Tree Removal for My Home

Living in my Connecticut home is one of the biggest pleasures of my life.  Raising a family and living with my husband brings me so much joy.  I like the fact that I can enjoy my yard, my kitchen, and all other features, especially enjoying each season for what its worth.  The snows of the winter, soft breezes of the spring, warmth of the summer and cool of the fall (my favorite).  However I need to take a few measures each season to make sure my home is up to the standards that I want for my daily life.

That brings me to my next point, which is some modifications to my yard.  While I personally think that more plant life is essentially always good, sometimes its necessary to make some changes (such as when a tree is diseased, broken or otherwise threatening to fall over).  Here’s the recent story of some tree removal that I needed to take on for my backyard and front yard.

Tree Surgery for Disease

Trees and plants can get diseases just like animals, and when it becomes a problem it takes a specialist to remove the diseased parts.  This is what we needed to do for one giant Oak tree in our frontyard.  We called in a “tree surgeon” who assessed the situation.  We were told that they could take out a portion of the tree without losing it all.

It reminded me of this tree I had at my grandmothers house when I was growing up.  It was low enough that we could climb up to the first level of branches, and it had a big hollow inside where we could hide things.  It took on the aura of a “magic tree” where we could hide things, make them disappear.  Only years later did we realize that the tree and it’s hollow was actually quite diseased and eventually had to be taken down.  A shame, but at least it didn’t collapse on us when we were kids!

Total Tree Removal After Storm Damage

Other issues aside from tree diseases are damaged branches and limbs from storms.  We had a rough patch of thunderstorms and snow storms over the winter and it took its toll on several trees in our backyard.  We had the same tree service take a look at this and we were told they needed to be removed completely.

This was a shame but it goes to show that early prevention can be very helpful in avoiding potential damage or complete tree collapse overall.  For homes that are in woody (“arboreal”) areas, these types of tree problems can be big issues.  Overall it’s important to keep an eye on these things to avoid any potential future problems.  It’s a somewhat unknown liability of being a homeowner.


Staying In Shape After Retirement: Outdoor Exercise

ri1Not too long ago, when I was still Lt. Governor of Rhode Island, Connecticut, I was working 55 to 60 hour work weeks. Although it was a very satisfying job, which made me really grateful for having it, it was also hard to maintain at times. The problem with the work life is that you can sometimes let your physical and mental health go to waste. Being at the retirement age, it is becoming more and more important for me to start watching my weight. I tend to gain a lot of weight when I stop exercising, and I do not want to be fat. I used to be very overweight a long time ago, and it took me two grueling years to shedd all those excess pounds. I have recently come up with the ideal way for me to stay in shape after retirement: outdoor exercise!

I have always loved nature. I enjoy the great outdoors. I’ve gone on hikes when I was younger. I am not so sure that I can still do that anymore, but I’d love to take up that hobby once more. The feeling you get after a strenuous walk on a rough, gravelly trail is something that I fondly remember. It is hard having to keep it up while you are on the trail, but the feeling of euphoria that you get after having completed these hikes, is totally worth it. It’s a satisfaction that can’t be bought with mere money. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself… I’m of ripe age and a tad bit out of shape. Before I take up hiking, I will first have to take up walking in order to get in shape.

How To Start Your Own Outdoor Exercise Regime

I’ve taken up healthy living many times in the past. I’ve also fallen of the bandwagon many times, leading me to go back to living a sedentary lifestyle where I was eating too much junkfood. But thanks to my experience, I am quite capable of going back to a life full of exercise and healthfood. One thing that you need to keep in mind, is that you should never push yourself too hard. It’s very important to start out with a pair of high quality walking shoes for overweight women, if you want to take up walking as your new lifestyle and/or hobby. I suggest having a look at this page on the Boot Bomb. If you are planning on going hiking later on, then you have got to start by taking a few simple walks around the block. Keep increasing the time of your walks up until about an hour. Go beyond one hour of walking at 60+, and you’ll be at risk of becoming over exhausted. So that’s what I mean by taking it easy.

It is essential that you purchase a pair of high quality shoes for your walking adventures. I highly recommend spending $150 on shoes once every 5 years, than spending $50 on shoes once every year. For the math geniuses amongst us… the $150 deal was the better investment. Higher priced shoes may cost more, but if you are overweight and out of shape, then you are going to need every bit of support that shoes can give you. And you simply aren’t going to get the kind of support you need with cheap shoes. Cheap shoes usually come with cheap inserts as well. This is horrible for overweight people who have flat feet and tend to over pronate. Over pronation means that your feet bend inward, also causing your legs to bend inward. Keep this up for a couple of years and you’re looking at an early knee replacement.

Taking It Up To The Hiking Level

Believe it or not, but at higher ages (read: 50+), it is still possible to train yourself in good enough shape that you can go on hikes. Understand that not all hikes are alike. You can either go on a single day hike (day hiking), or you can go on a multi day hike, which is much more intense and requires you to sleep in a tent on a mattress not nearly as soft as the one you’ve got at home. Being over 60, I prefer to go on day hikes. Those are exhausting enough already. The added benefit is that I stand a much lower risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This is a hereditary affliction that I have developed numerous times in the past, because I was not wearing the proper footwear at that time. Plantar fasciitis is the most painful foot condition there is, because it makes you feel like you are stepping in a bucket of razors when you get up in the morning.

For hiking, I recommend a good pair of plantar fasciitis hiking boots, that give you maximum support. Not just under the soles of your feet, but also around your ankles. If you are dead serious about keeping your feet in good shape in the golden years, then it’s best to invest in a solid pair of boots. Have a look at all of these, for example. It’s the same as with walking shoes, actually. Boots will likely cost a little bit more than shoes, but if you are hitting the hiking trail at the ripe old age of 65, then you are going to sorely need them. Every once in a few years, you will have to replace your boots with a new pair. Hiking boots will only last so long. You can’t have them repaired every year and expect them to last forever. Too many repairs to your footwear are eventually going to be just as costly as simply replacing them. So make sure to replace them when the time is right!

Summing It All Up

Foot support is very important for everybody. But it’s most important for people who have flat feet and over pronate. And for people who are overweight, ofcourse. It’s also possible that you suffer from both flat feet as well as obesity. It could very well be that your obesity is causing you to over pronate. Gravity is not your friend when it comes to over pronation. The longer your put excessive strain on your fallen arches, the worse your situation is going to get. And that’s why you have got to take this seriously.

Highly supportive shoes with a flexible midsole are going to help you a great deal. When you are coming from walking around in a pair of trodden down old sneakers to walking around in a solid pair of highly supportive hiking boots, you are going to feel like you are floating around on cloud 9. If you want the very best for yourself, then I recommend getting a pair of orthotic inserts. Seperately sold orthotic inserts are always going to be much better than stock inserts. But even better are custom inserts, measured to your personal feet. They cost a bit more, but can be worth it. It’s up to every individual herself to decide what amount of support she requires.

Redesigning My House – Room by Room

What to do, what to do.  I’ve been contemplating redesigning several areas of my house for some time.  The multitude of questions remain unanswered.  Color scene? Furniture? New appliances?  Molding?  What the heck is molding anyway?

Well I decided to start small, with my laundry room.  Seems like a strange place to start but it’s actually quite useful to handle a smaller instance first, and then branch out.  Laundry rooms need to be clean and friendly, you don’t want to think about dirt and grime when you are cleaning your families clothes.  They also need to have a certain design to the furniture placements, and all the variance appliances and equipment and supplies need to be placed just right and be able to fit within the room, all within easy reach.

A Few Things I’ve Learned

A few things we’ve thought about, one is getting a new washing machine that could fit in a more compact space.  Something like a combination washer/dryer or a front-load stackable washer/dryer.  Not sure exactly how that will play out but we’ve done a little bit of research and we think it might be the way to go.

Another thing we’ve considered is getting a nice smooth table to do the clothes folding etc.  This hasn’t been something we’ve done in the past, it’s been a little bit of a Hodge-podge set-up, and we feel that it’s just about time to get our act together and start doing laundry like a professional set up.  We need to get our Feng-Shui on!

A third thing we’ve considered is what to do about all our laundry detergents, we need some place out of site to store all of them.  We have, probably, more then usual because we take pride in utilizing home-made and custom made detergents that are easy on the environment.  Given the vastness of our collection we can’t just have them sitting out on the floor.  Perhaps cabinets underneath our new table could do the trick?

Lastly, however, I wanted to reach out to the readers for their feedback.  Anything would be appreciated, as we know you’ve probably all been through this before as well.  We know that everyone goes through a laundry-room phase at least one in their life, so how did you tackle the challenges?  Did you get a stackable washer/dryer to fit more space?  Did you create a new section just for detergents?  What about wallpaper or other designs?  All these variants could be put to great use, so let us know!!





Keeping the Kids Active – A (Not So) Brand New Backyard Playset for the Spring

A quick note about being both a homeowner and parent.  Living in Connecticut we get a decent amount of beautiful weather (along with, especially this year, a decent amount of winter brutality).  Today kids have so much in terms of technology to consume and spend time on that it can take away from the necessary 60 minutes of recommended activity.  So for younger children I have taken two different routes.  One is strictly limiting screen time for kids to one-hour a day.  The other is to provide ample opportunity for fun activities outside in the yard.

Kid’s need these resources, especially kids that are relatively well off.  For those with video games and televisions, and smart phones (even the little ones have them nowadays!)  It’s not as simple as “going outside” and playing in th dirt, hopping fences and scraping knees.  Something a little extra needs to be done to get them outside on a more regular basis.  Enter the backyard playset, a wonderful addition to my home that I had installed a few months ago.

This is in my house in Fairfeild County, Connecticut.  It is from this past spring, it is a great addition to the yard and it gives the kiddies a really great retreat from indoors and from the call of the iPad or X-Box.

I got it relatively easily, from companies like Gorilla Playsets that will deliver it right to your door and there are also playset installation companies in Connecticut and the surrounding areas.  The great guys at Tri-State came very quickly and were very professional, so a very big and well-earned thanks to them.  The end result was such a beautiful display that I was almost emotional.

It’s great to be able to provide such a beautiful asset to my children to be used fro years to come.  I fyou are within the means to get yourself something similar, I highly recommend it.

Thanks for listening/reading, if you have any questions or recommendations for future posts, please reach out at, or drop a comment below 🙂


Welcome Back!

Sorry about that past month or so, we got hacked by some crazy group of weirdos, so we unfortunately had to shut down and get rid of all of our data.  We’ve set up backup and disaster recovery methods going forward, so hopefully this won’t happen again (it also helps to keep our version of WordPress up to date.

Sorry about that.  But anyway, we are back and I wanted to talk to you about a few things that I mentioned in a few previous posts (which are now unfortunately wiped out).

A few months back (before the summer) we were researching playset installation companies in connecticut to get our son’s swingset installed in time for the good weather.  We came back with an excellent choice and I wanted to give them a special thanks for all the hardwork.

We will be trying to redesign some sections of our house in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for some updates regarding that.  Also, if anyone knows of a good interior decorator, leave us a note in the comments section.  We’d really appreciate any input (as we want to make sure we get a good one).

This summer has been an absolute blast lately, so I hope that you have been having some fun and getting out into the sun.  We went to Rhode Island a few times and have absolutely enjoyed the wonderful weather.  Just beautiful.  Only recently have we experienced a few heat waves, and even those haven’t been so bad.

Without the bad weather we wouldn’t appreciate the good weather, and speaking of bad weather, I wonder what this winter will hold?  I know it’s so early, but I just saw my first Christmas advertisement!  I kid you not, it just the beginning of August!  Summer isn’t even half over yet!  I can’t believe it.