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  1. Valentine’s With A Twist Of Lime

    February 19, 2014 by Britton_Riley

    Would you believe I started this blog post on February 13th, worked on it some more February 15th, and today (February 18th) I am DETERMINED to finish and publish tonight….even if that means “multitasking” by blogging while watching American Idol. This is ridiculous! This is also why I have so much time lapse between posts. Sorry y’all, I will try to get my act together….. :)

    Recently I have discovered Podcasts! Podcasts are my new guilty pleasure. I love to listen to them in the car, while I am getting ready in the morning, and if I go out walking for exercise. My favorite Podcast to listen to is Dr. Drew (Pinsky)…you know, from Teen Mom, Celebrity Rehab, and Loveline. He works a lot with addiction and seems to really know his stuff. I enjoy his podcasts because  he has guests on there who have personal stories of addiction and I can really relate. Dr. Drew just had Jane Velez-Mitchell on his show, who has been sober for 18 years and she said something that I really liked….someone once told her that “nothing that I can do sober will ever be as embarrassing as what I have already done drunk”. I LOVE THAT! Statements like that make me want to hold tight to sobriety.

    Well, we have moved…..YET AGAIN! (Another reason I have been delinquent with my posts)

    Oh my goodness, I think I could open my very own moving company by now and be quite successful. Of course I would need my “packer” (my mom), my “driver/heavy lifting partner” (my mister), and my “unpacker” (my mother in law), as they are all members of my little moving team. This time we moved only a few miles away. Like I mentioned before, the apartment was simply a temporary place for us to be, while we waited for the house in Georgia to sell. We had to sign a 7 month lease, so we were obligated to stay until the middle of January even though our house sold in September. Our more permanent rental house wasn’t available until February so we extended our stay at the apartment a little longer, as painful as it was since the “natives” (other residents) had become restless….by that I mean neighbors fighting loudly from all directions, pet owners not picking up after their dogs in the dog park and me stepping in piles making me very upset, babies crying and the father shouting from another room “HEY!” expecting that to make the crying stop, toddlers banging the door because with the chain lock the door will only open so far and the child repeatedly opens the door until the chain extends as far as it will go and bangs over and OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER, the same toddler having a tantrum in the bathroom on the other side of our wall because he must not want to take a bath or maybe he’s afraid to poop in the toilet or possibly afraid to flush, cops coming because people are backing into other residents’ cars at 11 pm, oh and my very favorite…the Department of Child Protective Services knocking at our door looking for the dirty neighbor across the hall who fights with her roommates and has two kids (who also was involved in the police activity on more than one occasion)…WHEW, glad that’s over! Now don’t get me wrong, my mister’s company didn’t put us in the slums. The complex was very nice, brand new, and the apartments were just getting leased for the first time. At first, it really was great (for apartment living), but then the riff raff started moving in….just as we reached our expiration!

    Thank goodness we are out of that apartment and our stuff is finally out of storage! I have my kitchen back!! That means I can actually do some REAL serious cooking and baking….and I already have!! I made a batch of peanut butter cookies that have a chocolate kiss in the center for my mister to take to work for Valentine’s week and then I made Valentine’s sugar cookies for my mother in law to give to her group of close girlfriends that she had over for lunch on Valentine’s day. I used almond extract…and an extra pinch of LOVE (my special ingredient!). They were a real hit with the ladies!

    As I was busy baking and decorating the cookies, my mom called as she was baking at the very same time! Great minds, eh? She was baking a cake that I had given her the recipe for that she was taking to take to her “card club” get together. She was asking for special personal experience type of instructions, past what the recipe provided. I had only made the cake once before and it was a royal disaster….from the first measuring cup…to the very last bite. Literally.

    As we baked together via telephone we discussed the cake and how delicious it was going to be and my mom was lamenting that she wouldn’t be eating any. You see, she has been on a very strict eating regime which involves a vegan diet. As she has said in some of her comments on my posts when talking about my struggles with addiction, she has struggled with food addiction and as a result, battled with her weight for some time. When I heard her sigh and say that all of her friends will be digging in to that sweet, calorie filled decadence and she will just have to watch, I piped up and said “NOW you know how I feel sitting in a bar!” We had a little moment where we completely understood each other’s struggle. What an interesting perspective for the both of us. It was sweet.

    This is my “Chocolate Raspberry Dream Torte” EXPLOSION! (Pampered Chef recipe here) My mom’s cake turned out to be a beautiful success, nothing like what’s pictured here.

    Oh, and ironically enough, here’s the last bite….

    WHY, you ask would I have taken a picture of the last bite?? Well, like I said…it was literally a disastrous cake from beginning to end. It was, however, a delicious cake and I highly recommend it!

    Our new house has a tiki “Lounge” in the back yard! How fun! I am very adamant about calling it a tiki LOUNGE rather than a tiki BAR for obvious reasons :) It will be fun to sit around and have sparkling water with a twist of lime!

    Speaking of sparkling water with a twist of lime, that’s exactly what I had on Valentine’s Day at one of our very favorite restaurants down on the water, the “Columbia Restaurant”, where they have mojitos that will make even the dryest of former drunks salivate and sangria that comes in a special pitcher that they actually MAKE AT YOUR TABLE! It was such a gorgeous day on the patio right on the water, it was Valentine’s Day, and I was with my mister. A table of ladies next to us were sharing a bottle of wine (talking loudly, so it may have been their second bottle of wine), the lady who sat alone at the table to our other side ordered a whole pitcher just for herself, a table of people nearby were drinking mojitos, and my willpower was definitely tested. I wanted to feel good with a special drink, so I ordered this…..

    It was delicious, refreshing, and I felt special!

    Definitely a great alternative!


  2. Long Time Gone

    January 29, 2014 by Britton_Riley

    Yes, it has been a while. I can’t believe the last time I blogged was June 8th.

    That’s about 8 1/2 months! A lot has changed for us over the last 8 1/2 months, so this post will simply be full of  ”get you up to speed” type of information. That’s right, I am going to attempt to pack        8 1/2 months worth of highlights into this one post…..

    We sold our house and officially live in Florida now! We listed it in March and closed in mid September, which actually wasn’t too bad but seemed like an eternity. My mister’s new company moved us into “temporary housing” in June, which was so nice. They have been so good to us and although the transition & all the waiting has been tough, I know this was the right move for us….and Sir Higgins would agree. See, here’s one of the final days in the house and he is giving his Schnauzer look of approval! Handsome, huh!

    Our temporary housing arrangement has been in an apartment complex, which hasn’t been ideal but worked while we were waiting for the house to sell. We were careful to find a place that the boys would be happy, with as little “stimulation” as possible so they wouldn’t drive the town crazy with barking. They have had a dog nanny named Ms. Betty, who they absolutely love. Ms. Betty comes when I work or if we are out for the day on the weekend. She takes the boys to the “bark park”, plays frisbee or ball with them, and gives them lots of love. It has been great and Ms. Betty has been such a huge blessing to us! When Ms. Betty tripped over one of her four legged “clients” and hurt her arm, her husband, Mr. Mark started helping her (because Fletcher is always VERY excited to get to the park and tends to walk the human who is supposed to be walking him) so Higgins and Fletcher got double the love from them! AND we get daily progress reports! It is so cute! It tells us if they walked, played at the park, who peed, who pooped, if someone seemed to be feeling a little glum, if they gave lots of kisses to Ms. Betty & Mr. Mark, if they needed a refresher on their water bowl….SO full service! Ms. Betty is AWESOME!!!

    On August 2nd, our grandson, Kayden William, was so we are now “Grammy B & Paps” (as in Pabst Blue Ribbon….ohhh my mister….he came up with that one. Gotta love the guy!) We are definitely partial, but I do believe this is the cutest baby that ever was!

    (Hi Kayden, what are you dreaming about, sweet boy?? Oh, snuggling with Grammie B…okay! Hehehe!)

    Yes, I am the world’s youngest grandma at 33 years of age! (Remember, we don’t use the word “step” in our family…I am our son’s “other mother” because let’s face it, I love that kid as if I’d birthed him myself…which would have probably made me the world’s youngest mother as well…at the age of 10, so luckily I’m his “other mother” :) )

    We celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss in October…..in the Bahamas!! Yup, another cruise! What can I say, we’re some cruisin’ fools. This time we cruised on Royal Caribbean, which was SO much nicer than Carnival….and the food was SO much better too! The cruise took us back to Nassau (our 3rd time there), but then the second day we were on an island called Coco Cay! It was so nice!! That was the highlight of this trip! (Besides the towel animals…I LOVE the towel animals! See the cute little elephant they put my sunglasses on?)

     October also brought my favorite holiday….Halloween and guess what my mister dressed up as for their work costume party…..

    Larry the Crash Test Dummy! Clever, huh…especially since he works for a car dealership and all….but he didn’t win the contest. Oh well, maybe next year.

    Our first Thanksgiving in Florida was a success as well. Since we typically host that particular holiday, everyone came to our apartment and we ate down at our clubhouse…poolside! What a beautiful day it was! The food was delicious, the weather was perfect, and it was so nice to have family together for the day.

    Do you see my mother in law, relaxing in the sun? She never minds not having to be responsible for cooking :)

    Speaking of cooking, this year we did something different…I wanted to do a little bit of a re-vamp for Thanksgiving since the weather certainly didn’t feel like the typical Thanksgiving that we have been used to so I asked my brother in law if he would please SMOKE our turkey this year and he was totally up for the challenge! (He has a huge smoker….I kept telling everyone that it was so big, it could fit a small child in it…just because I constantly got the question “will your 26 pound turkey fit in his smoker?”. It did occur to me just how wrong that analogy was to explain the size of the smoker….but it did get my point across that it’s a BIG stinkin’ smoker!)

    While we “owned” that turkey, he traveled over 100 miles total. First from the grocery store to our place in Tampa, where I handed it off to my mother in law, who so graciously delivered it to my brother and sister in law’s house (don’t worry, we set him in the back seat of her car and even buckled him into his seatbelt! We certainly didn’t want anything to happen to our turkey before his big debut on the center of the Thanksgiving table), then on Thanksgiving day they brought him back to our place in Tampa all cooked and beautiful!

    My mom kept calling him “Tommy the Turkey”….not sure why, as my dad’s name is Tom which makes it a little weird and creepy that she came up with that name for the bird but I digress….

    He tasted even better than he looked, if you can believe that! Oh, and as luck would have it, my dad (Tom) is standing behind “Tommy the Turkey” in this picture, preparing to carve him up to be served.

    Then in December, we went on another cruise! We have been on TWO cruises in just a short period of time. We live near a port now, so it is pretty convenient just to hop on a ship for a weekend and sail to someplace tropical and beautiful! I LOVE living here!!!

    This time we went to Cozumel to celebrate my mister’s birthday. We had a blast!

     

    My mister doesn’t know any Spanish and I know a little (po-kee-to ….that’s how you say “a little”, in Spanish!) so he asked me if there was anything he needed to know before we got to the port in Cozumel. This was perfect because all morning I had been trying to think of a cute phrase I could make him say in anticipation of the people in the market who would surely spot all these American tourists getting off this cruise ship, and try to get us to buy something. The phrase I taught him was….(now you have to say this in a sing-songy way with a bit of a southern twang…because that’s how I talk)…..are you ready?? It’s pretty creative and catchy…you may want to use this one for your next trip to Mexico….

    Lo siento, No dinero! :)  

    Translation: I’m sorry, I have no money.

    Now you need to know that it’s all in the execution. It must be said in a cute, very innocent way, with a friendly smile on your face! You have to say it nice, like you are trying out the only spanish words you know. So they know you are trying out their language, but also getting your message out there. The last thing you want to do is offend them. So, what do you think? Cute, huh!

    My mister sure liked it!

    My laptop died…which is a big part of my absence from blogging. The geniuses at Apple told me that it is old and has bugs. (To me, that description fits an elderly dog, rather than a computer, but yet again, I digress….) And now I am told that the display is out. It’s definitely a sad Mac.

    While people in other parts of the country are battling the bad weather these days, the high for today was 81 degrees here! Although I am enjoying all the beautiful pictures of snow that I am seeing, I really really love Tampa and wouldn’t trade my flip flops in for my Uggs any day!!

    Remember Stacy, my best friend in Tennessee? Well she sent me this…her view on her way home from work today….

    To which I replied “Eww” and then this picture of my view on my way home from a job interview….

    And then when she got home, she sent the view of her front yard….which was beautiful by the way….

    I am so glad she made it home safely in that muck!

    ….And needless to say, she and our other BFF Andrea will be flying into Tampa in just a few short weeks and I can’t wait!!!!


  3. The Peach Nazi

    June 8, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    Place #2

    One of my very favorite things about summer….and living in the south – Farm Fresh Produce!!!

    My friend, her husband, and I went out to this little town called Barney to buy peaches last weekend. I didn’t have any of the homemade ice cream, but my friends did. I was strictly there to buy peaches.

    That was, until I discovered they had  peach lemonade!

    Doesn’t that sound absolutely delicious? PEACH LEMONADE! Yummmmm yum yum yum yum yum yummmmm! That just sounds like heaven in your mouth…..

    …and it was….but I sure wish I hadn’t watched them make it. Oh they were clean, that wasn’t the issue. I placed my order for the largest one they had!  The girl began putting fresh lemons into the press and out came the juice. My mouth started to water! When she had enough juice, she poured it over some ice, added some water and probably some sugar. Oh boy was I salivating now! And THEN she broke my heart, y’all. She opened a CAN of artificial peach nectar and topped off my fresh squeezed lemonade with that CANNED stuff! BAM, dry mouth…. I was never so insulted in my entire life! Okay, I’m being dramatic here, but HELLO….we’re at a PEACH FARM…..wait, Orchard….well whatever. You’d think they could pop a few peaches into that big ol press and get some REAL FRESH peach juice, right? Or at least they could have muddled some in the bottom of a glass. The point is, I didn’t feel that it was an outlandish idea to expect fresh peach juice in my peach lemonade….AT A PEACH FARM!

    There were TWO peach farms side by side. One had the lemonade, one did not. The first one we went to was the one that didn’t. I bought a “peck” of peaches (I think that was the first time I’ve ever knowingly bought a “peck” of anything! Monumental moment for sure!), a cantaloupe that once I got it home ended up to be too ripe and had to be thrown away, and a big Vidalia onion. My friends bought peaches too, but like I said, they also indulged in the homemade peach ice cream! They were oohing and aaahing because it was soo good. …And then we went to the “other” peach stand. (the one pictured above) The Burton Brooks people took one look at those cups of ice cream from Luck & Moody (the OTHER place) and said once you try theirs, you’d never eat the Luck & Moody’s again. And it seemed they were right. Buton Brooks’ ice cream was real ice cream with chunks of peach in it. Luck & Moody’s was soft serve with NO peach chunks. If it were me, I’d rather have peach chunks.

    Place #1....with the "sub-par" ice cream.

    So, they ruined MY peach lemonade AND my friends’ peach ice cream. Way to go, peach people! Way to go.

    Here is my peck of peaches…..

    They smelled and tasted just as delicious as they look!


  4. Not Crazy, Just Particular

    June 4, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    So it’s 3 am and I am wide awake. It’s because my mister is on the road, headed back to Florida. He was home for the weekend and it’s time for him to go back to work. When he is on the road this early in the morning, its pretty tough for me to sleep. Usually I watch TV for 2 hours and then fall asleep for a little while until it’s time for me to get ready for my own work day. Living this way is really tough! I sure do hope we can get a buyer on our house soon.

    I am pretty sure everyone does things others may think are crazy or at least a little weird. I do! I have certain preferences and behaviors that are “uniquely mine”. I am very very particular about things being lined up “just so”, my spices are alphabetized, towels in my linen closet are folded “just so” and all facing the same direction. I get it from my mom. She’s awesome, but super duper particular…..and so am I! I am getting worse the older I get. People around me who don’t understand think I’m strange. Others appreciate how organized I am.

    While I have my own set of particulars on the inside of the house, my mister has HIS own set of particulars on the outside! He used to do landscaping, so he has a certain way he likes things done. Yesterday we hired a crew to lay pine straw (that’s “mulch” down south) and OH BOY was it amusing to watch him pace the floor and run from window to window, watching as they laid it! He was having a fit! Did you know that you are supposed to “massage” the edges? That’s the word he used! He was so full of anxiety about this pine straw that finally we just had to leave. He just couldn’t watch anymore, so he paid the man and asked him to move his truck so we could get out of the garage.

    We went to have lunch and returned to find….

     Okay, here’s the back…..see what you think

     I should have taken a picture of the work in progress and maybe you’d understand his anxiety. Can you see that they rolled the edges? Apparently that’s what he was calling “massaging”. He scoured every inch of the yard when we came home, it was like a dog sniffing to see who’s been in his back yard! He made sure the pine straw was laid evenly  and he stamped some of it down so it wasn’t so fluffy. (Personally, I like it fluffy!) He carefully tucked it under each and every plant. He was so funny!

    I have to say, as amusing as it was to watch and as strange as I thought the whole thing was, I do understand. He must watch me folding my towels, sheets, or putting groceries away in amazement, just as I watched him with that pine straw. I guess this is part of being newly married, too. You get to discover things about each other every single day! Luckily I am learning to see these things as endearing qualities, rather than annoying :)

    Oh, another “unique” thing about me…..I DVR Dr. Phil. I watch it daily. GUILTY AS CHARGED! On one of the recent episodes, Dr. Phil was interviewing a lady who said she was wearing Scram! Dr. Phil said “you’re wearing it right now?” and she said “absolutely” …..um, as if she could take it off?? I thought that was so cool! Okay, maybe “cool” isn’t exactly the word, but let’s just say I could relate….and I was secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of that bracelet!


  5. Paying Respects

    May 29, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    How did you celebrate Memorial Day weekend?

    I  headed down to Tampa to be with my mister for the weekend. We had a showing on our house Saturday afternoon and an Open House Sunday. I sure hope we get a buyer soon. Our realtor says Memorial Day weekend is a popular one for home sales. Boy do I hope he’s right! Nothing yet, but my fingers are crossed.

    I tried my best with the lawn mower again last week….and I STILL need to hire a lawn boy.

    I know I’ve mentioned that we live close to an Air Force base. Have I told you that our neighborhood is full of military families? I am sure that if any of them saw the lack of straight lines in my yard, they’d probably have a fit!

    My parents have always raised me to love my country, to respect my military, and to just be patriotic in general. When my mister and I were dating, I wanted to start some traditions, since I knew he would one day be my husband and we would one day have a family of our own. When we lived in Tennessee, we had a National Cemetery that my parents and I would always visit for Memorial Day services. I decided that our first tradition would be to walk through the cemetery, read headstones, and choose a fallen soldier to honor by placing flowers on the grave. I wanted to be sure that we truly respected the day for what it really meant and through this tradition, we would ensure our future child/children would also be raised with a pride in this great country and a deep respect for our military.

    As we walked and talked, we decided that we wanted to choose a fallen soldier resulting from the Iraq war.

    We chose Michael J. Skutnik. It looks like he was only 19 years old when he died.

    Unfortunately, that was a once-and-done tradition because we don’t have a National Cemetery close anymore but we did attend the Memorial Day service last year. This year we are in such a strange place in our life that we didn’t make it to a service OR to a National Cemetery, but I was definitely thinking of Michael. I was thinking of all the military families in my neighborhood, and I was thinking of all the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms I am privileged to enjoy every day.

    I hope to pick back up with our tradition next year.


  6. A Stressed Out Ms. B

    May 17, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”

    - Lee Iacocca

    Remember this guy? I think he looked stressed…..and I’m pretty sure he has to pee. Looking at this picture always takes my stress away because it makes me laugh! Poor guy, what a hot mess!

    What is your favorite way to deal with stress?

    Sometimes I like to take a bath (with BOTH feet since being Scram-free!).Most of the time I like to cook, especially when it involves chopping veggies…I LOVE to chop!….it relaxes me and I know I can’t drink and chop. Remember what happened the last time I attempted that? I chopped the top of my thumb clean off!

    …..sorry about that, I hope it didn’t make you queasy!

    Sometimes I just like to go to bed to escape my issues. I used to like to go to the movies when dealing with stressful situations because it was like I was escaping my reality, but I haven’t done that in a while. This town that I live in has a crappy movie theater. I’m pretty particular about my movie theaters. Strange? Maybe.

    Exercise is always a good way to deal with stress too but I haven’t been doing much of that lately either. You know what I’ve found? Like a lot of others, I’ve typically dealt with stress through a nice cold adult bevy. I still consider that as a possible option when I feel stressed, but when I push through and do something other than drink to deal with whatever is troubling me, I find that it is way more gratifying.

    Monday night I was a particularly stressed out Ms. B…..

    (formerly Miss B until I got married. Mrs. B just doesn’t sound quite right so we’ll just go with Ms. B! Oh and I think when our grandson is born in July, I’ll become Grammie B….what do you think? )

    …..SO I made a pot of soup which I knew would involve PLENTY of chopping! Right now it is just me, Higgins, and Fletcher, so I was just going to make a small pot of soup. Well, I started chopping veggies and chopping and chopping and the pot of soup just kept growing and growing! It ended up to be a huge stock pot full of yummy minestrone soup! I took a large container of it to work to share with my work peeps since it was way more than I would be able to eat. Everyone had a bowl for lunch and I’m pretty sure we all now have gas. There were a lot of beans and cabbage in that soup and it was delicious!

    That makes me think of a line from the Golden Girls (c’mon, by now y’all know practically everything reminds me of the Golden Girls!)…..Sophia (the little older lady who is super funny) says: “Cabbage she serves me, in ten minutes I could be sky writing!”  Oh, I just love that show!

    I honestly think gas may be a stress reliever too! Right? Sir Higgins didn’t eat any soup, but somehow he ended up to be very gassy…and he looks pretty stress-free to me!

    With my mister in Tampa (3 hours away), I have to do things I don’t normally do……like run the lawn mower. Oh dear….wait, actually I mean OH DEERE, as in John Deere, that was an interesting experience. Luckily it’s pretty simple to operate and hopefully no one had a video camera on me.…. you know how I like to take pictures of unsuspecting strangers….well I have a feeling payback will probably be coming one day!

    The mower has a key that you turn, rather than having to use the pulley thing. It is just like you would do on your car.It was easy to start up and it’s not so hard to push either, since it is self-propelled. The only thing is I was all over the place! I swear it was practically dragging me across the yard! (You know their slogan, something about running like a deere….well I suppose they are serious about that!)

    I tried to make those nice neat little lines, but I think I’m too ADD for that. I spotted a patch of grass in the middle of the yard that was particularly long and I would go over and run the mower over it. Then I’d go back to my lines. Then I’d spot another patch of longer grass and run over and run my mower over it, then back again t my lines. Then I’d get tired of those lines and make new lines someplace else. And did you know lawn mowers don’t really drive around curves very well? Oh, and they blow your mulch  everywhere too.  It was a real mess! It didn’t look too bad. It was definitely not a stress relieving activity, that’s for sure!

    After I was done, I tried to start up the weed eater. Luckily I couldn’t figure out how to work it because I’m sure I’d have ended up missing a few toes.

    Perhaps I should hire a lawn boy.


  7. Puppy Love

    May 17, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    It’s almost the weekend and I can’t wait! I get to see my mister again and we have BIG plans. We are going to Orlando Saturday afternoon! We have reservations at a resort that looks to be very nice!

    Since I’m home alone….Ahhhhh!

    I get all the extra special greetings from the pups. They get so excited when I come home. Tonight I came home 3 hours later than normal because I had to have my hair did. I mean really, did you think the blonde hair was really my natural color?

    I love coming home after being at the salon because I love all the puppy nuzzles I get. My hair smells so good, the boys bury their noses into my hair, sniffing and sniffing and it tickles! They went crazy tonight. They were running and jumping and barking. It was awesome! Fletcher jumps so high, we call him “Kangaroo Boy”. Higgins stayed right by my side as I was standing in the closet changing clothes while Fletcher was lurking around the corner, barking for us to come get him. I told Higgins “let’s go get him” and all craziness broke loose! I chased them around on the floor for a while, they loved it!! Talk about getting your natural happy neurotransmitters (serotonin) flowing! Who needs a drink when you’ve got sweet loving dogs around!

    Once all the initial excitement was over and I took my makeup off and changed my clothes, we all got into bed. They both were all over me, almost like they wanted to get in my skin. Sir Higgins planted himself right next to me and MADE me pet him. He bats my face if I don’t. Then, if I pet him and stop, he starts smacking me in the face some more until I resume petting him. He’s so bossy!

    Here he is starting to bat his paw at me….

    Fletcher plastered himself to the other side of me, but before I could get a picture I sneezed and he ran off. Sneezes don’t bother Sir Higgins, but Fletcher gets downright offended if you sneeze. He jumps up, gives you the famous schnauzer stink eye, and leaves. I  try to apologize to him and ask him to stay, but  he usually leaves anyway.

    So, Sir Higgins and I continued on with our sweet, although sometimes violent snuggle session….


  8. Beach Time and Big Hoss

    May 15, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    I’ve really missed sharing my stories with you. The last few months have been tough and I’ve reached my breaking point several times.    I am sure I’ll talk more about that in a later post, but for now I’d rather tell you about the fun stuff.

    I left work Friday at 2:00 and headed south to spend the weekend with my family and my mister. He works a lot of Saturdays and this weekend was one of those working Saturdays so I spent a lot of time with my mother in law. As you may remember, in the wake of the death of my beloved Penelope, we bought Gizmo.

    Gizmo is our little Civic who now has over 233,000 miles on him. He is old, but he is ours and I really love that little car. His air conditioner was broken when the dogs and I made the trip on Friday, but it is fixed now. The radio works a little, but the volume doesn’t go up very high. There is no satellite radio, heck satellite radio didn’t even exist 18 years ago when Gizmo was made. There is no CD player, only a cassette player but sadly I haven’t owned a cassette in years! Driving down I-75 with the windows open, you can’t hear the radio. It was a humbling experience and gave me lots of time to soak in how my life has changed since my bad choice. It also made me realize how high maintenance Sir Higgins and Fletcher are.

    The trip was rough on them…..

    I fed them ice while we drove and I stopped once to give them water.

    It was clear they wondered where the heck the AC was!

    There is ONE major thing about my mother in law that you’ve got to know…..

    She has no interest in cooking. She just doesn’t do it. That’s why she has this hanging on the wall in her kitchen….just so everyone will know she just doesn’t cook!

    But guess what! She loves me so much and was so excited for me to come visit that she actually made a pie! It was pre-made crust (that’s totally acceptable in this case!) and she actually made the filling! It didn’t come from a can! She sliced apples! Boy was she relieved that the grocery store had signs above the apples that told you which ones to use for baking :)

    Apparently the signs directed her to use Fuji apples

    She didn’t follow a recipe, she just did her own thing, which is totally impressive to me! She sliced the apples, dumped some sugar and butter……can you think of anything she forgot to put in??? Cinnamon!….oopsie! That’s okay though, it was such a sweet thing to do and the pie was tasty…and it doesn’t look like a hot mess, it actually looks like a real apple pie!

     

    My mother in law and I spent the day on the beach Saturday while my mister worked.

    Try to ignore all that sun damage on my face…..yuk!

    We laid on the beach together for a few hours and she told me lots and lots of stories about her own mother and what it was like for her when she was growing up. (Her mother was very mean to her, so a lot of her stories were really sad.)

    Learning more about her was a great way to spend pre-Mother’s Day.

    This is the beach we were on. Isn’t it pretty?!

    That night, we all went to the local race track to watch my brother in law race his cute little car. (I mean that in the most masculine, manly way possible!)

    See him in there with his helmet on? He looks so official!

    The only race tracks I’ve ever been to have been Nascar tracks… the Bristol track and the Daytona track, so I was only a little prepared for this experience. I am all about fitting in and I just love a good theme, so I was tempted to do my hair in a makeshift mullet, wear some camo, and accidentally-on-purpose ‘forget’ to wear a bra….but I held back. I wore white shorts. My mister and brother in law both took one look at me and asked what in the world I was thinking…..I was there to watch, I didn’t think I might get dirty!

    If you are anything like me, you don’t know “the drill” at the local track, so let me explain. First all the cars go around the track in a preliminary type of race. I’m not really sure what is the point of this preliminary “heat”  since my BIL popped a tire after only going around the circle a few times and then still got to drive in the main race when it was time.

    Here he is fixing that tire, you know….man stuff!

    I didn’t think this was such a stressful event, but apparently I was wrong. People really stress about this preliminary “heat” race. There was pacing going on….by the way, this is NOT my sister in law AND this lady’s hair matched her top. You can’t tell by the picture, but trust me, the color match was remarkable!

    See the crash that just happened on the track?

    and there was lots and lots and LOTS of sweating going on too…..

    I wasn’t pacing OR sweating….am I not a good race fan?? I mean, that’s a LOT of sweat, y’all! This guy was clearly SUPER stressed about this race. We even got to see two guys in the stands nearly get into a fight! I kept hollering (see, trying to fit in by using appropriate lingo) for security, but they never came and luckily the argument didn’t lead to fists.

    My brother in law may not have won his race, but he had the best looking car that’s for sure! It was definitely a fun family event! Maybe it would have helped if I had been pacing and sweating profusely??

    The next day, my mister was off work and we went back to the beach. (All this beach time…..I’m REALLY going to love living in Tampa!) I was ecstatic to get to spend the day with him!! We loaded up Big Hoss (our jet ski) and headed to the boat ramp on Sunset Island for our day on the water.

     In order to get to the boat ramp, we drove through this town called Tarpon Springs. It was a quaint little town and appeared to have a very large Greek population. At first when I saw a restaurant called Mr. Souvlaki, then another called Mama’s Greek Cuisine within 1/4 of a mile of each other, I thought maybe there was a Greek family in the community who just really liked to cook. Then I noticed Greek flags hanging from someone’s porch and several more businesses with Greek names, but what really gave it away was the big Greek Orthodox church. When I saw the church, that’s when I knew it had to be a Greek community. Who knew!

    Of course I had to research this. I mean, what on earth would draw all these Greeks to this little tiny town in Florida. How did they even know this town was there? Then I found my answer….SPONGES! Greek divers came over in the early 19th century to harvest sponges. At that time, the sponge business was booming. So I guess I learned two things that I didn’t know…..how the Greeks came to Tarpon Springs and that Greeks are good divers.

    I wish I’d known that’s what “the sponge docks” was, I definitely would have stopped in for some sponges!

    Once we got Big Hoss unloaded into the water, off we went to do some exploring.

    We found an island where everyone goes on the weekend to hang out. It was beautiful! From the island, we could see Clearwater. It would have been so easy just to dash right on over! Did I mention I’m really going to LOVE living in Tampa???

    When we arrived at the island, we realized we didn’t have any way to anchor Big Hoss so we could go play. Since we had just been immersed in ultimate redneck culture the night before, we were all about getting creative…and we found this….

    A wooden post! Where the heck did THAT come from??? Who knows, but it made a good redneck anchor! We just tied a rope to Big Hoss on one end, the other to the big old post and voila, we had an anchor!

    Big Hoss seems to be a suitable name, don’t you think? My friend Terri and her family came up with that name because he used to be theirs. When the Air Force moved them to Germany, Big Hoss had to stay behind so we decided to buy him! I am so glad we did! Terri’s two adorable sons love to see pictures of their old buddy Big Hoss, so I try to take pictures any time we take him out to stretch his legs :)

    After we’d had enough of the sun and we were ready for lunch, we loaded up Big Hoss and headed out of the park. One of my very favorite pastimes is people-watching and boy did I get an eye full! I swear I tried to get a picture for you, but couldn’t……try to get a mental picture….as we made our way out of the park, past the beachside picnic area, I saw a man in a speedo grilling weenies! I sure hope he didn’t grill ALL his weenies!


  9. Hello? Is this thing on??

    May 13, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    Hello? Is this thing on??

    I have neglected you and I’m sorry!

    So many new developments in our lives and I can’t wait to update you…. but not all at once. I’d prefer to keep you in suspense :)

    Summer is here and we’ve been spending a lot of time in Florida these days. In fact, we are MOVING to Florida! Crazy, right? I know what you’re thinking…”Didn’t y’all (if you’re southern or “you guys” if you’re from the Midwest) just BUY a house? Yes, yes we did, but it turns out God had different plans for us. My mister was offered a position in the Tampa area so we’re moving! Unfortunately I have to part with “Massengill Manor” and my super fabulous job. We name our cars and our jet ski, so it only makes sense that our house would have a name too! And yes, that’s Massengill, as in the douche…also as in the store where I found my wedding dress.

     Right now my mister is working & living in Florida and I am still in our house in Georgia, waiting for it to sell. Yup, Massengill Manor has been on the market since mid March. My mister started his job the last week of March, so I’ve been all by myself with the dogs. I haven’t really started looking for a new job in Florida yet because I’m really just waiting for MM to sell first. We see each other on weekends and sometimes during the week. It really stinks and I swear the process is more grueling than when we bought it. I hope this long distance/separation thing doesn’t last too much longer. We had a showing MM tomorrow, so fingers crossed they are our buyers! What a wonderful Grand-Mothers Day gift that would be for me!

    Oopsie, I said I wasn’t going to update you all at once and I just let that one ‘slip’ out…. Well, it’s out now so WE’RE EXPECTING!!! (A grandson) He will be here this summer! Our son Tyler will be a daddy! Here’s the mothers day card they sent me…..

    It came in the form of a fax, which was so sweet and super creative! They didn’t want it to be late, so they sent it via fax! I just love stuff like that :)

    I hope that all of you mothers, mothers to be, grandmothers, grandmothers to be, dog moms, horse moms, and any ole mom had a great Mothers Day yesterday!

    I heard this song as I was driving back from Tampa yesterday and thought it was a great Mothers Day song! Enjoy…. (If you can’t see anything, go here)


  10. Brought to Justice

    February 17, 2013 by Britton_Riley

    Remember when I went to L.A.?

    Well, after I spent a little time with Marilyn, I got to see where Lindsay Lohan was “brought to justice”…..just like me!

    Here’s where I was “brought to justice”(aka had my Scram put on)…..in case you need a refresher

    Here is where Lindsay was brought to justice…..

    I think my southern place of justice is way prettier, don’t you?

    On the Hollywood tour, the narrator had an adorable English accent. Our tour took us to Beverly Hills.

    We passed the Beverly Hilton, where Whitney Houston was found dead in room 434. (They say they won’t be renting that room out to anyone for the foreseeable future…..eerie!)

    Eventually we passed the Beverly Hills Municipal Court and he announced we were passing the very location where Lindsay Lohan was “brought to justice”. I loved it! I could totally relate!

     The only difference was no one was there to take my picture as I hiked those stairs on my way to my moment of truth like they did for her. I guess I kept such a low profile, that the paparazzi didn’t find out it was my day in court. Whew, I really flew under the radar!

    I was able to find Lady Lohan’s mug shot on the internet, but I’ve never even seen my own. I googled myself, I’ve searched high and low, but again….flying under the radar. I’m thinking maybe it was because I was never actually arrested so maybe they didn’t publish my picture for all to see.

    I never had to ride in one of these…..

    But I’m almost positive Miss Lindsay had to ride in this on the night of her little mishap…..

    I snapped this one as I was walking by….just like the Paparazzi!!

    They took my mug when I went to be booked and processed that Monday morning. Remember, my accident – CRASH – happened on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

    I have to correct myself. I hate calling it an accident because of the circumstances.