Under Your Wear

I don’t know about you all but where I am but it’s ugly outside. We got slammed with tons of snow overnight and I had to drive like a grandpa to get to work safely today because plowing suddenly doesn’t exist. I figured today’s post should be a funny one considering the gloomy outdoors and what better way to make all you lovely people laugh than by sharing an embarrassing story about me!

I’m what I like to call a lazy laundry doer. I normally wait til the last minute to do my laundry. That means Sunday night, the day before I need clean clothes to go to work, about 2-3 hours before I need to go to bed. It’s a terrible habit, I know. I wash just enough clothes for me to make it through the week and then it’s just a never ending cycle each week. However, the one piece of clothing I have in abundance, is underwear. Actually socks too. I probably have enough underwear and socks to last for every day of a whole month. I’m a compulsive, “oh those are pretty” type of buyer when it comes to those two things. So underclothes washing usually gets washed all at once when I realize I’m running out. Again, terrible habit, I know!

So this past Sunday, I washed a bunch of work shirts and pants and almost every pair of underwear I own. I also have a bad habit of folding laundry and leaving it in the basket. Let’s just say I’m a bad laundry doer on top of the laziness. I make it a point to fold all my shirts and pants right out of the dryer because they’re really warm and soft and if you fold them right then, you don’t have to worry about ironing later especially for a lazy person such as myself. I get all my clothes nice and neat and folded in the basket and then go about the rest of my night before bed.

In the morning, I go to get dressed and I have this plethora of shirts to pick from. I’ve taken to wearing the longer type of shirts. You know the shirts that cover your butt especially if you wear leggings (which I don’t, at least not outside of my house). So I have this nice grey striped flannel shirt on top of a tank top cause I’m a freeze child so I constantly dress in layers. Then I go to work.

All day long I wear my hoodie because I’m always cold even with a heater under my desk. It’s a miracle I have that 98.6 degree body temperature cause I never feel that warm. I go out to talk to my buddy grumps and I realize that I feel extra bulky on my left side. While I’m talking to him, I reach over and sort of do a pat down of myself and realize there is something extra under my shirt! If you could see the inside of a person’s head while they’re thinking, mine would have been hilarious.

I’m sitting here thinking, “huh… so I folded up something in this shirt and didn’t realize it was there before I put it on. I bet it’s underwear. It can only be underwear or maybe it’s a bra but it feels like underwear..” All while having a conversation with grumps outside of my head. Then I decide I should pull it out and see if I’m right. I start to reach under my shirt to pull it out. Remember, I’m wearing a tank top under the shirt. The first touch of the fabric and I knew it was underwear and it didn’t click in my mind until the last second that I probably shouldn’t display my underwear, especially since I didn’t know what color they were, to grumps even though I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever! I think he would have taken it in stride if I suddenly yanked out my undies but instead I tucked my elbow into my side, crossed my arms and continued the conversation til it ended. Then I went back to my office, pulled out the sneaky undies to stash in my purse and just laughed to myself.

So the moral of my story is, don’t be a lazy laundry doer like me. Shake out your clothes because static electricity can have you walking out of your house with underwear stuck to places they shouldn’t be. 🙂

Caption This

First day back to work and I thought it would fun to post this picture I took while I was on my break. I walked out of the house and you know, you don’t normally look at your feet right away. I didn’t notice the sight until I came back from wherever I went that day and it made me pause and wonder at the story behind it. Maybe a squirrel dropped his cache in the way home because a cat was chasing him on his heels?? Maybe it wasn’t a squirrel at all but a tiny chipmunk who just didn’t have enough space for these last two nuts? Maybe it wasn’t a rodent at all but a cryptic message left to inform me of something important??

What do you think? Is my imagination a little too wild? Let me know in the comments below!

Year in Review

There are exactly 13 days left in 2017. I feel like this year swept by me so quickly. While I was driving into work, I sort of did a recap of all the things I’ve experience this year and thought I’d share a little bit with you today.

Let’s take it back to January shall we? In late January, I made the decisions to leave the pet world behind and pursue a completely different career path. That was pretty rough let me tell you because I love working with animals but the stress and work politics definitely took their toll and stressed me out almost to the point that it was unhealthy. An opportunity presented itself and I was definitely very afraid to take it. I had to get advice from so many different people and ultimately decided to go. We’re now at the end of December and I’m still at this job and very grateful and happy that I made the right decision. I’ve learned a lot and experienced even more.

Fast forward to April when my husband and I bought our first dining table set for our new house. Which btw, we bought our first late September of 2016 and have been living in it for more than a year so huzzah to that! Went from a one bedroom apt to a three bedroom house. It’s a wonderful feeling. We also attended my closest friend’s wedding in April as well. Unfortunately the marriage didn’t last long and they’re getting a divorce now but the wedding was still a momentous occasion considering marriage equality laws have only just been passed. Also, my best friend came to visit me and see our house for the first time in April and I got to briefly teach her how to drive manual which was soooo fun!

In May, which is my birth month, I got to touch a and sit in a Tesla which was soooooo cool! I also got to get a crash course in honeybee keeping. Then June came along and I got another crash course in picking cherries; all things I’ve never done before. By the end of June however, I got to meet one of my FAVORITE authors. I made a spontaneous decision to drag my husband and drive 4 hours to Cincinnati to meet Darynda Jones and have her sign all of my books. Definitely one of the best experiences of 2017 let me tell you! I also got to meet J.R. Ward and her bodyguard as well as a wonderful up and coming indie author, Melanie Jayne. Oh, I also got my passport renewed in June so I’m ready to travel the world! I also can’t forget, in June, I went to my first ever Pride parade which was a beautiful experience, I also got to tour a submarine in downtown Cleveland which was REALLY cool and I really need to make a post about that one day.

In July, I participated in a surprise birthday party for my grandma for her 75th birthday. I got to see my grandma cry for the first time ever and she NEVER cries! My husband and I also got to witness our old car save a squirrels life and then we sold that car and got a new one. I went to a lavender festival with one of my friends and I still have the lavender bunch I picked (I dried it out for weeks) sitting on our dining table. Then, in September, I went to visit my 9 month pregnant friend for the first time since her and husband moved into that apt years ago and feel a baby hiccup in the womb. Such an alien feeling still! The following week, I got to see Ed Sheeran in concert for the first time ever and I love him even more than I did before!

Fast forward to October when my husband and I got to finally take a vacation for the first time in about 2 years. We went to Florida with my best friend and her husband, stayed in a fancy suite and went to amusement parks such as Islands of Adventure and Busch Gardens. We also got to play in the ocean and horseback ride (!!!!!!!) which seriously? I need to do more often let me tell you. Finally, last month, November, I got to meet Patty in person which is my first time meeting a blogger in person and we had a grand time!

Speaking of the blog, I have to point out that I started Reactionary Tales in February of this year and it has been nothing but amazing. Some of you (you know who you are), I’m so grateful for knowing because I know we’ll be friends forever. For everyone else, I just appreciate anyone who takes time out of their day to read and comment on my posts. You’ve made this blogging experience very enjoyable and I look forward to continuing in 2018 as well as experience everything yet to come!

How was your 2017? Did you have any first time experiences? Are you looking forward to 2018? Let me know in the comments below!

(P.S. if you’re wondering how I remembered all of that, I didn’t. I went through my Google Photos which tell me the story of my year 😉 )

Road… Annoyances?

I was having a conversation with my husband while driving home from work Last Friday and I felt like it would make a good blog post and maybe spark a little conversation among ourselves. As you all know by now, I have a long drive to and from work. I work Mon-Fri, 8am-4:30pm and it takes me 45 minutes one way to get to and from work. As you can imagine, that means encountering many types of drivers; from the really slow or granny drivers to the speed racers. I know saying granny drivers is a little mean but that’s how slow drivers have always been referenced to me even from my own grandmother so I do apologize if that offends anyone but that’s the term I’m using. My drive consists of driving through 3 Ohio counties (fun fact: there are 88 of them). How people drive is usually determined by the weather. During the cold or rainy days, people are a little more cautious (obnoxious) in their driving. On sunny days people are a lot more speedy (also obnoxious) in their driving.

As I’ve mentioned before as well, I drive standard or stick shift or manual depending on who you ask. That means I have 3 pedals to work with instead of 2 which would make it an automatic car. Have you ever heard the phrase “road rage”? If you haven’t, let me explain it to you. Road rage is when people get annoyed with your driving and start doing obnoxious things like ride your bumper, honk at you or even go as far as yell out the window at you if they get the opportunity to pass you by. Usually this happens because a person is driving too slow or don’t use a turn signal when turning or ride their brakes; those sorts of things.

I have this ritual of having to be on the phone with people while I’m driving long distances. Since my husband gets home before I do, he’s usually my talk person on the drive. I don’t know when I started doing this but I just like having someone on the phone with me in case something happens or I get pulled over and a cop isn’t very nice (has to be said; I’m black). Luckily though, I’m a pretty safe driver and it’s overall nice to just have someone to talk to instead of the drone of NPR or silence (because I hate commercials so the radio is not an option). On Friday I was behind some silly drivers. One couldn’t decide if he wanted to use his turn signal or not and when he finally made up his mind he was going to turn he didn’t use it. Another literally took 5 minutes to turn a corner and another was a bumper rider. Instead of “raging” which usually involves a lot of cursing, I made thoughtful observations such as, “hmm, I don’t think he knows what he’s doing. Maybe his turn signal is broken. Hey! I’m going the speed limit!” and “I wonder if he’s lost….”. What was funny is I didn’t even realize what I was saying til my husband burst out laughing. I was like, “what’s so funny?” He was like, “you sound like you’re narrating a book!” and continued to giggle.

Apparently I have road annoyances instead of road rage (his words not mine), haha. I confess though that there are times where the rage lets loose and I want to make my car fly over everyone but most times it seems I find it all more amusing than anything else. So yeah, random story I wanted to share with you all. Are you a regular road driver? Do you think you have road rage or road annoyances? Let me know in the comments below!

Thankful

Good morning my friends and Happy Wednesday! It is the day before Thanksgiving in America and I just wanted to do a bit of a dedication type of post to things I’m thankful for this year and to give you a little bit of an idea of how Thanksgivings usually go for me, except this year will be different.

So here’s a list of things I’m thankful for:

  • My husband – He has to be first obviously cause I love his face to death and he’s always amazing even when I’m mad at him 😉
  • My animals – Milliardo, Isabel, and Turtle for just being their cute selves
  • My friends – My people; the ones I talk to on a regular basis who enjoy my conversations and company. I adore you all
  • Book authors – for continually writing books and keeping me entertained
  • Netflix – for the ability to lose a day by binge watching shows
  • My house – cause it’s a warm, fun, safe place to be that’s full of love
  • My car – cause it runs and I rely on it pretty heavily
  • My job – because it pays me
  • The internet – because it’s just plain awesome
  • My cellphone – because it takes good pictures and is good at reminding me of things

I left off my family because I’m going to go into them in my Thanksgiving dinner story. So, every year, my grandma or one of my aunts, sometimes my mom, would host Thanksgiving for the family. It’s always been that way for as long as I can remember. They would do all the cooking and all I had to do was show up and eat. I do not exaggerate when I talk about the love affair I have with food. I’m known as a bottomless pit around this time because it’s standard for me to eat two, full plates of food and dessert. Not to mention all the leftovers I take home because I love Thanksgiving leftovers. Once all the food is cooked, we come around the table and hold hands. Each person says what they’re thankful for and the food gets blessed. I’m not religious but I respect my family so I go along with it every year. It’s always a good time cause it’s one of the only times I’m around so much of my family at once.

This year is going to be a bit different. My grandma is getting older and she’s not trying to host these big holiday dinners anymore. Everyone wanted us to host at our house but my house is off limits til we upgrade a few things (and because we just don’t want a large group of people in our house; also I’m lazy and don’t want to cook all that food). My grandma loves us (we’re her favorite grandkids) and she absolutely wants to spend Thanksgiving with us even if it’s just the 3 of us. So her and I made a menu and she invited about 4 other grandkids but no one seems interested. That’s fine, more food for me. So this year is different because I’m actually cooking stuff. Collard greens and apple pie to be specific. We also bought a half ham. It’s already cooked so I can’t take credit for just heating that up. I’m a little excited and if my food is a hit, I’ll contemplate hosting Thanksgiving next year. I’ll share pictures next week. 🙂

Lastly, before this post gets any longer, I’m excited for later today because I’m meeting Mrs. Patty over at Moohnshine’s Corner today! Yep, that’s right, blogger meet up! She’s in my neck of the woods this week and I can’t wait for my work day to be over.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who’s celebrating this year! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your families and to those outside the US, have a happy Wednesday and Thursday!

(P.S. No endangered post tomorrow. It will resume next week.)

Florida Recap: Part 3

The final installment on my Florida vacation. If you’ve been following so far, we crammed two amusement parks and a day at the beach in the span of three days. The fourth and final day, our flight back to Ohio was scheduled for 8pm. That means we have plenty of time to make our last day in Florida a good one. The weather took a little dip from the previous days. When we first arrived, it was 80ºF. The last day, day before Halloween, it was a chilly 47ºF in Florida! I was quite surprised because coming from a state where it can snow one day and be scorching the next, I expected Florida to have stagnant hot weather all the time. Clearly I was wrong but you know what? Nothing could ruin my day, not even cold weather.

I should start by saying like many people, I have a bucket list. Visiting Japan is numero uno on that list for my husband and I because we are huge anime fans and we love Japanese cuisine. I also would like to go to New Zealand, Ireland and go back to Florence, Italy someday. Besides travel, I also have regular bucket list items. I want a home library someday, I want another dog, I want to be an author’s assistant and I absolutely wanted to not only pet a horse but go horseback riding.

Well, horseback riding got slashed off my bucket list on this last day of our Florida trip. You cannot imagine how insanely happy I was! We traveled to Kissimmee, Florida to the Lazy H Ranch to  participate in the second best experience of my life (seeing a sea turtle in the ocean was the first). We pulled up and was greeted by some fairly loud chickens. One of which was very bold but I’ll come back to him in a second. Previously, we had to send our height and weights to the woman so she could match us with our horses. They were so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We told her we were from Ohio and my friends from Maryland and soon as she heard Ohio, she told us about the horse she wants to get that lives in Ohio. The horse was white with a blonde name and her name was Blondie. She said the horse was $8000 and she really, really wanted Blondie but was hesitant because, and we learned this, horses from the North sometimes have a hard time acclimated to Southern weather. Also, the insects are different so they may not be able to handle certain insect bites.

So anyway, my horse’s name was Briar. Briar was a rescue horse. She was abused and malnourished and this woman met her and fell in love because even though Briar had been through a lot, she was still the sweetest horse ever. She brought her back to health and now Briar is a happy horse. My husband rode a horse named Cash who was a retired show horse. Acrobatics would do tricks on his back! My best friend rode Ally and her husband rode Chevy. We used these stairs to get on the horses and she strapped us in. Then we got a basic lesson on how to control the reins and off we went. We walked to this conservation area across the street from her ranch and she told us about how Hurricane Irma devastated her land a little bit. Uprooted two trees on her property and she started off with 9 chickens but by the time hurricane Irma passed, she only had 4 chickens left. The conservation park we rode through was known as Twin Oaks and it was a nice hour and 15 minute ride.

I realized that horseback riding is very therapeutic. I could literally do that all day long. Oh! Another thing she told us was if our horses tried to eat grass or bushes to stop them from doing so. Apparently horses will eat until their stomachs explode and even then, they’d keep eating. She said that while we were riding them, they were working and when they were done, they would go out to pasture and eat to their hearts content. Cash actually got loose one time and got into the horse feed and 300 lbs of food. The vet had to come every day for a week and give him an IV to help flush his stomach of all that feed. Crazy! We rode past this lake, I forget the name of it, but she had us guess how many gators were in it. Since it was a lake, we guessed pretty low, about 3000 or less. Boy were we wrong! She said at last survey they counted 30,000 gators in that lake! Just wow. We also saw a lot of eagles soaring while we were riding through and we got to trot which I am so bad at and definitely felt every bit of that horse ride the next day but it was sooooo worth it! I want to horseback ride again!

Anyway, here is the gallery of pictures. Chevy was a super lovebug at the end! Horse noses are so freaking soft and fuzzy and I wanted to stay and cuddle him all day long! Cujo the chicken also wanted attention, to the point that I swear he posed for me for this picture. Such a special chicken:

That’s it for Florida. I hope you all enjoyed reading about the trip in these three posts. 🙂

Florida Recap: Part 2

Following Islands of Adventure, we went into the next day bright and perky. One of my goals this trip was to see a beach; put my feet into the ocean. Orlando is in central Florida so there’s not a lot of beaches around. My friend and I googled a bit beforehand looking for some beaches that were close by that we could go splash in. We ended up coming across Cape Canaveral National Seashore which happens to be a national beach park that stretches for many miles. It’s undeveloped as well which means no building beach front properties on this stretch of beach; very natural. It’s about a 1 hour 20 minute drive from Orlando so we got a good headstart in the morning. I usually read on long trips in the car but I didn’t get enough sleep the night before and ended up sleeping the whole way there. By the time we got there it was a little cloudy but it was still a nice and toasty 80ºF. When you first get out of the car, you can hear the beach even though you cant see it. There’s a wooden ramp built up this hill that leads to the beach. There was a sign with beach rules with the very first one being “Know how to swim.” I don’t know how to 100% swim but I didn’t plan on going out deeper than what my feet could touch. We get to the beach, strip down and slowly inch forward to the tide. The water was warm but cold to our bodies initially. You know how you always have to acclimate to a body of water cause your natural temperature is so much warmer. But once we were in, we were in! The waves were so fun to splash in (and get knocked over by) but even though we had sand in all kinds of places and a mouthful or two of saltwater, it was one of the best days of the trip.

Later on we decided we were hungry. Naturally, after splashing around in the ocean, we wanted seafood. We went back to the suite to shower all the sand out (and believe it was A TON of sand, probably half the beach) and then went to a seafood joint I found through Google that had really good reviews. When a local, eat like the locals do! And man was the food fan-freaking-tastic. The restaurant was called Winter Park Fish Company and I got the best fish and grits of my life. If you’ve never had this food combination, you’re missing out. It was seared mahi-mahi over sugary cheesy grits (which btw, I never put sugar in my grits but oh my goodness gracious), with this spicy lobster gravy sauce drizzled on top and brussels salad on the side. My husband had fried snapper fish and chips with these powdered sugar hushpuppies. I wish I could order the whole menu and take it home. We found out the owners live half the year in Florida and the other half of the year in Costa Rica so they always have fresh fish. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Florida, make sure you eat here! Here’s some pictures:

We settled down for the night after dinner to prepare for the next day. We went to Busch Gardens Tampa which is a theme park/animal park. There used to be an old show on TV with Jack Hanna who would talk about animals and animal welfare and I remember he would always host these shows at Busch Gardens. You all know I loved animals so I got great enjoyment out of the animals more than the rides although Cheetah Hunt was a pretty fun ride as well as Montu and Cobra’s Curse. Walking through to get to the actual Cobra’s Curse ride was really cool cause there was a couple of boa constrictors inside and it was all dark and stuff talking about serpent gods and what not. When we’d rode every coaster and seen all the animals, we decided we were hungry and went and got Jamaican food this time. Here’s a picture gallery from Busch Gardens (and me and my best friend just cause):

Tomorrow will be the last part of my Florida vacation recap. It also happens to be my most favorite day so I had to share it in it’s own post. You’ll see why. 🙂

Florida Recap: Part 1

I’m finally getting around to talking about Florida. Partly because I’m drawing a blank on what to write about today which also has to do with the fact that my reading slump was murdered yesterday when I binge read The Trouble with the Twelfth Grave in just under 4 hours as well as started a new book right behind it and can barely think of anything else. So, over my biscuit breakfast, I give you Florida.

A few months ago, my best friend presented me and the husband with a proposal of joining them in Florida for a vacation. You see, her parents own a timeshare and offered her the use of it. Since the suite sleeps six, she figured it’d be fun to have a bit of a group honeymoon. She got married last year and they haven’t exactly honeymooned yet so this was to be sort of a mini honeymoon. One of the days of the vacation, the 26th to be exact, was my husband’s birthday so I asked him if he wanted to go to Florida for his birthday and he initially said he’d think about it. When a man tells you he’ll think about it, that can mean months to years. I ended up making the decision for us considering I would be the one finding flight deals. I ended up finding our tickets for about $200 bucks but I bought them as 4 one way tickets instead of 2 round trip tickets. You’d be surprised at how much money you can save when you buy like that!

We left that Thursday, the 26th. I worked half the day and my husband was off. I get home to make sure he finished the list of things I told him to do to prep for our leaving (he was off after all), and then we made sure the cats had enough food to last until Monday, that Turtle was fed (cause he can go without eating for weeks), and off we went to the airport. We landed in Florida around 8PM. My friend picked us up and took us to suite. Oh, btw, it was really nice going from 50ºF to 80ºF; from seeing fall colors to palm trees. We dropped off our stuff then went back out and had a hibachi dinner for my husband with gong banging and lit cupcake included. He was so adorable.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we headed out to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure. I’ve never been here before so it was very exciting. We went about an hour after park opened because we did not want to wait an hour or more to ride some rides. We started at the Incredible Hulk rollercoaster. I have to be honest, I haven’t rode a rollercoaster in years so there was a high probability I was going to to scream. And scream I did. You know how rollercoasters start off slow going up that first hill and then build speed once it hits the downward slope? This one didn’t do that. Halfway going up the hill, I’m sitting her having a conversation with my husband, asking if he was excited and what not when all of sudden we go warp speed and whatever he was saying got cut off by my screaming “holy shit!” and then laughing because I tend to laugh at my reactions. That was a good adrenaline rush to start the day. From there we went to the Spiderman ride which was a super cool 3D simulation ride and we got to be in the front car so felt every bit of those special effects! Those 3D glasses were legit! From there we rode the Kong Skull Island ride which is also a 3D simulated ride. That one wasn’t as cool as I though it was going to be.

After leaving Marvel and Jurassic Park came Harry Potter World. We spent a good amount of time traversing the castle (Hogwarts). They did a really good job building that massive place. They even had the talking portraits which looked completely real! The ride in there was 3D simulated where you start by playing Quidditch and then you’re trying to escape dementers who are after you. Very fun! After leaving the castle, we got some butterbeer which tastes like frozen cream soda and traversed Diagon Alley. After Harry Potter, we walked through Morroco and then came upon Posiedon’s Fury. This was a sort of 3D guided walk where decisions are made based on a series of events. There was this one part where the guide opened this gate and all this water come splashing down and for a second we thought we were going to have to walk through the water but then the whole room, except the floor, started spinning really fast and created this crazy water tunnel. It ultimately led us to Posiedon’s final battle against his enemy and it was really cool. The final ride we rode was Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall. This was another one where what you prepare for in your mind is not what actually happens. I thought we’d slowly go up the tower and then drop. Nope. We shot up that tower so fast it stole our breaths and then we dropped just as fast! All four of us were cracking up and it was definitely a good thing my husband took his flip flops off cause he defnitely would have lost then. After that, we left. We had authentic Hong Kong cuisine that night and prepared ourselves for the next day’s outing which I’ll talk about tomorrow. 🙂

Ending this post here with a picture gallery. Scroll over the pictures for captions:

What Goes In…

Good morning my friends!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a funny story and I feel like we all could use some laughs. As you all know, last weekend, my husband and I went on vacation to Florida with my best friend and her husband for a nice, relaxing getaway in this fancy suite. I still plan to talk about that trip… eventually. I always have so many thoughts in my head. I’m totally contemplating writing about Poldark tomorrow to convince all you lovely souls that you should watch this show. We’ll see.

So while we were driving to Canaveral or Tampa (I can’t remember which), we recounted stories of the past. You see, my best friend and I have been friends for almost as long as I’ve been with my husband (upwards of 10 years). I met her in a video game called Final Fantasy XI and we pretty much connected instantly over our love for being mages in this game. About two years into playing the game, we all got it into our head that we should have a meet up. I live in Ohio and she lived in Alabama at the time. We were all poor college students at the time so airfare was too expensive. We got it into our heads that a road trip would be fun. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, drove a 1993 Honda Civic Hatchback. When we informed my mother of our plans to drive to Alabama in his car, she wasn’t a fan. I remember we had an argument about it because she wanted us to pay for a rental car but hello, poor college students, we could basically only afford gas. I ended up caving though when she offered to pay. I mean if my pennies aren’t being used, I will so take you up on that offer! I was poor, what can I say, haha.

We got a rental car, to my boyfriend’s (husband now) dismay. He was very attached to his old car. Then we packed up and drove 13 hours to Auburn, Alabama. He did most of the driving because I was quite nervous to drive back then. I didn’t get my license until I was 20 but driving in general freaked me out especially considering I was learning on a manual and not an automatic. Have you ever been on a long drive? It can be quite fun. I read or slept during most of it. A lot of people have motion sickness whether they know it or not but man, the best reading time for me occurs on long trips in the car.

We make it to Auburn and decide to plan out our trip. One of the main things I really wanted to do was go to the Georgia Aquarium. I had never been to one before and had heard nothing but good things about that one. I’ve been to the Baltimore Aquarium since that trip and I actually think that one is really cool as well but Georgia has whale sharks that swim over your head and that experience is truly something else. Another spot we hit up was the Columbus, GA mall. My friend wanted to take us because she said it’s a highly rated mall that we must see. I’m not much of a mall goer myself. Too much temptation to spend money I don’t have but It was something fun to do as a group.

The best thing about malls is mall food! Especially he Japanese fusion types of food. If you ever walk through a mall food court, chances are, there are a few people from each stall handing out samples. I can’t remember what the husband ate but me and the best friend decided to split a Japanese meal. They usually consists of you choosing rice or noodles with one meat and a side or pay extra and get two sides. Sides range from plain vegetables to egg rolls to crab rangoon. I believe we got noodles and some teriyaki or bourbon chicken with some veggies. On top of that, we all decided that we all decided we wanted smoothies form Orange Julius. If you don’t know what an orange julius is, let me explain it to you. It’s not quite a milkshake but not quite a smoothie either. It consists of mixing orange juice with milk and adding vanilla and ice. A creamsicle essentially. When you go to Orange Julius, you have the option to choose different flavors. I think we chose raspberry.

We all get back in the car to drive back home and I’m sitting up front with my friend while the guys are sitting in the back. We’re all just talking away when I start feeling really thirsty. I get my husband’s water bottle from him and start drinking it. The feeling doesn’t go away… My friend notices I’m quiet and asks me if anything is wrong. I just keep saying I’m thirsty. So I keep drinking water and trying to listen to the conversation. Next thing you know….

I bend forward and vomit all over the passenger seat floor!

I give my friend credit. She didn’t even brake! There were crickets from the testosterone gallery behind us because everyone was taken by such surprise. I lift my head up, grab the bottle of water, take a sip and state, “I feel better now” and smile; cause that’s just how I roll. My friend’s brother looks at my husband and goes, “Did she forget to tell you something?!”. Poor guy looks at me all shellshocked like, “Did you forget to tell me something?!” We get home and my best friend proves why she’s my best friend. She goes in the house and grabs cleaning stuff and just starts cleaning up my vomit like a champion. Didn’t even phase her. The funniest part? It wasn’t even her van. She borrowed it cause it would fit the whole group! I felt less bad cause I vomited in someone else’s van instead of hers. I’m horrible, I know. Mall food and Orange Julius doesn’t mix well for Nel. (Hey, I rhymed!)

So moral of this story, get all season floor mats in case someone has a case of sickness in your car so you don’t ruin your carpets and what goes in must come out somehow.. eventually. 😉

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Are their food combinations that you know for a fact will not agree with your stomach? Let me know in the comments below!

The Power of Nature and Tech

So I was late to work today.

But what I saw on the way was pretty intense. Last night, most of Northeast Ohio experienced a pretty, heavy duty storm. There was lots of rain, thunder, lightning and wind. I like when it storms in the fall mostly because the wind becomes a natural leaf stripper and makes cuts how many times we have to blow and rake leaves. I was watching Poldark (my new obsession) and watching the cats because my jerk gets a little bit of anxiety during storms, when my friend texts me and tells me her power when out. She lives out by where I work; about 45 minutes away. She told me luckily they have back up generators at her house but it didn’t sound good out there. And I wondered if my husband and I would lose power as well but there wasn’t much flickering going on really. Then about 15 minutes later she tells me a tree fell on her boyfriend’s truck. And I’m like, “Are you serious??” and she says yes and send me a picture. He drives a heavy duty pick up truck and this tree split his cab in half. I told her I was really glad it didn’t hit their house and thank goodness for insurance.

This morning, I’m driving to work and I see a few branches down here and there in the small town of Boston Heights and the back roads of Hudson. It wasn’t til I hit Aurora that it all came into stark reality. I saw a tree being barely held up by power lines, and almost every house I passed, there was a tree downed in someone’s front yard. I’m slowly getting to the intersection that takes me to the one main road to work and I swear to God all I saw was a wall of dirt coming. If there wasn’t people behind me, I would have stopped just to marvel at the sight. The wall of dirt was half the size of a two story house. I mean it was nothing but dirt and roots and it was the biggest downed tree I have EVER seen. Big ole pine. There was a woman in rubber boots walking around out front and I just felt so bad for her because not only did the tree fall and ruin her day, but it landed on her neighbor’s house which I can imagine only made the day worse. The circumference of that tree was literally staggering. I hope no one got hurt but I can only imagine the sound that tree made as it was falling and when it actually fell. Now more than ever, I told my husband, the trees around our house need to come down as soon as we can afford it.

From that point on, I experienced road closures. Thank goodness for technology let me tell you. If it wasn’t for GPS, I probably would have drove in circles lost. I texted my boss and let her know I was going to be late and then turned on Google Maps to try and help me find some kind of route to work. I was probably rerouted about 8 or so times because of physical police car barriers or signs like these:

I eventually made it to work and since I listen to NPR, heard about the thousands of people without power in two counties. My old man friend at work was talking about how his sisters from out of town were calling him asking him if he was okay and his response was just like him. He told her, “Yeah we might be two or three days without power but the people in Puerto Rico still don’t have power and probably won’t for a year.” Talk about putting others before yourself right?

Nature is a beautiful but dangerous thing. I think Mother Earth is a little pissed at us for ruining the environment but hopefully we can turn some things around with all the amazing, sustainable, helpful tech that keeps coming about. If you happened to be in this area of crap weather last night, I hope you and yours are okay.

Happy Monday everyone.