We’ve had such a ridiculous amount of squash and zucchini this summer- that I truly was beginning to think that Nick was getting “squashed” out. I’ve made zucchini quiche (super quick – I’ll post it one day), grilled zucchini and squash – with homemade herbal marinade, zucchini bread and our favorite: Apple Sausage and Zucchini Pasta. This is one of our favorite meals I came across some many years ago – and with a few changes and alterations – it keeps getting better every time.
I don’t really like to talk about my RA – especially on my blog because often I feel that it’s a depressing topic. No one wants to read about aches and pains. However, lately I’ve been feeling a lot of comfort in reading RA blogs .. knowing that other people are experiencing the same things that I experience and that I’m not alone. Often when I tell people I have Rheumatoid Arthritis – I get the standard responses
1.)Oh I have arthritis in my _______ (fill joint in here).
2.) My mom/dad have arthritis.
3.) You’re too young to have arthritis.
4.) Oh but you look so healthy.
The truth is – and it’s been said a BILLION times by people with RA – is that it’s NOTHING like your arthritis, it doesn’t matter how old you are (children as young as a 1 year old are diagnosed with RA), taking good and healthy takes A LOT of effort and time.
HOLY SCHMOLLY …. it’s been a while.
What do you think of when you hear Back to School? Most likely, pictures of apples, pumpkin lattes, long sleeved sweaters and all things autumn begin to creep into your mind. At least – if you’re in the North East like me. Well, school has officially started and brought with it some of the hottest weather this season! While – it may not FEEL like “teaching” weather – I certainly am getting in the spirit of getting my class started.
I also – have COMPLETELY neglected by BlogWriting – status. A huge No No in the Blog writing world. Unfortunately, between curriculum planning, observations, parent meetings and 11 hours of tutoring a week – I really haven’t had a chance to whip up a decent entry. Though I would like to. It has – on the other hand – opened me up to a bunch of exciting materials TO blog about – when I can find the moment to sit down and write. But in case anyone was wondering this is the short version of what I’ve been up to in the past few weeks:
1.Nick and I went to Lake George and spent a sick week at The Sagamore
This Week’s Favorite Thing:
My 100% accidental pumpkin patch….
Granted … there are 2 pumpkins …. but they were TOTALLY unintentional. Last December – as we do every year – Nick and I tossed our old pumpkins into the gigantic dirt pile we have created behind the shed. It’s always provided a solid pile of pretty fertile soil to dig up and use in pots when Spring arrives. Normally – we’ve got the occasional Polk weed and dandelion growing out of it … SO you can imagine my surprise when I started to notice the unmistakable leaves of a vine plant! At first – I thought it might have been a cucumber or squash plant – perhaps some hidden seed that we tossed into the mulch pile. AND THEN … I realized that’s exactly what it was – it was a pumpkin vine from the old pumpkins we had tossed the winter before! The TIPS I have for having a Great Pumpkin of your own? Get yourself a beagle…. evidently it worked for Charlie Brown and me 🙂
Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.
I’m not a huge Dylan fan – but he really has a point.
Every once in a while – you have to take a moment to stop and be grateful for everything you have – right then and there – in that present moment. So many times we get caught up living in the past or looking towards the future. It fuels anger, creates anxieties and lessens our quality of life. In turn – our present moments – will someday be memories. Memories that you can never have again. Moments passing you by.
I’d prefer to have those solid memories and look onto them with happiness – knowing I appreciated them WHEN THEY WERE HAPPENING as much as I am appreciating recollecting them.
Recently, I lost a good high school friend of mine. He was part of our quintessential “clique” of teenage boys and girls. Hanging in parks and playing in (or in my case “watching”) garage bands, piggy back rides and first kisses, late night horror movies and prom dates. Some of us kept in touch, some went our separate ways. Joe and I hadn’t spoken in years – we had lost contact with each other – as people often do. But – I would often think of him from time to time. In pictures, videos or yearbook scribblings – I would think of how we’ve all turned into a gaggle of goofy and successful adults. Past discretions forgiven and nothing but coo’s and coddles for weddings, new homes, jobs and babies ….
Everyone has been trying to post or blog about 3 things they are grateful for, 100 Days of Happiness, or taking Positivity Challenges. Naturally, I found myself wanting to do one. So I sat down at my computer and eagerly began to list all the things I was grateful for – but alas! I could think of nothing. It surely wasn’t because I am not grateful for all of my blessings. It was because I wanted each one of my reasons to have “meaning” and “purpose” behind them. I opted to come back to the computer at another time.
I can officially add Montreal and Quebec to my list of “visited” places. AND what an experience it was. Luckily, my mom (my regular traveling partner) and I had the opportunity to travel with her longtime friend Carol and her husband, Tommy. It only contributed to the laugh factor even more.
After boarding the bus – with 30+ senior citizens – we began our trek up to the Great Wide North. Smooth remakes of EVERYONE’s favorite tunes (such as Charley Pride, Sinatra and Patsy Cline) boomed via stereo – as we took in all the sites of Upstate New York. Lake George was lovely. Absolutely lovely. I’m in-love. It essentially has EVERYTHING I could possibly want in a vacation: Hiking, log cabins, quaint shops, History and SAILBOATS !!!
We spent two nights in Montreal – a city which is quintessentially a perfect blend of new world- hipster and old world whimsy (that one’s for you, Carol and Harriet). Though I was desperately wishing I would have taken French in high school – I navigated the shops and restaurants with relative ease.
Bus Etiquette/Facts Top 10 (First 5 … anyway)
I learned a lot about taking bus tours from taking this trip. I was also granted a rare insight as to how the Pre-Woodstock generation travels …. in style. Here are some helpful tips that I both – witnessed AND PARTOOK in whilst traveling ….
1.) Complain – about EVERYTHING – but just loud enough for your near-by bus neighbors to hear. They’ll usually tell you you’re absolutely right – and you’ll feel better about your useless yapping.
2.) ONLY get off the bus when “Gromice” the Froggy mascot is hanging on your side of the bus. Failure to comply to this rule – MAY have you drawn and quartered in the streets of your final destination.
3.) Don’t bother the bus-driver (that you will be spending the week with) – for her free WIFI password. You don’t want to clog the network by surfing the net – along with the other 40 bus passengers that AREN’T surfing the web. She won’t give it to you anyway.
4.) Make a joke about using the bus bathroom every 25 minutes (this works best if you have a UTI infection like I did). There is nothing people like more than seeing someone 40 years younger than them – peeing more than they do.
5.)If you can’t beat ’em join ’em. When they jam out classic tunes over the speakers – SING ALONG.
Finally! My last Trip-cation post ….! After spending the night in the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel in Norfolk we were headed for our final destination – OBX.
Upon entering North Carolina – Nick and I made a quick stop at Morris Farm Market. I mean – how could we not ? They boast “cleanest bathrooms and an extensive tractor collection”. If there are two things I love in this world – it’s bathrooms and tractors. Odd – yes. But when you have a small bladder and live in a rural community – those things become VERY important. To our surprise – it was an awesome farmer’s market. AND – it did have super clean bathrooms. As a matter of fact – it also had ludicrously clean port-0-johns. Evidently – since their bathrooms are so clean – no one bothers to use the port-a-potties. So rather than wait on line we used the cleanest Johnny On the Spots EVER. AND the best part ? …. THEY HAD SINKS TO WASH OUR HANDS!
One of my favorite things to whip up is Pesto. My dad used to make it sometimes when I was in college and when I finally got my own apartment and my own basil plant – I couldn’t wait to make some of my own. Nick – was skeptical. He had never liked pesto as a child and the color completely turned him off. I promised him he would like it if he gave it a whirl. It turns out it is one of his favorite things I cook up. It’s a quick, easy and delicious dinner fix when time or motivation isn’t in your favor.
We’ll I’m going to give it another try ….. my good ol’ friend the broccoli plant. While – this summer was perfect for my squash, zucchini, cabbage and broccoli – the cabbage loopers, cabbage worms and Army worms thought so too. Well …with my broccoli, at least. I’ve grown broccoli in the past – and really had a lot of luck with it. This year, however, was a different story. Perhaps because I planted the broccoli next to the cabbage, maybe conditions were just working against me, or maybe I just didn’t do enough Critter Control. I tend not to spray my plants for bugs or animals – because – as a rule – the only pests that invade my garden are my pups. AND the stinkbugs (but up until recently there was really no true tested remedy to rid them). I do, however, spray for powdery mildew – as I tend to get that every year. But, alas, I should have kept a better eye on my broccoli ….. because the delicious broccoli and ham quiche I was going to make was never to be.
My broccoli heads were firm, compact, tight, green and un-flowered. A perfect harvest – which was to become a PERFECT quiche. My mom called dibbs on her favorite head and I went right out and harvested them …. being careful to leave plenty of room for delicious little sprouts to grow. I brought them inside and soaked them carefully – as I always do – in Apple Cider Vinegar (my go to rinse for all my veggies – including mulberries and blackberries). After soaking them for a good 20 minutes or so – I saw a nice layer of creepy crawlies floating on the top. I skimmed them off and rinsed my plants off putting them on a plate and storing them in the fridge – to cook the following day. Well, to my surprise ….. when I awoke the following morning – the plate in the fridge was loaded with scores of additional worms. Discouraged – but not to be beat …. I made a salt/ice water soak and left my cabbage in there for another hour or so …. more worms came off …. many more worms. I rinsed and picked … picked and rinsed … but the determined little buggers were not budging – wrapped around the head like little snakes. I gave up. While – I know I could have boiled it or microwaved it, I ultimately thought – let’s just start over … Thankfully broccoli is a cool weather plant and I have all fall to make a new (hopefully less buggy) harvest. Here’s to TRYING AGAIN. 🙂
How about you … have you ever had difficulty with certain insects or critters? What methods have you tried for Critter Control? Do you have any nifty tricks for cleaning produce? I’d absolutely love to hear about them. Feel free to comment or email!! 🙂