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I look in the mirror and say, “What’s up?”

May 3rd, 2016 · 6 Comments · Daily

Hello! I’ve missed you!

The past week has been ridiculous, but I can’t name four things I did that might have kept me away. That whole MRSA thing sort of sucked, but I’m pretty sure I’m over it now. My nephew dislocated his shoulder during a tennis match but I wasn’t there so I can’t really use it as an excuse, although I found myself stress-eating Doritos during his sedation and resetting. (I can’t type and eat Doritos at the same time. Too much residue.) Harper turned 11 last Thursday and Meredith turned 13 last Friday and we lost power for a few hours on Saturday and we went to a Cardinals game on Sunday. I’ve been working and growing my hair and throwing Vinca plants into our yard kidneys and listening to Beyoncé.

Today I joined a friend at IKEA and it was amazing and refreshing because: 1. Friend, 2. IKEA, 3. Veggie balls!

I’ve been wanting this mirror for several months, and now we have it:

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(Please don’t tell the neighbors we’re Rear Windowing them with Harper’s telescope.)

I had no idea this cat pillow existed, but now we have it:

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This thing is solar powered and it’s my first patio yoga station decoration.

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I also purchased some chalk, a potential pergola cover, a candle, and some Swedish fish.

Oh, Beyoncé. Here’s the thing. I stopped feeling passionate about music somewhere around 1998. Sure, I’d fall into different albums occasionally, but nothing really held my attention for more than a few months. My iPod is filled with songs that Jeff put on mix tapes for me back in 1996. The radio no longer sparks me. It’s weird because music used to be Everything, but for whatever reason, I hit an 18 year dry spell. (Eighteen years. Dear Lord. My dry spell is graduating from high school this year!)

And then Prince died. When Tempe told me that Prince died, I was like, “Shit. Really? Prince?!” and then I spent the next few days listening to all of the Prince albums that I’ve missed over the years, and why in the HELL have I not been listening to music?! Then Beyoncé released Lemonade, and I can’t stop shaking my head. In a good way.

Movie on 5-3-16 at 4.24 PM (1)

(This is me actually dancing to Sorry. Unapologetically.)

Beyoncé is angry and gritty and I’m loving every single minute of it because I’m sometimes angry and gritty and Lemonade speaks to a part of me that has been asleep for too long. I love that if I were to invite Beyoncé over for biscotti she would be way too ferocious for it.

A few days back, I received some essential oils in the mail and I told Tempe that I was loving them. She asked which one was going into the diffuser and when I dictated “I’m thinking Sweet Ambiance” to Siri, she heard me like this:

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Sweet. I’m Beyoncé. (I’m not really Beyoncé.)

Finally, because I’ve become the middle-aged woman who can’t stop screwing around with iron-on designs, I made the shirt I’ve been wanting to make since I first received my Cricut.

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(My next shirt will say, “I’m way too ferocious for your biscotti.”)

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We are all a star.

April 22nd, 2016 · 9 Comments · Daily

I know Bette Davis died in 1989, but I also know that she was at my doctor’s office this morning sitting in a wheelchair and loudly throwing out phrases like “all that and a bag of chips.”

I went to the doctor this morning for a weird thing and it turns out that the weird thing is actually a MRSA infection (who KNEW?!) and if you’ve been around me at all for the past month or so you honestly have nothing to worry about unless you licked my skull. I don’t want to talk about it. (I’ve contacted the skull lickers because I’m a good citizen.)

While I was sitting there feeling all red-faced and infected with Staphylococcus, my doctor decided to check in on my headache preventative.

Dr. W: How is the Celexa working with your migraines?

Me: I think it’s going really well. I’ve taken maybe six headache pills so far this year, and before the Celexa I was taking one or two each week!

Dr. W: Do you have any side effects that are bothersome?

Me: Well, sort of but I don’t know. I haven’t cried since I started the Celexa and I normally cry all the time about weird stuff like animated elephants sacrificing themselves and little kids singing Stevie Wonder songs. The commercial with the tiny horse that needs a dog door because the other horses won’t socialize with him? That commercial would have destroyed me a year ago, but now I’m just like, “Huh.”

Dr. W: Does it bother you that you’re not crying at those things?

Me: It doesn’t BOTHER me, it’s just that it’s weird to not cry so easily.

Dr. W: Well, you could look at it like this. It might not be 100% normal to bust out crying during commercials. I think you had all sorts of hidden stress before the medication and it manifested itself with gastro symptoms and migraines and maybe even the unexpected crying. BUT, you have to ask yourself if NOT crying bothers you as much as the headaches did. The medication is an anti-depressant, but I didn’t prescribe it because of depression.

Me: I think I’ll keep taking it and be okay with the fact that heroes keep dying and I feel like a migraine-free David Bowie singing a Pink Floyd song.

So, Prince. I’ve spent the past day reading stories and tributes and feeling weird about the fact that I purchased gum for Harper called Raspberry Sorbet less than an hour before Tempe texted the news to me as I sat in the parking lot of a grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant. (Harper wanted lemon gum, but I went with Raspberry Sorbet. Because of Raspberry Beret. I had no idea what was happening at Paisley Park as I was pulling out my Target Red Card.)

I don’t have any life-changing Prince stories, and I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been a committed fan since the beginning. What I *will* say is that I purchased the soundtrack to Purple Rain a month after I turned 14 back in 1984 and after listening to it over and over again I hid it in my bottom desk drawer because I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of the lyrics. I also knew that this music was not like anything else I was hearing on the radio in 1984. (In 1984 I also purchased the soundtracks to “Against All Odds” and “Footloose.” Huey Lewis and the News. Night Ranger. Duran Duran. Corey Hart. I loved them all, but they were not Prince.) I received “Around the World in a Day” for my 15th birthday along with Phil Collins’s “No Jacket Required” and Paul Young’s “The Secret of Association.” “Around the World in a Day” made it into my car when I got my license in 1986. I have no idea what happened to the Phil Collins or Paul Young. My 18th birthday found me opening “Lovesexy” and Alphabet St. continues to blow me away.

People are dying and a lot of times it seems like the wrong people are dying and I know that sounds really shitty for me to say, so I’ll stop.

Like I always do when I have no idea what else to do, I made a shirt.

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(When I’m 85 years old, I’m sure I’ll have shirts that commemorate all sorts of crazy events. Here’s hoping my great-grandkids know that these shirts could make an amazing time capsule quilt. Maybe.)

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Here’s to 100 more.

April 11th, 2016 · 14 Comments · Daily

Things I’ve done every day for the past 100 days:
1. Shower
2. Eat food
3. Yoga

Today was my 100 day yoga anniversary and I celebrated by filling out forms for Meredith’s summer camp while drinking a caramel macchiato.

I also swatched for a cardigan:
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I also started the border for a shawl:
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I also made a bare bones quiche out of eggs, zucchini, and carrots:
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(While preparing the ingredients for the quiche, I cut my finger trying to pick zucchini out of my Veggetti, and that sounds a lot nastier than it was.)

Everything has changed since I started doing yoga. It’s my new favorite doughnut and if that doesn’t make sense, just know that the peace I feel after practicing yoga is the same peace I used to feel after sucking all of the raspberry jelly out of a raspberry jelly filled sugar doughnut. (Also, I’m much nicer now than I was 100 days ago. More mindful. More present. I can hold a side plank for 45 minutes.)

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(I’m lying. I can maybe hold one for 45 seconds, though, and that’s a heck of a lot more seconds than zero seconds which was my record 100 days ago.)

((I usually don’t wear shoes when I’m practicing yoga, but you don’t need to see that.))

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Man, I’m telling you, it’s a lapazoo.

April 6th, 2016 · 11 Comments · Daily

At approximately 4:37 this morning, I noticed that the toilet was no longer flushing and that the failure to flush resulted from the stopper no longer being connected to the up-down thinger dinger that is normally activated by the external flush lever. I got really pissed about it, but three hours later I drove in the rain past a car that had caught fire on the highway. THAT guy is having a rough day. I can fix a toilet. (I think.)

Unrelated but similarly frightening: Some guy overdosed on heroin close to our old shaved ice place yesterday and drove into a mom and dad who were pushing their two year old in a stroller. The toddler flew something like ten feet, but will be fine. (The weird thing? As Heroin Guy drove over the family, I was ten miles west eating a shaved ice at our NEW shaved ice place. It opened less than a month ago, and my current favorite is a mixture of blueberry muffin and cream soda. The blueberry muffin actually tastes like blueberry muffins!) 

I can fix a toilet.

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After taking the girls to school, I drove to my haircut place. (While driving, I noticed that the inside of my car smelled like opening a musty board game in the 70s. Nostalgia.) The woman who cuts my hair is smart and funny and talented and I CAN FIX A TOILET! I CAN! (I think I just need a replacement flapper, and the only reason I know Flapper is because I just Googled toilet parts. Also, the hairstyle I’m shooting for could almost be referred to as a flapper cut. I’ve never touched a dolphin, but I want to. (If I had a dolphin for a pet, I would name him (or her) Flapper.))

UPDATED TO ADD: I fixed a toilet. It took less than two minutes, but I’ll be all high from it for the rest of the day because that’s what trying new things will do for you. We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams!

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Three of your favorite topics: Feet, dreams, and yard stuff!

April 4th, 2016 · 9 Comments · Daily

The last thing I want to see when I walk into a hospital is someone’s feet, and because I’m not a hypocrite (at least not 100% of the time) I make it a personal rule to never wear sandals into a hospital. Last week I was all Birkenstocked and headed to visit a doctor when I remembered that her office moved into a hospital. I had no time to turn around and throw on my Low Pros, so I was my own worst enemy for approximately 90 minutes. (Not that flip-floppers in a hospital are enemies of mine. They’re not. I don’t believe I really have any enemies in a hospital as long as employees are working together to keep hearts beating and everyone else is staying out of the way. Have I ever mentioned that I used to wear a stethoscope around my neck when I was an intensive care unit secretary? I’m despicable.) ((Disclaimer: Some hearts should not keep beating. A doctor’s success rate shouldn’t always rely on how many people he/she keeps alive.))

Two nights ago I had a dream during which I took six Vicodin and then started making phone calls to see if I could find someone to give me a lift to the emergency room. Sadly, everyone I called was too busy. Eventually, I realized that the game I was playing wasn’t a smart one. (Please know that if you needed a lift to the emergency room, I would try my hardest to get to you. My gas tank is (nearly) always at least half full.)

Last night I was responsible for Cher calling off her concert in the middle of a song just because I accidentally took a photo without turning off my flash. Everyone in the stadium was booing and throwing things at me.

(Every few months I go through a 2-3 week stint during which I feel expendable. It hits me so hard that I manage to drag it into the Land of Nod. (Biorhythms are real.)) ((Jeff bought some relaxation tea for me yesterday after I spiraled into a weirdo panic attack. I felt it again this morning, so I drove straight to Home Depot to stare at plants.))

I’ve been thinking a lot about edging for our front yard. Three houses in the subdivision went on the market last week and each one of them sold within two days. I think it’s time for our yard to put on a fancier skirt, which means we’ve been using words like Phlox and Lilac and Trustworthy Tree Trimming Guy.

Two days ago I ate the best blueberry streusel doughnut, and my Fitbit just flashed “Burn it, A-Dawg.” So many bright spots.

EDITED TO ADD: Perhaps “expendable” was too strong of a word choice. Please know that I’m not experiencing any sort of crisis. With that said, thank you so much for the love! You guys honestly are the absolute best.

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Everything just keeps happening.

March 30th, 2016 · 10 Comments · Daily

On the final day of spring break, the dogs brought some dead bird parts into the house and lined them up in front of the television. I can now say that I’ve crossed the house holding a bird head, a wing, a leg, and some feathers. Some of you can’t say that. Some of you can say much worse.

Easter was decent, but my lack of planning made us miss church which bummed me out. Lunch was fine, but the post-lunch conversation about funerals and dying and wills and arrangements and so on folded me into a huge bouncing anxiety ball and as a result I’ve been taking migraine pills for the past two days. I know that the next twenty years are going to bring some really dreadful experiences my way and I like to think that I’m preparing by filling my toolbox with things like yoga and meditation and strong friendships and God, but the fact remains that I Don’t Want to Talk About It Right Now.

A group from Harper’s school found that they had extra money from a fundraiser. Because of this, they went shopping for a microwave this morning. After purchasing the microwave, they drove to the Ronald McDonald House where they donated the microwave to be used by families who are staying there. Good stuff.

Do you remember back in December when my migraine doc prescribed yoga and then told me that she wanted to see me in three months to talk about how much I love yoga? This morning was the three month appointment.

Migraine Doc: Well? Has anything changed since our last appointment?
Me: As of today, I’ve practiced yoga for 88 days in a row.
Migraine Doc: Really?!
Me: IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU! You made me do this, and I’m not sure why I resisted for so long and if the sun refused to shine I would still be loving you. When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me. And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles.
Migraine Doc: What?
Me: Led Zeppelin.
Migraine Doc: Is anything else going on?
Me: I caught ringworm from my cat, but we’re still friends.

I then told her about my current headache and that I think it’s just a remnant from Holy Week and I told her about my digestive stuff and how I’m self-diagnosing myself with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and she said, “Yep. That’s a popular one these days.”

And then I reminded myself that working on medical projects does not make me a doctor. (I think I would have been a decent doctor, though. Especially since my headache preventative also prevents me from crying.)

Before I left the office, the doctor told me that I’m awesome and I’m blessed. And I am. And so are you. (Even if you haven’t scraped bird brains out of your carpeting.)

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I’m doing something that scares me and it involves a tank top which means my life must be pretty good.

March 26th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Daily

I went to two Old Navy stores today because they were having a big sale and I tried on something like 3,293 dresses before finally going with some sort of black flowy number that’s a bit too short so I have to search out footless tights or some crap like that and damnit, Old Navy, how come every single thing I try on in your store has some sort of element that I don’t like? Cute flowery shirt, but I don’t like ruffle sleeves. Cute eyelet dress, but too many pleats. Cute vertical stripes, but I don’t do the drop waist thing.

I spent seventeen hours at Old Navy before drunkenly (and I hadn’t been drinking) proclaiming that this summer shall be The Summer of The Tank Top. (They were having a big tank top sale.) I then crawled up to the register and purchased two.

I hate tank tops. I hate them. I feel naked in them and I typically wear them only if I have at least three layers over them.

BUT, it’s time to cartwheel out of my everyday style. It’s time to stop wearing long sleeves during the summer months. It’s time to let the world get to know my arms! (I’m trying very hard to not use the phrase Comfort Zone because it’s overused and I’m trying to find alternatives.)

I decided to make the biggest muscle I could make with my right arm for this post because STRENGTH! POWER! TANK TOP! and I believe this might be the final post of NaBloPoLenta (but I haven’t yet done a knitting post or finished my About the Pudding list!) so NABLOPOLENTA!!!

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Sadly, I think I left my muscles in the fitting room at Old Navy. Good think I kept my H vein. (Depending on the day, it stands for either Humdrum or Humdinger! Hermit. Hungry.)

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I’ve got the power of bumble.

March 25th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Daily

The charity truck driver refused to take our couch and loveseat this morning because he claimed that they were too worn. As a result, we have turned our garage into a man cave and/or free furniture outlet. (The guy down the street has two couches and a flat screen television hanging in his garage. If you drive by his house when a game is on, his garage door will be open and he’ll be lounging on the couches with several of his friends. Not a bad scene, really. I believe he also has a neon beer sign.) ((Clarification: The couches aren’t hanging. Just the television.))

After the truck drove away, the four of us went to a movie theater to see Zootopia. It had already sold out.

“Today is a real pisser,” I said, before remembering that I’m trying to not talk like that anymore.

We traveled to a nearby cookie bakery and drowned our sorrows before walking to a popcorn shop that also sells wine and weird gift items. Do you know how sometimes around Christmas different stores have personalized Christmas ornaments and you just spin the display around until you find your name and its associated ornament (if you’re interested in that sort of thing, which I normally am not)? Well, this particular store had a personalized display for big pocket knives. Every single name on the spinning rack was a boy name. The only knives associated with women were “#1 Grandma” and “#1 Mom”. In other words, if you’re a girl who wants a knife at that store, you have to have a baby or a baby who has a baby.

Even Jesus had a personalized knife on the rack. Also, Boss Man.

I didn’t want a knife, but if I *did* I would probably have to go with Hank. Or maybe Dick. (My sister gave me a Dick coffee cup when I was in college and it was one of my very favorite things because I thought it was so So SO funny.)

The highlight of the afternoon was going to Elements Herbology where I purchased some Bumble Power Tea Additive.

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I’m hoping it carries me through the allergy season.

I always feel a little anxious on Good Friday.

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I used to spend my Thursdays watching The Waltons.

March 24th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily

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Today was a perfect day.

The girls and I visited with my parents this morning. My dad showed us his tomato plants, my mom finished a shawl, and the girls hung out with them for lunch so I could join one of my very favorite people for a strawberry salad before walking to an amazing spice store where I purchased three types of tea and some crystallized ginger. (I’m still kicking myself a bit for not purchasing the raspberry jalapeño jelly or the apple butter barbecue sauce.)

After returning to my current home from my childhood home I practiced yoga, listened to William Hurt reading The Sun Also Rises, and watched Jeopardy before our family volunteered with friends at a food pantry.

Spring break has been slow but amazing. I hope your Thursday was just as good.

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Spring Break Stereotype Shattering

March 23rd, 2016 · 7 Comments · Daily

450 seventh grade girls gathered before the sun came up to attend a statewide middle school conference because science, technology, engineering, and math should not be considered “non-traditional” career choices for women.

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50 of those girls are from St. Louis.
Meredith is one of them.

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