Spring Cleaning – A Mother’s Day Gift!

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Day 78

For our Mother’s Day gift this year, my mom asked us to come help clean out the back room in our basement. So, we spent yesterday afternoon inhaling dust until our noses ran while we all made giant donate piles to Good Will, discovered forgotten childhood toys and more nineties/early two thousand clothes than you could shake a hanger at. Like most basements, it was full of junk and hidden treasures – a giant box of photos, favorite picture books, kindergarten art projects, and a few jackets with shoulder pads in them.

Although this sounds like a crummy afternoon, it was a lot of fun sorting through old stuff. There was a lot of “I can’t believe I wore this!” to “Amanda! I still have your baby arm cast! And look! Your tiny sneakers! Oh! Melissa! Here’s your baby footprints! Here, take one, I have tons still.” (They are now up on our fridge in the apartment.) Basically, it was my favorite kind of Mother’s Day – hanging out and talking about the funny things we’ve done as a family. Afterwards, Dad made us all pasta carbonara and we took the rest of the evening off and watched A Long Kiss Goodnight – one of mom’s favorite action movies – while Winston slept on my feet.

As much fun as yesterday was, this afternoon was exhausting. The three boxes I hauled home were full of stuff from college – papers, notes, exams, posters, books, postcards – you name it, it was probably in that box. I sat on the floor of our apartment for a good three hours listening to podcast after podcast while tossing, keeping and sorting. It was grueling – not as grueling as actually writing all of those papers – and I feel better after recycling about a half ton of paper. Next weekend or the weekend after, I’ll be bringing back a couple more tubs to go through and then it will be on to my parent’s garage! Dun dun duhhhhhh.

On the less grueling side, we also discovered some plates, christmas tree decorations, a teapot, dish towels and a pepper grinder that I bought and put away before I moved out to Massachusetts! Thankfully, I still like the dishes and I’m hoping Josh will like them too.

Sometimes, happiness is complicated; other times, it’s as simple as cleaning out a basement.


Sarah Graduated Today!!

Day 77

This afternoon, my sister in law graduated from Baypath! I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!

Although I missed celebrating in person, she will be coming to visit in about two weeks. Josh is planning on taking a day or so off work and we will head out it did touristy things like visiting Mount St. Helens.

Congratulations to Sarah!! We are so proud of her!

Friday Friday Friday!!!

Day 76
Although it was a Friday, between dropping Josh off at the airport, getting lost on my way to work, and getting home an hour or two later than I thought I would, today was pretty stressful.

But Josh arrived in Boston safely, Satah graduates tomorrow and tonight was fun! After eating a quick dinner and saying hi to Josh, I loaded Winston into the car and headed out to Amanda and Ryan’s apartment in Tacoma.

We ended up catching up on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They’re both pretty hilarious comedy shows, and after a day like today laughing was exactly what I needed.

Winston had fun running around their apartment and sniffing everything in sight. So far, he hang really noticed Josh is gone, but I suspect that will change tomorrow…

Either way – I hope everyone has a great Friday and that you get some sun wherever you are!

Micro Post – Happy Things!

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Day 75

This will be a micro post – after an extraordinarily busy week, we are getting ready to send Josh off to Massachusetts for Sarah’s graduation on Saturday! (GO SARAH!!!) Between that, my new job and wading through a grueling hour-long traffic snarl after said new job, I’m exhausted. So, here is a list of happy moments from my day:

– the morning coffee that Josh made for me
– taking Winston on his morning walk and saying hi to our neighbors with dogs
– spending a bit reading Lake of Dead Languages
walking around the gorgeous neighborhoods next to my work before starting my work day (the flower picture is from someone’s garden in that neighborhood)
– getting a very kind email from a customer about my customer service skills
– going out for dinner with Josh tonight
– knowing that Winston now has a dog walker and that he’ll be walked with his little French Bulldog buddy, Agnes, starting tomorrow!
– getting to sleep early tonight

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!


Revisiting Old Favorites

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Day 74

My favorite part about my morning routine, other than taking Winston on a walk, is getting to work an hour early. By work, I mean the coffee shop next door – I sit, sip my coffee and read a book. Right now, after speeding through three new books last week, I’m taking a break from tearing through new reads and am rereading an old favorite – The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman.

It’s a semi-gothic mystery set at an all girls high school on a lake in the middle of nowhere. While that short sentence sounds boring, it’s actually dripping with mysterious and possibly supernatural happenings – a perfect read for the start of summer!

A former student, Jane Hudson, returns to Heart Lake School for Girls as the Latin teacher and quickly becomes entangled in the present day troubles of three of her students. Their relationship reminds Jane of her own friendships which ended tragically the week before her own graduation – she was the only one left alive who knows what really happened at the Lake twenty years ago. As much as she tries not to draw parallels between her past and her present, someone isn’t letting her forget.

Even though I know what happens, rereading a book is like re-watching a favorite movie – perfect for boosting my happiness!

Napping Cat is a Happy Cat

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Day 73

As you can probably tell from my many, many pictures of Theo’s various napping positions, he loves naps. Ever since we got him, naps have been his favorite thing. Of course, for all I know, he could be resting up for a busy night of hunting ninja mice (in which case, sleep away my friend) but more than likely, lately he’s conserving energy to launch a sneak attack on Winston.

Although he and Winston have their cooperating moments (remember the stolen pizza slice from a couple of weeks ago?!) they mostly just tolerate each other. And by each other, I mean Winston wants to play with Theo while Theo wants nothing to do with Winston – Theo’s lightening moves and kitty growls come out when he gets fed up with the dog pestering him.

Josh and I were talking tonight about how quick Theo’s gotten and how unimpressed he’s become with weird animals that are larger than him (aka the pup). This wasn’t always the case, even with animals that were a little smaller than him.

When we were living in Boston, there was this giant squirrel that would lumber past our bedroom window at least twice a week. He didn’t necessarily outweigh our lithe cat, but he was a fat Boston squirrel in the same way New York gets fat pigeons. Either way though, Theo was simultaneously fascinated and terrified. When that squirrel waddled by, Theo would spring up and, very cautiously, sneak towards the window as if he had a snowball’s chance of catching it. In reality, if the squirrel had ever gnawed it’s way through the screen, or simply beat it down with his little furry squirrel paws, Theo probably would have run the other way (with me close behind!)

Even with the internal struggle between wanting to attack the squirrel and hide from it, Theo didn’t let it affect his napping schedule. By the time the squirrel scampered away, Theo would stretch out in the sunshine and resume snoozing – he applies this same methodology to Winston and it seems to work!

While I’m definitely still a dog person, and I wouldn’t put Theo up for a squirrel defense award, Theo is awesome. He’s a grumpy, cantankerous old man cat that occasionally scratches you with his back claws and may pee on Josh’s feet to lay claim to him over Winston but on the other hand, Theo will sleep curled up around your head purring all night because you’re his favorite person. Even a dog lover couldn’t ask for a better sign of love or happiness!

Jumping Slugs!

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Day 72

After another torrential downpour last night, with some more rain thrown in this morning for good measure, I managed to get to work without wading through too much traffic. In fact, I managed to get there early and as I was walking to pick up a coffee, I ran into the little guy above. Although you see a lot of slugs here because of the wet, temperate climate, you don’t see quite as many with shells. Anyway, it was unusual enough for me to stop and take a quick picture and then I moved on to my morning coffee and book.

At this point, you may think I’ve run out of happy things to talk about on my blog and am left with just a piddly snail on which to fly my happy thoughts. You would be semi right, but only because I spent some time looking up snails tonight. After taking the picture, I started getting curious about what the difference is between a slug and a snail. As far as my uneducated eye could tell, they both leave a slivery slime trail and they just look related (minus the shell.)

As I was clicking through a few links trying to find out more info on just Washington state ones, I came across this gem of an article on jumping slugs. Yup – jumping slugs. You can reread that sentence one more time if you want. At first, I read the article thinking “Maybe this is real. Nature does weird things…this could be real…” but by the time I made it to the bottom of the article, I was laughing so hard I was crying due to this quote (emphasis theirs):

It’s rare to see the jumping slug jump in the wild. In a resting posture, they curl their tail around to the side – appearing ready to jump. But you’d have to hold one in your hand to see it in action. “If you take one and put it on your hand it might just sit there a little while,” Burke said. “Once they get irritated they just start flopping and they’re off your hand in just a second, you know. More like they’re just writhing around like a fish out of water. They just flop around.” If they were trying to escape a predator on a piece of bark or log, that flopping behavior would allow them to lose their grip on the log and flee by tumbling away.

At that point, I was convinced it was an April Fool’s joke BUT there’s no date on the article. Wanting to see what all my crying was about, Josh came over and joined the hunt for jumping slug truth. After another quick internet search, we were left with a short but unsatisfying Wikipedia article that I’m convinced could be yet another arm of an elaborate prank put on by the group behind The Secret Lives of Jumping Slugs. While we may never solve this mystery, the tiny little snail made my day. And that’s what this happiness thing is all about!