Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Power of the Stomach Virus

I am finally able to eat after 3 days of just trying to survive. I ended up going to the doctor yesterday who said there was nothing they could do, that these types of things can last up to 7-10 days. At that point, I might not have been able to move. I did fairly well drinking fluids but food was another story. I am down 7 pounds now in 4 days to a weight I haven't seen since I was in college, swimming. Not the way to lose weight though, I do not recommend it! The only good thing is that I don't start teaching summer school until Monday so I should be able to manage.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We headed up to Buffalo last weekend to see EZ's family. We got in late Friday night and went straight to bed. Saturday entailed lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant-this tiny little chinese place that makes the best lo mein EVER! Got to see one of EZ's long time friends and his wife and their baby. Then we had a big family dinner with EZ's parents and brother and his family followed by a couple rounds of Opashaw.

Father's day I joined in with EZ's brother and dad and ran a 5K in the local park that I always run in when I am there. I had no goals or plans since I haven't been working out and was gone for those few weeks in Europe but I manage to run a respectable 24:40 which I thought wasn't bad for so little training. What was most impressive was the spread after the race. Chicken, BBQ sandwiches, goat cheese pasta salad and my ultimate fav-strawberry shortcake with whipped cream! Yum yum!!!

We hung out with the family the rest of the weekend, saw EZ's grandma and walked around the neighborhoods with the big homes and beautiful yards. Quite nice. I have come down with some stomach virus though, so not pleasant. But at least I am not working right now, so I can stay in the comfort of my own home while sick and hopefully it will not last for too much longer!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have finished a few books since being back from Europe. Obviously I already mentioned Pillars of the Earth, which I really enjoyed. A very interesting book with a little too much sexual violence at times, but the overall story was captivating.

I then read Jodi Picoults book Handle With Care. The story of a family with a daughter who has OI (brittle bone disease) and the mother sues her doctor, who is her best friend, for wrongful birth. Basically she has to say that if she had known about the disease she who have had an abortion. The story is extremely interesting and the hardships of the family and what the lawsuit does to the family dynamics. I have read My Sisters Keeper by her and loved it, and this book does not disappoint either. Written in the same style, where each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character in the book.

I then read the third Twilight series book, Eclipse. It was actually really good. Much better than the second novel and I really can't wait now to read the final 4th novel. Her novels are very easy to read, like the Harry Potter books. Sometimes there is too much teenage drama but overall the book was good and once my neighbor finishes reading the last novel she will let me borrow it.

Now I am stuck with what to read next. I have a pile of books in my room of books I have ordered or gotten from people that I haven't read yet. But none of them were jumping out at me. We'll see what I decide in the next couple days.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes

Early this year I convinced another friend of mine to go in halvesies with EZ and I on a CSA (Communitry Supported Agriculture). We live in an area with no local farmers market, and while they are in the process of getting a coop, it won't be here till next year at the earliest. My sister told me about these CSA's. I had no clue what they were so had to do some research. Basically, in case you are just like me and didn't know what they are, is a local farm that grows their own produce and you buy a share. Each week we then get a basket or whatever of fresh, local produce.

Each CSA was different, some were all organic, some had meat and eggs in addition to veggies, some had only veggies and no fruit. I found a great website (local harvest) and researched all the local CSA's near me. Turns out there was one pretty close to us (actually on EZ's and mines usual 25 mile bike route) and it was most local. It was also one that didn't seem as organized. But whatever, we signed up for 4 months of fresh, organic produce from the most local farm there was.

Last week was suppose to be our first pick up. But the farm was flooded from the oodles of rain we have had and the ground hadn't been dry enough to really get too much stuff, but yesterday we headed over to pick up our first share. The farm is pretty isolated but the guy running it could not be any nicer and I am super excited that I am supporting the most local farmer that I can. After splitting all the stuff, I have 4 grocery bags full of all sorts of great goodness-blueberries, blackberries, zucchini, squash, green beans, snap peas, some other kind of pea, green onions, beets, kale, mustard greens, lettuce and basil. And he said this was a slow week since everything is just coming up! I can't wait for all the things he says he has coming, watermelon, sweet potatoes, pumpkins...

So this morning, we decided to make blueberry pancakes with a blueberry syrup. I made my own concoction of a blueberry syrup which turned out great and the blueberries were so great in the pancakes. This might have been one of the best breakfasts we have created in a while, soooo good!

The CSA was a great idea, and am glad my sister mentioned it to me...and if you want to do something about buying local, find a CSA to join and hopefully yours will be as good as the one here in Whitsett!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Working Out

I have started to do a little bit of exercise and it has not been pretty. I manage to run 20 minutes yesterday before I thought I would die. I have started walking with my neighbors which has been fun and I am going to start yoga next week. I did not make it to the driving range yet, but EZ and I went up to the clubhouse to play (attempt to play) tennis last night.

We are heading up to NY next weekend to visit EZ's family. We haven't seen his brother and kids for almost a year and a half so it was time to go up there. Just so happens, since it is fathers day, his dad and brother are running a local 5K and maybe have talked both EZ and I into running it. It sure won't be pretty but if I keep adding a few minutes to my runs, by next weekend I should be able to make it, just rather slow!

A few other randome thoughts about Italy that I forgot. Sometimes they answer the phone with "Pronto" which means ready. Also, to say goodbye, many of them use Ciao. But they don't say it once, but like 5 or 6 times. It is rather funny.

Ciao, Ciao, Ciao, Ciao, Ciao.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Vacation after Vacation

It has been nice coming home from our vaca in Europe. Basically I am on vacation now from work since it is summer. I am teaching summer school in July, but for the next couple weeks I can just relax and I am super excited about it. I have been dreaming about these days where I can hang out at the pool and read and get what have I done since we got back...

The first couple days it poured rain, I got my hair cut and got my nails done since I had forgot to cut them before we left and then tack on 3 more weeks without cutting your nails produces some serious issues. I cleaned and did laundry, got groceries and all that. But I did manage to get to the pool on Sunday since it was sunny and hot. I only was there for about 2 hours until a kid pooped in the pool and they had to shut it down. No worries, in those two hours, I finished Pillars of the Earth, a great novel that was rather long but wonderful and I was thoroughly captivated (is the sequel World Without End just as good?), and I managed to already get a good sunburn, which means no pool for a few days, what a bummer! I am on to reading Handle with Care, Jodi Picoult's newest book, which so far is really good.

But it is nice being on vacation when you get back from vacation! I am slowly exercising, I ran for 15 min yesterday and I rode my bike for an hour last Sat. It was slow and rather relaxing, which was nice and even EZ came which is a first for him in quite a while. I am taking it easy as I would rather not be focused on anything, I think I might go to the driving range today and perhaps convince EZ to go to the clubhouse and play tennis tomorrow.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I learned...

Some of the things I found interesting in Ireland/Italy.

In Ireland-
1. It does rain as much as they say and that means it really is as green as you can imagine.
2. I was more scared being a passenger on the other side of the car than when I attempted driving on the other side of the car.
3. There are a lot of sheep.
4. The ketchup they use tastes funny.
5. Sometimes there was a harder language barrier here than in Italy.
6. I loved seeing all the signs in Gaelic.

In Italy-
1. There are Gelatarria's on every corner like there are Starbuck's here in the US.
2. It is amazing how cheap you can get getlato, good sized scoops for 1-2 euros.
3. Don't order a coke/soda in a restaurant. We paid 4 euros for a bottle of coke, that is close $5.50 for a single bottle.
4. Order the house wine instead-we could get 1/2 Liter, which is enough for us non wine connoisseurs for 3-4 euros.
5. The Italians smoke A LOT. It was unreal how many people smoke there. We even saw in the airport someone had bought a huge carton of cigarettes and the huge warning label on the carton said Warning: Cigarettes may raise blood pressure and cause impotence. Funny that they don't mention cancer.
6. Most people speak english there and their english is way better than my Italian, or occasional slip up of speaking spanish, which they understood as well.
7. The lemons there are huge, the size of wonder I loved lemon gelato.
8. I wasn't a fan of how the set up their menu. Getting a first plate of pasta and then a second plat of just meat was strange. We got veal meatballs at one place, wich were good, but strange to just be given a plate of 6 meatballs. So instead, we stuck mainly to ordering an antipasta and then a first pasta dish.
9. We had a conversation with our host in Rome who explained she thought it was strange that in the US we can't drink outside. This is coming from the same country where the is no age limit for purchasing beer.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Back Home

We made it back last night after a last couple days in Italy. I must say it was a great finish to the trip. The Amalfi Coast was incredible, it was like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland with the Cinque Terre in Italy but on steroids! It was a wonderful adventure.

Our last day in Italy was jammed packed. We arrived early in Milan (6:50am) took the metro to the downtown square to see the famous cathedral there then took it back and headed up to Lake Como. This might have been one of my favorite places. I was done with cities (as I am not really a city person) and we stopped in Varenna on the lake
and just chilled there in a cute small town. Took the ferry across the lake to hang out in Bellagio with all the rich peeps and then came back. We then headed to Bergamo where we were flying out of and it was actually a pretty cool city too. It was a great last two days of our trip.

We had a great time and would totally go back to Italy and chill in a few places. It was a very busy trip which made it somewhat exhausting but it was worth it. Here are a few pictures of our last few days.

The Vatican:

St. Peter's and the Vatican in Rome:

Mt. Vesuvius:

Pompei and Vesuvius:

Lemon Groves in Sorrento:

Amalfi Coast:


Lake Como:



Monday, June 01, 2009

Almost Done

This trip has been long to me. I think 3 weeks is just a little too much, but it could be that we really don't have much stops and rests. Yesterday we headed to Pompei and the up Mt Vesuvius and today we are heading down what is suppose to be the breath taking Amalfi Coast. Then we take the night train to Milan and tomorrow we changed our plans and are going to spend the day at Lake Como before our flight out back to Dublin. Then we come back to the US.

The trip has been great so far and I am so glad we came to see most of Italy! I doubt I will be back on the internet until we get back, but I will post more pics then.