Wednesday, August 31, 2011


That's right, bitches! Vacation is upon us!  I head to Boston tonight and by noon tomorrow I will be in hot and tropical Key West.

I know I said I was going to wear only 3 things in Florida while on vacation and that I don't care what I look like.  Both are still true.  Yet I managed to pack: sneakers, 3 days of running gear, my fuelbelt, undies and socks, 2 bathing suits, 3 beach cover ups, 3 pairs of shoes, one pair of jeans, 1 pair of capris, 1 skirt, 3 dresses, 6 tank tops, 4 tee shirts, PJs, lounge clothes, 6 cardigans, 4 books, a fan, 2 scarves, and all my toiletries.  I completely filled our large suitcase and it took me an hour.

Mr. G grabbed the first 6 tee shirts in his drawer, 4 bathing suits, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of pants, a sweatshirt, 2 pairs of flip flops and some socks and undies.  He was done in 7 minutes and it all fit in to his backpack.

If you are lucky (or not?) I might pop in to do a special report from they Keys in between sunbathing, shopping, sleeping, drinking cocktails and eating seafood.  But don't count on it.

See you in two weeks!

Monday, August 29, 2011


By now most of you have heard about the flooding up here in Vermont due to the tropical storm.

I feel like it was a dream.  I am in an exhausted daze.

Roads are gone.  Buildings are gone.  Cars are gone.  Businesses are gone.  People are gone.

I know just a few days ago I blogged about how this hurricane would not be a big deal, that people were over reacting.  And that we were not preparing at all for any natural disasters.

No amount of preparations would have saved us, our town, our state, our neighbors, our friends from the devastation that was caused this weekend.

Our friend's house was swept away.

Our friend's car was swept away.

Our friend's business is ruined.

Our bridge is gone, hundreds of people are stranded.

This is just in our town.

Across our small state the devastation is even worse.  People lost everything.

Watching the water was amazing.  Within an hour we watched it rise over 30 feet.  Cars and trucks and dumpsters and propane tanks floated down the river, crashing in to our beautiful, historical bridge.

This is our bridge on a normal day:

This was our bridge yesterday afternoon, the water had risen so high it was going over the bridge:

And this is what we woke to find this morning:


We spent hours outside yesterday in the pouring rain standing with our neighbors in shock.  Hundreds of Vermonters in our little town just standing and watching, open mouthed.  As the water got closer and closer to the bridge we all ran to whichever side of it our homes were on.  We were fortunate--the people on the other side of the bridge are literally stranded.  Their only routes out have all been damaged.

This morning, after minimal sleep in our powerless house, we finally got up out of bed to survey the damage.  The water had blessedly receded but all along yards, our golf course, our neighborhood streets there is water damage, left over junk that floated down the river; a flatbed truck, a refrigerator, and so many propane tanks litter our little town, not to mention regular garbage and literally tons of sludge.

But as we stood out there again this morning, my husband and I, we were so thankful that our house was not touched, that our loved ones all survived.  We knew our community, our state, known for it's hard working residents and camaraderie will come together and rebuild.  In Vermont, authenticity is all, we do not pretend to be real, we are real.  We will join together, helping our neighbors rebuild, it is the only thing we know how to do.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Natural Disasters

If you live on the east coast (or not) you know that we just survived an earthquake of epic proportions and a huge, massive, scary, already-downgraded to a cat. 2 hurricane is headed our way for the weekend.

This is big excitement for us.  Two natural disasters in one week.

Irene is a-comin' and there has been nothing but talk of her fury for days now.  It's all over the news.  The weather channel.  The radio.  People are buzzing about it.  Even up here in safe, little, quaint Vermont, where people are smart because we survive blizzards all winter and know how to deal with shit like this, people are panicking and talking about how we need to prepare for this hurricane.

Let me tell you about my hurricane preparedness:

  • I rescheduled my weekend so I can still get in an 11 mile run without getting drenched.
  • I went to the store and bought plenty of beer and vodka (we northerners tend to do this mostly for winter blizzards, but we are tough Vermonters, we can adapt and do this for summer storms too).

Bring it, Irene.

Best of luck,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Mr. G and I need your help.

Awhile back we got into a debate.  With all that is going on in the world and with our somewhat different views on things, we tend to debate a lot to keep our relationship alive and healthy.

What was this last debate about, you ask?

No, it was not about the war in Libya, the east coast earthquake, the upcoming presidential election, the stock market drop, unemployment, healthcare, immigration, abortion, the debt ceiling, Casey Anthony, gay rights, our 401K, the world ending in 2012 or any of the other important matters that are facing this country (and world) at this time.

It was a debate about beer thirty versus beer o'clock.


I say that it is beer thirty.  Mr. G says it is beer o'clock.

Please help us end this debate so we can move on to other more important things in life like creating world peace and dragging our nation out of this recession.


Monday, August 22, 2011


This weekend was a wild one for the Goodwin family.

We packed our shit up into Harrison (the) Ford, and headed north for the Nagle-Rachdorf wedding.  It was quite the doozy.  Gergeous weather, perfect couple, stunning ceremony, to die for reception.  Amazeball food and open bar.

Which means Mr. G and I hit the sauce and are still recovering.

Regardless of the 2 naps I took yesterday, my 9 pm bedtime, and the horrible food consumed to absorb any leftover vodka from my system (pizza hut, gatorade, and greasy meatloaf with taters), I am still exhausted.  And my head still kind of hurts.

I would love for my day today to look like this:

Sleep late
Wake up and go to the beach.  Sleep in the sun.
Wake up and read in the sun.
Take a nap.
Go for a run.
Get a massage.*(I am fortunate to have a message scheduled for this afternoon, bless the lord.)
Have a servant make dinner and clean the house.
Watch Mad Men.
Go to bed by 9:45.

Guess it's 9 hours at the office instead.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Friday/Mid August/My Life is Lame List

1) My nails have gotten really long and healthy this summer.  And I just spent a good chunk of time painting them a fabulous pink color.  My coworker even commented on the fact that I have "beautiful nails." (I love weird compliments.)  Then I went and broke my middle nail and my hand feels (and surely looks!) all funny and awkward.
notice the missing quarter inch on my middle nail?!

2) Tonight is the Cornish Fair.  The fair of my home town.  When we were kids we used to have our mom drive us by the fair field every night in the week leading up to the fair so we could see the rides getting assembled.  It was so big, glorious, exciting.  Now I see it is small and just a little hick town country fair, but Mr. G and I love it none the less.  We will put on our shit kicking shoes, grab a warm sweater, get some fair fries (with vinegar, thankyouverymuch), and watch the horse pull.  We look forward to this all year.

3) I am trying to look more fashionable.  I wore a pink scarf to work today with a white tee shirt and some blue jeans. And a cute gray cardie and some gold sandals.   Mr. G looked at me funny this morning, as he is used to my normal Friday attire of a drab skirt with an elastic waist band and a sweat shirt.

4) This beautiful couple is getting married tomorrow and we could not be more pleased:
Jackie and Stacey are our dear friend and we are pleased as punch to be guests at their wedding tomorrow.  Even Mr. G, whose normal comment about upcoming nuptials is usually "this will be an epic party," said to me last night "I bet Stacey and Jackie are just so excited to get married on Saturday!"  That says a lot.  

5) We leave for vacation in less than two weeks.  Aaaaaaah, yes please!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dear Lord

For some reason I am in a bit of a funk this week.

I know, it occasionally cannot be helped.

But lord have mercy.

I am so tired.  All I want to do this week is sleep.  And nap.  And then sleep some more.

When I am not sleeping and napping, I also want to be eating unhealthy foods.  For dinner the other night I had 3 servings of Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks (to be fair, I used light cream) and for lunch yesterday I had cake and brie.  Double Dub (weight watchers) be damned.

Lastly, I have not gone for a run since Sunday.  I plan to remedy that tonight with a five miler, but I have just had no energy to get up and even run for 20 minutes.  Heaven help me get through this run tonight, I'm gonna need it.

All I want to do is sleep, eat, and watch Vince and the boys on Entourage.  And get massaged by Mr. G.  And not clean the house, run, go to work, cook, or get dressed.

I'm blaming it on the 60 degree weather and the rain.


Monday, August 15, 2011


I have heard parents speak of being so proud of their children that it feels like their hearts might explode, and that I would understand that feeling someday when I birth a child of my own.

Until I have my own spawn, I will experience that pride due to Mr. G.

This weekend, Mr. G participated in a 50 mile bike event to raise money for the Vermont Food Banks via a local radio station and a local brewery.  For the biking (and beer drinking) crowd, it is a pretty big event.  Participants have the choice to enter a 25 mile route, a 50 mile route, or a 115 mile route.  Mr. G has been getting soft since last winter (and by soft I mean still the most in shape human being on the planet without an ounce of fat on him) so he decided to do the 50.

For really only about a month he trained for the event.  He started with a 13 mile route and came home complaining.  Then he added more and more miles until he eventually did almost 40.  He was in good shape, but still nervous.

As I drove him to the race drop off, he was nervous, fidgety and sighing in the car.  He was also pretty quiet, a for sure sign that he had stuff on his mind. 

"What are you most nervous about, honey?" I asked to try to calm him down.
"The commands, being tired, coming in dead last, being the only person to do this on a mountain bike." He replied.

All good reasons to be nervous.

But I knew that he could do it, and that he would not come in dead last, not even close.  I dropped him off, made sure he was all ready to go, left him at his meeting standing there alone, still feeling nervous, I was sure.

On my way home I passed some of the other bikers who were doing the 115 mile route.  They were on the hardest part of the route (that my beloved was about to embark on); nearly 7 miles up and over a mountain.  Not really, but it was nearly 7 miles of uphill, no break in site.  All of the bikers were powering through, and I could picture Mr. G biking up the hill as well with the rest of the group leaving from the 50 mile mark.  I was so proud of my husband for even participating in an event like this.  Regardless of how long it took him, I was proud that he was raising money for a great cause, challenging himself, working hard.

I got to the brewery (not for a beer, but because it was the location for the finish line.  And for a beer...) 3 hours after Mr. G had taken off.  He thought it would take him 4 hours.  I had faith it would be less.  I arrived and only about 40 other bikers had finished at this point.  I went to the finish line and waited.  And I only had to wait a few minutes, because in rode Mr. G, so fast, so sweaty, so wonderful.  He was one of the top 50 finishers from all groups (over 600 people participated) and he still had a sweet smile on his face.  Not only was he not last, but he was in the first wave of finishers!  And he had done it on a MOUNTAIN bike!  I could not contain my pride as I rushed over to hug and kiss the skinny, sweaty, stinky, shaky man (biker!) I call my husband.

Mr. G, I knew you could do it and I am so glad this race helped you gain the confidence you need.  You are a wonderful athlete and an amazing biker (and skier, and masseuse, and dish washer...) and my heart felt like it was bursting with pride for you on Saturday.  I cannot wait until next year to watch you cross the finish line after your 115 mile route. 

Filled with pride,

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Ladies, this post is for you.

You know how we as women tend to constantly feel the need to look cute/pretty/sexy/good?  It's not like we ever want to leave the house looking blah (though if you know me, you know this is how I do generally leave the house).  You want people to look at you and not think to themselves "what an ugly blob."  Which is why we wear tight clothes, spend tons on makeup and hair products, wear heels?  We want to look and feel our best.

And for most people this feeling continues on vacation.  Women bring sexy dresses and heels to the beach. They bring their curling irons, makeup, 13 pairs of shoes, 7 pairs of pants, etc.  I always threw in at least 6 outfits more than necessary for a vacation because I just needed to have options for any and all occasions on my vacation.

And then my granny status took over my life.

Now on vacation, I want to take a break from all of the stressors in my life.  And that includes dressing up (which again, I minimally do anyway).  So when I leave for vacation in the Keys in two and a half weeks I *might* bring one cute outfit to wear (jeans and a tank top and cute cardigan, real fancy, I know), but the rest will consist of: 2 black identical bathing suits, 3 (really old, ratty) sun dresses to wear over bathing suits not only to the beach but to town as well, 2 semi-decent other dresses or skirts to wear when not at the beach, 1 pair of capris, 4 tees and tanks to easily match the skirts and capris, sweats to wear in our house, run clothes.  There will be 2 pairs of flip flops.  No heels.  No hair products (let's be real, I don't own a curling iron, curlers, a hairbrush even.  I own 1 hair dryer and that is it.  Shocking, I know.)  I will bring deodorant and sunscreen for my skin care routine.

I want to look good on vacation.  It's not like I want to look like like the ugly mother fucker I am at heart.  But I just don't have the money, body or energy to be wearing white jeans and a pretty tunic on top.  Or lovely sundresses that cost $100.  And I think it looks out of place to see a woman in a fancy dress and heels at the beach (cute dress with wedges I can understand. But I don't have either of those things, nor do I have the money to buy them, so tough shit for me).  I want to look beach casual, surfer chic.  But I don't care enough to put any energy in it (again, if I had the money and the body it might make it easier for me to have the energy to pull together a classic and chic beach look).

So I will be that ugly blob walking around on my vacation in flip flops, a comfy cotton skirt, and an ill fitting ugly tank top on over my plain jane and ugly bathing suit.  And I will be walking around with my hair in a ponytail.  And if you are lucky I will have some lipgloss and mascara on.  And I don't give two shits.  I will be relaxed, comfortable and having fun.  But I will be ugly.  Just be forewarned.

Love your Fugly (but relaxed) granny

Monday, August 8, 2011

A little scare

You might recall a few weeks ago that Mr. G and I attended a wedding down in (bumfuck nowhere beautiful) Massachusetts.  We had a grand old time.  We even dressed up a little.

 (proof we know how to dress up)

Halfway through the night, when I had consumed my quota of free white wine, and Mr. G had taken a few healthy slugs off his whiskey flask, Mr. G asked for the keys to Caroline the Corolla so he could get something from the car.  I had the keys, you see, as I was the DD.  I had driven us to the wedding hours before and had put the keys in my clutch.  I grabbed my bag, searched for the keys...and they were not there.

It should be noted at this point that Caroline the Corolla has an attitude, and she locks automatically every 30 seconds if she is not already locked.  So if you leave the keys in the car, you are really screwed.

I was pretty panicked.  Mr. G was pretty drunk.  Between us we were a spectacle.  By a blessing sent from above, Caroline was UNLOCKED.  But that didn't help us at all, as I had not left the keys in her ignition.  Or anywhere in her beautiful blue body of a vehicle.  The keys were nowhere to be found.  Mr. G whipped out a flashlight and roamed the (muddy, wet, dark, long) driveway.  I started to come up with a plan; I would call AAA, but wait!  My AAA card is back in my regular purse at the hotel.  And with that, the house keys, work keys, post office keys are on on my keychain!  What am I going to do?!  How could I lose the keys?  I was the responsible one, where could I have put them?  What on earth was I going to do?

Just as full on panic attack mode was setting in, Caroline chirped, as if someone had just clicked the "lock" button on my keychain.  And I looked up and Mr. G had the keys.

They were in his pocket the whole time.  Because an hour earlier, he had apparently taken them from my clutch to get something else from the car.  And he never put them back.  And whiskey makes you forget where you put other people's keys.

The bastard.

Happy (??!!) Monday,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One Year

It has been a year since she has been gone, and I still miss her every day. A year since I sat in her makeshift, temporary room holding her hand while she took her last breath.  A year.

As I sit here, thinking about my grandmother with a million stories to share, and infinite things to tell you about her, I am nearly speechless.  Overwhelmed.


I miss you every day.  I think of you all the time.

I want to go back to being kids again, with you and popop playing with us like you did.  Dancing around the piano while you played your magical songs.  Sitting in your lap while you told us stories and read to us.  Pretending to care about football so we could watch TV with popop.  I want to take all of your vitamins and sort them like I used to, making morning breakfasts a game.

I want to go back to being 13, starting to care about everything in your past.  Your upbringing, your social and political achievements.  I want to hear more stories about the unions, the wars, the presidents, the civil rights movement.  I want to hear about your stories traveling to China, to Russia, all over.

I want you to teach me how to make kugel again.  I want to stand in the kitchen with you and chop onions.

I want to go to Rehoboth as a family and sit on the beach, play in the waves.  Sit with you and popop and all of the cousins on the porch.  Watch you and popop (and mom, Briane, and Tom) dance around the living room.

I want to graduate high school again and share your excitement as I go off to college.  Despite my faults, you were nothing but proud of me.  Of all of us granddaughters.  I want to call you from school, tell you about my grades, my work, my day.

I want to go back to being 23, having you live nearby.  Coming to sit with you in your new "apartment" and just talking.  Reading the paper together.  Listening to your stories about how romantic popop was.  Sing union songs, because even after all those years, they were still fresh in your mind.

I want to go back to last summer.  When I would come visit you every afternoon before dinner, you would tell me you were tired, ready to go, but you would smile and exclaim "Shauni!  How close is the wedding now?"  Even when you fell sick and were in a coma-like state, whenever someone would come kiss you those last few days, you would open your eyes, smile, and say "hi!" before drifting off again.  And you would smile the most wonderful crooked smile that even the toughest man would see it and melt.

Your last words to me, during a moment of lucidity 5 days before you left us, were "Call me when you get to the campsite, I want to make sure you got there ok."  I laughed and smiled and said, "See you on Sunday."

In a year so much has happened.  I married the man of my dreams, one month to the day after you passed.  I felt you there, along with popop and the Burke grandparents.  But I wish you were there, dressed to the nines, smiling, hugging and kissing.

I have a great job and I travel all over. I know you would be telling me stories of your adventures when you were traveling the globe.

I'm running a half marathon.  I can literally hear your words: "13 miles??!?!?!?  Honey, that's crazy!" But nobody would be more proud of me than you.

I miss you.  I want to snuggle in to your soft lap.  I want to sing with you.  Kiss you and hold your cold, veiny hands.  Smell you (Elizabeth Taylor's "White Diamond" perfume mixed with old lady and sweaters).  Nap next to you.  Laugh with you.  Just be with you.

I have too much else to say, but mostly, I miss you.  I love you.  Every day.

Big kisses,

Monday, August 1, 2011

You didn't know I am obsessed with cheese?

When I was four and in pre-school, I began my love affair with cheese.  

(Four year old big bad self)

Cheddar to be exact.  I remember sitting in preschool one day and we had cubes of cheddar.  And being four, and having no self control, I popped as many of those cubes of cheddar into my little mouth and ate and ate and ate...and then got in Jessica Bunnell's mom's blue Volvo to go home.  And then threw up cheddar everywhere.  I think Mrs. Bunnell was none-too pleased.

(The scene of the crime)

After that incident, even at the tender age of four, I was convinced I was allergic to cheese and went until about high school before trying it again.

This could be why I am, as an adult, so obsessed with cheese; I went 10 years without it in my life.

(no cheese = sad granny)

You would think I would have learned from my four year old cheese lovin' self.  (You would also think I would know about self control and that I would care about my weight loss journey and stay far away from the cheese.)

But 22 years later, I seem to have made the same mistake.

Last night at a lovely wine shower for some friends getting hitched next month, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, a huge, I mean globe sized, wedge of brie.

And I attacked it like the fat kid at heart that I really am.

(nom, nom, nom)

I literally ate about 7 ounces of brie.  

And we got home and I threw it all up.

Because I am 4 years old again and have no self control when it comes to the finer things in life, like cheese.

Still slightly queasy,