Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Year, New Decade, New Job

I quit my job yesterday.

Whew. That feels really good to say out loud.

I have accepted a new position with an organization in Hooterville, and, will begin my new duties at the beginning of February. I am equal parts excited, relieved, and terrified, which, is a pretty potent combination, but, one that I can live with.

I'll miss certain aspects of Day Job (soon to be known as OLD Day Job), and I'll certainly miss a lot of my coworkers and community partners, but, overall, New Day Job is going to be a much better fit for where I am in my life at this point in time.

So, more to follow, once I have a moment to fully wrap my head around all the change that is to follow.

Hey, I said my word for 2020 was Transformation, and, that means change, so....yeah. Onward and upward!

Monday, January 13, 2020

What's a Little White Lie Between Friends

Saturday evening, Jana joined me on the couch for a little catching up, because, although we had seen each other at the beginning of the week, it's always hard to get fully caught up when we're trying to also have conversations with the other people around us.

So, an evening together called for wine, a small charcuterie board, comfy clothing, and a cheesy 80's movie playing in the background.

On that charcuterie board was a new type of cheese that I really enjoy and was hoping to sell Jana on. Unfortunately, it was a goat cheese, which, Jana typically despises. So, being the awesome friend that I am, I simply left out that part when espousing the merits of a cheese that tastes like caramel. Seriously! It's a mild goat cheese the exact same color as caramel, with the flavor to match! It's ridiculously good with slices of sharp apple, and, I was certain that she would love it.

Spoiler: She did not love it.

But! She didn't hate it, so, progress!

Of course, she'll probably never trust me to hand her a piece of new cheese again, but, I'm 99.99% positive that we can eventually rebuild that trust. In time.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Week That Was

I officially made it through the first full work week since last year! That deserves a celebration, and, it just may include wine.

Of course, it wasn't all work; I had my share of fun, too, including  framily dinner with Chris, Jana, Oscar, and Emily on Tuesday night. Everyone wanted a chance to see the Cub one last time before he departed for Hawaii, and, a Mexican feast seemed like just the ticket.

The Cub order the seafood molcajete, the size of which, took him by surprise when it arrived. He didn't come anywhere near finishing it, but the doggy bag was totally worth the look on his face when he saw it for the first time.

The rest of us ordered more reasonable portions, but, even then, there was more than enough food to satisfy, including the awesome chicken fajitas that I had.

Wednesday night, Hugh, the Cub, and I went to see Jumanji 2 as our last activity together before the Cub returned to school, which, he did; flying out Thursday morning. It never gets easier to watch him walk through those security gates, but, I am so, so proud of how well he is doing at school.

I'm planning to spend the weekend catching up on household chores, as well as on year-end work at the hardware store. I'm also going to be napping at some point, because, this week has done kicked my ass.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Mutual of Omaha Presents...

The past few years, around this time, a hawk has visited my backyard. Queen B was the first to spot him two years ago, and, the Man-Cub spied him while home on Christmas break last year, so, when I pulled out of the garage yesterday, I wasn't terribly surprised to see him on the driveway.

Since I managed to catch photos of him each of his previous visits, I figured I better do so again this year, so, I rolled down my window, inched a bit closer, and, started shooting with my phone.

As I got closer, I realized that he was pecking at something on the ground, and, I assumed it was something pretty good since he didn't fly off.

Oh, it was good, all right.

When I got close enough to identify it, I realized that the hawk was pecking at what was left of one of my resident mourning doves.

That rat bastard ATE one of my doves. One of my sweet, cooing, never-hurt-anyone feathered friends. What kind of monster does that (if you just answered "A bird of prey, Chelle", you are dead to me. Dead.)?!

If I'd wanted to watch an episode of Wild Kingdom, I'd jump in my time machine and flash back to a Sunday night in 1976, grab a TV tray and a Swansons chicken dinner and have at it. But, even then, I'd just be killing time until The Wonderful World of Disney came on, I mean, honestly! I don't like watching the food chain in action, never have, never will, and; I certainly didn't need to see it play out with one of my imaginary pets as the victim.

I'm scarred, y'all. Scarred.

Please ignore the serial-killeresque quality of the handwriting in the above picture; 
I was distracted by my trauma

Monday, January 06, 2020

So Far This Year...

...yes, the year is a whopping five days old, but, here's what we've been up to...

 I got started on the de-Christmasing of the house on the 1st, managing to get all of the indoor decorations boxed up and ready for storage in the attic (they are, however, currently sitting in the living room upstairs because lazy).

Yesterday, we got the outdoor decorations taken down and boxed up and they, too, are awaiting a trip up a ladder (see above: Lazy); we are, therefore, 100% undecorated.

While Hugh and I were slaving over the decorations, the Man-Cub was living his best life-skiing in Aspen with the rest of the Fearsome Foursome, who, haven't all been together since graduation. This makes my momma heart very happy and he was totally forgiven for abandoning us to our toil.

Once the house was put back in order, I got right down to relaxing and enjoying the less cluttered atmosphere; I wasn't alone...

...the relaxation led to the best night of sleep that I have had all year (all five days of it...); I hope it's a taste of more to come.

What else is new? How about an new engagement? Kaley's young man put a ring on it! They are planning a winter wedding either late this year or early next year and I have already put dibs on throwing her bridal shower. I'm so excited!

Also, these two kids got to spend a little time together, which is awesome and also warms my momma heart.

The Cub returns to Hawaii later this week, and I am trying not to think about it. And, that's about it so far in 2020...all five days of it.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

The Epiphany

I mean that less in the religious sense (although, tomorrow is January 6th, which, is the Epiphany according to the Catholic faith ) and more in the "I've come to the serious realization that my recent lifestyle choices are, in a word, bad for me", sense.

I've undone a lot of the good work that I did back in 2017, and, I've got the physical issues to prove it. Add to that the mounting symptoms of perimenopause, and, you have a recipe for disaster. So, I've made the commitment to making positive changes that will result in a return to my normal. I'm instituting a number of changes all at once, so, when I inevitably experience success, it's going to be tough to pinpoint exactly what factors play the biggest part-sort of a chicken and the egg situation-but, I'm sort of desperate here.

Change, number one: I am going back to daily exercise. I got away from my habit of doing at least 10,000 steps a day, and, it shows.

Change, number two: I'm returning to a more intentional diet. I've allowed sugar to creep back into my life, and, like any other addictive substance, it has wrought havoc on my life.

Change, number three: I've started taking an over-the-counter supplement that is intended to provide relief from menopausal symptoms. It's hormone-free, which is important to me since my Mom's type of breast cancer was 100% hormone-driven, and, because I carry the Leiden Factor V gene mutation, which, creates a risk for blood clotting and can be exacerbated by hormones. I'm hoping the supplement will help with my nastier symptoms, including the anxiety, mood swings, hot flashes, and weight gain. I do realize that it is not a magic pill, which is why I'm instituting Changes One and Two.

Change, number four: I'm carving out time for myself, and, more importantly, I'm using that time in pursuits that challenge, relax, energize, or empower me. I need to do a better job of balancing my life and this is an important step.

I know a lot of people choose a word that they plan to live by for each new year, and, that's not really something that I have ever rabidly embraced, but, if I were to choose a word for 2020, I think it would be Transformation. It's about intentional change, leading to a new and improved outcome, and; that about sums up my goal for 2020.

See? An epiphany!

Friday, January 03, 2020

Signing Off For the Final Time

I am incredibly hopeful that 2020 is going to be a year of new beginnings, but, there can be no beginnings without endings, and, our first ending was a doozy.

On December 31st, Hugh officially retired, following 28 years of service in law enforcement. The Man-Cub and I had the privilege of being present when he signed off duty for the very last time, and, as Queen B would later state in a Facebook post that has since gone viral (viral being relative: all of Hooterville was aflutter); the moment was incredibly bittersweet.

That we are incredibly proud goes without saying. Hugh put his heart and soul into the profession and he touched a lot of lives  in the process. His new beginning is going to include more time for officiating, working at the hardware store, and doing projects around the house (I threw that last one in there), and, I'm hopeful that we'll get some traveling in here and there. It's going to be great.

I will miss having the police car in the driveway, though; it was a great crime deterrent.

Anyhoodle, onward and upward!

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

This Is 2020

Happy New Year! Happy new decade! If you celebrated last night, I hope you are hangover-free this morning! Hugh, Chris, Jana, and I celebrated by going out for dinner and drinks; wearing actual clothing, which, would be the first time in at least a decade that we didn't welcome the New Year in pajamas. It was...weird. Good weird, but, weird. The important thing was, we were together again this year; the older I get, the more I value the lasting relationships in my life. 

Dinner was at one of Hooterville's nicest restaurants; the food was delicious, the wine superb, and, it goes without saying that the company was impeccable.

After dinner, we went to a local speakeasy, where, after saying the password and gaining admittance, we indulged in some super-pricey drinks (notice I said super-pricey, not super tasty). The ambiance of the venue was worth the price of the drinks, and, that was really what we were after, so, no complaints (but seriously, shouldn't expensive drinks at least taste good?).

 Outside the speakeasy, awaiting admission...

After drinks, we returned to our house, where we finally got to change into pajamas, just in time for the ball drop. So, I guess when I said we rang in the New Year in actual clothing, I was overstating the facts. Hey! We wore them for the majority of the night, and that's more than I can say for years past!

And, speaking of years past, here is a photo of New Years Day 2010...

...I can't even...

Anyhoodle, on to 2020! I have high hopes for this year, as well as for the decade that is to follow. I'm not making resolutions this year, I'm setting realistic goals, allowing myself grace, and following whatever path the good Lord lays out for me, with faith.

I'm also embracing this quote, wholeheartedly:

"At the end of the day, I just want to be proud of the person I have become. I want to be proud of the love I gave—of the way in which I risked my heart despite being hurt. I want to be proud of the effort I showed those I cared about, I want to know with a ruthless certainty that I showed up as much as I could, that I made people feel seen, that I made those around me feel less alone in a chaotic world.” –Bianca Sparacino

Blessings and good wishes, friends and family!