How to make a perfect evening, in five steps. 

1) Start with 2 people who may live together but due to work and social obligations and at times sheer exhaustion, spend far less time together than they should.

2) Bring to a beautiful evening with a warm setting sun and a cool ocean breeze.

3) Add a walk along the docks and delicious meal at a fabulous local restaurant. 

4) Stir in easy laughter and fluid conversation.

5) Allow to simmer for 5 hours or until you drift off to sleep in bed together. 

Recipe keeps forever with attention and care.

Humble Pie

January 24, 2009

-I am humbled by the gift of friendship; by the easy laughter,  smooth conversation and sensation of being completely accepted.  I am humbled by a gift from a dear friend who gave me something so thoughtful and so generous, so kind and so clearly evident of the depth in which she knows me.

-I am humbled by manual labor.  I am humbled by the people who do this work day in and day out in the snow and the wind and the cold without the luxury of five days at a desk to rest their sore backs and heal their wounded hands.

-I am humbled by a friend who choose to bring a child into this world and now waits patiently and lovingly for the infant to arrive.  I am as humbled by her certainty as I am by her calm and I am humbled by the mother I know she will be.

-I am humbled by the man who stood in front of me in line at a market last week and waited with his head high for a manger to re-try a benefits card that would not work. I am humbled by the sack of milk, bread and cheese he was determined to bring home to his family and  I am humbled by my inability to find the best way to help him while I waited and did nothing.

-I am humbled by my husband whose reservoirs of hard work and patience show no visible end.  I am humbled by his enthusiasm to wake up and work the 6th and 7th day of the week and I am humbled by the absence of one word of complaint.

What humbles you?

Hi honey, I’m home.

January 21, 2009

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I like to think of myself as a pretty modern woman.  I have a post graduate degree and a job I love.  I did not change my name when I got married* and I still have my own checking account. However, today D and I were talking about something involving money and the new house and it occurred to me that in a lot of ways, our relationship could not be any more stereotypical.  For example:

1) I do the cooking and D deals with the money.  I know that if I sat down with all the financial stuff I have the mental capacity to figure it out.  I also know that if D sat down with a box of rice and read the directions he could steam it with some success**.  But, neither of us bothers because we both know the other one is happy to do it. 

2) I do the cleaning and D deals with the cars.  As you may remember, mechanics make me cry and car talk*** gives me a migraine.  A clean bathroom on the other hand is virtually free and always makes me happy.

3) I buy the cards and gifts and D does all the assembly.  I am happy to report that in my life I HAVE managed to assemble a few things but when it comes to anything from Ikea or directions bound in a book…it is D 100%.  On the flip side, I don’t think D knows what a hostess gift is, let alone where to buy one, where we keep them or when it is appropriate to bring it along with us.

4) I buy the groceries and D takes out the trash.  Yes, I know that I am capable of taking out the trash but it smells and I don’t like it.  And in a pinch D can run to the market and get something I have forgotten but it usually ends with a phone call that goes like this.

D: I can’t find Thyme

me: Are you in the produce section?

D: Yes, it is not here.

me: Go to where the carrots are, not the bagged carrots the fresh carrots.  Now go to the left, it is in a clear package marked fresh Thyme.

D: Why do you always send me for the hidden stuff.

me: D, it is not hidden.  It is thyme. 

5) I print out the directions and D does the driving.  I do not think I need to expand upon this. At all. 

*Ok, to be perfectly honest the reason I did not change my name is because I have just been too lazy to go down to social security, wait in line, change it, change my credit cards, change my license and spend three years correcting people about the pronunciation of my new name.  It really has nothing to do with being forward thinking or independent at all.

** To be fair, D generally cooks for me once a year.  He might do it more but I insist on hovering and reminding him that the All-Clad pans are NOT non-stick and I will kill him with my bare hands if he does anything to hurt them.  People heal, All-Clad is lifetime investment.

*** Click and Clack are the exception because Click and Clack are hilarious

Getting Personal….I guess

January 5, 2009

Last weekend I had lunch with the fabulous La Petite Belle and while we were catching up on odds and ends, she mentioned that I don’t include a lot of personal details in my blog.  I don’t know that this is something I do intentionally, mostly I don’t think my life is very interesting or that anyone cares that much about what is going on.  My blog tends to focus on observations, interactions and things that can be tied up in a list format.  But, to update you on a few things, here are five personal details about my life right now.

1) D and I closed on that house on Dec 29th.  Although the house is going to be a ton of work we are extremely excited.  It was built at the turn of the century (19th, not 20th) and has some wonderfully charming details. 

2) To chronicle our progress on house work I am starting another blog.  This one is mostly for our friends and family but I am happy to share the link with any of my usual readers who may be interested.  Please send me an e-mail at: ifihadtopickfive@live.com if you want it.

3) For thous of you who read this blog entry, and are wondering about the status of my health or have sent e-mails inquiring, thank you for your thoughts and concern.  I have been following up with my appointments and test reguarly (even though I think I outlined five perfectly good reasons why I did not want to) and so far, everything looks good.  I will do my best to keep you updated. 

4) I am thinking of getting an iphone…actually I think I am getting an i phone.  I self identify as being completely inept with new technology so this is as surprising to me as it is to you.  But as you may remember, my phone is shot and after consulting some friends who have an iphone and love it, I thought I would take the plunge.  A special thanks to this blogger for being a part of my iphone focus group and answering 47 ridiculous questions and 18 ludicrous ones. 

5) My birthday is rapidly approaching….and I hate my birthday.  It is not that I am all bent out of shape about my age; it has been a wonderful year and numbers don’t generally stress me out.  I just don’t really have great birthdays….or at least the bad ones seem to out weigh the really good ones.

Dear D,

The truth is; I had no interest in meeting you.  My heart was heavy with worry for my father and quite frankly…I did not want to meet anyone.  Our friends dragged me out that night and for the first time in weeks, I laughed.  I don’t know if I knew right then that I would spend my life with you but I knew you were special.  Since that day I have learned so much more about you than your interest in running and winter sports and your affinity for the Midwest.  In honor of your birthday, here are five of my favorite.

-You are incredibly kind.  You give everyone you meet the benefit of the doubt and I have never heard you say a bad word about anyone. 

-You are amazingly patient.  I can not even begin to count the number of times I have made us late for parties, dinners and flights or how often you have heard me say “I’m ready” only to watch me run around the room for 5 more minutes straitening up, putting away the remote or fixing the throw pillows.  You have never lost your temper or left with out me and that is pretty amazing.

-You are totally honest.  When you flew out to surprise me in AZ you managed to plan the whole thing with out telling one lie.  When I threw you your surprise 30th I must have told hundreds of them.  This honesty holds true for everything you do and every interaction you have. 

-You are extremely talented.  By profession you are one of the lucky people who get to make the world a more beautiful place and you have certainly done the same for our home.  I love having a husband who actually cares what shade of gray the living room is and makes custom breakfast bars from left over pieces of ceder. 

-You are reliably funny.  I can honestly say that everyday we are together to make me smile, chuckle or giggle.  I never imagined life could be so much fun.

cute_sara

Happy Birthday to my husband, my partner, my friend.  Love, S

Yesterday D and I found out that one of the offers we made on a house was accepted. D owned the house we are presently living in before we got married or started dating, so even though he has done this before, it is totally new to me. If you are interested in the play by play…here are the five things that immediately followed the good news.

1) D tries like a mad man to get in touch with me – I of course am running around from meeting to meeting ignoring my e-mail and blinking red phone light. When I finally sit down and see an email from him saying: CALL ME STAT I conclude that he is missing an extremity

2) I start to freak out and sweat – It is one thing to be looking at houses and dreaming about houses but to actually get a house, to start to think about how much the whole thing is going to cost and what it is going to do to your expendable income is scary. And…I am not the best with change.

3) I make D promise not to tell anyone – I want to bask in the excitement for a few hours and just tell our parents. Two minutes later, I e-mail C and tell her. OK, so I suck as basking in the excitement. By the time I get home I have told a few friends, my parents and some random family members. True to his word, D has told no one. Oops….

4) I get home and start to cry – As aforementioned, I have wavered about leaving our current residence. I start to look around and reminisce about the place where we had our first kiss, the counter where wrote our vows and ate our meals and all of the laughter, the joy and sometimes the tears that filled the walls of our first place together. D takes one look at my weepy eyes and says “do you want to start to look at kitchens on line?”. My mood instantly changes. I love how well this man knows me.

5) I start to really think about the future- And not just the kitchens I saw on line (but wow, you can really do a lot of neat stuff with a kitchen). We sit and look at the piles of paperwork, calculate how much we make a month, wonder where it all goes and initial in a thousand places. We talk about dates and repairs and what bathroom we will fix first. We laugh and I cry (just a little) and I realize….we are really buying a house together.

Sick

October 22, 2008

Some differences in our house….

One:

When I get sick, I give progress reports daily.  “I feel a little tickle in my throat” or, “I think I might be getting a headache”.

When D gets sick, it comes on with no warning.  One day he is fine, the next morning he can’t swallow.

Two:

When I get sick I chalk it up to “something going around” or a bug.

When D gets sick he wants a precise culprit. Ie: “Do you think it was that kid at dinner the other night? Do you think she was sick? Could it have infected me this quickly?”

Three:

When I get sick my activities include; laying on the couch, repositioning on the couch, and transitioning from couch to bed.

When D gets sick his activities include two hours of competitive hockey in the freezing cold.

Four:

When I get sick my diet consists of chicken soup, tea, chicken and rice soup and juice.

When D gets sick his diet consists of pizza, cookies and whatever else he normally eats.

Five:

When I get sick I subscribe to the ‘better living through chemistry’ mantra.  I take Dayquil, Nyquil, Betweenquil and any other drug I can get my hands on to ease the symptoms.

When D gets sick he likes to tough it out as long as possible.  D must be really sick because I think, I heard him take a Nyquil last night.

I Still Do

October 7, 2008

I promised….

I promised to take you to be no other than yourself…I still do.

I promised to love what I knew of you, and trust what I did not yet know… I still do.

I promised to respect you, care for you, and grow with you, though good times and hard times, as your friend companion and partner… I still do.

I promised to give the best that I could to fulfill our lives together… I still do.

I promised to take the ring you placed on my finger, to wear it as a symbol of our love and the promises we made together… I still do.

Happy Anniversary D.  Love Always, S

Lately I have been reading a lot of blog posts that start with; “I don’t usually talk politics but…” and then they go on some rant about the election, or the candidates or the economy.  I hate talking about things that I don’t really understand and trust me when I tell you, I REALLY don’t understand our financial system, but lately it has become just too big of an issue to ignore.  So, I don’t usually talk economics but…. regardless of the number of people who get on Fox News and tell me we are not in a depression, the following five things lead me to believe that we are pretty close.

1) Last night while driving on I95 I got a call from one of my friends saying 10% of her company had been laid off that morning.  This came just a month after 20% of D’s firm had be laid off.  These are well educated hard working people who no longer have jobs.  That is depressing.

2) After talking to my friend and giving her the best pep talk I could muster, NPR had this story about the number of homeless children attending public schools.  According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, districts have reported a 10%-40% increase in homeless children over the last year.  That is depressing.

3) My father is watching CSPAN non stop.  This may not seems strange to you because you don’t know my father but trust me, he is not a money guy.  He is a retired civil servant who knows as much about his financial picture as his adviser tells him and has never been one to really follow ‘the market’.  But according to my mother, he can not go to bed at night unless he spends over an hour watching CSPAN to see “just how bad it is”.  That is depressing.

4) A friend of mine who is graduating law school this spring can not find a job…anywhere.  This is not a woman who is a middle of the road type of student.  She graduated college with a 4.0 (I know) and received an academic scholarship to attend law school.  She is on all the special mute courts and does all the things that are supposed to make her an attractive candidate.  When I told this story to another friend of ours, also an attorney, her response was “Sara, the economy is really bad”.  Good people can’t find work.  That is depressing.

5) Time Keown (a sportswriter from ESPN) recently posted this article about the ‘upside’ of the failing economy and how it will bring to light the real cost for new stadiums etc.  So, the upside of the financial market reeling before our very eyes is that it makes us more aware of corporate greed and the high price tax payer’s ultimately pay?   That is depressing.

Someone, anyone….tell me I am wrong.  Give me some sort of evidence that it is not as bad as it seems. This one time, I don’t want to be right. *

* or- tell me I am right, I like to be right too.

Letters to My Neighbor

September 22, 2008

Dear Neighbor,

As you may have noticed, in the last storm the fence that separates our yard has fallen down. We are not quite sure who owns the fence but maybe we can get together and talk about the repair. Sincerely, Your Neighbor

ONE WEEK LATER

Dear Neighbor,

We have taken a quick look around our yard and it appears that the fence that separates our yard from yours is different from the fences on either side of us. This leads me to believe that perhaps, the fence belongs to you. Since no one is quite sure, maybe we could split the cost? Best, Your Neighbor

THREE WEEKS LATER

Dear Neighbor,

I understand that since the “good” side of the fence is facing your yard, you believe the fence belongs to us. Have you considered that since the fence is exactly the same on all three sides of your yard, it may belong to you? Maybe when you put the fence up you decided you wanted to look at the nice side, and not have it face your neighbors. This shocks me because you certainly don’t seem like the type. -Your Neighbor

A MONTH LATER

Neighbor-

If we are going to continue to live together someone needs to replace the fence. I am sure you are not intentionally walking around your house with no shirt on and allowing your dog to take a dump in our yard but this is precisely the sort of thing a fence prevents.

ONE WEEK LATER

Fine. You win. I don’t want to look at your yard, your nasty dog or your sunburned belly any more than you want to watch me giving you the look of death. We will replace YOUR fence.