July 2009 Archives

Cape Cod, MA

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The second stop on our little vacation was Cape Cod, MA.  We went to the same little town that I went to every summer for two weeks while growing up -- Harwich port. 

I found it really hard to decide where to stay. We agonized over reviews on tripadvisor.com and visited and revisited dozens of inn and hotel and bed and breakfast websites. We researched all the different quaint little towns that make up The Cape. In the end we decided to go with what I was familiar with, and what my parents were familiar with. It had been years since I had been, but I had lots of memories and had a reasonable idea of what the trip would be like.

We had lots of great tips from my parents and older sister, which was really helpful.

The Inn

We ended up staying at a place called the Sandpiper Beach Inn. The main reasons we chose this place over the others were:

  • the location -- right on the water and also walking distance to lots of restaurants
  • private patio and beach
  • very reasonable prices

I was really happy with our decision. I didn't have one complaint. The room was tiny but it was plenty big enough for my boyfriend and I. It had a private patio butting up against the beach with tables and chairs and umbrellas -- perfect for sitting and reading or enjoying your lunch.  Beach chairs and umbrellas available on the beach.  There was even a fire pit.  It was NOT fancy or luxurious, but it WAS inexpensive, clean and had all the necessities (including wi-fi).  If you're a couple looking for a relatively inexpensive relaxing vacation on the beach you will get what you're looking for at the sandpiper beach inn.


The Restaurants

The first night we arrived we went walked up to the main street (Rt. 28, about a 5 minute walk) to a very casual bar and grill type place called Hot Stove Saloon. I got a large hot dog with curly fries. It was BIG. If you order this and they ask you if you'd like cheese on your hot dog, say NO. It was delicious, but OMG the stomach ache afterward.

The next night we went to what ended up probably being my favorite place. It was also up on the main street about a mile down the road. A slightly more upscale, but very reasonably priced, place call Brax Landing. We had about a 30 minute wait. Then we were brought to a table in the back left section of the restaurant with huge windows overlooking a beautiful harbor. I ordered the Chatham Baked Scrod with rice pilaf at my sister's urging. It was faaaaantastic.

Wednesday night we headed down to Dennisport to a place similar to Brax called Clancy's. I highly recommend the shrimp scampi.

Sundae School. Ice cream! Delicious homemade ice cream! I always looked forward to going to this place when I was younger and was eager to go back. Tuesday and Wednesday I was sure to leave room after dinner so we could go get ice cream. Luckily this was close enough to the inn to walk so we burned off a few of the calories.

Bonatts Bakery. This was another place that I remembered from my childhood. We planned to go here on Friday morning before we headed to Boston. I think if you go on a Saturday or Sunday morning it can be crowded and there can be a long wait but we got in and seated right away. We also had great service. Something I didn't remember about this place was their (apparently) famous specialty called a meltaway. They brought one to our table with our juice shortly after we sat down. It was devine. Heavenly. Melted in my mouth (the name doesn't lie). I tried to resist eating it all so that I could leave room for my actual breakfast. My pancakes were great and they brought me -- no lie -- 8 slices of bacon.


Bonus Material

Bonus shopping:

Every year that my family went to the cape we'd make the required stop at a place called Cuffy's. I think we usually went to the one in dennisport but this year my boyfriend and I went to the one in Chatham (right on Rt. 28). If you're looking for a nice t-shirt or sweatshirt with the words "Cape Cod" on it, I recommend this place. I think the hooded sweatshirts were 11.99 and the t-shirts were 4.99.

Bonus pics of whychmere harbor:

I didn't have my camera with me when we walked by so when we got back from the walk I had the boyfriend drive me back just so I could get pictures.



Life is what you make of it

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I friend of mine posted the following quote on his facebook page the other day:

"Life is what you make of it."

I think that is 100% true.  There are many things that happen in life that you can't control.  What you can control, is how you react to them.  You can do whatever you want in life, you just need to make it happen.  I think it's extremely important to keep this inspirational saying in mind.  It is easy to get bogged down with and dwell on the bad things that happen that we have no control over.  If you want to change careers, do it.  If you want to travel to different places, do it.  Changing careers and traveling the world are somewhat larger goals, but this can pertain to much smaller things as well.  If you like sitting on the deck or patio or sun room or back yard and reading, then make time to do it.  If you like gardening but don't have the yard for it, get some small containers and start an herb or spice garden on the windowsill in the kitchen.  The point being, make time for the things that you enjoy and make you happy.

And that is your inspirational quote of the day.

The end.

First Food From the Garden

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I am sad to report that there is not much going on in the garden.  I don't think I am going to get much out of it other than a few more lessons learned.

Here are a few of the lessons:

  1. There is definitely not enough sunlight back in the garden area to grow much of anything.
  2. There are definitely too many insects back in the garden area for the vegetables liking.
  3. I won't likely be able to plant another garden back there next year unless several trees are removed.
  4. The stuff in containers seem to be working out ok. 
  5. It's probably not very smart to go away for 10 days without lining someone up to check on the plants and give them a little water every few days.
  6. I moved one particularly sad-looking tomato plant from the garden to a spot on the side of the house and that seems to have been a smart move.  It has no tomatoes yet, but it seems quite a bit happier now. 
  7. Next year I should invest in a few larger containers since the container stuff seems to be working out the best.

  8. All is not lost, however, and there are a couple of things that seem to have been somewhat successful.

    Bush Cherry Tomatoes

    I had run out of room in the main 5x5 garden area so I stuck one bush cherry tomato plant in the area with all the rhubarb.  I hacked together a little fence using the things you're supposed to use around the plant for them to crawl up as they are growing, but just put it out further from the plant.  So far I've had some success, although I do see a few stalks that appear to have been snipped off by a deer or two.  I don't think they've gotten any of the tomatoes though.  When I checked things out as soon as I got back from vacation I was very happy to see that there were actually a few ripe cherry tomatoes ready for eating.  The next night I picked them, cut them in half, and threw them in a salad to go with dinner.  They were fantastic.  Nice and juicy with lots of flavor.

    There are a few more now that are pretty much ready to pick any day now, and a bunch more that are still green.  So hey, at least I can say that I have already exceeded what I got out of the garden last year.


Patio Tomatoes

I have a (3 gallon?) container with "patio tomatoes" sitting at the top of my driveway.  None of these have actually ripened yet and they are still rather small, but there are definitely several tomatoes coming and the plant looks fairly healthy.  Hopefully something very yummy to look forward to in the near future.  


Green Beans

After I planted everything outside I had a ton of green bean seeds left in the package I bought. I thought it would be a good opportunity to grab an old container from various plants I bought earlier this year and last year, throw some dirt from the yard in it, and throw in a few seeds. I've kept the container sitting in my sun room since then. That was right around Memorial Day. I just noticed yesterday or the day before that there were actually 2 little green beans hanging from one of the plants. There are also a few hidden here and there outside in the garden. The plants outside though are terrible eaten up by insects so I don't think I'll get much from them.


Sleep Study Consultation

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I woke up today feeling really horrible.  I could not open my eyes.  It took an extraordinary amount of effort to move my arms or legs.  I wake up like this fairly often.  And without any known reason.  Even when I sleep for 7 or 8 hours I will feel like this.  And most of the time it will not improve after I shower, or after I eat breakfast, or any time in the afternoon.  I walk around like a complete zombie and look terrible. Terrible enough for multiple people to comment.

Two years ago I decided to see my doctor about this.  He tried me on medication after medication.  He sent me to specialist after specialist.  And two years later, I am even worse than I was before.  One of the options that was talked about but always moved to the bottom of the list was to get a sleep study done.  Well, we finally arrived at the bottom of the list.  I had a sleep study consultation done this past Monday morning, just after returning from vacation.  It was quite eye opening. 

I was fairly certain that I do not have sleep apnea, but figured there could be something else going on that a full sleep study might reveal.  I just felt like even when I would sleep (I suffer from pretty bad insomnia frequently) I never felt rested.  I felt like I never got into the deep stages of sleep -- for some reason that was totally unknown to me.  I had pretty much ruled out apnea because to the best of my knowledge I don't snore (I've checked with several people that should know if I did) and I don't seem to have any nasal or breathing issues. 

To my surprise, after a bunch of questions and a quick physical exam the doctor I saw on Monday seemed to think it was quite likely I do in fact have sleep apnea.  He said many people have apnea and don't snore at all.  He said the age at the onset of my symptoms matched as well.  Another thing I learned was that many people that have sleep apnea actually go to their doctor complaining of insomnia.  The thing that really got me though, was how the physical exam went.  He had me stick my tongue out and then gave a quick nod of his head and asked, "Have you ever noticed those ridges on the side of your tongue?"  I gave him a quizzical look and shook my head no.  He told me to check the next time I look in the mirror.  "They are actually quite pronounced," he said.  "You'll see them."  He explained that this was most likely caused by my teeth during the night and many people with apnea had them. 

Next, he had me open my mouth slowly.  He said to open slowly, not stick out my tongue and not make the noise every other doctor tells you to make when they look in your mouth -- "ahhhhhhhhh".  And then he had me do the usual routine (minus the little wooden depressor).  He again nodded his head knowingly.  "You have very constricted anatomy," he said.  He grabbed a laminated paper with some diagrams on it and explained what he was looking at and for.  There were 5 or 6 small pictures of open mouths at the bottom of the page.  In the one at the far left you could see everything at the back of the throat -- the tonsils, the uvula, all very clearly.  As you moved to the right from picture to picture the back of the throat was more and more obstructed by the tongue.  "You are waaaayyy over here," he said pointing to the picture farthest to the right.  "And when you go 'ahhhhhhhhh' you're still probably only about here," pointing to the one a couple to the left.  Apparently this is something else that a lot of people with apnea have.  (Now I keep going to the mirror and looking at my mouth.  Thinking that I must have somehow opened my mouth incorrectly, somehow.  I also keep asking my boyfriend to open his so I can compare and see if mine really is that different.)

I obviously did not get a diagnosis from this very quick exam, but it was more than enough for the doctor to want to do further testing.  I was scheduled to do a full overnight sleep study on August 29th.  I am pretty nervous, as the testing does not sound fun -- at all.  There will be oxygen in my nose, and probes attached all over the place to track muscle movement and brain activity.  There will be sleeping (attempted, anyway) all alone in a strange place.  But, I am anxious to find out if this really is the source of my sleep problems.  If it is, I won't need any medication and the treatment (c-pap machine) is 100% effective.  I should start feeling better immediately.     

So this last doctor visit was completely different for me.  I normally get blank stares and questioning looks.  And doctors telling me they aren't sure what to do or what to check next.  I may not have sleep apnea at all, but it was nice to see someone looking confident and like things made sense.  I didn't feel like a crazy person, and I had hope that I will be feeling better soon. Another thing that was different?  They already scheduled the follow-up appointment for the following week.

Home Sweet Home... or something

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After being away on vacation for 10 days I am now back home. 

All in all it was a great trip   I think it had been so long since I actually went away for a vacation (other than long weekend) I had forgotten how great it is.  

We sort of squeezed in 3 trips in 1.  A quick couple of days in Rhode Island for a party and visiting friends, then Monday through Friday at the beach in Cape Cod, and then a couple of days visiting my boyfriend's sister and her fiance in Boston. By some miracle, there was amazing weather almost the entire 10 days we were gone.  We saw about 5 minutes of rain.  And it was about 75 and mostly sunny most days.

I have a rough week ahead now, though.  It's going to take me a while to get my head on straight again.  But at least I don't have to mow the lawn after work tomorrow.  My neighbor did it for me!

For now I'll share a pic from Cape Cod and a pic from Boston. I'll post a few more with a story or two within the next few days.


Another full time job

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I have had a very rough couple of weeks with the health care system.

2 trips to 1 doctor.
1 trip to another doctor.
4 mostly unsuccessful trips to the pharmacy.
3 phone calls to doctor's offices
1 phone call to the pharmacy
2 medications denied by insurance
4 letters from the insurance company
1 doctor is on vacation all this week
1 doctor who i tried to get test results from does not work on wednesdays

And I will need to do it all again tomorrow (call the doctor, hope to get prescription even though doc is out of the office, pick up prescription at doctor's office, go to the pharmacy, hope to get prescription filled, wait for phone call from other doctor that will hopefully come)

Also, I got a bill in the mail for $1.50 from the doctor's office.  What the?  I pay my extra large co-pay every time I go so what the heck could they be charging me $1.50 for?

It feels like a full time job dealing with all this.  It's annoying and frustrating.  Every tiny little thing is a huge hurdle.  I will be really upset if I leave for my vacation without the medication I need.



Anyway, to balance all this negativity, I thought I'd share a couple of cute light bulb jokes:

Q: How many optimists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None, they're convinced that the power will come back on soon.

Q: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, the bulb will change itself when its ready.

Q: How many paranoid people does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Who wants to know?

Feel free to either vent or make us laugh with a joke in the comments!

MeMe Award

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Candice over at Bookish Penguin just gave me the MeMe Award.


What does this mean?  Well, it basically means that I am supposed to share 7 things you (readers of thirtysomethingblog.com) don't know about me yet.

I am in a sharing mood so I thought I'd oblige and try to come up with 7 things.  Here goes...

  1. I was stung by a bee when I was little, like 5 years old little. On my eye. I was over at the neighbors house watching my neighbor do some clipping around the edge of her flowers. There was a bee and she started waving her clippers at it to shoo it away. I remember staring at it and then suddenly being stung on my eye. My parents were leaving to go out to dinner and I remember having ice on my eye, yelling and screaming as they drove away. I was fine, but was traumatized and to this day am highly afraid of bees.
  2. My 7th grade global studies teacher called me "hightower" once when she called on me to read aloud to the rest of class. I didn't find this funny. I'm pretty sure everyone else did.
  3. I was once peer-pressured into dating someone. This was also in 7th grade.
  4. I never baked a single thing on my own until I was 25 years old. Sad, but true. The first thing I made was chocolate chip cookies. And they came out fantastic (if I do say so myself).
  5. I have only had one job since graduating college.  And that was nine years ago.
  6. I started researching my family history in earnest in my early teens. Weird hobby for a thirteen year old, huh? I had a computer program for it and would write letters to newspapers, libraries and town clerks. I still do genealogy today, but it usually goes in spurts.
  7. I joined the indoor track team in high school on a whim. I had a few friends on the team and just decided one day after school that I wanted to do it too. I sucked at running but usually ran the 3000 (almost 2 miles) at the meets.

I did my best to come up with interesting tidbits, so I hope you weren't bored to death.

I am also supposed to select 7 other bloggers that I'd like to learn more about. Really, I have no idea who to tag.  I'd love to see Dawn and Kathy and Majimo do it, but have no idea if they would. So, if you are a regular reader of this blog please consider yourself selected. If you do decide to post 7 things please come back to this post and comment to let me know. I'll then go to your post and leave a comment. See how nicely I am asking? I said please, twice!


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My grandmother sent me an e-mail the other day.  She just had a birthday on July 1st.  And my grandfather just had a birthday on June 26th.  How lucky am I, at the age of 30, to still have 2 grandparents around?  I consider myself quite lucky.  Anyway, instead of sending birthday cards in the mail I found pictures that I have recently taken, usually of some landscaping in my yard, and turned them into cards using Gimp.  My grandmother replied to the last card I sent her and said it would be nice if I could send her a picture of myself with the flowers.  Being the good grand-daughter that I am, I wanted to oblige.  So yesterday I had my boyfriend take some pictures.  I was not very happy with them.  It seems what I see in the mirror, is not what I really look like.  I have gained about 10-15 pounds the last couple of years and it really shows.  I am only a little over 5'1" so it's hard to hide the extra pounds. 

I was quite heavy several years ago, and did not have too much trouble losing the weight.  About 2 years ago I noticed the weight creep once again and wanted to put a stop to it up front.  I knew the potential of what could happen if I didn't.  It seemed no matter what I did, nothing worked.  I tried joining a gym and did that for about 6 months. I went regularly and had a professional put together a weight and cardio program for me.  I had limited results from this and just ended up not having the energy to continue.  I tried watching what I ate, and stopped eating out as much.  Still the weight continued to creep up.  I tried buying an elliptical, hoping that would be much easier to do regularly than going to the gym.  That lasted about a month until I got sick.  I just never got back into the routine, and was always just too tired to do it after a full day of work.

I know that this is something I can control.  I think that this time around, being much older now than the last time I needed to lose weight, I need to be more strict.  Last time I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted, just in moderation, and I was fine.  I could do some moderate amount of exercise and still lose weight until I hit my ideal body weight.  I have finally come to terms with the fact that this time that is not enough.  I need to be stricter about what I eat, and make sure I get regular exercise.  More than just a 30 minute walk 5 days a week.  There are a lot of things in life that I don't have control over, but this is not one of them.  I can control what I put into my body, and I can control how much exercise I get.  It just takes dedication and willpower.

I want to be healthy.  I want to feel well.  I want to be able to live my life to the fullest.  I don't want to waste days or not do things because I'm not feeling well.  I'm tired of being out of shape and not treating my body well.  I'm tired of feeling tired.  I need to set my mind to it, and accomplish what I want.  This is something that is important to me.  I should make it a top priority.  And starting today, I have.     

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2009 is the previous archive.

August 2009 is the next archive.

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