Friday, December 9, 2016

Five Random Post-Move, Post-Travel, Pre-Christmas List Items. . .

Last night I slept 6.5 hours, after a full 5 the previous night. After a week of 4s, this is a huge relief, and I'm anticipating being back to full strength (and perhaps even being done with the breakthrough weeping!) very soon.

But the return to normal is a gradual move with everything still a bit chaotic here. On this road to eventual domestic order, Five Things Friday seems a perfect opportunity to unload some Random. If, like me, you find yourself making lists of Things To Do, and Things Accomplished, and Things Someone Should Do, and Things To Buy To Make Life Easier Around Here, and. . . well, you get the idea. . . If, as I say, you're also a list-maker, perhaps you'll have patience with my 
Five Random Post-Move, Post-Travel Items as Christmas Approaches. 

1. Pater put up bookshelves in our Guest/TV/Reading Room (sounds easy, but it involved a trip out to Ikea in between snowfalls, and then the loading and unloading and the putting together before the putting up and the securing to the wall -- I went for a very long walk as my contribution). We dithered about whether or not to have shelves built, but decided Ikea would do just fine, at least for now as we sorted out how this room would work. 
It's very satisfying to see the closetful of book-filled boxes empty gradually as I once again alphabetise fiction on my shelves (my awake times last week, between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. have been very helpful). Not only do we now have space in the closet for shifting other boxes into and freeing up floor space, but there's something very calming, to me, about a wall full of books.

2. We may have found a Sleeper Sofa that 1) fits in the room, through the doorway -- no small element, I'll have you know, and not an easy find in a style and quality we can live with; which brings me to 2) features a comfortable mattress; and 3) is also deliciously comfortable for curling up in with my guy for a Netflix binge; and 4) is available in a great grade of leather which will look and feel good and survive the grandkids' sticky fingers and occasional hot chocolate spill. . . . We're on the verge of ordering it, and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to having that space organised. 

3. We may have found a Sleeper Sofa, but damned if I can find my winter boots anywhere. I can find several pair of boots with leather soles, absolutely useless if there's any ice around. I can even find boots with traction -- too bad those have a two-inch heel, not my favourite in a slippery situation either. I can even find my YakTrax, which I could fasten onto a pair of flat fashion-y boots, ankle or knee-height. But I'm beginning to suspect that I may have been over-enthusiastic in my downsizing and passed along the most practical winter boots, probably because they weren't city-chic enough. I do know I thrilled a young ex-neighbour by gifting her my Blundstones, a model that, from the start, had always bothered one toe "knuckle" to callous to corn, but which I'd gladly suffer this week of snowfalls and ice. So top of one of my numerous lists strewn across the kitchen counter? Buy Winter Boots!!

4. My son phoned yesterday to say that they've decided not to risk driving in the predicted snowfalls, so we won't have the early Christmas celebration we'd planned for the weekend (for which I'd accelerated the gift-buying, condo-decorating schedule, so we've been usefully shifted into gear and now can slow down a bit). It would have been the first time we'd seen our granddaughter since September, the first time the cousins had been together for even longer, and we're all disappointed, but it was the only possible decision given the weather.  And the boeuf bourgignon will still happen Saturday night, and I'm going to bake some apple pies (with my marble rolling pin! and my own recipe! and my pie pans!) and we'll get a headstart on Family Festive, with a big tinge of "missing some important people."

5. Also planned for this weekend: a baby-sitting gig this evening so that Four-Year Old Big Sister gets a special night out with her parents and  her Favourite Eight-Year-Old Cousin and that cousin's parents, and grandparents get a special night in with Toddler Grandson who is just a hoot right now and a very sweet cuddler as well....a lunch-and-Christmas-shopping appointment with one of my daughters . . . and the biggest weekend event of all: Granddad and Nana take Two Little Girls to the  Opera! I hope to tell you more about that soon -- meanwhile, you can all wager on whether the Four-Year-Old will have to be escorted discreetly out because the witch is too scary (Hansel and Gretel -- a fairytale production, with puppets as well as live opera singers) or whether she will handle the whole event with the sophisticated aplomb she managed for a live Beauty and the Beast this summer.  Granddad's going to have to step up his game, because I think the girls are dressing up and Nana will do her best to keep up with them. . . 

That's a big swirling lot of random, don't you think? And honestly? Tip of the iceberg. . . I do find that writing it down helps me get some traction.  Speaking of which, in light of the snowflakes gathering strength outside my window, I think I'd better Action List Item Number 3. What's on your list for the weekend? I do hope there's some fun or relaxation on there as well. . . 'tis the season, right?

 

27 comments:

  1. Hi Frances, well you certainly have lots going on at the moment! Your weekend sounds wonderful. We will be doing the Christmas cards and some wrapping, but on Sunday we have an at-home at my husband's boss's house. I don't often get the chance to see the people that he works with (and that I hear so much about, mostly all positive), so I'm looking forward to that.

    Also looking forward to some fashion shots next week of your opera outfit, and hopefully new winter boots too! Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Oh, good for you! Cards and wrapping, so organised. (I've long since let cards drop from my list although I've been contemplating bringing them back -- so lovely to receive).
      Have fun at that at-home today. I rather miss that kind of socialising....

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  2. I have been your sister-in-sleeplessness this week, during the popular 1:30-3:30 a.m. time slot. Mine is due to work-related stress, end-of-the-semester stress, and, to some extent, Christmas prep. We realized on Sunday that THIS weekend is the only one when our son's family can come for an early Christmas (it's their year for the other grandparents to have them). So that precipitated a flurry of shopping/wrapping/baking, too. Can't wait for them to arrive tonight! I have a very fun but messy "cooking" activity for a certain four-year-old planned.

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    1. It's horrid, isn't it, the not sleeping, although I'm surprised how many boxes I managed to unpack, how many bookshelves I was able to fill . . . So glad that your visit with your son's family is going ahead -- Four-year-olds are brilliant at Christmas! Have fun.

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  3. Too bad about family not being able to travel, but I understand the iffyness of the roads.

    My list is as you would expect: marking, shovel snow, marking, oh and buy new fridge as ours gave up the ghost yesterday. Luckily the freezer stuff seems to be staying frozen, and we can store some condiments in our cold garage.

    The Christmas baking I was going to do will have to wait! Brenda

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    1. Well, if you ever had to pick weather to accommodate a fridge dying, this would be it, no? (We used to store feed-the-millions turkey-dinner extras on the balcony off our upstairs bedroom, (probably) out of reach of (most of) the raccoons.. . I hope finding the new one doesn't cause too much grief. I consider appliance purchases one of the least sexy ways to spend money...
      Sympathy re the marking as well. Don't miss that at all! Hope you get through it with a few days to spare for Christmas peace and joy. xo

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  4. As always, I can sympathize with your "awakeness". Right now, I'm putting it to good use staying with Daughter who has just had surgery. She needs help to get up in the night so insomnia is an asset. You will have to take little one out when the witch comes. I still remember being traumatized by a department store "Hanseland Gretel" window. The weather is "iffy" so I don't know if my relief from Burnaby
    will arrive. Ironically, Daughter and I have just watched her favourite "Rick Steves Christmas in Europe" dvd. Have fun with the girls!

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    1. Your daughter is lucky to have you and your insomnia to help, although I'm sorry she's had to have surgery, especially at this time of year. The weather's awful for getting around in right now.
      Crossing my fingers re Hansel and Gretel -- I'd hate to cause a trauma that will resonate down the years. 8-year-old has been rehearsing the moment with 4yo, and they imagine they're inured. We'll see. . .

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  5. Just a little note about sleeps deprivation: jet lag is rough, and four hrs isn't enough for anyone! I don't always sleep well or long enough anyway, and when I feel sad, weepy, or overwhelmed the first question I ask myself is "how tired are you?" It's often clear to me that I'm simply sleep-deprived and running on empty, a problem that can usually be solved and is easier than days of soul-searching for other reasons. I'm not a napper, but if I can grab a quick nap during those periods, it often helps a lot. Good luck with your re-entry; I'm enjoying those shop windows!

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    1. Much wisdom here, Beth. Some of the Sad I've been castigating myself for (the Inner Critic prefers Plucky and Positive, don't you know?!) is surely just sleep deprivation. I think it's beginning to iron itself out -- I woke at 2 for a while last night, but managed to fall back asleep, not waking 'til 5-ish, for a total of some seven hours. If I can do that a few nights in a row, I'll be back on the path to emotional health, I suspect. And so glad to know you're enjoying the shop windows -- it's good to see commercialism giving back, right?

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  6. Happy to hear that you're well again and with special plans including a lot of family members!
    Are your Ikea book shelves by chance called Billy or Bily?
    I have these :-)
    After The Chárdás Prinzess von E. Kálmán and the beautiful concert of Marina Rebeka,famous Latvian soprano with divine voice, last week,I'm going to cinema tomorrow (croatian movie "All the best")
    Have a nice weekend!
    Dottoressa

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  7. My comment just got lost
    Happy to hear that you're well again and with a lot of plans with your family members
    I have Ikea Billy bookshelves for 26 years
    After The Czárdás Princess by E. Kálmán and beautiful concert -Marina Rebeka, pretty Latvian soprano with divine voice,last week,I'm going to cinema tomorrow (croatian film "All the best')
    Have a nice weekend
    Dottoressa

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    1. It surprised you and showed up, that comment. And 2xDottoressa is even better ;-)
      Yes, the book shelves are indeed Billy -- we had Billy shelves for decades until we had custom shelves built at our island home, so we know they're very reliable and the configuration works well enough for the new room. So now we're Billy twins? Yay!
      Your weekend sounds perfect -- I need to look for some concerts and perhaps dance performances to book as we settle in here.

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  8. Busy busy! Hopefully your sleep comes back soon..... Speaking of, would love to know more specifics on the comfortable sleep sofa, we have been reclining embarrassingly in stores on a range of them, so far not finding one that seems possibly comfortable enough to inflict on guests.

    I personally can manage the H&G witch, but the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz are too horrifying so far (60+ years). Looking forward to the opera goers fashion shots to come.....

    ceci

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    1. We haven't ordered the sofa yet, but I think we're going to go with one from Industrial Revolution. We found the mattress comfortable when we lay on it in the store -- whether that will translate to a comfortable night's sleep for guests only time will tell. Honestly, I'm always skeptical with sofabeds..
      As for those flying monkeys, my younger sister approaches 60 and still, I suspect, can't watch The Wizard all the way through. . . but our 8yo scoffs and says they're not scary at all. . .

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  9. All I take from this a) jet lag is getting better, yay! and b) grandbunnies. xoxoxox

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  10. Glad to hear you're able to sleep a little longer Frances. I too, find tearfulness comes hand in land with not enough sleep. Somehow it just makes you feel a little more fragile ...I seem to be back to waking around 3 am until 4 or 5. I then settle down and sleep well again for a few more hours which consequently means I get up later and the days are shorter! Not good at this time of year ...with so much to do, but at least I'm not tired. I'm thinking I should get up at 6am as I used to do and maybe then I'd sleep through ...who knows?? :)
    The sleeper sofa sounds perfect ...hope it works out. I found a couple of leather ones that ticked all the boxes, like yours do ....except stupidly I didn't measure the actual mattress width so they're a bit tight for two adults! Or should I say cosy...
    Have a lovely weekend Frances, lovely to be home with your family.
    Rosie

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    1. I would do better if I had another little bundle of sleep later in the day, but we've been a bit too scheduled for that this week. Next week, though, I'm going to seriously cultivate the return of the nap . . .
      Cosy is good. we managed on a Double/Full for our first 35 years, only moving up last decade to a Queen (which we now quite love) . . . We're right in the city, so there are lots of options for guests who can't get comfy with us, although I might have to write a post about what it's like to let go of that identity as one who can host a crowd at dinner, house an extra couple or two comfortably. It's a change, certainly.
      Hope your weekend is lovely as well, Rosie -- get some sleep! ;-)

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  11. Hope you have your "princess dress" ready for your opera date. That sounds like such fun. Maybe the velvet one you bought in France? I'm sure you don't want to hear this but... I am annoyingly, I'm told it's annoying anyway, able to sleep just about anywhere, anytime. While Stu is not. It's especially hard on long flights for him to watch me snoring as he sits wide-eyed, unable to sleep. As for list making. I like that idea of making to-do lists for others... does it work though, do you think?

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    1. I think I will wear the dress I bought in Bordeaux. It's black wool crepe with folkloric embroidery on sleeves and placket opening (the velvet you remember is the black velvet wide-legged pants, another contender for festivewear).
      Yes, it's annoying, I say of my husband's ability to sleep anywhere, at least, but I will also admit that it's rather fine to have someone rested and ready for delegation to the list execution. Which brings us to your closing question.... sometimes it does, but often there is negotiation involved. And efficiency (or not!)

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  12. As always I'm amazed at how much you do--especially on little sleep. The shelves and the sofa sound like minor triumphs, a bit of comfort and order in your new digs. And the time with the "littles", aah, such a deep joy.

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    1. It does feel like a lot right now, Elle, and I'm looking forward to some lazy, completely slowed down days in the week ahead. You're right that getting those shelves and the sofa organised is pushing me toward a state of relaxation -- I'm pretty dependent on some domestic order, I guess.
      The time with the "littles" -- profound joy, yes.

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  13. Found this recently and most illuminating. Just don't play the piano, I beg. Try out the new sofa instead.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

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    1. I've seen this before, and I try to reassure myself with the knowledge when I get into these patches. Not convinced that it works well with contemporary lifestyles and responsibilities, but it's intriguing....

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  14. One of the many things I love about your blog is that you combine being intensely involved in your family life with being intensely yourselves with your own passions and observations. I hope we do too but in reading other people's lives I don't often have that intense recognition of the crucial nature of both elements of life. Love it.

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    1. It makes such a difference that you said this today, Elizabeth. Thank you!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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