Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 is winding down

Here we are at the end of another year.
my 41st year. of this life. on this earth.
each year, i tend to add on more things i'd like to do in the new year. which leads to me saying to myself, 'what are you thinking? you'll never succeed at anything if you start everything all at the same time!'
so i think this year, i may try to cut to the chase and try to focus on one thing (okay...maybe one big thing and a couple smaller things?).

SPOILER: none of my goals are to capitalize or properly punctuate my blogs. sorry. 

my problem: i don't ever feel like i'm getting older. sure, my knees hate stairs. my hair is sparkly with greys. my weight loss efforts get more frustrating. but i have a 12 year old dog that acts like a puppy. i don't have kids that continue to grow older to remind me that I, too, am growing older.
so here i sit, looking forward to my 42nd birthday in 2016, feeling like i never passed my 25th!
but it's not a problem, in the traditional sense of the word. it's just a problem when i make my list of goals, and then consider the timing. so the list has to be edited and edited and edited, with each new year. (honestly, primarily because i lack focus and ambition)

now, keep in mind, that this is still my personal blog. it may not mean anything to you...or, maybe some posts speak to you while other posts leave you scratching your head thinking 'who the eff cares, you weirdo!?'  But whatever your reason for reading this...my reason for writing it is to keep myself sane and centered (in theory).

so what do i actually want to do, to make the most of 2016? 
well, i'd like to focus most of my energy on getting the Barracuda running (that's a whole other blog that has gotten very little attention these past couple years, sadly). that'll be my one 'big' thing.
i've also had success with my quilled jewelry over this past year. while all my profits this year have gone to charity, which warms my heart, i'd like to maybe keep a little for myself...using the momentum from the charity craft fairs. this is where my focus really needs to be stepped up...i.am.lazy.
of course there are the personal goals of taking back control of my weight and fitness routines...actually getting myself to field hockey, skating more, working out and running again would all be helpful.
 i'm still interested in learning icelandic...and brushing up on my french...maybe finally learn russian...
there's tap...
and here we go...
the list just gets longer...
new year's resolutions are just reminders of how old we're getting!

so what have i learned with my stream of consciousness?
that i will just have to go about my business as usual, trying to be more ambitious and better at time management, while my main goal in life will remain:
to be a good person

and on that note:
give blood!
go HERE to link to the facebook event page for the blood drive at the Orleans Animal Hospital on January 8.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What's a 'Rogue-Bot'?

Just a quick little post today to relay my gratitude. 
Since leaving roller derby in February, I have had a little extra time on my hands. oh, let's be real...i have a lot of extra time! Not only that, but I have 2 amazingly giving friends that I gained from that chapter in my life.
And, the three of us have the best time just trying to be good people. 
These days, instead of trying to come up with practice drills and safety policies, i'm back to crafting! And the beauty of that, is that i can take my art and turn it into money for charity.
My friends and I formed a little group. A lot of people are confused by it, and it's a little bit of an inside joke, but mostly it's just silly... like us.
Let me explain:
we joined derby.
we each had our own experiences with it, but seemed to have a common bond that just got stronger as we struggled with our individual derby journeys. 
Things happen and people talk...I always used say 'we went rogue' when people questioned our opinions and actions. but sometimes you believe in something so strongly that you must do what you feel is right. 
our thought was simple: think logically and don't take anything too seriously or personally...like robots.
thus, we dubbed ourselves 'Rogue-Bots'
and then we had my hubby draw us a logo for our silly group of do-gooders. (that's logical, right?)
Our goal is to be a positive force in the communities in which we live. It's just the logical thing to do.
we're not going to change the world, but we will continue to do good where we can.

In fact, as we have our team set up for Relay for Life (Midcape), we had a very successful fundraising event this past saturday. That came the day after our impromptu gig as charity gift-wrappers at Barnes & Noble. Between the two events, we were able to raise over $500 for the American Cancer Society!

now, this is something i would not have done if i had never met these two amazing friends of mine.
it's sometimes crazy when i think about how a life can change just by a chance meeting.
it's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world...and i'm a better person because of it!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

still just rolling along

I'm not ashamed to say that i have been listening to Christmas music and watching terrible made-for-TV Christmas movies. as i mentioned before, I have crafts to get done. and when you're making snowflakes, holiday music helps get you in the mood.
as for all the stuff i need to make and get done, i think the IFAW thing may be off the list. haven't heard about it and hubby says he's not sure it's going to happen this year. I'd still like to get stuff done, for my etsy shop...even though i get so little traffic there, it seems silly.
The meeting in Provincetown was a success! 
Womencrafts on Commercial street currently has a few pieces of mine, for the rest of the year. Hopefully they get some positive feedback and call me this spring for more stuff. They are only open on weekends, now...if you're out there when they're open, go in and see how it looks in person! you'll also find some pottery by my friend Susie, of Wink pottery! she was my push into the brick & mortar game.
here's a sample of what i dropped off. 
(the finished product hangs on silver fish hook earrings)
My awesome Rogue-Bot Rollers Relay for Life team is also busy getting ready for the craft fair. All proceeds go toward our fundraising efforts for the 2016 Relay. The American Cancer Society gets all the money raised. It'll be the beginning of my individual efforts...last year i was able to collect about $150 from jewelry sales! I'm hoping to at least match that this year. I'll have my fun paper snowflakes and some new pieces of jewelry. And I played around with some miniatures this year...
ACORNS!
I'm not really sure what to do with them, except sell them individually. They'd be cute additions to gift wrappings, i think. so come snatch a couple up before they are gone! 

We finally got to Fairhaven for a rink skate. 
It was freaking mobbed with teens and tweens. 

Kraut couldn't make it because she had family in town. and Tart & Slam didn't skate...Tart has an eye injury and Slam was not feeling it...they came along for support and as our chauffeurs! I finally got to skate with Renee's beau. and hubby skated with me...well, he was there...trying to skate as fast as he could. I'm more of a 'let the music move me' skater. it was a ton of fun, but it'll be even better when the group is all healthy and together again and skating on a quieter night. looking forward to that!

and Thanksgiving is still on it's way. no stopping the holiday rush around. 
just found out a little while ago that mom's coming out for Christmas. and Auntie is headed to London at the start of December. family Christmas eve will be a little different this year. but with hubby's new car and moxie's little health issue this year, there will not be gifts here...so i can put all my efforts into the one swap gift. no searching for this, that and the other thing...just one thoughtful $20 gift. I'm actually kind of excited to shop this year!!

so, make sure you come out to the Dennis Senior Center on Saturday, November 28 between 10 am and 2 pm! get some handmade gifts (jewelry, pottery, knitted goods...you get the idea) and help fight cancer, all at the same time!!
here's my personal fundraising page, if you feel like donating now.
and, here's my TEAM page if you'd like to join our team, or make a donation to the team, in general.
(thank you)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

i am the girl of 100 lists...

no Iceland blog today. I think I covered most of the trip in the last 4 blogs. That doesn't mean i don't still think about that trip every day. My facebook feed is full of Iceland...i follow at least 3 pages, so that I can see it's beauty daily. And, also take notes for the next trip.
so what's been going on since I've finished combing through my 100's of pictures, and reliving that glorious time away from the hustle and bustle of life?
well, I'm back to the hustle and bustle, of course.
I decided, during that time i could collect my thoughts, that I needed to realize that my life is not really moving. I go to work, I do random things to keep myself busy, and i hang out with the dog and hubby when I can.
but is that living?
since quitting roller derby nearly a year ago (February, i think i made it official?), i've had a ton of time freed up.
I have a few things i could fill that time with...
but then suddenly...
i'm strapped for time again!
the end of the year is jam-packed. 
it's like there was a set number of holidays we needed to have in a year, and they weren't spaced out properly so we just threw a bunch in at the end. like when you're making your 'YARD SALE' sign and you started too far to the right and 'sale' is all mashed and illegible. well, i feel like the end of the year is like that...all mashed up.
so here i am ...wanting to do too many things, while also having that list of things that still needs to get done.
Specifically
a couple friends and i finally found a few hours on a Saturday morning to get out and roller skate. It was a beautiful and unseasonably warm November 1. I took a digger at the very bottom of a tall hill. there was a patch of thick sand at the bottom and my wheels stopped, while my body continued its forward motion.
my lucky day! 
i managed to skate away with a few scrapes and a couple sprained fingers. i did not hit my face or bite my tongue or break any bones. it was a good day!
It makes my quilling a little more painful, but i have a meeting on Thursday and a craft show at the end of the month. plus the IFAW holiday bazaar next month.
I got my work schedule changed to free up Wednesday mornings so i could stay out late and play field hockey with some friends Tuesday nights. last night was to be my first try. i bailed to try to get some work done.
already i can see a pattern of coming up short on time. 
i also turned down an invite to skate this morning, because i can't afford the temptation to not get stuff done today!
what's so important? 
i mean, how much time could i possibly need to just sit and do paper crafts all day, right?
well, i have some momentum going on my car project, too. I need to take advantage of the nice weather to get my shed cleared out (which means extracting mice) so i can have room to work on the back axle this winter. I have a friend helping me, so i have a list of stuff to get going on. and, without a heated garage, i need to get outside and under the car while the 50-60 degree days are still upon us. (unfortunately, also good days for skating. but that just means we'll have to plan some off-cape rink time, soon)
Thankfully, the Tuesday trips to waltham for Moxie's radiation appointments have ended until the scan in January.
For now, I can cross 'write blog post' off my list and get to work on the rest.
Dirty work, first.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Iceland: part FOUR! Einar Jónsson sculpture garden

As i mentioned, Hubby read about free things to do in Iceland, and the sculpture garden behind the Einar Jónsson Museum was on the list.
I have no real info on the museum (we didn't go in) or about any of the sculptures, but we spent a fair amount of time just taking in the detail of the sculptures.
Here's a link to the museum page (should be in English, but if not, you can change the language).
My favorites...
spring
this was my absolute favorite

another very cool one

Christmas
I didn't take a ton of pics but if you like these, you should check out the website. I'd definitely like to go in the museum next time. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Iceland: Part 3...FOOD!

i find it interesting that when people see me for the first time since our trip, it's the same set of questions:
how was your trip?
would you go back?
and...
how was the food?
and, obviously, the first one is just that common courtesy beginner question...the second one is more to get a feel for a need to ask more questions...and the third is the one that makes me laugh.
sure, i like to eat. but i am not a foodie type. i don't go ga-ga over truffle oils and foams and exotic meats and cheeses.  don't get me wrong, i'll try new stuff if it sounds interesting and appealing, but when i sit down to eat, i just want a good meal. here's the thing about food on vacation, though: i don't eat a lot on vacation. in fact, i eat way less. Hubby and i tend to take vacations where we are out in the middle of nowhere for the bulk of our days, so eating remains a simple means for nutrition and sustenance.
Iceland had promises (or threats) of strange things to eat: whale, puffin, shark, horse, reindeer.
along with more traditional types of protein: lamb, beef, and a slew of seafood.
i was not eating anything from that first list.
but, again...we eat when we get hungry and tend to just go where there's food.
that said, i knew i wanted to go to the Lebowski bar. we like whiskey, and really like drinking on vacation (well, also when not on vacation, to be honest), so of course Dillon's whiskey bar caught our attention. a place called Chuck Norris Grill can not be overlooked, especially on our last day when we just need some food in our bellies.
the two nights in Hamar, really left us little choice of eateries, so we ended up eating in the hotel 'restaurant' both nights. it was a bit pricey and i didn't like reading 'foal' on the menu, but what are you gonna do? eat Lara bars and mixed nuts for dinner? no.

anyway, with all the people asking about food, that's what you're getting today...silly food pics.
no...we didn't eat anything crazy, but it was all really delicious. i especially like ordering beef without giving a temp, but getting it cooked to a perfect rare to medium rare. of course, when you order tartar, you know it'll be just right! (sorry, no pic of the last night dinner of tartar...can't find it anywhere.)

on with the show...
(i put a bunch in collages, again, to save space and annoyance. is it better or worse than 13 individual pictures?)

TOP ROW: our cute suite kitchen at our first night hotel, which we did not use. we never went to a grocery store...we only went out to eat. The Lebowski Bar where we had white russians and burgers.
BOTTOM ROW: Dillon's whiskey bar, where the Chuck Norris grill is downstairs. and, a giant Viking Classic (from our last lunch in Reykjavik)
 TOP ROW: our icelandic whiskey that we drank pretty much every evening before and after dinner. The delicious soup and bread from the restaurant at the settlement centre, where they give tours and talk about vikings.
BOTTOM ROW: our yummy first dinner at the hotel in Hamar (Icelandair hotel Hamar). I had the catch of the day (Ling) and hubby had beef, to go along with his mojito and my hendricks martini. breakfast was a buffet with a lot of random stuff.
 TOP ROW: last day in the country, we drove out to take the 1.5 mile hike from Arnarstapi to Hellnar. but...the rain and lengthy drive right after our morning coffee led to the need for a bathroom break. Arnarstapi doesn't have much more than a little restaurant and a gas station. 'restrooms for customers only'...fine, we'll have a drink and wait out the rain and then get on with it...CLOSED! so, instead, we drove to Hellnar, to walk the opposite direction, and grab a bite to eat at Primus Cafe (which was like eating in an IKEA display of tables and chairs). of course, then we decided that time was running out if we wanted to get to the cave tour, so the hike never happened. next time.
BOTTOM ROW: after our late lunch, and the short list of dinner options, we decided to just eat at the hotel restaurant the second night. the menu was the same as the night before. we weren't terribly hungry, so we got soup (the picture is the delicious fish soup, which had the tiniest little scallops, some salmon, and massive shrimp) and the fried calamari. more amazing bread and cocktails.
and the metaphoric cherry on top...
the 'pylsur'
the icelandic hot dog
made with beef, pork, and lamb.
we got ours with everything, of course: both raw and crispy fried onions underneath and a sweet & spicy mustard and 'remoulade' on top. 
a.maze.ing.
'town's best sausages'
and that's about the long and short of our food adventures...not much adventure at all. our last meal, we simply ate at the hotel restaurant (SNAPS), because i had to get away from the drunks at the bar, where we were just going to have some pub food with our drinks.
 
let's  see...we covered a little overview, some scenery, and the food...i wonder what else i can bore you with in my next post?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Iceland: Part Two, ah! the scenery!

Well, my last post promised a follow up with our day trips outside of Borgarnes. But, when i started going through the pictures from the camera (yes! i finally managed to muddle through the inner workings of the computer and save my imprisoned images!), i was again just so mesmerized by the scenery just getting from Reykjavik to Borgarnes (and then to Hamar, where our hotel was), that i couldn't just keep those beautiful images from you!
So...get ready for some landscapes!

the view from the city
the weather really does change without much notice. you can be looking at dark clouds ahead, but turn left or right and see sunshine...no doubt, the reason for all the rainbows! SCIENCE!

to get from where we were, to where we wanted to be...we drove through a tunnel ...we were underwater 
the amazing scenery...i just couldn't get enough!
More cool things...
top row: a black sand beach in Borgarnes
bottom row: a kirkja (church) and a cool sculpture (Borgarnes)
...and, the amazing view from our hotel patio...
standard sort of hotel (single floor rooms only), but with a cute little patio out to a couple hot tubs. our timing for hot tubbing allowed us to have our own private tub. also, the other guests were old bus tour people, so they weren't really into it, i guess.
I really don't know how long it will take me to share the whole trip with all of you, but i sure am enjoying re-living the trip. I'm gonna leave the next post topic as a surprise...because i don't know what I'll decide to share when the time comes!
Hope you all are enjoying the pics...honestly...they don't do the place justice.

Monday, October 12, 2015

My trip to Iceland: Part One

Here we are, back in the real world...we've said our good-bye's to the dwarfs and trolls and elves of Iceland.
What a beautiful place! 
What a strange language!
What a nice vacation.

I'll just get right to it...this won't be one blog post.  It will be a few.  In fact, I am going to start reliving my trip, now, but will have to do it again when I can figure out how to get the pictures off my digital camera and into this new (often maddeningly frustrating) computer.  That's where the good pics are.  What you're about to see now, are just off the ol' iPhone.
So, without further ado...
Iceland: Part one
driving into Reykjavik at about 6am, their time (4 hours ahead of EST)
 happy to have found a place for some breakfast.  Icelanders don't tend to eat breakfast out, and most businesses don't even open before 9, I'd say.
Blue Lagoon. Tourist trap? perhaps. Worth it? definitely. We decided to go with the time change and just jump right into tourist mode.  after spending a couple hours soaking in the thermal hot pot, we finally checked into our hotel after a 22 hour-ish day of travel.

This is a toilet, water closet, bathroom, restroom...whatever you wanna call it, it was the funkiest outhouse I've ever seen. 
After a quick nap in our cute little 'apartment style' hotel room at Hotel Fron, we hit the streets for some wandering...
HARPA is their entertainment venue, i guess you'd call it. They have concerts there. These bike ramps were gone the next time we walked by (a few days later). Cool building, Sits right over the water.
We really liked this sculpture...depending on the angle, it looks like many different things. Of course, i think it's meant to be a viking ship, but i saw a fish, bug, sea creature. What does it look like to you?
 When it came time for dinner, I already knew where i wanted to go. As soon as i had read (during all of my research pre-trip) that there was a place called The Lebowski Bar, it was a no-brainer.
White Russians, great burgers, and Caddyshack on the big screen. Throw in the Icelanders drinking beer at the end of the bar and laughing their asses off over the movie...pretty great first dinner in Iceland!

Just a couple doors down from the Lebowski Bar is a 2-story joint: downstairs, where the food comes from, is the Chuck Norris Grill and upstairs is Dillon's Whiskey bar. We had after dinner whiskeys, and met a guy from Kentucky...drinking beer...in a whiskey bar. 

So, that was day one, in a nutshell.
The next morning we headed out to Borgarnes and Hamar. Two little towns that need each other. We stayed at the Icelandair Hotel Hamar, but drove into Borgarnes for all other neccessities (food, gas, to try to get into the one store that was recommended, by a local, to visit...it was never open when we were there.) 
Up next: 2 nights in Hamar/Borgarnes= day trips to Stykkisholmur, Grudafjodur, Snaefellsnes and it's Vatnshellir cave, and the amazing beach at Djupalonssandur. (forgive the improper spelling/accents...i don't have an Icelandic keyboard and am not savvy enough to figure that out.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ugh...life

i haven't blogged in awhile.  can't really even remember what my last post was about!
I do know what's been going on that has been keeping me from blogging though, and it's not roller skating, bowling, or carrying on with my pals, unfortunately.
for the past 4 Tuesdays, we've been travelling to Waltham for Moxie's nasal tumor consultation and subsequent radiation treatments. it has become the most tiring day of the week for us.  Luckily, the last few appointments were made far enough in advance that we are able to go at a time to miss most of the traffic...the first few trips were hours long, sitting in the car on the highway...those days you're grateful to have a/c.
She's been doing great, but this last treatment resulted in hair loss on her muzzle. you can't tell because she's a pug and her little face wrinkle hides it...and we were told to expect it...but, i got a little emotional when i noticed it.  My poor baby.  And it's going to get worse, in the form of more inflammation around her muzzle and in her mouth.  Dry eyes are likely, as well.  within the next year, she'll likely develop a cataract in her right eye.  She'll be 12 at the end of the year.  I get that she's old and stuff starts to fail...but this is a result of a treatment for a stupid tumor. she is in perfect health, otherwise.  it's sad, that's all.  the bright side is that she's getting better and the tumor didn't push up into her brain.

In the meantime, hubby's parents have been here for a week. A week that I never got to see my own home for more than a few minutes or spend any time with my sick little baby. Normally, i power through the two week visit and just go with the flow...but, this year, I'm having a hard time with the constant socializing.  Up for work at 3 am...work til noon or 1...just enough time to change and then it's out for lunch...then hang out til dinner...home and passing out by 9...for 5 days straight.  Usually i get a few hours between getting home and hubs getting home, but he took time off to see his parents so i haven't had that buffer...i haven't had more than my 30 minute commute to myself.  Yesterday was heaven.  I was happy at work, knowing i had the night free (this year, the brother-in-law is being thrown into the mix for the last leg of the trip, and they picked him up...leaving us to our own devices). i had the best hour long workout, in weeks.  I had the most energy I've had in a week.  I needed that day to recharge and prepare for today.

I have not been able to keep up with my Icelandic studies, either. I'm sad about it, but it was just for fun, not a necessity for the trip, so it's not a big deal.  Especially knowing that most Icelanders wont speak to you in Icelandic anyway,..even if you speak to them...they are apparently 'impatient' with foreigners 'trying to speak Icelandic'. and i would never want to offend anyone by butchering their language. speaking English will certainly make my life easier, but it won't stop me from continuing to TRY to learn Icelandic.

So, what about vacation? I can't wait. The more i read and see about Iceland, the more excited i get. I have a list of stuff to still get done (next week...after the in laws are gone), but mostly I'm ready. We're getting extra memory cards for the camera, planning on just shooting pics from sunrise to sunset, and beyond. I'm still researching little spots close to the places we're staying...there's no way we'll see everything, obviously, but who knows when we'll get our chance to go back!?
We're streamlining our luggage for the trip there, so we have lots of space for the stuff we'll, no doubt, bring back. I am, of course, worried about moxie's state while we're gone, since her last treatment is just a few days before we leave. I have full faith in our baby/house sitter, but i also want to make it as easy as possible for her, so lists will have to be made for meds and phone numbers.

all in all, this has been the least relaxing couple of weeks of my most recent memory. I'm eager to go on vacation, even with that little bit of sadness that we are leaving moxie behind after a rough time of her life.  Of course, then i sit back and take a look at her not seeming to even be affected, other than the missing hair from her nose.

The point of the story:
stay tuned for future blog posts, where i will recount my time in Iceland. get ready for some pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A day off! yeah, right...

One of my insanely generous friends, Jen (a.k.a. Boom Boom, a.k.a. Sour Kraut, a.k.a. Shirley), is at it again. Raising money for those less fortunate. It's tough times for everyone, we all get it, but if you can find some spare change in your seat cushions or cup holders, consider donating it to Jen's Yogathon page. You can donate here: the amazing Sour Kraut does it again!
And, stay tuned, because I'm pretty sure that my other selfless friend, Susie (a.k.a. Smack Frost, a.k.a. Street Tart, a.k.a. Shove-Asana, a.k.a. Winky Tuffsadero...yeah, we like nicknames...so what!), will also be raising funds for this so maybe you can spread the wealth... I'll send a link if/when I get it, don't you worry.

These are the girls I spend my days with. These crazy thoughtful people who just seem to know nothing but how to give back (well, I mean, they know lots of things! They're very smart ladies).  They are ever inspiring and hard to keep up with, but other than my own family (and my one work friend: Hey, Paula!), I've never had as much fun as the days I get to hang with these nuts. Birds of a feather..., as they say, I suppose.

Here are some more shots of us at our last trip to wellfleet.  We had the place to ourselves, so we could really let loose and start to get comfortable picking up speed.  I'm digging just getting up high on the ramps and going wherever my wheels decide to go. Each day, we try a little more.
photo-bombing Kraut's plank pic

trying to find a good spot for our obligatory group shot


our usual 'not ready' selfie
Wellfleet really is a great park...can't wait for the traffic to die down a bit so we can spend less time getting there and more time skating.

In other news:
Pallets are ready for the Thompson's water seal....and then they'll be ready to be put into their final resting place. Eager for this to be done so I can clear a little space on my plate!
All the major details are in place for the Iceland trip: travel logs set up with credit cards & bank, hotels are booked, car is reserved, dog sitter is available...
Unfortunately, Icelandic is impossible to learn.
Yes, IMPOSSIBLE. 
okay...not impossible...but super difficult! I have my book, and I'm pretty much stuck at page 20. I broke down and ordered a CD for the car, though, I had to get it from Germany if I didn't want to pay an arm & a leg, so it'll probably be 2 weeks before I get it. But this is not a necessity...it's just something I want to attempt. Goals, people! You gotta have GOALS!

And, today the Moxie goes to the vet to get a Rhinoscopy to see why she was sneezing up blood on Saturday. yippee....
I'm sure she just snorted up a piece of mulch, but she won't sit still enough for me to shove a pair of tweezers up there!
Tonight: Wizard of Oz on the big screen in Dennis with my pal Paula and her son! Should be cool...76 years later.

Summer's winding down, folks...how are you making the most of these last days of summer sun?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

So busy!

The run-down:
Another week has gone by and I can't even believe it!!
Got some more skating in, of course.
Still getting back into the habit of working out, so that I'm not completely embarrassed to do some pool hopping while in Iceland.
Also still waiting for the book I ordered, to help me learn the language...I'm afraid it's just not going to happen.  I guess I'll just be that idiot tourist that expects the entire world to speak English.  (yes, I know that pretty much every other place in the world learns English in school, anyway.)
And I'm determined to get that darn pallet patio finished!
 

WELLFLEET
I haven't had so much fun skating, since I was 13!  In fact, these ridiculous clowns I skate with make me feel 13 again!!  It is such a treasure to find amazing people in your 'adult life' that just seem like they were made in the same factory...slightly different models, with the same internal processor!
We hit the Wellfleet skate park on Monday.  Met up with our friend Jody. And, Kraut had her first go on the ramps and things.  She did great and you'd never know she shattered her ankle less than 4 months prior!! Let that be a lesson, kiddies: DO YOUR PT! (also, she's tough as nails!)
goofballs
pin-up girl

There were some punk kids hanging around...not sure if they were trying to get the nerve to get our digits, or what, but they just had to be where we were, even when we tried to give them their space.  I did get some time in practicing some footwork, though.  Wellfleet is a great park! The set up is really nice...all concrete is super inviting for newbies, I think.  It's a lot like the Martha's Vineyard park, in that way, but MV has a cool 'snaky' ramp thing that winds through half the park. 
cool snaky ramp thing, in the background
Tuesday morning we did a little trail skating so we could hang with our friend Amy.  It was so bloody hot, I think I paid the price with a little heat induced sickness the NEXT day! (or maybe I was just not feeling well...but I like to blame the heat.)  Crossing the roads around here is nerve-wracking! Every crosswalk is basically a little hump you have to go over, with a lot of loose gravel and sand on either end.  The raised paint lines make for an extra bumpy ride to the other side of the road.  But the trail is a nice ride, with lots of pretty scenery, a small tunnel, and a little rotary that splits the route into two directions.  It's a minimum 8 mile (roundtrip) skate for us, now, so it's a great way to spend a morning with friends.
Thursday afternoon: Finch Skate Park, Orleans!
This was another new park for us.  It's a 'pay to use' park, but it's nice.  Mostly ramps and half-pipes with a couple grind boxes and a funbox with stairs. All concrete, with metal sheets connecting ground to ramp. We had a little issue with the tiny bits of debris for the overhanging trees in the corner, but we also enjoyed a little shade from those trees, so the goofy trips and spills were worth it! Kraut mastered her drop in and 'Bert', while Tart and I continued to try to make friends with speed and height. The guy monitoring the park was funny and nice, too, so that was a bonus.  One young kid showed up as we were leaving, but before that, we had the place to ourselves! Hard to say if it's a place worth paying to use ($5/day or $20/season membership) since we are still just learning. Great for boards, I'm sure.

Pallet Patio!
While I continue to decide on my best course of action for this project, my mind goes crazy trying to figure out how to get the bottom boards off the pallets.  After an hour of prying off ONE board, I decided to just bury the whole pallets (bottoms intact) and buy what I needed to fill in the gaps.  After hearing from a friend at work that her husband also gave up trying to get the boards off their pallets, I felt better about not having any success, myself.  I still had it in my head that, if I could cut through the nails, then I could still get the boards off.  I thought of a sawzall, but I've never used one, so I didn't really know if it could do the job.  I have been reassured that it most likely could.  Attempting to find one to borrow, rather than buy, I'm holding out hope that this may actually work out after all.
In the meantime, I remembered the poorly designed, hand-made shelving unit that was in our basement when we bought the house. Three levels of the deepest shelving, wedged into the back corner. One of the first things I did, when we moved in, was disassemble that monster.  I have used some of the wood, stacked the rest, and had one platform still leaning against the wall!  Wide planks with no massive gaps between boards.  Pretty much just asking to become part of my zen patio.  However, it's so large, that I had no way to get it out of the basement...it was clearly constructed on site. 
So, I had to cut it down...
And, since I had some time, a nice day, and most of the major pieces...I began staining the pallets.
Pecan.  I have 2 pretty new, fresh pallets. Two new, but kind of warn and weather-beaten pallets.  And the 2 pieces from the monster from the basement. Of course, all six pieces took up that stain in different shades, but I'm glad for that...the stain is on the orange side, and I wasn't super happy with it at first.


So, today, I'll try to track down a sawzall, finish staining, and figure out the final layout pattern. Then, maybe by the time I'm done, my book with arrive and I can continue with my Icelandic lessons while I listen to the rustling of the bamboo.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Well, it's saturday, again.

Saturday.
The day hubby and i spend together.
The last two weekends have been full.
This week has been pretty hectic for him, so he wants to stay home and chill.
And, that is always just fine by me!

Pallet project!
I'm up to 4 pallets to work with. I had 5 in mind, but I left #5 at work yesterday and i'm not about to go get it today. It was most surely sent back to our warehouse and I will just have to wait for another beauty to show up, loaded with 20 or so cases of bananas and several 50 pound bags of potatoes.
initial planning...
I spent some time sanding, a couple days ago. Then, thinking it was clever to use the boards from the underside to fill in the gaps on top, started to pry boards off.  An hour later, dripping in sweat, I had finally removed one board! That plan has been scrapped. The pallets will stay as they are (except for some sanding and staining) and I shall do my best to bury and build around them until they look nice. This, of course, means i will have to take another trip to the lumber store for filler boards and probably a couple for extra support underneath. (This is why I don't see us putting up our own fence.)
Now that it's nearly August, and September will be right on it's ass, I'm just hoping to get it all in the ground and then worry about plantings and prettying it up next year.

Also on our plate this weekend is to nail down our sleeping arrangements for our Iceland trip. In an attempt to not feel completely overwhelmed by a foreign country, I'm going to try to learn (a little) Icelandic. I have been using a lot of youtube videos, but I'm a studier. I need lesson plans and workbooks and homework, in order to really learn and retain. I have a book coming Monday.  I'm excited!
(google images)
But instead of sitting at home waiting for my book to arrive, I'm hitting the skate park with my skater pals, Monday! Jen's back in her skates.  
(I stole your picture, Sour Kraut!)
We did an 8 mile trail skate so Susie could feel confident that she was ready (Susie is the mother hen of this group, for sure!)

In other news,
the day it left Dad's house...seems like forever ago.  it's been 3 years!

be on the lookout for my car blog to be back in action soon!  Making plans for my friend to come give me a push to get the ball rolling again.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Date Night

Last night was the Pink Martini concert at the Cape Cod Melody Tent.
What a fun band!!!  13 band members plus a couple guests...many styles of music...about 20 different languages.  It was a sold out show!  People laughed, sang, clapped, snapped fingers...so much energy!
trombones, trumpets, English horns, strings, piano, and all kinds of percussion...my kind of band!
We had an early dinner before the show.  Sitting outside for meals, during the summer is so nice.  People watching is fun, especially when you see people you know.  We love getting that 'hey, we live here!' feeling when that happens.
We decided to park in town and walk the mile to the tent (work off dinner and kill some time).  Which meant walking back at night.  Town was surprisingly dead for a Saturday in July. But not completely lacking in assholes driving around. 
Crosswalk on a one-way street
break in the traffic, start to make your way across
see speeding car coming, but have faith that they aren't complete losers
yell, 'FUCKER' into their window as they speed by
get all jacked up on adrenaline and hope she comes back so you can punch her in the face.
(breathe) 

But it didn't ruin my night.  I was super fun. And I finally got to try that 'not your father's root beer' alcoholic root beer.  yummy, but really, melody tent...$7.50!! it was all the money I had.

The day started great, too! 
Susie came out to meet me for a 12 mile trail skate at 8:30 am.  Yes...nice & early to beat the crowds! Nope...parking lot was nearly full by the time we got there and totally full when we left at 10. 

Today...I'm going to attempt a project with the pallets I brought home from work over the winter.  I have 2 really nice ones that I was going to use to make a compost bin.  But I have come to realize that we two do not generate that much trash for a big bin.  So, I'm going to use them to make a little 'patio' in the back corner of the yard, where I planted the bamboo.  It's gross back there, so I hope I don't just end up scrapping the whole thing and day drinking, instead.  Wish me luck!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

This just in...

This morning hasn't really gone as planned.  I was hoping to get my computer up and running in seconds flat and, with the amazing speed of a brandy-new computer, post the most in-depth and exciting blog ever!
Unfortunately, today is the day our router decided to act up and I couldn't get online.
So, after getting annoyed (yes, already) with my 'fresh out of the box' computer, I went back to bed.  Hubby felt bad for me and got up to fix the problem enough that I could get online....but, my excitement for things has its waxing and waning moments.  Right now, it's waning.
The quick version:
Now that I'm moving from Vista straight into Windows 8, I have a lot of adjusting to do, in order to maximize my computing experience.  To be honest, I use it for basic household and personal stuff...I get annoyed with bells & whistles so I just want everything else to go away.  I'll be doing a little exploring today, I hope.  (and now I just hit something random that made everything smaller...weird shit is happening. this will take some getting used to...the 'f'-word is flying around a lot this morning.)

Skating...
More Hyannis skating...
Susie and Amy, hanging in HyTown
Provincetown skating...
Susie and me, checking out the P-town park
Martha's Vineyard skating...
Susie and Jen, MV skatepark (very cool)
I'm trying hard to get back in shape. I'm slowly getting the nerve to explore different moves in the parks.  Skating trails is keeping me in skates more (though, summer work days really drain the energy I might have used for late day skating, I'm going to try to skate as much as I can.)

And Relay for Life Mid-Cape 2015 has come and gone...
This year we had a team set up through the Cape Cod Roller Derby league we had been skating with at the time.  The team raised over $8500!!!  An amazing final number! I stayed up for the entire event, which was just about the most unbelievable thing ever, for me.  From the moment I woke up to start the day on Saturday, to the moment my head hit the pillow Sunday morning, I was awake for 27 hours. In that time, I walked 30 miles.  My amazing friend Susie was running around making sure everything relay related was getting done.  Sadly, she is on the Relay committee so we didn't get to spend every waking moment together, as I had hoped.  Equally amazing, was Jen's 19 miles of post-ankle surgery walking throughout most of Saturday.  She came back, after a short break from the rain, to walk my final miles to my 30-mile goal. We celebrated by eating donuts, drinking coffee, tearing down the campsite, and going home early.  Our team, though we held the number 1 spot for most funds raised up until the end, came in 3rd.  Not bad, though...not bad at all. We're eager and brainstorming for next year's team!
It was a beautiful day, but a very rainy night. So much fun, though.
Next Saturday, Hubby and I are going to see Pink Martini at the Cape Cod Melody Tent.  Fun band.
The week after that, we're going with some friends and family to see my baby sister in a play in the park, in Onset.
After that, July is ending and then just one month of summer left.  Then the stupid traffic and crowds will go away.

(In other news, I'm hoping to get the 'Cuda blog up and running again soon, too.)
(In other other news, I'm hoping I can adjust to this new computer.  So far, i'm not in love with this keyboard and all it's jumping and spazzing. though that may just be me...I can't say for sure, yet.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Here's what's been going on in my world....

We are still full-force into Relay for Life mode.  Preparing stuff for our campsite, continuing to raise as much money for the American Cancer Society as we can, and gearing up for our Luminaria Fundraiser at the Red Nun in Dennisport tonight.  So much to do, and here we are just a few days from the event.  I'm so excited to be a part of this event.
Making old timey pennant swags for the campsite!

Next up is our LUMINARIA FUNDRAISER at the RED NUN in DENNISPORT.
TONIGHT, Tuesday, June 16...7-9 PM...$5 donation, decorate your own luminaria (cash preferred, checks accepted)...
Check out the facebook event page: HERE.
If you'd like to donate to our team, there's still time! 
Go HERE.
(you can make a team donation, or donate under a specific team member. Thank you!)

AND...
SKATE PARKS!!
We've been trying them out.  
We visited Wellfleet's park, but did not skate.
We've been to the Hyannis Rec's park a couple times...I'm sticking with the half pipes, for now!
Late opening hours while school's still in session, means waiting for the gate to open.
Hyannis half-pipe...my new home away from home. (Hi, Shove!)
And, we just ventured out to the Provincetown skate park this past weekend.  We had the place to ourselves!
Shove-Asana (Susie) shredding the fun box! ;)
Paper Cut and Shove-Asana (me & Susie)...all alone at the P-town park....pre-burgers.
Skating the parks...what a new experience!  I'm still trying to feel fully comfortable with wheels on my feet.  It's such fun learning these new skills with my friends...fun for the sake of having fun! The only thing we're really missing is our pal Jen (Sour Kraut), but she's excelling at PT and she'll be out there with us soon enough!  For now, we're hoping to keep to the bike trails on our skates while she bikes along with us.  Making the most of outdoor skating while we can!!  

AND...
DETROIT!
mom, me, steph
I finally went back to Michigan.  Over 20 years after moving out to the East Coast, I tagged along with my sister, to go see mom for a couple days.  It was a quick 2 day visit for me, but it was a ton of fun.  Mom is happy back in the town where she grew up, hanging with old friends from school...just living life.  While there was no skating to be had, my excitement for my car project was renewed...so that's cool.

So, that's what's going on.  Look for more updates on our progress on the skate parks!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hey there, Stranger.

It's Memorial Day Weekend!
ugh...cape cod traffic at it's worst!
This time last year, hubby and I were in Providence, Rhode Island with a bunch of CCRD ladies.
It's Northeast Derby Convention weekend!!  
Here's my post from last year's fun: NEDC 2014

But, this year...we decided not to go.  Why?  Well, as my last post stated, I'm no longer playing derby with CCRD.  I went through my emotional roller coaster of the whats/whys/hows of staying or going.  In the end, my heart wasn't in it.  I hadn't lost any love for the game or skating...but, my heart wasn't in it.
They always say 'roller derby isn't for everyone' and that is true.  But it's not as cut and dry as just to say 'roller derby'...it's so much more than just gearing up and going to practice.  It's a huge commitment that you need to accept, personally, as a skater on a team.  But that commitment means nothing if you don't feel it from every single person you're out there with.  And when you start to get the 'well, if they don't care, why do I?' thoughts rolling around in your head...then you need to make some serious decisions.

I continue to watch the roller derby pages on facebook.  I really love the game of roller derby and I don't want it to just disappear from my life. But i see a lot of posts about 'what keeps you coming back to practice?'  You know, derby is a tough sport...full of bruises, sore muscles, sometimes you break something.  The time commitment can be rough when your personal life demands more of you attention.  And, you have to make that decision to stick with it.  So, to me, it seems that if you love the game and your team/league, then it's not really a question of what keeps you going back.  If you have thoughts of leaving...those things that make you consider that decision should be getting your attention.  And that was my issue.  The emotional/mental 'whys/whats/hows'!  Where had the thrill gone?  Why, if i loved this game so much, did I not want to go to practice?
And I'm not here to go into my personal issues (though, it is my personal blog, so i could if i wanted to)...I'm writing today out of nostalgia (because I'm missing the electric energy of a convention full of people who love this game so much that they are pushing their physical limits for an entire weekend of derby!) and also a bit of frustration.
I'm a little tired of all the derby folks who basically put the 'blame' on a skater, when a skater decides to leave derby.
I couldn't even guess the percentage of skaters who leave for personal reasons vs. bigger issues, but I am sure there are people who leave derby with a heavy heart. It's not fair to assume a person leaves derby because they can't handle the physicality or the commitment or even the dynamics of a larger group of women.  It isn't fair to assume a person leaves derby because she's afraid. It is fair to assume that a skater demands and deserves respect from her league, though...it is fair to assume that most skaters want to see and help their league grow, but need to feel like their opinions count.  It is fair to assume a skater will not continue if the fun is gone.
I've made a lot of friends through the sport and I'd hate to just leave that part of my life behind.  I still want to see the cape league grow and finally get out there and be a part of the community.

So, getting back on 8 wheels, after a 20+ year dry spell, has made me love roller skating again.  Roller derby has given me a little more bravery to push myself past simply skating forwards in a circle.  Sure, I'm still apprehensive to try a new move, but I'm old!  But I'll give it a go and see what happens.
Because I love skating.  
And that love makes it fun. 

Speaking of FUN...
RELAY FOR LIFE IS COMING UP QUICK!!
GO HERE to either join our team for the weekend of fun, or donate to our team (maybe select my name to make a donation towards my personal fundraising goal??)!

That's if for now.  Glad i finally got that off my chest.  You can look forward to the next chapter in my life as a skater, when I take on the skate parks with a few of my friends!!
AND...
Boom Boom's cast is off.  In a few days she'll be in physical therapy.  She's on the mend!! YAY!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two, and out...

Years, that is.
Two years.  That is how long I've been trying this derby thing.

I have been struggling with the decision to stay or go for...well, pretty much the entire second year.  I was getting tired of the stress around bout time.  The bout rejuvenated me enough to want to keep trying, but i needed a break.  That didn't work out as planned, still keeping in touch and offering opinions and just not allowing myself to pull to far away, for fear i wouldn't go back.

Then I thought I figured out the solution:
just concentrate on training new recruits!

But, while it was great to work with these fresh faces, so full of excitement and eager to learn, I still had that nagging feeling within me that this just wasn't what i wanted.
So, I realized what i really wanted from being in roller derby was simply to get that day back when I got to play with my friends.  And a girl gets to a point where she has to face facts and figure out why she's doing what she's doing?!  Was i sticking with roller derby in hopes that i would find the fun again?  Was i sticking with it in hopes that i could just play another game, with my friends, for my friends who missed the first time I played?  Or was i sticking with it because that's what i thought i should do, rather than what i wanted to do?

We're in the middle of a pretty crazy blizzard today, and I've decided to embrace the snowy windy day to just put it all out there.  Basically, I've finally reached that fork in the road where I need to make up my mind.
And my journey into the world of roller derby -with my expectations of how it would play out- has gone off the path of reality.  It no longer fits into my personal life; and, I still have no idea what I hope to gain from it.
I know it all sounds like a lot of 'me ,me ,me', but that is what I've come to realize...I don't know how to do 'for me' and i stayed in derby for the wrong reasons.

So, I'm moving on.  
Back to my life of virtual solitude.  The constant social interaction (work, practice, meetings, events, etc)...it's all too much for this shut-in to handle, anymore.
You don't do anyone any favors by being a martyr.  We must always remember to take responsibilities for our own lives and the choices we make.
I do not regret one second of the last 2 years (except maybe not pushing myself hard enough in the early stages of learning).  But, I also do not regret moving on and admitting that my introverted nature can not be denied any longer.

I will miss seeing my new friends, on a weekly basis; but, i have faith that the true friendships i have made will continue to grow and last.

It is possible i will still blog about Cape Cod Roller Derby, once things pick up and/or new skaters want to introduce themselves.

And, despite my leaving, I am still taking part in the Relay For Life February 5K, on February 14.
And, I'm still on Team Cape Cod Roller Derby for the fundraiser for the big relay event in June...so, please consider donating, and help me reach my personal goal of $200 for cancer research.
Here are some links:
If you wanna participate in the Valentine's day 5K, go HERE to register.
If you wanna donate toward my personal goal for the Relay for Life, go HERE, please.
If you would like to join in the relay and fundraising efforts and join our Team, go HERE to join us.
Thank you for any and all donations and we welcome anyone wanting to join Team CCRD!
oh! and I almost forgot...I have a facebook page for my quilled paper jewelry and 'stuff'...I'll be making some pendants to sell as a way to raise money towards my goal, as well.  If you're interested, check out my page HERE.  You can send me a private message or comment on any photo, for more info!

It's been real...until next time...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

NEW SKATER IN THE (DOLL)HOUSE!

Oh, boy! Do I have a treat for you today!!
As you may remember (yes, it's been ages since I've done a post), we had a very successful first 'meat & greet' back before the holidays.  We moved right along with our new group of freshies and had assessments just as the new year started...just about half of them moved into the beginning contact group!!  So exciting!!  In a few weeks I'm pretty sure they'll be joining full practices and getting ready to do some scrimmage drills! 
In the meantime, I've asked our 4 new 'contact' skaters to tell us a bit about themselves...here's the first one...
BRENNA!

1. BK Flynn  //  Reigna Ramsies  #B4U // 
Position: undetermined - At this point I'm looking to have a better understanding of the game, and to find out what kind of skater I am. I'm going to try out each position, and where I'm best suited will likely figure itself out. 

2. how did you hear about ccrd...and when did you get involved...what 'sealed the deal' and made you join?
I saw a flyer for the Meat and Greet in the Sparrow, and told everyone I knew that I was thinking of trying it out, so that I would have to go. This was back in September (2014) and everything derby has consumed my waking thoughts ever since.

3. What drew you to the sport...what is your favorite part of derby (why you keep coming back) so far?
I have never thought of myself as a particularly athletic person, I despise running, or lifting weights or anything that smacks of "working out". I am however, a very physical person and have found ways of tricking myself by doing things that are challenging for my body, but have an extremely mental component such as iyengar yoga, or otherwise feel like I'm dancing or playing like a kid.  I feel like derby incorporates all of these things, and more.

I love the people I have met. I love that derby breaks boundaries for people, like the total violation of the personal space bubble, or the kind of things that grown-ass women do or don't do. I love that derby is a totally legitimate sport that is also totally tongue-in-cheek. It is something that i can strive for improvement in, but also enjoy just because it is awesome fun. I search out things in life that don't have to be taken so god damn seriously. 

4. have you skated before//when was the last time you skated (before ccrd, of course)
I figure skated competitively from around age 10-14,15ish. Could do doubles, but never any triple jumps. Loved it but grew out of the sparkly dresses. Couldn't handle the sparkly dresses.
A friend gave me the blue and yellow roller skates in college, and I wore them EVERYWHERE. So when I put them on again, I knew I was capable of running up stairs in them drunk, but I had never done most of the crazy stuff we do in derby. Jumping over stuff, are you nuts!

5. family life//day job...kids? profession? pets? that sort of thing...
I have one handsome boyfriend of 10 years, two cats, and a landscaping company.

6. tell us something interesting/amusing/odd/unexpected about yourself...OR, what's your favorite book/color/breed of horse/flavor of ice cream...OR, your ultimate goal as a roller derby player...
My favorite books are Austrian, written from the mid 19th to early 20th century.
Last summer I grew 10 foot tall tomato plants. I shit you not. 
My ultimate goal as a roller derby player is to get better than myself now and tomorrow and the next day.

Thanks, Brenna for sharing a bit about yourself!  I, for one, can't wait to see you play!  And, I'm sure the fans of Cape Cod Roller Derby feel the same!

One bit of business before I sign off and leave you on the edges of your seat for the other 3 new skater profiles:
**We, as your local roller derby league, are forming a team for the Relay for Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society.  We would love for you to consider donating to this cause, and it would be even sweeter if you donated under our team name (Cape Cod Roller Derby).  You may also donate under a specific skater!!  If you are so inclined, I set my goal at $200...if you enjoy reading my blog, and feel like donating to our team, here's my PERSONAL page: Jennifer Hart .  I'd be ever so grateful.
That's in June, though.
In preparation, some of us are also doing a 5K to raise money for the event, itself.  
In February.
On Valentine's Day.
In the cold.
It's a walk/run, but a couple of our girls are going to attempt to skate the route (weather permitting).  It'll be fun!  If you're into it, you can sign up and join our team of walk/run/skaters for the event!  I've heard rumors that the largest team gets free pizza!!  (or some sort of recognition, anyway)
Here's the link to sign up: Valentine's Day 5K
We'd love to have you on our team!  sign up under Cape Cod Roller Derby relay team!!