Thursday, September 10, 2009

Peanut's Wednesday Weekly - Park Time!!

ok, ok... so it's Thursday. What can I say? the holiday on Monday threw me off and they hang the calendars too high for me to see clearly in this house. Maybe I need glasses? I am getting up there in doggy years.

It's been a sadly boring summer here in NY. June was...wet. July was wet and dry but cooler then summer...August ..was normal with high temps and humidity. Speaking of which why are they called the dog days of summer? because we lie around more? heck cat;s do that all the time and I haven't seen any cat nicknamed weather...hrmphh.

One day last week I not only got my nails done, but I got to run around at the park later! Ahhhhhhhh it felt so good to stretch my legs without a human attached to a leash. There was a huge expanse of grass to explore, playground equipment to look at.. swings to contemplate..even a few dogs at a distance to look at and maybe bark at.

Sadly the summer weather seems to be over with. While it's warm-ish.. the temps went from 90's to the 70's. Sigh.. no more beach weather for me. I'm hoping to get quite a few more park trips in though. Gotta make sure I'm in good shape before the winter comes in. Round is a shape though right?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Couple of fun things from today...

First off was a very amusing picture that I had to try to get this morning. Joe brought home a donut for JP and coffee for me. While JP always tries to grab my coffee he had a cup of water. I was cleaning the kitchen and turned around to see a very amusing sight. I'll have to apologize for the lousy quality. I had to take the pic fast and couldn't take a second as my battery was dead and I didn't have a replacement. However the pic says it all and is worth quite a laugh, lol...

Pardon the mess in the background.. I didn't have time to straighten up, lol
After his morning donut and 'coffee' we got ready to head out for the day. Our planned destination was Bethel Woods for an Alpaca Festival. I've not been up there since they built the Arts Center and monument and I was so surprised at how lovely it was. Not that I expected it to be tossed together, but the whole place is stunning. Joe went to the Woodstock museum, JP wasn't as interested and he and I went outside before a meltdown occured. We wandered down the walkways, over the bridges and ended up in the ampitheatre (sp?). How beautiful. A huge, circular stone stage surrounded by stone benches with the plushest lawn behind them. Several trees were planted around and on various levels and JP and I found a perfect shady spot to enjoy our lunch. Joe joined us shortly after and we all ate lunch. Jp dashed off twice for some distance while playing with some kids that were running around. After lunch we decided to walk around and walked down to the area of the Harvest/Alpaca Festival. We took the longest, sttepest route to get there. In the end we never found the alpaca's. JP was up close with some pony's, but not an alpaca in sight. We then went and looked at the memorial (Joe was in heaven) and then walked up to the main buildings.. on the much less steep, much shorter path, lol. here are some pics, not many due to the battery issue. We plan to go back though as we are only about 45 min away from Bethel Woods.

do you see the very long, steep path on the far left of the picture? Now look up to the upper right hand corner and see the curving path. Yeah.. that was the path we were SUPPOSED to take both ways, lol. Ehh at least Joe can say he walked on the actual concert site, lol.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My new gadget to play with...

I've been wanting to upgrade my cell phone for some time now. Basically for me to be able to acess my emails when away from a computer, or get my calendar and lists to try and stay organized. However I put it off as it will be costly. Not only for the new phone (one with a QWERTY keypad), but I'd also need to upgrade my plan to accommodate more time on the internet. The phone upgrade would cost between $75 - over $200 depending on the phone. The additional monthly cell phone charges would be $30-$40 each month, not including taxes.

Yikes! All I want is to remotely check my emails. Then lo and behold I found a solution!

On Friday I was looking on the internet when an ad for something called Peek caught my attention. I spent the -next hour looking up all I could on this...prices, options, applications for what I needed. It looked perfect! There are two options, the Classic and the Pronto. I could have ordered the Pronto, but wanted to pick one up asap, lol. This has been something I've wanted for over a year, but didn't know it existed. I got it at Target. The charcoal color was 14.95, the red and blue were 19.95 for the classic version. I bougt the Classic as I figured I'd save a few bucks in case I decided I wanted the Pronto.

Less then 2 days later and I knew I wanted the upgrade, which I can do online...and did. With the upgrade I get more then email. I also get unlimited text messaging, no delay in emails and the ability to open and read attachments. Cost per month is $15 - $20 a month depending on how many months you pay for. Oh and on classic I can check 2 email accounts, on pronto it's 5.

As far as easy to use? Very. I've typed this entire entry on my Peek and sent it here with no problems...except a crazy toddler dancing to the music at the end Horton Hears a Who.

p.s. - their customer service ROCKS!

Sent on the go from my Peek!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Straw Bale Garden experiment

I mentioned that I wanted a raised bed garden a few weeks back. My challenge was setting them up due to cost and renting. Our landlords are good, but I still don't want to make such a major change in the yard. I contemplated a garden all set in containers, but still wasn't really what I wanted. After much thought I decided to just use my small flower bed out front. While researching something for that I came across something called straw bale gardening.

It's literally using a bale of straw to grow plants. Ideal for renting as the bales only last 1-2 years, but then break down naturally into compost, and they are a raised bed thats higher then my initial thoughts!

On Saturday I bought 2 straw bales and started the prep work. Which basically consists of wetting them thoroughly and waiting for the initial heating up to occur and calm down. Takes 10 days and then I can plant the cucumbers and watermelons and hope that I get the results I want. My only concern is that the location may not be the best for the access to sun. Not helped with the cloudy day we had on Saturday so I had to make my best guess. We have a good sized field/lawn in back of the house that gets full sun all day, but again.. I don't want to just plop straw bales down without their ok. I'm seriuously contemplating getting a third bale for an herb garden. If this works I can see an addiction starting and more. What reading I did also said that you can even grow onions or potatoes in them.

I'll take pics as this grows (yep.. fully pun intended, lol).. later today or tomorrow I'll post a fascinating picture of 2 wet straw bales, lol

Saturday, May 9, 2009

JP and Elmo

Hello, My name is Joe-Paul and this is my window.

This is my friend Elmo, he LOVES to play on the slide with me.

Look Elmo..... Freedom!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Peanut's Wednesday Weekly - The refreshing season of spring

I love the change of seasons. I love my built in wardrobe change. In the spring and summer I have a light coat and bare tummy to keep me comfortable, in the fall and winter I grow a figure friendly thick coat to keep me toasty. All I ask from Mother Nature is that she try and be a little predictable and consistent. It's a beautiful spring day today and a very pleasant 50ish degrees as of right now. Just as it should be right?

Then who said we were to have high 80's/low90's temps for the last 4 days?! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy summer. I love playing outside and running around the yard. I love lying in dappled shade sipping a cool drink from my water bowl.

But its not summer just yet and I was NOT prepared for the evil high temps! Mom and Dad didn't put the ac's in yet and won't until June so there was no break from the heat. Suuuuure they got to go to work in air conditioned offices (which they claim were not working) but I had to sit in this sorry excuse for an oven of a house.

Thankfully the temps finally dropped last night to a normal range. What a difference today is, nearly a 30 degree difference in temp.. and I couldn't be happier. Let summer come when I'm ready.. when I have ac and a kiddie pool I can share with JP, lol.

The Pink Bunny Masacre, lol

When JP was just a few months old my mom and I went yard sale shopping one day. She found this set of bunny bowling...PINK bunny bowling. It's a really cute set.. but it's PINK. I always said I would donate it and get JP a blue set or otherwise appropriate boy themed bowling set.

FFW to yesterday.. probably just under 2 years after the set was bought. We had been going thru a spring heat wave and temps were in the high 80's/low90's for 4 days. Before heading outside last night JP had been watching a kids DVD that had a brief shot of a kid using a kids bowling set and he loved it. By chance Joe had used my car for work and his was home.. and the bunnies were in the trunk.. poor bunnies, lol. I brought them out and set them up and gave him the soft bowling ball that came with the set. He LOVED it and would selt them up and knock them over time and time again, lol. After that he started bunny discus tossing and then mommy had to pick them all up.

Guess JP has a pink bunny bowling set after all, lol.

Monday, April 27, 2009

large coffee to go please....

Joe is on a new shift for Monday. He has to work 7-3. I work 6:30 - 4. I've had to repeatedly change my schedule for his work schedule and he didn't want  me to do that once again. He came up with the idea for his parents to take JP to daycare on Mondays. After a couple of weeks of fine tuning and one glitch, we have it down to a system. Joe takes JP to his parents house instead of them  picking  him up from my office. JP gets to spend a few hours in the morning with his grandparents and Joe and I are able to get to work at the time we need. I'm really happy with this arrangement.

JP however isn't a morning person. Those that know me, will know that he gets it from me, lol. Usually Joe wakes him up and changes him and gets him dressed, with much protesting from JP. This morning was slightly different and while we feel bad for JP, it's too funny not to share, lol.

Joe woke JP up as usual and JP fussed, although not as much as usual. After getting dressed JP got off the bed and walked into the kitchen. Bear in mind that this is all of  5:30am. His eyes were half open, his gait was uneven and sleepy and he was NOT a happy kid. He looked at me and almost grunted and then proceeded to walk to the door. He stood at the door and just looked at Joe as if to tell him to move his butt and get the morning over with, lol. Joe wasn't ready just yet so I picked up JP for my morning hug and kiss.. and was given a dirty look. I put JP down and he walked back over to the door and off they went. I was waiting for him to ask for coffee.. heavy on the milk.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A little too close to home

This is picture of a forest fire that was raging just on the other side of a mountain ridge near my home. I live a short distance from the other side of the mountain. At it's closest this fire was about 6 miles away from my house with occasional 20 foot high walls of fire.

I was out of the house most of Saturday and the last I'd heard/read was that this was just a brushfire. Imagine my surprise on Sunday morning when friend in Arkansas emailed me thru Facebook to ask me how we were doing with the fire. (Thanks agian Naomi!) I'd had no idea that it had turned into a major forest fire that ended up burning about 400 acres! Thankfully the fire departments worked hard and had the fire contained with fire breaks by last night.. the rain is expected to pour down today and that will extinguish any additional fires or embers. While not scared yesterday, I will say that I was concerned and kept an eye on the situation as I could. I've never been so close to a forest fire and it was an interesting day. Funny thing is that it must have been in just the right spot as I never even smelled smoke.. yet an acquaintance that lives just 2 miles away from me could smell smoke.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

to plant a garden or not to plant

I enjoy the idea of a garden and the benefits of homegrown fruits and veggies. This year I have plans to turn my small front flower bed into an herb garden, which I will still probably do. I also plan to find a spot to plant seeds for giant pumpkins for JP. I'm hoping to get 2 HUGE pumpkins of over 100lbs each. One for in front of the house, and one for our office. The soil around our home isn't the greatest for gardening, even though there is a lot. We also rent and while our landlords are very lenient, I'm not sure how they would feel about the property being dug up. I'd LOVE to set up a square foot garden system, but not sure if Joe would be agreeable to it. I also wanted to build a small childrens garden for JP.

On my way into work yesterday I noticed that I thought was a sign for a community garden in a park being developed. I go by this park every day which is a huge plus. For $25.00 I'd get a 20footx20foot plot to plant. Only organic pesticides which is another plus. Now to decide if I'd be motivated enough to set it up and keep it up. Hmmm maybe I can convince Joe that a square foot garden system is worthwhile, lol.

Monday, March 30, 2009

To twitter or not to twitter...

I'm all for technology and new fun gadgets or ideas. But Twitter has me second guessing. I can see the fun of it. Quick, easy updates just to keep people up to date on what we're doing. But I joined another social networking site to do that... at least I think thats why I joined. For some reason I seem to spend way too much time fishing for odd looking fish in weird locations.. but I do try to keep things updated.

At one point I signed on for an account for Twitter, but never went further. Of late I've had 2 friends sign up and add me so they could 'follow' me via Twitter. But I don't Twitter anything. Who needs to know my next goal in life is a cup of coffee... or that I'm about to doze off over my keyboard due to a recent insomnia bout. Sure I can Twitter when away from a computer, but seeing as thats:

A) generally in a store picking things up


B) while at a park playing with my son

I just don't see much use of it in my life. In a store my goal is to get in and out and get on with life.... when playing with my son I should be focused on that. Can you hear him in kindergarten?

" JP what does your mommy do"

" she Twitters"

Now I'm not against people that do Twitter or that follow Twitterers. I'm not even against Twitter at all. Sure I can Twitter about my latest cake project, but that always seems more visual to me and most want to see a pic of whatever I'm talking about anyway. I just don't see what in my simple, quiet life is worth twittering about. A few years ago maybe.. now?

well... we'll see.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm back

Now that was a long break... no pun intended towards Joe's hip, lol.

I had a long initial post about the injury started, but figured you didn't need to read thru the whole saga. Basically Joe had a very bad break of the femoral head that required a steel rod and 2 very long screws. He was in a combination of 2 hospitals for a total of 16 days and came home on the 7th of February. He's healing great and is expected to make a complete recovery and be back to pre-injury status within another 4-6 weeks. He's using a cane and is able to drive now which is very helpful.

Joe and I are working hard on getting JP back to a normal schedule and normal life. Poor kid was constantly off schedule for about 3 weeks and wow did that show!

I have birthday pictures and a cute video coming soon. I signed up with a remote backup site called yesterday and am waiting for the initial backup to finish before I add more pics. Only challenge is that I have about 2 days left for the inital backup, lol.

Just wanted to update a little bit and Peanut and I are glad to be back!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

taking short break

Peanut and I will be back soon. For those that don't know, Joe broke his hip on Jan 22. He has a steel rod in his leg and is currently in an inpatient rehab at Helen Hayes Hospital. Needless to say much of my spare time is spent traveling to the hosp and visiting. We are hoping that he is able to come home at the end of next week. I have the story of the first few days to post soon, just need time to touch it up and finish it, lol.

See you soon!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Did you get my ham?

Life in the northeast is fun from time to time in the winter. The last few days we've been in the depths of a bone chilling cold snap. Yesterday morning I believe it just went to -3F. However that was cold enough to 'freeze' our fuel oil in the exposed line. If you're not familiar with this lovely event, it's not exactly as it sounds. The fuel oil doesn't freeze solid. Its more of a gelling effect which makes it hard to draw into the furnace to provide heat. It took a couple of phone calls to Joe until he stoped panicking and listened to what I was saying. All he had to do was take the cover off the furnace and hit a red button to reset the furnace. Luckily that's all it took. At lunch I went and purchased items to insulate our line further, but didn't do it last night because it was dark when I got home.

This morning the temp was a balmy -8F. I heard our furnace go on gasping for the few bits of thickened fuel oil that it could suck in. Our furnace is off our kitchen so I heard this well. After that event I turned the thermostat up to heat a bit more as I was still chilly. Guess what. It had shut down, the line had frozen again. Lovely. Nothing was going to work as the sun wasn't up yet and I had to go to work. My mom stopped by and then went to Home Depot to pick up 2 heating wire kits... one for me and one for her as she had the same exact thing happen to her yesterday. She came back to the office and dropped them off and attempted to leave.

And then came back in. Something was wrong and her steering column locked up more solid then the ice that won't leave us. 5 people (her and I included) did our best to get the wheel to turn and thus her key to start the car. No go. So AAA was called and a tow truck came. At this point Joe was well aware of what was going on.. this is a key point in today's story. Her car was towed to the garage of choice and I picked her up from there and took her home. All the while the 2 of us are fully aware that my house is getting colder and colder and the chinchillas and Peanut were getting colder as well. I finally got home near 1:00pm and the house was all of 46F. I said a quick prayer and pressed the aforementioned red button to reset the furnace. Thankfully it started and soon heat was coming into the rooms. At the same time I had started a strong fire in the woodstove which was helping as well.

Joe called to see what was going on. I told him I had just got home and was taking off my coat. His first concern?:

"Did you go grocery shopping and to pick up more ham for me?"

I then asked if he was insane. Grocery shopping vs. Heat in the house. Which do you think was more of a priority. He had the good graces to laugh and apologize and wisely admit that he should pick it up on the way home, lol.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Christmas 2009

ok, ok.. I know I'm early. But I want to change things a bit this year.

throughout the year I want to pick up gift cards to use for shopping later. I figure I can even pick up specific amount cards to match the budgeted amounts we set. Then next year we go shopping and our fund are all set.

I'm also determined to knit several projects this year. First up is this:

my boss made one for me and my mom wanted one too. It was supposed to be for this past Christmas, but I never got it started. I"m hoping to get about 3-4inches done a night and have it done within a month. I was up to 3 inches tonight.. but in getting the link for this post I realized that I am using the wrong needle. Instead of a size 10 needle.. I'm using a size 6. Sigh.. time to undo what I've gotten done. Oh well better now then when almost done, lol. At least the work should go a bit quicker with a larger needle size as well.

I also want to make matching ...simple.. sweaters for Joe and JP. I have a beautiful yarn picked out. Lion Brand Suede in a rich, medium blue color. I need quite a bit so I'll be picking it up on sale and with coupons.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I can do this...

Anyone read Stephen Kings book 'Duma Key'?

This post has nothing to do with the book of which I'm 80% done. However the main character often mutters this phrase as part of a healing process.

Today it dawned on me that this needs to be a key phrase in my life with weight loss...

I Can Do This

Years ago I lost about 40lbs by just repeating the word 'No' in my mind. Some days and some temptations that was all I thought. Obviously it didn't work in the end. I've had success taking each day and thinking if I could 'X" amount of time, then I could continue until I reached goal. While I have some success... obviously I'm still trying to reach that goal. My new phrase though has potential. Its a positive, confident statement that's easy to say and remember.

I Can Do This

How many times have you made a grand plan to start a diet on a certain day and planned it out? How successful were you? did you make it to lunch? I generally don't. I've learned that I need to find my start day quietly. I awake each day hoping that that is the day that I start over again and learn to love myself enough to lose the extra weight and get healthy.

I Can Do This

I had such a day on Tuesday of this week. I just woke up and said that I'd have a healthy shake for breakfast... I continued thru the morning as per my Take Shape For Life program. I was doing fine with temptations around me at work. Heck on the way home I picked up some brussel sprouts and shallots at the farmers market on the corner. For dinner I had a delicious dinner of roasted brussel sprouts, shallots and shredded ham. Yes I actually CRAVED a dinner of brussel sprouts. While not a normal dinner.. I do like brussel sprouts, lol.

Today concerned me as its a day off and Joe goes to work at 2:00. So far today I've done just fine. I ran out for some shopping and picked up more veggies. My dinner tonight is going to be eggplant steaks with a garnish of roasted red peppers, chickpeas, olives and feta cheese. One thing I love about the Take Shape For Life program is that it's not an all or nothing plan and feta and black olives are fine. Oh and I'm also going to make a salmon filet I picked up. Yumm Yummm Yumm.

I CAN Do This!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Peanut's Wednesday Weekly...The Green Bean and Cottage Cheese Diet......

So I have to drop a few pounds. Summer is coming and I'm not going thru it again with the harness bulge I had last year. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have to wear a harness and have harness bulges??

Mom went on that site she likes so much. There are quiet a few threads about corgis and weight loss. Several times there was mention of green beans and cottage cheese to help lose weight. Mom has started replacing my dinner with this option. Its pretty good so I eat it all. Although I have to admit I am noticing a trend.... tonight there were suspiciously more green beans then cottage cheese... still good so I ate it all. While it can't compare with my yummy raw meat and bone diet, I do get more in this meal so who am I to complain. When in the mood for a snack I just attack Dad's black shoes. Has to be the black ones.. nothing else will do. Mom and Dad don't like it when I do that so tonight they tried putting some tabasco sauce on them. Silly parents... that just made them more yummy.

Exercise is tough. It's an icy/snowy winter so far and neither mom or I feel the urge to walk on the road. For this I am grateful. That cold pavement hurts my feet. We do play more in the house, but it's a small house and I can only get up so much speed. I'm hoping the green beans work quick so I can go back to my usual 2 raw meals a day.

Till next week!!