Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ode to Gregory part 1 -out with the old

Who is gregory you ask? My house, hubs and I named him after Gregory house MD... What? People name their cars - I can name my house!

It seems weird to write a love letter to my house, but I do a lot of weird things so why not add this to the list?

1 year and 1 day ago I moved from the only address I'd ever known to a smaller house across town. The reality of it was that it was a purely financial decision (well moving was - this house was kismet - we'd already decided on a town house). There was no way we could afford to keep "the big house" between the mortgage, taxes, utilities and upkeep we were falling deeper and deeper into debt (between $1000 and $1500 A MONTH). Hubs never would have suggested we sell it - it was after all the place I was born, fortunately for a VERY short time I saw an extremely frank psychiatrist who was like "regardless of money you will never heal in that house, add in that you can't afford it and it will kill you before you foreclose". I went home talked to hubs and within a week was getting the house ready for sale.

Selling it was --- hard? I was not worried about the building but the STUFF inside. We knew we would be downsizing and I was a packrat. The emotions of getting rid of things "that mom had _____" (bought, touched, or looked at) but slowly with the help of a stager that our realtor recommended we went through every last thing! We cleared our cluttered >2000 square foot house & painted and FINALLY put the beast up for sale. We priced it fairly (enough for us to find a town house in a town we would like - we had been pricing and looking at them and pay off our mortgage) and had an (accepted) offer within 4 days (really the first day but we couldn't formally accept because we had posted an open house for the weekend and we were obligated to have it).

Then it was the torture of inspections and title 5 and every other tedious thing that could go wrong! Ohhh roof that decides to leak and I have to repair? Check! Ohhh propane line I hit with the lawn mower for the first time ever and have to replace? Check... This list sadly goes on and on.

Meanwhile we were house hunting. But I think I'll leave that for part 2!

*****note all these pictures were taken AFTER staging - and all my stuff was in storage :-)

+++have you ever sold a house?+++

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The not wordless Wednesday

So I left off hitting my groove! I was going to conquer the world

What's that you say?

The "was" what's up with the was? Well hubs bought me a new blender.

My old blender (probably 5 years old and bought at target for $20) was dying... A slow and painful death. The kicker was that it no longer chopped ice or frozen fruit it truly was just a VERY low powered stirrer.

I try to have a green monster each morning (some days the green is green tea ice cubes in rice milk but it's a trial) but my blender said no more. So... Hubs went out and bought me a ninja! Hiya!! This one here:;jsessionid=B471BA3BB69FD485FB6133690418646D#ip/Ninja-Frozen-Treat-and-Drink-Maker/19855960
But in orange! It is amazing!!!!!!
So the first thing I decided to make was a rice milk, pomegranate seltzer water, star fruit, romaine lettuce smoothie (with a dropper of nu naturals orange stevia seriously this is the best stuff ever! I won some in a blog giveaway and have even opened my Splenda in months! It is 100% worth 12 a bottle here's a link - check it out!) well in about 30 seconds it was perfectly smooth. I had a few sips and my face started to burn. I have enough allergies to know that this is bad. I grabbed my benedryl and put aside the drink and guzzled benedryl instead. Long story short it got worse and worse and I ended up in the ER.

While in the emergency room I learned a couple things:
1- renal patients (ie me) should never eat star fruit it hurts your kidneys!
2- I am really allergic to star fruit
3- I'm an idiot for having an expired epi pen

A few hours and many meds later I was home way worse for wear. I'm on a histamine blocker and prednisone , and am prescribed bed rest and no sun or socialization (my immune system is compromised and my already osteo bones are even more fragile) so here I sit...

Pity party
I need balloons
Fortunately I'm exhausted so it isn't as bad as it could be, right? Right!

This is where I tell you it's not my hubs fault! But poor guy is blaming himself! Damn star fruit!

+++do you have allergies?+++

*heres a flower photo I love! Yes I know it's not relevant (unless yours allergic)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things I learned from my garden

This morning I was up early and in my garden as the sun was rising. My little spot needed some tlc the weeds were invading.

My mind was more zen than it has been since I got home from Jamaica!!

Pull, toss, reach, pull, toss...

First, I cleared out the grass.

Then I looked over and decided that my plants needed room to grow (LESSON) so I took a few minutes and decided which I was going to pull, because if it couldn't offer benefit to the garden or my family then I didn't need to keep them around (LESSON) and could let them reach their potential in other ways aka feeding my bunny (LESSON)

The irony of being a person who keeps toxic people in her life didn't escape me. So as I pulled broccoli that wasn't growing and pepper plants that had no peppers or flowers and gave them to brother (bunny) I gave myself permission to look over my garden of flowers and set people aside who also have better places...

Thanks garden! For a bunch of tomatoes, 12 cups of parsley (made Parmesan parsley rice for my in laws and for helping ME GROW!

+++do you garden? What's your garden taught you?+++

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fabulous Friday fill ins

As always courtesy of
4. HAROLD PARKER is so beautiful.
5. I grew up in THE BARN and THE SHOW RING
6. EITHER BREAD PUDDING (on the good side) OR CHICKEN CACCIATORE (for the evil side - no seriously my mom made this so often that ALL my sisters and I are traumatized by it) was my most memorable meal.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to BABYSITTING MY FRIENDS DAUGHTER, tomorrow my plans include MEETING LULUBELLE (a dog of a friend of a friend who im taking care of for a week later) and Sunday, I want to JUST CHILL BUT I TOLD ANOTHER FRIEND ID HELP THEM WITH ERRANDS, IS IT MONDAY YET?

+++what are your weekend plans?+++

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lightning, neighbors and a poodle

Yesterday lightning just circled around my town.

It came rained, thundered, lightninged scared the living shit out of me (my fear level is off the charts lately - I'm not sure why but I'm working on it) and broke the power, about 15 minutes later it was gone and soon after the power turned on. During this time mike the mailman (the worlds best mailman) stops by and tells me I look rough I told him I was afraid of lightning he says "that's the worst storm I've ever seen it was right over the lake - I even pulled over, don't want to be driving in it" and I smile and think well at least it's over.

Not so fast Joy Joy! About an hour later it was back. Even nastier than before. It touched the lake and a tree on my street. I shook like a leaf - the poodle shook like a leaf. I couldn't figure out which way to look because it was all around us. Again we lost power - this time it took a couple hours to come on.

After this I sent the pic below to hubs saying "hey daddy I survived and so did momma"
About 45 minutes after the power came on that beast of a storm came back (now its like 6:30) and she slammed us one more time this time hitting a transponder and leaving us in the dark until after 9. The house was hot and muggy!

Now what does all this have to do with my neighbor? She heard me mentioning to mike I was scared. And when it came back she came over and sat with me, we talked about zucchini and childhood games and everything else! When the storm was gone she got up to leave and told me any time it stormed to just pop over to her house no need to be scared and alone.

What am I taking from yesterday's storm - not that lightning sucks (it does though)? I'm taking that great neighbors are worth their weight in zucchini!

+++are you a storm lover or hater?+++

Monday, July 16, 2012

Babysitting means zucchini, right?

I've been watching my 2 nephews last week and this. The boys are notoriously bad eaters. Each day I've made them something with zucchini.

The first day was:
Zucchini brownies (minus the frosting) from prevention rd
They ate half the batch (hubs took half to work otherwise I'm sure they would have eaten them all

The next day was zucchini muffins
They housed them!

Day 3
Was zucchini bread (I made these in pbj sandwiches) (minus walnuts and raisins - I didn't have them)

And today I have no eggs but a boy who walks in with "I'm hungry"
So I googled vegan zucchini oatmeal cookies and couldn't find any... So I googled vegan oatmeal cookies and found

Alicia Silverstein's kind diet oatmeal cookies (should have just looked in my cookbook duh)

I didn't have all the ingredients listed so I changed them and made them into bars (because taking cookies in and out of the oven sounds about as much fun to me as getting a root canal)... The 3 year old ate 3 for breakfast. The 6 year old is still sleeping. But hubs agrees with Aaron these are great! And I will say they smell amazing!

Without further adieu here they are:

Vegan oatmeal zucchini bars
which I changed from:

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies recipe: adapted from Alicia Silverstone - The Kind Diet

- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tbsp pancake syrup
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- mix everything (now you're probably supposed to do this in some sort of order BUT I was cooking with a 3 year old and I suck at cooking!)
-squish everything into a 9 x13 pan that you greased
-cook for 20 minutes

Mission use up zucchini is in full effect!

+++do you like cooking with kids? I do+++

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Apparently everything grows

I live in the town I grew up in. Often that's boring and rather... Claustrophobic.
Occasionally it's cool to see "my town" grow up.
Case in point - I am babysitting my nephews for a few days, I am not a great kid person (aka I have no clue what to do with them). I like right near the lake (hence the over abundance of lake pictures on instagram) so I decided to take them to the beach. Now, going to the lake for me isn't uncommon but going to the overcrowded, pay if you don't live within I certain radius (I live within it), lifeguarded, ultra-ruled (wtf no floaties) part is new - in general I prefer to go to the quieter area and be on my own (often with the poodle) so imagine my shock when the beach I grew up going to (and walk/drive by a million times a day) was all different!

Groomed beach
Volleyball net
Gorgeous little park
Place to rent boats
And a really nice bath house.

This same lake when I grew up:
Rocky beach
NASTY bathroom

Yup everything grows older and sometimes they grow nicer!
Good job little town, good job!

+++do you still live in your childhood town? If not do you go back? Has it grown up at all?+++

PS - my poodle rocks! He lets himself be walked by a 3 year old <3

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A to Z

So janetha did an a to z post
She got the idea from Abby
Who got it from dorry
Of things she enjoyed in life - I thought I could jump on the band wagon!

A- aunty I love being an aunt to little ones and big!
B- beaches - specifically the ones of Jamaica
C- Christmas cactus --- I have one that was my mom's and I love that it isn't dead :-)
D- decluttering my house and calming my soul
E- evenings with the hubs
F- friends - I swear friends are the best!!!
G- garden I am so proud of my garden, it's fun to pick stuff I've grown
H- house I love my little place of serenity on earth
I- iPhone for sure!!!
J- jumping rope (ESP with little kids because they sing songs while you jump)
K- kisses
L- libraries I love the smell of the books and the way that you've moved back a # of years every time you step in
M- Massachusetts - there really is no place like home
N- neighbors I have great neighbors and live in a cute neighborhood
O- orange juice
P- poodles poodles poodles! Mine in particular
Q- quilts I made a quilt that I love and I had a yoga/meditation mat made out of my moms clothes in a quilt style and I love it!
R- rabbits - I love our bunny brother
S- slushies, I adore them
T- tea, seriously the best thing ever
U- umbrellas I love walking in warm rain without getting wet
V- vets I love my dogs vet! She is fabulous and is always there for me
W- walking... On the street, in the woods, on a treadmill if need be
X- eXact change!
Y- yoga! 3 times a week to fix my body and my mind!
Z- zoos I love going to the zoo

+++tell me a few simple things that you like?+++

Friday, July 06, 2012

Friday fill ins

2. WATERMELON are my favorite summertime fruits and vegetables.
4. KAYAK AND LEARN STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING is the one thing I want to do this summer more than anything!
5. Just the other day I was saying YEAH MON (I was in Jamaica - get it?)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to MOWING THE LAWN, tomorrow my plans include YOGA IN THE MORNING AND HELPING A FRIEND CLEAN HER HOUSE and Sunday, I want to WALK WITH HUBS AND THE POODLE AND PROBABLY KAYAK.

+++So seriously any ideas what I can do with my 3 huge zucchini - I have more and more up and coming+++

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Homeward bound...

It was a great vacation!

It was our first "real" (ie not weekend in maine, new hampshire, connecticut) vacation in 9 years. I *hope* it's not the last for 9 years!

I'd say my favorite parts were:

* Walking the beach
* really feeling a part of a group - the people we were with (and there were 16 of us) really made me feel welcomed and wanted (something I never feel)
* watermelon (omg the watermelon was amazing)
* watching my husband have SO MUCH FUN with his friend
* falling in love with him all over again (damn he's a handsome bastard)
* the wedding! That wedding was without doubt the most beautiful wedding I've been to (my own included)

The newlyweds, hubs and I have talked of taking more trips together I can NOT wait!

At any rate, the b&b host drove us to the airport for our flight...

That, my friends, is where the problems began! She suggested we leave at 6:15 for a 7:20 flight - we didn't argue with her.

1- Well we got to the airport at 6:40 & they wouldn't let us check our bags which was a problem because we had 2 carry ins each and 1 checked bag. After I burst into tears the lady suggested we buy a bag from the $10 store and condense 3 bags into it and she would try to get us on with just carry ins. Consider that done!! I ripped over threw away half my clothes and ran back. She brought us to another person who pushed us past the line. Through security. Ready for problem

2- remember the alcohol I bought and put in my luggage to check? Ummm yeah it was more than 3 ounces. Game time decision was trash it (actually I begged TSA guy to take it home and enjoy it) and on to problem #

3- we were at gate 22 and our plane left from gate 42 (in about 19 minutes) so to get from 22 to 42 you have to go up 2 escalators on a sky train and down 2 escalators, not to mention run about a mile (see yesterday's post with my ankle/toe to know how this felt!) as we got there we heard 4 people being turned away because the gate was closed. The incredibly nice gate keeper booked them on the 11:15 to Boston and they went on their way. She did the same for us and I thanked her for her kindness and turned around and walked away I made it about 4 steps before I just sort of melted. Hubs put a kind hand on my back and said its ok. Well apparently the people we were walking by (who worked for American airlines) asked the gate keeper what was up and she told them I missed my flight (hubs heard this I didn't I was crying) about 1 minute later our names were paged back to gate 42 - we raced back to hear that the captain had reopened the gates for us and we needed to board! I hugged her :-) and 2 hours and 42 minutes later I was landed. Happy and landed!! And treated with poodle kisses

+++do you have any airline hero stories?+++

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Welcome to Miami

Got the song stuck in your mind? I sure did!

So, where did I leave off? Ahh yes a ride to the airport where the speed limit signs don't matter!

Before we hopped on the shuttle hubs and I got in a last minute walk around - we wanted to drink in Jamaica with our eyes one more time before we said goodbye mon

When we arrived in Jamaica it was dark so we didn't get to see the amazingness that is the jamaican road ways. Gorgeous views left and right, huge mansions and falling down shanties side by side, wild goats eating grass on the side of the highway and bulls tied to trees next to the sea, Jamaica truly bared all of its soul to us on the drive to the airport.

Our flight to Miami was quick and painless and I must admit I was shocked at how much easier it was to get into America than it was to Jamaica. We had our bags and were through customs within 40 minutes.

We opted to take 2 buses to our bed and breakfast - it was a savings of $25. The b&b was lovely and the host was amazing she even took us on a tour of Miami and Miami beach - so different from both Jamaica and Boston. We saw the art deco buildings and listened to the music and saw some dancers :-)

After we returned back hubs and I decided to go for a walk - apparently my clumsiness is back in full effect once we hit American soil. I stubbed my left big toe on an uneven sidewalk, I'm pretty sure it's broken (it's purple and the nail is already falling off) BUT while hopping onto my right foot I twisted my right ankle. At first I thought it was sprained but I'm going with strained but it is swollen (and most of my right leg is). BUT here's the total Joy part I fell and hit my head on a root and have a little cut and a big bump (no worries Laura I've already made a dr appointment for today).

Thus our walk was cut a bit shorter (though still another 45 minutes as im obnoxious (ask hubs) and refused to call a cab) and we went back to the b&b for an early ish night (still was 10:30 by the time we were back)

Trips and all Miami is gorgeous and I'm so glad we got the chance to check it out. And now I just can NOT wait to get home to the poodle because that little man needs to give me some snuggles!

+++are you clumsy?+++
+++do you love going home from vacation?+++
Because seriously as much as I've enjoyed Jamaica I'm ready to see the little house

Pics (sorry they're not in order but I blog from my phone and I haven't figured that out yet)

1- cool little houses on the side of the road on the way to the airport
2- boat in the sea during our morning walk
3- if you look closely above hubs head you can see a lizard... He was looking for it HA
4- us on Jamaican boardwalk
5- Miami beach sunset
6- cool old cars that are parked along ocean drive in Miami beach
7- gorgeous Miami sunset
8- Miami palm tree
9- my one picture of the Jamaican flag
10- amazing house on the opposite side of the road

Monday, July 02, 2012

80. 30. 50.

Today is a half travel day
We opted to spend a day in Miami before flying all the way home... So more to come tomorrow 8-0

But today's title is in reference to the speed limit signs on the ride to the airport. However apparently 80/50/30 km/h are exactly the same speed!

Now let's rewind to yesterday! It's actually amazing to me how much you can do in a day!

Another bright and early morning for our group. The bride and groom had planned a glass bottomed boat cruise for us. Hubs and I got up bright and early combing for shells (wait until you see the craft idea(s) I have coming up for those!) while we waited for our boat. Must mention here that hubs phone went swimming - anyone got any ideas on how to bring an iPhone back to life?

The boat ride was amazing! We saw tons of fish and coral and a sunken boat! And the views of the island from the boat of the island were stunning!

After we finished hubs and the groom went snorkeling, the bride and her family went off and did their thing. I went and did a little last minute shopping. I bought liquor!! Oh wait, have I mentioned that I drank on vacation? I don't drink for a few reasons - some moral some medical. Pretty sure I'll "forget" to tell my doc that part!

Next up was another day at the water park.

And then home to our hotel for a circus!!!

What a day!!!

Pics of:
The glass bottom boat
Hubs and I
The fire twillers at the circus
And me "resting"

+++do you allow yourself some slack on vacations?+++

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Wedding day

Yesterday was the day we came down here for! Hubs was best man in his good friends wedding. A wedding on the beach? Don't mind if I do thankyouverymuch!

Every one was up bright and early. We met at the spa at 7:00 to get our hair done! 3 hair dressers, 7 ladies means fast! We had mimosas while we got done up. I took about 700 million pictures! The bride is a love who NOT ONCE threatened to kill me!

The wedding (with steel drums! On the beach!!!) was gorgeous and the reception (did I mention on the Caribbean sea??? Like feet from it) was fabulous!

We were finished by around 3:00 and I jumped out of my dress and headed I the gym for a good workout (all the sitting - hair, wedding, reception had left my joints sore and my legs swollen a quick workout was just what i needed). I have to say I felt a bit bad ass looking at myself in the mirror sweating it up on the elliptical with my hair all gorgeous!

Just as I finished the WORST thunder and lightning storm hit. I was shaking in my flip flops - every. single. car alarm went off! Two hours later it was as if it never happened :-) amazing! Blue skies and happy seas!

The rest of the night was spent hanging out looking at photos. We are definitely getting tired 8-0

Photos of the day!

+++do you notice that as your vacations go on you slow down?+++

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