All posts by danagalka

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! ūüėČ 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 d√©cor 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?

A weekend so nice, I blog’d it twice-pt 1

20200515_150621I’m sure a lot of people can relate to the fact that the current shelter in place/covid19 issues have me feeling some sort of way.¬† ¬†One can only Facebook and watch Tic Tok videos for so many hours every day! I dont even want to talk about the bread I’ve made, which means eaten too.

I really thought that I would soon smash my husband in the face if we were home together one more day… I’m sure that feeling was mutual, so when I got the opportunity to go up north to a friends cabin I jumped at the chance.¬† A couple of us girls headed up on Friday and had a few drinks to “catch up” of course.¬† ¬†The weekend was wonderfully relaxing and I’ve never laughed so hard all day long in my life.¬† These girls truly healed my mood and then some!

As is common, with most women, I began to feel guilty.¬† I left my home and family for a whopping 3 day and yet I felt like I had abandoned them completely.¬† Why do women feel so bad when they take some time for themselves?¬† In our brain, we feel like we need to be the woman in the heels and apron taking care of everyone and everything with a smile on our face.¬† I came home, kissed everyone hello and then started doing laundry, sounds like something many woman would do.¬† I told me husband that perhaps he could come up with me sometime soon.¬† He made a terrible face and got up to get a refill on his pizza. “So that’s a no thank you I guess.” I stated, and realized that I have no reason what so ever to feel guilty.¬† Ladies, dont be afraid to do something good for yourself, chances are the only one having issues with it is you!

They’re only young once…

Parents today put their kids in all kinds of extra activities. My husband and I were no exception, except my child was, and still is not, really a group kind of kid… thank goodness? I mean darn. We did supported him when he wanted to join boy scouts as a webalo…. or something like that. And for me, well I was very excited that my husband had to be the one to go to all the meetings.

The very first day he had to wear his cute little uniform to school I took pictures of the cute little 1st grader in his cute little uniform. If Facebook was around I totally would have posted the pic. He came home when school was over, walked into the house and announced that he was done with boy scouts. Why? I asked. He looked me dead on the eye and told me, at age 6, that he could not live with those kind of rules.

The following year he joined hockey. Very early practices, very cold early practices, and many of them! Lots of checks written. Still, we all enjoyed it very much, a good group of parents, a good group of kids… And man can hockey parents drink!

As much of a pain in the ass it was then, I truly miss it now. The cold, the cost, the concusions, all of it. Parents, don’t put your kids in so many activities that your “time

together” ends up being you in the stands when your kids are on the field practicing… News flash! That isn’t spending time together. Activities for kids are a great thing, if it’s done correctly by the parents and the kids are having fun.¬† Btw, my son is in his twenties and still plays hockey, and we wish we could go watch.

An eggplant means what?

Do you gram?Do you Gram?

Twenty plus years ago the company my husband works for gave all its employees a computer.¬† He received a monitor, keyboard and a tower.¬† We set it up, turned it on and sent emails to our friends and family.¬† We thought we were the shit!¬† Some time around there I also got my first cell phone.¬† It was big, but came in a bag that I could carry with me…¬† Best thing ever!!

Somewhere along the line, the smaller the computers got the more stupid I became!¬† Technology is progressing so fast today it feels like it is leaving those of us that are middle aged or older behind!¬† ¬†Insta, the gram,¬† Tik Tok,¬† snap,¬† is the norm for the younger generations while I am left wondering what the fuck it is and how to use it.¬† I really thought that “Netflix and chill” was just watch a movie on the couch with my family.¬† ¬†Imagine my child’s face when I told his friends that his dad and I were going to go home to “Netflix and chill”.¬† ¬† I dont even what to talk about the time I sent my boss an eggplant emoji stating I was bringing a big hot pan of eggplant Parmesan to the pot luck!

So now I stick to old peoples technology.  Facebook, which my kids say  40+ year old drinking moms use to stalk people in their neighborhood or to set up wine drinking parties.  Texting,  which has been replaced by snap chat.  BTW, no way I am taking that many pictures of myself with no bra and a double chin. and YES!  I still email!

I figure I made it this long not knowing what a plugin is (or how to install one for that matter)¬† I will survive doing what i’m doing as long as I can ask a millennial for help when I need it, after they rolls their eyes at me of course.¬† And if I text someone that I’m enjoying a rum & cum (damn you auto correct), that is OK, people know I’m to old to deal anyway.

 

 

Be gentle, it’s my first time.

I stopped working a few months before all the pandemic stuff came down. But many months before that I decided to start a podcast and eventually a blog. The process has not been as quick and easy as all the “How to start a podcast” sites say!

Do I have something people will want to listen to? Can I be informative and engaging weekly? Can I make money? How long will it take? Do I keep looking for work, even during the Shelter in place? What if I get a job, will I have time to continue working on the podcast?

All the insecurities of being woman, wife, mom, began to creep in. One minute I think to myself, I can do this and the next I’m thinking what if I fail? Is my husband going to support me in this venture? Is it fair that he is now the sole bread winner? What will the rest of my family think? What if my family needs me? How will I get my subject matter? What if nobody wants to listen to me? Really the questions go on and on.

So here is my first blog. It isnt’ funny, it isn’t informative, it’s not going to change the world, but I needed to move forward in this process. My partners and I are moving forward with the podcast and hope to have the first episode in a week or so, we are working hard on it, but this blog will be for me, and I hope you all think I have something to say. Thank you,