Instantly Softens

Dear Kittens,

1.  I cannot easily explain why I watch Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. If they were a so-called guilty pleasure, that would be fine. I think self loathing pleasure is a more accurate description because both shows, in my opinion, are horrible. In fact, I hate every single character in each show so much that I keep hoping that each episode I watch will end with a big bomb blowing everyone up. Sadly, this never happens and the next week there is a new installment for me to watch and the berate myself for wasting 2 hours that I could’ve spent focusing on picking my nose or organizing my nail polish. What kills me the most is that those two shows are on, but Firefly and Arrested Development are not.

2. Our neighborhood association sent around a flyer alerting us that this weekend is Clean Up The Park weekend. This pisses me off. We pay a tremendous amount of money in property taxes and even after that hefty bill, I’m supposed to volunteer my time to clean up the park? Yeah, I don’t think so. The funny thing about this neighborhood association is that it was formed shortly after a dead body was found in our park. It turned out that the person was killed in Oakland and then driven to San Jose and dumped at our park. The dead body, understandably, got everyone worked up. We have street captains that are supposed to keep everyone on the street informed about important neighborhood news. In the beginning the captains themselves brought around the flyers with the important neighborhood news and if you were home, they would come in and chat for a little while. Now one of the captains has her sullen teenage son leave the flyers. One of my favorite things about these flyers is that they often contain very useful information on how to prevent crime. Like “lock your doors and windows”. It’s impossible to disagree with that, but I am still not going to help with cleaning up the park.

3. Today I took Murray to the dog park and when we first arrived we were the only ones there. Murray was super excited at first and then he quickly realized that the main reason going to the dog park is usually fun is because of other dogs. After he sniffed every single thing that could be sniffed he decided to test his land speed capabilities and began running as fast as he could the length of the dog park. A couple walking by started cracking up at his antics and Murray ran over to them and practically leapt over the fence to get to them. If I laugh during dog class, Murray immediately breaks whatever he’s doing and comes over because he doesn’t want to miss out on the joke. This dog kills me.

4. Kittens, I am menstruating right now and it’s as if my body has decided to teach itself a lesson. This cramping is unbelievable. I keep saying to my uterus, “yes, I get that you are outraged, but the thing is, everyone else is getting along and doing their best to keep me comfortable. FALL IN LINE!” I, too, am shocked this hasn’t worked.

5. This weekend promises to be NONSTOP FUN. Tomorrow I am cutting and coloring my mom’s hair. We’re also going to plan the last art project of the year and the 5th grade tea party. Every year, we put on a two tea parties. One at Christmas and one at the end of the year to say goodbye to the 5th Graders. The 4th Graders serve the 5th Graders and the whole thing is quite a lot of fun. We use real china for this tea party and I make all the tea sandwiches and bring my prettiest trays and platters to display the food. Everyone asks if the boys enjoy it and of course they do! I’m not sure how the myth that boys do not enjoy pretty and nice things got started, but they absolutely do enjoy pretty and nice things. And what these kids really like is that this is something super special and their classroom is the only one that gets a tea party twice a year.

6. I hate ending on an even number that isn’t 10, but sometimes these things happen. I’ve decided to give the P90X workout a try. I tell you this so you can be prepared for the crying and moaning that will happen after my first workout because I am certain I will be very sore. I’m ready for something super challenging physically and I think this will do it.

Love,
Catie


Purity

Dear Kittens,

1. Today started out so nicely. Murray and I went to our Saturday morning dog class, we had a lot of fun. Then Andy and I went out to breakfast and a new place that is very near to our house. The people there are so super nice and the food is great. After that, Andy went off to work and I puttered around the house for a while and then I found a place that has a heating element for my ridiculously old and small oven. Success! Then there was an unfortunate text/conversation with Andy that sort of ruined my good mood.

The details of the text and conversation aren’t really important it’s more that I let it bother me so much that I spent the rest of the afternoon being so angry! In my weakest moments, I find it too easy to go to the least kind place first. I’m not proud of this and it’s something that I’m working on, especially since Andy and I are spending less time together. The time we have means more than it used to because there’s so much less of it. This is a difficult time of adjustment. I know we’ll very soon find a happy groove and everything will be okay, but right now it’s ouchie.

2. I recently bought myself a Kitchen Aid ice cream deal. It attaches to my stand mixer and makes ice cream! And I bought David Lebovitz’ book, The Perfect Scoop. I became a fan of his when I read his book, The Sweet Life in Paris during our trip to Europe. It’s a wonderful book, very funny and you should read it. Anyway, I’ve decided to make his sour cream strawberry ice cream for dessert for Easter. I think it’s going to be super delicious. On David’s blog, he posted a recipe for pink grapefruit and Compari sorbet. I cannot wait to make that!

3. Now I’m going to tell you about some products that I love.

Purity facial cleanser from Philosophy. This is the first cleanser I’ve ever used that I’ve been able to use long term without any skin irritations. I’m a delicate flower and this stuff is great!

The unfortunate named Chubby Sitck lipstick from Clinique. They’re great to use, they have great colors and it feels really good on your lips. It’s not long lasting, but that’s not important to me. I prefer sheer colors for my lips, generally speaking.

Nars’ Luminizer in Copacabana and Luxor. I apply this to the tips of my fingers and then rub it along the top of my cheekbones. I don’t need blush because I’m already quite blushy, but something shiny on my cheeks makes me look younger and glowy.

Jennifer Aniston’s perfume. I sort of hate myself for liking this as much as I do, but I love it!

Okay, Kittens, I have a headache and there’s still stuff I need to do to prepare for Easter tomorrow. I hope everyone has a lovely Easter.
Love,
Catie


Landslide

Dear Kittens,

1. So, Easter is on Sunday and our oven is broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. I am hoping against hope that we can find a new heating element and fix it. This is a ridiculous wish because our oven is super old. Like 1959 old. An oven breaking for the Anchevs is no good for a number of reasons. A) It’s Easter and every single thing needs to go in the oven. B) We’re not super good at small repairs. We come from the school of, “well, we’re weeding anyway, let’s go ahead and redo all the landscaping.” That’s the We Might As Well school. It’s not a great school, don’t go there if you can avoid it.  C) IT’S EASTER. Maybe we’ll just use the Weber grill and heat our ham that way.

2. Here is a short list of things I am thinking about doing to keep myself busy while Andy is working very long hours, 6 days a week.

a) paint that giant hutch I’ve had in the garage for more than a year.

b) paint the bathrooms, living room, kitchen, guest room, hallway.

c) hire people to redo the backyard.

d) see if the dog trainer could use my help with any of his puppy classes.

e) get our stuff ready for a garage sale, have a garage sale.

f) reorganize the kitchen.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Maybe I do those things and come up with a new list.

3. Thursday evening I went to the grocery store at 6 pm. This is a HORRIBLE time to go to the grocery store because everyone is hungry and everyone’s kids are hungry. The number of screaming children was amazing. And everyone was super grouchy. The moral of this story- don’t go to the grocery store before dinner. You will be so sorry.

Love,

Catie


No Barking.

Dear Kittens,

1. This weekend was such a great weekend! On Saturday we went took the boat out on a nearby reservoir. The first couple of times we took Murray on the boat, it wasn’t much fun. The first time it was way too hot for him and he was completely miserable. The second time we made him wear a silly dog life jacket and he was completely miserable. The third time (Saturday) was awesome! He walked all over the boat, checking out the view from various vantage points. He was really curious about the water and I thought he might jump in, but he didn’t. I’m hopeful that Murray will enjoy the boat this summer and maybe even go swimming with us!

On Sunday we met my parents in Marshall and at delicious, delicious oysters at The Marshall Store. We shared a dozen raw, a dozen Rockefeller style and a dozen Kilpatrick style. After lunch we drove over to Point Reyes Station and walked around. It was such a lovely day and a really nice way to end Andy’s time off before he starts his new job.

2. Today was Andy’s first day at his new job! So exciting. And it’s 8:31 pm and he’s not home yet. Kittens, I’ma have to develop some new hobbies. Wait- did I tell you that Andy had a new job? Because he does. And he started today. And it’s going to be a lot more hours, but he’s super excited about the challenge and the work and so I’m glad for him.

3. A potential new hobby is making paper beads. My friend Craige has this gorgeous necklace of paper beads and it seems like a relatively easy and also time-consuming activity, so it’s perfect! Or maybe I put away my clean clothes in a timely manner. Already that takes me more than a week, so that’s a good option.

4. This week I’m visiting my mom’s classroom to make an Easter themed art project. I decided to do a photography project with the kids this year. Each month when I visit, I take a photo of them standing against a white board. At the end of the year I’m going to make a poster collage of all the photos and give one to each kid so they can see how they grew in the year. I think I’m going to keep this up with subsequent classes because it’s a really great thing to see how much a kid changes in a year.

5. Our creepy Safeway up the street closed and now we have a super nice fancy Safeway that’s slightly farther away. Every single time we’ve been to the fancy Safeway, it’s packed and there are employees wandering the aisles asking you if you need help finding something. That sounds like a nice thing, but I was accosted no fewer than three times during a 40 minute shopping trip. That’s too many times. Especially when I’m mostly just checking out the store and getting acquainted with where everything is. Don’t be so clingy, Fancy Safeway.

6. Thank goodness Andy’s on his way home. For a second I thought I might have to take the garbage and recycle bins down to the curb and everyone knows that’s the man’s job. I would hate to do anything that could make my husband feel less manly.

7. I’m telling you this, I skipped coffee today, but I will not to that tomorrow. Tomorrow I am drinking coffee.

Love,

Catie


Aggression Refined

Dear Kittens,

1. Approximately 100 years ago in 1992 I started working at a bookstore called Bookstar in Torrance, California. That’s where I met Charlie. I was 24, he was 20 and we have been friends ever since. For about 18 months Andy, Charlie and I shared an apartment. I know it sounds weird for a couple to have a roommate, but it worked out perfectly for us and it made us family. Today Charlie was teasing me and I felt like punching him in the face and I thought, “man, I have missed this guy so much.” This is why if you tease me to be mean, I will think you love me. Good luck with that.

2. In addition to some other things, all three of us went the movies. We used to do this a lot back in the old days. Andy and on my life, Charlie on my right. There’s never been a happier Catie sandwich in the history of sandwiches. We saw Win Win with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan. This movie is so super good. You should go see it.

3. This is Andy’s last weekend before he starts his new job. He expects to be working more hours than he did before. Sadly these two weeks got eaten up by a bunch of not so much fun things, but I’m glad that this weekend has worked out that we’re able to do the two things that Andy was most looking forward to. Tomorrow we’re taking the boat out on the lake to zoom around. It’s too cold for swimming, but it’s not too cold for zooming. On Sunday we’re driving out to Tomales Bay to eat oysters. It’s a long drive for foods, but these oysters are worth it, plus Andy and I are great in the car. Road trips are our strong suit.

4. I am going to bed early, so I have to leave this list on an undesirable number. Sorry about that. Tomorrow morning is my early morning dog class (8:30 am!) and so I must rest so I do not fall down in the field and cry.

5. OH! I remembered something. More than a year ago I started using hair conditioner as shave cream for my legs. I recently ran out of cheap conditioner, but I had some of that Neutrogena’s Light Sesame Seed Oil, so I used that. And OH MY LEGS! They are so soft and so smooth and my shave lasts a full day longer than it did before. You try it. you like it.

Love,

Catie


100% natural

Dear Kittens,

As you may or may not remember, I am a fan of the numbered list. I will continue with that format until I get bored with it. You are welcome.

1. You are all so nice! Thank you for the encouragement and the peer pressure. I love you all so much.

2. My friend Craige pointed me to http://discovermagazine.com/2011/jan-feb/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-kissing

this article about kissing today. It’s very interesting. I love kissing. I wish so much that I had more friends that kissed. I love that so many European cultures are all about the kissing. That’s it! I just decided that I am going to start with the kissing of everyone. Do not be surprised the next time we see each other if I kiss you.

3. I am still doing the dog training with Murray. When we first started with the dog training I did it because I had a horrible puppy and desperately needed help. Now I do it because I love it so much. I love the actual work with Murray, but I also love the opportunity to be around other dogs and the people who come to class. We go to class every Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday night is my favorite. The people in that class have been around a while and we have so much fun while also training our dogs. The Saturday morning class changes students regularly and while I enjoy that class a lot, it’s a completely different vibe from Wednesday.

4. Something new since I stopped blogging is that I stopped eating grains. Even whole grains. I KNOW! It’s nuts. I am not super strict about it and when a special occasion comes along, I do indulge in the grains, but for the most part, I abstain. This has made it so super easy for me to get my blood sugar (I’m Type 2 diabetic) under control with less medicine than I was taking before. This change was hard in the beginning, but nowadays it’s no big deal and I’m super glad I did it.

5. I think our living room needs a makeover. Since Andy will be very busy with his new job, the work will largely be up to me, which is AWESOME because that means I get to make all the design decisions without first having to convince a naysaing Bulgarian. He’s not THAT much of a naysayer, but enough that it can be annoying. Normally this type of work would make me whine and whine, but at this moment (10:26 pm Tuesday April/12/2011) I am SO excited. I am going to get paint chips tomorrow.

6. My dear friend, Charlie is going to be in SF this week. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, so I’m looking forward to spending time together. He’s coming to our place on Thursday and then we’re going to SF to see him on Friday. Yay for Charlie!

7. This is the last thing. It feels weird and also wonderful to be writing publicly on the world wide web again. I am sure I will get used to it again, but right now I feel like maybe I left the house without any pants on. And believe me, that could totally happen because I hardly ever wear pants in the house and so I could very easily just walk right outside pantsless. Honestly what would the big deal be? I’ve got my underpants on. Prudes!

Love,
Catie


Looky here.

Dear Kittens,

I’ve had this blog for some time, but this is my very first post here. And it occurs me that I don’t really have anything planned out. Except to tell you that I think I am going to start blogging again. So yay for that. Or maybe not. We see how it goes.

Love,
Catie


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