Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sweater stone

I found a product that has changed my life, so of course I have to share!

What's a sweater stone?  I had no idea either until my dad gave my mom one for Christmas.  He ordered her a sweater from L.L. Bean and decided to add this on to this order.  It looks a lot like a pumice stone that you brush across the sweater to remove the "pills" that we all hate.  I was skeptical at first.  I have tried an electric shaver before and it just didn't seem to do the trick.  But I decided to give it a try and ordered one from Amazon.  My favorite fleece jacket is a Mountain Hardware Monkeyman fleece, but the non-"furry" areas along the hem and pockets were horribly pilled (is that a word?).  I went to work with the sweater stone, and in less than 10 minutes all the pills were gone!  I will warn you - it makes a mess.  I sat down on the bed and ended up with a duvet covered with black balls of fuzz and grit.  After a quick run with the hand vac, the mess was cleaned, my fleece is like new again, and I'm in love with my sweater stone!

PS. Mom, if you haven't tried it out yet, you should!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What we did over the holidays - Part 2

Ready for part 2?

Remember the tornado I mentioned?  We got a phone call on Christmas night from Cameron's mom.  Her house had been hit by a tornado.  The house was still standing, but had suffered some damage.  It was hard for Cameron to be so far away and unable to help during such a traumatic time.  Thankfully, Cameron's brother lives down the street and was able to take her home to their house, which lost power, but had no damage.  Mobile is not an area that has many tornadoes, but this was the second one to hit the area in a week!  The first one did minor damage to another area of town, but this one did some heavier damage to a couple streets in the midtown area.  A day later, we headed home to Mobile and went straight to Dottie's house.  Walking down her street was unlike anything I've ever seen - trees down, windows blown out, roofs blown off, but the houses were still standing.  I can't even imagine what it's like when a "big" tornado comes through and levels everything.  Dottie's house had multiple windows broken, damage to the roof which caused a lot of water damage, and her garage collapsed on her car, but she is very lucky.  She was not injured during the storm, her pets are safe, her home can be repaired, and the majority of her things were not damaged.

And what holiday season would be complete without a trip to the hunting camp?  Cameron has been many times, but last weekend was the first of the season for me.  I opted to snuggle with the pups rather than venture into the cold to hunt with Cameron.  The dogs always love running at the camp, and we even trusted Dean to let him free as well.

The pups were very excited about the car ride:

There was lots of this:

And plenty of this:

Just in case you were wondering what a hunting camp trailer in Uriah, AL looks like, here it is in all its glory:

It was Dean's first trip, so he was very interested in those things hanging on the wall.

The ride back was a little calmer, with some very tired pups:

Hmm, what's next? New Year's Eve we started the night off with dinner at Mexican restaurant with our friend Harry.  Nothing fancy.  Then we headed downtown where we snagged seats at a bar to finish watching the LSU-Clemson game.  I was sticking with the SEC, but LSU let me down in the final minutes.  We met up with Mary & Poe and wandered downtown for a while before ringing in the new year at the moonpie drop.  Yep, a moonpie.  Moonpies are a popular throw at Mardi Gras parades around here so the moonpie has become an icon for Mobile.  I'm kinda partial to the banana ones myself...

my husband knows me well - if we're outside in the cold, don't bring me a cold beer without a coozie!

the iphone camera failed me - that's a moonpie!

Happy 2013!

 After the official start of 2013, we headed inside the Battlehouse hotel, where I had to get a few final Christmas pics.

I guess that's about it.  The decorations are down and put away, the resolutions have been made, it's time to get back to normalcy.  Unless, of course, you live in Mobile - Mardi Gras comes early this year.  The first parade is this Saturday on Dauphin Island.  Let the good times roll!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

What we did over the holidays - Part 1

So I promised a "what we've been up to" post and here it is.  I started out doing 1 post, but soon realized it was a little picture overload, so I'm splitting it up.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a veterinarian and currently working as a relief vet.  Basically, that means I'm a "substitute" vet, and I work for whoever needs help at the time.  I have a few clinics I work for on a weekly basis and several who just call me to fill in.  In this line of work, the holidays are very busy.  Since everyone else is taking time off, they call me to help.  Starting around Thanksgiving, I've been working 50-60 hours a week.  Add that in with all the shopping and decorating for my favorite time of year - I've been very busy.  At one point, I just had to let go and tell myself I didn't have to do everything.  Some of the grand plans I had for this Christmas just didn't happen.  I wish had some great pictures of the house decorated, but that didn't happen either - maybe next year!

For our Christmas picture, we decided to include Dean, our foster dog.  He may not be a permanent addition to the family, but he is definitely special.  That did make things a little more difficult since he is afraid of cameras.  Here's the final pic:

As for Christmas, we headed up to Memphis to spend the holiday with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and 3 year old nephew.  We had an amazing time!  We ate plenty of delicious food - including Gus' fried chicken - which really is the best chicken you will ever eat.  In fact, we ate there twice on this trip!

Gramps & Elijah
 And there was plenty of playing with my nephew...

every kids needs a superhero cape!

he loved the nativity

and when he was done, he put everything up

 baked some Christmas cookies

Took our annual family photo for the Christmas card

playing with the camera

And as with every 3 year old, there were plenty of tears, 
but Aunt Heather wasn't going to let them last long...

an iphone helps...
 Christmas morning takes a while with a 3 year old.  He wants to play with everything as he gets it.  In our family, we take turns opening gifts so everyone gets to see what each person received.  Elijah ranked the gifts in importance by how long he looked at it with you.  Apparently, adult gifts aren't very interesting.  I did get a new lens for the Nikon, which I am very excited to play with.
Christmas morning

not sure what Gramps was instructed to be here, but he did it!
And it SNOWED!!  Not much, but plenty for this southerner.  When I used to go to my parents house in Maryland for Christmas, I would always hope for snow.  It never happened - until they moved to Tennessee!

just enough for a little snowman

trying out the new lens

We even made time to get out and do a little sightseeing around town.  One night we ventured out to see one of those drive-through light displays.  When we got out at the little Christmas village, they had camels you could ride!  I have to say, I kinda wanted to do it...

  Chris, Emily, Cameron, and I went downtown to visit Sun Studios.  They discovered Elvis and recorded many of the classics from back in the day.  I was surprised to learn they are still an active recording studio.

posing with the same microphone Elvis used.  Doesn't Cameron look thrilled?

Then we walked around Beale Street for a while before meeting up with Nana, Gramps, and Elijah to watch the Peabody ducks get out of the fountain and go upstairs for the night.  I think it's funny that they get these ducks to get out of the water and walk down a red carpet to the elevator every day.  It was really crowded since it was Christmas time and a bowl game was being played in Memphis.

Later that night, Cameron and I headed to the midtown area to meet up with my vet school friend, Jane Ashley.  She grew up in Arkansas just over the state line and was in town for Christmas.  I haven't seen her since we graduated and it was soooo good to catch up!

We had a wonderful time, but the trip was way too short!! 

Stay tuned for part 2...