Friday, March 30, 2018

Cough cough sniff sniff

I should have knocked on wood when I wrote #2 in last week's Five Things post about a bunch of things not going right because the "clusterfudge" (as I like to call them) continued that very day when I ended up coming down so sick with a cold. And not just any cold. This turned out to be the king of colds, a monster cold, the "you thought winter sick season was over but guess what" flu-like version of a cold. It may have been the worst cold I've ever had. It's only now, a full week later, that I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back to normal. This cold knocked me out all last weekend, and sapped me of strength and energy and life and joy for days after, and then when I thought I was getting better, on Wednesday my throat and chest hurt so much whenever I coughed that I thought I'd have to go to the doctor. It was so painful and I felt pretty sorry for myself, especially since I'm alone with Peter traveling during the week. I've been worried the boys would get it, but *knock on wood* they've been fine. 
I'm doing a lot better today (other than the cough and the croaky voice and the post-nasal drip and the hocking up...oh never mind!).

I just wanted to let you know what was going on with me.
On that lovely little note, Happy Easter!


Friday, March 23, 2018

Five Things For Friday

1. Spring break vacation was officially over with a resounding thud that scared the crap out of me (only I used a different word in my alarm 😕) when on Monday morning as I was driving Sam to school I turned a corner in my neighborhood too soon and ran over a big rock that scraped up the underside of the car on the back left passenger side. 😲 I still can't believe that happened! I really am a good driver and things like that don't happen to me! But, it happened. My denial that it wasn't too serious was officially over by that evening when various digital warnings kept popping up on the dashboard and I knew for sure that it was no longer safe to drive. So it's been a hassle, especially with Peter out of town, but now it's in the shop for a few weeks(!!) getting fixed and I have a pretty nice loaner car from the dealership to drive in the meantime. Along with a soon-to-be higher insurance premium. 😢

2. Often in my life I've seen a pattern where a bunch of challenging things happen together at around the same time, about three or four times a year. This year started out that way, remember that? It's like a big shake-up and then everything goes back to normal. I guess I prefer it over hard things being sprinkled throughout regularly, like every few weeks or something, but it sure isn't fun no matter when it happens.

Recently I've been going through one of these clusters--in less than a month the following things have happened: the whole family got norovirus, I sprained one of my toes really bad and it hurt to wear shoes and I walked with a limp for over a week, the difficult decision about moving or not needed to be made, some issues in my personal life came to a head, and the bottom of my car collided with a rock. That has to be the end of it! Although...

I'm steeling myself for the next few weeks while also trying to be optimistic: over the next week or two, people will be coming in to fix up the house and paint rooms and steam clean the carpets and get it ready to go on the market, and I'll be doing unenjoyable things like that too, and our comfortable routines and schedules will be out of whack, and then comes the joy of having the house on the market and constantly trying to keep it clean and show-worthy and living life around showings and open houses, hoping someone will make an offer, but what if nobody does, etc. So there may be another "cluster" coming, but maybe things will go smoothly and it won't be so bad. (Right?!) 🤞

Having said all that, I'll take those challenges over the much more difficult things that I know other people are going through. Also, there have been good things at the same time as the hard things, like John's birthday, our spring break vacation, gratitude for a body that functions well and heals itself, and the peace that comes from having (finally) made the decision to move. 

But still! Rain, rain go away. (Even though I love rain...just not the figurative kind.)

3. That's enough of the heavy stuff, now on to lighter fare. Or actually darker in this case: This week I've been having a hard time getting up in the mornings because it's so dark out from Daylight Saving Time. This is our adjustment week to that since we were on a cruise in the Caribbean last week so it really made no difference then. So I've been pretty sleepy and tired this week. 😴 (Maybe that's why I ran over a rock?!)

4. This really is lighter fare: I saw this the other day and it's literally been making me LOL. 


There were some other funny ones I saw too. I have to get this hilarious-looking Cat Shaming book!

5. I discovered a delicious new treat this week: Trader Joe's Chocolate-Filled Crepes. They're so good! I've been a little disappointed by some of their specialty dessert items in the past, but these definitely don't disappoint! They taste like the scrumptious chocolate crepes my friend and roommate Laura used to make in college. I used to crave those crepes, and now I can crave these ones. They're dee-lish!

Fun fact: today is the 18th anniversary of my first date with Peter! It happened at a nice little Italian restaurant in downtown Philadelphia called Ristorante San Carlo. We rode there in a taxi and he gave me a red rose and a white rose. I tried calamari for the first time and he agreed to read The Book of Mormon, and the rest is history! 
I think I'll "make" some crepes for us to celebrate. 😉


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Brody Al Fresco

Our cats are indoor cats and always have been (well, ever since they were taken in as homeless kitties, that is). When we got them from the shelter in Connecticut, we had to sign a contract saying we'd keep them indoors because too many cats get lost, hurt, or killed when they go outside. I was fine with this and I actually preferred it, but I know sometimes that many indoor cats would love to go outside. They are animals, after all. Brody especially would often try to sneak outside and sometimes he made it, but fortunately he stuck around the perimeter of the house (except for one notable time in Connecticut when he escaped out into the woods around our house and was gone for a day and I was beside myself with grief over it, and then he showed up meowing to be let in and everything was right in the world again! #neveragain). 

Anyway, one lovely day last June I took Brody on a supervised trip outside. I knew he wouldn't run away, especially since he didn't have his usual feisty level of energy (sadly). I'm so glad I did this; he really enjoyed it, and it was so nice to see him luxuriate in the great outdoors, and I love the pictures I took that day. They are treasures for me now, as is the memory of that sweet experience.

The warm pavement must have felt so good. 😽

Brody loved Boo Boo. 😚 He was the cat who really wanted to be a dog.


Regal. 👑 Sometimes you can see why ancient Egyptians worshipped cats.

The imitation game...

A close-up of Brody's boyfriend. 😻 Or "boo-friend" as I liked to call him, since his name is Boo Boo. I know, I'm a genius.

I like to imagine and I truly do believe that this is what Brody is experiencing in heaven every day now, alongside Christy and Yogi. As wonderful as it must be, I hope that Boo Boo and Bentwood and Violet won't be joining them anytime soon.

I miss him so much! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Catio

Brody and Bentwood loved hanging out together on the "catio" when the weather was nice. These pictures are from last June, and because we left for the summer at the beginning of July and Brody tragically passed away a few weeks later, these are my last picture of him in one of his favorite spots. 


One day Brody was sticking his tongue out while he rested. This was a pretty good symbol for how he usually seemed to feel about me. 😝 

But how I loved him anyway! If anything, even more so! (Much to his dismay.)

Bentwood is such a sweet, mellow, good-natured cat, which makes him popular with the pet professionals. When I take him to the vet for check-ups, techs will come in just to pet him and say hi because they like him so much. Same with when I board him. He really is a sweetheart.

This one on the other hand...
"Leave me alone, I'm layin' in my sun spot."

Sun-habilitation...I really do think the fresh air and sunshine helped him feel better.
When you find that sleeping position that's just right...

 I miss this view so much.

I've found this to be so true in my life:
"Time spent with cats is never wasted."
-Sigmund Freud

Monday, March 19, 2018

June 2017 was a Good Month

We had a great time on our cruise last week! I'll try to do some blog posts about it within a year. LOL.

Random happenings from last June...

We went to the boys' favorite playground the week school got out.

Things I bought from the Iowa Arts Festival downtown. I was pleased with my finds and purchases.
 Shopping can be rewarding!

It was time to replace my navy blue Saltwater sandals after a few years of wearing the same ones.
I LOVE THESE SANDALS! They're comfortable, cute, and you can wear them with almost anything.

A healthy orange lunch of steamed baby carrots and a sweet potato. Oompa-loompa approved.

The neighborhood mailhouse viewed from my car. It was a pretty day.

Peter and I had our 15th anniversary on June 15th. Our golden anniversary! 💑 
We went out to a really nice French restaurant for dinner, and he sent me this delicious Edible Arrangements that the whole family enjoyed.
A little bit of England in Iowa City. 💓

My organizing project for June was to go through all of the magazine articles I've saved over the years, clean them out, and organize the keepers into binders.

The three-hole punch got a lot of action, and little paper dots followed me around the house all month.


This wasn't a useless project because I enjoy collecting and curating useful and interesting information, and I refer to my "info binders" regularly, which is a lot easier to do now that the articles are organized and accessible instead of piling up in the boxes that many of them were in for years.

Paper dots all vacuumed up!

  My project room is one of my happy places. I love it! 
 I've had the cream-colored dresser ever since I was 13 years old (John's age!). The tall wooden bookshelf was a wedding gift from my dad. And the glider chair is the one I used for my babies.

 John loves his dad.

Sam positioned this stuffed dog (Buddy) from The Secret Life of Pets so that it could watch him play on his iPad. I thought it was cute.

 The heart of the home.

I don't remember why I took random pictures around the house, but I'm feeling nostalgic now since we'll be moving this summer so I'm going to include them in this post. I love my house and it's going to be hard to leave it.
This is such a cozy place to read and be surrounded by books. I love this spot. It's another one of my happy places. Perhaps our new house will have an actual library? A lady can dream!

I love our yard and the scenery around it. How pretty is this? I wish there were a way to bring it all with us.
I paused the DVR while watching an episode of Grantchester and this is what it paused on. Sid looked so cute!

Doggies at rest.

The boys built this big fort on a Sunday morning.

Church bags and other things lined up for church that day.
 The flowers were for a Sharing Time I was teaching about the Word of Wisdom. I poured a can of root beer on them as an object lesson about putting good things into our bodies, not bad. I gave the flowers away to my neighbor-friend up the hill (who happened to be the Primary secretary) and they survived longer than I thought they would!

Speaking of putting good things into our bodies, these cookies are so good. 😄

 Sam thought this was so funny. Look closely at what's keeping Buddy the dog attached to the two-headed dragon and maybe you'll agree.

The fridge was pretty cleared out before we left for Massachusetts for the summer. I like to use up everything perishable that I can in the weeks before we go. Waste not, want not!

Shoes lined up on the stairs. I thought the evening light shining in on them was pretty.

Summer wreath on the front door.

June is one of my favorite months of the year, and last June didn't disappoint. It turned out to be our last month with Brody too, which makes me feel all the more fond of it.