This Year Has Been About Change. Apparently.

No, I did not die. I did not get divorced. I did not move to a shack in the woods.

I last wrote to you in March, before our family took a trip to The ATL because our youngest daughters thought our 2009 trip to Georgia Aquarium was the highlight of their childhood, and we had always promised we would take them back, and when we realized summer vacation was impossible to schedule, we decided to take a spring vacation and thusly we did plan a trip to The ATL. My mother, upon hearing we would be fewer than 1,000 miles from her, asked if she and Papa could join us and we said YES!

Maybe in another 11 years I’ll share their faces from this last trip, but see how small they were when we went in 2009?

This one is from 2021. It’s still amazing. Five Stars, Would Recommend.

When we returned home, my favorite admin person ever (MB) left the office, and within a month, Mentor left too. Eventually the office took an intern and hired a new admin, but no new person to take on Mentor’s work. Mentor says her absences benefited me professionally. Still, I grew tired of being “all by myself.” She rolled her eyes when I made comments that began with “While I was here ALL BY MYSELF…” which became a pitiless joke between us. Angst and panic aside, her absences did provide additional opportunities for my professional development.

Also in the spring, I got diagnosed with a new autoimmune disorder. Not a big deal, since it runs on my mother’s side. We all start the day with a thyroid pill and are expected to live as long as we would otherwise. I want to make it known that this pill has improved my quality of life substantially. I now wake up alert as other people have always claimed they did but I could not relate. I’m overall less tired. My joints ache less, particularly my right shoulder, elbow, wrist. I no longer itch like a madwoman. My hair is thicker. My face is not as round as a Wall-E people anymore. It’s quite nice.

No magic pill for female flooding fiascos, but eventually I was granted a surgery date to yeet my uterus et al.

There is something to be said for surgical risks. They turned my attention back to Milton’s “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent”. When your doctor says you absolutely cannot return to work for two weeks after and she’d prefer you take a month off because you only get one chance to heal, you start to think about YOURSELF. Particularly how one of your bosses suggested YOURSELF could maybe work from home that second week. More specifically how regardless of working from home, YOURSELF would return to the office to be strangled by labors undone. With that looming end date, on understaffed job, and maybe my life altogether, I decided icannotwiththismuchlonger became icannotwiththis and Fin.

Enjoyed long, lazy days with Moo.

Went to the Indiana State Fair with Bubba and Moo and Kiki.

Moved Sassy in at my alma mater.

Had several of those Women Who Lunch days with MB and Mentor, along with days where the pot sat on simmer, gettin all good.

Baked a fair amount of banana bread.

Visited Sassy at Family Weekend.

And then at the end of September I had surgery. Or so they tell me. The nice man put the mask on my face and I can’t piece together much after that…off and on for a few days. I was comfortable in the surgery center’s recliner. Obviously happenings occurred in the hours between the recovery room and the recliner, I simply don’t remember them. I thought I had a spiritual encounter, some beautiful and kind brown-skinned person with shiny, wavy black hair, very angelic I thought – might have seen a halo — turned out to be an earthbound spirit same as me. I saw her again when they wheeled me out to the car. With a pointed finger, I gasped, “You’re real!” Other people saw her, too, so I know. It’s only been a week since I was told she helped The Mister take me potty. Do I know how to have meaningful spiritual encounters or what?

For a good time, ask Moo to do her impression of me when I came home later that day.

I am always surprised and grateful not to have died in surgery. No matter how many surgeries I’ve undergone, I remain wildly excited to have been rewarded with more life. I woke up from the surgery with less pain than I had going in. No bocce ball in my pelvis. No low back pain. Similar to after c-sections, I felt light, like freakin Tinkerbell.

Unfortunately, I didn’t recover as quickly as I expected. It was difficult to be inactive (and a little helpless at times.) I still have some limitations, but I am 100% glad I did it.

At 20 days post-op, Moo, Kiki, and I went to the Covered Bridge Festival.

Soon after, I watched Moo compete at Bands of America.

I schlepped my enhanced professional development hither and yon and I landed a new position in a new office – a thriving, growing business chockablock full of people.

Watched Moo compete at Bands of America again.

Celebrated Thanksgiving with the fam, including the boy one and his roommate.

Turned 48.

As is traditional, I show you my aging face and with candor, I tell you, we are all aging and I’m here for it. My nose is growing, my eyes are fading. My face is fuzzy and dry. Don’t hate on your aging self. Old isn’t a bad word, neither is ma’am. Take your old face out and do things that make you smile, which will make other people smile.

I put the tree up.

Moo will be an adult this week, and then The Mister will be 51.

Right now, my Chinese food is on its way.

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SoCS – Butter

When I think of butter, I think of this meme:

Being out of butter is a crisis here. We tend to overbuy butter, just in case.

If Moo’s going to bake cookies, the butter has to soften. Moo is amenable to baking cookies if someone has set the butter out.

At our house, the toaster and the butter dish are always out.

Our children are toast fiends. If buttered toast and hot tea don’t cure their ills, at the least, they’re comforting.

I’ve lost many a butter dish to dogs and kids. People misuse the butter dish, setting out a fresh stick on or near the dish, but not in it. Then when I unwrap the butter it’s all soft and smooshy and I am forced to lick it from my fingers. Damn. Also, I am convinced I am the only person who recognizes the butter dish is dirty and so I am the only person who cleans it.

When Bubba and Moo were small, they were diagnosed with being too small, and so I heaped butter on their bread and overpoured their milk and they are no longer too small, and to this day they’re bread mongers and milk drunkards.

A friend of mine married into a family that practically worships rich food, and after many pitch-ins with them, year after year, the family not eating whatever tasty, nutritionally sane dish she brought, she took scalloped potatoes baked in twice the butter, twice the cream, and despite the fact that she baked them with festering resentment instead of love, the pan emptied quickly and she is forever asked to bring her scalloped potatoes, now a family favorite.

I kinda want those right now.

Butter kinda is everything.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – SoCS ‘butter’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

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It’s Been Sunny and So I Am

I woke up kinda late this morning. My hair and I had a rough night because we dreamt of an invasion of tiny but electric-shooting-and-stinging cephalopods (why doesn’t Google know that word?) all over my house which caused me to wake at 4am, and I was so shaken from my nightmare, I had to go sit on my sofa and calm down after first ensuring the house was free from cephalopod invasion.

When I wandered out to the kitchen for coffee this morning, Sassy asked me if I would like eggs. She made me scrambled eggs and toast with butter and a big glass of orange juice.

I caught up on WordPress and pet my cat for a while before doing the things I had planned to do on this glorious day in February, as the sun was shining and temperatures would soar to a high of 55. 55! In February! It kinda freaks me out, but I ain’t complainin!

A week after this:

We had a real snowfall this month, round about nine inches. It was enough the bosses sent us home early and declared the next one a snow day. I spent the snow day playing in snow and shoveling snow. Our driveway is LONG. I thought I would never get that done. It is important to play before shoveling, because after shoveling, one is too tired to play.

Upon returning to work, I attempted to pull into our lot and got my lil SUV crossover vehicle stuck in the plow hump and had to be rescued by a Good Samaritan type. This was in keeping to how understaffed we’ve been and how overworked we are and I thought, stuck, spinnin my wheels, ah, what a metaphor!

Anyway, I had this list of chores and errands and I was determined to get things done this weekend. You know, during the heat wave and all. I knocked some of it out last night, left work, took Moo with me to the jeweler, the gas station, the grocery, then picked up Sassy and returned home to bake some mostaccioli.

Today I wanted to trim my hedges and clean up outside, because it was seriously startin to look like, well, I’d be embarrassed if y’all saw it. You’d think I was the Little Pig whose house was made of mud and sticks, okay? I asked The Mister to set up the power washer for me. Y’all, he power washed everything. Eventually, I realized he had no intention of my power washing anything. I said, “You don’t want me to do it, huh?”
He shook his head.
“It’s your toy, huh?”
He nodded.

This allowed me a considerable amount of porch-sittin time.

So pleased with my many accomplishments I was, I decided to go look at new plants. Cletus ate my money tree. I don’t know what that means in the feng shui sense, but it cannot be good.

Speakin of Cletus and plants, here he is on his perch.

As I explained to River, having lost a lovely mango bowl to Catticus’s dominance for window space, I yield to Cletus and Cletus has become a decor item.

Here are some photos of the other animals because I’m not playing favorites:

Yes, Clara is my favorite. She is MY cat.

Re: Favorites, according to previous posts some people thought the boy one was my husband – similar as they are, what with bein kin and all, they are actually two different people. See?

After buyin some plants and a new rake, Moo and I stopped for coffees.

When Moo and I returned, The Mister was still power washing! Moo said, “Daddy with his power washer is like a toddler with a popcorn popper.” So true. SO LOLZ

I had a nice lavender soak when I got home, put my jammies on, then I consumed a yummy turkey sammich on wheat, some chips, some strawberries, and a couple slices of horseradish cheddar. Got some laundry in. On a Saturday! Fanfuckingtastic day!

Tomorrow, bakin banana bread, makin chicken parm, and doin a lil beauty control, readin, watchin shows. It’s supposed to be 63! In February! When it’s 63, who cares if it rains? Not me, I love a good rainy day, especially a Sunday! Imma open the windows!

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It’s a Whole Thing

Years and years ago I picked up on my mother’s complaint that the “perlo” recipe was lost when my grandmother passed. My grandmother apparently made this dish a lot when my mother and her siblings were growing up. None of them had learned to make it and people had a sad about it.

In hopes of rediscovering this lost dish and making it for my mother, I asked my father if he’d ever had opportunity to eat my grandmother’s “perlo” and what the hell it was. My father had eaten it, did not enjoy it, and remarked as such in a colorful and unforgettable way.

If I ever ate “perlo” I don’t recall. I spent large chunks of time with my mother’s mother and she seldom cooked. I don’t think she liked cooking. We made sandwiches, we ate cold cereal, soup from cans, pasta from boxes, and best of all, we baked and went to DQ alawt.

When the interwebz became a thing, I did dutifully search for “perlo” in the hopes that I could recreate my grandmother’s noms. No such luck.

Years passed, decades, even.

Last month, I made Hoppin John. If you don’t know Hoppin John, it’s all about rice and beans and salty pork. There are as many variations as there are for any regional dish that travels — peasant food gets gentrified when some famous chef serves it with his own twist, or fuck’s sake, deconstructs it, elevating it to haute cuisine status instead of the delicious bowl of slop it’s always been. Hoppin John is a delicious bowl of slop, but I only know about it because twenty years ago, I read about it on the back of a bag of black eyed peas. Yes, I am the kind of person who reads everything I see, including bags of dried goods.

While my Hoppin John was simmerin, I debated on whether or not I really HAD to have red pepper, because The Mister done ate those up, and I ended up on this Serious Eats article about The Historic Problem with Hoppin’ John, which lo and behold, included information on “perlo” which is also “pilau” “perloo” “purlo” “pileau” and apparently it’s debatable as to whether all these dishes may or may not be chicken bog or a version of pilaf.

It’s a whole thing.

There are two million websites that mention it.

I am the kind of person who enjoys learning about both the origins of food and language, so this was the most exciting thing that happened to me that day. I was enthralled, and journeyed, readin recipes and blog posts about everybody and their daddies’ versions of perlo. There are versions of perlo rumored to originate in at least EIGHT worldwide locations. That’s fascinating! I told you, it was the most exciting thing that happened to me all day.

I asked my mother if she gave up hunting and she told me that while her sister has obtained the recipe, she’s not made it because it serves six.

Well duh, four kids, serves six, sounds perfect to me.

I told my mother I would make it, and I did. I didn’t use a recipe. I read many recipes and variations, I ended up doing a mirepoix, six trimmed and quartered chicken thighs, two long links of kielbasa, chicken stock, jasmine rice, and hellaspice. It was DELICIOUS. It’s a wonderful one pot meal and well-suited to our cold weather.

serves four of us twice

Here in the US, perlo is said to originate in the rice lands of the Carolinas. I find this interesting as I do not have kin from the Carolinas and have informed the children perlo is Melungeon food, because donobody know where it came from. I am the kind of person who enjoys eating. I am NOT the kind of person who enjoys arguing about whether chili should have beans in it, whether cheesesteak should be topped with green peppers, or which type of barbecue is right, because I would rather eat the food than argue about it.

But that’s a whole thing, too.

Now I’m eager to discover whether you’ve eaten or cooked a dish similar in composition, as well as what you call it, or if you have experienced such a recipe hunt, but you can still type whatever you like.

Posted in Personally | Tagged | 62 Comments


Remember when you were little and the anticipation of events would suck up all your attention and you thought you’d burst before the happening?

Me, this year, Christmas, dying.

I hope our family makes it to our shared time together. It’s ironic, since we’re more together than we have been, ever, but we’re not any of us handling these circumstances well and I feel like if we can make it to when Bubba gets here and there are latkes and I hand those girls a present like my mother did me … Gawd I miss my mother… If we can just wake up to pancakes and stockings, we can, for one whole day, maybe find our normal. It would only last a day. A day that is always some version of the same day and is unarguably delightful.

People with better mental health probably think, “That’s nice, she’s looking forward to Christmas.” It’s more akin to, “She is terrified all the time.” My anxiety is multiplied. In the last week I have damn near convinced myself that I will slip on the ice, bust my head open and bleed out, or maybe fall in the bath. Or maybe accidentally impale myself on the scissors I keep seeing Office Administrator walking around with or waving. Maybe I’ll be abducted while putting groceries in my trunk. Or I’ll die in a fiery auto crash caused by some asshole in a big truck.

Or her inexperience

Oh, yeah, and there’s a fucking plague and some people say you can get it twice. I’m irrational, yes, but it’s not like these things don’t happen. I don’t want to be panic-stricken, but that happens, too.

And let’s be clear, I’m not afraid of dying. Not really. Not the actual dying bit. Though it has occurred to me, I’ll be right disappointed at being unable to write about the experience afterward.

I’m afraid I will die and miss the joy. I want the joy. I need the joy. I am joy deprived.

I may write about joy. An expository essay.

My boss picked me up a little special somethin last week. She said she knew it was for me, cause door. That was joy.

There are plenty of big blessings and small pleasures in my life, for which I am grateful. Unfortunately, many of them teeter on bittersweet due to the current state of the world.

For years our children have gathered on the big bed at night for attention and affection. Because of all this *gestures at everything* their talk has seldom been high school drama, but skewed toward loss, which is abundant. They’re the bearers of bad news, and they bear it. Honestly, it’s too much. My heart breaks for them, and for their inner circle of friends – parents losing parents, losing jobs, who’s sick, who’s grieving… Their sense of freedom and fun is replaced by burden, which provides me with deep, heavy worry. We still laugh a lot, but we don’t laugh as often, and when we do, the aftertaste of bitter reality lingers.

cletus does not care what the bedtime chats are about

I have no model on how to parent my daughters through a pandemic. Even my mother’s mother was born after the last one.

I miss my mother now like I’ve never missed her. Weepy, lump-in-my-throat miss her. I haven’t completely sorted this out. For a while I thought it was because the moon was in Cancer and I was all up in my feels, but now I think it may be how so much of the holidays are our mothers — It came upon me while I decorated the tree — many of my ornaments are hers, from ‘home’. It comes upon me while I curl the ribbon, like her. There are poinsettias and cheeseballs and holiday cards — all of this is her. In an instant, I become acutely aware that these feelings are as intense as those I feel after losing my father, except my mother is alive and a thousand miles away. I didn’t get to see her this year. I don’t know when I’ll see her. I don’t know that I will see her. And by then, what will be changed? Terrifying.


It’s hard to bring love and light and hope and humor to a blog when I feel this way, hm? I told you, I’m not myself.

The atmosphere is thick with ick. It’s so icky right now that random, previously insignificant things provide relief or hope. Like, I saw a BABY the other day and I thought holy crap, I don’t know when I last saw a baby! Life does go on! I’m not even a baby person, okay?

We finally hosted Bubba and Simon and Kiki and her husband for smoked meat and cocktails. It was wonderful. A great time was had by all, laughter ruled, there were no leftovers, and best of all, no one fell ill in the weeks after.

Three of us had birthdays. They did not entirely suck, but they were. not. party-ish, which is sad when one is 17.

I blind-baked some cookies for a woman with dementia, her own recipe. Her family hoped it would provide a happy memory. My wheelhouse. The woman did indeed find a happy memory. She loved the cookies and thought she had baked them herself and doesn’t that make you feel all gooey inside?

Also, when Moo bakes cookies, she puts mine in baggies to take to work.

I began my cookie baking festivities, complete with the Christmas music.

I think the lemon curd is my favorite.

I do not like newfangled Christmas music. I like old school, mostly before my time Christmas music. If it didn’t first release on vinyl with winter art, Bonus! a pop up scene inside the album! I likely shout a trail of obscenities at it as I skip it. Just sayin.

Oh, I cannot wait. Just one more day of work and then four days of Yuletide Joy!

Bubba’s smokin a brisket, y’all!

I don’t know when I’ll write again. Between the blocks and the photo upload and the number of times I had to close the page and go in again, I could scream. What’s with the delays?

In the meantime, Happy Holidays and Many Twinkly Lights to you!

Posted in Personally | 81 Comments

Halloween Hello

First things first, I still hate the block editor and instead I’m coming from edits in my dashboard to avoid it. I forget which clever blogger wrote that option, but thank you. I don’t know how long this will be an option, but I tried the plug in method and WP told me I have to upgrade to a business plan to access plug ins. On an emotional level, I find our WP community priceless, and on a practical level, I truly believe $99 a year for pleasing visuals is enough of an investment for me and my lil blog.

It’s nice when y’all write that you miss me. I miss y’all, too. I’m introverting so hard over here. Stuck in weariness thick as molasses, practicing avoidance — good times. 

Good times are had. They seem few and fleeting. We celebrated Sassy’s 18th birthday with a handful of people in an upscale joint where I drank overpriced but delicious cocktails made of “New Amsterdam Grapefruit vodka, Combier Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur, Aperol, pineapple, lemon and fresh beet juice.” Evidence of the cocktail of our celebration:

It was a milestone night, as along with Sassy’s age of majority, I happily embraced my older woman tendencies by wearing an obnoxiously colorful and shiny jacket recently acquired from the closet of an octogenarian. And I got FOUR compliments on it, so I am thoroughly looking forward to rocking bedazzled track suits and rhinestone eyeglass frames the size of my head.

We’ve had a long, primarily warm fall, and no snow all of October, and the next week shows some highs in the 60s and 70s. Wild. 

Moo goes to school one day a week for things that must be done physically. I drop her in the morning and The Mister drives her three more times before the day is done. He is working from home and is expected to until at least midsummer 2021. Sassy is 100% virtual and lamenting the fact that she chose not to graduate early due to her lack of a crystal ball when designing her 2019-2020 school year.

I go to work like normal. For several months the city paved the street (six-lane thoroughfare) in front of our office and honestly, as annoying and inconvenient as it was, it was impressive they accomplished such a massive project in such a short time and it sure drives smooth now. 

I took a four-day to enjoy all the leafeses. Sassy and I went to the apple orchard for lunch, shopping, and goat-watching. It was a pleasant outing, but it was a far cry from how it usually is. Safety first and all that. 

Sometime in the four-day I took, we went to Falls of the Ohio. I hadn’t even known it was a thing, but y’all, it is an awesome thing! There’s a tiny museum with exhibits I swear usta be in the Children’s Museum and they have a Chihuly!

We walked around for hours looking at the Devonian fossil bed. Moo, ever intrepid, did her very best to get as far out into the water as she could. It was a beautiful, perfect fall day and we had a wonderful time!

I’ve worn all my new sweaters from the last post. Not worn the new jacket yet. The eye shadow palette was Elf Nude Rose Gold and it turns out only three of the shades work well for me, so inevitably I bought my third L’Oreal Paradise Enchanted palette, because I wear seven of those shades well. Although, not all at once.

I can’t remember if I told you, but Bubba bought a smoker this summer, and he keeps it at our house because that’s a no-no at his apartment. Poor us, forced to endure smoked meats whenever the smoky mood strikes him. One time this fall, he smoked a turkey breast, I made fries and mac n cheese and peas and gravy. That was a damn good day.

Last time Bubba came, he didn’t smoke any meat, but he did bring my nephew Simon with him and if you don’t know, my nephew Simon is one of my absolutely favorite people on the whole planet. I love that kid. I made pasta e fagioli and we played board games and discussed the merits of belonging to too many cats and correctly purchasing top loading washers with knobs. Man, I love that kid. 
Next time, Bubba’s supposed to bring Simon and even more young people I adore. There will be smoked meat. There will be cocktails. There will be laughter. Something to look forward to is kinda where I live.

Also, while in recent years I claimed I was too busy to write the scary story, this year I welcomed the distraction and I did write a creepy murrrderrr for again this year. 

I voted. Sassy voted for the first time ever. Lines are hellalong and worth it.

Moo carved a jack o’lantern tonight — and with that, I bid you all a Happy. A happy. A happy whatever will make you happy. 


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Mail Fail

I’m one of those people who uses the USPS. Do I use it as much as I did prior to the internet? No. Y’all, before I got married, I didn’t even own a television. I spent a lot of time writing letters. Imagine my blog, handwritten, arriving to your mailbox. That’s what it was like. If you’ve ever gotten mail from me, it’s been mailed with a stamp I thought you’d enjoy, decorated with at least one sticker, maybe even some drawing. Letter writing. It’s a thing. Happy mail. We gots to have it.

It just so happens I have gobs of crazy liberal opinions about socialized services, but this isn’t the time for that.

No, it’s Tuesday and therefore time to complain about my petty grievances. LIKE THE FUCKING MAIL.

Two weekends ago, I online purchased five sweaters, a jacket, and an eyeshadow palette from Kohl’s. Oh, you have enough sweaters? Couldn’t be me. Oh, you’re not buying sweaters when it’s hot as blazes? If you don’t know, this is the best time to buy last year’s warm clothes, which will still be warm in six months. I got those five sweaters, a jacket, and an eyeshadow palette for $110.00, free shipping. I’m talkin off-season deep discount.

So, on August 22, I ordered those things and right now, as I type this, my bleedin buggery package is in Kahoka, Missouri. I don’t even know where that is, but that’s not the point. The point is, the package was in Kahoka four days ago and I don’t live there. It’s so far away, I don’t even know where it is.

Googling now. Damn near Iowa, that’s where. About 370 miles from Indy.

Since it’s hot, I don’t care about the sweaters, but I’m almost out of my eyeshadow. It’s unsettling.

On Monday, August 24, I went to Kohl’s with The Mister, to get his new sneakers. He and Sassy had already gone to one Kohl’s and they didn’t have his size so we went to other Kohl’s to get them. Yay him. While we were there, I saw my eyeshadow, but I didn’t buy it, because I thought my package would arrive before… well, before now. I thought about buying it anyway, even in tiny bungalow I can store an extra… but I didn’t.

Every time I log in to my Kohl’s account to see where my bleedin buggery package is, a flash of my $20 in Kohl’s Cash pops up on my screen. It expires this week. I LOL to it. I should use it, it’s ‘free’ money. However, I must also realize, at this rate, whatever I order may not arrive before Halloween. Or, I could drive to Kohl’s and use my Kohl’s cash to buy the eyeshadow. For pity’s sake, the problems I have.

Tell me your pathetic peeves, first-world problems only, please.

PS I hate this Block Bullshit

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Oopsies, It’s August

Missed July. My best intentions may not have been good enough.

Back in January, I wrote, “Life can change in an instant. We seem to forget that now could be the moment before it changes. Those big memory markers in life, the ones that make you remember the date? They’re out there. You could wake up tomorrow and some shit could go down and then BLAMMO! Memory marker. These are the good ol days.” 


I liked January better than July, and not only because it was cold in January. My intake receptors are overloaded. I marvel at how other people are handling these “challenging, uncertain, unprecedented times” (gag me with a spoon, aight?)

I am not myself right now. I mean, of course I’m myself, I have no other choice, but I am enduring a multitude of existential crises and I’m not handling them well. I’ve read substantial commentary on how “whatever gets you through” is OKAY. My current OKAY seems to be avoidance of expression. Suppression. Super unhealthy. Really, it’s an avoidance of conflict. “I will not dance, even if the beat is funky.”

Pleasantries instead of real connection. My diet is heavy in frozen confections and pleasantries. I will look up from my bowl of orange sherbet to nod and smile.

Anxiety-ridden bitches like me are still riding the wave of “OH YOU THINK I’M AN ALARMIST?!?”

Earlier this summer, I was expressive, even yell-y, but I’ve since conserved my energy. I was more a poked bear and now I feel rather lemme-just-curl-up-under-my-hard-shell-as-I-must-protect-my-squishy bits. Please think of me when you see doodle bugs … or yellow wallpaper.

Before I fall right off my rocker, I will share with you a few of the pleasantries, small photographic markers of my gratitude.

My green space

My pets

Office Administrator bought lollies. I find a 4:00 lolly helpful.


One day I engaged in “risky behavior” and met Benson for lunch. We did not hug, neither hello or goodbye. We ate tacos.

They were so good, I then took The Mister there for our first date in four months. When we left, The Mister said, “That is the most normal I’ve felt in a long time.”

That’s where we are, trying to balance threat of spreading the plague with our deteriorating mental health. We’re still living, on a smaller, modified scale. The list of things we don’t do is long. As is the list of things we long to do.

I think it’s safe to say we all have at least one shared memory marker, and yet, these are still the good ol days. It’s all fucked up, but here we are. My gratitude lies in something is better than nothing.


Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments


I have picked up my laptop twice in the last month. I ordered new flip flops, because what is summer without shiny new gold flip flops? Last weekend, I started to order new Fiesta bistro bowls, but a nap suddenly came upon me. Marigold, Turquoise, Scarlet, Ivory — now the cart is empty cause neglect.

I have neglected y’all similarly. Now, as a consequence, there are +1400 blog posts in my email. Err, umm… I have missed you, I promise. I forget not everyone sees me posting on Instagram or Twitter and then someone contacts me, like HEY!

I took vacation. The Mister took vacation. Sassy did not take vacation, instead, she started a second job. She’s her mother’s child when it comes to being busy. Moo has avoided taking a job and we’re okay with that, given the circumstances. Her resume lists more skills under volunteer experience than most kids have under work experience, so fair enough. Now and again, I pay her to file at my office.


moo can take breaks to zoom with classmates, or you know, twirl

At the onset of vacation, I announced my intention to move the baker’s rack to the dining room and to finish the back hallway. Now, I don’t know how long you’ve been reading me, but ‘the back hallway project’ has been a saga for YEARS. (I began in 2014.) It is done now. It’s September Sky blue. It no longer looks as though previous owners played handball or caged animals in the hall. No strange shadows. I am chuffed!

However, I had barely begun removing wall hangings when The Mister announced his intent to rearrange the living room. Yes, tis true. Twas his plan. He consulted with Moo, who has his spatial ability, but my appreciation for aesthetics. Once the plan was unanimously approved, it took a day and a half for our entire family to execute it, cause books and wires, man.


cletus the dog kitten is on the mend from a snot sick

Then we worked in the garden.

And planted another forsythia.

And stopped briefly to admire.

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the peonies bloomed late and hardly at all 

And we bought a new hose. And a hoe. And some more seeds.

And we bought a new lamp, which will be the subject of a post at a later date.

And we bought a power washer. So satisfying!

Then I painted the main bathroom. I don’t know why, but I thought painting that bathroom would be an endless, arduous task and it only took me about four hours. We took down the possibly haunted mirror covering the spider hotel — covered that mess and hung an old-to-me, new-to-bathroom mirror instead. It’s dramatically different and weeks later, I still smile every time I go in there.

Then I painted the pass-through and touched up the kitchen walls and some trim.

I read. I read something besides Agatha Christie. Of course, I also watched the entire Miss Marple series on streaming. Wouldn’t wanna overdo it. My inevitable metamorphosis into my mother continues. My daughters find Marple as incredibly dull as I did at their age, but I smile, knowing their metamorphosis is inevitable as well.

And, speaking of my mother, she sent me a new crochet lovey.


it smells like her

One afternoon it was so warm and sunny and breezy and my life was so unburdened, I had to sit outside and eat cucumber sandwiches.


the cucumbers were gifted to us

And then I went back to work, which, thank tacos, did not involve +1400 emails. And despite her concern that she would suffer in my absence, new receptionist managed. Her official title is Office Administrator, Ooh La La!

Having not been here in many months, the boy one has come to visit today. There’s a roast n fixins in my oven and we ate dessert first, so it’s a good day.

Lately, my ideal platform of communication might be yellin and swearin —  loud Italian hands sloshin drank all over the porch. But that takes more energy than restraint. I still live in gratitude, I just do it with more music and takeout dinners than I did a year ago.

How y’all livin? 

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May Twenty-Three

I clicked in here and received notice of a new WordPress Editor coming in June. Why?



i languish, too, clara

I cannot elucidate anything. It’s likely you think and feel similar things. Being an introvert, I need substantial time to process — relative to input — and I don’t have that. I don’t know about y’all, but I wasn’t given a guidebook on how to cope during a pandemic. If I had one, I’d read it. It would be dog-eared and coffee-stained by now. I merely tune into my attitude of gratitude and plod on. Maybe I can write about it later.


wouldn’t mind to curl up in a hidey-hole, either, catticus

I find work is helpful. I like seeing those people every day. I like being productive. I like being distracted. I come home to my family and I enjoy that. I feel the stress, the fear, the horror, the uncertainty at times that seem insignificant. I suspect it’s when my mind quiets. Hence, ongoing distraction proves to be a healthy coping mechanism. All in favor, Say Aye!

I feel connected when my hands are in the dirt. Thoughts of being tiny me in the garden with my mother. Familiar smells, confident movement, always magical results. This year, volunteer celery.
Also, I missed my tulips. I wasn’t well for most of April and now they’re all gone.

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I enjoyed every bit of Saturday. The four of us worked in the yard. We were two weeks late, as the weather seemed also to be two weeks late. Because I was sick for so long, my garden is behind schedule and the weeds were well ahead of me. I went out there like a weeding tornado and quickly remembered I am not as young as I once was and although I frequently advise others to drink more water and to pace themselves, it took great self-discipline to drink more water and to pace myself.


It paid off. We were almost done when it started to rain. How perfect is that? We danced in the rain.



I finished Saturday with strawberry ice cream and Sauvignon Blanc. What a magnificent day.

The rest of the weekend was wonderful, just Saturday felt special. I cherish special.

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