Thursday, November 23, 2017

Day 22

It seems wrong (at my youthful age) to be married to a 51-year-old. But it's not about me today, it's about this guy:


We've been through a lot of birthdays together and I'm very thankful for each one. They've been good years. Not always perfect, but pretty great. The older we get, the more I appreciate every happy, healthy year!

Dale is very difficult to buy presents for. In the past I've bought things that I thought were so brilliant but he never used them. There are many unread books and unused items and gadgets littering our house. Now I usually just buy him clothes which are at least practical. The kids also got him a game (Qwirkle) and I bought him a murse (man purse). Every day when he goes to work he scurries around collecting his wallet, phone, sunglasses, lunch, extra warm clothes in case he goes for a walk at lunch, and so on. He crams it all into one or two plastic Safeway bags. I hate plastic grocery bags so much. It's seriously one of my biggest pet peeves - they're messy and crinkly and look cheap so unless you're actually using them to carry groceries you've just bought (even then, I dislike them), I don't want to see them.* So I bought him a nice small simple black backpack. He wasn't thrilled and I don't have very high hopes that he'll actually use it because he has no problem with plastic bags. Obviously this gift is more for me than for him. I have secret dreams that he will grow to love this bag and won't know how he could have managed without it. Oh well, he loved the Jets hoodie.

* I happened to see this in the news today. Now THERE'S a good use for plastic bags!

To celebrate Dale's birthday, Neve had a gymnastics competition. I think it was called The Dale Classic. At least it should have been. It was an in-house competition to get some practice before the real competitions start. Neve did well and emerged as the gold medalist in her category.

Following that, the grandparents came over and we had strawberry cream cheese trifle (shout-out to Darla for the recipe - always a hit!). Dale let loose and had some, even though it was well after 7:00 p.m.


 Due to gymnastics and Chloe's other plans tonight, we will continue with more celebrating tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Day 21

Here I am! Still chugging away! I think I can, I think I can...

I'm responsible for several very different things at work and this week I've been busy with all of them. My brain is tired from switching from one thing to the next all day long but it's all stuff I like. One thing I accomplished was finalizing the details for our next trip and starting to market it. Within hours of sending the trip information to our travel group, I received two registrations, several "probably"s and a bunch more that are very interested. So ... if you want to come to SPAIN & MOROCCO with me, sign up soon! Well, you have a bit of time - the info session isn't until Feb. 27 but based on my limited knowledge and experience, I think it could sell out quickly. Click here for more details if you're interested (you should come!).

My biggest accomplishment today was cleaning the upstairs bathtub. I never shower up there so I trust the kids to clean it. Chloe makes an effort now and then but it needed more attention than quickly wiping it between episodes of Stranger Things. So I scrubbed it thoroughly with my Mr. Clean magic eraser, hoping all the while that it's safe for tubs but it seems fine and it's now basically as clean as the day we got it. I've gone into the bathroom several times this afternoon solely to admire my work. It inspired me to go one step further and clean the light fixture in that bathroom. I took the bulbs out and removed the covers and washed them. That's never been done before and may never happen again.

My second biggest achievement was finally finding the sushi seasoning that I use when I make sushi. Our usual Superstore doesn't carry it anymore and I went to three Asian food stores downtown in the last few days with no success. But then tonight I went to the St. James Superstore with its larger international food section and just when I was about to give up, there it was! This my not sound very exciting to you but I was envisioning our bleak future without homemade sushi. As a bonus, when searching the Asian food stores, I discovered beautiful bowls and dishes. I was in a hurry so I didn't have time to look much but I'm definitely going back. In fact, I'm going to buy all my souvenirs there before I go to Japan so that I don't have to drag them across the world. No one will ever know. Now forget you read this. If your memory is anything like mine, that won't be an issue.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Day 20

It's tricky to come up with something to say when there is nothing new to report. I slept in, made scones, went to church, read and napped in the afternoon, and then went to Dale's mom's for dinner.

The most productive thing I did today was save all my iPhone pics to the Mac, and then backed up the Mac. Now I can delete all the pictures from my phone in hopes that there will now be enough space to play Google Music. I don't understand iPhone storage. I've pared down all my apps to the bare minimum, have barely any music or photos on my phone and half the time I still don't even have space to take a photo. First world problems, I guess.

I also delivered party invitations to my neighbours for our upcoming Christmas party. We have a bunch of new neighbours so it was nice meeting some of them for the first time. We'll see if they actually come to the party but at least I did my part. Well, except for the part of actually preparing for the party. That seems daunting but now that everyone's invited, I better make it happen.

And with that, I will say goodnight and proceed to the week ahead.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Day 19

I'm hesitant to say it on the record, but it's starting to feel like Christmas. I'm not quite to the decorating stage yet but a Christmas song came up on my iPod when it was on shuffle and I didn't skip it. That's a big step. I did some baking this afternoon followed by the Santa Claus parade tonight which is always a sign that Christmas is coming. We watched it from the boardroom at work as usual but this year it was more of an official work function rather than just a casual thing with friends and family. Pizza and snacks were served complete with an appearance by Santa himself. We missed the parade last year so it was nice to be back, no matter how many times we've seen the same floats.

At the end of the parade the streets empty out quickly, but this year there were three little children left on their own, with no adults around. The oldest child was about ten and she was holding a baby. Thank goodness for the Downtown Biz patrols, who took charge of the situation, waited with the kids and eventually led them away when no one came for them. It's sad to think that while many were enjoying a fun, festive event, these kids were left on their own and probably worried and scared. I have no idea what the situation was but it definitely can't have been fun for them.

We continued our festivities when we got home by making popcorn and watching a Christmas movie. Spencer opted out of coming to the Santa parade so I negotiated that he had to watch the movie with us instead. We all wrote down our movie pick on pieces of paper and I drew the winner, which just happened to be mine. I was accused of cheating but in the end everyone came to terms with it and we watched a movie I found on Netflix that looked good. It wasn't. It was terrible and we fast-forwarded a lot of it. I think it was called Once Upon a Holiday. Don't watch it. To erase it from our minds, we followed it up with a Christmas episode of The Office.

In other news, we went to Clay Oven with Blake and Kristin last night, which means I had Indian food two days in a row and it was delicious both times. Afterward, we went to the Forks and walked around. I hadn't been there for a while; there were a lot of new restaurants (Red Ember!) and shops. A lot were already closed at that hour so I want to go back when I'm in the mood for Christmas shopping.

See how many times I mentioned Christmas?! I really must be getting in the spirit.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Day 18

Here are today's highlights in chronological order:
  • A meaningful conversation with the lady who waxes my eyebrows. So meaningful in fact that not only did I shed a few tears during our talk, I shed some more when I told Dale about it later. I am not a cryer, never mind twice in one day. When I say it like that, it doesn't sound like it should be a highlight but when someone is vulnerable and shares personal things with me, it feels good.
  • I briefly met one of Neve's teachers for the first time. I knew all her elementary teachers so well but middle school is a whole different story.
  • I had lunch with my aunt at Falafel House. I hadn't seen her in months and it was great to catch up. She's a pretty cool aunt. I had a falafel pita that was so huge and thick that once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down again because it would've fallen apart. So I held it lovingly in my hands until it was all gone. Then I used a lot of napkins to wipe up the sauce that had dripped all over my hands. It was delicious and I'd like one again tomorrow.
  • I bought two Christmas gifts today: one online and another one from a little shop. I'm not in shopping mode yet, but I'm trying to get a jump on a few things that I have to order.
  • A friend who was on the India & Dubai trip compiled and ordered photobooks for anyone who wanted one. Tonight she hosted a little get-together for people to come and pick up their books. She made several Indian dishes: paneer, biryani and butter chicken. Sabrina brought samosas and others brought dessert. It was fun to see everyone (including my parents and sister-in-law) again, talk about the trip and dream about the next one.

Here are today's low points:
  • I hit my head on the van door today, hard enough to cause a bump on my forehead. How could that happen, you ask? I'd like to know too. I was about to get in the van and opened the door exactly like I have ten thousand times before but somehow I misjudged my proximity to the van door and it smacked me HARD right on the forehead. That was awesome.
  • While Spencer got a haircut, I browsed the shops on Lilac near Corydon. That was pleasant until I went into a store called City Haul, which you may be familiar with if you are a purchaser of bongs or other drug paraphernalia. I am not, so I naively went in to browse. The first thing I saw was the clerk with a big parrot on his shoulder so I froze at the door. I fought my impulse to turn right around and walk out but I didn't want to be rude (it's reassuring to me that my social graces trump my phobia) so I tried to act like nothing was wrong. I don't know how well I pulled that off when my first question was, "So ... does she fly around?" Turns out "he" has his wings clipped but I was still wary as I browsed the bizarre and varied selection of everything from cereal to board games to the aforementioned bongs.
Now it's your turn - what's your high/low?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day 17

When we were at the bookstore in Fargo, I picked up a book about hygge. I'd heard the word "hygge" a few times but didn't know what it meant. Now I do, and I use it as many times a day as I can.

It's a Danish word pronounced HOO-ga and it's basically a hipster thing that means comfort and contentment. There are more detailed definitions involving relationships and a philosophy of life, but in a nutshell:

Things that are hygge:
  • candles
  • hot beverages
  • books
  • fireplaces
  • warm sweaters
  • thick knitted socks
  • scarves
  • board games
  • cinnamon buns

Things that are not hygge:
  • cell phones
  • the opposite of everything above

So could you just use the word "cozy" instead? Sure.
Don't most people with common sense already know how to be cozy? Well, yeah.
Is hygge more fun to say? A million times yes.

Now that winter's here, my only goal is to say and do hygge as much as possible (I'm pretty sure I'm not using the word correctly). I'm all about comfy sweats, snuggling under a blanket, a good book, soft music, hot tea, and warm cookies (except where will the warm cookies come from if I'm too hygge to bake? Maybe the Fargo cookie place will make a special trip). All previous goals and efforts to be productive and energetic are going up in the smoke of my scented candle. So expect nothing from me for the next five months, unless I can do it while hygge-ing.