What We're Eating
I have been in low-motivation mode when it comes to cooking. I am intentionally addressing that, but, the month has definitely featured a lot of cobbled-together meals and more eating out than we would ordinarily do. This includes a Mexican feast that we consumed just prior to the Man-Cub's return to school following the holiday break.
In defense of my culinary activity, I have recently started baking my own bread again, so, I'm not being a total slacker (LIES!).
What I'm Reminiscing About
Monday night, I lost one of my dearest childhood friends. She was a force to be reckoned with and, along the majority of our classmates (small town small school, tight bonds), I am shocked and saddened at her passing. I've been remembering our time together, from swinging on the monkey bars in elementary school, to learning how to drive together, to cheering side-by-side on the high school cheer squad, to celebrating each other's marriages and the births of our children. It's hard to imagine a world without her in it, but I am so grateful for those amazing memories.
What I'm Loving
I've been burning through Sand + Fog candles pretty regularly lately. The seasonal scents are on point, and, I've gotten all of the candles at a discount at our local Marshalls. Currently, I'm burning this Mango & Tangerine scent.
The smaller candle is also by Sand + Fog and is in the scent Crisp White, which is a dead ringer for Clean Cotton, by Yankee Candles. I used to spend a lot on Yankee Candles, but, have found that the Sand + Fog line burns a lot longer and far more evenly, so, buh-bye, Yankee!
What We've Been Up To
Well, Hugh finally retired from his career in law enforcement, following twenty-eight years of dedicated service. There was a super-emotional final sign-off on the radio, a ceremony recognizing his service, and a cake. Not a bad way to go out!
Not long after his retirement, I announced my resignation from Day Job, following almost eight years of employment. While I wish I could say I was retiring, I am, instead, starting a new job at the beginning of February. Leaving Day Job was bittersweet, but, I have to admit that it felt good to look over my shoulder as the office door closed on that particular job.
Buh-bye shared office space; your lack of natural light was soul sucking
As I said earlier; this month, the Man-Cub returned to Hawaii for the second semester of his Junior year. I am so proud of how well he is doing! And, yes, it's really hard to let him go every time, but, he's rocking this tropical island thing, so, I know it's not at all hard for him. And I totally (mostly) forgive him for that.
This past weekend, I got to spend a day with Queen B. We had lunch and did some shopping, finding the perfect mug for her kitchen along the way...
...I love that kid, and, always enjoy hanging out with her.
What I'm Dreading
I don't really have dread...stress, I got, dread, not so much.
What I'm Working On
I've been slowly working on weeding out my closets and drawers. I have quite a few articles of clothing that I no longer wear, and, I am hoping to host a Naked Lady Party at some point this spring (when the weather is finally nice enough to host on the porch). What is a Naked Lady Party, you may ask. It's a get-together wherein a group of people-generally women, although, not naked-get together to swap items of clothing that they no longer want. Items can include accessories, jewelry, shoes, etc., so, it's a total closet clean-out if done right. I've never actually hosted one, or, attended one for that matter, but, I think I can figure it out. Stay tuned.
What I'm Excited About
I'm pretty excited about starting my new job. I'm also a wee bit terrified. I think that's normal, given the situation. Anyhoodle, I'm going to make the very best of it, do my best, and, expect the best from the people I will be supervising. I'm also kind of excited to put my personal touch on my new office; it's in a sad state currently, but, I have a vision!
Coming soon: new paint, new rug, new chairs, new furniture...
What I'm Watching
My Love/Hate relationship with Netflix continues. This month, I love it, mainly because they released the first season of The Witcher, but, also because they have already announced the next two seasons.
This show combines three of my favorite elements: fantasy/action/Henry Cavill.
I also really enjoyed the first season of Spinning Out.
At first glance, you might think that it's yet another retelling of the standard bitchy female figure skater meets bad boy former hockey player turned figure skater story, ala The Cutting Edge (One or Two). But, you would be wrong. Instead, it focuses less on the skating and romance (although, there's that) and more on the struggle that the main character encounters in dealing with the daily struggle of bi-polar disorder. So, it's love and mental illness on ice. And it's good.
I also binge-watched the first two seasons of Lost in Space. I was late to this party, mostly because I have fond memories of the original (super low-budget and totally cheesy) series playing in reruns on my television set each morning as I got ready for college classes. I have to say, though, the re-imagining of the original content is super well done. Looking forward to season three, for sure.
Netflix isn't the only outlet that has delivered recently; I'm also enjoying our local PBS station, particularly for its retelling of Jane Austen's Sanditon.
The novel itself was unfinished by Ms. Austen; she completed only twelve chapters before succumbing to the illness that would eventually claim her life (Addison's Disease or Hodgekin's Lymphoma, depending on which historical scholar you believe). So, it will be interesting to see where the producers take the story once the original material is exhausted. Austen is one of my favorite authors, so, my expectations are high. Hope I'm not disappointed.
What I'm Reading
I haven't had a lot of time for reading, what with the whole blowing up my life with change journey that I have been on, but, the two books I did manage to read were both really, really enjoyable. In totally different ways.
Up first: The Bad Mother's Book Club.
From Amazon: Meet Emma, the new Mum on the block. Since moving to the Liverpudlian seaside after her husband's career change, her life consists of the following: long walks on the beach (with the dog), early nights (with the kids) and Netflix (no chill).
Bored and lonely, when Emma is cordially invited to the exclusive cool school-mums' book club, she thinks her luck may finally be about to change. But she soon finds the women of the club aren't quite what they seem - and after an unfortunate incident involving red wine and a white carpet, she finds herself unceremoniously kicked out.
The answer? Start her own book club - for bad mothers who just want to drink wine and share stories. But will this town let two book clubs exist? Or is there only room for one queen of the school gates...?
Followed by The Last Thing She Ever Did.
From Amazon: The community along Oregon’s Deschutes River is one of successful careers and perfect families. For years, up-and-comers Liz and Owen have admired their good friends and neighbors, Carole and David. They appear to have it all—security, happiness, and a beautiful young son, Charlie.
Then Charlie vanishes without a trace, and all that seemed safe is shattered by a tragedy that is incomprehensible—except to Liz.
It took one fleeting moment for her to change the lives of everyone she loves—a heartrending accident that can’t be undone. Neither can the second-worst mistake of her life: concealing it. As two marriages crack and buckle in grief and fear, Liz retreats into her own dark place of guilt, escalating paranoia—and betrayals even she can’t imagine. Because there’s another good neighbor who has his own secrets, his own pain, and his own reasons for watching Liz’s every move.
And only he knows that the mystery of the missing boy on the Deschutes River is far from over.
What I'm Listening To
Not to be all melodramatic or anything, but I'm currently focusing on listening to the voice inside my head that is most attuned to positive-speak. Positive affirmations are going to be my jam going into this new job.
What I'm Wearing
Fat pants. Still rockin' the fat pants (post holiday diet and exercise plan is clearly on point).
What I'm Doing This Weekend
With any luck, I will be painting my new office, but, if that doesn't pan out, I'll be soaking up the last possible minute of rest and relaxation and savoring the calm before the storm.***
What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Is it pathetic to say that I am looking forward to it being one month closer to spring? Because, that's totally what I'm looking forward to.
What Else Is New
I think I've just about covered it. For now, anyway; I did say that my word for 2020 is Transformation, though, so....
***Sad edit to this post: The funeral for my childhood friend has been scheduled for Saturday, so, I will travel to Mayberry on Friday. And that's how I'll be spending this weekend.