Monday, January 30, 2017

Goodbye January 2017 ~ Life List

Looking Out My Window As the snow is still melting slowing, I hear on the news we have another storm blowing in late tonight, bringing 1 to 3 inches. Sigh. The upside is it will cover the dirty look the melting snow is giving us. I'm not complaining.
As I Ponder It was a rough weekend in political news. We are in strange times. I think about it every waking moment.
What I Am Learning This year I upped my intake of Vitamin D3 to 10,000 units. I also added a multivitamin after much research and I've had a much better winter experience than in winters past. This last year I found a new doctor who has rocked my world.
What I'm Creating Well, I finally finished my photo organizing project this morning. Today my first envelope full of photos is going out to my nephew in Minnesota. I think everyone who will be receiving photos will enjoy having them. It was time to let go of them.
What I'm Reading I made it to page 446 in "A Little Life". I did not carve out any time for reading last week or weekend. (sad face)
What I'm Watching No TV last week. Nada. Zero. The null set. I did, however, listen to NPR quite a bit.
What I'm Hearing I listened to a woman interviewed at the airport who is a PhD candidate as well as a US citizen who was detained. I understand about 200 people were kept in interrogation rooms. 200 people with green cards and legal status. Think about that for a moment. 
What's On My Camera I did get out for a bit on Saturday but the weather has been fickle. Can't wait for spring. This photo is of my meal prep for three lunches this week. I placed this roasted chicken and veggies on top of brown rice. Mmmm!
What's Happening in My Kitchen
  • Monday - leftover oven fried potatoes, chicken and salad
  • Tuesday - tomato soup and grilled cheese
  • Wednesday - French toast and scrambled eggs
  • Thursday - Hamburgers
  • Friday - Whatever is left
A Peek Into My Week I'm going over and feeding/watering chickens for my friends who have all but moved to the west side. He'll be back to pick up the chickens and the remaining things in their house and they are outa here. Sniff sniff. Dog class on Wednesday night. Meeting with a friend Tuesday night. The week is going to fly by, me thinks.
A Quote I Want to Share 
I am constantly amazed by man's inhumanity to man. Primo Levi
A Final Thought Things are getting interesting.

love, susan

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mid January Post Inauguration Life List

Looking Out My Window The 21" of snow we received is slowly melting. We're glad it didn't warm up too fast as we surely would have flooding. It's still slick on the roads at night. I can't help but wonder what February will bring. 
As I Ponder This last week has been an emotional roller coaster starting with the inauguration and then the Women's March. The news is reporting that approximately 3.5 million women all around the world participated in a peaceful march on Saturday, January 21, 2017. I marched. My son and daughter-in-law marched. Friends marched. Something is happening. I believe good will come from it. You can call me Pollyanna, it wouldn't be the first time.
What I'm Learning I'm not afraid of your criticism any longer. Your critical remarks about women and our causes says more about you than it does about me. If you had walked in my shoes perhaps you'd understand. I used to have different opinions than I do today. I don't blame you for not knowing. Actually, I'm happy you haven't had to experience the things I have. I am genuinely happy for you.
What I'm Creating My photo organizational project is coming to an end. I have probably 40 hours into it. I am batching up photos to send to long distance family members who may like to have them. Next week I'll be able to start on something creative with the photos that will remain with me.
What I'm Reading  Still reading A Little Life. Page 369 of 814!
What I'm Watching I never turned the TV on this week.
What I'm Hearing A revolution is coming.

What's On My Camera  This is a photo of my grandmother with me and my sister. I don't know what she was graduating from but this photo is really important to me. She was a worker, mother, sister, wife, friend and much more. I miss her.
What's Happening in My Kitchen
  • Leftover chili, salad, and pumpkin pie
  • Pita pocket gyros, Susan style
  • Chicken something something
A Quote  Apparently size matters ~ Dan Rather
A Peek Into My Week Hoping for a dog class on Wednesday. My friends are maybe set for their big move so I'll be house/dog sitting at the end of the week. Other than that, I hope to get photos out in the mail.
A Final Thought One thing that I found comforting as I marched with 1,000 other people on Saturday is that they truly are my people. It was peaceful and loving. There were 3 speakers at the rally who only spoke for 3 or 4 minutes each. One was from the Buddist temple, one from the Unitarian church, and the local democrat chair. They spoke of love, peace, unity. People were smiling and happy. There were children and young adults. I am not alone.
love, susan

Thursday, January 19, 2017

If I Had Known

One morning this week, hubby was watching me iron my slacks and when I pushed the button to recoil the cord, he was amazed. "Wow, that's so cool", he said. I shook my head.  Welcome to your home, hubby! A short conversation ensued about whether or not he has ever ironed anything in his life.  Nope, he sure hasn't, but he has seen plenty of irons and never once saw a cord recoil into the iron.

He makes me laugh.

This is the guy who stands in front of an open fridge and can't find the ketchup because it is in the 2nd level of food items. My tongue should be in shreds from how many times I've had to bite it when this happens. It's often. That's all I'm going to say about it for now.

This week we marked another anniversary. I woke up in a foul mood on the day marking 14 years and it didn't get better until about 11am. I went about business as usual, getting ready for work, trudging out the door in the shitty weather after ironing my slacks, making my way to work after a wonderful three day weekend. Can I tell you that I nearly cried because I didn't want to go to work?

This post is not about recoiling cords in the iron. It's not about a guy who can't find the ketchup. It is definitely not about crying over going to work. It's about those vows we take. For better, for worse. Seriously. Have you ever taken wedding vows? I have. More than once. One of my greatest faults is that I tend to forget them.

So, I went out on the internet and copied some traditional vows similar to those we took on that day. They went a bit like this:  "I, Susan, take you, hubby, to be my beloved husband, to have and to hold you, to honor you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, in the good times, and in the bad, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, for all the days of my life."  I would have added (had I known), and I promise to not get pissy when you ask me for the millionth time where the ketchup is. I promise to smile and gladly find it for you. I would promise a lot of things ... if I had known.

Cuz, really. When you're standing there on the edge of the mighty Colorado River and you're thinking it is all going to be rainbows and butterflies, you don't know that sometimes not finding the ketchup can simply put you over the edge.  My god. That, and so many other things.

I lose my sense of humor some days. And, then it comes back. I don't seem to have much control over it. What I do have control of is how I react in any given situation. That takes constant work on my part.

I love that guy even when the ketchup is right in front of his face. He rarely reads my blog posts but if he ever reads this one, I hope he knows I'm just talking this out. I know I do a lot of things that grate on his nerves. He rarely points them out. Bless him.

love, susan

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16: Anniversay Week ~ Life List

As I Ponder It was another week of cold weather in our region. More snow coming down today. We may reach an all-time record snowfall today. Whoop-de-doo.

Looking Out My Window One thing I've noticed this last week is that it is halfway light when I leave work in the evenings now. This is what SAD sufferers live for in the winter. There is light!

What I'm Learning I had a very nice day with a friend yesterday. She is about 15 years my junior. I'm learning that the things she struggles with are the same things I struggled with at that age. I wish I could assure her that it will all be okay and that we all have struggles. I don't know what day it happened but I have come to a point in my life where I don't feel the struggle any longer. Maybe it didn't happen on a certain day. Maybe it was like the frog who is placed in warm water, about to be cooked but he doesn't know it because it feels so comfortable. It feels like a passage. I've earned it and I've learned it. Deep thoughts. LOL!

What I'm Creating The other night I called a friend who lives in the country and has been house bound due to the snow. By the time I got off the phone (1.5 hours later), I had colored an entire page in my adult coloring book.

What I'm Reading A Little Life .... still. This book is 815 pages!

What I'm Watching Shameless (Netflix). I saw "Hidden Figures" at the theater. Great film.

What I'm Hearing The heat pump has not stopped running for 10 days straight. I can't imagine what my electric bill is going to be this month. Besides that, I keep hearing we're signing up a new president this week.

What's on My Camera I took a photo walk with my friend yesterday before we went to a movie. This one I took with my cell phone.

What's Happening in My Kitchen This week I bought a container of guacamole. I'm not one to buy a lot of pre-made stuff but the ingredients are all natural. I toasted a bagel, spread guacamole on it and topped with sliced yellow pepper for a gourmet veggie sandwich. OMG! I'm going to try posting a menu here and see how well I do at following it:
  • Monday: Chicken, broccoli, mashed potatoes
  • Tuesday: Chicken Tacos
  • Wednesday: Pork chops and salad
  • Thursday: Tomato soup and grilled cheese sands
  • Friday: BLT's
Quote from A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara:  "He had known people -- he knew people -- who were, technically, much better artists than he was. They were better draftsmen, they had better senses of composition and color, they were more disciplined. But they didn't have any ideas. An artist, as much as a writer or composer, needed themes, needed ideas. And for a long time, he simply didn't have any."

A Peek Into My Week I'm hoping to get to dog class this week but it may not happen as warmer weather blows in we will have a big mess on the roads. It's our wedding anniversary tomorrow. Fourteen years!

A Final Thought I am feeling pretty good this winter. I've changed some things up in my vitamin regimen and trying to eat better and stay moving. It has helped my winter mood immensely. It feels good to feel good.

love, susan

Saturday, January 14, 2017

On Microwaving Gloves

I've been spending a lot of time in my home office this week. I don't mind. Remi loves to keep me company.
 It has been so cold outdoors that our heat pump cannot keep up and most days this week we have woken up to 51 degrees indoors. Brrrr. Thank goodness we kept this little heater we bought in Arizona for such days. Who knew we'd need it here? This week I've learned that heat pumps are not really made for this kind of extreme cold. I'm not complaining. I've had things way worse in my lifetime.

When I was in high school, we traveled many times in the middle of winter on the lonely Alaska highway with temps down in the minus 20's. Today I think back on that and wonder what would have happened if we had ever broken down. In the middle no-freaking-where. With no cell phones. Would we have frozen to death? I shudder to think about it. 

We are fast approaching an all-time record amount of snowfall for this area. Today I finally got into the closet and dug out an oversized warm coat that I should have searched for days ago. I am an eternal optimist and kept thinking I'd wake up to warmer weather every day this week. 

Earlier in the week, my hubby melted my newest pair of gloves I bought when I was in Montana. Apparently, he places his gloves in the microwave to warm them up. Say what? He was trying to do a nice thing but my gloves were obviously made from some kind of plastic because those suckers melted. He kind of giggled when he told me. I guess he knew how I would react. I loved those gloves. When I was telling a work friend about it, we got a good laugh. We just shake our heads and wonder what goes through a guy's mind. Who microwaves gloves?

Well, this all a lot to do about nothing, I know. I wake up every day lately with aches and pains I didn't have before. I blame it on the cold. Hubby says if I hurt now, just wait until I'm 65. Maybe we'll just move back to Arizona. I'm ready.

love, susan

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snowpocolypse 2017: Life List

  • Looking out my window I can't believe another snow storm is coming today. We have been buried here in eastern Washington. 
  • As I ponder The weather brings out the survivor in me. I learned how to drive in Alaska when I was 14. My dad had a 4x4 Ford pickup, manual. Dude, I know how to drive in this weather. My little Nissan Versa has been getting around pretty well this week. Some of those old driving skills have come in handy. Lots of great memories have been bubbling up. Dad made us go practice stopping on ice to learn how to handle a car/truck while sliding.
  • What I'm learning Not everyone knows how to drive in this weather. I've noticed many people (read: men) who drive big-ass trucks are big asses on the road. I try not to  make generalizations without doing the research. If you don't believe me, just pay attention the next time you're out driving in bad weather.
  • What I'm creating I actually enjoy shoveling a little snow. I like making the sidewalk all nice and neat. Creative? Not really but it is peaceful and good busy work for the winter.
  • What I'm reading I'm still reading "A Little Life". It's a big book!
  • What I'm watching While housesitting for friends, I watched an old movie called "Crazy Stupid Love" starring Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. A work friend mentioned it after I told her I really want to go see "La La Land" at the theatre. Apparently, it's not the first time Gosling and Stone have starred together. They hit big at the The Golden Globes with La La Land!
  • What's on my camera My friends have 4 squirrels who have taken up residence in their back yard. They were on the feeding schedule and I grabbed my camera for this shot. 
  • What's happening in my kitchen I have not been home in days. My go-to is always breakfast for dinner. French toast!
  • A quote I want to share Life is short. Take the trip. ~ Betty & Walt
  • A final thought I've got nothing.
love, susan

Monday, January 2, 2017

It Snowed! No Words Necessary

Second Day of the New Year: Life List

LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW There are 5 inches of new snow. We've had our share already this year. I'm off today and can't wait to put my boots on and take the dogs out to play. 
AS I PONDER what I'll do today, I'm glad I took care of a few household chores yesterday so I could choose to read all day. I probably won't but I could! My home office looks like a cyclone hit it and I want to get it cleaned up so I enjoy sitting there. I feel a creative wave coming and I like having a clean space when it hits.
WHAT I AM LEARNING My husband thinks I'm a bit crabby this winter. I thought I was doing pretty well with the seasonal affective disorder but I have to take his word for it. A very good advisor once told me that when people say things I don't like or don't think are true, that I need to run them through a little inventory. If it's not true, dismiss it. If it is true, I need to do something about it. He wouldn't lie to me. It must be true.
WHAT I AM CREATING I am making birthday cards for my 50+ co-workers. I am on the "Sunshine" committee. We are tasked with doing things at the office to keep morale up. I could go out and buy cards but I prefer to make them. Today, I will send in a print order to Costco for enough prints to make at least half of the cards this week.
WHAT I'M READING "A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara. An attorney at work gave it to me for Christmas. I've been dying to read it.
WHAT I'M WATCHING We started watching "Shameless" last week. It seems I can't get enough stories about dysfunctional people. My husband is a couple of episodes ahead of me because I tend to fall asleep while watching tv at night. 
WHAT I'M HEARING Not much. I deactivated my FB account on New Year's eve. I'm so sick of the news and the constant chatter. I need a break from it. 
WHAT'S ON MY CAMERA  My hubby. We took a short road trip to the bird  refuge on Friday. I saw a bunny but he was too fast for my lens.
A QUOTE:  When in doubt, don't.  - Susan Arthur
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN When I'm home on the weekends, I usually make a big batch of oven fried potatoes, which I have perfected. This week, we will be using what we have in the freezer and cupboards to make creative meals. With the fresh snow and lack of this city's snow plowing efforts, I am not going to the store today. We will not starve. 
A PEEK INTO MY WEEK Dog training commences this week. We have 4 more classes in this session. There is nothing else on my calendar.
A FINAL THOUGHT We went out last Friday night with a regular group of friends. We met for Chinese food and karaoke afterwards. The place was a real dive but the food was pretty good. The best part was the laughter. I appreciate each one of my friends because getting away for a date like that is not always easy. I appreciate that each took the effort to show up. I like to have something to look forward to on my calendar. January's page is kind of bleak right now but perhaps today I'll cook up something to pencil in.
love, susan Y

Things I'd Do If I Had An Endless Bucket of Time: Part 1

I have a good friend who works in the trades which means she works when there is work and she sits it out when there isn't work. I thin...