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The record shows I took the blows and did it my way.

November 30th, 2016 · 13 Comments · Daily

A few years ago, a friend of mine created an amazing piece of art with vegetables. She posted a photo to Facebook and one of the first comments was, “You have too much time on your hands.” I exploded with anger. (I’m only slightly exaggerating.) We all have the same amount of time. (Give or take, but you know what I’m saying.) Some people use it to check their phones. Some people use it to make vegetable art. Admittedly, I didn’t use much of my time in November to deal with NaBloPoMo. Nevertheless, here we are, and so we go.

Tomorrow is a bit of a monumental day for me. (Feel free to start organizing a marching band for a morning parade. I’ll be home until 750.) One of my very favorite people and I found ourselves eating quiche (crustless!) a few weeks back and we threw around sentences like, “I’m sick of not doing yoga and then feeling guilty so I park in front of the pantry and punish myself with Oreos” and “I need to be creating more things and worrying less about what people think of my creations” and “I must not be happy in ways that I don’t even understand because I spend my days moping around and I have no idea why.”

I could go on and on. (Truthfully, I brought up Oreos more than once.) If I *did* go on and on, I’m afraid I would bore you. (Why am I so worried about boring you?! Oreos? May I have some?)

Tomorrow. December 1, 2016.
I’m going to:
… redo Yoga Camp because I love it and it makes me happy.
… work on changing some unhealthy habits because I’m tired of feeling guilty.
… try to get a grip on the weirdo things that give me anxiety.
… forgive myself for screwing up, because I screw up all of the time.
… write. Hopefully, every day. Here sometimes. Other places more times.
… get a B12 shot so I have enough energy to do all of these things.

If there is anything you need to work on, feel free to join me tomorrow. New Year’s Resolutions are for assholes. (LOOK AT ME! I’M FINDING MY AUTHENTIC VOICE! I’m going to: … find my authentic voice!) ((New Year’s Resolutions aren’t really for assholes. I just wanted to sound tough and use more ellipses.))

I hope you’re ready for December. I’m never ready for anything, but I need to take better care of myself so I can take better care of anyone who needs it.

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All of that, plus even MORE good sentences in my ears. There’s nothing I love more than good sentences in my ears.

Thank you for tagging along during NaBloPoMo!

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29 down and 1 to go? Is that all there is to the circus?

November 29th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily

I never skip over an analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird. (For those of you who aren’t in the know, my 11-year-old daughter is named after Harper Lee. Shortly after we brought her home from the hospital we discovered that she was born on Harper Lee’s birthday. She’s a great writer. Also, my firstborn dog’s name is Scout. She’s feisty.) Anyway, I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’m so glad it came into my life at 6:58 this evening.

Also:

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

November 28th, 2016 · 8 Comments · Daily

Several years ago, Harper made a list of the things I love the most during the Christmas season.

This morning I found the list in a cookbook I was using to make a big batch of bean chili. (Five different types of beans! Black! Pinto! Kidney! Garbanzo! Lentils!) The list made me happy because: 1. Harper’s handwriting, and 2. All still true.

After deciding that I didn’t have time to make the chili (tomorrow IS another day!), I jumped into the car and drove to my annual gynecological appointment and although I arrived early, I ended up being two minutes late because the player piano was doing some sort of jazz number and I was all in.

Here’s a fun story! When I was sitting on the exam table wearing nothing but a paper skirt, I looked across the room and noticed this bottle. Because I need a new pair of glasses, I thought it said “Cervical Yuck” and what an amazing product to have in a gynecological office! I’m very sad to report that it doesn’t say Cervical Yuck at all.

When you don’t have a cervix (like me!), the annual appointment is a fairly easy one. (No cervical yuck!) BUT, when the doctor starts throwing around words like Perimenopause and phrases like “can last for seven years” and “you are in it” I tend to make unpleasant faces.

Last night I found my white robe and the matching white headband that the girls absolutely despise. I wear that headband as much as I can during the holiday season because Mere Exposure Effect.

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I dare you to tell me that I don’t look like a snow princess in that headband. (I’m not really daring you. I’m sort of sensitive these days.) Anyway, as perimenopause continues, Harper believes that I will start having demon fits, and she illustrated those fits by doing this to my photo.

Sadly, she might not be far off. Please stay tuned for the next seven years. (Meredith will be 20! Harper will be 18! I’ll look like Beautiful Snow Princess Dave Navarro!)

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Poetry for the 27th

November 27th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily

All of the ends are woven in.

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All puppies have been hugged.

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I drank hot tea with thumbholes in my shirt.

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And now I’m creatively drugged.

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We Gotta Get Out of This Place

November 26th, 2016 · 8 Comments · Daily

I received this text from Meredith while searching for a book with Harper.screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-7-27-50-pm

“Skating” from A Charlie Brown Christmas was playing at Barnes and Noble. It was preceded by “Me and Charlie Brown” from the same album. Meredith knows that “Skating” is the second song on the album. She also knows that “My Little Drum” is the third.

It’s once again time for the Little Drummer Boy Challenge.

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In No Particular Order

November 25th, 2016 · 6 Comments · Daily

Cover illustration by Ralph Steadman!
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I nearly purchased this book after judging it by its cover. (SUPERFUN!)
((I do love Isa Chandra Moskowitz.))
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Did you just say that today is Fritter Friday?
Ok, then.
Never mind.
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Can you say of your bite that it’s worse than your bark? (Jellicles would and jellicles can.)

November 24th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily

At 9:00 this morning, Meredith and I camped out on the couch for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was knitting on the cowl, she was working on her laptop, and the parade was acting as our background music.

One of the first performances was from the cast of Holiday Inn.

Me: I’m not sure why, but this sort of thing always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.
Meredith: I hate this. I would rather watch the Muppets singing for 45 minutes.
Me: Yes. Maybe.

Pretty soon I was all wrapped up in my knitting and she was no longer looking up from her laptop to see who was on the parade.

Someone singing on the television: Are you blind when you’re born? Can you see in the dark?
Meredith: That’s not funny, because I WAS. And now I’m offended.

At first I didn’t realize that Meredith was talking to the cast of Cats, but when I did? I laughed and laughed because she WAS nearly blind in her left eye when she was born, and her right eye was severely far-sighted. (More on that here.) And then I felt bummed out because I still harbor guilt about being the mom who didn’t realize that her kid couldn’t see.

Shortly after Meredith forgave the cats, Jeff returned home from his 5K (where he finished second in his age group), and Harper got out of bed to join us downstairs. We cleaned the house, a few of us showered, I threw together a green bean casserole, and ten people showed up for Thanksgiving dinner (which was really Thanksgiving lunch but I guess dinner sounds fancier). (We WERE burning candles. The kind of candles that crackle and pop!)

At 1:00, everyone filled themselves with one or more of the following items: green bean casserole and cranberry salad and regular salad and mashed sweet potatoes and mashed regular potatoes and bread and stuffing and parts of a dead bird. Afterwards, some of us watched a dog show while others chatted and someone cleaned and then three of us went to the gas station down the street for cash and ice cream and two people went upstairs and suddenly it was time for pie. Pumpkin and apple. Both delicious. Shortly after pie, Scout and Henry came back into the house and I removed the shock collar from Henry’s neck.

And then I put the shock collar around MY neck because what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and the best way to live your life is to choose the experience that will have the most anecdotal value.

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The shock collar has a tiny red light on the top that lights up when a shock is administered. Henry has learned that when the shock collar is on, it’s best to not bark. I, however, haven’t learned a thing.

(Notice the red light after my third bark. That bark delivered a shock.)

I barked and shocked myself five times before admitting that it was more than I could take. And then I realized that I no longer remember how to drive a car. (In China, electroshock therapy is used to cure people who suffer from internet addiction. In other words? SO LONG, NABLOPOMO! I’ll see you on the 12th. OF NEVER!!!)

((I’ll see you tomorrow.))

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I’m a noun and a verb.

November 23rd, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily

I needed yoga last night for 14 insignificant reasons and 3 significant ones.

Yesterday I ran across a few sentences written by Elizabeth Bishop: “Life’s fairly enjoyable, but every so often I look back and see only the confused flotsam of a hundred quickly done, half-done, ill-done efforts. So, I suppose, one fills up, but can anything be well-done that isn’t accompanied by dreaming, sloth, contemplation, leisure?” It resonated.

Five people showed up for yoga last night and we yoga’ed and yoga’ed for 75 minutes and it was humbling and invigorating and relaxing and at the beginning of the session when we were asked to come up with a word to repeat to ourselves during the breathing sequence, the only word that came to my mind was Frosting. Later, as we became more aware of our breathing, the instructor asked us to repeat the word that we chose at the beginning of class, but precede it with I Am. “For example,” she said “I am love. I am peace. I am forgiveness.”

I am frosting. The first time I said it to myself, I laughed. But then it sort of became part of me and a few minutes later I touched my head to the floor during a wide-legged forward fold.

I’ve never done that before.

I am frosting.

We are frosting.

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Subtle innuendos follow. Must be something inside.

November 22nd, 2016 · 13 Comments · Daily

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I bought these shoes in 1994. They are 22 years old and they don’t make it out of the closet as much as they used to because despite the stars, they are a bit whiny and inconsolable. This morning I put on black running pants (costume), a black tunic (uniform), and a black weird long jacket that blows in the wind (spirit lifter). I then pulled black no-show socks out of the sock drawer (they actually DO show, as they are seen showing in the photo) and reached for the shoes. As soon as I put the right one on, the heel cracked and suddenly it felt like I was walking on rocks. As soon as I put the left one on, the heel cracked and suddenly it felt like I was walking on rocks. Both heels. Same day. Sort of magical, really.

My dad turned 74 today, which means he might currently be on his fourth pair of Converse One Stars. (He doesn’t wear One Stars.) He still makes the best peach pies. He still comes to the rescue when garage door openers look broken. (He still comes to the rescue when his 46-year-old daughter looks broken.) He donates most of the food from his garden. He’ll gas up your car when you’re not looking. I could go on (and on).

This says it all: I was supposed to have jury duty on November 1. When I called in on October 31, I was told that I wasn’t needed. When my dad heard how disappointed I was, he ordered a copy of Twelve Angry Men for me and had it delivered with an assignment. I was to watch the movie and then call to tell him which juror I would have been. (I wanted to be Henry Fonda. Alas, I was Jack Klugman.)

Rest in peace, drinking age shoes. You were born in the same year as Justin Bieber, yet you are twice as smart and much more reliable.

Happy Birthday, Dad. You were born in the same year as Stephen Hawking and Joe Biden, and I’m willing to bet that neither of them can make a caramel pie.

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Monday has been cancelled.*

November 21st, 2016 · 8 Comments · Daily

I had beautiful plans for the day that included spending 90 minutes audiobooking in the car and visiting with my nephew, but I woke up with a migraine and none of my pills could shake it. SO, I spent the day on the couch with Scout as my headrest.

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Henry made frequent visits to press his head into my thigh because “Is it time to eat yet? Is it time? Now? How about now?”

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I did manage to add a six row section to the cowl, which I believe is nearly halfway finished.

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This evening will include lots of hot tea and blackberries drizzled with pear honey from Half Crocked Chef. Fuzzy pajamas. Falling asleep as Colbert delivers his opening monologue. Having dreams that look something like this.

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*From Grammarist: In American English, the verb cancel is usually inflected canceled and canceling—with one l. This is not a rule, however, and exceptions are easily found. In varieties of English from outside the U.S., including Canadian, British, and Australian English, cancelled and cancelling are the preferred spellings.

(I also prefer Grey to Gray.)

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