Five Things

You’re a vampire.
I’m going to bite you!
– E

If you’re one of my new visitors (Hi), I’m sharing five current “things” with you: Recent challenges, triumphs, funnies, OMG, and a question.)

Oh, Friday! You’re here! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH. Oh, you came with the day off on Monday? You’re the best.

So the end of this week has picked up emotionally and mentally. There have been some very challenging moments since I checked in last. There has been bad news for several of my friends.  Cancer and other diagnoses, miscarriages, layoffs and other professional blows, divorces, fires, and more. I hold space in my heart for them.

Then the beginning of this week brought some really hard days, mentally, for me. The kind that leave you sobbing big hot ugly alligator tears for no discernible reason other than you kinda sorta hate everything about the universe and yourself but the thoughts just don’t stop coming at you. Sunday night and Monday were my two most recent personal challenges for sure.

But I would be remiss in mentioning that without noting recent triumphs. There were certainly victories for me in the last few weeks. Finally getting someone to understand something, a decent trip to NYC and fun shoe shopping with a coworker at Duane Reade. A great party for N and fun at Halloween. A lovely chat with an old friend and the perspective and grace that came with it reminding me to choose happiness and forgiveness – and being able to do it.

There were a lot of laughs too. E’s offer to take me to the doctor in the morning if my ears still hurt – but warning me I might need a shot; laughing with Nik about a smart ass answer from one of the kids even if they didn’t know how funny it was; the weirdness of Amarillo. Then there was the cabby who drove me from the train station to the office and how he was being rude about farts on a previous fare he didn’t like. It’s hard to shock me so I shrugged and said, “Well, I hope you excused yourself.”

But I don’t know if there was anything too OMG related lately. I continue to be shocked by the behavior of the Cheeto in Chief and others but let’s not dwell on the super negative. The election bought some OMG in the most wonderful way when voter turnout really made a difference. Maybe there’s something to his Make America Great Again…but not in the way he hoped. There was OMG wonderful food from the deli near the hotel in NYC and the cupcakes for N’s bday.

What was the most recent OMG food you had? It might have been because I was so hungry, but the philly cheese steak on french fries from the NYC deli was truly amazing.


Mission Move More – Lately-ish

2018-11-06_11-42-45I really don’t have anything to super exciting to share today. I could tell you I put on my new red sneakers a few times and ran up and down my road.

I guess that’s exciting sort of? It’s not often I want to go running and I definitely felt the urge. I guess I had some wiggles in my legs to work out.

It’s not a bad run. Even the hill isn’t terrible – although I’ve yet to make it up the hill without walking.  I’ll try again next time.

I do yoga sometimes in my office when I need to cool my brain off, stretch, or get some wiggles out. There’s a lot of cooling off my brain lately and I don’t sit still well. By the way, when your coworkers come in and you’re in down dog or child’s pose they tend to leave you alone or come back later. Maybe I should close my door? I also have office dance parties by myself when I just get up and bust a move.

I know I’m not the dancer I think I am in my head so I close my door for those.

Really, a lot of the moving I get done is walking from one room to another  or up and down the stairs because I forget what I got up for or why I went into another room. I also carry a lot of laundry up and down the stairs because Nik doesn’t like the laundry basket being on the laundry room floor.

Oh and I rearranged the pantry the other day and cleaned that out. That was a lot of squats, let me tell you!

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m doing a lot of moving around, but not a lot of what you might think of as traditional exercise.  While I likely need to step it up a bit still if you ask my doctor, we’re not asking her today and I’ll do what I can when I can.

Yes, I know I’m “supposed” to do more, but doing what I’m “supposed” to do doesn’t usually work out for me so well. I’ll go with what my body and brain insist upon.

Do you get the exercise you’re “supposed” to? Do you prefer traditional exercise or more non-traditional movement?


The Good Stuff: September-October

On the water and last bit of summer in my face

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, because you can totally retrain your brain), I challenge you to find one good thing about today – even if it’s something tiny. (Also a former CIA analyst shared some coping strategies for the bad stuff.)

Last night and this morning were hard. It seems the further I get from the harsh anxiety I used to deal with day in and out, the harder it hits when it sneaks up on me. Damn whoremones I tell you.

I’m making it a point to put this together to focus on the good in my life.

Moments to make me smile:

  • Two months off from sports
  • Crafts with the girls
  • People watching at a nearby Walmart
  • Sick time to use when I can’t see after a migraine
  • One perfect glass of Pinot Grigio (with ice)
  • Wonderful girls to brunch with
  • Wrapping up a major project
  • Babies to welcome to the family.
  • Beautiful sunsets
  • Hot tea
  • Pop doing well in surgery
  • Sushi lunches
  • Cool nights by the fire
  • Giggling with N & E
  • Party planning
  • Walking away with my head held high when it was their intention to tear me down
  • Fall colors against the blue sky
  • A hugely successful party and birthday
  • How much better I feel when I drink 80-90 oz of water. Yeah I pee a lot, but it’s a few quiet moments
  • A successful Halloween costume for me – except for the teeth because I couldn’t get them to stick. (I was a Warm Vampire. I know a lot of women would have gone for a sexy one, but frankly I like being warm better.)

Good reads:

September and October had me re-reading The Girl with Silver Eyes to read with N and just for fun I started The Homecoming again. I’m also working on some NetGalley books but they haven’t been great so they’re hard to get through. I’ve also been reading federal and NY regs on Lunch Shaming, federal grant administration, and my favorite and yours! Changes to the NYS Sexual Harassment laws. Oh and we can’t forget kids books. E recently discovered Fancy Nancy and I love how much she loves it.

And now onto the web. The (in)glorious web.

Favorite pics:
Fotor_15381812067588Fotor_153767202406634 Fotor_153925939027394Fotor_153767212116042

You can see more pictures on my Instagram.

Podcasts you might like:

  • The Joe Rogan Experience with Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me with Anna Kendrick

Music to feed my soul:

How about you? What good things do you have for September and October to share?

Join me for a cup of coffee?

Oh hey there!

Well hello there! It’s so nice to see you. Thank you so much for joining me for a cup of coffee this afternoon. It seems fitting to meet up for a toasty warm beverage on such a cold dreary day. You look cozy! I like the scarf you chose to go with your outfit. It brings out your eyes.

Although I’m ready for cooler temps, I wish it wasn’t dreary. It just feels colder and less inviting. Give me a bright blue sky and crisp white snow, not this grey and mud.  That said, the downpour I woke up to today sounded really nice. You know, a torrential downpour on the roof.

What’s in your cup? I’m actually having Constant Comment tea this afternoon instead of coffee. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, and just what the doctor called for. And by “the doctor” I mean my belly.

So how have you been? Anything new? I’ve been crocheting a lot lately and working on greeting cards for my upcoming show. I am also trying to sort out a new wine charm display. We’ll see. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t. Oh and this week the kids did Halloween. N was a football player, E was Owlette, and I was a warm vampire in my redesigned hoodie. The kids seemed to have a great time, but I was ready to go home when E decided she was done. Did you celebrate Halloween? Do you still dress up?

Anything fun going on this weekend? We have the kids all weekend and a boat load of plans including basketball shoe shopping. I love shoe shopping, but this is not my favorite kind. I’m looking forward to some painting I have to do later this weekend for the show. Do you have anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?

Oh man, I have to run an errand so I’m off. I hope you have a great weekend!

It’s Adri’s fault I made these Raspberry Oatmeal Jam bars

2018-10-29_03-31-49 Adri and I were texting (as we are wont to do) and she mentioned she had made some Strawberry Oatmeal Jam bars. Then they got stuck in my head and I had to have some.

Off to the kitchen a googlin’ as I go!

So many recipes come up when you google such things. How do you pick which one to use?

I found one from the Food Network, specifically Ree Drummond and loosely based it on this recipe.. Like Alton and Aunt Betty, she rarely steers me wrong.

Of course I didn’t follow it to the letter either.

To make it how I did and encourage you to do so, follow hers though for the top and bottom and add a teaspoon of vanilla and half teaspoon of cinnamon into the mix. This will make your dough a little stickier, but just go with it. It’s delicious.

I didn’t have jam either so I pulled some raspberry sauce I made over the summer from the freezer, thawed it, added a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch and used that instead of jam. You can use whatever jam you want. No judgement here. Mint might be gross, but you do you boo.

I lost track of how long it baked for – whoops – but it’s done when you can smell the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in the air. Probably about 50 minutes, maybe a few more?

I don’t know what Nik thinks of them yet, but I’m not sure that I care. I usually want to woo him with my baking skills, but this time? I’m okay with him not even finding out because then I have to share.

What jam would you use in something like this?

It’s not easy getting a selfie with a rainbow in a storm

But I managed something reasonable…

I feel like that’s sort of how life is over all right now for a lot of us. We’re facing things that aren’t easy, but we’re getting them done as best we can. Sometimes it’s a flop, sometimes it’s great.

Most of the time we’re getting it done reasonably well and that’s okay if you ask me.

I’m not saying I’m phoning anything in, because darn it I’m working harder in some ways than I’ve ever worked before. But you know what? Sometimes the extra hour of sleep and crawling into bed before you’re asleep at the keyboard is better for you than getting signs made for a party. Sometimes curling up in Nik’s arms and winding down is better for me than making sure the laundry is done right away.

Sometimes, reasonably well done but sane is more important than perfectly done…and I’m learning as I go.

What have you recently decided that reasonably well done was okay?

Read it! But No Elephants

But No Elephants by Jerry Smath was provided to me via my Amazon Allowance that I give myself. You can read other books I’ve reviewed here.

I have a small fear of dentists. Teeth things have always bothered me and when I was a kiddo and my teeth were loose? They never fell out on their own. Mine had to be pulled which meant a needle in my gums and then the horrific sound of teeth breaking. I think my small fear and anxiety around it are understandable, right?

The dentist we went to growing up didn’t even have any cool prizes. The ONLY cool thing about having to go there was a book they had in the waiting room, But No Elephants. I read it every time we went.

From Amazon:

Grandma Tildy lived all alone, until a salesman stopped by to sell her a pet. She welcomed a canary bird into her home, but made it very clear that she wanted NO ELEPHANTS!

I love this book. When I read it with kiddos I encourage them to say the “But no elephants!” at the end of each page and we all giggle

This past weekend while Nik and his buddy did something outside, his buddy’s kiddos stayed toasty warm inside with me. They asked if we could watch tv but I suggested a book instead. I asked the little boy to get a book.

First we read, Giraffes Can’t Dance, which E and I will review at a later date. They loved it. (What’s not to love?) The little girl smiled at me and exclaimed, “AGAIN!” and the little boy asked if we could read another. I asked him to find the brown book with the elephant in the house on it. He asked if it was as good as the giraffe book, and I promised it would be.

They cuddled back up to me and I told them when I pointed at the words, they had to say them with me, “BUT NO ELEPHANTS!!!” while we read about Grandma Tildy, her new pets, and the man who sold them to her.

And they said “BUT NO ELEPHANTS!!!” every time. And they loved it.

Is this something you’d like to read? What was your favorite children’s book?

Join me for a cup of coffee?

Ns snowcone cupcake testingWell hello there! Thank you so much for joining me for a cup of coffee this morning. I know we usually meet for coffee on Fridays, but it was a really busy few days and I feel like extra java is needed today.

Besides, Friday I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off (in the most organized way possible) to go to N’s school’s rally, get divorce paperwork filed, birthday party shopping and baking done, kids picked up, etc. There’s a good chance you’d have ended up wearing my coffee like I did!

What’s in your cup? I’m on magic bean water number two today which is half calf and cinnamon sugar cookie with coconut sweet cream creamer. It tastes warm even as it cools off.

So how have you been? This past weekend we had a family party with a few friends for N’s 10th birthday. It was really quite fun and lovely. We had a “Carnival” with games, snow cones, and prizes! Nik’s parents let us have it at their house so there was a lot of room to run around. The weather mostly held up, the kids had fun, and the cupcakes were quite good if we do say so ourselves. (N says the frosting is the best she ever had and E said it was almost as good as chocolate which is high praise.)

She told Nik it was the best party she’s ever had. I’m just super happy she had a good time. I think most of the other people did too.

I loved planning it with her and for her, but I’m ready for an organizing stuff break! Luckily we have a bit before E’s birthday.

Do you have anything you’re looking forward to this week? I think I’m most looking forward to the train back from NYC a) because I love the train and b) because it means I get a chance to just BE for a few hours.

I have to run, but I hope you have a great week!

Thirsty Thursday – The Water Edition

water picWater. We need it. No, not magic bean water or the kind with molasses, brown sugar, and yeast, or barley and hops or fermented grapes or potatoes. I’m talking about the kind without a caffeine molecule or OH ion mixed in.

Plain water.

I don’t love drinking plain water. Go figure, I don’t like something that’s good for me. I much prefer it to be coffee or tea flavored. Lime or lemon in it is fine too. Lots of ice! Goodness give me ice.

While I can get past the part where I don’t like it all that much, I’ve gotten used to drinking it, but then I have to remember. I’m absolutely the person who doesn’t reach for water until she’s parched.

But I saw a picture of myself when I was drinking water on a more regular basis. My skin was so nice and I remember that I felt good. So I’m trying to do better with it. My goal is half of my body weight in ounces of water per day. I won’t lie, that’s a lot of water. I’ve only actually hit my goal 3 times so far in the month of October. If I hit about 75% of it, I consider it a win and don’t worry too much. If I’m below that, I chug a glass before bed.

Drinking all of that water means I have to pee all the time though. That means more trips to the ladies room which is more steps and less time for chit chat. (It also means I’m more aware of the fact that there is at least one female who uses the bathroom nearest my office who does not wash their hands after using the loo. Ick.)

So that tweet which got turned into a meme and I turned it into the graphic above? Totally true.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to tap a kidney and refill my 33 oz David Ortiz cup.

Would You Rather

Fotor_153818126433295It’s been awhile since we’ve played some Would You Rather around here, but N hit me with a good one the other night on the way home from Nik’s parents.

Hey Court? Would you rather only be able to shop at Hobby Lobby and be able to buy a lot of different kinds of things, OR only shop at Michael’s and not have access to new fun fabrics?

Jeesh kid. You know how to hit with those questions! She knows I have a love hate relationship with Hobby Lobby and only shop there when I absolutely have to do so. (Supply emergency for commissioned piece with a quick turn around, a very specific item, etc.)

They have some amazing supplies and materials to work with, but the owners are jackholes and we don’t like jackholes. (We’ve talked some about how they don’t support equal rights and try to make others live by their beliefs even if they don’t believe the same thing.)

She also knows that Michael’s can be limiting because they don’t have fabric.

I asked if I could just shop at Joann’s because although they don’t have some of the best supplies, they have a varied assortment, ran good sales, and I can make it work. Unfortunately, she is a rule follower and said I had to choose from the options.

Darn rules.

I decided that I’d have to go with Michael’s and source fabric only from reuse and upcycling. (She did say I could dye/paint my own fabric from sheets etc. but I wasn’t allowed to buy fabric from the internet or Walmart. Fair enough.)

I asked which she would do and she said she liked my reasoning and the reuse and upcycling would be good for recycling too.

How about you? Michael’s or Hobby Lobby? If you’re not a crafter you can think of it as “Limited supply” or “Against my political/personal beliefs”?

For what it’s worth, in this particular area, Hobby Lobby has done “some” good. They took up a decently sized storefront which had been empty for years, employ a pretty decent number of people, and seem to be following the EEOC rules. I still donate in the owner’s name to organizations they don’t support when I shop there.