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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The half-empty nest

Today marks 1 month since Jessi flew the coop.  Not-gonna-lie, that first week was ROUGH!  There was a lot of crying, sulking, pouting, moping…..  you get the idea.  Since then, I have been ok, we text every day, and she is still including me in knowing stuff about her life.  Less stuff.  But stuff.  This is what she needed, to get away from my influence, Maine, and whatever else, and to have a chance to figure out what she wants and who she is with no distractions. 

So… during the day.  I am fine.  Yes, there are some songs that come on the radio or things I see that bring on that sting in the eyes…. but I recover quickly 😉  Being focused on house stuff, weekend adventures, and fitness, has been a huge help to avoid emotional eating or wallowing in my own self-pity.

The last goodbye tackle

During the day.

It’s the weirdo nighttime shit that is disconcerting. A few nights a week I have Jessi dreams where I am crying and sobbing hysterically. The other night I dreamt that she and I were driving her down to Richmond, so we stopped at the grocery store and I was buying ALL THE BAD FOOD for the road trip and sobbing as I wandered through the aisles filling my cart with Pirate’s Booty and Sour Patch Kids.  


Which do I miss more?  Jessi?  or Junk food!?  LOL

Being a mom is sadistic.  You spend almost 20 years bonding and getting attached just to RIP EM OFF YA ::::insert velcro sound here:::::

Day 1 of FITNESS CHALLEGE #3

The goal of these Facebook challenges is to have bettered yourself in some way by the end of the 21 days.  It’s also based on the theory that it takes 21 days to make a habit.  Every day you get 1 point for an exercise photo and 1 point for a healthy eating photo, and every point is an entry for a drawing and a t-shirt.  I won a t-shirt last month!! WINNING!!

Last week was a break from the challenges for the holiday, but it wasn’t a break for me!  Lonnie has finally jumped on board with me and we kissed sugar goodbye last Sunday.  Honestly, for some reason it hasn’t even been that hard.  And it is AMAZING the changes that happen so quickly when junk food and sugar aren’t in my system…

  • I feel thinner and lighter within a couple days.  
  • My mental clarity and focus improve right away.  Which was AWESOME because it allowed me to get COMPLETELY caught up in my coursework. Having that hanging over my head was really bothering me.
  • I actually FEEL LIKE exercising, so it’s not forced and annoying.
  • ENERGY— I HAS IT!  We have made LOTS of progress around the house the past few days.  LOTS of dump trips, sorting, AND we redid Sean’s room for him (He wanted to move into Jessi’s room) and it looks AWESOME!! 

Having this to focus on has helped with the transition of Jessi moving away. Speaking of Jessi; she seems to be doing GREAT down in Richmond.  It’s clear to me now that a big part of this move was to gain some independence from me, so while it’s weird and a little sad for me to not know her every move and feeling and not talk to her as much as I used to.  It’s awesome that she is strong enough to take this step for herself!  Whoa…. typing that brought on the tears a little.  I thought I was done with those!!  DAMNIT!!

Off to pick up Sean who is doing his Monday jog up at the “track.” (air quotes because this is Winterport and the term track is very.  VERY. loose.  It’s really just a worn down path around a soccer field.)

Happy New Year!

When I wasn’t working and doing fun stuff, I spent a good part of 2015 going back and forth about grad school.  I even applied to a couple.  But ultimately decided that I just don’t feel right adding to my already enormously high student loan mountain of debt.  …that is already growing since I am helping Jessi pay for college…. and interest of course.  I would love to get my Master’s.  I LOVE school and I would also love to be more marketable once we starting planning our move from Maine, and I have the time for it with the job I have now.  So if I could just win the lottery……    I have few regrets in life as everything I have lived through has made me the bucket of awesomesauce that I am today,  but I definitely regret spending all that money and time going to Husson University to get my teaching credentials.  I could have my graduate degree, and instead I have nothing since I didn’t finish the program by doing student teaching.  (THAT I do not regret, as I now know that teaching is NOT my calling!)

I have also spent a good part of the year eliminating things, and people, from my life–and my Facebook that cause me drama and discord.  I am instituting Flylady’s general philosophy of ‘If you look at it and it doesn’t make you smile, you don’t need it in your life.’  Perhaps in 2016 I can institute the actual housecleaning part of the Flyolady philosophy  LOL…. WHO ARE WE KIDDING!!??

So now…. I present to you (and future me)…..

My favorite moments in 2015!!!
BTW- You KNOW you are living your best life when you give up on narrowing down the moments to one per month!  🙂

February- We built an awesome new kitchen isalnd!
March- family trip to Mexico!
Lonnie gets some new wheels!  The first vehicle he has ever owned that he doesn’t have to worry, “Will I make it there?”

We got a pasta maker for Christmas and made a LOT of ramen in 2015.  YUMMMMMM
Ed Sheeran concert… that we enjoyed for FREE on a hill outside the venue!

A very chilly Train concert

LOTS of summer swimming

The Popham Beach camping trip that turned into a Portland, Maine hotel weekend 😉

I Kayaked for the first time!!  AND LOVED IT!  I also crocheted for the first time… that did not go quite as well 😉
LOTS OF ROAD TRIPS!!!  Aquaboggin…. Bar Harbor…. Boston…. Portland….

Jessi got her license AND bought herself a car!!

We never give up trying to get fit!  We also never really suceed… but we keep on trying!

Lonnie became a PAELLA MASTER!!

Mom came up and rented a cottage on the coast

ONE DIRECTION!!!!!

Family trip to Beantown

SPORTS!!  Hockey and football games…. LOVE LOVE LOVE

NEW KITTEN!!  Gandolf aka Will Feral

Food and Spirits festival
Turkey Day!! …followed by the BEST BLACK FRIDAY EVER!!

A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS SEASON (And no, most of those projects never happened lol)


Looking forward to LOTS MORE ADVENTURES in 2016!!

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!