Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The ever beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge

with its Christmas tree.

Enjoying the convertible

Enjoying the convertible, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

as we head to Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge

John on Ak tram.

John on Ak tram., originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Our car is close to entrance but John insisted on the tram "just to check out the new doors". Not to avoid walking, of course.


Dinosaur!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

I like not holding on and letting the seatbelt do the job. It makes for a more wild, fun ride!

Beautiful Animal Kingdom

Beautiful Animal Kingdom, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Perfect moment for a break.


Rafiki!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Beautiful day so we're taking the walk and enjoying the train!

This guy is picking people for Animal Kingdom parade.

I tried so hard to show I'd be good for it - it's a dream of mine! But I didn't get in. :(

John's ready to start his Disney day!

Disney transportation went to a new level!

Monday, November 29, 2010

John in Italy

John in Italy, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

"in the land of his people"!

Via Napoli!

Via Napoli!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Another new experience. Like the food especially the 4 cheese pizza.

The Wold Showcase Lagoon in Epcot!

We stopped to have a snack from the French bakery after seeing the pavilion's film. Thought I'd show the atmosphere.

'ullo guv!

'ullo guv!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Spot o' Woodpecker Cider? Cool your thirst while you wait for World Showclase Players!

A message outside Test Track.

A message outside Test Track., originally uploaded by eblackwell.

John thinks it's the squirrels trying to tell us something.

But some effects were like

But some effects were like Gumby; bad guys foreshadowed the Borg; and the end I called the USS Skittles: fly the rainbow!

We saw "Captain EO", or

We saw "Captain EO", or as John called it during the opening bit "Honey, I shrunk the meteor". It was fun to see for nostalgia.

Headed for Epcot!

Headed for Epcot!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

So John has a smile on his face even though we just found out the dogs spent the first night howling for us and John left his cell phone charger in the hotel Saturday night. Luckily mine works for his too. Epcot, here we come!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We're leaving for Florida! It

We're leaving for Florida! It was hard leaving the dogs behind, but my brother-in-law will take good care of them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our dog Casey is 17 today!

I can't believe it: 17!  And at the end of January, she'll have been with us for 17 years too.  Hard to believe it's been that long since we brought home this tiny 2 pound puppy.  We weren't sure how much she weighed, so when we took her to PetSmart for a collar, John put her on the dog scale.  She was so small, she didn't register.  So we put her in the bird feed scale!

We had John's dog Trooper at the time, and would sadly lose him 2 weeks later.  John was selling cars then and told me he couldn't face coming home and not having his dog running up to meet him.  Casey, he pointed out, hadn't learned to do that yet.  I waited for his car to pull up, then gave Casey this little scooch towards the door when I heard him outside.  But I gave her too much of a scooch and she tumbled head over heels.  She landed just as John walked in the door, so excited to see Casey having "run" to the door to meet him!

He's always been her favorite, and trusts him completely.  They have a great, unique bond, right from the beginning.  They used to play this game we called "Bounce".  He'd turn her on her back on the bed, then spread his hand over her middle.  Then he'd bounce her like a ball!  She loved it!  As long as he did it....

She has the terrier spirit, always backing up her sisters' play whether it was Cinder chasing ducks in a icy winter pond, or helping Morgan take on 2 Great Danes.  It's always been her world that we were allowed to use.  She was alpha and to this day, she insists she will not follow Elphie as pack leader.  She will not be a follower, but stay respectfully retired.  And if Rico and Elphie do push it, she will find the fire inside to put them back in place.

We've been through a lot together and I pray every year to please give us more with her.

Look at me! I'm a trading card!

My card is part of the Team series in the All Ears Trading card set.  They're brand new as well as a lot more cards for the December meets!  You can see where you can meet the All Ears team on our appearances page.  And don't forget the All Ears Twitter Hunt!

The cards are really popular!  They're the brain child of Barrie Brewer, one of our staff photographers.  She's doing a fantastic job with them and already has a long list of requests for new series that will come out in 2011.  Barrie also has a Disney World calendar that she sells with all proceeds going to Deb Wills' Breast Cancer Walk.

But how cool is this?  I'm a collectible!  And very proud to be part of the All Ears Team. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The All Ears.Net Twitter Hunt!

Check it out: the first ever All Ears Twitter Hunt!
All Ears is having a new type of event as part of our big Meets weekend (12/2 to 12/6)! Something fun, different, and a spontaneous, quick way for you to meet people on the All Ears team.

Here's how it works:

1: Follow our allearshunt Twitter account.
2: Erin Blackwell of our team will tweet her location in Disney World at some point during the weekend.
3: Hunt down where she is and receive trading cards and swag! Other team members may also be there to say hi.

See our Behind the Ears Staff Biographies page (http://allears.net/btp/behind.htm) to learn more about Erin. She will also describe herself in the tweet and will wear a button with the Twitter Hunt logo.

Erin will stay in her position for 30 minutes to give you time to reach her.

We're starting with one of these Twitter Hunt "quick meets". Please give your feedback if you like it and want to see more of them!

You can read about it on the event's facebook page and the allearshunt Twitter page.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ugh, I'm feeling peevish.

I got a little hurt when helping someone cover their pool. The weights rolled, the cover suddenly slipped, and I was tossed over the side.  Luckily, I caught myself but my ankle's a little sore in the tendons, a few toes look like someone tried pulling them off with pliers, and worst.. my lower back is a knot.  I thought I could take care of it with heat and ibprofen (also Execrin Back and Body), but that would be a big No.  So I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning.

I'm amazed of just how many times you use your back without knowing it.  I know now!  I'm getting sick of this heating pad and hurting just by sitting up.  And what really sucks is: I missed my great-nephews' Christening today.  :(

To add sour icing to the cake, I just got a string of rejections for jobs I really, really wanted.  I swore I had all the qualifications, but... no. 

Time to read something funny....


Oh yeah, those laughs were worth the back pain!  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My aunt honored with induction to Hall of Fame.

One of my favorite quotes is from humorist Erma Bombeck: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."

My aunt is one of those people.  She has built a life of achievement, principles, love of family, and always striving to grow.  And recently, she was inducted into the Pinelands Hall of Fame for a career that wasn't just successful, but never backed down from her beliefs, and always looked to the facts to do what was right.  She did what I believe we all must do:  use our lives to change the world for the better.  And with her family and friends around her, she was honored for all of it.  Her own speech thanked the people who came before her and the ones who are taking up the mantle for today and the future.

I am very proud to be her niece.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Disney Magic is back!

Disney Magic is back!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Mickey and Minnie wave hi as I jump up and down like a 5 year old! They're part of opening day celebration in Cherry Hill. We'll see you in Orlando in 2 weeks, guys!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Three weeks until Thanksgiving!

Can you believe it? I can't.

I love Thanksgiving:  I love making a fire in the fire place, then sitting down to watch the Macy's parade, flipping over to check out the Philly parade too.  I used to call my mom and we would talk about the floats over the phone as we watched on our TVs.  I love stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  I love the feeling of it, talking my friends and family and just being happy they're in my life.

I always end the day by watching "Miracle on 34th Street" which takes us from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

We've already decided we're going to spend Thanksgiving at home just the two of us with the dogs curling up around us.  It will be cozy and peaceful.

I started thinking about what I can be thankful for.  It's been a rough year as you all know.  A lot of bad things have happened, so it's good for me to think of what's good.
  • We got Rico.  Sweet, funny, loving, little macho man Rico.
  • I'll be thankful for when I'm finished writing the stupid cover letters I have to get done today. (I hate writing this stuff.)
  • Thanks to my friends like John, Cathy, and Liz who are helping me with the job search, and all the people who are giving me a reference.
  • Thanks to my brother-in-law Martin who is helping me to get rid of this everlasting eczema.
  • I still have Casey and Elphie cuddled next to me.
  • John just sent me a text saying "I love you" because he knows how I struggle with cover letters.
  • Thanks for my sisters Terry and Gerry who offered ways for me to interview out of state.
  • Thanks to Denise and Pam and all the wonderful inhabitants on the Oasis Animal Sanctuary farm for the mornings of peace and fun after some bad nights.  
  • I did have a mom who did things like watch the Macy's parade with me, over the phone and in person.  Miss you, Mom.
  • And I have this Saturday night to celebrate my aunt's achievements as her peers give her a dinner of honor.
And more.

Did I mention I'll be glad when this round of cover letters will be done?

To kick off the Thanksgiving fun, here's a classic Bloom County Thanksgiving strip.  It's always been one of my favorites.