Jan 31, 2010

Revenge of the 'gingers'....

I'm English, with darkish brown hair (well it was when I was younger, it's more grey now!)...I know, you cry...surely you are a natural blonde?...well no, the collars and cuffs don't match as they say, however I'm happy in either guise...at least I'm not ginger... Whoah.. hold on a minute..this is a family friendly, dog loving, welcomes all comers sort of blog...what's your problem with ginger hair...? Well nothing, on other people, but being English there is a real stigmatism attached to being a red-head and I don't mean a wonderful titian either, I'm talking about pure blown ginger.

So surely I'm being 'hairist', in fact why are you even writing about it..?

Well firstly lets go back to why men and women in England with ginger hair are so outcast. I've never really understood it but my theories would point back to an age where people of Celtic origin were the enemy to many English, and as such the red hair would easily identify them, centuries later children in schools are literally victimised for the colour of their hair. If you are American or Canadien you probably think I'm exagerating but how would you like to have been the brunt of name calling (ginge, ginga, ging ,carrot top orange fanta pants ,ginger minge, ginger minger, ranga, firecrotch) and in some cases mindless violence just for the colour of your hair.
In 2009 Tesco's (our Walmart) was forced to withdraw a Christmas card which had the image of a child with ginger hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus, and the words: "Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones" after customers complained the card was too offensive...but they had probably sold loads before they had too..
It's not strange that there are few British celebs with ginger hair, the most famous probably being Prince Harry and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter fame), but most seem to dye it to 'get' on in life....
 Anyway I think its only England that has this aversion to Red Hair, there's even Redheadday, a Dutch festival that takes place each first weekend of September in the city of Breda, the Netherlands. The two-day festival is a gathering of people with natural red hair, but is also focused on art related to the colour red. Activities during the festival are lectures, workshops and demonstrations. The festival attracts attendance from thousands of genuine redheads from 20 countries and is free due to sponsorship of the local government.

Anyway where is all this leading...well I think that we are going to find out that the Ginger haired among us are the master race as a team of scientists have discovered that a 125 million year old dinosaur had ginger feathers...

Meet Sinosauropteryx, a very spiky little GINGER dinosaur.

So (me being the expert gene expert)  I have concluded that Ginger haired people were the true descendants from dinosaurs and the rest of us have been diluting the gene pool.
So it seems that Nicole, Harry, Seth and Linsey are natures true survivors and the rest of use are the throw backs...who'd have guessed it?

Hmmm...maybe I'm stretching it a little with Lindsey Lohan!

Jan 27, 2010

I'm a working girl again...!!

And no, the title does not mean I am walking the streets. I am officially one of the working class again (well full time anyway!) I've always worked part time on various projects since I moved to the States, but up to last week nothing day to day permanent. Well I'm proud to announce that I will now be earning my own nail extensions and hair highlights as a bone fide working girl.
So what am I doing? Well before I moved to the US I used to work as a consultant trainer of a piece of engineering / manufacturing software. It's well known in the UK in the small to medium business sector and we used to also license our product in Australia. Well the UK company has acquired the Australian one and now I am leading a support team looking after the well being of the Australian customers. Hmmm...Australia...isn't that thousands of miles away? Well yes, it's not exactly around the corner, but with staff still in Australia and in the UK and here in the US we can offer a global support network (and I will be traveling backwards and forwards to Australia to offer consultancy and training there too).
So exciting times. I'm a director of the new business which gives me lots of incentive to be hands on. All this meant I need to organize myself in Jacksonville. I have an office at home, but here its the spare bedroom and we just use the PC there for gaming most of the time.... but now, it's my mini office....

So what are all my goodies?

1. Is my new windows 7 professional, 64bit HP laptop (in white - how girly!) on my super new media stand that Hubbie bought me for Christmas..me with wireless mouse, keyboard and loads of more usb ports + built in speakers...well impressed I was!
2. Hubbies gaming PC which I have commandeered - I feel a bit bad, but look at that lovely screen. the laptop runs a VPN to the office in England and this one has various other goodies installed.. they are networked together so sharing files, printer etc is a cinch.. I surprise myself sometimes!
3. My new wireless Skype phone... means I'm not tied to the office and can roam the house (and maybe watch American idol !) I love it..in fact I love Skype...
4. My Toshiba external hard drive which I've set to auto back up anything useful.. best $60 I ever spent, and still only used 20gb out of 250!
5. My 'Crackberry' of course, synching with Outlook ... I'm not addicted, honest ... in fact i might be dragged over to the Apple dark side when my contract expires....maybe..hard to beat $49 / month, free wireless, unlimited text and 300 minutes (I don't talk much... that's what Skype is for!)
6. Is Hubbie's wireless gaming controller and one of his games...it's collecting dust ( another reason I don't feel so bad about nicking his PC )
7. Call me weird, but I LOVE BIC pens, especially in blue. It's good to like the cheapest pen on the market as I believe in this apartment the furniture trolls come out at night and eat them...I'm just saying!
8. So I bet you are wondering what number 8 is all about....

This is my time zone calculator for Australia.. It's too hard to remember what time it is in all the states...so I have this little aid memoire!

So you can see I'm all set up... the two things that are missing in the picture is my trusty sidekick who is always 'helping' me when I am working and of course, a cup of tea...well I am British afterall!

Jan 24, 2010

My dog is mad...

I love my dog...well with a face like that, who wouldn't? but sometimes I think he is a little (lot) mad..
We took him to the dog park on Saturday and it seemed that every five minutes he'd suddenly start running around like a mad thing, and I mean crazy mad!
There can only be a couple of reasons for this. Someone spiked the new bag of food I bought for him last week with doggie steroids, or his new multi-vitamins are starting to kick in.
Yes you heard correctly, my dog is on multi-vitamins. I call them biscuits (equivalent to shouting cookie if you are American) and he loves them... hmmm they do smell sorta tasty, wonder if they'd do me any good too?! Here he is running around like a crazy after being in the park for over an hour... normally at that stage he'd be dragging his feet..I've created a monster...enjoy!

Jan 20, 2010

On a happier note...

So I have banished my depression about the garden away now and have been focusing on getting things 'done'...You know when you say to yourself..' I really need to do this' and 'tomorrow I'll do that'... well fed up of procrastinating I made a list of everything that needed to be done...and wait for it...did it all!!!

I had the most huge pile of ironing....well it looked huge until I started .. it actually whittled itself down to considerably less (funny how that works!) .. I hate ironing, so to do this much in one go was a huge step for me. Why bother? I can't bear to see my husband go out of the door rumpled in the morning (or me for that matter) so ironing it is...

I've looked for solutions to ease my ironing affliction....

... this seems a little extreme, time consuming (and nutty!).. sort of defeats the object..

I've found websites that promise a miracle spray that 'magically' disintegrates wrinkles..

apparently 'Spray It On and Watch Wrinkles Disappear!' Mary Ellen’s I Hate Ironing! Is the fast alternative to pulling out the old ironing board. All you do is hang your garment on a hanger, spray at least 8 inches away with a sweeping motion until it is slightly damp, pull out wrinkles, and using your hands-smooth downward. Let hang to dry before wearing. It’s odorless, too! Now that sounds good..but I don't have time to wait til everything is dry...where am I supposed to hang everything, and surely one bottle would last about 1 load!... expensive de-wrinkler that!

So good old fashinoned ironing it was... ths was about half of it!

So ironing done..what next..

Dinner....I've had a lonely packet of mince beef in the freezer crying out for a bolognese sauce for ages...and most unlike me, I did a whole 'mise-en-place' first. (Normally when I cook the kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it, but today, serenity.

My Mise-en-Place! sorry for the shameless advertising for Hunts & College Inn

Next ..the doorbell rings and whooohhooooo my super sale shopping bonanza arrives.. Firstly let me premise the next paragraph by saying that I had to buy some jeans and polos for hubby for work from Old Navy, and may have just been drawn into the sales items.....


 I thought my 17 items for $143 including delivery & tax was pretty smart shopping! Some of it is going back because I seem to have got smaller (or they have changed their sizing!), but I now have a few nice tops for spring (which seems to have arrived today (75F) in Jacksonville!)
Gary watched on approvingly as I tried them all one..well he was getting his tummy tickled everytime I went to admire myself in the bathroom mirror!

Lastly on my list of 'to dos' I have been meaning to take Gary 'up the trail'.  The apartment complex where we live during the week is surrounded by nature trails.. but I normally stick to walking round the development as it feels safe. But I picked up my pepper spray and we set off into the woods.... well it was very nice, and safe (no need to mace squirrels, raccoons or vicious dogs) and Gary had a great time with all the new smells..it's a lot further than we normally go, but thats a good thing as this is what happens to him! He tried to play ball with his squeekies, but was exhausted after about 3 fetches!

All in all a most excellent day...what dead plants?

Jan 18, 2010

Garden depression....

I feel a little insensitive moaning about my garden when people in Haiti are dealing with death and catastrophic destruction, however it has really got me down...

Following Florida's big freeze, where Iguanas froze and fell from trees, my garden looks like someone has been through with a flame thrower.

My Mom & I planted some really small plants in April last year...

see Mom proudly displaying all our planting(and Gary in the shot as per usual)

By the time Anne visited in November everything was blooming!

Anne soaking up the rays

So imagine my horror and sadness when I arrived home last weekend to this...
my beautiful purple bougainvillea

my goldmounds (which were stunning after being about 10 times bigger than when planted)

another goldmound and a frost bitten palm

the grasses...which i think will come back..they just look a little sad and brittle

out for the count..the canna lily and crown of thorns

my very sad and wilted meyer lemon tree

my mexican petunias (with Gary looking on)

Poor rasta crotons and palms

my poor palm by the pool..

You can see why I'm so depressed. I can't even rip them out and start again yet as you have to wait until spring to see what will come back...I'm betting nothing. It's all very sad... I might have to have a glass of wine and drown my sorrows..I'll try to be in a better mood next post

Jan 14, 2010

National Delurker Day

After visiting one of my fellow bloggers site (Alfred lives here), I discovered this was National Delurker Day.

Basically it is to encourage you to comment on blogs that you read and maybe sign up as a dedicated follower. Taken a leaf out of Brahm's book I'm also going to send $1to the Haitian appeal for every comment posted today on my blog, and taking it up a notch $2 if you sign up as a follower... (hold on, I only have $14 in my purse so don't go crazy now!)
Nice idea Brahm..hope you don't mind me copying !!!
P.s Sign up to Brahm's site too..Alfred is nearly as cute as Gary!!!

Jan 12, 2010

How to add a signature to your blog...

You may have noticed that I have a nifty little signature at the bottom of each post
this is relative simple to achieve and only takes 5 mins!
I learnt this from Amanda who has a some great ideas for personalising your blog. Go and have a look, she's a great computerised scrap booker too!

Ok..ready...here we go..

  •  Create a signature for yourself. If you don't have a fancy smancy piece of software you can use My Live Signature 
  • You can click on "Want to use this signature?" at the end of your process and it will create HTML code for you to place on your blog. Alternatively you can save the image to your hard drive and load to something like Photobucket or your own web space
  •  You now have two choices...
    • Firstly you could go to your blogger dashboard and in the settings / formatting tab you can scroll down to the box "post template." Paste the code you just copied into that space. When you save this will add the image to your blogs...just type above it!
    • Secondly you can edit the HTML of your blog code. To do this go into Layout and then  choose Edit HTML. Click 'expand widget templates' and then press F3. in the box that now appears at the top of the screen paste      you are going to paste your html from my live signature under this line.  If you choose this method download your template from the same page first in case you do something wrong! This looks more comlicated but is actually pretty easy.

Let me know if you need any help...!

Jan 11, 2010

Pensioners pulling chin ups!

It was my last day with my parents (actually, as it turned out, they ended up wth another night and a forty hour journey home thanks to the UK's inability to deal with snow but that spoils my story) and we decided to go for a long walk at Lake Louise State Park which is about 10 mins drive from my house. It was a beautiful, if cold, Florida day and it would be ideal to give Dad's new camera a whirl. I took charge as otherwise, we would have had a couple of pics of the lake, a couple with the lens cap still on and that would be the extent of his 'David Bailey' attempt. I'm no whiz, but given a brand new high speed digital I was going to have a better go than that!
Here's some of my shots... enjoy!

My handsome boy leading the way on the lake's beach

Using Dad for persepctive on a lake view...

Dad disappearing up the trail after Mom...which means I'm lagging behind as usual

Mom & Gary waiting for Dad and I to catch up..

No sooner had I caught up I'm being left again...Gary leading Dad

Mom & Gary waiting for us again...I think we've been here before!

Not sure how Gary is on his own on the trail exactly...who was supposed to be holding him?

Optional Chin Ups on the Fitness Trail which we crossed...surely non of us would entertain doing any!?

Yes Dad, we can see that even at 64 you can still do chin ups....

Mom never lets herself be out done!

Arty trail shot

Mangrove nubs...this area was underwater at some point

Weird lychen that looks like snow...

Gopher turtle hole and big cat paw print next to it...poor turtle !

Gary exhausted after 5 miles for us and 10 miles of him running backward, forwards and side to side..

Jan 7, 2010

I'm torn...and then there are the suicidal iguanas...

Today I am torn between my arty shots of our trip in the bright sunshine to the local National park and the freezing temperatures that have hit central Florida...I think, as with most peoples posts, that the weather will win. 

As I write we in Florida are thawing out from the longest freeze that anyone can remember around here for years. Most of you (Anne) associate Florida with beautiful sunshine, beaches, swimming and palm trees...this week it has been winter coats, ice (no snow though), frost bitten lawns and dead plants....

The rest of the country is being hit by another hard winter storm and we are due to drop into freezing temperatures again by Saturday.. my scanty underwear is just not up to the job and I think I need to go to buy some long johns! I shouldn't complain ..as you can see the rest of the country is struggling  (these are the forecast lows for tomorrow)...and Anne... these are Farenheit...for those whose math isn't the best .. the -23f is -31C. I'm not sure how I would cope in temps like that...I'd definitely have to buy a coat..something I don't currently own!!!

Travel here is hanging in there...certainly surviving better than in England. I've just discovered on the internet that my parents flight out of Chigago this evening is delayed 8 hours because the plane was delayed leaving London ... England falls apart when a single flake of snow falls, and they've had days now. My friend Anne is snowed in in her village, and is surviving on pre-packaged curry.. If you see a slightly orange person on the outskirts of Oxford, sledging in her blue sled, it's her.. throw a snowball for me.!

Disturblingly the Kamikaze Iguanas are falling from the trees....they are supposed to urban legends but the freezings temps means they go into a forced hibernation and fall from the trees! It's quite amusing!

My husband has already returned to Jacksonville so I'm weathering this cold front on my own, well I do have Gary to curl up with me at night and as he does not snore and pinch the quilt things aren't too bad . I have to go back out now and cover the plants up again, but here are some pictures to prove it actually does get cold in Florida. Keep warm wherever you are and try not have to many nightmares about my cold extremeties!

An idiot (man) stroking his fountain...weird

poor cold little birdies

this happens when you leave the sprinklers on to try and protect the plants

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...