Sunday, February 24, 2013

Am I turning "crunchy"?

Some of the bounty from our weekly food basket.
Oh, my god. I just reflected on a few things that have come together in the past few weeks.
  1. Steve and I started taking a parenting course that includes expressions like relationship mindfulness, radical acceptance, and opposite action. These are pretty flaky concepts, people.
  2. I signed up for home delivery of organic, locally grown vegetables. 
  3. Steve and I started taking a yoga class together. 
You see where this is heading, don't you?

In six months or less, we'll be living off the land, shearing our own sheep, carding and spinning the wool and wearing poorly woven shawls as we embrace you in all of our deodorant-free mugginess and share our stash of gingko biloba.

Okay, probably not. But all three of these things are new to me and I like them.

The skills we're learning in the parenting course have broader applications and really do help me understand and empathize more.

The food is great - tasty and fresh and bountiful. Not to mention convenient.

Yoga was a pleasant surprise: relaxing and peaceful, which is just what I needed. And doing it with Steve made it a kind of date. [Confession: I almost wimped out on the way to the very first class, because we were late and I'd had a crappy day and just wanted to go eat comfort food. Steve gently insisted. Yay, Steve!]

I didn't set out to make these kind of changes as New Year's resolutions, but it does seem to be turning into a year of positive change.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hug a few trees. See ya later!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh, look! A squirrel!

I really can't say whether it's the natural progression of middle age or simple ADHD, but this distractibility really is getting annoying.

Just now, for example, I realized I needed my purse, so I stood up to get it from the hallway, about four meters away.

Then I saw my dirty dishes and decided I ought to put them in the kitchen while I was up.

I got to the kitchen and realized the counter needed tidying and the dishwasher was ready to turn on.

And I was thirsty, so I got a glass of water.

I walked past my purse as I came back and sat down, proud of having accomplished something.

I picked up my laptop and realized that I needed my purse.

So, it's not so much that things don't get done, it's just that they don't necessarily get done in the order I would like.

Excuse me, now. I have to go get my purse.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

No Better Place to Be

It's Valentine's Day, and Steve is on the other side of the country.

It wouldn't be so bad, but I've had a bit of a rough week. Just a bunch of unpleasant little things (like unplanned renovations, a sinus infection, an ant infestation (there were four dead or dying ants in my bathroom just now), or technical difficulties) that culminated in my taking a hot "pity" bath along with a glass of wine and a bucket of tears the other evening. I really wanted Steve to be here, to spoon with.

I'm sure one of the kids would've been happy to give me a hug, but it's not the same. And it's not what I wanted.

So I sent Steve an e-mail saying that I realllly wanted a hug. He replied almost immediately, with words of comfort, and I felt a little better.

A few minutes later (Just after I knocked over a full liqueur glass of Sambucca! Could this week get any worse? Seriously!), Brian came upstairs, handed me a red envelope, and said, "Here. This is from Dad."

Turns out that, as soon as he received my plaintive e-mail, Steve had texted Brian and told him where to find the Valentine's card and to bring it upstairs to me. No point in waiting for a special day when he knew I needed to feel loved RIGHT NOW.

As I opened the card, I told Brian that he should take lessons from his dad when it comes to love.

"Oh, I have," he affirmed. "I have."

Good. At least one other person on the planet stands a chance of being as blessed as I am.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Broken-hearthed

This morning, our fireplace hearth went from this
The way it looked when I woke up on Monday morning.
To this:
The way it looked at 10:00 a.m. on Monday. NOT the way it was supposed to be.
Our hearth is truly broken.
We do not seem to be moving in a forward direction. And I'm trying, really I am, to be more "zen" about life. But it ain't easy, let me tell you.

On top of this fireplace catastrophe-that-will-never-end, I'm having trouble connecting to our work VPN (so working from home is not going as effectively as it ought), and all the dozens of photos I uploaded to my mother's birthday album are corrupted, so I have to start over.

In our parenting course this week, we watched a video by Dr. Marsha Linehan about radical acceptance. While watching the video, it all made perfect sense, though even then we knew that it would be easier said than done.

The principles are:

  • Accept reality for what it is. Stop fighting it or denying it.
  • Everything has a cause. Not necessarily a good cause or something we like, but something caused this intolerable situation.
  • Life can be worth living, even when things suck.

What I feel like doing is stomping my feet and ranting. This sucks. But that, I remind myself, will get me nowhere.

So, following the principles of Radical Acceptance:

  • The hearth is broken and will be repaired. Work will get done one way or another, and the photo book will get done eventually - all the work is not lost.
  • These things all happened for a number of reasons. Can't change the past, so let it go.
  • Life is still good. I have my coffee, a warm house, a full fridge.
Ugh. This is starting to sound a little "Pollyanna," but if it helps me keep my mood up and my blood pressure down, then it's all good, right? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Looking for a silver lining

Last fall I decided to do some at-home laptop repairs. In the end, it bought me about six more months of using that old laptop, and saved me a bunch of money. The parts I ordered cost about $100 -- that's less than the labour charges I would have paid if I'd taken it to a geek. Yay!

Unfortunately, there was a hidden cost: one of the two vendors I used sold my contact information to a spam generator.
78 spam messages
in LESS THAN 12 hours!
Un-freaking-believable.

I realize it's all going into the Junk folder, but I worry that a stray non-junk e-mail will be thrown out with the bathwater. (For some odd reason, e-mails from Steve frequently get diverted to the junk folder.)

I already had two alternative e-mail addresses, so I've been gradually changing all of my subscriptions and logins over to my new preferred address. I'll keep this spam-magnet one for a while, in case people who contact me only infrequently still use it.

In the meantime, I am genuinely thankful for spam filters. Sad that such things have to exist, but glad that someone has put time and effort into automatically sifting the wheat from the chaff, so I, for the most part, don't have to. That is today's silver lining.

If only they could do the same for my snail mail.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

85 Years

That is a LOT of years. My mother turned 85 on January 21, 2013. The following is the first draft of a book to chronicle her many years.


Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

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