December 28, 2011

i'm a godmommy!

The most frightening yet delightful news just received! My goddaughter was born earlier this evening at 2lbs 7oz and 15.5 inches long! She is so tiny at 6 1/2 weeks early, but her mama is tiny, too. Mama and baby are doing just fine and I could not be more proud! She's beautiful and I get to meet her in about 10 weeks when I can get back out to California! Grateful and joyful!

December 27, 2011

a new and improved antiviral computer

So, yes, it's been months. But I have a good excuse! My computer had a nasty, nasty virus and had to be shipped away for a complete overhaul (thank you to my California computer genius) and it's been cured. Meanwhile, in the past few months, I've also had a complete overhaul! I did a huge amount of personal purging in November which carried over into December. Now that 2011 is wrapping up I've decided to do a whole lot of material purging too, so I'm cleaning and organizing during my last week of vacation. Thank God educators get the week between Christmas and New Years off! 2011 has been good to me - I've experienced a lot, learned a lot, changed a lot, and gained a lot. Since I'm ending the year by cleaning and organizing, I'm going to share it with you as I go! Today's task was to clean out and organize my deep freezer - handy, but when food is just tossed in, you end up losing a lot (which is a waste of money and food) and you never have a grasp of what needs to be purchased. I neglected to take a before picture, but rest assured, it was a disaster. I ended up throwing away about two garbage bags of food; must remember to always (1)date the package, (2) label what the heck that is, and (3)package properly!!! Even the food saver systems break down eventually, so dating and labeling should help that. Here's what it looks like now!
I had some old dairy crates laying around, so I washed them and set them inside: one each for veggies, fish, beef and pork, and poultry. Because the crates don't fit side by side, there are spaces for larger items that would take up a whole crate anyhow - club store size bags of berries used in baking, well sealed bread flats for the following couple of weeks. There is even a slider basket across the top that holds all my baking ingredients - butter, chocolate chips, pies that have been food savered and frozen for last minute guests, etc. I cannot TELL you how much better I feel with that task done! It makes money saving, grocery shopping, time saving and cooking so much easier. Now all I do is decide the menu for the week based on what's in the deep freeze, pull the items out and put them in the regular kitchen freezer, and add items to the grocery list as needed! Next, I'll start on the basement. There will be a whole pile of donations, I'm sure. To finish up 2011, I'll give you my list of things I did in 2011 and what I'm looking forward to in 2012! Meanwhile, I want to know your favorite organizing tips!

September 27, 2011

refresh

I feel like blowing the dust off the old blog! Clearly I've not been here in a while and I can't offer much of any new explanation. I got busy. Like boyfriend, new job, crises, travel, kind of busy. The kind of busy where for the past seven months all my laundry has not been done at the same time, there were always at least two loads that needed tending. That, my friends, is unusual for me, because y'all know I love a good to-do-list, my favorite part is the crossing off! But, girlfriend, I was SWAMPED. Swamped enough to add a syllable. SUH-WAMPED. Not that life is slowing down at all, but I find myself, today especially, in need of an outlet. And I must be coming out of some kind of rut/mood/swamp state-of-mind, too, because all of a sudden my laundry is done, my basement is on its way to being clean and organized, and I'm purging all the crud from my life!
I'm pretty sure my home office looked like this before this weekend. I would know for sure, but I would always shut my eyes when I walked past! I've only seen this show a couple times, by the way, because it makes me itch. So, because I feel like I'm purging my to-do-list, I figure I should probably purge the past six months as well. Around March, shortly before my last post, I started to feel really exposed. My mom had been diagnosed with uteran cancer, and that kind of thing is really hard to keep quiet and private. Mostly because she told everyone, which is of course her right, but I bet the cashier at the grocery store will never again ask the question, "Hi, how are you today?" again. I had to take time from work, which necessitated sharing with work folks, and I told my sorority sisters, and other folks by way of explanation as to why I was taking a step back from my involvement in things. I had just started dating my boyfriend about a month before and so I had to tell him because it meant a lot more of my attention was focused elsewhere. I'm not a private person and I wear my heart on my sleeve, so for me to feel exposed is a big deal. Suddenly it felt like everyone knew everything about my life and felt free to speculate and add opinions. And so I hid. I hid in small ways and managed to find some old bricks to build up my keep-people-at-a-distance walls. Bricks that were previously pulverized but panic and back-peddling make amazing superglue.

March 2, 2011

fruitbasket upset

Do you remember the game "Fruitbasket Upset" from grade school gym? No? Only the children who grew up in the 80's know what that is? It's a cross between musical chairs and Duck, Duck, Goose - Person in the middle of the circle without a chair calls out the name of a fruit assigned to the kids beforehand, and those fruits get up and run like hell to find another chair to sit in. Rinse and repeat. This is how life feels right now, but it's not an all-around bad thing. Good news first?

I've been dating someone for a little over a month and he's really great - funny, smart, sarcastic, so cute and an amazing smile, honest, straightforward...I could go on and on. We talked for about a week before our first date and on our second date (which took place the day after the first) he told me he really liked me and to not expect him to beat around the bush like most guys do because what if some other guy is telling a woman how much he likes her and then an opportunity is missed. Um, where is the guessing and the worry and the drama? Out the window, that's where, and let me tell you, it is refreshing and lovely to know I can be honest right back, comfortable and secure. Novelties, all of those things.

On a less than stellar note, my Mom was diagnosed with uteran cancer a little over a week ago. I'm sure she will be fine, the prognosis is good, but every little bit my confidence falters and I think, "What if?" I'm not ready to lose my Mom and she's too freaked out to be in good fighting spirits. We've already been to an oncologist, and she's got a battery of tests this Friday, then surgery scheduled for April.

When we found out, I immediately called my cousin's husband, my ex-boyfriend, and my current boyfriend. In doing so, I realized three things. One, I am much better confronting a situation with concrete information and practical facts. Each of thoe men reacted in a similar fashion: have you researched? when do you talk to the doctor? ask questions, get informed! Take one step at a time. I didn't used to get along so well with my cousin's husband, but we have grown closer, and I absolutely adore him. My ex, he's the husband's best friend and really close with all my family members, Mom included, and he knows me and how to talk me down. My current I called to tell him he didn't have to date me anymore if it was going to be to much to deal with a girlfriend and her sick mom. He was perfect, reassured me that was the most ridiculous idea I'd had yet, and then gave me information he had read in his (pleasure reading, bleh) medical journals. They gave me the support I needed to move onto the next step, reaching out. Second, I am much better off accepting help from others than I am trying to do it all myself. When my parents divorced, I was an adult, and my Mom turned into the child and I the parent. Awkward. And difficult to flip back. Plus, I wouldn't let anyone do anything, so I was stressed and never dealt with my own emotional health. This time around, though, I realize I also need to care for myself, so I take help from others and make sure I get a couple nights off a week. Mom is doing the same thing, she stays at a friend's house on the weekends to allow herself a chance to get away. Third, I also realized I am very good at shopping for diamonds. The day of her oncology visit, Mom and I went out afterwards to get her a present. We visited a dozen jewelry stores and each one was breathtaking! She has a tradition of doing something nice for herself and I couldn't let her do this one on her own. She was a trooper and so I bought her diamond earrings she had picked out, because she totally deserves sparkly things. And sparkly things there were! We oohed and aahed over one jewelry store for two hours at least!

And then there is always school and work to contend with, papers and promotions (or at least the potential of a promotion). But you see, it's not all bad! And emotional health does an astounding amount to keep one centered and stabilized, so please, find a therapist, they will do wonderful things for you!

February 1, 2011

snOMG is my favorite...

If you've been following the news at all...or facebook...or just walking by some people on the street, you know that there is a huge storm making it's way across the country and dumping that crappy white stuff all over the midwest. But it's more personal than that, for me anyway. It means a SNOW DAY! As an educator, I look forward to winter for one reason, and one reason only. I do not look forward to it being dark when I enter my windowless office AND when I leave. I do not look forward to waking up hours before God to drive next to idiots at a snails pace. I live for a snow day. And tomorrow, thanks to Snowmageddon 2011, I have one! Now, that doesn't mean I will stay inside and cuddle up with some homework or work related reading. Nope. I refuse. Just like when you were a kid, snow days are meant for fun and traveling through treacherous driving conditions to see your friends. So, tomorrow, after I finish sleeping in, I will be doing more of this:



That picture was me last Sunday, having gone that morning and purchased cross country equipment. I headed to the dog park because Penny really needed to run, and it's a huge park so I embarked on my second-ever attempt at cross country skiing. Super fun, and glad I did not fall! So, I'm off to enjoy the day off tomorrow, and I will end up doing a little homework and real work, just don't tell anyone. And if you are one of the states hit with the snowpocalypse, please be safe, and for God's sake, have fun!