Updates w/ Pictures

Hello! I am apologizing now for totally slacking on my bloghopping/commenting in the past few days. Turns out our 3-5 day flooring project ending up spanning 7 days with a few hiccups, a little bit of stress, lots of stray cats and a fat raccoon. Week before last, I told you all about how we were starting this huge flooring renovation project that basically involves ripping up all the carpet in the downstairs portion of our house and replacing it with luxury vinyl plank because carpet is gross and with baby on the way, I wanted fresh, new, clean, allergy free floors for him (or her) to roly poly around on. Because I’m less than 11 weeks away from popping, my husband had to take all last week off to help move big furniture out of the way and what not cause I’m on a weight lift restriction.

Anyway, our house foundation is part concrete slab and part basement because at some point, an additon was added on. Well when the contractor came and ripped up the carpet, we got this huge surprise at this old looking, 1960’s tile — not just slab under there. At first the contractor was worried the tiles might have asbestos cause they were ancient. That would have threw a big monkey wrench in the project if that was the case. Turned out though there was another layer of tile underneathe the first one… and then in some spaces there was no tile at all. They popped up so easily and snapped easily that he determined (thankfully) that we did not have asbestos and the project continued. Here’s a picture of what 2 layers of 1960’s tile looks like, before and after:


Please excuse the ugly yellow walls from this point forward btw. We wanted to paint during the Christmas break but most paint has chemicals in it that may cause birth defects so my husband told me absolutely no painting til the baby is out of me. So anyway, here are some pictures of what the floor looked like with the ugly carpet before and then the concrete layer after:

Once down to that base layer, he had to fill in some spots to make some areas of the floor level with the rest. This involved putting down something called Feather Finish which is a concrete mix basically that levels floors. In the one room with the addition that has a wood subfloor, he had to scrape all the staples off and hammer down any nails poking up before filling in holes or rough spots. By the end of day seven, these were the results:

The only place that got new carpet were the stairs because we need that traction. I think it turned out pretty great. Doesn’t look so 1950’s anymore. A few hiccups we had was figuring out we did not have enough flooring by like day three cause some numbers got mixed up between the contractor and the guy we bought the flooring from. Then there was a day or two where he could only work half day instead of the full day. Lastly, we had a transition issue and technically still do around the tile where the woodstove is but he’s working with us to figure that out. Most of the final pictures were taken in the dark so one day when we have sun again, I’ll take better ones.

Oh, as for the raccoon, that happened on the very last day — Monday in fact. He had an extra long work day that day but it was 70 degrees outside so he left the patio door opened while he worked. Lots of animals came walking past like the feral cats because I know they live under out back deck but it was in the night time when he was finishing that  surprised the hell out of me. Here I am sitting there watching him work when a mammal walks past the door. I’m thinking, “hey look, yet another cat.” and then I noticed how it was walking and then it’s coloring and I was like “OMG THAT’S NOT A CAT!!!” I mean he was huge! I’ve never seen another mammal around our house besides squirrels, deer, chipmunks and cats. AND! he came walking out from that damn hole under the deck. Suffice to say I was very glad we had closed the door at that point cause that raccoon stopped in front of the door and walked closer like he couldn’t see humans sitting there or something and I’m convinced he would have walked right in had the door been open.

Now we’re in the process of getting the floors completely dusted and mopped while moving all our furniture back in its proper place. I can’t wait til we’re done with that so we can sleep in our bed again. The guest bed is so hard to me! I don’t care what any of the guests that sleep in it say. I’m quite happy though that our house looks less 1950’s with the berber carpet and more in the 21st century. By next week, after birthday shenanigans, I should be back to my regular WordPress self, at least for another couple months.

Hope you all are having a great week and I’ll try to make tomorrow’s post shorter. 😉


Caption This

First day back to work and I thought it would fun to post this picture I took while I was on my break. I walked out of the house and you know, you don’t normally look at your feet right away. I didn’t notice the sight until I came back from wherever I went that day and it made me pause and wonder at the story behind it. Maybe a squirrel dropped his cache in the way home because a cat was chasing him on his heels?? Maybe it wasn’t a squirrel at all but a tiny chipmunk who just didn’t have enough space for these last two nuts? Maybe it wasn’t a rodent at all but a cryptic message left to inform me of something important??

What do you think? Is my imagination a little too wild? Let me know in the comments below!

Food Discovery

I was searching RT for a post I made a while ago about types of food that we eat together that some may find weird. However, there are 241 posts on this blog and searching for the word “food” brought up a ton of posts including every Endangered post I’ve written (which are just not related to human food). So failing that, I just decided to start the post anyway. If you go searching for it, and find it, you’re a rock star!

Edit theorangutanlibrarian is a super rockstar! She found the post I was thinking about. Now I owe you cronuts if you ever find yourself in the heart of the nation 🙂 (Click here to read it.) ***

The other day my husband was watching a video featuring Tyler the Creator talking about breakfast food. Based off the snippet I was listening to, he was looking for a new type of breakfast food he could come up with on his own. Throughout the video, he was exploring this shop that made some very interesting pastries that lead me and the husband to a food discovery. Also, at the end he ended up making a breakfast sushi which was pretty cool and worth mentioning. The sushi rice took the form of a piece of a waffle with the raw meat being sausage on top and it was wrapped in a thin sliver of egg which mimics the seaweed. He also made this green butter which mimicked wasabi on the side. All of this was with the help of a chef of course but it definitely made me want to try it.

(Have I mentioned how much I LOVE FOOD?!? Especially breakfast food!)

So anyway, what caught my husband’s eye and made him show me was this CRAZY, COOL pastry called the cronut. You read that right. A cronut! It’s a croissant donut! Donuts are traditionally deep fried to get that sort of crisp outside and soft center where a croissant is usually baked to get that fluffy, flaky texture (I may suck at baking but I understand the processes!). A cronut is a meld of the two sort of? I still don’t quite understand it besides the fact that it’s baked in layers with a donut-y (?) bottom of sorts.

ANYWAY! This beautiful cronut that he was experiencing, was not in this country. So of course I go on a frantic Google search to see if any possible bakery near me makes this wonderful food invention that we just learned about. Now, there are retail bakeries like Dunkin Donuts and Jubilee but it’s a pretty low chance you’ll find an authentic cronut at these places. There is a such thing as a mock cronut! I don’t know what one looks like though because I found a local, mom and pop bakery that makes the real, deal, holy field! Talk about lucky. You pretty much have to wake up at dawn if you want them fresh out of the oven. Since I suck at waking up that early unless I have a very specific reason, I went more around 9am.

I present to you, the cronut:

If you’re wondering, yes, they’re freaking delicious and are slowly ruining a regular donut for me with their goodness. Next time I go, I’m going to try the cruffin (you read that right too; its a croissant muffin!)

Have you ever had a cronut, cruffin or any other crazy, delicious bakery? Any recent food discoveries in general?? Let me know in the comments below!


Long time ago back in like 2004ish? (I can’t remember specifics), Nel was a young kid getting excited for high school. Because of certain neighborhood events that occurred, my mother decided she wanted to move away. Since this move was happening right around school starting and my mom didn’t like the ratings of the school district in the area we were moving to, she decided to homeschool me and my sister. I don’t know if the school still exists but it was my first venture into the world wide web. There was a homework help chat room a lot of us would frequent and not talk about homework.

One day this cool guy comes strolling in the chat room legitimately looking for homework help. It was pretty comical at first but he really wanted to get a good grade and back then I was great at math. He was looking for help with understanding Algebra II quadratic equations. So I decided to help him. So we get on Skype and I share my screen so he can follow how I’m solving the equations. I’m sitting here explaining the steps and he interrupts me to say he didn’t really care about the process; that he just wanted me to give him the answers. Of course, I said you won’t learn that way if I just give you the answers but he didn’t care. I can’t remember if I caved or not and did his homework. Definitely sounds like what a hopeless 16 year old romantic would do. We ended up deciding to have an internet relationship after that.

I don’t even remember how long the relationship actually lasted but I ended up breaking it off cause I was falling in love and it scared the hell out of me. Yes! Nel was a coward! We went our separate ways for the duration of our high school years. Back then MySpace was really popular and I sent him a closure message along the lines of I was an idiot but I wish you well in your life. I didn’t expect him to answer me back but in 2007 that’s exactly what he did. He was having a rough time in his life because his car got set on fire and his life was just in this crazy chaotic spiral.

When I saw the message, my heart soared. I won’t deny it! I ended up turning into that friend that low key wanted to be more but didn’t want to be a home wrecker. But if the chance to date him again was ever presented itself, I’d take it.

It was August of 2007 and for one reason and another, he broke up with his girlfriend. I truly was sorry their relationship ended because they seemed so in love but I screamed inside when he asked me to go on a date with him. Yes, I was the rebound chick but I wanted to be! Plus, it would have been the first date I’d ever been on in my life. My mom was out of town but I was a very responsible teenager so when I called her and told her, she agreed on one condition. She wanted to talk to him and pretty much glean every piece of information out of him except his social security number… It was so embarrassing! That night over watching Superbad in theaters, eating peanut M&Ms and Chinese food, we bonded.

It’s now 2017 and here we are. We’ve endured lots of bads but plenty more goods in ten years. There were truly moments where we didn’t think we’d endure the test of time but we’ve exceeded even our expectations. If you ask my husband, he always without a doubt, from the first moment, that I was his forever. I, on the other hand was skeptical back then but now I can definitely say I agree. With Endangered Thursdays being tomorrow, I thought I would share this with you all today. Officially, tomorrow is my ten year dating anniversary and it’s a miracle I haven’t gifted my husband yet because I usually get so excited and impatient to know his reaction to his gifts. I’ll share the story behind the gifts another day in case he decides to take a peek at my blog, I don’t want him to know what I got him.

I will however share pictures of us from 2007 vs. 2017 for you lovelies:

Hope you all have a happy Tuesday. ❤

All the Elements

I haven’t done a photo challenge in a while but when I saw today’s word, elemental, I knew exactly which picture I wanted to share. This past June was my two year wedding anniversary. A friend of my husband’s had a birthday party at the site we got married. It was pretty surreal for us to see the place 2 years later and walk the paths to see if anything changed. While walking down one of the trails, I happened to look back and saw this brilliant array of natural colors. I stared for a second and then I snapped a picture of the moment. It was so quiet and it was just us on the trail and I just remember experiencing this powerful moment of joy at the fact that we were standing here, loving each other as much, if not more than the day we married. ♥♥

Facebook Friday 8/4/17

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

For once, I don’t have a bookish meme to share but I thought this was still quite hilarious. If you don’t get it right away, that’s okay, we can laugh about it later while I explain it:

Image may contain: 3 people, text

Next we have the video. You all should know by now how much I have this obsession/fantasy love affair with Idris Elba in my mind. Today, his movie The Dark Tower came out today. I must confess that I’ve never read this book before and honestly, if Idris Elba wasn’t in it, I may or may not have contemplated seeing it. Anyway, I shared this video to my page of Idris Elba on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. It’s pretty funny! They play this game where they send an English song through Google Translate and then translate it back to English and sing those lyrics. Check it out (plus bask in Elba’s voice..):

Last but not least, I shared two photos on Facebook this week. The first one was my book sale haul. On Wednesday, I dragged my friend to this library sale because we went last year and it was spectacular! We were in for such a surprise. Turns out it was bag day! Bag day means you buy a bag and fill it with as many books as possible and pay a flat fee. At this sale, the bags were $1! I was in heaven, truly. Then the lady blew my mind when she told me it was buy one bag get one free. I walked into this sale with $30 and walked out with 2 bags of books and $29:

The second picture I shared was an old one. For those that don’t have Facebook, it has this application called Facebook Memories that shares photos with you that you took years ago and allows you to share them with your friends again if you’d like. My Facebook memory was a big sunflower picture that I took 7 years ago. I shared it with my friends and family because 7 years ago I was in college and the picture was taken with my cellphone. I was at one of my work study jobs at my college’s Field Station. A group of us planted these sunflowers and a vegetable garden and I remember being so excited watching them grow. This sunflower was taller than me and i’m 5’7″! Back then I had a small, 4 inch LG phone that had a sliding qwerty keyboard. I remember fighting the smartphone wave for so long! I thought smartphones were dumb and too expensive. I thought my phone was the best phone with my free calls on nights and weekends after 9 pm. Man have the times change.

That’s it for today. Did you see anything cool in your social media this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Highbridge Trail

Thank you photo challenge for the prompt today. I’ve been looking for an excuse to post these pictures.

A few weeks ago I posted a story about encounters with Canadian geese while walking in the Gorge Metropark. The park has 3 trails: Glens trail, Gorge trail and Highbridge trail. Most people walk the Gorge trail because it takes you down to this huge man-made waterfall. It’s a 57 foot tall, 440 foot wide dam that used to generate electricity to residents (I have one picture from winter). Now there are talks of removing the tam because scientists believe its actually harming the ecosystem and obstructing a clean, healthy flow from the Cuyahoga River.

Highbridge trail is the more intensive back route of this park. You get to see the Gorge from a different viewing angle as well as seeing the power lines and generators used to provide power it at one point.

There’s also this HUGE bridge. I can’t even fathom how they built this through a forest but walking up on it, I was amazed. The bridge connects both sides of State Road to give humans a shorter drive distance; driving through the park vs. around it.

I wish it could have been a wildlife bridge then it wouldn’t be so invasive but hey, the removal of the Gorge is one step in the right direction. Maybe the bridge can be converted later.

What do you think about human structures encroaching through natural habitats? Let me know in the comments below!


You know, you never appreciate days off until you have 4 or more consecutively in a row. Work doesn’t exactly rule my life but I usually don’t want to do much except eat and chill out after a full day. These past 4 days I’ve felt like a real adult. I mean I am an adult but I mean like a productive member in society. Okay maybe for only 3 out of the 4 days… or 2 and a half. Anyway, here’s a recap of my weekend.

Saturday, I slept and I slept and I slept. I loooooove sleeping. Its right up there with eating. I maybe get 6 hours a night. Actually, the reason why I slept so much is because my husband woke me up at an ungodly 5am to let me know that he heard something go bump in the night upstairs and wanted to know if I heard it. Of course I didn’t hear it.. I was dead asleep. I’m a really light sleeper too. It’s a curse. He called my name and I was awake. I’m also grumpy when I wake up so I had my “wtf-is-wrong-you” face. Turns out the thump was a tree branch falling on the roof. We really need to get that tree cut down soon considering it’s 6 inches from the house..

So then I literally spent the entire day reading. Like all of it. I had been on the same book for an unbelievable week and I desperately needed to finish it. I’m pretty sure that’s all I did on Saturday. I can’t remember. OH! actually it was Sunday I spent all day reading. I went to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Saturday which I’ve already shared a couple pictures of. So if you reread these two paragraphs, just flip Saturday and Sunday.

It’s all about Monday anyway!

Sunday night, after gorging on a chicken dinner early in the day, we fasted. I am not knocking people who fast, more power to you but I think it’s one of the most torturous things a person can volunteer to do. I’d make a TERRIBLE spy. I’d sing like a canary for a burger.

We had to fast for 8-10 hours Sunday to Monday because we were going to get blood drawn. You see I’m almost 30 so we decided to start family planning and I want to make sure all is kosher inside my body before that happens. I’ve never had blood drawn before that I can remember. Every time I try to give blood I’m always denied for one reason or another. The nurse who did the blood draw was amazing. She was definitely a pro.

After that we went to Farmer Boy for breakfast. I took some pictures through the sunroof on the way there because the clouds were looking so gorgeous at that time of day. They also had a bunch of these cool flowers outside the restaurant.

We get inside and we’re getting funny looks cause our arms are banded up from giving blood. I think a lot of people may have thought we were on drugs because we had our starving faces on.

It was no question what we were going to eat. We both got 4 XL egg omelettes with hash browns and inhaled that food like there was no tomorrow. I’m never fasting again unless its absolutely necessary.

Then my husband got it into his head that we should go look at cars. We have two cars. a ’98 and a ’16. The ’98 works great except he part that it leaks gas if you fill it above halfway. Not exactly the most safe thing in the world. For a while money was tight and another new car wasn’t in the budget but now we figured lets see what our options could be. We went to the dealership, test drove two cars and of course, like the adults that we are, we bought one. Better to be safe and all that. (That’s the ’16 pictured below. We have to wait 2 months for the new one)

The highlight of the hours we spent at the dealership was this quill pen! I’ve never used one but the feather was there.. the ink was there… nobody was around at that moment so we took turns acting like Thomas Jefferson signing the Declaration of Independence because it’s only fitting!

We came back home, I did some other house chores finished another book and sat down to watch Okja. Seriously, if you watch this movie, I hope you have a whole roll of toilet paper. From beginning to end, I couldn’t handle it. I had the ugliest tears watching this movie. It’s a Netflix original about superpigs and the food market of supply and demand and it’s SO EMOTIONAL!

Since this post is hitting 800 words, I’m going to end it here. I’ll save my 4th of July activities for another post. Happy Independence Day America!!! Happy Tuesday to the rest of the world!

Passing Through

My mom is throwing a birthday party for my grandma in two weeks. She’s turning 75. The party is going to take place at a shelter inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I went up there today to have a video chat with my mom so she could see the place and have the exact picture in her mind’s eye. She lives out of state, you see, so she was only going based of stock photos from the web.

After I showed her the shelter, I decided to walk to the trails. My husband and I came to visit two weeks back but we didn’t have enough time to walk anything. I noticed a trail called the Overlook and was definitely interested in finding out what I was going to “look over”.

You know, walking through a forest is something else. It made me realize how we’re all passengers in this world; in our lifetime however long it may be. Nature was here before us and it will certainly be here long after we’re gone. Yes, we manipulate it, change it, kill it, but it always finds a way to adapt, survive, and in some cases evolve.

I probably walked about 35 minutes and it was just beautiful. Really brings you down to Earth in a literal, massive way. I don’t know how this place will look a year from now, 10 years from now, 50 years from now, but I enjoyed it today and I’ll enjoy it again each time I go back because every day is always new and different.

How does nature make you feel? Do you agree with what I said? Does this make you want to come to Ohio and explore with me?! Let me know in the comments below!

Cherries: The Final Chapter

Its pouring down raining here today so I thought I’d share a story of sunshine and color!

I mentioned in a previous post that I work with people who are 30-50 years older than me. Well, my boss is 80 years old. He is such an enigma! I could probably do a whole blog series just about him. Anyway, usually when I come to work I do office stuff. That mostly involves paperwork, emails and answering phones. However, when you work for someone who is 80 years old and has many hobbies, your work day can often change. For example, he’s decided to have bee colonies at his house so he ordered a bunch of flow hives off eBay and had me put them together. It was a trial let me tell you. Another time he sent me to the post office to pick up 3,000 bees, not in my car mind you!

So, I’m usually first in the office. Then he strolls in about an hour or hour and a half after me. Yesterday, he decided that it was cherry picking day. I shared a couple of pictures of these cherries from their blossoms to the actual fruit. They’re ripe now! He walks into my office and goes, “you ever pick cherries before?” I’m like no, never. I’d never even seen a cherry tree up close until I started working here.

He explains that he’s going to put me and my coworker in a basket and lift us up to pick everything off the top of the tree. Now as you’re reading this, you’re probably like is he senile? What do you mean lift us up in a basket?? I automatically think of a picnic basket and I’m pretty positive I’m too big for that. Or like a hot air balloon basket but we don’t have one of those.

It’s actually a metal basket strapped to a forklift!

So I am literally entrusting my life to the driver of this rusted contraption below me and there’s no strapping us to the basket itself. It’s a free for all.

Half my day was spent up in the air which was pretty fun. When I told my husband he was like, “this is what you do all day?”. I was like when an 80 year old man tells you to pick cherries, you pick cherries!

Here are a couple pictures from up in the air to give you perspective. The first one is the view from the top of a semi that docked for shipment pickup. The second one features a cameo from Mr. Continental! He blends right into the forest with that tree growing out his bumper.

This is only one tree of many. As you can see in the picture above, there’s a tree with a different type of cherries. I thought all cherries were created equal but the dark red ones are called Bing cherries and those yellow ones are Queen Ann cherries. The Bing cherries have a slight sour taste whereas those Queen Ann cherries are sweet! They tasted like grapes to me.

We filled two big boxes of cherries and left the rest to the birds and other wildlife to strip the rest of that tree. Since this day there has been lots of cherry pie and cherry jam in this office.

Do you have fruit trees? Do you like cherries? Is it rainy where you are in the world now? Let me know in the comments below!