Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What's Up Wednesday, February 2019

Today, I'm linking up with Sheaffer and Shay to share a peek into our lives this past know, February; the longest month of the year, despite being only twenty-eight days long.

What I'm Eating

I've really made an effort to eat in an even more healthy manner than usual, partly due to the fact that I will be wearing the equivalent of underwear everyday next week, but, also because I am a competitive little minx and have been participating in a wellness challenge at Day Job this month. With that said, it's been all yogurt and berries, turkey chili, lean proteins, Mediterranean salads, and leafy greens over here.

I wish I could say that my efforts have paid off in a sleeker, more shapely physique, but, I would be lying to you and to myself. I have, however, discovered that swimsuits made for women of a "certain age" are crafted with all sorts of flaw-hiding panels, layers, and Spanx-like supports. Oh, I haven't actually purchased those suits; I'm still swimming in the River Denial over here. In a bikini.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Queen B turned twenty-three this past weekend! Twenty-three! That seems so impossible to me, considering that she was just born, like, yesterday! I shared her birth story on this blog a number of years ago and then, again, last Saturday; that post is me, reminiscing at my finest.

What I'm Loving

I recently picked up this small Urban Decay palette at my local Sephora, and, have used it pretty much everyday, since. I love that the blue shades blend so well with the more neutral shades so I'm not left looking like a reject from 1970.

I am also really loving the Marshalls that recently opened in Hooterville. I found this OPI lotion for a fraction of what it regularly sells for there...

...and the essential oil selection is equally well-priced, which; is why I now own more blends than I ever thought possible.

What I've Been Up To

I have become a total yoga convert, y'all! Sadly, last night was the final candlelight yoga class for the year, but, I've already signed up to continue with the Tuesday night beginner class, and, a coworker and I are going to try the hot yoga class later next month.

What I'm Dreading

I'm not really dreading anything. I mean, I'm not a huge fan of the upcoming time change-I actually enjoy my "extra" hour, thanks-but, I'm not dreading getting up earlier every morning. Oh, I'll do plenty of bitching about it, but, yeah, not really dreading it.

What I've Been Working On

I packed up the last of my winter decor, biting the bullet and making the switch to spring. I was especially happy to change my chalkboard art from what amounted to a self-fulfilling prophecy this year (be careful what you ask for, indeed)... something a lot more cheerful and mood-lifting.

What I'm Excited About

Two days, people! We leave for Maui in two days!!

What I'm Watching

My love affair with Netflix continues, and, for the most part, it has not been a disappointment.

I wrote about this show in a post earlier this month; dubbing it the "Sour milk of documentaries". Why? You ask? My friend and co-worker, Erin, introduced me to it just like this: "It's totally disturbing! Like, I kept yelling "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!" at my television! It's so screwed up! You totally have to watch it!", which, is exactly like every time that someone opens a gallon of milk, sniffs it, hands it to you and says: "This milk is disgusting! Smell it!", and, you do. So, I did, and, folks, this show is completely disturbing; you should totally watch it.
See? Sour milk! But, seriously, you should totally watch it.

I also watched You, and, it was interesting. And, creepy.

Then, I decided that I had watched entirely too many disturbing shows for the month, and I switched over to cute love stories, including...


Gotta love a good love story, am I right? I'm right. Also, Chris Evans? Mrowrrrrr!

What I'm Reading

I finally finished Where the Crawdads Sing and I did enjoy it. Now, was it oh my god, so amazing, it's my favorite book, ever!  good? No. No, it was not.

Because I enjoyed A Discover of Witches so much, I also blew through the two remaining books in Deborah Harkness's Trilogy of the Souls this month. They were each a fun read. Also, I am a sucker for spoilers and wanted to know what will be coming in the next seasons of the television series.

Currently, I am reading another book by Kristin Hannah: Between Sisters. I love me some Kristin Hannah, and, so far, this book is living up to my expectations of her writing.

I anticipate being finished with the book well before we leave on our upcoming trip, so, I am on the hunt for new titles to add to my Kindle for both the flights and for reading on the beach.

What I'm Listening To

Do the voices in my head count? Ha, kidding! Mostly.

What I'm Wearing

We have reached the point in the season wherein I am so tired of my wardrobe, I could weep. I'm tired of boots, y'all. I'm sick of cardigans. I grow weary of scarves, and, if I never see another sweater; I'll consider it good riddance. Please, don't even get me started on snow boots.


Over it.

Bring on the sandals and Capri pants!

What I'm Doing This Weekend

I'm leaving on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be back again... just kidding, I know when I'll be back; I just don't want to think about that right now. As an aside, I'm fairly confident that I typed that exact same sentence the last time we left for Hawaii. Or, maybe it was the time before that...originality is clearly not my jam.

What I'm Looking Forward To

Sunny beaches, tropical drinks, warm water, rain forest hikes, spending uninterrupted time with my family, and exploring a new island.

Also, Spring! March is right around the corner, which means that we will finally be headed toward longer days, with more sunshine. It also means St. Paddy's Day, or more specifically, an opportunity to eat corned beef and cabbage with a side of Irish soda bread; one of my favorite meals!

What Else Is New

That's about it for today!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Oscar Who?

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was great, thanks for asking. I spent the majority of it alternating between planning for my upcoming vacation, stressing over my upcoming vacation, and anticipating my upcoming vacation.

By the way, did I mention that I am going on vacation?

On an entirely different topic, I also spent some quality time with the birthday girl, AKA, Queen B.

She, Katie, and I got together yesterday for some shopping (for our upcoming vacation! I did mention I'm going on vacation, right? Ok, I'll stop now), and for pedicures.

I strayed out of my usual pedicure color lane by choosing an electric blue shade, rather than something a bit more sedate...

...and I liked the results. It's beachy. For you-know-what.

I also spent some time engaged in the usual drudgery that accompanies Real Life, including some housecleaning, laundry, and, packing up my winter decor so that I could replace it all with spring flowers and Easter Bunnies, which, made me feel a little bit better about this neverending winter that the stupid groundhog said was supposed to be over by now.

I finished the weekend with a glass of my new favorite wine-a petite syrah-and with some Netflix viewing. I did not watch the Oscars, mainly because I think it's a ridiculous waste of time to watch a bunch of self-congratulatory assholes celebrating themselves for nothing more than being self-congratulatory assholes, but, also because, with the exception of Black Panther, I didn't see a single movie that was nominated for an award (#notinterested), so, no skin in that game.

Now, I am off to Day Job, where I will attempt to get through the next four days without constantly mentioning the fact that I am going on vacation to my fellow indentured servants.

Hey, I'll try.

Saturday, February 23, 2019


It's been our lucky number since February 23, 1996, when, this tiny bundle of unstoppable energy barreled into our lives (longest birth story EVER!).

Here we are, twenty-three years later, and, that tiny bundle has grown into a ferocious, and still unstoppable, young woman.

She's everything we ever dreamed of in a daughter and more; kind, loving, sweet, strong, courageous, funny, smart, and brave. She's everything that we didn't know our hearts were missing, and she's the very thing that fills that space.

When she came into our lives, she made us parents. As she's grown, she's become a friend, and an irreplaceable partner in this business of being a family.

I am so blessed to call her my daughter, and, today she is 23.

Friday, February 22, 2019

NOT a Favorite on This Friday

Hey, remember a couple of weeks back, when that giant rodent predicted an early spring?


Fuck you, Punxsutawney Phil.

Fuck. You.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Do Something That Challenges You

I am a firm believer in venturing outside of your comfort zone; I think you should do that every day.

You. Not me.

Me? I'm perfectly happy in my comfort zone, thanks! No need to go trying new things that may, possibly, make me look like a fool.

So, why did I agree to go bowling with my coworkers earlier this week? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time; I got to leave the office early, it was a form of exercise that would provide some variety in my daily workout, I actually enjoy the coworkers that had signed up to go with me, and, did I mention that I got to leave the office early?

Good enough reasons, right?

Sure. Until we revisit the part where I end up looking like a fool.

Let's start with the shoes...

...nevermind the total affront to fashion; this is footwear that hundreds of other feet have actually been in, that's....gross.

Also, despite the awesome code name that my coworker picked for me,...

... Dangerous Dame, DD, for turns out that I suck at bowling.

Yes, I came in dead last.

With a score of 42.

 Forty-two. Let that sink in...

Obviously, the gutter and I were quite well acquainted by the time we were done. Happily, so were my coworkers and I, which, was the point of the exercise, anyway. And, if you can't look like a fool in front of your team, who can you look like a fool in front of?

I'm totally picking the next team building experience, though; I'm thinking wine tasting and/or a course in pairing wine with cheese.

Because, sometimes, it's good to stay within your comfort zone.

(Mostly always, but, that's just me)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Recently, On The Perimenopause Diaries…

…when last we saw our heroine, she was being held captive by Father Time and Mother Nature, fighting the unwanted advances of the intermittent hot flash, and seeking relief from the persistent feeling of impending doom brought about by hormones gone wild.

Or, maybe we didn’t talk about the impending doom part…subject for today’s episode!

So, yeahhhh….there have been a lot of things that no one told me about this glorious season of my life, and, the little bit that I did know has, in no way, prepared me for the realities of my biological clock slowly winding down to it’s last, gasping breath. Instead, I am left to eke out any bit of information that I can find on the worldwide web, relying on Dr. Google to assure me that what I am experiencing is normal; even the random bouts of anxiety, so paralyzing, it’s a wonder I continue to function.

At the onset of this particularly alarming symptom, I assumed that my thyroid had again gone wonky (wonkier?), and that I might need to seek a change in my medication. But, none of the other usual symptoms of a thyroid issue presented themselves, and, with the onslaught of the above-mentioned hot flashes, I was hesitant to simply chalk it up to a further malfunction of that particular gland., so;  Dr. Google to the rescue! Apparently, generalized anxiety, irritability, and depression are the hallmark traits of perimenopause.

Well, how fucking wonderful.

Dr. Google does suggest some remedies for the symptoms associated with perimenopause, but, most of these involve synthetic hormones, which, given my mom’s history with hormone-driven breast cancer, would be risky for me to utilize. So, I have donned my Dr. Mom title and prescribed myself a nice, long vacation; we leave for Hawaii a week from Friday, and, that won’t be a minute too soon.

 I need this trip like a junkie needs his next fix; a solid week of sunshine, warm water, fresh fruit, sand between my toes, and a cool, caressing trade wind blowing across my face. 

Just what the doctor ordered; assuming I can get through the anxiety surrounding the details still to work out prior to our departure. 

Gah. How did the pioneer women get through this?!

Monday, February 18, 2019

To Whom It May Concern

My Darling Prime,

We’ve been together for quite a while now, you and I. And, we’ve been very happy. We have, right? I visit you regularly, I coo lovingly at all the amazing items you possess, I tell all my friends how wonderful you are. So, Darling, please tell me why you have started screwing up my orders. Why? Trust is imperative in a relationship, and, without it, I fear that we are doomed. I’m going to give you another chance, Prime, and I hope that you won’t fail me; it’s true what they say: First time, shame on you; second time, shame on me. The part you never hear? Screw me over a third time and I’ll cut you. Not even kidding.

Kisses! Amazon Lover

Dear New Year’s Resolutionist,

Wow! Almost two months in and you’re still coming to the gym! That’s admirable! I hope you are feeling great about your decision to focus on your health, and, that you are starting to see the results that you were hoping for. One small thing, though: do you think you could maybe follow the general rules of etiquette posted on the gym walls? Like, would it be too much to ask that you actually use the handy-dandy Clorox wipes-located strategically throughout the gym-to, you know, clean off the machines upon which you just showered bodily fluids? I, for one, would appreciate not being unintentionally exposed to your secretions.

Thanks! Your Friend in Physical Health

Dear Boomer Dog,

I love you; I really do. Your hair? Yeah, not so much. If I can teach you to shake hands, to come on command, to put your toys away, and to ring a bell on the mudroom door when you want to go outside, don't you think I could teach you to vacuum?

Hopefully yours, The Human Who Feeds You

Dear Thighs,

You manage to run an average of fifteen miles a week. You can balance in difficult yoga poses for  fifteen full ujjayi breaths. You can hold a wall squat for three minutes. You can manage twenty walking lunges, on each still so jiggly, Thighs? Why?

Signed, Confused

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

If Only I Had Known

Last week, my supervisor at Day Job took a vacation to visit family down south. To welcome her back to the office this week, we staged a small prank in her office...

...that's 220 large balloons.

It took me and two of my co-workers about an hour and a half to accomplish, which, is amazing, because 220 large balloons. How did we manage such a feat?

This little gizmo right here...

Seventeen bucks at the Hellmouth!

As an aside, how the hell did I manage to make it through four years on the Booster Club without this?! When I think of how much easier decorating for the Senior Sports Banquets, football dinners, basketball dinners, and Homecoming celebrations would have been with this little machine, my head explodes.

Why, oh, why is hindsight 20/20?

Anyhoodle, the prank was a total success; my supervisor felt incredibly special, and, was secure in the knowledge that she had been missed and was welcomed back to the office with open arms.

My co-workers and I got to set aside work for an hour and a half, and, when it came time to clean up our mess; we got to take out our aggression with scissors and repeated stabbing motions. Not very many people can say that about their office environment.

They should totally list it in the benefits section of the company handbook.

Monday, February 11, 2019

All That Was Missing Was a Blue Ox

This weekend, I broke out of my comfort zone and attended an event with actual people. I know, crazy, right? Lately, I've been spending all my weekends cocooned in the comfort of my home with essential oils diffusing, Netflix on demand, wearing a constant rotation of comfy pj's with nary another human in sight, so, venturing out into public came as a bit of a shock to me, too.

It was for a good cause; I attended a baby shower for Mama Jill's daughter, Beth. She and her husband are expecting their first little lumberjack in April, and, since I have been at every other important event of their relationship (hello! Photographed the wedding!), I could not miss out on this celebration.

I also got to spend time with Mama Jill, which hasn't happened nearly enough lately, either, so; it was a great day to bust out of my rut.

The shower, it must be noted, was adorable; I wasn't kidding when I said the happy couple is expecting a little lumberjack, at least, that is what the decor would lead us to believe...

And, guess who gets to be among the first to meet the little guy when he makes his debut? That's right! This girl! Beth and her husband have asked me to be in the delivery room to photograph the labor and their first moments with their new son. I'm so honored! And, slightly nervous at the prospect of being in the room during the delivery, but, that's what we do for our friends.

Unless it involves body fluids...I draw the line at secretions.

Anyhoodle, it was a great way to spend the day, and, I still made it home in plenty of time to cozy up on the couch with a mug of herbal tea and my softest jammies.


Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Sour Milk of Documentaries

Alternate title: The One in Which I Don't Mention a  Death...

...yeah, it's been a long week. Happily, as of right now, I am unaware of any more sad passings within my family or "friend family" (framily, if you will, although, Websters would beg to differ); fingers crossed for that to remain true for a very, very long time.

Instead, today, I want to talk about a show that was recently recommended to me by Co-Worker Erin. I knew I had to watch it when she prefaced her recommendation with "Oh, my God! This show was so disturbing! I was literally throwing things at the television and screaming at the stupidity of people! YOU SHOULD TOTALLY WATCH IT!".

So, I did, and, people? This show is so disturbing! I literally asked myself "What the fuck are these people thinking?" nine hundred times.

So, of course I immediately started telling everyone I know to watch it, and, of course I led with "This show is soooo disturbing! You should totally watch it!". Which, is why I am now likening the show to sour milk, because, we all do it; we go to the fridge, sniff the milk, shove it toward our loves ones and say "Oh my god, this milk smells disgusting! SMELL it!", and, they do.

It's human nature.

So, yeah, if you are looking for something to watch....this show is so disturbing! You should totally watch it!

It's on Netflix; you're welcome.

 Also, the next time someone shoves a gallon of milk under your nose while exclaiming about it's rankness, I totally challenge you to refuse.

Friday, February 08, 2019

This Girl

Yesterday, I attended a memorial service for Jana's dad, Papa Pete. Pete passed away on January 31st, missing his 67th birthday by just four days.

The service was beautiful, and, I know Pete would have been pleased. He would have been especially pleased by the amazing tribute that Jana and her brother paid to him in song. Over the years, I've heard Jana sing in a variety of settings- in the car, on the boat, or, whenever the spirit moved her (often on Porch Night, and, with the aid of a glass of wine)-but, to hear her and Phil sing through tears, for the sole purpose of sending their father off in style, was to hear the sound of angels singing. They. Were. AMAZING. The strength that they showed was beyond comprehension, and, Jana's sweet soprano carried through the church with such power and emotion, it brought the congregation to tears.

I love this human being and I am so incredibly fortunate to call her my friend.

Photo circa 2008, toasting on the shores of the Great Salt Lake

She's now a member of a club that no one really ever wants to belong to, and, as a somewhat seasoned member, myself, I'll make it my mission to support and comfort her.

I also called dibs on her voice for my own funeral, but she said, and I quote "Oh, hell no", and, in the house of God, too, by the way. But, I'm sure He forgave her for that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

A Rose by Any Other Name...Would Never Be as Sweet

A number of years ago, I wrote a post about my Aunt Rose. At the time, she was in remission from the cancer that would inevitably claim her life; she was also on a quest to complete her personal Bucket List, and, we were fortunate to witness her accomplish two of those goals.

She rode a horse for the first time in her life.

And she rode a Harley.

We were well aware that our time with her was finite, and, we told ourselves that we had come to terms with the inevitable loss, but, when that loss came earlier this week, I don’t think we were as prepared as we may have believed.

She went on her own terms, and, she went peacefully. I have no doubt that her welcoming party at the Heavenly gates included my grandparents, her husband, her oldest daughter, and both of her brothers; I have no doubt that there was rejoicing.

Back here on Earth, there is also rejoicing-for a life well lived, a release from pain, for the love she left behind. There is also sadness, and emptiness, and healing to be done.

I think I’ve mentioned here before, how very blessed I am to have had the large, boisterous, affectionate, strong, loyal, and courageous extended family that I have; if not, then I am mentioning it now. Growing up under the watchful eye of a large Catholic family was a blessing, and I am saddened by the loss of a huge piece of that family.

Aunt Rose was mild, kind, loving, sweet, and, at the most unexpected times, incredibly funny. I’ll miss her steady presence and her beautiful smile, and, I will be forever thankful for the part she played in this amazing family.