Sunday Soujourn

We’re in the throws of September, which means the Ziffels need to pick which weekend we head to our annual Yankee Peddler sojourn.

Got a text message from MomZ this morning asking if I wanted to go to YP today, or head to Neu Ziffelhaus for lunch. Since I was napping on the couch (I stayed out late last night painting a sample Wedding Plate for a friend’s pottery painting studio last night), I didn’t get the text until an hour later, and I still hadn’t showered, I opted to meet them for a late lunch.

Made a wedding platter as an example for the studio.

A photo posted by Julia (@styckywycket) on Sep 10, 2016 at 8:37pm PDT

As part of lunch, we went to Jeni’s in Chagrin Falls, which was MomZ and DadZ first time. I could have had the Salted Carmel, which is my favorite, but I eat it all the time. I opted for the Ylang Ylang & Fennel instead, which was actually really good. However:

  • it tasted like you’d expect an aromatherapy candle to smell, and therefore,
  • would have been way better in a cup than a cone.

That said, I like the boutiqu-y flavor of it, so if I see it at Heinen’s in the near future, I’ll grab a million-dollar pint of it to eat when the weather is not nearly as gorgeous as it was today.

Edited to Add: I mentioned to Charlie about my ice cream flavor. He cocked an eyebrow and said, “Did it smell like the shower? Because that the scent of the shower spray we use?”


#PurpleStride 2016

Since the last time we talked (the trip to France), DadZ had been diagnosed at Stage 1 pancreatic cancer (January, 2014). Diagnosis that early is almost completely unheard of, and our family has been very, very lucky. DadZ is basically cancer free (he had a radical pancreatectomy and is now a bittle diabetic and eats with Creon).

As such, MomZ and I work very hard to give back to the 92% of families that won’t be as lucky when their loved ones get a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Purple Stride, 2016
Click here to go to the entire album.

Here’s how PurpleStride Cleveland and Team “Ziffel Whipple’d PanCan” did:

  • Total raised: $230,000/$300,000 (77% of goal).
  • Top Team: “Exceptional, Not Average” ($27,918).
  • Ziffel Raised: $2,695 (54% of goal).
  • Total # on Team Ziffel: 12 (120% of goal).
  • Top Team Ziffel fundraiser: Andrea Hauserman ($570).
  • Charlie’s Race Time: DNF (the course was weird :( ).

We had a ton of people donating. I was so honored to be able to present our donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Liner Notes from France

Start of a new year, and some of you may be able to tell, some blog changes, too. In short, I didn’t like Squarespace as much as I thought I would, so I’m looking into other options…again.

I could post some New Year’s Resolutions, which I still might. I may also post a year-end recap (might be a good idea), and even a post about my trip to France. But for now, here’s some liner notes about my trip to France that are bouncing around my head.

  • I prefer the Normandy region of France to the southern region.
  • For all the talk about French cuisine, I personally, was hard pressed to find fruits and veggies. Charlie asked me if I wanted to get pizza when I cam home, my response was, “No. Salad. Find me the biggest salad in Medina.”
  • What I lack in mental math skills, I make up for in navigational acuity. I’m going to chalk this up to overcompensating never wanting to get lost while taking public transportation, vis a vis…
  • I am really good at navigating the Paris metro (RATP).
  • I am very sad that Cleveland can’t get their shit together to build a better rail infrastructure.
  • Coming back from Paris, I’m surprised at how immune I’d become to seeing overweight people in the US. The “obesity problem” in this country really does appear to be an epidemic. That said, I have no idea what the answers are, but I could poke my finger in the direction of some corrective action.
  • I really enjoyed the accessibility and variety of a big city, and I could live in one. I would like living in one. But I love having the space out here in the suburbs. Again, I really wish Cleveland, it’s suburbs, and exurbs, had a better rail system.
  • Living out of a suitcase for a week — and having to repack it nightly — firstly, sucks ass; secondly, has really made me learn that
    I prefer to live a streamed-down life. So, when I recover from my second cold in a month, I’m going to go on a major purge.
  • Landing generally is uncomfortable on your ears. Landing with a cold is really unpleasant. Landing two separate times with a cold is agony. I was nearly in tears when we landed at Hopkins.
  • I’m really, really glad to be home.


NaBloPoMo’13: Day 5, My Blerch

Every week on Tuesday mornings, I get up at 5:15, like I always do, feed the cat, like I always do, pack my car, like I always do. But, on Tuesdays, different from any other weekday, I get into a pair of compression capris and a loose tee so I can be at the gym 39 miles away by 7:00 in the morning.

I’ve been doing some iteration of personal training one day a week for about two years now. I’m glad for the consistency of it: there were times where the only fitness I would get in a week was my once-a-week training with my trainer. There’s just something about paying someone to make you show up that makes you show up.

Charlie’s gotten very into running in the past year, and he loves it as his sport. I, however, no matter how I tried, could not get into running. Even after my Capital City Commit to be Fit 5K declaration, I just can’t do it. I prefer to lift. I’d much rather get cut up from squats, dead lifts, and planks-with-rows than from pounding 26 miles of pavement in a weekend.

Did I mention that my parents got a rowing machine because of the one they saw on House of Cards ? Did I also mention that I am totally jealous and trying to sell my recumbent bike, janky elliptical machine, plasma and eggs to get a rowing machine of my own?  I’d sit and row for hours  over running.

Back to weight training. Over two years, it has made a big difference: there is definition in my arms, legs, calves and back that weren’t there before. Even when I was horseback riding, even when I was at my willowiest from working retail. Charlie had his arm around me the other day and commented, “Wow, you can tell your arms are really strong,” and I was pretty tickled.  The funny thing is that I weigh more now  than I did when I was at my “heaviest” when I graduated college, but I look trimmer (short of the diet soda goo around my midsection, but I’m still holding on to some addictions). Clearly, and I knew this was true, muscle weighs more than fat.

In recent months, I’m on a new medication that has really helped me jump start my motivation for fitness, and I’ve been working out on my lunch hour almost every weekday for about two months. Instead of having to wake up any earlier, or get home any later, how convenient is it to just wander down one floor, bang out a workout, and walk back up a flight of stairs? I plan on taking my workouts up a notch in the next few weeks and making the sure commitment to get to the gym on weekend mornings while Charlie is out running with his club.​

I’m enjoying turning into a gym rat. I never thought I’d say that.

NaBloPoMo’13: Day 3, La Blanchisseuse

Sundays are housework day around The Apiary, as I am usually too lazy to do laundry, iron or vacuum during the week.  So, if I’m going at a pretty good clip, I can actually get five loads (workout clothes, whites, colors, towels, and delicates) from laundry 30-gallon-garbage-can to back in dressers and closets in 16 hours; as well as vacuuming the house and getting the ironing done as well.

It used to take me a lot longer to iron, doing Charlie’s work shirts and pants, as well as whatever ironable I had. But there is definitely truth into practice making perfect, and I can usually bang out the ironing much faster than I used to. I’m one of the few people on the planet who doesn’t mind ironing: I enjoy the careful repetitive motion of it, and I’m of the mindset that no amount of shower-humidity or Downy wrinkle-release will make up for what an iron can do. Martha Stewart is very proud of me, I’m guessing — I’ve never actually asked.

Today was no different. Laundry and ironing went faster than I thought it would, so I changed the sheets on the large guest bedroom bed, too. Now, they have nice, soft flannel, as well as the addition of a tootsie heater for guests. I find little else as jarring as sliding your feet into ice cold sheets when it’s cold out.

Of course, this bed-sheet-updating dovetails with the arrival of Pottery Barn’s winter catalog and my new obsession with getting the linens in our house as fluffy and almost-pornographically-sumptuous as in the pages of those catalogs.

As it turns out, and what I suspected was true, it takes some finagling and a little cambric chicanery to get a home bed to look like a hotel or catalog bed. I’m just going to have to split the difference and overstuff the duvet covers and get bolsters, because there is no way in hell  I am going to get hospital corners on a double-quilt-top Queen sized mattress without slipping a disk and ending up in traction.

This is clearly a sign that I am growing up, because I’m learning to pick my housekeeping battles.