Monday, January 29, 2018

This weekend: the good, the bad, & the ugly

In bullets:
  • On Friday my boss closed the office an hour early because she and her husband were going out of town for the night. Bonus.
  • Once home, I rushed around doing some chores that are easiest sans toddler. In my haste I misjudged the stairs going down into the family room, thinking I was at the bottom when in fact I was not. My ankle rolled and something popped/snapped. I ended up curled on my side, screaming like a banshee. Thank goodness I was home alone. Eventually I was able to move and hobble around enough to appear normal when my son got home. It's only a little swollen and sore, but it bears weight, so I'm sure IT'S FINE.
  • Saturday morning we went for our customary hike on the boardwalk. Conditions were quite slick were the snow remained, which made walking a bit treacherous, always helpful on a weak ankle. But whatevs. The weather was mild and the woods were lovely.
  • I cooked a $1.99 frozen pizza from Aldi for dinner (living the high life, as always). When I was pulling it out of the oven, the oven mitt apparently had a thin spot and I jerked my hand because of the BURNING and the pizza slid off the pizza stone landing cheese side down on the bottom of the oven. All that was left was a crispy thin piece of naked crust. Tears were shed. And dinner ended up being much more lame than even a $1.99 frozen pizza.
  • Sunday morning we squeezed in some outdoor play time in the yard, including swinging, sliding, and sand. Not bad for JANUARY.
  • I invited my dad over after nap to assemble the balance bike he bought my son for Christmas. The assembly process was a nightmare, but at least he had the cutest "helper" ever. And then WITHOUT COACHING my darling not-yet-3 year old more or less invited his grandpa to take us out to eat at "Paneria" so he could "eat bread and grilled cheese." Hahaha! Well done, sweet boy, well done. And he ate every single bite.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Journaling and what it means to me

I prefer to write in full sized, wide ruled, spiral bound notebooks. The cheaper the better. My pen of choice is a Pilot Precise Rolling Ball with a Fine tip and blue ink. I will, of course, write in other notebooks with other pens if the situation presents itself.

I started journaling this way during the summer of 1998 and have been at it ever since. In a perfect world my goal would be a 3 page minimum every day. These days that is not realistic.

I don't write in my notebook as creative practice, although I have used it as a place to write first drafts of poems and stories. I have always used my notebooks as a dumping ground. A place to get what is in my head out. To vent.

I see my sister once or twice a month with children in tow, my father even less. The kids make conversation difficult at best. Aside from that, the only adult person I speak to on a regular basis (beyond the small talk, wow, it's cold outside types of conversations) is my boss and we have nothing in common. We are cordial, but we are not friends. That's it. That's the extent of my in person adult contact.

Even texts and emails are primarily limited to exchanging pictures and occasional brief commentary on activities.

Everything is just stuck in my head with no outlet. It finally occurred to me a few days ago to pick up the pen again. Even though I'd declared my intention to journal more in 2018, it was merely a casual wish to restart the regular practice. I hadn't made the connection until I put the pen to paper the other day that if I don't have anyone in my life to talk to, I should at least "talk" to myself.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Saturday Morning Hike

My sister and I took advantage of the mild temperatures to get the four of us out for a hike together. It was the first hiking I've done in 2018. It was not without challenges, but all I can hope is it's worth it in the grand scheme of things. I'm not in the best place mentally, so it's easy to see how TV and fast food would be the easier option.

Friday, January 19, 2018


Eating: A multigrain bagel with cream cheese. I super love free food from meetings I don't have to attend. Win, win.

Watching: I've been on a big ER kick. I randomly discovered there are reruns every Saturday, so I record them every week. I haven't watched any episodes since their first run, so it's been a lot of fun to revisit old friends.

Reading: The Last Season by Eric Blehm. Bear on a Bike by Stella Blackstone. The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown.

Listening to: Amazon's Toddler Time music.

Playing with: Magnatiles.

Feeling: Frustrated. With my job. With my commute. With my lack of patience with my son.

Loving: My son's ever increasing ability to communicate. He can now tell me when something hurts or is bothering him.

Looking forward to: Going for a hike tomorrow. My son and I both need some outside time and hopefully some time with my sister and her son.

What are you up to these days?

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.