Better half Birthday!

Today is my husband’s 52nd Birthday.

Jeffrey has simple tastes. He doesn’t like big celebrations, parties, or plans. He prefers simple, relaxing birthdays. So we both took the day off, and I got up early to decorate, put his presents out, and make a ham, cheese, bacon and egg casserole for breakfast.

After breakfast, he opened his gifts, and then we headed out for a little birthday shopping; and by little, I mean one shirt and tie – this guy lacks the materialism gene almost entirely. We stopped on the way home and got him a cheeseburger sub for lunch. (We suspended his carb-free diet for the day so he could enjoy a few birthday treats.)

Now we’re home watching the first DVD of “Northern Exposure” (I got him the whole series on DVD because it’s not available on streaming anywhere.)

Tonight, we’ll go to dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.

It’s a simple day for a simple man, but I hope I’ve made it as special for him as he always makes me feel ever day.

Happy birthday, Jeffrey! Thanks for being a great husband, life partner, and friend!

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As requested.

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Sunday Sundries 2

I can’t believe the day slipped by so quickly and I totally forgot to blog. So here’s the week in review:

I got 3 new bow-ties in the mail. I ordered them on Amazon when I realized I had no ties in yellow or orange hues:

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I am a big “Schoolhouse Rock” fan, so when I discovered Subway was offering a set of 4 SHR toys in the 90s with their kids meals, I had to have them. The toys were based on “Conjunction Junction,” “Inter-planet Janet” “Figure Eight” and “I’m Just a Bill.” Although I originally had the whole set, I’ve only had 3 of the 4 for years, because I stupidly put the “I’m Just a Bill” one on a cake for a co-worker, Bill, who was retiring many years ago, and he assumed he got to keep it (understandably.)

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However, I recently won an Ebay auction for Bill, which arrived in the mail this week:

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…and now I have the whole set once again (Woohoo!).

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Each of the toys does something different.

Inter-planet Janet “flies” off her base when you push the Saturn in.

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I’m Just a Bill is an ink stamp (“They’re oughta be a law!”)

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Figure Eight “skates” around in a circle

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Conjunction Junction revs up and “drives” on its own

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Also this week, our new coffee tables and end tables were being delivered, so we had to move our old black set to the basement rec room (Have you ever seen it? Here are some pics.)

That made room for the new set to be delivered on Thursday. (Dog not included)

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We originally bought the coffee table and 3 end tables, but decided we want a fourth for by the front door, so we picked another one up this weekend:

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Friday was the last and final day of the Leadership Development Program I was accepted into. It was 7 full training days, book-ended by two half-days: orientation and graduation.  Friday was graduation. Now its finally over and behind me and I am SO glad!

We went out to dinner Saturday night for a friend’s birthday at a new restaurant, where this candid picture was taken of us.

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This morning, we met up with another friend for breakfast.  We’ve known him for many years, and he has recently moved back to the area from St. Petersburg, Florida, so it was really nice to re-connect with him.  We look forward to having him back in our life again.

Tonight, we were craving pizza, so we made a no-carb pizza crust out of shredded chicken with a homemade low-carb tomato sauce. Here’s the recipe for one personal size pizza (we double it for 2 people):

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz Canned Chicken
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 large Egg

DIRECTIONS

  1. Thoroughly drain the canned chicken, getting as much moisture out as possible.
  2. Spread chicken on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat.
  3. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes to dry out the chicken.
  4. Once chicken is done baking for 10 minutes remove and place in a mixing bowl.
  5. Increase heat of oven to 500 degrees.
  6. Add cheese and egg to the bowl with chicken and mix.
  7. Pour mixture onto baking sheet lined with a silicon mat and spread thin. (Place parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin or thick glass to flatten evenly.)
  8. Optional: With your fingers or a spatula, press the edges of the crust into a ridge for the crust. (This is beneficial is you’re using topping that may slide off.)
  9. Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 500 degrees.
  10. Remove crust from oven.
  11. Add desired toppings and bake for another 6-10 minutes at 500 degrees. (Toppings will dictate final cook time.)
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

It’s very good! Try it!

And that’s it for this week.

 

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Sunday Sundries

I think I’m going to try to start posting regularly on Sundays, if not more often. Hopefully, enough will happen during the week to give me something to share. Like this week:

I finished my first Amigurumi, whom I’ve named “Yarnell” for, what I think, is obvious reasons:

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I think his mane, horns and tail are my favorite part!

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My less than stellar crochet skills are evident in the large gaps in his neck stitches:

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Still, he’s cute and I’m proud of my first home-made giraffe, flaws and all.

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And he seems very happy to join his new giraffe family.

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I also finished a run on one of my comic series: I now have all 24 issues of the Best of DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest – Woohoo!

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While I love comic books of all kinds, I’ve always been particularly fascinated by the diminutive digest-sized and oversized treasury edition comics. Here’s a size comparison from left to right: Treasury sized, Regular sized, and Digest sized

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And stacked:

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I also received 2 more sets of  giraffe chopsticks in the mail from Ten Thousand Villages (via Amazon.)  I already had 2 pair, but we usually only have sushi with other people, so I wanted to have two more sets. Very pleased to have a set of 4 now:

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I’m doing well with my eating and exercising and I’m still on target with my “pound a week” goal. I saw this posted somewhere (Facebook? Blog?) and I loved it so I’m using it as my mantra for when the sweet tooth and snacking urges hit, or when I don’t feel like exercsising:

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However, I also saw this on Post Secret, which hits VERY close to home:

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We also did some repair work on our front porch, and moved furniture to prepare for our new coffee table and end tables delivery on Thursday. (Squeeee!)

Tonight, I called and made dinner reservations for every night we’ll be in Provincetown in October (10/1 – 10/6 in case anyone else will be there?) for our 20th Wedding Anniversary celebration (October 2nd.) It’s good to have that set so we can just relax and not worry about where to go, when, and if we’ll get in. I’m sooo looking forward to the trip, especially because we get to bring the dogs with us this time around.

And that about wraps up the week’s happenings. Rita pretty much sums up how I feel about the end of another weekend:

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Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

 

 

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Labor-less Day

We don’t have to work today, and have no plans, so it will be a quiet relaxing day at home with the dogs (we hope.)

As part of our nightly routine, we remove the shammed pillows and stuffed giraffes from the bed, and pile them next to the dog bed in the room, where Harvey usually waits patiently for us to finish, before darting onto the bed.

Last night, as soon as Jeffrey plopped the first pillow down, Harvey jumped on it, and did not move as Jeffrey continued to pile the remaining pillows and giraffes on top of him. What resulted looked like an alternative version of “The Princess and the Pea”:

Apparently our life here really is a true life fairy tale (pun intended).

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Sunday Strolling, Shopping, & Supper

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In an effort to change our weekend habits of lounging about on the couch for a better part of the mornings, we got ourselves up, showered, and dressed, harnessed the pups, loaded everyone into the car, (that’s me in my car cruising face, above) and went for a drive to find a place to take the dogs (and ourselves) for a walk while the temps were cooler. Then we dropped the dogs off back at home, and headed out to shop for a new living room table set.  Our current coffee table and end tables were purchased on the cheap, as a temporary solution, until we found something better. Three years later, the tables are falling apart and it was time to find something better. We did (Thank you Labor Day Sale – we even scored free delivery. Woohoo!); then grabbed some groceries and came home to enjoy the rest of the afternoon relaxing with the dogs. I also managed to work in a  couple rope-jumping sessions on the back patio.

Later, after waking from an unplanned nap while watching “Captain Marvel,” we whipped up a pretty tasty dinner. There is an upside to eating healthier…we have far more interesting and diverse-flavored meals, as I scour the inter-webs for low carb, gluten free recipes. Tonight, we had grilled Tuna Steak and grilled Brussel Sprouts (both seasoned with EVOO, salt and pepper) with a lemon cream sauce. I found the sauce recipe while Jeffrey was grilling the fish and sprouts and whipped it together, lickety split. It was made from butter, cream, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken broth, and a little corn starch for thickener, whisked together over a medium heat. It was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.

There are no Sunday blues for us tonight, as we have tomorrow off (one of the perks of being civil servants – we get Labor Day off.) We have no specific plans for the day, but I’m sure it will be at least as enjoyable as the last 3 days have been, since we’re not at work. I weigh in every Monday night, so I am hoping to see continued success from my efforts to lose 50 pounds in 52 weeks when I step n the scale tomorrow afternoon.

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He ain’t heavy…I am.

I am in the midst of a four day weekend (yay). Friday, I spent the day doing laundry, got a little exercise in, caught up on blogs, and read some digital comics on my iPad. Later, we had a friend over for dinner Friday night, and had a nice time catching up over cocktails.  This morning, after breakfast, we took the dogs for a walk at a nearby cemetery, to try out their new retractable leashes and harnesses (I took a bunch of pics, but this is the only one that didn’t come out blurry.)

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After the walk, we all hung out around the house for the day, enjoying the nice weather by spending time on our porch and patio. Then we began watching the Marvel Universe movies in the “official viewing order” (that I found on line) starting with “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Just a typical “gay in the life” for us, I suppose.

I’ve been hesitant to put this in writing, but I need to make myself accountable:

I’ve been struggling to get back to eating better and exercising more to get some weight off. I was horrified at the pictures of me from San Diego and our last trip to P-Town. I knew I had gained weight, but it was real shocker to see how much. I was embarrassed and got very emotional about it. I have struggled my whole life with my weight, and I’ve been every shape and size. I have tried to embrace being a hefty dude, which seems to be my natural state, but I’m always unhappy at a larger size and prefer my slimmer (such as it is) self for a variety of reasons: I look and feel better,  my clothes fit better, and I have more energy.   It’s a never-ending battle.  (I’m like Superman, only his never ending battle is for truth, justice, and the American way, which is a piece of cake compared to MY struggle. Mmmmm, cake…but I digress….) The moment my vigilance wanes, I start packing on weight quickly and in large quantity.  I am a compulsive eater, a stress eater, and I have a serious sweet tooth. It’s a lot to overcome, and its not easy, but it is what it is and if I want to lose the weight, I’ve got to make the effort. I have given myself a year to lose 50 pounds, which means I need to lose a pound a week. I’m down about 4.5 pounds in 3 weeks, so I’m right on target. It’s doable if I stay on course and don’t give in to the snacking and sweets craving. Our go-to eating plan (READ: NOT DIET!) is cutting out as much carbs as possible, such as pastas and bread, and sticking to meats, fish, veggies and cheese, with only occasional fruits. And, yes, this means limiting alcohol consumption as well.

Wish me luck…I’m going to need it.

 

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I hate adulting

It’s Sunday night and, once again, I am plagued by choices between being a responsible adult (Ego) and indulging my inner child (Id):

I want to eat treats but if I do, I will sabotage my weight loss efforts and feel guilty about it later.

I want to have more wine, but I know I should limit it to two glasses or I’m not going to sleep well and may feel crappy tomorrow morning.

I want to stay up later, but I know I Should go to bed soon, since I have to be up at 4:45am tomorrow for work.

I want to call into work tomorrow and extend my weekend, but I know I shouldn’t waste valuable personal/sick/vacation time and I have things that need to be done at work tomorrow.

I want to buy things on Amazon I don’t need just for the temporary rush of pleasure to counteract the Sunday night, pre-Monday blues, but that’s a total waste of money.

I want to quit my job, sever all ties with society, and move away to a cabin in the middle of the woods, to live out the remainder of my days in peace and solitude, but I can’t because, well, life.

I want to be free to indulge all my wants and desires and likes and not have to keep on doing the grown up thing because it’s the responsible thing to do.

I hate adulting.

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Sassycub

We were at my Mom’s last night, celebrating her 74th birthday. She showed me a couple pictures of me, when I was just a baby cub, that I couldn’t resist sharing.

Elementary school …. 5? 6?

High school – 16? 17?

What a blast from the past. And what a difference 3 decades can make, eh?

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From Respite to Routine

We (begrudgingly) returned from a glorious week on the cape to the routine and rut of our daily life. The only high point was reuniting with the dogs. It is rare for me to feel this way. No matter how much I enjoy a vacation or trip, I am always, eventually, eager to return to my own home, surrounded by my stuff, and sleep in my own bed. Alas, I was very sad to leave the cape this time, more than usual. It felt like leaving home. This feeling has encouraged us to look into the possibility of owning a little condo of our own and moving there, full time, in retirement. It once seemed out of our reach, but I’m not sure that’s true any more. We shall see. It’s exciting to consider, at least.

Here are a few hi-lites of our trip:

We spent some time on the beach, and I captured this picture of our right foot prints in the sand (mine, Jim’s, and Jeffrey’s.)

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We enjoyed a two woman town-hall appearance by Kathy Najimy and Debra Messing, a fund raiser for Sandy Hook Promise.

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I got this great shot of the Pilgrims’ Monument, while strolling along the Provincetown harbor Boardwalk:

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Although there were other interesting sights along the boardwalk, as well:

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These gentlemen were waiting outside of T-dance to promote their show, AirOtic (which we did not get a chance to see.)

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I tried to get a shot of the great view from one of our favorite restaurants, Fanizzi’s by the Sea, with a “Bayside dining room that boasts 180 degree views through three walls of windows that look upon Cape Cod Bay, Provincetown Harbor, North Truro, and Truro.”

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I didn’t get more pictures because we were too busy enjoying ourselves and trying to really be in the moment, as opposed to trying to record every moment. We enjoyed an afternoon of piano and song by Todd Alsup at the Crown & Anchor (where we spotted – but did not bother – Ms. Sandra Bernhard having a casual repast with an acquaintance,) an afternoon sand dune tour, a couple of nice walks out to the breakers and around town, several delicious meals and cocktails at some of our favorite restaurants, an afternoon Tea Dance at the Boatslip, and a small excursion to Wellfleet to revisit a cute seafood and live music venue we discovered last year. There was also a visit with mututal friends, including a visit at their home by the water in Easthampton. A great trip, for sure. I can’t wait to return in October, which will be our first trip with the dogs.

Speaking of which, guess who got a new puppy lounge for the back yard, courtesy of one of Jeffrey’s co-workers (whose dog would not use it)? You guessed it:

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At least THEY’RE happy we’re home.

 

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