The Several Days of Sockmas: Days Eleven through Fifteen

On the first four days of Sockmas, my true love lavished me with teeny fulgent foliage, tasty oven baked goodies, a a wee little polar bear hiding in hand!

On the next five days of Sockmas, my true love lavished me with even more decadent goodies: toasty cartoon hand-snuggles, effulgent office trees and coruscating christmas boxes, smiles and yulebombs from across the oceans, and shiny new toenails after stolen moments with best friends. 

And my true love lalalalalala continues onwards!

On the Eleventh Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... An office sleeping suite, happy hand toasters, office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

This morning I mounted the stairs with a fair bit more alacrity than yesterday's slumping stagger, unlocked the office door, turned on the Christmas lights and came into my office. There did I discover - my oh my - a brand new bedroom! Right next to my treadmill. With pillows and pink fluffy cloud nine comfort, all set up next to my snuggly office slippers! 

Now I could take this one of a few ways. First, I could assume that the mom-boss has installed this little addition in the hopes of squeezing every last minute of work from her industrious employees. Expand your office amenities and employees have that much less reason to go home. Second, I could guess that mom-boss has decided her associate was more than a little grumpy yesterday and needs a nap. Now when disagreements occur over trial strategy, mighty mom-boss can proclaim in both motherly and managerial timbre: "Go to your office! You need a time out!!"

Both are likely options, but I prefer to imagine that Santa Claus came by the office early. We did lay out plenty of mint chocolates and light up decorations for him. 

Regardless, it's just what I've always wanted! Napping after work is far too late in the day, and usually once I've returned home I have about 60-90 minutes to do absolutely every single chore I can possibly imagine so as to free up the rest of the evening to spend with my paramour. I've even tried laying down in the office before for a quick one, but it rarely seems to stick. 

Although my home-bed lacked the hostile incalescence of Tuesday night, I'm still adjusting to our unseasonably balmy evenings. The additional nap availability will not be unappreciated today. Also, it's one more excuse to never ever have consults or clients come in. I mean, at this point, it's less of an office than a home gym with access to work items. I pretty much work from home-away-from-home. And in fact h-a-f-h is even better than home-at-home because at home there are a million distractions and things that must be done. At the office, it's just work and work can always be ignored!

Like the Collaborative law minutes. Which I should have gotten out roughly two days ago. And which I had determined to do first thing upon arriving here. And yet there was a soft fluffy office-bed and suddenly, those minutes just seemed less important somehow! The hours either. Anything but slowly sinking down into the covers beneath my treadmill desk... hmmmm. 

On the Twelfth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... Dueling wreaths a wreathing, n office sleeping suite, happy hand toasters, office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Just two days ago, Englettlaw finally replaced our autumnal leaf-wreath with a slightly more Christmassey affair. No, it doesn't sing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" while releasing whiffs of peppermint toffee and mulled cider. I'm not sure it even qualifies as a wreath per se, being perhaps in the limbo land 'twixt wreath and garland. I would suspect that wreaths must in fact wreathe something. Our whatever-it-be has a decidedly non-circular feel. I dub it a post-modern re-wreathing deconstructivist reeth! 

But it does have a bit more of a seasonal feel to complement the little trove of treasures beyond our lobby door. Because we're both classy and deviously brilliant, our wreath-like-thing is actually. rigged through various over-the-door wiring mechanisms. Mostly phone cords tied in complicated enough configurations to approximate the appropriate height for our little Christmas door thing. 

Of course, we cannot be the wreath-kings forever (with our half-wreathing wreath). As they always do, our office neighbors have seen our deconstructed post-modern non-wreath reeth and raised us a genuine pine forest replete with cones, ribbon and ornaments abounding. It's a bit leviathon, perhaps even a wee bit terrifying. But it does smell oh so good.

Walking into the office now we get an immaculate progression of scents. First the redolence of pine trees, and old town home Christmases past etc. And then, as I open the door to Englettlaw proper, an olfactory tintinnabulation of Hershey's peppermint bells! I have no idea why the peppermint smells so deliciously pungent, but my how it does. I have a very small candy bowl of bells and creme de menthe kisses atop the secretary by the door (the furniture, not any employee). And the remaining bags of each are in the body of the secretary (again, furniture, not employee on a candy binge). Oh how it reeks of chocolate and mint. The heady scent causes me to pause in revelry before slowly advancing into the bowels of the office itself. 

Today is Friday and two weeks from now, Christmas shall have been feted. Of course, we'll first call the 12 days of Christmas. And then however much longer until Epiphany before we curtail our celebrations!

Let the classical KingFM Christmas Channel blare with guitar instrumentals of the Nutcracker suite! It's on, baby! Bring on the mad shopping (and taser)

On the Thirteenth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me...Merry Medusoza, Dueling wreaths a wreathing, n office sleeping suite, happy hand toasters, office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

'Tis the weekend of decking the smeg out of any and all remaining halls that have henceforth remained unscathed. I am preparing myself mentally for a battle with my father's old Victorian palace and all its vintage adornments later today. Usually I have to nag him to no end to get these decorations out of their dusty spot in the attic. Last year, Andrew and I actually snuck over to his house while he was out of town and bedecked the place to within an inch of its life. Apparently, this year there's a party at his house. Suddenly, I'm just invited to "help" decorate. I'll take it! Although my father has been reporting various symptoms of a nasty GI virus that I'd just as soon not get. Gloves, masks, and a very merry red and green hazmat suit might be making an appearance. 

In the spirit of the weekend, I finally broke out the rest of our paltry piffle of ornamentation. Mainly the lights. Since I don't do anything as involved as planning when it comes to Christmas-caparison, they go wherever they'll stay. Which leads to um a style of hackneyed, er "intuitive" decorative panache best described as spontaneous. Possibly with a side of pulchritudinous pell-mell. Since there aren't many nails around, I mostly just alternated between window latches, door knobs, and curtain cords. But the light fixture itself provided a bit of an opportunity for something more. Mostly a big unearthly yuletide jellyfish I believe. Works for me!

I suspect we'll be a little more calculated this afternoon. There may be diagrams. If not, at least it's well known exactly where everything will go because it has always gone there since the dawn of Yuletide. 

On the Fourteenth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me...Ornamental laundry, merry Medusoza, Dueling wreaths a wreathing, n office sleeping suite, happy hand toasters, office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Decorating at Papa T's was a rapid success (blitzkrieg for 45 minutes and then lots of laying around while my very ill father continued to vacuum and futz and otherwise not stay still). We even got ornamental gifts out of the deal. Apparently my sister and her boys got to pick their own Hawaiian shirt ornaments before us (I'm so hurt to be last place). Braden decided that he wanted to take his off the hanger. Apparently, this destroys the ornament and the full hour of craftsmanship that each ornament requires. Ah well. Even if we got last pick, I like my bright Fauvist little shirt. And Andrew's florals suit him well. I think they look rather nice hanging like laundry from my makeshift light wires. 

I'm just about off for a tango with massage assassin. I've got all kinds of landmines for him to discover today. Wish us both luck!

On The Fifteenth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me...Family photo deluge, Ornamental laundry, merry Medusoza, Dueling wreaths a wreathing, n office sleeping suite, happy hand toasters, office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

I have been trusted with the awesome responsibility of distributing all relevant photo packets to the friends and fans of the Falconer family. It truly is a herculean task, and one which I cannot take lightly. For one, you add all those school photos and photo calendars together in a single bag and the weight adds up! For another, well, it wouldn't be Christmas without the Falconer family photo drop with complimentary 2015 calendar. The initial calendar review for photos of oneself, for instance... now that's more yuletide than eggnog. There is, incidentally, one photo of me in the calendar. I look less exhausted and terrified than some of the years previous, although I am making a funny face while at the horrors that are the Rainforest Cafe! 

But in this case, it is not merely the photos or the photo of the photos that ought be featured: a shout out must go to the object photographing the photos. I got myself a new Samsung Galaxy S5! Actually, I purchased this as an upgrade gift for myself around Black Friday. However, I am a wee spell dilatory when it comes to gratification. My original plan had been to wrap it under the tree as a gift to myself, but it turns out the mail in rebate only applies if you activate the phone on or before Christmas. And activation sometimes doesn't run so smoothly. So after further capering cunctation, I managed to get enough information, time and energy to make a phone call, turn off my old phone, and turn on my new one!

Truly exhausting work. Of course, now there will be hours of tinkering to re-orient my apps and notifications to the perfect balance of before. But so far, I'm happy with the switch and feel that it is not too drastically novel over all. The idle battery life seems far superior, which is a pretty huge one. 

And after a wild weekend of phone updating and decorating, I'm back at the office. The cleaner had the gall to fold up my office-nap-space and put it on the table. Then she closed the office window. Just because it's 30 degrees out? Pshaw. We have previously asked her to leave it open. It gets incalescent in here without that, and the window is quite difficult to open once it's been shut. I had to stand on a low bookcase to get the proper leverage. 

After fixing up her horrible mess, I managed to complete the circle and kill my only plant. I say I pulled the plug, but really perhaps when I tell people that I have a black thumb, I just mean that I'm kind of planticidal. A client gave each of us plants about a month ago. For reasons utterly unknown to man or beast, mine thrived, while the other two wilted. It continued to blossom and bloom until the pot was far too small. Meanwhile Leslie was obsessively tending to the other two with clippers and hot water bottles and castor oil (ok not sure about that, but something like that) in the hopes of saving them. 

Then about a week ago, it was a rather gusty day (and my windowwas open). When I came into the office, I realized that my plant had taken a lover's leap off the window sill and strewn its soil about the floor. I called it lost, but since it was still more or less intact, I moved it into mom-boss' office just in case Leslie or my mother wanted to nurse it back to health. Nobody bit and the plant was still hanging on, albeit poorly. So this morning - gasp - I composted it. This is a disturbing trend. Tossing plants, offloading wild kitties to my mother's house... ah well. No comment. 

The office doesn't need a plant anyways. Far too dangerous in here with all the cleaning supplies and wind gusts. 

Happy Monday all! May your last full week before the big X-mas be merry, bright, full of parties, or at least mercifully fast and quiet. 

The Several Days of Sockmas: Days Five through Ten

On the first four days of Sockmas, my true love lavished me with teeny fulgent foliage, tasty oven baked goodies, a a wee little polar bear hiding in hand!

But this was only the beginning! Tra la la la la... 

On the Fifth Day of Sockmas My True Love Gave to Me... Bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

There's more than one way to deck a hall, baby. My approach typically involves taking "ornaments" (orphan earrings, perhaps) and hanging them from any nail, outcropping, door edge, or other hangable surface I can find. It may further involve a tinsel tree, little polar bear candles, and the equally makeshift strewing/spewing of lights. Possibly on a timer that goes off in the same random disregard for linear time as our math clock (which ticks and tocks but does not always march to the time of its own time-drum). Oh and socks. I may drape festive socks in random places. Stockings are a thing over Christmas, so this hardly differs, except socks are easier to hang!

Andrew's approach is a wee bit more thematic. Currently we've festooned the dining room table with several "team order" goodies. A handle bar. Some shiny things. Some more shiny things. And much packaging. 

I get a little emphatic about the waiting aspect of the holiday, being one for delayed gratification, so I'm nearly inclined to skirt all these goodies away so that they can be properly stored, drowned in wrapping paper and piled under the nexus twixt our Advent tree on the wall and my teensy tinsel tree by the tv. I'm already prone to wrapping up the new Galaxy 5 that I purchased for myself in my single Black Friday weekend suckering moment. The more shiny jolly paper that must die in the making of my 2015 olio of material goods the better!

Perhaps instead of wrapping Andrew's bike parts, I can trick them out a bit with some red and green ribbons and foil. Maybe hang the handlebars from our mini-chandelier and use it as the base of a Christmas mobile from which several globs of tangled lights and some cute character ornaments can hang. I'm sure his shiny metal parts would add a little Star of Bethlehem gleam to the whole contraption!

On the Sixth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... Huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

I opened up the door to my porch yesterday and realized the front door was no longer a passable ingress or egress. Fortunately we almost entirely enter and exit through the garage, but by golly. A small fortress of boxes! Several of them were my gifts ordered for others, but the two largest were most decidedly untraceable giants lingering on my porch and begging an invitation (boxes like vampires, require permission before entering a domicile). 

Turns out they are from my sister and they are unwrapped. She had previously warned me, but I had to double check the shipping location and size with her. I'll be attempting to swap my giant boxes with the ones that showed up at my mom's house so we can wrap them for each other before settling them in their rightful spots under various trees (which have yet to be set up). In the meantime, I can stoke my holiday spirit by tripping over them every time I attempt to access the freezer. Maybe glue some of the Seattle Chocolate truffle wrappers we're accumulating now that I've restocked the Advent Calendar appropriately. Yesterday we got days 5 and 1 (dark chocolate and "cosmopolitan"). Today just day 2 so far, but we'll get to day 6! I'm drooling with holiday spirit already! 

On the Seventh Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me...Decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

I don't often have my nails done. Top or bottom, my nails are pretty well done in most of the time. I do so much typing and chip-worthy activities with my hands that a mani hardly seems worth it. And my feet are just one big morass of best-left-alone. I've got callouses, a black toenail from tango+running, ingrown toenails, etc. etc. I am always flooded with sympathetic horror for any attendant consigned to fixing the mess of my erst-dancer's pods.

Also, I just don't sip cosmopolitans (maybe eat them in chocolate truffle form) and gab with my girl friends very often. I love my female friends, but few of them actually know/like each other, and well I don't really drink. So sometimes the ritual of the pedi is missed upon me.  

 But of course, all the above listed foot maladies are probably superlative reasons (as I always remember once I'm there) for me to get pedicures from time to time. And there is usually some form of comfortable massage chair and foot soaking. Oh yeah, and I may not gab over martinis with my friends, but sometimes I do get these sporadic and spontaneous little pockets of opportunity to actually spend time with them! Possibly not while trying to manage several million other obligations and wildly adorable children all at once. 

Yesterday was one of those days. Just as I was working up the energy to go from watching netflix to taking a full scale nap, bestie Molly texted me asking if I weren't at the opera or in San Francisco or at the opera in San Francisco... would I like a pedicure? Of course I didn't even hesitate to consult my little bunion callousey blister thing that's been bugging me. She could have invited me to get my feet bound in the classic Chinese style and I'd not have had a second thought about it. 

We ended up at a small place in Fairhaven that was apparently far less popular than the one closer by. It featured several snack options, lusciously verdant walls, dark wood floors, and an enormous piece of art that initially looked like several soggy brussel sprouts (actually roses). 

It was lovely to catch up while semi-consciously leaning into my automatic masseuse and cringing through the pain of some much needed nail extractions. And walking back to my distantly parked car in those anemic little flip flops in the rain was... an adventure!

The rest of the day involved some very exciting holidazed Odysseys for a variety of tools and/or part and/or I'm not sure that Andrew needed for a bike project. After looking for several different options and falling short at every hardware store in town, he finally just took his bike in and spent the rest of the afternoon brooding about how he used to have more time to work on bike stuff (although the fact that we spent all day fruitlessly trying to find his tools seems to suggest to me that time wasn't the missing element that day). 

On the Eight Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave To Me...Transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Now, that's the best way to start a Monday! A package full of toys, smiles and fairy dust waiting at the office. I wasn't really expecting to be able to focus on work today anyways, so this will be a nice happy distraction instead of my bleary eyed mope of a space-excursion! And look, little Christmas bombs!! Yuletide artillery! Scrooges and that Ghost of Christmas Present (who owes me $20 still, the jerk) best beware!

This morning was another morning begun at the blood labs. I was a little nervous, given my previous experiences in November. My veins have had time to recover, of course, but they're still a bit crotchety about all the slurping. And I had a genuinely awful sleep last night. Some nights it's either a raging back or a fully numb arm and nothing in between for sleeping positions. But I got the greatest blessing of all: my favorite phlebotomist. If Nick is my massage ninja, she is my phlebotomy special ops team. After a fairly long wait, I was pricked and set back on my way before the fog from standing up too fast could clear. 

Regardless of the beautifully clean blood draw, I'm not entirely on my game today (see prior night's sleep). There shall be rivulets of saliva and dazed starry-eyes as the walls dance their little jigs for me. And possibly Christmas crackers interrupting the Collaborative Professionals monthly meeting! Truly how Monday oughta be. 

Ooops and decking of halls! I have a trunk full of office Christmas decorations that I cannily left in the trunk of the car. Whoops. I really did mean to take at least an armful or two up with me. But i suppose we're still a fortnight and change from the big day, so delaying for a few more hours won't rile Santa Claus too much. Especially considering that he's happily hanging on my socks and about as bleary eyed as I am!

On The Ninth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... Office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Christmas/Unitarian-non-secular-not-entirely-alternative-holiday-equivalent-but-we-take-em-all-except-for-Satan-Eating-Babiesmas season has exploded in the lobby space of Englettlaw. A few were harmed. Many turned into elves and a couple noses lit the way through foggy commutes on the way home. But it was a calculated Christmas strike, mostly contained and with minimal collateral damage. 

And fortunately, it wasn't until after I noticed my car trunk had been bare to the world for several hours, and after I ran downstairs from my little ivory englettlaw tower, and after I shut the trunk that the afternoon typhoons came. Really, it's a shame that nobody felt more inspired to loot the remaining treasures in that trunk. I have several items that really ought to go to Goodwill but just never quite seem to make it on my regular trips. 

Yesterday, having survived a surprisingly easy blood draw and a regrettably full-session WCP Meeting (we were led astray by an early conclusion of business to believe we might escape after only a half hour, but then somebody had to go and suggest we talk about the practice of collaborative law and nonsense like that), I was in no mood to do additional paper shuffling or legal raptoring. Instead, having experienced the merry delights of my wooville whimsies' transatlantic gift-bombs, I quite wanted to assemble the Christmas poppers and bring on the garlands. 

This did, of course, require me to emerge from my cave - er - office for much of the working afternoon. I nearly had to interact with clients and other riff raff, but fortunately people carrying several armfuls of garlands look insane enough that most clientele immediately look away and try to find somebody less rabidly seasonal. 

I am quite pleased with the results. Sure I could have helped preparations for the daunting mediation looming on today's horizon. Or written that declaration that needs to go out pronto. Or... well I could have. But Christmas season is flooding by and if we don't leap upon it, than surely it shall be missed! Because that's possible. Somebody could miss Christmas season here in the States. Really. Probably by being in a coma between September and mid-January, but still possible. 

On the Tenth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... Happy hand toasters, office space aglowing, transatlantic sparkles, decked out toes a greening, huge Christmas boxes, bike part decor, midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

A little "just because" gift from the mom-boss came to me yesterday with a bashful gleeful (and perfectly crispy) grin. They are - yes, yes, they are - USB powered hand warmers. You strap them (butter side up) atop your hands, leaving free fingers and a warm localized glow only partially powered by the affable grin of the little toasters themselves.

Of course, in perfect timing, the weather decided to return to sub-tropical hurricane levels. It's tempestuous out to be sure, but it was 60 degrees at 5 a.m. this morning. Not exactly crisp or chilly so much as moist and even balmy.

And I'm not feeling too cold. In fact last night I confirmed my new sleeping pattern of one-night-horrible-one-night-ok-rinse-and-repeat. I zonked appropriately only to wake up utterly stiffling. The bed was surely aflame. It's the only explanation. Maybe the heated mattress pad was accidentally tripped, but I swear I checked it. I was, of course, far too groggy to make any affirmative actions on this discomfort for a minor eternity. My first proactivity involved tossing the blankets off, which is usually  the five minute warning for severe horripilation. Instead, I continued to feel overbaked. I stumbled to the bathroom - not so much because I had an urgent need as much as it was something to do - and doffed my warm slippers. Still too hot. Finally, after about an hour, I removed myself to the sofa in the study and managed to pass out in a slight chill. 

Sure my entire right side took the "falling asleep" thing a bit too far and went numb, but at least it wasn't naptime on the surface of the sun. 

I blame my husband. He's just too darned hot. I don't know how his coworkers stand it, but I envisions all the desks around him populated by pasty engineers in Bermuda shorts and tank tops, fanning themselves and warily eying the studly bike-and-chain. 

As is also often the pattern, I feel absolutely a-ok at the moment. Better than after a good night's sleep in fact. This will likely change at some point. Perhaps the hand toasters substitute as pillows? Or maybe there's a whole complementary set of cozies: scrambled egg pillows, and oatmeal blankies? 

Happy dromedary day all! Keep your umbrellas handy and you just may hop the Aeolian express right to Never Never Land!

The Several Days of Sockmas Strike Back! Meditation Live Blogs, Bakes, and Baby Bears Oh My!

Having returned from Our Sock Francisco Wanderings, and Charging into Our Terrifying 2WW (like WW2, but with fewer actual fatalities or History Channel Documentaries), let us clear our throats, tune our ears and begin the carolling!

But first a prelude... 

Mindfully Live-blogging mindfulness meditation - take one

So after vocalizing my need to escape to Zen Camp before additional thoughts thoroughly corroded my brain, the family friend who is planning to attend such camp invited me to sit with her. Sit-sit, that is. (Like like-like instead of just generically like, but with sitting and omming). Specifically, she invited me to a morning meditation sponsored by the BIMS. Which I reference because I love saying "bims"... it sounds like some kind of zesty vanilla-mint truffle or something. BIMS stands for Bellingham Insight Meditation Something (Society). They're kind of a secular group, not necessarily Buddhist in a strict sense. While Linda is technically a follower of the Zen school, the time is right and meditation is meditation. 

And so, Thanksgiving behind us, we agreed to meet up this morning for a pre-work-week return morning meditation. I  may be one of the few people in the world who leaves the house later in the morning because she has a 6:30 a.m. commitment. Fortunately, I didn't throw Andrew too far off schedule by sticking around until 6:15 when I usually leave at about 5:55. 

I do some anemic dabbling with meditation as such. Of course, there are contemplative prayer pockets in Taize. That Kundalini yoga class had some pretty intense moments of still meditation between the flapping and singing. And I do sit for maybe 5 minutes at a time when I have the option of breathing and resetting. But not sit-sit. Not usually. Only once before in my early twenties when I ran into a good friend and his mother on their way to a sangha. They invited me along; I followed. We sat for thirty minutes and then had a fantastic lecture in which I became acquainted with a favorite saying: "thoughts are merely secretions of the brain." It was pretty amazing, but daunting as well. One's life flashes in front of one's eyes at these times of zero stimulation. Often in pretty aggressive ways!

I was a little nervous to try again. Knowing that mindfulness is a skillm I feared forty-five minutes was a pretty taxing duration for stillness without practice. Also, I know my body, and in the best of times I can't actually sit still for more than five minutes without getting uncomfortable.

 But... meditation is highly needed as I round through part two of my double-week wait. The progesterone side-effects are simultaneously ebbing and flowing. I'm no longer tired. My lower abdomen  feels better than it has in about a month. But I'm still gnawingly nauseous, randomly impatient with a certain incoherence that stymies the free-flow of words from my honied lips, and my digestive system is in some wary stages of pre-revolt negotiations. And I'm a little nervous. Because whatever happens during my Friday test, things are going to change in an emotionally involved way. Most likely I'll be diving back into the bleeding money and shooting go-go-gonadotropins phase of things. The blood tests, the ultrasounds, the waiting and then that little window right before Christmas. Not thinking about it too much, because it is exhausting. I'd like this week to take the edge off as much as possible so that I'm prepared for the big BLLLLLAAAAAH that comes next. 

And so, without further ado:

Monday Morning - Liveish Blog

6:25 a.m. - Take off my shoes and coat?? It's 20 degrees out and not much warmer in here! Maybe, mmmm, I think I'll just wait a little longer.
6:26 a.m. - blankets! Phew. Pillows! Slumber party!
6:29 a.m. - I can sit, I can lay down, I can use a chair! I don't do well with options. Forty-five minutes. What can I stay still doing for forty-five minutes? Nothing. Possibly if I were in a coma. Hmmm should I cross my knees? I know my feet will go numb. Should I be mindful of that or is it ok to shake them out? Those little bench thingies look kind of hard. I think my butt would get sore. Pillow. Ok, these blankets are kind of small. Would I rather my back or my feet be cold... oh my feet would be worse. 

6:30 a.m. - GOOOOONG... breathing in... breathing out... let my thoughts flow by... follow them and then return... breathing... 

NO IDEA BECAUSE TIME IS A FREAKING ILLUSION: rustling... swallowing noises... the click clack of a heater

STILL NO IDEA BECAUSE TIME AND THE SELF REQUIRED TO PERCEIVE IT HAVE DISSOLVED: Sat (breathe in) Nam (breathe out)... repeat repeat sat nam sat nam sat nam. Something I picked up in kundalini yoga. Means "true" and "name" or something, but mostly it's the vibrational patterns that really pull me into this mantra whenever I'm breathing. 

I am full of new life. 

Sat Nam

Sat Nam

tingly feet... observe... feel it... let it go... 

I am full of new life

San Nam San Nam

I am... yep, ok, I can't move my feet. 

At all... observing... obvserving... can't move Sat Nam

Rustle. Swallow sniffle

SOME TIME SURELY: ok, how long have we been doing this. I feel a little nauseous from the prometrium. What if this time it gets worse and I do have to throw up, and I have to run to a bathroom, but my feet - and now my legs - won't work so instead I try to leap up, and collapse AS I vomit. THat would be disruptive. 

6:something a.m.: If it's only a few more minutes I'm ok, but I think I might want to move if there's a long time. Wonder how long we've been doing this. Could be hours or minutes. I can't tell at all. Try to glance at my watch... too dark... ah well... Sat Nam Sat Nam

Sat... ok, now my thighs are going numb... leaning forward gently

6:54: Watch finally read! 20 more minutes. Ok. Hmmm feet numb... moving my knees with my hands into an uncrossed position. 

between 6:55 and infinity: Sat Nam Sat Nam tingle prickle wiggle ... flashes of fainting in the phlebotomy chair. the blanket is too cold. It got colder in here.

IN THE TIMELESS ETHER: Sat Nam I am full of new life Sat Nam letting go Sat Nam Sat Nam brrrrrrrr ok, I'm moving the blanket. 

My feet are freezing now. Maybe I should cross them again. If I only have like ten minutes left they probably won't fall asleep again and it's warmer. 

Sat Nam Sat Nam

ok, I'm going to cross them. Shhhh quietly. Swallow swallow. 

Sat Nam Sat Nam I am full of new life Sat Nam ... a different kind of tingling. Parts of the body that aren't complaining are fizzing away. Either in meditation or I'm about to faint. I can't tell, but I'm riding the image of something I can't quite describe and rhythm of my breathing. 

7:14 and 30 seconds (hindsighted guess): Ok, 45 minutes is a long time. I'm not sure I can sit much longer. 

7:15ish: GOOOOOONG. Mmmmm don't want to open my eyes yet. Can't move. Goooooooooong. Coalescing back to self. Cold. Very, very cold self. 

Stagger through the stupor. COAT

7:16 a.m.: shake hands in various stages of beglovvedness. Man, this is the latest I've gone to work in a while. Does it matter? Should I be rushing? Do I want to rush? Am I still nauseous? I'm a little floaty. Is that the medication of the progesterone. Should I sit down? Nah. 

7:17 a.m.: Monkey hat! Whew, time to run to the car. Hmmm, Sat Nam ... that was actually pretty amazing. I think if I built up my focus and found a comfortable way to sit I could really... OH FOR FRIG'S SAKE, why is there a truck backing up INTO THE ROAD!! Um... I mean... oooooooooommmmmmm

Happy December everyone!!!

On the Second Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... A delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Oh as if my meditative excursions could stem sockmas traditions! Welcome to the new bear! Shall we all pop a coca cola tab in his honor and cuddle now before he gets big enough to use our femurs as floss?

After any and all ditherings to the contrary, a full applique of Nutcracker-inspired holiday cheer, a brobdignagian Advent tree, a late Sunday Advent service, and a wee foray into Insight Meditation, WE HAVE ARRIVED upon the unfettered Christmas season. Ho ho ho. 

I'm warming up to it. This is a little challenging due to the sub-freezing temperatures of late. Really, today is the first day that we're set to break freezing at all. No snow, but a glimmering thaumaturgy of twinkling frost and ice. If my hands weren't graduated from cyan to charcoal grey, I'd applaud the beauty around us. As it is, I'm keeping myself thoroughly buried in layers of insulation and well nigh dunking my body in boiling tea water. 

I've yet to quite get into the buying spirit yet, despite several attempts to load the various amazon lightning deals. There's just nothing I quite need to give to somebody on display yet. But I'll get there. After adding more random items like dried beans and bulk bags of millet to my increasingly odd amazing amazon wishlist. 

In the meantime, I'm continuing my two-week waiting with decreasing patience, increasing trepidation (shots shooting right past the star above Bethlehem at this rate), and an increasing bout of artificial morning sickness due to the accumulation of progesterone in my body. It's so peripheral, it's almost more of a phantom of discomfort that surges and abates in flickering fashion. Part of me wishes it would just be done with it and knock me on my toosh properly. But I should instead count my blessings. 

One: indoor heating. 
Two: warm socks. 
Three: baby polar bears. 

Ok, that's a good start. 

As I try to summon the will to consume, here's a little non-sequitur about some consumable aliments that I made in an oven. 

Sunday evenings have become convenient evenings to make a crapton of food; quantites beyond even Andrew's capacity for consuming. Well, I wouldn't put it past him to be able to consume the entire 8,000+ calories of a single bake, but I do pre-portion that sort of thing. I really enjoy making some form of casserole in my baking dish, then cutting the remainder into squares and freezing them. Then when Andrew wants a snack, he's got microwave freezer meals. My go-to had been this "quinoa lasagna" that I've adapted a few times. This Sunday, I didn't have time or ingredients to follow that recipe to a T, U, or V. 

Instead, I started a pot of 3/4 cups teff3/4 cup canihua and 5 1/2 cups water. When the water boiled, I added frozen spinach and a variety of other veggies I'd been chopping at the time. Mostly peppers and a handful of cabbage. And a tablespoon of chia seeds. After simmering for twenty minutes or so, I worked in one egg and let it get nice and thick before pouring it into an oiled casserole dish

Oh yeah, I preheated the oven to about 375 and baked that mixture for about 30-40 minutes until the top was just starting to get a little crisp. 

Meanwhile, I mixed 2 cups of cottage cheese with one more egg and a tablespoon of Italian spices (pepper to guestimate) in a bowl. 

I also cut one medium delicata cut into rings and sliced 1 1/2 cups celery

When the teff mixture was just starting to get a little dry, I took it out, layered it with pasta sauce then added the celery. Then more pasta sauce. Then the cottage cheese mix. Then the rest of the jar of pasta sauce. And then I layered the delicata on top and emptied out the remainder of my half used bag of shredded parmesan and romano cheese. 

Baked it forever and ever. My casserole dish seems to require a lot more cooking time than typical, which is fine with  me. I checked it every half hour or so and went until the cheese was starting to brown and the squash was getting that roasted crisp around the edges. 

I'm pleased with it. Very much ad libbed in a two hour pocket of time that I had between Sunday morning activities and my Advent service. Two heaping squares have been consumed, one is on reserve for the mom-boss and the rest has been stored in the freezer. 

With the prior Sunday's casserole squares, I've now managed to restock our dwindling frozen food supply. Just in time for Andrew to get hungry. 

And with that culinary adventure, I'd best lurk off to work. Computer isn't just going to vacantly stare at itself between moments of minor vertigo. Well maybe it might. But it's still my job gosh darnit. And I believe in doing my job well (nigh until I absolutely don't have to anymore)

Happy Tuesday! Happy Sockmas! Happy December!

On the Third Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me... Teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Get out your bikinis, it's getting up to ABOVE freezing today! Yes, after our chilling little segue into a dance of the frost fairies, the official Christmas season should kick off with a little spell of gray and temperate. For another five days. Before probably doing something else whacky. The Pacific Northwest seems to be going through these disparate five-day phases of various styles of weather. We may have a work-week of tornadoes, or possibly a heat wave. Although I suspect it will mostly just waiver twixt frigidly fulgent and crepuscular damp. 

But whatever wintry mix-a-lot shall come (and like big butts in an earnest fashion fitting George Washington himself), the house is accumulating Christmas cheer. First our Leviathon Advent tree, and now a teeny tiny mini-tree has emerged from the pantry to join the fun. I even managed to plonk a few ornaments on it. I have about four of these lovely orbs - handblown glass given to me by my father over the years. We have a tradition of accumulating ornaments to serve as eensy icons and time portals. His tree pullulates with history - ranging from his childhood to my birth to last year's intimate event. My tree is rife with sparkles, but it's getting some of its heritage on. 

I have yet to extract the blue Christmas lights, nor can I locate the timers that make the lights go on and off as they please in some ghostly approximation of my imagined instructions (every timer is different and none of them are immediately intuitive; the inconsistency adds excitement and spontaneity to their usage). I also have yet to restock the smaller Advent calendar. It shall be done. Soon. Possibly today, if I get a chance and don't end up eating all the little chocolates in the attempt to stock the calendar. 

To summon up a little more of the spirit, I continue to stalk the amazon lightning deals (that cease to be ere one can say "It lightens" except not really because they often re-offer the same deals and sometimes at a better discount later on). I've even made some very minor chisels at the towering berg of presents for the year.

And I've taken the plunge and really tricked out my amazon wishlist. I currently have the following items listed: A teapot, two pairs of functional shoes, a pair of yoga pants, some bamboo rice, gift cards to massage envy, gift cards for yoga classes, and - my favorite - a link to a site that allows people to design personalized gift cards. The blurb included reads Cash is so cold, but a personalized gift card is... personalized.Given that neither Seattle Reproductive nor my pharmacy sells gift cards... think of it as a contribution towards a little Wright someday. Because, as I've blathered, this year, all I want for Christmas is an implanted and healthy embryo and some morning sickness that actually serves a purpose other than reminding me of the five billion kegs of hormones I've pounded like a fratboy at his first keg stand. But given the time constraints, I'll take any support towards that goal.

I feel a little funny with my yoga-centric other list. Yoga-pants are my version of American casual chic. I'm at least as picky about them as anyone was about jeans. It's just easier to find things that fit my specs when you take out the inevitable fit-issues of jeans. And yes, I've taken a grand total of two yoga classes since this all started, but that's because Andrew and I keep having things "come up" during the weekend. On top of trying to find the perfect class that works for my need to not pretzel into a sweaty mess and his need not to sit on the ground for any period of time. I'm getting to the point of just going back to the Kundalini class by myself. With a santa hat. Because I'm getting into the spirit!

Needless to say, it's probably for the best that I'm not participating in the secret santa programs on here. 

Happy Dromedary Day! May your initial attempts at festive consumerism pull closer and not nudge you further from all the jollity, hope and lurve that twinkly sparkle lights and dark dark chocolate symbolize in my heart. 

On the Fourth Day of Sockmas, My True Love Gave to Me...Midweek datenight fun, teeny tinsel tree, a delicata bake, and a polar bear in a pear tree

Well halloo, Thursday! As the coruscant air thaws into murky damp, we bundle up in slightly different slickers and boots for an oncoming drizzle. Our weather shall return. Probably. According to the obsessively checked weather websites that populate my phone and my desktop. Warm it shan't be, but cold becomes a fully relative term. And considering that we began this day at a temperature just above freezing, I'd say we've made progress. 

I'm a little uncertain how I feel about today being Thursday. Though my tippee toes are all twitterpated with twinkling promises of weekend wonders, I'm also kind of counting down to the second cycle beginning after a wee little tinkle on a rather undignified little stick (or two or three, depending on the results of the first) and the inevitable phone calls for appointments and prescriptions afterwards. I've already decided to delay my HPT until I get to work on the principle that I don't really want to start my morning off in a funk. Huh, if I use it at the office, is it any longer a home pregnancy test? Is it something entirely different? Does it suddenly test for toner levels and paper cut infections? Stay tuned and perhaps you'll be updated. Or perhaps you'll just read about my paper-gangrene attack in the news several days from now.

But that's all for Friday. Today I'll try my best to neither look forward with dread nor with impatience for a weekend beyond the rainbow. I'll sit with my moderate nausea and slight battiness, and weave and wobble through the syrupy sludge of space time around me.

And, peradventure, I'll wax moderately nostalgic for a tic-tac-toe of my littlest tip-toed tootsie. Yesterday was a fine humpday. I had a decreasing array of discomforting side effects, feeling mostly tired and occasionally moody. Mom-boss and I took a lunch out at Old Country, the place where everybody knows my face (and which booth my mom and I sit in if not actually our names). We came out of a few shopping complexes alive and only temporarily hating all mankind to finish off our errands. And work was uncharacteristically kind. 

Following a pleasant day, and a mid-afternoon attempt (not hugely successful but it's the thought that counts) at a snooze on the sofa, I indulged in a date night dash to On Rice with the hubba-hubba-bike-and-chain. Because we are romantic, we discussed office spaces and the development of the cubicle. Reminding me once again that I am eternally grateful for my work situation. Not only do I have a separate office with a treadmill desk and a separate sitting table, I have ambiently colored walls. I have a window view of the mountains. I have easy access to the bathroom and the kitchen. And I have several surrounding walls for personalized touches.

We also ate Thai food. 

Upon indulging our nostomania we continued our new endeavor to watch the Buffy and Angel series in concert according to several fans' ultimate crossover guide. Oh  yes, bring on the Wheedon nerdiness circa ten years ago. We are retro-chic. Yeah no, no I have no idea about Breaking Bad, Dexter, Serial, or Matthew Macwhateveradoo Is a True Detective, or whatever else is big this year. I'm a few years behind the curve. But that's kind of reassuring. You know things are done and wrapped up before you begin. That's oddly reassuring after falling for so many prematurely cancelled shows through the years. 

And we reach Thursday yet again. Today I am condemned to attend a postponed WCP board meeting. It was originally this Monday. On the Monday before this one, I sent out a note saying I was leaving town for the holiday and wondered if we could confirm we'd be available to make the Monday December 1st meeting. Nobody answered until Wednesday evening, which our future Vice President/current treasurer responded that he actually would be gone until Wednesday. Nobody wrote back (certainly not me, since I was on record as being out of contact) until Friday when our current veep/future president said she could do Thursday. On Monday I confirmed, and our treasurer's paralegal confirmed on his behalf. Our outgoing president wrote "thank you" so it was all set. Until that little rat (I love her, so this is said affectionately) of a veep/president elect "remembered" she actually had a doctor's appointment today. So she gets to skip! And I have to go. Sneak!!

Ah well. I'll survive my duties. We really have nothing to talk about, so it should be a very long meeting (probabilities demand nothing less).

Until then, to twiddle my toes and wiggle my halloos at Thor on his special day!