Snow Days are Wicked Awesome #WednesdayWisdom

I have always loved snow days. When I was a young child, I loved spending the day sliding with my sister until we were half-frozen, and then going inside to enjoy some hot cocoa and cartoons while we thawed out. As I got older, I still looked forward to snow days but more so for the relief of not having to go to school and the occasional extra time needed and afforded to work on homework.

There were times that I prayed for snow days. And there was one time, when I convinced my younger brothers that “snow dances” were a real thing similar to Native American “rain dances”. I still can’t believe they bought it that dancing around in the snow in just their underwear would get us enough snow for a snow day, or perhaps they thought it was too funny to pass up. My dad was a little mad about it, and scolded my brothers to get inside. The look on their faces when I snapped a picture of their snow dance was priceless. Our family had plenty of embarrassing things on tape to tease me about, this, I thought would be my insurance for the future. I probably got scolded too, but it made me laugh too hard to care about anything else. Ironically, we did, in fact, have a snow day the next day.

There was no snow dance, or prayer for snow last night or today, but I was afforded a snow day today thanks to a local school closing. I appreciate snow days now just as ever because I still get paid since I am on a contract. I also appreciate that my husband takes care of the snow. He makes sure to shovel around my car and clean it off for me. He and his dad also work to clear the yard and clean off the deck. These pics are from our previous snowstorm.

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Finding My #MondayMotivation Mid-day

It’s mid-day already, and I’m just finding my #MondayMotivation to get going. It turned off chilly again after a weekend of warmer temps and melting snow. It feels like one of those days that I could just cocoon in my warm blanket for much of the day, but I have to get some stuff done. Maybe I’ll make the rounds with the vacuum cleaner and suck up the “Gizmo’s” (our chow chow is awesomely fluffy and cute, but she sheds little puffs around the house that we call Gizmos which means lots of vacuuming to keep up with it)

We don’t often see red fox, so I was pretty excited to be able to capture a shot of this guy in our backyard last week.

I was surprised to see this fox today in the backyard. #mainelife #wildlife

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I’ve been doing a lot of loom knitting lately. I recently finished this owl. Next time, I will definitely double up on the yarn because the stuffing is visible. I think I could adjust the pattern a little and easily make it into a penguin.

I made an owl #loomknitting

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I started on a bicolor brioche knit scarf in dark gray heather, and cottage green (seems teal to me).

I got about 3/4 of it done, and I ran out of the gray yarn… of course. So, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find another skein that will match. It’d be great if Marden’s had some more, but as the saying goes, “I should’ve bought it, when I saw it, at Marden’s”. When they have a good deal, it doesn’t last long.

It was school vacation last week, so I had some extra downtime. Other than knitting, I’ve been playing guitar. I traded in some games that I beat or didn’t play anymore and put the funds towards more new #Rocksmith2014 songs. I added some Bush, Creed, and Sister Hazel.

My first time playing this song. (Everything Zen by Bush) #guitar #rocksmith2014 #gettingit

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It was really frustrating at times to not be able to just play strings at the right time, or get my fingers to bend into the right shapes for the chords. It seemed like maybe I just couldn’t do it, maybe I wouldn’t be able to… maybe my hands weren’t the right size? and how can I make the chord shape, if I can’t tell which come next? Rocksmith 2014 has a feature that allows me to select sections of a song and slow it down. It then rewinds and I can play that section again through Rift Repeater. After I feel more confident with it, I can return to play the whole song. I love how video-games have become more accessible and intelligent so that they can reach a wider audience and to allow each audience member to experience success!

That Groundhog Was Wrong, But At Least Our Ice Bar Didn’t Melt

Groundhog Day was earlier this month. After they pulled Punxsutawney Phil out of the ground, he didn’t see his shadow. Apparently it’s been years since he has seen his shadow… Soon after that prediction though, we got our first good snow of about 6 or 8 inches. Our college has closed early and canceled one of the days, so my husband and I were able to enjoy an extra, unplanned day off together. I suppose I would’ve sided with the prediction of an early spring this year too, since we’ve had little snow this winter, and temperatures already into the 50’s.

I’m glad the weather cooled off because warm weather would not have been helpful for the recent alumni event at my alma mater, the annual ice bar. I had never been before. I was hoping to go this year though, and that my husband would be willing to go with me. He agreed to give it a shot so we could have a night out together. I know it takes a lot of courage for Steve to go to these types of events, and and not knowing what to expect, you could say we were both a bit nervous. Luckily, a couple of my friends attended so we were able to connect with them, and of course, it being an Ice Bar and all, there was plenty of “liquid courage” flowing.

IceBar Fire

I had a great time! The food was decent. I wasn’t a fan of the oyster though. I tried raw oysters for the first time. The man serving them said he’d suggest putting lemon on it since it was my first one. In retrospect, I think that “don’t chew” would have been a better first-time tip… I think I may have known that I shouldn’t, but when I put it in my mouth, I kind of thought “hmmm.. this is pretty big, maybe I should chew it…” It turns out, that wasn’t a great idea though, insta-gag. I managed to get it down though, and the flavor wasn’t bad, but that weird texture and noise when I bit down… nope, definitely not a fan! The martini wasn’t great either, in fact, it was rather terrible but at $10, you bet I drank it!

I really enjoyed sitting by the fire and that every time I looked over, Steve was there. I was glad my friends came. Most of all though, I was thankful that Steve came with me and we were able to have a good time together.

IceBarIceBar Group

Steve was so cute, he made sure he smelled extra nice, and had me pick out which watch he would wear for the evening. (We’ve been married for almost 9 years, and he still makes me blush and my heart melt.) I know he is not a fan of having his picture taken, so it was quite lovely and convenient that they had hired a photographer for the event (which is also something else that made me smile so big here). I know it takes a lot of courage for Steve to go to these types of things, and I really appreciated all of the effort he made to be present with me and make sure we could have a good time together. I was on cloud 9, and couldn’t stop smiling for quite some time after.

Gratitude Lately

I am thankful for my awesome hair stylist who gave me a nice layered cut and more dark purple in my hair yesterday. It gave me a little extra confidence when I met my new class. I enjoy meeting new people, but I get a bit anxious. I feel a lot of pressure to do well and I worry that I will not measure up somehow. I printed a few papers and decided that the best thing to do before class would be to take some extra me-time. I got out my guitar which I restrung recently, thanks to my sweet hubby who ordered these neat neon #drstrings for me. I played some Sweet Home Alabama, House of the Rising Sun, and Incubus. There used to be parts where it seemed like the notes were arriving too soon to tell what they were, nevermind trying to get my fingers to move into the right positions.  Although, I can’t play those songs from start to finish, I’m getting closer. I can definitely see progress and I’m glad I haven’t given up.

Today, I restrung my #guitar with some multicolor neon #drstrings and played #rocksmith2014 for a bit.

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I think it helped. Class went well. (And I am so thankful for that!) I used the same icebreaker as I did earlier this semester. It was funny, I thought all of the students were paying attention but it turned out that a couple had tuned out so they weren’t able to list any of the items for the first time around. At the end, I shared a little about myself using the items in the bag as a starting point. Then I asked each student to share something about themselves. I said that it could be as simple as why you are taking the class or how it will help with their goals or what they are majoring in. I listened as each student shared some interesting and personal things about themselves. I was really impressed. I was thankful for their courage in what they chose to share. I left class feeling like maybe, I am starting to get the hang of this.

I am thankful for more snow. Earlier this week it was about in the 50s and the lawn was getting to be a bit of a mud patch, typical of spring weather. Today, I had to reschedule my research interview because we got 6 inches of snow. [They say “If you don’t like the weather in Maine, just wait a minute”. …no idea who “they” are… but it has been so true lately).

I was thankful to find some great deals this week! I got some great deals on produce at a local asian market. I had no idea what a Pomelo was, but a quick google search turned up that it was a citrus fruit with a grapefruit-like flavor. There were bags of two; I picked them up and was examining them closely with one in each hand. I lowered them a bit slowly and teetered them a little side to side as I debated “should I get them or should I not…” Right about then I looked up to see a man across the way kind of chuckling to himself and it occurred to me that it may have looked like I was in a scene from an Austin Powers movie. I quickly added the fruit to my cart and continued on my way… The fruit turned out to be delicious, by the way, like a sweeter grapefruit.

Despite a couple of stressful moments, I really enjoyed cooking this week. I was thankful for the curious Italian food section at the asian market. I chose some pappardelle noodles which turned out absolutely scrumptious with a homemade meat sauce.

I was also thankful that despite catching dinner on fire one night… yes, you read that right, ON FIRE! I decided to make Coquilles Saint Jacques for the first time. I had spent a good solid couple of hours in the kitchen working on the meal. I filled the little crocks with scallops, prepared the sauce, the whole nine yards… topped them off with the breadcrumb topping and put it under the broiler. It was looking perfect until I peeked into the oven to check and one of the crocks ignited, by the time I grabbed a set of potholders, they all were ablaze. (Holy hell, that’s a first for me!) I pulled the pan out and was able to blow them out. I couldn’t believe it, it was all perfect until then… but luckily I was able to scoop out the little burnt bit of breadcrumb and everything else was totally fine and it was delicious! I was super thankful for that. (I think my dishes were just a little too close to the broiler… ooopsies. Lesson learned.).