Back from the Beach with Sand in my Brain

I’m back from the beach and at least 2 shades less pale than I was last week. Yay! For the first time in I can’t remember how many years I didn’t end up with any sunburn in random spots. So that’s pretty awesome. I’m usually the person with a burned splotch on the back of my arm or a white hand print on the back of my bright red thigh (true story).

Me and Potter starting our trip to OC

My plans were for me to go down on Saturday and meet my friend Lea for the first half of the week. So I loaded up my FJ, put Potter in his crate and hit the road.

After a delicious stop at Sonic for an Ocean Water and some tots, Potter was liberated from the crate for the last hour of the ride, where he very happily licked my window and watched traffic inch by.

Since Saturday to Tuesday was my “girly” half of the week, we made sure to have lots of wine on the beach, watch a bunch of chick flicks and enjoy a ton of ‘all you can eat’ seafood. It was pretty relaxing and uneventful, except for the wild horses of Assateague wandering on the beach a couple times each day.

Although everyone gets the warning paperwork when they pay for their beach pass, people still don’t realize that they should stay away from the horses.

Wild horse on the beach

Last year we watched as the horses stuck their heads in people’s food bags and threw the food all over the place. This year, Lea and I laughed our heads off as one of the horses made himself comfortable on someone’s beach blanket and then decided to pee, well, like a racehorse.

The next day, the sea air put another horse in an amorous mood and I’m sad to say I witnessed horse sex from way closer then I ever would have wanted. And no, I don’t have a picture of that. Lea tried to get her camera out in time and run over to take a picture, but I sat on my blanket and laughed so hard that I started crying.

Lea left on Tuesday, so Potter and I were on our own until Travis came down to the Ocean on Wednesday.

We took Potter for a walk on the beach one night and I really wish I had gotten a picture of how happy he was to be running around in the sand. It’s hard to believe that this is the same dog that was on the brink of death last month.

Potter in the FJ's side mirror

I did get this shot of him longingly looking out the window on our drive down to Assateague.

Pretty much the only difference between “girly” part of the week and the last part with Travis was that beer replaced wine, action movies replaced chick flicks and I ate even more ‘all you can eat’ seafood. Honestly, I’m surprised that crabs and shrimp didn’t chase me around on the beach to get revenge for me eating so many of their cousins.

Anyways, I’m back home even though my brain is a bit mushy right now. I’m looking forward to another day off before I head back into work and count the minutes until I’m back to being stressed out again.

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My Not so Deep Thoughts

Here’s just a random sampling of what’s been in my head today:

The Cathog
First off, earlier this week I saw a cathog. Yes, that’s right it was like a groundhog and a cat had a baby and it was living on a Columbia exit ramp. It was cute and so wrong all at the same time.

Speaking of exit ramp groundhogs, have you noticed that groundhogs really love to live on exit ramps? Are exit ramps like ‘water front property’ for groundhogs? There are a couple ramps around my house that I can pretty much count on seeing a fat and happy groundhog hanging out every time I drive by.

It’s too Hot to Wear Clothes
Today it was 108 degrees outside according to my truck thermometer. I was running my errands in Under Armour clothes, to keep myself as cool as possible and I was still ready to melt. Apparently, I’m a big wimp though, because I saw about a dozen people wearing jeans today. These weren’t people in a work uniform of some type, they truly woke up today to get dressed and thought that jeans would be the best option to dress for the current heat wave. There was even a guy walking down the sidewalk in Columbia, just chillin’ in his jeans and black t-shirt. It made me hot just looking at him – and not in the oh la la kind of way.

Stupid Drivers
I could go on and on about stupid drivers, but I’m going to just limit this to just the stupidity I saw yesterday and today. Yesterday, on my drive home there was a guy driving with his foot out the window. Not the passenger… the driver. He had his right foot all the way out the window, WHILE DRIVING! Not only is this randomly flexible, but it can’t be safe to have your entire body leaned back to put your foot out the window while still driving a vehicle. He looked really stupid too.

My second bout with stupid drivers was when I stopped by the library earlier today. When I came out I realized that the driver next to me was obviously an idiot. They had pulled into their parking space so crooked, that 1/3 of their minivan was in my space. Yes, over the line into MY space blocking the back part of my truck. So obviously my reaction was to do that thing where you look at the stupidly parked vehicle with incredulous eyes, throw up your hands, stomp around a little and then glare at it some more.

Surprisingly that didn’t change anything, so I then cursed a little bit and considered ramming their vehicle with my FJ Cruiser (google it, it’s awesome). Had my husband bought the bumper wing covers that I asked for (with spikes, please), I would have gunned the motor and slammed their stupid minivan out of my way.

Unfortunately, my bumper wings are still naked and cost too much to replace for something this dumb (I just had to replace one a couple months ago when a partner at my firm accidentally ran into my truck). So, I decided to maneuver my truck up and over a curb so that I could get around their terrible parking job. They should be happy that the heat made me too tired to sit around and wait to yell at them when they came out.

I’m Out of Here
I’m totally procrastinating because I really need to start packing. My awesome friend Lea and I are going down to Ocean City, MD. My plans at the beach include smuggling white wine into Assateague and laying around soaking up rays while soaking up wine. I’m also hoping to meet up with another of my awesome friends while I’m down there and do some bootyshaking at Seacrets. My hubby is also going to come down for a few days, so I really should start throwing some stuff into a laundry basket to take down there…

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Making a Bad Situation a Little Better: The Tale of the Exploding Washer

I was doing laundry over the weekend, as I’ve been known to do, when my washing machine decided to explode. Hmm…maybe I should back up a little bit. The first load of laundry went fine, but when I went to switch the second load over to the dryer I noticed that there was some water on the laundry room floor coming from the washing machine. I had just washed a load of sheets and bathroom towels, so I figured I must have overfilled the load causing it to leak when it went off balance. So, I wiped up the floor with a couple beach towels and threw them in the machine to do my third load of the day.

MISTAKE!!

Okay, in my imagination it goes like this:

Anyways, moving on. I went back downstairs to check the dryer and there was a HUGE pond of dirty water filling the laundry room! Like a two inch deep pond. Not cool. This is when it finally dawned on me that my 20+ year old washing machine was broken. No, not when it initially leaked. I had to submerge my laundry room before I got a clue and realized that we have a problem.

So I did what any thrifty person would do, I started googling around for deals. I checked a bunch of local big box stores and even clicked around on craigslist. I then took a trip to my local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores to check for any floor model sales. Typically they have a few random appliances hanging out in the aisles that have been refurbished or returned as an ‘open box’ item.

I got lucky at Lowe’s and found a refurbished washer with a couple marks on it. It was a great deal – marked down about half price to only $280. I got even luckier when the sales associate pulled some strings to have it delivered to me the next day. The delivery went super smooth and my new washing machine was in my house and ready to go about 12 hours after I plonked down my credit card to buy it.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

Now I’m getting super annoyed because I didn’t WANT to buy a damn washing machine in the first place and now that I went through the effort to go and buy the stupid thing, it doesn’t even WORK! So I call up my friendly Lowe’s manager and tell him how annoyed, frustrated and inconvenienced I am.

At this point the story could go either way – I could go off on a tangent about how awful Lowe’s treated me and that I’m never shopping there again, or I could tell you what a great job they did fixing my situation. I’m happy to say that I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the second option.

The manager asked me to give him an hour to figure out what they could do for me and call me back. When I spoke to him again, I had found another washer on their website which had great reviews. However, it was brand new and almost $200 more then the one I had purchased.

The manager got the priced discounted down so that I only had to pay $20 more. Understanding that I work during the day, he also arranged for a special delivery truck to bring my order to me after 6pm on Wednesday. He took a really crappy situation and did everything in his power to make it right.

Now, I’m reserving my final judgment until I actually get the washing machine delivered to me tomorrow and do a load of laundry with it. However, I have to say I really respect the fact that Lowe’s so obviously wants to keep my business. Their manager was friendly and helpful when I called to complain on Sunday and has even checked in with me a couple times since then.

A little good customer service goes a long way with me. I’ve been a Home Depot girl for most of my life, but I think I’m leaning towards cheating on the old HD with my new luvah, Lowe’s.

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