Five for Friday.

February 26, 2021

Good morning highs, good morning lows, good morning elbows, and good morning hoes!

Yeah, I don’t know what that was either.

It seems that bits and tricks on Friday mornings are all I good for, so let’s launch and not think all those negative thoughts about why I can’t seem to summon inspiration, bravery, and grown-uppish-ness on all those other weekdays to just hammer one out. Shall we?

  1. It is a fact universally acknowledged that the morning you wake up without any of the head-and-chest congestion that left you miserable for days is the best morning in the history of modern times. No, no: it’s just a fact. The sun is shining (eh), the birds are chirping, and I almost don’t hate interacting with people today. Good times, my friends, good times.
  2. I’m feeling so good, in fact, that I’m not hating the weather. True, the world has righted itself and New England is no longer 60 degrees warmer than hell Texas. But [sprinkling anti-jinx dust around me for good measure], I’ve acclimated better than I thought. It’s been a balmy 30 degrees here most days, and most days I need to remind myself to take my jacket with me “just in case.” God, that was my Mum’s favorite sayings. Just in case! Just in case you get stranded by the side of the road! Just in case you make a left turn and end up in Canada instead of Uxbridge! Just in case the weather drops 40 degrees! …Okay, well, that last one might actually happen; it’s New England. No, no, it’s not the “If a jacket sits unworn in the middle of a forest, and no one wears it, is it still a jacket?” philosophical debate that has me glaring at the weather. It’s the havoc it’s wreaking on my skin and hair with winter’s insatiable thirst for moisture! I can’t lotion up my skin fast enough. My skin is responding very nicely, as long as I feed and water it and take it for long walks. It’s my hairrrrr. My stupid, beautiful, curly, winter-hating hairrrrr. One week after plopping myself down in these here wintry climes, my hair decided it was going to dandruff the frick out. I’ve tried Head and Shoulders. I’ve tried expensive boutique solutions. I’m on my hands and knees begging for your best solutions. Bring it! Because one day (soon-ish) I will feel like the time is right to start dating again and I’m not bringing this hair situation with me.
  3. Speaking of feeling better about myself, I think one of the first things I’m doing with my new salary and wage earnings is to splurge on a trainer. Because obviously ain’t no way I’m getting outta bed and working myself out. Wait – is that even grammar? Ahem. Erm. Well. Bodies! Yes, I would like to fit back into the buckets of clothes I spent buckets of monies to move up here. The first step is to actually do something about it. I’ve cut out the snacking. Now I need to cut in a healthy dose of cardio and strength training. I’ve done it before – after carrying my second beautiful baby to term, I worked off the 50lbs of pregnancy weight, and went down four more sizes just for “fun.” I can’t tell you how much confidence that gives me! The question is now: Do I do what worked then – “just” sticking to 20-minute work-out videos every week-day morning before work? Or do I get myself a trainer? A trainer would help out local businesses and give me extra incentive to Doooooo It! But the responsible thing during the pandemic would be to stay home. But! At home my father (who pays for everything. ergo rules everything) sleeps 7p-3a, and my brother (who takes care of the house and its occupants, ergo you don’t want to piss him off) sleeps 1a-10a. There isn’t a lot of time to seamlessly slip in a work-out routine. Nor can I just work out in my room with my earbuds in, because our house was built in 1898 and the floors are creaky as shit. So many excuses I could latch onto. For now, I’ll be happy to answer just one: What’s a good Denise Austin-esque general 30-minute work-out video that’s going to help me shed pounds?? Oodles of karma to the kind soul who comes up with the winner!
  4. Yeah, it’s a crazy schedule here at Casa de Padre, at least if you’re trying to be considerate since you’re rooming without paying a lot of board right now. If I don’t have interviews for a “forever job” that day, I try to spend at least an hour running errands or just driving around the city, re-orienting myself with landmarks and street names and where that one street over there comes out again? It makes my heart happy to see all these places of home and not be haunted by the fact that I have to leave to go to back Texas at the end of the week. Every single blessed afternoon, I get a feeling of coming home that I thought only existed in books and fleeting dreams. But at the end of those drives, when I’ve squeezed every adventure and back-road in that I could, and sung my way through half-a-dozen playlists at the top of my lungs, it’s back to Casa de Padre I go. Back to the job applications, the dinner dishes, small talk, and all. the. quiet.
  5. You know what quiet needs? BOOKS! A blessing and a curse, dear readers, a blessing and a curse. Any one who’s spoken to me for more than thirty minutes knows that I read quite a bit, and these days I do a lot of my reading online. Reading online is convenient; my ebook mountains are usually supplied by the growing e-library selection offered by the libraries I belong to across several states (book nerds unite!); and not only does that mean the books I want to read are available nearly instantaneously, but I don’t need to find a place to store them in my 8×10 cubby hole here at the house. Which brings me to my dilemma: there’s a book I want to read. [Audience gasps.] Deacon King Kong, by The waitlist at my libraries are all daunting – not that it stopped me from cheerfully adding my name. But the book is available, conveniently, at my local Barnes&Noble. Or I could pay the same amount and get the e-book. The e-book won’t have to be shoe-horned into some scrum of invaluable artifacts from my past life that just had to stay out of storage…but giving my money to Barnes&Noble would make my heart feel so much lighter. And I can’t help but add: so much nobler.(Sorry, sorry – I had to.) While I’ve read the sneak-peek of Deacon a few times, and I adore it, I’m nervous. I’m not usually a James McBride fan. I’m afraid the rest of the book will fade away and I’ll wonder why, exactly, I spent precious discretionary funds on this title, of all things. And normally it wouldn’t be no thing, I’d just wait it out on the waitlist. God knows I have 394530949 other books on my To Be Read list to tide me over. It’s just that Deacon is part of the March Madness insanity of the Tournament of Books. I have 4-ish days to get ‘er done if I’m going to care about spoilers. With a good book, it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. But can you imagine reading Gone Girl and knowing the twist? Still good; the execution was impeccable; but not the same as as yelling HOLY SHIT!! on a plane-load of people. Ahem.

So yeah, there you go! My five little points of madness, or of tiny little nothingness-es, or of whatever you’d like to consider them. Five little trampolines to bounce into the weekend. Because yes, Virginia, even in a land of loose structure, bound by a barely-there calendar, weekends are still the end-all, be-all, responsible for this giant smile on my face!

Is there a patron saint of job searches?

February 23, 2021

It’s been a tough week. I miss my girls. I miss them in ways I can’t even enumerate. So I keep busy. I keep busy by doing crazy things like applying to every job that looks like I might be even remotely interested. Working on my book. Driving for hours around the city, letting familiar sites and haunts soothe me. Visiting my Mum every chance I get.

And you know me – whenever I’m doing something social like, say, visiting my Mum, I talk.

I talk and talk and talk and talk. And when I’m not talking, I’m making offhand comments. Ha! Tricked you! Because, still: talking. But this one time, it may have paid off.

See what happened was, I was visiting my Mum like I said, The home where she’s staying was nice enough to re-open for limited family visitation. Strict guidelines must be followed, such as guests being escorted out by staff members. I was walking out with one of the very nice ladies, who asked if I was Mum’s daughter from Texas. (Not how I like to be known, but I have to admit that it’s a distinctive qualifier.) After I admitted that I was, she asked if the move was permanent. I thought of my girls and god it was surprisingly hard to say that it was, but I admitted that too.

“Yes! I’m home full-time, just enjoying being here again and looking for a job. So if you know of any….” I couldn’t help but joke.

And that was it – that was the little off-hand comment, one of hundreds of funny little jokes I make that my daughters would make my daughters cringe, and make me laugh at myself; but this time I was surprised by the answer.

“You wanna work here?” my escort was quick to retort. “We’re looking for someone in activities.”

“Sure!” I answered even faster.

This time there was half a beat. “Are you serious?” Half joking, half amazed as I was at how quickly this conversation had turned.

“Are you?” I retorted, delighted.

It turns out that yes, yes she was. It may be nothing, dear readers, but I’m keeping fingers, toes, and curls all crossed that this leads somewhere. I may be crazy to entertain the idea of spending all day repeating myself, distributing bingo dobbers, convincing cranky dodgers and crazy old broads (whom I aspire to be) to join in the fun, and it won’t be half as glamorous as the resort in Dirty Dancing – hey!, do you think they’ll let me teach dancing and have after-hours staff-raves? Do you think I’ll meet a cute son of a resident and let him carry a watermelon? – but somehow it feels like the Next Right Thing that the Universe and God are putting in my way.

So if you’ll say a quick prayer to the Patron Saint of Job Searches that this works out in the best way, I think I’m gonna double down and throw my hat in the ring. Exciting news (hopefully) to follow!

Not trying to start a weather war, but…

February 18, 2021

Everyone who’s paying the least bit of attention to national news and goings-on has seen the crazy footage of all the snow, ice, and (sadly) damage from the snow and ice covering the state of Texas. It blows my mind that after I spent sooooo much of my energy wishing for a little Christmas weather, it doesn’t show up until weeks after I left. And great googly moogly did it show up!

So, nah, we can’t compete with that. I mean, we still have the two feet of snow piled up to the heavens in all of the parking lots, and on all the sidewalks, so every time you pull out onto the main road, it’s playing New England Roulette. But I’d say that’s still better than the icicles hanging off your ceiling fan, ceilings falling through in apartments because of busted pipes, and even frozen fish tanks (RIP little Molly fish!).

I still thought all of these extreme icicles hanging from the eaves of my church looked pretty cool:

Stay safe! Stay warm! Keep planning for that week on the Cape to keep your sanity.

Five for Friday.

February 12, 2021

It’s Friday! Wait; Is it Friday? I think it’s Friday. Somebody check for me! Friday! Yes. We’re pretty sure. One of a gazillion reasons I need a grown-up job with grown-up responsibilities: a grown-up Monday-to-Friday schedule.

And you know what Friday means? Five for Friday posts! I am ridiculously excited about my “Five for Fridays” posts. Just five random thoughts that may or may not have been big enough for their own space. So here we go!

  1. One of the toughest things about being “home” again – “home” being in the house where I grew up, and where my brother and father live – and my baby sister temporarily moved home at the end of August because of a COVID eviction, so her too – is not so much that I’m in a house filled with people; it’s that we’re all on different schedules. Like I said, the number of people doesn’t faze me, because I’ve always lived in a small house with a big family, with scores of people always underfoot. It actually makes me feel more comfortable. Homier. But my dad goes to bed at 7 or 8 p.m. He has insomnia like me, god bless. So he tries to follow a strict sleep schedule. So I’m very conscious of this, especially because I have the insomnia issue he was kind enough to pass along to me. Le sigh. My brother, whom I affectionately call the Grown-Up In Residence, also carries the Insomnia Gene, but he just rolls with it. He’s been laid off for more than a year, but has been the one taking care of my father, and also my mother when she was still living at home. He’s been sleeping on the couch so he can hear if my father falls during teh night. That’s why it’s “easy” that I take over his room upstairs. Joe stays up til midnight. 1a. 2a. Somewhere in there. So I know any accidental bumps coming from my room isn’t going to bother him, but I do know that despite fitting into most of the stereotypical “guy” attributes, he is very sensitive to sounds that might disturb my father. Because then he has to listen to it all the next day. Heh. So our house “shuts down” every night, ridiculously early,, at 8p. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Unpleasant, but straight-forward. No phone calls after 8p if I can help it, because the house was built in the late 1800s, so the insulation is laughable. You can hear a conversation on different levels and across the house better than you can in if the person was in the same room! And then the bathroom situation is…
  2. Okay, the bathroom. How many of you have lived in a house with multiple people – grown-up, actual people, not childrens – and only one bathroom. I know it’s not that uncommon the city, in older housing.Mostly I feel bad because I’m not the only one with sleeping problems. And when you hear more than one person tramping up and down the stairs at night – over and next to your bedroom, that can’t help. But! It does help your mindfulness, and when you’re lying very, very still in the morning
    listening for your sister to come out of the bathroom, it’s a good time for morning reflections and prayers.
  3. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on my* room here at my dad’s house, but a happier heart is going to keep me from falling into a deep depression. And to be honest, given the situation with my daughters, who are never out of my mind, I’m teetering, and have been So I want to do what I can’t to keep me right side up. Cheering up the room might fall into that category.

    Here’s how it looks now…

    I’m thinking maybe something mandala-y? Definitely something cheerful and happy. Warm tones. But I don’t want spend too much. My girls bought some tapestries at the old house. Gracie asked for some for Christmas, and helped pick some out for Santa. Bee was – IS – the queen of finding the cheapest sales online and avoiding scams. So I crossed my fingers and asked them for help. Sometimes I don’t get a response because: teenagers. Sometimes they don’t answer because…well. That’s a different story, and a sad one, and I don’t know how to fix it. But! I did get a quick answer about the tapestries and I’m trying to decide. So hit me up with suggestions!
  4. My head is a mess. Yes, that’s the most succinct description of me anyone has said in the history of psychoanalysis. In this week’s episode of WTF, Katie?!, we’re looking at why in the world I can’t seem to get it through my head that I don’t need to do timezone math anymore. I know – laugh all you want. It’s the silliest of little things wrong with me. I’ve been tethered to my best friend Corrie since we met. You know, 15 years ago. She’s been a huge part of keeping me sane through the move. And before the move. And every day even when nothing was going on. You get the picture. And sadly, I haven’t been able to deploy my Kidnap Corrie To Keep Her Happy, With me, And All of Sane because of the craptastic weather we’re experiencing not only in the north (expected), but in the deep south of Texas. We’re they’re getting six inches of snow. Because I’m gone!I Sheesh.What a slap in the face! “Dear Weather Gods, can I please have some snow? No? Oh, but now that I’m officially moved out, now Texas is getting snow? Oh. Okay. Just checking.” !!?!>#$#()_!!! For the love of Pete! But! Getting back to the tiniest of little points that I had, an entire paragraph ago, when I talktext Corrie, it’s still an hour behind. Cool, cool. But then when I go to talk to any of my aunts, the nursing home, my friend Juls, or really anyone else, I don’t need to do any math! NO MATH! I hate math! Why would I try to layer in any unnecessary math?! Insanity, I tell you. SOMEone please get that through my head.
  5. COVID. COVID COVID COVID. Please. You really need to stop now. Because now that I’m all up here in my cozy, cozy homeland, having completed this rather insane and intense cross-country drive all by myself, with a carload of shtuff… And now that I’ve unpacked that carload of shtuff and gotten myself as settled as can be for now… the distractions are wearing off and I really, really need to visit with my family, now that I’ve driven 1500+ miles to be with them. The people of Massachusetts are taking this “hunker down” direction seriously. As we should! But I would like to see my aunts and uncles, now that they’re across the city. And I’d love to be able to hang out with my cousins. Maybe a rowdy card game with everyone all at once? Tough to pull off, but I don’t mind being the details girl and organize it, if COVID WOULD JUST GO AWAY! Ahem.

And that is pretty much where my headspace is on this fine COVIDy Friday night. LOL And what are YOU all up to? Whatever it is, I hope it’s something that leaves you in better shape to be ready for bed when the time comes. No more 4a visits from Father Sleep. Or panicked 12:30p wake-ups the next day. But it’s fine. It’s FINE! Because it’s Friday. And after Friday, comes Saturday. God bless.

And good night!

*my brother’s

The one that dreams and schemes of reading the year away.

February 11, 2021

It’s no big secret – in fact, it’s not a secret at all – that every day would be Book Day if I had my way. Since a balanced approach is a more sensible way to go about things, I probably won’t be able to spend all day, every day reading, no matter how much I might want to. A twenty-four/seven reading-life would make it easier to find books to review every week, but something tells me I’ll find a way.

Some things will always be the same: I dream big when it comes to my reading life, and my reading goals for 2021 aren’t that different. 200 books. Heh, or maybe I should make it 221 books in 2021, just because I have a sense of humor. Half of which need to be new (to me) titles. That seems fair.

Another piece of the puzzle that doesn’t need to change: I want my reading selection to be varied. Diverse topics by diverse authors. Do you know one of the ways I ensure that happens? By reading harder.

This is the seventh (!!) year that Book Riot has published its Read Harder challenge, and every year I’m proud to count myself as one of the participants. Once a month I’ll share a blog update about how I’m doing, or you can also follow along on my Twitter or Goodreads account to see how my personal challenge is faring.

I might be six weeks behind in my first steps, but I’m excited to see what challenges lie ahead! Shall we?

  1. Read a book you’ve been intimidated to read.
  2. Read a non-fiction book about anti-racism.
  3. Read a non-European novel in translation.
  4. Read an LGBTQ+ history book.
  5. Read a genre novel by an Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American author.
  6. Read a fanfic.
  7. Read a fat-positive romance.
  8. Read a romance by a trans or nonbinary author.
  9. Read a middle grade mystery.
  10. Read a SFF anthology edited by a person of color.
  11. Read a food memoir by an author of color.
  12. Read a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of color.
  13. Read a book with a cover you don’t like.
  14. Read a realistic book not set in the U.S., UK, or Canada.
  15. Read a memoir by a Latinx author.
  16. Read an own-voices book about disability.
  17. Read an own-voices YA book with a black main character that isn’t about black pain.
  18. Read a book by/about a non-Western world leader.
  19. Read a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist.
  20. Read a book of nature poems.
  21. Read a children’s book that centers a disabled character but not their disability.
  22. Read a book set in the Midwest.
  23. Read a book that demystifies a common mental illness.
  24. Read a book featuring a beloved pet where the pet doesn’t die.

I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me. Finding new favorite books has always one of of my favorite things. I can’t hardly remember what it was like before I had The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in my life, or that exact moment in between chapters when I went from why do people like Pride & Prejudice, exactly?! to Ohhhhh, THAT’S why! Who knows what what the rest of 2021 will have in store for us. But I hope that I can look it in the eye, even if it’s just while I’m glancing up from turning the page of the book that’s inevitably in my hand.

Here’s to another year of good time, great books, and even better bookish discussions!

The Sup-meh-bowl Rundown.

February 8, 2021

It’s such a weird year, this 2021. Still an upgrade from 2020, don’t get me wrong! I knew it wasn’t going to be like flipping a light switch. But I could still feel the pall over everything last night.

I was definitely feeling it, being back in New England for the Superbowl for the first time since 2001/2002 when we won our first ring. I was here shopping and preparing for my wedding that time, when our upstart back-up QB took over the team and began his run at the record books. This time…this time I’m staying at my parents’ house on my own, sad because my girls aren’t here, and because that QB abandoned the Pats and was leading a different team towards a ring.

But that’s alright. I got to shovel some snow, which was good to get in a workout. And for five inches of snow, at least it was the wicked light powdery kind; you couldn’t even make a good snowball outta it. I got to use my fancy new snowboots, and my new neon green shovel. That shovel isn’t getting lost in a snowstorm any time soon! I was surprised those magic snowboots didn’t work – I figured since I plonked down so much money for them [snow boots are expensive, dude!], it wouldn’t snow all winter. But I didn’t mind, since I had volunteered to shovel so Joey could finish making crunchy chicken. Nom nom nom.

So mayyyybe I had three giant Kodiak-size drumsticks and a thigh while watching the game. Maybe. Heh. It was delicious, but only momentarily distracted me from having my girls there, arguing over who “should” win the squares in our family Superbowl pool.

What did a better job of distracting me? Amanda-freakin’-Gorman!!! Who would have thought the country would get this excited about poetry recitation at The national football game?! I am so flippin’ excited to watch her career. She’s the real deal. She’s gonna change lives, and possibly the trajectory of our country. If we’re lucky.

The Weeknd killed it at the Halftime show. The decoy intros, the explanation behind all the bandaged faces, the fucking annoyance that so many people were Not-Social-Distancing. I laughed my booty off during his meme-able run through the gold mirror maze. I sang along to Blinding Lights like there was no tomorrow. I wished the entire frickin’ thing that I could hear his voice better. So amazing, yet so thin and tiny. Still – such a better show than they usually have.

The commercials…god, not many stand out. I wanted to punch the NFL in the face when they lied their butts off about being pro-active about social justice. I understand that Kaepernick refuses (rightly) to be in anything having to do with the NFL, but how can you honestly publish that commercial when you have only 3 black head coaches; 4 black referees and less than one-third of game officials who are people of color; 10 black quarterbacks (which I think is a dramatic increase from where the percentage usually sits); and ZERO black owners. 70% of the players in the NFL identify as people of color. Don’t believe the hype, you guys. The Four Seasons Landscape commercial surprised the sheep outta me! That might have won hands down. The Michael B. Jordan Alexa video was…ahem…pleasant to watch; however, I have serious issues with everything thinking that sort of video is okay. It objectifies good-looking men. If it was gender-flipped, most of us would be losing our minds that it was even made. I love me some Michael B. Jordan, but I’d much rather (casually) watch him reading a book on the subway. Daveed Diggs and Sesame Street was up there for me because I love all a them! …But honestly all I could think about was the DoorDash fees they were recommending. Bad sell, guys. No Way, Norway! was of course delightful. The Jeep commercial urging us to forget that abusers were anti-compromise for four years, and just wants us to forget it and meet them where they stand – nah, didn’t do it for me. To put it mildly. And the Cheetos commercial with Shaggy bustin’ in with his classic “It Wasn’t Me” had me bustin’ a move. But we’re gonna forget that his song hit #1 freakin’ 21 years ago!!! How old are we?!

One guy wasn’t feeling the passage of time last night, and even though That Guy ceased to exist the moment he defected from my team, I guess I’m happy he got his 7th ring. I know I’m in the extreme minority. But with Peyton getting into the Hall of Fame this weekend, and him having won a ring with two teams, I wanted That Guy to keep pace with the QB who was his main competition for so long. I’m glad Bruce Arians got his ring. I’m not glad that Suh and Antonio Brown and freakin’ Blaine Gabbert got a ring. I’m glad the Chiefs’ assistant coach who killed two children and left another in critical condition because he was driving drunk – I’m glad he didn’t get a ring. I’ll be furious if he ever returns. I’m not glad that such a vocal supporter of Trump’s politics got a ring. That sword cuts both ways, I guess. Watching #12 throw passes only to former Pats players, I have to admit that was amusing. I couldn’t help but smile watching Gronk and That Guy reignite their magic once again.

I’m tempted to say there was more good than bad, but…I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t miss my girls every time my heart got happy. This is gonna be tough.

The brrr!-est welcome possible.

February 6, 2021

Welcome back to New England, Katie – here is two feet of snow to make you feel at home!

Seriously, that’s just what this feels like. I knew when I started my cross-country drive that there was a possibility for some snow, but the “possibility” was an industrious little booger, and by the time I hit Tennessee, there was a snowstorm looming. When I hit Virginia, the snowstorm had morphed into a full-fledged winter assault on the entire eastern seaboard.

I spent four days in Virginia waiting things out. And then I came home to this:

Yeah, it’s not the greatest photo, but it gives you an idea of the scale of the storm. Sidewalks have vanished. There’s three feet of snow around every curb, making every turn onto a new street a gamble with your life. And parking lots – man, parking lots have plowed 20′ mountains of snow to make way for a few parking spots.

But that’s life. Life in New England, anyway. We’re expecting another 6-8″ of snow this Sunday too. Thems the brakes, I guess. But even having to deal with all of this, I can’t lie: hearing snow crunch under my feet as I walked into my house; it made me smile a real smile, the kind I hadn’t let out in a while.

So yeah, snow is bad. But it’s home.

Finding your way back.

February 4, 2021

And so it was, that after one rescue plan after another petered out, our heroine finally admitted to herself that perhaps it was time to admit that her twenty-year Texas experiment was over.

She’s not against returning again; if God decides she needs to be there, who is she to try to stand in Her way again?

But, for now, our heroine is back where her story began. Back where she always said she would return. Back home.

Home, with her future lying wide open in front of her – waiting for her to start getting to it already!

Yep, sounds about right. Sounds about right for me.

Five for Friday

December 4, 2020

Friday! Huzzah! Although, to be fair…

  1. I have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is. Not because I’m jobless (friendless, hopeless, helpless!)(No, put down the panic buttons – it’s just [just?!!!] Vizzini, the world’s greatest, most hapless Italian.), but because it’s so rare that I have a day off from all three jobs at once. So I wasn’t only wondering if it was a Friday, but also if it wasn’t a dream. [Bonus bullet: I doubted my spelling of Vizzini, mostly because of the Red Squiggles of Death, but also it looks odd having the double consonant at the beginning of the word, followed by a single consonant. So I looked it up, and good gosh god dang if I wasn’t right! Never doubt a Princess Bride fanatic when honor is on the line! Ahem.]

  2. My friends and I have undertaken a fun distraction for the month of December, in which we pick songs for each day, according to the rules. Like a scavenger hunt. So, December 1st was “A Song from Your Childhood” (Jelly Man Kelly, performed by James Taylor on Sesame Street); December 2nd was “An Underrated Song” (Pearl Jam’s Come Back, which I’ve been playing on repeat lately.  It just hits me in my feels! Pearl Jam will never be my favorite band, even though I wish I liked it better because one of my best friends is DIEHARD Pearl Jam); December 3rd was “A Song That Makes You Cry” (“Edelweiss” from Sound of Music, because I remember so clearly watching The Sound of Music with my Mum whenever it was on TV, and later when it was on VHS, so she could watch it in the living room while she ironed and sang and we made fun of her. Oh, Mum. I can’t even tell you how much I miss you and how much I wish you could listen to me and help me with the girls right now. See? Songs that make you cry, indeed.); December 4th was is “Song That Makes You Think of Summer”, which is an interesting prompt. I thought of sooooo many songs, most of them from mixes I made for when the girls and I traveled back to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for summer holidays; and the rest from when I was in high school and things were so much happier/simpler/amusingly sad in easily fixable ways. I ended up going with Rude!, by Magic! from one of those mixes. I just think the beat is quintessentially summery.

  3. I’m working on solving a creative problem with one of my favorite craft items. My highest demand item is my shatterproof globe ornament – a round, clear ornament that is filled with hand-selected lines from different books. I can’t even name them all – like, actually, literally can’t because I have more than 300 different books that I’ve used! But to give you an example, I’ve been working on a few Charlotte’s Web ornaments this week. I love Charlotte and Wilbur and Fern and Templeton and all of the other barnyard galoots! I love choosing each line to fit with the theme and feel of the ornament I’m working on, and I especially love picking out quotes for the specific ornament. My dilemma is that when I have one title that is sooo in demand, I run out of times I can clip the title from obvious and inventive places so that I can include it in the ornament. I’m trying a new technique where I type out the title on the closest color cardstock I can match, and in the samest (is-too a word) size font, and see if that will work. I hope so, because then I can also focus the quotes I use for each ornament! If you want to see other ornaments and book-ish crafts Bee and I offer, you can come visit us at Bee Crafty on Etsy (really, it’s called BeeCraftsShop on Etsy, because Bee Crafty was already taken. Le Sigh.) There’s a sale going on, just to tempt you. Ha!

  4. There was a surprise tornado here last week – or maybe the week before? – during one of those weird winter storms when the weather feels like spring/early-summer, and the two weather feels start arguing. I was at work – the work that requires me to actually be somewhere – and everyone kept commenting on our earpieces that it was raining, and then that it was really raining, and then that it was ohmygawd raining, to come see it. But we were slammed, so while I fully intended to go see it, I forgot all about it about 2.5 seconds after it was mentioned. Then I thought I heard thunder. And then the lights flickered for a second. But that was that. Until I checked my phone an hour later and saw that there had been a tornado warning! Not for where I was, or for where home was. But still! And then there were reports of storm damage. Bad storm damage. I looked at the pictures on the news, and checked on friends who lived almost directly in the path, but I was still surprised to hear that the Powers That Be announced it was an EF2 tornado. That was, until I was driving in the area where they said the damage was located. From the street, you can see the tornado’s path through the apartment complex, across the street, and through some fences and into the houses at the end of the street across the way. It’s insane! I couldn’t help but think of how you hear that the storm skips this house and that house, but hits this one; how narrow and despicably discrete the damage path really is. It’s mesmerizing.

  5. Amends time: I’m sorry my posts are so sporadic. I think of what I want to say all the time! But committing thoughts to paper…okay, well, that part has always been crazily easily for me. What’s difficult is committing myself to finding time to do it. Creating healthy habit. Forcing structure into my life. And if life would bless me with the right 9-5 (8-5? 7-5?) job, I promise it would be a lot easier. Manifesting greatness! – that’s been my 2021 motto that I decided started right after the election. We’re making things happen NOW! So that job should feel free to call me back on any one of my resumes I’ve submitted. Or a surprise Meant-For-You! job at any time from any direction. It would be just the chapter I need to finish off my book!

With that! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy yourselves thoroughly. Just remember to do it in a safe, COVID-anti-spreader type way. From separate homes. Not travelling. Not eating out. Just chillin’ from your Zoom-zone. Mmkay? Mmmkay.

Friday! Huzzah! Although, to be fair…

  1. I have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is. Not because I’m jobless (friendless, hopeless, helpless!)(No, put down the panic buttons – it’s just [just?!!!] Vizzini, the world’s greatest, most hapless Italian.), but because it’s so rare that I have a day off from all three jobs at once. So I wasn’t only wondering if it was a Friday, but also if it wasn’t a dream. [Bonus bullet: I doubted my spelling of Vizzini, mostly because of the Red Squiggles of Death, but also it looks odd having the double consonant at the beginning of the word, followed by a single consonant. So I looked it up, and good gosh god dang if I wasn’t right! Never doubt a Princess Bride fanatic when honor is on the line! Ahem.]
  2. My friends and I have undertaken a fun distraction for the month of December, in which we pick songs for each day, according to the rules. Like a scavenger hunt. So, December 1st was “A Song from Your Childhood” (Jelly Man Kelly, performed by James Taylor on Sesame Street); December 2nd was “An Underrated Song” (Pearl Jam’s Come Back, which I’ve been playing on repeat lately.  It just hits me in my feels! Pearl Jam will never be my favorite band, even though I wish I liked it better because one of my best friends is DIEHARD Pearl Jam); December 3rd was “A Song That Makes You Cry” (“Edelweiss” from Sound of Music, because I remember so clearly watching The Sound of Music with my Mum whenever it was on TV, and later when it was on VHS, so she could watch it in the living room while she ironed and sang and we made fun of her. Oh, Mum. I can’t even tell you how much I miss you and how much I wish you could listen to me and help me with the girls right now. See? Songs that make you cry, indeed.); December 4th was is “Song That Makes You Think of Summer”, which is an interesting prompt. I thought of sooooo many songs, most of them from mixes I made for when the girls and I traveled back to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for summer holidays; and the rest from when I was in high school and things were so much happier/simpler/amusingly sad in easily fixable ways. I ended up going with Rude!, by Magic! from one of those mixes. I just think the beat is quintessentially summery.
  3. I’m working on solving a creative problem with one of my favorite craft items. My highest demand item is my shatterproof globe ornament – a round, clear ornament that is filled with hand-selected lines from different books. I can’t even name them all – like, actually, literally can’t because I have more than 300 different books that I’ve used! But to give you an example, I’ve been working on a few Charlotte’s Web ornaments this week. I love Charlotte and Wilbur and Fern and Templeton and all of the other barnyard galoots! I love choosing each line to fit with the theme and feel of the ornament I’m working on, and I especially love picking out quotes for the specific ornament. My dilemma is that when I have one title that is sooo in demand, I run out of times I can clip the title from obvious and inventive places so that I can include it in the ornament. I’m trying a new technique wherry e I type out the title and

Silly and tasty, that’s me.

November 10, 2020

I’ve been on a yogurt kick lately. For breakfast, for a quick snack, for when I can’t put on my big-girl pants and wait for whatever’s in the oven (or, um, microwave – yes, I’m weak) to finish cooking. They’re delicious! And so my jam right now.

Which all explains why I was browsing the yogurt aisle, right? Noosa is by far the tastiest – but probably because they have half a bag of sugar in them. Mostly I’m alright with that, because – tasty. So I compromise and get the Oikos Zero. Guess I found my big girl pants after all. But don’t congratulate me too much, because I also like the Oui ones because they’re tiny and they come in glass jars that I can wash and reuse in my crafting. Yoplait Strawberry is good for those nostalgic hankerings. Chobani is a delicious compromise between Noosa and (the still incredibly tasty!) Oikos Zeros. And then there was one I tried the other day that was touting its protein count.

And then, I found this. The Icelandic delegation to Yogurtlandia! It’s Skyr Icelandic yogurt. The flavor is Strawberry and Lingonberry. I can delight in Lingonberries without the guilt of the pastry it usually comes on…or the $300 I spent at Ikea to get a taste.

Speaking of taste, I have to say, I was quite pleased. While the portion size didn’t quite hold me over until lunch was ready (a mere 12 minutes away), the taste exceeded expectations and would be a go-to. The strawberries were sweet enough to soar, and the lingonberries gave them an equally delicious – but quite different – sort of base. Like it tethered it. Not quite the savory to the sweet, just…lingonberry-esque.

I hope Iceland decides to widen its portfolio and bring me things like breads and ice cream and all sorts of cheeses. My taste buds are dancing at the mere thought of it. Silly…but sweet. I’m grateful for those little moments today.