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Psssst. Anyone there?

So, hi there. How ya been? It’s been almost two years since I posted on this little blog of mine. I have to admit, when I took a little blog break in August 2014, I really had no intention of it turning into a permanent hiatus.  But then a few weeks turned into a few months, then I blinked, and here we are…almost half way through 2016, and I can finally say I kind of miss this space.

To be honest, I had gotten kind of bored with it, and I wasn’t really sure who I was actually posting for. It took me forever to realize that it didn’t matter if one person, two people, or three hundred read what I wrote, I was posting for myself!

Without the routine of blogging I’ve noticed that we don’t adventure with our cameras as often, and there’s very little proof (outside of Facebook and Instagram), that anything notable (or not) happened inside of the last twenty-one months. I’m the first to admit that is totally lame!

Of course, in the midst of all the radio silence, life went on as usual. There was a new job, which I still have (and surprisingly still like). There were roughly five trip’s home to Oregon. There were twenty-five books read, and countless dinners cooked. New restaurants enjoyed, and many weekend excursions. Friends got married, and other friends had babies. We both turned 35 (eeek! is that officially middle aged?). And the not so good happened in the silence too…like my mom suddenly passing away. What i’m trying to say is that twenty-one months flew by, but I have no real record of most of it.

I don’t want to set any grand expectations for you, but I do want to document more, I want to do more and adventure more, and take more pictures of all of it. And that means that I hope to post here more, too.

I hope that’s an easy enough goal to keep.

Also, in case you’ve missed them. Here is a pic of our two little monsters.

2016-04-30 10.46.19

 

 

 

 

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Woah, say what? Yeah, it actually is a new post.

Hi. So, let’s get reaquainted, shall we? I’m Nikki…

No really, I hope you  all haven’t forgotten about me amidst the radio silence that has become this blog.

What, you ask, is the deal with the disappearing act? Sorry to say that there is a super mundane explanation.  Work.  Work is solely responsible for the fact that I have neglected this space.  That’s just the real grown up truth.  But work be damned, I swear I’m gonna make an appearance here more often. I miss this little blog of mine!

So, what can you, my dear readers, expect to see here in the Big Blog Comeback? Business as usual I suspect. Annie and Oliver will make their regularly scheduled appearances. I’ll talk about books. I’ll talk about food, and cooking, and recipes. I’ll post all about our various adventures. I’ll talk about a lot of randomn stuff.  In short, you’ll quickly forget that I ever left 🙂

Hold on to your butts!

If you were alive and older than twelve in 1993  then I don’t think I’m taking a giant leap by assuming that you know exactly what this posts title is referencing.  Given that, I’m probably not alone in my total glee in anticipation of this week. I mean seriously. Jurassic Park was maybe my favorite movie as a kid. And, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was still on my list of favorite movies.  How can you not love it? That scene about twenty minutes in when they are first driving through the park, and Ellie is examining that plant that isn’t supposed to be there…pan over to Dr. Grant seeing the Brontosaurus for the first time, then reaching down to turn Ellie’s head…then her utter amazement?  That might be my favorite scene from the entire movie…heck, it’s one of my favorite scenes from any movie.

jurassic-park-3d

So, when I heard it was coming back to theaters, twenty years later, for a short run in 3D (!) there was no doubt in my mind that I would go see it.  Honestly, I’ve never been more excited to cough up $18 to see a movie before in my life.

Who cares that I’d watched it countless times on VHS growing up. Who cares that I happen to own it on DVD, and that I may actually know most of the lines by heart. We’re talking the big screen again, and 3D dinosaurs.  I almost dug out my neon slap bracelets and lime green t-shirt clip just for the occasion.

And, boy was it worth it. In 3D suddenly “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” takes on a whole new meaning. Not to mention watching the lawyer get chomped by the T-Rex wile cowering in an outhouse (what an awful way to go!).  And believe me, you haven’t seen anything until you watch someone dig their arm, elbow deep, into a four foot pile of 3D dinosaur crap.

By the end, watching the T-rex save the day while that “when dinosaurs ruled the earth” banner floats by him to the ground, I realized something. The best part of seeing this movie again on the big screen, wasn’t its 3D grandeur. It was that we were sitting in a theater that was full of thirty-two year olds going on thirteen. Because for two hours we all got to be kids again.

And, it was totally rad.

33 by 33

I decided to start a list of things I want to do each year. It’s a great excuse to sit down and think about goals and big dreams and try to make them happen. It also keeps life interesting, and if Tim and I ever find ourselves bored, we can always just consult the “list” for something to do! So, here are 33 things I want to do by the time I turn 33.

Now, for any of you wondering, no, I am not so lame that I am blogging from my honeymoon in Mexico. I wrote this post a while back, when I had proper time to think about what I want to get done this year, and scheduled it to post today, on my birthday! And, it appears that I get to cross one thing off the list already. I think it’s gonna be a good year 🙂

  1. Travel Internationally. Ideally to a country I have never been to before
  2. Join a book club
  3. Loose ten pounds
  4. Ingrain a running habit and try to remember that I used to like to run.
  5. Learn how to really use my cameras manual settings
  6. Blog at least once a week
  7. Figure out a career that I like
  8. Take an archery class
  9. Get Tim to Vegas
  10. Make sushi
  11. Stop biting my nails (I think this has been on every to-do list I have ever made)
  12. Find the perfect little black dress
  13. Take a writing class
  14. Start a pointless collection
  15. Go up in a hot air balloon
  16. Research genealogy on my mom’s side
  17. Tackle Cleaning out the file cabinet
  18. Eat healthier
  19. Go on a picnic
  20. Successfully get Oliver to loose weight (as of his last vet appointment, he is officially “Obese”)
  21. Go to Disneyland
  22. Finish all my random scrap-booking projects
  23. Buy a new dresser
  24. Read Gone With the Wind
  25. Watch Gone With the Wind
  26. Go camping
  27. Bake an apple pie
  28. Learn to crochet
  29. Make banana bread
  30. fix up or re-purpose a flea market or goodwill furniture find
  31. Volunteer somewhere
  32. Donate to an organization or cause that I believe in
  33. Make a wedding photo book once we get our wedding photos from our photographer

We’ll see how this goes. I hope I at least get to cross half of them off the list!

Also, this is what the kid version of me thinks of this list:

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Public Service Announcement: Don’t worry, Kitty Photo Wednesday will return next week 🙂

Olympic Love

Oh, how dearly I love the Olympics. Seriously. I love them. I always have, and I suspect that I always will. I remember distinctly the excitement felt when in 1992, at the age of twelve, I learned that there would be an Olympic games every two years instead of every four. Oh the joy!

You see, I’m not really your stereotypical sports fan. I don’t love all those standard, go-to sports us Americans generally love. I could give a rats ass about the NFL, unless it’s the Superbowl, in which case I really only watch for the commercials. I grew out of my NBA phase when The Portland Trailblazers stopped winning. Portland wasn’t “Rip City” without Bucky, Clyde “The Glyde”, and Duckworth. We never had a pro baseball team, so I never grew to love or care much for the sport. Though I will admit to being a fan of the SF Giants, but only because they won the World Series the year we moved to San Francisco. I would be a hermit living under a rock if I sat here and said that I didn’t get caught up in all of that excitement. But this year Lincecum has forgotten how to pitch, and the Giants just aren’t seeming so giant.  And don’t even get me started on NASCAR. Is that really even a sport?

So, what sports do I like?  Well, let me tell you.  I LOVE all of those off the wall sports that you never see on ESPN, and really only get to watch during the Olympics.  The Summer Olympics to be exact. For there are exactly eleven Summer Olympic sports that I love to watch:

  1. Archery: and not just because I kinda love The Hunger Games
  2. Athletics: all the track and field events
  3. Badminton: because they use shuttlecocks, and I think that’s a really funny word.
  4. Equestrian: because I love horses.
  5. Fencing: because you get to play with epees, which is really just a fancy word for swords.
  6. Gymnastics: because Kerri Strug vaulted her team to gold in 1996, even with a practically broken ankle.
  7. Shooting: you mean I can get a gold medal for shooting a rifle. Now, that’s just cool.
  8. Synchronized Swimming: I have no explanation for why I love this sport.
  9. Table Tennis: because Forrest Gump did it, and Forrest Gump is cool.
  10. Trampoline: because it’s so rediculous, who wouldn’t like it?
  11. Triathlon: because you have to be an ace in three sports and not just one.

Additionally, who wouldn’t love a competition that at one point included croquet (in 1900), and tug-of-war (until 1920), as medal earning events?

And this year, I’m expecting to add one more favorite to the list. This is the first year that women will be allowed to compete in Olympic boxing. Generally speaking, I don’t like watching people voluntarily get beat up. But, I have recently become completely inspired by Marlen Esparza, who will compete and is expected to win gold at this years games. Vogue recently interviewed her, and wrote a pretty good article about her. You can read it here. This woman seriously, and literally, kicks ass.

Now, the Winter Olympics shouldn’t be left out, but they just don’t hold the same magnetism for me as the summer games do. There’s only two winter game sports I actually enjoy watching: Figure skating, and curling. It makes for a much less enjoyable two weeks of viewing. And I only like to watch curling because it’s both funny and f’ing ridiculous.

I just love strange sports, mostly because they take a conscious act of interest and will to actually become Olympic caliber. I mean how the heck do you even get in to archery, or fencing, or competitive shooting for that matter, at an age young enough to gain those skills? It’s not like your parents signing you up for little league, or peewee football. And, who goes to college on a trampoline scholarship? I remember in middle school there was an archery week in gym class. I loved every minute of it, and I was even a pretty good shot. And when I went home and told my parents they kinda laughed at me, and told me to join the track team instead. I’m assuming their reaction was less about their opinion of my skills as a budding archer, as they were about them simply not wanting to figure out how on earth to find me lessons. Regardless, athletes in these off the wall sports have earned my unending respect for no other reason then the tenacity, and determination it must have taken (in my opinion) to even get that far. Now, that’s not to say that soccer, or basketball for example don’t take determination. It’s just that the road seems much more defined for those mainstream sports.

But I do have one mainstream sports love, and most of you won’t be surprised. I’m from Oregon after all, and I went to college in Eugene, aka Track Town USA, and home of Steve Prefontaine.  Yeah.  I’m obsessed with Track and Field. I just don’t understand how people can run that fast.  I did follow my parents suggestion, and joined the track team (albeit briefly) in high school. It was 1996, and Michael Johnson was a running fool. I watched him and his golden Nike racing spikes win gold in the 200 and 400 meter races in both Olympic and world record times. He made me want to RUN so I could actually be in the Olympics. A dream that quickly died as I quit the track team, realizing that I liked to run, but simply didn’t like to compete. But regardless, a love for the sport was born.

So even though I’ll be honeymooning (and hopefully not sunburned) in Mexico for the start of this years games, you’d better bet I’ll still sneak in some viewing. I may be watching in Spanish, with subtitles, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Poor Oliver can’t seem to catch a break

Let me warn you in advance that if you are easily grossed out, you shouldn’t read this post. Having said that, let me jump right in to the story of how Oliver lost his tail.

It all started Friday morning when we woke up and realized that Oliver had gone #2 in the middle of the kitchen floor. This was annoying, obviously, especially since we hadn’t really had any litter box issues with him for a long time. But, initially I ignored this event, as I had no reason to see it as symptomatic of a larger problem.  By dinner time that day we had recognized that he also had only eaten about half of his food for the day. Now to any of you familiar with Oliver, you will realize that this is more alarming then him crapping in the middle of the floor, because Oliver LOVES TO EAT. At that point I just assumed his stomach was upset, as we had recently changed his diet to high protein wet food, from the dry he had been eating for the last six years.

Then Saturday morning came around, and he again had gone #2 in the middle of the floor, and continued not to eat much. Adding to the list of alarm bells was that he was now extremely lethargic. He didn’t get up off the couch all day. Then I went to pet him, and boy was that a bad idea. When my hand got around his back end he nearly bit my hand off. Growling and hissing like I’ve never heard out of him. At that point we started really worrying that he had a digestion issue or was really constipated or something.  But at that point it was too late to call the vet, plus he wouldn’t really let us get close enough to him to really examine him.

Then yesterday. I woke up early to call the vet as soon as they opened. I went over to the couch to try petting him again, and then I realized the root of the problem.  It certainly was not a digestion issue. The poor cat very clearly had a really bad tail infection. My hand came away from him covered in foul smelling pink slime.  Yuck!!!

On to the vet for an emergency visit we go.  And because we needed more grossness with all of this, his infection started erupting even more in his carrier on the way to the vet.  The vet took one look at him and exclaimed “Yeah, that is a GIGANTIC abscess.” So we left him there for the day for sedation and minor surgery to drain, clean, and fix the injury.

Now, we are getting married in a week, and leaving for Portland in three days. Believe me, this was not stress (or added expense) that we needed, but I was resigned to it (though I will definitely be looking into pet insurance moving forward).  What I was not prepared for was going back to the vet and being told that the “crater” that developed in his tail, due to the removal of infected tissue and cleaning, was too big to properly suture closed. We were given two options. 1) Go back two days from now, basically do the surgery again attempting to re-close an open surgical wound, and run the risk that it still wouldn’t work, at which point we would have to amputate. Or 2) To simply amputate his tail right off to begin with.  We opted for option two. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no advocate for chopping off appendages unnecessarily.  It’s just that the vet didn’t seem reasonably sure that the attempt to re-close the wound would work.  And we really couldn’t justify the cost of a procedure that may not work and then have to turn around and amputate anyway. At the end of the day,  Oliver can live without his tail.

So now Oliver is sitting in a cage at the vet, probably still heavily sedated from the first failed procedure, completely unaware that later today they are going to cut off his tail.

And one of the worst parts of all of it, is that we think that our new kitty Annie is responsible. We think that she was just trying to play and simply scratched him earlier in the week. And, because Oliver is so gigantic, he wasn’t able to reach back to the injury to take care of it, and it just went unnoticed  by us and got really really infected.  On probably any other cat it was an injury that never would have turned in to a nightmare this big. But clearly, Oliver has always been special.

Poor guy.  He’s already gimpy, and just a month ago they officially categorized him as obese, and now he’s gonna be tail-less too. He just can’t catch a break!