Posted in Food, House, Just Bitching, Kitchen, Seasons, Summer

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Actually, the sink is here, standing in a huge box on our front porch. The faucets arrived yesterday. There are shiny brass handles on our new cabinets and the counter top folks are coming Tuesday to measure the room for their lovely, polished granite.

kitchen cabinets

It really does look a whole lot snazzier with the gold handles. The kitchen crew is still here, hard at work adding more cabinetry and setting up the alcove for the refrigerator. Our appliances are coming on Tuesday. We’re not sure when the flooring will be coming in. Soon, I hope.

I’m really sick of microwaved and crock-potted meals. I’m filled up to my eyeballs with raw salads and have no idea how I’m going to cook green beans without a stove. Maybe I’ll dump boiling water from the kettle over them to blanch. It’s something, at least. I’ll be leaving town for a few days to visit my family in upstate New York and I wonder if the kitchen will be done by then or if the hubby will be left on his own with the microwave for the weekend.

We’re back to washing dishes in the basement, since the temporary sink has been replaced with cabinetry. It’ll be beautiful when it’s all done – no doubt about it – but the wait is killing me! Good thing my office is air conditioned.

Posted in Arlington, Health, Home, Meditation, Seasons, Summer, WordPress.com

Contemplative

It’s been a rough summer health-wise and I’m looking forward to continuing recovery as the cooler weather comes on. I’m trying to balance my work load, to give myself more time to relax and enjoy life. I’m come to realize how incredibly important that is. My problem is that I’m a Type A personality and any time spent “not working” feels like slacking off and being irresponsible. I’m trying to  hide from that mindset and occasionally am successful. But, I’m still dealing with a boatload of guilt every time I do something other than work.

I came across something interesting a few months ago, an inspiration from – of all people – Benjamin Franklin. He was a very busy fellow – inventor, author, diplomat and more. He published an autobiography and some philosophies about how one should live his or her life. Despite his warnings against idleness, he nonetheless did fit an extraordinary amount of free time in his very long day. He even pushed a daily schedule that I’ve found to be quite an inspiration:

I’m not going to follow it exactly, but I like the idea of finding the good in the day and striving towards it. My routine this morning echoed Mr. Franklin’s, although the afternoon fell by the wayside. Perhaps a half day, including some work, is all I can handle at the moment. I took myself out for lunch and then headed over to the library, even though I realized I didn’t have the energy to do any work there. I sat in one of the incredibly comfortable high-backed chairs and went through a meditation routine, then simply sat and took in that portion of the room: the books, the marble fireplace, the iron grating over a door (it’s a beautiful library). Eventually I left, very slowly, and decided to stop at the nearby coffee shop for a decaf.

I almost made it. I was walking slowly, listening to music on my headphones, when I tripped over a cracked part of the sidewalk and went crashing down, landing on my knee, elbow and right palm. So much for my afternoon of peace and quiet. Some very helpful folks helped get me to my feet and I limped the rest of the way to the coffee shop. Sat down with my java and popped a few Motrin. When I was well enough, I walked over to Spy Pond, again very close by, and sat on a stone bench under a tree and watched the water lapping to the shore and  the sun shining on the gentle waves. There was a sailboat in the water, which made things even prettier.

2015-08-26 15.15.26There I sat and there I rested. I did eventually make my way home and spent a few minutes sitting in the living room in front of a fan. I was still listening to the music that had been interrupted by my fall. So now I’m back upstairs, talking about my day, sharing the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin and about to check WordPress.com news to see what’s new there.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Home, Seasons, Summer

Essential

I have discovered essential oils. Blame it on Portland and that foot soak. I also tried a reflexology massage session back here and floated home afterwards. So far I’ve got my hands on lavender, tea tree, bergamot and peppermint oils. I’m incorporating them into my own foot soaks. Heavenly! I also got a jar of Shea butter and rubbed it all over my feet and toes after the soak. Home spa, complete with a candle and appropriate woo music in the background. Works for me!

Posted in Seasons, Summer, Travel With Margy!, Vacation, Wow!

Sitting in the Lap…err, Foot…of Luxury

I had a relaxing foot massage and soak in Portland, at a place called Soakology. It bills itself as a foot sanctuary and tea house. It was decadent, relaxing and fun. You choose from a number of different treatments, which include various foot soaks with a variety of dried flowers, herbs and oils. You can also opt for a lower leg massage, which I did. In addition to this decadence, they also offer a cup of tea and a snack as part of the overall package.

Dried Flower Petals
Ahhh…

I opted for an end-of-summer deal which included a lower leg massage, along with the regular soak and tea/snack. It was not cheap, but it was luxurious! I sat back in a large, extremely comfortable chair, soaked my feet in large, copper bowls and inhaled the scents of the place. After a while I sipped on my iced chai and nibbled on a lemon-honey macaroon. It was quiet, dark, relaxing and tasty. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but I’m definitely adding a reflexology treatment to my regular massage here at home.

Posted in Nature, Seasons, Summer, Travel With Margy!, Vacation

An Afternoon at Leisure

Just got back after a charming few days in Portland, Maine. It’s been a long time since either one of us had gone on a vacation and we definitely need to do more of that. The hubby has one more full week left of free time before he heads back to his teaching job. We’ll try to sneak in some fun day-trips and other adventures before that happens.

Portland was wonderful, especially once we were able to get away from the tourist-y areas. We visited one of the islands dotting the bay. By that time I was hot, tired and thirsty. We stopped at a really charming (there’s that word again) inn and restaurant just up the road from the ferry landing. There was a big, wrap-around porch with seating for outdoor eating and drinking. We ordered a sampler of craft beers and sat out, looking over the water. The inn was gorgeously landscaped, with bursts of color everywhere. We were seated in two, very comfy rocking chairs (ah, the life!) and looked out over everything.

2015-08-06 15.51.42It’s just Maine all over!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Arlington, Home, Nature, Seasons, Summer

A Walk in the (Not Quite) Woods

I managed to get out of the house today, wonder of wonders and treated myself to a walk along a bike path that runs past our street. The path used to be a railroad line, so the terrain is nice and flat. There’s a very nice little park behind my street which looks out over spy pond. You couldn’t ask for a prettier scene. Trees, water, birdsong and peaceful nature. I’ll take it.

Posted in Holidays, Museums, Summer, Wow!

Vacation? Vacation!

Okay, just two days but that’s a record these days. We’re in cloudy Burlington, Vermont visiting the Shelburn museum. Primarily American folk art housed in historical buildings. Some of the structures themselves are museums, like an old steam boat that was moved two miles over land to get here.

image

The Ticonderoga ferried passengers across Lake Champlain from New York state to Vermont. And they did it in style.

image

Pretty amazing.

image

Posted in Food, Massachusetts, Nature, Seasons, Summer

Abundance

Sometimes life leads me in too many directions at once. I rush from one commitment to the next and forget to stop and just relax. The hubby and I decided to take a break from the every-day and took ride out to Bolton, Massachusetts and a lovely peach orchard. That part of the state is chock-a-block with orchards of every type, but peaches are in season and we both love them. There’s nothing like biting into a ripe peach moments after you’ve picked it off the tree. We paid our money and walked down a long-ish road to the peach trees. Man, they were incredible – the very image of abundance.

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches
Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

Man, what am I gonna do with all them peaches, though? I feel a cooking frenzy coming on!