Saturday, January 31, 2009

HD 266.5!

Thanks to Ray, who made sacrifices in the book department, we exceeded the House Diet goal by 16.5 lbs! Not only that, I think we'll have a nice chunk of change coming our way from Half Price Books.

I told Jana earlier tonight that I don't really notice a big difference in our house, but actually our dining and coffee table have been noticeably clutter-free for the last week or two. And when I get time to organize the shelves and cupboards we've cleared, I think it'll make an even bigger impact.

Ah, love a clean house.

Last day HD250

This month has been so nuts I kinda forgot about my mission. I've eliminated 180.5 lbs so far, which means I have 69.5 to go. Let's see if I can finish this thing off in the next hour or two!

So far...

Phase I
: file cabinet and office.......45.5

Phase II: clothes/shoes closet.......65 + 11.5

Phase III: linens and bathroom........31 + 1.5

Phase IV: bookshelves.......34 + 24 + 21

Phase V: August's room.......5 + 8

Phase VI: kitchen.......20

Phase VII: garage.......not gonna go there, argh it's terrible

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Well, this is obvious

If August thinks Ray looks like a pimpin' Ronald Reagan, then it's no surprise that she identifies herself as...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mouths of babes yada yada

August: Dada!

Me: August, what are you looking at?

August: Dada!

Me: The fridge? What's on the fridge?

August: Dada!

Me: I don't see Dada...

August: Dada!

Me: You mean this? Dada?

August: Dada!

Me: Really!? Ha!

Ray is gonna love this. But then again, I've always thought of him as a pimped-out Ronald Reagan.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mixed bag

So many things are happening at once.

I'm ecstatic about our new president.

I'm scared/hopeful for a friend.

I'm excited about research and the lab, and a little overwhelmed by the work ahead.

I'm concerned for my brother as he looks for a new job.

I'm sad for a friend who wants a baby.

I want to catch up on sleep.

I want to read fiction.

I want to read articles and be inspired about my project.

I want chocolate.

I want to have more time with August.

I'm happy with our little house and simple existence.

I want to find time for exercise.

I want to be peaceful and satisfied.

I'm grateful I can make lists like this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Today I've been thinking a lot of rambling disconnected thoughts about friendship, what makes a good friend and what ways do true friends support each other that actually help.

Here's what I mean: a friend of mine had a baby several years ago, and like her other friends, I dropped off a meal during the initial weeks of craziness. What did I bring? Baked ziti. It sounded fabulous at the time (heck, it is fabulous), but later I realized (mostly because this person told me years later) that everyone brings pasta to new parents. It's easy to make, transport, reheat, etc, so it's the go-to dish for everyone providing a meal to a friend. But as much as one appreciates the thoughtfulness and generosity of friends providing food and saving new parents from cooking tasks, this poor couple ate pasta for probably 14 days straight. What would've been really welcomed, my friend said and I fully concur, is offers to clean the house, run errands etc. Ah-ha!

Another friend's father was terminally ill several years ago, and she spent his final months caring for him. After he passed, friends would say "You must be relieved it's over" or "You must feel better that he's not suffering any longer." This was maddening to her: no I'm not relieved or feeling better because this whole thing frickin' sucks! People meant well, but these sentiments weren't actually helpful to her.

I suppose it's a very individual thing, but what I want to know is what do people actually need when they're in trouble. I'm told specific offers are helpful, rather than the generic "call me if you need anything." And from personal experience it's helpful to hear "I wish I knew what to say, but I'm just at a loss for words" rather than nothing at all. Anyway, a willing ear and a run to the store go a long way.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wrapping up break

Today's the first day of the new quarter, and for the next 45 minutes I don't have any obligations for the next 10 weeks (that's an exaggeration, but let's roll with it). Christmas break was fun, though not entirely relaxing what with the snow days and such. You know it's time to get back to real life when...

1. August woke up screaming on Saturday night. I went in to rock and console her. I tried to pick her up, but she resisted. I finally lifted her out of her crib and she continued to riggle and cry loudly. We sat down to rock...more crying. I asked her if she wanted Elmo, water? She kept crying, and finally screamed angrily, "Guh wah DAADAAA!" It was all I could do to keep from cracking up. Thankfully Ray came in moments later, and as soon as he lifted her onto his shoulder, she stopped crying and fell asleep.

2. Last night all August wanted to do is climb on the couch and watch the snow pile up. "Snow? Snow! Snow. Snow-snow-snow..."

3. This morning we had an end-of-break fireworks display. I put Aug in her high chair in the kitchen and then turned on the light. Snap crackle pop...sparks shot out of the overhead light fixture. I jumped about 3 feet in the air and Aug started to cry (luckily her high chair was a couple feet away). Needless to say we're getting a new light fixture. Ray found 2 live wires exposed in the old one. Yikes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

HD250, day 2

I realized that I neglected to include the office in the house diet, so I'll add it on to Phase I. Also, it's easier to do some spontaneous purging in other phases, so I'd better keep a running total.

Are we having fun yet or what!

Phase I
: file cabinet and office.......17 + 8.5 + 11 + 9 (18 lbs going to office)

Phase II: clothes/shoes closet.......50 + 2

Phase III: linens and bathroom........6 + 25

Phase IV: bookshelves.......21 (42 lbs going to office) + 13

Phase V: August's room.......5

Phase VI: kitchen.......

Phase VII: garage.......

Thursday, January 1, 2009

House diet 250

Here it is, January 1st, and I am commencing House Diet 250, wherein I will eliminate 250 lbs of stuff in our house by the end of the month. Here's how:

Phase I: file cabinet...this seems like an easy place to get rid of stuff. Maybe I can squeeze 10-20 lbs out of it?

Phase II: clothes closet...I bet I can get another 10-20 out here, if I include shoes.

Phase III: linens and bathroom...another 20-30 perhaps?

Phase IV: bookshelves...if I enlist Ray's help, maybe we can get 40-50 lbs.

Phase V: baby, what baby? This here girl is a toddler, and she doesn't need 10-20 lbs of baby stuff still stacked in her room.

Phase VI: kitchen...if we really suck it up, I bet we can get 20-30 out of here.

Okay, I wouldn't be surprised if I've wildly over- or under-estimated the poundage potential for each phase, but a girl's gotta start somewhere. Given these estimates, I've got 110-170 towards my 250 lbs goal. Hmmm. At this rate the garage will have to be included in the diet, but that will surely put me over the top.

Phase VII: garage...where I'll have to call in house diet enemas (Goodwill/Craig's List/the dump) and guess the weight of outgoing least 200 lbs all by itself.

I am deciding in the next 4 minutes whether or not I want to start on Phase I. It's sitting right here, just 3 feet away from me. It's small, black, but boy is it a mess of "should-I-shred-this?" goodies. Ugh.

Ray's contribution: "We could drink all the alcohol and get rid of the wine rack...that would save a few pounds."
Update 1/1/09, 10:41:56 pm

Yield: 17 lbs.