Sunday (Well, really Monday) Reflections

This post is brought to you by Stewart’s Coffee, honey mustard pretzels, Skittles, and a grapefruit spiked seltzer.

It’s late and chilly. I’m under a heavy blanket, finding the sound of the quiet relaxing and comforting. I didn’t have to work today so it’s my Sunday. I think. I’m not sure…The days are starting to run together. It might be the paint fumes and spray cleaner.

I’m so tired and my body is sore in ways I don’t remember ever being sore before. If you look at my “step” counter you’d see I’ve taken 48,741 steps since Thursday morning. (5 days) I assure you that is not the case. I might have done that many squats while painting, though. (Okay, some of them were steps, but most were squats while painting.)

I managed to paint 4 and a half of the 5 and a half rooms we wanted to get done. The paint I had for the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room was the worst paint I’ve ever used. We don’t know if it was just old, had frozen or what, but it wouldn’t cover and then took forever to dry.

Luckily, I had a bunch of left over Valspar Ultra White from my house so I could use that upstairs. Alas, I don’t have enough paint for the last room so maybe I can do that tomorrow night?  We’ll see if I can bring myself to put my painting clothes back on.

< rant >For the love of all things home improvement, if you use spackle, sand it please! It’s scrape, spackle, smooth, sand and then paint. Not smear some spackle on the wall and paint over it. REALLY NOW PEOPLE! Also, don’t use shitty paint, EVER! Both things just make the job of whomever paints next to be miserable. And I love painting walls. < / rant>

I might be doing the bulk of the painting, but Nik’s been logging time in the house too. Sunday he spent rebuilding the shed for the snow plow to go into. We found out tonight it leaks so he’ll be working on that some more. Yeah, we only have a few more weeks of winter left, but sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t get the memo to stop sending snow so we might need the plow into April. (Hopefully, by having it there we won’t need it.) I don’t really want to shovel that drive way again

Done so far.
Girls Room
Kitchen (sans gross)
Laundry Room

He’s also been addressing some mice (ahh the perks of country life) and plumbing issues which knock on wood have been fixed so no more toilet leaking all over the floor every time it’s flushed. Not just a little leak, like puddle from under the toilet. EWWWW.

So much bleach has been used, but now it’s fixed. (Hopefully, it holds. There’s a slight problem he’s fixed but to do it right means you rip out the whole bathroom, the floor and everything else. Not happening on our dime.)

We’re working our butts off to get this house ready to move into. Literally my butt off. Today I wore a pair of jeans in a size smaller than usual so there’s that. Also, it went undocumented (but did garner some high fives) that I worked my last required teaching shift on a Saturday – maybe more on that later. There’s still so much to do. My movers are coming in 5 days and I still have to pack the rest of the house.

I think I’ll try to sleep and pretend that doesn’t freak me out.


Just reach out

2018-02-13_01-00-54As much as I like some aspects of social media, it definitely lulls us into a sense that we’re more connected than ever, but really the opposite seems to be true. (This isn’t new either.) We “know” what’s going on in our friends lives because of what they post. The problem with that is that most people are posting the good stuff, the highlights reel if you will.

To a certain degree that’s okay. I probably wouldn’t text some of my social media friends that I was so mad I could spit nails about something Nik had done (and has since fixed) or how ripped up I felt about something someone said about me, but I might text one of the members of my Council for some perspective.

Over the weekend I was thinking about one of my friends from what I like to refer to as College Part 1 (Freshman and Sophomore year). Diana and I drifted apart for a long time after college, but reconnected about 10 years ago.

We’ve been in touch sporadically since and it’s always the same, catch up and it’s like no time has passed.

But it’s been a long time since we’ve talked. Sure, we like each other’s facebook posts and post a happy birthday message, but we haven’t written, texted or called in far too long.

It’s a little intimating to realize, feel guilty about it, and then question if it’s been too long to reach out now

News flash: It’s never been too long, but you might not have another chance to do it.

I picked up my phone and texted her. “Diana?” (In case it wasn’t the right number…I once texted what I thought was my cousin’s cell with “Hey, when we having a sleep over?” and got a very nasty reply.)

We acknowledged that it’s been a really long time, and she commented that she felt like she was up to date because she checks in on my facebook and blog…but that she definitely missed some big things!

We ended up texting back and forth for about half an hour, traded some pics of life lately, and shared some laughs. She says she’d like to come back North, but I’m going to send her a picture of the snow we shoveled Sunday to see if she changes her mind.

It’s good to know she’s doing well, her kids and husband are happy and healthy and that while it might not be like it was when we lived two doors away, I can still pick up the phone and reach out for a smile.

Today, I’m going to challenge you. Pick up your phone and text or call someone it’s been far too long since you’ve actually chatted with. Bonus points go to those who write a letter or card and put it in the mail. If you email me your address, I’ll send you a note by the end of the week. (courtisherenow[at]gmail{dot}com).

Sunday reflections

He looked at the fire that had gone out in frustration.
“I got this, you go take a hot shower.” I told him.
and I rebuilt the fire.

I’m typing this from my phone so please excuse any typos. I’m also half asleep, just waiting for 10 p.m. so I can go to bed. (If I fall asleep before then I’m awake at 2 or 3 a.m. and angry I’m wide awake.)

Why am I so tired tonight? Friday, I ended up sleeping about 11 hours total instead of hanging out with the super adorable K. Last night was okay too.

I’m dunzo because Nik and I went to the new house today to meet the landlord for keys. We figured it would be good to shovel the snow and start clean up.

Shovel, we did. About 200 by 14 feet of it. And it was about 8 inches deep. For those of you playing along at home and don’t feel like doing the math in your head, I think that’s 3,225,600 inches (cubed) of snow but my brain is feeling soggy and frozen still.

And it was a misty rain most of the time we were there.

My arms hurt. My abs hurt. My butt hurts. I only know I have quads and hamstrings still because they’re shouting at me in anger. I’m still cold and we’ve been inside and dry for 6 hours.

But we got a lot done. As different as we are, we make a good team in getting stuff accomplished. I might not have moved as fast as he did shoveling or hauling sections of shrubbery down a wet and icy road, but I balanced it out by applying what I know about stuff like physics and physiology to keep up and help him figure out an “easier” way to do it.  Sometimes it’s just an extra set of able hands or knowing that you have a team mate makes the difference.

We’re both used to doing a lot on our own and figuring out how to get it done without an extra set of hands. It’s been a learning curve to let each other help…but we’re learning and getting stronger together.

Join me for a cup of coffee?

(On the way to daycare.)
Hey E! Look at the pretty sky.
Where?! WOAH.

Or a cup of tea if that’s more your jam, mug of hot chocolate if you’ve just finished shoveling the snow, or wine if you’re at that point in your day.

If I didn’t have a full day of work ahead of me and a slightly queasy tummy I might put a little nip in my coffee.

Nah, I wouldn’t really. Not at work at least. Sunday morning with no plans? Sure thing, bobski.

What’s in your cup today? I just finished my regular coffee flavored coffee but I’m thinking of having some cinnamon sugar cookie coffee in a bit.

So how have you been? Earlier this week I was convinced it was next Tuesday already and that I had missed the whole weekend somehow. Time is all messed up some days! As far as weeks go, it was only somewhat frustrating which is better than other weeks for sure.

My sleep patterns are iffy at best and easily messed with so they got jacked midweek when we had a sick kiddo at 3am with The Barf. Hopefully tonight I can get some sleep and maybe not end up pukey at 3am myself. Also, there was more house crapola from last week that spilled into this week but hopefully that’s been resolved and we can move forward!

Speaking of house stuff, the inspector was supposed to meet me at 9am this morning for re-inspection tied to some grant funding for the buyer. I got out of the shower at 8:25am and was looking for a new pair of contacts – wearing just my towel – when the doorbell rang. Yes, it was the inspector and he was early! I’m lucky Nik’s hoodie is dress length on me because my bathrobe is in the washer.

Thankfully, he could start downstairs while I found some clothes to wear. When he left, he said as far as he is concerned we’re all set and he will issue the paperwork for the bank. One step closer to closing! (Cross your fingers, knock on wood, prayers, whatever it is you do to help things along. Please and thank you.)

I know I’ve said it before, but I just want this to be done. I want to take my stuff to the new house and not have to worry about this one anymore. You know?

Well, I have to run. I was supposed to babysit the super adorable K tonight, but her momma understandably reached out to a dynamic duo friends of our who haven’t been exposed to The Barf this week. I’ll be packing tonight instead.

What are you up to tonight and this weekend? Anything good?

Thirsty Thursday: Swedish Fish Shots

I don’t have a picture of the shots,
but this was probably taken there.
Goodness, I look well rested.
Must have had a nap that day.

Once upon a time, (10+ years ago now) in a kingdom far away (Albany), Court and her friends frequented a fine, upstanding, establishment by the name of the Eugene’s Side Door Cafe for libations, karaoke and shenanigans. Sometimes food too.

Dave, the owner, employed a delightful, buxom mixologist named Heather. Heather was a genius behind the bar and did a fine rendition of Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree to boot.

I remember one night, early in our friendship, it was my  night to drive and I came in with a coffee. She took my coffee, put Frangelico, vanilla vodka, something chocolatey and handed it back to me. To tell you the caffeinated concoction was brilliant would be an understatement.

It was my go to anytime I had to drive. It was the one drink I had those nights and it was amazing. She really is a gifted mixologist. I hope I do her justice when I try my hand at recreating delicious beverages for myself and guests. (Her chocotini and appletinis are crowd favorites.)

Heather also loved to hand us colorful shots. Ones that looked like window cleaner but tasted like refreshing heaven, purple ones that would mess you up if you weren’t careful, yellow ones that tasted like pineapple cake, and several different red ones.

One of these red ones was a Swedish Fish Shot. The web tells me that there was blackberry schnaps in it, but I don’t think that’s right. I would sometimes text Heather to find out how to make things so I could have bartenders whip up a batch.

If you’re looking for something tasty for your next party and are a fan of the delicious red candy like I am, you can whip up a batch for your friends and/or yourself.

Unless I’m mistaken (and if I am, Heather can correct me) you need the following:

  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps.
  • 1 oz Vodka (it can be flavored)
  • 1 oz Apple Pucker
  • 1 oz Cranberry Juice Cocktail.

Shake with ice and strain into shot glasses. Or directly into someone’s mouth as might have happened once or twice.

Enjoy it. Channel your inner 20 something Court and have fun. Just be responsible. Make sure if you’re out you have someone sober to drive you home or a couch to sleep on.

The next Go Big is Going Home

2018-02-05_12-05-43Over the weekend Nik and I gave a man named Mario a whole bunch of money and signed a piece of paper to get a place.

(I refrained from asking Mario if the other owner’s name was Luigi. Sometimes – not always – thoughts stay in my head.)

This place we found for the four of us? It’s an old house and we like it quite a bit. It has enough space for us and most of our stuff, some land to play and plant on, and it’s not far from our families or the girls’ mom.  It’s not quite back home, but not far from where I grew up.

It has 3 bedrooms, a wood stove in the dining area, mud/laundry room off the kitchen, outside storage, and enough space to work together in the kitchen. It was the place the kids liked the best and N says she’s excited to be in Our Place.

It also comes with a goat cage if you need one. Nik said he will drop it off if you’re local.

Finding a place wasn’t super easy. Rent is weirdly expensive out in the country. We wanted to find a house but some of the listings were really questionable. Also, Nik and I don’t always agree on things so there were a lot of (sometimes heated) discussions to work through.

But, now comes maybe the more challenging part: The logistics of getting a new place. Transferring electricity to our names, painting, cleaning, outside clean-up, internet installed and you know, the actually moving.

The house needs some TLC, but they’re essentially trading us half a month of rent to do the work to get it ready to move in. We’re fine with doing it ourselves. It means the railing will be done the way Nik wants, I can paint some walls, and start being in the space to see what we want to do to make it a home.

The landlord said to consider it our place and doesn’t really care what we do to it to improve it. (I think he was nervous at first, but relaxed as we started asking about specific projects. I suspect it’s because he figured out we know what we’re doing and won’t be hassling him to do it for us.)

It’s a big relief. I was getting nervous I wouldn’t have a place to live and would be moving to my mom’s (which is fine to do but it means moving stuff twice and another 25 min of driving each way) or that we’d only find something tiny, or we wouldn’t make it through the search process without hurting each other. Those are just the reasonable worries. We won’t talk about the others.

But we did end up finding our place and I can breathe a little more easily. Now to get to closing on the house!

If you want to send me fun mail or treats I can send you the address. I love snail mail.

The Good Stuff: January

It’s not often I feel pretty in a picture.
I did here

I meant to post this yesterday, but the day got away from me. Instead of a cup of coffee today, would you care to join me for The Good Stuff from January? Coffee is always one of the good things!

There’s a lot of crap out there. Crappy news, crappy people. Really crappy moments. I think it’s important to pay attention to the good things. Remember them and carry those with you or the bad things keep weighing you down.

Besides, when you look for the good things, you find more good things and maybe life isn’t quite so bad.

If it’s not your style (yet), I challenge you to find one good thing about today – even if it’s something tiny.

Moments to make me smile:

  • Lovely human beings to share my life with
  • Magic bean water
  • The treadmill at the office gym (even if I don’t really LIKE running)
  • Encouragement from unlikely sources
  • App to talk to MJ while he’s gone
  • Google to settle debates (like the rules for UNO)
  • Being handy
  • Amazon
  • Finding a house we like and can rent
  • One on one time with N & E
  • People who understand complicated situations and have good insight into them
  • Being adaptable
  • House buyer finally getting approved and all of the sales contract items being met (now to get to closing)
  • Su(e)shi dates
  • Watching N play basketball

Good reads:

And these books.

Favorite pics:

I love sharing work space with him.
Sammi is a good coffee date. 
I love this skirt. The birds make me happy.
So does the pizza I was waiting for.
I did it and didn’t die. (It being running)

Podcasts you might like:

I’ve been listening to a lot of My Dad Wrote a Porno, The Moth, and a Oprah Super Soul Conversation. More on them later.

Music to feed my soul:

This is really cute.

This one has a place in my heart.

This one’s been getting a lot of play. Thanks Boss Baby!

How about you? What good things do you have for January to share?

Letting go of stuff

While we haven’t gotten the official “Okay to close” from the bank, I’ve realized in a few weeks (knock on wood) my house will no longer be mine and I will have to have all of my stuff out of it.

Cue panic.

Yes, I should have been working on this along the way more, but there have been more important things to tackle or do. It’s been put on the back burner, but it’s time to get cookin’.

Sunday, after my necessary, couldn’t see straight after only 3 hours of sleep the night before nap, I needed to do something productive. I ruthlessly went through my closet for the 3rd time.

I used to wonder how I ended up with so much stuff, clothes, craft supplies. Then, one day I was having a Day, I stopped into Marshalls and the craft store. I realized as I walked into the store (and my stress seemed to melt away) shopping is one of my “fixes”. A new pair of shoes. A new kitchen toy. A pretty scarf. Some new yarn or fabric. A lot of the “stuff” was purchased in an attempt to make myself feel better, happier even. And it worked for a short time.

But I recognize that for what it is – trying to fill an emotional void. While some try to fill it with food, drinks, or sex, I was shopping.

Once I saw the pattern, I could see it happening. (And if I’m being honest sometimes still does happen although now it’s more out of anxiety than feeling sad, detached, or stressed. Nothing and no one is perfectly good all the time. Life can be good overall and we’re all still coping with something.) When I see it happening, I try to do something else. Go for a walk, write a letter, color/craft, or talk it out.

It was a great realization to both my heart and wallet, but it does mean I have a lot of STUFF. I won’t ever be a minimalist because it’s not me, but some of the stuff I have now weighs me down with the sad/bad days attached to it. (If that makes any sense at all…) I can’t bring myself to just toss stuff someone else might be able to use or I can donate to a good cause.

I’m trying to go through it mindfully, but it might get to the point that it’s just junked.

So um, yeah, do you want some stuff?

I’m curious. What are your fixes? You can be honest with me and not say exercising or cleaning or you know anything productive. If you’re more comfortable sharing privately email me at courtisherenow[gmail]{dot}com. You’re not alone.

Join me for a cup of coffee?

Yes, magic bean water is amazing.

Ah Friday, I thought you would never arrive! It’s been a long week, but not a terrible one. There were some rough moments for sure, but that’s life, right?

How are you? How has your week been? Anything exciting planned for the weekend?

What’s in  your cup today? I have coffee flavored coffee because that’s what was in the pot this morning and I poured it at about 6:10am before I left to run.

It was the second time this week I hit the treadmill before work. I’m up to 16 min on it. (I realize it’s not all that much, but hey, I really don’t like it that much and 2 weeks ago I couldn’t breathe all that well.)

So yeah, I don’t love running, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I do it. Also the results in my legs and tush aren’t too bad. But I also know it’s good for me to get the cardio in both physically and mentally. Doing things we don’t love is being part of being a grown-up, right?

What do you do because it’s good for you, but you don’t really like?

Read it! Several in a row

A recent few nights of insomnia meant I had some extra time on my hands and nothing to do in the dark. Wifi is less than stellar out in the country right now so watching something on Amazon or Netflix is difficult. What to do? I can only play Words with Friends, Connect Four, and Solitaire so many times!

Why hello there Kindle app. It’s nice to see you too! So many books at my finger tips

So over the course of about a week or 10 days, I read 3 books. 2 were re-reads, 1 was just really great and I couldn’t put it down.

First up! Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie. I’ve read this book a dozen times and it never fails to make me smile. It’s bubblegum chick-lit with a little sprinkle of naughty (but not too graphic). One of the things I specifically love about this one? The chick isn’t a size 2 and cookie cutter beautiful (at least not in my head) like so many bubblegum books I’ve read. She’s zaftig and sassy. She loves shoes, food, and numbers.

I think Stats and I would be friends.

Next was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg. I think I read this in 4th grade? It’s always stuck with me as a great read. It’s about a couple of kids who run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It’s a story of adventure and mystery and I was a kid who loved both.

I love this book so much I give it to the kiddos in my life who like mysteries.

Lastly was A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang which was one of the free Prime books from Amazon. Set during WWI, it opens at an engagement party with someone dying. From there you learn about why three best friends no longer were friends, how tragedy brought them all back together, and how their secrets (and those around them) are all woven together.  With each additional person who dies, the question is of who (or what) killed them. This whodunit has a lot of possibilities and a few twists I didn’t see coming until right before they happened.

Historical fiction isn’t really my thing, but I’m glad I picked this one to read.

Have you read any of the ones I’ve read recently? What have you been reading?