Portgual Day 1 and 2


We are on a family vacation in Portugal.  Its fun, but there are so many dynamics that sometimes…it gets a bit…too fun.  There are so many relationships going on at once, that it gets fuzzy at times.  Its different than the trips we take when there are just a few going on.  Different, yet fun.


Its hard to believe that we just got here yesterday.  After flying for 12 hours, we slept for a few, got up and did it all over again.  Different flight, different location.  Different cast of characters.  We were up at 2am to catch our flight.  Taxied here, checked into our apartment, and then went in search of food.


Finding food in a foreign land, where everything is labeled differently, looks different and feels different – its always fun to try and find food that 1. Everyone will eat 2. Isnt expensive and 3. Actually edible!  But we managed.  After that short excursion we all more or less freaked out because 1. We couldnt see the beach 2. The cab ride was too expensive.  After a short walk we discovered the beach was a short distance away – despite the story we had been given from the cab driver.


This morning (Some of us) got up and spent the morning at the pool.  It was colder, and rain was threatening to fall.  But instead of hiding out inside (like most of the locals probably did) we jumped into the pool (which was cold) and then headed to the beach.  Once we got there, the sun poked out and it turned into a beautiful day.


There was a lot of adventures to be had on the beach:


Wave jumping,


sand throwing,


hot doing eating adventures.


Adventures in being a family, in a foreign land.



Week 17: The one with the flower

Monday – While many people are still being covered in snow (sorry) we are in the full swing of spring.  Which, for us, means rain.  Lots and lots of rain.


Tuesday – I picked some daffodils from our garden.  They werent open when I picked them – but it sure didnt take them long!


Wednesday – Daffodils have always been one of those flowers that I have found to be difficult to photograph.  I love photographing flowers, but something about the daffodil.  I spend every spring taking millions of pictures and then they die off and I vow to try again next year.  I think this is the first picture that I have taken of a daffodil that I like.


Thursday – This.  Is Jazzy.


Friday – And this.  Is Nigel.  I might talk more about them later, but right now Im counting the minutes down until they go home.  It has been a very long two weeks.  Just sayin.


Saturday – I wanted a picture of Yoshi – Because its going to be awhile before I see her again, and Im kind of going to miss my scooby.  She, obviously, wasnt feeling the same way.


Also?  We leave tomorrow – Next weeks pictures will probably have a whole different look to them.

Week 16

Ive skipped the last week and 1/2 because Nik was out getting repaired.  But he is home!  And Im happy!  And we leave in a week!  And here are some pictures!

Thursday – Nik came home!  To celebrate I hauled outside to get her picture.  She was about as thrilled as she looked.


Friday – This is one of the trouble dogs.  Enough said.


Saturday – Miss Yoshi, again.  Because you cant have too many pictures of Yoshi – right?


Sunday – Look!  Spring! Its here!



The Survivors Guide to Pre-Panic, and Panic

While it may seem like a thin line between Pre-Panic and full on Panic, they really are two different things. However, they both occur around the same time and are often confused, leaving those in its path – confused as well. Let me help those in the midst of either a “Pre-Panic” or “Panic”, by clarifying a few things.

Pre-Panic, and Panic occur generally before a big trip.  It is the process many refer to as “Preparation.”

Pre-Panic occurs first. It is often confused with either a “Deep clean” or a cleaning spur that is done before a guest were to arrive. It involves casually cleaning behind closed doors, vacuuming underneath chairs, and sorting through the junk drawers on rainy afternoons.

Pre-Panic often welcomes help. If asked Pre-Panic will most likely point you in the direction of a room. Pre-Panic comes and goes in the leading days before a trip, and can come in various stages.

Pre-Panic looks to discover what is making that lump under the rug, sweeps and mops beneath said rug – and beats or washes the rug before laying it back down.

Pre-Panic will clean here and there, whistling a tune, and making lists that vaguely outline the chores that should be accomplished.

Panic can come at any moment. And often can be reached through a Pre-Panic cleaning spree – with no return. Panic should not be taken lightly. You should remain out of the path of Panic at all costs. Do not offer to help, and do not sit by idly watching. You should also refrain from pointing out “Spots missed” or that you are “Hungry.” You might also want to avoid standing by making yourself something to eat.

Panic can often be found atop a ladder changing a light bulb, while planting seeds.

Panic does not look under the rug, but instead sweeps things UNDER it and wonders (while running to another task) how much more can be put beneath said rug before someone starts to wonder.

Panic is often viewed as a tornado, a whirlwind, or a clean that occurs before the president unexpectedly drops in. Panic does not stop to make a list, but if it were to stop – the list would simply read “QUIT READING ME! GET TO WORK! CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!”

Panic will be awake until 4am. And awake again at 5.

To Survive Panic (assuming you are not involved with Panic yourself):

  • Hide. Do not stand, sit, or look idle.
  • Don’t Speak. Panic wont hear you anyways, but what you do say will be twisted into something along the lines of “You missed a spot.”
  • Run. You cant outrun Panic, but atleast you will look active and you might be left alone for that microsecond.
  • Don’t. Don’t speak, Don’t eat, Don’t sit, Don’t stand. Don’t run, Don’t talk, Don’t comment. Don’t not speak, Don’t not stand, Don’t not sit….
  • Nothing. There is absolutely nothing you can do to survive Panic completely. You will eventually emerge – with a cleaner house, but until then – there is nothing you can do but throw yourself at the feet of Panic and do as it says.

It is important to remember that Pre-Panic may interchange with Panic, but Panic can NEVER interchange with Pre-Panic.

Oh, Monday

I used to like Monday. While everyone else would cringe because Monday was coming, and dread the day – I would look forward to it. I love the starting of a new work week, and I loved that there was a whole week to accomplish things. Weird, perhaps, but I did love me a good Monday. And then…the last few weeks have happened. And then yesterday happened, and I honestly would not care if we skip right on over every Monday there is to come.

Its not that anything particularly life altering tragic happened – its just that every single thing that could go wrong – did. And everything that could go right – went wrong. And the day could not end fast enough.

You see, Sunday started things off on a bad note. When I returned to the shop I discovered that the dog I am watching – broke out of his kennel and destroyed the office. Wait, let me back up. That morning I did my dog sitting duties that included taking the dogs outside, cleaning up their crates, and returning them back to their crates for two, maybe three hours. When I returned – I was greeted at the door by none other than the trouble maker himself.

There were floods, rivers, and mountains (if you catch my drift). Stuffed animals ripped, my coffee cup – broke. Plastic, paper, keys – scattered around the office. Our water filter – chewed to bits. By destroyed – I do mean destroyed. In that it took me two hours, two rolls of paper towels, and ½ a gallon of bleach to clean. That. Was Sunday.

Monday, was like Sunday – only repeated. Not even 12 hours after I cleaned the previous mess up. I should also mention that he has broken through chains, metal bars, and everything else designed to keep him in his kennel. Yesterday he refused to go outside – yet 10 seconds after retuning in, he would go. All over the floor. He was scared of the rain – which meant that I got hauled outside by two 50 pound dogs, and then had to literally, drag them both back in because they were too scared to move in the rain.

It meant that I hurt my back, had no coffee cup (see Sunday), the internet went out (for TWO HOURS people, TWO HOURS), floodgates were broken, my computer was unplugged, messes were made, cleaned, and made again. It was just one of those down right horrible days. And meanwhile, a gazillion and one miles away – Amanda was having troubles of her own. Their roof – leaked. This just a few days after another roof leak – which ruined their computer.

Needless to say – Mondays? Are no longer my friend. Tuesdays however…Tuesday and I are so far, best friends. Lets just hope it stays that way!

Week 13: Dogs, Flowers and Spring!

Monday – Honey is probably one of the sweetest dogs I know.  I was a little worried to watch her because just last week, Yoshi took a snap at her.  But they did good.


Tuesday – I did it!


Wednesday – This little guy, combined with the skunk cabbage and robins tells me spring IS HERE!  Well that and the sunny 60 degree weather we have been experiencing!


Thursday – I sent my camera off to be cleaned (he has some TERRIBLE black spots that I couldnt get rid of) so was forced to go to the archives this week.  This is Italy last year.  It kind of makes me want to eat fresh bread and mozzarella balls all over again.


Friday – Flowers are popping up all over here, so I found this one from the archives – England of last year.


Saturday – Another favorite from last year.


Sunday – Spring! Is! Here!  Or it was last year.  And is this year, I just dont have pictures this year yet!


Week 12: Yoshi, Bob, and Summer

Monday – Yoshis new ball has a squeaker.  She absolutely ADORES this ball, and when Bob (who you will meet in a few pictures) came over – he STOLE her ball!  Needless to say they fought over the ball the entire week until  I finally smartened up and took it away!


Tuesday – This is Bob.  He is a shepherd husky mix.  He came to stay with us for the week while his owners were out of town.  Bob loved to tease Yoshi.  Yoshi didnt like this so much.

2Wednesday – The delayed flower.  While the rest of the flowers have long since been dead, this one is getting a late start – and Im not complaining!

3Thursday – Spring is still coming?  I forget what I was going for this day.

4Friday – Bob the innocent.  He was sneaky with Yoshis ball.  I was trying to spend some extra special time with Yoshi so she didnt get jealous – and one trip, Yoshi turned and high tailed it back to the office.  Bob.  Had stolen her ball (again) and was taunting her with it.

5Saturday – We had a burst of sunny weather this weekend, Ahhhh.  I dont care what ANYONE says – there is no place more beautiful than Alaska on a sunny day!

6Today – Ahh Miss Yoshi.  Some days.


Green Chile Pork

I have a new favorite.  I made it the other night, there was just dad and I.  There were no leftovers.  Usually with just two, there are usually left overs for a few nights.  Not tonight.  It was so.  Good.

  • 1 pork roast – cut into bite sized chunks (I had a pork roast I got on sale, but I am pretty sure you can use any piece of pork)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 large can green chile sauce
  • 3 tomatillos, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • black pepper, salt, cumin

And thats it.  Put it all in the crock pot on high for 6-8 hours.

I served ours over rice with cheese quesadillas, but you could really do whatever you want with them.  Originally I had planned on turning them into enchiladas, but I was too tired to bother doing that.  Either way – its a new favorite, one that has added ‘pork’ to my shopping list.

Mindless Fun

What is the last thing you watched on TV? King of Queens. No its not educational, doesnt have any value, and probably isnt the most beneficial show to be watching, but its funny.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing? Just a few minutes ago. I was walking home to start dinner, and then walked back to the shop. Late night here.

What is on the walls of the room you are in? Our walls are a mishmash. Of course Im in the shop office, so there is a little bit of everything: Keys, certificates, calendars, pictures, paintings.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? Oh boy. Ive been on a spending spree lately, every time I get a few dollars I just want to spend it. Becoming a multi-millionaire at this point PROBABLY wouldnt be the best idea because I would probably just buy candy, clothes, and other nonsense.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone? A summertime gift shop owner. Reminding me summer is coming. No, thats not what he said – but he only comes to town in the summer – so summer MUST be coming.

What was the last book you read? Ha. I dont really read books. I mean I do. I mean. Yea. Im in the process of trying to start reading The Hunger Games.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do? My bedroom. Totally. Its been a work in progress for the past….ten years. I need inspiration. Right now its got ugly green carpet, a bright blue wall, and a nice purple wall. Its long. Its short. Its quite ugly.

What was the last thing you bought? Toothpaste and socks.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Lush. Never heard of it? You are SO MISSING OUT. See? Becoming a multimillionaire would probably result in me buying out the store. And then some.

Is the glass half empty or half full? One of my favorite quotes goes: “Some see the glass as 1/2 empty, others as 1/2 full. I see a glass and wonder whos been drinking out of it.”

Name something that took you by surprise. It was apparently, windy today. I didnt know it was, and thought it was a beautiful spring day – despite being out in the weather a few times, I still didnt realize it was windy until the smoke came billowing down the chimchimminey.

Name one TV show you will watch every time it’s on. I dont know about EVERY time its on, but I like to watch sitcoms (Like King of Queens.) Or thrillers. One extreme to the other.

Name a movie you will watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it. I have a small collection of these movies, and I rotate them out every so often. Two of my all time favorites are: Death at a funeral, and Despicable me 2.

What’s your favorite musical? I dislike musicals with a passion. Sorry. But I do.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been? Europe? China? Depends which way you go I guess.

What’s under your bed? Dust bunnies. My bed is up on stilts, I guess you could say. Its a hacked off version of a loft bed. But I hate anything under there – Have to be able to see that no ones hiding under there before I go to sleep. Having stuff gives them something to hide behind.

What is your favorite time of the day? That moment when everyone is in bed, and its just me for a few moments. And then I get tired and fall asleep and ruin my favorite time of the day.

What Inspires You? Really good writing. (going to steal this answer because its too good to not).

Your turn!