After Work Burnout

Hey There!

Whew. Heading back into work after our vacation has been ROUGH.

I hoped the relaxation of our vacation would last more than a week, but my shoulders are tense, the eye twitch is back, and I have absolutely no motivation to do anything when I get home.

I can’t be the only one who experiences this, right?

All day at work I’m engaged and working, making sure that everything gets handled, and I make lists of all the things I need to get done in the evening, but as soon as I cross the threshold at the house, I’m done.

Try as I might it’s nearly impossible to summon any energy to do any of the things on my list. I manage to get dinner made and most times to do dishes but outside of that . . . it’s #netflixandchill.

Half the time I convince myself that tomorrow I WILL get up early and take care of things, but 5:00 hits and so do I – the snooze button that is.

I’m considering getting a coffee pot with a timer, so I have the promise of caffeine when I wake up, but I hate the thought of being more caffeine dependent. I’m down to about 1 cup a day at the office.

What are your tricks for beating the end of day slump and getting up early? I need your help!

 

Advertisements

Pennsic Recap

Hey There!

I know you guys haven’t missed a post, but I’ve been checked out on vacation for a week!

It was SOOOO good to step back from technology and just relax and enjoy our week. You know how you always forget something when you pack? Well, I really try my hardest not to, and I’m usually pretty good about checking and rechecking my lists. (You go to 4-H camp just one year without a towel, and you learn.)

Even though I had my lists made, and I had the camp table stacked in the room with the rest of the camping gear, we somehow left without it. Fortunately, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I just couldn’t lay things out and keep some of our totes covered like I usually do.

I was excited to actually make it to a class this year, not all of the classes I wanted to, but at least one. I think next year I’m going to try to get the schedule in advance, so that I can plan my week. The class I did make it to was on Anglo Saxon cooking. The instructor made the most amazing salmon and an air-dried beef we all were able to sample.

I’m not a fish person, but that salmon was amazing.  I’m hoping to be able to get the recipe from the instructor and duplicate it!

I surprisingly hardly spent any time in the market. I went down to my two or three favorite shops, grabbed my purchases, and then didn’t spend much more time browsing. I know that I’m not going to pay for garb there as I can make it cheaper at home, and the tribal/leather work things don’t really entice me any longer. So I didn’t spend much time there.

We brought a friend with us for his first Pennsic experience and I think he had fun. I, at least, had a blast introducing him to new things. We made sure he hit the top Pennsic must-dos, like standing in the lantern yurt after dark, watching a battle (We even got him to try on a helmet!), partying in the bog, walking around the lake, napping in camp, working on crafty projects at an arts and science event, and going to court. I think he had fun, but time will tell if he comes back to other events. I hope he does!

I was, more or less, in charge of the kitchen this year, but two of the five meals came frozen and only needed sides. Since I had two evening events, the camp jumped in and helped cook and made sure I was where I needed to be for which I am so grateful. It was such a fun week. Camp mates would pull up their chairs into the kitchen and sit and chat and help. I love it!

I particularly loved making breakfast. We had eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, French toast, and one day we made sausage gravy and skillet biscuits which I was surprised turned out really well.

I think next year I may try some hearth cooking just on the side for fun. I’ve never done it before, and I’m really curious about that process.

As always we spend our evening rambling, and I think I was only back in camp before 2:30 one night. Most nights it was actually around 3:00 a.m., and then I was up at 7:30 a.m. to make breakfast. Thankfully, camp coffee is just about my favorite thing ever, and napping in camp in the afternoon/evening is a close second.

I had promised myself that I would do 3 things at Pennsic:

  1. Go to classes
  2. Get a chai latte from the Turkish coffee bar
  3. Get a chocolate milkshake.

I only managed to get one of those things actually done. But that’s ok.

On the way home, we stopped at this old-school, drive-in type ice cream joint  to hit my ice cream craving.  I didn’t get a milkshake though; I got a chocolate bowl with chocolate sprinkles. The Fellow did get a milkshake, but a black raspberry one. It was delectable. Next year some of the friends we camp with are going to caravan home with us, and we will all stop there for some yummy frozen treats.

This year we and two friends stopped at The Fellow’s grandparents’ home as a midpoint on our drive. We swam and had dinner there and sat on the porch talking until our friends headed home. We were so tired we opted to stay the night instead. It was a wonderful evening, and the perfect close to a great vacation!

Our Cottage: Barrel Garden

Hey There!

The Fellow fancies himself a farmer and was dead-set on putting in a garden this year. All I really need are a few tomatoes and zucchini to be content, but he went all out.

Since our backyard is pretty barren, (We have a hard time even getting grass to grow!) We opted for a raised bed of sorts. My brother gave us some of his cattle mineral tubs to repurpose, and The Fellow drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. Then we lined them with rocks and finally some good soil from his grandfather’s farm.

Moonshine in a Teacup|Barrel Garden

We’re not the most attentive of caretakers, but we still have a decent little crop growing, and we’re starting to get the first of our veggies in!

I think next year I need to invest in a gardening book, because we’re pretty sure we got our timing off.

Moonshine in a Teacup|Barrel Garden

So far we have made zucchini pizza boats one night for dinner, The Fellow has been snacking on cucumbers and balsamic vinegar (not my thing, but he swears it’s good), and enjoying some fresh tomatoes on our sandwiches. I’m super excited to have BLTs on homemade bread!

How are your gardens going? Any tips or tricks for The Fellow for next year? Let me know in the comments below!

Little Luna and Her Upside-Down World

Hey There!

Y’all, cats are weird.  Absolutely weird. Little Luna gets fixated on the craziest of things. She won’t play with a toy for months; then suddenly it appears. We’re fully convinced she has a toy storage spot she’s created, and when she’s ready to play with a certain toy, out it comes.

She attacks our legs when we walk in the hallway like a ninja, spends the entire night trying to walk our headboard like Anne of Green Gables and the ridgepole, insists on love and pets while we’re in the restroom, and spends an absurd amount of time upside down.

Little Luna likes to hang out on the back of my chair or the couch most nights, and far, far, too often we look over to see this:

Moonshine in a Teacup|Little Luna Upside Down

And there she stays, happy as a clam.

We don’t understand her, but we love her. The Fellow has even said that he hates to admit it, but he’s a cat person.

I really wonder at times what it’s like to be a cat. Like, how does the inner monologue of a cat read? I did a short scene as a dog in a theatre class in college, and I felt that it was pretty accurate. “Hi! I love you! Why are you mad at me? Why can’t I be on the couch? Squirrel!”  (Thankfully, no video evidence of that scene survives.)

But I feel like a cat’s monologue may just surprise us. Then again, maybe the musical, CATS, is dead on. I guess we’ll never know, and either way little Luna just keeps hanging out in her own little upside-down world, and I keep wondering.

Dreading Winter

Hey There!

Guys, I’m sick of rain. Sick and tired to death. Hobby Lobby already has their fall decorations up, and it truly is anxiety-inducing. Summer is going to be drawing to a close and with all of the rain we are getting – next to no sunshine. Fall is coming which always passes too quickly, and then we’re back to winter.

I don’t know if  I officially deal with seasonal depression, but the older I’ve gotten the more the concept of winter terrifies me. Thankfully, last year was mild, but winter has the potential to be so cold, bitter, and dark, and I’m just absolutely dreading it.

If I’m going to be somewhere where it’s rainy all the time, I’d rather it be Ireland or England – somewhere where gloomy can be construed as romantic!

We were chatting with some friends this past weekend who are gearing up for their next Ireland trip. They rent a tiny cottage in a town they adore and travel out when they want from that home base.

L’s Facebook feed the other day reflected her longing for  Ireland’s green hills and a warm fire in the cottage. With all the rain here lately, I could go for some of the same!

Moonshine in a Teacup|Cliffs of Moher

I can’t wait to live vicariously through her pictures and hear all of her stories over a cup of tea when they are back stateside.

I’m hopeful we’ll be able to travel some more in the next few years, maybe back to Ireland, or someplace new (maybe even sunny). But for now, I’m just going to sip some tea, with a fuzzy blanket, and avoid the fall section of Hobby Lobby until at least mid-September and dream of Ireland instead of dreading winter.Moonshine in a Teacup| Cliffs of Moher

What are your tricks for beating the winter blues?

To Pittsburgh via Paw Paw

Hey There!

If you recall, I love a good, old-fashioned carousel, especially one that is in a trolley park!

Some friends invited us to join them at Kennywood near Pittsburgh. As it was only supposed to be about a 3-hour drive, we decided we’d make a day trip of it even though we knew it would be a little rough spending that much time in the car.

We headed out early that morning with the address programmed into my smartphone. Everything was going smoothly. I had some good coffee in my travel cup, GPS was working, and The Fellow was napping in the front seat. Then about an hour into our trip, the GPS whipped us off of the main road and onto an unmarked, dirt road.

Now, that doesn’t really merit mentioning as it happens fairly often on my road trips. What did cause a problem was me almost missing the turn, and the cell phone going flying, hitting its screen, and clearing out the map.

So there we are, no map, on a dirt road, and no cell phone service to be able to use our data plan to load a new map – at which point The Fellow wakes up from his nap.

Now, I have a few life rules. The two main rules being, never lend more than you can afford to lose, and the other is that as long as you have gas, you’re never truly lost (at least on the East coast side of the US). Eventually, you will find someone or someplace to stop and ask directions.

The Fellow, however, gets seriously stressed in these types of situations.

I figured we may as well keep driving, because we know we’ve got to keep going forward, and eventually we’ll get back into cell phone service or find a place or we can head home. No worries. Until we hit a fork in the road.

Now, once many years ago I was lost on a mountain road and called my father for help, and he told me, “Now, mountain ranges run north to south, which means the valleys run east to west, and moss grows on the north side of a tree so you should never be lost.” To which I replied, “By the time I’m out of my car looking for a tree, I’ve got bigger problems.”

Not concerned enough to go moss hunting, I suggested that we try the left fork.

As it turns out, going left took us in a circle, so we tried the right fork, and things started to seem a bit familiar as I’d been lost there before.

Finally, we hit Paw Paw, a tiny little town in WV, and pulled over to try to get cell phone service.

As The Fellow was fiddling with the cell phone, a car pulled into the next driveway over from where we were stopped, and a man hopped out with his morning coffee.

I rolled down the window and hollered across the road, “Excuse me!” (as The Fellow looked at me like I was crazy). He walked over to us, and I said, “We seem to have gotten ourselves a bit lost; we’re heading to Pittsburg.” He just chuckled and gave us directions.

Two hours later, and over an hour late, we pulled into the parking lot at Kennywood.

It was a really fun day with friends riding the rides, eating park food, and hanging out.

And that, my friends, is the story of how we made it to Pittsburgh via Paw Paw.

SCA: Pennsic Dreaming

Hey There!

Guys, I can’t wait until Pennsic. I’m still in crunch-mode – frantically sewing. There are still 7 (Yikes!) garments undone in my sewing room, 3 of which are projects I have only made twice before, and one of those attempts is a mess that I hate to wear, but I can do this. (Right? Right!)

When we start getting this close, I can almost smell the air and hear the drums. My friends on Facebook have started talking about the classes they want to take, parties they want to go to, and the things for which they’re most excited. I thought I would share with you my daydreams of Pennsic that I’m looking forward to!

I want to wake up in a tent to the smell of campfire smoke, stumble out into the dewy grass, and try not to trip into the ditch as I make my way out to the kitchen. No matter how early I get up, I’m never the first one up. Usually, there’s coffee already started (Bless you!).

I usually hang out in the kitchen and chat with the cook and try to be helpful. This year I’ll be the cook, and I love the camp mates who will keep me company and help.

 

We’ll cook and laugh and recount the events of the night before. One by one camp mates will groggily roll out of their tents with hand-thrown pottery bowls, mugs, or wooden trenchers. More often than not, they’ll just stand in the kitchen or shade fly and eat their breakfast by hand instead of from the bowls.

We’ll sit and talk until breakfast is over, and then I’ll be shuffled out of the kitchen as I’m not allowed to wash any dishes, which makes me uncomfortable and I’ll try to sneak back in to help.

In the adjacent common area tent, the rest of camp will be relaxing, discussing their plans for the day – who is getting ice, who is going to market, what classes people are taking, and who is going to just chill in camp.

After breakfast, I’ll get a shower. There’s something amazing about an enclosed shower that looks up at the open sky and trees. The hot water against the cool morning air creates steam, and washing the dirt from the previous night’s wanderings off of your feet is just about the most glorious feeling.

After we get dressed for the day, we usually make our way to market either for an errand, food, or a class. Then we’ll walk to the lower portion of the campground to a friend’s camp where we’ll hang out for a while. I usually nap in one of their chairs while The Fellow plays a board or card game, and then it’s time to meander back up the hill for dinner.

Pennsic food is amazing – hearty meats with rice or potatoes and veggies, and everything tastes better out of feast ware.

We’ll get the water going again for dishes again and hang around camp until it’s time to go out for the night.

Pennsic has bars and parties of all types. You can go to a fancy kingdom party, a pirate party, Mardi Gras, Hafla, or to a quiet corner bar to just sit and chat. We’ll walk paths in the warm summer air guided by nothing but the moon and torchlight with the sounds of drums, laughter, or the trilling of singers surrounding us.

Finally, we’ll make it home exhausted but exhilarated and fade off to sleep to the sound of drums – ready to wake up and do it again the next day.

moonshine in a teacup night camp

A Bizarre Cure for Hiccups

Hey There!

Thanks so much for your comments and feedback on my Vintage Camper Remodel here, on Facebook, and in person! I really appreciate all of the thought you put into my little project!

I think after much conversation and deliberation I’m going to stick with keeping as much of Rosie Lee’s interior original as I can. We most likely won’t get back down to work on her until the middle of August, but I’m so excited to keep moving forward and share the journey with you!

We had a family reunion this past weekend, and the camper was a hot topic. My aunt and uncle have been RV camping for a while, and my cousin and her family just bought a camper. I’m seeing family camping trips in the future, and I can’t wait!

I love family reunions because it gives us a chance to get together and catch up with what everyone has been doing during the past year, and allows us to bond with family members we may not have visited much with when I was a kid living two states away.

After that fabulous weekend, I had to go back to work. It’s been a rough week already as we’re working short-staffed, and when  it rains, it pours. I decided to relax in the break room with a cup of coffee for a quick minute only to get the hiccups! One of the ladies at work showed me how to stop squeaking, so I just had to share this bizarre trick with you!

This is going to be tricky to describe in writing, so stick with me, ok?

First, you’ll need a glass of water, then bend over and instead of drinking the water from the normal side, drink from the opposite side of the glass. You’ll need to focus on making sure you don’t spill it on yourself!

If that’s incredibly confusing, you can watch a cute video demonstration (not by me) here.

I was super happy it worked because it’s really not fun to be squeaking super loudly in a very quiet office!

Let me know what your tried and true hiccup cures are!

Vintage Travel Trailer Remodel: Part 1

Hey There!

A year or so ago my father sent me a text message with pictures of this adorable, vintage 1964  Arrow Little Chief travel trailer he’d discovered.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Camper

I knew that I wanted it immediately, and when the lady asked for a ridiculously low price, Daddy hauled it down off the mountain and home to my parent’s garage for me where it’s sat ever since.

I was so busy with the house and the wedding the last year I wasn’t really able to get down to work on it. Last weekend though, The Fellow and I spent the better part of Saturday starting to clean, disassemble, and work on what I’m calling Rosie Lee. (For those who don’t know, Rosie Lee is rhyming slang for a cup of tea.)

Moonshine in a Teacup| Camper
While cleaning, we found an old paper wasp hive.

We swept out the camper and pulled out the old propane stove which Daddy will try to restore for me. I’m looking into re-porcelain or enameling options as I really would like blue appliances.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Camper
The original icebox and propane cooktop

Next, we’ll take out the wooden boxes that form the seats/bed and rebuild them for better stability. I want to build up a toilet box in the little bathroom that will house a (Number 1 only) camp toilet. Our plan is to stay in campgrounds with facilities so the camper toilet would be for emergencies only.

We most likely won’t bother with a shower, but Daddy keeps talking about an outdoor showerhead which we may do just so we have the option of a shower if we really need one.

My goal is to make this project as low-cost as I can. We obviously could replace absolutely everything and make it pristine, but for now, I want to just go with functional. A lot of our friends have big fancy RVs and campers, and it would be fun to join in on the camping trips!

The hardest part has been deciding if I want to keep the original wood paneling or paint it. There are so many adorable travel trailers all over Pinterest which are white with teal or pink that I love. However, Daddy always leans towards original, and I think he may be right. Once you change something, it’s hard to go back.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Camper
Gutted kitchen area

One big area of concern is that a center section of roof paneling needs to be replaced, and I’m concerned with getting it to match.

The other tricky part is the flooring. We want to go with a vinyl flooring which most readily comes in a hardwood or stone look. With the original paneling, that’s a lot of wood in a small, round space.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Camper

I think I’ve almost landed at a decision, and I want your thoughts on it.

What I think I’ll do is replace the damaged roof section with additional paneling and maybe a patterned paper or paint in that section if I can’t get a true match. I’m leaning towards a white subway tile flooring to brighten it up, and then paint just the cabinets in the kitchen area to help tie it all together.

What do you think? I need some help!

Pineapple Pork

Hey There!

I’ve missed you guys! I hate to miss a post, but our summer is in full swing. Our past weekend was jammed packed with fun!

We left work on Friday and headed straight up the road to a friend’s river lot where we got a little Pennsic practice in as we hung out until the wee hours of the morning with friends and campfires.

Since it was a short trip, and I really hate to mess with putting the tent up, we “camped” in my Jeep.

20180714_082845

I figured that at this point I should be old enough to know better than to sleep in the back of my car. I was afraid my neck would hate me for it the next day, but it was convenient for a one-night stay.

Thankfully, it wasn’t as much of a rough night as I was anticipating. We put the back seat down, so we had a flat surface and tossed our Pennsic futon mattress down, grabbed a few blankets and pillows, and we were good to go.

If you remember from our Summer Project update, we purchased some curtains from Ikea to screen in our back porch which we quickly learned would not work with our brick. Unfortunately, we didn’t want to make the drive to return them, so they’ve been hanging around the house. We decided we may as well use one set as bug netting so we could leave the windows down and breathe.

The next morning we went on a 3-hour tube float which was amazing! I forget how much I enjoy things like that until I’m doing one!

I had double booked our Saturday, so after we got off of the river, we hurried home Saturday afternoon to host a beach party. Since I knew that I was going to be tight on time, I prepped almost everything in advance including our Pineapple Pork shoulder!

IMG_9361

I am the odd one out in my family as I love pineapple and pork. Hawaiian pizza? Sign me up! The rest of the family, not so much, so I don’t get this yummy combo too often. Since this was a friend not family gathering, I got to add a little tropical flair to our menu with the sliced pineapple rings. And really, they just make a hunk of pork look better.

You know how much The Fellow loves his new grill, and typically he handles the meat prep for our cookouts, but we just didn’t have time to slow smoke the meat with everything else we had going. I tried out a hybrid approach which thankfully worked amazingly well!

IMG_9363

We cooked the pork shoulder in the Crock-Pot overnight; then smoked it in the grill for an hour to re-heat and serve. It was a win-win – quick, easy, and the meat still had that glorious smokey flavor.

I was really pleased with the simple seasoning we used as well: 1 can of pineapple rings, some salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste. It turned out sooo well!

What are your summer favorites?