Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wally the Wonder Turtle goes to Blue Ridge, GA!

Wally the wonder turtle here to tell you about vacation! So me and jenny go to blue ridge in georgia last november. She come so take pictures. We rent cabin up high hill in trees.

Is nice to start morning with cup of coffee.

Then i make friends. Always important to make new friends in new places, even more yes so when he look like this. Jenny say he is stuffed? Mean he eats too much? Good thing so he no eat me! (Jenny's note: I did not tell Wally that "stuffed" did not mean this poor raccoon was full. Telling him the truth would be more traumatic than that time he found out about turtle soup.)

Cabin even have pool table. Is fun! Jenny say i pool shark? But i turtle. I pool turtle?

Was rainy first day, so play pool and guitar hero. Next day pretty and go to helen georgia for oktoberfest. Was november, though, so i don't know.

They have funny stuff in helen oktoberfest, like beer and horses wearing hats! Can you believe? Animal wearing clothes?

Jenny nice to come take pictures of me. Don't know who taking this picture, but they nice and didn't steal camera.

Next stop ruby falls near helen. So pretty. Here some nice photos wally the wonder turtle take all by himself with no help from nobody. (Jenny's note: Wally the Wonder Turtle did not take these photos. I did.)

On way back to cabin, i see these trees and stop jeep i drive all by myself with no help from nobody to take picture. (Jenny's note: Wally did not drive.)

What fun trip! Wally contemplate sunrise ...

Thanks for reading trip to blue ridge georgia!

-- Wally

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Valentine's Day Memories

I started working on a Valentine's Day soap the other day and it got me thinking about Valentine's Days of the past.

In elementary school, Valentine's Day was cool. During the days leading up to V-Day, we kids would make decorations for our big party. We'd draw hearts that looked much like the one above (my artisitic ability has not progressed much beyond the age of five). We'd make streamers and cut-outs and cards for our parents. I also remember making heart-shaped pouches out of two paper plates stapled together to hold all of the cards we would get from our classmates, and we'd color all over those, too, and hang them on the edges of our desks.

And then the big day came. Someone's mom would make cupcakes for the entire class, and we'd all have a party and exchange Valentine's cards. And everyone gave everyone a card. No one was left out. That would be rude. Even the girl who punched you in the stomach because you said that she sorta looked like Michael Douglas gave you a card. And if you didn't get a card from someone (rare), you just figure they accidentally overlooked you, no hard feelings.

And those silly cards were so awesome. You were a rock star if you gave out cards with the newest trend as its theme. If you gave everyone cards with Alf or Care Bears or Pee-Wee Herman all over them, you got to advance a rung or two up the coolness ladder. Also, those kinds of cards were more expensive, so you also got credit for having parents that were made of money.

In the fifth grade, something new came along that revolutionized Valentine's Day. That was the year that whatever photography studio that took our school photos offered V-Day cards with little stickers of your school photo that you stuck on the card. I was excited about this not because I look great in photos (I don't), but it meant that I might get a photo of that boy I liked without having to be stalker-camera girl. (True, I didn't have to try to be all stealth taking a boy's picture -- I could have just asked him if I could take his picture, but then he would have known that I liked him. Horrors!) So, anyway, taking pictures wasn't as easy back then as it is now. These days, you hold up your cell phone, hit a button, and quietly take a picture (or a video!) without anyone even knowing. In 1987, you either had to use a big, clunky old-school camera (the kind with film) or you used a disposable camera. Either way, the camera was very obvious, as was the nuclear blast of light emitted by the flash. And a video? Forget about being discreet. Back then, video cameras were the size of boom boxes. Modern technology has made it much easier to be intrusive incognito.

Parents bought those cards, too. Yes, they cost way more than Alf cards, but they had photos on them! And parents are generally supportive of anything photographic, as it preserves memories. And where are those cards now? I don't know. And did I get a photo-card of the boy I liked in fifth grade? I don't remember. But maybe I did. And if I did, I'm sure it was great.

Ah, memories ...

And then middle school happened. Suddenly, Valentine's Day took a freakish turn for the worse. No more getting cards just for showing up. No more class parties with cupcakes. No more everyone loving everybody.

In middle school, Valentine's Day is only for couples. You know, those twelve- and thirteen-year-old folks deep in the throes of a serious, meaningful relationship. In other words, not me. And yet, each Valentine's Day I would hold out hope that maybe this would be the day that what's-his-name will realize he's crazy about me and buy me one of those singing candygrams that the student council was selling, or maybe a long-stemmed rose or a BMW. But no. At least my mom still bought me a heart-shaped box of candy or something on Valentine's Day (thanks, Mom!).

In high school it just got worse. Because now that we were so much more mature, we weren't in love anymore -- we were IN LOVE. Like, in all caps. And when you're IN LOVE, everything is more urgent, particularly if the person lucky enough to be the object of your LOVE is not IN LOVE with you (talking about me again). I am thinking about the time when I was a junior in high school and the Ren & Stimpy Valentine card that I gave a guy I was IN LOVE with didn't suddenly make him realize that every moment in his life had been leading up to that one.

Ah, well.

And now none of it matters. I don't care that I-can't-even-remember-his-name-anymore didn't like me. Gee whiz, all of that angst. Thing is, I didn't know back then that you can't force it. I look back and it seems like I used to think that if I just wore a guy down enough, he'd like me. I wish I could go back in time and talk to my thirteen-year-old self. And my 16-year-old self. And my nineteen-year-old self. And twenty-one. I'd tell her to take it easy and to just hang out and be cool. I'd tell her that he's coming.

I have been with my husband for ten years, married for more than eight, and I didn't have to wear him down to get us there. And Valentine's Day is nice, but not a huge deal because we try to live like everyday is Valentine's Day. (Don't throw up -- fight it!)

Have a happy Valentine's Day, everyone! And if you don't have a Valentine, be one to yourself, you beautiful thing, you!

Sunset Wowza

Early Monday evening, I looked out at the lake behind our house and saw pink streaks reflected across the top of the water. I ran to get my camera, hoping to catch the colors of the sunset at their peak. Just take a look at this gorgeous sunset:

Not five minutes later, all of this was gone. It's so thrilling to catch a great sunset or sunrise!

Friday, January 15, 2010

More new soap!

Wally the Wonder Turtle and I are on a roll here at Wonder Turtle Soaps!

Our newest soap is a fun, chunky Honeysuckle bar:

This honeysuckle fragrance is bold, white, and realistic. One whiff of this fresh, flowery fragrance will make you think of those spring and summer days spent outside, playing in the backyard or walking through the neighborhood as nature blossoms all around you.

Chunks of yellow and orange soap are suspended throughout these bars, and pretty little soap flowers are embedded on the tops.

Head on over to Wonder Turtle Soaps and check it out!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New at Wonder Turtle Soaps!

Do you love peppermint as much as Wally the Wonder Turtle and I do? What's that? How much do Wally and I love peppermint? Oh.

We love peppermint THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS much!

What's that? You do, too? Well, that's super!

Check out our newest soap, Peppermint Goat's Milk Soap:

Peppermint essential oil fragrances this creamy, luxurious soap made with 10% real liquid goat's milk. The scent is sweet, herbaceous, and brisk, but not overpowering.

Peppermint is a year-round favorite, and both men and women will love this soap. The minty tingle of peppermint is invigorating on a cold winter day and refreshing after a long, hot day spent under the sun. And it's perfect any other day in between. Soothing and exhilarating all at once, peppermint is a total show-off, but we don't mind one bit. 
Wowee-wowza! Hurry on over to Wonder Turtle Soaps and get you a bar or two or ten!

Friday, January 8, 2010

S'no snow

Well, Wonder Turtle fans, we Panhandle Floridians got all excited earlier this week over reports that we might get some snow flurries overnight Thursday. The last time our neck of the woods saw flurries was 2002, and I don't remember snow since 1994.

Well, Friday morning looked much like every other morning. No flurries, no "snow" sticking to the hoods of cars, no picture-perfect icicles hanging from leaves. I was hoping to have some cool photos to post here for you.

C'est la vie.

And, baby, it's cold outside! Well, cold for us. We've been having days in the 40s and nights in the 20s (with hard freeze warnings) for several days now with more to come. It's rare for it to be so cold for so long here. I love it, though. I'm from Florida, and I don't like the summer. It's not so much the heat as it is the humidity. Ninety degrees would be so much more tolerable if the humidity wasn't 95%. Ugh, gross. I'll take our Florida winters any day, thank you very much.

Here's an example of a winter day in the Florida Panhandle. This photo was taken on a "cold" day in Seaside in early February 2008.

You know who's not loving all this cold, though? Our poor turtle friends. I read an article in the Northwest Florida Daily News today about some 200 green sea turtles in nearby Port St. Joe being rescued yesterday from frigid St. Joseph Bay. They were relocated to the heated pools at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach and will stay there until the bay waters warm back up. More volunteers are going back to get more turtles today and this weekend.  Another front is coming our way, and it's about to get even colder.

The cold weather and low tide in the bay left the poor little guys exposed and they went into shock. Florida turtles aren't used to this nonsense. Fortunately, almost all of the turtles are alive and will most likely survive and will go back home to St. Joseph Bay once the temps rise again.

Wally the Wonder Turtle and I would like to thank the St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Friends of the Buffer Preserve Organization, the folks at Gulf World Marine Park, and all of the volunteers for helping out our turtle buddies!


Visit us at Wonder Turtle Soaps!                                               


Monday, January 4, 2010

We ♥ Boise!

Wally the Wonder Turtle and I LOOOOOOOVE Boise, Idaho! My husband's job sometimes takes him to the Boise Air National Guard, and after he's done working, Wally and I will fly out and meet him to spend a few days enjoying downtown Boise. We were there this past November and had hella fun.

And, believe me, Boise is sincerely fun.

What's in Boise?

Zoo Boise (not Boise Zoo):

Just look how much fun Wally is having with his new penguin friend!

And this penguin friend, too! (Vroom ...!)

The Qwest hockey arena:

Go Steelheads!

Here I am with Blue, the Idaho Steelheads' beloved mascot.
We ♥ Blue, too!

Smart squirrels:

This clever little fellow has it all figured out ... he has fresh food whenever he wants it courtesy of the capybara exhibit at Zoo Boise.

Stunning views:

Took this photo from the Friendship Bridge on the Greenbelt along the Boise River. Most mornings in Boise started with a jog along the Greenbelt.

And an awesome downtown district:

Plenty of views of the mountains (or "hills," as I'm told the locals call them).

And these are just things that I took pictures of. There's more. Boise is a hip little college town, so there are tons of groovy coffee shops, bookstores, record stores, and theaters. Boise State University has plenty of cultural offerings (I missed David Sedaris by one week! Aargh!), as does the Julia Davis Park with its art museum, Zoo Boise, and the Idaho State Historical Museum.

Boise also has GREAT beer. Tons of microbrews from the Pacific Northwest. My favorite hangout in Boise is the Bittercreek Alehouse (hey ya'll!). Seriously, I would live there if they'd let me. If you ever find yourself on 8th Street between Idaho and Bannock Streets, feeling thirsty and over 21, do yourself a favor and pop in there. They have more than three dozen taps of crazy good brews. The food is great, too. Most nights in Boise ended with a visit to the Bittercreek. (Don't worry, we drank responsibly.)

And Wally ♥s this giant lizard (I believe it is a komodo dragon, and, no, it is not real ... I think the pumpkin might be real, though.):

Can't wait to get back to see ya, Boise!


Visit us at Wonder Turtle Soaps!