Saturday, June 28, 2014

it's a wonder we keep going back

Since I've last written here our baby robins have left the nest and it was a very emotional time.  I've gotten myself a promotion at work. And our condo complex pool opened.  Basically, BOY HAVE I BEEN BUSY.

Also, we bought two more new tires which brings our tally to $ix new tire$ in just shy of four months of marriage, for those keeping track at home.  

Matt and I have also been keeping up with our gym routine on a fairly regular basis.  I wish I could say we've come a long way from our slightly awkward gym beginnings, but that's not exactly the case.

On our first visit to the gym, I approached a weight machine and took a seat.  I set the weights to a whopping 15 pounds and started lifting, but it felt awkward.  After my first set of reps (I totally have the gym lingo down) Matt came over and informed me that I was sitting on the machine backwards, which explained my difficulty.  I thought the part where you lean you chest/stomach was a backrest.

Evidently the focus of the gym is not on comfort and relaxation. 


Our routine includes a half hour on the treadmills, and we always try to get two next to each other so we can mouth things to each other like "what do you want to do for dinner?" and "I could really go for a blueberry pie" mid workout.

When thirty minutes is up, Matt turns his machine off and as it slows down, dramatically slides to the end and leaps off to go get paper towels to wipe off the treadmills.  Well, the other night he forgot to hit the stop button.  And so when he returned with the paper towels, he hopped back up on the STILL MOVING treadmill to wipe it off and took himself QUITE the tumble.  There was a split second of terror but after we realized he was okay we I had a good laugh.

And for the past several days I've gotten a lot of mileage out of his little mishap.  I've brought it up several times, but that ended yesterday.  

Because, pride. It cometh before the fall.

I was strolling along at an impressive speed last night when a message started scrolling across my treadmill screen.  "NEED HEART RATE. PLACE HANDS ON SENSORS OR USE TELEMETRY METER."

I was familiar with the hand sensors, but a telemetry meter?  Now that sounded new and interesting and fun.  I scanned the machine and on the side saw a small red disk attached to the treadmill with a cord, so I figured, HELLO, TELEMETRY METER.  

And so I proceeded to grab that little "meter" except IT WAS THE EMERGENCY STOP BUTTON.  The treadmill stopped immediately but unfortunately my body kept  moving at a 3.9 speed setting and I almost flipped right over the front of the machine.

Thank you, inertia.

Once I got my bearings I looked down at the treadmill screen and what I saw was even more embarassing.  The screen was flashing:  "MACHINE STOPPED.  NEED MANAGER RESET."

I abandoned that treadmill in no time flat and took off to the weight machines.  

At least I know how to use those correctly.


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Sunday, June 22, 2014

why i love june weekends: in (mostly) photos

Eating every meal on the patio with my main man.

(We also had brussels sprouts.)

 Afternoons at the pool.
 Weeds in the woods.  Pretty ones.
 Drinking an extra cup of coffee so I can admire my gorgeous garden a bit longer and congratulate myself on my very green thumb.  And my humility.

 New Pandora stations, inspired by seeing Jersey Boys this weekend with my mom and sister.

And finally, finding a random car magnet on the street (aka STRIKING GOLD) and secretly sticking it on Matt's car.  And then waiting to see how long it would take him to discover it.

Spoiler alert: he discovered it when he took the trash out after dinner, less than three hours after I stuck it on there.  Because on his way out the door I told him it would be in his best interest to examine the back of his car.  So basically I cannot keep a secret.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

things are a little fowl around here

About three weeks ago, I discovered that a bird had built a nest in the gutter between our condo and our neighbor's. A few days later a robin started to sit on the nest, and naturally I kept a very close eye on things and didn't even sweep that side of the patio or weed that end of the garden lest I disturb her.

The babies finally hatched last Saturday, and I've become borderline obsessed with the whole situation ever since.  I check on them every morning before I leave for work and immediately when I get home.  I sit outside at our picnic table and watch the mama bird fly in with worms and feed her cheeping babies.  I've done exhaustive research on baby robins.  I worry when it rains hard, or when the carpenter bee that's also taken up residence on our patio flies too close to them.  I've taken countless photos of the nest and yesterday I even took a three minute video of the babies.

Last night I HAD A DREAM about our baby birds learning to fly.  Even I know that's a bit unusual, and a sure sign that I need to REIGN IN THE CRAZY because I am officially losing it.

And then I was emailing back and forth with my dad this morning and he told me that he and my mom got four little tadpoles for their backyard pond this weekend. 

And my mom named them. 

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

So evidently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I got home from work today and when I walked in, I saw Matt on the couch.  He looked awful.  He was sneezing and sniffling and his eyes were red and watery and swollen.

I asked him what was wrong and he said, "Well, my allergies are acting up.  I knew I shouldn't have followed that turkey."  

Hmm.  Now that's a statement that's going to require a bit of clarification.

Evidently when he pulled into our parking lot, he spotted a turkey.  So he got out of his car and sneakily followed the turkey into the woods because he wanted to see where it lived.

His search was unsuccessful, but he has big plans to hit the woods again, WITH A TURKEY CALL, to see if he can find the turkey homestead. 

Where do we sign up for a our birdwatcher's memberships?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

i also used a weight machine backwards, but that's another story for another time

Well, Matt and I joined a gym last week.

That's noteworthy because I am not the least bit athletic and/or all that interested in fitness.  When I was a senior in college I had a knee issue that, according to my doctor, could be cured if I spent 40 minutes a day on a recumbent bike.  So I got myself a gym membership and rode that recumbent bike for the prescribed 40 minutes a day and not a second more.  And I didn't dare venture to the treadmill or the rowing machine or, heaven forbid, the stair stepper.  And then I graduated and that was the end of my gym experience.

Until last Wednesday, when Matt and I laced up our sneakers and joined Planet Fitness.  In the last seven days we have gone to the gym five times, which is more than I've gone in the last five years, so basically we have already gotten our money's worth.

On our first day we rode the bikes, but by day two I was drawn to the glamor and apparent grace of the elliptical machine.  So I climbed aboard, started elliptical-ing, and lasted four painful minutes until I determined that my sweet spot at the gym is probably on the treadmill, speed: 3.2, incline: 0.



After day two I was feeling fantastic and full of energy, so when we got home I decided to do a little apple cider vinegar hair treatment because it makes my hair so shiny and smooth and who doesn't want their hair to look healthy?  I wet my hair, soaked it in apple cider vinegar, and then folded some laundry and straightened up a little bit while the vinegar worked its magic.

I hopped back in the shower to rinse it out, and when I walked back out into the living room, Matt was just walking in the front door.

"Where'd you go?" I asked him.

"Something really smells weird in here and I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is - so I cleared the leftovers out of the fridge, and then took all of the trash out."

Well, mystery solved my friend.

I have half a bottle of apple cider vinegar on my head.

I AM THE CULPRIT.

Not only do I want my hair to look great while I stroll on the treadmill, but obviously I need the right wardrobe.  So this weekend I got some fancy new fitness-style yoga capris, and last night I hit the mall to got myself a new pair of sneakers.   I've read it takes 21 days for something to become a habit and while I'm only a third of the way there, I figure I may as well look adorable for the next 14 days while we see if this gym thing is going to be a long term commitment or a flash in the pan.

I wore my new workout gear to the gym tonight for the first time.  I walked faster and with so much more pep in my step.  And after the treadmill portion of the gym experience I pranced around from weight machine to weight machine in my fancy new shoes feeling like a million bucks.

And then we got into the car and I crossed my legs and I spotted this.
 I had forgotten to take the tags off of my new shoes.

Listen.  I keep myself humble.  And marginally embarrassed.

Although if this gym thing doesn't turn into a habit in the next two weeks, I could still return the sneakers.

Silver lining.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

tired

Well, Matt and I have been married for two months today.  And in those two months of marriage we have purchased four new car tires which, let's be honest, is a pace we cannot keep up. 

On Tuesday I drove to a meeting about an hour and a half away.  The drive to the meeting was uneventful, but as I approached my highway exit on the way home, the low tire pressure light on my dashboard started flashing.

I guess I should have known something was amiss when I was singing along to the radio several miles earlier and it sounded like someone was pounding on my chest as I sang.  Here I thought I'd finally perfected my vibrato a la Carrie Underwood, but in reality it was a sign of a flat tire.  

Hindsight is 20/20.

I got off the exit and pulled right into the parking lot of an office complex.  I called Matt, and when he answered I said, "Hey, my low tire pressure light came on.  So I got off the turnpike and I'm now parked in a parking lot.  What do you think I should do?"

And he said, "Well, do you have a flat tire?"

"I don't know,"  I said.  "I didn't get out and look at the tires."

Note to self: When your low tire pressure light comes on, the first step is to get out of the car and actually look at your tires.

I performed a full four point inspection and while I didn't see an obvious flat, I heard what I thought was air hissing out of a small hole in the driver's side rear.  Matt wanted to come and change it but since he was an hour away and we pay for roadside assistance with our insurance, I called roadside.  And while I waited for the mechanic to arrive, I watched my tire flatten into a pancake.

And half an hour later an ancient, white, dented, beat up van that said "Home Improvement, Inc, NEW YORK" came pulling up to me and my little Ford Focus.  It was like the start of a horror movie, because 1-beat up white van, and 2-I was expecting a tow truck from Pennsylvania, not a home improvement truck from New York.  But the man in the van was very nice and had a tire jack with him so I guess he was legitimate.  He told me I had a nail in my tire, so he put my spare on and I headed slowly off to Pep Boys for a plug.


At Pep Boys, I told the man at the desk I wanted my tire plugged and handed over my keys.  And ten minutes later one of the mechanics came into the waiting room and said, "Hello miss, I looked at your car and I actually recommend four new tires.  The ones you have are six years old."

Little did he know that I am NO EASY SELL.

"First of all, the car is only five years old and these aren't the original tires.  Second of all, I'm not here to buy new tires today.  I don't understand how everything was going along fine and I hit one nail and suddenly all four tires are bad.  I'd like the tire plugged and that's it for today, thank you."

Well, Mr. Mechanic came back in a few minutes later and told me that due to the way the nail punctured the tire, a plug wouldn't hold.  Half of me thought he was telling the truth and half of me thought he was trying to make a few hundred bucks out of the deal, so I called Matt again and he told me to just go ahead and get the two new tires because MY SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT.

PRECIOUS CARGO.

And that's how I became the owner of a lovely set of Hancook tires for the moderate performance driver, because apparently the tire salesman and I have differing ideas of what constitutes a high performance driver.  

I naturally consider myself a very high performance driver because I have an almost perfect driving record and I use those turn signals like a boss.  The salesman considers a high performance driver someone who drives at speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour on a regular basis in a car with sport handling.

Tomayto, tomahto.

And so instead of a fancy dinner date for our two monthiversary, we gazed out into the parking lot at all of our new tires, and had a music night where we played all of our favorite songs and made a giant batch of chocolate chip cookies.

And when I went to light the candle for dinner, I saw this written in the wax.


The best things in life are free.


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Monday, May 5, 2014

april showers bring may flowers. and hopefully they don't drown them.

Last week was a rainy one around here.  On Wednesday, I came home to discover that we suddenly had waterfront property. 

Unfortunately our front door is right in the middle of that river.  Since I didn't have a raft with me, I stopped on higher ground for a minute while I weighed my options for getting myself to the front door while staying as dry as possible, and not ruining my clothes.  After some thought, I decided that my best bet would be to take off my (lovely, brand new, cream colored, very poor choice for a rainy day) shoes and roll up my pants legs because DESPERATE TIMES. 

I was about to do just that when I heard a voice yell, "DON'T WORRY, LADY, I'LL HELP YOU."  And I turned around to see Matt, my knight in soaking wet gym shorts and waterproof hunting boots, walking down the sidewalk.  He had already been outside playing in the rain trying to clear out some clogged drains, and he picked me up and carried me to the front door.


Luckily, the rain and flooding has subsided in the past few days and we haven't had to invest in either a wet vac or a boat.  However, I am worried to death about the status of the flowers that I planted last weekend.  I am worried that they got too wet during the storm and then too cold and that they're not hearty enough and maybe they'd be better off with a sheet over them at nighttime and SHOULD I GO OUTSIDE WITH A HAIR DRYER TO WARM THEM UP A BIT?

I am just so proud of my little garden. I know the saying is that pride cometh before a fall, but in this gardening story, the fall actually came first.

I decided that last Saturday was going to be planting day, and since I had a 40% off coupon to Michael's Arts & Crafts burning a hole in my pocket, I decided I'd have myself a perfect Saturday morning and stop there and and then go to the Home Depot right next door.

Not only does that particular shopping center have a Michael's and Home Depot, but it also has an Ikea and BJ's Wholesale Club, so that joint was jumping on Saturday morning.

Because I have a rocky relationship with reversing out of parking spaces on busy Saturdays, I drove around the parking lot until I found a pull through spot.  I grabbed a cart from the corral in the lot, and then headed straight for the racks of plants and flowers on the sidewalk outside the store.

I walked up and down a few short aisles, but was disappointed in the selection.  It was surprising because I got my flowers at Home Depot last year and there were so many more choices.  I picked up one pack of yellow marigolds and a set of gardening tools, but decided I'd drive over to Lowe's for the other things I needed. 

I headed inside to pay, and as I walked through the first set of doors, an older gentleman standing there said, "Good morning, miss.  BJ's card?"

"No thanks," I responded quickly, and, obviously, without thinking.

Because a half a second later, it hit me.

He wasn't trying to interest me in signing up for a BJ's card. 

I had actually been shopping at BJ's.

Not Home Depot.

And I am not a member of BJ's.

I abandoned that shopping cart quicker than you can say petunia and practically ran to my car.  Which is when I realized that in my quest to find an easy, pull through parking space, I had driven out of the Home Depot section of the lot and into the BJ's one.  And when I got out of my car I was so focused on the flowers that I didn't look up at the sign of the store I was heading towards.


After that experience, I really hope that my flowers pull through.  If they don't, one thing is certain.  I will be going to Lowe's to buy the replacements.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

i wonder if i could get the benefits of AARP

I wake up at 6:45 every morning.  

Well, that's not completely true.  Matt leaves by 6:20, and when he leaves he kisses me and says "Bye, sugar snap/buttercup/pecan sandy/starlight," or any other of an assortment of names.  It's different one every day.  I always make sure I'm awake when he leaves so that I can hear the name of the morning because ADORABLE, but the second the front door closes, I go back to sleep.

I wake up 25 minutes later and rush around for the next 35 to 40 minutes.  I shower and do my hair and pick out my outfit and my jewelry and iron and pack my lunch.

This week I decided that a lot of those things could, and should, be done the night before.  So all week I've been packing my lunch, picking out my outfit and jewelry, and ironing at night.  And I've noticed that mornings are a lot less hectic and I have more time to spend on my makeup and my hair.  Which means that I've been wearing lip gloss and mascara and my hair is actually completely dry and styled when I leave for work each morning instead of slightly damp and pulled back in a clip.

And I'll be honest.  I've left each morning thinking about how much better I looked.  I even sent Matt a text on my way out the door on Monday telling him how lucky he is to be married to someone so good looking.

What can I say? I'm humble.

Today I had a jackpot outfit picked and some great hair going on.  I had to be in court for a hearing first thing for work, and our case was being heard in front a judge I hadn't met before.  After the hearing ended, he called me up to the bench to talk to him. 

"Good morning, Your Honor," I said very respectfully, trying to get on the judge's good side.

It was all for nothing though because he then he proceeded to tell me that I am the spitting image of Allyson Schwartz.

That name might not mean anything to you, but she is running for governor of our state.

And she is SIXTY FIVE YEARS OLD.


I about HIT. THE. FLOOR.

Maybe my new strategy isn't working as well as I thought.

Tomorrow it's back to damp hair and a last minute outfit because I can no longer spend the time at night ironing and preparing my clothes.  

I will be too busy applying anti-aging cream.


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