Friday, December 31, 2010

The First Four Months

I'm ending the year with a video of the first four months of my picture-a-day project (9/4/10-12/31/10).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 Classics I've Never Read

2011 To-Read List
1. Rebecca (now reading)
2. 1984
3. The Scarlet Pimpernel
4. The Count of Monte Cristo
5. Oliver Twist
6. The Phantom of the Opera
7. A Wrinkle in Time
8. Little Women
9. The Screwtape Letters
10. The Great Gatsby

Turning Off Autopilot

I had high expectations for 2010. I made plans. But almost nothing was accomplished. This past year, my life was on autopilot. In 2011, I'm taking my life back. I'm not going to let things just happen to me. I'm going to take control of my surroundings and the people in it. Starting with my ex, or rather my soon-to-be ex-husband.

My first act of taking hold of the reigns was filing for divorce. In NC you have to be separated for a year before you can file. We separated three years ago. I never filed. I kept waiting for the right time. Why? There's no good reason I can think of. I finally asked myself, "is this important to you?" Well, yes, it is. "So why aren't you making it a priority?" Ummmmmmm. I FINALLY filed on December 9. He was served on the 17th. We have to wait 30 days to petition the court for a date. My lawyer expects the divorce to be finalized around February 3rd. We will have been officially married (including the separation) for 9 years and 4 months.

I have resolutions for the coming year, I just haven't organized them yet. If you were to ask me what they are, I could probably tell you a couple, but I'm pretty sure I have more. I'm going to dedicate the first week of the new year to writing down my resolutions. Each one will have a blog post, I just don't know how many there will be. They'll probably look a lot like last year's resolutions.

Like Daddy

Sammy got a Spiderman watch for Christmas. Before Christmas, he would put a rubber band or string around is wrist and say, "I need to see what time is." Once when I asked for the time, he looked at his rubber band and said, "it's 27."  We knew the watch would be a big a hit.

Sammy is right handed. Typically, right handed people wear their watches on their left hand. But not Sammy. Why? Because Sammy's daddy is left handed and wears his watch on his right hand. The first time I put the watch on, I started to put it on his left arm. "No, Annie, it goes on this hand [patting his right hand], like Daddy's." Whoops. So I switched to his right arm and fastened it up. The band was still a little big, so I moved it up his arm a little so it would fit properly. "No, Annie. It has to go right here [over the wrist]. This is where Daddy wears it."

Kids notice everything. Here's hoping we never forget that we influence their actions and thoughts, big and small.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Has this snow scrooge's heart grown?

Technically it's a day-after Christmas snow, but it's close enough to Christmas to call it a Christmas snow, right? It hasn't snowed this close to Christmas here in eastern North Carolina in a long time. And it's a beautiful snow too. Sometimes, our snows are more sleet and ice, but today was a real snow.

I'm an admitted snow scrooge. It doesn't snow much in this part of the state. We usually only get one snow per year, typically in January. So far this winter, we've had three, thanks to the jet stream dipping lower. I'm not fond of snows because my clothes get cold and wet. It melts during the day and freezes over night, causing lots of ice on the roads and driveways and sidewalks and porch steps. People here get stupid during the snow. We're just not used to it.

But we don't have to worry about the ice until tomorrow. Today, we have fun.

Sammy really loves playing in the snow

Say "cheese"

He ran all around the side yard
He made a snow angel and kept falling down in the snow because it was so much fun.

There's nothing like hot chocolate and warm pajamas after a fun time playing in the snow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Bed is My Friend

Every year, my family comes together to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. My oldest younger brother and his family live about 40 minutes away. My youngest younger brother and his son live with me, and my Mom lives beside me. Yesterday, everyone was over at my house (my house isn't very big). The celebration started at 5:00, but I didn't finish getting everything ready until 6:00. My day started at 8:00 in the morning and didn't end until 11:00 at night when everything was cleaned up.  It was a long day. It was a great day. But as a person with Multiple Sclerosis, it was a day that did me in.

This morning, Christmas morning, I dragged myself out of bed to watch Sammy open his stocking and gifts from Santa and his Dad and Mom. He's 3-1/2, and it's the first year he really understands Santa and Christmas. And then I went back to bed. I managed to get lunch, but then went back to bed. My Mom (who just had her hip replaced a month ago) came over and made dinner (open roast beef sandwiches and mashed potatoes-yumm!). If you can't tell, my energy level today was ze-ro. Spending fifteen hours on my feet, running around all day was too much. I used to be able to do it, and then do it again the next day. I'm getting old before my time. Thankfully, I had no plans for Christmas, except with my bed.

A little bit of self control

Every year we put out cookies and carrots on Christmas Eve for Santa and his reindeer. (Those poor reindeer have to share one carrot.)

Sammy carefully chose the cookies he wanted to put on the plate and then took one for himself. A little later on, I heard him walking down the hall, saying, "I'm just going to have one m...." Then he stopped, turned around, and walked back to his room, saying "No, I'm not going to eat one of Santa's cookies."

That took a lot of self control and quick internal dialogue for a little boy who's extremely picky about food but LOVES cookies and cakes and ice creams.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday 12/21/10

The Top 10 books I want Santa to bring (books currently on my to-read list)
These are in no particular order. I'm going down my to-read list on goodreads and adding them as I find them.

1. Dash & Lilly's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
2. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
4. When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett
5. The Maze Runner by James Dasher
6. Sex Dungeon For Sale by Patrick Wensink
7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni
8. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
9. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish


It was 35 degrees at lunch when I went home to pick up my mother, brother, and nephew. When we got into the car, Sammy rolled down the window, but before we started, I asked him to roll it back up. Whhhhyyyyyy? (he's going through a why phase). Once he rolled it up, I locked all the windows.

At a stop light a little later on, he said, "uh oh, my bad guy hand is going to roll down the window." Knowing full well that he wasn't supposed to, he pressed the button. And pressed. And pressed. Then he looked up, and in the rear view mirror I could see a very annoyed look on his face. "Annie! Did you LOCK MY WINDOW?!! You need to unlock it RIGHT NOW!" (He's going through a demanding phase too.)

The joys of being 3-1/2. All of your evil plans are thwarted by adults.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What I'm Reading

Tonight when I got home from work, the rest of the family went out go Christmas shopping. I made myself a light dinner, turned off the TV in the living room, and settled down on the love seat to read a book. I stayed there until after 10:00. It was nice to be alone in the quiet, a kitty plopped down on top of me, with a good book to occupy my mind.


I'm enjoying it very much. I LOVE science, especially physics, specifically astrophysics and astronomy, so I knew I had to pick up this book when it was released (which was 2 weeks ago). When I brought it home, Sammy looked at the cover and asked "Why is that rocket bullet dying that dot?" Such a simple question with a very complicated answer. 

Sammy used to have planets hanging above his bed, so I used those to explain why Pluto (which he used to pronounce Mooto when he was younger) was a small planet and couldn't be a BIG planet anymore. Of course there were many more factors that contributed to the definitions of planets and dwarf plants, but he's only 3. When I put Sammy's question on twitter, Mike Brown, the author, replied with "the dot had to die." 

I'm half way through (page 135)...I think Eris (the 10th "planet") is about to be discovered, which sends Pluto on the path to it's eventual doom. I've found this book to be very engaging. It includes aspects of the author's personal and professional life and explains the science behind astronomy in a way that a person of average intelligence can understand it.

I've checked this out of the library, but I can tell it's going to be a book I'm going to buy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Random Questions 12/17/10

1. What has made you smile today?
My stripy, warm, soft chenille socks

2. What are your New Year's Resolutions?
I plan on listing my resolutions in several posts, but primarily it's to get everything in my life organized and in order (my home, my finances, my job, my health etc.)

3. What moment would you relive and why?
Visits with my grandparents, because I was self-absorbed when I was younger and didn't spend time with them talking the way I wish I could now.

4. What music are you listening to right now?
Nothing--hold on, I'm going to hit shuffle on itunes, and I'll list the song that comes up. And the winner is: I Don't Believe You (Pink) followed by Run (acoustic cover by Ortopilot of Snow Patrol's original)

5. What is your favorite time of day?
I am NOT a morning person, but my favorite time of day is the 30 minutes before and after the sun rises each day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shoe Stasis

In my efforts to organize my home, I've made a deal with myself: if anything new is brought in, something has to go out. I have a small house. It's filled to the brim. Eventually I'll have more stuff going out than coming in, but until that time, I'm trying to keep it under control.

I bring this up because today I bought five pairs of shoes. (five pairs? really? Yes, FIVE pairs.) Almost all of the shoes on the clearance rack at Shoe Carnival were size six (my size ~ that rarely happens). In my defense, I went there for a legitimate reason. I needed a new pair of shoes to wear to work because the one pair I wear most often was falling apart, literally. They're not trendy (they are loafers after all), but they're super, super comfy. I love those shoes. I've put off replacing them because I can't find an exact pair anywhere and I can't remember where I bought them.

This morning it snowed, which later melted and made puddles. Puddles are the enemy of my favorite pair of work shoes because the soles have begun separating from the shoe. (as i said, they're literally falling apart.) The inside of my shoes got wet. My feet got wet, and they stayed wet and cold all day. My loyalty only runs so deep. I decided to get a new pair of shoes after work.

Cue the Shoe Carnival. It was the third store I went to. I checked out all the shoes in all the aisles and along the walls. Then I came to the back, and there it was...the Clearance Section. To make it better, ALL of the clearance shoes were further reduced to $9. (to be a success at clearance shopping/scavenging, one must look past the junk, i.e. the gold sequined flats or the multicolored spiked heels, to locate the gems.) I found a black pair of loafers with heels that were comfortable (but not as comfy as my favorite run down pair, but for $9 I'm not complaining) to wear to work. (mission accomplished. pay for the shoes and leave the store. now. back, no, don't keep...oh look, these are cute). I also found a couple pairs of casual shoes to wear with jeans, a utilitarian slide-on pair for when I go clothes shopping or flying, and another cute pair that I don't have anything to wear with right now, but they were only nine dollars so cut me some slack! Retail price for all five was $265, and I paid only $45. Not bad. I tell myself it's okay to buy that many shoes because the last time I bought shoes was a year ago when I bought my now no longer wearable favorite pair of shoes, and these shoes were such a good price.

So, back to the beginning. I bought five pairs of shoes today. Does that mean I need to get rid of five pairs of shoes to keep the status quo in my house? I vote no, but I need find something comparable to get rid of. There are a couple pairs of shoes I rarely wear that I can give to Good Will, but that leaves three more things...I think it's time to give away a few of Sammy's toys that he no longer plays with. (don't judge me)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I checked out my Google reader yesterday for the first time in a while. There were over 500 blog posts I hadn't read. I find I treat blogs like books...I find one I like, add it to my to-read list, and then don't read it for a long time. That's one of the many things I'm going to improve on next year. I have BIG plans for next year.

(raises hand) "I, Susanne, promise to not be such a lame-o when it comes to reading and commenting on blogs."

I also have a couple things to blog about, namely I finally got off my duff and filed for divorce, I bought a Christmas tree but haven't decorated it, and it's not supposed to be this cold in the South.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five Random Questions 12/7/10

What did you have for breakfast?
Fried egg on toast with corned beef hash and orange juice

Do you want kids?
Yes, but I don't want to raise them alone so I need to get married again. But first I need to get divorced. (papers were signed yesterday ~ yay! ~ just needs a judge's signature) Plus, I feel strongly about adoption, so I'm not sure if I'll have biological children.

Where are you?
In my room on my bed watching Sherlock.

Are you happy with your life?
For the most part, yes. I'll be happier when my divorce is finalized AND my home is better organized. I'm working on both.

Do you like to walk in the rain?
It's not something I set out to do, but I don't mind it. I prefer having an umbrella though.

Top Ten Tuesday 12/7/10

The top 10 places I read (in no particular order)

1. In the bed
2. In a hotel room
3. In the hammock
4. At Barnes & Noble
5. At the Library
6. At Panera Bread
7. Work break room
8. Doctor's office
9. On the beach
10. On the couch

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Worth the 20 minutes

A TED video about the need to retain creativity and the importance of being able to take risks and make mistakes.