Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Adventures of Normadillo: September Brings The Horse

In September, Normand joined us on a trip to Assateague Island.

I, for one was really excited. I've been wanting to see Chincoteague and Assateague for years. How awesome is it that wild ponies roam freely over the island.

Normand, being the small 'dillo he is wasn't so sure he wanted to meet these little horses. He took some convincing to join us. He'd seen a horse at the end of August at the county fair and he wasn't convinced that they wouldn't try to eat him.

He did, however, like the idea of going to the beach. So, to the beach he went.

Assateague is a very low lying island off of the Delmarva peninsula. It's full of lovely beaches, salt marshes, and of course ponies. Being low-lying, there are some very interesting features to the island.

The campsites were very flat.

There are trees, but they've adapted to the climate.

Humans, on the other hand, have not adapted nearly so well.

This was a road that existed on the island before a big storm hit in 1962.
There had been plans to turn it into another Hilton Head.
Chunks of pavement like this are all that's left.

Instead, it's now a state and federal park, home to protected wetlands, birds, and of course the horses.

Normandillo at the wetlands
The Ponies. Grazing. From afar.

But, the ponies didn't stay afar. They came closer to the campsites.

 And, then, once the sun went down....

They struck.

There's nothin' in this pic-a-nick basket, Boo-Boo!

The rangers warn folks as they come in, but not everyone listens to the warnings. The horses go where they want to. They know people have food. They will raid camps. (They will also bite and kick. Moral of the story, stay away from unfamiliar ponies and keep your coolers in the car....)

Normand enjoyed himself. He even made a few new friends.

Until next time.....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Old Book: Falling Over Jinxed....

So, I said some time ago that I was going to revisit the old books shelf, and on it I found an old friend that I had forgotten about sometime in the last several years. I remember being mad about this book, which is all the more hilarious, since I’ve said before things about romance novels from this era. But, I do remember there were like three or four I was absolutely head over heels for for various reasons and this was one of them. Finding I still had a copy, inspite of several moves and one blow-out garage sale worth of boxes I’d forgotten at my mom’s house was like finding a forgotten $10 in a pair of pants you haven’t worn in years and were planning on getting rid of just as soon as you tried them on one last time. 

I’m not kidding.

This book I’m gushing over is very simply an early Harlequin Romance about a girl who works at a toy factory. She is, for all intents and purposes -- although not explicitly said -- an engineer and a chemist. She is, quite possibly, the most highly educated character I’d read about up until that point. And she was in a romance novel. Bowl me over with a feather.

Jinxed by Day LeClaire was one of those books that I read first during a really formative period in my life -- I was probably in my mid teens when I got it, who knows from where, since it certainly wasn't your book, Mrs. B. It showed a woman, a highly educated woman, falling in love and finding happiness being who she was -- and who she was was a lot like me back when. And still now, although not the engineer part, or the falling in love with my boss part.... ::shudders at the thought of falling in love with any of the bosses she’s had lo these many years:: Still, my mom wasn't kidding when she said she should have named me Grace because then I’d have some.

Anyway, I’m tightly holding on to my copy of the actual book published in 1990, while still looking for the two or three others that I remember were also part of that clutch of books I loved. I highly recommend it if you can get a copy of the original story. Not so much the weird manga reprint they did sometime in the middle of the last decade.

Much love,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adventures of Normandillo: August

In August, Normand joined us on a trip to Point Lookout State park. Everything was fine until we passed a house we’d seen the previous year, and as luck would have it, their curious display was still there: Dopey and Tigger tied to posts on either side of the driveway as a warning to any other plushy that they were not welcomed there.

Needless to say, Normand was a little sensitive to the image (Poor little ‘dillo!).

(And for the sake of Normand and any sensitive readers, we are not including that photo.)
Point Lookout State Park is a beautiful stretch of historic woods and waterfront, containing the remains of a civil war prison camp. We've been going with friends for a few years now.

Normand took to camping like a fish to water, or a crab to chicken necks... more on that later....

He even found himself a perfect front row seat!

At the beach, Normand met some unusual new wildlife.

With a name like the "Cowkiller Ant,"
even Normand steered clear of this  1 1/2" long  wingless wasp!

Point Lookout State Park is on a peninsula where the Potomac empties into the Chesapeake Bay. We all enjoyed the view.

 Later, off of a dock in the small brackish marsh, Normand met some of the Maryland State crabs....

S' my chicken neck!! You let it go!!

You got a problem with me??

I am not coming over for dinners!!!
Figuring that the better part of valor was retreat, Normand joined us back at the campsite for a dinner that didn't bite back: hot dogs and s'mores.

So... are the marshmallows supposed to burn like that?
 And on the way home, we took a little side trip off the beaten track to see a piece of American history:

Until next time and the County Fair.....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A little Irreverent, but Always a Good Time

I know comics are a little out of our usual chatter, Mrs. B. And this is often NSFW, but I think I have a deep and abiding kinship with Jamie. Especially in this comic and I felt a need to share something that you, I'm sure, witnessed me doing on more than one occasion:

If you don't mind things occasionally getting risque, and sometimes they do, I definitely recommend Girls With Slingshots.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night Jitters

Mrs. B,
I am entirely on edge waiting tonight, as so many people are, for the results of the election.

While I feel a lot like this kid:

I also know that what happens today is so very important to the next four years worth of life here in these United States.

So, while I'm biting my nails, I'm also happy to know that I was part of the process.

And tomorrow, it's over.

So, don't cry, Abby. It'll be over in the morning.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tales of Normandillo: July, Part 2

So, we last left the story of our adventuresome 'dillo as we were taking our leave from the lovely wilds of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.

What followed were hours in the car with the Navidillo to lead the way:

Luckily, we have an intrepid little friend to help us navigate the wilds:
- Look! A Windmill Pylon!
- Where's Monty Python??
We go THEESE way!!
... I drive?
 We took a detour to show Normand my Alma Mater:
Nestling 'neath the purple shadows/ of the Adirondack hills/ Lies our noble alma mater,/ thoughts of whom our memory fills....

Herring Cole Hall -- Gorgeous and equally as scary to a wee 'dillo as to me.
Yes... the bookstore, where we're both at home.
 And then we were back on the road:
The original home of Life Savers is only a few miles away.
 But soon enough, we were finally there in the great lakes at the 1795 Acorn Inn:

Normand really loved the swanky digs.
 We spent the next day tooling around the area, looking at wineries and lakes.
This is a nifty stone in Canandaigua
We were all wondering where this road was....
I wonder where this road goes?

At the end of the day, though, Normand made a new friend: Ruby the Carfox.

Until next time. And Point Lookout State Park.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy (and Haunted) Halloween, Mrs. B.

So, last week, I was in Long Beach and I found this guy:

And a wonderful, haunted old cruise ship:

Of course, there's nothing like coming home to my spooky little cat:

And my own haunted house:

I'm going to read some of my favorite frightener books today and just hope for fewer tricks than treats. 

Happy Halloween, Mrs. B 
(and to all of the Halloween Babies out there, Happy Birthday)!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pride, Prejudice, and my Passion for Austen

Okay, perhaps not so surprising, but I have a deep and abiding love for the works (and derivative works) of Jane Austen. She has so many great characters, but Elizabeth Bennett is one of my favorites.

So, of course when I found out about this, I watched every episode I could:

(Beware, Mrs. B. These are ridiculously habit forming)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Adventures of Normandillo: July, Part 1

Hello Mrs. B.,

Normand reminded me I'm still very behind in telling you about his adventures this summer.

In July, Normand joined my SO and I on a trip northward to visit my family for the 4th of July. Immediately, Normand found the best seat possible.

As we found out, he isn't just an armadillo, he's a navidillo and he insisted on charting our course from the cushy seat of the Garmin's pillow. .

He seemed really excited to go that far north -- within sight of the Canadian border -- as he'd never been. Apparently, he thought there would be snow. He was disappointed, but only briefly. There were too many friends to make, things to see, and exciting things for him to do.

He spent several lovely evenings along Lake Champlain.

Point Au Fer, New York, Lake Champlain
Cumberland Head, New York, Lake Champlain

 With ducks,
Normand with Bill the Duck

New Friend!
 Having drinks,
It's a big glass for a small armadillo.
A tea party
He even saw a small seamonster:

Not Champy. Actually, I think it was a baby otter...

It being the 4th, he got to see how a small town does Independence Day. 


and Fireworks:

But even with all of this, Normand was still up for more, so he came with us to the Finger Lakes....

To be continued....