Thursday, January 11, 2018

50 Things About ME: Now with Updates

Since I first posted this more than 10 years ago, I thought it might be fun to redo it and make changes to make it more current and up-to-date. Changes will be added in red.

1. I do not like ice in my beverages. I prefer most at room temperature or just slightly cool. (I think I should've been born in Europe because I also don't like air conditioning. Or foods served at extreme temperatures.)

2. I do not like lemon in my water. Gak. And no, I can't just pick it out.

3. I have lived in 3 states: NY, MA, & FL.

4. I always wanted freckles. I threaten to steal my little step-brother's all the time.

5. I love Anne of Green Gables (freckles!) and believe in kindred spirits and the depths of despair.

6. I've been inside my "house of dreams" but couldn't afford it at the time.

7. I think everyone should drive Smart Cars. The world would be safer and happier. And cuter. But since that will never happen I would actually like a bigger car. More room and safer. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

8. I've only climbed 3 of the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks. I dream of one day being a 46er, but every summer passes without me doing anything about it. I've now climbed 21 of the High Peaks but have had to take a few years off while pregnant and mothering a young child. This is still most definitely a life goal of mine.

9. I love good sushi, especially the Dynamite roll I used to get at the Beach in FL. Kinda over sushi now. I never eat it anymore.

10. I never had a curfew growing up.

11. I never got grounded either.

12. My first car was a Renault. The heat was broken on, the window cranks had no knobs, the speedometer was broken, and the doors didn't lock, but I loved it.

13. I crochet scarves and blankets. I don't crochet anymore.

14. I want to be a mom. I AM a mom.

15. In fact, I actually look forward to pregnancy itself. I HATED being pregnant. 

16. I am not career driven. Ideally, I would like to be a stay-at-home-mom. But since we are not independently wealthy, that will never happen. As a single mom, this dream is dead.

17. My hair is beyond straight and baby fine. I am constantly considering getting a body wave like I had in middle school, but people are always talking me out of it. I don't care about my hair anymore. If it's clean occasionally that's good enough.

18. I love soynut butter.

19. If given a choice, I would almost always chose to have tofu in a dish rather than meat (i.e. in Thai or Chinese).

20. I had my first paid job as a camp naturalist (counselor) at the age of 17. I'd volunteered for 40 hours a week for at least the two summers prior to that at the same educational day camp.

21. I worked as an IMAX projectionist, retail assistant manager, and naturalist before getting into my current career as an office lady.

22. The thumb on my left hand is double-jointed. So are my hips.

23. I can still put my feet behind my head if I try. I haven't tried this recently, but I suspect I would still be able to.

24. I have 4 piercings: both ear lobes, belly button, and tragus. I took the belly button out when pregnant, so that's down to 3.

25. I have one tattoo: a star on the top of my right foot. I have two tattoos now. The second is a quote on the left side of my ribcage.

26. I have a Darwin's Tubercle on my left ear.

27. I am a very light sleeper.

28. I took 5 1/2 years of French in high school and regret having not kept up with it since then.

28. I am extremely sensitive to caffeine and try never to drink any after noon. Thanks, Dad, for passing that trait on.

29. The fact that I don't have clear skin has been a huge issue for me and my self-esteem. I wish I had not been told that I would outgrow my pimples after I left my teen years behind. What a lie and a let down.

30. I am a jeans and sweatshirt kinda gal. Unless I'm home. Then I'm a sweatpants and no bra kinda woman.

31. I collect postcards.

32. My best first kiss story was the time Christian and I went to the dump in Long Lake to look for bears.

33. I have been donating blood since high school. I've recently been turned off by the American Red Cross because they call me at all hours. Sunday, 9pm. That does not put me in a giving mood.

34. I am a bit of a control freak and tend towards the obsessive.

35. I am, however, not neat and clean when it comes to keeping house.

36. I do not like beer. Or most liquor.

37. I enjoy classical music and opera.

38. I was sweet sixteen and never been kissed. (I do not count the kindergarten boyfriend's kisses, you see.)

39. I have a wicked sweet tooth.

40. Bungalows are my favorite style of houses. Now I would prefer anything one level with laundry on the main floor.

41. I like simple, clutter-free decor. Preferably country or farm-style. And yet, my house is one big fat clutter.

42. I am allergic to dust, mold, and some pollen. Aren't we all?

43. Both of my eyes are -4.25. I wear contacts whenever possible. I have no idea what my prescription is currently. My eyes have improved and are now -3 something and no longer the same in both eyes. I only wear glasses now.

44. The first concert I went to was PHISH, New Year's Eve '93 in Worcester MA. What an experience.

45. I am a dog person. I do not believe that cats are designed for indoor use. I am a guinea pig person now.

46. I like taking snapshots of people I know. I like taking pictures of my son.

47. I have excellent short-term memory and awful long-term memory. I excelled at classes that involved memorization, like French and dendrology.

48. I started watching Star Trek: TNG because I thought Ensign Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) was cute. I liked Voyager quite a bit, but never got into DS9 because of the Ferengi. Yuck.

49. I have a weakness for shoes and purses. I don't buy purses anymore.

50. I love pasta and bread and all things starch.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

2018 To Do List

Some of these items will look familiar. Some are small, some are big, some will be hard to assess, some are long shots.
  1. Rearrange/clean the family room to make it a more usable space
  2. Read at least 28 books
  3. Hang snow shoes
  4. Hang rabbit art (x2) in my son's room
  5. Acquire a hammer
  6. Get rid of clothes my son has outgrown
  7. Get rid of clothes I don't wear/like
  8. Go swimming, preferably in a natural body of water
  9. Go to the Adirondacks
  10. Take my son camping in a tent in the woods for at least one night
  11. Frame 2017 school pictures
  12. Spend less money on weekly groceries 
  13. Try shopping at Aldi
  14. Eat more veggies
  15. Eat more fruits
  16. Journal more
  17. Complete 365 Mile Challenge
  18. Refinance my mortgage
  19. Make my own kombucha
  20. Get my son to use the potty
  21. Get new glasses
  22. Decorate the house in some way for smaller holidays (Valentine's Day, Easter)
  23. Grow some sort of veggie this summer (zucchini? tomatoes?)
  24. Have the driveway sealed
  25. Take down the baby gate at the top of the stairs to the family room
And GO!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

2017 To-Do List: Review

  1. Rearrange/clean the family room to make it a usable space 
    1. Move books down there to make it a library/family room?
  2. Get rid of items we don't use and/or don't like 
    1. clothes
    2. furniture DONE 
    3. kitchenware
  3. Read at least 24 books - 32/24 DONE
  4. Develop a system to ensure bills get paid in a timely fashion DONE 
  5. Hang wall art 
  6. Hang some sort of window treatment (curtains? blinds?) in family room DONE - 3/19/2017
  7. Blog at least once a week - 51/52 
  8. Purchase new bras DONE 
  9. Purchase new underwear DONE - 2/5/2017
  10. Go on a date
  11. Go swimming, preferably in a natural body of water
  12. Take my son camping in a tent in the woods for at least one night
  13. Frame a picture of my son for my desk at work DONE - 1/17/2017
  14. Go to the Adirondacks
  15. Take my son to the zoo DONE - 1/14/2017
  16. Install anti-tip straps on the TV
  17. Open a 529 account for my son DONE - 3/8/2017
  18. Visit Second Home Nature Center at least once a month - 12/12 DONE
The family room is possibly more crowded now than it was a year ago. We use it occasionally anyway, but not it the way I was (am) hoping for.

I am most pleased with having achieved my reading goals and with having visited the nature center every month.

I am most disappointed with my failure to go to the Adirondacks.

I have not yet decided if I will put together a similar list for 2018.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Year in Books

  1. The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. Carry On: Warrior - Glennon Doyle Melton
  3. Goodnight June - Sarah Jio
  4. The Vintage Caper - Peter Mayle
  5. In the Unlikely Event - Judy Blume
  6. The Program - Suzanne Young
  7. Xenogeneic - Lance Erlick
  8. The Treatment - Suzanne Young
  9. Her - Christa Parravani
  10. Catastrophic Happiness - Catherine Newman
  11. Extras - Scott Westerfeld
  12. The Midwife of Hope River - Patricia Harman
  13. Resist - Sarah Crossan
  14. The House I Loved - Tatiana de Rosnay
  15. The Death Cure - James Dashner
  16. The Summer We Fell Apart - Robin Antalek
  17. Studio Saint-ex - Ania Szado
  18. French by Heart - Rebecca Ramsey
  19. Bloodroot - Amy Greene
  20. The Secrets of Midwives - Sally Hepworth
  21. What Happened to Goodbye - Sarah Dessen
  22. The Aviator's Wife - Melanie Benjamin
  23. The Kill Order - James Dashner
  24. In the Great Green Room - Amy Gary
  25. A Man Called Ove - Fredrick Backman
  26. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
  27. The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
  28. Maddaddam - Margaret Atwood
  29. Prayers for Sale - Sandra Dallas
  30. The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas - Madeleine L'Engle
  31. Dirt Work - Christine Byl
  32. Together Tea - Marjan Kamali

You can check out my lists from previous years here:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Secret Santa Mug Swap 2017

Last month I signed up to participate in the Secret Santa Mug Swap 2017 hosted by San. After seeing how much fun it was last year I couldn't resist. And when my mug arrived from Beth it couldn't have been more perfect. I LOVE this saying and yet, surprisingly enough, I didn't own anything with it. Now I do! Many thanks to my Secret Santa Beth for the mug and to San for organizing our #SecretSantaMugSwap2017!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Q&A

Real or Fake Tree? Real, of course. 

Favorite Christmas cookie? Oreo cookie balls. Fudge.

Home or Travel for Christmas? Home and family (local).

White or Multi-color lights? White. I wanted to switch to color for the benefit of my son because it seems more FUN, but after spending $40 on the tree, I didn't want to spend any more money on new lights.

Christmas cards? Not this year.

Favorite gift received and/or given? This is a difficult question because I have a really bad memory, but the first thing that popped into my mind was the snowshoes my dad made for my sister and me. The sinew(?) was bad, so they can't be used, but I love that he MADE them for us. I need to hang them up in my house somewhere.

Stockings or No stockings? Yes, a stocking for my son.

Christmas pajamas? No. I really wanted to get matching jammies for me and my son this year, but again, I didn't want to spend the money.

Favorite Christmas song? I love Christmas music! Almost all of it, except that horrible song about the shoes. 

Favorite holiday tradition? Traditions are changing and developing with the new kids in the family and the death of our stepmom. So I don't think I have an answer to this.

Early shopper or last minute? Both. Online!

Favorite Christmas movie? Classic: It's a Wonderful Life. Modern: The Holiday. I love Christmas movies!

Favorite holiday beverage? I used to love eggnog (maybe with a dash of amaretto), but I only like the kind with no spices so it just tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately, I don't know what brand my stepmom used to buy. I'm also a big fan of hot chocolate. I would love to try some of Starbucks fancy flavors. The last one I bought from a small coffee shop was horrible though, and bad hot chocolate is the worst.

Cookies and milk for Santa? I've never done it before, so I'm not sure.

As seen on The Emi Times.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cute Little Piggies

Welcome to the family, Nutmeg and Cinnamon!

The woman I got these guinea pigs from was having surgery yesterday and needed them gone by Sunday and there's NO WAY I could hide them for two weeks, so Christmas came early. My son was ecstatic when he saw them, so it would've been a wonderful moment if I could've pulled it off to have them under the tree on Christmas morning. But alas.

They are a bonded pair of females, mother and daughter. Nutmeg (top photo) is the mom and is much more brave and out-going. Cinnamon is very timid and skittish.

Little Man loves them. He can't wait to see them, talk to them, and feed them. He calls Cinnamon "The Cinnamon," as in "I should say hi to the Cinnamon." Initially he was calling Nutmeg "Nutcracker," but by this morning it had morphed into "Nutmegger." I renamed them, as their previous names were beyond dull.

So that brings us up to one parakeet and two guinea pigs. And that's where we'll be sticking.