Never a dull moment

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Just enough time to take a selfie and read .5 pages

I have ALWAYS been a magnet for shenanigans, and even though the results are often a disaster, I LOVE IT!!  I started my morning today by forgetting to put my cup under the Kuerig and coating my kitchen counter and floors with a delicious coating of Island Coconut coffee. And then burned myself wiping it up with a paper towel because somehow it didn’t occur to me that the coffee would still be hot.

After a successful second attempt at coffee, I sipped and thought about plans for my solo day of leisure. Full disclosure: I am a lazy ass bitch that can spend an entire day on the couch watching Youtube/Netflix/Hulu with no guilt whatsoever. But TODAY I decided to take my lazy ass to the lake with the pups.

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Our new giant poodle friends 

Me to myself: “I’ll have a nice quiet day at the lake. I’ll take a swim if it’s warm enough, set up the hammock, and then read all afternoon. I am so outdoorsy. They Call me…. um…. shit— who is an outdoorsy person….. BEAR GYRLLS!!!” (HA See what I did there!? I crack myself up!)

Our adventure started with Piper spotting a couple new friends and yanking the leash– almost taking my middle finger with it. So that finger is black, purple, red, blue… and nice n’ fat now. And it hurts to type. Then I had to socialize with strangers because the dogs were having fun. I am 51% introvert. I was not thrilled.

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For you “pics or it didn’t happen” type folks

Our new friends said their goodbyes so I finally got my swim. It WAS warm enough and it was lovely. A giant Bald Eagle was circling around the lake the whole time and if you know me, you know I love that shit!

Then I set up the hammock. Let’s not talk about how long it took me to get it set up the way I wanted it; aka with my ass NOT on the ground. You have to put those straps up on the tree REALLY HIGH!!!  You also need TWO carabiners, not 1. WHO KNEW!!?? (Lonnie. Lonnie knew. Hence why I’ve never done it before.)

Then let’s not talk about me reading a HALF page of my book when suddenly Piper’s head comes over the edge of the hammock, dropping something into the hammock with me. I notice a stench while I contort myself to find what she dropped in there because it went under me somewhere, and it’s A DEAD FISH HEAD. Fun fact: It is impossible to quickly launch yourself out of parachute hammocks even when you feel like your life depends on it. It’s cool. I didn’t really feel like reading anyway……

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It wasn’t the only fish head. The next half hour was me trying to make the dogs ignore the fish carnage, swimming with them again just to get them rinsed off because they rolled in it, and then deciding I’d had enough fun at the lake for one day.

Next time, those bitches are staying home!!

Who am I kidding?

Fall Bucket List

 

 

We totally blew summer.  And not in a good way. Between the wet, chilly weather that seemed to intentionally time itself to occur on my weekends off, and general laziness, we just did not get in an approved amount of adventures. You know what? It wasn’t laziness, it was chaos. Our house was in disarray for months with Jessi and all her stuff preparing for her big move to Portland, Lonnie’s daily exhaustion doing the work of 10 men every day, grad school stuff, general life stuff. I just let it all clutter my mind and I think I felt like I couldn’t do fun stuff while so much needed to be done… yet I didn’t do the other stuff either, so ended up doing nothing. Super productive. Way to go, Colleen.

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This is not to say we did NOTHING… I mean we camped one night, got some kayaking in, took at trip to Boston… ok now I sound stupid whining that we blew summer, but we really did.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG……………

Jessi is happily living in an apartment complex (that looks like it should be hosting Medieval Times dinner shows, lol) in South Portland. Sean is back to school. I am taking a break from grad school and attempting to transfer to UMaine. They hired another guy to take some of the load of Lonnie’s shoulders. My house is CLEAN. Gonna say that one more time. MY. HOUSE. IS. CLEAN!

IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!! We are going to make up for any HINT of a wasted summer with an EPIC AUTUMN OF AWESOMENESS!!!!!

We even got a head start this past weekend by checking “climb a mountain” off the fall bucket list. Sean really wants to climb Mt Katahdin, but after doing Mt Megunticook this weekend, we had to break it to him that we are NOT EVEN IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD of being in physical condition for Katahdin. Hopefully next year we can make it happen for him! I shouldn’t say “hopefully.” NEXT YEAR WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR HIM!

 

Not-so-Great Pond Mountain Wildlands Hike

spotYesterday, Lonnie and I, and the pooches of course, attempted a hike to one of our favorite secluded spots in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands/Trust whateveritscalled, or as I now call it, the Tick Sanctuary. It’s a PERFECT spot where we can make a little fire, hang our hammocks for a nap, take a dip in the lake, and not see one single other human. There is even a picnic table! To get there you have to walk around a mile on a dirt road, then you take a left down a slightly groomed grassy trail.  We have been going to this spot for at least 4 years, maybe 5. Yesterday, when we turned onto the grassy trail portion of the trek, we were immediately inundated with ticks. We both ran back to the dirt road and had to strip off our socks, shoes, and pants to make sure we got them all off us. We quickly checked over the dogs and they seemed fine, we assumed their collars the vet recommended were doing their job. We turned back and decided on a Plan B adventure. Next time, we will kayak there like we did last year!

When we got home, we realized the dogs were not fine. They were very ticked up. We have spent last night and today thinking we got them all, and then finding another. We are all skeeved out and itchy and never wanting to go outdoors again. Fortunately, the collars actually DO do their job, and none of the ticks have been attached enough to feed.

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Throwback to Luna’s first visit to “the spot” in 2014. No ticks.

But WHY!? Why all of a sudden does it seem like ticks are taking over the world?? As I mentioned, we have been going there for years and have NEVER seen even ONE tick.

While driving to the grocery store, I theorized to Lonnie that I think it’s related to climate change. Maine’s shrimp industry is failing because of warmer water temps, wouldn’t it make sense that warmer temperatures would make ticks happy, happy, happy? Not completely sold on that theory, Lonnie theorized that ticks are becoming genetically heartier and more resistant to all climates. (Don’t you wish you could come grocery shopping with us zany kids!!?? LOL)

Well of course I had to do some research when we got home, mostly to prove my theory was right and his was wrong. #keepinitreal

Apparently the 2 largest factors in the tick increase are the mild winter, and acorns. Yup, acorns. Little did we all know…. in 2010 there was a bumper crop of acorns, resulting in an increase in the mice who eat them. And ticks love them some mice, so they increased too. Fast forward to 2107, shitty acorn crop, less mice, ticks still gotta eat.

So basically, I was right. Ok… not entirely right, but since my rightness occurs so rarely with him. I’m taking it.

Oh yeah… here are a couple of my sources because I am a grad student and that’s what we do 😉

http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/the-year-of-the-tick/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/06/2017-may-very-bad-year-lyme-disease/100120496/

Bayside Village, Northport Maine

My beloved Pentax k100d appears to have given up the ghost. I was excited to get out and take some seaside photos with a real camera , but alas, it was not meant to be.  Thank goodness for my phone! Northport is such a quaint little town.  The weather was absolutely perfect all week and visiting with mom was lovely!  I even got to see my niece and nephew which was a nice surprise.  We are already looking for next year’s coastal cottage!

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Sleepytime

I love sleeping.  So.  So. Much.  However, this is the time of year every year (Which I didn’t even realize until a blog reader noticed a trend a few years ago in my posts as years went on!), I get a case of the winter blues…. cabin fever…. whatever you want to call it.

I usually combat my malaise with a vacation to someplace sunny and warm.  This year, I let Lonnie talk me into vacationing much earlier than usual, bringing us back to Maine with lots more winter left.  This has been a VERY mild, and non-snowy winter, but it’s still winter.  I still don’t want to go outside for a walk or a run, we aren’t going out hiking and fishing and stuff on the weekends, and there is not a lot else to do around here other than shopping and the movies.

So I have been sleeping.  A LOT.  My main excuse that I use is, “I sleep late because my job keeps me up late and messes up my sleep schedule.”   Which is true sometimes.  But not every day.  Honestly, I wake up naturally around 8-9ish, and then force myself to go back to sleep thinking, “Why get up?  To just go downstairs and watch TV or clean?  Fuck that.  I may as well go back to sleep.”

On Saturday I stayed in bed til noon-ish. I felt like crap when I finally dragged myself out of bed with that all-too-familiar “slept too much” feeling.  I decided that it was time to face that I had a problem, and even to say it out loud to Lonnie.  I even threw out the “D” word (DEPRESSION, silly, not divorce!).  We decided, based on all the other symptoms I would need to have,  that I am not having the D word, but that I am in a bad habit that needs to be broken. …and very possibly toeing the line of the D word.  So I made a “contract” with him to start getting up at 9 every day (well unless I have worked an overnight shift, of course).  Even if I was up too late, or don’t want to, I GET UP!  If I am that tired, I can take a nap in the afternoon.

Today is day 3 of this, and not-gonna-lie, it’s been tough.  BUT it has also been extremely rewarding!  I don’t feel like a sloth.  Once I am up, and have dragged myself out of bed, I feel ENERGIZED!  Yesterday I had SO much time, even BEFORE I started my work shift at noon!!  I have FELT like cleaning!  I have FELT like organizing!  It honestly FEELS LIKE SPRING, even though the weather has not changed.

They say “walk the walk.”
They say “fake it til you make it.”
THEY ARE RIGHT!

Busy Busy Busy

Instead of blogging, I have been……………..

  • working working working!  Things are busy in crisis-land these days!  (and so much of my job is writing, the LAST thing I want to do on my downtime is write some more!)
  • hiking
  • a little –very little– running
  • getting a kitten (who is right now adorably distracting me by playing with a piece of fuzz)
  • celebrating a kid turning 20!
  • teaching the other kid to cook
  • learning new recipes
  • turning a coffee table into an ottoman— still a work in progress
  • playing with my camera and Lightroom
  • watching football on TV …and in real life, GO MAINE!
  • reading
  • dabbling in Scrapbooking 
  • planning our next vacation
  • researching places to live when we move in a few years!  (Right now Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Texas, South Carolina, and Richmond, VA are the top contenders)
  • sleeping til noon (Hey… it’s genetic!  I can remember staying with with my Nana and Grampy and waiting… and waiting… and waiting for Nana to get up and ‘put her face on’)

Happy Birthday, Jessi!!!

Life got in the way

Boston aquarium and an excuse to show of my man’s sexy arm 😉

It happens.  September arrived, and with it a flurry of activity and emotions.  We started our new fall work schedules (a new schedule that  I LOVE, but was a big change nonetheless), Jessi headed back to UMaine, Sean started 8th grade, Mom came for a surprise visit, we went on our long-awaited long weekend to Boston…….. etc etc etc…..

All were WONDERFUL excuses to not count points and stick to Weight Watchers.  I CAN proudly say that I have continued to exercise!  Yay me!

But now I am at a crossroads of sorts.  I am not feeling WW at all.  I have considered going back to low-carb for awhile.  But honestly…. as of this moment.  I am just feeling sticking to exercise and trying to be more mindful about what I stuff in my face and why I am doing said stuffing.

Speaking of WHY….  Nicole (bff) and I were talking about all my yearly autumn drama
Nicole: Why ARE you such a mess every year at this time?
Me:  I don’t fucking know…  because everything changes and it’s really busy and irritating.
Nicole: Hmmmm…. I think there is more to it then that.  When did your father leave?
Me: Holy shit.
Nicole:  :::::mic drop:::::

Now I have no idea if she is really onto something, but who knows?  Talking with my mom about it, she thinks that if there is a connection there, it would also include moving to Maine a few months beforehand and leaving behind my entire life in Connecticut.  And even if they ARE related, I need to learn to manage my behavior no matter WHAT the reason is for engaging in said behavior. …
Or maybe just work on being less crazy in general.  LOL NAH!!!!  What fun would THAT be!!??

And now some pics from the past couple weeks adventures…..
Sangria and a visit from Mom, which also included an unexpected lovely weekend at a cottage in Northport, Maine.

ONE DIRECTION!!!!  (Yes I am a 13 year old in a forty-something body.)
Jessi’s “new” car and back to school

Sassy new hair… that husband hated.  (“It’s so STRAIGHT?  Where’s my wild-haired girl??”) 

Nothin’ to it but to KEEP DOIN’ IT!!!
Lonnie grillin’ up some Paella during Mom’s visit.
Another gratuitous sexy husband pic.  LOOK AT THOSE CALVES!

The Mermaid Who Couldn’t Swim

Craig’s Pond 7/12/15
It’s no secret that I am counting the days until I from from Maine.  But sometimes… in the summer, and especially in the fall, I pre-maturely wax nostalgic about this place and it’s beauty.   Especially now that I have a partner who loves to be out-and-about with me ad
venturing and stuff!

Peaks Kenny 7/11/15

Something you may not know….. I am a mermaid.  I could swim all day long, every day, and then go swim some more.  If the Ursula the Sea Witch offered Arielle and I a chance to swap lives,  I’m not sure I could refuse.  What’s odd about my being a mermaid, is that while I am completely comfortable, and a strong swimmer even in the deepest of ocean, lake or pool waters, I am not good at it.  When I go to the pool to swim laps, I spend a LOT of time staring at the other lap swimmers with their perfect rhythmic breathing and steady pace and I have no id

Playa Del Carmen March 2015

ea how to do this, despite a lifetime of trying.  I mentioned this to Lonnie last week and he exclaimed, “ME TOO!  I have always wanted to be able to swim like that and maybe even do a triathlon or something!”

The Y offers some ‘competitive swimming’ classes and even personal lessons, so we are going to sign up.  I am uncomfortable with this plan and feel silly, and to me that makes it EVEN MORE important that we do this!!

I’m not sure if this is an “old dog, new tricks” thing, or what?  Let’s see if this old bitch can learn to swim with the big dogs!

Excuses not to try Kayaking

“I will sink it.”
“Why do you think they put weight limits on those things?”
“When I try to get into it, the whole beach is going to watch me fall on my fat ass.”
“Seriously…. there are weight limits.  Right in the descriptions and probably right on the kayak itself.”

So…. not only did it NOT sink, but I NEED A DAMN KAYAK OF MY OWN!!  SO great!!!  And so thankful for my bestie who does not listen to my bullshit and makes me do stuff even when I am bring stupid 🙂

So I guess the real question remains….

Why DO they put weight limits on those things!!!???

Move Musings AKA– Where should we live!?

Big trips and little trips always get me all in a dither about our several-years-from-now move. Yesterday Lonnie and I took a day trip down to Portland to see ‘Jurassic World’ at the IMAX and do some grocery shopping at Trader Joes.  All day long there were many mentions of someday actually living in a city with both of those right nearby!

We want to live in a city where people are physically active and there is lots to do nearby.  A giant plus that I have noted, is that no matter where we go, finding a job should not be an issue for me. There is no shortage of people requiring mental health services in this country!!  
We keep going back to focusing on cities on the Gulf coast because I think we feel like it will be like living on vacation.  So that is where I started my googling adventure on this rainy morning.
Florida

We think about Florida a lot.  Over the winter, I worked with a personal trainer who had just moved up here from there and he often talked about how much more active people are and how much more there is to do,  He also claims that after about 2 years, you get used to the heat (he is from Massachusetts originally).  Also I like the idea of living somewhere that people will want to come visit us and use us to save on hotel costs 😉
However….
I have been to Tampa and Orlando. While I can see myself enjoying life there, I’m not sure I can resign myself to never having my hair look good again.  Florida=frizz.  Also…. I’m not sure I believe my trainer about the heat thing.  The closest to summer we have been there is May, and “hot” is an understatement, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like in August.  How active outdoors can you really be in the summertime when just walking from your house to your car is atrociously heat-oppressive??
Texas 

I have focused on Austin in the past, but I think I am over that.  Today I researched Houston and Galveston and was ALL ABOUT IT for about an hour.  Great economy, near the ocean, lots of gorgeous/cheap apartments.
However….
Looking on message boards  there are an overwhelming amount of comments from people like this…
Do yourself a favor while you’re ahead. Don’t move to Houston.


It’s a hell hole.”


Lots of comments about how the only thing to do is go out to dinner. That the heat is so oppressive that in the summer all you can do is stay indoors.  That it’s Jesusland.  Traffic. Rednecks. High crime.
Oregon

I am pretty excited about Portland, Oregon!  If I can get past the rain issue, it sounds like EXACTLY where I want to live!
However…
Not sure I can get past the rain issue.  As we all know, I am a little prone to the Winter Blues.  I’m not sure if that’s the 567 feet of snow and snot-freezing temperatures keeping me indoors that causes it, or the actual lack of sunshine.  If it’s the former, then we should be fine!   
I have no idea where we will end up…. or maybe we will take some time in each one!  But I have plenty of time, and I am having a lot of fun figuring it out!!!