Pull Up a Chair

February 15, 2013

Machu Picchu moss and rocks

Yay, it’s Friday! I’m smiling today because my husband has Monday off. Three-day weekends are my friend. In fact, I’m going to go out on limb here and take a stand for a four-day work week all year long — not because I like to promote laziness or deny workaholics their fix, but because I’m convinced that most people in most jobs can be just as productive in four days as in five. And three days off leaves more time for family, friends, sleep, and exercise — which makes employees happier and more productive.

I realize this isn’t the kind of proposal that wins me any points in this great country — nor is it realistic for some workplaces or jobs. But I don’t think it’s all that crazy an idea…

So how was your (five-day) week, friends? Mine kicked my butt. I need a drink. But, as I mentioned on Wednesday, I give up alcohol every Lent. You know what’s great about a virtual happy hour, though? You can still indulge and not be breaking any rules. Yay!

That said, I figured this first week of Lent I’d go a bit easy and choose something a little more in keeping with the season — a drink that won’t leave me tipsy but satisfies my need for something special after an extra-tiring week. So let’s all share a pitcher of red apple sangria, a delicious-looking creation I spotted on Martha Stewart the other day. Hope it makes you happy, too.

And now, here’s my high and low of the week:

Low: The kicking-of-the-butt thing I mentioned above. I’m just pooped! The girls were up much earlier than usual all week long; they were whinier than usual; one of them wouldn’t eat most of what I put in front of her (all stuff she’s eaten and liked in the past), and the other nicked her cheek and kept ripping off the band-aids we’d put on, only to start crying for another. Plus, I still just can’t seem to get enough sleep and now feel another cold rearing its ugly head.

High: The arrival of my VitaMix! A generous friend recently decided she wanted to give our family one as a sort of “congratulations” gift. She figured it might help me get more fruit and veggies into the girls — and keep myself a little healthier in the process. Ever since our blender broke over a year ago, I’ve been fantasizing about a VitaMix, so I was pretty excited when it showed up on Tuesday. Not exactly a “slow” kitchen gadget, but all the local fruits and veggies I’m going to blend in there will surely make up for it.

Two bonus questions this week: I’ve got fruit on my mind right now, so I’m curious: What one fruit could you not live without? (Tomatoes not included.) For me, it’s a toss-up between apples and oranges. I know, boring, but I never tire of either of them, so it would have to be one or the other. Probably apples. Also, what do you think about my four-day work week idea above? 

Okay, how about you? High and low of the week? Have a slow weekend, and see you back here on Monday!

Image: Near Machu Picchu, Peru, by Lisa Malveaux

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1 Therese February 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

I love the Macchu Picchu image – just what impressed me, the work that went into laying those enduring rocks. “Slow,” indeed.

Work weeks: When I had a traditional job, I loved the period when I had a 9/80 schedule – every other weekend a three day weekend. Now I work from home every Friday and work is very much what I do, not a place I go. Not quite “slow,” but at least family friendly. So I vote yes to more three-day weekends! :-)

Highs and lows? It’s all a blur, still. But your question reminds me to appreciate that those every day moments of intimacy – cuddling and love – with my girls really compose the happiest moments of my life. (My Lent resolution is to be less grumpy/tired and more appreciate of those.)


2 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Every day moments… such a good reminder.


3 Ann February 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

I could not live without honeydew. I just realized that I am allergic to apples! I get a tingly feeling in my mouth…such a bummer.


4 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Allergic to apples? Poor you, Ann! But glad honeydew makes up for it.


5 Jen February 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I am all for 4 day work weeks! So far this morning (and typical for Fridays) there has been more hanging around chatting than working.

I could not live without blueberries and cara cara oranges. Juicing is a great way to sneak things into kids!

My high and low for the week is intertwined. For many reasons, April 1st is a significant cut-off day for us and this adoption. I mean, six years of waiting, really? We just can’t live in the pending state much longer (45 days left – to be exact). This is a good thing because we both feel very at peace with this cut-off and know that we won’t have regrets. The bad, icky, sadness of it all is the realization that this 6 years of agony has been worthless. My son just turned 7 and 86% of his little life has had this cloud of anxiety, frustration, and grief hanging over us.


6 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Ugh, Jen. I’m really feeling for you. And hoping that phone rings before April 1st. But whatever happens, I hope you can peacefully move forward. You sure deserve that!


Ann Waterman 7 Ann February 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I do love 3 day weekends with my hubby. Might be nice for businesses to at least offer the option of a 4 day work week similar to how the government does it?

I’ll have the special. Looks yummy!

Low: Still feeling like I have a lot to do before this baby comes.

High: My girlfriends got together to throw me a baby sprinkle. It was so good to spend time with everyone and I was touched by everyone’s thoughtfulness. Valentine’s day was also sweet. DH and I ordered in from our favorite Japanese place and enjoyed some chocolate and a movie. Roses and a new tablet didn’t hurt, either! DH really wanted to treat me with this new baby on the way.


8 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Wish I could have been there, Ann! Glad it was special.


9 Kari February 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I’ve often thought a 4-day work week would make for happier and more productive employees too! Two days just isn’t enough time to spend with family, run errands, relax, attend events, etc. etc.

Low: It’s been a tiring week here too, and my kids seemed to be more whiny and needy than usual.
High: The weekend ahead is almost wide open with only one thing on the schedule! The temp is barely in the double digits here so we’ll spend time inside together and I’ll also probably do some cooking and get a few things done around the house.

I don’t think I could live without bananas! Such an easy snack, and they taste so great mixed in smoothies, sliced for pancakes, and so on.


10 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Bananas is a tough one to do without — especially when you have kids!


Ann Waterman 11 Ann February 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

And, Zoe, I’m totally jealous of your VitaMix, but you deserve it! Can you give us an update in a few months about the many ways you love it?


12 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm



Ann Waterman 13 Ann February 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Oh, and I couldn’t live without pomegranates — juicy, tart, and sweet. It’s hard enough going 9 months without them!


14 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Yes, pomegranate is a new favorite for me!


15 Marie February 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Mango!! I love Mango and can’t get enough of it..

Four day week has been a good idea for a very long time and I’m always for that..

My week was busy with a very sick dog. Our IG seems to get something lodged in his stomach and that requires a lot of attention and cuddles. He has been sick from both ends and needs to be spoon fed. But, it is Friday and he is now showing signs that the foreign object is moving!!

I have also been looking at the VitaMix so please share your good and bad with it. I thought making soups in it would be great. We are eating much healthier too!


16 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Mango is one of B’s favorites, too. And I’ll let you know about the VitaMix!


17 Karen February 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Blackberries. Big, sweet ones.

Yes to the four-day work week! And no work emails except on work days.

My high of the week was probably celebrating St. Valentine’s Day with the children at the school where I teach, and receiving some very sweet Valentines. The children’s parents treated the teachers to a very nice luncheon as well. And, later in the day, my husband brought me roses, and I cooked him multicolored heart-shaped pasta with shrimp, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

My low of the week was needing more naps than I was able to take!


18 Zoe Saint-Paul February 15, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Karen, that sounds like such a sweet day.


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