Monday, January 25, 2010

order out of chaos

stage 1: empty out

I don't like chaos. I'm not messy. Pete is not messy either, but he is ok with temporary chaos.

Being married to someone who is patient and accepting of chaos as a means to an end has been a good lesson for me. The ability to tolerate chaos is intrinsically linked to patience, which is a quality I hope to develop someday. As for now, I must rely on Pete's patient nature to ensure that projects are done thoroughly. [Note: P suggested I start another blog on how to half-ass everything. I am notorious for rigging things up with funtak and pushpins.]

long story short, we spent Sunday entirely emptying our office in order to accomodate a sleeper sofa (guests, come visit!), and then reloading it all. If it weren't for Pete, I would have left everything in the office, and then taken twice as long to rearrange things while clamboring over furniture, breaking things, injuring myself, swearing, etc.

stage 2: sort and put back in

Now, things are looking pretty good, I think. Everything fits, the bed opens while still leaving room to maneuver, the desk is back in shape, and cables are on their way to being tamed.

stage 3: what to do with newly empty walls?

What I did not yet capture with my amazing camera phone (perhaps I will update later) is the newly exposed expanse of wall space. The 2 walls not shown here are bare. They are bare and almost the same color as the sofa. Hmmm... I thought about just hanging a huge piece of art, perhaps suspending curtain panels form the ceiling, but am feeling uninspired. Any ideas?


Friday, January 22, 2010

winning streak

The popover forest...

Doesn't this scene look like the place where I had my snowball fight last weekend? Know what? I won it. Yup. After a bad stretch of losing stuff -- a sentimental earring, my work phone, my sanity -- the tide has turned, my friends. I am a winner.

It all started when the nice Along the Ausable blog lady offered a fun prize. I was posty and quick and now I have this pretty vintage present tacked up to gaze at. Makes winter look desirable. Sort of.

Then, I won a t-shirt as part of the Trek. THEN, I won 30 minutes toward my trekking goal. [Note: This prize makes me feel like I'm cheating on myself though. How can you win exercise time that is in the past and that you dind't actually do? It's imaginary.]

I'm making sure to take great pleasure in these tiny bits of luck. They add up.


Sunday, January 17, 2010



Right now, I am making popovers. In fact, please hold on a moment, I need to take them out of the oven. Oops, not quite done yet. I'm back.

This morning I woke up obsessing about January and how far away January is from summer. Determined not to get out of bed cursing New England, I forced myself to focus on embracing winter. What's good about winter? Ice skating, hot chocolate, reading by a window on a weekend afternoon... Then I got hungry and my mind fortuitously skipped to a passage in Little Women where the sisters discuss this magical food called "popovers."

The Excerpt to which I refer (from the play not the book)...

I don't know that I've actually ever eaten a popover until today, but clearly I had carefully stored away this literary memory for a winter morning just such as this. (Am I writing strangely? I am pretending I'm in Concord with my sisters and we're going to go eat popovers and have a snowball fight. I might be wearing a fur muff which was a gift from my rich great aunt, and carefully mended gloves...)



Sunday, January 10, 2010

si eve etait normande... OR: I got some extra cranberries lying around

The Normandy
The title of this post comes from the back of my bottle of Calvados: the apple brandy famous for intoxicating the American exchange students of Potsdam High School for over 2 decades. I remember when one kid got plastered at school (accidentally) after consuming a box full of chocolates filled with the stuff. Now he works in a liquor store.

I happen to have a certain Calvados nostalgia as a result, making it an ideal base for holiday cocktails. On the night that TV died, I found the below adorable video on how to make this calvados based drink.

In Summary... The Normandy
6 cranberries
1 slice green apple
1T simple syrup
1T lemon juice
1t brown juice
1/4 c Calvados

Muddle the cranberries and apple. Add teaspoon brown sugar and tablespoon of Lemon Juice. After mashing a bit, add tablespoon simple syrup and Calvados. Pour over ice. Garnish with cranberries. Enjoy while wearing your best holiday sweater.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

faux motivation

Does faux motivation work? What do I mean by this?

What I mean is: if I pretend like I am walking to the French Alps, will I really workout? That is to be determined, but you can keep an eye on me to see if I do it.  I am skeptical.

I have always had a hard time motivating to workout even though I am quite happy to be doing it once I get my rear end in motion. My best motivation has usually been other people -- if I am responsible for meeting someone at a certain time, I will be there. Friends have served me well in this capacity, paying someone has proven even more effective.  Cold weather is a major deterrent to exercise.

So... seeing as 2010 is a time to be cheap (no trainer fees) and a new year's resolution is due (be healthy yadda, yadda, yadda), I'm giving this a try. You can do whatever physical activity you want, it is just the time you do it that counts. I do like tracking progress, winning stuff, and my favorite thing -- competing against myself. Nothing is better than beating yourself (unless it is beating your arch nemesis).

Gym tonight. Skating this weekend (maybe). Lunchtime walks (brrrrr). IDEAS?! Any thoughts on wintertime activities for a girl with a half-gimp shoulder? Please help. OR, please join me on the Trek -- anyone can sign up, but you can only win prizes if you work at the University. If I win anything, I'll share with you.

I have a hard time believing I can transform the icy streets of urban Massachusetts into a flowery summer field of flowers in my mind, but what the heck?