Friday, February 21, 2014

These Winter Blues

I'm not typically a whiner about winter.  I live in New England, I expect snow and cold.  But this winter can turn even the cheeriest person into a gripe.  Polar vortex dropping temps into the negatives, huge snowstorms, surprise snow totals, freezing rain, freezing pipes, permafrost, cracked sidewalks, icy roads, cracked skin, etc etc etc.  Kids out of school due to storms.....MOTHER NATURE WE GET IT YOU ARE ALL POWERFUL.  Now, please think some warm thoughts like spring breezes and crocuses.  No one likes Easter egg hunting in a winter jacket.

So how does one beat these winter blues?  Well, I like to knit.  I know, when DON'T I like to knit.  And in defiance to Mother Nature, I cast on a cotton summer dress for my niece.  It's using up several skeins of purple worsted cotton in my stash and should be ready to wear when the weather warms up.  I don't care if the pattern says that it could be worn over a long-sleeve t-shirt, I'm choosing to ignore that!   I'd like to say that going to knitting meetup on Wednesday nights is helping, but two of them have been cancelled recently due to weather.  (Mother Nature, you're killin' me.)

Getting out of the house helps, too.  Brian and I had tickets to see Alton Brown's "The Inevitable Edible" tour last weekend.  Despite getting some more of the white stuff, we got there.  If you've ever read my food blog you know that A.B.  is my husband's idol.  When I heard that he was coming to town I just KNEW that we had to get tickets.  What I didn't know was how funny and sincere he is, and how hard I would laugh during his show.  If you ever get a chance to see him live, you should.

Let's see, what else helps?  Oh I know.... planning our first garden for this house!   I didn't get to have a garden last year due to the move and I was seriously bummed.  This year Brian and I have all sorts of plans, starting with deck boxes of fresh herbs.  We're also going to build a raised bed and grow carrots, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini.  That's the plan anyway.

So there you have plan to keep Mother Nature from getting the best for me.  And besides, she's got to crave sunshine and warm weather sometime.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Procrastinator by Nature

The title says it all....I'm so bad at getting things done on time.  I tend to lose myself in things and always think I have more time than I really do.  I'm guilty of unloading the dishwasher while waiting for a bagel to toast.....and then burning the bagel.  Supposed to be looking up something on my bank statement?  The computer only seems to go to Facebook or Ravelry as soon as I sit down at the keyboard!

I was spending a little snow day time flipping thru magazines and I came across an article published every month for the Happiness Project.  Forgive me, I get a lot of magazines and can't remember which magazine this came from.  Anyway, I read magazines in the order in which the articles catch my eye and the Happiness Project ones are usually one of the last.  I was reading it today though, and an idea for more happiness in your life resonated with me.  The writer had an idea for something called the Power Hour.

No, it's not an hour of exercise, but I could certainly use that too.  It's an hour-long exercise in the war against nagging things.   You know what I'm talking about when I say "Nagging Things."  Every woman in the world has that list of nagging things that never get done because there are other, better things to do.  The writer suggests taking an hour a week to do these things and by doing that, your happiness level will go up.

At first I's probably hogwash.  Then I thought back to some time in the past couple of weeks at work.  My housing certificates and our occupancy permit have been framed yet sitting on top of my filing cabinet for over a year.  I keep blowing the dust off them and thinking "Someday the maintenance super will hang these for me."  He splits his time between many housing sites though, and really only has time to "fight the fires" at any of them.  So one morning I said "Well, why the hell can't I hang them??"  I brought a hammer and some nails to work and voila!  My certificates now grace my wall.  I even got an inexpensive wall clock and hung it in the otherwise bare lobby.  Residents noticed it right away and remarked at how nice it looked.  What surprised ME is how much I noticed and how good I felt getting those things done!  Ok, I'm game to try this "Power Hour" thing.

Here is my list of naggy things.  Cleaning makeup brushes.  (I have sensitive skin but never take the time to clean them.)  Organizing my closet.  (there's at least a dozen pairs of shoes, a few scarves, perhaps some Christmas wrap and I know a yoga mat on the floor in there.)  Cleaning out the car and buying a new air freshener.  (the one I bought last week although works nicely, is the same scent as the one that I bought when Will barfed in the car two vacations ago, and now I associate that scent with THAT scent.  Sorry, Febreeze.)  Going through photos and uploading them to Shutterfly.    Clearing off the living room shelf from clutter and finding a place to donate our old curtains that I have folded and piled up, despite them not fitting a single window in this house.  Taking time to figure out what's wrong with the auto soap dispenser in our bathroom instead of just leaving it there and hoping that it repairs itself.  Going thru all of the kids books and weeding out the "baby level" ones that they no longer enjoy.  And the best one:  Sitting down and learning how to use iTunes to put music on my iPod for the car, instead of not knowing how and proclaiming myself 'Too Stupid to use iTunes!"  Today, I'm picking one and spending some time on it.  Can't wait for the "happy" to wash over me.  :)

Another Snow Day!

Another New England Storm....another Snow Day.

So far we've made the best of it and had dog-piles:

and sculpted towers with hangers.  Oh, and my craft room is pulled apart due to an energy audit yesterday.  The guy had to get into the attic and guess where the entry is?

We've also had a little bit of productivity.  When we moved out of our old house, we sentimental types took the piece of trim from the boys' room that had all of their height measurements on it.  Since the trim in this house isn't the same, Brian took the time to transfer all of the measurements to the trim by the boys' closet door.

So all in all it's been a good day so far.  As long as we keep the kids busy and entertained, we'll be OK.  The dead TV in the family room certainly isn't helping, though.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Karate Kid

This picture was taken after Will's first karate class.  He loved it!  He broke that board himself and Daddy framed it for his bedroom wall.  He's taken three more classes and is doing great  He even earned his first belt!  .  Hubby and I were apprehensive but they really are doing a good job with teaching about confidence, respect and self-discipline.  Three days a week is a bit grueling but if it's helping, we'll make it happen.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What is "The Dickens," Anyway??

Last week, when I got to the afterschool program to pick up Will, he was upset about an 'injury."  I asked to see it and he offered me his right hand.  Turns out my boy got his first papercut.  Winter papercuts are the best, huh?  Your skin is just so dry, it's easy to get one, and the dry skin makes it hurt that much more.  Luckily they don't last long.  I said "Buddy, it's a papercut.  They hurt like the dickens but they go away quickly."  He thought about it for a minute and mulled it over.  Then he said "Mom, know what else hurts like the dickens?  When you step on a lego in your bare feet."  He's got me there!  "Or when you pinch your hand in the folding closet door, or the TV table when you're closing it."  Ouch, Will!  You're right.

Then he paused, and said "you know, it's a SERIES of dickens.  I'm going to start a list!"  And he did.

Series of Dickens.  This kid cracks me up on a daily basis.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

You know you’re a working mom when…'ve put food in the microwave to defrost for that night's dinner, only to come home and find it still in there.  It's definitely thawed, but now it's trash instead of dinner.'ve perfected the art of having breakfast while applying makeup. know EXACTLY how many minutes you have to get your kid to the bus stop, and take it to the limit every day.

....that second cup of coffee doesn't get made til you get to work.  And you enjoy it WAY more than the first because ti's usually a lot quieter.

....searching for your kid's homework/lovey/lunch before it's time to go can sometimes bring you to tears.

......there are five loads of laundry all washed and still sitting in baskets in your bedroom on Monday, and 3.5 of them are still there on Friday.  Because you've been living out of the basket all week, and so have the kids.'ve been forced to contend with a really gross mess after work because you had to choose between getting out the mop OR getting the kids to daycare. have amazing talents with a lint brush/a light mist of Febreeze to be able to wear clothes you pulled out of the hamper because you forgot to do laundry.  Again.