Posts Tagged With: YBW

tricked out kitchen in a smart house

When it comes to the new house, YBW is eager to make it a smart house. He’d love for there to be a central command (thingie) that we can tell to do what we want it to do. You know, like saying “OK Google” or “Alexa” but it’ll be connected to all of our house and have it’s own name.
It feels so Varrick to me.

(For those of y’all that don’t know, this is a The Legend of Korra reference. I did not enjoy Korra anywhere near as much as it’s predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I absolutely adored.)

Anyway…
YBW is all about making the house work for us. To be able to control lights and thermostat and even the garage door from a tablet. That if we weren’t sure we’d turned out the lights on the ground floor he could push a button from the bedroom so we didn’t have to go down and back two flights of stairs. He wants the house to do as much as possible from a central hub.
I love to watch his brain work. See his face get all excited at the smart house possibilities. He’s committed to making our forever home one that does all the things we need, and many of the things we want.
For the most part, I’m interested in learning how to use it once it’s set up, but I’m less enthusiastic about choosing how to set it up. He’s cool with that, as long as he can get his geek on. He’s super patient when I ask questions that probably aren’t applicable, or he just explained to me.
I’m more concerned about surround sound for the big tv, and speakers around the house so I can play music. But there is a bit of pleasure at the thought of being able to turn things on and off from a screen…
We each love what we love, right?
My husband loves science and math and tech and super cool nerdy things. He is getting to play with that in creating a smart house that works for him.
I support this fully!
I’m like, get your geek on, bud! Hook it all up and make it do your bidding. (But please let the command be “Zhu Li do the thing” so I’m constantly amused.)

I want to get my geek on in the kitchen!


This picture is the kitchen at the model.

My kitchen will have a bigger island (my favorite design option). It will have another row of cabinets above the wall cabinets up to the ceiling. The hood vent will be hidden behind cabinetry. And the lower cabinets will have more drawer units than cabinets with doors.
All the cabinetry will be navy and look a little something like this.

I’m salty about paying so much for a brand new house and having wire shelving, so…
I may want to trick out the pantry.
I’m already designing closet systems for our closet, probably Pax from IKEA, but I’m also looking at Easy Closets.

The laundry room is on the bedroom level (thaaaaaank yooooou) it’ll start out boring, but I’ll fancy it up too.
With a roof deck, main level porch deck, and ground level back yard, I’m getting excited about designing outdoor spaces too. Plant life and lighting, water features and accessories will create beautiful spaces for us to be outside.

Now, if YBW’s smart house can control outdoor lights and fountains, etc. or could somehow make my laundry run, I’d be inclined to get as excited as he is!
“Zhu Li do ALL the things!”

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

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accentuate the positive (and weird)

Y’all, my husband is a precious man.
I mean a truly precious man.
When he asked about my day and I told him I was feeling a way (mood) he began suggesting things he could do to help. From providing me with things to keep me occupied, (things he knew I didn’t really want to do) to coming up with things he could do to be helpful.
When I told him I appreciate him trying to help make it better, but I didn’t need him to fix it. He told me knew that, but he wants to help fix it because he loves me. And I honestly couldn’t argue with that.

We talked about me going to Thing 1’s. He inquired about girlie hotel weekend with Thing 2. She’s on the way regardless of which direction I’m heading.
This man is over here like, I can’t make it better for you, but if being with one or both of your girls will, I can make that happen.

He’s been very clear during the pandemic about how he understands his life is much more normal than most of the rest of us. He goes to work every day every other week, so those weeks feel normal. He gets out. He sees people. He gets do do the work he loves doing.
And I know how lucky we are!
We aren’t worried about how to pay the mortgage, or feed ourselves, or whether or not there’s enough loo paper.
We don’t have little kids at home who need to stay safe and continue to be educated.
We don’t have elderly parents to worry about.
Our kids are safe and healthy.

I’m quick to get frustrated.
And my husband often bears the brunt of that. I mean, sometimes he’s part of the situation, sometimes he’s just in the line of fire. But I hope he really understands how precious he is to me.
We had a conversation over the weekend in which I shared my concern that he never hears the good stuff. That he only hears negativity and criticism. I suggested that predated me. I’m not saying that I can’t be critical, because I can.
I’m hopeful he’s listening more for the good stuff.

My feels for this man are deep and wide.
We were meant to find each other in this life, but only when we were truly ready to accept the other with an open heart.
I waited my whole life for YBW.
He was worth the wait.
He told me “I think I’m falling in love with you.” the first time we were in the same physical space after dating over the phone and email for a couple of months. The smartest thing I ever did was decide to trust him.
His love and his kindness are without measure.
His desire to do all he can for the people he loves is bigger than he is.
His sense of humor is twisted and kind of gross, yet he continues to amuse me.
He’s creepy and weird but it somehow compliments my own creepy weirdness.

He has loved me though the last ten years with a kind and playful heart.
I am grateful for his willingness to fix my problems even when I don’t need him to.
Him simply being him eased my anxious heart and helped me feel more calm and settled.
I am grateful to feel safe in his love.

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day two

YBW is working from home this week so when he finished his 12:30 conference call, he invited me to go for a walk.
As we neared the front of our neighborhood there was the question of which way we were going to go. Then I remembered it’s gosling time at the pond up the road from our neighborhood!

The parent geese were super pissed when we walked by. They were hissing and craning their necks and bobbing their heads at us.
YBW was talking in a calm voice and I was saying softly, We’re not going to hurt your babies. I just want to take their picture.

It’s sunny and breezy, a beautiful day. Though still only in the 50s, which means it’s a bit chilly for porch life in the shade of the house.
When we came home he got on his computer, and I’m organizing my bookshelf and making a stack of books I’ve read to go to Josie.

I’m going to open a bottle of wine and enjoy the rest of my day.
Y’all do the same!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day one

Yesterday was Mother’s day. Also the first day of International Week of the Birthday.

YBW and I planned a shoot day, but as it turns out, he was feeling a bit wonky in his belly, and my head was trying to hurt, so we decided against that. Instead we went over to the construction site where our new house will (eventually) be.
The first building has plumbing and electrical.
The second building is missing the topmost floor.
The grading is almost finished for the third building.
The fourth building is still a big ass pile of rubble.

This is the same model as ours at the end of the first building.

After about an hour going through and taking photos of the unit, we headed for home.
We sat at the table on the porch for a while before YBW decided he wanted a nap.
I got settled with a coca cola, book, and notebook. (the coke helped my head feel better)


I’m eager to dig into this book.

And then the phone rang.
Thing 2 said: Happy Mother’s Day!
We talked for nearly two hours.
I said: Thanks for letting me be your Momma.
She said: I’m so glad you’re my Momma. She paused for a moment and said: I’m so glad to be your kid.
We talked for a few moments about the difference in meaning between those two statements.
Essentially, my daughter is content to have me as her mother, as well as being content to be my child. And these are two very different things.
(this may actually become another post)
As we do every single time we speak, we said: We need to do this more often.
She giggled and told me, I’m going to talk to you Tuesday anyway!
I said: Wow! Twice in two days. That means we probably won’t talk for a few months!
We decided that might be too long.

While I was talking with Thing 2, Thing 1 called. We exchanged texts earlier in the day, but hadn’t yet spoken. I texted her I was talking with her sister and would call her asap.
We talked about how even though this is her second mother’s day, it feels so much different than last year. Baby K was still brand new, and she was excited to be with her Momma on mother’s day for the first time in many years.
But this year, mother’s day is real. She has a daughter who can walk and talk. She has a daughter who can express her joy and love. She’s having a ‘real’ mother’s day.
My eldest daughter is a mother.
It doesn’t get any less weird the more I say it.
I can tell you that it is so wonderfully cool though!

When YBW woke from his nap, we ordered delivery food and watched the last two episodes of season two of Westworld.

I had a very Roby sort of mother’s day and first day of IWotB.

Even though the world is still shut down and in chaos, and I’m not getting to celebrate the way I’d like…
I’m chock full of love.
I’m chock full of gratitude.
I’m celebrating the forty-ninth anniversary of my birth in new and creative ways.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

the little things

I face timed with Sally and her family on Tuesday.
So many kisses blown!

I had the worst headache I’ve had in nearly two years on Wednesday.
Waves of pain so great they caused involuntary tears.
Lying down with my magnet mask saved the day!

I saw Thing 2’s relief money was in her account Thursday morning.
Replenished savings FTW!

I talked with Jessica Thursday morning.
That love is real!

I saw Holly in the afternoon on Thursday!
She stood in my yard and I stood on my porch. We exchanged a bottle of olive oil and a ten dollar (founding father without a father)

I went to the acupuncturist yesterday. Had my treatment and picked up my Chinese herbs.
Listened to the Hamilton soundtrack on the way home.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel!

I talked to Thing 1 while I was in the car on the way to Falls Church.
Husband N said, “Love you, Birdie!” and I heard Baby K giggling!

I read the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle this week.
Am still reeling!

I swung by Bards Alley Bookshop.
My (prepaid) book was in a basket on their patio waiting for me to come pick it up!

Watched Lego Masters finale off the DVR last night.
The team I love most didn’t win.
The team that started out with the most trouble ended in the final three!

I woke this morning to hot coffee and gooey cinnamon rolls.
YBW is the best!

I’m picking up shampoo and conditioner at the hair salon today.
Prepaid and waiting in a bag for me at the door.
Healthy clean hair!

So much rain this week.
But, much less pollen!

The sun just came out from behind the clouds!

These are the little every day joys from my week.
It really is the little things, y’all!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

how do you choose to cope

Yesterday YBW was standing at the kitchen sink washing out the coffee pot and he said, “I thought this would last two weeks and it would be over. I need to get into a routine like you.”

I think he’s realizing how unprepared we all were for the situation in which we find ourselves. In the beginning he likened it to being snowed in, we hunker down, stay put for a few days, then life resumes its normal pace.
Let me be clear. I am not saying he doesn’t take it seriously, he is acutely aware of the seriousness of this time of extended self quarantine.
It’s more like I’m in ECE mode and documenting his development. I am watching what he’s actively learning through his immediate and authentic experience. I see how he adapts based upon what he’s learning.

He saw me up, showered and dressed and going about the things. It seemed to me he realized the importance of these behaviors. I see he’s realizing how simple it is to stay in one’s jammies and be at the computer or in front of the TV all day long. How doing that helps create that snow day mentality.

Y’all, I made a concrete decision to get dressed every day. And I’m wearing jeans at least three times a week instead of comfy, around the house clothes like yoga pants or leggings. I’m doing the work-y things at the beginning of my day before I do the lounge-y things. This is how I’m choosing to cope.

I talked with him about why I made this decision. I did it because I want didn’t want my life to feel like one extended snow day. It’s easy to sit around in my jammies day drinking and eating all the live long day. I knew that would be bad for me. I chose to live differently in this time.
I know my limits. I know within which parameters I function best. So, I created this routine to keep myself safe and sane.
With nothing to break up the monotony of being stuck in this house, this routine makes every difference.

YBW is currently in his jammies drinking coffee in front of his computer. So, maybe the routine isn’t actually necessary for him. I mean, he does have his normal routine every other week. His regular life, in which he gets up, bathes, dresses and goes to work. So maybe for him the home weeks feeling more like snow days are what’s keeping him safe and sane?
He spent all last Friday pressure washing the deck. Yesterday, he patched a hole in the ceiling where Thing G’s shower leaked. So, he’s doing the things even if he’s doing them in his jammies.

Each of us had to adapt to the best of our ability to do what it takes to get through this while remaining safe and sane.
For some of us, that is day drinking.

Crowley is my spirit animal

For some of us it’s as much exercise as we can cram into a twenty-four hour period.
For some of us it’s cooking or baking.
For some of us it’s sleep.
For some of us it’s Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and Disney +.

Whatever you’re doing to keep yourself safe and sane in this time is none of anybody’s damn business. I mean, unless it negatively impacts another.
So if what keeps you safe and sane is locking someone in the closet, maybe you want to reevaluate. Unless they’re up your ass about some store brand cookies. Then I say, you do you.

I’m choosing to do what’s best for me. I’m aware my choice has no or low impact on others. I’d like to keep it that way.
But you know, I get antsy. I want to throw a temper tantrum now and again. Maybe that restraint is what’s keeping me safe and sane. I can only do me.

What routines are keeping y’all safe and sane in these unprecedented times?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

find joy every day

This is absolutely everything!

Happiness is not one great big undefinable thing. Real joy and real contentment actually happen in the concrete every day.
It’s the little things.
Those little every day things where joy resides in it’s simplest form.

These are my every day joys from the last week or so.

When fifth graders didn’t understand what I meant when I said, “Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.” at the end of the lesson.
Tuesday when Beau beat me at chinese checkers for the very first time!
Drinking wine with YBW by the fire at Naked Mountain on Valentine’s Day.

Finding the right calphalon skillet to replace the damaged one. And it was only $40!
Talking with Sally.
Being behind the lens of my camera.
This photo of Baby K laughing so I can see all her teeth!

Leaving the house at 7:30 am to get gatorade and soda crackers for YBW.
Taking Jessica’s birthday gift to the post office.

These are random every day things, but I found joy in each one of them.
(to be clear, I was not joyful my husband had food poisoning, I was joyful I could do anything to help him)

Y’all, that’s where the joy is! All you have to do is look for it.
Where are your every day joys?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

in the city by the bay

YBW and I spent a few days in San Francisco before we set sail for the Panama Canal.

I loved going to Alcatraz (or Azkaban) more than anything else.

We spent six hours on, and covered every inch of the island before cold rain sent us back to the ferry.
I was awestruck by the delicate balance of gorgeous abandoned decay, and living history.
I would go back in a heartbeat, and know without doubt, I’d discover more beauty or learn something new.

Drove across and sailed under this beauty.

We went across the bridge and through the precious city of Sausalito on the way to and from Sonoma and wineries in the surrounding valley.
The ship sailed under at sunset the night we left the city. It was cold and windy af, but absolutely beautiful.

Dragon’s Gate at the southern entrance to Chinatown.

This is looking out toward Bush Street from Grant Avenue, sort of looking out of Chinatown.
We enjoyed beautiful sunshine and warm (upper 50s – low 60s) weather as we spent our Saturday morning in Chinatown. I love wandering though the Chinatown of different cities, even though they’re all very similar, each one has something unique to offer.
YBW found a little hole in the wall for us to have lunch.

I don’t much like Asian food, but I gotta tell you, that was the best damn fried rice I’ve ever eaten.

We left Chinatown (freaking up hill, just like everyplace in San Francisco) headed for Coit Tower.

YBW’s parents honeymooned in San Francisco, and his mom used to tell the story about how she and his dad were ‘kissing in Coit Tower’ and people were commenting on how ‘in love’ they were. (I’m over here like, if folks were talking about it, y’all were straight up making out.) It’s one of my favorite stories, and YBW and I were determined to go to Coit Tower (and kiss) so we could feel connected with his parents.
We were gifted the warmest and sunniest day with which to take in the 360° views of San Francisco.
Something occurred to me as we sat at the base of the tower. (Y’all know I wear the wedding ring my mother wore while she was pregnant with me, and the wedding rings of YBW’s mom from the incident in which the diamond was lost in a soda cooler.) The thought I had was that this may be the first time these rings were in this place since YBW’s parents made out there on their honeymoon over fifty years ago. How precious is that!?!

We stayed at the edge of Washington Square Park in the North Beach area of the city. Out our window was the absolutely gorgeous Saints Peter and Paul Church.

My favorite part of staying near this church was watching parents walk their kids to school each morning.
Another wonderful thing about where we were in North Beach is that it’s also the ‘Little Italy’ part of the city. Y’all! We ate damn yummy pizza, drank gallons of red wine, some seriously perfect gelato, and I had the most stupid-delicious cacio e pepe at Barbara Pinseria and Cocktail Bar.

We walked up Lombard Street. (every single bad word I know, and some I invented on the spot, but you know, in my head because I was too out of breath to speak them)
We grazed our way through the Ferry Building.
City Lights Bookstore was everything I’d hoped for and more.

San Francisco is a strange city.
It rubbed me the wrong way, but I found it interesting, and rather beautiful.
I loved the architecture. And the plant life.
And I enjoyed experiencing it with my beloved.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

bon voyage

YBW and I are at the airport waiting for our flight.

Can you guess which coffee is which?
I’ll give you a hint…I don’t take cream.

We just arrive at the gate.
I’m going to journal for a hot second then crack open the first book. He’s going for a walk.

I’m going to miss all y’all! Plesse try not to do anything terribly interesting while I’m gone!
See you in three weeks! ❤

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