Monday, March 30, 2015

Bits and Pieces, Filling Time

I have a dentist appointment this morning, and I have 30 minutes before I need to leave for that. That isn't enough time to start any of the "real" things on my to do list, and besides, Pumpkin is home from school for spring break and my parents are here to entertain her. Right now, Pumpkin is summarizing the Chinese version of the Cinderella story for my mom.

What I'm saying is that trying to get any serious work done would be silly. So I'll write a blog post!

My parents were here over the weekend, too, so Mr. Snarky and I got a little bit of time out on our own. On Saturday, we went and looked at loft beds for Pumpkin. She really wants one, and we've decided that will be her birthday gift this year. It is much more expensive than our usual sort of birthday gift, but also a lot more practical. It will solve some space problems in Pumpkin's room, and also allow us to put a bean bag chair in her room as a reading corner. As usual, Mr. Snarky insisted on driving to several stores to look at options before settling on the option we saw at the first store (Ikea). Left to my own devices, I would have just bought the Ikea option first thing, but driving around looking at furniture wasn't a terrible way to spend a couple hours.

Yesterday, we went out to lunch. It was a beautiful day, so I suggested we go down by the beach. Mr. Snarky suggested a new beer pub/restaurant  he'd seen, and we headed off without considering that (1) it is spring break, and (2) it is March Madness. The place was packed and noisy, and we had to wait 30 minutes for a table. The food was good, though, and we walked along the beach after lunch, so all was good.

I also spent some time looking at our options for our upcoming trip to France. We'll only be there for one week, and one day is reserved for the wedding. Completely by coincidence, Mr. Snarky's sister will be in France at the same time for a vacation. So another day is reserved to drive over to where she will be to see her and her family.

Mr. Snarky originally wanted to go over to the Riviera, but the drive times are just too long. Anytime we plan a vacation like this, Mr. Snarky assumes things are closer together than they are and tries to convince me to cover a lot more ground than really makes sense. I, on the other hand, assume things are farther apart than they really are and argue for seeing less. I suspect this difference is related to both our personalities and where we grew up. Regardless, Google Maps is our savior- we plan itineraries in front of the computer now, looking up drive times as we go.

As of right now, it looks like we'll be focusing on Aquitaine, with a little bit of time either in the Dordogne region or in Basque country. Anyone with favorite things to see in those areas, feel free to tell me about them in the comments!

In between birthday gift shopping, travel planning, and loafing around with Mr. Snarky, I did some work. I had two pieces of writing to send off, one a paid article  and one an unpaid guest post. I'll write unpaid guest posts if I like the blog I'm at which I'm a guest, and if I think that I have something useful to say to that audience. I've been thinking that I should perhaps look for more paid writing jobs, but I don't have the right mindset yet. I'm not good at identifying a market and then thinking up a piece to pitch to them. Instead, I come up with a topic and write a piece on it, and then see if I can find it a home. That is not an efficient approach, particularly since I only come up with topics infrequently.

The other thing I've been thinking of doing is developing a short online class about project management. Or maybe management in general. I'd probably start really small, with just a couple hours of material.  I may put together a survey to gauge interest in this. Stay tuned! But right now, it is time for my dentist appointment. I hope you are all starting the day with something a little more pleasant!


  1. Anonymous8:37 AM

    My son is excited about the prospect of getting a bunk bed next year (since most likely the two kids will be sharing a room). (He also has a dentist appointment today... coincidence? (probably))

  2. I am planning to get loft beds or bunk beds 2-3 years down the line, since my boys share a room and there really isn't a space to sit and work in there. At what age does the temptation to jump off end? (that was rhetorical, I assume some kids never have that, and some never outgrow it)

    1. @Ana - I want to know this too. We are looking at lofts or bunks but my 5-year-old hurls himself off everything. My sister-in-law told me there was some loft bed with a slide, which seems like it might provide a safe, and yet still exciting alternate means of egress.

  3. lucy4eng11:15 AM

    Basque country is beautiful and food is gorgeous!

  4. We just did the loft bed/beanbag chair thing. Went with Ikea because as soon as my daughter saw their version with the pink desk drawers and pink closet doors she fell in love and wouldn't consider anything else. If you do go that route be warned that the assembly is pretty serious and definitely requires two people, but that the results have been worth it.

    We'd also been having some serious stuffed-animal-overload, so I went with this suggestion for a bean-bag chair:
    You just stuff the cover with stuffed toys. Now she has something to sit on and the room is much less of a mess, but if she ever wants a particular toy it is immediately available. Couldn't find a cover to buy, but luckily grandmothers are awesome and put together this:

  5. We have friends who live in Paris; she is French and he is an American who owns a local bike touring company. Given their interests (and the fact that they have two young daughters and probably appreciate traveling both with and without little ones), I think they may have some travel suggestions. I'll pass along anything I get!

  6. The dentist appointment took ages but no cavities were found, so I can't complain. Especially since I had somehow forgotten to go for a checkup the last time one was due, so it had been a year since my last one...

    I don't know about the jumping off bunk beds thing. Pumpkin is not the type to do that and never has been. Petunia might be more inclined to jump, but she'll probably restrain herself because she desperately wants a loft bed, too, and she won't get one if she misbehaves on her sister's... But we'll see.

  7. Kristin9:47 PM

    Please start a short online class on project management! I really need it!


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