Friday, August 29, 2014

Sand and cheese

"Mom said you had Lucy's boys again today," Meg mentioned when she called to set up a shopping date for tomorrow.

"I did -- that's why I'm just about to get in the shower," I told her. "You wouldn't believe how much sand I have in my bra. I am going to have to pour it out."

Meg laughed.

"And my shirt! It looks like I am wearing a bib of macaroni and cheese."

"Does that make you want to have a hundred babies?" Meg asked.

"The sand in my bra and the cheese on my shirt? Nope."

Not those two particular perks of spending my day off with my two favorite little guys. That is the truth.

But pretty much everything else.

I didn't bother mentioning it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Grand Project Reveal

I hope that the title of this post doesn't have you all excited to see the couch that I reupholstered or the backsplash that I tiled with reclaimed materials. Not that fancy, boys and girls. Surely you know that by now.

The closest I am going to get to being a stylish home blogger, however, is the gallery wall in my hallway. That's the Grand Project. And here I am, revealing it.

I'm actually only 75% completed (you'll see in a minute) but I didn't want to wait.

This all came about because I happened to have a lot of white and off-white frames (I actually like that they aren't too matchy and they aren't all the same shade of white, which I half expected to drive me insane). And then I bought a bunch more.

Then this happened.

I think I'll extend the wall to the other side of my guest room door (I took this picture from the door to my bedroom) because it seems a little awkward to leave it out of the picture party. Plus I have more frames and more desire.

I mostly used things I already had, but I did pick up a few prints (I love that lock print and do you see the UM one?) and other goodies like my friend the elephant.

Here it is from the other side of the hallway. I was a little concerned about the thermostat being in the mix but you hardly notice it.

I am far from a decorating wizard but this was an enjoyable little project. I like that I can change things around easily and I think it will be fun to see how the wall evolves.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


While it isn't that I don't find that the new wave of Facebook activism adorable* or that I don't entirely enjoy watching my friends and family douse themselves in ice water**, this ice bucket challenge for ALS is not my style.

The ice bucket challenge, of course, is dumping a bucket of ice water on your head to promote awareness of/donations for research for ALS. The dumping is recorded and posted to social media and the whole thing is very viral at the moment. As you all know.

Other than maintaining a blog for the last 10 years, I'm a pretty private person when it comes to the interwebs. I post a handful of pictures to Facebook a few times a year. I never update my status. I don't like the thought of living that loudly, I guess, and the attention that comes from doing so doesn't feel good enough to get me to stray from my comfort zone. I sleep just fine without having my dad's cousin tell me how great my hair looks, thankyouverymuch.

I thought that, because I'm not a Facebook junkie, that I would escape from being nominated to dump a bucket of ice water over my head. A well-meaning soccer teammate nominated me yesterday.

It's not that I'm too good for this, it's just that donating my time or my resources to a reputable organization of my choosing -- and doing it privately -- is much more my thing.

I considered just ignoring it but, instead, I posted a compromise.

The donation to the ALS Association was mainly to play along; I donated much more to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (If you haven't been reading for years: Type 1 diabetes is what killed my aunt.)

Before you think that I'm writing this because I want you to think that I'm a saint: I absolutely used my knee injury as a weak excuse for my non-compliance ("I've had enough quality time with ice over the last 5 weeks") to the ceremonial dumping of the ice bucket.

And you know what? I don't even feel bad about it.

*Actually, I don't.
**Nope. Not this, either. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

About an email

Mondays call for a cup of good Canadian coffee and I am apparently not the only one who feels that way: the line at Tim Horton's this morning was epic.

I passed time as we do: trolling around on my phone. Deleting emailed job postings, updates from eHarmony that remind me that I am supposed to build my days around answering queries from strangers, coupons before I can get properly tempted.

And then, an email from C.

The American guy from Brazil.

The engaged American guy from Brazil.

I hadn't heard from him since the night of the World Cup final. Which was also the night I found out that he was engaged.

Which is also the night that I decided to let the whole thing go. 

The tournament -- what we had in common -- was over. There was no longer a reason to email or text or call.

And there was especially no reason to email or text or call some other girl's fiancé. I am not that girl.

It was a little sad, knowing that I would likely never see or hear from C again. But that's how it happens when you meet on vacation, isn't it? You go back to real life. You go back to work. You go back to your fiancée.

Knowing that he was engaged and never mentioned it made dropping the whole thing easier. There was no temptation. There was no way. That door was closed. And the dude standing behind it was shady, anyway.

So certain I was that I would never hear from C again that his email this morning -- all of a sentence or two, all of it meaningless nonsense -- nearly knocked me over.

So much for certainty.

I would now like to predict that today's email is the last that I hear from C. I'm sure of it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A blessing and a curse

Best part about moving to my condo: my 5-minute commute.

Worst part about moving to my condo: my 5-minute commute.

Instead of using the shorter commute to my advantage and get to work a little earlier every morning, I mainly just use it as a reason to sit around home in my pajamas for as long as humanly possible each morning. I arrive at the same time that I used to.

If not a little bit later.

Okay, usually a little bit later.

Really, if I'm going to slide in to work as late as I do, I should just sleep in. But I don't. I get up at a respectable time. And then I make a cup of coffee and do absolutely nothing to get ready for work. Sometimes I'll put in a load of laundry. I've made a batch of cookies. I worked on my secret house project. I'll use the time to finish up a book or pay a few bills. I've blogged. This week, I've been tackling my eHarmonizing in the morning hours. But getting up and getting ready like a normal person? Totally out of the question. I've lived in my condo for all of six weeks and I have already lost the ability to function like a normal human being.

It's pretty awesome.

But I am mildly afraid that the awesomeness of the 5-minute commute and the glorious freedom that is being the boss will make me never want to leave this job, when really I should start looking to move on and move up as soon as my pension is vested. I fear being the last boss of this place, who didn't leave until she was forced out after 40some years. I don't want to get too comfortable.

But it is going to be a sad day when I break free of these golden handcuffs for a job where I won't be able to stay in my pajamas until nearly 9:00 am or go home at lunchtime and watch an episode of The Mindy Project.

It's a hard life, you guys.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Knee Brace: Day 7

I have been a very good patient. Despite my initial plan to continue to play soccer despite the doctor's orders, my sister made a comment that set me straight and I have been compliant. 

I wear my knee brace every day. It looks awesome with shorts. It looks equally awesome under the one pair of work pants that I can fit it underneath. 

I got the okay from my doctor to do a bit of running on the treadmill. I took my knee brace for its first spin around the gym on Monday evening. It was hard and awful. I should probably go back and try again. 

I am rapidly running out of time to register for the half marathon that I have enjoyed running over the past four years. I don't have another appointment until after the registration deadline. My knee doesn't feel great. I'm not going to have much time to train. 

And I feel like I'm going to be really, really, really bummed to sit this one out. 

And really, really, really bummed to register and be unable to race. 

On Sunday, my soccer team plays for our league championship. I will show up to watch. What great fun.

Basically the only good thing that has come to this is that Lucy's husband Chet sings me George Michael's "Never Gonna Dance Again" every time he sees me. I do love me a good serenade from a married man. 

Other than that, this is basically the worst.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Being Auntie

Lucy and her husband, Chet, closed on their new house this week. It's a lot of house but it will be great for them. And, selfishly, it is blissfully close to my house and has a beautiful finished basement that would be perfect for housing a spinster aunt in 30 or so years.

They have more wallpaper to strip than they know what to do with, so my mom and I took Lucy's boys on Friday afternoon.

The boys were the sweetest and my mom was over the moon. She's never said a word about not being a grandmother but I absolutely feel guilty for making her wait. But such is life.

We started with fishing off of the dock. By fishing, I mean the boys each had a fishing net: Baby A (age: 2.5) caught some pool toys and Baby L (age: 13 months) waved it around for a few minutes. Then a small dead fish bobbed on by and my mother swept it over to where Baby A was fishing and he caught a real, (formerly) live fish and he nearly burst open he was so excited. As disgusting as that was. 

We dug in the sand and we went on the boat, where Baby A turned the steering wheel and pressed buttons and otherwise captained the ship (which was moored to the dock).

They met a neighbor, who saw the little guys and came down to see what fun we were having and to remark, "so, Aly, this is how behind you are?"

She's a very blunt woman.

Mom and I took the boys back to the house, fed them dinner and gave them both a bath. Lucy had packed them changes of clothes but, because shopping for the boys is my mom's #1 hobby, she had a set of new pajamas for each of them. 

Lucy and I had traded cars so that I could just drive the boys home. They were both getting tired and Baby A suddenly realized (four hours later) that his mom was gone and sadly remarked, every 30 seconds, "Momma. A's momma" during our entire drive home.

And then we got to their house and Lucy wasn't home yet.

This was how I felt:

Luckily I have a key. Luckily the boys were happy to be home and didn't seem to notice that their mom, their dad and their dog weren't there.

Turns out that Lucy thought that I was bringing the boys to the new house and I brought them to their old house (it was bedtime, after all!) so we killed more time playing in the living room.

Baby L absolutely loves books and he kept toddling over with a book in his hands and ploping into my lap. It made me want to kidnap him and keep him as my own. With each book, Baby A announced "Auntie bring that book! Auntie Pie bring that book from the li-BRARY." and then I wanted to kidnap him, too.

But Lucy came home before I had time to formulate a kidnapping plan so I went back to my condo, instead, where I slept as though I had not for months.

Babies are hard.
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