Shop Amazon


Eating during the rehab

So, can I say it’s been busy around here?  I have started working with my new second job.  My hope is to do both part time until I transition to just one.  However, I am having to juggle a lot of balls right now. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned it, but I don’t even know how to juggle tennis balls :D

So, evaluation of priorities has to take place.  The first things to go?  TV watching and my guitar practice.  I am not Segovia, so missing a few weeks of practice won’t really hurt the world.  I do love practicing, though.  I have done some here and there and my hands are pretty sore from doing rehab work on top of my daily typing.  I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I missed some preseason football games in order to do the ‘must do’ stuff.

With being really busy, we obviously aren’t cooking gourmet meals and all that. It’s been pretty basic stuff.  We have started to rely on more freezer foods like veggie burgers and the like because they are fast.  It’s too easy to want to say “Let’s pick up a couple slices of pizza on the way to rehab” and I don’t want to get in that habit. We have been treating ourselves a little bit afterwards with coffee or yogurt sometimes, but I am keeping an eye on serving portions with that.

I have been eating more of these:


In fact, my dinner last night was a Luna bar because of new work stuff going well into dinner time, which I was in tears over because it was so overwhelming ( but that’s better now). John had to leave the house early, so he wasn’t able to make dinner. It was all I could do not to stuff my face with whatever I could find, but I am focusing really, really hard on listening to hunger cues instead of comfort cues.  So, while a protein bar isn’t perfect, it’s better than M&Ms.  Then later I was able to have some fruit and a more nutritious snack.

Rehab also means packing meals for the house on weekends, like so:


That’s apple topping for my yogurt in the plastic box.  We don’t want to drive home 5 miles to eat and come back and, again, I am not wanting to get in the habit of takeout, so that means packing something easy.  Not to mention something that doesn’t need reheating since there are no appliances in the house yet!

One thing that is interesting is that during the first 2 weeks of rehabbing, I lost 3.5 pounds.  Only 6.5 to go to get rid of my 2014 stress weight gain.  I feel like I should capitalize that LOL!  Weight loss is not my priority now – it’s to not gain, but I certainly will take any loss.  I know that is because of the hard physical work I am doing that helps, plus not being at home to snack.  It’s taking some real concentration and effort to not take the easy way out, but I am determined.

The kitchen keeps getting more and more down to the basics:


Once the electrical is done, we can start putting it back together.  We have a call in to a couple electricians, but John wants to look one more time at it :D And don’t worry, none of that stuff is live, all those circuits are off. Safety first!

Night shot of the floors after semigloss poly:


They still have all that variation in color they had before. They just look cleaner :D  We can walk on the floors now, but can’t set stuff on them for a couple more days.

Product Review: Even Glow Vitamin C Serum


I get a lot of product review requests and most end up in the recycle bin (weight loss tea, anyone?), but this product caught my attention as I am getting older! My skin has always been on the oily side, but seems to be normalizing as I get older, and probably will continue heading on to dry skin, I imagine. I was provided a bottle of Even Glow Vitamin C Serum  by Valentia Skin Care for review. (Valentia Skin Care Amazon Link)



 The Even Glow Serum is supposed to hydrate the skin, reduce wrinkles, and even skin tone.  I have been using this daily in the morning for about a month now right out of the shower.

This is a decent sized bottle, just a shade over 1 ounce:



For some reason, I had an idea that serum mean oily, so I was expecting an oily product, but this is not at all. It is an opaque thick liquid. It has a really light grapefruit smell from the grapefruit essential oil, which I loved.  That’s my favorite part – the scent.

Here is what it looks like:

A little goes a long way. I really only needed 4 drops of the above size to do my whole face . My skin felt nice and soft after using it. Seems like this bottle will last a long time, which makes $35 seem not too bad.  In a month I have maybe used 1/4 of the bottle if that.

I have a bit of redness to my cheeks and I think this product may be evening that out some.  I don’t notice too much as far as wrinkle improvement because honestly I don’t have too many wrinkles for a 46-year-old, other than my forehead wrinkle (affectionately called “The Divot” by John and I).  It also did not make me break out.  My skin will break out at the drop of a hat, so I don’t like to try new stuff on my face very often, but this didn’t cause any problems.

So, all in all – I actually like this product, again especially for the scent.  I am a sucker for anything citrus.  


** Disclosure: I was provided this product free for review. All opinions are my own.  The amazon link is for the Valential Skin Care company, so I am not compensated in any way when you click on that link.

More house progress.

We are on Day 11 of the rehab?  It’s all blurring into one LOL!   This weekend had some progress and some setbacks.


First off, the wallpaper is pretty much gone in the kitchen!  There are just a couple bits of the backing paper that I didn’t get off near the outlets John was working on this weekend.  However, there is a lot of glue on the walls I have to get off.  That’s annoying.

Here is the nook area all empty:


The bird cage is something I brought from home and hung up on the hook as predecorating :)    I think I will leave it there and fill it with some trailing greenery (probably fake).

I did find some broken plaster when doing the wallpaper:



It was a crack, but to repair properly, I had to take off any loose stuff, which made a big patch.  You can see concrete behind the plaster.  This house has concrete walls, not lathe or dry wall, which makes doing normally easy stuff hard. Like electrical.  John got a hammer drill and got one outlet sunk in the wall, but he is really have a hard time with the others than have longer lines that need to be channeled into the concrete with conduit.  He was really frustrated today and I think we may leave the remaining electrical boxes on the wall.  John wanted to make me happy by sinking them, but it isn’t worth seeing his frustration over it.  I want him to enjoy doing the rehab more than that.  So,  maybe I will decorate them or something. :D

Here is the rest of the big mess with the wallpaper gone:




We also got rid of that scalloped border over the window and what a difference that made.  Shelley got me thinking about a pendant light over the sink the other day.  We hadn’t really thought about the lighting yet, but did a fun browsing trip last night.  I think I like this pendant:


Our walls are going to  be a pale green, so I think it will look good.  We also think we have a sink picked out:



It’s a granite composite sink.  I don’t want stainless. I want a white sink, but acrylic won’t hold up very well (IMHO).  Cast iron was an option, but what a heavy sink!  So, we saw the composite and liked the look of it.  Might be a different shape, but it will be white.

I had to work on the floors this weekend, too.  Normally I would leave these until last, but we have so much wallpaper to remove that we will be doing it after we move in and I wanted the floors done while the house is empty.  So, I rented a sander while John worked on electrical and moved some business stuff into the basement.  This is the worst part of the floor.



This machine is really, really heavy.  It’s an orbital sander, which I wanted to try because you can’t damage the floor like you can with a drum sander.


Badass.  Or is that safety first?

I did 3 grits of sandpaper over the floor.  It was a tough day.  I had to do it all in one shot, though, because we had to get the sander back from rental.   My shoulders were really tired.  Again, strength training has helped me so much to recover from this hard work!



The bad part looks much better now, especially for a 95-year-old floor!:


I patched some of the big scratches, then sanded that down and started putting down poly.  It will take a couple days to get that done.   So much work to do.

We did get our normal Sunday breakfast bike ride in.  We ride 20 miles every Sunday it isn’t raining.  John and I made a promise that we are going to take next Saturday off from rehab and do a Lake George ride.  Now watch it will rain LOL!


What’s Blooming!

Yay – a blooming post!!  I haven’t been out in the garden as much this week with all the new house stuff.  I need to do a what’s blooming post at the new place, but I have to admit that I have not really  explored a whole lot in the back yard in depth.  There isn’t much in bloom there, but there are some keeper plants.  However, this is my current flower bed:



The sedum are starting to color up a little more.  



I have had a large swallowtail visiting the butterfly bush this week.



That’s  the neighborhood waste management flower in bloom in the background, too :D   

The birds at my feeder throw seed everywhere.  They are messy buggers.  A surprise sunflower popped up by the butterfly bush several feet away.


Surprise flowers are fun!  I also have more blooms on the delphiniums this week:



I know someone who is going to have a lot of these in her new gardens :D

My rose bushes are going through a small flush of blooms now:


You can tell the end of summer is approaching because now my lirope are blooming:







As busy as I am right now, I still take the time to smell the roses! My stress relief.

Bagel Day!

It’s Bagel Wednesday!  I was up too early and did some work before we biked to breakfast.   It was 57 degrees out, too!  Eeeek! That feels like fall biking weather.

It was a beautiful morning, even if it was cold.  The sun was breaking through the clouds when we got to Coffee Planet.



Shining the light on Burger King...

It smelled so good when we walked in because they just got done baking chocolate chip cookies for the day.  But, I decided not to have a cookie for breakfast :D



I love our breakfast rides, cold or not.

We had some good news today on the house.  We had a plumbing/heating specialist come in to test our hot water heater and boiler for the heating system.  They both work and no leaks!  That was some much needed good news.  We will need a new boiler ($$$) in the next couple years, but we don’t need to get it yet.  Phew.  That was a huge relief.

News on the job front.  The new account I was on has kind of petered out since we got it caught up, so there has not been enough work for me.  I  was offered a position with another company.  I am going to test the waters with them part time and see how well we mesh, so I will be doing 2 jobs for a while.  Does anyone remember when I did that a few years ago?  Probably not.  Anyway, nothing like throwing in an extra challenge with all this house stuff.  I spent so long spinning my wheels this year and now it’s like the Indy 500.

Tonight was the last night of Take A Bite in Glens Falls.  We decided to stop by and have dinner before heading to work on the house.  Downtown is a mile from our new house, so we will be able to walk to this event next year!




I decided to get some Chicken Ya-Ya, which is kind of like gumbo.



Plus an unpictured cup of buffalo chicken soup (delicious!).

John got a fish sandwich and some peach cobbler for dessert.



Look at what was stamped on my money:



Spoiled my plans right there.  I decided to use it for my dessert which was a cup of coffee and a raspberry bar.


Total cost for my food? $7.  It was very crowded tonight, probably because it was the last night.  

We spent a few hours at the house making good progress.  I was on wallpaper duty…again… and finally feel like I am making some real headway.  Just about done with the nook room.  Might have the wallpaper all stripped from the kitchen by the end of the weekend!

Here’s to a good night’s sleep tonight.

Late nights mean my posts will be done later at night. Normally I like to get them done after dinner, but that’s not happening for a while since we leave the house right after.

Kitchen progress

It’s hard finding a balance between work, rehab and quality time.  Phew.  We still are muddling through that.  One thing I have to keep doing is exercise.  Yes, the rehab stuff is functional exercise, but it can’t replace the bike!

I have to say that I love how much easier rehab is when you have a good strength training routine already in place.  I am not sore after doing anything and it enables me to work longer.  Not that I am not tired, because I am, but not sore – which makes all the difference in the world as far as motivation to keep going.

Slow progress is being made.  We got the hot water tank and lines tested and no leaks – YAY!  Now to actually turn on the hot water heater and the heating system.  We have a professional coming out to do that on Wednesday to make sure that is on the up and up.  Once that is up and running, I will feel a lot better.  That’s the last really big unknown.

Our house is now on the market.  Not sure if it will sell or not this fall.  Obviously we hope so, but we are willing to take it off the market and relist in the spring when there is more activity.  I don’t really want to own 2 houses that long, but I can’t control the market, as much as I would really like to!  

I moved some furniture around trying to make the living room inviting with my mish mash of styles.


Trying to hide our old couch :D  We are not taking that with us.  I have 3 of these chests, which are kind of boring, but useful for storage.  I painted this one and brought it down from the bedroom.  It still has our sheets and blankets in it LOL!  

With having a hair ejection machine in the house, I decided I didn’t want to be vacuuming the area rug daily, so we rolled it up and took it to the new place.  That’s why I brought down the chest because the room was looking like everything was pushed to the edges.

You know how I say things look a lot worse before they start looking better with rehab?  Check out our kitchen!



This was progress for tonight.  Countertops are gone.  We will be pulling out that base cabinet with the plumbing as it is not salvagable, but all other cabinets are good!

The next step is seeing how hard it is to sink outlets into the cement walls.  Finish up wallpaper and then we can start putting the room back together.  That’s the fun stuff.

My mother came over and helped strip wallpaper in the kitchen last night and tonight, so we treated her to some Sweet Frog!



We are willing to bribe people to help :D

Rehab progress

Where was I??  Oh yes, rehabbing.   I never even got in a Friday What’s Blooming post!  It’s just been a bit busy around here :D

Now that we own the house, it was time to see all of the unknowns about the house.  This house has had no water, power or gas for over a year in it, which is a little scary.  So, these systems will get tested slowly.

Friday was probably the most frustrating day.  The electrical was turned on Thursday, and that went well.  We had the water turned on (only cold right now) and found broken pipes right away.  I figured we would have problems with either the electric or the water, and hopefully not both.  Turns out it was the water.  

We capped one leak and tested the water again and got water pouring out of the ceiling in the basement.  John was pretty freaked out, but my last rehab had broken pipes, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see that.  Unwanted, but not surprising.  We pulled down some of the ceiling and found that leak, which was just the line to the outside, and we were able to close that off with the shut off.  We were pretty tired that night and called it a day.  Not a great start.

We took a ride Saturday morning.  I have to tell you that my insomnia has been terrible all week.  I have been getting about 5 hours a sleep for the past week and it is really taking its toll.  I took a picture and noticed how tired I look LOL


Saturday was spent fixing pipes and me pulling some carpet.  There is only carpet on the stairs and hallway upstairs.  It was really, really nasty.



I knew there was wood under it, but didn’t know what shape it was in.  Finally something good!



Once the leaks in the basement were fixed, we started opening the shutoffs to the first floor powder room.  I do have to say that the bathroom smelled really, really bad and it turns out that someone left a ‘present’ in 2 of the toilets.  I have an iron stomach, but this almost made me lose my lunch.  The not fun part of this, I have to say.  Anyway, the toilet needed a new wax ring because there was a leak, so while John continued fiddling with plumbing, I took off the toilet and cleaned it.



By the way – buy stock in disposable gloves because stores are going to need to restock :D

Got it put back together and we have a functional bathroom!  Felt good to have some success.



Wallpaper removal in this room some time in the future.  It’s everywhere!!

Rehabbing work goes in fits and starts with progress.  Somethings go way faster than expected and some things you just can’t believe how long it takes.  Like removing this microwave. Someone had cut the power cord to this as well, so it wasn’t even functional.  


For real, this took over an hour to get out.  We had some instructions we found online, but it was missing a key point of hidden bolts.  Then we finally got it out.


Sunday was a ton of wallpaper removal for me, along with putting cold water into the upstairs pipes and testing those, which haven’t leaked that we have found, thank goodness.  We also filled the hot water tank, even though we don’t have the gas turned on, at least the tank doesn’t leak.  

Here are some nicer pictures.  This was our snack on Sunday.  John was out and brought back coffee and a cookie to split.  Eaten in our dining room :D



This is the view of the garden from the dining room:


I can’t wait until I can get out there and work.  I don’t know if I will get much done this fall in it.  Depends on how the inside goes.

I did the kitchen video the other day, here is the dining room and living room.

I really wish I could just take some time off from work to get stuff done, but I don’t get paid time off and with owning 2 houses and $$ needed for rehab, it’s going to be evening work on the house (or daytime if I run out of work!).  I’ll try not to make the blog completely about the new house, but we will be eating, breathing and sleeping it for a bit :D

The work begins!


We did the closing this morning.  Shortest closing ever!  We had gotten the funds over earlier in the week, so today was just signing paperwork.  We only had to sign 3 documents, can you believe that?  It was sort of anticlimactic.  Then the lawyer told us we could not take possession of the house until the selling bank forwarded written confirmation.  Really?  We were already to jet over to the new place right after closing.  If we didn’t have a realtor involved that would have gotten in trouble, I would have said ‘screw you’ to the bank and gone in anyway.  big grin


We didn’t have to wait that long, though, just about 1-1/2 hours before we got the call we could go in.  Yay!



It doesn’t look like it from here, but it is so overgrown in the front. There are maple trees growing up into all this shrubbery.  I need a machete.  :D

Here is a video of the kitchen with me talking a little about it.

Our plan for now is painting the cupboards (cream),  sage colored walls, getting butcher block countertops and cork flooring.  Some of the lower cabinets need a little more help that we thought, but we should be able to salvage them.  The electrical is a challenge because the walls are cinderblock with plaster over them, so you can’t just easily pop a hole in them like drywall to install outlet boxes – which is probably why previous rennovation didn’t do that because it is a lot of work.  We are thinking about running the lines behind the cabs and doing counterop popup recepticles.  Like so:

Carlon Pop 3

We have a little thinking to do.  Plenty of time to think about that while removing platoons of wallpaper, though.


So, I guess this blog will be a rehab blog for a while LOL!  

We spent the early afternoon at the house (what work??) and got a start going.  I pulled up the linoleum, which I think is vinyl and not linoluem because it was soft and flexible.  On top of being ugly – it has it all!   Guess what was underneath?  More linoleum!



I peeled up a bit of this wondering if there might be wood, but this room was not a kitchen originally and I think it was some porch or something like that and it seems to be just cement underneath, so we will go with our original plan and now need to order the flooring.


Lookie at the mess we made in just a couple hours!



I think poor John is a little…. a lot… overwhelmed.   Once we get the kitchen past the “it gets worse before it gets better” stage, I think he will feel a bit better.   It is a huge amount of work to do while working our jobs and getting the old house ready to sell and thinking about moving, not to mention the stress of owning 2 houses.

We will still be biking and such over the weekend, but not all day rides since there is a lot of work to do!

Beating the rain

Two days to closing – EEEEEEE!   We have transferred the funding, so it just needs the formality of signatures now.  I am getting pretty excited!!!

I planned a bike ride for exercise on Tuesday and noticed it was getting cloudy.  John said rain was due to start in 40 minutes (according to Accuweather), so I took that a challenge to get in miles.  I wanted at least 10 :D   It was a little overcast, but 68 degrees and perfect weather.


I hopped over to the path for a bit on one of my loops.  Look how pretty it is.


We won’t be biking on this part as regularly as we do now once we move.

 About 8 miles in and on a freshly paved road!


This road was in bad shape, especially the shoulder, and now it is nice and pretty for biking!  Skies were getting cloudier, but I figured I was good for home.  And I was!


Turns out it didn’t rain until the afternoon, but I got in my exercise :D

On an unrelated note since I was unloading photos: We have a suet feeder right by the window and a woodpecker was eating at it.



Pixie was lying next to me on the couch and heard the bird.  This is her stealth mode:



I didn’t quite get the shot where her ears were totally flattened and made her look really dorky LOL.  Everyone can see you Pixie, including the bird!


The news about Robin Williams is really sad.  Depression is a terrible illness and he really had the financial means to get as much treatment as he could and yet still was unable. I do psychiatric discharges and, unfortunately, there are so many patients that are brought to the ER involuntarily and some that walk in on their own for treatment.  They are given meds for a few days and released with recommendations for treatment, but no actual treatment, and many of them cannot afford it.  Our society has such poor coping skills for mental disorders.

Lake Ride and Missing Link!

Another spectacular weather weekend.  Seriously, this has been the best summer weather ever!    Saturday was as perfect as a ride day can get – upper 70s, low humidity and no wind.  Can’t beat that!   We decided to head up to Lake George.  I had a hankering for a morning pastry, so we ended up leaving mid morning after breakfast.  It takes about an hour and 15 minutes or so to bike to the lake (16 miles).

Look how lush and green it is around here thanks to adequate rain:



It looks like June, not August, other than the goldenrod!



About 10 miles in, we stopped for a snack:



I do love dried pineapple when riding.  Quick energy without taking up much stomach space and making you feel full.

The shaded part of the path was just wonderful!  I could have stayed in there all day.



At mile 16, we arrived at that lake and what a pretty scene it was.






We hit up Lake George Baking company for our snack, along with an iced coffee.  I had a maple cinnamon roll.

cinnamon roll

Yes indeedy!  That was delicious!  John had a couple donuts that were out of this world good.  This company does it right.  Probably a good thing it is 16 miles away – although from our new house, it will only be about 10!  :D

We sat for a long time and just soaked up the gorgeous weather.



We did have to head home, though.  Lots of things to do around the house.   Back on the wonderful path when I started to feel a clunk in my chain.  I had a bad link it in, so we figured it was time to stop and look:



Not sure if you can see that pin sticking out, but it isn’t supposed to do that and the link was bent (which you can’t see in the photo).  That meant it wouldn’t got back together right and would definitely break climbing the hills.   When you are 12 miles from home, not a good feeling.  Luckily for me, I had some extra links that I purchased knowing that I had a bad one.



John had the chain tool:



It snapped right into place and was an easy fix, actually.  I really don’t like having to haul stuff around on long rides like spare tubes, links, tools and the like, but they have saved our asses more than once.

All better!



Happy Lori because I could keep going!



45 SPF sunscreen and I still get a ton of freckles :D

The chain felt great and we continued on our way. This is the marsh:



A shot of my pensive husband:





Perfect, perfect riding day!  YAY!!



Ride stats:

Total miles:  35  (I am calling it LOL ).

Average speed:  12.6 mph

Top speed:  27.9 mph

Calories burned: 1229


John was actually going to be gone on Saturday, but all I had to do was mention that I was going to the lake and a check of the weather and he changed his mind ;)