Friday Free-For-All – 11/30/18

Friday Free-For-All

I’m trying to get back to blogging a bit more regularly. As you may have noticed from the whole two posts this week. Go me! I missed checking it with you all, but I’m still struggling with what I want to share these days. Life with a non-sleeping baby makes it really hard to accomplish much, especially working out. I’m so exhausted most days that the thought of running or trying to go back to CrossFit is laughable. But I’m still here, still living life, so I’m trying to keep blogging.

Fall didn’t last very long in northern Vermont. We’ve had heavy snow cover for several weeks already, and I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. While I’m sad about the shortness of my favorite season, I’m already excited for Christmas, so I can’t be too upset about it.

Our house hasn’t had power since early Tuesday morning. All of the heavy, wet snow led to some power outages in our area. Because our heat, water pump, and stove are all electric powered, it means no water, no heat, and no cooking. Thankfully, my in-laws only live 15 minutes away, so we’ve all been staying with Grammy and Pop. I am so blessed to have such a great relationship with my in-laws, and they are wonderful with Vera. My father in law brought his generator to the house to power the small propane heater on our porch and our freezer to keep the pipes from freezing and protect our food. Fingers crossed our power comes back soon!

Have you ever had to deal with an extended power outage?

Friday Free-For-All – 04/06/18

Friday Free-For-All

TGIF. This has been a WEEK, my friends. First and foremost, it’s the first week of a new month and a new quarter, which is always my busy time at work. Secondly, my colleague was out, meaning that I had to do all of my work PLUS all of her work. And then to top it all off, I’m on the makeup crew for Lyric’s production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, meaning I was at the theatre for several hours each night this week other than Monday. I am POOPED! I’m also helping out for the Saturday and Sunday matinees this week, so I’ve got a long weekend ahead as well.

I completed my 3 hour glucose test this morning. It was, in a word, unpleasant. I had to fast from 10 pm until 11 am and have my blood drawn four separate times between 8 am and 11 am. Not to mention spending my morning in a hospital waiting room for the hematology/oncology ward, which was pretty freaking bleak. By the time I was released, I was starving and cranky, so I headed straight to Chipotle for a burrito bowl to soothe my frazzled soul. Now we await the results. Ugh.

Once again, we are behind the eight ball on filing our taxes.  I think last year we filed on the 14th? So at least we’re not quite that bad this time around, but still. I used to file by the end of February every single year. Obviously not so much anymore. I think Ben is planning to tackle them this weekend while I’m at the theatre. What a good husband!

We’re supposed to get snow tonight, and I am not here for it. I know I’ve said I don’t like to complain about the weather, but it’s been so lovely and warm lately I don’t want to go backwards. Of course, it snowed almost two inches on my birthday (May 9) last year, soooo, we’re probably not done with winter yet anyway.

How has your weather been lately?


Friday Free-For-All – 03/09/18

Friday Free-For-All

We finally had our oil tanks inspected this week. As we suspected, the current configuration is NOT up to code, and will cost about $800 to fix. Thankfully, we still have money set aside in escrow for this work, but we are also rapidly coming up against our deadline. We’re really going to have to push to get the work done in time to be reimbursed.

The huge snow storm that was supposed to happen this week was kind of a bust. I know that my friends in other areas (hey, Jersey!) got absolutely dumped on, but we got barely three inches at our house, and we basically live on the side of a mountain. It was very disappointing.

Having a garage is my new favorite thing. Growing up, we always had garages. And said garages were always full of STUFF rather than CARS. But our new garage is blissfully free of junk, meaning we can park our cars in there and NOT HAVE TO CLEAR THEM OFF AFTER EVERY SNOWFALL. Which has been a huge blessing with the snow this week. I’m obsessed with my garage and vow never to fill it with so much crap that I can’t park in there.

Do you have a garage? Do you actually park your car(s) in it?

Friday Free-For-All – 01/05/18

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Things are still moving forward on the house. We were thrown yet another curveball this week, but I think we’re still on track. At worst, we may have to push back closing a few days, which is not the end of the world. Keep those fingers crossed!

In spite of the crazy snowstorm and cold temps, I braved a night out with some friends last night. Stacy moved to Albany this past spring, but she was in town for work, so she, Abbie and I got together at the little “bistro” at the hotel where Stacy was staying. It was SO GOOD to see my friends, even if my drive home was a little hairy.

After all the holidays and visitors we’ve had, I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend. Of course, having Emily, Leah, and Jirka home for the holidays was awesome, but it meant we had a VERY full house and not a lot of quiet time. I want to sleep in and do lots of relaxing.

This week, I received one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever gotten. My aunt Lisa (dad’s sister) put together a beautiful binder of family recipes. From her, my Aunt Sherri, my Grammy, and my Great Grammy. Some of the recipes are even photo copies of hand-written originals straight from Grammy’s kitchen! Almost every essential is in there, from bread to pie crust to fudge and beyond. I can’t wait until we have our own kitchen again so I can get cooking!

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received?

Friday Free-For-All – 12/15/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

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?


Friday Free-For-All – 11/17/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

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?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/17/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! Alas, I don’t have any plans to drink Irish Car Bombs or Guinness tonight. I’ve got CrossFit and then rehearsal until 10. Have one for me, friends!

Winter Storm Stella kicked our ass! We got over 3 feet of snow at our house. Ben had two snow days in a row, and I essentially had two half days. Businesses shut down, the University of Vermont was closed for two whole days… We haven’t had a snowstorm like this since the Valentine’s Day blizzard of 2007. While I’m happy that we’re finally getting some snow, I wish we hadn’t gotten an entire winter’s worth in 24 hours.

We’ve got the house to ourselves this week. Ben’s parents took a trip to North Carolina because cousin Lucas is retiring after 20 years in the Air Force. I wish we could have gone, but between Ben’s job and my rehearsal schedule, we just couldn’t swing it. So we’re at home taking care of the menagerie. It’s nice to have our own space for a bit, but taking care of 2 dogs, 5 cats, a horse, and some chickens is a lot of work, especially with all this damn snow!

Update on Ben’s job. We have tentatively heard that Ben will have a permanent part-time position for the upcoming school year. We’re trying not to get TOO excited because he doesn’t have a contract in hand yet, but as long as nothing changes, this is great news. Obviously, we’d prefer that it were a full time position, but permanent is good. We’re still not sure yet whether or not he’ll qualify for benefits, or what he might need to do in order to qualify (like being an Instructional Aide part time again), but baby steps. This is good news, and helps to alleviate some of the stress we’ve been under lately. I will share more info as it becomes available.

Are you wearing green today? Any fun St. Paddy’s plans?

Weekend Update – 11/21/16

Happy Monday, y’all! I’m very excited that this is a three day work week for me. I just have to put my head down and grind through until Wednesday night, and then I have four glorious days of rest and relaxation to look forward to.

This weekend was equal parts rest, socialization, and productivity, which always makes me happy. I worked my second-to-last shift at Athleta on Friday night, then came home and stayed up late watching BBC shows and eating popcorn with Ben.

We slept in rather later than I would have liked on Saturday, and woke to find that it was sunny and in the mid-60’s outside. WHAT? We spent some time cleaning and doing laundry, then I went outside and talked to my friend Mandy on the phone for over an hour. She’s got a lot of crazy stuff happening in her life right now, and I’ve been feeling like a bad friend for not getting in touch more, so it felt really good to finally reach out. It was also nice to be able to be outside in short sleeves in late November!

After that, I spent a little time knitting and watching Netflix, and then it was time to head to Friendsgiving at my friend Jaska’s mom’s house. Jaska and I have been friends since high school, and her mom is like an extra mom to me. There was lots of good food, good conversation, and snuggles, which was just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday morning couldn’t have been more different than Saturday. I was rudely ripped from Slumberland by Ben’s alarm at 8 am, so I grumbled and snuggled back under the covers. Ben got up, and a few minutes later poked his head in the door. “It’s snowing out, just so you know.” I leaped out of bed and ran to the window and sure enough, there was already a blanket of snow on the ground. I really love snow (especially when it happens at a seasonally appropriate time), so I was delighted, and officially wide awake. I hopped on the new recumbent bike for 30 minutes, then showered and pulled myself together for Lady Brunch.

I have been lucky enough over this past year to collect several very good, smart, strong female friends, and we get together regularly to just be ourselves and talk about life, politics, or whatever else we feel like talking about. I feel SO supported and safe with this group of ladies, and after dealing with all of my swirling emotions post-election, I NEEDED this so hard. We ate chicken curry and Trader Joe’s scones and drank mimosas and just talked.

After that, I just spent the rest of the day at home, knitting and watching Netflix while Ben played video games. I have been SO BUSY these last few weeks, it felt amazing to just be at home so much and not have crazy demands on my time.

Did you get any snow this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All -12/18/15

FFFA (1)

I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say that I was one happy nerd. I’m dying because all I want to do today is talk about it and I don’t have anyone to talk about it with. I can’t wait to watch it again.

ONE WEEK ‘TIL CHRISTMAS! I have Christmas Eve AND Christmas day off, and I can’t wait to sit in front of the fireplace at my parents’ house, rocking PJs and sipping spiked eggnog.

We are having some decidedly un-Christmas like weather and it’s bumming me out. This time last year we had a solid foot of snow on the ground. Today, it’s in the 50’s and raining. And the forecast for next week looks like more of the same. I can’t remember the last time we had a Green Christmas, and I kind of hate that it’s happening. I know that there are people in this country and all over the world who usually DON’T have snow for Christmas, but it’s just not normal for me.

Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet? What did you think?? And remember, NO SPOILERS.



Friday Free-For-All (Twenty-Three)


Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I had an audition on Tuesday night!  It’s been a while since I did a show, and I’ve been itching to get back to it lately.  Lyric Theatre, a large local theatre group, had auditions for Legally Blonde the Musical this week, and I’m anxiously waiting to find out whether or not I’ve been cast.  I should know tomorrow–fingers crossed!

My dad got a new job!  You may remember a few months ago I was posting about my family going through some tough stuff.  Long story short, my dad lost his job under some rather shady circumstances (the job situation was shady, not my dad, obviously), and he was unemployed for a while, which is very stressful when my folks have a still-dependent daughter living at home.  This job opportunity seems promising, and it’s in an area in MA where we lived when I was a kid, and the town where my bestie Mandy’s family still lives!  My dad will be commuting back and forth for a while to make sure the job is a good fit before my family considers moving again.  While it would be sad if my parents had to move further away, it would actually be kind of awesome to have my family living in the same place as Mandy’s family, because we’d have more opportunities to see each other around the holidays.

I’m super way behind in my Christmas shopping.  I’m usually much more on top of things, but it’s been a busy fall.  I’ve got a few of the main people done, but I still have a lot to do, and since much of my shopping is done online, it’s crunch time.  I’m planning to dedicate some time to shopping this weekend and hopefully get it done.

I ellipticized last night.  I have been avoiding any activity that involves putting pressure on my feet, but since I’ve been feeling so good the last few days, I decided to try out the elliptical for a while, with the understanding that if anything started to hurt, I’d switch to the bike.  Well, I made it through 45 minutes on the elliptical with no pain, and my foot still feels great today.  Yay!  I’m still going to follow through on my full six weeks of no running, but it’s nice to be able to incorporate some elliptical, because I find the stationary bike mind-numbingly boring.

It’s a full-on winter wonderland here in VT.  It’s been snowing pretty much non-stop for three days.  While it’s beautiful, it’s led to some white-knuckle commutes for me.  Lots of accidents, lots of almost-accidents, lots of slipping and sliding and wondering why I don’t live in Florida with Kim.

Are you getting any snow where you are?

Have you finished your Christmas shopping?