Anyone have a spare?

My laptop is out of commission temporarily while I find a replacement chord for it. Until then, I suspect my posts will be fairly sparse. Hopefully I’ll be back in action by next weekend.


The Time We Ate Ice Cream For Dinner

So yesterday afternoon I was soaking in the bath when Hubby announced that the electricity seemed to have gone out. It seemed a bit odd but figured that it would be on fairly soon and decided to take a nap.

I woke up about six and the power was still out. I started getting antsy. And grumpy. I read by the window and called my parents. Then it got dark so Hubby and I went back into the bedroom and laid down. My phone was just about dead, but both my Kindle and iPod were fully charged. So there was that.

We had just gone grocery shopping that day and had each gotten a pint of Ben and Jerry’s…something we do not often do, as it’s expensive, and they have about a million calories but they were on sale so we indulged…and as the hours crept by with no power I imagined our treat getting softer and more melted. There was only one thing to do…we would have to eat the ice cream. And so we had Ben and Jerry ‘s ice cream for dinner. And it was delicious.

Kale Chips

Kale chips have become very popular lately. I’ve heard people rave about them from everywhere from Pinterest to Food Riot and finally, I decided that it was time to try them myself…especially as I’m always trying to find a snack that is actually healthy for you…and being the super food that kale is…certainly fits the bill.

Plus, they are super easy to make. And who doesn’t like something that is easy to make.

So I bought a bag of kale last night at BJ’s and at lunch time today I dug the bag out of the fridge, washed it, threw it onto a baking sheet with some olive oil and sea salt and baked it at 350 for 10 minutes.

Taste wise, if you are a veggie fan…especially veggies like spinach, you will like these chips. You will definitely love these chips if you are a veggie fan who is also kind of a salt addict. And if you are not a salt addict (or avoid salt in general), I’m sure there’s tons of different ways to prepare the chips.

Now personally, I’m enjoying these…and I’m find that they are pretty filling. Hubby will be the real test however as he is generally NOT much of a veggie lover. He is however a total salt addict so perhaps there is hope yet.

Mad Men

Hubby and I do not have cable. Even before we moved in together we made the decision that cable was a big waste of money and it truly is. At least for us. Hubby rarely watches television and while there are a few shows I enjoy…they can be found online. I did breakdown a few months ago and sign up for both Hulu Plus and Netflix…because winter can get dull and there’s only so much reading and internet browsing I can tolerate. Turns out, it was a good investment.

While I’m not overly impressed with Hulu Plus, aside from the ability to watch it using the Wii and television (or my Kindle Fire), Netflix is awesome. As I have such a backlog of movies I have not seen yet…I can always find some movie to watch…and then I there are the television shows.

But wait, didn’t I just say that I don’t watch much tv?

True. However, the biggest issue that I have with television shows is that I generally hate starting a series unless I start it from the very beginning. Then, if I like it I either am forced to dedicate YEARS of my life to following it…even when it’s clearly lost it’s charm (Grey’s Anatomy) or get disappointed when others fail to see the magic and the series gets cancelled after a season or less. Thanks to Netflix, I can watch shows from the very beginning, at a speed that I’m comfortable with. So far I’ve watched Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and now I’m watching Mad Men.

I started the 3rd season this weekend, though, with the much improved weather I won’t blow through entire seasons in a single weekend anymore. So far I’m intrigued by this show. I absolutely loved the first season, though was not sure what to think of season 2. I’m actually considering backing up and rewatching it as I think I was too distracted. Still, I am really enjoying this show and I think it’s going to be on of my favorite series. I have such a love/hate relationship with the characters (except Peggy, I love her). I’ve has so many spoilers though, so that’s kind of annoying…though exciting too as I get to guess how certain situations are going to end up playing out. Still, if you watch the show…Please try not to spoil too much of it for me!

On Why I Should Never Procreate

Exactly! @Brittany Horton Doran @Carrie Mcknelly

Yesterday morning hubby left for work and I settled down to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy and Parenthood on Hulu Plus. As it was a nice day out, I let our front door open so the puppies could run between our apartment and our second story deck. As they haven’t mastered the stairs yet (not that I’m encouraging it), this solution is a win win for us…especially when I’m involved with something.

About 15 minutes into my television watching, I realize that it’s quiet. Too quiet. I check around for the puppies in their normal napping spot under my chair but don’t see them. I check outside on the deck, as they love to nap while they sun themselves. No, no pups. I called them a few times but was met with silence. I call Hubby, thinking that perhaps he had decided to take them to work with him as he sometimes does…but my calls went to voicemail so I quickly threw on a jacket and shoes and ran up to the store where he works (as the end of our street) and find him…sans puppies.

We both start going into panic mode and immediately start canvassing the area. I return to the apartment three separate times to double and triple check that the puppies weren’t there and each time I was left with a puppyless apartment. I’m convinced that the puppies were gone for good and begin contemplating returning to a dog free life again. I make mental notes never to procreate as if I can’t keep track of two very vocal puppies…there’s no way in hell that I could keep track of a willful toddler.

Finally, exhausted and completely spent I return one final time to the apartment. I open the front door to be greeting by two excited puppies who were desperate for the treats, toys and cuddles they had been hearing us promise for an hour and a half. 

I have no idea where they were hiding, nor why they didn’t respond to my calls nor shaking of their treat bag. All I know is that for hours afterwards they slept on my lap, probably just as thankful to be around me as I was of them. And I am still convinced that I should not be allowed to have kids.

What Should I Do?

I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a good friend that is dealing with a personal crisis. Up until now, I hadn’t wanted to get into too many details as my friend is a private person…but I’m at a loss right now, and well, I could really use some support and/or advice. 

Several years ago my friend reunited with someone whom she was very close to back in high school. She had moved out of the area after she graduated, and had lost touch with almost everyone…but thanks to technology and internet social networking…they got back in contact and my friend paid her old friend a visit.

The visit went well and soon after my friend made the decision that she was going to move back to her old hometown with her old friend and his son. They soon got engaged and got married. I was the maid of honor, and I really, truly believed in their marriage. I thought that my friend’s husband was a good guy and I adored his son, considered him like a nephew.

Things seemed okay, though I only saw my friend a few times after the wedding…once when they came down for Thanksgiving, then she was my Matron of Honor in my own wedding (trivia, Hubby and I got engaged on the way home from her wedding) and then they visited when they were going to visit my friend’s family. Each time I saw them, everything seemed good and I honestly thought it was a good solid marriage. They were the reason I took a chance on my own Hubby, despite the physical distance between us.

Not long after my friend and her husband returned from their most recent trip to visit her family, my friend started telling me about some problems they were having…mostly with some trust issues she was having. I listened and gave her advice when I could but I didn’t get too super concerned as I still thought her husband was ultimately a good guy and that they needed to work on their communication skills, but ultimately it would probably work itself out. 

About a month ago or so, my friend messaged me on Facebook and I could tell she was distraught. The problems that they had been having had magnified ten fold and he had taken his son and left my friend. It wasn’t clear if it was a temporary thing, just a break while they cooled down but over the next few days my friend opened up more and more to me and it was clear that her husband was NOT a good person. He wasn’t physically abusive, but emotionally he has been doing a number on her from the time she moved in with him. He was controlling, manipulative, a bully, etc. and Hubby and I spent countless hours that week talking to my friend, giving her as much emotional support as we could, and Hubby helped her get in contact with the right people at the VA who could help her get safe and help her get on her feet.

So right now she isn’t in any immediate danger from her husband…at least physical, but he is still playing mind games and harassing her and people she knows (he attempted to call me a few times, but I let his calls go to voice mail…). When they were together, he discouraged my friend from getting a job so now she is trying to find employment with little luck. She has no transportation, nor money. If it wasn’t for the VA’s assistance, who knows what could have happened…

I am worried sick about her. I sent her money a few weeks ago to help her out….but now aside from daily text messages and phone calls, I don’t know what to do. This situation is taking such a huge toll on her both psychologically and physically and I feel so hopeless. Every day I feel as though I should jump in my car and just start driving, but I know that once I’m there, there won’t be anything I can do really do. I want to get my friend out of there, but I know that until the paperwork is completed and signed, she won’t be able to go anywhere…and he’s holding up that process in order to attempt to control the situation even more. I’m trying to give her advice and emotional support but I don’t know what to say sometimes. She’s beginning to blame herself for putting up with that…and I just don’t know how to convince her that it isn’t her fault. 

And this is also taking a toll on me. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting for me in trying to help but I can’t step away. I know if the situation was reversed, my friend would be doing the same exact thing for me. I do have Hubby who’s been a huge support…and tonight I talked to my Mom but up until tonight I really haven’t been telling her stuff as she was dealing with my Dad’s surgery and hospital stay. 

I’d appreciate any advice or insight. Has anyone gone through a similar situation, and how did you deal? And if you were ever in my friend’s shoes…what did you most need from others?

Driving Around

Yesterday was one of those perfect spring days and Hubby and I decided to celebrate the beautiful weather by taking a drive. We had no real destination, we just choose a direction and started driving, We didn’t stop anywhere and didn’t see anything overly exciting but just enjoyed each other’s company and got inspired by the change in weather. After such a harsh, snowy winter…yesterday’s adventure was much needed. I did n’t take any pictures, (shocking) but instead soaked in the scenery and made mental notes of places I want to revisit once things are a bit more green. 

After we got home, I felt inspired to sit down and come up with some ideas of what to do this spring and summer. Last summer we were so tight on money and I was adjusting to my unusual work schedule (that kept changing) that we didn’t do much of anything. We didn’t go canoeing, we didn’t go hiking, or camping or any summer activities except a few cookouts. 

So this summer…I’m really determined to do more and so I sat down and made a formal list of proposed activities. I can’t guarantee that we’ll do everything on the list, but it did make me feel better and made me excited for the change of seasons.

1. Hiking

2. Canoeing
3. Horseback Riding
4, Farmers Market
6. Train Ride
7. Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
8. Kaaterskill Falls
9. Zipline
10, birdwatching
What are some of your favorite summer activities where you live?