Music Obsessed

I have a new toy. Not that kind of toy. Get outta the gutter you folks.

I have a treadmill. It was a big decision despite that it was my plan when we moved and there was room for one. I was terrified that I would use it once and hate it and it would sit as an expensive clothes horse. But I like it a lot. And now that I live in the forest it’s kind of tricky building up the kilometers with snow covered trails, in a valley with hills every way you look.  Today I was all keener and suited up to run outside, I lasted 20 minutes. Ice covered puddles aren’t fun for me.

I’ve been diligently racking up the kilometers and even some miles. It took me a week to figure out how to change the control panel to metric so there were a few imperially measured runs in there. But the view is a bummer.

 

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Straight ahead.

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Someone clean my desk already.

out the window

If I crane my neck to the right it’s not so bad.

 

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I try not to look to the left, unmade bed and unpacked boxes, no thanks.

 

While our basement is being renovated this is the only spot for Tmill and with no TV to amuse me I must have music. My current running playlist maxes out at 32 minutes and it takes me… well… a lot longer to run 5km. There’s only so many times you can hear Glee on repeat before you have to stop running and yell at something.

So I did running song research. The first step was asking my FB friends, they had enough suggestions for an entire 56 minutes playlist. I’m calling it “Friends for Faster Running”. Then I found the super supportive team at Another Mother Runner, they have lists of running playlists for my (and your) amusement. Of course the first one I organized was Ready to Run Country.

I love country music. And I’m not kidding. I don’t even care what Toby Keith says, I would smoke weed with Willie anytime.

Then late one night Ken and I were introduced to Songza and it’s changed my life. Pre-made playlists for every possible mood, activity and celebration. When I finally meet Willie Nelson, Songza will have a weed smoking playlist for us.

 

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It’s not all bad on the treadmill, if I keep at it long enough the distance is a nice thing to look at

What’s your favourite running or workout song?

 

Once A Food Blogger Always A Food Blogger?

I am a believer in the sweet potato, I believe that they make you pretty. It’s more than a belief actually, it’s like a founding principle of my life.

Sometime around Christmas we had leftover grated raw sweet potato in the fridge. Don’t ask why because I have no freaking idea. About the same time I was toying with the idea of going totally paleo, or at least trying out a new paleo cookbook.

I’m not great at getting out of bed. Fine, the truth is I hate getting out of bed. So I usually miss breakfast and then have to race like a crazy woman to get the kids out the door to school. It’s a long drive to school and back and skipping breakfast ruins my mood for the whole day.

In a stroke of genius one morning I sautéed up a handful of the sweet potato in some butter. Mixed in 2 eggs and cooked it up omelette style. When it was cooked through, I do not support runny eggs, I added some goat cheese and flipped that sucker over. Super delicious, fast and it filled me up. I was so happy I’ve had it nearly everyday since.

 

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Except the weekends, there’s no rush for school on those days and breakfast is later so I can usually get up for it. Truthfully I think it’s the race to school that keeps me in bed. I willingly signed up for parenting but I did not sign anything that said I had to get up for school September through June.

 

 

 

What I Learned Watching Too Much TV

We just finished epic tv show watching. We finished all 5 seasons of Sons of Anarchy in 2 weeks, then 3 seasons of Downton Abbey in a week. There was hardly any sleep and very little interest in anything not directly related to the tv characters I was absorbed with. Example: During Downton I drank only tea. It wasn’t all soap operas, I did learn some important lessons about myself and the world.

  1. Death happens. Even if you are the star of the show with top billing you could be killed off.  If you are just a guest star on a show, enjoy it will you can because you won’t be around for long. No one is safe from sudden death (or dismemberment) on a tv show. 
  2. The life of a tv character would suit me, there’s very little hard work to be done and a lot of flouncing around and scheming. I don’t particularly enjoy scheming but if it was the price of flouncing I could manage.
  3. At the start of a tv show I am going to like whichever heart throb the creators throw at me. By the end I’ll set my cap to the dark and damaged soul lurking in the back. The love affair usually ends badly, see #1.
  4. I am not a fan of online piracy, in all cases I prefer paying for shows. But legal online streaming sucks, in fact I think they cause the glitches to make us watch the commercials over and over and over. Also some shows aren’t available online in Canada at all. Yes I’m looking at you SAMCRO.
  5. If there are spoilers to be found I will find them. I don’t believed that patience is a virtue but I’ve never read the end of a book before I earned it. It doesn’t seem that I follow the same rule with tv shows. I must know what will happen next. Interestingly, knowing what will happen hasn’t ruined the watching.

In another week I will be finished mourning the end of Downton Abbey and ready for a new show. What’s your favourite tv show? And please suggest something that I can access without rerouting my IP address through 4 countries and hacking into my American friends Amazon and iTunes accounts.

 

 

Have Passport, Will Travel

We booked a vacation. A vacation to celebrate Ken finishing his thesis. Which isn’t finished yet.

I sat on the fence about whether or not to commit to a vacation before the final copy was printed, bound and delivered and the date for defence was set but it’s the beach so I bent the rules.

Look out Florida here we come!

We’re planning a few days at Disney and a few days at the beach. The kids are so excited they wore sundresses for dinner. It’s important to note that the dresses were too small on both of them. So both my kids need new summer wardrobes before we’re ready to pack up and head out. Awesome.

We attempted a Disney vacation 2 years ago. While it was fun, it was filed in the comedy of errors section of life. I learned a few things about travelling en famille that I will not be repeating this time.

  1. I will book the flights. Two years ago Ken booked the flights. He is ridiculous with the number of windows he opens on his computer and while price comparing on 1800 websites he confused PM for AM. We flew out at 7PM and arrived at 11PM.
  2. Be prepared for storms and flight delays. A 4AM arrival isn’t fun for anyone, 4PM we could probably survive. See above.
  3. Minimize time spent on the shuttle. We had reservations booked hither and yon, there was no down time on our last visit just time spent racing from one Disney compound to another.
  4. More old school Disney cartoons. The kids loved the old cartoons last time and I loved them laughing themselves silly watching them.
  5. I can’t prevent the strep throat/ear infection I developed last time but I’m going to do my best. My plan is like drink lots of scotch and not get stuck on a runway for 5 hours in a thunderstorm. And get a super healthy dose of vitamin C.

 

 

Excuses

So, uhm, hi. I haven’t been doing much blogging lately. Maybe you noticed? I’ve got a good reason, several good reasons.

We moved. It was a big job. Huge. Took me all of August to pack. And unpacking, well, maybe I’ll be finished in 2016. OK, fine I finished unpacking already except for those 3 boxes of random junk that I’d rather just give away.

We renovated. This is an ongoing 10 year project. We are currently stalled in the basement because there’s water leaking in and I have no idea who to call to solve this. There’s also water leaking in through the roof over my bedroom, the guy we called for that is on vacation. Smart guy.

We landscaped. I spent most of October digging up 18 million hostas that I am positive will come up in the spring regardless of having been composted. I wish I was joking. We also clear cut our new property so we could replant 500 trees, on a slope. Good times.

We watched tv. Have you folks watched Sons of Anarchy? If not get on that ASAP, it’s awesome but don’t expect to sleep because there’s no turning it off until you’ve watched every. single. episode. We had a good little obsession going on here until watched them all. It’s just as well, I don’t think a crow tramp stamp is my style. Now we are into Downton Alley, it’s good but I had a poor me meltdown this afternoon because I had to dress myself.

I drive. Seriously I drive a lot, it’s ridiculous. Our biggest expense at the new house is gas because I am commuting the kids to their old schools, ones we could walk to from our old house. It’s a half hour trip one way and the bells are 20 minutes apart cause my kids are at separate schools. Driving is a huge part of my day. I’m desperate for some snow days or strike days or even sick days. Don’t ask why I agreed to all this driving, it’s an epic story and I am likely to start crying.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

The truth of it is I was happy not blogging. I was happy puttering about my new house and looking at paint colours and new furniture. I’m not so happy any more, in fact I’m kind of bored. Like staring at the wall because solitaire on my phone can’t hold my attention bored.

And Poppy has started this new meme called Threesome Thursdays and while I am honoured that she named me one of the bloggers who could get her to eat brussel sprouts she also said I had abandoned the blogging world and she didn’t name me one of the bloggers she’d want in the delivery room. This will not do! I MUST be in Poppy’s imaginary blogging delivery room. Everyone needs a goal.

Just Call Me Demolition Girl

Almost three months after we’ve moved in I’m still struggling to figure out where to put all our things and how to make do with the current décor until the time comes to rip down all the walls and renovate the whole place.  Easier said then done.

I was making my humble Christmas list this week and sure, there’s a whole lot (a real whole lot) of fancy things I could list, but what I really want more than anything is a new laundry room. I might of said that on Facebook and it might have become quite controversial. To be clear, I would like a new laundry room for Christmas, the rest of you good people can ask Santa for whatever your hearts desire. My laundry room dream does not and will not affect what’s under the tree for you Christmas morning. Okey doke?

Still a new laundry room isn’t a traditional Christmas present but I have good reasons for asking. Very good reasons.

Exhibit A – The laundry sink

This beauty is the sump pump. From what I gather it’s needed to pump the drain into the septic tank because this sink is below grade.  Whatever, it’s freakin’ ugly and I don’t want any part of it. There’s no automatic feature on this model, I need to stand there and activate it until it empties the sinks. Excellent use of my time.

It’s important to note that this pump has live wires on the top. Live wires in the sink, with water. I know this because one day when I was cleaning paint brushes I flicked the stick with my wet hand.

I won’t do that again.

Exhibit B – The fake bricks

I get that some people have different ideas about what makes up a pretty home. But I challenge anyone to agree that fake bricks have a place inside a home.

I should be clear, some of this bricks are real but they are like a brick front, like a tile of brick. Some of these, most of the white ones, are plastic with a wood back. All are glued on and grouted with cement. It’s so very pretty.

There is no place in my laundry room for fake bricks.

Exhibit C – There’s no heat.

I don’t have a picture of the non-functioning radiator. I am planning a sewing table and a craft station in the laundry room and I think heat would make big projects more enjoyable. I do live in Canada.

I rest my case. You fine jurors can decide for yourselves, is a laundry room makeover a worthy Christmas present or not?

Whatever your decision I am renovating it anyway, in fact I’ve already started. I took off a few bricks as an exploratory exercise and the next thing I knew I was throwing around a hammer and a crowbar and standing in a pile of rubble.

Yes Kristin there is mouse poop in those walls.

This archway was a nasty bit of work. The fake bricks were glued and nailed in, plus it was above my head. I couldn’t wear the safety googles with the dust mask because they fogged up. I was forced to decide whether to protect my eyes or my lungs. I went with lungs, currently I am flushing 14 lbs of cement dust out of my eyes. I also had to master the tricky work of using a hammer and crowbar above my head.

I managed but I haven’t been able to lift my arms since.

A good day’s work. Next up I’m getting a dumpster and recruiting a demolition team, there’s A LOT more bricks left.

Lesson Learned: catch up on your laundry before you decide to make a dusty mess of the the washer and dryer.

Hello? Anyone There?

It seems that I am having trouble remembering that I am a blogger. Or why I like being a blogger.

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home and in it she talks about an all or nothing approach to Christmas time sweets. She feels that it’s easier for her to abstain completely than to eat sweets moderately. The same goes for me and blogging, it’s easier for me to set a rule that I must write a blog post everyday than it is to write when I feel like it.

Case in point, I gave myself permission to stop writing posts when we moved and that was 2 months ago. I do better with rules and I am happier when I am writing blog posts, that’s why I do it.

So here’s my new rule – I am going to commit to NaPloPoMo and write a blog post everyday but I am not going to publish everyday. I lose interest in blogs that publish everyday so I won’t do that to you kind folks.

Any other bloggers out there feeling the need to get back to the keyboard and want to join me? I do like a team.

How Much Internet Do I Need?

I’m on the verge of doing something drastic. Or I am doing something drastic. Let’s call it a 2 phase plan, each phase more drastic than the other.

Phase 1

I’ve broken up with Twitter. It was either a Twitter break or unfollow nearly everyone in my stream. (which I haven’t entirely ruled out) I got tired of listening, reading. There’s so much judgement and craziness out there and I don’t need any(more) crazy in my life. I don’t need to read things about being a better parent in 140 characters or 17 links to how Lindsay Lohan got herself into another cocaine induced debacle.

And for the love of all that is decent please do not post pictures of your child bleeding. Put down the camera and get to the ER.

Like I said, there’s a lot of judgement. I don’t want to read it and I don’t want to be a part of it.

Phase 2

My cell phone carrier has been very diligent about sending me cheerful text messages reminding me that I am ready to upgrade my phone. It’s a bit like subliminal marketing and it worked. I was all set to line up for the brand spanking new iPhone5, jostling other Apple hardcores for the best spot in line.

But do I really need to be carrying the internet in my purse? Not really. What I need is a device to text message my husband to tell ask him to bring home something for dinner and for the school to reach me should one of my kids’ heads collide with the ground or another kid’s head.

Imagine that, a smartphone made dumb. On purpose. I’m kind of excited about it. It feels liberating. Well, until I get dreadfully lost and my GPS map doesn’t work. That will be a sad day.

I’ve been increasingly feeling like a hamster stuck in a wheel and my pounding little feet are what is powering the internet. Like a nursing mother and I am growing the internet instead of a baby. That’s not the internet’s fault, it’s mine.

 

What I am saying is:

Dear Internet, it’s not you it’s me. Love Kristin

 

Stay Just A Little Bit Longer

I love to hate summer. Well, maybe I don’t love to hate it but we have a mutual understanding to agree to disagree. And summer looks the other way when I complain about it online.

Being against summer means I am giddy with excitement when the first week of September rolls around and heralds school and cooler temperatures. The first week of September and I are best friends, so much so that I am so impatient to see it again that I barely enjoy labour day weekend.

But this year-

Either it wasn’t all that hot out or I didn’t get enough complaining in because I am really not ready to stay good bye to summer 2012. Most of our summer was lost to making the house show ready and related panic attacks. I don’t feel that I got my money’s worth out of summer yet.

No school, not yet. Let’s stay home in our pajamas and make papier mache or tie-dye t-shirts or gimp bracelets. Let’s do them all, there’s always craft time in the summer. Let’s stay up late and spend the next day playing in the sprinkler. Let’s ride our bikes and make popsicles.

I didn’t even wear my white pants.

I know I don’t deserve it but please give me another chance. Just 2 weeks longer. Please. I have my own pool now and while I can’t promise I will do my very best to not complain about the heat next year.

Whatever you decide summer, I am sticking with iced coffee and flip flops until October. No amount of marketing can force me into a pumpkin spice latte and tall boots.

A Few Fun Things About The New House

And by fun I mean are you freakin’ kidding me.

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These pink beauties are the drapes in my bedroom. So far they are staying. I’m kind of fascinated by the scalloped valence, they are perfect.

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The only working shower is turned on by that red handle. If you look closely at the shower head you will see 800 years of hardwater damage.

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Move in day. How do you like my fireplace?

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My new kitchen. It’s not nearly as nice as it looks and those retro plastic pull outs don’t pull out. That’s not true, they pull out if there’s nothing on them.

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Super fancy electrical plates in my bedroom. You are jealous, I know. Even better is that only the outlets in our bedroom actually work. There’s a few other secret ones that you have to hunt for. It’s fun.

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Not just a chiming clock, it’s also the door bell. Really fun when there’s a gang of small children in the house banging into it every 30 seconds. Sometimes the dog whacks it. So far real visitors have rung the door bell twice and I gave the kids a hard time for banging the chimes. I only looked at the front door once they both claimed innocence and the dog was nowhere to be found.

So if you drop by ring the door bell a few times and don’t mind me yelling at the kids.

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This cutting edge modern contraption is my oven. It actually works, which was a pleasant surprise. But do not touch any part of it when it’s on you will get burned, that sucker heats up.

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In case you missed the model name. It’s a party everyday here!
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And the very best part of my new house. Wall to wall mirrored bathroom. For accuracy I’ve given you the “if you were sitting on the toilet” view but spared you me actually sitting on the toilet. What’s even more fun is the tap at the sink has 2 speeds, off and full blast. So there’s water ALL over the mirror and the floor. The floor is white and mostly little kids have dirty feet in the summer. You can imagine how the whole bathroom looks after we’ve been here a week.

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We are quickly making the new house our home.