Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Last Day

Happy Last Day of Summ. . .err, August.

I know, you summer lovers are quaking in your flip flops at the mention of the end.

Here in the city, though, I'm shivering with excitement! Of course, I think everyone knows that I LOVE fall.

And for me, the end of August signals the end of summer. No matter that September is still part of summer, and often quite warm. I start getting ready to take out my pumpkins, scarecrows, and autumn dish towels. I begin dreaming of cinnamon-y smells pouring from the oven and fair season, and crockpot meals and spicy scented candles and the smell of leaves. I think that's it.

And did I mention baking?!

And so it is, with a full heart from beautiful summer stuffed with wonderful memories, I begin to bid this season adieu and look forward to the next and best season.

( I just found this on my phone. Oh summer, the things you convinced me to buy)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake. . .and things

I had no idea when I woke up this morning that today would be such an eventful day. It seemed just like any other day after vacation day: I was moving slowly and trying to get myself back on schedule.

Lunch came more quickly than expected, and my lunch girls and I headed out for our usual picnic. Upon our arrival back to the office, though, we found people huddled outside the building looking rather freaked out. As we soon found out, an earthquake had hit in Virginia and because the entire East Coast is basically all one sheet of bedrock, we were feeling the tremors all the way in downtown Boston.

In a move that, frankly, seemed a little overcautious, my office decided to close early, and I was out of there faster than I could read the closing e-mail.
Thank God, however, because I got a call later at 4PM about my car that had to go into the shop yesterday for some transmission problems. It was fixed and ready to go, but the shop was closing in an hour.

Since everyone was still in work and I had less than an hour to get to the repair shop I drove there with my roommates car, paid and moved my car out of their parking area as requested and proceeded to beginning a ridiculous game of car relay to get both cars home
I drove Becca's car to a nearby Stop & Shop, walked back to my car near the shop, drove that to Stop & Shop, got Becca's car (in case one of the cars got towed, I wanted it to be mine!) drove it home, and then walked the 20 or 30 minutes back to S&S to get my car and head home.
I'm sure a million easier way to do that are running through your head right now. Like taking a taxi, or something. But I was too cheap and afraid if I took the time to call a cab I wouldn't make it to the shop in time, thus prolonging this latest episode in the saga that is the life of my car, Betsy.  
(Meet Betsy: you may remember her from her starring role in this fiasco)

In the end, I got half my usual walk in for the day and some great black bean and garlic tortilla chips that were on sale at Stop & Shop (I decided to stop in on my third trip of the day to their parking lot. . .) so I guess the day wasn't a complete bust.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunapee weekend

Normally at this time (5:00PM) I would be dragging myself to the train after work, preparing to weasel my way into position to ensure a seat on the ride home. 
Instead, however, in a nice end to a wonderful weekend vacation, I'm sitting on my couch having had the entire day off! 

Friday, four pals and I hit the road and made our way up to Lake Sunapee in NH. Thanks to some connections of my roommate, we were spending the weekend at a lake house for FREE! What an amazing blessing!
A little cramped after a traffic filled ride, we arrived at one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. We received a tour of the downstairs (where we'd be staying) amidst squeals of excitement and disbelief. The lake was a few yards from the house, and a dock boasted everything including a speed boat, paddle boat, wind surfer, kayaks, and lounge chairs. A water trampoline beckoned to us out in the lake.

My friends and I spent the weekend enjoying the perfect weather while bouncing on the trampoline, kayaking, lounging in the sun, and the owner of the house even took us on a boat ride so we could water ski (I was the official photographer and way too chicken to try water skiing. . .). It was definitely one of the most relaxing weekends of my summer.
 All of us were so blessed that the owner of this home was so gracious in giving us the run of the place.
Here's a little slideshow of pictures from the weekend, I'm sure I could add about a bazillion more, but I won't go too crazy :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just a Thought

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl
(photo taken last Saturday night on a friend's roof deck)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What a Pain

You know when you have those little moments of hypochondria randomly?

No? Just me? OK. . .

Well, a few days ago, I awoke with a strange pain in my side for no apparent reason. Now, truth be told, I'm no stranger to strange pains. I mean, don't we all have crazy pains all the time? Just our body doing whatever it does, I s'pose.

This one was a little more persistent though, until Tuesday morning arrived and it had grown to more than just a little annoyance into something I definitely couldn't ignore.

So I did what any good little office worker does when feeling ill: dropped the work I was doing and hopped on WebMD to self diagnose myself with any number of horrifying diseases related to hip/low back pain. 

Mostly, though the verdict was not too terrible and I came up with the possibility that I might have kidney stones. The pain was different, it seemed, than a mere muscle strain. I placed a call to my sister for a confirmation of my diagnosis and moved on. Not much to do for Kstones but wait. 

Midway through the day, though, I had a brief panic moment, whereby I began to wonder what it felt like to have appendicitis. Another quick perusal of WebMD calmed my fears given that my pain was on the wrong side and I wasn't keeled over vomitting and wishing I was dead. 

Fears allayed, I went about my day, downed enormous amounts of water (supposed to help with kidney stones) and even powered through my evening work out. 

Then, this morning dawned bright and crisp and oh was I in pain.
Pain as in, I pulled a muscle and overdiagnosed myself via WebMD on a slow day at work and then went hoofing up hills for exercise the night before and made everything much, much worse. You know, that kind of pain.

I imagine myself to have a pretty high pain tolerance and really dislike taking pain meds, so I slogged through the day, even when around lunch time the pain was so bad I started to cry a little. A good limp around the office and laying in the soft grass outside on lunch break seemed to bring some peace and I made it through. Barely.

 As I write this I'm laid up on the couch in my living room where I've been for several hours in the only position that doesn't hurt. I also caved at the recommendation of my roommate and took something for the inflammation and pain. Good grief. Leave it to me to be struck down by some pulled muscle I got doing God knows what (nothing seems to have triggered it).

All I have to say is, I'm going on vacation this weekend so my back better buck up and get on with it. I don't have time for this. . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

To add to my growing list of embarrassing moments

**I wrote this post a few weeks ago but, as often happens, it got lost in the shuffle and just turned up now! I thought it was too embarrassing and ridiculous not to post though!

A few months ago, I signed on to work for a volunteer organization in Boston as a mentor. The BHERC is a program that provides mentoring services to kids in the Boston area to help them gain access to higher education and support they may not get from their immediate community. The organization is run by a church in Boston so the offices are in the church complex After work yesterday evening, I headed straight over to the South End in Boston to meet the middle school girl I will be mentoring.

Upon arriving at the church complex, I notice a large group of somber people lining the sidwalk outside the building and several cars painted. I'm confused at first, but quickly put together that there is a funeral going on at the church.

I start to feel a little awkward, given that I'm wearing a somewhat loud print shirt with a vaguely zebra-esque pattern and flip flops: clearly not funeral attire. I quietly make my way through the gathering throng of people, trying to look apologetic and slip into the church and onto the elevator as fast as I possibly can.

After meeting my mentor (a firecracker of a girl!) I prepare leave, but quickly realize I can't get back on the elevator I came up in because there are now people in the room I have to go through to get to it. Instead, I get on another elevator that I happen to notice. . .

I press the button for floor one and the elevator begins it's rickety, loud descent. We hit floor one and the elevator makes several loud bleeping noises before sliding open it's doors. Into the middle of the sanctuary. As the funeral is going on.

No one seems to be paying attention to me, as they are absorbed in the message the pastor is giving. Frantically, I jab at the buttons on the board, trying to close the doors and get up to the next floor where I can try and find some stairs.

The elevator chugs up to the next floor, and with a growing panic, I listen to the voice of the speaker and can tell that, while growing quieter, it's still very loud. 

"Oh, God, please don't let this just be level two of the sanctuary!" I pray. 

The doors begin their loud opening and I step over a bit out of the front of the doors. Now, I'm in what appears to be an overflow room. Thankfully, there's a half wall running along the back, blocking me from most people's view. Only a few eyes turn to pear at who's making the ruckus back by the elevator. I tiptoe-literally-out of the elevator and slink behind the wall to a door that has the red Exit sign above.

Ringing with embarrassment I wind down the stairs and ramps completely lost, but thankfully not interrupting the funeral. Finally, after an accidental tour of the basement of the church, directing a lost funeral goer to the bathrooms that I just past inadvertently and snaking back up one the of the walkways, I managed to find an EXIT.
 I've never been so happy to get out of church in my life.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One Year Down

This week has marked the one year anniversary of my move to Boston (to the day on Wednesday!). And what a different week it has been-comparatively.

A year ago, I was plopped down into my apartment in the middle of the city (or Western edge as it were) with no job, no idea what I had gotten myself into and a small fear growing that maybe I had made the wrong decision. I'm a small town girl, born and raised, went to college in a small town that I loved and remained in after graduation, but suddenly found myself thrust into the bustle and traffic of Boston. 

It has been kind of fun that Boston has been experiencing so many crazy adventures for itself with me. This fair city has seen the toughest winter in many years with record snow fall, the Bruins break a 39 year hiatus as Stanley cup champs, the second hottest day in 85 years, among other phenomena that have this old city abuzz. I can't help but connect the dots here. . .I move to town and suddenly so many whacky things are happening. Coincidence? Umm, please.

Of course, it would seem that some things remain the same. I'm still terrible at parallel parking, which might be due to the fact that I avoid it like the plague and would rather walk an extra 10 minutes than try and park closer in a tight spot with people in traffic watching me make a fool of myself. I still know embarrassingly little about the Red Sox. Maybe, under some pressure, I could rattle off a name of a player, but I have no clue if they're any good or not (also once before I tried this only to learn the player was a much hated Yankee's player and that's why his name sounded familiar). And I still miss the quiet, peacefulness of the country (with not so many horn happy drivers, bleck.).

I've come a long way, though, from though first few days here in Boston, and have built a place for myself here for the time being. So much has changed and happened this year, I can only wonder what Boston year 2 will bring.

Who knows? In another year, I might actually be able to parallel park!