Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, June 30, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. I have to admit, being away for over a month has you overlook the negatives and only remember the positives. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past several weeks:

Rave: Friend from Egypt in town. Can't wait to catch up with her.

Rant: Insomnia still in full swing.

Rant: Wally Watch 2010. Us against the woodchuck eating my parsley, peppers and cucumbers. I've gone through a lot of cayenne pepper (bunnies and woodchucks hate cayenne pepper) and am now trying to trap him/her with watermelon. Once we capture Woody safely, s/he will be relocated to a location far away from here and I will enjoy a Woody free zone. Wait....that may have sounded wrong.

Rave: Haven't gone grocery shopping in 2 weeks. Hubby's gone and I'm happy. I hate grocery shopping because no matter what time of the day I go, it's jammed packed.

Rave: Weather is going to cool down for long July 4th holiday weekend.

Rave: Scottish festival is this weekend. Nothing like a good adult heavyweight caber toss to make me amused. Seriously. Ever see one? I haven't a clue why, but totally fascinated with it.

Okay, that's it for me. I would love to read any Rants and Raves you want to share? Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please, please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I never thought I'd utter these words...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010....

I found my go-to tuna tartare recipe!

Why would anyone make this statement? Maybe a restaurant owner. But, I'm not that. My hubby would tell me I'm nuts because tuna tartare is glorified bait. (Hubby fishes and he considers sushi to be bait).

Last year, I started really using my cookbooks and found out that the best rice recipe is in the Martha Stewart Cooking School book and Sheila Lukins found the best cooking technique for roasting asparagus which can be applied to other veggies and
I can state, without hesitation, Eric Ripert has my go-to tuna tartare recipe.

It's simple, elegant with perfect flavoring.

If interested, the recipe is in his A Return to Cooking cookbook.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Please sign me up for the 12 Step Insomnia Program....

Monday, June 28, 2010.....

Is there one? If so, sign me up. I want to kick my habit of Insomnia! It's horrible, debilitating and I believe an intervention is in order.

Isn't that people do for loved ones when a habit is causing havoc on their lives? Insomnia is doing just that. To me. I want it to stop without sleeping aids.

Why can't I just take 12 steps from the door of the bedroom to the bed and automatically fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow? This was the question racing through my head Friday night/Saturday morning. I mean, some people make it look easy. Natural. I don't think I can remember the last time I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. that would be heavenly.

Some people dream of lavish homes, cars, winning lotto, but for is getting a good night's sleep on a daily basis.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, June 24, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question is NOT from my husband. I know I gave him permission for the entire month to give me questions, but he choked. Today's question is: Would you rather date a person who only brushes their teeth once daily or borrows your toothbrush to brush their teeth?

While out to dinner last week with some single girlfriends, one was telling us some of the questions she answered on a dating site. One of the questions was: Would you date someone who only brushes his teeth one time per day?

She said no, but I couldn't let it rest and asked her if she'd rather date a guy who brushes once daily or borrows your toothbrush to clean his teeth.

Personally, borrowing my toothbrush is a deal breaker for me.

I've been asked and if my eyes had darts, I'd would have shot the individual with my eye darts.

Seriously? Can you say yuck.

I pride myself on being very middle of the road on most subjects, but some topics I will NEVER budge on.

If you forget your toothbrush, not my issue. My solution is to use your finger if you can't get to a drug store.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, June 23, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. I have to admit, being away for over a month has you overlook the negatives and only remember the positives. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past several weeks:

Rave: Had a very successful food pantry dinner party last week. I made a lot of different dishes and YogaGirl was able to come to it.

Rave: I really hate people who text while driving. It has now happened on several occasions where I pull up behind someone and they're so obsessed with their wireless device they forget to make the left turn when the green arrow appears.

Rave: Went to a book reading given by one of my favorite, fun authors...Jane Green. Bought her latest novel, Promises to Keep, and have added it to my summer reading collection.

Rave: Got to meet my first blogger IRL - Will Work for Shoes. It was nice to finally see the person behind the words.

Rave: I went to my first WNBA game last night with my gf. She had tickets and asked me to go to Mohegan Sun. The whole night was great. We got to catch up during our car ride there and back. Win a little at the slots ($0.01 and 1/4 $0.01 - which I didn't know existed), eat at Bobby Flay's burger joint and see a great game. Connecticut lost, but the seats were great.

Rave: I love when I hear bloggers get discovered. Years ago, Jen Lencaster and Julie Powell got discovered through their blogs and now, LiLu (go vote for her)is up for the MTV twitterer (is that even a word?) contest. She can make a living by tweeting all things MTV. LiLu has a great sense of humor. Sure she's much younger than me, but her writing is about her and she's never malicious. She's just really very funny and humor is ageless.

Rant: YogaGirl and I spent some time with the eldercare attorney to discuss my parents. Let's just say, there is a tremendous amount of paperwork, counter intuitive thinking all rolled in with a touch of sadness.

Rant: People who don't know the expression "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say a word". Do I really need to hear for the zillionth time you hate my house and I should take a wrecking ball to it. Seriously? I thought we cleared the air several years ago about how caustic your comments can be and to stop it. I'm sorry this person has some stuff going on that makes them unhappy, but I AM NOT YOUR WHIPPING POST!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Carnival Week for New England Bloggers....

Monday, June 21, 2010.....

Does that mean I've run away and become a Carny? Nah.... It means that I'm introducing a fellow New England Blogger to my readers. Elizabeth at Thoughts from an Evil Overlord created a community for New England bloggers.

For one week, New England Bloggers will have cotton candy, livestock and games....oh wait, there is none of that in virtual land, but imagine eating while reading some really fun bloggers I've discovered through the New England Bloggers.

Months and months ago, I discovered New England Girl who writes about her everyday life in Western MA and Vodka Logic who, at the moment, is combating a weight loss challenge with humor.

However, the carnival challenge is to meet and greet someone new, someone I can relate to and I have to admit, this person found me and I really like her style.

Cheryl at Deckside Thoughts wrote a piece that spoke to me about a morning dove Freakin Morning Dove which struck a cord with me because she too had problems with a bird. And her take on squirrels, Squirrels cracks me up.

I think what I like most about Cheryl is her writing style -- capturing humor in mundane stuff can be difficult. But, she does it.

If you get a chance, check her out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greatest Sight While Driving ......

Tuesday, June 18, 2010.....

Yesterday, driving to the gym, I pass this minivan at a stop sign. I noticed the driver is female and the front seat passenger is an older yellow lab. S/he was sitting perfectly still with a seat belt across the front of its doggie chest.

I've never seen this before and it made me smile.

I have to admit, most dogs I see in cars hang their head out the window and never have the appearance of being a human being to me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, June 10, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question is from my husband. I've given him permission to come up with any stupid question he feels like asking. Today's question is: Do you think water comes out of the hole of someone with a lower lip piercing?

Last night we were watching some program that had a guy with a piercing under his lower lip and hubby blurts out loud: Do you think when he is drinking something water comes out through the hole?.

Needless to say, I looked at him and just shook my head. However, because he remembered that he gets to ask any question for the month of June on my blog, he said this was the question he wanted to pose to anyone who was willing to read this post.

I think he believes because people have commented that he is genius with dating tips, they may think him brilliant with this question.

Personally, I have a feeling the next two questions could get worse. Wait. Is that even possible?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Being Zen and Doing the Dishes....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010....

Several months ago, I picked up my Body & Soul magazine to learn they had an article that could change my life. It was about cleaning and how I could learn to LOVE it!

I was all over this article because I HATE TO CLEAN. I really hate to empty the dishwasher and load the dang thing. I thought if someone could change my mindset or give me a quick solution to something I loathe I was in.

Well, the article (paraphrasing) was about a woman discussing her discontent with a nun about cleaning. The nun explained patience and told her to change her viewpoint -- not to thinking of cleaning as a daily chore. Not to rush through it, but think of it as a ritual.

Ummm...sure, okay, I'll try it. I'll be one with the task. I'll try to find the greater meaning and enjoy emptying the dishwasher and loading it back up with dirty dishes (I should explain, I have the world's smallest dishwasher. Seriously, I do. Someone mistakenly thought it to be a garbage disposal).

I keep an open mind (I meditate daily). I focus on loving what I'm doing and taking pleasure in the act of doing it. I unload, load and repeat this same practice for several days.

Ya know what?

It did nothing. I still hate emptying and loading the dishwasher and have come to terms it is just a task in my day and try my damndest to do it AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

What? Did you think I'd say it worked? Sorry. Nope.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Little Over Three Months and Counting....

Monday, June 7, 2010....

In a little over 3 months, I'll be participating in my first sprint triathlon with 2 of my sisters in New Jersey.

Each of us is taking a leg of the race and mine is running. YogaGirl has the swimming portion and Science Sister has the biking portion.

YogaGirl and I aren't worried about Science Sister because she's always participating in some sort of road race that involves running, biking or her own sprint triathlon. However, YogaGirl and I have some we set goals for ourselves and I'd like to share them with you.

YogaGirl's goal is not to drown (or get eaten by a shark). We both grew up spending 90% of our time as kids in the water so I don't think she'll be drowning. However, I do laugh when she goes to the Y to train and can't because the pool is closed because of an outside storm. Apparently, the facility closes the pool during and up to 1/2 hour after a storm due to lightning. I find this a very bizarre thing since the pool is indoors.

My goal, well, it is much simpler. I call my training the Gary Coleman Project. No disrespect to the actor, but when I heard the news about his death it was as follows: Day 1 Gary Coleman fell and is in ICU. Day 2 Gary Coleman is dead.

I heard nothing of the particulars and know that I'm grace-in-motion and falling/tripping is something I do often.

I told YogaGirl that getting my ass on the treadmill, walking, walking, slow jog, jog, walking, walking was the only way I was going to build coordination and avoid the Gary Coleman tragedy.

Have YogaGirl and I shared our fears with Science Sister - no. Do you think she'll laugh at us - YES. She may even mock our insane fears. But the nice thing is to have one sibling who also shares the same type of insane fears with you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

70 Things About Me

Friday, June 4, 2010.....

Before I went on my bloggy vacation, I read a post by Jules at Mean Girl Garage where she posted 100 things about herself so people could know her better. I loved the idea and said I was going to do it. However, I didn't do 100 things, but 70 because I got bored or it hurt my head to think too much or __________ (you fill in the blank). Seriously.... It is because I'm a rather closed person from New England and unless I know people, I am not a huge sharer (is that even a word) of personal stuff.

Anyway, here are 70 little factoids about me - hope I don't bore you:

1. I’m in the Guiness Book of World Records for being part of the largest group of kayakers. I participated in a fundraising event and kayaked from Connecticut to Long Island NY (13.2 miles).

2. It took me as long to kayak 13.2 miles as it did to walk a marathon 26.2 miles.

3. My mother has Alzheimer’s and she really doesn’t recognize me. She’s in a nursing home and immediately aged 20 years after 2 weeks of being in the home. I think it had a lot to do with the fact she decided she didn’t want to walk again.

4. My father is a very active 88 year old. However, I’ve noticed what the aging process has done to him in the past year.

5. I never purchased a camera. My friend gave me hers because I was going to the Grand Canyon without one.

6. I don’t like to be in pictures.

7. I had Bells’ Palsey in 1997 and am one of the lucky 2% who don’t fully recover. After 12 years, I still miss my smile.

8. I did summer theatre for 5 years growing up.

9. My mother sent me to sewing school for 2 summers as a teenager. She told me every good wife should know how to sew. I hated sewing and my marriage ended. I wonder if she was on to something.

10. I’m crazy about my husband. He can make me giggle. I find this to be an invaluable attribute.

11. Although I whine or complain about annoying people, I seldom discuss major issues in my life that scare me.

12. I’ve struggled and am still struggling with my weight for the past 20 years. Basically, I ate my way through an unhappy marriage and now I’m learning how to undo years of damage.

13. One of the funniest nights in my life was staying overnight in NYC with 6 girlfriends. We had a fabulous night on the town after the most AMAZING dinner at Le Bernadin.

14. Favorite ice cream has not changed since childhood – Chocolate Chip Mint.

15. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss something.

16. I love my air conditioner.

17. I love Brussel Sprouts like most women like Chocolate.

18. I don’t love Chocolate. I can eat only so much before I get a headache.

19. I live in a small fixer-upper Cape Cod house.

20. I have more than 200 cookbooks and I’m too afraid to count how many I do have. I do use them and write a review of every recipe tried in the books.

21. One of my closest friends lives in another state and we don’t get to see one another too often.

22. I hate cleaning, but am incredibly anal when I do organize stuff.

23. I used to work with flowers.

24. I believe in composting.

25. I don’t have children. I wasn’t able to because of PCOS and then the partial hysterectomy I had in 2004.

26. I’m a cancer survivor – endometrial cancer. I had a partial hysterectomy (uterus removed) in 2004. During that same operation I had my gallbladder removed, but due to complications, my gallbladder was removed via my pelvis.

27. I ended up with 5 massive infections and almost died. I had a 2nd surgery 2 weeks after my first one and ended up on 5 different medications, one being IV, and used a wound vak to speed the recovery of my open wound.

28. I was with my ex husband for a total of 15 years. The day after I asked for the divorce, I signed up to walk a marathon in Ireland for the Lymphony & Leukemia. This has to be one of the amazing experiences of my life.

29. After I separated from my ex and prior to unemployment, I was a concert whore. I can’t tell you how many concerts I’ve been to, but ones that put on amazing show include U2, Prince, Tom Jones (very kitchy), Bacon Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum and Sheryl Crow.

30. For my 40th birthday I celebrated BIG! One of the things I did was that I spent a week hiking the Grand Canyon with a group of strangers. I always wanted to do this and no one I knew wanted to so I went with a singles tour group (it was a group for individuals traveling alone, not hoping to start a romantic relationship). It was another experience I’d never forget.

31. I am the youngest of 5. My oldest sister is 17 years older than me. I’m closest to YogaGirl who is 4 years older than me.

32. I’ve kept journals since I was 13 years old. I would like to go back and read them, but feel I may want to smack me if I was too whiny or depressed. I need to will these to someone who will burn them without reading them.

33. I played the cello as a kid and took it up again when I got separated. I bought my cello on eBay and my instructor was actually impressed with the quality of the instrument.

34. When I practiced the cello, my cat would come in the room and scream at me to shut up. I only played the cello for 2 years when I took it up as an adult and may take it up again.

35. I worked for a company that required me to commute 94 miles one way to work. Before you say so what, try it for a year. It’s draining.

36. Other than my first job, I’ve been referred into each job and have changed careers 3 times. I’m 44 and am still searching for what I’d like to do.

37. It really bothers me I don’t know what I want for me.

38. I’m a big believer in supporting the local farmer. But I LOATHE the term locavore.

39. I’m the type of person people approach and tell me their most personal stories. Initially, I found this really disturbing, but have learned that sometimes it is easier for people to share something important to them with a stranger because they won’t be judged.

40. I’m pretty shy which most people are surprised about. Probably because I’m very guarded with my feelings.

41. I hate the Parmalat tv ads that used they used to air. The thought of opening a carton of milk that wasn’t refrigerated grosses me out.

42. I suffer from Catholic guilt. I’m just finally learning how to stop succumbing to this feeling.

43. My first movie I saw as a child was Monty Python and The Holy Grail. My oldest sister took me to see it when I was visiting her. I believe I may have been only 7 years old.

44. There have been many people who have drifted in and out of my life, but only one I miss.

45. I hate downhill skiing, but like cross country skiing and snow shoeing.

46. In an interview when asked what I hate doing, I answered “downhill skiing”, but went further and said “if God wanted us to downhill ski, our feet would be shaped that way”. I got the job.

47. I’ve been to 33 states.

48. My fantasy trip would be to spend 3 months cooking and drinking my way through Italy.

49. Sarah McLachlan is my favorite female vocalist.

50. I hate lima beans.

51. I met my husband online.

52. I never met my grandparents.

53. My dad was in WWII and stationed in London during the bombings.

54. I have an ecletic taste in books. I love chick-lit, but also enjoy the classics from D.H. Lawrence and Dostoyevsky.

55. I still remember my favorite childhood book “The Little Lame Prince” and still have a copy of it.

56. I’m the type of person when I get really mad, I cry instead of scream.

57. I think a 2” heel on shoes is high.

58. I have TMJ and have cracked some teeth from clenching and grinding teeth while sleeping.

59. I spent many summers sailing on the huge pond across the street.

60. My father taught me how to ice skate when I was 4.

61. One of my coolest memories is going ice sailing (sailing on ice).

62. I played one semester of intramural ice hockey in college and SUCKED. This is when I discovered I write with my right hand, but play sports with my left hand.

63. I detest most yoga (particularly downward dog), but love to meditate.

64. I didn’t get why everyone and their brother loved the book The DaVinci Code. It was too predictable.

65. I actually liked philosophy class in high school and college.

66. I don’t talk about politics or religion with people. I respect everyone has their own opinion and enjoy listening to all sides of a story.

67. I loved watching my dad coach ice hockey and going to his games when I was a kid.

68. I learned to drive on a stick shift automobile and have never owned an automatic.

69. I have never driven in NYC, but feel very comfortable driving the streets of Boston.

70. For 2 baseball seasons, I had season tickets (7 rows behind home plate) at Fenway.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, June 3, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question: What is your guilty pleasure?

Everyone has one. Admit it. You may not be the type who enjoys being tied to the bedpost or cross dressing, but you may read romance novels without admitting it. But you may hide a stash of chocolate so other family members can't have any.

For me, I have many. Yes, many (I actually did a post on 10 guilty pleasures in 2008 and most hold true to this day 10 Guilty Pleasures).

I've added some new ones since 2008 and have to admit I read Outside magazine even though I know it will never have any relevance in my everyday life. It just makes me smile knowing that someone out there loves to do this stuff.

T.V. shows....well, I mentioned my love of reality shows, but want to call out 2 new ones (or my latest fascination).

My husband has me hooked to some shows on TruTV like Southern Fried (PIs in the South that combine an element from the tv show COPS because the people being surveyed, are dumb as a bricks) and Operation Repo (this needs no explanation).

Trust me, these shows, my latest guilty pleasures, do nothing to stimulate any brain cell activity. does make laugh. Eventually, I'll get bored with the stupidity and find a new guilty pleasure show.

So. What's your guilty pleasure? What would your friends be surprised to learn about you?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, June 2, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. I have to admit, being away for over a month has you overlook the negatives and only remember the positives. Without further adieu, here are my Rants (very little) and Raves from the past month:

Rave: I went to see the Addams Family on Broadway with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. A show that was panned by the critics, was in my opinion, a lot of fun.

Rave: Someone close to me recently had a breast biopsy and it came back clean. There was a bit of a scare since this person has 2 sisters that are breast cancer survivors, so I am VERY happy.

Rave: Started my veggie garden and already have lettuce I need to pick and some green tomatoes.

Rant: The right side of my neck - OUCH....I slept funny last night and now I have a crick that is making it painful to turn my head.

Rant: Wondering why it seems to take forever to get into good physical shape, but you can blink your eyes and be out-of-shape in no time.

Rave: LOVE my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor. Unlike a Biggest Loser contestant, I may have the time to work out as long as they do, but don't have the medical staff nearby to revive me. The FT7 is intuitive and makes working out a snap! I workout within my ranges and when I'm done (although, I'm a bit embarrassed because I'm not at the treadmill settings I'd like to be at) I'm sweating and can check out how many calories I burned while keeping it heart healthy. Also, the little heart rate gizmo on the strap you wear around your chest is detachable --- you can now wash the dang strap (anyone who ever had an older model where the monitor is not detachable from the strap knows the straps can get GROSS).

Rave: Have been trying to catch up with friends the past month and it's been great.

Rave: Discovered headaches for the past couple of months were allergies. Thanks Zyrtec! My days are much more pleasant.

Rave: Discovered the greatest skincare regime is really pretty inexpensive - Cetaphil, Witch Hazel and a dab of Oil of Olay regenerist.

Rave: It's Farmer Market season again! I love fresh great veggies AND love supporting the local farmer.

Rave: Helped raise funds for my local park by participating/helping in the annual plant sale. Not only did we raise some money, but I scored some great plants!

Okay, that's it for me. I would love to read any Rants and Raves you want to share? Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please, please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Back from a Blogger's Vacation....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010......

I'm back......

Where did I go? Nowhere.

Why did I take a break? I needed it. I was losing sight of why I started blogging and realized I just needed a break after 2 years.

What did I do on my bloggy break? Well, I went through my reader and discovered I was following a lot of people that were no longer blogging or had made their blog private. How did I not know this? I know. I stopped using my reader. Which makes me sad.

See... I made blogging more of an obligation than a fun outlet to write and read what other great things people were saying. I noticed I was reading many blogs out of obligation instead out of interest. I was commenting on blogs because they commented on mine even when I couldn't relate.

I had to recapture the reason of why I was blogging so I cleaned out my Reader and slowly started reading blogs again that caught my eye. I read many blogs while on blogger vacation, but didn't comment a lot. I just needed to want to regain the desire to blog, as opposed to feeling as though I had to blog.

I'm not sure if I explained why I disappeared well, but it was a good break.