January 28, 2009

(almost) endless list on a snowday

I always get that kiddish delight when I wake up and discover that schools are closed because of a snowstorm.

Here's my list of things to do on a snowday.
  1. Wake up at 5.45; it's still dark. There's no way to see what's outside without actually getting out of bed, which doesn't appeal to you. Turn on the TV instead, and wait for the school closings to roll across the bottom of the screen. Hold your breath till it gets to L for Lower Merion. It's there (!). Realize, seconds later, that Philly schools are also closed. Immediately send a quick email from your blackberry to your sister (who's a teacher) saying "yay yay yay" because you know she waits all year for a snowday, and finally it is here.
  2. Quickly get up, shower, get dressed and do your toilette.
  3. Go to kitchen and start breakfast. Add buckwheat to the oatmeal cause you recently heard it was very Good For You.
  4. Make a pot of tea. Eat a quick breakfast. (You like the buckwheat in the oatmeal and today you've tried Lapsong Souchon tea, which you never thought you liked because of its very smokey flavor, but you realize you love it! Remind yourself of the importance of Always Trying New Things, even at this age.)
  5. Work for a couple of hours, sipping yummy tea, while your child hangs out in his pajamas and watches a few TV shows about dinosaurs. Realize, even though you are not listening, that there are a few new theories about how the dinosaurs went extinct.
  6. Polish your silver candlesticks just cause they are there and they need it. Put new candles in and light them. Admire their beauty.
  7. Take up an offer from your child to go out and make a snowman. After all, how many snowdays do you get? Go to the cellar and hunt through your winter storage box to find your snowpants, a favorite hat you forgot about and some good waterproof gloves. Say a quiet "yay" to yourself when the snowpants fit. Appreciate the swishy sound the snowpants make when you walk, it's like music (anyone wearing snowpants makes that noise, even extremely skinny people).
  8. After layering up properly and blowing out the candles, go outside and realize the icy sleety snow on the ground is not the correct kind for snowman-making. Suggest to your child taking a walk on your favorite trail. When your child agrees, set off.
  9. Appreciate the quiet and the newness of the trail (no one has walked here yet) and the crunchy sound the shoes make with each step. Wonder over the fact that your child's footprints are as big as yours. Enjoy the walk, the talk and the beauty. It's not often things look like this, snowy and ice covered. Think about the movie "The Ice Storm."
  10. Arrive back home, relight candles, make more tea, engage in optional activity for rest of day. (For me it's back to work.)

January 24, 2009

Five reasons to love Emma

Since it is Emma's birthday today, I'm taking the chance to list the reasons she is so great. I met Emma only two years ago when I moved back to the States. She is an incredible person. Here is why:

  1. She took me completely under her wing when we met.
  2. She is tons of fun, always up for whatever adventure you suggest. And she's pretty good at finding fun in the daily ratrace.
  3. She is a good person. She never talks about anyone in a negative way. And she gives people the benefit of the doubt.
  4. She is very generous, not necessarily with money, but with her time, energy and just herself. Sometimes she comes over with apple spice cake or Swedish cheese from IKEA. Just for the heck of it.
  5. She encourages me to exercise and eat right, just by setting a good example, not by lecturing me.
Emma, if you are reading this, happy birthday!! Much love to you...

January 20, 2009

what hurts me today

What was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind when I chose to do two back-to-back weight-training classes yesterday at the gym. The first was "Abs and Arms" and the second was "Body Pump." I felt pretty good at the time, but I am paying dearly now.

Here is a list of the top three places on my body where I have the most pain:
  1. Thighs - I can barely climb the steps
  2. Stomach - from low to high, even breathing hurts.
  3. The sides of my lower back - are they called my obliques?

But it's good pain, not bad. I've already decided to go back for more tomorrow.

January 16, 2009

Seven things to do on a very cold day

Brrrrrrr. A cold spell is upon us. Here are seven things to do on one of the coldest days of the year.
  1. Dress in comfortable clothes.
  2. Pick your favorite place in the house.
  3. Light lots of candles.
  4. Prepare a pot of tea.
  5. Get one or two blankets and drape them over yourself.
  6. Extra important: Call your kitty and make sure she curls up on your blanket. And purrs.
  7. Engage in optional activity: work, read, do the crossword, watch tv.

Sheer bliss....

January 14, 2009

keep only what you use and love

A friend invited me to a women's networking lunch today. Not really my cup of tea, but what the heck, I figured.

Gosh, I was a fish out of water. The idea was to split into small groups and present yourself in 60 seconds -- a sort of speed dating, network style. I have to say this is not my strong side. It went OK though.

Until, in one of the sessions, while it was my turn, I panned the table to make eye contact with all my polite networking "sisters," when I came to one women, whose eyes were completely focused on someplace far away. I froze. I completely lost my train of thought and filled the silence with the sloppy uttering of random words. I'm sure those women were thinking, "Wow, she's supposed to be a writer but she can't even compose an intelligible sentence, poor thing."

Oh well, I don't have the time for new clients anyway.

One salvagable thing from the day was this list from a presentation of how to be (and stay) organized.

  1. Remove all clutter (could be a big job)
  2. Keep only what you use and love (wds to live by!)
  3. Give everything a place to "live"
  4. Take time (every day) to put things back in their place
Pretty basic stuff.

Not a total loss. And guess what? we had a lot of laughs on the way home.

January 13, 2009

a well intentioned list to start

Until now, I’ve only blogged in my head. So here I go, launching my real-life blog.

My theme is “mostly lists” because I think in lists; I number my thoughts. There’s something so comforting about making a list. And guess what? i’m more inclined to make ‘em than to stick to ‘em. A list of any rank, though, is always made on a nice piece of card using the Perfect Pen (and it's ok — no, encouraged — to doodle and get creative with the tick-off squares, circles, etc). So this digital listing is a new thing, and I’ll see if it works.

Let’s call my maiden entry a list of intentions for the year; this term is a less committed than resolution. Two weeks into January I feel it’s not too late.

  • Start a blog (ahem)
  • Get fitter (be able to do five pull-ups by year-end; in fact, i have a bet on with my brother in law)
  • Devote more time to working with my hands, artistic endeavors, maybe learn to weld.
  • Try 40 new recipes.
  • Be more patient with everyone, especially myself.
  • Write letters, the real kind, especially to people I’m out of touch with. At least one a month.
  • Consume more books, movies, plays, art, more, and less energy.
  • Help people in need.
  • Give more.