Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This is how we do it

Phil and I went camping last Wednesday night.
I love everything about camping but the sleeping part.
I'll pee in the woods.
I'll build a fire.
I'll chop wood.
I'll cook in a fire.
I'll forego a shower if I must.
But my sleep is precious.
And when I camp, my sleep is either cold or uncomfortable.

Enter my heroic husband, who said his goal for me was to be warm and comfortable all night.
I had my doubts. 


the following made my camping experience...not bad:
5 layers (tank top, short sleeved shirt, thermal long sleeved shirt, fleece, & jacket)
Smartwool socks
Numerous hand a toe warmers--including several that we threw into our sleeping bags
A zero-degree sleeping bag
A fire that I (proudly) made
An air mattress (thank you very much)
No wind
A very attentive husband

I must say, there's something about unplugging and getting away from the zing of life, something about turning off the phones and not even reading a book, something about slowing down and staring into a fire and talking for hours about things that matter (or not). This yawn of life every once in a while is irreplaceable in our marriage. And that is why I agree to camp--even if I do sacrifice some sleep.

Thanks, Panera!

Last Thursday, I was out and about, trying to run a bunch of errands on my rare day off, when I realized that I was insatiably thirsty and hadn't actually had any fruit or vegetables all day. Nice. So, I decided to go to a nearby Panera to try one of their "real fruit" smoothies. That counts as fruit, right?

While waiting for my drink, I notice a sign for the new cherry vanilla bagel, and since I'm always thinking of new food combinations, I asked the very fine looking guy at the register if he had tried it. I thought it sounded good, but I was having a hard time envisioning those flavors in a bagel.  He had tried it, but felt the same way, that it was an odd flavor for a bagel. (Insert our conversation about how great cinnamon crunch and asiago cheese bagels are). "Do you want to try a cherry vanilla bagel?" he asked. I just looked at him with "do-I-have-to-pay-for-it?" plastered all over my face. "I'll let you try it," he said. And of course, I let him give me a free bagel--toasted.

So, here's my review of the cherry vanilla bagel, which boasts that it's "flavored with cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar": It's just okay. It smelled divine, like homemade cake, but I think the flavors would go better in a muffin or something that's lighter than a bagel. I couldn't decide if it needed to be more sweet or if it was too sweet, which I realize sounds like a paradox, but I'm pretty sure cream cheese would have solved whatever flavor problem there was  (I didn't want to push my luck by asking for free cream cheese). Bottom line: I was glad the bagel was free. After all, it's hard to top the cinnamon crunch and asiago cheese bagels.

P.S. I just learned that the cherry vanilla bagel is the "Pink Ribbon Bagel" honoring breast cancer. While that information doesn't make the bagel taste any better, I love that Panera is joining the cause in their own way.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm a quality time person. I love long, deep conversations, thinking until my head hurts, and asking thoughtful questions.

In fact, I'm such a quality time person that I've often poo-pooed the quantity time folks who prefer gobs of time--shallow or deep--instead of the time concentrate I prefer. Of course, having the hubs in medical school and now residency has made me appreciate quantity time as well.

So, quality time? Absolutely worthwhile. Quantity time? Still a lesser time form in my skewed view, but valuable. But frequency of time? Had never really thought about it.

Enter my friend, Adam, who recently said, "People really underestimate how far a few phone calls a week at two minutes a piece can go for a friendship." Checking in often but briefly. So simple. I often let months go by without contacting (or hearing from) a friend and then I feel obligated to have an hour-long conversation with them so that I can catch up on a month's worth of information.  Usually, I don't have an hour, or my hour doesn't line up with their hour, so this concept of contacting people more often but less intensely really started to make sense.

But it went against everything I believed in: quality time needed time in order to go deep. How deep can you go in two minutes?

I threw (my) logic to the wind and started small by sharing with my best friend the plan to contact (call/text/email) her often but briefly. She was in. While we actually only talk about once a week,  I feel more connected to her than any other friend right now. I realized that frequency creates a sense of connection, even if it's a tiny sound byte of time. In fact, when I think about who I feel closest to at this moment, it's the people I communicate with most--not necessarily most deeply, but most often.

A couple minutes here and there also don't seem so intimidating to accomplish. I have time in the car, a minute while I unload the dishwasher, a few moments while I'm eating lunch to send a text. It's made me think about others more, about how my time can be shared with them, which is a pretty quality thing if you ask me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

From your friendly neighborhood aviator police pumpkin, known to the locals as simply "Stache" (Phil's and my tribute to my stache-sporting dad), "Jack" (evidence of my sister-in-law's mad carving skills) and "GT" (my brother wasn't quite adept enough to carve the Georgia Tech yellow jacket, Buzz). 

And while no kids came knocking on our door for candy this year, 
I can't say I'm all that disappointed.
I'm pretty sure our dwindling bowl of Butterfingers and Reeses will be put to good use.