Shoulda Been a Doors Post

We bank online. Our only brick and mortar branch is in San Antonio and we can’t make it to Texas every time we wanna bank, so we bank online and through an app on The Mister’s phone. It’s good. I love our bank.

My work uses an actual bank not far from our office. On occasion, I visit that bank to do business. It’s as I remember literal banking. The branch is shiny and spacious. The staff is well-dressed and they smile and make small talk as they efficiently process our transactions. I like it. It’s good.

This week, I ran a banking errand for work and went to a whole nother kinda bank. A credit union, actually. It was a bit of a drive. I was glad to arrive, and decided my way back to work would be better than Google’s lemme-take-you-round-the-block route. But first, banking!

Credit union place has metal detectors within the vestibule. The first door is free. The second door is locked and requires approval from the door god.
The voice of BEEP spoke to me, saying, “Put the metal in the tray…” or someshit. There was no tray. I set my keys on a ledge. Said ledge was about the size of my husband’s hand.
The voice spoke again.
I took my phone (metal case) out of my pocket and set it on the ledge.
“Put the metal in the tray…”
My coat has metal buttons. I took my coat off and set it on the floor.
“Put the metal in the tray….”
My handbag has metal hardware.
“Put the metal in the tray…”
I set my handbag under the ledge.
“Put the metal in the tray…”
I took my earrings out and put them in my handbag.
“Put the metal in the tray…”
i got copper rivets in my jeans and underwires in my bra and for the love of puppies, how sensitive is this thing!
“Put the metal in the tray…”
“Put the metal in the tray…”
Finally, not the voice of BEEP, but an actual human voice told me, “Go ahead and come in.”


After some reassembly of my assemblage, I drove back without Google and this should clearly illustrate what it’s like to live in modern times. Rather Dickensian.

“I wish you would make up your mind, Mr. Dickens. Was it the best of times or was it the worst of times? It could scarcely have been both.”

Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted in Random Musings | 65 Comments

Monday Morning Meh

I’m okay. I’ve just been busy and stuff.

I have problems like everyone else. I mean, I don’t have the same problems, like we’re all sharing the problems, although I suppose some of us share some of the same problems, but I’ve got my own unique set of troubles and worries. Much as possible, I don’t focus on that stuff.

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.

Sassy and I got pedicures and we were dumb and went in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, so we had quite a long wait. Some time passed and the tech told us she would finish up and we’d be next.
In came another mother and daughter who were not dumb and had made an appointment. At 1:35 the mom one asked, “Are you on schedule for my 1:30 appointment?”
The tech began to answer, but the mom one cut her off, “We have a wedding. We have to be back to the hotel by 3:15.”
Sassy and I were none too impressed because 1) rude 2) we were next 3) we didn’t believe they had a wedding because 4) what kind of people get their nails done the day of the wedding? We called bullshit on that. Also, to match her insides, the mom one had been beaten by an ugly stick and then blown-dry on a tilt-a-whirl, no ions, no serum, and I personally feel that even the tidiest, shiniest nails could not distract anyone from that mess.
Sorry, I don’t usually do catty, but this sort of entitlement never brings out the best in me. You don’t see me takin my mornin hair out, makin demands, scarin people.
I clutched my bottle of Cajun Shrimp, ready to walk out.
Fortunately, the tech seated us all at the same time and we were out before them, because it’s hard work to make pretty the feet of those who walk all over others. Tsk.

At the bookstore, I lost my husband. I could not believe how many bald men in black coats were in there. I mean, you would have thought there was a convention! I finally plopped down in a chair to read and soon enough he plopped down beside me.
You can bet I’m easy to find in my orange coat.

I bought a shiny new book. I almost never do that and I’ve done it twice this month. Remember when you were a kid and you actually laughed out loud at the comics? This:

Surely you have seen a few of these online, but to have a whole book of them? I cackled and snorted and hooted, I laughed so hard I cried and my sides hurt when I was done.

Because Laura, we installed the Cozi app on our phones. You maybe should try it. Share your grocery list and calendar with parties of your choosing. Genius. I recommended it to Mentor, who subsequently tried a few of the recipes from the app, none of which were good. Highly recommend app, do not recommend the recipes. Thank you, Laura, for making mom life a little bit easier.

Sassy’s addition to the list:

I bought so many sweets, I felt self-conscious at the checkout.

The weather certainly makes me want to cook soups and hibernate. Teens and not much snow, but it seems always to be wet and the wind is rippin!

I have to leave my family today. I can has good day anyway? I hope my work day goes by quickly and smoothly. If you’re at your leisure today, I hope your day ticks by slowly and happily.

Posted in Personally | 59 Comments

Twas a Tuesday, Twas

My morning began by discovering Diva Furnace failure. Happens every year. I went to work, “Mentor, what happens at my house every winter?” and she knew. She didn’t have to guess twice or anything. Diva Furnace has been meeting temps since I saw the panic-inducing 64 and with any luck, a new filter will suffice.

Sassy has a cold. She just got over one cold and now she has a new cold. Stupid Tuesday.

On my way to work, I saw a vehicle on fire. Fire!!! The fire was twice the height of the vehicle. I said aloud to Vivaldi’s Winter, “Lordamercy it sure is a Tuesday.” Of course, along with vehicle fires, there are firefighters, and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t cheer me some.

The phones rang mad today. We dunno. Everyone called, like their phones didn’t work until Epiphany passed and then they all called at once.

A man I am not married to wronged me today, but then he apologized. Small miracles. I made sure to tell my husband how the other man’s apology impacted me, just in case he was listening.

I fueled Blanche, but the thingy clicked before she was filled. I had thought fuel prices were extraordinarily low, but once I got back in and turned her on, I saw. Not full. So Tuesday.

Took Moo back to the orthopedist today. She was released from care and will continue with PT. While I was using the restroom, they took her back to the exam room, and when I returned, they seemed to have lost my daughter, but then, like, they found her. That could be a whole nother blog, but not today.

I worked late to make up my time, and also because once the phones are off, a bitch can get shit done. I text The Mister:

How sweet is that?!? Isn’t that the sweetest?!

Came home to goat cheese pizza, lovingly baked by my daughters.

All’s well that ends well, but that sure was a Tuesday!

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The Purple Monkeys in the Trees

The ramblings of children, while often entertaining, can be exhausting. Of course, I was an exceptional child and all the things I had to say were breathtakingly interesting and important, and I wanted my parents to listen. I would begin, “Did you see the purple monkeys in the trees?” and if they said no, then I assumed they were engaged and I continued. If they affirmed they had seen the purple monkeys in the trees, I would return at another time.

By the by, kids, you cannot do this with grandparents. They are playful and will talk to you about whether the monkeys might like to join us for supper or help set the table.

Later in life, I’d try the purple monkey ask at sleepovers. Is she really asleep? Should we freeze her bra or put her hand in a glass of lukewarm water? “Did you see the purple monkeys in the trees?”

Now, I pretty much use it exclusively for my husband, who falls in and out of sleep and may or may not know what I’m saying, but responds anyway. He knows this technique, so when he’s less in sleep, he’ll screw up his face and say, “NO!” or “I’m not sleepin!” all grumpy like.

*While you may know about purple monkeys or have them in your area, it’s important you understand that here in Indiana, we do not have any monkeys of any color in our trees.

Tonight, The Mister seemed to be dozing. Sassy turned to me and whispered, “Ask him about the purple monkeys.”

“Y’all see the purple monkeys in the trees today?”
The Mister nodded.
“I thought about pickin some but I’m not sure I have the right kind of vase.”
The Mister nodded.
“Might go on etsy and order a new one, I’ll use PayPal.”
“Text me the amount.”

I wouldn’t want his books to be off. We’ll see how this goes.

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Inspiration Can Be Snarky

Y’all enrich my life. You really do, thank you. I learn so much, am inspired so often. I simply cannot thank you enough for your online interaction.

However, I’ve been looking over your resolutions and I realize few of them will impact me personally and as a person, I am affronted. If you truly aspire to make the world a better place for me, I’ve got some suggestions:

Do your art. Write, paint, build, draw, sew, knit, restore, collage, garden, cook, bake, write songs, take pictures, create whatever pleases you — and SHARE.

Drive as if there are valuable humans in every other vehicle on the road.

Know your own reason before making an argument.

Don’t be a person with a two-and-a-half minute outgoing voicemail message.

Try gratitude.

Listen to your conscience and keep it clean.

Put the cart back in the corral.

When you meet people who have songs about them, resist the urge to sing to them.

Instead of bandwagoning, research and formulate your own opinion.

While exercising, do not allow your grunting and groaning to exceed the volume of my headphones.

Be kind to yourself so that you’re well-practiced in kindness.

Give change, lend a pen, hold a door, remember age before beauty in the ladies’ line.

Do not assume the worst of people.

Know that walking past litter while loudly complaining about litterers is not the solution.

Honey. More honey. Still more honey. Then, if absolutely necessary, vinegar.

Trust your gut.

Do not include me in group texts.

And finally,

If you’re already my kind of person, thank you for doing your part and please let me know how I can improve your world.*

If you’re not my kind of person, do try to be, it’s really for the good of all.

*Disclaimer: This joey no longer changes diapers or potty trains anything. This joey has weak hands and her own economic demands.

Posted in Personally | Tagged | 66 Comments


We have finished the leftovers from Christmas dinner. As part of it, I made Martha Stewart’s mac n cheese, which was suggested to me by Receptionist who DOES go on about it. I thought the recipe was a bit fussy compared to mine — hers involved pre-warming the milk and constantly whisking, bit fussy, but that Martha, she’s fussy. We all liked it. Although the consensus was mine is preferred, Martha’s mac n cheese reheats like a dream, tastes like it was just made, and there is something to be said for that. Nom nom.

There are still about 50 cookies left. I took some to work and everyone enjoyed them. As you may suspect, I do not work at a bakery, so when one of my bosses raved at length about my cookies, telling me those thumbprint cookies sell for $3 a piece at Panera and they’re not as good as mine, and then added, “You missed your calling,” it was quite awkward. Following that, I had to take him a draft which I know was not as impressive as my shortbread. However, I’m certain my draft was better than any baker at Panera could write. The revisions will be on my chair in the morning, so we’ll see.

I like knowing there’s a two-day pause in the middle of my week. I keep saying I worked Monday, but my Monday was Thursday and this week also has Thurmonday. I have driven my husband crazy about days and dates.

Everyone’s doing a sort of inventory or reflecting on 2019 or setting goals for 2020 and it gave me pause. I’m over here like “The sheets are clean and dinner’s in the oven” because I tell ya, I don’t need the end of December to remind me —

I’m overdue at the eye doctor and the dentist.
I colored one whole picture this year.
I only read 15 books.
My name isn’t listed on the YMCA 3x a week roll call.
I missed most of the photoaday prompts in December.
I fell behind at blogging, not only in December, but every single week all year.
Facebook thinks I died.
The gutters aren’t clear and the back hallway is not finished.

However, I have worked hard, and I must say, I have wifed and parented exceptionally well and I’m okay if 2020 ends the same way.

Posted in Personally | Tagged , | 62 Comments

I Believe in Christmas Eve

Can you believe my girls are at swim practice on Christmas Eve morning? Can you believe The Mister’s at work? Can you believe I’m home? I am!

I’ve been home a lot for four days and often by myself. Well, with pets.

I’ve had naps, too.

I read blogs this morning and I had time to enjoy music within blogs and now I’m listening to ELO “All over the wooooo-ooooo-rrrld everybody got the word” and I feel positively giddy! In a few minutes, I’ve got to go collect the babies and then I will return with the happenings.

I forgot I told them we’d get coffee after, and I had taken the dog so she got a pup cup, too. We are all done. The girls and I are all done, nowhere to go until Boxing Day. What a rare and special time. I can barely believe this is happening.

The weather is also unusual. There’s still snow on the ground and in the branches here and there, but it’s sweater weather. High today is 11C/51F and tomorrow? Christmas? Nearer to 15C/60F! Can you believe that? While I prefer a white Christmas, honestly, this sunshine is amazing. The skies are blue as blue can be.

no filter

Can you believe that sky?

I tell you another unbelievable thing — all the cards were sent and all the presents are wrapped.

The agenda is BAKING! Baking, baking, baking! Yay! Lots and lots of iced sugar cookies and thumbprint cookies because those are my favorites, Snickerdoodles for The Mister, and then a few batches of things with chocolate, because people do like chocolate. That, I’m sure you can believe.

Moo has begun to build her gingerbread house. The holiday is on! Now, if they’d just send my husband home…

Happy Merry Everything to you all!

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A Brave New Coat

Several years ago, I wrote a post about Ye Old Barn Jacket.


This is the official retirement post of Ye Old Barn Jacket as we have entered a new outerwear chapter entitled A Brave New Coat.

That means this is a post about clothes and shopping and while these are unusual topics for me,¬†sometimes I just really want to talk about grave issues like my struggle to get out of pajamas. I presume some of you have the same challenge, although I am aware some of you wear shoes from dawn to dusk even in your own home, and that some of you can literally pair any shirt with any pair of jeans with a choice of brown or black shoes and TUH-DUH! you’re a man ready to conquer the world!

So, I have worn my barn jacket for more than twenty years. People do go on about it.
“I can’t believe you still have that!”
I have had other coats. I have. I have other coats even now. I simply preferred to wear the barn jacket. Neither the shape nor the color is flattering to me, but I don’t wear my barn coat and ask the mirror who’s the fairest. It’s not a nice coat. It doesn’t look nice. It looks utilitarian. You know why? Cause it is. It’s highly functional. It’s warm, but not too heavy. I can move freely in it, even when it’s all fastened. It’s got some texture, but basically no structure. It’s lined with actual flannel. It’s got pockets so deep, it’s basically like wearing cabinetry. It’s machine washable, but who cares, because it repels pet hair anyway.

Fancy blue wool dress coat and fancy gray wool peacoat are heavy and have shallow girl pockets and stupid belts. Stupid belts! Open, they just hang there, makin me look unkempt. They must be buttoned-up. They must be dry-cleaned and frequently de-linted. I have to take them off or at least flip them up to drive. I can’t move freely in them. Hell, I can barely hug people in them.

The thing is, I wanted a coat that would be as practical and comfortable as barn jacket, but new, and in a Joey-friendly color, and would look nice with my everyday life clothes. I had NO IDEA this would be such a freakin ordeal, which is what makes it blog worthy.

First things first, I searched for a new barn jacket, or field jacket, but in sunshine yellow or powder blue. Nope. Not a thing. Color, it seems, is the hardest part of the coat search. Coats are, in my opinion, all too often black, burgundy, and olive. Not good. Adding insult to injury, the brighter colors include mustard, teal, rust, and raspberry — which make me look contagious. The paler shades include blush and silver, which make me look like I haven’t slept since the last time I bought a coat. I realize that this is because of the seasonal palette change, but MY palette doesn’t change seasonally.

Enter, the puffer coat. Puffies! Puffer coats come in happy colors like white, too blue for the sky, and pinker than Hello Kitty’s bow. Yay! Color!
I need something that covers my bottom a lil, cause I wear a lot of longer tops. Great, puffer coats come in various lengths!

The puffer coat is not for me. Not light, not medium, definitely not heavy and, not in any of its various lengths.

They are all some version of (if you’re local, Bob Gregory’s kid) and if not, this:

giphy (1)

It’s like wearing a blood pressure cuff for a shirt. And hot as fuck. Wow hot. So hot. If you like seat warmers, electric blankets, and saunas —¬† a puffer coat might be for you. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would feel like if fire gave you a big bear hug, I reckon a puffer coat would help.
Where am I going, Neptune?

Also, I’m not tryin to catch a snowman and I don’t like clingy apparel, but for the sake of sundaes, anything that makes ME look shapeless, anything that is so puffy, my waist and bottom disappear, well, that ain’t right. It ain’t right.
Am I still a woman, or am I the lovechild of Rainbow Brite and The Michelin Man?

My parents look NOTHING like that.

I know oversized hoods are all the rage, but I am not an infant. I have been holding my own head up for more than 45 years now and I don’t want to feel like I am carrying a toddler on my shoulders or a jug of water on my head. Puffer coat, no. Oversized hood, no fuckin way.

Also, why must our coats be packable now? Where are all these people GOING?!? What is that? Are so many people traipsing about in tank tops when the temps drop 50 degrees? I think these packable coats should come with those travel cups that promise 8 hours of fire and 20 hours of snow. Is everyone else having Patagonia-esque experiences while I taxi kids and run to the post office quick? Crossing a rope bridge when suddenly, snow! Do their iPhones not have weather apps? To whom do these things happen?!?

So I eliminated wool and puffers and that took me to lightweight parkas. In black, cranberry, midnight teal, neon asparagus pee… right, so then we’re back to color. Hunt, hunt, hunt. Something with a lining. Hunt, hunt, hunt. Something with deep pockets. Hunt, hunt, hunt. Then the sizing. Hunt, hunt, hunt.

I need y’all to know there is only one coat in the entire universe that ticked all my boxes. I got it in orange. Orange you glad that ordeal’s over?
A Brave New Coat.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 75 Comments

Whiteout Blip

It’s doing the snow. School was on a two-hour delay, so I was, too. Then it snowed again. One of our bosses was all, “Go home before it gets bad” and we did. I am grateful I did not have to make that drive in rush hour madness. I slid twice — once slowing and once turning.

There was chem study at my dining table, but it turned into linguistics. It seems Moo and I are deficient in pronunciation of tin and ten. We both say ten for both. Apparently. To us, those words are homophones and we need context only for spelling. Sassy and I said ten and ten to one another ten times and I didn’t understand the point. She was trying to help me say tin and I kept saying ten. I lost. Play that game at home and let me know how you do, will ya?

The Mister grilled burgers. Yes in the snow. We’re Hoosiers. The tomatoes were perfect. It’s December and the tomatoes were perfect! The lettuce was crisp. Burger was delicious. I am full.

We have once again fallen victim to commercialization and have purchased prezzies for the spawn. They are good and interesting people, clever and hilarious, and we’ll spoil them as we see fit. Now I look forward to wrapping. Wrapping is my favorite. Wrapping may be the cats’ favorite as well.

There is no robocall, no email about tomorrow’s school schedule. They like to wait until 5:11 am and that is the suck.

It’s after 10. I’m yawning. Tomorrow’s Tuesday. Bless.

Posted in Personally | 54 Comments


So, how’ve you been? I’d know if I’d read any of you since Monday, but I have not. I’d apologize, cept, I long ago figured out there’s not enough time to enjoy all the good stuff of life causa all the ‘Must’ and ‘Sposta’ crap that gets in the way. This is why it’s so important to live where you belong, with the right person, and to pursue work you enjoy.

Gosh, you know, I could be livin in some hot, barren landscape with some stupid, wretched man — my only escape a job where I wear a suit and talk about sport statistics…

Make good choices, Kids.

So it’s that time of year. Time to eat barbecue pork on challah while sitting next to my Buddhas under my hamsa while O Holy Night plays… or this one, this one’s good:

I erected my Yule tree like a proper pagan. Mine is decked out in silver and gold, but it’s not cut from the forest — it’s prolly not even BPA-free.

In a stunning act of self-service, I went to the post office for myself, where I bought stamps for myself. Winter berries. Quite pretty. For holiday cards, you know. Cards pushing my radical liberal agenda — Joy. And Snow.

I get FIVE days off this Christmas. Today I bought ten pounds of flour and four pounds of butter, and most importantly, a metric fuckton of rum. I’ll show you merry and bright, lemme tell ya. Runnin a lil preview tonight; got my nog, got my dog, got my blog. It’s pretty lit.

Posted in Personally | 47 Comments