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Showing posts from May, 2020

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

There were definitely some amazing quotes in this book. I follow Glennon Doyle on Twitter and find her to be a source of joy, clarity, and strength. I didn't really appreciate the extremes in her story. I recognize she can't change them. It is just something I can't relate to and didn't enjoy reading about. It did remind me that even people brought up in a loving home with privilege still go off course and that life is hard for us humans. 
There was one point that I truly disagreed with and that is her refusal to do what it takes to maintain a friendship. There was one part that she mentions not liking texting because of the obligatory back and forth and I was like...That is called a conversation. Goodreads

Day 73 - Amazon Update - I am moving my business to Target

Change doesn't usually bother me but I detest shopping on a good day so I am sure this is why I have been so reluctant to change in the past.  Online shopping is so convenient.  I like researching and reading reviews, (even though I realize that most of them are being incentivized to do so).  This pandemic has opened my eyes to how far I have sold out and gotten away from my values.  Change here we come!
When the kids were little, I worked very part-time from home.  I then stayed home for five years, focusing on our family and trying to save money wherever I could.  I embraced my inner college student.  If I wanted something, I wrote it on a list.  If I still wanted it by the time payday came, I would go buy it, (at a thrift store if at all possible).  The kids are older now, their needs seem immediate.  I'm not just talking candy, soda, and chips.  If one of them needs underwear, I just go online, find the brand I bought them last time, and get the next size up.  I have things…

Day 71 - Back from a LONG weekend and even longer hotter days

This past weekend was Memorial Day.  There was no parade.  My husband went to put flags on tombstones because the kids couldn't.  I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
We relaxed our defenses a bit and went for a long bike ride with the kids.  I actually took my daughter to the fabric store to buy a ton of fabric to make masks.  A friend sent me this video:  video of awesome face mask.  I tweaked it a bit and now use t-shirt material for the ear elastic and it is so much more comfortable!
My daughter also moved out to our screened-in porch for the summer.  I sleep out there when I want to be up half the night and don't care if I can't walk the next day.  It is all worth it when she wakes up with a huge smile on her face and says good morning.
It has been incredibly hot so I have been working a ton because my kids are being slugs.  I did manage to get the paddleboards in the water the other day.  It was so hot, humid, and buggy, I thought I was going to whine myself to death.  It…

Day 63 - My children are done with school for the summer and I am going back into work

The kids were done last Friday.  I go back June 8th.  This is a weird time where I am encouraging them to just relax and enjoy this time, while I am frantically trying to pack in hours from home.  I think some re-evaluation is in order.  I am going to dial it back and be more available for them before I go back to work but what am I going to do?  I suppose we could blow bubbles or draw with chalk in the driveway.  Teenagers love that stuff right?
My daughter is so bored already that she made an indoor mini golf course all over the house.  It is very fun but walking around has become a bit of a death trap.  My son mowed the lawn and went for a bike ride, (26 miles).  They are both a chip off the old block in that they don't idle well.
We don't want them to get jobs as we don't feel it is worth the health risk.  They will be taking online classes over the summer but what else are they going to do to take up their time?  I can tell you right now that it won't involve pickin…

Day 61 - To Amazon or not

My husband informed me that we, meaning I, had 22 Amazon purchases last month.  I got a little sick to my stomach at the thought that I had purchased that much and from a company that is supposedly so awful.  In my defense, (as if I have to defend myself) I thought the items would just ship whenever.  I honestly didn't know that people were working overtime to ship out my vitamins or face serum.  Most of the purchases were things that I already purchase from them, sad, or get at Walmart, embarrassing.
Since it is so hard to find answers to anything other than a simple baking question on the internet, I decided to do some, you guessed it, internet research to either ease my heavy heart or force myself to wake up and do the socially responsible shopping that my laziness and anxiety have prevented me from doing.  This is what I found.
In an editorial in The Augusta Chronicle from May 16th, 2 days ago, nothing nice was said about Amazon.  Apparently, they are phasing out the paid time o…

Day 60 - Boredom is good for you

The right type of boredom is actually good for you.  I have been reading about it since I became a parent.  Unfortunately for me, when my son gets bored, something gets taken apart, cut down, dug up, or otherwise adds stress and a crap ton of work to my life.  He is crazy creative and motivated but balance is not in his vocabulary.  Yeah yeah first world problems...
Yesterday was immensely productive.  My whole family worked all day on a project that involved picking up a wheelbarrow full of rocks, putting down about a half a yard of loam, putting the rocks back, seeding the loam, and moving two rain barrels into place while trying to make them aesthetically pleasing as possible.  I roasted a chicken and we ate a late lunch on the deck.  The weather was amazing and so as anyone who lives in New England knows, if the weather is good, one must take advantage of it.  We absolutely took advantage of it!  My husband and I even managed to go work on some mountain bike trails with my son afte…

Day 57 - It is a beautiful day: To contact or not to contact

As the weather gets nicer, it is easier to get outside and do different things such as yard work and long walks but it is also more enticing to get together with friends.
Yesterday was a bit windy but my friend came over with her daughter and we walked for miles while the girls hung out and did what teenage girls do, (show each other pictures and videos on their phones).  We were not wearing masks and we weren't six feet apart at all times but we were outside.  It felt amazing!  It felt almost normal except there were no hugs goodbye.  If there is one thing I am going to miss after this is all over, it is hugging.  No one will be touching again ever and it makes me a little sad.
A friend is coming over today to pick up a couple of chickens. We will be wearing masks because chicken wrangling is a full contact sport.  We will have coffee outside and it will be glorious!  My zoom friends discussed walking in lieu of chatting once a week and I am totally down for that.
Is is too much too…

Day 56 - Gross distractions

Today's gross distraction is brought to you by my 17 year old.  This is what I pulled out of his room the other day.  I also disposed of two bags of trash that didn't even include the eight empty seltzer and soda cans scattered about.
I don't typically go into his room because I can't stand the smell and I don't care to spend my time picking up after him.  Unfortunately, he was feeling a bit overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin because it had gotten so out of control.  I am not a monster so I helped.  
The lack of picking up has ALWAYS been an issue.  My room had to be perfect when I was growing up.  My bed had to be made with military precision, (not an exaggeration).  When I had kids I swore I would not subject them to such unrealistic and irrelevant expectations.  Being that balance is not my strong suit, my children do not know how to make their beds and they NEVER put their clothes away.  I have threatened to take away their bureaus so they can just le…

Day 55 - If I gain ONE more pound, I am going to SCREAM!

If there is one thing I have always prided myself in, it is the fact that I have ALWAYS been in good shape.  If I gained a little over the winter, it always came off by summer.  Unfortunately, I am post-menopausal, (gasp!) and #$%! just got real.  I stepped on the scales and it is official:  My BMI is 30!
I ran a half marathon a few years back and trained too hard without cross-training.  I didn't make the time because I kept telling myself that I barely had time to do the running.  I developed such severe tendonitis that I could barely walk.  I couldn't bend down without being in excruciating pain.  Being a grade school librarian at the time, I was pretty miserable.  I did my physical therapy and got back to jogging maybe 3 miles at a go but still pay for it with days of hamstring pain.  I now walk a lot and do yoga but that does not burn the calories that running does.
This quarantine is killing me!  I can grab a snack anytime.  I can have a glass of wine any night.  Now, 55 d…

Day 54 - Mother's day hangover

Not to brag but I had a pretty awesome Mother's Day.  This is where being low maintenance comes in handy.  I told my husband I wanted a caramel apple to support our local candy shop so he got some for all of us, plus chocolate-covered strawberries!  I always ask to have my car cleaned and this year I got a complete detail complete with shampooed upholstery.  My son wants to start a business detailing cars and I am happy to say that I am a satisfied first customer!  I used to ask for a family hike but we walk every day right now anyway and the local mountains are always packed with grumpy people, (including my family) on Mother's day so I stopped asking for that.
I woke up in a tent in the back yard with my daughter who is a Scout so we were participating in a virtual troop campout.  I had an awesome night's sleep!  Yeah yoga! I have embarked on a 30 day yoga challenge.  Even though I haven't lost any weight, I feel great!  I feel stronger and my posture is amazing.  Als…

Day 51 - Something smells in my fridge

Something smells like rotting broccoli in my fridge.  The last time this happened, it was because I had put some broccoli in a reusable plastic bag in the crisper.  Apparently, the smell goes right through those things so don't even think about it!
This time, I thought it was the broccoli so we ate it all.  The fridge still smells.  I put the Brussels sprouts and the kale in Glad Ware because I thought maybe the freezer bags weren't enough to contain the fumes.  It still smells.  I put a bowl of baking soda.  The fridge still smells.  The freezer smells also!  I put two bowls of vinegar in the fridge and guess what?  IT SMELLS!  Now it smells like rotten broccoli and vinegar.

Day 50 - I am so sick of cooking boring food!

I am the only foodie in the house.  Everyone else is very utilitarian in their food interests.  Meat and starch of basically any kind are fine and veggies are tolerated.  We are all super busy normally so I have a meal schedule:
Monday:  Chicken Tuesday: Breakfast Wednesday: Burgers Thursday: Takeout Friday: Pasta or pizza Saturday: Chicken again Sunday: Some kind of meat slow-cooked
I don't eat much meat and none of us eat much dairy so you can only imagine how complicated meal planning can be and how tough it is to incorporate flavor into our meals.  I pour over cooking magazines, searching for that ever-elusive recipe that will satisfy most of us and that is just a little different.  We had crepes last Tuesday.  This works because we all dress our crepes up differently.   Pizza is great because we all like different things so we can craft our own dinners to suit our tastes.  I eat veggie burgers and a lot of tofu and beans.  I very rarely make anything special for myself because I woul…

Day 49 - Scheduling

When the pandemic became "real" for us and we all started working and schooling from home, I didn't handle it well.  In hindsight, I was pretty immature about it.  I felt sorry for myself.  I lazed around and only toyed with the idea of being productive.  I am confident I was just a wee bit depressed.  
I am one of those freaks that actually LOVES my job.  I love my coworkers, the patrons, and the environment.  The library is my happy place and it has been since I was a child.  I now literally get paid to be in my happy place.  Being surrounded by people who seem to like me and like the same things I do has been something I have been craving my whole adult life and I didn't realize how much it factored into my overall well being until it didn't.
Fast forward about five or six weeks.  I am knee-deep into the Science of Well Being class.  I set up a desk for myself because the bean bag setup was not sustainable.  The weather is getting nicer and that certainly helps.…

Day 48 - My mood today

Some days are great!  Today is not one of those days. 

The dog is sickI had to go to Staples to get more printer paper and none of the customers were wearing masks, (even though it is clearly stated on the side of the building IN HUGE LETTERS)!My computer has some sort of Gremlin in itI went to bed way too late last night
I am still going to hop on the treadmill and watch my professional development video.  I am still going to do my yoga and strength training, and I am still going to walk with the family before dinner.

I am also going to squeeze a nap in there somewhere because I can.


Day 47 - Totally embracing the Hygge

I drove my family crazy this weekend.  After listening to the Little Book of Hygge, I lit candles, donned fancy comfy socks, and pointed out everything in our house and life that is Hygge,  What is Hygge you ask?  If it were to be summed up in one word it would be COMFORT.  A well deserved savory meal after a long day of working outside or biking or hiking.  Hygge is my jam! 
Hygge is beanbags, fire, comfort food, quilts, comfortable clothing, and friends. 

Hygge is a Scandinavian state of mind.  In an area that is devoid of natural light most of the winter and enjoys very little "nice" weather, the population in these countries have turned to a way to embrace this lot in life and make it a positive. 

It is spring in New England.  One minute it is 70 and sunny and the next minute it is 40, rainy and windy.  I am not exaggerating!  So, why wait for fall and winter.  Enjoy a Hygge lifestyle today and every day!

Siblings aren't always the best (Original Bad Mamma post from 2013)

Being the youngest of seven children, one would think I could write an entire book on sibling rivalry but alas, I cannot.  I have little to no experience on the matter.  My youngest sibling, my brother, is five years older than I and he is amazing in that he basically catered to my every whim.  After a particularly brutal battle with his little sister, my son asked my brother, "Uncle Dave, did you fight with my mom like this when you were our age?" To which my brother replied, "No, we pretty much had to stick together."  Sad but true.  A good childhood is no preparation for life and idle hands lead to nothing better to do than stir up trouble with your sibling.
When my daughter came into this world, I prided myself in all the thorough consideration I gave to the possibility that my son could feel displaced.  We rented books from the library, (Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies,I'm a Big Brother) we talked a lot, we took the crib down way before she was born an…