Friday, December 08, 2017

Friday Favorites: Holiday Door Edition

Today, Day Job hosted its' annual Christmas party. As in years past, the party culminated in the awarding of the prize for best office door decoration. My efforts this year were minimal, but, still impressive.

I worked with three colleagues, who were all new to the competition, and, I would have loved to get the win, if only for their sakes.

Alas, it was not meant to be. The winning door was decorated by two of my more favorite co-workers and the woman who shares their office. They created a mini-shadowbox of Santa's workshop that you had to peer through their window to see. It was really well done and something that I was more than happy to lose to.

The other competition ranged from pretty awesome (sELFie, anyone?)

to pretty basic.

My vote went to the simplest of all, but, it didn't even finish in the top three (I did, but, that's beside the point).

So, no three-peat for me this year, but, I didn't have to work, so, I still felt like a winner.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There're Signs

It's been almost a year since we received official notification of the Man-Cub's acceptance to HPU. I remember, quite clearly, the range of emotions that ran through my heart upon hearing the news; I was elated for the Cub, of course, but, also terrified. My baby, on an island thousands of miles away? No way!

My ambivalence continued pretty much right up until the moment that we left him on that island despite the numerous comforting signs that the universe sent me in the months leading up to our parting.

And, by numerous, I mean, numerous; every time I turned around, it seemed as though something from the Hawaiian culture was being presented to me in a manner that appeared to say "It's fine! He'll be great! This is meant to be!" and, it was. It is. I do believe that.

The universe recently sent another such reminder, in the form of Target's choice of wardrobe for the Elf on a Shelf.


So, while I may still worry about the Cub on occasion (always, every day, for time, eternal), I am no longer in denial about the fact that, right now, for this space in time, he belongs in Hawaii.

And, for the record, both Dee and Nyall agree with me.

Monday, December 04, 2017

What's Up, Chicken Butt?

Ok, so it isn't a chicken butt, however, I have an adorable photo of a bird that has taken up nighttime residence in the holiday garland across the top of the front window on my porch.

Photo taken from inside my office window, because the bird flies off the second I open the front door.

I didn't expect a feathered tenant when I put the garland up, but, given the increasingly large number of birds at the feeders, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

And, speaking of the visitors to the bird buffet, I have a new face visiting the feeders, as well as a few returning guests, who have distinct enough physical characteristics to be easily recognizable from the masses.

This is the new guy.

As always, no clue what variety he hails from.

The returning guests include Captain Blye, the pirate finch...

...and Angry Rosie O'Donnell, who is rocking a plump figure and a mowhawk.

There is also a gimpy finch, with a deformed right foot, but, she's faster than her disability would indicate and I wasn't able to get a good picture of her.


Stay tuned, obviously.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Winter 2017-2018 Bucket List

In a departure from years past, I am going to make a concerted effort not to hate winter. I'm going to really focus on the positives it presents rather than dwelling on the negatives, which, will hopefully fuel a much better experience for my mental health. It'll be an interesting experiment.

1.  Have a laid-back, relaxing holiday season. I'm going to stress less, spend less, obsess over perfection less, and put less pressure on myself. I plan to enjoy the people with whom I surround myself and to have fun.

2.  Spend as much quality time with the Man-Cub as I can before he heads back to the island for his second semester of school. Try not to let anxiety about tuition, fat bastards from North Korea, potential natural and/or man-made disasters, etc., etc., ruin our time together.

3.  Continue on the road to physical health. Walk everyday. Continue to avoid the Demon Sugar. Finally make it into that last stack of clothing; the one in the far reaches of my closet, that I haven't been able to wear for the past two years or more.

4.  Improve my photography and editing skills. Finally master all of the tools available in Lightroom, and launch my official Facebook page.

5.  Make more time and head-space for friends.

6.  Do, or, say, one kind thing for someone/to someone every day.

8.  Find, and tackle, one new challenge each month.

7.  Make it to Spring.

Again, this is a short list, but, given the challenges that winter itself presents to my mental and emotional well being, it's about all that I feel I can successfully manage.

Friday, December 01, 2017


At approximately 1:45 p.m., Friday, December 1, 2017, the remains of Maui the Fish were discovered deep within the recesses of his underwater castle during a routine final cleaning of the fish bowl. Cause of death appears to be natural causes. The two suspects held in his disappearance have been cleared of all wrongdoing and compensated for their trouble with extra treats and a good chin-scratching. No threats of lawsuits have been made.

-end of report

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fall 2017 Bucket List in Review

It's almost time for another seasonal bucket list, but, before we can move on to new goals, we must check in on the old.

As an aside, perhaps, one of the new goals should include not speaking in plural, I mean, really, do I have a mouse in my pocket or something?


So, how did I do on the current list?

1.  Take control of my health. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise regularly. Holy shit, people, I actually made some progress on this one! Five millionth time is a charm, apparently. But, seriously, I have managed to avoid both sugar and diet soda since the end of August. I've walked pretty much daily, in fact, I can count on less than five fingers the number of times I have missed accomplishing my 10,000 step goal. I feel quite a bit better than I did three months ago, and, even though I have a way to go; I am proud of my progress.

2.  Step outside my comfort zone as often as possible. Challenge myself to do new things. Umm, photographing a wedding? I'd say I stepped out of my comfort zone, for sure. Hiking with Kristi? That was outside my comfort zone at the time. New challenges at work? Check. Nailing this one, clearly.

3.  Go on a winery tour with friends. Kill me. Kill me, now. I will clearly never accomplish this.

4.  Decorate for Halloween, even if I wasn't feeling it this year. Nailed it! Actually ended up feeling pretty darn good about it.

5.  Visit one new place. Discover one new thing. Eat one new food.  Visited Baltimore for the first time. Discovered a new-found tolerance for some of my more annoying co-workers (that counts, right?). Ate my first Kentucky Brown while in Baltimore. It was delicious.

Now, I know this list wasn't exactly ambitious, but, for being my first list as an empty-nester, I think I did a pretty respectable job of it.

Tomorrow, I'll attempt to create a slightly more industrious list. Or, I won't; I am still really new at this "putting myself first" nonsense that everyone keeps telling me I should be taking advantage of, after all.

If I Had Better Photoshop Skills I Would Put Maui's Face on a Milk Carton

Maui is still missing. The search has been exhausted and we now have to face the fact that he is never coming back. Despite aggressive interrogation of the two prime suspects in his disappearance, no new information has been obtained. In short, the mystery may never be solved.

Rest in peace, Maui Fish.

In other news, I had another migraine yesterday; that's exactly one month and one day since the last one sidelined me in the Hellmouth parking lot. Hormones, much?

In other, other news, I am becoming increasingly concerned about that fat fucker over in North Korea. The Man-Cub is having to do bomb drills and other such emergency-preparedness crap and I am becoming ragey. Deep breaths, Chelle; he'll be back home in twelve days...

In less ragey-but sadder-news, Mama Jill lost her sweet daddy last night. His death was not unexpected but, no matter how much time you have to process that or to prepare yourself, you can never be ready to lose the person who has been a touchstone throughout your life. My heart is so sad for my friend.

On a happier note, my nephew and his wife have asked me to take pictures of their daughter in December, which means that I will finally get to meet her in person. I am scouring Pintrest for holiday-themed photo shoot ideas even as we speak.

On the happiest note of all; her photos will require neither Photoshop nor a milk carton.