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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Three New Things

Another summer is upon me. Offspring #2 accurately noted recently that each year as soon as school let's out I find new things... one year it was an obsession with making frozen coffee drinks. Another year is was playing with a new, amazing gas grill.  I like new recipes and kitchen things so this post is all about introducing you to my three new "obsessions."

First, check out these amazing Cinnamon rolls I have made twice now. Typically I prefer things which are totally from scratch however these are too good to be concerned with the fact that it's simply Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls with precooked bacon strip rolled up inside. Try them. You won't be sorry. I unroll them on a cutting board and lay 3 or 4 strips of bacon on the long strip of dough. As I re-roll them, I scoop up the gooey stuff that sticks to the cutting board and smear it back on. Bake as the directions say. They are OMG good. You need to know however that PK doesn't "get it" so she's liable to try to dissuade you from making these. Ignore her. She's clueless when it comes to good food.
 
 
Next on the list is Italian Cream Sodas. I first had one in Savannah, Ga. all the way back in 2007. It was amazingly good however I never gave it much thought afterwards.... that was not until I saw this cross my wall on Facebook. They are easy to make:
 
Put some ice in a 12 ounce glass. To that add 2/3 cup club soda. And then stir in 4 tbs. of that flavored syrup stuff you buy for coffee. (Davinci or Torani) Use 2 tbs. Vanilla with 2 tbs any other flavor... unless of course you want a vanilla soda then you use all vanilla. Cherry is amazing. Raspberry is good. I have Hazelnut, Chocolate, and Carmel syrups yet to try. Oh, and then you drizzle two TBS of Half and Half onto the top for the effect you see below. Top with a squirt of whipped cream and a cherry.

It looks great when presented but stir well before drinking. So so so sooooo good.  

But there was one little problem with the sodas. Adam and I each had one with lunch on Sunday. Later that evening we wanted another but guess what? The bottle of club soda I had opened earlier was already flat. Boo! Sooooooo.... that lead to my third new obsession:

 
Mine's red. It came with six samples and I bought 8 bottles. I will never buy soda again. Pink Grapefruit is awesome! The cola and root beer is wonderful too. AND I have fresh club soda when I want it!!
 
So that's what's new with me.....what's new with you?
 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

CDO

Happy Easter!  Most of the family and a very very very awesome friend will be here for dinner. On top of the traditional ham, etc I made homemade noodles. That's the one thing I just can't wait for!! The rest of the meal... yeah, whatever but those noodles.. OMG!!!!

I go back to work tomorrow. That wouldn't be so bad but the boss decided two weeks ago to dump more work on my department. There's already not enough hours in the day to get it all done so this has caused some anxiety about going back. The only thing keeping me going is knowing that his CDO is the cause of all of it.

CDO? His boss (the main man at work) is OCD which is bad enough in a boss... but my boss who is directly under the OCD guy and CDO is simply OCD in alphabetical order as it should be. In other words, his OCD is ever worse than the main man's.

It will be okay. As always we all will just suck it up and do what he asks and wonder what will be the next ridiculous CDO task he will come up with for us. I've learned to not sweat this stuff and to simply be entertained by it all.

Anyhow, hi-ho, hi-ho it's back to work I go. We're on the downside of the mountain. Nine weeks from today I'll be starring down the barrel of summer vacation.

And no, in case you're wondering PK I haven't said anything to Adam yet although I woke up to a little touching yesterday morning. That was nice.

Again, Happy Easter!! Time to head off to church and then swing into action for dinner!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spanking Grandma and Other Bullshit

Every time this (or a similar version of it) pops up on Facebook I just have to laugh.


 
 
I laugh because I know it wouldn't help one bit. I wonder how many children have sported a shirt like this around their young, sexy, vibrant grandma who knows otherwise? My guess is that the creator of this shirt is clueless... or not.
 
Hmmmmm.... So what was your reaction when you first saw it? Are there any spanked grandmas out there right now? I'd love to hear from you. I have to wonder if maybe that - having grandkids - did something to me mentally.  I mean having grandkids changes everything.  I want to play the grandma part for them because face it, they are the most important little people in the world and I don't ever want them traumatized by the thought of .....
 
We've all been there... someone says "imagine your parents having sex."
 
Ewe. No.
 
How about your GRANDparents?
 
Ewe. Worse.
 
So if we allow that part of our lives to wane and sputter then there's no gross thoughts for the grandchildren to ever have to imagine because they won't exist, yes? No one wants to imagine their parents or their grandparents... you know?
 
So maybe there is somethings inside us somewhere that shuts that whole thing down and says "we can't give them anything to imagine about."
 
You know how some people get married and realize that after being told their whole young life that "good girls don't?" That - so I've heard - is an emotional struggle for some young women once they marry to realize that oh, yes sirreeeee bob ... good girls DO.  And not only do they, they are expected to once they are married. Tough pill for some to swallow.
 
And likewise I now see that good grandmas don't either. Or do they?
 
Okay so that's bullshit and I know it.
 
Grandmas of all the people in our lives should be the ones who have earned the right to do and say whatever we please, yes? I mean within reason, of course. Wouldn't want to offend or anything, right?
 
But here's the thing... I don't know where Adam's head is in all this and I'm not so sure I want to ask him. It's that whole back and forth thing... I might give him ideas... and then change my mind tomorrow which would just leave him confused. There's also the possibility that he just doesn't care anymore for his own reasons. If that's the case, I don't know that I want to know. If he doesn't care anymore... then what are we doing? Why are we still here?
 
I guess that's my greatest fear. We are in a place of what seems to be indifference or even complacency.  In either case I guess we would have to admit that it's over and maybe it's time for us each to move on.
 
Okay so I call bullshit on that too.  You don't call it quits and move on after nearly thirty two years. I know it's not over and I'm pretty sure he would jump right on board and whoop my ass and screw me senseless if he had any clue I might want that.
 
So THERE it is....
 
I just don't know if it's what I want.

It's me. I don't know if it's what I want.
 
Okay, Okay. That's bullshit too. No one needs to say it. I already know.
 
Yup. I already know.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To Be Honest.....

A million times I have wanted to pick up the laptop, sit down with my thoughts, and fire up this old blog. A million times.

Well maybe not a million, but it feels like it's been a lot.

Ah, hell... who am I kidding? It has been rarely. I mean if I had really wanted to, I would have. Right?

But I have wanted to.

No I haven't.

Yes, I have.

No.

Yes.

Okay, listen, I have wanted to but then realized I have nothing worth writing about. And honestly, I don't really understand where things are right now in my world. It is rather ....um.....simply complicated.

Back in 2007 I lost 140 pounds and plunged full force into menopause all at the same time. My hormones have taken one hell of a hit.  For a long time Adam whined about my lack of interest in anything bedroom related... sexual... spanking... I just didn't care anymore. I suppose it was hard for him to understand how I could just not care... especially since I didn't really understand it myself.

He threatened to tell my doctors on me.

*insert eyeroll*

Actually he went to my bypass surgeon with me for a checkup about two years after my weight loss surgery. When he mentioned my lacking interest, the doc just laughed and said "well if you figure it out, let me know the secret."  A while after that - six moths or so - he pulled the same stunt by going to a gyno appointment with me. This time we were told "use it, or lose it."

*insert an additional eyeroll*

There was never an offer to check hormones or to help in any way whatsoever.

*inserted long, extended sigh*

And then some things happened. I found some stuff Adam was up to on the Internet that was quite unsettling. It went above and beyond what I viewed as acceptable for a number of reasons. There were feelings of betrayal and quite honestly coupling that with no interest to begin with and things have died....

We get along just fine but it's different. We are definitely good room mates. We still spend a lot of time together. I don't think he would ever cheat on me and I know that I would never cheat on him. We still sleep in the same bed but beyond warming my feet by mashing them between his shins there's no contact. I have to wonder though if or how we can ever bring things back to where they once were. Has that all been irreparably damaged? Could it be that we are just getting to old? He never mentions things. Neither do I.

To be honest I'm not sure it's something either of us want. One day I do. The next I don't. I've learned to not mention it on the days where I think I might because I know I will probably change my mind within a day or two.

I'm just not sure when it all went south. The weight loss? (there are times he resents that and says he wants his fat wife back) Menopause? Nothing **I** can do about that because there's nothing the doctors will do about that.  The empty nest? That's not it. We're fans of that, for sure!!! I just don't know the cause...nor do I know how to fix it... or even if I want to fix it. Things seem fine and sometimes I wonder if it's even broken at all... if this is just the way it's meant to be.....a new phase of life....

Who knows??


Who the hell knows?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Vacation Stage 3 - Boothbay Harbor, Maine

So a long time ago.... 8 months to be exact.. I fully intended to post another set of vacation pictures and just never did it. The pictures were still here in a post. I just never wrote anything and obviously never posted them.
 
 
Better late than never, I suppose.
 
This first picture comes from a place in Maine that serves waffle sundaes. Adam and I split a blueberry sundae and have duplicated this here at home many times. Yumm-O!!! 




Adam would love to own a sailboat however it's not practical for us considering we don't live near water and it would be expensive. With that out of the question we did the next best thing... last summer while in Maine we paid a mere $26 each for a "three hour tour." This was the actual boat we were on. I never new those things tipped 89 degrees until... well .... until it actually tipped 89 degrees. Scary but awesome!!!




I took this shot on my phone. This was at the campground where we stayed. Just to the right of this shot is the beach where Adam swam. I was content to sit in a beach chair and watch the tide come and go.



We found this little guy inside our tent one morning. I took this close up shot to freak out offspring #3. In reality he was about as long as a well trimmed pinkie nail. We named him Green Mountain and kept him as a pet until he escaped.




Lobster cages!!!

Salted Carmelita!! Another wonderful thing I have duplicated here at home...

Stir a teaspoon of ice cream caramel topping with a little sea salt into a cup of creamed coffee. Top with whipped cream, drizzle on some caramel and sprinkle on some more sea salt. UH-Mazing!!



Shot these last three on that $26 sailboat ride. The sails were massive.




 

 
So there it is.. 8 months later... the final vacation post... and guess what? I get to do it all over again in 3 1/2 months!! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vacation Stage 2 - Lake Dunmore, Vermont

Keep in mind as you read about this vacation that we never hit the floor running. We tried to come to life slowly. Feet propped up. A good cup of coffee. Nice, easy discussion about what we wanted to do each day. 


On the fifth we spent most of our day traveling to Vermont. I had been in touch with my uncle and learned that his cabin had been torn down and a ski house had gone up. It was disappointing to know that I wouldn't be able to find the cabin but had hopes of perhaps memory serving me well enough to find the spot where it once stood. 


Lake Dunmore isn't a huge lake so I figured that if we drove around it I'd easily be able to locate the dirt road that led to the cabin. 


Anyhow, we had made these plans with the idea in mind that we wished to be somewhat secluded and private. In other words we didn't want crowds. People - here and there - would be fine. In fact they would be welcome because I didn't want to feel isolated with bears or anything. I wanted to feel safe and there is - after all - safety in number. 


So we followed our GPS which lead us to the campground where we were going to experience our first time ever tenting experience. We camped in a trailer years ago with our kids however sleeping in a tent had never been on my radar until now. 


As the GPS made it's "arriving at address blah blah blah" announcement we found ourselves in front of a house with no campground sign around. The lady on the phone had told Adam "if I'm not at the campground when you arrive I will be in my house across the street." 


There was a young woman standing near a mailbox on the other side of the road. We pulled up to be greeted by a 60's style flower child. My guess is this young woman was in her very early twenties and introduced herself in a flower child kind of voice with a flower child kind of name: Meadow. 


Who names their child Meadow? Really? Do ya think that might not have been her real name?


So anyhow, Meadow invited us to pull in the drive across the road to get registered. 


Um... "Meadow, would you mind if we took a look at the campground before we do that?"


She gave us directions on how to avoid the ruts as we pulled around.... 


Ruts? At that moment I was pretty sure I wasn't about to see what I hoped to see. 


Here's what we saw... kind of.... 



Okay so this isn't the exact spot but boy does it ever remind me of it. See, we were looking for a fire ring, a picnic table, and a little bit of population so that we could sleep not worried about being the ONLY ones the wild animals would be attacking. We're pretty certain that we had stumbled upon a place where the owners were trying to pass it off as a legit, fun campground when in reality they were just looking for income to help pay their taxes. Or something.

I looked at Adam and said "Please don't make me stay here" to which he said "Can't you see that I already have it in reverse."


We politely told Meadow this area was a little more primitive than what we were looking for. She continued making her daisy chain and told us that was fine... that she understood. I'm pretty sure I saw John Lennon's spirit hovering over her as we drove away. 

We got back on the road and headed toward the other campground Adam had found that was RIGHT on Lake Dunmore. Turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. There was enough seclusion to feel alone but enough people to feel connected to society. The fact that they had wifi didn't hurt. :)

So by late afternoon Thursday we had stopped at a grocery store and found some suitable grub to throw on the grill later. We had set up our much loved tent and organized what was to be our home for the next few days.

I was concerned needlessly about being able to sleep well in a tent. I thought I'd be nervous to have nothing between myself and the world other than zipped up nylon.  But really.... it was awesome. I slept better than I typically do at home. 

So here's some highlights of Vermont. 

1 - The campground was small, quiet for the most part and we had our own fire ring!! We only had a fire that one night but it was nice and toasty because while the rest of the country boiled, New England was quite chilly at night. 
2 - When we first set up our little campsite we wondered if it was going to be a nightmare. Just 50 or so feet from us was a young couple with a young child. The child was screaming. Non stop. Now listen, I know kids make noise but this child was not just making typical kid noise, the screaming was ridiculous. Plus it appeared as though this family was temporarily living at the campground. This was a nice place with a lovely lodge type restaurant. Mostly we saw people who were clean, decent, and respectful of one another. Not this couple. That first night as we drifted off to sleep they decided it was a fine time to get into a screaming match which then woke the baby who screamed. Wasn't long till management showed up. The next day they packed up and left. So what made us think they were living there? For one thing, no car. For another it was a tiny little tent they had with a tarp strung over it. They had at least 5 pots and pans tied to the tree AND - get this - they had a futon like couch in front of their tent. I should have taken a picture. I swear to God, I would have posted it because I'd have to prove I'm not exaggerating. 


3 - We spent some time in this little town just walking around and shooting a few pictures. It was a peaceful time. We had lunch at a deli type restaurant. The sandwich was interesting. As memory serves it was called the Vermonter and included maple ham, Vermont white cheddar, apple slices and honey mustard. So do you recognize this town? I'll bet someone does. 


4 - And to prove I am not really a scrooge against kids.... This big blue ball is called Saturn. I loved hanging at the beach and watching the kids play on it. They'd get anywhere from 4 to 8 kids on. There's nylon rope like ladders and handles on it. The kids would all climb on and then start rocking it. What a hoot. Sooner or later one would go flying off into the water while the others struggled to hang on. Eventually it would be too much and the entire thing would FLIP over sending bodies sailing into the water. 

And no, I didn't get on. I'm not too keen on lakes. I prefer clear clean swimming pools. I did wade in to cool off though. 

5 - On Saturday we went to Rutland, Vt. We weren't going to go there. We had decided not to go that far from the campground however the town we chose to stop in for lunch as we went for a drive presented a problem. I had used Yelp and located a restaurant. We were both getting hungry. It was well past lunch time. The problem? Oh, when we followed the GPS directions to this restaurant we found ourselves on a route lined with tons and tons of people lining the street waiting for their parade to begin. Town was crowded. There was no where to park. We kept driving and waving to all the parade goers and ended up in Rutland where we ate at a neat little place called Kelvan's. I think I spelled that right. Great service. Great food. Best sweet potato fries EVER!! After lunch we went to a farmer's market. Awesome stuff!!! Adam bought some Rhubarb wine and I bought some awesome double garlic teriyaki sauce. I use it to mostly to make teriyaki grilled flat iron beef. Well here, see for yourself: 


After Rutland we went out on a paddle boat for over an hour. I was exhausted when that was over so we ordered a chicken mango pizza from the camp ground restaurant. 

And on that note, I think I will wrap up Vermont now. It was beautiful. I didn't find the cabin. We had a blast. Tent camping was awesome for our first experience. The weather was near perfect. Oh wait, I do have one more story to tell.....

We spent three nights in Vt. The first night there was a zero chance of rain so we left the rain thingy off our tent. This leaves half the tent roof wide open so you can lay down and see the stars. Awesome!! However on night 2 there was a slight chance of rain so we figured we better not risk it and put the rain thingy up. It didn't rain that night but did some the next morning. Later that day I checked the weather and there was a zero percent chance of rain for that night. 

Now as you know PK teaches math and she could tell you that means it will not rain. Not gonna rain. So why was I surprised when I woke at 3 a.m. to the sound of raindrops hitting the trees leaves around us? I woke and said "OH NO!!!!" Adam grabbed our big golf umbrella and held it over our bed. I will tell you just how relaxed we were on this trip. As we are being rained on after being told there was NO EFFIN' chance of rain we were LAUGHING. No panic. No anger. It was FUNNY!!! We managed to stay dry. The rain blew over after 15 minutes or so and we went back to sleep.

Okay. I'm done. 

Next post: Vacation Stage 3 - Boothbay, Maine. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation Stage 1 - Speculator, New York

On the Fourth of July we jumped in a car fully loaded with a tent, camping gear, clothes, and this grill for cooking. It's the mini version of our regular gas grill :


We were going to be traveling for about 10 days with three destinations in mind:


1 - Speculator, New York in the Adirondacks. 
2 - Lake Dunmore, Vermont
3 - Southport Island, Boothbay, Maine


Back in October as we waited in the dealership to sign the papers for our new car we saw the most awesome tent in a brochure. At the time we said "we should buy that and take a camping trip." Usually when we say such things it never happens but we were determined to make this happen. 


In the months following the auto purchase we talked of many destinations and decided our best choice would be New England. Let me explain.....


As a child my aunt and uncle took me to their cabin a number of times located on Lake Dunmore. We thought it would be cool to revisit the area and find the cabin. More on that later.


Here's the biggie. 


Boothbay Harbor in Maine was our original honeymoon destination however when it came down to it we cancelled the reservations because we were so young and so broke and so short on vacation days. We settled for Niagara Falls. It was a lovely honeymoon regardless. 


Back then we said we would make it to Boothbay someday. Well someday finally arrived ... Nearly 31 years later. 


It was an amazing trip. Adam and I were able to make great strides in our effort to reconnect. We're still not where we would like to be but that's okay. We're not in a hurry. We laughed a lot on this trip. The tension was gone. We were relaxed and just had fun each moment we were away.


With that said, as I was saying, we left on the 4th and drove to Speculator, New York where we spent just one night in a hotel. It was a quaint "lodge." It was more what I would refer to as a Motor Inn but either way it was a nice little place with a patio located right on Lake Pleasant. The picture on the left here was a little place there that amused us. For one thing the town felt as though we had stepped back in time to Mayberry. The folks were friendly and it was all peaceful and laid back but this is their Department Store? No Walmart? Target? JC Penny? Awesome!! 


The sunset that night was fabulous as you can see in the picture. Not bad for a phone, huh?  We found a little uninhabited public doc and took a walk out to the end where we were able to sit down and just take in the surroundings. This was after a dinner at a local restaurant where we experienced deep fried fluffer nutter for the first time ever. Holy Cow!!! 


And then the next morning as we loaded the car to move on to Vermont this was the view out over the lack. You know you're kind of high up when the eye level view is clouds!! 




There wasn't a lot of excitement in Speculator but the good news is that is exactly why we were on vacation choosing the places we chose.  I'm not sure exactly where this shot was taken... if it was before Speculator or before Vermont. It was early in the trip. We stopped at a little store in the middle of no where and I was intrigued with the scene. I just thought it made a nice picture. Oh, yea, there was a little "action" in Speculator however for some stupid reason I'm just not comfortable talking about that. 






Next post: Vacation Stage 2 - Lake Dunmore, Vermont