Is that you don’t have to pretend to be busy all day. My job, like every job, has hectic times and quiet times, but when you are in an office with a boss you don’t want it to look like you are “wasting time” checking your personal email or catching up on facebook. It’s not that you aren’t doing your job, there just may not be anything to do at that moment, but no one wants to look like a slacker. So you try to get ahead on projects, check your work email a million times, review your calendar… and want to bang your head against the desk when you realize that only 5 minutes has passed and you still have nothing work related to keep you occupied.
This is why I love working from home (and for myself) — when I have work, I do it. When I don’t have work or am waiting for edits, there are plenty of other things to do — laundry or running errands or learning a new jazzercise routine or meeting a friend for coffee. For me, these other outlets are key to the idea that I am working to live, not living to work. I love my clients and I pride myself on doing every project on or ahead of schedule, but there is a lot more to life than working and by being my own boss I don’t have to spend a part of each day proving to someone else that I am doing my job.
Usually I’ll just have a quiet day here or there, but this week with Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah every day has been fairly low key. I’m so glad that this morning I could enjoy the cooler, breezy weather over an iced mocha with a friend, her son, and my newest doggie intern, Bella. Now, with Bella’s assistance, it’s time to see what I can get accomplished during this mellow Thursday afternoon.
It has been seven weeks since my last post. In that time I have meant to write about a variety of things: our garden plot, the refinished front door project, our backyard, traveling to California, cooking, and dog talk. Despite my best intentions to write 2 or 3 posts per week, work has been unbelievably busy and each time my calendar has alerted me that it is time to write a post I have to admit that I’ve simply hit “ignore.”
But yesterday as I finished up the dishes and was reflecting on how I was also in my third load of laundry and had prepared dinner (and was working AND it was only 2:30), I thought to myself “Self, it is time to get back into blogging!”
So here’s a mini update about all the things I have been meaning to share recently.
I’ve been paying about as much attention to our community garden plot as I have to this blog…so I can’t report too much there. I know our sage plant is totally out of control (at this point it has probably taken over the entire 4×12 foot area). Hopefully I’ll make it over this weekend and will be able to collect a few bell peppers if the bugs/birds haven’t gotten them yet. I know we also have three or four leeks, but I am not sure if they are ready to be harvested. Since there is no room in the fridge for them, hopefully they can stay at the garden a bit longer.
In our backyard plot we added red potatoes and some blueberry bushes at the end of September. We’ve had a pretty good harvest of green beans, radishes and arugula since planting, but some nasty black and orange bugs came along and killed our thriving cucumber plant. Our chive and cilantro plants still seem to be coming along so I am hoping that they will take root before it is too chilly. It also looks like a good number of leeks are growing for use in the spring.
Front Door Refinishing:
While my in-laws were here for a weekend in September, my husband asked my father-in-law to refinish our front door. It now looks beautiful, but it meant spending three relatively chilly days and nights without a front door, which was interesting. Thankfully we still had the screens on our gate so we were able to keep bugs out at the very least. I have to admit that I was disappointed my security squeak—the super loud annoying noise that the door made every time it was opened and closed—disappeared when the door was reinstalled.
The first weekend of October we were in California to attend the sixth and seventh weddings of 2011. Along with visiting family, we took a wine tasting day trip to Amador County and spent a few nights in Santa Cruz. Now I can safely say that we are weddinged out! Thankfully we won’t be comparing cakes and dancing like fools again until 2012, but we will be heading back to California during the holidays.
As you know from earlier posts, I have to brag when I make dinner. Well, my husband is currently on work travel so I have been making dinner every night. If I want to eat I have to cook, so I suppose that I can’t really brag too much about that. But I have been doing my best to choose relatively healthy options like lentil & spinach soup, tabouleh & hummus, and black bean soup. It seems that Mother Nature has decided it is indeed fall, but despite having entered full-blown baking season I feel like I should wait for a reason other than wanting to eat a treat before I bake. Apple cake is definitely in the near future though.
My husband and I have been talking for months (years really) about getting a dog. Recently he mentioned — wait, I think this is a story for a whole other post…I’ll try not to wait for seven more weeks to write it!
I started this post over a week ago before we left for Costa Rica … Now that we are back, I finally have time to finish it:
March was a whirlwind – I worked like crazy (which was great), spent nearly the entire month with a sinus infection (much less great) and we attended two weddings (also great). As the month wound down, we didn’t. On Thursday, March 31 we were off to Costa Rica for the fourth wedding of the year. I was excited about my first trip to Latin America, even if it was a whirlwind in and of itself — we were only there for 6 days and that included time traveling to and from.
With so much to see and so little time to fit it all in, we spent a good portion of the trip on the go, which was interesting considering that 3 of the 6 people in the car get motion sick. Combine that with the fact that sometimes the roads aren’t anything but rocks, dirt and gravel and things really got interesting. But we all survived and managed to see a some beautiful places in Costa Rica — Arenal Volcano, Nosara (the beach town where the wedding was held), and the Los Angeles Cloud Forest. Each part of the country was vastly different in climate and foliage ranging from forest to dry valley to jungle. We did squeeze in some additional activities between driving and the wedding including a morning nature walk in Arenal, a zip line tour in Nosara, and a night walk in Los Angeles. Somehow we also found time to eat lots of delicious food including gallo pinto — the traditional black bean and rice combination typically served at breakfast — as well as fresh fish, shrimp and a variety of other tasty treats.
There were howler monkeys who happily served as our alarm clocks, lots of interesting birds, lizards and plants to look at, and the mysterious scorpion that showed up on my father-in-law’s arm at the beginning of our night tour. Ah, memories.
I loved the the warm, mostly sunny weather, although I must admit it made coming back to 40 degree DC quite unpleasant. And now that we are home, it’s time to return to our regular routines whether we want to or not. Those 6 days without dishes, laundry or cleaning were pretty amazing, but the real world — and our dirty travel clothes — beckon.
I haven’t posted in quite some time and I have so many excuses — I was busy with work, I had no internet for a few days, and then I was hit with a monster cold that I am still getting over. Despite continuing to be busy with work projects, the internet is back and (hopefully) I am starting to be on the mend from my cold. With two of the three roadblocks sort of taken care of, I am sitting at my desk trying to think of something brilliant to post about, but all I can really think is, “Crap, I just used my last lotion tissue blowing my nose!”
Even with all the complications there has been some housewifery, not that that is a word, during the past few weeks. A baking spree occurred with back-to-back batches of cupcakes then a pan of molasses bars. My husband was very excited about the cupcakes and I have to agree that it was nice to have a perfect sized dessert around for a few days.
I am also excited to report that although the weather remains chilly, spring seems to be seriously considering joining us. Our tulips are sprouting in the front yard and I am anxious to see the first flower bloom. Also, seeing the tulips start to sprout reminded me that it is time to get into gear for a new gardening season. I have picked up a wide variety of seeds as well as the seedling materials I need to get them growing. I have everything I need for the project except the motivation to actually do it. I’d much prefer to take a nap. But maybe with my husband’s help we can plant our seedlings this weekend to ensure that they will be nice and hearty by mid- to late-April when it comes time to transplant the little guys into the garden.
I could also use some help finding motivation to fold the clean clothes that have spent the last four days in the laundry basket. You might think that knowing folding the laundry will mean I could pick up all the dirty clothes currently littering the floor of the bedroom and bathroom would be enough, but alas I just walk around them day after day wondering where on earth that Laundry Fairy has gotten off to.
For now, actual work calls, and maybe laundry will get my attention later. And if I can find my camera I will get back in the swing of more frequent (and visually appealing) posts soon.
At the end of the day yesterday, I thought, “Self, this was a perfect day!” I immediately started to wonder why I used the word perfect. And why was I addressing myself in my thoughts? But I digress.
Back to the “perfect” day. My husband didn’t bring me breakfast in bed, nor did we spend our day lounging by the beach or our evening with glasses of wine in front of a beautiful fireplace. In fact, nothing about my reaction to yesterday had to do with my marriage (sorry honey!) and it definitely didn’t have to do with relaxing. Still, after reflecting on things, I am considering it a pretty amazing day—even if it isn’t for any of the reasons people might typically assume.
Business in 2011 has been incredibly busy, which is a great blessing. But because of this I have spent most days racing from one project to another to ensure I get everything done by their respective deadlines. However, yesterday felt like it was the first day in which I not only managed to do everything on my work agenda, but I managed to do it ahead of schedule. In fact, things were going so smoothly, I was even able to get ahead, which I always love. I made a few project calls, wrote two press releases, started and finished a program layout and still had time to wash, fold and put away four loads of laundry, clean the bathroom, wash a few dishes and set the table for the dinner we were hosting.
And it was all done before 5 pm.
That’s where my feelings about the perfectness of the day really come into play. Working from home makes me feel inherently more responsible for taking care of the day to day tasks related to the house, but typically I don’t have the time in my day to do much, if any, cleaning. The fact that yesterday wasn’t just a successful work day, but was also a successful household day made me feel a serious sense of accomplishment.
Now I can honestly say that I am ready for the weekend. And I don’t even have to do any laundry during it!
We had quite a wonderful holiday and I am not anxious to get back in the swing of things. I again find myself very grateful to work from home since it means I can adapt a bit more slowly to reality.
There is much to report about how many incredible things we ate (pain au suisse anyone?), drank (French cider and Jordanian wine) and saw (Petra) as well as the limited amount of housewife-related tasks that occurred during our time away. I have to admit, I never knew I would be so excited to do laundry, but after spending about two weeks away it was a real treat yesterday. And having more than four shirts to choose from when getting dressed in the morning was pretty exciting too. Ah, life at home. Not as glamorous as Paris or adventurous as Jordan, but comforting none the less.
There are many stories to tell and images to share, but for now here is sunrise in Amman.
Today I am in serious housewife mode in an attempt to make sure our humble abode doesn’t scare my in-laws when they arrive this evening. I was planning to do the usual tidying — putting away the shoes littering our main level, hanging up my husband’s discarded suit jackets which are currently on the backs of a number of our chairs and making sure the dining room table was cleared off — however Mother Nature offered me a chance to do some additional cleaning.
It’s been raining like mad all morning. Add a few strong gusts of wind and welcome to my wet living room and bedroom. While I realize it is kind of my fault for not closing the windows this morning, that doesn’t make it any less annoying! Having puddles of water behind my love seat and across my bedroom floor is definitely never ideal. However now that I have the windows shut and the water wiped up, I am realizing the cleaning bonus. Not only is the hardwood floor free of puddles, it is also free of dust, dirt and hair!
There is still a lot on today’s agenda. I have to do a few loads of laundry and make sure the living room and dining room look presentable. At the moment both rooms look like very large (and very unorganized) sorting piles for mail, newspapers and discarded socks. Thankfully I still have all afternoon and things are surprisingly quiet on the project front today for the first time in weeks. Now it’s time to get back to the chores.