Moments of zen

It’s been quite a week with the US elections completely fraying my nerves. I wonder how Joe Biden can unite such an entrenched and divided America, where half the population live in an alternate conspiracy theory universe, making wild accusations and calling the president-elect and his wife unspeakable things, and where the other half doesn’t understand why the people take solace in that universe. Fear seems at the bottom of it all but how can the fear be taken away? How can that divide be bridged, I wonder? But I decided not to wonder too much about all that today; today was about getting some zen back into my life.

It was a beautiful day out, so Mr. Esther and I decided to go for a walk in the woods, about 40 minutes away from where we live. The kids wanted to stay home and chill, so it was just the two of us. The weather was dry and pleasant, perfect for an autumn walk in the woods, with lots of mushrooms to admire along the way.

It was lovely to take the time to really talk with each other without other distractions around. We sat on chopped logs for a while, taking in the quiet autumn atmosphere and when we walked, it was lovely to walk through the rustling autumn leaves. I wish we lived closer to those woods, it’s so good for relaxing your nerves and finding a few moments of zen.

Cuddle cats

Every working day my black cat tries to get on my lap while I work at the dining table. The space between lap and table is not high enough that she can fit underneath the table while my chair is pulled up. This means that if she does make it onto my lap, I have to sit back and then I can’t type properly. So, nowadays I pull up the chair next to me and place it against mine and she finally settles down curled up against me.

Occasionally she will seize a moment, when I have moved or walked away and sat back down again, and she will claim my lap after all…

The cuddling cat struggle is real! It’s always great when my daughter comes home from school, she can then take over cat-sitting duties for a while (and loves it).

All cats we’ve had have always liked being on us or near us but I don’t think we’ve ever had a cat who insists this much on lying on us, any of us, all day long.

Our other cat, in his old age (he’s 15), also likes getting in the way to best position himself for cuddles, especially with my son whom he sleeps with most nights. Mr Esther jr was trying to get new sheets onto his bed yesterday, he walked out of the room for just a few seconds and returned to this…

As our red cat is old and sometimes takes a while to settle down, we tend to not want to move him when he finally does find a spot. Tough luck for him this time around when Mr Esther jr wanted to finish making up the bed, cuddles would have to wait for a later time.

Speaking of cuddle cats… I recently came across this absolutely adorable picture of Tom Ellis with one of his cats…

He never wanted cats until his wife wore him down, the love is real now…

Richard Armitage in his latest interview (thanks Servetus for the screenshots) says he may want to attempt starting a family by getting a dog first. I know he’s more of a dog than cat person…

…. but he sure looks nice with a cat and may I suggest that a cat might also do very nicely in his New York apartment?

Mr Esther, like Tom Ellis originally and Richard Armitage, never wanted cats either until I was able to convince him otherwise. He has now become a cat person too, despite them getting in the way of reading the newspaper, and they can be useful as iPad stands too.

I can attest that, with all that is going on in this world, the best battles you can have are cuddle battles with your cats!

Home office

The sun is shining today and both Mr Esther and I have no work calls pending this morning, so we have decided to work outside for now. It’s a tad chilly (even though Mr. Esther is wearing a t-shirt, I’m in a sweater) but we want to make the most of being able to sit outside before the autumn really starts here and we’ll be stuck inside more than ever due to quarantine measures that are still in place.

It all looks very sweet and romantic to be working side by side like this with my husband but actually Mr. Esther is very chatty this morning and I needed to concentrate on something (just done now) and I had to tell him to please stop talking. Of course, five minutes later I needed his help formulating something and now he needs me to shut up. It’s a good thing we aren’t colleagues at the same organization, we’d get annoyed with each other.

My fingers are a little cold and my work laptop battery is starting to run low, so I may need to relocate soon. Anyway, back to work now. Have a good week, everyone!

Corona hair

It’s still pretty quiet this morning at work, so taking a quick time-out for a little post.

Went for a lovely walk with Mr Esther yesterday afternoon.

We also sat on a little bench overlooking the water for a little while. A few slight drops of rain started to fall and if there is one thing Mr Esther hates in life, it’s feeling raindrops falling on his head. Can you too now hear that song in your mind?

Anyway, I pulled up his hoodie and when I looked at him from the side like that, he totally looked like a garden gnome or even Papa Smurf! It’s the beard… his ‘corona beard’ that he hasn’t shaved since March this year (at least not in length, he has trimmed the sides now and again)…

This morning I saw myself on camera during a short work call and my hair is also getting long as I too haven’t had it cut since March. It’s weird, I only really notice it during these work calls. I did trim my own bangs once, back in May as I see from a picture I posted on blog then, but now I’m just letting it all grow. For the first time since I can remember, I won’t be having actual bangs. Took a snapshot with my laptop camera as today I’ve gotta say the hair looks pretty decent (I only brushed it this morning)…

… and I see that I forgot to put my mascara on. Oh well. Anyway, hair is getting long (and really doesn’t always look like this!). The intention was to not cut our hair until this corona thing is over but I wonder if we’ll be able to keep that up without becoming too shaggy and what we’ll look like then!

Perfect day

Last night I went to bed with a big smile on my face, it had been a perfect day and made me think of this song as I fell asleep…

Mr Esther and I slept in quite long yesterday morning after having a late night, meaning we had a nice relaxed start to the day. Mr Esther junior had to go to work from 3pm (internship at a hotel) and mini-me had a party to go to in the evening but our day was wide open and we didn’t want to do anything useful around the house. It was quickly decided that the four of us would go out for a lunch outside on the beach, close to where junior works. We had missed junior on our holiday and doing lunch with him like that, as a family, felt like a holiday in itself. That was a perfect day moment and lunch was good too!

After lunch, junior went to work. Mr Esther and I wanted to walk on the beach and mini-me wanted to walk into town on her own. So, we split up, arranged a time to meet up again and off we went. When it was hot these past two weeks or so, the beach here had been extremely crowded according to the news, but yesterday it was about 20 Celsius (high 60s Fahrenheit), with some rain in the morning and early afternoon and very windy.

There were quite a few people around but it wasn’t crowded, which made the distance keeping easy. Mr Esther is growing his beard and hair in quarantine and it felt weird to him to feel his beard and hair flapping around in the wind, which was funny to see.

We walked on the beach for about an hour, reminiscing on when we had first walked and kissed on that same beach as a new couple. It turned the afternoon into an unexpected romantic beach walk, which was another perfect day moment.

We met up with mini-me again for drinks and then walked to where junior works to say hi. Another perfect day moment, to see him being professional and an awesome employee at the health center part of the hotel.

We drove home where mini-me got ready for her party. She had arranged that I drop her and her friend off and that her friend’s mother would pick the girls up again at midnight. That meant that Mr Esther and I also had an evening to ourselves! We reserved a spot in a restaurant we hadn’t been to before in our home town and biked there so that we could also partake of some wine. Parking our bikes against a bridge made for a typical Dutch image…

The restaurant turned out to be great. Very few people present, good distancing of tables and ample ventilation. We took our time with a 3 course meal, I only took a picture of the dessert…

… but all of it had been delicious. We were stuffed by the end but it had been worth it. Yes, a romantic dinner at a restaurant was another perfect day moment.

Then last night just before I finally went to sleep I also caught the LOROS and Richard Armitage thank you messages for the auction fund raising…

That was another little moment right there.

So yes, yesterday was pretty perfect! Today on the other hand, I need to do a huge load of laundry folding… I guess not all days can be perfect.