Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Bucket List


+ Hike at Victory Bog

+ Buy & play lots of Corn Hole

+Beach day at Willoughby

Via Pinterest









+ Dinner at Parker Pie Company

+Sunset watching at the top of Bald Mtn

+Hike Mt Pisgah

+Go to Bread & Puppet show & Museum of Everything

+Annual end of July canoe trip

+Visit Green Mountain Bookshop

+Mt Washington hike with Adaptive


Via   
What's at the top of your summer bucket list? 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Quatre

 

FOUR NICKNAMES:

  1. Rosey/Rosie (I actually don't like this nickname.  Only a few people call me this)
  2. Roses (by my Mom)
  3. Babe
  4. Rosebudder/Roseypants

FOUR THINGS IN MY BAG:

  1. Listerine Mouth Spray
  2. A book-always a book
  3. A million and one chapsticks
  4. A million and one bobbypins (Can you sense a theme here?)

FOUR MOVIES I'VE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE:

  1. Goonies
  2. Fried Green Tomatoes
  3. Breakfast Club
  4. Willy Wonka (only the Gene Wilder version)
I had a hard time coming up with 4 movies.  I don't tend to watch movies more than once, even if I did enjoy them. 
 

FOUR FAVORITE DRINKS:

  1. Water
  2. Tazo Passionfruit (hot or cold, doesn't matter)
  3. Coronas with lime or Blue Moon with an orange
  4. Moscow Mule



FOUR FAVORITE FOODS:

  1. Twice Baked Potatoes
  2. Lasagna
  3. Grilled hamburgers
  4. Mexican

FOUR THINGS I'M THINKING ABOUT:

  1. How I have to register my car this month.  While NH is great because we don't have sales tax, they make up for it in other areas.  To register my car for the year, it's $460. Ouch. I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather spend that money on.
  2. How long are the escaped convicts going to last?  
  3. The insane Finding Carter season finale.  I kind of guessed what the bombshell was going to be but I still can't get over what a psycho Laurie is.
  4. That good things come to those who bust their ass and do good work :)
 

FOUR PLACES I'VE VISITED:

  1. Topsail Island, North Carolina
  2. Quebec, Canada
  3. France
  4. NYC

FOUR TV SHOWS I'M CURRENTLY WATCHING:

  1. Poldark
  2. American Ninja Warrior
  3. Hannibal
  4. Wayward Pines
I only picked current on air shows which was kind of hard since most shows are done for the season. 

FOUR THINGS I'M EXCITED FOR THIS YEAR:

  1. New job opportunities
  2. Our annual canoe trip in July
  3. Planning our first major vacation in what feels like forever
  4. Hiking





Monday, June 22, 2015

Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge: Book List


I love any link up that has to do with books.  And it seems other people do too because my book post are by far my most popular and viewed posts.  When Kristen announced the Literary Ladies link up and I saw the category list, I knew this was a challenge I could complete.  I don't usually have a reading tbr list per se, I usually stick to what I feel like reading at that moment but since this link up takes place over a few months, I won't feel pressured to only read those books.


Basic Rules:
  • The Literary Ladies book challenge will run from June 21, 2015 until September 21, 2015. Only books read during that time will count. 
  • There are 10 categories to be completed. Once you complete all 10 reading all of the books necessary to satisfy each category, you have won.
  • You are allowed 2 rereads for this challenge in order to be considered for the prizes. 
  • Switching around books from your preliminary list is fine, but you can only use a book once to satisfy one category.
  • All books must be 200 pages in length. If you are listening to your books, be sure that it complies accordingly. 
  • The first 3 categories are mandatory. But if you do not like one or two of the other 7 categories, you can skip it and replace it with one of our book club picks! You can do this twice.
My Books:  

1. A YA book (mandatory!) Me Since You by Laura Wiess
2. Non US Author  (mandatory!) - Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
3. A book that was recommended by a blogger  (mandatory!) - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
5. A book with a kickass female character -Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
6. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) - Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity – or even a memoir if neither of those are your jam. Scattershot: My Bipolar Family by David Lovelace
8. A book with a one word title. Dedication by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Krauss
9. A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge! Skin by Ted Dekker
10. A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge! Island of the Sequin Love Nun by Christopher Moore


Thursday, June 18, 2015

You Probably Don't Know....

I'm a regular reading over at Helene's blog so when I saw this link up, I knew I was going to participate.  Plus since I started blogging a few months ago, I haven't really done any about me posts.

-When I was little, I had a young bull as a pet.  His name was Blackie because ya know, he was black.  Real original, Rose. We used to raise a few cows for meat and he was no exception.  Except I thought he was.  He was the first male we had and I really thought he was my pet.  One day he went away.  My mom told me it was because he was growing horns and getting to be too dangerous but years later, I found out we ate him.


-I have Morton's Toes. Which means that my second toe is longer than my big toe.  Chances are you have one too or know someone that does.

-I've always been interested in the dark and macabre.  For the longest time, I wanted to become a medical examiner and still would if it didn't require 10 years of school.

-I would love to go on some type of survivor show. Errol and I watch a lot of the survivor type shows out there and I've learned alot from them.  I feel confident that if I was out hiking and got lost or had to spend the night somewhere, I could. I would love to test myself and really see how strong I am, especially under pressure.

-I'm adopted.  My parents adopted me when I was 9 days old. Below is probably one of the first pictures taken of me.  It was taken at the foster home I went to before I was placed.  I was 5 days old in this picture. After all was said and done, it took my parents 10 years to finally become parents.


-My dad is one of my biggest heros/inspirations.  He was an alcoholic for 50+ years and seven years ago, he made the choice to quit. Add that to the fact that he has been deaf for as long as he can remember, up until 4 years ago when he found out he was a candidate to receive a cochlear implant.  The way his life has turned around and the transformation I have seen in him is nothing short of amazing. He's 71 years old and he still works 60 hours a week.  Not because he has to but because he wants to.  On top of that, he still mows the 3 acre lawn they have and he cuts and hand splits his own firewood.  I hope to still be as active as him when I'm his age.

-I'm an only child and so is Errol.  If you had asked me when I was younger, it never bothered me. But as I've gotten older, I do wish that I had a sibling to share that special connection that I see so many people have.

-If I could make a career out of reading, I would.

-I've become a crazy cat lady. Errol makes fun of me but I seriously could just watch my cat for hours.  I especially like to watch him clean his toes. Pretty much everything he does I think is cute. You can hear me say "chutest chitty ever" and "too chute chitty" multiple times a day.


-I wear my heart on my sleeve.  You can pretty much tell where you stand with me. I think I'm good at hiding my emotions but I'm not. I guess I'm pretty easy to read.

-In 8th grade, I won the bullhorn award.  Which is exactly how it sounds.  I'm loud. I can't whisper. I've been loud my whole life and don't see that changing any time soon.  When I used to work in a call center, no one liked sitting near me because any time I was on a call and got excited about something, my voice would raise about 10 octaves.

-I have a lazy eye.  Most days it's not noticeable unless you know about it. I can notice it when I smile but it really comes out when I'm tired or had a few drinks.  Basically it's just more squinty than the other one.

-Sometimes I snort when I laugh.

Tell me a fact about you!



Helene in Between

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Life Lessons From Hogwarts


Pretty much since I started rereading the Harry Potter books, I had the idea for this post. There are so many life lessons to take away from this book. Not only do I think the series is a great way to introduce the magic and power of reading to young readers but there are many positive lessons and character traits. These are just some of them.
*Warning: spoilers ahead



Bravery/Fearlessness/Courage/Integrity
In ever book, there comes a point where Harry and his friends are tested and must prove themselves.  Naturally, they are afraid and nervous but they never shy away from the challenges that are put before them. Even in the first book when he is only eleven, he is faced with having to defend himself against Voldemort even though he knows that Voldemort is the most powerful wizard and is the reason that he is an orphan.  Harry's and his friends bravery is tested right up until the last book.  Neville evolves from this timid young boy into someone who stands up to the Death Eaters and even kills a Horcrux. When Dumbledore tells Harry that he can be the only one to defeat Voldemort and fulfill the prophecy, even knowing that "neither can live while the other survives", he does not run away from it.  He has the courage to stand up to Voldemort when half of the wizarding world is hiding in fear. When Voldemort takes over the Ministry of Magic and the easier thing to do would be to follow, we see the true and brave of the community. Even when people have proven to doubt him or mock him, he still will fight for them.  He values life. He will do the right and courageous thing even if it makes him unpopular, like when Umbridge takes over as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and tries to impose her beliefs upon the school. Life at Hogwarts that year would have been easier for him if he just put his head down and kept his mouth shut but he chose to speak the truth and suffer the consequences.
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."

 




Friendship
In some of Harry's darkest moments, it is his friends that pull him through and out of the darkness. When Sirius dies and he is angry at the world and lost, they are there when he needs them the most.   So many people helped support and guide him. When he decides that he was going to locate the Horcruxes alone rather than return to Hogwarts for his final year, Ron and Hermoine refuse to let him do it alone. Hagrid is very much Harry's biggest supporter and loved him unconditionally.  Happiness can be found in the dark times if you look for the light and the light for Harry was his friendships. Harry's life up until Hogwarts was very lonely but the moment he got on that train and met Ron, everything changed for him.  He finally found the home he had been searching for.

Image result for harry potter friendship gifs 

 This is beautiful.

Humility/Kindness
Harry Potter is the one of the most famous people in the wizarding world but never once does he let it go to his head.  He is always humble and does not judge.  You witness in the wide range of friends he has.  Luna and Neville definitely are not the most popular people at Hogwarts but that does not stop Harry from befriending them.  They end up being some of the strongest friendships he makes. Even after all of his triumphs and the recognition that comes from them, he never gloats or acts like he has done anything special.  To him, he is doing what anyone would have done.  When Harry made the simple choice to free Dobby, he made a friend for life.  Dobby was willing to do and sacrifice anything for him because he was truly so thankful to be a free elf. 
"If you want to get a good look at a man, take a look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals"

Love
Also, can we just talk about Snape and Dobby for a moment?  To me, they were the most heartbreaking and hard to deal with deaths out of all the books.  Sure, it was sad when Dumbledore died but then you learn that he kind of used Harry, his image is tainted from then on, at least for me it is. But Snape?  All along he was truly good.  We see how far he was willing to go for a girl he fell in love with 20 years ago. All the sacrifices he made and the courage it took to live the majority of his life as a lie. I truly wish that Harry had gotten a chance to know the truth before he died. Atleast he was able to see it and Snape did not take that secret to the grave.  
The resounding theme of Harry Potter is that love conquers all.  Love is the reason the Harry survived Voldemort's attack when he was a baby and the reason that he survived the second time.  Love is what separates the good from the evil. Snape, Voldemort and Harry both had very similar upbringings but neither of them turned out the same. Voldemort made the mistake of believing that love did not matter, power did.  When you never experience love, you do not know the power it has.

I promise I won't talk about Harry Potter for awhile now, even though I feel like I could say a million more things.  About how many times my heart broke and I cried.  About how angry I was when I realized how Dumbledore used Harry. About how I need to know what happens after Voldemort dies.  About how I need to know more about Harry's parents and young Sirius and Lupin.

And if you haven't read the books, what are you waiting for?


This is all so true, and definitely worth the read.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spring Goals Revisited


I wouldn't say I hit my goals out of the park but they were a solid 50/50. So let's see how I did.

  • Make and stick to a blogging schedule PASS
 I'd like to find a writing schedule that is consistent while also not putting too much on my plate.  I'm thinking I'd like to post three times a week; Monday, Wednesday & Friday.  
I'm going to give this one a pass.  Some weeks I only blogged once and one week, I didn't blog at all but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I've finally found a schedule that works for me. I've planned out the next couple of weeks blog posts.  They won't be published on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule but I have three posts planned per week and that works for me.

  • Put together a great interview outfit and schedule at least one interview PASS
I want to put together an outfit I feel comfortable and confident in.  I would like to attend at least one interview. It's been awhile since I have had to interview for a job and I really want to put my best self out there. I think it will help to get my nerves out of the way and make me more confident in future prospects.
I went on two interviews in May and I have another one scheduled.  I bought a new blouse and put together a couple great outfits that I feel pulled together and confident in.  In fact, there should be good news coming my way this week.

  • Go on 2-4 regular hikes and hike one 4,000 footer.  Also make my list of 4,000 footers I would like to complete this year. FAIL
I really didn't go as much winter hiking as I did last year or for that matter, been very active this winter.  And I can definitely feel it.  I'm sluggish and unmotivated.  Being outdoors, in the woods is my happy place and it also is a great stress reliever and mood "resetter" for me. Ultimately, I would like to complete 5 or more 4,000 footers on my list this year but I am being realistic since my stamina and endurance are low right now.
I only went on one actual hike during this time period, not counting the Pondicherry Preserve walk I went on because that wasn't an actual hike.  More of a 5 mile nature walk.  I have a few more hikes planned this month and I need to get on the ball since I do plan on doing the Mt Washington hike with Adaptive Sports at the beginning of August.
  • Be more intentional with my relationship/show my appreciation 50/50
Lately, I feel like I haven't been focusing on my relationship like I should.  It is the most important relationship I have and I should be showing it the attention it deserves.  I sometimes take my partner for granted and I would really like to show him how much I appreciate him. Also, I want to plan one unique surprise date for us.
While I did not plan a surprise date, I do have one planned/in the works.  Our weekends have been busy and when you only have two days with each other a week, it gets kind of hard to cram everything you need and want to do into those days.  I would say I definitely have been more mindful of my attitude and interactions because again, when you only see each other for two days out of the week, you don't want to be arguing with each other during that time either. 

  • Set up our screened in porch and take advantage of it every chance I get, especially after work. PASS
The main reason we chose the house we did was for the screened in porch.  I want to find a new patio set either purchase or refurbish one.  I'm looking for a two chair and table combo.  More lounge than eating.  I have this great indoor/outdoor rug that I got a few month ago and I am using that for the design inspiration.  I want to get some great Edison string lights and some new wind chimes. I can't wait until the weather is nice enough to sit out there and read.
I did make a little area in the corner of our screened in porch for us to sit with a table and chairs.  We decided not to buy patio furniture since we are not sure how long we will be at this place and who knows if our future place will have a porch.  I would like to say it will because that is one of the top things on my list for any future place but you never know.  The area is nice and I find myself reading out there after work and we like to sit out there in the morning and evenings. One corner is still full of Errol's tools and outdoor stuff but I was able to hang up some lights and some glass globes around so I'm happy with the space.


Since I don't generally make goals for my personal life, I would say I did pretty good this time around.  For the summer, we always make a summer bucket list so I will be posting that next week.  In the past, we usually get about 50% of the things checked off.  I like to use the list as a go to when we are trying to think of something to do that weekend.
How successful are you in your goals?  Do you find you complete most of them or are you like me and have a mix of pass/fail?



Friday, June 12, 2015

Fri-YAY 6.12.15



Another week down. I can't believe June is almost halfway over and the 4th of July is right around the corner.  Summer is already slipping by.  I'm going to make Errol sit down and make our traditional summer bucket list. I'm sure there will be lots of boating and outside activities on it.  Hopefully a couple weekend trips.  It's hard for us to travel in the summer because his work doesn't like him to take time off in the summer since that's their busy time, which can be frustrating.

 O N E//
I signed up for a women's gun safety course for next weekend.  It was only $10 and something I've been wanting to do. Errol is somewhat of a gun collector and have around 15 guns.  I've shot all of them but before I met him, I'd never shot a gun before. I do enjoy shooting and we've gone skeet shooting a few times over the years but I'd definitely like to take a formal class to get more familiar with them. Errol has made me take his handguns and load them over and over again to make sure I know how to do it since he wants to feel confident I can protect myself but I'm looking forward to taking the class and learning more.
   
T W O//  
Wednesday I went out with a group of girls from work to see Woman in Gold. It stars Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.  Mirren is a survivor of the Holocaust and enlists Reynolds, a lawyer, to help her recover her families lost artwork that the Nazis had stolen during the war.  One of the paintings is famous painting by Klimt called Woman in Gold and is of her aunt.  All of us thought the movie was good and I think everyone of us shed some tears.  I noticed we weren't the only ones. Make sure to check this one out.  Mirren was a standout in her role.

 

T H R E E//   
So my Chitty is on a killing spree.  When we lived at the farm house, he would kill a mouse literally everyday and leave it for us. Since we moved to the new place, he's only killed one.  We had guessed that he was being lazy and figured he was living the good life now so he didn't need to but since I got back from my trip last week, he's killed 4 things.  The night I got home, he left me a mouse.  Sunday he brought in another mouse he killed and was trying to eat it on the rug.  That same night, he killed a friggin rabbit.  Both Errol and I were upset about that.  Normally when he kills the mice, we praise him and give him treats but not with the rabbit.  I immediately brought him inside and put him in the basement, which is where we put him for punishments.  There is no need for him to kill a rabbit. I'm still bothered by it.  Mostly because there was no need for it to die.  It wasn't hurting anyway and he pretty much just killed it for sport. Luckily Errol was home so I didn't have to take care of it. And then Wednesday I came home and he had killed a chipmunk. 
Hopefully he's gotten it out of his system.



F O U R// 
Some days, people just need a little encouragement to make their day better

  F I V E//

 
Linking up with A. Liz Adventure

&

Karli at September Farm

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

May Book Review


Well, I finally finished the Harry Potter books but I only had time to read two other books.  Counting the book I'm currently reading, I'm at 42 books for the year.  Technically I am behind schedule for my 100 book goal but I'm not worried. I generally like to read everyday, even just for half an hour after work or something but there has definitely been days this month where I haven't picked up a book.

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.


Rating: 3.5/5
I really enjoyed this book.  It was both cute and heartbreaking.  The story is set in a community in England and told from the view of several different characters in the story.  A majority of the story is from a young girl named Skunk.  One day a violent act of cruelty happens in the neighborhood and sets of a serious of events. I adored Skunk.  She was spunky and loveable.
It was eye opening to see the mental health care system in England. I hope that this does not reflect the current situation.  In the book, the mentality of how to treat mental illness was to just hide it and not talk about it.  It didn't really seem like they wanted to help the person get better. 
This book and the quirky humor reminded me a lot of Spot of Bother, which was written by the same author as The Curious Incident of the Dog.

Rating: 5/5
 This is another re-read for me this month.  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is one of my very favorite books. It's messy and the ending is not the one you want but there is just something so beautiful about this book.
This is the story of Edgar Sawtelle who lives on a dog farm and is mute.  His family breeds and trains a special breed of dogs called Sawtelles who are known for their companionship.  Almondine is one of the dogs breed at the farm and is the epitome of their breed.  She and Edgar share a special connection since he was born.  Small portions of the story are told from her view.  While they are brief, they are the most memorable parts of the book.  Everything changes for Edgar when his father's brother, Claude, comes back to the farm. 
Read this if you are an animal lover and know that there are special connections that exist between man and animal.

Harry Potter Books 5-7
Series Rating: 5/5
Book 5 Rating: 4/5
Book 6 Rating: 4.5/5
Book 7 Rating: 5/5
After having binge read the whole series, start to finish, HP and the Deathly Hallows is my favorite.  I know some HP fans would probably disagree with me on this, but there was so much happening in the last book.  So many story lines meet and come to an end.  So many relationships change and characters evolve and reveal their true selves. I do wish the epilogue was longer.  I wish that more was told about life after Voldemort for Harry, his family and friends and for the wizarding world. I know Rowling has since written about some of it.  I would love in some years time if she did revisit this series.
Must Read: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
One to Skip: None! I liked all the books I read in May and would recommend them.

Life According to Steph
Linking up with Steph

Monday, June 8, 2015

Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous


This past week, I had a chance to travel to the Hamptons for a work. I went with a few girls from work, which was nice because I'm usually traveling solo for work events. My work is renting a house for the summer in Bridgehampton so we were able to stay there. Going into the trip, I probably would have never even considered going on a vacation to the Hamptons.  They have this perception that it's for the elite and privileged. And while there is some of that, I saw places you could stay that wouldn't break the bank.  The area is very driveable, at least for now since the area is just starting to get busy.  We were able to get from Bridgehampton to Southampton in about 15 minutes.

Waiting for the ferry in Connecticut.

The rental house


The pool at the rental house.  Wish the weather was nicer so I could have gone for a dip.


After work the first day, we drove around the neighborhood ooohing and aahhing over the million dollar homes.  We stopped at one of the beach areas in Bridgehampton.  This was the only beach we visited that you had to pay for parking.  If you wanted a season pass to park there, it was $350.









That night we ate at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack. The smoked meat was delicious and the inside was so cute. You would have thought you were in a Texas roadhouse.


Tuesday, we worked all day and walked across the street to Bobby Van's, where I had the best meatloaf of my life.  One of the other girls I was with ordered it as well and she said the same thing.  It was that good. I'm still thinking about it days later.  We also ate at The Golden Pear for lunch and breakfast a couple days.  I highly recommend both restaurants.  The Golden Pear is kind of like the Hampton's chain restaurant.  They have four different locations and I saw all but one in my travels.  Their breakfast and lunch selections are diverse and everything I ordered was delicious.

Wednesday, we were traveling home but our ferry reservation wasn't until later that afternoon so we took the morning to explore.  We got breakfast and ate it at Haven's Beach in Sag Harbor.






 Since it was only a few minutes away, we decided to make the trip to Southampton since this is where the shopping and huge million dollar homes that you think of when you hear the Hamptons are.  We stopped at a beach that we later found out was voted the best beach in America.  I can see why.  It was gorgeous.  We looked around some of the shops, which take up like 4 blocks.  There was a good mix of higher end shops, boutiques and chain type stores like JCrew.  I liked that there were a variety of price points so anyone could shop there.
We also drove down Gin Lane and some other side roads and saw amazing homes.  The houses we saw in Bridgehampton were nothing compared to these.  I wish I could have gotten some pictures because they were just amazing.  Think $10 million homes, one after the other.  And to think that these houses are only used a few weeks out of the year. 









It was an amazing trip.  It hardly felt like work because I was able to enjoy the beach and ocean.  If you are taking a trip to the Hamptons, I would recommend to pick up the Hamptons Magazine.  It was free at a lot of businesses and street corners.  I finally picked one up the last day and it was a wealth of knowledge and recommendations.  I wish that I had checked it out the first day since it references all the hot spots and up and coming restaurants and shops.  It was nice seeing that all three places we ate at were recommended.  If I go back, I will definitely be eating at Pierre's. Multiple people mentioned this restaurant for its French cuisine.

I'm hoping to travel back there soon as we have some last minute stuff to wrap up.

 
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