Progress on the house is coming along…slowly

People keep asking me how progress on the house is going. The answer is SLOWLY now.

After the huge crazy push to get moved in, carpets torn up, walls painted and floors down, we’ve had a lull in house progress. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still making progress, but at a much slower pace than we were working at in the beginning.

Frankly, we needed a break. It’s gotten to the point though, that I think I’m so overwhelmed with what has to be done still that I just freeze and am having a hard time deciding what to do. When this happens, nothing gets done. (Please tell me I’m not alone here…)

It’s time to kick it up a notch though. Sorry, Frank!

Sunday I (mostly) finished painting the bonus room. I say “mostly” because Daddy-O seems to like to do the window trim so I’ll let him do that down the road when he feels like it. Also we’ll eventually replace the switches and outlets, but I’m not sure if that’s something I’ll try myself or if I’ll wait for my uncle to help. I’m pretty sure I’m fully capable, but we’ll see.

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Sorry for the crappy shot, I’m not so good with the panorama yet.

That’s the panoramic photo from the middle of the futon from last night. As you can see, we’ve started slowly bringing boxes in again and unpacking. There is tons more to bring in and shelves to put it all on other shelves that need to be built etc, but it’s a start. It’s also not likely the final set up. I figure that’ll happen – um – never.

I’ve been saying it for several weeks now, but this weekend I HAVE to paint the dresser so it can come inside and be used. Not that I’m a super neat person, but sometimes I do like to have all my clean clothes in one place so I’m not left searching for my favorite pants. Also, I have this current desire to be a grown-up and have a respectable, company can drop by and it’s not horrible, home.

Today at least.

That means tonight after (hopefully) hot yoga I’ll go home and bring in another couple of boxes to unpack. Tomorrow I don’t have much planned after work so I can do some more and ask Frank for help with what he can do too. This weekend after swimming (weather permitting) I’ll do some spray painting and if it doesn’t cooperate, I’ll make some curtains.

A couple boxes here, a few boxes there…it’ll all get done sooner or later. Hopefully sooner because I’m a getting a little antsy and an Antsy Court is not a Happy Court. I’ll check in Monday and let you know what I actually got done and post photos over on Instagram as we go.

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Reading more: Seduction

Quite some time ago now, I read Seduction: A Novel of Suspense by M.J. Rose A copy of this book was made available to me by the publisher at no charge to me through my partnership with the now defunct Red Letter Reads. The opinions are my own.

From Amazon

A gothic tale about Victor Hugo’s long-buried secrets and the power of a love that never dies . . . In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, still grieving, Hugo initiated hundreds of séances from his home on the Isle of Jersey in order to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published.

Or so it has been believed . . .(continued)

Truth be told, I was a little nervous about this book at first. It seemed long, it had spirituality, history, and  fantasy – three genres I’m not necessarily a fan of reading, and it took a little bit to get into Hugo’s journal passages. It ended up being a good thing I was on vacation when I read it though, because I stayed up late several nights in a row reading this book.

While I felt the stories wove together in a beautiful way, there were pieces of the book that were jammed into the overall picture. It could be more my lack of knowledge regarding certain historical eras than the writing itself, but some of the connections could have been further explored and explained for the historical non-buffs in the crowd. I enjoyed this book enough to download another by M.J. Rose, look forward to reading more and have already told some friends they should read it.

Is this something you’d like to read?

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Things that made me smile this week…#30, 2014

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I’m back at it, listing out the things from the past week that made me smile and that I’m am thankful for. It’s important to remember the things that are good to help ease the sting of the bad.

What can I say? Some weeks are better than others and I’d like to have reminders of the good for when it’s not so good. I re read that statement and it makes me feel like I’m implying that life isn’t good. It mostly is. (Knockonwood!) I just want to make sure I’m documenting the moments that shine for me so when they don’t I can find good things quickly

It’s been too long since I’ve done one of these, so in no particular order, what has been good lately:

  • Finding myself again
  • Completing 2 scarves
  • Cocktails on the deck with friends. (Mojitos, Root2Beer, and Nectarine(?) Orange with Lime Popsicle for ice with rum.)
  • Getting the green room painting done and rearranged.
  • “Comfort” food (Chipotle chicken burrito bowl, grocery store sushi)
  • Coffee with hot chocolate for a double pick me up when I haven’t slept.
  • Getting settled in my new office
  • Keeping up with #julyoga (and a fricken great Tuesday class!)
  • Some free new books from NetGalley (even though Red Letter Reads seems to be no more, I still get free books to read through NetGalley.)
  • Constant Comment Tea.
  • Getting plans sorted out for CAR’s wedding in Chicago!

How was your week?

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Frank said…#87

This is part of the Frank said feature. You can see more here.

I was watching a segment on Kiera Knightly on the Sunday Morning show..

Sunday Morning Show: You can’t pick up a magazine without seeing her in the cover. (Shows covers of Glamor, Cosmo, etc)

Frank: That’s crap! I don’t think she’s on Popular Science!

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Coffee er Afternoon Tea Date

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Thanks for stopping by for tea! What kind are you having? I went with Constant Comment with one sugar and a splash of milk. It’s an old favorite. Do you have a favorite tea?

I’m sorry if you had a hard time finding me for our afternoon tea date. I had to move my office to the colder and ittybitty office side of our work building during the internal restructuring of our office.

I’m trying to be a good sport about it and thankful that I have the job that I do, but the situation kind of sucks. I don’t even have enough floor space to do a plank unless they turn my desk back around so my back is to the door. I don’t do that though – have my back to the door. Freaks me out a bit. It was once suggested that it’s the little bit of mobster in me, but really think it’s because I’m nosy.

Maybe “curious” is a better word. People seem to respond better to it. Which is better to you? Someone being nosy or being curious? How about skinny or svelte? Cheap or frugal? slightly wet or moist?

Are there any words that are seemingly innocuous but have a bad visceral reaction for you? “Ain’t” is one of those words for me. I just hate it. Moist is another one of those for me. I just cringe when I hear it.

Unless it’s about cake or quick bread…then it’s all good in my book. Not to mention delicious! Even chocolate chip cookies can be moist. Nothing else though.

Speaking of which, I think I’m going to go get a cookie to go with my tea. I hope you have an excellent weekend and find something delightful to do. My to do list is not delightful, but getting it done will let me relax a bit!

 

 

 

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Thursday Three – Things I did to kick this slump in the butt

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It’s been a bit of a rough week. I think I mentioned that before? Good news is that I’m starting to feel a little more like myself.

Yesterday was certainly better than the day before and today’s a slight bit better than that.  (This Buzzfeed post about – achem – not manscaping (NSFW by the way) was a lovely addition to my morning…just don’t read the words. You’ll thank me for that helpful hint.)

Because each slump comes from it’s own place, it can be hard for me sometimes to kick it in the butt and get back to happy, bright, smiley me. (I was recently told “You were a ray of sunshine during some really dark days for me, thank you for that.”)

This particular slump was escorted back out of my life by doing the following:

  1. Going to Warm Yoga. (It wasn’t really hot this week but it was warm enough that with some effort I had a really gross sweat going on. Every time I had to wipe my face off, I thought, “Goodbye bad feeling of ____________.” and gave each drop a bad feeling. Gross, right? But it worked.  Also, while I was there I did some really hard (for me) things and I was so stinkin’ proud of myself that I had this ridiculous big stupid grin on my face.
  2. I stopped looking at the snarky sites and found some happy news. Sounds silly, but I spent some time reading some upbeat, happy bloggers. Sure the snark can be funny, but I found the negativity influencing my own already dark thoughts. When I woke up yesterday morning I said, “Today I find the good in something or I’ll think about it tomorrow.” And I did. Sometimes it took some serious effort on my part or walking away and coming back to something, but each good thought was a little easier.
  3. I picked up a crochet hook and a ball of yarn and made something. Just a quick double loop cowl, but it was something I KNEW I could get right. It also helped that the soft feel of yarn through my fingers, the pretty shade of blue made me smile, and I had about 8″ left over.

Sometimes getting out of a slump takes some effort, but when I work for it, it usually ends up okay.

What do you do to get out of a slump?

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Ice cream sundae pie…my new favorite dessert to bring during the summer

icecreampie

Sorry for the crappy picture. I should really stop using my phone for these.

You know one of the things I love about summer? BBQs. There’s something about sitting in a friend’s back yard, drink in hand, munchies on the table, surrounded by friends in the sunshine. Maybe it’s because we have such a short BBQ season around here, but it’s one of my favorite things about the summer time.

Over 4th of July weekend, I went to one of those sit in the yard, cook meat over the outdoor fire (okay it was on the grill, but there was fire!). It was such a lovely day! Chatting, playing, eating…just lovely.

Because I’m incapable of showing up to someone’s house for a gathering without bringing something to eat or drink, I offered to bring some dessert. I asked Em and O what they thought I should bring with me. They enthusiastically replied, “CUPCAKES!” and it was decided that strawberry ones would be excellent.

They didn’t turn out to be so excellent though. I was saddened when somehow they were just awful. I was also left without a dessert option.

Slightly dejected, I brainstormed for something quick and easy that would also be a crowdpleaser.

Enter ice cream pie. It’s basically the easiest thing in the world to make and most people love it. My friend said there were about 20 people coming so I decided that 3 pies would be the best idea. I was a little bummed that I wouldn’t be able to have it because the graham cracker or cookie based pie shells aren’t gluten free, but it would be okay.

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From Google

I ran to the store to get the ice cream and pie shells. On a whim I stopped in the gluten free section and found a gluten free graham cracker pie shell! Glory be! Thank you all the baby Jebuses! I might have done a happy dance in the store.

Alright, I did.

To make ice cream pie, it’s really fricken easy. Buy a half gallon of ice cream (You could absolutely make your  own ice cream if you were so inclined.) and cookie or graham cracker pie shell (baking aisle). Let ice cream soften so it’s mushy and put in pie shell. Drizzle some chocolate syrup over the top if you’re feeling sassy. Crushed candy works too. Whatever.  Cover it back up, put in freezer to set again. Take it out 15 min or so before you want to serve it (less time if it’s hot out!) and enjoy.

Easy peasy. Sometimes I like to jazz things up though so I made one of them to be an Ice Cream Sundae Pie (sorry no picture of the finished product. It didn’t last that long.)

What you’ll need:

  • half gallon or so of vanilla ice cream (fudge ripple might be pretty good too…)
  • hot fudge (I used Hersheys, it’s pretty solid at room temp. You want it to be.)
  • small jar of maraschino cherries, drained. Chop roughly if you’d like.
  • any other sundae toppings you’d like to dump in the bowl with the cherries and hot fudge
  • graham cracker or chocolate cookie pie shell of your choice.  (Do not throw the plastic cover away. You need it for the freezer.)

What you’ll do: (You’ll want to do this at least one night before you need it.)

  1. Put about 3/4 of your mushy ice cream in mixing bowl. Put the rest in the freezer for a snack.
  2. Drain cherries. Dump into bowl
  3. Use a teaspoon to get bits of the mostly solid hot fudge  and drop into the bowl. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but I try to have them be sort of round. Use about half the jar.
  4. Fold mushy ice cream, cherries and (cold) hot fudge (and other toppings if you’ve decided to add them) until they are evenly dispersed throughout. This won’t be pretty, but it will be super tasty. Don’t stir, you want to create little pockets of the (cold) hot fudge.
  5. Put in pie shell. Really heap it in there.
  6. Cover and freeze.
  7. Remove from freezer about 15 min before you want to serve it. Top with chocolate syrup or other sundae toppings if you’d like and whipped cream unless you’re crazy.

There you have it. Super easy. Super delicious. Enjoy!

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I’m struggling…but it’ll be okay. I’ll figure out the good

grow quote

image from google

I have some time to kill before yoga class so I’m writing this instead of going to Target for no particular good reason. I know I’ll find something I “just have to have”, but there’s nothing I need today.

Truth be told, I’m doing better than I was earlier today when I started writing this post at lunchtime, but I’m still struggling. My head and my heart are in some dark and cold places right now and it’s only the last hour or so that light and warmth are coming back to me.

Last night’s post is only part of it. I’m struggling with frustrations. Frustrations about my office job, about the pool, about being motivated for different projects, where I “should” be vs. where I am…there’s a lot that I’m sorting out in my head. My bright, happy self is hiding and she won’t come out to play just yet

(Also I might be sugar detoxing. We unpacked candy bags yesterday and I might have eaten quite a bit of deliciousness.)

I know it’ll be okay and I’ll find a silver lining and grow where I’m planted, but for the moment my head and heart are struggling. I’ll find a way to come through the crap and learn from this too, but right now I’m having to dig deep to find any good in what’s going on this week.

I’m hoping that (hopefully) hot yoga sweats away all the bad thoughts and frustrations from today. If it works, it’s going to be a gross sweat.

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It was like a punch to the solar plexus

life is a highway by bro

Image from google. The words are my brother’s.

We’ve had some turn over at work in the last few months and by now, I’ve gotten sort of used to the “moving on” e-mails from the HR guy at work when someone decides they aren’t working out. Or if work decides they aren’t working out.

Some of them affect me more than others. It’s to be expected. How can they not? Some of the people who have left I’ve worked with for the better part of a decade now and had established a certain amount of comrade with if not actual friendship.

The most recent one was a good friend of mine and although I knew it was coming, when I get the e-mail at the end of last week, I was sad.

BUT! I also knew he was going on vacation and had fully planned on deluding myself into thinking I’d see him in two weeks. What can I say? My brother has seen 3 tours of duty, I’m pretty good at it by now.

I was sleepily wondering how my friend’s grand adventure was going when I came around the corner and walked past his office. I think I audibly gasped and splashed hot coffee on my hand when I saw his name plate was gone.

I knew he wouldn’t be there, but visible proof that he won’t be back was a horse of a different color.

I know it’s really best for him, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. Or make me think I’ll miss him any less.

I know that people come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime. (Or as my bro once told me, “Life is like a highway. The people in your life might be with you for just one exit, for a big part of your trip, or for the whole journey.”) It doesn’t make it any easier when they go.

I don’t mean to imply that he’s gone from my life for good – only time will tell if that’s to be the case, but I will miss our almost daily interaction. He was a friendly face to see every day, to work on projects or present with, to gripe about internal crap with, and to joke with. I will miss that.

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Things that made me smile this week…#29, 2014

I’m back at it, listing out the things from the past week that made me smile and that I’m am thankful for. It’s important to remember the things that are good to help ease the sting of the bad.

What can I say? Some weeks are better than others and I’d like to have reminders of the good for when it’s not so good. I re read that statement and it makes me feel like I’m implying that life isn’t good. It mostly is. (Knockonwood!) I just want to make sure I’m documenting the moments that shine for me so when they don’t I can find good things quickly

It’s been too long since I’ve done one of these, so in no particular order, what has been good lately:

  • Acceptance some disappointing news
  • The soundtrack to Crossing Jordan bringing back old, sweet memories. Like this Nora song
  • Mojitos and shrimp tacos after yoga class
  • An interesting opportunity coming up; email submitted
  • Peaches and cream ice cream
  • Fireworks and froyo date
  • Two Sues and two days :-)
  • Keeping up with #julyoga
  • Bad TV including Petals on the Wind, Virgin Territory, etc.
  • Footsies clearing up after the mud run.
  • That guy I Like making me laugh and taking care of me

So that guy I married? He’s been writing some cool things on his newish blog. It’s over here.

How was your week?

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