Thursday, May 23, 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdNfy4H6XTU&feature=youtu.be I am so proud of my husband. Although we have been together for eight years and married for three, I still find him very handsome, sexy, intelligent and full of charisma. He recently was on a business trip to Pennsylvania and was interviewed. Here is the link to the interview. Watching it may give you an idea as to why I love this man so much!!! He's my Mr. Wonderful!
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 7:45 AM
Saturday, May 18, 2013
I have been thinking about an article I wrote on HubPages awhile back. It's called, "12 Reasons Why I Love My Husband" and even though I published it over a year ago, people are still finding it and writing comments about it. To date 7,488 people have read it. That in itself is amazing to me. Some people seem grateful to me for writing it. Others I fear, feel sad after reading it and seeing what they are missing in their marriage or in their lives if they don't have a love in their life right now. A comment from today mentioned that they liked the way I make married life so romantic! I asked Chuck if he thinks I make married life romantic and he says that I score pretty high marks in that area. It's not that hard, and to me life is too short not to have romance in it. Life is sometimes very monotonous in the same thing, new day routine that a lot of people find themselves in. It's much more fun to break up the monotony by throwing a bit of sugar and spice into the mix. And that's easy to do. How hard is it to write a few love notes every month and hide them around the house where your spouse is sure to find them? And when they do, the surprise and the message is sure to bring a smile to their face. Hmm, that reminds me of a new topic to write an article about for HubPages. I can write a whole series about what to say in love notes that people can hide in their homes! But I digress...there are other ways to add romance to your life besides love notes. How about greeting your husband/wife when they come through the door with a huge hug and kiss and telling them how much you missed them? Or before you go to bed, face your spouse and tell them one or two things that you appreciate about them. That's it...don't go into anything negative, just tell them that before they go to sleep. How about drawing your wife a bubble bath with lit candles some night as a surprise? Or making him his favorite meal and dine by candlelight for no specific reason? Or maybe you could do something around the house that your spouse has been nagging you to do but you didn't want to? Complete the task and leave a little note on it saying you did it just for them with a smiley face so they know you weren't trying to be sarcastic. There are things that take more time that are romantic that one can do, such as plan a picnic, or a trip somewhere. But it's so easy to be romantic and helps your spouse feel appreciated. Here's the link to the article I wrote on Hubpages if you are interested in reading it, and may you have romance every day in your married life: http://karenhellier.hubpages.com/hub/10-Reasons-I-Love-My-Husband
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 7:23 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
Well it was a very busy week for both of us last week while Chuck was away. I met a friend for lunch on Sunday, and another friend for a nice long walk with the dog on Tuesday after work. The rest of the week, I was either working (substitute teaching), writing, or cleaning the house. Chuck is more particular about the house than I am so I decided to surprise him when he came home by having the house all cleaned and a nice dinner made for us to share when he returned home. On Thursday night when he came back, the three of us, and I'm including the dog in that number, were like one big happy family again. In fact, the dog was so happy to see him that she began repeatedly leaping two feet up into the air and barking! We were amazed at her sheer joy, and I am sure it must have sent the message to Chuck that he was sorely missed. After greeting each other, we went in and had dinner together. Upon noticing the house, Chuck remarked that maybe he should go away more often. Oops, that plan backfired on my part! I put the brakes on that plan by telling him if he did go away more often I would stop cleaning the house so that would not be a good choice! We are together now for about 2 weeks, and then he has a short trip before we go away together during the last week of May to Georgia for a week. I wrote an article about Big Canoe, GA. which is a gated community we are thinking of moving to. If you are interested, you can read about it here: http://karenhellier.hubpages.com/hub/Resort-Living-A-Review-of-Big-Canoe-Georgia ...I will be using my new camera to take some much better pictures of the area so will be replacing the current ones. I am just not sure I am ready to move to the South. I am a born and raised New Englander through and through and don't like the heat. But it can't hurt to take a look and get to know the area a bit. We have rented a condo for 1 week so we can really have time to explore and meet people that may be our future neighbors. The community is in the North Georgia Mountains so it's a bit cooler than the lower lying towns. More to come after this after our trip south. Here's a picture of a view from inside the community:
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 8:21 AM
Sunday, May 5, 2013
It has been exactly 34 minutes since Chuck left to go on a business trip to Las Vegas, and I already miss him like crazy.Since I was finally able to move in with him in September, this is the first time we have been away from each other for this long. He has had some overnight business trips that he has taken, but this is the longest one. I left my job at the local high school and became a substitute teacher last June so I could travel with him on his trips. But since we just returned from an almost 3 week cruise, and are planning to leave again for another week at the end of the month (to check out a gated community we may move to in Georgia), we have decided not to ask my parents to take care of the dog for these 5 days, and instead, I will stay home with her while Chuck goes off on his own. I thought this time away from him would be no problem. But when you are in love with someone, and are fortunate enough to be with that someone day in and day out for months at a time, it's a huge emptiness when they leave. Oh yes, I do have things planned to keep myself busy while he is gone. I have some days already booked to work this week. And I plan to write as much as possible. And I still have things that are coming down from my old house that I promised Chuck would be put away before he comes home (where I will put them is still a mystery at this point, but I will find a place). I have plans to get together with a few friends. And I plan to do some cleaning and maybe some scrap booking as well. But all of that doesn't replace the quietness of the house. After all the dog is here with me, but she can't talk. And it doesn't replace the empty space in the bed next to me at night. And it doesn't replace the empty chair at the table during meal time. But I guess we will somehow muddle through, and when he comes home, we will be that much happier to be back together again. Although, in my heart I would rather be in Las Vegas with Chuck (sorry Reeses!)
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 8:18 AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
After the cruise through the Panama Canal, we had a couple days in California visiting relatives. We had one day to be tourists in the Anaheim area, and Chuck wanted to take me to California Adventure. When it first opened about 10 years ago, I heard terrible reviews, so it was not something I was really looking forward to. I do so love Disneyland and was hoping we could go there, but he and I had been to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando at Disney World a few years ago, so after much discussion, and my doing some research on the internet, we decided to go to California Adventure. I don't know how I missed this, but it's actually a Disney Park. I hadn't ever heard that it had any connection to Disney. That made me much more interested in going as I love most things Disney. The day was absolutely perfect at 68 degrees and sunny. We couldn't have asked for a better day temperature wise. The admission price to go is fairly expensive and that seemed ridiculous to me, but then again I am "The Coupon Lady" and there were no coupons or bargains that I could see. Oh, yes, I forgot, Chuck did get a senior discount of 2 whole dollars!!! I was thinking that Walt Disney would probably not be very happy about the small a discount for seniors seeing as he was a senior citizen when realizing his dream of opening Disney Land. But I guess some savings is better than none!!! So we were off to explore the state of California at this park. When doing my research, I found a list of rides that were must experiences and also the ones which were best to use a Fastpass for. We headed right to those rides when we got in, but one of them, even when using a Fastpass, meant that we wouldn't get to ride it till between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. which was ridiculous since we were planning to leave the park before then. Some of the rides we did go on were Soarin' Over California (one of the best rides I have ever experienced) Radiator Springs in Cars Land, and The Aladdin Show...which was extremely entertaining even for adults. I did catch a glimpse of Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Pluto which was really fun. We got a tour of a sourdough bread bakery, complete with a free sample, which you know Chuck loved since he's a huge fan of sourdough bread, and went to the Ghiradelli Chocolate Shop for ice cream in the afternoon. I had a chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream there that was one of the best I have ever had! We went on a few other rides and ended the day with a Pixar parade that was a lot of fun. There were characters in it from A Bug's Life and Toy Story, but I did miss Mickey and Minnie and the original Disney gang in that parade. If I can figure out how to get pictures on this blog, I will post one of Chuck and I posing with a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse...one of my favorite pictures from our trip.( Okay...I figured it out as you can all see below!!!) All in all, I really enjoyed the day and am glad Chuck suggested we go to California Adventure.
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 11:25 AM
Friday, April 19, 2013
Imagine this: You and the love of your life are sitting on a cruise ship balcony. You are sharing a bottle of wine as darkness descends around you. As you look off in the distance, you can see the lights of the port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica fading away. Warm breezes caress your faces and add to your ability to relax and sink back into your lounge chair. You and your love have just spent a day exploring Costa Rica with a guide and had seen monkeys, crocodiles, beautiful beaches and a variety of hand made crafts created by the Costa Rican natives. As you look at each other in the dusk, you toast to five more days at sea which will enable you to relax and share each other’s company while eating delicious foods that you did not need to prepare, enjoying entertaining shows, taking naps and laying in the sun whenever the mood strikes. Not to mention you will be waited on hand and foot. This is how the last part of our cruise started out on Sunday night. And that is what the rest of our week will be like. Today is Monday and started out slowly as we woke up early, went to the buffet for breakfast, and then needing to find something to do while we gave the steward time to make up our room, we laid in thick cushioned lounge chairs in the Lotus pool and spa area. Here's the area we relaxed in. This area is air conditioned, but has cushioned lounge chairs lining the windows. It is quite a nice place to get away from the heat while still being able to enjoy the views of the sea. I didn’t see anymore dolphins, but watched some large silver fish repeatedly jumping out of the water and splashing back down. Shortly thereafter, we did see another family of dolphins again jumping over the waves left by the ship as it passed by them. It is such a thrill for me to see them in their natural habitat, rather than just being able to see them at the Mystic Aquarium. Chuck did some work this morning while I read. We also went to a talk about the electronic and technical workings of our cruise ship which was much more exciting to Chuck than to me. We did our third load of laundry today as well. I love I that Princess ships have Laundromats on them so for $2 to wash a load and $2 to dry we can have clean clothes for $4. There are also free ironing boards to use and that comes in handy too…. Out our windows today we can see no land, only the sea all around us. Yesterday it was a bit cooler and we can tell that we are getting out of the Central America area. I have heard a few passengers around the ship comment on how much nicer the air temperature is now. It’s easier to breathe and isn’t as balmy. I totally agree with them. We saw 3 dolphin sightings yesterday. One was around noon, one at about 4:00 p.m., and one at 5:00 p.m. The last one was when I was once again working out and I ran outside to see them better. There were about 20 dolphins in this group. They were having so much fun jumping over the waves from the ship that I actually laughed out loud. One jumped up and spun around in the air. I am quite surprised at how high they jump. Here's the treadmill area in the gym where I had a great view and could see the dolphins when they jumped out of the water. We spent another day of relaxation which included some time in the sun, reading in lounge chairs on the Promenade deck, and working out. After dinner in the Horizon Court Buffet, we listened to some music by a piano player. We were not interested in the shows which included a hypnotist and a female singer, so instead, headed back to the room for some more reading. We have a lot going on tomorrow night so we decided to just take it easy tonight. I watched the movie, “This Means War” starring Reese Witherspoon, on the stateroom TV. They have some really good movies on the TV in the stateroom, and I love to watch the art channel as it has biographies of famous artists as well as some of the artists whose work is displayed on the ship and auctioned off at the art auctions on board…… Today after breakfast we found a nice quiet place to read. Chuck took a book out of the library on board. You may have heard of the book that Bill O’Reilly helped to write called, ‘Killing Lincoln?” It’s really interesting and Chuck has been reading interesting tidbits to me as he finds them. At 10:00 a.m. Chuck went to a lecture about the discovery of electricity, while I walked around the ship and took pictures. After lunch I am going to the movie, ‘The Silver Linings Playbook” and tonight we have the Captain’s Circle Party…a party for all the returning Platinum and Elite cruisers on Princess. They give free drinks and snacks and there’s a chance to win prizes. After dinner we have plans to see a comic at 8:45 p.m. and a dance production at 9:45 p.m. Never a dull moment on Princess!............ Today’s the last day on the ship. The movie, “The Silver Linings Playbook” was really wonderful. Especially for those of us who have known people that struggle with mental illness. The comic from the other night was hilarious. And the show was very good as well. Yesterday was another relaxing day. It is getting quite cool now as we are further away from Central America, passing Mexico. Chuck didn’t even want to lie out in the sun. I gave it a shot with shorts and short sleeves for only about 20 minutes. The wind was quite strong. We aren’t seeing anymore dolphins as the air temperature and water temperature gets colder. In the afternoon there was a Breast Cancer Walk on board on the Promenade deck that passengers could participate in. Over 80 people took part, which is actually not very many since there are 1800 passengers on board. It was a $15 minimum fee to participate. Chuck didn’t walk but he did sponsor me. Afterward we worked out, went to dinner and he had lobster tails and prawns which was the specialty in the dining room. It was the last formal night so we had to dress up. After dinner we saw a really fantastic show dedicated to the Louisiana Bayou with lots of songs by the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. It was the best show we have seen over the whole cruise. Today is even colder than yesterday. Hardly anyone is sunning themselves or in the pool. I am sad because the cruise is ending. We still have some fun planned for tonight, including dinner and a variety show and Chuck has promised to take me dancing. I have been walking around taking pictures of the ship so we have them to remember it by. I will be writing an article complete with pictures and publishing it on Hub Pages so you will be able to see it when it’s complete. Although it’s a bit of a sad day, we still have each other and I am so happy about that. Oh yes, and we already have another cruise planned in October…a 12 day Transatlantic cruise from Copenhagen to Florida on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Life is good! I hope you all have enjoyed these cruise updates. See you or talk to you soon! Karen & Chuck
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 10:39 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Yesterday was a sea day and we spent it relaxing. We actually got some sun for about an hour but the sun was so hot, it made us almost feel as if we were melting. We did hop into the pool at one point and we didn’t feel the strength of the sun when in the water. On the Movies Under the Stars screen, which is right in front of the pool, they had TV trivia all afternoon. People were shouting out answers to questions about sound clips of themes from TV shows, trivia questions asked about TV starts and sitcoms, etc. I knew a lot of the answers which surprised me and made me think I must have watched a lot of TV as a child! A lot of the questions were about TV shows from the sixties through the nineties. After lunch, and a nap, I dragged myself to the ship’s gym, although I didn’t want to go. Chuck has been much better than I have about working out on this cruise. But then, he always has been anyway. Chuck had gone back to the room and I was still on the treadmill, hoping to convince myself to walk at least 30 minutes. After 20 minutes I happened to be looking out the window in front of me, and saw something jumping out of the water. I immediately hit the stop button on the treadmill and was off running out the door before the belt even stopped. Right outside of the gym is a nice walking area and from there I saw an amazing sight…at least 10 dolphins were jumping out of the water next to the ship. They were playfully jumping over the waves. One even had her baby with her and it was a beautiful sight the see a baby dolphin jumping as well. They followed near the ship for about 5 full minutes. I was hoping that Chuck was also seeing this because he had already gone down to the room. I debated about whether or not to run down and tell him about the dolphins and grab my camera, but it was one of those instances where you don’t dare move, afraid that you might miss such a miraculous sight. I stayed where I was, reveling in the glory that is dolphins playing in their natural habitat. I was so excited that I went back on the treadmill and finished my workout with much more energy! When I got back to the room later, the first thing Chuck asked me was if I had seen the dolphins. He had seen them too and I was so glad. We had a wonderful dinner last night in the more formal dining room. Chuck had beef ribs, and I had roast beef with Yorkshire pudding followed by New York Style cheesecake afterward. It was the meal I have had on the ship so far. After dinner we went to a show performed by the Coral Princess singers and dancers. It was a tribute show to the Rat Pack and was quite good. Sunday was our last cruise port. I am writing this Sunday night but it takes so many minutes to log on and post these updates that I probably won’t get to put this on the blog for a couple days. We pulled into Costa Rica this morning bright and early. Fortunately we set the clocks back an hour last night so getting up at 6:15 a.m. to get ready for our tour felt more like getting up at 7:15 a.m. After a very quick breakfast at the buffet, we headed to the designated meeting place for our tour. I was surprised to note on our way to the bus that although it was only 7:15 a.m., the beach near the cruise dock was already full of people. I have never seen crowds of people at the beach that early. Today’s tour was a train ride and an eco-boat ride through Costa Rica. I was really surprised by the train ride. First of all, it was a very old train with wooden paneling inside and padded seats that reminded me of the seats on school buses. The train had no air conditioning and the windows were open. It moved fairly slowly so I was able to take a lot of pictures that were not blurry due to movement. The train ride made me feel quite sad because it took us away from the tourist areas and we saw how many of the people in Costa Rica really live. And they are poor. We saw so many shacks with tin roofs and hardly any furniture inside. Some of the buildings that they live in had rubber automobile tires as foundations for the home. They had kitchen chairs from the fifties and sixties outside on their porches to sit on. Old kitchen tables from that same time period are in their kitchens, and some people had those types of tables in covered areas outside their homes and that’s where the family eats. Many families have one lone dog tied up by a heavy metal chain to a bush or tree in the shade in their yards. Their yards are littered with old oil cans, plastic containers, broken chairs, etc. Although we did see some nicer houses, they are not of the caliber that we live in. They are cement buildings, with cinder blocks for carports. The crazy thing is, they all seemed so happy. Lots of people, from babies, to children to adults stood in their yards and waved at us with big smiles on their faces. That made me even more sad because they seem so happy when they have so little, and we in the U.S. seem to always want more than what we have. And we have so much more than they do. Gasoline here in Costa Rica is $7.00 per gallon, and many people make only about $25 per day at their jobs. The average take home salary for a worker though is $700 - $800 per month! Yikes. The biggest employer in the country is the tourism trade. At the beach today we saw people making sand carvings and charging $1 to take a picture of it. The carvings were of men and women lying in the sand in bathing suits, and of horses in the sand as well. They were quite good actually. There was a sign next to the carvings that said, ‘This is my job. I have no other source of income and need this money to survive.” While on the train, we also stopped in a grove of trees to take pictures of a family of monkeys. They were really cute and paid no attention to us. I was able to stick my head out the window of the train and aim the camera straight up to take pictures. We also saw a lot of mango trees throughout the countryside as well as a cantaloupe melon plantation. The second part of the tour today was an eco-tour on a boat. We stopped at the visitor area and were treated to fresh watermelon and pineapple, iced tea, cold water or beer. There was also a nice gift shop there as well. We boarded the boats and headed down a river surrounded by mangrove trees. I was amazed at how large and how many roots these trees have. We saw two small crocodiles, more monkeys in trees, bats sleeping on the underside of a log, land crabs, termite nests, bee’s nests, and a variety of birds. It was a one hour boat ride but didn’t disappoint us at all. The day was hot and we were so glad to be able to get back on the air conditioned bus. The drive back was about 45 minutes along the coats and it was very beautiful. When we were done with the tour, we took a tram ride to the end of the pier where we shopped at various vendors who had tents set up for about ¼ mile down the sidewalk bordering the beach. The guide on the ship that spoke about the Panama Canal also gave port talks about each of the ports were going to, and highly recommended this area for Costa Rican crafts. There were a lot of leather products, jewelry, and Costa Rican wood products available, as well as the more touristy type goods of souvenir shirts, hats, magnets, etc. We spent about 40 minutes there, then returned to the ship for a late lunch. After a nap (the heat really does us both in) and another workout, we headed upstairs to the buffet for dinner. It was Bierfest night and almost everything at the buffet was German food. German food is not my favorite but I found a really good vegetable stew, some roasted chicken, a salad, and Black Forest Cake so I was satisfied. Chuck does like German food so he enjoyed the pretzel rolls, sauerkraut, red cabbage, split pea soup with ham, and a few other German dishes. After dinner we went to a show with a very good comedian. He has been on a lot of cruise ships as an entertainer and had some pretty funny stories about people he has met while cruising. Well, I am signing out for the night. The next 5 days we are at sea so nothing to do but relax and enjoy the ship’s amenities and entertainment and rest up to face the real world when we get back to Connecticut.
Posted by Chucks Happy Wife at 9:47 PM