Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Additions

We finally got our new furniture! We bought it back in November and it finally arrived on Saturday.

We got this small lamp-sized round table to go with the groovy polka dotted chairs and sparkly pillows. I'm not sure is that's where it will stay or not; I've found what I really need there is a footstool since my feet don't touch the floor.

And we got my new desk for the office. (I've been working off a drop-leaf table my mom gave me for my apartment in Sacramento. It is now holding the printer.)

And we got our king bed and mattress. I had my doubts about this bed, but I think it looks great. (We've been sleeping on a queen mattress that we had on the floor. Now that one is upstairs on its bed frame as a guest bed—just in time for mom's visit!) The lighting isn't very good for pictures in our room, but here it is. Along with the bed-in-a-bag set we got to fit it. (I figured out after taking the pictures that the comforter should have been rotated so that the stripes go side-to-side.)

They called the bed Mount Vernon because it's supposed to be a (mostly) historically accurate reproduction of George Washington's bed and the detail work is taken from his original drawings for the Purple Heart medal. All very interesting, but not the reason we bought it.

A lot of the furniture out here is either really, really ornate (like Baroque ornate), or really, really plain (but still costs as much as the ornate stuff). This bed sort of struck a balance between the two and I liked the curved lines of the sleigh bed and the fact that it has a lower foot board than most of the sleigh beds we'd seen. And we also liked the options we had to choose from for stains and finishes.

Here's a close up of the detail work on the bed frame.

And lastly, the dining room table and chairs. This was the item that held up delivery of our order. All of the others were in stock, but the table and chairs were custom made in Pennsylvania by an Amish family that makes furniture. We had been looking at a lot of dining room tables and had seen a couple we sort of liked, but with this one we got to choose almost everything, and it was the same price as the as-is tables we had been looking at. So we figured, if it's going to cost the same amount on money, why not go with this set—it's made in the US (many of the others weren't), supports artisan furniture making, and we can get something we know we will like.

I was a little unsure about the legs, but I liked the gentle curves that weren't overly done up with decoration and I think it works well with the slightly curved table top. I chose the pedestal type base because those tables are supposed to store the table leaves when not is use, but apparently this one doesn't, so you're seeing it here with both leaves in the table because we don't have a way to protect them for storage yet.

These chairs are amazingly comfortable! I thought the saleslady was crazy when she said a wooden chair was comfortable, but I sat in one of these chairs for about 90 minutes while sifting through catalogs at the furniture store and wasn't at all fidgity. Scoob had picked out a different (upholstered) dining table chair, but I told him these would be easier to reupholster if we ever wanted to change the way they look.

I'm really happy with what we got, and as I've told Scoob, this furniture will last us a lifetime. Actually, what I told him was more like—this is heirloom-quality furniture so we'd better get busy so we have someone to pass it down to!

A Time for Joy?

We packed up the artificial Christmas tree Saturday morning to get the house ready for furniture. We had put away the stockings, wreath, and other Christmas decorations a week or so ago. And Sunday Scoob informed me that it is time for me to pack away my Christmas joy coffee mugs.

I don't know about you, but I'm of the opinion that there is no limit on the appropriate time of year to have joy. So what if they're red and green. I say let your joyful freak flag fly!

Then today he started in on these sparkly throw pillows I got at Crate & Barrel during their after Christmas sale...

I did manage to win him over with my "but they're totally appropriate for Valentine's Day" argument. So I get to have them out and enjoy them for another month or so. Heh.

Monday, January 16, 2012

PS3 Move vs. Xbox Kinect

Scoob got his Move controllers for his PS3 for Christmas and he's been having fun with them. Playstation has developed lots of compatible games for the motion controllers, though I don't particularly like them; most of them are shoot-'em-up first-person-shooters, which I generally don't care for anyways, and I find them more difficult to play with the motion controllers than with the hand-held controllers.

Scoob did get me Everybody Dance and Zumba games to use with the motion controllers. We sent Zumba back. The motion sensors for that dance/workout/game are so screwy. I can just wave the controller around and it thinks I'm dancing with all the right moves, however if I actually dance, it has no idea what I'm doing. That could say more about my dancing skills than anything else, but I don't think so. Everybody Dance has been fun, though I wouldn't call it a workout. I definitely break a sweat, and I'm up moving around, and I've been pretty sore a couple of times afterward. There's a workout option for the game that I haven't tried yet, but I've got to learn all the dance steps first before I try that one.

Friends of ours got an Xbox Kinect for Christmas and we went over to play some games with them. I gotta say, I think the camera and motion sensors for the Xbox are much more accurate than the Playstation, and I like the fact that you don't actually have to hold a controller with the Xbox. I also I liked the way Dance Central II taught the dance moves more than Everybody Dance; but that's more about the game play and development than it is about the system.

Another thing I liked about the Xbox...

fewer injuries. That's the freakin' bruise I was sporting after whacking myself in the hand with the Playstation Move controller.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Ducks

I've been in an a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place sort of mood for a while now. Sometimes the mood is mild. And other times the mood is all-consuming. Bit it's always there. Whirring away in the background.

Unfortunately, we're still waiting for the furniture we bought in November to be delivered—we're scheduled for 1/14, which is good, because mom will be here on 1/17 and will need a bed. Yeah. Cutting it close.

So yeah. We've booked mom's flight. She'll be here for 3 weeks while I'm recovering from surgery. I'm actually glad we extended her stay from the planned 2 weeks; hopefully by that 3rd week I'll be fit company and will actually get a chance to visit, laugh, and enjoy having her here. I'm afraid the first couple weeks may just be a haze of pain and drug-addled dreams.

And all of that has been fueling my mood. Of course work has just sort of exploded on my plate this week, leaving me 1 week to straighten out the mess before I leave and I'm desperately trying to get my ducks in a row so I can easily hand-off my projects and step back into them when I'm back.

And don't even get me started on the paper! I have paper everywhere! I have notes everywhere on the table I've been using as a desk. I can't wait until my real desk gets here so I can get some of these papers organized. And then there's the filing cabinet. We've finally got it in the house and emptied. But I still need to shred all the old stuff and set up files for our bills and things here. Normally I would love this kind of project, but it's been a low priority with everything else that's been going on. A low priority that is suddenly going to become big pain in the keester the minute I need to find something important.

So last night I tackled the 1st task in getting organized—purging my planner and adding the 2012 pages. I know 2012 started 6 days ago, but this is way better than previous years when I didn't get my planner going until mid-February.

Anyhow, I noticed something interesting while condensing and archiving my older planner pages. I had pages going back to August 2010 and those pages were all about work and work projects. About the only life notes in there had to do with when I was sick or paying bills.

Then I got into the pages from spring 2011. We were well into the house build then, and there were lots of house-related notes scattered in the pages regarding vendors and conversations and deadlines mixed in with the regular work notes. But even the house-related notes had a very work-like quality to them—I was treating it just like another project—and there was still virtually nothing in there about life.

Then I got to late summer 2011. Suddenly the daily pages weren't big enough to hold all the notes I was taking and nearly every weekday had notes in the margins and extra pages added in to hold the notes. There were copious notes about who I talked to and what we talked about rather than my usual 5–10 word bulleted summaries. This was the time when I was finally getting amped up about moving and making lots of calls and taking actions that made it all very real. Notes about life were sparse, but there were notes about dinner plans and get togethers. It's like I suddenly stopped compartmentalizing my work and personal lives.

Then the medical stuff started happening in August–September. More notes! More pages!

Then suddenly, it was mid-October and I had 7 days off from work, and yet my planner pages were still packed full! That never used to happen. If I was off work my planner pages used to stay blank. I have notes about things I saw while driving out here, things we missed on the way that I would still like to do. Notes on conversations Scoob and I had in various hotel rooms with ideas for the house or things we still needed to take care of.

The first month or so after moving in, my planner was full of notes regarding the house and things that needed to be fixed. It was actually funny to see because suddenly there were very few notes about work, even though I was working during this time. I hope I never need to recall anything from that period, because it is lost to me.

And ever since we've been here my planner pages have stayed pretty full, even after we finished all our 30-day punch list items with sub-contractors. (Well, not finished, the landscaper is finally coming out on Tuesday.) Even Saturdays and Sundays are full. Where we went, who we met, what we did.

Suddenly, my life exploded onto the pages. It's the closest thing to a dairy I've ever kept and glancing back through the notes I could relive our journey to getting here.

As I was cataloging the pages it was like reading a timeline toward finding my life. Or finding a life that I enjoy enough to actually note events and occasions to remember them.

Which isn't to say I haven't enjoyed stages of my life, but let's be candid—the last 2–3 years, while not being unbearably unhappy, have pretty much sucked ass. I hated where we lived. I hated my commute. I was on edge all the time and couldn't relax. And while I love my job, other factors were beginning to wear on how much I enjoyed it. And aside from a neighbor couple and 1 other friend, we did not socialize. We were getting desperate for a change when we decided to buy land in North Carolina.

I am so happy we took that risk. I finally feel like I have some balance to my life again. Sure, it hasn't been a smooth road, and it probably never will be, but I no longer feel like my worth or happiness is determined by my job. (That sounds more bleak than I want it to, but I hope you get the idea.)

And I love that get to watch the sun set like this from the
front porch or out my office window almost every evening.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oldie but a Goodie: Home Cough Remedy

I've had several friends on the facebook ask about at home cough remedies so I decided to dredge this home cough remedy recipe up from the past.

So here it is, reprinted here with permission (mine), from my old blog.

Poor Sweetie, he's actually feeling much better but he just can't seem to shake the cough and it's been keeping him awake at nights (me too, but I'm not as miserable). He's tried the Quils, both Day and Ny, and cough syrup, and lozenges, but he's still coughing. So today I tried looking up remedies online and found a doozy here, and they got it from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition. I had all the ingredients in my spice cupboard, so he decided it was worth a shot. It seems like it took 30 minutes to an hour to kick in, he's still coughing but the fitful bouts seem to have stopped:

    ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
    ¼ tsp. ground ginger
    1 Tbsp. honey
    1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
    2 Tbsp. water

Whisk together and take by the teaspoon-full. (He took 3 teaspoons of the stuff and said it tasted a bit like Tabasco sauce, but sweet.)

By the by, Casa Wayward is on facebook now. Give us a like. (Me. It's just me. Talking about myself in the plural. sheesh) I often post little tid-bitty things there in between posts here.