Vanity of a 29.8-year-old

In general, I like to think of myself as not super vain. (Keeping the bar high, right?) I like pretty clothes, but I also care as much about comfort and machine washableness as I do about pretty. So imagine my surprise when I started considering dying my hair. To cover grey hair. Oh my!

Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the use of hair dye on any person for any reason. I’ve always considered getting highlights or going auburn or a myriad of other hair color choices. When it came down to it, I’ve been too lazy and scared and cheap to dye my hair in the past.

Where does the idea of vanity come into the mix?  Well, I love it when people age gracefully.  I love seeing grey hair on other people–young, old, and in between.  I also love my family, and grey hair at a young age is a family tradition.  Because of that, I always thought I would just go with it when grey hair came my way.  My plan was to not care and move on with life.

But then I saw a whole passel of grey hairs right next to each other. I never knew that grey hair multiplies like rabbits. Seriously, how did that happen overnight?  And since when did 29.8 count as “aging”?!  I suppose I’ll feel exactly the same way when I’m 39.8 and 49.8 and 59.8.

I’m considering bold headbands and sparkly clips.

photo from the Garlands of Grace Etsy shop

photo from the Garlands of Grace Etsy shop

I’m considering pretending that grey is blonde. (“Look at all of those natural blonde highlights I suddenly have!”  I have a strong imagination.)  I’m trying to stick with my guns on the hair dye issue.  I know I would get lazy and cheap again in the near future, so I might as well just go with it now.  I’m just really struggling with the whole “be cool with it and move on” thing.  Dang vanity.

The Flu

I’ve had the flu before.  I think it was something like a day and a half of 99 degree fever, mild discomfort, and well again.  Ta da!

Not this time.  I woke up on Monday with normal flu symptoms, and I decided it would be best to call in sick so I didn’t get my co-workers sick, too.  A few hours later, things got a lot worse.  Then things stayed worse.  I discovered a new kind of body aches, that I can in fact nap for 8 hours a day, and that I’m not opposed to taking medicine if I feel bad enough.  Honestly, I had no idea I could sustain that level of napping for more than two days.  I could have been training for the Olympic napping team, and I’m pretty sure I would be in the running for a medal once I got to Sochi, for that matter.

It would have been awesome if it weren’t for the really bad discomfort/pain/can’t-control-my-body-temperature thing.  Anyway, there was a doctor visit, then a prescription (did you know they prescribe something for the flu these days?) and some lovely medicine side-effects.  Yuck.

In all of that glory, where was the good?  Well, I have a boss who encouraged me to stay home long enough not to infect the whole library.  I really appreciate that, when I’m sure it would be easy to want the whole team back in action instead.

I also have a husband who is nice enough to make his own dinner when I’m comatose on the couch.  It’s surprising how much energy it takes to say “hello” when you’re sick, much less make dinner.  I have an all new appreciation for parents who have to be sick while also parenting.  Whew.

Last but not least, I have a Peanut whose lump-like nature is inversely related to my physical distress.  He’s normally really difficult to move if he’s asleep–like mother, like dog.  But on Monday and Tuesday when I thought I might just be one of those rare “just the normal flu” fatalities, if I twitched, Peanut moved very obligingly with me.  He slept next to me for every hour of naps, and he watched as I wobbled to the sink to get water.

Then on Wednesday, when I started to feel moderately like a human being again (lower fever!!), Peanut got a tad bit stubborn.  When I slept on the couch with him and tried to move, he would not budge.  That little lump was there to stay.  No more Obliging Peanut for me.

Today, now that the symptoms are down to all of those fun recovery symptoms (cough, sore throat, frog voice, head that feels like it might explode because of pressure), Peanut is his own man.  He’s napping on the other side of the couch, getting up to investigate sounds.  Giving me the stink eye if I wake him up.


It’s good to feel alive again, and it’s good to have my stubborn lump of a dog back.  And yes, that picture is of Peanut napping to recover from all of those intense naps.  I might have taken a post-fever recovery nap or two, too.  Like I said, Peanut and I have some things in common.  We’ll be back in action tomorrow.


I was going to post about fried backstraps and bliss today, but I left the recipe somewhere else, and it isn’t available online. So you get insight to my current state of mind instead.

I had a late start at work today (scheduled that way, not accidental), and that’s always nice. It does throw me off, however. For example, why is it 3:21 PM and simultaneously my lunch break? Things just feel weird.

I also bruised my heel sometime yesterday, which is laughable because I’m not currently in the most athletic, active phase of my life. Now, on top of being somewhat indoorsy, I’m hobbling ever so slightly around the library. It would be funny to watch if it didn’t hurt.

In short, this is basically how I’m living my life today:

photo from

photo from

Friday Night Confession Time

You know that big social event I said I was going to tonight? Well, it’s 7:07, and that’s not happening.

It was a long week. A week full of everything but sleep. I was standing up from 9 AM to 5:30 PM today (with the exception of my lunch break) after waking up at 5 AM. Not my ideal day. By the end of the day, I was making sentences that shouldn’t really be sentences. I got my point across, but it wasn’t pretty.

So when I got home, the idea of keeping my shoes on and heading out again in an hour didn’t seem to make sense. Instead, I decided that pajamas were the only right answer. At 5:39 I had my pajamas on and had completely called the day. It was beautiful. (Look at that–from not pretty to beautiful in one paragraph.)

What other wonders has this night included? I’ll count the awesome things that are making up for the long day:

1. The fact that pajamas are the most comfortable clothes in the world.
2. Fuzzy striped socks that make up for their cartoon looks with all of that fuzz.
3. An equally fuzzy dog with his head resting on my legs.
p and wine
4. A delicious glass of wine.
5. The smell of frozen pizza heating up in the oven.
6. The upcoming taste of that pizza.
7. A chance to watch The Sound of Music after a failed attempt last night.
8. My very own baked goods (thanks to the baked food swap at the party I was supposed to attend).

food and present
9. My very own white elephant gift from the same party prep. I really like it a lot. I was willing to give it away because everyone in my family thinks it’s a hideous glass, but I’m kind of attached to it. It’s nice to like your white elephant gift.

How much better does it get than all of that put together?

And on a totally random note, Scott made me shrimp fried rice last night. It was very good, but we realized right before we served it up that we didn’t have any soy sauce. Oh no! I found this recipe for replacement soy sauce online, and it actually worked. Note that it was tasty in a recipe that has lots of other flavor. Not sure how similar it tastes to soy sauce all by itself.


Okay, here was the original “before” picture of our bedroom, complete with yellow paint:


And here is the new wall color:


Personally, I’m a pretty big fan.  There are still some other things to do in the room (switch the fan blades from the wood grain side to the white side, put up our curtains, etc.), but the wall color is done.  I really do love it.  The dark, grey-ish green is calming, and I think it adds an earthy flair to the fancy bedroom furniture.  The painting at the end was kind of a battle though.

One can of paint ended up being exactly enough to cover our bedroom in two coats of paint.  By the third and fourth walls of the second coat, I was really just doing damage control, trying to cover spots where the yellow paint was showing.

It worked.  Whew.

Now it’s on to a second “after.”

After I found at least a dozen ticks on Peanut.  We’re not sure what they were, actually.  They were attached like ticks to the edge of his ear, but they were a light color.  Anyway, I looked at the edge of his ear after I felt something, expecting to find a tick or two.  They were all lined up next to each other, crammed onto his adorable little ear.


Look at those ears.  That was a few minutes before the fated ear bug finding.

This isn’t a flattering thing to admit, but I’ve been going a little crazy since that moment.  Scott did a full tick check on Peanut, and we found one or two others that looked more like normal ticks.  They’re all hanging out in a jar of rubbing alcohol now, where they will supposedly drown.  I also checked around Peanut’s bed, finding at least 6 more ticks.  And I checked the floor around the couch, finding a few more.  Every time Scott got off the couch last night, there were a few little ticks hanging out on him (not attached yet).  They’re tiny little things, probably young ticks.

I’m having trouble handling the gross little suckers.  I kept waking up last night, imagining ticks all over my body.  I don’t really want to sit on our couch anymore or even pet Peanut.  Our cute Peanut, who I normally love petting.

Hopefully the effects of the tick situation don’t last much longer.  I don’t want to live life in the country constantly afraid of tick infestation.  But for now, I’ve got my tweezers and my tick jar at the ready.

Doing the Limbo

Okay, so I’m not dancing around non-stop.  I am, however, hanging out in corporate housing until the closing date on our new house (2.5 weeks!).

New House

New House

This is the sweet life, right?  I don’t have a job, and my list of responsibilities is miniscule.  Laundry and dinner are just about it.  I would say that on average, it takes me 1.5 hours to fold a few loads of laundry and make a tasty dinner.  I’m a slow cooker.  Which leaves a lot of empty hours in the day.  A lot.

To try to remedy the “tons and tons of hours of TV” issue, here are ways I’m trying to stay “busy” these days:

  1. Honing my video game skills so I can compete with Scott at his favorites–NHL and FIFA, to start
  2. Using the Xbox Kinect to work out regularly (those video game trainers are tough with their programmed perfection and their chipper “Want to do another round?” questions)
  3. Field trips to Lowes to narrow down options for future house projects
  4. Naps
  5. Making dinner without the normal tools–not a choice as much as an activity that makes me count down the days until we unpack our kitchen stuff in its new home
  6. Walks with Peanut
  7. Reading a 1200-ish page book that I’ve had on the shelf since 2006
  8. Paperwork for mortgage stuff and other moving-related issues

And there is still SO MUCH TIME left in the day.  I now know the daytime TV schedules for way too many channels.  I even know what’s on the Soap Network from 10 AM to 7 PM.  Oh no!!!  Well, there’s a show on from 5-7 that I do legitimately like.  And there are huge chunks of time that have the same show, and… there’s really no excuse.

So that’s where things stand.  In a slightly fitter, very well-rested, TV-filled limbo.

My favorite part of limbo (other than the extra time with Scott and the naps and the reading) has been daydreaming about our future house.  It’ll be the first house that Scott and I picked together, and that’s exciting.  And with that daydreaming, I get to learn all sorts of things.  The plan is for me to become a construction worker on the house until the biggest projects are complete.  I get to learn how to install hardwood floors and reface kitchen cabinets.  I’m excited about that, I just have to be mildly patient between now and then.  Here goes!

Also, anyone want to buy our old house?  It’s really really cute, in my completely biased opinion, and there’s an almost inexhaustible supply of fresh rosemary in that front garden bed.  And hardwood floors that I didn’t install.  Everything you could ever want.

Old House

Old House (Happy House)