Food decisions are hard

I almost wish I didn’t care how food tastes.  This is not a diet post (I can handle eating normal portions (and handle it when I eat other-than-normal portions)).  This is about decision fatigue.  There are too many choices!  Every day I have to make a decision about where I’m going to get lunch, and every night, John and I have to decide what we’re having for dinner.  We have too many choices and too many decisions to make.  We bring it on ourselves, I know.  We NEVER go to the grocery store, so we have almost no food in the house.  If we had food in the house, we’d have fewer choices about what to eat (which would make the decisions easier), but getting food into the house involves making choices about what to get, and – WORSE – it means making choices about what we’re going to eat DAYS IN ADVANCE.  That’s just crazy.

If all food tasted the same, this wouldn’t be a problem.  Somebody should get on that.

It was great

I had a glorious weekend.  So much time to READ.  Tempting as it was, though, I didn’t read ALL weekend.  I did some stuff for others – I spent a couple of hours on Saturday trying on bridesmaid dresses and taking pictures of them (or notes where pictures weren’t allowed) for Emily (no, you may not see those pictures), and I helped John test out his new recording toy.  (I may have enjoyed doing both of those things, but that doesn’t change the fact that I did them primarily to help John and Emily.)  On Saturday afternoon, John and I went for a run together, something we haven’t done in a while.  I think I enjoy it more than he does.  (I’ve heard I sometimes talk too much.  I don’t know who starts these rumors.)  But Sunday?  Yeah, I spent hours and hours reading.  It was heavenly.

I guess it made a lot of money

John and I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture last night.  The theory (not counting the new reboot and its sequel) is that the even-numbered Star Trek movies are good, and the odd-numbered ones are bad.  Before last night, the only one I’d ever seen was the one with the whales (the fourth one – one of the supposed good ones).  Question: if the first one (the one we just watched) was so bad, why would the studio ever agree to make a second?  And I have to say, it wasn’t very good.  It was the slowest-paced movie I think I’ve ever seen.  Not a lot of plot going on for a movie over two hours long.

I’m trying to distract myself from the fact that it’s a beautiful sunny October Saturday and no one is coming by to look at our house.  I keep reminding myself that it’s okay.  Really.  I got out this morning to do some bridesmaid dress scouting for Emily (found some nice ones), and I want to go for a run this afternoon (it’ll be a nice change to run in daylight again), and I have a whole list of things I’d like to do today and tomorrow.  Distractions abound.  I just need them to work so I can stop obsessing.

My new obsession

The new Athleta catalog came today.  I want everything in it.  (I bought a sleeveless dress last spring – love it.)  They have a whole travel clothes section, and just looking at the pictures makes me want to pack up and GO.  I’d like to be a well-dressed (but still comfortable) traveler.  I want to go for walks in fields and hikes in forests and strolls on wintery beaches wearing the chicest of chic travel clothes.  (Hell, I’d dress like the Von Trapps crossing the Alps if I thought I’d be warm and comfortable enough.  Who needs chic?)

I would totally wear Liesl’s hat.

Of course, there are some ridiculous assumptions in their descriptions.  They’ve got a cowl neck tunic-length cashmere sweater (beautiful, of course, and not cheap), but the description assumes you’re going to want to wrap yourself in it after your workout.  Who would put that on when they’re still sweaty from a workout?  Maybe they mean you’d want to wear it after you shower, but then it’s just clothes, not post-workout clothes.  And the picture shows a woman in a yoga studio with her mat hanging from her shoulder while wearing that sweater.  I get sweaty during yoga, but maybe she doesn’t.  Maybe if I had 15 cowl neck cashmere sweaters, I’d feel comfortable designating one to be my sweaty post-workout comfy sweater.  Maybe.

For your viewing enjoyment

Riley keeping watch for squirrels:

Riley saying hi:

Right this very minute, he’s curled up in a ray of sunshine on the floor, feet twitching while he dreams.

He’s doing really well.  Still not eating enough, but he does eat and he’s keeping it all down.  He gets tired easily, but he starts out with lots of energy, so that doesn’t seem too worrisome, either.  (Hopping everywhere you go takes a lot out of you.  I know.  I tried.)  He’s having blood drawn this evening to check on his cell counts, and the next round of chemo is next week.  I’ll keep you posted.

What’s the rush?

I’m running out of steam on this house-selling business, which is silly, really.  It’s only been seven days, and the only thing I have to do is leave work occasionally to take the dog for a walk while people look at our house.  Hardly taxing.  We’re not in any hurry to sell – we don’t have any deadlines.  It would be nice to get rid of the mortgage, but I’m okay with putting off the actual move (that’s hard work).  I’m not sure how I have any steam to run out of, actually.  What would the steam be for?  If I have steam, I should put it to better use (like to Step 4).  This steam metaphor is putting Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion” in my head.  After years of silence, I’ve heard it twice in the last few weeks – once on my mix tape and once at IHOP (we had pancakes for dinner on John’s birthday).

Now that I’ve established how little use I have for steam where the sale of the house is concerned, I will take a deep breath, enjoy the quiet of a clean and uncluttered house, and relax.  Om mani padme hum.

Free time? Is that really you?

I’d been hoping this would happen, and it finally has!  Kind of.  Keeping the house clean is easier than emptying it, rearranging it, and cleaning it, so after what feels like forever (and what was probably only a little over a month), I’m enjoying some time to myself.  Well, restful time with John, but when we’re both happily ensconced in our own activities, that’s basically the same thing.  We spent all of Saturday hanging out together – the morning (pre-open house) cleaning, the afternoon (during the open house) having a family photo taken, and then having a cupcake and coffee at a little cupcake place with outdoor seating, so Riley could drape himself over our feet and enjoy all the attention he got from passers-by.  What’s this about a family photo, you say?  We donated to our local volunteer fire department, and as a thank you, they brought in a photographer and gave all donors the opportunity to get a free family portrait taken.  They do it every year, and even though we’ve donated every year, we’ve never remembered/bothered to go.  They allow pets, so we took Riley.  It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Sunday we had NO plans.  It was wonderful.  There was an afternoon showing, so we disappeared to the park for half an hour, but other than that, our time was our own.  Actually, since it was John’s birthday, our time was his to do with as he wished.  And he mostly wished for free time, so I call this birthday a success.

Open House

Typing “Open House” up there made me thing of Full House the TV show, and man, are those two things not at all related.  Unless John Stamos (now, not then) is going to come over to help sell the house.  Or move in and help us raise our sassy but cute dog.



Anyway, we had our open house yesterday.  Our agent said we had really good turnout.  One family stayed an hour, and other another family stayed for TWO hours.  The two-hour people are the ones who lingered for 40 minutes on Thursday, the first day we were on the market.  No offers yet.  (Be pessimistic!  Your optimism is scaring them away.  Don’t tempt fate!)  We had another showing this afternoon, and we have one tomorrow, too.  I’ve said (and I keep saying) that we’re not in any hurry here, but now we’re in limbo, and I don’t want to stay in limbo.  I should be putting this time to good use (see Step 4), but I figured I deserve a couple of days of relaxing before I start obsessing over the next thing.  It’ll come soon enough.  (Also, it’s John’s birthday today, so no doing not-fun things.)

I’m trying not to be too optimistic

The house has been officially listed since Thursday morning.  Which I just realized was only yesterday.  Feels like forever ago.  It’s been shown four times now – three yesterday evening (day 1 on the market) and once this afternoon (day 2).  When our agent told us about the three showings yesterday, I was (still am) trying really hard not to get overly excited and be all “we’ll have a contract by the end of the day and we won’t even NEED to have an open house” while twirling around the kitchen.  That’s not likely (the quick contract – the twirling is all too likely).  Then when I come down from the over-optimisticness (and the dizziness), I go too far in the other direction.  “We’ve had four showings already and no offers yet – NO ONE is going to want to buy our house.” I mean, come on.  It’s been two days, and we’re not exactly in the middle of a housing boom.  It’s too early for the doom and gloom.  I need to find a calm, centered, serene middle ground where I can keep the house clean without obsessing over whether leaving the dog bowls out or not cleaning the windows again EVERY morning is driving potential buyers away.

Maybe I should go clean the windows again.

The open house is tomorrow.  Cross your fingers!

I didn’t think it through

I had a very productive Monday, right up until I painted the door.  John had to work (he doesn’t get all of the federal holidays off like I do), so I was on my own to get a bunch of things done before the photographer came over on Tuesday to take the pictures for our MLS listing.  (MLS listing – is that redundant?  Multiple Listing Service listing?  Maybe not.)  I took all of the window screens out and took the screen door to the deck off (put them all in the basement), and then I got the ladder out and washed the outsides of all of the back windows (on the first floor – the second story windows have to remain unwashed – I’m not risking my life by hanging out those windows or off the roof to wash them) and the sliding glass door.  (I did the insides of all the windows in the house the day before, when it was still pouring down rain.)  Then I took the doorknob, the deadbolt, and the kickplate off the front door, cleaned it, and painted it black (it was already black – the HOA wouldn’t let me just randomly choose another color).  I’ve never painted anything black before, so maybe this is typical, but it took me completely by surprise.  The wet paint on the door looked navy blue, not black.  I checked the paint can at least three times while I was painting (it said black every time).  Of course, it dried black, but for a few minutes, I wasn’t sure I’d bought the right paint.  Stressful! (Except, not really.)  So then I had a door covered in wet paint.  That I couldn’t close because of the wet paint.  And even if I could close it, it didn’t have a doorknob or a lock on it because of the wet paint.  I knew going into this project that I wouldn’t be able to leave the house until the paint dried and I put the hardware back on, but I didn’t picture exactly how that would work.  I hadn’t really thought about how I’d have to leave my front door wide open for a couple of hours…  Conveniently, it was a comfortably warm day.  The next thing I had planned to do was make another run to the donation center, but that plan was out.  I found things to do, of course, but it wasn’t what I planned.  Don’t screw with my plan!

Fun fact: I wore my midshipman coveralls all day, so I looked like quite the little handywoman hauling my ladder around, washing the windows, painting the door.  Next time, I’ll get a tool belt.

Sunshine is a wonderful thing

It has come to my attention (again – this is something I realize anew every so often) that I could never be a vampire.  After four days of nonstop rain (it started Wednesday night and didn’t stop until Sunday night) and constant gloominess, the sun came out on Monday, and I couldn’t have been happier.  I could never live in a world where I never saw the sun.  (Also, I don’t want to drink blood or be dead.)  I don’t have to see the sun all day, or even every day, but four days in a row without it – that’s too much.  I enjoy the rain, I like listening to it, I like falling asleep to it.  I don’t particularly want to be out in it much (I got fairly well soaked running errands on Friday – I had to buy mulch in the rain – and then we did our yardwork on Sunday in a constant drizzle.  Felt very British.), but it’s nice to look at, nice to be snuggled up warm and dry while frantically prepping your house for sale.  And then came the sun.  Monday was a perfect October day, all blue skies and leaves changing colors.  Days like that make all that rain worth it.

The cat is out of the bag

Our plans have been made public.  In the neighborhood, anyway.  There’s a For Sale* sign in our yard, with our real estate agent’s picture on it (I wonder how many pictures she had to take before settling on that one?), so now all the world can see what we’re up to.  And now it’s real. It was always going to be real, of course, and it was never a secret, but as long as only a small number of people knew about it, it wasn’t scary.  Now…it’s a little scary.  The guy put the sign up Friday afternoon – he just appeared, and I didn’t even notice until he was done (Riley didn’t notice the stranger hammering a giant sign into our front yard, either – good guard dog), but seeing it put butterflies in my stomach.  I didn’t expect that.  They’ve mostly gone away, but I imagine they’ll be back.

*Actually, it says Coming Soon – we won’t be officially listed for a few more days.


Good night, listeners

I’m happy that it’s fall.  I like the leaves turning, and I like the weather (or I would if it felt like fall, but maybe that’ll happen this week finally).  I’ve picked up my running again recently (I’d been slacking off a lot), and since I go so early, it’s really dark when I start and still mostly dark when I get back.  Sometimes I take a flashlight, but I usually just compensate by sticking to the mostly well-lit sidewalks and paths on the main streets outside my neighborhood.  I’m not running on a road, so I won’t get hit by a car, and I’m near enough to all those people going to work crazy early in the morning that if I started screaming, I would probably be noticed.  I feel safe enough, but the dark is still a little creepy.  And it doesn’t help that I listen to Welcome to Night Vale every morning.  Welcome to Night Vale is not at all actually scary, but when all you hear is Cecil’s voice in the dark for the duration of every single run…it’s just about eerily perfect.  Makes it weird to listen to it at any other time of day.  Did you watch Eureka?  Night Vale is like the town of Eureka at midnight on Halloween.  (Thank you, Randy!)

Mom can’t always be right

A couple of months ago, I went to my favorite nail salon, and the manicurist talked me into trying gel nail polish on my fingers.  Mom has been talking it up to me for a long time because it doesn’t chip, so it lasts longer, and it looks nicer, and she’s right on all of those counts.  I was going to go bare (just buff up the nails) because I don’t really like color on my nails and clear nail polish chips, and the manicurist said, well, gel doesn’t chip, and it comes in a natural color.  Okay – it’s time to try it.  First, natural my ass.  It was light pink and sparkly.  Pretty, but in no way natural.  Still, it was pretty and light enough not to bother me much.  It dried super quickly (always a plus), and then the lady swiped nail polish remover across the nails and it didn’t come off!  I was impressed, and everything was great for about three weeks.  My nails were growing, but it wasn’t obvious to anyone but me that my nails weren’t all painted anymore.  After that, I was about done with the pink and sparkly and ready to go clear again, so I went back to have the gel polish removed (since I had no idea how to take it off myself).

What Mom neglected to tell me is what a HUGE PAIN it is to have it removed.  You can’t just swipe with some special gel polish remover.  Oh, no.  My nails were wrapped in acetone-soaked cotton and foil for what felt like an hour (and was at least 20 minutes in real time), and then when the manicurist removed the foil and cotton, she still had to chisel away at each nail to get it all off.  It took FOREVER.  I thought it was never going to be over.  And even once the polish was removed, my nails still felt like regular polish was fading and chipping off on its own.  Not a nice feeling.

Conclusion?  No gelicures for me.  No way.  Uh uh.  Sorry, Mom.  Can’t agree with you on this one.


My phone thinks I’m stupid.  I use the swype keyboard, and it usually works great.  The other day, though, I was trying to text John that I needed to download something, and autocorrect refused to recognize that what I was trying to type was the word “download”.  It kept correcting it to “get”.  “Get” totally worked in context, so I KNOW my phone understood what I was trying to type.  Why not just correct it for me?  Why dumb it down?  Why hurt my feelings, phone?  What’s that about?

THIS is why I’ve been ignoring everyone

The house is in turmoil.  We turn rooms upside down and inside out, box things up and stash the boxes or makes piles of things to get rid of, and then we do our best to put the rooms back in some sort of order so we can get through each day without feeling like we’re living inside a hurricane.  The dining room that turned into a library has been turned back into the dining room.  The family room that turned into the dining room has been mostly turned back into living space, although it’s also doubling as the dog’s room for now.  And it’s kind of empty.  We’re not moving the couch and TV back in there (they’re staying in the family room that used to be the formal living room), so we only have two cabinets in there, the two ugly green chairs, that big-ish desk we could never find space for, Riley’s food and water, and his crate.  Sounds kind of a like a lot, now that I’ve listed it all out, but it’s a big space.  Lots of open area left that won’t get filled.  The house looks weird.

We still have a couple of projects we’ll probably try to start once we get the house on the market.  We want to get the rest of our CD collection converted to mp3, and we want to scan all of the pictures we’ve developed and accumulated.  Both are time-consuming and mind-numbingly boring, but we should be able to do them while doing other things.  And that will leave us with portable backups.  Should have done that a long time ago.

We’re clearly a little obsessed.  House and dog, dog and house.  My dance classes started back up, but we have too much stuff to do in the house, so I haven’t gone back.  I had to miss zumba the last two weeks because I had to work late, and I’m planning to miss it tonight because there’s too much to do in the house.  I haven’t been to yoga in months (first dance class, then house stuff).  We’ve done the big obvious things (pack up the books, stash the bookshelves, switch the rooms), and now it’s getting a little harder to focus.  Lots of little things need to be done.  Like, hey – we haven’t gone through the coat closet to see what we can get rid of.  I know I have at least one coat in there that needs to go.  I want to box up the rest of the fiction (what’s left on that one shelf next to the TV – we’re keeping those shelves up through showing the house – we’ll just have other stuff on them), but that’s only going to fill one box.  I can make another pass through my dressers and closet for stuff to get rid of, and failing that, I can certainly box up the summer stuff and possibly even separate it into clothes that I’ll keep with me and clothes that I’ll store.  And THAT decision may (really should) prompt me to get rid of the clothes I would store.  If our plan really works out, anything that gets stored will be stored for at least a couple of years, possibly longer, and will I really wear those clothes then?  Well, maybe – I have (and wear) clothes that I’ve had for that long and longer, but still.  I should probably not plan to store a lot of clothes.  Seems silly.

Well, this has been helpful.  I think I have tonight’s to-do list all ready.  Thanks, guys!

Let’s live up to the name of the blog a little, shall we?

While going through just about everything we own, John found a couple of boxes of cassette tapes.  We threw out all of the commercially made tapes (we’ve got all that stuff in other formats by now, if it’s something we still like), but then we had to go through the ones we made.  Some were easy to throw out.  Some – not so much.  I took a drive by myself over the weekend, so I popped in a pink and yellow Memorex tape labeled “Susannah’s Favorites” that I made when I was about 11 and discovered two things.

  1. I haven’t changed.  The first song on the tape was “If This Is It”, Huey Lewis and the News.
  2. I did not understand the concept of a mix tape.  The first FOUR songs on the tape were by Huey Lewis and the News.  The next four songs were from The Little Mermaid.  The next two songs were by Kylie Minogue, and on the other side, there were three or four in a row by Debbie Gibson and then by Paula Abdul.  Apparently, I liked my music in blocks.

Now you know too much.