Friday, June 29, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #26

Happy Friday everyone!  You got your weekend boogie shoes on?  The next time I see Y'all, it'll be July.

#26 means we are officially halfway through the year.   How does it always sneak up like that?

Let's sneak up on...

The Top 25 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight  (Really good things to keep in mind if you're in a rut)

Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind: Why Making Demands on Yourself Won’t Help You Reach Your Goals  (Interesting perspective- might be worth exploring)

10 Surprising Foods That Will Fill You Up, Not Out  (Yum!)

I'm a Trainer, and This Is What My Clients Do to Burn Fat and Build Muscle   (Sigh, when this scar tissue finally lets up on my grip strength, I'll have to bump it up to 4 days a week.)

6 Signs a Seller Should Pass on a Home Offer  (Good info but don't pass up the contingents.  I think a 2-week time frame is fair.  Some of us don't want to miss out on the perfect house, and places in their area may sell fast.)

This vet and his bride got their dream wedding when a canceled wedding was auctioned off  (Wow, worked out for everyone!  I consider it working out when you realize before you make the commitment that it's not going to work.)

This Colorful Little Camper Is Exactly What Your Next Camping Trip Needs  (Hmm, makes me miss camping.  Just wish it wasn't the price of another car...and we have nowhere to store it but you know other than that it's all good!  HA!)

Poncho, the Spanish Police Dog, Goes Viral For Showing Off His CPR Skills  ("I shall save your life, give you a hug and wag my nubbin'!")

It is supposed to be mind melding hot this weekend.  Like, melt a popsicle in 3.2 seconds hot, so I suppose unless we go somewhere really early, paddling is out again.  I get this image of me spontaneously combusting in the kayak and then it pops from the flames since it's inflatable, and I'm immediately put out.  Images like that make me want to stay in the house or car with the A/C on full blast.  

You got any plans this weekend?

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Crazy busy huh?

This is some random crap from my brain so come along for the word purge if you're down.

How many times have we not checked in with family or friends and said: "sorry I haven't talked to you in a while, I've been crazy busy!"  I'm guilty of it, and I'm sure you are too.  60% of the time, it's not that we've actually been "crazy busy" because we've maybe been binge-watching Netflix, hanging out with other people or we just have a time where you don't want to talk to anyone, and that took precedence.  Then we feel like if we don't make up an excuse under the umbrella of "crazy busy" that the person will think we don't care and we don't want to offend.

I got such a message yesterday saying how they've been 'crazy busy at work for weeks' and I literally busted out laughing when I saw that line on the preview.  I wanted to say "girl, I see your social media!  You may be busy at work but you've also been busy hitting bars, laying on the beach all weekend and I know you've binge watched three different shows over entire days because you feel the need to advertise that when you do!"  But I didn't, I was a good girl and got back to her on my time.  (Something I do regardless, it wasn't a punishment or anything because her message came in when I'd finally willed myself to get up and do some work.)  I don't begrudge her any of that, it's called life- I have one too.  I just wish she didn't feel the need to use the "crazy busy" excuse.  It's like those of us without kids feel like if we don't oversell how much we had going on, people don't believe you're busy for your life.

It just got me thinking about would I rather hear someone make up what is obviously a smooth over excuse (but seriously, I didn't care that she hadn't talked with me in so long) or would I rather hear "I just realized how long it's been since I talked to you!  I wanted to check in."  I'd rather hear the latter personally.  I think that our society dictates now that if you don't appear to be busy and have every minute of your day jam-packed with stuff to do that you somehow lead a boring life and that busyness is the only excuse that will fly as to why you didn't return a text/call/message in 3.2 seconds.  Like I see this trend of people re-sharing memories on Facebook.  It's fine every once in a while but this one friend literally only shares old memories and nothing new.  It's like "uh, I already commented on this 4 years ago, I'm not commenting on this again."  I don't know that I've ever shared an old memory like that because I don't see the point.  No offense to anyone who does this frequently but I feel like "are you posting this because you feel like "I NEED to have something in my feed today?""  While your kid might've looked cute to you doing X and it gives you all the feels, savor that memory for yourself and the sweet comments and go about your day.  The rest of us already said they looked cute when you shared it originally, and now some people (not me...LOL)  feel forced into the obligatory "like" the same day for four years. It's like a Hollywood money grab...stop it.  I rarely post on my personal Facebook anymore because I don't know, I guess I feel like who wants to know what I'm up to all the time??  LOL  "Went to the grocery stores today, worked out, cooked...jealous?"  (You guys are like "uh, that's exactly what you shared with us Monday!"  ROFL)

I'm getting off track.  So the excuse thing...then I got to thinking how many excuses we'd made over the years to get out of crap with our families depending on the situation.   Early on, with his family, there was no excuse I wouldn't give to not have to sit there for 2 hours and be judged or looked down upon.  This was especially given how physically ill the anticipation made me and the week following when my body tried to get back to normal.  What if I'd just said early on "yeah, I won't be there because 90% of you make me feel like a boil on the butt of humanity and literally make me puke with anxiety depending on the scenario, so I'm gonna take a hard pass until you realize what an awesome person you're missing out on!"  Yes, it would make for an interesting dinner conversation, but they talk(ed) about us behind our backs anyway.  Why not have them talk about how they made me feel and instead of me making up an excuse to soothe feelings of people who had no problem hurting mine?

Little white lies are a necessary evil to coexist with everyone but imagine if we started telling a few less of them with a little tact.  There are times I've told them because based on previous experience I know how people will react.  (i.e., Not going to a weeknight dinner because I could expect side eye for ordering healthy at birthday dinners in a family full of food pushers.  I've had crap said to me, eyes rolled or been basically socially exiled because I pass up the deep fried appetizer and sometimes you are just NOT up for it.)  Obviously, we can't go dropping truth bombs on everyone especially if we're in a bad mood at the time or there's something else we'd rather be doing or else we'd never have relationships.  HA!  But I imagine if once I had the ring on my finger if the next time I felt so ignored or judged by his family if I'd said: "look, I'm going to be part of the family, and I get the distinct feeling you don't like me so can we work through this?" I'd have been better off.

Oh crap!

I DID do that to two members of his family via letter asking if we could talk and neither of them acknowledged it and even attempted it with one member TWICE.  So yeah...go back to lying because some people are just content to stay knotted in the undie department no matter who it hurts.

I told you this crap was all random!  It's the thought train of mah brain!

Are you a people pleaser?  Tell it like it is or somewhere in the middle?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Movie Madness

We've been on a pretty decent movie kick lately!   We all but gave up on Hollywood, but a few have eeked their way onto our radar so I thought I'd share what we've been peepin' on da big screen.

Solo- Donald Glover and no friggin clue who else (and too lazy to look it up)- I took one for the team and went with the Mr.  He's a huge Star Wars fan but even he wasn't super jazzed on this one.  I thought since it was a movie about Han Solo as a younger version of himself, I would learn more about how he grew up or became who he was.  Nope.  It was more like "let's connect the dots from the original three, and we'll call it done."  I don't feel like I know any more about Han than I did going in.  I know more about Lando and Glover played him well.  I don't feel like they cast the right guy for Han and no clue who I'd cast myself but this guy wasn't it.  I actually fell asleep.  Whoops.  So I suppose if you're loyal to the franchise, have at it.  If you're not, I don't feel like you're missing anything.  The Mr is divided but only out of loyalty not because he seemed to like it if you take the Star Wars element out of it.

Oceans 8- Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and a slew of kick arse women- If you're wondering if you need to see the other Ocean's movies before seeing this one, I can tell you that you don't.   (Affiliate link)  There are only a few references to Debbie's (Sandra) brother, Danny played by George Clooney in the other movies, but it's of no consequence to the plot.  Debbie was framed for a job and had five years to think of her revenge.  The result is a pretty slick heist with a few awesome twists in there to make you yell "SWEET" when the time is right.  The cool thing is it's not a clever movie for a movie full of chicks, it's a clever movie...period.  There are a few draggy parts, but they're not bad, and they are required for character/plot building.  I've gotta say, it was awesome to see so many great actresses showing they can kick ass and use their brains just like the men do.  Recommended!

Adrift-  Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin-  This movie is based on a true story, and when you put yourself in their shoes, if you're like me, you totally freak out wondering if you could be so brave.  Movies like this where you think they take place in one spot can be utterly mind-numbing, but this thankfully doesn't present it that way.  They take the current situation on the boat and then work backward telling how the couple met, fell in love and the circumstances leading up to the situation.  I'll be honest, I'm not usually a fan of that type of storytelling, but for this amazing tale of bravery, it worked big time.  Do yourself a favor and see it (or rent it if you feel like a movie like this may need to have space available to you.  I can get panicky in water situations so I get it if you'd want to wait this one out.)  Also, do yourself a favor and if you don't know anything about the true story...DO NOT read up on it beforehand.  We get so few surprises in this world anymore with people spoiling crap all the time, just go in and be surprised at a few things.  Recommended!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom- Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum-  The latter actor is why I agreed to see this.  I'm a huge fan of original Jurassic Park and the third one (don't know why but there you have it.)  With Jurassic World, I was unimpressed even though I really like Chris Pratt.  To say I was giving it side eye before even seeing it is an understatement but Goldblum so....
I will say it started and ended with Goldblum so I was happy for those parts.  Honestly, it feels like a money grab franchise, which is how I felt about the first JW.  This one throws in some nods to the original like a dino charging a little girl in a dumbwaiter just like Lex trying to shut the door on the metal cabinet in the first one as well as the raptor nail tapping close up.  Kind of like "see, remember how much you loved the original!?"  There were a few parts that brought me to tears because I don't like to see animals (even CG ones) in distress/dying in cruel ways so if you are sensitive to this, be aware.  A pretty interesting twist thrown in there but I'd say wait for the rent...on Redbox or a free GooglePlay coupon code.

What movies have you seen lately?
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Empathy...Never Forget

The Mr and I talked about this situation the other day.  I know I might've touched on it a bit in the past but it bears repeating and is worth a look for newcomers.

I have the title of this blog written at the top of my personal journal that I started in 2007 when we were getting frustrated with our weight.  It helped to have a place to get out all of my frustrations so that I could always go back to them and either remind myself of why I wanted to get healthy or how far I'd come.  (Or both.)  But why "empathy?"

I used to be a member of a weight loss community...actually several over the course of 20 years.  One, in particular, had a member who had lost over 150 lbs.  It was nice to see their accomplishments as they learned how to navigate their new body.  They went from not being able to fit in certain places and barely able to stand for 10 minutes to running marathons and doing triathlons.  It was a journey we were paralleling with them to some degree sans the marathons and stuff because mama doesn't run unless a bear is chasing her.  But then we began to see a shift in their attitude.  What used to be a person with low self-esteem learning to accept they were worth being confident in their accomplishments morphed into a sanctimonious, almost bullying presence.  The things in their writing turned to rude, unacceptable comments made at other people's expense.  Comments they too endured while at their worst and how much shame, embarrassment and inner turmoil they felt were now being hurled at others who used to be like them.  It was shocking, to say the least, but sadly not uncommon with those who have lost a large amount of weight.

While they were writing about a hiking adventure they had one weekend, they talked about a fat couple they saw and how they were glad they weren't as gross and out of shape as they were anymore.  Uh, scuzi??  They went on and on in this vein for a whole paragraph and I couldn't take it anymore.  99% of the time, I will not respond to something I don't agree with online.  1)  Why bother, it takes more effort to write it down and get into some flame war with someone.  2)  You will never convince someone to come around to your way of thinking and that shouldn't be the goal anyway unless someone is physically being hurt/abused.  We live in a free country...I can accept there are douchebags people that don't think the same way I do on some things.  It so happened, the place they were hiking is close to some out of town family members and I knew the place well from childhood AND we'd just happened to road trip to the area the same weekend!  I was kind at first but then I told them this fact and that the couple they were ripping on could very easily have been us.  We'd lost over 100 lbs at that time and while there were a little huffing and puffing going on, we felt proud of ourselves for conquering a pretty steep area.  I asked if they would've chastized us so quickly had they known it was us and our story or was the support given there just lip service until you actually encounter fat people in the wild?  I said how disappointing to know that they had lost their ability to empathize with others who were in the same situation (but weighed less according to them) they were just a year or two before.  How it didn't matter whether they did or didn't know if it was us they were talking about but the point is, you don't know the story of the people you're judging.  You don't know what part of their health journey they're in and it's arrogant to assume because they're fat that they haven't done anything.  I believe they mentioned how the couple was eating an ice cream cone (we didn't so I knew they weren't talking about us but still) and how they wanted to run up and snatch it from them and say "I've been where you are."  I said if they'd done that to me on my high cal day, they would've come back with a stump.  I apologized if they didn't care for what I was saying and could certainly delete the comment if they wanted to but they needed a little shot of reality to show they are certainly not the end all be all of the weight loss and try a little compassion for your former self...the kind they wished they'd been shown before they started.

I had several people message me and tell me they totally agreed with me and were thankful I said it so firmly but eloquently and some spoke up right with me on their entry.  The next day, they did do another entry saying they were sorry if they offended anyone and named me specifically along with the few others.  They did need to learn to empathize and not forget where they came from.  I told them they didn't need to apologize for how they felt but they might consider taking a look at where all of that anger was coming from and ways to not direct it at other people who reminded them of their "old selves."  Things seemed to smooth over but I could never forget that which is why that phrase is at the top of my journal.  So what happened to them?  Life.  In a bad way.  They regained almost all of the weight back and have said that lifestyle will likely never be something they go back to as far as the marathons and such.  It brings me no pleasure whatsoever to know that.  Any of us who have lost large amounts of weight are just struggling between not gaining back what we lost like the statistics tell us we will, which sadly happened to so many and doing what we need to move forward if we still have more to lose.  It is why I will never look at having lost over 200 lbs as some badge of honor that somehow makes me better or makes me forget where I came from.  I know I'm a spiral away from that rabbit hole if I don't watch myself.  I can't pretend it could never happen to me because I've seen it too many times no matter what weight loss method was used...the "old fashioned way" or surgical. 

I understand that want to help others who were as big as you were when you started but think of how that would feel!?!  How embarrassing, degrading and how self-serving for the person doing the approaching!  (It's happened to people.  I would have SO MUCH to say if someone tried that with me!  LOL)  The best thing you can do if you've lost weight and want to help a stranger who reminds you of "old you" at them.  I remember how friggin' invisible I felt at that weight and literally had people run into me with their carts at the store.  Even at 400+ lbs, I was no shrinking violet and said "seriously @sshole!?!?  I KNOW YOU CAN SEE ME" to which they would run away.  "I will sit on a b!tch!"  Yep, said it.  How sad is it that we can't acknowledge each other anyway but for a morbidly obese person going through this world, it's even worse because you assume everyone is talking about you.  Every laugh is at your expense.  Every sound that has "oooh" in it is you getting mooed at.  Your brain goes into such an overdrive just being out in the world whether you admit it to yourself or not.  It's a horrible way to live and it's lonely.  So just having someone smile at you and say "good morning!" or "hey there!" or holding the door open instead of letting it slam in their face could go a long way.  Some of those people are at the end of their rope and could be one insult away from ending it all and your kindness, your empathy could save a life.

Do you feel you practice empathy?  If you do, was there a time in your life where it didn't come as naturally?

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Yawny Weekend Recap

Yawny is a word.  I declare it so.

Well Monday, you saucy wench...we meet again.

It was a pretty low key weekend in the scheme of grocery weekends tend to be.  I'm going into TMI territory, but Aunt Flo made me pray for menopause this go round.  I don't know what I did to her, but it's been a long time since I had to take something for pain and use a heating pad, so paddling was just out of the question.  (Between that and pop up storms all weekend.)   I'm glad that she's packing up and I'll be giving her the Peace Sign Middle Finger(Affiliate link)

We went out to lunch, swung by an antique shop whose future is shaky and swung by Grandma's.  Her flag was all discombobulated from the heavy winds we've had lately, but thankfully the glue job we did on her weight at the bottom held so I felt better.   Then we started the rounds at the grocery stores.  Trader Joe's lot was a they all are but inside wasn't too bad, so obviously, people were poaching those precious spaces for other purposes.  They should be towed.  Seriously.  That lot is so small (they do this on purpose, there are articles out there about it) so there should be some system to boot out poachers.  Like the parking space opens and your car gets swallowed in the magma at the core of the Earth.  Boom beeotch!  So yeah, that was the excitement of our Saturday...I know you're jealous.

Oh, we did pick up a new to us thing at TJ's

The Mr knows I love mango anything and even though we're not drinkers, he's like "live a little."  Well, we did last night and about halfway through my mondo glass, he said something and I busted out laughing then he was laughing at me and this continued for a good 5 minutes straight.  Like we got an ab workout from it.  It was delicious and I didn't even get a headache from it which is super rare.  We're definitely getting this again.  LOL 

Sunday we did our strength workout before brunch then dug in.   (Affiliate link)  Holy crap doing that with heavy weights will hand you your butt in a new way.  It was laundry day, and we still had one more grocery store to do for produce.  Bleh.  We're waiting on approval for our patio.  It looks like a jungle back there because once we decided we were doing it, I said screw it on the weeds and just let them take over.  You quoted us to remove the garden, remove it all.  Pffft!    The "fun" part will be moving all of the stuff to the garage so they can do their work.  We saw a chipmunk back there last week which means there's a weakness in the barrier I put up last year, but we're paying for a new one so it'd better keep them out.  They look so cute and innocent, but they aren't.  Jerks with fur.

Now we're ready for a new week.  Oh yeah and...


How was your weekend?

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Friday, June 22, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #25

Happy First Friday of summer, all!  Or what I like to call...93 days until Fall!

It's been a stinker of a week for morning walks so Monday - Wednesday was done indoors between Leslie Sansone and Jessica Smith.  But when the weather cooled down yesterday and today, I was glad to get back out in the fresh air.

Speaking of fresh, let's get right to...

The 7 Mobility Exercises You Should Do Before Every Workout  (Yeah, these should help fo' sho')

A Trainer Says Do These 7 Things to Get the Most Out of Your Workout   (Good tips)

7 Self-Care Tips That Will Make You Happier This Summer  (Dive's the first full day after all!)

Sorry to Be a Killjoy, but the Afterburn Effect Doesn't Last as Long as You Think It Does  (Uh, did anyone seriously think it lasted 24+ hours!?!?!)

The Only 40+ Bodyweight Ab Exercises You'll Ever Need, and You Can Do Them Anywhere   (I feel an ab workout comin' on!)

Responding to Messages Immediately Is Hurting You in the Long Run  (This is all true which is why I respond to messages on my time.  Trust me, people adjust.)

Why 'Motivation Is Garbage' and What You Need Instead    (Totally true!)

Being "Dumped on a Romantic Weekend Getaway" Sparked Sian's 87-Pound Weight Loss  (Good for her!)

This Couple Started Working Out Together in Their 40s—But Had Completely Different Results  (Of course.)

The Weather Channel's mixed reality tornado lesson was actually fun  (Courtesy of the Mr.  Us weather geeks loved it!)

Here’s How We Traveled Across America For A Year Without Telling Our Bosses  ( down?)

Easy homemade salad dressing  (Makes a great chicken or steak marinade too!)

We're watching the spinning dartboard also known as a weather forecast for tomorrow before we decide on any plans.  It's looking like showers but it looked like that 2 weeks ago when we wanted to paddle, didn't and it didn't rain like they said it would.  How is it that 20 years ago we could more accurately predict the weather and now you might as well have one of these and be just more accurate...

What are you guys up to this weekend?

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Where I'm At and Where I'm Going

"11-year anniversary trip.  We got together with Sam again.  He looked so good.  He's lost 125 lbs.  He said he was talking to Iz when he was on his deathbed (Iz was a Hawaiian singer who weighed almost 700 lbs.  You've undoubtedly heard his ukulele version of Over the Rainbow at some point) dying of obesity-related problems.  Iz told him, "listen to your doctors...I wish I had.  It's not too late for you."  He died not long after.  He talked about how he would walk short distances and be so out of breath at 445 lbs.  Don't I know it.  We're on Kauai & every time we would come up one flight of stairs, I'm so breathless.  It takes me like five minutes to catch my breath.  That's sad.  There are so many things I can't or don't want to do because of my weight.  I turn over in bed, and my heart rate goes up.  WTF!?!  The smallest things are so difficult anymore and being in Hawaii only amplifies them.  I've seen glimpses of myself in the mirror, clothed and naked, and wondered who that person is.  I've seen pics of myself and this is the first year I don't recognize my own face.  I look at the sand and ocean and long to feel the sand between my toes.  Then I think of walking over to the beach, how many steps will I take before I become winded, who will be around, will they say something, will someone yell from the balcony, the walk back and how winded I'll be by the time I get back.  By then, all of the joy has been drained out of something fit, and even just overweight people take for granted.  A simple pleasure I struggle with every time I look out of the window." 

That was an excerpt of the first thing I wrote in my personal journal in 2007 on a trip to Hawaii.  That was 162 lbs ago.  I still wasn't at my biggest yet...that was 205 lbs ago.  As you can see, even as frustrated as I was, it wasn't enough to stop me from gaining another 42 lbs before hitting my proverbial rock bottom about a year later.  I'll be honest, I'm kind of proud of us for still traveling that heavy because I know so many people don't because they don't want the looks of disgust from someone praying you're not sitting by them when you're over 450 lbs.  Hell, I still get them now even under 300 lbs!  But those last few vacations were so sad in retrospect.  I remember getting most of our meals to go because I just didn't want to risk being stared at in restaurants especially if there were chairs I didn't fit in.  I once had a lady ask at a really nice restaurant if I needed an armless chair and I didn't, but she said it loud enough that everyone at about five tables heard it and looked.  I don't think she meant anything by it, trust me you can tell when they do, but still...way to put a big, fat dagger into what self-esteem I drummed up just to leave the condo for a night. 

I am so grateful that we had a wake-up call and got the extra weight off that we did.  I'm not going to lie and say I'm happy with the progress of the last 5-7 years because there has been little progress some due to injury/muscle issues and also just not wanting to do what needed to be done even though we've said it 20,000x.  It has been more maintenance.  That would be fine if we both weren't still 75-100 lbs overweight according to "charts."  We have both gained from our lowest and of course, it's always worse coming back from vacation.  He's thankfully only got 3 lbs to go to be back to pre-vacation weight, but after a freak 2 lb gain last week (pretty sure from inflammation and lack of water from heavy lifting and HIIT), I have 10 more to lose which is a pisser. 

But here's the thing, while that's utterly frustrating, I feel good about the path we're on.  I know Saturday has some improvements that can be made but I've never really felt like Saturday was our whole problem.  The lack of movement during normal days seems to be the glaring elephant in the room and I feel good about taking steps (literally) to remedy that.  It really opened my eyes to see I was getting in 230-400 steps on an average day (obviously excluding workouts).  One area I always felt I held myself back was in the strength department.  We did strength training, but I always seemed to top out at 20 lbs per hand.  Then we'd go on vacation, not do strength for one to three weeks depending on how long we were gone and I'd be back to rebuilding.  But it's like I had some mental block that made me think, "oh look how big and intimidating those 25's are...those are Mr. sized weights, not mine."  Uh, why the hell not???  I already know women cannot bulk up like a man.  I already know it can help you burn more fat at rest and all of that other crap, but I somehow felt like lifting 20 lbs was a lot more than some of my friends were lifting so wasn't that already good?  No.  It's not.  Not if I ever want to make actual progress.  Not if I ever want to see the muscle instead of feeling it through fat. 

It's been two weeks since we've been consistently lifting heavier and we can both tell the difference in each other.  I feel so accomplished when I'm done too, especially if I'm lifting the same amount as the dude on the workout.  When I'm done, I just want to like rip phone books in half and sh*t!  (Yet I can barely open a bag of cereal or lite kettle corn...what gives grip strength!?) 

While I'm grateful for how far I've come and where I am, I'm excited about where I'm going.

Where have you been and where are you going?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Beyond Meat: The Beyond Burger

After trying Beyond Meat's Beast Burger with such positive results, we wanted to try other offerings.  We didn't make it to Whole Foods for the brats, but we did see the Beyond Burger in with the regular meat and decided to see if there was a difference.

Here's the nutritional info:

It's still 4 ounces like the Beast Burger but somehow is smaller.  Like the Beasts didn't fit well next to each other in my skillet, but these did.  These are just refrigerated and not frozen like the beasts.  I got them ready to roll, and you can see they look like real meat burgers.

It would be VERY easy for someone to pick these up on accident since they're in the meat section!

They fried up like real burgers again from the crusty char appearance to the "blood" of the beet juice to the grease from the oils in the patty.

This time we put a little BBQ sauce with it, and it looked like the real thing.

But how did it taste?

When I peeled back the plastic to open these, I swear I almost yarfed!  I think maybe it was the beets, but it truly tickled my gag reflex so I was thinking of other things I could make quickly if these tanked.  As they cooked, the smell didn't dissipate much, so I was worried.  Then I took the bite, and it just tasted like a regular veggie burger.  A little Earthy, and not fooling anyone but a good alternative for those looking to go meatless.

The Mr said they were okay, but we both agreed we'd choose the Beast Burgers over these because while this made us full, the Beasts kept us full for hours after and you didn't have that awful smell to deal with.   If you're used to the Earthy smell of veggie burgers, they may not bother you at all but I'm not so it was a new experience.  :-)  Definitely, a good source of protein especially if you're looking for a soy free option.

What are your favorite toppings for a burger, veggie or not?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Two! Two noises...ah ah ahhhh

Congrats if you automatically read that title in The Count's voice from Sesame Street.

Good Tuesday morning.

When you have record temps and its not even in summer yet, I do not get good time summer vibes.  It feels like it'll be a three paddle summer and us locked inside in the A/C trying not to melt.  Speaking of the A/C, we had problems with ours, of course.  Every time it shut off, the vent wall would pop with a big metal BOOM!  It got to the point we both dreaded it coming on.  We called them to come out and fix it, and the dude put straps around the vent, and they tested it twice, and it didn't make the noise, so he left.  Well, about an hour later when it came on again on its own...BOOM!...CLINK. we had two noises!  Now we were moving into mild PTSD territory because we would both cringe when it came on and shut off.  The Mr emailed and called, and we weren't getting any response which is the whole reason we use Home Depot as a middleman.  If we aren't satisfied, HD basically tells them to fix it, or they'll yank their contract.  (As confirmed by a friend who used to work with them.)  We weren't going to play that card yet but when we did get a call, the Mr was basically given a list of things that didn't include fixing the problem, and one of them was to basically run the fan all day since it only happened when the A/C was on.  In our eyes, this is the equivalent of having a less than a week old new car and being told to turn up the radio to cover up the noise.  The Mr let him know that wasn't happening and they came out last Friday and seem to have fixed it with extra straps and weights that are now holding down the door in the filter compartment that was clinking.  It figures we go from a 22-year-old furnace that was just fine and never made a peep to a brand new one that sounded 35 years old.  Fingers crossed that solution works because we've got a year for HD to be able to put the smack down on them on our behalf and that is the route we're taking if there are any other problems.

My Lord, that leg workout we did Sunday really crippled me yesterday!  My legs were obviously sore so since it was already 75 degrees at 8am with high humidity, I kept my walking indoors with Leslie Sansone for the same step count.  I didn't think my legs could take the elevation changes and since it was my solo day, I didn't want to risk cramping in the wild with no one to punch my leg muscle while I screamed.  (I initially typed crapping instead of cramping...that would've been a whole other situation.)  Oddly, the places that hurt me most were actually my back.  We've been consciously lifting heavier, and even when you're working the legs, the act of just holding the weights pulls your back and shoulders down more than normal.  It doesn't help I've got all of that scar tissue on both elbows in one place or another so especially my left one is weaker right now, and I have to modify a bit on some or risk dropping the weight.  25 lbs on the foot would be no bueno.

On the upside, I fixed a nice breakfast when I got back.

My water sucked last week for some reason and I need to make it a priority to help aid recovery for these muscles or else they're going to hold on to every last bit of water I give it if I don't.  I also decided to give my collagen peptides another go round.  (Affiliate link)  So many people swear by it and I just didn't feel much but I was also only doing one scoop over two because I didn't want to be consuming an extra 70 calories for nothing.  That'll give me an extra 18g of protein so that's good.  I figured I would try the suggested serving size since my muscles have a hard time recovering and see if it makes a difference or not.  If not, I'm cutting it because I'm not paying $43 every time if I'm one of the people it does nothing for.

As I type this, Island in the Sun by Weezer is on.  It immediately takes me back to shopping in Corolla, NC on our first full day at this typical beach town souvenir shop and the song came on.  No idea why it stuck in my head.  I think I hadn't heard it in years and since we were kind of on an island(ish), it just felt appropriate and made me really happy.   Any time I hear it, I immediately chill out, and it puts a smile on my face.

Share a song that stuck with you in an ordinary moment and what you think of when you hear it.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Here Comes Santa...Weekend Recap

Our Friday started with the Mr biting the bullet and getting a new ride. 

He got the Santa Fe Sport at the price he wanted, and I wasn't involved, so we were both happy campers!  We spent the weekend trying to air out that cancery "new car smell" everyone seems to love so much but gives me an instant headache and makes me dizzy if I'm in it longer than 15 minutes.  It got a good amount of it out but needless to say, we'll be driving with the windows down when the weather allows to get the rest of it out.

Saturday was celebration day.  We decided to take the car for a 2 hour road trip and were very happy to see the gas mileage was more than quoted.  Who knows if it'll stay that way, but I hope so.  Drive off the lot with 40 miles, by the next evening it's got 300.  Break 'er in.  We had a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and got home right before a freak hailstorm hit.  We actually moved our reservation up so if we'd gone at the original time, the car would've been in the parking lot getting hailed on with the Mr trying to use his body to deflect damage.  We ordered some purties for it like Weathertech mats and seat covers since the paddling equipment can leave a mess for the stuff that has to go in the back seat.  Of course, there's this one horrible faux wood grain piece on the passenger side that is blinding in the sun so we have to get this vinyl crap to cover it up.  It's always something. 

Sunday, we got in an early workout which I think is going to be our new habit.  Sunday is almost always brunch day, so we'll have to earn it.  That one had us dripping with sweat, and we put in a good stretch session afterward to hopefully leave me able to get in my walk this morning.  We had brunch then went to see Grandma.  We put a more permanent weight on her flag, so it doesn't flap in the wind then got a few things at the Container Store and looked at Whole Foods for those vegan brats.  No go, so off to the regular grocery store for produce refuel, and they happened to have the faux brats!  So we got those, and when we got home, we saw the stupid bagging twit sat the watermelon on top of them and squashed them flat.  I had to reshape them, so the Mr didn't have to worry about going back.  Seriously, WHY can teenagers not bag properly!?  Then you want to bag stuff yourself, and they get all wounded, and it's like "you squash my bread, thawed brats and anything else soft that we've purposely saved until the end so tuck your lower lip back in, ninny!"  Then it was home and so glad we didn't still have a workout to do!  So I made dinner of organic, grass-fed beef burgers that were massaged with lemongrass essential oil after their long day in a pasture made of unicorn grass and baked oven fries.  Then we watched a few more episodes of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story on Amazon and before we knew it, the night was over and here we are.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, June 15, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #24

Happiest of Friday's to you all!  We're halfway through June.  How does that happen?  To quote Truvy:

But enough about the months swirling down the toilet, let's get to...

The 4 Exercises That Unexpectedly Helped Me Zap Away My Stubborn Belly Fat   (She's totally right.  When I do the first three, my core is always super engaged.)

Following These 12 Easy Hacks Will Help You Lose Weight, Not Money   (Someone needs to learn the difference between "hack" and "tip."  These are great tips nonetheless.)

The Surprising Way the Sweltering Summer Heat Affects Your Mood  (Well, I could've told them this for half the grant money for the study!)

Having a Healthy Gut May Be Key to Weight Loss — Here Are the Best Foods to Eat   (I love most of these.  Need to incorporate them more.)

Get Ready to Feel the Burn With This Kick-Ass Beginner TRX Workout   (Ooh, I'll have to integrate these into some of our routines!)

Dark chocolate likely boosts memory and mood, according to new research  (I know I always feel better after our 72% squares from TJ's every night!)

Is It Possible to Do Too Much HIIT? A New Study Says Yes  (Everything in moderation, including your HIIT!)

What It's Like to Run a 5K Completely Naked  (This is really inspiring.  Kind of NSFW if buttcracks are frowned upon.)

How the Right Diet Can Help Women Stave Off Alzheimer's  (Yes, please)

Forever Young: Why Are Adults Acting Like Children?  (I get what he's saying but using Michael Jackson and people who physically augment themselves to appear younger (which doesn't work, btw) I don't think account for even 30% of the people who do it to reconnect with their inner child to not feel the suck of adulthood.   You're fooling yourself if think our grandparents didn't wish they had an outlet for that from time to time or maybe they did and it was far more societally depraved to acknowledge back then? As long as you're paying your bills and adulting responsibly, who cares if you play a video game or ask for Hello Kitty bday cake?  So bog off.)

5 Smart Decorating Ideas to Make the Most Out of a Small Patio  (Sounds good to me!)

Parents Are Reacting To A Letter Written By A Second Grader Who Wishes Cell Phones Weren't Invented  (What's even sadder?  How many people are justifying it.  No, you don't have to stare at your kids and entertain them 24/7 but you never run out of social media and internet and if you don't have balance, your kid will suffer.  We see it every weekend at restaurants.)

13 DIY Gift Basket Ideas for Father's Day  (Cute ideas that show you really put some thought into it!  I'm sending my dad a Father's Day card for the first time in 15 years.  I hope he likes poop jokes because we're never going to have the "you were always there for me" exchange!  LOL)

I was hoping for a weekend as good as last weekend weather wise but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.  We might be able to squeeze in a paddle before the heat of the day sets in if we're feeling an early wake-up time.  We'll see.

What's on your to-do list this weekend?

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Leg Up

I'm almost at the end of four full weeks getting up at 7am (or 6:45am if I'm already awake) to walk every morning.  I want to say that I come back refreshed and mentally ready to start my day but honestly, I just get back and am happy it's done. HA!  I feel no boost of anything yet that everyone claims you get when you move early in the day.  I'm not brimming with energy, mentally clearer or any of that jazz.  Maybe I'm a late bloomer, and that'll kick in next month?  You know, when it's super hot and muggy outside.  I will say though that I'm proud I'm doing it and I know that has to seem pretty silly for those of you moving and grooving every day.  But baby steps, right?  For some of us, that's literal.

You all know that I've been having serious leg issues for the past 5 years.  I'll go through phases where I'm knocked down completely, sometimes needing to pull off of weight-bearing exercises completely and other times, needing to modify to low impact.  It has been a very frustrating roller coaster and felt so limiting.  It's no coincidence that our weight loss has stalled from that point on.  I know there are other changes I can make to inch that along but I depend on exercise to destress me and make me feel like I'm working toward something.  I was quite leery when I made this goal to myself wondering how the feet would take it.  While we didn't do formal exercise on our vacation, we did walk quite a bit and I found my feet were doing okay...well, for my feet.  So I made the commitment to do the morning walks for more steps to upgrade my status from "slug" and see how things went.

An unexpected side effect from the walking has been the improvement of my legs.  When the Mr asked if I wanted a leg massage last week, I gladly accepted.  I'd just given him one and he winced quite a bit, just like I always have.  But when he did my legs, I didn't have a single spot that made me wince, groan or even hurt.  I still roll and stretch after regular workouts but I expected to have a few spots.  My legs have been a lot less sore in a debilitating way after workouts too.  Again, this might sound like a "duh" moment to some but when you have something that hurts to do, the last thing you want to do is something that seems like it could aggravate it more and has actually done so in the past.  I think it has been more the consistency than anything to help build up the muscles that just don't usually get worked with a work at home job.   I've gone from under 400 steps daily for basically the past 10 years to an average of 5000-7000 steps with my walks and workouts five days a week.  I think that's quite an improvement.  I've also noticed an improvement in feeling from the knee down.  I regularly have to use a heating pad on my legs depending on what stage of chit show they're in.  Most times, I couldn't even feel the heat on my lower legs.  I would sometimes have to check to see if the heating pad was on because I couldn't tell.  The past week, I can actually feel the heat on my legs much better which I'm assuming is due to increased circulation.

I'm not gonna lie, there are days where I do feel sorer than others afterward, but it's nothing now that a little stretching can't help with.  If this can help balance my leg muscles so I can actually function without worrying about things going all wonky,  it would be a miracle.  (I'd probably also kick myself for not doing it sooner.)  I know it's about timing too and it's something I couldn't have even committed to before the trip just because of how ridiculously sore/crippled I would be even being out on a Saturday for lunch and say an hour of shopping.  I'd be so sore, twitchy and have throbbing arches that I was beyond frustrated.  I think it's a matter of timing and recognizing that after I made sure to stretch out my shin muscles in addition to all of the other stretching and rolling I do, that my shins weren't compensating as much for imbalances.  If this new routine allows me to get a leg up on things, I may actually be able to implement a more solid plan that will evolve based on my ability and not an injury.  That sounds like heaven to me right now.

What program change has given you more physical stamina to work your big picture plan?

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Food Review: Orange Mango Vitamin Water

Man, do I love it when the grocery store gives ya a freebie, especially when it's something I wouldn't buy myself.  I'm not a big sports drink kind of person and don't really feel the need to start the habit, but since it was free, we grabbed the orange mango and kept it in the fridge.

I don't know if "werk it" is the name of the flavor or a command.  I chose the latter and did a booty poppin' dance before trying it.  The Mr wasn't feeling so hot and was pretty dehydrated, so I thought that situation would be the perfect avenue to try it out. 

Here's the nutritional info:

The sugar seemed pretty high to both of us so be aware if you're watching it on that front.

Here are the ingredients:

 I'll be honest, when I picked it up, I had no clue it was made of coconut water, so that was a fun little twist.

But how did it taste?

(Old school glasses, yo)

I took a swig, and it was decent.  I immediately tasted the salt which was kind of weird, but I know the point is to retain fluid, so it's necessary.  I just don't particularly care for it in my drinks.  I wish the mango flavor were a little more prevalent.  The Mr said it was okay but nothing he'd care to drink again.  However, it did help him feel a lot better and pretty quickly, so there's something to be said for that.  I'm glad we had it on hand for that purpose if nothing else.    You may really like it if you like to drink the "ades" of the sports drink world.  If so, I'd say give it a shot and see if it's your cup of tea...err...water.

Do you drink sports drinks?  If so, what kind?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My new favorite strength workout

On one of my Friday links recently, I included this Burn Fat Faster link from LiveStrong.  It looked like a good workout and boy, is it!  When it comes to strength training, it's easier for me if I do a video/gif workout because I just can't put together something on the fly very well. 

While I do refer back to that page when we do it, I thought it'd be nice for me to have a printed version if we don't feel like looking it up.  I thought maybe you guys might like it too, so here it is!

For proper form, make sure you refer to their original post which has gifs that show you how to do each move.  Be prepared to be sore in that good way when you're done.   It's a great full body workout and doubles as cardio because I know my heart rate always gets up there especially the second two rounds!

What are your favorite strength workouts?

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Monday, June 11, 2018

That time already? Weekend recap

It's Monday!  You guys excited!?!?

Me either.  But still, I guess we should be glad we get to see another one, huh?

It was a good weekend.  Nothing Earth shattering but we got out early on Saturday which was nice.  We headed to a farmers market that I used to love but now can't stand.  It's so crowded and with people who seemingly think it's a place to stop with no warning, let your kids who don't know how to ride their bikes attempt to do so blocking both ways on an already crowded sidewalk, people angling their strollers blocking your way, etc.  It's full of the most self-important people in the city gathered in one spot and essentially our version of Hell, so we stopped at the two places we needed to and got the heck outta there.  We split a donut from a place there that we found out is all hype.  Hipster donuts are the worst.  THE. WORST.  It was already humid out which is no picnic on its own much less in a sea of humanity.  We had about 45 minutes to kill so we swung by Hobby Lobby.  Can you believe it's already time for this stuff??

We saw a few very faint traces of Christmas stuff too (mostly ribbon), but you know how the crafters have to be ahead of the game, so they're serving their audience well even if most people want nothing to do with Christmas in July.  We were able to get to the restaurant we wanted for lunch as soon as it opened and thankfully it was pretty quick, and no one sat near us until our dishes were being cleared.  Could you tell being around humanity was the last thing I cared to do?  HA!

We stopped by Grandma's, and I put a memorial flag on her grave. It has her picture on it as well as Mother and Grandma because that was left off of her headstone and many of us were not happy about that.  Hopefully, no one gets their undies in a twist over it, I feel like it rights a wrong and somehow makes it a little easier to talk to her with her face smiling back.

While I dreaded the trip to Trader Joe's at 1pm, I must say it was way less crowded than usual so we were pleasantly surprised!  Same with Target.  When we were loading up the car, we looked at each other in amazement and were like "neither of those things were as painful as they usually are!  How is that!?"  We weren't going to question it and decided to just be thankful and hope it continued.  The Mr wanted to test drive another car, and I wasn't feeling like wasting any of my day at a dealership again, so I told him to go get it and bring it back to the house for a spin.  We loaded the suitcases in and saw the cargo room was quite nice and would fit our needs.  I don't know that we're in love with the design where we sit even though it is literally the same space wise in both we're considering.  We may have to do the side by side comparison and light a circle of fire around them to keep the salesmen away while we go through talking points.  I'm not looking forward to that at all.  Then we grabbed dinner and hung out the rest of the night.

Sunday I woke up to some irritation by people which I gave up to God and the Mr woke up with a headache after I woke him up.  I gave him a massage and sent him back to bed to try to sleep it off which rarely works.  I'd kind of hoped to get up and get our workout done right away so I started on this post while he slept.  When he got up we did the workout which was pretty brutal but so worth having out of the way.  We still had the last of the groceries to get situated, mostly produce, and we had to drop off a birthday gift.   I use the term "drop off" as though it was was 3 1/2 hours. It's going to be more "muggy" this week so morning walks should be...ugh.  Totally keeping the option open to do the indoor walking stuff if it's too gross out there.

That brings us to now.  I know...real blog-worthy stuff, eh?

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, June 8, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #23

I've got a secret to tell you.  Don't go spreading this around or anything because it might cause mass hysteria if it got out but...

*looks both ways*

It's Friiiiiiidaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!

I know, I'm a dork.

It's been a glorious week weather wise and that all basically changes today.  So I guess I'm relieved we've got a new A/C system that we can properly break in with a little more energy efficiency.  We so lucked out that with the windows open it was 69 degrees when they started working.  I actually had to make us some hot tea to warm up!

But enough of our home improvement adventures, let's get to...

Do These 3 Things to Speed Up Your Metabolism (Not These 3)   (I'm tryin'!)

This Is What It’s Like To Be A Man With Binge-Eating Disorder  (Interesting perspective and so sad the way the people closest to him reacted.)

My Body Size Does Not Determine My Ability  (Word up!)

30-Minute Fat-Burning Pilates Workout  (Looks like a butt kicker!  I don't know about that cross legged plank thing but the rest looks good.  Video starts on landing)

Brain Power: How to Protect Your Mind From Future Disease  (Get on 'em!)

The 5 Biggest Reasons You Wake Up Exhausted  (It is not lost on me my latest bout with sleep issues started when I put up those blackout curtains but other stuff too.)

Grab 1 Kettlebell to Do This Trainer's 3 Ab-Shredding Exercises   (I can't wait to add these into our routine!  I want to up my strength game soon and core strength is essential!)

Ryan Reynolds shares his technique for dealing with crippling anxiety  (It just goes to show even the person that appears the most confident on the outside can be dealing with anxiety too.)

7 Ways You Can Save $1,000 by Christmas, If You Start Now  (It's only 28ish weeks away ya know!  *ducking*)

The 25 Craziest Things People Have Found At HomeGoods  (I'm naming my girl band Disco one take the name.)

I don't think we have any specific plans for the weekend.  I got a memorial flag for Grandma's grave so we'll go put that up but other than that, we're open.  I suppose it'll depend on how stinking hot it's going to be which at this point looks pretty stinkin'.

What are your weekend plans?

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Humming right along and first time out

Good morning all!

Yesterday morning we got up for our walk, and it was 50 degrees.  Glorious!  We threw on light jackets and enjoyed our stroll before the installers came.  I opened the windows since it was so cool outside, so we weren't using any more of our current A/C.  They called about 8:40am saying they were on the way.  They did a great job of getting from before to after.

Holy crap did it get cold in the house with everything open!  We were actually wearing our jackets in the house about halfway through the day!  The guys were very nice and funny.  Early on, the dude doing the furnace came up and was a little wide-eyed and was like "GUYS!"  We both looked up, and he said "I saw your weight loss pictures down there!  That's awesome!" and went on a little.  It was nice to have someone see that we're not just the fat people in the house...we used the be the fatter people in the house!  HA!  The guy doing the A/C was so nice, and it was cute because he'd give updates like "we're halfway there!" or "we're getting ready to fire it up soon!"  Enthusiasm...bottle it for me, sir. 

They were done around 2:30pm, so I didn't think that was too bad.  Seems to be running well and it certainly looks better.

Since it barely hit 70 and the wind was about 3-5mph, it would have been a sin not to get out there and paddle.

They upgraded a more secluded launch we like to go to so it was nice to enjoy a newly paved lot and no rocks everywhere.  The pebbles used to poke through our water shoes, and it was irritating, so we didn't go there as much.  There was another guy there with an inflatable raft for fishing, and I was able to help him jerry-rig a solution for his motor, so that was nice to be able to help someone out.  The water stayed pretty calm for the most part sans our paddle back, but we've paddled against far worse.  While we were tempted to paddle farther, we decided against it since it was the first one.  We didn't want to cripple ourselves today. 

There's some clean up to be done on the ol' yak because apparently when the last time you paddled, you almost die, you never want to touch it again.  This meant there was still moisture and because we didn't check it at all, I was surprised by a nice bout of mildew.  The Mr said he has something that will take care of that so hopefully, it won't look like something I never want to paddle in again for long because we gots no money to replace it.

How old is your HVAC system?

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hump Day check in

Happy Hump day you fine folks!

I must say, the past few mornings of walking have been glorious!  Low to mid 60's, low humidity and it's made hauling my cookies out of bed much easier knowing I'm not walking into a wall of swamp.  I haven't been sleeping well and could've very easily said screw it, but I'm kind of proud of myself for not giving in. 

I recorded Dietland and watched the episode and the aftershow with Aisha Tyler.  Anyone else watch it?  (I didn't read the book so no spoilers, please.)  I recorded the series but thought I'd watch the first one just to see if I wanted to bother going forward, and I must say it hooked me.  Since all of our regular shows have finale'd out for the season, it'll be nice to have something to watch.  (I didn't even bother showing the Mr because I know he'd probably glaze over on it so it'll be my guilty pleasure.)

We're trying to move forward with patio plans.  While I'm not jazzed about dropping $4700 on a patio after paying $7200 for a new HVAC... 

Sorry, I just added those two numbers in my head for the first time. 

*gets dizzy* 

Huh?  Oh 


Yeah.  So they said we could put down a deposit so we could set up a tentative start date and at least get on the books and then if they come back sooner we could see if it can be adjusted up at all since he's about 2 weeks out.  So I think maybe we set it up for the 28th or July 2nd.  Either way, whatever has me grilling for the next holiday.  You know, the one that'll be too hot to want to be outside until late Fall. 

*starts rethinking patio and just digging out the garden area ourselves and saving $4300*

Speaking of HVAC, they should be on their way in an hour or two.  We are blessed with the coolest day of the week today so to be without air will be much better today than say Friday when it's going to be 90 degrees.  Is it weird I cried when we signed the contract because I felt like I was forcing an elderly person into early retirement?  Don't answer that.   I think after having two freon refuels, we'd be pushing our luck this year and given how hot it's already been, t'would be bad for it to quit when it feels like it and then we're like 2-3 weeks without air.  I remember that when we had a massive storm and were without power for a week, it was about 90 degrees inside, but the basement was at least still cold so that's where I'd be.  Working, playing and sleeping in the basement.  At least it would get cleaned. 

Who am I kidding?

I am hoping that a check on the wind for today last night means we will get to paddle for our workout tonight.  First one of the season.  Monday looked like a good day but the wind was 13mph, and that does not make for a good first paddle.  Lord, I remember last years first paddle.  My friend came with us, the one that is scared of water, and she went overboard.  She panicked, but we immediately were on top of her assuring her nothing was going to happen.  I thought about seeing if she wants to come with or if she was permanently scarred.  We'd definitely go to a no wake zone a little higher up the lake.  Please keep your fingers crossed our install goes smoothly today, and I wouldn't mind ahead of schedule either but beggars can't be choosers. 

How's your week going?

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