Summer 2019

September 23rd marked the first official day of Fall. I seriously find that hard to believe because I feel like summer just started. Summer 2019 was a very eventful one for me, which is probably why it seemed to fly by. While it was a busy one filled with so many fun times, I was able to narrow it down to my top five highlights of the summer. So here, in no particular order, are my top five highlights of 2019:

1. We Solved the Case of the Missing Sock.

In early June, my Mom sent out a rather disturbing text to the girls in our family. Please see below:

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Yes, she had discovered a lone sock at our lake house in Michigan, and was trying to find its owner. I mean, Monday’s are stressful enough, so I could have gone without this very upsetting sock Amber Alert. Plus how sexist of you, MOM only sending it to the girls in our family just because it had a little pink on it! Boys can wear pink too, it’s 2019! Classic Baby Boomer. I tried to remain calm though, and sent my reply:
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As the replies kept coming in, no one claimed ownership. I felt bad for the orphan sock, I mean it looked like a great quality sock. It was no gold-toe sock, but it had nice coloring, and it looked to have a cushioned sole for ultra comfort and arched elastic for extra support. While I felt bad that the sock was all alone, I was able to go about my day and soon forgot about the sock all together. This was not the case for my mom.

A couple of weeks later I stopped at my parents house after work to find the sock (all washed and cleaned, thank goodness) front and center on the kitchen counter.

“Mom!” I said, half laughing. “You brought the sock home from Michigan?!”
“Yes, I did,” She replied, her eyes fixed on the sock in a perplexed gaze, “I just can’t seem to figure out who’s sock it is! It is just such a mystery!”

I honestly did not think it was that big of a mystery, and I really didn’t care about finding the owner of the sock because socks go missing all the time. But my mom was so determined I tried to help solve the case and come up with suspects of who it could be.

“Maybe it’s Aunt Maribeth’s sock?” I suggested “Hasn’t she been up at the lake with you a few times?” My Mom scoffed, as if I had just made the dumbest suggestion she had ever heard in her life. “No, no no.” She confidently said. “That is DEFINITELY NOT an Aunt Maribeth sock. It must be someone else’s.” Wow, did I feel foolish. My Aunt Maribeth is my Mom’s identical twin sister so how dare I even suggest this. Surely my Mother would know her identical twin sister’s socks, they have the same DNA after all. How stupid of me to even think it might be her sock!

Weeks went by and soon it was the fourth of July. While at a family party, the topic of the missing sock came up (Naturally, because who doesn’t talk about socks at parties?) and who ended up claiming the missing sock?! Aunt Maribeth! My Mom was shocked but the case was finally closed. I am still waiting for my apology from my Mom though…

But just as we thought our sock nightmare was over, we experienced a PLOT TWIST and ANOTHER sock mystery popped up in August! This time we had the opposite problem though-too many people were claiming ownership of the socks!IMG_6752

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I needed an accurate description of the socks to help me properly solve the case.

Currently, the case of the men’s socks remains open and under investigation. If anyone has any information, please contact me immediately

2. The Summer Spider Came Back

Every summer for the past couple of years we have a big huge spider that comes and makes a web on my parents’ front porch, right in front of the door, every single summer night. It’s pretty annoying because I always forget about it, walk into it, freak out, and then feel itchy for the rest of the day. No matter how many times we knock down his web, the spider rebuilds one the next night. He started out as an unwelcome guest but then we all started to kind of admire him for his persistence, resiliency and strong work ethic. He quickly became the hot gossip of the summer with my family. Below is an actual conversation we had at dinner one night:

Dad: I will say this, he’s a very hardworking spider. He’s out there every night for hours rebuilding his web. I give him a lot of credit.
Me: I agree. And he builds really good, quality webs. I’ve walked into a lot of spider webs through the years but his is definitely the thickest I’ve ever walked into. I almost feel like I’m walking into one of those fake spider webs people use as Halloween decorations his webs are so sturdy!
Bridget: Are you guys serious? Stop giving him credit! He may be hardworking but he is dumb! If he was smart he would stop building his web in front of the door and build it somewhere were it wouldn’t get knocked down every day. He’s wasting his time!

Love him or hate him, it wouldn’t feel like sweet summertime without him.

3. I Tried New Things

I’ve really gotten in touch with my adventurous side since my travels to Italy in the Summer of 2018 (I’m so cultured now) so I decided to try two new things this summer: Coconut water and Natty Light Pink Lemonade. One drink I loved and enjoyed all summer long, the other I immediately spit out and wanted to burn the inside of my mouth after tasting. Can you guess which was which? I’ll just tell you-I regretted the coconut water. It was disgusting. I don’t care how many health benefits it has or how hydrating it is, I will never make the mistake of purchasing coconut water ever again. I bought one 16 ounce container of coconut water in May and after I took that first sip I placed it back in the fridge where it sat the rest of the summer. I kept telling my roommates I was going to finish it, that I was just “drinking it slowly” but I think they secretly knew I had no plans to drink it, and it became a running joke in our apartment.

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I finally gave up and threw it out on Labor Day.

Natty Pink lemonade on the other hand, that was like sweet, sweet nectar. Having never tried it before, I took a huge risk purchasing an entire 30 pack of it at the liquor store, but it really worked out in my favor. Not only did I love the taste, I was basically their unofficial spokesperson, telling everyone about it and passing out cans at parties as if I was the Oprah Winfrey of Natty Light.

[Walks into backyard barbecue with 30 case in hand]: “You get a Natty Pink Lemonade! And you get a Natty Pink Lemonade! Everybody gets a Natty Pink Lemonadddddddde!!”

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It was the gift that kept on giving

4. I Enjoyed the Great Outdoors

I spent a lot of time outside this summer, whether it was at the lake or drinking on my deck or people’s patios. I even worked out a little outside this summer including going on a few runs through the neighborhood on nice afternoons. That last outdoor activity wasn’t very enjoyable though so I probably won’t do that next summer. So many people are outside during the summer, do you think I want people to see me while I’m huffing and puffing and sweating on a run? Do you know how many times I had to reroute my run just to avoid passing by a group of grade school boys coming back from getting slurpees at 7-11 or playing at the park or where ever they were coming from? And thank goodness I ran wearing headphones so I could pretend to NOT hear the younger kids screaming at me to purchase lemonade. IMG_6821

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Sorry Lemonade stand owners, I’m a Millennial, I don’t carry cash. Unless you accept Venmo or Chase Quick Pay I cannot purchase your warm, debris-filled glass of lemonade.

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This outdoor workout was especially tough because the lounge chairs did not have cup-holders so I had to physically hold my vodka lemonade the entire time I was sitting by the pool!

5. I Saved a Turtle’s Life

Yes, it is true that not all heroes wear capes because I definitely wasn’t wearing a cape when I saved the life of a turtle. I was just minding my own business, hanging out at the lake when I saw turtle headed straight towards a busy road. I would say I quickly sprang into action but I didn’t. Knowing turtles are notoriously slow, I was able to leisurely get up off my chair, go to the shed to grab a glove (Wasn’t sure if he was a snapper so wanted to be safe. Plus, I didn’t want to actually touch the turtle, who knows what kind of diseases those things carry and I hadn’t gotten my annual flu shot at this point), have my mom take my photo with the turtle, and save his life before he made it to the road.

I was very proud and so I immediately texted my family about my super hero moment:

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Borrowed Mike Sr’s heavy duty gloves.

This was a very emotional event for our entire family, as my sister Jane had “accidentally” killed a turtle driving up to the lake the year before. We were all still pretty traumatized from that, so it was nice to have some joyous turtle news for once.

I am still very suspicious as to if it was a real accident or not though. It used to be that I could never imagine a family member of mine could be a cold blooded killer. But that all changed this summer when I witnessed my own mother run over and kill a toad. The poor thing never stood a chance under Mo’s 2012 eight passenger grey Honda Mini Van with stow n’ go seating and 16 cup holders. Unfortunately I was in the passenger seat when the horrific accident happened. I couldn’t believe what I saw. When I confronted my mother about it, she tried to play it off like it was nothing:

Me: Mom! Oh no! I think you just ran over and killed a frog!
Mom: Oh no, no, I didn’t run over a frog! Do you have your contacts in? That was a toad.
Me: Well excuse me, let me re-phrase: Mom! I think you just ran over and killed a toad! Plus, does it matter if it was a frog or a toad?
Mom: Well, a toad is like the frog’s ugly step sister. It’s fine. I would feel a little bad if it was a frog, but it was just a toad.

That terrible accident will forever be etched in my mind. It’s taken me a while to get over it. I feel only my sister Bridget can relate to what I am going through, as she was a passenger in the car when our sister Jane ran over and killed the turtle. As Bridget recalls, “I’ll never forget the sound of the turtle’s shell getting smashed under Jane’s tire. It sounded like we had just run over a picnic table.”

RIP Turtle and Frog/Toad. We will never forget you.

So there it is, my summer of 2019. It was definitely a memorable one, filled with lots of laughs and fun. Looking forward to what the Fall has in store for me!

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Duke enjoying the dog days of summer

Yeah, I work Out

When it comes to exercising, I get an A for good intentions and an F for follow through. I have made several attempts to work out regularly and eat healthy, but it just hasn’t worked. I know eating right and exercising are important for your health, every doctor makes a point of reminding me at every appointment. Do you smoke? No. Do you drink? Only when I’m thirsty. Do you exercise regularly? Umm I’m sorry, I did not come here to be judged. Now just leave me to wait in the waiting room for three hours only to have you meet with me for 5 minutes to take my height and weight and I’ll be on my merry way thank you very much.

The importance of exercise was instilled in me from a very young age. I recently stumbled upon a “To Do” list I had made when I was about 7 years old. The things on the list had all sorts of different types of exercise I needed to do including swimming, riding my bike, and taking the dog for a walk. Man that must have been a stressful week for me, I had so much on my plate.

Even back then I half assed exercising as it looks like the only task on my list I accomplished was

Even back then I half assed exercising as it looks like the only task on my list I actually completed was “swimming”

I think my father’s greatest fear was to have one of his five children become obese. He did not want to get us a Power Wheel because he thought if he did we would stop riding our bikes and become fat. Despite knowing this, I asked for a Power Wheel every Christmas in the hopes that maybe Santa would feel for me and bring me one. Santa is fat I’m sure he drives everywhere, I can’t really see him riding a bike at all. I finally gave up on this dream around last year and removed “Power Wheel” from my Christmas list. I heard the battery life was terrible on those things anyway.

I can see why my father was worried. Look at that beer belly action I had going on back in the early 90s.

Woof. I can see why my father was worried. Look at that beer belly action I had going on back in the early 90s. My posture needed some work too.

In the past year, I have had about 3 failed attempts in getting into shape. The first was my short stint I had belonging to a gym. I asked for a gym membership for Christmas and received it. Sure, Santa won’t bring a Power Wheel but he won’t hesitate to get you a gym membership. Looking back now I don’t know why I asked for it. I would have been better off if I asked for a lump of coal. The whole gym membership thing lasted for about 2 months. When I went in to cancel my membership the guy behind the counter gave me grief about it and tried to guilt me in to staying a gym member. Yeah, like that was going to work. Like excuse me sir, I am the queen of guilt tripping people. You cannot beat me at my own game. I signed that cancellation form and never looked back.

The second attempt was signing up for a boot camp class. I had found a Groupon for a boot camp class not too far from my house, 12 classes for $30 dollars. What a steal! And you had over six months to use the Groupon. I thought this was great and even convinced 2 of my sisters to do it with me. After completing the first class we were really excited to start going to these classes and getting into shape, we even discussed buying a second Groupon to continue after we completed the 12 classes. Well, that must have been the endorphin’s that are released after exercise talking because long story short we attended 2 of the 12 classes. I believe this boot camp method didn’t work for 2 reasons. One, it was the middle of February and thus very cold. Have you tried leaving your warm house in the winter to attend a work out class? It’s nearly impossible. And two, you had to sign up for the class 24 hours in advanced! I can’t make that sort of commitment! What if I signed up for a Saturday morning class and then decided I wanted to go out after work on Friday and stay out until 2 or 3 in the morning? Not going to work.

My third attempt was trying to do the Insanity work out videos. For those of you who have not heard of this work out video, it lives up to it’s name. Only insane people would do it. The work out is about a 2 month program which I shockingly stuck with for around 3 weeks. The issue with this was the time commitment. Each video is about 45 minutes and you are supposed to do it 6 days a week. I started out doing it right when I got home from work, before dinner because I knew I would be too full to do all that jumping around after dinner. The problem with this was that I would usually get home from work at 6pm and we eat dinner at about 6:45. While the work out video itself was only 45 minutes, you have to factor in time for getting changed into work out clothes, putting the DVD in, tying my shoes, commuting up the stairs to the kitchen, etc. With all this time adding up, I was arriving at the dinner table about 4-6 minutes late every night. No one enjoys a cold dinner so I knew I had to make a sacrifice somewhere, so I chose to sacrifice doing the work out video.

After all my failed attempts I had come to the conclusion that I either had to choose working and making money, or working out and looking good. I cannot do both, I’m no super hero. While it would be nice to be able to make my own hours if I chose working out, I realized money is kind of an important thing to have so ultimately I decided to hold on to my job. But it’s not like I have cut out exercising all together, sometimes we run out of ice cream in our first floor freezer and I have to walk all the way down to the basement freezer to get another carton. Walking up and down all those stairs is a great leg work out. I’m usually out of breath by the time I make it back up to the kitchen. I realize I will never look like a super model but oh well, if I ever get sad I will just go drown my sorrows in a cheeseburger.