Monday, April 30, 2012


Blogger changed, and it has taken me a half hour to figure it out.
I forgot my log-in and everything.
I don't roll very well with change.
I still prefer VHS tapes.
I know how to rewind them, and find the part in the movie I want to watch again.
Also, my kids can't scratch the crap out of them.

I have been avoiding my blog, because I have been lazy.
You read that right.
I have done nothing for the past week and a half but play Draw Something on my iPod touch.
In fairness, I have a gift.
Lots of people want me to draw for them.
My stick figures can't be beat!
I have already earned all the crayons.

So my poor trip to England is sitting here unedited.
You would think I would get the pictures done, and posted, since both of those actions would warrant me sitting on my butt in front of the computer.

Soon, Internets, soon.

In the meantime, if you want to see "pictures" from me, you will have to settle for my artistic renderings on Draw Something.
My user-name is Gimmecaffeine.
Fitting, yes?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

England, Interrupted

I just want to pop in and vent for a minute about things that are happening in real life for me now, and then I will get back to editing pretty pictures.

Sam got me an iPod touch. All the kids have had one for years. They truly can't live without them. The only way to communicate with them, when they are NEXT TO YOU ON THE COUCH, is to send them a text.
And I kid you not, they will text back with the response "Where are you?"
Closely followed by "Do we have anything to eat."

If I survive the teenage years with any shred of dignity it will be a miracle, and I will write a book about it.

So anyway, Sam pulled me into the 2000's and bought me one.

I don't really want to use it. I have an iPod full of all of the music I want, and I am not about to try to load up this new one. Old dog-new tricks.

But, I downloaded a couple apps that I like.
One of them is called "My Fitness Pal."

Back in the day, when I lost all my weight, I ended at a place where I was comfortable. However, I have always wondered what it would be like to be a few pounds thinner. Would I lose the fat slab above my c-section scar? Would my arm jiggle disappear?

When I came home from England, I had gained a few pounds anyway, and thought "what the heck, let's do this!"

So I plugged the numbers into My Fitness Pal, and started to try to lose it all the way this time.

Let me tell you. It has sucked.
I lost the weight I gained in England, and then for two whole weeks I have been hovering at the same number.
I have not gone over my calories once.
I have logged all my food into the app. No cheating!
I have exercised almost every day.
I have been swearing a lot, in my head these days.
(Proper English vulgarities, with a British accent!)
I have been doing these green smoothies.

That is a whole 'nother post--the green smoothies.
The only one I have liked has been fresh pineapple, spinach and greek yogurt.
The others tasted like cud from a cow. Cow cud.
The one I like is barely a step above...
And to top it all off, the blender I have is possibly the worst blender, ever.
It was Wal-mart's finest back in 2004.
I can't even find the lid anymore, so I have to use a plate.
It sounds like a sack of nails grinding down a kitchen disposal.
Sometimes it smells like it is burning, and I always secretly hope that it will blow up and contaminate my cud.
I use a wooden spoon to try to smash the pineapple down into the chopper.
Sometimes I hit the spoon on the moving blade.
It scares the crap out of me!
Let me tell you, wooden spoon shrapnel is not the kind of "fiber" you want to beef up your smoothie with.
Especially if it is already cud-like.
Sam laughs at me everything I am slaving over my blender.
"How's that working out for you?" he will say while he is eating vanilla wafers in my face.

So he surprised me, and ordered me a Blend-Tec Blender.

If you get bored, or have young boys at home, you will be entertained by their site "Will it Blend?", where they demonstrate everything this freak-of-nature blender can pulverize.
We used to watch it back in the day.
Click on the "Don't try this at home" area.
We especially liked when they turned an iPhone into dust.
In the blender.

Of course now my kids would take that a little too personally. It's not so funny anymore-watching your lifeline be senselessly destroyed.

So anyway, this Rolls Royce of blenders is winging its way to my house, this very second, and I should be super excited, but all I can think is "How long do I have to do this?"

This whole diet thing is making me crazy.
Women--we have all these variables.
They have a whole lot to do with what week it is.
There is not a good week. There is the week before the "bad week" then the bad week, then the week after the bad week--the recovery week.
"I am up five pounds from the bloat."
You know what I am talking about.
It sucks. Totally.

And Sam, well, he can skip a meal, and go weigh himself, and immediately his effort registers.
This whole four weeks of no treats, and cud, has made me consider elective surgery to remove extra organs.
It would comparatively be much more pleasant.
Why do I still have an appendix?
Or a uterus, for that matter?
All I have gotten from my efforts thus far, doing the whole diet thing is greenish cow pies.
I am sorry if that is not what you wanted to read today.

Well, I am committed now.
After all, I have a Blend-Tec coming.

Maybe I just need a different app.
Like Angry Birds.
Or Hungry Birds.
Or flip the bird.
At the bathroom scale.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

London, Part 2

Westminster Abbey was where I left off, right?
I loved it. I think it was the intricate, lacy architecture that made me love it. Most old buildings look "solid" to me, but Westminster Abbey was almost delicate. It felt more feminine.
I can see why Kate Middleton chose it to be married in.
Seeing the other cathedrals, I think it would be my choice as well.
The Rose Window
Westminster Abbey was built in the 1500's. I still can't get over how most of these buildings in England are older than my whole country by hundreds of years.
I guess I could technically claim England as my old home, since my ancestors came over on a boat from England.
Also, we all picked up British accents pretty quickly while we were there.
It might be in the blood, mate.
Detail shots
(You might want to click on the detail shot photo. That puking gargoyle was a Wadley Family favorite.)
We were far enough away from Big Ben to get a family shot with the whole thing in the background.
Indulge me, while I add it here for posterity.
We hit the tube again, to get to some more must-see spots in London. I just want to put this out there, cause I am all about keeping things real on my blog.
We are totally cheap.
Remember when we busted out Paris in one day?
Well, we busted out London in a day too.
Now, we could have sprung for some tours or museums or something, but really, we are simple folk, and we were just happy to "be there."
Also, the kids have the attention span of a gnat.

Back to the Underground!!

Chop, chop!
The Underground was entertaining in and of itself.
Good people watchin'.

There was a little Jersey Shore:
And I noticed that in London there were a lot of girls that wore patterned tights--most of the time with short shorts. I am not a fan of the shorts/tights look, but I did love the patterned tights. And check out these shoes!! Oooo, love!
At some stations the tube ran above the ground. You could see scenery whizzing by. Some tile-roofed row houses, and laundry hung on the line. It made you dizzy, watching it, but it was nice to have something to look at.
Other parts of the Underground ran way, way, under ground. You could tell that you were dropping deep when your ears started to pop. All there was to see were colored wires and pipes.
I chose not to think about myself being burrowed deep in the earth.
Like a trapped mole.
At a couple of stations, when we got off the tube, we had to go up several escalators to reach ground level again.

You can kinda see how steep the escalators were. And at one of the stations we went up three steep escalators.
That tube must have run close to the earth's core.
One of the stations Jayden and I chose to run up the stairs instead of taking the escalator.
I don't recommend that.
No matter what cardiovascular shape you think you are in.
Some of the stations had musical performers.
That was cool.

Our next few places were just random things to see in London.
Like the Tower of London.
Really, I was sad that there wasn't a moat with alligators. It is just grass.
I think Disney needs to take over, and throw in some Anima-tronics.
It was not impressive enough that this pile of rocks was built in the 1080's.
I want drama! I want action!
(I am being sarcastic.)
The moat would be cool though.

Like any old building it has been added onto, and renovated over the centuries.
This is one of the original parts, still preserved.
 This is a "newer" addition, built in the 1200's.
Our whole family in front of a real, live, CASTLE.
SO awesome.
We should have our pinkies raised. Fancy!

Next to the Tower of London, is the Tower Bridge.
Did you guys know that there is no "London Bridge" in London?
They moved that sucker from Lake Havasu City, ARIZONA in 1962.
I am totally NOT kidding.
So I personally like to refer to the Tower Bridge as the London Bridge, because it is in freaking London, and not Arizona.
No offense, Arizona.

And this gentleman came walking past, and was right jolly about letting us take our photo with him.
There are two things that I want you to notice about the above photo.
The first thing is my bangs.
Go ahead and click on the photo if you can't see them good.
I will wait.
See that?
I swear to you, Internets, whenever I go on a trip, my bangs grow- like an inch a day.
They hang in my eyes, and look greasy and gross.
I am not sure why this is?
And everyone knows, when you fly stand-by like we do, you CAN'T PACK SCISSORS cause you have to carry on.
This day was the worst.
My hair was making me crazy, I kept asking everyone if they had scissors. Food vendors, hotel clerks. This one gardener guy had some wicked looking shrub trimmers that I was almost desperate enough to hack away with.
Now, take a look at the photo again.
See the upper right hand corner?
The domed building?
That building has been nick-named "The Gherkin."
It looks like a giant, um....pickle.
Yes! Pickle. Let's go with that.
Here is a better look at it:
At night, they light it up with greenish lights. We weren't there for that, but here is a photo to show what it looks like.
Photo Credit

One more of the Tower Bridge:

I had several people tell me that I needed to see Harrods if I went to London.
Harrods is a giant department store.

I thought I understood department stores, until I went to Harrods.
We have malls in the states.
Y'all know how they work, right? You have a Nordstroms at one end, and J C Penney at the other, and then sandwiched in between these department stores are specialty shops. Bath and Body Works, the Sock Shop, Verizon Wireless...
Well, at Harrods there were whole FLOORS dedicated to ONE THING.
So here is the chocolate portion of the FOOD floor.
They had little shops inside the chocolate area. A little nook with macarons from France, and a little part of a counter with a vendor selling Belgium chocolates.
From Belgium.

Each "department" had little shops within the department, but each floor was one thing.
Food, clothing, toys, furniture, etc.
I was mostly fascinated with the food floor.
They had big loaves of Foie Gras, they sold it by the slice.
It works out to be about $12,000.00 a pound.
I need to start raising geese.

Here are some more things we saw:
Beef Wellington, and Hot Crossed Buns.
You can click on the photo to see it better.
They also had a really fancy public restroom. On a large silver tray on the marble counter where you washed your hands, they had multiple bottles of fancy lotions and perfumes you could use.
Man, in the states, you are lucky to have disposable towel dispensers and not just those stupid blow-dryers.

We had to take a trip to the toy department.
The kids loved that.
And remember the bangs issue I was having?
Well, behind one of the registers, I spied a pair of scissors!
When no one was looking, I nipped them.
(Nipped is British for borrowed, or ripped-off.)
Then, I went to the Barbie corner, and found myself a plastic fun-house mirror.
I cut those bangs right in the middle of Harrods.
The clouds parted, and the angels sang!
I didn't care if anyone saw, or thought I was a nutter.
I will always have fond memories of Harrods.
We were quickly running out of daylight, so we had to squeeze in the rest of London. We walked to Piccadilly Circus, and took that in.
Here is Heidi and Mike in front of the big water fountain.
Mikayla was quite fascinated by this living statue.
I hope this girl has another job. She didn't move, unless someone put a coin in her bucket, and then she moved kinda jerky like she was plugged into an outlet in the pavement.
It was kinda freaky, really.
And I am not sure how fun all that make-up would be. It makes me think of the poor guy who almost died filming as the tin woodsman for the Wizard of Oz.
This is also the area we saw the butt-cheeks girl.
Remember her?

Our last stop in London, was St. Paul's Cathedral.
Really, the daylight was gone. It was beautiful at night, though, all lit up.

All in all- we looooooved London.
Me and Sam "loving" London
We tubed it back to Epping Station, and drove back to Mike and Heidi's house.
Sam and Mike made a run to a local pub for some authentic Fish and Chips.
We all ate, got heartburn, and went to bed.
The End.
Next up, Cheddar.
(The town, and also, incidentally, the cheese.)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

London, Part 1

I am dividing this one up, because I have so many photos to share of London.
What an amazing city!
Tons of history, and tradition.
Very proper it was.
We took the tube into London. We bought a day pass, so we could go everywhere we wanted, but we ended up walking most of it. There was plenty to see along the way, and we totally lucked out--this was our best weather day, the whole time we were there.
Our first stop was Buckingham Palace.
We got off the tube, and walked through Green Park, to get to the gates to Buckingham Palace. It was beautiful. Daffodils were just beginning to bloom.
 Our first view of the gates:
I am not sure if these are actually called palace gates. They are across the street from the palace itself. Buckingham Palace is ginormous.  Through these gates, there is an entire square around the palace.
More of the gates:

So across this cobblestone street was the Palace. It was hard to even get the whole thing into a photo. Heidi told us that the Queen was in the Palace the day we were there. They fly a flag so people know. I didn't get a picture of the flag.
Or the queen.
The Royal Wadleys
A Beefeater
My kids thought it was hysterical that the guards were called "Beefeaters." Especially since there were hotdog stands by the Palace. My kids are warped.
Remember this? I do! I watched the whole thing on TV.
Photo Credit
Well, we saw the balcony with our own eyes. Granted the wedding was over and stuff, but it was still surreal to be there.
Walking away from Buckingham took us past St. James Park.
Like I said, the weather was beautiful. There were a lot of people in the park, with blankets spread, playing Frisbee, feeding the birds...
It also had views of other famous landmarks. It was our first look at Westminster Abbey, from a distance:
And if you look over Jayden's shoulder, you can see a little something:
Big Jayden and Little Big Ben
Here is another shot of Big Ben from a distance:
Isn't that crazy? Most of the major landmarks in London are really close together. I am not sure why I wasn't expecting that.

I got a kick out of the very traditional English Taxi's. They are the black ones in the photo. They also had these:
And of course they had the red double-decker buses.
I am not going to lie, I freaked out a little when I saw my first red phone booth.
I have seen them so much in postcards, and photos. They are such a London thing, in my mind. And I am afraid they are going to be extinct soon, as all public phones will be, now that we have cell-phones.
I made the kids pose for photos, they weren't sure why I was so excited about the phone booths.
Call me!

Ma and Pa.
Photo by Jayden.
By this point in our walking tour we are at Trafalgar Square. It was packed! I am not sure if we hit it at lunchtime or if it is always this busy?
In the middle of the square they have an Olympic countdown clock. The Olympics are going to be in England this year. It was pretty cool to see the clock.
This was just a random street scene in London, by Trafalgar square. I loved the row of British flags.
We are moving on in the tour. Heading to the tube for the next stop. But first, we had to stop and pet the horse.
On the cobblestone street.
With the uniformed Beefeater dude.
We're not in Kansas anymore....
We are in the UK!
Sometimes on these trips I have to mentally pinch myself.
Coming out of the Underground with a little something in the background.
Photo by Mike
This might be one of my favorite photos of the trip. Whole family? Check. Underground sign? Check. Historical landmark? Check.
Big Ben was amazing.
And just for those of you who might not have listened in school when they talked about Big Ben, or are just culturally a dumb-crap like me-- "Big Ben" refers to the bell inside the bell-tower, not the giant clock.
I never knew that.
Whatever you want to call it, it was massive. It was hard to get into a photo unless you were a couple of blocks away.
Here is is right under it:
More of the building that houses Big Ben.
I was glad we saw England in the early spring. I liked having bare branches in the photos. It made interesting lines, but didn't block any views.
Across from Big Ben was the London Eye.
 And the Thames:

And this lady, with a mystery rodent bun.
I can't imagine what her head weighs. And she was a little smelly.
This is probably a good place to stop for today.
With all the pretty pictures you needed a visual palate cleanser anyway, yes?
Okay, one more pretty.
And a pre-view of tomorrow's post:
Our Family and That Guy.