Thursday, February 21, 2013


This past weekend, Blake and I took a last-minute vacation to the Bahamas to celebrate our anniversary.  (Can you believe it's been almost 4 years?!).  It was a short, 4-day trip, but it was exactly what we needed.

We used AmEx points to pay for our flights and Blake used his technical prowess and snagged us a fantastic deal on Priceline.  In a manner truly unlike us, we didn't plan a single thing.  We let ourselves completely relax with all weekend and it was glorious.

We spent the days hanging out at the beach, taking walks, eating at fun restaurants, hitting up the Daiquiri Shack and watching movies in the evenings.  I think the last time I've felt that relaxed was on our honeymoon - although this was even more relaxing because I wasn't coming off the stress of a wedding.

Neither of us had been to the Bahamas before, so it was fun to explore together.  One of our favorite things was how friendly everyone was.  Everyone we talked to ended their sentences with either "yeah man" or  "yeah buddy," which was both entertaining and endearing. 

We decided that this would be the ultimate friends trip destination - it's family-friendly, easy to get to, and there are good deals to be had.  Well, good deals to be had on everything except food.  I can tell you what though, next time I'm packing a separate suitcase just full of snacks.  Nothing teaches you a lesson more quickly than the stupidity of paying over $5.00 for a Snapple.  Although enjoyable, it didn't quite taste like the liquid gold I expected after forking over that much cash.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Digital download standoff.

Have you ever downloaded an ebook from the library (or, hey, gone old-fashioned and actually picked up an actual book at the library...) and then looked at it five minutes later with absolutely no desire to read it? 

If you're like me this is fairly discouraging because I've already committed to the book and will now have to force myself to read it.  Maybe that's just me, and maybe it's a tad OCD, but it's the truth.

Today's instant regret download is The Wonderful World of Oz by L. Frank Baum. My goodreads friends have rated it highly, and Gretchen Rubin (who I rate highly) ranks it among her favorite books.  So I downloaded it.  And now I'm eyeing it with disdain. 

I think it's probably because I had such a horrible experience reading Wicked (most awful book ever to grace library shelves, who is with me?!) that now I've been turned off to all things Oz. 

I wanted something light and fluffy to alternate with The Audacity of Hope and A People's History of the United States (yep, still slogging through that one), but maybe this just isn't the answer.  Maybe now I need something to alternate with my alternate.  Oh the conundrum!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Panic! in the Kitchen

I read Born to Run last month and am now making my way tentatively into the world of barefoot running.  I've got terrible feet and am pretty much willing to try anything to help with the back and leg pain that comes with having the feet of a 95 year old woman. 

I've gotten surgery on both ankles, worn orthotics in my shoes for the last ten years, and bought the most expensive bunion-widowed, pronation-fixing shoes ever to grace the Asics line.  And nothing has completely prevented the pain.

So, I'm a convert.

I'm going to be buying some of these slightly freaky FiveFingers shoes come spring and then I'll run outside.  For the time being I've been running barefoot on the treadmill.  It has vastly improved my running posture already, so I'm looking forward to seeing if it completely reduces my aches and pains.

As I mentioned, I've been running on the treadmill.  On Wednesday, my feet were quite cold, so I decided to wear some thin socks while I ran.  I noticed several minutes into my jog that my feet had started to hurt, but I thought, "oh well, rug burn i guess?" and kept going.  When I finished and hobbled upstairs I noticed that I'd developed enormous blisters all over my feet.

Not exactly a pleasant feeling for me the next day when I put on my work shoes. 

Now, let that image ruminate in your mind while I segue into my next story.

On Thursday I was totally on my game.  I'd gotten the right groceries to execute my pre-planned meal.  I had defrosted the salmon and soaked the cedar planks.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.

I put the quinoa in the rice cooker, I chopped the broccoli, I dressed the salmon and pre-heated the oven. BUT, as I was waiting for the oven to finish heating up, I heard a loud pop from the oven and looked over to see error message flashing across the screen.  It started beeping uncontrollably - and try as I might to turn the darn thing off, it just wouldn't cooperate. 

I looked inside the oven and was alarmed to see every heating element turning on and glowing red-orange.  My oven was possessed!

Or, at least that's what I thought.  But, like any child of the new generation, I quelled my fears and turned to google.  Oh, that oracle of answers!  In two minutes I had researched the problem and found out that it was a defect with the oven (that Kenmore has refused to recall). The electrical panel had fried and it was now on overdrive. Folks had reported that their ovens had turned on and had the same error while they weren't even in the house - resulting in kitchen fires and whole-house fires.

The reviews mentioned that the only way to stop the oven from continuing to heat is to pull it out and turn it off or unplug it in the back.

Well, at this point that's not a possibility because I can barely even get near the thing let alone touch it.  I had to remove the dish towel from the front because it had already begun to singe in that short time.

There I was- home alone in a smoke-filled kitchen - with panic rising in my chest and the fire extinguisher in my hand.  I had to do something fast or face the fiery consequences.

So I ran down to our electrical box to flip the breaker.

This was a great idea except for the fact that none of our breakers were labeled.  When we got our electrical box replaced, our electrician disappeared without re-labeling anything.  We've slowly been doing it as needed, but I hadn't yet gotten to the oven one.

I spent what felt like ages (but was probably only 5 or 6 minutes) stress sweating and sprinting from our kitchen down to the corner of the basement to try breaker after breaker.  All of this, of course, being done with maximum discomfort to the twin pillows of pain residing on my feet.

I hit a breaker and went up to the kitchen to see every appliance and light in my kitchen off except for the oven.  At this point I was fairly certain that my oven had gone rogue and no longer needed an external power source (maybe I've been reading too many dystopian novels lately?).  Of course it was the very last breaker I hit that actually turned the oven off.

I was just breathing a sigh of relief and trying to fan out more of the electrical-fire smell when Blake walked in from work.

He took one look at my face and one sniff of our house and decided we were going out for dinner.

I think I'm still getting over the initial stress of the evening.