Friday, March 30, 2012

What I am into this month: March.

We had one week of non-stop rain, but the rest of March has
been sunny and eighty.
On My Nightstand: Umm. I suspect I started out the month reading books, but I can't remember. I just keep slogging through baby books now...suggestions would be appreciated.

Ok, no, I'm still reading An Omnivore's Dilemma, and enjoying it. I'm reading a Jane Lindskold novel, Changer, that is making me homesick (Jane lives in Albuquerque and this novel is set there and in other parts of New Mexico). And I read the first book of The Hunger Games almost entirely in one evening while babysitting when the mom lent it to me. The problem is she only lent me the first one and there are approximately five million holds on the other two at the library.

Also, this. Painful and beautiful truth.
Want to Read: The items on my to-read list have only expanded, as I still haven't gotten my paws on a copy of Introverts in the Church or on the biography of Luther that I wanted. The library has neither. And like I said, I'm approximately hold number 5,678,934 on the second Hunger Games novel. So.
TV Show Worth Watching:  Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Castle, Bones (though now that I think about it I haven't seen Bones on Hulu in months...), Royal PainsCommunity. I've watched an episode or two of Alcatraz with the DDH (he watches way more tv than I do and follows a number of shows that I don't (I think because he tends to watch tv while I make dinner), so I'm behind on this one. I'd like to watch it because it seems interesting, but he's refused to wait for me to watch new episodes, so...we'll see. But it's by the Lost people and stars Hurly).
Movies I've Seen (in or out of a theater): We saw This Means War last weekend. It was very good in that it was hilarious and lots of stuff blew up (yes, I'm a thirteen-year-old boy that way), but I'm iffy on the ending. It didn't seem quite fair somehow. We've also watched the first two The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movies (the actual Swedish subtitled ones (or is it Danish? Scandinavian, anyway)). They're intense.
In My Ears: I've been spending so much time outside on the back porch that I never turn Pandora on anymore. And every single song on the radio makes me angry right now for some reason (hormones? Maybe. Or maybe all the radio stations around here play crappy music). If I get around to caring enough one of these days, I'm going to go scout out all Leigh's suggestions on how to find great music.
What I'm looking forward to next month: I don't even know anymore! If we can be done with this all-day-semi-sick thing that would be great. And I heart Easter, and I get a three-day weekend with Good Friday off, but...I either don't know what to expect or I'm dreading things. Like telling my boss. We'll see, April, we'll see.

Oh! But the farmer's market is back the week after Easter. And that is the happiest of happy dances.

And theoretically my first ultrasound appointment will be in April. That will be exciting, to see Critter. ^_^

Goal Progress: I posted some goals for the new year, and I figured these monthly wrap-up posts would be a good chance to check my progress throughout 2012.
The Budget: we've been doing really well with the budget (yay!). But admittedly we were supposed to get pregnant in the fall, not be having the critter in the fall. And as soon as I quit my job, the whole thing goes out the window. So obviously it needs some work.
The Garden: The plants I planted out there sprouted and...are still pretty much sprouts. This is disappointing. The pea plants seem to be growing really well, actually, but I was hoping for more progress from the lettuces and the carrots.

Food: Don't talk to me about food. I've been completely failing my cooking resolution, because standing up for five minutes makes feel like I'm going to pass out. I managed to make soup the other day and then almost threw it up yesterday. I did make another batch of granola bars and they are delicious. The only thing that helps my nausea is eating but the thought of food nauseates's a conundrum.

The Craft Room: Is progressing, slowly. As, actually, is the office. The DDH cleaned up his half, anyway, and then some. This is good, as I'll need to have these rooms organized so I can actually find things and use them while toting around a baby (inside or out, either way movement will be more difficult). We also have to decide which room to turn into a nursery, and figure out when The Roommate is moving out (which is both yet more loss of income and sort of sad because it's been nice having another person around. But I don't think he'll want to stick around when there's a screaming newborn in the house).

How are you doing on your 2012 goals? What are you looking forward to in April?

Here comes the sun.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am not actually accomplishing anything.

So I actually cooked dinner the other evening, and it actually tastes pretty good, and I actually remembered to take pictures so I could finally actually update Reality Chef...

...But then I got halfway through a bowl of the leftover soup for lunch today, seriously thought I was going to hurl it back up, and still feel on the verge of being sick. No way can I look at the pictures of the stuff or type up its recipe.

Also I think it would be a little off-putting to put in the description that this food almost made me throw up. But it's good! I promise you'll like it! Really guys, I promise!

Up until now I've only felt vaguely queasy and just had no appetite, but I guess I don't get to entirely skip the morning-sickness thing after all. :-/

This is my life right now: lots of thinking and planning but no actually doing anything. Lots of sitting around at work trying to look busy when I feel like curling up and passing out--either in bed or in front of a toilet seat.

Nausea and fatigue, 6; Katie, 0.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I am two.

Oh, hey there, blog. Almost forgot about you.

Life's been a little busy, and I've been a little tired.

And we're not ready to tell everyone (which means, no Facebook), but I'm trying to work through some things in my head so I'm going to tell you, my dear Internet friends (and Jessi, but please keep it quiet for now!):

Yup. Little Critter's ETA is mid-November. The same month as our anniversary. And as DDH's birthday. So that was good planning. -_-

Yay! So other than being terrified, we're very excited (even though I'm going to spend the rest of this point not sounding excited at all but worrying over related matters). But I guess my goals for the year have changed a bit now.

I need to:
  1. Learn everything (or at least enough) about pregnancy, childbirth, and babies.
  2. Make a nursery and otherwise babyproof the house.
  3. Figure out how to babyproof the dogs (they're very loving and protective, but Jayne also sliced my toe open yesterday making a mad dash for his Kong. Soooo....).
  4. Figure out how to tell my boss that I'm leaving the firm, hopefully while still being able to work up until the baby's born (the "hopefully" is not because I anticipate illness but because my boss is insane and might just fire me as soon as I tell him).
  5. Figure out a way to make some money from home, and/or find a job of some sort to go back to next year.
A massive trip to the library and a judicious amount of googling are taking care of number one.

Number two will begin over the next few months. On a strict budget and with lots of gifty help from the parents...first grandchild FTW.

Number three...I'm guessing google will help me there, too. Though some people suggest using a doll and training the dog to behave around the doll, and that doesn't make sense to me. Dogs identify primarily through smell. A doll doesn't smell anything like a baby, and training a dog to be nice to a piece of plastic has nothing to do with it being nice to an actual person. Really I suspect this will just involve actually training the dumb dogs to behave better (finally! a reason for the DDH to cooperate and not sabotage all my efforts). And trimming their nails more frequently. And constant vigilance!

Numbers four and five, though...blech. For various reasons, starting with my boss is batshit crazy, going through no really, he's insane and ending with also I don't really like finance that much and I'm not that good at it, I do not plan on coming back to this job after Critter is born.

The fact that my salary would approximately equal the cost of good daycare enters into our consideration as well, and is part of the reason why I would prefer to manage to make some sort of money at home rather than by going to a part-time job somewhere. But the fact is, the DDH's ADA job will not quiiiiiitte pay all the bills. (Of course, trying to make payments on his ridiculous law school student loans is really what makes it impossible for us to get by on just his ADA salary...but anyway.)

I've worked as a tutor on the side before, and imagine I could pick up some more of those gigs--except that childcare will again be an issue (though not an insurmountable one, surely).

Here's the thing. Really, Critter just pushed up my deadline. I've been planning to quit my job for a while now, because I hate it. It's both boring and stressful and not particularly rewarding in any sense of the word--except for the sense in which it's reliable, regular income, which going out on my own with any sort of project is not.

But while what I love is writing, editing, cooking, and gardening (and I'm not particularly talented at the last two)...I have no idea how to turn that into any amount of money at all. And I'm getting depressed googling around for online editing gigs and only coming up with scams. Why don't legitimate people want a complete stranger to edit their important documents over the internet? I don't understand. ;-)

So I need some ideas. Is it too much to ask that I
  1. Actually make some (not a lot! but some) money
  2. Doing something that I actually enjoy
  3. That lets me stay at least mostly at home with Critter and his/her eventual siblings, doing what I believe is the most important job of all?
It would be really nice if the DDH could just snag some swank private-sector lawyering gig with a private-sector lawyering income so that I wouldn't have to worry about making my writing projects profitable...but he promised the county four years and he's a man of his word. And he really, really loves his crazy insane stressful heartbreaking job, so I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to stay longer.

Sigh. It's something I need to work on regardless of whether Critter sticks it out (yes, I'm reading too many miscarriage stories on Babycenter), because as scary and uncertain and failure-ridden as doing something else is likely to be, I cannot subject myself to this place much longer.

Help, friends!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The men that God made mad.

"The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad.
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad."
- G.K. Chesterton

I read Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization last month as a pre-St. Patrick's Day holiday read.

I will confess I delighted in the book, which is blatantly biased, unrepentantly pedantic, and just generally exactly the sort of book you would expect to be written by a genial old professor thoroughly immersed in and excited by his studies.

Cahill begins by outlining and theorizing about the fall of the Roman Empire, examining the parallel lives of a now-obscure but then-famous Roman courtier-poet and the great figure of Augustine of Carthage. Cahill then traces out a coherent account of the life of St. Patrick (no mean feat considering the dearth of information on this barely-historical legend), whose proselytizing he credits, essentially, with saving all the texts of Greek and Roman civilization that survive today.

Through it all, we are treated to extensive quotations from various original sources, often in the original language--Cahill speaks (or at least writes) Latin, Greek, Old English, and who knows what else, and lets you know it. This sounds pretentious, but somehow isn't. Usually. Perhaps because he freely admits he knows no Gaelic.

I would not in any way approach this book as an unbiased historical account. This is not to say that I think Cahill is lying, but he takes scant source material (I mean, we're talking about the third to eighth centuries, roughly, here, and a people who for much of that time were illiterate) and extrapolates freely to reach his (not entirely unreasonable) conclusions.

I was not expecting it to be as biased as it was; Cahill managed to be academic without reputable the word I want? At first, this bothered me a little. I hate to read nonfiction books that are compromised in ways I can't exactly define--that is, I don't know enough about this time period to have any idea what Cahill might have stretched or left out--though at least I could recognize that it was biased in this case. The book was apparently extremely controversial (in academic circles anyway) at the time it was released, and I hate to accidentally embroil myself in controversy. ;-)

As we approach St. Patrick's Day, however, I've been contemplating the book and Cahill's passionate advocacy for his Irish ancestors in the light of more contemporary Irish history.

How the Irish Saved Civilization was published in 1996. This was two years before the Belfast Good Friday Agreement of 1998--perhaps not the height of The Troubles, the Irish-Anglo, well, war that lasted from the late 1960s to (officially) the Good Friday Agreement in 1998--though violence continues even today on a smaller scale.

Let's get something straight. The Irish Republican Army (as well as its unionist counterpart, the Ulster Volunteer Force) were terrorists. There is nothing romantic or glamorous about blowing up hotels and London financial districts (this and the Manchester bombing both occurred in 1996, the year Cahill's book was published).

Have you ever listened to the lyrics of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday?" "Broken bottles under children's feet/Bodies strewn across the dead-end street." They're singing about a real massacre that happened in 1972 in which thirteen people died. The Cranberries' song "Zombie" (you know the song, trust me, the lady wailing "Zo-om-BEH, zo-om-BEH") is a also protest song about The Troubles, specifically the 1993 Warrington bombing in which two children died.

Chesterton was right; the Irish sing many a sad song. 

We may forget, here in this country and on this holiday celebrating a cartoonish leprechaun-and-whiskey version of the Irish, that discrimination against the Irish, especially the Catholic Irish, has a long history both in England and America. Ireland has a long history of being a shithole plagued by disease, violence, oppression, famine, and poverty. From the Irish Potato Famine at the turn of the last century that sent my own grandparents across the Atlantic to the violence at turn of this century, back and back about as long as there's been people in England and people in Ireland.

One can hardly begrudge an Irish Catholic the writing of a book that so passionately defends the ancient Irish and the country's first Catholics.

Moreover, Cahill demands respect for these ancestors of his (and, by extension, their descendents). He describes them as great warriors and partiers, yes, but also as learned, civilized men and women who loved books as much as beer. Between the IRA, the UVF, and the benign but wild stereotype of the Irish characterized by our St. Patrick's Day celebrations (and less benign, think of movies such as Boondock Saints), the world doesn't exactly have much respect for this particular ethno-religious group.

Cahill assigns perhaps rather more importance to the achievements of the ancient Irish monks than they deserve, but they did achieve much. The Irish, as Cahill shows, are more than America's two-dimensional image of them and they are more than the depressing, desperate violence and poverty that has defined the country since the Middle Ages.

Enjoy your Guinness and Jameson today; I certainly plan to. Wear green and play Pandora's Irish Pub Rock station (which is awesome but, um, not censored). Celebrate the life of a dedicated saint and a country finally enjoying some measure of peace and prosperity for the first time since the triple-digit centuries. Remember that terrible things happen in places we don't expect--and that everyone has something to teach us.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I am growing our food.

Some of it, anyway.

A few weekends ago I decided that, February or no February, this weird warm winter meant it was time to plant some things.

I've gone about things all backwards. Though I planted a bunch of cool-weather seeds outside, I have yet to start my indoor transplants--which should have been done in the middle of February, except that it was so nice out in the middle of February that I did all the outdoor stuff instead.

C'est la vie.

So! Without further ado, here's what's going on in the garden:

False advertising.
Let me start with this picture of the garden from last spring. Lovely, no? Let's pretend it still looks that way and that weeds didn't grow straight through the weedcloth under the rocks and that the dogs didn't chew through my irrigation hoses. Mmkay?

Layers of expansion.
A space about as big as the garden itself in front of the garden has been covered in cardboard, soil, compost, leaves, rabbit litter, and a big ol' black tarp. In the next month or so we'll fence it in, hopefully do the gravel path deal, and presto! doubled our "acreage."

Lots of crops do well in cooler weather and can tolerate cold temperatures and even a light frost. These include cabbage, kale, broccoli, lettuces, chard, peas, and carrots. Some, such as kale, even get a flavor-benefit if you let them get a bit frosty. Some of these do better when directly seeded (as opposed to being started as transplants) than others.

Chard seeds.
So far, I've planted three kinds of lettuce, five-color Swiss chard, one row of kale (it's recommended that you start this as transplants, but I figured it was worth a shot), carrots, and peas.

After about three weeks, here's how they're doing:

A row of Forellenschluss lettuce.

Baby chard.

Nascent kale.

Carrots (bottom center).

A pea plant.
I am thrilled that my pea plants are looking so lovely, as I've never tried growing them before.

All three kinds of lettuce are sprouting; the Forellenschluss seems to be doing the best so far.

The chard and the kale are growing encouragingly well.

Really the only disappointment is the carrots. Last year I planted ollllld carrot seed as an afterthought in a corner of the garden when I was getting impatient but it was too cold and wet to really plant anything out. They grew like gangbusters and Meg enjoyed the bounty for the next almost nine months:

Some were as big as she was.
This year, those two tiny tiny sprouts pictured above are it. After three weeks! And this was brand new seed. I'm disappointed, but I'm not sure what the problem is. My guesses are either not enough water or being planted in rabbit litter (last year I planted them directly in our very clay soil). The litter compacted when water more tightly than expected, and I wonder if the carrots are too small and weak to break free, or if maybe enough light isn't reaching them.

But since I used my entire packet of carrot seed (grumble), I'll have to buy more if I want to try again. So I'm hoping I just need to be patient.

And then there's these beauties:

Bad angle on those pictures; they look smaller than they are. But those are my two plots of garlic that I planted back in November. They've been growing all winter. At this point I can snip off some of the greens to use in cooking, and by the time the tops die down in, oh, July, I'll be re-stocked on delicious homegrown garlic. I used the last of it a few weeks ago and store garlic is just not the same.

I also have these little volunteer garlics growing:
They've sprung up from heads I must have missed harvesting last year. It's unlikely they will develop good quality bulbs, but the greens are good eating and I'll probably harvest them for the young garlic bulbs later this spring.

Do you keep a garden, vegetable, flower, or mineral (rock gardens totally count)? Do you have an outdoor space or do you do containers? What foods do you like to grow?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I am dressed (don't ask much more of me)!

I've been in a bit of a rut, outfit-wise, for a few weeks, but this past week or so I finally hit on some inspiration and a few outfits that look good.

Have I shown you this one before? It's from back in February:

Shirt: Either H&M in Freiburg (because
there's not one in Oklahoma OR New Mexico,
cry) or Old Navy--I have two red shirts and don't
remember which one this was; Dress: Old Navy;
Leggings: Target; Necklace: Kohl's.
Sometimes I like the dress-over-a-shirt thing and sometimes I don't. This one was okay, except apparently the shirt added a bit of bulk around the middle--a lady at church asked me when the baby was due. :-(

I really feel like I've described this outfit before, but I don't see it in my old posts. Hmm.

Anyway, I like this dress because it's so comfy-casual-summer, but that crossed bodice style, though popular and though I always end up buying items with it, really doesn't work that well with small boobs. A size that's big enough both to be long enough and to fit me around the waist/shoulders/hips/wherever inevitably gapes at the boobs. So the shirt underneath helps solve this problem as well as warmed it up for winter.

Shirt: Old Navy; Jeggings: American Eagle;
Necklace: Target.
I have had this shirt My sister has a matching one. She ripped a hole in it and tried to pull a switcheroo on me. I sewed up the hole in hers and stole my uninjured one back. THAT'S HOW OLD THIS IS, I was still in high school and shared a room with my sister.

I love this outfit. I love blousy tops with jeggings/skinny jeans (skinny jeans have the advantage of pockets). I also get a lot of complements on that necklace--I swear it was just on sale at Target, it's nothing special. I wore this out with my purple pumps and around the house with my ballet flat slippers and it's just so comfy and yet put-together. Win.

Shirt: Old Navy; Sweater: Old Navy; Pants:
Target; Belt: Target or Old Navy; Dog Collar:
Southern Agriculture.
Jayne wanted to get in on the fashion picture action, too.

Even though I burrow into a cardigan every day at the office, very rarely does it occur to me to actually make it a part of the outfit. This makes sense in the summer, when I'm not wearing it outside of the office, but it was cool enough for a cardigan out and about.

It's amazing what buttoning the thing up and slapping a belt on the outside of it will do to an otherwise normal and boring outfit.

Camisole: Kohl's; Shirt: Old Navy; Skinny
Jeans: Old Navy; Belt: stolen from a jacket
that I got at SteinMart.
Wow, this picture makes my hips look huge. It didn't feel like that was the case IRL.

Here again is an outfit I've worn numerous times: black v-neck shirt over a red camisole, with my very favorite dark skinny jeans. But it occurred to me that the sash from a red jacket I had would work tied around the middle, and it did. It brought definition to my figure and flair to the outfit.

And then it was freezing in church and I wore my scarf and trenchcoat the entire time so no one even saw my awesomeness. And then when I had to take the coat off to donate blood I also took off the sash because restricting my breathing when I knew I would get light-headed seemed like a bad idea.

But I wore this again with a pair of black slacks to the office and was happy with it.

Dress: Target; Cardigan: Old Navy; Belt:
Target or Old Navy; Tights: Target;
Necklace: Target? Express? Somewhere.
Monday we had a Very Important Lunch Meeting. These are intimidating, because our clients and potential clients are all wealthy, successful professionals--lawyers, in this case--and dress like, well, they have a lot of money, in high-quality suits and things. I usually try to wear a dress or some other outfitty thing because my singular suit jacket that I bought at Target for Youth & Government back in high school is...pretty sad. So rather than try and fail with an obviously cheap "professional look," I go with an outfit that's obviously not trying to look like a suit, where the cheap clothing maybe isn't as noticeable.

And didn't I look awesome? It's impossible to tell in the picture, but the dress is a dark gray with a hatch pattern of lighter gray stripes, and then a black cardigan, gray silver-studded belt, black leggins, and my gray leather boots. I liked it, anyway.

So there you go! A ridiculously long look at what I've been wearing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I am spring cleaning!

Yes, I know, all I'm posting about is cleaning my house but hey, it's what I've been doing lately.

Here are some before pictures of the master bedroom:

Charming, right?

Well, behind that green curtain you can see the tiniest bedroom closet ever invented in the history of bedroom closets. There is barely enough room in there for my clothes, much less the DDH's. Theoretically, his clothes live in the closet of the guest bedroom downstairs.

In practice, expecting him to shuttle clothes up and down stairs all the way across the house every time he wants to get dressed or undressed or do laundy is...impractical. So instead there were random DDH clothes draped all over the room. It was driving us both crazy.

So I bought a forty dollar portable closet thing and some nice wooden hangars at Target and set them up while he was out of town a few weekends ago. Now his clothes have a place to live that is sensible and convenient.

Which doesn't in any way stop him from draping them all over the room or leaving them in the laundry basket instead of putting them away. -_-

Anyway, the after pictures of my weekend-to-myself cleaning project, complete with picturesque canines:

Isn't that lovely?

Note that neither of the dogs are sleeping on their lovingly designed dog bed den. This is typical during the day, but at night they really do sleep on it and it's adorable.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I am organized (and can wrap presents)!

Remember that disaster of a craft room I shared last week?

Specifically this one.
Well, I have made a bit of progress! Look:

Progress as promised.
The other angles still look very similar. The trash bag of trash has been replaced with a giant box of trash. But look how I cleared off that dresser! And I didn't just move it into a different part of the room, either. I did this:

Into one drawer, I put all my shipping-wrapping supplies (butcher paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts):

Shipping supplies.
Can you say packrat? Yeah, well, be proud that I limited myself to three gallon-sized Ziplocs filled with packing peanuts. It's better than keeping the actual shipping boxes filled with them, trust me.

Into another went all the gift-wrapping boxes and gift bags:

Again, packratting. I think I've bought one thing of tissue paper and three bags...ever. I just save every single one I get and send them back out into the world filled with gifts...or use them to give stuff to the DDH and then steal them back from him to store. Whatever.

Aaaaaaand in the bottom drawer on the little dresser that's stacked on top of the dresser (I have an awkward surfeit of furniture) went all the tissue paper and the ribbons:

I have a different quart-sized Ziploc bag for each color of tissue paper. Some colors are sorted more precisely (dark blues, light blues, turquoises) while others are all together (pink, colored patterns). White tissue paper has a gallon-sized bag instead of a quart-sized (you can see it under the ribbons).

This keeps the tissue paper from getting ripped when stored and makes it easy to quickly find colors that complement the bag I'm using.

I've used this method for several years, but I used to have all the boxes, bags, and tissue paper piled into an old comforter bag--which was handy because it was portable, but I had slowly allowed the organization to falter, my stock was beginning to outgrow the bag, and I couldn't find a good place to store it where I could get to it easily.

Theoretically once this room is finished there will be clear work spaces that will be perfect for wrapping gifts, and all my supplies are in one handy place (because a craft room will be well stocked with scissors and tape, obvs).

I keep the Christmas gift-wrapping supplies with the Christmas supplies, though once this room is done they may get moved in here. (Did I say I had never bought any gift bags/tissue paper/wrapping paper? I lied. I have never bought non-Christmas-themed wrapping supplies. I'm a sucker for Christmas wrapping supplies, however, and have a giant box of them. Which is silly, since I give Christmas presents to like four people in person).

Also, the only actual wrapping paper I own at this point is Christmas-themed, so I haven't had to figure out a storage solution for that. As the DDH's birthday is at the end of November, very rarely do I give non-Christmas-wrapped gifts--hence all the bags and tissue paper, which are flexible. 

But yay! Maybe getting this room fixed up by the end of the year isn't such an impossible goal, after all.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Roommate is a genius.

Do you have any green onions rotting in your vegetable crisper?

Do this with them instead.

Notice how it's gray and raining in the background of the picture?

It's cold, too. But I guess I can't complain after this insanely mild winter. And the garden is enjoying a nice soak.

Garden post coming soon, promise!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am (sigh) having to be productive.

The problem with a blogging model that relies mostly on posting when things are slow at the office is that, when things aren't slow at the office, I don't write blog posts.

I'm pitifully behind on my Reality Chef stuff, and I have a million things I've planned to post here, keeps getting in the way. How irritating. ^_~

The problem is that I'm on the computer all day at work and the absolute last thing I want to do when I get home is spend more time with the computer screen--especially on either the clunky ancient machine back in my (totally trashed and unproductive) "office" or the teeny tiny EeePC out in the living room, which, half the time, the DDH is using to watch stuff on Hulu.

Plus, when am I supposed to implement all the fun and practical projects I post on Pinterest if I'm spending all my time on the computer instead? By the time I go to the gym and make dinner and spend at least fifteen minutes cleaning the house and working on some other project and caring for the dogs and the DDH, there's not a lot of time left for other things.

It doesn't help that I have a hard time turning the DDH down when he wants to cuddle on the couch and watch Hulu or Netflix.

I know what this means and I don't want to cooperate. It means I have to start getting up early again. I've been pushing my wake-up time back to the absolute limit. I woke up yesterday at 6:56. 6:56! I have to be at work by 7:45. That has to change, but it is terribly difficult to convince myself of that truth when the alarm goes off in the morning.

And now I've spent fifteen minutes blogging about how I don't have time to blog instead of writing an actual post...oh life!

So have patience with me, dear readers (all three of you). I'm still around.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I am cleaning up.

Slowly but surely.

You know how I mentioned in my blog post that one of my goals for the year was to clean out the craft room so it was functional?

Did you ever maybe wonder why I thought that might take a year?

I'm about to share a big deep dark secret with you, guys.

The DDH and I (now +The Roommate) have a five-bedroom house (the DDH used to rent the rooms to college students). And the front corner bedroom, with the two big south- and west-facing windows and the deep(ish) closet I claimed for my craft room. I had a big table to spread out on and drawers filled with scrapbooking supplies, paint, ribbon: the usual sort of DIY-crafty type suspects. I even used it for its intended purpose for about six months.

But now?

This is what the craft room looks like:


And let me point out, I had already spent probably three or four hours cumulatively in there cleaning over the past few months.

It used to be worse.

At one time this was a useful and even organized room.

But then my parents brought some drawers filled with my stuff from high school.

Then they brought a half dozen giant boxes of random stuff.

Then they brought a few more.

And then my mother-in-law gave us a pile of furniture that will all, eventually, be useful and store the supplies that I end up keeping.

And then The Roommate moved in and I had to hastily move all the boxes stored in the guest room into the craft room.

Now I have to sort through my entire life from elementary school onward. Pounds and pounds of school papers and cards and notes from friends and trinkets and presents and toys and just everything.

And in the meantime meantime, I keep collecting more DIY crafty-type supplies: empty jars and containers and old t-shirts and cloth scraps and ribbons and what have you, and I can't even get to the drawers where I would eventually like to store them in neatly organized bliss.

Bit by bit it's coming together. Any time I have a few moments I'll set the timer for fifteen minutes and just work. The place has good bones now, with drawers and shelves and places to store and organize the stuff I packrat away. The giant overstuffed black trashbag you can see in the pictures has been dragged to the curb and another big box is already half-filled with things to toss. So we're getting there.

But yeah. It will probably take all year.