Friday, November 21, 2014


...because that's how this week is going. Fast.

It was one of those workweeks where you're juggling and juggling and drinking coffee and checking your schedule every 20 minutes because you're probably forgetting something and juggling and more juggling.

Also the week has been crazy because I made it crazy. I can't help myself sometimes. Sure, I'll sub for your team's 11:15 pm Thursday night soccer game after playing hockey on Tuesday night and two soccer games on Wednesday night. What else would I be doing? Sleeping? Please. (I would totally be sleeping.)

I finally bought a kitchen table.

I also got a Christmas tree. Which I am strangely excited about. Is that what happens when you're a homeowner? Or is this a symptom of your 30s? Because I have never had a desire to decorate for Christmas before.

I brought dinner to Lucy and Chet's house on Wednesday night. Their boys are so sweet and wild.

Listened to Serial. Thought it was the saddest episode yet.

Continued to ignore the Facebook message from Mom's friend's son.

Still thinking about that dog. Or another dog, if that one has found a home.

Finished a book. Made chili. Meant to paint my nails but never got around to it. Invited a friend to our annual Pie Night. Scheduled an appointment to get my hair cut.

And now: I am off to Chicago for the weekend. Mom, Meg and I are taking Grandma and Grandpa for a quick visit to see family and attend my cousin's daughter's first birthday party. I expect that I will return home with many stories. About Grandpa. About Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed. And, if I'm lucky, about how the weekend went much better than I expected.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My sister, Meg, got a dog 18 months ago. He is sweet and cute and well behaved and her best friend. She is obsessed with him.

A few weeks ago, she agreed to foster a dog from the same rescue. She is cute and sweet and a little less well behaved.

That sweet and cute but mischievous dog got me thinking about getting a dog of my own. I have always insisted that I'm not home enough for a dog. Now that I live two miles from work, I am out of excuses.

Meg's sweet and cute but mischievous dog found a new family.

And then Lucy sends me the information for a sweet and cute and old dog.

Every time I look at her picture, I want to cry a little. She's 10 and her owner has to give her up because he's moving into a nursing home. Senior dogs have a hard time getting adopted because, well, they're old and that brings me to the real reason that I keep holding off on getting a dog.

Because dogs die.

(This is where my mother would remind me that people die, too. And we wonder about my relationship issues!)

I barely survived when my childhood pets died. Let alone my own dog. One that I would potentially only have for a couple of years. And going through it all by myself.   

Maybe when you cry just thinking about getting a dog it's a sign that you're not ready to get a dog.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 16

Both of my mom's sisters are Type 1 diabetics.

Aunt Marie, my mom's youngest sister, died of complications from diabetes five years ago yesterday. I visited my mom and my grandparents. My mom seemed quietly sad about the anniversary of her sister's death. My grandma came right out and said "this is the day our Marie died."

My mom gently reminded her that it was also the day that Aunt Marie just showed up at my mom and dad's house. Meg and Mom and I were there. Aunt Marie brought her dog. We went shopping. Grandma came over and we had dinner together. My aunt teased my grandmother about apple dumplings, chiefly that my grandma had made a batch just for my dad when she really wanted a batch of her own.

I am often thankful for that day. That I know that Aunt Marie spent her last day with her mom and her sister and happy. She was happy that day.

It's hard, pulling up all of those memories. It's hard, sometimes, remembering.

It gets a little easier every year. We talk about the good parts about that day. The trail mix we ate as we drove home from shopping, maybe. The way Aunt Marie teased grandma.

I got through the day. We all got through the day.

I checked Facebook just before getting to bed. I found out that a high school classmate had died. I immediately knew why. She has been sick since we were in elementary school. Type 1 diabetes.

Of all of the days in a year to die.

Fuck November 16.

Fuck diabetes. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A decade

10 years ago, I was drowning.

I remember that feeling so clearly. 10 years ago, I was fresh out of college. 10 years ago, I was lost.

10 years ago, I balanced my laptop on my knees – it was one of those cold, rainy November days that seep under your skin, one of those days where you can’t get warm – and I sat in the office at my mom and dad's house and I started this blog.

10 years ago.

I didn't know where I was going. I didn't know what I was doing. I was lost. I was trying to write my way out of the woods.

I still don't know where I'm going. I still don't know what I'm doing. I'm still lost. I'm still trying to write my way out of the woods.

I'm still writing.

I'm still writing.

I don't plan on stopping.

This is who I am.

This is what I do.

Nearly a year ago, I read Ann Patchett's This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage; I have been saving this passage from it ever since.

I saved it because I knew.

I knew that I was on the verge of blogging for a decade.

2,848 posts.

10 years.

And I knew that I wouldn't have the proper words to express what that means to me.

My apologies to Ann Patchett.

This blog is the way I've learned to see my life.

Friday, November 14, 2014

My feet are cold

Look at these pants.

If I am at work and I'm not in a dress or a skirt, I am wearing some variation of these pants.

They are flattering on me. And they're comfortable. And they're washable. (I can get quite dirty at work.) And I don't have to get them tailored.
I wear my pants with heels or with flats, depending on what I'm doing or who I'm meeting with or what else I'm wearing or the current status of whatever soccer injury I'm nursing.

But now it's November. I live in Michigan. My feet are cold.

Buying a pair of booties makes the most sense. They're trendy but not ridiculous and my feet could be cozy and warm this winter.

Except this is how I look in booties.

Like a dumbbell.

Okay, so pretend that I don't have a top half for a minute. Because we're just talking waist down. 

I have a booty. And, wearing a pair of booties, makes me really big at the top and really big at the bottom.

Trust me when I say it isn't cute. I tried. I honestly tried. I tried hard to make the booties work because my feet are cold. Booties look ridiculous on me.

I don't know what to wear on my feet. (Do I just go with boots? I feel like every outfit with boots looks so similar because it's An Outfit With Boots.)

My feet are cold. It's only November.

Maybe I just need to give up and buy different pants.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Still not amused

I told my mom that I wasn't interested in her friend's son.

And then, somehow, the message didn't quite get passed along to him and then he requested my friendship on Facebook. Such a bold and romantic gesture. I changed my mind about him immediately.


That is a lie.

I pretended that I didn't see the friend request and ignored it for several days.

Until my mom dropped some hint like "Tess said that her son texted her, freaking out because he friended you four days ago and you haven't responded."

I told her that I forgot and then I contemplated the middle school weirdness that was discussing Facebook friend requests with my mother (who doesn't even have a Facebook account, mostly because that's what my dad used to find himself a girlfriend four years ago) in relation to a grown man who was texting his mom -- at work, she was at work -- about a Facebook friend request that had yet to be confirmed.

For fuck's sake. This is the stupidest thing I have ever been involved in and that's saying a lot for a girl who was, uh, whatever for years with a guy who didn't even like her and lived halfway across the country for 80% of the year.

I confirmed the friend request even though I am not his friend (yes, I do realize that this is not a requirement of Facebook friends) nor am I certain that I have ever actually met him (ditto). I confirmed the friend request to be nice. A pity click. Creep through my pictures and leave me alone.

Being left alone was obviously too much to ask for because, 24 hours ago, he sent me a message.

I couldn't tell you what it says because I haven't read it. Because then I will have to respond.

I don't want to go out with him. I don't want to be mean. I don't want to go on a pity date. I don't want to lead him on. I don't want my mom to look bad. I don't want his mom to think poorly of me thinking poorly of her son. I don't want to do what I don't want to do.

It's so very hard being such a mature and evolved grown ass lady.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dude Food

It could probably be argued that I spend too much time with my parents. It's rare that I don't see them over the weekend and, lately, I've been having dinner with them during the week.

On Tuesday nights, I make dinner at their house. I play hockey late on Tuesday nights, so making dinner and visiting with my parents is a good activity between leaving work and going out for hockey. Otherwise, I am tempted to get in bed and read. And fall asleep and miss hockey.

I also do it to give Mom and Dad a bit of a break. They do a lot for me, so the least I can do is make a regular meal.

Bonus for my dad: it gets him out of making dinner on Tuesdays, which he's assigned to during the school year.

Bonus for my mom: it gets her out of eating my father's notoriously bland, half-assed meat and potato meals.

The hardest part about Tuesday night dinners is picking out something that my father will genuinely like. Now, my father is not an idiot. He won't say a word but he'll push his food around on his plate and take a few nibbles and make some excuse about having a late lunch.

But I would rather he actually like what I make so, I look at recipes and toss out anything that has fish or beets or too many vegetables or is related to any type of Asian cuisine or is otherwise good. (The rule of thumb is basically this: if it's something that my mom and I would reallyreallyreally love, he wont.)

So I'm careful with rice. He doesn't really love pasta. Mostly he just wants to gnaw on a large hunk of beef. Which is exactly what I never want to do. (And never want to eat.)  

Hockey season runs between now and the end of March; there is plenty of time to try out new recipes while we suffer through the winter. And my hockey season. (MY TEAM IS SO BAD.)

If you have a recipe that is not fancy and therefore something my father would appreciate, I am taking suggestions.

I am also begging for suggestions.

I will repay you by recapping all of the recipes I tested out on my father so that, together, we can overcome the challenge of cooking for the picky adult in our lives.

Yes we can.
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