Thursday, March 7, 2019

Scattered thoughts

These cherry blossoms were in full bloom a few weeks ago, but are now almost gone. We'd missed them when we moved here last April.
Well, hello there, blog. What has it been now, two months since I last checked in? I had to start scrolling through my photos to see just what have we been up to around here? It hasn't been much.

There's really nothing new to report. Life has been good; I only have blessedly petty gripes like 'the kids are so messy' and the 'dog is driving me crazy.' Speaking of the latter, at the moment she is curled up on her bed sleeping. Not that she needs any special reason to take a nap, but she is recovering from the procedure that ensures there will be no Willow Juniors. She has perked up considerably after a full evening and night of rest, and has been eating and drinking today; but is still not herself yet. I told Delaney this morning, "It's not that I want her to have more surgeries, but 'convalescent Willow' is really easy to have around." She chuckled knowingly. Willow is now eight months old, and a couple weeks ago -- after thinking we were in the clear (again) with housetraining -- we went through another rough patch. She sneaked off several times to pee on the laundry room floor or my bedroom closet, which was infuriating. She was also pushing our buttons in other ways, like getting into things she knows she shouldn't and tormenting Joey. What to blame it all on? Puppy adolescence? French bulldog stubbornness? The full moon? The dog hates me? Who knows. I really started to think that maybe she was not a good fit for our family, but I was outvoted in that regard. We tightened the reins on her and got her back under control (I think? So far she's made a liar of me every time I've said that.); and I've read that once dogs are altered, they are much less inclined to mark. Now if I could ever get her to mind me when I don't have a treat in my hand..
I have decided to give up Facebook for Lent. This is my first hiatus since setting up my account almost 10 years ago to the day (just caught myself about to log on so I could verify that!), so I'd say it's about time. It was getting to be a huge time suck; or maybe I was finally starting to acknowledge that it was. I kept going back because of all the funny memes, interesting articles, and pictures of friends and family and their growing kids. Not logging in means missing out on a cute pregnancy announcement or a great sale, both of which cause the pleasure centers of my brain to light up. But I was coming to find that in order to see the funny, heartwarming and useful things, I was scrolling through a whole lot of other stuff that at best was a big fat waste of time or at worst made me feel horrible. And I wasn't just scrolling. I was stopping to look at really stupid things like comments. I don't know what was wrong with me. So, right before going to bed on Tuesday night, I deleted the app from my phone. Having it so handy on my phone was the real problem for me, I think, because I rarely think to open it on the laptop, but I've caught myself a bunch of times looking for it on my phone. Pathetic.
Happiness is freshly-picked daffodils on my kitchen counter.
40 is coming at me fast. I was in Walmart a few weeks ago buying beer in the self-checkout because it seemed to be the only line that was moving. I will never do that again. Here's why. As I had anticipated, the checkout person had to come over and approve my purchase. I had my ID at the ready, not because there's any doubt I'm over 21, but because I figured they'd have to punch in my birthdate. But that is not what happened. She scanned her card and waved off my proffered driver's license. Then the screen said, "Is the customer over 40 or under 40?" When she picked "over 40", I was like dang. I know it's funny, and I can laugh. Walmart is not in the business of flattery. The loud buzz alerting me to the fact that my middle-aged features are being recorded as I'm perusing the makeup aisle, as well as the person checking receipts by the door, should have told me that. Furthermore, as Tim pointed out, if she'd selected "under 40", she probably would have then had to enter my birthdate, and what Walmart employee has time for that? Still, no more self-checkout for alcohol at Walmart. No need for me to see what's happening on that screen!

A few days later, after I'd told my mom the story, I said, "It's funny how I thought I was over myself until that moment." I really thought I was OK with being 40-ish, but it turns out I was kind of in denial about it. Well, once again, it's time to get over myself.

I've been trying to learn a new skill these past couple months: crochet. I have always wanted to learn, but I am a seriously slow at it. After finding out about the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society's baby blanket workshop in December, I showed up the first three Fridays just to practice stitches again and again. About the fourth or fifth Friday, I decided I was ready to check out a skein of yarn and a needle, and get to work making my first blanket. NMCRS has a class called 'Budget for Baby', and they give all the new parents who attend a handmade blanket. I started it in late January, measured, measured again, and ended up unraveling it back to the beginning no fewer than three times. It needed to be about 36 inches by 36 inches. The rows kept getting longer and longer. It was out of control, and I was so frustrated. The instructor watched me and showed me a technique keep them all more or less the same length. Amazingly, I managed to complete all my rows a couple weeks ago (and yes, I measured just to be sure), and then the instructor showed me how to finish it up with a border. Guess what happened once the border was done? The blanket shrank. I'm telling you, this thing is straight out of Harry Potter. It makes no logical sense. I have to turn it in anyway, if for no other reason than the yarn belongs to NMCRS. I had imagined that I'd hold my finished blanket proudly for a picture, but the edges are still a little wonky and it's embarrassing. Instead I'll share a snap Tim took of me fretting over it once it was all done except for the border.
I've got nothing else for you -- or maybe I'm just losing my focus again and thinking of whatever else I'm hoping to accomplish before whatever version of Joey (clingy? grouchy? cheerful? angry?) wakes up from his afternoon nap. I'll leave you with a 12-second video that might make you swoon; and a random assortment of pictures. 

The boys have both gotten 'daddy haircuts.' Finally! No more Dumb & Dumber.
Delaney loves all things Patriots; here she is reading the magazine that Grandma sent her, published by the Boston Globe after their latest Superbowl win.
Pre-haircut Joey