You are currently browsing the life category
Displaying 11 - 20 of 105 entries.

Thanksgiving Recap

  • Posted on November 30, 2015 at 2:56 pm

What a whirlwind Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be, and that’s without any major plans!

For Thanksgiving dinner itself we went out to the Dorset Inn and had a lovely, if unspectacular, meal. The appetizers of duck pate and gravlox were excellent. The turkey etc were good. And I should know by now to never order pumpkin pie- it’s just never as good as my own. (And I should know better at the Dorset Inn where I find more often than not that the bottom crusts are under-cooked for my taste.)

On Friday I made second Thanksgiving and roasted a fabulous turkey breast which we served with a smorgasbord of sides I had picked up from the various stores in town doing Thanksgiving to go. Three different kinds of stuffing, two gravies, two mashed potatoes, mashed sweets, roasted veggies and a cranberry pear chutney. This was so good we had it again for dinner on Saturday night. We tried to go the Weston holiday craft fair, but we got there too late in the morning and it was absolutely packed. We’ll try again next year, but getting there before they open.

The highlight to all this was the kick-off event of the holiday season- the 5th Annual Dorset Lighted Tractor Parade. Yes, you read that right. Nope, I’m not kidding, not even a little bit. We went last year, in the bitter cold and snow, and watched from a great spot in the car on the town green. This year the weather was much, much more hospitable. We were parked on the other side of the green, which meant that we’d only get to see the tractors come around once, so I’m very glad that I decided to shoot them all the first time they came around!



Being Thankful

  • Posted on November 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away at this point. It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over! Despite everything this year (losing my job and my health issues, for the most part), I’m thankful for many things.

I’m thankful for my Husband, who loves and cares for me no matter what.

I’m thankful for my extended family, which expanded even further when my brother got married earlier this month. (And I’m thankful that I was able to marry them!)

I’m thankful for my friends, especially the friends-as-family, and the new ones we’ve been making up here in Vermont.

I’m thankful for the mountains, for the changing of the seasons, for watching the sun rise and set and change its place in the sky. I’m thankful for the peace and quiet of our mountain retreat.

I’m thankful for my health, such as it is, since it could always be worse. And it has been, so I’m grateful it’s not now.

I still need to find a job, but I’m thankful that between severance and unemployment, it’s not really been an issue till now. And I’m thankful that I’m starting to feel better, so I can actually feel ok about getting a job!

I’m thankful that I’ve already got a lot of the skills and knowledge I need to find a job. The motivation has been the harder part. Feeling better helps. Liking my office more helps. (Yay purple paint!)

I’m thankful for all the love in my life, that embraces me every day, that lifts me up and holds me tight. And I’m oh so very thankful for the love of my life, the one with whom I feel complete, the Husband who holds my heart and my hand.

Epidural etc updates…

  • Posted on October 28, 2015 at 9:06 am

On Day 5 after the epidural I was doing ok; not great, but ok, and still optimistic. On Day 6 I had physical therapy (pt) for the first time since having it done and it went downhill from there. Really. Yes, I know pt is THE thing that’s supposed to help, but it seems that it may actually have been hurting me. Figures. Even before I had the epidural, we’re pretty sure that we traced my setback to pt, although we couldn’t figure out what could possibly have caused it as all we had done that day was body mechanics- ensuring proper movement doing every day tasks. After the epidural, we actually did them again, and did squats. About 30 minutes later, the pain in one thigh was quite noticeable, and by that evening, it was as bad as it had been before the epidural, if not worse. We decided to suspend pt until my follow up with the spine specialist, and decided that if I am to continue, I see another therapist in town who may be better able to help me. She’s got more training in certain things and I’m just that special.

Had an MRI done of the neck and cervical spine which shows something which I’m pretty sure it did not show when I had the last one nine years ago. I should get out to pick up the report tomorrow (and my new glasses), and hopefully I will get an appointment scheduled with one of the doctor’s at the orthopaedics office. I’ve been seeing a PA but the epidural not lasting and the neck stuff makes everyone think we should step things up and see the MD. I can’t disagree.

Fall continues here in the Green Mountains. It’s started to get below freezing some nights. The basil on the deck is done. I’m going to try and cut the mint back and see if it will come back in the spring. Some mornings I wake up and see the frost on the grass and it’s beautiful, but it reminds me of what’s coming and I’m not quite ready for that yet. I’m so grateful we have an attached garage for the cars; I couldn’t imagine having to start deicing now and continue to do so through March or April. We change the clocks this coming weekend and I am NOT looking forward to that! I wish we could just do away with daylight savings time and all this back and forth nonsense.

Tomorrow I pick up my winter stock up from the butcher up the road. Some briskets, which I’ve discovered are easy and tasty to make (thanks, Mom!), boneless turkey breasts (that may be from monster birds if I heard him right!), and some burgers which we can do as long as we can get to the grill since they’re quick and easy. A couple of pork tenderloins. I’ve been getting chicken breasts from the supermarket of all places so I’ll pick up another family pack when they next go on sale. I think I forgot to get just plain ground beef. But I can get that whenever.

I’m trying to cook more. I made crab cakes last night and tomorrow we’re having mustard balsamic chicken over roasted veggies. On Thursday I’ll be making short ribs, possibly in the crock pot, but they’re for dinner on Friday night. I’m not sure what I’ll make for dinner Thursday if we don’t go out. Dinner on Saturday will depend on if we have guests. If we do, maybe early Thanksgiving. If we don’t, I don’t know yet.

How is it almost NOVEMBER?!?!!?!?!

Epidural, Day 5

  • Posted on October 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm

It’s now five days since I’ve gotten the epidural. I wish I could say that this has been a miracle for me and I’m pain free; alas, I cannot. However, it has been an improvement so I can’t say that the procedure was in vain. Which is good. I think I would have lost my mind (what’s left of it anyways) if I had gone through all that and not felt any better at all! So yes, it’s better. Not perfect, but better, and I will happily take that. Plus there’s still another week to go where I may/will see additional improvement as the medication continues to do its thing. I have hope back now, that this will continue to improve and I will get better. It was a little rough for the last couple of weeks (sorry, Husband!) when the pain kicked up and my ability to deal with it dropped. When the pain gets like that, particularly after several days, let alone weeks of it, my head begins to get foggy. I have memory holes. Not like long term memory holes (those are a different issue!) but short term, like forgetting to do something or buy something that we had talked about minutes earlier. At the farmers market I left TWO stands having paid and then forgotten to take my food. One I remembered and went right back for, the other totally escaped me until I got home and unpacked. It’s disconcerting- because you don’t know what else you may have forgotten!

It’s breathtakingly beautiful up here in the Green Mountains of Vermont! We’re finally truly able to appreciate the beauty of the change of the season. Last year was nowhere near as colorful as this, plus we were just settling in AND dealing with the insanity at the other house AND I was still commuting weekly. I don’t really remember last October. This year is oh so very different. We feel settled now. in the house and in the area. Jobs, not so much, but we’ll get to that. Now that I’m starting to feel better I may actually be able to look in more earnest than I have been. I may have said this before; it’s hard to look for a job or think about a job when you can’t think about working an 8-hour day doing ANYTHING without fear and wanting to cry. Now that I’m starting to feel better, I may be able to do this. First things to do- 1) figure out what help I still need from other people; 2) figure out what it really is that I want to do! Yeah, that little thing.

So now it’s 5 pm and this is the first time today that the pain had picked up to more than just a dull ache. I’m good with that. Considering by this time a week ago I was already running out of spoons and brain-power, that’s a good thing. To be fair, I’ve done a whole lot today- changed the bed linens, run three loads of laundry, pulled everything out of the truck so we could pick up my new chair, and sorted through and labelled 9 of the giant Tupperware tubs we have still in the basement from the move. My winter project is to go through them all and have a solid idea of what is where, and clear out and donate what we can.  Now I just have to make dinner and then I can collapse. Then we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Epidural, Day 2

  • Posted on October 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Today is the second day since I had the epidural done. Yesterday was a GOOD day, better than I have been in months, pain-wise. Today is a little bit less so, but to be fair I’ve also done a whole lot more today than yesterday (like a full grocery shopping and a mess of other errands). Plus it’s damp and raining out, which always makes me ache more. I’ll still say it’s a little better than it has been so I’m grateful for that. I was supposed to get a follow up call from the doctors office today which doesn’t seem to have happened. Not a big deal since I’m feeling fine. I hate that I have to wait up to two weeks to know how this is going to work for me and even then there’s no way to tell how long it will last!  But I managed to get all the errands done without skipping anything but the post office which was in the other direction and not urgent. And I’m making dinner! I’ve already prepped the vegetables to roast, and am going to do baked chicken breasts with a maple mustard sauce.


Update, new beginnings, etc, etc…

  • Posted on October 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm

We’ve passed our one year anniversary here in the house! In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year and in some ways it’s hard to believe it’s ONLY been a year. Every day we are still grateful and amazed at the beauty in which we are lucky enough to live. Yesterday we had a flock of 30 wild turkeys come wandering through the yard. It was pretty awesome to watch! The sunsets here are magical, swaths of colors that you can hardly believe are real. It’s part of why I can’t/don’t paint. I can’t even come close to capturing the depths and beauty of the colors I see! That’s why I like the camera; sometimes you get lucky enough to capture a good shot that comes close to the reality. Sometimes.

Part of the reason I haven’t posted anything in ages is because I have been dealing with sciatica since February which makes it hard to sit or think straight. Apparently I have been in worse shape for the last month than I thought, but I suppose it explains why I feel like I’ve not accomplished a thing. It certainly explains why I haven’t been able to look for a job, really, let alone find one. But yesterday I had an epidural injection, so steroids and anti inflammatory directly into the spine. Fortunately I was able to put my headphones on and with the help of Xanax and a good playlist, I was able to space myself out long enough for them to do this and not get freaked. And I walked out under my own power to where the Husband of Wonderfulness was waiting for me. How we just wait and see how well and how long this works. I have no expectations; so any relief will be appreciated. After more than seven months of this daily pain, I’m grateful for any help.

Remarkably, even with the sciatica, we’ve made it out to a whole bunch of events this summer. Most recently the Weston Antique Show and Manchester Arts and Crafts Fair. We’ve also been to the Scottish Festival/Highland Games, a Native American Pow Wow and the Southern VT Arts and Crafts Show. We’ve done tourist things like the Ben and Jerry’s Factory tour as well as the Bennington Battle Monument. We’ve become familiar with a lot of local booze and hard cider. The farmer’s market has become a weekly staple in our lives (I haven’t bought eggs from the supermarket since we’ve been up here!). Yes, we’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere so quickly running out for something is not so quick. The nearest general store is 12 minutes each way and they close at 8 pm. 8 pm!!  There is a 24-hour supermarket 20 minutes away, but you have to cross state lines to get there. So we have to plan more than we used to with what there is in the house. I grew herbs on the deck this summer- a first for me! We had an amazing mojito mint plant that completely took over its pot and at one point threatened to take over the deck. We had two different kinds of basil- a green one that grew incredibly well and bushy and a purple one that was just lovely and then started to flower! I also had a citronella geranium. I don’t know how much it helped with the bugs when we were out there but it was nicer than the candles were.

So where am I? I’m still looking for a job, which hopefully I will be able to get back to in earnest next week. It’s hard to think about a job when you can’t think about sitting, or doing anything else for that matter, for eight hours. And I couldn’t even fathom looking for something ELSE to do, when I can’t walk or stand up for more than 30 minutes at a clip. Now, maybe now, I will be able to get my head back in the game and get this done. I need a job before I start to lose what’s left of my sanity.

Health-wise? Other than the sciatica, we are pretty much at a plateau, and I’ll take that. My physical therapist is going for her yoga teacher certification, so we are starting to add yoga poses to my PT exercises, which is great. I still haven’t made it to a class yet, but hope to get clearance in 3 weeks when I follow up with the spine specialist if not sooner.

And that, as they say, is that. I’m waiting for the Husband to come back from a drink with our neighbor and then we’ll likely go out for dinner. It’s Columbus Day weekend, the busiest weekend of the year, so I doubt we’re going to get out to dinner at all this weekend with all the tourists around. We’ll go leaf peeping and just plan to eat at home. We live in everyone else’s vacation spot! Hopefully I’ll start posting more from here on in. At least that’s the plan in my head.

January 11

  • Posted on January 11, 2015 at 4:08 pm

IMG_0458So it’s not the greatest photo, it was taken through the screen on the door, but that was sunrise on the mountain this morning.

We had our first real visitors here this weekend! The Husband’s parents came up for Dad’s birthday. We had a lovely time, I think they did too. We did a couple of lovely dinners in town, and got a chance to show them some of the beauty of the area, and why we’re so enamored with living up here. They got lucky and we had a really nice clear night, so we all got a chance to look out at the stars which were amazing!

Next weekend we have our first friends visiting. My oldest friend, we’ve known each other since before we were born six weeks apart, truly, as our mothers have been friends since they were little girls and they were pregnant together.

It’s been mind-numbingly cold up here and across most of the east coast so I can’t really complain too much that it’s a whole 25 degrees out now, with a high of around 30 all week.

Some things I’m grateful for:

a wood stove and a Husband who doesn’t mind tending it

warm socks

a heated mattress pad so I can get into a toasty bed

a view out my windows that continues to enchant me and make me grateful we did this

the abundance and beauty of Nature, just outside my door.

January 3

  • Posted on January 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Some days I’m grateful for the little things- like having my sleep meds prescription refilled so I can actually get some uninterrupted sleep at night! It’s such a lovely change of pace from getting up two, three, or four times a night after I finally manage to fall asleep.

Today was just another mundane day of errands- drop off recycling at the dump, pick up a package from the post office, then down into the city to go grocery shopping. On the way back we stopped at the HUGE general store in the area and got some things for the house and the Husband. I’ve determined that I don’t like their sandwiches as much as the ones from the Dorset Union Store. Then we stopped at the butcher to pick up the 10 pounds of chicken breasts we forgot yesterday. I put up a batch of ratatouille in the crock pot, this time with mushrooms and eggplant. Last time, my first time making it, was good. I’m hoping for better this time around.

Dinner tonight is just going to be tacos and maybe some roasted veggies. Keeping it simple after today’s energy expenditure. Because my sciatica hurts like a bear right now, has for the last couple of days.

It’s started to snow up here already. We weren’t expecting it for another couple of hours. We should get 3-4″ tonight, before it turns to rain, gets warm and washes away.

The picture is out of the front door just a few minutes ago after the snow had started.


Welcome 2015!

  • Posted on January 1, 2015 at 4:40 pm

So the rest of 2014 whirred by in a head-spinning frenzy. We closed on the house and moved to Vermont. We rented the house in NJ and have, until just a few days ago, been dealing with remediating a house full of black mold. Nope, didn’t know it was there when we were; we only found out the day AFTER we moved, when the new renters were coming in to get the house ready to be painted. So that’s been three months of an unexpected and very expensive hell.

Vermont is all sorts of loveliness. The view from my front windows is enough to take my breath away on a nearly daily basis. Watching the changing faces of the mountains, every day is different. And stunning. And reminds me of why we did this.

It’s most definitely been an adjustment. There is nothing- NOTHING- within walking distance or even “close by.” There is nothing open 24 hours. The post office won’t deliver packages to the house and half the time neither will the other carriers, if they can’t get up the driveway, so we get deliveries to a shop down the road and go pick them up. No running out to the store for something you forgot. I forgot to buy heavy cream the last time I was out (sorry, Husband!). The supermarket was out of it and I forgot when I went into the local store. Nope, can’t just run back out and grab it; it’s 15 minutes away. But there’s peace and quiet like I have rarely experienced. And the beauty and wonder continues to enchant me. Despite everything I know unquestionably that this has been the right thing to do.

The big question is…..what does 2015 have in store for us?

For me, probably a new job- either with the same or a new employer. Better health- being out of the moldfest we didn’t even know about has to be helping, as does cooking more of our own meals (and better quality take-out when we do get from places!). Less financial stress would be nice. Selling the NJ house for a decent and fair price. Settling in and creating our life up here (which we’ve started on quite nicely!). Better contact with friends. And hopefully better and greater things that I can’t even imagine right now!


It’ll be an interesting year, that’s for sure!

3 weeks till closing!

  • Posted on September 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

The walls and shelves are starting to become bare. The boxes are piling higher. Most of the weekend was pretty much spent packing. There’s still so much to pack and do, and time just keeps counting down. The Husband thinks we’ve got 80% done, but we both know that sometimes the last 20% takes as long as the first 80%! I’m trying not to think too much about the fact that once we actually move, there will then be the UNpacking to do!

My walking goal for this week is not about more distance- I’m still going to try to do about 1.5 miles a day- it’s about endurance. I’m trying to do either 3 or 4/10s without stopping. I’m hopeful that this will help me to only need to stop once each way as I go to get my mail at the new house!

We’re still waiting for the official word from work, but I think we already know what the Plan B will be.