Archive for the ‘Rinky-DINKy-Doo’ Category
Psst. Anybody out there?
Hi. Remember me? No? Oh, well that’s okay. I took an unexpected leave of absence from Hamsaps House over the past few months for a number of reasons. All the reasons are quite trivial, but seemed significant at the time. Perhaps I’ll reveal more later. Perhaps not. Regardless, I’m here now, so on with the show!
First, I want to give a shout out to my inspiration for this post, my friend Carrie. Carrie and I went to high school together but were really more of acquaintances. Since then we have lived semi-parallel lives and stayed in touch via Facebook. We both graduated college in May 2010 and work in communications. We both adopted furbabies in the fall of 2010, and we both got married in May of 2011.
I really wish Carrie lived closer because I think we were bosom buddies in another life. We both love dogs, champagne and buffalo chicken dip. She’s an avid Harry Potter fan, and I just know she’s going to dig my AGG reference above. Carrie blogs over at http://pghstevensons.blogspot.com/ so be sure to check her out!
Now, onto the actual post within this post. I’m going to share the start of my 101 in 1001 list. I’ve seen this list on multiple blogs and really love the concept: list out 101 things you want to accomplish within the next 1001 days (approximately 2.75 years). Carrie recently updated her list, so I’m using her as my inspiration!
A few things to note:
1. This list does not feature 101 items– I’m working on it.
2. Green indicates items in progress, while purple indicates items I’ve completed.
3. Because I’m the type of person who writes completed tasks on her to do list just to experience the satisfaction of crossing them off I’m throwing in some already completed tasks.
Hamsaps 101 in 1001
1. Clean out the room of spare. (This is literally on my to do list THIS WEEKEND. Watch out).
2. Work on decorating our apartment by incorporating more interesting and classic pieces.
3. Budget for groceries each week and actually stick to it. (Super tough for me… I actually caught myself self-talking in the grocery store the other day, trying to justify buying king crab for dinner because it was *only* $13.99 a pound)
4. Make as much food from scratch as I possibly can (including homemade pumpkin puree, bread, crackers, cookies and pizza dough)
5. Stress less about David’s schedule.
6. Do something impressive at work.
7. Do something really nice for my parents (trip to Hawaii for their 25th anniversary is booked!)
8. Work on Luna’s obedience. You know, so she actually comes when called instead of running under the coffee table and doesn’t greet people by jumping on them and biting them.
9. Volunteer with an animal organization.
10. Volunteer for Make-A-Wish.
11. Become more involved with a non-profit I really believe in and serve on their Board.
12. Become a Disney Vacation Club member. (May 2011– Welcome home!)
13. Go on an adult Disney vacation where the goal is to get our drink on and eat at the type of restaurants where grownups scowl at children. (Oct. 2011)
14. Keep in touch with important people in my life through email, regular mail and social media.
15. Keep the dates and commitments I make.
16. Actually call people back when they leave me voicemail.
17. Buy a new car for David.
18. Save X in our online savings account.
19. Go back to the Bed and Breakfast where we celebrated our 1 year anniversary.
20. Get a passport.
21. Use my passport.
22. Make an extremely complicated dessert.
23. Read more books, not just book reviews.
24. Make homemade pie crust.
25. Buy a king size Heavenly bed. (We slept on one of these recently in Disney and had the best, most restful sleep of our lives. David actually woke up on his own one morning, completely rested. I’ve already looked them up and know how I’ll reconfigure our bedroom to make it fit…now I just have to save up the money :/)
26. Find a really good doctor David and I both like and actually go there for wellness purposes.
27. Start a petition to change the BMI recommendations currently in place in America. Or, you know, lose 16 pounds so I’m no longer considered “obese.”
28. Buy a really great pair of shoes.
29. Host a dinner party.
30. Stick to the cash system we currently have in place.
31. Workout 3 times a week and go on as many walks as possible (this one is so close! Sometimes I only get 2 workouts in a week, but when I do I workout for 50-65 minutes. Walks really depend on the weather at Hamsaps House… but we need to make them more of a priority.)
32. Create and send fabulous Christmas cards that are even better than last year’s each and every year.
33. Organize all my recipes.
34. Clean out and reorganize my baking supply cupboards.
35. Clean out and streamline my cookware, bakeware and utensils.
36. Find and buy a perfume I really, really love.
37. Perfect 10 recipes that are my signature dishes I know by heart.
38. Get a bikini wax (May 2011)
39. Visit NYC with my husband.
40. Expand HamFam by procreating with my husband.
41. Design an affordable, adorable nursery in the room of spare for said expansion package.
42. Deliver said expansion package naturally without any intervention, either at home or at a birthing center.
43. Plan X for David. (Secrets secrets are no fun…)
44. Help my grandma organize all her photos and make albums/photo books for all the kids and grandkids.
45. Locate or start building our dream house (dream house = fenced in yard, 4 bedrooms, ginormous master suite and a loft!)
46. Take my family to Disney World on points and stay in the Treehouse Villas.
47. Celebrate our expansion package’s first birthday in Disney World.
48. Update my blog more regularly.
49. Make/eat less sweets.
50. Be more sensitive to other people’s feelings.
We returned from our honeymoon on Sunday to a mostly clean apartment. We had left everything in good shape before we left, save for the pile of presents in the dining room. It felt good to walk into a clean apartment.
Once we got settled I realized there was a poignant odor lingering in the kitchen. Nothing was leaking and the garbage had all been taken out, so I headed toward the fridge. When I opened the door I slapped in the face with a wiff-a-something nasty and a reality check.
My fridge contents included but were not limited to moldy grapes, stinky watermelon, funky cheese and fermented pineapple. Everything was rotten. I probably could have thrown the pineapple in a blender and bottled it as moonshine it was so bad. But what did I expect? I didn’t have time to clean out the fridge before we left and I am a notorious overbuyer.
Now that all the festivities are over David and I are focused on saving for a house. This means we’re on a tight budget, which in turn means I have to cut down on the overbuying.
I hate going to grocery stores, but I love going to Kreigers in Cuyahoga Falls. It’s so close to the apartment and everything is always so fresh and interesting. I’ve heard people swear by Trader Joe’s, but I’d have to argue it’s got nothing on Kreigers. In fact, I think I’ll do a whole post about Kreigers sometime soon… but I digress.
This is how a typical Kreigers trip goes for me: I walk into the store with my list in hand. I see bananas and want bananas so I buy bananas. I see they also have ripened bananas on sale so I decide to buy those, too, and do some baking that night. I walk past the tomatoes and even though David doesn’t like tomatoes and they’re not on my list I grab a cluster. Mmmm, juicy tomatoes. Then I think about what goes good with tomatoes. I head to the cheese section and pick out some fresh mozzarella. Then I start searching for basil leaves. While on the hunt for basil I see a head of cauliflower and it looks really good and I think $2.99 is a good price and I know that David likes cauliflower so it cancels out the tomatoes. I find the fresh basil right next to the green onions and I think about that yummy soup David makes with onions and mushrooms. I grab the onions then head over to the mushroom section and my mind is consumed by the variety and freshness of the fungi. I absent-mindedly pick out some mushrooms as I ponder why anyone would ever even go in a supermarket when they could go to Kreigers. As I throw the mushrooms in the cart I drop my list.
Oh, my list. That’s why people must go to supermarkets… so they follow the damn list.
I obviously take the Kreigers experience a little too seriously and end up with far more items on my list then I intended. What makes it worse is that because I’m at Kreigers and not at Giant Eagle everything is fresh and perishable. It’s not like I’m grabbing 5 boxes of cereal that will last for 6 months– I just bought 12 pounds of produce for two people!
In an effort to switch up my shopping habits I came up with a plan for future trips. Hold me to it, okay Hamsapians?
1. Only plan for 3 or 4 days of meals and go to Kreigers more frequently. I have the time and I don’t waste any gas if I go to Kreigers on the way home from work.
2. Only buy the exact ingredients I need for my planned meals. That means if I’m making baked potatoes for me and David, I buy two potatoes, not the 5 lb. bag.
3. Stick to the list; don’t get tempted by the colors and flavors and freshness of everything at Kreigers. It’ll all be there next time, too.
4. Only buy a few fruits at a time. Believe it or not David and I can’t eat 8 bananas, 2 packs of strawberries, a pineapple AND a watermelon before they rot. Again, the fruit will be there next time.
Wish me luck! Now where did I put that list…
David and I see each other an average of 2 hours a day during the week. That’s 2 hours for every 24 hours that pass.
Because he is taking off for the wedding and honeymoon David has to work the next 8 nights straight, which means I will see him approximately 16 out of the next 192 hours. We will spend 8% of the week before our wedding together. Maybe even less because we have so many separate appointments and final vendor meetings. Let the record show that the average married couple/cohabitors spends 13 hours a day together (54%), including sleeping together (yes, sleep counts, because that’s another lost benefit of having separate schedules). And that’s a conservative estimate.
This post isn’t an attempt at a pity party. David and I have been following this schedule for years, and by now we have it down. This post is to raise awareness for third-shifters everywhere who’s schedule is used against them. It drives me crazy that people who KNOW David has a different schedule sometimes choose not to respect his schedule. Maybe it’s just easier for me because I grew up with my dad working third-shift– I know the routine. Regardless, there’s not an excuse for inconsiderate behavior when you’re fully aware of the situation.
First, a little self-righteous rant (you can do that when you have your very own shiny purple blog, ya know )
Interestingly David’s schedule is often construed in two ways: either people use it as an excuse for excluding us from things (“Oh, I didn’t know David’s work schedule so we didn’t call you guys”) or they completely disregard it and ignore the fact that he needs to sleep during the day. How would you like it if someone called you at 3 a.m.? Yea– that’s how David feels when someone calls him at 3 p.m. He uses his phone as an alarm so he can’t just turn it off. Another major concern is that David needs to be rested and alert in order to perform his job well. He’s working with huge machinery on a daily basis. If he’s sleep-deprived or even a little drowsy he’s at risk for injury. The other major issue we face with David’s schedule is that there’s just not enough time to go around; it’s a sacrifice of working night shift. I’m so fed up with the preconceived notion that I “hog” David’s time. I talk to David more on the phone during the week than I see him sometimes, and we live together. Oh, and I’m about to be his wife. I think I win by default.
Below is an outline of a day at Hamsaps House, so you can see first-hand how we make our schedule work and how little time we actually spend together.
7:00 a.m. I wake up, drag Luna’s crate into the living room and take her out. I get myself ready for work and am out of the house by 7:45 a.m.
8:00 a.m. I arrive at work. (My boss is probably laughing as she reads that because it should say 8:03 or 8:08… I’m my mother’s daughter and never on time!) David is supposed to get off work. Although lately he has to stay late to work on the schedule and write down-time reports.
8:30 a.m. David is really off work. He calls me and we talk for 5-10 minutes (I’m just getting my day started at work and can’t talk long)
10:00 a.m. David texts me a cute picture of Luna.
11:00 a.m. I send David a funny email or text.
12:00 p.m. After spending the morning doing chores, playing with Luna and having a little down time David showers and goes to bed. Luna takes her afternoon nap.
5:30 p.m. I get off work, head home and let Luna out.
6:00 p.m. I either go to a workout class, play with Luna, work of wedding stuff or hang out with a friend.
8:00 p.m. I start dinner.
8:30 p.m. I wake up David and we eat dinner together.
9:00 p.m. David and I watch TV, go for a walk or just hang out and read
10:30 p.m. David starts to get ready for work. Luna and I usually make his coffee while he shaves.
10:45 p.m. David leaves for work.
11:30 p.m. Luna and I go to bed.
Yes, the highlights of my day include a family walk around the apartment complex and an email from David subjected “News Update,” giving me all the details about the ducklings and baby geese visiting our pond. But that’s us. This is the life we’ve made for ourselves and this is our schedule. When David elected to work night shift all those years ago I knew it would be a game-changer. Although it sucks sometimes (and boy does it suck sometimes!) it makes our evenings together, his random weekends off and our upcoming honeymoon that much sweeter.
Besides, I hate having to share the bed.
And so it is.
I’ve always been a porch person. Growing up, I loved sitting on my parents’ screened in porch, listening to the sounds of frogs and crickets. The popason chair served as the perfect retreat. It has only been my firm belief that sweet tea tastes best sipped on a porch.
Imagine my delight when David and I found an apartment with a large porch. I don’t know the exact measurements, but the porch is big enough that its walled-in counterpart is classified as a bedroom in other units.
We moved into our apartment in May 2010, bought two plastic adarondeks that barely fit in David’s car and called it a day. We spent far more time on the local trails, at Szalays and down by the pool that summer because the porch just wasn’t comfortable.
This year David and I decided to spring for “real” porch furniture. We wanted to actually enjoy our porch this year. Plus little Luna Hamsaps is becoming quite the porch dweller. She loves to stick her head through the wooded slates and to check out what’s going on below us. She’s queen of the world!
When we started to search for furntiure we discovered pretty quickly that our options were junky plastic pieces that were likely to break in a year or the expensive stuff. Writing it off as an investment, we sprung for the expensive stuff. David and I picked out a neutral, sturdy design from Target. We thoroughly tested it out in the store and called dibs on who got the chase lounger versus the love seat. We waited for it to go on sale, ordered online with our AAA discount AND got free shipping. We saved $200+ dollars and the boxes were delivered directly to our door.
Our porch overlooks the apartment complex’s pond with a really cool water fountain. Inspired by the view we chose a blue, green and brown theme for the porch.
David already assembled all the furniture, and we’ve purcahsed all the cute little accessories to make the porch feel homey (solar-powered green stain glass lantens, anyone?) With temps in the 60s and 70s this weekend, we’re finally going to make a move and set everything up.
Stay tuned for Part 2 to see just how fabulous our porch turns out!