Some Vacation Photos

We have a lot to say about our vacation, but not enough time to say it all yet. How about a few pictures to start with. These are all from my iPhone, so the majority of photos are from our Texas half of the trip. Most of the Canadian photos will still have to be pulled off our camera.

My dad insisted on introducing Murray to Tim Horton's as soon as possible when we arrived in Canada. This is at 2:00 a.m.

Murray thinks it's really funny that we have bagged milk in Canada. Not plastic gallons. I'll say one thing. It's a lot easier to store lots and lots of bags of milk in your fridge than it is to store lots of gallons.

This is Murray trying to take pictures of some interesting people when pretending to take pictures of Niagara Falls. All our good Niagara Falls pictures will have to come off my camera.

This is me in the Buffalo airport trying to slyly get a picture of a woman who Murray insisted was Hillary Swank and who wasn't actually Hillary Swank.

Murray with Buffalo wings in Buffalo.

In Texas now. Can you tell?

Murray was excited about the antiques store. But they were all fake antiques---new items passed off as "antiques." So disappointing.

So beautiful, times 2.

Murray, the giant ground sloth.

Murray in front of a favorite Houston restaurant, Pappasito's.

Me being a goat whisperer at the Snake Farm. This is not the goat who got its horns up my skirt and gave everyone a show. Horny goat.

Who would ever pass up a trip to a Snake Farm?


Murray and the dinosaurs.

I love Lucy! More about this later, but Murray and I had no idea that she was actually there!!

Can you tell which is most advanced?



Eating alligator.

Eating alligator.

Second-largest mall in the country.


Sam Houston monument!

After this trip, I'm SO ready to move to Houston. If I can get over that annoying Texas pride thing, maybe Murray and I will one day make the move.

A moment from Canada.

Just thought I'd take a moment to say that Murray and I are still alive and doing well. We're almost done with the Canadian half of our vacation and are about to move on to the Texan half. Here's my favorite quotes from the trip so far:


Customs officer at Canadian border: Are you taking anything with you other than clothing.

Dad: A painting.

Customs officer: What is the value?

Dad: Oh, no, it has no value. It's all just painted by hand.

Customs officer: All right. Move on through.

I think that Murray almost had an anneurism at the suggestion that a "painted by hand" painting had no value. And that the customs officer wouldn't think that was something to investigate futher. Since it's a PRINT of a painting, my suggestion after the fact was that he should have said, "No, it's a photocopy. It has no value." That would be more believable. And "painted by hand"? Painted by foot is much more valuable.


Grandpa: Well, we're in North Bay now, and this is the home of the Dionne Quintiplets.

Me: Quintuplets.

Grandpa: Quintiplets. There were six of them I think. QuinTRIplets. Six.

Me: Quintuplets. There were five. Quint means five.

Grandpa: Well, if your grandmother were here, she could tell ya.


Dad (about the neighborhood where I was born): It all looks a little red necky right now. I guess it looked a little red neck back then, too. I guess we WERE a little red neck. We just didn't know because we had to wear scarves.


I'll post more details about our Canadian adventures when I'm home and when I can post the accompanying pictures!

My Day

Here's what I was supposed to do today:

-Hear baby's heartbeat
-Do laundry

Here's what I did:

-Do not hear baby's heartbeat, despite goo. Suspect my protective layer of fat of soundproofing my uterus.
-Get an ambush pap smear.
-Go to lunch with Murray.
-Break permanent retainer. For the THIRD TIME this year.
-Call dentist but no one answers. Leave message.
-Call Canadian orthodontist because I'm going there anyway. Set up an appointment for Monday at 9:30.
-Receive call back from orthodontist's office saying that my orthodontist wouldn't do anything better than the dentists here, so she suggests getting it done by a dentist here. (Then why has the retainer broken THREE TIMES in the past year??)
-Reward myself with gelato because of the pap smear.
-Go back to my car.
-Get ticket for not having correct registration sticker.
-Go to DMV to get new registration sticker.
-Go to courthouse to contest ticket (I was parked half a block away from the DMV... so I told them that I was ticketed while getting my sticker...)
-Got a dismissed ticket.
-Call dentist again. Goes straight to voice mail.
-Call emergency dental hotline, which is dentist's own cell phone. Leave a message.
-Drive to dentist's office to demand service in person. It's been closed all day.
-Go to neighbor dentist and say, "I need someone to cement this NOW."
-Pay less at new dentist than I have at previous dentists...
-Drive home, only to realize that I forgot to check us in at Southwest two hours ago because I wasn't home, except that I was SUPPOSED to be home.
-Go to computer and STILL manage to get us A passes. 45 and 46. Not so bad.

So that's my day. And now I have to try to do some laundry and run to Walmart to get ingredients to do chocolate fondue for cooking club tonight. So much for packing and cleaning. I'm glad that we don't have to leave for the airport until 1:00 tomorrow.

Last day of work

Friday was my last day of work. For about the last two weeks, I've had pretty much constant dreams about work. There was one night that I actually worked an entire day of work during my sleep, and woke up realizing that I had to do it all over again. Other dreams included packing up my office (again and again and again) but in my dreams, my office had as much stuff as an apartment. I hate moving. Another dream was about all my coworkers stealing my sweaters because they thought I was giving them away. Clearly, my mind had a lot of anxiety about work.

I left my job because 1) it's in Salt Lake and that's a big commute for me (2-3 hours a day), and 2) once I found out I was pregnant, Murray and I decided that the thought of combining the commute with an expanding belly wasn't the funnest idea. And so here I am, striking it out on my own, starting up as a contract worker. We'll see how that works out for me. I'm grateful to have Murray to support us through this so that we can take a risk and see what happens.

It wasn't easy leaving my job, though. I woke up early Friday morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I just got ready and made the last commute. My last day mostly consisted of cleaning up my office and finishing up last minute details, and explaining projects to my coworkers so that they could tie up any loose ends. And of course, there were lots of jokes about Toby from The Office, since the season finale was all about his last day. (In my exit interview, I was not asked, "Who do you think you are" or "What gives you the right?")

In order to clean all my files off my computer, Murray suggested I take in one of his external hard drives and just put my personal stuff from my work computer onto there. (No, I didn't steal company files, like all of the fonts, which apparently someone did do before.) Of course, he didn't know which hard drive had space, so told me to take the suitcase with all his hard drives in it. And so I walked into the building at 7:00 a.m. looking like I was carrying a bomb into my last day of work. I expected a SWAT team to burst in and take me out.

Here's the last picture taken at work, which includes my coworkers who came to escort me out of the building (which is better than Security, like Toby got).

Ah crap. In looking at this picture, I realize that there's a bunch of papers on my shelf that I was supposed to give and explain to Polly. I'll have to give her a call.

Anyway. Now moving on to the world of self employment, I realize that I'm going to have to set up some structure and some rules for myself. Like shower and brush my teeth every day. And do my hair. And get dressed. So far I'm not doing so well.

So yeah. I've got to get on with the day, and do some responsible things to get ready for our big vacation. So this is me, signing out, and reminding you that if you have work for me to do, I'd love to do it. For pay.

(Oh, and sorry for dropping the ball on sewing skirts... I'm going to have to do it AFTER my trip. There was too much to do what with leaving my job and all to leave time for sewing.)

It's like rain... on your third-to-last day of work

Today I made my coworker walk to her car in the rain to look for an umbrella for me. She looked in the trunk. She looked in the back seat. And after getting wet, she came back to tell me that she must have left her umbrella at home. I'm not a horrible person for making her do that. Let me explain.

Last night, I decided to spend the night at Captain Fabuloso's house. I decided this after I was already in Salt Lake for work, so Murray had to pack some clothes for me before he came up. (My mom is in town and it was the Bean's birthday celebration, so that's why we wanted to spend the evening in Salt Lake, and then I didn't want to drive home at night just to drive back in the morning.) Had I known it was going to rain today, I would have asked Murray to pack my rain coat and and umbrella. Instead, I asked him to bring my nice silk shirt.

So this morning, I was getting urgently hungry (this happens when you're pregnant) and also I needed to eat breakfast because I'm participating in a fitness challenge right now and I needed to get my breakfast point. But it was raining and I didn't have anything in my office and the cafeteria is in a different building. And I'd have to be out in the rain to get my breakfast.

So I asked my coworker if she had an umbrella and she said maybe in her car and I said well never mind I'm not going to make you get it from your car and she said my car is close and I said still I'm not going to make you go out in the rain to get me an umbrella just so that I don't have to go out in the rain. But she insisted. And in the end, she got wet for nothing. And then I got wet for breakfast.

We all lose.

(Except that I don't lose a breakfast point. I got fresh pineapple and a croissant because that's how healthy I am. Oh, and I'm counting those 90 seconds of intense running towards my 30-minute exercise point.)

I'm a failure.

After almost seven months of marriage, it's finally time to admit that I am a complete failure. Please see this Marital Rating Chart.

Now, let's see how I do...


1) Murray and I always head to bed at the same time, even if it takes him a few more hours to fall asleep. (Looks like I'm okay on this one.)

2) I teach Sunbeams and I usually like them okay, so I don't think that I lose points for this either. Except that Murray is more comfortable around children than I am...

3) Murray has had two jackets that needed buttons sewn on. And I neglected to do it all winter and I even lost one of the buttons, and now it's too hot for him to wear jackets anyway. And I don't darn his socks, but I'm secretly plotting to throw out 90 percent of his darn socks when he's not paying attention. (Murray is a sock collector... in other news, we'll be hosting a sock animal craft day very soon where the collection will hopefully be depleted.)

4) I don't wear any dresses around the house! And right now, I look like this:

5) Damn.

6) Actually, I'm quite punctual, so PHEW!

7) I don't wear hose during the summer, which I am sure counts against me. As far as the winter, I always wear patterned hose, and for some reason, one leg always looks like the pattern is twisted around, no matter what brand I'm using and no matter what way I'm putting on the hose.

8) I have gone to bed with curlers in my hair before. And I don't ever wash my face at night... which I'm sure counts against me.

9) Check. I thought that's what husbands were for. Apparently it's what Murray thinks socks are for. But I never wear socks, so I have to use him to keep my feet warm. (I bet never wearing socks counts against me because my feet are calloused and leathery...)

10) Uh... First of all, I'd like to say that at least I defer to Murray's manly right to drive (I prefer not to drive if I don't have to). But Murray will be the first to admit that his sense of direction is not the best, and neither is his sense of awareness. Like one time, we were going to the mall, and he drove to and parked his car in front of Best Buy. Several blocks away from the mall. And had I not pointed out that we were not, in fact, at the mall, he might have even gotten out of the car. (This quality is endearing... but requires that I do a lot of backseat driving... apologies, Murray!)

11) Do brothers count? Because sometimes I flirt up a storm with The Boy. And sometimes I sit really close to him. And sometimes I pinch his bum.

12) Sometimes I'm suspicious that Murray is bringing me a present home, but that's as far as my suspicions go...


1) I am a good hostess, but we haven't actually hosted any parties, or really invited people over to our house, so I think that I lose points here.

2) By "has meals on time" does this mean that we get to the restaurant on time? Because between work and the commute, I haven't actually been able to make many meals in the past 7 months...

3) Oh, at least I get a point for this! This was actually on Murray's real list for qualities that he needed in a wife.

4) It doesn't say that I have to play the instrument well, right? Well, I can play the piano a little bit. And I'm a Jew's Harp master. (I bet Murray doesn't even know that about me.)

5) I do dress for breakfast. Which I eat in the car on my way to work every morning. Does this imply that I'm supposed to be eating breakfast with my husband?

6) I don't want to talk about it.

7) Children? I have not yet produced any children, which I'm sure counts against me, unless you consider that producing children in less than nine months of marriage is a bad thing... in which case I'm doing pretty well. And I'm good at putting myself to bed on time so that our fetal baby can get the rest it needs.

8) Since there's never anything to be angry at, this one's a cinch!

9) By "asks" opinion about purchases, does it mean "strongly advises about purchases"? Because I'm good at that. See new couch with to-be-made pillows:

10) I'm pretty good at being gay.

11) Oh my gosh, I teach children in Sunday School. I think I get 20 points for this one.

12) Although Murray would say that I do this, the truth is that I roll around in bed and kick him enough once I'm awake that he wakes up soon after me. But this is because I like doing things with him, so I'm happiest when he's awake. But I think I still have him convinced that he's waking up on his own.

I think I come out a little less than neutral. I might fit into the average or poor category. But since this is apparently only the first page of the chart, I can't tell. (What I wouldn't give to see the other pages!)