgiving and New Years so I could enjoy all the traditional holiday foods and treats.  And enjoy I did!

But its a new year so on Jan 4 I jumped back on the wagon.  It actually felt good to go back on my plan since I definitely notice a difference in my energy level.  I haven't stepped on the scale but I imagine I gained a few pounds.  I'm not worried though, as I know those extra pounds will gradually disappear with my adherence to my plan.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Not much

Well here we are at Mon already and I feel like I didn't have much of a weekend.

As usual, I worked on Sat, and we had dinner out on Sat night.  I'm normally off on Sundays but I agreed to meet some new clients on Sun and show them some homes.  They were referred to me by friends and were only going to be here on Sun, so I agreed to meet with them.  They'd picked out 4 homes that were all within a mile of each other so I figured 'how long could it take?'

Well, it took 3 1/2 hours, which is longer than I would have guessed.  When I finished with them and returned home it was almost 2pm and I hadn't eaten anything and was starved.  I had a snack to tide me over, and then we had an early dinner.  That was my weekend.

So how was YOUR weekend??

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


A friend posted this on facebook and I saved it to share with you.  I think its an important reminder about personal boundaries and taking care of ourselves.  In our love and concern for those for whom we care, we sometimes get to thinking we must fix everything for them in order to make them happy.  In doing so we can exhaust ourselves.  Be sure to take time to rest and replenish yourself so you can be there for those who ask for help.

Monday, January 04, 2016


Just 1 of the many great benefits of blogging and reading others' blogs is the opportunity for inspiration.

While reading this post where Sean mentions his tradition of having Christmas Eve breakfast with husband Jeffery at a random diner and leaving a huge tip for their unsuspecting server, I was inspired by this generous gesture.  So on New Years Eve I had lunch with my friend Steven and decided to leave the server a ridiculous tip.  I say 'ridiculous' because the tip was larger than the bill.  But it pleased me to no end to imagine the joy on the server's face when she came back to bus the table and found that tip.

Sean did it on Christmas Eve; I did it on New Years Eve, but really it can be done anytime.  Random acts of kindness are equally appreciated any day of the year!  It doesn't have to involve tipping or money.  The recipient feels great AND you feel great so its a win/win situation.

Hopefully you now feel inspired to commit a random act of kindness which will brighten at least 2 people's day.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve was a lot of fun!
John & Marty

My happy husband

Thad & Steven, who will never pose for a photo so I always have to sneak a candid one.

Yours truly in complimentary hat, glasses, and beads!

All the accoutrements of a festive New Year's Eve celebration

Just after midnight
 We went to bed at 1am so we slept in the next morning until 10:15.  I was surprised our little doggies didn't make us get up earlier to take them out!  We met up with Steven & Thad for brunch at the Crystal where our favorite server was wearing a festive New Year's hat with sequins and blinking lights!
Pau Pau
Not sure what else New Year's Day will hold for us, but I'm guessing there will be a lot of relaxing.  I wish much happiness, health, and prosperity to all of you in 2016.