Week of 12/25-12/31/2016
Sunday: It's Christmas! Merry Christmas, everyone!
Last night was just lovely, and today is shaping up that way, as well. I'm up and at 'em at 6am, because we are going to my friend Ann's house for brunch, and I am signed up to make the coffee cake.
I have never made coffee cake before. But it's cake. How hard can it be?
The Pinterest recipe does not fail me, and it is not hard. The crumble on top is huge and delicious. I have no idea how the cake below it is, though. Should be okay--it has a whole cup of sour cream in it.
I rouse the family and get them showered and get myself showered and dressed, and while waiting for this all to happen, we have a few extra minutes to talk. I bring up my husband's idea of getting a job outside of the house. He says he wants to do this to make money so we can take nice vacations. My thoughts: this will be a big lifestyle change for us, as he will no longer be home to handle things like grocery shopping, cooking, and other household things. We will not have anyone home with our daughter when she is off school and I am not, on teacher workdays. We will end up eating take out more, because I know myself. Or we will be eating crockpot meals all the time, which is fine, but our pre-planning game will need to be stepped up.
I recommended to him that he focus on eBay. He loves eBay, and has sold things on there before. He has a really good eye for things in thrift shops that will sell and are valuable, particularly having to do with music and electronic instruments. We discuss this plan, as well as his plan to start a YouTube channel.
Time to head to Ann's. We arrive and there's coffee, and she has a ham, and there's egg casserole in the oven. I help with the spinach salad, we chat away while finishing up the food, and we all sit down to eat at 12pm. It's all delicious, of course. We have a lovely time eating and chatting and just hanging out doing a lot of nothing.
Afterward we come home, and it's my nap time. I know I've been talking about naps a lot, but that's because I seem to NEED one every day. Also, I have time for it. Also, I'm on vacation. Naps are my jam right now.
I get up, have some cheese and crackers, we play some ridiculous video games together, and then that's it. I'm out. To bed at 8:30pm for me, even with a nap. Another great day.
Monday: Wake up at 2:15am, starving and needing to pee. Cannot fall back asleep. Force myself to stay in bed until I can't stand it, I'm just too hungry. Breakfast at 4:15am. Eat, read some news, bad idea, change to blogs and Pinterest. Get really tired, go back to bed until about 8am.
Up, but nobody else is, so I take care of the dog and do my blog entry! Week 51! Finish that, send that. Update this one.
Tuesday: Spend the day at home, working on YouTube videos. Yay! Two videos published! My husband got me a new microphone, so I'm using that now, and everything sounds all velvety. Yes!
Wednesday: Up, dressed, coffee. Rouse my daughter for her dentist appointment, then to lunch, then shopping to return a jacket she got that did not fit. Had some ice cream. Survived this mall excursion (hate the mall!), came home and unloaded all the crap from my old car, because it's being donated. I filled out the application online this morning, and they called me an hour later, saying it would be Thursday or Friday that they come pick up the car. So I had to unload it of all the stupid junk (ALL THE JUNK OMG) before that happens. Luckily, it was 55 degrees out and sunny.
Thursday: Up and at 'em. Went to gym, worked out, felt great. Came home, ate. Did some computer work. Get a call from the towing company that they are on their way for the car. Gah! I need to remove the plates! Run out and do that, note that it's above 60 degrees and I should just hang out outside. Later on, noticed that the cat needed to go to the vet because she had a urination problem. Husband gets cat in carrier, cat freaks out, carrier BREAKS, cat runs to house instead of away. I let the cat in the house, fix the carrier with hair ties, get out some wet food, the cat comes running, get her in the carrier and husband takes her to the vet. Chaos. Afterward, shopping for a damn dishwasher. The person at Home Depot is busy, so we decide to buy the one we want online. Go out for kebabs. Delicious. Home, and to bed.
Friday: Get up, hang out online, do some social media stuff, decide today is the day. Gather things to return to Macy's, return them to Macy's. Go back to Home Depot because the online price was $200 higher than in person, so I suck it up and spend the time, because that's what it costs for a discount, apparently. Get that done, go to Costco, buy a garbage can for the kitchen that has a motion sensor to open automatically. I feel like I'm living in a futuristic wonderland! No, seriously, now we have one for garbage and one for recycling. Amaze.
Do some computer work, chat with my friend about crocheting amigurumi (see cover photo), then it's off to the gym for the 5:30 HIIT IT. A roller derby friend joins us to try out the gym. Yes!
Saturday: New Year's Eve! We made it! I'm so sore, I decide to skip the gym, knowing that I will be going on Sunday, which is January 1st. Hand-wash the dishes (new dishwasher will arrive 1/5), make cookies for tonight, even though my diet plan starts tomorrow (for real! I'm one of those people who can do things from January 1...this blog is an example!). Tonight is our last hurrah with sugar! Make the cookies, fart around on the computer, text the friends, take a nap. It was a supremely chill day. Get up, make jalapeño poppers, make deviled eggs, husband makes cocktail sauce for shrimps, and we are set. We watch Michael Jackson videos, and then Weird Al videos of the same thing and laugh. We then commence playing Wii U minigames as a family, until about 11pm. I am ready to collapse, as usual, and so I wish them well and go to bed. My daughter wakes me up at 12:00am to say Happy New Year, and don't I want to get up to see the illegal fireworks? Sure, kid. I get up, watch some fireworks, have PTSD because of the gunfire (my neighborhood is not fancy), wish them well again, and go to bed, peaceful and happy that 2016 is at an end.
I don't usually get excited about the calendar changing over, because I'm a teacher. My years go from August to July. This calendar year, however, has been very, very difficult, and Im so glad for the calendar to flip over. It's all about attitude in the end, really, the new year.
Happiness is a choice.
Happy New Year!
Week of 12/18 - 12/24/2016
Sunday: Private label order from the witchy store, already! She emailed me, saying she wanted to re-order as she only has a few bars left. Dang, lady! I told her it wouldn't be able to be delivered until after the Christmas holidays, and she said she understands. Excellent. Online orders got mailed. Good. Laundry got done. Awesome.
Monday: School. The children are crazy, but I don't care because I have to spend 3 hours in a meeting in the morning. Great way to spend a Monday! That was sarcasm! Come home, get some stuff done, go to bed because it's all I can manage.
Tuesday: School. Again. The children are more hyped up. Why are we having school this week?
Wednesday: School. Last day before break. The children have lost all pretense of behavior. Some are melting down. Why are any of us here?
Come home, husband recommends we go out to eat, which I think is a grand idea, so we do. My daughter is stoked to be on break (see photo above), and is still acting silly. We eat, I have some wine, we go home, change into pajamas, and I go to bed wth my laptop and watch a movie. Get sleepy. Fall asleep.
Thursday: Wake up at 6:15am. I slept for 9.5 hours. It's a miracle and welcome. I get up, have a leisurely breakfast, work on my printable planner for 2017, shower, and go to my waxing appointment. After that, to the gym! Work out, feel great. Come home, eat lunch, take a bath, make cookies and then wrap presents. It's Christmas at brother-in-law Nathan's. Every child in our family seemed to be there, and they all seemed to be talking at top volume the entire time. For a teacher, this is somewhat unnerving. It was fun to watch them open gifts, though.
Friday: Up too early, but someone has to take the Jeep in for a scheduled oil change. Take it in, wait in the coffee shop on the corner, pick it up, go home. Have some coffee, then off to the mall.
On December 23rd.
I hate the mall on a slow day. HATE THE MALL. But my husband is our cook, and I always get him something from the Le Crueset outlet. So I had to go. As I'm walking in, I notice a GLARING ERROR in some marketing materials. How do huge corporations let this happen? It was on a window display AND huge cardboard-like things inside, too. I am dumbfounded.
I was there right after they opened, and got out of there in 1.5 hours. Got a gift for my daugher, purchased at grandpa's request.
Drive to the pharmacy, pick up my husband's meds. Come home, have some lunch.
I need a nap. Dang it, I'm supposed to be on break!
Take nap. Get up. Wrap ALL THE PRESENTS, while my husband and daughter are out of the house, grocery shopping on 12/23. I wished him luck before he went. They come home, we eat some dinner, then commence with watching a Christmas movie: Krampus.
It's got a Christmas theme! It does!
Saturday: Christmas Eve! The best part of being on break is sleeping until I wake up, with no alarm. What a glorious feeling. Get up, feed the animules, coffee myself, feed myself. Do some work on the computer, then put it away and do the dishes. We are hand-washing everything as our dishwasher has died, and we suspect that appliances might go on sale after Christmas. I'll check on it, anyway, and we have hot running water, so hand-washing it is. No big deal.
Naptime comes, and when I get up it's time to walk the dog on this 60-degree day. We go for our walk, and when I come back, it's a Christmas miracle! The living room has been tidied up! We can hang out in our own living room and not feel like we are in an episode of hoarders! For a minute!
My husband makes some dinner, and we watch The Polar Express, because my daughter says that's tradition and WE HAVE TO. Fine, I love that movie. We eat dinner, and then open gifts, and it's a happy, wonderful, quiet evening at home with just us. Lots of laughing. I'm so very grateful.
We have more than enough food.
We have a house, with heat, electricity, and running water.
We have automobiles.
We have each other, sitting in the same room for hours, being happy.
I wish the same for all of you.
Week of 12/11/ - 12/17/2016
Sunday: Oh. My.
I am very sore.
Got up, had some coffee, fed and watered the animules (yeah, you read that right), and cruised Facebook. While cruising, got an order from a friend here in town--a big one. I can put that together and deliver it on Monday. Awesome. Then I have to get ready to go to my friend Michelle's house for brunch. I was gone nealy all day yesterday, and now this?
But it's brunch at Michelle's. This is no big deal, and she's feeding you.
Wash face, brush teeth, put hair in ponytail, put on jeans and a sweatshirt, and gather some crafting supplies, and I'm out. She said she wanted to make some solid lotions for gifts this year, and would I teach her? Of course I will.
Go to Michelle's she has coffee, all is well. She made a crustless quiche and sausage bread and hazelnut cookies dipped in chocolate, and we also had mimosas. Ann came over, and we all visited and ate and then we crafted and then I went home and went straight to bed. Update blog, send blog newsletter.
Child asks for French toast.
Fine! Up, and to the kitchen. Husband gets up too, so I make French toast for the child and coffee for him as he does not want French toast. All are fed and watered, so I take a hot, hot bath, and after that, go to bed for a nap.
OH GLORIOUS NAP HOW I LOVE YOU.
After the nap, I eat and then rouse the child to help me get the ornaments down from the loft in the garage. Yes, the day after a CrossFit competition, the greatest thing ever is to CLIMB UP AND DOWN ON A NEAR-VERTICAL LADDER. Omg, my quads hurt so bad.
My now very tall child helps me out, and we get everything down. She puts on the Frosty the Snowman video, and we get to work putting the ornaments on the tree. It takes us all through Frosty AND Rudolph, and then the big tree is up. That's about all the work I can handle, and then I notice the pile of dishes.
Do the dishes, manage child getting to bed, get myself to bed, collapse.
I've been writing "collapse" a lot this year. I should go back and count.
Monday: Oh, my. I am still sore. That's okay, no gym today. I am skipping roller derby because I still can't skate anyway, so there you have it. Go to work, go home, rest some, pack the big order and deliver it. Visit with my friend for a few minutes--lovely. Head home, have dinner. Bed.
Tuesday: Off to work with workout clothes at the ready. Arrange for my husband to pick up the child so I can go to the gym after work. Do so. On the way home from the gym, husband says he's out shopping and that I'm on my own for dinner. Okay, fine. Come home, let dog out, scrounge for leftovers, ooh! A baked potato. Choose to fry that in some coconut oil and slice off some roasted pork and call it yummy dinner, which it is. Get clothes together, shower, get daughter's clothes ready while she showers, early to bed.
Wednesday: Ugh. I think I'm catching something. I have a cough and sneezing and my eyes are puffy. How boring. Go to work anyway, muddle through, even though I'm a union rep and things are getting ugly. Faculty meeting after school, leave promtply at 3:40pm even though everyone else stays. They get 30 minutes per month for a faculty meeting that's built into our 40-hour week, and they want us to stay late each time. I refuse. My time is valuable. Come home, get daughter ready, go BACK to school for her band concert. The band teacher is incredible, the show is awesome, my daughter does very well as do all the children, and we go out to dinner. Cram dinner in piehole, go home exhausted, in bed at 9:30, which is FAR too late to go to bed.
Thursday: That was far too late to go to bed. My eyes are still puffy, and I still feel like I might be coming down with something but my body is fighting it. Two more days of school this week. Text friend whose order is still not picked up/delivered, and let her know my husband will deliver it today or tomorrow. Check email--two soap orders! Yay! I have free shipping going on through today. Hmm. I need to remind myself to take that off in the morning.
Friday: Finally, Friday. (How many times have I said, THAT this year?) Up and at 'em, get a Starbucks because it's Friday, and get to work. Work and work and shhhh -- take my lunch break to go shop for a gift for my daughter, because the place is only open until 6pm and I can't ever get there. And do they have the thing? YES THEY HAVE THE THING! You know, we have had plenty of years where we couldn't afford the thing, and it feels really good to be able to buy her the thing she wants. I try not to spoil her too much, but she is an only child. Take the thing home, then go back to work and finish out the day. The kids are insane. Gotta get out of here.
I always have high hopes for Friday night, but let's be honest, nothing ever happens. Like, absolutely nothing. It was a great effort for me to soak in a hot bath, get out, put on pajamas and comb my hair. That's literally the sum total of what I did.
Someone please remind me of this the next time I have high hopes for a Friday night, okay? Because I went to bed at 7:30pm.
Saturday: Up at 5am. Awesome sleep. I slept the sleep of the perpetually exhausted. Get up, make coffee, give the chickens liquid water, as theirs has frozen in the night (it was 50 degrees on Friday, then dropped to below zero overnight. We also got about 6 or 7 inches of snow. I have a party to go to later on, for which I must make deviled eggs, so I have to go to the store. I think I'm going to skip the gym and do some yoga at home instead.
Yoga at home does not happen as I get busy with keeping warm, as the temperature is absolutely frigid out there, and I need a day off. I do manage to make deviled eggs, however, and showed up at the party and had a good time. Stayed up too late, though--11pm. Not sure how that's humanly possible for me, but it is.
Hey, want that deviled egg recipe? You got it!
Week of 12/4 - 12/10/2016
Sunday: Wake up around 6? 6:30? I have no idea. It's my first true day of sleeping in, and I plan on doing not one damn thing.
Get up, let dog out, give chickens liquid water, retrieve their frozen water, make some coffee, sit down and drink it.
Aaaah. Yeah, that's it. Not one damn thing.
Get my computer out, start scrolling through Facebook, realize I haven't posted on my FB page...NO! No! No work today! Get off of Facebook.
Cruise Pinterest for a while, get hungry, make some breakfast. Eat that, get another coffee, and retire to the bedroom to binge-watch Vikings. Do this for a long, long time. Finally get up, go to Target to buy toilet paper and paper towels, and new batteries for our garage door openers. Get a phone call from a friend, informing me that our mutual friend is in a crisis: her husband died on Friday. Call her, ask what she needs, buy French Onion dip. Drive to her house, deliver the dip, and stay and talk and cry and laugh and cry again for a couple of hours. Arrange for my husband to come over sometime this week, with the dog, to cheer her up.
Home. Get clothes ready for the week. Bath. Bed.
Monday: Let's do this. Think about my friend who is having surgery to remove brain tumors. Think about her all day, at random times. Chat via text with another friend who has placed a soap order, to arrange for pickup or delivery. After work, go to DMV to register the new car, finally. Only have to wait 15 mintues--miracles are alive and well. In and out in under 25 minutes.
Home, make some dinner, eat the dinner, then go to roller derby to blow the whistle and not skate because the tendonitis in my ankle is still a thing and I don't want to ruin it while it's feeling better. Come home, to bed, exhausted.
Realize that my friend is probably recovering from her surgery, remind myself to text tomorrow.
Get up, talk to husband about soap delivery tomorrow, he's on it, all is well, to bed for real this time.
Tuesday: Again with this work outside of the house. Up, coffee, chicken water, breakfast. Get dressed, out the door. At lunch, update this blog, and then go through old blog posts, backing them up. Check Paypal because we got an order. Paypal shows no transactions. At all. But there's a balance there? Click the "contact" link, and see that they have an alert about technical difficulties. Print email of the order for a packing slip, give up on Paypal for the day.
Wednesday: Up! To work! And back home again. Note the soap order from yesterday, note that I must print out the packing slip and pack that order.
Also note that it's absolutely frigid, and maybe tomorrow would be a better time to pack orders. When it isn't zero degrees in the garage.
Eat some dinner, watch Vikings. Try to go to bed, but the dog keeps whining because my husband is at a friend's house, and he's not used to being alone. Dog wakes me up three times in the night.
Thursday: GUH. I'm so tired! Get gym clothes ready, get breakfast and lunch ready, get dressed, get out. Have to scrape the car and warm it up. Zero degrees, still. After work, manage emails from three people--two at work, and one from roller derby--with soap orders. Hooray! Husband packs Paypal order from the other day, and we work together to quickly pack the others because it's still dang cold, after I get home from the gym. I have to deliver two of the orders tomorrow, one at work, and one on the way home from work.
Friday: Starbucks time. Head to work, get all the work done, go to Target because COUPON, find a couple of gifts. My daughter picked them out, for my husband, and did a very good job. "He will like this!" Yes, he will.
Come home, wait for husband to return, then pack up soap order and deliver it to my friends. Spend several hours with them talking about our lives. Wonderful evening. Come home, then off again to drive around and look at Christmas lights, as a family. Late to bed.
Saturday: Up at 6:00am, breakfast of ham and eggs at 6:30, then get ready for the gym, as it's competition day!
The whole time I'm getting ready, I think about the definition of "sanity." Whatever, I'm still doing this.
Go to the gym for our once-yearly in-house competition. Work out SO hard, have all the fun, eat all the health food and protein shakes. Afterward, amazingly, I walk to the car, and then my husband calls and asks if I can go to Costco. Walking would be a good thing at this point, so I agree to it. Finish there, come home, walk the dog as well. Eat something, start making deviled eggs by boiling the eggs, get them in ice water, then take a hot bath with Epsom salt.
Realize toward the end of this bath that I will not have the time to complete the deviled eggs for the pot luck roller derby party. Accept this fate, finish up, get dressed. Cancel soap delivery becasue the map shows red for the traffic all over this town. Client agrees, is happy about it, no worries. Go to roller derby party, enjoy. Eat some. Drink lots of water--so thirsty.
Come home, go to bed, absolutely exhausted.
Week of 11/28 - 12/4/2016
Sunday: Second day of a great show! I make a one-two-restock box (comment below if you get the reference), and off I go. SO GLAD I hired a friend to help me, and I realize at the end of another huge day what a difference it makes. Having someone else vending with me means that every customer gets attention at the moment they need it, which keeps them from walking away. As predicted, I nearly sell out of bath fizzies and special salts. Only 7 jars of fizzies and 4 jars of salts left for next week! I also sold over 30 bottles of lotion--I only have 5 bottles of Lavender lotion left, and that's it. Also sold out of Lavender Lemon completely (none on the shelf at home, either), and Oatmeal Honey.
Pay my friend, break it all down, load out, come home, unload, and have some dinner. Attempt to get something ready for work tomorrow in the way of lunch and clothes.
Monday: Day 3 of 8 work days in a row. When it gets to this time of year, for any teacher, getting up on Monday is difficult. After having worked nearly every day of break for some amount of time, then two weekend days, this Monday is very, very difficult. Get up anyway, suffer through. After work, come home right away, lie down for a nap, doesn't work. Go to roller derby to say hello and also to deliver the huge order I got from a friend on my team--so supportive! Stay for about 45 minutes, then go home and go to bed.
Tuesday: Day 4 of 8 in a row. Go to work, while there have some amazing ideas for the upcoming year, regarding the course and some printables. Write these down in a Google doc while I have a minute. Come home, think about my show this upcoming Saturday, realize that I have everything ready because of last weekend, relax. Go downstairs to my office and make an update video! I'm only 39 weeks late.
Wednesday: Day 5 of 8. My patience is starting to fade. Husband is finishing up the private label soap order we got last week, so he can deliver next week. I am doing various computer work every day, to get back into that habit. This week is very difficult at work--the children are very rowdy. Recovering from a week off is brutal in public school.
Thursday: Day 6 of 8. I continue getting ideas for my new projects every day, and gleefully write them down on the Google doc from before. Glee turns to despair when I start doubting the whole thing. Why am I doing this, when another (big another) is also working in this niche? What handmade business owner will listen to me?
Come home, rest, eat, walk the dog. Cry on my walk, thinking of my mother, and wishing she was here. This Christmas is going to be difficult.
Friday: Day 7 of 8. Up and to work, Starbucks first. Get all the things done in preparation for next week, which makes me feel better. Create work calendar for next week as well, which makes me feel better still. Write down a few more ideas/plans, finish up, head home. Get some computer work done, print out a soap order I got online, get my clothes together for tomorrow, collapse in bed.
Saturday: Day 8 of 8 in a row. Up early, get some coffee, feed and water all the animals, feed and coffee myself. I take my time this morning, as this is a small show that will run from 1pm-6pm, and my load-in time is 11:45am. I also don't have to bring a table, as they are provided. Only 1, 6-foot table is provided, so I'm not bringing all 4 shelves, either. Things will have to get creative.
Load-in is easy, and I don't expect this show to be very busy, as this doesn't look to be the fancy part of town.
I am happy to report how wrong I was.
The market managers sure know how to get the word out to this crowd. It was busy the entire time! Of course, this was a smaller show, inside a large coffee shop with an event room in the back, so "busy" today is not the same as "busy" last weekend, but there were lots of people just the same. Having an event in this venue was lovely--snacks and espresso were available the entire time, as were restroom facilities. Music was playing, and the atmosphere felt very "bustling." I did about as well financially as I expected, maybe a bit more, and we tore down in a flash and I was driving away at 6:30pm.
The last show of 2016, done! Arrive home, unload, have some dinner and TWO glasses of wine, take a bath, and to bed.
I'm sleeping in tomorrow.
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Who writes this?
Hi, I'm Amy Kalinchuk. I am an author, publisher, crafter, entrepreneur, roller derby skater, wife, mom, and friend. I try to be organized and maintain an air of enviable breezy elegance. I do not always succeed. But crafting? I can do that. And small business. I can do that, too. So can you! No, seriously, you can do this! I'll show you.