Monday, August 31, 2015

Last weekend of August recap

It was quite the weekend!

We went on a road trip to meet with my friend at our halfway point for an early birthday bash/paddle.  I brought the picnic fixins which included a foccacia club (recipe coming soon), some BBQ chips and a dessert of chocolate chips s'more whoopie cookies.  (Recipe coming if you want it)

My friend was a little reluctant to try paddleboarding at first because she didn't have a good experience her first time with others.  I assured her this would be better as we'd be in a no wake zone, no ocean waves to chuck her about and she did great.  (Helps to have a good teacher too)

We had a great time and were on the water for about 4 1/2 hours with a half hour break for lunch.  When we were done, it was time to head into some A/C and exchange gifts.  I got a new food scale (hallelujah!), new bar soap scrubbies I wanted and a gift card to our favorite restaurant on Kauai for next year's vacation.  Woot!  She seemed to like her gift cards too (places she gave me a heads up on) and I got her a bottle of wine because something told me there may be something to celebrate.  It's looking like she may get a job that will unfortunately be many states away.  While I'm happy for her, I couldn't help but cry in the car.  You think of all of those missed visits or times you put off having because you just took for granted she'd always be a 2 hour drive away.

We tried to have a low key Sunday but I posted some stuff online to sell and some people bit so I made deliveries, we wandered an antique store, had groceries to grab and all that jazz so by the time we were done, I was getting pooped.

We listened to some San Francisco jazz, enjoyed our Sunday hot cocoa and blew off our meal planning responsibilities.  I'll do it this morning.

MUST hit water goals this week.  I slacked a little last week.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, August 28, 2015

The charm and what I'm reading this week

It's finally Friday y'all!  Last night we FINALLY got to give our friend her paddleboard lesson.  Third time's the charm.  We left a little later than I would've liked but it ended up working out for the better.  We are a few days away from a full moon and we got on the water probably 15 minutes before true sunset.  I was able to get some great pics of her silhouetted and she said it was so peaceful and she felt like she was flying.  We stayed out until 9:15pm and enjoyed the quiet for a few minutes.  It was our first but definitely not our last night paddle especially when the moon is close to full!

But enough of that, let's get to...

The 7 Best Exercises for Your IT Band  (Doing one now!)

Jeff Goldblum Shares an Adorable Video of Son Charlie Ocean Goldblum and Explains How He Got His Name  (This interview is classic Goldblum)

The 1 Move You Need If You Want to Tone Your Butt   (His anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hon)

Here's the Real Story Behind My Viral Weight-Loss Video  (Good read)

How to Cut Down Recipes   (If you're trying to half a recipe, bookmark this)

15 Most Surprising Sources for Omega-3s — Ranked!  (Good to know!)

Elderly Women Say They'd Slow Down And Live in The Moment if They Were Young Again  (Interesting perspective)

25 Things Americans Do That Are Rude in Other Countries  (I don't foresee myself traveling overseas anytime soon but duly noted)

Accused Bank Robber Says He Stole for Daughter's Chemotherapy Treatments  (Breaks my heart)

Major cancer breakthrough: Doctors solve long-standing mystery of how to stop cancer from growing  (Can we please get on this like right now?  I'm sure there's the standard 20 year asterisk beside this.  I remember being told in the 80's the cure for cancer was 20 years away.  35 years later.  Now they always say 10 years away like we all forget.  I bet if you cut out a lot of BS and corporations getting involved, we could fast track it to terminal patients.  Sorry, can you tell I'm tired of people I know and love getting cancer?)

These 20 Tips Will Have You Asleep in No Time   (These are helpful t.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Ken Jeong: How to Ditch Medicine for a Career in Comedy and Diagnose Castmates   (This guy is truly the nicest.  Love him)

The 17 Worst Healthy Food Swaps That Just Aren't Worth It  (Preach it, yo!)

Joey Fatone’s Letter to One Direction “Everything is About to Be Terrible”  (Courtesy of the Mr.  Seriously one of the most un-PC and AWESOME doses of truth I've read in a while.  I hope 1D takes note because no one else will tell you truth like an ex-boy bander.)

The Westboro Baptist Church Got Rick Rolled By The Foo Fighters  (Oh Lord, there she goes with her Foo Fighters crap again.  I told you.  When they stop being awesome on a weekly basis, I will stop linking to said awesome)

‘Breathe Me’: The Oral History of the Six Feet Under Finale’s Death Montage  (A MUST READ for any Six Feet Under fans!!  I'm so glad I'm not the only one who hears this song and cries.  I will literally run and hide from it if I'm in a store.)

We're meeting my friend halfway between our respective cities tomorrow for an early birthday bash and her paddleboard lesson.  I know, we're paddling fools.  Or just fools.  TBD.  I'm spending today making stuff for a picnic I'm bringing.  Roasted turkey club on focaccia, chips and a special cookie I'll likely give the recipe for next week.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?  

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Banana Nut Zucchini Muffins

For the past three weeks, I've been craving banana bread something fierce.  I dreamed about it, ways to make it good (sub applesauce for oil/butter) and ways to make it bad (dip it in egg wash, make it into French toast with butter pecan syrup).  But three weeks ago, it was 90 degrees and my desire to bake bread had not yet overcome me.  However, like clockwork, last Thursday at 8:34pm my baking gene activated.  I wanted to bake everything.



I baked lasagna.  This weekend I'm baking cookies for a gathering and yesterday I baked that banana bread.  Kind of.  Since we're sliding into the end of summer and in between the last burst of mas zucchini and pumpkin spice everything, I thought I'd make some of these babies...

I had a banana bread recipe floating in the back of my personal recipe book from a family friend but I knew it needed an update when it called for oleo.  I made a few tweaks like applesauce for oleo (margarine), coconut flour for some of the AP flour which also meant tweaking the eggs and a few more adjustments and prayed for the best.

Let's get acquainted with the wet(ish) ingredients

Now the dry

I didn't have room for another bowl in the dishwasher so I'm going to be honest, I just dumped all the dry stuff in a bowl...

Then I dumped the wet on top of it and gave it a stir.

Much to my relief, no sinkhole opened up under my feet when I didn't sift dry ingredients or cream in separate bowls etc as directed by the culinary gods.  Obviously if there was butter and sugar to be creamed I'd do things differently but I didn't and was feelin' lazy.

I lined my 12 cup muffin pan and used an ice cream scoop to fill them just slightly over 2/3 full.


I took my ounce of Planters salted caramel peanuts...

...and gave them a goodly choppin'.

I spinkled two grams (yep, I measured) on top of each muffin.

Into the oven at 350 degrees for 30-34 minutes (mine were done in 31 minutes)

It took everything in me not to slather those bad boys with honey butter and snarf them down in the corner while they were still warm but I refrained.

They scratch that itch for banana bread but still feel a little summery with the zucchini in there.  It has that nice dense, moist feel you want from banana bread too which is a relief since coconut flour can dry things out.  By having them in muffin form, it makes it easier for us to just grab one and go instead of doing a loaf pan and hoping for an equal measurement each time.  We all know how easy it is to cut that extra half inch off of a loaf of banana-y goodness!

Here's what you'll need to make them:

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or regular granulated)
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Hain Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ener-G Baking Soda Substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup grated zucchini, excess water drained
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ounce planters sea salt caramel peanuts (or honey roasted peanuts) - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In a large bowl (because unlike me, you're ambitious like that), stir together applesauce, eggs, sugar, zucchini and bananas.

Add dry mix to wet ingredients, don't over mix.

Use muffin tin liners or spray muffin tin with cooking spray and fill with batter 2/3 of the way up.

Chop the nuts and sprinkle onto the top of the batter.

Bake for 30-34 minutes depending on your oven.


Nutritional Info per muffin (12 servings per recipe):  Calories 128  Total Fat 3g  Saturated Fat 1.0g Cholesterol 55mg  Sodium 131mg  Potassium 192mg  Total Carbohydrates 22g  Fiber 2g
 Protein 4g   Vitamin A 2%   Vitamin C 6%  Calcium 7%   Iron 6%

Linked up with Bless'r House, Sand and Sisal, The Shabby Nest

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First taste of Fall workout

Yesterday it was amazingly wonderful temperature wise...66 degrees.  It felt like San Francisco but without all of the awesome.  I grabbed the lightweight long sleeved active shirt I usually wear over my thermals for snow shoeing and it kept me perfectly comfortable since there was a little breeze.  We thought it would be a good time to do a leisurely paddle so as not to irritate the Mr's shoulder and see how he'd do.  I helped him pump the paddleboard up when it started giving resistance to keep his shoulder happy.  

Unfortunately, I had a raging headache that only got worse as I paddled.  (It was a tension headache so that's why...sigh)  But I was still able to take some phone pics and enjoy the scenery.

I was happy to see little peeks of early changing leaves here and there.

I explored a few coves.

Took in the rocky cliffs.

We had a few bird friends along the way.  (middle of the pic)

By the time we got back, my headache was in overdrive and unfortunately dinner didn't help so it was med time.  I was grateful for lasagna leftovers though because in three minutes, it was done and ready to eat!  Hallelu-yer fer leftovers!

Spent the rest of the night chillin'.

Do you workout when you have a headache?  Leftovers...yay or nay?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hobblin' hooky day

Yesterday the Mr took a sick day because he was completely and utterly beat.  He did work super hard all weekend and is still recovering from his arm injury from last week.  It was a beautiful day, mid 70's, sunny and staying inside seemed like a waste of a day.  Once the Mr felt a little better, he suggested a trip to the zoo and I bit.  How can I pass up a chance to see otters and other furry friends?

It kind of stunk that walking around for 3 hours only warranted about 760 calories burned for me but it was better than sitting at home with bad soaps on in the background.

Because we had a late breakfast, we brought a protein bar with us in case we got hungry.  By the time we left, we were famished of course.  We had a long drive home so instead of driving home and then having to make a lunch, we decided to swing by Subway so we didn't eat our hands.  I got a footlong turkey breast on 9 grain wheat because it was more protein and only 60 calories more than if I got a side of Sun Chips and a 6" sub.  It was okay.  You know how it all can tend to taste the same no matter what meat.  I hopped online to enter my sandwich and almost keeled from the sodium content.  1800 effing milligrams of sodium...are you kidding me!?!  I knew it wasn't low but crap man, seriously??  So that was our last trip to Subway.  If I'm eating 1800 mg of sodium, it's going to have some actual taste.


The trail walk we did Thursday really screwed both of us up because like idiots we didn't roll or stretch and our hips paid for it.  You throw all the walking and workout we did Sunday (Turbo Fire) and then walking for 3 hours at the zoo and our legs were toast.  I told the Mr I was doing yoga and he said he'd do it with me so we did a 35 minute session in the basement and I felt much looser.  I rolled a little more to attempt to get the big ol' knots out of my calves.

I slacked Sunday on meal planning so I got that done, we watched a little tube and that was that.

What's your favorite zoo animal?

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Friday, August 21, 2015

It's stin-ky and what I'm reading this week

Wow, it's Friday already, eh?  Thankfully this week has gone by quickly and hairy situations have almost all been dealt with.  The basement dudes come back today to do the "stinky" part of the basement wall fix.  If yesterday wasn't stinky then this should be heinous.  The dude just shut the door and left.  Um, excuse me sir, perhaps turning on the fan and opening the back window so that noxious fumes in a room with a flame from a hot water heater would be in order.  Idiot.  We've got the back lanai set up to be our office today if need be and depending on how bad it gets, we may end up in a hotel Chicago.  HA!

But enough of the stinky stuff, let's get to...

8 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age  (Let's exercise that noggin!)

11 Seriously Awesome Benefits of Stretching  (Strrrrretch!)

7 Important Exercises You're Probably Neglecting   (I would definitely need to roll after some of these)

The 18 Most Magical Autumn Sensations  (OMG...I'm SOOOO ready!)

20 Crafts To Get You Ready for Fall  (I love the tray one for sure!  So cute!)

10 Things You Must Do Before You Board a Plane  (Some pretty good info right thar)

‘The Goonies’ house goes off limits  (SEE!  This is why people suck.  People like the Mr and I who make vacations out of visiting movie locations are respectful, take pics from a distance and certainly don't harass the owners.  You are NOT entitled to trespass just because a place was featured in a movie or tv show.  Please stop ruining it for the rest of us who aren't douches!)

New Fall Foods - Updated!    (A few new ones added since last week.  Yum!)

9 Highly Effective Solutions for Heel Pain  (For da oochie owies)

Obesity Gene Discovery Could Forever Change Weight Loss  (I read it and I have no opinion.  Unless they can do gene therapy that doesn't make me grow a third arm from my forehead, then I'm all over it)

You Won't Believe the Amazing Renovation of This 106-Year-Old House in Upstate New York  (SOO pretty!  How I'd love to restore a place like this!)

Foo Fighters Fan Brian Roberts Rocks Edmonton Crowd on Cover of Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’  (This is pretty cool and I LOVE watching Dave's face behind him as the dude hits the high notes.)

Dave Grohl serenades emotional Foo Fighters fan  (Okay, I know, two Foo Fighters links in a row but seriously, if Dave would stop being so damned awesome, I could go on.  Actually, whether you're a fan or not, watch this.  When he calls out the dude and then the thing and then they....oh man, I'm a friggin' puddle of tears.  I know this feeling that man is going through.  I've been to some concerts that have brought me to tears when you connect with the artist and I was so him at a few.  You cry those tears Anthony!)

Well, we have no definite plans this weekend because we don't know if our home is going to be inhabitable for more than 20 minutes at a time.  We've got outfits ironed in case we need to make a hasty retreat to anywhere but here.  We're paddling tonight to kill 3 hours and let the house air out but after that, I gots nothin'.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tattered and torn

(I hope you read that as though Tom Bailey from The Thompson Twins was singing Hold Me Now to you)

Yesterday was a much needed rest day from strenuous exercise but not so restful.  The night before, we went out for an evening paddle since the weather was nice.  Since we didn't go Sunday, I felt sluggish and felt every stroke.  Ten minutes in, I felt my ass getting wet again so despite the Mr checking the bail plugs, obviously one loosened after I pumped it up.  I think I pushed it down in time for it not to do too much damage.  That didn't make for a happy paddler so I'll have to permanently glue down the back ones since this butt isn't going on any rapids...ever.  We were the only ones out on the water and got further than we had the last time we went this route.  We saw a nest area and that was going to be our turnaround point.  As we paddled, tree branches were sticking out of the water here and there but nothing we couldn't maneuver around.  Then behind me I heard a splash.  The Mr went in when his skeg (fin on the bottom) hit a branch he couldn't see and it just stopped and threw him forward.  I was just thankful he didn't get hurt on a branch when he went in.  While he could touch, it was all mud which makes him nervous in shallows because he doesn't want a whole Artax in the swamp of sadness situation.  (Points if you got the reference)

I paddled over and held the board for him to swing back on and I could tell he was hurt.  I guess when he went down, he put his arm out to brace the fall and coupled with the heavy upper body circuit the night before, he was in poor paddling shape.  I begged him to let me tow him back the 2 1/2 miles so he could rest his arm but you pride.  By this time, the sun was dipping behind the horizon and the bats were out.   So we just had to dig in and paddle our butts back as fast as we could.  Obviously we had our lights on our vessels but with a 13% waxing crescent moon that looked like a fingernail, it wasn't going to be much light to paddle by.

I didn't want his arm to give out and us have to try to figure out something in the dark.  All I knew is in the future, anything with branches a plenty are off limits and no shallows for him.  My mind went to the worst what if places and it's not worth the risk.  By the time we got within eye sight of the bridge which was within 1/4 mile of the launch, my hands gave up.  I had to stop using my thumbs because I could feel my tendons pulling in my arm and tendinitis for paddlers is real, yo.  We got packed back up pretty quick and despite doing stretches, my fingers were stiff and my left shoulder tweaked.  We got home and instantly showered, had some dark chocolate for our snack because 1550 calories later, I could spare the extra 40 calories from what I had planned and we both iced our shoulders.  At 2am, I was awakened by the Mr continuously rolling onto me so I got up and slept on the couch to just give him rule of the bed.  Wednesday morning we were both stiff messes and watching him try to put on a shirt was rather sad but he had to be at work so no sick day to recoup.  Well he could have but it's not in him.  Me?  I'd have done it.

I made an earlier dinner of mahi mahi over spinach and carrot polenta.

Then it was time to get all of the crap moved and ready for the basement dudes to come in today and start application one of our fix.  We were quite the pathetic pair.  He could only push so I moved most of the shelving units we put on moving sliders a few weeks ago.  I covered them with drop cloths.  Then he moved the washer and dryer because my weak azz couldn't hack it and we pulled off the dryer vent (metal accordion style) and I couldn't push it back together.  So pressure on either of our shoulders was not our friend.  We're trying to stay optimistic for a paddle tomorrow night since the workout area will be off limits.  No upper body anything tonight, that's for sure.

To relax, I popped in the pilot episode of Sleepy Hollow.  Damn that was good stuff.  I know season two went awry but we're trying to stay optimistic for upcoming season three.  Anything that gets me 41 minutes of Tom Mison once a week in hot period garb is high on my list.

Ever had an outdoor sport injury?  Chased the last winks of daylight on an outdoor activity?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Parlez-vous Francie?

I've been trying to be more cognizant of exercising more than just my body but my mind given the situation with my Grandma.  One of the biggest boosts to your brain you can do is learning a new language (or really learning anything new but especially a language.)  There's a great free site called that allows you to learn various languages like French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, German, Irish, heck even Turkish!  It goes from basics to total immersion.

I chose French because we want to go to Tahiti at some point and while they do speak some English, we hear they appreciate it if you try to speak French.  Plus I would like to know what I'm ordering on a menu if everything is written in French or at least have an idea.  So for me this is two fold, learning a language that will hopefully benefit us on a vacation and keep dementia far away from my noggin.

Here is an example of one of my lessons.

It will give you a phrase after having you learn words and you must translate it to English and vice versa.

When it introduces a new word to the lesson, it highlights it in orange and you can hover over it to see the meaning.  You can also cheat a bit because you can hover over every word and it'll translate each one but I only do that if I'm super stuck.

I guess they are obsessed with rich people?

Some lessons come really easy and some frustrate me so bad that my brain literally throbs and at that point I know I'm forging those new brain pathways.  I read by several doctors that when you reach that point of learning something new and say "ugh, my brain hurts" and you kind of mean it that is what's happening.  That feeling will aid you in keeping even age related mental slips to a minimum. 

There are some things that no matter how much I see it on the screen, I cannot retain it so I will write down the things I'm having trouble with...

I will also write down word association things that help me like I could not consistently remember when to use Un/Une and La/Le, one meaning "A" and the other meaning "the."  So to help it stick, I noted that un/une that meant "a" both started with vowels and la/le for "the" both started with consonants.  Writing that down helped me retain that lesson and I haven't missed one since.

When you complete lessons, it will tell you how fluent you are in your new language.

I assure you I am not 15% fluent in French or at least I don't feel like I am.  I might be as far as reading it but conversational French...nowhere near, dudes.  But I hope to get there!

Everyday before I start a new lesson, I go back to the basic lessons I already passed and refresh them which you also get points for.  I want to make sure it sinks in and I'm amazed at how much I've retained and how quickly I breeze through some of them.

So if you're interested in keeping your brain healthy or want to be able to help your kids with their lessons in the new school year, head over to and get started!

What new language would you want to learn?

(This isn't an affiliate link, just a cool site)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not a real job, paddle poop out and guilty pleasure

I'm thinking the idea of transferring the Mr's position to another state is sounding better and better.  Lots of irritants yesterday and it was only Monday.  For those who work from home, you understand the frustrations of getting people to grasp that just because you work from home is not an open invite to call you with stupid things that can wait, sit around waiting for a cable repair man or think you have nothing to do so you should be at their beck and call.  I saw a list one time early in my stint that said "Your family and friends think you don’t have a “real” job.  Since you have no company car, key to the executive washroom, or office party you take pictures of, that you must just be unemployed and lying to them."  No truer words were written.  It seems nothing short of moving out of state will quell the masses.

Movin' on.

Last night looked to be the only not really decent but best chance for random rain paddle with our friend.  I tried to see if she had next week available but she wasn't biting.  I felt kind of bad for the Mr because we made these plans two weeks ago and then this crap with the basement and then his work popped up so it's like dump week for him.  I wished for nothing more than for Mother Nature to throw us a bone on this one so we could have a nice paddle.  She threw a bone smack into our foreheads in the form of serious thunderstorms so we had to cancel.  So irritating.  I have to believe our 3rd reschedule next week will be the charm?  (Please)

So we did a nice strength session in the form of circuit training.  I wanted to lift heavy to earn my turkey burger dinnah with a side of these babies.

Then I popped in Hideaway.  There are two people in this world, those who love Jeff Goldblum and those who loathe him.  There doesn't seem to be much of an in between.  We fall in the love camp and Hideaway is a guilty doesn't hurt Jeremy Sisto is in it even though he's such a baby face!

What's your guilty pleasure movie?

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend round up

Welcome to Monday, all!  I know you're as excited as I am.

It was so hot this weekend.  I hate when my face melts off before noon.  Hell, before 10am.  The neighbors sister woke me up by honking her horn at 6am and the Mr was able to go right back to sleep but I wasn't.  So I laid there for 90 minutes hoping for rest but didn't get it.  The one day I was looking forward to sleeping in.  We went to a fair a few towns over because I saw the cinnamon roll place looked to be better than anything in the city.  I've been craving one for three weeks and I was willing to pay admission to get a good one.  Thankfully it was as good as the picture but the rest of the fair was just lackluster.  Nothing opened until 11am and we got there at 9am not knowing that so by the time 10:30 rolled around, we weren't willing to wait another 30 minutes.  So we headed back and thought we'd try this revival restaurant I've wanted to try for a year.  It's bringing back a 20 years closed restaurant and while the food was okay, the service was weird and the cleanliness factor was questionable.  That wasn't the shining success I'd hoped for.  We made a stop by the sporting goods store to grab a paddling light we needed and that was about it.  It was too hot to be outside for any length of time so we pretty much hung out at home Saturday in the A/C.  I popped in two movies....Flatliners and Warm Bodies.  I forgot what a great movie Warm Bodies was.  Sweet, funny and action packed.

Sunday, by some miracle, I was able to sleep in until 9:20 am and then we laid in bed until about 10am.  It was chore day and also a realization the paddleboard lesson we had planned for Tuesday was starting to look like a rain risk.  We hoped she would be able to join us for a sunset paddle that we were going to go on last night but she had to work.  So in throwing out alternate dates, it looked like Monday may be the day depending on the weathermen (and we all know how accurate they are.)  Then we had to ask ourselves would we want to paddle two days in a row.  Initially we thought yes but then remembering they are coming to fix our basement walls Thursday and Friday, it would be stinky in the workout area and we would need a place to workout Friday night.  So we decided to do Monday and Friday.  Honestly, I didn't mind the Sunday break.  I wasn't feeling it and our bodies are so used to it that we have to be out way longer to get even half the calorie burn now.  It's also not like it's helping on the scale anymore either so I feel like I'm putting in a ton of effort and not getting much out of it.  I mean the time together doing something different is nice but now it's not something different, we've been doing this 2x week for 8 weeks so its become the norm now.

Sunday was also family reunion day and for the first time, we skipped it intentionally.  When we went last year, it was at some family members house we didn't know but the second time it was there.  (They had it on my birthday weekend the year before to have a birthday party for one of the elders of the family tribe and we already had plans)  So while everyone else was used to it for a year, it was our first time and it was just weird and hot which made for an uncomfortable combo.  One close branch of the family tree had a burr up her butt about something so most of her side was boycotting.  Whatever...there wasn't enough room for them anyway.  The few people I look forward to seeing weren't real talkative, at least to us and then the people whose house it was (and whom we don't know) were giving us the stink eye so that was pleasant.  Not.  Top that off with Grandma being dragged there,  she was NOT having a good day so it was basically everyone having to tend to her.  It was also the last real interaction I had with her before she forgot me completely.  It was the beginning of her telling people to shut up, which is a normal uttering any time of the day now.  She was wearing a sweater in 90 degree heat (hello!?) and people kept asking if she wanted to take the sweater off and my mom told me to ask her since I was sitting beside her even though she'd just been asked 2 minutes prior.  So I asked her and she'd had it (honestly, I would've too) and said "I wish everyone would just SHUT UP!"  My eyes got big as saucers and she could tell I was hurt and said "well, not you."  So I smiled, said "it's okay Grandma" and had to get up before I lost it crying in front of her.  I know they were talking about having someone watch her all day yesterday but I don't know if that happened or if they decided to drag her out there in the blazing heat and let her tell everyone to shut up all day.  I'm not even going to ask, I probably don't want to know the answer.

Oh we did make it out to pick up a few things.  Sur La Table sent a 20% off coupon just in time for my 19 year old pepper mill I got for our wedding to poop out.  It was always a little loud but it took 6 batteries and something told me when I put it through its paces last weekend that it was on the way out.  Yesterday morning it took its swan song.  So I compared all of the ones there and decided on the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder and the Prepworks Apple/Pear Slicer (affiliate links) since my apple slicer got a chip in it and it's a matter of time before it breaks given the chip.  I use both of those things every day so waiting was not an option.  I have to say I'm rather stoked about the grinder having a coarseness setting because when I do pepper corn steak, I prefer a coarse grind and have never been able to do it.  Hurray for progress!

This week is going to be a hellish one, particularly for the Mr.  He's got an audit at work, a paddleboard lesson he wishes could be rescheduled for a different week because then Wednesday night we have to move all of our stuff away from the basement walls and into the workout area so they can fix the crack and paint stinky crap on the walls for two days.  They say we might have to leave the house depending on our sensitivity level.  Well I'm going to try all I can to NOT have to do that because well, because.  If Fall would like to come early so we can leave all of the windows open those few days, I'm not opposed.  So the Mr will have it coming and going no matter if he's at home or at work and a wife whose Aunt Flo and Uncle Red are stopping by so yeah...lucky him.  (It's been a particularly pissy mood swing already so I'm hoping I even out and can keep the snark at bay)

I need to make sure I hit my water goals.  I slacked last week until about Wednesday and I don't want to make that a habit.  I've got all of my meals planned and am hoping for a decent week despite the poo awaiting us.

How was your weekend?


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Friday, August 14, 2015

TGIF and what I'm reading this week

Welcome to your weekend all!  (I spelled it weeknd at first.  Must be that kick ass song still floatin' around the melon)  

It's been a draggy kind of week so I'm glad the weekend is here.  We've got some busy weeks coming up so the weekend will be particularly sought after until the end of the month.    But enough of the busy stuff, let's get to...

Will Closing Your Doors Save You Money on Heating and Cooling?  (I guess I'll be keeping the office door open)

10 Things You Should Never Do on a Road Trip  (I have a good road trip buddy)

$1 Fix for Saggy Couch Cushions  (DAMN I wish I'd thought of this with our many loose pillowed couches!)

10 Ways to Recover After Your Workout — Fast   (Dang did I need this this week!)

3 Genius Ways to Deal With Popcorn Ceilings  (Not that I have them but I saw some on Home Free earlier this week)

Beware! This Plant Can Cause Blindness and 3rd-Degree Burns  (Courtesy of the Mr...he's spreading awareness to keep your eyes and skin safe)

How Much Protein Do I Need Each Day?  (Adjusting my numbers slightly)

Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon on How the Band ‘Outlasted the Haters’ to Become ‘Cool Again’  (Any Durannie knows they were always cool...well except Red Carpet Massacre but still)

Lenovo used a hidden Windows feature to ensure its software could not be deleted  (Well this was going to be my new laptop.  Not anymore.)

The Best Workout Ever, According to Science  (Now I will have Thomas Dolby in my head all day)

Why This Video of a Little Boy Trying to Get His White Belt Is Going Viral  (Um, because he's friggin' adorable about 10 seconds in)

17 Scientifically Proven Ways to Speed Recovery  (Did I mention I REEEALLY needed this this week?)

Playful Deer and Rabbit’s Heartwarming Antics Caught on Camera  (I'm sure you've seen it but in case you haven't)

Last night we unintentionally paddled just over 5 miles.  The Mr had a continuation of his overtime after dinner so I popped on the KCSM jazz station in San Fran and relaxed a bit.  I think today will be focusing on lower body for the workout because dang my hands are calloused and blistered!  I'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow.  Some friends invited us to a fair out of town.  We'll have to see if we're in the mood for that tomorrow morning.  If not, I have no clue what we're doing tomorrow.

What are you guys into this weekend?

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Forced DIY, jello legs and wicked proposition

It was a somewhat productive day yesterday.  While I was still very sore in my arms, I had a mission to get a forced DIY project done.  Our medicine cabinet door/mirror decided to give up and thankfully the Mr caught it before it crashed on the counter.  I think between that and the basement, it's the house's way of saying "welcome to almost owning me outright."  It's kind of like when you pay your last payment on your car and you have to sink some money in it as its way of punishing you for ownership but thankfully the basement is covered by the homeowners association.  For years, I've wanted to put some of the leftover vinyl planks from our bathroom floor on our medicine cabinet shelves.  The Mr doesn't let his toothbrush dry at night so it goes onto the cheap MDF veneer shelf in there and now it's all bubbled and nasty.  So when the door dropped, I took the opportunity to finally get that project underway and figured I'd paint and seal inside as well because it just looked cheap in there.  The guy who installed it used so many nails and screws, he said it wasn't going anywhere...ever.  So I figured since we're stuck with it, might as well make it pretty inside.  I hope we are able to get a new pivot hinge for the door because using adhesive will only last so long.  I'll update with pics as a project in case any of y'all want to do a quick update on your medicine cabinet too.

So in between tending to painting, gluing, wiping, sealing and such all day, I had some sad conversations with people about dementia and health issues and I swear I'm beginning to think you just scrape by as long as you can until your body decides to turn against you.  I used to think the goal was to get to old age and you just had typical small things you associate with aging and then ideally, you go in your sleep.  It seems that's a grand dream anymore.  Sigh.


When the Mr got home, it was time to workout.  Oh my Lord, halfway through my legs felt like jello!  By the end, I was just glad I didn't have to army crawl up the stairs.  I did have to sit for a few minutes to collect my strength before getting to dinner.

Orange BBQ chicken, potato wedges (a rare treat!) and green beans.  I was so full when it was done but I could feel my body pulling the energy from it.

The Mr had to work OT from home so I took the opportunity to watch a show called Wicked Deal or something like that.  I guess some dude asks you to do embarrassing or kind of mean situations involving your friends and/or family.  You have the opportunity to earn $50K as long as you don't blow it and they catch on to the lie.  So the couple invited their friends over and wanted to show them products from the (fake) lingerie store they were going to open.  So they came out in skimpy and embarrassing outfits.  Then after 24 hours, you can break the news to the people.  They earned $15K for keeping their mouths shut and the friends thought it was funny.  Then the next one was they could earn $35K if they convinced the guy's family (God fearing, old school values, younger brother looks up to him) that he fathered a baby from a one night stand and the baby mama is going to live with them after her mom died and she had nowhere else to turn.  Oh, did I mention it was Mother's Day?  They went through with it, met the baby mama, saw pics of the baby and when the actress left, the mom cried.  Then the next day, they came clean and papa was NOT happy and said it was disgraceful.  Mom was relieved but disappointed he would lie for money.  It was an interesting show, that's for sure.  I don't know if I'd want to watch that regularly though and cringe the whole hour.

Would you deceive your family and friends for the potential of $50,000?

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Limp limbs and a string of bad ones

It's hump day all!

I must say, yesterday was tough on the ol' upper limbs.  We did 4 1/4 miles on our paddle the other night and somehow I thought it smart to do this insane upper body workout the next day.  So to say I was in immense pain between screaming biceps and triceps is an understatement.  I wasn't sure what I'd be capable of doing for my workout yesterday so Walk Away the Pounds with no weights it was.  It's not like not using weights meant it didn't hurt, even arm movements hurt like a mutha.  Just moving my arms in the slightest made me wince but I know sometimes shaking the soreness makes it feel less sore the following day.  Now that it's the next day, I can say...not so much.

Oh I don't think I told y'all about our movie experience a few days ago.  We saw the new Mission Impossible and it was pretty good.  A little long.  The second mission could've been edited down quite a bit because toward the end I just closed my eyes and didn't really care how it ended.  I listened to the ending.  Then it was time for Trainwreck.  You know, that movie everyone is raving about?  We liked Amy Schumer before she suddenly became the "it girl."  Her stand up was pretty funny so of course we would like this movie, right?  1 hour and 50 minutes into a 2 hour and 2 minute movie...we left.  Yep, it was so irritating, there was so much vocal fry on her part and we didn't care about the characters that we couldn't just wait twelve minutes to see how it ended.  Our only regret according to the Mr...we didn't leave earlier.  (Which would've been five minutes into the movie but you don't want to think you've been trailer duped two weeks in a row...we were.)  Eh.

The Mr was supposed to do some comp time work last night but that got canceled and since we worked out earlier in the day, that meant we had the evening to do whatever.  I made coconut shrimp and sweet potato for dinner.

We got a rent one get one free coupon from the local video store so we rented two movies that looked intriguing but not worth full price.  Hot Pursuit (affiliate link) with Reese Witherspoon and Sophia what's her name from Modern Family and Horrible Bosses 2 (affiliate link)  which we've been putting off for months for some reason.  (Given my love for Jason Bateman, I'm surprised I held off this long.)  Hot Pursuit was pretty we would've left 20 minutes into the movie if we were at a theater, bad.  I respect Reese for wanting to try something different, it just shouldn't have been that.  But the funniest line of the movie was "you've been Coopered, bitch!"  I'm sure a clip will end up online eventually.  Then there was Horrible Bosses 2.  It wasn't a horrible movie (unintentional pun!) but it was decent.  We remembered pretty quickly that the little screaming guy Dale was the weak link in the first one.  Jennifer Aniston was pretty funny.  I still can't help but like anything with Jason Bateman in it.  Speaking of Jason, I can't wait to see his new movie The Gift.  I love the dark departure for him.

Seen any stinker movies lately?  Ever left a movie?

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The last thing I can give her...dignity

When I went to a doctors appointment with my grandparents early in my grandma's dementia diagnosis, it was heartbreaking.  She's a proud woman and does not like to be made a fool of or to look foolish.  I went because their usual family member was unable to attend that day and some things needed to be addressed with the doctor.  I wrote the behaviors of concern down, slipped it to the nurse to be attached to her folder before they got there and based on the questions the doctor asked, I knew he read it.  He would ask her if she was having trouble with things listed and she'd say no and I'd smile like "yes, she is" but she couldn't see me.

When it came to cognitive tests like looking at a digital clock and telling him the time or drawing a clock face on paper, she couldn't do it and tried to dismiss it.  I would try to look away to keep her modesty intact but she was embarrassed and humiliated that I was seeing her that way.  It was a vulnerable side to her she never wanted me to see and I tried my hardest to hide my misty eyes but couldn't.  As my grandpa got the car, I couldn't look at her because I didn't want her to see me watery but she caught me.  She gave me a hearty "it's okay sweetie" and I squeaked out "I'm sorry" and she said "I'll be fine" and I nodded in a way that told her I wasn't so sure.  She said her famous line "now you listen to grandma" which means she meant business and said, "I'll be fine and if something ever happens, I would never want you to see me like that."  I hugged her and she said "okay?  Give me my dignity."  I nodded yes and cleared up my tears before he got out of the car.  I smiled and waved goodbye to her.

As she has continued to deteriorate, I have kept my distance for many reasons.  I'm not good at being in the throes of disease.  I literally cannot stop myself from crying in front of her when I'm around her.  I see her sitting there with her eyes closed, looking like she's in pain and my heart rips from my chest and I can't take it.  I also keep my distance because I am seriously opposed to the way her care is being handled.  It's good people making bad decisions and my opinion isn't valued because everyone wants to pretend they can all handle it.  Her behavior has taken a drastic turn in the form of hallucinations, having conversations with people who aren't there, verbal threats when her meds were reduced then having to be put back on the meds that are dangerous, she's tried to eat objects that are not food and is now getting up in the middle of the night and doing God knows what.  Is he going to get more health workers coming in the house above the 3 hours he has one day a week?  Nope.  Why?  Who the hell knows but it takes everything in me to not go completely ballistic on him and everyone else when there is MORE than enough money to have people come in constantly to help with her.  No one pushes him or says "look, we're not going to come help you anymore if you don't get more help.  She's our mother and she deserves better."  I understand they don't want to rock the boat but hell man, someone take a damn stand!  If I took a stand, they would disown me because 3 years of repressed anger would flood them all.

So I feel like the only thing I can do is to fulfill that promise I made to her on that day of her appointment when she told me she wouldn't want me to see her that way.  It was bad enough I saw her in a compromised state and it killed her.  Even if she doesn't know any better now...I do.  Dignity is the last thing I can give her and if it ticks everyone else off that I'm not shouldering the burden that they're all starting to feel then be ticked off.  I don't care.  My opinion has been brushed off for years where her care is concerned so if everyone else thinks they are doing what's best, then have at it.  I refuse to enable behavior that is not in her best interest.  I must try to not be so angry at them and hold my tongue because I think it all comes from a place of denial on their part but I will not break my promise to grandma.

I will hold in my memory the woman she wants me to remember, not what she's become.  It's hard but she's not there anymore and she's taken an antagonistic turn that I can't bear to watch is nothing like the woman she was when she was healthy.  I am 100% certain she wouldn't want me to see that.  It feels selfish and maybe it is but it's better than the alternative of my emotions spewing forth in a moment that could rip our family apart.

This disease effing SUCKS!

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Basement solution, visiting with friends and Sunday workout

Happy Monday all!

It was one of those weird weekends where you have a bit of the mundane with a pop of awesome and back to mundane.

Friday, after much pestering, we finally got a call back from the basement dude.  We pulled off the insulation, found a crack that we weren't pleased with and sent him pics two weeks ago.  Since then it's been nothing but phone tag and waiting.  We got a hold of the home owners association and asked if they heard anything and they said the proposal was sent and approved the day before.  It would've been nice to know what they were proposing before they submitted it.  We finally got a call and I guess they're going to fill the crack with some polymer and then the next day they'll apply some coating that makes the concrete non porous.  It's supposed to be stinky so they'll set up some fan system and asked how they'd have access to the house.  Uh...we'll be letting you in and out because I'm not one of those people who is going to allow you free reign of our home.  I'm praying it's not so bad we can't sleep two floors up because it's just not in the budget right now for a hotel and camping out on family's floor doesn't sound appealing either.  We'll just open all of the windows in the house because I'm sure we won't be able to run the A/C with that stuff marinating in the basement.   So that night we cleaned the house and went to the grocery store to get stuff for a cookout with a friend who was going to be in town Saturday.

We had lunch and a glance to the patio area that was finally open for once this season showed a few of our plants had bit the dust.  Since we didn't want to have the place look like poo, we decided to go to Home Depot to see what they had.  They had a butt load of mums and I'm not quite ready for those yet so it was that or other sad looking plants.  We decided to head to the nursery up the street and see if they had anything better.  They pretty much waved the white flag on the plants as well and had mums that weren't ready in the greenhouse.  We did see some beautiful begonias with huge blooms but they also looked like they wouldn't do well in full sun.  We found these ornamental peppers in the fall section and the Mr liked the "heat miser plant" so we got those for the top box where the zucchini died a slow death.  Then we found a half off mini hibiscus for the coffee sack planter and the Mr planted them all for me.

Our friend came over that evening and I was happy to get the opportunity to recreate (and hopefully improve upon) the Pungi Patty from Slabtown Burgers in Traverse City.  I made fries but used too much olive oil.  I always do that when I cook for guests, something always goes culinarily awry.  I made a Biscoff Apple Crumb Pie.  I'm always happy to have an occasion to bake a pie since it would be dangerous for us to keep one around just between us and sent a hefty piece home with him.  But we had a nice visit and three hours flew by too fast for my liking but he had to get back on the road to Chi-town so we bid him adieu and feel lucky we got to see him twice in one year.

Sunday was grocery day.  We were totally out of fish except for salmon and mahi burgers so we had to stock back up.  A family size salmon, two mahi's and orange roughy.  Then lotsa freggies.  I had to keep my eye on a blob of rain sweeping across the radar since we were supposed to paddle for our workout.  So we went mid afternoon.  There were a lot of birdie friends out.

The first peeks of Fall are becoming more prevalent with every paddle.  I can't wait until we're in full brilliant foliage!

I burned about 1500 calories so I can't complain.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Quick hello and what I'm reading this week

We've made it to Friday, friends!  Can I get a halleluyer?  

I've got so much to get done today that I'm just going to skip the pleasantries and get straight to...

Isometrics: The Secret to Gaining Strength—Without Moving a Muscle  (Tighten up, yo!)

25 Raucous, Road-Trippy Facts About the Original 'Vacation'  (The ONLY Vacation!!)

An exercise scientist told us the biggest mistake people make when they decide to eat healthy  (Word up)

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale File for Divorce  (So sad for her.  She always seemed a little more invested to me than he did)

7 Things to Know Before Starting Chemotherapy  (Good things to know if you or someone you know is facing this)

Dave Grohl responds to 1,000 rockers who played 'Learn to Fly'  (If you didn't see the original awesome video he's responding to, click here to view it first.  Makes me teary every time I see it)

There’s a Drone Flying Over My House. Can I Shoot It?  (I'm sorry but I should be allowed to blow that effer out of the sky if it's flying in front of my window spying on me.  Period)

Bones, Sleepy Hollow Crossover Plot Scoop: 'It's Like a Great X-Files Episode'  (I don't know about this because I don't watch Bones but hopefully it's not a huge mistake.  Sleepy Hollow has a lot to prove this season)

Benefits of weight loss surgery diminished after five years  (Interesting read)

13 Inspiring Ways to Decorate Exposed Brick  (What I wouldn't give to have a home with exposed brick like the one we had in Charleston!)

Mark Hamill Gives the Galaxy’s Most Amazing Autographs  (Courtesy of the Mr)

Mom Saves Letter For 20 Years To Give To Daughter On Her Wedding Day  (If this doesn't touch you on some level, I question your status as a human)

Prepare Yourself: Pumpkin Spice Peeps Are Becoming a Reality  (I'm not sure what I think about these but I picture one roasted over a campfire between two Biscoff cookies)

10 Silent Signals You're Way Too Stressed  (Good things to watch for)

The Perils of Obesity Prejudices  (Truly the last acceptable prejudice.  You won't find anyone starting a petition against some boss ragging on a employee's weight or something like that like you would on basically EVERY other social issue)

Todd’s 110-Pound Weight Loss: ‘Enjoy the Process of Changing Your Life’  (Good for him!)

This Chihuahua Puppy Who Thinks She's A Goat is Hilariously Adorable  (OMG!  That waggy tail!  That bouncy hop!  You're welcome!)

We've got company coming tomorrow night for dinner.  I'm going to prep as much as I can today so I can enjoy time with our friend tomorrow.

What kind of tomfoolery are you getting into this weekend?

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pain in the Neck...and Rump

Yesterday I woke up with a horrible pain in the neck headache.  Nothing I did seemed to help it.  I know I had some leftover tension but jeez man!  I knew we had a paddle on tap for our workout and I wanted to do everything I could to feel better by the time we went out.

I wrote down some things I knew I needed to get done this week.  Tonight we need to work on a new video.  I was actually ahead of the game with last week's video but I have copy to write and stuff to look at.  I wrote down a potential grocery list for company in case I feel like cooking so I'm not scrambling to remember stuff last minute.  (But also have a reservation somewhere if I'm just not feeling cooking)  I need to clean the house and all that jazz.

I let the Mr know before he came home that I'd need his magic fingers to try to release the tension in my shoulders.  He did a good job but unfortunately it didn't help much.  I started to make dinner and got really shaky and weak.  I started getting hungry earlier than normal and I just needed to eat asap.  I made ground turkey breast tacos and green beans.  Lots of protein and luckily the weak feeling started going away.  We headed out and got to the lake by 7pm.  It looked like we had it to ourselves for the most part, just a few other trollers out.  We explored a few coves but unfortunately because I was using my paddle muscles, the tension just built back up and the pain started coming back.  Then I started feeling my butt get wet again.  Dammit, one of my water dohickers obviously wasn't closed all the way or something.  I found an abandoned boat ramp and got over to it and then I didn't see water anywhere and the Mr checked all of the potential openings, not really finding anything.  I figured my pants soaked up all the water.  Yeesh.

Thankfully the water was glassy and no winds so the paddle was pretty leisurely.  I just wish I'd been able to enjoy it a little more sans pain.  The Mr got his kicks by catching the eye of truckers on the road and doing the "honk your horn" motion and two obliged.  You should've seen the big old smile on his face.  It was like he was 10 years old.  Sunset came pretty quick and with cloud cover it was getting dark fast.  We got our little lights on and paddled back in solitude as everyone else left.  My stomach felt kind of gross the whole time because I was full and using my abs pretty good to dig in on the way back and then had that moment...


I just kept telling myself I needed to get to the shore and I could run to the porta potties.  As we're pulling into the boat ramp, some freakazoid with a pontoon boat walks over and gets chatty.  It was pretty obvious we were trying to get our vessels out of the water and to the side but we couldn't do that and not look rude.  I'm sitting there wondering when my sphincter is going to wave the white flag and make the chit sweats kick in.  He said he was waiting on his brother in law and nephew and I just wanted them to hurry up and get there already so he'd shut the hell up.  Now I could've gone and left the Mr there, you say?  Nope.  I don't roll that way.  Because he was also that kind of weird where you knew a Criminal Minds episode could be based on this scenario.  "There WAS no brother in law and nephew" and they find us crammed in the barrels that make a pontoon boat float.  We tag team in weird situations and get the hell out of Dodge asap.  As we got in the car, I informed the Mr as he was casually checking his calorie burn of my situation and he went as fast as legally possible for the 25 minute ride home.  As long as I didn't think about it, I was fine.  Then there came unpacking everything and I was ready to go  ride the porcelain boat.  By that time, despite still having that queasy feeling you get pre-Jeff Daniels moment, it had been too long and wasn't going to happen.


Sorry, I know that was TMI but oh well.  That's how I roll.  I still got an 1150 calorie burn in so I'm glad for that.  You know the thing that helped me finally kick it?  A square of dark chocolate.  Medicinal!

Got any near disaster poo stories to share?  We're all friends here.

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