Monday, August 07, 2017

Hello Fresh

For a couple of months now I've been seriously considering signing up for one of those meal kit delivery programs.  I asked my Facebook friends which they preferred, Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, and why.  I got some great feedback which helped me make a decision.

I chose Hello Fresh because most people felt there was more variety in the meals.  They've got a handy app that lets you look ahead at what's coming and allows you to swap out meals that contain something you don't like.  They work with farms to provide food just for them, so its not like those frozen microwave dinners that were never ever fresh.

I also liked that Hello Fresh gives you the ability to choose any day of the week for your meal kits to arrive.  That was important to me because we eat out on Fri, Sat, and Sun so I didn't want the 3 meals for 2 people to show up on Wed or Thurs.  I selected Mon delivery so I'd have fresh food on the nights we eat at home.

I like that the meals are thought out for me.  The main reason I hate going to the grocery store is because I get there and can't think what to buy for dinners for the week.  This takes care of it for me.  It also ensures that everything I need for the recipe is there, so no forgetting a key ingredient while at the grocery store.  The kit includes the correct amount of everything so there's no left-over ingredients and no waste.  

I also like that this is a set portion size which will prevent overeating.  Sometimes I catch myself eating more than I should because I don't want to save/put away a small amount of left-over food.  These are normal size portions and most are under 550 calories.

The only downside I can see is that it will likely require the use of more pots and pans than I'm used to using (I'm the king of 1-pot meals) so that means more hand washing since pots and pans never seem to get completely clean in the dishwasher.  But I think it will be worthwhile for all the convenience and healthy, fresh food.

I think this is going to be so good for me!  My 1st order arrives next Mon so I'll post again after I've made a few meals.

Monday, July 31, 2017


Mondays... nobody really likes them.  But after working both Sat & Sun and being incredibly busy will all manner of annoying situations, I am exhausted today and do NOT feel like working.

My next day off is Thurs, which means I will have worked 6 days in a row.  Not that this is 'incredible', but being the time of year that it is (summer) and the location (beach resort), I will have been super busy for 6 straight days.

And I'm already exhausted.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Birthday, part 2

On his birthday I told Spouse that the 2nd part of his gift was a surprise and would take place on Sat and that we'd be away for the day.  He asked if we needed someone to let the dogs out and feed them, but I told him we'd be back in time.

So Sat morning we got into the car and drove north with him still unable to figure out where we were going or what we were doing.  About 2 hours later we arrived at QVC studios in West Chester PA and I told him we were going on a studio tour.  I'm sure I've written before about how much Spouse loves to watch home shopping on TV.  He watches all of them too:  QVC, HSN, HSN2, and evine Live.  He was excited about the tour.

Unfortunately I left my phone at home so I couldn't take any photos, but we did get to watch as the live broadcast was going on with David Venable.  Although known for his "In the Kitchen with David" segment, he was actually selling a collapsable rolling cart while we were there.  It was neat to see all the sets, lighting, cameras, and control booth used for the 100% live broadcasts.  I was surprised that most of the camera work is done by robots being maneuvered by the director with a joy stick in the control room.  We learned about how the volume of calls is tracked and matched with what the hosts and guests are saying in order to improve future selling.  We also learned that QVC has live broadcasts in China, Japan, Germany, UK, France, and Australia too.

After the tour we drove into the little historic town of West Chester and walked down the main street until we found a good looking place to eat lunch.  We had a delicious meal at Landmark Americana.  On our way south we stopped at Trader Joe's.  I'd managed to sneak a cooler with freezer blocks into the back of the car without Spouse knowing, so we were able to buy frozen food on this trip.  Typically we stock up at Trader Joe's near Spouse's family's house but can't get frozen foods because we never have a cooler.

Once back home we made plans to have dinner with Steven & Thad, which is typical for a Sat night.  But then 7 more of our friends walked in and we had a surprise birthday dinner for 11 at El Azteca Mexican restaurant.
Rick & Nick.  Spouse trains with Rick twice a week.

Joe & Glenn

Thad & Steven

Joe P and Harvey

Jim and me
Unfortunately I don't have a pic of Spouse!  I took one but he protested because he was chewing and thought the pic would look bad, so I deleted it.  I was going to take another pic later but, um... well, there were margaritas.  Delicious margaritas, and I got distracted.  But we had a great time and he was totally surprised.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Double birthday!

Today is a double birthday in our household.  Its Spouse's birthday and Walter's birthday!!

These flowers arrived at Spouse's office today
Everyone with whom Spouse works always comment how nice it is that he receives flowers at work on his birthday, Valentines Day, and our anniversary.  I think its important that they see that gay couples are perhaps more apt to publicly celebrate their relationships/marriages because we've had to fight for their recognition.

When Spouse got home from work I gave him a gift I knew he'd like:  12 pairs of colorful socks.
I realize this might seem like an odd gift, but he LOVES colorful socks.  I knew he'd love these.  Besides, he already bought himself an Amazon Fire tablet and an Amazon Fire Stick a few days ago so he really left me very few options.

I also got him 5 of his favorite candies:

On Sat I have more plans to celebrate his birthday!

Unfortunately for Walter, his 2nd birthday was overshadowed by Spouse's birthday.  But I did give him extra head scratches and playtime.

Monday, July 17, 2017


I'm back on my healthy eating plan and yet again attempting to lose weight. 

Pray for me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Boy, Interrupted

I was raised not to interrupt when people were talking.  I thought everyone was raised this way, but apparently they weren't.  Or maybe they've just abandoned good manners.

It seems more and more (especially at work) I've been surprised at how inconsiderate people can be.  As a real estate agent I get calls from potential buyers with questions about properties they've seen online or while out driving.  They'll ask me a question and before I can finish an answer they will interrupt with another question or statement.  Real estate can have complicated components and contingencies requiring more than a 1 or 2 word answer. 

Recently Spouse & I were out to dinner with friends and the well-meaning waitress kept walking up to the table and interrupting our conversation to ask if we needed anything.  I understand that it may require 2 extra seconds, but can't servers approach the table and allow the person speaking to pause before saying something like "Excuse me, but may I get anything else for you?"  Honestly, I find it rude.

Where is the consideration?  

Where is the politeness?  

Where are the manners we learned as kids?

Monday, July 10, 2017


A little while back I posted photos and wrote about how well our 'comical roses' were doing.

Now that more time has passed, our other roses are doing very well too!  While Spouse is the real rose lover, probably MY favorite of our roses are the orange ones.  The color is so amazing they almost look artificial!

I mean, aren't these incredible?!?!

Fortunately these are shrub roses so we don't have to deadhead them.  

The yellow roses are not doing very well at all.  I'm not sure if its because we've only had them a year or if the soil is too sandy, but both of the bushes have only bloomed once so far.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Beardy boy

I find the combination of a beard and a fade haircut to be particularly sexy.

Add a handsome face and chest hair?  I'm done!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Independence Day

Ever since moving to our fair little hamlet I have enjoyed Independence Day/July 4th, mostly because of the Doo Dah Parade.  Click on the Doo Dah Parade tag below this post for more info and posts.  Last year's July 4th was disappointing as the weather threatened rain all day.  I made the executive decision not to drive Big Ella in the parade due to the weather, and sure enough it began to rain as the parade started.  

This year the weather was nearly the same. Steven & Thad had invited a bunch of friends to their house for a cookout which overlapped the timing of the Doo Dah parade so I decided not to drive Big Ella again and we forewent the parade to be at our friends' cookout.  Within minutes of everyone's arrival at the cookout it began to rain so we all went inside.  Poor Steven stood outside with an umbrella to finish cooking the hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken.  But despite having to move the party inside, we all had a good time and the food was delicious.  Spouse made his signature potato salad which everyone loves.

Side note:  for the 2 weeks or so leading up to the cookout I kept referring to it as a "good old fashioned 4th of July BBQ".  In conversation, in texts, in emails, I kept repeating the same exact phrase "good old fashioned 4th of July BBQ".  I felt like a Republican, repeating something over and over again until it becomes recognized! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Family visit

This weekend we're happy to have Spouse's sister, brother-in-law, and their 2 sons visiting us.  We expect them to arrive later tonight.

They used to come every summer and stay for a week.  Spouse would take off work and go with them to the beach and hang out.  But as they've gotten older its harder for them to be away for so long.  This summer 1 of the boys has a Mon-Fri job so they can only come for a weekend.

But it will be fun to have them around, and the weather looks good for hanging out at the beach, so it should be a great weekend!
Spouse & our 2 nephews, taken last year

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Glimpses of Gay, part 6

Since June is widely considered Pride month, I was thinking about how I might celebrate on my blog.  My coming out story is easily accessible here on my blog using the 'coming out' tag.  But I came up with the concept I'm calling Glimpses of Gay.  This is where I will share occasions that occurred before I came out where I had a glimpse of gay life or an interaction with someone I understood to be gay.  Here's part 6:

I think it was 1992, only about a year before I left the JWs to be an out gay man, and I was working in the customer service department for the local phone company.  I received a call from a man (we'll call him John because I don't remember his actual name) who requested we change the name on the phone bill.  John said the service/bill was in the name of Roger (not his real name either) but that Roger had passed away.  He said he lived with Roger and wanted to keep the same phone number and service as is, but change the name on the account.

Not because I'm nosey but because it was a requirement of the job, I asked John if he and Roger were roommates or related in some way.  There was an elongated pause and then John said something like "Well, we weren't related legally."  There was another long pause and then he said "We were a couple."

Keep in mind that in 1992 people were just starting to hear the term "partner" used to describe a gay person's spouse, and recognized domestic partnerships and marriage equality were still a distant fantasy.  Same sex couples had little-to-no legal connection or rights.

"I'm very sorry for your loss" I said sincerely.  Then I explained the phone company's policy and what I would do for him.  I bent the rules a bit to allow him to assume the account despite John an Roger not being related, since it wasn't his fault they were unable to be legally married.  He was very appreciative and thanked me for my kindness and sensitivity.

Coincidentally I saw that the address was very close to where I lived, so I wrote down the address on a Post-it note and slid it into my pocket.  After work I stopped and purchased a sympathy card, wrote a short note inside, and delivered it to John's house.  I didn't ring the doorbell or attempt to meet him in person, but wanted to show my support for his relationship and my sympathy over his loss.