Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back in the depths

...of myself.  And back on the bathroom floor, so heartbroken. 

I have forgotten the colors. 

Thoughts are appreciated...

Update from Sunday: 

A trip to the farmers market, thoughtful words from you, and going to the Smithsonian with my cousins today is making this a much better day.  Heartarche rides shotgun, but it won't consume me today.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Busy Again

I'm back in the swing of things, finally, and it feels really good.  I've got one hell of a busy weekend coming up (our annual conference) and we've got hundreds pouring in.  I know most don't know where I work, but security is tight around and I'll actually get to witness some secret service in action :)  I've been to a zillion conferences, but none that have been on national TV, so that's really cool for me--mostly because I'm a big dork :)

I think it should be fun--hard work, but fun too.  Tomorrow is MY big meeting, the one I've been planning since I got here, and I'm looking forwad to that, but also ready to just get it overwith.  Those things are always full of hair-on-fire emergencies and while I am glad to see people I haven't in a long time and meet others, it'll be good to know it's done and successful.

Then on Tuesday, my best friend is coming to stay with me for a few days while she goes to a seminar thing up here.  So that will be good, and THEN my cousins come to stay only a few hours after she leaves on Saturday.  I'm glad to see some familiar faces, both at the conference and also my friend and's been a few long cold weeks.  As you all know :)

I booked a ticket back to KY for a weekend visit in March...I can't wait to get some sweet toddler hugs and cuddle up the new babies that have been born since I left. 

The sun shines every day now--even though this is what remains while I walk home every night....

Monday, February 15, 2010

A bullet dodged

I don't think there's really all that much snowing going on out there. I can't tell TOO much, since I sort of live in the basement of my rowhouse (I know that sounds weird to say that I "sort of" do, but ...well, you have to just see it.) Anyway, I can't see out the windows incredibly easily but the temp is still one degree above freezing and the rest of this week is going to be sunny and in the upper 40's, which will feel like the damn tropics around here, let me tell you.

I'm hoping for some sunny skies for my heart too. I've been in the deep dark place where I can see the good things--can pick them up and turn them over in my hand, but can't feel them. My sister said on her Facebook status tonight about how much she loves snow because it's "God's way of making the world slow down."

I totally get that, but my life really didn't need time for me to slow down and reflect. I reflect on it during every single step I take, and I was forced to slow down just when I needed to speed up. I hate to sound like I'm over-blowing this whole snow thing, but this city was brought to its knees and we're just barely starting to get up. Let's just say, I can't imagine NOT wearing my snowboots until about March.

Groceries aren't delivering until March, although I did find a new place and just placed a new stock-up order to be delivered next Monday. Which is really good because my supply is starting to run low (really didn't anticipate on eating everything in my house in two weeks time) and the little shops around here are too expensive to stock up on the basics.  And starting next Tuesday, I'll have houseguests and/or visitors for the next two solid weeks as various friends and family come in and out. 

It was weekends like I just had when I missed having my car. BUT -I heard the parking lots were icy messes and filled with potholes anyway so maybe it was all a blessing in disguise.

Remember those red potatoes? I sliced them up, sliced up half an onion with them, made a glaze of olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, paprika and random other stuff, drizzled it over them and baked them for 45 minutes and I can't believe how good they turned out. This whole 'teaching myself to cook by the Internet and my blog friends' thing is really working out well :) I made t-bone steaks that my Dad sent with me by cooler when I first moved here (we have cattle at home, and stock meat, and so I"m lucky to have a little stock of beef in my freezer). Anyway, I've never made steak in my whole life, but I made a seasoning of pepper, onion and garlic and broiled it up, and YUM.

I'm learning.

I watched a documentary tonight "The Gods Grew Tired of Us" and I highly recommend it. It is based on the same story of "What is the What?" which I read last year. Basically, it's about the Sudanese Lost Boys from the late 1980's and followed some of them as they journeyed to American as young men, having never seen electricity and eating butter and mayonnaise on the plane because it was food that was set in front of them so they ate it.  They were unimpressed with American food :)

They kept talking about how they'd lost their families, and they'd formed families in their refugee camps as young boys and they were the lucky chosen few who could come to America to work.  They sent home every dollar they had, and talked about their deep sense of obligation to succeed since they were so lucky to have been able to leave.  They kept saying how hard it all was, how hard they worked, how lonely they were--but they never, ever told that to the people they left behind.

I know the situations are absolutely not at all the same, but I could relate in a tiny bit to that pressure for success because you "got out" and that admitting you are ever unhappy, lonely or less than perfect can seem like a feeling of failure.  I know I experience that from time to time, as I've talked about many times in this space.  Everybody's so proud of me...they say...and I don't want to let them down by not loving every second.  It may be self-imposed pressure, but it's pressure nonetheless. 

But watching that reminded me yet again that I am blessed beyond measure and sometimes it isn't good because it makes me want to give all my money away, or adopt ten orphans.  Or both.  And one day, maybe I'll do just that.

I also watched "Temple Grandin" on HBO over the weekend and it touched me deeply. I really can't explain why....but I recommend this too, and especially if you have ever been around a child with autism or other kind of special needs.

Near the of the movie, Temple goes through a set of automatic doors with the help of a stranger (she was terrified of them) and the stranger turns out to be someone who changes her entire life.

She exclaimed "A door opened and I walked through it!" It was such a relieved and happy  moment that I actually teared up.  Because I knew that sense of elation and anticipation.

A door opened for me too, and I walked through it.

I can't wait to keep watching what happens.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Third Storm in 11 Days for the District

Snow Emergency Back in Effect at 9 a.m. on Monday

(Washington, D.C.) – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein, and Department of Public Works Director William O. Howland, Jr. reported on cleanup efforts from two major storms last week while providing new deployment plans for yet another storm forecasted to drop additional snow on Monday.

“We have already recorded new record breaking snow accumulation numbers for the District,” said Mayor Fenty. “Our crews have been out non-stop for over a week cleaning up from the two-previous storms and are gearing up for pre-treatment again on roadways that have already been cleared. They have done a fantastic job so far and are ready to handle this next storm.”

National Weather Forecast is forecasting a storm that will bring to the region a possible 4-8” of snow. The District is forecasted for possible rain in addition to some snow accumulation, with lower numbers (only 4”) forecasted at this time (this is subject to change as new weather reports come in).

Friday, February 12, 2010


I can't stop watching this:

"Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you’re not alone.

Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?"

The Aftermath

DC has hit record-setting snowfall numbers this winter already with our three blizzards and even though it's been only TWO MONTHS today since I loaded up the car and headed here, I've been here for all three of them.  I find it supremely ironic that my other moving location was going to be Maine--I feel like I actually moved to Maine or Canada, and the Capitol building I see the backdrop everyday is some sort of elaborate joke :)

I sent an email to a few friends today that talked about how I shoveled out my back patio today.   I made it up the stairs, and then was greeted by this at the gate:


My patio furniture looks like this:

That's a giant pile of snow on my table and chair beside it.  This isn't how I get OUT of the house, don't worry, this is just the little patio I have outside where I could feasibly sit when the weather isn't doing this.  I can much easier get out the front door, and I was able to today for a bit. 

It's back to regularly scheduled programming folks, and I hope to never blog about snow again...I'll be back to my usual moody/broody ways in no time ;-) 

Either's melting outside, I can hear it.  Nevermind that I can hear it because it's dripping just outside my bedroom and sneaking under the doorframe! 

I can hear it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blizzard Number Two

Is rolling in!  I honestly have never seen this much snow in my entire life, and who knows if I ever will again.

We're to get 18 more inches by the time it's done.  This is on top of the two feet we have already ;) 

I was able to get out of the house and go to a conference that was being held in town today and yesterday, even though my office was officially closed.  Tomorrow is Day 3 of the federal government being shut down (trust me, this does NOT happen) and so it's Day 3 of me being off work as well. 

I decided to just embrace it, since I know I will never see this again.  It'll melt, the seasons will change and I'll be wishing for the time when my only decision for the day was which movie to watch next.  It's mandated downtime and I'm going to enjoy it if it kills me.

But oh, here's something funny--the news is running a little tidbit during every segment about how "feelings of depression and/or "cabin fever" are normal".  It's urging us to do things we wouldn't "normally do" like say, our taxes!  Or cleaning out the garage!  Reading new books! 

But feelings of sadness and isolation are to be expected, they say.  So I guess I'm not the only one going a bit nuts, but I'm back to feeling much, much better and praying for the electricity to stay on as I watch more and more snow fall....

I gotta admit.  It is beautiful.

Even the Obama's are snug.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's still here

I really miss these guys today:

They would love to be sledding here today...

I feel like all I do is use this blog as an outlet to either complain or brood.  But today, I'm brooding and it can't be helped.  I'm missing my family today--what good is all this snow if there aren't kids around to play in it? We would be going nuts with the sleds and snowboards today.  Instead, I'm here, officially done with relaxing and more than a little lonely stuck in the house.  There are some places I could reach, but my friends here aren't near any underground metros and the buses aren't running.  And anywhere I would go is way too far to walk. 

I'm supposed to be going to a conference up here tomorrow, which may or may not happen.  Sadly, I hope it does--I've got to get out of the house :) Even if it's just for work.

Soooo...there's my complaining/brooding for today. My own personal song for Sunday. The sun is shining outside and I hope it peeks in here too.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sweet Winter

Today, I decided this was going to be one of those days I always want to have but never seem to be able to do without guilt or without thinking of a hundred other things I should be doing.

I decided to relax. I went outside to take pictures of the snow, sunk to my waist in the drifts, and came home to continue the day of relaxation. I shaved my legs and then rubbed baby oil all over them to finally get some moisture in my winter-dry skin. Then I put on lotion, then gave myself a facial. I kept my contacts out.

I read almost an entire book.

I painted my toes, and then decided that since they were having all the fun, I would paint my fingernails. I know people don't really paint their nails anymore, not actual colors anyway...but I'm stuck in the house, and no one will know or care, and so--I painted my nails red.

I ate the last of my enchilada leftovers from last weekend (thanks Ms Moon!) and just popped in a Netflix movie. I'm holding a Yuengling beer up there, and I might just have a few more tonight :)

It's been one of those perfect days, with snowdrifts that make you stay inside and just enjoy it all.

Off to pop some popcorn, wash the sheets and light more candles, in case my power goes off and I have to read by candlelight. I don't think I'll even mind :)

PS-- Just noticed the cat toy in the corner of the pic up there--it's a toy mouse, not a giant clump of lint ;) Even so, tomorrow still is cleaning day...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here It Goes Again

As of 11am, Sat morning.

My street, at 10:00pm--just when things are starting to heat up. I can't wait to post pics in the morning!

Um, guys?

Blog alot this weekend, ok? Because god knows, I'll be at home, and in need of entertainment.


National Weather Service has updated their Winter Storm Warning for the D.C. Metro Area, which is now in effect until 10PM tomorrow. 20-30" of snow now expected in the D.C. area, with localized amounts exceeding 30". Conditions will deteriorate rapidly through the afternoon today. The heaviest snowfall will be from sunset today to Sat. morning. NEAR-BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED DURING THAT TIME. Wind gusts of 20-30 mph expected by tonight, with some blowing snow. Visibilities will be appx. 1/4 mile. For your own safety, and to help your local responders, please stay off roads this evening and overnight.

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Which I Discover That I'm Definitely NOT a Movie Star

First, I'm going to plug my college friend

She's (among many other things) a liberal preacher's wife who makes me want to go back to church, and today she managed to write about Haiti, evangelicals and stray dogs all in one post :)

Second, and on a completely shallow level, I had the thought today that many scenes of my life are exactly like scenes at the beginning of a bad chick flick.

You know--a woman in her late twenties/early thirties, eating the same Chinese food for a week, drinking wine and vowing to make life plans (a la Bridget Jones) for change. Laying down on the couch watching bad TV with a cat stretched out on her back. Sad music in the background indicates that this is a sad, sad soul but wait! In thirty minutes, she'll engage in some crazy incident where she meets the man of her dreams and/or she undergoes a series of events which ultimately lead to her saving herself and becoming a Better Person.

Well. I am really waiting for the crazy incident that knocks my little world off its axis, but so far it hasn't happened.

Yes...I am indeed the same person who picked up my entire life, turned it upside down and shook it just two short months ago. My surroundings changed, the people I see everyday changed, my way of life completely changed. BUT--I didn't change.

In fact, I feel like I took two steps forward and then took three back. I am less sure of myself than ever before--I am cautious, wary and guarded with my words and my actions, particularly at work. I'm still learning, and I feel very much behind the 8-ball (is that even a real expression or just something weird I say?). Anyway--I feel behind it. Hamster wheel marathons for me, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get off the damn thing and start feeling more like myself again.

Last spring and summer, I embarked on a conscientious effort to make myself a better, happier person. I got in shape, I ran or walked almost everyday, made myself get sunlight everyday, spent time outside (even if it was just my balcony, it was surrounded by trees so close I could almost touch them). I swam, I ate better, and I got serious about moving.

And ta-da! It worked.

So here I am--and I've stopped working on myself. I stopped as though I'd reached the end of the line, my goals met, I can truly be self-actualized now!

But, um, no. I'm not "done" and I realized today that almost every good thing I was doing for myself has been completely abandoned. I'm slowly feeling the pounds creep back up with me, even though I walk everywhere, I walk as fast as I possibly can just to get inside somewhere because it's so damn cold.

I'm not beating myself up over it TOO much, because hell, it's winter. I can't do everything that I did until the weather warms, and I'm working from sun-up to sundown and I just don't get outside in the sun....well, ever. And I stopped taking my anxiety/anti-depressants once I was here for a couple weeks. My prescription ran out and I don't have a doctor here yet to put me back on them.

I had zero side effects from stopping, as it was a pretty low dose as I mentioned. However....I stopped moving, I stopped getting sunlight, I removed myself from my most stable support system of my family, AND stopped taking anti-depressants? Talk about a quadruple whammy to my emotional health. Putting it like that makes me wonder how I haven't tried to jump off the roof yet.

I don't know--a few months ago, I was in a position where I could walk around like I owned that joint. I was very secure with my family around me, I knew I really wouldn't ever want for anything, especially not company, with so many of them around me. Now, particularly in my job, I'm wayyy back to the starting gate. I've been called to play with the Majors in this job, and I'm having a tough time getting off the bench in my confidence.

I mean, today? I tripped while STANDING STILL in the office kitchen. I mean, like almost hit the ground. Thank Jesus I was alone in there or I would have been known as that girl for the remainder of my employment. I woke up with a two zits on my chin (my first one in a YEAR) so I especially looked the part of a teenager. I stepped on this man's briefcase strap while I was walking to the metro and we both almost fell on our faces.

Then I was slumped pitifully on the metro tonight with my head laying on the "window", looking mournfully out at the concrete walls when a reporter for a healthcare magazine that I sometimes comment in came over to say hello. Could I have looked any more pathetic at that moment?

Seriously--if my life were a movie, that reporter and I would have locked eyes, the happy music would have swelled and he'd have taken me out dancing. I would learn to embrace my klutzy side as my obstacle on the path to becoming a Better Person, and magically acquire some witty and eclectic friends that all conveniently live in my neighborhood. We would all then live happily ever after.

But it didn't, of course, because life just doesn't work that way or at least mine doesn't. I told a friend this morning that my self-esteem just seems to be taking a beating lately, and I'm going to try very hard to pick up the pieces and try to salvage what I can. Because nobody wants to be invited to a pity party, and I don't even LIKE hosting parties anyway.

I will try to remember that I'm not "done," that I should always push myself to be better, and that I don't necessarily have to be sitting on top of the world with my legs dangling free to feel as though I'm accomplishing something.

I will be gentle with myself. And wear more sensible shoes in the kitchen.