Sunday, December 21, 2014

I ate half a block of welsh cheddar today and it was marvelous too

I love the holidays, but I don't have much to say about them.  My favorite thing to do is to put together is a good old fashioned stocking -- finding just the right silly and tasty treats out of the BAZILLION possible options is a delight to me.  I'm pretty sure that Southern Season "grocery" store (NOBODY actually buys their daily groceries there in full right?!) was built to enable Christmas stocking treats.  I hope I can pass on my love of giving things to others to Freddie -- saying that in writing makes me sound like the least humble person ever, now that I think about it.  OH YES LET ME PASS ON MY GENEROSITY, HO HO HO GO ME.  Geez.  Oh well.  Giving gifts is marvelous.  It just IS.  It warms the cockles of my cold cold heart.

Speaking of hearts that DON'T grow however many sizes bigger, don't get me started on my Elf on the Shelf-grinch-hater stance.  Nope.  I'm only going to talk about nice things.  Sugar plum opinions only, that's me!

Cocoa is marvelous and nice.  I wrote a review of cocoa a little while ago for the RVANews Holiday Guide, and it's possibly my favorite piece of my work all year.  I know, a cocoa review, whatever right?  But it was the one chance I got to go out, sit down in a coffeeshop, and write with zero interruptions and I just felt ON IT.  I just had a lot of fun writing it.  So if you're into cocoa and jokes, I'll just point you in the direction of my Cocoa Quest.

ETA: I use the word just WAY too much.  Just way too much.

Friday, December 19, 2014

All I want for Christmas is to be Anne Lamott

When you can step back at moments like these and see what is happening, when you watch people you love under fire or evaporating, you realize that the secret of life is patch patch patch. Thread your needle, make a knot, find one place on the other piece of torn cloth where you can make one stitch that will hold. And do it again. And again. And again.

-Anne Lamott, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair

Saturday, December 13, 2014

New career: Humbug exterminator

Don't Bug Me -- Fiffibella @ Threadless

My second batch of holiday cards intended mostly for family got rerouted to North Carolina, I got a big dental bill which we need to pay pronto if we want to try to deduct it from this year's taxes, heating a house with oil is like heating a house with PURE GOLD, and someone stole my debit card information and went on a shopping spree at the local Bed Bath & Beyond (infuriating since I need new sheets and was holding off because of the cost, ha) and Office Max ($200 of Post-Its I guess?).  Whatever.  I'm going to go buy a tree tonight and it's going to be HOLLY and JOLLY, because I refuse to let the humbugs get me down.  I am the humbug exterminator.  I REFUSE TO LET THE HUMBUG INFESTATION CONTINUE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Flotsam & Jetsam

Thoughts that would otherwise be just extremely short posts, quilted together here for your convenience.

Out of focus, yes.  Cute, also yes

-Gold baby moccasins are cute, but not $60 cute.  Full stop.

-I have visions of making citrus/pine bough decorations, but I really need them to make themselves.

-Me reading Real Simple: "None of these people own real dogs do they?"  As though aside from that one thing, it's an accurate portrayal of life.

-My in-laws (bless them) are visiting this week, including during one of the days I have off (in place of Saturday since it was a Saturday Librarian weekend for me).  Patrick was all, 'You could go and have a day to yourself somewhere!  Zone out in Lamplighter or something all day if you want, that's why they're coming, to help us out!  Treat yoself!' but then I remembered that I need to pump, and I have an electric pump, and I suspect nobody would be pleased if I lugged my pump to see Mockingjay and was all "YO, anybody see an outlet anywhere in here?"  There's probably a French word for this feeling of futility -- Je Suis La Jeune Fille?  (Should mention that everything I know about French I learned from that Muzzy commercial...)

-We bought a brand new couch yesterday like motherfucking adults.  I am so excited for it to arrive, less excited about the cost, but really super excited about banning the dogs from the living room forever and ever amen to protect my prize tired-flopping place.

-The DeRoche house has been budgeting with YNAB for almost three months and I'm really pleased, and also I am a really boring person who blogs about how many months she's been using a budgeting system.  WOE.

-Yes, college guy in coffeeshop I'm overhearing, mansplain to that other student you're with what it's like to be a mom.  Sure!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Living arrangements

These three (soon to be four!) days off have been immensely refreshing.  I feel like if all weeks could be three-day-work-weeks I'd be a very balanced, calm, put-together person...said everyone on the planet who works full-time.  But you guys, I even raked the yard.  RAKED. THE. YARD.  That's how much I accomplished, that I was like, you know what could still be done?  Those leaves everywhere could be raked up.  And then I did it!  I feel like I need to put a sign out on my door saying "LOOKIT LOOKIT LOOKIT I RAKED.  I AM CONTRIBUTING TO THE UPKEEP OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD!"

Now if only I could contribute better to the upkeep of this darned house's interior.  There are times when I think it'd be better to pay someone to come and clean, but then I say eff it and clean and clean it myself, but it always seems to be a bit of a wash.

Not that kind of wash (that is, the best kind).  It's ridiculously hard to keep this place looking shiny when age and previous neglect of the place cause the need for more repairs and remodels and paint jobs than I plan on sinking into a home I don't own and the repair of which I don't benefit from long-term.  But don't get me started on the to-own-again-or-not-to-own-again debate.  Hello, headache.

In the!  

Sunday, November 23, 2014



So much programming!  And with that comes a certain amount of marketing.  My goal for 2015 is to learn how to do some basic quilting, and I decided English paper piecing would be a good place to start.  And what better way to force yourself to learn how to do something than to plan a teen library program about that thing?  Behold, both my first attempt at paper piecing, and my marketing-to-teens effort, all in one fell swoop!  I'm kind of proud of it.  BEHOLD MY CREATION!  


(The larger original HD version looked prettier, but still!  Also, it's been edited to remove my personal library's information.) 

I've had several people ask me about my organizational skills at work lately, which leaves me quietly chuckling and shaking my head because I am running on so little sleep these days that to do anything less than color-code every aspect of my work would leave me with a messy mess of messiness.  This is not a humble-brag.  At least, I don't think it is.  I don't think I've done anything exceptional!  Color coded documents and Wunderlist are how I survive.  Also coffee.  Now I know why offices have those terrible coffee pods: because when you're legit tired all the time, you don't care how bad the coffee is.


We tried taking family photos for Christmas cards.  I think there's a law that says babies will only smile when it's sure to be out of focus.  Behold, outtakes! 

Hah!  Out of focus or not, we have a good time, we three.

Freddie had her 4-month appointment and I've started supplementing formula.  It's been emotionally tough (whole lotta guilt, however unnecessary it is) but I also want an alive baby, so if I can't give her as much as she needs from me, this is how it has to be.  I tried my best.  As the pediatrician pointed out, trying anything more than what I was doing was going to stress me out further and pretty much negate the whole point.  On the bright side, it means Patrick can take over a night feed now, so maybe I will get just a little more sleep.  




Topic change.

It has warmed the cockles of my cold cold heart to see the way people react to Patrick in public when he's carrying her.  He's always elicited raised eyebrows, side-eyes, and general weirded-out shifty-eyed looks because he's this grungy beardy scruffy guy who may have a smokes hookup (answer: no, he doesn't).  But put a red-haired charming baby in his hands and POOF, old people are smiling at him and people see him in this whole other light.  It is a palpable change.  I've gone grocery shopping with this guy who gets the stink-eye for his appearance often enough to notice when it suddenly disappears!  The suspicious "is this guy high?" (answer: no) side-eyes are entirely gone when he's with her.  He's told me plenty of times he loves taking Freddie out with him because of the different attention.  It's kind of adorable.  Plus, I think they're both in love:


Parenthood is exhausting.  But my heart feels so full.  Like the feeling of cooking a big meal, and then being sated by it (gee, timely simile?).  I snatch the quiet moments when I can.  I'm slowly reading adult books between the board books.  It's funny and probably telling that I don't have a lot to say in this third section of this hodgepodge entry.  Am I disappearing into parenthood?  I don't think so.  But I am awfully tired.  I think the tiredness is what makes me not want to do as much, not any newfound lack of caring.  If anything, I feel really comfortable in this parental role.  I feel like this is a skin I can live in, this mama skin.  But sure, sometimes my greatest joy is taking a hot shower with some rose jam.  My interests and thoughts about complicated things have been put on hiatus.  Patrick and I went out to the Magpie two weeks ago and at first I was like, dude, I can't even think of things to say besides "I AM SO TIRED."  But real thoughts...they will come back eventually, when this heady newborn time has passed.  Oh god, she's 4.5 months, is it gone already?!  Anyway.  Until someday a little later when I'm less immediately tired, I'll take pleasure in the little things: hot rose-scented showers, a new coat, those Trader Joe's sweet potato biscuits.  Small pleasures to tide me over until I can get my brain working regularly and can articulate things better, and can in general be a full human again.  I'm still getting my sea-legs.  

Oh yeah and sometimes I almost get eaten by pilgrim chipmunks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Good things

That last entry was kind of a bummer, right?  Let's talk about good things.
  • Got about 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep from 2-8am today.  Oh weekend, glorious weekend.
  • I'm transferring to a slightly closer, larger library branch within my system, and assuming slightly more responsibility -- my talent in life is apparently changing things up as soon as I get any sort of routine going, right?
  • Patrick just brought me a plate of crackers & cheese
  • I think we're going to solve our "dogs are driving me insane" problem by baby-gating the living-room and getting a new loveseat.  I will end their reign of terror!  By which I mean, their reign of sleeping on and ruining the couch once we started hanging out in bed all day upstairs with the baby in July.  The one drawback to taking the TV out of the living room is that in cutting down our TV-time in there, the dogs sort of took it to mean that HAY THIS IS OUR ROOM NOW K.
  • I think I'm going to take up quilting.  I want to learn and I'm going to do it.  English paper piecing seems to be the easiest place to start.  
  • I pitched a story about finding the best cocoa in town!  And it's totally happening!  I get the best freelance gigs.  PAY ME TO DRINK COCOA!  I will always say yes!
  • There is still a lot of cheese on this plate -- om nom nom