Tuesday, July 31, 2018

When the Birthday Girl is the Gift

Today is one of my best friend's birthday.  The weird thing is that we've only met in person once.  Well, maybe these days that's not so weird.  We clicked when we found each other on a site and when I left, we exchanged emails and kept in touch.

Over the years, we have been each other's cheerleaders, support, virtually cried on the other's shoulder, been silly and sassy.  Outside of the Mr, she is the person who knows me the best and still loves me anyway.  She accepts me more than anyone in my family and friends even I've known my entire life.  When you find someone like that, you realize what a rare gem that is.  We finally got to meet up for the Groundhog Day 25th anniversary in February and I'll admit I hoped that the reality didn't blow it when she met me!  LOL  You know how you can get along with someone but when you meet in person, there can be awkward silence and that kind of thing.  Nope.  We had to remind ourselves to get some sleep because we had a groundhog to see in the morning otherwise we would've talked all night or until our heads started bobbing (more).  :-)

(Me and my girl takin' in the Groundhog Day festivities)

So on this, her birthday, I'd like to tell her that she may be getting the gifts but to those of us lucky enough to have her in our lives, she's the gift.

Give a shout out to your bestie in the comments.  Tell us what makes them so special and your significant other is too easy, I'm talking your other soul mate that doesn't covet your naughty bits.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Deep fried weekend recap

Good Monday morning everyone!  Ready for a new week?  Well, it's here so ya better get ready, you dig?

We had a good weekend.  Saturday we went to a festival and got in some carnival eats.

Elephant ears are my favorite until my teeth feel like they're going to drop out but it's my once a year summer indulgence so...quota met.

We got in a crap ton of walking that day.  I suggested we just keep walking until our hips gave out and it happened about here:

So I basically burned off my elephant ear.  Yay but ugh.  Oh well, it's done.  I've got other things to focus on than a planned oinkfest.

We were so tired when we got home, we decided to take a "nap."  Two hours later.  Neither of us could walk very well so I suggested we go down and stretch, roll and use the vibration board which helped tremendously.  We did some reading then he went up to game and I went to bed.

Sunday we did a lot of talking and time got away from us.  Then we went to visit grandma, got some stuff at Lowe's and got some produce for the week.  Since I knew the legs were shot, I chose the paddling workout.  I'm hoping to maybe get a paddle in this week but wind and weather will determine that so you can never really plan it since the meteorologists can't seem to find their butts with both hands these days.  Seriously, how is it that they could more accurately predict the weather 20 years ago but now can't do it 12 hours out with a zillion more gadgets and technology?


We broke in the grill finally and had BBQ chicken, sweet potato, and corn on the cob.  Then the weekend was over and we sobbed in the corner.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 27, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #30

It's been an exhausting week on so many levels and I'm just happy it's Friday.  Anyone else ready to hop on the Friday train?  Woo whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

Let's chug on into...

Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind: Challenging Our Core Beliefs  (I had to laugh a little when this popped up in my feed as this is right in line with some stuff I'm already doing right now.)

10 Common Errors Made In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy  (Very good info)

The Surprising Added Benefit of Having Sex  (Get down!)

How I Gave Up My Tupperware And Got My Life Back  (I get it but there's still some work to be done to get there for me.)

Kevin Smith On His Post-Heart Attack Life: 'Never Thought I'd See My High School Weight Again'  (As usual, Kevin is wordy and if sailor mouth and weed offend you, don't watch.)

If You're Choosing Not to Have Kids, You'll Want to Read This  (Eh, read it if you want but it always fascinates me how no one ever says any of that crap to the Mr like "But you'd be such a good dad" "You'll change your mind and then you'll be too old." "There are so many people out there who want kids and are unable to have them." "You'll totally regret this." )

Con Watch: Why a Hacked Router Is “The Worst Thing That Can Happen to Computer Users”  (It's astounding how many people don't do this and leave themselves vulnerable.)

Childhood pen pals reveal how they fell in love  (Aww, sweet!)

Cooking With Jeff Goldblum and Special Guest  (For all of the Goldblum fans out there...aka the Mr and I.)

Watch sign language interpreter translate heavy metal concert  (Could not stop laughing)

Pesky dog hilariously wakes up sleepy cat for playtime  (OMG, so cute!  Not pesky at all and lucky the cat didn't bitch slap it like cats do.)

Men are terrified of playful dog  (DUDES...for real!?!?!  That pup is the sweetest thing ever just look at that tail wagging!!)

There are a few festivals going on within a couple hours drive so we may go to one  if the mood strikes us (and let's face it, it's corn dog season and I haven't had one.)  It's actually supposed to be nice too so we've gotta soak that in while we can!

Whatchu up to this weekend?

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ant life grand?

Don't really have much to report other than we're dealing with a minor ant infestation...

All of the contents of our pantry are on the cutting board sized countertops.  I realized that after I shattered a ramekin with the shards potentially going into my tuna fish and all over the floor.  I calmly grabbed the broom, swept up the shards, threw away the tuna and grabbed a bowl of cereal.  I set out the Terro ant traps (which ALWAYS take care of those bastards) and left the kitchen.  (affiliate link)

More crap after that so yeah...it was a great Wednesday. 

(dripping with sarcasm)

Anyone else got anything poopie to share?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hump Day Poll: Your favorite summer read

It's Hump Day y'all!

One part of the last two things we're waiting on for the patio arrives today.  The other is getting shipped to a store near us but is like a week away for no good reason.  It will truly be a month-long project from start to finish.  The crappy part is some of the flowers that were in full bloom when I planted them are now like "we out!"  So the patio tour will be next week hopefully.  I must say though that it has been a nice place to sit outside some days before the heat or rain kicks in to sit and read...and there's been a lot of reading lately.

Let's do another Hump Day poll:

What are you reading this summer?  Whether it's a juicy autobiography, fanciful fiction or a self-help book...what are you peeping at this summer?  (Also, do you prefer paper or electronic?)

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Proactive for once and message skewed

Happy Monday all!

It was grocery weekend and we actually went to Target and Trader Joe's on Friday like we said we wanted to start doing.  Because it sucks when 3pm rolls around on Saturday and we give each other "the look" that says what no one wants to say out loud so we decided to hopefully kick that tradition to the curb.  We got to TJ's around 8pm and it was much less sucky than usual so we were in and out in 15 minutes.  Then we lollygagged in Target a bit but still, it was nice to be back and unloaded by 9:10pm and know that they weren't looming in our weekend future.

We spent a lot of the weekend trying to find something specific for a gift and I swear you always see a ton more when you're not looking for it.  But it allowed us to go into two different Walmart's (a store we might go to two or three times a year) without fighting their parking lot since we were next door to one and two different destinations.  The Mr drove to a pet shop and we held a Daschund.  Those dogs always fool you.  They're all "I'm sleeping, look how cute I am!"  Then you get them out and they go batshit on you and turn into a nipping, pissing machine that reminds you of the "joys" of puppy parenthood.  That's why it's always easy to walk away after a few smooches and hand nibbles.

We decided to grab some Chinese for dinner and the Mr had a Redbox freebie so we rented I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer.  If you don't know the premise, she has low self-esteem bumps her head and then sees herself as a smokin' hot supermodel even though nothing has changed about her except the bump on the head.  It has a great message...when you peel back the ego trip that made it much less likable.  I get where they were going but they didn't have to go that route because it cheapened the lesson a bit.  I must say, I liked it more than I intended to, so there's that.  Then we hung out on the patio after a passing shower and it was much cooler out.  61 days until Fall.  It may not turn cooler on the day but at least it won't be summer and that's a step in the right direction.

Sunday we were both feeling beat from our walking journey the previous day so I made brunch first since I didn't have it in me to work out first.  I didn't have it in me to workout after either, so I suggested we walk the hood since it was about 70 degrees (but still humid as a mother).  We did our 2 miles then cooled off a bit and headed over to pick up some stuff and get in our produce run.  Oh and some woman as we were in the parking garage had the nerve to HONK at us as we were walking (which if you've been in a parking garage, you know reverberates and scares the crap out of you at that volume) and asks us if we're leaving.  I had to walk away as I uttered expletives because land sharking is rude enough but to almost sideswipe a car and honk at someone in a dark parking garage will put me in the mood to shop for two more hours just so you don't get my space.  I will not shark others and if that is truly the only option (I can count on one hand how many times we've done it) then we hang WAY back with our turn signal on.  You get up in my grill all rude and I'm dropping off my packages and walking back to the store whether I have shopping to do or not.  Once we finally got home, The Mr cut my fruits and veggies for the week and I felt like I'd hit a wall.  I didn't get good sleep the night before and it was catching up to me.   We took a little rest (neither of us napped, it was too bright) and I made us a little pre-workout snack...

(Half an apple with 1 tbsp Better N' Butter)

We did HIIT 20/15.  I didn't have it in me to do some elaborate dinner so we had chicken dogs, salad and leftover chips from last weekend.  Probably the last time we'll have anything like that this summer.

Then before we knew it, it was time to shower, relax for the night and the weekend was over.  Bleh.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, July 20, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #29

It's Friday!  Woo hooooo!!!!  (I refuse to call it "FriYAY."  If a phrase makes me want to flick the person in the forehead who invented it, I can't in good conscience use it myself.)

Let's slide right into...

9 Tips For Keeping Your Gym Shoes Clean and Smelling Oh So Fresh   (Breathe deep!)

6 Expert-Approved Ways to Calm Your Anxiety Enough to Get Some Effing Sleep  (Try to get dem zzzz's!)

What's Really Holding You Back From Losing Weight?  (For anyone who may struggle with emotional eating)

This Surprising Factor May Raise Your Risk of Alzheimer’s   (Another good reason to keep it under control)

5 Simple Stretches That Will Soothe Your Knee Pain  (Word!)

14 Magic Phrases to Instantly Calm Your Anxiety  (I surrender...Ghirardelli brownie.  Oops, that's probably not what they meant.)

Ocular Migraine: What Spots and Flashes in Your Vision Really Mean  (The Mr and I have both had these and while it's freaky at the time, make sure you pull over if you get one while driving.)

Imagine Dragons Singer Completely Sculpts His Body in Just Months  (Really inspiring comeback from his autoimmune disease.)

I stopped drinking completely for 2 years — and it showed me how the world treats sober people differently  (Tell me about it.  People act like you've got some contagious disease if you tell them you don't drink.  When the only thing that will shut strangers up is that you're a recovering addict even when you're not, this society has a problem.)

You’ll Really Miss Robin Williams After Hearing The Voicemails He Left For Billy Crystal  (How wonderful to still have those to listen to.  I still have VM's from Grandma that are just as bittersweet.)

6 Incredible ’80s Movies Getting A Much-Deserved Sequel Or Reboot  (Seriously Hollywood, get an ORIGINAL idea!  Reboots are LAME money grabs.)

A 25-foot statue of Jeff Goldblum has been erected in London  (*books ticket to London*)

It's supposed to be a potentially rainy weekend so we'll have to play things by ear on our end. 

How about you?  Any plans?

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

As time goes by...

I've been fortunate to have people still check in on me even almost four months after my grandma has passed.  I still have reminders of her around me.  I have a shelf on a side armoire that has some of the cards she gave me over the years that surround my favorite picture of the two of us together.  In 2010, we were out for my birthday dinner, and she was sitting beside me and started talking about me being her first grandbaby, and I have my head on her shoulder with a smile on my face, and we're holding hands.  I can look at it and feel the love every day.  I blogged about one of the cards I have up there, and it was for my 25th birthday.  That was the first birthday after I'd been officially diagnosed with a stress disorder that affected me physically in ways I knew others wouldn't understand.  After a few conversations with her about how I didn't want to be compared to other people who used a similar condition to manipulate and excuse their bad behavior with her that I knew she understood and didn't judge me at all.  Those conversations ended with my head on her shoulder, in tears, as she assured me she didn't look at me that way and that I needed to take steps to be healthy even if that meant reducing contact with people who used to be important to me.  That card was a reminder that she valued my coming to her with my "secret" and shame of this new world I needed to navigate.   I had two people in my life who loved me that unconditionally and one of them is gone now.  It's hard to lose someone who loves you like that because you feel a little more alone than you did before.  Sometimes her hugs hello or goodbye had no idea what they were healing inside me, and I wish I'd told her when she was still here and able to understand what it meant.  I know she does now though.

This year has been a hard one in many ways...some I've shared, some I haven't.  As the Mr and I were having an emotional discussion the other night, in the middle of my tears, I blurted out "I miss Grandma."  I knew her hugs was one of the things that I needed most at that moment even if the situation we were discussing wasn't one I would've necessarily gone to her for.  It was a surprise even to me because I've felt pretty accepting of our new reality as much as you can be when you have no choice.  I still feel no relief per say but acceptance because what else can you do?

I try to see her every weekend if I can.  I brush off any grass clippings or bird "gifts" as she always liked a clean house and I know that would mean a lot to her for the new "house" to be clean.  Lord knows I didn't inherit her cleaning gene.  The flag I got with her picture on it that acknowledges her role as mom and grandma has been thankfully welcomed by the whole family.  You don't know the things some people may get their undies in a twist over so I'm glad this wasn't one of them.   They all say it makes it easier to talk to her with her smiling face there and everyone likes the picture I chose.  She so rarely showed teeth in her pics, and this one was a genuine smile, and she looked so pretty.

I'm sure the cards will come down soon, but for now, they've become part of the decor for me.  I think of her every day and smile.  I won't lie that on the rare occasion a flash of what she looked like the last time I saw her alive will sneak in there and I immediately redirect to something else.  I just can't handle it.  I think of something happier like at my graduation party she knew the way to my heart was not just through a stack of cash (I was 17, what can I say!?) but also a six pack of A1 steak sauce of my very own.  I was obsessed with the stuff as a kid, and after I'd leave from a visit, her bottle was always a little more empty than before I showed up.  She knew me well.  :-)

When we were sitting on the (almost) finished patio one morning, I said: "I wish grandma could see this."  I know she can, but I'd give anything to see her reaction in person and just see her sitting in one of the chairs enjoying the breeze and an iced tea.  Slowly, as time goes on, the gift she gave me of not wanting me to see her compromised allows me almost to erase the disease and only the good memories and times we had together to remain.  I think it's what lets me feel her so strongly still when I wish she were here for a hug or advice.  Sometimes I swear I hear her say "I know, sweetie" when I say I miss her in my private moments.  Whether it's a trick of the heart, brain or spiritual plane...I'm grateful for it.

What are you grateful for as time goes by?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hump Day Fun Poll

It's mid-week and I've got nothing exciting to report other than yesterday I just got the new strength training routine from Girls Gone Strong that I'm excited to look at. 

So let's do a fun poll.

Do you strength train?  If so, how often and what weight range do you typically lift?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Food Review: Kashi Honey Cinnamon

If you want to get technical, it's Kashi by Kids, but I didn't want you to skip over it thinking "I don't eat kids cereals" because don't act like on occasion you don't.  (We tried the Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes in Maine, and I swear I heard angels sing.)  I always wanted to try Apple Jacks when I was a kid, and I don't think I ever did.  Since I am a kid at heart, these called to me as I passed them...

The Mr and I agreed to split them.  No, it wasn't the "super food combos" that drew us in, it was the fact they looked like baby cinnamon rolls and apple pies because we're healthy like that.  If I saw the "made with red lentils" part at the bottom, I might've passed them right up.

Here's a peek at the nutritional info:

Little rolls of cinnamon lentily goodness and pillows of apple pie(ish) filling awaits!

So how did it taste?

We liked it!  My wish list would be for more apple filling in the middle of the pillows since it kind of sticks to the walls of the cereal but when isn't apple and cinnamon a good combo?  I think this would be perfect for kids and kids at heart.  Obviously, this isn't going to be the cereal you're looking to eat when you want something high fiber and protein, and it's not going to leave you very full for long.  Even though it was about 4 hours later before I got hungry but when I did, it was what we call "drop hunger."  Where it feels like everything dropped out of your stomach, and it's shrieking like a banshee to be fed.  But if that kid in you is jonesing for an apple cinnamon cereal without a ridiculous amount of sugar, this could definitely scratch that itch!

What was your favorite cereal as a kid?  As an adult?

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Scenes from the weekend

Happy Monday all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 13, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #28

(via Giphy)

Let's hack right into...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any plans for the weekend?

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday babble


Good morning everyone!  Happy day before Friday.

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

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

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

What's on your keychain?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Beyond Meat: Sweet Italian Sausage

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

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

Here's a peek at the nutritional info:

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

Here are the cooking directions...heed them.

Good Lord, they look like misshapen human wieners.

But you can see they cook up just fine.

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

Here's a peek at the inside.

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

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

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

So how does it taste?

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

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

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

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

God laughs.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

(via Giphy)

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 6, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #27

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

Let's cannonball into....

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

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

Get Loose! The Best IT Band Stretches  (Strettttch)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Is it Friday yet? Patio reveal

Y'all, it's been a week. 

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

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

Oh HELL no!!!

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

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

Here are some before and after's:

The former "garden" area:

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th of July all!  I'm taking the day to hang with the Mr and see what we can throw on the grill that fits into our calorie bank. 

Hope everyone has a great holiday and make sure to bring the pups inside so they don't bolt.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"You can never really make anyone happy"

I stumbled across this article about Dean Mead who lost over 200 lbs.  When he talked about his journey with Nutrisystem and lifting weights, something he said struck an old nerve.

“I got down to that weight and started bulking up to put more muscle on because everyone told me that I got too small. You can never really make anyone happy,” he jokes. 

I remember that phase.  When you're 494 lbs (or just fat, period) depending on your circle of family, friends, and co-workers that see you most, you have one of three reactions to your weight:

1)  Bullying comments like somehow making mean jokes at your expense will spur you into action.  (But we all know people just say those things because they're either miserable assholes or trying to make themselves feel superior for their own shortcomings.)

2) The "well-intentioned" comments like "we're worried about you" or "if you just lost a little weight."  (You know, because it's easy which is what the word "just" implies.)

3)  Nothing is said.

In my case, it was the latter.  Nothing was said.  I lost weight before in the late 90's but gained it all back and double that after going through a family implosion after a death as well as the most stressful time in my life at work.  So my family knew I was capable of losing weight but when I got out of control nothing was said.  Fast forward to losing 175 lbs and still being 319 lbs (the same weight I was when I got married) and suddenly it was "you're getting too skinny!!"  Uh...pardon???  I'm still over 300 lbs and on the day I got married, no one said "look how skinny you are, you really should stop dieting."  It was to the point something was always being said when we'd get together for family functions, especially with one particular family member.  I finally had it and said, "sorry but no one said sh*t when I was almost 500 lbs, so people don't get to comment on it when I'm getting healthier."  Nothing was said for a long time and now that we only see this person once a year, she still insists on calling me skinny.  Ugh.  PLEASE...enough.  Because of her personality, you don't know what her intent is in that statement.  I know she is a very judgy person where weight is concerned and has made comments behind people's back about the food they post on Facebook or if so and so gained weight or whatever.  I'm 20 lbs over my lowest weight and still obese so it feels disingenuous from our perspectives.  I'm getting off track a bit.

So what he said really hit home because people are never happy.  When you're too fat, they get used to you at that weight and anything that is drastically less weight, even a weight you used to be that was never commented on, is suddenly "too skinny" or "thin" enough to cause concern.  Weight loss is a very personal journey and just as people can be hurt by being called hurtful names, believe it or not, they can also be hurt by a constant mention of their weight every time you see them.  It may seem trivial and maybe people just want to show their support but depending on where their headspace is, it can actually do more harm than good if they're having trouble or backsliding.  It makes you feel like your weight is constantly being monitored by others and then you can feel like you're letting people down, much less yourself.  If someone compliments you but you know you're heavier than the last time you saw them, it makes you question their sincerity even if it comes from a good place.

Most people want to lose weight so they can blend in more.  People of "normal weight" don't get told "wow, look at your stable weight!  Good for you for maintaining!"  I know some people can get addicted to that positive feedback and comments in the beginning and we were one of them the first time around.  But it made us a little uncomfortable the second time because it felt like we were under a microscope.  If you feel the need to pay someone a compliment, just say they look great.  No need to make it weight related unless they bring it up.  If they want to take it as a weight thing, they can but reinforcing they either look good (or conversely sick or "too skinny") just adds a lot of mental clouding that doesn't need to be there.  Obviously, this is just my opinion but I know a lot of people who have gone through the same journey expressed the same feelings.

Do you prefer weight based compliments or more general compliments or do you want no one to compliment you and if so, why?

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Weekend Recap and a heads up

Good Monday morning all!  Happy July and boy are we in it.

As predicted, it was a flaming hot weekend:

(Swiped from a friend's FB page)
"Lucky" for us we got to be out in it because after not getting phone calls back from our landscaper dude about a start date for the patio, we got an email mid-afternoon Friday that "oh, we'll be there Monday."  Not like we didn't have stairs to strip, allow to dry out and stain before you came out as well as about 15 other things that needed to be done before you could start.  :-|  I'd already started stripping them at various points during the week and then got the note and it was like Mach 5 with our hair on fire.  When you're continuously told "we'll be two weeks out once you get approval" and then how backlogged they were from the weather, it would've been nice to have more than 2 1/2 days to get done what needed to be done.  But oh well.

Sunday morning, by 8 am, I was out there staining and the Mr was moving the rest of the crap off of the patio.  I decided to stain the folding shelf we put up last year so it would at least match the stairs.  OH!  And color the Mr and I ticked big time because the paint we got for the inside of the fence last year that we did in the same sweltering heat is already bubbling and peeling!!!!  We've never in 22 years dealt with an issue like that so you can bet we're never getting that brand again.  I don't even have it in me to think about doing anything about it this year and no time to do it before the patio dudes do their thing.

They'll be here soon and my twitch should hopefully recede.  I ordered the grill that will go in the former garden area to be delivered assembled because ain't nobody got time for that!  It is quite the behemoth and I'll post when it's all out there and set up.  In addition, my mom is coming over for dinner tonight so we had to get both the inside and the outside ready.  She says she doesn't care what it looks like in here but I do.  She's a grit lover so I'm making her my shrimp and cheese grits.

Today and tomorrow will be super busy days...some we chose and some we were thrust into which I'm sure you can imagine sent my wee head spinning.

The heads-up part.  I don't know at what point this will kick in but I may not post every day for the foreseeable future.  I've got some stuff going on with family and friends that is occupying my mind lately.  So if I need the break from the pressure of coming up with something pseudo-compelling here, per the Mr's suggestion, I'm allowing myself to take it.  I feel like some days I'm forcing it and I don't know that it's fair to either of us.  So if you don't see a post, I'm likely fine and if I'm not, you know I'll eventually tell you.  All part of that work/life balance we all strive for.

What did you do this weekend?

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