Thursday, December 23, 2010

White Christmas

Remember how I said that once the snow started, it wouldn't stop? It's been three days of on and off snow showers, three days of scraping icy slush off my car in the dark after work, three days of Maya shaking when a plow goes up our hill to salt the road (she's scared of them)...the point is we are only three days into this and I'm already in a rush for it to be over. Last year, my first winter back, I thought I could learn to appreciate this season, this year I think I'm a damn fool for trying.
For those who love a white Christmas and those who would rather be in the tropics, I hope everyone has a happy holiday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No Snow

Some people are anxious for our first snowfall. There was a rumor it was going to happen this weekend, but the storm changed course and spared us. I'm in no rush. I know once it starts, it won't stop for months. There will be plenty of time for uncomfortable wet socks, cold runny noses, and screaming curse words into the wind when my dog refuses to go to the bathroom during a whiteout. I, for one, am in no rush at all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Is For The Dogs

It should come as no surprise that every year Maya gets the most gifts in our family.

This year, the gifting began early because I couldn't help ordering her this doggie "sleeping bag" from and wrapping her up in it on her (also new) plush doggie bed. I'm also in the process of ordering a custom-fit hat to protect her thin little ears when it starts to snow. I know she's a dog, but it's not like she acts like it. She's the most fun to shop for anyway.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Falling Apart One Tooth At A Time

A girl I once worked with told me her mom got dentures in her thirties because she was sick of all the dental work she had to have done. For some reason this story stuck in my head. I thought that sounded pretty crazy. How much dental work could you possibly have done before you were 40-years-old that would make you that desperate? Well, apparently I'm on the path to find out.

I always thought root canals were mythical stories that old people told us, and that by the time I might need one I'd be geriatric and wouldn't know what the hell was going on anyway. Well, I'm 27 and unfortunately I know all too well what's going on...I'm on a slow decline starting with my mouth.

A couple months ago I went to the dentist to tell him about a pain I felt when chewing. People said, "Oh, I'm sure it's nothing!" and I told myself it was probably just a filling that needed to be replaced. But I will tell you something...optimism gets you nowhere. I'll never try it again. I needed a root canal restored with a crown which cost about $3,000 and my work doesn't have dental insurance. That's when I figured out optimism is actually the cause of depression. Fast forward two months later and replay the same pain on the opposite side of my mouth only this time I think it's two teeth. I go to the dentist depressed, which is a good thing because it's worse than I even thought...there's a good chance I need two more root canals and two more crowns. Did I mention this is the first time in my life I haven't had dental insurance? How ironic.

My dentist told me I'm probably worsening the issue by grinding my teeth at night due to stress. I told him this wasn't helping.

My mom blames candy like Sour Patch Kids which, she reminded me, "Were made of pure sugar and were the worst because that gummy stuff just sticks in your teeth, though they tasted so good I used to beg you and your sister to share them with me but you'd only let me eat the ones off the floor." Well, you're welcome, Mom. We were only looking out for you.
I have always taken care of my teeth, but it's gotten me no where. I'm indignant. Winter is upon us, I've peaked at age 27, and my slow decline has begun one tooth at a time.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My First Reupholstering Job


We were in need of some extra seating for a holiday gathering and I found these chairs for $5 each on Craigslist. I know they're technically dining room chairs (I also know we don't technically have a dining room) but I saw the potential to give them a more modern makeover and have them fit in with our traditional yet modern style. Plus I've always wanted to take a stab at reupholstering and for $10 it seemed like a good time to experiment.
Luckily, this was a simple reupholster job. After watching a three-minute tutorial on YouTube, I was good to go. I unscrewed the chair cushion, pulled out the staples that held the old, stained rooster fabric in place and uncovered the original tan leather seat cushion--still in usable shape, just scratched up, but I could cover that with new fabric.

I repainted the chipped black paint with my ever-lasting mocha (Espresso Bean paint from Behr) and went to Joann Fabrics to pick out a new seat pattern. Joann Fabrics has a good selection but they are by far the most inefficient and disorganized shop I have ever been in. Next time I think I'll go to a small shop or check on Etsy for fabric.
The finished chairs have a nature, graphic design pattern on them that Tommie and I both like and it fits in our living room a lot better than the dirty roosters. The colors also go with the other earthy tones in the room. All in all, I would say it was a successful first attempt at reupholstering.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Thoughts

I am the type of person who needs to be reminded to be thankful. I'm an eternal pessimist; I also really like to complain. I wish I had come across these crafty ideas for making a "Thankful Tree" or a "Thankful Jar" sooner so I could have done it this year. It would do me some good to stop to appreciate the good things, such as having a soulmate in my life, having a super special dog, having a supportive family who also happens to be pretty entertaining, having a nice place to live, having a job where the people are nice and the cause is good even if my work isn't...see me slipping into negativism already? I think I'll quit while I'm ahead; I do have things to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Best Thing About Football When You Don't Like Football

I am not a "sports person." When I "watch" football, I am watching the fans in the distance with their funny painted belly's, or I'm laughing at the way that guy grabbed that other guys butt on the way down. And I used to always hate the way that Sunday football cut four hours out of our precious weekends. But over time I have learned to appreciate those four hours. Football freezes the majority of men and some whole families in front of the TV for an allotted amount of time and it's a time when non-sports fans can run errands without waiting in long weekend lines. It's my favorite time to go to the gym or go for a run. Aside from the cheers/screams echoing from peoples windows, it's quiet outside and there are hardly any cars on the road. I know that while the game is on nothing important is going to happen so I can do all the laundry, reupholster my chairs, and blog uninterrupted. I never thought I'd have a reason to wish football into overtime, but lately I've been excited to have the extra time to myself.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We Have a Winner!

The winner of the fabulous $55.00 shopping certificate to is lucky commenter #79...Nikki! Congratulations,'re holiday shopping just got easier!Thanks to everyone who took the time to check out my blog and enter the giveaway! That was fun. I hope to do more in the future.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Soup Can Luminaries

To go along with our SoCal-themed reception, I've been experimenting making soup can luminaries. I like the idea because it accomplishes three things: The "tin" look of the cans can be compared to Mexican tin decorations. I like anything that provides unique lighting. And, lastly, they are cheap and obviously a great way to recycle. Here's how I've been doing it:
1. Clean out and peel off the label of the empty can.

2. Fill the can with water (about an inch below the top).

3. Put it in the freezer for the day/overnight.

4. Once frozen, take a hammer and nail and punch away!

5. Once you have finished your pattern, run the can under warm water to melt the ice.
6. Insert a small candle.

* If the ice expanded the bottom of the can, just hammer it back down when you're done. I also read somewhere that you could draw a pattern on paper, wrap it around the can and punch it out, but I found that's difficult when the ice starts melting making your stencil soggy. I just hammer and nail freestyle...I figure it doesn't have to be perfect. I'm also gluing some ribbon on the top so it looks a little less like a can when it's not lit.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


***CLOSED 11/18/10**
Thanks for entering!

If you're anything like me, you love a good deal, and what's a better deal than a

Ladies and gentlemen, I have for you the chance to win $55.00 for an online purchase at CSN. I was given the chance to host a giveaway and thought it would be a fun thing to do! Who doesn't like getting a prize? is a group of online stores where you can find anything from a counter stool, to a set of cooking pans, to a new pair of boots. They have over 200 online stores to choose from (all of which I have probably browsed at some point during my recent moves). They are also a Boston-based company here in my home state.

If you would like to be considered for the drawing, just leave a comment (it can be on anything...say something home-related; comment on a past post, or that you don't even know why you're here--just that you take part in anything involving the word "giveaway"). One comment per person please. I'll draw the winning comment number using and announce a winner on Thursday, November 18th. Check back then to see who won (and if you do not have an e-mail address linked to your profile, please leave one so I can contact you). Good luck!

(*Please note: CSN only ships to the US and Canada and Canada is subject to international shipping charges. Sorry to those in other areas! Fulfillment of the prize is through me.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Savory Eats In San Diego

Tommie and I are planning our first trip back to San Diego since we left 18 months ago. To give you a sense of our travel priorities, we haven't booked our flights yet and we haven't made our hotel reservations, but we have compiled a list of must-hit restaurants.

Here's a short list of local eateries we intend to visit and which we would highly recommend to anyone living in San Diego or vacationing there. There are a lot of good restaurants in San Diego, and it should be noted that our personal criteria for these must-hit restaurants is based on two things: well-made, unique food for a very good price.

Sushi Deli: Located in Hillcrest, Downtown, and Clairemont, the secret about this place has been out for a's always busy. That's because they offer good sushi for extremely good prices. We used to wait in line before they even opened and get whole platters of sashimi and nigiri for about $.99 - $1.50 a piece.

El Indio: Located at the bottom of Mission Hills (close to Old Town), this place was featured on The Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and we know why. They have a way of packing the most deliciously seasoned pulled chicken into a tortilla shell and frying it just right so that it's not too hard or too soft. And it's not San Diego without good Mexican.

Vagabond: This eclectic little place is in our old neighborhood of South Park and offers a kind of world-food fusion menu. The best time to go is during lunch when you can get a reasonably priced panini with their most delicious pom frites and bread with garlic aoli butter...I don't know what's in this stuff is, but it's amazing.

Crest Cafe: A funky place in Hillcrest that offers a unique twist on home style recipes. This place convinced me to like mangos and brie cheese in a quesidilla (it's one of their appetizers). Tommie's family loves their "East Texas Fried Chicken" (a buttermilk, garlic, jalapeno and tobasco batter). Crest Cafe has inspired us all to recreate these recipes at home but there's still nothing quite like the real thing.

BJ's: This restaurant and brewhouse was a favorite when we lived in UTC. The most impressive item here is on the desert menu. My sister and I first went here with our neighbor who told us we had to get a pizookie. "What's a pizookie?" we asked. We were sold on the words "giant cookie pie" and "ice cream on top." The pizookie arrived in a deep dish pizza pan, warm, gooey and delicious (their deep dish pizza is also good, if you don't skip right to desert). Our friend turned for a few seconds and when he looked back down he yelled, "That thing is almost GONE!" My sister and I agree it has to be eaten in rapid speed before the ice cream melts.

Gelateria Frizzante: We've tried a lot of gelato since falling in love with this gelateria in La Jolla and Downtown, but still nothing compares. Tommie was clinically addicted to their mango sorbeto and I never tried a gelato flavor there that I didn't like (mint chocolate chip was my favorite). The nice thing is that they switch up flavors every so often so you have new ones to try. As an added bonus it's healthier than ice cream and a small cup with its dense consistency will fill you up surprisingly fast.

There are a few more places on our list, but I have to stop before I start drooling.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Night Dedicated to Candy

Some people LOVE halloween. For me, Halloween is like New Year's: some years it's a blast and other years it's just like any other day. As a kid, the measure of a good Halloween was based on how much candy I brought home and if I could find a good spot to hide it from my sister.

A good Halloween also always depends on if you have a good costume ready, and having a good costume doesn't just "happen" it's a matter of serious planning. My favorite Halloweens as an adult (someone too old to get free candy) were those I had the time and interest to prepare for. It's been a while since I've done this. I knew my first Halloween in California would be a busy one so I put extra effort into my Tinkerbell costume and I ended up wearing it for a week straight...not because I was crazy but because we had dress-up parties and dinners and downtown mayhem to take part in. By the time Halloween actually came around I smelled more like a swamp fairy. That was a recent favorite.
This year, I don't have a costume...just bags of candy I'm secretly hoping I'll get to keep for myself. It's a selfish outlook, I know, but I guess without a good costume ready all I have to base things on tonight is how much candy I have left at the end of it and if I can find a good spot to hide it from Tommie.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

End of Fall

It's been a drab fall. Summer was hot; summer was long, and that has made for pretty lame fall foliage around these parts. Strong early fall windstorms didn't help the matter by ripping weak leaves off the trees before they peaked.I've done what I could to recognize the season...put out pumpkins from our final CSA pick up (I can say good-bye to eating vegetables now), binge on apple cider donuts, and heat up mulled cider mix, but the season's gone by fast and pretty much unnoticed. November is almost here and I am not ready for what that means.
What's nice about fall is that it throws in a couple of last minute beauties...days like today which are in the 70's, sunny and crisp. There was a pretty layer of white fog in the harbor today just before the sun was about to push through and I wished that Tommie wasn't at work already so he could grab his camera and take some photos. I wished I didn't have to go to work so I could take a long walk and maybe get more cider donuts because you can never have too many of those. If I ruled the world, I wouldn't just tell people to stay home on snow days, I would tell them to stay home on days like today...probably the very last nice day for six months. No one should spend a day like this in the office.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dealing With Dealerships

We got our first new car last week and with that came countless hours at dealerships. I have a low tolerance for anything car-related and an even lower tolerance for smarmy salespeople, so dealerships are pretty much my idea of Hell. While visiting Hell last week, I got thinking that if I owned a dealership (i.e. if I had money and knew anything about cars) I would do things a lot differently.

First, I would let people browse the car lot at their leisure without the vultures swooping down the second they stepped from their current car. At the first dealership we visited, it took 5 seconds before a man pulled us into his cubicle to talk business. Thanks for asking me fifty questions about the kind of car I'm looking for before I actually had a chance to look at any of the cars, sir. There is no problem asking if someone needs assistance, but give them time to walk around the car, peek inside, and let them decide if they want to test drive.

I would also let customers test drive alone. I know this requires a level of trust, but copy their I.D., run a background check, hold the keys to their current car, whatever you have to do to give them some freedom. I loathe test driving cars because I feel like I'm back in driving school. This last guy asked me how the back window visibility was while he sat in the middle backseat blocking the entire back window with his giant head. When the salesman is in the car, I can't relax; I can't bond with the car; I can't focus on how it feels to drive it because I'm so focused on not crashing it.

Then when we got back to the office, I would make the process short and sweet. They make a deal, you make a deal, maybe you compromise and if you can't, move on. No need to hold anyone hostage. I love to bargain, but dealerships love to bargain more and they will bargain with you all day if that's what it takes.

Spending the day at dealerships always makes me hungry, actually it makes me ravenous. The very best part of my hypothetical dealership is that it would have a restaurant inside it. It doesn't so much matter what restaurant...after talking numbers for 15 minutes I'm about ready to eat a buffet at Denny's, but a nicer restaurant would be ideal. When Tommie and I got the lease for our Corolla, I was so hungry I could have chewed off the arm of the finance guy, who I still think was a robot the way he kept rattling on when I kept trying to get us out of there. Last week, we had to go back to the dealer after work for paperwork and pick up and I kept thinking about my restaurant idea because that old vending machine in the lobby just wasn't going to cut it.

Getting a new car is nice, but it the actual process of getting it isn't. Personally, if I could just get some Bertucci's rolls in front of me, I wouldn't put off car shopping for so many years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Very Decisive Weekend

Some strange force put me and Tommie in a very decisive mood this past weekend: We decided to put deposits down on the places we're going to hold our wedding, we decided on a date, and while we were at it, we decided to buy a new car.

These were big decisions that had to be made, and in our typical fashion we mulled them over for a long time...too long in most people's minds. For the wedding we chose the end of July for a garden wedding in Rye, New Hampshire. The gardens have the potential (weather permitting) to be very cute for photos and a ceremony, and a nearby Inn has a covered outdoor pavilion that provides a perfect spot for our after party. We'll also be close to Portsmouth, NH which has good food options.
With the early autumn chill upon us, we have also been thinking about getting an all-wheel drive car to make winter slightly more tolerable. This weekend we decided on a 2010 Subaru Forester with roof racks (should we ever get those kayaks we think about). It is supposed to be great in the snow, it will fit Craigslist furniture in it, and it’s a light sage color that I like, so my requirements have been met.
Though these are all good decisions, and again, ones that had to be made one way or another, I confess I did suffer a Libraic anti-decision-anxiety-meltdown on Monday when I realized what we had just done. It was a lot to decide on in a short amount of time and I am just not equipped for these kinds of weekends. In the end, underneath all the anxiety, I am really happy with our decisions and glad they are made. Next time maybe I just shouldn’t squeeze them all into one weekend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Creepy On CamZone

Sometimes I visit CamZone (San Diego's live camera feed) in the winter to remind myself that the sun didn't actually die just died out here...which coincidently reminds me that I'm an idiot for moving back to the land of blizzards and ice storms. And sometimes I visit CamZone just to be creepy. I like to check in on the little world I used to be a part of.
It's 8:30 here which means it's 5:30 there; the sun is setting and I can see surfers carrying boards into the waves to catch the last bit of daylight. Couples are walking along the shoreline, and shirtless joggers are breezing by (again, why am I here?). Maybe it's the sudden chill in the air, but I spent far too much time tonight staring into this little window watching the waves and the people and that funny little place I'm so far away from now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Poring Over Prettiness

A friend and fellow Libra shared this wedding blog site with me; it's a popular one among DIY and artsy brides-to-be and it's one of my favorites to look through when I feel like I need some creative inspiration.
My mom and I both took note, however, of how few of these whimsical and gorgeous photos were taken on a rainy day. Something about a downpour really puts a damper on a brides plans to spin around freely in the middle of a sun-filled field of flowers. As someone who envisions my own wedding somewhere outside, and who lives in New England, I am worried there is a high chance my own field-spinning moments will be in jeopardy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wedding Trials and Tribulations

I wish I could report progress on the wedding front, but all I can report is my realization that I really should have been thinking about this for my entire life like normal girls do. When I was about 12 years old I decided I would have my wedding at a big castle in Ireland and for some reason I never revised that preteen dream based on a tiny detail called "reality." So here I am, 14 years later, in no position to rent that castle in Ireland, and with no Plan B. It was poor planning on my part.
That lack of planning has thrown my little Libra scales all out of whack. I still envision something elegant and beautiful, yet also simple and casual. When thinking about the place itself my mind has been all over the map...literally. While I'd love to get married at Dawson's doorstep in North Carolina, there is a lack of funds, and again that pesky reality to get hitched in NC even though it's a place Tommie and I enjoy. Then there was Bar Harbor, a place full of promise that the gods (and Maya) conspired to wreck for us. Then there was a rental home in Plymouth; I do love the look of backyard weddings, but that usually implies it's your own backyard and I'm still waiting to buy that plot of land with the castle on it.

Despite my apparent cynicism, I am still hopeful. These little wedding wanderings can be tiring but they can also be helpful. I am learning what I don't want and what I want to do more searching for. Basically I am doing what I should have been doing when I was 15 years old and should have had enough sense to know that
maybe Ireland wasn't such a good idea. For now, the search continues and no concrete decisions are made (just the way a Libra likes it), but the planning continues and I want to believe that I will find that place that has a good balance of all that I am looking for.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bar Harbor Bust

Last weekend, on our hunt for wedding locations, Tommie and I planned a last minute trip with the dog to check out the scene in Bar Harbor, Maine. Bar Harbor has a lot of vacation rental properties, pretty outdoor settings, and lobster, so it definitely had the potential we were looking for. Unfortunately, it was just one of those trips where we came home feeling like we needed a vacation from the vacation.

Our few good moments consisted of, not surprisingly, food. Our first good meal was in Freeport, ME on our drive up. We had BBQ at
Buck's Naked BBQ
. The meat was cooked perfectly and they support local farms, so we support them. Then, before entering Bar Harbor we stopped at the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and had lobster cooked in sea water (which I think is the best way to cook them). The only downside was that they charged extra for butter. Our final good meal was at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park. I had heard about the popovers, which are as good as people say, as was the baked brie and seafood chowder. The restaurant has outdoor tables overlooking Jordan Pond which would have been beautiful and relaxing has it not been completely overcast and our dog not turned into a werewolf that day.

Probably due to the traveling and an incident in the morning when an over-anxious lab tried to climb through our car window as we drove up to check out a wedding/rental property, Maya was in a sour mood. A typically mute and friendly dog, Maya began howling like a maniac whenever one of us went out of sight. She growled and lunged at other dogs during lunch. And when we finally got her on a quiet carriage path, she tried to eat piles of horse poop along the way. It rained almost the whole time; we didn’t make it to the top of Cadillac Mountain because it was a complete white-out. On the way back to the hotel, our take-out Thai food order from
Siam Orchid was wrong (and not good). We also got lost trying to find our hotel on the way in, and got called bad pet owners on the way home.

(Maya recovers from her werewolf transformation)
In all fairness, under different circumstances, I’m sure it would have been a nice place to visit, but still not the right place for our wedding (a little too “regal” for us). If I had a do-over, I would plan in advance and book a place close to downtown Bar Harbor where we could walk around. I'd also get a place where we could leave Maya comfortably at the hotel (you can’t leave pets at the Best Western and it’s far away). I’d check the weather and really try to see Acadia on a clear, nice day, and I’d stick to eating lobsters the whole time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maya's Summer Moods

Maya has a love-hate relationship with summer.

She loves to roll in fresh grass, feel the sun on her hairless belly, and rub her face into the ground where, presumably, a smelly dead bird or mouse or pile of poop once rested.
But she hates that everyone insists on celebrating this glorious time of year by setting off fireworks almost every night on nearby beaches and forces her to spend the evenings a shivering gremlin in our closet.
She'll be happy when we're no longer under attack from loud and evil, fire-spewing showers of light, but then she'll realize it's cold out, the sun is gone, and that spot where the dead mouse once rested has frozen over. I really wish she'd learn to associate.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Perks

Most of us work because we need to pay the bills and, if we're lucky, we might also get some perks. Typical perks include things like paid holidays and health care, then there are off-beat perks...things like fresh cut flowers and vegetables.
While these things aren't free just because I work for a land preservation group, I consider it a perk that every Thursday on my way out of the office driveway I pick up bags of fresh produce from my CSA: a colorful abundance including basil, carrots, beets, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, and very flavorful garlic. And this Friday, the on-site education center opened their "pick your own flower" field, so I spent my lunch break picking sunflowers, sweet peas, and zinnias.

There is just nothing like fresh herbs and bright sunflowers to quite literally perk your mood.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Very Libra Wedding

I've been a back-burner blogger lately...thinking I need to do it, then never getting around to it. I've been distracted.

Just when I thought I'd never stop obsessing over furnishing and arranging our new apartment, Tommie gave me something entirely new to obsess over: a wedding. The little stinker caught me by surprise on our 11-year anniversary a few weeks ago.

Oddly enough I'm not driving myself crazy thinking about it all (yet). Tommie and my relationship is comfortable and low-drama and I want our wedding planning to be the same. I want it to come together more organically and creatively.

I say all this with fine print, of course. Given my nature as a planner and my capacity for worrying, I do realize that at any moment this calm demenaour could morph into hysteria but I'm hoping for the best. On the night of our proposal I turned to Tommie and said, "I'm really going to try not to be a bridezilla throughout this whole thing." And he replied, "Well, I'm not making any promises."

And so begins the Libra wedding plans.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Starting to Feel Like Home

Now that the stress of the actual move is over, I can focus on the fun part...making the new place feel like home.

After moving back to Mass., Tommie and I spent a year living below my grandparents in an apartment collectively furnished over the years by my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Sitting below my great-grandmother's large framed multicolored rooster, I couldn't help but miss
our furniture...not to mention our freedom.

It's been fun rediscovering the San Diego furniture we had stored, finding new things on Craigslist, and trying to make it come together to form a place that feels like home for us. Here's a peak at a couple rooms we have been working on:

A dining/reading nook in our living room. Lamp and shade are from a thrift store; the bookshelf and table/chairs are Craigslist finds (I recently gave the table an easy makeover by painting the top "espresso"). And the painting is by Tommie's grandfather.

Maya checking out part of our kitchen. I ordered the wooden island online with free shipping and a coupon. The chalkboard (Tommie's menu board) is from a seller on and is made of recycled barn wood.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Farm Fresh

Yesterday was the first day for pick up from the local CSA (community supported agriculture) that Tommie and I joined (we're splitting a share with my co-worker and the CSA happens to be on the same property as our office...can't get any easier than that).I can already tell it's possible I will eat more veggies this summer and fall than I have my entire life. It's a good thing. I always say, "I need to get more vegetables," then I go to the grocery store and come out with ice cream sandwiches. (It's not my fault the ice cream is in the same isle as the vegetables). But now I don't have a choice. I go down to the farm and pick up my farm fresh produce from the cute boys who grow and pick it...which almost makes it okay that there isn't a box of ice cream sandwiches tucked in the bottom of the bag.This week there was romaine lettuce, spinach, radishes, turnips, garlic scapes, baby summer squash, and swiss chard. We had a salad last night to try a little of everything. We put spinach in our sandwiches for lunch and cooked spinach with our fresh fish tonight. Popeye would be proud. I really can taste the difference. The spinach is crisp and I don't typically eat radishes but these guys have a subtle fresh flavor to them and aren't bitter. It's going to be a healthy summer.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Our New "Home"

I have been quiet on here lately.

Tommie and I finally moved into our new apartment. The move has been consuming my mind ever since we found out about the place a few months ago, and to be honest, it is still consuming my mind because our place currently looks like this:
But as I unpack, swiffer the hell out of things, and find a home for all my wayward Craigslist furniture, I can tell it is going to be a lovely little place to live. It took us just over a year, but we're finally back on our own. We have a small yard, an ocean breeze, and delicious take-out thai food three minutes away.

I will post photos of the clean apartment soon!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Results Are In

As you may recall, a couple weeks ago we met a man and woman who had a dog that looked eerily similar to Maya. The couple told us they had just sent away a DNA kit to find out what kind of dog theirs might be, and that they would e-mail us the results. Well, the results are in...

There were only three identifiable breeds associated with their dog, and the breeds are ranked according to how strongly they show up in the dogs DNA. Showing up with the highest percentage (12.5%...which is still considered a "weak match") was Boxer. The other two were LESS than 12.5% and they are Italian Grey Hound, and...ready for this...Poodle! People have called Maya a lot of things before, things I've never heard of and may even be considered insults to dogs across America, but NEVER a poodle.
(Maya with a couple of Italian Greyhounds)

The report went on to say that there was a high likelihood (greater than 90%) that the last four generations of this other dog's lineage were mixed from at least three breeds themselves, which is why there are not more significantly discernible breeds in its genetic make up. What I love is that none of the discernible breeds account for the most obvious physical traits (like out-turned front paws, short legs, extra long bodies, or light hazel eyes).

We still want to get Maya's make-up tested one day to see if they can uncover anymore of the mystery. But knowing the way this has gone, she would be something we'd never guess, like 50% husky. All we know now is that Maya sure is special; her smarts could come from her great-great-grandpoodle; and she probably comes from a long line of hoochies. No surprise there.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Twin Lobsters and Twin Dogs

When I asked Tommie what he wanted to do today, he said, "I was thinking lobster." I may say no to a lot of things but I never say no to lobster. We headed down to Roy Moore's in Rockport so we could take Maya and sit outside on the crates overlooking the harbor. Maya looks like a seal about to get fish dropped down her gullet.It's a good thing we had Miss Maya with us because we ran into her twin along the way. We don't come across a lot of dogs that look like Maya (especially around here), and this was the first dog the other couple had seen that looked remotely like theirs. She was the same size, age, had the same out-turned paws, perky soft ears, slightly long snout, even the same light green eyes, and a matching doggie dimple. Like Maya, they said theirs is smart, and therefore very stubborn.Maya's twin doesn't have the same long tail, but the owner's mentioned she had lost some of her tail when they found her in rough shape on the side of the road in Mexico (so sad!). Both she and Maya have had quite the journey from the U.S. southern border to northern Massachusetts. The owners told us they just sent away blood work to see what kind of dog they have so we exchanged e-mails and hope they will let us know what they find. Maybe there is some new kind of funny looking Mexican dog breed emerging.

Friday, April 23, 2010


April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. ~William Shakespeare

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Beginnings

I started my new job this week. I'm adjusting back to a 9-5 schedule and doing actual work (I guess some people don't consider searching Craigslist work).

It's going well. I have a lot to learn but everyone has been welcoming and helpful. I share an office on the third floor of an old estate with another Libra. At lunch I sometimes wander the garden which is bursting right now with cherry and magnolia trees. There are bullfrogs, birds and ladybugs. Spring is a hopeful season. We're reminded that things don't stay gloomy forever. Everything is starting fresh at Long Hill, including me. A new job and soon a new apartment; it's a much needed fresh start.

(I'll post some springtime pics of the garden soon.)