I managed to go to the gym, write for a while, paint the board that would be our travelling growth chart for the kids, finally start working on the curtains for our living room, and make a shepherd's pie from scratch.
Hold up! The above makes me sound far too awesome to be real, so let me explain: I had 4 months off to recover, regain my shape, finish projects around the house, and write, and the clock is now ticking loudly. I don't want to go back to work without having accomplished any of the arbitrary goals I set for myself, and since January 1st, I've felt intense pressure while also feeling more fear of failure than usual. It's been really, really great.
I'm trying to write every day (obviously not on this blog), but it's hard to get started, then hard to stop, and I neglect the dog, my water-drinking, and the house when I'm absorbed in it.
The growth chart had been written with Sharpies on the doorframe between the kitchen and dining room in our last house. Since we lived there from when little Vaughn was 21 months old till he was 7 1/2, it had a lot of marks, memories and meaning. I was considering using tools to take it with us when we moved here, however, tools and I have a challenging relationship; I'm pretty sure that gently ripping a giant hole in the house would not have gone over well with the new owners or with Fis. So, I took a long piece of waxed paper and a marker, and copied each and every mark, initial and date. I have been terrified that the waxed paper would be thrown out accidentally*, but managed to conserve it. Thursday night, I transferred those marks onto the new board, and on Friday, I drilled holes and screwed it into the wall by our basement stairs. We celebrated by measuring their new heights...and yes, they have grown!
I started the curtains, but I am not ready to talk about them yet. I will possibly never be. Let's just drop it.
The shepherd's pie, or German Shepherd's pie, as we call it around here**, was spectacular. I told the kids I made it, and they didn't believe me (full disclosure: Shepherd's pie usually comes from the grocery store). I added extra vegetables to the perfectly-spiced meat layer (see also, Still Fat), put lots of corn on top of that, and kept the mashed potatoes lighter than usual, adding a few cloves of garlic to the water as it boiled the potatoes, and mashing them together with only a little butter and milk, for probably the fluffiest mash I've ever made. Delicious, amazing, perfect... a true tribute to my --
Ok, it may have slightly poisoned Fis.
I have always given him a hard time about purchasing Discount Meat from time to time at the grocery store, but hey, he sez, a deal's a deal. So, I got a club pack of extra lean ground beef with a 30% off sticker, used half of it for Taco Tuesday. He wasn't feeling great on Wednesday morning, but shook it off (ish), while blaming the ground beef. A little counter to the "use it tonight!" sticker, I used the rest of it for Thursday's shepherd's pie. On Friday morning, I agreed with him (to myself) that perhaps we were all poisoned.
Don't tell Fis, but I'm still taking it as a win.
* Silly me. In a family with 4 packrats, my favourite activity is throwing stuff out. The amount of paper and art these kids generate is incredible, and Fis' filing system for bills, notices, statements and every receipt ever does not include a document disposal element. At all. It would have been absolutely shocking if anything made its way to the garbage can or paper recycling without me.
** German Shepherd's pie: it's alsatianal!