Life Hacks–who knew?!?!

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This post has no photos to go with it, so I’ll just scatter some miscellaneous shots about. This is the Peace Bridge in Calgary, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava; it crosses the Bow River

What’s the best feeling in the world?

Well, probably an orgasm.

Or maybe a sneeze that’s been coming for a long time (which is sort of like an orgasm in your nose…well, not really—but you know the feeling I’m talking about).  I remember a few random lines from a birds-and-the-bees book for parents to help kids learn about sex (It’s called “Where Did I come From“, and I think it’s an excellent book: “like peanuts without the ‘t’”…..”rhymes with Carolina”….and “it’s like a sneeze…only better” .  That’s where that comes from.

Or the perfect massage, under the perfect conditions, all senses shut down except for the feeling of a touch, firm fingers moving across the body, pressing, kneading, rubbing, and sometimes causing what I call the sensation of the “good hurt”.  I know you know what I mean.

Or being able to breathe again after a cold…..that first toe touch into warm ocean waters in a tropical locale……being  able to sleep in, in the perfect bed–clean sheets, soft blankets, and a just-the-right pillow…

Nah.

I was actually thinking more like when you grab a pair of jeans, fresh from the dryer, pull them on….and they zip up.  Easily.

No stretching and squatting, no grunting and panting, no lying on the bed trying to pull that damn zipper up. No marks across your belly and your ass that won’t go away for an hour after you take them off. I’m talking about pants that fit like you’ve been wearing them forever.

That’s what happened to me when we began the process of divorce.

My pants fit.

I hadn’t had an appetite in months, and I think I managed to drop about 25 pounds in just a short while; in fact, I think I was back to where I was at the end of my year-long diet.

But that was a year ago. Now I’m divorced, happy, and have my appetite back.  And  then some, sometimes.

I still have two or three “incentive” dresses (my friend Susan calls them “goal dresses”)….whatever you call them, mine are still in my closet with the tags on…another winter past and they’ll stay there again (hopefully they’ll still be in style next fall).

Which, in a very roundabout way, brings me to today’s subject: life hacks.

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Oh give me a  home…..Snapped these guys high up in a field while on a camping trip last summer.  I wish it would stop snowing.

About a month ago, I was having one of those very uncomfortable mornings; I can’t remember if I was wearing a skirt or a dress (one that fit, obviously), but it seems my pantyhose were a size too small.  And they did what pantyhose tend to do when they are pretty much stretched as far as they want to go.

They started to roll.

From my waist to just below it, they kept rolling down. And I’d grab the sides and hitch ‘em up, but as soon as I sat, they’d start to roll again.

Man, I really, really hate that.

So when Kim said good morning and asked me how I was doing, I told her about my all-too-real struggle with an invisible-to-everyone-but-me problem. Since she asked (she probably didn’t want to know all that, but oh well).

She simply turned to me and said, “put a pair of underwear on outside the pantyhose—it keeps them from rolling down.”

Wait, what?

Yep, she explained, they can’t roll down when there’s something on the outside holding them up.

How did I not know this? And doesn’t it feel like you’re wearing…well…a second pair of underwear?

“You won’t even notice,” she said.

How many other tidbits, shortcuts, life hacks did I not know about? What else was I missing?

I went on line and googled.  I’ll be damned, there are thousands.

For example, did you know:

  • Doritos make good kindling for campfires (who figured that out? Actually, never mind, i can actually picture one or two people I know experimenting with that);
  • You can use a piece of uncooked spaghetti as a wick for a candle;
  • If you put plastic wrap on banana stems, it will keep the bunch fresher, longer (I’ll need to research the whys of that one);
  • Use a clothes pin to hold a small nail in place to hammer it in (bam! that’s a good one);
  • If you put baking soda in with hard boiled eggs while they’re cooking, the shells will come off easily (def going to try this next time I cook eggs);
  • Put a knee high over the nozzle of the vacuum to find small things like earring backs and contact lenses and precious gems if you’re scattering them around;
  • A wooden spoon across a pot of water keeps it from boiling over (no way!);
  • (also I wrote down “Nutella and ice cream”.  I have no idea what that means…but it sounds good.)

Here are a few I can share that I did know about:

  • Did you know that if you are trying to pay at the pump in the US with a Canadian credit card, when it asks for your zip code, you can type in the three numbers in your postal code plus the numbers “99” and it will work? Apparently 90210 works too.
  • Did you know….that putting a bar of soap in each of your clothing drawers will help everything smell fresh? Plus you will always have soap on hand.
  • Do you put paper towels at the bottom of your garbage can? Doesn’t have to be a lot, but it soaks up any liquid you might throw in there and keeps the trash from getting too messy.
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Happy Place #1, morning fog at Main Beach, East Hampton, NY, looking east

Anyway, the moral of this story is that everyone has a good life hack or two they should share with the world.  Kim’s life hack on the underwear-over-the-pantyhose? I tried it the next time I wore that same damn pair of pantyhose—put a pair of big girl panties over top.

While they didn’t exactly roll down, I did feel like I had an extra layer of stuff on (which I did); I felt like I had a giant roll at my waist where the underwear and the rolled pantyhose came to rest (I think I was wearing a print dress, so no one could really see it, but I knew it was there. All day, I knew it was there). I got home and immediately took all my layers off.

On top of all of that, I got a run.  Which was fine because they were destined for the trash anyway (hey, I wonder if they could absorb the moisture in the bottom of the bag?)

And as I was about to toss the pantyhose away, I decided to cut ‘em off at the knee.

Because I never know when I  might toss my diamonds on the floor.

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Happy Place # 2, Lac Agnes, near Lake Louise, Banff National Park (fyi, those are larch trees–while they appear to be evergreen–needles on the branches–they are actually deciduous and lose their needles every year in fall–there’s usually one primo weekend for seeing them in full color, and this was it a couple of years ago–still can’t believe I made the hike up to the lake, but it was worth every pained, panted breath and sore muscle)

What about you? Got any good life hacks to share?

Dreaming of the Big City on a cold weekend

It’s the second weekend of April, and it’s snowing again.

This is the part of year that’s the toughest in Canada.  Photos of flowers popping up all ny 1NY collage 4over North America, trees sprouting soft gentle buds, birds singing their little hearts out, toddlers toddling and giggling in light jackets or sweaters, puppies and kitties…..and

we have yet another dusting of snow.

And it’s cold.  It’s not forecast to go over -10—as a high—all weekend, and that’s not counting the wind chill. (In Fahrenheit that’s about 15 degrees).

I suppose that’s not so bad.  If you live up against a mountain range, north of the 49th, and maybe even south at a higher elevation, it’s not surprising to have a little snow and a little cold well into the spring; I’ve seen snow in every month of the year.  OK, well, in July I think it was closer to the Rockies and in August it might have been more hail-like, but it was still white stuff and it was accumulating on the ground.

If it’s any consolation, there’s possible snow in the forecast in New York.  And last Monday, Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, was postponed not for rain, but for snow.  Here’s what it looked like.

Continue reading “Dreaming of the Big City on a cold weekend”

Easter on the East Coast

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Last year in Union Square.  It looks like Easter colors.

Hello everybunny, and Happy Easter.

And Happy Passover to all my friends celebrating as well.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a very religious person (this is about as religious as I will ever get); that said, I’ve certainly had the opportunity to celebrate holidays with all my friends of all denominations (that’s not exactly true; in fact, just this morning, I was thinking that this year I must absolutely go to an iftar during Ramadan).

Continue reading “Easter on the East Coast”

Wine, Women….a Moscow Mule…..Spam…and Michelle Obama. Oh, and Podcast #2!

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Long week…off sick Monday with a blasted head cold, a new employee (who I know will be great) starting on Tuesday, the rest of the week full of the usual—work, home, work, snow, work, head cold.  Blech.

So, on the way home on an exciting Friday night:  a quick trip to the grocery store (lunch with a friend tomorrow, plus general provisions), filled up the car with gas (yikes, big price jump—should’ve gone yesterday), loaded up the purchases in my little shopping cart and wheeled them upstairs.

Cat fed, jeans, sweater, socks, bra off….shorts and big sweat shirt on. I headed for the couch with the intention of just vegging for the evening. Possibly writing the blog, possibly prepping for tomorrow’s lunch, possibly hitting Netflix…the whole evening in front of me.

Continue reading “Wine, Women….a Moscow Mule…..Spam…and Michelle Obama. Oh, and Podcast #2!”

Getting from a Pod to a Penitentiary…and back again…

I floated yesterday.

I went to one of those pod places—sensory deprivation float tanks–and gave it a shot.

There was a Groupon so I thought I’d take a chance and see what it was all about.

Now, I’ve never been suspended in warm, heavily salted water, soft spa music piping through, completely naked and in total darkness in my life—not even sure I really wanted to try it.

But for the price, it was worth trying out.

The only other time I can recall actually being suspended in water was at the start of what I often refer to as one of the strangest days of my life.

Continue reading “Getting from a Pod to a Penitentiary…and back again…”

Get off your Grönkulla and hand me that Fyrkantig, would ya please?

Well, for the very first time in my life, I’ve finally done it.

Living just a short drive away from one of the world’s most amazing stores for almost half my life, I’ve never actually attempted to build a piece of Ikea furniture.

But now I have.  Three pieces, actually. All by myself.

Continue reading “Get off your Grönkulla and hand me that Fyrkantig, would ya please?”