Friday, January 29, 2016

What's up for 2016

There's nothing like being ahead of the game!

We did our annual TYOSNYDRT (Tour Your Own State New Years Day Road Trip) up around the thumb of Michigan.  I didn't worry about taking pictures, we didn't listen to the radio once we lost the NPR station we just enjoyed each others company and talked.

We went over a plethora of "What If's" - "What if we...", "What if I...", "What if you..." and we came up with some truly amazing ideas.  We realigned ourselves to what it is we are both looking to do with a fresh new year stretching before us and how we can support each other in reaching our goals.

I am so excited to move forward and work on achieving our dreams, it feels good and right.

Right around New Years there are a million articles clogging up everyone's feeds on resolutions. I do everything I can  to avoid them.  Short of not getting on the internet or reading magazines it's kind of hopeless.  I am a sucker though and being a Potterite I couldn't resist this one: 12 New Year's Resolutions Inspired by HP Characters.  And you know what? I love it.  I love it because it's not about losing weight or remembering to floss your teeth every. single. night.  It struck a cord with me so I am committing to do all of these things. Watch your snail-mailboxes!

The next article that caught my eye and I actually read was this one from The Kitchn, What Pushing the Resent Button Looks Like for Me After a Hard Year.  I had a rough start to 2015 at my job due to office politics and staffing shake-ups, moving to HQ from the comfort of the hospital that I had worked in since 2003 and finding my way at HQ, even though I have worked for the company since 2010. I didn't have any major catastrophes happen in 2015, it just wasn't a good year, it's hard to explain and I'm going to sound fruity but it just didn't fit.  Does that make sense? It felt like a wrong sized dress I was trying on in a too hot, tiny dressing room.  I've hit the reset and am looking forward to 2016!

Last year my word was patience and I feel like I have made great strides.  I still sometimes struggle with it by internally tapping my toe at who/whatever is I'm feeling impatient with but, I don't snap or verbalize my impatience.  Instead I tell myself to shut up and be patient.  It works!

Also in 2015 I said that I would try to:
1.  Say "I love you" more - Success!
2.  Knit more - Fail! I knit exactly one thing which I didn't even FINISH until a few weeks ago
3.  Find something, anything, at least one tiny morsel of happiness in every situation - Success, mostly!
4.  Read more - Success!
5.  Smile more - Partial success, it's hard to judge 'cause are we counting forced smiles?
6.  Blog more - Fail! Overwhelming failure at that.
7.  Be more patient - Success and I will continue to work on my patience!

This years word is: Calm.  It came to me out of the blue, I wasn't looking for a new word, just one day it popped into my head and it's stuck.  So a hundred times a day I say, both out loud and in my head "calm".

Hey wait!
Here's a picture so that when my post pops up there's a picture associated with it and not some weirdo squiggle or just nothing at all. I've been meaning to share this but didn't have a reason to.  Also, it's winter and flowers are a beautiful reminder that summer is right around the corner!
A picture I took in Greece of Bougainvillea.
Isn't it pretty?
It grows everywhere!
Last years motto for our little family of two was: You always, always, always have something to be thankful for.

This years motto is: There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy.

For 2016 I'll continue to say I love you more, read a lot, smile more and persist in trying to be patient. I'll work on actually getting my crafty on and knitting more, I'll solemnly do my best to be a better blogger and I'll add calm.

Viva 2016!

Blurbing: From Scratch Magazine

Meet the Newest Members of the From Scratch Team

Some super awesomeness happened back in the fall.  The fine folks over at From Scratch magazine decided that I was worthy enough to talk to for their blogger profile!

I know, crazy, right?

If you didn't know already I am the Empress of Exclamation Points.  Forgive my early morning eager beaver answers and over use of exclamation points. I should've had my lovely friend Cari, with her awesome editorial skillz proofread/edit my answers!

Here's a link to the the issue and my silliness: My Big Fat Green Life

You should totally sign up for their e-magazine because it's plain old awesome with tons of information (my interview notwithstanding)!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

It Just Gets Away From Ya

Thursday, December 3, 2016
5:19 p.m.

I started this blog post 8ish hours ago.  And all that I came up with was a title.
Proof. Pudding.

Prediction: This is going to take me many more hours to write.  'Cause you know, I have to bake 6 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange at work tomorrow, roast the rooster (we'll get that) for dinner, finish laundry, vacuum the living room and decide how best to get the OhHolyGoodness sized tote of summer clothes downstairs, finally.

HI! How y'all been? It's been typically craaaazzzy around here.  My Beloved and I have been going at breakneck speed since August.

A few days after my last blog post (forever ago in September) I went to San Francisco to scope out and do some training for a new scheduling software. Let me tell you something, those hills ain't no joke! For serious.  You can see them on TV or in pictures but until your Uber driver drops you off six blocks DOWN HILL from your hotel in Union Square and you are wearing dress and super cute wedges and you have to hike up those blasted hills, it's not real.

Then at the beginning of October my Beloved and I took a road trip! We drove to Montreal to visit my dad's side of the family - Instagram pictures for the winny-win!

- 9:26 p.m.
Update: Dinner has been eaten, cookies have been baked and packaged, dishes done and laundry complete.  Side note: Jam Thumbprints - a Christmastime favorite 'round here, impossible to package- let alone cutely.

Tuesday, December 8
- 6:18 p.m.
What in the what is going on around here? Oh yeah, life.  Folks, I can only promise to keep trying; to write this post, to be a better blogger, to carve time out.

Where was I? Oh, yes.  Vacation! My beloved had only been to Montreal once before and that was for my cousins wedding.  He's never done the touristy stuff.  So we went to Notre Dame Basilica, took a horse drawn carriage tour of Old Montreal and would you believe if I told you that our carriage driver is from SE Michigan, only roughly 30 miles away? It is a small, small world! We also went to Mont Royal to the look out and saw all of Montreal sprawling out before us. Beautiful, beautiful.  The rest of the time was spent with family eating food, making food, eating food, catching up and eating.

Looking out over Montreal
Notre Dame Basilica 
Then we wended our way down to Connecticut via New York and Massachusetts.  We had meant to go through Vermont but we took the wrong exit after crossing the bridge.  We were doing it the old fashioned way, using our eyeballs and hastily scribbled directions from the internet because we didn't have internet in Canada so we used the free WiFi at a Tim Horton's.

Guess who lives in Connecticut? My friends from waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, Cari & Ken Donaldson of Ghost Fawn HomesteadClan Donaldson fame! We got to hang out with them and their six lovely children for a few days.  They were such great hosts! Ken ground coffee each morning and used his fancy french press to make us coffee, Cari cooked for us- yaay more food!, she took us to Boston to go to the Museum of Science, I went on my very first subway ride, and I'm still alive to talk about it.  Although there was a moment when it pulled up with people jammed in there like sardines, faces smashed against the glass and eyeballs bulging, that I had a wee bit of a "WTF did I let her talk me into?" moment.  But it was fine 'cause all those folks got off the train and made plenty of room for the nine of us.  On our last day there, Cari took us to a fancy New England apple orchard!

I think we all got caught up in the heat of it and even though my Beloved and I had at least two bushels at home from our own orchard, we picked a bushel of Macoun's.  Which is nothing in comparison to Cari's 140 pounds of apples!

Belltown Hill Orchards - South Glastonbury, CT
Apples from our orchard
(and Greek cookies from my aunts!)
Macouns from Connecticut
Apple pie filling ready for the freezer!

Friday, December 11
- 10:37 a.m.

By some miracle I talked my Beloved into taking me to Sleepy Hollow, New York! He was really, really keen on getting home because we had so much to do around the house/outbuildings and really, he wanted to cancel our trip all together.  But seeing as it was was only a few hours from Cari & Ken's house, it was October and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is my best most favoritest spooky story and my Beloved is awesome like that, we went! We had some (more) awesome Greek Food at Lefteris and stayed at a fancy hotel, Tarrytown House Estate that was hosting a Maserati convention that night, soooo fancy schmoopsy!

Awesome, right? Do you think they're to keep out the Headless Horseman or Zombies?

We took a lantern-lit walking tour of the cemetery! YaaaAyyY!
** I am going to interrupt this blog post**

Dear Y'all -

It is now January 17th.  It's time to kill this blog post, there is no hope of resurrecting this bad boy. I've got other posts to write! So here I will leave it with a photo dump.

So. So. Many. Black. Walnuts.
After de-hulling them, this is our makeshift drying station,
an old screen door on saw horses in the pole barn
The weather was still in the 50's this November
So we delayed full winterization.
We checked on everyone before putting a quilt-box on
It looks like Matilda is doing her job!
November 21st -
The weatherman said we'd get a "few" inches of snow-
My Beloved dragged the snow blower out of the big barn
when the snow reached 6"
I stayed inside and made chili & cornbread for dinner
I stopped measuring at 13" -
We ended up with 16.8 inches!!!
The next morning I huffed it out to the hive to check on the girls
The hive faces ESE
We used straw bales as wind-blocks
After clearing the front of the hive
this little lady flew out and fell in the deep, deep snow.
I scooped her up, breathed on her until she started moving again,
became oriented and then I put her at the entrance where
she toddled inside.
This guy, Darth Vader, was SUCH a jerk.
Like his namesake.
And, like his father, Mercy
he was downright cruel to the hens - then
he started to come after me.
Sayonara, dude.
Padfoot and Darth Vader
I actually cried when I caught Darth Vader
and carried him upside down to the crate.
It didn't matter that he was a jerk.
But I did it.
I cannot and will not put up with horrible roosters.
And I just have to remember:
they had an awesome life and just one bad day.
Okay, now that that's over I feel like maybe I can move on to other posts! I have, no lie, eight drafts!

Viva 2016!