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The Christmas morning scene DESTROYED me.

November 15th, 2014 · 13 Comments · Daily

This morning I woke up early, made cinnamon rolls for the girls (the kind in a can, because I’m no Ree Drummond), and showered.

Twenty minutes later, we put Ramona in a crate, picked Jeff up at the auto place (where our car is being repaired to the tune of many dollar signs), and drove east to the cat clinic where we learned that Ramona may have kidney disease. She also may have heart disease. She also may have neither of those things. We’ll go back in a few months for further investigation. Meanwhile, we’re supposed to spoil her with as much canned food as she wants.

At around 2:00, we headed to my parents’ house to share a chocolate eclair cake. It snowed. We drove home. I loaded Orphan Train onto my Nook. As I sit here and type, Jeff is playing the guitar and watching the Mizzou game. The girls are upstairs hanging out with each other. I’m thinking about jumping on Orphan Train while riding out some bath salts. (I just learned that the Indigo Wild company is in Kansas City. That’s only five hours away. They love dogs, they hate breast cancer, and everything they create is amazing. Let’s go.)

I can barely type right now because I have tears running down my face, and it’s all because of this:


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November 14th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Daily


That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it and think how different its course would have been. Pause, you who read this, and think for a long moment of the long chain of iron or gold, or thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on that memorable day.
-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I wouldn’t exist without these two, and I wouldn’t be who I am without their amazing example of What a Relationship Should Be. 50 years in, and they’re still going strong.

The happiest of anniversaries to my mom and dad. I hope today is just as memorable as November 14, 1964.

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We travel on gravel, dirt road, or street. I wear my Adidas when I rock the beat.

November 13th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Daily

Why do our clothes smell good, you ask?
It’s a combination of the new washer and dryer and this:


(My fingers look like hot dogs.)

It’s crazy cold outside and I love it, but I’m cranky and will probably be spending the evening trying to figure out what book to read next. (I haven’t yet finished “Not That Kind of Girl” but it’s due at the library, so I’ll reserve it again when less people are interested. I don’t believe it’s the kind of book that demands to be read all at once.)

Tomorrow is the Last Quarter Moon. It’s also my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

Reverend Run of Run DMC was born on November 14, 1964 right around the time that my parents were walking down the aisle.

Reverend Run has a son named Diggy.
When I was seven, we had a dog named Digger.
And the world keeps on turning.

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Far! We’ve been traveling far! Without a home, but not without a star!

November 12th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Daily

It doesn’t matter where I was going, but please know that as I drove from our house to a place this morning, a bald eagle flew directly over my car and I flipped out in a really good way.

As soon as I reached my destination (Okay, it was Weight Watchers. I have to go once each month if I want to keep not paying them, and I definitely want to keep not paying them.), I texted Jeff.

Me: A bald eagle just flew over me during the drive to Weight Watchers. What does it mean?

Jeff: Freedom.

Me: I bet Jay Nixon had something to do with it.

And because I made a weak joke about our governor instead of singing a song about America and maybe ripping the sleeves off of all my t-shirts, my brakes started making a weird noise on the way home. (I believe in tragic levels of karma when it comes to eagles and brakes. Also, pigeons and standardized test scores.) When I left to pick Meredith up from school? The weird noise joined a bunch of other weird noises and it started to sound like an airplane was about to land on my car, so I had to make an emergency “Please pick Meredith up!” call to Jeff and he had to cancel a meeting and HEY, JAY NIXON!!! I VOTED FOR YOU!!!

Quick note to Elsiroomom: I’ve tried to respond to your questions, but both e-mails were returned as undeliverable! The Answers: “Not That Kind of Girl” by Lena Dunham, and Manos del Uruguay Clasica. (Their colors are amazing, and the yarn is a worsted single ply. It’s one of my favorites.)

Meredith came home from school yesterday and said some magical words.

Meredith: One of your dreams came true today.

Me: Stephen Colbert really DOES want to make out with me?

Meredith: No. A girl in Geography told me that my clothes smell really good.

Angels are singing. Bald eagles are flying. Airplanes are landing on my car.

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Choose Your Own Adventure Dinner!

November 11th, 2014 · 8 Comments · Daily

A few people have asked how I feed my family when they’re eating meat and I’m not eating meat.

One of the few things I can make that stirs up zero complaints is something we call crazy bowls. Picture this: a big bowl of rice, a big bowl of corn, a big bowl of tomatoes, some cheese, some ground beef, and some roasted vegetables.

Less than an hour ago, this was happening on my stove:


On the left you see ground beef. I don’t eat ground beef, but I *do* season it with cumin, sage, garlic salt, and pepper. On the right you see roasted veggies. Specifically, a sweet potato, some carrots, an onion, a squash, and some mushrooms. I toss everything in a bit of olive oil and season it with salt and pepper before throwing it into the oven.

When it’s time to eat, everyone builds their bowl with the ingredients listed above. Harp tends to go with rice, beef, and corn. Meredith does the same combination, but heavier on the rice plus tomatoes. Jeff piles everything on except for the roasted vegetables, which he eats afterwards. Tonight I went with only the vegetables, and I’m about to smoosh some avocado and some apple slices together for a snack.

All of this to say, I’ve got nothing for you today. I spent the entire morning and afternoon working on my project, and in a few minutes Jeff has volunteered to head to the store because I’m out of coffee. I’m not one of those people who acts like it’s a disaster to run out of coffee, but I will admit that my mood will be better in the morning knowing that I’m covered. Jeff? He’s a gem, that one.

Here’s hoping your Tuesday was good. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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It is 6:40pm.

November 10th, 2014 · 10 Comments · Daily

The temperatures are dropping, so today I started a pair of fingerless mitts as I waited for Meredith to get out of school.


If I had less stuff on my plate and in my head, I would knit 100 of these and just leave them around town.


I’m currently listening to Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please“.

I’m currently reading Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind of Girl“.

I have no idea why my quotation marks are going the wrong way, and I will now exercise self-forgiveness by leaving them as is, although it’s making me very twitchy. (I’ve already tried to correct them twice. No luck.)

I have 14 more chapters of freelance, and they have to be finished by Friday. They will get done!

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I’ve seen Bunny Funkhouser.

November 9th, 2014 · 14 Comments · Daily

A few people have asked to see some photos of the house. Please know that we moved in on August 15th, and we’re unpacking as needed. It’s sort of a nice feeling to not have a lot of extras sitting around in need of dusting. It’s much easier to clean. BUT, as I look at these photos, I’m already starting to notice clutter. Clutter is entirely too easy for us. Why am I so nervous right now? It’s almost like you’re actually HERE here. (I hate that I’m such an awkward host.) Anyway. Onward.

When you walk into the house and look to the left, this is the room you see. It’s officially called Dining Room, but right now it’s the place where I blocked my cardigan and the place where I’ll eventually be sewing my cardigan together. (Right now I’m still too scared to sew my cardigan together.)


Straight across the hall is the library/office/dogs’ room/Harper’s Wonderful Room of Happiness, Dreams, and Peace. (Really. She made a sign and everything.) It has a closet devoted to my yarn and fiber. Bookshelves are slowly coming together. We do family breathing sessions in this room. Care for a closer look?


(Please know that the desk is going to be moved to the basement and I know this is a terrible photo. BUT, Henry was very pleased with his hair and waggy tail in this one, so I left it in.)

When you walk through the front door and take about five steps (with the dining room to the left and the library to the right), this is what you’ll see. It’s a staircase, a bathroom door, Scout, and a well-lit family room. The thing I love the most about this house is the natural light. Big windows. Not a lot of furniture which creates the illusion of space. Let’s take a look into that family room.


Here is the love seat. The dogs love it because the sun pours onto them during the afternoon which makes for the perfect nap scene. I can’t wait to sit on the love seat in my robe with my eyes on the snow and my hands on a mug of hot something or other.


To the right of the love seat is the fireplace. Sitting on the mantle is a ceramic vase made by Harper, a cardboard box full of Sidney’s ashes (I still need to find a good urn), a candle, a blue vase, an oil burner, a snow globe, and a concrete owl named Herbert (after my freshman year piano performance professor).


To the other side of the bathroom door that we saw earlier is the kitchen. It has an island, which seems to be a magnet for birthday gifts, mail, electronics, and cookie cakes.


Sometimes I’ll have something like this roasting in the oven.


Leading from the kitchen to the back yard are some doors, obviously. When you open them, this is what you see.



Now, if you hear your car alarm going off and you need to haul it back toward the front door, you’ll be presented with this.


It’s one of my very favorite things about the house. Again, so much light.

I’ll keep the upstairs upstairs for a bit, because I have no problem with showing you videos of me shoving marshmallows into my face, but I’m not so keen about showing where I sleep. (And in case you’re wondering? Yes. I’m once again sleeping. Sometimes for five to six hours at a time, which almost feels gluttonous.) Thanks for looking around with me. Honestly? I really don’t feel like I deserve to live in a house that’s this nice on a street with kind neighbors and a five minute drive to Target. BUT, the girls now have their own rooms, the dogs have lots of space to run around, and we’re far enough removed that we can see stars. I’m definitely not complaining.

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November 8, 2014

November 8th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Daily

A little bit of mouth exercise, a little bit of reading a book that is STIRRING UP SO MUCH TROUBLE, some freelance that is somehow laced with Ambien, knitting, eating Rice Krispies treats, tap dancing (I HAVE SO MANY HIDDEN TALENTS!!!), and finally? Scout love.

Thanks for sticking with me. (I’m sorry about the weird pop-up ad. It was not intentional, and I cannot figure out how to remove it. Oh, YouTube.)

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Your mind’s been rearranged.

November 7th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Daily

When Harper and I walked out to the bus stop this morning, we were excited to see frost.



After she boarded the bus, I grabbed some breakfast and headed to the mall so that Tempe and I could do our annual Sharing of the Lip Gloss Bundle. (Pictured here are the ones I’ve now added to my collection, along with an eyebrow liner which I will surely apply incorrectly, a tinted moisturizer that I was told to wear OVER my current moisturizer, and a weird powder thing that will set my face. Heh. (???) (!!!))


And, right now this is happening in our back yard. The sun is making everything look fiery, and I really do love this time of year.


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Four Smooshes and a Latte

November 6th, 2014 · 4 Comments · Daily

So, this morning I did my yearly mammogram gig. Because of the weird scare last year, I decided to go to an actual hospital this time around. I thought I would leave with my results, but apparently I have to wait until at least the middle of next week to receive my letter in the mail. (I was told that the letter would say something to the effect of, “All Clear!” or “Whoops! We see something strange, so we’re waiting on the strip mall x-ray center to send your images from last year.” or “You should probably drop what you’re doing right now and call to make another appointment.”)

(Public Service Announcement: If you’ve never had a mammogram and you’re spooked by the thought, I explain the procedure over here.)

Anyway, after I went topless and opened my robe to the front, I sat in the waiting room with four other women. I heard a rumor that this particular hospital has only one 3-D mammogram machine and that for now, they’re reporting it to insurance companies as a 2-D. (Insurance will nearly always cover a 2-D. 3-D? Not so much.) None of us knew which room had the 3-D machine, which made the waiting room feel ELECTRIC–like potentially being chosen to “Come on down!” during a taping of The Price is Right. (Disclaimer: Supposedly, 2-D machines are JUST AS GOOD as 3-D machines. Ah, but if they’re REALLY just as good, why would a hospital invest in a super-expensive machine that insurance companies may not cover? I’m the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m talking about half of the time, but to me? 3-D seems to one up 2-D. Finally, I’m really (really) hoping that eventually the 3-D machines start using holography to laser beam my chest onto the wall. (Bonus points if my chesty hologram is able to speak to me. WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!))

When my name was called, the mammogram technician took me into a room and said, “My name is Judy, and I’ll be doing your mammogram today on the 3-D machine.”

Me: YES!

Judy: Actually the 2-D machines are just as effective as the 3-D machines. Buying a 3-D machine is just the hospital’s way of keeping with the times. For now, we’re coding it as a 2-D machine, but eventually you’ll have to ask your insurance company if they’ll approve a 3-D mammogram.

Me (to myself, while taking my left arm out of the robe): I’m walking on sunshine, WHOA-OH!

After four images, she told me that she needed me to sign a paper so they could get last year’s images. And I’m sure that’s a standard thing, but it flooded me with horrible memories from last year. SO, I signed the paper, got dressed, and headed straight to a coffee dump where I grabbed a caramel latte. (Because I tend to control my emotions with coffee and/or too much pie.)

I’ll keep you updated.

Until then, watch this. It’s the first time a dance has choked me.

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