What a glorious weekend!  I could really get behind this whole three day weekend thing.  Long enough to get stuff DONE and still with a day to recover before coming back to work.  Hubs and I did a major deep clean (first since Christmas) and rearranged some furniture.  I'm really happy with the end result.  My library feels more librarylike.  It's so NICE to have a clean house!  I'm hoping it will clear my brain some for the many many things I need to accomplish over the next month.

Daisy got caught RUNNING yesterday, so she's clearly feeling better and we're all delighted.  We really value the good days with her after what she's been through the last year.

Rain was forecast this morning and so far it hasn't materialized.  Maybe it will have missed us.  We've had MORE than enough lately, and would really like to see things DRY OUT some.  Yesterday's afternoon in the sunshine was so lovely, I'd like to have more of it.
 
We've got wicked heavy fog this morning.  Considering I don't actually have to get out in it, I can enjoy the atmosphere!  It obscures the ocean of hay beyond the back fence--a world of quiet white.  Really beautiful and soothing in its own way.  Like a little cocoon from the rest of the world.  

It's my birthday today.  I'm 33.  My gift to myself was to take the day off and SLEEP IN by TWO WHOLE HOURS (I am a great fan of sleep).  Then I'm headed up the road to hang with my mom for the day whenever the fog lifts.  But just now I'm enjoying this quiet me time with the pups before running in to anybody else.    

We've got some organizing and spring cleaning projects to do this weekend, which probably doesn't sound like something to be excited about, but I am.  The house has been pretty chaotic since Christmas and it's been DRIVING ME NUTS.  I'm one of those people for whom the state of the house largely affects/reflects the state of my brain, so chaos and mess = more chaos and mess, which is not great for the productivity.  So REALLY looking forward to a good, thorough spring clean!

And maybe some swanky mac and cheese for my birthday dinner--there's a brick of fontina in the fridge that's calling my name...
 
  • We had a couple of grant opportunities land in our laps at work yesterday.  Given various and sundry projects will be running out soon, we're always on the lookout for new funding and this provides us with something to shoot for that we hadn't anticipated.  We're about to be REALLY BUSY!
  • I was able to delegate something I REALLY hate at work.
  • I'm three days on a streak of sticking to my calorie budget and workout routine.  Still hungry, but it's getting better.
  • Also on the health front, I'm down almost 2 pounds in the last couple of weeks.  
  • We're getting ready to put my hubby on low carb again.  He's had great luck with it in the past and is ready to make a change.
  • And we're getting half a day of SUN today before the next round of rain rolls in.  Whee!
 
  • I'm two days into a streak of staying on my calorie budget and finally starting not to feel like my stomach is devouring itself.  Another couple of days and I should have my appetite properly reset.
  • I found out that you can nest tags in Evernote (which I use to organize a million aspects of my life), which just made finding things a WHOLE LOT EASIER.
  • I knocked out writing another lecture in two days.
  • I got awesome BIRTHDAY PRESENTS from friends (though my birthday isn't actually until Friday).
  • My experiment with reinventing the leftover sausage and mushroom ragu into minestrone turned out delicious.
 
Hitting the high points of positive as I start out the week on Monday (traditionally overcome with suckitude because it's Monday and I'm awake).
  • It's SUNNY!  I know I keep mentioning this one, but you just can't even understand how sick I am of rain.
  • I got to run this morning for the first time in ten days.  Was a bit slower than my last run but still faster than my first run back after Christmas.  Under a 13 minute mile.  It might be more properly called a shuffle than a run, but go with me here.
  • Yesterday I managed to outline the new second half of the book I'm writing.  Still have some details to figure out, but the gist is there and I have DIRECTION.  YAY.
  • I got last night's dishes done BEFORE LEAVING FOR WORK.  
  • That's all I've got...it is, after all, Monday...
 
What a great start to the morning.

  • Sunshine
  • It's still cold enough to frost (hey, I like winter...so that's a good thing in my book)
  • I'm having a brainsplosion of inspiration regarding my Mirus series with a bunch of threads that have been dangling coming together into something actually useful
  • I was feeling well enough to work out again (it's been several days)
  • IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!
 
So my last post here was three months ago.  

Um...yeah.  

I kind of fell off the positive blogging wagon.  There has been drama in my life that is finally slowing down (thank God), and I got a really good reminder this morning that I need to come back to this.  Because the entire point was to retrain my brain to be more positive.

I definitely haven't been lately.  

I decided that I'm going to make a few changes in how I approach this.  Part of why I stopped was that I simply forgot to post at the end of the day.  I am not an evening blogger.  Blogging is very much a morning activity for me, and I decided it certainly wouldn't hurt for me to START my day with a dose of positivity and gratitude.

Since gratitude is on my mind this morning, I thought I'd focus on that today and make a quick list of the things I'm grateful for in my life.

  • I am grateful for the good man that I married.  He's not perfect, but he's funny and thoughtful and sweet.
  • I am grateful that Daisy, my almost 12 year old border collie mix, is still with us and walking.  She had a stroke last year and has had an amazing recovery.
  • I am grateful for the SUN.  We've had a LOT of rain lately, and it's been dragging me down.
  • I am grateful for my friends, most especially the ones that bring me back down to earth with their +4 Gratitude Hammer to remind me of all the awesome in my life.
  • I'm grateful that Levi's didn't stop making their 529 jeans.
  • I am grateful that I am in a position to actually BUY a new lawn mower (even though the cost makes me sick to my stomach).
  • I am grateful that God, biology, and the environment blessed me with creativity and the experiences to nurture it.
 
It's been a really good week.  
  • I broke the 80k word mark on my current book.
  • Zappos is having a sale on Levis, and they have my beloved 529s (which I was told two years ago were discontinued), so I bought two more pair.
  • My weekly lunch buddies and I have decided to switch from our eating out to eating in.  As I'm the cook, they're going to bring me ingredients, and I'm going to make our lunch every week.  We had vegetarian stuffed shells out on our patio yesterday, and it was lovely.
  • I actually FOUND the cherry peppers I need for the Chicken Riggies recipe I found at Cook's Country (go Kroger).
  • I discovered via the local NaNoWriMo board that there is actually a writer's group that meets at a local bookshop twice a month.  Guess I'll try that out sometime in November. 

 
Yesterday was pretty good for a Monday.  Was very very busy, but there was still time to find the positive.
  • Hubby slept last night.  He's been on an insomnia kick, so we've been working on getting him reset.  It's funny the number of people I've ended up treating for insomnia, and I almost never have trouble sleeping.
  • The weather was beautiful, if not cool enough for October.  
  • There was no staff meeting (I love those Mondays).
  • My first day going vegetarian until dinner was a success.
 
Given that I'm just NOT in the habit of posting at night, I'll probably start doing these first thing in the morning for the day before.  So yays for Sunday:
  • Cherry pomegranate Crystal Light CAN be gotten out of light beige carpet if you get there fast enough.
  • While in search of an alternative gluten free potsticker wrapper recipe, I ran across this post, which had the GENIUS idea of using a tortilla press (which I have) to press out the wrappers rather than trying to roll them.  Also, she introduced me to the DUMPLING PRESS, a handy little contraption that pleats them FOR YOU.  I have totally ordered on on Amazon.  This will take all the backbreaking work out of making dumplings and put them on the menu more than once a year! 
  • We actually managed to get a few smiling pictures out of a baby photo shoot yesterday where the 6 month old was SUPER UNHAPPY.  Win.
  • I sorted the details (mostly) of a scene that's been giving me a lot of trouble in my primary WIP.
  • My kitchen is CLEAN, down to having scrubbed the cabinets with Murphy's Oil Soap and moisturized them with lemon oil.