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I like Mondays. I might even go so far as to say I love them. Not as much as I love Fridays, because you just can’t beat a Friday, but I do really like Mondays.

This hasn’t always been the case. But then, it’s been about five years since my work week started on Monday, so that’s why. In Japan, my work week started on Tuesday; later, when I started working for Nova, my work week started on Friday. And I hated Saturdays, but that was because they were always my busiest days. No, for the most part, I loved Monday, because everybody else was at work, and I could go and do my shopping in peace. I could go to a mall, and it’d be so peaceful and quiet. I could go to a horseback-riding lesson, and there’d be only two other people in the class. If I avoided rush hour, the trains would be quiet and mostly empty. I came to appreciate Mondays. They really aren’t so bad if they’re not the first day of the work week.

Obviously, things are a little bit different now. Technically, Mondays are kinda like the first day of the work week for me because they are for Geordie (who definitely has it worse than me because he actually has to go and deal with people). I hate getting up at 5:45 on Monday morning, and I don’t like that I have to say goodbye to Geordie for a whole nine hours. But I do enjoy the work that Monday brings me.

I have found that I love to do the grocery shopping. I go at 8am, apparently a time of day when nobody else wants to go grocery shopping. I get that most people think it’s a chore, but I really do enjoy it. And I take my time getting it done, just to be sure I get everything I need, just the way I want. It can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes, and I enjoy it no matter how long it takes. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment, and I don’t even mean that in terms of saving money. I don’t shop to save money (although I certainly try to save what I can); I shop to buy food that is both tasty and nutritious. I just happen to find food incredibly interesting.

This habit of strolling through a grocery store and checking out the foods developed in Japan, I think. Japanese grocery stores are fascinating. Even after I’d lived there a couple of years, I could still easily spend an hour in a grocery store while shopping for a handful of items. It’s not like Japanese grocery stores are all that different from American (they’re not), but there’s just something so . . . interesting about them. The only time I hated going grocery shopping in Japan was when it was raining and I knew I’d have to walk home/ride a bicycle home in the rain.

So, yeah, my favorite part of the week? Grocery shopping. I look forward to it every Monday. And if a trip to Whole Foods is required – even better! It’s a 30-minute drive, so I don’t go every week, but I love to go all the same. Man, that place is so much fun! Actually, much like Japanese groceries, it has that sense of novelty and adventure to it. Discovering new and unusual foods is fun. It’s just too bad that I can’t bring it all home with me. But at least it gives me ideas for things to try in the future.

And that’s about it for today. Just a little ramble about why I, personally, like Mondays.

In closing, here is a picture of a kitten sleeping on Geordie’s laptop.

mirinlaptopsleep

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Easter’s not really my thing. It’s nice and all, but as far as holidays celebrating the return of goodness and light are concerned, I prefer the Vernal Equinox. Easter doesn’t do much for me anymore. The egg-dying thing is great, but that’s about it. And though I do love me some Cadbury Mini-Eggs, they are not a holiday in-and-of themselves. I’m just not big on the Easter celebrating the way I was when I was a kid. Maybe in the future it’ll mean a little more.

For Easter this year, Geordie and I didn’t do much. On Saturday, we finally got around to going to the Sherwood Forest Faire, about a two-hour drive from San Antonio. Yes, it’s a Renaissance Faire type event, though it’s more of a Medieval Faire, really. The focal point is the story of Robin Hood, which I know is a big draw. For me, it’s – well, to be blunt, it’s just okay. I can’t say I’m much interested in Robin Hood tales because I’m more interested in historical accuracy. I recently finished a biography of Queen Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine (mother of King Richard the Lion-Hearted and Prince John), and I found that far more fascinating that any of the Robin Hood stories. Maybe because tales of Robin Hood tend to ignore the fact that Queen Eleanor served as Regent of England while Richard was off doing Crusade-y things and that the reason England was so poor during this time was because every spare cent went towards a ransom to release Richard from his captivity in Germany. John may have tried to wrest control away from the men Richard left in control of the country, but he never was much of a threat.

But I digress. The point: Robin Hood doesn’t interest me much. That said, one can ignore his presence at the Sherwood Forest Faire without having to try very hard. Thankfully.

We didn’t go in costume, because frankly, we don’t have anything costume-ish for this kind of thing. Maybe next year. I encouraged Geordie to get a kilt while we were there, but he was put off by the price. Understandable. As with many such events, everything was a little expensive, and the only thing we ended up spending money on was food and entertainment. I’ll have to find some other way to get Geordie into a kilt.

Although we didn’t stay very long (a little over three hours), we had a good time. The day started off a little cloudy, but by afternoon, the sun had come out. One of the reasons we decided to leave was that I could feel myself starting to get a sunburn. It turned out to be not so bad, but only because there was plenty of shade to be had. Again, thankfully.

So, food.

Geordie vs. the Turkey Leg.

Geordie vs. the Turkey Leg.

Geordie just had to get himself a turkey leg. The skin tasted predominately of propane, but once you got down into the meaty bit, it tasted a lot better. I had a few bites; he ate the majority of it. We also got a serving of the most onion-y tasting hummus I have ever eaten. It was pretty gross. The pita served with it was great, very soft and flavorful, but the hummus just ruined everything it touched. Ew. Still hungry, we went in search of other food and eventually found a place that sold crèpes. We had a beef-mushroom combo that was really quite tasty. For dessert, we had thought about getting a sweet crèpe but ended up with some baklava instead. Tasty. Not exactly a good example of food from 1192 A.D., but I suppose you’ve got to do what you can with what you’ve got.

We wandered around quite a bit and observed more than participated. Geordie did try his hand at axe-throwing and failed pretty miserably. Poor guy. He consoled himself with some mead, which was actually quite tasty (don’t worry, I only took a sip, enough to judge that it was more honey than anything else).

We watched the “Third Annual Combat Tournament of Sherwood,” which was had plenty of adult humor to go with its violence. But it was fairly enjoyable, being well-performed and quite amusing.

combattournie

Finally, we enjoyed that manliest of Faire events, the joust. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s fun to do things just because I’m with Geordie. I’m a very low-key spectator. Geordie is not. Geordie gets actively involved, which is both awesome and adorable. I love it when he enjoys himself. I did enjoy the joust too – a lot of fun to watch, and one can’t help but be impressed by these guys, because this is their job and none of it looks easy. Especially on a hot and sunny day.

Our section cheered for Sir William, in the red and gold.

Our section cheered for Sir William, in the red and gold.

The second pass, in which the opposing knight broke his lance upon Sir William and moved himself into the point lead.

The second pass, in which the opposing knight broke his lance upon Sir William and moved himself into the point lead.

The fourth and final pass, in which Sir William unseated his opponent, thus capturing victory for himself!

The fourth and final pass, in which Sir William unseated his opponent, thus capturing victory for himself!

Compared to Saturday, we spent Sunday pretty quietly, which was fine by us. All in all, it was an enjoyable Easter weekend, and we had no complaints.

So, yeah, that’s it. I’m ending this kind of abruptly, but I don’t really have anything else to say. Happy April, folks!

Seven in the morning on Monday, and I can already tell it’s not going to be my day. Probably not my week. I’m already anxious for it to be Friday afternoon.

A kitten update: I went to the vet on Friday to get some pointers about getting medicine into the kittens. She made it look easy. But she did give me a few useful tips, and I have gotten to the point where it doesn’t take me half an hour to get the medicine into them. All told, it’s about ten minutes, including cleaning off their faces and giving them treats. Not bad. I’m just sure if it’s helping. Over the weekend they each had soft stool, but not too bad. This morning, they both had runny stools, and Yuzu went twice, which I don’t think is a good sign. I can’t be sure if the medicine isn’t working or if I’m just not getting enough of it into them. They drool pretty terribly when I try to medicate them, and they fight swallowing it. I’m going to wait and see how things look in the afternoon, but I get the feeling I’ll be going back to the vet again in the next couple of days.

I wish that was the only worry I had this week. I still need to go to the DMV and get my license updated (at which point I will finally and completely have my name changed to Geordie’s!), but I want to make sure my car insurance is all straightened out first. Last week, my bill arrived without any policy information, and I did not like the number I saw on that bill – it was about $30-40 more than I had expected to pay per month. I went to see them on Friday (I still hadn’t got my policy), and they made a big deal about checking for credits or discounts or whatever and never gave me a straight answer about whether that bill was final or not. I had switched our car from my parents’ policy, so they were going to double-check something about that. They assured me that the policy would arrive on Saturday (it did, and I don’t see why I’m paying so much for what it is) and that they would call me later in the day to let me know how the numbers would change. They called at 4:50pm, when I was out picking up Geordie from work, and I didn’t get their message until later on Saturday, because we are terrible about checking our phone messages. Anyway, all they said was to call when I had a chance, which will be around 9am this morning. I am hoping that the insurance will magically be cheaper, because shopping around for car insurance is not really something I want to do today.

I also have kitchen things to do. Pizza dough can probably wait for tomorrow, but I’ve got plans for other homemade things I want to make. Top of the list (after the pizza dough, that is) is vanilla extract. I bought some beans online through Beanilla, because buying vanilla beans at grocery stores costs a ridiculous amount. I got ten beans for less than one costs at a store, depending on which brand you go with. I’m really excited about making the vanilla extract – with all the baking I do, I go through a lot of it, and it’s nice to be in control not just of nuances in flavor but also in  costs.

Next on the homemade list is coffee creamer. I’m trying to establish more clean-eating habits for us, but even if I wasn’t coffee creamer is really kinda disgusting if you look at the ingredients label. For one thing, if my creamer says “lactose-free,” I’m going to feel a little empty inside. I found a couple of how-to recipes for homemade coffee creamer online, so I’m giving one of those a try this week. It may or may not be cost effective (that is, until I made my own sweetened condensed milk), but at least I’ll feel better about what I’m putting in my coffee.

Speaking of food, I still haven’t figure out our Easter menu, beyond the certainty that deviled eggs will be involved. Geordie really wants a ham – as do I – but it’s really hard to find a good, quality ham that’s both not too small and not too expensive. Cheap hams are stuffed full of extra gunk – why does a ham need to have corn syrup injected into it? I just want ham. That’s all. Preferably not a 7-pound one, which is the smallest I could find at my local Whole Foods. I’m thinking we might just have to make do with the pork tenderloin I’ve got in the freezer.

Also, I need to get in contact with our landlord about approving the color choices we’ve made for the pink bedroom. We’re going with a grassy green color for the walls, with orange for the trim. We want to get that taken care of as quickly as possible so we can just get it done and out of the way.

And finally, in the trying-to-conceive, possibly TMI department, we’re in the middle of a two-week wait to see if anything took this month. Because this is the first month we’ve actively tried, we’re trying not to set our expectations too high. But at the same time, it’s hard not to, isn’t it?

Well, I feel a little better having written all that. I was feeling a little stressed this morning, thinking about all this (and feeling frustrated with the kittens and their medicine – that has been my main source of stress since Wednesday), but now I see that there’s really nothing here that I can’t handle. It’s just a matter of separating it all and tackling each thing one by one. Starting with giving the kittens their morning dose of medicine. Yay.

So, in closing, here is a picture of two happy, drowsy kittens enjoying a nice, relaxing nap.

sleepykittens

Sara

I am a daughter and a sister, a wife and a friend. I am a reader and a writer, a dreamer and a realist, a teacher and a learner. I am the mother of a baby born sleeping. I am on a journey of healing, walking a path paved with tears and grief and hope.

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