Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jester Hat

Thanks to a tip from my pal Noah, I found out that Target had some awesome Halloween hats. They were in the pet costume section. My favorite was the jester hat, which Laura so generously purchased for me.

As soon as Laura took it out of the bag, Karl literally climbed up her pant leg to investigate. Little did he know he was about to become the next victim! The hat has a chin strap for pets who are not so cooperative about wearing it. Here's our sad jester boy. C'mon Karl, you're not going to collect any Halloween goodies with that scowl on your cat face.

Sock Monkey Friday 9/25/09 - Food and Surprises - Part 1

My presence was specifically requested this past Friday at the bank by my manager, Miss Amy. I could hardly wait to attend, especially since I found out that lots of food would be involved. When I arrived at the bank, I was presented with this glorious crown bearing my name! What a bonus!

The bank is helping to raise money for the American Heart Association. Anyone who donates gets their very own heart displayed. I had to do my part...

... so here's my heart.

For a brief moment I felt guilty about the non-heart healthy lunch I was about to consume. However, it passed quickly as soon as I laid my eyes upon the pizza.

My friend Eugene and I scarfed down several pieces, and then it was time to move on to the next course.

Sock Monkey Friday 9/25/09 - Food and Surprises - Part 2

Our feast would not have been complete without some yummy desserts. Eugene and I attacked this plate of homemade key lime cookies.

J.J. Gandy's has the best desserts in town - pies, cakes, and cookies. It's all good!

We still had room for some additional treats - two bite brownies.

Between Eugene and I, we had about 20 bites worth.

What a fabulous day! I'm so glad I was asked to be the guest of honor.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Case of the Missing Ear Bling - an Open-and-Shut Case - Part 1

I've been tantalizing my friends on Facebook this weekend with a secret that I was keeping. However, I'm ready to reveal everything. Drum roll please...

Mark told me that he wanted to ask Laura to marry him! He said he needed some help designing a ring that he could present to her on Friday night when he popped the question. What could he give her initially before selecting something more permanent at the jewelry store? His glance shifted from my eyes to my sparkling bling-filled ears.

I got the hint. I replied, "Mark, I can help you with this task, and we can use one of my ear bling to accomplish it." The wheels started turning, and I came up with a plan to fashion the perfect ring. However, Laura was in and out of the house on Friday. When she came home, I strategically sat in my beach chair so she wouldn't see my bare ear.

Mission accomplished! She didn't notice a thing. However, my rather astute friend Festus was a bit more observant. He confronted me about the missing bling. I should have thought this out better, but I said that I didn't know what happened. It was gone when I woke up this morning. This was not a good thing to say to an aspiring cowboy sheriff. Festus insisted on calling Officer Po Po to file an official police report.

Officer Po Po arrived in his brand new police car and asked me a bunch of questions - when did I first notice the bling was missing, who did I interact with that day, etc. When I insisted that it was no big deal, he looked at me quizzically and shook his head. He could tell I was hiding something, but he just couldn't put his finger on it. After Po Po left, I breathed a sigh of relief and vowed to continue with my project in secret. I would avoid all monkey contact until my mission was complete.

Sparkly ear bling, you're about to become an engagement ring!

The Case of the Missing Ear Bling - an Open-and-Shut Case - Part 2

There's an abundant supply of free bamboo near my home. I thought this might be the perfect material to construct a ring. Now I just need to find a shoot with the proper diameter.

I had to complete this task in a stealthy manner, so I wore my camouflage John Deere cap while I sawed down the bamboo.

After securing my sample of bamboo, I headed off to the machine shop to do some precision handiwork.

After cutting and sanding for hours, the ring is almost done. Now to add the bling...

Ta-Da! Here's the finished product. Mark was so grateful for my help. Friday evening he returned from the pier triumphant because she said YES! For my efforts, I received a replacement ear bling from a fine kiosk in the mall. Officer Po Po declared the Case of the Missing Ear Bling to be officially solved and closed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gunther's Sock Monkey Friday - Customer Appreciation Day at the Bank

Gunther was very excited to attend another Sock Monkey Friday at the bank, which happened to be a Customer Appreciation Day. This was a special Friday because FOOD was involved. The theme of the day was patriotic. New customers received American flags when they opened their accounts. The bank's official decorator (Cynthia) brought festive items, including some adornments for Gunther. He arrived wearing his customary Penn State baseball cap.

However, he looked quite dapper and Uncle Sam-like in this patriotic red top hat.

This was his absolute favorite though - a red headband with pom pom style antennae.

Did I mention FOOD was involved? Cookies, brownies, candy, danishes, hot dogs, chips, etc. Gunther tried a little bit of everything.

"Thank you so much for bringing me to Customer Appreciation Day, Laura!" Gunther gives her a giant sock monkey hug.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Presents from my friend in the UK - Franklin J. Monkeypants

I have been a very fortunate monk this week. Today I received a package all the way from the UK. Many thanks to my Facebook friend, Franklin J. Monkeypants!

Oh boy! I can't wait to see what's inside!

I received a monkey card "Bald is Best." How true that is! I also got a cool monkey paper weight and a sock monkey cell phone charm.

Last, but certainly not least, I got some English candy called "Wham." Franklin warned me not to go crazy on the candy because it's very chewy.

Here's a closeup of my cell phone charm. I think Laura wants to make a necklace for herself out of it. I might let her if she's good. I was so happy to receive such a nice care package from my friend today. I think the felines are jealous because I've been getting spoiled rotten lately.

Presents from Cracker Barrel

Last week I received a great tip from one of my Facebook friends about new sock monkey loot at Cracker Barrel. On our way home from Moffitt last Tuesday, I got a chance to pick out a few early Christmas presents. I chose two candy dishes and a candy jar.

I am going to hide some goodies in this jar.

I've got some Dove dark chocolates I can keep safe in here.

Safe? Maybe I spoke too soon. Somebody is trying to raid my stash!

Another present I received from Cracker Barrel was this cool camouflage John Deere hat. I can wear this out in the backyard when I'm looking for varmints.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thursday Night's NFL Season Opener - Steelers 13, Titans 10

We were still at Moffitt when the pregame show began. After listening to the Black Eyed Peas, I have a feeling that tonight is going to be a GOOD night for the Steelers!

Once I got home, I gathered my fellow Steelers' posse Troy Monkamalu (center) and Ben Socklisberger (right).

Go Big Ben! Let's win this game!

Even Karl got into the spirit of the game with his Terrible Towel. The game was a tail biter, but my Steelers came through with a victory in the end. Yippee!

Moffitt Cancer Center - Part 1

This past Tuesday, we found out that Mark would need to receive more chemotherapy. We returned to Moffitt Cancer Center on Thursday for the first session. He will receive one drug via injection directly into his brain. Before the drug is administered, his physician's assistant withdraws spinal fluid. This fluid will be tested later for the presence of cancer cells. Mark has a special port in his brain called an Ommaya reservoir. We call it his "Easy Button" (like Staples).

Here is the chemotherapy drug that will be injected next. It looks like Mountain Dew (or monkey urine). Hee hee! Let's say it's Mountain Dew. That sounds better.

Mark's physician's assistant gives him the shot of Mountain Dew. She is enjoying this a little too much, I think.

Now for Part 2 of his treatment... Mark will also receive another drug that is supposed to inhibit blood vessels from growing around a tumor, which should deprive it of nutrients and it will shrink and hopefully disappear. This drug will be administered through a port in his chest. We have to go to another area called the Infusion Center to receive this injection. I am checking out the machine which will slowly infuse the drug into Mark's port.

After my inspection, it looks like he is good to go. Mark will be hooked up to this contraption for about an hour and a half. Since it's dinnertime, I'm going to make a run for some comfort food and I'll be back shortly.

Moffitt Cancer Center - Part 2

On my way to pick up some grub, I investigated the landscaping on the grounds of Moffitt. This palm tree was too spiny for me to climb.

I found some pretty yellow flowers. They reminded me of daffodils.

My pit stop for dinner was our favorite place to eat (Jason's Deli). I ordered a Mexican Chicken baked potato. I think this potato was on steroids. It was HUGE!

After a yummy dinner, I amused myself in the Infusion Center. There are some nice volunteers who knit beautiful hats for the female cancer patients. I decided to model this snazzy purple number.

Each chair in the Infusion Center is equipped with an individual television. This is especially nice for the patients that sit in these chairs for many hours while receiving their chemotherapy. Mark and I kicked back to watch the boob tube after our meal. We were especially looking forward to watching the Steelers' first game of the regular season.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wall Springs Park Revisited 9/7/09 - Part 1

I had so much fun at Wall Springs Park the previous weekend that I decided to visit again on Labor Day. This time I brought my trusty red tricycle along so I could cruise the path system throughout the park.

I heard a babbling noise coming from the water, so I had to stop and check out the situation.

I found some white water rapids! Now I just need to bring a raft next time I visit.

It's time to move along on my park travels. The red tricycle is beckoning me to continue my ride.

I made a second pit stop to enjoy the view. There are several wooden piers like this one within the park that overlook the water.