Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to dress for summer

In California, here is what I would wear in the summer. Every day. Because every day is the same (hot).

1.     Shorts
2.     Tank top
3.     Bring sweater/scarf/sweatshirt everywhere because of air conditioning

Here is how I get dressed in Massachusetts.

The other day, when it was not at all humid, I realized the only thing separating me from my California winter wardrobe was a pair of socks and closed toe shoes. I felt really stupid for a minute, until I looked around and saw that several people were also wearing long pants and long sleeves.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On the Road Again

2013 was a year of intense running. Two marathons, four half marathons, a triathlon, a 10k, and several 5ks really wore me (and my knee, and my hip) out. So I have enjoyed the first 6 months of 2014 as basically run free. I was really thinking "Hey! Maybe this could be my year of no running after spending a year doing nothing but running."

But then, Adam said, "Oh I got an email about registering for the Walt Disney World marathon. I was thinking maybe I would sign up." And I thought "Wow! Adam wants to do a marathon?" And he did! He said he needs motivation to run (because he has none) and that if he were ever going to do a full marathon he'd want it to be a fun one, like the Disney World marathon. I agreed to run with him during training, and then thought, well, if I'm going to be running anyway, maybe I should sign up for a marathon too.

Then we checked the e-mail again, and realized the sign up was for the Princess HALF marathon. I think we both like the idea of doing another half better than jumping into a full, and it IS Disney World, after all... And I've never been... and we were planning on taking a Disney Cruise anyway... so we decided to sign up.

So now the running begins (again). That sub 2 hour half seems so elusive, but I'm determined to get there this time! And then maybe by February I'll be in good enough shape again that running a third marathon won't seem so daunting.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oh M{eye}!

Last week, I went to the eye doctor. The first thing the eye doctor said to me after entering the room was, “Soooo how do you like driving at night?” Short answer: I don’t enjoy it at all because all I can’t see a dang thing. And then we began my least favorite part: reading the tiny, blurry letters that always look so far away. I always feel like I’m supposed to be able to read the letters, but most of the time I have to just guess. Can other people always read all the letters? E’s and B’s look alike. C’s and G’s. F’s and P’s. Ugh gives me a headache just thinking about it.

So it turns out I need glasses. The guy has me test out three different prescriptions. Of course the ones I like best are the ones that have a prescription strength of only half what it should be, but apparently that’s ok. It will give me time to adjust to wearing glasses without feeling dizzy and deciding to just not wear them.

Today I went to pick up my glasses. Wearing them is actually kind of nice, because everything is nice and crisp, and most importantly, I can read street signs before it’s too late to turn.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New England wine tasting in a word: Ew

This weekend we went wine tasting in New England for the second time. The first time was on our way home from Rockport, at a place called Russell Orchards. This time we went to a place called Truro Vineyards on Cape Cod.

We drove up and were greeted by a scene pretty typical of a California winery- sprawling lawn with people picnicking and enjoying their wine. In addition, there was a food truck, rum stand, and a game of corn hole going on. We entered the farmhouse style building and there the differences began.

Instead of bellying up to the bar and perusing different options while we chat with the pourer, we had to buy tickets for the next tasting. (They do tastings every 30 minutes there). We happened to arrive at 3:30, perfect timing for the next tasting.

We headed out to the back deck, where there were several round tables set up and a bar with the 10 wines available to taste on display. Each person could taste five wines. Since there were two of us, we opted to share our glasses so that we’d each get to taste all 10 wines.

First up: 2011 Truro Vineyards Chardonnay & 2012 Truro Vineyards Vignoles
Second: 2011 Truro Vineyards Triumph Meritage & 2011 Truro Vineyards Zinfandel
Third: 2011 Truro Vineyards Cabernet Franc & 2010 Truro Vineyards Merlot
Fourth: Truro Vineyards Cape Blush & Right Red
Fifth: Truro Vineyards Cranberry Red & Turo Vineyards Diamond White

The whites were very sour and most of the reds tasted watery, like a Central Coast wine. The Cape Blush was Ok. Out of all of them, I liked the Cranberry Red the best. The people who let us stay at their cape cod house seem to like the Diamond White, because they have several of those empty bottles around their kitchen. The Cranberry Red comes in a clear lighthouse shaped bottle, and the Diamond White comes in a blue lighthouse shaped bottle.

We were kind of hoping that since the bottles were cool, the wines would be good. So far though, we haven’t found anything that rivals a good California wine.

We left the wine tasting area to go get our free sample of their spiced rum. The rum was much better than any of the wines. It tasted like alcoholic chai tea. Yum.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Horse Drawn Carriage Through History

One thing that Worcester is full of is abandoned, crumbling buildings. Ever the city that just won't quit, there is a campaign called "Free the Blackstone," which is all about bringing awareness and business to the part of town with the condemned buildings.  Why? Because they are part of the canal district. The canal that was once the hub of industrialization in New England and allowed products to be sent down to Rhode Island and shipped out (thereby taking business away from Boston and keeping Worcester the bigger city).

Once Boston wised up and built railroad tracks from their little shipping port to the Big City, the people of Worcester started using the canal as an open sewer, into which they would dump industrial waste, human waste, food scraps, butcher scraps, and dead animals. Eventually the canal grew so smelly and toxic that they just covered it up. So the canal disappeared, but the factories that sprang up alongside it remain.

Several of the buildings have a sign on them that is a red square with a white line or x across it. That is to signify to firefighters that the building is condemned and is unsafe for anyone to enter. They had to do that after a fire broke out some time ago and when firefighters went in to put out the flames, the building collapsed on them and they died.

Some of the buildings are being fixed up and turned into residences. Some of them house restaurants and other businesses. Some of them are still factories.

We learned all this on a horse drawn carriage ride through the canal district, complete with college "actors" performing vignettes of business people who were once influential in the district.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Introducing: Ruby the Subie!

Adam and I are full of little quirks, one of them being that our car family is made up of two small red Hondas. Small red Hondas are great when you live in California and you never have to deal with Winter. Small red Hondas are terrible when you live in a hilly city known for getting the most snowfall in the state.

Once we knew we were moving to Massachusetts, we knew we would have to get a snow car. Since Bert is almost paid off (and I love him) we figured it would be best to part with the Civic (who never got a name).

I’ve always wanted a Subaru Outback. It’s what I would have gotten instead of Bert if I could have afforded it. Adam also likes Subarus. Once upon a time he had a fancy Saab that was just a Subaru with a different label on it.

We thought Subarus might still be too expensive, so we had a plan to get a different car, at a much different price. Then we started looking into the fourth of July sales and found out that Subaru was having a clearance on their 2014 Outbacks. Sold!

The dealership had four of the same red Outbacks, so we ended up getting a great deal (below KBB), and now we have a snow car! AND we still have our family of red cars. :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Sometimes, Worcester is ok. Most of the time I think it sucks.

I miss California.

Where "ar" is not a forgotten sound
Where a hurricane doesn't ruin 4th of July plans
Where 86 degrees feels comfortable and not sweltering
Where you can take a dip in the lake, or river, or pool to cool off
Where someone says a place and I know how far it is and whether it is safe
Where I know where the roads go
Where I can go to the grocery store and post office without needing GPS
Where I actually have space to walk around in my home
Where recycling is standard
Where the radio stations are familiar and there's a big market for country music
Where I know how to find and get a teaching job
Where the skies are not cloudy all day