Friday Free-For-All – 12/15/17

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Rocket is home! He ended up spending almost four days in the kitty hospital. A urethra blockage is a very serious problem that can be fatal in as little as 48 hours if left untreated. Thank god we got him help in time! He will need to spend a few days of quiet R&R, isolated from the other animals while he recovers. Unfortunately, once a cat has a urethra blockage, they are more likely to have recurring issues, so we will have to watch him closely the next few days, and pretty much for the rest of his life. Every time he pees in the litter box it’s a little celebration! Pet ownership is weird and gross sometimes.

In order to prevent Rocket from ever having to go through this again, I borrowed a kitty water fountain from a coworker. No joke. The idea is that fresh, moving water is more appealing, and therefore, he will drink more water, which should help prevent future urinary tract issues and/or blockages. We will likely also start supplementing his diet with some wet food to keep more water in his system. I’m very grateful that we get to borrow a fountain for the time being, because they ain’t cheap! But they are definitely cheaper than the vet bill we got yesterday, so, yeah.

We are finally getting snow tires on our vehicles this weekend. We’ve been slacking big time, and paid for it with all the snow we got this week. The good news is, my snow tires are brand spanking new, so they should help a lot with my commute this winter. My old ones were nigh on bald by the end of last season, and I had a few hairy commutes. I’m feeling a lot better about this winter already.

You know you are an adult when… You buy a sonic toothbrush with your year-end bonus. At my recent dentist appointment, the hygienist noted some pain I’ve been having on the left side of my mouth, and said it’s because I’m apparently brushing my teeth too hard and rubbing away the enamel along the gum line. Um, ouch? Her recommendation was to switch to a sonic toothbrush and Sensodyne toothpaste. Getting older sure is glamorous…

If you live in a snowy area, do you have your snow tires on yet?

 

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Enough, Already!

Things have been just  TEENY bit stressful in my life lately. I’m ready for this nonsense to be done and over with.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, my mom’s sister passed away. The week of Thanksgiving, we had to put our dog down. This past week, my uncle Rob (mom’s brother) was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal and chest pain, and we still don’t have a full understanding of what’s going on. House stuff continues to be unsettled. And now, Rocket has a full urethral blockage and needs to be hospitalized for two or three days, to the tune of $800.

That’s, enough, Universe! I’m crying uncle! Lay off already!

Friday Free-For-All – 12/08/17

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I swear to god if I see one more “Holiday Gift Guide” blog post, I’m gonna scream. I know it’s the time of year and the thing to do, but holy hell, I feel like my Bloglovin’ feed has been nothing but gift guides for weeks now, and it’s only the first week of December! “Gift Guide for Runners,” “Gift Guide for Yogis,” gift guides for men, women, children. Gifts under $50, under $25. On and on ad nauseum! I’m over it! I love you all, but PLEASE, let’s be done with the gift guides, mmkay?

Our company holiday party is tonight. This is always a good time. Our managing partners know how to throw down. There’s tons of beer, wine, liquor and catered food. I’m pretty excited to eat and drink my face off tonight. Except not really, with the drinking, because I have to drive. Boo. Once again, Ben has broom ball playoffs, so I’m on my own.

I decorated the office for the holidays this week and it’s my favorite. Since we don’t have a house of our own, I get my decorating jollies out at the office. It always gets me in the Christmas spirit, and I just love having the white lights out 🙂

Speaking of the holidays, holiday office treats are out in full force. Whether they’re gifts from vendors or clients, leftovers from someone’s party, or baked especially for the office, it feels like cookies, brownies, and candy are EVERYWHERE. Not that I’m complaining. So far this week I’ve had a chocolate chunk brownie, a dark chocolate peanut butter cup, and a triple chocolate chip cookie. Thank god I’ve been doing a better job of running and CrossFitting lately! #balance

I have a new hand cream obsession. Weleda Skin Food is amazing, guys. It has a delicious herbal scent, is all natural, and actually moisturizes my scaly dry hands. Get some!

Do you have a holiday party this weekend?

 

Weekend Update – Birthdays, Shows, and Emily’s Home!

Happy Monday, friends! Or is it happy? I don’t know why I always lead with “Happy Monday” when Mondays are usually anything but happy. Anyway, I digress. This was a jam-packed weekend, so let’s get to it!

Friday
I’d had a long, tough week, and even though I knew a workout would probably make me feel better, I just wanted to go home. So I did. Except on the way home I stopped at CVS and splurged on some of the new Burt’s Bees all natural makeup. Whee!

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The rest of the evening was spent parked on my tush, hanging out with Ben and playing video games in our room. Winter time is video game time.

Saturday
Since I’d skipped Friday afternoon’s workout, I headed over to the LVRT and went for a nice short run after breakfast. This was my first run in my new Saucony Kinvara 8s that I got with the free coupon I was gifted at Leaf Peepers. I’m trying really hard not to be such a paranoid freak about shoes as I was during marathon training and just break them in nice and slowly. They actually felt pretty good, so I’m just trying to keep an open mind.

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Once I got home, it was time to stretch, roll, eat, shower, and get ready for the matinee performance of Broadway Neat, With a Twist. This was a musical theatre cabaret organized by my friend Erin, and starring a bunch of my theatre friends. It was an excellent event, and every song that came up had me going “Ugh, yes!” I saw lots of friends and Ben and I enjoyed the heck out of ourselves.

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When we got home, celebration mode was in full swing, as it was my father in law’s birthday. There was plenty of music, food, and homemade carrot cake, yum! Emily and Jirka were supposed to arrive around midnight, but multiple flight delays meant that they wouldn’t be home until Sunday morning, boo.

Sunday
By the time Ben and I got up, John and Mim were already on the way to the airport to pick up Emily and Jirka, so Ben and I made breakfast and coffee and did a little last minute cleaning.

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They all arrived home just before noon, and it was so great to see Emily. The dogs were beside themselves with excitement! Em and Jirka were tired from over 24 hours of travel, so while they settled in and napped, I headed to the rail trail for another short run.

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The rest of the day was spent reading, playing video games, relaxing, and catching up. I’m so happy that Emily and Jirka will be here pretty much the entire month of December, so we have plenty of time for adventures and LOTS of games of Settlers of Catan.

Did you run this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All – 12/01/17

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Thanks for all your kind thoughts about Harley. She was truly a special pup, and will be missed.

We are officially under contract on our house! Things are far from certain, and the situation is still fairly complex, but we are absolutely delighted to have taken a concrete step in the right direction. Next comes all the inspection BS, hiring a lawyer, making sure financing is good etc. If all goes well, we will close in mid-January. Keep your fingers crossed!

My sister in law Emily comes home from Prague tomorrow! She is bringing her boyfriend, Jirka, and they will be home for almost the entire month of December, which the whole family is excited about. Tomorrow is also my father in law’s birthday, AND we’re seeing a show, so it’s big doings around here!

Christmas music season is in full swing for me. I know some people (like Ben) can’t stomach it until basically the week of Christmas, but I’m obsessed. We have a local radio station that plays Christmas music non-stop from Thanksgiving until Christmas, and you can bet I’ve been tuned in constantly.

I have a new snack obsession. Plain Greek yogurt with Honey Nut Chex. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s delicious. You get a nice crunch and sweetness from the Chex, almost like granola. But I’m not a super huge fan of granola, whereas I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, you’re getting a good mix of protein and carbs. Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll thank me later 😉

How do you feel about Christmas music?

The Story of Harley

The summer before my senior year of high school, I joined my parents for one of their jaunts around Vermont, hitting yard sales, antique shops, and whatever else struck their fancy. These were always great drives. We’d find all kinds of fun stuff, stop at some out-of-the-way diner for lunch, and have wonderful conversations.

At one of our first stops, there was a beautiful Border Collie. While my parents perused the yard sale, I simply sat on the driveway and loved on the pup. As we got back in the car, I began to wax rhapsodic about Border Collies; how smart, how beautiful, how wonderful. How someday, I’d have my own Border Collie. It would be a girl and I’d name her Harley after one of my favorite soap opera characters (oh yeah, I watched soaps!).

In an effort, I think, to shut me up, my dad said “I tell you what. If we find a Border Collie puppy for sale today, you can have it.” Well, you best believe that for the rest of the day, I was LASER FOCUSED on finding myself a puppy. My head was on a swivel, carefully checking every roadside sign. When we stopped for lunch, I perused the local paper looking for puppies for sale. For hours on end, I was relentless in my puppy pursuit.

Finally, after many hours of fruitless searching, I got tired and just sat back in my seat, daydreaming. Suddenly, my dad said “Oh. My. God.” I sat bolt upright in my seat and shouted “YOU SAW PUPPIES FOR SALE DIDN’T YOU?! DIDN’T YOU?!” My mom stared open-mouthed at my dad, who sheepishly said, “Well, we did promise…”

While mom shook her head in disbelief and I bounced around screaming in excitement, my dad turned the car around. Sure enough, about a half mile back was a farm with a giant sign reading “AKC Registered Border Collie Pups Available.” I honestly don’t know how I missed it. And if my dad hadn’t said anything, we would have just kept driving. Anyway, we pulled in to find that there were three puppies available, and only one of them was a girl.

They were being kept in a stall out in the barn. I looked in and saw three little fuzzballs. The farmer who was selling the pups indicated that the female was the little grey and white one. I picked her up, and she wrapped her little puppy paws around my neck, and that was that. I had my Harley. The farmer allowed us to buy her for only $200 cash without any AKC papers, which was fine by us. I had $90 in my wallet, and my dad spotted me the rest until I could go to the bank.

The whole ride home, Harley slept on the floor between my feet. For the first year of her life, her crate was in my bedroom. I paid her vet bills. I took her out to pee in the middle of the night. Groomed her. Took care of her when she was sick. Picked up her droppings. When I went away to college, she stayed home and became a family dog. She forged an incredibly close bond with my dad, riding in the car with him, going to work with him. Sleeping next to my parents’ bed at night.

But whenever I came home to visit, she knew me. Her little tail would start wagging like crazy and she’d come running to greet me. I was the only person she’d allow to get near her face, the only person she’d kiss.

She was a weird dog. She was scared of hardwood floors, so my parents laid out a maze of area rugs for her to navigate their downstairs. She would back up onto the rugs instead of walking directly onto them. She hated the cats, even though the cats loved her. Wheat thins were her favorite cracker, and she’d do anything for a taste of cheese.

This last year, her health started to decline. She became incontinent, and lost a bunch of weight. But she was still a happy girl. She loved car rides, and walks, and playing in the snow. Every time I visited home, I was conscious that this might be the last time I’d see her, but you never really expect that it will be the last time.

I saw Harley for the last time on Sunday October 15.

My mom called last night to say that Harley hadn’t eaten or had any water in three days. She was lethargic and unresponsive. The vet will be going to their house at 3 pm today to put Harley down. She would have been 15 years old in April.

Goodbye, my Harley-doo. You were a good girl.

Weekend Update – Quickie

Happy Monday, my friends! I don’t know about you, but coming back to work after a glorious four-day weekend was a rude awakening for me. I originally intended to do a nice long weekend recap, but basically I just don’t have the energy for it. Also, all of my days were some variation of: sleep in, eat food, play video games, go to sleep, which doesn’t make for very compelling reading.

I did go for my first run in a month, and we did some socialization as well, but for the most part, stuck around home. We got a few inches of lovely, fluffy snow on Saturday night, and a few more last night, so I am now officially in the holiday spirit!

I hope you all had a great break, and that your Monday isn’t too tough!

Weekend Update – Celebrations

Happy Monday, friends! I’m staring down a short work week and couldn’t be happier about it. Let’s dive in!

Friday
Friday night I was on supper duty. I very intelligently did my grocery shopping on my lunch break so I could just go straight home after work. I made a copycat version of Olive Garden’s Pasta E Fagioli soup, which came out pretty dang good. As usual, Ben had broom ball, so after supper I settled down in my comfy pants to watch some Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.

Saturday
After a nice little sleep-in, we got started on our usual Saturday cleaning spree. I threw our new flannel sheets in the wash and did some tidying up while Ben went to a local ski swap to get some new goggles.

I spent the better part of the afternoon making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration that evening, and then relaxed for a while before heading into town.

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This pre-Thanksgiving has become something of a tradition the last few years. My friend Jaska’s mom hosts close to 20 close friends and family for a lovely meal, all crammed together at folding tables in her living room. It’s a wonderful start to the holiday season. I ended up not taking a single photo because I was having too much fun catching up with everyone!

Sunday
We were up for the day around 9, and my father in law made corn muffins and cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yum! Ben talked his dad into brewing beer with the supplies we never used last week, so that’s what they got up to for the day, while I did some more cleaning and some more relaxing. I tell ya, it’s REALLY nice not to be in a show right now!

Around 5, we headed into town for our dinner reservations at the Windjammer. Our third wedding anniversary is Wednesday, but since that’s the day before Thanksgiving, we decided to celebrate a bit early.

I had shrimp cocktail and braised scallops with mashed potatoes, while Ben had oysters and a pork ribeye with mashed potatoes. Then for dessert, he had a fancy Scotch while I had a big bowl of strawberry sorbet. Mmmmmm.

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And now it’s Monday and while I know it’s a short week, I’m counting down the minutes. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!

Friday Free-For-All – 11/17/17

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Not much news on the house front. We submitted an amended offer that included a one month housing contingency, and the seller’s team has until 5 pm today to sign. I’m not holding my breath right now. Having them sign would be a great first step, but I remain skeptical that they’ll be able to find suitable housing for the seller in one month. You never know, but I’m just not letting myself get excited right now. Patience and calm are key.

I am pretty much living for Thanksgiving break right now. As usual, I have a four day weekend, and I can’t wait to just chill out, eat delicious food, drink delicious drinks, and enjoy family time. Ben and I alternate Thanksgiving celebrations between our families, and this is our year to be with Ben’s family. This means we get to just hang out at home and not worry about packing, driving, and sleeping in someone else’s bed. Perfection!

Now that it’s dark at 5 pm and after work runs are off the table, I’m enjoying the recumbent bike at home again. It had been collecting dust for a while, but now it’s my best option for staying active on days when I just don’t feel like going to CrossFit. And since it’s at home, I can use wi-fi and watch my shows on Netflix, which helps the time go by.

Our 3rd wedding anniversary is next week! Since it’s Thanksgiving week, we are going to celebrate early by going out to dinner on Sunday night. I received a gift card to a great local restaurant for my work on the company’s United Way campaign, so dinner shouldn’t cost us a dime. Score!

We got three inches of snow last night! Of course, our totals are somewhat elevated due to the fact that we live basically on the side of a mountain, but it was SO lovely to wake up to. Now if the rest of the area would just catch up! I’d much rather look at snow than mud and sticks.

How excited are you for Thanksgiving?

Weekend Update – Laying Low

Thankfully, this weekend was a relatively relaxed one, which I needed after some late nights mid week. Read on to hear all about it!

Friday
By the time Friday afternoon rolled around, I was D-O-N-E DONE! After two late nights in a row, I was pooped! I guess I’m out of practice on this whole staying up late thing since I’m not doing a show…

I stopped at the store on the way home because I was on dinner duty. I made a one-pot cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta dish that turned out decently well. I love one-pot meals because they’re just so much easier to clean up at the end and somehow seem less difficult to do.

After that, I did a big fat load of NOTHING, and went to bed early.

Saturday
We had a few house showings lined up on Saturday, so we were up and out of the house relatively early. We saw three more houses, and while each of them had some potential, we ultimately decided that we’re still in love with the house we originally put the offer in on. We talked it over with our realtor and decided to go ahead with an extended contract that includes a housing contingency, cross our fingers, and be patient.

We ran a few errands after that, including picking up some homebrew supplies, then headed home. After a busy day of running around, I was more than happy to change into comfy pants and start in on my newest Netflix obsession, Grey’s Anatomy. I know everyone and their mother has already discovered this show by now, but until last week I’d never seen a single episode, and I’m hooked.

We ended up inviting our friends Pete and Jen over for meatloaf supper, and hung out for a few hours. Ben insisted on having a bonfire, which I was not really feeling. While they bundled up and headed out to start a fire, I went to bed. Funny story–Ben came inside after Pete and Jen left around 1 am and laid down next to the dog on the floor, and promptly fell asleep until 6 am Sunday morning! That’s what a late night a few beers will do to you!

Sunday
We happily slept in on Sunday morning and loafed around a bit, then the whole family got started on a cleaning extravaganza. We cleaned the bathroom, the cat box, the horse house, vacuumed, did laundry… By early afternoon the entire house was spic and span!

We had intended to do some homebrewing in the afternoon, but after the busy morning, we were all sort of over that idea. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and finishing up cleaning projects, then had delicious enchiladas for supper. After that it was more loafing, and early bedtime.

And now it’s Monday and I’m SO not feeling the work week. The good news is, next week is Thanksgiving, so I only have to work three days. I’m basically just gritting my teeth and soldiering on until then.