Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two More New Recipes

With this long weekend, it's my intention to do some cooking. I feel like it's been awhile since I've really done any, so here are the next two recipes I've tried since the Ice Cream Bread (which went over very well at work).

Crock Pot Apple Butter
  • 11 apples -- I don't think the number here is so important. Just plan on filling your crock with apple wedges, because it will cook down to about half.
  • 1⁄2 cup water -- You really won't need more than this. If you feel like you're going to need more, add it sparingly. You probably won't need it.
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • I added in a good shake of nutmeg, because I had some here.
Wash and quarter apples. Place in 3 1/2 to 4 quart crock pot. Add all other ingredients. Cook on low all day.

I let this cook for about 14 hours on low (mostly because I was gone this morning). I did realize when it was all done, I needed to run it through the blender to puree it. After that, it poured out just perfectly and when the containers are totally cool, I'm going to put them in the freezer. I have 6 containers of various sizes, and 2 of them are going to friends.

Easy Creamy Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
  • 3 medium tomatillos
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ small onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chunked
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil
  1. Husk the tomatillos and rinse.
  2. Place them in a small pan and cover with water. -- I drizzled them with the olive oil and roasted them at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. The skin just started to turn a little roasted-black.
  3. Boil them for 3 to 4 minutes, until they become tender.
  4. Set them aside to cool to room temperature.
  5. Place tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  6. Add the sour cream, avocado chunks, and a drizzle of olive oil. Process until combine.
  7. Serve as a dip or condiment.
The tomatillos and onions smelled so fantastic when they were roasting. When done, I poured everything from the pan into the blender, pureed it, and then added the rest of the ingredients and mixed those by hand in a bowl. I took a container of this over to the neighbor's house today for a BBQ there and it's really good.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

One More Writing Assignment

Pets are like kids: if you’ve got more than one, you’ve got to treat them all the same. And since today is Cujo’s birthday and he’s a big grown up teenager now, I figured I should write his story, from his perspective, like I did for Orion. It does make me wish I had done this for Dixie. I suppose I could still write her story, but considering that we had to put her to sleep, that seems a little dark of a writing assignment to me.

But here’s the story of the sweetest German Shepherd there has ever been.

This Is Cujo’s Story.

For the first months of my life, I lived with my mama, a brother and a sister in a barn out in the country. Since the day we were born, my brother and I were meant for breeding, to continue our father’s bloodline, according to the male human that took care of us. I heard my father had been hit by a truck and died, right after he and mama mated. Us puppies were born on what would have been his birthday. The male human had named me Santa, because I had a little white goatee and mustache.

Life in the barn with mama and the other puppies was quiet and uneventful. The male human had an accident and broke one of his legs. Because of this, he said we needed to be adopted because he wasn't able to work for awhile.

One clear pretty day in December, the female human came out to the barn. She picked me and brought me into the house. She was very upset and crying, so I was confused. I was her favorite so I didn't know why she was sad. She gave me a bath and let me stay in the house while my fur was drying.

A new man and woman came to the house. The new man went off with my male human, and my female human brought the new woman to see me. I was sitting in the doorway to the kitchen very quietly, because I didn't know what was going on. I didn't want to wander around and get in trouble, since us puppies didn't get to come in the house very often. The new woman came over and started petting me, the males came back, and then my female human disappeared. She was getting sad again. The two men put me into the back of a strange SUV, and the new man and woman drove away with me. They were both very happy and friendly, so I decided to sit between them. I listened to everything they said, even though I didn't understand it all, and I think the woman was happy but she was crying, even though she was telling me what I good boy I was.

The ride in the strange SUV lasted awhile (Amy said it was five hours from Virginia to North Carolina), and there weren't any animal smells inside it at all. Even though the ride was smooth, I started to not feel so good. I didn't have a lot of experience going for rides, and all of a sudden, I got sick in front of the strangers! I felt bad about it, but the woman patted my head and told me it was alright. The man found a store to pull over at, so he went in to buy some cleaning supplies. The woman stayed in the truck with me. She held my paw and talked nice to me. She told me about the house I was going to live in, with them, and the big cat-sister that was waiting for us. She told me she’d waited for a very long time for me to come along, even before my mama was alive! She told me my new name was Cujo, and I was named after a brave, strong and loving dog from a book.

The man came back, they cleaned up my sick-mess, and put a brand teal-colored new collar on me. It was a little big, but the man said I’d grow into it. We rode for a few more hours and pulled into a driveway. We weren't in the country anymore and I was nervous.

The woman went into the house, and the man picked me up from the back of the SUV, put a brand new leash on me, and took me inside. The woman was waiting for us in the back of the house and she was holding the cat-sister she had told me about. When she introduced us, Dixie the cat got mad at all of us, hissed at me, and ran away. I didn't see her much for the first couple of days.

That first night was hard on me. I cried all night long. How was I supposed to sleep without my mama and siblings in this strange house? At one point, I snuck into the bed with the woman when the man got up to go to the bathroom. That made me feel a little better, but the man said I couldn't sleep there. I kept crying and the woman didn't hear me or even wake up. The man took me into the living room and laid down on the rug with me. As long as he was touching me with at least one of his hands, I didn't cry because I knew I wasn't alone. We slept together that night.

Even the first week was hard on me. I was so afraid of everything because it was all new. I only went potty twice that first week. They took me outside a lot, but I was afraid to go. The first time I went to the bathroom, I peed on the carpet in one of the rooms. I had been there almost one day so  I really had to go. They didn't get mad at me, so that was nice. And then I waited a few days before I went potty again, and that’s when I pooped on the living room rug. I was trying to understand everything they were telling me, but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do during potty times. But they didn't get mad at me again. Amy patted me on the head and told me we’d learn. They cleaned up the potty-mess and Amy took me outside, but I didn't have any more to do.

Finally, things started to make sense in the new house. I learned my new name in a few days and I understood that I lived with this new family. It took about a month for me to really understand “house breaking,” because I could potty almost anywhere I wanted to in the barn.

I even bit Amy one time, and I felt so bad about it but she didn't get mad at me. There was a loose dog in our neighborhood and he came over to our house. I didn't like him there. (He got loose from his house a lot and came to my house, and he'd come to my house when I was outside, giving me a hard time.) We started fighting through the fence, snarling and growling, and showing our teeth. Amy wanted me to come in the house but I didn't hear her. I had forgotten she was behind me, so when she reached down to grab my collar to bring me inside, I turned around and bit her on the knee. She yelped and I know I hurt her. I let go and I started to cry and got real anxious because I know I wasn't supposed to ever bite a human. She bent down close to me and I leaned against her to tell her I was sorry. She petted my head and hugged me and told me it was okay, that I was a good boy, and that she wasn't mad at me because it wasn't my fault. We went into the house together and she had me lay down to try and relax, and she gave me a couple of treats. She put a bandage and some ice on her knee, and told Shane she didn't need to go to the hospital. She limped for a few days and I felt so bad because I didn't mean to hurt her. I love her like she was my mama, and she forgave me because it was an accident.

Dixie, the cat-sister, was another story. She was older than me and lived here longer, so I had to listen to her. She was the boss and she let me know it! It took a long time for her to decide she tolerated me. Sometimes, as we got older, she’d snuggle with me, but if she wanted my food, I had to let her have it. She was a good cat-sister and I loved her. She started getting sick, and one day my people took her away. Before she left, Amy told me to tell her good-bye. I didn't understand that, because Amy hadn't ever done that before when we each went somewhere. They returned to our house without her and they were very sad. Amy used to kiss and snuggle Dixie the same way she does to me.

Shane, the man, told me my job was to make Amy happy and keep her company. Sometimes, he goes away for work for long periods of time. I always take my job very seriously. I make sure Amy doesn't go outside in the yard by herself, and I take her for walks almost every night. She takes good care of me, so I have to make sure nothing happens to her. And when he’s home, the man takes me for rides in his truck (I don’t get sick anymore), he feeds me cheese and lets me play in the garage when he’s working out there. I even taught him a trick. If I drop to the floor, roll over and play dead, Shane laughs and gives me a little bit of human food.

Amy tells me every morning I have to keep an eye on the house because that’s my job too. There’s a lot of work to done around here! She gives me a couple treats in the morning and then one or two when she gets home and sees what a good job I've done. She understands how much I love to play with cardboard boxes and sticks, even though she won’t let me bring my sticks in the house. There’s always good food to eat here and I get lots of attention. Amy hugs and kisses me everyday and tells me what I good boy I am. I feel very important here. Both Amy and Shane like it when I talk to them. They don’t really mind it when I bark because they know I’m trying to get their attention about something important.

I have friends in the neighborhood, both dogs and humans, and I even had friends at the dog park. I don’t like my neighbor dog because he’s loud and I know it bothers my people (he barks at everything). He thinks he’s the boss because he’s younger than me. I tell him that I’m the boss because I’m older and have been here longer, but he won’t listen. He even bit my nose through the fence a few years ago and Amy got really mad at him for that. (She always stands up for me if she thinks someone isn't being nice.) When family comes to visit us, sometimes I take them for walks, because I know my way around the neighborhood and I know I can trust the other family members that don’t live here with us.

About a year ago, they brought home the new cat-sister we met at the pet store. This new cat is named Orion. She understands I’m the boss and she doesn't hit me the way Dixie used to. She’s a good little cat but she runs around the house constantly. She’s got a lot of energy! I just wish she wouldn't try to snuggle with me so much. As I've grown up, I've realized that different species don’t snuggle together like that. It’s just weird. Besides, when I sleep, I like to stretch out on the couch or my bed. I don’t want to be trapped by a little body.

They take good care of me, and they understand that I’m growing older. My hearing isn't as good as it used to be, and I have arthritis in my back so my hind legs get a little weak sometimes. They still talk to me, but Amy also uses hand gestures to tell me what she wants me to do. Our walks have gotten shorter, but I’m still able to take her. She also has pills she can give me when she thinks my back hurts. She even picks me up to put me in the car when we go for rides, even though it’s hard for her to do. I’m happy to have this family.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Worked a Little on The Vanity

Several years ago, I picked up an art deco vanity from Bill's FX, a former flea market in an old electronics store building in Virginia Beach. It caught on fire and burned beyond repair shortly after I got the vanity.

Over the years, I've noticed the wood veneer was starting to look and feel extremely dry. I don't think it ever had a clear stain put on it. I know I might not be able to keep this thing forever, but I want to try and protect the wood the  best I can.

Since I still had some from the sewing machine project, I decided to take the vanity apart and give it a good coat of polyurethane on it. I started it on Monday night and finished it tonight.

It's a little blurry, but you can see the poly on the middle section, compared to the unpoly'ed left and right sides. It's a huge difference, and I only did one coat of poly. The two pieces sticking up in the back are the supports for the mirror.

Before (on the left side) and after (on the right side) the poly. Again, this is just one coat.
Now unfortunately, I'm feeling froggy to try and fix up the armoire that I have (also art deco). Even though I spent more on the vanity, I absolutely love the armoire and I'm afraid I'll mess it up somehow, because that actually has more damage to the veneer.

Update on the Virginia Screenwriting Competition

I received this email today from the Virginia Film Office:

"Thank you for submitting a script and application to the Virginia Screenwriting Competition! We will review the documents and let you know whether any further information is required.

"The first round judges will be reading and evaluating the submissions over the summer, and you should receive the results by early September.

"Very best wishes from the Virginia Film Office!"

Whooo hoooo! This is what I wanted to know: that it had been received. I was afraid it had gotten electronically lost somewhere, because I didn't get a delivery or read receipt on the email.

Time For A Writing Assignment

While lurking around the internet today, I checked out Catster and saw this article: “We Talk to Janiss Garza About Her Book ‘Rescued,’ Written From the Perspective of Cats.” I decided to write Orion’s story, from her perspective, and the timing is appropriate  because her second birthday (her first birthday since we got her) was just a few days ago. And it's been awhile since I've given myself a writing assignment.

This Is Orion’s Story.

I don’t remember much about my early days. What I do remember was hard: having an empty tummy, being hungry and scared, and being unprotected. When my brothers and sisters ( I don’t even remember how many of us there were) and I were found outdoors by the humans, our mama was gone and we were starving and malnourished. The humans took us in and made us safe. They fed us and my tummy stopped being empty. Where we lived was safe and warm. There were toys and other cats like us. I was named Pippa.

One by one, over the course of a year, all of my brothers and sisters disappeared. That was scary, because I was the last one left, even though I was still safe. But the humans all said it was wonderful for them, because they were “adopted” and were going to new homes with their new families. I didn’t know why I wasn’t going “home” with any of them, but I stayed there, for little over a year. I figured this was my home. The humans thought I was too shy but that the right "family" would come along for me eventually.

But one day, all of us cats, and some of the dogs, had our cages loaded up into vehicles and we rode all the way from North Carolina to a place called Virginia. The ride was so scary. I don’t ever remember riding in a vehicle before, and I didn’t know where we were going or what would happen to us when we got there. I tried to be a big brave girl but I still cried, just like some of the other cats.

We were all taken into a large building and our cages were set up on tables. The building smelled so interesting. There were other cats there, and fun little birds and rodents, and even fish there! New humans started coming up to our cages and looking at us. Most of the other cats were still scared. Some of them hid under their beds so they couldn’t be seen. The others hissed. (Those cats had harder lives than I did. They knew bad humans, but I hadn’t met that kind yet.) I heard some of our humans talking about “adoption” so I figured out these new humans might take some of us home! This was not a time to be scared; this was a time to be brave and friendly!

After a few hours, a nice man with a big nice doggie came past my cage and stopped. I jumped up from my bed and stuck my paw out of the cage, trying to get the dog’s attention. I didn’t know any other way, because I didn’t really know how to talk to dogs. I tried to pet the doggie and he thought it was strange, but the man laughed. The doggie was friendly and I knew right away I wanted to live with him and his human.

A nice woman came over to the man and doggie. She petted the doggie’s head and played with me through the bars of my cage. Then one of our humans came over, talked to them, and took me out of my cage. She let me and the doggie meet nose to nose. We played a little bit, and then the new woman got to hold me. She snuggled me against her chest and kissed my head. The man even rubbed my tummy.

It was decided they would be my new people and I’d go home with them. I was “adopted!” The humans that had been taking care of me all came over, gave me hugs and said good-bye. Then they put me into a cardboard box to keep me safe. I could see through the holes in it, so this time, when we rode in their vehicle to go to my new “home,” I wasn’t afraid and I didn’t cry. After riding for a few minutes, my new people opened up the box and I started to see the world was a lot bigger than I ever imagined! There were lots of other vehicles driving with us, and I saw the sky and all the trees.

We made a little stop on the way “home,” so the man could get drinks and lunch. I stayed in the vehicle with the woman. She talked nice to me. She talked about the house we were going to, the car we were in, even my box. I liked all this because she was gentle and quiet. While she was petting me, I stood up on my back legs and gave her a little brush on her cheek with my cheek. I wanted to mark this woman as being mine, just in case we got separated or there were other cats where I was going. I think she must have liked this, because she hugged me and cried but she seemed happy.

When we got to my new home, I thought it was so big! I had a room all to myself with windows that were open. They were big enough I could sit on the sills and watch the outside world. (This is where I learned about the birds and squirrels. They’re so much fun to watch. I get excited and start chattering at them.) I had a nice litter box, food and water bowls, toys, and scratching posts all for myself. There was even furniture that I could sit on and the humans thought that was cute. Sometimes, I’d see another cat behind the glass on the vanity in there. She was so pretty but she never came out from behind the glass when I tried to play with her. The woman said that I must be a real “girly girl”, because I was always sitting in front of the mirror, watching myself.

The new humans were gone during the day, and I could hear the doggie outside the door. Sometimes he’d be walking around, sometimes he’d play by himself, and sometimes, he’d kick the wall while he was sleeping and dreaming. The new people would come home and play with me in the evening. Sometimes I’d get a little worried because they were still new and there were no familiar smells here. The woman would hug and snuggle me, but she wouldn’t get upset when I would hide my face against her chest. She’d rub my tummy and always knew if I was scared, because I’d clench my tummy up tight.

After a week, the humans opened up the door and said it was time for me to have full run of the house. That was so exciting! When I came out of my room, I saw the doggie again and I ran right up to him. I tried to hug him (Amy, the woman, said he’s my big brother now). And I realized there was more stuff to see! There was more room, more toys and more furniture to play on, and even more windows to see the outside world. (I like looking at the outside world but I don’t want to go out there. There are large things that fly in the sky above our house that are nosy and sometimes scary when they’re close, and I run away to hide when they are coming in. Amy said I’m not allowed to go outside anyway, because that’s only for the doggie.) She showed me where my food, water and litter box would be. I realized there was even another room upstairs the woman spends time in when she sews! I like to sleep on the futon when she’s in there, next to her sewing machine. The doggie doesn’t come up there so she needs someone to keep her company.

Now, I’ve been home with them for almost a year. I like it here. I don’t hide my face anymore when they pick me up. I don’t clench my tummy up when they rub it (and I really do like my belly rubs. I roll over for those specifically). I get treats in the morning when Amy goes to work, and my food and water bowls are always full. I’ve even gained a pound since I got here. She knows I can’t have an empty, hurty tummy ever again.

There’s so much room to run here! I can run so fast and leap up onto the furniture or in the windows. I don’t live in a cage here. Since I like being here, I rub my cheeks all over all of the edges in the house, along with my woman’s face, every day, and she gives me lots of kisses. In fact, I even taught her a little trick. When I start bobbing my head at her, that means I need kisses. She comes over to me and starts kissing the top of my head and my cheeks.

The man is good too. He picks me up and holds me so our foreheads press together. He hangs swingy toys in the doorway for me to bat around, and even controls a little red bug light for me to play with. It’s so much fun! I run around the house with the doggie and we chase it together. He tells me I’m a good kitty when I talk to him. I like to nap on the end of his recliner when he’s home in the evening and we all watch TV and keep each other company.

And my big brother? Oh, I love him so much! He’s my favorite! He doesn’t mind when I play with his big bushy tail or his toys, or when I eat his food with him. I showed him my tummy the first night I was out of the room, and he knows I am subservient to him. He’s older than me and he’s been here longer, so I know he’s in charge. I just wish he’d let me snuggle with him on the couch. He walks away when I try to do that.

I don’t think about the shelter much anymore, or even my original brothers and sisters. I figure they probably got good humans taking care of them, like I do. I’m not afraid anything here. I like being here and  I’m glad these people came along and picked me to be a part of their family. There’s so much to do and see here. And even though Amy isn’t a cat, she does a good job of taking care of me like my mama tried to do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ice Cream Bread Recipe

I think I was lurking along in Imgur one day when I came across this little gem.

In case you're wondering, 180 degrees Celsius equals 356 degrees Fahrenheit.


...WOW! It actually works! Nicole the Knitter and I devoured half a loaf of Toasted Coconut and Almond, made with the Harris Teeter brand of ice cream. In fact, I decided to make a second loaf for here (Red Velvet) and one to take to work tomorrow (Toasted Toffee Coffee).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Wrap Up of Tidewater Comic Con

Whew! It was another busy weekend here because it was time for Tidewater Comic Con in Virginia Beach! I was there to look and geek out, but really I was manning the Rebel Legion table for recruitment. I was even able to get two more items crossed off the bucket list: sitting in the Batmobile and finding the TARDIS. The Batmobile was advertised as being there ($20 to get your picture taken while you sit in it) but the full sized TARDIS was an unexpected find.

This was one of two sets of Fiona and BMO from "Adventure Time."

My butt cheeks have felt the glory of the Batomobile, glory glory Hallelujah! Such a gorgeous, WIDE car! I offered my credit card to Batmobile Security (yes, there is such a thing and I want to work for them) if they'd let me take it out for a spin. I told them I'd be back in a few days.

A steampunk Buzz Lightyear: while this is a fantastic costume, I'll be honest. I didn't know this was Buzz until I saw the tiny name plate on the collar of his headpiece. I thought this was a steampunked old fashioned deep sea diver.

Oh no, it's Freddy Krueger! He walked around all day, clicking and clacking his blades.

"I am not fast." -- Baymax

This is actually the Wolverine cosplayer from ROFCON, earlier this year.

There's actually a kid inside here, driving it. His mom said they came from West Virginia for this con, got here on Friday and finished it the same day, so they could bring it on Saturday. Awesome little costume!

The sad thing is that this Uncle Fester told me a lot of people (presumably younger than me) told him they didn't know who he was. How sad! This was great! He also said he had another light bulb in his room and that he needed it because this one was starting to die on him.

I got my Spidey picture on Sunday finally. Lord almighty, it was ridiculously hot on Sunday!

It was all good. Since I was the only Jedi dressed in costume, dedicated to the table (a member dressed as Arrow and then Luke Skywalker was there, as was a couple other members, but they weren't there for the table), I got my picture taken a couple of times (I'm still searching Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for any pictures of me), I was force choked by one little Vader, and then later was stabbed by another tiny Vader's saber.

  • I'd like to take a tour of a Navy sub, but my husband and I don't know anyone that works on board a sub.
  • I'd like to take a tour of a Navy ship that most people will never get to go on. I got to go walk around under a ship while it was in dry dock, and then I walked up the scaffolding around the mast, almost to the very top!
  • I'd love to go for a ride in a fighter jet of some kind.
  • I want to go jet skiing in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • I want to go scuba diving or snorkeling in the Caribbean.
  • I want to go to the top of the Washington Monument. 
  • I want to go to NYC, and see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers, and go to a show of some sort. We went there in 2000 and saw The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • I want to go to the Saint Louis Arch. We did this in 1999.
  • I want to go to Niagara Falls. We did this in 2000.
  • I want to go to Universal Studios Florida. We did this in 2001 and I'd love to do it again!
  • I want to go to the Poconos and stay in one of their themed suites. We did this in 2006 and stayed at Caesar's in the champagne glass suite.
  • I want to stay in a themed suit at the HoJo in Florence, KY.
  • I want to visit Santa Claus, IN, "American's Christmas Hometown."
  • I want to go to Metropolis, IL.
  • I want to get a memorial tattoo in honor of my mom and my mother-in-law.
  • I want to take a road trip up to DC to see the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum and go to Horace and Dickie's Seafood Restaurant This one was both completed (wax museum) and not completed (Horace and Dickie's) in April 2015.
  • I want to write a bad sci-fi horror script and present it to The Asylum to see if they'd be willing to make it into an actual movie for the SyFy Channel. I finished this on April 12, 2015.
  • I want to finally order the "Hell's Admin Assistant" patch for my motorcycle jacket that I've been thinking about for years.--I figure it's a funny alternative to a Hell's Angel patch, which I'm clearly not a member of Hell's Angels. I ordered one from Star City Stitchery
  • I'd like to cuddle a baby gorilla. I really don't know where this one comes from, but aren't baby gorillas the cutest babies EVER??!
  • I want to take a painting class, a la Bob Ross. I did this in a restaurant in Virginia Beach with a bunch of motorcycle riders from an American Legion post, in 2014.
  • I want to go hang gliding in Kill Devil Hills, NC. I did this over Memorial Day weekend with my husband.
  • I want to see the archaeological dig at the Jamestown Settlement.  I did this in April 2015.
  • I want to go charter boat fishing in the Atlantic Ocean: I tried doing this in 2012, but the water was really rough that day. I didn't catch anything but I sure made a lot of chum!
  • I want to go to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • I want to see KISS in concert, in the make-up. 
  • I will get a job at some kind of animal shelter, and I'm going to be damn good at whatever I end up doing there. 
  • I will get at least one old, beat up piece of wood furniture, save it from going to the landfill, and refinish it. I've actually done two pieces now.
  • I'd like to go on an LCAC ride with my husband before he transfers to his new command.I had to cross this one off finally, because Shane left this command already. This bummed me out. I never got a ride on an LCAC out on the bay. Some of his family members did, and even though I offered to take any number of half days off from work, I never got to ride. 
  • I will go to see the Booth Trail in 2013. 
  • I will go to Natural Bridge, VA (We did this in 2013) and the Shenandoah Valley and stay in a cabin in the woods.  We did this for the end of the year in 2014.
  • I will go to Hiddenite Gems, an emerald mine open to the public, in NC. 
  • I will go to the Richmond Zoo and the Virginia Zoo (they have done a lot of remodeling and I haven't been there for a several years). 
  • I can't drive a clutch and have no desire to learn, but I'd like to go for a ride in a 1957 Chevy BelAire and a mid-80's Lamborghini Countach.
  • I'd like to sit in any of the Batmobiles (I was able to sit in one during Tidewater Comic Con in May 2015), ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters, KITT from Knight Rider, and the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • I will go to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 
  • I want to go to Rhode Island, Boston and Seattle, just for the sake of going.
  • I want to go to Tokyo some day.--I've been to Hanoi and Hue, Vietnam, but it wasn't close enough.
  • I want to see the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt. 
  • I'd love to see the Mona Lisa (she's in the Louvre in Paris) and The Scream (there are a couple, two of them are in Munich). 
  • I want to go to London, and maybe look for the TARDIS (I unexpectedly found the TARDIS at Tidewater Comic Con in May 2015. Unfortunately, it was locked and no one could get in, though.) and the Doctor. 
  • I want to go to San Diego to see my best friend, go to Comic Con, wear a costume, take lots of photos, find an awesome looking Spider-Man so I can give him a hug for just being Spidey, and then walk a beach on the Pacific Ocean, looking for shells. 
  • I'd like to go to a taping of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" if we ever go to California.  I had to cross this one off: On April 28, 2014, Ferguson announced that he will leave the show on December 19, 2014.
  • I want to have at least one great, wildly creative crochet pattern published in a real book somewhere. 
  • I'd like to have our yard be featured for our Halloween decorations with a local tv station, so people might understand you don't have to spend big bucks on decorations and still put together a great display (I say this because we don't go as crazy for Christmas decorations). 
  • I'd like to win a challenge on Craftster. 
  • I'd like to compete on Craft Wars on TLC. I had to cross this one off too, because I'm pretty sure it's no longer on the air. I can't find any updated information on it. 
  • I will finish the Jedi costume finally and I will join the Rebel Legion I was accepted in December 2014!
  • I want to ride a mechanical bull. --I did this in April 2015.
  • I will finish the doll house I started several years ago. 
  • I want to go to Ohio and see Ralphie Harper's house from The Christmas Story. 
  • I want to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert, and maybe even the Bangles if I ever get to California. 
  • I want to see the Barenaked Ladies again, the next time they come to Hampton Roads.
  • I want to take my friends to the Virginia Safari drive through park in Stanton, VA. Did this in July 2014.