Sunday, December 1, 2013
I can't believe it's been a month since I last blogged. It's not like I've had nothing to say in the last month. If you know me, you know I have plenty to say. But I have no good reason for why I haven't blogged. But rather than dwell on it, let's move on. Since we just had Thanksgiving, I'd like to share some things I am thankful for. I'm kinda obsessed with my new treadmill and Parenthood. I love walking and I hate when it gets cold and dark because it gets harder and harder to motivate myself to get outside. At the end of the winter last year, my treadmill died. I literally wore the tread out. I was very thankful for two things. One, that my treadmill waited to die until it was light in the morning again and two, that the belt didn't bust in two while I was walking on it. I can only imagine what that would have been like. I can see the bubble over your head. You are imagining what that would be like, aren't you? In my horror film, the belt snaps, I go shooting off backwards like a rocket, but at the last minute my shoelace gets stuck in the motor and I get a tread burn from the belt repeatedly grating against my leg...as I frantically try to pull the kill switch. It's the same every time...no matter how I try to imagine it differently. I digress. So, after walking only on the weekends, and only when I motivated myself to walk in the cold on those weekends, I hit Craig's List and found myself a "barely used" and extremely heavy to move treadmill. This brings me to the next two things I'm thankful for. One, is the dolly that we used to move the treadmill with and two, is the playroom because that is where my new treadmill is living. And that's because it was the closest place to the front door that we could put it. My last treadmill lived in the office, up 2 flights of stairs, and there was no way Tim, Jack, and I could get it up the stairs. After my friend's recommendation to start watching Parenthood, and quite frankly, a lot of nagging... "You haven't started watching it yet?! Why?!"...I decided I would watch an episode each time I walked. I am thankful for both the recommendation and for my new friends, The Bravermans. I literally feel like they are my friends and I can't wait to see what happens next. I know, I sound crazy. That's ok. I like it that much. If you haven't watched it, you should start. After two episodes I asked my friend, "Is it normal to cry during every episode?" Apparently it is. I tried watching it on the train last week and I had to shut it down. I draw the line at boo-hoo'ing on the train over a tv show. I'm not THAT crazy. Speaking of crazy, we went out the night before Thanksgiving, with the rest of the world and everyone was asking each other "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I happily replied that we were hanging at home, just the four of us. People typically had two reactions. One was "Ohh...that's nice"...aka, that's sad you have no where to go. The other was "I'm so jealous"...aka, I wish we could do that. We cycle through one of three options every few years. We go to my sister's house, we get together with friends, or we hang at home. We love all of the options. And every few years we decide not to be stressed about cleaning the house, or rushing off to someone's house, or fighting the crowds on the road. And we just do whatever we want. This year we had a WII tournament...we literally haven't played WII in a year. We played games. We lit a fire. We watched a movie. We cooked and ate lots of food. And we do what we always do when we celebrate at home. We moved the kitchen table in front of the fire, turned out the lights, and ate by firelight and candlelight. Okay, to be honest, that lasted about two minutes before the kids said "This seems weird. Why are we eating in the dark?" So...we turned the lights back on. I am thankful my "weird" teenagers let me sit by firelight for two minutes. We also did our favorite thing...which is to dress up on the top and wear pj's or sweats on the bottom. I want us to look good at the table, but be comfortable. And let's be honest...It's what we all want to wear on Thanksgiving....elastic waist pants. Inevitably, we all unbutton, loosen our zipper, and dream we were in our pj's right after we eat so we just go right there. No need to wait. One year, Jack's idea of "fancy" was to douse himself in a bottle of cologne. This year, he "wore" a tie with his long sleeve white tshirt....except he hasn't quite got the tying part down...so he just tied it in a knot around his neck. It was quite a look. I am thankful for our crazy little traditions when we stay home for Thanksgiving. I think everyone should do the same every once in awhile. I can't tell you how many people told me they wished they could do the same but they "have" to get together with their family. You know what? You are your own little family and you are an adult who can do whatever you want. Give yourself permission every once in awhile to do your own thing...to not have plans...to enjoy your own little family unit...and to wear elastic waist pants from the get go. Trust me. You'll be thankful.
Friday, November 1, 2013
This week I saw and heard some funny things that I thought I would share. These were things that made me chuckle or shake my head and I thought you might enjoy them. First, one of the train regulars wore a major fashion don't. I wish I had a picture to show you but I think I was so in shock at the sight that I totally forget to snap a pic. So, this guy is very grey and vanilla. Meaning, his coloring is blah...grey hair, always wears a grey suit, no color to his face. He drives a Honda mini van, and not that there is anything wrong with that, but he just screams boring to me. He typically doesn't wear a coat over his suit but the other day he showed up with one alright...it was like an oversized suit jacket...it was black leather...one button by his navel....lapels with stitching....and you could tell he thought he looked like the cat's ass in it. I mean, I don't know what else to say. Well, what I wanted to say was "Hey Honda Guy, 1970 called and they want their leather "jacket" back". I wanted to take his fashion card, his man card, and his train pass. He shouldn't be allowed to travel with us in that thing...gives us all a bad rap. The next day he wore his trench coat. I'm pretty sure someone made fun of him at work. So, on Tuesday, I'm walking the one block it takes me to get from the train to work and this ALL happened in the span of 5 minutes. I'm walking by two "worker guys" who are taking a break on the side of the road. Dude 1: So, which one is your chick? Dude 2: She is the really short one Dude 1: Ohhh, that one?! She is cute but yeah, man, she is sooo short! Dude 2: I know...she is cute right? But yeah, really short too. I so wanted to ask to see a picture of her. Just as that convo wraps up I hear a bunch of screaming and yelling back in the direction I just came from. I look and there is a cab driver and bicyclist screaming at each other. The cabbie leans out to yell at the bike guy and the bike guy hauls off and punches him in the face through the window. It was crazy!! Then he took off in a one way direction so the cab driver couldn't pursue him. Ballsy move. Then as I'm rounding the corner to my building a meter maid walks past me at the same time 2 guys in a van are driving past me. The passenger rolls down his window: Dude: Hey you...can I ask you something? Meter Maid: ignores him Dude: Did you hear me...hey, I have a question Meter Maid: she turns around and says "What's that?" Dude: You are cute, you know Meter Maid: Shut the F* up! Alrighty, I guess she is taken and not interested.... But perhaps one of the funniest conversations that offered a lot of insight to me as a parent was this one. Guy/kid (like mid 20's)on the train behind me....his phone rings and it's his friend. My ears perked up at: Guy: Yeah, I didn't get that job dude because I had too much shit in my system...yeah, the test came back showing all kinds of shit. Guy: Yeah, I didn't go to rehab or anything. I just stopped cold turkey. I had to clean my life up. Guy: Well, my Dad told me I had to grow up and get a job...they aren't going to cover me anymore. So, yeah, I'm sleeping on Joey's couch right now and working with him at night. Guy: Well, I'll tell you about it later but all this crap happened with Cassie and she broke up with me...so I moved back in with my parents but this time they didn't help me out....so I had no choice but to grow up. Guy: It's all good tho....I needed it. See, I never cared about anything or tried hard because I knew no matter what happened my parents would be there and cover me so it didn't matter if I screwed up. But they aren't doing that anymore so I have no choice but to get my shit together. Guy: it's all good though. My Dad said he would cover my first month's rent and then that's it..and I can't move back in with them again so I'm trying to find a job. You can only enable your children so long, people.... I think the fact that he had that conversation on the train in front of everyone is hysterical...totally oblivious to everyone around him. Uhm...and now I'm writing a blog about him...some conversations you might want to have in private. It was funny energy this week...lots of craziness...but it got me through a stressful, busy week. What's the funniest/craziest thing you heard this week??
Sunday, October 13, 2013
This is the first time in about 6-7 years we haven't gone camping for Columbus Day weekend. It has traditionally been our last camping weekend of the season and for most of those years, we have camped in Lake George. I love it there. Even though it is a completely different atmosphere, it reminds me of Old Cape Cod. It's like time stood still there. Old lake motels, not over developed. Just a nice, simple lake village where people can just enjoy the beauty of Lake George and the mountains. Our camping weekends have typically consisted of cold mornings, long hikes, soups in the crockpot, and watching Red Sox play offs at the Adirondack Brewery. Insert sigh here. Missing all of that right now. Since the kids are less interested in camping this year we decided to skip camping this year and stay home. Lord knows there is plenty of work that needs to be done around here. But we can't work all weekend. Well, Tim and I could but it's not fair to the kids on a long weekend to just work all the time. So, at the beginning of the week, we all picked something fun that we wanted to do....in addition to all of us helping with the yard work. Tim picked kayaking. I couldn't be happier. His uncle has a bunch of kayaks and we can put them in the trailer and drive to the local lake. I picked hiking. Plenty of places to hike nearby. Mimi picked watching a movie and Jack wants to have appetizers and watch the Patriots/Saints in the living room on Sunday. Oh, and we all decided to have game night too. We love the games! On tap for Friday night was movie night. Turns out Jack ended up making plans to stay at a friend's house for the night and Mimi was exhausted from the week and her field hockey game. So we had dinner and played a game instead. Night one...we still had plenty of time to fit it all in. On Saturday, I got a last minute hair appointment, Jack was at his sleepover til mid morning, and we scored amazing seats at the Red Sox game Saturday night. Oh, and I have such bad poison ivy that I had to go to critical care at my doctor's office to get a prescription. Plans were been thrown out the window for Saturday. Out of the 30 things I had on my to-do list I got about 5 done. We didn't kayak, hike, or watch a movie. But we did have an amazing night at the Red Sox together and everyone was happy to not have to do much yard work...well, except Tim. On Sunday, we had high hopes. Tim and I got up early and I hit the grocery while he started on the thatching, aerating, and whatever else the lawn needed. I have to admit...I have no interest in the lawn other than I want it to be green and look good. Apparently you have to put some work into it. It didn't even make my list. Funny tho...about 2 hours into the lawn work, I heard Tim' dirt bike rev up and Mimi and I watched him zip around the yard about 5 times. It was like he was 10 again. I cleaned the house for about 3 hours...which stinks....but in the end it looked good. Then I moved on to cooking some stuff for the week and to freeze - I made butternut squash risotto, homemade sauce & homemade meatballs, I cut up a veggie platter for snacks during the week, I made pumpkin sugar cookies (so good!), and finally, Jack had picked appetizers for dinner while we watched the Saints vs. Patriots (Jack's two favorite teams) so I made 4 different apps. Again, felt like I had wasted my whole day but I have a clean house and a lot of food to show for it so that certainly isn't a waste. Tomorrow is the holiday...we'll see how we do on the list. I am adamant we should go for a hike but looking at the long list, I'm not sure we are going to get it in. We'll see though! I either need to put less things on my to do list, work faster and harder, or lower my expectations. Maybe all three...
Friday, October 11, 2013
I admit...I like House Hunters. I like to see all the different houses that are available and I love to see how people decorate. But, I'll also admit, I hate many of the people who are looking for houses. They come up with the list of things they "must have" that you realize over time, really aren't that important. Let's rewind to 11 years ago when we were building our house and we "had to have" a shower with 10 shower heads that pulsated, massaged, and basically promised to wash away all your stress. I also had to have an enormous whirlpool tub. I think we've used the fancy shower twice. Turns out, the water heater is far away from our master bath and by the time it heats up and travels all the way to our bathroom and pours out of 10 shower heads, it runs out of heat in about 2 minutes. Pretty soon you find yourself pelted with cold water and believe me, it's not the spa shower experience you had in mind. I used to take a lot of baths. Pre-kids. But who has time for a bath once you have kids?? One of my favorite baths of all time...and yes, I remember...is when I was in India traveling for business about 6 or 7 years ago. At the end of our trip, we stayed at a luxurious hotel just outside of the Taj Mahal. Every room had a view of this amazing structure. I got back from dinner and while I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth I looked out the arched window to see an amazing view of the Taj Mahal, all light up at night. I decided to take a bath, have a glass of wine, and just soak in the view, so to speak. When was I EVER going to experience this again? It was quite an amazing view and I felt very lucky to have the opportunity. One of the worst, yet most needed bath experiences of my life happened 3 years ago. I did the Jimmy Fund walk, which is walking the Boston Marathon route, 26.2 miles. Walking it. It took 8 hours. After about 6 hours, it was extremely painful to even lift my foot 3 inches to step up on a curb. When I got home, well, I should say, when I fell out of the car, the kids told me they had poured a nice hot bath for me. It took me 10 minutes to literally crawl up the stairs, and yes, I was whimpering, to find a nice hot bubble bath waiting for me. I was just about to get in but the problem was, I couldn't lift my legs over the waist high side in order to get in. I literally started to cry. I wanted to soak in the tub so bad but I couldn't get in it. Eventually, I was able to hurl myself in but it was as painful getting out as it was getting in. Fast forward to this week. I was in need of another bath. Not for relaxation but rather for medicinal purposes. Tim and I did 11 hours of yard work last weekend...5 of those hours in the pouring rain. We completely redid the front of our house. The trees and shrubs we planted 10 years ago were overgrown and overcrowded. So, we dug them out, and literally hauled them out using the jeep to pull them out of their holes...they were that heavy and big. In the end, we were so impressed with ourselves and the results. I was a little less impressed with all the poison ivy I ended up with. Listen, I'm allergic to it. I know what it looks like. I have had it pretty bad in the past. I wore long sleeves. I wore gloves. I was so careful. Yet still, I ended up with an extremely bad case of it on my arms that has now expanded to my mid section. Not sure how but that's how poison ivy works. After trying a bunch of different things that didn't work very well, I decided to soak in a bath filled with Epsom salts. As I was soaking in the tub, and I'm not going to lie, tingling with little awkward pain/soothing feeling, I wondered why I don't take baths more often. Which lead me to wonder "When was the last time I took a bath?" Turns out, it was the Jimmy Fund Walk Tub...3 years ago. Seriously? I have not taken a bath in 3 years? Don't worry...I do shower on a daily basis though. And, here's where my tips come in for my House Hunter friends. Fist, don't get the 10 jet shower. You'll never use it. Spend that money on something else you think you can't afford. And think twice about the jet powered soaking tub. Honestly, I have only used the thing a handful of times...which means that it collects a lot of dust. In order to take this relaxing bath, I had to spend 30 minutes cleaning the dust out of tub...while scratching at my oozing ivy spots. It was pure torture. So close but yet so far. But once I got in I remembered that baths are awesome. Add some bubbles, a book, and a glass of wine, and I'll be in there for about 2 hours. Why don't we do that more often?? Why don't we take time? It is super relaxing, a nice time to reflect, and more importantly, a time to spend just by yourself with no interruptions, no kids, no one asking you to do anything for them. Why don't we hide there more often? I say we start a bath revolution. Everyone get in their tubs! Soak for an hour. Lock the door. Hide out! I encourage you to stow away in your tub on a weekly basis. And start now!
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I have a tendency to take pictures of people on the train and send them to my friend Cori. They are all of fashion infractions, with the exception of the picture I sent of the bald man with a piece of yarn stuck to the back of his head. Sorry bald guy, but it was funny. Last week, I saw quite a doozey. I'm not going to post the actual picture because I want to protect the innocent but let me see if I can describe the visual accurately. It's about 8 am and an Asian woman gets on. I can only see her from the waist up but I was immediately sure, from what I saw, that she was just coming home from the night before. The first thing that caught my eye was the sequined shirt. Bedazzled really. The sequins were the size of quarters and were blinding. Her face was covered in white powder. Either she didn't know how to apply make up or she was going for the Geisha look. She had long straight hair with a little girl's plastic clip holding her bangs back. WHAT?! I couldn't stop staring...and as luck would have it, she said across the aisle from me. Rather than watch her like a t.v. show, I decided to take a picture and stare at my phone instead. Now, Cori, can't understand how I can take a picture of someone and not have them catch me. Let's just say I have skills in this area. First, I make sure my phone is on silent. Then I do a test photo and take a picture of my backpack, very innocently. Then I very innocently and yet intently pretend I am doing something on my phone while lining up my subject and then just snap the photo. Works like a charm every time. At least so far. So, I snap the photo and then zoom in. So, this is what I saw. In addition to the pale face powder, she has ringed her eyes, raccoon style, with black eyeliner and then topped that off with gold eye shadow. And when I say gold, I mean sparkly bling. Nice, dainty look for daytime. She has paired the bedazzled top with a pair of wrinkled khakis. I know....I wanted to take away her Lady Card the minute I saw it. What are you doing, I wanted to shout!! She had a cream cardigan on that was a bit ill fitting too. Then I scrolled down and before my eyes, appeared little pink ruffle socks...like a little girl wears with Mary Janes...and black flats. It was at this point that I had to look up to make sure what I saw was real. Annnnddd...that's when I realized she was eating a Tupperware container of cold ravioli. The smell was almost too much. Did this girl not have any friends? No one in her life that would say "Don't pair that top with those pants" or "Hey, you overdid it on the powder and you look like a mime" or even "You might have gone a little far with the eyeliner"? Look, I'm not saying I'm a fashion "do" every day, but that whole look was cause for concern. The kicker was when I got off the train, I was behind a man in high-waisted jean shorts who was wearing white socks and sandals. It was apparently Bad Fashion Thursday.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Last weekend was our 5th Adult Camping Weekend. This is an annual event when we get together with two other couples and go camping in Truro. For our first year, we didn’t let the boys in the camper to sleep...they had to stay outside in tents. Our camper was smaller then and well, boys will be boys. Gradually we got a bigger camper and they were allowed to stay in with us…although they still can’t use the bathroom. Girls only for obvious reasons. Point in fact, this year, one of the boys forgot the rule, used the bathroom and left the toilet seat up. I sat down and literally almost fell in the toilet. This is why we need these rules. Last year we almost got shut down by the Campground Po-Po when we had a dance party inside the camper at 1 am. 6 of us dancing like fools in a little camper. What can I say, we thought no one could hear the music. Two years ago we were there for less than 24 hours "thanks" to Hurricane Irene. I'll tell ya though...we packed a weekend's worth of activity into that 24 hours. We know how to have fun. This year, we went to a yard sale and our friend Scott bought a shovel. As he was about to put it in the car, Tim called his name and he swung around with the shovel...accidentally hitting an Asian man pedaling by on his bike. Yes, I did just say that. He hit a man riding by on his bike. What are the chances??!! Scott turned around and yelled "My bad!" Ah, damn straight it was your bad! We almost wet our pants for the first time by 9:30 in the morning. Each year we have made improvements….to the menu, what we each bring, the stuff we bring to the beach, etc. This year, we all felt we really perfected our weekend agenda. We used to go on my birthday weekend so we always went out to dinner to celebrate….and that was typically after “celebrating” on the beach for hours beforehand. Once I ordered fish tacos for dinner and I don’t even eat fish. ‘Nuff said. This year we all agreed we would just keep it low key and simple….meaning we would spend time doing what we all come for…relaxing on the beach. In fact, Ann said this year “This would be hard if one of us didn’t like doing what everyone else likes….which is literally doing nothing.” Of course “nothing” consists of us setting up our beach area, complete with a coffee table and magazines that look like they belong in a doctor’s office. We lounge, laugh, read, talk, sleep, laugh some more, swim, eat, drink, laugh a lot, dance, and sing. Sometimes if the boys get “itchy” they might toss a football or fish (although they have no clue what they are doing), but for the most part we just “hang out”. This year, our “nothing” consisted of going to the beach at noon and leaving at midnight…with all that stuff above in between. There was no leaving to shower to go out to dinner. In fact, we didn’t even eat dinner…we just grazed all day. Truth be told, none of us showered all weekend either. There may have been an illegal beach fire….although technically it could have been termed a “cooking fire” because we did attempt to heat up some chicken in there…until the fire singed the hair off our arms. There may have been some singing into a shovel…and we may, at one point, have convinced ourselves that we were as good as any famous singer out there today. Look out T.Swizzle...that's all I'm sayin'. This year we added a beach potty, which might have been the single best improvement we have made over the years. Typically we trudge up to the dunes to be one with nature...or go in nature's giant toilet, the ocean...for those that don't have performance anxiety in the water. It happens, ok? Anyways, I bought this fold up tent that folds down to a circle and when opened it magically pops up to a changing type shelter. There is no bottom on it but it does have a door that zips closed and a little window. We staked it down, used a shovel to dig a hole, and it became the girl's potty. It's important to remember later in the evening that the walls are paper then and not meant to help you get your balance...because then you AND the potty will fall over. The entire weekend was a blast, as always. There is nothing better than spending time with your good friends, especially on the beach. And you know they are good friends when, no matter where you go, you have a great time. But, I will say, when you camp, it only magnifies the fun tenfold. You should try it sometime!
Thursday, September 12, 2013
I have had a love hate relationship with my Tupperware drawer for years. Seems I would find a solution that seemed perfect, my Tupperware would multiply like rabbits and get unruly, and then I would hate my Tupperware organization. Are you with me on this? I know I'm not alone. A few years ago I bought a "system" which was a lazy Susan type rack system that fit lids in one section and Tupperware in the other. It seemed perfect...and would have been if 1)I had the time to gently put the Tupperware in their slots and 2)if I didn't have a bunch of other Tupperware containers. Tupperware containers are like socks. Half of the tops and bottoms are missing their mates. And there are many pieces of Tupperware that should just be thrown out because they are old. Yet we keep them around. About a year ago I found an idea on Pinterest that I thought was great. I bought a 3-drawer Tupperware shelf/bin and used the drawers for lids and water bottle tops. Then I bought a big clear bin and organized all the Tupperware inside. The 1,000 water bottles we have went on the shelf above. This seemed to work pretty good until the Tupperware began to reproduce on a daily basis and we all got too lazy to put the lids in the drawers so they began to take up residence in the large bin. I was once again, back to my old Tupperware situation. Sigh. Since September makes me nest, I decided to tackle the Tupperware drawer once again. Truth be told, my bakeware drawer wasn't working out either. My bowls, corning ware, pie plates, and platters didn't really fit into the pull out drawers on my island. But it felt like that should be their home because it was a nice pullout drawer. One morning at 7 am I decided to just change it all up. Out came all my cookware. Then all the Tupperware. And then the water bottles. I sorted through everything and threw out Tupperware without tops, old Tupperware, and water bottles we really don't use but got free someplace and felt compelled to keep. My bakeware now works out good in the cabinet and is much easier to stack and store. My Tupperware drawer is awesome. All similar Tupperware is stacked together - salad size bowls, little bitty cups, and medium size containers. All of the lids are stored in a basket. On the second pull out shelf I have all our water bottles with the tops in a little basket. Then I have a few other miscellaneous items that worked well there, like my apple cutter and paper plates. I have to say, I am so happy with my new system. I guess because everything is so organized and its own spot, that it is easy to maintain. I'm hoping this works for the long haul. Or at least until next September when I start reorganizing everything again.