Thursday, January 01, 2015

Ring in the new

I have always loved New Year's Day. No pressure, no place to be, no stress. We had a low stress holiday season overall but today was still nice. 
My work life is ramping up - I am transitioning from 16 hours a week to full time. It is good, but I am nervous about the transition. Change is always hard for me.
We went out for a little while so G and Rob could use some gift cards, and now we're home and Rob is brewing a batch of nut brown ale. I am snuggled in bed in my pajamas watching HGTV.
I began 2014 with a terrible sense of dread and impending doom. A friend read my tarot and said she saw a big change; a birth of sorts. It made no sense in January, but today I see the growth and the birth in my professional life. 
The year had its ups and downs, as they all do, but overall it was not filled with tragedy as I expected. As I grow older I ask fewer questions about what the future holds because I have experienced more of the really hard stuff. Today I am grateful for the last year and hoping this year is happy and holds few, if any, surprises.
Happy 2015 to you and yours!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Carrying a Torch

A boy I once loved died last night. Too young, needlessly. He fell asleep at the wheel.
Today has been a torrent of memories ... a Boston Red Sox cap, softball games, a Chinese restaurant in Georgia. Barracks, uniforms, and magical summer nights. A reunion, deep affection, and a long, soul-baring talk. A sunset over the ocean, an impromptu dance in a Hollywood restaurant, a hip LA bar where he sat in with the band, the Chinese Theatre at 3 AM. 
He was happy. He was good at what he did, and he was loved. He was glad I had Rob and though I hadn't seen him in over 10 years, we both knew if the other needed us we would be there.
The world is a sadder place tonight. Please hold his beloved mom and sisters in the light. He was charming, intelligent, a talented musician and promoter, an incredible dancer, and an all- around good guy. 
Dammit, Torch. You told me you wouldn't break my heart again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's Complicated

My surgery. It was far more complex than the doc had anticipated. There were complications, a second surgeon had to be called in, and what was supposed to be an hour and a half turned into a 6 hour procedure.
Friday night I was miserable, ALL NIGHT.
I left the hospital Sunday afternoon, and was back in the ER 30 hours later with more complications.
I prepared well for this -- I really did. But HOLY MOLY was I unprepared for the level of pain and the sheer misery.
I am 5 days out. I hope that some major changes will happen next Tuesday morning, and that they will make my life easier, if not pain-free.
In the meantime, I am at home, on the couch, resting.
Frankly, it's boring as hell. I don't do boredom. I can't really read -- hard to concentrate. I have watched a little TV (thank you Netflix), but it is so difficult for me to just sit.
More next week -- and I hope it will be more upbeat.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Fall cleaning on steroids

I am preparing for a surgical procedure that will have me in bed for a week or two, and in the past month I have been feverishly cleaning and organizing.
It was all overdue; the deep cleaning of bathroom, the washing of walls, the dusting and reorganizing of my laundry room, which had become a catch all and my personal nightmare.
It's been a busy, busy month because of that, and because the kids' activities require precise scheduling and rides, and because I brought in a big contract at work that promises to get bigger. Balancing school, work, home, church ... it is all good, but the weeks pass in a blur of chores and dog walks, emails and driving. Always the driving, and of course the laundry.
This is a gift to myself; I have been working to complete cleaning chores so I can focus on my recovery. I have meals in the freezer, I have mobilized my village in advance so I will have support, and I am making sure my bedroom is tidy and restful.
The church rummage sale is coming up, and I have purged outgrown clothes and shoes, unused kitchen gadgets, and extraneous household objects. They are piled in totes and paper sacks, waiting for Wednesday, when I can drop them off. I am looking forward to this day, for the space it will create in my life, and for the coffee I will share with a friend that morning.
The season is changing; fall is always melancholy for me. But I take comfort in the fact that, for once, the thing I need to do for myself is also the thing I need to do for my family. I am grateful for that intersection, and for the reminder that in caring for myself I am, by extension, caring for them. I need to remember that and be mindful of it always.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Solstice Party Recap

We hosted a summer solstice party at our seasonal campsite yesterday. It was an item at our church auction last November, so I had a long time to pore over Pinterest and get ideas.A struggle with depression this spring combined with all those wonderful ideas left me overwhelmed.I finally pulled the menu together over the last couple of weeks, and since at the end of the evening someone suggested it was such a success we turn it into an annual event, I figured I'd better document what I made.

  • Garlic rosemary fingerling potatoes with Lemon garlic aioli
  • Beet, goat cheese and toasted pine nuts with basil vinaigrette, served in Belgian endive leaves (you have to scroll down quite a way, and I substituted toasted pine nuts because I don't care for walnuts)
  • Fruit skewers (watermelon, strawberry, red and green grapes, pineapple)
  • Caprese skewers (grape tomatoes, pearl mozzarella, sun gold cherry tomatoes, basil from my camper herb garden) with a balsamic vinegar reduction drizzle
  • Shrimp, red pepper, and pineapple skewers in a teriyaki marinade
  • Teriyaki tofu, red pepper and pineapple skewers, also in a teriyaki marinade
  • Veggies and dip
  • Chicken breast skewers with peanut satay sauce
  • Crackers with an incredible pepper relish made near our hometown in North Dakota

We pre-mixed Mojitos (plain and strawberry-rhubarb) in jelly jars so people could add the club soda right before drinking. Left some non-alcoholic so that people could enjoy that as well, and add the rum if they wanted to.

We served beer Rob brewed, Spring Grove soda, and lots of water.

Fun, fun night! I never took one picture, but it was lovely, and I was grateful to share the night with such a great group. I typically hate that night because it is the beginning of the dying of the light, but it was less painful surrounded by friends.

All in all, a resounding success.