Half-Baked

Monday is the big day: out with carbs and sofa surfing, in with keto (like) cooking and cardio.

Our house is almost completely purged of the evil sugar and carb-loaded holiday treats, but I still had some gluten free bake mixes left in the cabinet that I never got a chance to bake over the holidays: irish soda bread, blueberry scones, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. I baked them all today, with the intention of sampling a little as a last hurrah, then bringing the rest to work Monday to dispose of. To quote a brilliant, charming, dashingly handsome fellow blogger: “if it isn’t around we can’t eat it.” Then, the only food coming into our house will be veggies, fish, eggs, meat, and cheese. No treats, breads or pastas of any kind. I have absolutely NO will power when it comes to snacking. I am a compulsive binge eater and if it’s in the house, I will consume it. (Seriously: sit me down next to a tray of cookies or a sheet cake – it’s frightening.) So, the first hurdle is eating better.

The second hurdle is regular cardio – whether it’s treadmill, stationery bike, or wii fit – I need to do it. While I do want to be a little lighter for my inaugural San Diego Comicon event in July (with yet another brilliant, charming, dashingly handsome fellow blogger) I don’t really need a special reason to want to be healthier. And, while evidence reflects that I may be losing the life-long battle of the bulge, I’m going down fighting…

…and I’m taking this tray of brownies with me!

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Picture Perfect

After being away from work for several days, I got to adjust my countdown to retirement by several days – WOOHOO!

It was a tough first day back, but I survived my one-day work week, and I’m so ready for my 3-day weekend to begin. *smirk* To celebrate, I made a ruby red Cosmo in one of my favorite martini glasses:

I also walked about my house admiring my handy-work from yesterday. On display are some favorite items:

New giraffe dishes from the BF Jim (TBFJ):

“Old” bear dishes that have been stored away until yesterday:

My new Peanuts-only Cabinet including some new pieces I got from TBFJ for x-mas:

And my 2019 Australian man + dog calendar from a co-worker/friend:

Not a bad end to an extremely long (8.5 hour) work week.

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Back to Basics

Today was my final day off before heading back to the daily grind tomorrow. I decided to make the most of my day and spent 12 hours de-decorating and getting out house back to normal:

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While I love how our house looks decorated, I love how it looks when we return it to normal, too, probably because we still have lots of cool curiosities and collectibles around the house which we’ve collected over the years. Plus it always looks SO much bigger with all the trees and holiday clutter gone.

Also, I was moving non-stop and didn’t have time to snack (or eat at all) today,  so it was a good start to getting back to regular exercise and healthier eating. (Not a New Year’s Resolution, per se, just a common sense need to lose the treats and healthify the eats again.)

Not a bad day’s work, if I do say so myself.

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Welcome Wag-on

Nobody and nothing can make you feel more welcomed home than a puppy who will not let you leave his sight after being away from you for 6.5 days.

We came home from the cape today, after a 5 hour drive, to no power and dropping temperatures; so, we lit both fireplaces (one wood, one gas) and took down all of our outside decorations before the temperatures plummeted further. By the time we were (mostly) unpacked, the power was back on, so we started laundry and made sandwiches for a late lunch. No doubt we will crash early. Jeffrey has to return to work Tomorrow, but I have one more day off, so I’ll begin de-decorating the house.

So far, 2019 isn’t feeling all that different. *smirk*

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2019

We’re in Provincetown, bringing the new year in, in our jammies, in front of the TV. (Hey, we’re old and the fact that we’re even staying up until midnight is an accomplishment.)

I hope you are all someplace safe, warm, and dry.

Happy New Year.

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Merry 2018

From our home to yours:

Wishing you happiness, health, friendship, safety, warmth, and love.

May you always have enough, and never turn a blind eye to those who don’t.

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Here’s a new holiday favorite, discovered this year.

Play it, sing along, and have fun!

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Christmas Eve-l to Festivus Miracle

Today started out rough…lost my car and house keys and couldn’t find them before heading to work with hubby.

The diner we went to this year for our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast-and-surprise-huge-tip-the-waitperson was closed so we scrambled to find another one open.

There was much work waiting for me at work (I was off Friday) so my dreams of a peaceful easy work day were crushed.

After getting home, tearing the house apart (again) and finally, dejectedly, giving up on ever finding my keys, spiraling into a deep funk, threatening to ruin Christmas….

…I discovered them dangling in the most bizarre of places. (I’m a creature of habit so I can’t even wrap my brain around the idea that I would ever – even absentmindedly – place my keys anywhere but on their designated key hook by the door.)

This shifted the entire trajectory of the evening, thankfully, and we headed out and had a wonderful dinner, complete with celebratory cocktails (mine a blood orange martini, Jeffrey’s a gin martini).

On the way home, we drove through our neighborhood looking at all the holiday lights while listening to a new album of stringed holiday tunes we discovered at dinner (Thank you Shazam!)

Once home, we lit the fire, threw on the X-mas jammies, grabbed the pups and some holiday treats, and settled in to watch a pseudo-holiday themed gay content movie we’d read about but had never seen. The movie sucked, but the evening was wonderful. Before heading to bed, I touched my keys reassuringly, as they dangled from their proper hook by the door.

A Festivus miracle indeed.

Also, I brought a stuffed Snoopy home from work that I had received as a gift last year. It had batteries, but they were dead when I got him, so I never knew what he did. I replaced the batteries when we got home and…VOILA…snoopy spins to a seasonal tune!

What fun. Here’s to a wonderful turn of events on this holiday eve.

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Party is such sweet sorrow

The holiday party went off without a hitch. We only had 2 cancellations due to illness, so we had a full house from 7:00pm to 1:00am. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and have a good time, as did we. (Although you never get to spend enough time with any one of your guests when you’re the host.)

Was it worth the effort, cost, and stress?

I’m not sure.

Will it be the last party we host?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Did we buy way too much party snack food and beverage and we’re now left with tons of leftovers that we need to try to pass off to other people so it doesn’t go to waste?

Definitely!

Did we get unsolicited and unnecessary gifts from a couple of thoughtful friends that we absolutely love?

See for yourself:

I’m so glad we had the day today to just chill and recover. Even the dogs were pooped out.

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Ho-Ho-Host of Nerves

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Like many people who celebrate this season in one way or another, one of my favorite parts of it is to spend time with people we care about and love. Since no invitations have come our way for holiday gatherings, we’ve decided to host our own, tonight.

We used to host parties all the time: cocktail parties, dinner parties, summer cook-outs, pool parties (when we had a pool), birthday parties (for ourselves and our friends) holiday parties, you name it. After a while, we got a little tired of always being the ones to host parties, and never be invited to any. They’re expensive, and a lot of work to prepare for and clean up after and, while it was always our choice to host such events, we began to feel the burden of being the only hosts, realizing it would nice to be a guest once in a while; so, a few years ago, we just stopped having parties, in the hopes that someone else might take up the reins at least once in a while.

No such luck.

Once we stopped hosting, we stopped seeing our friends on any kind of regular basis and, while there have been a few invites here and there, they are few and far between.

I don’t know if this social isolationism has made me more of an introvert, or if becoming more of an introvert has fed into my social isolationism, but the thought of hosting events now fills me with more anxiety than it ever did before. Oh, I always had some level of host anxiety as I strove to make everything perfect (is that a gay thing?) but over the years its grown worse. These are the things that have me stressed out today as I prepare for the party this evening:

Is my house clean enough? I’ve been cleaning for a week, but it always looks like I could/should have done a better job as a constantly notice dust, cobwebs, or dog hair that I missed in some nook or cranny.

Do I have enough food? I try to buy and/or prepare enough food without overdoing it, but I usually err on the side of overdoing it and then we’re stuck with all this food we shave to store and should NOT be eating for days or weeks after the party. (i.e. junk food)

Do I have a food everyone can or will eat? I try to have a variety of foods for every palate, and to be aware of/sensitive to dietary restrictions my friends may have, especially because of my own gluten allergy.

Do I have enough beverage choices, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, so everyone will have something they can or will drink?

Are there enough places to sit? While I know parties are for mingling, I want my guest to be comfortable and worry because our house is small and seating is limited. There will be 20 people in my house tonight, and I only have seating for 14.

Should I re-arrange furniture so it is more conducive to seating, even if its awkward looking?  I hate disrupting the decoration and arrangement of our house and furniture just to accommodate more people…I want everyone to see it as we intended it to look (and spent days decorating and arranging)

Will everyone get along and have a good time or did I inadvertently invite people who don’t like each other nor get along? Did I forget to invite someone I should have?

It doesn’t help that I’m sitting here, hooked up to my Remicade infusion tube, anxiously waiting for it to be done so I can get back home and get back to prepping and organizing for tonight.

These are the things that race through my head as I sit here and go over the guest list, the food and drink options, the house and seating configuration, and obsess over every little detail and decision. I’m sure, when the time comes, it will all fall into place and we’ll all have  a great time. I just wish I was better at staying calm and not worrying about every little detail, like these guys are doing:

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Happy Birthday Harvey

Harvey turned 7 today. He still acts like the 12 week old puppy we brought home 7 years ago. He’s playful, fussy, energetic, bright eyed and a world class scamp. But when he turns on the charm with the big eyes and the puppy paws, he is irresistible.

He spent most of the day curled up on my giraffe cushion next to me while I wrapped presents:

Happy Birthday, Harvey, little buddy. You are a gift to us every day!

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