On loneliness, ice skating champions and bed assembly

My sister-in-law asked me this weekend why it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here. I told her I’d run out of things to say. And that’s kind of true, although I expect that my bowl of words will refill itself. It usually does. Here’s what I think has emptied it out this time: Rockford has been out of town since last Monday, and he doesn’t get back home until Wednesday. I’ve gotten almost used to his frequent business trips, but this one has been painfully long. I love my husband, and I also like him. He’s my best friend. I miss him terribly when he’s gone.

Also, the children have been slowly siphoning off my brain cells.

Despite the brain cell thing, we had a nice weekend. We went to the national figure-skating championships, where I got to see:

  • Evan Lysacek! His skating is just as powerful in person as it is on TV, and I still can’t decide whether or not he’s dreamy.
  • Scott Hamilton! He was announcing, not skating. I very much wanted to give him a hug, but we weren’t sitting all that close to him. And also I’m sure some security-type person would’ve stopped me.
  • Eleven-year-old Nathan Chen, who made me wonder what I was doing with my life at 11. (Answer: Playing Nintendo and eating chips). He was astonishing, and I fully expect to see him in the Olympics whenever he’s eligible.
  • A lot of other skaters, who were also very talented. And I’d love to tell you about them all. But the children? The brain-melting children? They would like their quiet time to be over now. And so I guess it will be. Because who needs quiet?
  • Bed assembly
    And then today I built the bed that my brother and sister-in-law bought for Pete:

    Kura bed from Ikea

    If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to build the Ikea Kura bed, here is your answer: Two hours. Possibly less time than that, even, if you have help and are not working amidst a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old.

    Small steps to finding my bliss (without going to Blissdom)

    The whole internet — probably not including the dramatic chipmunk, Sergey Brin and all of the LOLcats — is en route to Nashville today for Blissdom, which is a giant sleepover for bloggers.* I had hoped to be able to go, but a combination of Low Funding and a Frequent-Flyer Husband made that at first unlikely I'm not going to Blissdom, y'all!and ultimately impossible. If I didn’t have a strategy in place for the remainder of the week, I would probably be pretty bummed about that. Good thing I have some plans.

    What I’ll Be Doing While The Rest of the Internet is at Blissdom

    1. Reorganizing the spice cabinet. I like to keep the spice bottles in alphabetical order, and my husband likes to not put them back where they belong. I haven’t re-alphabetized things in a few months, so it’s a little chaotic in there right now. (This is doofy, I know, but it’s also weirdly soothing.)
    2. Cleaning the bathroom. The “master bathroom” is always on my list of Things To Clean, but it’s so easy to neglect since no one else ever sees it. But it’s the first and last thing I see every day, so it ought to be a lovely and relaxing place, right? I don’t know that I’ll be able to achieve spa-like perfection this week, but I could at least wipe the toothpaste residue out of the sink.
    3. Eating lunch. I forget to eat lunch more often than not, and then I get a headache and eat All The Food around 3pm. This is so ridiculously avoidable. For the next three days, I pledge to sit down and eat some lunch.
    4. Counting my blessings. I’ve kept lists of Wonderful Things That Make Me Happy on and off for the last few years, and I always have a much more positive attitude when I do it. So why don’t I do it all the time? Good question. But I’m going to do it for at least the next few days.
    5. Reading a poem every day. A happy one, preferably, read in a quiet moment. I’m currently accepting Suggested Readings for this.

    So while I’d much rather go to Blissdom than clean the bathroom, I’m not going to spend any time being upset about it. I am going to have a nicely organized spice cabinet and a sparkly clean bathroom by Friday afternoon.

    Whether you’re going to Blissdom, not going to Blissdom or having no idea what Blissdom is, I hope you’re having a lovely day. And I’d like to know this: Do you have a Happiness Strategy? What is it?

    *And also it’s a conference, at which I’m 90% certain stuff other than Giggling, Hair-braiding and Chocolate Consumption takes place.

    Pondering in-store magazines, bread and beans

    I had the opportunity to sit at Barnes & Noble by myself for an hour or so last week, and I spent most of that time reading magazines in the Starbucks cafe area. I hadn’t intended to buy a drink, but I felt guilty about taking up space there and reading a bunch of magazines that I wasn’t going to buy. So I had a caramel brulee latte, and it was great.

    (I mention this because one of this week’s recipes is from a magazine I looked at that day.)

    On the one hand, it isn’t a library. I always kind of feel like I should buy at least one magazine before perusing it. (I never actually do buy one, though. “Feeling” so rarely equals “doing” in my world.) On the other hand, they wouldn’t put the magazines right next to the cafe tables and so very far from the checkout if they didn’t expect people to sit down and read them. Right?

    Anyway, here’s what we’re eating this week:

    Monday: Eggs & veggie sausages

    Sometimes it feels like this is all I ever cook.Menu Plan Monday

    Tuesday: Spaghetti

    The children will both eat all of their spaghetti if I make garlic bread and withhold it until they’ve cleaned their plates. Maybe I should make garlic bread with ever meal.

    Wednesday: Hawaiian chicken

    This is from the most recent issue of Cooking Light, which I did not buy when I was at Barnes & Noble.

    Thursday: Bean & potato gratin

    Thursdays are supposed to be Bittman Bean Night, according to my menu planning template. That hasn’t been happening with great regularity, though. This, however, is a Bittman bean recipe. So maybe this is the start of something.

    Friday: Pizza

    If all goes according to plan, we’ll be having dinner with my brother. He’s fallen deeply in love with the new Dominos pizza, so I’m guessing that’s what we’ll be having.