Sunday, July 6, 2014

Oh, Where... Oh, Where Can She Be?

I'm pleased to report that I'm not dead!

In fact, I'm quite the opposite. Fabulous things are happening in my wake!

Here are ten things that have happened since my last post:

- I have quit my job at the Home of the EngineerFriend
- I have begun new employment at the Outpost of the EngineerFriend (where the EngineerFriend is a minority, and is therefore easier to handle)
- I have booked a two week vacation for myself and Mister Amazingness, that the new job is willing to let me take
- I have booked an officiant, set a date and chosen (although not yet booked) a venue for the previously mentioned Formal Arrangements To Become Missus Amazingness
- I have spent two weeks with the Family of Amaziness, as they left only yesterday after their Forray to the Great North
- I have become a member of a local bellydance troupe
- I have bellydanced with that troupe in front of literally hundreds of people
- I have finished all my dance classes for the season, and am enjoying my first summer vacation since college
- I have undertaken a new adventure in dining to accommodate the changing health needs of Mister Amazingness and myself
- I have thought of literally dozens of blog posts, none of which have come to fruition because I've been doing all the things I just listed instead of writing.

And because you've been so patient, here's a little nugget of sunshine for me to share today:

The Young Master and I are home alone today, as Mister Amazingness has ventured forth in the name of gainful employment. He will return this evening, but until that time we're fending for ourselves.

This morning I was graciously allowed to sleep in until 7 before the desperate pleas for a potty run dragged  me from my slumber. We have now - an hour later - done everything that a dog needs to do outside... drank coffee on the deck... played tug-of-war until the tug toy got too soggy to proceed**1... and now are lounging around the living room. But it's been *just* long enough since we've had any activity together that someone is getting antsy.

As I was writing out my ten-things-I've-done list for you, I noticed that the Young Master had invited himself to a party for one in our guest bathroom. This, I'm afraid, is not uncommon.

Whilst attending his party, I heard a telltale thump-thump-thump. This, also, is not uncommon. The Young Master enjoys jumping into the bathtub and chewing upon the faucet**2, and it makes an unmistakable sound.

Except that this was not the unmistakable thump-thump-thump of a dog tongue on a bathtub faucet. This was different.

Because I am not an idiot, I immediately went to investigate.

What I found was a dog who was staring pointedly at the toilet.

Now... toilet lids in our home are left in the down-and-very-down position always (unless there is a posterior involved). It helps keep dog tongues and items from the back of the toilet from swimming in the bowl. And until this very morning, the Young Master had accepted that situation.

But today, he decided that toilets warranted further investigation.

Figuring that there could be no harm in opening the lid to allow him a peek, I did just that.

He tried to lean over the front to get to the water.

He's too short.

He thought for a moment, and then proceeded to the side of the bowl.

He is still too short.

Having been denied access to the Magical Water In The Bowl twice, he proceeded as only the most intelligent dog would:

He looked at me, laid down like a perfect gentle-dog, and then pointed delicately to the toilet bowl to request that I deliver the water to him.

Shortly thereafter he abandoned the toilet in favor of the bathtub again, and I proceeded immediately to share this story with you.

Have a sunshiney day, ReaderFriend!

I've missed you.

**1 - Have you seen these? Felted Dog Toys! (Admittedly, I bought mine from a big box store. But I MUCH prefer to give my money to individuals... so this link is to an Etsy site where you can get a better quality item than I did.) I love them. Although they soak up slobber like nobody's business... and if the Young Master were more about eating the things that he destroyed, it would bind him up quicker than the time he ate a young pine tree... they're SO durable. And if the one I bought were actually knit instead of just felted, it would be nigh indestructable. I'm thinking I might even be able to convince myself to make some for him for his birthday... Columbus Day is far enough away that I could pull off a craft project... right? Right?? 

**2 Lest you go around thinking that I'm denying the Young Master access to fresh water... he has two water bowls. Legitimate water bowls that are always full for his partaking. He just prefers to jump into the bathtub because it's an exciting adventure. And sometimes there are bugs that crawl out of the drain**3, which are delicious.

**3 Ew.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

By The Numbers

I did the math. 

(It hurt my brain a little, but I did it!)

This is a graphic representation of my adult life, calculated from the day of my 18th birthday through this Friday, May 16 (a period of exactly 97 months):

The first month of being an adult, I was an unemployed college student. Easy peasy.

After exactly one month of unemployment, I began my internship at a local utility company for the summer. I spent seven months there. Again... super easy.

Then, halfway through December of that year (eight months after I turned 18), I got the job I have today.

I've changed positions within the company.

The company has changed around me.

But for 89 months I've called this my job.

(That's one month shy of seven-and-a-half years.)

And so, today... I announce that Friday May 16 will be the end of my tenure here.

It's exciting.

It's terrifying.

It's a lot of things, all at once.

And it's going to be an adventure.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Lots of changes have been changing lately. And with all that's going crazy, it feels like it's time for me to take a second and appreciate everything that's solidly right in my world.

Sunny's Top Ten Things She's Grateful For:

10. The undying optimism of my dog. Whether he's certain that today is the day he'll conquer the neighborhood squirrel, or that today is the day he'll get a second breakfast... his glass is always half full. I can learn a lot from that.

9. Organization. As long as I'm willing to accept its position in my life, it's a Godsend.

8. Travel mugs. When I can simultaneously drink my coffee and escort the Young Master on a poopedition, (poop-expedition), that's a win.

7. A working oven. Whether it's baking dessert, boiling dinner or just standing there holding up the spoon rest... it's there for me. And that's solid.

6. Dance. Sometimes it's good... sometimes it's not so good. But it's always movement, and that's always important.

5. Music. If I'm making it, or if I'm moving to it, or if it's just wafting around me... that's alright in my book.

4. Large bodies of water. Or appendages of water. Lakes... Rivers... Oceans... their lapping waves seem to wash my very soul of its insecurities.

3. My home. Mister Amazingness and I have a beautiful roof over our heads that we share with the aforementioned bundle of optimism. It's my haven, and I love it.

2. Mister Amazingness. Who, incidentally, has requested that I arrange myself as his Missus of Amazingness. Which makes me all the luckier, I think.

1. Love. Family and friends and even kind strangers throw love my way all the time. I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Lately Boyfriend of Amazingness and I have been frequenting the food and cooking stations of our cable feed. Originally it was because it was on, and we didn't know what else to watch, and we'd heard that Alton Brown guy was pretty funny. Now it's because we actively enjoy it, and the soothing sounds of cooking seem to help the Young Master not be a springtime spazoid.**1 

Unfortunately there are some side effects of watching food preparation channels that I'm starting to see in my day-to-day life.

For instance, my pantry full of pasta now looks pathetic and boring.

Also, regular workaday food isn't nearly exciting enough. Everything must include vegetables and sauces and dirtying every bowl in the kitchen.

And finally, I'm starting to think I can actually cook.

This is what worries me most.

Partly this is because I'm making decent pie crusts and biscuits for the first time in my life. I have, thus far in my twenty-something years, never pulled off a successful pie crust or an edible biscuit. They're always rinse-and-reuse-able, likely because I beat them to death and then struggle to get them into their baking tins. But lately... I can make pie. I can make yummy biscuits. It's like I can't fail. I'm blaming it almost entirely upon my beautiful marble rolling pin that showed up at Christmastime, courtesy of Boyfriend of Amazingness.**2

Partly this is also through a series of happy accidents, like the one where I learned to properly slice an onion without bursting into chemically-induced tears. And the one where I found out we only had half a jar of pasta sauce left, so I stirred in half a jar of stewed tomatoes to stretch the sauce over the full pound of pasta I had cooked and felt so clever about my "quick thinking" that I had to call my mom.

Partly this is because of the food preparation networks, because one cannot watch hour after hour of mire poix-ing and roux-ing and general cookery without absorbing some of it.

No matter what's at fault, it's happening. I'm becoming an adequate cook.

And as I become adequate, my fear is coming to light:

That I will become A Food Snob.

It started innocently enough: A co-worker who doesn't cook bought a bag of insta-cookie-mix. Just add egg and oil, and Ta Da! Instantly (after baking), you have cookies.

Snobbism #1: I failed to see how practically ready-to-bake cookies fall into the "Cooking" category, and didn't understand when she approached me with the mix that she was insisting that I cook them for her.

Snobbism #2: When first I accepted the "challenge," I explained that I would have to put frosting on them if they were going to be edible at all. I just knew they were going to be gross.**3

Snobbism #3: After baking them, I decided that I couldn't put frosting on them, because that might have made them taste better than they really were and they needed to succeed or fail entirely upon their own merit.

Snobbism #4: After baking them, I felt like I had cheated on my kitchen so I had to whip up a batch of cookies from scratch to reset the cooking juju. I didn't want to offend the Powers That Bake, for fear that they take my pie crust and biscuit skills away again.

Snobbism #5: Upon bringing the insta-cookies into the office, I put them into an unlabeled container so that no one would know that I baked them.

Snobbism #5.1:  I also told the non-baker that she needed to keep the cookies at her desk, and tell people she made them while I took the scratch cookies to my own desk. Instead, what she's doing is saying "Have one of the yummy cookies Sunny made!" Which I fear is tarnishing my reputation for cookie awesomeness.

It's all happening so fast. Tomorrow I probably won't even be able to bring in leftovers for lunch, but will instead need to bring in a hot plate and a chicken quarter and cook it right there at my desk with roasted veggies and rice or some such nonsense.

Even I won't be able to stand me.

**1 Spazoid (spaz-oid) - One who is a spaz, and is succeptible to unanticipate-able bouts of jubilation, excitement and joie-de-vivre simply because it is spring and one is alive. 

**2 And here you thought he just locked in that title all willy-nilly. Pshaw and fiddlesticks - he earned that title right and proper by being my boyfriend, and by being amazing.

**3 Because they're root-beer flavored cookies from a box. Ew. EwEwEw.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014


There is a new phenomenon sweeping my backyard.

If I'm being honest, it's probably sweeping the back yards of lots of folks in my neighborhood. And county. And state. 

But they don't have blogs, so I get to talk about it.




They exist.

And this time of year, they exist A LOT.

Particularly noticeable in my little slice of heaven is a trio of jerkfaced robins.

This is a male robin.

image courtesy of

Except right now, male robins around my home look more like softballs with feathers. The suckers are huge. And they're hungry. And they're horny.

It's been a long winter for the poor little turdus migratorius. So now that spring is... well... springing, they've got business to attend to. 

First and foremost is feeding their prodigous girths with all the grubblies and wigglies and icky-grossities that my yard can produce.

To that I say Go Get 'Em. I don't want them, you can have them. Knock yourselves out.

But secondly, they must find a lady friend so that they can start making little birds. But in order to win over a ladybird, they must do battle with one another to prove themselves the most manly and worthy producer of baby-bird-gravy.

Which has led to some interesting viewing on the front yard channel of my local living room television.**1

Most recently, we watched on Saturday as a pair of robins started to puff and fuss at one another.

Their first step, it seems, is to fill themselves so full of air and attitude that they puff beyond the extent that you'd think their little birdy skin would go. When this fails to scare off their equally-puffy combatant, they resort to dirtier tactics.

Now, in my back yard is a fabulously springy pine tree. It has long, lithe boughs that bend and swoop with the wind... or, for instance, under the weight of a fat-and-horny robin. Our combatants alighted, one each upon the lowest boughs of the tree. But as it is a product of nature, the boughs are not symmetrically aligned along the trunk. No... one is higher than the other. This created the issue... and the solution.

Upon realizing that his higher station provided him an edge in combat, the higher-lit contestant seemed to ready himself and then attack. He would, in one quick movement, jump from his own station and alight on the bough of his counterpart. The doubled weight upon the limb would cause it to swoop low, but the attacker was ready for this. As soon as the bough reached its lowest point, and before it started to spring back upwards and reset, he would spread his wings and take off on a diagonal plane so as to break free of the upward trajectory of the bough... effectively flinging his opponent into the air, and causing a great amount of displeasure.

At least, it did for them. They battled back and forth, flinging each other and resetting and then flinging each other once more until finally they either declared a winner or forgot what they were fighting for. They weren't seen again until the next morning when they both ran around the snowbanks out front and drove the dog to the brink of insanity.

It's going to be a fun Spring!

**1 It's the Young Master's favorite channel, best watched by turning wrong-way-round on the couch and mashing one's nose against the window behind, whilst one's tail drapes off the edge of the couch where human legs typically go. But at the very least, he looks comfortable. It doesn't work for me, but he's happy.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I think there's nothing
That pains a body so... No, I
Cannot think of a single thing.
How is it, I ask, of
You, that toes ensconced in sneakers are so ITCHY?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I'm sorry I was late for work today.

I would have been in sooner, except that my puppy...

Well, he was just so excited. There was snow. And there was springtime. And he was thrilled.

And, really, he was too excited. 

It bubbled out of him all over the place - every which way except out the back.

I'm sorry that I was late for work today. My puppy was too excited to poop.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dihydrous Monoxide

When I was in seventh grade, I had to write a paper on dihydrous monoxide. It was some intense research - I had to cover the chemical composition, uses, and (most importantly) its lethal implications. Dihydrous monixide is a killer. It's found in every serial killer's brain... it's found in most poisons and toxins... It's found in the wounds of sharkbite victims and the saliva of rabid dogs and it's virtually undetectable by taste or smell. Lethal stuff, ReaderFriend. Lethal stuff indeed.**1

That paper, written almost exclusively for the practice of validating resources and verifying facts, taught me a valuable lesson during my childhood: That the internet is not 100% based in truth. Additionally, even facts can be cleverly phrased to sound exaggerated or understated to fit the author's needs.

It seems it's time for me to give that practice a try again.

(The checking-my-sources practice. Not the exaggerating or understating practice.)

Since the month of November last year, I started listing daily holidays and observances on my cubicle white board to pass the workweek. It started around Thanksgiving with a little survey - questions about favorite types of pie, and how far one drives, and all sorts of exciting things to personally connect with coworkers during the holidays.

As the actual holidays drew to a close in January, I found myself running out of holidays to celebrate and thought that was sad indeed. Instead of watching the festivities draw to their inevitable close, instead I started researching holidays to post on my white board. I stumbled across a website called, and found a wealth of information. It was just the resource I needed to keep my whiteboard up to date with the latest and greatest on World Popcorn Day and Independence Day (Lithuania) and all the other important dates that needed noting so as to avoid that unfortunate post-holiday crash back into reality.

Of course... I had some reservations. After all, the basis of the Cute Calendar was - a website that, for all its readily available information, isn't super on-point about its accuracy.

For instance... I missed "National Cookie Day" because it wasn't noted in Cute Calendar.

And then, another day I missed "National Chocolate Day" because it wasn't noted either.

But the nail in the coffin of for me happened just this morning, as I was planning out what we would celebrate this week.

March 11th would be Youth Day in Pakistan. That sounds like a worthy date, and something that should have attention brought to it. 

March 13th would be Popcorn Lover's Day. Boyfriend of Amazingness is absolutely batty about popcorn, so that day I'll head out and pick up some gourmet snacks to lavish upon him for dinner that night.

March 14. Oh! It's Pi day! But, wait... Pi Day isn't noted as the most important date on March 14 on It's second in line. 'Second to what,' you ask? 

I read the description, and was immediately incensed. So incensed, in fact, that I need to quote the original website for fear of tainting their message with my snarkiness:

"Steak and BJ Day is a holiday celebrated one month after Valentine's Day. It was founded because Valentine's Day is a made up holiday for women and vegetarians; so it is only fair that there is an equivalent holiday for normal people. 

The idea is simple: there are no cards, flowers, candy or other overpriced fluff. Partners need only to bestow their man with a steak and a BJ. But not necessarily in that order. And not necessarily only once that day." -

A made up holiday for women and vegetarians.

So made up, in fact, that there is a need for an equivalent holiday for normal people.

Now... I have my reservations about Valentine's Day. In fact... I think I've stated them once or twice. I don't love the idea of being told that I need to express my emotions because the calendar says I should. I think I should express my emotions whenever I feel them - specifically, all the time. I'm in love every day with the man whom I've chosen to put up with me for life. I'm in love every day with our life together, so I tell him every day. 

But that doesn't mean that some folks don't need a reminder on the calendar. I've got friends and relatives that adore Valentine's Day, and make a big deal out of their significant other just because it's February 14th. And, in the past, I've been in relationships where Valentine's interjected romance into my life during the long dry spell between Christmas and my birthday. Sometimes it just needs to be written down. Besides - if we can celebrate St. Patrick's Day with getting absolutely fockered, I think it's okay to celebrate St. Valentine's Day with getting fat on chocolate and maybe getting some sexy rumpus.**2

And [brace yourself for this revelation, my dear one...] women - and vegetarians - are normal people, too.

(Don't let the chestal appendages and the penchant towards brussel sprouts put you off. We eat... We breathe... We even poop. And, honestly, vegetarians might even do that better than "Normal People," because they get all that extra fiber.)

It was only after much angry thought that I noted the irony of the holiday, ReaderFriends. "Valentine's Day is a made up holiday..." the writer lambasted. But then, "It's only fair that there is an equivalent..." So, essentially, the writer would like his own made-up holiday. Easy enough! I, Sunny Smiles, am willing to acquiesce this:

March 14 shall be henceforth and hitherto known as STEAK AND BJ DAY - the day where all the poor sad-sacks who are toxically trapped by their girlfriends/mothers/overbearing cats get their recompense for the gifts they bestowed on February 14. But I would like the day to come with this caveat:

An Open Letter to Those Who Celebrate Steak and BJ Day Because "It's Only Fair":

Dearheart, maybe next year you ought to spring for a nicer box of chocolates. Or a new partner-friend. Perhaps one who thinks - as most do - that Valentine's Day is for everyone to shower a little love over everyone else, in a big chocolate-filled flower-scented orgy and not just for Normal People to be held in a societal obligation to the Women and the Vegetarians of the world. It is my fondest hope that this, in turn, will leave March 14 open for the fruit-filled pastries of highest import... and saves you a month of evenings spent alone, quietly plotting how you'll trick your next ladyfriend into wrapping her face around your crotch.

And I follow up with this:

An Open Letter To
The Female Counterpart of The Poor Sad-Sack Who Came Up With "Steak and BJ Day."

Don't do it, nice lady. You don't owe him anything.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sunny Smiles

**1 Dihydrous Monoxide, written out as a chemical compound, is H2O.

**2 This. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

If Worry Were Warm

Worry does a lot of things.

It's a weight management tool.

It's a sleep modifier.**1

It's an exercise amplifier.

But what I really need it to do this year is heat my home. Because oil is expensive... and heating system retrofits are expensive... and really what I can afford is six to eight hours a day of gut-wrenching troublethoughts about how we're going to earn our next BTU.

I'm ready for spring.

**1 For me, it makes me sleep more hours, but sleep restlessly. When I'm overwhelmed I hit the hay for hours of tossing and turning in hopes that I'll awaken enlightened with a solid plan for putting the worry behind me. Usually I just awaken covered in drool, with pillow-wrinkles mashed into my face.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


"Why is Sunny covered in water,' you ask?" I announced as I strode into my boss' office.

She didn't.

"I'm glad you asked," I continued without pausing for her response. "I refilled my water bottle, you see. But while I was filling my water bottle, I got my thumb stuck in it. And I couldn't get it out."

Boss' head hit her desk.

She laughed so hard, she stopped making sounds.

Water bottles are tricksy, ReaderFriends. Don't let yours dampen you today.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Walked into third floor kitchen - no hot chocolate powder.

Climbed downstairs to second floor.

Walked into second floor kitchen - found hot chocolate.

Second floor coffee tepid - made sludge with hot chocolate in cup, but did not create drinkable drink.

Dumped out chocolate-and-coffee slop.

Rinsed mug.

Made fresh carafe of coffee on second floor.

Put fresh hot chocolate powder into mug.

Climbed stairs to third floor kitchen.

Coffee pot empty.

Made fresh coffee on third floor. 


Finally got hot coffee to mix with cocoa powder to create morning mocha.

Realized kitchen held no spoons to stir for optimized mocha-y goodness.

And that's how I ended up stirring my coffee with my Zen Garden rake.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Skin

I saw the most beautiful sunset last night as I was driving home.

I thought about a time when I was driving with my family to see my grandparents. As we passed through farm town after farm town, I watched the sun sink lower in the sky. When it was just reaching its artistic azimuth, we drove past a horse farm where three dark shadows stood grazing along the edge of the field. The scene so struck me that I was moved to my paint set, and promptly created a hot mess all over my grandmother's kitchen table instead of on the paper.

An artist, I am not.

So I'll just tell you: I saw a beautiful sunset. It looked like a celestial being had dripped pomegranate juice into the western sky, and the color bled through the horizon.

And then I show you:

I'm ready for springtime, and the happier skin it will impart.**1

Reasons I'm Done With Winter

**1 We're not even going to talk about my poor, cracked, frostbite-blistered toes. They make the mess I made on my grandmother's table look insignificant.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I stubbed my toe this morning.

I challenge anyone in the whole wide world to tell me a crueler start to the morning than a stubbed, almost-certainly-broken toe.

And on dance day, too.

Cruel. Just cruel.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Walks, Part 1

Springtime is my very favorite time of year.

The winter goes away...

The sunshine comes out to play...

The snow melts...

The leaves peek out, unfurl and greet the world...

All sorts of poeticalness happens in the springtime.

It's beautiful, and I love it.

Here in the frozen wastelands of New England, winter has been pretty brutal this year. His grip has been relentless - day after day of sub-zero temperatures and driving snow and general frosty mayhem.

I don't like it.

Neither, I've found, does the Young Master.

See, wintertime is a time of cooped-uppedness.

He doesn't get to go outside and play as often, because the ground is frozen and his toes are tender. He starts limping almost immediately with the cold on his feet. And if there's salt or sand... forget it. I might as well carry him through the yard.

I would look like this, only less photogenic.

Photo Credit:
 So when we had a tropical heat wave the other day and the temperature soared up into the thirties, I knew it was my lucky break.

Two out of the past four work days have been kind to me. I've gotten out of the office early enough that I can make it through my commute home and get there before the sun has completely set. This is due (in no small part) to the sun deciding to stick around longer because it knows springtime is coming. It's also because I found a new way to drive home from work that avoids the string of red lights that hates me through three of my four commute-through towns.

So, on Monday, I got out of work at 2. I went to the eye doctor for my bi-annual** adventures with glaucoma drops and those charts with the little numbers. And then I drove home. The glaucoma drops had given me a bit of a headache, so I took it easy on the commute... but I still arrived home by 4:45. Sweet! I thought. Evening walky time!

Walks with the Young Master can go a couple different ways, depending on the time of day. I'll do a visual breakdown when I figure out exactly how to portray it. But I can sum up here:
  • He has the focus to see the walk through with practically show-dog-worthy attention. This is mostly because of his Walking Stick.
    • On occasion, he will walk politely until we are fifty yards from the house, and then begin to lolligag because the walk is coming to an end. This is mostly in the morning.
  • He does not have the focus to see the walk through with the patience God gave a guppy. This is mostly because:
    • Something smells good
    • Something that smelled good tastes good
    • He has dropped his walking stick and is waiting for me to pick it
    • There is something - anything - that has a heartbeat or once had a heartbeat or might have a heartbeat if he stares at it longingly enough
The latter almost always wins out over the former.

It's easier in the wintertime to schedule in morning walks. We leave the house right after the school bus has gone by, and we're back so I can get on the road and into the office before my coffee is cold.

But it's more fun to take evening walks. I imagine, in his mind, it goes something like this:

Hmm... another leaf just blew by the window. I don't think I'll bark at this one. No one's home to see me. But... hark! What noise at yonder portal makes?

Could it be?

Dare I hope?

I must adjourn to the window and smush my nose upon it.

Is it?

Is it?

Is it?



Momma! I missed you! I missed you! I missed you SO MUCH! I don't think you understand. Let me lick your tongue to tell you how much I missed you! Momma! I missed you! I missed you!


Why are you standing up?

MOMMA. I missed you. Come back and kneel with me, so I may properly shower you with my pent up adoration.




Sit? Okay... I can sit.


We're going for a walk.


Yeah... that's pretty much how it plays out, but picture it with fifty pounds of exhilarated adorable-ocity and a long, lolling tongue.

Tomorrow, I tell you just what happened on this Monday evening walk.

And let me tell you, ReaderFriend... it'll be worth the wait.

**1 I always have trouble with this. Does bi-annual mean "every other year?" Or does it mean "twice a year?" Semi-annual means twice a year, no matter what. Bi-annual needs to make up its mind.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I do not gently admit defeat to sickness.

I go down swinging, taking snot-drenched swipes at my illness and hoping that one of my pot-shots will stick, knocking it out of contention before it drags me into the Unwell Abyss.

Never mind that they almost never work... When I start feeling that I'm losing the good fight for my health, I immediately launch into this protocol:

Sunny Smiles'
List of Things That Will Almost Certainly Restore Her Healthometer Immediately After She Starts To Feel Sick

  • Drinking water like it's her job. Germs can't take hold if they're busy floating around in a body full of water.
  • Eating the spiciest food she can palate. Germs don't like chili or those chocolate bars with little peppers in them.
  • Wearing a hat. Germs cannot root in a noggin that is swaddled in fuzzy comfort.
  • Showering obsessively. Germs can be washed off. Still feel sick? Scrub harder.
  • Doing chores. Germs will admit defeat if the illness-getter can prove that they're too busy to be sick.
  • Hourly shots of orange juice. Germs will bow down to excessive Vitamin C intake.
  • [If orange juice doesn't work,] Odwalla smoothies with 1500% of daily Vitamin C. Again, germs can't handle the stuff. It burns them into submission.
  • Not actually saying "I feel sick." Germs can sense weakness. Never give up! Never surrender! And don't let them hear you say (or think) that they're winning.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Survival of the Snuggliest

I made it through, ReaderFriends! I survived the flu**1, in no small part because of the efforts of one Young Master and one Boyfriend of Amazingness.

Boyfriend of Amazingness made soup, kissed my forehead and talked me out of going to work until my fever broke and I was feeling better. He was, basically, Amazing.

Young Master took it upon himself to be my blanket, my footwarmer and my tissue. At no point during my illness was I without his nannying presence - He slept**2 within easy nose-ing distance at all times. He didn't leave except for cursory check-ins with Boyfriend of Amazingness, for bathroom excursions or to grab a mouthful of food. Seriously... he wouldn't even indulge in a full meal. He would eat a bite, toss his ball once, and then run back to my side.

I guess it does take a village to keep me on track.

**1 The first flu I can remember having since I was in fourth grade. I remember specifically because I missed a week of school except for one day when I had to go in and give a presentation on loons. I don't remember a blasted thing about that presentation except that I had a CD of loon calls that I played while I was presenting, and one of the birds was hitting the exact note that made my eyes water. Then my teacher took my picture, because it was a Big Deal sort of presentation. Somewhere I still have that photo, of me looking feverish and oozy and completely out of it. That's how I felt this past week.

**2 Slept is a strong term. He hovered. He didn't rest, and was therefore exhausted by the end of the whole ordeal. We rewarded him with an extra-long day of daycamp, where he played with other dogs for ten hours straight. He promptly came home and fell asleep, where he's been for the past 36 hours.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


New Year's is a time of tradition. Even for folks who don't indulge in superstition, the dawn of a new year is rife with opportunities to bring luck and health and love and happiness and all sorts of awesome upon themselves if they just take part in some little displays of fun.

Myself, I'm not one for traditions at New Year's. I'm all about Christmas and  Thanksgiving and birthdays and other little moments through the year, but on New Year's... I'm just not. Not because I don't want to be, but because I'm definitely not a late-night person and by the time the ball drops, my eyelids have too. I want to have traditions, but I'm just too tired.

This year was no exception. At 9:30 on New Year's Eve I was falling asleep on the couch, nestled between my guys. At 10:30 I was snuggled into bed, happily sleeping my way towards the New Year.

Fortunately at midnight some local kiddos set off a burst of fireworks. The fireworks, in turn, set off the Young Master. The Young Master alarm woke me up at only seconds past midnight, and I'm happy to report that I was able to gather my wits and realize what was going on in time to console Boyfriend of Amazingness (who had also indulged in an early bedtime) with a "Happy New Year, sweetheart" and an "I love you" before calling the Young Master back to bed and falling back into dreamland.

I slept in on New Year's Day**1 and awoke when Boyfriend of Amazingness got up to answer the Young Master's nature call. I puttered downstairs in fuzzy jammies and made a couple cups of coffee, and promptly planted my posterior on the couch. Two hours later, Boyfriend of Amazingness evicted himself from the couch and made a delightful steak and eggs breakfast.**2

As a child, I had one tradition on New Year's Day. I would walk down to my grandparents' house with my sister. We would eat lunch with said grandparents, and then we would turn on the Tournament of Roses Parade. My grandmother had an artificial tree, so we would spend the duration of the two hour parade un-decorating and disassembling. By the end of the parade, the house would be returned to its pre-holiday condition. It was a calm yet festive way to ring in the New Year - by resetting to the old Normal and spending time with family.

This year, I watched the parade with my guys. The bands were amazing. The floats were beautiful. My eyes teared on more than one occasion, and I'm certain that BofA inevitably grew sick of my "Did you see that!?"s and my "Oh WOW!"s and my innumerable squeaks, squawks and snorts of delight.

I hadn't sat down and watched the Tournament of Roses parade since before my grandmother passed almost a decade ago, and I realize now that it's high time I start picking up traditions I let die with the family members I loved. I felt that the traditions wouldn't feel the same without them... and honestly, I wasn't wrong. Traditions are different when the loved ones you share them with are gone. But that doesn't mean you're dishonoring your memory of them - or dishonoring the tradition as it was held when they were alive -  by taking the roots of that tradition and creating something new and special to share with your own family.

Half way through the parade, I found myself overwhelmed with the desire to take down the Christmas tree. My family is partaking in Twelfth Night this year, when we'll do a second round of festivity and fun with presents and food and all the Christmas trappings on the twelfth day of Christmas (January 5). So the tree needs to stay up until then. Instead, I poured myself a glass of champagne and worked on New Year's gifts for my co-workers. While I'm not likely to leave that for the last minute again next year,**3 it was lovely to have those quiet hours of crafting and celebration with my guys. I simultaneously felt the joy of New Years' past and a thrill of hope for New Years to come.

However you celebrated yesterday, my dear Reader, I do hope it was everything you wanted it to be and more.

With a New Year Sparkle,


**1 Something I'm doing more of lately as the shortened expanses of daylight are wearing on my psyche. In addition, I've realized that I can soothe the Young Master back into sleep if I can get him up onto the bed for a snuggle session. This isn't boding well for my productivity or my REM cycles... but good Lord does my pillow feel nice.

**2 This made us both giggle when I noted "How many people do you think are having protein shakes or fruit salad or kale smoothies for breakfast because they resolved to eat healthier this year?" Once we collected ourselves, he responded "The suckers..." and we disolved into giggle-fits again.

**3 Oh, come now, Self. Be serious. Of course you're going to leave it for the last minute.

That's what you do.