Friday, December 30, 2011

Ring in the New

Hello there, Blogland. I have been lurking and reading and spying on all of you, but I have not had the gumption to write anything (obviously). It's the usual excuse, so I won't bore you. But it's a drippy rainy day, and I don't have any work to do for the first time in weeks and weeks. So I got up, made breakfast, took The Dog for a walk, and am enjoying a leisurely morning. Next up ... yoga at the Y (I think they'll still let me in, even though they haven't seen me in ages).

No one was out this morning on the trails, the sun was reflecting off the clouds on the far horizon, and everything in the woods smelled wet and kind of musty and very earthy. It was heavenly. There was even a hint of mint, bay leaves, and perhaps pipe tobacco wafting through the air. (Listen to me ... I sound like some kind outdoors sommelier or something.) It's just been so long since there has been anything but dust in my nose, that I wanted to savor every smell. Even The Dog was sniffing everything way more than normal. It was a good morning. Aaaah!

I'm not one for resolutions, but this time of year I always make plans. I don't think it has so much to do with the end of one year and the start of another. I think it has more to do with the fact that it has been two months of craziness ... too much time at my computer, way too much food, no time to just sit and chill and reflect. But once HalloThanksChrisBoxUkah season finally ends, I feel like I finally have some time to breathe and think about how I want things to be a little different. Like taking The Dog for these morning walks. It takes all of an hour, he and I both feel better, and it's good for us. Which all beg the question, why the heck don't I do that every day of the year?

So these are my non-resolution resolutions:
  • Get up and get out...whether it's first thing in the morning, a midafternoon break, or an after-dinner amble through the neighborhood
  • Just do it...that little original motto of ours worked GREAT back in September, but we have drifted back into our old ways. The dishes wait until the next day, the laundry piles up, the QuickBooks lies untouched for months (eek). Time to get our Nike butts back in gear.
  • Just breathe...The past few weeks, I've been working and cooking and working and hosting back-to-back-to-back gatherings and working and stressing about everything, and I find myself not inhaling or exhaling and just holding it all in my throat. I can feel it in my shoulders, head, neck, back. Ridiculous! So I just need to remember to breathe.
  • Get some perspective ... I've been having little breakdowns over stupid little things lately and taking most of my stress out on poor Mr. J, who is constantly reminding me that these are not problems and certainly nothing to argue, stress out, or obsess over. So, back to the P word. Perspective, perspective, perspective.
  • Maybe, just maybe ... write more ... Maybe if I were here or in my journal or anywhere getting these stupid little stresses out of my head, I would be able to just breathe, just do it, just keep sane. So perhaps you'll be seeing more of me.
But no promises!

Here's to the New Year. May the Mayans be wrong!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I have a project that was due three hours ago, and I have ... oh ... about three hours to go on it. And I promised I would have it to him first thing in the morning, East Coast time.

So, of course, I am here in Blogland instead of plowing through the last half of the book.

Why did I not finish it today?

Well, there are many reasons. For one, until late last night (when I was lying in bed thinking, "Hmm, that's strange that he said it was due on the 25th. The 25th is a Sunday, and nothing is ever due on a Sunday."), I thought it wasn't due until the end of the week. So first thing this morning (after fighting the battle of the flies in my kitchen), I checked the due date and realized with much much much dismay that it was due today at 6 p.m.

So you would think I would sit right down and get to work.

You would think that, but you would be wrong.

You see, tonight was Book Club night, and I was hosting. And last Thursday, when I threw a little get-together for some girlfriends here at my place, a friend showed up 15 minutes EARLY (?!?) and then made a comment about how much of a procrastinator I am. Ummmm, excuse me. You show up early while I am still prepping. You don't offer to help. You don't bring anything to the potluck. And yet I am the one with the bad time management skills (which, OK, yes, I do have bad time management skills ... but hey, at least wait until the official party start time to accuse me of not being prepared). Anyway. Long story longer, I was a little defensive and absolutely determined to have everything all set to go tonight as soon as that same friend showed up (and, by the way, she showed up early again ... with a huge bag of peaches for me to either can or freeze or turn into salsa or something but nothing to contribute in terms of food ... which really is OK, but still). So off I went to the grocery store this a.m. to prep everything for the pasta salad. Then I came home and cleaned up all the fly carcasses and cooked up dinner. Then a friend stopped by for a visit. And then Mr J came home for lunch. Which left me with a whopping 2 hours in which to cram in a 10-hour project.

So now here I am, hoping to the high heavens that our incredibly obnoxious neighbors decide to shut down their "musical" jam fest before Mr. J comes home while also thinking about possibly sitting down to actually finish the project.

Aren't you glad I stopped by for this scintillating little chat?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just Things

Per usual, I don't have a theme today. Just this pretty photo of our hibiscus plant and some random thoughts bopping around in my head.

Like, why does a young kid who apparently just finished his basketball practice at the Y feel the need to use the handicap button that automatically opens the doors for him? Are his arms so worn out from tossing that big heavy ball? Does the time that he has to wait as the button slowly works its magic to open the doors give him a rest from all his aerobic activity? Does he just like using up the Earth's resources? I mean, it's not like those doors are heavy ... not even remotely.

And ... our "just do it" campaign is going strong and steady around here, though yesterday was a bit of a laze about. After Saturday's weeding and planting and taking 440 pounds of garden crap to the dump and then loading the trailer with even more pounds of the previous house owners' junk from the basement (which we had been successfully procrastinating cleaning out for the past 2 years), the idea of waking up early on a beautiful Sunday morning to replace the seal on the downstairs toilet just didn't inspire us. So instead we enjoyed a brief respite, sipping bloody mary's by the Owyhee Plaza pool with friends, before heading off to Micheal's to continue our home improvement projects. Most of the framing of pictures is now done. Maybe this week I will finally hang some on the wall. Two years of rooms with bare walls is getting a little old.

And ... how on earth can it be 10 years later? I remember like it was yesterday, and yet so much has happened since then. To us personally (mostly all good). To our friends (ditto). To this country (not really all good at all). And to this world (ditto). I remember how kind everyone was to each other that day and for a few days after. We pulled together. We were considerate. People actually looked each other in the eye and smiled and said "Thank you" or "Please" or "How are you?". As tragic as it all was, our reaction as a country gave me hope. And it makes me so sad to see how pulled apart this country has become ... by politics, rhetoric, fear, anger, fanatics on both sides ... by the fact that there are two sides ... us and them. It frightens me.

But, I can't dwell on all that. Because it is overwhelming, and it makes my heart hurt.

So instead I try to focus on what we have ... good friends, loving family, a gorgeous pooch (even if he did help destroy our couch), a roof over our heads, food in our slowly dying fridge (reminder to self: call the fridge repair guy), an income, silly kids at the Y, and fresh coffee in my mug.

Cheers to that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Twice in One Month?!

Leave it to me to decide to try NaBloPoMo just before one heckuva busy Labor Day weekend. Hey, I made it through one entire day in a row. That's got to be a record for me.

We had a fabulous weekend, with two back-to-back days on the Main Payette, rafting with friends. The weather cooperated with lots of sunshine and a slight upstream breeze to keep us cool. Then yesterday was yardwork-a-pa-looza. Our tree count is now up to 17 on our .22-acre lot. It's all starting to look fabulous. If I can figure out how to download photos from our camera, I'll post some pics.

After a lackluster August with a lot of sitting around, watching TV, reading books, and not having much energy, Mr. J and I have decided on a new motto for the rest of the year: Just do it. It's very original, don't you think? We are considering making some kind of bumper stickers or something so we can make our millions.

Seriously though, so far, this Nike attitude of ours is working pretty well. Granted, we haven't tackled the basement yet (which has been on our to-do list since we moved in two years ago ... but everything in good time). But it feels good to be getting things done around the house.

Now to just get out there and do some exercise. In addition to lazing about this summer, we have been to about a gazillion barbecues, where we stuffed ourselves full of meat and apps and desserts and alcohol. I finally caved and bought pants a size larger, because I'm tired of cramming myself into my old jeans, which are literally busting apart at the seams. So today starts the regimen. Get some work done this morning, go to spinning class (eek), and then work some more. Then grill up some nice, healthy chicken, with fresh corn from our garden and, of course, zucchinis (which I am just about sick of by now) and basil.

So starts the let's just get fit regimen. Let's hope this lasts longer than my one-day record for blogging!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Think It's a Sign

I just saw in my inbox that the September NaBloPoMo theme is "returning." I guess that's the final kick in the pants I need to get back onto my so-so-long-neglected blog. Hello, blog world, I am back. Let's see if I can make it stick for a while.

I have absolutely no excuse for not stopping by and chatting. I do come to this little blog nearly every day to keep up-to-date on all my blog friends. I just haven't felt like writing. Not for any horrible, sad reason. In fact, it's been a rather nice summer (and spring and end of winter). Our days have been filled with work and gardening and the usual fun stuff with friends. No big trips, though I did just return from the East Coast. Yes, I did decide to visit family during one of the bigger storms to hit the New Jersey/Connecticut/Massachusetts area. And yes, my folks and I did drive from Plymouth MA to New Haven CT just as the storm was wreaking (wrecking?) havoc on western Mass and Vermont. But hey, thanks to the horrendous weather conditions, there was no traffic and no toll payments on the Mass Pike. That has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bonus!

Other than that, life goes on as usual. Well, OK. A little out of the usual ... Mr. J had a fabulous time in Morocco. I never did stop by here to let you all know that he was working on Mark Burnett's latest adventure reality production, Expedition Impossible. Bad wife that I am. I should have been getting the word out so everyone we know watched it (even if he and I only watched four of the ten episodes). Fingers are crossed that he'll be invited to work on the next season (if they decide to pick it up again). If you do happen to go back to catch any of the episodes, you can see him for a fleeting moment in episode 9. He's the raft guide with the green helmet. Yes, yes, I will ask him to sign any photographs and will send them out via express mail to all his adoring TV fans! Seriously though, the whole things was right up his alley, combining all his years of various work experiences into the perfect fit.

Anyway, here I am returning to the blog world. No big fireworks or parades. Just an incredibly boring update on this life o' mine.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Almost There

Just a little more than 24 hours until I board a plane and head off for my man in Marrakesh. I am so freakin' excited and yet so incredibly, ridiculously stressed out (yes, that's why I am here, instead of dealing with anything from the following list). Between now and 6 a.m. Saturday, I have to
  • Figure out what I want to pack
  • Pack said stuff once I figure it out
  • Clean house
  • Get The Dog's stuff sorted
  • Cancel the mail
  • Return some shoes (30-day return policy, and Hooray! I will be gone for more than 30 days)
  • Maybe find some time to tweeze the "eyebrow" and paint the toenails (I hear it is sandal weather over there.)
  • And, worst of all, get through three more chapters of this:
Our life is based on not reconciliation with the situation. Our life is not based on the innocence with the life. Our life, life is not based to be simple straight and smiling, our life is based on action and reaction. In the oriental science of mind it’s called ‘Karma’ if things are right, you respond right. If things are not right you will respond not right. Your preference is in life to balance out one way or the other. Where it comes from?
Really?? Really. It just makes my head hurt.

And honestly, this is one of the more coherent paragraphs. Oy! It's been a heck of a long month and a half slogging through 30 chapters of this. (Just one reason that I've been so quiet around here.) So I say, bring on the coffee and chocolate! Or, better yet, perhaps a strong shot of whiskey, as that might help me better comprehend what the bejesus he is trying to say.

Wish me luck ... please!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hot in ... Boise?

OK, so my lovely wonderful Mr. J left on February 4.

Today is April 8. (Wow ... more than 2 months?!?)

As I told him the other day, I've become quite adept at being a single married woman. Doing my work. Going out for dinner or drinks with friends. Dogsitting where the need arised (arose?). Although I can admittedly say, once again: Thank you to the heavens for Skype, texting, and email. This excursion of his to the far-northern reaches of Africa would have been a whole different story without the more-than-occasional catch-ups via modern-day technology. But still ... I'm getting sort of into my routine. Work, work, work. Visit with friends. Meet for a coffee here, a lunch there, a hike over there, and a drink over yonder ... not to mention the walks that The Dog will occasionally deign to accompany me on ... plus the never-ending supply of instant streaming Netflix (hello, BBC period dramas!).

But tonight, another recently engaged friend was a "bachelorette" for the night because her fiance (who texted about 10 times during the evening) was out of town for the weekend, and she realized she wanted to be single again--like it was some novel thing. I guess that after being engaged for 3 months, 2 nights alone was living it up. But seriously, I do jest. I love her and her fiance and they are too damn cute together, and I think it's the most fantastic thing that they feel this way about each other. But, also, it was fun to have someone else join in my almost-"married singledom" for a night.

And what did we do (ahem ... it may be apparent, at least in part, from my rambling)?

Well, we invited two legitimately single friends to her house and cooked up some amazing pizza (which she apologized for just "throwing together with whatever she had in her fridge" ... oh, you know ... leeks and feta and artichoke hearts and sausage ........ thank God it wasn't at my house, as it would have been wilted carrots and celery, some peanut butter, and tuna), and commenced to watch the first 6 or 7 episodes of Hot in Cleveland (thanks to instant Netflix).

Now, we will all probably admit tomorrow, when our red-wine, whipped-cream-vodka-flavored drinks wear off (not mixed all together, thank you very much), that this is a funny, mildly raunchy sit-com that is kind of like the 40+-plus woman's answer to Three and a Half Men's horrid tits and ass jokes of late ... well, at least of late until Charlie got kicked off the show. But really, Betty White kicks ass! And besides, you get three over-40-year-olds and one mid-break-up-30+-year-old a bit tipsy, a bit full on pizza and popcorn, and My God, was it the perfect girls' night out? Of course, I was thinking the whole time, "This is hilarious now, because we can relate to the 30-year-old jokes and the 40-year-old jokes," but I can so see myself laughing hysterically at the 80-year-old jokes in 40 years' time (really, Betty White rocks!)

I contemplated deleting this post or at least saving it until the caramel-flavored-vodka and soda drinks wore off. But, whatever. This is me, and this is my life ... come what may (and, besides, May is looking like a trip with Mr. J to Italy, Greece, and Turkey, so who am I to complain? I just need to get about 90 hours of editing work done between now and the time I head out the door in 15 days). So, huh.

Yeah ... didn't you miss me??

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So much to do

I am so swamped with work.

So, of course, I am procrastinating by reading blogs, paying bills (boo!), depositing money (yay!), catching up on emails, and contemplating cleaning house.

Deadlines, schmedlines. That's what 3 a.m. is for.

It's raining ... again. But I am not complaining. At least the 24-hour sustained hurricane-force winds have subsided. Everything is starting to bud, which makes me so very excited. The lilacs, the pear trees, our little apple tree, the elm and the ash, the maples. Pretty, pretty. And the tiny little crocuses. Croci? Or at least that's what I think they are. I don't even remember them from last year. More pretty, pretty; all yellow and purple. Hooray for spring--even if snow is in the forecast. I'll take what I can get.

I had a great post about sense memories all made up in my head the other day. But now I can't remember half of it. I really need to get a little notebook or voice recorder or something. When it all comes back to me, I'll get back in here.

For now, procrastination time is over. Time to focus on the Opportunity Finance Network financial report.

Ugh ... is it any wonder I'm procrastinating??

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Just Stuff

So, as I mentioned, Mr. J is off being Mr. Adventure Traveler, working in Morocco on a hush-hush TV something or other. I know more than that (though not much), but I am not allowed to say. Anyway, he is there, and I am here. And all I can say is, Thank God for Skype.

Warning, this post is most likely going to be all over the place (though when aren't my posts all over the place?).

My dad served three tours of duty in Vietnam. They were newlyweds, and for two of those tours, my mom was pregnant. Dad wasn't able to make it home for my birth, and he didn't really know about the actual birth date for several days. I don't think I "met" him until I was 8 months old. He made it back the day before my sister was born (and good for him, as I believe at that point my 23-year-old mom was ready to throw in the towel on the whole Air Force wife deal). Anyway, I bring it up, because I don't know how they survived. I know they had no choice, but I am a wreck if I go four days without hearing from Mr. J. OK, not a total wreck. But I am definitely gloomy. They had to rely on mail and reel-to-reel audio recordings and phone calls in which you had to end each part of your conversation with "over" so the person connecting them would know when to switch cords or whatever it was they had to do. Add to that all the stress of worrying about each other in their respective situations (him fighting wars, her dealing with pregnancy). I really am a wimp compared to them!

My friend was asking me today how I'm doing, and I have been fine. I mean, yeah, it's lonely and quiet in the house, and every now and then I get incredibly sad. But for the most part, I know Mr. J is doing what he likes to do. He's making something of an income (though not nearly what he deserves). And it's not like he is in a life-threatening situation where I have to stress about his every move every day, as I'm sure countless girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands are dealing with all over this country ... or all over the world, for that matter. She also wondered if I was mad at him, saying that most women would be livid that their husbands were going off for what I guess a lot of people consider a second childhood. But I'm not mad. Well, I'm mad when I have to deal with something that is in his domain, such as filling in muddy pits dug by The Dog or trying to jerry-rig a fence to keep The Dog from his favorite area of digging. But that's more frustration at not being able to do what he does so well and without a second thought.

It almost made me question how much I care for him. I mean, maybe I should be sadder or madder or more emotional.

Or maybe I'm just numb?

Or maybe I'm just so used to being in a family where Dad would go off for a week, two weeks, months for different exercises or assignments.

I don't know. I guess the important thing is that all in all I'm OK with everything (either that or I am incredibly good at repressing my emotions). And there is no doubt about how much I care for him and love him and miss him, even if maybe I should be more upset by it all.

Then again, maybe I'm being all magnanimous because I just made plane reservations to join him at the end of April?

Hmmmm, could be.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I know, I know

I am the worst blogger ever.

I have been either traveling, or in a slump, or just not in the mood, or too busy, or just plain bored. My blog has been empty. My Facebook updates have been empty. Even my email correspondence with friends has been lagging. Actually, dang it, that reminds me. I didn't call my grandmother today ... on her 92nd bday? What kind of granddaughter am I??

Well ... I did send a card.


But I am still here. Lurking. Reading all the blogs of the wonderful people I have come to know through this weird world of ours.

But not posting.

First there was too much to catch up on. We started with a house project in which we ripped up the carpet from the stairs for a "weekend project" in which we planned to paint them and to just survive with whatever resulted. Well, that was New Year's Day. A month of nonstop house projects later, and we now have an entire new set of stairs, plus "hardwood" floors in our bedroom, plus a bigger bedroom since we ripped out a wall, plus new paint, new baseboards, new pictures ... well, you know. A weekend project turned into a month-long project.

And we finished just in time for Mr. J to head off to Morocco and me to Connecticut.

Then I returned to an empty house (except for The Dog, who saved me from my temporary state of despair at being alone).

And now it is nearly a month since we parted ways (temporarily), and I am adjusting to being "single." Work has picked up and kept me ridiculously busy during the days. I've become a serious addict of Netflix streaming videos for the evenings when I have no plans (can you say Masterpiece Classics period romances?!? Hello, Mr. Rochester and Colonel Wickham!). And my friends here are keeping such good care of me. Dinner one night. Drinks another. Free concerts at the Record Exchange in the afternoon.

So even though I am not quite sure when the wonderful, much-missed Mr. J is returning ... perhaps May? perhaps June? ... I am moving right along.

And I am still here.

Just a little off and a little quiet and very intermittent.

But here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Goodness

Where does the time fly? And I don't mean this just because it's been 3 weeks since I last posted, but also because ... 2011?!?! We are already through one entire decade of the twenty-first century. Already? How the heck did that happen?

In 2001, I wasn't even married yet. The Twin Towers still stood (though I didn't much care about them ... they were just two really tall kind of plain buildings ... I much preferred [and still do] the Chrysler Building). I had been to Australia just once. I hadn't been to Morocco or Ecuador or Costa Rica or Samoens or Tasmania (yes, I know it's in Australia, but it really is its own kind of place), or even Boise. And yet it really doesn't seem like that long ago at all. Time may be relative, but it is also completely wacky!

Our holidays were just what we wanted. Too much wonderful food, lots of laughter and love, minimal amounts of gift receiving, and 2+ hours on Skype on Christmas Day, catching up with my beautiful family in Connecticut.

And now I am back at it. Working, playing, all caught up on QuickBooks, ready for whatever 2011 has to throw at me, which most likely will include 3 months of singledom as Mr. J heads off to Morocco to work as a river guide/raft company marketing guy. Yeah ... wow, right? I am hoping to get out there on miles for the end of his trip. I never thought I would get to go Morocco just one time (actually, I never really even considered going there until the opportunity came up in 2003). Who knew I would ever get to go back to that beautiful country?

I wonder what else 2011 has in store for us?