1.29.2015

3 Things I'm really bad about

1) Turning off things.

Lighting is probably the most frequently not-turned off item in our house although I am getting better. I blame growing up in a military house (with paid energy bills) for this as it never was a big deal and I even slept with the lights on as a teen. Craig's frugalness put a stop to that. I also forget to turn off the stove/oven and while it doesn't happen nearly as often, it's obviously a much bigger deal. It was my biggest tool to convince Craig we really needed to go with a gas stove top. It's much much harder to forget to turn off a gas top so that problem solved itself with the kitchen remodel. And I think it's been a good 6 six months since I've walked into the kitchen to make breakfast only to realize the oven is still on from dinner the night before.

2) Getting my hair cut

I can't seem to make this happen more than every 9 months. Each time I tell myself I will go more frequently and last time I even got side-swept bangs and really liked them and was going to go back to keep them. When was that? Oh, about 9 months ago. Maybe I'll make an appointment tomorrow.

3) Getting things before I get into bed

I take my daily medication right before I go to sleep. I have almost a year and half. So you'd think making sure I have a cup of water handy would be habit by now. No. If I do remember it, I normally have forgotten something else. Like taking my contacts out or grabbing my cell phone and putting in the nightstand so I'm not stumbling around at 6:45 trying to find it inside my purse in a dark hallway. Sometimes Craig is nice and gets things for me.

1.28.2015

3 Places I Want to Visit

1) Europe. That counts as one place, right? Since it's my list it does. :-) I'd love to go back to where I was born in Germany, where my family is from in the area (not sure if that is mostly Germany or Austria/Hungary/Czech Rep.), Norway to see where Craig's family is from (as long as nobody asks me to eat lutefisk). I also want to explore more of England. The honeymoon was great and all but not nearly long enough. And Paris. And Rome. Florence. So many places, so little time (and money :-)

2) Israel/Jordan. I really want to do a Holy Lands tour someday. I've read about them. I've seen other people go. But it's not the same. I just think its got to be a life changing event. My best guess of what my initial reaction would be is - small. That just seems to be my first thought when I visit a place I've previous known about and imagined, whether its the Alamo or the dance halls at Bath, they always seem much smaller than I pictured. But small isn't bad and I want to know if I'm right or not.

3) Kenya or somewhere in the Horn of Africa. I almost got to go as a teen when friend's of my dad where working for the embassy over there. But then they had to move back to the US suddenly and my dreams where shattered. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic but Africa is still a continent I've never been to and someday that needs to change.

1.27.2015

3 Things I Want to Learn (more of) Before I'm 40

Watercolor - I took classes in highschool but would love to learn more and actually paint some these days. Luckily, CM tends to promote the idea of drybrush watercolor painting as a part of nature study so I have a built in excuse. I even have my set of watercolors downstairs. Sometimes I get out a paintbrush for myself when the kids are painting but normally I'm too busy making sure Jonah doesn't dump his on his head. But I'm thinking sometime in the next 10 years, he'll drop that habit.

Ballet - Now, I am fully aware that I will never be a ballerina. But I took a couple of beginning adult classes right before I got pregnant with Lucy. They are so much fun. Because while it is good exercise, it's not like Zumba where people are there mostly to burn calories. And it's not because we want to become dancers because - ha! And while it's probably good for posture and balance and all that, we all knew the real reason we were there was to have fun. And we did. It was a great mix of ages and body shapes and we just wanted to dance and pretend we were 6. I've looked into classes here and there are a few but none that currently work with our schedules and such. But someday, I want to do more.

Sourdough - This is the one skill listen that I actually have a real shot at becoming proficient at because I am a fairly decent baker. But it always manages to elude me. I've tried before more than once. But I won't give up. It's just a little bit of yeast and lactobacilli, I can win, I know I can! Right now, I'm back on gluten to see how I handle it. If my next blood tests come back and I haven't taken a big dive downward, I might actually give it another try.

1.26.2015

Top 3 Mini-series

I realized while making my top three movie list that I really like mini-series more than movies. There is just more time to really develop the characters the way I like them to be developed. Probably why I like k-dramas so much.

1) Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea - I was going to put this as a favorite movie but IMDB calls it a mini-series and I guess it is. I received the first 2-pack vhs set for Christmas when I was ten or so. And then the next day when the PX opened, my mom and I went and got the second. We had to see how it ended! It was one of the first things we watched when I came with baby Lucy to her house right after her diagnosis. I remember sitting on her bed with my mom, Lucy asleep right next to us, my sister-in-law on the other side as well all got choked up because we knew the "Mathew scene" was coming. That is a really great memory for me. At the time, I remember thinking how perfect it would be if it wasn't for the fact that we were all there because my mom was dying and how that ruined the moment. But looking back, it didn't ruin it. It was a glimpse of something that could have been and something I mourn (the generations of woman together) but it was also closure. A reminder of the incredible closeness I had with my mom. The shared memories and experiences of my childhood. That's probably one of the reasons I like k-dramas so much. Because it started as something she and I did together, at the time we didn't know a single other american speaking person who watched them but we didn't care. She's not here but I keep watching. I'm getting off track but to get back to Anne, this series is so well done. I recently re-read the whole series and I enjoyed them but this is really one of the few times that I can say I think the movies are as good, if not better, than the book. And certainly they more sentimental value for me. I now I realize I really need to get them on dvd.

2) North and South - So so good. I've talked about it a lot on this blog but that's not really the reason I won't go on and on about it here. It's just that if I do, I'll want to watch it again and then I'll want to re-read the book. It's a vicious cycle. At least I have youtube for now.

3) Pride and Prejudice - The gold standard when it comes to period mini-series. It's practically perfect. I don't really know what more I can say. If you disagree with me, you are wrong.

1.24.2015

Top 3 Movies

This was a request from my "little" brother. And it's a surprisingly hard one. It helps that I'm NOT allowing myself to pick mini-series or dramas. But I really have 4 and I'm having a really hard time narrowing it down to three. That seems to be happening with a lot of these top 3. I guess I should have waiting to do this till I turned 40!

1) While You Were Sleeping - Best Rom-Com ever. It's just great. I actually haven't watched this since my mom passed away. It was her movie. I remember the first time we watched it though. And there are so many quotes from it that became a part of our family culture growing up. I don't think we had a meal containing mashed potatoes at home without someone saying "these mashed potatoes are so creamy" and another chiming in to add "Mary mashed 'em." When I moved out, we started watching it at Thanksgiving. I tried to watch it this Thanksgiving but I wasn't ready. Maybe next year.

2) Much Ado About Nothing - Sign no more, ladies, sigh no more. Men were deceivers ever. One foot in sea and one on shore, to one thing constant never. Then sign no so but let them go and be you blight and bonny, converting all yours sounds of woe into HEY NONNY NONNY! 

This was a high school favorite. My BFF and I watched it almost every day the summer I was 13. We could pretty much quote the whole thing and often did. When we'd want to go somewhere together, probably the bathroom because isn't that where all teen girls congregate together, we'd say "Lady, would you walkabout with your friend?" And we had nicknames for the boys we knew based on the characters. Attractive + Jerk = Don Jon, Not attractive + Jerk = Borachio (pronounced exactly the same way Dogberry/Michael Keaton did). I guess Attractive + Nice would have been Claudio, and Attractive + Funny would have been Benedict, but I don't remember using either of those. Maybe the boys around us were slim pickings? Ha! Man were we dorky but still, good memories. And still a good movie! Shakespeare is timeless!

3) Emma - Another favorite from high school. It's probably not the most accurately done version and I know some say that Gweneth Paltrow is a little too unlikeable as Emma but I adore her and this movie. It was one of my earliest introductions to Jane Austen and Emma is still my favorite of her books. Sadly, none of my current pets is named after an Emma character but that's really only because I've used most of the names up. I suppose I could have a old cat named Ms. Bates or maybe a really boring pet (bunny?) named Jane but I think we'll just have to leave it as complete with my past Cat named Mr. Knightley, dog named Emma and fish named Frank. But back to the movie, Craig and I watched/re-watched it recently and its still just as clever and funny as I remember it being.

Runner-Up: Return To Me. Similar in style to While You Were Sleeping. I love the extended casts of both. And the music in this one is a lot of fun.