Friday, February 27, 2009

I've ZORBED, have you?

Since I had so much fun posting the pictures last time, I figured I would introduce you all to one of my all-time favorite vacations in a little collage :)

Last year in April, my husband, sister, her boyfriend, and I decided to take a road trip. It all started when we saw a commercial for a truck, and in the back of the truck was a giant bubble ball (see the Superbowl commercials do pay off!). We had to know what it was so we looked it up online and were introduced to the craziness that is Zorb'ing. A company in Australia created the Zorb ball, and there are only a handful of locations throughout the world, the only one in the US being in Tennessee. So that is where we were headed. After a brief stop in Washington and some artsy photo ops, we were off for the 10 hour scenic drive to Tennessee!

We stayed in a beautiful log cabin in Pigeon Forge, but of course the hot tub was the best feature!

There was lots to do in Pigeon Forge and surrounding towns like Gatlinburg. We hit up it seemed like every shop on the strip, each with an old western store front, and of course the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum!! It had this awesome green-wall we spent about an hour in front of, it would take your picture and capture your shadow! And you can't forget all of the majestic views and trailways of the Smokey Mountains!

And the highlight, the very reason for the trip, was to have our ZORB adventure. As we pulled up to the Zorb center, this is what we saw:

Oh that's right, the whole point is to get in the ball:

And roll down the hill :)

It was the best ride of my life!!!!! With water (just like a water slide):


And without (this was quite the bumpy ride, you actually register G-Forces!):

Aaahhh yes... what would a vacation be without rolling down a backwoods hill in a giant bubble ball. It was a dream come true :) And sadly, it was time to leave before we knew it, though we had to stay a night in Gettysburg and drive through Ahmish country on the way home in order to truly call it a road trip.

Vacation or not, remember to be silly, enjoy life, and always remember how to get home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Truly the only good thing about Monday's is the Not Me! Monday. Otherwise you give up the rested and stress free day full of possibilities for a chaotic day full of the drone of work, with the dream of another care-free day as your weekend alter-ego sadly over 5 days away. So here's to Monday :)

No I did not spend another entire weekend on the couch watching movies and coming up with excuses not to leave the comfort of my living room cave. Me, being a wonderful friend, would never put off visiting one of my oldest friends in the hospital after she just had her first baby, a sweet little girl, because my husband said he needed new clothes and I needed an excuse to hide. And I would never therein convince him to buy more clothes to make him spend the same amount I wanted to spend so I wouldn't feel guilty.

No, my life has not become that pathetically apathetic and boring that this is all I can come up with. Not much fodder when all you do is lay about. This week will be more exciting, though it should be pretty easy to top last week. I hope I can get back to rock climbing and the zoo (if all goes well today), and there's never a dull moment when my mom has my life by a rope and can't remember how to tie it to the anchor, or when Spanky the porcupine tries to climb my leg while Frida the saki monkey simultaneously pees on me. Oh the good life... I miss that....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Consumer Woes

Gggrrrr.... I am compelled to do a little bashing of a particular matress manufacturer, and for purposes of anonymity, we'll refer to this company as STEALY (wink and a smile). I purchased a STEALY mattress just over 5 years ago. The mattress has a 10 year warranty against sagging and body impressions. Only 2 years into our relationship with this mattress, we were having issues with pretty bad body impressions (this is where my husband can't move to close to my side of the bed for fear of falling into my particular crevice and crushing me to death - the best thing about weekends is when he is forced to go sleep on the couch due to intense back pain, and I get to sleep on the "hump" in between our two crevaces). The reason we think they are so bad is because we got a super-soft pillow top. The way they test for whether this meets the warranty?? Honest to goodness, they put a piece of wood across the bed, and measure the space between the wood and the pillow top. Mind you, they have to measure from the highest point, as there are indents from the quilted texture of the pillow top. For starters that is not fair in my mind regardless of the fact that ITS A PILLOW TOP. How do you really tell how bad body impressions in a bed are by just measuring the pillow-y surface??? Needless to say we were denied.

Three years after the fact and I have to put in another claim or we are honestly going to start sleeping on the floor, my back would hurt less and I'd probably sleep better. Apparently the company I bought the mattress from no longer handles the warranty, I have to go directly through STEALY. I called, requested a claim form be sent to me (you have to leave a message, there's no other choice), never got it, tried again and this time tried the "Claim Status" option, and the woman says, Well that method of requesting a form doesn't always work. ??????? Anyhoo, I finally get the form, fill out more information than when I bought my house, and submit the claim. On January 29th. Today I called for a status, because its 3 weeks later and I haven't heard anything. The woman on the phone today says, Oh, we haven't even gotten to that week, we are still working on January 21st. I sat in stunned silence, and she said, Hello? I said, I'm here, I'm just trying to digest how a company can operate with those metrics as the acceptable standard. I mean, you expect a little delay, but honestly, she said it will be at least 3 more weeks! Which means that STEALY mattress company expects you to submit a claim and as a standard wait 6 weeks before they even touch it. At which point the only thing they do is schedule an inspection, probably for another 6 weeks out, where the inspector comes in and with his advanced "stick" technology will again try to tell me the impressions are not deep enough. I will ask him to sleep on it for even just an hour (warm milk, blankets, and a story will be provided) and tell me what he thinks then. I think they are trying to wear me out, but I will win, if I have to call every single day for the next 5 years I will get a new mattress. I don't want anything fancy, I'm not looking to scam them, I just want my warranty to do what it actually says its supposed to do. Why why why do companies have to be so dishonest and unloyal?? I will never get it. So, the moral of the tale?? DON'T BY A "STEALY" MATTRESS!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moment of clarity

Its been a while as I've been having a lot of trouble thinking of something to write about. I kept hoping for something positive to come up or for something to strike me as funny that I could comment on... I've got squat. I'm sure things have come up, my brain just hasn't retained any of it. I seem to have lost the ability to make any sort of decisions for myself as well. Unless someone says, Do this, I just sit on the couch and watch TV, I'm absolutely pathetic and I've gained 10 pounds in 3 weeks (apparently the one thing I can decide is that I'm hungry, all the time). It twill get better I know, so for now I'm just hanging in there and hanging very tightly onto my tub o'ice cream.

I believe I have figured out the key to happiness. Odd timing in my life for this particular revelation, I know, and a little random, but stay with me. I don't think happiness is a life without sadness. Somewhere I picked up this ideal that life can be the bowl of cherries, if I only accomplish a little more, get one more project done, earn one more dollar, help one more person, figure out one more of life's lessons, then I will get it. I will have figured out how to live my life stress free, how to truly be happy and live in the moment. But its not realistically sustainable. Sadness happens. It devastates the stress free, living in the moment life. It seems to me, to truly find happiness is to experience the lows (sadly its where the lessons are learned), lean on those you love (its where the relationships are made), and enjoy the happiness in between (the living in the stress free moment). I heard it put this way the other day, when your heart is broken it only grows back bigger*. And you have to go through that, through those trying experiences in life, the ones that test your resolve to the core, in order to be able to love bigger and appreciate the beauty and tranquility. Happiness is accepting the sorrow, the alternative is constantly being disapointed in the ying yang balance. Happiness is learning to live stress free, in the moment, knowing that the happiness you experience today will be offset by tragedy tomorrow in the karmic circle of life. But knowing that you will come out the other side to happiness again.

Then again, I think happiness is different for everyone, so sleep well even if this makes absolutely no sense to you, its the mindless rant of a couch potato.

*I figured out where I heard this before, and I must attribute this particular theory to John Cusack, the one and only, courteosy of Must Love Dogs. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Passing Time

Hope, a fertile seed, a blooming rose,
keeps the candle burning.
Flame, ablaze in the heart, like
the glowing embers of a ceremonial pyre,
carries the desire for understanding.
Agony, is this waiting, unable to move.
Hardly breathing for the turmoil
compressing my very spirit.
But for my love, surely this adventure would
be my end. Forever by my side, locked in spirit
and heart, we will walk through the fire.
Unknown are the obstacles we will confront.
Without doubt we will face them together.
And today's sorrow will grace us
with tomorrow's hope.
~ From Beans, with love, to Cakes ~