Day 31: Expired Food
I have always been particular about what I put in my mouth. I try to buy organic when given the option. I prefer non-gmo and all natural ingredients. That doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally partake in diet soda or some other chemical-based junk food. But I do try to make eating a healthy priority. My husband and I have had an ongoing argument which he seems to think he has finally won. When I see a date on a food item, I follow it religiously. It could say “best by” or “use by” or whatever terminology each company justifies. If it has a date, I refuse to eat it one moment beyond. Now, obviously we are not talking about raw meat, which is a completely different situation. My husband will harass me and tell me that the date doesn’t mean the food item is spoiled, just that the manufacturer believes that it would taste optimally before that time. I wasn’t buying it. This morning, on a much needed vacation, he stumbled upon a USA Today article that basically confirmed everything he has been preaching to me over the last 25 years, while I tossed wholesale quantities of “expired” food from our pantry. “The date is a suggested date by which the food will taste best. It does not mean it is spoiled or will sicken or poison anyone. Try it, and if it tastes good, eat it. If it tastes bad, throw it away.” I am still not 100% convinced, and honestly, right now on vacation, I am not in the mindset to even care!! Truce???
Day 30: Rest and Relaxation
Not much to slice about today. We are still on our vacay, with a heavy focus on rest and relaxation. We rented bikes from the resort and took a 4 mile ride to a local roastery for coffee this morning. The mountain views and cool morning breeze felt great on our faces, as we cruised down the sidewalks toward our destination. Once back at the resort, we settled into the cabana we rented for the day. With full service and plenty of blue skies, we enjoyed our day of reading under the cover of the hut, as well as time dipping our bodies into the refreshing pool water. The atmosphere was calm and the other patrons quiet and comfortable in their own space. Nothing but goodness from start to finish. Time away has been good for my soul. I am feeling more recharged each day. I wonder why we do not do this more often.👫
Day 29: Nap or No Nap?
I am a big napper. I have loved to nap ever since I can remember. I even think about napping when there is no time available. Napping is simply one of my favorite pleasures. My hubby on the other hand absolutely hates to nap. He does not see what is so intriguing about falling asleep mid day, only to wake and feel groggy. To this I say, BAH.
Now let’s talk nap style. Are you the type of person who can sit in a chair and snooze for one of those 10 minute catnaps? Or do you prefer to lay on the couch and snuggle down with a blanket for more of a 30 minute slumber? Both of these shut-eyes are for novel nappers. Real avid nappers, like myself, undress (why would I wrinkle my outfit), pull back freshly made bedding (cool sheets feel the best), and pull the covers up over our heads (wrapped up in my chrysalis). A sufficient hour from then , I awake like a beautiful butterfly. And because of my natural napping ability, no amount of napping will interfere with a sound night of sleep. I can just as easily grab some zzz’s right before lunch, after an early rise, or following a delicious dinner. I do not discriminate. I’m totally talented when it comes to napping! 😴💤🛌
Day 28: The Hermosa Inn
Nestled in Paradise Valley, Arizona, this quaint little Inn is a boutique hideaway that does not disappoint. The staff are pleasant, accommodating and can answer just about any question directed their way. This morning, we borrowed property bicycles and rode 3 miles to the nearest trail. We climbed several kilometers up rocky terrain. Everyone we passed greeted us with a smile and a “good morning.” It was really refreshing to be around kind dispositions where people exchange pleasantries (unlike the rude woman at the pool yesterday😑)! And although the sun is currently hiding behind the clouds, the warm air and fragrant flowers surrounding our veranda deliver a sense of serenity as I write today’s slice. It is about time to shower and head into Phoenix to play for the remainder of the day! At dusk tonight, we are going to the Desert Botanical Garden so we can explore Chihuly in the desert, as well as roam around with flashlights to see the plants and animals who come alive in the dark. It sure is good to be away from the monotony of everyday life and visit places that offer us new opportunities. Grateful girl💗.
Day 27: Entitlement
Vacation day one has been easy breezy. Pick up at home and drop off at O’Hare, all was seamless! We arrived at our Arizona destination by 11:00 am and were seated for a delicious brunch! Everything had been amazing! The staff hurried to get our room ready and by the time brunch was over, a call came through to let us know we could grab the key and unload our luggage in our private room, booked for the next 6 days! The resort was pristine and the staff professional beyond expectations! Wowed by the room, we got changed and went to spend the afternoon by the pool! Everything was splendid, drinks were served, the sun was hot, but there was no music playing. The waitress said the speaker was not working, so we decided to play music from our personal iphone. It was low enough for us to hear and for no one nearby to be disturbed. People came and went and about 3 hours into our time of relaxation, a new couple appeared. They swam over to our side of the pool and asked us to put airpods in and shut our music off. I was startled beyond belief, because one, we were privately on one side of the pool and two, this was a public place. We were not being obnoxious nor were we playing anything explicit. I was dumbfounded. I am so tired of living in a climate of toxic turmoil and people who think they are entitled to whatever they want in life. No kind words, just dictations and expectations. What have we done and when can we make things better?
Day 26: Can’t Wait for Tomorrow
Although I wish the day before we left on a vacation, I could be laid back and relaxed, the fact of the matter is that there is just too much to do! We have been going nonstop all day, it’s 8:30 pm, and I need to get this blog in! I will say, the sound of that owl hooting in the distance is surely bringing smiles galore and a sense of calmness as I settle down in bed and begin to slice! Thinking back over this busy day, I am grateful for the girlfriend who took me to see a garden presentation at Navarro Farm here in Frankfort. This farm is run by a family whose son has Down’s Syndrome. Every part of this working estate is dedicated to the special needs community. The farm fresh eggs I purchased were plucked and packaged by a few of these youngsters!! Being a part of the community and celebrating all of the goodness the world has to offer makes my heart smile! Being with an old friend I do not get to see very often was an additional bonus! Next, I am grateful to my in-laws, who thought they should treat us to dinner so we did not have to mess up our kitchen on the eve before a trip! Sitting around their table and catching up on how the week has been is one of their favorite things to do. They love their kids and grandkids so much! We love to see them happy! Last but not least, I am grateful for my hubby who has to deal with my anxiety right before a trip! I am a nervous traveler who does not love to fly. And when we travel without our kiddo, my heart worries even more! Off to collect the items for my carry on! Our driver will be here by 6:00am!! Can’t wait for the desert and mountains!
Day 25: It can only go up from here…
6:35AM: Remind hubby I have to leave early this morning to pick up 3 boxes of Joe for our staff breakfast.
6:38AM: Google “How long does a box of Joe stay hot?” (2-3 hours in case you wondered)
6:40AM: Google “Should I pre order a box of Joe?” (yes)
6:43AM: Put my purse, backpack , and coat in the car (first trip).
6:45AM: Kiss hubby and grab my (open)mug of coffee and my (covered)back up mug of coffee and head out the door(second trip). Hubby is calling the closest Dunkin Donuts so I can grab and go.
6:55AM: Notice I am already on I-80 heading towards work and I had completely passed right by the Dunkin Donuts. Wondering why my hubby hadn’t called. Thinking “Holy crap”, I need to get back off of the highway at LaGrange and head south to get the coffee. I quickly hit the bluetooth button to call hubby and the voice prompt says something about “not enough data.”
7:00AM: Sitting at a stoplight on Lagrange. I set my open mug of coffee on the console in between the front seats. I manually push the call button on my iphone and it immediately fails. I try to text. I am denied. What the actual “F” is happening? I take off to proceed forward as the open mug of coffee rolls onto the passenger seat and spills all over my purse and backpack. Holy “H.”
7:12AM: Arrive at Dunkin, coffee is ready, I pay and leave.
7:15AM: Back on the road, knowing I am going to be late and my colleagues will be anxiously awaiting their morning jolt. I feel the anxiety set in!
7:20AM: I remind myself to breathe. I consider it is always better late than never. I am gracious to not be in an accident. SLOW DOWN is my mantra.
7:44AM: I pull into the parking lot. I park right by the door where the coffee is going in and I am greeted by the most reliable custodian ever! He not only opens the door for me, but proceeds to carry 2 of the 3 boxes of Joe to the party spot! Day is looking better.
7:47AM: Everyone was happy to see this hot commodity arrive in the room!
7:50AM: I call my hubby to let him know I am grateful for him and my phone has started vacation a day early! He knew something was wrong when all of his calls went to voicemail.
7:55AM: Sit and enjoy my first full cup of coffee and talk with my co-teacher! Kids were starting to filter in! Happy we had 7 ½ hours until the day was done and our well deserved spring break had begun! Who needs a phone anyway!
Happy spring break! It can only go up from here!💗
Day 24: “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while you might miss it.”
Fall is my favorite season. I welcome that comfy clothes transition from barely there, to “do not care” (about the hair on my legs). Leaves transform from chlorine green to the most beautiful shades of red/orange/yellow, I have ever seen. Bonfires at night are a big delight. And the world just seems to quiet down as the long days are fleeting. My gardening days are done and the plants fall happily into hibernation. Months of sleep and reflection are upon me. Life feels calm.
Fast forward to spring. A fresh start approaches. Days become longer. Buds on plants arrive. The garden begins to show signs of rebirth. Even when the cold temperatures remain, spring reveals its resilience in the form of snowdrops, crocus, and the early bird daffodils of the season. As I backed my car out of the garage this morning, I glanced to the left and saw a beauty before me! I snapped a quick pic, and made a promise to myself to walk about the gardens this evening. A sense of awe and wonderment arose, as I took in all of the signs that my spring garden had sprung! Ahhh and cheers to new beginnings and fresh starts. I am ready for it!
Day 23: The Cost of Doing Business
About a year ago we decided we wanted to update the first floor of our house. We entrusted the perfect designer; our sister in law. She had recently started her own interior design business and was thrilled to help redecorate a space she had spent a large chunk of her life within! In just a few short weeks, we had a functional design with several choices for transitioning our living space. As we analyzed our options and began to place furniture and accessory orders, we also had to hire a painter, electrician, and general contractor who would handle the construction of a custom built-in wall unit as well as the replacement of a decrepit sliding glass door. Excitement set in quickly, but was soon crushed with the weight of the pandemic. Our patience would be put to the test as we were given multiple months out for the delivery of our goods! Over time, items trickled in and things were starting to come together. As of today, we are still waiting for the arrival of a new dining room table and chairs, 2 different wall murals, the installation of a massive chandelier in the great room, and that damn sliding glass door (of which the contractor has ordered 2 of just to see which arrives first). The point of this slice comes from a text I received earlier today discussing the 2 giant house plants we want potted as part of the “bringing the outside in” theme. I was completely flabbergasted! We are attempting to order 2 Chinese palms to place on opposite sides of our great room. They need to be tall, as this space has 18 foot ceilings, the quote I received was for two, 14 foot palms that are potted and ready for display! I was excited by the photo I received and quite frankly impulsive to get this last stuff ordered. Then the price came through. I was silent for a brief moment. Pondering my retort, as well as realizing that this transaction would not be quick because now it required a marital conversation, I dialed the ying to my yang. Everyone knows how this conversation went…needless to say, it’s back to the drawing board.
Day 22: Cleaning Lady Day
One of the most underrated monthly expenses is a house cleaner. Monthly bills have existed since the dawn of the modern age. Electric bill, gas bill, mortgage/rent payment, car payment; our parents had most of these bills. These bills still exist. However, now we have an infinite amount of other monthly recurring bills. Cell phone, software, starbucks, and lets not forget all of the TV/movie services. But the bill in my house that gives me the most satisfaction, the payment I love to make, is to our cleaning lady. We cleaned our own house for years. That was satisfying in a different way. But as life got more demanding with kids, jobs, and so forth, having to carve out time to clean the house got less and less charming. Which means that the weekly cleaning became a twice a month cleaning, which became a once a month cleaning. Yuck! I truly understand that this is a luxury splurge. But it is a great feeling, at the end of a hard day of work, to walk into a fresh smelling, clean home.