Why chipmunks are the devil


These cute little boogers are not only stinking adorable, but can also be tremendous pests.  I chase them out of my garage and away from the paint cans.  I spook them out of the holes in the side of my house.  (They were actually clawing away at the inside wall of my kitchen for a while.)  I rush them away from climbing up my gutters and getting stuck in my soffits.  I literally swerve my SUV and screech to a halt every day - while nearly ending the lives of my children and myself - trying to avoid hitting them as they bolt across the street.  Side note: Since when did chipmunks and squirrels have such a death wish?  WE HAVE DEATH WISH CHIPMUNKS!  WHY do they only bolt across the street right when a truck is less than 5 feet from their general vicinity?  Twice this week I have come across a gallon of dirt that has poured out of my retaining wall from what I assume to be the burrowing chipmunks.  Then I started to look around.  Literally every 9 inches there is a frigging hole the size of a chipmunk.  They are the devil.  A cute, little, furry, squeaking devil.  This is the side effect of living in the woods, in a rural town, where there are no street lamps but wild roaming turkeys.

I'm not one for killing helpless and adorable animals, so I'll have to figure out something else to repel the little poopers.  At least I can keep them away from my house long enough to infest another neighbor.  Ideally it would be that neighbor who hates me, and always looks the other way when I wave... purposefully.  I could bore the chipmunks to death by crowding them all in my dark unfinished basement with nothing but Dora The Explorer episodes screaming at full volume, on repeat.  Or, maybe I could stick my preschooler on them?  She has this particular pitch of voice when she is whining that is like a whistle scream, cymbals, and Freddy Kreuger nails on a chalk board - all combined.  It hits your ears with such a horrific pierce that you willingly want to stab your ear drums out with the nearest number 2 pencil and run down the street.  If that doesn't work she could definitely infect them with a horrible virus within hours by sneezing and coughing in the face and mouths of every one of them.  Perhaps either of those could inflict a certain amount of brain shock that they'd go running for the conservation lands.  Maybe I should put out mince meat pie?  What the hell is mince meat pie anyway??  Isn't it a natural repellent for just about anything?

After a small amount of research... VOILA!  My essential oils have come to save the day again!  Peppermint oil apparently works wonders with a slew of rodents: field mice, chipmunks, squirrels, gophers, etc.  Mr. devil chipmunk it's on.  I'm about to go all terminator on you with... wait for it... PEPPERMINT OIL.  Ooh... My chipmunk threats are so apocalyptic.  *Rolls eyes.*  I'll keep you posted, because of course you care, and won't leave out one oily detail. 

Over and out. 

Home crap home


That is about the only thing that I can summon up as a response to a vacation home I rented on Cape Cod with my family for two weeks.  Don't get me wrong, it was quaint, cosmetically beautiful, decorated in the quintessential cape cod beach decor with a subtle hint of farm house element to it.  But... I got really tired of dealing with fifty carpenter ants a day (which were competing with the beach cockroaches for the food.)  Spiders, ants and bugs a plenty.  Our first hour there my kids went to use the upstairs bathroom and wash their hands.  The water was on a total of 2 minutes.  This flooded the bathroom floor, which leaked through the ceiling and onto the main bathroom floor (which was a second flood needing to be cleaned up.)  Perfect start to a vacation, right?  As we were mopping up the water from the floors, we simultaneously took care of multiple carpenter ants which had found a home in many of the walls inside the house.  They were merrily climbing on the walls, across the floors, over the furniture, around the windows... EVERYWHERE. 

The problems with the upstairs sink were fixed within three days of being there.  Just in time for the second sink to start leaking and flooding the floor on the main level.  That was fixed within a day, so that wasn't too terrible... But then the shower doors came off of their hinge in my master bathroom.  I was able to fix that on my own and set it back on its track.  Have I mentioned how the beds squeaked to high hell if you even so much as scratched your ankle with your toenail?  Oh, and they were as comfortable as an old, overused futon with a cheap foam layer on top.  Two of the windows broke within an hour of being there.  Yup.  I know.  As if all these things were not enough to have dealt with while on vacation (for only a week mind you), I went to wash dishes after breakfast (on the morning of day 7) and the water refused to come out of the faucet but instead only through the spray nozzle.  Humph!  What the hell kind of vacation home was this?!  It was falling apart!  And worst of all, I just paid GOOD money for two weeks to be an exterminator and a fix it girl. Insert-swear-words-here.  Considering the condition of everything else, an executive decision was made to just avoid use of the dishwasher and call it a loss.  YAY.

What's my point in all of this rambling, you ask?  Well, do your homework when looking for rental properties.  Don't make the same mistakes I made, because I made them in haste and in a fit of exhaustion trying to just book something before I went insane.  Just because something opens up in the area you want, doesn't mean you actually WANT that property.  Listen when the owner describes it as an updated "older" home.  Ya, OK... don't you mean, "falling apart and barely holding itself together?"  I'm reminded of that scene in "A Good Year" where Max Skinner becomes the owner of a broken down vineyard overnight.  Upon describing the condition of this new property to his real estate agent, his agent simply states, "We don't say shabby, Max, we say: filled with the patina of a bygone era."  This was filled with the patina of a crap-tastic poop hole.  It really did look great - ONLINE.  The pictures were wonderful, and it even looked pretty.  Sadly, the reality was totally different, especially when you had a chance to peel back the lemon rind. 

We decided to just make peace with our little crappy home while on vacation, and spend as much time outside of it as possible.  What other choice did we have?  Were we exhausted from being outdoors all day and night?  Yes.  Was the vacation fun despite the problems?  Yes.  Were the ants and cockroaches victorious is winning their domain over this building and forcing us out?  Yes.  Next time will I seek out any amount of luxury even if it's in the size of a closet?  YES. 

Win for the ants.  Loss for Abbie.

Where do you put your Big Ass?

Seriously.  It's a real question.  Because this is a real thing.  And I don't mean your buttocks.  Believe it or not, there really are items you can purchase under the name, "Big Ass..."

That is what I found out the other day while indulging in a Coastal Living Magazine, sitting on the couch, minding my own business.  It's very difficult for me to have a normal response to the mundane every day things in life.  This is especially so when I have such an easy target for my deranged humor.  And then there it was... Glowing like a beacon of light from the magazine pages. 

Big Ass Fans.
"You'll like the way it looks.  You'll love the way it feels."

Because, I mean, come on... Who doesn't love a Big Ass?  Can I say Big Ass a few more times?  I don't think that's possible.  *Trying to restrain myself from uncontrollable potty mouth humor.*  Nope.  Maybe one more for good measure?  BIG ASS.  Nope.  Still not enough.  Once you start the Big Ass jokes you just can't stop. 

Where do you like to position your BIG ASS?  I like to position mine in a room with style.  Or perhaps position it over the veranda to ensure maximum air circulation to my area.  I'm snorting right now, I can't stop the laughter. 

OK, OK, I'll stop now.

Oh, dear lord, yes please.  Thank you.  Roaring laughter ensued, followed by snarky cackles for at least an hour.  I plastered all the social media accounts with it and of course had to follow up with a blog about it.  This was the best little gem so far on my family vacation.  A vacation, which up until now, has been filled with sick kids and work pings for the husband.  AWESOME.

Thank you, Coastal Living Magazine.  (Wipes tears of joy.)  Thank you.

Top 3 Easiest Diets

Why diet when you can continue to just live your life every day, and in the process also expose yourself to a number of viral and bacterial infections guaranteeing you rapid weight loss?  I've collected a few "diet" friendly illnesses for your Abbie Nourmel reading pleasure.  They're a little unconventional, but, hey, what diet isn't nowadays?

1.  The Stomach Virus Diet
Go to a mall bathroom, a preschool classroom, an elementary school or summer camp and touch at least twenty different doors or surfaces.  Do NOT wash your hands or use antibacterial gel.  Immediately bite your fingernails, or order a really messy sandwich that will ensure heavy finger licking and/or hand to mouth contact.  Buffalo wings are especially effective for this purpose.  Within 24-36 hours you'll be vomiting uncontrollably out of every orifice.   This will last for 2-4 days.  This diet is guaranteed to make you drop 5-7 pounds in 2-4 days. 

2.  The Flu Diet
This one is especially easy to catch - er - do during the winter months when you've packed on those pesky hibernation pounds.  Also, as my kids preschool teacher found out, it is very accessible even in June or through the summer months.  Hang around any public grade school or public recreation facility and make sure to touch the front doorknob.  Another option is to volunteer at an urgent care facility or just sit in the waiting room of one asking random people if you can smell their breath.  Within 2-5 days your entire body will feel so horrible that the thought of getting up off the couch to pee solicits feverish waves of emotional meltdowns.  The feeling that Ebola is easier to deal with frequently comes to mind while in this state.  Mainly because experiencing death over this flu seems like a wonderful gift from heaven.  After about 6-7 days of feeling hotter than Mars and your body seems as if it's just endured a swim across the Atlantic Ocean, you'll start to feel the subtle signs of being on the mend.  At the end of it all, none of your clothes fit, you've lost 10 pounds from a lack of eating brought on by sheer nausea and water loss from sweating profusely out of places like your neck, earlobes and belly button. 

3.  The Lung Infection Diet
Ah, the piece de resistance.  My all time favorite.  Or so my doctor seems to think, since I happen to catch variations of this little lovely EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  We're besties, the lung infection and I.  This one starts off harmless enough, with sniffles, a slightly off feeling and overall decrease in the ability to get a full breath.  Within 1-2 weeks you are hacking so severely that you barely catch your breath before the next bout of chest spasms occur.  Your eyes are bleeding slits from the force of the coughing and you are contemplating a job as the new mascot for RedBull.  Forget about eating.  You can barely drink water since everything you put in your mouth becomes a choking hazard.  You thrive solely on your mucus and tears.  Which there is plenty of, so no worries there. Once you're on medication for a week you finally start to resemble a person who isn't communicating a horrible airborne plague.  Oh, and you have probably dropped about 5-10 pounds as a result of being unable to ingest anything.  The bonus is that you have had one hell of a chest and abdominal workout for three weeks!  Abs of steel!

Disclaimer: None of these diets are real.  They are all real medical situations though.  I am not a doctor.  I have problems.  I am also not an ANIMAL!

Raspberry Blueberry Mint Smoothie

Here's another recipe post for you... Although today wasn't that hot, I was definitely needing a pick me up by three o'clock.  The final result was RIDONCULOUS.  This is lactose free, gluten free and vegetarian.  It was too delicious not to share.  :)

Raspberry Blueberry Mint Smoothie
Serves 4

1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 small package of frozen raspberries
3 medium sized bananas
2 cups of  coconut milk
1 TBSP of white chia seeds
1 TBSP of camu powder
2 TBSP raw honey (or maple syrup for a vegan version)
I large handful of fresh mint leaves (I left the stems on)

Mix together in your blender on the smoothie or ice cream setting.  If you don't have those settings you can just replace the frozen berries with room temp ones (as they will blend easier.)  Drink on its own, or mix with your favorite rum/ vodka.  It's lip smackingly delicious!


Super Fruit Smoothie


Hi kids!  How are you?  No kidding!?  I know, it's been a while.  I will pretend that you have missed me terribly, and that you are dying to know what is in my crazy mind that will explode into a post today.  SPOILER ALERT: I've been busy being a super mom to my two little devils.  Shocking, I know.  And yes, they have been little devils.  Gorgeously delicious little devils... but devils none-the-less.  This summer (with the kids in camp at least a half day) I have decided to dust off my website and stop neglecting it so much.  I am also moving away from using Instagram and will be focusing on my Twitter account more.  So, if you are on Twitter, come find me and follow @abbienourmel!

Today's post is a recipe.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I am a bit of a foodie.  This picture received so much attention (on both of my social media accounts) that I decided to post the recipe on my blog.  It's been getting hotter and hotter these days, and my super fruit vegetarian smoothie is just the right treat to cool you down and replenish those vitamins.  :)  It's not only delicious but it supplies you with a host of vitamins and immune boosters.   It is best to use organic, non-gmo, and raw ingredients (if you can find them) to lessen your intake of pesticides and maximize the vitamin benefit.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think if you end up making it yourself!

Super Fruit Smoothie/ Sorbet

* Blender with shake or ice cream setting
* Spoon

* 1 banana
* 1 - 1 1/2 cups of frozen strawberries
* 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
* 1 cup of pineapple chunks
* 1/2 - 1 cup of coconut milk (I use Silk brand coconut milk)
* 1 - 2 TSP chia seeds (white or black)
* 2 TBSP of dried raw mulberries
* 2 TSP of lucuma powder
* 1 TSP of camu powder
* 2 - 4 TBSP of raw honey (for vegan you can substitute with maple syrup or sugar)

Blend until all ingredients are smooth and creamy.  Try really hard not to give yourself a red mustache.  :)

Footnote: The less liquid you use (and the more frozen fruit) results in a thicker smoothie, and it becomes a sorbet or gelato consistency.  You can switch out fruit if you want, but I happen to like this little mix of fruit together.  I made mine to the sorbet consistency and topped it with fresh basil leaves, but you can just enjoy it straight from the blender.  It saves well in the fridge for a few days, and is EXCELLENT mixed with tequila or rum.  I mean, I have heard that it is?