Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MFT Day 1: A freshly made bed after you wash your sheets

Before I begin, I want to point out two things:  One, these items aren't in any order.  It's what I think of for that day.  And two, obviously Ricky, Lewis, and my friends and family are my favorite things.  But if I blogged every single day about them, then it'd be the most boring month of blogging ever.

My Favorite Things Day 1:  A freshly made bed after you wash your sheets

So last night when I was describing my endeavor to Ricky, I mentioned as an example when you make your bed after washing your sheets and how that's the greatest bed to climb into.  Everything feels fresh and clean and the sheets are crisp.  It's so cozy and delightful.

It's even better when it's in the winter when my sheets are flannel, because they're even softer and warmer.  I wash my sheets weekly, and so on Sunday night when I climb into my freshly made bed that's so warm and cozy I feel even more ready to start the work week.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A new 30 day challenge

Further proof that, yet again, Julie Andrews playing Maria Von Trapp is the answer to all of life's problems.

Friends will know that January of 2012 has been a very, very hard month.  It's been long, tiring, tear-inducing.  I'm very glad to be saying goodbye, as are my brothers and mum/Leo.

Ricky keeps telling me that good things are to come, and we both need to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and try to embrace the rest of 2012.  I think he is right.  I think while it's easy to be bogged down by the bad, it doesn't help anyone. 

This morning while getting ready for work, I thought of a new 30 day blogging challenge for myself.  And yes, this is inspired by The Sound of Music.  Every day for 30 days I'm going to blog about some of my favorite things.  It could be a song, a whole album, a person, an article of clothing, a feeling, a food, a painting, a brand of yarn.  Anything.  It's to change perspective and for myself to think of something good and happy and wonderful every day.

I'll be starting this whole process tomorrow.  I'm starting on the 31st because there are only 29 days in February.  Also, because I'll be starting on Jess' wedding weekend on the 1st, so that way I'm not frantically trying to blog something before going to Gloucester for a rehearsal/rehearsal dinner.  This could be an interesting month of posts, or it could be painfully boring.  Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sonic Bloom

It's been a rough week or so in our neck of the woods, with the death of Millie and my mum's cat running away and still no sign of her (this is Coco, the little one).  I'm ready to give up on all of January 2012 unless something drastic happens.  (i.e., Coco the cat returns unscathed)

This morning when walking to work, I think my iPod knew that I needed some happy music (because... you know... iPods can think and read people's minds) so it played Sonic Bloom by the Polyphonic Spree.  I love this song and album, so it was a nice treat.

I hope you also enjoy this song today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012



Facebook and real life friends of mine know that on Thursday, we had to put Millie down at age 12 years and 4 months to the day.  The arthritis in her hips and bad legs had gotten to be too much, and the girl couldn't walk anymore.  Sam and Mum brought her in on Thursday.

The sadness and pain are unimaginable.

We're all trying to get through this as best we can, with mixed results.  We all knew that she was old and sick, and that she had had a long and full and happy life, but it doesn't make this period any easier.  We've been emailing each other photos of happier days, of Millie running on a beach or walking in the woods.  It's easier to remember those days than the end.

This also marks an end for us, the end of our childhood pets.  Penny, Midnight, and Millie are all gone, as is that phase in my life. 

I'm thinking of happy memories of Millicent.  When we lived in Gloucester in the winter at that off season rental, and when I was home from college I'd take her for walks on Long Beach so she could run.  When she used to sleep with me, Penny, and Midnight all together in my little twin bed.  When you'd push the swirl on her behind, and her tail would instantly flop down, as if for modesty.  Her neuroses.  Her quirks.  The freckles on her nose.

I know it was time, but it highlights a cruel caveat to having pets:  inevitably, you will outlive them and have to experience a great sense of loss in what seems like a moment after they've entered your lives.

So rest in peace, sweet dear Millie.  A day will not go by where I will not appreciate all you brought to our lives.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What a crock...

Guinness beef stew with cheddar biscuits.  Mmmm
This year for Christmas, Ricky's mother surprised me with two things I desperately wanted or needed:  one, a new lightweight winter coat (the red toggle coat is a string now with no working pockets) and a crock pot.  I've always wanted a crock pot to make soups and stews, especially in the winter.

So far, I've only made one thing, which is a Guinness beef stew.  I was surprised at how easy it was to make a delicious flavorful stew!  I got up early and set it up, and then in 8 hours dinner was done and amazing.  I also made cheddar biscuits using an Irish cheddar I found, to keep the country of origin-theme going.  All in all, it was a huge success and a hit in our household.

I'm a little leery of leaving something on all day when I work in Boston, for fear that Lewis could get into it or that it could set the house on fire.  I know that everyone does this, and it's probably me just being nervous, but I feel like so I don't fret all day, this will be a weekend cooking option only.

I think I'll try making something over the long weekend, perhaps a soup or a slow cooked chicken.  I've been reviewing my slow cooker cook book and all the blogs and websites online for new recipes that I never thought to make until this winter.  Bean stews, pot roasts, pulled pork... you will all be made and devoured soon.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh Phil

There's a Facebook meme going around where you post the #1 single in the country where you were born the week you were born.  I had high hopes of something cool and awesome, but instead... I had Phil Collins' Against All Odds:

Fortunately it seems everyone born in 1984 has similarly crappy/cheesy #1 songs.  What's crazy is when you go down the rabbit hole of #1 songs for your much younger family members.  Like my Gorrell cousins...

Zach:  Alannah Myles' Black Velvet

Calvin:  Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You

Walter:  TLC's Creep (this is when it gets a little sad times/rough, because I definitely remember having this song played at Middle School dances...)

Henry:  Spice Girls' Wannabe

Joseph:  Cher's Believe

So yeah, that happened. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wildlife city

I came home from work to find that the giant opossum that had previously been living in my neighbor's yard has moved to my yard.  It ran from by the front steps to where the trash is held (and the bistro... eek!) to now hiding in a bush.  I shined a flashlight around my backyard and saw it.  It is big.  Fortunately, it seems harmless and just trying to find food, and every opossum website I found said that it should be harmless and just want to leave us alone.  Meaning:  it's not going to be a larger scarier version of Rat Invasion 2009.

I was hoping it would look like Old Lady Opossum from Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas...

...but it instead looks like this:

Posting about something I almost never post about


Winter break seemed consumed with shoes for me, which is odd since I normally don't really care about or purchase shoes.  I seem to have a lot of pairs, but that's in part because I'm terrible about throwing away old shoes (there's still a season left in them!) and I go to a lot of weddings so I have a lot of dressy shoes.  In 2012, I am in two weddings, each with a different wardrobe and requirements.  For Jess' wedding, we need to wear pewter heels (I'm recycling a pair I wore to a different wedding last year), and for Erin, she didn't really care.  The lack of direction was almost harder, because I saw so many different routes to travel down.  And because I am in this wedding, I wanted nice shoes that would be comfortable and look nice when photographed.  Oh, and weren't too expensive.  (Lewis needs to be able to eat at the end of the spring)

I've been hunting for months, and hadn't found anything I truly liked until recently.  My friend Jess (not getting married Jess) and I were browsing shoes when I went to Modcloth.  I haven't purchased much there in the past, but I stumbled across a super adorable pair of shoes that were only $30.  I don't tend to gravitate towards pink, but I liked the soft color.  I also loved the detail on the toe of the shoe.  The bridesmaid dresses are blue, so I thought a deep blue and a light pink would look nice together. 

I got the shoes right before Christmas, and they were a dream.  Just as pretty in person, not too high of a heel, and were pretty comfortable.  Modcloth also threw in a complimentary headband!  So I am prepped and ready for that wedding.

On top of this shoe purchase, I received my Missoni heels from my friend Megin on Christmas Eve.  Even though someone (Ricky) thought they were too busy for a shoe (Ricky), I really wanted a pair of Missoni for Target heels.  I liked the toe detail and that the heel was so thick.  I could see them being more comfortable as a result.  Unfortunately, my Missoni shoe dreams were crushed in the north because it seems every girl with a size 7 1/2 foot in Massachusetts had the exact same dream.  And more disposable income and time to rush to a Target before me.  Shoe FAIL.

Over the summer, I was bemoaning my lack of Missoni shoes with Megin, as she was living in Massachusetts for the summer.  When she returned to Virginia in the fall, where she lives most of the year, she found out that the south did not feel the same way about Missoni heels that I did.  I got a text that her Target was overflowing with the heels.  She purchased a pair for herself and one for me, with the promise of bringing them up for Christmas.  Shoe WIN.

As promised, she brought them up and gave them to me on Christmas Eve.  They are just as great in person as they were grainy and pixelated on her phone.  Super comfortable as well.  I'm planning on wearing them to Jess' shower and/or rehearsal dinner.

And now I'm done talking about shoes for another year or so.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Golda Meir

The birthday girl with Gertrude and Alice, 2006.
Erin left me a voicemail last night.  She's at her parents' house for a week or so, and was doing some cleaning when she stumbled upon the birthday gift I gave her for her 22nd birthday, a paperdoll set of notable women.

I had this paperdoll set when I was little.  Dover Books produces hand-drawn paperdoll sets on a range of subjects, from presidents to movie stars to fashion from a decade to Notable Women in history.  Because my mum is wise and I am neurotic, I  was never allowed to cut up these paperdoll books, but could use them to draw my own paperdolls.  This was quite smart, since I could keep the books as reference forever.  In fact, I still have them all in my closet at my parents' house.

One day in college, I was telling Erin about these paperdolls and she remarked that it was the strangest set of paperdolls imaginable.  This is mainly because while they did have more "glamorous" women like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edith Wharton, they included significantly less paperdoll-ish women like...

...a bare-breasted Pocahontas
...Gertrude Stein, with Alice B. Toklas as her accessory plate
...Golda Meir

Erin couldn't imagine what this book would look like, so I decided to buy her her very own copy of this book.  She thought the plates were hilarious.  I think it was published as a historical toy for young girls who like paper dolls.  I tried to find it on the Dover website, but I think they've discontinued it for other paper doll sets.  Like notable TV moms.  And Vampires.  It's a shame, because every little girl out there should be able to play paperdolls with Gertrude, Alice, and Golda.

Back at it

First day back at work after 10 days off is always hard.  A whole lotta coffee to get through today.  And tea.  And podcasts.