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I can see August from here.

July 28th, 2015 · 5 Comments · Daily

A few weeks back, Jeff updated my WordPress to the latest version. (I’m hoping that’s the most boring sentence I write today.) As a result? I don’t even want to come over here to figure out the changes that have happened since 2009 (when I last updated my software).

Because I suppose it’s time to adapt (which will involve listening to something other than Ben Folds in my car and figuring out what needs to be considered in the category: New Phone Plan), here I sit. The next few days will be spent catching you up on my adventures. (Please know that you and I probably use the word Adventure differently. BUT, we probably put our pants on the same way (mostly), and I like to think that we both roll our eyes a bit when something like “Bindi Irwin Finds a Wakeboarding Boyfriend!” is a headline on the news.)


I will not be returning to the chiropractor. My doctor, whose building caught on fire earlier this month, wants to see me before I let anyone else put me on a vertigo table and call me names. After that happens (on August 12), I will hopefully be cleared to collaborate with Poppin John and Randm. (I’m going to call myself GrudgeHolda. Because that’s what I do. IT’S MY TRAGIC FLAW!)

Be sure to come back tomorrow! I’ll be on a horse, and his name is Luke!

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The watchman said, “The morning cometh, and also the night, and Harper and Scout can keep their names.”

July 15th, 2015 · 10 Comments · Daily

When I was a senior in high school, our English teacher handed out a list of books. He asked us to look the list over because we would be voting on a book to read and to study as a class. The list held the exact books you would think it would hold: 1984. The Great Gatsby. Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Jane Eyre. To Kill a Mockingbird.

Because I wanted to read To Kill a Mockingbird, I decided to fight for it in the only way a socially awkward college-prep student COULD fight: Wear a cute outfit, sound somewhat knowledgeable, and make everyone believe the book is full of sex.

When it came time to lobby and vote, I’ll never forget how I felt when one of the boys in my class tried to sell The Great Gatsby “because it’s short.” Damnit! The Great Gatsby IS short! Argh!

I raised my hand.

Mr. Brown: Angie?

Me: I want to nominate To Kill a Mockingbird.

Mr. Brown: Okay. Why To Kill a Mockingbird?

Welcome to Masterpiece Theater

We voted, and To Kill a Mockingbird won.

(Disclaimer: Please know that I now cringe at the thought of selling a book in this way. I’m glad 1988 is in the past, and I’m glad I’m no longer the 17-year-old me.)

To Kill a Mockingbird was the first book that actually changed me. Harper Lee inspired me to start writing more than “I had stroganoff for dinner and it splashed on the wall and I am so angry at my family right now.” in my journals. My copy of the book was marked up and often soggy because I felt the need to highlight every single thing Atticus Finch said. Boo Radley and ham costumes and seeing the word Chifforobe for the first time… It was and is my favorite book. (To Kill a Mockingbird is why our dog is named Scout. It is why my youngest daughter is named Harper, and I believe it might be why Harper was actually born on Harper Lee’s birthday. (Okay. That might be a stretch. But still, it’s a great coincidence, right?))

I ordered my copy of Go Set a Watchman on February 3rd, and then I started reading the articles that almost convinced me to cancel my order. (Harper Lee is being manipulated by her lawyer! Harper Lee will sign anything you put in front of her! She’s old! Dementia!) I felt weird and sick about the whole thing, yet I didn’t cancel my order, and this is why: Go Set a Watchman is the book that was submitted to a publisher by Harper Lee and because it was rejected, it was reworked and eventually became To Kill a Mockingbird. I needed to read Go Set a Watchman because I needed to know if I would still have a Harper and a Scout had the book NOT been rejected. (How different would my life be if my daughter was named Carson (for Carson McCullers) and my dog was a Trixie (because she sort of looks like a Trixie)?)

Scout, who now looks like a Trixie!

The book arrived in the mail yesterday, and I finished it late last night. I won’t puke a bunch of spoilers onto your shoes because that’s not how I do, but I will say that the book is worth reading if you don’t view it as a sequel. It’s worth reading because Harper Lee has an amazing voice. It’s worth reading because Scout Finch has the backbone that I crave. It’s worth reading because even though it was written in the 1950s, it’s current. It’s terrifyingly current. Am I glad it was rejected in the 1950s? I am. Am I happy it was released in 2015? Yes. The timing could not be more perfect, and it made me feel nostalgic, and it made me very uncomfortable, and it’s not often that I’m stirred the way I’m currently stirred.

This morning I began reading To Kill a Mockingbird for what I believe is the fourth time. After spending all day yesterday reading what it could have been, I need to revisit what it is.

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This porridge is just right.

July 12th, 2015 · 5 Comments · Daily


One year ago today we stepped into our house for the very first time, and I still remember how nice it felt to say, “This is our house” after spending months exploring houses that were NOT our house. (I believe it’s very important to be Goldilocks-esque while searching for a place to live. I wore my blonde wig and blue dress very proudly during the three month hunt, and would sometimes not even step into a house before declaring that it was NOT our house. Our realtor was so patient.) Less than six weeks later, we placed an owl on the mantle, smudged some sage to clear out any negative energy (and give off a slight Freedom Rock vibe), and put the blue canary in the outlet by the light switch. All is well, despite the fact that someone left a fresh bag of dog poop in our front yard a few weeks back. Because a neighbor down the street had a similar bag of dog poop in their yard, I wrote the whole thing off as an interesting communication error.

Stop talking about the Harper Lee book! Stop it! My copy will be arriving in the mail on Tuesday and I feel like I need to lie down in an 80% sensory deprivation tank until I’m able to turn the final page. Fingers in ears and eyes and la la la la la la la…

We purchased a set of fabric markers a few weeks back, which means it’s never not time to mark up some fabric. Last night Meredith and her friend marked up some shoes.


Harper and her friend marked up a few t-shirts.


I marked up nothing, but I did accept a freelance job, meaning the job hunt I mentioned earlier in the week can sit in the corner and stew for a little bit longer.

Good things. Lots of good things. And one of them involves dark chocolate with pressurized carbon dioxide and chipotle pepper.


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Pouring Myself a Cup of Ambition

July 8th, 2015 · 10 Comments · Daily

From 1976 until around 1989, I spent a lot of time staring at my shoes. Talking to people was completely overwhelming, so I decided to play the piano instead. In fact, I spent so much time playing the piano and not talking to people that I scored a piano scholarship, which I forfeited a year later after deciding that attending a performance class at 7:40 in the morning was entirely too early for 19 year old me. I then changed my major from piano performance to communication and then I changed it to nursing, elementary education, occupational therapy, and nutrition before finally settling on psychology with religion as my area of concentration. I still spend a lot of time staring at my shoes, but now it’s 25% because I’m afraid of people and 75% because I wear cute shoes. (19% of you would not agree that these shoes (today’s pair) are cute. Individual differences make the world a better place. Last night I watched a lady purchase a box of Raisinets.)

The big lesson for this week is “It’s okay when a friend says no. Everyone has the right to say no. It’s NOT okay when a friend ignores you or denies knowing you. In fact, it’s twisted and weird.” Also, if everyone in the house is cranky and a child expresses a hankering for frozen yogurt? I will jump up and grab my keys and off we will go. Even if it’s raining. I do this not only because I love my children, but because I love cake batter frozen yogurt with pineapple, blackberries, and walnuts dumped on top. (I tend to go light on the pineapple and blackberries and heavy on the walnuts. It’s a pay per ounce sort of game, and fruit can be heavy.)

So, it looks like I’ll be on a job hunt when school starts up, which is in about four weeks. Because I feel the need to utilize my college education, I’m looking for a job that will allow me to perform a Beethoven sonata before talking to children about magnesium injections as we tie socks to laundry baskets, flip through the DSM-5, and pray. Any leads are appreciated.

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The grass is always greener when it bursts up through concrete.

July 6th, 2015 · 6 Comments · Daily

People are having babies that they don’t want, so it’s my job to find homes for all of the babies. I make a few calls, find some good families who are up for a few new babies, and then take off in my baby delivery car. The problem? The babies slowly turn into puppies during the ride, so I then have to talk the people who wanted babies into taking puppies instead. And I know I’m dreaming after the second baby turns into a puppy, but instead of waking myself up, I decide to keep driving. I eventually have to convince the families that I wasn’t lying about the babies being babies. That part is tricky, and my reputation is suffering.


(Scout was a little bothered by the fireworks this year, so we squeezed her into a tiny pajama hug capsule.)

The Tour de Fleece started on Saturday, and although I’m not officially signed up for any teams, I’ve decided to spin every day through July 26th.

On Day 1, I finished plying some Fairy Yarnmother. It turned out to be a light fingering weight, and I’ve named it River of Orchids.


After that, I pre-drafted Joseph’s Coat, which is a 50/50 silk/merino blend.

On Day 2, I spun two ounces of Joseph’s Coat. (I’m going for a thick and thin mostly bulky weight for a drop stitch cowl.)

Last night I was on a beach with my old church youth group and suddenly I was wearing a bikini and I wasn’t completely bummed out with how I looked in the bikini, which can only mean that this was another dream, because in real life I can’t type, say, or wear the word Bikini without wincing. I spent half of the dream jumping over sand crabs and the other half searching for a purple velour skirt to wear to the restaurant where I was planning on eating spaghetti.

This morning I took four girls out for breakfast and then to a craft store to buy puffy paint so they could embellish the t-shirts they designed late last night. Dawson’s Creek is on the television, because of a mysterious yellow stain on the jacket that I wear every day I am going sleeveless, and the Ann Patchett book I’m reading is inspiring me to create, and then create some more.


(I will not be creating pigs out of pancakes. It has already been done, and I’m not here to reinvent wheels.)

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Battery leakage and corrosion can damage this product.

July 1st, 2015 · 11 Comments · Daily

It looks like summer break is right around halfway over, so we’re celebrating the midpoint by hosting one of Meredith’s friends for a week. Our pantry is stocked with macaroni and Cosmic Brownies, and our camper will arrive any minute now. It’s going to be a good week.

Headache Update: Today is Day 12, and I am not happy. I returned to the headache clinic office for a Toradol/Zofran/Magnesium/DHE IV at 1:40 this afternoon. To prepare for this 90 minute appointment, I loaded my iPad with This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, I wore an IV- and blood splatter-friendly shirt (I tend to spray when stuck), and my eyeshadow was glittery because life is short and Disco Forever. Although I was told I would (hopefully) walk out of the clinic without a headache? I walked out with a headache. I’m frustrated, but I know it won’t last forever. Because that’s a mighty long time.

The woman in front of us at the grocery store this morning spent $367 on groceries for her Independence Day party. She’ll be grilling and putting together an Asian noodle salad. There will be frosted brownies and strawberries dipped in white chocolate. Lots of soda. Vodka. Corn on cobs.

We went to Florida when I was seven years old, and it was an amazing trip. As we drove back home to St. Louis, I told myself that I needed to choose a word and remember it every day for the rest of my life in order to stir up memories of Florida. Right after I came up with that idea, I saw two people jogging on the side of the road. The word Joggers has popped into my head every day since. It always hits me at a random time, yet it always hits me. Nearly 14,000 occurrences of Joggers tripping my brain. I wonder if I should mention this to my migraine doc.

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Nausea and sensitivity! I’m VERY sensitive right now! And not just to bright lights!

June 28th, 2015 · Comments Off on Nausea and sensitivity! I’m VERY sensitive right now! And not just to bright lights! · Daily

I’ve stopped talking about migraines around here for two reasons. 1. It occurred to me that I don’t really want to hear about migraines from anyone else, so why would you want to hear about mine? 2. My migraines have been under control for the past year or so, meaning any migraine talk would just look like this: Got a migraine. Took a pill. Migraine gone.

But, BLERGH! I’m currently on DAY NINE of a migraine, so I’m no longer playing by anyone’s rules—especially my own. Evidence: Because I decided to hang out in the shower so that the hot water could work magic on my neck and shoulders this morning, I took the time to shave my knees. In other words, it is 2001 once again. (I last shaved my knees in 2001. Marriage. Bang!)

Please know that my doctor is on top of things (steroids! anti-inflammatories! muscle relaxers!). All will be well. (Unless all isn’t well. BUT, all has never not been well before, so the odds really are (ever) in my favor.)

Here is a bulleted list of what happened in the past week! This might bore you!

  • I cried like a baby during Inside Out and it had nothing to do with kids growing up and everything to do with animals sacrificing themselves for the greater good. I can barely type these words without getting teary. (I’m blaming the headache for so many emotions. Bing Bong!)
  • Jeff and I attended an amazing birthday party for a friend, and despite the searing pain in my head, it was the best time I’ve had in a long time. (I feel the need to mention the headache in each of these bullet points because it has been an annoying little energy-sucking tick for the past nine days so it deserves a bit of recognition for nothing other than Tenacity.)
  • I had coffee with the woman who poked the tiny snowball that eventually grew into us buying our current house, and despite the fact that I was all ‘roided up, I allowed all four table legs to remain on the floor and it was one of the best coffee talks I’ve had. I have so many great people in my life.
  • I left the coffee talk and rushed home to talk to my health coach, and Man! I’m really loving the process of talking about my issues and getting healthy. Without providing specific details, please know that I know that I’m sounding all floopy with the health coach thing. Also know this: I talk to Kathy every two weeks, and she has given me the tools and encouragement that have led to me losing eight pounds. BUT, more important than the poundage? I’m totally feeling healthier. Stronger. (Psst! Let’s not mention the headache in this bullet point. My doctor said it’s 100% weather related and has nothing to do with the fact that I’m not eating sugar and I’m not letting the sense of taste feel more important than the sense of smell, touch, hearing, or sight. By not mentioning the headache, I just mentioned the headache!)
  • Wait. I can’t just sit here and type type type type about MY week, because this was a HUGE week for a LOT of people! Bree Newsome climbed a pole, removed a flag, and I love her. The Affordable Care Act was reaffirmed! Same sex couples were given a constitutional right to marry! I became deeply offended and hurt when the church in which I was married—the church in which Jeff’s parents have each held the position of president—the church I have attended for the past seven years—the church I truly love—was essentially spit upon and called invalid by MANY people, and two of those people are people who know me personally. What? Huh? Where did that come from? I know! I know. I didn’t attend church this morning (Have I mentioned my headache? I have? Well, okay then!), but I know exactly what I missed. Because of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, I missed a celebration. I missed generosity and understanding and faith and hope and LOVE. (The greatest of these is love, you know.)

Anyway, you might not agree with me or the way I worship on Sundays and beyond. You might take time out to criticize how I carry on or you might try to school me on why your style is better or “more legit” than mine. I’ll try really hard to be okay with that (really hard, but it’s REALLY HARD, but I’ll try. I will. I’m trying! I’m trying.). But, Hhhhhh. It’s hard.

Here is my promise to you: I’ll never criticize your church or the way your mind works. Furthermore, I promise to hold an umbrella for you in the rain and I promise to give you food if you’re hungry and I promise to celebrate your victories and I’ll try my hardest to lift you up when you’re feeling not so great.

I promise to never use my words to make anyone feel not so great. I’ll be careful. Sometimes it’s so important to be careful.

Also, please know that I spend more time feeling hopeful than afraid, and I sort of love feeling my feelings, so there’s that.

I believe it’s time to take a break and knit on my current pair of socks. Comments are off because I have a headache. (Did I mention that earlier?)


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Business as usual is no longer acceptable.

June 22nd, 2015 · 10 Comments · Daily

I spent several hours last week going through the Fluid Pudding 2001-2008 archives and cutting and pasting entries into one big 650 page document. In other words, I’ve written a book. Like many books, it’s not very interesting. It’s entirely too heavy on the I Hate How I Look and entirely too light on the What Can I Do to Help You.

I’ve read more than 100 news stories and blog entries and tweets about last week’s attack on the members of the Emmanual AME Church in Charleston, and I feel sick. I’ve heard the victims’ family members offering forgiveness to the monster who killed their loved ones, and the funny thing that’s actually not so funny at all? I would not be able to forgive. I wouldn’t. I can sit here on my big blue corduroy couch and twist my WWJD bracelet around (I don’t really have a WWJD bracelet, but I DO have one of these, which is certainly close) and tell myself that I’m doing my best, but: No. I can’t forgive a killer and I can’t forgive my own silence. (What would Jesus do? I bet he wouldn’t make a fruit fly trap with vinegar and a mason jar. I bet he wouldn’t color his hair out of a box labeled Natural Black Natural. I bet he wouldn’t treat himself to an iced caramel macchiato. These are the things I’ve done in the past week. Business as usual for a middle-class white lady with edgy peaches, stubborn greys, and a lingering headache.)

Sadly, I’m like a child when it comes to sorting out my thoughts. I can see my big picture want list, but I can’t articulate my strategies on mountain climbing. (If you’ve been coming to this website for very long, you know that I’m speaking the truth.) I often have to look toward my heroes for help and guidance, and for the past several years, two of those heroes have been Kelly and Karen.

Kelly wrote Let’s Get To The Work of Anti Racism.

Karen wrote Say Something.

Please read these two articles and then read them again and then love thy neighbor. Radically. Actively. Even that neighbor down the street who you’re not so sure about. Feed them. Literally and figuratively. Express your fears and then ask if anyone needs help. And then help. And then twist your own bracelet and then do it all again. And again. Until it becomes your life. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Never be afraid to ask for help.

I hate feeling that things aren’t getting better. I hate it on a small scale, like when I have fruit flies hovering around my peaches. I hate it on a medium scale, like when I’m struggling to find freelance work. Most of all, I hate it on a hugely vital scale, like when I see people being treated inhumanely and killed for no reason other than the way they look. The color of their skin. And because I’ve walked only in my own shoes (clichés are rattlesnakes, yet I dance with them), even saying something like “I hate feeling that things aren’t getting better” feels so wide-eyed and unconscious.

I need help.

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Things I’ve felt but I’ve never said. You said things that I’ve never said.

June 11th, 2015 · 9 Comments · Daily

This morning the television told me that a jumpsuit must be paired with heels. The models wearing the jumpsuits expressed their fear about jumpsuits, and shortly afterwards I prepared Tamarind Ginger Lentils, although I had no tamarind or ginger. (I was unafraid.) If I EVER purchase a jumpsuit (and I most likely will NOT, although I’m not necessarily spooked by them), I will also not wear the unlikely jumpsuit with heels because heels make my elbows hit the sidewalk. (The lentils didn’t need tamarind or ginger.)

This week has been my favorite summer break week. I’ve managed to spend at least an hour with four of my favorite people, Meredith attended a seven hour birthday party at a friend’s house, and Harper has two days planned with her best friend from the old school. Meredith is enjoying her job at the library, I’ve now finished spinning three different braids of fiber in less than a month, Jeff plays the guitar and makes us laugh every evening, and Harper is creating material for a potential YouTube channel.

That is the 17%.

If I grabbed a fork from the remaining 83%, we would have to discuss the migraine that forced me into bed yesterday afternoon and how I’ve been a huge emotional jar of goo since November. I would also whisper the fact that I haven’t had a decent freelance job in nearly three months and how the girls constantly yelling “Stop!” at each other is going to drive me straight to Mom Loses Her Shit Avenue.

In other words, despite how I tend to sing, we still trudge. And no one can begrudge a trudge, so trudge we do.

When I pull into the garage, I drive until I make eye contact with Einstein. A few inches past eye contact will find me running into the lawn mower.


This afternoon we’ll be having lunch with my mom and my nephew. I’ll be enjoying a baked potato with steamed broccoli and will then eat a bowl of lentils when I get back home. 4:30 will find me yelling questions at Alex Trebek. I’ll be in bed by 10:00, and will try to stay awake by reading until Jimmy Fallon comes on, but I probably won’t make it.

I rarely do.

Carry on.

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Knitting and Spinning with a Brief Mention of Food and Shoes

June 4th, 2015 · 8 Comments · Daily

Now that we’re getting ready to shake hands with the hottest part of the year, it’s time to start thinking about heavy cardigan sweaters.

I have this yarn.


I’m thinking of using it to make either this or this. (I’m leaning toward the Iba.)

(The quality of the yarn is slightly compromised because I was using it for a cardigan back in 2011 and when I sat it down to answer the phone, Henry destroyed my progress. Thank God he now has an eggplant.)


Jeff was in Boston for the first part of the week, so instead of eating everything in the house (my normal response to his car being at the airport), I spun.


Above is a merino/silk/bamboo blend called Salt Marsh by Lisa Souza. It has been on my wheel forever, which is an exaggeration. Below is merino (Belly Beans by Lisa Souza), and it was on my wheel for less than 24 hours because I was all stressed out and emotional so spin, Spin, SPIN! It’s currently hanging to dry in our office, and it’s possibly the happiest yarn I’ve made.


I started a Tiller Scarf in May, and the goal is to add one skein of yarn each month until it’s finished. (It takes five skeins of Cascade 220. The photo below was taken after one skein was used up.) Imagine how warm this thing is going to be once it finally starts snowing again. I wish I lived in Wyoming. I wish I was Lenny Kravitz.


What else? Adventures with the Health Coach are going very well. As I mentioned before, I’m currently eating low carb/high fat/high protein, and although the pounds aren’t dropping quickly, they ARE dropping. PLUS, this morning I saw a glimpse of myself getting into the shower and it seems that I may be changing shape a little. Maybe. I’m eating a lot of avocados. And eggs. And fermented sauerkraut. No sugar (except for in my powdered chemical coffee). No processed foods. (Confession: I *did* have a blueberry doughnut last weekend, but one doughnut in three weeks is a world record for the world in which I’m the only person, so I’ve forgiven myself and will probably have another doughnut in a few weeks because life is short, so why in the hell wouldn’t I have a doughnut in a few weeks? I would much rather worry and stress about finding strategies that will enable me to remain patient until September 8th. (Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day.)) Eating healthy feels good. I love baked sweet potatoes almost as much as I love painless dental appointments.

Let’s see.

This morning my mom met us at the mall, and she let the girls pick out a pair of shoes for the summer. Meredith went with these, and Harper went with these, and I’m going to spend the afternoon watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

I’ve once again become very bad at responding to comments and e-mails, and I apologize. Also, the person who had our telephone number before us is named Ellenbach. You have no idea how often I walk around the house chanting “I ain’t no Ellenbach girl…” (It’s often. Now you know.)

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