Friday, July 26, 2013

Week in Review: Be Happy

1. July is almost always a tough month for me. It's silly, really: the days are long and bright, the sun and the warm weather have *finally* arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. Life is good, right? But this is generally when my year goes through a sort of mid-life crisis. I suddenly realize the summer is more than half over and what do I have to show for it?? Also, generally by this point either I have utterly failed to plant flowers or any other sort of garden and realize it's now too late to do much, OR (this is worse) I *did* plant flowers or another sort of garden, and when this dry weather showed up, I neglected to water one or more days and everything is dead and it's ALL MY FAULT. This year, I opted for the former. At least it's cheaper.

To heap on more misery, work has been insane, I haven't been able to take vacation, I feel like everything I do is a compromise between timeliness and getting it done perfectly, and many of my projects are so open ended and moving-target-ish that I don't even get the satisfaction of marking tasks complete. Ugh.

The point is, this is the time of the summertime blues. And this week has been rough. I've ended up in overwhelmed tears more than once.

And then yesterday, out of the blue, the boss handed out blank books to the gals in the office. Mine is this one, with a nice wrap-and-snap closure. It's the usual feel-good sort of store-bought journal, complete with pile of positive pith on the cover...but it still totally made my day. Or week. Or maybe month. I keep leaving it out where I can look at it. Granted, the nice feelings I have while looking at it have more to do with "Oooh, all that blank paper! For free! All for me!" than with the sayings on the cover, but the giant "BE HAPPY" exhortation still makes me smile.

2. In part to deal with my ups and downs, I've been trying to eat better and get regular exercise: lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish, more or less lean meats, and moving more, even if it's just getting out there to walk a bit on the trail most days. I gave up sugar almost entirely about a month ago--I use a teaspoon or so of honey in my coffee or tea once in awhile, but otherwise pretty much restrict sweets to fruit.

My cravings for candy and breads have lessened. But I did discover Thursday that it's still a bad idea to shop while hungry. I ended up with almost all the optional items, including two cantaloupes, a big bunch of bananas, shrimp, rockfish, a large package of steaks, and a Very Large Chicken. And not even a frozen chicken: a Very Large Fresh Chicken. I *will* freeze the steaks, but I feel like I need to deal with the chicken up front.'s just about the hottest week of the year, and I have this chicken that needs cookin' and no grill capable of indirect heat, so it'll have to be crockpot or oven. And it has been years since I last cooked an entire bird. I need to go comb the interwebs for recipes that aren't horribly complicated. Oh dear.

But it seemed like a good idea at the time!


Bill M said...

Best of success with the chicken. My wife solved my summer baking/roasting problems last year when she found a brand new, half assembled large propane grill for $25.00. To my surprise when I finished assembly -- Complete! No missing parts. Now from about May to October I cook outside on the deck, including roasting chickens and turkeys. (sure beats the heat in the house)

Nice journal. Be Happy!

Little Flower Petals said...

I have a little grill, but it's too small to rig for indirect heat. At least it's only supposed to be in the 70s on Sunday. I figure I can always roast then, and then make stock in the crockpot on Monday.

Should be lots of chicken for soups and salads, at least! And whole chickens are cheap...which is the other reason it seemed like a good idea at the time. Mmm, cheap.

notagain said...

I get that. Esp. the work projects. Good luck digging out.

Little Flower Petals said...

I ended up roasting the chicken on Saturday: put lemon slices under the skin and rubbed it all over with kosher salt, poultry seasoning, and extra paprika and pepper. Turned out really good...and easy! So I guess I'll be doing that again. And yesterday I used the crock pot to make chicken stock from the bones, so I have that, too. Makes me feel all efficient and stuff.

The critters each got more than their share of extra bits and pieces, ergo I'm super popular around the house right now. Hopefully my excess popularity wears off soon. Hard to get chores done with a purring Siamese cat attached to each leg and a dog dogging my every move.