Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Well, today was the Thanksgiving Day parade here in St. Louis.  The Artist wasn’t partial on going, but insisted we go for my sake- I really wanted to go, and he knew how much fun it would be.  I have only been to the small town Creemore Ontario parades…..and let me tell you- this was crazy different!  There were marching bands, dancers, singers, performing on stilts, people in costumes, people doing flips, girl scouts, police, fire fighters, the mayor, all of the various “Miss_____” winners in the area, animals, church groups, local organizations, the Grinch, Ronald McDonald….the  works.  It was so cold, our camera didn’t power up all the time, so this isn’t even the half of it!

It was amazing.  I have never been to anything like that before!

It was a sunny day, but VERY cold.  We bundled up, and braved it.  By the end, we were dying to get in the car and blast the heat on the way home.

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Waiting for it to start.

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Police officers lead the way!

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The Artist had the right idea….warming up in the nearby Starbucks! I joined him after a few minutes lol the parade was about 2 hours long!

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The Artist had the right idea....he was warming up in a nearby Starbucks, and I didn't last long outside before I joined him.  The parade was about 2 hours long, and I could no longer feel my toes.  I waddled over, hardly able to walk- it was FREEZING!

The Artist had the right idea….he was warming up in a nearby Starbucks, and I didn’t last long outside before I joined him. The parade was about 2 hours long, and I could no longer feel my toes. I waddled over, hardly able to walk- it was FREEZING!

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Santa was the final float of the parade, but I had to take a photo from Starbucks because I was cold to the bone.

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The only way I could get my feet warm!!! HAHA!

All in all, it was a great morning, and a great start to the Thanksgiving holiday here.  We are not visiting home for the extra long holiday- the Artist gets 3 days off plus the weekend!.  Canadian Thanksgiving was in October and our families celebrated the long weekend there, and because of the clashing calendars, we weren’t able to make it.  But we will be home for the Christmas holiday in a few weeks!

If there is one thing I learned from the parade, it is that I wish I was in a marching band.  But the true dilemma is…should I play an instrument?  Dance?  Baton or flag twirl?  Conduct?  They all look so fun.  I used to play the piano and the flute back in the day.- and I was pretty awesome 😉  It came naturally to me.  I could sight read pretty well.  I took piano lessons for years and never even owned a piano at home to practice on!  I had a little kiddie keyboard thing that had like 1-2 octaves- ha!  But I was awesome still.  And if my previous music teachers are reading this, close your eyes and close the window lol….because I never practiced.  But I got A’s and perfect quiz scores, aced my theory homework, and performed in front of several audiences, including our local Creemore Christmas parade!  I think we sat on a wagon with hay bails, but it was still super fun.  I also love dance.  I danced hip hop and ice dancing for several years back in the day as well, and loved it.  I love performing in general.  Performing with our school band was such a thrill for me, there are no words to describe the satisfaction I got.

Me: I want to be in the parade!  Aww, I want to be in a marching band too.

Artist: (Looks at me and smiles)

Random little girl: I want to be in a parade!

Me: Ha, I just said the same thing as that little girl…..hey look they are giving out candy!

Artist: I knew just by your body language you were looking to see if they were throwing candy from those stockings.

Me: (smiles cutely as the World Bird Sanctuary float passes us with very cool, huge birds) Aw, I have heard fun thing about that place, we should go!

Artist: And did you hear these things from your friends who took their kids there?

Me: Ya.  But still, it will be fun!

Artist: Ok I will take you if you are good 😉

The Artist is always telling me how I always want to do the kids stuff.  But come on, who doesn’t want to get their face painted on the 4th of July?  Go to Wild Bird Sanctuary and see eagles and owls?  Decorate shortbread cookies at the Delmar Ice Festival?  Eat cotton candy at fairs?  Go mini putting?  Enjoy a slushie or Icee?  Wear temporary tattoos during the Terry Fox Run, Christmas eve, Canada Day, etc.?  Especially a cute little one on your cheek?  Watch cartoons, especially when you aren’t feeling well?

Sounds like fun to me!  And we always have a good time.  And besides, the Artist is a very playful, mischievous person, and he brings it out in me.  If there is anyone who understands playfulness and fun little things, no matter how insane or absurd, it is my Artist.  Like from the movie Step Brothers, “don’t lose your dinosaur”.  Steve never lost his, and helped me resurrect mine.  And now, I think it will be impossible to ever forget ❤

Once again, happiness, truly is, contagious.

 

 

 

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A Night Out- Loving Life.

The most recent outing the Artist and I had together was to a midnight showing at a local theatre of Ghostbusters.  Tickets are only $3, and instead of regular movie theatre chairs they have big comfy couches and tables.  There is even a lounge, bar, and of course a concession stand.  I even had a coupon for a free popcorn!  It is in a unique building, with interesting architecture and design.  I had never seen the movie before, so we decided to treat ourselves.  I am a HUGE fan of Bill Murray, so obviously I found Ghostbusters hilarious!  There were members of the St. Louis Ghostbusters club there, in costume- which was awesome, to tell us about the movie a little, the club, and Ecto-Con- which is a Ghostbusters convention here in St. Louis.  It was pretty cool, I wish I brought our camera to the theatre so I could get my picture taken with them.  Their costumes and props were AMAZING.  Here we are all dressed up and ready to rock:

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I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.  I am so happy, despite tight budgets and not the most desirable circumstances.  If we can be this happy together when we are just starting out, I can’t even imagine later on when we embark on even more journeys together.  I feel like I have such a good, ridiculously awesome marriage, it is like I am in a separate realm of things.  It is this happiness, having it with my Artist, that stems anxiety in places that I never thought twice about before.  Routine tonsillectomy when I was single and care free?  No problem.  Now, thinking of having a routine surgery is scary, because I have a husband and an amazing future I can’t wait to experience, and being sedated freaks me a little.  Or watching a sappy movie while single and care free?  I could giggle at those crying.  Now?  I cry my eyes out!  Putting myself in that situation in the movie, and I can’t help but cry a little.  The power of true love and happiness is amazing.

When the Artist and I are saying goodbye, whether one of us is heading out, he has class, etc. we always kiss, exchange I love yous, hugs, and give well wishes.  Because really- anything can happen in the world.  And when we reunite, we embrace so lovingly, and we are so thankful we were able to come home to one another, yet once again.  We chat about our days, getting excited to hear about the other’s good news and funny stories.  We try to keep healthy for one another too.  I worry about my health sometimes, always wanting things to be perfect.  When I was single?  A little cold or medication adjustment was no big deal- I didn’t think twice about it.  But now, they pose as a potential threat to my amazing life.  I don’t want to miss a single day because I have a cold.  I don’t want to have any sort of illness that could harm me.  I want every day to be just as magical as the last.  I don’t want my Artist to be sick and stuck in bed, I want him to be healthy and happy, so we can have the best day possible-every day.  I want the both of us to be stress free, because spending the day feeling overwhelmed and dealing with the problem to get it fixed, means that is one day less that we have together in pure bliss.

I used to feel much more stressed and worried about small things, or things that don’t even exist.  I am guilty of frequently worrying about the “what ifs”.  But I have gotten so much better since I have met the Artist.  The other realm of happiness we experience is so wonderful, that relishing in it and enjoying it is all I have room for.  I don’t want to waste any time worrying about a what-if type situation, I want to give my full self, and be 100% present during our time together.  I want to enjoy it fully, and not have a part of my brain secretly thinking about something else.  Yes, I still am a worrier, and think too much about the what-ifs, especially on and around the time of a doctor’s appointment.  But the improvements I have made are outstanding.  I never thought it possible.  My coping skills have really developed in a such a positive way.  I never thought it possible to be so content in life.  I love living in the city.  I love living in the country.  I love being busy and working hard on my career.  I love being at home, and taking on homemaker roles.  I love going out.  I love lounging around.  I love everything.

I love life.

 

 

Never Lose Your Dinosaur.

You know that twinkle in a little child’s eye when they get into mischief?  Or when they are being silly?  Or that little smile that cracks over their lips?  That twinkle and that smile is something my Artist has never grown out of ❤  And I love it.  Sometimes I catch it and know I have just seconds before something silly will happen, and I find myself with a huge smile and uncontrollably laughing.  For example; spitting ice cold water on me when I am in the shower, setting something up to fall as soon as I walk by, placing a random object balanced perfectly or upside down in a strange place like on top of the TV or door frame, coming in for what I think is a hug but is actually a trap for being tickled to death, or coming in for a hug but it is really a trap for his ice cold hands to warm up on my back or neck, or pretending to eat something weird.  These are just a few.  The possibilities are endless.  But I love it.

Just the other day a friend asked me how I am liking his longer hair and beard.  I love it.  It looks great on him, he can pull it off.  It suits his personality so well.  And when paired with his style- wow.  He does his hair so well, has various glasses to go with his clothes, and shoes, and it all just works together.  And he can pull off crazy combinations like wearing plaid and stripes at the same time, or plaid and plaid, or whatever.  It is such a good representation of who he is, and it just “works” for him.

The inspiration of this post comes from the other day.  He approaches me with that twinkle in his eye, and a hint of that smile.  I immediately know he has ice cold water in his mouth, because otherwise his smile would be different.  And he can’t talk either or he will spill the water.  As I am realizing this, he moves in for a “hug” and I can’t escape.  With his eyes closed, as if this is normal, he soaks me with the water.  And sometimes he has a glass of it stashed in a convenient place to grab.  Wow, this sounds insane.  But, it is fun!  In this heat, having a water fight in the house is a great way to cool off and laugh and be silly 😀  It is who we are, it is our normal.

It makes me smile and laugh, and even join in on the silliness!  It keeps things interesting, and fun.  Even in the most stressful of times, laughter is truly the best medicine.  I love my Artist for who he is, and I wouldn’t ever change a thing.  He is, as I like to tease, “wonderfully crazy”.  Using the metaphor from the movie Step Brothers; the Artist an never lost his dinosaur, and has helped me resurrect mine ❤

A recent photo of his long hair and beard.

A recent photo of his long hair and beard.

Fun and games at the park.

Fun and games at the park.

Silly putty fun, balancing on top of a pop bottle.

Silly putty fun, balancing on top of a pop bottle.

I got him a mini slinky for Christmas.

I got him a mini slinky for Christmas.

Some frozen fries fell in an interesting shape, so he added to it.

Some frozen fries fell in an interesting shape, so he added to it.

At the park.

At the park.

At the park.

At the park.

Just a few photos I could find capturing some of our fun and games.  As the Artist sits beside me on the other laptop, I hear “oh look, chainsaws are on sale at Harbour Freight Tools”…..I can’t help but smile.  This weekend has been lots of fun. It is a holiday, so no school for the Artist…I wonder what today will bring. ❤

To Canada and Back.

The last 2 weeks the Artist and I have been in Ontario, Canada to visit family and friends.  It has been amazing.  I found myself not taking too many photos, in comparison to the huge amounts of fun adventures we embarked on, and that “urge” to snap shots of fun times just wasn’t there.  But all for a good reason- I was too busy talking and visiting with everyone, time passed me by in an instant.  I was too consumed in enjoying the moments that taking photos seemed unimportant next to actually experiencing the adventures.

The drive there took 17.5 hours, which is pretty long….too long actually.  There was traffic, construction, and a line at the border, all of which added up.  We stopped overnight at a cheap motel, which was such a treat.  We ate late night junk food from burger joints and convenience stores, enjoyed the most comfortable bed and pillows ever (waaay better then the fancy places!), a hot shower, and cable TV.  It was just glorious.  The Artist and I fantasized about what it would be like to vacation like this for more then 1 night…….one day.

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our room

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Smurf milk for breakfast.

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After we arrived, right away we had “business” to take care of with things like health insurance, doctor’s appointments, etc.  On the way home from these, we got some Pad Thai.  I have yet to find a restaurant that tops the Mango Tree in Barrie for Pad Thai.  There are no words to describe it.  It is perfection.

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Of course I also had to try on my wedding dress.  Not only does it still fit, but it is loose fitting!  The Artist and I are about to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary this month.  Every time I put on this dress, I am transported back to our wedding day.  What an amazing day.  Simple, small, and cheap, but it was everything I wanted in a wedding- because all I wanted was to marry my Artist.  Nothing else mattered to me.  I wasn’t after the “dream wedding”, but rather, the dream marriage.  And I have it.  Nothing could have changed the way I felt holding my dad’s arm walking down the aisle to marry the Artist.  Nothing.  I could have been wearing pyjamas, and I still would have felt the same.  I get a little teary every time I think about it, I am so truly happy with my beloved Artist, there are no words to describe the feeling.

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On another note, Creemore was freezing!  It was so chilly I borrowed Char’s slippers.  They were pretty big on my tiny feet, but they were so fuzzy and warm!  They reminded me of the Smurfs.  And I only had brought 1 sweater, which wasn’t very thick, but I layered up.

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I even made some homemade peach popsicles, the same as on my previous posts, because they are my favourite snack, even when it is cold.  My mom had these moulds from my childhood, they were really tiny with little bears on the sticks.  She always made us homemade popsicles, the most common flavour being Tang.

 

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We did lots of eating while in Canada, and here are some spicy peanut kabobs I made when everyone else was having steak- I am not a beef lover.

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And then of course we did some camping with my parents and sister and brother-in-law.  The photos are dark, but this was Sherilee’s first time eating s’mores!  Obviously being the chocolate lover that she is, she loved them.  The 2 of us had them for lunch the next day 😀

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Pork souvlaki kabobs with BBQ roasted mini potatoes with cheese and sugar snap peas….not too bad for roughing it eh?

 

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My Artist is so good at making and maintaining camp fires.  Awww, look at that face!  I just love him so much ❤

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We woke up on the last morning to find some animals had gotten into our food, and left no trace of an entire loaf of bread!!!!!  So my mom improvised, and used hotdog buns to make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.  I was a little skeptical, but everyone who knows my mother- don’t under estimate her 😉

 

 

 

 

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We went for walks, shopping, watched satellite TV (we don’t have cable, so we caught up on our favourite shows!), went sailing, driving, I practiced driving our standard car lots, met up with friends, went swimming, went to the beach, and countless other adventures.  We did lots of visiting with family, and friends.  Ate lots of good food.  Had countless great laughs, until my eyes watered and my cheeks hurt.  Great heart-to-hearts, conversation, and we even squeezed in a trip to the Creemore Farmer’s market (where we ate Mama Marie’s perogies, Angie’s Place jerk chicken, and a local farmers muffins and butter tarts- we were stuffed afterwards) and out for ice cream at Mr. Norm’s Nephew.  I even got to satisfy my poutine craving!  I am so lucky to have such an amazing family, everyone is so supportive and generous, and love the Artist like their own.

My mom is so thoughtful, she sent these home with us so we could have a little Canadian homey touch in our St. Louis kitchen.  We LOVE Swiss Chalet, but there are none here, so she bought us some marinade and dip.  And the cookies are not only delicious, but a chlidhood favourite with a wonderful nostalgia attached to them.  They remind me of bummin’ around at home in the summers outside on the farm, watering the garden with my dad when I was in my pyjamas and supposed to be getting ready for bed, and hanging out with my mom.  The Golden Graham bars are a new product that are a variation of a discontinued childhood favourite as well, bringing back the same great memories, and are of course delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have the best family.  My mom is like my best girly friend, my dad and I have the greatest talks about life, I enjoy just hanging out with my brothers and being goofy with Sean, I look up to Sherilee and Allan- you guys are so awesome I don’t even know where to start!  My aunt Char has been like a second mom to me, my grandparents are the most generous, supportive, hilarious people I know.  I love listening to their anecdotes about life, and learning about my family history.  I could seriously so on and on about each family member and how incredible they are, and the same goes for the Artist’s family.  But I don’t need to say it, you all know.  Thanks for a wonderful visit, we can’t wait for next time!

P.S.  It is still hot as heck in St. Louis!  I was sweating to death while unpacking…yuck.

Botanical Gardens

The other day the Artist and I went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  We have been once before, and it is just beautiful.  It is so huge, that you definitely need to go several times to see everything, and I think having been twice we still haven’t seen it all.  The best part is, for residents of the city and county, which we are, it is free admission on Wednesday and Saturday mornings before noon.

We went the first time for the Artist’s birthday.  I know, we got in for free, but it was still his present from me.  It was the thought that counted, and when I realized it was free it was just a bonus.  The Artist had been curious about plants and gardening lately, so I thought he would really enjoy going- and he loved it.  Right away he started his own plants and reading all about the things he saw, and got super excited about it all.  This time when we went, he was an expert on a lot things, and I got a “free tour” of sorts.  He could name everything and tell me interesting facts about them, much like the style when we go to an art museum, he knows all the details.  He is such a learner, reader, and thinker on so many topics and such, it amazes me.  I love this quality about the Artist.  It is something that you don’t see too often, and I treasure it.  His curiosity is not only utterly amazing, it always awakes my own.  And I think that when 2 people really bounce off one another like we do, it is refreshing.  We feed off one another- with support, encouragement, motivation, and love.  The Artist says that I am so smart, he is just trying to keep up with me.  It makes my heart so happy that I make him feel motivated and determined.  But, that is also how I feel about him.  Which motivates me to take steps further in my own career and goals.  And this circle is always in motion.  But this particular day, it was curiosity that we were bouncing around, and it was great.  We had a great time.  Got some sun and fresh air, it was a nice leisurely, long walk through the trails, and we went out for doughnuts before hand, despite my last post about healthy living.  I restricted myself to just one.

There is this little local doughnut shop that is a big hit in St. Louis, called World’s Fair Do-Nuts.  So we decided to check it out.  By the suggestion of a friend, I tried the buttermilk cake doughnut, and the Artist tried a regular glazed, and a buttermilk cake as well, and got a coffee of course.  For 3 doughnuts and a coffee, it cost like $2.50.  So cheap.  This buttermilk cake doughnut was so mouth-watering delicious, it was gone in 2 seconds and I sad I didn’t buy more.  It moved me almost to tears- it was that good.

Here are some photos from our visit to the gardens.

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A crazy looking aloe plant.

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When these flowers grow, they become like a huge ball.

When these flowers grow, they become like a huge ball.

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A Cardinal.

A Cardinal.

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The Artist having his coffee.

The Artist having his coffee.

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These fish were huge.

These fish were huge.

The Artist capturing me at my surprise.

The Artist capturing me at my surprise.

These leaves were huge.

These leaves were huge.

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Dwarf pomegranate tree.  I want one!

Dwarf pomegranate tree. I want one!

These were gorgeous.

These were gorgeous.

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Beautiful area to walk in.

Beautiful area to walk in.

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Taking a break, it was crazy hot.

Taking a break, it was crazy hot.

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This building is super humid, is has lots of tropical plants and stuff needing high heat and humidity.

This building is super humid, is has lots of tropical plants and stuff needing high heat and humidity.

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And oh boy was it a hot one.  Lots of sweating and water bottle refills.  It was quite humid and sticky.  But we still have a fun time.

Nothing pleases me more then spending time together.  When it is time for special occasions and gift giving, I always say I don’t care what we do, eat, or even if we exchange gifts.  But it is the truth- I don’t care.  Just having the time together is what I am looking forward to.  The restaurant or the home cooking or the movie or place or whatever, is not important.  What is important is that I get to be with my Artist.  And the Artist feels the same way, he doesn’t care either- which makes for a long drawn out decision making process of what we will do because neither of us care about the where or the what, but rather, the who- that is, being with each other.

A Picnic in the Park

I have been looking up different ideas for picnic style food for the Artist and I to take picnics together, and enjoy some sun and fresh air.  We don’t have a backyard or patio, or even a balcony, so picnics and park time are common for us.  I wanted to bring more then just snacks for us, and bring really creative, delicious things too.  But time and time again, my research lead me to one key main food that is apparently a classic: fried chicken.  Is this an American thing?  I feel like fried chicken wouldn’t be ideal on a picnic.  It would be greasy, crumbs would be everywhere, and there is lots of bones and stuff to discard somewhere.  Just really messy in general.  But, tradition got the best of me and we brought fried chicken.  I don’t remember the last time I had fried chicken, but let me tell you, it was insanely delicious.  Yes, it was messy.  Yes, it was greasy.  Yes, there were crumbs everywhere.  And yes, we had lots of napkin garbage and bones.  But wow, was it ever good.  I see people eating fried chicken all the time around here.  Picnics, outings, packed in lunches, carrying bags full of take out, and even pulling tupperware out of a bag or purse and eating it while shopping.  But now I understand.  It is just so good.  Seriously, so beautifully delicious.  Actually, it was so good, I was wolfing it down like an animal, and for sure passers by were staring at me in my nice dress, sitting on a blanket in the grass, stuffing my face with chicken.  Although, next time I need prepare for mad sweet cravings that come afterwards, because I couldn’t get my mind off of ice cream.  I definitely need something sweetsy afterwards.  Lesson learned.

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The Artist grabbed his book afterwards, and settled down to read.

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But I got out some magic bubbles where you can touch them with your hand or have them land on the grass without popping, normal bubbles too of course, and some silly putty.  I couldn’t concentrate on reading just yet, my mind was still going nuts for something sweetsy and we didn’t bring anything, haha! 😉

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The Artist couldn't resist playing with the magic bubbles too ;)

The Artist couldn’t resist playing with the magic bubbles too 😉

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A bubble landed in my hair!

A bubble landed in my hair!

Silly Putty bracelet.

Silly Putty bracelet.

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Me playing with silly putty, making my newest creation.

Me playing with silly putty, making my newest creation.

A silly putty braid.

A silly putty braid.

A nice fountain, the sound of water is so relaxing.

A nice fountain, the sound of water is so relaxing.

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Gorgeous skies.

Gorgeous skies.

Our setup.

Our setup.

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Tons of bunnies!

Tons of bunnies!

We spent a really long time here, it was a gorgeous afternoon, nice and warm but not so hot that you can’t take a breath of air without feeling faint.  Early dinner, goofing around, and some reading.  It was a really nice time together, and this was just at the park nearby.  It was our first time here, and we have decided that we want to return often.  Even if it is just for an hour to read before the sun goes down.

P.S. The nice, amazing, sweet thing the artist did for me lately: tell me how wonderful I look in a simple dress, sandals, and no makeup on.  Go on a creative rampage and make tons of art while I was out.  And then get excited to show me and tell me all about it when I got home.  The nice, amazing, sweet thing I have done for the artist lately: prepare his coffee for him while he was still sleeping before I left the house, made him an “everything” sandwich for lunch the other day (chicken, bacon, mixed greens, tomato, and mayo, on a warm ciabatta bun), and tell him how much I love his creative rampages and how excited I get to hear all about it upon discovery.

 

P.S. #2- The artist cracks me up.  As I type, he tells me how hungry he just became.

The Artist- I just entered the bad place.

Me- (laughing)

The Artist- What are we doing for dinner?

Me- (laughing)

The Artist- I need to know if you’re with me on this, or I will just end up eating sticks of butter.

Me- (laughing harder)  Just grab something handy so you can get your mind back to think about a meal.

The Artist- I need to eat something huge.  (flops on the couch in a hunger coma)

I can relate, I felt this earlier today when I ate a late lunch.  And I still haven’t recovered.