Random Thoughts – 10/24/2014

Another backyard sunset

Another backyard sunset

Greetings from ATL, GA!!!  Time for some thoughts.

  1. I’ve read more java code in the last 2 days than I have the rest of my 15,800-ish days on this earth combined.  I’ll be honest… not my favorite thing to do.  But I’m still kicking a$$ at it!
  2. I’m trying to start an AIP paleo diet again.  I do pretty well for a few days and then something happens and I blow it.  Ugh.  I suck.
  3. Related note – I think I’d do better if I could get my nighttime snacking under control… and my nighttime drinking.  (DAMN YOU, RUMCHATA!  I hate you.  Go away.  No, come back.  I love you.  NO, I HATE YOU.  Awww, I’m sorry.  You know I love you.  <sigh>)
  4. Had parent teacher conferences this week.  I was needlessly worried.  (SQUIRREL – I was a little surprised and then concerned to learn that this school is a little more academically advanced than our last school…  which I thought was already advanced.)
  5. Related note – Daughter #2 is doing very well.  She has her struggles with paying attention, but she’s getting great grades and is reading far beyond the expected level of her class.  Feel free to ask her about Ben Franklin or land masses.  She’s now an expert on both.
  6. Another related note – Daughter #1 has higher than a straight A report card (she had more than one 3+ grades on her 3 point grade scale).  She is also reading AND writing far beyond her grade level.  Her teacher will be putting her in an advanced group in the next grading period.
  7. Unrelated note – #1 is learning to sew.  We’re making her Halloween costume.
  8. Back to related notes – I’m one VERY proud momma.
  9. Since I’ve moved here, I have several grocery stores I frequent, but I cannot find a place I like to shop for clothes yet.  It’s killing me!
  10. Apparently this week is the official start of boot season down here.  WOOHOOOOOOO!!!!

One last thing…  I’d like to ask a favor.  If you are religious or spiritual, I have a prayer, positive thoughts, white lights, or whatever you can spare request.  My husband’s grandmother just got released from the hospital and is home now with hospice.  Please pray for comfort and peace for her and her family.  Thanks much.


Atlanta Adjacent Observations

Now that I’ve been here for not quite 2 months, I’m sure I can be considered an expert on all things Atlanta.  Just kidding!  Heck, I haven’t even technically driven into, or even all the way around, Atlanta.  But there are a few things I have noticed since I’ve been here.

  • Traffic does suck.  I only have a 6.5 mile drive to work and somedays I can get there in 15 minutes and other days it takes me closer to 35.  I’ve caught myself almost at a dead run through the parking deck to make sure I get on the road to come home before 5:00pm.
  • Not many people use their turn signals in “turn only” lanes.  And I don’t blame them one bit. There are times when you are sitting there waiting for 4-6 light changes for other lanes.  That’s a long frickin’ time to hear click click, click click, click click.  I’m sure that listening to that long enough would definitely lead to increased road rage, let alone turning someone into a full on bell tower candidate.
  • 60 degrees is f-ing cold here.  I know I haven’t been here long enough to be acclimated.  But when it dips down under 70… I don’t know if it’s just the humidity that makes it colder or what… but it feels crazy cold.
  • I risk developing an accent only on the weekends.  At work, most people are transplants (meaning they didn’t grow up here but moved here).  But when I’m not at work, everyone I talk to has a fabulous southern accent.  Hard not to pick up just little of it, y’all.
  • I cannot air dry my clothes like I am used to.  Nope.  Letting them just hang will result in musty smelling clothes.  Gross.  I have to at least put them in front of a fan.
  • Fruit lasts like 2 days sitting out on my counter.  I’ve thrown out so much produce because it goes bad faster than I can eat it.  Gotta figure out how to make that work for me.
  • There is a lot of expendable income around here.  You can’t drive by a strip mall (and there are hundreds of them) without seeing a dry cleaner, nail salon, massage parlor, and some kind of fancy pet *something* store.  No judgment…  I’m just sayin’.
  • The views are breathtaking.  Every morning when I come around the first curve where I can see the Atlanta skyline, I can’t help but smile.  And then there’s my back yard… I make it out there to catch the sunset at least 3 times a week.  <Insert content sigh here>

It’s all way different for me, but I sure am a lucky gal.

Just in a GOOD mood…


I’m in a good mood today so I thought I’d write about it.  I’ve been a Georgian for about 7 weeks or so now.  We’re still not entirely unpacked.  We’re still eating off of a plastic table with folding chairs.  And I don’t have a lot of set routines yet… but there are some super awesome things that have been happening since we’ve been down here.

1.  I have 30-45 minutes of free time every day after my kids get on the bus and before I leave for work.  I’ve been prepping dinners, cleaning house, and even exercising in the mornings before work.  This is a HUGE deal and a BIG difference from what I am used to.

2.  My kids have been extremely well-behaved.  We had one of the most enjoyable family dinners at a nearby restaurant a couple of weeks ago.  Everyone was in a good mood, we talked as a family, the kids were polite and sweet and grateful.  (Not to mention, one kid told us all about Ben Franklin and all of his inventions and the other kid explained Greece and the history of the Olympics and democracy to us.  My kids are 6 and 8.  That. ROCKS.)

3.  The kids have also been more than willing to eat the healthy food I make.  They eat and compliment darn near everything I give them.  You should have heard them go on about this meatloaf I made last week that was chock full of veggies they don’t usually eat.  Again, this is a HUGE deal to me.

4.  I made cupcakes with my youngest last weekend (gluten-free of course).  We have *never* done that before.  And I had the time and energy to do it.  We haven’t had that kind of quality mommy-daughter time since….  well, it’s been years.  Actually, my kids have been helping me a lot in the kitchen.  Another again, this is a HUGE deal as well.


I found a new CSA!!!  (That’s community supported agriculture for those of you who I have not bored to tears about it already.)  Actually, I found 2!  One for fruits and veggies and the other for…  (wait for it)…

GRASS-FED BEEF AND PORK!!!  <girlie scream>  I picked up my first fruit and veggie bag today.  Check it out!

First CSA bag!  All organic, as much local as possible, some hydroponic.

First CSA bag! All organic, as much local as possible, some hydroponic.  Boom.

Aaaaaaand we got a new shiny mailbox today!  This was a HAO improvement and everyone in our subdivision is getting them (we all have the same mailbox).

Our shiny new mailbox!

Our shiny new mailbox!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we had another beautiful sunset tonight.  (SQUIRREL – My kids actually say “Oh MOM!  It’s sunset time!”  And we all go out and watch it together.  It’s so nice to have this kind of family time.)

Oh how I love my back yard

Oh how I love my back yard

Hope you are all having as good a day as I am!!!

Talk to you later  🙂

GA Update: My First Week at Work

Several of my friends have asked me how things are going in my new house, in my new job, and in Georgia all around.  First, I sincerely apologize that I haven’t kept up with my messages.  You are all so kind and sweet to ask and be concerned.  I heart you guys!  And second, it has been an absolute whirlwind since I got here.  You’re never going to believe all of this!

First, I left on a Thursday and got to Georgia on Friday.  When I got to my destination, I still had a couple of hours before I could get into the house…  SO I WENT SHOPPING!  (Duh!)  Although that is my go to response when I have time to kill and a house to furnish, it really wasn’t the brightest idea because I drove down with only whatever I could fit in my car.  It was already packed to the top, but I grabbed a few more things and crammed it in there anyway!  By the time I was headed to the house, I could only see out my back window through the legs of a bar stool.  Hey, it still worked!

When I got ready for work on my first day, I plugged my work address into my GPS and headed off.  Well apparently my GPS got confused and took me waaaay beyond where I was supposed to be.  My good friend texted me when I should have been walking into work and asked if I made it.  When I called him, he asked where I was.  I said “I have no freakin’  idea, but I’m stuck in traffic on a bridge over the Chattahoochee River!”  Obviously, I was way off target so he helped me get back to where I needed to be.  However, I was already late for my first day orientation.  Lovely.  When I finally got to parking ramp at work, I misjudged the entrance and hit a pole with the back end of my car.  Sigh.  Awesome way to start the first day at my new job.


My second day of work was what we call the “store day.”  Everyone who works for THD spends a day working in a store.  The store I was assigned to was 50 minutes from my house.  So I planned ahead and left early so I could make the treacherous trek up 285 (SQUIRREL – For those of you familiar with 285, I hope you had horror movie music going through your head like I did right now).  I made it on time, donned my orange apron (more like ROCKED my orange apron) and went in.  I got to start my day stocking products and facing shelves, but when the store got busy I was running around helping people.  One small catch, I’ve never been in this store before, but today I have to be the expert at EVERYTHING in there.  At least that’s what every customer I saw expected.  I helped sell cleaning products, ceramic tile, dryer hoses, window screens, and I even made my team late for lunch because I was helping to sell a toilet seat… by assisting the customer get them out and sit on them to try them out.  (SQUIRREL – THD sells more than one toilet seat with a night light in it.  You know you want one.)  In the afternoon, I helped people buy blinds.  By the way, I totally suck at that.  Good to know.

I’ve been able to get to and from work without incident ever since and I can even do it now without my GPS.  Good thing too since that b*tch is obviously more directionally challenged than I am.

Over the weekend, my stuff got here!  Dan and our friend Nick drove the moving truck down.  They got here Friday and our plan was to unload, as well as get many deliveries and services set up on Saturday.  First delivery was my appliances!  I had to reschedule 3 times because they couldn’t get here when I could be here, so I spent my first 8 days without a fridge, washer, or dryer.  (SQUIRREL – I did have my bestest pal help me get a dorm fridge just to get me through the week.  DH has now claimed it for his office.)  When they set up the fridge, we found a dent on it.  Great.  Then the movers came an hour after that.  After complaining about my steep driveway for a half hour, they finally started unloading.  The very first thing they took off the truck was my daughter’s dresser… that they dumped off the dolly as soon as they rolled it off the truck and broke one of the drawers and most of the knobs off.  Really?!  Sadly, that wasn’t the only damage they did.  Then while we were unloading, I noticed that the yard was starting to get muddy.  The previous owner happened to be here when we noticed it and he called his plumber to come out.  In the meantime, the cable guy and the security system guy came.  When the plumber got here, he found that we had a broken water main under the driveway.  Are you effing kidding me?!?!  In order to fix the pipe – that was 3 1/2 feet under the edge of the driveway – we had to shut off the water.  So no showers for the people who have been working and sweating in 100+ degree heat all day!  (SQUIRREL – We got hand towels wet and kept them in the freezer so the guys could use them to try and cool off throughout the day.)  And now there is a muddy hole next to the driveway so the cable guy can’t bury the line resulting in a long orange cable draped across my driveway and through my front yard.  Oh, the Home Owners Association is going to just *L*O*V*E* us.  Did I mention that the emergency plumbing fix totaled $1100?  Gaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

But who can be mad when I see things like this!  (I was already down here for lots of the final packing at my Michigan house.  My family got creative labeling boxes.)

Even after all that nonsense (and mind you, all of this happened in my first 8 days here… the rest of my family wasn’t even here yet), it’s still been a positive experience.  My job is going well, the house is amazing (even filled with boxes and no furniture), and I’m already doing things I never would have been able to before (like meet one of my Paleo idols, The Paleo Mom!).

Nice to talk to you again, Team Squirrel.  I’ll get back into the swing of things soon so we can hang out again.  😀

Random Thoughts – 9/4/14



1.  My eight-year-old has now worn black sparkly ballet flats, combat boots, and cowboy boots to school for the last 3 days. I’m actually really proud of that.  That apple didn’t fall far from this tree.  😉

2.  Related note:  I’m really proud of my kids and how well they are doing in a new school.  They’re being really independent and brave.  Very cool.

3.  I have a bad headache today.  Sucky.

4.  I don’t get how it can be 95 degrees outside with 600% humidity and I can still be cold all day at work and all night at home.  Weird.

5.  I’m going to the farmer’s market this weekend!!!  The one that The Paleo Mom recommended to me… in person… when I met her.  Yep, I’m still riding high on that.  😀

6.  Oh my gooooooooosh I need to lose some weight.  Through the move, I gained between 5-7 pounds and I’m uncomfortable.

7.  Related note:  I might have found a new Zumba class!!!  It’s only 8 minutes from my house and it’s at a dance studio.  Wish me luck!  I miss my booty shakin’!

8.  Related note #2:  To my BC Zumba chickies…  I’m so sorry that I never got to say goodbye.  I think of you every Wednesday and I hope you’re having fun… ok, I KNOW you’re having fun, and I MISS YOU!

9.  I’m binge watching Parenthood on Netflix.  ❤

The Squirrel Meets The Paleo Mom

Oh. My. GOSH!!!!! I got to meet Sarah Ballantyne today!!!!!

The Squirrel meets The Paleo Mom - The Paleo Approach Cookbook book signing

The Squirrel meets The Paleo Mom – The Paleo Approach Cookbook book signing

When I moved to the Atlanta area, I knew I’d be exposed to some cool new things. And when I got the email that Sarah’s new book, The Paleo Approach Cookbook, was coming out and she was having a book signing only 30 minutes from my house, I was more than excited.

The Paleo Approach (her first book) literally changed my life. It’s all about healing automimmune diseases with a modified paleo diet. Sarah explains all the science behind autoimmune issues and how they can be addressed by changing your diet. While reading her book, I found out that I had been diagnosed with 3 different autoimmune disorders over the last couple of years. When I read that book, I sat on my couch in the middle of the night and cried. I literally said out loud that night, “She gets me.” That book made me accept that what I was experiencing wasn’t just in my head. Reading about her journey, and realizing that I was going through something similar, gave me so much hope that I could fix it and get better. And tonight I got to thank her for all of that.


She is amazing. I already knew she was wicked smart. But she’s also super funny and really nice. She gave me advice on which farmer’s market I should go to and where I should buy my pastured pork. We laughed and we hugged. And she let me get a TON of pictures for my blog.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, stay tuned to hear all about her new cookbook and the many, many recipes I will be trying in the near future. 🙂

One last thing, a big HUGE thank you to my driver/photographer/all-around-amazing-bestie, Mitchell… who not only drove me there, stood in line for a long time as one of only 4 men in that store, took every one of these pictures, and even ate the catered paleo food. You are absolutely the best!

Random Thoughts – 8/14/14


1.  I drove approximately 550 miles today.  I am way tired.
2.  The gas station next door sells single Angry Orchards ( naturally gluten free.  Boom.).  Thank you, Shell station.  Seriously… Thank you.
3.  I’ve been at rest areas in 3 different states today.   Ewww.
4.  O.M.G.  I love macadamia nuts.
5.  I also love my car.  My car is awesome.
6.  Related note – no matter how awesome my car is, I don’t particularly want to spend 10 continuous hours in it again any time soon.
7.  I already miss my family.
8.  Indianapolis (actually 465) pissed me off, but 65 was very pretty and a nice drive.  Louisville was shockingly easy to drive through.  Nashville is breathtaking. 
9.  I believe road rage originated in Tennessee – more specifically on 24 south of Nashville.  Dear Those Drivers, you.
Continue reading