I don’t feel like I did enough today, and I think it’s because I didn’t run.  I got out and ran some errands (bought a new thermostat, got the oil changed in my car, had copies made of the house keys for the new pet sitter (who we’re meeting tomorrow)), so I was at least, you know, active, but I feel like a slob.

Dinner, while delicious and healthy (kimchi, rice, lettuce wraps), was painful.  I have a cut on my thumb, just under the nail, and the rice vinegar and soy sauce in the kimchi hurt a lot as it ran over my hands.  Which happened with every bite.  John eventually gave up on the lettuce wraps and just ate rice and kimchi with a fork.  Next time I’ll make sure we have chopsticks.  This is the second time I’ve made kimchi (using Mark’s recipe – good recipe, Mark!), and it turned out pretty well.  John has already eaten most of the non-spicy batch I made for him.

Tomorrow Jess is coming over, and we’re going to see the Canadian Brass Christmas concert at George Mason.  John surprised me with tickets for this concert last year at the Kennedy Center.  He’s pretty good with surprises.  And the concert was great, so I’m very excited.  And Jess is coming over!

Couldn’t do it

I tried to run this morning.  Really, I did.  I got up before John left for work, put on my running clothes, and then checked the temperature.  About 24 degrees, with a wind chill of 17.  I decided to wait.  Around 10:30, the temperature was about 30, with a wind chill of 20.  I added layers to my running clothes and headed out.  I got to the bottom of the hill, turned the corner, and was blasted back by FRIGID air.  SO cold.  I made it around the block and went home.  I can handle cold (to a point), and I can handle windy (to a point), but the combination is killer.  I thought maybe I could wait until it warms up a little today, but 1) it’s not going to warm up much more, and 2) as the air temperature rises (all of maybe 5 more degrees), the wind speed will rise today, too.  So the wind chill isn’t going to get any better, and I’m a little afraid of the wind chill.

Appliances shouldn’t tell lies

Today was a good day.  I ran 5 miles (in the windy, chilly, sunny morning), made kimchi, filed a little, and then went to the holiday party for my new job.  The new job I haven’t started yet.  It was fun, and I’m really glad I went.  I met most of the team for the project I’ll be working on.  My new boss (I think) was assigned to keep me company, so she introduced me to people and stuck by me.  She’s really nice, and she filled me on what I’ll be doing and who I’ll be working with.  Everyone was really friendly.  I’m sure I’ll be nervous as my first day approaches, but after this afternoon, I think I’ll be able to keep those nerves to a minimum.

In other news, I’m cold.  I think the thermostat is lying.  It says it’s 68 degrees in the house (or at least in the dining room), but I don’t believe it.  Appliances shouldn’t tell lies.  (Is a thermostat an appliance?  Maybe it’s a gadget.)  Looking for a replacement is on my list of things to do tomorrow, along with making copies of my house keys and getting an oil change.  And going to the library.

Not enough time

I still have over three full weeks before I rejoin the working world, but I feel like I don’t have enough time.  (I know, stop whining (for any number of reasons).)  I’m just amazed at how quickly all this time filled up.  I’ll be visiting Mom and Dad all of next week, and then we’ll go to PA for Christmas sometime the week after that.  In between, I plan to spend a day or so with Jess in MD.  We’ll be back from PA for our anniversary (I think), and then New Year’s will be on top of us.  And I start the Monday after New Year’s.  So I have somewhere between 10 and 12 whole days with nothing planned in them.  Maybe 9 to 11.  And now that I’ve counted them out like that, it sounds like more free time than before.  It’s just when I look at it week by week that it looks super busy.  I certainly don’t want to NOT do any of the things I have planned.  And I’ll probably feel better about it when we know how many and which days John will have off from work.

So much paper!

I am amazed at how many boxes of paper (bills, letters, investment information, etc) we have.  I started organizing and filing them this afternoon, but before I could do that, I had to dig them out of the basement.  Eight boxes plus things I’d stashed in other places around the house.  This is going to take me forever.  But the dining room is as done as it can be without new furniture.  Well, that’s not really true.  The replacement outlet plates I bought aren’t big enough, and I don’t have new window treatments.  And I need John’s help to fix the trim going into the living room before I can paint that part.  So really, I’m just done with the painting.  But that’s close enough for me.

Roxy’s Big Getaway

Roxy made a break for it this morning as John was leaving for work.  He was cleaning ice from his windshield, and I was just closing the door when she slipped out and headed across the yard.  John dropped everything to chase her, and I grabbed my shoes and her leash and followed.  I got outside and found John standing at the top of the hill, looking down the cross street.  When I got there, Roxy was looking at us from most of the way down the block, wagging her tail slowly.  I called her and she started to come to me, but got distracted by who knows what.  I jingled the leash, her ears perked up, and she took off towards me, sliding on the ice on the sidewalk.  I met her halfway, got the leash on her, and took her home.  Apparently, the joys of a walk trump freedom.  Or she’s stupid.  You decide.

She was so happy to be on the leash that I went home, got Riley, and took them both for a walk.  After I put socks on.  Walking in snow and ice in old mesh running shoes without socks is not so much fun.  Why wasn’t I wearing socks?  Well, I was in a hurry and my shoes were on the steps.  Who knows how far away Roxy would have been if I’d taken the time to go upstairs and get socks, too.  Every second counts, people!

Party on, Wayne.

I’m tired of painting.  The second coat is on, so tomorrow I’ll do the trim.  Or at least part of it.  I think I’ll need John’s help with a couple of things.

I should feel more tired than I do.  It was after 1:30 when we got home last night from the holiday party.  I’m sure it’ll catch up with me tonight.  The party was fun, though.  Lots of food, open bar, a live band and music when the band needed a break.  We went to find Joe so we could say goodbye on our way out, but Joe was on the dance floor, so saying goodbye turned into an hour of dancing.  I like to dance.  🙂

So you know how John is usually the tallest person in the room?  He’s got a coworker who’s 6’6″.  We spent a lot of time talking to him last night, and I just couldn’t get over how he dwarfs John.  It was totally weird.

And now I’m off to shovel the sidewalk and the driveway.  Here’s a cute picture of Roxy (I didn’t want her to feel left out).

Dining Room Makeover, Part IV

First coat is on!  Second coat tomorrow, then trim, then…furniture?  We haven’t talked about exactly when we’re getting the new dining room table.

This first picture shows the contrast between the primer and the new color.  It kinda looks like my walls are bleeding color.  It’s creeping in all on its own.  Run away!

Here’s the same corner with the first coat.

And here’s another view of the dining room, with different lighting.  It doesn’t actually look this dark in person, but I don’t feel like messing with my camera to fix it.  (You may wonder why I’m showing you this picture in that case.  Don’t worry about it, okay?)

And now for the other important announcement:

It’s snowing!  Like, a lot.  2 to 4 inches by the end of the evening.  See?

And because you’ve been so patient, here’s another adorable picture of Riley.

Now, I have to get in the shower and remove all the paint from my hands and arms (I think I kept it out of my hair.  Go me!) so I can look presentable at the party tonight.  If only paint removal was enough to make me look presentable…

Fortune cookie

Almost forgot.  We ordered Chinese for dinner tonight.  My fortune says,

“If you wish good advice, consult your mother.”

John’s answer,

“Betty, where can we get good advice?”


(His fortune said, “Spirit guides accompany you.”  He didn’t have anything funny to say about that.  And you know I can’t be funny on command.  Help?)

Primer! (Dining Room Makeover, Part III)

Today I bought paint, cleaned the walls, taped the edges, and got a coat of primer on.  Just finished that.  (I also applied for the two jobs I’m required to apply for each week so I can receive unemployment.  Got my first check yesterday!  Woo!)  I ran, too, with the dogs.  My calves are sore.  And I’m very surprised at Roxy.  We went four miles, and she didn’t wimp out.  Good for her, I guess, and helpful to me.  I don’t like dragging her home when she quits on me.

Anyway, here’s the dining room with primer drying.  The dogs follow me around, so I really hope I don’t end up with dog hair caked on the walls.

I decided to go with Havana Cream (it’s a Behr color).  It’s a muted buttery cream color, and the first coat goes on tomorrow.  I might wear a hat…we’re going to the holiday party for John’s office tomorrow night, and I don’t think I should show up to a semi-formal event with paint in my hair.

And just because you’re nice, here’s an adorable picture of Riley.  See how cute he is with his nose tucked under his paw!

Dining Room Makeover, Part II

Sanding sucks.  My arms are very tired.  And I’m not done.  But there are paint samples on the wall, so I’m making progress.  I think I know which one I want, too, but John needs to see them first.  As long as he doesn’t hate the one I like, we’re fine.

No pictures today (because I don’t want to show you my splotchy walls).

I don’t have much to say today.  Except that the more I think about it, the unhappier I am with Her Fearful Symmetry.  I don’t think I would read it again.  I enjoyed the journey the first time, but thinking back on it (and talking it out with Mom) made me think of all the unnecessary plot contrivances.  Maybe not unnecessary, but not very well done, I think.  Things don’t add up.

The wallpaper is gone.

Today, I finished stripping the wallpaper and took the pictures and blinds down.  John showed me how to spackle the holes and stuff, so that’s what will take me all day tomorrow.  I also mailed chestnuts to John’s mom, went to the bank, bought a dress for Saturday’s office holiday party, and found two options for taking care of the dogs over Christmas.  (I’m reminding myself why I shouldn’t feel guilty for not finishing the wallpaper until after dinner.)

Anyway, tired and going to bed.

Wait – I finished Her Fearful Symmetry yesterday.  I just tried to write something about it, but since I don’t want to give away the story, everything I wrote was vague.  Mom, Jess, call me and we’ll talk.

Dining room makeover, Part I

Destruction comes first.  The dining room is a complete mess.  The walls have torn wallpaper and wallpaper glue all over, and the floor is covered in wallpaper I’ve managed to get off so far.  The curtains (that Mom hates anyway) are down, and I’ve moved some of the furniture out.  I think the table can stay (I’ll cover it and use it to stage paint and stuff), but I can’t move the sideboard/buffet thing by myself.  And I still don’t know what color I’m going to paint it.

Aside from a trip to the store (Wegman’s and Home Depot – two stores), I’ve been inside all day, which is kind of a shame, actually.  It was a beautiful sunny day, not too cold.  Oh, and I very nicely got rid of two Mormon kids on their mission this afternoon.  I was so nice I don’t think they even felt rejected.  🙂


I got rained on today.  When I left for my run, it wasn’t raining.  It started to rain right at my halfway point, naturally, when I was as far from home as I was going to get.  It didn’t start pouring until I was about a mile from home.  That was nice.  At least it wasn’t cold.

Thanksgiving was wonderful, busy, loud, fun, slightly stressful, and busy.  And loud.  And fun.  And really good.  Oh, and I’m exhausted.  I didn’t do much today.  (I was recovering.)  I returned the table and went to Home Depot for paint chips so I can figure out what color to paint the dining room.  Oh, and I discovered that the wallpaper in there is not going to come off as easily as I had hoped.  I’ll have to score it and use hot soapy water and stuff.  Yay.  I’ll start on that tomorrow, I think.  If I can narrow down the paint colors, I’ll get samples tomorrow, too.

Confusing TV

John and I spent our evenings this week watching the AMC remake (in miniseries form) of “The Prisoner”.  It was confusing, disjointed, confusing again, and ultimately unsatisfying.  Waste of six hours.

I spent the entire day preparing for Thanksgiving.  I shopped, I cleaned, and I cleaned some more.  Tomorrow I’m taking the dogs to be groomed, and cleaning even more.  Should be fun.  But then, I’ll be READY.

Bagels and tables

Earlier today I had something to say, but I didn’t say it then, and now I’ve forgotten it.  Not a big deal.  We slept in a bit, went to Wegman’s for bagels (John’s first trip to the new Wegman’s – very exciting for him), and sold the Korean end tables to a Korean woman, all before noon.  This afternoon, I took John to Haverty’s so he could see some of the dining room tables I liked in person.  I think I’ve convinced him that the Ebony collection dining room table and chairs are the ones we should get, but we’ve decided to wait a while.  There’s no rush, since we certainly wouldn’t have the new table in time for Thanksgiving, and it can’t hurt to wait until we’re both making money again.  We had dinner at Gout de Paris, the new French cafe that opened in our little shopping center.  It was very good, and totally empty (it’s brand new), which may be why it felt a little uncomfortable.  The manager (maybe owner?) and the staff were hovering a little.  I think I’d go back for coffee and pastries, but not for a whole meal.  Well, I might.  It’s a little expensive for lunch.

Potential dining room table:

Matching chair:

Herndon Turkey Trot 2009

Despite my best efforts to convince him that he was too sick to go (he wasn’t), John prevailed (as usual when it comes to races) and we ran the 2009 Herndon Turkey Trot 5K this afternoon.  Also as usual, he was right and I was happy to be there and happy we’d done it when the race was over.  My time wasn’t great (but better than it’s been lately), and I figured out why I don’t like this race (I don’t like the cross-country part – too slippery when the grass is kinda wet and there’s lots of mud), but that’s all okay ’cause I felt really good when I crossed the finish line.  AND we didn’t see anyone we know today.  For the last two years, we’ve run into people from our old company (I almost said “people from work”), and I’m pretty sure they were planning on being there today.  I guess we missed them.  And I think I’m relieved.  These people in particular were always nice and everything, but they weren’t close friends and I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with that.

We’re home, I’ve gotten four emails from people who are interested in the Korean chests I put on craigslist today, and I’m hungry.  We have steaks on the grill and champagne in our (plastic) glasses because we’re finally celebrating John’s new job (and mine).  I’m itching to edit that plastic glasses thing.  If they’re plastic, they’re not glasses.  Plastic champagne flutes would be more accurate, but it’s a weird combination of pretentious or snobby (flutes instead of glasses) and trashy (they’re plastic so I won’t break them when I knock them off the counter).  Hmm, not so much trashy as klutz-friendly.  That’s nicer.

Look what I did

What do I have to say today?  Well, I was productive.  I spent the entire day cleaning out the closet and the cluttered surfaces in the guest room, and from there I made a dent in the mess that lived in one corner of the bedroom.  I threw out a lot of stuff (actual trash in some cases, including leftover lengths of wallpaper for rooms we stripped the wallpaper out of) and put together a couple of bags of donatable stuff.  I have two whole under-the-bed plastic storage bins full of sweaters to give away, too, but I want Mom to have a shot at them before I get rid of them.

To be productive tomorrow, I think I’ll have to clean the windows.  Or clear all the extra stuff out of the dining room.  Vacuum upstairs.  Finish putting the guest room back together.  Or all of those things.


Not an eventful day.  But that is totally okay.  I’m making lists of what I can do around the house and then prioritizing for what really needs to get done before Thanksgiving.  And then I didn’t do any of those things today.  But I will tomorrow.  For real.  For reals, even.

I spent the rest of the day, um, reading Harry Potter.  🙂  I’ll do better (be more productive) tomorrow.