I have no idea how many positive things I'll end up with. Let's find out together, shall we?
1. January 1st--I found out that one of my dear friends from college gave birth to her first baby girl! My friend's been wanting to have children since I met her *koff* years ago, so this one of the most exciting birth announcements I've gotten in a while.
2. The first weekend of the year we had freakishly warm weather in the 60s. So I was able to open the windows, air the place out, and even get in a little pre-spring yardwork.
3. We received Christmas thank you notes, handwritten, from our two young nephews in London. So charming!
4. Of course, there was my dad's blog post on his heart transplant experience. Beyond getting to share his story with you all, the post opened up a chance to talk to him in some more detail about his mindset, memories and feelings. And I continue to get positive feedback from friends. Thanks to you all for your comments!
5. I finally cleaned up my ever-growing pile of "to be filed/sorted/dealt with" papers on the desk. You know the one I mean...the "someday" pile!
6. Snow day! I already shared stories and photos of our fun time here.
7. I made bread for the first time in my life, thanks to Linda at the 7MSN Ranch. Her super-easy recipe was so easy I was inspired to try a more traditional one...which failed miserably. But that's ok, I went back to Linda's recipe and it came out even better the second time.
8. A friend and co-worker in my department was promoted. While this wasn't totally easy for me to take, she was very careful to let me know the background before it was announced, and we've made it a point to try to do lunch together when we can. It took a few days for us to be able to talk freely after she was promoted, but I'm glad that we're both making a point to maintain our friendship in spite of these changes. (I've seen other colleagues promoted who leapt whole-heartedly into their new positions, abandoning any pretense at personable collegiality with former peers.)
9. Miss Chef ordered oranges direct from a grower--citrus is one of her seasons (after apple, and before asparagus). She tried something new, called Honeybells, and they are AMAZING. In fact, they're not oranges at all, but a mix of grapefruit and tangerine (I think). They're only ripe for a few weeks in January; they're also known as Minneola tangelos and can be found in grocery stores by that name. I'm sorry I didn't tell you all about them earlier, because I'd have told you to rush out to the grocery store and buy some!
10. Although it was the middle of January before we seriously got down to de-Christmasing the living room, Miss Chef finally was ready to part with some off our holiday
11. On a Wednesday evening, I didn't get out the door to walk Rosie until after dark. There was a full moon and a clear sky, so I went ahead into our little, unlighted park area to walk around the pond. The moon was like a floodlight, the pond and surrounding woods were quiet, and Rosie and I had a beautiful, peaceful walk in the dark.
12. Paris rental apartment hunting on the internet!
13. Miss Chef dragged me to the mall because she needed more pants to get through her 6-day, two-job work week. I needed pants, too, but absolutely hate buying them--read this to see how much. However, between the fabulous sales and Miss Chef's excellent hunting skills, I came away with SIX new pairs of pants for very little money. My mornings in the closet are suddenly much less stressful.
14. I made turkey burritos--with powdered taco seasoning--that Miss Chef loved. I spent a Sunday evening chopping tomatoes, tearing lettuce, making beans and rice while Miss Chef graded and did lesson plans. Not only was she grateful for my taking care of her, but she was quite happy to eat leftovers for several days.
15. I met a new neighbor. One of my secret identities is as a member of the 5-person board of our homeowners' association. This, my third (and FINAL) year, I was
16. Charlotte's restaurant week brought lots of business into the restaurant, and Chef Adam asked me to come work the last Saturday night as hostess. (I do this 3 or 4 times a year on big restaurant holidays.) While it wasn't my best night juggling diners, tables, servers and owners, Miss Chef told me later the servers were grateful I was there, and truly happy with the way I did my job. That makes it much easier to go back and do it again this Saturday! (Valentine's Day weekend--be patient with your hostess, and reasonable with your server, folks! They're working their tails off all weekend for you.)
17. Of course, finding out Rosie's DNA results and having a giveaway was fun, too!
Do you still have your positive things from January, written on the back of that junk mail? Share 'em with us; we could all use more positivity in a cold, bleak February.