Thankful

It’s rare I’m feeling gratitude while standing in 7degree windchill while filling a tire that repeatedly goes low. But there I was this morning, freezing my fingers off while I filled my tire with air using a contraption that a very thoughtful Lover loaned to me a while ago so I didn’t need to keep paying money to use the air at a gas station.

And all I felt was gratitude. That I could do this conveniently. Outside my apartment, when I needed to and I didn’t have to worry about having enough quarters or if the pump at the station worked.

Of course, I still have another tire to do. But I know, when I go outside next, I’ll have the opportunity to do it, because someone was kind enough to make my life a little easier.

1. Sugar cookies. Loads of them. Frosted by lovely children who were covered in colored icing and didn’t want to eat lunch but it’s okay, because how often do we make Christmas cookies?

2. Ice skating. I had to opportunity to go to the Holidazzle festival today with my kids and sister and niece. We saw Santa, and A and niece E went ice skating for the first time. E had a hard time, but A did great. It was super fun…the first time I’ve been on the ice in 20 plus years. I want to go again!

3. Two tired, snuggly little girls who want warm cuddles under blankets on the couch.

4. Homemade pizza for dinner. Yum!

5. Having my niece all weekend. She’s so sweet, and A loves playing with her so it’s almost like having less children. It’s weird how that works.

I’m tired, and warmly snuggled with the kitty and girls watching Masha and the Bear. Things are good.

Today is good

Writers block. I have started and not finished two other posts since thanksgiving that no longer seem relevant so I’m leaving them be and just wanted to share good today.

Last night I went to a tincture making class, and really enjoyed it. I went with two of my girlfriends and learned….alcohol isn’t necessary to make one. Which is great news for your favorite recovering alcoholic. (No ego on this girl) I’m pretty excited about tinctures and herbal remedies, and feel much better today after yesterday’s cold having sampled some of the cold care remedies in class. Also, got a great line on where to purchase herbs locally.

1. Easy morning with the girls getting out the door. Happiness in the little things!

2. Graveyard Club. Their music is awesome. 

3. Pho. Mmmm

4. Warm December days. La Niña is my friend this year.

5. Plans of some sort for the evening. Not sure yet what those are but I know it’ll be awesome.

That time of year

When it gets colder, thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Caillou’s holiday movie is on. Yes, I said the c-word. Parents everywhere are crying in their coffee mugs, counting the minutes until their next glass of bourbon or their AA meeting. 

And not even thanksgiving yet. 

I haven’t truly looked forward to a thanksgiving meal in some time. I’ve wanted to host one for years, pretty much since I’ve been diet challenged. My ex MIL made an effort, and I always appreciated it but I’d always feel like I brought half my kitchen over. This year, I was informed I was obligated to attend my sister’s meal. Ok, fine. I live in a small apartment, not conducive to ten kids and 8 adults. It makes sense to not host it. But I asked for the menu, and I’ll get to eat turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, which I will have to bring my own margarine. That’s it. Probably no gravy, even. I got snark from another sister about how dairy free mashed potatoes aren’t real mashed potatoes. Lord in heaven. If I didn’t have my kids that day, it wouldn’t even be a question, I wouldn’t go.

So I invited Lover over the night before, and will cook a wonderful dinner to my liking and needs. I’m pretty excited about that. Here is the positive in this whole thing, I get to host a small meal, for the two of us. We get leftovers. And then, I’ll go to my sister’s, and will enjoy the family time. No worries about eating. I don’t expect anyone to accommodate me, but it’s unbelievably hard to sit at a table and watch everyone eating food that looks and smells amazing while you can’t eat it.

I know, thanksgiving is about gratitude, not the food. I am so grateful I have a family I can spend thanksgiving with. I love my sisters dearly. I have a wonderful life I only hoped for, but never thought I would actually have. I want to be the person who finds the way to make it happen, whatever “it” is. Who won’t bitch about a meal she can’t eat most of, because she’s with a family who wants her there.
Anyway, I survived one round of Caillou. 2 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes and 46 seconds til my next meeting. 

Day 101

November…cold…cloudy…cold…

I like how November brings things I love. Like Thanksgiving. (Food) Christmas cookie baking after thanksgiving. (More food) Inevitable weight gain from all the food. (An extra layer of warmth from the food? A girl has to stay warm)

Today I did some online grocery shopping, and started buying some of the essentials I will need when I start making cookies. I freaking looove making Christmas cookies. I make all of them to my dietary standards, then give them out to my similarly restricted friends. The feeling I get when I can give delicious cookies to people who would ordinarily not get to eat them because of the ingredients is phenomenal. This year, I made a new vegan friend, and it has me thinking…how much would it change things to remove eggs from the cookies? Or at least, some of them. My goal for the next week or two is to try out a new recipe or two that is eggless, in hopes I can bring holiday cheer to the vegan in my life.

So, apparently A was thinking the same thoughts I was, and asked if we could bake tonight after I picked her up from daycare. Well, of course kid. So I ask her what she wants to make. Cookies? Brownies? Cake? She asks for chocolate and vanilla and cherries. Huh. Ok. So then we start brainstorming. Can we make brownie layers with cherries in the middle? No, she says. Vanilla layer, then chocolate then cherry. 

At first I thought about vanilla cake on top of a brownie layer, but then I got to thinking…what if there is such a thing as vanilla brownies? Googled. They exist. Damn! I had NO idea. So I grabbed a recipe for them, and layered it up with a brownie recipe, slapped some cherry pie filling on top.

Omg.

I don’t even know what to call this. I don’t know if it’s been done before. Neapolitan brownies? Maybe?

So effing good. A thought it needed whipped cream on top. I think she’s correct, but I don’t have any right now. If there are any left tomorrow I’m going to make that happen. No question. That’s my kid. I couldn’t be more proud.

Vanilla layer:

2/3 c rice flour

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 tsp baking powder 

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 c earth balance

1/3 c white sugar

1/3 c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Mixed, spread in 13×9 pan, greased.

Chocolate layer

2oz bakers chocolate 

1/4 c earth balance, melted with the chocolate in the microwave (because that’s how I roll)

1 c white sugar

1 egg plus 1 egg white

1tsp vanilla

1/2 c rice flour (I use Flying Horse brand. It’s so fine it’s like powdered sugar)

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Dash salt.

I layered this on top of the vanilla layer, baked at 350f for 30 minutes. I feel like it needed an extra 5 though, because it was a tad undertone in the middle, but as you wish. Cooled, then slapped the can of cherry pie filling on top. Next time I might whip the pie filling in with some coconut whipped cream. 

Day 99

Everything seems more brilliant lately. The music more powerful, the food tastes better. I’ve been so happy the last couple months but it’s magnified in the last couple days. Life is truly beautiful right now.

The whole purpose of this blog was to continue seeking positivity even when I felt like there was none to be had. 5 things each day. It worked, and my life has grown so full. Not perfect, by any stretch. I can find things to bitch about so easy. But my focus has changed. 

I’m still going to blog, and do 5 positives. It just won’t quite be so frequently. Unless life changes again and I need to again. God I hope not but who knows.

1. Got out the door, showered, with both kids and was at work on time. I didn’t meditate but I ate breakfast. Trade offs, but being at work on time felt great.

2. Potent pink sunrise this morning. Just this intense pink at the skyline for a minute before it disappeared behind a hill but it was amazing.

3. Leftover gf, df, sf lasagna that my sister made me last night. She loves me. ❤

4. Remembering the groceries in the work fridge before I left the parking lot in my car. The building would have been locked 5 minutes later and my dinner plans for tomorrow wouldn’t have happened! 

5. A delicious dinner of salmon, eggplant parmesan (my youngest sister made it and I feasted…she made it to my restrictions with love) and fried potatoes. So good.

Day 98

This has been honestly the best weekend with my children that I can remember. Only two small incidents, one on each day. I’m still holding my breath but the day is almost over.

1. The apartment never got too out of control today. Any parent knows the mess level gets out of hand easily. I acquired more toys and books yesterday than I would have liked, and they got all over the place but I got the kids to pick them up. The kids are in bed, and it’s not completely trashed. So awesome. 

2. Got to see my friend and went for a walk. I made her a vegan cake for her birthday and I might have been more excited than she was. But we walked, got coffee, and it was good to see her. It’s been like a month and feels like a year.

3. Reading my new book, Area X by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s creepy and addictive. I like it so far. 

4. Spaghetti with homemade French rolls. Omg. I haven’t made spaghetti in awhile and forgot how good it was. I’m hungry again just thinking about it. The girls tore it up too.

5. Quiet. At this moment right now, the only sounds are the clock ticking and my stomach growling (why did I bring up the spaghetti?). It’s peaceful and perfect. 

Day 97

Tonight has been epic. Let me just describe how this has gone. 

Started out by leaving work early to pick up A for a doctor appointment. I left 20 minutes before school lets out, and it’s a ten minute drive.

I get there, and I’m late. Early by my thoughts but apparently school let out ten minutes earlier than I thought it did and my poor A was sad and confused, standing in the wrong area of pickup which would have put her on a bus to some daycare. Crisis averted though! Mommy found her in time. So off to our appointment, 20 minutes away.

We’re having a great time by my standards. Listening to the Amazon playlist she picked out, she’s telling me about school, life is good. Get to the clinic 15 minutes early, things are moving the right direction! Except…we went to the wrong clinic. There’s another clinic in the same city where the appointment is. Ok. Had I checked the calendar appointment on my phone I would have known this…but…we are early so just enough time to hop in the car and off we go.

Get to the clinic. Check in, not a minute to spare. However…now A has to use the bathroom IMMEDIATELY like a 5 year old does and they need a urine sample. The receptionist lets me back and we get it done. We see the doctor, and oops. The sample is no good. Back to the bathroom 3 dixie cups and a water drinking contest later and she doesn’t have to go. Ok. We’re going to take sample cups to go and no big deal. Off to pick up J.

Pick up J. Haven’t gotten far, when A has to go AND MOM IT CAN’T WAIT so gas station bathroom. With a toddler in tow. Get the sample, so ok, now we’ll just drop it off on the way home, nbd. 

Get back to the first clinic we stopped at, and I grab the bag with the cup just in time for it to leak all over my lap. The lid wasn’t all the way on. Thank God it didn’t drip on the seats. So I’m wiping myself off as best I can with the alcohol towlettes left over when A has to go again. Awesome! Perfect timing. Back into the clinic we go. But it’s urgent. And the receptionist is busy. A is threatening an accident, so I flag a nurse. It’s apparent she doesn’t understand the full story but 5 year old and accident in the same sentence usually gets you access to bathrooms anywhere and this is no exception. 

Provide our third sample of the day. Now labs want to figure out who we are and if there is indeed an order for this sample. Provide information. We wait. By that I mean, I wait while trying to keep screaming running children from jumping on and off the waiting room couches and running into the xray room. And out of the lab. And out of the bathroom. And from fighting each other. And from taking the coat rack and using it as a spear. While I’m covered in pee. Lab comes back, need me to rewrite the information. More waiting. More running shrieking children. Lab comes back, we’re good! Time to finally go home.

This all took place in three hours. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, why is this on the positivity blog? This doesn’t seem positive. Well, normal me would have lost my temper at least once in all this. Stress, children not listening, PEE ON MY PANTS. But, I didn’t. Not once. We got home, and everything was fine. The kids ate, I did laundry, bathed the kids. And it’s been a great night. Im exhausted, and hungry and have the sniffles but I’m happy we got it all done and no one died or even got yelled at. I’m even wearing clean pants!

1. Got to wake up and meditate, eat breakfast and watch the news. Plus, early to work!

2. Cake. Lovely, lovely cake at work.

3. My dad met me for lunch. I haven’t always had the best relationship with my dad and it makes me appreciate how close we are so much more now. I’m so happy and blessed to have him around.

4. Got enough quarters to do all the laundry. This is serious business. I feel like there’s never enough and I always have like 2 one dollar bills and one quarter short but I got it all done.

5. Some bone broth and herbal tea to cap off the night. 

Life is good today. Not easy, but good.

Day 95

I’m sick…went from just exhausted to exhausted+sore throat+lungs hurt. Plus kids = tired tired Lynn. However, a very kind and thoughtful person brought me two kinds of bone broth, two soups, and herbal tea, so hopefully I’ll kick this quickly!

1. Sleeping in after calling in sick to work. Cuddles and snuggles make feeling bad, not so bad.

2. The broth and tea. There’s nothing like it when you’re feeling crappy.

3. I got a new oven today! Haven’t tested it out yet, because, sick but I’m looking forward to it immensely.

4. Watched a ton of tv. Which is normally a bad thing but it was nice that it was available when I couldn’t get off the couch.

5. Doing A’s homework with her. 

And an amazing sunset. A took the first picture, I took the second. She’s pretty good at photography.


Day 94

Sleeping in is the best. I tend not to sleep in all that late when I have the opportunity to do it, but it’s soooo nice when I get the option to do it. Just snuggle in the bed, half asleep, and not be expected to get up or go anywhere. With my custody schedule, I get one day every two weeks to do this. One day in every 14. It makes me appreciate it so much more than I ever did before. When I was with my ex, there was never sleeping in, ever. Either the kids got me up, or on the extremely rare occasions grandma took them, they were being dropped off as soon as possible. 

Anyway, I’m grateful now that I have the opportunity. 

1. A relatively easy morning with my children, before dropping them off with their dad.

2. Plenty of me time. A little cleaning and laundry, and catching up on Outlander. 

3. Two walks by myself. I found a pretty little park about ten minutes walk from my place, and while it’s not very child friendly (not much grass area, a large pond) it’s gorgeous and an ideal place to meditate or read a book.

So pretty

4. Fresh baked bread. Almond millet bread. Might have been my best loaf yet. We’ll see how it kept overnight.

5. Girl time with my friend and a really fun show. It was a good time. Battle Toys puts on a great performance. 

Day 92

Something feels off. I’m not sure what it is, either. I haven’t tenth stepped in months, which isn’t good. I still have yet to go over some 8 and 9th steps with my sponsor. But I don’t think that’s it. I’m in a weird place, and feel very tense and on edge when I have no reason to feel that way.

I’m pretty sure writing out some tenth step will knock it out. So my plan is to do some writing. See what comes out.

1. Hey mommy, guess what?

What?

I looove yoouuuu

2. A day off work. Daycare was closed so I spent the day at home with A and J. Well, A was at school for most of it. But I got her earlier than I normally would have on a work day and we got to spend more time together.

3. Homemade pizza for dinner

4. A walk to the park with the kids. 

5. Early bed for all.