Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Years Old - Already!

Dan and I thought we might go to a movie this evening. I have a couple gift cards for the theater that have been burning a hole in my pocket. But about the time Dan was getting home, we got a call from Chris, inviting us to Skype in to Robert's birthday party this evening. It wasn't even a close call. We can see a movie any old time, but second birthdays only come around once in a little boy's life!

It was such a short time ago that we welcomed baby Robert to the world and to our family. It's hard to believe he'll be two next week.

Here are a few pictures I snapped from the iPad screen as we enjoyed the party. I'm sorry that I missed getting a picture of the cake - a cute 3-D car, hand-made and -decorated by Kelsey.

"Hi Grandma and Grandpa!" We were warmly welcomed by Robert to his party.

After we sang Happy Birthday, Kelsey cut the cake, and Robert took the first bite.

Big sister, Clara, helped open the presents.

A Tonka truck!

Clara clowns around with a mask Robert got as a gift from some of his friends.

Lots of hours of fun ahead with this classy little trike, from Mama and Daddy.

Happy birthday, to our sweet little boy. Virtually-attending is better than not being there at all, but next year I hope to be there in person, to share birthday cake and hugs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When the Walls Close In

One thousand square feet is easy to keep clean, especially when the contents are rather sparse. I wouldn't say living in our apartment, waiting to make the move to Texas, has been a vacation. After all, we are still rising early each morning and going to work. We are still fixing meals, washing dishes and doing laundry. But there are fewer responsibilities as well as fewer opportunities for creative outlets.

For example . . . no house maintenance projects; no Daring Baker (or other baking) projects, since my kitchen is bare of all but the basics; no Bible class lessons to prepare, since I've reluctantly turned over my class to a new teacher; and less blogging, because I don't seem to be doing many blog-worthy activities.

It hasn't been bad, actually. The only thing is that now and then the walls seem to close in, and I become a tad bit stir-crazy. The best remedy I've found for that is to keep busy. Here are some of the activities that are helping to keep me sane.

I'm watching more TV than usual. Netflix has been a good friend to me, of late. I've watched a number of classics as well as some newer, rather obscure movies.

I'm spending more time on the computer. I've found a few new sites that have free puzzles, of various kinds, and I stop by once or twice a day to challenge my mind.

I've been reading like crazy.

I'm working jigsaw puzzles. This is the second one I've worked on in the past six weeks or so. Since we only have one table - our kitchen table - it leaves little space for us to eat dinner. Dan's been very understanding about it, but I try to work them quickly, so that he isn't inconvenienced for too long.

I've been doing origami . . . just for the fun of it. I've especially enjoyed making my own origami boxes and gift bags. Awhile back I sent Robert and Clara some cards, and inside of each one was a piece of origami made from paper money. Robert's was a shirt and tie, and Clara's was a dress.

For awhile I was spending a lot of time positioning paper "furniture" on our house plan, trying to decide where we'd put everything. I finally gave up on that, and decided to wait until I'm there in person, and can shove the real stuff around.

And, occasionally I do exercises with my "senior" exercise DVD. I need it after all of these sedentary activities.

This weekend we might take in a movie, since I have a theater gift-card that needs to be used up.

And with Christmas so near, I have lots of shopping to do and plans to make.

In my effort to avoid being stir-crazy, I may have become somewhat hyperactive!

Did I mention that I'm at 36 work-days (71 calendar days) and counting to R-Day?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Autumn Colors

Aware that the leaves will soon be drifting to the ground, I'm posting a few more pictures in honor of our last fall in Albuquerque. Our temperatures are, on some nights, dipping below the freezing point, so it won't be long before the tree limbs are bare. I'm enjoying the color while it lasts.




Friday, November 4, 2011

The Bathtubs of My Life

Our new house, in Temple, has a beautiful, spacious jetted bathtub. I’ve been reading about how to take care of one, and have learned that it will need some special care, above and beyond what regular soaking tubs need. But I’m up for it. Bring on the bubbles!

I remember, as a child, how I loved my baths. I played and played in the tub until the water got too cold, and Mom had to add more hot water to the mix. By the end of my bath, the water was considerably deeper than when I started. And my fingertips and toes were wrinkled like tiny prunes.

But for awhile, when we lived in the apartment above our first Juneau bakery - the one next door to the Moose Club on South Franklin Street - we had no bathtub, only a shower. In my nine-year-old mind, showers were okay for getting clean, but not for luxuriating. Well, to be honest, I didn’t know the word “luxuriating” at that age, but I knew what I liked.

Luckily, at this same time, my Grandma was trying her hand at a new venture. She had invested in a tiny little laundry that she called "The Launderette." The Launderette, which was also on South Franklin, only a couple blocks north of our bakery, housed a small bathroom with a bathtub in it. Grandma used to let me come there, with my towel and clean clothes in hand, and take a tub bath now and then. I remember how the wet ends of my hair would freeze into stiff spikes as I ran home on some of the colder winter days. That was a small price to pay for a good soak.

For the past eight years, in the house we recently sold, I’ve been spoiled by having my first garden tub in the master bathroom. It might have been my favorite creature-comfort of all times.

In the apartment in which we are now living, there are actually two bathrooms. Initially, I found it surprising that a 1000-square-foot apartment, like ours, would spend square footage on a second bathroom. I suppose, though, it makes the apartment better suited for roommates, which would, in turn, make it more marketable. Whatever the reason, we’re happy to have the two bathrooms. We’ve each adopted one bathroom as our own. In “mine”, we did not hang a shower curtain, because I still prefer a bath, even though the apartment tubs are not nearly as comfortable as the garden tub I left behind. Dan, on the other hand, has “his” bathroom set up for showers.

So, as you might guess, when we finally move to Temple, one of the first things on my to-do list will be to draw a hot tub full of water, turn on those jets, and take a long, relaxing soak in my new tub. I might even stay in there long enough to get "pruney" fingertips!