The conventional and unconventional sides of my life.

Posts tagged ‘life’

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope that my fellow friends in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday! I haven’t blogged until now because I have been so busy prepping for Thanksgiving. Our family had a wonderful day with our “crazy ass family”. 🙂 My husband mentioned that everyone at Thanksgiving dinner either lives with us or has lived with us at some point in our seven years here. My dad was not able to make it down here this year due to finances. While he was missed I kept focused on all the wonderful people in my life that were there to celebrate with us.

I have many many things to me thankful for and I truly do think about all the things that I am thankful  and grateful for nearly daily. You never know when life is going to throw you a twist to change those things. When we all went around the table to say what we were thankful for, I did proclaim that I am thankful for my “crazy ass family”. We had seven people at dinner: myself, my husband, my other partner, my brother, my step-daughter, and my ex-boyfriend’s mom & son. That is a crazy group of people! And what is so awesome about it is how well everyone gets along and how low key the family actually is. There isn’t much drama around here and I am so grateful for the eclectic mix of people I get to celebrate with each year.

While the mix of people at the table is anything but traditional, we do a pretty traditional Thanksgiving feast around here: roasted turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls with butter and “stuffing” (we cook it separately and don’t actually stuff our turkey with it). Dessert was pumpkin pie with whipped cream and apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. 

IMAG0181Yes that is my bottle of Mt Dew at the table. We’re a bit laid back around here 🙂

This year was the second consecutive year that Micah and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  We are both pretty good cooks and we often cook dinners together. It is so wonderful to have a fellow cook in the kitchen (especially one you work so well with) on Thanksgiving day. Although Jim doesn’t do much cooking, he helped immensely with Thanksgiving preparations. He did a lot of housework including miraculously getting our living room carpet cleaned (our sweet little dog is now diapered), dusting the foyer chandelier that is WAY up high and doing a lot of the last minute clean up/vacuuming the day of). To have two wonderful, wonderful men to assist me on Thanksgiving day (and every other day of the year) is such an incredible blessing.

I was stressed in the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Even with the help of the entire household there was a lot of house and food prep to be done. In retrospect, the stress I was feeling was probably a little disproportionate – we did so much prep leading up to the day that while we were bust the day of, Thanksgiving day flowed very smoothly and everything turned out wonderful! In fact, it went so well that Micah and I decided that next year we will do the same dinner but add another “experimental” dish. Maybe a different type of side or a different stuffing or perhaps another dessert. I love all of the dishes we make now so rather than replace an item, we are going to add a dish with an unusual twist (that way if it is a flop or not to everyone’s taste, all the classics are still there).CIMG2427

Now it is the day after Thanksgiving and I am thankful that I have today to clean up and recover and then I still have an entire weekend before going back to work. Since I started stressing and prepping two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, I stopped working in my studio. Here’s what my worktable looks like after the two week hiatus.  Now it is time to raid the fridge for leftovers and then it is time to clear off my worktable and get back to creating art!


Lessons From the Universe – Don’t Wait for a Normal Week

I am the type of person that gets both distracted and overwhelmed easily. I rarely finish a book or a project because I usually move onto something else new and shiny before said book/project is finished. Organized is not a word I would use to describe myself. Cluttered is much more accurate.

In late August I decided that it was time to be more organized and actually establish routines so that I can accomplish what I want to accomplish in life rather than always being 1 1/2 steps ahead of chaos. I started the Fly Lady system and was over a week into it going strong when several things happened that had me derailed. First, my dad visited for 8 out of 11 days (there was a 3 day reprieve between visits), the following week I had jury duty, the week after that I had a bad cold, the week after that I thought my dog was dying (He is very old and has chronic renal failure. I thought it was the end for him but he actually bounced back and I think he will be with us for several more weeks and possibly months). And then there was last week when my husband was hospitalized with heart problems (he had angioplasty back in May with a stent put in. It turns out the stent closed up which happens about 10% of the time and had to be reopened. He’s been home for 5 days and is feeling much better).

Somewhere in the middle of all of that I was telling Micah how I was doing well with establishing routines and then things went to s&#t. I said that I just wanted a normal week so I could get back to it and he mentioned something about the universe letting me know there is no such thing as a normal week and that is the reasons for routine, to help you through rough weeks. I’m pretty sure I gave him my “crinkly nose face” because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear and I kept waiting for a normal week.

A couple of days before Jim went into the hospital, I decided to go back to using a paper planner so I went to DIY Planner to print some calendar pages and other forms that I wanted to use in my planner. I had printed out everything but had not yet decided how to set up my planner when Jim went into the hospital. By now I realized that what Micah said was true and I had to work on organization/routines despite how my days/weeks are going. I was able to get my planner set up while spending time with Jim in the hospital.

My intent this past Sunday was to do things that would make me less stressed for the week ahead. This involved stuff like doing laundry and meal planning complete with grocery shopping (yes this is stuff that I regularly put off and it does lead to a lot of chaos during the week). On Sunday evening I looked at my various project lists and came up with a game plan for the week. There are so many things I want to get done that usually I just spin my wheels and accomplish very little. By focusing on what I felt could realistically get done and also by not adding too many things to the week (because I can always add more if I get through what I’ve planned) I now have something to assist me with staying on track.

I feel like I am back to establishing routines/being more organized and I went back to it while my world was upside down rather than waiting for a “normal week”. My advice is to not put off something for a “normal week” otherwise the universe may decide to not give you a normal week for several weeks!