Photo and text by Gabrielle.
I just realized I skipped January’s post, but here’s February’s installment of random thoughts just for you. Feel free to share your own random thoughts in the comments!
1) It seems to be spider season at our house. I have a long-standing deep fear of many types of spiders. In France, some of the spiders were massive, especially in the fall, and I did not deal well with the situation at all. And growing up in St. George, wolf spiders were both gross and terrifying to me (they still are!). But these Oakland spiders don’t really scare me. They’re often tiny, and they’re daddy-long-leg types, so there’s not much mass to them.
The thing that bugs me is the constant battling of cobwebs. I vacuum them all up, and the next day they are back in full force. I’ve heard that wiping down surfaces with lemon juice can keep them away. Apparently, their taste buds are in their feet and they don’t like the taste of lemon. Any one out there tried this? Other tips?
2) Not sure what to do about this, but we’re having a really hard time finding a contractor for our master bedroom remodel. I was not expecting this and and am feeling stuck. I’m wondering what the story is. Last time we hired a contractor, we had 3 bids within a week. This time, it’s hard to get anyone to return a phone call. Maybe there’s some sort of building boom going on that I’m not aware of?
I could have sworn we’d be done by now and we haven’t even started the demolition. Very frustrating! I usually try to hire people on recommendation, but at this point, I feel like I”m going to need to start cold-calling every contractor in the area and see who has time. I’m happy to take any advice! I’m really, really excited to get going on this. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning.
3) Our whole house is buzzing with excitement over the launch of Teachur. I’m super proud of Ben Blair and my brother Josh. The kids are proud too — they check in and give me updates on the Kickstarter page throughout the day. Cousins call and cheer Ben on. My siblings share the post and pledge support. The response has been really wonderful and I love any time Ben Blair gets to shine.
I also LOVE the responses you gave on the post I wrote about it. I can’t thank you enough. The feedback and questions are incredibly helpful to Ben and Josh. Feel free to keep them coming. If you’re interested in following the progress of Teachur, a pledge of even $1 is awesome! It helps them gauge interest and makes it easy to update people with Teachur news.
4) Both of my boys are growing their hair out. They’ve worn their hair short for so many years, that I think we’d forgotten how curly it is! They haven’t needed it before, but I bought some mousse and gel for them to try out as they figure out which sort of curl they like best.
Betty and Olive don’t have much curl, but Maude and June definitely have some. In fact, June used to have a ton! A whole head full of ringlets. But her curls have relaxed in a big way over the last 2 years. I have no idea why. Age? Humidity levels? It’s always fascinating to see my kids grow and change. I love seeing who they are becoming.
5) A few months after we moved here, we hired a woman named Natalie as our housekeeper. She was excellent! An artist who wanted flexible work so she could paint in her spare time. She would come about 10 hours per week to clean house and run errands. But she took a full-time office job last fall (awesome for her!) and we haven’t replaced her yet. I think it’s time to hire someone again, but I keep putting it off. It feels like asking someone to join the family and I want to make sure I’m hiring the right person.
What’s your take on hiring help in the home? Have you ever hired someone? A house keeper? A nanny? A personal assistant? I know some people love hiring help, and others find it stressful to have non-family members in their home on a regular basis. As for me, I truly love the help, but at the same time, having a break for a few months has also been good. Yes, it has meant more of my time spent cleaning, but if I’m honest, I’m also more relaxed when I don’t have workers in my house. How about you?
6) Sometimes I get the urge to do a video — probably a Periscope — where I can talk about random stuff like this. I haven’t tried something like that before. Pretty much every video I’ve created has had a specific purpose or even a script. So I don’t know if the randomness would work. I’m sure there must be You-tubers that do something similar — random chatty videos that are unedited. But I haven’t come across any, so maybe they’re not aimed at my demographic. Who knows.
Really what I want is a conversation. I want to talk about random stuff with another person. I want the back and forth. If you have any thoughts on this idea, let me know.
7) I’m feeling really lucky today. It’s one of those days where I’m having a moment of clarity, and can clearly see that I’m surrounded by good people and good things. If I started making a gratitude list right this minute, I’m quite sure I would get to bedtime and not be finished yet. Little things like the unexpected fresh flowers a thoughtful friend sent. And big things like the fact that I really like my kids, not just because they’re mine, but because they are as human beings. Have you ever had one of those days? It feels good.
I think that’s it for now. Please feel free to respond to anything here, or bring up your own topic. I always love hearing what’s on your minds!
P.S. — I post my random thoughts each month. You can find them all here.