Throwing caution into the wind when all I wanted was a damn snack

We now live in a day and age where even without allergies, you can still play Russian Roulette with a simple snack and warning labels are never a good sign.

Very very rarely do I ever actually ‘snack’ and when I do, its typically old school on the stove popcorn in a pan shacking it back and forth so it doesn’t burn… but I digress.

I wanted to change things up one night this week and bought an impulse snack because it was covered in blue cheese and jalapeño flavoring (insert Simpson drool here). Briefly looking at the package it stated no gmo, gluten free, blah blah… whatever… just give me the extra blue cheese and jalapeño, now! I mean please…ahem..

Listed on the bag, above the ingredients in very large print was a word I had not seen before: the Konjac yam. Directly underneath this unknown substance was a strongly worded phrase: Consumption of 6 oz of water per serving is recommended. Huh.

First thought in my head, “how damn hot are these things where water is recommended per serving?” (even though I know never to drink water with extremely spicy foods, you are supposed to drink milk, bread, crackers, etc. to soak up the spice, so relax people, it’s just the first thing I thought of)

So after eating my share of the snack (because my pie-hole love blue cheese and jalapeño without a second thought) I start the internet search for this mysterious ingredient only to find that not only are the side effects in big bold letters consist of BLOCKAGES OF ESOPHAGUS, THROAT OR INTESTINE, but went on to state that due to the health risk of eating this ingredient, it is banned in Canada and Australia.  Yowza!

Less of an importance, yet something that still concerning and should still be addressed was the ‘gastrointestinal distress including diarrhea and flatulence’ side effect (damn it mouth! ok how many of these things did I just eat?).

Glad I wasn’t on a hot date; lack of breathing and diarrhea/flatulence is not the sexiest look for anyone.

Consider this a P.S.A. and now you know.

Daily Post: Snacks

Fab-u-lous at 50!

its-a-birthday

The age of 50 may not seem ancient to all, but as my birthday to turn the big 5-0 was just last week, it feels ancient. It is a new decade. I am no longer in that 40-49 bracket (gasp!). Waking up in the morning creates the sounds of new pops, creaks, and snaps (and ouchies)…

I am trying to make the best of it, comes to terms with it, and thankfully Goose threw me a birthday party to remind me, things are not all that bad…maybe I am not as old, decrepit, and ancient as I tend to think. She rented an enormous house-6 bedrooms, 3 bath, and a third floor ballroom!! (courtesy of my Pop wish he could have attended…), I was surrounded by amazing friends (who drove upwards of two hrs to celebrate with me), laughs all weekend long (ever played the game “cards against humanity? say no more), won $$ at roulette (yes!) and danced the night away (no hokey-pokey here). I am not sure if it gets any better than that.

victoria-me

What would I do without my Goose? An amazing young woman who goes above and beyond for those she loves. I would be lost without her.

cheers!

cheers!

Cheers to another year! Thanks Mom – wish you were here – you would have shown the gang a few moves, at the expense of throwing out a hip! God Bless you!

The value of time? Priceless.

There are many things we cannot put a price on; love, trust, time…especially time… The value is priceless – it is just that simple.

goose

My daughter’s laugh; priceless (and contagious)

There is just not enough time for us to have fun together; we always want more.

If I could pay for more time with her, I would surely rob a bank.

just-dirt

finished

close-up

We paint, we plant, we indoor skydive, we vacation, we explore, we adventure…never enough time… value of time is priceless.

Fool me once, shame on you Vineyard… fool me twice…..

Little colored houses in the Vineyard

Little colored houses in the Vineyard

It is not often I give someone or something a second chance; I am damn good at reading people and places. But Martha’s Vineyard – wow you got me!   MV – 2, Me – 0.

The first time was an overnight get away with the ‘man’ as the MV high season was coming to a close. They could not get us off the island fast enough. Plenty happy to take our money, but actually expect the hostess to greet us with a ‘Hello’ at the restaurant, well that was just too much to ask apparently.

We even took the bus tour where the guide pointed out every wall of bushes and trees and what high profile celebrity had their home behind it, which could not be seen, but their have a fantastic landscaper. The bus rolled up into a parking lot for a potty break and my guy leans over and says, hey look it David Letterman. No Iie. A small fact that eluded the guide which goes to support the theory they are just not that interested in having you visit. That was about 6 years ago.

Friends tell me I did not give the island a fair chance, that there is so much to do I just HAVE to go back. Well Goose had never been so why not change up the company AND the time of year.

Only for the fact that she was with me did I have a good time –  but that being said, I could be tied up in an abandon warehouse bathroom, lying on the tile floor with a crazy ass clown on a tricycle who ‘wants to play a game’ and laugh my ass off.

Me and Goose on the high waves of Nantucket Sound

Me and Goose on the high waves of Nantucket Sound

Goose you are a life saver! Martha’s Vineyard… I fart in your general direction. The.End.

Looking to build a birch bark canoe? Who isn’t?

photo by VictoriaG.

photo by VictoriaG.

If I said it once, I said it a million times…. If left to my own devices 300 years ago, I would have easily starved to death and eventually froze to death if I actually did survive.  Who am I kidding, I have the tools constantly surrounding me and still wouldn’t think to slice bread.

To look back as see how people not only lived but thrived and created something from nothing blows me away! Take this small carved sculpture for instance.

One Man's Flute... photo by VictoriaG

One Man’s Flute… photo by VictoriaG

First, I wouldn’t have a sharp object to create it with – that goes without saying even though I actually said it…  I would be just banging rocks together in hopes it would take some sort of shape. But the Mayan and Aztec people (as did other cultures) carved this piece of clay into a shape (animal, diety, etc.) and made a musical instrument. Seriously? Overachiever!

It is called an Ocarina (some of the pieces on display date back over 4,000 years ago!), and it is a type of flute if you will. Depending on where, how many, and the shapes(s) of the hole(s) or slits, would determine the sound, which then would determine in what context it would played. Example: Some ocarinas were made for a parade-type atmosphere and gave the sharp shrill of what we would today call a police-whistle. Others were a soft, mid to low hoot, almost like wind blowing through wooden tubular wind chimes or a lonely call of a bird, simply relaxing you into a trance. We could have sat listening to him play for hours.

Photo by VictoriaG

Ocarinas – Photo by VictoriaG

ocarina

 

We watched a YouTube Video displayed at the Harvard Museum of History, the Latin American scholar José Cuellar played different ocarinas and explain their sounds and beauty. If you search for “breathing life into an ancient instrument” you will see it and others videos that he has made on the subject.

Before we move on, let me ask. Who the heck was on the archaeological dig that found these small clay pieces and decided it was a good idea to blow into them to see if it was a musical instrument? My first guess would have been a nifty little remembrance knick-knack for the one room home; musical instrument, not so much. But I digress.

Moving onto the Native American wing, we find more mind blowing creativity: building a canoe from white birch trees. We are not going to do the bare bones version of carving a canoe from one (hopefully) large tree trunk. These particular natives went full out and pieced them together, soaking and bending the ribs where needed. Again, remember I am barely surviving on the berries I have picked praying they won’t poison me and along comes some smarty-panties native throwing together a mini cruise ship to travel downstream. (sense some jealousy here?!)

how to build a canoe

Lastly, (only for this writing as I was not able to completely view the museum) we leave you with the ledger drawings of the Native Americans. Left not only on cave walls, teepees, and clothing, the Native Americans achieved something the Europeans did not; action drawings. They were even creative enough to show the ‘before and after’ in their photos in way to communicate the actual event. The one major historic lesson I learned from this section – Native Americans, at this juncture in time, had no written language; it was completely verbal (mind blown). No poetry, no stories to read in bed, no sending a letter to the next tribe asking for an extra cup of ground corn at their earliest convenience, nothing. Think how often you write (or these days, type) something down in order to remind yourself (a grocery list, on a calendar, who is picking up the kids and when…etc.) Our trip to the museum was two weeks ago and the simple statement of not having a written language sent me to dig deeper in my own tiny brain and try to understand that way of life. Let’s not get me started on their beautiful regard for life, their songs layered with notes hitting peaks and valleys, their simplicity and the value they gave everything and everyone around them….

Native American Ledger Art

Native American Ledger Art

Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, and species

familyouting

Come near my babies and get bitten! Try me you little brat! Where the hell are YOUR parents!?

Another adventurous outing for Goose and me – to the Zoo! Not just any zoo mind you, the one we would visit year after year when she was growing up (by now we should get a freebie); Roger Williams Zoo in Providence RI.

Whenever we get together we narrate the situation between us and then laugh our butts off.

I am waiting for my audience

I am waiting for my audience

showoff1

It’s about time humans! NOW I can show off!

We have always loved it there for it size, variety of species from around the world, cleanliness, and allowing families and children of all backgrounds to visit by keeping the price very affordable.

In the past the zoo seemed to grow just a little every year adding more exhibits and upgrading those that were already there. The petting zoo is now a walk-in type where children can pet, feed and groom the mini goats. Walk through Africa, South America, and different parts of Asia.  We even took advantage of the few volunteer booths that informed us of elephant poop, their teeth and how they grow and the anteater’s claws and snout – sometimes the little things are so interesting!

I have to be honest, we originally went to the booth because the women behind the tables were alone and looked as though they thought no one was interested in what they had to say. Well, we made sure to bring them some ‘business’ staying and asking questions until other visitors saw there was something going on, and well, our job was done.

flossingtime

Flossing time

lunchtime

What the hell is grass doing in the air??

Victoria's Hungry

FEED ME

 Always an adventure, always a great time, always enjoying our time together as mother/daughter, best friends, and partners-in-crime.

It’s All About the Latitude

latitude

All About Latitude

It occurred to us on this particular trip that we may travel to Montreal more than we think, as the border guard asked, “are you bringing any gifts to family members?” (we had never been asked that one before…). That being said, this was the first time we had the chance to stop and take the latitude photo.

It never ceases to amaze me that the midpoint between the North Pole and equator was only a mile outside the Canadian border. Good thing this is was not a question on a game show for a million dollars, I would have easily said someplace around Virginia (currently breaking out the map…) I mean come on, I cannot be the only person that is surprised by this information (help me out dear readers!)

drinkswithpoutine

The actual mission of this trip had two motives: two days of rest and relaxation and to find and devour at least two of the the 30 flavors of poutine at La Banquise – both were completed I am very happy to say.

We are poutine obsessed and proud of it. With fierce determination, we walked the 45 minutes and with rationalizing the calories that we had burned off, we ordered drinks too (we were parched don’t judge..)

So many poutine combinations…. so little time…. we will be back… sooner than later…

Food Porn (that's what the kids call it, rights?)