Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The program builds on itself, so on day two my instructions are to maintain my clean and shiny sink, and to "get dressed to the shoes."
I figured that putting on your shoes every morning is a great step for full-time homemakers and stay-at-home moms, but I put my shoes on every day. I chose instead to get dressed to the make-up, which fits in nicely with another of my resolutions to dress so that I could be photographed.
I wrenched myself out of bed reluctantly at around 5:30 this morning (I usually hit the snooze until 6:00 or later!) and jumped in the shower. Amazingly, once I was out of the shower, I didn't feel sleepy or groggy.
After I got dressed, make-up and everything, I headed into the kitchen and followed FLYlady's instructions to put away clean dishes from the dishwasher right away. When that was done and I sat down to eat breakfast, I couldn't believe that I had an entire half-hour to relax before I needed to head out the door.
By the time I was in my chair at work, I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I'm in a great mood today after a month or two of a slump. I still am feeling quite cheerful as I'm writing this.
I am super-optimistic about 2009. Woohoo!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
When I told my mother I wanted to work toward keeping my apartment neat and tidy, she pointed me toward the FLYLady's method. The first step, according to FLYLady is to "shine your sink."
When I got home this evening, I got right to work following the sink-shining instructions. I'm sorry, I forgot to take a before photo, but picture a sink full of dishes, coated in grime, and speckled with red candle wax from an incident a couple weeks ago.
This is what my sink looks like now:
The FLYLady was right! My shiny sink literally puts a smile on my face.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
You see, I was running around the apartment trying to tidy up so that I could make a huge mess later with all the baking I had planned for that afternoon.
Have you ever noticed that if you're running around tidying up, and someone else is sitting and doing something more relaxing that it gives you just a little twinge of resentment? Well I was feeling that little twinge for the last week or so, and yesterday it started to grow.
And when I went to do the dishes (the task that I hate above all others) I found the proverbial hair that broke the proverbial camel's back. It was a large dirty bowl filled with dirty water, and a plate sitting inside of the bowl and neatly sealing it off.
"Husband, can you come here a second? I want to show you something," I said in a fake-sweet tone. I walked over to the door of "his room" and beckoned with one finger.
"If you're going to complain about something I do that bothers you can I complain about all the things that you do that bother me?" He said as he reluctantly got up out of his chair.
I pointed out the plate-in-bowl issue and he looked at me like I'd lost my mind. "I just really hate when you do that," I said, "It's hard to get it out."
He then picked up the bowl and tipped it over so that the water came pouring out and the plate went with it. "Was that so hard?"
"Well, I just want a little help around here! You complain that I never do the dishes, so you could at least make it easier for me when I do!"
"No, you just think it's slavery if you have to do the dishes once a week!"
"I've done the dishes four times this week!" (Yes, I had been counting.)
"Then the dishes are getting done twice a day!"
It went on like that for about five minutes. The point is this: how is it possible that I feel like I'm the only one who does any work around the house, and he also feels like he's the only one who does any work around the house? I would really love to have a third party fly-on-the wall observe us and determine who actually does "all the work around the house."
But then again, Husband would probably get angry when that third party points out that I was right and he was wrong. ;)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Last night I got out some asparagus that I bought on Saturday so that I could cook it for dinner and was so aggravated to find that it had already gone bad. After some Internet searching I learned that asparagus only has a shelf-life of 2 to 3 days. I'll keep that in mind next time I go shopping, and plan to cook asparagus the day I buy it.
In my digging I found this article from Real Simple about how to keep produce fresh. This article also explains why the carrots I bought a couple weeks ago went bad: I left the greens on them when I put them in the fridge.
I'm amazed at how much I didn't know about storing food. If you have any tips about how to keep things fresh, please share!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
At first it was hard, because the bus schedules are so tight that my chance of catching my last connecting bus home was pretty slim. I learned that the hard way when I found myself stranded at a cold dark bus depot frantically dialing my friends' numbers. (You're a life saver, LA!)
After that ordeal, I found myself scouring the Internet for alternatives. Today, I think I've finally got it all figured out. Here's my new and improved plan:
I take a bus from the mall by my apartment for $.50 all the way to the nearby airport. From there, I can get on a Metro bus for $3. It takes me to the same Metro station that the commuter bus was taking me to for half the price! Then it $2.60 to take the Metro to a station near my office.
In the afternoon, it's a little bit trickier. I take the Metro a little further this time for $3.85. I catch a Commuter bus out of that station which only costs $1.75. It lets off at a shopping center that's a couple miles from my apartment. If the Gods are smiling on me, I can take a $.50 connector, but it's more likely that I'll be walking back to my apartment.
Before, I was paying $10 or so one way making my daily commuting cost $20! With my new plan, I'm only spending $11.7o a day! That is slashing my cost by almost half. Woot.
And, as an added bonus, with all the walking (and when time isn't on my side running) I've been doing, I feel like I'm making up for some missed workouts.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
AND I got the sofa for you (the white one at auction). I would like to
come out this evening and switch so we can try it on. B and I LOVE
it!! So, if you WANT, why don't we play with your house tonight? We can
move the futon back to Husband's office, and see how this sofa looks.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It's a very good article, although, I bet any woman who has been married for a substantial length of time could have told me the same things. Maybe I should consult my grandmother about it.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The finished Christmas stockings.
Decorating for the holidays.
Arguing with Husband about how I spend my money.
Recipes from my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Although Husband and I have only been married a couple months, we have been living together for two years, and dating for over six. So, the "where will we spend the holidays?" question is one we've gotten used to struggling over.
Last Thanksgiving, we decided to do a double-header. Our parents live about an hour's drive apart from each other, so we planned on having a Thanksgiving lunch with his family and then Thanksgiving dinner with mine. Sound exhausting? It was.
This year, deciding that we were not up for a repeat of last year's hectic rush, we went back and forth quite a bit before finally making the decision to have Thanksgiving with my family. I happily announced to my mother that she "won," only to be told that she wasn't expecting us and had made plans to go out of town! I was completely disappointed. Fortunately, after some discussion, she and my step-father decided that if we would spend Thanksgiving with them, they would stay home.
Christmas, is still up in the air. Because of Husband's job, he may need to work on Christmas. His family traditionally exchanges gifts on Christmas Eve, so there would be no loss there; but I will then be left to spend my first Christmas day as a wife alone with my own family.
I'm sure that will be fine, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't feel just a little bit lonely if that is the case.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I came home one evening, and Husband sneakily tricked me into checking my date book for something. When I opened it up to November, I saw the date of the Opera highlighted, and my tickets were taped inside!
He got laid that night.
Something I didn't mention before though, is how happy I am with his honesty. Husband asked me if I wanted him to join me at the opera. I answered his question with another question: Do you actually want to go?
Of course, I would love for my husband to get dressed-up with me and stroll down the red carpet at the Kennedy Center (no really, the carpeting at the Kennedy Center is red!) and escort me to my seat; but I knew that once he sat in his seat he'd be bored to death for the rest of the evening.
Back to our discussion: He said that he would happily go if I wanted him to go. But that's not what I asked. I wanted to know if he would actually gain any pleasure out of hearing Denyce Graves' sultry voice decorating some of the most seductive music in the opera universe.
"Honestly? No, I'd be bored to death. You always complain about how so many people buy up tickets to the opera, who don't actually want to be there. They just go to be seen. You should take someone who will enjoy it as much as you will."
Next week when I am strutting down the Kennedy Center's red carpet, the person on my arm will be one of my very best friends. My college roommate who studied opera with me at Shenandoah, and who is an even bigger opera fanatic than I am.
Thank you, Husband!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"Last night you said you wanted more space in our relationship because your sweater didnt fit."
I guess I was thinking a lot about the sweater I'm knitting. It's starting to look like it will be too big.
I do remember having a very fitful night, and I don't feel terribly rested this morning. I'm pretty cranky today.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Husband works until 10 PM most nights. His days off are Thursdays and Fridays. We've made a tradition to have a date every Thursday night. Sometimes we go out with friends or go to the movies, but most weeks we walk to the Cheesecake Factory which is literally a few hundred yards from our apartment, and have a nice dinner together. This is really the only time every week that we can look at each other's faces and truly check-in. We talk about our jobs, about our triumphs and failures, about silly things that we heard or saw or did, about our friends, anything really.
Every evening when we get home from one of those dates, I look at my husband and say "thanks for taking me out. I had a great time with you."
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
. . .but my elation quickly became tempered by my some of my fellow citizens' and friends' reactions.
Obviously everyone does not agree about the candidates, otherwise we wouldn't need to hold elections. But what I didn't expect was the bitterness and alienation that appears to be felt by my friends who supported the losing candidate. Did I feel that way after the 2004 election when my hopes of an end to the Bush Administration, and along with it an end to the Iraq War, were dashed?
I don't think I did.
At the time, it seems like I was able to commiserate with other John Kerry supporters in our mutual discontent about the Bush Administration. It felt like there were so many of us, and we weren't quite sure how we lost.
I guess this time there actually are many of us--enough to successfully elect our candidate. Perhaps the supporters of John McCain do not feel as numerous as Kerry supporters did in 2004. It also may be that most of my friends are in the 18-30 demographic that so heartily turned out for Barack; and that the few of us young people who were on the other side of the aisle are feeling like outcasts.
I did not expect this to be such a divisive day. Shouldn't we, the winning party, be able to celebrate without regard to the downcast faces of the losers? After all, after eight years of Republican rule, isn't it our turn?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
That evening when I got home, this is what I found when I walked in the door:
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at two guitars (a Gibson and a Fender), a violin, three B-flat clarinets, an A-clarinet, an E-flat sopranino clarinet, two E-flat alto clarinets, a primitive type of clarinet called a basset horn, an oboe, a saxophone, and a flute.
One of these B-flat clarinets is a very valuable professional-quality Buffett clarinet:
You see, Husband and I used to be musicians. In fact, we met in college where we were both music majors. But, since graduating, we've both decided that we're not as passionate about music as we once were, and have both pursued careers outside the musical world.
Husband hasn't touched these instruments in about three years.
I'm trying to convince him to sell them so that we can work on our goal of saving up to buy a house. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
This is a blog about being married, and part of marriage is sex.
I ran out of BC pills last week. It totally caught me off guard. I called up the pharmacy to refill my prescription and they said that my prescription had expired and that they couldn't refill it without a doctor's approval. Oh my god! Has it been a year already?
Well that took place on a Friday, so it wasn't until Monday that I could call my doctor's office. They were able to get me an appointment for today. That's a little over a week without the pill.
Well, I went in this morning, and my doctor was able to get me a fresh prescription after some unpleasant poking and prodding; but I was caught off guard again when she said that I should wait until the beginning of my next menstrual cycle to start it up again. And then, I should "use a back up method," for one full cycle.
Well shit. That amounts to two months of condoms. Husband is not going to be happy.
In other news, I finished one of the Christmas stockings. I promise I'll post a photo. I also will get that muffin recipe up this week.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This weekend I made my mother's recipe for pumpkin muffins. They are a delicious morning treat, and I plan on sharing the recipe, along with pictures for you all later this week.
I started knitting the cabled Christmas stocking, and it is proving to be a quicker and easier project than I had expected. I'm currently in limbo with that until I can find a set of size 13 double-pointed needles. Pictures coming for that as well.
In other knitting news, I became determined to finish a pair of socks I began knitting about two years ago. I was nearly finished with the second sock last night, only about an inch away from the end of the toe when I ran out of yarn. I'm happy that there were no witnesses to hear the very un-ladylike words that escaped my mouth.
Husband and I are having a disagreement about grocery shopping. He and I like very different things (I'm a vegetarian, and he is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy), and he has been frustrated that I have failed to bring home food that he likes when I come home from the grocery store. I don't understand how he can expect me to get things that he likes when he cannot seem to specify what he wants. Last night, I really tried to get the junk-food that he wants but I haven't yet heard from him if I did ok. This might turn into an ongoing saga.
And in happier news, Husband bought me tickets to see Denyce Graves in Carmen next month (yes, that's opera.) Denyce Graves is one of my idols, and is probably the first "real" opera singers that I became enamored with.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I can think of a zillion things to spend it on for myself. I could get those perfect Louboutin pumps I've been dreaming of, or buy a season's opera tickets, or buy one opera ticket and a fabulous dress to go with it.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It's been an uphill battle.
You see, husband and I have different ideas about what "clean" means. To my husband, clean means disinfected, not germy, not dirty, not gross. He doesn't like dishes in the sink or scum in the bathroom.
To me, clean means tidy, uncluttered, looking nice.
So, if husband has piles of dirty laundry on the floor, unless its really dirty laundry, it doesn't bother him, but it drives me nuts! But I don't mind leaving my dishes from dinner in the sink overnight, and husband gets irritated at me for that.
So if I want to have an apartment that is my idea of clean, I need to teach my husband to help me out with some of the little things, like hanging his towel back up when he gets out of the shower, or putting his dirty clothes in the basket.
So far, I've been unable to get through to him. How am I ever going to become the next Martha Stewart (don't hate, I love her!) if my husband can't make the bed when he gets up in the morning?
P.S. I just did a spell-check on this post and discovered that the word "apartment" only has one P. I've been spelling it with two Ps for AGES!
Monday, October 13, 2008
We took a cruise on the Carnival Valor. We stopped in Grand Cayman; Isla Roatan, Honduras; Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico.
The highlight of the trip was visiting the ancient Mayan city of Tulum.
It was husband's cousin's birthday, and the family was getting together for lunch. Husband had to work, so I went alone. I don't know what I was so scared about. It's not like I havn't been to a million lunches like this one with that family, and we get on pretty well. We chatted about the wedding and the honeymoon, and about husband's parents' new house. I never once felt out-of-place, or unwelcome.
I guess I'm part of the family now too!
Friday, October 10, 2008
I came home with a package I had picked up from the post office. It came from Target, where we had registered for wedding gifts. Husband was sitting in "his room" (an office type space where he spends much of his time playing video games), and I began to open the package on the dining room table.
"It's from the W's!"
"OOOH! It's a WAFFLE IRON!"
"What the hell do we need a waffle iron for?"
"To make waffles, silly!"
"Did you actually register for that?"
"Oh honey, I understand now. You obviously did not grow up in a household that had a waffle iron. Therefore, you cannot possibly know the pure joy that can only come from eating fresh, hot, homemade waffles on Saturday morning. We'll fix that this weekend."
Now, where's the Bisquick?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I know, I'm a traitor to women's lib and the feminist movement. This was something I really struggled with. You see, I like my name. I like my first name, and my middle name, and my last name. I've had those names all my life and why should I change them just because I have a piece of paper that says I'm married? Why shouldn't Husband change his name?
On the other hand, I like the idea of me and Husband being one family unit. I like the idea of someone saying "We're going to have dinner with the S's tonight." I want my children to have a secure sense of identity (I grew up in a mixed family with at least four last names.)
Well my mother (who changed her name for both of her marriages) didn't want me to change my name. "You'll lose your identity," she said. She pointed out that one of her sisters got married and kept her maiden name legally, but used her husband's name in social situations. What a brilliant compromise, I thought.
I told Husband that this was what I had decided to do. I was astonished by his anger at my decision. He totally caught me off guard by insisting that if I wasn't going to take his name there was absolutely no point in getting married. He thought it would emasculate him and "going half way" as he called my decision was not good enough.
I was really conflicted now. I felt like he was trying to impose ownership over me and that he should respect my feelings about my name. After all, no one was asking him to change his name, how would he know what this felt like? At the same time, I loved him and wanted to be his wife.
I thought about it, and read opinions about it, and talked to my recently married best girlfriend.
I finally made the decision to change my name, but without losing any part of my current name. I will be Molly Middle-name Maiden-name S. Who says I can't have four names?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I want to completely overhaul my finances. Right now, I make regular contributions to my 401(k), and my student loan. Husband and I each put half of our paychecks into a joint account to cover our living expenses. I have no credit card debt, but I do have some private debt after a family member loaned me some cash to cover some emergency car repairs. Once that's paid off, I'm going to start contributing to a savings account until I have a decent "emergency fund" built up. My next financial goal? Investing. How could I not invest in this rock-bottom market? So I'm going to open an IRA and start playing in the market.
Scott and I also want to buy a house. That means more saving. We'll probably need at least $10,000 to make a down payment. Hopefully, we can find a great deal before the market recovers.
I want to improve my diet (and Husband's too if I can.) I'd like to start following the guidelines in Michael Pollen's "In Defense of Food." He recommends that we eat only "real food," that means "nothing your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." If I'm going to manage that, I'm going to have to start cooking. Something that I don't particularly enjoy. I need to learn how to enjoy cooking.
I want to become a neat freak. Well, maybe not a FREAK, but I want to learn to maintain a tidy home. A home that I won't be embarrassed by if friends stop by unexpectedly.
I want to start practicing yoga again regularly, and eventually start teaching again. My goal is to transition to teaching yoga full time, and quit my day-job.
I don't think it is a good idea to start a family until Scott and I have accomplished these things. And I'll probably start adding to the list like crazy.
OK! Time to get started!
We're going to have a lot of firsts in the next year or so, and this is where I plan on writing about them. The topics I plan on discussing here include finances, investing, budgeting, relationship maintenance, maybe some light talk about sex, and everything that I experience as a young newlywed.
I hope it will be entertaining; this is my first shot at something like this.