Saturday, March 5, 2011

Positive Things For February

There are some weeks that should just be erased from the calendar once you've made it through them...weeks when you keep thinking "at least I got through that," and then something else crops up.  Repeatedly.

Which is the best reason for me to reflect on all the good things that happened before this week!  For anyone new, I stole borrowed this idea from another blog--I keep track of positive things throughout the month, then share them all here.  I'm actually a glass-half-empty kind of person, so this is a good mental exercise for me.

Anyone else playing along?  I'll Linky-dink at the end as usual.  (Oh, and the spring pics are for those in less southerly climes who need something to focus on to get through this last painful month of winter--I know how that goes.)

1. I remembered that I have points on my credit card, and got to go shopping online!  I opted for a new shredder, having pushed our old one to the limit.  Sillily practical, but it's always fun to come home to a box on the doorstep, and the new one's got all the bells and whistles (in case I feel like shredding a CD.  Too bad most of our bills are now online, lol.)

2. Friends invited me to join them at a restaurant called the Crêpe Cellar that I didn't even know existed!  It's a tiny place that gets quite crowded, but we got there early and had a great time.  I stuck to the classics: a "galette" style buckwheat crêpe with ham and gruyere and accompanied by hard cider.  Followed up with a standard sweet crêpe with marscapone and berries--out of season, which I normally don't do, but it sounded like a great combo.  Shoulda stuck with a lemon & sugar one, as the crepe itself was tastier than the stuffings.  I brought home a spinach & mushroom crêpe for Miss Chef, but she preferred my leftovers!  Oh, and the oddest thing...their mac 'n' cheese side was really, really good!

3. Miss Chef and I had our own little Superbowl party.  I thought we'd just turn it on in the background (neither of us being big football fans), but she had the idea of ordering wings and making it an event.  Which we did.  And had a great time.

4. I finally trimmed some bushes out front and cleared out the overgrown bed of mint in back.  The bushes look like crap because I had to cut them back so severely, but we can see out the kitchen window again.

Actually our view out the back door.  This is prettier than the neighbor's garage.

5. This may sound weird, but...our manager lifted all restrictions on overtime for our department.  Which means I've been working 10-hour days again.  But I'm excited to make all the extra income I can before our trip, so I can have lots of spending money....and, even better...

5b. ...we were also allowed to work on President's Day, a bank holiday.  Which meant double time and a half.  That's extra-concentrated spending money!

6. My obsessive trip planning came to a climax with the reservation of an apartment in Paris!  I was very excited to go back to the rental website after making our deposit, and seeing our dates marked "not available."  Yes, it's ours!

7. I knew when I reserved it that our apartment is located at the edge of the gay district of Paris (just a coincidence, but hey, it's a great location!)  But I had to laugh for several days when I found out that Paris' huge Gay Pride day will be the day after we arrive there...which also just happens to be my birthday!  Not sure if I want to head the other direction that day, or go thank the Parisians for holding such a great birthday party for me.

8. I got to speak with my brother's family in London briefly, trying to coordinate this whole apartment thing.  We don't have long distance, and have yet to to install Skype in Miss Chef's laptop (which is usually with Miss Chef anyway), so we rarely get the chance to actually talk to them.  They still don't have English accents, as far as I could tell.

9. Valentine's weekend was a crushing schedule for Miss Chef, since it fell on a Monday.  The restaurant is normally closed on Sunday and Monday, and Sunday is Miss Chef's only day "off."  (If you count sitting at the kitchen table grading and lesson planning as off.)  She was scheduled for that entire weekend, but I found out Saturday night after hostessing that she didn't have to  work Sunday.  What a great Valentine's gift for us!

The lettuce is still growing--harvested enough for a salad tonight!

10. As part of my trip planning, I made Miss Chef sit down with me to tell me what she's really interested in doing, especially in Paris.  We both ended up digging out our old photo albums to show each other what we'd seen, and next thing I knew, Miss Chef was reading to me from "Sam the Scarecrow," the first book she ever read aloud in class as a child.  It was silly fun--she did the voices and everything.

11. Miss Chef and I managed, at the last minute, to arrange a day off together.  Sounds dreamy, but we actually used it to get our hair cut, get the oil changed in both our cars, etc.  Still, it was so nice to actually have a whole day to use as we wished, without the pressure of her having to go off to work.  Plus, Miss Chef was pretty diligent about getting her schoolwork done that afternoon, so that on Sunday we could go...

12. ...kayaking at the US National Whitewater Center!  The weather was absolutely perfect, in the mid-70s and sunny.  We got there fairly early, and mostly had the river to ourselves.  Besides the usual herons, bluejays and fishing boats, we saw an osprey, which was being followed back and forth across the river by a crowd of crows.  Apparently whatever he had clutched in his talons smelled pretty appetizing.  There are several manmade nest platforms in the area, one of which has been used, so I'm hoping there's a breeding pair around.

12b.  Miss Chef and I took the plunge and purchased annual season passes to the Whitewater Center.  This means unlimited kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain bike rentals, wall's like joining a gym, only with ospreys!  And you don't have to make an appointment for a tanning bed; it's all-in-one. ;-) Miss Chef even gave me permission to go kayaking on Saturdays without her.

Unfortunately, today's weather isn't as nice.  Rosie had to enjoy the outside from inside.

13.  I skipped something...on our day off together, we went back to our favorite restaurant, Passion8, where we're always treated to something extra.  It's been a while since we've been there, and I was happy to be able to continue our support of a great local business, which in turn supports our local farmers.  And the complementary pumpkin gnocchi was simply perfect.

14.  Finally, as you already know...the daffodils bloomed and spring arrived!

Have some good news to share?  Here's your chance to join in!


  1. Wow, wow, wow! Your life is sounding positively idyllic! I know, you just focused on the positives, but what a huge list of positives! I am so excited about your trip! I am sure it's going to be absolutely wonderful. I should do this positive thinking thing. Maybe tomorrow.

  2. It sure sounds like February, short as it is, was full of great things for you - with more to come! Congrats!

  3. You had a lot of happy things to be thankful for in February! Good for you and Miss Chef. And Rosie, of course. :)

    Happy Spring! xoxo

  4. Wow - what a February! That's a great list of wonderful things to commemorate. Even i'm excited about your Paris apartment and I don't get to go! Just don't work so hard that you're too tired to enjoy the trip....

    Nancy in Iowa

  5. Thanks for the reminder to notice and recall the positive in our lives....and you've got a lot of positive. Made me smile seeing the Bradford Pear tree. My twinlings called them Popcorn trees when they were little and we lived in Rock Hill.
    Our entire street was lined with them until that fateful night of the damaging ice storm. Sounded like a war was wagin on our road all night, and in the morning we awoke to the carnage of all those beautiful pear tree branches spread out like fans encircling their trunks. Nothing left but the trunks. That was a sad Spring day.

    I love that you joined the Whitewater Center. That's my idea of gym...exercising and being healthy outside in nature. I'm so happy for you!

    And a apartment for your birthday. And what a coincidence for Gay Pride Day, too. How fun! :)

    Hooray for having the option open to work as many hours as you'd like and make as much money as you need. Such freedom!

    Oooh! I love crepes! How fun to have a restaurant that's main focus is crepes. Mmmm!
    Pumpkin Gnochi? Would love to try that!

    Happy Spring to you!

    We're expecting some kind of winter storm the next few days. I am itching to get a garden going and buy some new little biddies for my coop. But the apple and peach trees don't even have buds I know better. That lettuce sure looks delish!


  6. Hope you have fun on your trip!....smiles

  7. Lots of good news! I'm loving the Spring effect going on in Charlotte. Beautiful Cherry blooms!

  8. Flartus, thank you for your kind comments on our Clifford. Please give Rosie a big hug and kiss for me. (She'd probably rather have a treat)

  9. I'm feeling seriously down in the dumps today - something about the crash after too many crises. So your post was very good therapy. Now I'm off to think some of my own happy, grateful thoughts!


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