It's Easier to be Green in Maine

I did all of my errands on foot yesterday. How awesome is that! I loved being able to get a workout, a little time outdoors, and errands completed all at the same time.


Pictures of Our New Home

Notice that in my previous post I didn't use the word "house" and that's because "home" is a much better description of our new 1973 Volkswagon Westfalia (camper bus). Gotcha! I didn't want to be the girl who cried "home," but I just couldn't help a well timed/humored prank post.

This is Hubby's birthday present to himself and we're both really excited. We've wanted a VW camper for the longest time. It's definitely got some work ahead of it, but nothing we can't handle. Our first trip with our new "home" is going to be to Acadia National Park this weekend.

We are happy to announce that we won't be moving to Maine (as implied by the previous prank post), but returning to our real, Southern home in a week! I'm glad you can all take a joke.


Official Announcement: We Bought A Home in Maine

I hope all of you will join in our excitement. We were driving around on Sunday and we came upon our dream home...and it was for sale. Well, we couldn't help but get out of the car and take a look around, "kick the tires" so to speak. The owners were lovely and told us tons of stories about the memories their family made here - we couldn't resist. We prayed about it and truly felt it was something we should do. We will be sure to post pictures tomorrow!

The Advantage of Having Cable

My husband and I don't normally have cable television at our home - we've never really felt deprived before and like having a way of keeping the world out of our little refuge. But I have to tell you, our vacation has allowed me to see a whole different side of the cable television coin - and that, my friends, would be the Food Network. I love it. It has to be the most useful channel on the planet.

I have always been afraid of cooking (not baking). The hubster is an awesome cook - you know, the kind that doesn't need a recipe and can just "feel" the food. Me, not so much - I can bake with the best - but my cooking lacks that artistic flair. I would even say that for the longest time I avoided cooking for my husband out of sheer intimidation. Not so with my Food Network. It has completely inspired me to go after some dishes that I probably just wouldn't have tried to make.

I've taken to making a menu, shopping, prepping ahead of time, and really showing my husband some love through the food I prepare. Everyone needs a well cooked meal, right. I actually think I might keep this up when school starts back and life gets hectic!

Here's a sampling of what we had this past week:
1) Rustic Chicken with roasted tomatoes, shallots, and white beans
2) Chicken Penne Primavera
3) Beef Enchiladas with Yellow Rice
4) (Lots of yummy leftovers)
5) DaVinci's BBQ Chicken Pizza - it's a local place and its AMAZING!


Suing over foreclosure?

This morning, I was watching CNN and they aired a story about a woman who was suing her broker over her impending foreclosure. I was curious, so I continued to watch and I was shocked at what followed. Keep in mind that this women went into buying the $560,00 home knowing that she couldn't afford it. She also hasn't made a mortgage payment in over a year. AND SHE'S SUING HER BROKER!? She claims that he told her that the mortgage folks would "work with what she had." She claims she was duped.

I'm gonna vent a bit here. I understand that a lot of good, hardworking people are in horrible situations right now due to some shady bank dealings. I also know that a lot of people made unwise decisions, deliberately biting off more than they can chew, and now they are trying to blame it on others. When we were in the house buying process we did the math over and over and over and we knew exactly what we could afford. If someone suggested a house that was above what we knew we could pay, we grew a backbone and stated we weren't interested. I feel bad for a lot of these folks - I do, but put credit were credit it due - on yourself. You listened to others and allowed yourself to be influenced despite what you knew to be true...and now, you are suffering the consequences. I'll pray that your financial situation improves - but, I won't pray that you'll get something for nothing at the cost of others' hard earned money and reputation.



I have a love/hate relationship with chicken. I don't mind eating it at a restaurant; but if I see somebody cook it, I get grossed out. Well tonight I made a neat little Italian inspired dish from Robin Miller on the Food Network. It was Chicken with roasted shallots, tomatoes, and white beans. It was awesome.

You might notice that a lot of my recent posts have been about food - well, food is pretty much the only newsworthy thing around here these days. Cheers!

Last Weekend: Old Orchard Beach

Hubby and I headed to the beach last weekend for some fun in the sun. We drove about an hour to Old Orchard Beach. It's kind of like Coney Island or what I would imagine Coney Island to be.It was so unlike any other beach I've been too.

The Hub Unit and I walked up and down the beach until we came to the pier - which was covered with businesses. We looked through the arcade and the carnival style amusement park. We stopped at "Rocos Pizza" and grabbed some "Fried Dough" and a slice of cheese. It was the best. "Fried Dough" is a lot like a funnel cake - only a little heavier and instead of just powdered sugar, it also sports cinnamon.

After eating our awesome beach meal we sat on the beach for a while. The thing is, it was raining. I mean, it was overcast and gross by all "Beach" standards. We (and the French Canadians) were loving it. It wasn't about the sun. It wasn't about trying to up the girl next to you in the bikini. It was the purest beach experience I have ever had.

We then left the beach and headed (again) to Portland. We stopped in at the Whole Foods and decided that one requirement for the next place we live is that it have one...Whole Foods rocks. We ate a bit of lunch (that's right, the pizza and Fried Dough were breakfast). Matt had a burger and fries. I ate this amazing boil of fisher chowder. AMAZING stuff. We spent the rest of the day window shopping in downtown Portland. We had a blast. Yay for the weekend.


A Glimpse of Home - kind of

Matt and I were not in the mood to cook tonight...okay, he was in the mood to cook, but I didn't want to do anymore dishes. So we turned to our best friend, the LA yellow pages, and found a new place to dine for the evening. To our shock and awe we came across "Little Dan's BBQ and Grill." Yay BBQ! I surely cannot impress upon you enough how much my dear, sweet husband LOVES the BBQ. Needless to say, Mr. W was in hog heaven (no pun intended).

We drove across the river to our little piece of home...that would be the BBQ place...ready to try out some Northern barbecue. This, of course, seems like the most extreme form of an oxymoron in existence.

If you take a close look at Little Dan's Menu, you will see pulled chicken and smoked sausage - these are two items which I have NEVER seen elsewhere and I have lived in two distinctive BBQ regions. What I will term "Southern BBQ" usually involves pork or whole chicken (not pulled - pulled chicken is really only appropriate for chicken salad in this part of the country). "Texas BBQ" involves beef (in any of it's forms) or chicken (whole piece, not pulled).

Hubster went for the beef brisket/pulled pork combo with beans and fries. I decided to be very adventurous ordering a pulled chicken sandwich with pickled beets and coleslaw. We decided to give both the hot and mild sauces a go and ordered both.

The food looked delicious. Now, we went at each other's plates first. The Hub Unit did a great job of ordering. Pork and Beef were well smoked and dee-lish. Fries were light and crispy. Beans...let's just say they do 'em better in the South. Pulled chicken was one of hubby's faves (I thought it smelled like dog breath and refused to eat it). My coleslaw was amazing; can you really mess it up? (The answer is "yes, you can mess coleslaw up" and therein lies the tragedy). The pickled beets were indeed pickled beets and probably came from a can. All in all - a decent food foundation.

The SAUCES. Oh dear. My mother taught me if I didn't have anything nice to say, not to say anything..........LIQUID SMOKE! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HERESY! Food was much better sans sauce. However, they did have a sweet mustard sauce which reminded me very much of a traditional SC BBQ sauce.

Pretty good meal, although we were so hurt by the use of chemical in BBQ sauce that we forewent a very intriguing dessert offering - fried Oreos. (!?!) Maybe we'll make our way back there before we leave and hit that stuff up!


Sleepy Days and Sleepless Nights

Fun Fact #1:
The state that we are calling home for the summer is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise...and it is messing with me

Fun Fact #2:
The state we are calling home for the summer is also home to lots of different kinds of wildlife, such as foxes, skunks, red squirrels, chickadees, seagulls and even moose...we have a groundhog in our back yard (for real).

Fun Fact #3:
Forests cover nearly 90 percent of our summer state...I've taken up talking to pine trees instead of people.

Fun Fact #4:
Millions of tourists visit this state each summer...I have never heard so much French in my life.

Fun Fact #5:
This state is famous for its lobsters. In fact, 90 percent of the nation's catch is hauled in off of its coast...and I haven't eaten lobster yet.


Verizon Wireless Hires Incompetent People - and it's a well known fact

As a previous post explained, Husband and I have had to put up with faulty phones, bad coverage, and useless customer service for the past 2 years - as we were naive and signed a 2 year contract with Verizon Wireless.

Last week, husband and I canceled our service with Verizon and ported our numbers over to AT&T. We were told by a sales rep that our contract was up in early June...so, we held out for a few months so that we could get the phones we wanted.

We should have known better - as a law student and a teacher - GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.

Ends up that Verizon can hit us with a $350 termination fee...why? Because they claim (in direct conflict with all previous statements made by Verizon representatives) that our contract doesn't end until August (not June). We tried to talk logically to the customer service folks for half of the day to no avail. In fact, I am so sick and tired of dealing with people who are either legally brain dead OR completely morally depraved, that we are actually porting our numbers back to Verizon, changing our AT&T numbers (so that we can use our functioning phones), and just letting the Verizon contract ride out until August (sans usable phones) for $70 instead of the $350.

I hate Verizon. I'm pretty much convinced that our contract did end in June and that they auto-renew your contract month by month (after your real contract is over) so that they can completely rob you.


Getting to know me...and you!

So, my sis sent me a questionnaire the other day and I couldn't help but wonder what all my other blogger friends' responses would be. So, here is the questionnaire, my responses, and a list of the folks I have tagged! I'm expecting you all to post your answers either on your own blogs or on my comments section (said in a teacher voice).

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yep, a college friend of my mom, a woman from the Bible & my great, great grandmother.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Last night - in reaction to much needed accountability (or hormones).
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I like my handwriting...although it changes with my mood.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Pimento Cheese - not a meat, just darn tasty!
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? No - thanks for reminding me.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not...oh....that's a bit telling.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Already have - it was awesome.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch (just like my big sis)
11. Do YOU WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO QUESTION 11? Nope - must have been a typo - don't question the obvious.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? More so than most people know or think.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Braum's Dairy Peppermint
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Clothing, Measurements, Hair...I have issues.
15. RED OR PINK? Red.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I don't miss anyone - I don't think I've lost anyone...maybe, my great grandma.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Yes - otherwise I'll feel completely and utterly rejected (JK).
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Not wearing shoes or pants - barefoot in a sundress (black).
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A morsel of chocolate peanut butter fudge with coffee.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? blue green (not to be confused with green blue)
23. FAVORITE SMELL? freshly cut grass
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I dunno - I'll watch any of the main sports in a group of folks, but never alone.
27. HAIR COLOR? auburnish brown
28. EYE COLOR? blue green (not to be confused with green blue).
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Contacts and glasses
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza - I love it!
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version)
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? No shirt - dress - black.
35. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Any kind of pie or cobbler.
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I dunno...I'm gonna go with Jenny (She usually comments the most).
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Charles (Burn, Charles - now you have to respond!)
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? When You're Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? no mouse pad - laptop.
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? The Next Food Network Star (or something like that).
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Both have great songs, but am not a huge fan of either.
44. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Guatemala (I think)...could be Holland.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Heck Yes - I do a killer impersonation of "Gonzo" from the muppets.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? New England...No offense, but I'm not confortable with that much personal info. on the web.

Consider Yourself Tagged:
(This means I read your blog everyday)



Wolfe's Neck Woods

Saturday was an amazing adventure. Hubby and I loaded into the car and drove 20 minutes to a beautiful national park along the coast. We took Carter with us, but unfortunately Brennan had to stay home due to her her back problems (Sad).

We had a wonderful time walking the trails, taking in the bay, and just being. It was nice to get back to one of the things that make us, us. It's been a long time since we have been outdoors - law school and work have taken up so much time and energy. A summer away from all that is an excellent opportunity to focus on getting back to who we are a part from those things.

On the way home we stopped in Freeport. We walked the little streets and took in the sights. We did a little shopping, ate some lunch, and tried to train Carter amid tons of people.

When we finally made it home we were pretty exhausted. Needless to say, Carter went right to bed.


Freedom from a Faulty Phone

At last. As some (most) of you may well know I have been the victim of a completely flawed and faulty phone. Said phone would only hold it's charge and therefore be useful for 2 minutes (at the most) per use. Which means that for the last bit of eternity I have been unable to make a phone call with out prefacing the conversation with, "My phone will die at any minute so it might cut o....." Very convenient indeed.

Well, my friends and family with whom I have not conversed in some time, help...yea, salvation from my state of "incomunicada" has arrived in the form of my new iphone 3G. Please, take note that I am by no means a technology geek. However, from my many experiences in the past, I am an Apple fan; considering the story I will be recounting for you momentarily, I am now an Apple and AT&T fan for life.

We awoke early yesterday morn with the giddiness of children on Christmas Day. We knew the new iphones were coming and bringing with them new and shiny applications for all the geeky and determined girls and boys. We dressed with purpose and drove to the local AT&T store and waiting beneath the luminous neon sign in hopes that we would catch a glimpse of 3G. It was not to be seen, but its little helpers were passing out numbers with care - assuring us that our longed for 3Gs would be there. We received our numbers 16 & 17 and with time to spare headed to the Dunkin' Doughnuts across the street for a nice warm cup of coffee and a doo-tawn (that's doughnut in 3-year-old speak). We returned and noshed on our breakfast as we waited...

At last 8am had arrived and the store opened it's doors for the first 4 grateful and gleeful techies. The air was ripe with anticipation and wonder...and 2 hours later, our ripe anticipation and wonder had turned to impatience and well, impatience. Imagine delaying a child's Christmas morning for 2-3 hours with Christmas tree and stockings in full view, yet a glass door and security guard block the way (small tear).

Oh, the joy when our numbers were called. We walked through the doors into a magical land of orange and blue. Little AT&T elves shuffled about. We were brought our beautiful phones which held a charge and brought the world to our fingertips. And at the moment of activation, devastation. The Grinch had hit and cast a shadow over our 3G day. No in store activation was to be found. Hubby, late for work, left as I remained to tie lose ends and walk the 1.5 miles home.

7 hours laster we both had activated and functioning phones. Yes, Apple had made a lot of decisions that perhaps did not render the activation process "easier," but they did fix their servers and all ended well. As for AT&T, I'm sold for life. The folks in the LA store were sooo helpful and excited about what they were doing and after a few problems with my own phone after it's activation the 1-800-customer service type people called me back every 1-2 hours to see if everything had been resolved. At one point my agent couldn't reach me - when she finally did her first question was "Are you alright" (She knew I was away from home and with no phone service). What an awesome way to represent your company! We have had so many bad experiences with our previous carrier that this one interaction renewed my faith in good people.

(Sorry, I lost the poetic speech in that last paragraph, but I was just too excited)


Seriously People?!

Let me preface this post by clearly stating that I have nothing against trailers nor trailer parks. I have slept in a trailer, I have friends & relatives who at some point in time have made trailers their homes, and I believe if Hub-Unit and I were given the opportunity - we would rock a trailer like it was 1999. That being said, all that follows is clearly said in jest and uses the "trailer" stereotype as comical fodder.

Now, to the post.

So, Hubby and I - as most of you know - are residing in an area of the country that is pretty different than our home state...or so we thought. Apparently, God has played a cruel trick on us (I'm not blaming God, but I am sure he is getting a bit of a giggle) as we are pretty much daily living in the worst parts of our home state, magnified by 10. In short, and as we daily say, This northern state is the trailer park without the trailers. For Realz.

1) Ummmm....everyone here dresses like it's Christmas morning. This means that I've seen more pajama bottoms being worn as "casual wear" than ever before and 10 months out of the year I live in a college town, people!

2) I'm pretty sure the children here neither own shirts, nor bathe daily.

3) I've seen lots of folks missing teeth (not kids, babies, or old people).

4) Everyone rides a motorcycle without a helmet...(pretty stupid).

5) I can't understand what anyone is saying.

6) The mustache (sans beard) is an acceptable fashion statement...

7) As is prominent chest hair and the gold chain.

I promise to post pictures later. Please, realize that Hubby and I are totally not trying to judge - we are, however, in shock. I can't believe how similar it all is to the home we know...and love...and don't love so much.


A Non-Traditional Fourth in 2008

The hubby and I had a pretty non-traditional fourth of July. Our plan was to go to dinner in the nearby city and then attend the July 4th party of one of hubster's 24 hour lay over co-sufferers.

Well, I was craving sushi. We went to the highly talked of Miyake. Usually the place is packed, but being July 4th we had the place all to ourselves. We had a lovely meal.

First, the pork belly appetizers. Melted in our mouths.

Next, the whelk. Looks intimidating, tastes FABULOUS.

6 pieces of sashimi...well, by the time we took the picture there were only 3 left.

6 pieces of nigri.

Dinner was over. We headed to the house of our new acquaintance only to find that the roads leading to her apartment were closed off because of the fireworks display. Afraid that we would get completely lost and never find our way out, we headed back to our little village - only to be surprised by fireworks in out back yard.

Hope your Fourth was as memorable as ours.

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth to all of our friends and family from our part of America to yours.


Coffee Grounds Where?

I've been noticing a little bit of what I will term "bumpiness" on my thighs. I dare to whisper the word, "cellulite." Well, as you know, I do struggle with my self image. I will hone in on any little imperfection and magnify it by 5 BILLION. Well, my little bumps are my latest silly obsession. The thing is, I really like researching the causes and treatments for all sorts of random maladies. So, while it might be weird to some people, it's like pleasure reading for me.

I was looking at natural treatments for cellulite (I'm just that natural kind of gal) and I found that one of the main ingredients in most cellulite creams is caffeine. One natural remedy suggested taking warm, recently used, coffee grounds and rubbing them on the affected areas. You then then wrap said areas in saran wrap for 10 minutes. Rinse - definitely not a step you would want to forget or forgo.

I know what you're thinking. Did she really do it?

Yes...I basically became a coffee filter in a Ziploc bag.

I LOVE home beauty treatments and this one was no exception. The coffee grounds served as a nice and inexpensive exfoliant (who knew?) and the saran warp (in the words of Melissa Pepin) made me sweat like a man. For anyone who is adventurous and wants smoother (notice I didn't say cellulite-free) legs, try it out. I believe you're suppose to repeat the treatments 2-3 times a week for 6 weeks or so before you see results.

Let's face it...my husband is at work all day and I can get bored easily. I know that I could be out and about touring the new town, but I'm still pretty exhausted from all the recent travel. Stay tuned, we are heading to Portland for the 4th and are sure to have some fun stories to post.



Today is my husband's 25th birthday. I woke up early and ran to the Dunkin' Doughnuts (they are pretty much as popular as water around here) and came back to wake him with coffee and a boston creme breakfast. Then he ran off to work...in a suit.

My day centered around making this new "house" a home. I cleaned, vacuumed, straightened, and settled. I went grocery shopping, picked up my bike from UPS, and went about making my birthday boy a nice, home cooked meal.

For dinner, we munched on poppy seed chicken, rice, green beans, and a pound cake with homemade chocolate frosting. It was delicious. I did buy a white icing to decorate with (as you can see, it melted...or bled...or did whatever "bad" icing does.

Today is not the only time I've tried to make him yummy stuff. In the past I have made lots of Southern delicacies - okay attempted to make...below is a picture of a banana pudding that was deceptively beautiful, but will forever more be known as "the banana mush." It was some tasty mush though.

Reunited, and it feels so good.

Thank you, Peaches and Herb for writing the song of my summer 2008.

Well, Hubster and I were reunited last Thursday. I picked him up at the airport (after 5 hours of waiting). Apparently, he spent 5 hours on a tarmac because of 10 minutes of inclimate weather. So, what should have been a 3 hour flight became an 8 hour flight. No worries, I was drunk on the expectation of seeing my husband - so, I got a coffee, found a comfy chair, and read "Love in the Time of Cholera." My dear hubby didn't have it so easy - he was stuck between two very annoying people in the window seat of a tiny plane. Well, he got to the airport eventually, we made it home by 11pm and got ready for the approaching road trip.

The next morning we headed to breakfast with our good friends, Heather and Randy. The hub unit had been craving IHOP for the past 6 weeks - so, we wanted to make sure he got his pancake fill. We then headed to "the BORO" to join our friend Bradley and Roseanna celebrate their wedding! It was awesome. We had a great time with the rest of the wedding party and enjoyed planning a prank at the Rehearsal Dinner. Saturday, Hubby hung out with the boys and even played 18 holes the day of the wedding - those who know my husband will find this pretty humorous. I hung out with Carolyn (one of the groomsmen's wife) and had a ball.

We had the awesome opportunity to go out for some margaritas with some good friends from my husbands youth group. We had a blast, enjoyed one another, and planned a future "Youth Group and Spouses" reunion in Ireland (I'll keep you posted as to whether or not that happens).

Sunday, my husband and I met with his family for breakfast in order to celebrate his 25th birthday. Woot! (can you say lower car insurance!) After breakfast, we immediately headed to the airport. We had a great time just chatting in the car on they way and really got our first amount of alone time since he had returned. We hung out at the airport for a while and then I left him around 2pm. I headed home. At 2am I was awoken by the phone ringing and through tons of static I made out the fact that my husband's connecting flight had been canceled and he would be spending the next 24 hours waiting for a flight to his final destination. Arghh.

Well, My flight left the next evening and my husband and I both arrived at our final destination at the same time. We were both exhausted. We got to our new little apartment for the summer at 2pm. My sweet husband had to go to work at 8am the next day (with only 6 hours over the past 3 days). He came over that afternoon and slept. We went out for dinner that evening and then, of course, went back to sleep.

This morning, I went to get a special breakfast to surprise my dear man. I'm planning on cleaning the apartment, grocery shopping, and picking up my bicycle from the UPS place. (YAY)
I'll keep you all updated on our adventures.