Thursday, April 30

Travel Survival Guide

Husby’s first taste of travel was as a toddler. He would stand in the aisle and demonstrate emergency landing procedures to passengers. This was perfectly acceptable back in the 80s. I shudder to think what would happen to the airline attendant and her adorable child if this was ever attempted now.

His experience has not left him unscathed though.

To this day, he despises getting to airports too early. An hour and a half before our flight? No problem. Forget that the security line ropes halfway around a football field. Husby manages to use First Class security entrance without the First Class ticket. What some would call genius, others would call despicable.

He’s also very particular about boarding. It freaks him out really irks him that I like to wait until the last possible minute to use the airport restroom – usually when they start boarding First Class. Husby insists that I really should go 10 minutes before boarding begins, that way, we can be up front and ready when they begin boarding economy. After all, Husby always manages to board way before our group number is ever called.

Those are just two of his travel idiosyncrasies.

Now imagine how scared shitless worried he was to travel when he heard about the Swine Flu.

In two weeks we are leaving for our vacation to Italy. Nothing is preventing me from enjoying my Roman holiday. Husby, on the other hand, is a little more than nervous about the prospect of traveling during a possible pandemic/epidemic.

Husby: I’ve been thinking about our upcoming trip…

H.I.T.: What about it?

Husby: Well, we might want to consider the possibility of cancelling…

H.I.T.: No way. Anti-viral medication is available and the only deaths have been in Mexico*.

Husby: I really think our health is more important than a trip abroad.

H.I.T.: That’s because you’ve been to Rome before. We can stop by the Vatican and pray for our health.

Husby: Like that’s going to work…

H.I.T.: It’s either that or we’ll wear surgical masks the entire time.

Husby: Think the Vatican is open on Saturdays?

After our conversation, I thought of a few things we can do that might make Husby a little more comfortable with our travel plans. I’m calling our doctor to see if we can get a prescription for the anti-viral to bring with us abroad, we’ll be wearing surgical masks on the plane, and I’m obtaining information on two doctors in the areas of Italy where we’ll be staying that accept our insurance (we have an international umbrella).

Would you still be traveling abroad now that the Swine Flu is in full swing?

*At the time of this conversation, that was true. As of this morning, there is one case of death in the U.S.


Photo Credit: Photo from here.

Wednesday, April 29

Winner: How Many Bottled Waters Does It Take...

I started off with 6 bottles.

When I began filling the pans with the water (to heat it up), I added in two more bottles.

I was ready to "shower." Before starting, I dipped my hands in the pans to check the water temp and realized that one pan was just way too hot. I added in 1 more bottle of water.

Hopefully you math whizzes are keeping up with me here.

When I said I was sweaty, what I really meant was that I just felt gross. I absolutely detest sweat and would rather work out in a 50 degree gym to avoid breaking out in those water beads. I decided I would hold on washing my hair until the water was back on. I might not be fully "green," but I wasn't about to use more bottled waters than necessary.

I took my "shower" - I now understand just how uncomfortable/cold a sponge bath can be - and washed my face. I never needed another bottle of water.

So the winner is...


Lil' Woman

And you just won a Philosophy bath set!


or


or


Please shoot me an e-mail with your new address and which prize you pick! :)


Tuesday, April 28

The One With the Shrimp

Husby and I are enjoying fondue…I’ve just put out the shrimp appetizer.

Husby: What a great idea! Some raw shrimp to start!

[Husby proceeds to take a bite directly into the raw shrimp and starts chowing down]

Husby: Mmmhhhmmmm….

H.I.T.: Ummm…hun?

[He's about to take another bite]

Husby: Yes?

H.I.T.: You don’t eat shrimp raw…it’s not like sushi…

Husby: Oh...I thought it tasted a bit chewy.

Contest: How Many Bottled Waters Does It Take...

I just finished my morning workout only to be notified by our building that the water valve broke and the entire building will have no water until 4 p.m.

Perfect.

I'm a sweaty mess, so I'll be using bottled water to shower. How many .5L bottled waters do you think I go through?

Whoever guesses the correct amount will win some prize that is yet to be determined. It might have something to do with showering or something totally unrelated to anything. I'm not really sure yet. You'll just have to trust me that it'll be great.

Rules: Only 1 guess per person. Winner is whoever gets the closest without going over. Any ties will have a tie-breaker question of my choice. Contest ends tomorrow at 12 noon, ET. Good luck!

Real post later today. Sorry.

Edited to add: Blonde moment. Right after reading Krystyn's post, I realized it's 1 pt, .9 oz. or .5L. It's your basic Poland Spring bottle, not the sport version. I suck. I showered using bottled water, what do you expect?

Monday, April 27

Award & 8 Things

Things have been pretty lame-o in my end of the world. Now that the weather has finally turned, New York City is officially out of hibernation. What does that mean, you ask? That the city is jam-packed with people all the time. What does that mean to me, you ask?

That Husby is constantly entertaining customers at dinner, baseball games, hockey games, over a beer (or two or three or four), you get the picture.

He’s never home during the week, which means he’s giving me absolutely no blog material. I know, how dare he. I’m going to have to be extra creative and witty to keep you bloggies interested. So, I’ve decided to post a Bloscar I received along with a tag. How creative! Please, stop, I’m blushing.

Jenny, over at Lucky in Love, was so sweet and passed along this award:


Her blog is fabulous and if you haven’t checked it out, I would definitely recommend stopping over there.

This award is for:

1. Dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging AND
2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging

*Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
*Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
*Answer the award’s question, why do you love blogging.
*Tag and distribute to as many people as you like.

I love blogging because it offers me a creative outlet; a chance to be myself; a chance to meet new people who are truly inspirational.

I’m passing this award onto all my followers. You guys rock and are the reason I love blogging so much. Your comments are always thoughtful and really do make my day. I wish I knew you all in real-life, but knowing you in the blogging world is just as fun.

In addition, the lovely ladies, Trixie and Lil’ Woman, tagged me in 8 Things/Crazy 8’s:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1) Roman holiday
2) two year wedding anniversary
3) catching-up with a good friend over dinner
4) weekend in Nantucket
5) my brother’s graduation from high school
6) my birthday!
7) shopping spree in Rome for my birthday 
8) boating season

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1) walked around the city with Husby
2) enjoyed Pinkberry (thanks so much Undomesticated Newlywed!!)
3) got my sunglasses fixed
4) picked up sushi
5) read the newspaper with the windows open
6) discussed house hunting
7) picked up a bottle of rosé
8) ate pancakes for dinner

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1) pack up and run a B&B on a tropical island with Husby
2) own a house that is fully sustainable
3) run a mile
4) eat whatever I want without getting sick
5) go on a no limits shopping spree in Paris
6) travel around the world
7) read quickly
8) realize that sometimes the small stuff really is just that, the small stuff

8 Shows I Watch:
1) 24
2) Heroes
3) Gossip Girl/90210
4) Lost
5) Survivor
6) Friday Night Lights
7) The Unit
8) The Tudors

Friday, April 24

Saved By the Pasta Salad

The original plan for Easter Sunday was dinner at my sister’s. She tried making a ham over Christmas, but the cuts are just too different out here so instead of a traditional dinner, she was planning on making…

Wait for it…wait for it…

Baked Ziti!

The same Baked Ziti I made that week (she read my post after buying all the ingredients). Imagine my
reliefsurprise when the weatherman forecasted a beautifully sunny day in the high 70s for Easter, and we ended up heading over to the local Beer Garden to grill with friends.

My sister decided to make the pasta salad and fruit salad one day earlier, since Easter morning would be filled with my niece finding eggs, church, and sending Husby on his way home. As soon as she was finished making the two dishes, it was lunch time. We had plans to head outside, but to hold over our ravenous bellies, we all grabbed a small plate of the two salads.

Big mistake.

Next thing we know, the pasta salad is only halfway full and Husby is in there trying to go for thirds. Once Husby relinquished his plate, my sister quickly moved the pasta out of sight and into the refrigerator. He
demandedrequested I get the recipe from my sister.

On Easter, the weather was gorgeous, but the food was even better. The pasta salad was the first dish to empty – and that’s not because it arrived half-full. It was that darn good. Every couple raved about this pasta salad, so finally my sister gave into the
peer pressurebegging and shared the recipe.

H.I.T. Recession Recipe #8: My Sister’s Pasta Salad

10 oz cooked rotini (or 1 whole package)
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1 yellow pepper, diced
½ red pepper, diced
16 oz can of chopped Spanish black olives*
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped*
1 garlic clove, minced
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
1-1/2 packages feta cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Salt
Ground pepper

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix rotini, cherry tomatoes, peppers, olives and cucumbers. Add about 10 leaves of fresh basil, more or less to taste, garlic and feta cheese. Stir to combine.
2. Add olive oil and white wine vinegar, seasoning and taste. Finish with salt and ground pepper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until cold, before serving. Enjoy!
*My sister’s recipe calls for olives, but not cucumbers. I made mine with cucumbers and not olives, which was just as delicious.

Wednesday, April 22

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

While my bloggers might not know you, I do.

Did you even read my post?

It was about morning rituals and my niece. Perhaps I should amend it to read:

Early mornings, drinking coffee en masse biers (liter beers) with my sister and her husband, lounging about drunk with our niece, walks to the park to get more en masse biers, simply enjoying life German beer and being drunk together. It was the perfect getaway.

We were able to spend a lot of drunk one-on-one time with our niece, which was truly special. The last time I saw her sober was this past fall in the states, so it was remarkable to see how much she’d grown in 6 months, although it might have been the beer goggles. Instead of playing tea party, she's playing beer hall. Instead of coloring with chalk on sidewalks, she’s coloring with crayons on beer mugs. Instead of drinking Apple Schorle (or Apple Soda as she calls it), she's drinking en masse biers alongside her parents. Instead of being a toddler, she’s a little girl.

Would that satisfy your curiousity?

I enjoy a good German beer as much as the next person, but I tend to keep my alcoholic cravings in check before noon 2 p.m. Maybe that's not your style, Anonymous, but it's mine.

And I think that's pretty classy....well, classier than asking if I'm pregnant in a comment.

Always,
a H.I.T.

Edited to add: I realize to some of you, this might sound harsh. I actually know Anonymous in real-life. The great thing about my followers? I only have one who comments anonymously and it just happens to be our "friend."

Apparently, this isn't the first time he has asked around regarding the topic at hand. This pushed my last button and I thought it was time for me to respond.

Tuesday, April 21

The One With the Park

Getting ready to go to the park:

H.I.T.: Why don't you go dress our niece while I finish getting ready?

Husby: Sure!

[5 minutes go by...giggling in the background]

Husby: Niece...

[more giggling]

H.I.T.: Who's ready for the park?

Husby: We are!

H.I.T.: Do you really think that's appropriate for the park?

Husby: What?

H.I.T.: She's in a tutu!

Husby: It was either that or a sheer bathing suit cover-up.

Monday, April 20

Welcome Back

After spending over a week in Germany, it’s a little strange to be sitting at home in my kitchen again.

Whenever we go on vacation, new morning routines are started. Sometimes Husby and I wake up, read the paper and head over to breakfast. Sometimes we enjoy a cup of coffee on a balcony overlooking a faraway place. Sometimes we sleep in and lie in bed watching TV before there’s even a remote chance of us heading outdoors. It all depends on where we are.

In Germany, we woke up early and spent time with family. It’s not often we get to see them, so the short time we have is appreciated. But even in Germany, we developed a routine.

Early mornings, coffee with my sister and her husband, lounging about with our niece, walks to the park, simply enjoying life and being together. It was the perfect getaway.

We were able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with our niece, which was truly special. The last time I saw her was this past fall in the states, so it was remarkable to see how much she’d grown in 6 months. Instead of playing tea party, she’s racing for the swings in hopes of reaching the treetops. Instead of coloring with chalk, she’s putting on a princess play for anyone interested in watching. Instead of being a toddler, she’s a little girl.

Ferris Bueller really was right when he said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Now if you please excuse me, I’m sending a note to Husby reminding him of how much I love him.

Oh, and Save Ferris!

Wednesday, April 8

Jet Plane Dinners

Husby and I are flying to Germany tonight to visit my sister, her husband and our niece over Easter. I couldn’t be more excited. Unfortunately, that also means that my posting will be extremely limited until I get home next Friday.

I know, I know. I’m a horrible blogger…blah blah blah.

You all know that sometimes these things happen (even more so that sometimes they happen on the tail end of being sick – now you all know why I was in a rush to feel better).

What that also means is that I make a mad dash to use all perishable items in my refrigerator before the big trip, preferably in some sort of casserole that I can be reheated in the oven for leftovers that don’t taste quite like leftovers.

My fridge contained ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, ground sausage and mozzarella. What that said to me was…

No, not stuffed manicotti,

Baked ziti!

And it was delicious. We ate it on Monday and Tuesday night. The only thing I had to throw away this time around – milk. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

H.I.T. Recession Recipe #7: Baked Ziti

10oz cooked ziti (or 1 whole package)
1 lbs ground sausage (sweet or spicy)*
1 24oz jar of marinara sauce
1 15oz package of part skim ricotta cheese
1 8oz package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp Italian seasonings

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Once finished cooking, pour pasta back into empty saucepan used to cook pasta.
2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, brown sausage. Drain fat. Set meat aside.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine marinara sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and seasonings until well blended. Add meat and stir. Add meat and cheese mixture to pasta. Stir until well blended.

Tuesday, April 7

The One With the Geese

Getting out of the car to visit my parents:

Husby: Watch out for the geese.

H.I.T.: Thanks for the warning. I already stepped in it.

Husby: In what?

H.I.T.: The geese shit...

Husby: Oh, I was talking about the barking geese.

H.I.T.: Thanks for the announcement.

Monday, April 6

Little Gifts

While I was sick last week I received tons of little gifts. The first came from Husby.

It was his calculator with a little note that read:

Please dear wifey get me new batteries. Please! I need to live again!

Mr. HP12C

How cute, I thought, so I called him.

H.I.T., dryly: Got your note this morning.

Husby, eagerly anticipating response: And…

H.I.T., sarcasm dripping from voice: Sure thing. As soon as I can stop vomiting long enough to run across town to Best Buy.

Husby, slowly realizing mistake: Oh…

H.I.T., annoyed with duh-factor: Yes.

Husby, quickly back-peddling: Is there anything you need me to pick up on my way home? Soup? Crackers? Flowers?

H.I.T., feeling slightly better: That sounds great. I need to live again.

The next day, I was feeling a little better so imagine my surprise when I received a package from Erin over at Texan Couture containing:


It was my Martini Swap glass! And a damn cute one indeed. This martini glass, aptly named “Girls Best Friend” is hand-painted from Lolita® Martini. Interested in tasting a Girls Best Friend Martini? Well here’s the recipe:

Pour 2 oz vodka into glass. Add a splash of lime juice. Top with champagne and garnish with fresh raspberries. Enjoy!

Finally, after not really catching up on my blogging, I came across three awards that were given to me!

The first was the Friends Award from Heather over at Small Town Girl.



Thanks so much Heather, you are just too sweet. Here are the lovely ladies I’m passing this onto:

1. Dollface
2. Polka Dotted Owl
3. Shalay
4. Josh and Tiff
5. Erin
6. Krystyn
7. Chatham
8. Semi-Slacker Mom

As if that wasn’t enough, I also received not one, but two awards from Josh and Tiff over at Music of our Lives.




In keeping with tradition, I’m passing both of these awards onto:

1. Ruggy13
2. LegallyBlondeMel
3. Lindsey
4. Lil’ Woman
5. Jenny
6. Jade
7. Yours Truly
8. Heather
9. Ashley @ The Happy Little Home
10. Trixie

Thanks again Josh & Tiff! If I left anyone off, please feel free to grab an award. We all work hard to be good bloggy friends and keep things honest. Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, April 1

Prayer Request for Little Sebastien

Thank you so much for all the well wishes, but I just found out that a little boy I know needs them more than I do.

His name is Sebastien and he needs your help and prayers for a complete healing. Sebastien is 2 1/2 years old. Yesterday, he was diagnosed with Leukemia AML-M1 (Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia).

The doctors say that unfortunately this cancer does not respond well to treatment. They will need to put in a central venous catheter in (a central line to keep the nurses from having to constantly poke him all the time to administer chemo or draw blood) and will be starting treatment right away. The will have to use several chemo drugs, and will also do one round of chemo and review. If he does not respond to treatment, they intend to attempt a bone marrow transplant - which would be extremely serious.

The family has requested their last name and photos be kept private, but in a photo from last week you see a little boy thriving and now he is quite ill.

We are asking and believing in God's healing power for this young boy's complete and total restoration to perfect health in Jesus. Please include Sebastien in your thoughts and prayers as well.


"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and faith that comes through him and has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see" ACTS 3:16

Photo from here.


Sick

Hi All,

Just a quick post to let you know I might be MIA the next few days. I've come down with a cold and will be recovering.

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