Monthly Archives: December 2012

Morning Surprise

Last night i barely slept, i had stomach pain throughout the night, which seemed to finally ease up around 4:30 AM.  Yuck!

The plan for today had been an open ended idea to help the Love-In-Laws paint the new office.  I went to wake up my husband, knowing clearing the snow off the walk and driveway would take a few hours and saw a wonderful sight.  No, it wasn’t the snow itself…someone had already cleaned the snow away!  Not just the walk either, but the path to the front door, the driveway, even the steps!

How wonderful to be the recipient to such an act of kindness.  We’ll have to try to figure it out and do something nice for our mystery neighbor.

The snow does look lovely from my office.  I am surrounded by windows on 3 sides in this room, and at times it’s a challenge, but today i am thankful for it.  Seeing the blue grey sky against the white snow, the dark trees, the green evergreens, it’s amazing, really.

Husband replaced the broken French press yesterday, so i am alternating coffee and ginger ale (my stomach is still feeling unsettled, but i think a bit better).

The afternoon was spent painting the office.  It was formerly renting by a wedding planner, and painted a strange lilac color… poorly.  We primed and did some of the walls a slate blue color.  Other walls will be a nice beige, and  think they will contrast nicely.  I came home after, feeling off again, and rested.

It was nice to have such a surprise, even if we did find out it had been the neighbor’s play company getting the wrong address!  We won’t complain about the luck, and they came back and did her house proper.  It was also nice to help my friend with her professional space, and spend time with her.

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My Day Off

Today i slept in.  It felt wonderful to lay in the bed and daydream for a bit.  It’s such a luxury to not be on a schedule once in a while.  I went about my usual morning routine except for getting dressed, as i had a grand plan of using my new French press to make myself coffee.  I imagined myself sitting at the computer, drinking delicious hot coffee out of a mug, able to get more whenever i wanted during the day.  Sadly, when i opened the box i found the glass was already broken.  I suppose my dear husband will have to return it (it was a gift from him).

I put away the glassware from Christmas eve, as well as the paper plates and napkins (we don’t yet have enough dishes for 20+ people).  I put the redeemable recycles into the basement and cleaned a little in the kitchen.  I also made the bed in the guest room (poor husband has been snoring and let me sleep solo).

I spent most of the day resting.  I think i have a bug of some sort.  There was a lovely bath, and more Upstairs, Downstairs and some Sims.  It’s not much of a day off, but i was productive.  We got a few inches of snow through the afternoon, so my options were limited anyway.

Still, the house is slowly making progress.  Hopefully i’m cleaning more than i’m messing these days.

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Sunny Day with Impending Snow

This morning i woke up to a wonderful sunrise, the snow reflecting the light back over my neighborhood.  It made getting up and off to work that much easier.  I did take a few minutes to put a few things away as i went about my routine.  Simple things are what keep my home cleaner and more organized.

I had to go to a job site about an hour away from my office.  Of course, there was traffic on I-95, but just as things slowed down, the sun looked beautiful over New Haven Harbor.  Another simple happy moment.

At work i had a minor accident (breaking the vehicle key in the door), but thankfully my employers are kind people.

This evening was mellow.  I came home and noticed none of the items i had asked to be done were completed, but i tried to respond with kindness and understanding.  I was feeling a little low, but believe it is because the Mister & Sister are away this weekend, celebrating their anniversary.  I’m very happy they’re getting some quality time together, but i do miss them both, particularly since the Mister and i have not had our regularly scheduled Monday night last week, nor will we this week.  Also, i suppose it was a bit of jealousy as well.  The Mister set the intention for he and i to also go away for our anniversary.  Since we don’t have a clear date, we’ve agreed to select one when it’s more convenient.  He has a powerful tendency to start and end things during the winter it seems, which means even less time during a busy period of the year.  Since it’s not a concrete plan, i fear it’ll be another idea that does not come to fruition, for any number of reasons.  He and i have discussed this, but i am still working on managing these feelings.  Polyamory does force me to look at my feelings more in depth, and see what is based in reality and what is based out of emotion.

Later in the evening my husband brought home some Chinese food and we watched part of a movie before i felt sick and went to bed.  And by bed i mostly mean watching Upstairs, Downstairs on my Kindle in bed.  Some of my emotions are almost certainly tied to the fact my body has been uncomfortable with all the stress and cold weather work.

 

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Brrrrrr!

Today was a typical field day – up and at the office before sunrise, a little chaotic, and a lot of  doing.

I am enjoying incorporating the sun breaths into my morning routine (note to self: lets write up the current morning routine here please).  It’s just a few moments of centering, and i can do them no matter what i am wearing (or not, as has happened several mornings now).  The movement feels good and since it incorporates my whole body, i feel a little warmer on these chilly mornings.

I did start some laundry and put a few holiday items away this morning, which felt good.  Although i love the joy of Christmas, i don’t love having a mess!  I want everything back in it’s place as soon as possible!

As i said, today was a field day.  I admit, i was not looking forward to dealing with the weather today.  It was a cold, rainy day, with some snow on the ground.   As our job involved sampling wells at a residence, i was nervous about finding the sample locations.  My coworker must of been wearing special shoes or something, as he found them all very quickly.  It was very cold and very wet, but there were few problems, which was great.

Spider

Spider!

At one point, i looked in the snow and saw a tangle of legs – it was a giant spider!  i assumed it was dead, buried in the snow, but my coworker came by and it was alive!  Nature really is impressive.

After work i was still cold and wet.  These are two factors that often leave me feeling cranky.  My husband suggested a hot bath, which i did do… after deciding to carry up two baskets of laundry by myself, because they hadn’t made it upstairs yet.  It frustrated me to not have things done when i came home after such a physically demanding day.

As i was folding the gigantic pile of kitchen towels, cloth napkins and tableclothes from all the holiday festivities i felt frustrated.  I could just use paper products, this would be unnecessary.  I silently steamed and folded for a few minutes before realizing that this act is a gift to my home, my family and my environment.  The labor i was performing means i am not using rolls of paper towels for every spill and drip, instead i am using cloth, which i can wash and re-use over and over.  It means i am saving money because they are reusable, and i (almost) never run out.  It means helping the environment by creating less waste and using less resources.  So yes, doing the laundry is no fun, but there is a reason for the effort.  I was even able to let go of my frustration about it not already being done.  It was washed, dried and put into the basket for me.  I had to go upstairs anyway.

That little reminder was just what i needed to find some peace in my day.

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There are times i am reminded i need to plan better.  This morning was one of those days.

I slept in a little, knowing today would be quiet at work.  This was mistake number one.  I did my usual routine (except for cleaning the cat box, i slacked) and grabbed the remaining fudge to bring to work.  No lunch, of course, just a plate of fudge.  Then realized the car was still iced over from the snow on Christmas eve.  And i hadn’t put gas in the car Saturday night, so i was very much on empty.  Much scraping and hoping i wouldn’t run out of gas later, i did manage to get on the road and fill up.  Just a few extra minutes in bed and  i was 15 minutes late to work.

Work was pretty meh.  I was by myself for the afternoon, which meant i slacked a bit.  I know it’s not good, but some days it feels nearly impossible to focus on data tables.

After work i enjoyed some leftovers from Christmas and relaxed.  I downloaded Sims 3 onto my computer and watched Royal Pains (both are slightly guilty pleasures).

As the snow fell, i felt nervous and sad, knowing it would mean a more challenging tomorrow, work wise.  Still, it’s just snow and rain, part of nature, just like sun, and criticizing the weather doesn’t do much good.

Lost Day

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Christmas Day (AKA Christmases #4 & 5)

Finally, Christmas day had arrived.  I woke up and did the usual routine, slowly cleaning the house as i went.  It was quickly time to head south to the sister-in-law’s house.  I quickly packed up some of our leftovers, the remaining presents and the husband and i headed out.

It was lovely to spend some time in their new home, a grand old colonial which has been restored (and in still in progress).  Celebrating with the kids (ages 5, 3 and 2 mo) was also fun.  We had a nice simple breakfast and opened presents.  It was nice to spend time with the in-laws.  We were given some silly books and a bunch of model rocket supplies.  It’ll be interesting to play with them, for sure.

Then we had to head north to my grandmother’s house for that event.  We had a nice dinner and time with my family, although my grandmother’s home is often uncomfortably warm, and this was no exception.  I felt kind of icky.

After several hours we followed my parents home, and did the last of the presents.  I was given a new purse!  Something i very much needed.  Also some neat old books and slippers.  The cat was given a new toy too, a very tall tower, now living in my office.

While it was an incredibly busy day, we did get home in time for me to continue the slow process of cleaning up and to watch the Dr. Who Christmas special.  And fall asleep shortly after!  Work will seem like a vacation after this much Christmas!

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Christmas Eve (AKA Christmas #3)

Monday morning I woke up early.  There was a lot to be done!

I did manage to keep to routine, doing a swish & swipe in the bathroom, a few sun breaths, and such, although i didn’t really get dressed.  I did take care of the cat, and then get straight into work, baking and cooking and cleaning as best i could.  Unfortunately, so much has happened between then and now, i can barely remember the order of everything!  So instead, here is our Christmas Eve menu:

Appetizers

Entrees

  • Stuffed shells
  • Pork with rosemary & garlic rub
  • Green beans with leftover rub
  • Gravy
  • Spinach & apple salad with candied pecans
  • Mushroom chicken (Mom & Dad brought, one with cheese, one without)
  • German potato salad (Cousin brought)
  • Potato au gratin
  • Green jello thingy (Cousin brought)
  • Broccoli salad (sister-in-law brought)
  • Devilled eggs
  • Fresh white bread
  • Fresh rolls

Desserts

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Christmas #2

I was able to sleep in this morning! Until 8! It felt glorious.

Once I was up, I once again saw my sticky reminding me to do my sun breaths. I am finding I’m not actually counting, I just do some, more than 5. I am enjoying the simple practice though. I hopped in the shower, did a swish & swipe and headed down to write and start the day.

Most of the day was spent cooking and cleaning.  I made a quick batch of cinnamon raisin bread in the bread machine for tomorrow’s Christmas Eve bread pudding first.  Then i thought i would start on a gingerbread bundt cake, but the husband had bought the wrong kind of molasses.  I worked on a Andes Mints cheesecake bar instead, but i think the crust came out way too thin.  Fingers crossed, i need to decorate it today.

Tonight was also family-of-choice Christmas.  There were 6 adults and a toddler.  I was responsible for garlic mashed potatoes and a salad.  We also made a cheese plate and devilled eggs.  The Mister’s father had sent him a ton of meat and fish dishes for his birthday/Christmas, so folks brought that down too.  We did presents together and watched some bad holiday TV too.

I did take some photos, but it’s time to run, there is so much to do!

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This morning i woke up early, and fought with myself to stay in bed longer.  5 AM is not an acceptable time to start cooking voluntarily.  So i stayed in bed until about 7, then did a swish & swipe, my sun breaths and headed downstairs to write for a few minutes.  Then it was taking care of the cat and getting to work.

I started off by making some Rice Krispies Treats with red & green M&Ms in them.  I had forgotten just how easy (and messy!) they are to do!  But they look great.  I decided, with so many events to attend, to make a second batch, but didn’t have enough ingredients.  The small market near the house didn’t have Rice Krispies.  So the second batch was Coco Pebbles instead, and came out awesome.  I kept the ratios the exact same – 3 tbs melted butter, 40 regular sized marshmallows and 6 cups cereal (plus a small pile of red & green M&Ms).

I also made some fudge using the Never Fail Fudge recipe from Fluff.  I’d like to play with candy making more at some future point, i do enjoy it.

While i was making the fudge, i spoke with the sister, who was getting ready for a party at her house, she needed some extra hands there.  So i drove up once i was finished and showered.  I helped baby-wrangle, make sandwiches, generally be an extra set of hands and company when she & i went off to the packie.  It was good to spend time with her, even in do-mode.

The party was lovely, with a great mix of folks.  There was family, friends, coworkers and all kinds of great people.  The party was a Solstice/Christmas/Mister’s 43rd birthday/house’s 100th birthday celebration.  There was caroling, cookie decorating, lots of food, and just general happiness.  As is my job at such events, i did my best during quiet times to clean up stray plates and cups, replenish food, or take away empty bowls.  It was much easier than in years past with this year’s menu for sure!  The evening wound down with a group of adults relaxing on the couch around 11.  It felt nice to just be with family and friends, laugh, even make adult jokes.

I stayed to clean up and then pretty much zonked out in bed.

Again, i’m reminded how much love is in my life.

Christmas #1

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This morning was rainy, i may of even heard thunder, but perhaps it was just the wind as i lay in bed, enjoying a little chance to sleep in before work.

Cookies from local bakery

Cookies from local bakery

Last night i put up a sticky note under the bathroom mirror, reminding myself to do 5 sun breaths this morning.  It worked, although i admit, i did them right then and there in the bathroom and my poor cat got thwacked a few times.  He is particularly underfoot in the mornings.  This new addition to my routine did throw me off, but i was able to make the bed, open the shades, and do my swish & swipe before heading downstairs to feed the cat and clean the litterbox.  I even remembered to put away the sweater i chose not to wear, a tiny victory, but one nonetheless.

Work was busy.  I’m designing a type of remediation system that i don’t have much experience with.  As my old boss would say, it’s an opportunity.  That and a good chunk of engineering is learn as you do.  I was also trying to work with Duncan to get some last minute gifts and grocery shopping organized.  I am learning we both struggle with communicating over instant messenger, but while at work it is very difficult to call him.  I need to work on my clarity in typing and be less afraid to give very specific instruction when i need something.

After work i picked up some Italian cookies for Christmas Eve for Mom at a local bakery.  She’s a big fan.  They were a little expensive, but i know the labor that goes into them, so it’s worth it.  Once home i worked on a technical problem for a non-profit i serve on the board of.  Then i jumped right in to wrapping presents.  Often this is one of my favorite holiday activities, but again, with the mess my procrastination has made, i just felt stressed.  This is something to work on for sure.  I also was able to do some laundry during this time.  Efficiency!

I also found out i ordered some shirts as gifts that won’t arrive on time for Christmas thanks to some misinformation and not reading all the fine print.  This makes me sad, but i think all three of my boys who were getting them will understand (by my boys i mean full grown adults).

Starlight Mint Tray

Starlight Mint Tray

My husband came home earlier than expected from his aikido class, so we went to Target and did some last minute shopping and then got a late dinner.  I put things away while baking a starlight mint tray (pictured).  This is an idea i got from Pintrest.  You unwrap the mints and align them in a rough pattern on a wax paper covered cookie sheet, then bake it at 350°F for about 10 minutes.  They are soft enough to manipulate with metal cookie cutters or just use as a tray.  They are fragile (i broke my first attempt!) but fun.  Although i thought they were identical except for color and flavor, it turns out the green ones were a little thicker, which is a challenge melting wise, but worked out fine with a little toothpick manipulation.

At 10:30 I got a few messages from the Mister, telling me i should be in bed, afterall, tomorrow is his birthday and party, and being a tired girl is no way to celebrate. I rushed to make progress cleaning out the fridge, wrap the last things i had to wrap, and bring up the laundry.  I was even able to put the clothes away before climbing into bed at 10:58, two full minutes before my 11 o’clock be in bed time.

I definitely realized, as i spun around rushing to do-do-do, and my husband was on the computer, that i feel resentment in times like this.  But the reality is, there is nothing he could of been doing at that time! So i need to work on letting that go.  As if the universe wanted to remind me, in my email came the latest Zen Habits email, entitled The Other Person is Never the Problem.  I hope to find some time to really read it and take it in.  I think it would be beneficial to me on many levels if i could work on that perspective.

Very busy day

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