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17 April 2014

Squidy Delciousness

I told y'all I'd be back soon with a recipe right? Back soon = 2 weeks. Sorry. Basically this recipe is stolen from Martha. It all starts with my favorite restaurant in Atlanta- Boccalupo. The chef of said restaurant has been my favorite ever since I first tasted his cooking at La Pietra Cucina which has since semi-shuttered (it's been renamed, rebranded, and rechefed as LPC). At La Pietra Chef Bruce Logue had this excellent app on  the menu that was one of my favorites Calamari in Sicilian tomato brodetto with pine nuts and caperberries.  Basically small rings of squid in this amazing thin tomato sauce with sweet bites of raisins, acidic caperberries, and the interesting flavor profile of pine nuts. There were some tiny pearl like pasta in it as well. For about a year in between La Pietra and Boccalupo the Chef wasn't cooking, which means I was deprived of this delicious dish. When he opened his new restaurant it just so happened to be situated less than 1 mile from my house (OH Happy Day!). I was so glad to see the calamari made it back on the menu; first as an entree then as an app. I wish it would be offered up in either sized portion. I typically make it there once a month... its not the cheapest place...and I generally have to get one homemade pasta dish, if not 2, an appetizer (typically the calamari), and a glass of wine (or 2 or 3).  I was trying to cut down my spending lately and it occurred to me that I should try and make the calamari at home.  I went on the internet in search of tomato/squid recipes and stumbled across two that looked similar.  Martha's recipe happened to be the one I tried first and the one that most reminds me of the dish at Boccalupo.  Now that I make this bad boy at home I don't ever get it anymore at the restaurant, but Chef Bruce should worry not because I still have yet to make a promising homemade linguine or pappardelle.



Sauteed Calamari with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
INGREDIENTS
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup and 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced salted anchovies
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
One 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp capers
1 bunch basil leaves
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp golden raisins
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds squid, cleaned, tentacles removed and trimmed, and bodies cut into very thin rings
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Thinly slice the garlic cloves. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic,anchovies, and red pepper flakes; cook until garlic has browned. Stir in tomatoes; transfer to oven and roast until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Add capers, basil, pine nuts, and raisins; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper; place over low heat to keep warm.

Heat a large skillet and add 3 tablespoons olive oil; heat until smoking. Add squid, cook, stirring constantly, until squid rings begin to open up and become firm, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce to skillet, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until squid is opaque and sauce is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.



Divide calamari evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley. Serve immediately with toasted bread to sop up the delicious sauce.  


**I buy my squid already cleaned and prepped in the frozen section at whole foods.  You can buy just the body and cut them into rings, but I prefer bodies and tentacles.

02 April 2014

A Minute

Yeah, yeah, yeah it's been a minute or five since I lasted posted. It never gets old does it? Loads have changed since I last spoke with you friend.

The biggest, and by far the worst, is that Bella is now in doggy heaven. Just thinking about it makes me tear up. In some ways I'm lucky that she lived with my parents this last little bit.  It sucked that I didn't get to see her on the daily, but it has made the mourning process a whole lot easier.  After all I mourned her absence from my daily life for a long time after she left. I experienced all those moments of coming home and not being greeted by my best friend. However, I did get to go over to mom and dads and get the most loving welcome ever. The end came because she basically lost use of her back end...she could no longer stand or walk. My parents called me on Valentine's Day and told me this  It didn't make for a good day. I went over the next morning to hang out with her and assess the situation. I helped her get around by wrapping a towel around her back end.  She was so miserable trying to move like that and hadn't eaten in 2 days. It was time; I knew it, as did she. Of course my vet was out of town (of course) so I made an appointment with another vet I knew. I stopped on the way and got Bella a steak and egg biscuit. She wolfed it down, which made me quite happy. As we continued on my car died on the side of a highway. I proceeded to call my dad to come pick us up and take us on, and then I had a meltdown in my car. Being trapped on the way to do something you don't want to do, but know you have to is the worst! We made it to the vet and I spent some time cuddling my girl in the car. Despite it being a chilly day I decided I would rather the vet come out to the car then for me to bring Bella inside... she just gets too stressed out in the vet and I didn't want her to experience that. The vet came out and I stayed with Bella the whole time. It was hard as hell, but at the same time I am glad I was with her. To be with her in that moment helped me heal quicker I think. I also think your pet deserves for you to be there. It is a scary moment and the last thing you should ever do is leave them alone in that kind of situation  I don't care how hard it is for you...it is obviously harder for them. At least be there with them to see them on through. They need your comfort.

Here is one of the last pictures I took of the best dog I will ever have:


And here is my mini eulogy to her:
My best friend Bella past away. She was 12 years old. It hurts so much. She was the most loyal companion dog. She loved me over anything else and would always keep one eye on me to make sure I didn't go anywhere. She loved to rub her head against people in order for her eyes to be rubbed. She always slept in a tiny ball near the foot of my bed. She got a long well with all the foster dogs and cats who came in my house, but was also quick to put them in their place if they messed with her food or her while she was laying on her bed. She loved to go on walks, hikes, or for a ride in the car. She was my perpetual companion starting my senior year of college. She would sit in the car for hours perfectly content to wait on me. She rarely needed a leash because she would always stick on my side. She would go shopping with me and most shops would allow her to sit patiently in the changing room while I tried on different outfits. She had her faults- she'd bark at strange men and sometimes unstrange men, when I first adopted her she had horrible separation anxiety and clawed up my flooring, once she got old she got anxiety in my house due to pecans falling on the skylights. Even with the faults I can never imagine loving another dog as much as I love her. She was my buddy.

The next shitty thing that happened is my car. I had to go get it towed once we left the vet and then see it over to the mechanics. Turns out that my car was unfixable, unless I wanted to spend a couple of thousand on a new engine for an old car. I decided that was a bad idea and got a new one. Hello car payment.  The one positive is that if their is a doggy heaven the Bella is riding dirty with her head out the window and a look of pure contentment on her face. Here it is:

Now for the positives.  

I finished my whole30 and kicked ass. So much ass in fact that 11 lbs dropped off of it and other areas surrounding it. I have since put 5 lbs back on, but who's counting (me, I'm counting...Holy fuck, why do I keep stuffing my face with bread, pasta, and desserts!). I wound up winning the challenge and netted $250.  However that money is tiny drop in the bucket compared to the cost of that shiny new vehicle, but let's keep things positive.

Tommy and Moose have been doing pretty well. Moose has occasional upset stomach fits for no reason- sometimes in the crate which is no fun for me.  Here is a recent picture of the Moosinator.

That's all for now. Hopefully ( and I say hopefully with a large grain of salt) I will be back with some recipes soon.  I have the pictures, I just need to put the recipe together,  

08 January 2014

Mediterranean Chicken Salad for Whole30

I'm on my 4th, err...5th day of whole30. (And I just learned 2 spaces between a period and the first letter of a sentence is wrong. FUCK!who knew? Apparently not I because my mind is blown. I'm also pretty sure you can't start sentences with AND nor can you put parentheses around regular sentences, but then again I am so not grammatically correct. If you have read anything I have written I will apologize to you now for what is considered a poor public school education... or perhaps it was all those drugs I took during my public school education). Aside aside I'm feeling pretty good. The second day migraine and third day headache (which I didn't tell y'all about) have worn away and other than not particularly enjoying meals all things are pretty good. I made it to the 7 pm workout Monday (woo hoo) and then did a quick 12 hour turnaround and went to the 7am workout on Tuesday. Hard as heck... as is only typing one space between sentences. Right now, afternoon on Wednesday, I'm feeling good. Kind of hungry, but good. I haven't had caffeine since last Friday and no sweets since then either. I've been trying to finish my large batch of tuna and egg salad (2 hard boiled eggs, 2 cans of tuna, half an onion, and homemade mayo). It's pretty good on endive lettuce leaves, but even better stuffed inside those mini sweet peppers you can purchase by the bag.

Today I wanted to give you a recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Salad. I grilled up four chicken breasts last night and this is what I will be eating for the next few meals. The chicken was so good that I even enjoyed a bite of it alone. I'm not sure if I could have stomached the whole thing by itself, but one bite didn't get stuck in my literal craw. Here's a horrid picture to make you not so hungry for it. It really is good though.


Mediterranean Chicken Salad
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast

For the marinade:
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice  (1 lemons amount of juice)
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the salad:
1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 pkg small grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp red onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups shredded lettuce

Marinate the chicken  2-3 hours or overnight. Combine the first 10 salad ingredients (cucumbers through salt and black pepper, not the lettuce) and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors set.
Cook the chicken on a hot grill until chicken is cooked through. I cooked my chicken on a panini press because it was 15 degrees outside. Once cooked take a heaping amount of lettuce and top with tomato-cucumber salad and grilled chicken. Store the 3 prepped items separately until you are ready to eat.  

06 January 2014

Whole30 time

Welcome again!  Look at me posting so close to another post.  I should start strutting around, I'm so proud of myself. Something I didn't mention in the last post is how I am doing a 28 day detox with my boot camp group Fitwit.  I thought it would be good to do something that would hold myself accountable for my eating and working out.  Also it will make me actually go to all workouts scheduled.  I don't love the diet we are doing, but it was their only option so I'm stuck with it.

The Whole30 is a limited version of the paleo diet.  Mostly paleo-eating people I know have added a limited amount of dairy, gluten, and other items in since eating on this diet can be hard and limiting yourself at first allows you to see what items in your diet might be affecting you.  Basically the whole30 is meat, vegetables, a bit of fruit and nuts, and some fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, and avocados). No sugar, no gluten, no grains, no legumes, no... While we are on topic let me tell you about my eating habits.  I don't eat any red meat, only poultry and seafood. I tend to eat lots of noodle dish and tortilla dishes because I don't like chicken by itself.  It grosses me out a bit.  I'm fine when it's mixed in, but a plain chicken breast makes me nauseous.  While there is a not-so-recommended whole 30 for vegetarians it is limited and I would really like to try the mostly meat and seafood version.  I might throw in some lentils and beans towards the end if the meat thing gets too hard.

I started the diet right after measurements were taken on Saturday.  Oh yeah, the attractive Fitwit trainers weigh you, take all your measurements, and then check your body fat composition.  Not Fun At ALL. Saturday evening I made a turkey breast in the slow cooker and a roasted a bunch of root vegetables (recipe below). I ate this for breakfast on Sunday; I'm odd, I know. I feel like a drank plenty of water Sunday before I went out to see the Wolf of Wall Street. *Side note- crazy amounts of nudity in it.  It also has the most amount of F words in any non- documentary film, but of course I didn't notice that since my vocabulary incorporates F bombs on the daily.*  During the movie a headache moved in and it was tough going for the rest of the day.  I got home from the movie in starvation mode and cooked up some eggs with avocados and tomatoes mixed in.  I then had to lay down because medium-sized headache turned in to a massive migraine.  I got up after a nap for a quick turkey and root veg dinner that I had to choke down because meat makes me nauseous and migraines make it that much worse.  Sleeping last night was tough.  I would sleep for a while, then wake up with my pounding headache and the feeling that  I needed to get sick.  I never did, but the feeling is awful.  I'm not sure what brought about this horrid headache.  Migraines are a rare occurrence for me.  I tend to only drink coffee during the work week so I don't think it could be the coffee.  I'm thinking it might be the lack of sugar for 2 days.  I tend to have something sweet on the daily, but I omitted this Saturday and Sunday.  Could that be the cause?  Either way I hope it doesn't happen again because it is hard enough to choke down some meat without feeling like crap.

Because of the migraine I skipped my 6 am workout.  I am going to the 7 pm one since my goal is hitting 100% of the workouts this month.  I semi-tried to meal plan for the week and am going to make tuna salad on endive leaves (I've already made olive oil mayo for this), Mediterranean chicken salad, and lots of egg and turkey bacon muffins.  I made a big thing of cauliflower hummus (too lemony) and have lots of different vegetables to snack on.

Welp, I'll be posting more about how I'm feeling and what I'm eating during the next month.  I'll try and post a recipe or 2 of the better things I've eaten during my whole30 time. I also have a whole30 pinterest board that you can check out HERE.  The recipes I'll be making will generally come from this.

Paleo Root Vegetable Winter Mix
1 bag of brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes
1 apple, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 beet, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup toasted pecans, diced
Preheat the oven to 425 and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Add the vegetables in a large bowl and mix in the salt, cinnamon, and oil.  Lay out on the 2 large baking sheets and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  *you might want to cut your beet pieces a bit smaller than everything else because they will take a bit longer to cook through.  After the vegetables are tender enough to your liking then remove from oven and toss with toasted pecans. Voila!


02 January 2014

Hip Hop Happy New Years

Yeah, yeah, yeah it's been awhile.  I wanted to wish all one of my readers a Happy New Years.  I hope you ate your greens (for money), black eyed peas (for luck), and pig (for progress (I think)).  I ate two of the three.  Bet you can't guess which one I skipped?  Actually I think I might have eaten the 3rd too since I went over to a friend for a gumbo party and he snuck in about 7 different species of animal in to the pot. There were the typical seafood; shrimp and oysters.  Some freshwater food by way of crawfish.  Andouille sausage made an appearance which is normal.  On the abnormal side of things were some random pieces of bacon, ham, and beef (who knows what cut). I picked out the sausage and beef, but I'm thinking a bit of the small chopped bacon might have made it's way through my no red meat filter.  Oh well, at least I'll progress this new year instead of staying stagnant like 2013.



Looking back over 2013 makes me feel like I was stuck in a rut.  I did do a bit of traveling (Maui, DC, Okefenokee), but nothing outside my comfort zone.  This year I really want to try and step out of my comfort zone.  I want to accomplish something.  This leads me to the whole I am going to try and do a picture a day for 2014. I have tried this damn project three times (2009, 2010, and 2011);  All were failures.  I could only shoot self portraits in 2008 and 2009 and that was tough.  My narcissism only runs so deep.  I got tired of coming up with different ways to pose or not pose and what body part picture I should take that day.  You can see my feeble attempts HERE.  In 2011 I went with Project 365 (see HERE) which just has you taking one picture a day of any subject matter.  It was easier, but I still stalled out around August.  I didn't take a ton of pictures with my cell at that time and the ones I did looked terrible.  Editing photos from my Nikon became old.  I just sort of pooped out with the "difficulty" of it.  Weak fucking excuses, I know. This time around I'm going to allow myself to shoot with my iPhone and my brand spanking new D7000 (and bad ass 2.8 zoom).  If I get tired of editing my Nikon photos I'll just switch over to my iPhone for awhile.  I am bound and determined to do this.  Ultimately I would like more shots to come from my Nikon because I would like to become a better photographer, not just a person who uses editing software (especially on the IPhone) as a crutch.  Hopefully this project will make me plan additional spur of the moment trips places that I wouldn't normally go.

This year I will definitely be hitting up the beach and DC (to visit my homies).  I already have plans to go on a service trip to Cumberland Island, on a canoeing/camping trip down the Flint River, and to a beer festival in Tupelo, Mississippi.  I would like to go to Asheville for a weekend and also to Canada for some Canadian Rocky Mountain hiking. Finally I want to eek out a trip to the West Coast. Other than a trip to San Fran in high school I've never been to the West Coast.  I think it's about time to make that change.

So gals and guys Cheers to the New Years!  May it be filled with a whole lot of luck, money, and progress...and pictures...and memories.

***To view Project 365 2014 click HERE.  

21 November 2013

Okefenokee Recap

I made it back from the Okefenokee Swamp in one piece.  All fingers and toes are still on my person.  To be honest all the alligators we saw were quite small.  While I'm sure they would gladly eat a toe or two I also think that they would have a hard time if I was fighting them.  I was expecting much larger specimens and instead I got this:
Swamp Gator {Explored 11/19/2013}
I'm pretty sure this was the biggest one we saw and he was about 9 feet long from nose tip to tail.

When we arrived Friday night our leader had us set up our tent at the same campsite as this delightful older gentleman's campsite since we are new to camping.  John from Plains was his moniker.  John is in his late sixties maybe and is a very experienced camper and canoer; he owns a peanut processing facility in Plains, Ga. He is the nicest guy.  My friend and I really didn't understand that we would actually be camping right next to our car and that it meant you could stock your car full of shit you might or might not need.  Despite me telling y'all that I found out we would have power at our disposal I still packed pretty minimalistic.  I'm not really sure what I thought about camping since I've only done it a couple of times, but I thought you eat, sit on the ground around the campfire and go to sleep or whatever.  We pull up to the site and John asks us if we have blah blah blah.  No, of course not.  Much later after the fire is stoked he tells us to bring out chairs over. Um, what chairs?  The next morning he asks if I want coffee (we are still at the campsite).  "Sure" I say.  He tells me to bring my cup over and get some.  I told him point blank "John, I didn't even have camp chair.  Why in the hell would I have a coffee cup?".  Needless to say I am much more prepared for the next time I go car camping.

We spent the first night in the tent.  It proceeded to rain all night and my one tiny sleeping pad didn't really cut it.  I tossed and turned all night long.  It doesn't help that I like my feet out of the covers and my mummy sleeping bag was constricting.   The next night the park ranger from Cumberland Isl and a wildlife refuge employee from the Okefenokee (both were the coolest folks on the trip other than John), invited my friend and I to sleep in their cabin since they had a whole extra room with 2 twin beds that were going unused.
It's quite hard to resist the siren call of open beds when they are free and it's raining cats and dogs. So I agreed and my friend and I spent a comfortable night in a plush cabin. They really are plush too. I highly recommend you stay in one if you go visit the western side of the Okefenokee.

Other things we saw: a wood stork, a red shouldered hawk, plenty of ibis, anhinga and deer, and a couple of cute yellow-eared sliders.

Yellow Eared Slider


White Ibis in black and white

The paddle was fun.  I think we did somewhere between 8 and 10 miles on Saturday. We walked around Billy's Island a bit, but that wasn't the best part for me.  The history of Billy's is cool though, there just isn't much to see other than your typical coastal interior. The paddle to Minnie's Lake and back was my fave.  It gets quite narrow in the canal and cypress dot the way.  Despite being with a very large group, there were parts were no one was close to me so I got to experience the swamp all alone.  So quiet and magical.  Also spooky since it was overcast and grey outside.  Because of that I didn't use my good camera during the run up to the lake and back.  I got some cool pics on the IPhone, but it's not the same.  By the end of the paddle I was really hurting.  My shoulders and arms were out-of-control sore.  I had to push through and get back though.  Especially since I spent the last hour really needing to use the restroom and a swamp is not a good place to go out and pee behind a bush. I am definitely signing up for more trips with the Georgia Conservancy.  The next one on the schedule will be my second service trip to Cumberland Island, but I also went ahead and booked an over night trip down the Flint River. I'm especially excited since John from Plains is leading the way.  He is one cool dude.

More pics:
Pop art anhinga

Fall in the Swamp

Swamp Reflection

Cypress

My favorite:
Parking Lot


A cool truck that we saw on the way down:
Old Truck



14 November 2013

Blackwater

Welp, I said I would make an appearance this week and so here I am... ready to prove myself wrong and actually follow through with a promise. Ahhh it sucks.  So I kind of wish I could be writing this post next week because I'm hoping I have a lot of pictures and things to share.  Why you ask?  Because I'm headed to the Okefenokee Swamp to do a little canoeing and camping.  Sounds like I've become a bit outdoorsy right?  I hate to burst your bubble, but not really.  As much as I wish I could say I've been hiking and camping all year, sadly I haven't.  I've done a few hikes, but nothing that's taken me outside of the state or even really to the mountains.  I have most certainly not camped since my 30 x 30 list when I did a camping night near Blood Mountain.    I'm pretty pumped about this weekend though.  It's supposed to be lovely, except for a bit of rain and I have never been the Okefenokee which I've heard is beautiful.  I just got this cool waterproof case which might (or might not) allow me to get a close up view of an alligator in the water.  It probably won't since south Georgia swamps tend to have black water.  And because I am afraid of alligators.  So the chances of me sticking my hands in the water anywhere near an alligator are slim to none.   I do hope to get lots of wildlife shots though which y'all know always makes me happy. I'm camping too whichis killer, especially considering we will have a partner cabin that we are paired with.  Therefor I get to use running water, showers, and fridges while camping.  Instead of camping I should just call it laying my head down in a tent.

The one other big thing that has happened lately is that my newest nephew, Easy E has arrived weighing in at 10+ lbs.  Kid was big.  He's  now 2 months old, but I'll post newborn pictures below so that you can roll your eyes and grumble to yourself about how this blog is turning all baby blog on you.   It's not, don't worry.  If anything I'd turn this bitch in to a puppy blog with pictures of cute dogs all day long.  Kind of like this one:
Oh yeah, Moose the baller, shot caller...twenty inch blades...on the Impala Highlanda'

Anyways here goes some of those annoying pics of Easy E I was talking about.  Remember to not roll your eyes too much otherwise they might get stuck like that. 

  Half finished

Sleepy Boy

Faded


and the pièce de résistance:




*I'll be back next week with a recipe.  Only because I took pics of the food on instagram so now I feel I gotta give you something to wet your lips and quench your thirst.




13 June 2013

Hawaii and Back

Fuck me, I am a terrible blogger.  Maybe because I don't get any comments so I feel like I am talking to a wall. To be honest that shouldn't matter much since I talk to my dog and cat all the time (the joys of being single) and they sure as hell don't understand anything I say except maybe hungry, walk, and out.  So I last left off by telling you I was leaving to head out to Hawaii for a family vacay.  Well I'm back, slightly tanner, and a whole lot more annoyed at my family.  Basically Hawaii is an amazing spot with lots to do and I hope to go back, but I sure as hell will never go back with my family.  It's sad that I feel this way and maybe I am being a spoiled little brat since my parents footed the bill for housing and airfare, but golly gee whiz my parents seem to have forgotten that I am 31 and not 13.

Abstract Seashore

The week started by my brother, sis-n-law, and parents picking me up at my house- I should have taken public transit.  I spent 2 hours with them waiting for the first leg of the flight.  Then it arrived and there were 4 hours in the plane together.  We landed in Phoenix and had an hour to hang before we got on another 6 hour flight to Honolulu. Needless to say I spent 13 hours in extremely tight quarters with my family and we hadn't even arrived at our destination.  I should also tell you that my parents and bro talks incessantly. I'm not saying that I'm quiet, I am also a talker, but not anywhere near the extent they are.  After 13 hours of constant chatter and claustrophobic quarters we arrived to our first stop Honolulu.  Since we arrived at 7 pm, we were just spending the night and flying out to our final destination of Maui the next day.  As we are heading to our hotel scummy motel my dad tells us he got 2 rooms; one for my brother and his wife, and one for me and my parents...because a 31 year old single woman shouldn't be afforded the same amount of privacy as a married couple.  Needless to say I booked my own room.  Good thing since the dump we were in contained one full bed in a room with about 2 feet of clearance on 3 sides of the bed.

The next morning we headed to the airport to catch a 9 seater plane out to Maui.  I got to listen to my parents and bro bitch about how long the line was taking when clearly a 9 seat plane wasn't going to take off without 5 of it's passengers.  The best thing about riding such a tiny plane is that the weigh all your stuff as well as every person in order to distribute the weight evenly throughout the plane.  When it was my turn to get on the industrial sized scale instead of averting his eyes like everyone else does my DAD blurted out to my family, everyone in line, and the dude behind the counter helping us  "Looks like my daughter needs to go on a diet".  Oh yes, he really did say that.  I immediately walked off with tears in my eyes.  Anyone who knows me, and I would say my parents know me pretty well, knows how sensitive I am about my weight.  I have always been chubby.  Funny thing is I work out more than any one of my friends, all of whom are smaller than me.  Oh and I had foot surgery in January so I haven't really been able to work out since then (though I am back at boot camp now).  This pretty much put a damper on the rest of vacation.  While I got past it, I will never get over it.  My mom played it off like "Oh, men don't realize what they say".  Fuck that... there isn't a person in this world that doesn't realize that weight is not a subject you bring up with women.

Anyhoo back to this long winded retelling of my story.  We get on a the tiny plane and after 45 minutes arrive in Maui.  The airport overlooks the gorgeous crystal blue waters.  We arrived at 10, but can't get in our condo until 3 so we head to a fancy resort mall on the beach, where we shop for a bit, have lunch, and then hang in the sand.  We come back to this same "mall" 2 different times during our vacation... not my choice, but when you have 1 car for 5 people you have to trudge along. We finally get to the condo and it's lovely; right on the beach with amazing views of Molokai across the way.

The first full day we hung at the condo and went to a cheesy luau.  The next day my bro and sis-n-law dropped me off at the top of the volcano Haleakala so I could go on a 5 hour horseback ride to the crater and back. Yes, I was the only person dropped off, and I was the only person not part of a couple.  Another yay for singlehood.  My parents picked me up.  The following day we snorkeled at Kapalua Bay.  I got to swim with sea turtles - it was quite awesome.  By this point I was extremely annoyed with my family.  My brother would just drink constantly and talk incessantly and my parents thought that we should spend every waking hour as a family. Oh, except when my bro and his wife wanted space then I should spend time with them because me being single means I never need space. I love them, but it was just too much. The day after that we went for the most expensive massages ever.  I'm just telling you I will never again pay extra for getting a massage on the beach.  Especially considering we had to walk 2 minutes from the spa to the massage tent through the heat there and back which gets you out of the massage zone and the tents were right next to the pool so on one hand you can hear waves breaking, on the other you get to hear kids playing at the pool which was directly on the other side as well as people walking along the path right next to the tent.  It was at the Hyatt spa in Kaanapali.  I recommend getting a massage inside.  Skip the beachfront. The last full day we all did our own thing which perhaps made that the most enjoyable day for me.  I rented a bike and was on my own schedule.   I drove over to Kapalua Bay to snorkel, I went out to eat at a local Hawaiian restaurant, I hung on the beach, and chatted with some local Hawaiians.  The last day we left Maui on the first flight out and spent the day in Honolulu.  By this time I was about done with it all. I just wanted to be on my own, doing my own thing, but Kila, my sis-n-law had planned ahead and rented a car so I hitched a ride with her and my bro.  It was fun.  We hung in some parks, hiked to a waterfall, and walked around waikiki.  Then we spent another 13 hours together on the way home.

I wish I didn't feel like such an ungrateful bitch, but I will never ever go on another family vacation unless I have my own room and own ride.  I can't be reliant on someone else that much nor can I be around people who are so different from me. I love my family, but I'm like the black sheep... I love personal space and time alone, I'm much more liberal, and much more open to new experiences and ideas.

Anyhoo after all that bitching here are some pictures from Hawaii.  You can see a lot more on my Flickr Page.

Sea Turtle


Haleakala

Kids

Surfs Up

This picture made it on Flickrs blog.  Quite exciting!
Out Fishing

02 May 2013

Over and Out

Flying out to Maui in the am.  Who's jealous??  The pups are all snug in their temporary homes and I am prepared to be back in a couple of weeks with some amazing photos.  Get pumped up!

30 April 2013

Finally Finished

This is hopefully my last post about my one and only bathroom.  Click HERE to read a previous post.

To bring you up to speed... months ago when I had already started purchasing items for my kitchen renovation, I noticed that there was an odd spot on the ugly pine floors right next to the toilet.  I felt this and realized the wood was rotten.  Uh Oh!  I decided  I needed to go ahead and get the bathroom done before I fell through the floor while sitting on the toilet.  I have HATED the bathroom in my house since I bought the place; the light was hideous (me not adding missing bulbs didn't help), the mirror builders grade, the old POS vanity, and the super grungy pine floors better suited to a cabin in the woods. Since I was already going to get the floor replaced I decided I would go ahead and replace the light, mirror, vanity, and toilet.  The 1950's ceramic tub and decent square white tile would be left alone.  

Flash back to the beginning of April. The contractor is supposed to start on my house this morning.  I get a call around lunch from him telling me I need to come by and look at some things in the house. I ask if this is bad.  "Could be worse" he answered. I had a co-worker who has been a home inspector for years come with me to make sure whatever he had to tell me was true and honest.  I don't want to get scammed for being the naive homeowner that I am.  Basically we get there and he has already started the bathroom demo.  He found all kinds of rotten wood; from a supporting wall to the sill of the house.  He also found that it was rotten under the tub too, which meant the tub had to come out. Sad day indeed.  This is one of the problems with owning a 93 year old house.  You open something up and notice all the rot and decay that needs to be redone. The main reason for all the rotting had to do with the toilet pipe being attached to nothing so basically it just moved slightly all the time so water was always leaking out. 



Basically what should have been a quick remodel tuned into a major renovation.  I had to stay at friends house for 2 weeks since this is my house's one and only bathroom. Staying in a friends small 800 sq foot house with me, her, her 2 anti-dog cats, and my brand new adopted great dane Moose was a bit difficult, but we managed.  Now I have a nice new bathroom with no plans to redo it any time soon.   

The things I had done:
- New tile floor (also new subfloor) which is penny round from The Tile Store
- New toilet 
- New tub
- New vanity (Godmorgon from Ikea)
- New mirror (Molger from Ikea)
- New overhead light (indoor/outdoor light from Home Depot - I might replace this, I'm not sure I like it here)
-New shower curtain (Restoration Hardware)
- New trashcan  (SimpleHuman)
-Wall and ceiling repainted (Moonshine by Benjamin Moore) 

Things to do: 
-new door handle (Bella has chewed up the one on the door)
-hang art
-hang towel holder
-hang a window shade

Just a few pictures of the (mostly) finished product (click on any of the pictures to make them bigger):







and some comparison shots from what it looked like to now: