Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fences in my living room and spitting on marshmallows...Friday Frags!


In the words of the late, great, George Jones:

It's finally Friday
I'm free again
I got my motor running for a wild weekend
It's finally Friday 
I'm outa' control
Forget the workin' blues
And let the good times roll.

It's Friday Fragments time, and a big thanks to Claudya at Unknown Mami for hosting this fun meme!

Frag #1
I have fencing in my living room. 

I'm  not talking about the kind where muscular guys in tight bodysuits point sharp sticks at each other. Because that would be entertaining at least. I could invite my girlfriends over for cocktails and a show and we'd have a good 'ole time.

No. It's the kind you find in zoos and wild animal parks to keep people out or animals in. Only at my house, it's to keep the animals out and the menopausal psychos people from going all Wild-Kingdom-Jim all over little doggie asses.

Confused yet? See, we had 5 dogs living at our house, and sometimes they would decide to pee and/or poo in our big empty dining room (empty because we sold the formal dining room table that we almost never used in one of my we-need-to-downsize-immediately-because-I'm-tired-of-dusting-all-this-furniture moods).

Then we acquired my mother-in-law's 2 dogs when she passed away (so that's...yeah...7), and the "sometimes" mentioned above turned into every. freaking. day.  

I don't like cleaning little piles of pee and poo every morning before even having my coffee. And hubby didn't like my new look of eyes rolled back in my head and mouth open in a perpetual yell of profanities at the dogs.

So...this is hubby's solution:

I added the sign to the picture so that you get the full zoo-like effect.

This is the view right when you walk in the front door. Classy, right?

As you can imagine, I was somewhat resistant to the idea of installing fencing in our living room...but I must say, it has done the trick. I was afraid the little mongrels would find other areas of the house to pee and poo in out of spite, but so far, so good. I'll keep you posted.

Hubby wants to put in an animatronic display, like the Abraham Lincoln at Disneyland. I say we put in some stuffed wildlife, like say...some dogs.

Frag #2
You know I can't do a Friday Frag without a camping-preparations-related text from my sister. 

We had a fishing pole rigging lesson earlier in the week with my brother and he informed us that we need to find out what the fish are biting on when we get up to the lake, so that we use the right bait and have a better chance of catching fish.

So my sister starts asking the guys at her work for their opinions, and she sends me this:

I can just picture the two of us in our fishing hats with sewing kits, spitting on marshmallows before casting our lines into the water. Fellow campers will think we're a couple of superstitious ding-bats.

I'll be sure and post pictures. Your welcome.

Frag #3
I'm totally addicted to making comics! If you want to try it out, use this link (I get points if I get people to sign up and points come in handy).

It's free for the basic version, which is what I have. I think I've mentioned this before, haven't I? Sorry for being redundant. I'm just having a lot of fun with it and if you like to tell funny stories, a comic is a great way to do it.

And guess what! My Modern Marriage comic below is rated the #1 funniest comic on the site! I'm so excited! It's silly, I know. But I'm happy anyways.

Click on the 4 arrow thingy to see the whole thing, or just click and drag to the left.
(Last minute note: If you're viewing this in a reader, for some reason, the embed isn't showing up, so please click on the title of my post to see the comics on my blog. So sorry about that! I intend to write a strongly worded letter!)

Here's one from a series I'm doing about the misconceptions and first impressions of first dates:
(See above, if you're reading this in a reader and don't see a comic here)

Here's another one:
(Yeah, if you're seeing this in a reader, you see a big 'ole blank space here.)

That's it for my Friday Frags this week. Thanks for indulging me! If you'd like to write your own Frag post, just go on and do it and link it up at Unknown Mami's place!

Unknown Mami

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fishing Lessons So I Don't Embarrass the Family

I think I've mentioned that we're going camping next week. So, preparations are in full swing over here. This is the first year in a long time that my brother won't be able to go with us due to his work schedule. That's a shame because he's the expert fisherman and I almost always catch fish when I fish with my brother. I've never caught anything when I've fished without him. I wouldn't tell him that though.

No fish means I have to pack stuff for dinner and that's just more work for me. So, when he insisted on giving my sister and I a lesson in fishing pole rigging, I was all about it, believe me.

Of course, in true big-brother fashion, his reasons for giving us a lesson were so that we don't "embarrass the family at the lake."

Pffffft. Whatever. I just want to catch some fish so I don't have to lug extra food.

So my sister, her 15-year-old step-son, and I gathered on our patio for our pole rigging lesson. We were a motley crew, the 3 of us and my sister and I were in full wise-cracking mode, so my brother was in for a rough ride. Here he is, making pole preparations:

See the pink poles on the right side there? Aren't they cute! Those are the poles my sister and I are fishing with.

I think the "embarrassing the family at the lake" ship has sailed, people.

So here's how the lesson went:

Brother: "So your poles will be taken apart like this...and you'll want to slide the top part into the bottom part, like this."

Sister: "And we want to make sure the little loopeys are lined up, right?"

Brother: "The guides. Yes, make sure they're lined up."

Sister, me, and nephew, in unison (not unlike the alien squeekie toys in Toy Story who always said "The Claaaawwww"): "Guiiiiides."

Brother, after rolling his eyes: "I'm going to show you a slide-sinker-rig for floating cheese."

Me: "A-who-and-a-what-for-a-what?"

Brother, slightly exasperated: "Just pay attention! Get a sinker and a swivel from this tackle kit. I made this for you to take with you."

Me: "It's all dirty. What is that, fish guts on there?? Ewww. Why is it so dirty?"


Me: "Ew."

At this point, my nephew gets up from his chair, holding his pole upright, which then gets hit by the ceiling fan that was on, surprising him so that he tripped on the chair, and spilled his cup of ice water all over the place.

My sister and I started laughing. My brother was not amused.

Once my nephew got settled, my brother launched back into his lesson.

Brother: "Thread the sinker on the line, then you're going to tie the swivel on with a fisherman's knot and I'll show you how to tie the knot."

In case you didn't know, a sinker is a silver oval shaped weight and a swivel is a tiny gold thingy, like a necklace clasp, that has a loop at either end.

Me: "This is like making jewelry."

Brother, rolling his eyes for the 900th time: "Right."

My brother shows us how to tie the fisherman's knot to the swivel, then a leader line to the other end of the swivel, then a hook at the end of it all.

Didn't think you'd actually learn something about fishing here, did you?

My Sister, handing her pole to my brother: "Did I do this right?"

My brother tugs the hook and it falls off.

Brother: "No."

Sister: "Oh, I guess I need to pull the knot tighter."

My brother, burping his answer: "Riiiiiiiight." (Actually, it was more like, "BRIIIIIIIPPPE")

My sister rolled her eyes and I gloated that MY knot did not come undone and my hook was dangling prettily at the end of the line like it was supposed to.

Surprisingly, I ended up being the star pupil, seeing as my hook didn't fall off, so maybe I'll catch the fish while my sister can build the fires with her dryer-lint fire starters.

We'll see how that goes.

I'll tell you one thing - I can't wait to get out of this heat! Where we're camping, it't 8400 feet up, so it should be about 30 degrees cooler than here. And down here, we are melting! It's supposed to be 115 this weekend. Gawd. That's friggin hot. Record breakingly hot, actually.

So, I can't wait to camp! Look out fish!

Fisherman Lori signing off.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Friday Fragments

Wow, I feel like "Is it Friday already?" and  "Thank God It's Friday!!" all at one time. And I was trying really hard to blog more often, but for two weeks straight now, my Friday Frags post is the only post I manage to write all week.

Blah, blah blah.

Let's just get on with it.

HAPPY FRIDAY and here we go...

Frag #1
First up, I've felt old all week. Do you have weeks where you just feel old? I seriously think I have the Alzheimer's gene because I'll start to do something at work, then get a phone call, then have to sit for like...a minute, trying to think of what it was I was doing before the call.

A minute is a long time to sit doing nothing trying to think of the something you were doing.

Now that I think about it, this frag is not a fragment at all, but probably a topic for a whole post because I have lots to say about feeling old and realizing I have more years behind me than ahead of me and wondering  how and when and if I'll ever get out of the rut of "Yay it's Friday, boo it's Monday".

And can I just get my RV and start cruising the country already?

Let's shelf that for now.

Debbie Downer, moving on.

Frag #2
Our camping preparations are in full swing. We ordered a new Easy-Up tent. The day it was delivered, I put it up in our living room to see if it lived up to it's name. I'm happy to say it actually did. I put it up by myself in about 5 minutes. Reading and understanding the directions took about 20, but now that I've done it once, I'm good.

We bought an Easy-Up tent last year, a different brand, but the zipper on the door broke the first time we used it, and it was 3 inches too short inside for my hubby to stand upright. So we took it back.

I was very happy that this new one seems to live up to the advertisement. I told my sister that I put the tent up by myself and she, ever the feminist, sent me this text:

If you remember, last week she sent me a text about how she was going to make her own fire-starters for camping. Out of egg cartoons, dryer lint, and wax. 

A little side point about my sister. She's very independent. Ain't nobody (including her husband) gonna tell her how to be and if she wants something done that's typically something a husband would do, and hers isn't doing it, well, she just hauls off and does it her dang self.

This quality is one I admire about her a whole lot, actually. She was single for 40 years and learned to just rely on herself and that's just how she is.

She takes care of her pool, from maintaining the pump, to balancing the chemicals, to keeping it clean, all herself. She does most of her own yardwork. She can fix things on her car. She knows how to work her sprinkler timer. And she's a dang good cook too.

She's like Amelia Bedelia. Remember her?

"If I disassemble this, I can use the pieces to make a solar heater for my tent!"

Where was I going with this?

Oh yes, my sister's text. These are the kinds of texts I get from her when she's throwing back whiskeys.

This was a very long frag. Sorry about that. I'm a little rambly this week.

Frag #3
I've found a new site to make comics. With which to make comics. with. Something like that.

Anyway, it's I used to use, but their site has a few bugs that I've noticed they haven't fixed in a couple years. So I searched around the Internet and found Pixton and really like it. There's also a community that gives you feedback and pointers, which Toondoo lacked.

So here's a couple comics I've made at Pixton:
(Click on the little four-arrow-thingy-bob on the far right side, underneath each comic to see the whole thing, then click it again and it goes back to small size. Or, you can can click and drag to scroll left and read it. Took my hubby to point that out to me. I'll have to tell my sister that hubbys are good for a great many things, actually)

I'll have a few more comics to pester you with over the next few days. Making them is addicting, I have to say.

Frag  #4
Speaking of addictions, The Girl's 1 year anniversary of being clean and sober is coming up in a couple weeks. I'm so proud of her. She's come so far in one year, thanks to her faith and strength, and God's help. Last year at this time I was living a parent's nightmare and today, she's texting me scriptures everyday and her favorite birthday gift was a bible my brother gave her.

If you're the parent of an addict, don't lose hope. They can, and do, change. Things can get better. It may take longer than we think it should, or longer than we think we can take it. But just...don't ever lose hope.

That's it for my frags this week. Sunday, my brother is giving my sister and I a fishing lesson, focusing on the pole-rigging. I hope to write a post about that, complete with some conversation snippets. So stay tuned for that riveting news.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

If you'd like to share your weekly what-nots and frags, link up here at Unknownmami's blog and Frag on!

Unknown Mami

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Get Yo Frag On!


And since it's Friday, it's time for Friday Fragments! That wonderful day of the blog week where you can throw your one-liners and single memorable moments all together, for a post full of fragments.

Not that you can tell, but I'm beginning to really love Friday Fragments. 

So, thanks to Unknown Mami for hosting!

Frag #1
So, Sunday we had a barbeque at our house with hubby's family and I made this Kale salad that was delish! I've never made it before, but wanted to make something healthy. 

I was so happy it came out good and so proud of it, I was all, "So, did you taste the Kale salad?" "Did you like the Kale salad?" What did you think of the Kale salad?" "Wasn't the Kale salad good?" "Have you ever had Kale salad?" How did my Kale salad taste?" "Enough about me, let's talk about my Kale salad." "Do you want to choke me now with my Kale salad?"

I was quite obnoxious, I'm sure. By the way, did you know you should massage your Kale? I'm certain that's why the salad was so good. Because obviously, massaged Kale is going to taste better than stressed out Kale.

Anyhoo, if you want to make it, you chop up some Kale, sprinkle some salad oil, lemon and a little salt on it, and massage it for a couple minutes. Then....k, know what? I don't feel like remembering the recipe. I'm really just trying to get this blog post up. Google "Massaged Kale salad" and it will come up. It's super easy, healthy, and delish! Try it!

Did you try it yet?

How about now?

No? K. Moving on.

Frag #2
Meanwhile, my sister is busy getting ready for our family camping trip coming up in July. She's a planner, that one. She's been texting me helpful tips like where tents are on sale, where camp tables are cheapest, the current temperature at the campground where we're going, and all sorts of other helpful, but mildly distracting things, while I'm at work.

She sent me this gem the other day:

Egg cartons and dryer lint?? She obviously has too much time on her hands.

Frag #3
My hubby says the best quotes. I call them "Fred-isms". He was having a tough week and I texted to see how his day was going and he says:

"Today is a good-day island in an ocean of crap-days."

That should so be on a poster!

Frag #4
So, I think I've mentioned a time or two that my hormones are a little whacked right now. I'm generally a calm, even-keeled person, but lately, I can get damn irritable. Add 110 degree heat to the mix (which we normally don't get until July, I might add) and I'm downright volcanic!

I start out fine in the morning, all optimistic and ready to tackle my day. Then it's like, all the little irritating  customers co-workers annoyances that happen during the day boil together in a stew of frustration and by the end of the day, I'm tired, hot and crabby as hell. And I have heartburn.

I made a little cartoon so you can truly understand the extent of this problem:

Oh yeah, I'm a real peach to be around by 5:00.

Actually, the word bubbles are more like thought bubbles. I keep all the mean, vile thoughts inside.

Then I just sigh alot.

Might explain the heartburn.

So yeah. That's my week. Thanks for indulging my fragments.

Hope you have a great weekend!

If you want to link up your frags too, head on over to Unknown Mami and link up!

Unknown Mami

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Comics

In honor of it being Sunday, I thought some Sunday comics were in order.

Also, I realized my RSS feed shows my blog images all funky and helter-skelter, which is most annoying. So I googled the problem and need to try a couple things with the CSS code to try and fix it. Which is also most annoying, because I hate messing with CSS code. It's confusing and makes my head hurt.

Any hoo, hope you enjoy these little cartoons I made using If you want to see more of them, there's a little widget in my sidebar that shows some other silly comics I made.

"Conditional Love" portrays my hubby and his relationship with our little dog, Prince, who we adopted in March, after my mother-in-law, Sara, passed away. He was her dog, and we took him in, and even though he's a pain in our behind, he has grown on my hubby to the point that he thinks about Prince all day at work and can't wait to come home to him. I'm pretty sure I've been replaced.

This next comic, I like to call, "I just can't figure out why I'm not sleeping well."

This is an actual picture of us in bed. Well, it would be if I could get our kids to take a picture of us in bed. I've asked them, and they just go, "Eww." So, I had to just make a cartoon of it.

Yup, it's just like that. 5 dogs sleep with us. And a cat.

Lastly, this next comic is for all the Grandmas out there, who adore their grandkids to pieces...and who adore the peace and quiet after they leave almost as much!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

NASA, and Ladyparts, and Toes and other Related Things

It's time for Friday Fragments! Where I get to write about all the tiny little things that happened this week and throw them all into one post!

Frag #1
This week was off to a fabulous start with my visit to the Gyno on Monday. Do you know they take a picture of you now? This was my first visit with this doctor, and I was quite taken aback when the receptionist grabs this skinny probe-looking thing off the counter and says, "smile!" And takes my picture.

I should clarify that it wasn't while I was laying all spread-eagled in the stirrups, but was when I first walked in, and fully dressed.

But was off-putting. Does it help the doc to put a face with the nether-region? Does she like to know who's who and twat's what?

(Hee, hee. Twat. See what I did there?)

Frag #2
In related news, my blood work was "consistent with menopause."

That's the exact words the nurse used. Oh she was a real wordsmith, that one.

I googled the hormone level results to confirm what the nurse said (because the Internet makes us all medical experts), and one website said my levels were "a confirmation of ovarian shutdown."

Ok, now I felt like I just heard it from NASA. "Houston, can you confirm ovarian shutdown?"

But enough about my lady parts.

Frag #3
After my conversation with the nurse, my sister texted me. She was going on about the insects on her fruit plants and I was trying to tell her about my gyno visit and I had to laugh because if someone were to read a snippet of the conversation it looks like I had caterpillars growing in my vagina.

Now, for reals, I'm off the lady parts topic.

Frag #4
It was The Girl's birthday this week. She turned 20. I'm so proud of her. She's come so far in the last several months. Just last year on her birthday we didn't even know where she was. She had gotten out of rehab, relapsed, and disappeared for a month.

So, to be able to spend her birthday with her, and have her be clean and sober for what is 11 months now...was truly a blessing.

And around here we celebrate blessings with pedicures.

Now, I must add that I haven't had a pedicure since my Spain trip, which was March. And I had some calloused, gnarly heels going on. Seriously.

I mean, I knew they were pretty bad, but I didn't realize how bad until I saw the look on my pedicurist's (is that a word??) face when she looked at them:

What was even funnier was watching her as she sanded away at my callouses with the foot grater. I wanted to burst out laughing because the poor woman had the most concentrated, yet disgusted look on her face that I had ever seen.

Then to top it off, she was yanking my foot so high up in the air that I must have looked as ridiculous as she did. I was having flashbacks to my gyno visit.

I sooo wish I could have had my daughter snap a picture. I didn't want the poor woman to think I was making fun of her, so I refrained. She spoke broken English, so I don't know if she would have understood that I was really laughing at myself, not her. 

We looked something like this:

You no wait so long next time! Your feet like Crocodile!
You'll be relieved to know I tipped her well. She really did do a nice job:

Old, menopausal, mom toes and young, 20-year old daughter toes
After getting scolded in Vietnamese, I took my daughter shopping and out to dinner. We had a lovely time, us with our matching, polka-dotted toes.

And that's my frags for this week! Sorry for all the lady-parts talk.

Tell us about your lady-parts and frags and toes and anything else that floats your boat, by linking up over at Halfpastkissintime! 

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday...where really, my hubby did all the work.

In honor of Wordless Wednesday, I thought you might like to bask in the greatness of my hubby's ability to waste away the hours playing on his phone artistic talents.

You know the game Draw Something, right? Where you get a word and then you have to draw it, and the other person guesses it, then they get a word to draw and you have to guess it, and so on?

Here are a few of my hubby's masterpieces. Can you guess what they are?

He's so talented with that finger of his, isn't he?

Wait...that just sounds wrong.

Then there's me, who uses the game to nag him to quit playing on his phone at work and get his ass home:

What, did a 1st grader write that?? As you can see, I have no drawing talent whatsover, and my writing talent is questionable! But hey, I got a whole blog post out of this, didn't I?

P.S. If you're interested in the answers, here they are:
Rodeo, Big Bang Theory, Jesus, Beach, Kermit, Ozzy, Monoply, Picard, Plunger

If you have a picture or two that you want to center a whole blog post around (or is it "around which to center a blog post"? That just sounds pretentious), then link up here at Dude Mom's Wordful (or less) Wednesday post.

And because, apparently, I'm now a link-up whore who can't help herself and has to link to TWO Wordless Wednesday parties, and I want others to join me in my linky (with a k) whore-ish-ness, you can link up here to Stacy Uncorked's blog too!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

The time I went to Spain and I thought I was all chic and stuff

Remember I mentioned a few posts ago, that I went to Spain for my work? Well, I wanted to tell you about that. Yes, Spain. I know, right?

The company I work for makes software and the boss and a manager were going to Marbella, Spain to promote it to a  group that was meeting there, and I got to go too. The furthest I've ever been was Mexico, so I was wriggling with excitement at the thought of going to Spain!

Of course, the downside to travelling far away, is the travelling time. It took us about 20 hours, between layovers, and flying time, to get there. But for me, that was just all part of the adventure.

We had a layover for a couple hours at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris and can I just tell you how stylish and beautiful their airport is? Even their bathrooms were picture-worthy!

These were the stall doors in one of the women's bathrooms. Aren't they just girly and artsy?

This is the women's bathroom in the Paris airport I visited during the flight home. It was the cleanest bathroom I've ever seen! It just gleamed! Those things that look like counters under the mirrors? Those are sinks.
Everything about the Paris airport was high-class and stylish. And everyone was thin, well-dressed and in a hurry. I mean, we'd be just walking along normally and they would just fly past us, all cool in their pashmina scarves, high heels, and designer luggage. And I'm talking about the men!

Seriously, everyone wore scarves in Europe, both in Paris and in Spain. And they were tied in these fancy knots that I've seen them do on YouTube, but could never duplicate. Like this:

Compared to the stylish Parisians, I'm sure the three of stood out as Yankees, schlepping along with our backpacks and sneakers. We may as well have had a hound dog and a couple of chickens with us, like the Clampetts.

After the layover in Paris, our plane landed in Malaga, Spain, then it was about a 30 minute drive to our hotel in Marbella.

Now, a little background about Marbella, Spain. It's a beach city, and it's ritzy. It's known for being a celebrity vacation spot. Arab sheiks have mansions there. It has the second largest number of Rolls Royce's registered there, London  having the first.

It's also known for being sunny 300-some-odd days out of the year. However. When we were there, of course, there was an unusual cold snap across Europe and it rained a good deal of the time. One day, it was crazy rainy, windy, and stormy - very unusual. I kept thinking of the song "The Rain in Spain Lies Mainly in the Plain" (Is that actually a song?? Or is it just a line from My Fair Lady?). Because it's sooo not true. When it rains in Spain, it rains everywhere.

But we didn't let the damp weather dampen our spirits at all (see what I did there?). Because, after all, we were in another country and we were going to just experience the adventure, rain or shine. The cloudy weather just made the colors around us, and the ocean, all the more beautiful.

These are the steps from the hotel to a little restaurant on the beach. Everything was green and lush.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, and didn't have to meet with our potential clients until Monday, so we had a day and a half to soak in the culture and do some sightseeing.

My first impression of the people in Marbella, at least the ones we were in contact with, is that they were very accommodating. It's a touristy town, so you might expect that to be the case, but it was more than that.  They were gracious. It was quite endearing. It seemed like they just wanted to make us smile. And we did a lot of smiling.

Oh, and the food. The food was fabulous. All three of us like seafood, which was a good thing because that was the specialty everywhere. I'll never eat seafood anywhere that isn't near the ocean again. Definitely not here in Vegas. 

We ate a lot of this!
Many people we met spoke English, which was great because although I meant to learn a little Spanish before the trip, I didn't. It would have been helpful if I could have read Spanish though. I was looking at the menu at one of the restaurants we were in, and it had an 8 page menu and at the top of each page was the name of a different country - Russia, France, Italy.

So I go "Oh look, they have all these ethnic foods from all over the world, how cool that they have so many choices!" 

Then my boss pointed out that they didn't serve food from each of those countries, they just printed the menu in each of those languages.

I felt like Roseanne Roseannadanna from Saturday Night Live. "NeVERmind."

So I said, "Ooops. Kind of scary that you hired me, isn't it?" Good thing my boss has a sense of humor.

We did most of our sightseeing along the pier and in Old Town, which was a labyrinth of streets and alleys, with a mix of churches, shops, and homes all jumbled together. It was so colorful and quaint.

I just loved the terracotta and china blue.

I had to do a double-take when I saw this bar.

I loved how much history was just mixed in with the modern world. This is what's left of an Arab castle from the 15th century.

See what I mean about colorful and quaint?

This is a shot from the pier, looking at the city.
Once our Sunday of sightseeing was over, we had to get down to business and prepare for our meetings. My job was to ride the elevator down to the lobby and find the folks we had scheduled meetings with and escort them up to the suite where my boss and the manager were waiting. These were people we had never met, mind you, so it was a bit challenging. Fortunately, everyone had name tags on, so that helped.

I have to pause for a minute here and tell you about my wardrobe for this trip. I agonized over what outfits to wear for our 3 days of business meetings. It was sort of business casual, since it was a resort setting. But aside from the meetings, there were cocktail parties and dinners which each needed an appropriate outfit too.

This was a job for my fashionista cousin. When I need to buy clothes, I always take her shopping with me. We had a couple "Project Spain" shopping trips and consultation sessions to make sure I was properly outfitted for this trip. 

I love my cousin because she's both talented and honest. I can try on an outfit I think will work, and she's all, "No."

Then she whips around my closet like a Tasmanian Devil and in a few seconds has pants, shirt, scarf, shoes, and jewelry and says, "Try this." And it will be the most beautiful outfit ever. Did I mention how much I love her?

Back to my story. So like I said, my job was to ride down and find the clients. So I'm in the lobby, standing by the elevators, looking around for our next client, and this little man walks off the elevator, stops, looks me up and down, and says (in an unidentifiable European accent), "Very chic!"

Now, if I actually were chic, I would have just said, "Why thank you!" Or even, "Well, merci!"

But no.

I didn't quite hear what he said and thought he was asking what company I was with (I have no idea why I thought that because "Chic" sounds nothing like "What company are you with?").

So I responded to him by saying the name of my company. Which likely confused the hell out of him.

He just gave me a funny look like "Ooookaaaaay" and said, "Well, nevertheless, chic!" and walked away.

By the time I figured out it was a compliment, I was stammering a thank you, but it didn't matter, he'd moved on. Probably to find a woman who actually was chic.

I still felt pretty good about getting a compliment on fashion from a European. Even if I didn't understand it.

Our days of eating fantastic seafood, riding in elevators, and looking at the ocean from our rooms, came to a close too soon and it was time to journey home. I was going to miss this view from my hotel room.

The bit of land way off in the distance on the left side of the picture is the coastline of Africa.
But, I'm not quite finished with my story yet. Because no travel story is complete without telling the part about being felt up by the French equivalent of the TSA.

I successfully went through 5 airport security sessions, including Paris, on the way into Spain. Had no problem at all. But for some reason, I set off the buzzer when I walked through the metal detector thing in Paris on the way home.

So the woman agent says something like, "May I check you?" in her French accented English, and pulls me aside and sweeps the little wand thingy over me, front and back. Ok, fine.

Then she does the pat-down. Only it wasn't so much a pat-down, as it was a rub-down. Seriously. She ran her hands sloooooowly all across the front of me (including the boobs), and sloooooowly all across the back of me.

Now, I've been pat-down at airports in the US before, but it did not feel quite like this. This felt sensual. I swear to you. It was quite off-putting.

Even more so the second time I got in line.

Just kidding.

No, but I did get her phone number.

Anyhoo, you haven't experienced a TSA pat-down, until you've had a French TSA pat-down with an agent named Franchesca. Just sayin.

So after my massage, the rest of the trip was uneventful. 

One thing that made me smile was stepping into the terminal in Minneapolis, where we had a short layover, and hearing Bruce Springsteen blaring over the loudspeakers and seeing everyone schlepping around in their sneakers, like we were. Quite different from the beautiful, artsy, and aloof Paris airport.

It was good to be home.

The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Almost home.
Lastly, I just have to show the cutest kitchenware that I bought in Marbella. They're hand-painted oil and vinegar bottles, where one side holds oil and the other vinegar. And these cute little ramekins:

I just love these!

So that's my Spain trip story. I'll tell you, travelling abroad like that really made me want to travel more. I'd love to see Italy, Norway, Germany, and Switzerland. I told hubby that before we settle into that RV for our cross-country trip across America, we need to take a couple trips abroad. Or at least one. So that's a goal now.

Maybe I'll look up Franchesca while we're over there.

Chicly Yours,