Monday, 26 May 2014

Two More

Sunday was totally amazing, my brother came with his family, and we spent the whole day swimming and having fun.
Today was great, even though I did not do much. We went for a swim and I hit a rock, which was very unpleasant since I couldn't see it underwater and I scraped my knee, but I was proud of myself, because I was the only one to try to swim along the river from one place to another. I also planted lots of flowers and I hope that at least some will survive. Most of the ones I planted previously have not survived the intense heat and sunlight. It is expected to become much much cooler this week, so I hope some will grow strong roots and get accustomed. I hope beyond hope that at least one or two of the red yarrow plants will survive or I will have to buy the seeds again. I've wanted the decorative yarrow for a long time.

I have to conclude that growing plants indoors is just not worth it - the melons and the watermelons that I sewed outside a whole month later that indoors are bigger and healthier than the ones in the pots inside, and the same can be said of almost all the plants.

I've spent the greatest part of the day studying programs of different universities, and I'm at a loss. I hope I'll know for sure when the time comes. There's only one thing I really want to study, but that's very costly, and that will be my last resort.

I want to mention that I've been swimming seven times this year - once in the sea, once in the little (and very cold!) stream behind our house, four times in the nearest swimming place in the River Ogre, one time in the next one, and one time - near the bridge. And it's only May! Happy days!

Excitement: 21, Boredom: 4

Saturday, 24 May 2014

So Many Amazing Days I've Lost Count (Except for Boring Wednesday)

Last Sunday we went to the seaside.
The first time this year Walter and I took a swim in the river was March 27, and the water was so very painfully cold that we could bear it for no more than a couple of seconds.
May 18 was the first swim in the sea for the four of us, even Ralph got wet - he's very sensitive to cold.

The kids have been making all kinds of housing throughout the week - I wonder if they study at all,

I've had a lot of work this week, so it's amazing. It is the difference between freezing cheap yogurt in the freezer and buying real ice-cream.
I've also done a lot in the garden. Everything's growing leaps and bounds, we've mowed the grass three times over the last seven days.

I planted a nectarine tree today. Arthur's sister gave it to him last Saturday, and I've been waiting for the perfect day to plant it since almost all the plants that I have planted at the wrong time have died. I have high hopes for this nectarine, I've always wanted a peach or something like it, and even though I know it's very fickle and hard to grow in our climate, I'm willing to cover it in winter and do all things possible to keep it strong. It's just a tiny baby now, and I had to pluck all the flowers off of it to make the roots stronger, but I'm sure it's going to look magical next spring with bright pink flowers.

My fernleaf peony (Paeonia tenuifolia plena) that I replanted last autumn has survived and has almost done blooming. I decided to take a picture while I can and not wait for a day when all the weeding will be over. I don't believe it ever will be over, since there's growing a veritable jungle in one part of the garden while I'm weeding the other.

We're short of money, and the rhubarb has unexpectedly helped me through. There's all kinds of dessert you can make using rhubarb, and I really don't know what I would do without it while there are no other fruits. (I know it's technically a vegetable, not a fruit, I know.)

This is going to be the first night of the year that the kids are going to spend outside in a tent.

I've got dozens of flowers to plant tomorrow, they're getting accustomed to the outdoors right now on the steps.

The only boring day was Wednesday, because I didn't manage to do anything at all, I just sat at the computer all day long playing some ancient games (Heroes of Might and Magic 2).
We've been to the river three times this week, and the week is not over yet, so I expect some more good swims this evening and tomorrow.

Friends are coming over tonight, so I have to go and tidy up the kitchen a bit. It's going to be an amazing night.

Excitement: 19. Boredom: 4

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Theatre, Gardening and Guests

Two absolutely amazing and fulfilled days.
I had very little sleep yesterday because of work, less than 4 hours, which was exciting, and then I spent all day gardening, which was just perfect, the garden looks irresistible. We went to the theatre, and the play was really good. My husband was forced to face his homophobia and thanks to the incredible performance of the actors had to somewhat change his ideas of homosexuals. It was, I must admit, quite funny to see a slight change and a tiny bit more tolerance in him.
We got home at half past ten, and the kids were just exhausted from playing computer all evening.

Today Arthur's sister came to us with her husband, daughter, and grandson, and we spent an amazing evening. I baked pizzas and a chocolate cake, and we had ice-cream with fruit. We talked about the subject that has lately become my absolute favourite - namely, gardening. She gave my husband a nectarine tree as a birthday present, but I'm sure it will be a present for me rather that him, since I've always wanted to try growing a peach or something like that. She gave heaps of great advice as well. I love her to bits, she's one of the people I admire the most. I really hope to see her soon again.

Excitement: 13, Boredom: 3

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Excitement vs Anxiety

Yesterday was very exciting, I had an animated movie to translate for dubbing, and I sent it several hours too late. So this day is unbearably overwhelming, because I can feel the anger of my colleagues from 42 km distance. There's only one thing to do - and for some inexplicable reason  it is incredibly difficult. That is - to send everything on time. In good time. It will take a drastic overhaul of my habits to do that, and I am worried beyond all measure. I can't stand the feeling that everyone hates me at the moment (to be honest, not everyone, just a couple of people, and it's not really hate, it's just some well-earned anger).

In other news, the warmth is finally here, so I should devote all my spare time for gardening and all the millions of flowers that are getting all spindly and weak on the windowsills and need to be planted outside ASAP.
That's all exciting. Really. And we are going to see a play tomorrow evening, and I'm sure I'll love it. The kids will be thrilled, too, since they will have the computer to themselves for hours and hours.

Excitement: 11 Boredom: 3
(I really need an app or some kind of counter for this, I can't keep up any more.)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

No News - Good News

Absolutely incredibly exciting days, a huge number of people, a lot of partying, some dancing, some heart-to-heart conversations, some girl talk, a lot of food, a lot of rain, and these two days - a lot of work (at last!). I've been thinking about my life a lot lately.

I really, really, really hope it's sunny tomorrow. The laundry is getting wetter and wetter once again, and there's a really unpleasant stale smell in the house because of all the laundry I've been trying to dry inside. My husband has therefore turned on the heating. But there's nothing like the smell of clothes that have been dried outside in the wind. I swear I can even smell the difference between a bed-sheet that's been dried on a sunny day or a cloudy day.

Excitement: 9, Boredom: 3

Friday, 9 May 2014

He's Turning 40. Party, Party, Party...

Today and yesterday were more stressful than exciting, since it's the 40th birthday of the love of my life today, so his parents visited him today and we'll have 30 people tomorrow. It's a lot of fuss, and much as I like guests, I feel quite anxious. I've actually been dreading his 40th birthday for some time now, since I'm quite sure some midlife crisis symptoms are sure to surface, even though he's pretending to be untouchable.

Anyway, I had quite a lot of work today (not a lot compared to what everyday rut used to look like, but more that these last months, so these days go down as "exciting". And I had "Amazing Spiderman 2" to "correlate" (it means matching subtitles to the video), so it must have been amazing.

No time to write more. I have to do a lot of cleaning, washing, vacuuming and decorating. Tomorrow is sure to be so hugely exciting that I most probably won't have any time to post. Which is a good thing.

Excitement:5, Boredom: 3.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Work Hard, Play Hard

But work lazily and reluctantly, and playing will seem all the more tempting.

What I'm trying to say that running about a field really made my day, and I can honestly say it was amazing. We met a classmate of Ralph's, and she added a nice touch to an otherwise quite rough game.
The day ended on a fun note, too. We finished reading "Tom Sawyer". Walter feels too old to be read to (he's eight), so he hasn't heard the rest of the book and joined in just for the last chapter, but Ralph (he's ten) wants to carry on with "Huckleberry Finn". To be honest, I'm surprised, my kids are not usually too fond of classics, but this must be a real "boy book". Well - smoking, stealing, looking for treasure, hanging around boats and cemeteries - what's not to love?

In the last chapter of "Tom Sawyer" Huck complains about being all civilized and oppressed by manners and so on, and so we had a chance to discuss the pleasures of being homeless, jobless and without a care in this world. The boys found it all too tempting, when suddenly Walter grimaced and smelled his palm. He began rubbing it vigorously and smelling it again and again.
- Ralph, rub and smell your palm, it smells like something burnt, - he said, but Ralph did not respond. I did, however, and the very next moment I had my palm smashed into my face by Walter. It did not hurt, but I felt like such a fool, having fallen for this ancient trick, and I sent them to bed giggling.

I absolutely MUST get more work done tomorrow.

Exciting: 3, Boring: 2.

Monday, 5 May 2014

A Magic Cake Does Not a Day Magical Make

This was not an amazing day. I got lots done, I tidied the bedroom which was long overdue, re-potted a thousand plants (I LOVE to exaggerate, so there must have been some twenty plants at most), did the laundry (which is currently getting wetter and wetter on the clothes line outside) and baked a Magic Cake. It was a failure, it flattened down and I know why. It's my oven. I can't possibly bake anything that requires low heat. There were no layers that are supposed to be the essence of this cake, and it tasted like a very eggy vanilla custard. The kids wolfed it down, so it was not a Total Failure, but it's a cake I won't try baking again. Not because of the deflated, pathetic look but because I'm not particularly fond of custard cakes. Enough about the cake. Let me tell you about the hugely exciting thing I did... Ah, but wait. I didn't do anything exciting today. Apart from stumbling on a list of goals. On six lists of goals, to be precise. "A Five Year Plan", "A Ten Year Plan", "A Twenty Year Plan", "An 18 Month Plan", "A Business Plan" and "A Plan for Higher Education Degrees that are Supposed to Make Me Rich, Thin and Fulfilled". You know the type. I reread the plans. I have no idea when I've written them, but that's the bonus of having a poor memory - every little old thing seems fresh and exciting.

As I know that nobody is reading what I write I might just as well include some of those plans here, since they are really good. They even have deadlines. Trouble is, I have no idea of the starting date, so those deadlines might just as well be infinite. The plans must be quite recent - it's a 2013 calendar.

I won't show you my 18-month plan, but it's a great one. It seems like it's been written by another human being (one that still has a handwriting, for that matter), and I think I might really try to do the things that are there. Thinking about me gets me kind of excited.

Actually I'm beginning to think I just have too much sex. Things don't get me as excited as they did when I wasn't married to the sexiest man alive. On the other hand, giving up the daily dose might shake up the things in my life that are already great to begin with. I don't want my husband to "have thoughts", basically that is the reason we have that "daily dose". I could boast we have so much sex because I'm hugely attractive, but unfortunately that's not the case - in fact I am just huge. I insist on sex every day just so that I can feel OK in my own skin and can feel more or less sure of our relationship.

Celibacy seems kind of tempting right now. Just like a diet seems interesting right after you've had a hundred pieces of Magic Cake (I am the queen of exaggerations, but if I told you I had just one, it wouldn't be an exaggeration, it would be a full-blown lie). What if I suggested we should abstain until his birthday? That's on Friday. It's Monday now. Nah, that could never work. Or could it? Suppose I tell my husband of 11 years, the father of my two kids this:

Anyway, all this talk of sex and plans makes me want to work. I'm now translating a German soap called "Wege zum Glueck", and there's a dialogue that runs a little bit like this:
Man: How can you know all my wishes and fears, my desires and whatnot? You lie here naked (almost, it's not THAT kind of soap) in front of me, making me all horny'n'stuff. How do you do that?
Woman: I can guess your darkest secrets... your fantasies... I can fulfill your desires... It's my job. I make my living that way.
Man: OMG, are you a whore?!
Woman (very slowly and seductively): No, I am a psychologist. Police psychologist.

I knew psychologists could read minds and fulfill fantasies! I'm going to be a Psychologist Superheroine, fulfilling fantasies, looking all sexy and naked and stuff! Wait, what? That's a whore?

Excitement: 2, Boredom: 2.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

No Progress, No Excitement

As the researchers have found, in order to feel happy we need to know what we want and to feel we are progressing towards that goal. So there are two ways to be unhappy - not to move towards a goal or not to know what we want.
I have to say, I more or less know what I want. However, I've often thought that hard work makes me less happy than rest and relaxation. I must have been quite wrong, and today was a perfect proof of that.
The things I consider my goals are getting thin, rich and fulfilled. The fulfillment goal is kind of vague and hazy, it varies a lot and can depend on many things. Sometimes gardening makes me feel fulfilled, sometimes it's meeting people or doing other things I love. This day, however, was spent on quite mundane tasks, since it was cold and raining outside. I sewed some buttons and hooks, and mended some torn clothes. I replanted a whole lot of tiny lobelia and petunia seedlings, dealt with the dishes and kids, and so on. The only thing even remotely brave and exciting was pruning my poor oleander that was completely out of control. I had been afraid to prune it for months, since it had the new growth which would bloom in summer. But it looked so spindly and weak, and covered in mealybugs that I decided to go against all advice and prune it in spring, not in September after blooming. Here's the "after" picture. I have to say, sorry and pathetic though it looks, it's much much better than before.

That is not my idea of excitement, though, and I didn't do any money work, either.
I'm wasting my time before going to bed now, and I know how I could still make this day exciting in the last hour that's left of it. I have a children's book in the making that's just begging for the second chapter, but for some reason it's been more than 9 months since I wrote the first chapter. I haven't been able to get down to writing because it's so exciting to write that it's utterly overwhelming.
Or I could just go and wash my hair, and deem this day completely unexciting, if not just downright boring.

Excitement: 2, Boredom: 1.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

I Want to Ride My Bicycle (Fat Bottomed Girls Make the Rocking World Go Round)

An amazing day if there ever was one!
My husband and I were invited to join a leisurely bicycle ride through the countryside and woodlands, and even though I felt apprehensive, we agreed and I'm so glad we did! It turned out that we were among the best of the bunch and I mostly kept in the front so that I could stop and take pictures. I won't include many - I don't know if our friends would mind or not. But it was absolutely great, and apart from slight discomfort (pain in the butt) I felt when I got on the bike today I don't feel any muscle fatigue at all.
And there was a party afterwards, you can be sure of it! Our Minecraft Children got a whole day of computer time and are pretty cranky today, but it was totally wort it!

Excitement: 2, Boredom: 0.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Friday, May 2

You know it's going to be an amazing day when you see a woodpecker eating macaroni and cheese just outside your window (hence the dreadful quality of the picture).

My brother came to us unexpectedly and took me and the kids to Uldevena medieval castle in Lielvārde. And then he made me climb upstairs to the fortress wall. It's not climbing up that I fear, it's coming down. (I had to jump, I could not muster up the courage to get down the feeble-looking wooden ladder. My fearfulness frightens and amazes me. I am amazing that way.)

And then we went for a walk, saw a weird looking ship/barge/boat.

We bought a ball and went home to play some totally unfair version of football where there is only one goal-line and goalies have no possible chance of winning. But what do I care, the career of a goalkeeper has never really appealed to me, and I'm not interested on being on the losing side anyway.

So all in all, yes, an amazing day. Excitement 1: Boredom 0.
(Did I get any work done? No!)

For a Life More Exciting

This blog has been created for one purpose only - to make me see how amazing or boring my days are. In winter it seems there's just an endless streak of boredom and no excitement whatsoever. Summers are better, but only if they're not spent in front of the computer... or perhaps there's a way to combine both?

There's a saying in my native language - everyone is the blacksmith of his/her own happiness. Being a translator, I would normally smooth this line to say "you forge your own happiness", but some meaning would be lost. First of all, the word "blacksmith" makes one think of a massive, masculine, mighty man with a hammer, doing dirty, sweaty, hard work. I believe forging your own happiness must be quite hard, or the whiny human tends to overlook the happiness part. You need to know you've worked for it, or the value of the good things in your life gets greatly diminished. Second, "forge" in English is a double-bladed sword - there's also forgery involved. That might be a good thing if you believe the old "fake it and make it" mantra, but I really don't. I rather follow the "faking/suppressing emotions gives you cancer" school of thought.
I tend to think my life is pretty boring, but is it? I also tend to eat out of boredom, but do I need to?

Of course, devoting a whole blog just for patting myself on the back seems rather over the top. I am aware of that. Still, I find a lot of pleasure in writing blogs. There's also that awareness that life consists of years, and years consist of days, and so on.
Big fleas have little fleas,
Upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
and so, ad infinitum.
So - in order to make my life more exciting I need to make my days more exciting, and once I have the need to register the successes and failures in a blog, I might even try harder to make my hours more exciting.

So here's to an amazing day!