Culinary/Garden musings: Tea/coffee Date January 2022

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Welcome to 2022! I know that this will be another hard year for me due to my mom’s failing health, but even so, there’s always something hopeful about the start of a new year.. Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, for hosting us — I’m ready to get together over hot drinks and let you know what’s been going on in my neck of the woods.

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Christmas Cactus, beautiful sunset, don’t mind the crystals “charging”

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you my Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years Cactus has brought me much joy this year. Yes, it’s been blooming through all those holidays. I also found it was like the Fall: there was just a few blooms at first, then different clusters over the next couple of months, rather than most of the flowers blooming at the same time.

What we couldn’t save? Our raised planters! We noticed that the side of one was slowly sliding down. Then the bottom completely fell out of the other one one day. Finally the bottom fell out of the second one, too.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that I had totally forgotten about the Rosemary plant we had on the deck, through one or two freezes. I finally brought it inside, and it seems to be surviving. It’s even blooming. 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that we got some Parsley in one of our veggie boxes in the Fall. I stuck it in some water in the fridge, with plans to make Pesto with it, and there it sat . . . and sat . . . and sat — until it totally dried out. I can use dried Parsley, though, it’s just a pain stripping it off its stems — I’ve done some of it, but about half is still sitting in its mason jar on the counter.

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d show you this is how my body reacted to my COVID booster. I found it amusing because all I did all day was rest!

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At least it’s getting used

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that undated planner from 2021? It’s hosting my packing lists as I go back and forth to my mom in recent months. Hey, at least it’s getting some use!

Are you making big plans and dreams for 2022 or just waiting to see what happens? 

Do you have any indoor plants bringing you joy right now? 

How did you ring in New Years Eve? 

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Vacation Tales: Tea/coffee Date December 2021

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Recent vacations — ours & then Mr. Judy’s — provided plenty of fodder for the coffee klatch, although of course I’ll be drinking hot chocolate. Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, for the opportunity to tell some tales from vacations — his & ours.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I have been looking for my walking stick for like 6 months. I know one place I saw it in the past, but it’s most definitely not there. I expanded the search to the entire house before we left for our trip. I never did find it, but I did find the Yoga book that had been missing for a while. I found a reasonable pair after Black Friday, but decided to wait until Cyber Monday. It’s not like I’m going to be using them much over the Winter, even though there are plenty of Winter hiking people in these parts.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that we had bad (as in not well marked) detours coming and going from our trip to Lake Minnewaska. One had me driving down a very bumpy road, only to have to turn around and backtrack less than half a mile from where we were supposed to turn. 

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I know I have a lot of gray hair, but I’m used to people thinking I’m younger than I actually am, not older! And Bandit, seriously, you’re supposed to protect me.

 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the second day we were at Lake Minnewaska the attendant asked if we were from NY, and said we could get in for free by just using our license. Turns out you had to be 62 (next year — for Mr. Judy). She said how much she loves the “active seniors”. Not sure how I feel about that!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Bandit has always had a delicate stomach. Our first day we were going straight to the park, so any food we had with us basically had to be okay for a few hours without refrigeration. Normally one can is three meals for Bandit. I decided I’d just split the can in half.

Which was fine the first morning, but the second morning he ate about three quarters of it and then stopped. Bandit is a mysterious dog.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that Mr. Judy’s recent trip out West was the first time I was home alone with just Bandit. I definitely missed Lola, who was more cuddly than Bandit. Plus when Mr. Judy came home very late at night, Bandit never made a sound. Some guard dog he is!

If you have a dog, do you think he would sleep through someone coming into your house at almost midnight? 

Would you happy or a bit disturbed for someone thinking you’re older than you actually are? I might have been okay with it if we actually had gotten in for free!

Tell me something you’re looking forward to in December!

Also linking up with:

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Can you ever escape Jury Duty?: Tea/coffee Date November 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I am grateful you give us this opportunity to get together virtually!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I was working on my pumpkin post (click here if you want to know how to cook pie pumpkins in your Instant Pot), and I came across a typo that made me chuckle: I’d meant to type cutting board, but somehow typed cluttering board (which is totally appropriate for the state of my kitchen right now).

I did feel guilty that my sister had to handle the aide change on her own. Not guilty enough to drive out in the Nor’easter to help. I thought about it . . .

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I’d wanted to go away for a couple of days around our anniversary. That’s what we usually do (although we hadn’t for the last couple of years). It didn’t feel right with my mom in the hospital and then the aide change, though, so I decided on the daytrip to Lake Moreau State Park instead.

After my mom came home, I started looking at places for the next week. I immediately found one that looked perfect and we decided then and there we’d book it. A couple of hours later my brother told me they’d had to change the date for the aide change to  yup, you guessed it — the following week. 

I felt badly, because my sister had shouldered a lot during my mom’s hospital stay, but like the time she broke her hip, we couldn’t get our money back. Both my siblings told me to go and not feel guilty. My sister rarely goes anywhere though, and her life hasn’t been what she’d hoped it would be — so yeah, there’s going to be some guilt. 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you for the first time in a long time my body feels pretty good. I’m sure some other niggle will pop at at some point, but it definitely is nice to be niggle-free at the moment.

I have never gotten mailings from NordicTrack before researching treadmills!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I laugh at people who think Alexa is a security risk. Do you use FB? IG? Siri? As you know I’m researching treadmills (anyone have a Sole F65 or F80, by the way?). The above postcard from Nordictrack arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. I own zero Norditrack equipment, but I did visit their site and research Nordictrack.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that at my last visit to my mon, she handed me an envelope with the jury questionnaire for my father. You can’t make this stuff up! I took care of it, and they didn’t even ask for a death certificate (my father’s been gone almost two years, by the way).

Do you get postcards from places you visit online? 

Would you have driven out in that Nor’Easter (about an hour’s drive)? 

Tell me something you’re looking forward to in November!

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

The One That Almost Didn’t Happen!: Tea/coffee Date October 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate, and now the weather is appropriate for it! The subject doesn’t refer to races; I’m talking about this post.

Seriously how cheerful is this mug?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I collect mugs. I use them, too. I got one from most of the states I ran a half marathon in. I already have one from ME. This should be a runfession, but I have to tell you I bought another ME mug while we were there (at an outside crafts fair). I need it like I need a hole in the head, yet it makes me smile every time I use it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we still do see Albie (the albino squirrel) from time to time. I was worried, once, because I saw regular squirrels chasing him through our yard. Then another time there were a couple of regular squirrels and Albie back there peacefully coexisting. Last time we saw him he was way towards the back of our neighbor’s yard — so easy to spot due to his color.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you speaking of critters, the other day I spotted a really big one making its way quickly across the backyard and literally said WTF is that? Then it dawned on me it was the groundhog that lives under our neighbor’s shed — I hadn’t seen them at all this year but apparently they’re still there.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you normally I start this post well before it’s published, and I thought I had — until I sat down to “finish” it yesterday and realized that I hadn’t even started it! Another runfession!

It’s not all about how I look, it’s more about a healthy lifestyle & feeling good

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the reason I keep a closer eye on my weight than some is that I’ve looked like the above photo much of my adult life. In addition, my family tree is riddled with cancer, heart problems, blood pressure problems, diabetes, and dementia. All things that maintaining a healthy weight is one part of the puzzle of prevention.

Do short days (less sunlight) make you more forgetful? 

What critters are you seeing around your home now? 

What is your go-to Fall beverage?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

The Weight of Hair: Tea/coffee Date Sept 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and I am musing on just how much hair actually weighs, and whether or not I’ve found the perfect exercise to make my Achilles happy.

Good thing Mr. Judy got a few good pics in the beginning, but he wants more!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Albie seems to have gotten camera shy. He still comes to visit some days, but every time Mr. Judy has tried to take photos, he quickly runs away. Some of the birds in ME, though — they were posing for us!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you a while back I went on the hunt for a decaf peppermint green tea. I’d managed to buy enough of the Trader Joes version — or so I thought, but eventually I knew I wouldn’t quite make it until they were back in the store (it’s a seasonal item). I finally found what seemed like a similar tea here (Amazon Affiliate link).

When I finally decided to try it, I realized it wasn’t just similar, it was the same tea in different packaging.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you when I created my 3 poses to activate your glutes video (here, ICYMI), I did monster walks for the first time in a very long time — along with two other exercises. The next day I did my 6 mile long run. While my ankle has been pretty good, it often aches randomly — and not so randomly at the start of a run. No ache. Coincidence?

On the other hand, with a week off running while we were in ME (but lots of walking and some hiking), my Achilles seemed completely happy. I don’t plan to give up running though!

There were many more after this photo. . . we gave some to a neighbor but I’m eating them now!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the universe was taunting me before my Colonscopy. My tomatoes started to ripen just when I couldn’t eat them. Those Mezcla protein bars I reviewed here? I’d ordered more after the first two I tried. They also arrived just as I couldn’t eat them!

You know, this photo is so much better than my HS graduation photo! Thanks to Mr. Judy & my iPhone

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I wonder just how much hair weighs. Yes, I finally got my hair cut in July, in case you missed that! I don’t always track my weight, but I was on the pre-Colonscopy diet and wondered about it. One day I’d suddenly lost a couple of pounds. It stayed that way the whole week, too. 

Suddenly it occurred to me that that 2 pound loss followed my hair cut. My hair was very long, but seriously, I don’t believe that it weighed 2 pounds. If only losing weight was that easy maybe I’d shave my head (just joking)!

Do you feel lighter after a hair cut? 

Are you surprised that two different places sell the same tea, with different packaging? 

What is your go-to miracle exercise?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

THE Book on Stress: Tea/coffee Date August 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m still drinking my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and I still have some unusual animal sightings in the neighborhood.

In the “big” rain we got at least 4 more mason jars full!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you before Summer really kicked in, we got some amazing rain harvests. We had the tub we use to bathe Bandit out and got way more than pictured above. I’m still using it for the indoor plants! We had to stop due to the warmer, more humid weather, but I’ll be back at it in the Fall.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Lola (aka the seedling our vet sent us after her passing) was going strong. We planted her. I was going to take a photo and . . . apparently the rabbits got at her. All her leaves were gone. This is the fourth seedling the vet has sent us and none of them has made it! I don’t have the heart to tell the vet.

When a neighbor not too far away said she’d seen a raccoon, that clinched it. We don’t know, but we think it was a raccoon. How’d it climb up there?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell the interesting animal sightings in the neighborhood continue. Albie stops by a few times a week, usually. We chatted with a neighbor recently and she had great photos of an eagle in the neighborhood.

Remember a while ago I was sure I saw a young eagle in the trees across the road? Well, I’m even more sure that the very large bird I saw in our neighbor’s yard the other day was also a young eagle (no white head), but alas he flew away before I could even try to get photos.

Then there was the somewhat large pawprints on the side of our deck. Can’t quite figure out what those might be — it’s off the second floor and has no stairs to it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that supposedly the ability to curl your tongue is a genetic thing. I can’t do it. Yet both my brother and sister can. I would think I was adopted except I very clearly do take after my Dad’s side.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I never did get to tell you about the chat I had with the runner when we were hiking a few weeks ago. He used to own a shoe store here long ago, and was very involved in racing. He had advice for runners (he no longer runs though): don’t run too hard. If you’re doing 800s, for instance, don’t go out so hard that you’re slowing down in the last few repeats.

He also recommended the book The Stress of Life, by Hans Selye (Amazon Affiliate Link here). I haven’t yet bought it, but right now, maybe I should! You can probably get it cheaper on Ebay or look through the used books available at Amazon.

Can you curl your tongue? 

Have you been noticing unusual animals in your neighborhood? 

Do you think running easier might be beneficial to you?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Albinos, Painted Deer — What’s Next?: Tea/coffee Date July 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and I have a lot of unusual animal sightings to share with you this month.

Photo credit Lloyd Litt. Albie. Yes, his eyes are pinkish!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I we did see the Albino squirrel again. He was hanging out in one of our pine trees grooming himself in a rain storm. Unfortunately Mr. Judy was unable to get good photos this time — although he actually went out in the rain to try!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Mr. Judy also noticed a deer in our yard. The first time we’d ever seen a young deer in our yard was last year; we figured he’d gotten lost and we never saw him again. This was a doe and her adolescent fawn. 

The interesting thing was that the doe had white blotches, kind of like a pain/pinto horse. I’ve never seen a doe that looked like that. They were running through the neighborhood too fast for Mr. Judy to take any photos, alas.

We joked what’s next? Bear? Tigers? Elephants?

Photo Credit Lloyd Litt. Seriously he looked bigger than any Robin I’ve ever seen. Doesn’t he look hawk-like?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I was very excited when I saw this bird hanging out on top of the kennel. I thought maybe it was a baby hawk. My birder friend informed me it’s a fledgling Robin. Can you believe I’ve never really seen one? And he was big!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that a long time ago I had wanted to try an Amazon Firestick (we don’t have cable) but never did buy one. We got the light version of it on Amazon Prime Day. It came with several free months of both Disney+ and Hulu. We’re almost set for the Summer now.

We watched Nomadland, which I’d wanted to see. It was slow, and although I adore Frances McDormand, I was actually rather shocked she won the Oscar for that performance. It was still an interesting movie and I’m glad we watched it.

We have started WandaVision (we’re big Marvel fans) — I’d heard so many raves about that show, and I’m enjoying it so far. I also enjoy that the episodes are short!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I still want to get HBOMax so I can see “In The Heights” before it’s gone (7/11, in case you were wondering). My sister didn’t think it was that great, but I still want to see it and I think there are other shows on HBOMax we’d enjoy. My sister and my cousin both recommended Mare of Eastown..

Seen some unusual animals in your neighborhood recently? 

Anything to recommend on Disney+ or Hulu? 

Have you seen In the Heights? What did you think?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Case of the Mysterious Disappearing Tulips: Tea/coffee Date June 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and ready to share one of my pet peeves. 

The red tulips got moved from the back of the house to this plantings area up front — & now they completely disappeared from there, too. Weird.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you on one run a while ago I watched a woman planting a bunch of red tulips. The next week I ran by the same home, and they were all gone — with other bushes planted in their place. 

Mr. Judy has suggested she moved them to another planting bed — but why go to all that effort? ETA: it appeared she moved them to the planting bed above, but then they promptly disappeared from there, too.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I do not like invisible fences. They often don’t work (the dog is willing to take the shock to get at what it sees near its lawn) and it doesn’t protect the dog from being attacked by people/other animals.


These are big & determined dogs (Bernese Mountain Dogs)

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you one house in our neighborhood put in an invisible fence. I never saw the dogs out in the yard. I have seen the dogs basically eating their actual fence, and I know how expensive fences are!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that another house in the neighborhood put one in, and their dog was still hit and killed by a car. Now the house across the street from the house where the dog was killed, which doesn’t have a great track record with dogs, is trying one.

They had an elderly (sweet) cocker spaniel who was forever getting out of their fenced yard. Then they had a Border Collie puppy pretty much doing the same, and that dog disappeared and we never found out what happened to it.

There were no dogs for a while and now apparently they have a new (large) puppy, and they’re trying the invisible fence. Another reason I don’t like invisible fences is that the dogs can run right up to your dog while you’re walking, if it takes the shock, which is exactly what happened to me on two walks with Bandit so far.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we had these sorts of situations plenty of times with both Lola & Chester, and Bandit & Lola. It is not easy when there’s two of them, but much simpler one there’s one. The puppy and Bandit seemed fine, but Bandit is almost 13, and you never know when an older dog’s gonna get annoyed by a dog suddenly running up to it and getting all up in their business, even if they are both polite.

The woman came over and said they were trying to get the dog used to the invisible fence. I couldn’t see if the dog was wearing the shock collar, but it sure didn’t make a difference to this dog. This house is basically on almost any route we take with Bandit.

Ever had an invisible fence? 

Ever had a run-in with dogs that have an invisible fence? 

Any landscaping antics from neighbors that make you go — whaaaaaat?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Raindrops falling in containers: Tea/coffee Date May 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, getting us altogether virtually for a coffee date. Raindrops aren’t falling on my head, they’re falling into glasses around here. Confused? Read on!

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you on our last get together I was telling you about all the vaccine appointment hoops I had to jump through. While my reaction to the vaccine wasn’t fun, it was relatively short. Since this time I knew it was coming, I also planned on some rest in the days after. I actually think that did me a lot of good, the aftereffects didn’t seem to linger on quite so long.

It took all 3 of these to water about 5 plants

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you about one of my newest projects: rainwater harvesting. Never heard of it? Well, it’s simply collecting rainwater. I made it really simple and just put out containers I already had. It also took almost 24 hours of some pretty heavy rain to fill four of these containers.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I used the rainwater I “harvested” to water my indoor plants — just a few of them (plants, that is). It used up almost all the rainwater I “harvested”.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I also found out that in CO it’s illegal to harvest rainwater. I didn’t know you could legislate something like that!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
We are taking our first “trip” in 2+ years this weekend. Unfortunately it’s to finally bury my Dad (who passed away in January of 2020). My parents’ cemetery is on Long Island, which is a longish drive from here. I finally convinced Mr. Judy to rent an AirBnB.

I figured if we have to go to Long Island, I might as well get to be by the ocean! 

Have you ever heard of rainwater harvesting? 

Are you gearing up for any trips? 

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

All the Seasons of Spring: Tea/coffee Date April 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, getting us altogether virtually for a coffee date. It may be Spring, with all that applies — swinging back & forth between Spring & Winter — so I’m still drinking hot chocolate. 🙂

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you a couple of weeks ago I was having serious vaccine envy. It seemed as though everyone I know — aside from my sister & BIL — is vaccinated. I whined to everyone about it and I apologize! The next week they opened it up to 50+.

It says “Own Today”

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the day I learned that I would be eligible to try to make a vaccine appointment the next day — (3/22) — was also the first day I was able to use the Yoga platform in 2021. I got a little goofy trying to take photos of my wrap after I wrapped that practice. It was a good day! My appointment is 5/29, although I’m hoping to move that closer.

ETA: the day after I made the 5/29 appointment (3/24), I made an appointment for 4/26. It was at a site a bit over an hour from me; the 5/29 appointment was much closer. Then I made one for 4/15 (same place, longer drive). This was all the morning of the 24th. Then Darlene told me there was a more local place that had a lot of appointments for that day (the 24th — are you following all this?).

Yup, I made an appointment for that afternoon and prayed I wouldn’t have a reaction so I could go visit my mom the next day as planned, which also happened to be my Dad’s birthday. My mom is pretty stoic, and rarely mentions those sort of anniversary dates. Still I thought it would help brighten her day to have a visit. I knew it would brighten her day to hear I’d had my first vaccine!

On top of all that, my brother is in the middle of getting his vaccinations, and planning a trip out to see my mom in June. He hasn’t seen her in over a year. Plus I also have to fill out a jury questionnaire by the beginning of April; I don’t know when/if I might be called, but the thought of jury duty was definitely freaking me out. As long as it’s not on the date for my second shot . . . 

 

This photo was less than a week before the photo above — Spring is nothing if not changeable!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I’ve been doing my best to dragtake Mr. Judy out for hikes. Any day that is even reasonably warm and dry (and by warm I’m including windy, cloudy, and about 50 sometimes). Bandit doesn’t need any prodding.

 

I really needed these brownies

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I have been jonesing for a cookie. I’ve also been busy and not baking. Then I spied a container in the freezer — lo and behold, it was brownies! I’m usually fairly good at mentally keeping track of what’s in there, but I had no clue they were there — and so happy they were!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
We started to watch Upload (Amazon Prime). The first episode was silly, but mildly entertaining, and it’s definitely light fare, but it got better after the first episode. Although I’m beginning to think we should consider an HBO subscription. You’d think Netflix and Amazon Prime would be enough, wouldn’t you?

Does your beverage of choice change with the seasons? 

Have you been able to put away Winter running clothes? At least I’ve fairly certain I won’t need the stuff for 20 and below anymore, but I don’t want to jinx it!

What are you watching these days? Always looking for recommendations.

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday