Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ah, To Be Young and In Love

Yesterday, the Rodeo Princess and her intended arrived for a marathon engagement photo shoot, and, because they are young and energetic, they managed to squeeze in a concert and a night at the bar with Queen B and some friends. I managed to pull my hair up into a ponytail and to brush my teeth in between sessions, but, that's about the extent of my energy.

Youth is most definitely wasted on the young.

Kidding. Mostly.

Anyhoodle, we were blessed with perfect weather yesterday evening and again this morning, which, contributed mightily to the awesomeness of the photos that I was able to capture.

The locations we used included both my local park and a ranch owned by friends of the Princess's fiance. The kids had brought along their horses, which made for a very personalized shoot, which is always the goal, as far as I'm concerned.

I think we are all looking forward to the wedding even more than we were before, and, God willing and the creek don't rise; I'll be ready to do justice to their wedding photos. We definitely got in some quality practice this weekend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Big Brother 2018: First Impressions

You know it's summertime when CBS busts out the crazies! So, what does the wack-a-doodle line up look like for this season?

Top row, starting from the left we have:

1. Bayleigh, Flight Attendant. Wait, who? Yeah, she makes quite an impression.

2. Faysal, Substitute Teacher. I'm not sure I'm buying it.

3.Tyler, Lifeguard. CBS Casting Call: Wanted, stereotypical California surfer dude. Prerequisites for consideration will include long, wavy, sun-streaked hair, glazed eyes, typical surfer wardrobe, including collection of puka shell necklaces and flip flops. Audition required. Tyler, "Duuuude! Nailed it!". Yes, yes you did.

4. Kaycee, Pro Football Player. Also, professional sulker, if her reaction to her lackluster performance in the first competition is any indication. She does, however, manage to pull off the rainbow unitard like a champ.

5. Brett, Cyber Security Engineer. Well, there's a skill set that will come in handy in the Big Brother house. Not.

6. Angela, Fitness Model. Bleh. There's one every year. EYEROLL.

Second Row, from the left:

7. Rachel, Vegas Entertainer. Rachel's last name is Swindler and she claims to be an entertainer in Vegas; I'm calling it now: she's a drag queen. Who wants to take that bet?

8. JC, Professional Dancer. And, I'll say it: Little Person. He is literally a little person who dances, which, makes me want to crack a joke about not being in Kansas anymore, but, I don't want to burn in Hell, so I'll keep that one to myself.

9. Kaitlyn, Life Coach. Is that even a real profession? I'm going with no.

10. Scottie, Shipping Manager. Ummm...yeah, I got nothing.

Bottom row, from the left:

11. Angie, aka "Rockstar", Stay at Home Mom. If Mr. Magoo and Waldow were to conceive a love child, she would look an awful lot like Rockstar. Hey, you were thinking it; I just said it.

12. Haleigh, College Student. And??? No, really; that's it.

13. Sam, Welder. If the Clampetts are missing a cousin, I believe we've found her.

14. Winston, Medical Sales Rep. I think he's supposed to be the eye candy this season. I'm just going to refer to him as the Drug Pusher from here on out.

15. Steve, Former Undercover Cop. Heretofore to be known as The Poor Man's Jimmy Smits, because the resemblance is uncanny.

Not pictured in the official cast promotional photo (hmmm, odd) is this guy:

16. Chris "Swaggy C", Day Trader. Also, Master of the Art of Conversing With Himself. Duuuude, outlining your nefarious plot to take over the world only works if you are a cartoon villain.

The season is off to a rollicking start! Tune in tomorrow for the second night of Biiiiig Brother!

( Last year, I managed to hang in for the entire season; will I manage a repeat of that accomplishment? Time will tell! )

What's Up Wednesday

Once again, I am linking up with Sheaffer, Mel, and Shay!

What I'm Eating

I hate to sound like a broken record, but, I would be lying if I didn't say cherries. I mean, come on, I just picked fifteen pounds of the ruby-red fruit jewels, of course they're what I'm eating. And, eating. And, eating...

..I did manage to tear myself away from the cherries long enough to have a BLT and a salad made from heirloom tomatoes for dinner last night, though, so, there is hope for my diet after all.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Since the kids were small, our summers have been spent on the lake, usually in the company of Jana and Co., and, more recently, with another family that we enjoyed spending time with. Since the older kids are all off to far-flung parts of the world now, we are seeing a definite lack of quality lake time and it's breaking my heart. Sigh...I guess we'll always have the memories.

What I'm Loving

Summer temperatures have finally arrived! Count me among the few who actually prefer being hot to being cold, throw in temps in the triple digits, and, I'm good to go. I know, I'm weird, but, it's a dry heat.

What I've Been Up To

For whatever reason, this is the time of year when I'm due for all of my annual check-ups. Next week, I am scheduled for a mammogram, and, last week, I had the blood work done to re-test my thyroid levels. I made it a point to tell the nurse who was drawing the blood that I have rolling veins, but, she was secure in her abilities and she stuck me with confidence. So, of course the vein rolled and she got not one measly drop of blood. At that point, her confidence was shaken and she called in someone with more experience and, I ended up sporting matching bandages, but, we got the sample.

What I'm Dreading

I can't really think of anything that I am dreading in particular at the moment. Ask me again next month, when I am hyperventilating into a bag at the thought of the Man-Cub's return to Hawaii.

What I'm Working On

I'm in between projects at the moment, but I have enjoyed watching Hugh transform our old gazebo frame into a brand new gazebo, complete with lighting. He's done a great job on it.

What I'm Excited About

The zen garden is coming along nicely, and, I can't wait to be able to use my own vegetables in my summer recipes. Also, the local sweet corn will be ready in the next month or so, and, we always enjoys a good ear of grilled corn.

What I'm Watching/Reading

A couple of weeks ago, a co-worker and I were chatting in my office. I was lamenting the fact that I had finished binge-watching Stranger Things and was without a new show to watch. The co-worker suggested that I try Shameless. She warned me that it might be somewhat triggering, considering the clientele we work with, and, she was right about that, but, holy dysfunctional families, Batman! I LOVED the show! I binged the entire seven seasons available on Netflix in just over two weeks of evening and weekend viewing. And, now, I'm back to lamenting my show-less status. Woe.

I'll eventually find something new to watch, but, in the meantime, I am reading as often as I have the free time to do so. I just finished the new Elin Hiderbrand book The Perfect Couple. I always enjoy her books and this one was no exception.

What I'm Listening To

Still jamming to my running playlist! I suppose I will get bored with it eventually and will have to switch it up, but, for now, it's motivating enough to keep my ass moving on the treadmill.

What I'm Wearing

As I said, it has been balls-hawt here, so, I traded my exercise leggings for capris, which, rapidly morphed into exercise shorts, because inner thigh chaffing is the devil, no matter how much you prefer the warmer temperatures.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

My niece, lovingly referred to as The Rodeo Princess on this here blog, is coming to town with her fiancee for an engagement photo shoot. I have several awesome locations picked out and more than a few ideas for the photos, so, it should be a great weekend.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

Growing up in Mayberry, July meant one thing: Stampede! I haven't missed more than a couple of Stampede celebrations in my life and I don't intend to add to that count this year. It's changed a lot since we lost my Dad, but, I always look forward to spending time with Mom and with my friends who still live in the area.

Monday, June 25, 2018

And, That's a Wrap

I wrapped up what I have coined my "Jana-full Weekend" yesterday with a dinner of chicken and black bean tacos and a viewing of Jurassic World. Jana and Chris were kind enough to join us for dinner and the movie and we joked that we saw each other more this weekend than in all of the past six months, combined. Sadly, that statement is true, but, we also agreed not to go another long period of time without hanging out together again.

Friends are good for the soul.

Before we met Jana and Co. for dinner, however, we spent the better part of the day at the Man-Cub's baseball game. Hugh was called in to sub behind the plate when it became obvious that there was no other umpire assigned to the game. Hugh didn't mind; he welcomed the chance to make up for missing the games that he was supposed to officiate for the Cub's team last weekend, when the rain washed us out.

For my part, I enjoyed the game from under the shade of a large umbrella while snacking on fresh cherries and visiting with the wife of one of the Cub's teammates. It was a very nice day, and, considering how my weekend started off, not a bad way at all to wrap it up.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cherry-O and a Bottle of Wine, Mate!

Yesterday, I joined Jana, Granny, Kaley, and Kaley's boyfriend, Isaac on a cherry-picking excursion to an orchard just outside of Pixler. I had never been cherry picking before and I was almost more excited about the prospect of spending half as much as I have been spending on cherries in the grocery store than I was about the actual excursion itself, but, the excursion was AWESOME! It was also Isaac's first time, and, if you don't think that I made several raunchy jokes about being cherry-picking virgins out to pop our cherries, then we have never met before so; hello, my name is Chelle and I am grossly inappropriate in mixed company.

All crassness aside, it was an absolutely perfect morning for cherry picking-sunny, but not too hot, with a light refreshing breeze that acted as an air conditioner when we got a bit sweaty from our efforts. And, what did those efforts produce?

So. Many. Cherries!

In the hour and a half that we were there, I managed to pick fifteen pounds of cherries. Fifteen pounds! People, I am going to have cherries for days! Actually, I picked way more than fifteen pounds, but, fifteen pounds made it into the bucket that I paid for (good thing they don't weigh the pickers on the way out; I ate at least another fifteen pounds in the name of "taste testing" each tree).

In the end, I paid $26, which, I am embarrassed to admit, is close to what I paid for two small bags of cherries at the Hellmouth just last week. As I said, I was really looking forward to economizing my cherry habit. And, I was with people I absolutely adore! I can think of no better company with whom to pop my cherry (see? The twelve-year old boy in me just cannot resist the locker room humor).

After we wrapped up our morning in the orchard, Jana and I said goodbye to Granny and company and we headed out on a road trip all Thelma and Louise style (minus a young Brad Pitt and tragic suicidal ending). We drove to wine country, where we visited Queen B at her winery.

We had picked up a wine country brochure in a convenience store that we stopped at upon leaving the orchard; it included a fabulous tutorial on how to taste wine, so, naturally we made a quick video to help guide wine newbies through the process. We're super helpful like that.

Then, we sat back and enjoyed a bottle of white and a charcuterie board while soaking in the sunshine and reminiscing about all of the many adventures that we have had together and planning for the next one ; let's just say that that wine country brochure is about to become quite well-used.

I just love this friend of mine.

She certainly took what could have been a pretty crappy weekend (given that whole unfortunate incident on the highway) and turned it into a fabulous memory. Insert allll the heart emojis, here.