Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Hump Day Poll: Well, That Was a Mistake

What's the worst hairstyle/cut you've ever had?

With growing up in the 80's/90's, most people would assume the big hair I rocked as a teenager would be the worst but I'd wear that again in a second.  My worst style was my Olivia Newton John cut.  It was a few years past her Physical phase but she was still sportin' that short hair but like slightly tapered against the neck like on the cover of this album.  That looks great on a skinny Aussie, it looks tragic on a 5th grader going through her awkward phase looking like she's storing nuts for the winter.

So what about you...What's the worst hairstyle/cut you've ever had?

Just a reminder, I think tomorrow is when they're pulling emails being sent through Google.  You can go to Bloglovin and follow there (see link below) or bookmark me and remember to stop back.  I've looked into the cost and it would not be cost effective based on the small number of people who click through email links.  Don't you...forget about me!  :-)

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Monday, June 28, 2021

New Walkin' Grounds

Summertime walking isn't typically our thing because no one wants to walk out into a wall of humidity and hoobastank less than we do.  Occasionally, summer throws you a bone of a slightly less circle of hell day and you want to get out and enjoy it.  Given our run in almost 2 weeks ago with the neighborhood psycho that has us questioning our safety (and looking at a LOT of houses over a 10 day period), walking out our front door for a convenient stroll around the hood is no longer an option.  Honestly, the day before that incident, I almost told the Mr I was done walking the hood anyway.  Cars were not moving over despite us getting as close to the curb as we could.  We have a park near our home but it is not the most conducive to a leisurely stroll because...people.   So we had to move our walks to a place that still had a lot of people but there was no possibility of them bothering us...


Walking cemeteries is nothing new to us.  We've walked both grandparents cemeteries on occasion but these were going to have to be our destination now for uninterrupted walking time.  I know, some people may be creeped out by it but I've always loved looking at old headstones from the 1800's when I can find them or seeing what people picked out to represent their lives.  This one cemetery a few miles from our place has some great head stones ranging from funny...

to inspirational...

to WTF...

Sometimes we just walk in silence looking at the clouds.

It's not as convenient as stepping outside our door especially since there seems to be orange barrels between here and anywhere we want to go but it's peaceful and right now, that's what we need.

Where do you like to walk?

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Friday, June 25, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #26

We made it!  Not just to Friday but we're halfway through 2021.  I thought last year felt long, this year is giving 2020 a run for its money in some ways!  It wasn't a great week emotionally so I totally forgot about a hump day poll but you guys might not be sad about that.  LOL  We did have a few cooler days this week so that was nice.  One morning the Mr and I sat out on the patio with some tea while he worked and I got some garden stuff done.  It was really nice and we need to do it more.  

I actually remembered to take pics of food this week.

Monday we had shrimp and veggie rice rolls with thai peanut sauce and salad

Workout was WATP.

Tuesday was General Tso's with cauli-rice and pineapple.

Workout was 2 1/2 mile walk.

Wednesday was lentil spaghetti with low sodium marinara and Gardein's meatless meatballs.

Workout was a 2 1/2 mile walk.

Thursday was cauliflower "taco" salad.

Workout was HASFit resistance bands.

Now let's slip into...

30 Minutes of Walking a Day Can Help You Lose Weight! Try These Indoor Walking Workouts  (I'm down with new blood for our indoor walking pleasure.  They missed one though.)

The One Mistake You’re Probably Making When You Brush Your Teeth  (I'm always appalled when people say they don't brush their tongue/cheeks/roof of mouth.  You've wasted your time brushing your teeth by immediately re-infecting with the germiest parts of your mouth!  YARF!)

How to Master the Art of Calming Down (That is something I'd LOVE to master!)

Where Are Your Favorite 'Biggest Loser' Winners Now?  (Always wondered how some of them are doing.  Haven't watched that show in YEARS)

Is this OUR Chateau?  (For a moment, the Mr and I thought perhaps this was our chance to unleash our inner Strawbridge's Chateau style but then we thought better of it.)

You Need to Try This Scavenger Hunt in Your City This Summer  (Hey Mr, I think I found something to do over the weekend!)

Not real sure what we're getting into this weekend.  I'm seriously thinking about doing the last link up there if we get super bored.  Aunt Flo's in town so I suspect she's going to dictate things a bit since I've been a crampy pants the past few days.


Anything planned for the weekend?

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Monday, June 21, 2021

A Look at My Bloomers Weekend Recap

After the stresses of the past week, it was nice to just take this weekend to do some things to keep what's left of our sanity.  

Thursday afternoon, a lady whose store we go to put her house on the market.  Well, it went online Thursday but went live Friday.  When I saw it, it was the first time my heart actually raced a little when looking at a house.  We've looked at and Zillow for as long as we've been here and in 25 years only saw two other houses we could actually see ourselves in.  I showed the Mr and he got kind of excited too.  (I think that might've been more due to the arcade in the basement though!)  I made a few phone calls and the next night we were scheduled for a showing.  The biggest con is it is right by a freeway and there is really no more outdoor space than we have right now.  (I don't understand the hype about corner lots.)  

Friday we got our 2nd shots and then had a few hours to hang out before the showing.  We got there a little early so we could drive the neighborhood.  It seemed okay but we weren't overly jazzed by it.  We pulled into the driveway and rolled down the windows.  That freeway is LOUD.  It's non-stop too.  Any time spent outdoors would not be relaxing.  We went in and the house is about as close to perfect as we've seen in a long time.  The cupboards would need to be painted along with most of the woodwork in the house.  It didn't have a fireplace and that's kind of a deal breaker for us.  There wasn't even a free spot on any wall to put a gas one in.  The roof is original and the place is 20 years old so we'd need to start saving back for that and the HVAC probably has about 5 years left and we just went through that a few years ago.  While it's a nice house, in person it wasn't enough of a bump in quality of life to consider, so we're glad we saw it and wouldn't be pining for it.  The realtor got us the utilities over the past year too so we could figure that in and after sleeping on it, we still didn't feel any pull toward it.  Honestly, it was just nice to do anything different.  Later in the evening, we both got a moderate headache and arm soreness from the shot and I did take two Tylenol so I could sleep and that was it.  Just enough to let us know the response was there but nothing remotely like others have experienced of being wiped out for a day or two.

We've bid adieu to some of our neighbors over the past few months.

The baby is on the left and pops on the right.  Sunday morning, everyone was gone.   These are the second batch of babies.

The flowers in the back are doing well since I added some outdoor food to them.  

The cuttings I bare-rooted seem to be doing well but I'll be glad when they get a little longer.

The Mr caught the pollinators at work...

Saturday we got out for a drive in the country which seems to be getting harder and harder to find these days.

We looked at two other houses we saw online out of sheer curiosity and they were a hard no but again, nice to have a destination.  

Sunday was pretty laid back.  I saw a bastard chipmunk had made its way into the patio somehow (we purposely had a "critter barrier" installed when we did the patio) so I've taken steps to let it know its not welcome.  Try to dig up my establishing wisteria, will you?  You'll rue the day.  We did a grocery pick up, watched a few Criminal Minds, did a workout (9 Week Control Freak which the jury is still out on) and then dinner time of Beyond Burger and sweet potato fries.  We were more than stoked to see a new season of Renovation Island started last night since our usual Sunday ritual of Escape to the Chateau came to an end.  I see we're supposed to get some rain today and I'm more than happy with that.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, June 18, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #25

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a better week than we did.  To top off the stuff I already mentioned this past week, the Mr and I witnessed some maniac fly around the corner in our neighborhood (there aren't sidewalks.)  He screamed at the woman he was tailing and out of instinct, the Mr grabbed his phone to try to get a pic of the license plate because we weren't sure how close he came to hitting the man and his two dogs by the turn and thought he was a delivery driver.  Didn't matter, he didn't get the pic anyway.  (If I'd seen him grabbing at the phone I would've told him not to but he was too quick for me.)  The man told us the guy was a nutcase and carried a baseball bat in his car and lived in the back.  This made our stomachs sink.  

As we walked about a half mile down, out of nowhere he flew up behind us with his cell phone on us screaming at the Mr and when we tried to leave, he pulled his car in front of us blocking our path, got out of the car and got in the Mr's face.  Well, tried to because I stood between them as he kept screaming asking his name, which he did not give him.  He said he would 'find out soon enough' and sped away.  We ducked out of the street in case he came back and of course when we usually have a ton of walkers, there were NONE.  No witnesses.  We called the police and our property manager, neither cared.  

We can't file a report because that would give him our names and address which is the last thing we want.  We have been sick with adrenaline, anxiety and I'm just plain terrified.  We will never walk in the neighborhood again.  It was already heading that way anyway because cars just weren't getting over anymore and it felt more and more unsafe with that obviously being the topper.  I have no idea what we can do to protect ourselves and the Mr is a yellow belt but these days, the criminals seem to have more rights than the victims.  So yeah, I'm hoping for some weight loss because more than a few meals have been missed due to extreme PTSD on my part constantly relieving it day and night.  We were able to get the license plate and I passed it on to a friend that if anything happened to us, he would be questioned.  (Again, not filing a report to give him access to our address so he can then begin stalking us.)  So if there are any multi-week absences without any explanation after a month, you might not hear from us again.  I know that sounds extreme but 24 hours later, I'm still shaking as I type.


How about a little of...

20 Foods High in Selenium for Thyroid Health (Always eat my brazil nut a day)

Healthier Air Fryer Recipes  (My MIL gave us hers (never used).  Anyone use one of these things?)

8 Bone Broth Benefits That Will Convince You to Try the Trend (Gives ya a nice little protein bump.  We use the unsalted version.)

5-Ingredient Tropical Fruit Popsicles (Holy crap these sound good.  I think I'd switch to lite coconut milk and cut the maple syrup to 1 tbsp)

What Makes Duran Duran So Durable?  (Used to be my fave as a kid)

Sorry, that was all I could come up with under the circumstances.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hump Day Poll: Travel

What's the weirdest/most interesting roadside attraction you've seen on a road trip/vacation?

Hmm, probably Wall Drug in South Dakota on the way to Yellowstone.  There are almost 300 signs for it on the byways and highways driving across the state so your interest is piqued if nothing else.  Was it cheesy?  Yes!  That's the point.  It's the ultimate tourist trap you don't want to miss and I'm glad we went.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Working It Out Weekend Recap

How do all?  I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of relaxation, productivity balanced with some tomfoolery.  I'd say we did but a little light on the tomfoolery which is disappointing.

Saturday we went to the grave of a co-worker I used to occasionally have lunch with that died during the pandemic at the end of August.  I wasn't able to go to her viewing but was glad the cemetery had a lookup feature so I could find her.  I know the headstones take a few months but hers still wasn't there which shocked us both almost 10 months later!  I assume I was in the right place since her in-laws of the same last name were buried next to the grown over grave in the area they showed her located.  The Mr and I, before visiting, said that we would never leave the other's grave unmarked and get temporary markers.  I don't understand why cemeteries don't do that.  If it's distressing for someone not closely related, I can't imagine how the families feel.  It just feels like they're forgotten.

Then on Friday the Mr found the information from the cemetery where my dad's dad was buried since a search of graves from the time he died turned up nothing due to no stones again from December.  We were a section off and turns out they bought the plot years ago.  (Still don't have his death date on there yet.  That was 6 months ago.  I get turning out a stone taking time but you can't get some engraver dude out there??)  A reminder, this is the grandfather who basically disowned me after dad left for whatever reason.  He thought it was a 9 year old's responsibility to keep up the relationship with a whole side of the family who deserted her.  The last two times I saw him, particularly the last time I saw him (which were years apart), he made it clear he didn't really care that I came over to the point that when we left the Mr apologized for him he was so appalled.  When he died (after no one told me) I had a LOT of feelings that came up from 30+ years of rejection by him in addition to the attitude he passed on to my dad and all of the feelings that came with that.  When I tried to find him in January (because I figured how many new piles of dirt could there be?) I wanted to unleash all of my anger on him.  I felt like finally telling him what he did to his son and in turn, me and how it screwed up so much in my life would potentially bring on some kind of healing.  Now that I was standing in front of the grave with his name on it, I was ready to let'r rip.  I stared at it or more accurately the flowers someone had planted there for a minute, looked at the Mr and said "that's that" and walked away.  I felt nothing.  I thought maybe seeing his name etched in stone, which is the same name as my dad, would make me gasp to see that finality.  Nope.  I felt for him basically what he felt for me my whole life...nothing.  I wasn't going to stand there and fake mourn him or shed a crocodile tear for a man that made me feel like a walking piece of crap my entire life.  He believed in demanding respect, not earning it and he passed that pompous attitude onto my dad who almost passed it on to me but thankfully that's not how I ever thought.  I know where he is and when we walk that cemetery, I don't plan to pass by there again until my grandma is gone.  I do have good memories of her when I was little even if she was fully complicit and enabling in their side of the family's abandonment and then playing the victim.  But to visit him specifically?  Not happening.  

In other news, I found out that the thief and her accomplice that my good grandma's jerk husband let move in and trash all of my grandma's things have a warrant out for their arrest.  Before anyone clutches their pearls over me calling him a jerk, he had everyone from family (whom he immediately cut ties with) to his financial advisors and doctors to the police telling him to cut ties with this woman.  He has cut off his previous family before he met my grandma 45 years ago so I was not surprised he had it in him to act so cruel and verbally abusive.  He cost my grandma a relationship with her closest sister due to his inability to see another person's point of view and unleashed a tirade they could never recover from until it was basically too late after grandma had been diagnosed.  He was declared of sound mind during all of this so there was nothing the one family member who went back for his continued abuse could do.  It wasn't until he became ill and hospitalized several times that the doc was like "I think maybe we could have him declared unfit now" and guardianship was issued to that family member and taken away from the thief.  (That's right, he'd given that woman guardianship!!)  They worked on getting her evicted from grandma's home and I guess discovered that 95% of the belongings had been destroyed and the place trashed.  In the end, $115,000 was stolen from him in money and goods.  The money he freely GAVE her in hopes she'd eventually have sex with him.  I'm not holding back because you all need to know this CAN happen to you.  Problem is, this family member is publicly attaching themselves to efforts to get them arrested and these people are drug dealers and have guns.  You don't think someone who is desperate isn't going to come after you when they stole his car and got pulled over with drugs and guns in the trunk?  Keeping my nose out of all of it.  I'm just SOOOO glad I took the stuff of Grandma's that I did in the beginning with no one's permission (even though I told my mom about it after I did and she said it was stuff we'd always talked about me having).  If I had waited for this big "family can come take her stuff when I'm ready to let it go" event he promised when she died, we would've gotten nothing to remember her by.  The stuff I took is stuff he never missed and I feel like Grandma enabled that opportunity for us to be alone in the house to get the mail for her one last time while he was away so we could do it.  I am grateful for that.

Needless to say, the weekend wasn't super relaxing on the emotional front!  LOL  I did finally get to finish our 25th anniversary book by adding the pics from our anniversary on the blank pages I left at the end so that was nice to see it completed.  We got in some tube time that was about it.


How was your weekend?

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Friday, June 11, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #24

Hello, hello, hello and happy Friday all!  We made it to the end of another week so high five yourself for that one!  It's been nice catching up with SP people this week.  I'm glad we were given the opportunity to say goodbye to the people who still have active pages.  It breaks my heart a little to see those long deactivated pages especially after beginning the process of copying the comments on my page.  Definitely a moment in time.  

No pics of dinners this week so let's get to...

Sparkpeople's statement about closing

Low-Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice and 8 More Creative Ways to Add Veggies to Your Favorite Meals (You guys know I use cauli-rice all the time for our homemade Chinese meals.)

7 Things to Never Say to Someone With Obesity (Soooo many opinions, none of which I want to say because...yeah, not up for potential debates.  😆)

The 4 best ways to stop phone spam, scams, and robocalls  (We get more spam calls than actual calls but I don't want to answer people I do know much less those I don't.)

Stop Being So Hard on Yourself  (Easier said than done.  I hear ya, Ben.  Me too.)

Chronic Indecisiveness: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (I'm sure I don't know what they mean.)

How to Keep Your Plants Alive When You're on Vacation  (Might test out the wine trick while we're home to see how long that truly takes to empty.)

No plans for the weekend.  I do want to get out for a drive or something.  It's been raining all week so that's going to make for a wall of humidity this weekend.  Bleh.  I guess on the upside, maybe my vining plants will start getting a move on.  I'm anxious for the jasmine and wisteria to get to the top of the arbor!

Anything fun planned for the weekend?

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Lot to Process

(Too bad I'm not on the beach to do it.)

This week has been just chock full of stuff to muddle my brain.  I found out over the weekend they're donating Grandma's organ and judging from the picture it looks like they have everything pretty much cleared out.  No one ever sent me a message saying they were at that stage and did I want anything.  I did tell my mom of a few items I wanted if they were still there before our trip but that was months ago and I don't know if she wrote that down.  But this means they'll be putting her place up for sale which will truly close the book on her death.  I actually got a pretty concrete sign from her the next day which comforted me but it still sucks that when we drive by we won't be able to stop by or drive past it slowly and hope we don't get caught by the new owners.  If her husband hadn't moved the catfisher in there the past few months to wreck it and it had a basement, I would consider buying it.  (I don't know how the Mr feels about that statement.  LOL)  Maybe it's better anyway because then we'd have a place that would be big enough to hold full on holiday gatherings and our small space has always saved us from that.  So I suppose this is the final physical piece of the mourning puzzle.  Certainly not how any of us saw things going 10 years ago.

I've got some medical crap going on that have lab results not matching up with symptoms so I'm waiting for a clear explanation from the nurse on that front.  While it seems like some healing is going on, it is very slow and I've been dealing with this for a few months.  It's just the latest thing in a list of medical crap that's been one on top of the other since August.  I would like a break, please.  So because of that, we're on modified cabbage soup this week because it may help speed things up.  It'd better.  As if my mental fuse isn't short enough.  (This isn't going to be a regular thing for us but right now some of it lines up with what I might need.)

Finally, if anyone from there reads this, you may know that Sparkpeople is closing August 17th.  I found out by a fluke on a random login before they made the official announcement.  Thankfully, one of my 'spark friends' emailed me so I would've found out when I eventually logged into my business email.  The Mr and I got to work on downloading and saving our blogs which took me about 8 hours over the course of two days.  (23 pages with about 15 blogs per page plus all of the comments and reading a few here and there.)  I do want to go back and potentially save all of the comments from my page too.  That was a pivotal and the most active point of our weight loss and I would've been devastated to lose all of those thoughts and emotions and most of all, the encouragement and funny comments from all of my friends.  I am so thankful for that place even if I wasn't active there the past 8 years or so.  There was a point in late 2010 where the signs of what we would today call "cancel culture" started seeping in with members thinking it was their job to blog police everyone and report things they didn't agree with instead of going to one of the other zillion pages on the site.  It was out of that that this blog was born because I wasn't going to censor myself for idiots I didn't know who just happened to stumble onto one of my rants because it got featured.  For something to get featured, it meant that it got a lot of "likes" which means more people liked it than didn't and it only took one person getting their undies in a knot to get a hand slap from an SP moderator.   No thanks.  I am grateful for my time there and the camaraderie from all of them.  I miss getting encouraging comments and messages with fun little emojis.  I didn't realize until I saw them again how much I need that.  It's brought up so much in terms of emotions, some good and some I need to sort through which will be another blog as I read through the ones I saved. 

Anyone else processing some stuff?

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Hump Day Poll: Dare to Dream

What would you do it nothing was off limits? What would you do if nothing was impossible due to your weight? What would you do it your inhibitions were cast aside and you stepped outside of the roles you are cast in in your daily life?

These are not rhetorical questions...I want answers. Think about them.

Dare to dream....         

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I Didn't Forget About Ya

No weekend recap because it was mind numbing to live much less recount to anyone.  😆

I found out some news that I have some feelings about so I'm trying to get a proper blog together for it but I have some stuff I need to do first so gimme a day or two.  Not that I have anything Earth shattering to share these days anyway but for the 10 of ya that are still here...HA!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Friday, June 4, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #23

How do, all?  I hope if you had a short week it didn't drag like short weeks tend to do.  (At least they do for us.)   The Mr got off early one day this week and we road tripped to a drive in to see A Quiet Place 2 because usually anything new is good.  Thankfully, this was worth it and it was a nice way to beat a case of the 'mundanes' that tend to come during the week.  

Here's a case of what was on our plates this week.

Monday I took advantage of a sale through Amazon Fresh of Caulipower Veggie Pizzas.  While I appreciate the new 'stone fired' crust in order to make it more crispy, now there's ZERO sauce on it.  (Not that there was before, really)  Next go round will see if they can handle a drizzle of my low sodium marinara without sogging out because that was like eating cardboard.

Workout was a 3 lapper around the hood.

Tuesday was BBQ chicken pita pizza and Brussels.

Another 3 lapper but it was hotter than advertised before we started walking.  Bleh.

Wednesday was BBQ shrimp and cheese grits.

Workout was Turbo Fire Sculpt 30.

Thursday was Butternut Squash Ravioli and roasted broccoli.

Workout was 3 laps around the hood between pop ups.

Now let's pop into...

Amazon's Sidewalk feature will share your internet connection. Here's how to opt out  (For Amazon ECHO and RING users!!  If you do not opt out of this, this is a violation of your contract with your ISP and could cause problems.  Not sure how the heck they can get away with this but you now have 5 days to do it!  This is why you won't find a true "smart" device in our home.)

8 Tips for Dealing With Social Anxiety Post-Quarantine  (It's real and sometimes worse for those of us who didn't need a pandemic to have social anxiety.  Do not be pressured to return to someone else's idea of 'normal.'  You do you, boo.)

How To Prepare Your Dog For Your Return To The Office  (For the love of your couch and shoes, ease 'em back in!)

Why it could be 'an accounting nightmare' to try to work and collect Social Security benefits until this age  (Never too early to start thinking about smart strategies)

21 Little Tidying Tasks Professional Organizers Do Every Single Day  (Oh, so like mountains of clothes isn't good?  Got it.)

How To Become A Propagation Expert & Make Your Plants Multiply  (I'm doing this now with some Wandering Jews I got off Etsy.  They looked awesome last year dripping off of window baskets!)

No real plans for the weekend that I know of.  We need to make a list of things we can do on the fly that we're comfortable with, I'm already stir crazy again.

Any weekend plans?

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Thursday, June 3, 2021

Party of Two for the Big 2-5


Sorry to keep ya hanging from Tuesday's post but here's the lowdown.  The Mr told me from the beginning he would be cooking us a big dinner.  He's not one to typically do that so he was nervous but excited as he was researching recipes.  I should back up a second.  He told me this after trying to duplicate something similar from our 10 year anniversary.  He was going to hire a private chef to make us dinner on the beach, under a tent with a projector set up to show a slideshow he made and a fire with s'mores on the beach after.  It cost him under $1000 15 years ago and with a famous chef.  This go round was going to cost multiple thousands of dollars with someone we've never heard of, couldn't vouch for their food and the event planner lady wasn't able to get anything he wanted despite having it on the front of her website.  She basically made it sound like everything he wanted was going to be a pain in the ass for her to do or get permits for.  After becoming very frustrated, he said screw it and he would do all or most of that himself.  No, he's not particularly a cook but he was going to give it a try and the worst case is we'd order a pizza and have a laugh if it went south.  

He was bouncing off the walls for months as plans came to him and was frustrated he couldn't share any of them with me.  I too was planning a few things but it wasn't until time was slipping away from me that I really began to kick some stuff into gear.  I put together a wedding website with a guest book and asked a few friends to test it for me with the passwords.  One friend that I've known for over 30 years was procrastinating to the point of it being flat out rude and she gave me another excuse one day and I had to vent about it to the Mr.  I couldn't give all of the details obviously but said so and so was really pissing me off and acting like she couldn't do the task without something specific (which she totally could because she has a brain in her head) and I couldn't wait to tell him because I've got stories.  He's like "oh, me too!"  Then the more he thought about what I was saying, he's like "I think we may be doing something similar."  Then later I said how I ordered some decorations I wanted and he's like "uh, I did too."  Then we knew we had to start sharing a few things because otherwise this was going to look like a frat party if we had no theme or a hodge podge of decorations.  I told him since it was our silver anniversary, that was what I always envisioned were silver decorations.  He had envisioned something else (our wedding colors) but that he liked my idea and that we should compare notes on some of that and we did.  I said I was looking for some masks for us to wear that I liked but couldn't find anything and he laughed and said they were already arriving.  He asked if the thing I was frustrated about was a card for people to sign and I said yes (at least I could still have the website as a surprise).  He said he'd already sent one to a few people in my family, his mom, and a few friends (including the one who was procrastinating for me.)  I was glad he told me who because I could then work on getting other people we knew and I would send one message only because I wasn't going to beg people to do it.  It was either something they wanted to participate in or not.  

We did get each other gifts that we got beforehand because they wouldn't be practical to travel with.  I got a 25th anniversary ring that had a story behind the design making it a little more special.  He got a new electric guitar with a silver-ish outline that was his ultimate guitar after a month or so of looking online and being ignored by the douches in Guitar Center.  I spent a full week working about 10-13 hours a day finding, scanning and timestamping pics over 25 years to make a photobook of our marriage.  I thought about bringing it with us but I didn't want something to happen to it so we opened it a few weeks before we left.  It was so amazing to go through and see all of our travels over the years and all of the fun times we've had.  You really do forget so much until you can see it in front of you.  Those things were nice but I also wanted to get him something to open there.  Since he loves stargazing, I got him a star map on Etsy of the day he said I love you, the day we got married and our 25th anniversary all with the locations underneath.  I also got him some wooden guitar picks engraved with lyrics or symbols of our dating life from Etsy as well and told him he wasn't obligated to keep them for years and years.  Those things kind of have their life cycle. 

We had a breakfast from a local joint and then when it was time for lunch, I sent the Mr to a tea room up the street that packs them up for you to take home.  While he was gone, I set up the tiered trays I bought to bring with us as well as vintage 25th anniversary teacups.

I wanted us to dress up like we would if we were having people to a party so we both got nice outfits to wear.  If we know anything, it's that the 25th anniversary pic is always one for the personal history books and I didn't want us to look like we didn't put any effort into it just because we were going it alone.  I took care of a good majority of the decorating while The Mr cooked a dinner that is what we would've had if we were on Kauai at Duke's.  Teriyaki steak and garlic mashed potatoes with a shrimp cocktail appetizer.

I have to say the Mr did a wonderful job and he even made the teriyaki sauce from scratch!  He can make it any time.  (Hint!)  

I took care of getting a cake and thought we should have something a little more than our usual single layer from Shaw's so I got a special topper from Etsy and this cake.

We set up a photo booth and it wasn't just our 25th wedding anniversary but the 25th anniversary our love affair with Hawaii began.  I found some hokey Hawaii themed props and we danced, took pics being goofy and accepted it was the closest we were getting to our original plans.

Afterward, we exchanged each others cards and presents which was fun.

We wrapped up the night with the Mr setting up an outdoor projector he bought and with our folding beach chairs on a side patio and a propane heater since it was a chilly 45 degrees.  

(I'm SO glad he didn't spend thousands for us to be freezing our niblets off on the beach because it was also drizzling on and off!)

He played the video of our wedding (which looks ancient) but it was truly like reliving it all over again even though we've seen it before.  We were more able to appreciate seeing the people that have left us like my grandparents and his dad and others.  It was like they were with us for a little while.  The Mr then made a slideshow of our 25 years together and it was so nice to look back on our married life.  We then exchanged the card he had family and friends sign and I brought up the website and enjoyed seeing the well wishes of others.  Even though we couldn't have the party we wanted it was nice to have people we cared about virtually taking part in our celebration.  It confirmed what I've always known and will always live by...anniversaries, especially the big ones, are WORTH celebrating and putting effort into even if they aren't how you always imagined.  (Actually, especially if they aren't how you planned!)

By the end of the night between our dinner, dancing, goofing around, reading letters and cards and reminiscing, the Mr and I both remarked it actually did feel just like our wedding night.  We were exhausted!  The next day as we were out, the Mr said "it's weird but I truly feel like we just got married yesterday!  Like this is the first day of our new life together" and so did I.  Did we have our big party like we always dreamed we would?  No.  But it was memorable, special and filled with love and yes...
it was awesome.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June Hump Day Survey

It's June!  We're almost halfway through the year.  How y'all feel about that?  That's not one of the questions but you can answer it anyway along with these...

Which celebrity is the most likely to have a collection of canes that are just for show?  Jeff Goldblum

What seemingly innocent question makes you think “It’s a trap!”?  "Hey, can I ask you a favor?" or "question for you."

What elements of pop culture will be forever tied in your mind to your childhood?  80's music, great TV like Three's Company, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, etc, 

What’s legal now, but probably won’t be in 25 years?  Having an opinion.

Would you want the ability to hear the thoughts of people near you if you couldn’t turn the ability off?  Holy hell NO!  I have enough problems trying to quell my own thoughts much less hearing anyone else's!  Though it would be kind of funny if they insulted you and you walked up and smacked them.

When was the last time you stayed up through the entire night?  I can't remember.  We were up pretty much all night when we drove to VT but I don't think that's what they mean.

What’s something that people think makes them look cool, but actually has the opposite effect?  When people are being loud on purpose because they are usually 15-25 and think they are SO cool and desperately need attention.  At which I point I usually roll my eyes and say out loud "aww, does someone need attention?"  My mouth can't help it.

What’s the oldest thing you own?  My body?  Actually probably my grandma's rolling pin until my mom gives me the lady my great grandma made in ceramics class.

If cartoon physics suddenly replaced real physics, what are some things you would want to try?  Chucking an anvil on someone.  A few seconds hang time in the air before falling off a cliff could be fun too.

Who in your life is the worst at using technology?  My grandma's husband but he's not in my life anymore.  I don't know anyone else as bad as him.

What do you do when you hear something fall in the middle of the night while you are in bed?    Gasp, sit up and turn on the phone flashlight.  Wait to see if I hear footsteps, stay awake on adrenaline for at least 30 minutes.

What outdated slang do you use on a regular basis?  Yo and word.

What happens regularly that would horrify a person from 100 years ago?  Women having any kind of stature or rights.  

What topic could you spend hours talking about?  My teen years of meeting bands and wrestlers.  Damn, those were the days.  Major shout out to those who could've taken advantage and didn't.  

What small change greatly improves a person’s appearance?  A smile.

Your turn!  Pick a few or all questions to answer in the comments.

Which celebrity is the most likely to have a collection of canes that are just for show?

What seemingly innocent question makes you think “It’s a trap!”?

What elements of pop culture will be forever tied in your mind to your childhood?

What’s legal now, but probably won’t be in 25 years?

Would you want the ability to hear the thoughts of people near you if you couldn’t turn the ability off?

When was the last time you stayed up through the entire night?

What’s something that people think makes them look cool, but actually has the opposite effect?

What’s the oldest thing you own?

If cartoon physics suddenly replaced real physics, what are some things you would want to try?

Who in your life is the worst at using technology?

What do you do when you hear something fall in the middle of the night while you are in bed?

What outdated slang do you use on a regular basis?

What happens regularly that would horrify a person from 100 years ago?

What topic could you spend hours talking about?

What small change greatly improves a person’s appearance?

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times...

When I think of 25th wedding anniversaries, both the Mr and I always thought of the ones from our youth and were excited to have that ourselves.  I very vividly remember the pic of my dad's parents on their 25th at a big party at the church reception hall where my parents had their reception.  (Technically I was there but not out of the womb so no cake and mints for me.)  The 25th was always a big deal with a blowout party and all of your family, friends, co-workers, the cashier from the grocery store, etc were all invited.  Our plan was always to renew our vows at the church from Blue Hawaii at Coco Palms on Kauai.  They've been in redevelopment so many times and it really looked like it was going to happen about 4 years before our anniversary and then squatters moved in.  While technically you can still have weddings/vow renewals there, the idea of strolling past ruins of the hotel that caught fire a few years ago, unkempt grounds with people possibly peeking through the bushes wasn't my idea of a party anymore.  Besides, we all know the universe had other plans and those would've had to be cancelled because of Covid anyway because there was no way to know if they'd be accepting visitors by then.  The filming of our Kauai renewal being played for our guests back home at a reception wasn't going to happen and there's a big mourning in that.  You only get one major milestone anniversary like that if you're lucky while your body is still young enough to move properly and enjoy it.  People would say "just celebrate big for your 30th instead" it's not quite the same.  It's like the weddings, retirement parties, graduations and other milestone events you only get once that were victims of the pandemic.  It seems petty when you have your health when so many have died but I can tell you those of us who lost these dreams we had for years, decades or a lifetime felt it hard and deep.  

We weren't going to let Covid keep us confined to home jail like it had been for the previous year so we decided we would go to Cape Cod and take the 2020 vacation we were forced to cancel.  I don't want to sound ungrateful but not the destination either of us had in mind for this milestone.  I honestly had no big desire to even see it but we've been a lot of places and it was sort of a 'check it off the list' locale in 2020.  We had to rent a 'quarantine house' for 2 weeks because when we booked, that was the requirement to go from state to state for the rule followers.  Even as it got closer before we would lose money, we would now have to test out of it.  We knew we likely would because we don't really go anywhere but we decided to keep the quarantine house because if one of us was asymptomatic, we would still be able to quarantine and get on with our real trip.  Luckily, we both tested negative just before we left- not that anyone checked which is annoying but we know we did the right thing so I guess that's all that mattered.  I worked ahead, as usual, before we left here but the Mr would work from the first house in the Berkshires which was actually kind of fun.  (What they don't know won't hurt them and we found out recently at least one other person did it too.)  We went about our usual routines as far as food/cooking at home but our exercise was typically a walk up and down our street which was dotted with horses, goats, bunnies, chickens, donkeys and a pig.  

That time was a real gift because there was no vacation pressure as far as sights to see, just animals next door to watch... scenery to enjoy including a waterfall up the street and being close enough to the borders of NY, NH and VT that we were able to day trip on the weekend following the same protocol and avoiding people like the plague. 

We had two tri-state days in a row the first weekend with breakfast in NH (balancing an omelet in the car is fun), lunch in a gazebo at a park in VT and dinner back home in MA.  

The next day was a stop in Millerton NY at Harney and Sons, grabbed groceries in Salisbury CT and linner in Great Barrington, MA.  

(Harney and Sons, Millerton NY)

We were comforted by stops at these old favorite spots from our final vacation before the world changed and even visited three of the previous homes we rented and surprised we knew our way like it was yesterday.  Then we moved on to the lower Cape area for anniversary week.

Under normal circumstances, I would've likely planned the entire vow renewal and reception back home if our original plan was going to happen.  Now that it wasn't, I didn't want this special occasion to morph into our usual anniversary fare.  On a typical anniversary we go out to dinner but it's like the vacation is kind of the gift so we don't really do more than that gift/surprise wise.  For our 10th anniversary, I got an upgraded diamond wedding band and he paid a famous Hawaiian chef to cook for us at our rental home.  I knew I couldn't top that for the 15th but I tried and got us up for a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley and didn't tell him because I didn't want him to overthink it.  He ended up loving it and it was truly one of our top five travel adventures.  So I assumed we had this every 5 year milestone anniversary flip flop thing going on as far as a big gift or adventure.  

On our 20th anniversary when we spent a month in Hawaii, we ended up fighting that day, all day because it was a working vacation and the weather wasn't cooperating.  We were both snappy and apologized (kind of) but then he took his frustration out about a piece of equipment not working on me.  I remember standing alone on Wai'anapanapa Beach on Maui crying while he was filming in an ocean cave.  I had this expectation that maybe he had something up his sleeve and now he'd have to wait until we weren't fighting.  I begrudgingly drew a 20 in the sand as is our tradition but when I see that pic, all of those feelings come back and just scroll past the ones of that day.  

I remember us eating lunch on the back side of the Hana Highway at this little roadside burger stand with Lilo the Cat winding our ankles waiting for scraps to drop.  I was staring out at the ocean like a space cadet wondering how the hell it could've gone so wrong that day and he wasn't really talking to me.  (As you can guess, this was the year that our marriage took a serious nosedive with these and other issues that would have us uttering the D word a little over a year later.)  

That night we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and I was white knuckling it through dinner pissed that the day had been ruined while he smiled and pretended nothing happened which is the way of his people.  By the end of the night, when it was clear there was no surprise, I walked us across the street into a jewelry shop we like and I'd always talked about getting black pearl earrings for that anniversary and dammit, after the day we had, I felt I was owed them.  (Yes, that's how I felt at the time.)  I got them, we paid for them and then before we left the woman proceeded to tell us how delicate they were.  Don't spray perfume around them or let them touch hair product or all of this other stuff that I was 75% likely to do or they would be ruined.  I just looked out the window wearing these earrings crying on the way to the condo thinking "WTF, I can't even have this today without BS coming along with it?"  In the middle of the night, I packed them up in tears and put them by the door to be returned the next day.  It wasn't just the fact that I would feel like I would ruin them but they would always remind me of that horrible day and who needs to pay $900 for that when a pic for free does the same thing?  

So I knew when our original and back up plans for our 25th weren't going to come to fruition and it was now going to be a party of two, I was not going to do the mind reading thing with the Mr and spend all day waiting for a surprise that may never come.  Thankfully, we had learned a thing or two in the communication/honesty department but as I was thinking of the crapfest of the previous milestone anniversary I put it bluntly "don't half ass it."  I wanted more than a dinner in take out containers and it didn't have to be some elaborate thing but I wanted some effort put into it to not let it be just another anniversary.  I already had a few things I knew I wanted to do and I wanted him to know I didn't want a repeat of the 20th or anywhere in the ballpark of that.  Yes, it was going to be the two of us but let's make it one that we could look back on and say 'yeah...screw the pandemic.  It was just the way we've always gone through our marriage...the two of us against the world...and it was awesome."

Swing back Thursday to see how we celebrated our milestone anniversary.  (Sorry, I already have my last pre-vacation post set up for tomorrow.)

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