Friday Free-For-All – 04/12/19

Friday Free-For-All

SPRING! It’s finally here! My daylillies are coming up, my rhubarb is coming up, and all I want is to be outside. It’s supposed to be gorgeous tomorrow, and of course, that’s the one day this week I have indoor plans. Whomp whomp. I’m hoping for more warm, sunny days next week so I can attack our long list of yard work during Vera’s nap.

My first sourdough came out… ok. It’s got a lovely, crusty outside, and a nice, springy inside, but it really doesn’t taste like sourdough. It’s odd. I don’t think it’s an issue with my starter; the dough rose just fine. I’m not sure. All I can do is keep practicing, I guess. And over time, my starter will get stronger, so the flavor might get better. I’m also excited to try other recipes–sourdough pancakes, anyone? English muffins? Mmmmmm.

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Two of the audiobooks I had on hold through my library came in at once. That’s a whole lot of listening. And audiobook rentals only last for seven days each, so I’ve gotta push through them both quickly. Thank goodness for my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones!

Do you like audiobooks? When/where do you listen to them?

 

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Friday Free-For-All – 04/05/19

Friday Free-For-All

Well, the decision of whether or not to renew my blog domain registration was taken out of my hands. I was literally sitting down at my computer to cancel auto-renew when I got an email from WordPress thanking me for my payment. Crap! For some reason, I thought the renewal date was much later this month. That’s kind of crippling the rest of my month spending-wise, but I’m taking it as a sign from the universe that I’m not quite done with my little blog just yet.

We have a very full weekend ahead. “Oysterfest” with my in-laws tonight, TWO birthday parties tomorrow, and then my folks are coming to visit Sunday. Bring it on! I’ve been feeling pretty isolated lately (being a stay at home mom who lives in the boonies will do that to you), so I’m excited for some social events.

The weather around here has been downright bipolar lately. One minute sunny and blue skies, the next, blowing winds and sleet. It was 60 degrees on Wednesday and 35 on Thursday. COME ON SPRING, LET’S GO ALREADY!

A friend of mine is looking for someone to split the Vermont City Marathon with and I SO WISH I could do it. After the crapfest that was VCM 2016, it would be so nice to have a positive experience with the race, but I simply can’t afford the registration fee. That and I’m definitely not in shape to run a half marathon at the end of May. I mean, maybe I could do a super short training cycle and get there, but it wouldn’t be pretty. Boo to being fiscally responsible.

Have you ever had to turn down a race because you couldn’t afford registration?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 03/22/19


Friday Free-For-All

I’ve got a cold. I haven’t gotten dressed or worked out or really even left the house since Monday. It’s no fun. Last week was such a great week running and workout wise, and I’m sad not to be able to continue the momentum. Not to mention the fact that momming while sick is exponentially more difficult. I’m tired and cranky and low on patience, but doing the best I can.

I thought spring was coming, but it’s snowing this morning. Ugh. We’ve been in winter mode with snow on the ground since mid-November, so this winter has felt extra long. I don’t even care if it gets warm, I just want the snow and ice to go away so I can run on the rail trail and escape the treadmill.

We did our taxes this week. Thanks to the child tax credit, buying a house, and a significant drop in our income, we will be getting a pretty sizable return. Which, thank goodness, because due to several issues, we will need every dime of that and then some to make it through the summer while Ben isn’t getting paid. We’ve been crunching numbers and running scenarios all week, and we think we can make it through without either of us having to work this summer, but it will be tight.

I’ve been on a reading kick lately. I’m currently in the middle of two regular books, plus one audiobook that I listen to while running or knitting. If I had to hazard I guess, I’d say I’ve already read/listened to at least 20 books this year. Thanks to the Kindle app on my phone, and the Libby app through my library, I have access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks. I can just pull up my book on my phone while nursing Vera, while waiting for appointments, or while eating lunch. Looking at the tiny, glowing screen hurts my eyes a bit sometimes, so I should probably start using my regular Kindle. But yay reading!

I got my first Ebates check this week. With money so tight, I’m constantly looking for ways to make a few extra bucks. With Ebates, you get cash back for online purchases you were going to make anyway. Just start your shopping trip through Ebates, buy as usual, and you accumulate cash back. There’s also a browser plugin that will automatically alert you to cash back deals when you navigate to a participating retailer. I assume they are somehow buying or selling info about my shopping habits, but free money is free money. If you’d like to join Ebates and start earning cash back, you can use my referral code. If you spend $25 or more on your first Ebates shopping trip, we both earn a bonus!

What’s the last book you read? Do you like audiobooks?

Friday Free-For-All – 04/20/18

Friday Free-For-All

Spring Break, baby! As of 4:30 pm today, Ben and I are officially on Spring Break. We’ll be hanging at home for the first half of the week, hopefully taking care of a few projects and just relaxing. Then Wednesday through Sunday, we’ll be in Jersey visiting my bestie and her husband, who are also expecting a baby. We figured we’d better get a visit in while we can, because we’re all about to get super busy, and who knows the next time we’ll have the opportunity to see each other?

Spring weather is finally here! The forecast for the next few days looks so wonderful and springy, I could just die of happiness. Sunshine and temps in the 50’s and 60’s. FINALLY. After the miserable, dreary, snowy, icy, rainy junk we’ve had for the last few weeks, we are overdue for spring.

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Here comes the sunnnn!

I paid off my second-to-last student loan this week. It was “only” about $1,500, but they recently jacked up the interest rate to over 6 percent, so I decided it was time to just eliminate it completely. I fully recognize that $1,500 isn’t an insignificant amount, but compared to my remaining student loan, it’s small. Regardless, it’s extremely satisfying to be one step closer to being debt-free. Obviously, it’s gonna take a while to actually get there with the mortgage we just took out, but you’ve gotta celebrate each step!

A wind storm this week knocked down a tree in our yard. Normally, this might be problematic. Fortunately, however, we had already identified this as a sick tree that we needed to cut down anyway. Problem solved! Now we can just chop it up for summertime bonfires. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Is it spring break for you and yours?

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 – 03/30/18

Friday Free-For-All

We’re having some downright springy weather in VT this week! Temps have been in the 40s and 50s since Monday, with no signs of dipping. I really hope it sticks around. I truly don’t like to complain about the weather, and try to enjoy all of the seasons as they come, but I’m READY for warmer temps and sunshine.

We’re about to kick off our quarterly reporting at work, and I realized that this will be my last time doing it. My last day at the office will be June 8, so I won’t be doing the reporting process for 2q18. My mind is blown! Obviously, leaving work will be bittersweet, but I’m happy to be noticing and celebrating these final countdown milestones.

Party leftovers are wonderful. We have so many snacks, treats, dips, and other miscellaneous party food left over from our housewarming, it’s been awesome! We hardly had to do any grocery shopping this week. Also, I think we have enough leftover beer that Ben will be a happy camper for a long, long time.

I stopped at my favorite bagel place this morning. I don’t often treat myself to breakfast out, but I just had to do it today. I got a sunflower seed bagel with ham, egg, cheese, peppers and onions, and it was everything I could have wanted. Happy Friday to me!

What’s your favorite type of bagel sandwich?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 04/17/15

Friday

I ran this week! I didn’t realize it, but it had been about 5 weeks since my last run. Holy crap! That’s almost as long as when I was out due to foot injury last fall. So on Wednesday, I had my triumphant return to running, and also my first “runch” (lunch run) of the year. 2.5 easy, breezy miles along the lakefront bike path. And I plan to do a “long” run this weekend of at least 4 miles.

Spring has sprung in northern Vermont. It was in the 50’s and 60’s all week. The lake is unfrozen. Trees are budding and flowers are starting to bloom. Thank goodness! I try really hard not to complain about the weather and just take it for what it is, but this winter was BRUTAL, and I’m so happy to bid it adieu.

Chess rehearsals now aren’t starting until May 31. While I’m disappointed that I don’t get to start working on this awesome project as soon as I thought (originally it was May 20), I’m VERY excited to have a bit more time to myself to work on my fitness goals, hang out with Ben, and spend time outdoors!

I got my hair cut yesterday. It had been almost exactly 6 months to the day since my last hair cut. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since I’m actively growing my hair out, it was starting to get a bit shaggy, and I want to make sure I take care of split ends so that, as my hair grows, it stays healthy.

I am obsessed with Polar seltzer. Particularly Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor. I’ve always loved seltzer, but lately I just can’t seem to get enough of it. I drink two cans a day at work, and several times I week I buy one of the liter-sized bottles at the store too. It’s great by itself, but I also love using it to make cocktails. Yum!

Are you planning to run this weekend? How far/long?

Is it spring where you are?