Monday, July 30, 2012

Just a happy little road trip

Branden would be the first to tell you that I have no concept of time. This means I was a bit shocked when it dawned on me that we are leaving tomorrow for a research trip. Over the next 3 days and 2 nights, we will be hitting up over 15 sites, including cathedrals and abbeys, where Branden will be looking at various stone carvings and decorated tombs.

On our first day we will be making 6 stops on our way up to Kilkenny. Kilkenny is a lovely little town that we visited once, back on our 1 year anniversary trip that we took while we were living in Scotland. The next day we will continue to head up to Dublin, stopping more along the way as we view various sites that are part of Branden's studies. When we get to Dublin, we will actually take a break from research and we are going to The Phantom of the Opera! It's London's West End show that is over for 4 weeks, and we are just catching it before it leaves. I'm so excited, as I have always wanted to see Phantom on the stage since I was a kid!

Our third day, we will be spending a little bit of time in Dublin before heading back to Cork and stopping at the amazing location of The Rock of Cashel, a large cathedral that the Queen of England visited when she came last year. We have never been to it before so we are quite excited to see this incredible and huge site.

Branden will be driving, as my license expired back when we were still in Scotland, but that's a good thing as the roads here terrify me to no end and Branden has no sense of direction, so my natural navigation skills will be greatly needed! Despite sitting in a passenger seat for 3 days, I will be getting quite the work out, as I discovered when the first time Branden ever drove in this country my thighs and glutes became very sore from tensing so much around the endless blind corners and tight village roads. It doesn't help that Branden thinks driving here is fun.

To take my mind off the stresses of plowing head-first into cow or tractor preparing for the trip, here's a song Branden saw on facebook from one of his friends. What better to calm the nerves than a good dose of Bob Ross and that sweet afro!

P.S. You most likely won't see me much at all this week but I'll be back next week.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm so trendy, I make Lady GaGa jealous!

Are you tired of having flat, boring hair? Would you like to do something fun, cute, and Lady GaGa-ish that doesn't include raw meat or looking like a melting hood ornament? Just follow my quick easy steps for an adorable hair bow!

Brush your hair out and take two sections from each side. (wouldn't I make a cute Papillon?)

Bring the sections together into a hair band but make a small loop, not pulling your hair all the way through the band.

Divide the loop into two loops.

You can see the bow starting already! See, this seems is so easy! Put the two loops against your head.

Pin each side down with a bobbie pin to hold the cute loops of the bow in place.

Now in order to cover the hair band in the center, take a strand from your little pony tail and loop it up around between the two bow sides, and pull it tight to create a perfect little center of the bow.

Pin the center of the bow to make sure it doesn't slip.

You did it! You just know you look fabulous!

And *Poof*! Isn't that the cutest little hair bow ever!?! And SO easy!

Even from the side, it just looks amazing!

I can't even say that this was my first attempt at this 'easy' hair bow...I tried for an hour the day before! In all actuality, this was the one that looked the best! If you are curious as to where I got this hair-brained idea, you can click HERE to see her deceivingly simple photo steps. I saw her tutorial on Pinterest and I've been cursing it ever since giving it a try.

Special thanks to my super tall husband who took the photos and laughed at me along the way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Not a suitable TP substitute!

Going into the cupboard to get more toilet paper, I noticed along with a description of softness, there was a picture of a fuzzy baby duck on the packaging. This got me thinking so I took the packaging into Branden, who was studying in the living room.

Me: Have you every thought while using the TP that it reminds you of wiping with a baby duck?

Branden (oddly laughing): No, I can't say I have!

Me: Why do toilet paper packages always use baby ducks or puppies as a comparative reference for how soft our toilet paper is?

Branden: I don't know but they do tend to go for fluffy animals to let you know how soft it is.

Me: But how many people actually know what it feels like to wipe their bum with a puppy? Did the advertising manager find himself having to go to the bathroom outside near a pond, and the only thing nearby was a baby duck? That's pretty disturbing!

Branden: I don't know Mags...

What is wrong with our world???

Recent Development:
Branden and I went shopping and had to pick up some more TP at the store. I found that apparently regular toilet paper feels like a baby duck, toilet paper with aloe feels like a kitten, and peach scented toilet paper feels like a baby bunny! If there was ever a time to be against animal testing, then this is it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Library Pile

I am the type of reader that gets sucked into a book and doesn't come out until hours later, usually to eat or pee, and then gets back into where I left off. Last year, when we first moved here, we hardly knew anyone and my anxiety was flipping out over me dragging it into yet another new country so I didn't leave the house often which made it perfect for me to get into reading again. One of my wonderful cousins gave us a Kindle before we moved to Ireland so that also was a spur.

The past few months have not been in my favor for reading. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as Branden has been using the Kindle a lot for articles he needs for his research, and I have been busy with friends and new volunteer projects. I have quite the line up of books to read though, and now that life has been kicking off over here for me I want to share some that are in my stack. And since it's also Music Monday, I have a link for a free CD that you can download.

Melynda, the fabulous and amazing over at Crazy World, has been popping out a series of books over the last few months. Currently there is Just Nonsense and More Nonsense but there will be two more books for your reading enjoyment over the next few months! If you love a good laugh, then these will be a perfect book series for you!

Elisa, the marvellous and wonderful over at The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom, seems to be publishing a book every time I blink! I read her first book The Golden Sky and it was fantasic! Since then, she has also published The Sword of Senack, Bible Girl & The Bad Boy, How to Lose a Tooth, and The Best of ECWrites. You can obviously see why my library is so backed up!

And now, for your musical pleasure, I give you Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys. Most of the members are good friends of Branden and he even used to be in a small band with some of them called The Jammin Salmon. Sadly, Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys are having their final concert soon, and we won't get to go back to the States and hear them play sad! Their concerts were always fun and their music is incredible. You can download a live CD for free by going HERE and you can buy their newest CD by going HERE. You can even preview the songs, which I highly suggest that you do for their new CD. Track 7, Drunken Drowsy King Joey (a twist on the original song Drowsy Maggie) is amazing and I'm pretty sure they were actually trying to kill Joey by seeing how fast he could play on that fiddle!

So happy Monday everyone! Enjoy your reading and enjoy your music!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I think the Search Engine derailed!

I am starting to think that blogger is just throwing random search engine hits into my stats just to weird me out...and it's working! Here's some recent hits:

The suppressed paintings of cavemen: Wow, I actually sound like an intellectual blog with hits like this! I must have suppressed my memory of writing something this educational...

Sassy ape: I'm pretty sure if you looked up "characteristics of an ape", sassy would not be on the list.

Good hairstyle for girls with big noses: What are you asking me for!?! *covers nose that I have always been self conscious about*

Campers say the darndest things: For example, "This is fun!" and , "Let's do this again!" when in reality they should be saying, "Why did we choose to live like homeless people on our vacation???".

Whitey tighties girl: Please tell me that this isn't the next female super hero! We hardly have any good ones as it is.

Hilarious electricity: Since when has electricity been funny, let alone hilarious?

"Remember the time I was curling my hair when you were giving the dog a bath and..." NOT FUNNY!

Creeper dog costumes: Your guard dog isn't scary looking enough, you have to make him look like a creeper too? Do you just have him sit in a white van with candy and a sign that you can play with him?

Leotard for my husband: Grounds for divorce.

Do wombats have hard butts: At what point would this question ever need to be asked? Is your wombat not responding to spanking?

NOTE: I do not promote the spanking of wombats in any situation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Special News Bulletin

We interrupt today's funny for a heart wrenching story going on in the back gardens of my neighborhood

Since Monday, we have heard a kitten yowling from a neighbor's back garden. There are kittens that we have seen running around the back garden walls but we figured that this one had fallen off of one of the walls into a garden that it can't get out of. We think it's two gardens down from us, which would make sense because that person has been gone for days, and the big stone walls are about 8ft tall. We don't have a ladder and even on a chair, Branden's head barely peeks over our wall. We even tried going to the bordering neighbors to see about trying to get to the kitten from their gardens but one neighbor wasn't answering and the other one has a big hedge on top of the wall and didn't seem to even care about the situation.

I hadn't heard it much in the day yesterday since I was busy but in the evening, we heard the poor thing crying and crying. It was after hours so the Irish Animal Control (ISPCA) was closed and the only other option they gave was to call the police for emergencies. I considered it an emergency but I was certain the police wouldn't and would just tell me to call the ISPCA in the morning. Trying to sleep was horrific last night as I just kept thinking of anything else we could do (trust me, I have thought of it all!!) and I was even so distraught from hearing the kitten, I slept with Branden's used earplugs in. I did lose it last night and just sobbed to Branden about how sick I felt over this poor little kitty.

This morning we still heard the kitten and I called the ISPCA as soon as they opened. I got an answering machine but I left a message and they called back soon after but I was in the shower. Branden answered my phone and told them the situation and they said they'd contact someone in our area. Now I'm in the waiting game. I can still hear the poor thing and it's killing me but I'm just hoping and praying that their person comes soon. If someone doesn't come soon, I will be calling back to find out when they are coming because I can't take the thought of that sweet little kitty trapped anymore!

I will keep you all posted!

Update #1: I phoned the ISPCA to find out if they had an estimated time of their person in Cork who will be coming for the kitten. They said they only have 1 officer who covers all of Cork County and they have no idea where exactly he is and when he'd be able to get here. I told the people that we were still trying to find a way to get to the kitten ourselves and they said that was fine but to keep them posted and if we get the kitten we need to take it to a vet for a check. We phoned some friends in town and found out they had a ladder so Branden walked down to get it. He's on his way back now.

Update #2: Branden came back with the ladder and we grabbed a pillow case and backpack and prepared to hop the walls. Branden got on top of the wall and then I did as well. As we were about to put the ladder into the neighbor's garden so we could climb down, we noticed a guy in the garden of the house we thought the kitten was in! Now we looked like awkward cat burglars (pardon the pun) on a wall so we got down as quick as we could and headed to the house. We spoke with the man and he said that the cats weren't his but they have access in and out of his garden and no kitten was trapped in it. He also didn't sound too concerned but we at least narrowed down then that the kitten isn't in any of the gardens on our side of the street. It must be on the gardens from the street behind us that border our gardens. At this point we are going to wait for the ISPCA because they will look a bit more official if they have to hop multiple garden walls and not like a bunch of inexperienced burglars. Still hoping they come soon!

Update #3: I phoned the ISPCA about half an hour before they closed to find out if I should call someone else after hours. I was told that the officer would be here between 8-9 tonight as she is in the middle of a job with the police. For the most part of the day, I have been in my front living room so I couldn't hear the kitten as the sound is just too distressing for me. I have checked in my room a few times to find out if I could hear it still but it's been mostly quiet. Before I made my last call, I did hear it much quieter than previously and it didn't meow for very long. I am really hoping it kicks off and starts yowling again tonight when the officer arrives so we can try and figure out just where it's coming from.

Update #4: I haven't heard a peep out of the kitten since early afternoon but I have heard a lot of people in the back gardens, possibly the one the kitten was in. We think it finally was let out! It's now after 9pm and I recently got off the phone with the ISPCA lady (who is very nice!) and she figured that it must have been rescued. She did tell me that she would be around the city tomorrow morning so if we hear it tonight or tomorrow then we need to phone dispatch and she'll come first thing. I am praying and hoping that all is well and since it looks like this whole ordeal is finally over with, we're sitting down to Austin Powers with a beer! I don't think I've ever really needed one before, but after the past few days, it's wonderful!

Update #5:  No sound all night or all day from the kitten. We are sure now that it was saved yesterday and all must be well. *Whew!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Old Mother Hubbard's Morning

Tip of the Day: Frosted Shreddies (or Mini Wheats) will disintegrate on contact with hot coffee. I don't suggest this as a substitute for milk.

It's been a busy past week and here's my new favorite photo taken yesterday while we were at the World Street Performer's Competition.

Since need to go grocery shopping I've got food on the brain so I am sharing a great new video I've seen!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mauled by a Mountain Lion

I HATE technology. I have the most basic phone that I can own, I text like a grandma with severe arthritis, but I kick serious booty on my snake game. Branden's laptop is a Mac and I don't mind it for the most part, it's gotten me by in the days before I was blessed with my laptop. (Joshua rocks!) The newest upgraded system for Mac is coming out and there is something about it that irritates me to no end: it's called "Mountain Lion"! The current system is called "Snow Leopard" which I think is just some desperate ploy to get nerds sounding "cool" by talking about the vicious big cats that they's not working fyi.

Branden is all excited that Mountain Lion is coming out because it will have so many new 'cool' features. I told him that if we are buying anything called "Mountain Lion" then I expect his face to be fully mauled by the time it's completely downloaded. We even had a discussion last night about him not referring to our computer stuff in giant feline terms, but I think he just loves seeing my hackles go up whenever he mentions it.

This morning, I turned on my wonderful laptop and got started on a Word document. I love Word, I know Word, it's nothing like Mac's Pages, and I like how I can find everything I need easily...until today. Now go back and throw in "used to" in all of those statements! Despite it being Word 2007, I have apparently been out of the loop for a lot longer than I first thought. All I needed to do was insert a simple calendar, *5 mins to find it* make it for the month I needed it for, *5 mins to change manually and 7 mins for Branden to insist there is a format for that in the program and go searching for it* add in a few names, *easy 1 min* and then make another calendar for the next month with the same type of stuff on it *15 mins pulling my hair out trying to figure out why it wouldn't copy and paste fully, why it wouldn't fit the names the same way, and Branden still insisting there is a format*.

I hadn't had my coffee yet so it was not my best moment when I blamed Branden completely because, "You are a nerd and you like this technology crap so it's your fault I have to spend all this time when I could have been done in 5 mins if I had printed out a blank calendar and written in the names!" and, "You have nerd connections, so can't you get someone to yell at Bill Gates for having a stupid, confusing program!". Thankfully, Branden finds this all rather humorous and he even decided it would be a good time to mention how good "Mountain Lion" will be...*face mauling 45% complete...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

I want to bring to light a horrible condition that affects everyone in their lifetime (except maybe mute people): Foot-in-Mouth Disease. This crippling condition can leave you trying to hide behind your own mug, slinking to the floor and attempting to melt away, and/or giggling nervously, which actually just makes you sound like a creeper. With such a widespread disease, it's a wonder that there aren't any charities set up for it or at least informational television programs that can teach us how to prevent, treat, and blend into curtains at any given point.

I know that I have suffered from Foot-in-Mouth greatly but as it is still before 11am, my memory isn't very good...except for remembering things about my husband. Just the other night, Branden came down with an unexpected case of Foot-in-Mouth, resulting in eyebrow raising, severe side poking, and a secondary outbreak. Here's the case study:

A lovely couple prepare to go to sleep. The husband preps his pillows and chooses the one he wants to place on the side of the bed facing the wall so he can cuddle it in the night when he's not facing the other way and cuddling his wonderful, perfect, incredible wife. *note: This is a case study so the opinion of the writer is unbiased

Husband: "This one is better because it's lumpy."
Wife: eyebrows raised "What?! This is what you use to mimic me and you choose the lumpy one as the most realistic??"

*first outbreak of Foot-in-Mouth

Husband: awkwardly giggling like a creeper "No, no, no! It's not that you are lumpy. It's just not as nice as a head pillow because it's lumpy."

Wife now begins severe side poking

Husband: "You are not lumpy! I use the other one too; it's fluffy."

*second outbreak of Foot-in-Mouth

Wife: eyebrows raised so high, they are practically in the back of her head "FLUFFY!! So I'm lumpy and fluffy!?!" more severe side poking

Husband: awkwardly giggling even more like a creeper and hesitant to speak again in case the disease takes an even stronger hold

Has this ever happened to you? With all the advancements in health and science, why isn't enough being done to protect the innocent victims, like the lovely wife, from encountering diseased Foot-in-Mouth sufferers? And most importantly, is it justified to just shoot those diseased???

What are your thoughts?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reason #537 why we won't be moving back to America

Tip of the Day: When moving permanently away from your home country*, be sure to look up videos of your country's "village idiots" to help combat homesickness.

*if your home country happens to be America then this will be easier than exciting a labrador.

Bonus Tip: Miley Cyrus will repel anything!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Finally, someone takes me seriously!

It's a good thing we went on our anniversary trip when we did as things are going a mile a minute here. When I managed to get to my email yesterday, I noticed an odd email that I almost marked as junk right off. Something made me read it though (probably because it was short!) and I busted up laughing and read it off to Branden. I have taken out their name, website, and link and replaced it with my interpretation which you will see in "quotes" and underlined


We at "thinkyouarecrazy".net came across your blog and thought we’d direct your attention to something you might enjoy. Our article, “8 Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health”, was recently published, and we think it’s something you and your community would enjoy reading or sharing. Here’s the link: (www."wethinkyourreadersarenutsaswell"

Let me know if there’s anything we can do for you. Meanwhile, keep up the great work!

"Lady who has never actually read your blog"

As soon as I read this to Branden, I stated, "They think that I am like an actual crazy person blogging from a padded cell, and they think my readers are crazy too!"

 So this is what I would write back to them:


I can see that your understanding of sarcasm is nil, so I apologize now for the fact that you won't understand this reply at all. I have happily been blogging from my padded cell for over a year now and I am afraid that your 8 exercises would jeopardize my content greatly. If I achieve good mental health, then how do you expect me to continue my life in my cell and my ability to relate with my readers? I discussed your email over with my singing frog Gary in our fort yesterday and he also brought up the fact that you probably would want me to give up my love of licking park benches and my collection of decapitated lawn gnomes. Gary hasn't led me wrong since the time he told me to have my birthday party in a graveyard back in '99, so I am going to trust his judgement and pass on your article. 

Congratulations on getting published though; it's quite an achievement. I am technically published too, although it's mostly my doctor's research on my brain surges at the mention of the word "kitty". I'd send you a link but my institution doesn't allow me that type of access on my computer. Oh and please don't bug my readers with this stuff either. If you helped them all, then it would just be me and Gary, and our dear friend the Dustbunny, and that would sadden us all. Thank you though for seeing and appreciating my special needs and reaching out  to try and help...although Nurse Susan lost a finger that way last time...Gary's a bit of a biter.

Maggie, Queen of the Cell

P.S. For the future, don't judge a blog by it's title! ...or author for that matter!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Anniversary Trip to Galway!

I do have to say, before sharing our fun anniversary trip to Galway, in continuing with my wedding horror story, my honeymoon wasn't much better. We spent the two days after our wedding in a beautiful and fun little town only 45 minutes away from home before flying to Kauai for a week. Kauai is where it got worse. To make a long story short, I ended up with 3 infections and within a week of my wedding, had been prescribed 5 different medications, most of them saying to not drink alcohol or be in the sun. One of the infections was a sinus infection which made it impossible for me to be in air conditioning or else I would cough until I threw up, which wasn't pleasant for Kauai in July. With me being so sick, we didn't really get to go out much but luckily both of us had been before so I guess that helped. We also got our days messed up so we missed our flight thinking that we weren't flying out until the day after. This did end up costing us a bunch more with the airline company but the lady who owned the cottage we were staying in, was nice enough (and felt so bad for us) that she gave us the extra night free. That 'extra' day ended up being the best day of our trip since it was the first day I really felt better, so we drove around everywhere and made the most of it. 

Now, onto Galway! We had a great time exploring this city and the weather was actually decent, although it was super humid the first 2 days and we hardly were able to sleep because it was so miserably muggy at night. You know it's bad when at 10pm, people from Arizona were fanning themselves with their beer coasters and complaining about how hot it was (and it was only in the low 70's, high 60's).

Our first day, we did some exploring, pub hopping, and ate some amazing seafood, delicious gelato, and then a late night plate of yummy nachos as we listened to a band in a pub. Here are a few pictures from our first day.

Our second day was our actual anniversary and as soon as the alarm went off Branden suddenly said, "I can't wait anymore! I got something for you!". I was quite shocked since we haven't bought gifts for each other for anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, etc. since our marriage but we do something fun to create a memory instead. Branden broke the rules and bought me the most beautiful pair of pearl stud earrings! It's my favorite color in pearls and they actually match my eyes!

We took our time getting ready that morning as we prepared to do the 2.5 mile walk to Salthill to go 'kick the wall'. I don't know why you go kick the wall but at the end of the walk, there is a wall and you are supposed to kick it. Along the way there were a couple of beaches and the day cleared up and became nice and sunny! We had dinner reservations and it was the most amazingly delicious food! We ordered a bottle of Prosecco along with our meal and it was perfect! Champagne isn't my favorite and makes me sick to my stomach, so I was glad to discover that Prosecco suits me much better! Here's some photos from our anniversary day.

Our last day, we spent our time exploring the city more. Since it is a University town, we went to have a peek at the campus. It was a great little campus and reminded us a bit of a smaller version of the campus here in Cork. We visited the Cathedral but couldn't really get any photos inside since they were having Mass at the time. There are lots of waterways through town so we walked along many of them, popping into cute shops along the way. Galway was a fantastic town, we absolutely loved it, and who knows, Branden might be able to get a job there when he's done with his PhD! I wouldn't mind living and raising kids there at all!

We had a great time and really enjoyed having a bit of a holiday together! I'm just so happy that I get to do all of this with my best friend and love of my life!