Monday, June 30, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by my favorite lady to stalk in Blog Land; you have all heard me talk about Mia.

She has tagged me for a Hubby MeMe.

I am supposed to write ten (or eleven) things about my husband that people may not know.

(I had to get Shannon's approval before posting this; and thankfully he gave me the "thumbs up"!)

So here goes......

1. He thinks all dogs belong outside, except for our Allie. He thinks she is special and needs to sleep in bed with us at night.

2. He is very organized. His side of the closet always looks neat......unlike mine. Just ask him and he will tell you.

3. He has always been supportive of me homeschooling our boys. Even when so many others criticized me, he knew that I could do it.

4.He calls me from work several times a day just to tell me that he loves me, and he calls me every afternoon when he is leaving work to see if I need anything from the store. Sigh.

(I think he looks a little bit like Keanu Reeves, but he doesn't believe me.)

5. He always does the grocery shopping with me (we call that a date), and lately since I have been sick, he has been doing all of it all by himself.

6. He loves to read (or "look" at the pictures of) all of my issues of Us Weekly. Although if you ask him about this one, he will deny it.

7. He is very sensitive. Just like me, he will get "choked up" during emotional scenes in movies. (Especially during the "bumblebee pendant" scene in "The Sixth Sense." I found it on You Tube, so you can watch it too, if you would like.)

(Sniff. Sniff.)

8. He drives faster than he should.

I'm just saying is all.

9. When he is grocery shopping, he does not like to purchase the box at the front of the shelf. For example if he is getting a box of macaroni and cheese....he always grabs the box behind the one at the front. (Think Monk-refer back to number 2.) He does this for everything. It is a little upsetting to him if there is only one of the item he is trying to buy left, because he does not like that.

(Notice how this lady is moving all of the items to the "front" of the shelf to make it look neater, and so it would be easier to reach the products.....Well, Shannon would wait until she was out of sight, then he would grab the box of jello "from the back.")

10. Even after working all day and driving a long way to get home, if our boys want to go somewhere with friends, he will take them. He is so tired most days after work, but he still always does so many things like that for all three of us.

(He will even pose for family pictures like this one, when he would really rather be doing anything something else.)

11. When we are out and about, he always holds my hand. Sigh.

I love you, Shannon!;)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gloom, Despair And Agony On Me

"Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me."

Of course, I'm not only kidding!

I'm not that miserable.

Okay, well maybe I'm a lot a little miserable.

But I'm definitely not bitter.

Really, I am I'm not.

Yesterday, Shannon had to take me to see a neurosurgeon about my back problem.

Long story short, I have to have surgery.


This coming Thursday.

July 3rd.

I know.

What a way to spend the holiday!

Anyway, I have to stay overnight at the hospital, and God willing, if everything goes according to plan, I can return home Friday.

July 4th.

I know.

What a way to spend the holiday!

I have been told that I will be on bed rest for the first two weeks. I can only get out of bed to use the bathroom and shower.

Then the two weeks after that, I will still be on bed rest. But I will be allowed to use the bathroom, shower, and walk around the house a little bit.

No housework at all.

And I cannot even ride in a car unless it is to go to the doctor.

I know.

What a way to spend the summer!

Anyway, my sweet husband and boys will be taking care of me for a while.

Shannon has even worked out a way to move the computer into our bedroom, so that when I am feeling a little better, I can blog. Sigh.

So in a couple of weeks if you notice that I am stalking you and your blog a little more than normal, don't be alarmed. I am completely harmless. Just ask Mia; she'll tell you. I've been stalking her for a while now. ;)

I'll probably post a couple of more times before surgery, but if I don't you'll know why.

Once I am feeling a little better, I will pick up where I left off with all of my traveling nonsense.....I still have a lot of pictures to show you all, and a lot of stories to tell.

So until then, I'll just be singing......

"Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Day At Sea And Another Dinner

After two fun-filled days in Venice, Melissa and I enjoyed a day of relaxing in the sun. I could not take my eyes off of the Mediterranean Sea. I feel like I can speak for everyone when I say, "It is the most gorgeous shade of blue ever!"

Just to give you an even better appreciation for just "how blue" it really is, look at this picture of the water in Venice and compare it to the picture below it of the Mediterranean Sea.

It is truly beautiful!

I've said it before, but it is worth repeating....."Well done, God!" Amen?

So what's a girl to do after spending a day in the sun getting freakishly sunburned?

Well, I wondered that same thing, so after much thought, I decided to get all dressed up and go to dinner. And since I was freakishly sunburned, I was so thankful that I had brought my shawls for the dining room. I had to cover all of that nasty red skin up!

(And Kenny if you're still awake, remember, that is not a table runner wrapped around my shoulders; it is a shawl, thank you very much.;))

Each night before dinner, Melissa and I would take our picture together. (Remember I warned you all at the beginning of all these trip posts that you would just have to ignore us sometimes. This is another one of those times.:))

But this night at dinner, we also took pictures of the sweet people that were in our group; they ate dinner with us almost every night of the cruise.

This is Margaret, and her husband Chuck, and Margaret's mother, Kay. (Just so you know, this is the family that kept us from being abandoned in Croatia. They told Count Dracula that he could not just leave us there. Thank you Margaret, Chuck, and Kay!)

This adorable couple is Barbara and David. They were so lovely. (They made me miss Shannon; just look at how much they adore each other. Sigh.) The last day of our cruise was their 41st wedding anniversary. Sigh.

And last, but certainly not least, is Peter and Jenny; they were sweethearts. (I sat next to Peter every night. I love him. I think he reminded me a lot of my dad, so I took to him right away. Every night I was picking stuff off of lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc. He was always getting food on his shirt (like me), so I would get it off his shirt for him. I liked to tease him by asking him, "You weren't saving this for later were you?" He was so funny and kind to me.)

Now for the food......

I told them to go to the kitchen and fix me a dang quesadilla!

(Just ignore me....I live with two teenage boys, so we are always quoting Napoleon Dynamite. Sorry.)

This starter was a "Chicken Quesadilla." It was served with guacomole and salsa too.
It was delicious!

For my main course I had some form of chicken. (It had a fancy name, I just don't remember it.) It was served with green beans, potatoes, and this red stuff. (Again, I can't remember the name of the red stuff, but it was a fancy name.)

And as you already know, no meal on a cruise ship would be complete without dessert.
This night I ordered a slice of diet lemon cake. (Again, it had a fancy name, but I can't remember it.) This dessert was very light and refreshing, and just look at the artwork made entirely out of edible syrups. I felt bad messing all that artwork up.....but not for long.;)


While we were devouring enjoying our dessert, our waiters provided us with a little entertainment.

Here is Gusti dancing in true Ricky Ricardo style. Gusti is from Bali.

And Ioan joined in on the fun as well. Ioan is from Romania.

Ioan and Gusti were wonderful! They were so nice and funny; Melissa and I looked forward to seeing them each night.

Well, after stuffing ourselves full eating dinner and enjoying the entertainment, it was time to head back to our cabin. We were both excited to see what kind of towel animal we would have on our bed. (I was just secretly hoping that it would not be another frog.)

Here it is, but I don't know what it is, do you?

If you know the answer, please let me know. I'm afraid I don't have any special prize or money to offer the first person who knows the answer, but you could just walk away from the computer knowing that you are the smartest person in all of blog land.

I'm just saying is all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Third Stop: Venice, Italy-Part Three

I forgot to show you this huge bell tower in St. Mark's Square yesterday. I believe that it is called, The Campanile di San Marco. (But don't quote me on that.)

After walking around St. Mark's Square, shopping, and getting gelato all over my face, Melissa and I walked around to get a better look at Venice.

I took a picture of this "delivery boat." It was delivering drinks and other supplies to a local restaurant.

This next picture lets you see what the sidewalks are like in Venice. And notice the gondolas in the canal.

Here is a picture of a Best Western hotel. People who were staying at the hotel would watch the gondolas go by. It was so charming and surreal....It really is so perfect, that it seems a lot like a movie set.

You can see just how narrow most of the canals are.

Notice in this next picture how little room the gondolas have to fit through when there is other traffic in the canals. These canals are busy during the day in the same way that our streets are busy during the day in America. That's why we were very glad that we had our gondola ride in the evening; it was much more peaceful.

I think of all of my photos in Venice, that this one is the prettiest. This little bridge adorned with the bright red flowers was so charming.

Melissa and I both loved Venice so much.....But, as you know, all good things must come to an end, so we had to take the ferry and return to the ship. We were looking forward to it though, because there was going to be a masquerade party as we were pulling out of Venice. We each bought masks to wear. Melissa's was blue, and mine was pink.

When we got to our cabin, we got ready for the party out on the Lido Deck. Once out there, we saw someone that we knew. We asked him if he would take our picture in our masks. He said, "Sure!"........

Nice, huh?

But Melissa and I are not girls who give up easily, so we just asked someone else....

There were so many people in all different kinds of masks, that it was a little bit on the creepy side, but it was still fun.

As we were pulling out of the port in Venice, I got some really nice shots of the city.

Notice how blue the sky looks compared with the green of the water.

Do you see the green dome?......It's the same green dome in my painting. (I know, I've already told you that, but it is still very exciting to me.)

I loved this outdoor restaurant eating area; what a view for dinner!

Here is what St. Mark's Square looks like from the water.

If you look closely in this next picture, you will see that two of the towers are leaning.

We were told that happened sometime after construction, because the people who built the towers did not have a good understanding of the foundation that they were building on.

I really enjoyed my time in Venice so much!
It is just such a unique place. Everyone should add "Seeing Venice" to their bucket list.

I'm just saying is all.

After taking 867 so many pictures, both of our camera batteries died. So we had to charge them during dinner.

You will just have to trust me when I tell you all that Melissa and I looked very stunning while we ate all kinds of food fit for a queen.

When we returned to our cabin after dinner, we were greeted by another disgusting towel animal.

What can I say? Frogs always seem to find me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Third Stop: Venice, Italy-Part Two

After a great night of sleep, Melissa and I were both so excited to be heading back to Venice for some more fun!

(Again, just ignore us. Thanks!)

Even though Melissa and I were on holiday (I just love saying that), it was just another work day for the people who live and work in Venice.
The Grand Canal was full of traffic.....but a much different kind of traffic than in America.

I loved this shot of some sea gulls. What a place God gave them to live...amen?

Although Venice at sunset was definitely something to see, it was even more lovely in the day time. I loved how blue the gondola covers were; they looked so beautiful all lined up with the sun shining on them. Can you imagine getting to see this view every day?

This next picture is of two very large columns. When you get to these columns, you are entering St. Mark's Square.

It is a busy place with so many people bustling about. And there were a lot of pigeons.....everywhere. This man and woman were letting the pigeons land on them.

It was interesting to see, but I did not join in the fun.

All of the pigeon activity that you just saw took place right in front of this amazing building. I think that it is called The Doge's Palace.

Here is a picture of St. Mark's Basilica (or Cathedral). It is the most beautiful building. I simply do not have words to describe it.

There is not a spot on it that is not covered with something ornate and beautiful.

Here is a picture Melissa took of me standing in front of the Cathedral. Do you notice the art work that is up in the arches on the front of the building?

Here are a couple of shots that I took of those arches. I zoomed in so that you could see some of the detail. The art work on this building is incredible!

And these pictures are just on the outside of St. Mark's Basilica.....Can you imagine the beauty and details on the inside?

Melissa and I did not get to go inside St. Mark's Basilica, but some of the people that were in our group did, and they said it was simply breathtaking.

This clock tower, besides displaying the time, also shows the phases of the sun and moon and the movement of the sun through the signs of the zodiac.

I loved the dark blue and gold colors together. In the sunlight it was quite stunning. My son, Matthew, said that this tower was described in detail in a book that he recently read, so he was excited to see the real thing.

However, I did not trust that the time on this clock was correct for even one minute.

I'm just saying is all.

I will have more to show you from our day in Venice tomorrow, but for now I will end with this.

Before we left for Italy, so many people told us, "You have to eat some gelato while you are there!" And since we are both reasonable gelato we did.


And Venice was no exception.

Gelato is very, very goooood!

I have told you in previous posts that I am extremely somewhat messy. This picture is just one of many examples of my messiness. Notice Melissa's mouth is free and clear of any gelato....

Where as mine looks like a "Got Milk?" "Got Gelato?" add.