Monday, July 15, 2019

A Quiet House

It's so quiet around the house today! Although it's nice to have the time to get things done, I do definitely miss the sound of the boys around. And, who wouldn't miss morning hugs from Sam, who, at 13, still comes over & hugs me as soon as he gets up in the morning. *love*

So far today, I've made a trip to Goodwill (my first ever as a shopper vs donations) & picked up a piece of project furniture. I've never sanded/refinished anything before, so I want to practice before I try it on any of our nicer stuff. I spent $7 on a phone table. It's cute & vintage looking. I'll post before & after pictures, assuming I make anything of it.

I also posted a bunch of stuff on eBay, Nextdoor, & our Facebook marketplace. I haven't tackled the books yet, so those are up next. It felt good to get some stuff out of the closet & photographed. I also noticed one of the items had a small mark, so it went back into the wash to see if that could be removed.

I cleaned our patio chairs. Our neighbor has a tree which hangs way over our fence line, and drips some sort of sap onto the ground, plants, & the patio chairs. It's a bummer. Anyway, chairs & the small side table are now clean, & ready for action.

I also worked on my packing for our trip this weekend - picking out what I'm planning to wear, ensuring everything is clean & doesn't need a quick trip through the dry cleaning cycle (Dryel bags, in our dryer at home), etc.

I cobbled together lunch out of fridge/freezer items: Trader Joes edamame (love this stuff), Aidells pineapple & bacon sausage (M grilled these yesterday) & watermelon leftover from Nick's swimming event.

I can't do more yardwork until our bin gets emptied, so that will need to happen later in the week.

Up next: working out (inside, because it's almost 85 outside, which is too hot for this fair weathered girl).

What about you? What's happening in your world today?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A childless menu plan this week

We drop the boys off at summer camp today (they are very excited), so we'll be missing a few people around here for menu planning purposes. We will also take advantage of our child free state and enjoy a long weekend out of town. Here's the menu:

  • Sunday - M will grill tri tip, as well as chicken sausages. We'll likely just eat the tri tip tonight, along with coleslaw
  • Monday - chicken sausages + salad
  • Tuesday - leftover tri tip
  • Wednesday - meeting friends at a Greek restaurant
  • Thursday - we'll be out of town, and have plans to eat at a sushi restaurant
  • Friday - Out of town. Meeting a friend at a steak house
  • Saturday - Still out of town, planning to eat at an Italian restaurant
  • Sunday - we should be home around 4:00. We have a few freezer options, but are more likely to grab takeout, as the kids are out of town
It will be an unusual week for us, given all of the meals out!

What else is on the agenda for today?

  • Run
  • Yoga
  • Work on photobooks
  • I'm on the lookout for a piece of wood furniture (a freebie on Nextdoor, hopefully) that I can use to practice sanding & staining, before I attempt something at home. A lot of my neighbors give away scratched & damaged furniture, so it's just a matter of timing it correctly
  • Work on photo books
  • Update ebay, Facebook, Nextdoor listings. Post 5 more.
  • Weather dependent, make muffins. Maybe before it gets too hot
  • Have the boys call my parents
  • Drop off the boys at summer camp
All in all, it should be a great day. What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish today? Have you ever sanded & stained/refinished furniture?

Friday, July 12, 2019

Frugal Friday

I'm starting today off strong, because I finally made & ordered our wedding album. And yes, it's been 14 years. ;-) But, it's done, and making photobooks was one of my projects for my sabbatical. I'm excited to see how this one turns out, and if it works well, I will keep going. Meanwhile, I'll continue to digitize all of our existing printed photos. I've also sorted them all, which was quite a project.

Yesterday I worked in the yard for four hours - until my arms gave out & I was too hot. I'm about to go outside & do more trimming! Looking forward to more progress.

Here's what we've been up to this week, in terms of frugal things.:

  • Made do with a salad kit that was past it's use by date for lunch. I picked out a few things, but otherwise it was fine.
  • Bought Sam's camping trip gear at Target, using a gift card.
  • Returned a few things I didn't need.
  • Listed four items on eBay, and three items on our local neighborhood swap.
  • Made banana muffins out of a few overly ripe bananas that didn't survive the car trip back from the Oregon coast. 
  • Offered a friend a ride to camp for her son, saving her time & money. 
  • Used a $100 coupon code, and $330 travel credit for our holiday flights, paying around $200/pp (after those discounts). A great deal compared to what we've paid before!
  • Met M for lunch at work, so free impromptu date!
  • All meals eaten at home (save for free meals at work & camp)
  • Carpooled with a friend for camp, so we both saved on gas/driving time
  • Found a coupon code for a light fixture we were planning to order, & then went through Raise & ebates for a gift card to further defray the cost.
  • Hosting Nick's friend this afternoon for lunch & swimming, to help out his mom, as she has to work & camp ends at noon. Trying to pay it forward this summer!
What about you? What frugal things have you been up to this week?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

It's already Thursday!

I've had a mostly productive week, and have been working through a few projects. I've also enjoyed time by the pool, reading my book. All work & no play, and all that. . . :-)

I have plans today to clean the house & trim the plants that are under our eaves around the patio. One of my sabbatical goals has been to fill the yard waste bin each week. I'm usually limited in my yard work by how much space we have in the waste bin. Well, the yard waste was picked up yesterday, so let the trimming begin!

I ran errands yesterday, and was thinking about how much time is wasted in purchasing & returning things. In this case, I was exchanging towels (birthday present for M - yes, really his request) that were the wrong color. The entire exchange took nearly two hours. When I read blogs where people are frequent clothing shoppers (and returners), I'm always surprised by how much of their free time they spend in the pursuit of buying, trying on, maintaining, re-selling, returning, etc. While I like getting a new top or pair of jeans as much as anyone, for budgeting reasons I try to limit this, as well as because I know I often change my mind later, and returns are a hassle & a time waster. We used to leave near a mall in our Seattle house, and I was often spending my weekends in this cycle. For a variety of reasons, it's not something I do much of these days, & I'm ever so grateful.

Here's what's on my list to accomplish today:

  • Clean the house
  • Trim the trees
  • Clean up another yard project
  • Run 
  • Potentially yoga or pilates
  • Call about a gift card we received 
  • Laundry
  • Clean the fridge
  • Decide on a streamlined menu for next week (the kids will be at summer camp)
  • Make muffins (time permitting)
What are you hoping to accomplish today?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Checking in on 2019 yearly goals

With the year more than half way over, I thought I should check in on how I'm doing with my 2019 yearly goals - for myself as much as anyone else. :-) Checking in is always a good reminder of the areas I need to focus on.

1) Financial:

  • Stick to the budget. - We've done okay in this one. We're well over in a few categories, including ones we decided to intentionally change (travel, as I added a few trips for my sabbatical) & those where it's been unintentional & the result of higher than expected spending. I'm giving us a yellow. I'm hoping we can be more intentional in the second half of the year. We knew the first half would be expensive, as we had a bunch of house projects planned, etc. 
  • Come up with a "pay off our house model - we have a few options that we can choose from depending on factors we can't predict right now (how long each of us will work, etc), but the plans are built. 
  • Every month, come up with a way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis. - this has mostly happened, although I'm pretty sure I missed a month. 
  • Model out a 3, 5 & 10 year financial plans. - We have a bunch of options going, but we are largely aligned on the plans. 
  • Spend $250 or less on clothing for me & track all purchases- Fail. I stopped tracking items (still tracking the budget). I'd say, ignoring two pair of running shoes, I'm at around $300 for the year. 
2) Family - spend more time together as a family!
  • Do a minimum of one fun activity/month with the kids. - This has been happening! We skied, flew kites on the beach, went to a soccer tournament, went mountain biking, played games, cooked together, etc.
  • Be more present with the kids & M - this is also going well. I've been trying to get off the computer by 7:45 each night, and have been largely successful.
  • Have two dates with M per month - mostly on track. We've had a long weekend together, a few lunches, and a few date nights. 

3) Fitness/health - lose 15 pounds, bringing my weight to 142. - I made great progress in May, & ate too much on vacation in June!
  • Make running a consistent part of my life. Run a half marathon in under 2:25. - I've been running reasonably consistently, as long as I'm training. When I'm not, I stop all together, so still more work to do. And, I was just over this time (bathroom & fuel breaks), so the timing goal rolls into my October half. I've run 38 times this year. I'd like this to be more like 12x/month, so more progress to come. 
  • Track calories, eat five servings of fruit & veggies/day. - I'm at a 95% success rate for this. 
  • Work out 365 times in 2019. - I'm at 166 workouts for the year, so trending just a little behind, but have made progress since my sabbatical started. 
  • Meditate 100 times - I'm at 22, so way off track. 
4) Work/career - improve my work life balance
  • Keep better perspective at work/reduce stress until I leave - I mostly did this, despite a lot of drama
  • Take a sabbatical - absolutely!
  • Decide on returning to work part time - I have a plan mostly in place. Details to come. 
5) Personal/creative
  • Cut my own hair - probably not going to do this in 2019.
  • Make time for friends, do something social at least one per month. - I've been crushing this, particularly on my sabbatical.
  • Volunteer a minimum of 1x/month - no, this hasn't happened. I need to find flexible options.
  • Write/journal consistently - I've been journaling quite a bit in 2019 & really enjoy it. 

Well, looking through everything, I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at. I know I need to focus on meditation, running, & staying on top of the budget! What about you? How are you doing against your 2019 goals?

Monday, July 8, 2019

Sabbatical goals - the half way point

I really can't believe that my sabbatical is half way over. It's gone so very, very fast! I've had so many great adventures, and spent so much time with my family. It's been lovely. But, I'm very aware of the time ticking away (in fact, when I realized I was half way done, I had anxiety dreams about going back to work last night). I want to take advantage of the time I have left, and be as productive as possible.

Here are the goals for the rest of my sabbatical, with a bit of status on each. Strike through represents completed projects.

  1. Create a plan for Sam, and get all paperwork to the doctor, lock in tutors, etc. - This is about 50% done. I know what needs to be done, but need to get everything sent in & get additional appointments set up. 
  2. Complete replacement project for all doors in the house.  - The doors have been ordered & paid for. We are waiting for them to come in & get installed. 
  3. Make all of our photo books (2018 since the boys were born) - No progress. 
  4. Deep clean our house. - Waiting until the doors are installed, as they will generate a bunch of dust.
  5. Deep clean the beach house 0 Done, minus carpet cleaning. 
  6. Go through our house & declutter - Maybe 10% done. 
  7. Declutter the beach house
  8. Have an adult trip with M - Yes, but we may adjust the location. 
  9. Take my mom to Las Vegas
  10. Run a half marathon
  11. Friends trip to Hawaii
  12. Girls trip with my mom - This is booked for August.
  13. Have lunch with friends - I've had lunch with six friends, & plan to continue.
  14. Complete four projects at the beach house - We replaced our patio set & fridge, have a bid for three other projects, and have ordered 1/2 of the supplies for another project.
  15. Complete two yard projects - I'm about 1/3 done with both.
  16. Organize all paperwork - No progress.
  17. Book holiday plans (flights, hotels for skiing, etc) - M & I just need to lock in final details.
  18. Fill out camp paperwork
  19. Work out consistently (yoga, running, strength training) - I've done pretty well with the yoga & strength training. Kicking off a new half marathon training plan this week.
  20. Order new light fixture for dining room - Not done.
  21. Buy new drapes for dining room - Not done.
  22. Complete the boys baby books - Not started.
  23. Update our financial models - Mostly  there, but need to update based on work plans.
  24. Wash the windows - Not started.
  25. Sell 10 items from around the house - Not started.
  26. Get an eye exam - Not done.
  27. Deal with new drivers license. - Need to make an appointment. 
  28. Clean & itemize fridge, freezer & pantry - Have done one pass, but many more in my future.
  29. Stock the freezer (meals, protein balls, muffins) - Nope.
  30. Come up with a squirrel solution for our plants. - Have tried a few things with moderate success.

Whew! That's a lot to do. But, I'm looking forward to getting things marked off, particularly those where I've made some progress, but am not yet done. What about you? Any major projects you hope to tackle this summer?

Sunday, July 7, 2019

We're home, and a few frugal wins

We drove from the Oregon coast home yesterday, and made great time. It took around 12 hours of driving time, plus about 30 minutes of stops (gas, lunch, and bathrooms). It was by far our best timing on the trip, and we were home in time to unpack the car & eat dinner at home.

The kids are thrilled to be back, after being gone for three weeks. They can't wait to see friends. As soon as he helped unpack, Nick was on his bike, cruising the neighborhood.

Now that I'm back home for the next few months with only short weekenders in there, I need to get productive on my sabbatical goals! I'll be posting an updated list of sabbatical goals soon.

Here's our planned menu for the week:

  • Sunday - Nick will make pizza for the kids, & M & I will have sausages on the grill + salad.
  • Monday - leftover burgers
  • Tuesday - Leftover sausages + salad
  • Wednesday - Tacos (a taco salad for me)
  • Thursday - Leftover burgers (if any remain) + hot dogs
  • Friday - Carnitas 
  • Saturday - TriTip + salad

We had a really crazy day on Friday, with a furniture delivery that went very wrong (a story for another day, but they did quite a bit of damage to our floors & walls). I did manage to get us packed & the house cleaned, the car loaded, so we could take off bright & early on Saturday morning. 

We had a few frugal wins along the way. Here's how we did:
  • I packed breakfast for everyone for the car yesterday, out of things we had at the beach house.
  • We ate lunch at Costco, while getting gas. Lunch for four was $16. A steal.
  • We bought gas 2x at Costco, which is by far the cheapest place.
  • I packed all of the groceries & pantry items from the beach, so we have a more streamlined shopping list for today, and reduced waste.
  • I also sent my sister & parents with their own bags of food. They will both get a couple of meals out of the leftovers. 
  • We used our snacks leftover from the drive to my parents for the drive home. I hid them during our trip, so they didn't get consumed during the vacation.
  • I used a Starbucks gift card to buy everyone a cool drink yesterday. During part of the drive, it was 100 degrees. Our car has air conditioning, but it still was warm in parts. The boys loved the iced tea, and it was a refreshing change.
  • Before we left, I cleaned the house from top to bottom, and did all of the laundry myself, saving on the cost of cleaners turning over the house. 
  • Driving vs flying saved about $2000, when you factor in gas & meals, against the cost of flights & a rental car for such an extended period of time. 
I hope you are having a fabulous Sunday. I'm happy to be home, & have a long list of projects to tackle. I need to go be productive!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

July goals

The summer is flying by! I know I need to set goals (and, do a better job of tracking each item) this month, so I can stay on track & take advantage of my free time while the kids are at camp. Here's what I'm planning to accomplish this month.

1) Financial:

  • Stick to the budget
  • Come up with a new way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis.
  • Make $500 in side hustle
  • Sell five items
  • Use up 5 freezer items from our house, and 5 from our vacation house.
2) Family - spend more time together as a family!
  • Do one fun activity/month with the kids.
  • Off the computer by 7:45 each evening
  • Have two dates with M, & figure out our trip when the boys are at camp.
  • Continue meal prepping
  • Plan & book our holidays
  • Get a plan together for Sam for next year. Follow up with the doctor & tutor
  • Deep clean the entire house
  • Complete two projects at the beach house
  • Finalize house projects & budget/schedule

3) Fitness/health - lose 2 lbs.

  • Run 12 times, & get a training plan kicked off for the October half.
  • Track calories (1400/day) & eat 5 servings of fruit & veggies/day
  • Work out 35 times
  • Meditate 10 times

4) Personal/creative
  • Do something social
  • Volunteer a minimum of 1x
  • Journal 15 times
  • Tackle four projects from my sabbatical list

What about you? What's on your list of goals for July? Let us know, so we can cheer you on!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

June goals recap

June was a great month, with a trip to Hawaii, and several trips to the Oregon coast. Because of all the fun, it also means that less productive stuff got done around here. Oh well, plenty of fun was had! Here's what we got done in June:

1) Financial:

  • Stick to the budget. We were way over on groceries & dining out. :-( 
  • Come up with a new way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis. We bought everyone flasks, and have been consistently using them for errands, sports, as well as traveling. This has reduced our purchase of water & other beverages tremendously, and reduced our environmental impact. 
  • Make $500 in side hustle. $245. I thought I'd be paid for another item, but looks like that will carry over into July. 
  • Use up 5 freezer items from our house, & 5 from our vacation house. We definitely used more than ten, but can't remember the exact ratio: bagel bites, muffins, steak (x3), bagels, sandwich rolls, chicken cordon bleu, sausage, risotto, etc.
2) Family - spend more time together as a family!
  • Do one fun activity/month with the kids. We've been doing lots of kite flying!
  • Off the computer by 7:45 each evening. Yes, and I didn't use the computer at all for over a week.
  • Have two dates with M. Yes, we had dinner & watched the Warriors game while the kids were at an event, and had three happy hours out while the boys were with my parents. 
  • Continue meal prepping. Yes! This has continued to go well.
  • Plan & book our holidays. Nope, will move to July. We've discussed the dates & plans, just need to get the travel locked in. 
  • Get a plan together for Sam next year. I accomplished what I could, and spend a lot of time on this in June, but I need to chase some paper work, and set up the tutoring schedule/study topics. 
  • Finish camp paperwork - done!
  • Deep clean the entire house. Not done. I did the bathroom cabinets (one bathroom), but have quite a bit still to do. 
  • Complete two projects at the beach house. We ordered & set up a new patio set, & ordered a new fridge. We still have several other projects to complete. 
  • Finalize house projects & budget/schedule for work at our house. Mostly there. Still waiting on final dates for our doors. 

3) Fitness/health - lose 2 lbs. No scale at the beach house, but I'll be thrilled if I've maintained vs gained, given all of the vacations!
  • Run 12 times. Nope, only two times. The hot weather (at our house + in Hawaii) foiled this for most of the month. 
  • Track calories (1400/day) & eat 5 servings of fruit & veggies/day. Way over after vacations (1798/day), but I did manage 5.46 servings of fruit & veggies. 
  • Work out 35 times - I completed 32/35 workouts. At least I averaged more than one per day!
  • Meditate 10 times. I completed 5 meditations, all before the chaos of vacations began. 

4) Personal/creative.
  • Do something social. Yes, I met two friends for lunch, and went for a walk with another friend. 
  • Volunteer a minimum of 1x. Nope. I did increase my financial donations to a few places, as I couldn't find any time flexible volunteer options. 
  • Journal 15 times. I journaled 8 times. I was on a roll, but got off track during vacation. 
  • Read one non-fiction book. I totally forgot about this, so it didn't happen.
  • Tackle three projects from my sabbatical list:
    • Declutter beach house - yes
    • Deep cleaning beach house project - nope, will do this in July
    • Clean out clothes for myself/boys - yes

It was really a great month for fun, and fewer productivity wins. I'll take it, either way! Looking forward to getting a lot done in July! What about you? How did you do with your goals in June? Any that you will be carrying over to July?

Monday, July 1, 2019

Menu plan Monday

The weather at the beach has been lovely, and the boys have been flying kites and enjoying the sunshine. My parents, sister, nephew & brother in law arrive on Tuesday, and we'll be hosting everyone for a few days.

Our goals while hosting are to keep things as easy as possible, while still putting on a great menu. I don't like a lot of fuss, and prefer to spend the time together, relaxing & enjoying. We also have big happy hours each evening, with special drinks for the kids, wine/beer for the adults, veggies & dip, cheese & crackers, etc.

Here's what we will be eating for dinners:

  • Monday - salmon & salad
  • Tuesday - pizzas & salad
  • Wednesday - crockpot carnitas + taquitos, chips & salsa
  • Thursday - burgers & hot dogs + potato salad
  • Friday - leftovers
  • Saturday - driving home, so either something on the road, or something out of the freezer. Dependent upon our arrival time. 
  • Sunday - tbd. I can't remember what we have in the freezer at home.
For breakfasts, we will have eggs, fruit & bagels. We'll make up a big pan of scrambled eggs in the morning, or the kids usually prefer breakfast sandwiches with my sister's homemade sausage patties. For lunches, we will put out sandwich fixings, chips, fruit, etc. We'll switch it up & do taco soup in the crockpot one day for lunch, along with the carnitas sides (chips, salsa, guac, etc). There will also be leftovers. We won't plan much for desserts, although Nick did mention that he wants to make ice cream sandwiches, so those will probably happen as well.

What about you? What will you be serving this week?

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Hawaii was amazing

I'm back from my girls trip & our trip was amazing. There are very few people in the world I can spend a full week with, 24x7, and not bicker with. It was so relaxing & fun. We took advantage of all of the activities that were offered (for free) at the resort:

  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Canoeing
  • Lei making
  • Hula lessons
  • Bingo 
  • Mixology class
  • Beach side yoga

Although Hawaii is never frugal, here are a few things we did to reduce the cost:

  • Parked for free (vs $40+ parking charge per DAY). The car was 1.5 miles away. Given it was 90, those were some pretty hot walks to the car!
  • We took the free resort car service for most activities
  • We only ate one breakfast & one lunch out. The rest we cobbled together from things in our room. We did happy hours for dinner to reduce the cost, and also ate leftovers for dinner one night.
  • Brought our own alcohol, and avoided the $19 cocktails at the hotel
  • I used my companion fare to book my sister's flight
  • We booked the car/hotel via Costco. I don't think we'd rent a car again, as the parking is so expensive. 
Here are some pictures from our fabulous adventure! In order, they are: the gorgeous flowers all around the hotel, view from the pool one morning, and the stunning view from beach side yoga.

I've been feeling pretty low energy the last few days, so I've been relaxing at the beach. Although I haven't been accomplishing much, it feels good to relax & recover from the traveling. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Getting things done at the beach

I'm still looking pretty funny (my face bruises are very colorful), but my finger is feeling better & the swelling is going down. My insect bites (btw, the urgent care says there is a new strain of mosquitos that are very potent, and the first time you are bit by them, you may have a very strong reaction) are not healing much yet, but have stopped itching. I'll take it!

I haven't been working out (my neck hurt from the whiplash hitting the tree) & I've had a nagging headache for the past few days. Today I felt better, and did a strength/cardio workout + yoga. Working out just makes me feel so good, I try to prioritize it whenever I can.

We've been doing work around our vacation house. Working in the yard, buying new patio chairs (ours ripped, after 10+ years of 365 days of exposure at the coast). I suppose that's not a bad lifetime for the chairs, given how much abuse they get in the rain. It's not feasible to pull them inside, as we'd rather replace the chairs every 10 years vs having people dragging them up & down the stairs inside & dinging the walls & paint, etc. We also met with a contractor about replacing our front door, and staining our deck. I've been working on the inside of the house. I've gone through the fridge, freezer & pantry, tossing expired food. I also bleached the shower curtain liner, which needed a good cleaning.

We went to Costco several times to buy supplies & stock up, and tomorrow will order a new fridge. Our has been leaking, and that's a real recipe for disaster in a house where people aren't constantly around. We also ordered a new patio table (with a fire center - so excited). That should be delivered the week of the 4th of July. The Oregon coast is almost always chilly in the evening, year round, so the fire will be an awesome way to extend our time outdoors in the evening.

We're also considering a fire pit area around the back of the house, but we're no sure if we'll get to it this year.

I'm flying to Hawaii tomorrow with my sister and BFF, and we are all so very excited. We've discussed a girls trip to Hawaii for at least a decade, so making it happen is fantastic. When I get back from Hawaii, I'll pick up the boys & we'll spend some time at the beach before M & the rest of the family arrives. I need to rent a carpet cleaner & make sure the carpets get cleaned. I also need to clean the interior & exterior of all of the windows, as moss blows in due to the wet weather. Maintaining a house on the coast is very different from our house in California, that's for sure!

What about you? Are you doing any maintenance or projects on your house this summer?

Monday, June 17, 2019

The time I hit a tree with my face

What an adventure we've been having over here!

On Friday we drove from our house in the bay area to north of Portland. The drive was uneventful, but the Portland traffic was terrible. We timed it to attempt to clear Portland before rush hour, but a series of accidents starting around Eugene meant that we were in traffic for a few hours. What a hard way to finish a long drive. The kids did great, and everyone was awesome in the car. My parents were THRILLED when we arrived.

We celebrated M's birthday & Father's Day, and had a big mountain biking extravaganza on Saturday. The kids did well in their super advanced riding group. They each went over the handle bars once, and Nick fell into a creek, but they were both uninjured. I rode the beginner trails, and many of the same trails I rode last year without difficulty. Unfortunately, as I was going down a steep incline, my front tire started to go off the side of the trail (picture a really steep drop on one side, and the trail being quite narrow). I pulled my tire back & managed to get going, but had too much speed. I looked up just to see a tree. I hit the tree incredibly hard with my head/face, and flew off the bike over the hill. I'm grateful I wasn't seriously injured. I broke a finger, and the visor of my bike helmet broke across the bridge of my nose. It left a large cut, and I now have two developing black eyes. The nurse who evaluated me is a little concerned that I have a deviated septum. Again, grateful I was okay other than those issues, because it was a super hard hit. That's why you always need a helmet!

Now that the black eyes are developing, I think M is a little afraid to be seen with me in public, for fear that people will think he's abusing me. We got some strange looks on Father's Day!

We're at the beach house & the weather is stunning. We went to a local wine bar & relaxed, sat in the sun & celebrated M for Father's Day.

Unfortunately, today will include a trip to Urgent Care. I was bitten by something during my yard work last week. The bites aren't going away & are huge, swelling & infected. :-( They hurt like the dickens & feel worse. I'm hoping the doctor can prescribe or recommend something that will get rid of the bites quickly.

That's all from my side. I will try to post a few pictures of the beach...aka my favorite place in the world! Update: now with a picture from yesterday afternoon.