Friday, December 15, 2017

Light the Wall

This year I fell victim to the siren song of Groupon and purchased a string of lights. It was called a curtain, where it's several long strings dangling from the same horizontal string.  We didn't know where to put at it at first. Outside? Just by itself? inside behind the tree? We tried that but it didn't work so well.  So then Sean strung it up on a wall where it fit perfectly. There are several different modes to choose from, from a gentle fade in and out, to seizure-inducing flashing. It is the best. I asked Sean what his fave thing about Christmas was this year and he said the wall light.  Me, I said the together time we share every night at the tree, talking about important things. But when I heard his answer i wanted to change mine because he's right, it is the BEST.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Simple Joy

Yesterday I was driving in a new area and, unfamiliar, needed my GPS to guide me around. I always enjoy giving personalities to inanimate things and obviously Siri is an easy target. 

I had my Bing Crosby pandora station playing and at one point Siri was so confused as to where to direct me and while she struggled to find her way, the music also interfered and it made it sound like she was trying to tell me where to go but couldn't because the @#$% music kept interrupting her! And she got more and more flustered and annoyed.  Here's how it sounded:

MUSIC: O come all ye faithful...

SIRI: Turn left at---

MUSIC: JOYFUL and triumphant!

SIRI: Turn left--

MUSIC: O come, ye...

SIRI: Turn left at

MUSIC: O come ye...

SIRI: Turn left at the--

MUSIC: to Bethlehem...

This went on for quite a long time and had me lol'ing by the end.

It's the simple joys.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Tree

This year, it was that pretty much Julian singlehandedly decorated the Christmas tree.  It's a flocked one, and the flocking gets everywhere but it's so pretty and we like it.  Deep in my heart I wonder if I miss a real tree and I bet it'll make a reappearance one day but for now, this one is nice. Sean and I sat and watched the lad take charge of the whole experience and at first we cared, thought we might even be particular, but by the end realized we didn't, weren't, and he did a perfect job. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

And That's What Christmas Means to Me

The other day a woman in my neighborhood named Faye instructed me hold out my hand and close my eyes. It took me a minute but when I realized what was happening I got really excited and could never have guessed what surprise she had in store for me.  Which was this:

It's a scrubber wreath. For doing dishes. A HOLIDAY DISH SCRUBBER.  THAT SHE MADE. Are you kidding me? This woman knows how to make all sorts of things and gives them out to neighbors on a whim, like crocheted frisbees and paper boxes.  Apparently this one is made out of tulle and you can wash it by tossing it in the dishwasher.  WHAT.  Just, what??   

And now my Christmas is complete.  Thank you, Faye.  Best.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mid-December Workout

This sounds like the worst blog post ever. And it may be, let's find out.

I just finished "working out" on my living floor, aka my home gym.  Gym culture is a little new to me and very much a thing around here.  I considered giving it a gander but realized for the tenth and probably final time that it just isn't who I am inside.  So I do what I can/want, which is lazy exercising. And I think I've found the perfect fit.  It's an app called 7-minute workout.  Seven minutes, you say? Tell me more!

Well, basically it's a video of a man silently doing 30-second exercises that target various parts of the body and you can choose each little exercise and customize your own workout. There is a pleasant Aussie voice explaining the exercise for you and giving tips but the man on the screen never speaks. For the workouts, you can opt for a warm up and warm down, choose 5 second or 10 second breaks between exercises, have a 7 minute workout, or repeat your workout. Right now I opt for a warm-up, and have customized a workout I do for 14 minutes with 5-second breaks in-between, with no cool down. 

Things I like about it:

  • lazy exercising, like I said.  A couple things require a chair, like the step-up and the triceps dip. Fortunately I have a big wooden chest full of blankets that does the job very well.
  • It's so basic. No frills, and so broken down. Simple and surprisingly effective in getting me to sweat. 
  • To expand on that, I'm learning more about this nature of exercise. Rapid change-up of movements and target areas. I do planks and reverse lunges already, separately (whilst watching TV, for instance) but the app only has me do them for 30 seconds which is super short; I can do them for much longer and at first feel like I should.  BUT, since I'm running around doing all these other things immediately before and after, I think it works.  This is probably not a new concept for many people but it's new for me. For example, I'll start with high-knees, then go down to a staggered push-up, then quickly to a reverse lunge, then down to a side plank, then have to bust over to the blank space of wall for the wall-sit (my favorite), etc.  It's a little frantic but effective, and also feels a little ridiculous and I want to make it into a game of sorts, like a relay game with a friend or something. I made Sean do it with me once and insisted we high five when we do the step-up. 
  • The exercises definitely vary in difficulty. I try to customize a workout that gives me challenges but isn't insanely difficult so that I'm hating life. For instance, today I swapped one out for the one-leg push up. Oof. I can do it but let's just say I don't cozy up to the floor so closely.   Still, it worrrrrks.
  • Sometimes, on the second go around, the voice-over guy (who explains the exercises and gives tips when you start out) will out of nowhere shout things like "STAY MOTIVATED!" or "KEEP GOING" and after some time of silence, it startles me and I do indeed, stay motivated, because he scared me into it. "Ahh! ok!"
  • After you've finished, you choose how you feel after the workout. Was it easy? Difficult? Moderately difficult? And it records the workout you did, when you did them, and how you felt afterward, so I have a log of sorts which I can look back on should I ever have a reason to do so. I think it's supposed to be for goal-making or something or other.
  • The other day I had some friends over and had my phone bluetoothed to the speaker in the main room for music.  Somehow, with the phone in my pocket,  the app had been triggered and a workout began and I suddenly heard my buddy shout out "shoulder rolls!" for the warm-up and everyone was confused and I was pleased. I'll see you soon, friend. See you real soon.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Breaking Apple

I didn't think he could do it.

He had a quiet confidence.

I expressed my doubt that it had ever been done, could ever be done.

He claimed it could because he had, before.

And so as I watched him try I said, well if you're going to struggle like that I'd at least better take some pics.

Just as I started taking pictures, just as I was in the midst of expressing my continual doubt,  snap! he did it.    I was amazed. Behold:

{applause applause applause!}

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Snowy Art

Once again, my fave thing to do is stroll the halls of the elementary school and look at all the artwork and then snap some pics and put my face on the "watch list" in the office.  But I can't help it, they're too good!

Here Julian's class (at least i was taking pics of my own kid's class... this time) made pictures of themselves sticking their tongues out catching snowflakes. It's a good lesson on perspective, kind of like that one I had drawing train tracks and sidewalks so very many years ago.

Here are a few I liked:

This next one tells us why you need to put a nose because this subtlety makes me think his eyes got taken off. 

 I liked the cool Lincoln beard on this one. Or Amish beard? Really what's the difference. 

And then I found Julian's and was like, yup.  That's a skeleton.
He made himself with an exposed vertebrae.   

But then later when I told him I saw it and asked him about it he said it was a zipper. I said, "but your jacket completely blends in with the background. I mean, it has snowflakes on it and everything. I thought it was vertebrae or something."  He laughed and liked this a lot so maybe he'll just switch his answer.  Merry Christmas! I'll try to take more pics the next time I go. Gotta get 'em while I'm still allowed in.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Favorites Updated

So once again I've been reading back in the ol' blog archives and came across this one about some favorites of mine in random categories.  I don't know from whence it came but I thought I'd give an updated answer to these very important questions. Since it's not terribly long, I think I'll just re-post the original and add my new answers for comparison.  I'll make my additions blue. This was originally published May 27, 2011, and here's the link if you just need the original for some reason.



Smell: lilacs. I really think it might be my most favorite smell of all the smells. I went to the botanic gardens recently and i rediscovered this drug of a scent. Lilacs are still up there.  These days I'm loving nature smells in general-- the rotting dying leaf smell--ah yeah.  A few weeks ago I was obsessed with anything minty or any kind of cleaning agent. I wasn't like, "sniffing" anything per se, but i may have been tempted. I told a friend this and she said she heard that was due to a hormone imbalance, so that's cool.  I'm not as obsessed these days, so maybe it's passed. -- you know, my hormones.

Pen: Pilot G-2.  Is there anything better? Seriously. Yes, there is, Past Jen.  And it is the 0.5 muji pen. .38 if I have some serious fine-writing needs.  They are my FAVE and I'm really excited for you to discover them in a few years. 

Recent lines on TV:    on Golden Girls last night:

"Eat dirt and drop dead, Trash!"   

I'm just waiting for an opportunity to use this on someone. Will it be you? Only time will tell. And you should be so lucky. [bonus point: who said it?] This is so funny. Good job watching GG, Jen.  By the by, in case you were waiting for the answer, it was Blanche.  I have a friend who is a GG expert. I saw her compete in a trivia competition and was super impressed.  I'm trying to think of good quotes of late...   Well, I was watching some random show when I fell down a Netflix rabbit hole one day. It was called Time After Time and it was not what I thought it would be. I hardly remember it but it starred Maggie Smith (Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey and Prof. McGonagall from HP) and she said something very smart and I jotted it down. It was this:

"Very few people realize they don't know what they feel until they're at least forty."
It's great, and also pretty sad.  And something I feel hopeful to say that will not be true for me. I'm kind of regretting this blue text. It looks like I'm just inserting huge fatty links.

Also, watching a BBC show, a young bullied but tough girl shoved her female classmate against the wall with her fists in the bully's face:  "See these? They smell like dead girls. Think on!"   Also waiting to use this one.. sort of.

Hand soap: Mrs. Meyer's.  I love her. She smells so good, in all her varieties. Guess what, everyone. Mrs. Meyer's is out and Seventh Generation is in. It's a dollar cheaper at Target and I love the scents. Also TJ's has a minty one (go peppermint!) that i'm in love with.
Shower soap: Dove Sensitive Skin.  Still Dove Sensitive Skin.  I tried Dove Regular which my skin immediately rejected because it apparently has harsh chemicals and broken glass(???) Why, skin. Why. Anyway, so I had to revert back, and now I know.

Song: basically any song Julian sings. He has a lovely singing voice but also, he often chooses his own lyrics which are: "bus."  That's all.  Like,  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with just "bus."   Picture it. Sing it right now. So funny (and innovative).  This is so adorable, I can hardly stand it. Singing songs just using "bus."  -ha ha ha.  Let me think.  Well I don't know if this would count as a single song (it wouldn't) but I've been watching some Grantchester lately. It's British and takes place in the late 40's? And the main character, a pastor, loves Jazz and plays it to wind down and i was like, I'm into this. I'm going to find a pandora station. And I did and I LOVE IT.  It is the best kind of jazz (my station is called "Early jazz") and I pop it on all the time but also when I'm baking a thing and it's the best background music. So chill and calm and makes me feel all old timey and simple. Or like I live in a simpler time, rather, ha ha. 

Movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic. Yep, I just said that. Alright, obviously that's not my favorite of ALL TIME, but I do like it and it is a mega-guilty pleasure. It's just funny to me, alright? and it's been on TV a lot lately and i keep staying on it and watching it and I don't know why. I'm so ashamed. But at least i'm honest. Oh laws. So I hadn't seen this in a long time and I put it on a few weeks ago. Remembering enjoying it back then, I tried to enjoy it like I had and I couldn't! It was pretty lame. I thought Isla whatshername was funny'ish and Hugh Dancy is still nice to look at but honestly, all I could really connect with was the background, the set, which was the streets of NY, and I cried like a little girl.  On that homesick note, I watched the movie Brooklyn a few days later about a girl who moves to Brooklyn and feels homesick. It was a lovely movie and her experience really falling in love with the city hit some chords.

and on that note, Man celebrity:  Hugh Dancy.  He-LLO. Yeah. I don't know who I'd say now. I'll have to come back to this one.

War: WWII.   Lately I've been reading a lot of books and things set during WWII and I really love it. I love stories of hiding from and escaping the Nazis.  And about the way people thought during that time, people's individual, personal stories. I am just fascinated. It's almost surreal to me. Every time I spend some time reading, thinking and learning about it I wonder, how did that happen??  And stories of survival and people's will to live always inspire me.  In fact, I finished my book and am desperate for a new one. I think it's time for a little Man's Search for Meaning.  I still enjoy WWII, but guess what else is super interesting? The Cold War.  It's bananas.  All that paranoia and suspicion and stuff? Sean and I stumbled on a real gem of a series. It could still be on Netflix but I really don't know. It's called The Assets, based on a true story of bringing down an internal mole at the CIA who was selling the identity of US spies to Russia. It's gooood stuff and made me totally into that ol' Cold War. Also feeling uncomfortable and ominous feelings of a resurgence nowadays. 

Sandwich: Peanut butter and banana. An old classic. I like to mush up the banana inside the peel and then ooze it out and spread it on the slice.  It's preferable to use a mini-banana.   I also like to make it on these, and then slice it like a tiny pizza. The fun never ends in our house. Seriously, Jen? Since when? I vaguely remember this but would never have believed it was a favorite.  Well I haven't hit a peanut butter phase since who knows when.  So these days I think my favorite sandwich would be a stacked one. Turkey, cheese, tomato, lettuce, maybe a pickle, some mustard. I haven't had that in a while either but i always feel proud, like I've sculpted something really special when I go all out, sandwich-wise.   But I also enjoy a good tuna melt.  But now that I'm thinking about it, a good vietnamese sandwich might be the winner for me. Sweet meat + pickled veggies on that beautiful crusty bread. Ahh, t'is a thing of beauty.  

Well, these are my answers. This post turned like, significantly more boring than I had anticipated, but I won't let it get me down, and you shouldn't either! What do you say about these mildly interesting, totally arbitrary categories?  If i make you read my answers, I should have to read yours too (JK, it would be an honor).

Thursday, December 07, 2017


Last night I had a dream I was living in the world of Beverly Hills 90210.  For a while in the summer I was watching a lot of this as my fluffy binge watch and it was AWESOME.  Reasons why:

1. The fashion, probably first and foremost.  The style of the "cool kids" was cracking me up left and right. I generally abhor most things 90's but I have a right to because I lived them. I lived them. This means oversized jeans, sweaters, shirts--flannel shirts, jackets-- all oversized. Hairstyles that were trying to come down from the 80's but not sure where to go, etc.  But also there were overalls and general denim-ness, which I loved and still do. But for the most part the 90's were a hot fashion mess.
The show premiered in 1990, so carried over some 80's elements before things got really bad.    For example, to be watching a scene with "cool guy Dylan McKay" and then have him leave, strutting down the hall wearing overalls with ONE strap attached was just the best.  {squint eyes- big smile face}    Another example was watching Brenda, Kelly and Donna in school, all wearing like, business blazers. I'd grab screen shots and send them to my friends-- "Remember back in the day in high school when we used to walk down the halls wearing our BLAZERS."   Cracks me up.

2. The issues.  They tackled issues that were seriously scandalous at the time. Things like teen pregnancy and LGBTQ issues (And think then, it was probably just LGB) and while it was pretty risqué at the time (we had to sneak-watch the show when I was a kid and I wasn't the only one)  it would be so TV-tame today.  The dialogue is hilarious. But on the other hand, some of it was rather poignant and still quite relevant. I almost feel like some of these episodes could (and should) be shown in high school health class today. Ok, maybe Jr. High.   On the negative side, there are some insane episodes with such racially offensive dialogue, for instance, where they try and grossly fail to successfully approach certain subjects.

Anyway, I gave it up because it got a little weird- and maybe too updated for my taste. Or maybe Brenda just got on my nerves along with everyone else's.  But do yourself a fave and go watch the first couple seasons. You will die laughing at every episode.

So back to my dream-- oh no, I didn't forget.--   I was part of the gang. In fact, I could have been Brenda (Shannen Doherty) but I, as my dreaming self, had a spectator's view. It was as if the show (as I had known it to be) had become real life. Anyway, we were at the Peach Pit and I found I was more drawn to Nat, than anyone. I asked Nat how old he was "Forty-five," he said. Which confirmed things for me, and the remaining of the dream was me fixed on calling Dylan out on his ACTUAL age which was 32 instead of 17, and trying to make him admit it. Like, own it. It's ok to be old!   In real life I think he was like 29 or something when it premiered. It's weird to revisit a thing where back then you were like, these guys are goals, and then now to think, absolutely not. The dream didn't really go anywhere but my takeaway was that this show was eons ago,  I am OLD,  and maybe struggling to come to terms with that? I think I need to go put on some overalls.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Holiday Hodgepodge

Is there a synonym for hodgepodge? How many times can I use this title for a blog post? I feel like I use "hodgepodge" every other blog post. I wonder if I can come up with alternatives...

Let's see, there's:

Christmas Conglomeration
A Merry Mixed Bag
A Merry Melange
Xmas Mishmash -- maybe my fave
Joyful Jumble
Rosy Ragbag

Alright, I feel like that was pretty successful.  In terms of similar phrases and silliness, obviously hodgepodge, mishmash and ragbag are all cousins and deserve a spot in the forefront of our vocabularies*. 

*Also, your challenge is to use "gallimaufry" in a title like this.

I could probably call today's post Surly Holiday Hodgepodge or Cross Christmas or Nettled Noel. The day's been fine but  I just wanted to get on here real quick and bulletize a few things about my day as a way of making inconsequential things into something much larger and even more irritating. 

  • First,  I'm really not sure how I feel about made-up Christmas songs.  I have a pandora station called Six Pence None the Richer (holiday) because they have some stellar Xmas songs. (O Come O Come Emmanuel, for instance) Those of you unfortunate enough to having been made to endure that failure of a musical decade called the 90's may remember this outlier and their hit Kiss Me one of the few acceptable songs to come away from that sad, very confused time.  But I was listening to one song today called River and I: first, hated it. Second, saw it was SPNTR and gave it a second chance, then third, hated it.  I wasn't listening to the words too closely but amidst my disgust, heard the words "I made my baby cry" which made me laugh.  Now, she was probably singing about a love of hers, a romantic partner. But Sean and I are not "Baby/babe" people (we tried it once for one day via texts and felt utterly ridiculous. We still do it from time to time just to be idiots: "thanks babe!"  "sure thing, babe!")  so immediately my brain went to, like, she made her infant child cry.  And that's horrible.  And funny.  To put in a song, esp a Christmas song, I'm sorry "Christmas" song. Say it to yourself.  See? You're laughing. 

  •  Second, (listing numbers within bullets is probably unnecessarily, huh)  Gloria Estefan isn't my fave and I'm not even sure if this was her so sorry, Gloria if this wasn't yours but while carting down endless aisle after aisle at the grocery, losing all track of time and space and whatever it is that makes me a living, breathing human being, I heard the most horrendous version of Jingle Bells and it really made me want to punch. 

    Listen to this: so at one point instead of "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way" 

    the words were,

    "la la la, la la la, la la la la HEY."  

    {face palm emoji}   Whyyyyy.   It's like they forgot the words in the studio and just improvised, then thought that sounded pretty good so they kept it.   
  • Third, and you tell me if I'm way out of line here,  I was at the checkout and i had a 3/4 full cart. I pulled up a bit so as to start placing items on the conveyor belt a little closer to the check-out person.  She started scanning my items and I was keeping pace with her as she moved the belt onward.  Then, with still a half cart-ful to go, a woman pulled up behind me and started emptying her cart on the conveyor belt. The belt would move, she'd add more stuff.  What the hey?? So that I had less and less room to put stuff down until the checkout woman stopped it altogether and scanned the items and I'd just have to wait until there was space. She apologized and as I gave some serious side eye to a gloriously oblivious woman behind me, said, "Oh you're fine, i'll just construct a pyramid here with my food items..."    

    Maybe "la la la la HEY" had me already rankled (or, more likely, having been at the store for infinity time)  but did I forfeit my conveyor belt by coming in with my cart and leaving the end exposed? Is the conveyor belt not mine until transaction complete or at least groceries scanned?  Did this woman overstep?   Did she infringe the laws of supermarket etiquette? 
  • Last, to cheer me, an unrelated Sean quote from the kitchen.  We have a fruit stand that's sort of a tiered bowl-type thing. 

    SEAN: You guys are in the top spot now!

    JEN: hmm?

    SEAN:  Talking to the bananas...
{squint eye, big smile emoji}

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Even More Merry Muffins

Several days ago I attempted to make, for the second time, a new muffin recipe that I am kind of in love with.  It includes oat flour and pumpkin and plain yogurt and maple syrup.  It's so good.  But when I made this second batch they were very, very wrong. Dense, no rise, horrible.  I wasn't sure why until I tried again for round three a few days later and came to "1 tsp baking soda" in the recipe. Ahhhhh. I had omitted that important little thing.  So this was a redemptive muffin making and, to make the experience even more meaningful for me I put on a podcast with Itzhak Perlman, world renowned violinist, who delighted me with so many gems i had to run to the pad on the fridge and write them down amidst all the baking.  

It was a moving experience, one I will undoubtedly blog about in more detail later, but throughout the interview they'd play snippets of Itzhak playing and I'd alternately shed a tear, and mix an egg. Measure a teaspoon of something, and hold back a sob. Open a can of pumpkin, and shake my head out of pure humility.   Listening to beautiful music is inspiring.  Listening to Itzhak was epiphanic. 

My prep was finished. I sprinkled some cinnamon and a few prayers and put the muffins in the oven.  When they came out I was in a full-on revelatory state of being. I'd already been vigorously writing things down and among them came two personal muffin rules that I hold to as strongly as I've ever held to anything in my life. They are:

Rule #1
If I wait to eat a muffin so that the butter doesn't immediately melt into a muffin-soaked puddle, then I have failed indeed.

Rule #2
Muffins must be eaten immediately and in quick succession.

I'll easily have 3 muffins one right after another. Also, having multi-sized text within a document is everyone's favorite, I know. I just really wanted you to know how important these muffin rules are to me. 

And as my gift to you, I'm going to include this new merry muffin recipe that I love so much, I might have to make them again now that I've been talking about it.  Here you go:

Jen's Merry Muffins
AKA Oat Pumpkin Muffins I Stole Off the Internet and are Now Mine
(here's a link to the actual recipe)


2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt *
1/2 tsp. cinnamon.* More for sprinkling/praying.

1 cup pumpkin puree
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. real maple syrup
2 eggs

chocolate chips (optional)

* the original recipe calls for a "pinch" of both of these ingredients but I never know what that means so 1/2 tsp is my minimum salt requirement in baked goods and seems a good amount for the cinnamon.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the oats for about ten seconds to get them mostly smooth.
3. Mix oat flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl.*
4. Mix wet stuff in a separate larger bowl. Add flour mixture all at once to the wet. Gently but swiftly fold with a spatula until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips if you want them.*
5. Transfer to a greased muffin tin or use baking cups which is a million times better. Bake for 13-15 min.

* The original recipe says to mix ALL of the ingredients in the food processor/blender but I can't bring myself to do that. 1- air pockets. Must retain.  2- i only have a blender and so much batter would get stuck in the blade nethers down below and be a pain to clean out. I like the classic method.

One final important note: Bake the batter right away. If you wait a long time between mixing the batter and baking, the oats will absorb a lot of moisture and the muffin texture will get gummy. I notice the threat of this when I eat the muffins and I actually think that's what makes them good but it's a fine line and speed is key.

Merry muffins!

Monday, December 04, 2017

Christmas Order Form

Julian's still a Santa believer but has no desire to actually visit any kind of Santa.  It does not excite him; he has no interest, saying that he communicates to him via letter only.   There are probably real reasons for this like maybe the seeds of doubt have been planted deep in his subconscious but he's not ready to yet face them. Whatever the reason, he's all about the list. Now, most children make a nice, relatively short list full of what you might call their Christmas wishes.  It's a Christmas wish list.  Not to Julian.  To him it's basically an order form, as he's stated several times things like, "I'm going to order that for Christmas."  And it just keeps getting longer. Sean and I adamantly and repeatedly explain to him that that is NOT how it works, and maybe this is more indicative of my amazon habits, but nevertheless! {point making finger emoji} You do NOT "order" Christmas presents!    He has become a tad entitled you might say, and most of the things, especially the big ticket items Santa is decidedly NOT getting him for Christmas, which we think may be in his best interest.

Every once in a while when I feel like Julian's becoming a little too spoiled or not sharing, I have to switch over to "sister" mode and fight him for taking a turn on something. I'd say 70% of it is me wanting to teach him and 30% is legitimately wanting a turn.  For example, we have several advent calendars we both enjoy and most of the time I'll let him do them.  But this morning I went down to the lego advent with him because I think it's our favorite and I said, "Hey can I do this one?"  Probably asking is my first mistake. Regardless, he said he wanted to do it.  And I said that I wanted to do one, so it could be today's or tomorrow's, he can pick, but we're taking turns.  He was not on board with this. As I often do in these situations I explained to him that some families have a bunch of kids and they all have to learn to take turns because there are so many of them, and I use the example of our friends were there are six children 8 and under.  They know how to share and take turns because they must. There must be order in the world and their mother runs a tight ship. He must learn these things too.  He considered this and understood, and chose today as his day. I love that my explaining the purpose, the lesson, would at all sway him, and that he'd relent in the end. He's the best.  Super spoiled, and the best.  

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Mew of the Wild

Dec. 3, aka Day Three of 25 Days of )en.

We got our cat two Christmases ago after a gross misunderstanding on Santa's part. Apparently Julian asked for a STUFFED cat, for me.  But we got a real one instead. Julian reminds us every day of his own importance by bringing up the fact that without him, we never would have gotten a cat.

Every morning I wake up and take about ten minutes pulling myself out of bed.  The first thing I do when I go downstairs is unlock the cat door to let in the Poo and feed him.  Then he spends several minutes yearning for my attention and running around wildly.  Something that makes me laugh about him is his need to be wild but not understanding that himself.  He'll attack things, behave in a general frantic manner, then mew like a baby like he doesn't know what came over him.  Often i'll go open the door and let him outside. Sometimes he goes and sometimes he's not ready, only to be ready mere minutes later after which he darts out like a feline firecracker, ready to attack face a new day.

He used to come and go as he pleased, day or night, but we realized he's a bit of a fighter and would come home with atrocious injuries that we didn't know how to nurse but had to still deal with.  Plus on the weekends he'd wake us up waaaay too early with his impatient mewling that sounds a LOT like "hello?? hello??"  I wish I could record it; it's totally crazy.   So now we keep him in the garage at night, with a heated cat bed, and all our problems are solved.

The new routine is, after his morning meal, he goes out at around 7:15-7:30.  He then spends about 5-6 hours outside and then returns home around noon or 1pm.  This happens pretty regularly.  I've documented it pretty carefully (JK, but still it is interesting to monitor the cat habits. Catbits? [No].) and it always makes me laugh when he returns from the wild, still retaining some of that wildness but not sure what to do with it.  Confused, he mews/yowls at me for no apparent reason, then darts around attacking nothing. And then he calms down.  It reminds me of his kitten days when he'd dart around the house-- running at full speed upstairs to one corner, then back down to where we were on the couch, tap Sean on the forehead or chest to assert his dominance, then dart back up.  {shrug shoulders emoji}  I tell ya, this cat.

I've decided to officially name him Poo, by the way.  I already call him Pooper. Julian rejects this name but I don't care, it's perfect. Plus my mom had a cat named Poo when she was young so it's also as tribute.   This post is so boring and pointless but I love him so much that I don't even care.

Saturday, December 02, 2017


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

In celebration of the Christmas season, there's also a tax going on in my house and it is thus:  Every time Julian says the words "death" or "kill" he owes me .10.   He is a money-loving dragon so when I initially implemented this decree, and the first offense occurred and I called him out on it, he became very fearful and almost tearful so I let the first one slide. The second one, which occurred maybe 45 minutes later, was official, and I marked it down and told him he'd have to pay me at the end of the day.  He tried to fight me but nothing doing.  

Tears later he said to me, "so i have to pay you ten cents every DAY?"   And i said, "No, you have to pay me ten cents for every time you use one of those words. It might be much more than that."    He stormed up to his room, weeping and wailing and a few minutes later came down and slapped down a bunch of pennies on the counter. As he stormed back up the stairs I called after him, "you only gave me nine cents!"     He has since tried to barter and bargain with random junk from his room.  He's always trying to bribe me to call off rules and regulations.  Right now he's crying at the foot of the steps to where my desk is here and said, "Can't I just give you my whole ROOM?"  All of this is giving me such a warm fuzzy feeling inside.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Dec 1

well, I guess I'm doing this again. I'd have liked to do a proper kick-off but it's 10:19 and I'm all kinds of beat. So hopefully it won't be a sign of things to come that I'm only going to post a picture of me and sean taken moments ago, tired and scraggly and day-worn but eyes reflecting the lights of the tree. So here we go, let's do this th-zzzzzzzzz.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


So you may already know my feelings considering breakfast. In short, they are love, reverence, and careful consideration, if that constitutes a feeling.  Recently I had a chat with friends about Thanksgiving and how, though I enjoy it for several reasons, there are many obstacles for me to overcome. One is the type of food. Another is the time at which it seems to be eaten.  I expressed that eating a huge meal at 3pm is an abomination to my digestive system and a friend suggested I skip breakfast and I was like, HOW DARE YOU.  How. dare. you.  

Moving on, I try to mix things up breakfast-wise but sometimes I need new ideas.  Here is the short list of the things I routinely make for breakfast:

1. cereal. ha ha ha, jk. (it still counts)
2. oatmeal
3. pancakes (puffy on the weekend. regular mid-week)
4. muffins
5. eggs
6. egg in the middle of toast, or EITMOT, or one-eyed-sam?  What do you call this thing? 

These are all breakfasts I can make within the 20-25 allotted minutes if I do some prep work beforehand on some of them.  Oh, and throw smoothies in there intermittently because i would be remiss to exclude.

The other day I was making EITMOT and had the blessing of cracking a 2-fer.  Two yolks in one shell. Essentially, twins.  I took a pic and sent it to Sean who was shocked, and bitterly confessed this miracle had never happened to him before. I was surprised. Never? What a shame. It doesn't happen often but when it does, i'm sure it's a good omen of things to come.  He remarked the yolks seemed small and I said, "yes. twins usually are."  

I then sent it to Ashley, Liz, and Diana, particularly Diana who, I seemed to recall, abhorred such an occurrence in spite of her having birthed twins herself.   The following group text chat took place. First, the picture of the miracle:

 "Oh Dianaaaa..."  I had tauntingly said.


 I mean, even when there's blood, which is gross, I concede, it all comes from the same place. I mean, eggs are inherently gross! That's what they are!   I feel like people agree to all the grossness by consuming them. There's just no way around it. So i was surprised by such an extreme reaction here.

As mentioned, we all have our things.  Things that are so utterly disgusting and you won't stand for it. WILL NOT.  And i gave my example, which is toothbrush-sharing, which is totally repulsive and completely unacceptable.   This was from a previous discussion where there were differing opinions.  So i wanted to ask: what is your "thing"?  What will you not stand for, ever, not EVER?  Do you revile or celebrate twin eggs? Do you feel that throwing out a whole batch of cookies because of a blood spot is insane and downright tragic?   Any other commonplace atrocities you can't bear to accept in life?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Even More Sean Quotes

This title reminds me of that scary book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.  And then they'd come up with sequels and call it like, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Even MORE Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.  How far did they get? I wonder.   Also, those stories were so scary.  I'm pretty sure that that part of my subconscious is where my mind's eye goes in my deepest and darkest of moments.*shudder*

Sean quotes are funny, partly because the thing itself is a funny thing to say but it's also how he says it that's funny. And usually the way he says it is abrupt, out of silence, out of nowhere.  For example, i was in the dark kitchen the other day on a dark day, a cloudy day where you might forget to turn on the lights and everything's just pretty dark*, and then all of a sudden he appeared out of the shadows and said the following:

"I just watched that Gangnam Style video again. It's lost nothing."

On this occasion and to the majority of these quotes, my immediate reaction is: 

I don't even know what to think. Or do, or say.  So I laugh and hurry and scribble it down on something.  He did go on to describe what was so great about it and, after my initial shock and bewilderment, I do find myself a little bit curious now...

After that we were discussing Thanksgiving plans involving a family spreadsheet, menu items and so on and so forth. T-giving food isn't my fave, especially eating it at weird-time-of-the-day o' clock, and Sean shares similar feelings. In discussing it more he said, "I just go back to what that Bon Appetit article said (fancy food mag that makes us feel fancy, even if we never ever make one of the fancy recipes) about it, that Thanksgiving is a meal full of very strong flavors."  I considered this and replied,  "huh..yes.. strong flavors. Maybe that's it."   And as he walked away, he said, sort of preoccupied in deep thought about the subject,  "Maybe that's just what it means to feast. I'm unaccustomed to feasting."    Which felt all philosophical to me (but also funny).  Good thoughts, Sean. Thanks for sharing.

Also, now that he's managed to pique our interest,  here's the gangnam video: 

Oh my lands... nooooo.  no no no. I regret. I regret!

*I wrote this before I wrote the first paragraph, interestingly.  I think there's a theme here? Maybe? Or not.