Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Ups and Downs of Spring

And just like that it's summer again. How did this happen? Spring has been a blur of ups and downs, mostly downs. Let's take a quick look back at how it went.

Spring Favorites

Hubby won an Amazon Echo. It's a voice operated device that streams music and can answer questions about the weather, traffic and other basic online searchable information. It can actually do other things like operate lights in the house but I'm not interested in having it do such things.

I have to admit, this isn't something I would have spent money on and I wasn't even sure if I was going to like it. As it turns out, I love it. Mostly for the music. I spent hours searching and adding music from Amazon Prime to my account. Delighted to find lots of great stuff that I love listening to. Now I just ask Alexa to play a song, an artist or an album and she does it. I don't have to get up, I don't have to mess with menus or remotes. It's so easy and so much fun!!

Spring successes

This has been a tough spring overall and I haven't had a chance to tackle any of the projects I wanted to. But that doesn't mean I didn't have any success. The biggest success of the season was finding an excellent Chinese restaurant near our house. Okay, I get that this sounds a bit silly so let me give you some background info. I grew up in a city with lots of great Chinese restaurants - one in particular was outstanding. The food was consistently incredible. The owners and staff were wonderful. The ambiance, better than I've ever seen anywhere else. Yep, a real triple threat. Not to mention the history and nostalgia I had with the place.

Since leaving good old Rochester, MN about 9 years ago, I've been unable to find its equal. I don't expect any other place to have the wonderful staff, incredible ambiance and certainly not the nostalgia of my favorite place back home. I just never guessed it would be so hard to find the high quality and tasty food they provided. I thought about the food often. Craving it.

After so many trials and so much disappointment, I was blown away and delighted when we tried yet another Chinese restaurant and found it to be fantastic! The ambiance is uninteresting but the food is at least as good as it was at my favorite place back home. Now we can enjoy Chinese food from time to time. We've already been twice since discovering it last month but I think I could eat it every day without getting sick of it.

Ok so it may still sound silly to be so excited about this. Funny how the little things can become big.

The only other success of the season was finding a great dog sitter. We left our animals with hubby's cousin's daughter for a couple nights when we attended a wedding. It couldn't have gone better. Our animals behaved. She is trustworthy and seemed to enjoy herself. That means when we travel north to visit my family we don't have to take her with us now. That will be a relief.

Spring failures
Well failures were plentiful this spring.

I planted bulbs last fall in planters on either side of our garage door. I waited patiently all winter and well into the spring for the flowers to bloom. A couple of them tried to grow but never got bigger than this.

I watched as bulbs around the neighborhood bloom and start to die before I gave up and planted summer flowers.

Then I planted some rosemary and snow peas. The rosemary does really well in patio pots here and then we get to enjoy the harvest all year. But the snow peas are not happy. Last year they did well in a patio pot before one of the many wildlife critters in our backyard discovered them. This year I had a plan to keep them safe from critters but it doesn't matter because at this rate it will be completely dead in about a week.

I don't know what has gone wrong. I will have to do some research before trying again next year. Snow peas taste so fantastic straight from the garden so it's worth the effort.

The biggest failure of the season was our attempt to attend an out-of-town wedding. You may remember me writing about the ordeal the April. I thought, since it was only a couple hours away by car, I would be able to manage. I was wrong. I had a migraine the entire time.

With lots of medication I was able to show up to the events. However, I didn't get to really enjoy myself like I wanted, didn't get nearly as many pictures as I wanted and I didn't get socialize with everyone I wanted to, plus it was just miserable fighting a migraine the whole time and being away from home. Lesson learned. From now on, we only attend local weddings.

Spring highlights
You know I love my firepits. Once it got warm enough we dug up the old pit and have enjoyed a fire every weekend since.

This is by far my favorite thing to do. With summer weather gearing up we won't have many more opportunities left but we will take advantage of every one.

Spring lowlights
My endometriosis has been a real problem this spring. Lots of blood, lots of pain, lots of frustrating conversations with Optum Rx, the pharmacists and my doctor. Right now things are okay but I thought that same thing last fall so I've adopted a wait and see approach.

The trouble in our neighborhood has been the other big lowlight of the season. This continues to be a source of much stress. I am hopeful that will we at least have some answers by the end of the summer.


  1. I love firepits too! They're so cozy on a cool summer night.

    And congrats on the Chinese food! :) I totally get how exciting it is to find a new go-to place. What are your fave dishes?

    1. I love moo shu vegetables and veggie fried rice. What about you?

    2. I looove Chinese food. The better question might be to ask what dishes don't I like? (nothing too spicy, no meat or egg) Spring rolls and potstickers and noodles are always nice, and our local place has these sesame balls that knock my socks off, AND they offer vegan meats so I can get my childhood fave of sweet and sour "pork"! But I really love a basic stir fry veggie dish w fried tofu and brown rice. So simple, so perfect, and now i want chinese food for breakfast lol.

    3. How nice that you have the option of vegan meats so you can enjoy some of the classics. We have some tofu options that are great but they are limited. I'm craving it now too ;)