Why we shower together just about every day…

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This July I married my best friend, we do pretty much everything together & love every minute of it.  In fact, just about every morning my husband & I shower together.  TMI?  Then you’d better stop reading…

I know what you’re thinking: “Sure, you’re newlyweds, of course you shower together…” The reality is that we were both previously married & know all too well that things change over time — we’re fighting to keep the magic alive & we’ve come up with a myriad of reasons why couples should shower together:

  1. You’ll conserve water.
  2. Time to connect in an intimate setting.
  3. You have help with “hard to reach” spots.
  4. You’ll never have to worry about using up all of the hot water.
  5. This is a great time to visualize how great your days will be — to give each other pep talks as needed.
  6. You get to see your spouse naked!
  7. Uninterrupted time together every day: no phone calls, no kids, no emails.
  8. No debate over who used up the rest of the conditioner.
  9. It’s a regular reminder that you have a responsibility to look good for your spouse.
  10. Naked soapy fun!

My favorite iPhone apps…

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It’s no secret that I’m addicted to my iPhone, I even shower with it.  I’ve had an iPhone since the day they came out (I had to pay almost $1000 to get out of my Sprint contract) & typically keep up with the newest upgrades.  That said, I currently have a 32 gig iPhone 5 — as I’m holding out for iPhone 6.  It should also be noted that I haven’t updated to the new O.S. because I think it still has flaws, I’ll eventually come around…

I recently deleted a bunch of apps because my phone was FULL of apps & pictures — all 32 gigs, no music.  SO I narrowed it down to my favorites…

  1. Hexchange: as pictured above, it’s a puzzle game with cool graphics.  Sort of like soduku meets Rubics Cube.  I think it’s one of the rare hidden gems of the app world — created by 2 guys who game together — my friends Chuck & Kris, so take my incredibly biased opinion & support your local gamer 😉
  2. GrubHub: find take out near you, order from your phone
  3. SuperBetter: makes feeling better a game — this is great for anyone, but highly recommended if you have a chronic illness.
  4. Sleep Cycle:  highly recommended if you have a sleep disorder, has a cool “gentle alarm” that we can all benefit from.
  5. ScanBizCards: take pics of biz cards, they’re added to your contacts
  6. Evernote Food: take pics of your food for your food journal
  7. Lumonosity: if you’re going to play games on your phone, you’d might as well improve your brain power while you do it
  8. Flashlight: you need this.  p.s. It drains your battery fast!!
  9. SoundHound: you don’t know the name of the song on the radio?  Hold your phone up to a speaker & it tells you the song title & where to go to download it.
  10. Pandora: it’s essentially a radio station that plays only the songs you like without commercials — the commercial free version costs something like $4 extra per month, it’s worth every penny.
  11. The Weather Channel: its better than the iPhone weather app
  12. Flipboard: articles that are relevant to you.  This basically stopped me from buying magazines.
  13. FindFriends: this should be called FindFamily I use it to keep track of mine!
  14. BofA: the Bank of America app.  I use it to transfer money to my kids, check balances, & deposit checks into my accounts
  15. Evernote: This is where I jot all of my notes down or take pics of things as “notes”
  16. Google Drive: remote access to anything you’ve put on the Google cloud
  17. IMDb: a database of all things movies & TV.  I accesss this several times a week.
  18. Netflix
  19. YouTube
  20. TV Remote: works with Comcast for when you can’t find your remote
  21. Paycheck Free: calculate what you’ll take home after taxes.  If you’re like me, you want to pay as little taxes as possible — this app lets you see the true bottom line on tax deductible expenditures.
  22. Starbucks: find stores, track points, free downloads
  23. OpenTable: make reservations on the run
  24. Chipotle: order on the run
  25. Dropbox: access to your Dropbox cloud
  26. Sparrow: I use this to access my gMail on my iPhone
  27. Twitter
  28. Skype: for video calls to my international friends
  29. LinkedIN
  30. WordPress

Do you have an app I should check out?  Send me a link!  Beware: I’ll give you my honest feedback 🙂

Today’s Veterans are not the war heroes of yesterday

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In light of Veteran’s Day I thought it was fitting to talk about something near to me: VETERANS.  Given the article title you’d think that this was going to be a hippy dippy anti-war political rant — you’ve got the wrong girl.  I’m from a long standing military tradition, which is what inspires today’s rant…

We’re a country who is still at war — which we forget in our daily lives.  As American’s it seems as if we’re content to ignore this fact & focus on “more important things” like what Miley Cyrus has put her mouth on & what social disease Justin Bieber may have been exposed to (I should point out that the similarity of these 2 items amuses me, but I wasn’t intending a theme).  SHAME ON US!  There are so many of us that will just celebrate today as a day off.  There will even be a handful of us that will change our Facebook Status to display their patriotism. Sorry kids, I gotta call bullshit.  

I’m horrified by our behavior:

  • Our soldiers are frequently blamed for things our government does that they have ZERO control over.  In fact, I remember walking through the mall with my ex-husband, who had just gotten out of work & was in uniform, where we were confronted by a group of well meaning hippy dippy teenagers whose parents hadn’t taught them any values.  Needless to say, we were in a post 9-11 time & our presence in Iraq was somehow my ex-husbands fault.  I don’t mind telling you that I’m happy to blame him for a myriad of things, but I assure you — he doesn’t have that kind of power.  The military has dictated just about everything in his life for the last 29+ years.  
  • Years ago there were many services for our servicemen & families.  Now our vets, servicemen, & their families are lucky if they can find a doctor who will accept their health insurance.  Sure, they could go on base, if they could find one —  when we reduce military funding the fist things to get cut are services for our service members & bases closed. 
  • A large percentage of our military live below the poverty line — have you seen the military pay chart?  There are many articles out there that will try to say that this not true, I’m not buying it.  I just can’t help find the fact that we omit soldiers living in barracks from our census data to be interesting — what are we trying to hide? 
  • How many homeless veteran’s do you see every day?  Many of these war heroes are suffering from mental illness &/or addiction — I’d like to see any of you keep your act together after seeing the horror these men have seen.  I guess we forget that when we vote, or would rather think about lighter news topics — like Lindsay Lohan.
  •   In the US military service the majority of our service members have voluntarily served — where as in other countries service is mandatory.  Interestingly, one of my friends recently became a US citizen, as part of his swearing in he had to commit to “bear arms where required by law” amongst many other items, things those of us “born American” never commit to (der, I know there’s still a draft — we’re talking about outside of that.  Do you really think there will ever be another draft in the US?).  
  • Today’s troops are treated with ZERO respect.  My grandfather fought at the Battle of Normandy, he came back as a war hero, a parade in his honor.  My uncle, who was Naval Intelligence (sorry kids, you can’t call that an oxymoron unless you’re in the Navy) returned from service to be told: “here’s some civies, put them on there are protesters outside.”  I’m not saying I agree with the Vietnam War, I’m saying: these kids are doing what their government TOLD THEM TO DO & saw things you & I can only imagine in our worst nightmares — agree or disagree, we must support them.  
  • Our prisoners are treated better than our service members.  

Here’s the thing, I tend to believe we make the wrong decisions as a result of our ignorance, as opposed to our selfishness… I’ve given you a fair amount of info here today, you have a choice: go on living your life as was, enjoy your day off OR you can do the right thing & do something for our veterans…

What you can do:

  1. Make a donation to a military relief fund. 
  2. Send holiday cards to a soldier 
  3. Vote with our service members & their families in mind — I’m not endorsing this site, I’m asking that you’re educated when you hit the poles.
  4. Hire a veteran.
  5. Whenever someone brings up a “first world problem” remind them (or yourself) that we’re a country at war — our troops would love to have their biggest problem be: “the internet at Starbucks is slow today.”  

Sure, sharing this blog might be something you could do to support our vets — but my voice isn’t as loud as all of our voices together. Go on your own tirade!  

In praise of “old dudes”

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Today is my husband’s birthday, he’s 48.  I’m 37 & I tease him about “being old” all the time — mostly because his terrible driving & his age are really the only areas where I can pick on him.  As I look at his dreamy eyes & juicy lips, I can’t stop thinking about how lucky I am.  He’s what you’d call a “silver fox” — showing signs of aging that mildly disguise his boyish nature. Look at his picture: he’s hot!  In fact, I’m frequently annoyed by women (& men) checking him out, when it’s clear that we’re married.  The most blatant eyes on my husband are those of women his age, they’ll flirt with him right in front of me & glare at me as if to say “screw you, b!tch.”  At the end of the day, he’s coming home with me: his “trophy wife.”

I never really thought about our age difference until I was recently talking to our friend Mike about his new girlfriend.  He gave me a few basic stats & then paused, took a deep breath & said “she’s 12 years younger than me.”  I swear he held his breath until I told him it was cool with me.  Which made me wonder: What does society think about an age difference in a relationship?  What’s it like from the man’s perspective?  What about women dating younger men — how does it work for them?  What about same sex couples — how does the landscape vary for gay men as opposed to gay women?

I’ve always preferred to date older men.  I imagine that when I was younger it was an unconscious manifestation of my “daddy issues” — later I came to realize that it just works for me.  Why?

  • I’m attracted by men who are “old school.”  I need a man to pursue me, to open doors, to take me on dates, to pull out chairs, to open doors, & to order for me.  In teaching men today that “men & women are equal” we seem to made the assumption that “men & women are the same” — when we’re not.  I was recently horrified when my daughters date came to pick her up, texted her that he was here, & expected me to let my daughter to go on a date with him without him coming to the door — not happening.  We’re raising our sons differently than men were raised years ago, which is why I must praise the old dudes & their mamas.
  • In the eyes of the man you’re a “younger woman” which makes you a trophy in some regards.  Any positive qualities you have are automatically “powered up” by the fact that you’re younger.  For the single gals, this means being more marketable in the dating world.  For married girls like me, this translates into men continuing to pursue & appreciate you — hopefully forever, but at a minimum for longer than they otherwise would.
  • You’ve heard it forever: women mature faster than men.  An older man knows who he is & what he wants — most younger men do not.  You’re wasting your time waiting for a guy “to be ready” for commitment, marriage, & a family.  From a biological standpoint women don’t have the time to screw around.  With juggling our eduction & careers it’s hard enough to date, much less find someone who is not intimidated by our success — the worst thing we can do is waste our time with someone who doesn’t know what they want.

I once dated a man 8 years younger than me.  Initially he seemed to have all the qualities that you typically see in older men.  In the end, I realized he was like the little boy trying on his daddy’s suit.  He wanted to be the kind of man I was looking for, but just wasn’t there chronologically.  I was horrified at the concept of being labeled “a cougar,” as if he were my prey.  I knew this wasn’t the route for me, but because he relentlessly pursued me — I gave him a chance.  HUGE mistake on my part.  In the end, I decided that dating a younger man was a novelty — not only for myself, but for women in general.  We talk about women dating older men as part of their “daddy issues,” I assure you that dating older women frequently has a lot to do with “mommy issues” — as it did in the case of the younger man I dated.  

The relationship dynamics in the gay community are something I can’t speak to from a first hand perspective.  My husband & I have a deal that: when he dies, I’ll become a lesbian — so I guess I’ll have to figure out when the old man finally kicks the bucket.  I’ll write about it one day, stay tuned.  I’d love to hear from people in same sex relationships about their experiences…  Fill me in, if not for the benefit of my readers, but for my own personal reference in the future!

Money doesn’t buy you happiness, BUT…

I have 4 daughters.  As part of my pursuit of winning the Mother of the Year award, we frequently watch Tosh.0 — an hysterical & offensive show on Comedy Central.  If you haven’t seen the show, you must — preferably without your children in the room.  If you have — stop judging my parenting!  In any case, thanks to Daniel Tosh, the unanimous response in my house to any remarks about how money is the root of all evil is: “have you ever seen a sad person on a WaveRunner?” as Daniel Tosh once said…  Which brings me to today’s post…

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A few of my favorite things & why…

1.  My Jeep.  You gotta get one.  Trust me, it’s the closest thing to a WaveRunner that you can reasonably use every day.  BUT don’t even bother if you’re getting an automatic.  It’s the equivalent of going to the amusement park & watching other people go on the rides.  The thing about Jeepin is that you automatically have friends you’ve never met.  Watch people in Wranglers — they all Jeep wave at each other!  I live at the beach, so I’m getting carpel tunnel from all the waving — and I like it!

2.  Technology.  Specifically Apple products.  The user interfaces are amazing & you don’t have the usual problems.  I’m currently rocking a MacBook Air & an iPhone 5  I keep just about everything on the cloud, so in the HIGHLY unlikely event that my messenger bag flies out the side of my Jeep & they both go flying into the ocean — I’m cool.  I just run to the apple store.  p.s. I’m also a sucker for the Google Kool-Aid & a variety of apps, but that’s a talk for another day.

3.  My Rickshaw messenger bag.  I had mine customized on Zazzle because I like having cool stuff that no one else has…  It’s a great bag for just about any purpose.  I almost always have my MacBook Air with me (which is about the size of a magazine) plus all of my other crap that gets me through the day (I’ll post about this one day too), this bag fits everything I need, is comfortable to carry & my husband doesn’t look silly if he carries it for me.  I do not travel light, but I’ve managed to use this bag, & nothing else, for overnight biz trips.

4.  My Blendtec Blender that I bought at Costco.  It helps people like me, who aren’t great about eating their veggies, get them into their diet.  It has the added bonus of being a phenomenal tool for much needed frozen Friday “lemonades.”  I have yet to attempt chunking my vegetable & booze consumption — your feedback on the effectiveness there of would be greatly appreciated.

5.  iPhone case with storage.  I currently rock the EYN case but have used the Incipio Stowaway case.  The EYN case holds more & has a mirror, the Incipio case is slimmer.  Either model will hold your drivers license & debit card — the only other thing I need to leave the house is my car keys, that is short of longer excursions or times when I may want to work when I have my messenger bag.

6.  Shoes.  Mostly I rock out flip flops when I’m tooling around town.  I kick them off at every opportunity & wear them unless there is not a path shoveled in the snow.  When I’m “out” I’m typically rocking something with a 5″ heel or larger.  I’m 5’7″ so I feel sorta like a I super model when I’m trotting about.  When I feel fat or ugly, I’ll trot about Home Depot for a bit — always good for an ego boost.

7.  A good bra.  I hate to leave the guys out of this one, but, trust me, we all benefit.  Put on a bra that lifts your girls up & makes you feel sexy — feel free to hook yourself up with a little “false advertising” courtesy of Victoria’s Secret for added fun.  I have a great rack, but I could use to loose a few pounds.  Properly aligning my 36DDDs helps me to camouflage my tummy & it makes my clothes look nicer.  Spend $50 on a bra, it’s worth every penny.  Now guys, can you really say you didn’t benefit from this one???

8.  SCUBA gear.  I typically get my gear at East Coast Divers.  Owners Nick & Alex are incredibly knowledgeable & passionate, their prices are reasonable AND my daughter interns there a few days a week.  I only started diving last spring, but I gotta tell you, I’m hooked.  If you’re ever in the area we should dive — the best part is, when I’m underwater you’ll site something rare: me with my mouth shut!

9.  Roku player.  I just bought the Roku 3 which has a headphone jack built into the remote — my husband loves this because I ALWAYS fall asleep with the tv on, this keep him from suffering.  We’re slowly transitioning away from cable — I love that the Roku gives me access to Nextflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon movies, etc. etc.  The majority of what we watch is through one of these sources & frankly, I loathe commercials.  You can just about always get any show you want the day after it airs…

10.  Amazon Prime gives me free shipping on most items.  I buy everything from razor cartridges to Jeep gear.  They also give you 10,000 free movie &/or tv downloads a year.  Membership is under $100, get it.

What are your favorite things?  Do you have a product I should check out?  None of the products above have been given to me nor do I get anything for endorsing them — but I’m open to providing HONEST FEEDBACK on just about anything.  Which leads me to my next point: expect to see a recurrence of this sorta blog — we’re living in a material world & I am a material girl!

I have disease that really sucks — or at least that’s how I got it…

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I’m typically so busy with my “little world” that I get distracted & forget about myself.  I can’t help but wonder how long I’ve been doing it for.  On July 18th I suddenly felt numbness in my left arm which led me to MGH — they said I had a pinched nerve & that I should go for massages.  A doctors prescription for massages?  Short of prescription for “more cowbell” I can’t think of anything cooler — sign me up!

I was a good patient & forced myself into following “doctors orders” & had weekly massages.  Yet the numbness got worse & worse.  I saw a chiropractor, did yoga, drank green smoothies, & finally saw my neurologist.  The person I typically see in the office is a physicians assistant because I really think the best appointments I’ve had have been with physicians assistants & nurse practitioners. She recently left the practice, so I saw “The Head DIC” —  who proved to be just that.  He told me that I didn’t have a pinched nerve, that he’d run tests but that there wasn’t anything wrong with me & that this was not a neurological problem.  He ordered tests on just about everything — essentially to placate me.  To add insult to injury, the claim for the screening for multiple sclerosis he sent me for was denied by my insurance company…

Most people would tell you that I’d run circles around the Energizer bunny, yet I was operating at 25% capacity for several months.  I couldn’t decide what annoyed me more: being in constant pain or “The Head DIC” insisting that it was all in my head. I told my chiropractor “Dr Nick” what had happened & asked him for a referral — he sent me to “Dr Chris.”  Short story long, long story short: I have lyme disease.

Let me tell you a little about lyme: most of us think of lyme as a disease you get if you’re outside frequently or spend time with animals.  But the truth is, that the people who are frequently outside or work with animals are the lucky ones.  They’re all too aware of the disease: they know they’re at risk, they know what the tics look like, & they know that they need to begin treatment immediately.  Your average joe asks questions like “Did you have a tick?”  “Were you outside?”  “Did you have the rash in the shape of a bullseye?” — which is what I would have asked before now.  The reality is: the ticks are teeny tiny & often go unseen, you can get a bite on the beach, & you don’t always get a bullseye rash.  I talked to “Dr. Chris” who told me within moments that “there’s definitely something wrong with you” (something you, my 3 loyal blog readers are bound to find out first hand…) & talked to me about possible causes.  He immediately suspected lyme — we live in New England where it’s rampant & he had seen more mis-diagnosed cases than he could count.  He even told me that he had a patient that had a Hodgkins diagnosis, but it was actually Lyme.  I told him “I was already tested” but he told me that the typical panel is terribly ineffective (something like 30-40%) & that I needed the full panel.  Well, they ran the full panel & it came back positive & I was thrilled!  Lyme disease: antibiotics & you’re fine.  SOOOOO NOT TRUE!

For the last 3 weeks I’ve been taking 1000mg of Clarithromycin & 400mg of Hydroxychoroquine.  Sounds sexy huh?  Well, I’m getting worse.  My doctor warned me that this could happen.  He told me that we still don’t know enough about the disease & that the medical community is in constant debate on the subject.  He told me that some people NEVER recover & that we will likely try several combinations of antibiotics, that some people found relief through daily IV antibiotics, but that it was expensive & NOT covered by insurance.  In typical Stacy fashion I just had to focus on the positive, suck it up & take the pills.

It’s been 3 weeks, I have an appointment today at 11.  I’m hoping to get in with the “lyme guy” at MGH if “Dr. Chris” will support it, pending my blood work.

In the meantime, I found a really cool website/app through a TED Talk that I LOVE: SuperBetter, it makes getting healthy a game.   Even if you aren’t the “gaming type” (we’ll scold you for that another day) you should watch Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life — it will change the way you look at things, 20 minutes well spent.

Rambling about my problems for no reason isn’t my style — I’m hoping that this post will help someone else.  Maybe I’ve dispelled some lyme myths.  What I really want want is for us all to take control of our healthcare.  Don’t be a “good girl” & do whatever your doctor says — be informed & fight for your every minute of your life, time is finite 🙂

365 of Thanks!

 

 

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Over the past couple of years I’ve done my best to make gratitude a part of my daily life.  I found that the more I’ve focused on the positive, the more positive things happen.  Sure, I’ve seen “The Secret” & fully believe in the power of the universe, karma, or god — whatever you want to call it.  For many of us, including yours truly, the idea is too “hippy dippy.”  Instead of asking you to watch the movie, read a book, asking you to adopt a religion I’m going to ask you to try one simple thing: focus on something (this can be anything from an armadillo to a zipcar) for one day & let me know what happens.

Yesterday, as a part of my ongoing focus to be positive & inspire people I suggested that my amazing sister in law & friend Patty, who was posting her daily thanks for November, up her game by posting daily.  Long story short, short story long — I‘ve created a FaceBook group where people can do just that.  The concept is simple: I post the date, members post their thanks as a comment under the date & we’re all focused slightly more on the positive.  I have grandiose plans of using this as a tool for us to make the world a better place — more on that later.  If you want to join us, just send a request to: 365 of Thanks!

So there you have it… It’s Tuesday & this crazy girl has actively CHOSEN to be happy & wants you to jump on the bandwagon!!!