1. I ate a lot of food; I mean a lot of food. I last updated right at Christmas, right? Well, let me explain something to you; Christmas = food. That's it. That's all Christmas is, just food and food and food. Well, and family and love and Santa and my niece's cookies she made herself (with, er, a little help) in her Easy Bake Oven and all kinds of other things, but... food.
I ate kolaches (thanks to my talented older brother, he of the famed delicious chestnut soup), cinnamon rolls (Christmas tradition!), Chex Mix, ham, like nine kinds of potatoes, green bean casserole, sugar cookies, nutter butter cookies, cookies cookies cookies and I think there was some pie in there somewhere too? Although that may have been after the return to South Carolina. Can't always keep my desserts straight, you know.
Two of my Christmas presents were the Beekman Boys cookbooks I've been drooling over, and I've already done the dandelion greens salad with warm bacon dressing, which Jason and I agreed was a great recipe while stuffing our faces with absolutely on sense of shame.
Today, I am going to bake their orange gingerbread cake.
It's going to be a good day.
2. It done got cold.
Not, like, a little cold. That whole polar vortex thing that swept the nation (except southern Florida, and let's all take this moment to hate Florida, shall we)? It hit Greenville, too. When my plane landed back in South Carolina on December 31st, it was 47 degrees and was up to 54 by the heat of the day, which is perfectly normal for a southern New Year.
By the next week, the day of the month and the amount of degrees it was outside were exactly the same - six. It was six degrees. On January 6th.
Let me explain something to Northerners who are shrugging and muttering about the negative-degrees they were dealing with. First, trust me, I am with you. I remember -20 temps and I do not wish them on anyone.
But for a moment imagine you are a Southerner.
To you, unbearable cold is 30 degrees. You put on your winter parka and scarves and gloves and hats when it's 40 outside.
Six degrees is a frozen bafflement. People stared around themselves, too distracted by ice that didn't melt during the midday sun. Our running water features at work began to freeze over, something I had yet to see before.
I attempted to make the argument that this clearly constituted some kind of Act of God that was telling us all to go home to our warm houses and sleep all day, but apparently my employer doesn't agree with my line of thinking.
3. When it stopped being cold, it started raining.
I am sitting here writing this as the rain falls, and it's only going to fall more all day long. It started raining Friday, the first day it started to feel back to normal here as far as the temperatures go. It rained all day Saturday. Our yard is a mud-hole mess. I try not to even look at it at this point.
It's sunny today, but that's mostly meant Jason digging out drainage for the yard because we had kind of an alarming amount of standing water.
At least it's not cold, though. That's something.
4. I woke up around 4 a.m. Saturday morning to the loudest thunder-crash I have ever heard in my life. It wasn't that it rattled the windows, it actually rattled the whole house. I had that movie wake-up that always seems like something no one ever does, where you go from dead asleep to sitting up in bed, straight up. The sheer feel of the thunder gave me a half-second of confused sleepy worry where I couldn't figure out if it was thunder or some kind of weird little earthquake, where I forgot what state I was in.
It took me about an hour to get back to sleep, lying in bed in the dark watching the lightning flashes and counting the seconds to the accompanying thunder. As the time between the two grew longer and longer, I started to relax and fell back asleep.
My younger cat, no doubt, was chasing toys obliviously around the house. The dog and Jason had both fallen right back to sleep after the original loud crash.
Only my older cat, busy hiding in the closet, and I remained awake to listen.
5. Despite my pride in being a member of the Coffee Cult, those who cannot survive without their certain amount of the stuff by 10 am... despite the fact that I am the kind of person who gets a headache if they don't have caffeine by noon...
I've been drinking tea pretty much nonstop lately. Earl Grey and Chai are my favorites right now; I'm not usually a brand-person or even particularly picky about what kinds of tea I drink, but I'm very picky lately. I want the Earl Grey Creme from the Charleston Spice & Tea downtown, Snowflake (coconut and almond black tea) from Tealoha (also downtown), and my Bigelow Vanilla Chai from literally any grocery store whatsoever.
Add honey and a ton of milk, and I am a happy, vaguely caffeinated camper.
6. Did I mention that all this cold nonsense has meant I actually got to wear my heavier sweaters? I am completely happy with sweater weather. I am all about sweater weather.
I'm going to be miserable from May through October from the heat, but late November through February? Those are my months down here.
They're less fun for our electric bill, but, you know... sweaters.
It all evens out.
7. I'd like to be able to say that I haven't been updating because my life has been super busy, or I've been crazy active or there's plots and plans in the works or any other of the usual Blogger Excuses For Why They're Not Updating, but...
those would all be lies.
Vicious, vicious lies.
Because I am so wonderful, I'm going to tell you the truth; I just... kinda got lazy. I wasn't busy; I was lying on the couch reading books, playing videogames, occasionally frantically cleaning, and then starting the process all over again.
If it makes you feel better, though, I remembered!
(Actually, my sister reminded me. But it's like remembering, right?)
Here I am!
So how are you doing?