Sunday, September 30, 2012

One of My Favorite Plants Ever

When I was on my hike yesterday, I found another small grove of my favorite plant that I have ever seen so far.  As it turns out, they are actually young Empress Dragon Trees or Paulownia Trees (Americana variety) which I learned with the help from one of my friends.  Thanks Kathleen!


The Empress Dragon Tree or PPaulownia Tree, one of my favorite plants!
The Empress Dragon Tree or Paulownia Tree, one of my favorite plants!

The Empress Dragon Tree or Paulownia Tree has huge leaves that can reach up to 3 feet in width
The Empress Dragon Tree or Paulownia Tree has huge leaves that can reach up to 3 feet in width!

When you walk through a grove of these young trees, it feels like you are under water in a pond and you are looking up at the surface and it is covered with lily pads.  For a while, when I did not know what they were properly called, I referred to them as "Lily Pad Trees".  

These trees grow very fast and tall and the leaves are anywhere from 2 to 3 feet wide.  If they stayed like they are when they are young, I would have one or two!  


You get that cozy feeling when you are under a grove of young Empress Dragon Trees or Paulownia Trees
You get that cozy feeling when you are under a grove of young Empress Dragon Trees or Paulownia Trees

Here is a video clip of what they look like up close.  These are badly eaten by insects, but you get the idea:


video


People Tell Me That I Should Not Do the Things That I Do Alone

I have had people tell me that I should not do the things that I do alone.  Sorry, but I'm not going to sit on my a** and do nothing just because no one else wants to do it with me. I am well aware of the risks and dangers. I always take measures to know that someone knows where I am or where I can be found shall I not return.

I may do things to the extreme sometimes, but I would rather push myself to my full potential, grow, and live life to it's fullest.  I'm not going to let age or injury stop me from having fun... ever.

So if you think I should not do the things I do alone...  then sit there and watch me while I have fun.  If there should come a day when I never return from one of my adventures...  then you know I left this Earth doing what I love to do... having a good time.




People Tell Me That I Should Not Do the Things That I Do Alone
People Tell Me That I Should Not Do the Things That I Do Alone.. watch me.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What I Learned from My 15 Mile Hike Today

I've never hiked that long of a distance in one day in one shot.  And I found out a few things in preparing for an epic hike:



1. If you decide to wear your trail sneakers instead of hiking boots...  don't!  I sprained by ankle 3 times (the same ankle), then had to walk 7 1/2 miles back to my vehicle.


I learned a few things from venturing out on my first 15 mile hike...
I learned a few things from venturing out on my first 15 mile hike...


2. Don't forget to pack your lunch.  Luckily I had a stash of snacks and energy gummy chews from my last hike packed in my bag.

3. Bring plenty of power for your phone/gps.  Otherwise, your screwed if you get hurt or need picked up.

4. Don't forget to pack your trail maps.  Because when your phone goes out, again... you're screwed!

5. The White Trail at Ridley Creek State Park...  that sh*t is messed up.   It goes up, down, up again, down, up, up, down, up... no matter which way you go, it always seems like you are going up...  hate that trail!

6. If you decide to take a different trail on the way back just to see where it goes?  If you've already hiked 12 miles, you don't have any maps, and your gps is dead...  DON'T!  On the other hand, I discovered a "one of a kind" out in the middle of nowhere.  Had I not taken that trail, I would have never gotten to see it.

7. Don't even think about doing this in the heat of the summer. Because if you're having a hard time now, you'll be really screwed then.

8. Those last couple of miles are a real b*tch!

9. You'll never be so glad to see your vehicle when you are done.  However, when you think about working the pedals to get home after hiking for 7 1/2 hours and your feet feel like they are going to fall off... 

10. Don't plan on walking anywhere afterward...  ever.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A little whining never hurt anyone...

 A little whining never hurt anyone...





...especially if it is an Italian Merlot...

Sometimes those tiny bottles of wine are perfect on certain occasions.  Like when you only want to get a little sh*t faced...

Don't Wear Reading Glasses When You Are On the Computer... And Blow Into Your Coffee!

That awkward moment when you are sitting at your computer with your reading glasses on and you take a drink of coffee and accidentally blow into the cup... then you can't see for shit...

Moral of the story...  when you are on your PC and taking a hot drink, don't blow at the same time!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cat Beaten by a Piece of Lettuce - Yes, My Cat Eats Lettuce!

I've got a cat named Socks that will eat just about anything...  except blueberries.  He actually had this bad habit when I found him and it just seemed to escalate over the years.  If I drop something on the floor, he is there, waiting to grab it before it hits the ground.  This cat will actually eat lettuce.  If I drop small bits of my salad lettuce on the floor he will eat it.

Cat vs a piece of lettuce.  He wants to eat it, but is afraid of it because it got hooked on his paw when he grabbed it.
Cat vs a piece of lettuce.  He wants to eat it, but is afraid of it because it got hooked on his paw when he grabbed it.

Just before I took this video clip, I peeled the outside off of a new head of lettuce and put it on the counter.  I accidentally knocked it off and when Socks ran over to it he reached out and snagged it with his paw.  However, it got caught in his claw and flipped over toward him and because is was much larger than he was used to, it scared the crap out of him. He ran and hid in the corner. LOL! In this video taken shortly afterward, he wants to eat it, but is still afraid of it and is very tentative about touching it.  Normally, it would be gone in 2 seconds.


Here the cat is attempting to eat the piece of lettuce that just scared the crap out of him...

video

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Does anyone else with multiple cats have theirs fight over which one gets a good spot to sit in a window after you open it?  I mean seriously??  It's like kids saying "He's sitting on MY side of the car!"



why do cats fighter over a good window seat
You can see in this pic right after I opened the window, an immediate jockeying for window position began.  Clearly, you can tell by the cat's expression on the right, that it isn't going to take any sh*t...
As soon as you open a window, the growling and snarling ensues.  I mean...  go chase a mouse or something.

Close Encounter with a Hawk

While I was driving home from work today, this hawk swoops down across the road right in front of my truck scaring the crap out of me... then it cut sharply to the left, came right in over the bank on the side of the road at ground level and grabbed a mouse that must have been in the grass next to a stump.  Never hesitating, it kept sailing right past my passenger side window and it turned and looked me in the eye and started flying away.  So cool!  That mouse is f*cked though...


Not my pic, but this is similar to what the hawk looked like after it swooped in and snagged the mouse
Not my pic, but this is similar to what the hawk looked like after it swooped in and snagged the mouse

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cats... They Like to Use Kitchen Appliances Too!

So I walk in the kitchen and wonder why I see one of my cats stretched out across the top of the stove...   turns out...  I forgot to turn the oven off after making dinner!  LMAO!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nothing like a run under the moonlight and stars... well almost

Nothing like a run under the moonlight and stars...  well almost.  At one point I'm running along in the dark right down the middle of the street and I feel this spider web catch me straight across both eyes... wtf?  What kind of spider can build a web ALL the way across the street?   

And then a while later I'm running along and I pass this guy walking along the sidewalk.  He suddenly starts sprinting and runs past me and stops at the end of the block.  I catch up to him.  He does the same thing again.  I don't know if he was drunk, high, or his cheese just slid off his cracker, but he did it several times until finally, I passed him and heard him start running again, then I hear him say "Oh man", and I didn't see him again.  Like dude, there is a BIG difference between sprinting and distance running...  oh well.  There is one born every minute...

High School Memories - A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran

Heard this song on the radio this morning... had I not been driving, I would have broken out into my high school air band mode...

A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran

I jammed to this song strummin' on my air guitar many times my senior year.  Oh yeah!  What a song... 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

You know your kid is homesick at college when... you get a hand written letter.

You know your kid is away at college homesick when... In the day of high tech gadgets and instant communication, you get a letter from them in the mail :)


The first sign your kid is homesick when they go off to college...  they write letters home!
The first sign your kid is homesick when they go off to college...  they write letters home!

I remember that I used to like to get mail when I was in school.  I suppose a "care" package is in order one of these days... plenty of snacks to be included for sure :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Letting Go of Your Coffee Mug in the Morning... It CAN Be Difficult!

You ever have those mornings where you just want to sit and hug your coffee mug because you're too tired to move?  Yeah... I'm havin' one of those...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cat Manicures - Furniture is Usually Preferred

Having three cats, this pretty much sums up what my furniture looks like... even when there is a scratching post right next to it...

Cat Manicures by Mark Parisi  @ offthemark.com
Cat Manicures by Mark Parisi  @ offthemark.com

The couch and chairs in my living room are terrible mess.  I know that lemon juice repels cats, but I can't spray my furniture with lemon juice!

Cats can really do a number on furniture... especially when you have more than one cat.
Cats can really do a number on furniture... especially when you have more than one cat.

What is REALLY irritating, is that there are 5 different scratching posts/devices in the SAME frickin' room!  Dang cats anyway!



Cat damaged chair...  the only answer in this case is reupholstering...  Grrr...
Cat damaged chair...  the only answer in this case is reupholstering...  Grrr...

Ice Cream Truck - Natural Alarm Clock? Maybe

My teenage son who likes to stay up all night playing video games and what not on the weekend usually sleeps most of the afternoon since he is up all night.  Today I hear the ice cream truck coming down the street.  A moment later my son comes out of his room.  Coincidence?  I think not...


The allure of the ice cream truck is hard to resist...
The allure of the ice cream truck is hard to resist...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Cat from Hell

I just watched a little of a show that reminds me of my household... "My Cat from Hell" :)  We were just sitting at the kitchen table having dinner.  It's usually pretty quiet...   however, we were having chicken.  If you have never heard a gaggle of cats yeowing for a bite of chicken...  you haven't lived.
My cat who insists more so than the other cats in the house that whatever I'm having for dinner...  HE is having for dinner...
My cat who insists more so than the other cats in the house that whatever I'm having for dinner...  HE is having for dinner...
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The First Day of School and Who is Excited? Not the Kids!

Even though my kids are out of school...  I noticed the unmistakable this morning.  Crowds of happy, cheerful parents with big smiles on their faces standing at the bus stops with their kids.  Except the kids had that blank expression on their faces...  thinking "sh*t. the summer REALLY IS over."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

You Can Shoot People Who Start Lawmowers at 7am... Can't You?

When you are sitting outside at 7 on a Saturday morning when no body is out and about...  you are enjoying the quiet, peaceful, serene moment...  watching the sunrise... Then someone in the neighborhood fires up a lawn mower...  JACK*SS!

When you are sitting outside at 7 on a Saturday morning when no body is out and about...  you are enjoying the quiet, peaceful, serene moment...  watching the sunrise... Then someone in the neighborhood fires up a lawn mower...  JACK*SS!