As a person who considers the first day of the month or week as a clean slate waiting to be filled with my best intentions, you’d think that I’d be all over New Year’s resolutions, but you’d be wrong. Maybe it’s my basic lack of interest in doing what everyone else does. I really don’t like being a cliché, you know? Of course, I do consider how I might improve my navigation through life and a new year certainly provides an excellent opportunity to implement changes. Here’s what I’ve come up with for 2018:
- Amex for groceries. I know people who pay all their bills with credit cards for the purpose of earning rewards and I’m going to dip my big toe into that pool of potential points. I always pay my balance in full, but have to admit that it feels weird to purchase necessities with a credit card. I’m curious to see how much more quickly I can earn rewards and think it makes sense to try this for a full year as an experiment.
- I’ve got some new cities in my sights for 2018 and I really couldn’t be more excited. What can you share with me about Rome, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague?
- Decluttering and simplifying my living space. Do I really need all of the clothing I own? If I’m not using it, do I really need to keep? It seems like life would be more pleasant without as much stuff – contrary to what many believe but an idea I’m hoping to embrace. Maybe this book will help? (Thanks, Lori!)
- Increasing contributions to my 403B. As a teacher, I’m fortunate to have a clearly defined salary schedule and I appreciate that. Since I’m in the last 10 years of my career it’s time to start upping my contributions to my retirement account. I don’t imagine myself completely giving up working before I’m 60, but I need to make hay while the sun shines and that means socking away as much as I can while I’m still earning a good income.
- Yoga at least once a week. Mentally, physically and spiritually I need it. And really – how often can one address all of those areas in one place in 75 minutes?
What’s on your list for the new year?
- Never regret money spent traveling.
- I’m not a good boss and have no interest in ever owning a business again.
- That being said, I did learn how to do payroll and use Quickbooks.
- The Hudson Valley has no shortage of adorable and fun places for quick getaways.
- For every $1000 spent on a cosmetic household improvement there will be $3000 spent on necessary home repairs.
- Running a half marathon in single digit temperatures is possible and even a little fun.
- Solo travel is indulgent – and exhilarating.
- U2 live still delivers.
- Although I love being home, spending time outdoors makes me happy in an entirely different way.
- Donald Trump is an even worse President than I had ever imagined.
- Jeter loves a vacation just as much as any of us and the ‘new” house we rented last summer in Wellfleet was ideal for the whole family.
- Making granola is super easy and it tastes far better than store bought.
- There’s a lot of good television these days – think Stranger Things, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and This is Us. The jury is still out on Black Mirror.
- Cookie swaps are best enjoyed retrospectively. Having 8 or 9 dozen cookies is great, but the stress of baking 9 dozen cookies and packaging them beautifully robs the joy from holiday baking.
- An afternoon ski on New Year’s Eve with your Lunar bitches, your dog and an airplane sized bottle of limencello is a perfect way to spend the year’s last daylight hours.
- Giving up the scale and eating another cookie might be my best new holiday tradition. I plan to repeat it next year for a full 12 Days of Christmas.
- Bourbon sours with her favorite fella on December 31st can make a girl forget about Times Square, fireworks and the ball dropping.
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I’ve been so busy doing things and going places that I haven’t had a moment to chronicle any of it. It’s kind of getting me frustrated, but that’s how I typically react to not having what I want – in this case more time. I’ve made some notes and I swear I’m going to carve out some time over Thanksgiving break (See what I did there? Carve??) to share things that I’ve seen (an 80s band, some television and a couple of movies), a couple of books that I’ve recently read, some delicious things I’ve enjoyed eating and drinking, a week focused on health maintenance, and a couple of Albany experiences that I was lucky enough to take in. Stay tuned.
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When my main bathroom was renovated a number of years ago, we reconfigured it and moved all of the fixtures within the space. I sacrificed my linen closet in favor of a larger, jetted tub which is located below the room’s window. Since I would never want to offend my neighbors with nudity, I covered the lower window with decorative window film designed to provide privacy, which it did for a good number of years. Recently, though, it’s been starting to look a bit worse for the wear. Time for something new.
I went to Lowe’s and found their small selection of comparable window film products. After quickly reading the package, where it stated “Static Cling – No Adhesives” I tossed it in the cart. Cross that task off the homeowner list.
Unfortunately, once I was home I realized that I did in fact need to purchase additional items, namely the Gilda Tool kit. This set, at an additional cost of $9, contained window film application solution, a squeegee card, trim tool and low-lint cloth. Great, let’s get this done, right? Believe it or not, this is when I got the most annoyed by the entire chore…
The original package contains enough film to cover a 2′ x 5′ window. Seems reasonable enough. Now, the film application solution bottle contains 16 oz of some kind of liquid for which I have no other imaginable purpose. What’s the point of that? My bathroom window required a couple of squirts, but even a larger window wouldn’t possibly need more than an ounce of solution. Why in the world would the manufacturer provide such an excessive amount of this solution that now I have to dispose of?
Things like this annoy me more than you can imagine. Tell me what household project annoyed you recently.
I closed out the month of April with a weekend of low key chores. I got some stuff done around the house that leaves me feeling organized and ready for what’s next. You know, washing the winter bedding and tucking it away until fall and transitioning the sheets completely from flannel to cotton. I love a fresh spring bed with crisp sheets and two layers of light cotton quilts. I slept better last night than I have in weeks.
My cold weather running gear is back down in the basement, UnderArmour replaced with shorts, t-shirts and tanks. I spun my two sided garment rack around and suddenly spring is present in my wardrobe. I’ve still got to deal with getting to the dry cleaner with a couple of items, but most of the work has been done and I feel on top of things.
Speaking of work, I addressed a month’s work of paid invoices and sorted the pile that they were into their respective folders. THAT was an accomplishment and will help as we start our final month as Lark + Lily. I’m excited for May and the events I have planned. We’re going out in a blaze of glory, I tell you!
Early this morning I heard a pretty fierce wind blowing outside. It was loud and penetrated my sleep, even with the windows closed to the chilly and damp air. I’d like to think that breeze took negativity and stress with it as it blew through town. I’ve got some hopes for this new month.
Is it just my kids who seem to break the most random household stuff? I’m not talking about the odd dish or glass, I’m talking about entire hanging racks of stemware, furniture and Sheetrock walls. I mean, how do they do it?
The most recent thing to be destroyed in my home is a wall upstairs in an area of the house I think of as the BoyZone. The claim, from my youngest son, is that he was just leaning on the wall and next thing you knew there was a 18″ x 24″ hole! Isn’t that one of the oddest things you’ve ever heard? Seriously – how the hell does that even happen?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I remember breaking things around the house when I was a kid – I put my hand through a window once and have the scar from my stitches to prove it. But, let’s remember, it was glass. Glass breaks really easily. Holes in the walls, though? That takes some effort.
Over the years, there have been some epic examples of breakage around my house. There was that time when my middle son decided to leap from the back of the sofa to the 6 ft tall wine rack, pre-parcore, by the way. The result of this escapade was multiple bottles of wine smashed and ultimately dripping from our second floor flat down the wall and into the first floor apartment. Talk about pouring someone a drink…
This, of course, is the same child who once carried a large branch into the kitchen which then got caught up in the ceiling fan and took down the hanging glass rack, shattering glasses everywhere.
There have been electronics broken as soon as they were removed from their protective packages and eyeglasses destroyed in the most mysterious of circumstances. I can’t count the times I’ve freaked out when I discovered yet another thing inexplicably destroyed. When I look around my house, I see the cracked window, the wall with a hole and some big furniture that still serves its purpose, but has definitely seen better days. What I feel, though, is that I’m home. On the best days, the boys are, too.
It’s 7:55 in the morning. Sunday. Since getting out of bed, I’ve taken Jeter out, sorted laundry and started a load in the wash, made cupcakes (from a box), waffles (from scratch) and changed the sheets. Is this normal? I mean, on my day “off?”
As the cupcakes cool and the laundry spins, I read the paper(s) and have a second cup of coffee. This is my time to breathe.
The rest of my day involves more laundry, frosting those cupcakes, some house cleaning, organizing myself (and everyone who depends upon me) for a quick trip to the city, driving three 12 year-olds to a climbing gym for a little belated birthday celebration and a longish run. And, as I look out the window and see the cloudless blue sky, all I can do is wish that there were more hours in the day to live.