Sharis The Bunny

Sharis The Bunny
It's me, in all my lagamorphy glory.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Darn you, Cardio and stuff!

2.5 miles yesterday.

I meet all the required physical standards for the military/LE for my age and sex EXCEPT that my body fat is too high and I can't do the 1.5 mile run in under 13 minutes. YET. My goal is to do it in 11 minutes. So yesterday I hit the gym before work. Since I open today, I plan to hit the gym before and after work. I have approximately 80-90 days to get in line. So wish me luck, folks.

Sorry the blog is so brief, but I have to go drink a nasty protein shake and throw on some sweats. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shoot Like A Girl (and man up about being a woman)

Today is a HUGE day for us at the new Range, we're having a major function tonight as part of an ongoing series of FOUR Grand Openings this week! It's the culmination of some really major efforts by all of the staff, and I for one can't wait to sit back and watch the magic unfold. Having taught at 3 facilities now (and having opened two of them from the ground floor on up), I have to say that I'm constantly comparing and contrasting how other places are run versus how we are choosing to run our Range, and the difference is like night and day. I had no idea there were so many business models and plans for a shooting range. And until this past spring, I had to idea the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into building a place from the ground up, let alone what a difference staffing can make. I am so proud of the new Range, and everyone who has poured their hearts and souls into making it the premier facility that it is!

Part of my duties at the new place is helping out with training some of the staff who might have less experience with firearms & firearms sales. Last week, I got to teach a coworker (and new friend) how to shoot. And she'd never held a gun before. This is, beyond anything else, my absolute favorite part of the job (with self-defense classes a close second). When a brand new shooter comes in, maybe a little nervous about having a gun in their hand, and then after I work with her, it "clicks" for her and she suddenly gets the bug and WANTS to shoot all the time...THAT is what I live for.

PS, Gentlemen, did you know the ladies are generally better shots? :) The term "shoot like a girl" is actually a huge complement!

This is the only time I ever "shot a bunny" and was happy to do so.

One of my students hit a PENNY!

I can't wait to start the self-defense classes and teach them how to "fight like a girl" as well. It's going to be a blast!


The ONLY downside to all of this celebrating is that being a premier facility, we tend to throw some swanky Grand Opening parties. I believe the first VIP tour I attended was on a yacht with about 100 other people, if that gives you any idea. This means that Bunny has to dress like a girl. Few things give me panic-inducing anxiety: air travel, Future Marine coming home late or my not knowing where he is, and dressing like a girl. I don't own skirts or dresses. I have NOTHING that could be considered "business casual" let alone "formal." I had to buy a pair of "slacks" on my way there last time because the only pants I own are jeans, yoga pants, and BDUs. That's it.

(View from the VIP Yacht Tour)

Big E is enjoying this immensely. It means Bunny is dressing like a girl and even wearing makeup. Poor guy. It must be hard to be married to me. I'm like a 12 year old boy in a soccer mom's body, and he's had to deal with that for well over a decade now. He's a good sport and I'm grateful.

And now I'm going to go whine and pout and attempt to put my hair in curlers. It will be a miracle if I don't accidentally set off a doomsday device with these things. They look like weapons. Scary, heated, painful torturous weapons.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm a big girl now! (Vrrrrooooom!)

Because it seems like the drama and nonsense will continue for a while, I decided there are a few things I can do to lighten the burden on my psyche:

1. Sit there and scream (not the best option)
2. Bask in the love of Big E, Future Marine, and Ace the Bat Hound, feel so lucky and blessed to have them. (an excellent choice really!)
3. Go to work, be grateful that I have two jobs I LIVE for and some really incredible coworkers. (a healthy option)
4. Put some lead downrange. (also a great option)
5. Buy myself a wildly fun and impractical new toy, and drive it really fast. (don't judge me.)

I chose all but option 1. Screaming's not really my style anyhow.

Yep. Bought my first car since 1997-ish. First NEW car ever, and I'm even acting like a grown-up and financing it all by myself! That's right...Big Girl Bunny went and bought herself a new Mustang this week!

And it's RED. And it's FAST. And you know what? I totally love this thing!

It might scream "mid-life crisis," but it screams loud enough to drown out all the emotional vampires hanging around lately. Or maybe they're real vampires, what with being so close to Halloween and all. Either way, they're draining and...what was I saying? Oh yeah - I can't wipe the grin off my face every time I turn the key! :)

So back to my "Sanity or GTFO" post the other day -- you know what? My perspective has changed. Go nuts. Be as crazy and dramatic/theatrical as you can be. I'll be driving the Bunnymobile too fast in the opposite direction to care.

Oh, and one more thing: WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ringmaster in the Cirque du Insanity!

The last year or so has been filled with so many ups and downs, I'm considering buying one of those motion sickness bands. And I don't just mean with my family (although we've had our share of breathtaking highs and heartbreaking lows this year) but with other family members and some family friends as well.

And I think I've reached my Maximum-capacity-for-drama threshold this week.

I can't sit here and babysit grown adults.
I don't want to deal with whatever your childhood trauma is, we've all had them. Seek professional help.
I won't indulge the pleas for attention or feed the Drama Llama anymore. (Because once you feed THAT beast, it follows you home and you never get rid of it!)
I'm not going to have my phone on 24/7 for the tantrums. If I wanted 24/7 tantrums, I'd have a toddler. I don't. Future Marine is almost in High School. Those days are way behind me.
I refuse to listen to any more insanity. I'm no longer cultivating weirdness and oddities. Act like a normal adult on occasion. It's probably healthy.

I will support sanity.
I will applaud efforts to be heathy/get healthier.
I will nurture stable friendships and cultivate NORMAL relationships.
I'm not giving you money. I don't work two full time jobs to enable your bad choices.

I am totally having a beer tonight. And I'm not going to answer my phone for 24 hours or until my blood pressure goes down, whichever comes LAST. I need a break.


(Thanks to Future Marine, Big E and Deputy Bambi for their support while I rant, rave, and possibly drool a little. Love you guys!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Dinner Party From Hell

I can't ever give nice parties. I don't know why. My friend Sarah told me I have the worst luck of anyone she's ever known when it comes to food (that I didn't cook myself) because at least once a week, if we go out to eat, I end up with food poisoning. Last week we went to Denver Days (it's like a carnival that you would find at home in the Wal-Mart parking lot) and I ordered a "Chicken Spiedie" sandwich. The "chicken was gray and had the strangest consistency, it was also sour and gamey -- like it had been left to sit out in the sun for a week. Anyhow, we're all convinced that it was not, in fact, chicken. Whatever unfortunate animal made it to my sandwich, I'm convinced it had more than two legs. A LOT more.

But that's not the point of this blog. The point is that my luck with parties is on par to my luck with strange foods at questionable establishments. Last night, we had some friends over because I figured, hey, we want to hang out, and I'll cook! Plus it's getting a little chilly at night, so it might be more fun to stay in and watch a movie on the 82" flat screen, right? And what could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong, indeed. Those are famous last words, right? Kinda up there with "hey y'all watch this!" and "look, ma, no hands!" I believe.

By 8am, we'd noticed a disturbing trend in the kitchen. The disposal unit would hum right along, but didn't actually dispose of anything. Future Marine helped out by doing some dishes, bless his helpful little heart, which only somehow managed to back the sink up full of standing water. Gross, food-y, gray water that smelled like rotting...well it smelled like the Chicken Spiedie, actually. Which was probably a bad sign.

9am - emergency plumber called. Promised to be out between noon and 2pm. (I figured we had plenty of time. The beef stew was in the crock pot, and our friends weren't coming till 7.)

10am - Big E goes after the sink water with a plunger. THE SAME PLUNGER HE USES IN THE BATHROOMS. (At this point, I had to walk away or I was going to start gagging.)

11am - I notice a disturbing new trend, there appears to be water leaking slowly out the disposal, down the pipes, into the wooden cabinets, and out onto my kitchen floor. Even WORSE, I was going to make caramel apple cake and I was out of fresh cream (to make the caramel) so I needed to go to the store to get groceries. Worse than THAT, I couldn't use the sinks because of the leak issue, and the breakfast dishes were piling up.

Noon - no plumber
1pm - no plumber, but the leak was getting worse
2pm - no plumber, we called the company and they said he was "stuck on a job and had no idea when he would be there."
3pm - we go to the store to get some cream and a few other items.
3:45pm - we pull into the driveway same time as the plumber. He looks at the sink. From 4 feet away (I kid you not!) and says "disposal's clogged. It's $213 to unclog it."
3:47pm - we told the plumber to go take a long walk off a short pier and call another plumber

5:00pm, I reset the disposal unit to no avail. Looks like it was blown to heck and we'd need another one. Yay! I can only imagine the cost.

5:30pm - new plumber arrives and confirms my suspicions. But he can get a new heavy duty (1/2 hp!) disposal in by 7pm, AND clean up the flood for us, AND warranty the unit. $440 out the door. What could I do?

6:45pm - new plumber leaves and I rush to get a load of dishes done.

7pm - our friends arrive and we eat out of tupperware bowls because all the dishes are currently going in the dishwasher. Bless their hearts, they not only ate beef stew out of tupperware on the sofa, but sat though THE ROOM and DEAD ALIVE afterwards. And they're STILL on speaking terms with us!

Ladies and gentlemen, THAT'S friendship.

Also next time we'll let them pick the movies, and just order a pizza or something. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

A County Fair to Remember!

In the last few months, Big E have been making a concerted effort to spend more family time together with Future Marine. Every year, Future Marine and I go to the local-ish County Fair together because Big E is usually away or working. Saturday, Big E came with us, and for the first time EVER, the whole family went to the Fair together! (Our other 2 big Fall traditions are walking the Maize Maze and Apple Picking, stay tuned...)

Saturday was the final day of the fair, and we'd cleared our schedules to make sure we had time to ride/see/eat everything they had to offer.

Big E took us to brunch at our favorite restaurant (also a new family tradition, going out to brunch on the weekend. I love this!) where they serve some of the best Eggs Benedict and giant muffins. The really cool thing about the restaurant is that it's in this old historical house they converted to an eatery, and all the walls are covered in framed works by local artists, all for sale.

After breakfast, we hit this adorable little antique shop and Future Marine found an old LIFE magazine from 1967, which sparked a great (and very informative for me) conversation during the hour drive to the fair. Big E and Future Marine are huge history buffs, both are fascinated by WWII. However this time, we discussed and learned all sorts of things about Nixon the Kennedy Administration, Viet Nam, and The Bay of Pigs. Also, we briefly touched on the Cuban Missile Crisis. I love that we don't just all get on our cell phones or watch DVDs on a road trip, and when the boys talk history, it actually comes alive for me. I just can't make it "click" in books for some reason. (Math is the same way.)

So we finally arrive at the fairgrounds and I could almost hear a choir of Angels singing, it was THAT AWESOME! The sights, the sounds, the smells!

We started off at the livestock area, because we'd only been digesting brunch for an hour or so. And I know from experience you need like 2-3 hours after a meal before you get on the scary rides, or it gets messy.

They had a petting zoo with baby goats, a camel, a cow that you could milk (Future Marine just wanted to "hug a cow" so they let him. It was adorable!), and a any water buffalo calf that had just been weaned. I got to pet the water buffalo and scratch his chin, which he LOVED, and then he gave me his wet nose leather to rub, and all I wanted to do was plant a big ol' kiss on that adorable nose!

Also the fattest pig we'd ever seen. And another one with the cutest little baby piglets!

At the end of the Ag Tent were the entries in the poultry contest. These were our three favorites. The black and white chicken reminded Big E of a stained glass mosaic. The middle one apparently won some kind of prize, and the one of the right was my favorite, because it looked like something Marilyn Monroe would have worn, and that thought just made me giggle for some reason.

Then we left the Ag Tent and walked past this old-timey display. Covered wagons, and actual blacksmithing. It was really neat -- once again, History Comes Alive! The Blacksmiths took the time to answer lots of questions, but we were getting hungry and couldn't stop drooling over their dinner, a huge turkey roasting over seasoned firewood. Gorgeous bird! (I started having naughty thoughts about turning the Ag Tent winning turkeys into that wrong?)

Anyway, RIDE TIME!!!

(Bumper cars were SO much fun! See my sweet ride on the left? Oh, and that's the car I drove on the right! lol)

Okay, and at long last, my nemesis, THE ZIPPER. This ride is the only one I want to go on every year and no one will go on it with me. Every Zipper. This year, Future Marine manned up and decided to go with me. Big E (wisely) abstained. Here we are before the ride, all excited, getting on, anticipating the stomach-fliping cartwheels and adrenaline-pumping speeds. Big E is safely planted on Terra Firma, wondering exactly when was the precise moment his wife and son lost their fool minds...

Annnnnnnd...after. Okay, I never want to do that ride again. Ever. Please remind me of that next year when I beg and plead to go on the Zipper, k? Thanks.

Well, stomach finally settled, it was time to taste what the Fair had to offer. Here's a random sampling, and the BEST fried okra I have ever tasted! Also, a) what on earth is a Snow Cream? an b) I've SEEN the guy making these things at the booth. I'd rather lick the bottom of my dog's foot than "put some south in my mouth." Ugh!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall is Officially Here this Week!

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. By the time June rolls around, I'm ready for the cooler weather, the crisp autumn leaves, the smell of pumpkin pie spices and apple cider, the lure of the County Fair (EVERYTHING is better when it's fried and served on a stick!), our annual family trip to the mountains to go pick apples, and of course, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

It's been a fantastic week for leaving the windows open at night and letting the cool breezes flow though the house. Soon, it will be time to start up the fireplace in the living room and drink hot mulled apple cider together as we watch 30 days of scary movies to prepare for Halloween. (Note: all "scary" movies will be appropriate for 12-year-old Future Marine. Nothing overtly violent of sexual. He does love the old Hitchcock stuff, and the old Universal Monsters, so we watch those every year.) Big E has a phenomenal collection of DVDs for our entertainment, and he sticks to mostly classics.

This morning, I made pumpkin-spiced waffles for breakfast. The whole house smells incredible! Also last night, Big E went out and started hoarding Halloween Candy. I doubt any of it will survive past the next week or two, our family has a serious chocolate addiction problem. But I thought it was incredibly sweet that he started preparing.

Saturday is our annual family trip to The County Fair, so I'm running out to get Maalox and other assorted G.I. stuff, since everything there is deep-fried, on a stick, and usually smothered in something (either cheese or chocolate.) It's tradition. We ride the terrifying rides and eat the terrifying food, then go home, elated. Except no one will ever ride The Zipper with me. No matter how hard I beg, plead, or pout.

Also, apple-picking and corn maze season have both arrived as well, signaling the official start of Fall, despite the fact that it's still in the high 80's/low 90's here in The South. This will be the first year that Big E has gone apple picking with us, and Future Marine and I are thrilled! Normally this is crazy work schedule time for Big E, but he's taking off to do family stuff now and I can't even tell you what that means to us. If you're in the Carolinas and you're looking for a great pick-your-own Orchard, you have to go to Skytop. They've got an old Cider Mill, acres and acres of trees to climb (and in my case, fall out of every year! lol), and an old-fashioned Country Store where they sell Apple Cider Donuts by the ton. They are fantastic and well worth the wait on line to get a few. We've never had anything like them! Also they are dog-friendly, provided your dog is on a leash and not totally insane, and you clean up after them. So Ace comes with us. His late sister, Blue, used to LIVE for apple-picking trips. But she would get into the fermenting apples on the ground and we had to keep an eye on her, or she'd get a little tipsy. In fact, Blue's last family outing was apple picking at Skytop. After she passed away, I kept her tags to tie around some apple trees we planted for her in the back yard.

Also if you're in the Charlotte area and looking for a fun and unique way to spend an autumn day with the family (or a pretty cool date idea,) there's The Amazing Maize Maze at Rural Hill. After September 30th, they do Flashlight Mazes after dark, when the air is just starting to chill, and you can get hot cocoa, and it's just a really fun time all around!

HAPPY FALL, Y'ALL! I don't care what the calendar says, Autumn starts today for our family! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Holy cow, this thing is still ON?

Wow, I totally forgot I even HAD a blog! Guess it's been a while?

Ok. So I deleted all the old stuff and I'm going to try to be more on the ball about keeping this thing up regularly.

PS: Starbucks just brought back their Pumpkin Spice Latte last week.

You know what that means? FALL IS HERE! Yeah, I know it's like 80-something degrees outside, but I'm sticking to my Starbucks Seasonal Forecast. Also my lawn is turning brown and crispy. That means I can start hanging the Halloween decorations now, right?