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Read my acquaintance Julie’s reasoning for not replacing her iPhone (which is virtually the same as my reasoning for NOT getting one in the first place). Neither of us wants to be plugged in and available ALL THE TIME, boundaries are good!

Why I am on an iPhone Detox.

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Sorry I’ve been quiet on the blog-o-sphere for so long. Busy + happy = no time to mope around and blog. Ben and I have been doing a lot of local exploring lately with friends, which means I’m shy about bringing my camera along and then using it when I do bring it and posts without photos are just dull.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let any remaining readers know that I haven’t abandoned you, I’ve just been busy. Also, I’m tired and cranky today and that seems to be my trigger to blog!

Why am I tired and cranky? The fire alarm in our apartment building went off THREE TIMES yesterday. Once at 3:30 PM (no big deal, we went for a walk). Then again at 11:10 PM (thankfully we were running late with the whole bed time thing and hadn’t gotten in the shower yet, though normally one of us would be all clean and brushing their teeth while the other showered right then. Than again at 12:45 AM this morning. BLECH! Apparently there is some sort of pressure issue with the sprinkler system in the parking deck next to/attached to our building (not the first time this has happened) and it was so drastic that it set off the alarm for the apartment building too!

What I’m wondering is that there are over 100 units in our building, most of which are 2 bedrooms, where were all those people!? There were about 40 people milling around outside the building for the afternoon alarm, then maybe 20 for the 11:10 PM alarm, and then only about a dozen people milling around the front door for the 12:45 AM alarm. Did people sleep through it? HOW!? Did they stay inside? WHY?! What kind of person ignores a fucking fire alarm and stays inside? I knew there was a 99% chance of it being a false alarm, but I still put on a coat, boots, hat, mittens, and grabbed my nook HD (it’s an awesome little Android tablet I bought myself for hannukah with leftover birthday money), cell phone, and purse each time. If I’d actually smelled smoke I may have made the stupid choice to grab a few choice items (change of clothes, meds, laptop, ketubah, jewelry, and viola). But the hallway was cool, smelled like curry (not usual in our building), and no one seemed panicked.

I suppose I can save this post from being whine-fest 2014 by summing up some of the awesome things we’ve done over the past few months, you can see why I say we’ve been busy:

  • Ben was on partial leave due to the shutdown (only allowed to work 5 hours/week “to preserve property”)
  • Becca came to visit from Calgary! They went and did touristy things and made me some awesome dinners while I continued to adjust to my new job
  • Visited the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where we met up with some friends to see an organ recital in the woods
  • Attended a CU alumni event focusing on the NASA/CU collaboration on MAVEN
  • Saw CAVALIA at the National Harbor with my dad and got a VIP tour of the stables after the show
  • Hosted a cooking party where we cooked fondue bread pudding in a pumpkin with vegan “bacon,” yum!

baked pumpkin

  • Visited the White House for the Fall Garden Tour (post forthcoming)
  • attended the National Kidney Foundation masquerade gala (sans masks, but with peacock feathers!)

Kidney Foundation Gala photo

  • watched a rocket launch from Wallops Island Spaceport from the roof of our apartment building
  • Cooked a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast (served with a side of turkey, for those who wanted it) at my parents house for my dad, my brothers, and a friend of ours
  • Went shopping for some very specific good deals on Black Friday, then stopped by my parents house to eat leftovers for lunch and finish my shopping online (new carry-on suitcases, nook HD and cover, etc.)
  • Hosted a friend for Shabbat Thanksgiving to help sooth her nerves before arguing before the Supreme Court
  • Attended a last-night-of-Hannukah holiday potluck (yum!)
  • Attended and helped deep fried a kosher turkey at “Friendsgivikkah” pot-luck feast
  • Attended my office holiday party and Secret Santa gift swap at a nice steak restaurant downtown (we each had a beautiful, huge, salmon steak)
  • Went out for pre-Christmas Dim Sum and a movie [the Hobbit, part 2 of 3] with my family (even Gramma came!)
  • Attended Ben’s uncle and family’s holiday party
  • Spent a whole day visiting the Newseum
  • Attended a potluck New Years Eve party at a friend’s apartment building’s party room downtown
  • Spent a whole day cooking party with Andrea and company preparing a Turcchetta with a sues-vide machine and then deep frying it and serving it with other modern-American Thanksgiving fare
  • Had pizza with an old friend and her family in McLean and then went to see the Capitol Steps show at the community center

What else…. My weight loss goal is going SLOOWLY, but mostly steadily down. It’s frustrating when you keep weighing in at -0.4 lbs per week, but then I realize that that adds up to almost -2 lbs/month, and that .4 lbs is just shy of two sticks of butter (eww!). Slow and steady supposedly stays off more easily and more permanently than binge dieting, but sometimes I just want to fool the scale and be done with all this meticulous attention to my food intake and exercise-earned flex points allowance. Re-learning proper portion and teaching myself to have self control and around tasty foods is HARD. F’ing cookies, salt water taffy, home made caramels, and other holiday treats. I’m just grateful that I’m allergic to most traditional treats (no nuts, peanuts, chocolate, or berries, plus lots of other things too). My allergies are a good reason not to try something and great and easy excuse as to why I’m not eating something at parties. SELTZER WATER IS MY FRIEND, but then I have to occasional be seen with an alcoholic beverage or folks start to stare and my mid-section (which is still kinda plumpy, but not in a baby-filled way, just a food-baby way).

Please remind me to post about the White House tour if I forget by the end of the week!

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In early October we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! We started with brunch on our awesome patio, where we discovered the biggest, most evil looking caterpillar EVER had been causing our tomato plants to look leggy and bedraggled. Stupid tomato hornworm! Ben didn’t want to get stabbed, touch it, or have much of anything to do with it, so he put on his heavy work gloves (also helpful to assembling and disassembling the sukkah), grabbed a water glass and a flat-head screwdriver, and pried that big thing off and flushed it down the toilet (we don’t have a compost pile to bury it in, as my grandmother suggested and were afraid to open the garbage bin and see it crawling around in there later).

That was our relaxing morning at home…. Oops.

We made up for it with a lovely drive to Brunswick, Maryland, for Brunswick Train Days. Brunswick is a cute little town, about 1/2 way to Harpers Ferry. We didn’t get tickets to ride on the train, but wondered around a bunch of antique stores and had a rootbeer float instead. Then we stopped at the Wegmans off 270 on the way home and bought lots of goodies.

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I’ve made some great DC/MD based friends, but we’re all so much more spread out and I don’t have anyone to call and say “I had a bad day, I need someone to talk to over wine and gourmet french fries” with here (also, I’m trying to lay off the wine and french fries because neither are particularly WW friendly).

first tomato of the 2013 sesason

first tomato of the 2013 sesason

Anyway, I saw some old friends, and a new one, while in NY for a 24 hour visit last weekend for a baby shower. It was great, I had wine and gourmet french fries! No, the food isn’t the only reason it was great. It was amazing to catch up with friends from Boulder, Interlochen, and DC and I had a great time with all of them (and great food too, I came back having overspent my flex point allowance for the week by 17 points in just 2 days!).

Sometimes I just have trouble adjusting to my new physical location in the world because all the people I have collected along the way aren’t all around me all the time. Sometimes, I’m just homesick for boarding school or even summer camp, when most of my peers that I cared about were in the same physical place I was at the same time and we could stay up talking (until call to quarters) about everything and anything. Is that more nostalgia that homesickness? I guess I just wish my new friends were closer and had fewer obligations/more flexible schedules so that social calls didn’t need to be so planned out.

Whatever.

One of the newest bonuses that I’ve discovered to being a real grownup, one who spends their Sundays doing chores and running errands, is that I get to garden on my patio! It was too dry and hot in Boulder, plus our patio was coopted by Crazy Neighbor Lady. Lately, Ben and I have been chowing down on Thai food every shabbat, to keep up with the growth of the Thai Basil; eating lots of farmers market eggs and goat cheese with fresh chives, eating salads topped with fresh baby greens from the garden (they don’t grow fast enough to make whole salads out of all the time), making lots of Italian-style pestos and salad dressings (green and purple!), rosemary bread, and we’ve ordered some Kosher meats to eat with all the thyme we’re growing too.

Container gardening is fun! We mulched everything well, so there’s very little weeding, and it’s been raining pretty frequently so we hardly have to water. I don’t think it will be cost effective to grow our own foods unless we stay here or re-use the same pots and dirt for a few years (the pots were the real investments at $11-19 each), but it’s nice to get outside and have some plants to tend to and chat through the fence with neighbors (yes, one smokes, but she’s not crazy!).

Time to pull myself out of my melancholy, call my adult play date buddy (she’s on maternity leave, bonus baby snuggles!), surf the job boards, and then head downtown for our lunch and museum date. Maybe I should spend a few minutes weeding (more like trying pluck off all the basil flowers) in the sunshine to perk myself up. WEEE, SUNSHINE (dutifully ignoring the 90 F temp and potential for afternoon storms).

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My mom came home a few days before Passover. She used a bunch of sick leave to have a whole week state-side, every day she had a doctor’s appointment (dentist, eye doc, etc.) she was able to use a sick day. Anyway, my dad has a friend who works in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s PR department and he was able to sneak us in on a tour of the new/temporary orchid exhibit with a bunch of local garden club members!

The exhibit closed recently, but here are a few of my photos that actually came out. I was trying to catch how glittery and lush the orchids looked, but I only had my tiny point-and-shoot with me. Oh well.

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Around the high holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and for some people Sukkot too), I found out that the office I had been working at over the summer was closing. DOH! Laid off again!

I bummed around the house for a bit, getting REALLY into my yoga practice but still generally bored and baking too much. Then, about a month ago, the executive director at my synagogue contacted me and asked if I would work there until I moved and they hired a real office administrator. I said yes and I’ve been busy since then.

Between working 30 hours/week, going to yoga twice a week, and trying to get to at least one WeightWatchers meet per week I’ve kept myself busy. I wish I could say I’ve been skiing, but the weather has been unusually warm and I don’t have plans to go up until next week. Plus, I’ve been trying to make a big deal of shabbat so that Ben gets a real break in his week. About a week ago he successfully defended his thesis! Not that anyone ever doubted him, but it was nice to see a little note from his advisor and his approval of 72 credit hours of ‘A’ for his thesis work.

Now, we’re trying to get the house ready for Ben’s birthday party next week and then we’ll start packing. We’ve already been slowly purging things, a few paper bags full at a time, and dropping them at the Goodwill truck that parks behind the grocery store. After Ben’s party we’ll start unloading our storage closet and really packing.

For now, other than Ben’s thesis defense (all my photos came out HORRIBLY), the only fun photos I have to share are from Shabbat Hodu, our made-up name for the shabbat following Thanksgiving.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone! I could list a million things I’m thankful for, but I’m going to be lazy and just give everyone a virtual hug >______☺_______<

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