Wednesday, January 31, 2024

What's Up Wednesday, January 2024 Edition


I've toyed with the idea of skipping this post a few times over the years, but never more so than this month; there just hasn't been a lot going on and I hate to risk boring what little audience I have here. I'm doing it anyway, but it's definitely a risk.

Consider yourself warned! And, as always, thanks to Sheaffer and Shay for hosting.

What I'm Eating

In addition to the usual daily fare (pasta, salads, soup, etc.), I have had a couple of yummy restaurant dinners.

Mom and I ate at one of the local Mexican restaurants before attending a play at the community theater earlier this month. I had the chicken fajitas, which were amazing.

A few weeks later, Hugh, Mom, Kristi, and I went to the fancy steakhouse, where I had the blackened chicken, which was also quite tasty, despite the sad quality of the photo below.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Memories have been popping up on my phone this month, specifically, memories of the team breakfasts that the Basketball Moms and I hosted for the boys while they were in High School. I miss the Booster Club Moms like crazy, and, while I still catch up with them as often as possible, our lives have taken off in all directions, just like our boys did. Still, those breakfasts will always be remembered fondly.

Team Breakfast 2016

Team Breakfast 2017

What I'm Loving

Kristi arrived for a visit on the 21st and I have loved catching up with her. Her business here requires her to return on occasion, and I'm glad she knows she always has someplace to stay. The next time she comes, Erin will be able to come along, which will be awesome. In the meantime, we snuck some fun in during her stay.

She left for the airport early this morning and I was sad to see her go.

In other news, I've been embroidering quite a bit this month and I love it. I was out of practice and it definitely showed in my first project, but, muscle memory is a real thing and I improved, quickly. I have a motive for wanting to get back into the craft, but that is a story for a much later date.


What I've Been Up To

The weather has been less snowy than one would expect from Colorado in January (don't worry; I'm sure the blizzards will be rolling in any day now), so I have taken advantage of the mild temperatures by visiting the nearby wetland area for some birding. The cranes are wintering there, currently, and, while I can't get as close to them as I would like; I still got s few shots.

What I'm Working On

I'm pitching in on the wedding planning in whatever ways the Daughter-in-Love requires. Currently, I am scouring thrift stores, antique shops, Mercari, and other online shops for milk glass vases. Shanti wants to fill a variety of them with wildflowers and then group them together on the tables as the centerpieces, which, I think will be lovely. I've already secured fifteen of the roughly forty that we will need, so I clearly understood my assignment.

What I'm Dreading

Planning for fundraising season starts in earnest this week. I have already confirmed large sponsors for the virtual 5K in April and we have the first committee meeting for the Barn Dance next week. I feel like I am on a never ending carousel of suck when it comes to fundraising. I need to win the lottery so I can retire.

What I'm Excited About 

I'm hesitant to let myself get excited about it yet, buuuut, there is a chance that I will be traveling to the UK in May. The window of time in which I would be able to pull off a trip is incredibly narrow this year (work, work, wedding, etc.) and May looks like the best possibility. Unfortunately, the juggling that will need to take place in order for me to actually take the trip is dependent on other people picking up my duties here (hardware store duties, specifically) and I don't know if I can depend on that. It's still an exciting prospect, though, so maybe I will let myself get a little bit excited.

What I'm Watching

Mom and I saw a production of A Walk in the Woods at the community theater this month. The play was not my favorite but I have to give mad credit to the two men who made up the entire cast of the show; they had two solid hours of dialogue to memorize (and one was spoken in a Russian accent, which could not have been easy to maintain!) and they executed it flawlessly.

What I'm Listening To

At the moment, I am listening to a SERIALously podcast on Spotify. It's about the Chris Watts case, specifically about Nichol Kessinger, who was his affair partner and whom people have long suspected of being involved in the murder of Chris's wife and daughters. I guess we will never know, sadly.

What I'm Reading 

 I picked up this book by Kristin Hannah to read while I sit in the sauna at the day spa and I could not put it down. I finished it in two days and enjoyed it very much. I typically enjoy her work, and this one was one of my favorites. The synopsis of the book is below.

Sometimes when you open the door to your mother’s past, you find your own future…

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, these two estranged women will find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts one last promise from the women in his life.

It begins with a story that is unlike anything the sisters have heard before—a captivating, mysterious love story that spans sixty-five years and moves from frozen, war torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska.  The vividly imagined tale brings these three women together in a way that none could have expected.  Meredith and Nina will finally learn the secret of their mother’s past and uncover a truth so terrible it will shake the foundation of their family and change who they think they are.

What I'm Wearing

I have been making a serious effort to wear items from my closet that I haven't worn in a while. My goal is to not repeat an outfit this month, and, so far, I have been successful. As I pull things from the closet, I am making decisions about whether or not to keep them; if I haven't worn them in some time, or if I don't like how they feel, look, fit, etc., I am throwing them in the Donate bag. I'm making great headway.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

I don't have a lot planned, which is not a bad thing, at all. I do want to work on my embroidery projects, and, I need to do some reorganizing in my craft room, but, otherwise, I'm just going to play it by ear.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Queen B is coming home for her birthday and we are so excited to see her!

Favorite Amazon Find

I needed bookends for the shelves on our entertainment center and wanted something different. These bronze bunnies are absolutely adorable and sturdy enough to hold up my heaviest volumes. I love them.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Friday Favorites, January 19, 2024 Edition

Welcome to the first Friday Favorites post of 2024! Yes, we are slightly more than halfway through the month; do you have a point?

Anyhoodle... enjoyment of embroidery continues, and, along with that, comes a lot of new favorite embroidery accessories.

This needle box combines two favorites in one; a place to keep my needles and a nod to one of my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. The book nerd in me squealed when I saw it on Amazon. 

Like,  squealed.

I am also incredibly happy with the sewing box that I picked up at Michael's. It holds everything I need and is super-cute while doing so. The super-dorky lighted magnifying glass that I wear around my neck is a favorite, despite the fact that it makes me look...super dorky.

Not quite as dorky as the eye massager that I bought myself after listening to Queen B extol the virtues of the unit that we bought her for Christmas, however.

The machine massages the eyes and temples, is heated, connects to my playlist via bluetooth, and is absolutely amazing at relaxing me when I'm mid-migraine. Worth every penny.

Also worth every penny is the vintage peacock hair clip that I found on Mercari. I'm a huge fan of these pieces from the 30's and 40's and ones that aren't missing large numbers of stones are not easy to find. This one is pristine.

I tried really hard to get a good picture of the clip in my hair, but, sadly, I am no contortionist, so these will have to do.

I went to my second massage in a week on Monday. The first massage (the Wednesday before) released some toxins in my body that I believe ultimately resulted in my migraine on Thursday evening, but that was my fault for not stepping up my water intake to flush my system. I avoided that issue on Monday.

And, lastly, since I'm riding the self-care bandwagon so hard; I also made an appointment to sit in the infrared sauna at the day spa. I had four sessions left on the package that I bought last year and I am determined to use them before they expire. After the sauna, I was encouraged to dip into the cold plunge, but I declined. I'm not a cold plunge kind of gal.

Freezing my ass off is not a favorite.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Life Lately

I think this is the longest pause that I have taken on this blog since starting it back in 2006. That includes time that I stepped away for vacations,etc. Sadly, I have not been on vacation, so that is no excuse for my absence; I've just not felt terribly motivated to write, felt that I had little to share, and have been focusing my energy in other directions. 

And, that's ok. What once would have given me anxiety in this regard has been replaced with a feeling of peace; this space is here for me to visit when I choose to do so and not something that I should feel pressured to maintain on the days that I feel less than inspired.

Today, I feel inspired enough to share what's been going on around here, lately. Soooo, it's been cold. And, snowy. And, while I hate snow, I have to admit that you can't beat the view of snow-capped mountains.

What do I hate most about the snow? Shoveling immediately comes to mind, followed by driving in the stuff. Also, I'm a girl who enjoys a clean car, and, slushy roads make for a hot mess of a vehicle. Luckily, we have a monthly subscription to a local car wash; they recently opened a new, larger location, and I have been making sure that I squeeze every cent out of that subscription, I assure you.

Since it's too cold outside to do much of anything, I have been revisiting an old hobby: embroidery. My grandma Molly taught me to embroider when I was a child; I hadn't picked up a needle in years, but I was inspired by some TikTok videos, so I decided to try my hand at it, again. It's quite relaxing, and Guinness loves when I sit still long enough for him to snuggle in.

Mom and I did venture out one of the chilly nights; we grabbed dinner at a local Mexican restaurant before attending another play at the community theater. We have both enjoyed this season so far, and I am certain that I will purchase season tickets again next year (Hugh is thrilled to have Mom here to attend the plays with me; he enjoys them on the very rare occasion, but is uninterested in the majority of the offerings).

Lastly, I have been indulging in more frequent massages because, hunching over an embroidery hoop can be pretty stressful on the back and shoulders; who knew?

And, that wraps it up for now. I'm not sure when I will feel inspired enough to write again, but it could be sooner, rather than later, as the kids have finally set a wedding date! August 10th, which is less than seven months away! I'm so excited and have already given Hugh his marching orders for the rehearsal dinner that we will be hosting the night before the wedding. It's going to be one of my favorite events, ever, I just know it!

Definitely stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, January 02, 2024


Welcome to 2024!

Did you make it through the ball drop? Shockingly, Hugh and I did. We were watching a series on Netflix that Queen B had recommended and before we knew it, the neighborhood erupted in fireworks, alerting us to the stroke of midnight. I think it's a good sign that we were awake to see it.

I have high hopes for 2024, despite the issues plaguing our world. I am truly hopeful that we humans will pull it together and stop being dicks to each other. I'm planning to do my part, anyway.

This brings me to my goals for 2024, as well as the word that I am going to use as my guidepost. The word is Move, and it's something that can be utilized in a lot of different ways. I chose it because, back in 2020, I had an experience wherein a old childhood reached out from out of the blue to tell me that she had had a vivid dream of my Dad, asking her to tell me to move. It resonated with her hard enough to actually reach out, so I believe it was important to my Dad and, at the time, I was struggling through the Trifecta of Suck; hearing from my friend did at least get me off the couch and on the path to better days.

I haven't forgotten it, and, I think the advice to move was sound. So, I'm using the word to motivate me this year, and, the goals that I'm setting will require motion in some way, shape, or form, so; there you have it.

As for the goals:

-Move my body more. 

-Do all the things; extend the invitation, accept invitations when offered, spend time with family and friends, try new things, re-discover the old things that bring me joy.

-Hustle harder at work; make things happen instead of always responding to what is happening. 

-Use the things; treasured items, precious things, everyday things. They are all meant to be used without fear of damage and for the purpose of creating happiness.

-Write more posts here than last year.

-Move my body more. Because that one bears repeating.

That's it.

Now, let's get a move on.