Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stuff I'm into for 2014

Not goals, not resolutions, not even traditions just stuff I think has been/would be fun

1) Default to vegetarian weekdays
This started because I have steel cut oats for breakfast every morning, salad more often than not for lunch and then I’m too lazy to wait for meat to thaw for dinner. It’s great as a default, but doesn’t force me into anything. So if I’m craving a burger that’s what I have, but when I don’t want to think it’s probably going to be roasted veggies

2) Perfect sweater 
Amy Herzog has a book, a craftsy class (both of which I own) and now even a website/tool that can build out a pattern for a sweater perfect for ME (or you or whomever uses it). I am going to buy the yarn and make myself a chimera, but before I do that I have a giant pile of black/grey valley yarns yarn to make a work appropriate, fitted sweater. We’ll see how that goes. 

 3) Bike-able Saturdays 
Most Saturdays I ride my bike for as many errands as possible. This is limited only by my fitness. Usually this means hitting the farmers market and sometimes the library or some other local attraction. I just need to get a basket for my bike 

4) More Californian adventures 
California is a HUGE state and there are tons of cool things to see and do. This year I’d love to do a little bit more, go a little bit further out of my 15 mile daily trek to and from work. I’m thinking Yosemite, the redwoods, a museum or two and a few more hikes. 

 5) Plan the piano I want to re-learn how to play the piano before I turn 30 so I’m running out of time. Unfortunately there is nowhere to put a keyboard in my house. I have looked at some options and I’m not sure what the solution will be, but I’m hoping to solve this problem by march.

What are you into? 

Thursday, December 26, 2013


There are a couple fo people that I am considering my heroes for 2013. First there is A and E (married couple) who were the connections I exploited to help me get a job at a big company doing some interesting things. I realize that a connection doesn’t get you a job, but a good connection is the best way to find a good job and the two of them made 2013 move in so many ways.

Then there is Jill. You see I ended up moving in July, right after teachers get out for summer break. Many teachers decide to pick up a summer gig to supplement themselves for the summer and Jill absolutely could do that, instead she joined me on a cross country journey. Since Jim had not acquired any vacation time by the time I left I was going to have to drive alone thousands of miles. This scared me. I am not good at driving long stretches alone without getting tired especially day after day after day. Jill to the rescue. I convinced her (though honestly she needed very little convincing because she is amazing) to join me. We drove for about a week and spent some time gallivanting around the bay area and she was the most patient, kind person the entire time. We had fun, we laughed, I cried and not once did she complain that I had dragged her across the country.

 Sure none of these people “saved my life” in the TV drama sort of way, but I owe all three of them my 2013 and will be forever grateful for their willingness to help a girl out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 and 2014

Obviously, I haven’t had much to say over here in awhile, but really that is because there was too much to say, too much of a story and not enough interesting/poignant ideas to discuss.

 So let me start by looking back at the end of 2012 beginning of 2013. 2012, despite my clear intentions of creating some thoughtful traditions, turned out to be a bad year. I can’t pinpoint for you anything specific, other than some job losses in the family, it was just an all-around awful year that ended with the death of another grandparent. 2012 made me I accept that 2013 was going the be the year that it wanted to be no matter what I did, so I focused on enjoying things, really trying to have some fun and while I wouldn't call it a massive success, some major changes occurred and I have found success throughout it.

First, the health drama: Back in March I found a bump, which turned out to be a tumor (thank goodness a non-cancerous one). That involved multiple visits to specialists, ultrasounds, biopsy and finally surgery followed by a couple weeks of pain, discomfort and some very impressive bruising. I would show you the bruising but it’s an “explicit” body part that I’d rather not have plastered on the interwebs.

Again, I came out of there without a life-threatening diagnosis so I am more than grateful that all it turned out to be was a harmless, though annoying growth.

Then the job drama: Shortly after that I was offered the chance ot interview for a position at a big company with the possibility of moving sometime in the future. All of that went well and “the future” ended up being July. I moved from MA to CA in July (I’ll tell the whole roadtrip story another time).

All during this time Jim had finally landed a job at a decent, honest, worthwhile company that paid him for his true value. Now Jim is not a complainer, but I can truly say that he has not worked for an honest institution since the day we met, so this was a blessing. Unfortunately, it was also a curse because he started right before my interview process and there was no way I would ask him to leave that situation and move to the unknown thousands of miles away. So he stayed to finish up selling the house.

You see I had reached a point where I felt that I would never get out of my house. Now, it’s not that I didn't like it, I did. My gardens were my joy and nothing made quite as happy as eating asparagus and tomatoes and peppers, etc straight from the garden. BUT at some point the house went from a home, the place where my heart resided, to an unforgiving anchor holding me in new England. The house came to represent none of the good things, none of the good choices and none of the progress I had made in life and instead became the burden of every mistake and bad choice I had made for 27 years.

Onto the housing drama: Now, I said that Jim stayed to finish selling the house because it sort of fell in our laps. We had put our house on Zillow years ago with a “make us move” price, knowing full well it was well over market value. Well, eventually market value started to creep upwards and someone really wanted our specific neighborhood so we negotiated a way to sell the house without owing more than we sold it for. This is a level of relief I can’t explain.

So as of today I have moved from New England, to CA from 1800+ square feet to 280- square feet of living space and it has been a transition, but even that transition was wonderful. I found a cottage, really an in-law suite, to rent in CA. It provides enough living space for me and the people that live in the house in front let me do laundry for free, I have parking and I still live in suburbs 15 minutes from work. My commute has definitely gone down in beauty and up in stress level, but it has been wonderful so far. The property where I reside has apple, plum, fig, lemon and orange trees along with a grape vine and enough lavender for a lifetime and even some rosemary. All it needs is a beehive and a chicken coop and I might be in my suburban heaven.

Except I’m alone. I have lived with family or roommates basically my entire life and I have always been ok with that idea. I have never had a husband that didn't share in chores around the house (in fact I’m probably the one that should be complained about). My full thoughts about living alone are for another day, but so far, I am doing mostly great.

Onto 2014. As previous posts have explained, I despise resolutions, but I do believe in progress as a person and traditions that support progression. So the question is how do I want to progress? Great question, answers for another day.