Category Archives: news

This blog is moving!

I’ll keep this blog alive for anyone who followed a link to one of the posts, but I’ll be posting from now on to my new blog.

If you link to my address http://www.erinblackwell.com/, then this move is seamless.  The same if you follow my postings from Twitter and Facebook to here.  I think.  I hope.  I mean, it’s supposed to work. 

If you link to https://erinblackwell.wordpress.com/ and want to change to the new blog, please update the link to http://erinblackwell.blogspot.com/.

Hope to see you over there.  Bye bye!

I joined Weight Watchers today.

I had to do something.  I’ve put on so much weight and for a year and a half, if not longer, I said I would lose it.  Instead, I keep putting on more.  So many of my clothes don’t fit and the few that do look terrible because of the weight and fat/inches.

I needed to do something that would make me stay on target; spending even this little bit of money and knowing I’m held accountable each week is a great start.  Hopefully, I will get my will power kick started again.

I once lost 40 pounds and looked fantastic.  I made myself a promise that I would never return to that person that I was.  But I did.  It doesn’t matter why, what’s important is that I did this again to myself.  I don’t feel good, not in my self-image or in health.

Now, I am climbing back on a path of treating myself better: eating better and working out again.  Not being lazy or letting my activities interfere – using them as excuses of why I can’t do it right now.  My mom had kids and a husband at home, worked full time, was a Scout leader with a full schedule, and did other things too, but she got on Weight Watchers when I was a kid and lost her weight.   If she can do it with all the things in her life, I can too.  My dad supported her in it and in later years, I would.  It makes a difference; even so, it has to start in your own head.

I have to say that I’ve unofficially joined Weight Watchers.  The woman who handles our group at work has put me off for 3 weeks now.  At first, she had all her paperwork put away and asked me to come back after the holiday weekend.  Today, she was out because of a death in the family and the other person forgot I was joining, so she didn’t have the right paperwork.  I insisted on being weighed anyway so I can get going instead of saying “soon, soon, I’ll do something soon….”

I have to lose 25 pounds. And as the first hurdle, someone brought Munchkins to the office.   Plus, I have a Christening party on Sunday, a birthday get together next week…

So here I go.  Already wavering, but already sticking to it.

“Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night!”

Happy Victoria Day!

I hope this holiday weekend is going great! Get those flowers out, fire up the barbecue, and a big thumbs up for Queen Victoria!  The longest reigning monarch in her people’s history, a harbinger for a time of great progress in industry, politics, society, economy, science, and more.  She helped establish the idea of modern constitutional monarchy, with significant increase of power to the democratic bodies in her Empire.   She placed a strong emphasis on morality and family values, in contrast to the sexual, financial and personal scandals of the previous monarchs, and despite the negative (such as becoming queen of India), she did so much good in fighting against injustices around the world, reaching into my own country.  For example:

Martha Ricks, a former slave from Tennessee, had saved her pennies for more than fifty years, to afford the voyage from Liberia to England to personally thank the Queen for sending the British navy to patrol the coast of West Africa to prevent slavers from exporting Africans for the slave trade. Martha Ricks shook hands with the Queen and presented her with a Coffee Tree quilt, which Queen Victoria later sent to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition for display.

She was responsible for Canada’s confederation as well as establishing many new provinces, which explains why they have this holiday.

So thank you, Queen Victoria.  If I may speak tongue in cheek, I can see why Sherlock Holmes shot your emblem into the walls of 221B Baker Street.

I’m officiating at my sister-in-law’s wedding!

Some people might remember when I wrote that I was getting legally certified to be an officiate. Ann, John’s sister, then did me the great honor of asking me to perform her wedding. I even got to write the ceremony! And today is her big day!

They’re having the wedding and reception at The Castle, and have come up with so many wonderful touches for everything! Eddie, John’s oldest brother, is giving her away, John is singing, and Martin, his other brother, is reading an Irish Blessing. Ann’s oldest daughter is a bridesmaid, while Nick, her oldest son, is escorting the mother of the groom. Her two youngest, Conner and Kylie, are ring bearer and flower girl. (Last night at the rehearsal, Connor wore a t-shirt saying Ring Security. 🙂 ) Everything has Celtic touches, including place cards for the guests and their tables that Ann did the caligraphy for herself.

I’m excited and nervous. This is a great experience and very important for them. I want to do a fantastic job.

I wondered what I should wear and used the movies to pick a role model: Mother Nature from Santa Clause 2. My robes are beautiful and so is the headress, even though it’s a bit heavy.

OK, obviously I’m joking. My friend Suzanne helped me pick what to wear: a stylish, feminine tuxedo. So now you not only have to get over the shock that I’m performing a wedding, but I’m going to look feminine. 😉

Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well, and I don’t end up like Mr. Bean in Four Weddings and a Funeral!

I’m sorry

I posted last week about some friends and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I was in a bad place about other things when I did it, and unfortunately, that’s what came out. I’ve already marked the post and comments as private so it doesn’t upset anyone any further. I’m very sorry for hurting anyone with my tone, and it’s really important, to me and anyone who read it, that I say that.

Pink dolphin appears in US lake

I thought it was a fake when I saw the picture by itself; something they made to watch dolphin behavior patters or something, and they made it pink so it was easy to see.

But it’s a real dolphin!

The world’s only pink Bottlenose dolphin which was discovered in an inland lake in Louisiana, USA, has become such an attraction that conservationists have warned tourists to leave it alone.

Charter boat captain Erik Rue, 42, photographed the animal, which is actually an albino, when he began studying it after the mammal first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern USA.

Capt Rue originally saw the dolphin, which also has reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins, with one appearing to be its mother which never left its side.

He said: “I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter.

“It was absolutely stunningly pink.

“I had never seen anything like it. It’s the same color throughout the whole body and it looks like it just came out of a paint booth.

“The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its coloration, which is quite beautiful and stunningly pink.

“The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating it’s albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws.

“I have personally spotted the pink dolphin 40 to 50 times in the time since the original sighting as it has apparently taken up residence with its family in the Calcasieu ship channel.

“As time has passed the young mammal has grown and sometimes ventures away from its mother to feed and play but always remains in the vicinity of the pod.

“Surprisingly, it does not appear to be drastically affected by the environment or sunlight as might be expected considering its condition, although it tends to remain below the surface a little more than the others in the pod.”

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, senior biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: “I have never seen a dolphin coloured in this way in all my career.

“It is a truly beautiful dolphin but people should be careful, as with any dolphins, to respect it – observe from a distance, limit their time watching, don’t chase or harass it

“While this animal looks pink, it is an albino which you can notice in the pink eyes.

“Albinism is a genetic trait and it unclear as to the type of albinism this animal inherited.”

A close relation of dolphins, the Amazon River Botos, called pink dolphins, live in South America in the Amazon.

Dirtiest hotels in America

See the Dirtiest Hotels in the United States from TripAdvisor reviews
These are unbelievable.  Literally.  You can’t believe these places are left open and it gets to the point where the reviews are surreal.   I only read two: the one for Wildwood, NJ because that’s not far from here, and Hotel Carter in NY because it just blew my mind.

I especially liked when people used humor to grab your attention with titles like “Discover new diseases here”.  As I said, it became so unreal, I read a few pages of them for the Hotel Carter.  In the middle of reviewers saying they wished they could give a negative score, I saw a few people giving it five stars.  So I went back and looked at the link for photos people had taken.  Oh.  My.  God.   I’m not a germophobe, and I itched for an hour at phantom bug bites after seeing those pictures.  The people giving them five stars must be relatives.  Or just got lucky.

Still, just reading the reviews is so out of this world, especially the ones with humor, that if you can take it, check it out.  At least so you know where not to stay!