Sunday, October 13, 2013

Best Laid Plans

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

Tips for My House Hunter Friends

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!