Saturday, January 26, 2019

Work and Well-Being and Wecipes

So President Trump bent the knee to Speaker Pelosi and our government is open again! (Yes that is an insider's reference to a show that has spent seven seasons showing us all that walls don't work.) I am immensely pleased about this, particularly as I had just received my second notice of furlough (apparently each notice only lasts 30 days; who knew? no one, actually, because a shutdown has never lasted that long), along with a $0.00 pay day and the unwelcome news that I was about to be direct billed for our health insurance premiums. I spent the day baking cookies, streaming MSNBC radio, and making plans with all my mom friends to come eat the cookies and pair them with fine wines. Then it turned into a celebration instead of a commiseration because back to work I can go!

So I'm glad the shitdown is over. It was genuinely catastrophic for many people - still is, as contractors like our janitors, cafeteria workers, and security personnel don't get back pay and all those who depend on government employees for business went without for over a month. And even for me, someone for whom the financial aspect should not have been an enormous source of stress thanks to back pay, savings, and a family safety net, it was neither a fun nor mentally healthy 5 weeks of unplanned pseudo-unemployment. It has been proven beyond doubt (not that I ever had any) that going to work is important to every aspect of my mental and physical well being. And marriage. James loves me with his whole heart, but he is not going to miss clingy furloughed me at all.

(Actual conversation we had about 3 weeks ago:
Me: I canceled my therapy appointment for this week because it's in the afternoon when I now have the kids.
James: You mean you rescheduled for an earlier time?
Me: No, I just canceled it. I'll reschedule when I'm back at work.
James: You mean you're going to reschedule it for an earlier time later this week?
Me: Ummm...
James: Great idea.)

Me, after I decided that doing my hair was part of my self-care,
modeling new earrings my sister gave me for Christmas

And so, on Monday I go back. Except not until noon because Landon has the regional spelling bee that morning (he was his school's champion last month!) so it's actually the first day my furloughed status would have been useful. But after 12:00! At my desk I will be. Just me, a bunch of case files I barely remember, and what is probably a very dehydrated succulent.

The girls, playing "work" when I could not

The kids have been busy. Between choir, news crew, running club, student council, math facts UIL, either Landon or Claire has something every day before or after school, along with their chosen extracurriculars of swimming, climbing, and gymnastics. I look forward to handing that mess back over to our sweet nanny.

Cora, all ready for swimming, and killing it as always

We have some exciting news brewing in our little family that I can't wait to share with you.

It involves a special visitor who came to see us Thursday night, and though I haven't bought a single thing for any humans in my family since late December, I might have pressed "checkout" on today for a yellow polka dot canine sundress with SPF sun protection. Because until that back pay comes through, we're still sticking to just the essentials.

(These were also deemed essential. Squee!)

On to food! Back to planning meals that involve less than 2 hours of prep/cook time:

Saturday: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo, crackers, sliced cheese.

Sunday: Trader Joe's sliced gyro meat, frozen naan, tzatziki sauce, greek salad, roasted potatoes.

Monday: Pizza (Regional Spelling Bee Day! Landon got to choose dinner and so we are having a variety of frozen pizzas), sliced raw veggies.

Tuesday: Creamy Chicken Enchilada Chili in the crock pot, tortilla chips.

Wednesday: Pasta with creamy meat sauce (Ground elk meat from our friend, cooked in garlic and onion, mixed with jarred marinara sauce and half a block of cream cheese, tossed with cooked pasta).

Thursday: Crock Pot Pea Soup, corn bread.

Friday: DATE NIGHT. 6 weeks after we canceled the last one because it looked like I might not be paid for a while, we are dressing up and going OUT and eating and drinking ALL the things and I cannot wait. The kids will eat something from the pantry, I do not care what. Have I mentioned I can't wait?


  1. So happy for you! I'm glad you had a wonderful support system to see you through. But looking forward to updates on your poor succulent, your new visitor (or permanent family member?) and that date night. Have a wonderful weekend LL! --TAS

  2. I just made that Lemon Chicken Orzo soup - so good! Glad you're back to work (for a few weeks at least...)

  3. wait, what? no everyone gets back pay? That's unbelievable.