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Monday, July 16, 2018

Scenes from the weekend

Happy Monday all!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find flowers after July 4th?  God forbid you have your patio torn up and you get started late!  But visiting garden centers in triple-digit heat indexes is always high on the to-do list, no?   

How many bees can you spot?  Or are they hornets?  I don't know but as long as they don't sting me, we coo'.

(Answer: Three...however there were twelve there.)

From springy looking flowers to the first signs of Fall.  I'm ready.  68 days. This summer in particular blows on the heat scale.

We stopped at a new to us store and the raging moose knuckle in its natural habitat caught our attention.

(The Mr wanted me to explain this is a mannequin and we didn't walk up to some random woman taking a crotch shot.) 

We swung by Grandma's "new condo" (grave) and saw they moved her flag when she got a new neighbor and didn't move it back.  FFS, it has her name on it...move it back you disrespectful tools!  So I moved it back and did some clean up since it'd been 2 weeks since we were able to go. 

Not sure if preying mantis' have a season per say but we saw three of them this weekend and two babies were hanging out on our screen.

We got our workout in early yesterday so we had the day to hang out a little, go into the city a bit, then rented Chappaquiddick and settled in for the night.  (affiliate link)  Other than that, nothing too major here.  Just have one more thing to do for the patio and I'll be able to show the final reveal soon!

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 13, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #28

(via Giphy)

Let's hack right into...

Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind: 8 Negative Thoughts that Interfere with Weight Loss  (Definitely some good things to keep in mind)

I Am Fat. I Still Deserve Good Medical Care.  (Truth.  I'm lucky to have a good gynie but the general practitioners have a lot to learn about listening.  When I tell you that I exercise and eat right 6 days a week and have lost over 200 lbs, your form letter of my results should not tell me to exercise more and eat right.  Douche canoe.)

The One Part of Weight Loss You're Ignoring—and Shouldn't Be  (I'm working on this as much as I can.  I can attest living on cortisol the week before last does nothing to help the scale budge.)

A New Diet Isn’t The Solution To An Old Diet Not Working  (Food for thought.  See what I did there?)

What Just One Glass of Wine Does to Your Brain  (That's scary)

This Is The Biggest Regret in Life Most People Have  (I always think about one of the last things my FIL told the Mr before he passed was not to live his life to make other people happy.  He knew he was a lot like him and I think at the end of his life he wished he'd said no to a few more things, stood up for himself more and didn't want to see his son go through the same thing.)

Questions for Couples  (These have been a fun way to spend the evenings)

TV Cast Changes (2018-2019)  (Dammit Connie Britton!!!)

30 of America's Most Classic Drive-In Movie Theaters  (We missed the Bangor drive in by a week when we were in Maine.  :-(  )

Halloweentown's Marnie and Kal Are Dating in Real Life, and It's the Most Magical Thing Ever  (*Halloweentown lovers explode with confetti*)

Keep cool during the heat wave  (A little naughty, a little nice!)

It's supposed to be hot again...shocker.  I'm hoping that we'll be able to sneak in some fun stuff here and there even if I have no clue what that entails.  I do know that my outdoor pictures for the patio are supposed to arrive today so that should check the "done" box on that one. 

Any plans for the weekend?

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday babble


Good morning everyone!  Happy day before Friday.

It has thankfully been quieter from Tuesday on as far as any looming projects/people expected in our home.  (Sans the HOA person coming by today to inspect the patio.  I have no clue what that means other than they're being nosey but I'm not dealing with that one.)  That doesn't mean that I didn't still need a full decompression day on Tuesday as "waiting for the other shoe to drop" syndrome was still high.  I figured a meteor would hurl into the patio and leave a big crater.  To calm us down, we rented A Quiet Place(affiliate link)  Those of you who have seen the movie obviously get the joke.  There is no calm in that movie, it's a 90+ minute edge of your seat psychological mind fudge.  It was really good but probably not the movie I should've watched if I ever wanted my shoulders to leave my earlobes.  The girl in that is so cute and such a good actress.  I hope she goes on to do big things, she's completely talented.  It's always hard to see John as anything but Jim but it took a good swing breaking him out of that mold.  Highly recommended if you haven't seen it and there's no gore or anything.

I've started walking outside again regardless of the temps/humidity in the morning.  I noticed the end of last week after 2 weeks of walking indoors that my ankle and arch problems were flaring back up.  Apparently, it doesn't care for indoor walking and the lack of forward propelling of actual walking over the robotic feel of side steps, knee lifts and such is a long term no go.  I have no clue what that will mean for me come winter and it's zero degrees outside but I guess I'll light that bridge when I come to it.  My scar tissue on the left arm continues to be a hindrance to progress.  We did the Total Trainer Monday and I screamed in pain on two different moves.  It is incredibly frustrating but I'm hoping since the scar tissue from my fall in October is 90% healed that this will follow suit.  If the timeline is the same then I have a good few months ahead of me.  I started doing my ultrasound on it hoping that will speed things up.  I know it's bad because I can see it bulging out a little from the skin compared to the other side.  Pffft.

You know what I did yesterday that made me happy?  I decluttered my keychain.  My keychain was so friggin loud when I'd pull it out of my purse that I sounded like a 16-year-old in the 80's.  I had a Volcano House keychain, Hello Kitty Chicago keychain from the now defunct Sanrio store, a Hawaii license plate with my name on it keychain and one of those car escape tools keychain with about half of the keys on there that I don't use.  (affiliate link)  Now I'm down to just my car, house and mail key and my two grocery store mini cards.  It doesn't sound like Marley dragging the chains that he labored on link by link his whole life.   We did watch a movie on Amazon Prime last night called "The Joneses" with David Duchovny and Demi Moore.  If you have Prime, I'd recommend it.  One of the most original movies we've seen in a while!

What's on your keychain?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Beyond Meat: Sweet Italian Sausage

Alright, y'all, this is the one some of you have been waiting for.  Let me preface this by saying good friggin luck trying to find anything other than crumbles and "chicken" strips from Beyond Meat right now.  We can find the regular Beyond burgers in the meats section which we don't care for especially given how bad the house smells after you cook them but I can find these next to them but only the sweet Italian version and not the original brat version.  Sigh.  You know what we think of the Beast burger and the regular Beyond burger but how does it compare for the sausage version?  

Sorry, the package looks mangled.  These were the ones I had to reshape and freeze because the dope at the grocery store stuck them in the bottom of the bag and proceeded to put a cantaloupe and half the produce department on top of it.   *face palm*

Here's a peek at the nutritional info:

While the sodium is high(ish), it's lower than traditional brats.  My turkey brats come in at 700mg and I think regular ones are between 900-1000mg depending on the brand.

Here are the cooking directions...heed them.

Good Lord, they look like misshapen human wieners.

But you can see they cook up just fine.

The first time we had them, I did it like breakfast sausage since we were out of bacon.

Here's a peek at the inside.

The house smelled like real sweet Italian sausage and not like something barfy like I experienced with their burger counterpart.  That was a major plus for this one.

Next, it was time to grill one up for 4th of July, and I wasn't standing out in 95-degree heat so indoor grill pan it was!  (affiliate link)

I slapped it into a King's Hawaiian hot dog bun with some jalapeno mustard like I would any brat.

So how does it taste?

If you're a fan of sweet Italian sausage, I think you'll really like them!  They didn't really taste like veggie anything and had the saltiness you expect from a sausage like that.  It pulled double duty well for breakfast or lunch/dinner as a stand-alone sausage or enveloped in a sweet bread blankie.  You could definitely make your veggie friend/family member feel part of the fun at cookouts without sacrificing taste.  As you can see, it doesn't quite grill up as depicted on their website in real world situations but I won't hold that against them.  It's not the brat I've wanted to try, but it's going to have to do for now because those are nowhere to be found at all.

The problem is, the demand for Beyond Burger products has been so far above their expectations, they are unable to keep up until their new plant opens.  I suspect all of the good burgers and brats are going to the restaurants and the grocery stores are getting left out in the cold on this one.  We have gone to DOZENS of stores looking for the burgers and called all over town and out of town, and no one has them.  Sorry but I'm not going to a restaurant to pay for one burger when I can get two for the same price at the store, so I'll just have to patiently wait.  I have a bad feeling the production will ramp up once grilling season is over.

What's your favorite double-duty food for any meal of the day?

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I've titled this 10x and nothing does it justice

You know how there's that saying "don't let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life?"  Well, I know I don't have a bad life but it's been quite an irritating one for over a week.  In addition to the crap we had to deal with as far as the patio install and grill delivery, it just never seemed to end. 

All week, the only respite that kept my head above water was that it was going to be around 80 degrees on Saturday and we were going to road trip to paddle.  My mind kept floating back to this serenity waiting for me...

Just the thought of being in my favorite lily pad patch is the only thing that kept me from needing bail money.  Friday, we noticed the pitted sand between the stones that happened during the rainstorm 20 minutes after they installed the patio, was not being smoothed out with the rain.  After the Mr looked it up, he saw we basically had one more day before this particular polymeric sand was going to stay that way forever.  This would make the thousands we dropped on this project basically worthless.  So guess how we got to spend our Friday night?  The night we had about 20 things to get done to take the pressure off of us for the rest of the weekend?  We got to spray down the patio at 7:30pm and use whatever we could to dig out the pits around every. single. brick. and then smooth the sand with our fingers around every. single. brick.  Did I mention we didn't get done for almost 3 hours and we were both bleeding, had swollen fingers, I couldn't walk from being contorted in discomfort and covered in mosquito bites?  At one point, I just sat there, digging up what was essentially stucco with my throbbing fingertips silently crying and wishing I could get a big hug from my grandma.  Now we had to get up in about 6 hours and be ready to load up the truckster to go paddling. 

We went to bed and it was 5:00 am before the pain everywhere woke and kept me up for the day.  I took an ibuprofen 800 I had left over and it took about an hour to kick in and I took one with me in case I needed it.  This was literally going to be the only day in the foreseeable future it wasn't going to be disgusting outside so I was going to suck it up.  A quick check of the winds showed it'd be just under 10 mph which while it wouldn't make for glassy conditions, it would be pleasant.

God laughs.

We went to our usual deli so we could pick up our lunch sandwiches for later like we always do and it was closed.  They apparently changed their hours and didn't open for another hour.  We didn't have an hour to waste and we do our picnic halfway through our paddle so it wasn't the kind of thing where you just wait when you're done.  You need energy (food) to finish the paddle.  We found another option on the way there and while it wasn't the first or second choice, it would provide sustenance which was apparently all we could hope for that day.  We got to the boat launch and the wind was strong.  Like I couldn't even fold a towel outside, strong.  I had to get in the car to fold a towel in half and roll it for back support.  The water was super choppy and I looked heavenward and said "really?"  It basically made it so that we could never take a break because if you stopped paddling, it would just push you where you didn't want to go.  Thankfully, it wasn't so hard that no matter how hard you paddled, you didn't get anywhere.  It was just a constant paddle required until we could dock for lunch or be done for the day.  I was able to go back in the shallows in the back and thankfully I got a one minute reprieve from the wind and I exhaled a full breath and I would've given anything to just sit there for five to ten minutes but the Mr was hanging around somewhere deeper.  Next time, I'm taking that time because it was (is) so desperately needed.  My hands were wet so they were pruney and coupled with the swelling from sanding off our fingerprints the previous evening, neither of our hands was in good shape.  It took a full day for the feeling to return to them.

Since the Mr was mentally done dealing with all of the issues with the patio and tapped out, I took pics of the part of the patio that was not yet complete.  Oh yeah...didn't I tell you?  It wasn't done because the part in front of the gate was not properly filled with sand so there was nothing holding that lip in place.  Nice, eh?  I emailed Sunday night and asked to send someone out to finish the patio, sent the picture and that the Mr would be unavailable this week so only contact me and it should take 5 minutes tops.  The contact woman at the office asked for a phone number for me in case they needed to call me and I gave it to her.  She is in constant contact with the owner and always quick to respond.  She gave me a window of time (between 11am-noon) which I knew if history was any indicator, was unlikely to be met but hoped for the best.  It was Monday, what could go wrong?

As the window was closing, the Mr messaged me after his lunch out that the owner texted and left a voicemail for him wanting to know if the gate would be open before sending the person back out. 

1)  If I send an email saying the subcontractors didn't finish the job, we had issues with the job post install and we heard nothing from them (the people we thought were doing the job), I think you should be showing your face to wrap this up and


Now I should tell you that when we had the initial meeting, this dude (late 50's/early 60's) was very rude to me, wouldn't let me speak even though he wouldn't HAVE our job if it wasn't for me since I am the one that got the referral from my friend and when he left I even told the Mr. I felt like I was getting the proverbial head pat and he wanted me in the kitchen where I belonged.   The woman asked me for a contact number and that a-hole refused to use it because he wanted to talk to the 'man of the house.'   It's not like I said "I want someone to come out today", they were the ones that gave me the window of time and I took them at their word.   I was home and waiting for someone to come for a five-minute job and instead, I get to sit there seething from anger and all that entails because I want this friggin' nightmare over with.  I tried to use every technique to relax, breathe, zen out, not hit a wall, and stop grinding my teeth.  I'm not gonna lie, I stress ate a bowl of Special K Blueberry with lemon clusters to finish off the bag for lunch.  (Probably 2 1/2 to 3 "official" servings)  I have no doubt if I had a fresh box, I would've cracked open the plastic bag, dumped in milk and just ate it out of the bag in the corner.  I sent an email an hour after the window, feigning ignorance at my knowledge that the owner contacted the Mr when I told him not to and asked if she had an ETA as no one had shown up.  She said he was "delayed" but would still be out to fix it today...that was at 1 pm.  4 pm and still nothing.  I went from angry to numb which doesn't bode well for anyone who has to put up with me.   The Mr comes home and hands me the receipt that they charged us for the whole project.  Well, guess what, I paid with a credit card so that if there was a problem, we had recourse.  No one called to ask how it went, if there were issues and making sure we were satisfied before charging us.  Lucky for them, 4:40 pm rolls around and they show up.  I have no problem with you coming after a job but TELL ME that's when you're coming.  Or should I say tell the people who subcontracted you to do their bidding that is when you plan to be there?  That's almost 6 hours I wasted waiting around.

I also don't like when people show up and just start working without letting you know they're there.  I immediately went out and he's like "it's hot!"  I said yes and offered to get him and his crew some ice water.  He said, "so you want an extra row so it comes to the gate?"  Why yes, yes I do!  He said he had the stones so we got a little extra that now makes the patio look worth what we spent on it instead of having to use the 4 janky blocks to match the critter wall to stop chipmunks from coming in the bottom.  (#jerkswithfur)  Oh, and one of them left with my cup.  (Not disposable, like an actual cup.)  So in the end, it looks better than it did, caused way more trouble than it was worth going through and I never want to do home improvement ever again.  (I won't even mention how a piece of filler wood beside the dishwasher came off, the stick to close the blinds broke and we haven't even thought about replacing the medicine cabinet door because I don't give a rat's butt if you know I use Arm and Hammer toothpaste and a squirt of cooch spray.)

Done just doesn't even describe me right now.  Now if you'll excuse me...

(via Giphy)

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 6, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #27

Happiest of Fridays to you all!  Even with a holiday in the middle of things, it was still a long week given the patio situation and such.   I'm ready for the about you?

Let's cannonball into....

The 3 Exercises a Trainer Really Wishes You Would Stop Doing  (I can vouch I feel like crap every time I did the second one so I stopped doing it.)

6 Habits That May Prevent You From Seeing Results  (Some thought-provoking tips)

Get Loose! The Best IT Band Stretches  (Strettttch)

What Exactly Is CBD Oil & How Can It Fight Anxiety?  (Curious about this.  If anyone takes it, share your experience or message me)

A Crash Course In The Ultimate Metabolism-Boosting Workout For Less Stress & More Energy  (This has been our primary cardio in addition to heavy lifting the past month.)

Do These 5 Stretches to Relieve Lower-Back Pain  (I can vouch for these)

9 Cheap Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure  (In case you need to work on it.)

50 Summer Health Dangers You’re Probably Ignoring  (So basically lock yourself inside with a hazmat suit on.)

25 Amazing Treehouses You Can Actually Rent (Yes, please)

Sleepy Hollow's Tom Mison Nabs a Lead Role in HBO's Watchmen Pilot  (I just squeed myself)

Rob Lowe's Selling His Home For Such An Absurd Price That We're Questioning His Whole Net Worth  (Uh, his wife works too, ya know?  Her jewelry sells for stupid money.  Regardless, I'll take the house off of their hands for them.)

I'm ready to do anything but what I did this week.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Is it Friday yet? Patio reveal

Y'all, it's been a week. 

As you know, Friday we got an email that "oh hey we're coming out to do your patio in 2 1/2 days."  So we worked our butts off all weekend, the Mr got heat rash and they showed up late Monday to get started.  I won't lie, it was sad to see our old stones go because I thought of all of the good times we had on the old patio.  I think of the luau we had back in 2000 where I covered the whole thing in sand like a beach and the dog was like "WTH is this!?!" or just all the times we sat out back with her.  When we'd lay out to get a base tan for Hawaii It's like losing a little bit more of her.  It was the first major home improvement we did to this place.  We turned a plot of grass with nothing on it to a nice place to hang out and a few years later enclosed it so we could make sure people minded their bidness if they were walking by.  When the stones started looking worn, we used concrete stain on them to get a few more years out of them.  So bittersweet for sure.

I got an email that the grill I ordered was going to be delivered on the 4th  which I totally wasn't expecting because I didn't think that was even possible on a holiday.  Boy, was I glad they were here and it was only a two-day job!  After they pulled up the stones and leveled stuff, they said they we would get the delivery of stones and they'd be back at 8:30 am to install.  We were having mom over for dinner but could still listen for a big ol' truck dropping off a few pallets of stones.  Well, shock of all shockers, no one showed up.  *grinds teeth*  Before bed, I sent the woman at the landscaping place an email telling her no delivery happened and they're coming at 8:30 am to install something we don't have and just wanted to let them know.  The Mr said the subcontractors might already know and they just didn't bother letting us know and the communication ball was dropped yet again.  So we waited.  We did our morning walk and about 8:15 am the guys show up, dump out one of the three wheelbarrows of gravel and take a few tools.  The Mr goes out and says the delivery never came and the guy was basically like "yeah, I know.  It might not happen until late this week."  So they were done for the day as far as they were concerned.

Oh HELL no!!!

Why in God's name would you tell someone the project was ready to go and you don't have all of the materials ready to go!?!  The Mr called the landscaper and told her what he said and we said we were having a grill delivered tomorrow and people over to show off the patio since we kept being assured it was a two-day job.  He said obviously if we have to cancel, we cancel but basically WTF?  She said she'd call the boss and get right back to him.  A few minutes later she calls back and says that the boss called the subcontractors and they said the stone place told them they couldn't deliver until Friday and he told them to go pick them up.  It was super frustrating, to say the least.  So about 90 minutes later, they show back up and have to reload the wheelbarrow they dumped and got to work on our animal barrier.  Then they got started on it and thank God the Mr checked about 15 minutes into it because they were installing it wrong!!!  We got two different colors of stone to be mixed together randomly and even sent pics to the landscaper of what we wanted based off of the brick suppliers display.  We thought that would've been explicitly conveyed to the subcontractors because, you know, it's the entire project but they instead started making a border with the light ones and filling the whole patio with the dark ones.  The Mr looked at it funny and was like "is this right?"  (He's color blind so he can't see as subtle differences between some colors) and I said "NO!!  They're making a border with the light color!!  We want them randomized."  He opened the door to tell them that and you get this blank stare like they think they understand but aren't quite sure.  I had to leave and go upstairs because I was mentally losing it.  I felt like my jaw was in a constant state of clench, which it was.  Once they got what we wanted, it moved along pretty well but getting to that point seemed to be like pulling teeth. 

They didn't have the sand to fill in the joints so they had to get that and it was getting to the point we weren't sure if they were going to try to come back the next day.  Thankfully that didn't even come up and they filled it and ran.  Probably wanted to run before I saw they ruined the newly painted steps (which we informed them had just been painted and to be careful) that I now have to repaint and pray I don't get any on the new stone.  (Yes we can put down a drop cloth but if anything drops and we pull the cloth, it could drag paint so I'll come up with the best approach I can.)  When it was done we loved how it looked but we just couldn't be more than "cautiously happy" as the Mr put it because I swear to God we can never seem to get a project done without some kind of BS attached to it.  Maybe my next lifetime.  *rolling eyes*

Here are some before and after's:

The former "garden" area:

The next day we were getting my new grill and since I saw they offered free delivery and assembly, I got it because I figured the Mr and I would've spent enough time out in the sweltering heat to spend another 30-60 minutes out there.  The Mr had them drop it off around back and of course, we didn't notice until after they left that, you know, the side burner lid wasn't attached.   Once you sign that piece of paper saying you looked it over, it's out of their hands.  I didn't feel like we should have to go buy the parts so the Mr went to Lowe's and told them he was taking the parts he needed since they didn't do it right.  Again...not even having a grill delivered can go smoothly. 

It's been an irritating week and if I were in a different frame of mind, I'd make those Ghirardelli brownies down there that I've been craving for 6 weeks and eat the entire 8x8 pan myself.  Actually, that sounds like a really good idea this particular second but assume I didn't. 

Put a fork in me, I'm so done on every level right now.

How was your holiday (Or Wednesday if you don't celebrate)?  See any fireworks?

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