Sunday, July 10, 2022

Currently - July '22

I'm not sure which is harder to believe - that we're half way through 2022, or that this is the 7th Currently post this year! And while we've already passed by the first Wednesday of the month, I'm glad that it's not too late to link up with Anne in Residence and the other Currently devotees.

enjoying - I've really been enjoying the Ologies podcast lately as an escape from current events and a way to learn about the many interesting things way outside of my professional field.

having - We had my parents stay with us at the end of June, and it was really nice to see them and take some time off work. We got pretty lucky with the weather (80's and a bit sticky, but went up to the 90's the day they left), so we spent plenty of time outdoors, taking them to some of our favorite parks and to a crab house by the water, a summer 'tradition' we haven't done the past two years. 

hoping - for some light at the end of the tunnel at work. Things have been super busy, we're hiring a bunch of new people, and while I'm glad people are taking vacations, they seem poorly coordinated with the set schedules for certain projects. 

picking - some concerts, performances, baseball games etc. to go to, hoping that it makes it feel more like summer around here! 

We also are in the position to pick out a new (at least to us) car, which we sort of knew was coming, but is causing a fair amount of sticker shock nonetheless. Hopefully we will make a decision soon and can do a late summer road trip, perhaps?

using - this July 4 to read some chick-lit, start this post, and do a few others things around the house. Probably won't brave the crowds on the National Mall to see the fireworks later, but would like to check out the local concert and street fair right nearby.

Best of June

  • New kitchen light - it felt like something of an ordeal at the time (as in 3 weeks for the landlord's handy person to get it fixed), but now that it's done, the kitchen is nice and bright!
  • HH in Downtown DC - I met up with a friend after work and we grabbed some gelato, were serenaded with surprise music and bubbles at City Center, and strolled over to the newly renovated Franklin Square Park to check out the new design. 
  • Friday night brews - On most Friday evenings recently Keizo and I can be found at one of the handful of local breweries within walking and biking distance. We happened onto a free concert at Streetcar 82 a few weeks ago and really enjoy the proximity and very low key vibe at 3 Stars.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Currently - June '22

Greetings from the patio on a lovely, 72-degree Sunday morning. My current view isn't quite as sweeping as the one below, but it's not too bad either. And while it's not the first Wednesday of the month, I'm not too late to link up with Anne in Residence and the other Currently devotees!

View from Bear Chase Brewing

celebrating - There's about a month to go, but I've started to think about how we can celebrate Keizo's birthday on 7/7. So far ideas include camping, getting together with friends of his we haven't seen in-person since before the pandemic, and/or a weekend in New York City. Plus birthday cake of course!

giving - Baby gifts! I gained 5 new cousins (including two sets of twins) last month, and went to a friend's baby shower last weekend. All the new arrivals are receiving a few of the tie-dyed onesies that were featured in the photo of last month's post. 

taking - Some time off towards the end of the month when my parents will be visiting! We haven't had house guests in ages, and it will be nice to do some 'touristy' things with them, or at least shake up the normal routine and have dinner together.

trying - To be more active during the long daylight hours and eat fresh foods while they're in season. My extra pandemic pounds haven't gotten the message that the world has moved on, and I'd like to fit into my shorts again.

wearing - Right now, and probably at least once a week this summer: a soft, stretchy, black and white romper. It's been hard to resist the urge to buy another one, but with returning to the office some days and my current collection of summer dresses that are just as comfy, I really don't need another romper.

Best of May

  • Summer weather - Not everyone was excited for temperatures in the 90's, but I preferred it to the cool, grey, and cloudy week we had right after.
  • Outdoor yoga classes - The location is well-situated between work and home, and it's been so nice to go to a class in-person, with plenty of space, the sounds of birds, and views of lush green trees. Well, except for yesterday's when the grass was being cut nearby.
  • Two 3-day weekends - We didn't end up going camping in May, but did get to spend 3 days off together versus the usual 1 per week. Keizo had to work Memorial Day weekend, but I took full advantage of Monday off to get some extra reading and relaxing in.

From the Archives

What my June was like in:
  • 2021 - emerging from our bubble to go to a wedding and get on a plane, 
  • 2020 - the days after George Floyd was murdered,
  • 2019 - getting ready for RABRAI, 
  • 2018 - sharing our new favorite camp breakfast, 
  • 2017 - work travel, and 
  • 2016 - back when there were multiple posts per month!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Currently - May '22

My oh my, where does the time go? I started this draft back at the beginning of the month, and here it is two weeks later and I'm just now trying to finish it up. 

Trying out some shibori-style dye patterns on some onesies and tea towels

consuming - Greens of all kinds - baby arugula, kale, spinach & spring onions - from our CSA, as well as fresh bagels from the farmer's market. I also made pretty quick work of consuming all the episodes of the new season of the Great Pottery Throw Down and I'm on pace to do the same with Season 5 of the Great Canadian Baking Show.

feeling - Sad about some staff departures at work and a little uncertain about the whole "hybrid" work thing. Will leaving the house ever feel second nature again? Right now it seems to take an inordinate amount of prep work - making lunch, checking the weather, making sure to pack computer and notebook, etc., etc., etc. And then you go, and we're mostly on Teams/Zoom with people elsewhere. At least my desk at the office is large and next to the window!

finding - I found an outdoor yoga class on Thursdays after work and really want the weather to cooperate so I can make it a regular thing. The first class had around 12 people and it was really nice to gaze at some trees and flowers during downward dog.

following - The "Our Workplaces Think We’re Computers. We’re Not." episode of The Ezra Klein Show is almost year old now, but I've thought about it several times lately when I feel overwhelmed by my to do list or just kind of "off." It helps me remember all of the changes and uncertainty going on around me (see "feeling" above) and approach things with a little more grace.

spending - I'm getting a little better at starting my weekdays earlier, thanks to Keizo's work schedule and the sun rising earlier. I like to spend some of the time knitting, or maybe reading some non-fiction (I used to do this almost every morning, pre-pandemic) to get my brain going again.

Best of April

There's a common theme to all of these = more time outside!

  • Camping - First trip of the season was a success, and the first time we'd made Japanese food over a campfire. The gyoza got extra crispy, and the okonomiyaki wasn't to bad either. Will definitely make again.
  • Going out for happy hour - Both to meet up with friends, as well as revisit our favorite brewery patios with Keizo. 
  • Charm City Bluegrass Festival - Our first big concert in a few years did not disappoint. We had pretty perfect weather (sunny & 70's), and it was set up on two stages so that when one band stopped, the next was all set to start. 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Currently - April '22

Saving the photo for this month's post, it appeared as though every previous April post included a photo of cherry blossoms. Nearly every single one talked about wanting spring to fully arrive so I could pack up the coats and thick sweaters and that hasn't changed a bit this year. But I did find a few surprises among the five other cherry blossom posts. Back in 2016 and 2017 I was a much more regular runner; 2018 wasn't anything special; and I guess it's good that 2021 seems so long ago? After that little trip down memory lane, here's what I'm up to currently: 

Be sure to stop by In Residence to read other's posts.

getting - A hair cut on Thursday! My last one was in the fall (I think?), so my strands definitely need some attention.

going - Camping in Cape Henlopen, DE next weekend. We went around the same time last year, and while the weather the first night was freezing (literally), it was sunny and increasingly warm the next two days. Hoping that this year will only be a repeat of the latter part.

planning - Just starting to plan an epic bike camping adventure on the C&O Canal / Great Allegheny Passage. Step 1 is getting more miles in, and thankfully the weather and longer daylight hours are starting to make that feel possible, and even enjoyable, rather than a multi-layered torture expedition.  

posting - A belated birthday card to my high school best friend. She's always very punctual with mine, but I'm about a month late with this one. Oooops.

thinking - Too much at work these days, managing several projects with upcoming deliverables, and on top of that, attending trainings and trying to figure out our new accounting system. The old one did about 97 essential things, and we're only being trained on one thing at time in the new one. It feels like a long road ahead.

Best of March

  • Arizona trip - I can't believe this was less than a month ago. I'm ready for another getaway - cue camping trip!
  • Fieldwork - I had two full days of fieldwork for work this month, which were rather enjoyable for a few reasons: the weather was nice enough to be outdoors, I wasn't sitting in front of a computer all day, I could focus on just one project that day, and it made things feel a bit more "normal" after working remotely for 2 years.
  • More social interactions - Between being in a "full" office a few times this past month, to get togethers and eating out with friends, it's nice to have more variety and options for things to do!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Currently - March '22

We started March with an early "Spring Break" in Arizona to see my family and celebrate my niece's first birthday. I took a full week off work, and finally managed to stop thinking about it sometime on Wednesday. The weather worked out in our favor, and we enjoyed a couple of hikes and a bike ride while it was 70*+ and sunny. Here's what else has been going on currently:

Saguaro National Park

collecting - While the house collects dust, I've been collecting excuses, St. Patrick's Day ideas I won't follow through on, too much junk in the trunk, and books from the Little Free Libraries in the neighborhood.

craving - Our walk through the snow this morning left us craving soup for lunch, which we made happen with some pesto sandwiches on the side. Starting yesterday afternoon and continuing today, I've been craving brownies. My parents, Keizo and I split a particularly large and delicious one from 5 Points Market & Restaurant when we went through Tucson last week, and I'm a little worried the next one I make or buy won't quite live up to it.

picturing - I've been trying to picture what life would be like if I moved back to Arizona and spent time with my family on a regular basis instead of only 2-3 times a year. On one hand, it sounds ideal; on the other, I've lived on the East Coast for 10+ years now and losing trees, four seasons, my professional network, friendships, and my very walkable neighborhood with Metro access to DC makes the decision really difficult. 

playing - When we were in Arizona, I had fun playing with my niece - passing flash cards back and forth through the door of her doll house and stacking plastic rings on her little feet and wrists. From afar, we've had some good times making funny faces at each other on FaceTime.

wishing - There was a bit less going on at work. Multiple projects have deadlines and key milestones in May and there's a lot to do between now and then. Before signing off for the weekend, I tried scheduling my to-dos on my calendar and Monday and Tuesday are pretty much booked solid. :-/

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Currently - February '22

A friend said the other day that we are in the "armpit of winter," which made me chuckle, at least until I started over thinking it. Aren't armpits hot and sweaty? My feet and hands are perpetually cold. Or maybe she just meant this is a stinky time of year, in which case I have to concur. At least January is behind us and omicron cases are falling. Here's what else I've been up to currently:

loving - After a pretty restricted January - partly self-imposed (Whole30, no alcohol) and partly due to omicron - it's been nice to have more food and activity variety in February. Carbs in particular have been welcomed back with open arms - bread, pasta, and tortillas were all missed much more during the winter than when we did Whole 30 for the first time last summer.

making - So many ideas; so much less execution! This month's photo features the brightly colored yarn I purchased for making some colorful beanies for walks in the dark and I'm about a dozen rows of knitting away from finishing up a haramaki for Keizo. I made up the pattern for the haramaki and have my doubts that it will function as intended, but I had fun coming up with my own design. I've also got several friends with babies on the way, and grand designs to dye a bunch of onesies for gifts. 

taking - Another trip to AZ to see family, soak up some sunshine, and celebrate my niece's first birthday! We leave in just over a week.

wanting - Winter to be over. The days are getting longer, which is wonderful, but the weather is being less consistent with some very cold days followed by some warmer ones, then back to cold, etc. I know it's only February, but a girl can dream.

wondering - Still wondering what my goals/resolutions should be for 2022. I had been feeling inspired at the end of 2021 and made a gigantic list of ideas, but don't feel much closer to choosing any of them. 

Best of January

  • Sub-freezing bike rides - When you can't take the cabin fever any longer and you put on a bunch of layers to hop on a bike in questionable conditions. I did two of these in January, learning a bit about the art of layering each time (Hiking boots and wool socks = yes. Thinking a pair of hiking pants was windproof = no).
  • Make-up Christmas dinner and sledding with cousins - So nice to be able to get together and enjoy a classic, outdoor winter activity.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Currently - January '22

Happy New Year! Let's get right to it, shall we? Also, please visit Anne's blog to see posts from other Currently devotees.

anticipating - I'm keeping my expectations pretty low after 2021 ended feeling way too much like 2020 for my taste. We had to cancel holiday plans with my cousins and I'm being encouraged not to come into the office in January due to omicron. The sun has been rather elusive the past few days as well, adding to the overall feeling of gloom, so perhaps a mid-winter beach trip is in order!

organizing - I've been doing some organizing/prepping for Dry/Whole 30-ish January by using up or relocating non-compliant ingredients and gathering recipes. Our regular veggie CSA ended just before Christmas, so it feels weird having to remember to add staples like carrots, onions, and potatoes to the regular grocery list. 

reading - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I'm enjoying the story and characters, but all the paragraphs move seamlessly into the next one and there are very few chapter breaks, making it a little hard to stop reading in any sort of logical place. 2021 was a great year of reading for me; I finished over 30 books and hope to continue my streak in 2022.

resolving - I've filled nearly a page in an 8.5x11 inch notebook with draft ideas for 2022 goals. I like writing them all down and then seeing which ones stick with me before committing. Certainly a focus for January is diet, as mentioned above, but beyond that, there are a few that are rooted in trying to reduce my environmental impact, such as buying more things secondhand and eating more vegetarian/vegan meals. And despite my generally low expectations for the year, I do think it's safe to bring back a favorite resolution from pre-pandemic times: trying a new restaurant each month!

scheduling - Already thinking about taking a long weekend at the end of the month, as well as trying to get some social engagements planned so there's something on the calendar to look forward to.

Best of December 2021

  • Associates Graduation - This event wrapped up two years of participating in my company's internal leadership development program. The program's organizers recapped our work, shared compliments about each one of us, and had festive beverages delivered to our homes. We were allowed to bring guests, and it was fun to see significant others, pets, and kids on Zoom, providing a more holistic look at each of the graduates' lives beyond work.
  • Baking - I got warmed up with some classics, like Peanut Butter Blossoms and Foolproof Fudge, and then moved on to this year's 'showstopper,' a Buche de Noel. I had enough ingredients left to make a second one for New Year's Eve, adding frozen cherries to the filling in the middle to cut some of the creaminess. 
  • "Merry + Bright" decor - I like to come up with something a little different for Christmas decor, and this year's theme was inspired by the oversize holly I made to go around the front door. The bright red and green color scheme was repeated in garlands and I used bright paper chains and our most colorful ornaments on the tree. 
  • Sharing holiday traditions with friends - Early in the month, they invited us over for takeout and ornament painting and then we had them over for New Year's Eve. We also served takeout and invited them to join us in our annual recap via flash card conversation starters and taught them how to play Wingspan.