Friday, May 30, 2008

Not Ready for Summer

My favorite season is Fall - I love the weather turning cooler, leaves changing colors and I think all my years in an educational setting have made it so fall is just as much of a fresh-start time of year to me as January is.

I like Winter too, much more than I ever expected I would when I moved to the cold Midwest after always living in Southern states. Cold temperatures just make it perfect baking weather and a good excuse to curl up on the couch with a book. I love December with the decorating and preparations and oh yeah, my anniversary is mixed in there too and that's nice.

I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like Spring - what's not to like about the world waking up after the winter rest - my yard has tulips and daffodils and my drive to work is brightened with lots of trees that bud and flowers that bloom. And my birthday is in the Spring and so of course I like that.

Then there's Summer. I already mentioned living in Southern states, and I do mean Southern states with all the heat and humidity and even dry heat that that entails. I've lived in swampy heat-states and a desert-heat state so I have plenty of experience with summer. I think that's why now that I've gotten away from it I want nothing more to do with it - I feel like I've done my time, and never again want to broil walking to my car. Several of my coworkers love the heat and always go eat lunch outside and I tell them they are crazy and I've had enough hot weather to last me the rest of my life. During August I fantasize of moving to Alaska.

All of this is background to why the start of Summer often depresses me a tad - even though I live much farther north than ever before, it still gets hot here (and humid) and we'll have our share of 90+ degree days. I find myself counting the months, looking forward to October. This year seems even tougher on me because Spring has been so short - Winter was very long and then it feels like we're right into Summer. Today it's over 80 and the weekend is forecast to be even hotter.

I just have to say, I am so thankful for air conditioning.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let's Just Repeat My Last Title, Ok?

Because I really am still here, again.

What have I been doing, since I obviously haven't been blogging? Well, I've read a stack of books. Seriously, a huge stack. Mysteries and biographies and general non-fiction and a couple of young adult books. The evening time I'd been spending blogging I've instead been reading and reading and reading. I'm not always so good with the balance thing - when I'm reading I'm READING and everything else falls to the side. I need to get better at evening it out more - some time reading, some time blogging, some time cleaning (yeah, that gets ignored too), some time playing piano, well, you get the picture.

I also celebrated a birthday in that blogging break I just enjoyed. I did not celebrate it in my usual fashion of taking the day off from work and spending it at home doing whatever I want (which usually means reading 2 or 3 books I've been hoarding for that day). Instead I spent the day at work and instead took the next day off and spent it in my usual manner. :) My boss brought in cupcakes on my birthday and the coconut cream ones were fantastic, to the point where I've found a recipe so I can try and recreate the taste. She actually brought in an assortment of cupcakes and I made my friend split some with me so I could sample more of them - besides the coconut, we had strawberry, black bottom, and "ho-ho." So, yes, that would be two cupcakes each that we finished.

Apparently the cupcakes really did inspire me however because over Memorial Day I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and baked a number of new recipes. I was most proud of the bread I made - first time for me to tackle a yeast bread! I was unbelievably proud of myself for managing that. I'm almost ready to try a pie crust, because yes, I've always been intimidated by that as well.

One thing I have not been doing well recently is planning meals. It's now getting close to time to start fixing dinner and I have no idea at all what to fix. We had pasta last night, burgers on the grill over the weekend, and L had pizza recently at a friend's house so those are all out. I need some inspiration in a hurry so I think I'll go surf some food blogs...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Really Am Still Here

I haven't dropped off the grid, or given up any attempts at blogging. Life just got beyond me for a bit and I took an unexpected hiatus.

Since I've been gone I/we have had:
  • a death in the family (not unexpected, but still, routines went by the wayside, and that included computer time).
  • a hoard of family visiting for the funeral. And I do mean a hoard. I'm getting practice for that bed-and-breakfast I never wanted to open.
  • two illnesses. Spring allergies and guests-bearing-germs to blame.
  • another family visitor.
  • final bits of construction to finish the guest bathroom. Final touches still to come.
  • work frustrations and irritations that have just about reached a breaking point.
  • back spasms that leave me shifting from couch to chair to floor to bed trying desparately to find some position that gives relief from the pain. No idea what brought them on to know what to avoid in the future.

Now I'm trying to reestablish my routines and that's always so much harder than letting them slip originally.