An average day

This will be a walk through my day today, a tad random, a tad sporadic.

This will include lots of silly animal posts.

But let’s start with my alarm at 6 a.m. I let myself sleep in because my rest has been irregular. I’ve had mild bouts of insomnia brought on by stress and hormones so it was hard to get out of bed.

A French Dream

I woke from a dream I don’t quite fully remember but I remember when the alarm sounded, I was dreaming that I had reached the end of some sort of tour, while on a trip, and was ordering alcoholic beverages for everyone in my party in French. I think I was the only person who spoke French. And I really was speaking French. I don’t usually speak French in dreams.

Perhaps this stems from my executive director eating a vegetable sandwich on a croissant at the networking event we attended last night.

Speaking of work, today started better and I feel a little less discombobulated about my job. I have an important report due Friday and three grants I need to have ready by Valentine’s Day.

Then the high school called.

An automated message informed me that my child was not in school. Text to teenager, who left at 7:15 with a heavy backpack. “You in school?”

No response.

(A sign that she is in school and not on her phone.)

“The school just called. They don’t think you’re there.”

She responds. “Sh*t. I must have forgotten to sign in.”

I tell her to fix that and to text me a photo from the school office holding today’s newspaper. She didn’t respond to my comment, though she did tell me she talked to the attendance office.

I had lunch with a friend who always lightens my spirit and has intelligent conversation. I’ve worked so many hours this week, I need to remember to make these connections.

And you always need those friends who give good hugs. A friend who bakes brownies is also good.

The afternoon went quickly and I decided my teenager and I would have a picnic. I took the leftover pizza from last night and a big old salad and we ate it on my bed with all the animals out, normally (to my chagrin) the kittens are locked in my teenager’s room.

Menagerie tales

So the kittens ran through the whole house, up and down the stairs, up and down the hall.

And, of course, Nala, the cockatoo, refused to eat salad in favor of pizza. Video of Nala eating pizza

Then I hung laundry and watched Opie, our 3-legged cat, play with the kittens.

Videos:

Misty attacks Opie

Opie and the kittens

My sore arm and the gym

I opted not to go to the gym as I’m still not sure I’ve recovered my strength. That fall scared me. A lot.

(See Grit and getting published on The Mighty.)

I have noticed my right arm has that vaguely sore feeling like after you get an inoculation. I couldn’t figure out why. Then I remembered, I fell on that arm. And I also noticed a bruise on my elbow. And a new bruise and scratch on my leg.

Finally

After teenager and I gathered the trash, I hopped in the shower. I found the teen “trapped” on my bed with an Oz on her back.

And now I’m drinking a double stiff mug of Traditional Medicinals Nighty Nite Valerian tea.

The Pizza Weight Loss Plan

If you’re reading this after seeing the title and thinking I am proposing pizza as a fad diet, step away. I am joking. This is a light hearted, humorous piece about how Dominoes and Little Caesars have become my stress foods.

I can cook. I can cook well. But stress eating is a hobby of mine.

My daughter introduced me to Little Caesars as they have one pretty much across the street from her high school (and a block away from the other high school).

The pizza there is mediocre, the deep dish is pretty darn good, Crazy Bread is delicious and Im addicted to their cheesy jalapeƱo dip.

Now I can blame my current job for Dominoes. If our CEO orders pizza, it’s Dominoes because it’s close to the office and cheap.

When my teenager had ear tubes installed in November, she wanted pizza and I thought of Dominoes. She’d never had it before. And she found the pizza tracker extremely entertaining.

But now between the Parmesan bread bites and the seasoned crust, I’m a junky. I’ve been ordering Dominoes about once a week and Little Caesar’s about once a month.

Irony is, I’ve lost almost 3 pounds. But that’s stress. Not pizza.

Stress

I’m exhausted.

Obviously stress is in the air today. Nala ate through her perch in her cage. She has two, but only one runs the whole length of the cage and she ate the end off it.

She played with a bunch of her toys, so I don’t know whether to chalk it up to boredom, anxiety or rambunctiousness. But she’s been here about 16 days and she ate her perch.

I guess I need to find her some more toys. Although she does have a bunch.

She seems to be talking more and dancing more. Her favorite song is Angelina by Harry Belafonte.

Today I went through some medical bills, tax paperwork, a school fundraiser and some band trip stuff with my soon-to-be ex-husband. We all had dinner together. He brought a pizza.

Then I finished my chores. Laundry. Bird cages. Some vacuuming. The roomba would not go to home base. After an hour and with the battery almost dead I discovered why… the roomba had unplugged its own base while vacuuming.

And to make my day a little more demoralizing, I tripped over my own two feet walking between buildings at work. The administration offices and the literacy center are a block apart. And I just fell. I was hungry, probably worn thin from too much stress.

Someone across the street saw me, and yelled to see if I was alright. She was walking a very large dog. I got up and said I was fine. Barely even scraped my hands.

“Darn ice,” she said.

There was no ice. Just me and my faulty legs.

Sometimes I feel so healthy and strong.

Some days I feel so broken.

That is what it feels like to have cerebral palsy. Sometimes your body works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Failure

I want to talk for a minute about failure.

Sometimes I think we, as Americans in the 21st Century, stress too much and obsess too much about failure.

In the last six months, perhaps even the last year, I’ve hedged a lot of bets on new things. Some are simple things, like buying a car. Others are more complex, like accepting a new job and later a promotion into a position where I have no experience, only passion and my wits.

I enjoy new experiences, not everyone does. I love learning. I love challenges. I love some competition.

But with that comes failure. And sometimes we spend so much time on the failure that we don’t see how much progress we made before we failed.

It’s not even 9 a.m. on the last day of a long weekend. Probably my first relaxing long weekend since I started my new job in April. My time off prior to this was filled with parental duties or medical appointments.

Of course, I’ve slept in until 7 a.m. every day so the alarm tomorrow is going to be brutal. I have some very important projects on my desk and some meetings this week that also give me some concern.

The living room is completely dismantled, unpainted, and the furniture will arrive by the end of the week.

The teenager has a holiday concert on the same night I agreed to attend a party with my CEO. (In my defense, I thought she had her interior design class, which she does so she’s double-booked, too.)

Etc.

But this post is about failure.

If you look a few posts back, you’ll see that a good friend inspired me to buy The Whole 30. I read most of it, even did some grocery shopping, but never implemented it. It did force me to think more about what I was eating. I started tracking my macronutrients again and reducing my carbohydrates. Not in a low carb way. In a balanced way.

I am debating canceling my Planet Fitness membership. It’s been seven months and since school started, my teen and I have only gone 2-4 times a month. We both need it, but we’re not going. And I have free weights and the tools I need to get started again here at home. I joined the gym to motivate her and have more options since I’d maxed out at home.

So right now the gym is a failure, but at the same time fitness is very much on my mind and I wish I had it in me to resume my disciplined body building. (I did two or three home workouts this week. My goal is to break my bad habits before considering “New Year’s resolutions.”)

And finally, for the first time since I started making homemade bone broth a decade or so ago, I failed at that. For two days, I’ve had chicken bones from my freezer and the Thanksgiving turkey carcass in my crock pot. Somehow, overnight, ALL the liquid boiled off. ALL of it.

My “waste not, want not” attitude kicked in and mourned this tragedy. Then I remembered: I don’t like poultry broth. My daughter used to love chicken soup. But she doesn’t so much anymore. And I don’t really have room in the freezer. So maybe we didn’t need homemade soup right now.

Failure isn’t always bad. Sometimes it keeps you from expending energy in the wrong direction.

Not so Whole30

It’s hard to believe that in two more weeks I will be celebrating my six-month anniversary in my new job in the development office at ProJeCt of Easton.

Three months in, my husband and I separated. Four months in my boss gave notice. Almost five months in, I received a promotion. Last week, I asked my agency to hire an old acquaintance as a temporary event planner. Our signature fundraiser is six weeks away!

This summer I have written four grants, worked on two collaborative grants, and wrote a letter of interest for a grant. I have three more grants due in the next three weeks.

But in the midst of everything, I’ve had some amazing work adventures but I’ve noticed my natural energy and trips to the gym and being replaced by doughnuts and coffee.

It’s also Marching Band Season with my teenager in her third year in low brass. She’s struggling with a hectic schedule, her fitness waning and her old ear infections coming back. She has a raging one now according to the doctor at Patient First.

She has an appointment with her ENT practice on Thursday. I think she needs tubes. She had them about eight years ago. She needs them again.

My daughter and I both love carbohydrates. I have been weight training now for almost six years consistently and the only thing that keeps me from looking like a totally ripped badass is my weakness for sugar.

I consider myself a lazy bodybuilding princess. I don’t have the hard core discipline to work out daily, but I like to lift. I like results. I like to be strong. But I also like to be lazy.

So food plays into that too.

When my daughter was little, I heavily restricted her dairy hoping it would help clear her head of fluid.

Maybe I need to do that again.

My friend Bill Prystauk (of Crash Palace Productions, author of Bloodletting and Punishment) recommended the Whole30 for my daughter.

I can’t stop thinking about it so I bought the book.

But can we do it?

More to come…

My compost heap makes me happy

When my teen daughter still attended elementary school, I liked to garden. I have a small yard in an urban setting but it was enough to hold some herbs & a few vegetables.

I noticed quickly that my soil was mostly clay. To rectify this, I started composting.

I turned the area under my deck into my pile of decomposing refuse. I took a plastic coffee can with a lid and collected the compostables from our kitchen.

Now that plastic bucket gets stinky. But nothing a session with the hose can’t rectify.

The soil that this makes is so rich and dark.

It’s satisfying.

But it’s the “turning” that makes me happy. That’s when you periodically dig holes and bury your freshest fruit-and-vegetable bits to the bottom of the pile.

I have my own shovel and I love to dig and rearrange and mix all the different stages of compost.

It makes me happy.