It's a Zoo Out There

You may have noticed I've been away (you did, didn't you????) Actually I am STILL away; sitting here in my comfy hotel bed, laptop on my er, well, lap to finally write about what I've been up to.

Or down to.

Down to the US of A. Again. With Daughter. Again.

We're back in Minneapolis for a week... spending copious amounts of time and money at the Mall of America. Again.

I must say, Tuesday and Wednesday the Mall was pretty quiet; it was wonderful. But yesterday? It was a Zoo.

As usual, we crawled out of bed early to get a good start on the busy day.

Otters nestAfter brekkie at IHOP,

Prairie Dog nomwe joined the rest of the herd over at the Mall, running around to catch the bestest of deals.

Horses on the runIt was crazy; the crowds were growing significantly by mid-day. But that didn't stop us. We made sure we got to all the stores we could. After walking around four levels of hundreds of shops all day, my feet were killing me.

Flamingos on one footBy 9 pm,, I found myself yawning uncontrollably - it was definitely time to return to our hotel, especially since the Mall was closing anyway...

Leopard YawnBut bedtime would have to wait until after relaxing in the hotel hot-tub; luckily, we had it all to ourselves as we soaked our tender tootsies.

Grizzly BearSoon it was time to hit the sack once more.... we needed our rest, for another day of shopping awaited us in the morning.


Yep, it sure has been fun... a whole week acting like shopping animals.

Which reminds me.... we went to the Minnesota Zoo too.

Now That's Just Cruel

If you've been reading awhile, you may recall I often lament of a terrible, horrendous and dreadful situation which occurs on nearly a daily basis here at work. It's known by the name:

Free Lunch

Um, wha? How can you possibly say that Maureen?? It's FREE! IT'S FOOD!
(I heard you; no need to shout.)

Well, it's terrible, horrendous and dreadful because I have absolutely NO willpower. Especially with anything "Free". Zilch. Nada.

It's hard enough running out the door in the morning with a meager lunch so I'll stay healthy and drop a few pounds... but when the inevitable knock comes to my office door announcing "leftovers!" I am spineless. I mindlessly (but happily) join the throng stampeding to the staff room in search of cheesy pizza, spicy Greek delicacies, thick deli sandwiches on soft chewy bread with pickles and chips, delicious Chinese food, or if Morning Rounds have just let out, sweet danish or sinful muffins, juice, coffee, yogurt, cream cheese and fruit.

Gahhh! I can't resist! It all tempts me, calling out my name... "You know you want me..."

Apparently, when one has no willpower one also possess the skill of hearing food talk.

At least I do.

But yesterday the worst, most nasty thing happened at work.

No, they didn't take the food away, leaving us cold turkey. (Mmmmm.... turkey......)

Nope. It's worse.

They added THIS to the women's bathroom:

Bathroom Scale

Now that's just cruel.

Change of Plans

"Change of plans...." the only phrase I was able to decipher from my normally softly mumbling dentist after seemingly drilling for oil working on me for nearly twenty minutes.

I daresay he mumbles to his assistant in special dental code on purpose; to avoid questions at the very least, terror-striken panic at the very most. I tried not to become alarmed, but I will admit my heart started to pound... I feared my broken tooth could not be saved.

Yep, I broke a tooth. Last Thursday whilst munching on some very tasty, SOFT french fries. As I savoured those wonderfully sinful treats, I bit down and heard a sickening Un-French-Fry-Like "crunch" in my mouth.

Dammit. I broke a tooth. I spit it out and pondered this unexpected turn of events.

Dammit! I broke my tooth! Gah!!!

My ex-toothIt didn't hurt, but I knew enough came away that I needed to take care of it before it started to throb. So yesterday I found myself in The Chair, frozen from eye socket to neck, trying to stay calm while the repair began.

Drill. Drill. Drill. Mumble, mumble, mumble.

Rinse. Switch tools.

Drill. Drill. Drill. Mumble, mumble, mumble.

Rinse. Switch tools again.

Drill. Drill. Drill. Mumble, mumble, mumble.

Rinse. More switching of tools.

This went on until he sat back, stared deep into my mouth with those special magnifying glasses and let out an exasperated sigh.

Oh crap.

"Change of plans."

It's something I didn't want to hear at that point.

"Um, wha???" I tried to find out what exactly was going on, but the damn damn prying my mouth open was blocking any coherance on my part. Or so I thought.

Apparently, he is not only fluent in dental code mumbling, but my dentist is also proficient in understanding patient mumbling through rubber as well.

"Oh, the other side is cracked too. We just have to use a different type of filling and you'll need a crown."


I was relieved. For a split second. Until another forty minutes of drilling commenced once more.

My Magical Powers

I have the power to make inanimate objects disappear and reappear! Really and truly!

Case in point:

The morning was going well; I was ready in record time. The pets were fed, the house was in order. I was EARLY. Awesome. So when I was ready to leave for the office, I shoved my hand into my purse pocket for my keys. I keep my house keys and car keys clipped onto a tres cool Pink Panther keychain and keep them in the same right outside pocket of my grey messenger bag purse for easy access.

What the deuce? They weren't there!

I checked the left outside purse pocket. The one they are not supposed to be in, as my camera and phone are stowed safely in there so they don't get scratched.

Whew... no keys. No wait... Crap! No Keys!

I checked inside my bag. There WAS lot of miscellaneous stuff in there, but my missing keys weren't miscellaneously present. Holy cow, I have to clean this thing out one of these years...

I checked the purse pockets again. Work keys with Gumby and Pokey were sitting obediently in their assigned place like good little classic cartoon characters should, but the mischievious Pink Panther had escaped.

Car keysWell behaved, classic cartoon characters working hard at, well, work.

I searched my briefcase... dig, dig, dig. Nothing. No jingling noises. No keys. No Henry Mancini soundtrack to hint at Pinky's hiding spot.

The minutes were ticking away.

Crapity crap crap!

I checked the room where I had thrown, erm "carefully deposited" my purse the previous evening.

No keys on the floor.

I checked on and under the dining room table... maybe I left them there and the cats assumed Pinky was a new jangly (? jangly?? Okay, I make up words too) cat toy. When in doubt, ALWAYS blame the cats. Dammit. Not there either. Apologies, felines.

I checked the craftroom. Zilch.

I checked the hallway. A lot of furballs (gad I have to vacuum) but no shiny thingys.

I went back to my purse and searched again. Excuses for my lateness soon began to float inside my head.

"Hello, work? I won't be in today. My car won't start."
(Well, it wouldn't be a lie; it IS a titch difficult to start it without KEYS).

Then an Epiphany. Ahaha! I probably left them in my jacket pocket yesterday! Silly moi! I poked around the pockets, only to discover that kleenex I have had in there for like, forever. Crap! And Ewww!

I evil-eyed my messenger bag lying helpless at the front door, this close to dumping everything out, pissed that my wonderfully organized morning had swiftly evaporated.

I plunged my hand into that first purse pocket for the third time.

And pulled out my keys, Pink Panther fob and all.

Car keysDon't wave at me all innocently like that Pinky

Yes, I am Magic. I made them reappear out of sheer willpower.

It's the only plausible explanation.

Oh Snap!

On the very rare occasion that I'm not sequestered in my craftroom (ie. when I am forced, kicking and screaming to leave and go to work), the door is shut tight to keep the resident felines from "playing" with all my crafty goodies.

When I AM in my craftroom (ie. the second I get home from the office), I am invariably accompanied / distracted / interrupted continuously by three felines intent on getting into trouble. (The dog simply joins us for a singular purpose; to see how often I can trip over her no matter where she decides to plant herself for a quick nap).

It can be the smallest of things that tantalize the cats, who impress me with their well-practiced tag-team approach; they each take turns at targetting scraps of expensive paper, strands of shiny ribbon, delicate fabric flowers, lengths of sticky tape...

The worst by far is Dakotah The Thief. She is champion at the game of Treasure Hunter - she wins when successful at scampering off with anything that peaks her interest on my desk. I am sure she believes her full name is "No Dakotah!" - the familiar epithet hollered as I chase her down the hallway until whatever prize firmly clasped in her mouth is dropped.

Yesterday she tried to steal a rubber band I had removed from my camera's USB cord. Luckily I was able to catch her in the act before she made her stealthy escape... so I soon found myself in yet another tug of war.

And no matter how this war ended, it was not going to be pretty.

Nope. Not. At. All.

Tug Of WarLet's just say that the red welt on my fingers stung like the dickens.

What Goes Through Their Heads

Ah Easter.... a four-day weekend I look forward to all year. Yup. FOUR days. IN a row. Being a government worker (now there's an oxymoron for you) I get both Good Friday and Easter Monday off.

It's the one time that I get a Stat Day that the rest of the family doesn't.

Oh but I AM awful, aren't I? (you don't have to answer that)

But I can't help it. Easter Monday is the one non-vacation-day I can lay in bed until I want to get up the animals force me out whining for breakfast.

Which made me think of what our pets think of regular working weekdays. I wonder what goes through their heads when they see us all rush out of the house early each morning, returning hours later to spend a short time cooking, eating, sleeping... only to start the silly routine all over again?

Only the dog is there to send me off at the front door and is there to excitedly greet me once more when I return home. I highly doubt she sits there all day, but I do ponder what they are thinking when I come back through the door...



You're Home! You're Home! You're Home!

Why did you leave? Where did you go?

Whatzthat? Did you bring me food?

Please let me hide behind your legs so that mean black cat will stop attacking me!



You're back?

Good. Feed me.

Or pet me.

Or pet AND feed me.




You were gone?


I hadn't noticed.





So I guess you want your bed back.


Where's that
cowardly dog? I need to give her a swipe... I've been sharpening my claws all day.

Yeah, I am sure they consider me merely a live-in-pet-maid in THEIR home.

But come Monday, I am the Queen of my castle.

Hear that girls? And this Queen is proclaiming that she will sleep in until at least 8:30!


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Yeah, I should be doing laundry, yardwork, cleaning the house or planning meals. But frankly, I'D RATHER BE BLOGGING... about things like this.

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