Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The New Compost Bin

My husband works less in the wintertime. That is to say, he still works his regular full-time job, but the marina he co-owns is closed for the season. He still works there part-time doing paperwork and preparing for the upcoming summer (booking bands for the bar and sending out dockage contracts, that sort of thing). So to keep himself busy during this relatively slow period he started building things out of pallet boxes.

He built us a wall wine rack for the dining room and a coat rack to hang by the front door. Then I reminded him that I've been quietly asking him to build me a pallet box compost bin for years. Sometimes patience pays off. I got my compost bin!

Now you might be a tad confused because if you know me, you know that gardening is not my thing. While I love the concept of it, the actual reality of gardening does not appeal in the slightest. We tried container gardening a few years ago, but not a single usable item was produced. Not one vegetable, not one tomato, not even any herbs. Part of the problem is my many trees. There are just no sunny spots left in the yard. Add to that my general laziness and a lack of interest on both of our parts, and you do not have a recipe for success.

Why then, you ask, do I want a compost bin? My singular goal is to reduce the amount of waste at the curb each week. It kills me to see rotten potatoes, apple cores or banana and orange peels in the trash can. I've been known to just toss old fruit and veggies out the backdoor, but this will work better for all involved. It always surprises me that none of the creatures that devour the pumpkins on the front porch at Halloween will deign to touch a potato when it's freely given.

I don't mind slipping on my big boots and trudging through the snow to empty the ceramic compost container I keep near the sink. Now I just need to remember to toss the used tea bags in there each morning. And apparently, dryer lint. For a brief composting 101, check out this article/graphic.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Using a Weekly Planner

I've been working two part-time jobs, neither of which have regular set hours.

Add in all the midwife appointments (we've now entered the every two week phase of pregnancy).

And then try to plan hikes around all this (I'm part of a national organization in which volunteers lead weekly walks for families with little ones).

Good luck, I tell you.

It's just too much to keep straight. I tried using an online calendar, but I need to see it all laid out in front of me. Plus, I'm still trying to come up with a system to ensure my bills get paid in plenty of time.

I really wanted one of the fabulous life planners I'd read so much about by Erin Condren Design, but I didn't have $50 to spend on a planner. I did, however, receive an Amazon gift card as a Christmas present, so I spent many (many) hours perusing the options. I finally decided on one and, after one of the most discouraging deliveries on the planet, it eventually arrived. Side-note: Is this why people have Prime? So their packages don't drop off the grid and arrive 4 days later than expected? Anyway, moving on.

Having only used the planner for a couple weeks, I've already realized that I would have preferred one with the days broken down by hours so I could block out whole chunks of time. Next year! Otherwise, I'm loving it.

And it's one more item I can cross off my 2015 To-Do List.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

My 2015 To-Do List

I saw this on She Likes Purple, so thank you for the inspiration Jennie. I struggle with goal setting, as many goals are hard to assess. Take for example the goals I set for 2014:

1. Pay bills sooner (don't wait until the last minute!)

2. Eat more veggies.

3. Eat more fruits.

4. Reduce clutter. Donate or throw out possessions that aren't being used. (Specific areas to focus attention on: small bedroom, family room, and basement.)

5. Read three classic novels.

1, 4, and 5 just didn't happen. 2 and 3 were a definite success for the first six months or so when I was drinking green smoothies every day. Then I got pregnant and veggies were a not a thing I could eat. It's gotten better in the second and now third trimester, but eating 2-4 clementines a day wasn't quite what I had in mind when I set the goal. 

Assessing terms like "sooner," "more," and "reduce" isn't easy. So following Jennie's example I created a to-do list for 2015 instead of just vague goals. The items on the list are all specific and tangible and can be crossed off as I make progress. In fact, I've already crossed off three items since I wrote the list on December 31st.

1. Empty baby’s room of all non-baby items

2. Set up baby’s room

3. Clean stroller

4. Wash all hand-me-down baby clothes (NB - 6 months)

5. Wash all new baby clothes

6. Wash all hand-me-down crib bedding

7. Take some sort of belly pics (not professional). Painted? Henna? Check Pinterest for ideas.

8. Get husband to hang wall art (Chapel Pond, Grandpa's flowers)

9. Have husband construct a pallet box compost bin

10. Read 30 books

11. Watch Mockingjay, Part 1

12. Watch Wild

13. Attend a yoga class at the new yoga studio in the village when it opens

14. Find & try a prenatal yoga video on YouTube

15. Blog at least 2x per month

16. Find a pediatrician for the baby

17. Tour Hospital Family Birth Center

18. Have house assessed for new solar panel installation

19. Go to Chicks & Hens at least once

20. Attend a Babywearing Dance class at Chicks & Hens at least once

21. Learn how to use essential oils

22. Clean up back property line 

23. Clean up back corner of yard: former vegetable garden/currant bushes area

24. Buy/hang window treatments in baby's room

25. Use new planner to organize payment of bills, days working, and for scheduling hikes, etc.

I may or may not add more items to the list. Since this is my first yearly to-do list, I am leaving myself room to figure out what works best for me. Maybe next year I'll start thinking about it before New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: The Year in Books

I started out the year going strong, but about seven months in I hit a wall. A wall constructed of pregnancy related nausea, where in trying to read words on paper or an electronic screen caused me immediate and extreme MISERY. And so my list all but came to a screeching halt. Only the last two or three books on the list were finished post positive pregnancy test. I'd like to hope for more books read in 2015, but with a new baby that is likely an unrealistic goal.
  1. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  2. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  3. Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass
  4. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
  5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  6. Dragon's Time by Anne & Todd McCaffrey
  7. Love Thy Neighbor by Mark Gilleo
  8. Hyperbole and a Half  by Allie Brosh
  9. Edges by Lena Roy
  10. The Liberation of Alice Love by Abby McDonald
  11. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  12. Head to Head by Linda Ladd
  13. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  14. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  15. On Sparrow Hill by Maureen Lang
  16. Dandelion Hunter by Rebecca Lerner
  17. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  18. The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
  19. The Giver Lois by Lowry
  20. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  21. Murder by the Seaside by Julie Anne Lindsey
  22. Messenger by Lois Lowry
  23. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  24. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  25. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  26. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  27. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  28. Wakulla Springs by Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages
  29. Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts
  30. The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
  31. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  32. Murder Comes Ashore by Julie Anne Lindsey
  33. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  34. Rurally Screwed by Jessie Knadler
  35. The Park Service by Ryan Winfield
  36. Bundles of Joy by Linda Fairley
  37. Zero Days by Barbara Egbert
You can check out my lists from previous years here:

Do you keep lists of the books you read? Leave a comment with a link if you share your list on your blog. Happy reading in 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Check In: 26 Weeks

When people I've haven't seen recently ask me how I'm doing, my standard response is "better."

And while I'm still not enjoying this pregnancy at all, I am absolutely feeling better than I was. The nausea has faded almost entirely, although I must still take care to eat snacks on a regular basis. I am also able to eat a wider variety of food than I was before, including vegetables (thank goodness!).

My extreme sensitivity to smells has also faded to a more tolerable level, which is another welcome development. I also have slightly more energy, which is good because I've taken on a part-time retail position for the holidays. Compression socks are my friends.

I feel enormous. Laughable, I know, considering I have another 3 months to grow even BIGGER. When I over-eat I feel incredibly uncomfortable, like my belly is about to burst. This is harder to avoid than you would think. The last few days my back has been complaining mightily as well.

The best development since I posted my last update is being able to feel the baby move. Every time is exciting and reassuring. It's pretty cool.

See also:
20 weeks
16 weeks

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

NYC Weekend

On Friday morning after a relaxed and indulgent Thanksgiving we woke early, loaded the bags and dog in the car and set out in the midst of a lake effect blizzard. It took us 45 minutes to drop her at the boarder and get on the Thruway, but fortunately my husband had planned for more than enough time. As it was, we still had tons of time to kill waiting for the train in Albany. Neither of us had ridden the train before, and while it was an interesting experience, we both felt satisfied that we've checked it off some invisible list and will never need to do it again. It is just not an ideal way to travel for people that are prone to motion sickness and independence.

Our hotel was between Rockefeller Center and Times Square, a charming place with lots of character and tiny rooms. We ate at Virgil's because my husband is convinced they have the best barbecue on the planet (if I never ate bbq again I would not be sad), got pizza in Little Italy, cupcakes from Magnolia's, and various other NYC style food. We walked around Times Square (which I HATE) and Rockefeller Center. We went to the Today Show and were on TV at 7:30am on Saturday morning if anyone was watching (we didn't think to record it). We walked the High Line, visited the 9/11 Museum, and went to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.

I walked more than I've walked in months, and we both were exhausted for days after getting home. I also aggravated my tailbone during the hour and a half show at Radio City, so that's not awesome. Something about the angle of the seats caused excruciating pain almost from the second I sat down, and it shows no sign of getting better.

My favorite part was by far the High Line. You should check it out.

The snow was ALL gone by the time we got home two days later.

View from the train.

I much preferred the vanilla. It was right up there with some of the best frosting of all time. And I am a frosting connoisseur.

Saks Fifth Ave

High Line

High Line

view from the High Line

High Line

9/11 Memorial

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two Fall Walks

I went on two walks this week that look like they took place in different seasons, but alas, that is just fall in Central New York. Both were slow going, but at least I was outside and walking. Getting myself off the couch and out of the house is a major hurdle, but being outside in nature is almost always worth the effort. Now, if only I could remember that the next time I'm considering a walk in the woods.