December 22, 2014

Quite a bit of change

Matt and I split in August.

We're doing things backwards and started counseling after the divorce was finalized in December. It was hard to read the script they gave me at court ... elements of marriage destroyed ... but what we had wasn't working for either of us and that particular marriage was kaput. If we can learn and grow and be happy and fulfilled together, I'm all for getting back together in the future. There's great good there, and love and affection and admiration and respect. You don't find that around every corner. If we get together again, it will be a fresh start and new marriage.

For now, however weird and backward it sounds, I think we're doing good on our own while still keeping a hand in. We may feel disappointment and some resentment, but that's mainly due to lack of communication and not telling each other what we need. Fuck that. What we want. That's a tough one for me, and I think for Matt too. Careful to not trample each other with naggings and you oughta, but realistically, partnerships need input from everyone involved.

There were times when I was disappointed or felt left on my own, and I'd think, Well, you don't NEED that. You can get along without it. But it's important to at least put it out there, ask for help, and keep an eye on each other if someone is going off the rails. Pull them back. I see that, and it's driving us apart. I don't like that and I don't want that.

Anyway, we'll see how things play out. Right now we're in our own corners, hopefully strengthening ourselves and remembering who we are and how we fit together. We have breakfast or dinner together every so often, bowl on the same team, are cooperative with finances, and I've had a dream or three that made the top of my head smolder in a good way. All that points to the good, if we can get past ourselves and grow up and work as a team.

December 12, 2013

Comfort zone

This will sound ridiculous to anyone who has shopped regularly for clothes and kept up with fashion over the last twenty years, but just pretend for a moment that you haven't. And you found boots. Boots that you really like. Boots that if anyone else was wearing you'd not only not question, but the only second thought you'd have would be Those are some pretty sweet looking boots.

It's been too long. The gap makes me feel like I'm pretending or playing dress-up. But fuck that. I'm wearing them tomorrow, and I will wear them until they feel like a second skin.

November 12, 2013


I started painting the trim in the hallway, but it needs a second coat. I don't always have the energy or interest to finish a project in two days, but I think I can finish this one within the week. Second coat tomorrow.

One of the problems with starting a house project is how many more projects pop up. Painting a wall? Better paint that trim. Painting the trim? You should probably sand that floor. Oh, you sanded the floor? You should probably stain and seal that.

And that's where this household calls it quits. But it still needs to be done.

Is anyone else like this? Take forever to start a project, finish it about 80 percent, and then say fuck it? I can't think of a single project that we started and finished completely. Seriously. It kind of bothers me, what that says about us, but then again, I'm also kind of lazy so I get it.

I'd like to be different that way.

September 08, 2013

So you grew yourself an eggplant

That's awesome! Er, what now?

August 19, 2013

Another day

Finding myself looking at things through different eyes. All the stuff on the shelves, in the closets, down the basement and in the garage? Pretty much unnecessary. Ninety-five percent of this house could disappear and it wouldn't be missed. Why do I have 85 pens and ten lotions? What does this fucking cord go to? And why can't I throw away pens?

Matt's hand on my hip at night, Pete sneezing because he got worked up and Willy circling behind me while I'm doing dishes and grunting like an asshole to be let outside - those are the things that matter.


Matt, Matt, Ken
Our friend passed away unexpectedly yesterday and it's hitting hard.

Matt's been friends with him for over 30 years and is doing all right, but I think it's weighing pretty heavily on him. When I think about a sixth grade Matt and a ninth grade Ken meeting up and how long they'd be friends, it blows my mind.

There are very few times I reach for ranch dressing without thinking of how he called it the anti-condiment. The jambalaya and oatmeal cookies I make come from cookbooks he gave me. He was good in the kitchen, and if he brought something over, you were going to enjoy it.

He gave. A lot of times he didn't have a whole lot in terms of money, but if he had something you needed, it was yours.

Our boys were wrapped around his finger. The treats didn't hurt, but even without them there was something that would elicit happy high-pitched anticipatory whines like, "Ken is here! Ken is here! We should run in circles!"

We bowled together for years. When Matt and I had the Honda CRX, we'd all ride to the alley together and Ken and I would trade off on the tiny shelf "seat" in the back. One would suffer through it on the way there and the other suffered on the way back. I was happy to see the end of that car, let me tell you.

He was a source of comfort when my dad died. Whatever it was that he said or understood or just listened to made me feel a hell of a lot better.

He was just simply good hearted.

I didn't think we'd be losing friends for years yet. It makes me want to tell everyone right now how much I love and appreciate them. Truly. Everyone who crosses our threshold brings something, is something that adds to the joy in my life. Every single person has something special that would be sorely missed if they were gone.

And right now I'm missing Ken.

July 25, 2013


I'm 99.99% sure that at this appointment the doctor will say, "Easy non-trauma bruising is a well-known side effect of Humira and I'm certain that's all it is," but I must admit there is that - what is it, I'm terrible at decimals, .01% is it? - part of me hoping, "Yeesh, let it be so."

July 04, 2013

Sometimes ...

Sometimes a person speaks too soon. If you read the earlier deleted post, please disregard.

Smile, smile, smile, smile.

June 16, 2013

And now Fathers Day already

Got a little sidetracked, but will be writing again soon.

Reposting from 2007 with different pictures. Not a thing has changed, except that I know he can't read it this time. Still, I remember his comment like it was yesterday: Thanks. I think you're nice, too.

Man, I miss him. Miss him, miss him, miss him. It feels good to read about him in the present tense.


I owe so much to my father.

He climbed a ladder to paint the house or clean the gutters even though he was never partial to heights, and worked hard to ensure his family was comfortable and well educated.

He sat through and applauded innumerable puppet shows and dance recitals, entertained us at dinner by making the coffee carafe talk, and peeked around the corner of the living room to catch me tap dancing on the hearth or playing ballerina. He banged pots and pans with us on the porch at midnight New Year’s Eve, and administered belly-plubbers when we were supposed to be heading up to sleep. He allowed me to test my hair-cutting skills at the tender age of eleven.

I know, he was brave.

My God - I’ve been cutting his hair for almost 25 years. Nowadays, I often linger so we can talk longer, so I can learn what he’s doing with his time, how his health is, and what he’s been thinking about. I trust his advice, whether it’s about politics, finances, home improvement, or myriad other subjects.

It makes me happy that he planned for his own future and was able to travel after retirement, and that he allowed time for fishing and hobbies like making leaded glasswork and learning the guitar.

I love that if he’s not certain of the inflection or pronunciation of a word, he says it two ways to cover his bases (a trait I have picked up, thank you very much).

I love that when he stayed overnight on his way to visit my sister last year, he went to check on the state of our back lawn at 11:00 p.m. wearing his miner’s helmet. I love that I only found him by the glow of the helmet and the whistling I heard as he walked back down the driveway.

I love how he blushes when he says something risqué, and that he winks at us when he’s teasing my mother.

There’s simply not enough room and not enough time to list all the reasons I love my dad, but this will have to do for now. Expect more next year.

I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

P.S. Thank you for sticking with me through the teenage years and somehow walking the line between allowing me space and keeping me in line. Though I’m sure I never said it at the time, it was exactly what I needed.


May 12, 2013

Mothers Day

I really couldn't ask for a better, more loving mom, and believe me, do I appreciate her.

She is obviously shrinking, but she's earned the right. I remember measuring my growth by the buttons on her shirt, and envision the day when she does the same. But in reverse.

Thank you, Mom, for being you and giving us your love and assistance and encouragement and care all these years. It meant (and means) everything.

May 09, 2013

Holy Mary, Mother of Grrr

It was a night of old men talking. And talking. And for the love of Jesus, fucking talking.

And the touching! If that fucker touched my arm one more time I was going to punch him in the eye. I'd have felt really bad afterward because he was in his 70s, but being in your 70s doesn't make you forget about other people's personal space. Still, you don't want to hit an old man. If he was 30 he'd have been on the floor, because I was getting pretty pissed.

I deliberately moved my arm and my wrist out from under his hand a number of times, stood up and moved the stool over ... nope. Just reached a little farther. It wasn't like he was groping boobs or anything, and he spread it around to all three of us, but it felt unnecessary and opportunistic. If that man had touched my knee I don't think I could have stopped myself from shoving him. I had a spot picked out and everything. I pictured him flying backward, hitting the floor.

Two things strike me.

One. I wish I had punched him or even said "Hey, quit touching my arm."

Two. Why the fuck didn't I? Sure, age is one thing, but if you think someone is taking advantage in however small a measure, why the fuck wouldn't you call him on it? Public place? Don't want to embarrass an old man who might not be entirely with it? That shouldn't be my concern.

I don't know, but it's something to think about. I tend toward the "deflect and avoid" method, but it might be a good idea to get a bit more punchy because it's still bothering me today.

April 30, 2013

Head count

Please count off as you enter the room. One. Two. Good! Let's not have a repeat of last night ...

Matt got up this morning and came back to the bedroom after a few minutes. "Where's Pete?" he asked.

"What do you mean, where's Pete?"

"I mean, where's Pete?"

He wasn't on the couch. He wasn't in the computer room or dining room. I went to the back door and opened it, and Petey was standing on the back porch.

"Oh, honey! Come inside!" He charged up the steps and fixed me with a baleful eye. And rightfully so. I'd let him and Willy outside at some point late last night, let the one in when he scratched at the door, and then between one thing and another had forgotten Pete was still out there. And then I went to bed without my normal detour through the dining room to wish them a good night.

Willy was particularly underfoot before I went to bed, and now I'm wondering if he was like, "Hey, lady. LADY. There is no Pete here. Get Pete. Pete Pete Pete," and there I was thinking Jesus, dog, back off already.

April 29, 2013

Bobblehead delivered

It's more beautiful than I imagined! It's just about perfect. Matt seemed pretty tickled with it, and that's what I was going for.

Dopey and Sneezy

Rethinking the wisdom of being at work today. I'm feeling way better, but am really thickheaded and slow. That's dangerous! Might just get done what has to get done and then take off. And sleeeeeeep.

April 27, 2013

First cold of the season

Well, between my husband and my co-worker, there was really no chance I could escape illness. Still, it would have been nice. It hit like a brick tonight, so tomorrow I am doing nothing but staying in bed for as long as possible and drinking Thera-Flu all day.

Goddamn it. I really wanted to avoid this shit.

April 17, 2013


Been easing back into working out lately, but tonight I pushed forward and my legs are feeling it. In a good way, but still - I bent slightly at the knees to pick something up earlier and my legs tried to collapse on me, shrieking, "How dare you ask that of us?"

I did manage to stay upright, but the thighs may be a wee bit sore tomorrow. They deserve it.

April 14, 2013

Bobblehead anticipation

Please don't say a word to Matt, but in a week or two a bobblehead in his likeness should be delivered here. I need to share with someone, because I'm really excited and while it's totally frivolous it's also pretty fucking awesome. If I kept it to myself much longer I'd probably say something in my sleep and blow the surprise.

April 10, 2013


I don't know where this anger is coming from, but I'm carrying it almost every day. I am going to have sit down, clear my mind, and trace it back. It's getting in my way. Usually identifying the source of anything is more than half the battle. I hope it's something I can fix.

March 25, 2013

My husband is certifiable

Tests passed on the first try. Matt got his certification. Booya, baby!

I didn't want to mention it, but a coworker told me that a lot of people need to take these tests more than once to pass. And in fact, Matt said that a couple of the guys there failed and were coming back later to try again. So fuck yes, sugar - good job! All that studying paid off.

March 23, 2013

Stick a fork in me, I am done

The injuries continue. I just now literally stuck a fork in myself instead of the potato I was trying to pierce. Earlier today, the hatch to the Jeep came down when I was storing groceries inside and gave me what is sure to turn out to be a nice bruise on the arm.

For the love of Pete, may I just get through one day without burns, bruises, or stabbery?

I've learned my lesson from last week and am descending the back steps with sideways feet - in the fashion you'd pick your way down a steep sandy hill. So far, so good.

Taking no chances here, folks.

March 16, 2013

Success and injury

So indeed, no big deal. There were a lot of gaps and things that should be clarified next year, but things went well today. Whatever mishaps there were, they were only evident to us, and I made notes for the future.

There were no problems driving the van - in fact, I parallel parked that bitch on the first try. My co-worker knows everything about campus and all the buildings and sounded like a tried-and-true tour guide. I only had to keep it in the lane and ask whether she wanted me to turn left or right every so often.

It was only after I'd left the prospective students at their hotel and went to return the van that I ran into any trouble. First, construction. Second, an accident that slowed down traffic. Still, I made it back to the motor pool without incident. I even backed the van into its spot - dead even in the lines. "Dude. You did good today. You need to trust yourself more."

Then I went to step out and fucking fell out of the van. Hands-and-knees fell. Don't get me wrong, my knee hurts, but Jesus, I couldn't help but laugh. I guess I thought the ground was a lot closer than it was, then all of a sudden it WAS a lot closer.

I finally got home, took off my shoes, and called the dogs to go outside. One step down the stairs to the back door, and my foot slipped and I landed on my elbow.  It was the kind of injury where you know it's not broken but it hurts so bad you just let it dangle for a bit because you don't dare move it. I swore so much that Pete got freaked out and went back to his cushion with his going-outside toy dangling from his mouth for about ten minutes.

I am very pleased that if I had to have fits of accident or klutziness today, they were contained to when I was on my own, had access to ice and ibupofen, and took no one down with me.

And on that note, a little more ibuprofen is due.

March 11, 2013


So this next week may be tough for me. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and one of my weaknesses is that I like to stay in the background. Provide support. Get you the information that you need. NOT interact with people I don't know and actually have to talk to them. Even though when it comes down to it and I'm forced to, I do fine and have a good time.

We have prospective students coming next Friday, and I have to drive them around campus for a couple of hours. I'll be doing it with a co-worker who has already plotted out our route, and it's going to be just fine. They are half my age. I can drive a van. I know campus. There is no pop quiz.

But still. For the last week (ever since I was volunteered to do this and had no acceptable reason to decline), I have woken up with the feeling that something was hanging over me. It's so stupid! Nothing bad ever happens and more often than not, I have a good time or learn or accomplish something and FOR GOD'S SAKE THIS IS NOTHING.

Most of me is looking forward to it and would like to smack the other part of me. I guess that's progress.

March 09, 2013

Poker night

Matt and his friends usually get together here on Saturdays for poker. It's been a few weeks, and I have to admit I missed it. I'm usually reading or doing laundry or watching something, but always to the background noise of clicking chips, trash talk and a bunch of swearing. It's nice to have a full house again.

March 07, 2013

My cup runneth over

Fantastic news today - my position was reclassified and it comes with a raise of almost 10 percent. I am floored. And giddy. Really, really giddy. FUCK YEAH! Multiply that by I don't even know how much.

Also, turns out I have a wheat problem. Maybe that doesn't sound like good news, but to identify what's been up with my stomach and skin is extremely gratifying, and since it doesn't look like an across-the-board gluten problem, there are really easy replacements for bread, crackers, and pasta. Today was day one skipping wheat stuff, and I had no itching or stomach problems. More, please.

Re: Matt's certification. There was simply too much information to cram into three days of studying (turns out there was another book and addendum lurking in the requirements), so while he wasn't able to get the certification Monday and apply for that particular job, there are multiple opportunities to take the test this month and other positions will come up. He'll be in a really good position to take advantage when they do. And I cannot express how much I am loving coming home and seeing him studying, pencil in hand. Studious Matt is pretty fucking sexy.

February 28, 2013


Job possibility for Matt! I'm sure there will be a ton of people applying, but it's doing what he does now for about double the pay and he's motivated. And he really truly likes what he does now, so that would be a dream come true. He has the required experience, but needs to have some type of pesticide certification to be eligible. However, the timing worked out where posting is open until the 5th and the test would be the 4th. Picked up the books for studying today, and I think it's entirely possible for him to learn what he needs, take and pass the test, and get the application in on time. Tight timing, but workable!

Whether this job comes through or not, he'll have the knowledge/certification that opens more doors. 

Cross those fingers, people.

February 23, 2013


Man, I love Saturdays. Saturday morning, in particular. Typically there is nowhere to be, I wake up on my own time, and spend a good hour or so dozing.

I got good news at work Thursday - my supervisor is trying to reclassify my position to a higher level. It looks like it's going to go through, and even if there's not an immediate raise there's at least the likelihood of future raises because I'll no longer be at the midpoint of my salary range. Booya.

In reverse-type news, we got notice that our house has again dropped in value. We will never be able to refinance this way. Again, roof over the head and whatnot is the important thing, I guess.

Laundry going, book being read, the betta got fresh water and some blood worms for a treat. It's time for a nap.

Peace out.

February 20, 2013

Borrowed words

If you meet somebody and they love you when you are your true, awful, not-ready-yet, boring, not cool enough, not handsome enough, not pretty enough, too fat, too poor self? And if you love them back so much it makes you calm? And they have flaws and you don't mind a single one of them?

That means you get yourself to the church and you pull one of those priests out of bed and you have him cast one of those wedding spells on you.

I'd be up for some revowing after reading this. This is it in a nutshell. Plus good cooking and a neck-kissing or ass-pinching every now and again.

Augusten Burroughs - This is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.

February 19, 2013

Treading water

It feels like I've been treading water for the last four years. Every day it's the same chores, the same concerns, the same clothes, the same everything. It gets tiring. I catch myself with gritted teeth almost every night. Right now? Gritting.

Exercise helped, but my elbow got tendonitis from lifting improperly or too much and I have to stop until it gets back in shape. It also increased my libido to that of a teenage boy's and while an increased interest sounds wonderful, I had never understood how frustrating it can be to think about sex 40 times a day and have to cram it down. It makes me feel sulky and petulant and that ain't sexy in the least.

I thought about looking for a new job, but remembered that I'm not that skilled, I am paid pretty well, and I like the job I do and the people I work with. It would be stupid to mess with that, so I've signed up for a few development courses instead.

And to be honest, some of the sameness is pretty good stuff. Same love, same laughter, same going to bed warm and fed and feeling cared for.

Once again, all over the place here. Good and bad.

I genuinely appreciate life and all its blessings, but need some sort of change before I go fucking insane. I need to figure out what to introduce or eliminate. New books. New food. Save money. Take a trip. Stop smoking. New clothes. Learn.

Something, for the love of God.

February 18, 2013


Tax returns came the other day, and while they were considerably (disappointingly) less than they've been for the last two years, there was enough to pay off the vet bill we've been working on for the last three years. I let the money sit in the account overnight so I could admire all the digits, then covered the balance last night. Pete got a reminder each month as I was writing the check that he was honor-bound to stick around for a good while, and like a good dog, he listened.


I should have been in bed about an hour ago.

I'll be all over it tomorrow. I'll have a full breakfast, a productive day, take care of household chores, and get to bed at a reasonable time.


December 15, 2010

Birthday pie

Matt's birthday is tomorrow. The menu includes jambalaya and pecan pie - two favorites. It seemed prudent to make the pie tonight (which kind of blew the surprise), so it's baking in the oven at the moment. It takes an hour or so to cook and two hours to cool and set, and since it went in at about 9:00 it should be ready to eat just after midnight. Fair game, birthday-wise.

I suspect by dinnertime tomorrow it will be at least a quarter gone, but I'm hoping there's enough left to support two candles - one in the shape of a 4 and the other in the shape of a 0.

Happy birthday, honey. The whipped cream is in the fridge.

November 30, 2010


I am going to miss her. We were able to see her this weekend to say goodbye and tell her how much she's meant to us, and I'm very very grateful for that.

She was elegant and athletic. She skated and acted and golfed and bowled. She had a terrific rear end. She had a whole-body laugh and she almost always beat me at cribbage.

She scared the hell out of us with cackling witchy renditions of Fee-fi-fo-fum when we were kids, and let us drink whole milk from shot glasses. She let people be, but never seemed uninterested. She had a grace that made you want to slow down a little.

You could say two or three words that reminded her of a song and off she'd go. The woman's brain housed hundreds of songs and rhymes that only needed a tiny kickstart.

She was a remarkable woman who is going to be thoroughly missed.

November 23, 2010

Not to mention

More holiday cheer ...
  • Matt has been working on getting us our sink back in the bathroom. It's been almost two years since I've brushed my teeth or washed my face over a working sink in that room and damn but am I excited. A sink! A real honest-to-God sink.

  • We have an appointment for an IUI tomorrow morning. We tried once in July but between timing, funds, and insurance-wrangling, we haven't since. This month the timing is perfect, we have the funds, and insurance is all straightened out. We're hoping this month will be it, but have the resources to try twice more if need be, and I think that should cover the odds. If it works, oh man. If it works, that would be wonderful.

  • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bring it

The Thanksgiving menu is magneted to the fridge and I think we're good to go.

The turkey is cooling its heels, the china is washed, serving spoons at the ready. It's been a long time since we hosted a holiday dinner (Christmas 2003 for Matt's side of the family) and I think I'm finally ready to do it again.

I'm kind of giddy about it, really. I picked up tablecloths a few weekends ago. My mom is bringing extra silverware. I borrowed a roaster to keep the oven free for yams and stuffing and whatnot. I sketched out a plan of attack, timing-wise, but I still don't think shit will hit the table piping hot in perfect order and I might mess up the giblets and that's totally okay.

There will be family. There will be snacks to fill the cracks and crevices while the potatoes are mashed and gravy made. There's Wii bowling. There's a movie on reserve. There's good bread and great friends and three cans of olives.

I think we're good.

Happy pre-Thanksgiving.

August 09, 2010

One of those days

It was a good day, but for the love of God:
  • Realized at 2:30 p.m. that my fly had been down since I got dressed in the morning

  • Tried to cap my water bottle and knocked it flying across the desk, dousing the radio and pretty much all the paper laying around

  • Took a wrong turn on the way on the way home and turned a 5-minute errand into a 40-minute construction-laden sweatfest

I think that's it ...

August 04, 2010


Well, it would have been something if it had worked first time out, but we'll try again this month. Fingers crossed!

July 20, 2010

And they're off

Swim, swimmers, swim!

There's a gorgeous egg up ahead, round in all the right places. Don't be shy, introduce yourselves!

July 13, 2010


What a wonderful vacation. I'm glad to be home but so sorry it's over.

Shockingly (unless you've met us and would in no way be surprised), we had a late start. With needing to stop at the store on the way home from work Thursday, packing bags, filling the cooler, and sitting and reading for a few minutes here and there, we left about two hours later than we'd anticipated. I don't know who I thought I was kidding with the We'll be on the road by 6:00 bullshit. We reached Marquette around 2:30 a.m. and conked out for the night.

As we got going the next morning, I realized we'd only visited my sister's new place once before, and might not remember all the intricacies of actually arriving at the front door. Cell service was nil, but I called at one of the gas stations along the way to nail down the particulars.

There's nothing like finally seeing someone you miss. Especially when she feeds you the way my sister feeds you. Well, not you. Me. Sorry about that - you're missing out on some good shit. Every single meal and snack had us shaking our heads in that damn, this is GOOD way. I cook reasonably well, but my sister and her husband go to town. Pasta with clam sauce, shrimp fajitas, breakfast cakes with fresh-picked raspberries and french toast with strawberries.

Alexis and Sean loaded up their canoe Saturday morning and we drove into Wisconsin to get on the Brule River. Apparently it's pretty popular on the weekends so they were out of canoes, but we found Lake Nebagamon on the way back and pulled in for a picnic lunch and shared turns on Lexi and Sean's canoe. After we'd each been around the lake some, we swam out and jumped and dived off a pontoon dock, then had a little Dairy Queen and bought some (legal, damn it) fireworks.

Throm it!
Bang drop it!

We sat around a fire that night and watched the sky light up with heat lightning. It got brighter and more constant and was getting pretty close when the breeze picked up and drops started falling. We gathered up our things and moved to the front porch for an hour or so where we could watch the storm move in and the trees dance across the street. From start to finish, it was a great day. No rush, singing with my sister, swimming, ice cream, good eats, star-watching and a storm. Can't be beat.

It was very difficult to get in the car Sunday night, and I teared up a little halfway down the block. It's just so far away, and although I know we're lucky to be able to see each other a couple times a year, I miss her.

Leaving Duluth when we did, we hit Marquette about 2:30 in the morning again and didn't check out of the hotel the next day until the last possible minute. Matt and I went to Presque Isle Park and intended to jump in the water, but it was overcast and cool and the plan was tabled. We did find a cove where Matt could skip stones while I dipped my feet in Lake Superior, and the next time we go I think we should make up a lunch and spend a little more time there.

The only problem with a long drive is that it's hard to pull over or make time for little things once you're actually on the road, cruising along with another seven hours ahead of you. The pottery shops, the shops with pasties and fudge and smoked fish, the areas along Highway 2 where you can pull over and swim for awhile in Lake Michigan - we tend to drive right by them, thinking Next time. Well, next time we're doing it. Stopping. Looking. Taking 20 minutes to sink our feet in the sand. The best parts of this weekend were the little things - conversation, star charts, swiss cheese and salami on pumpernickel rye, guitars and fire pits.

There's great satisfaction in making good time on the road, but it's the small things that make a vacation.

July 08, 2010


I'm blazing through work trying to clear my desk and tie up loose ends so there is NO thought of anything but relaxation and fun for the next week and a half or so.

I am giddy.


June 11, 2010

Nature at work

I found a moth in the bathroom a few minutes ago and cupped some paper around it to take it outside.

"It's on its way, I think," I said to Matt on my way to the porch, "but I want it to die outside." Mainly because I don't want to step on it tomorrow morning when I get out of the shower, but it sounds good, huh?

I gave the paper a flip at the door and the moth flew away to rest on the outside of the nearest window.

There was just enough time to think My, it's lively! Maybe it's not on its last legs after all before a bird flew up and snatched it up.

I did mean to let it pass peacefully outside. I didn't realize I could have done a three, two, one countdown.

Nature is pretty fucking quick sometimes.

June 06, 2010

Like white on rice

The rain was starting to come down heavier along the drive home tonight when the radio went "BEEEP, BEEEP, BEEEP ... take immediate cover." It's so comforting to hear one of those severe weather warnings when you're fifteen miles from home.

My first thought was for the tomatoes, trapped in pots this year. I'd planted them in the wrong type of containers (no drainage), and I pictured water buildup and drowning roots. Shit. Well, I'll tip them out when I get home, and stick them in the garage overnight. I'll drill holes at the bases tomorrow.

My second thought was for the boys, Pete in particular. He gets a little nervous during storms and on more than one occasion recently I've come home to a dog toy on the bathroom rug and pawprints in the tub. Don't ask me - he must have learned somewhere that it's a safe place.

Lightning. Heavier rain. Sheets spraying away from the tires at the highway's low points. This is lovely. Ah. Here's my exit. Whew, almost hom - HOLY CRIPES! A deluge of water all over the windshield.

Sure enough, both dogs seemed a little agitated when I got home, and I noticed the shower curtain was awry. Pete shouldered past me into the bathroom and jumped straight in the bathtub. Willy followed.

They have not left me alone since. They've been stepping on my heels, licking my face, and plopping down immediately behind my chair. If I leave the room, they follow. Willy's stomach hasn't stopped gurgling, and Pete won't stop panting.

We might need to look into some doggie Valium.

April 26, 2010

Operation Little One

"You're 38 and regular, let's not drag this out. Two months of ovulation tests and I want to see you back here," the doctor said. Seniority seems to be working to our advantage.

I go back this Thursday for a dye test to make sure all the plumbing is clear, then we're under strict orders to have sex two days in a row once the ovulation predictor kit says Go For It. Oh (gnashing of teeth), what tribulation!

To establish there's normal ovulation happening, I will pee on a stick mid-month and hope for a positive result.

But I will NOT pee like this:

In fact, I don't know anyone who could. Where is that even coming from?

Assuming ovulation is normal and predictable, we're going to try some intrauterine insemination in just a few months, and I am hopeful. Oh man, am I hopeful.

March 11, 2010

I'd forgotten this part

Behold the glory of Spring.

That's one trip outside. Eight paws hitting a soggy yard and neither dog wiping their feet.

We're going to dry out when?

March 09, 2010

I know, I know

It's Michigan. A bit of sun for five days in a row does NOT mean Spring is here.

I know this. And yet ... five days of sun! Temperatures above freezing for days on end get me thinking about lunchtime walks, stepping outside without a jacket, and dare I say it? I do. I've been thinking of lounging in my friend's pool and working up a nice warm itchy sunburn come summertime. Preferably with a nice lemony drink or cold beer crammed into the float.

I like winter, I do. But I see the snow melting, the rose bush greening up, and it makes me thankful that I can get in the car and drive wherever I want without checking the weather forecast first.

February 23, 2010

Good news

I am busting.

Matt's urologist just called and it sounds like last summer's surgery was a success and that artificial insemination is now a distinct possibility. I don't even know what to do with myself. For the last half hour I've been randomly clapping my hands and taking spoonfuls of Death by Chocolate in celebration. Plus hugging and kissing anyone who stands still long enough. Matt is smiling and high-fiving me in response and I just can't wait to call my doctor tomorrow to say, "SET THIS SHIT UP!"

Hopefully yours,

To Excited to Sit Still

February 15, 2010


Pete is home!

Turns out he'd eaten a corncob recently (squirrels drop them in the back yard, and believe me, I'll be scanning the yard more frequently) and it got lodged at the start of his intestine. He has an incision running from his breastbone to his groin and more staples than I've had time to count, but he is home, he is healthy, and he is eating.

We took him to the MSU Veterinary Clinic on Saturday morning, and they took a detailed history and gave him a very thorough physical exam. I can't recommend them highly enough. At that point we were thinking it was ibuprofen toxicity (terrible misunderstanding with our regular vet) and at first the bloodwork and urinalysis bore that out. Everything indicated his kidneys were shot and he was in renal failure.

Then the vet called back. Corncob on the xray? His blood values had improved with the fluids they were giving him, and they'd improved again by the time the surgeon called back that evening to confirm, yes, corncob. There was a good chance that a lot of what the earlier bloodwork showed was due to dehydration, so we said please go ahead with the surgery.

And he came through very well. Corncob, out. No real damage to the intestine. Some aspiration pneumonia from vomiting while laying down, but he's on antibiotics for that and it's looking good.
Once recovered, he and I are going to have a very serious talk about one can and cannot eat from the back yard. Hint: NO CORNCOBS.

February 11, 2010


Updated: He seems more alert this morning and his eyes look clearer. He is tilting to the side a little and dragging one of his front feet, so there's something going on, but he looked better than he did. I woke up at 4:00 and googled nicotine poisoning (in case he'd eaten a cigarette butt out of the trash) and dog stroke, and neither of them fit his symptoms either. I hope the vet has an answer today and that Pete continues to improve. FAST.

Petey is sick. He has vomited probably 20 times in the last day and a half, is lethargic, and hardly rolls his eyes if we walk through the room or kneel near his crate to see how he's doing. He won't accept treats, not even a lick of the ice cream the vet prescribed in addition to antibiotics. Pete has never turned up his nose to food.

He went to the vet this morning and will go back tomorrow if there isn't any improvement, but it's extremely hard to wait. I want someone to make him feel better NOW.

He is very thirsty. I let him out to do his business and he was nosedeep in a snowbank before his body was out the door. I gave him a minute and went to pick him up to bring him back inside before he ate/drank too much and he bolted away from me, licking at the snow as he ran. That's the fastest I've seen him move since yesterday. He's been lying immobile in his crate or on the rug for most of tonight.

Symptoms aren't those for dog flu or ibuprofen toxicity (vet has him on it for the arthritis) and I can't find anything to match how he's acting. The doctor said he didn't think there was an obstruction, but told us to limit his water and bring him back for an X-ray tomorrow if he's still ill.

I'm trying to give him his space, because no one wants someone stroking their snout or petting their arm if they feel nauseous. There's nothing he can tell me when I ask, "What's wrong, pumpkin? What can I do?" I have never seen him like this and it's worrying me.

February 06, 2010

Got my Valentine early

Matt and I don't tend to do much in way of presents for each other, for whatever reason. Birthdays warrant a card and a kiss and maybe dinner out or making someone's favorite, and that's fine. Because while there are moments in marriage that make you want to tear your hair out, there are also moments that feel like a gift wrapped up and topped with a glittery bow.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch after watching fifteen minutes of movie, and I vaguely remember Matt trying to get me to come to bed when he was heading that way.

"I'm fine, I'm good," I said.

"You're going to have to let the dogs out when you wake up, then," he answered.

"Mm-hmm. I'm good. I'll be there. I'm good," I said.

"You sure?"

"Yes. Zzzz."

I woke up about 6:00 this morning cram-packed on the loveseat (feels less roomy when your knees have locked) and hobbled to the bedroom, remembering our conversation and thinking Glad I didn't tell him, "No! Stop that!" like last time when he tried to pull my blanket off to encourage me to get up.

I got into bed and laid on my side, and he scooted up to me in his sleep. Just as I was drifting off again, I heard him say, "Finally."

And that, my friends, is a gift.

January 15, 2010

Midwesterners on parade

Phone call this afternoon -

Melissa: Blah blah blah, this is Melissa, may I help you?

Professor from a Wisconsin university: Hello! How's the weather there? We're pretty cold here, but nothing compared to you, I'm sure.

M: Oh, we've had some sun and a bit of a thaw lately, not so bad. You?

P: Oh, it's chilly all right, but been warming up recently. It's got me looking forward to Spring. Say, I'm calling because I know the application deadline is today and I am late in sending a letter of recommendation for so-and-so. She asked me some time ago and I'd meant to, but with one thing or another -

M: Oh, that's okay! You can email it to me at -

P: Well, I thought maybe I'd fax it on over and wondered whether you'd received it yet. I know you're probably swamped but ...

M: Looks like there's something in the fax right now. Would you mind holding while I check?

P: Oh, I'd be happy to!

. . .

M: Got it! I'll add it to so-and-so's application file. She's all set.

P: Super! Well, you have a great afternoon! Take care.

M: You too!

P: Thanks so much! Keep warm and have a great weekend!

M: Thank you, you too! Take care.

P: Bye!

M: Bye!

December 10, 2009

No more treats for you, Part II

This is the second year we've had a Christmas tree since Pete and Willy have been with us. Pete had an issue with one particular ornament last year and would keep an eye glued to it whenever he laid on the nearby couch. Every so often he'd growl quietly, but mostly he just seemed to view it with a high level of quiet suspicion.

A few days ago, we heard the sharp bark that usually means Willy has something Petey wants. Matt investigated, and found the poor ornament on the right being manhandled. His fluffy little tail had been chewed off and the loop from the top of his head was missing. He was covered in dog hair and slobber. Perhaps not surprisingly, this was the ornament Pete had it out for last year.

The most recent victim fell tonight. Poor Miss Bianca. The same tone to the bark sent me to the dining room, where I found both dogs crowded up to each other and pawing over something on the floor between them. Seeing what they had, I lifted her to safety and brushed the dog hair from her cloak.

Although I haven't witnessed the removal of any ornament from the tree, I can almost guarantee it's Willy who's pulling them off. Pete probably joins in once they're a safe distance from the pokey branches.

We don't decorate with only Old Time McDonald's Ornaments of Cartoons Past, by the way. They just seem to be the ones the boys are bold enough to chew. Though I've seen Willy nosing a jingly silver wreath lately ...

December 05, 2009

Try again

I got some beets from someone at work and I think I've already messed up cooking them. I skinned them before googling "how to prepare fresh beets" and apparently you're supposed to do that after they've been cooked. Oops.

December 01, 2009

I will miss your bright eyes and your smile

From this valley they say you are going
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened my life for awhile

ome and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
Just remember the Red River Valley
And the one who has loved you so true

I visited my folks one weekend about six months before Dad died, and he and I watched Prairie Home Companion while we had lunch. A blushy smile crossed his face when Meryl Streep appeared and it made me grin inside because he was always a bit transparent when he thought someone was pretty. There's love and death and faith in that movie and I may have been primed for some heavy feeling because of it, but I looked over at him toward the end of the movie and was simply crushed by the knowledge that our days together, our conversations, our sharing life was nearing an end.

And then they started singing. From this valley they say you are going, I will miss your bright eyes and your smile ... and I cleared my throat and tried to hide my tears. I doubt I was successful in that, and that's quite all right. I'd prefer he knew.

My sister and I sang that song to him when he was in the hospital the week before he came home to hospice. He was floating in some other world at the time, but we sang the words we knew and hummed the lines we didn't, and it felt good. I hope he heard and I hope he liked it.

It's been 13 months since his death and we all seem to be having a little trouble lately. I should reword that, really. It's not trouble, it's feeling things we didn't feel as strongly last holiday season because it was simply too fresh. Lately I want nothing more than to hear him say, "Oh hello, Missy! You look pretty today," and it just kills me.

I miss him.

November 30, 2009

I'm blushing

I've been reading a lot of the {W}rite of Passage posts today, and thought it might jumpstart my lazy ass into writing a bit more and writing a bit better. The only drawback is the first subject we're to write about: An Embarrassing Moment.

See, I bury that shit. I take a shower, wash the clothes I was wearing, make white noise when my mind drifts that way, and over the years have dumped loads of soil on the glow of embarrassment and tamped it down. Hard.

So to look for it? I find myself walking a mental tightrope now, skating over the surface of the truly humiliating (God no, that's too much) and the superficial happens-to-everyone embarrassments.

How about a nice middle of the road memory?

You know when you're old enough to drive but still 12 years old inside? When you like a boy and you and your friend maybe cruise past his house for that giddy little kick? I knew it was a stupid silly smitten thing to do, but we still did it. I wanted to see the living room light on and picture him watching Saturday Night Live, maybe beep the horn and have him wonder whether someone out there was thinking of him.

I remember driving past that house two or three times one night and on the final pass, my friend stopped her car in the middle of the street and laid on the horn.

I threw myself facedown on the seat and punched her in the leg to make her MOVE MOVE MOVE. Out of my peripheral vision, I saw the porch light come on and his younger brother hustle out to the car. He was used to girls honking as they drove by, and seemed a little surprised we weren't there for him. My friend asked if his brother was home, and the rest is lost to white noise.

I have no recollection of what was said, if I spoke with the guy I was interested in, if we peeled out, nothing. But we did end up dating for a few good years, and if a little embarrassment on my part was enough to let him know I wouldn't be averse to going out on a date, so be it.

November 14, 2009

Winter prep

Although I'm not quite ready for weather that requires preheating the car, swaddling myself in scarves, and leaving the warmth of the bed every morning, at least the yard is prepared. I raked and bagged the last of the leaves and clipped the faded peonies and hostas. I left some leaves around the roses to insulate them a little (did I read that or just get lazy and think it sounded good? are you supposed to mulch roses for the winter?) and am waiting for the final buds to develop just a bit more before cutting them and letting them bloom inside. I promised one to the neighbor girl, so I hope they continue to grow for just a bit longer.

Over the summer she asked to come over and check out my flowers a number of times, and it was pretty neat to discuss where they were in their cycle, why this one produced pods when it was done blooming and that one produced berry-looking things, why the one peony made buds that didn't flower, and what each plant is named. She came over twice today, once before the great clipping and once afterward, and helped me figure out where to move the dianthus next Spring.

Willy snuck out two bones to chew on the back porch while I worked, and it was a hard job getting the boys inside when I was done. They must know these warm sunny days are in short supply, and I think they wanted to make the most of it. I ended up leaving the back doors open for an hour so they could come and go as they pleased.

I'll be ready for winter when it hits (love the snow and sweaters and crock pots and gloves), but in the meantime I'm savoring days like today.

November 13, 2009


  • I witnessed Matt's pimp walk. It's jaunty but perhaps best saved for special occasions.

  • Saw a movie that wasn't very good, but the company I saw it with? Stellar. Times two.

  • Took my hair down immediately upon our return and the curls looked much nicer than they did when I'd banished them to a ponytail a few hours earlier.

  • Will be going to bed before midnight with a clear head, full heart, and a book in hand.

November 02, 2009

A good day

It's been a good day.

A day of reflecting and reading and interesting dreams. A day of showering late, eating big, and loving the people in my life. A day of peace and prettiness and inhaling autumn air.

I couldn't ask for much more.

September 29, 2009


I broke out the Snuggie tonight.

I was watching a movie and thinking about going upstairs to grab a blanket when I realized I had everything I needed right there in the room. Sure, it was tucked in a bag to forestall teasing from non-Snuggie lovers, but it is blue, fleecy, and dammit it was there for me on the first night I considered closing the windows.

It lived up to its name.

September 26, 2009

Solid at the line

Bowling season has started again, and while in past years I've done wonderfully the first few weeks and watched my average dip lower and lower with each consecutive match, this year I decided to start out crappy and go up.

Matt suggested part of my trouble tonight was hopping at the release (not recommended, as you may hop left or right and yank or push the ball instead of letting it go smoothly at the line) and I was reminded of some advice he laid on me a few years back:

Get solid at the line, honey. Like you're sitting on the toilet.

Don't ask me. Why not just a chair? But I'll tell you this: that is advice you can't help but remember.

Found in Drafts

I was very close to publishing a post about how rubber bands have become all shoddy lately and stretch to ridiculous lengths within one day and have basically become one-use, but then realized no one needs to read about my ponytail holders and why I'm disappointed in the manufacturer all of a sudden.

But if someone were interested, please tell me why I have rubber bands from five years ago springing back like they were fresh from the pack while these new ones suck.

Also, the dance-off scene in Starsky and Hutch? Pretty fucking sweet.

To any who may be concerned: totally sober, just in a very strange mood and I happened to catch the dance-off scene in Starsky and Hutch earlier tonight. Awesome moves.

September 20, 2009

Cacaphony of coughing

Oh, we are sick here.

Coughing, sneezing, aching joints and the chills - we got it going on. Matt came down with the plague a few days ago and tried to give me pursed-lip kisses to protect my fragile immune system, but what's mine is his and what's his is mine, so please just kiss me properly and hand over that nasal sting and heavy chest.

He's feeling better today and since I'm running about a day behind him, I expect to feel some improvement tomorrow. In the meantime I have rediscovered my love for Theraflu with Mucinex chasers, made a huge pot of soup, and scheduled a steamy shower and Snuggie wrap for this afternoon.

If you have a magic cure, please leave details in the comments.

September 08, 2009

No more treats for you!

These f***ing dogs. Matt brought home a couple of Big John's subs after bowling tonight, and I had three bites of mine before wrapping it up and protecting it with a remote, then going out to switch the cars in the driveway. I came back not one minute later to find two dogs standing over an empty wrapper and a well licked floor.

They're getting braver or brazen or both.

I wonder how they liked the hot sauce?

Tabula rasa

Ahhh, that feels good.

It's been coming on for some time, this wanting to wipe the slate and start fresh. I was the sort of kid who tore out diary pages almost as quickly as they were written, so it's pretty amazing most posts survived for as long as they did.

Now this place feels like a brand new notebook. Fall season, first day of class.