Sleeping in and The To Do List

Today I got to sleep in.

What a glorious and wonderful thing.

This whole last year has been full of working every weekend day, but that’s all changed now. I’ve changed my schedule so that I get one weekend day off. I had to take on extra hours during the week to do that, but life is full of little trade offs, and this one was worth it.

Not only did I get to sleep until my eyes felt like popping open all by themselves, but now I get to sit in a quiet house and catch up on my blogs. And,  I get to write a post with no interruptions or the boys reading over my shoulder. Now there’s a treat. It’s a little easier to write what I really feel if I don’t have to worry about them walking by and sneaking a peak and making comments.

Aw shoot…I guess I spoke too soon…Older Son just got up, but he’s offering to make coffee, so I guess that’s another one of those little trade offs. Hmm… Coffeeeeee!

This morning is going to be all about The To Do List. Since I’ve taken on extra hours at the Big Box Store, and have stumbled upon my new found amazing social life, my house has really hit the skids. Time to take action, and here’s the plan for today:

Kitchen – (medium bad shape) clean off all flat surfaces of all things accumulated, scrub floors. If time, scrub fridge doors, inside and house, reorganize cupboards and drawers.

Living room -(horrifyingly bad shape) Burn and start again. Nope, too expensive. Dust everything, scrub walls, scrub floors, vacuum rugs, sort bills and papers, reorganize entire room. Hm…maybe it would just be better to burn and start again?

Bathroom – (pretty good shape) Light weekly scrubbing needed only

Entry way – (Not too bad) Sweep and mop floor, reorganize shoes and jackets

My room – (Run away, run away!) Get rid of the last of the things I brought up from the basement during the flood. Sweep floor and vacuum rugs, change sheets, dust everything, organize shelves, organize closet.

Basement (Good grief, what happened to my clean basement?!) Totes need organizing, floors need sweeping, laundry needs catching up with (my poor washer will be smoking and begging for mercy by the end of the day), items need to be put away in my new workspace cupboards.

Outdoors (Uff-da…) Need to have Younger Son finish pulling in the garden, and weed-whack anything that’s over grown. Solar lights need to be put away for the year, and the shed needs to be organized.

I’ve just read over this list, and know that I have my work cut out for me, but so do Older Son and Younger Son -I’ll be keeping them busy today. I’m also aware of this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’m dying to send a text message to my new man friend. He needs a blog nick name….I’ll have to think on that. I’m seriously aware that we are only friends, but I’ve gotten rather attached to him. Could be that I need to reign that in a little bit…if he wants to be more than friends, I’ll let him let me know. Darned flirty man… makes me want things I shouldn’t want right now. For today, I need to pay attention to my house and spend some extra time with my kids.

I hope you all have much smaller To Do Lists, and a spectacularly restful Sunday.

Editors note: So what happens after I get this posted and get ready to start my day? My phone goes off…it’s The Flirt…texting just saying Good Morning. Life is good…


Pre-emptive coffee, and the day Santa died

This morning I made the coffee, and I did it purely out of self-defense.

Older Son has been making the coffee recently and his idea of coffee, at the tender age of almost 18, is to put so many grounds in the filter that they are almost leaking out by the time the water has finished running through. I don’t often drink coffee right away in the morning, but the one day that I was really needing a cup I made the mistake of not making it myself.  It was so strong, it fairly made me break out into a sweat, so I didn’t finish it…I took two sips and there was so much caffeine in that little bit of coffee that I was lit up like a Christmas tree for the whole morning. That might have not been so bad, except it was so bitter that I just couldn’t get it down.

When I made the coffee today, I made it a little strong for me so Older Son wouldn’t feel like he was drinking colored water. So far so good. he finds it palatable, so mission accomplished.

So here I sit, reading blogs and sipping my low-octane coffee. I’m seeing a lot of posts about Santa, and it reminds me of the Christmas that Younger Son was in the First Grade. Younger Son has a very pragmatic, black and white way of looking at the world, and it didn’t take him long to figure out that Santa isn’t real. As the boys stayed with my parents after school, he inquired with my Mother about this, and they had a discussion about the real St. Nick and the fact that he is not with us any more but we celebrate him in spirit. He seemed satisfied with this explanation and all was well.

That is, until the next day when he announced to the rest of his First Grade class that Santa was, in fact, dead. From what I understand, there was an argument, and several of the children cried. Needless to say,  the teacher was pretty put out with him when my Mom picked him up after school.

Apparently Younger Son didn’t understand that while you may learn the truth about something, you don’t get to burst other people’s bubbles. I have no doubt that some of these kids will have bitter memories of the Christmas of their First Grade year. I can just imagine some of the conversations that happened around supper tables that night.

So, now that I’ve finished my coffee, and my story, it’s off to work. Happy Thursday!

Paying it backwards at Starbucks

The other morning, I had some extra time so I stopped at Starbucks to pick up a Dark Cherry Mocha…hmm…yummy!

Unfortunately, they replaced my favorite coffee with Pumpkin Spice Latte. I definitely got the impression that the Coffee Gods had abandoned me. Well, what to do? Order the next best thing, a White Chocolate Mocha.

When I got up to the window, the lady told me that the person in the car ahead of me had paid for my coffee!! I love it when this happens. Not because I get a free coffee, because I don’t. If someone in the car ahead of me pays for my coffee, I always put my money toward the coffee in the car behind me. It’s like a great big chain of coffee-laden generosity that just keeps gaining momentum. Last year, while in the middle of one of these occurrences, the Starbucks Lady told me that I was car #20 that had participated that morning. I hoped it went all day long.

Paying it backward, if you’ll forgive the turn of phrase, is a good way to get yourself out of a crabby funk. One day I went there to pick up a coffee, and I was feeling so completely miserable I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I pulled out a $20, paid  my coffee, the coffee in the car behind me, and gave the rest to the Starbucks Lady.  It didn’t necessarily make me feel better that I paid for someone else’s coffee, but it did make me feel better to think about the smile on the Starbucks Lady’s face, and about the surprise the car behind me was going to get. It also made me feel better to think that perhaps I started a chain of coffee-laden happiness that lasted for more than just a few cars. I doubt that it went on all day, but one can hope.

If you haven’t ever done this before, give it a try. You don’t have to wait until Christmas, though that is the most common time of year to experience it, and you don’t have to only do it at Starbucks. This should work in pretty much any drive through. Give it a try. I bet it will make your day.


The simplest things are the best

Hmmm…coffee. I stopped at Starbucks and grabbed myself a coffee and a sausage english muffin after dropping the kids off at school today. The muffin was great, the coffee went down smooth, and my get up and go has increased significantly. Nice way to start off another day.

While typing, I’m also doing laundry and washing dishes. If I suspend reality in my head, I can say I almost feel like I could be a little like Molly Weasley, only my wand doesn’t work quite so well as hers does. I would love to be able to set my house to cleaning itself while I get on to other more interesting matters. Thank goodness for machines that wash the clothes and the dishes for us!

So, being as I have another day off, I have several projects that I could do, but I’ll probably just end up deep cleaning my bedroom, as well as the living room. The kitchen floor could use a good mopping too. If I’m really good with my time, I’ll be able to squeak in making some relish from the peppers I harvested from the garden before I pick up Older Son from school at 3pm. Younger has a football game two hours away, so I’ll probably just take Older out for supper tonight.

Sitting here in the quiet, hearing nothing but the dishwasher and the traffic out front, I feel calm and comfortable. Not only that, but I’m feeling particularly blessed, for the following reasons:

~I’m feeling most especially blessed that I don’t hear the water heater banging any more, and that we had more hot water than we knew what to do with this morning. I’m so grateful I no longer have the worry about that thing malfunctioning and flooding my basement.

~Pretty soon the new windows will be put in, and my house will be nice and warm this winter.

~I got good reports from all of Younger Son’s teachers yesterday, with the exception of one, in whose class he’s getting a C. I don’t take this teacher’s report too seriously as she has been reported to be a menace by Older Son, and other children and parents who’ve dealt with her. If a C in this class is the worst that it gets, life is good.

~The weather has been cold and drippy, but it’s supposed to be back in the 70’s this weekend, so I can get some final landscaping done and get my garden put to bed for the winter.

~I have this day of peace and quiet to enjoy, no matter what I choose to do. Isn’t it amazing how the simplest things are the best?

There’s a blessing if you dig deep enough to find it…

Start digging!

There are some days where there just isn’t enough coffee to cover the stress, bills, work, kids, home, etc.  Some days there just aren’t enough margaritas either.

Something I’ve learned over time, the hard way, is that it doesn’t pay to wallow in all of the things that cause stress and sleeplessness. Rather, it is less stressful if you look for the blessings where others may over look them.  Once you find a reason to be grateful, everything else becomes a little more tolerable. I know it sounds very pollyanna-ish, but it works. Here are a few examples of the blessings I dug up today:

1. We are expecting severe thunderstorms today. While it’s definitely the last thing we need, rain sure beats the heck out of snow. I hate shoveling snow. At least when it rains, it just runs down the gutters and away from the sidewalks and driveways.

2. It’s bill paying time again, and I despise paying bills. That I have  house and utilities payments means that my kids and I have a place to live, where there is heat, lights and water.

3. My kids eat me out of house and home. They are teenage boys, and if they didn’t eat a lot, there would be something not right. I’m blessed with healthy children.

Well, that’s all for now…I hope that you find as many, and more, blessings in your day.

Coffee, how I do love thee…

I never used to like coffee. When I was little my mom used to fix me a cup of tea with lots of milk and sugar in it. Once, I came upon a cup full of what I thought was my tea, but it was

Good morning!

someone else’s coffee with a lot of cream and sugar in it, and it was awful. I never touched the stuff again from that moment, until my middle-late twenties.  My (then) husband, myself and our two babies traveled to Michigan to visit his family, and his younger brother introduced me to the joys of flavored coffee. Since then, I’ve been irretrievably hooked. It’s all Jeff’s fault…yeah, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Anyway, fast forward to now. I love to buy my favorite fluffy coffees at Starbucks. We have local coffee shops who also sell delightful coffee concoctions. My kids have recently developed a taste for it as well. Often on Sunday mornings,  one of the boys will go with me to Starbucks and we get us all coffees, pastries and a newspaper. What a fabulous way to start a nice Sunday morning!

Fluffy coffees are expensive, though, and it’s not something we can have all the time. Since buying coffee every day is just too cost-prohibitive, we have a coffee pot. Mom had an extra one, and sent it home with me one day when I mentioned the kids liked coffee. So, it’s been interesting buying different flavors and doctoring our coffee up with flavored creamers and sugar.

Drinking coffee isn’t just about the taste, or the caffeine. There’s something about the smell that calms me down during a hectic morning. It’s also a great smell to wake up to. I love the smell of coffee right away when I get up. It’s almost aromatherapy! In the Winter, drinking coffee can be all about getting warmed up again after being outside. Sometimes drinking coffee at work is a means of grounding and centering myself if I’m having a rotten day. Most days, I only drink one cup of coffee, and am lucky to finish it.  I know it’s a bad day at work when I’m hitting my second cup of coffee before noon. Gods help the person who messes with my coffee. Reach for my coffee cup, and you may only get back a bloody stump where your conniving, thieving hand used to be, especially if it’s early in the morning.

I have a cup of coffee sitting next to me right now. I’m just waiting for it to cool before I start sipping, so I’ll just inhale the lovely aroma and get a good start on my day. (Sniiiiiff….ahhhh!)

Coffee…what would I do without it?

I never used to like coffee. I’ve always loved tea, and I still do, but now I like coffee better. I’ll blame that on my ex husband’s brother, who introduced me to the novel idea of flavored coffee when my kids were small. Sometimes even more than drinking coffee, I love the smell of it. It’s one of those comfy home smells that just makes me happy to have it around.

Even though I liked coffee all these years, I haven’t had a coffee pot for a long time.  My Mother had an extra one that she gave to us recently, and now coffee is a must every morning. I have noticed that Younger Son is much happier in the morning with a cup of coffee in his system, Older Son seems to like it too, though I don’t think he finds it as necessary for living as Younger and I do. I’m thinking that an espresso machine may materialize at our house sometime within the next year. Hmmm…

Today we are drinking Vanilla Nut Cream…hmm…yummy! Something else that’s good with coffee is hot chocolate powder. I keep a stash of that at work to flavor the free coffee there. It’s pretty awful tasting stuff at work, but what the heck, it’s free.

It’s now 7:07 am. So having “coffeed” myself and boys up good, we can get on with our day!