Tuesday, August 11, 2020

This All Seems Quite Normal

 The Man-Cub flew back to Hawaii yesterday (and, boy, are his arms tired! Thank you, thankyouverymuch, I'll be here all week). Other than having to wear a mask for the entire flight, he said that everything went pretty much as it normally does. He did have to give his contact information to the contact tracers at the airport upon arrival, and, he will spend the next two weeks in his house on quarantine, but, otherwise, yeah, perfectly normal.

Also perfectly normal? The fact that I miss him terribly, already.

In news of other normal things, Hugh and I attended a wedding over the weekend. The ceremony was held on an elk ranch outside of Hooterville, and, it was gorgeous. There was plenty of room for social distancing, a few people masked up, and, there were sanitization stations dotted throughout the venue, so; it was as safe as it was likely to get.

I do hope we are able to get to a point where I'm not having to point out the things in this world that don't seem completely batshit crazy, and, I hope that happens soon. In the meantime, baby steps, I guess.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Things I Have Failed to Mention

The summer is going by with the speed of a freight train. I feel like I've missed the majority of it, and, that makes me sad. I certainly haven't done a very good job of keeping up with the happenings in our lives on this blog of mine, either; partly, due to it being a not-very-exciting season of our lives, and, partly because I haven't had the mental energy to write every day.

That being said, there have been some things that deserve documenting, so, here is a general list:

1. The Man-Cub had four wisdom teeth pulled the week before last. He came through the procedure beautifully. While he still has some soreness, he is mostly healed. Unfortunately, I have no funny video of him after the surgery. I feel like that was a missed opportunity.

2. Boomer Dog has been having some issues with his poop-chute. At first, we thought it was an issue with his anal glands, but, a visit from the vet ruled that out. Now we are trying to determine if it is due to his diet, or an inability to properly evacuate the by-product of his food, or what (gross topic, I know. Also gross? The rank smell emanating from my sweet boy's hind-end).

3. The Man-Cub goes back to Hawaii tomorrow. He will be required to quarantine at his house for two weeks, which, in a case of complete serendipity, is possible due to us having scheduled his return flight exactly 15 days before classes start. Since we booked the flight back in March, we had no way of knowing that it would work out this well. Now, fingers crossed that there are no issues with either of his flights.

4. Because of the stupid virus, I finally did the paperwork required to make myself the Cub's medical power of attorney. That's something we should have done the second he turned 18, but, it took a pandemic to finally get it done. Up next, same paperwork for Queen B.

5. Hugh and I met (virtually) with our insurance agent one evening last week. We upped my life insurance. So, if I should die unexpectedly in some sort of bizarre accident, feel free to side-eye Hugh appropriately.

6. Lately, in the Perimenopause Diaries, I have been experiencing hot flashes on the regular. My Fitbit would indicate that the flashes wake me pretty much hourly, which, has contributed to some wonderfully restful nights, as you may imagine. I can still tick anxiety and depression off the list of symptoms that I am experiencing, and, the only thing keeping weight gain at bay is the fact that I literally cannot eat during the workday. This season of my life; Zero stars. Do not recommend.

7. Speaking of...I ordered this shirt from Amazon and I love it..

8. Earlier in the season, I changed out the artwork on my chalkboard, and, I don't believe I ever shared it here.

...since it's almost time to change it for the next season, I guess it was time to remedy that situation.

9. Our 28 year old dryer finally gasped its last breath a few weeks ago. Hugh did everything he knew to resuscitate the thing, but, alas, it was beyond saving. So, we bit the bullet and ordered a new washer/dryer set. The dryer was supposed to be delivered this past week. Supposed to be. We are now in the No Man's Land of Appliance Delivery; could be next week, could be next month. Or, the month after that...in the meanwhile, I guess I will be hauling wet, washed clothing to The Lesbians' house or to Oscar and Emily's or to the laundromat down the road for drying. First World problems and all that; I could be beating my clothing against a rock in a river and all. On the other hand, if we had a good old-fashioned clothesline in the backyard, I could be drying my apparel in the sunshine.This may be a missed opportunity; lost to laziness and a ridiculously sad dependence on modern appliances.

10. I haven't had a decent Porch Night since the first-and last-potluck that we hosted for Mama Jill and Fam. If you recall, that was supposed to become a weekly, revolving event that we shared between our four homes. That obviously never happened, thanks to Mama Jill's work schedule. I'm sad that it never got off the ground, and, I'm sad that I haven't made more of an effort to host more get-togethers, here. 

11. I've unfollowed So. Many. Friends on Facebook, lately. Not unfriended, because, despite our differences of opinion, I do still consider them friends. Just, unfollowed, because I can't deal with all of the pearl clutching, finger pointing, Doomsday prophesying, belittling, snarking, whining, etc. I need happy. I need positive. I need optimism. As I've unfollowed, I've replaced those friends with pages that feature cute cat memes, funny videos, and pictures of nature. It's a coping mechanism. I also started following a page called Jurassic Park Updates because It. Is. Hilarious.  And, I need a little hilarious.

12. This summer sucks. That is all.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Not Even a Pandemic Will Stand in the Way of a Boob Squeeze

 Yesterday, I reported to the hospital for my annual mammogram. The appointment may have been slightly delayed due to the backlog of appointments the hospital had because of the spring shutdown, but, it still happened. I'm taking that as a positive sign of progress toward getting back to normal.

And, as normal, the procedure was slightly uncomfortable, although, not nearly as uncomfortable as last year, when a hot flash threatened to tank me at the most inopportune time (mid-squeeze). I should have results in a week or so, and I have no reason to suspect that they will be anything other than normal, so, back to business as usual.

Speaking of business as usual, the president of the Board of Directors at New Job emailed yesterday to remind me that it is time for my six month evaluation. I'm not terribly concerned that the evaluation of my performance will be anything but positive. I am, however, weighing the benefit of total transparency vs. a politically correct approach to describing the challenges that I have encountered since I started. The challenges have basically resulted from poor oversight by the board prior to my employment, so, you can understand my dilemma.

In brighter news, The Lesbians loved the sneak peek of their photos. They also loved the bonus photos I took of their niece, who had been staying with them for the week while Erin's sister had a minor surgery.  I took the pictures on the sly, while Erin and Kristi were preoccupied, so they were completely surprised by them.

In a perfect world, I would make a living taking pictures, wouldn't have to stress over inept Board members, and would still be able to provide insurance for the annual man-handling of my tits.

In a perfect world.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Love Is In the Air...and In the Sunflower Field

Yesterday, I met Erin and Kristi at a local farm for their first engagement photo shoot. 

Have I not mentioned that they got engaged? No? Shame on me. 

Hey! The Lesbians got engaged!

I could not be more happy for them and taking their pictures was an honor that I was happy to accept. I'm still working on edits and such, but, even the raw images turned out really well, if I do say so, myself.
I can't wait for the wedding, which, will be taking place in April, 2021, Covid-be-damned.

I love these friends of mine and I am so grateful to share in their happiness; it has surely been a bright spot in a world gone mad.


Monday, August 03, 2020

Ok, August


One month closer to putting 2020 in the rear view.

I can live with that.

My August started off in the company of some of my favorite people in the world, and, I have zero complaints about that.

On Friday, I made the drive to Mayberry. The day was glorious, with the kind of beauty that can only be found in Colorado in the summertime. I ran into road work, which required me to idle in a long line of traffic for a few minutes, and, rather than get cranky about it, I took the opportunity to look at the beauty surrounding me. Not just to look at it, but to see it. I definitely haven't taken enough time for that this summer, so it was an overdue exercise. 

Once I got to Mayberry, Mom and I went to lunch at one of her favorite Mexican restaurants. It was the first time she had been there since before the shutdown, and, I'm happy that we were able to go. My chicken taco salad wasn't the very best that I have ever eaten (that award will forever go to Old Tymers Cafe in Durango), but, it was ok.

We spent the rest of the day just enjoying each other's company, hunkered down in the house, with Netflix and good conversation. I needed that; chilling with my Mom, recharging my mental and emotional batteries.

Saturday morning, I slept in far later than a body has any business sleeping, but, I attribute that to my physical batteries also requiring a long, slow charge. When I did finally get up, I sipped coffee with Mom until lunchtime, when we ordered delivery from the Chinese place in town. Then, feeling fully energized and ready to face the day; I met with Reese and Phoebe for a short, easy "hike" (quotation marks because, due to me not packing the appropriate footwear, it was more of a slightly uphill walk, which I could accomplish in flip-flops).

The day was beautiful, not terribly hot, and, with the looming threat of rain just off to the east and west of us.

The exercise did me well, and the conversation with old friends did me better. I love these Girls of mine; they never fail to lift me up, to make me laugh, to dry my tears, and to encourage me to follow my heart and to be the best version of myself that I can be.

They also totally share my dark sense of humor, as evidenced by our simultaneous declaration that, upon coming across a lone, abandoned boot, there surely had to be a body somewhere.

After our "hike" (again with the quotation marks), we grabbed discounted Happy Hour drinks from the Sonic and parted ways until later that night, when we reconvened at Phoebe's for a delicious dinner of pork ribs, homefried potatoes (shout out to Phoebe's hubby who, not only cooked those 'taters, but grew them!), and a broccoli salad that Phoebe's daughter threw together for us.

We then spent the next several hours sipping Limoncello spritzers, watching old movies, and reminiscing about our college years. It was just what I needed.

Because we are old (relatively speaking), we finished up before 10:00, and I went back to Mom's, where I spent the better part of an hour catching up with my younger sister via Facetime. 

Sunday morning, I slept in, not nearly as late as the day before, but, still obviously needed. Then I had coffee with Mom before making the drive back to Petticoat Junction, where, the minute I had cell service, I was greeted with a call regarding another shitstorm at New Job.

Le sigh.

Today, I am still technically "off", although I started fielding text messages from my staff at 8:02. I have also participated in a Zoom conference call and checked emails. What? That isn't how you spend your precious personal time?

I also need to go into the hardware store, and, there is always housework to be done, so, all that extra rest and mental downtime that I got this weekend will most definitely be exhausted by Wednesday.

I really need to find a way off this hamster wheel we call life. Time to buy a lottery ticket, me thinks.

Anyhoodle, August! Yay.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What's Up Wednesday, July 2020 Edition

We have officially passed the halfway point of this horrible, terrible, no good, very bad year. I wish I could say that I believe that this means that we are closer to getting things back to normal, but, truth be told; I'm afraid that's still a really long way off. One thing that I can view as somewhat normal, however, is this link up with Sheaffer and Shay, and, thank goodness for that; in a world that's gone all topsy-turvy, it's good to have even this small comfort.

What We're Eating

Man, I'd love to say that this was the month that I finally pulled my shit together and started taking my wifely cooking duties seriously, but, alas, I cannot. Doesn't mean I haven't been eating, though, actually; I've had a few really good salads from local businesses, including one from the refrigerated deli section at the Hellmouth, which, surprises me just as much as it surprises you. It was a combination of tart green apple, turkey, raisins, walnuts and blue cheese on a bed of lettuce, drizzled with creamy sweet onion vinaigrette.

The chef salad I had from an actual deli, deli was really good as well, too. It came with a slice of fresh baked bread that was so good, I bought an entire loaf from the Day-Old section of the restaurant.

Speaking of salads; I made a pretty decent semi-Mediterranean salad for dinner one night, so, my wifely cooking duties weren't completely abandoned this month (Hugh just side-eyed that statement, I'm sure).

But, we have eaten out a lot, with Mexican featuring heavily in the rotation. You can't go wrong with a good Chimichanga, though, so no complaints here. Plus, we are doing our part to keep a local, family-owned restaurant in business, and that's really important right now.

What I'm Reminiscing About

For the first time in 99 years, my hometown was without the annual Stampede celebration. Obviously, I haven't been attending the event for 99 years, but, I can say that, in my almost 52 years on this planet, I have missed the celebration only a handful of times, and that includes when I was a kid and we traveled with a competitive swim team and had "away meets" that conflicted. My own kids have missed Stampede only twice, and, this year, they are feeling the loss every bit as much as I am. 

No parade. No rodeo. No boot scoot boogie to a country western band. No sketchy carnival rides. No funnel cakes, twisty taters, jumbo corn dogs, or giant bags of kettle corn. No visiting with old classmates or relatives from afar. No Smokin' Charlie...ok, maybe I won't miss Smokin' Charlie...still...so sad.  I'm crossing my fingers here when I say; it's ok, there'll always be next year.

Smokin' Charlie, the thing that children's nightmares are made of...

I'm also reminiscing about my days as both a lifeguard and the Aquatics Manager at the pool back in Mayberry. Some of my best days were spent at that pool, and, last week, they tore it down to make way for a new event center.

One of my former staff tagged me and the rest of our crew in a post on Facebook and we have had the best time commenting and replying to comments about the pool; about our days there, the ghost that lived there (true story), all of our wild and crazy schemes, and the people who came and went. 

I learned to swim there. I taught Queen B to swim there. Some of my best childhood memories involve being on the swim team that bore the name of the pool. It was there that I had my first-and only-run in with the police (long story involving a group of us lifeguards taking a late-night swim that wasn't exactly approved by our boss), and, it was there that I learned how to be a manager of people, and not just a "boss".

I loved that pool and I was so sad to see it go. Sigh. Moving on...
What I'm Loving

Recently, Queen B was approached by a photographer who was interested in photographing her for use in her portfolio. The pictures turned out great and, now, I kinda have a little talent envy.

I'm also loving the fact that I was finally able to grow a tomato. Not just any tomato, but a Big Boy. It's the first time that I've had one grow and ripen without getting blossom rot, and, I managed it by amending the soil in the planter with dry milk. That's right; dry milk. Apparently, blossom rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the soil, and, a little sprinkling of Carnation fixed that problem right up. Who would have thought?

Also high on the list of lovable things are the lilies that have been blooming in my flowerbeds. I cut a bunch of them for the porch and the fragrance is so intoxicating, I wish you could smell it just by looking at these pictures.

What We've Been Up To

Let's see...ran my first ever golf tournament. Killed it!

Provided moral support while Erin found the perfect wedding dress!

Finally busted out the giant pool unicorn that I got for Mother's Day!

Became partially proficient on our new paddle boards!

What I'm Working On

I'm working on advocating for myself and my needs. This isn't something that I am very good at. I rock at advocating for my kids, my friends, my staff, clients at work, strangers on the street...everyone but myself. That needs to change, and, only I can see to it that it does.

What I'm Dreading

The Man-Cub returns to Hawaii on the 10th of August. His school has decided to go back to in-person instruction, which, is a much better fit for the Cub. But, that doesn't mean that I feel 100% great about it. It's hard enough sending him thousands of miles away in a normal year, throwing in a pandemic just ups the anxiety. Considerably.

What I'm Excited About

Hmmm..I honestly have a hard time drumming up a feeling of excitement about much of anything these days. I keep trying. I want to be excited for another successful year at school for the Cub. I want to be excited that Queen B is considering a move to a new place. I would love to be excited about the fall, and Halloween, and Christmas, and all of the things that I can usually muster up some excitement for at this point in the waning days of the summer, but...not there just yet.

I'll keep trying.

What I'm Watching

I've seen some pretty good stuff on Netflix, recently.

Zac Efron's Down to Earth was really interesting and informative.

Will Ferrell's Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was awesome. The story was completely cute, well acted, and, the music was really good. If you are looking for a breezy, light, uplifting show to help beat the political/pandemic/chickenlittleskyisfalling doldrums, this is a safe bet.

I also subscribed to Apple TV just long enough to watch Chris Evans in Defending Jacob. It's based on a book by William Landay that I read some time ago, and, it was really well done. Plus, you can't go wrong with Captain America, even when he isn't being Captain America.

What I'm Reading

Oh my goodness, y'all! I actually read a book this month! For pleasure! I finished it in two days and I enjoyed every page! This is such a monumental accomplishment for me, I can't even begin to explain it. For a proud bookworm, I have been seriously lacking in the reading for pleasure realm, and, I'm really making an effort to change that. Thank goodness for Elin Hildebrand and her annual summer offering.

Plenty of bloggers have reviewed 28 Summers, and, far better than I ever could, so please feel free to Google that shit.. suffice it to say; I loved it, and, highly, highly recommend it.

What I'm Listening To

This song by Avenue Beat pretty much sums it up.

What I'm Wearing

I have nothing new to report on this front. I continue to choose the most comfortable things that I have in my wardrobe on the daily. I am paralyzed by the number of decisions I have to make on a daily basis right now, and, what to wear falls to the very bottom of the priority list. 

What We're Doing This Weekend

I am making a quick trip down to Mayberry. I usually go this time of year (see above: Stampede) and have been yearning for a taste of home. While we are there, I am also going to get to see Phoebe and Reese! Seeing them will almost make up for not getting a Girl's Weekend this summer. Almost. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

I am looking forward to not having to do five grant reports, two grant applications, and a golf tournament. July at New Job sucked even more than February through June at New Job sucked, and, that's saying a lot.

What Else Is New

It's not new, but, it pretty much sums it up life lately.

 Anyone else?