Monday, February 1, 2016


Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy (not strictly a book blog, although she does a lot with reading) has suggested a link-up in which we make a list of things that are saving our lives right now.  With February looming, she feels (and I concur) that it's definitely time to focus on what's helping us make it through the time when the holiday lights are down, but the cold and dark seem unending.

As you know if you've ever visited my blog before, I tend to ramble, but I'm going to try really hard to keep this to bullet points.

  • Having a job that includes paid sick days.  I felt lousy a couple of weeks ago, and being able to take time to recover without having to worry about my family's finances is such a gift.  (At least it is in this country.  I hear that in some places, it's considered a basic human right.  Ahem.)
  • Hugs
  • The Keurig coffee maker my colleague bought in to work.  Not only does it make decent coffee quickly, but I can have a second cup, decaf, later in the day.
  • My unicorn socks make me happy every time I wear them, and seem to make others happy as well.
  • My ongoing love affair with our library.
  • Blogging.
  • My new position at work, which is SO MUCH FUN, which is really highlighting how not-fun teaching had gotten for me over the past several years.
  • Going to bed on time and getting enough sleep.  J/k!  It would sure be a good idea though.

  • Reading aloud.  To my kids, to my students.  Love it.  
  • The enthusiasm with which my kids greet me at the end of my work day.
  • My husband's Tom Yum soup, which I like to call Jon Yum soup, since his name isn't Tom.  
  •, an app that lets you customize white noise--right now I have rain, thunder, and a train in the distance.
  • My husband and I have started watching movies or Netflix TV on weekends the last 2 months.  We hadn't done that in a long time (like, since before kids), and it's--nice.  Not demanding, not kid-centered, just something we can do together and chat about between.  
  • Meds.  Mine, his, and his.  The better we are about taking them, the better we all do.  Bless my daughter's peaked little head for not needing meds to be herself.
  • A couple of years ago I got a sweatshirt made with the logo of my husband's wine.  I then proceeded to borrow it on many occasions, so he got me one of my own for Christmas.  It's super soft and cuddly and a nice winey burgundy.  PLUS, the logo doesn't look or sound obviously wine-related, so I can wear it to school.
  • Almond butter and avocados have become my friends as we've suffered through taken on a month of Paleo eating.  (Not together.  Eww.  Just that if I bring an avocado and a spoon, or some almond butter and fruit, they get me through my after-work snackiness without me missing sweets.)
  • Along the same line, there's a Sloppy Joe recipe in a Paleo cookbook I borrowed from the library that is so good.  It's become our comfort food in lieu of old favorites like mac and cheese or spaghetti and meatballs.  
  • I just stumbled across this website that among other things, features authors telling you how to pronounce their names.  Jon Scieszka?  Carl Hiaasen?  Kadir Nelson?  Got it covered.  I could spend days going through their lists of authors.  They also have mini videos in which author's talk a little about their work, or read from their books.  Really fun.
How about you?  What is saving your life these days?  


  1. Your list is so interesting! Those socks! And I'll definitely be checking out the website with the authors. Thanks for sharing that!

    1. Just today my students and I were trying to figure out how to say Raina Telgemeier's name, and I realized that I could actually check!

  2. For easy & kid-friendly paleo recipes, check out Danielle Walker's Against All Grain blog (or Facebook/Instagram)... and her Meals Made Simple cookbook is a must have. Make sure you read her story too - very inspiring!

    Thanks for sharing - I enjoy your blog!

    1. Thank you! It's been interesting--not as difficult as we expected, once we got started.

  3. I've shifted to Starbucks Via packs instead of my daily drive through run, and it is saving me lots of money and lots of calories. It may not be quite the same, but I still enjoy it! I think I would drink a whole lot more coffee if I had access to a Keurig like you do :). Your husband actually makes his own wine? I am so very intrigued!

    1. I've been reluctant to admit that those Via things aren't as bad as instant coffee usually is, but then I got a bunch in my stocking, and yeah--they're not awful. Still can't handle fake sweetener though.

      Yes, the husband is The Winemaker, and after years of producing better and better wine in our garage bottled his first commercial vintage last summer. Still hoops to jump through before he can sell it. In the meantime, we have a LOT of good wine in our garage!

  4. That website for authors just saved MY life too! That is FABULOUS. I once thought about doing a video post for a tag, but then I remembered that I would feel like an ass trying to pronounce authors' names ;) Also, DYING at Jon Scieszka's "sometimes people just freeze up and don't know what to say" BWAHAHHA. That would be me! The irony? My name is Polish, long, and super ridiculous too, so you'd think I'd be used to name stuff after a lifetime of people doing the same to me!

    The unicorn socks.. we all need those. Seriously. They are amazing! And you know, it SHOULD be a basic human right. Like, how dare we get sick and still need to pay our mortgages? What even IS that!? And of course, if you don't get sick days, (my husband does not) you are also probably paying for your own insurance, which is MORE than the aforementioned mortgage. I digress, it's a frustrating topic!

    What is saving my life? Umm blogging, iced coffee, and aquaphor. OH, and The 100. And when my kids sleep- they're cutest that way :D

    1. I just had to go look up aquaphor, so now I've learned something new. :)

  5. I favorite White Noise combination is Rainy Day & French Cafe which I have in an app on my iPod.


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