Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Here!! It's Here!!

Some of you may think I'm weird for saying this but I love to do laundry. I love the satisfaction of having everything clean. Of everything smelling fresh. Of an empty laundry basket. Then we moved here and laundry wasn't quite that simple and I hate laundry.

At home, our washer and dryer was on the third floor of our condo. Easy, accessible and ours. When we signed our lease we were told a washer and dryer would be delivered but it could be 8-12 weeks so we had to get creative. No longer was laundry a quick trip up the stairs but rather a three step process that has driven me to dread dirty clothes

1. Clothes that can be washed and dried were bagged up once a week and Tim would sneak laundry in at the golf course

2. Clothes that can't be dried are hand washed in the sink and let out to dry on the back deck (and sometimes got re-rinsed in an afternoon rainstorm and had to be blowdried to be ready for work) on a drying rack (that has had to be superglued back together a few times due to strong winds sending it slamming into things)

3. Sheets and towels had to be taken to a place I don't think I've ever really been- the laundrymat.

Yeah... the laundrymat. Luckily I found a very clean one with bright lights and not a lot of shady people. I'm not sure what it costs to go to the laundrymat in the states but holy crap is it expensive here! Thank god the bill changer works for 10's! I was a disaster the first time I went- couldn't figure out how to put quarters in the single load washers, how to close the double load washers and how to select the dryer. It got better and I got a system but it still took hours out of my day and I was not happy. Plus, people looked at me weird when I'd throw Laddie's toys in with our towels and they'd go round and round in the dryer. I guess seeing a stuffed animal pressed against the glass of a dryer isn't something they see everyday...

Today everything changed when a big present finally arrived- the washer/dryer! No more hording quarters! No more sneaking around at the golf course! No more laying clothes on the counter and scrubbing with a brush! It's European and an all in one- the instruction manual is currently my reading material of choice. I'm so excited I'm not sure what to do first- sheets? towels? clothes? Yes, I know, I'm weird... but at least I won't get weird looks when I wash Laddie's toys. However, she may just sit in front of it and watch like a TV until they are done! I think I'm getting my love of laundry back already!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Laddie Update


It's funny- whenever I talk to certain people one of the first questions they ask is 'How is Laddie?' Some people were shocked that we brought her with us to St. Thomas but how could we leave her behind? She's nine years old and Tim has had her since she was 6 months old- I can't imagine her NOT being with us. When Tim and I used to visit the Anti-Cruelty Society (why I'm not sure- to torture ourselves maybe? There were several times we almost came home with a second puppy!) I never understood the tags that said 'Reason for Being Given Up: Moving, Can't Take With.' Would you move into an adult-only community and give your kids up? Likely not. That is how I feel about Laddie.

So to answer everyone's questions- Laddie is doing great. She is adjusting to her new surroundings well- too well in some cases. She was sleeping on two pillows and a blanket so Tim and I felt bad and would let her into bed with us. It got to the point that no sooner had Tim gotten in the shower that she was in his spot- laying on his pillow like she was a people (I really think she thinks she is). Recently we were able to find a doggie bed at PriceSmart but she still jumps into bed and we don't have the heart to kick her out. We are such pushovers...

She's finally starting to shed- not a good thing for us but likely fantastic for her (with the exception of now it is very obvious when she is on the couch if we are gone)! She's not a big fan of the bugs and has licked away patches of hair 'scratching' at bug bites :( Every time I go to put Cortisone on her she just licks that off too. I'm thinking I can put it on, wrap her legs in paper towels and tape them in place. If that doesn't work- next stop is the cone... but then her doggie friend, Rue, would make fun of her! I'm hoping the former works first.

She's getting used to us giving her a bath and even clipping her nails but we haven't quite gotten to brushing her teeth. God how I miss PetSmart. That was the best $26.99 I spent a month. Drop her off and pick her up in three hours clean, clipped and with a cute bandana that she finally stopped fighting and wore just to appease us. Not so much the case anymore...
Laddie still has her quirks. She's terrified of the vaccuum- even though what we now own is just basically a stick. She carries her stuffed animals around in her mouth and shakes them like she's caught something (speaking of, I am looking forward to Buxton bringing me a sewing kit so I can sew the Tiger's head back on). She still loves cheese and can hear any type of wrapper- American, BabyBel, String- being opened from any part of the house and will come running. She knows that when the TV goes off, it's time for bed and runs ahead of us. And, for some reason, she finds it fun to kick her (full) food bowl around the room and into the corner. I caught this picture the other day when she kicked it too far and had a dilemma. Apparently not much of a dilemma to her, she just stuck her head between the barstool legs and ate away.

So to all of you who wondered- she's doing just fine. And for those of you that didn't- I'm sorry this post may have been boring but now you know :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

Okay, so I know a lot of you think that it's always sunny in St. Thomas and life's a beach but it's just not always true. When a cold front comes through- watch out. And when a cold front stalls over the island, as one has right now, it's downright miserable!

The Good: Tim and I are both off. On the same day. At the same time AND want to do the same thing: golf!

The Bad: The cold front started to come through on Thursday at 11 AM. How can I pinpoint this so exact? Well, Tim and I happened to be on the 5th hole at the golf course. We decided that if we were paying customers we'd likely stay out but since it's free we headed in to the clubhouse. Good thing we did- in the hour and a half that we hung out having lunch we got an inch and a half of rain! That was enough to make the call to turn the course cart path only and where's the fun in that? We went home, took a rainy day nap and then both went to work at night where it proceeded to rain cats and dogs.

The Good: It was cool enough to sleep with the windows open.

The Bad: It was so windy it made it hard to sleep AND the roosters kept waking me up (see FB post 1/15).

The Good: A daytrip to St. John on Friday with my friend, Tara. We had planned to take the 8 AM ferry over, hike, have lunch, hit the beach with my new snorkel gear (Thanks AMS for the Dick's Sporting Goods giftcard!) and go to Happy Hour at Woody's.

The Bad: When I woke up at 7:30 it was still rainy and windy as hell. The Accuweather ap on my phone said the winds were only 13 MPH. Crap- if what we had was 13 MPH I will hate to see this place in a hurricane!! We decided to postpone and take the 10AM ferry, assuming that it would clear up like it normally does. Negative on that plan as well :( So instead of having a fun day on St. John I spent it running errands in the rain which is just not fun. I've shown you all multiple pictures of the great view from my deck so I feel it's only fair to show you what it's like when it's crappy, check out the video:

The Good: Later that night I met the girls out for sushi and drinks. Before meeting them I was able to treat myself to a long, hot shower. (In case I haven't explained before all of our water is collected from rainwater on our roof that runs into a cistern below our house. We have to be very conservative with water because it's stupid expensive to have a water truck come refill it. My normal shower consists of getting wet then turning the water off while I suds up. Turning it on to rinse and off again to shave. Then on once more to do a final rinse.)

The Bad: I wore jeans, tennis shoes and a long-sleeved hoodie. No joke. It may have been 73 and I know everyone back home would have whipped out the shorts and flip-flops but I was sporting full fledged fall gear!

The Good: It was bright and sunny at the golf course this morning!

The Bad: Not so much at my house... or the beaches. It's amazing how it can be bright and sunny on one side of the island and a disaster on the other.

Things looked hopeful as the sky began to clear when I was running the remainder of my errands. No sooner did I get home and put away things did it start to rain. So here I am, with a list of chores to do in the house as soon as this post is done :( I know you folks with cold and snow feel no sympathy but try- just a little, please? :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Island Fifteen

Does everyone remember the dreaded 'Freshman Fifteen'? I'm beginning to think there is also an 'Island Fifteen'.

The similarities are definitely there- weight gain brought on by drinking and eating not-so-good-for-you food at all hours of the day/night. To be fair I can't blame this ALL on the Island. I have to put some of the blame on the unemployed time in Chicago when we were going out to eat and drink much more often than when we had jobs and routines. I mean, it was hard to find an excuse when a friend would call wanting to go out any night of the week since we didn't exactly have to get up the next day...

I also can't say there really has been an 'Island Fifteen' because we don't own a scale but things are fitting a bit differently for sure! Thank god I work in a job where I run my butt off for 5-8 hours at a time or I probably wouldn't fit in any of my clothes!

This week I decided to do a 7-day cleanse I saw on Yahoo. It's not your normal starve-yourself- and-get-bitchy cleanses (I did one of those once, bad idea!) but just a back to basics with lots of veggies, grilled chicken and seafood and little carbs after mid-day. Oh- and no drinking... Apparently, in addition to empty calories, drinking causes you to want to eat crap after you do it and the following day. Who knew? :) I made it all of four hours before cheating on the drinking. I was golfing and it was beautiful- who wouldn't drink a beer? Besides, I burned the calories while golfing! Yesterday was a non-stop day at work and I rewarded myself with a few drinks after. Seeing that I never had time to eat my lunch salad (and forogt the chicken that was supposed to go on it) and ran for 9 hours behind the bar I feel that evened out.

Antoher thing I've decided to do is 8 Tuff Miles on February 27th, a 10K across St. John. ( ) It's not just any 10K, 8 Tuff Miles reaches elevations equivalent of the Empire State Building. It's likely going to kick my butt yet it forces me into the gym to prepare! I'm going to do it with some girls from work and some other friends- should be a blast. Plus, you get a T-Shirt and you all know I'm a sucker for things with a shirt!

So that's it for now- getting back to the way things used to be by eating healthy, working out and drinking vodka b/c it's low in calories :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wow- where has the time gone? I cannot believe we have been down here for nearly two months- not to mention through three major holidays!

This was the first year in my ENTIRE life that I have not woken up at my parents. That didn't hit me until mid-day at the bar and it kind of weirded me out. I'm 30 years old and have always been at 'home'! Even as recent as last year I made my mom wait until I went to bed to put out the Christmas gifts. Now I'm long past believing in Santa but there's something magical about going to sleep when the tree has nothing under it and waking up when it's got all sorts of fun wrapped presents underneath it! This year was also the first year we opened gifts on Christmas Eve :( I cannot say I want either of those things to become tradition. Laddie didn't seem to mind though, she loves opening her presents regardless of the day!
Tim and I were lucky enough to both be off NYE night and New Years Day and we made plans to go to Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. Foxy's is known for their New Year's Eve Party- it's ranked in the Top Ten in the world- so we were really looking forward to it. Then Wednesday came along and it rained ALL day and ALL night and was still raining Thursday morning. Oh- and while I know anyone in the Midwest reading this will curse me for saying this but- it was cold! I was beginning to get concerned that our trip to Jost was going to be a washout. Lo and behold though right before we had to leave to catch the ferry the sun started to come out. We got off the ferry, cleared Customs (which was in a tent by the way, they were not open to me taking a picture) and headed to meet our friends. We had a great night but, to be honest, I'm not sure WHAT makes the party in the Top Ten! Maybe it's the hundreds of yachts and boats, or the fact that it's on an island and outdoors under the stars (and full moon this year!) but it kind of seemed like any other bar. What made my night was getting to talk to our Chicago friends that we've spent the last 8 NYE's with when we got home. Granted it was 4 AM our time and we were a little... tired... but it was so great to talk to them!

So that's it for 2009. I can't wait to see what 2010 is going to bring. Right now I know a few sets of visitors that it's bringing and I CANNOT WAIT to see you all!! As you can see- Tim and Laddie are resting up for all the fun to be had!