Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Shortly before I published that last post, it had begun snowing.

And then it kept snowing. And kept snowing.

And then it snowed some more.

By late Saturday, we had thigh-deep snow in the backyard. By Monday morning, after many hours of shoveling sidewalks and parking spaces, we had a pile on our front lawn almost as tall as me.

(Not super representative of scale, but trust me, it was a big mound.)

The roads were a mess (and some of them still are, even now). The schools have been closed since last Thursday, and won't open again until Monday. The government was closed for 2 1/2 days. For almost a week now, our whole world has been snow and slush and cold, wet clothes and sore shoveling muscles and stir-crazy kids.

Dry January is on a wee bit of a hiatus. ;)

It's all (slowly) starting to melt now. Neighborhood roads are gradually becoming passable again. The snow pile on our lawn will likely be there for another couple of weeks at least. Next week we're supposed to have temperatures in the high 50s again! This winter has been all over the place, for sure.

Some other good stuff (*cough*X-FILES*cough*) has happened in the last few days, too, but that is a topic for another post. ;)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Finally on the mend

Man, that was a hell of a cold. I am not at all sorry to be on the upswing again. Good riddance to the cough and the snot and the lack of ability to sleep soundly. Next week: first gym trip of 2016!

Er, if I can get there through the snow drifts, of course.

So, it started snowing this afternoon. We're projected to get quite a lot of it, with a blizzard warning in effect starting about 5 hours from now. Whee. The kids are, of course, delighted. They have grand plans for shoveling and snowman-building tomorrow, and they'll have plenty to work with. (There's probably a good 6-8" out there already, with more falling all the time.) I'm really, really, really hoping we don't lose power, not least because...


*deep breaths*

Yes, yes, furnace and hot water and cooking and stuff. All of that.

(But also X-Files.)

Anyway. Yay for feeling better. Yay for snow (as long as it doesn't cause major problems). Yay for the return of my favorite TV show of all time.

Oh! I missed a few days of blogging, but I went to the barn on Wednesday for the first time since the end of summer. It was quite cold, and I was still in the process of feeling better, and I'm pretty out of shape/practice, so I took it fairly easy. But it was still nice to get out there and see Vanya and put my butt in the saddle again. (Even if it meant said butt was somewhat sore the next day.) ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tired of coughing!

I woke up with a cough on Christmas Eve. I have not stopped coughing since. I kept hoping it would go away. It did not. I finally went to the doctor's office the day before yesterday. She listened to my lungs and said, "Hmm, yeah, you've got some wheezing. Here are two inhalers and a short course of antibiotics. Let's see if that helps."

So far it does seem to sort of be helping? Except I'm still having ridiculous coughing fits periodically. And also now getting a sinus infection. I have had this cough for all of 2016, plus a week, and it is time for it to be done now, kthxbye!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Yoga Camp

A few days after Christmas, I ran across a link or an ad or something for a free, online via YouTube, 30-day Yoga Camp. I signed up and have been more or less keeping up with the daily videos. I'm currently a few days behind, but still trucking along. It's been really good! I like the instructor a lot, and I've been grateful to at least have something I can do despite the nasty cough I still haven't managed to kick. (I finally went to the doctor about that yesterday. Should be on the mend soon.)

There's a lot about yoga that appeals to me. I know it's not for everyone, and it's certainly not (usually) as much of a workout as running or lifting weights or even zumba, but I like having permission to slow down and be quiet and sort of let everything else go for 30 or 40 minutes. And goodness knows I benefit from all the stretching.

Anyway, I'm really glad to have found this YouTube channel. It seems the instructor actually has a ton of videos already posted, so there will be plenty of material available to continue on after these 30 days are up. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016


We finished watching Jessica Jones tonight. What a wild ride. As difficult as it was to stomach, a lot of the time, I do think it was really very well done, and I'm interested to see where they take it (and the Luke Cage spinoff) going forward.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Review: Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale

Over the summer, Soren and I read the Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce together. I've been trying to make sure that both kids are exposed to books with female protagonists, and in recent months I've read Matilda and Harriet the Spy to them as well. Then, this blog post by author Shannon Hale got me to seek out her book Princess Academy for Soren to read next.

He loved it, then read the sequel, and is working on the third book in the trilogy now.

I finally read Princess Academy myself last week, and I can see why it appealed to him. It's the story of Miri, a girl living not-quite-contentedly in a mountain village with her father and sister. She is forbidden by her father to do the one thing that all able-bodied villagers do, which is work in the quarry; she believes this is because she is so small and slight for her age. One day, a representative from the king comes to the village and says that priests have prophesied that the prince's future wife will be found there. All of the girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are required to attend an academy to learn the ins and outs of royal life, and after a year, the prince will visit and choose one of them to marry. At 14, Miri is among them, and though at first she doesn't really want to leave her family, she soon discovers that the education she receives at the academy could be incredibly valuable, whether or not she's chosen to be the future princess. She ends up saving the day in more ways than one, using her wits and courage.

There's a little bit of a magical element to the story (the villagers can communicate via "quarry speech" which is essentially a form of telepathy), and the worldbuilding is really quite excellent. I'm currently rotating through four different trilogies, myself -- in the last month or so, I've read the first in Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper trilogy, Marie Lu's Legend trilogy, this one, and I'm currently working on the first of Dan Wells's Partials books -- and Soren was super chagrined when I told him tonight that I have two and a half more books to read before I'll get to Palace of Stone. "But Mommy! That could take you a whole month! I don't want to have to wait that long to talk about it with you." Which is a pretty compelling argument. ;) Perhaps I'll switch up my order somewhat. In any case, it does give me some incentive to find the time to get through what I'm reading faster. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Because it's been a while...

...let's have a Haiku-Tu. ;)

tickets are purchased
passports are ready for stamps
summer fun awaits

Today I bought the plane tickets for our summer trip to Italy! I'm extremely excited. It'll be the kids' first trip abroad, and it's going to be quite the experience. Though Tom unfortunately has to get back for work after the first week, the kids and I are going to stop in Germany on the way home to spend another five days with some friends who moved there a little over a year ago. It's going to be great!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The princess and the pea

Eleri told me that she'd had "such a hard day at school today" when she got home this afternoon. When I asked why, she said that P.E. was really tough. Apparently they had to scoot across the floor on little situpon scooter things, pick up a card from the ground, and scoot back. She found this to be far too difficult for her liking, and it sounded her entire day. I asked if anything else had been hard about the day, but the response was an emphatic "Nope!"

I am reminded of the fabled princess who couldn't get a wink of sleep because of a pea stuck beneath her many mattresses. Silly goose.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Well fed weekend

Last night, Tom made a tasty seafood soup for dinner. Among the contents were steamer clams, which were a little tough for the kids to navigate, but they ended up doing all right. Soren, of course, decided that the clam shells were beautiful and that he wanted some for his rock (and shell) collection, so we saved some and cleaned them up and let the kids each pick one to keep.

Making their selections

I thought this one looked a little like a dog wearing sunglasses

Tonight, we had spatchcock roasted chicken and vegetables with a sunflower seed risotto. Tom found this recipe toward the end of last week, and it was too intriguing not to try. Basically, yes, you make a risotto out of sunflower seeds instead of rice. It was a fair bit of work (you have to soak the seeds overnight, then blend up half of them, saute the other half with onions and garlic, boil off the extra water, then mix everything together) and probably not necessarily worth bothering with again, but it was interesting and tasted good.

For my own part, I made a vegan "cheezy" sauce to pour over peas and sauteed spinach for my lunch today. It consisted of nutritional yeast, flour, garlic & onion powders, some turmeric, vegetable broth, and mustard. I wouldn't say it necessarily tasted especially like cheese, but it was good. I'm glad I have leftovers to try with some other stuff later this week.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Jessica Jones

Holy crap this show. It's good, but dark, and the tension in the last 2 episodes has been so high, and they've ended on such huge, swelling, dramatic notes that I was sure, both times, that it was the season finale. And we still have three episodes left to go.

Part of me wants to just binge-watch and get it over with (it's been almost 2 weeks since we saw episode 9, and we just watched episode 10 tonight), but I also sort of feel like I need a break between episodes. Anyway. It really is very well done. Well acted, well shot, etc. But it can be hard to watch.

Okay! Off to bed now. Ahahahahaha.