Going home… part one.

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This last weekend my girlfriends and I had the pleasure, after not knowing if we could go up because of Covid, of taking our annual girls trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to go to the rodeo. The National, U.P. Championship Rodeo is the only one in Michigan that is sanctioned and this was its fifty-third year it has been in my sleepy home town of Iron River Michigan.

The other three girls and I had been talking about it for a while. We made hotel reservations in May so that we got the (only) hotel that is in town’s walking distance, I didn’t want to miss a thing. They have events all day long in town, like a Rodeo Queen competition, a sidewalk sale, and even a parade. “Town” by the way is 2 1/2 blocks long and consists of more bars then places to eat or shop, but it is still down town to me. The storefronts mostly are now sitting empty but for an occasional location that has changed from selling new merchandise to antiques, or the old jewelry store that is now the towns only beauty shop. I have such fond memories of sitting outside the U.P. Power company storefront, where my dad worked, on the curb, and watched the rodeo parade, eagerly waiting for the floats to drive by that would toss candy for us kids to catch. If you got lucky, you got more than one piece as kids all scrambled to get each and every piece that hit the ground and made a combination cracking and crinkling noise from the hard candies wrapped in individual pieces of plastic bouncing on the hot paved road.

The parade was long back then, in my mind hours long, full of marching bands and floats and dealerships driving their fanciest new cars off the lot for all to see. The local rival football teams had floats taunting the other schools, “Beat the Cardinals” or “Stomp Stambaugh”. My dad was a fireman and marched back in the day, and I was so proud. After the parade we all went straight to the rodeo to get our seats. The bleachers faced the sun and the shinny metal was hot so you had to bring a blanket to sit on. The back of our legs would get the imprint of the rough blanket we sat on, but that was still better than scorching our skin on the hot metal. The smell of dirt, manure and tractors filled the arena but if the wind blew just right you could smell the brats and corn on the cob being cooked for spectors to buy and eat in the stands. Everywhere you looked cowboy hats moved along the rodeo grounds, some were actual cowboys, some were locals that were wearing their hats if only for the day. And don’t forget the kids begging their parents for cotton candy or to “go ride a horse in a circle”.

This year, and for last couple, the rodeo has changed for me. For the last couple of years my girl friends and I all say goodbye to our significant others, and our kids, jump in a car and head for the rodeo for a girls weekend. The first time I took one of my girlfriends on the 8 hour drive to get there she exclaimed rather stunned “oh! It’s a real rodeo”! Evidently the entire drive she somehow thought it was just a theme for a big giant party. “No, I stated, Its a real rodeo with cowboys and bulls and bull poop”. She laughed and said “who knew!”

This year the parade was only about a half hour long, and had only 2 floats in it, the same two as last year. One is a group of elderly (ok my age) people who play funky jazzed up Polka’s and the other is a float from the local 4H club showcasing their prized pigs and chickens. The Rodeo queen and her court ride through on their horses all dressed up in their finest show cloths… both the horses and the riders. Then comes the little kids with their pooper scoopers to pick up the horse poop. Finally the firetrucks all clean and shiny come through. With a smaller parade that means time between the parade and the rodeo. Truth? We had couple of drinks before noon, then took a nap, we are old now after all. Then we took, what has become part of my new rodeo tradition. I stopped at my dad’s gravestone for a bit. After all these years I still cry. Then I picked up the girls and we went for a drive. We went past the place I grew up, and some of my old friends houses. We saw houses that are still there, old and weather worn and brand new ones being built that look out of place with their new styling and design. We went passed my school and I showed the girls how the airport is on top of a cliff and the only two sides that aren’t cliff are where a school and a bar (still) stands. We drove passed the “murder house”, more on that in the next post. We ate and had some more drinks and just relaxed all before finally going to the rodeo late show.

I have some anxiety bringing my L.P. friends to the U.P. It’s just a small town in the middle of no place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, that has really only one event that happens every year. They rodeo means more to me then “A real Rodeo”, and I enjoy it very much, even if it has changed so very much. It’s my town tho, and my family, and my event. Everyone said they had a good time and everyone said it was nice to get away from it all. I sure hope so, because I did and can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Working together separately…

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Recently I got a job working from home. I was very excited to think that I could sleep in a little longer, make myself some coffee, and be my at my desk in about 5 minutes. And the best part… NO BRA! My husband is also working from home and has been for most of the pandemic. He has taken up working in our dinning room which is fine since we never use it. I think I have friends that have never even been in that room after the 20 years we have lived in our house. I had visions of the two of us in matching pj’s and drinking from his and her coffee mugs sitting next to each other solving all our companies problems and multi-tasking using our cell phones and computers with a trendy office that is sparkling clean and organized.

Well, that was my thought anyway. The first day I was working from home I got up early, grabbed my laptop and started to create some space in the dinning room. I had noticed that my husband doesn’t have any lights on in the dinning room when he works, but I needed to see so I could write some things down. It was my first day of work after all! I decided that I would simply open the blinds on the window and the sliding glass door as a compromise, that way I could see and he would still be in the dark. Humm, a man in the dark about things?… Insert joke here. Shortly after opening the blinds and sitting down at my computer my husband came down stairs and into the dinning room. He paused briefly, looked at me and stated “oh, the blinds are open.” I asked him if he needed to blinds closed for a reason. He said with the lights on and blinds open there is too much glare on his computer. Ok, I said, I just need to write some stuff down and make sure my computer is doing what it needs to be able to do, then I promised I would close the blinds. By the way, he hates the blinds open in the house, not just when he is working, but all the time, and this drives me crazy. He looked at me, let out a large sigh and simply said OK.

So we didn’t get off to a great start. It’s ok, we have been married 33 years I’m sure it is just a minor set back. Next he got a phone call. Now here is where I should tell you that my husband is an engineer. Mostly he is doing stuff on the computer and has conference calls all day. I don’t know what he really does, but when he does it he is very serious and talks slowly, I’m assuming so others can understand. I am in sales, I’m loud and make jokes and often get sidetracked into conversations that are not work related. So he got a phone call, and then I also got a phone call. While I probably should have gotten up and walked out of the room to take my call I just didn’t think about it until I got “the look” from him. You know the one, the one mom’s give kids when they are in public and the kids start to get noisy? We all know that look, Ok, days not getting much better.

When my husband got off the phone he looked at me and stated that he needed to go to work and that he needed to go immediately. I teased him that he got pissed at me pretty fast for a Monday, and he just smiled and said no. Then he left. To tell you the truth I didn’t care at all. I turned the lights on, I pushed some of his papers out of the way, and really go into my job for the first time all day. It was great, I got my computer up and connected to the VPN so I could get into the company computer system, set up my email and my voice mail. I even had my first Zoom call so I could meet the rest of the team. Over all it was not only nice to be at home, but I enjoyed it all. A few hours later I got a text from my husband, wondering if I wanted to meet him at the bar for a drink. I asked him if he was mad at me and he said no, he was mad that he had to go to work on such short notice.

We met at the bar, and our friends thought it was really funny that even though we worked together now we still took different cars to the bar. “So you guys work together, but cant be in the same car together?” the bartender said kidding. My husband stated. “We don’t work together, we work next to each other.” We all laughed, but it was clear that our first day working next to each other wasn’t exactly what either of us thought it would be. Day two was not much better, our internet was acting up so neither of us got much done. The dog wanted to go in and out of the house all day long disrupting us and we argued over what temperature the house should be.

Now we are in our second week of “working next to each other”. We really dont talk to each other much when we are working. He is busy doing his thing and I mine. Since they are very different occupations we don’t really need to talk to each other. Sometimes one of us will get up and ask the other if we need anything, but other than that we have fallen into a routine that seems to be working… finally. Working from home is not as easy as people make it seem, and working together, but separately, as not been easy either . I have called him several bad names under my breath and he has done the same I am sure. Still, we both have lightened up when it comes to working with each other and that is probably good. He is going to move his office up stairs, eventually, into one of the spare bedrooms, I’m letting him pick which one. I may move into the other one or stay downstairs, I haven’t decided yet, but I will have the fucking blinds open!

Pain, Pain, go away…

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So for the last three weeks I have been at home, on my sofa with a heating pad under my ass and a pile of pills next to me on the end table. Sometimes I sat comfortably, sometimes I tossed and turned and winced in pain. A side from the enormous amount of quilt I have felt for not being able to work, I have done nothing, but let me back up a little.

I have always been blessed to be mostly healthy. My Dr. actually says I am the most healthy unhealthy person she knows and she says that as a compliment. While I may be… middle aged, I also eat too much, drink too much and of course dont exercise enough, ok at all. Yet, as each physical comes and goes I have had nothing more than a slightly high cholesterol number. And physically, while my 3’B’s (boobs, belly and butt) have all gotten bigger I joke that I am still pretty bendy and can do the splits as well as sit lotus position and bend over and touch the ground. My doctor (and my husband) are amused by this by the way.

Then a couple of Tuesdays ago at work I got knot in my back. I chalked it up to not getting up and walking around enough. I had been working on a big project and was doing a lot of sitting. By the time I got home from work the knot had gotten worse, but I still saw no reason for concern and thought a good hot bath was in order to get rid of it. I took the bath, but when I went to get out of the tub something wasn’t right. I had a sharp pain that ran down my left side from above my hip down to me knee. The pain was bad and it felt like I had pulled a tendon or something. I told my husband about it and made a joke that I got old while I was in the bath tub. He, also made a joke and suggested the heating pad.

The pain for the next several days and nights was unbearable, and several nights I cried myself to sleep sitting up in my recliner. My Doctor thought that I had either a bulging disc or something with my hip, she gave me some strong drugs and some exercises to do that should alleviate the pain in a few days. After a couple more days the pain was worse and the drugs were not helping. I counted the minutes until I could take more drugs. There were several times I would reach for my prescription shaking in pain, and trembling with anxiousness. I looked at the drugs like they were the only thing keeping me alive, that if not for them I would fall hopelessly in pile of pain and spasms unable to move or breath. My brain tricked me into thinking that it was ok to take 3 or 4 pills instead of just the 2, and hours were counted by rounding down instead of an actual 4 hour time frame. My goal at night seemed to be to see how many pills I could take that would allow me to sleep, but still allow me to wake up, only to then do it all over again.

By grace of god what I was doing was, sort of, working. I started to sleep in 3 or 4 hour sections, something I had not done since the pain first started. In the morning, if only for a short time, I felt like the pain was lessening. Still, I hadn’t taken a shower, walked up stairs, or left the house. I just sat, and sat, and sat some more. My doctor decided it was time for a MRI, and scheduled one for in a few days(fingers crossed for good results).

The pain, Ironically, has changed substantially since it first started a couple of weeks ago. No longer is the pain in my hip shooting down the outside of my leg toward my knee. Now, most of the pain starts about 4 inches above my knee and goes down to my knee. It has also moved to the front of my leg instead off the side like before. I still have a slight pain in the hip area, but it is nowhere near where it was in the beginning. How I take the pain pills has changed too. I took so many during the first few days that now I find myself rationing them to ensure they last until I dont need them anymore or can get more. I guess it depends on the results of the MRI, but either way I am thinking way to much about taking these pills. I am also expecting miracles by the way from the MRI, as if the act of actually having the MRI will actually heal me. Most of my brain knows that wont happen that way, but a small part wishes it would.

Middle age sucks. I am no longer that person that is “bendy” and didn’t have any aches and pains that I needed to worry about. Suddenly I have to think about how I will be able to get up if I sit some place. I have to think about how I go downstairs carrying a full load of laundry and the dog running around my feet. I guess I have to face the facts, I’m not young anymore and my body it telling me the same. It sucks for sure even though I understand that it is part of life. Is this the point in my life where I start wearing New Balance dad shoes and start drinking tea? Am I destine for mom jeans and carrying a tissue stuffed up my sweater sleeve? Ok, I’m not at that point yet, and I can still fight it for awhile right? Well, for as long as my back holds out I guess.

I just want my house painted!

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Somehow 20 + years has flown by and the house my husband and I built has seen better days (especially with two crazy boys and lots of their crazy friends), and now my husband and I are on the verge of being empty nesters. As I talked about in earlier blogs my husband and I dont exactly see eye to eye when it comes to bigger decisions like this. But after several, ok many, months of he and I being on opposite pages, he finally came around to my way of thinking. I only am half kidding about my way of thinking by the way, the fact that we dont agree right away is what helps makes our marriage work.

Anyway, the husband decided that perhaps I was right and we needed to update the house in order to get it ready to sell. I decided that the best place to start would be with the floors and the walls.

I poured through websites and watched dozens of tv shows discussing what styles are in and what styles are out, what updates get the best return for the money when fixing to resell, and what order is best to remodel a house should be done in. I was ready and start. The first thing I need to do was find the companies and people to do the updating that I wanted done. That is where I hit a snag.

Every place I went I asked people if they knew someone they could recommend to do three things, 1. Paint the interior 2. replace the floors and 3. and install an invisible fence for my dog. The invisible fence was first so I could have the dog outside when people were working inside. First of all everyone asked had the same comment. It’s easy, just rent the tool to do it or use a shovel and bury the wire a couple inches in the ground. Cool, I thought, this is going to be installed by the end of the week. The first gentleman I called never got back to me, despite how eager he said he was. The second gentleman came and looked at the backyard, the whole time saying “This will be easy”, then I never heard from him again. Last week someone posted on Facebook that they too were looking for someone to install an invisible fence and got lots off people who said it was easy and to DM them to discuss details. I reviewed the posts and decided on a gentleman to do it and DM’d him. He contacted me back and asked about the job. I described my patio, where the electrical was. “No problem.” he said. I gave him my address he said he would take a look and give me a quote. You guessed it… I never heard from him again. I emailed him twice and no response back. I contacted the woman who did the original FB post and he never contacted her again either.

When I told someone this story they just told me to do it myself because, it’s easy. I dont WANT to do it myself. My husband does not WANT to do it himself. With all this talk about supporting the trades I though it would be easy to find people who knew what they are doing, and are willing to do it so that they can earn a living. My husband and I fully understand the time and cost involved in doing these types of things and are ready to pay to have it done, probably more than others would. But the same went for painting my house. Everyone said they would do and could do it. When I brought up my two story foyer, a complete average foyer by the way, suddenly the “painters” freeze up. One painter told me he didn’t like heights, and another told me that he didn’t have a ladder to get up that high. After several calls I found someone who I thought was legit, they had a couple references and some really nice pictures. They also had a work van and a ladder on top of it. I thought I hit the jack pot. I called them, then waiting, and waiting and waited. Nothing, the never called me back with an estimate. I called them and left a message too. still no answer.

So no invisible fence, no painting… What do “the trades” do? I know people are not working as much because of Covid, but I like to think we are finally on the downside of that. I know that many people have been receiving help financially because of covid, but that will not go on forever and I would think you wouldn’t want to just ignore your business for any length of time. So I’m left wondering why then, why dont people want me to pay them to put in my invisible fence? And why dont people want me to pay them to paint my house? Maybe it is me? Maybe it is my crazy dog? My cranky husband? The fact that I’m more than willing to pay people a more than fair amount to do these things, I’m sure, is confusing and off-putting, but I’m crazy that way. I like to pay people money to do things I want to get done, if only I could find someone who was willing to take it.

My husband and I get up everyday and go to work, and put in 120% percent doing it for one reason and one reason only….. to get paid. That is the purpose of working right? to get money so you can afford your life. I understand why people push their kids to going to college and not the trades. I understand why “the trades” have less and less people working in them. I dont want to think this way, I know plenty of friends and really good people who work in the trades and are hard working people who work their butts off to support themselves and their family, but it appears that there maybe just as many who do it for other reasons. Whatever those reasons are, I currently have a very sour taste in my mouth from calling and calling people who say they will install a fence, paint a house or replace my flooring, but not only dont every show up but dont have the respect to tell you the truth in the first place. Respect is earned…..

Never??

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I’ve written before about being from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and I am proud and blessed that I was able to grow up there. Towns are small enough where everyone knows your name, and just far enough apart from each other to ensure Friday night football rivalry games that somehow both sides equally attend. We spend our summers biking to the lake. Even without cell phones we were never concerned about knowing people that were there hanging out. We climbed bluffs with friends and sat on the top thinking how far we could see. We hiked through the woods to a clearing with a stolen bottle of liquor from our parents house to add to the garbage can party that someone, somehow organized at school. The U.P. really is a great place to grow up.

A few years after I got married and moved to the lower peninsula we brought our niece down from the U.P. to nanny our two kids for the summer. She had never been out of the U.P before and was eager, but also nervous about “coming down state”. The first thing my husband taught my niece was how to drive in the lower MI. He explained to her that it is a much faster paced place than the u.p. and that, it seems, everyone is in a hurry. “Never hesitate.” he told her, if you do you wont ever make it passed the stop light, and people will honk and swear at you. He also took her on the expressway, something many people dont like to do. My niece adapted quickly and was out driving around quickly. I wanted her to experience the many positives of living in a more populated area. We went to the mall, saw movies and went to concerts in Detroit. My niece loved it, I even got her to try some ethnic foods like sushi and hummus. She did not like the sushi, but loved the hummus, I took that as a win. She spent the summer with us and said she enjoyed it as was glad she did it. She knew if she wanted too she could move out of the upper peninsula. She didn’t, but knew she could if she wanted.

I never really thought much more about her being out of her element at the time. Recently we needed to get in contact with an old acquaintance from the days my now husband and I were dating in the U.P. The gentleman, a friend of my husbands family, and my husbands employer for several years, had fallen ill and we wanted to talk to him and offer our support. When we called the only number we had for him, his son answered. His son is younger than us by a few years, but is now grown, married with a couple of young kids. He is running his dad business and has been very successful doing it. My husband and I joked that we must be so old if this kid so much younger than us was a grown man with a wife and family.

We invited him down to visit us and told him we could take him and his family to a Detroit Tigers game. He thanked us, but then said, rather mater of factly said that he “Never goes below the bridge”. The bridge, by the way, is the Mackinaw bridge, a 5 mile span across the waterway where Lake Michigan and lake Huron connect. Its a beautiful site, but many people have a hard time crossing it. Several (ok many) years ago the wind blew a small car that was trying to cross it off the bridge and into the cold deep water below. The woman in the car died instantly. To this day, they close the bridge if it gets to windy or stormy which only adds to the scariness of the bridge. In my mind the son of our friend was kidding, surely you have been in lower Michigan before, for college, for hunting, to see friends, shopping, to attend a sporting event, something! It’s not a wall, it doesn’t cost you a million dollars to cross, there is nobody checking your passport before you do it. But he wasn’t kidding, he nor his wife (and now kids) had never been below the bridge. I hung up the phone and thought about the conversation. If he has never been below the bridge that that must mean he has never been out of the Upper Peninsula.

I sat and thought about it for a moment. Is this person so happy that he has no desire to leave the area he was born and grew up in? Did he not ever watch a football game and think how fun it must be to attend one? Go someplace where 60, 000 people go with the common goal of drinking beer and cheering on their favorite team? Did none of their friends every leave the U.P either so there is no need to go visit and catch up on old times? Have they never wanted to go to a museum, see a play, attend the Thanksgiving parade?

Maybe it is just me, and my husband, who thought about doing these things when we were growing up? I mean, I didn’t grow up and say that I was going to live in lower Michigan, but I never said I would never leave either. How many opportunities would have passed us by if we simply said “We dont go below the bridge”. I know we are all different, and want and need different things, but I prefer to take each opportunity as they come. Some opportunities I will jump on and some I wont, but I hope that I continue to not let constrictions of where I live dictate which opportunities I accept. I never want to say, “I cant, I dont go below the bridge”.

Bored in Michigan

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Between the time of the year and this strange pandemic I just haven’t felt like writing anything for the last couple of weeks. I’d sit at my computer like I’ve done 100’s of times and yet nothing seemed to come out. During the day, at work, or other places I would think of a topic and get excited, think of how I wanted to write it. Think about how if I wanted to write something funny or serious, etc. Then I would get home, open up the laptop and start to write. Starting is always the hardest part, but eventually I could get it right an then the rest came easy. But lately I just couldn’t get started. There was nothing I felt like writing about.

I’d start writing on a topic that I thought I could do a really good job with. Something that I believed in or thought I got inspired by. I’d start, then erase, and start again. Sometimes I get through the first paragraph and then onto the second. I would re-read and think… boring, not funny, or just plain stupid and delete it all. My mind jumped around quickly and I felt like I was writing a lot of stuff that just rambled and rambled on.

Then last week it started to come back, the urge to write. I realized I missed writing, but still I didn’t know what to write. I re-read some of my old blogs, and read a bunch of blogs from the people I follow. In a way that seemed to make things worse for my issue. There are so many smart, funny and talented people out there. So many really good blogs, I started to doubt myself. Soon I was back to not wanting to write again. Then a funny thing happened. I got an email notification that it was time to renew my website. I looked at the email, it was short and to the point, like most email requesting money are. There was an unsubscribe button at the bottom and for a moment I just thought about unsubscribing and I’d be done with the whole thing.

I let the email sit there for a couple days, I even marked it as “unread” so that I could find it quicker when I went back to my emails. Every time I opened up the emails it was there, and i’d look at it and think about if I should stop blogging or not. Stopping would be the easier way to go, but I really do like to write.

I decided, and honestly I dont know why, that I would renew for another year. It felt like the right thing to do for myself. I’m not a quitter, and even if subjects escape me I dont want to give up. Writing is something I have always like to do. I know it sound cliché, but I do write for myself, to make myself happy.

So hopefully by next weeks blog I will have something funny, smart, or informative to write about. Something that even for a moment makes people forget their issues. This pandemic has squashed my creativity, but hopefully it is coming back to me soon. I dont know what I want to write, but I do now that I do want to write. I take some solace in knowing that I can’t be the only person the think this way right? Somehow, even if I just sit at my lap top looking at a blank screen I need to continue to try to get past this mental block. If not for anyone else but me.

To peep or not to peep!

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Some how it is Easter all ready. I’m not sure how we got here so fast! Well, I guess part of the issue is that it is earlier this year than in the past couple of years, but still it seems like this year is flying by… Maybe its a good thing, maybe not, I guess we will see.

While the major of the political bullshit has settled down, there is still plenty of discussion topics among us middle aged folk to discuss over a coffee at the local Tim Hortons in the early morning. Ok, I’m not there yet, but I wont deny a heated debate or two over over big glass of wine…. or two. This evening was no exception as talk among myself and my political wine drinking contemporaries quickly got heated over a subject that, much like abortion or gun control, has divided even the closest family. The subject that raised blood pressure, turned stomachs and made grown men cry is a simple one it seems….. peeps.

You know, those white marshmallow, somewhat chick-shaped food, coved in a colorful sugar and available as soon as Easter approaches. Yellow peeps where the original I believe, but dont look it up, know one really cares and I certainly didn’t take the time to fact check. As a young child my siblings and I always got some in our Easter baskets usually with a warning from our parents on how they “are pure sugar”, and if we eat too many we will get sick. Still, I think we all ate ours first, even before the chocolate bunny. I loved them then, and will still have an occasional one now, usually by stealing one out of my kids Easter basket. Do you eat peeps? Do you admit to eating peeps? The group seemed hesitant at first to discuss for fear of being banished permanently.

These days peeps come in many flavors, cotton candy, watermelon, root beer and some even dipped in chocolate. There is even pumpkin spice peeps, and for the record, no, I have not tried that flavor and probably wont either. For as many flavors of peeps there are reasons to eat, or not to eat them. One of my friends stated there were too many chemicals in them, while another said they had too much sugar in them to eat. One of my friend admitted she never ate the pink ones…. any other color peep was fine, but pink? No way. You cant roast them like you can marshmallows, the sugar makes them burn quickly. You cant microwave them for indoor smores, they melt but then get hard and unable to eat to quick. Did you know that 5 peeps have more sugar than a can of mountain dew? One of my friends reminded us repeatedly that these things are fat free and gluten free, as if that would make them more tasty to us. Another comments that like Twinkies they will last seemingly forever as long as they are kept air tight.

In the end we ended up with 6 people who still eat peeps, if only for it being during this time of year and 5 who no longer ate them because they were “gross”. Someone even dipped one in her wine and ate it, but admitted that it was more because she wanted the wine, not the peep. Ok, it was me, I did that. We have all seen the meme about how to eat a peep…. you through it away, but people still buy them so people must still eat them. In fact 700 Million peeps where sold last year, pretty good for something that most people say they wont eat. I bought peeps a couple of days ago to put in my friends, sons Easter basket, but as we discussed the issue over a glass a wine with my peers I almost felt bad for doing it. I’m going to give someone else kids a big sugar rush! Their teeth are going to rot out! It’s not a healthy food for anyone my group debated. But its a rule you HAVE to have them at Easter I wined back. Me for the win! Debate over. Happy Easter… peeps.

Our House….. two.

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So while I thought about calling this weeks blog “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner”, or “Neener neener neener”, I’m going to take the medium high road and call it something a bit basic, and resist the urge to say that I won this round for fear of jinxing myself and having to start this process all over again. I should probably go back several weeks and start at the beginning.

For those of you that are my normal readers, first I say thank you, and second I would like to refer you to a blog post I did about a month ago about the state of the inside of my house and how drastically it needs to be updated with regard to basic interior design areas. At the time I stated that my house of 20 years needed paint, new floors an updated kitchen and maybe even some new light fixtures. I also stated how badly my husband was apposed to any of this. At the time I wrote that he said that he did not want to spend any money on the house, that we didn’t need to do any updating and that we would worry about it when and if we ever decided to put the house up for sale. While we didn’t have a fight per say, it was awfully quiet in the house for the next several days. I will admit that we are both very stubborn which often leads to an even bigger stand off down the road.

So neither of us brought any thing up about the house until last week when my hubby and I were out… at a… local dinning establishment. Ok, we were at a bar. Truth be told after 33 years of marriage, the bar is a great place for us to have a talk. The alcohol loosens us up a bit, we aren’t going to make (much of) a scene in front of other people and its a neutral location to both of us, Alcohol is the glue holding our marriage together. Lets not forget the important thing, alcohol is cheaper than counseling! Strike that, it isn’t the way Dale and I drink, but I digress…

Somewhere between our 2nd and 3rd shot of Screwball my husband looked at me and said “I dont know how we will be able to ever match the wood floor in the foyer and the bathroom if we put wood in the rest of the house.” I looked at him for a second, gathering my thoughts for what I should say in reply. If I come on too strong he could back up, say he is only teasing, or blame the alcohol. If I come on too soft he might think I dont care, or dont think it is really that important, neither of which I want. I can’t help but wonder what made him change his mind, did someone talk to him? Did he read THAT blog? In the end I just laughed and ignored that he even said anything, again blaming it on the alcohol. That actually worked pretty well as neither of us brought it up again for the rest of the night and all was well.

The next day I came home from work and to my surprise he mentioned it again, but not in the same way of course. This time he asked me if I knew of any free programs or software on line that helped with interior design layouts, color and that sort of thing. This time I asked him what he was thinking. He said that he had been thinking about the house and that we probably did need to so some updating. He just didn’t want to spend a ton of money that we would have to worry about getting out of the house if we sell it in the next few years. I told him that I thought there probably was programs like that but that I would have to look them up to find them. He said that was cool and again we stopped talking about it further.

Saturday my husband had a funeral for a co-worker and I did not go with him because I had some other things to do. When it got close to the time when I thought he would be leaving I texted him. “Baby, do you want to take the car? I’m shopping for outdoor furniture and it wont fit in my car.” He said to just not buy a firepit because we never use them. I was surprised that he didn’t say anything about buying furniture, he seemed fine with it. In the end I didn’t buy anything, opting to buy it on line instead. As I sat near Dale with the computer in my lap I found the stuff I wanted to buy and asked him which card to use for the purchase. He looked at me totally shocked, then got mad that I was going to buy the furniture. I reminded him that I told him I was going to do it before he left for the funeral and he said nothing he said he wasn’t really listening to what I said. Humm, a husband who wasn’t really listening to his wife… there is a shocker. Anyway, I shut the laptop and quietly stewed for a couple hours.

Finally we come to today. After dinner we again sit down to watch TV. My husband asked me what my thoughts were on different types of flooring for the house. I told him what I had been thinking and he stated that he was just concerned about the kitchen mostly. He also told me that he had been thinking about replacing the kitchen cabinets as well as the counter top. I said that I had been also, but didn’t think that he wanted to get rid of the wood cabinets. He said that he would be open to even putting in colored cabinets. I was speechless, somehow we went from not wanting to spend any more or doing anything to the house to reflooring the whole house and pretty much doing a complete kitchen remodel. I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t expect it and now that it happened I dont know how to react. Do I go slow and let him make the moves? Do I jump in and hope that he doesn’t change his mind again? He is much, much more traditional in design that me, and we rarely agree on anything anyway, how will we mesh our styles and come to an agreement. I guess we will wait and see, unless he changes his mind again. Who knows what we will do….. certainly not me.

Pick a peck of (dog) poop!

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For a lot of people, me included, this is our favorite time of the year. The snow is melting, trees are budding and when I went to I drive to work this morning it was even a little lighter than normal outside. These are all very good things and sure signs that spring is finally on its way here.

Maybe I am putting the cart ahead of the horse a little bit, it is just the first week of March and Mother Nature loves to drop some white, fluffy, cold stuff on us when we least expect it. She’s a bitch that way. One day it can be 50 degrees and sunny and the next its snowing and school gets cancelled. But that being said, we are all thinking spring and enjoying some warm weather again.

My husband and I had a large brick deck added to our house late summer last year but because of Covid and some other things going on we really didn’t get the opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors entertaining on it like we usually do. Over the past few weeks I have been dreaming of ways to decorate the deck. I’m thinking a big outdoor rug with pretty colors to match the outdoor pots I purchased in Wisconsin last year. I’m also thinking one of those wicker swinging outdoor chairs that hangs from its own support pole will be my spot, with a glass of wine of course, and enjoying the sun. I ordered some colorful candles to put on the outdoor bar that will match the rug. We are ready to go!

This past Sunday I got up early and poured myself a big cup of coffee and walked into the family room to let the dog out one of the sliding glass doors that leads out to the deck. The dog grabbed his favorite toy and headed outside. I took a big sip of coffee and looked out at the deck. That is when I saw it, dog shit. All winter we have let the dog out the same sliding glass door. In the beginning of the year, the dog went around the corner and did his business. As winter moved on and the nights got colder and we got more, and more snow the dog went shorter and shorter distance away from the deck. Soon Cerberus didn’t know where the grass started and the deck began. Our rather spoiled three headed dog that guards the portal to hell (Cerberus, look it up) was too cold, or too chicken to take a piss or a poop off the deck any distance.

Everyone who has a dog knows this feeling, the (literal) Shit! I have to clean up dog poop feeling. During the summer I kept up well with picking up dog shit outside although I did not like it, who does. Still, who wants to walk through your yard and step in shit, or see shit, or smell shit. Hot shit, by the way, really stinks which I think is kind of also funny considering the people I know who think they are hot shit, clearly are not, but in fact do stink.

I think I still have a few weekends of thinking about picking up the shit before I actually have to pick it up, but still its there. Every time I look outside I see it and there is a lot of it! Some of it is in the grass, but some of it is on the deck too. My husband hates that there is shit on the deck by the way and really wants me to go out and at least push it off or pick it up. I keep saying I will, but haven’t. Yuck. I could hire someone to come out and pick it all up for me, but the idea of paying someone to pick up the shit of my dog just doesn’t seem right. Maybe I can train Cerberus to pick it up himself? Ok, probably not, but maybe its worth a shot. Maybe I can trade my husband tasks, he might be up for it (use your imagination wink wink). Or maybe I will just have to say shit in this article one more time, put on my big girl panties and some rubber gloves and get out there and do it! Shit…

Snow days and getting gas.

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I like to tease my husband he is getting old, especially when it comes to things like the weather. I care very little about the weather, I cant control it, and I still have to carry on with my day doing whatever I had planed anyway, so aside from thinking about when I need gas, the weather bothers me very little. For the most part my husband is the same way, however recently, it seems, he has taken a large interest in knowing what the weather will do AND telling you if your wrong about it. Honestly, it’s annoying AF!

Recently a storm was in the forecast, and news reporters started to talk about some snow we were going to get. First of all, they are hardly every right, but also it’s Michigan in February, what did they think was going to happen? People talked about it at work. “Ugh, more snow.” People in the grocery store talked about it “I need more wine!” and home improvement stores talked about it. “come get a generator, snow blowers are on sale.” People counted the days, hours, and minutes until it would start snowing. The night before the snow was going to hit the husband was ready, he had gas for the snow blower and ran to the store to get some supplies…i.e. beer. He warned me that there was going to be a lot of snow in the morning when I wake up. Even told me I could take his truck if I was concerned.

This was one time the weatherman was actually close to correct. The snow started in the afternoon on that Monday. Big beautiful fluffy flakes that danced in the air before falling onto the ground and creating snow covered everything. Occasionally the sun would peek out tricking us to thinking that winter was inviting us all outside to enjoy her creations of the sparkly white fluffy stuff. If you took a step outside however you noticed a not so inviting gift from mother nature, the cold. It wasn’t just cold out, if was fucking cold, that the worst kind of cold you know. The temperatures in single digits and the feels like temperature was below zero. The weather forecasters again talked about it…. Please check on the elderly they said, dont leave your animals outside and remember how quick you can get frost bite they lectured as if this was all of our first time living in Michigan in February.

I put my jacket on and zipped it up tight Monday afternoon as I headed home from work. Roads were fine and clear. Snowing big flakes, it was very cold out even though the sun was out. I live in the outer suburbs, and my drive home is short and scenic driving through the small town I work in then through a national forest and park area. Someone was jogging down the old train track that had been taken out to create a joggers/bike path. “Dumb ass” I thought to myself, no way you catch me exercising on such a cold day. Side note, I often see people jogging, riding their bikes, or walking their dogs on my way home from work. My first thought is always dumb ass. My second thought is usually that it is 4:15 in the afternoon, shouldn’t these people be working? Judgmental maybe? Sure, but I dont know them, and they dont know me. I do get a chuckle out of the fact that most of them are self absorbed enough to think that we are envious watching them being so healthy. Boy are they wrong… Dumb asses.

That is when it happened, my car beeped. I looked down at my dashboard and a light was on. Not just any light, the WORST light, my gas light. The beep, BTW was a signal response, as is the light on, that I am low on gas. For me, being low on gas has always been a thing, and now the pending weather coming to the area just adds to it. No mater how many times the husband reminds me not to let the car get to low on gas during the winter I always do, not on purpose, it is just I have better things to do than get gas, like get coffee! I have never actually run out of gas, an achievement my husband cannot say, if I ever do I will be pissed and have to come up with a clever reason so I dont look like a complete idiot and the husband cant say that he told me so.

So where was I anyway, oh yeah, Monday night, here comes the storm that my husband repeatedly warned me about, and I need gas badly. There are two gas stations, one by my work and one by my house, both I pass on my work route. Having already passed one, I think about stopping at the one by my house, gas is usually cheaper there anyway. Then I get to THE corner, the corner where I go straight to get gas or turn left to go home. The corner that has the turning lane and lots of traffic so there is no changing my mind. I get in the turn lane. I think to myself that I can get gas tomorrow in the morning, it wont be as busy there anyway. I turn left, then right then into my sub and finally home. I walk in the house and think how warm it feels on my face. I can smell the chicken the husband is making and I see the mess in the kitchen he made prepping it. It always feels good to be home, but especially after a cold and snowy commute. I tell him I didn’t get gas, and ask him to remind me that I will need to in the morning. Again he feels the need to tell me about the storm that has already started and will continue all night. Somewhere he uses the phrase “shit ton”, but I wasn’t really listening, I was already taking off my bra and putting on my comfy pants for the night.

My alarms goes off and I get out of bed quickly. I am a morning person I guess, I dont need more than one alarm. As I head to the bathroom I look out a bedroom window and let out a sigh. We got A LOT of snow, like a lot, dare I say a shit ton! I shower, get dressed, and start the car, thanking god for heated seats. I look at my phone, hoping that someone from work texted me that it was ok to stay home for the day. A snow day would be nice, I look at the thermometer and it read 3 degrees. I turn on the news to see what the road are like, every station is talking about the storm, how cold it is, how much snow we got and saying to stay home if you can. I remember I need to get gas so I off I go and head to work. I get to THE corner, this time left is gas, right is work. I turn right, I dont know how long it will take me to get to work and I dont want to be late I reason. Truth be told I just didn’t want to get out of the car in this cold. This might be a good time to mention that I did stop at a Starbucks and got coffee. Must have coffee duh. I got to work, with only 3 other vehicles in the parking lot and head inside where I am told that a text was sent out that we could stay home today. I didn’t get the text and made a joke about how this storm was nothing, and for a yooper this much snow isn’t a storm its just a driving challenge. I’m told we wont stay all day, probably only till noon. The installers (I work for a fiberglass install company) are not working today so as soon as all the jobs for the day are rescheduled it will be time to go home.

Around 1:30 one of the guys sticks his head in my office, time to go home as they have competed their work. I make a comment about getting a good head start on a sales project, but am ready to go. Outside it is still snowing, still windy and I still need gas, but the plows and salt trucks have been out and with hardly any cars around I felt pretty good about getting home quickly. I get to THE Corner again, I look at how much gas I have still in my car, its close to E, but not actually on E, maybe on the bottom line of the E. I see the miles I have left in the tank, do some quick math and get in the turn lane. I can get gas tomorrow morning I think, the gas station will be less busy tomorrow anyway. I turn left, then right then into my sub. My husband apologizes because he forgot to remind me to get gas . I tell him it’s ok, I’m good. He didn’t ask if I got gas, just assumed I did I guess. Thank goodness or I would have had to lie to him and tell him I got a shit ton of it!

Is that the sun?

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This morning, as I usually do on a Sunday morning, I got up, put on my slippers and went down stairs to let the dog out. Also, as usual, everyone was was still asleep and the house was very quiet. I went into the kitchen started the coffee maker and picked a couple of dirty dishes out of the sink that evidently were placed there by some sort of spirit or entity that lives in our house at night since no family member ever admits to putting them there. Heading toward the sliding glass door to let the dog out was the first time I noticed it…

Pulling back the blinds and looking out the doorwall, the sun shone brightly hitting my face and flooding the room with it’s warmth. Instantly I woke up completely and for a moment thought that it would be a great day to throw on some boots and a take the dog for a walk. The sun has been missing around here for a couple of weeks now. Sure, it peaks out for a couple of minutes now and again just to tease us, but for the most part Mother Nature has let snowy days be the weather star for awhile now. Snow and cold, and lets not forget covid, have been hanging around to long, much like the neighbor that never knows when its time to leave and go home after a party.

As I stand by the slider and watch the dog stick his nose in the fresh, fluffy snow and run around with a happy case of zoomies, I watch the snow sparkle fresh and white as if the sun is making it shine like diamonds, calling me to come out a play in it like we did as kids. I have great memories of being a kid and playing in the snow. Most of the time the goal wasn’t to go out and do anything specific, the goal was just to go out and play. We seemed to let the day and the snow decide what we would do, sometimes it was a snowball fight or building a snowman. Sometimes we found the perfect snow drift or shoveled pile of snow to dig in and create the perfect fort in. Inside the fort we didn’t really do much, but enjoy the outdoors, and talk with our friends as if we were the only persons in the world living in that snowy fort. As I got older, the U.P. brought many things to do in the winter, ski, Ice skate, sled and whatever else we could dream up. Obviously it snowed, and snowed a lot in the upper peninsula, but that just gave us the opportunity to do more things! Funny, I dont remember many snow storms, but I remember a lot of beautiful sunny days spent outside in the snow.

My dog is back at the door now, still covered in snow, but wanting to come in quickly. I look at the thermometer and see that it is 6 degrees out. Dare I say, back in the day, six degrees meant nothing to me. If the sun was out then it didn’t really matter what the temp was, we were going out to have some fun outside. Letting the dog in I turn and think how cold 6 degrees is. As least it isn’t minus 6 degrees right? The dog and I walk into the kitchen and the smell of coffee is filling the air and calling my name. I pour a big mug and look out the kitchen window where the sun is still shining across the clean smooth snow in the back yard and hitting the frosted, slightly snow-covered trees making them shine in the early morning brightness of the day. Maybe I’ll run some errands today, maybe I’ll go see a friend or shop at an outdoor mall. Between winter grey and covid none of us have been out much and today seems like it might be the day.

As I enter the family room, I sit with my coffee in both my hands warming them and turn on the news. The dog jumps up next to me on the sofa and puts his head on my lap. The weather man, who is way too happy for anyone’s good by the way, says that the cold is here to stay for the next few days and with that will be more snow coming down. “Get outside” he says, “take the kids sledding” he says, it’s a great day for it! Who does this person think he is? He is not the boss of me. I grab a blanket and get comfortable with the dog to enjoy the quiet of the house, the warmth of my coffee and the sun shinning through the windows. I think to my self that running errands can wait, I dont need to go shopping, it warm here, in my house, with my dog and my coffee. The dog doesn’t need a walk he just ran around the back yard for a whopping 5 minutes, that’s enough exercise for today right? Once the family has woken up this can be our own little house snow fort, but with a fireplace, and a coffee pot… and snacks!

Super bowl Sunday….

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Here it is, Super bowl Sunday. Like a lot of you, I think, it doesn’t feel like super bowl Sunday. I didn’t get up and start cleaning and cooking in preparation for having friends over later. My husband is sitting on the sofa watching car shows….. wait, that is what normally happens on super bowl Sunday, but I digress. Our phones aren’t blowing up with texts from friends asking what time and what they can bring. About the only normal thing going on this pandemic year is I have my squares highlighted on a piece of paper that I put the someplace “safe”, but I have no idea what my numbers are, I just hope to win some money.

I’m not a huge football fan, but this years pairing of the old GOAT vs. the new GOAT does make the game seem a little bit more interesting to me. I’ve been asked many times who I think will win. Most of the time I say that I have family in Kansas, but that I also would love to see the old man kick some young-un ass. Fact is I dont really care who wins the game although I will be rooting for someone… just not sure who yet.

To most of the ladies out there, we all know that we just want to see the commercials. If, between commercial blocks we see some athletic, well built men in tight pants chasing a ball around while getting all sweating and breathing heavy……. Wait, where was I? Point I was trying to make is that while I will watch the game, if your favorite team isn’t playing than there are other reasons to watch it. Men dont care however. My husband is (sadly) a die-hard Lions fan. He obviously has watched many a super bowls without his beloved, hapless, Lions playing and always figures out a team to cheer for. He says he doesn’t care who wins, but always yells at bad calls by the refs, laughs when a field goal goes wide right and sits on the end of his seat at the end of the game. Men can do that, they can cheer for teams they dont even like, for them its the thrill of the game.

I, along with other women, am excited for half time. Its a good time to stretch our legs, dance a little to the entertainment, use the bathroom and go back for that second, or maybe third, brownie. At some point before the second half starts we will talk about which commercial we liked the best or ask for a recipe for one of the game day snacks. Men, usually use half time to get another beer, grab a cigar and talk about the first half of the game. I think it’s in their DNA to talk sports when watching sports.

This year we will be going over to my in-laws house. Both my husbands parents are pretty big sport fans so that is always fun. They too have different reasons for cheering for the team they want to win, and it is fun to watch the banter of a couple who have been together damn near 60 years. It not a Super Bowl Party that is true, but we will still enjoy the game and enjoy the company. My mother in law is an awesome cook so that helps a lot! In the end, we will enjoy the game, enjoy the company and enjoy the food….. just like every year. I hope you all do also!

Our house, in the middle of the street

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Throughout my 33+ years of marriage I have had two standard replies when people ask me “what the secret to a long marriage is?” Sometimes I say “Separate vacations”, which is half truth, fact is if I really want to go someplace and the husband doesn’t, then I take my girlfriends. Same for him, but with his guy friends of course. We still take at least one really good vacation a year together tho. My second answer is usually “patience”. Then I follow it up by saying I just wait until he comes around to my way of thinking. The second response is more true than the first one, however it is also the most frustrating.

We have been living in the house we are currently in for 20 years. We built it when our kids were very young with the plans of staying in it until they were both out of school. Graduation days have come and gone and we are still here. Its a great neighborhood, close to where we work and the perfect combination of city and country to suit us. The house however is more than showing its wear and tear. We already had to replace the furnace, the air conditioner and our dishwasher. Mostly, however the house needs updating. I am thinking paint and new flooring. My husband is thinking paint. That is it, just paint. Of course to me, the idea of painting and NOT putting in some type of new flooring makes absolutely no sense. Why brighten up the place and leave the same dingy carpeting. To make the issue worse, I know that right now people want wood floors if we were to try and sell. Watching any fixer-upper show on HGTV and you’ll notice that right away. I also think that it will not only make the house look better and easier to sell that we could ask more money for it.

My husband has an entirely different thought on that however. In his mind, the people that move into the house next will want to put their own stamp on it. He thinks we should paint the house, every room, cream (how boring). No new carpeting and diffidently no wood floors because then the people that move in can put whatever they want in the house. As for the price, he feels like we should not worry about how much money we get for it. We should have it appraised and then ask that price, the end. As you can tell we are on very opposite ends when it comes to what we should and should not do to our house when we get it ready to sell.

Over this past summer, during the couple weeks our state opened up a little temporarily, we ran into a handy man at our local bar. After we told him what we were thinking of doing he began to ask us qualifying questions. When are we thinking of doing this he asked. I said that I wanted to start right away. My husband said “In the next year or so.” The gentleman asked if we wanted to remodel our kitchen. I said “yes”, but my husband said “no”. With a funny look on his face the gentleman asked the big question…. Carpeting? or wood floor? I, of course said wood floor! My husband, to my surprise, said “Carpeting,” then not surprisingly “but only downstairs”. We looked at each other and started to laugh. The gentleman looked at both of us, grabbed his beer and just walked away, without even a “call me when you two agree” between us. It was the last time we talked about remodeling the house until this weekend.

This weekend I brought it up again. I’m tired of the carpeting, the paint on the walls, everything really. It’s old looking and I think when people come in our house they must think we how badly we need to paint and replace the carpeting. My husbands parents came over and asked ME when we were going to do this, or do that to the house, or ask if there is a reason we aren’t doing something, like painting. It is frustrating to me because I feel like they blame me for the way the house looks. Their son is sitting right there and they never say anything to him, but I bite my lip and make up some stupid excuse. After they left, I brought up the subject again and asked hubby his thoughts. He said he just didn’t care about what our house looks like, it’s fine. He said he doesn’t want to go through all the remodeling mess again, and he doesn’t care how much money we get for the house when we sell it. I replied that I didn’t understand why he didn’t want to have a nice home, have a place to be proud of when people come over, have a place we can enjoy because it filled with things we love. He said he just didn’t as long as we were happy and healthy. How do I argue with that? So I just stopped talking about it. I have to hope that he changes his mind, that one of his friends, or his parents says something to him that makes him change his mind. And so I wait, wait for him to change his mind… again. I know (or hope) that he eventually will, but how long will that take? I guess I just wait… so we are at a standstill. Of course he didn’t want a dog but we got one so there is that, baby steps I guess.

Weekends while you work

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Even with older children my life is still pretty busy. I work 8 hours a day, well, usually more like nine. Plus podcast work, blog, club, cooking, cleaning, running to the grocery store, dog, etc. Every mom, woman, can relate right?

Usually by Wednesday I’m thinking about two things, wine and the weekend. After work, after dinner, after the dishes are done I have a glass of wine, sit down to watch tv and think about the weekend. Sometimes I already have plans for the weekend, sometimes I dont. I’m not going to lie sometimes I think about how I can get out of the plans that at I already have. Everyone does it right? Makes plans that seem awesome at the time, but then as the week goes on you start to think how you dont want to do anything anymore. There could be many reasons for this, something better came up, you dont have the money to do it, you didn’t want to do it in the first place, but your friend asked you, etc. Usually, for me it’s none of those things, usually it’s because I’m old, tired, and have a list of mom/wife things I need to do over the weekend.

First thing… Grocery store, which I hate by the way. The parking lot is crowded and everyone thinks THEY have the right of way. Don’t they know I have the right of way? Once, someone hit my car while I was inside grocery shopping. The drew a smiley face in the dirt on my, car next to the dent and wrote the word sorry. That was it, no note, no business card, nothing, just smiley face. In-side the store is not much better. People leave their carts in the middle of the row, stand talking to others blocking the way, or leave products they pick up earlier, but have now decided not to buy all over the store. The biggest offenders are usually skinny bitches in their basic white girl clothing. You know the ones, they have leggings on, even if their preferred way of weight control is using their middle finger instead of exercising. They also have nice expensive running shoes, a skin tight t-shirt and a black puffy Northface vest or jacket. Sometimes they kick up their outfit a bit by adding a pony tail or headband. Come on, you’ve all seen them. If you haven’t then you will now next time your at the store.

Second thing… Laundry. I really thought that as my boys got older I would have less laundry, delusional I know. I dont have less, even if I have the same amount it is bigger and slinkier now. Years ago my husband complained that I didn’t “iron” his shirts nice enough. I haven’t done ANY of his laundry since then, which seems nice at first, but it really isn’t. Last weekend he brought his laundry down stairs and proceeded to take the cloths out of the dryer (at least they were dry) and put them, I’d say stuff them, into a laundry basket, then put the cloths from the washer into the dryer NOT removing my linen J-crew pants thus turning them into shorts. Next he put one load of HIS cloths into the washer and left his second load on top of the washer claiming it for his next load. I pushed him on the issue, asked him why he thought it was ok to just put the clean cloths in a pile and not fold them, and why he felt like he could just jump in front of me doing everybody’s laundry, without even asking. His response…. I thought you were done, was not received well by me. I pointed out the warm dryer, the smell of fabric softener and the pile of dirty cloths in front of the washer as reasons why I wasn’t done. He gave me a quick sorry and went to watch football. I didn’t even get a smiley drawn in dirt with that one. Truth be told, I most often leave the last load of laundry in the dryer and dont fold it, only to have that load be the first one then next week… Easier to rewash than fold wrinkled right? That choice effects me and me only as the one that will have to do it next week, not him.

Third… Clean the house. I actually dont mind cleaning the house, it almost therapeutic for me. Except vacuuming, I hate vacuuming for some reason. Sometimes I can get the husband to vacuum. Of course it takes him twice as long and doesn’t do it right at all, but at least he tried. When my husband and I were first married, and we got in an argument, he would start cleaning the kitchen. Usually I would stop him, ask him what was wrong, and discuss the issue. Now, after all these years, I let him finish cleaning first and hope he moves on to one of the bathrooms before I want to now what he is mad at. Weirdly however, he never washes off the kitchen counters. He will unload and reload the dishwasher, wash the pans, take out the garbage, and sweep the floor, but doesn’t touch the counter. While I dont understand this mentality, if all I have to do is wipe down the counter than I am fine with that.

Disclaimer time: I very rarely, if ever, get all three of these tasks done in a weekend. Usually the laundry is my uncompleted chore of choice. Laundry just sucks, well folding and putting the laundry away sucks anyway, so sometimes Sunday night I decide that I am done doing chores for the weekend and the laundry can sit until the next weekend. Most weekends I have great intentions of getting a shit ton done, but find myself in the lazy boy, dog in my lap, laptop open, football on, just doing nothing of worth. I try to rationalize that there was a lot of stuff to do, nobody helps me, I didn’t have enough hours in the day etc. Truth is that isn’t true. I blame alcohol and fun! They are the reasons I dont finish my chores. As I’ve gotten older, I want to relax more, enjoy friends and family more, do things for me more. I dont feel guilty for taking time for me to relax and leaving the chores for (yet another) weekend. Well, maybe I feel a little guilty, but Wednesday night when my husband is watching something he wants to watch on TV I will pour myself a glass of wine and think about all the things I need to do this coming weekend and plan how I will get it all done so I dont feel guilty….. again.

Drugs man…

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As far as being an adult goes I would say I am about 75% responsible. I do things that adults should do. I keep my house clean (mostly), I pay my bills on time, I have regular doctor visits, etc. Most, ok all, these tasks suck big time, but I do them because I’m a grown ass person and that is what grownups do. Moms especially have a lot of things that they have to do because they are an adult. Sorry dads, you do lots of things too, but the tasks are not evenly distributed and you know it.

Through the years I have been blessed with being healthy. No surgeries, no crazy health issues etc. I do however have high Cholesterol and a bad case of adult A.D.D. both of which I take prescriptions for. I am lucky and blessed that these are my only two health issues as someone…well middle aged. Both issues are very easily manageable with medication although lets be honest, I probably would not take the Cholesterol medication if I didn’t HAVE take the A.D.D. medication. Like many health issues I dont feel like I have a cholesterol issue. If I take the medication or dont, I feel exactly the same way. So, I often think to myself that I can skip it today or if I run out of the prescription I think about filling it when it is convenient for me to do so and not when I a have none left to take.

My A.D.D. is a different story however. I know when I have forgotten to take this medicine and my friends can tell also. I have many times been hanging out with my friends and one of them will say “Did you forget to take your pill today?” It usually happens during conversation, I will say something and forget what I am saying right in the middle of a sentence. It isn’t just a simple “squirrel” moment where you pause for a moment and then carry on with the sentence. It’s a bigger lost my place mid sentence, totally cant remember what I was saying and I doesn’t come back moment. Sometimes I say a word that is not related to the topic and doesn’t even belong in the sentence at all. Sometimes its retention things. You can tell me something but I wont remember it. It affects me at work the most and so, I never ever want to go to work without taking my A.D.D. medicine… ever

Like all prescriptions they run out, usually a 30 day supply, then refills. Every month I look at my drugs and think to myself that 3 days or so before I run out of them I will call the pharmacy to get a refill. Sometimes that days comes and I’m running late for work so I forget to call in the refill. Sometimes I take the bottle to work so that I can call in the RX at a slow moment at work. Honestly, usually I still forget or feel guilty for taking the time at work to do a non-work related task. Often when that happens I either leave them at work thinking I will call the next day, but then feel guilty again. Or bring them home with me, but forget them in the car so nothing gets accomplished then either. Really you wouldn’t think calling in a prescription would be so complicated. Maybe, ironically, my A.D.D. complicates the tasks purely because of the ironic memory tasks involved. Maybe I subconsciously dont want to be that grown ass adult that does things on time strictly because I’m a grown ass adult. Maybe I dont prioritize my mental and physical health enough to warrant getting the prescription refilled on time.

Regardless, its the same thing every month. Notice I’m running low on the prescription. Take 2 or 3 days of saying I’m going get it filled, followed by finally getting it filled on the last day, or sometimes a day or two after I have run out even. Then, of course me saying that next month I’m not going to procrastinate so much and not wait till the last minute to get them refilled. It goes on and on. I do feel like I am not the only one to do this right? Other adults have tasks that, for whatever reason, they dont like to do? I cannot be the only one? My husband always get his prescriptions filled on time and even a day or two ahead of time (the bastard, LOL). His issue is getting gas in his truck. He drives his truck with the needs gas indicator light on for days, Good thing his truck (evidently) drives on fumes. I have a friend that hates folding laundry and often will just re-wash an old load to get the wrinkles out before they fold it. If I made a list of things adults put off I’m sure it would be long, and I would have more than one task on it. I would say that I will work on becoming 100% adult at completing all tasks, but honestly I dont think I want to work that hard, so 75% grown ass adult is fine with me.

A football widow.

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I’m just going to say this…. I dont mind watching football. I’m actually kind of a tom-boy and I dont mind watching most sports on TV…. I recently found a channel that broadcast the word Cornhole championship and we watched it for several hours, although I may have spent most of that time thinking of inappropriate jokes because one of the sponsors for the Cornhole Championship was Johnsonville bratwursts, and my husband kept yelling “put it in the hole”. (insert your wiener joke here, hopefully its a big one!).

Anyway, this weeks sport of choice for my husband was football. We watched a lot of it! For one of the games I stated that I had never heard of either team and my husband stated that it was ok, because he hadn’t either. Several times I asked him which team he wanted to win, most times he would reply that it doesn’t matter. Men really do this? Watch game after game not knowing anyone or anything about the teams, just happy to watch the game, to see two teams physically and mentally dual each other for supremacy and ultimately for the chance to say “We won.” For my husband its more than that of course, he also has the perfect excuse to sit on his ass for many hours, and perhaps be lucky enough to take a nap without his wife trying to grab the remote between snores and change the channel.

After the second or third game I usually decide I need to get somethings done around the house. I take down and pack away the Christmas tree, unload and reload the dishwasher, do several loads of laundry and/or vacuum the downstairs. This past weekend I asked my husband to lift his feet up so I could vacuum under them. He actually grunted…. Ladies does your significant other ever grunt? What does that even mean? One grunt is yes? Two is no? I’ve never asked him, and never understood. For me, if I grunt its because I am thinking about stabbing you in your thigh with a fork because you fell asleep watching football and now I have to clean the blood up even thought it would clearly be your blood!! I personally would rather moan, but that would never happen during football either! (insert another wiener joke here). Sorry, where was I?

Why is it OK for men to watch football all day anyway? Who died and left them permission to use football games as an excuse to do what they want, and by what they want I mean do nothing at all. And does it have to be every weekend? And both Saturday and Sunday? Here in Detroit we have the hapless Detroit Lions to watch on Sundays. Every week they get their ass kicked, every week someone says ” Boy that Stafford sure is tough”, and finally every week someone says, ” this coach sucks he needs to be fired”. Week after week it happens, nothing really changes, the husband watches the Lions lose. Sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes he yells, sometimes his father also comes over, who also sometimes falls asleep and sometimes yells. It’s really the same week after week, and it seems to never stop.

Sometimes I get to annoy the husband like when the South Carolina Game Cocks are on and I get to yell things like “Go deep!”, “Cocks are up!” and my personal favorite “Cock are on top!” Sometimes I get to tease him because his team got their ass kicked, or he starts calling penalties just before the ref’s do. Sometimes I get interested in the game as much as him. If a Michigan team is playing or it a close game in score I turn into a football fan too, of course I would never admit to enjoying watching as much as I sometimes do. Still, football is for men, or at least my husband, and I let him watch it. I like it, women do like it, but women are capable of doing two things at once so we watch it and do the laundry or clean the house. Men just watch football, right or wrong, snoring or not snoring. BTW… my husband just turned the news off and turned the tv to a football game. Washington 17 Philly 14 in the 3rd.

C is for Christmas….and Colon Guard.

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A couple months ago, I had my yearly physical. I dont know many people that love to go to their doctor, and I am no exception. I’m not going to lie. After I had my kids, I neglected myself for a few years. Kids are always a moms first priority and I felt healthy, happy and busy so I just never got around to going as often as I should. As they got older I got back a normal routine of going, luckily I’m a pretty healthy person. I think my love of rum is the reason why I’m so healthy, while the medical community is more inclined to go with good genes. Whatever.

My current Dr. is very funny and while I have only been to see her a few times we usually end up laughing about something that is going on in my life or hers. It was time for my yearly physical and since I’m well past the having babies age this Dr. usually does the whole physical. At the end of the check up she sat me down and gave me “the talk”. She told me that because of my advanced age (advanced??), she told me it was time for a colonoscopy. I pretended like I didn’t hear her. What? I said. She asked me if I ever had one before and I told her that I did the little envelope thingy that you put in a vile and send it in the mail. “Yes”, she said” but what about the big one?” After a size joke, ok maybe two, I had to admit that I never had that one before. After she explained that there was a larger version of the little envelop one, I told her I would “think about it” and let her know if I was going to move forward with the test or not. Of course a couple of months later I still didn’t plan on doing it. Kind of grosses me out thinking about it even if it is way better than the normal test.

With the strange Christmas we are having I have purchased the majority of gifts, if not all, online. Amazon or UPS has been coming to my house everyday for a month now. Each time either myself or some other member of the family has taken the package and placed it in our living room un opened. If however, the husband gets the gift off the porch usually there is a comment about how I’m doing my part to stimulate the economy or something like that. As with most the husband says I just ignore the remark and move on to the task at hand. It was kind of a new Christmas game for me, guessing what is in the package, but not opening it…. cuz then I have to wrap it, right? Then putting it in the pile with the rest of the Christmas gifts.

Fast forward to a couple of days before Christmas and I have to now wrap all these gifts. A couple gifts at a time and several trips upstairs later I brought all the boxes and bags up to my bedroom so I could sit on the floor and wrap them. This was going to take a while, but again, it was kind of a fun game. Guess what is in the box. But now I can open the box and see what is actually inside it. As I opened the boxes I occasionally would be surprised, but usually checked off the item of my gift list in my head and moved on to opening the next box.

I came to a white box, almost perfectly square, it had some weird logo on it but other wise it kind of non- descript. I picked it up and started to open it. I knew exactly what this was, the battery operated sterilizer for a cell phone that I purchased for my slightly germaphobe husband to disinfect his phone, truck keys, or whatever else fits in it. The box didn’t seem to have an easy way to open it. The box had no tape on it and instead was shut glued tight. I fiddled around with a couple sides of the box and there appeared to be no way to open it. Finally I got to the side of the box with the shipping label on it. Looking closer I found a perforated tab to pull and open the box. I pulled the tab and opened the box, still thinking that it was the sanitizer. Once the box was opened there was some instructions on the top that I came too first. I lifted them off and looked at the contents…

It was some sort of white plastic container wrapped in plastic. I thought to myself that I thought the sanitizer was black, but moved forward. As I pulled out a couple more items I realized that this was not what I thought it was at all. I picked up the instructions, put on my reading glasses, and took a look at them. Turns out this was the a bucket… for the home version of the colonoscope that I had talked to my Dr. about a few months earlier. Well this was a let down for sure! I looked at the instructions. Basically I need to put the small bucket…. someplace… and hover over it and… well…. poop in it, then I have to put the cover on and mail it back to wherever it came from. So when I do this, what if I miss? What if I cant go? I have so many questions. None of which have to do with Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone. Hope everything comes out ok!

Snow more memories…

Here in Michigan, everyone knows it can snow any day from October to April, and sometimes, even earlier or later than that (I have pictures of it snowing in September). And the Upper Peninsula can have vastly different weather than lower Michigan, especially because of the always cold Lake Superior wind ever present in the area. Still, every time my Facebook memories come up and I see snow in the U.P. early in the winter season I am either surprised, or excited that I’m not up there in it. It is diffidently a love hate relationship that I have with those memories.

After moving to lower Michigan for just a few years, I remember vividly the first winter we moved back to the Upper Peninsula. That was the year (78-79)that the area I lived in, far west Gogebic county about 10 to 15 miles from Lake Superior, received over 250 inches of snow, and other parts of the U.P received over 350 inches of snow. We had a rod-iron decorative fence around our property and that year the top of it was far beneath the snow and you could walk across the lawn like there was no barrier at all. There was an empty lot on the opposite corner of the block we lived on and we kids played king of the hill on it often after school. I remember being at the top of the snow pile and looking down into the second story of the house that was next door, into a bedroom. We had a couple of dogs and they would often climb the snow pile by our garage and then run around on the top of the garage. I dont remember school being closed ever, we just did what we needed to do to get there. The ski hills loved the snow of course, a winter wonderland for sure.

Recently my Facebook page showed me a memory of a few years back when I went home to the U.P. and got stuck driving up my sisters very steep driveway. There was a good 12 to 15 inches of snow, I didn’t think I had lost my Yooper ability to drive in snow, but stuck deep, clearly I had! I had posted a picture with the caption, “Don’t miss this shit!” I looked at the picture of fluffy white clean snow with the sun rays bouncing off of it, then out my office window at the damp and muddy ground, it had been half snowing half raining for several hours and I dreaded going out in the mess to drive home. Maybe I do miss it…. snow that is. I remember cross country skiing to the nearby ski hill, then skiing all day. I remember taking inner tubes down a snowy hill being carful not to slide down to far and go into the road. Snowball fights, lots and lots of snowball fights. Getting snow in the top of your boots, making your ankles cold and socks that slid off inside your boots making you have to take the boots off and put them back on again, often while still in the snow. We never got many snow days in the U.P. you just went to school, but if we were lucky enough to get one we still went out anyway, but to the ski hill instead of school room.

I scanned the other pictures I had posted that day on social media. My husband and kids standing next to a snow pile. My kids throwing snowballs at each other. My sisters crazy ass dog, after having the zoomies, covered in snow, looking like he had been digging for hours in the white fluffy stuff. What if I did miss it? The snow that is. What if I say I do as an excuse for me not going home for a long time? The weather is too crazy, too much snow, I dont like that shit any more. What if I bitch about it because everyone else does, because it is a convenient excuse to not go there to visit? This is the week before Christmas and several more Facebook memories that either myself, or various family members have posted of the snow at home will appear in Facebook memories. I will look at them and smile, and remember the fun and the family. But maybe, instead of saying that I dont miss the shit maybe, I will at least think quietly, I miss this snow.

I’m caught in the middle, a yooper at heart, but a troll for more years than I care to count. People see my Upper Peninsula tattoo and ask if I’m a yooper, most everyone outside of Michigan have no idea what it is a tattoo of, which makes me laugh. When they ask me if I miss “living up there” I usually give a middle answer. “Yes, great place to grow up, but no, you cant make a living.” I haven’t bought a hat in twenty years. My friends say that I’m a yooper so I dont wear hats. People assume I can ski. I can, but haven’t for years. And of course there are the people who have been up there once, or have a kid that goes to school there, and now think they are a yooper too, so not even close. The snow, like being a Yooper is part of who I am, sometimes I love it, like when it is snowing big fluffy flakes and the sun make the flakes shine like stars. Sometimes I hate it, like when its below zero and the snow is wet and makes you cold to your bones. Either way I guess it is what it is and I should start embracing it…. but I think I’ll embrace the pictures of it on Facebook first, at least for this winter.

Must, have, coffee!

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So for those of you that dont know… which is most of you, I wear hearing aids. I’m not deaf, one ear has only about 10 % loss in it, but my other ear is has much more hearing loss that would require surgery to correct and even then there is no guarantee that it would work. I decided I would try hearing aids before anything else. I also wear glasses for reading. Let me tell you, hearing aids, glasses and face masks dont mix well behind your ears.

I often stop and get coffee in the morning on my way to work, just like a lot of you. Living out in the “burbs” there aren’t a lot of options for coffee. I usually go to my local grocery store that has a Starbucks in it. Last week, as I’ve done 100 times, I stopped on my way to work, parked my car in the grocery store parking lot, put on a mask and went in to buy my $5.00 coffee. It was icky out. Icky, a weather term meaning cold, dark, half snowing, half raining… icky. Inside I probably put on my glasses to see the key pad when I used my debit card, and then took them off again once I finished paying, then picked up the coffee and headed back to my car.

Once in my car I put the coffee in the cup holder, took off my mask and headed to work. Then, at work, it’s just the same but in reverse order. Put on my mask, grabbed my coffee and got out of my car and went into work. After a covid check-in I head to my office and get to work knocking out the dozen or so emails that I got overnight. With most people working from home it was near 10:00 o’clock when I needed to get up and leave the office. That is when I noticed that I only had one hearing aid in. The aid in my right ear, the one with most hearing loss, was gone. The aid doesn’t really help in that ear anyways and I just didn’t notice it was gone. Frantically I searched my office, the jacket I was wearing and even my purse. Being so “ick” out I decided NOT to go look in my car thinking that I would find it when I leave the office to head home.

At the end of the day I jumped in my car. I looked around the front seats and even in the cup holder, bummer, no hearing aid. Thinking I needed to search between the seat and the console I headed home thinking I would look once I got there. Again I looked around in the car, reaching under the seats, noting I probably should give the inside of my car a good cleaning, but didn’t find it this time either. Going into the house I told my husband that when I took off my mask in the car my hearing aid must have got caught, flew off, and is someplace in my messy car. He laughed and said good luck finding it.

Over the next few days I only half looked for it. Every time I got in the car I would look around, tuck my hand into crevasses of the seats, console and floormats, each time thinking how I needed to REALLY give the car a good cleaning. Four days later the weather is still “icky”, but I needed a coffee, so the routine begins. Park in the lot, put on the mask, buy the coffee, go back to my car. This time, the ground was wet and a little slushy. I’m holding my car keys, the $5.00 coffee and I’ve added a slice of lemon Iced cake… which by the way is amazing, and I’m in a hurry to not be late for work. Of course, I drop my keys on the ground, better than dropping the coffee or the lemon ice for sure! I put my coffee and cake on top my car, bend over to pick up my keys, and there it is! My hearing aid! Evidently I parked in the exact same spot that I had parked in 4 days earlier, and lying on the ground, dirty and scuffed up was my hearing aid. It was missing the little rubber end that prevents the aid from going to far into your ear canal and was wet and dirty looking but it was there and it had not been squished from other cars driving over it. Feeling amazed and lucking I grabbed it along with my food and headed to work.

In my office I pulled out the hearing aid, brushed off the grime, sleet, and whatever else ended up on it. Thinking that there would be no way it would still work I removed the old battery and put in a new one, and put it in my ear. I worked! How lucky is that! Four days, in “icky” weather, in a parking lot of a busy grocery store and it still works! I felt extremely lucky, but I also felt stupid. How could I have lost a hearing aid in the first place? Who does that? Feeling lucky I bought a lotto ticket, but didn’t win, that’s ok. I have learned not to put my hearing aids in until I’m someplace where I wont be putting on and taking off my mask multiple times and to take better care of these hearing aids until I have ear surgery. As for my car? It is still really messy inside, but I no longer feel the need to clean it. Today it is still “icky” out anyway.

Small business Saturday?

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Short of almost a dozen pairs of shoes I have purchased during the pandemic, shhh dont tell the husband, I have mostly stayed away from going shopping. Truth be told “going shopping” usually means meetings my friends at a bar anyway. Don’t judge, you shop your way, I’ll do mine. But now it is Christmas time and I HAVE to do some shopping for presents! BTW I hate xmas… for personal reasons, but I dont bitch because I dont want to ruin other peoples holiday.

I have not been to a mall yet but Amazon, Etsy, and other websites have been my friend, ordering most everything online. My UPS driver and I have developed a deep and meaningful relationship of give and take. He gives and gives and gives and I take and take and take those packages, checking them off my Christmas list as they come in. I’m sure I get more satisfaction than he does, but isn’t that the way it should be? And getting more than one package on the same day?? Well let’s just say I need a cigarette after that, and I dont smoke! 😉 In the end he just leaves, without a word, without snuggling, without that awkward goodbye, and messy clean up! Perfect!

Yesterday, however, I grabbed one of my favorite people in the world and we set off to do some small business Saturday Christmas shopping. In Michigan this time of year you never really know what type of weather is going to happen, but undeterred she wore her Stormy Kromer, I had my many layers on and we set off to spend some money and time together. This was a serious shopping trip and so no alcohol or wine was consumed during the filming of this episode. Clearly this was a one time only event.

We choose to go to an area that I used to frequent when I lived closer to the area, but hadn’t been to for at least 10 years, fuck I’m old. Back in my interior design days we would go store to store to store looking at and touching everything. Royal Oak was a young hip upcoming place full of old buildings filled with antique shops, home décor stores and clothing places full of unique, all be it pricy items, where it was as much about seeing as it was being seen. Young people holding coffee cups talking on the corners, an occasional person playing guitar with the guitar case tipped open for tips and young couples walking their dogs. We parked in the same parking lot that I used to so many years ago. This time we had to pay for parking and had to drop at least $3.00 worth of quarters for seemingly not enough time to get through the whole shopping district. The wind blew hard and cold but it was sunny so we zipped up and started walking.

The first store we entered was a t-shirt shop. It was small and had two rows of maybe 10 different t-shirts on display with cardboard boxes with the tops cut off full of the t-shirts messily piled underneath each design. It also had a slightly bigger box of clearance items that looked like someone had spent time searching feverishly through it but not finding what they were looking for abandoned the box for other things. While we were in the store a group of three people came in. They were all wearing masks, as we were, but sudden the area felt even smaller and my friend and I quickly left without even thinking about what we could buy there. As we walked down the street we saw a line, not very long, but a line none the less of people waiting to get into a store. We got inline, at least masks keep your face warm, and waited for our turn to go in. It didn’t take long and we were in. Part of me wanted to buy something for all the effort we were putting in. Part of me didn’t want to, thinking that I could be home on my sofa with my laptop instead.

In the end we bought a couple small things for presents, but the town had changed drastically. Now there were at a least 5 to 7 ramen noodle places, and even more sushi places. The middle eastern place that I loved so much was now a tattoo shop and my favorite furniture store was now a location where you could rent office space. Beside the fact there were more restaurants than anything there, I noticed other changes as well, Old buildings have been remodeled or replaced all together. Parking was expensive and in a parking garage instead of on the street and for free. The youngsters were gone and replaced with couples dressed way better than I was busily buying a candle or a mug for a gift before they went on to their final destination of, I imagine, a friends house for dinner.

Royal Oak had changed, and not for the better. Gone is the shopping, replaced with bars and restaurants that are trying desperately to be hip and trendy, but instead are overcrowded and expensive. Parking is scarce… and also expensive. What stores that are there are filled with the same “it” products over and over again, candles, mugs, scarfs, more candles. As I said, I bought a couple of things, but overall was disappointed with what the city had to offer. I dont know if it was me longing for the days where we could spend an entire day shopping and never see the same item twice, indulge in a specialty coffee or yummy sandwich and come home at the end of the day exhausted and broke but blissfully content with the new items I had purchased, or that my lack of shopping over the last couple of years, and current pandemic, had changed my once joyful and therapeutic hobby that I loved and treasured so completely into a exhausting and sweaty chore that was now more an inconvenience than anything. I guess it doesn’t matter which. I enjoyed my time seeing my friend, we caught up with what was going on in our lives, and had many, many laughs. Maybe that is what “shopping” is suppose to be now anyway. I cant wait to do it again, see my dear friends, that is. For now I’m going to open my laptop and shop.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Remember how you spent Thanksgiving eve over the past few years? Maybe you were super excited to not have to work during the next 4 days! Maybe you went out and partied the night away knowing you didn’t have to work for the next 4 days. Maybe you just stayed up late and got a head start on cooking big ass dinner for your family and friends tomorrow. Which ever it is, or anything in between, odds are it will be different this year.

Here in Michigan we are under a new stay at home order and have been advised to keep gatherings small and only with family that you have already been with for the last few months already. It sucks for sure. We usually go to a friends house for Thanksgiving, and when I say friend I mean family, maybe not by blood, but we are certainly family anyway. So in these crazy times where do you draw the line? How far do you push the line to the right or the left for normalcy, for tradition, for family and friends?

Fact is, I dont know what works and what doesn’t, and it changes everyday it seems. Masks work, masks dont work, heard immunity, shelter in place it goes on an on. All I know is I would feel absolutely terrible if I gave it to anyone! The medical community has to wear masks for a hell of a lot longer than I do so I will wear them. Seat belts are uncomfortable but I wear one. Getting my boobs smooshed between two flat surfaces once a year hurts but I do it. For me, wearing a mask is not something I would choose to do, but I will. No I wont be going to a great big Thanksgiving dinner either, it just feels like the right thing to do, or not to do I guess.

Tonight after work my husband stopped at a buddies house, somewhere that he has gone to several times a week through this whole covid thing. A couple guys, have some beer, stand around and talk cars. Today I stopped there also. We said Hi, fist bumped, use sanitizer and stood 6 feet apart from each other. When we all started to leave there was no hugging, no kissing on the cheek, just a simple wave along with the statement “Have a great thanksgiving” and the reply “thanks, you too!” as off we all went. It wasn’t the same, and I’m sure we were all thinking that it was weird to not be able to hug and kiss everyone goodbye, but we that’s how we handled it. Nobody bitched, or moaned about not being able to do it, or having to wear a mask, we just did it because right now that is all we can do. And so I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and spend it how you feel best fit. I wont judge, but I hope that next year at this time things will be back to normal and when we leave work we get to celebrate however we want.

I use to be crafty!

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When I was younger, if you ask my friends, I think they would say I was crafty… I knit, sewed, painted, did ceramics, baked, etc. I had many homemade sweaters, cloths and room decor that I created myself. I enjoyed it very much and often had the “urge” to start a new project. Many items I saw an item for purchase and would think, I could make that, and often did.

Then life happened, I guess, because I stopped. I got married, had kids, a house, a job, responsibilities, the list goes on. A friend and I were shopping recently and we found a wooden decorative sign that we both liked. I stated that I thought we could make that. My girlfriend laughed out loud and said “You? Crafty?” I looked at her, amazed that she would say that. “I’m crafty!” I said. My girlfriend laughed again and stated that she didn’t see me making anything that, but did see me buying something like that.

I’ve been thinking about this conversation since then. Why dont I do those “crafty” things anymore? My kids are grown, and I sure dont go out and party like I use to, so why dont I start doing somethings “crafty” again? Now in my free time, I clean out a closet or do laundry. My husband and I might get crazy and go out for dinner but then come home and sit to watch The Voice or a football game. I could and should be doing the things that I did when I was younger that brought me so much pleasure. Does being an adult mean that you cant do those things anymore? Would I be laughed at? Would people think less of me?

I’ve come to realize a creative outlet is something that I need again in my life. This Covid got us spending much more time in our houses and missing out on many things we need to stimulate our minds, to have something to have passion for. I’ve been thinking about it more and more as the weeks go on. I love my family, but they are stuck in the house with me, so they aren’t really much help. So I’ve been on line, looking at art websites and craft websites. I’ve thought about maybe redecorating a room, or pulling out the old sewing machine, maybe using the sewing machine to make things to decorate a room. I dont think that anyone can chose how they are going to find your passion, especially with arts and crafts, it has to find you, but I’m going to use my time during this second (or third?) round of covid to find what makes me happy to be home, not find what chores I need to do while I’m at home. If we all maybe found just one thing that makes us happy, painting, reading, exercising(pfft no), maybe this shelter in place thing we are doing would be worth it…. and no I dont care if I got laughed at or if people think less or me.

weekends are for cooking… shows.

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I dont know about you, but the older I get the less I sleep in on weekend mornings. It sucks, but I guess this is what I am now. I have learned over time to find ways to still unwind and relax a little. My husband, who clearly hasn’t grow up, still sleeps in late on the weekends just like he did in college. One way I decided to relax on the weekend is that that I should not have to do anything house related until he wakes up. Seems reasonable right?

Another way I do it is with a really good cup of coffee and biscotti or bagel in the morning. I use my Bialetti Moka coffee pot to make a cup or two just the way I like it, grab a salted caramel biscotti sit down, turn on the tv and watch cooking shows. Sometimes our dog Cerberus will lay at my feet, or on my lap (he is to big to be a lap dog, but sometimes tries). For some reason making your own cup of coffee, even if it takes a little extra time is extremely satisfying. The smell permeates the house as it begins to brew on the stove top and you know it going to taste way better than the coffee you buy from the coffee shop on your way to work in the morning. By the way, I buy a lot of coffee from coffee shops, but more for convenience on my way to work than anything, Damn you Starbucks and coffee beanery!

The cooking show, or shows usually, that I watch have to be equally satisfying. I dont want to watch fast moving quick witted shows where the cooks spending their time making jokes, or traveling from location to location offering quick and highly edited versions of whatever food they are making. For me, on weekend mornings, I want to watch shows from hosts who have calming voices, show you the best julienne cut or brunoises dice technique while standing in “their” kitchen preparing a meal that you know is going to taste like heaven for their family or special people in their life. These shows are what I imagine I would look like when I am preparing food for the people that I love, comforting, inviting and delicious. Cooking shows draw me in, holding my cup of coffee with both hands just below my chin as I watch intently thinking how good these recipes would taste if I made them for dinner tonight, or even cooked for that matter.

You see, I dont cook. I CAN cook, and I actually am a pretty good cook. My friends often complement me on my cooking when I do it. I just dont like to cook, in fact I kind of hate it. Buying the ingredients, measuring, cutting, mixing etc. all of it is what I dont like, and I really dont like the clean up afterward (but who does). Maybe its the mess, maybe its the anti climax of eating it all and then having nothing to show for it, maybe it is the rules that you must follow to create the dish, I’m not sure, but it’s not for me. I often say that because I dont like to cook my sons are now both pretty good cooks, they had to be. This is only partially true, I obviously always cooked and fed them, but I also encouraged them to make something for themselves if I was making something for dinner that they did not like. My husband also can cook, and now that I am working and he is working from home, he often has dinner ready when I get home, and I love that!

So here I sit, in my favorite chair, dog at my feet with the perfect cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and all is right with the world. The cook is making salted Carmel pancetta that looks like it would be crazy delicious. ” I should make that” I think to myself, knowing I wont. I take a sip of coffee holding it with both hands as the warmth from the cup makes me exhale a relaxed and content sigh. I hear my husband waking and moving around upstairs and think that it is time to clean the kitchen or vacuum before we get late into the day. It is the weekend and I have many things to do, but cooking probably wont be one of them.

Eat, drink and be scarry

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As I stated in my earlier post I love fall. With that of course is Halloween. If your my age, insert old age joke here, you remember the store bought costumes that our parents bought big enough to fit over our winter coats, with leg sleeve that were always to short and the top that tied from the back so you always needed help getting in and out of it. And what about those masks! One thin piece of elastic stapled to the mask on each side. If the mask was to small the staples would scratch the side of your face, if it was too big the elastic wouldn’t keep the mask on right and you would get scratched by the sharp holes of the cut out eyes. And lets not forget how devastated we would be if the elastic broke all together!

When my kids were really little I could buy those cute little penguin or lion costumes and put them on my kids. Hubby would stay home to hand out candy and I would take the boys out for bit taking pictures along the way as they dragged their candy bags walking from house to house. They were always ready to go home before I was. Lets be real, as an adult isn’t part of trick or treating looking in peoples houses when they come to to door to see what other houses looked like inside? That wasn’t only me right?

Once my kids got a little older and we moved into a new subdivision Halloween changed. The kids wanted to go trick or treating themselves, and the put their costumes together from stuff we had around the house, my boots, dads jacket, whatever. They teamed with their friends from our neighborhood and plotted their course of action for the night, which sometimes didn’t even involve actual trick or treating. It changed for us parents too. We still went out in groups, to “supervise” of course. But instead brought a wagon, with our coolers in it and maybe some extra gloves or hats, we are suppose to be the parental units after all. One year we caught up with one of my sons friends and his dad out and about. He teamed up with us and my three girl friends. We got to his house and the kids ran up and rang to door bell for mom to hand out treats. Talk about a Halloween fright! She did not take to kindly to the 4 moms dropping off her now very drunk husband. Needless to say we did not see him at Halloween the following year… I dont think he has been seen since, humm. One couple in the neighborhood has the Halloween tradition of handing out jello shots, adults only! That is a very popular house Halloween night and great NEW way we celebrate the holiday.

These days my kids are grown, and do the haunted house, or party at a friends house Halloween. Normally hubby sits on the couch and watches some sporting event when I busy myself in the kitchen until I hear the door bell ring. Kids dont yell “trick or treat” like they use to. They often wait until the door is opened, and just say it, rather politely. Last year the local police department made a (nice) visit to the neighborhood, talked to a few families, and handed out some candy to the kids. Last year it rained a little, but the kids still came out, young ones with their parents in cute little princess and and star wars costumes, and older ones dressed in old cloths that really aren’t a costume and more just different from what they usually wear.

This year I already have my bowl of candy ready. Some houses in the neighborhood are very decorated and some aren’t at all except for a pumpkin or two. Ours is the latter, I’m to old for this decorating bull shit. But I’m still excited to see all the little kids in their cute and scary outfits and the parents who think they are the first parents to ever drink beer from the road as their kids run up to strangers doors to beg for candy (amateurs’). It will be cold out tonight, low 50’s, but not rain. A slight wind will make the leaves swirl and decorations sway. Hopefully we will have a clear sky that will be bright with the full moon that we have tonight. Could be the makings of a perfect fall Halloween night, Even if I never leave my house.

Happy (and safe) Halloween!

Fall….

I love fall, its my favorite time of the year. Maybe because I grew up in one of the most beautiful parts of Michigan when it’s fall. The picture I’ve included is a great example. The suspended bridge that swayed a little when crossed, the copper color of the water before it blended with the coldness of lake superior, the forest of trees that turn so many varieties of colors that they would never fit in just one box of 64 crayons. Of course who can forget the late night beach fires just around the bend from this bridge burning driftwood that washed up on the lake superior shore and drinking alcohol stolen from our parents.

Living in lower Michigan in the fall is not the same as the U.P., but maybe thats ok. Sure, there are plenty of trees that turn, signaling fall, but it is handled differently down here. Fall in lower Michigan means football games, and tailgating. Picking a side, U of M, or MSU… but everyone always agrees to hate Ohio State. Tailgating is something of a ritual, everyone has their favorite spot to park and you must wear your favorite teams fan gear of course. Then their is the food, Chili, ribs, hot dogs and lots…. and I mean lots of beer… Lots of beer.

Fall in lower Michigan also means apple orchards, pumpkin patches and Octoberfest in Frankenmuth. If you are thinking, wait, isn’t Octoberfest more beer? Well yes, dont judge Karen. Beer, and wine too, are important in the fall in Michigan, even the zoo has beer nights. Walking around a zoo while drinking beer doesn’t sound that exciting, but dont knock it until you try it! As for the apple orchards and pumpkin patches, they are great for the kids, sure. That’s what we say anyway, “We are bringing the kids to the apple orchard”, but really heating up the apple cider and adding a little whiskey is one of the best ways to enjoy fall in Michigan, just dont give it to the kids you used as an excuse to get it. That would be wrong probably.

This time of the year people are also out and about riding bikes and raking leaves. Raking leaves and cleaning up your yard is a “thing” down here. It is announced like a right of passage to move forward into the cold winter. “I raked 10 bags of leaves yesterday!” “Really? Because I did 12 bags!”. My personal favorite, “Got to rake leaves so we can put the kids bikes away for the winter”…. wait, what? There is always that one house on the block that doesn’t ever, ever, rake their fallen leaves. Instead, they choose to simply let mother nature takes its course and hope for a good strong wind that will blow them into someone else’s yard… Ok, it me, we are that house. Sorry not sorry.

Maybe I will take a ride this afternoon to a scenic area with lots of leaves that are changing color to remind me about what it is like in the fall in the upper peninsula. Try to find a narrow road to drive down and watch the fallen leaves lift off the road a swirl around like the north wind is blowing them away to make room for snow. Or maybe I will call my sister in the U.P. and ask if there it has snowed there yet, and when she says “yes it has, but just a couple of inches.” I will laugh and think how great it is that the sun is shining as I sit on my porch with a beer, and think how nice it is the neighbors can still be outside raking leaves.

Write, right….

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So the new job is great. Its a challenge, but I like it. I like the people, I like the duties, I like the hours, and the money. Unfortunately, it has left me with little time to write, which is frustrating, and when I make time, the words just aren’t there.

Often, as the day is moving forward I come up with an idea and think that it would be great for this blog. Sometimes I forget the idea before I even get home from work, or sometimes when I get home the idea seems… well stupid. Sometimes I start writing and I just cant get into it. I’ve never had a hard time writing, and I certainly haven’t had a talking (I’ve been doing that since I was just a baby), the two things to me usually go hand in hand and I diffidently write like I talk and or talk like I write. While that may not be the ideal for some, its fine for me.

So what do you do when words elude you and you cannot write? I posed this question to my husband who said I should just “get over it” and write something. He is an engineer by the way and talks to people with a series or grunts or strange mathematical equations. A friend of mine thought I should light some candles, pour a class of wine, sit in my office and the words would magically come to me. Clearly I am not a classy as she thinks I am, with Fireball being my drink of choice and being braless the number one priority. Come on, nobody REALLY likes wearing a bra and you know it.

When I googled “how to beat writers block” I did get some suggestions. The first of which was “take a hike” … Really like I would walk anyplace much less do a hike…. whatever that is. Another suggestion was “Deny, deny, deny”. What the fuck is that? I deny deny deny whenever my husbands asks about the money I spent, that doesn’t help me write anything! One article suggested I wash dishes. Well that is a no, the end. One article, believe it or not, suggested I take a smoke break. Really? I dont even smoke, but the article said to take a cigarette, dont light it and then stand outside like your taking a smoke break. That just seems stupid, like pushing your car off a cliff because you dont want to get an oil change yet.

I think, or hope, that this phase I am in will pass. I enjoy writing, be it for this blog, in my journal or on a bathroom wall, so I will keep trying. Maybe when I feel comfortable at work and it doesn’t feel new anymore. Maybe because, at least hear in Michigan, fall is cold and wet with winter coming, the perfect time to stay home and write. Maybe this pandemic era will be over and we will return to someone normal with experiences I can write about. The last article I read said I should go to a book store and get expires. Are there even bookstores around anymore? I think I will take a nap. That seems like as good a way as any to get over writers block. Beats washing dishes.

Dream a little (weird) dream.

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I had the strangest dream last night…. but it was long and detailed. I woke up and my first thought was that I had dreamed the next big comedy and that I needed to get it down on paper before I forgot about it. As I am typing this, I still feel the need to write it down…

The dream started with me babysitting a child, maybe 6 or 7 years old. We were outside talking to other people but decided it was time to go inside and do home school work. We walked down a long stretch of grass half aware of the surroundings half not. The young boy got on his hands and knees and pretended to be a baby crawling and cooing. I urged him on going with his behaviors like it was a game. I dont remember how we got inside, but suddenly we were inside a house, I think, in the hall with non-descript rooms all around. The boy had a yellow tape measurer and he waved it around as a puppy chased it. He wanted a book and we walked to a large wooden cabinet that was old and full of clutter and dust.

Suddenly there were others around, young people who wanted me to open the cabinet for them to get beer and wine (now we are talking!). We couldn’t get the cabinet open and set on a quest to find the keys for the antique. I feel like at least one of the young people was a man, but I’m not sure who any of them are and could not see their faces or even much more that an outline of their bodies. The antique cabinet on the other hand was very detailed, large, wooden and had many (probably way too many) brass knobs on it. Across the top was a carved decoration that matched the legs at the bottom. But there was also a bright neon green smiley face painted on it…. Yea, I dont know what goes on in my mind either.

This is where it gets weird… weirder. Now, we are in a car. I think I was driving, but we were trying to get someplace and kept getting lost. It seemed like we kept driving down the same road over and over again until finally we stopped at a little building at a corner and went inside. Then suddenly I was sitting with some people by a pool, not the same people I was in the car with I dont think. I decided I wanted to put a swimsuit on and go for a swim. While I was in the changing room a man came in, diving and sliding across the floor shooting at me(yes with a gun), then he disappeared. I left the changing room and myself and the people by the pool decided to try and find the man.

The little building is now large and has lots of people in it and waiting in line for something. We walk through the building, but the floor is slippery and we put ice skates on. We get to the door and realize that one of us needs to say a specific sentence to open the door but every time we try to say it some of the people in line interrupt us by singing “Shoop” by Salt N Pepper. ” Here I go , Here I go, Here I go again, girls what’s my weakness?” Then someone made the comment that they could go for an iced coffee and that the coffee shop next door was open. When we walked next door their was a bright neon green smiley face painted on the door…… WTF.

No flip-flops ever!!!

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Ok, I’ll admit it…. I know its not a popular opinion (but I also dont care), I hate Flip-flops. Most women love them, kids love them, even some men love them, not me and here is why:

  1. Feet are ugly – And I really hate men in flip-flops. No man has cute feet and even fewer men take care of their feet. Women, even with their Pedi’s, still often dont have feet they should be showing off.
  2. Flip Flops are ugly and cheap – Cheap rubber, cheap plastic that do nothing to enhance your outfit or your ugly feet. Adding sequins doesn’t make them look expensive either. Grown ass people should buy grown ass shoes! You pay $4 for a coffee, but $2.99 for a pair of shoes? WTF is wrong with you….
  3. Michigan – One day can be 45 degrees, the next 75 degrees. Throwing on a pair of jeans, and a hoodie but continuing to wear flip flops just plain looks ridiculous. Frankly you look like a 2 year old that dressed herself.
  4. Cheap – Yes, I already mentioned cheap once, but they are doubly cheap! They are meant to be casual beach attire, not black tie attire. True, they wont hurt your feet like dress shoes often do, but you get your hair done, spend an hour on your make up, put on your expensive dress and jewelry all with the purpose of looking your best, then put on a pair of $2.99 disposable shoes? By the way, when you get your picture taken at this important event we all think, cute outfit, ruined by cheap shoes. That thought is made even worse because everyone else is wearing nice shoes, which makes you look like a child.
  5. Disposable – These things are most often made of rubber and/or plastic and a good chunk of them come from China. When your done with them they get thrown out where they sit in landfills or end up in the ocean for many, many years.
  6. Gross – Many times I’ve been in a restaurant and look over to see someone who has slipped their flops off, sitting on their barefoot leg with their hand on their foot…. how gross is this? Of course it is usually followed by the person using the same hand at some point during the rest of the meal passing someone the breadsticks or grabbing one for themselves.
  7. Unsafe – I have heard many “experts” say how unsafe they are and how bad they are for your physical self. I can’t comment on that because I dont wear them. I have seen people trip wearing them, or get one caught in an escalator. I saw a woman walk so fast (evidently) that one of the flip flops came half off her foot and she had to stumble around to get it back on… made me laugh by the way.
  8. Lazy – This one really needs no explanation. People wear flip flops because they are too lazy to tie, buckle or zip up real shoes. Flip flop wearers, you know this is true, its part of their appeal good or bad.

Disclaimer: I have one pair of flip flops. I wear them at the beach or out in the yard when I am picking up dog poop… just saying.

Gooooo Sports!

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I dated a hockey player in college, before I even met my husband. Damn, something about hockey players…….

Where was I, oh yeah, sports. As the years have gone on, my love of sports had dissipated for many reasons, the big one is that I am old and my jump shoot looks more like I tripped over a sidewalk crack.

Perhaps it is woven in men’s DNA, or maybe it is just a convenient excuse for a man to sit on his ass all weekend with a remote in one hand and a cold beer in another, but sports plays a huge part of my husbands life, especially football. Football is one of the few times he would get up early on a Saturday morning. He wears his favorite teams T-shirt, plants himself on the sofa, turns on the game and promptly falls asleep. This is how men watch football, evidently absorbing everything that goes on while they are sleeping in front of a TV is their super power. For me, my husband watching football, gave me the opportunity to go shopping or have drinks with my friends, maybe both. Don’t judge me.

The Covid quarantine has changed many things, one of which is sports. As time has moved on sports has slowly returned, but my no means are we back to normal. Basketball is back along with “the bubble”. For some reason I’m dont even know who is in the playoffs this year. Heat? Probably, Lakers? For sure. Anyone after that? No clue. Same with Hockey, although I dont even have a guess who is playing for the Stanley cup. It’s not the Redwings, that is for damn sure.

Finally, last night Football happened. I reminded my husband it was on, and he replied with a reserved, “oh yeah”, and for a moment I thought he no longer cared. As we watched TV an advertisement for the pre-show came on. “You dont want to watch that do you?” I asked him. He gave me a nope, and we moved on. As game time drew closer his demeanor changed. He put down his cell phone, stopping candy crush or whatever game he was playing. He moved from a chair to the recliner for seemingly no reason at all. Finally, a true sign football would soon be on TV, he cracked open a beer. I decided to mess with him for a moment, not changing the Chanel to the football game, but 3.5 seconds into the hour I was met with “Your going to put the game on aren’t you?”.

I watched the game, and I did enjoy it. Truth be told I dont mind watching a game or two of football. It is the eight games in a row and all the Chanel surfing that drives me crazy, again must be in a mans DNA. What it meant to me was normalcy and routine. Covid has changed or taken away many things from us. We all have been spending more time at home than ever before. Watching one football game gave me the sense that we were moving forward and that or lives were getting just a little bit closer to normal, even if it is slowly. Soon, my husband was snoring and watching the game at the same time. That was normal too, and I was OK with it.

The eye…brows have it.

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Ancient Egyptian women and men were the first to wear makeup, and they did it to appear more attractive. Heavy lined eyes were done as a homage to the god Horus. Because the desire was to have prominent eyes, the eyebrows were also darkened and elongated to help the eyes be a focal point on a face.

Today the beauty industry earns around 50 billion dollars a year. That is a lot of lip gloss! According to the Science of People website, women wear makeup for only two reasons(basically), to appear less noticeable or to appear more noticeable and most all of us wear it. The current trend (hopefully just a short fad) has women of all ages creating a strong eyebrow again just like ancient times, but in today’s age of excess the affect is just not the same. Add a covid mask and the desire to be more attractive becomes the stuff nightmares are made of, or at least pictures on Facebook under the real customers of Wal-mart click-bate entries.

Recently I went thru a fast food restaurant drive thru (dont judge me, actually go ahead I dont care) and a pleasant sounding young girls voice came over the speaker. I ordered my food and drove around to the first window to pay. I had planned to complement her on how nice she sounded, even over the speaker. We looked at each other at the same time, the only thing I saw at that moment however were her eyebrows. They were diffidently drawn on, and vary darkly drawn on. One end of the eyebrow came to a point as if it went through a pencil sharpener, and it extended past her eye as if the were pointing to her ears. The eyebrow arch was strong, as if she was surprised that person she had just talked to via the speaker has suddenly appeared by magic in front of her in person.

For a moment, the hangry me thought about saying something to her. She was young, with beautiful hair, probably already very pretty but it was hard to tell between the painted on eyebrows and a covid mask. Does she know how strange she looked? Did she think that her eyebrows looked natural? Or maybe they weren’t suppose to? I am probably old, do I even know what looks good anymore? Did the other people inline think the same thing? Or were they running through a drive thru because they were in a hurry and did not have time to think about some girls eyebrows.

I dont believe a woman should feel the need to make herself prettier, but I also understand that most of us, including me, do. We are judged not only by men, but by other women too, and the need to feel excepted is strong in us. In the end I said nothing to her, maybe in her mind it made her feel more confident, more like she fits in, and yes, feel prettier, I’m not sure there is anything wrong with that, is there? Ah, now I get why the beauty industry make so much money now, I guess I cannot argue with 50 billion dollars.

Happiness is… being happy!

This is my brother Steve (yes, he will be pissed I posted this), who lives in Northern Wisconsin at a resort he and his partner own in a quiet little town. He has lots of of friends, his customers love him, he is well known in the area and is involved in many community events. He always has this smile on his face, but that doesn’t mean he is still happy with everything in his life.

Happiness is not something that we are usually judged on. We look at people and define them by the job they have, the house they live in, and the things they own. If you have those things you must be happy right?

But what if as time goes on we change and learn what really makes us happy, (Being happy? What a concept!) by that time we are usually knee deep in… well life! We worry about what change will mean to other people, how it will affect the people that love us and the people we love. Change is also very inconvenient. It means changing our routine, doing things we have never done before, and changing your relationship with the people you know as well.

Shouldn’t being happy be the most important thing in your life? The old saying “You cant change everyone” is true, more than that however, you cant change anyone but yourself! Changing yourself to be happy is hard, but pleasing everyone is exhausting. What if people supported you, and cheered you on as you seek to be a happier (and better) person? I am willing to bet that most your friends will. Your new inner circle of friends will be of much greater quality, with less quantity, and that is OK.

Some of the people that you thought supported you disappear and make no effort to be seen again. Don’t we all have that friend (and sometimes multiple)that calls you to rant about what is happening to them, and never asks what is happening with you? They call you for help, but never help you. They do things that make you think “Why wasn’t I invited? I would have invited them.” These people may not be around when you try to be happy, and that is good even if it doesn’t seem like it right away. Do these people really make you happy? When your shoes, couch or car dont make you happy you either fix it or get a new ones right? It sounds so simple, if it doesn’t make you happy replace it with something that does…. dont you deserve it?

Whats wrong with us?

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A couple of months ago my friends and I decided to start a podcast. We had a couple, well several…. ok many drinks and as we sat around talking we thought that we were fucking hysterical! We consulted with each other that night and the overall conclusion was that yes… we were indeed fucking hysterical.

Let me tell you trying to find time for four women to get together for a couple of hours a week is no easy task. Kids had practices, Husbands worked, we worked, the weather was bad, the weather was to good, golf league, traffic sucks…. you get the idea. After several tries we each filled our coolers with the nights drink, and came to my house to record something, a practice, but something.

Even though we had created a loose script with topics etc., almost right away things got, well, inappropriate. With no men around the short jokes and shrinkage jokes were prevalent. We discussed anything from our first time to runways (wink wink). We had a couple more shots because why not? And then had a couple of hours more of discussions, some even got serious. It occurred to me at one point that even though I had known these women for 15 years, I didn’t really know them until that night.

Since the first practice recording we have had lots of obstacles, including the biggest, Covid, but we have been able to get together most every week. What we did not expect was how therapeutic this experience would be. Some weeks we dont even record anything, but we sit discuss and support each other when one of us needs it. Even on those nights we laugh, make lots of jokes and enjoy just hanging out together without our husband, kids, dogs and any other possible distractions. Its not unusual to have women support each other, but I think we all could do more of it. Our goal is to get our first podcast on our website in a couple weeks (drinkandbesalty.com), but while we started doing it because we thought we were funny and women would listen to us, we also hope that we can support women at the same time, even if it is with a shot of whiskey.

Hot flashes and frozen peas

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So for several years now I have been going through menopause…. there, I said it. I will tell you it isn’t fun or freeing, or thought provoking. Never once have I thought, Damn, I will never again be able to experience the joy of motherhood again, or gee, cant wait to be reminded that I’m a woman again this month. Instead I think, “I’m to old to have kids”, “just let me get past these symptoms”, and “think of the money I am going to save a month!”

Women dont talk about Menopause much. Sure, we make jokes about getting hot flashes and standing in a walk in freezer or about getting so hot you feel the need to strip off our cloths, even if in a mall, but mostly we handle the issue ourselves and suffer the symptoms ourselves and move on with life as if it is something we will get over soon enough.

So what then is the opposite of Menopause, what do men go though? The nearest I can think of is a vasectomy. Can we discuss how men handle vasectomies please? Recently at a friends birthday party where someone made a comment about a couple having three kids, the father announced that he would be having a vasectomy. Men at the party, and somehow most of the county we live in, hunched over in a pretend pain, moaned, and collectively grabbed their balls. They patted him on the back like he was making the ultimate sacrifice, one that no woman would ever do. That the sacrifice of no longer bringing babies into the world somehow save all of humanity from a plague or ultimate destruction. It was as if they lifted him up while the glory of the sun shone on him and other men offered him sacrificial bags of frozen peas in hopes of feeling worthy.

True, one is a natural event that happens in all women’s lives and the other is a( simple) medical procedure that men are usually dragged kicking and screaming too, but look at the basics. Women move through the process with little bitching (I’m not saying no bitching), and carry on taking care of her family, house, and lives. Men see the opportunity as a was to sit on their couch with frozen balls between their legs watching t.v. knowing that they are getting the sympathy of all their male friends who then bring him beer….. Men, suck it up, grab your balls and go mow the lawn for fuck sake.

What’s the over/under for the speed limit?

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I’m a fast driver by many peoples standards, I usually chalk it up to my ADHD, although that has never gotten me out of a speeding ticket. My general philosophy is that you drive faster than me your a dick head and if you drive slower than me your an asshole, its words I live by…. usually.

Recently I made a trip to northern Wisconsin via the upper peninsula of Michigan. When you cross the Mackinaw Bridge into northern Michigan you can feel the calm and stress disappear knowing your about to enter the most beautiful part of Michigan, the U.P. There is a darker side however, one people dont realize until they get there, across the bridge, and deep into single lane 55 mph territory. That is when you realize your going nowhere fast, because of… Old people. There I said it.

Once you go over the mighty mac, you will notice that the cars have all turned light gold or tan, and most are 4 door sedans kept immaculately clean and without scratches or dings from parking to close to other cars. I’m not sure how that can be, but assume it is because they all drive five miles under the speed limit. The correlational of the two seems lost but it is the only reason I can give to this strange occurrence to everyone driving so slow!

Cars driving 3 or 4 miles lower than the speed limit, a line of cars behind them waiting for the next passing zone, which seems miles away, and often is. Same for the motor homes and travel trailers. I cant understand what reasoning there would be to drive just a few miles under the speed limit and think to myself that if they can go 52 miles per hours surely they can go 55. Frustrated I look for a opening to pass the long line of cars deciding between passing the cars as soon as I can and waiting for a passing lane. As I pass the offending car I look over and see an elderly couple, barely able to see over the steering wheel, but smiling. They are calm, and happy, not a care in the world except getting to their destination, eventually. Perhaps I should slow down, and do the same, enjoy the ride, the scenery and the peace and quiet. No way I think, I’ll never get there if I do that.

An impossible decision?

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Today i went grocery shopping. I’ve done it a million times and probably will do it million more times over my life time. While it isn’t something I like to do, I really hate it in fact, its apart of life and so I do it. I’m not going to lie, if I can find a way to trick my husband into doing it I will, although he most often buys more stuff that is NOT on the grocery list than is on it.

Today when I came out of the grocery store it was pouring, like couldn’t see across the parking lot raining, like catching your boyfriend cheating on you so you sit and ugly cry pouring. I stood there for a couple of moments thinking it would lighten up a little, but it didn’t. While my husband may think me the wicked witch of the west, I’m not and so I will not melt if I get wet I thought. Taking a deep breath I pushed the cart forward and out of the door to my car. By the time I got to my car everything was wet, really wet. I popped the trunk and looked to my basket for what to put in the dry trunk first.

Do I grab the large pack of toilet paper I had purchased or do I grab my brand new coach purse that I got last week was my first thought? I cant decide what is worse, the fact that I am worried about a purse? or that I have to worry about something that I wipe my ass with. The world is so strange today. Things that we thought were important has been replaced with things that we never thought were important. We hear “the new normal” all the time, and I ignored it most of the time. But we now live in a world where toilet paper is one of the most important things a person can get. When I see toilet paper available to purchase i state in my head “yes!” like I have won the mother load.

Half an hour later I’m still thinking about that moment, not because I was concerned about ruining the toilet paper or the purse, but because HAD to think about what was more important. The “new norm” sucks. Being excited because I got the toilet paper in the car without it getting wet? Really that was something I worried about? What future changes will be coming? We dont know, but hope that things return back to pre-covid times. In the mean time I will try to not worry about toilet paper and start enjoying the time I spend with my family, enjoy the great outdoor more and count my blessings that my friends and family are all healthy. When this is all done maybe I wont be excited about buying a new purse, maybe I will be excited I can wipe my ass.

Dream a little dream…

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Disclaimer: I am probably not crazy!

But as long as I can remember I have had these very crazy dreams, and they are very detailed, I remember every bit of them, sometimes parts of the dream comes true and I experience deja vu. Another thing that happens is my dream continues into other dreams, nights or weeks later. When I was young I often wrote the dreams down so that later when events in my dream actually happened, I could pull out the book and prove to people I had dreamed it would happen. Really, that just made people question my sanity so I stopped.

Now I know that the more I am stressed about things the weirder my dreams get. About the time I started my new job, I started having dreams. The first dream seemed simple enough, I was shopping in a very high end area but could not find the shop I was looking for(a nightmare??). Suddenly, scrawled on a white wall in messy red writing was directions to get where I needed to go. When I got there it wasn’t a trendy store but a psychologists office. the psychologist however was not in his office, he was shopping. Did I mention I’m not crazy?

The second dream happened about a week ago, starting at the white wall with red writing. Again I was shopping (Perhaps I should take this literally and go shopping?) and searching for the high end shop. This time I had a couple “friends” with me, although I have no idea who they were. We travel through a maze of locations, some were scary but beautifully decorated. Think Saw movie meets Martha Stewart? Some parts of the maze were crowded with happy people having a party. (Perhaps I get to drink wine in the third part of the dream… fingers crossed).

When my husband experiences stress, he sits at our outdoor bar, with a beer and a cigar and gets some relaxation in. Women rarely take this time. Instead they fill their life dreams, and with tasks and chores. My mother used to say doing laundry relaxed her… perhaps that is where I get my crazy from. My mother-in-law gardens. Other women may workout, clean the house, go grocery shopping, redecorate the house…. you get the idea. How often do we actually sit down and do…. dare I say it…. Nothing? Perhaps that is why wine has been so popular with women lately. Wine forces you to sit so you dont spill that deep dark luscious vino. Wine forces you to take a deep breath, smelling the essence of the ingredients and undertones. Wine forces you to watch the relaxing swirl of goodness as it sits in a perfectly shaped stemmed glass that somehow has the ability to make you feel special when holding it. I love wine…. Wait, what were we talking about?

Pillow fight!!!

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Haven’t had much time to write lately, getting adjusted to working everyday again has kicked my ass regarding time management for sure. The job itself I am enjoying, working for a high end pillow manufacture company just a couple of miles from my house. It’s a growing company, which is exciting, and I am developing a new sales department and new customer service department before moving into one or the other to manage.

As with most manufacturing jobs I get the chance to get products for myself. I recently brought home two pillows and was excited to use them. I came home from work and showed them to the husband. He thought they were very cool and seemed glad I could bring them home. They were different from each other because I wanted to learn the product as well as use them and offered the husband first choice of pillow. He squeezed one, squeezed the other and said he didn’t care. It was late and I took the pillows as we headed to bed. I selected one and put it inside a pillow case, the other I gave to him. He placed it on top the dresser and got in bed. “Aren’t you going to use the new pillow?” I asked him. Naw, was his reply and I fell asleep not thinking anything of it.

The next day comes and goes and it is night again. I will admit we had a couple… several…. ok many drinks and both of us needed to go to bed knowing that our age and alcohol would not be a good mix waking up the next day. It really is hell to get old. Again I asked the husband if he was going to use the new pillow and again he said “naw”. In an alcoholic rage I hit him with the pillow(OK maybe rage is too strong a word). He laughed and rolled over to go to sleep. I thought to myself “Remember to fight with him tomorrow after breakfast. Am I the only one, that after many years of marriage, plans a convenient time to have a fight with the husband? Anyone?

The next morning as we settled into our favorite chairs with our after breakfast cups of coffee I went in for the kill! “So. Don’t you like the pillow? we can switch.” he told me it was fine, he just didn’t want to use it. I gave him that look… you women know the one, and asked him why. He said he just didn’t want to. I reminded him that the pillow he uses now is actually three old pillows that have flattened so much they all fit in the same pillow case. He replied Yep, I like them. Wha whaaa.

That was it for the great pillow fight of 2020. Anticlimactic? Yes, much like other things that happen in our bedroom (wink wink). Stupid ass fight? Also yes, but it reminded me of a couple …. or is it several… many things. 1. My husband is a stubborn crazy ass. 2. Sometimes old is better than new. 3. If your happy dont change for others. 4. You cant teach an old dog new trick s (but we still try!) and 5. If you want 2 new fluffy pillows for your side of the bed buy them and enjoy. The husband doesn’t care … or has some motive that you will find out about in a day or two that probably includes him golfing.

Hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go.

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Time for a job. So I applied for jobs…. well, 2 jobs, lets not rush into these things you know. I was excited for one job more than the other, but both jobs were blind ads so I didn’t know much about either. While I joked often about never going back to work, I new it was time. My husband, although very supportive, was also very happy I would be going back to work. Very Very happy.

I’m not sure why I didn’t tell anyone I had applied for a couple of jobs. A lot of people think that if you talk about it you will jinx your chances of getting the position. I’m not sure I think that, but why risk it? I quit my last job, and it was a really good job, so I felt pressure to find an equal or better job. I worked my ass off to get where I was, so I was going to get a better job than I had. Another part of my fear was that I would be rejected, time and time again, its not easy to get a lot of rejection as everyone knows.

What I thought was interesting when I talked about starting to look for a job was the reaction I got. One person would be very encouraging, and the next would be sympathetic (dont be surprised if you dont find a job for months). Some people even thought I should take any job, no mater the pay. Most interesting was the people who said things like “So your husband is finally making you get a job”, or “your husband will be happy”. I’m not going to lie, I wanted to bitch slap a lot of them! My husband supports anything I do, even if it was never going back to work. Every time I went out, my friends would asked if I “had a job yet” or “have you thought about doing (blank). I felt the pressure from everyone I knew to get a job, which increased the pressure I put on myself even more!

I ended up getting the first job I applied for and got it the same day as the interview so back to work I went, although without a summer tan. I will have time to get a tan when I get older. I told my friends I got a job. Suddenly all the advice, thoughts, and concern they had quickly vanished in one very anti-climatic “congrats”. There are many, many insecurities faced when someone looks for a job. Am I good enough for the position? Will how I look effect if they hire me? Will they like the suit I am wearing for the interview? Am I smart enough to do this position? The list goes on and on. What my friends and family were thinking should not have been one of the things I worried about. Getting a job was what I wanted to do and I got the job I wanted, and yes, my husband is happy, very very happy.

Covinterview

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So now that states are opening up, well Michigan at least, I decided it was time to start looking for work again. I want to thank my hubby for allowing me to take a year off before I went back to work again, and thank you covid for making it a years instead of 6 months! Part of me did think take July and august off! Enjoy the summer! I was ready to go back to work tho.

I had 2 interviews with 2 companies this week, one on Wednesday morning and one on Thursday morning. When I went to the Wednesday morning interview I walked into the building and a secretary came to greet me. She did not have a mask on Then I noticed that nobody had masks on, there were no hand sanitizer bottles, no shields, no Plexiglas partitions, nothing. When I met with the person I was going to interview with he did not have any covid protection either and he asked me if I wanted to shake hands, bump elbows, or do a pretend high 5. We went into a conference room and pushed some things over on the table that were left their from the previous meeting. Clearly no sanitizing between meetings. We walked around the factory, no protection, played with some of the products, etc. no covid protection what so ever, good thing I’m not a freaked out by all the germs. When I left I kind of felt like I needed a shower however.

The second interview was the following morning for a much bigger company. There were signs on the door that said I must wear a mask. There were little bottles or hand sanitizer and wipes everywhere. No shaking of hands, the person I interviewed with just motioned me into a room to sit. He gave me a company pen after wiping it down with a wipe first. When we walked around the building all the doors were open so you didnt have to touch them. After that interview and I got in my car I again kind of felt like I needed a shower.

The term “new norm” has been thrown around a lot. I am not sure that norm is wearing masks, and washing everything down. The new norm might be less visible than that. Maybe the new norm is adapting to whatever situation we find our selves in and what ever level of protection we want to then follow. Going to my favorite bar, I might not be as careful and when I go someplace much more crowded and with more people that I dont know. One thing I hope is that feeling of needing a shower every time we step out of our house stops. That is not normal at all.

Warning, graphic T’s ahead

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As I head toward yet another 39th birthday I cant help but look at the very important topic of… the cloths I wear. Shallow? probably, but I am caught between wearing the hottest trends (except black Northface jackets… way over done) and wearing age appropriate cloths. Nether of which are easy with big boobs I might add. My mother once told me I didn’t wear cloths that reflected my age, and gave me an outfit that was yellow and had bright red cherries on it. I have never worn that outfit and never will.

Facebook is littered with advertising’s for women’s t-shirts with funny and witty sayings about drinking wine out of a coffee cup, eating taco’s and having too many cats, and I want them all, the T’s not the cats! But at what age are these types of t-shirts off limits to you as an adult? At what point is it no longer funny for a grown woman to be wearing a shirt that says “Classy, sassy and a little bit smart assy?” What if I’m not feeling classy or sassy? I dont think I have ever not been smart assy, but all three at the same time seems like a lot of work.

I have many graphic t-shirts with funny sayings and wear them, but usually around my house or out with the girls. I dont feel too old to wear them, or maybe I just dont give a shit what other people think about what I wear, even my mother. When I am out in public I do look at women I come across wearing a graphic T. Most often I chuckle to myself because I find it funny and dont even think about whether the person wearing it is old or young. I have a girlfriend who bar tends and she wears a t-shirt with some funny saying on it often when she works, and her patrons love them! I’ll probably continue to wear graphic T’s, with a v-neck to show off the girls, because I want to. Never ever with a black puffy Northface jacket…. or uggs, because I am a grown woman and I will wear what I want..

To bra… or not to bra

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When I heard we were coming to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, quarantine, whatever you want to call it, I was as happy as everyone else was I’m sure. I have enjoyed my time with my family, enjoyed catching up on housework, enjoyed getting time to do some of my favorite hobbies, and enjoyed not wearing a bra everyday, but I also will be more than happy to go back to work, eat in a restaurant, go shopping, and visit my family and friends again.

Wait…. that not wearing a bra thing, do I have to do that now? As a woman who is well endowed, (yes they are real, they are fabulous) putting on a bra was right up there with breathing. I put it on every morning and took it off only when I was sure I was home and not have anymore visitors, now that all ends?

Wearing a bra is hot and restricting, plus if its too loose the straps slide off your shoulder making you lopsided and looking like one melon has softened while the other stayed ripe and firm. To tight and cups spilith over like a freshly baked cupcakes. If the straps show you look like a hooker. If you wear one too padded you have cleavage for days, but one to thin and you look cold all day long.

As I sheltered in place it was fabulous to not have to wear a bra at all. My everyday clothing item has been pushed to the back of the dresser to give way to comfy camisoles and tank tops. It was freeing! On days I left the house I put a bra on, but as soon as I came home it came off and was discarded faster than the men on The Bachelorette. I walked the dog without a bra on. Drank wine without a bra on. Cleaned without a bra on…. All this is going to end next week when we get back to normal. There will be a morning period for sure. Women from all over will have to find their bra’s and put them on. Then find their big girl panties and deal with it I guess. So If we are back to being bitchy again know its not us, its our tit’s being suffocated and they know what freedom feels like now.

I thought we were doing better…

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As a white woman from the suburbs I cannot pretend to understand everything going on with the world, but I thought we were doing better! I knew we still had a long way to go, but I thought we were progressing forward, that any step forward, no matter how small, was better than standing in place.

I remember when my children were young and we moved to a new neighborhood. One of my kids came running into the house as I was unpacking, with a boy his age. “Mom, Mom, this is Adam, my new friend. Doesn’t he remind you of Michael?” I looked at Adam, very blonde, very blue eyed and thought of Michael, African American. “Yes he does!” I said, then said to have fun playing. As i watched the two play together it was true, the two friends were very similar in the way they talked, their mannerisms, and both wore their baseball hats backwards on their heads. As the conversation progressed I realized it was the same conversation I had heard my son and Michael have many many times during sleep overs. That was the first time that I thought my generation was doing a better job. My sons didn’t see color, they saw whats inside, a human just like them. I did good right?

The recent events have made me take a look at myself. Sure, ok, I think my kids are excepting of everyone, but what are we really all doing to make the world a better place? Clearly it is not as easy as just raising kids that love everyone. As a society we need to do more, a lot more. Perhaps I have been naive in thinking that a white mom from the suburbs did my share, that I raised me kids correctly and so I have done enough. It isn’t that simple. I dont know what needs to be done, perhaps more discussing, training, education, and anything and everything we can do. Hopefully I will figure out how I can do more. Hopefully others will figure out that they need to do more too. Because what we have been doing is clearly not enough, and it been going on to long.

Stupid social media

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I live in a small town of 8000 people or so, typical small town America. We have a really nice lake in our town and there is two block section with restaurants, craft shops, and a small boutique, etc. A new shop moved in and is the last shop on the end of the retail blocks. It appears that this establishment wanted to make it easier for their customers to get to their location so a gentleman placed signs all the way up the block in front of parking spots designation them as parking spots for their business only. Of course this made the other stores, upset.

One person removed the signs that were in front of their location, leaving the remaining signs. As this was happening the new business had a person replacing them. At one point one person putting the signs back, and the person removing them actually bumped into each other. The older business had a security guard (unarmed and African American) because they had been robbed a few months earlier, just watching and did not talk to anyone.

The event was captured by cell phone, and placed on social media. I read the comments which is where my frustration began. I opened the video and began reading , most comments showed concern and upset that it could happen in their small community and were equally glad that the police handled it. However, someone posted that the the security guard “pulled a gun on the crowd”. Most people quickly corrected the person and stated they were also at the location and their was no gun anywhere to be seen and the “crowd” was about 5 people.

A couple of hours later the video showed up on my social media again, this time the person that person that made the statements regarding a gun had “shared” on his page and a good chunk of the comments were regarding it being a race issue and a gun issue, that post was also shared to other peoples pages.

There is so much misinformation on social media these days, and honestly news media also. That upsets me and I wish it could somehow be controlled. But what upsets me the most is the people that believe everything being posted on social media without check the facts. Social media has been around many, many years now and yet people STILL have not figured out that you cannot believe what you read? Shouldn’t we be smarter as a society by now? All I am asking for people that use social media is do their do diligence when they are reading posts. If it is on social media and you cant find anything about it in the news it probably didn’t happen! The easiest thing to do would be for people to read it (if you must) then move on without commenting, is that so hard?

It happened anyway!

When I got married and had kids I knew I didn’t want to be THAT parent. The one yelling about everything and constantly complaining about having to “Pick up after you kids”. The one where my kids were afraid to do anything for fear of making a mess, so they just sit on the couch watching TV and doing nothing.

With this pandemic I have been vigorously cleaning the house, not just of the mess, but of the “clean mess” that we all accumulate after years and years. Room by room, going through and tossing out almost everything, and for whats left finding it’s correct place. I have to admit is feels good to have a clean home and it is nice to walk into a room and not have to step around or over anything rationalizing that its a “clean mess”.

Today, after a quick cleaning of my kitchen after breakfast, I sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee. It seemed, if only for a moment, calm. When finished I got up to bring the cup into the kitchen, and then it happened… I turned into my mom! Perhaps I’m tired of all this shelter in place stuff, or perhaps it is something that physically happens as you reach middle age, I became my mom. One glass, one clean glass, left on the counter, is all it took to remind myself that I had become the one thing I didn’t want to become. I wanted to yell “Who did this!”, “why did you put this there!” I didn’t because that would mean I had become my parents, and I thought I was’t that kind of parent.

Ladies, at what age did you discover you were like your mother? or father? Is it that I fought it for so long that I let my guard down and it snuck up on me like the fat did on my ass? Can you stop it from happening? I had a good life growing up, dont get me wrong….. But seriously am I going to start wearing an apron and carrying around a duster? While I ponder this I’m going to have a glass of wine (or bottle) and look for someone to yell “Don’t make me get up!” too.

How quick we forget

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I went to the grocery store today, big deal right? On the way home I noticed traffic was unusually heavy considering the Shelter in Place order from the state of Michigan. As I drove home, and passed the boat launch I noticed that a good chunk of the traffic was people heading out onto the water with family and friends.

I stopped at a liquor store (dont judge!), and it was crowded with people buying beer, wine others items for a day on the lake or picnics. I myself only bought one bottle of Rumhaven…. so good! The gas station had a line of people getting gas for their boats, quads, and lawnmowers.

Thinking about the groceries I just purchased, over $100 worth, I realized how quickly we forget about things and move on with our lives as a society. I just bought groceries 2 days ago (and spent more that $100 then too). We have been going to the grocery store every 2 weeks only, buying only 2 cartons of eggs, meat, and toilet paper and making what we buy last easily for 2 weeks not wasting anything we buy, purchasing only necessities and even using coupons. Yet, a few days after the Governor relaxing restrictions only slightly we have all forgotten the valuable time we spent with our families and the money we saved by staying at home and the items we didn’t buy and got along just fine.

Businesses, restaurants, and salons are all still closed, yet with one slight change to the rules we all have moved well passed them in order to get back to what we think we want: to spend what we want, when we want, and to do what we want, with who we want. Corona be damned!

Just Breathe

This morning as I was taking a shower I got a tight feeling in my chest, not pain, just like someone was giving me a big bear hug. Very quickly I noticed that the issue was that I was holding my breath. As I took some quick breaths the feeling was not going away.

All I was doing was taking a nice hot shower. Should be relaxing right? Reality is I was thinking about all the things that needed attention! Finding a job, contributing to the household, getting the house repainted, landscaping, what was for dinner, the dog, the kids, my husband, it’s my mother-in-laws birthday, the corona virus, bills, taxes……. ahhhh! Somehow I managed to get more stressed in the shower and thought about it so much I about gave myself an anxiety attack. I asked my husband what he thinks about in the shower. He looked at me puzzled and said “showering”…

Ladies, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to get stuff done as quick as possible and be perfect? I think it is woven in to our DNA to be caretakers and make sure our family has everything they need, But who really cares? My kids are to busy doing kids stuff, my husband doesn’t care and the dog couldn’t care less. That leaves me as the only person to want to make things “perfect”, and it is almost an impossible task.

I still fall into the “perfect” trap, like this morning, but I have learned to chill about things. I’m not saying to sit on the couch and eat bon bons all day, but if you delay vacuuming and dusting for one or two days the world will not end, and your husband wont notice a thing. If you sit on the deck for 15 minutes with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, or take a hot relaxing bath instead of a shower, the household will not collapse. I promise! Give yourself a break, you deserve it! And I bet you will be a better mom when you need to be, and be around a lot longer too!

D is for dog and divorce

Perhaps because I think all my ideas are fabulous, or perhaps because I really wished for someone or something to take care of, I told my husband I was going to get a puppy. My husband was very against it and said no. Nothing makes me want to do something more than when someone says I cant. I told him simply “yes”, and said that he could not tell me what to do.

We had one of those 5 year old no you cant, yes I can fights which ended with him saying that if I got a dog he would divorce me. My first thought was “well shit”, but then I thought that if my husband would divorce me after 32+ years than we BOTH have been doing something wrong. I will admit that I did delay getting a puppy because of the statement tho.

One day I texted my husband I was going to an open pet adoption event, then ignored my phone for the rest of the day so I didn’t have to talk to him. Clearly i’m a chicken shit. I got a sweet little rescue dog that, I was told, was not taken care of well and found his way to the dog rescue at about 4 months old.

My husband was pissed and did not talk to me more than one word answers for a couple of weeks. To tell the truth I kind of thought it was nice! It was quiet, I could do what I wanted, it wasn’t a bad gig after the first week or to and it was clear he wasn’t going to divorce me. In the end hubby came around and things settled back to normal and he likes the dog. I’m glad I got the dog and stayed married, but if I learned anything from this it is that the communication between my husband and I sucks!! But it works for us… eventually.

You cant teach an old dog.

I had a little girls time last weekend. Wasn’t that long, left Friday morning and came back Sunday night. Monday morning when I woke up I noticed that there was a pot on the oven that had obviously been there for a few days. Not thinking anything of it I picked it up, put it in the sink, and filled it with water to soak.

I left the room and when I came back the dirty pot was emptied of water and sitting on the counter next to the sink. Letting out a sigh i filled the pot with water again, this time adding some dish soap, and placed it in the sink. shortly after my husband walked into the kitchen, emptied the pot, placed it on the counter and left. Well, now I’m pissed. “Why did you do that!” I stated loudly. My husband gave me a (fake) puzzled look and said “What did I do?” I stated that I filled the pot with water so whatever was left in it for 3 day would loosen, and placed it in the sink because I did not want it on the clean counter.

This is what we do now evidently, I do something, and he comes behind me and does it differently. Thing is, I didn’t do the same to him… until just recently. I want him to know what it feels like, so he hung a towel on the oven door, i pulled it off. And later in the day when he again hung the towel on the over door, I again pulled it off. But he has not said a thing!

Game on. Either he really didn’t notice that I put the towel away, OR (and more likely) he is messing with me by not making a big deal about it like I did, that way he can be the better person. But now that I know that he knows about this game, I cant let him be the better of the two of us. Now I am going to have to do something that will annoy him more that he annoyed me, and make sure he knows I did it. This, my friends is the secret of 32+ years of marriage.

Working from home is a new thing?

So I have been married for a long, long time, and I love my husband very much. Let me just start with that statement.

A couple of days ago he got out of his make shift office in the dinning room and met me in the Kitchen. He told me that it looked like he would probably be working from from home into the foreseeable future hopefully until he retires in October 2021. I truly was excited for him. I suggested we get a desk and a good office chair and make him an office in the spare bedroom, or the den. He told me he would think about it and let me know, but he really didn’t care.

About an hour later I started to think about the situation more. You know us women, we always over think things, are we doing enough, are we earning enough, are we cleaning enough, are we wifeing enough (Is wifeing even a word?). If he is home, will he think I dont do enough around the house? Should I make better meals? vacuum more? dust more? Suddenly I felt very inadequate, I felt like everything I did or didn’t do he would judge me for. The thought of sleeping in to 8 o’clock even freaked me out, since he would be working then. I felt like I would have to do everything that I normally do around his schedule. Suddenly I wasn’t so happy about my husband working from home.

I thought if I made him a nice office area, he would be appreciative and forget all the other things I was freaking out about, so I again asked him if he decided on an office. He stated he hadn’t and didn’t care where he sat. I got mad, I thought he should have a nice area and I didn’t understand why he didn’t care, and so we argued. Turns out he really did not care, I was putting pressure on myself to take care of it because I didn’t want to feel guilty about what I would be doing or not doing around the house. Seems strange I know, but isn’t that what women do?, Try to please people even at our own expense?

I still care about what happens while my husband is working from home, but I dont care if he has an office, I dont care what he thinks about me sleeping to eight every morning. As a woman it is hard to do, but I will try not to care so much unless asked too. Of course I will help my husband work from home if he asks for it. But I have learned over the years of being married is that my husband will speak up if he isn’t happy, and then we can discuss it. I forgot that for a moment.

Women put pressure on themselves to help and take care of people when those people dont want or need it. I think most women do the same thing, but I’m learning. It doesn’t mean I dont care, it just means I wont care if others dont care.

A weekend pt. 2

20200516_145325I went to a cabin with these women this weekend, that was the only plan we had! I’m not really the outdoors type, and my body is even less than the outdoors type, but I was willing.   We drank, we laughed, we ate, we rode outdoor vehicles and we explored nature.  The weekend was more than that however.  While we may have been laughing, or drunk (or both), we also supported each other, cried with each other, gave advise to one another and learned from one another.

Every once in a while, when the moment is perfect and the people your with are perfect a very special time occurs, please treasure that time.  At one point we got a vehicle stuck (and I mean stuck) in the mud.  It took us an hour, someone getting cut on her ear, a little swearing and one mud fight to get the vehicle out and on its way back to the cabin, but we did it.   It seemed that 90% of the time we laughed, and teased each other while doing it, or maybe we all just used the alcohol we drank after to forget the bad part, but it was something we all will remember for a while.  I’m guessing we will not only remember that time forever, but we will probably laugh and tease everyone each time we get together in the future. Isn’t that what friendship is about?