A view of the coast
It’s a sunny winter day
Cannon Beach, Oregon
A view of the coast
It’s a sunny winter day
Cannon Beach, Oregon
This post isn’t about unsustainable resolutions. Time to lose weight. Time to exercise. Time to set goals. Nope. We are smack in the middle of the cold and rainy season so naturally I start fantasizing about warm weather! It is this time of the year that I start planning for summer vacays! I have never been a big traveler but I do enjoy a good road trip, camping, and beach get-aways. And always with my kids. Living in the Pacific Northwest we have so many options…..a road trip to California or Canada is just a day’s drive, the Oregon coast is only an hour and twenty minutes away, we have mountains, beautiful lakes and rivers. Some of our favorite trips have been camping in the Redwoods, road trip to San Francisco and a drive along the Umpqua River to Crater Lake and then to Bend. A few years ago at the suggestion of a coworker we discovered one of our favorite little vacation spots that I wanted to share. Of all places it is a little town in northern Idaho called Sandpoint. It is one of those places that I wish I would have known about when my kids were smaller, because it is the perfect place (I think) to take school age kids. Below are pictures of Sandpoint, Idaho and the view from the Edgewater Best Western hotel we stay at:
The beach is right outside the hotel which is why I will suggest you book a room on the bottom floor. The water is clear and surprisingly warm. The beach is staffed with lifeguards, a snack shack, a park with a playground, tennis court and basketball court. There are some fun restaurants within walking distance and a great trail that goes along the river between the hotel/beach and downtown. The Best Western also has great reviews.
The other fun thing about Sandpoint, is about twenty five miles south is a GREAT amusement park called Silverwood. I describe it as a small Disneyland without the crazy crowds and long lines. One half of the park is a water park with some awesome water slides and wave pools. The other half of the park are the rides. It has some great roller coasters and rides that you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go on. See pics below:
We had so much fun! They also have places to eat everywhere! Its really clean and not so huge that you get lost, you can easily walk from one end of the park to another. Admission is $45 and if you go after 5:00pm its half price and the park is open until 10:00pm.
About twenty miles south of Silverwood Theme Park is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Lake Coeur d’Alene is in the center of the city and offers a great trail along the lake. It is gorgeous! There are huge boulders to jump off of into the water all along the lake. The water is warm and clear also. The lake and trail are right next to the cute downtown area, so after you walk/hike the trail you can get something to eat in town or browse the stores. See pics below (That’s me sitting on the rock in the pic on top right):
I don’t think we will be going there this summer only because I promised my son he could a plan a road trip for us to Los Angeles, but whenever we talk about Sandpoint we always talk about how much we love it! I just wanted to share our little vacation spot and would love to hear about yours!
Her speech last night at the Golden Globes? OMG. I almost felt like I was watching MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Powerful. Moving.
I know interviewers have asked her before if she would ever run for office and she always says no. Apparently someone asked her partner Stedman about it last night, he didn’t say yes but he didn’t say no. I think that is a good sign.
We need someone like her in our politics. I am voting for Oprah.
One of the many joys in my life are the reactions I get from my kids with my silly antics. Like when I show them my progress in perfecting the Running Man (its a dance move) or when I purposely misuse trendy sayings or phrases. Keep in mind my kids are 18 and 20, so I have to find SOMETHING to keep me entertained!
For the past few years during Christmas I have put up a small Christmas village. You know the ones with the little village people, houses, stores, horse drawn carriages, etc? A couple years ago when my kids were at home because it was winter break I would text them asking, “What is happening in the village?” They thought I was a nut. Sometimes they would play along and give me a silly story of what was happening in the village but most of the time they would ignore my texts, which for some reason made me laugh also. Well………this year I decided to change it up and text THEM about what was happening in the village. Below are the “Village Update” texts they received:
12/10/17-Accident on the ice rink. Little Timmy had a pretty scary fall but he is ok. Minor fracture.
12/12/17-BREAKING NEWS! Robbery suspect on the loose! Suspect broke into Mrs. Smith’s fruit store at approximately 2am Tuesday morning. Eye witnesses have described the suspect as male approximately 5’6 to 5’7, some say he has blonde hair others say brown, some say he has a tattoo on his left arm and others say he wears a medical necklace. There is a $500 reward for anyone who can find this robber. If you have any information please contact Sheriff Kates at 1-800-JEALOUS?
*After this text my son responded with-UNSUBSCRIBE
*The description of the robber describes both my kids and Kates is my hot bf’s last name.
12/13/17-Power Outage. Cause of outage is unknown at this time. Village officials estimate power will return within 24 hours and ask that its citizens stay close to home until the power returns. On a side note the robbery suspect who broke into Mrs. Smith’s fruit store is still at large although some villagers have said they have spotted him at the local watering hole.
12/17/17-Press Release-The robbery suspect has been found and detained. Locals found him up north in a run down shack ice fishing. The shack was filled with fruit. Sheriff Kates has declared that the Village may resume to its normal activities. BINGO AT THE LEGION HALL MONDAY NIGHT! Mrs.Migilicuddy will be serving her peach cobbler!
12/23/17-Village Gossip- On Saturday Charlene was at Brenda’s Beauty Salon getting a cut and color and she said that Nancy said that she saw Cindy’s husband sneaking away from that hussy Bobbie Sue’s house Tuesday afternoon. Apparently Bobbie Sue’s husband is on a “business trip” but you know what they say about the kind of business he is in! And this isn’t the first time Cindy’s husband has been caught in questionable circumstances with the other ladies in the village!
12/24/17-REMINDER- The Silver Fox bowling league is putting on a bake sale at the community center. Come by and support the ladies by purchasing freshly baked goods. Mrs. Smith always puts a little extra rum in her rum cake :). Proceeds go towards a state of the art cat park behind the old barn on the Johnson property. And best of all Sheriff Kates will be there to autograph photos!
12/26/17-Jumpstart on next year’s Christmas shopping with 50% off on fruitcakes at Behrman’s Bakery. Get them while they last!
12/30/17-A note from the editor: The staff (the editor) will be on a short hiatus and will return December 2018.
Wishing you joy and happiness for the year ahead 🙂
Last night I had a double whammy peri-menopausal (I would say menopausal also but I am not quite there yet) situation. I was wake from 3am to almost 5am with digestion issues. My colon literally felt like it was percolating. So I thought, okay maybe this is a sign to finally blog about FODMAP.
In my early forties I began experiencing very uncomfortable and sometimes painful abdominal bloating. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I went to the doctor, I had Xrays, blood tests and an ultra sound. Initially I didn’t know if it was a female issue or digestion issue. It was finally determined that it was digestion so the GI doctor ordered a colonoscopy. I was only 42 but because I have a family history of colon polyps the insurance company gave the thumbs up. Side note: During the colonoscopy procedure I thought it was a little odd that in the room was the doctor (male), the anesthesiologist (male) and the nurse (male) and me with my bare backside exposed. Hmmmmm………Anyway, the good news is that there were no polyps. So the culprit to my abdominal pain? My diet.
The doctor told me my colon was getting old (Really? At the ripe old age of 42? Thanks) and that I needed to put more fiber in my diet. Twenty two grams of fiber a day to be exact. I also read that it is a good idea to slowly build up to eating twenty two grams a day otherwise all that fiber may be too much for your body all at once. So I loaded up on fiber as much as I could. I frequently had refried or black beans at dinner, ate fiber rich cereal and basically found foods that contained high fiber. I also took fiber supplements every evening. The goal? Just to have a daily BM. Is that too much to ask?
The doctor’s wise words of advice (sarcasm) did absolutely nothing. In fact in some ways it made it worse!! I continued to suffer. As mentioned in a previous blog I spent many hours on the internet researching to find a cure to my digestive misery. One Sunday morning I came across FODMAP. For you Latin lovers it is an acronym for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.
Here’s what I learned: There are foods that are hard for the body to break down and there are foods that are easy for the body to break down. In laywomen’s terms when we eat foods that are hard for the body to break down the food sits in our colon longer (because they are hard to break down) and literally begins fermenting. This fermenting is what causes the gas and bloating. Sooooooooo what we want to do is avoid eating the foods that are “high” FODMAP, meaning hard to digest and eat foods that are “low” FODMAP, meaning easy to digest. Guess which foods are high FODMAP? Beans, high fiber cereal, etc! Ugh.
When you start this diet, and by the way I don’t like calling it a “diet” because it is not a lose weight kind of diet, you are supposed to eat only low FODMAP foods for six weeks and then slowing begin incorporating high FODMAP foods to see which ones bother your digestion system. When I started this diet and went with all low FODMAP foods I never looked back. My stomach felt SO MUCH better I didn’t want to take the chance of feeling yucky again. I also want to add that the FODMAP diet is one recommended for those that suffer with IBS.
So I have been following this diet now for about three years now. It hasn’t cured my digestive issues completely but I will take the 85% improvement. The daily BMs that we all strive for happen more frequently and I don’t take fiber supplements anymore. Although I still have bouts of uncomfortable bloating it usually follows with a long time with no problems again. I have also been turned on to Magnesium supplements, Smooth Move Tea, Heather’s Tummy Tamers and most recently Apple Cider Vinegar (still trying out this one, not sure about it yet). I highly recommend the FODMAP diet for any digestive issues and to be honest the change in diet wasn’t that big of a deal.
Below is a link to the list of high FODMAP and low FODMAP foods. Remember, its the high FODMAP foods you want to avoid.
P.S.-Wine is low FODMAP. A toast to no more bloated stomachs!
When I first decided to write a blog I made a list of all the different things I could write about. One of the ideas was the incident that happened on June 26, 2017. I didn’t know when I was going to write about it but figured I would blog about it when there wasn’t anything else pressing on my mind. And then this Saturday happened……..
June 26, 2017- After work my sister and I were picking up a patio table and chairs she had found on Offer Up and then we were going to drive it across town to our other sister’s house. No matter how many times we tried to reconfigure the table and chairs so they would fit in the back of my car, we could not get it to fit. So we then had to drive all the way back to her house to get her car and then drive back to the table and chairs. We had just reached her house when I got a call from my son. His voice was serious (very much unlike him) and urgent telling me there was a fire in the kitchen, he called the fire department and was outside with our dog. WHAT????? Of course the seven mile drive to my house was the longest drive ever!
I finally reached the cross street to my house but was blocked by a firefighter directing a huge firetruck. I rolled down my window and politely asked the firefighter if the house was okay. To my relief he said yes (phew) but when I turned down my street there were two firetrucks in front of my house, ten good looking firefighters on my front lawn and huge fans blowing into the house. Apparently, the cause of the fire was grease. My son had been watching a cooking show and became inspired to cook some chicken. He heated up some grease, stepped away from the kitchen to change his shirt (because he was going to be cooking with grease), the grease became too hot and immediately turned into flames. Thank goodness he was okay (just a little shaken up) and the fire was pretty contained but it did have to be extinguished by the good looking firemen. See below:
Ugly. But would you ever guess that this would end up to close to $40,000 worth of repairs?!!! Crazy! The next day the insurance adjuster came out and gave her estimate which included new cupboards, new counter, new floor and new stove (obviously). Then she explained the restoration people would be assessing work that needed to be done as well and would most likely be adding to her list and boy did they ever. I decided to go with the restoration company Nationwide (my insurance company) endorses. The following day the guy came out, he checked out the kitchen of course and then went through all the rooms. He looked in my closet and saw soot (what??) and then took a paper towel and ran it across the top of the mirror above my dresser. Soot. He found soot everywhere!
Bottom line: except for one bedroom and both bathrooms my whole house would need to be repainted and EVERYTHING in my house would be taken out and cleaned individually and to expect to live in a hotel for a couple of weeks. I thought this was a little ridiculous and shared with him that this seemed a little excessive since it was a small fire just at my stove. He explained that this is why I have been paying insurance for the last 21 years, soot gets into the walls and he would not want us to be smelling smoke three months later. Good gracious. All of this made me very nervous but what could I do?
We literally did not have a working kitchen all summer long except for the three weeks we stayed in a hotel. When I was researching extended stay hotels there was one that was nice and a little bit more expensive so I called the insurance adjuster and asked her about the budget for our hotel stay, her response? “You do what works for you and your family.” So nice. I guess Nationwide really is on my side. So to shorten up this long story that still is not finished, everything was finally completed at the beginning of October! Thank goodness for my sister who helped me pick out the cupboards, flooring, back splash and counter tops. I definitely did an upgrade for very little money out of my pocket and I LOVE my kitchen!!! See below:
Unfortunately I do need to change the paint color of the walls. I was on vacation when I had to pick the wall color and it turned out to be a lot more yellow then I expected (ugh).
I am now hyper vigilante about fire and fires, so I thought it would be a good idea to get my chimney cleaned and checked since it had been a few years since I had it done. At the end of November the chimney person cleaned out the fireplace and also found cracks in the fireplace box and chamber. She explained that if you do not fill the cracks the heat from the fire will go into the cracks and start a fire in the walls. Ugh. She also quoted us $2000 to fix it. My hot bf though researched it on Youtube and found a much cheaper way to do it yourself. She also explained that those of us living in the Pacific Northwest should always have a chimney cap on top of our chimney. When it rains the water goes into the chimney so then when you have a fire it creates steam and this steam is what causes the cracks in the fireplace. Suffice to say I haven’t had a fire in my fireplace yet this year.
Fast forward to December 9, 2017…………..
My very first childhood friend Colleen had a ornament exchange holiday party this Saturday. After all these years we have remained friends, we don’t talk or see each other as often as we should but we still consider each other dearest friends. I will say that Colleen’s house is absolutely beautiful! It belongs in Sunset Magazine or some high end interior design magazine, its filled with white leather couches and ottomans, mirrored walls, french doors out to wonderful patios, simply elegant yet comfortable and homey.
I shared my fire/kitchen story with Colleen and she was surprised. My sister was at the party as well and I filled her in about the fireplace. The party was a lot of fun, good food and drink. The next morning my sister called me and said Colleen had a fire at her house after the party! OMG! I spoke with Colleen and she explained that she put out the fire in her fireplace after the party with a little bit of water to make sure all the embers were out, then about 2am in the morning her whole mantel and walls were in flames. She believes the fire started from inside the walls most likely due to cracks in her fireplace. Ugh. My heart goes out to her. The firefighters put out the fire, she now has a hole in her ceiling and her roof. She has a long road ahead………
Don’t try this at home. Don’t heat up grease too high and too fast. Have your fireplace checked.