Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Clean Up

Decorating for the holidays seems to take quite a bit of effort, but there’s a certain amount of excitement and anticipation that goes along with it. That is certainly not the case with cleaning after the holidays. I’ve been working on my apartment in little shifts over the last few days, and it’s really slow going. I won’t take down the tree and outdoor decorations until after New Year’s Eve, but the rest of it seems rather to grow than to diminish. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’ve been so tired lately, and I had another day of a low grade fever the day after Christmas which confined me to the couch. Ah, it will all get done. The good thing is that Chris isn’t concerned with the clutter; all the pressure comes from me. At least now that the presents are no longer under the tree, Bella has reclaimed her new favorite napping spot. She likes to be partially under the tree and partially on her doggie bed. Strange dog.

For some strange reason, we stayed up until 1 AM this morning. While I am on holiday vacation, he is not, and he had to be at his first appointment at 8:30 this morning. I really hope that he doesn’t have to work late tonight and will have the opportunity to regain some of the rest he missed last night.

We keep the blinds on our balcony open during the holidays to showcase our lovely tree, and I just noticed the mailman strolling up the walkway. This somehow caused Bella to rouse from her deep sleep and begin to wander around aimlessly. Seeing the mailman made me realize once again how much I miss letter writing. I used to write such lovely letters to my friends and relatives before email became the primary method of communicating. Email is convenient, but it could never hope to compare with the beauty of putting pen to paper to express one’s thoughts for another. Letter writing is a lost art, and I’m afraid that I’m just too tired to try to revive it.

And right now, being that it’s lunch time, I’m hungry.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Day at Home

Today I’ve been lounging around the house all day. I had intended to get a lot more done, but I’ve feeling a bit ill. A headache and upset stomach along with a low grade fever has kept me primarily confined to the couch. I hope that this is just one of those 24 hour bugs. I’ve had my flu shot, so I should be OK in that area. Most of my Christmas shopping is done, and all but a couple of the gifts are wrapped and nestled comfortably under and around the tree, so I’m not too worried about that today. I do need to go out and get one more little thing for Chris’s cousin, Kim, and I’m still working on something else for his mom. However, I plan to take care of that either tonight when Chris gets off of work or tomorrow when I hope to be feeling better.

Bella is sleeping next to the couch on the floor beside me, and she’s dreaming. In her sleep, she often makes little whimpering noises, grunts, and snores. Just like Chris and me, she can be a noising sleeper. We both talk in our sleep; I guess the whimpering, which she is currently doing, can be seen as her way of talking in her sleep. I often find her with her paw over her eyes in an apparent effort to block the light, and, strangely enough, we’ve discovered lately that she occasionally sleeps with her paw in her mouth!

OK, I’m tired. I’m going to rest a bit.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

‘Tis the Season

I don’t know if it’s just this time of year or if it’s just the way my life is going right now. However, I’ve been struggling quite a bit with getting rather stressed out lately. I know that my general health and well being is greatly affected by this, and I am trying to find ways to calm down a bit and get a handle on all the craziness as of late.

Speaking of crazy, here’s a recap of my week…. Monday and Tuesday were normal school days, and I tutored. On Wednesday, I had the day off, but I ended up going shopping with Mom and Aunt Ruby. After leaving them, I needed to run to the grocery store and by a couple of ingredients for a dish I was making for my community group dinner that night. I ended up having to go to three different grocery stores to find strawberries. When I finally arrived home, I took care of Bella, did a quick clean-up around the house, and then started working on the three dishes I was making for the dinner. I made a poppyseed dip, a pineapple casserole, and a strawberry tiramisu. Chris was supposed to arrive home at 5:30 so that we could make it to the dinner by 6. However, he ended up having to work late, and I went by myself. In fact, his call went so long that I went to the dinner, stayed for over two hours, came home, put away the leftovers, cleaned the kitchen, washed and folded clothes, and changed into my pj’s all before he made it home! On Thursday, I gave my exam. One of my students actually took 3 ½ hours to take it! I even had to miss our annual middle school teacher’s brunch at the Loveless Café in order to stay with the student. Afterwards, I tutored another student and then headed to my parents’ house where Mom and I graded my exam until 8 PM! On Friday, I had to supervise the students while they took their science exam, and then I tutored once again. Afterwards, I headed home and spend four hours cleaning. On Saturday, I was once again at the school, supervising students for Saturday school. Thankfully I only had to be there for three hours instead of four, and then I went home and once again resumed the cleaning and laundry before a migraine confined me to the bed. Chris was so sweet in trying to take care of me and did a wonderful job except for his failed attempt at making me some macaroni and cheese. Bless his sweet heart! This is definitely one of those cases where it’s the thought that counts.

As of this next Tuesday afternoon, I will officially be on my Christmas vacation. I generally try to find some extra work during vacation, but with all the other busyness of the holidays and my need to de-stress, I think I’ll pass on extra work opportunities. I know that, given our need for extra money, passing up chances to made a little extra cash may not be the most logical course of action, but it may be the wisest.

Last Thursday, I took at short detour on my way to my parents’ and dropped by the Green Hills movie theater to purchase advance tickets to Eragon; I wanted to surprise Chris with them. We’ve both read the book and its sequel and were looking forward to the film. After church today, we dropped by Walgreens to pick up Twizzlers and M&M’s, and then we went to the theater where we added hot dogs, popcorn, and a large Coke to share to our little lunch smorgasbord. We both thoroughly enjoyed the previews and the movie. As a side note, I observed today that the Christmas season is my favorite time to go to the movies; somehow the whole experience feels more eventful and even magical at this time of the year. Afterward the movie, we wandered around the mall, spending most of our time in Davis Kidd bookstore. The entire day has been near perfect for us – time spent together doing things that we enjoy and being happy with each other’s company. Hopefully, this day will end just as perfectly with a peaceful night of sleep.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It’s Good to Have a Goal.

Every weekday morning, it’s the same thing. I get up at five, workout to a video or walk on the treadmill, eat breakfast while watching the weather, get ready for work, wake Chris up, walk to the front door with him in tow, give him a goodbye kiss, and try to make it to work in time to get one of five prized parking spaces. These parking spaces are close to the door, and I always back into them, enabling me to make an easier exit at the end of the day. My daily goal is to make it to work at or before 7 A.M. and secure one of those precious spaces. Most mornings I make it in enough time; however, there are those days….

Today was one such day. I tossed and turned all night long; oh, that elusive sleep! I didn’t get up to work out this morning and instead talked to Chris for a while before getting up. He just happened to be awake; perhaps my restlessness prevented him from sleeping as well. When I emerged from my shower, he was watching cartoons. I love to see him watching cartoons in the morning, but it does slow me down a bit. I cannot help but stop for a few minutes to see what those crazy Fairly Odd Parents are up to. However, I still made pretty good time getting ready, until I discovered two things: my completely frosted over truck and the missing buttons on the shirt I needed to wear. Kick into high gear. I throw on a sweater and go to warm up the truck while Chris goes to work on the shirt, both tasks taking longer than expected. When all was said and done, I was leaving the house fifteen minutes later than usual! I just knew that any chance for one of my beloved spaces was lost.

As I approached the school, there were cars waiting to turn in from the other direction. As I am a kind and polite Southerner, I waved them in ahead of me. Then, as I was traveling down the long driveway to the school, I spotted one last space, and a feeling of relief began to spring up within me. However, it was short lived. One of those cars I waved in whipped cleanly into the space! My space! Alas, today, I failed in my goal.

Maybe you think I’m being strange about a silly little parking space, but I refer to my title. It’s good to have a goal. Sure, I have much loftier goals, but it’s the tiny, generally accomplishable goals, which keep the days moving forward. Other such goals for me are getting the ironing finished, finishing a stack of grading, or refraining from eating dessert during the week. But in getting that parking space, I’m competing against time and my colleagues (even if they don’t know they’re in the race), and it’s the possibility for a tiny victory each morning.

Tomorrow morning, I will triumph!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

On to Bethlehem

The title of this post is taken from a song by the Vigilantes of Love, my favorite band. I have to say that I haven’t been listening to them as much lately as I used to, and I don’t have anything recent. It’s been years since I went to see a show with Bill Mallonee. VOL actually no longer exists, which really doesn’t make sense to me since it really was just Bill and a revolving door of bandmates. Anyway, I have been listening to a Christmas CD lately which contains two songs by them. With all the other distractions at this time of year, I hope to focus more on the reason for the holiday. I greatly love the Christmas season for all that it is. I love the endless Christmas songs in the stores and on the radio, the shopping, the decorating, the presents, drives to see other people’s decorations, the recipes, and so on. Even as I write this, I’m sitting in front of my heavily decorated Christmas tree, and I can see my icicle lights glittering merrily on the balcony. I think it’s beautiful. However, as we draw nearer to Christmas day, I plan to draw even nearer to Christ. On to Bethlehem….

I suppose when I was looking ahead to the last day of November, I thought that a good way to live it would be to bookend my day with medical treatments. I started the morning getting two shots: flu and B12, and then I had to leave work early in order to go and see the dentist. Three old fillings needed a little work. For as much stress as these things cause me on the front end, each experience ended up not being all that bad. I’m really excited about the B12 shot; I’m planning on getting them once a month. They have been proven to help tremendously with both allergies and migraines; as much as I loathe needles, relief from those two ailments will make it all worthwhile.

Today we went to look at a couple houses and a condo. I’m really trying not to get too anxious about finding a place; it’s just so much closer than it was previously. I long to leave our apartment behind. In all likelihood, we will be moving within the next couple months. Of everything that we’ve looked at, we like the condo the best. It’s 1800 square feet, had 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a fireplace, tons of storage, and a two car carport. There’s a nice size yard in the front, and we’re directly across from the pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, park, and basketball goal. I know that ideally we’d rather live in a house with a fenced in yard, but at this point this really may be the best option for us. It does need new flooring, and all of the walls need to be repainted. However, for the price, there is simply nothing better unless we want to live an hour away from our parents, our church and our places of business, and just about every other place we go. I’ll let you know how things develop.