Wednesday, December 31, 2008

News Flash!

Found! One teeny-tiny toy in a game of Hi Ho Cherry-O...

As much as I am glad we found Simon, I'm torn. Playing 'Simon' entails Kidlet telling me exactly what Simon says and then I have to repeat it back in Simon Voice (think Foghorn Leghorn). He's a bit of a mischief maker, saying things I'd prefer he didn't.

I will continue the cleaning, nevertheless.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feeling New

So it begins. It started with a search for a beloved 3/4 inch tall toy from Japan who had gone astray. In the search for Simon (the tiny toy), my desk area became 80% cleaner. Kidlet's room is about 20%. Simon remains is some remote hiding place but the house is benefiting as we are cleaning as we search.

The stack of items for donation grows daily. (Anyone need a good toddler car seat? Anyone? Anyone?) We don't have a whole lot of stuff which is important in 925 square foot house but as soon as things stop being used, they need to go. I'm feeling the New-Year-Clean-Up-Bug hitting me with full force. I am hoping that will be the only bug to hit me...Hubby has come down overnight with some frighteningly bad crud (get better soon, Boo, ok?).

Kidlet and I are designing our New Year's Eve crowns. It's one of the two New Year's traditions that we started last year. The second is to bake a New Year's Day pie (this year will be berry). I'll be making a couple of New Year's resolutions, one is a carry-over from year to year (sit up straight!). The about 'live well'? I'm liking it.

Meet you on the other side...2009!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Silence of Snow

Tea, Christmas cookies and I'm the only one awake...whoops! Spoke too soon...Kidlet is up and ready to play.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Priecigus Ziemassvetkus!

(That's Merry Christmas in Latvian)

Happy holidays, friends...hope you are able to relax, enjoy some good food and company, and have some laughs. I've had a bit of a rough lead-up to the holiday but I truly learned a lot this year. Vanessa reminded me that a holiday is a holiday as long as family is together. My mom reminded me that when you are a kid, all holidays are special. Basically, I don't need to force myself to 'create' some special glowing golden memory; that only creates more stress and makes for a bad time. Ahhhh...lesson learned. Must remember to reread this post on November 26th next year.

I can already feel myself looking ahead to the new year. As I was tidying up the house this morning, I was thinking about house projects, reorganization and decluttering. But first, I think I will bury myself in knitting and relaxation (well, as much as I can in between work obligations) and drink a little more eggnog.

Lastly, thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes! It really made my day. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I've had blog posts lining up in my head all month about today. Well, I'm going a different route from all the waxing nostalgic or philosophical. Every year, I feel I should have snow on my birthday. The past several years have yielded none. This morning, a fresh sparkling blanket awaited me. A good omen, I believe.

40 feels like a milestone. I mean it in a good way.

This photo is
from this morning. Yeah, I get up early.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Cold

This has been our story for the past week: cold temperatures with snow and a small person with a bad, bad cold. I've been working half days all week, which is a mixed blessing. I've enjoyed being home, but I feel guilty for not being where I'm supposed to And then there's the guilt of feeling like I really should be spending full days with my tot but then there's that work thing. I'm extremely lucky to a) have a job and b) to have a job that is so understanding and flexible. However, the push-pull of work and home (and don't forget, holiday) obligations have really worked me over this week. I had a major anxiety attack (on the freeway, of all places) that ended with me getting a migraine that same evening. Lovely. I haven't had a migraine in YEARS. Deep breaths. Just thinking about it all gets me all edgy again.

This holiday season has flown by. Between being busy at work and illnesses, I feel like I didn't even really participate. I was sick last weekend, forcing me to miss a get-together and tonight we'll be missing Kidlet's school presentation. The holiday cards are sitting on my desk, unfinished. Presents are stacked in the garage, uwrapped and more presents remain unpurchased. This year has got me thinking that I need to revamp my holiday expectations and practices. I feel like I'm buying a holiday experience instead of creating one. It all leads to so much stress and it certainly doesn't feel good or right. I made a lot of presents last year and that didn't really change my experience either. I'm starting to think about taking a family cruise or traveling south of the border for the holidays next year. Any takers? :)

A display of public gratitude...first, to my Mom-in-Law, I couldn't have managed this week without you. I'm deeply grateful for your help with Kidlet. And one more...thank you, Mama, for dealing with me while I'm in Anxiety Land. You are both so good to me.

This weekend will be spent snuggled down in the house again, trying to get Kidlet better and making more cookies (Piparkukas). Last weekend's cookie was a Danish butter cookie that came out quite nicely. No one around work has one of those big tins of Danish butter cookies this year so this fulfilled the craving (and then some...they were really quite good!). Hope you are managing to do a better job of enjoying the holiday season than I. I'll be checking back in soon. I have posts filling my head.

Friday, December 12, 2008

5th Things and Creatures in the Chest

Strange flu has turned into strange froggy creature living in my chest. I know it evolved because I had to spend some late night schoolwork time earlier in the week and now I’m paying the penalty. Sigh (cough, rumble, cough).

That being said, I’m officially done with the semester as of last night. I BOMBED the poster presentation. I did not realize that I was actually going to have to stand up in front of my 25 fellow students and give a spiel. I thought we were showing, not telling. I am horribly timid in front of a crowd and I lost it, trembling voice, blank mind. But I ACED my paper (200 points out of 200 points, thank you very much).

So, I will jump back in this space with a meme. Noddyboom tagged me for "5 things I do each day to keep my mind healthy". It’s rather ironic that I talk about this subject as I am the most high-strung, stressed-out, anxiety-ridden person I know. Despite this, I do think about this sort of thing quite often even if I don’t do it.

1.. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Granted, I often push on even when it's against my better judgment (this week being a prime example). However, I've been doing this more and it really does help. There were several nights this semester when I thought "Ok, I need to get reading. Get this schoolwork done, woman." and then I realized what I truly needed was to go to bed or do a few rows of knitting instead. So, I'm giving everyone a "give yourself a break card". Use at your leisure.

2.. When you go to bed, leave reality behind. Instead of thinking about all the worries of the day, daydream. Think of the ocean and its salty breezes. Or a forest with quietly falling snow. Or your career as a knitwear designer ala Anne Hanson (whoops, that's my daydream).

3.. Exercise. I surely don't do this enough but when I do, I feel eons better.

4.. Lose yourself in the moment. Don't be in two places at once.

5.. Don't be (too) hard on yourself. I'm miserable at this one but I'm getting better. I try to give myself mental hugs and little treats here and there.

I know my answers were a little weak, but this isn't my best subject. Have an excellent weekend, lovelies...I'll be the one knitting by the fire, bread in the oven. :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Strange Flu

Whew. Last night, I felt like someone was kicking me in the gut repeatedly. Feverish. 'Tis a lovely flu. At least that's all it does, gives you the sensation of getting kicked in the gut and that strange spacey feeling. I dropped Kidlet off at school (over her cries of "No! No! No! I just want to be with Mama!") and slept for 4 hours.

Kidlet is in her I-don't-want-to-go-to-school-because-I-hate-it-hate-it-hate-it phase. Sigh. It was so much easier last Monday and Tuesday when she skipped merrily off to her classroom. It's charming and sweet that she says that she loves me so much she only wants to be with me. I'm trying to save the feeling as I know in 6 years, I'll be way too uncool to be in her presence. I tried to tell her that but she didn't believe me.

So now me and my aching head are going to attempt piling all the Xmas presents in the middle of the floor and sort everything out. I've been ordering gifts for my Xmas list for a couple of months now. I often end up stowing them in the nearest dark corner which could prove problematic for finding them all.

It's either Xmas present organization or finishing my school presentation. I finished the photo part yesterday (wow, the photos are so contrasty, but that's this strange harsh late autumn light for you) and printed out the text this morning. I don't think there's any way I can fit it all on my presentation board. A bit of a problem, no? I only have a couple more days to work on this since it's due in the last class, Thursday. It was a good class, despite any complaining you may have heard here. As I work for a company that heavily invests in environmental causes, it was very interesting to see where the movement came from.

Ok, before I flop over again, I'd better get to working on something.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Avoiding and Some Other -ings

Thinking...about making a doll. I remember this thought being in my head last year too. Must be from watching the Rankin-Bass Rudolph and loving the misfit dolly.

Avoiding...schoolwork! I feel like it officially ended the week before last, despite the quiz I have tomorrow and the presentation the following week.

Enjoying...Shorpy. I like saying 'Shorpy'.

Drinking...eggnog in a brown mug.

Planning...the cookie schedule. This weekend, Pinky's Brown Sugar Fudge, next weekend...? The following weekend, pipakuks. Every year I make the two favorites and choose a new cookie to try. I'm about to dive into the cookie section of the December Gourmet.

Back to what I was Avoiding.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Weekly Update

1. My lappletop suddenly became ill. Poor timing. I was hoping to purchase one next summer but ahem, it came a little early.

1a. Apple, I love you. I was in and out of the Apple store within a few minutes. I attached an ethernet cable between lappletop the old and lappletop the new and two hours later, all my stuff was on the new lappy. No hunting for installation cds and codes. Bliss.

Restarted February Lady! I saw that the instructions I was using for the buttonhole led me to make the same mistake (a stray yarn crossing a couple of stitches) but I found it and fixed it. Nothing can stop me now! Except schoolwork.

3. Have a knitted finished object to show, but I haven’t had time to photograph it. It’s a bit of a mess since I twisted at the beginning and have a few strange stitch issues. For some reason, it didn’t bother me enough to start over.

4. Sicknesses have been racing about the family (excepting me, knock wood).

5. Anxiety issues on the upswing. Hello, holidays.

5a. Trying to remind myself to slow down and enjoy. I have a tendency to just race, race, race in the attempt to get things done in the hopes that I'll have time later to relax. I don't think this approach works as I've tried it for the last 4 years without any great success. Must remember to be in the moment.

6. Some cool things I’ve heard lately…David Sedaris singing old advertisement jingles in the voice of Billie Holiday, my new favorite web radio is Carstairs (found under ‘jazz’ in itunes…totally olde time stuff), Studs Terkel on This American Life, Michael Pollan speaking ever where in liberal radioland about this.

Back in another week or so...