Here am I, trying to regroup.  I have 7 unfinished posts.  The external hard drive where I store my photos up and died.  It was backed up until August, thank goodness, but the last six months are now gone.  Poof!  I spent a week and a half in denial, while Steve attempted everything he could think of to try to fix it.  We haven’t decided if we are going to take it somewhere to try to salvage the contents because it turns out that’s quite expensive.  I keep telling myself that it’s only 6 months worth.  It could have been so much worse.  But it still stings.  I really wish that I had finished up my Advent videos.  At least I would have had Christmas.

Anyhow, I had photos that I wanted to include in posts and then the photos were gone and it kind of threw me.  I do still have some things that were on my phone or pulled aside for other reasons, so I’ll just piece it together as best as I can.

The last several weeks have been intense.  Health issues- I couldn’t speak at all for a while again.  I can now, but my throat hurts a lot and I start coughing if I overdo.  My fatigue has been over-whelming.  Chronic and not-so-chronic issues have been cropping up for others as well.

We’ve had appointments.  So, so many appointments.

And weather.  We got nearly 3′ of snow earlier this week.  Thankfully we only lost power for a day, and not even a full day at that.  The town has declared a state of emergency and two days after the fact, there is still over a foot of snow on our road.



This is going to be a s-l-o-w project.  I took all of the hardware off of the dresser.  Every once in a while I take a drawer out on the porch and sand it down.  I’m just roughing up the surface so it doesn’t take terribly long.  Right around the time that my hands start to get really cold, I’m just about done.



~*~* Seventeen *~*~

He may have gotten distracted by cats on his way downstairs.  Pretty normal.

~One of his gifts~

In retrospect I shouldn’t have had him open the sleep mask first.

His masterpiece:

Ice cream cake with a cookie crust, chocolate caramel fudge core, topped with caramel and candied peanuts.


Elijah at work?

His caption for this:

I found myself torn between two Nietzsche quotes to accompany this. I have decided to include both.

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once”

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”


1) The internet’s confusion over the fact that all of my sons insist on borrowing my apron and wearing it while bare chested is already well documented.  Your conclusion that my apron often smells like man pits is well founded.

2) I actually shrieked when I saw the part with the knives and he’s going to get an earful when he gets home from work.



I took apart the dresser to start refinishing it shortly after this photo was taken, so you will be spared from further photos like this.

Another poor attempt at a picture of the antique hair pin that Steve gave me for my birthday.

Date afternoon.  We had to make a longish trip to pick up some home improvement supplies and decided to make an afternoon of it.  Iain offered to tile the backsplash in the downstairs bath, but we needed all of the special grout, thin set, sealer, etc. for my fancy cement tiles.  Also, paint for the girls’ room!

I tend to get kind of crazy with paint selection.  There are so many options and I’m terribly picky about these things.  I have a new system now and I feel kind of like a dirty, rotten, cheat, but it’s worked really well for me!  I use the Farrow & Ball color cards and pick from them and then have it matched in a cheaper paint.  They have a comparatively small selection of colors, but they are exactly the sort of colors that I gravitate towards.  Picking from only a small, carefully curated selection saves me a lot of time, energy, and let’s face it, spiraling.

I offered Seraphina the same pallet and she chose Middleton Pink for the walls.  Together we decided on Dimity for the trim.  For the dresser I got Magnolia Home Chalk Paint in Ella Rose.  It’s going to be a very, very, very pink room!

Afterwards we went to a restaurant that we like in the area.  I convinced them to let us take dessert and drinks outside, despite the fact that it was around thirty-five degrees. (side note: immunocopromised me is still not going maskless in public places, sigh)

I really only have one full on picture of Steve from today. He kind of looks like Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration, sans mittens, because after 25 years I still haven’t converted him to knitwear. I don’t believe he was quite as charmed by the novelty of my idea as I was.

My main motivation for this visit was the roasted fig crustless cheese cake that I believed them to be serving, but alas!  It was only a special and we missed it.  So, ice cream in the cold it was!  I quite enjoyed myself, but I’m still sad about missing the cheese cake.  It’s hard to be sad about a gluten free brownie topped with ice cream, fudge, and peanut butter cups, but I managed it.

I also had a sugar and spice Manhattan. For most of my adult life I didn’t drink at all and now I only drink every once in a while.  I probably won’t have had it if it weren’t for the disappointment of the cheese cake.  I don’t even like the way that being intoxicated makes me feel.  It’s too reminiscent of when I have a flare up and my muscle control starts to go and I have trouble thinking clearly and start to feel out of control.  What I *do* like, very much is fancy drinks in fancy glasses.  I just feel like it elevates an outing into something special.  What I would really like is if more places offered fancy mocktails.  Or like a kombucha bar…  That I could get on board with.

Galen started his cake tonight.  He wants to make this fancy ice cream cake for his birthday, but it will take several days of work, one layer at a time.


2/17/2023 continued

Meal plan for the week:

* Zucchini spaghetti and meatballs with pesto cream tomato sauce

* Slow Cooker Maple Smoked Brisket with creamy whipped parsnips

* Spatchcocked chicken with herbs and lemon over roasted veggies

* Galen’s birthday: pizza, ice cream cake

* Roasted Beet Salad with chevre green goddess dressing

* Caprese Chicken Sheet pan

* Nicoise Salad



A few years ago Iain built a set of shelves for me in the living room.  One part can be viewed from all over the room and that is where I keep my very special books; the old, hardbound copies and collectors editions that set my heart fluttering.  I planned it this way because I knew that getting to see those books every day would bring me joy.  This morning I immediately spotted a missing book and knew that Elijah must have taken it to work.  I’m not sure how long Steve had to witness me staring wide eyed and sputtering.  “But, but, but…these are *special*, handle very carefully books, not throw in a bag and bop around town with them books.”  Really, I can’t even begin to tell you how long it took me to move on from the somewhat horrified, “But, but, but…” in my head.  I don’t think I heard a word that anyone said all morning.

Later in the day that boy of mine posted a little video saying something along the lines of, “Sure I hate my job, but at least on my lunch break I can kick back with some Brontë and a spot of tea.”  And there he was, in his auto body parts uniform with a travel mug and my book.  And here was I, smitten and amused, because he is *so* my child.  He even insists on using the cursive font, just like I do, even though he must realize that most of his contemporaries probably can’t even read it.  When he got home I didn’t say anything about the book, I just kissed the top of his head.

Sera had a major disappointment this morning and refused to be consoled.  We finally ended up watching the first part of Anne of Green Gables; the 1985 one with Megan Follows.  Mairi baked lemon bars.  Even with such a pleasant diversion I had to work really hard at not feeling anxious about my day being turned on it’s head.



~Nest found by Seraphina after a recent wind storm~

If you are someone who can walk into a messy room and just start picking up random items and putting them away like some kind of freaking wizard, I am truly happy for you.  I am not like that.  I will wander around feeling overwhelmed for twenty minutes and then give up.  Or I’ll start picking up random items only to hold them and set them somewhere else they don’t go before getting sucked into some tiny project that doesn’t matter like organizing my yarn collection.

~Read this morning in bed from the book How to Keep House While Drowning~

This is me exactly.  Except I reject the premise that organizing my yarn collection is unimportant.  I also once saw a friend describe her ADHD way of cleaning as taking all 3000 items in a room, heaping them in the center of the floor, followed by totally panicking and trying to avoid it for several weeks.  Oh, the number of times I’ve lived that one too.