Monday, May 31, 2010

Save the Pups!

Palm pups, that is!

Today I will show you how I saved some palm pups from being destroyed...or at least mowed over. My parents have a sago palm tree:

Notice the smaller baby-sagos (pups) under the mama-sago's protective sheltering fronds.
Close up.
Close up on my favorite of the pups - the little baby frond. Soooo cute.

1. Gather materials - potting soil, small pots for pups, garden spade, knife, gloves, knee pads if you're into that.

Sorry, I guess I only documented the spade and knife tip. You'll have to imagine the other materials.

2. Stick spade into grown around pup, and kind of "cut" the grass around the root - which is going to be like a bulb. You just circle the spade around the pup, or stab the ground around the pup. Then you recall everything you learned in high school physics about levers and fulcrums. Basically, add brute force to the handle of the spade. It kind of looks like this:
I admit, I made this beautiful diagram in Microsoft Paint. It reminded me of my childhood, when I used to spend hours creating art on the computer. My skills haven't improved much.  

Here I am demonstrating in real life. That's the look of determination, folks.

3. Brush off plant, and stick it in a pot of potting soil.

These are the smaller ones - they're between 2-4 inches. I accidentally knocked the leaves off the pup on the far left. Oops.
This was the biggest. My dad actually used the knife to cut this one off, becuase the pup bulb was kind of big. I had to transplant it to a bigger pot when I got home.

That's basically it. Simple. If you search blogs on how to do this, you'll find more involved step by steps. Some people like to make it complicated. But, why? Do you like complicated? Are you crazy? No? Okay, well you can like complicated stuff if you want. I won't judge you...anymore.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Life of a Booster Wife

Zane works for a company called Booster, a company which puts on a character and fitness program in schools, while raising funds for that school through a fun run. Short version. This post isn't about Booster, though, it's about me. (I'm so vain...I probably think this post is about me. Wait, I know it is).

I am a Booster wife. Unlike many jobs that husbands around the country have, my husband's job is unique. Yeah, you're all saying that, but my husband's job is better. Okay, fine, everyone's job is unique in it's own little way...

Booster is unique because they value integrity and marriage, which means I'm not just the wife of a guy on the Orlando team. I'm part of the team (well, part of the team for when they have team dinners, but not part of the team when they travel or go to work in the morning, etc.).

Speaking of travel, that's what this post is really about. Not the fun kind of travel, like going to Australia, but the bad kind of travel. The kind where your husband's company is serving a school in a different time zone, so he's there and you're here, and there's at least seven hours of driving between you.

Basically, Zane has to travel pretty frequently. Last month, he travelled four weeks in a row (and came home on the weekends). It's stressful sometimes.

But when I get a phone call from him, and he's all fired up about beating projections or seeing kids' lives positively impacted, or networking a new school, I realize that this is his dream job. He's thriving, excelling, and excited about the future. Ladies, that's exactly where you want your husband to be.

Bottom line: being a Booster wife is worth the frustrations of business travel.

Wind Waker, My New Love

Time to zero-in on geeky-ness.

When it comes to video games, Zane and I are way behind in the times. We have a game cube. But I'm okay with it, because I'm still working on mastering one joystick.

Last year, Zane introduced me to Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I worked on it for a long time, but I was very dependent on Zane to tell me how to beat the game. I haven't even beat it yet, because I'm too scared to go inside the Spirit Temple. I hate the zombie things that suck your brains. I'm getting anxiety just thinking about it.

I fell in love with Zelda. I hate most video games, but Zelda is all about finding clues and minimal fighting. So, since I was kind of done with Ocarina of Time, I decided to start Zelda: Wind Waker. Hello! Best game ever! No zombies! Happy music! Cute little Link!

I give it my full endorsement.

Last night I spent an hour practice fighting with one of the characters from Offset Island (you gamers out there know what I'm talking about). I need to hit him 300 times before he hits me 3 times. My thumb was worn out last night, so I couldn't succeed. But believe me, I will succeed.

Bonus: The other day I got a private performance of Zane dancing his version of an Irish jig to the opening music of Wind Waker. Love that man.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm His Soul Sister

You know that new song Soul Sister by Train? Okay, well I love it. Firstly, I love the ukulele, then I also love the beat, plus I love the lead singer's voice.

Then I found it was Train! (I'm SO ignorant in popular music. I have no idea who sings what, but I do know what songs I like. My ignorance is an insult to musicians around the world). Train also sang my all-time favorite song from high school (all-time from HS=limited time): Drops of Jupiter. That song defined my life in high much as acting like summer and walking like rain can define oneself.

So anyways, Zane and I had gotten into the habit of texting each other when we heard Soul Sister and saying things like, "I'm your soul sister," which was weird coming from Zane.

Then Saturday, I get home from a baby shower, and as soon as I walk in the door, Zane starts playing Soul Sister on his computer. He gets up, grabs me, and we start dancing around the living room. I love moments like those. It makes me hopeful that we'll never be an old married couple who has no fun (woah, I don't know anyone like that, I'm just stereotyping here).

Plus, Bonus! He made Soul Sister the ringtone on his phone for when I call. Yeah, I'm his soul sister/mate.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Wasp War...Battle

Yesterday my sister came over to hang out with me. First we went on a bike riding adventure, but less adventurous than my previous bike adventure.

Then I convinced her to help me paint the bathroom (more to come on that subject).

I walked outside to get my painting supplies, and during the brief amount of time that my front door was open, THIS GUY intruded my home:

Lydia and I spent forever (30 seconds) coming up with a plan on how to get him out. We assembled our weapons:
Lysol (because I don't have any bug-killing spray), lightweight plates to wave him away if he flies near us, and a knife to open the window without using my hands....which seemed like a good idea at the time.

There was much screaming and running and jumping hysterically (not like in a funny way, but in an uncontrollable fear way) throughout the process. The wasp man seemed to really like the window in the dining room, despite our efforts to wave air on him, which in our perfect plan would cause him to fly out the door on the opposite side of the room.

Plan B, which was a better plan, was to open the dining room window. There is a screen which would have been a problem (as seen in the picture), but that screen, has holes in it. Hallelujah.

Lyd covered me with the Lysol and plate, as I sneaked (not snuck, which is poor grammar) close to the window and unlatched the lock. This was done in two separate tries, because the wasp man kept pacing near my hand (well two feet from my hand, which is near enough).

Then I valiantly opened the window. The wasp man climbed through the crack and onto the screen. Then Lydia frantically told me to shut the window so he'd be stuck between the screen and the window. Let me just say - those seconds it took me to shut the window felt like years. My heart was pumping as I watched the wasp man crawling toward my hand. The window got stuck and I had to shove it really hard - just like you would imagine happening in the movies. And it will someday be featured in the movie of my life. 

Then the wasp man crawled around for a long time and I gave up watching to see if he'd find the hole in the screen. Before I gave up, though, I took that picture above. It was hard to get him to stand still for his photo. Wasp men are pretty prone to pacing.

As an added bonus, I'd like to share that I have never in my life of living in Florida been stung by a wasp, bee, yellow jacket, hornet, horse fly, or the like. I usually tend to learn things the hard way, but not when it comes to stingers. I avoid them. I avoid them well.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Identity Crisis

Confession 1: I really like reading blogs. I kind of love it.

Confession 2: I really like different styles, cultures, ways of living, etc.

The Problem: When these two likes converge, I end up wishing I was like the people whose blogs I read. I want to live their lives, be an expert of their field, or at the very least, be their best friend.

The Culprits: The following blogs I have recently become extremely too fond of. (Ouch! A preposition at the end of a sentence!)

The Pioneer Woman - Sometimes I start to think I am Ree – so many similarities, except for the fact that I live in suburbia and she lives on a cattle ranch. Minor difference.

EPBOT - I’m a geek wannabe, but I hope I’m never a poser. I already am considering going to the next dragoncon. My only claim to geek-hood is a love for Zelda and season one of Pokemon. Although, I have owned this guy since first grade:

My ticket into the geek world.

My Life in Style - I also wish I had been born with a good sense of fashion. Actually I was. I wish I had been born with an exceptional sense of fashion. Often when shopping, I will think “What would Chelsea wear?” My main hindrance from being cute is being too cheap. I usually just wear my clothes until they have holes…which means they’ve already been out of style for a few years.

Ultimately, I know I must settle for being happy with who I am. (Like I haven’t been told that my entire life).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bike Adventure

After we bought our house (more posts to come on that subject), my parents gifted Zane and I with some bikes. Okay, actually they just gave us their old ones that they were going to give to a thrift store.

Zane and I rode them one evening. Then we didn't ride them for a long time. Additionally, I have been feeling quite out of shape lately and not exactly excited about wearing my new romper, since it's kind of short.

Well, last Thursday afternoon, I needed to take something to my parent's house. I decided to ride my bike over there, because it's not that far, and I can just wear a backpack to carry my delivery. I needed to exercise and I was already feeling kind of sweaty, so why not go ahead and drench myself?

I put on my best bike-riding clothes, filled my backpack with the necessary delivery items (potting soil and two small planters), drank some water, and grabbed my keys, phone, and bike.

I live in Florida - the sunshine state. We're also known for our intense summer heat, especially at 5:00pm. When I was less than halfway to my parent's house, I realized that I was out of shape. Wait - I knew this already. The extent of my out-of-shapeness was evident. I was huffing and puffing (not huffing like huffing paint fumes, though), and my legs were mad at me for making them push those pedals down every time.

Then I got to a very large intersection (my house and my parent's house are separated by two major roads). As I approached the intersection, I saw one of those people who hold signs. I'm sure they're nice enough, but I'm a paranoid person, so I'm kind of afraid of strangers, especially ones who hold signs. However, I had no choice but to stop at the intersection and press the cross walk button and to the sign holder.

As I got off my bike, my body spoke to me in two ways: (1) seeing spots and (2) wobbly legs. I tried my best to breath deeply, stand firm, and look like I could defend myself if necessary. I smiled at the sign holder and between heavy breaths said, "Hey."

He was a young guy, probably my age. A little rough around the edges, but I wasn't too worried, until he opened his mouth. "Hey," he replied, "Nice engagement ring."

What? The first thing he did was look at my jewelry? Um, should I be worried that he wants to take it? "Thanks."

Awkward silence as cars whiz by.

I tried to be polite, "So, how ya doin'?"

"Hot. Tired. Thirsty."

"That's doesn't sound fun."

"No, it's not."

"But at least you have a job." Upbeat, that's me.


Awkward silence.

He continued, "So how long you been engaged?"

"Oh, I'm married."

"Oh, married. I thought I only saw one ring."

"Nope there's two, see?" Then I looked at his hand. Ring on left hand. Safe to proceed, "You married?"

"No, everyone always asks me that. It's a ring with a Bible verse on it."

Noble. Maybe I'm judging to quickly. Story of my life.

He continued, "By the way, you hit the wrong button." Then he pressed the correct button so I could cross the correct road. I'm lame, but even lamer when I'm exhausted from bike riding.

I managed to make it safely to my parent's house, but my sweet dad had to drive my home with my bike in his truck. He wasn't sure if I would make it home safely (neither was I, but I didn't tell him that).

P.S. After I got home, I remembered that the only thing I had eaten for hours was mixed nuts. Don't ever do what I did, kids.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Hiatus

 Sometimes I get stressed. It's the truth.

Sometimes I get so stressed that I have to cut out parts of life. That happened recently, but I'm getting back into a fuller routine, like getting into a pool one shallow-end-step at a time. While dangling my feet in the water of my symbolic blog pool, I wrote up a few ideas for posts, so keep an eye out for more adventures this summer.

But let's talk about the spring. It went by pretty quickly, don't you think? A little too quickly, right? Well, luckily, I documented some of the adventures I had during my happy hiatus, during the hiatus which I neglected you guys. Here you go:

First, my sister got engaged. That means bridesmaid adventures in the future!

Then, my other sister had a birthday, so I baked this sweet cake.

Then it was Easter, and the best photo Zane and I could take was this one:

But then, we had our anniversary, so we took this photo, which I think turned out better.

 P.S. We finally closed on our house! Talk about an adventure (and source of stress)!

Mixed in with all these happenings, I was Maid of Honor in the wedding my dear friend, Katie. Love her!

Oh, and I did some modeling on the bono, of course.
 (photo by Tonya Travelstead)

And just for kicks, I'll throw in this shot of some baking masterpieces from Katie's bridal shower.

I know you missed me. That's good, because I need people to miss me, or I won't have any reason for writing.