Monday, August 31, 2009

Tom and Lily

Well that didn't take long.
They came back from holiday on Friday and these pictures were taken on Saturday.
Apparently they visited a couple of cat rescue places but none had kittens that were ready to go.
They really wanted a boy and a girl.......the names were already picked out and the collars bought.

So, they bought a local paper and sat in a coffee shop to read it.
The first ad on the pet column were for these two.
Boy and girl .....ready to go.
Donna phoned and found out that they were still available and local.
So they went.

She said the kittens and mum were there and the family were lovely.
They had obviously been well looked after and so the deal was done.
Lauren is thrilled.
Donna says they are such time wasters as she doesn't seem to get anything done unless they are asleep.
They are so amusing.
The darker one is Tom and the lighter one Lily.
Both are using their litter box and so far, all seems to be going well.

I am looking forward to having a cuddle with them next week. I went shopping for some kitty toys yesterday as we seem to have more of that sort of stuff here than over there.

At last we have finished painting our bedroom .
We didn't sleep in it yet but will do as soon as we get the furniture, etc all put back.
The new curtains and carpet will have to wait until I get back from England.
The next projects will be the bathrooms and the kitchen but they will be major rip out and re models so we won't be doing those ourselves.
It will also be costly so I think we shall probably have to pick one for next year.
The kitchen can probably wait a while yet.

I have been gradually getting together the stuff I need for my trip. Funny really.
I always act like I am going to some remote island and won't be able to buy stuff I need. Then when I get there, of course, everything is readily available .......probably more so.
Bombay mix.......yum.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Scuba diving in Turkey.

Had a phone call from Donna this morning. They are back from 2 weeks in Turkey and had a fab time.
They stayed at a wonderful hotel which had lots of stuff for kids and entertainment in the evening.
It seems they went scuba diving.
All looks a bit scary to me.
I am not sure how I would get on as I hate swimming in the sea as it tastes so yukky.
Maybe you don't taste it after a while.
I think my dodgy ear would prevent me from having a go too.

From these couple of photos they would appear to be enjoying themselves.
I only spoke to her briefly as she had cases to unpack and washing to do.
I will find out more about it later.
Now they are home, as far as Lauren is concerned, the holiday is old news.
Over, done with .............time to get on with the most important thing on her agenda.........
getting 2 kittens.
She has been waiting for ever to get some kittens.
She couldn't get them earlier in the summer as she was coming over to me.
She couldn't get them when she went home as she was going on this holiday to Turkey a few days later.
Now she can get them.
I am looking forward to meeting them when I am over.
I bet they sleep on my bed.

It was the last River Rhythms of 2009 on Wednesday.
Rather sad.
Where did this summer go?
It doesn't seem long ago that I was excited because it would soon be starting.
The line up for the last one was a bit disappointing. They had a blues band for the first half who would have been good if they had been half as good as they thought they were.
Then for the second half..........another blues band.
They were ok.
This guy seemed to be doing his own thing. In fact there were people line dancing.
I suppose you make of it what you will.

Not long now before I shall be heading to England.
I must buy some kitten toys to take with me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kitties again

This is an interesting picture.......well I think so.
As I have mentioned before, cats are not allowed outside in Wisconsin......for all sorts of reasons.
This image really threw me for a moment.
Looby Loo was lying on the table in the kitchen but when I looked out of the window, her reflection made it appear that she was, in fact, on the garden fence.
I took the photo as I just thought it looked really cool.

Lily is a bag cat.
Any bag.
She can squeeze into the most unlikely paper bag and sit for ages.
As she is Queen Bee around here, it would be an unwise kitty who tried to oust her from her bag.

Lollipop on the other hand likes warmth.
She can totally block a heating vent in the winter........alright so she has got plenty to block things with.
She could probably block the Channel Tunnel if there was warm air coming out of it.
Anyway, the other day the dishwasher had finished doing its thing and I opened the door to let out any steam so that I could empty it.
I then went and answered the phone .......or something, I don't remember.
This is what I found when I returned.

This girl loves a warm spot......she was sound asleep.
I bet she thought she was in heaven.

I have decided what I will grow alongside the garage next year.
This should also keep the raccoons away too.

I have also just heard a friend is in hospital.
She has had a rough time of it over the past year and I hope that she is feeling better very soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

English Country Garden.....Update

Thought it time I gave an update on the Beautiful English Country Garden carpet I bought and planted.
A dense carpet of flowers.............look you can see how lovely it grows.
All those beautifully coloured flowers, packed into that roll out mat.

This is the true result.
The actual coloured flowers are the plastic ones I stuck in, in disgust at the rubbish that was growing.
Just a couple of poppies and some weeds.
I suspected the tall ones of being weeds when they eventually started to grow, but as I had waited for so long for something to show itself, I convinced myself that I was being paranoid and that they were actually flowers.
I was wrong.
They be weeds.
Well watered, well fed ......weeds.
Doesn't look much like the picture on the box does it?

I don't know what I will put in there next year.
Maybe I should turf it or as they say over here "sod" it.
Should have done that this year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Little toe blues.............

I have a sore toe.
A sore little toe.
I have a sore toe because my better half kicked me during the night on Saturday and bent my little toe back.
Blooming nuisance.

We are half way ish, through painting the bedroom.
I say ish because we should have been more than half way but the paint didn't cover as well as expected and requires 2 coats.
Hopefully, toe allowing, we should finish it next weekend.

In the mean time we are sleeping in the downstairs bedroom, commonly known as Alan's room.
It will need to be finished before he is over.
Which, the way this year is flying by, won't be long now.

I am looking forward to my trip to Blighty in less than 2 weeks.
I still haven't found a posh frock to my liking so I will probably buy one there.
That is unless Dave's loans me his ..........might be a bit big though.

Save some nice weather for me as I like to walk quite a bit.........providing my sore toe has recovered.
As I said to Philip "I don't think it is broken"!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Today is our wedding anniversary.
11 years.
We didn't have a Klingon wedding.
We did get married in Las Vegas.

Glenn gave me away.........he was probably glad to get rid of me.
He claims kudos for it lasting this long as he says he told Philip he was stuck with me now.
This could so easily be true.

We also didn't have a Santa wedding, as in the first pictures.
This is a friend of mine's relative's wedding which took place recently.
All guests were required to wear Santa or elf outfits.
As you can see there was one guy got it a little squew wiff.
There is always one and he is both of them.

I have to admit to being a little jealous. Why didn't I think of a Santa wedding?
Even the minister was dressed as Santa.
I doubt you find one anywhere else in the world who would be prepared to do that.
I wish I had had a Santa wedding.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Nails again.
I don't have a lot of luck with nails.
I like to have regular manicures but it isn't always as easy as it sounds.
I used to see a nice American lady before we had to spend a year in Bradford but when we came back we lived in Illinois for a year so we lost touch.

I found another American lady in Illinois for that year but when we moved back to Milwaukee I was a bit stuck.
We now live too far away from the lady I used to see.
I finished up going to one of the Vietnamese salons in the mall.
The first one I tried I found a girl who did an excellent manicure............but then she left.
She put me on to a guy, in the same salon, .........who was pants.
He also never kept to any appointments I made.
There is another Vietnamese salon at the other end of the mall, so I tried that.
There I found John.
Or, Prince John, as I called him.
He was very young, lots of fun and unlike any of the other Vietnamese, spoke excellent English.
He had been over here since he was about 5.
This made such a difference. He knew lots about English history, kings, queens etc.........he wanted me to find him a princess he could marry so he could give up working.
I looked forward to seeing him.
Then a few months ago he told me he was leaving...........PANTS.

He also put me on to another guy in the salon. This one was very nice but after he did my nails I was awake all night because my fingers felt like they were on fire......and itching like mad.

I looked it up on interwebs and found that there is a certain stuff they use which shouldn't touch your skin or you can have these reactions. do I tell the new bloke.
Had it been Prince John, no worries.
This new one..........I could have sat there all day explaining, slowly, carefully and, bless him, he would have smiled sweetly at me, possibly said "oh yah"....and carried on regardless.
None of the others in the salon spoke any more English than that.
I couldn't explain to them so I couldn't go back.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Call the plumber?

Whilst pootling around the suburbs of Milwaukee you will notice one thing.
Well, you will probably notice lots of things...........this is just one of them.
There are a lot of churches.
Not only are there a lot of churches but they are very well attended.
Most everybody goes to church at least once a week.

There are lots of variations on the Christian religion too........Lutheran, Episcopal, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist..........etc.
There are also the slightly more unusual the Mormons, Christian Scientists....etc.

The churches themselves range from traditional, which I think can be quite beautiful ( although no where near as beautiful as the ancient Gothic churches and cathedrals in England), to the very modern ones which I think can look monstrous.
Some are so "out there" that you wouldn't even know they were churches until you spot a cross somewhere.
Still, I worked at a church school in England for many years, which had a huge modernistic sculpture of Christ on the outside wall which was so shiny and futuristic that the kids all thought it was RoboCop.

Anyway, why this sudden interest in churches you wonder? Well you should be wondering.

I am intrigued by their names........such lovely names some of them.............

The Divine Shepherd.
Grace Lutheran.
New Thought Community Church.
Lamb of God Holiness.
The Redeemer.
Faith Tabernacle.
Bethlehem Temple.

Then there was this last one I saw......ready for this.........

Pipeline to Jesus.

Now I ask you.........Pipeline to Jesus.
I really don't think God is going to be as impressed with "Pipeline to Jesus" as he would be with
"Light of The World Church".

Who came up with that name? What were they thinking?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Price check.

So, about how much can I expect to have to pay for a posh frock in good old Blighty?
I ask because I am in search of said item and they be not cheap.
I need one because I think I am going to a "formal" party (well I am hoping really as I rarely have a chance to dress up) in England.
I will continue looking over here but wondered if some kind soul over there would give me some idea of how much they are.
Then, I can decide if it is worth shelling out the dollars or waiting and shelling out the pounds.
Ta ever so.

We've bought the paint for our bedroom.
Seems ages since we started these projects and Lauren's room was the priority.
Ours has been de-corked and papered over the dodgy bits. The ceiling has been painted. So, it is just the walls now.
We got two shades of lavender.
One very pale, almost white and one a little darker.
Now all we have to find is a box of oomph, a tin of elbow grease and a packet of gusto........and we can finish the job.
They seem to be in short supply at the moment.
Reminds me of many years ago when "Wayne" was driving me nuts so I sent him to another class to ask for a packet of gusto.
That teacher then sent him to another for a "long weight" which resulted in Wayne standing by the door until the end of the lesson.
Made for a much more peaceful time, no need for detentions etc.
Happy days.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


We went to see the latest Harry Potter film today.
The Half Blood Prince.

It was OK.

Now ........I never thought I would say a Harry Potter film was just OK.
But, that is all it was...........ok.
In my opinion anyway.

I didn't read the book first.
I have done this once before and for me, it spoiled the movie.
I knew what was going to happen.
This time........I didn't read the book and I haven't got a clue what was going on.
Half Blood Prince????????? What was that about?

Apparently nothing.....or so I am told.
So why give the movie this title...............who knows.
It isn't important........apparently.

For me........way too much teenage angst.
Oh.......I love Bill, but Bill loves Mary..........Mary loves Jim but Jim loves Betty.......Betty loves Frank but Frank loves Fred..........whoops.......maybe not that bit.......but oh I got so tired of teens making cow eyes at each other.
It is probably great in Hannah Montana...or whatever but it did take up too much time in this my opinion.
But, I suppose, if you are 14 ish will be fab.

It could have done with some more story/action.......or any story/action to be honest.

Philip, who has read all the books, explained some of what went on to me afterwards.
But, he too was disappointed. He did say that this book was the weakest of the lot and the film did seem to be just a link one book to another.

Hopefully the next ones will be fab. This was the first time, in a Harry Potter, that I have found myself trying to see my watch in the dark to see how much longer the movie would go on.
Shame really.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kettle Quest...Level 80 Elite

The kettle died.
Major catastrophe.
It wouldn't be in England but finding an electric kettle over here is like searching for the Holy Grail.
When we first came over we couldn't believe that there just weren't any.
We eventually found a gas kettle.
It was one of those old fashioned ones that your granny used to have.
It made a whistling noise when it boiled and burned your hand when you picked it up.
We were lucky to find that.

A few years ago we found the recently deceased one.......somewhere. It was was electric, cordless and switched itself off when it boiled.
I suppose we shouldn't have used it really.........maybe we should have just erected a little shrine and worshipped it.

Coffee is the drink here. Not many people drink tea. Well they drink iced tea which is foul, but not proper tea. In fact the tea bags here are pants.
I used to have to put 2 teabags in one cup to make tea and it was still pretty disgusting.
Nice people now send/bring me teabags from Blighty and I also stock up when I visit.

My better half did some searching of the "interwebs" and announced that Wal Mart and Target both had electric kettles but they were not available in the stores.
You have to buy them online and pay extra for shipping and handling.
I had a vague recollection that I had seen one just recently but could not remember where.
So, I decided it was probably one of the shops in the mall and would venture forth today on a quest for a kettle.
He was convinced I would fail (it has been known) and insisted I took my little phone with me whereupon having searched for the elusive item I could phone him and he would order one online.

To the mall..........
I found one. Maybe more Americans are discovering the delights of a good cuppa.
It was only $ is electric, cordless, switches itself off and everyfink.
No poxy shipping and waiting for it to be delivered.

I wonder how many experience points I get for completing this quest.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ticked off

Today I am fed up.
I seem to have got the lurgy.
I feel crappity, crap, crap.

Philip has had the lurgy for a few days so I suppose it was inevitable that I get it too.
We had tried so hard to avoid this.
He has been sleeping in the spare room as,apart from being poorly, he is coughing a lot during the night.
But, nonetheless, I woke up this morning with a very sore throat and am gradually beginning to feel worse as the day goes on.

Oh well, let's hope I get it over with now before I fly over.

I am looking forward to my trip this time.
Staying in Ashford now that both Donna and Glenn live there is going to be better.
Ashford is central for me. I can get buses and trains and not feel that I am a pain asking people for lifts here and there.
I would hire a car but it is very expensive .........the bus will work for me.
I am hoping the weather will be reasonable so that I can walk too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone.........

Lauren is safely back in the UK.
Friday we set off for the State Fair. She had never been here before and it is always good fun.
Lots of food, most of which is on sticks........she had a pork chop on a stick and of course a hot dog.
She is not up to her mum's standard yet.
Donna likes the foot long hot dogs but Lauren had a normal one. I am sure she will catch up one day.

We had a lot of fun at the pig races.
This year we found they had Billy goat races, duck races and pot bellied pig races too.
Oh you are not mixing with the riff raff when you come to Wisconsin State Fair you know.
The animals race for a cookie.
There is a cookie at the end and whoever gets there first gets it.
One poor little pot bellied pig got stuck in the starting gate and got left behind. He was not happy about it.

Saturday we had to make the dreaded trip to the airport.
She came over with one suitcase which was mostly filled with Pot Noodles and wine gums for me.
She went back with two suitcases which were totally full......not a bit of extra space.
Last year we both were given passes that allowed us to take her through to the gate and wait with her until she boarded the plane.
This year the rules had changed and only one of us was allowed through.
I knew this could be a bit of an ordeal. Last year Lauren and I both got a bit tearful.
But, I was determined not to do that this time. In 4 weeks I shall be over to see her.
So, off we went.
They boarded her before anyone else. The flight was due out at 6pm and they called her at 5pm.
The stewardess looked at her and said " Oh I hope you are not going to cry on me?"
This seemed to work like magic for us.
Lauren and I both laughed and I said " Oh no, we don't cry. She's done this before".
So, she was smiling and laughing as she went off and I was pretty much ok too.
I didn't get upset stomach was in a knot but that was anxiety.
I was anxious seeing this small girl going off to get on this huge plane by herself.
I knew I would be anxious until I heard she was home safe.
I then had to wait for everyone else to board. You mustn't leave (as if I would) before the plane has left the gate.
So, I waited an hour staring at the plane until it pulled back and the stewardess said I could go.
I met up with Philip and we checked that it had taken off. No sleep for me that night.
She got home fine, although tired. What a relief.

The house is quiet and sad.
Lollipop is sad. She has been looking for Lauren. They have been inseparable for 3 weeks and she must wonder where she has gone.

I have put the last of the photos on Facebook.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh no.....nearly done.

It is hard to believe that Lauren only has 2 more sleeps before she jets off back to Blighty.
3 weeks gone already!

We shall all miss her so much.
The house is a what. I shall tidy up after she has gone. It has plenty of time to be tidy.
The days will seem very quiet and boring too.
Yes we are worn out but it is a fun...worn out.

She has made a huge difference to Philip too I think.
As he has not had children of his own and, to be honest, he has never been terribly fond of amazes me how he adores Lauren.
He does things for her that I would never have been able to imagine him doing sometime ago.
She gets him to skip.......him......SKIP!!!!!
She clambers all over him, plays tricks on him and tells him awful jokes.
For her he will dance.
She insists he goes up to say "nite nite" and he loves it.
He is so tolerant with her and I think it is good for him.
He still can't stand most other kids though. I doubt that will ever change much.

I have been busy sorting out some of her junk.....I mean pack for the journey home.
It has given me the shakes.
Funny how when you don't think you are really are.
I thought I was alright about her flying off alone, well until Saturday, but as soon as I pulled out those cases I started shaking.

Hmmmmmmmmm.......I will be a right miserable bugger on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chula Vista ....Wisconsin Dells

We are back from the Dells.
Last year we stayed at The Polynesian hotel. Practically all the hotels in the Dells have their own waterparks........some are better/bigger than others.
This year we paid more to stay at a better park.
Next time we stay at Chula Vista we are going to The Polynesian.
Maybe you don't always get what you pay for and we didn't this time.
There was an indoor waterpark as well as the outdoor ones, but it wasn't nearly as good as The Polynesian. It was also more crowded.
On our arrival day Philip had a kip while Lauren and I hit the waterpark.
We were in there hours .......up and down the tubes.........round and round the lazy river.
Lots of fun but already it wasn't as good as last year.
Not much sleep that night.........oh the bed was dreadful.
The room's soundproofing was also non existent and we could hear people up and down the corridor, doors opening and closing...........pants.
Next day was horse riding along the canyon.
Lauren loves this and it is a relaxing ride.
Back to the waterpark in the afternoon.
Lauren prefers the indoor one and she was desperate to try one of the tubes that you could only come down on a double inflatable.
Trouble was these doublers were like hen's teeth. Once people had one they hung on to it.
She spotted one though and dragged Philip up the mountain of stairs to the top of the tube.
When they came out she was crying.........really crying and clutching her chest.
Oh my goodness ........I was mortified.
Turns out that when you come down this tube you come out first into a large bowl which is like a then get sucked into the centre and down another tube.
At some point during this she must have strained a muscle in her chest and collar bone.
Probably because she was hanging on for dear life.
She hadn't fallen out or hit herself.
She said it hurt to breathe and was very distressed........I was all for a hospital dash but we saw the medical people there first.
After and examination and lots of questions, we decided to let her rest for a couple of hours and then if there was no improvement they would call the EMS.

It did start to ease up but certain movements would hurt her and it did take a couple of days to really get better.
We did swim the next 2 days but no more blooming tubes.

Next day it was miniature golf.
We decided to avoid Pirate's Cove and headed to the Adventure Golf instead.
Lots of fun was had by all........Lauren's chest muscle allowed her to play and we were happy.

The bed situation did not improve and at one point Philip tried to sleep on the sofa which was about 4 feet long.
That shows how desperate he was.

Now her favourite bit of all.
The deer park.
I like it here too. The deer are so tame.....and some are a bit pushy .........but they don't eat everything like goats do.
The weather was gorgeous the whole time.
We eventually decided we should try the outdoor waterpark.
It was pants.
Just lots of tubes.......nowhere to was either up and down the tubes or not bother.
We didn't bother. We went back to the indoor one and did the lazy river thing again.
Last year in The Polynesian, they had lots of different outdoor pools and lots of indoor ones too.
There were also less people squeezing into them.

On our last night the new people in the room next door decided to throw a party.
How sweet of them.
Personally I don't understand the mentality of people who think it is reasonable to have loud music etc.....late at night a room a hotel that is full of people with kids.
Around midnight I phoned the desk and asked them to do something about it.
We had had very little sleep for the last few nights and this was truly too much to put up with.
We heard security arrive and speak to them. They turned it down......a bit.......but it was still loud enough to disturb us and it continued to disturb us until around 3.30 am.

I am pretty tolerant really. I kept telling myself that these people were on holiday and they probably didn't realise that the walls were paper thin......but it still made for another dreadful night.

We hit lots of gift shops.........she bought loads of rubbish.....I mean things.
We came home on Monday worn out.
It was a good time but we would never go to Chula Vista again.
Next year Lauren says she wants to come over for Christmas instead of the summer.
She claims she gets double prezzies when she does that. She doesn't get it that I send stuff over for her for Christmas.

Today we had another shot at doing the school test gods.
Donna really lumbered me there.
She did a few pages but it wasn't with her usual sunny disposition.
I am not doing any more of that. Donna can sort it out.